Challenge # 2

Healthy Choices

I have never been good at eating breakfast.  My daily morning routine follows a very simple, straightforward action plan: wake up and consume coffee as soon as possible.  I normally remember around 11:30 AM, as I begin my hunt for food, that I have yet again skipped breakfast.  This decision then leads me to eat whatever I can find for lunch.  Neither of these decisions will be beneficial on my weight loss journey.  So, for my second challenge I have committed to not only eating breakfast every day, but also having a smoothie each day for lunch.

I only skipped breakfast once, so I am fairly happy with that.  I had my smoothie every day, and this is a habit I am excited to continue.  I love my smoothies!  Here’s what I have each day.

Lunch Smoothie (4 pointsplus)

6 oz Chobani Greek yogurt, plain

1 cup strawberries

1 ½ c pineapple

1 whole banana, peeled

1/3 c almond milk, original unsweetened

I cannot begin to tell you how much I look forward to making this for lunch every day.  I can only describe it as a momentary escape from reality as my taste buds are sent on a tropical vacation.   Feel free to play around with what fruits are your favorite.  The important thing, in my opinion, is the Greek yogurt and the almond milk.  The Greek yogurt keeps me feeling full until dinner and the extra liquid helps the smoothie from being too think.  If I want to limit my dairy intake for the day, I use 1/2 – 2/3 c almond milk (depending on how think I want the smoothie to be) and whey protein powder instead of the Greek yogurt.

Challenge #2

Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe I could try? 

(Yes, I checked all of my Chobani labels, I do not have any of the recalled yogurt.  Thanks for your concern though!  Here’s the article in case you haven’t seen it yet. LINK )

 

Button Beginnings Pt. 2

We all have a pair.  For some, they are an old faded pair of jeans washed so many times they have taken on a softness which is hard to part with (even though they are far too loose to wear in public).  Others, they are a pair of loved yoga pants, welcoming and forgiving like a nonjudgmental embrace.  For me, they are a pair of white shorts.  Not just any white shorts, these shorts were magic.  Even on my worst days, I can remember putting these shorts on, paired with any shirt and sandals, and I felt amazing.  As the years went by, and my figure changed, I refused to donate these magic shorts.  I was not ready to let go of the memories.  Always residing in the back of my drawer, they were the back-up plan I hoped I never had to use.

magic shorts

Since the wedding, and the beginning of my latest love affair with food, I had noticed that my everyday items were beginning to feel a bit snug.  I blamed it on the fact that my husband had done the wash that particular week.  I fully convinced myself of that, even though he had long since given up laundry duty.  I was in complete denial.

So there I sat, packing and repacking my suitcase.  In an attempt to both calm my nerves and limit my natural over-packing tendencies, I was trying on each outfit to figure out exactly what I would wear.  I noted my husband must have done the laundry again that week; my khaki shorts were not fitting the way I remembered them to and I felt I couldn’t bring them on Gal-cation.  Digging around my drawer, I pulled out my old magic shorts.  Hoping they had enough pixie dust left for one weekend, I pulled them on and went to look in the mirror.  That’s when it happened.  I experienced the longest two seconds of my life.   I heard the soft clinking of a white plastic button bounce off the tile floor.  The sound was deafening, and I quickly looked around to make sure I was alone.   I came up with several excuses.  My favorite was that the shorts were old and the button was weak.  That sounded realistic, right?

I sat on our bed, both button and magic white shorts tightly grasped in hand and I cried.

The worst part of this experience was not that I still needed a pair of shorts for vacation the following day.  I had to dry my tears, find my mother-in-law and ask if she had a spare button.  I had no other choice, I needed these shorts for my trip.  Before you read that wrong, I love my mother-in-law.  She and I have an amazing relationship which I hope continues on this great path we have established.  What made the experience awful was that I had to sit and sew on a new button.  Have you ever had to sew on a four-holed button?  I was surprised to learn that it required such concentration.  With each stitch and teardrop,  I relived the varying lunch locals, each shared appetizer, the dinners out and each delicious dessert.  It was time I regained control of my relationship with food.

As soon as I returned from my weekend away, I dusted off our trusty scale and stepped on.  I had expected a few pounds, but much to my surprise I was right back at my pre-wedding weight.  I had gained 15 pounds since my wedding.  This was unacceptable.

I welcome you to join me as I begin my post-wedding weight loss journey.

Beginning Date:  09/02/2013

Goal: -15 lbs

Plan: Healthier food choices and regular exercise

 

Button Beginnings Pt. 1

I am recently married, although that is not what this post is about.  Unlike most brides, I waited until about four months before my wedding to begin my diet and serious workout regiment.  By serious I mean twice weekly appointments with my trainer and a weekly Weight Watchers meeting.  Outside of those two hours per week at the gym, I did nothing to exercise.

Fortunately, my goal was not an unobtainable number. With the help of Weight Watchers (www.weightwatchers.com) and my trainer, come wedding day I had blown right past my goal.  In fact, I did so well I had several nerve-wracking dress fittings where my seamstress kept strongly suggesting that I stop losing weight.  There were so many built-up nerves surrounding my weight loss and my dress, my final appointment was spent mostly in tears.  Needless to say, my wedding dress fit, my wedding day was beautiful, and all was right in the world.  Then the reception beckoned us with its delicious hand-picked menu and all diets were forgotten.

While in Hawaii, my new husband reintroduced me to a long-lost friend: deliciously unhealthy food.   Our honeymoon was amazing and as soon as we returned we closed on our first home and began renovations.  Talk about stress.  Since the wedding, just over three months ago, I have not really thought about what I have been eating.  Well that is not true.  I have thought about it quite a bit.  Which new local restaurant would we try for lunch, where would we go for dinner, what appetizer could we split so I wouldn’t feel as guilty about getting dessert.  These were difficult daily decisions.  For quite a while, it felt like we were eating out far more that we were eating at home.  I was not one to complain, I enjoyed it.  There was something addictive about going out.  It was easy, there was no clean-up, and the food….oh the food.  For a girl who stress-eats, this was like Heaven.

Well, Heaven has a sneaky way of crashing down around you when you least expect it.  For me, it happened the day before I was supposed to go on my first “Gal-cation” with a group of wonderful new friends.   Wake-up calls are different for everyone.  We all respond differently to messages that are sent to us throughout the day.

For me, it was the tiny sound of a white plastic button bouncing on the cold tile floor.

For the Love of Snail Mail

I joined Postcrossing.com in 2010, in fact almost exactly three years ago.  The first postcard I sent was on August 2, 2010 and traveled for 5 days before it reached its final destination in Germany.  When I first joined, I was able to send 5 postcards at a time.  I can remember driving around looking for postcards from my hometown to send.  There was a simple joy in the thrill of hunting down the perfect card.  They were not very easy to come by, and the ones I did find looked like they were created in the 70’s.  A few members suggested creating my own postcard online, but I never made the journey to see if it was worth it.

I was so excited when I received my first postcard in the mail.  On August 16, 2010, after traveling about 3595 miles over 5 days, my postcard arrived.  Living in The Netherlands, Laura wrote about her current job and dreams for the future.  Chances are I will never hear from Laura again, and I have no way of responding to her postcard, but there is something special in receiving a hand written postcard.  The honesty of most members’ messages leaves me with a sense of fondness for the individual.

Sadly, as life got exciting with a relationship that was becoming fairly serious, my last postcard was mailed on December 9, 2011.  I can still remember how I felt when I entered my final postcard into the system.  It was like saying goodbye to an old friend.  Only recently, while on vacation and picking out some postcards to purchase, I remembered my long lost buddy and the good times we once had.  I decided to reach out once again.

I am happy to announce that I currently have nine postcards on their way to individuals all over the world.  I find it fitting that the first two addresses I was assigned are in Germany and The Netherlands!  I feel as though this is a sign that I had picked the right time to start up this old hobby of mine.  Here is where my current batch of cards are going:

  • Anja in Germany
  • Norbert in The Netherlands
  • Jody in California
  • Nataliya in Republic of Belarus
  • Sofia in Ukraine
  • Penny Liew in Taiwan
  • Annemarie in Austria
  • Marja in Finland
  • Alan in United Kingdom

During the time that I was an active member at Postcrossing.com I have sent 47 postcards and received 51 postcards.  It appears that four of my sent postcards never made it to their final destination, which does happen.

I would try to explain Postcrossing in my own words, but the founder does it best so here is a copy of what can be found on their About page:

“The goal of this project is to allow people to receive postcards from all over the world, for free. Well, almost free! The main idea is that: if you send a postcard, you will receive one back from a random Postcrosser from somewhere in the world.

Why? Because, like the founder, there are lots of people who like to receive real mail.
The element of surprise of receiving postcards from different places in the world (many of which you probably have never heard of) can turn your mailbox into a box of surprises – and who wouldn’t like that?” – postcrossing.com/about

I encourage any of you who are interested in receiving more that bills and store catalogs in the mail to take a quick look at Postcrossing.com .  The site is free to join, so your only expense is the cost of your postcards and stamps.  I know how much fun I have had sending and receiving my cards in the past so I hope at least one of you gives it a shot.

You never know, you could love it even more that I do!  Have you already tried it out?  Let me know what your experience has been like.  Feel free to leave me a comment!

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