Getting started is the hardest part

It’s been a full week since I’ve been writing. Tomorrow marks my first official weigh in being “back on the wagon.” I’d like to think it’s understandable that I’m nervous. What to expect, because I know that getting started is the hardest part of any challenge!

I’m certainly not expecting some incredibly decrease in weight. I know my body, and I know how it works. It usually takes a few weeks for me to actually see some weight loss. And even when I finally do see the numbers go down, they’re HUGE ridiculous numbers. Like 5 pounds in a week.

I’ve been doing this stop again/start again thing for quite some time, and I already know that those big number drops are more than likely nothing more than water weight. I had actually considered not weighing in for the first few weeks, just because I know this.

I don’t want to get all excited for some significant loss of however many pounds. I’m looking to lose fat, not just numbers. But, of course, I’m going to. I already know I’m going to hop on that scale and see how I’m doing. Curiosity? Sure.

But, considering being sick, I’ve been trying to bust by butt. I’ve been drinking more water, attempting to exercise as much as I can handle, and I’ve been logging my calorie intake as well.

So I’m optimisitic that this is a good start. Jumping in with both feet is the way to go.

But wow, I’ve went so long with not caring what I’m eating, that watching what I’m eating is almost as hard as attempting to be active. Eating whatever I want, whenever I want, is a really hard habit to break. Even harder than not biting my nails! I want to go back to when I stopped and demand I keep going.

Hindsight is 20/20. Right?

But at least this time I’ll remember what it felt like to lose a considerable amount of weight. I suppose it’ll be like a reminder that I did it once, and I can do it again. Plus, when I get back to those numbers it’ll be motivation not to stop. I know how it feels to gain back a good portion of what I worked so hard to lose, and I don’t ever want to be in this position again.

I can fully understand why so many people gain back the weight they’ve lost! Sure, a good 40 pounds of that was while I was pregnant. Insatiable cravings for anything covered in BBQ sauce and caramel corn will do a small part of that. The larger part was when my “only in moderation” switch was set firmly in the “off” position. That part was all me. Can’t blame pregnancy for that little tidbit.

Stupid little switch.

I always used to talk about “this is a lifestyle change” which is it. I still agree 100% with that statement. But when I was writing that I had thought I’d gotten to that point where my lifestyle changes were something I was going to be able to continue for the rest of my life.

When I “stopped” the first time around, I can easily attribute it to boredom. I got bored making the same things over and over again. I got bored working out the same way. I got too complacent.

Yeah, I don’t do well with change. But I also don’t do too well with complacency. I’m a complicated person (read: My life makes absolutely no sense). And combating that, is something I’ve got to figure out.

I don’t want to lose weight just to look back and get all angry at myself because “I lost 100 pounds and then screwed up.” I’ve only gained back 40, I couldn’t imagine gaining back 100 pounds that I worked my tailfeathers off for.

So, I need to be determined. And resiliant. And constantly thinking of new ways to stay interested in being healthy. And not just throwing my hands up in the air when things get too boring.

Variety is the spice of life. Right?

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Wider than I am tall

I hope all of your weekends were great! Hopefully better than mine. I’m trying to fight off a wicked cold. Gotta love what the season change does to my sinuses!!! But I came to the realization that I’ve gotten so much bigger.

Like way bigger.

Of couse, my weight is an indicator of that. Come on, I had been down to 181 at one point. That’s a pretty good jump right there. Definitely. But a scale isn’t always the best indicator of weight in general. Sure, I’m using it as a good baseline for now. I know I want to lose “x” amount of pounds, but that final number is probably going to change several times.

My goal, as I’ve said a bazillion times, is to be healthy and happy. My goal isn’t to wear a size 0 or weigh 120 pounds. Being overweight and obese my entire life, I can’t say that I’d be happy with how I’d look or feel with those stats. I know I would like to stop around 165 pounds and take stock of how I feel. Then I’d consider if I want to lose more. Who knows! I might surprise myself and be totally happy at some obscure number like 159 or 177 or maybe even 148. I have no clue. I’ve never weighed that much, so I don’t know how those numbers feel.

But what I’ve always been aware of is that weight is subjective. There was a time that I’d lost 3+ inches off my waist and hips but I actually gained a few pounds. Same in the reverse, from 195-185 my measurements had stayed pretty much the same. So I like to rely on measurements as well as my weight. The lower the scale goes, the more likey I am going to be to listen to my body cues, clothing sizes, and measurements.

Measurements

Back about a million 40 pounds ago, my measurements were getting on track. My waist was 31.5″ and my hips had whittled down to 39.5″ I’d lost 18″ from my waist, hips, and lovehandles at that point. Which is pretty freaking unreal. And amazing. And boy I felt it! I was wearing a size 10! It was pretty freaking amazing!

So out of morbid curiosity I measured myself this morning.

Bust 44″
Waist 38.5″
Hips 47.5″
Lovehandles 50″
L/R thigh 28″ ea
L/R arm 14.5″ ea
Neck 14.5″

But a picture speaks a thousands words…measurements kind of scream them.

I’ve added seven inches on my waist, eight on my hips, and my lovehandles have grown nine inches. NINE inches. That doesn’t even account for all the other places I’ve gained inches. Twenty four inches. I’ve gained two feet of fat in just three places.

Talk about humiliation.

No wonder I can’t fit any of my old clothes.

But at least I have a starting point. I’m actually kind of excited to see those numbers dwindle down.

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Do these things even work

Busy, busy week!

The last week or so have been a bit of a whirlwind. Getting this blog up and running for what feels like the millionth time, getting all kinds of school supplies (can’t say I’ve ever had to buy tennis balls before now), and starting a new school year! It’s been a hustle bustle life.

Landon started second grade a few days ago and sending a seven year old to his first day of school is so much different than sending a six year old. I’m not kidding. He loves school. Loves reading and math. No sooner did summer break end he was asking when he could go back to school. He missed his friends, teachers, and his schoolwork. So it wasn’t a surprise that he was super anxious to go back to school. I’m just going to fist pump a second in honor of him being excited to learn. Let’s hope that continues! But…six year old Landon was all kinds of bummed going back to school. He missed us. Yay! Granted last year was a bit upsetting for school to be starting, but still. This year, he is all “grown up” and I’m more bummed about him going to school than he is.

Go figure.

So, it’s just the one kiddo at home during the week. And she’s not that much company, she is now officially three months old yesterday. And she defiinitely acts like a three month old. She eats, sleeps, poops all day long. Of course, when she is awake it’s all smiles or glares (she’s a very grumpy looking baby).

So while she napped yesterday, I attempted to exercise.

Attempted.

There is nothing more sad than watching me trying to do squats, lunges, and lifting heavy things. I wanted to go outside and walk but thanks to the rain that wasn’t really an option. I’ll be fine walking in the rain, heck I’d done c25k in the rain. But walking in the cold rain with a three month old… probably not the best idea. So inside we stayed.

There was definitely a moment of hesitation there, I wondered if my legs even remembered what in the heck a lunge was. Hmmm, nope.

But I realized, I am so out of shape. Regardless of the number on the scale, going so long without exercisings has certainly done a number on my muscles. And my poor lungs. And joints. And self esteem.

Definitely for that last one.

I know it’ll take some time to get to a point where exercsing (for a grand total of 20 minutes) isn’t going to feel horrible, but I am so impatient.

It’s so strange when I think back to 50 pounds ago. Sure, I didn’t exercise all that regularly, but when I did exercise it was so much easier than it is now. I find I can’t just jump into doing things that were fairly easy manageable at a much lighter weight. I struggled with exercise, certainly. Mostly because I loathe it. I’m not even kidding. I don’t like feeling out of breath, sweaty, or sore. All of which go hand in hand with physical activity. But when I did exercise I hardly complained about how inadequate I was at it. Everyday I accomplished something new. Lifted something heavier, pushed myself a little bit harder and further. It was like accomplishing a goal.

Now, I realize I have to start with beginners activity goals. I can’t expect that after (over) a year of no exercise and gaining almost 40 pounds that I’ll just be able to bounce right back into doing things.

extrafries

So rather than being discouraged (which, clearly I was, otherwise this post wouldn’t exist) I need to set realistic expectations and goals for getting back to where I was at and past that point.

Make a decision, and goal, to workout more regularly. Get through this awkward “ugh, I hate this. I hurt. Look at my legs shaking! I need airrrr” point and bust my tushie.

I think that is what is so scary for many people just starting to workout. They know it’ll be hard, and probably not feel the best. And it’s like walking head first in to a situation that you know is just going to suck. Then come the excuses, and the procrastination, and then giving up before you’ve even started. I know this, because I’ve done this. Time and time and time and time, and time again.

But hey. That’s kind of how it works. Starting anything is hard work. Right? Well, maybe not to you out there who are naturals at EVERYTHING! There were some things that I really liked. Walking, POUND, sad attempts at yoga… and that’s probably my best start at not feeling horrible about working out.

Yeah, I’m such a downer.

I know that the first steps to getting back into shape is actually doing it. So yeah, here I am…super unenthused… but determined to start. Ohhh my legs.

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Philly Cheesesteak

I’ve never had a real Philly Cheesesteak before, the sad part is that I actually have been to Philidelphia. Granted, I was 15 and wandering around with the rest of the Lions Band geeky kids, all of us dressed in our red, white, and blue polos. Don’t judge, we were pretty awesome. We didn’t really have the opportunity to go discover any Philly restaurants.

But a few years ago, Josh and I wanted to recreate one. We did a fair bit of googling. Do you realize how many different types of philly cheesesteaks there are? Seriously. Sliced cheese, liquid cheese, cheesewhiz. Hoagie bun, sub bun, toast. No veggies, lots of veggies, ONLY veggies. It goes on and on and on.

We make ours with peppers, onions, and mushrooms. And fennel, lots of fennel!

Peppers and Mushrooms fixed
Plus, we had all these pretty veggies sitting in the fridge!

So we just pretty much went with our gut and gave it a shot. We’d always went the sliced cheese route, until we decided to use the same cheese sauce we use for mac and cheese (when we actually make it at home). So, of course, I grabbed my phone and snapped away thinking this would be a good “first recipe welcome back!”

Without further ado…

finished fixed

Philly Cheesesteak Subs
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Bake Time 5 minutes optional

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 medium sized red pepper (sliced)
1 medium sized green pepper (sliced)
1 medium sized red onion (sliced)
4 oz (1/2 container) Portabella Mushrooms (sliced)
1 TBS EVOO
3 TBS fennel seed
***1 pkg (6 slices) Beef Sizzlers ***
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
***1 cup shredded cheese ***
2 cups milk
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Salt, pepper to taste

***Ok, you don’t have to use the Beef Sizzlers. That just happens to be what we have always grabbed… plus ribeye (which is what’s typically used) is super expensive around here. If you are using ribeye, just start with this thinly sliced. Nearly as thin as you can get.

Also subsitute whatever cheese you would like. We used a mix of shredded cheddar and colby jack.***

Start with the cheese sauce

Cheesesauce fixed

1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter on medium low heat. Once it’s all melted add the flour. This is making a roux (“roo” not “roo-xkssss. My bad)
2. Stir this around until it’s started to turn a light shade of brown.
3. Slowly add 1/2 the milk that you have. The pan will hiss like crazy, but you’re ok.
4. Increase the heat on the stove to about medium. (You can go ahead and start at medium, but this way I’m not worried about scalding the milk.)
5. Add the cheese slowly. Add a bit, stir until melted, add a bit more, stir until melted. Continue this until all the cheese is melted.
6. At this point, your sauce will start getting thicker. Add the last bit of you milk along with the chopped parsely. Whisk to incorperate.
7. Once it starts bubbling return to medium low heat. Stirring occasionally, while you begin your veggies and beef.

And now the meat

Meat fixed 2
Give you and idea of what I mean by “shredding”

1. Heat the EVOO in a saute’ pan at medium heat. Add your peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until just about tender.
2. Add your sizzlers (or ribeye) to the veggies. While this is cooking make sure you are shredding the beef. Be careful not to completely destroy your veggies in the process (guilty). The easiest way I’ve found for this is to hold the beef with the spatula and attack it with a fork. Or tongs. Or wooden spoon. Ok, ok, whatever utensil is close by. But I still manage to mangle it…so I do them separately. Josh is the meat pro here.
3. Add your fennel and cook until the meat is no longer pink, this is quick. Only about 3-4 minutes.

There you have it, bon appitete

So now, all you need to do is stuff your filling into just about anything (sub buns, pitas, hoagie rolls, etc) and top with the cheese sauce. If you want, and I really suggest, throw your buns in the oven for about 5 minutes at 250 degrees so they’re nice and warm and crispy at the edges.

Seriously, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back to sliced cheese. Gotta be the cheese sauce. All the way.

And the veggies are pretty much amazing. I’m a sucker for peppers and fennel. It reminds me of the the fair. In my perfect world, all fair food would be covered in saute’d peppers and fennel. Seriously, I adore it. Every once in a while I’ll just skip over the beef and go straight vegetable.

Now, the meat is fairly greasy. I’m pretty sure that using a different meat, like ribeye, would be A) healthier and B) less sloppy. If you’re worried about how greasy this is, you can defintely go ahead and make the meat first and pull it off to drain. Just lay it on a plate with napkins on it, throw it back in with the veggies for the last minute to warm it back up. Entirely your choice.

But all-in-all, this is defintely a go-to dinner for us especially when we’ve had a super busy day.

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If you tried this recipe did you add anything? Change anything? Let me know in the comments!

Bad Blogger! Bad! Part 2

So, yesterday I left you at a cliff hanger. Am I really narcissitic enough to think that you out there are clinging on my every word, waiting desperately for another post from your favorite blogger like it’s crack (or swiss cake rolls, in my experience)? Anyone? Anyone?

Beuller?

Beuller?

No? Ok, maybe that’s just me.

Ahem, anyways. I said yesterday that something amazing, scary, life changing, (yada yada yada) happened. And I wasn’t being super overly dramatic, at least not this time. If you haven’t already guessed… here you go.

One month smiles

See that cute face right there?

We had a baby! Cue the fan fare!

Her name is Jordin, and she’s a firecracker! Her big brother loves her to the moon and back. And we’re super lucky. Super, super, lucky.

Whew.

So, now things are getting back on track, we’re feeling less stressed on the day to day. What isn’t getting back on track is my weight. Ohhhh, the weight.

I am a stress eater who was pregnant. So can you guess what happened? Yeah, I gained a crapton of weight.

Seriously.

Crapton.

Definition: Craptop. (crap-ton) Noun: Equal to four shitloads

When we found out I was pregnant I weighed 198. Considering I last left you at 194, gaining only 4 pounds in 6 months through all the stress we were under was remarkable for me.

What wasn’t remarkable how much I gained and how quickly. By the time I had Jordin I was 248. Yeah, I gained 50 pounds exactly. Before anyone starts screaming about how much a pregnant woman should gain…I know. My doctors advised me on it. And yes, I was 15 pounds over what a average weight pregnant lady should gain, let alone someone who is already overweight, But I got big!

Last day pregnant

See? And from the front, I looked even bigger. Yay!

But don’t be too alarmed, I’ve lost a little bit (with a catch). It hasn’t been my priority, but I did.

So for my new, official (practically starting over) weigh in.

In true Plumpville tradition…

Last Weigh-In (April 2014): 194.3
This Weigh-In: 232.3
Total gained: 38 lbs

And… quadruple ouch.

Now, going into the OR at 248 and now, nearly three months later sitting at 16 pounds lighter would be an awesome claim. But, alas, I’m not even going to pretend that I’ve lost 16 pounds. I’ve definitely lost something but let’s not get too excited.

Figure at least 8 of those pounds were all baby, and at LEAST 5 of that was all the stuff that comes along with giving birth, I won’t give details…all you moms and dads out there who know what exactly is entailed will know. Those of you who don’t, throw up a quick Google search, ask your parents, or think back to middle school health class.

So that really only leaves about 5 pounds. 3 pounds lost in 2 months. Can’t complain!

Wait.

Yes, I can.

Now lets consider retaining water, and boobs the size of Texas.

Yeah. So of all the fat I’ve lost (because let’s face it, the goal here is to lose fat… not non-fat weight)… nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

There is a reason why doctors advise only gaining a certain amount of weight… those are all health reasons. Safety for yourself and the baby being numbers one and two (not necessarily in that order).

For me, I’m glad I had a perfectly healthy, beautiful baby girl… but I realize now vanity is defintiely one of those.

I gained WEIGHT not baby and belly. My lovehandles expanded to respemble something akin to floating noodles, and my old favorite pair of pink skinny jeans barely button (and the seams…those poor, poor seams).

Let’t not even get started on my knees, back, and ankles. Quintuple ouch. Although that ouch is actual physical pain. Yeah. Not fun.

So here I am. Back, back, back on the wagon. I was cleared for exercise six weeks after my c-section, then some minor complications with BC (I’ll get on that at a later time) made the thoughts of situps or anything that would remotely force me to stretch and flex my lower stomach basically nauseating.

But I’m feeling better, physically ready and mentally sooooo ready. Whereas a few weeks ago, I wasn’t. Especially not physically.

So, this time around, I’m starting heavier than I was the first time I started this blog. I’m only 34 pounds down from my heaviest weight, and 50 pounds up from my lightest.

I’ve got a long way to go, and in the last couple days I’ve realized how difficult this is going to be again. But I’m determined.

So here goes nothing.

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Back on track.