Just the Facts: Month 1

I can't believe it's already been a month since I started this new lifestyle.  While I hoped for something amazing to happen, I really didn't put the work in like I should have.  I was still pretty satisfied to see some smaller measurements, though!

Neck:                  17         (No change)
Left arm:              21         (No change)
Right arm:            20 1/2   (LOST 1/2 inch)
Bust:                    49 3/4   (No change)
Upper waist:        47 1/4   (No change)
Lower waist:        52 1/2   (LOST 3/4 inch)
Hips:                    51 1/2   (LOST 1 1/4 inches)
Left thigh:             32 1/2   (LOST 1 1/2 inches)
Right thigh:           33         (LOST 1/2 inch)
Left calf:               17 3/4   (No change)
Right calf:             18 1/2   (No change)

Month 1 Total Inch Loss:  4 1/2 inches


Weigh-In: Week 4

I have to admit, I did less than stellar this week on all things weight loss.  I am having a really hard time balancing school, work, and a new healthy lifestyle.  I have been SO busy lately.  I've also got a serious case of the winter blues.  I can't wait for spring!  I want to get outside and work out! 

I guess I'll stop whining and making excuses now.  This next week is going to be great!  I also am trying to keep this weight loss in perspective.  I knew from the beginning that it wasn't going to all come off at once.  Even if I only lose this amount of weight each month, that's about 77 pounds in a year.  Even small losses add up over time.

Beginning Weight: 279.8

Week 4 Weight: 279.8

Week 4 Weight Loss: 0 pounds

Total Weight Loss: 6.4 pounds


Weigh-In: Week 3

Toot toot!  What was that?  Oh, that was just me tooting my own horn.  I had a GREAT week this week.  I actually worked out all week!  In the past, I have sometimes not lost any weight when I first started working out.  I think my body kind of freaks out that I am actually moving and just tries to hold on to everything, so I was pretty nervous for the weigh-in this morning.  But...I did lose weight!  Good-bye forever 280s!  I also feel great this week.  It's amazing what moving around a little bit will do for your mood.  Even an epic fail in the kitchen when trying to make some whole wheat blueberry muffins did not get me down!

Beginning Weight: 282.0

Week 3 Weight: 279.8

Week 3 Weight Loss: 2.2 pounds

Total Weight Loss: 6.4 pounds


A Little Motivation

It seems like every day I am losing motivation more and more. My brain is telling me to get up and work out, but my body just isn't listening! I tell myself every night that tomorrow is going to be the day I start exercising. Now two weeks have gone by on this weight loss journey, and I've done nothing but sit around.

Well, tonight I thought I might give myself a little kick in the pants to get off the couch and get going! This May, I will finally finish my master's degree (Yeah me!). I have never been on a "real" vacation, and I promised myself that I would go somewhere fun as soon as I was done with school. Today I finally decided to go to Orlando to visit Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Now, being overweight and going to theme parks don't really mix well. There's a lot of walking. It's hot. Oh, yeah, and overweight people don't fit on the rides. Don't even get me started on the flight to get to Orlando.  Flying when you're fat = hell on earth.

Photo Credit: Universal Studios

After a little online research, I determined that I probably won't be able to fit on some of the best rides at Universal. I'm leaving May 17th, so I have exactly 4 months to get into fit-in-the-best-rides-at-Universal shape.  I probably need to lose around 40 pounds, which is just over 2 pounds a week.  I think it's a great goal to shoot for and will definitely keep me motivated in the coming months.

How do you keep yourself motivated when all else fails?


Weigh-In: Week 2

This week went by SO fast. I definitely did not feel ready for another weigh-in already. Once again this week I did a great job on the healthy eating, but I didn't exercise as much as I would have liked (i.e. I didn't exercise at all). Every day something seems to happen that keeps me from making the time to work out. This week, my goal is to at least do something to get my heart pounding every day, even if it's not a full-on workout.

Beginning Weight: 283.0
Week 2 Weight: 282.0

Week 2 Weight Loss: 1.0 pound

Total Weight Loss: 4.2 pounds


Recipe: Creamy Chicken and Rice (No Can Opener Required)

One of my goals for eating healthier is to try to eliminate processed foods.  Well, you don't get much more processed than a can of condensed cream of who-knows-what soup.  I reinvented this chicken and rice casserole without using any cans, and I couldn't be happier with it.  This is a quick and easy meal that you can feel good about.  As a bonus, the leftovers are even better than the original.

Creamy Chicken and Rice

1 package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 lbs), trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup long-grain white rice, uncooked
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of fresh cracked pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Heat 1/4 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt into the skillet and add chicken thigh pieces.  Once the chicken is in the pan, do NOT touch it for at least a minute!  This will keep it from sticking to the pan. 

Brown the chicken on all sides and remove it from the skillet.  I usually do this in three batches, adding more olive oil and salt before each batch.  You are not trying to cook the chicken all the way through, so this step should only take 2-3 minutes on each side.

Once chicken is browned and set aside, add remaining olive oil and the onions to the skillet.  Saute onions until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for another minute.

Deglaze the pan by adding the chicken broth.  Then stir the mixture to get all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Remove the skillet from the heat and add the sour cream, thyme, poultry seasoning, paprika, and pepper.

Pour uncooked rice into the bottom of a casserole dish and top with the chicken broth/sour cream mixture.  Stir to combine.  Spread the chicken thighs evenly over the casserole. 

Cover tightly with foil.  Bake in a covered casserole dish at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove from the oven, stir the chicken and rice, and bake for another 15 minutes.  Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Serves:  5 to 6

Serving Suggestions:
Serve this with a quick chopped veggie salad for a filling and well-balanced meal.

Approximate Nutrition Facts Per Serving (Based on 5 servings):
Calories: 304
Fat: 12 grams
Saturated Fat: 4.5 grams
Protein: 24 grams
Carbohydrates: 27 grams
Fiber: 0.8 grams


A Note About Salt

Photo by Carlos Porto

I've been cooking a lot of soups lately.  They simmer all day and fill the house with warmth, and you can sneak a TON of veggies into your diet this way.  I also love that you can make a huge batch and eat it all week.  Nothing beats a soul-warming soup lunch on a cold day.  Lately, though, it seems that soup has been getting a bad rap because most pre-made soups are high in sodium.  When you make your own, you can easily control the amount of salt you put in your soups.  However, I'm a believer that a little salt in a dish can transform a healthy dish from bland to outstanding.

If you've been avoiding soup or other higher-sodium foods because you are trying to eat healthier or lose weight, you might find this Yahoo! article by David Zinczenko interesting.  David says that even people with high blood pressure don't necessarily need to reduce their salt intake.  Instead, they should increase their intake of potassium.  It turns out that balancing sodium and potassium intake is the key to avoiding high blood pressure caused by high sodium intake.

Potassium Superstars
  • Almonds
  • Artichokes
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Raisins
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Most types of beans (pinto, black, kidney, etc.)
  • Potatoes
  • Winter squash
Here's some more good news.  Most sodium in the average American's diet is caused by processed foods.  If you cook your own food from whole ingredients, you can salt your meal to satisfy your tastes and still be getting a reasonable and healthy amount of sodium in your diet!


Weigh-In: Week 1

Today was my first weekly weigh-in.  I ate healthy all week, and I'm very proud of myself for that.  I tried to motivate myself to work out every day, but I never did.  This week I am going to focus on exercise and continuing to eat healthy.  I know the key to weight loss is a combination of healthful eating and regular exercise.  For me, getting started is the hardest part.

Beginning Weight: 286.2
Week 1 Weight: 283.0

Week 1 Weight Loss: 3.2 pounds

Total Weight Loss: 3.2 pounds


So far, so good...

It's been a great week so far.  I've been cooking every night and eating very healthy.  Today I made a super yummy white bean, roasted garlic, and ham soup (I'll share the recipe soon!).  It was SO satisfying and uber-healthy!!  You gotta love that.  I am very excited for Saturday to see how much weight I have lost this week.


Just The Facts

I did my official January 1st weigh-in and measurements today.

January 1 starting weight: 286.2

     Neck:  17
     Left arm:  21
     Right arm:  21
     Bust:  49 3/4
     Upper waist:  47 1/4
     Lower waist:  53 1/4
     Hips:  52 3/4
     Left thigh:  34
     Right thigh:  33 1/2
     Left calf:  17 3/4
     Right calf:  18 1/2