More losses!

28 07 2010

I’m down 2.7% body fat (in the past 6ish weeks) which is 6 pounds of fat; I’ve also gained 6 pounds of muscle, which is crazy.

I’m also down 6 inches (2 in my butt/hips alone!) It would be 6.5, but my forearms have gained.  It’s interesting how much they’ve changed shape in just 6 weeks.

My conditioning is soooo much better.  I ran on the treadmill last night, as was able to go 3 minutes straight, compared to barely 2 minutes a month ago and probably only a minute a couple months ago.  I was also able to run faster and breathe properly the whole time, which makes it feel easier. And didn’t feel like I was gonna die, which is nice.

The video below is me, last week, doing some bad ass dead lifts.  I never knew I could lift so much!

This next video isn’t me, but it’s almost the same circuit I did on Monday (4x).  When I’m not lifting tons of weight, I’m jumping around and throwing heavy things! (I ran with the drag sled today, pulling 135 lbs. followed with a sprint.  Because my trainer is trying to make me puke.  As long as my butt keeps getting smaller, that’s ok with me!) The tire thing is harder than it looks.  You’ve got to stop the force+gravity on the way down, and lift/push it back up. The first time I did this, I wanted to cry, but didn’t have time between reps nor the energy to waste on crying! “Burpee’s” are the jump+push up move.  They’re horrible because all of your major muscle groups are involved.  That medicine ball weighs 12 lbs and has handle cutouts that make it impossible to bounce straight.


Finding a routine

22 07 2010

These last several weeks have been interesting, what with being unemployed, then employed (but only part time) and changing up my life to include focus on diet and exercise. It’s been all to easy to come home from work at noon and take a nap. Or take a nap any time of day, really. After a work out. After running errands. Although I work every day, my job is easy and it’s short. So I’ve got hours of free time. Some of my naps have verged on just plain “sleeping” (I don’t think they count as a nap after 2 hours). It’s very easy to shrug off tasks/chores when you know you will have plenty of time to do it tomorrow, too.  And the next day. And probably next week. Then one day when the sink is full of three days worth of dishes, you wonder what the hell you’ve been doing with all that free time (answer: sleeping.  or watching tv. or reading.)  I’ve known for several years that the busier I am, the more productive I tend to be.  If I’ve got 5 hours to make a meal and wash the dishes, it probably won’t get done.  When I have small amounts of time between work and other activities, it’s much easier to make myself do things because I know I won’t have time later. Or tomorrow. Or next week.

Today was different (yay!).  After work I came home and cooked, even though I didn’t feel like it.  Cooked enough for a few days, actually.  Then got some chores done, even got my DEQ/DMV business done (which has a double bonus of not being put off until I get a ticket for expired tabs like last time).  I realized after these tasks that although I have a routine, it’s only halfway meeting my needs.  I’m getting the bare minimum done in my life, and it’s not satisfying me.  I know I’m being lazy.  So today, when moving from task to task, getting things done… I found myself humming.  And I realized I was happy.

Although having a routine is not always easy, it’s easier than establishing one.  Or trying to operate without one.  That really wasn’t working for me.  I guess this is part of what ‘being an adult’ is.

“Work it out”

20 07 2010

Sometimes when I’m working out, or thinking about working out, I sing (to myself) “work it out, work it out”  ad infinitum to the tune of this ridiculous song. Try as I might, I can’t get it out of my head!

I’ve been working HARD! A couple weeks ago, I leg pressed 605 pounds.  Yes, you read that right.  Six hundred and five pounds. Then last week I pushed a car.  Yeah, pushed.  Across a parking lot.  I should’ve measured how far… 150 yards maybe? 200? The thing with pushing a car is… it doesn’t get easy.  You’d think once you get it rolling it’s easier, but it’s not.  Then on Monday I benched 105 pounds.  That’s more than I ever even thought about putting on a bar! I think in the past, I’ve stopped trying more weight around 70# or so, because that just seemed like a lot.  But I’m strong!

It feels really good to be working out like this.  I still spend some time on the treadmill or elliptical, but most of the stuff I do is big time, heavy duty, can’t-believe-I’m-doing-it stuff.  Oh yeah – I flipped a 200 # tire fairly easily.  On the first try.  Who knew?

Even though the weight isn’t dripping off, I feel strong and that feels good.  I walk a little taller, being the muscle woman that I am.  And it’s possible that my hourglass shape is peeking out a little. (real or not? hard to tell if the reflection in the mirror is due to a different perception of myself.)

Kitchen experiments

20 07 2010

I’ve been cooking quite a bit lately (amazing how cutting out processed food makes you do that) and in an effort to keep things interesting, I’m experimenting.  Some experiments are pretty tame (see a couple entries below about making a recipe sans my favorite ingredient) and some were just plain dumb. Witness:

Not sure where the idea started, but I decided it would be easy to make some egg fried rice.  Just rice and scrambled egg, right? I thought the “fried” part had more to do with preparation (in a frying pan) than using copious amounts of oil.  (I still don’t know if that’s true).  I didn’t look up a recipe because it seemed to simple!  Made some brown rice with more chicken stock than usual (for flavor) and added some diced carrot…. this may be where I went wrong.  Mixing Mexican with Chinese.  It seemed like a good idea! and added color! (Possibly too much carrot, either way. It was pretty sweet.) Also, I over cooked the rice; haven’t made non-“instant” rice in a while and thought I should just let it sit until all the water was absorbed (gift idea, family! a rice cooker!).  I knew the ratio would be different, trying to get 25 g of protein (egg) and 25 g of rice together (resulting in WAY more egg than Panda Express variety egg fried rice), but still figured it would work. (I think the major downfall of this cooking attempt was my ridiculous optimism throughout the process).  So I scrambled some eggs, mixed in the rice right at the end… and it was terrible.  I couldn’t even finish it. Too sweet, mushy, and just weird.  Damn.

Experiment #2: New seasoning for chicken! yay! I eat so much chicken, and as much as I love lemon pepper, it gets old.  I mixed equal (as equal as a paste and liquid can be when eyeballing) soy sauce and cock sauce and one clove garlic.  Using the crushed, frozen kind from TJ’s, I had to mash it up a bit before adding the other ingredients, but I was just waiting for the chicken to cook, anyway. It worked! Yay! I’ll continue to mess with the ratios, but in general it was pretty darn good.  I used up my mushy, sweet rice to make a few ready-to-heat meals with this chicken.  They don’t necessarily go together, but what DOES go with overcooked carrot rice?

Another experiment (kinda) from a few weeks ago: Lemon Zucchini Chicken and Pasta.  Dayum, this is good! I made it first true to the recipe, and then made it again the following week, eliminating wine (stupid diet) and skipping the arduous task of julienning the zucchini, because it seemed to end up in a pile and not mix well with the pasta (this could entirely be chef error).  I think I’ve mentioned that I often cook anywhere from 4 to 8 servings at time (because recipes come this way and it’s easier than cooking every day), I often find myself altering the amount of things to make a final 25/25 ratio to fit into my diet.  For whatever reason, I decided it was easier to cook a whole box of pasta (8 servings) which resulted in LOTS of zucchini and chicken, really too much to fit into my large skillet (There was some very careful stirring). (Wish I had this one.)  The result, however, was delicious!

(Notice how all these servings just barely fit into one shot on my tiny counter top.)

I love, love, LOVE this recipe.  I’ll make it again, possibly adding more lemon. Because you just can’t have too much lemon.

OH YEAH – I splurged (can you call $6 a splurge? you can when you’re broke!) on the sea salt and pepper grinders from Costco this weekend.  I can’t even believe how much flavor is added with the fresh ground varieties. SO good.  And using less (salt, at least. I’m sure I eat more pepper than average).  Since I’m cooking so much, I felt this was a small but significant addition to my kitchen.

Desire to serve

18 07 2010

Went to church for the first time in a couple months this morning.  I sang in the choir last year (Sept-Mayish) and we have the summers off.  I’ve taken that oppertunity as an excuse to sleep in, some days planning to go, but unable to get out of bed (this was during the more depressed time right after losing my job.) (I was also out of town 3 of the last 8 weeks).  I knew I wanted to go, but wasn’t making it a priority.

I’m Catholic, raised in the faith, and continue to enjoy my faith.  Anyone who knows me isn’t surprised when I like things that are old, have a history, or are layered in meaning.  <– could be a definition of the Catholic Mass.  It is so rich in meaning, all over the place.  The responses, prayers, music – I find it so cool to participate in something that lots (several million at least) of other people are doing.  And have done.  And will do in the future. And we all bring to it our own biases and get different things out of it.  It’s also exciting that I never quite know what I might walk away from the mass feeling or thinking about. I’ve also come to really feel like a part of the community, this church and choir I’ve been a part of the past year.  I’ve missed seeing the friends.  Even though our relationships tend to be focused around church/mass/choir, they have a big impact on me that I was missing.

I had no predispositions about mass today.  But I guess God did, because hoo-boy, was it filled with emotion.  From the moment mass started, I was on the verge of tears.  This happened several more times throughout mass, seemingly for no reason (not in response to anything in particular).  I think it just felt good to be there. And surrounded by a loving community.  Even without gleaning deep meaning from prayers or songs, I knew that I was in the right place, that participating in the mass was important.  I’m pretty good at stuffing my feelings, so when I have overwhelming ones (good or bad) I don’t always respond to them the way my body might like. (such as letting myself cry).

Then the gospel and homily spoke to the spirit of service.  Mi casa es su casa. The Aloha spirit.  The simple idea of serving others; hospitality.  This spoke to be because although I want to be this way, and am, I’m often distracted by worrying about myself.  I don’t even have people over to my house all that often because I’m afraid they might judge me for what’s in my kitchen (although there’s nothing in there now besides chicken, rice, salad mix and the like).  I spend so much time worrying about how others might perceive me that I neglect to actually meet all of their needs.  I’ve overcome this issue a great deal in my professional life (because I feel confident and competent as a therapist) but not so much in my personal life.  Or, at least not as much as I’d like.  It’s absolutely ridiculous that I would ignore this call because I’m so preoccupied with myself.  It’s gross.  On my journey to lose weight, I’m really on a journey to find myself and be the best person I can be, in whatever body I’m walking around in.  (my, that’s a grandiose statement.  This idea will take some time to tease out.)  I long for the day I can make a meal for friends and not tell them the nutrition facts of it (because I’m worried about it), not worry about eating in front of others, not worry about all the silly little things that keep me from enjoying the act of serving.


15 07 2010

I’m down 3 lbs (of fat), almost 3 inches, and 1.5% body fat!
The scale hasn’t changed, so thank god for other measurements. I’ve gained muscle, which feels good. Now I’m waiting for a few more pounds so it makes a difference in my jeans!

Lemon Parmesan Risotto

14 07 2010

Risotto is one of my favorites, but I was nervous making it this time.  I’ve always used wine which give it a delicious, deep flavor; but alcohol is a no-no right now (doesn’t even matter how little – the sugar alcohols wreck your metabolism) so I decided to try adding the citrus for a little punch. It worked! yay!!! and had I not been lazy and just googled “lemon parmesan risotto” before starting cooking, I would have found plenty of recipes (although all those recipes included white wine.)

(Mine definitely didn’t look this good, I’m too lazy to bother with garnishes when I’m cooking in large quantities for myself).

The package of arborio rice says to use a 1:2 ratio of rice and liquid, but I was taught (and always have) used closer to 1:3 ratio.  (My next experiment is to cook it as described on the package.)  First, I diced up a large shallot scallion (I constantly mix those words up, even though I know the difference!) and sautéed  it in a stock pot with some olive oil. Then pour in the rice and let it brown a bit before starting the liquid part.  I recently learned to keep the liquid (water or chicken stock, but who would want to use boring ole water?!) the same temperature as the rice to ensure even absorbtion, so it was simmering in a mini stock pot next to the big one and I ladled it in, 2-5 ladles at a time.  This part could probably be more scientific, but I watch the amount of liquid that sits on top of the rice, and then add one more ladle.  The trick (or burden) is that you’ve absolutely got to keep stirring.  Not quite like making candy or something, where you can’t ever stop the movement in the pot, but you can’t put it on the stove and walk away for 20 minutes.  (It’ll burn and not absorb evenly)  It takes several repetitions of this step to get all the liquid absorbed, but eventually the rice will start to leach out a milky substance (it’s trademark).  Season with salt and pepper (to taste),  then I mixed in the parmesan and lemon, (tasted again and added more s & p) and let it sit for a couple minutes (while I finished cooking my chicken.) Split into several individual servings (luckily, risotto is delicious reheated. A lightly different texture, but another good one) and done!


2 c Arborio rice

2 T olive oil

6 c chicken stock

1 large shallot

zest and juice of one lemon

4 oz parmesan cheese

Nutrition breakdown:

(split into 10 servings, approx. 3/4 cup cooked) 202 cals, 7 g fat, 35 g carbs, 9 g protein

(split into 12 servings, little over 1/2 cup cooked) 169 cals, 6 g fat, 29 g carbs, 7.5 g protein

In retrospect, I HAVE NO IDEA WHY I DIDN’T ADD GARLIC.  What was I thinking? (Especially with this awesomeness burning a hole in my freezer)  I also might like to try using 2 lemons, but I really like lemon flavor, probably more than the average jane. (get it? not joe?) Also, I used reduced sodium chicken stock, but I’m pretty sure I just added back all the sodium with the amount of salt I added at the end.  Oh well. In the end, pretty much all risotto is better than no risotto, so I’m happy! and so is my mouth!