Public Confessions and Other Commitments

There is something about telling another person your sins that make them real and helps you to move on. That’s why the Catholics like confession I guess. That’s why one of the 12 steps is to admit your wrong doings and make amends whenever possible. Well, I have some confessions to make.

1. I eat WAY too much peanut butter. This is not a new love affair for me. It’s a life long love that only grows stronger. But in the last 3 months, I would venture to say it is really getting to be something I might openly admit to having an addiction to. I love PB so much I named my childhood cat after this my beloved snack food. And my hippie parents never batted an eye. Dad loves the stuff too 😉 Now, lets get something straight. I am a peanut butter snob. I really love natural, fresh ground peanut butter. Nothing but peanuts in my peanut butter please!

2. I really don’t like cooking. I especially don’t like cooking that involves a lot of work. I tend to eat the same things over and over just because they are easy and I know I can make them without setting the kitchen on fire.

3. I REALLY don’t drink enough water. This used to be the easiest thing every for me. I had no trouble getting in 8-10 glasses a day and 12-15 on exercise days. Now I barely get in the 8 on exercise days. I’m not sure what happened, but I have to improve the H2O intake for sure.

This brings me to the public commitment part of today’s programming. I’m here to say that I am committing to drinking 8 glasses of water a day for the next week. I will. I will finish off at least 2 before lunch and at least 2 more before I leave work.

I’ve confessed and committed. Your turn. What do you need to tell the world you’re working on?

Delayed Gratification

Do you know Chocolate Covered Katie? If not, you should. Healthy desserts? Many vegan? I’m in.

Sometime ago, I pinned this recipe for Peach Breakfast Bake. I have a not-so-secret love affair with peaches and more recently with nectarines. Seriously, my addiction to nectarines might be reaching intervention level soon. But they are a superfood! Not when you overdose, Becky. Anyway, I decided there was no way I was going to wait 45 minutes first thing in the morning for this bad boy to bake, so I popped it into the oven last night. Let me tell you that it took every ounce of restraint I had not to gobble it up and “Screw you Breakfast! You can have eggs!” It smelled heavenly and made my whole apartment smell heavenly. But I was a good girl and left it until this morning when I woke up with drool practically hanging to my knees.

As you can see, I put it over plain yogurt, but honestly, I think vanilla would have been better, and ice cream would have been best. I’m not opposed to eating ice cream for breakfast, I just don’t have any. The recipe says it makes 3 servings. 3 servings for who? Elves? Must be for people who don’t like food! I will admit to being a glutton who ate the whole pan. I tried to kid myself by only taking half, but I knew that wasn’t going to do it. My nectarine fetish kicked it the minute my tongue got a hint of that sweet goodness and I had to finish off every single crumb.

Now for my alterations:

-I only used 1 tbsp of brown sugar in the topping and no other sweetener anywhere else. Peaches are sweet.

– I used crushed rice chex since that’s what I had and it’s going stale anyway.

-I used 1 peach and 1 nectarine, again because it’s what I had. Probably could have used 1 more piece of fruit.

-No margarine for me (ick!) I used coconut oil. (margarine and soy “cheese” is where I start crossing hairs with vegans on the “healthiness” of lifestyles)

This recipe is a keeper. And seriously, go check out CCK’s other recipes. And nectarines. Eat more nectarines.

What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been

Disclaimer: I’m not sure what exactly my reasoning is behind this post. Part of me is really ashamed of what you are about to see. Part of me feels like it is way too much bragging. Part of me feels like it is really cathartic. I’m not sure. But it is all part of my journey and something I’ve been sort of mulling on for a while. So, somewhat against my better judgement, here goes nothing.

I keep seeing this motivational image on Pinterest. I’m mildly ashamed to admit that it’s from Koutney Kardashin’s website (but hey, at least I had to use Google Image to determine that).

Source: Kourtney Kardashian (don’t judge)

I feel like I’ve gone in the reverse order. Yes, I’ve lost weight. Yes, I’ve gotten stronger and gained muscles. But, as I’ve said before, I’ve always seen myself as a big girl.  You have to understand that for most of my life, I was a big girl. 

Age 18 maybe (note the irony of the subject matter of my reading material)

 

Then there’s this. This picture is actually in my kitchen right now. It use to hang in my pantry, but for now it’s just sitting on the inside of a cabinet. I have no idea what I weigh in this picture, but it’s probably over 200 pounds. It’s likely the only picture of me close to that heavy. Do you want to know what I notice about myself? My eyes. My face is so bloated that my eyes even look fat.

Age 20

By the time I was preparing to get married in 2004, I was actually starting to look seriously at my weight. I’ve yo-yoed several times between somewhere close to 200 and closer to 140. It didn’t take long for me to go from a decent sized bride (sorry, no wedding pictures, I hope you can understand) to this 2 years later:

Age 23

 

You can see by later pictures that I did get better, but was still always a “bigger” person.

Age 25

Age 26

Fast forward to the current. People keep telling me how different I look. My clothes don’t fit. But when I look in the mirror, I see the girl standing next to Cinderella: above average but not huge and can look ok in appropriately fitting clothes. Like millions of American woman, I have a highly distorted image of my body.

Then I went to the beach this weekend. I snapped a couple of quick pics with my phone thinking maybe I would stick them on facebook. When I looked at them, I almost didn’t recognize myself. The picture on the right is from 2010 (I think) and the picture on the left is from this past week.

2010 (Age 27)/ 2012 (age 29) Yes, its a different (but similar) swim suit

 

Now, it’s not the most flattering picture of me, but the difference is obvious even to me at this point. I have to accept my size. Now I get it. I’m seeing what everyone else saw weeks ago. For the 2nd time in as many weeks someone has commented on my abs. I have abs? Holy crap! I have abs!  

Very old size 14s on underneath brand new size 4s

Size 14 to a size 4. I’ve held on to those shorts “just in case” for several years. I think I might can finally let them go.

Loosing the Forest for the Trees: Reblog: The Mindful Foodie

Awesome article. Once again, we have lost the forest for the trees. It REALLY is about WHAT you eat and WHERE it comes from when it comes to your health. It’s a matter of simplifying everything we all do to the basics, but that is so hard for so many to grasp. Health does not have to be complicated. Eat. Real. Food.

No Excuses, But Maybe a Little Forgiveness

I am a total list maker. I mean, a queen of list makers. I make lists of things to make lists of. This was my “To Do” list for this weekend:

See anything that stands out? I got a lot done! But what I didn’t get to was the work out. I’m getting ready to go out of town soon, so I had a lot I needed to get done in preparation for that, and I had household chores that needed done too. (And the haircut involved a 45 minute drive each way.) This was one jam packed weekend. I was really feeling guilty about not getting the work out done though. I told my best buddy (and work out accountability partner) that I didn’t make it this weekend. He asked me when the last time I missed a Saturday workout was. I can’t remember. He also asked me what I did instead of working out. I had good excuses, but they were all excuses. My friend then told me what I needed to hear most, it’s ok to miss one sometimes because Life Happens. He reminded me that I said this to him when he started a new job that was running him 60 hours a week for a while. BUT! You have to keep going.

This is not an opportunity to fall off the workout wagon. The old me would have skipped this weekend and then skipped this whole week doing the rest of the stuff on this list (you see I didn’t get any of the cooking done either but managed to shop ok!), then skipped the week I’m on vacation, then who knows when or if I would be back to exercise. I will not allow old habits to creep back in. I have noticed that they do that sometimes on the sly when I don’t realize it. As for this weekend, I will not make excuses for missing my workout, but I will forgive myself and not worry about it because I know I will be back at the gym tomorrow. I even bought a pair of weight lifting gloves on my little shopping trip 😉

To Infinity and Beyond

“We can never judge where we will be tomorrow by where we are today.”

This last year has been a year of massive personal change for me. In fact, that last sentence might be is an understatement. I’ve been through a separation and am preparing to finalize my divorce in the coming month. I have sold the home my husband and I bought together and said goodbye to the dreams that went with it as well. I have moved 30 some odd miles up the road to a new city and into a much smaller apartment closer to work. I have said goodbye to processed foods, artificial coloring, flavoring, and sweeteners, chemical additives, and most white flour and sugar. I have pretty much written off alcohol and have cut way back on the amount of caffeine in my life. Exercise has gone from being something I do because I should, do something I do because I want to. My body has let go of close to 40 pounds of dead weight. My outlook on life has switched from a glass is half empty to glass is overflowing full of good because I choose to make it that way. I have become an active participant in my own destiny rather than watching life float by me. I can’t begin to describe how much I have changed mentally.

We are truly only limited by our own boundaries, as I have come to realize.  What I can do today is not an indication of what I can do tomorrow. Tomorrow has its own possibilities. Stop and think about that for a minute. On your worst day, the day you think you have f-ed up the worst of the worst, everything that could go wrong has, you still have the chance to start all over again in the morning. Just like the phoenix, you can rise from the burnt ashes of who you are today to become something new and amazing tomorrow. And if today has already been amazing, that’s not the upper limit. You can continue to advance higher than today’s aspirations by grabbing tomorrow by the horns. To quote an awesome superhero, you really can go “to infinity and beyond” as long as you don’t limit yourself. 

If I judged my tomorrow by today I would still be 200 pounds and a size 18. I would still be sullen about how I was unhappy and there was nothing I could do about it. I would still be drowning my sorrows in a bottle and getting my wings with Red Bull.  Instead, I listened when that little voice inside me spoke up and said, “NOW, change your life NOW or never.” And now my tomorrows all look awesome. They look awesome because I choose to see them as awesome.

I’m looking at another set of personal crossroads in my windshield right now. It’s a ways off in the distance, but I know it’s approaching. Normally something so big would be a major source of apprehension for me…or I would shove it off as a “no way Josè” kind of situation. But with this outlook in mind, I am really trying not to judge the chance to change my tomorrow based on my today. I know that If can look at all the possibilities with an open mind, there is a chance for real change for me. I just have to be open to seeing it.

 

Tastebuds? Oh Tastebuds? Where Did You Go?

I had some serious running around to do this morning on my day off beginning early. As is not unheard of for me (but I am getting better-promise!) I stayed up a little too late last night and slept a little too late this morning. I rushed out the door bleary eyed with a protein shake and peanut butter toast in hand. By mid morning my eyelids were droopy, so I popped into Starbucks for a pick me up. Caffeine is a drug. No two ways around that, Boss. I am about a 100x better about my love affair with this drug than I use to be, but we do still rendezvous on occasion, and no, I don’t want to hear about the evil empire that is Starbucks.

Typically I am a coffee drinker, meaning coffee should taste like coffee and be black in color. This is much to my parents shock and awe as they have no idea how I developed such an eccentric habit as they do not partake in such nonsense. How did I develop this habit? Enter the Mocha Latte. In college it is cool to drink coffee, but I wasn’t so hot on the taste of coffee. Now this mocha latte thing, that’s kinda like caffeinated hot chocolate. I’m down with that. From there it was a downward spiral to my current desire for plain old Joe. Don’t get me wrong, I will admit fully to being a coffee snob. I have bean preferences, and not to brag or anything, but I do have a Gold Starbucks card. (Random fact time: The barista at the Robinhood Rd Starbucks told me that he’d never seen a card with just a first name on it. I told him that I was so cool I only needed 1 name. You know, like Cher or Madonna, or Prince or something.)

Probably the only gold card I’ll ever own. Maybe If I had one of the other kind I’d have a better camera and take better pictures, but then again, probably not.

Back to the point. I popped into Starbucks today for a fix to try and lift my eyelids a little after my morning of business. I decided, what the heck, live a little! Give me an Iced Soy Mocha Latte. I haven’t had one in months, and definitely not since I started on this real food lifestyle change. My mouth started to water in anticipation. Epic Fail. First off the dang thing was $4.92 for a tall. Four F-N dollars and 92 cents??? For a cup of expresso, soy milk, and a little chocolate syrup? Worse: It doesn’t taste lke I remember it. It’s so sweet I couldn’t even finish it. I guess my tastebuds have officially reset from clean eating. It tastes fake and overly sweet. Like a bad candy bar.

*Sigh* Next time I need my caffeine fix, I’ll stick with plain old coffee that always tastes like coffee.