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Learning From the Past & Moving On

Several weeks ago when I visited my family, my mom told me that when I had my surgery (the day before my 13th birthday), I was 140 lbs. The doctors had me try three different scales because they couldn’t believe I actually weighed that much (my body has always had a knack for “hiding” the evidences of excess weight). That was sort of interesting to me, because like I’ve said before, I lied to myself all the time about how much I weighed, so I really don’t remember my actual weight throughout middle school and high school.

That little piece of information doesn’t mean much; or at least it doesn’ make much of a difference in my efforts or goals. I do think, though, that it sheds light on how far I’ve come. I’m now 21 years old and 144.8 lbs (as of last Friday). While I can’t truly compare my physical build today to that of my barely-13-year-old self, it does make me feel like I’m actually changing my life. I spent most of my high school years as a size 12, and today I’m happy to say that I’m packing up all my size 12 pants and putting them in my trunk with the rest of the clothes I’ll never wear again.

I’ve discussed this with a friend before, but I feel like with my motion toward a healthier lifestyle, I’m both turning back time and changing the future. I feel like I’m reversing all the effects of poor eating habits throughout my adolesceces as well as the effects of college life. I’m now just six measly pounds away from where I was when I moved into my first dorm room in August of 2006. Six. That’s almost one hand! All those extra cookies and ungodly number of glasses of Dr Pepper … gone. Years of eating a whole pan of brownies in two days … gone. I feel like they’re being erased from my record. But that being said, those habits are still a part of my behavioral history, and I must learn the meaning of moderation. I like to think I’ve learned it, but there is still work to be done. So I moved forward to change the future.

As I sit here I have brought my weight and body fat percentage to a healthy level. I’ve lost 36 lbs of excess weight and significantly reduced my risk for heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and cancers of many kinds. I’ve encouraged healthy habits in myself and in my family. I’ve become more selective of what I buy at the supermarket. My tastes have changed. I’d like to say that I’ve put an end to a sedentary lifestyle. I’m encouraging others.

I feel like I’m changing the future because perhaps the changes I’m making in my life now will be the difference between dying at 55 and dying at 85. It may not eliminate my chances of getting cancer or some other fatal disease, but it could mean the difference of being diagnosed at 40 or 65. It could mean years gained in life, mobility, and financial stability. The change my not even be in myself. Perhaps the habits I form will encourage someone else to make a change, and THEIR change makes all the difference in their lives.

Healthy living will never be a cure-all, but the movement does change lives drastically.

I’ve asked myself recently, how would my habits change if I were to “fall off the wagon,” if you will? Frankly, I wouldn’t anticipate much change. I’d probably eat the same at home, but in greater quantities. I think my outside habits would probably change for the worse, and there would be quite a bit more Dr Pepper consumed. But really, that’s more or less maintenance. And even then, I think that I would get so fed up with a sedentary life and too much indulgence that I’d kick myself back into gear before long.

I’d like to think that.

But I’m still movin’.

I lied.

I lied: no post about my recent grocery run. I’m just too fed up with the combined effects of the inefficient uploading option for Windows 7, having to downgrade to Photoshop Elements, and the fact that my camera doesn’t have an “erase all” function (and manually deleting 1500 photos individually isn’t how I want to spend my afternoon). No pictures today!

But I will tell you that there was goat cheese, pesto, dates (to feed my new-found addiction), pistachios, 2 lbs of shelled uncooked shrimp, as well as many non-interesting items.

I’ve never de-shelled or deveined shrimp, but I figured I had to get my hands dirty one of these days.

I am currently in the process of procuring my very own domain name. It will not be New Leaf Eats. In fact, I’m changing the title of this blog entirely. I figure, since I plan on making this something of a career, I need a blog title with more mileage. I’ll post with the specifics when they’re all decided on. 😉

Oh gosh, I just ended a sentence with a preposition.

I’m becoming less and less afraid of party food. In fact, I think worrying about it might just make it worse. No worries. I ate what I wanted and left the rest. And I gotta say, the cherry cheesecake was wonderful. Both slices. 😉

(if you’re wondering, yes, I’m still losing weight.)

The husband is leaving for Costa Rica in a few weeks and I’m plotting my take-over of Lubbock. I’m taking this opportunity to eat food he’d never allow me to feed him (tofu) and spend entirely too much time wandering around Market Street without pressure from others to wrap it up.

(Gah! I did it again!)

I’ve been craving sushi as of late and have been planning that as part of my plunder of Lubbock, but since I’m going to Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse tomorrow for John’s birthday, I think I’ll order myself an appetizer plan of sushi for my meal.

Oh yeah, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JOHN!

It’s past midnight and the hubs is anxious for me to get off the computer. Lata’

Planning Ahead

Every night before bed (before, after, or during Good Eats reruns 😉 ) I plan the next day’s meals and prepare my snacks, and sometimes lunches, for the next day. Last night was no exception.

(Thought I’d be all Kath-like and pose everything on a cutting board, which admittedly makes a very nice background for food photography. 🙂 )

Pistachios and a single date for snack (probably morning, because that may be the highlight of my day), and some cantaloupe chunks for the afternoon. It was on sale for $1, so I figured I could get a pound of fruit out of it and then it’d be cheap! And it was. 🙂 Nice and juicy too.

For lunch, a sandwich thin with Naturally More Peanut Butter, most of a banana, and homemade pumpkin butter, and a side of Scharffen-Berger 60% dark chocolate. Mmmm…

Next month I’m going on a mission trip to Arlington while the husband spends three weeks working so hard eating ceviche, running along the beach, and spelunking in Costa Rica.

Yyyeaaeah.

I’ll be riding a van down to Arlington with my Sunday school class, and then when I finished with that I’ll be spending a few days with my family in Fort Worth. My youngest sister, Katie, is graduating high school!! My mom will also have just come home from the hospital after her mastectomy, so I’ll be preparing  healthy meals in advance for them to heat up on the fly. And today I officially booked my flight from Dallas to Lubbock. It’s so weird to me! I’ve been on an airplane twice in my life: once when I was 3 years old, on Delta, and the other was an American Airlines flight to Honduras in 2005. I’ve never been on Southwest, which makes this an awfully cool trip for me, because Edgar wants to fly for Southwest someday. It also makes me feel more like a grown up. I just booked a flight somewhere! 😉

This also means early morning breakfast in either Dallas or Lubbock! I don’t know why, but eating out for breakfast always puts a bit of a spring in my step. Let’s see if maybe I can finally track down a Starbucks with that spinach, feta, and egg wrap I’ve been DYING to try for several months now! Things like that could make a morning person out of me!

Quick Post!

This morning I weighed in at Pounds Off Plainview. According to the scale there I lost 2.8 lbs. The fact is, I’ve hardly lost any (if any) this week, and the scale just measured the difference between my starting weight at noon, fully clothed in jeans and this morning, not having eaten, still early in the morning, and in consciously lighter clothing.

Doesn’t matter, though. I’m sure that will be the case for many participants. Will be interesting to see the results on Sunday!

Anyway, I have to get to work. I’ll post later with my most recent grocery run(s)! I love grocery shopping!!

I'm still alive!

New post coming soon… 😉

For the love of Reese's

I’m convinced Reese’s peanut butter cups are my trigger. Every morning this week I’ve come to the office and found a little Christmas gift bag from one of my twenty-some-odd coworkers. Two of these included Reese’s in some shape or form. I find myself rearranging my points for the day in order to accomodate the tasty indulgence more and more!

On a slightly different subject, I find it rather sad to see that some of my Weight Watching coworkers are throwing in the towel for the holidays. I understand, in a way, but I keep hearing, “Oh, I’m not counting points today!” and “I don’t even want to know how many points I’ve had!” Instead of trying, they’re just giving up! I understand not depriving yourself for the holidays, but at least do what Roni Noone said today: be honest with yourself. Don’t think so much whether you’re “good” or “bad” this holiday, but be honest about what you eat. I know some people are going to allow a little gain over the holiday, and that’s fine if that’s their plan, but it’s hard to see people throwing out the plan, throwing out their accountability just because of obstacles. For me, I plan on losing this holiday. That’s my goal. I plan to get to my 10% by Christmas and allow a little buffer because New Years will be more difficult– an awesome New Years party, my second wedding reception two days following, and three family Christmas celebrations thrown somewhere in the mix. Though, I plan to approach them with rationalism and a healthy, balanced indulgence:

* I won’t eat for the sake of eating “because I can”
* I will eat only what I really want to eat
* I will not stuff myself silly. It’s uncomfortable and doesn’t make the food taste any better
* I will eat a small, healthy meal before any party. It will keep me from being famished and devouring the entire spread. It will also create a cap on my eating so I get “pleasantly full” sooner.  
* I will create a reasonable balance with plenty of exercise and healthy meals when not at the parties.
* While at parties I probably won’t count points (there’s no telling what’s in that Hot Wing dip), I WILL track WHAT I eat and HOW MUCH I eat, even if I don’t know the point values. Just being aware of my portions will give me a healthy sense of restraint before I engulf the entire tray of cookies
* Focus on maintenance. The week between Christmas and New Years is going to be full of obstacles. In that 8-day period I will be attending 5 parties. This is why I want to reach my 10% before Christmas. I want to focus on maintaining that 10% loss the week that loss will be quite difficult. It’s, again, part of being rational about my lifestyle. This is one week out of 52 in the year. One week of restrained indulgence will not wreck my weight loss goals.

Left my camera at work by accident yesterday, so I’ll post pictures of my eats later tonight.

Several Thoughts

No food pictures today. We overslept this morning, so breakfast was a quickie– HG “Complete & Utter Oatmeal Insanity!” and a Jimmy Dean Fully Cooked Breakfast Sausage patty.

Lunch was just a duplicate of last night’s dinner.

Dinner was something call “Skillet Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas.” Got the recipe off the back of the enchilada sauce can. It was okay. I probably won’t make it again. I’m not really nuts about chicken enchiladas

—–

I’m thinking more about more about how I plan to eat when I reach goal and will thus be in “maintenance mode.” I want to continue eating healthy, but still be able to relax and not worry about counting points the rest of my life. I also don’t want to eating everything in sight just because “I can.” I’m not really any happier eating poorly anyway.

My thoughts on the subject are that I’m probably going to end up being able to eat approximately 30 points a day for maintenance in addition to the 35 weekly points. After scribbling down some example daily menus of what 30 points would look like, I’m quite satisfied!

I’ve decided that my game plan for maintenance (which is still off in the distance, mind you) is that I will:

1) Keep a food journal on which I will only state what I eat. No point values.
2) Be aware of portions. Stop when my belly is satisfied and don’t serve myself more than a reasonable portion.
3) Keep eating a majority of the same food. I do like the food I eat. There’s no reason to quit eating them.  I may just increase the portions of my pasta or add another ounce of steak to my usual portion. I may use more full-fat cheeses and eat more peanut butter. In moderation, of course.
4) Allow myself to indulge without stress or guilt. Just balance it with a healthier meals and maybe a workout.
5) Get in the habit of exercising for the sake of exercising. Don’t worry about whether I burned enough calories to make that hot dog disappear.
6) Weigh myself once a week. If the weight starts creeping up, watch my calorie intake for a week and bring it back down. Nip it in the bud before it really becomes a problem.
7) Enjoy real food!
8.) Discover new and “exotic” foods that happen to be nutritious! Today I bought out United’s whole supply of ground buffalo. I’m nuts about the stuff, and I’m eager to try a buffalo steak.
9) Focus on overall nutrition and not soley on calories. Some more “nutritious” foods may actual contain more calories. Most things that contain flax, for example. Eat them in moderation.
10) Have a healthy respect for the purpose and art of food.

On a similar subject, I’ve also decided to stick with sugar instead of Splenda in some of my baking recipes. In fact, I plan on switching to turbinado sugar for most of my sugar usage. My pumpkin muffin recipe is great, but it does have that slight artificial aftertaste. I’ve decided it’s worth the one extra point to use real sugar, particularly since I only eat one muffin at a time. For my dark chocolate cupcakes, however, I’ll continue using Splenda to cut down the amount of sugar used (because it does make quite a difference in the point values, and the chocolate flavor hides any thoughts of a weird aftertaste), but I’ve adjusted the recipe to use turbinado sugar instead of white, and increased the amount of real sugar and reduced the amount of Splenda as much as I could to keep the point value to a single point. I’m eager to try them out. 🙂

Well, that’s all folks. I think I’m going to go do some cleaning and try out a yoga video before bed.

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