5 Tips for Losing (Baby) Weight

Jennifer Hudson, Before and After

No, I  do not have a bun in the oven. What I do have is a lot of loose skin because I’ve dropped a whopping 135 pounds. That’s a Jennifer Hudson, by the way. But the new one, not the old one. More on the skin later. Anyway, I came across this article on a sister site of Perez Hilton‘s called Perezitos.com, and I thought I’d share it. The tips, especially the one about putting a mint in your mouth when you’re just about feeling full, are pretty good. I like that the Pavlovian response to having a mint will end up being that I’ll feel full and satiated. Anyway, happy reading – and I promise I’ll post a catch-up in a little bit.

Thanks for reading! – A

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December 16, 2011. Tags: , . 2011. 1 comment.

15

You’ve heard of Adele, right? I loved her back when virtually nobody knew about her, back when it seemed absurd for a white British girl to sing like a soulful Southern black woman, back when I was fat. And God love her, she’s fat too so I felt this camaraderie. Well, now I’m not fat, but I still love her. And one of the things I love about her, besides the fact that she is incredibly talented and so gorgeous!, is that her past two albums have been titled after how old she was when she wrote them – sort of an homage to where she was in life at that time. So in that vein, I’ve titled this post 15.

Why Fifteen? Great question! Let’s explain. The past month or two I’ve been in this holding pattern, where my weight was back and forth between the same 5-pound range. It was infuriating. Yes, I’m aware that water retention, hormones, time of day, etc. can change all this. But based on  consistent factors, I was going in circles on the scale. On top of that, I am so CLOSE to my “Never in a million years will this happen, but I wish it would” goal of being both a size 8 and weighing in the “normal” section of the charts doctors post that you look at and think “Who actually fits into these ranges?”

Well, in 15 short pounds I will fit into that range. And this morning when the scale told me that, I literally squealed with delight. No, I’m not normally that girl, but this happened to coincide with a change in the second number of my weight that I hadn’t seen before and I was happy about it. It’s weird, looking back at all of this, how my body has changed and how people treat me now. I feel like the world is open to me now, which is odd because it’s not as if there was a big “Do NOT Enter” sign in my way before.

I’m still amazed by what this tool has done for me. I am slightly less terrified that I’ll screw it up, given that I’m obviously not gaining weight back and it’s been 16 months. Clearly losing another 15 is the big goal, and maybe the grand supreme of all impossibilities, a bikini, will happen in Summer 2012. I’m trying to lose a solid 5 pounds (though I’m really shooting for 9) by Christmas. I have just over five weeks to accomplish this. Ok, now that I said that out loud to myself, maybe the 9 won’t happen. But I’ve also been SO busy I haven’t really worked out in the past few months so I’m hoping that when I start hitting the gym a bit harder that things will move a little quicker.

No matter what happens, I’m still so thankful for what this process has done for me. I’m happy that I will feel like a beautiful bride and when people tell me that, I will believe them. I’m happy that I can feel my fiancée able to touch his elbow with his opposite hand when he hugs me. And even if I, for some reason, never lose that 15 pounds and technically remain in the dreaded overweight category of the chart, I have achieved so much so I think I can live with that too.

Thanks for reading! – A

November 18, 2011. Tags: , , . 2011. Leave a comment.

High five!

Many thanks to my readers for all your support and love. I just wanted to remind you that you can be notified via email each time I post a new blog. Simply enter your email address and click on the “Sign Me Up!” button toward the bottom of the right-hand sidebar and poof! You’ll know when I’m spewing prolific genuius. OR you’ll find out about a new perfume, wedding disaster, or power bar. Either way, I see it as a win-win. To celebrate how win-win this is, please enjoy this photo of a pretty epic high five.

Thanks for reading! – A

November 15, 2011. 2011. Leave a comment.

Chicken Challenge: Week 1

So I have completed the busiest week I’ve had since August and I’m thrilled that I’m on the other end of it! The Chicken Challenge has TOTALLY helped me out. As you know, I’m cooking big on one day and then, with minimal prep, we will be eating well the entire week. So here’s a recap of what I did this first week.

On Sunday, I prepared the chicken for the entire challenge. I mentioned before that I bought like 20ish pounds of chicken breast while it was on crazy sale, and so I had to package it out and prep it for freezing. I separated it out into saran wrap (for freshness), then covered by tin foil (to keep frost out) followed by a plastic bag with the challenge week # and the date I packaged it. Then I roasted week 1’s portion, and we ate a little for dinner that night. I also portioned out the remaining chicken into baggies and added their seasonings so they were ready to go each night. Finally, I made a pot of chili with the chicken because I think soups and sauces are better a day or two after they’re made since they’ve had time to let the flavors really meld together.

Chicken Tacos

Monday rolled around and I wanted to bang out something quick since I had a rehearsal after work. I had 8 ounces of shredded chicken marinating in some taco seasoning and hot sauce. I threw that in a pan to simmer, and made some rice with diced tomatoes and a bit of hot sauce. I ended up throwing in some salsa at the last-minute and suddenly I had chicken tacos and mexican rice.

Tuesday was going to be another long day for me, so I prepared some bacon-roasted corn bread on Monday night for Tuesday’s meal of chili. The bread did not come out as planned – I think my addition of corn made the texture a little less crumbly than I would have liked – but we threw it into the chili like croutons and it was yummy! By the way, the recipe for my BBQ Chicken Chili is: 

BBQ Chicken Chili

Ingredients:

4-8 oz. Shredded Cooked Chicken
3 c Chicken Stock
1- 28 oz. can Diced Tomatoes
1 c Red Kidney Beans (canned or pre-cooked) *Rinse if using canned.
1 c Fat-free Refried Beans
1 c Frozen Peppers & Onions Mix (Look for stir fry or fajita mixes)
½ c Frozen Corn
¼- ½ c Barbecue Sauce (to taste)
2 Tbsp Frank’s Red Hot Sweet Heat BBQ Wing Sauce
1 ½ tsp Cumin
1 ½ tsp Garlic Powder
½ tsp Cinnamon

 1. Combine chicken stock and refried beans in 2 quart pot, stirring over medium heat until beans have dissolved.
2. Add Diced Tomatoes, Barbecue Sauce, Frank’s Wing Sauce and spices. Stir until incorporated.
3. Add remaining ingredients. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
4. Once boiling, reduce heat and allow chili to simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 Makes 8-10 Cups, or approximately 2 quarts.  For thicker chili, double amount of refried beans.

 Calories:

4 oz. Shredded Cooked Chicken 130
3 c Chicken Stock 30
1- 28 oz. can Diced Tomatoes 210
1 c Red Kidney Beans (canned or pre-cooked)
*Rinse if using canned.
200
1 c Fat-free Refried Beans 200
1 c Frozen Peppers & Onions Mix
(Look for stir fry or fajita mixes)
70
½ c Frozen Corn 120
¼- ½ c Barbecue Sauce (to taste) 100
2 Tbsp Frank’s Red Hot Sweet Heat BBQ Wing Sauce 40
1 ½ tsp Cumin 0
1 ½ tsp Garlic Powder 0
½ tsp Cinnamon 0
 

Total:    

1100 calories
 

Per 1 c Serving:   

138 calories

Buffalo Wing Pasta

Wednesday was another rehearsal, so I quickly threw down some pasta and whipped up a cream sauce using skim milk. I added in shredded chicken I had marinating in hot sauce, a little cayenne pepper, garlic and finished it with chopped fresh celery, and we had Buffalo Wing Pasta.

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Thursday was yet another long rehearsal night, so I let the pulled chicken marinating in barbecue sauce simmer down on the stove with some water. I threw some potatoes in the microwave to “bake” and made some corn for a BBQ chicken sandwich meal.

Quick Chicken Caesar Salad

Friday was a long work day. My schedule has changed a bit and Monday, Wednesday and Fridays are SUPER long for me now. I had a football game to attend, but by the time I would have gotten there I would have missed my kids performance and sat in the cold for the final quarter of the game so it really wasn’t worth the stress of trying to get there to be late. Still, I was SUPER tired when I got home so I was glad that I saved the easiest meal for that day. I opened a bag of salad mix, tossed the cubed chicken I had prepared on top, and the world’s easiest Chicken Caesar Salad was born.

All in all, I’m really happy with how this week turned out. It was nice knowing what I was having for dinner that night, I knew I didn’t have to do a lot of work to get good food, and in the end I didn’t end up eating a lot of trash in a bad decision that was brought on by stress and hunger. Yesterday, Sunday, marked the beginning of week 2, though I had a 15 hour work day and ultimately could not commit to baking my chicken. But the beauty of this whole thing is that I can roast it up tonight and my week is just shifted by a day. I’ll let you know how week two turns out!

Thanks for reading! – A

November 14, 2011. Tags: , , , . 2011. 1 comment.

Six? Seis? Sechs? Sei?

I am getting married in six months. According to Real Simple Weddings, here’s what I should be doing:

  1. Select and purchase invitations. Hire a calligrapher, if desired. Addressing cards is time-consuming, so you need to budget accordingly.
  2. Start planning a honeymoon. Make sure that your passports are up-to-date, and schedule doctors’ appointments for any shots you may need.
  3. Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses. Allow at least six months for the dresses to be ordered and sized.
  4. Meet with the officiant. Map out the ceremony and confirm that you have all the official documents for the wedding (these vary by county and religion).
  5. Send save-the-date cards. 
  6. Reserve structural and electrical necessities. Book portable toilets for outdoor events, extra chairs if you need them, lighting components, and so on.
  7. Book a florist. Florists can serve multiple clients on one day, which is why you can wait a little longer to engage one. Plus, at this point, you’ll be firm on what your wedding palette will be.
  8. Arrange transportation. Consider limos, minibuses, trolleys, and town cars. (But know that low-to-the-ground limos can make entries and exists dicey if you’re wearing a fitted gown.)
  9. Start composing a day-of timeline. Draw up a schedule of the event and slot in each component (the cake-cutting, the first dance).

I’m pretty tight on 1,3,6,7, & 8. # 4, meeting with the officiant, will probably happen in January after the hooplah of the holidays is over. Besides, now that band is almost done I will finally be able to peel myself out of bed on Sundays to attend church and I’d like to get that going again before I waltz in like a deadbeat and tell him how to marry us. #5, the Save the Dates, are in process. I, being a perfectionist, sent myself a test one just this morning. As soon as it arrives, unscathed, I think I’ll be shipping them off to my guests. #9, the day-of-timeline, has been on my mind for months. I have been thinking about the logistics of carefully orchestrating the moments of my big day. I still have nothing on paper, so I guess I should hit that up.

But the big whammy, #2, the honeymoon, is breaking my heart. We had such grand dreams. We thought it was possible. I’m pretty sure it is not. 😦 I want so much for our big day and the more I think about it, I would rather spend my money on that moment instead of a vacation. Plus, M is busting his buns to pitch in and I don’t want to over-tax him. I think we’ll probably end up finding a last-minute 4-night tropical thing a few weeks after the wedding, and will maybe plan a big trip for our 6 month or 1 year anniversary. But I’m not going to lie, there’s a little bit of sting knowing that I won’t be jetting off immediately following my ceremony to lands afar. But then again, who can do that anymore if they’re paying for their wedding themselves?

Either way, I am happy that I only have 6 months left. Yes, it’s stressful, but I’m ready for it to happen. I’m ready for my planning to end and just let the chips fall where they may. A constant worrier, I know I will be in knots up until the moment I walk down the aisle, but I’m still psyched for its end. Correction: I’m excited for our real life to begin. In the interim, if you know of any cheap last-minute travel sites or you’re willing to lend us your awesome cabana/timeshare/ grandma’s house in a cool location, hook a sister up! We’re not picky, we just require wifi and a big tub. 🙂

Thanks for reading! – A

November 7, 2011. Tags: , , , , . 2011. Leave a comment.

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