Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gospel According to El

The word *Gospel* literally means *Good News* and even though what I have to say isn't nearly as exciting as what Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John had to report, it is still, nonetheless, Good News.

This news is that I am doing rEalLy GOOD!!! I am currently four days into the 9 day Phase 1: Detox of the Fat Smash Diet. I am shocked by how good I feel. Phase 1 approved foods are fruits, veggies, beans, legumes, 2 cups brown rice, and 2 LF yogurt.  No meat. No cheese. No bread. No pasta.  No Free Day!!!!

I thought by now I would be giving up, or wanting to give up, or having friends beg me to give up.  I thought I would be cranky and miserable. But I'm not. I feel good. 

One of the biggest keys to success is that I have to eat at certain times. The rule is to never go more than 3 hours without eating.  And this isn't a *the-fork-goes-on-this-side-of the plate* fake rule.  It is serious business. I have to eat often and on time.  If I don't I am angry and shaky and searching for quick pre-packaged contraband.  I have been eating RIGHT on schedule with great results.

My fruits and veggies have been tasty. 

Watermelon (mmmmmm watermelon...)

And corn on the cob (yes, I know it's technically a *grain*, but it's Fat Smash approved)

Weird thing about me is that I have *mad-corn-cob-eating-skills*...see how nice and neat that turns out! One row at a time, baby.

I've been eating all kinds of raw veggies with green beans.

I cooked some dry chickpeas in my pressure cooker and roasted some of them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  I sprinkled them with Mrs Dash and cumin. They were just as good as chips. I promise.  Crunchy and spicy.

I also made one of my favorite recipes. 

Pesto Bulgar Lettuce Wraps  (4 Servings, Fat Smash Phase 1)

1 1/3 C Water
1 T No-Sodium Chicken Bullion   
1 C Dry Bulgar
1 14-oz can Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 C Basil Pesto
1 Poblano, chopped
Head of Boston Lettuce

Bring the water and bullion to boil.  Add the bulgar.  Reduce heat, cover, cook 10 minutes.  Stir in the beans, pesto, and poblano.  Serve wrapped up in the lettuce leaves.

This is a picture of the picture in my recipe book....I had waited 3 hours and 2 minutes to eat and couldn't wait for my camera to turn on. I had to EAT.

I am feeling super fun and pretty and full of energy.  Which makes me want to look cute.  So I went tanning.  And the girl at the counter made me feel like a loser for not having tanning bed lotion.  But not a big enough loser to actually drop $35 bucks on the stuff she was selling.  So I went to a local beauty supply store and snagged some there for $10.  Still a lot....but this one promised to make me sexy and give me it was really a bargain.

I also got this crazy thing....I can't believe I am even admitting to it.  But here's the thing.  I wax my own brows, cut my own hair, I might as well give myself pedicures.  And the only reason I drop $30 on a pedicure is cuz the lady uses one of these....

Gross I know but I get wicked calluses on my heels.  And this works miracles. Haven't tried it yet. But I am really hoping it works!!! Don't worry...I solemnly swear NOT to post a single picture of how it works or anything ghastly like that.

In the meantime, I'm just enjoying this *Natalie-Wood-I-Feel-Pretty* feeling.

RFSC Week 1: Tempeh

This week's Ready For Summer Mini Challenge was to try something we have never tried before.  I chose Tempeh.

This is my first week of the Fat Smash Diet.  I am in Phase 1: Detox which is meat-free.  It's really hard to get protein into my meals.  I have tried and hated tofu (ick...YES it DOES have a taste).  I have heard of Tempeh and thought it was worth a try in my stir fry.

The good part is that is tasted really good.  However, when I read the nutrition label, I learned it has almost as many carbs as protein.  It also has a lot calories.  It did have a lot of fiber though.  When all was said and done, I liked it and I'm glad I tried it.

Tempeh Portabella Stir Fry (2 Servings, Fat Smash Phase 1)

1/2 package of Tempeh
1 T Mrs Dash Seasoning
1 Portabella Mushroom, chopped big
1 Broccoli Crown, separated into pieces
1 T fresh Ginger, grated
4 T Stir Fry Sauce
1 T Water
2 C Cooked Brown Rice

In a wok or frying pan, cook the Tempeh and Mrs Dash seasoning.  Crumble the Tempeh as it cooks until its nice and brown.  Add the mushroom, broccoli, ginger, stir fry sauce, and water.  Turn to coat.  Cook covered 4 minutes until broccoli is crisp-tender and bright green.  Serve over brown rice.

The Skinny

The first time I saw her, my mouth fell open.  It was in the aerobics area of my gym.  She was crouched over like it hurt to stand up straight. Yet she was going full speed on the elliptical. I have never seen anyone so thin.  Not in a picture and not in real life. When I imagine poor starving people in Africa, they are porkers compared to her. 

I immediately felt so bad for her.  What must she imagine herself to look like? How much pain must she be in?  What issues is she battling to be doing this to herself?  I wanted to DO something or SAY something.  I wanted to help her.  Here is this woman who looks like a skeleton running like crazy on an elliptical. I had to make her stop. She is killing herself.  I was about to say something when a scenario ran through my head.

If I walked into a McDonald's and saw a 400 pound woman eating 2 orders of french fries, a big mac, large coke and a milk shake....would I say anything to her?  How would I feel if I was at a restaurant eating WAY too much food and the person in the booth next to me tried to *help* by saying that I was hurting myself and to please stop. 

I began to think of many of the similarities between someone like her and someone like me. Both of our eating habits are killing us.  We both are where we are because of major emotional issues.  Both of us need help.

I wish morbid obesity received the same recognition among medical professionals as other medical problems like anorexia.  Granted, my doctor is the first to tell me that being fat is going to kill me....and before it does, it will make me REALLY uncomfortable by giving me bad knees and sleep apnea.  However the TREATMENT is sooooo different. 

When I went to the doctor a few years ago to discover my blood pressure was so high I was almost hospitalized, the doctor yelled that I could have a stroke and die at any moment.  She hollered that my weight and eating habits were to blame.  She proceeded to say in the most patronizing tone, "For breakfast, have a piece of fruit.  For lunch have 4 oz of baked chicken breast with a salad and 1 tablespoon of fat free dressing.  For dinner, have a small potato with NO butter and a SMALL piece of chicken. DO NOT have any snacks.  If you absolutely can NOT handle not having dessert, then have ONE cookie on a plate with a tall glass of fat free milk."

She looked at me like "You're welcome. Problem solved."  I half expected her to smack me on the forehead and shout "Hallelujah!"  So simple, huh?

Now if the woman mentioned earlier came into this same doctor's office, would this doctor yell, "Anorexia is killing you!" And then sit back and say, "For breakfast have an omelet with tons of cheese and bacon.  Make sure you snack on potato chips all day.  For lunch have a huge slice of pizza with pepperoni.  Each night have a pint of Ben and Jerry's." 

Would that have been her answer?  No.  Someone with anorexia gets treated for the CAUSE of her eating disorder along WITH the symptoms. A fat person gets advice on how to fix the symptom but not the cause. 

A morbidly obese person's *illness* is the obesity in itself.  The fact that they weigh too much.  A person with anorexia's *illness* isn't that they weigh too little.  The illness is the mental disposition.  What is happening on the inside.  And that is what needs to be treated for the person to heal. 

I'm not saying it's the same for overweight people as it is for people who suffer from anorexia. And I'm not even saying that it's the same for every overweight person.  I'm just saying that there is no way that a person can become morbidly obese just because they like Snickers bars too much. There is more under the surface.  And it has to be dealt with for any success to be long term. 

The saddest part is that this women on the elliptical was trying hard to put on a show. She had a ton of make up on with bright red lips, and her long blonde hair was perfectly straightened and spayed in place.  It's like she was almost pleading silently for every one to believe that she was ok and happy with herself. It's ok to not be ok.  There is no shame in it.  We are all dealing with something. We all have issues to work through.  And what matters is that we DO.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

You Might Be a Weight-Loss Blogger If...

As I took a picture of my pink water bottle

And my healthy snack

I thought, "Wow.  Who else but a Weight-Loss Blogger is compelled to take out their camera before they eat an orange?"  We really are a rare breed.

You Might Be a Weight-Loss Blogger If.....
  1. You have ever used the word Dreadmill or Onderland.
  2. Your favorite cooking utensil is your camera.
  3. You have ever typed out details of visits from TOM or Aunt Flow. (I, by the way, make a consistent effort to avoid this at all cost.) 
  4. You know the exact weight, pant size and bra size of a bunch of strangers.  
  5.  A bunch of strangers know your exact weight, pant size, and bra size. 
  6. You only refer to your spouse as Hubby.
  7. You have ever taken a picture of your feet on the scale. 
  8. You know what WW, PB, LTWL, HW, ICBINB, NSV, SBD, OWL, WLS, WLB, AP, WI, HIIT, BMI, and BMR stand for.
  9. You routinely post embarrassing non-flattering scantily-clad photos of yourself online (and maybe block out your face)
  10. You have ever been jealous of someone's daily water consumption. 
  11. You have an emergency kit in your basement stocked with a fake passport,  packed suit case, and Groucho case anyone you know ever discovers your blog.

I'm sure I am forgetting some obvious ones.  What about you?  What have you caught yourself doing as a Weight-Loss Blogger that you never would do otherwise?  If you don't have a blog, what are some things you have noticed all us Weight-Loss Bloggers doing??

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fat Smash Phase 1: Tomato Basil Soup

Even though I am really excited about starting the Fat Smash Diet, I am also terrified. It's hard. It is going to be such a challenge to stick to it.  But the pay off is soooo worth it.  I'm in Phase 1: Detox.  It only lasts 9 days.  I can do anything for 9 days.  Right?

I made Steel Cut Oats topped with Frozen Berries for breakfast.

And this morning I did 30 minutes on the elliptical.  (Sorry for the blurry photo....I'm ON the machine taking this picture.)

For lunch I had Tomato Basil Soup.  So delicious.

Tomato Basil Soup (Fat Smash Phase 1: Detox)

2 large sweet onions, sliced
1 tbsp canola oil
3 zucchini, sliced
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh basil, torn into pieces
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Cook the onions in the oil until soft.

Add the zucchini and Italian seasoning and cook 10 more minutes.

Add the tomatoes and fill the can with water and add that as well.

Simmer, uncovered 25 minutes. Remove from heat, add the fresh basil.

Stir in the basil.

Top each bowl with Parmesan cheese.


RFS Challenge START

Weight: 251.6 lb

I am done done done with this up and down crap.  I have been on one diet or another for the last 6 months and I weigh exactly what I did when I started. When I got on the scale this weekend and saw that DESPITE staying within my points and exercising like crazy I had GAINED 3 pounds, I just stood on the scale and cried. Cried my eyes out.

Then I promptly open my cupboards and shoved FiberOne bars in my mouth.

After lunch with my hubby I did feel better....not sure exactly why.

I need to get focused and this challenge is starting at JUST the RIGHT time!!!

In the past I have mentioned the Great Weight Loss of 2007.  I lost 50 pounds in about 6 months. I did it by sticking to the Fat Smash Diet.  I didn't want to do it again because, well, it's hard. And restrictive.  And WeightWatchers is much easier. 

But it's what I need right now.  The first phase is 9 days.  It's the Detox phase.  Even though there is no counting of any kind, it's mostly just fruits and veggies.  I found some great recipes and went grocery shopping. I was really proud that my cart was practically FULL by the time I was done with the PRODUCE section.

That's all just fruits and vegetables! 

I am serious this time. I mean business. I have the eye of the Tiger.

I am FOCUSED. I plan on being 225 pounds by the end of this challenge on June 2nd.  Please no comments about how that's not possible. If it's not then at least let me try and fail.  In 10 weeks I want to lose 26.6 pounds.  That's about 2.7 pounds down each week. Crazy. I can do it though. I know I can.  Cheer me on!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Beef Taquitos

I found this awesome recipe that Monica posted on Run Eat Repeat.

I changed things up a bit and tried it myself. Yum.

Beef Taquitos (6 Servings, 9 PointsPlus)

1 lb 95% Lean Ground Beef
1 cup Salsa
1 tbsp Cumin
1 c Fat-Free Shredded Cheddar
18 Small Corn Tortillas

Cook the beef, drain any fat, add the salsa, cumin and cheddar.

Warm the tortillas.  Roll up a small amount of the beef mixture in each one. (I think I put a little too much filling in mine...they were a bit too fat.)

Place on a baking sheet.  Spray with olive oil cooking spray.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes until crispy.

I had mine with asparagus and spinach.

These were even good the next day.

For dessert I had more strawberries.

I cut them up and put Truvia on it to make it even more desserty.

This was such a great dinner!

Brown Haired Girl

In another post a long time ago, I mentioned that I had cut my own hair using my YouTube education.  I didn't have a camera at the time and some one requested I post a picture of it.  This is all I got....

As much as it irritates me when I see girls at the gym in full make-up and styled hair, I have to admit I tried it.  I wanted to see if I could get my hair looking big, bumpy, messy, and in a bun.  How did I do?

Most headbands don't stay in my head, so I have to pick function over fashion in this area. But I thought it was pretty stinkin' cute!

Long Walk on the Beach

The weather has been amazing. It's usually snowing this time of year.  And it was 80 degrees yesterday. Sunny and gorgeous! It took ALL day to finally get there, but at 6:30 pm I was walking on my favorite trail on the lake.

Doesn't my shadow make me look tall and leggy?

My walking buddy had just bought new sneakers so I didn't make her walk in the sand.  But I did take a second to enjoy the pretty view.

Those people most definitely thought I was snapping a picture of them.  Some where some one is blogging about the creepy chubby girl stalking them at the beach yesterday. 

There is a NO SWIMMING sign posted (as you can see) but in the summer people don't give it a second glance as they run past it in their bathing suits. 

After the walk, we measured how far we had gone.  We went 1.2 miles up and then 1.2 miles down.  That's 2.4 miles all together.

Not bad!! And the trail is much longer so we could have kept going but it was getting dark.  So we decided it was time to go home.  When I got home, I had a tasty snack.

 Mmmmm.... Why is cheese sooo GOOD?  One of Life's Great Mysteries. 

I am really proud of myself for getting out there and enjoying all the paths and trails in my city!! There have been some Septembers where I realize that summer is OVER and I haven't done anything outside at ALL.  This feels so good!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ready For Summer Challenge

I'm not exactly a "Challenger"...I don't join online challenges. I enjoy hearing about how all the challengers are doing.  I love seeing their progress.  But I surely don't participate. I'm more of a *sit-on-the-bleachers-and-cheer* kind of girl.

So when Maren mentioned she was starting a Ready For Summer challenge, I was like, "Eh, cool."  But the more I heard about it the more I really wanted to do it. You set your own goals and participation in the weekly challenges is totally voluntary.  And check out that adorable button!!! I love it. (Honestly, that fun rainbow wave picture is really what made me HAVE to join.  So cute and cheerful!)

Here's how it works.  It's a 10 week challenge that runs from March 26th to June 2nd.  You pick a goal from each of these 4 categories.  You post each week about how you are doing on your goals and then POOF!  By June 2nd you are fit, feel great, and Ready For Summer!

These are my RFS goals.
  1. Weight Loss:  Lose 15 pounds and weigh 225 by June 2nd. 
  2. NSV:  Fit into the pretty dresses hanging in my closet.
  3. Exercise: Be active 4 hours each week.
  4. Nutrition:  Stay within my PointsPlus allowance Monday-Friday.

 I think this will be *super-fun* and *motivating* and it will feel especially good to welcome summer all pumped up and ready to go!  Please consider joining! Go visit the Ready For Summer blog to read all about it and see how *great* the challengers are.  Don't miss out!