Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 31: 1 month down!

Wow, I can't believe it's already January 31! What a month it has been. I'm so happy that I've been able to follow through this far in my New Year's Resolution of blogging daily.
This morning I still felt a little bloated. What the heck?! But I did feel a lot better after my super-clean eating day yesterday. It was just what I needed for body+soul.

I woke up around 7am, and let the dogs out, then we snuggled in bed for another half an hour. It was 20 degrees cooler this morning than last, so I wasn't in a huge hurry to get out the door. It was around 40 degrees, so I was chilly at first, but it ended up being a fantastic run. It felt so mechanical. My breathing was steady, my pace was steady, and my legs felt strong and great...which is fantastic since I ran 7 miles yesterday morning!
Here are my race stats. I think this is a pace PR for my 4.3 mile course.

When I got home, I went for the same breakfast as yesterday, but swapped out the blueberry yogurt for strawberry. I love greek yogurt, it really makes me feel full, it's so creamy and heavy, but since it's a small portion, it doesn't weigh me down.

After breakfast, I was about to jump in the shower to get ready for church when I remembered that the 11am service was cancelled today. Our church has an 8:30 service and 11, but the 11am was cancelled because the annual budget meeting was today and they expected it to go long. Since we're not members yet, we don't get to vote. We will be formally joining on Valentine's Day during the 11am service.

So since we had all morning, JJ and I went to Starbucks (Venti Iced Coffee w/ Soy Milk) and then we went to Lowe's for my gardening supplies. I have 3 planters giving me 24 sq. feet of garden. Since the soil here is so sandy, I will be doing square foot gardening in planters. I learned all about square foot gardening from my friend, Kim, who had an amazing garden last year!

I decided to try to start everything from seed. I know this probably won't happen and I'll have to buy some plants, but for now, I'm at least going to see how everything comes up.
I got about 75 seeds started, and will be slaving over them for the next 1-2 months.
My favorite of all the seeds were Beets! How cool do the little seeds look?
Also, I am going to have a 100% (or as close as possible) organic garden, which I'll get into more during the spring... but for starters, organic seeds!

After sowing my seeds all morning, it was time to go to the Farmer's Market! I was a little bummed that they didn't have a few of the things I was looking for (brussels sprouts, butternut squash, onions)... but I did get some amazing produce for only $18! Including: 6 red bell peppers, 4 green bell peppers, 3 zucchini, 4 cucumbers, an eggplant, 4 sweet potatoes, and grape tomatoes. Luckily the market is in the Whole Foods parking lot, so I ran in there to get the remainders on the list.

When we got home, it was time for lunch! I decided to have a random pantry/fridge stir-fry. Lou gave me this wasabi/soy/ginger/sesame sauce that he loves, so I gave it a try. It was sweet, but also really spicy from the wasabi. I loved it! I had it with kale, carrots, baby corn and more of the Indian Masala tofu. I had a side of grapes and a La Croix.

I spent the afternoon working on my cooking blog and doing some cleaning. Before I knew it, it was time for dinner. I love potatoes topped with chili, but it can be pretty unhealthy. JJ and I love sweet potatoes, so I've been trying to substitute them more and more for regular potatoes since they're much healthier (lower in carbs, lower glycemic index, higher in nutrients and a superfood). I made a vegetarian chili with peppers and beans to top the potatoes. I love to use a tiny microplane to shred cheese because you eat a lot less, but it seems like much more when it's a tiny shred. JJ was craving guacamole today, so I topped the chili-potatoes with some avocado wedges.

Overall it's been another really good, active, clean eating day. I still can't figure out why I'm a little bloated and full. I never got really hungry today again, so I'm not sure what's going on!
Tomorrow is a Bite Club event, so I'm really excited about that. It means no exercise, but hopefully I'll be able to keep my eating under control. Since I'm the host of the Bite Club, I end up running around, chatting and photographing more than eating, which is good. I just get little bites and tastes.

Now for some reason, my last post resulted in quite a few questions from commenters... so here it goes.

Kate asked for the Lentil recipe - I post all of my recipes on my cooking blog. I'm usually a few days behind, so it should be up within the next few days. (

Lisa asked what our grocery budget is - This varies a bit, but I try to stay under $100/week. JJ and I eat breakfast at home every day, I pack our lunches every day, and we eat dinner at home 6 nights per week, so for all of those meals plus some house supplies, I think sticking to $100 a week is pretty good! I am big on coupons and shopping the sales. I try to plan menus around that and what I can get at the farmer's market. Shopping organically can be difficult with keeping under buget, so I don't get everything organic, but always dairy and meat.

Cyd asked about my stance on vegetarianism - I had gone back to strict vegetarianism for a few months when we moved here, but found that it was hard to do with JJ. So we've been eating meat about once or twice a week. I only buy organic meat, so for ethical, budget, and taste preferences, once or twice a week seems to work for us.

I have not read Born to Run, but I am going to go check it out and see what it's all about. Has any one else read it? Any opinions or insight?

Hope you all have a wonderful week! Can't believe it's already Sunday night... 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 30: Running Highs and Weight-Loss Lows

This morning when I woke up, I felt like I was still really full, puffy, and in a food coma. After Chinese Thursday night and Bucca last night, I really messed myself up for the weigh-in. When I stepped on the scale, I knew it was going to be bad. I gained .3 lbs., and ended up at 169.7. I'm pretty bummed that I let myself go, but that's life. So I decided to set aside my disapointment, and kick some butt on my run.
As I was running, I was thinking about what I can do this week to stay on track. First, I decided to make today extra clean in my eating. I usually eat a very clean diet, but I wanted to make sure that today I especially paid attention. I wanted to be sure to drink a lot of water, get some of the sodium out of my system.

So on to the run, I had planned to do 7 miles, my longest run to date. I was excited, and ready to go, but still a little nervous. Well, I did it! And it was a great run. I felt really good, wasn't too tired, my legs felt strong and my lungs finally felt normal (as in, no longer sick and phlegm-y). Here are my results, my favorite is the 899 calories... come on Nike+, you can't give me 1 more calorie?!  At the end, Lance Armstrong congratulated me on my longest run to date.

After my run, I stretched a little, started some laundry, and ate breakfast. After a long run, I feel kind of full and tense, so I don't like to eat much. I went with a Blueberry Chobani and a Gala apple (organic gala apples were on sale for .99/lb at Whole Foods, score!) and a giant glass of ice water.

In traditional Saturday fashion, I set out for the grocery store next. I always stop at Starbucks and get a Venti Iced Coffee with Soy Milk. Delicious as always, and gives me a little caffeine to perk up after the run.

I have an awesome menu planned for the week, so I was excited to go grocery shopping. I stayed close to the weekly budget, I have $10 left to spend at the Farmer's Market tomorrow. I found organic pumpkin on the clearance shelf, so I got 4 cans for my oatmeal - major grocery score!

When I went to Whole Foods for the weekly groceries, I decided to make a giant salad like last week for lunch today. I found my favorite tofu there, Indian Masala sprouted tofu. It has great flavor and texture. I love this stuff!

For lunch, I had a slaw salad with tomatoes, red pepper, tofu, and a dressing made with low-sodium soy sauce, peanut butter, honey and sriracha. I also had a glass of unsweetened iced tea and grapes. It filled me up because of the bulk. There was a ton of food there (well, cabbage....) It's very clear that I've been overeating because I really haven't been hungry today, and after a 7 mile run, I should be. I should not be eating so much that after 5-6 hours I'm not a little hungry. I like to feel hungry around meal-time, it means I'm on track!

After lunch, JJ got home from work. When he asked me how many miles I did, this is what I said!

He was very happy to see I was wearing my Rabies Awareness Fun Run t-shirt. He got it for me for Christmas, and was really excited about it. It's a little snug (small?! why, JJ... why) but oh well... it makes me laugh. The guy at Whole Foods actually thought it was serious, and asked me if Dogs carry rabies more than any other animal... I would venture to guess raccoons?? I don't know... haha

For dinner, in keeping with my super clean and healthy day, I made spiced lentils, a carrot ribbon salad, naan and yogurt. It was really healthy and delicious. After I blog, I'm going to have a bowl of cherries.
I'd say today was a great success in getting back on track after the past few days. I'm still pretty upset with myself for only exercising 3x last week and for eating out two times... this behavior is NOT going to get me to -100! However, today was wonderful, and if I work on perpetuating this feeling of great, I can keep it going!

So a few random things...
Meredith asked about our date nights. Last night's date night wasn't planned because JJ's job is so random and he'll end up having to work or getting out early at the last second... so usually he'll call me and say hey, I'm getting off early, let's go out! However, when he's out of season, we will try to plan a date night ahead of time so I can reserve calories and not working out.... this happens about once a month. Our dates are usually dinner and then a movie, bowling, baseball games, etc.
I think it's really important to have date nights. I hate to say, but often times we end up eating dinner seperately or in front of the TV, we don't see eachother much when he's in season, and it's nice to have time to catch up.

Kelly asked about my blue shirt, it's from the Limited. I got it last Spring, so I don't think you'd be able to find it now. But the Limited always has similar styles of clothes, so I'm sure you'll be able to find something like it. I love it! Since my chest has shrunk (I went from 38DD to 34 C/D), I can now wear halters and v-necks! Just another perk of weight-loss... thought I know some girls would rather their chest not shrink ;)

Plans for tomorrow include 4.3 mile run, ab work, church, farmer's market, lowes for gardening supplies, and getting my planters ready for my garden!
Hope you all had a great Saturday!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 29: Date Night

Well, my plan to keep the scale out of the bathroom so I don't weight myself worked like a charm! I forgot to put it in there, and then by the time I remembered I was in the shower... so I'll weigh-in tomorrow morning. I'm feeling super bloated and my stomach is all puffed, I'm guessing it's because of all the sodium in the Chinese food I had last night.

JJ and I just got back from a date night to Bucca de Beppo. Dinner was great, I had a glass of wine, salad and eggplant parm. I ate more bread than I should have, but I'm hoping the carbs sustain me through a 7 mile run in the morning. I'm getting really nervous about it. I hope I make it...

We're going to watch The Hangover and relax with the pups now. I have been reading so much lately, and have so much I want to share, so I'll try to get it in my posts tomorrow and Sunday.
Hope you all have a great Friday night!

Happy Birthday, Vickie! I miss you bunches!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 28: Change of plans

Today has been great! I had originally planned to go for a 4 miler with Lou and Lilly after work, but Lou was feeling sick today. I had it all planned, run after work, pick up Chinese food on the way home, and then hang out with JJ. Well, because Lou cancelled on me, I was really torn about what to do.
Part of me just wanted to go home and lounge, but I have a weigh-in in the morning, and I wanted to get a run in this week! I have a really hard time adjusting my mind-set when my plans have to change. In the past, having my run cancelled might cause me to go home, eat and sit around... but I had a back-up plan, I adjusted it a little, and I am proud of myself for that!
I decided that as soon as I got home I'd change and go for a quick 2 mile run before it got dark out. I made it just in time, and ran the 2 miles at an even faster pace than before. I don't know why I'm so obsessed with getting my pace down... I know as I run more and lose weight it will go down, but I think I need to realize I'm just not a fast runner. I need to continue to be proud of myself for my distances and sticking with running!

After I got home, I did some stuff around the house and then called in the Chinese food. I got steamed vegetables and chicken with broccoli in garlic sauce. I eat mostly vegetables with a little chicken/sauce and rice, and smother it in spicy mustard. Aside from the white rice and a little oil in the sauce, it's a pretty healthy take-out dinner!

Now the girls and I are going to do some menu planning and watch TV. No big plans this weekend... 7 miles on Saturday (hopefully I'll make it!) Also, tomorrow marks our official 6 month anniversary of moving to Florida. It feels like yesterday, but then we've made such a life here already it feels like we've lived here forever. I guess that's good!

Happy Friday, cross your fingers for a 1 lb. loss for me :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 27: Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica

Wow, you guys sure have been busy writing me with questions!
I spent the better part of my morning at work answering your emails, which I love to do! Luckily it was a slow day, so it kept me busy :) It really is so crazy to me the amount of support you offer! The bloggosphere is the best, and I hope I don't ramble too much...

After work I talked to my big sis for a while, I sure do miss my family living in Florida! I am so excited for them to come in April. I've been trying to figure out some fun stuff for us to do when they come. My younger sister is in her last semester of college, and is thinking about coming here for her spring break. Hope she does! (She doesn't read this blog, she thinks it's boring... haha)

Tonight I made the recipes for my blogging group called Symon Sundays. We are cooking through Chef Michael Symon's cookbook Live to Cook. I love him. And I love his recipes. He's amazing!
From making beets in the past, I knew I'd stain my hands. Luckily JJ had some latex gloves in his athletic training pack for me to use! I'm pretty sure while preparing the beets, JJ quoted every line from The Office (hence the title of this post...)

Dinner was amazing, I'll be blogging it in the next few days, so look for it then!

As soon as I publish this, I'll be doing No More Trouble Zones... so wish me luck! It's rough!
Tomorrow, Lou and Lilly and I are shooting to run 4 miles after work.
I think I'm going to get Chinese take-out (steamed veggies and chicken) for dinner, so I'm looking forward to that!
(This is Lilly!)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 26: Waiting on the world to change

So I'm not the kind of girl who gets political on the blog. However, I think there is a huge difference in getting political, and showing compassion for those in need. In my opinion, borderlines don't matter. When someone is in need, whether they live in America, Haiti, Guatemala, or anywhere in the world, I will do what I can to help them out.
Today one of my coworkers, one of my favorites even, said to me, "How can we give 58 million dollars to Haiti when there are people in this country without healthcare and food?"
Now I know, there's no way to fix everything, and I believe that many people are doing the best they can, but I can't help but think we all can do a little bit more. Of course, there are people in this country without jobs and insurance, but people in Haiti have nothing. Absolutely nothing. No water, no food, no roof, no toilets... nothing. And I don't care that they're not American. They're people, they're children of God, and I will offer my help to them the same as I would anyone here.

I know I am heavily influenced to be this way because of my parents and the church. One of the biggest draws to my new church here in Jacksonville is it's worldliness. The Lutheran Church has really been taking the initiative to be a stronger presence in the world, uniting us all.
Right now, my dad is in Guatemala on a mission trip with the church. They are working to open a school, as well as spend time with the church there and it's mission. I am so proud of my dad for all he does, and for the great influence he has been on me. Sadly, Guatemalan houses look so similar to the wrecked houses I keep seeing on TV in Haiti, and it breaks my heart.

Now I know, I talk about it a lot, but a super easy way to help out without even going out of your way is buying Fair Trade products! My dad sent me this Guatemalan Fair Trade coffee for Christmas. It's a breakfast blend, which I'm always weary of (I like the dark, muddy stuff!), but it was actually pretty dark and complex in taste. I loved it! And I love the fact that it's organic and Fair Trade.

On to the lighter things....
For the past few months, my rings have been getting bigger and bigger. I finally decided to get them sized. I am really lucky that by moving to Jacksonville I have in-laws that know everyone in St. Augustine, and my boss and co-worker know everyone in Jacksonville. So I asked my co-worker where to take my rings, and he told me one of his best friends is a jeweler. My rings are family heirlooms, so I'm extra careful with them, I don't trust just anyone!
So when I got there, Denise sized me and my rings are 7's. My new ring size....5! It's so crazy to think about all of the things that change when you lose weight. Even my fingers are getting thinner!
The only sad part is my rings won't be ready for about 2 weeks, so I'll be naked until then!
Here are some photos of them, so pretty :)

Today was the first day my friend and now doggy-sitter came over. It made me feel so much better knowing my girls would get a potty break and some human interaction while JJ and I were at work! They had a decent report card for their first day. I was worried Pumpkin would bea nut job, but she was good, and so was Belle! It turns out my little Char was a scardey cat, and hid under the bed! She's a little timid with new people....but I think she'll eventually warm up!
Here she is doing what I call "the otter" pose.

After work I had a meeting at The Sun Dog, where the Bite Club will meet Monday for our next event. It's on the east side, and I work on the west side. By the time I had my meeting and got home, packed lunches and made dinner, it was 8:30! I feel so off now, I haven't worked out, I'm tired, and I can't see it happening tonight :(
However, tomorrow I plan to kick my butt and do No More Trouble Zones. Lou and I are planning to run Thursday after work, so I should still be ok for a pound lost on Friday. Cross your fingers!

So after dinner, I remembered to check the mail. I had a package! It was a box full of amazing goodies for me to try on my dry skin! Thank you SO MUCH to Pam for coming to my rescue :) Now it's not cold here anymore, but it is quite sunny, so the face products with SPF in them will be very useful. Also, my hands are still so dry, so I can't wait to try it all out. So far I'm loving the C.O.Bigelow Chapped Hands Remedy.
I love her blog, it's always so fun and cute, and isn't her wedding dress so gorgeous?

Well I'm off to clean the kitchen and head to bed. It's been a long day, but I feel like things are on track weight-wise this week, so I'm pretty happy!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 25: What motivates you?

In the past few days, I've gotten quite a few emails asking me essentially the same thing, how do I stay motivated?

There are the overwhelming obvious reasons that continually keep me motivated - like the rising epidemic of obesity and the complications obese people face every day. Along with all of the other diseases that I could get because of family history (diabetes and heart disease being 2 big ones!)

The other things that keep me motivated are pretty random... Wanting to reach -100 pounds is a huge motivation. Right now it's probably highest on the list.
 Also, wanting to fit in single digit pants, wanting to feel better about my body, wanting to run a half marathon, wanting to make my family and friends proud of me, wanting to set a good example for fellow bloggers and readers, wanting to feel good about myself.... wanting to be proud of myself.

What motivates me WILL NOT motivate you... but it might! Motivation has to come from within. It absolutely is something you have to find in yourself. I was crazy overweight for 10 years... it took 10 years for it to finally snap in my brain. It's been really hard work, no doubt.... and I've lost motivation here and there... but I started this, and I wanted to see it through.
I highly recommend making a list for yourself of things that motivate you, look at it often.
Also, one of my biggest motivations - looking at old, fat photos!
When I look at that photo, how can I not feel motivated to get up and run!

Alright, if you have any other questions, shoot them to, I hope this answered the ladies who wrote me about motivation :)

So about my day... It was pretty normal for a Monday. A little slow and dragging. My knee is really sore today, so JJ just hooked me up to the TENS unit, and I'm doing stim on my knee (see post here about stim). It should help reduce the swelling. Because of this, I'm taking the night off. Tomorrow I have a meeting after work for The Bite Club, so hopefully I'll have time to work out after that.
I was careful to keep my calories low today since I'm not exercising!

And since you all seemed to love my Farmer's Market, here are some more photos from it that I took on Saturday. I especially love the palm trees in the background. I can't believe I live here!


I love Honey Man! He's Australian. Gallberry honey is so awesome, and he's the only person I've found locally that sells it! And he says "gallberry" with a funny accent!


Also, I'll get into it a bit more tomorrow, but my dad is in Guatemala with a group from church on a mission trip. If you're the praying type, please keep him and the group from LCR in your prayers :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 24: I feel pretty, oh so pretty!

Last night after I finished my post, JJ said he wanted to go to a movie. I was half asleep, but agreed because we had been meaning to go see Sherlock Holmes. I told him we'd have to stop at Starbucks first if there was any way I'd make it through the movie. So I got a grande Soy Misto (half coffee, half foamy milk). I chugged it by the time we got to the movies, and we went to go buy our tickets. However, when we got to the booth, there was a sign that said they were experiencing audio problems with Sherlock Holmes! Ugh. So we looked to see if any other movies were playing at 9:30, but the next movie times we were remotely interested in seeing weren't until 10:30, and that was just too late.
So we went home.
I was worried I'd be up all night because of the coffee, but as soon as we got home at 10, I climbed into bed and passed out. I think the run and being a little sick left me exhausted!

This morning I woke up around 7, but stayed in bed until 7:45 and snuggled with the dogs. Then I set out on my run. It was ok, my knee was getting really sore, I think it's because I've got new shoes and they're not worn in yet. However, tomorrow will just be strength training, and I'm not running again until Thursday.
I took 2 walk breaks, one was to cough and spit...ew. One was to rest my knee for a minute and stretch it out. My time was ok, not the best, not awful. I am now a level orange on Nike+, but if my other runs that it didn't pick up had been counted, I'd have 12 more miles registered! Oh well.

JJ had to work early this morning, so I was on my own going to church. Today's forecast was 75 and sunny, so I put on my most favorite dress and new shoes I got for Christmas! The dress is getting way to big on me now though! Oh well, I'll have to find a new dress. JJ took a photo, but Pumpkin was a little spastic because I was leaving. Look at that air!

I sat down to take a picture with all 3 girls, and they trampled me! JJ got a shot of the little ones pulling my dress up, and I freaked out. But then when I looked at it closer, I was like wait a second... my legs actually look kinda good! I have always hated my legs, my theighs tend to hold a lot of my weight, so I never wear anything remotely short (including shorts).... but after seeing this photo, I can tell that running is actually making a difference on my legs! (Sorry if this super white-legged photo grosses anyone out... haha)

After church, I headed over to my farmer's market. It was gorgeous! I love going there every Sunday.

I came home with some cherries, peppers, plums, lemons and asparagus for ten bucks!

The farmer's market is in the parking lot of Whole Foods, so I ran in there to get something to make for lunch. I found this new kind of tofu, and decided to make a chopped slaw salad. The tofu had a great pineapple and ginger flavor to it, so I made a salad with slaw, cucumber, tomatoes, almonds, pineapple, tofu and ginger soy dressing.

The rest of my day was spent cleaning, making cupcakes for a coworker, making dinner, cutting out coupons and now JJ and I are going to eat dinner and watch football.

Overall it was a great weekend, I got so much done, got in 2 great runs, and also spent lots of time relaxing and hanging out with the dogs and hubs!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day 23: Hardest run ever... and can food be entertainment?

Coming off of the high's of this week's weight loss, I decided to tackle a 6 mile run this morning. I haven't run 6 miles since December 27. Between the holidays and getting sick, I was just not able to do it.
I've been thinking non-stop about the 15k coming up in 6 weeks, and decided I better do it this morning! It was probably not the best idea because of the previous reasons stated. I felt ok for the first 2 miles, but I kept coughing up crap and my nose was so runny. My lungs were burning, and I was just not feeling it. But I got to the point where to turn around would make no difference, so I pushed ahead.
Usually I do my longer runs on Sunday morning at 7am. There is little to no traffic, and I run on main roads. There are sidewalks for 5.5 miles of the course, but there is a half mile strech where I usually have to run in the road. Today that was not possible. I had to run in the grass on a slightly worn path. I've broken one of my ankles and sprained it numerous times, so I was starting to think it was a bad idea. On top of the fact that I was not feeling well, I decided to walk for .3 miles of the grassy area. It was a great idea. Though it slowed me down, it kept me from injuring myself, and allowed me to cough up a lot of the crap in my lungs. Sounds great, huh?
So here are my stats. Considering I walked .3 miles and took one additional 1 minute walk break, I had a nice finishing time and pace!

After the run, we did the weekly grocery shop, some laundry, and cleaned the kitchen. Then I decided to tackle 'the block', which is where I keep all of our documents. After buying the house and moving and since then, I've just thrown everything on top. Now that it's tax time and I need certain documents, I decided to go through it all and file everything... not fun, but now I have peace of mind!

I noticed the little ones had come in, but Pumpkin was still out back. JJ went to check on her, and found her try to dig to China. So he threw her in the tub, and I gave her the dreaded bath.
It was so weird though, after I dried her off, she hopped back in. She is terrified of the bath, so it was so bizarre. Turns out she enjoyed the smell and taste of the soap, so she was licking out the soap dish. What a weirdo!
So I shut the bathroom door, and she sat there crying to get back in. Seriously?! These dogs never cease to make me wonder...

Tonight I was part of an event at a Pizzaria, so JJ and I stopped by Mama Fu's for dinner. We could have had pizza, but I wanted something with a bit less calories. So I got the basil rolls at Mama Fu's. They were great, as always, but I'm still really hungry. I've had a really low calorie day, which isn't bad, but since I had the long run this morning, I probably should have eaten a little more earlier and not left myself so hungry all day.

So that brings me to tonight. I was invited to be a "local celebrity judge" at Brucci's Pizza. They had a pizza eating contest to celebrate their anniversary.
I know, I know, you're probably asking yourself 2 things. Why am I a celebrity? And pizza eating contest?!
Ok, first off, I'm a "local celebrity" beacuse of my affiliation with Folio Weekly's Bite Club (I'm the host and writer of the bite club blog
Second, how could I possibly judge something like that? I've been going back and forth on this. Whether I wanted to talk about it on this blog, and whether or not I'd even participate as a judge.
Ok, I know a food eating contest isn't something that I would 'approve of' in the past, but I've learned that for some people, food isn't a big deal. It's something fun and you eat to live, and you eat when you're hungry, and you can have fun with it. I think I used to have a stick up my butt about things like this because I was jealous. I was so jealous that people could have that attitude. Jealous that to them, it's a fun competition, but to me, I'd be in heaven if I could sit there and eat a whole pizza.
So I decided to do it. I didn't have to, it wasn't part of my job, but it was an opportunity from my job. It was a fun event, not something I'd ever personally do, but a fun way for a local pizza place to celebrate their anniversary. I think I've learned to let go of my issues with food. I still have them, and of course, I'd love to eat a whole pizza, but it wouldn't be the same to me as it was to them.
I'm glad I was able to participate because it really was just a fun night. Not about the food and the calories, but about the people and the spirit. As a judge, I was able to give out style points, so it was not just about how much you ate, I gave points for cleanliness, crowd interaction, and eating style.

And in my little bit of celebrity spotlight, I got this basket from them... wine, spicy olive oil, and gift certificates to the restaurant! And in case you're wondering, I judged alongside Mike Hollis, a former Jacksonville Jaguar football player (a real local celebrity... haha)!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 22: New weight decade!

I was pretty nervous this morning, but when I got on the scale it read 169.4, which means I lost .6 lbs. in 4 days, and am now at an all time low, in a new weight decade!!!
I'm so excited!
Today was pretty good. Work was normal, dinner was Fajita Pasta, one of my favorites.
After dinner my friend came over who will now be letting the dogs out on days when JJ and I both work all day, or if I have to work late or go somewhere after work. It's a huge weight off my shoulders, because though the dogs can hold it for 8 hours, I hate to make them.

The weather today was absolutely gorgeous here, about 70 degrees and sunny. Driving home from work with the windows down... perfect! It puts me in such an amazing mood.
Tomorrow morning I'm hoping to do 6 miles, if not then 4.3.... I'll see how I feel. As of now, I'm feeling great, and excited to do it, ready to keep on losing weight!
My plans for the day are to clean the house, grocery shop, and then tackle the office closet, which is where we happened to put everything that didn't have a place when we moved in. It might take all day....

Here's a photo that JJ took tonight. Pumpkin has developed a fear of the camera lately... I have no idea why.... but the little ones love it!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 21: Anticipation

I don't have a lot to say about today. It was pretty normal. I was in really high spirits for some reason. I'm getting nervous about weighing in tomorrow. It's only been 5 days, but I want to keep my weigh-ins on Friday, so oh well. I just hope I'm in the 160's. I'll only have to lose .1 lbs : )
However, today I started getting all crampy and bloaty, I ended up not exercising. I'm almost over being sick, but now I'm PMS-ing. I hope that doesn't affect my weight. I've been drinking lots of water, hopefully that will help the bloat.
So happy tomorrow's Friday. Off to watch the office...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 20: Thankful

I have seen so many bloggers posting their reactions to what happened in Haiti, and what they're doing to make a difference. Up until now, it's just made me so incredably sad. I've prayed about it, but so many sad stories just make me feel so defeated. I know there are some great stories about miracles happening, but at the same time, there is so much pain and so many horror stories.

Last night as I was preparing dinner, I saw the truckloads full of supplies bring shipped in. There were food packets with enough calories to sustain people for a day. Just calories in a foil packet to keep someone alive. It broke my heart that I could be in my kitchen preparing a meal for an hour with groceries that were so easily available, when there are hundreds of thousands of people hoping to get just a day's worth of calories.

I don't mean for this post to be so down. And in fact, I'm hopeful that this tragedy will bring awareness to many people about the living conditions in these countries. Bring awareness to the ways we can all help. Not only by offering money and donations, but by doing things like purchasing fair trade products to help sustain a future for the farmer, his family, and his village.

Tonight JJ and I made the decision to sponsor a child through World Vision. We didn't even know how to possibly choose a child, it seemed so hard to decide. There were no children from Haiti available, so I just selected a girl anywhere in the world with my birthday. Wesene, a 3.5 yr. old girl from Ethiopia was chosen for us. Her father is a farmer, and he has a mother, sister and a brother. She is absolutely adorable. For only $35/month, we will be sponsoring her until she's an adult, or until her family is in a financially stable place and she won't need our help anymore. I hate that this tragedy was what it took to make us realize we wanted to do this, but I hope that it makes many people realize they want to.

Rather than continue to be sad, I'm going to count my blessings and offer as much up to people in need as I can.

Now onto my day. Work was pretty normal. After work, Lou and I (and his dog, Lilly) ran 3 miles at the trail right next to work. Since I have a 40 minute commute, I can't run after work yet because it's dark already. We're probably going to start running 1-2 days per week after work now that the weather is nice. Here's our run stats, we usually do between 3-4 miles when we run together.

I'm glad the Nike+ has decided to start working!

I'm off to go do the dishes and some laundry. Have a great night :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 19: It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

Each and every day, I think to myself, "Wow, I can't believe I live in Florida." I never in a million years would have thought I'd end up living here. Some days I'm not so sure of everything, but most days I love it. I try to always keep a positive attitude about all of the changes that have occured. My life was really flipped up in the air a few months ago, but it landed right side up. I'm so thankful for that every day.

Today was beautiful. Spring has sprung here (I hope it sticks!)
Here's my favorite photo since moving here...

So today has been amazing. Thank you so much for all of your kind words and support. Since I blog at the end of the day, I was so happy all day yesterday, knowing I was at my all time low weight.
Then to read all of the comments and congrats and motivation today... it was wonderful! I had a two-day high going on!

I decided to take tonight off with workouts. Tomorrow I'm going running after work with Lou, we'll do 3-4 miles.
Now JJ, the dogs and I are going to chill and watch The Office.
Hope you all had a great day!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 18: Record Lows. And I'm not talking weather.

So this morning was pretty big for me. First weigh-in in about 6 or so months. And the last weight I distinctly remember was week 3 of the Challenge, so the beginning of April, I was 171.5lbs. So how did it go?

Well, I took a deep breath, stepped on.... and I saw 170.0 lbs. 170!!! My lowest weight since like.... the 6th grade or something! Holy crap! Sure, I've been very aware of what I eat and how much I exercise, and I've been trying to maintain my weight, so to be 1.5 lbs. lighter than my lowest weight ever... it was pretty exciting!

Then it hit me. I'm almost in the 160's.
And in fact, I'm 100% sure that I've gained a pound or two in the past week of sickness. So I probably was in the 160's. What a way to start off a week, huh? I have so many emotions... I'm proud, I'm happy, I'm motivated and encouraged, but then I'm a little scared, apprehensive, worried, and nervous. I was all set to lose 20 lbs. to reach my goal of -100 by May 14 (and honestly, I was even thinking it might be 21-23), but here I am, 17.5 lbs. away from -100. I know, it's only 2.5 lbs... but that's 10,000 calories less I need to burn. Of course I still want to be at 150 (and maybe even venture into the 140's) realistically I want to lose 20 more, but wow. 17.5 to go! Wow!

So for Friday, my first weigh-in. I'm just hoping to be in the 160's. I do my long runs over the weekend, so I know I won't get the caloric burn I need to really burn fat. And I am still sick, so I'm not going to push myself with workouts this week. I'd love to see 169.0, but I'll take anything.

So after my morning high, I had a decent day at work. I got my first issue of Organic Gardening magazine, so I read that over my lunch break. I can't wait to start planting my garden... probably next weekend! I'll be updating the blog often with my garden as it will be my big project all spring/summer/fall long!

For dinner I made a pizza that was great, we really enjoyed it. Check the blog later this week for that!
Then after dinner, it was bath time! At 7, I took my Mucinex and Pumpkin saw me with a pill and bolted for her house (she's terrified of pills)... so she got out of getting a bath. There was no chance of coaxing her out of her house. She's terrified of the bath, too. I used to try to get her to come out, but it's not worth upsetting her, I'll do her tomorrow, and grab her when she least expects it!
So here it is, Charlotte and Belle's first bath! They didn't like it, but they weren't as bad as Pumpkin.

Now I'm going to do the first 4 circuits of No More Trouble Zones. Tomorrow I'm hoping to do a 2 mile run after work and then maybe a shred tomorrow night. We'll see how I'm feeling.

Hope you all had as good of a Monday as I did :)

Oh, and random fact of the day - yesterday was my 2nd blogiversary on A Year in the Kitchen. I'm really proud of myself for sticking with the cooking blog. It was really hard over the summer, but my blog is so special to me, and I'm glad that so many people support me and encourage me to keep my creative juices flowing.