Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year! Here's to a great night and a wonderful year!!

Week Thirteen Low Carb - Thursday Check-In (Month Three)

Week Thirteen Weigh-In:
12/31/2015:         + 3.4 pound
Total lost:             23.2 pounds
Current Weight:   206.8 pounds

Wow... seeing this kind of number on the scale again was pretty depressing. I almost didn't weigh in today but my friends made some good points when I mentioned skipping the weigh in and, frankly, I made the choice to stuff myself full of calories and carbs and now I need to face the consequences and the consequences suck. I honestly did not expect to gain so much back but it is what it is. I've been on track since the 26th so I'm just going to keep going and hopefully watch the numbers drop again (and feel the jeans get looser).

So, like I asked myself in my last blog post on Tuesday, was it worth it? Well, it definitely wasn't worth gaining over three pounds! I expected a pound or two but not this much and I'm still not convinced that it's all "real" weight so I'm hoping a chunk of it is gone by next week but I don't regret allowing myself to relax and enjoy food that I only eat once or twice a year. It's just that next time I need to make the portions a whole lot smaller!

This week I plan to stick with my regular eating plan without exceptions and Monday I have a training session with my trainer so I'll finally add in some exercise (as long as the back holds out). I've definitely been doing much better on my protein amounts but want to keep upping them even more.

That about covers it for now.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Holiday Eating is Over...

...for me anyway. I have no plans for anything extra for New Year's Eve and maybe one small piece of tiramisu for my birthday which will fit into my carb count. Everything else is business as usual.

But now I get to deal with the holiday weight gain and, yes, it was my decision and my choice to eat all that food so I am fully prepared to face the consequences. The scale has gone up by a few pounds and I don't know how much it will go down by Thursday but I will weigh in then like I always do and just go with whatever it shows.

It's interesting to me that out of all the food I ate (way too much of it for future reference) I wasn't obsessed with any of it. It didn't feel like this huge thing, I didn't circle the fridge until I ate it all, I didn't think about it nonstop... it was like I was eating like a "normal" person. I think food may have, after so many years, lost its hold on me.

There's been cheesecake and ice cream and candy in the house since Christmas and I don't want any of it. I had the Christmas food that I gave myself permission to enjoy and now I'm done and I'm okay with it. It's not calling out to me. It's not this massive, obsessive thing. It's just food. And that is huge for me!

I do have to admit that there have been other consequences besides the weight gain. I've had an awful 5 day headache since the 25th. I don't feel well, I'm exhausted and kind of out of it. It's improving the further away I get from the "carb" day so it's interesting to see the difference in how I'm feeling based on what I eat.

So... was it worth it? Yes and no. I ate way too much to the point of being sick and I didn't feel good after doing it but I finally saw that it didn't have the same power over me that it once had. And, let's be honest here, it was freaking delicious! So am I going to do this again? No. No, I don't think so. I already have plans for what to do differently next time so my head is back in the game!

I've been back on track since the 26th and plan to stay that way. I've also been working really hard at upping my protein like I planned and that's going pretty well too. This will probably cost me a week or weight loss and I'm definitely not looking forward to my weigh-in day but it is what it is. I made the choices, I will deal with them and I'm okay with that but now its back to the daily routine and hopefully watching the numbers on the scale keep going down.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday in the Kitchen - Basic Mashed Potatoes

I threw this recipe together a few years ago and it's been a pretty standard one for making mashed potatoes around here the few, rare times it happens. It's not low carb but it's yummy.

Ingredients:
12 oz Large Russet Potato
4 tbsp Butter cut up
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Italian Spices

Peel potato and cut up into small pieces. Fill medium size pot with enough water to cover the potatoes and heat on high until boiling. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook covered for about 40 minutes checking on the potatoes toward the end by piercing them with a butter knife. When the knife goes through the pieces easily and the pieces come apart, the potatoes are done.

Drain the water and mash the potatoes with a masher. Add the butter, milk and spices and continue mashing/blending until you get it to the way you like it.

Eat and enjoy! This recipe makes 3 servings.

Nutritional Facts: 273 calories, 17 g fat, 29 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Week Twelve Low Carb - Thursday Check-In (Month Three)

Week Twelve Weigh-In:
12/24/2015:         -0.4 pound
Total lost:             26.6 pounds
Current Weight:   203.4 pounds

I was a little but upset to get on the scale this morning and see that I didn't even lose half a pound this week, especially as I did everything right and didn't even have as much as a cheat snack. But, I need to come to terms with the fact that I will not have a big loss every week (and will occasionally have a gain) and that's just how life works.

So then I started thinking about this past week and what I could have done differently and/or better and, honestly, I need to work on my protein intake again. I've done great with calories, carbs, fat and sugar but my protein has been dipping down a lot. It's still higher than my carb intake but not nearly as high as I used to have it so that's my big goal again for this week. Up the protein!

My back is still iffy so I'm not sure where I stand on exercise outside of my trainer coming for a session on Monday and doing the traction exercises she showed me.

Other than that I'm going to enjoy Christmas and put the scale away for a few days!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wednesday

This week has been a little crazy with working a different day due to Christmas and with Christmas coming in general but I did get some non-holiday things accomplished.

I saw my trainer on Monday and she showed me some traction things I can do to strengthen my back. I'll also be meeting with her for a full training session next Monday evening. I met her at a different gym that I don't currently belong to but might sign up for.

I checked it out and chatted with the owner (it's a franchise... Snap Fitness) and I really liked what I saw and heard. It's small, quiet and cozy, I could get in to workout 24/7 and I don't have to pay for a missed month due to injuries. I'm not sure I want to rejoin a gym but they're having an open house on January 9th so I'm going to go then and check it out more. Plus I need to go over the budget a few more times before I sign up for anything!

My scale has been a pain in the butt all week, giving me various numbers no matter when or where I step on it so today it gets new batteries and whatever it shows tomorrow morning at weigh-in time is whatever I'm going with. Then it's getting put away for a few days so I don't obsess over it over Christmas!

That's all I have until tomorrow!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday in the Kitchen - Oven Baked Perch Fillets With Parmesan Cheese

This is a brand new recipe that we just tried today found on Food.com. We used perch fillets because that's what we found on sale but you can use any type of fish for this and we also used a lot less bread crumbs than suggested to keep the carb count low. It's also supposed to have lemon rind but we didn't have any.

We also divided the servings by the amount of fillets in the package so your serving amounts (and therefore the nutrition) may vary.

Ingredients:
12.6 oz Raw Wild Caught Ocean Perch Fillets
1/2 Cup Toasted Plain Bread Crumbs
1/2 Cup) Dried Parsley
1 Garlic Clove - Minced
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan & Romano Cheese
2 Tbsp Butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and cover cookie sheet with tin foil

Mix together all the ingredients except for the fish and butter. Melt the butter. Rinse the fish fillets and pat them dry. Dip each fillet in butter and then dip into the bread crumb mixture. Place on the tin foil.

Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until fish flakes when pressed with a fork. Enjoy!

Nutritional Facts: 1 serving = 1 fillet and is 179 calories, 9 g fat, 853 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 19 g protein.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Dear Archbishop Job - Reposted and Updated As It Is Every Year

“A new commandment I give to you....” I can see you singing when I close my eyes, standing in your spot in the church, serene, strong, loving. You sang with us, played with us, listened to us, spoke with us, just like you were one of us. Not like someone above us, but one of us. We knew you loved us and we loved you back more than can be described.

“That you will love each other, even as I have loved you...” You brought together people from all walks of life. There was something about you; about your goodness, your spirituality, your unending love. You were there for all who needed you and for all who didn't even realize they needed you. No matter how far you had to go, we knew we would always be in your thoughts, your prayers and your heart.

“By this all men will know, that you are my disciples...” You taught us so much, through your words, your actions, your sermons...you led us deep into Orthodoxy, answering any questions we had, showing us glimpses of your soul. You were not just our Bishop. You were our teacher, our confidant, our surrogate father, our friend.

“If you have love for each other.” Through you our love grew and expanded. There was never an end to it. You opened your arms and accepted us all and we accepted you in return.

Six years. I can not believe it has been six years. I still remember picking up my phone and hearing my sister tell me the news. My mind didn't make sense of what she was saying until she repeated it. I didn't want to believe it then. I don't want to believe it now.

Even after six years I miss you as much as I did on the day I heard of your passing. It's still hard to believe you're gone. You were always there, maybe not in the same city or in the same state but if we needed you all we had to do is reach out. You were always there. I know you're still there, in another form, still looking over us, looking out for us, we can talk to you at any time. But you can no longer answer.

There are so many things I wish for. I wish you could have gotten to know my boys. I'm so thankful they had a chance to meet you, to speak with you, to learn what tuckies were. But I wish we had been given more time.

I wish for one more meeting.

I wish for one more phone call.

I wish for one more chance.

And I know none of that will ever happen.

And then I feel angry at myself for not reaching out the last few years. For not emailing, not calling... why did I throw that time away? Would I have made different choices had I know? Of course I would have. But there's no going back.

I no longer feel angry with you for the choices you made during your brief illness. That anger has disappeared over the last few years and only a sense of pain and loss remain.

And that same thought eats away at me, that one that breaks my heart...the idea that you may have died alone, with no one to hold your hand or to comfort you. I don't know the exact details, I don't think anyone really does but I pray that at the end you weren't alone. I know God was with you at every moment. I know He was there to guide you, enfold you in His arms and bring you home. But I also pray that there were others there too, to hold you, to help you, to keep you from being afraid.

I've started being able to talk about you without crying but an occasional tears still slips by. I watch the video of you singing the 15th Antiphon at Matins for Great and Holy Friday every Pascha week but I can't make it through that one without tears. The same goes for the Kerygma songs you always sang with us.

My boys tell me not to talk about you because I end up crying but how can I not talk about you? So I do my best to keep you alive in my stories, memories and photos. So that, in some small way, they can know you too. I tell them so many stories of who you were and how you were with us, of your songs and sermons, your exploits and your talks, everything I can remember. Everything they will never get to experience for themselves.

I have so many memories of you. Sometimes I gather them together like a stack of photos, sorting from one to the other: how you rode the roller coaster 35 times in one night, how you got all of us kicked off the paddle boats and out of the park, How calmly and wisely you spoke, how you prayed and took confession, how you played volleyball, how you roller-skated with us, the water gun battles you had with Father Stephan, how you went out of your way to come to my first wedding and sang "Eat the Hot Dog and the Pizza" with us at the reception. How you hugged us, how amazing you were with children, how you taught us, how you loved us, and so many, many more.

And one of my favorite memories...if I think back I can see it all before me, Kerygma on stage, you at the microphone, singing the one line of “On the Cross” that was always yours... “He is sitting on the throne, making each one His own.”

I miss you. I always will. And today I will remember the good, share my memories with my boys and the people around me, and, with my words, try to bring you to life.

Memory Eternal BJ. It always, always will be.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Week Eleven Low Carb - Thursday Check-In (Month Three)

Week Eleven Weigh-In:
12/17/2015:         -1.4 pound
Total lost:             26.2 pounds
Current Weight:   203.8 pounds

Yes! I hit my 25 pound loss goal and a little more! Only 3.8 more pounds to go until I hit 200 and then it's off to "onederland!"

And, yes, okay, it wasn't a plateau but just me freaking out for not good reason (which has been known to happen). In my defense, I am in the middle of med changes and tweaks so I can kind of blame some of my freaking out on that. I'm going to work on staying calmer in the future!

So my next short-term goal is to hit a 30 pound loss and to get to 200 lbs. I'm not going to make it by Christmas so now I'm shooting for New Years but, with Christmas dinner, I'm not sure what will happen there. I guess we'll find out!

My back is still burning and painful so my steps are still on hold and the rest of my joints have started acting up today as well so my focus will continue to be on carbs, protein and calories. It's what's been working for me for the last eleven weeks.

I think that's all I have for now :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Ow, My Freaking Back

It all started with the exam at the spine clinic. They pushed on parts of my back that not just hurt but that are also some of my severe fibromyalgia tender points. Then, of course, I had to bend over, walk on toes and heels, bed side to side... etc.

It seemed okay at the time. It ached a little but that was it. That was Thursday.

Friday at work I had to spend some time looking for something which involved going up and down stairs and trying not to bend over. By Friday night it hurt more.

Saturday... that's when the real pain kicked in and it's only gotten worse. My lower back, along the entire waistline and down from there through my butt and now moving up in a line into my left shoulder blade, hurts horribly! Not just hurts but burns as well. It hurts to sit, to lay down, to stand, to walk, to freaking move. There are moments when the pain is reaching a 9 out of 10 and I'm ready to cry. It just really hurts and it seems to be getting worse.

I can't blame the spine clinic. I mean, they needed to do an exam but this just sucks!

Also, thanks to this my step challenge is going on hold. I'm still posting it in our Facebook group for others to follow but my steps are on hold for now.

So, I guess that's all I have going on here along with the scale barely moving at all. My mom mentioned (and I googled) than the new med I'm on is known to increase weight but I'm on a very low dose and I don't have to take it every day, only "as needed" so I'm giving it a break until weigh-in day and seeing what happens. Trust me, if I need it during this "break" I WILL take it.

And people around me are saying that dreaded word... plateau. Isn't it too soon for one of those? I haven't even hit a 25 pound loss yet!

I guess, all in all, I can say that I'm not having the greatest week. Hopefully it will get better as it goes.

Motivational Monday


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sunday in the Kitchen - Basic Homemade Meatballs

This is a recipe for basic homemade meatballs. I don't remember where it came from and now that I'm doing low carb I would probably change the oats in the meat mixture to something else but this is the original recipe :)

Ingredients:
1 Large Egg
1/4 Cup Milk
2 tbsp Ketchup
3/4 Cup Quick-Cooking Oats
1 tbsp Onion Powder
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Salt
1 Pound 85/15 Ground Beef
2 tbsp Flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease shallow baking pan.

In a large bowl combine egg, milk, ketchup, oats, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning and salt. Crumble beef into the mixture and mix well. Shape the mixture into meatballs (this recipe should make about 22). Roll each meatball in the flour, shake off excess flour and place in baking pan.

Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, turning once if desired, until the mixture is no longer pink inside (baking times may vary due to different ovens). Drain meatballs on paper towels and enjoy!

Nutritional Facts: 1 serving = 1 meatball and is 59 calories, 3 g fat, 136 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 5 g protein.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Week Ten Low Carb - Thursday Check-In (Month Three) and Spine Clinic Stuff

Week Ten Weigh-In:
12/10/2015:         -1.2 pound
Total lost:             24.8 pounds
Current Weight:   205.2 pounds

Ugh... SOOOOO close to that 205 pounds but not quiet there! Of course, considering the kind of non-stop eating cheat day I had last week I should be thrilled to lose anything and I am, but, this puts my medium-term goal of hitting 200 lbs off by a good week so instead of hitting it by Christmas I'm shooting for the New Year.

The appointment at the spine clinic went well. I decided to go with physical therapy (one or two sessions at DHMC and the rest I'll be able to do at home) and I'm looking into the "Functional Restoration Program" (link goes to DHMC site) which should help me a lot because I want to be able to do all the things I can't due either because of having a painful back or being afraid of throwing out my back.

But, looking at it again, it seems the restoration program calls me for to be at DHMC for eight hours a day for two weeks and with one car, work, school, several kids and a life, that's just not going to happen. Luckily I have an amazing trainer who can probably create something for me here!

I turned down their offer of a steroid shot and the meds they could give me would not be compatible with my being on psych meds (plus I don't want to be on any new meds) so physical therapy it is and that's basically what I wanted anyway. Now we just have to make the days, times and appointments work with the rest of the schedules but so far so good.

And speaking of meds, my psych put me on a new med yesterday, Trazadone, to try and help me fall asleep and I can honestly say I had the best night's sleep last night that I've had in a very, very long time! This was what I needed!

Oh, and I spoke to my doctor's office and my sodium is moving into safe levels!! Finally! I guess it was because of this medication!

But, back to the plan. I'm going to keep doing what I have been doing, counting calories and macros, doing the step challenge, basically the same old thing except I really need to work on upping my protein again. I think that about covers it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

"The Lights Go Out One by One..."

I posted this a few years ago in an old blog but since it covers how I feel I'm reposting it here. I probably need more time to adjust to my med change but it's not really good right now...

...I'm trying to keep my head above the water. The ocean surrounds me, the waves hard like fists, each one coming faster, harder, barely allowing me a chance to catch my breath.

I am pulled down into the dark, as if an anchor is tied to my feet; an anchor, a boulder, a mountain, pulling me under the frigid blackness, where the struggle barely shows.

The fight feels fruitless, as if I'm sinking faster than I can swim, and it's exhausting, fighting this hold on me. It wears me out, looking out unto the waves that just keep coming.

I know this feeling. I've been here before, in this dark, in this pit, fighting to claw my way out, knowing I have no choice but to keep clawing.

And I'm so tired of it.

I just want to sleep. I know I need to get through the days and deal with everything that goes on...schools, kids, problems, bills, money, house, doctors, psychiatrists, therapists...they just keep coming, eating up my energy, dimming my lights, throwing me from one problem to another as if I were caught in the eye of the storm as I hold on, trying to walk the one path that makes the most sense at the time.

Nothing is exciting me anymore... not the weight loss, not Christmas coming, not getting the dog portrait finished... nothing. I try and act like "normal" but it's getting harder and harder...

...And I'm so tired.

I don't want to deal with any of it right now.

I don't want to do anything.

I don't want to go anywhere.

I don't want to see anyone.

I just want to be left alone.

But I can't do that. I have to go to work. I have to go to appointments. I have to take care of the kids. I have to smile and nod and make small talk with the people around me. It's forced but they don't know that. They see the outer shell I'm still able to project. But what happens when that shell cracks?

I really don't know.

I'm tired.

I just want to go back to bed.

But here, at the end of this post, I will leave you with this quote that pretty much covers everything I've said and the things I may have forgotten to say...

"Joy, affection, desire, pride,

humor are all drained away.

What makes life worth living

Disappears slowly,

Relentlessly

Until nothing seems to be left.

Anhedonia creeps in and claims

The person who once

Laughed with you,

Who once hugged you,

Who once loved to be

First on the hill

To catch the new powder snow.

The lights go out one by one.

It is the death of the spirit."

-Maryellen Walsh

Monday, December 7, 2015

Motivational Monday


Yes!! And, for the most part, I don't miss any of the crap I used to eat!!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sunday in the Kitchen - Yogurt Breaded Chicken Tenders

I created this recipe by combining the information and most of the ingredients from the "baked parmesan chicken nuggets" and replacing the olive oil to dip them in with yogurt which makes them super moist and tasty! I used vanilla yogurt because it's what I had on hand but you can use plain yogurt to cut back on calories and sugar if you'd like.

Ingredients:
28 oz on raw, thin slice chicken tenders (makes about 11-12 tenders)
1 6 oz fat-free vanilla yogurt container
4 tbsp grated parmesan and romano cheese
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Pam olive oil spray - 4 second spray

Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.

Put the yogurt in one bowl and the breadcrumbs, cheese and all three seasonings in another.

Dip each chicken tender into the yogurt, once at a time, then dip into the breadcrumb mixture until fully coated. Place on the baking sheet and continue until all the chicken is done.

Bake for about 20 minutes until cooked though (I cut through a piece to make sure it's done on the inside).

Serve with a dipping sauce or dressing (nutrition info not included)

Nutritional Facts: 1 serving is 123 calories, 2 g fat, 103 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 18 g protein.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Bad Food Choices

Some days I still make bad food choices. Thursday was one of those days. I bought some chips (I haven't had chips in forever). It wasn't a single serving bag but it also wasn't one of those big bags... more of an in between... maybe 3 servings?

Anyway, I ate the chips. They were okay. I won't be wasting calories and carbs on them in the future but I wanted to have them and so I had them.

Big, big mistake.

Within a half hour of eating them I was scrounging around the kitchen because I could not stop eating. All I wanted to do is keep stuffing food in my mouth and so I ate and ate and ate. It didn't turn into a full binge and I think my saving grace (since somehow I did not gain weight from this) was that the majority of what I ate was still low carb, so despite the massive amount of food, it sort of worked with my body.

And then the pain kicked in...headache, joint pain, back pain... was it from the extra carbs and crap I was eating? I don't know but I feel much better today after getting back on track yesterday.

So, what have I learned here?

1) Well, I'm not perfect sometimes I will mess up. Sometimes I will even plan the mess ups. But I will and can get right back on track.

2) I don't want to waste nutrients and calories on chips again, they're not worth it.

3) I feel like crap when I eat crap.

Being back on tracks feels great though and that's where I plan to stay (at least until our Chinese food dinner on Christmas... Christmas is a break day!!).

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Week Nine Low Carb - Thursday Check-In (Month Three)

Week Nine Weigh-In:
12/03/2015:         -2.2 pound
Total lost:             23.6 pounds
Current Weight:   206.4 pounds

Another 2.2 pounds down!! My short term goal is to hit 205 lbs and then my medium term goal is to hit 200 by Christmas and I'm right on track for that to happen!

I'm also (as I posted to Facebook and Instagram last night) now wearing my size 14 jeans. Not a 14 W from the "large" section but a regular 14 petite. I don't even know when I wore these jeans before or how long ago it was but I would say quiet a few years and they look and feel brand new so I'm guessing I bought them right before a gain and just put them away for sometime in the future. Well, the future is now!!

I'm doing really well with the step challenge and I wanted to add more exercise in but a spot right under my right shoulder blade is feeling iffy and there's a spot on the left side of my back as well that's kind of pulling so I may just do the steps for now, at least until I see the spine clinic people next week. Doing the step challenge is a great start anyway.

I'm also doing much better with the med change and the withdrawal symptoms are just about gone.

This week my plans remain as they have been; stick with low carb, walk and hold off on the other stuff unless it's with my trainer or if my back doing better.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December Goals!

It's that time again, the start of the new month and of new beginnings (for anyone who needs it!). I have a few specific goals for this coming up month and here they are in no particular order...

1) Do the 30 Day (31 in this case) Step Challenge and actually go all the way through with it! No quitting half way, the only exception to that being if anything gets sprained, pulled or broken or who even knows what.

2) Hit 200 pounds by December 31st. That put me at 8.6 pounds that I have to lose. Do I feel like I can do that? Yes, yes I actually do. And if I don't? Well, I don't know but it's a goal that I'm working my way toward.

3) Continue with the low carb although that's not really a goal anymore, it's just how I live my life.

Actually, those about cover the goals. I will get one free cheat day on Christmas day that I'm going to fully enjoy and not feel bad about.

Other than that I'm sticking with the same small goals I've been working on this whole time. Weight loss goals of 5 pound segments, low carb, high protein and basic exercise.

I'm definitely looking forward to the step challenge. I think that will be a great lead in to working out again!

I think that's about it for now... let's do this thing!!