Archive | January, 2013

Things I Dont Like: Spaghetti Squash

30 Jan

Ya know, I try to be all healthy and active 24/7. And even though I have some major food aversions (ask my family about green beans), I do try to cook new recipes and give food at least a fighting chance to impress me. It’s no surprise that with this Paleo and Gluten Free craze hitting dieters that I would eventually stumble upon the miracle food that is [allegedly] spaghetti squash.

I got excited for it. I pre-wrote a blog on how it changed my life, and that I was giving up my carb-loaded Italian ways. I pinned at least four recipes. I proudly tracked it before I ate it. I spoke about it with my coworker (who swore it was amazing…). I WAS READY.

And then I ate it.

Ohmygod I hate all of you. What BS you have sold me, internet world (+ coworker)! Sure, it looks like ramen noodles. But all I tasted was a “pasta” bowl of lies.

This is what I get for expecting too much of my vegetables. You think I would have learned my lesson when I tried the ever popular recipe for cauliflower “popcorn.” But no, I fall in to the “let’s make veggies taste like actual food” agenda. and I end up getting brokenhearted when my 3lb squash still tastes like 3lbs of softer squash.

LIES! (picture from: http://steamykitchen.com)

I will never forget this kitchen tragedy (probably because there was like 3lbs of leftovers and I am still finding little strands of squash on my dog’s paws).

DietBet and Weekly Update

26 Jan

As you may remember, last week was the official start to my #fitfluential dietbet challenge. In a little over a week, the pot has grown to almost $14K! That’s HUGE.

I weighed in on Saturday morning to start off with and was significantly higher than I had been in weeks at xx5.6. I didn’t plan it that way. I didn’t try to cheat. My weight was just up. I weighed in again on Monday morning and my weight was down about 2.8lbs. All water weight, I know. But I recorded it anyways.

(Of course, this is when people who do not understand weight loss or think that everything is a competition began to jump on the dietbet boards calling those who had lost weight on the first official day cheaters…)

Anyways, my goal of the week was to maintain that 2lb water weight loss. Here’s what I did:

  • Sunday: 2 mile treadmill interval run
  • Monday: Treadmill walk and Elliptical
  • Tuesday: 5am Boot camp
  • Wednesday: 2 mile treadmill interval run
  • Thursday:Free weight sculpt class, elliptical, and yoga
  • Friday: 2 mile treadmill interval run and 25 minute incline interval walk

My goal was to burn around 300-400 calories daily, which I did. I also planked every day for the #plankaday challenge. You can see my plank times by visiting my twitter.

As for eating, I did fairly well. My streak of not buying anything at the work cafeteria is now at almost a month. I did eat pasta twice this week (which is allowed). But one of those times was Kraft mac and cheese. I will give myself credit for only eating half of the box though! 🙂

So, how did my week 1 weigh in go this morning? Did I maintain a 2lb+ weight loss from Monday?

….

… (the suspense…)

This morning, I weighed in at xx3.4. Which means, I am down -2.2lbs! That’s 28% to goal. I need to lose about 1.95lbs / week, so I am right on track. However, my weight has been stalled at this xx3-xx2 for awhile, so I am hoping that I can pull myself out of the slump and weigh in at xx1.9 next week.

Always In Question

23 Jan

It’s been a rough couple of weeks. I’m not going to lie. I am getting restless, bored, and irritated with life in general. While minor, I haven’t been able to catch a break in the general gloom and doom. And like I’ve mentioned before, that little gray cloud is following me. 

It could be the weather. Sure. I work in an underground office without windows or outside facing doors. I’m constantly bathed by lighting that graces morgues and basements. Being put in a shared office roughly the size of a bathroom contributes to the general anxiety associated with claustrophobia.

But I dont think that’s it.

For the last two years, I have been scratching at something. Unhappy with my current career and resolved that I will most likely never be able to go back to teaching, I have been applying to random positions sporadically. Sometimes I get the motivation and apply to 10-20 per day. And it wears me down enough so that I spend an equal amount of time not applying to any. 

I’m either resolved that I will be staying where I am my entire life, or I am resolved that I can make the change in my life. On one hand, I make a decent salary at a job that many people are fighting tooth and nail to get in to. I have a respectable home life with minimal drama attached. Staying in Chicago forever seems like the obvious choice. After all, I am getting married in about 8 months. Why shouldn’t I just put down those roots, purchase that home, write down a five year plan, get the master’s, etc.? Isn’t that what most 25/26 year olds do? 

But then I think about it long and hard. I’ve never been the girl who has dreamed of purchasing homes, being a stay-at-home mom (no offense to those that are), or spending my life working at an office with no windows and doors for 40 hours a week. No, my plan was always to do chase after something bigger and brighter. 

I get it in to my head that I can do that. That my fiance and dog will follow behind me, in line, without question. And to an extent, they probably would. I make plans. I research airline policies on transporting small dogs. I look in to telecommuting. I read blogs about “digital nomads” and house sitting opportunities. I get inspired some more. I tell myself that in one years time, I will be there (wherever the dream location may be … Argentina, for today). 

And I break those promises. 

Every time I get these itches for something more than normalcy, I sit here waiting for that opportunity that will make a it a reality. It’s always an issue of the how and never the when. (no one asks me why, which may be a more important question down the road). I wait and wait for some big career move to open itself up to me, to allow me to finally say that we can go, to convince my fiance that I am not just going through a “thing.” 

It obviously never comes. 

This is the point where I say that I’ve had enough. That I will make these things happen  That my dreams will come true with enough hard work and dedication. 

But I know that they wont. I have done enough research to see that what I want to do is not feasible for both my fiance and I (or our dog). My fiance needs that sense of security. I more of need a backup plan in case it all falls a part when I get to my destination. I would be more than happy with cashing in my savings today and heading down to South America. If it didn’t work out, I could trust that my family or friends would help me out in my return. I would never be in danger of anything but bunking with my mom or dad for a couple of months. 

But I’m still here. I’ve given up a lot for the pipe dream of settling down. And now that it’s all in my reach, I dont think I want it. 

I know this is normal and that all mid-twenty-somethings go through a phase of wanderlust. But what if it never goes? What if I am not subdued by a once every other year or so trip to Europe? What if everything is always in question?  

R.I.P. My Musical Collection

22 Jan

An Obituary For My Collection of Music:

Michelle’s Musical Library passed away on December 17th, 2012 at 2am following a tragic accident involving a bathroom floor and a HP purple laptop. The Library resided in Chicago, IL; Elgin, IL; Elmhurst, IL; and Kankakee, IL. And while she occupied many homes, The Library fondly stated that “Anywhere Michelle’s ears are is my home.”

The Library worked at various versions of Michelle’s Itunes for the past 10 years. There, it stored many memorable and invaluable pieces including live recordings of band performances, original song demos, mixtapes from old boyfriends, and playlists from high school driving trips. The owner of the extensive Itunes collection notes that The Library’s job will never be replaced nor replicated as losing such important and irreplaceable collections can unfortunately not be duplicated.

The Library’s hobbies included randomly selecting Bon Jovi songs to play in  “Sleepy Time” mixes and constantly playing one of the 10 versions of Wilco’s “Hummingbird” whenever on shuffle. 

However, The Library’s life was not without controversy. After a year of harboring musical radicals such as Cher, Hannah Montana, and other light rock classics, the owner was able to eliminate the damage done. The Library was also known to imbued illegal downloaded music from the owner’s original version of the collection. The Library remained remorseful to her death.

The Library will be missed by Michelle, who remembers it as “one of the best, most random, and uplifting collections of music ever put on a computer.” She goes on to say that, “The Library watched over me as I slept, prepped for dates, hosted parties, planned Dance Dance playlists, and cried myself in heartbreak. Grief cannot be properly expressed in gb.” 

Video

Random Friday: How To Make a Delicious Chocolate Milkshake

18 Jan

I am participating in the dietbet challenge starting tomorrow, but do me a favor: Watch this video and try this recipe. It looks just delicious.

There’s a whole collection “how to basics” on their channel that really gets me inspired in the kitchen. Too bad everything includes eggs though…

Go Your Own Way

17 Jan

I remember reading about this “challenge” a couple months ago. You take one photo every hour and post it to your stream (I used Instagram and Twitter). I thought it would be neat to look back at how my day unfolded for a regular Wednesday workday. Since WordPress is being an ass, you’ll have to visit my sights to see where I was all day. It’s riveting stuff, I tell ya.

Sigh.

It’s been a long couple of days. I’ll be honest and say that the gray cloud from the weekend is still hanging on. My nightmares have all been wedding dress related. Last night, I got ketchup on it. Like, Carrie style. And I HATE ketchup. The night before, I dreamt that I was stuck in an elevator and my dress kept getting cut up by the doors. I’m pretty sure that’s a metaphor. 

As I told my therapist last night, I am more of frustrated at myself. It would be one thing if I wasn’t doing anything to lose weight. If that was the situation, I would be more depressed. With this, I am just red hot mad. I am doing the right things and am seeing zero or negative responses. How can someone work out and eat relatively well for three months and end up gaining a pound?

Frustration station.

Out of that anger and frustration, I decided to join this dietbet. Basically, you put money in the pot that you can lose 4% of your body weight in 28 days. Being a bigger girl, that number is HUGE for me. Ok, not huge. But it’s a pretty hefty amount of weight to lose in less than a month. When I saw the number, I was like “No way.” But I’m pretty confident that I just need to kickstart myself in gear. And 28 days is long enough to do it. Wish me luck! I’d like to keep or earn some money!

Ok, I’m out of here. I’m going to try to shake off this miserable, no good feeling by hitting a yoga class. I’ve been pretty tight in the hips, so I’m hoping it will help. Plus, I heard from my favorite travel blog that the hips are where all of your pent up emotions are!

That Damn Wedding Dress

15 Jan

From what I hear, the stress of the “big wedding day” can give any bride nightmares. I’ve had a couple. Mainly, they involve thousands of people shooting bows and arrows at my head as I walk down the aisle or the cake being poison. Nothing too bad, and all totally relating to my unrelenting social anxiety.

But, there’s another. It’s not so much of a nightmare as it is a phobia/fear. WHAT THE F#$CK WILL I DO IF I CANT FIT IN MY G-DAMN DRESS?!?!

Forget my hair looking good. Screw people not coming. I couldn’t care less if food is even there. My dress scares the crap out of me. It’s like my worst enemy at this point. I dread seeing it, I dont want to talk about it, and it’s hidden in some dark (literal) closet.

I may have forgotten to mention that I bought that dress about… oh… 20lbs ago. That’s right. I gained 20lbs in less than a year. It’s as horrible as it sounds so feel free to judge me for it. 2012 was a bad year full of emotional eating and avoiding my gym shoes like the plague. The fact that I had gained 20lbs wasn’t lost on me leading up to this weekend. I knew going in that this would be a tight fit. I expected it to not exactly zip up either.

What I got was worse. So much so. My dress wasn’t even CLOSE to zipping. It got about half way up and was like “Screw this, bitch.” I tried to smile through this mini-fitting with my mom. I put on my new shoes and kept redirecting my her attention to them. But she couldn’t even keep in her fear and continually brought up the “What are you going to do if it doesn’t zip up?” question I’ve been avoiding.

See, it has to fit. I am not that girl. I’m not getting it taken out, nor am I changing it to a corset back. This dress will fit. And I will even go running if I have to. I tried to muster that determined spirit as I reassured my now panicking mother (who, three days later, is still bringing it up). But who am I kidding? This is a mess.

Oh god. This is some shit for therapy. I’ve had plenty of clothing not fit. But none of those are my wedding dress.

I know that I did this to myself. I had a full year to get myself together, but I didn’t. I was too busy focusing on my depression and literally feeding in to it. And now I am here: 8 months to go and I HAVE to lose at least 15lbs. I cant maintain anymore. This is getting desperate.

So, I’m making a plan:

  • Drink at least 8 cups of water a day. No calories as beverages except for milk and the occasional glass of juice. Alcohol allowed on only special occasions
  • 1200-1600 calories per day except for when I burn more than 600 calories working out.
  • Carbs at lunch and breakfast only. Can move carbs to dinner, but I must have worked out that day. Pasta is only allowed twice a week.
  • No eating past 8:30pm except when dining out or eating my one cheat food (popcorn).
  • Popcorn has moved to a once a week treat to once every other week. Sorry fiance and dog.
  • All food and calories burned via exercise shall be tracked daily. You can visit myfitness pal (I’m ohmybears48) to make sure I’m doing this.
  •  Participate in #plankaday challenge. Post results on twitter for accountability.
  • Workouts are as follows*:

Monday: 20-30 min run, 30 min. kickboxing, and 20 min core
Tuesday: 1 hour boot camp class (or 30 min elliptical and 30 min kettlebell)
Wednesday: 30 min weight lift sculpt, 30 min run
Thursday: 1 hour yoga
Friday: 30 min run
Saturday: 1 hour boot camp or cardio hour class
Sunday: 30 min cardio hour, 30 min power hour, 1 hour yoga (or 1 hour dance and 30 min run)

*I’m not crazy, nor a novice, so I wont be too anal about this schedule as long as I get the majority or the equivalent done.

I plan on trying on the dress again at Easter, so March 31st. If I have lost over 5lbs, I will reward myself by buying new earrings. If I have lost 10lbs, I will buy myself a massage. If I have lost more, I will buy myself a new work outfit. My second try on will be when I get a fitting done with a friend/seamstress probably in May or June. Same rewards apply.

Plan set? Plan sound good? Ok. Let’s go.