Monday, January 31, 2011

The Last Supper

Did I really eat my final dinner for January 2011?  Wasn't it just NYE?  January 31, 2011 - My final meal:   Seafood gumbo with whole wheat pasta.  Okra, Tomatoes, Shrimp, Crab.  Gotta love to-go gumbo from my mother. :)

January was an interesting month eating-wise.  I spent the majority detoxing from holiday cookies and Funyuns, only to discover how fun it is to stay in on a Friday night with Netflix endless movie streaming and a box of Duncan Hines yellow cake mix.    End results:   Cupcake Party Binge.  Moist, Delicious and so much more. Did I mention I had a cupcake after I finished my gumbo?  Someone send me to cupcake rehab, please.

During the month of January I baked 48 cupcakes -- 24 yellow cake, 24 Devil's Food.  That's intervention behavior, unless you bake for a living or are preparing for a birthday party.  It's also more cupcakes than I've EVER baked in my lifetime.   The reason for all the cupcakes:  no reason at all.  Not owning a microwave and not having cable is forcing me to explore my inner-cook.  I guess Spokeo is correct that one of my hobbies is "Cooking".  Creepy.

I think I got it out of my systems.    Cupcakes were shared -- at work, at a Bears-Packer football viewing shin dig and with family.  Why cupcakes?  I don't know.   Not only are they fun to eat but they are amazingly fun to bake.  No wonder there are cupcake specialty shops popping up everywhere - and cupcake Groupons monthly.  But why pay the mega bucks at a fancy bakery, when you can make two dozen at home for under $5?  Speaking of, there's a cupcake shop opening TWO BLOCKS from my apt.  Luckily it's not open yet, but opening an establishment in such close proximity of me is like dangling a stuffed toy mouse full of catnip in front of a cat.  I'm bound to cling to it and bite its' face off.

I don't want to know how many of those 48 cupcakes I devoured.  If it were all nice and sunny outside I could go for a post-cupcake stroll, but the downside of living in Chicago during January is that it means I walk less.  The cold gives me an "excuse" to take public transit, even if it's just one stop.  This eliminates my 15ish min roundtrip daily walk from my train stop to work.  The cold also makes me feel like not going outside ever, which means I'm using my gym less and just moving less, in general.

15 mins doesn't sound like a huge deal but when I multiply it by the 5 days each week I miss out it turns into 75 mins of missed walking a week, which turns into around 300 mins/month.  That means by taking the train one stop for the convenience of being let out right in front of my office, I rob myself of 5 hours of calorie-burning activity monthly.   I did the math as I rode down the elevator from my desk to my building's lobby today, and decided to walk one-way to catch my train.  The cold wasn't as harsh as I imagined, but it still wasn't as cozy as the one-stop train ride.  I think my new rule is, unless there's a blizzard a brewing, below zero temps, I'm sick or there's really bad snow or ice, I NEED to face the elements and walk myself at least one way to beef up my weekly moving activity.

Speaking of blizzards, I hear there's an blizzard headed toward Chicago tomm...does that give me a good enough excuse to take the El one stop?

January 2011 eating highlights:

Ok this wasn't all that good of a lunch choice with the fried papas fritas and catsup --
but I want to point out that I only got HALF a sandwich.
Yeah portion control!

Caesar Chicken wrap --- so yummy!

* * * * * * * * *
February goals:

EXERCISE:  250 mins/week -- Flirty Girl Fitness (I have a Groupon!!), Gym treadmill & elliptical, Slim in 6 DVD, Tuesday Balance & Flexibility Class, workday walks to and/or from my office

FOOD:  Water, water, water.   Veggies, Veggies, Veggies.  Fruit, fruit, fruit.  Protein shakes.

SLEEP:  Less late night Netflix, more early zzzzzzzzzzzs

POUNDS:  Lose 5-7.

QUOTE TO EMBRACE:  God gives every bird a worm, but he does not throw it into the nest. - Swedish Proverb

Off to do a Slim in 6 DVD workout...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1.5 pounds a week

My favorite online calorie counting tool is Calorie Count.  I stumbled across the website while interning with the Illinois government summer of 2006.  I had one of those coupons for a free any size coffee drink at Caribiou Coffee and googled "Turtle Mocha" to see if it was acceptable to my calorie-counting-self.

Holy 90 grams of sugar!  16 oz of that mid-day snack had 587 cals, 15 gs of fat, 98 carbs, and did I mention - 90 gs of sugar.  The sugar alone lead me to abandon that free ride to a diabetes.  I don't remember what I got that day, but I do know it didn't have the words Turtle or Mocha in it.

A lot of times foods are so misleading, especially when it comes to eating out.  Yesterday I spent time comparing the calories in different tortillas at Jewel-Osco (or is it just Jewel now?).   A corn tortilla the size of my palm somehow managed to squeeze in 250 cals whilst a multigrain tortilla as big as my head was only 100 cals.

What about a Bagel vs. donut?
Test your calorie-counting skills here
I'm still working towards my weight loss goals so I can someday say, "I used to weigh 30 pounds more".  Ok, so that's not as dramatic as MTV's "I used to be fat", where kids lose 80-100+ lbs and then parade around saying "I used to be fat"...but I watched an episode yesterday and wanted my own mantra to picture saying.

Motivated by the desire to slim down and MTV's show, I created some personalized calorie-burning analysis to meet my weight loss goals:

My general calorie analysis (from Calorie Count )
You should consume about 1,209 calories a day to reach your goal weight. This is at a reasonable weight loss average of 1.5 lbs per week, which should be reached by July 19, 2011.

My Daily Caloric Expenditure
You burn 1960 calories during a typical day.  (Remember that this estimate is based on your body weight, height, age, gender, and your average level of activity.)

*These analysises was based on my age, height and activity lifestyle. I characterize myself as having a "sedentary" activity lifestyle since I met the following: At work - you work in an office; At home - you're usually sitting, reading, typing or working at a computer; Exercise - you don't exercise regularly (As of last week, I do exercise regularly...sometimes turning until always)

So here's what I did today.  I counted out all my calories, which involved some planning ahead of meals, i.e. no brainless snacking today.   Then I subtracted the calories I ate from my daily caloric expenditure.  Re: Calorie Expenditure, normally I'd add the estimated calories burned during exercise to the caloric expenditure, but today I did a light balance/flexibility class so I left it out.  I took this number and divided it by 3,500 (the amount of calories a body needs to burn to lose 1 lb).

MY STATS for 1/18/2011
Today's workout: light 30 min. Balance and Flexibility Class
Today's food:  Breakfast - Slim Fast (190 cals), Lunch -Tortilla and mozzerella (275), tomato soup (320), Snack - Dannon's light and fit strawberry yogurt (80), 100-cal kettlekorn (100) dinner:  mashed potatoes (100), green beans with olive oil (100), boneless pork loin (122); Zero calorie items:  Water, Berry La Croix, Diet Coke = Total cals: 1287 

Deficit: 673 calories = 0.19 lbs

Today I lost (will lose) 0.19 pounds.  I like the sound of that more than, "Today I burned xyz calories."
1.5 lbs per week. 30 pounds lighter by July 19, 2011. Do it to it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

What's up Alanis?

I don't own an iPod.  Instead I use my Blackberry phone to listen to music on the go/while working out, exclusively via Pandora's app.  Right now, to understand where I'm at we'll have to do a flashback back to 1995 when most girls aged 10 to 30 reveled in the girl power antics of Ms. Alanis Morrisette.  That's where I've been while working out these last two weeks: Alanis Pandora internet radio station feat. Alanis herself plus Sheryl, Tracy, Jewel and all those mid-90s chick rockers. Not sure how I got here especially considering the most recent concert I attended was Wu Tang -- not my type of music, but a super good concert (isn't it ironic?).  Alanis is mos def singing about diff stuff. 

It's been two-ish weeks since I created her Pandora station and I ain't sick of her yet. Maybe because her music brings me back to my debt-free-stress-free-pre-teen self when I delighted in stuff like getting a Jagged Little Pill cd for Christmas and thought I was super cool when I found the hidden acoustic track, Your Room.
 I also managed to finally wear a Bebe sport 80s style workout sweatband I bought on clearance for $1.50 around the time I started college. Gotsta keep it real.  

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Oh you fancy huh.

Nail done, hair done, every thing done.  Well, not quite.  I haven't gotten my nails done since summer 2010 and my hair has seen better days, but I did get myself a job with a prestigious not-for-profit, and I also moved to a new place to be closer to said job.   

Sadly, here's the skinny: between a new job, moving, general lack of sleep and the holidays, complete focus on diet and exercise were not the best, aka came to a complete halt .   I knew I had to refocus when on a recent trip to Palm Springs my daily food log read:  1.) 1/4 bag of Funyuns 2.) 1/2 bag of Cheeto Puffs, off-brand 3.) bottomless bucket of Poolside Punch. It didn't help that on the plane ride to Palm Springs Eat, Pray, Love feat. Julia Roberts was playing and I watched the whole thing inspired, interpreting the message as, "Eat whatever you want, however much you want, all the time and you'll be happy."  I'm reading the book now, and it doesn't seem to have that message so I'm not quite sure how I created that life lesson.

  Anywho, a week or so after those Californian travels I returned home and attended a Cookie Party where I sampled a dozen different types of cookies, and left with a tupperware filled with 30ish cookies.   And all the candies and cookies at work.   And more cookies.   And then there was Christmas dinner, aka stuff my face non-stop from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m..  But don't get too excited Overeaters Anonymous, the BRAKES are a coming!   

Embarrassingly gained some pounds in my work's Maintain Not Gain Post-Holiday Contest Weigh-In - CHECK
Signed up for a spring race to get my running back on schedule - CHECK
Gym membership - where I plan to do quick lunch workouts Tu/Ths - CHECK
Dusted off my Yoga Mat and Julian Michael's Yoga Meltdown DVD - CHECK
A new weight loss ticker design -- I'm now a goldfish swimming toward my goal instead of an apple just moving along as the pounds drop (see above)  - CHECK
Skim milk instead of cream in my coffee - CHECK
Slowing down on cookies - CHECK

Oh, and most importantly, my 2011 New Year's resolution.  I will not eat Funyuns. - CHECK  


On another note - via a friend's Facebook post, I read of a website called - it's a new online phone book w/personal information and "it's not your grandma's phonebook": everything from pics you've posted on FB or web, your approx credit score, home value, income, age, etc. -- but THANK GOD, NOT your weight.  (Remove yourself by searching your name, find & copy the URL of your page, then go to the bottom right corner of the page and click on the Privacy button to remove yourself....)

I visited old and found myself, after I sifted through 60-something persons in Chicagoland with my same name.  Spokeo painted me as a pretty successful gal.   According to them I'm in my late 30s, I'm married and I have a house.  They must've done a special profile for me and predicted my Sallie-Mae-paid-off-student-loans future.  Usually, I try to keep such personal info. between me and my closest 916 Facebook friends...or not.  I'm not mad at Spokeo.  I just want to know why they didn't mention that I like Funyuns. Now run and tell that. Those sillies.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sham Shuff

It's OFFICIAL.  I'm registered to run the Shamrock Shuffle 8K in Chi, April 10th!  Who's with me

In other news, where has my blogging self been these past few months?? 
More details to come soon...Happy New Year!