Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Smarco Island Here We Come!!!

My meems (aka my mom) and I started taking an annual spring trip, just the two of us, back in 2009.  The first year we went to Sedona, Arizona.  It was beautiful and we had a blast!

Sedona, AZ
April 2009

Sedona, AZ

The second year (2010), we went to San Diego, California.  ALSO, a blast!!  As a side note, I remember now that I had lost about 40 pounds between the Sedona trip and San Diego trip.  I think I was around 210 here.  
San Diego, CA
March 2010
Our hotel (Hotel del Coronado)
March 2010

By now, we'd realized that our two vacations had been in places starting with the letter "S".  So we decided to make that a trend.  Our third year, we went to San Antonio, TX.  Once again... a blast! As another side note, I think I had gained about 20 pounds and was around 230ish in this picture.  
San Antonio, TX
March 2011

Deep in the heart of Texas (clap, clap, clap)
We sang that a lot during this trip

This year, when planning our trip, I told Meems that I really enjoyed being on the ocean in San Diego, and thought we should plan another trip where we could do that.  So we decided on going to Florida this year.  Naturally, where did we decide to go???  Sanibel Island of course.  It sounded nice and it started with "S".  Perfect, right?  Well.... when we started researching where to stay in Sanibel Island (a nice hotel with a big spa is a must-have on these trips), we weren't exactly finding what we were looking for.  Author's note: If anyone is from Sanibel Island, I'm sure it's a WONDERFUL place.  Feel free to contact me and let me know what we are missing out on! 

So my pops (aka my dad) mentioned that Marco Island was a really nice place.  Naturally, Meems and I weren't sold right away... he was ruining our "S" tradition.  Then we started looking up Marco Island and the hotel we are staying at online.  We were sold.  It looks beautiful.  

We leave tomorrow morning around 10 a.m.  
It's supposed to be in the mid-80's all weekend.  
I'm jumping out of my chair with excitement.
I still have to pack (no surprise). 

Oh, and because Meems and I are SO clever, we've decided to keep our "S" tradition.  Tomorrow we depart for SMARCO ISLAND, FLORIDA!!!! 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Funday - Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Jake and I decided to go to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts today.  There was a sports-themed exhibit that Jake has been wanting to see.

After we went through the exhibit, we walked around and looked at some of the other art.  I started to notice many paintings and sculptures of women.

Woman by the Sea
Pablo Picasso

Do you see what I see?  

Thanks to Picasso and so many other artists, countless people admire pieces like the Woman by the Sea every day.  What I saw is that there is beauty in all shapes and sizes.  Today, I was reminded to appreciate and find beauty in my body at every stage of this journey.  

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Friday Weigh

Good news from the scale! I lost another 1.2 pounds this week.  Ideally, I would have liked to have seen an even bigger loss, however since I lost 6.4 pounds last week, I figured I wouldn't see a huge loss this week.  Either way, I'll definitely take 1.2 pounds.  Think of a pound of hamburger.  Or four sticks of butter.  Yep, that fell off me.

This is actually 0.8 pounds lighter than I weighed in at this afternoon

In other great news, today marks the day that I have less than 100 pounds left to go.  In total, I've lost 15.6 pounds to date.  Because it is my ultimate goal to lose 115 pounds, this means I have 99.4 pounds left (someone check my math).  99.4 pounds is still a lot to lose, but to know that I have under 100 to go is definitely motivating to me. 

Outtakes From the Scale
Taking pictures of yourself on the scale is NOT easy.  It actually took about 8 tries to get the picture above.

Apparently, I stepped on and off so many times I lost 0.5 pounds
Not once but twice... I went to take the picture
and the scale turned off

Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Move Over Letterman... My Top 10

I've developed a Top 10 List of the things I can't live without right now.  I'm playing with the idea of making this a monthly or even weekly thing (this post took a REALLY long time to create so unless I become more efficient, it will be a monthly thing).  There were so many more items that could've made this list, but here is my list for the week month. 

10.  Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies.  OH. YUM. It's a brownie, that tastes like a brownie, and it's only 90 calories.  Love them.

9.  PB2. This is a powdered peanut butter that comes in regular and chocolate peanut butter flavors.  Author's note: It is NOT a substitute for the real thing (which I love so much).  However, it has significantly less fat than regular nut butters as most of the oil is removed from the peanuts, leaving peanut flour.  You can reconstitute it with water or add it to oatmeal, smoothies, or greek yogurt to name a few. I order PB2 online and it can be found at AmazonNetrition, or Bell Plantation.  You can also find lots of great uses for PB2 here.
Last night, I combined two tablespoons of Chocolate PB2 and one tablespoon of water in a bowl.  Then I took a Fiber One Brownie (see #10), heated it up in the microwave for 20 seconds, and placed it on top of my bowl of Chocolate PB2.  There was bowl licking - it was THAT good.

8. Garlic.  I used to be intimidated by the fresh garlic that you could find in the produce section.  I had NO idea what to do with it.  While I was at Jake's sister house, she gave me a quick little garlic "lesson" and I haven't turned back.  I add it to everything and it adds such a great flavor.  I even bought a garlic press/slicer last week.  I love garlic... garlic, garlic, garlic.

7. Produce.  Okay, this is kind of a catch-all category, but I have this new love for produce.  I buy GADS of it each week and eat it all.  Before I started slimming down, I'd buy produce, eat a small amount of it, and then it would get all nasty in my fridge.  Now, on a weekly basis I buy (and eat): spinach or romaine, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, mushrooms, garlic (see #8), onions, peppers, apples, oranges, bananas, avocados, insert whatever else looks good here. These are actual pictures from my fridge.  Yes, it's messy, but this is not a blog about cleaning and organizing - I'll leave that to someone else!

6. Chia Seeds.  Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia! Yep, kind of like that.  There is a blog called Runs For Cookies that I really enjoy reading.  Katie, the author of the blog, has turned me on to chia seeds (and oatmeal - see #3).  I add a tablespoon to my cold oats in my nut butter bowl (also see #3) and the chia seeds soak up the almond milk in about 15 minutes.  This way you get the consistency of hot oatmeal but have cold oats instead (it's delicious, I swear).  You can find all these recipes and uses for chia seeds here.

5. Coffee.  I have a Keurig coffee maker that I adore.  It makes the perfect travel mug of coffee for me to bring to work in the morning.  This morning, I had Golden French Toast coffee.  It tasted JUST like French Toast (a little bit of maple syrup, a hint of cinnamon).  I savored every sip of it! Coffee will probably always make my Top 10 list.  It's just that good.  My mom recently bought me this mug and it's oh so true!

4. Fage 0% Greek Yogurt.  On a recent shopping trip to Sam's Club, I bought a large tub of Fage 0% Greek Yogurt.  I had heard this was very versatile, but wasn't 100% sure what I was going to do with it.  Well, what can't you do with it?!?!?  My gigantic tub is almost half gone already! So far I have used it to make a peanut butter fruit dip (1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tsp brown sugar - mix together and dip an apple into it), chocolate peanut butter banana dessert (1/2 cup yogurt, 2 Tbsp Chocolate PB2, 1 tsp honey, slice a banana into it), ranch dressing (2 tbsp ranch dressing and 2 tbsp yogurt gives you 4 tbsp of dressing for half the calories), and "sour cream" on a potato (straight up on a potato).  It's non-fat, loaded with protein, and is truly my new love.
3. Oatmeal. Thanks to Katie over at Runs For Cookies I want to eat oatmeal every day.  Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Which is good because I just bought a nine (yep, NINE) pound box from Sam's Club.  Similar to the greek yogurt, it is so versatile - it is a blank slate to which you can add all sorts of wonderful things.  My favorite is the nut butter bowl.  Take a bowl, spread 1 Tbsp of peanut butter (or any nut butter) around the bottom and up the sides.  Put the bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Take it out and add your oats (cold or hot) to the nut butter bowl.  With each bite, scrape the bottom of the bowl and you get a taste of nut butter.  Sometimes I add 1 Tbsp of chocolate chips - it's like dessert for breakfast (or lunch or dinner).  Currently, all of the ways I eat oatmeal I learned from Katie, so you can click here for tons of ways to eat this great food.

2. Digital Food Scale. Portions are so important when trying to slim down.  I used to measure everything using measuring cups and spoons.  I never felt like it was very accurate and it was just a pain in the @$%.  Plus, it created extra dishes (something I loathe since I don't have a dishwasher).  Then I discovered that just about all nutrition labels have a weight on them in either grams or ounces.  Enter my beloved food scale.  Now, I can tell you that 1 Tbsp of Barney Butter (another favorite for another day) weighs 16 grams or 1/2 cup of Fage 0% Greek Yogurt weighs 114 grams.  So, when I want to add one Tbsp of Barney Butter to my oatmeal, I set my bowl of oatmeal on top of my scale, turn it on, and scoop it in until it measures out to 16 grams.  Exact measurement, no dirty measuring spoon.  Seems tedious, but it really is SO much easier.  Maybe one day I won't have to weigh my food, but for now, this truly is the best way.

1. My water bottle.  I used to have a hard time drinking enough water.  Instead, I would drink several cups of coffee in the morning and at least 76 ounces of Diet Mountain Dew in the afternoon and evening (2 bottles and 3 cans - yikes!).  Now, I have 1-2 cups of coffee in the morning and 1 can of Diet Dew in the afternoon.  That's it.  For the rest of the day, it's all water and I owe that to my wonderful water bottle.  For whatever reason, I actually use this water bottle (unlike all the others sitting in my cupboard).  I got it from Target and it never leaves my side.  I want to get another one, but I'm afraid I might not love it as much.  Thank you for keeping me hydrated!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I'm Giving Up

I am NOT a devout Catholic.  While I was raised Catholic, I no longer identify with Catholicism.  That being said, I still look forward to giving up something for Lent each year.  Well, "looking forward to" might not be exactly how I view giving up these things, but I know it's good for me.  It's like a second chance at unfulfilled New Year's resolutions. 

Usually I give up things like chocolate, fast food, or pretty much anything that I think is going to help me lose weight.  This year, I'm already losing weight though (and really have no desire to deprive myself of my beloved dark chocolate).  So, this year I'm giving up two things:

1. Elevators at work.  Yep.  Nothing but the stairs for this girl for the next 40 days and 40 nights (that is how long Lent is, right? See, told you... NOT a devout Catholic).  I work in a hospital and my office is on the 3rd floor.  That means at least once a day (and probably more like 3-4 times each day), I'm going to have to walk up and down 3 flights of stairs.  I actually started this on Monday.  It's not fun, but it's a great way to incorporate a little bit of movement each day.  This morning, I looked like this
Just kidding, not really.  But that's what it felt like. 

2. Laptop in the bedroom.  I have a terrible habit of bringing my laptop to bed with me each night.  I like to find something on Hulu and lay in bed and watch it.  This usually leads to finding a second show and watching that.  Only to find a third show and watching that.  By this time, it's well after midnight.  So I find a fourth show that I don't really care if I watch or not, turn the volume down, turn over and fall asleep. 

It looks sort of like this.  The caption on this picture was "Alone, bed, girl, lazy".  How sad is that?  Know what else is sad? I'm sort of..... afraid of the dark.  See, this blog isn't only about slimming down.  As the title mentions, it is also very much about growing up.  Half of the reason I bring my laptop to bed is it's a convenient night light (I don't have a TV in my room or I would use that).  So, I've invested in a real nightlight (hey, baby steps) and am ready to take the leap.  No laptop in the bedroom during Lent.  At 28 years old, I need to get over my fear of the dark and get to bed at an earlier hour.  

Happy Ash Wednesday! Merry Ash Wednesday?  Whatever... bring on the Lenten season.  This girl's ready.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mmmm.... Breakfast!

As I've started to slim down, one of the things I've really started to embrace is.... BREAKFAST! I used to be one of those people that was never hungry in the morning.  At least I didn't think I was.  Now, I love oatmeal, greek yogurt, and eggs (just to name a few).  This morning, I decided to make 2 eggs and avocado toast.  Avocado toast?  Yes, it is delicious.  Smear it on like you would butter (or jelly or peanut butter), add a little salt and pepper.  It is so good!

Weighing out my avocado.  
It's a bit tedious but it does help me keep my portions down.
P.S. Thanks Mom for the cute Valentine's Day plates!
My "beautiful" fried eggs.  
Not the most pleasant thing to look at but they tasted great

We finally got a little snow last night so it's looking like winter outside.  I'd like to start exercising outside in the morning before work (it gets so hard to get into the gym in the morning), but this morning was not the opportune time to start that.  

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, February 20, 2012

28 and Overweight

I celebrated my 28th birthday last September.  A couple months later, I hit another "milestone" - my weight hit an all time high of 260 pounds.  On November 28th I made a commitment to get healthy.  My goal?  To lose 115 pounds before I turn 30.  There are several weight loss blogs that I follow and love, so I thought to myself, Why can't I create my own weight loss blog?  My hopes for Growing Up and Slimming Down is to be able to share everything and anything that goes along with losing 115 pounds.

I'm so excited to do this.  I'm ready to grow up and slim down.