Sunday, December 24, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

ETL Angels

A BIG thank you to everyone who left me a comment from yesterday's post, your encouragement means so much to me and I am so very very lucky to have readers like all of you!

Here is how today went:
Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: Italian-ish Stew, 2 small Christmas cookies
Dinner: Blended Salad

Exercise: 30 minute walk with Cammie, 30 min treadmill, 30 min Yourself!Fitness

Fuhrmometer: Broccoli

I'm giving myself Broccoli today because I did have the cookies at lunch but later I threw the rest of the cookies out instead of having one. I had a stressed out moment and was going to have a big cookie but I didn't; I just tossed them --hopefully no one at work was upset about it!

I'm trying something a little different with my meals this week, instead of having my salad or blended salad for lunch I'm talking my hot meal. I think that it will help me not want to go out and get lunch and it also cuts down on my am food prep time. So far it's working out well; I haven't thought about not eating the food I've brought with me :-)

Last night and tonight I was tempted not to eat a real dinner and out of laziness have cashews instead of my blended salad. Then something amazing happened; my little ETL angel appeared on my shoulder and said "But think about all of the nutrients you'll miss!" AND I AGREED!!! I am so happy that I thought about nutrition rather than ease or time or anything else. I feel like it was a great breakthrough for me.

Cammie likes my blended salads too - I think this is really funny. She's such an awesome pup.

Monday, December 18, 2006


...I haven’t been very consistent with posting. I’ve been considering not blogging anymore and just continuing on without writing about things. Ultimately I’ve decided that I do want to continue blogging and that I need to get back to blogging daily. I think that writing about my food and exercise and other experiences daily will help keep my head in the game. It won’t always be interesting; but it’s what I need to do.
Last week was not a good week. It wasn’t good at work and it wasn’t good on the ETL front either. There were two work Christmas parties, one at which I ate whatever I wanted and the other at which I didn’t eat anything. Plus all the other stresses coerced me into eating not good food. I kept on trying to eat better but it just never happened. I didn’t even bother to weigh myself on Sunday morning because I just don’t want to know. I am going to be much much better this week, I finally realized yesterday that one of the reasons that I’ve been feeling crappy lately is that I have been eating junk. I know that I feel so much better physically and psychologically when I am eating well that it really is a good incentive not to eat junk food.

Something that all of this recent stress has made me think about a lot is why I eat and why I’m overweight. I wish I were a person who is programmed to eat when hungry and not think about food when I’m not hungry; but I’m not. I think about food entirely too much and when I’m not mindful of it I will eat when I’m bored or if something sounds good or if I’m lonely or if I’m stressed. I talk myself into eating bad food all too easily and it’s all to easy to eat too much. In the past I used to sneak food – I can remember sneaking downstairs at night after everyone else in the house was asleep and making food. Now when I think about doing this at least there is a voice inside me that says “Who are you hiding from? You’re the one that’s not going to lose weight by doing this.” Whether or not I always listen to that voice is another story… The thing is, I know that overtime I have developed these unhealthy food habits and that they need to be changed. Some people would say that they are a food addict because of these things – I don’t want to label myself as an addict and make the excuse that these impulses can’t be changed – I know they can and I will change them. Writing about it and admitting it (as tough as it is) helps.

One of the highlights (no really!) of last week was on Thursday when I took a half day at work to get out and enjoy the 55 degree weather (in Western New York, in the middle of December!) with Cammie. We took a walk in a park that’s kind of close to home… what an eventful walk! I had to pee in the woods (first time and hopefully last) and also ended up losing my car & house keys in the park. We ended up walking home and asking a neighbor to borrow her phone so I could call hubby who had to leave a friend in a lurch and fight rush-hour traffic to come home and let me in. Then hubby and I went back to the park (in the dark! I kept on thinking Blair Witch Project) to look for the keys (we had a flashlight). No, we didn’t find them but we did have a spare set. I think I walked for somewhere in the 7 to 8 mile range that day. The best part was when we got home Hubby asked Cammie if she wanted to go for a walk and she started wagging her tail – that doggie just LOVES to take walks!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I’m not sure how often I’ve said it here; but I say it to my students all the time. Attitude is one of the biggest factors of success. It sounds corny, but I truly believe it and have experienced it. When one approaches a task with a positive attitude the chance that he or she is going to successfully complete that task is towering over someone with a negative attitude.

When I was in college I had to take Calculus, it was a degree requirement. In high school I didn’t think I was a math person, and I let it get in the way of doing well in Math and Science and on those lovely lovely standardized tests, if only I could go back and approach high school with a positive attitude. But the point here isn’t about high school… it’s about college. So the first time I took Calculus I had a bad attitude and projected it onto the professor. I felt I couldn’t learn anything from him and ended up just stopping going to class. Needless to say I had an F in the class. Two years later I took the class again; this time with a positive approach. I told myself that I would do all of the homework and practice questions every day and would ask for help if there was something I didn’t understand. I had a positive approach to the class and the professor and had a much better experience. I ended up getting a B or B+ (I can’t remember which) in the class which is amazing for someone who didn’t think that she was a “math person.”

I’ve tried to lose weight before as well. I don’t think that I approached it with the right positive attitude. I was full of “I hope I lose weight” and “If I get this weight off.” There was doubt that I would be able to be successful, and it turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. This go-round, I do not allow myself to say “I hope” it’s “I will” and so on. This time I know I am going to be successful and keep in mind that eating according to Eat to Live is the healthiest thing that I can do for my body, that the food does taste good, and that I enjoy exercising. I’m not just telling myself these things figuring that they will sink in eventually; I really do believe them.

This doesn’t mean that the road is not long and rough. I do feel disappointed when I end up caving to myself and eating food that I shouldn’t. Eating for comfort and stress relief is something that I do have to get a grip on, and will. Sometimes I do get feeling down about my progress, especially when I get into these places where I struggle to get the scale moving. Losing weight is tough, and I want to be as honest about my experience as possible. It’s not all good, but I do try to find the positive. I’m sorry if sometimes this doesn’t come through, I will be more vigilant about it in the future.

There are other factors aside from food that come into play. A lifetime of living as a fat girl doesn’t do much for one’s self-confidence and in my case has made me a shy and introverted person. I prefer being by myself or with hubby, my close family and very very good friends and am very uncomfortable with strangers or large crowds. I do feel much better about my appearance already and know that that feeling will continue to grow as I continue to lose weight. I think that feeling better about my appearance will allow me to increase self-confidence and help me to become a more outgoing person in the future – I just need to approach it with a positive attitude.

Thank you to the Anonymous commenter from Monday’s post for getting me thinking about all of this. If nothing else; I need to keep in mind that I am no longer a 300lb miserable and hopeless person and that I’ve got a lot to be excited about.

The image is one of my favorite paintings, it is “New York Movie" by Edward Hopper.

Monday, December 11, 2006

six months

Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: wrap from HFS
Dinner: hummus on pita, blended salad

Exercise: 30 min walk with Cammie

Fuhrmometer Reading: Lentil

No news to report regarding last week's weigh in. I stayed the same, which I suppose is ok for sort of going down hill at the end of the week. I missed my -75 by the six month mark, very disappointing. It has finally showed me that I have to stop setting goals like this for myself because despite my best efforts sometimes I just can't meet them. I am through with setting lose X amount by Y date goals and competing in challenges. The only goals and challenges I have anymore are to work as hard as I can to be as healthy as I can. I will lose the weight; but I will not impose a time limit on myself to do it in.

Today I was about to put the breaks on and say that I would just do my best for the next few weeks but not be so strict with myself. I was feeling so tired and burnt out about everything. I feel like I'm always running and I always have so much to do. This lifestyle takes a lot of time to prep the food and plan meals and exercise that I feel like I never get any time to just rest and veg out. My weekends are full and my weekdays are stressful. I just wanted some time to rest.

Then I looked at my pants. They look hideous... they are way too big and do not make me feel good at all. These same pants were so tight six months ago that I felt like a sausage stuffed into them. Not fun. And then I thought about the 4 pairs of pants from the Gap and the cute little herringbone pattern skirt that are hanging in my closet waiting for me to drop a few more pounds so I can wear them and I didn't want to coast anymore. I want to get back on the losing track. I want to be able to wear those clothes sooner than later!

I know it's kind of silly to be motivated by clothes but it helps me. Hubby and I were at the mall this weekend and it was nice to walk by the stores I used to shop in (like Lane Bryant) and say to hubby "I never have to shop there again!" It was also nice to be able to go to the mall and not feel as self-conscious as I would have before. Things have changed for the better by quite a bit and I've got to keep those things in mind.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

this post is about food

Breakfast: Smoothie
Lunch: Blended Salad
Dinner: Spicy Red Lentil Soup, Cereal with Soy Milk

Exercise: rest day

Fuhrmometer Reading: Broccoli

Well I had a 5 Kale Day streak that I broke yesterday by having a wrap for lunch. I had been thinking about it for a few days and was having a rough day at work and just finally let myself have it. It was an emotional craving and I actually did start to feel better after I had it. The rest of the day was good; I didn't just chuck the rest of the day, which is something I've had a tendency to do in the past.

I read today on the Biggest Loser website that they think it's ok to have a cheat meal once a week so that one doesn't feel deprived and keeps up their motivation. The same article said that cheat meals help your body not to fall into a rut by eating around the same amount of calories all the time - it helps to keep you losing. I don't know if the claim about throwing a caloric curve ball at your body is based on any kind of scientific fact; but I really like the idea of allowing myself one cheat meal per week. Not a cheat DAY, not 4 trips to the buffet, just one cheat meal to keep me honest and keep my motivation going. I think it will help out my mental game. If it starts to effect me in other ways or on the scale we'll have to revisit this idea.

I'm feeling really creative in the kitchen lately and am itching to have some time to get in there and cook. Next week we are having our office Holiday party and I am bringing all ETL stuff. Here's what I plan on making: hummus, green velour dressing, and ETL Caesar Dressing to go with various veggies and whole wheat pita; so I stay away from the bad desserts I am going to make Date-Nut Truffles. More on the truffles when I make them. I also have some ideas for making an ETL mushroom stroganoff, which I'd really really like to make soon; because if it comes out the way I am imagining it, it's gonna be delicious.

Well I'm off to curl up with hubby and puppy and watch some TV. More later!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

on being hungry

Breakfast: green smoothie (spinach, blueberries, strawberries, banana, flax and water)
Lunch: blended salad (romaine, baby carrots, pineapple, 1/2 banana)
Dinner: italian-ish stew

Exercise: 30 min Yourself!Fitness, 30 min

Fuhrmometer Reading: Kale

Today I've been thinking about hunger. One of the things you learn about first when discovering Eat to Live is the concept of toxic hunger; it makes sense to most people but you really don't realize the iron grip that hunger has over you until you've had relief from it. It's amazing to realize how much better life is when you're not dieing of hunger all the time or feeling headachy or tired or nautious from it.

Before I started ETLing I had such toxic hunger it wasn't funny. If I didn't eat sooner or later it would catch up with me and I'd get headaches or feel weak etc. I can remember a time where I was really hungry and hubby and I were out and about; it was going to be an hour or so until we were going to be home to eat and I was so hungry I got one of those horrible gum balls out of a vending machine to help curb the hunger. I remember hubby saying to me "you're so hungry you can't wait an hour for dinner?" and I really didn't think I could. The feeling of hunger felt unbearable at the time. Looking back, it makes me sad that I was such a slave to junk and it was effecting my body so much.

These days hunger is totally different. I still feel hungry but it's not uncomfortable or unbeararable. I don't get hungry headaches or feel any of those nasty effects of toxic hunger because I don't have to deal with it any more. I still have days where I feel like I am perpetually hungry now and then, but I don't have those "I MUST EAT NOW" moments. It really is so nice not to have to deal with the feelings of toxic hunger any more.

Another thing I love about eating a "diet" is the feeling of hunger. All too often when not being mindful about what I eat I end up eating just for the sake of eating or because I'm bored or whatever and miss out on the feeling of hunger. I felt like this over Thanksgiving - I would go to the fridge to grab some leftover something and think to myself that I'm not hungry, this isn't as satisfying when I'm not hungry. I really enjoy the feeling of being hungry and fulfilling the need. When you're not hungry, it's just not worth it.

It's great to be in touch with your body and know that you are giving it what it needs.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Thank goodness for the Holiday Challenge

Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: blended salad (just pineapple, lettuce and carrots with water today)
Dinner: Italian-ish stew, dates & cashews

Exercise: 30 min walk with Cammie, 30 min Yourself!Fitness, 36 min treadmill

Fuhrmometer: Kale

Well after a 4.4 pound loss this week I am back to my pre-Thanksgiving derailment of -71 pounds overall. Next week will be the six month mark for me and I'd really like to be at -75... nice "round numbers" make me happy.

And I know I can lose the 4 pounds this week. I've got a good streak going now of 3 Kale days in a row and it's actually pretty easy. I've got some good motivation and momentum right now so I know I can continue the streak on and on and on. Also having delicious food to eat helps too ;-)

catch-up & recipe

Ok sorry I've been MIA. It's been tough to find time to post these last few days.

Here's how things have been:
Thursday, a.k.a "Nose Dive"
B: standard smoothie
L: standard blended salad
D: pizza, apple pie

E: none
Fuhrmometer: Potato

Friday, a.k.a "return of the Kale"
B: standard smoothie
L: standard blended salad
D: spicy red lentil soup, pumpkin pie smoothie

E: short walk/sprint with Cammie between downpours, 30 min Yourself!Fitness, 30 min treadmill
Fuhrmometer: Kale

Saturday, a.k.a "yesterday"
B: standard smoothie
L: standard blended salad
D: italian-ish stew, pumpkin pie smoothie

E: 60 min walking Cammie (two 1/2hr walks), 30 min Yourself!Fitness, 30 min bike
Fuhrmometer: Kale

Italian-Ish Stew
(This makes a ton of soup/stew, 8 to 10 servings)

1.5 lb (dry) great northern or cannelini beans
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced celery
3 med white onions, diced
3 - 4 cloves garlic
2 15 oz cans no-salt diced tomatoes
1 small (2 oz?) can tomato paste
2 cups pearl barley
1 pkg Boca Italian Sausage
1 Tbl italian seasoning
1 Tbl basil
1 Tbl fennel seed
2 tsp rosemary
Water - a lot

1. Soak beans overnight, cook them until tender and portion out into 1 cup servings.

2. Partially defrost Boca Italian Sausage and then grind it up in the food processor until it is fine. Set aside.

3. Water-saute carrots, celery and onion in soup pot until they start to soften. Add in the tomatoes, garlic, and spices, simmer for 2 minutes.

4. Add barley and ground up Boca sausages and enough water to cover... I think I added *about* 10 cups and got a very thick stew-like consistency. Once water is added and soup is simmering, stir in tomato paste. Simmer soup until barley is tender but still chewy.

5. Portion soup out over the cooked beans into containers. Freezes very well.

The Boca Italian sausage is not really an ETL ingredient but when spread out over 8 to 10 servings is less than 300mg of sodium per serving (within ETL guidelines). It adds a great flavor to the soup!