Down another half a pound today. That makes 16.5 for the year, and only 31 to go. Very excited to see my scale moving again. I tend to lose in batches – two or three pounds over the course of five or six days, and then I just hang there for a week or so. But whatever, progress is progress. I’ll take it.
Things have been very stressful. Lots of work. School is almost over and the kids will be on summer vacation soon. This is less of an impact than it used to be when they were younger, but it does affect my schedule. My son will soon be very busy with baseball, which means Mom will be very busy getting him places and going to his games. My daughter is having some bullying issues at school. And then just the regular stress of every day life. I am feeling a little disconnected right now. People I want to spend time with and talk to aren’t available. People I’d rather not spend time with and talk to seem to be daily encounters. All very frustrating, but I’m too busy to whine about it. Just have to keep rolling along.
A bright spot: In addition to my recent NSVs, I took Posey for a walk yesterday and noticed how much better she is doing on her leash. She is only 5 months old and it’s often a fight to get through a simple walk through our neighborhood. She hardly pulled at all yesterday and I was really proud of her. So I guess we’re both making progress.
And now, off for a grocery run and errand-a-thon before coming home to do some work and all that fun stuff. Hope you all have a lovely day.
I haven’t been blogging for a while. Very wrapped up in work and deadlines. There’s not much to report. I’m down another half a pound, making it 16 for the year. I have been mostly following Primal, although I have had a few undisciplined moments. Not so much grains, but sugary stuff. And thankfully, not a lot. But I seem to be back on track, and although the scale is moving slowly, I see that my body fat is decreasing, and that makes me feel great. Just wish I could get my workload to decrease the way my body fat is.
I’ve had a few NSVs. One of my favorites is that I was able to wear this sweet necklace my son gave me for Christmas. I’ve always had what I call a “football neck.” Even at my slimmest, my neck was on the large side. When my son gave me this for Christmas, it fit, but it was a little snug, and I knew it would be uncomfortable if I wore it for very long. Well, last Saturday my son had a doubleheader. I’m his team’s score keeper, so I get to the field a little early so he can warm up and then I don’t have a lot to do, so I usually walk on the track right next to the field until it’s time to get my book ready. That morning I was feeling good and decided to try on the necklace.
Walking the track before my son's game
Check it out. Not only is it no longer snug, but I’ve got some room to spare. Feeling very good about that. I am also seeing a lot of bone structure I hadn’t seen in a really long time. My cheeks and collarbones are much more pronounced, but still in a healthy way.
Since we finally got some spring weather, I pulled down my big box of warm weather clothes and was very pleasantly surprised to discover that nearly everything fit, and much of it was too big. There is one pair of shorts that’s too small, but they’re made by Levi’s, which tend to run a size small, in my experience. They did zip and button, but of course that doesn’t mean they looked good. Hopefully by the end of the summer, I’ll be rockin’ those Levis.
Finally, my favorite NSV of all. A while ago, I had to buy some new bras. Several years ago, when I lost 55 pounds, I lost 9″ off my waist, about 6 or 8″ off my hips (don’t remember), and only 2″ off my chest. I’ve talked about this before, but in case you’re new here and need some perspective, I was a 36D in high school, at 5′7″ and a very athletic 135 pounds. I realize that no matter how much weight I lose, I’m always going to have a big chest. That’s the way God made me, take it or leave it. So a while back, I found that my bras were too small, and the kind I buy were on sale, so I bought some. I was a little sad to go up to a bigger size, but I also know it’s important to get a bra that fits properly, no matter what size you wear. A good bra makes a bad outfit look better. A bad bra makes a good outfit look worse. So, I begrudgingly went up a size, in both the band and the cup.
Except … now they’re way too big. Like wwwwaaaaayyyyyy too big. Straps sliding down my shoulders. Cups gapping. Way too big. And it kills me that I have to go into a plus size store to buy bras, since other stores don’t carry much in my size. I can’t buy any clothes in there since I’m a size 10 or 12, but going in there reminds me of how much I hated having that store as my only option. And not only that, bras, especially those in my size range, are expensive. So, I was a little dismayed that I’d have to go buy new ones, even if it was for a good reason. Then I remembered that I had put my old ones aside when I went up a size. I tried them on and … they fit perfectly.
At some point, they’ll still need to be replaced, but they’ll do for now. Last time around, it took me 13 months to lose 2″ in my chest. This time, it took 6 weeks. And if I lose just a little more there, I’ll be able to shop in a regular store for my bras for the first time in about 25 years.
I truly believe there’s no better NSV than buying smaller underwear, and that includes bras. Seriously, what is better than that? It feels good to know I’m making successful choices, and I plan to continue on this path, no matter how long it takes.
Well, I have been quite busy lately, but I finally have a minute to get back to blogging, so here I go. After all the weirdness of my cycle, I have finally broken through my plateau. Down another pound as of this morning. That makes 15.5 for the year, just about 1/3 of the way to my bigger goal. That in itself is exciting, but the big news for me is that I’m now at a lower weight than my lowest weight for all of last year.
I use the Lose It app on my iPod. I track my workouts and occasionally I will track my food, just to see how I’m doing. I’m not going to lie, though: I’ve always hated tracking food. I know it’s supposed to make you more conscious of what you eat and make you more accountable. But to me it just feels like punishment and I hate being a slave to a food journal. I used to use Lose It for tracking my weight, and then I gained a couple pounds after summer vacation. Didn’t want to add that – it posts to my Facebook account – so I figured I’d wait until the number dropped. Then another pound or two crept on. And then a couple more. January 1st rolls around and I’m up 14 pounds from my last recorded weight.
I struggled with this. Do I just enter my new weight and advertise my 14 pound gain, or do I keep it to myself and work harder to take it off? Well, of course, I chose the latter. But today, it felt SO good to log in and see that my weight was finally under the last recorded weight, by a whole pound and a half.
One good thing about my cycle being thrown off: no significant weight gain. I went up a pound, but stayed there. Normally, I will fluctuate about 3 pounds during this time, and then it would slowly come off, half a pound at a time. It’s very frustrating. I feel like I’ve lost 1,000 pounds this way, and gained 1,001. But there was none of that at all. I went up 1 pound. Stayed at that number for about a week. Then dropped that pound. And then dropped another. Simple as that. I’m hopeful that I will be back to losing steadily again, now that my cycle has worked itself out.
I have spent a week debating whether or not to post about this. I’m just going to dive in sans filter here, and hope it’s not too personal. I started following a mostly Primal Blueprint diet on April 4. Since then I’ve lost 5 pounds, and in the past 2 weeks, my body fat has dropped about 4 percent. I’m down about an inch to an inch and a quarter in my waist, too. Those are nice results; however, there has been one drawback: my period stopped.
This is the part where you are invited to close this window and read something else if you can’t handle frank discussion about womanly systems. It’s OK. I understand. Go if you must. No hurt feelings here.
But if you’re still here, let’s chat. I have never had a regular period without medical ‘help.’ All of the women in my family are like this. Our hormones are ever so slightly out of balance and we just need a little nudge to be regular. About a year ago, my doctor decided that, at my advanced age of 44+, it was time for me to stop taking that ‘help,’ for the betterment of my health. Frankly, I was happy to do that. No more pills. Yes, they made things easier. I could plan vacations and know what to pack, when to plan certain, uhh, events. But there was always that “what if I forgot to take my pill” mini hysteria question lurking in the back of my mind.
See, I’ve been pregnant four times, with five babies. I have given birth to two children. I’d rather not go into a lot of detail here. Let’s just say that I feel very grateful for the two wonderful children I have. They are so incredibly precious to me and I know that no matter what I do with my skills, how many books, articles, or other assignments I write, or how much money I earn, the most important job I’ll ever have is being their mother. But I’m a big believer that everything in life happens for a reason. That doesn’t mean you will understand the reason, or that you won’t suffer or cry or hate the outcome or question your beliefs at times. It just means there’s a reason.
Now, with that said, I’ve been off the pill for close to a year and was still staying fairly predictable with my cycle. Until this month. I finally started, 11 days late. I realize some of this could be my body just going back to its old ways of not following a regular schedule. (Totally ironic if you know how much I love routine.) But given the dramatic drop in my body fat, I’m leaning toward ketosis as an explanation.
OK, what’s ketosis, you ask? It’s when your body uses fat for energy. Ketones are molecules generated during fat metabolism. So if you’re not eating a lot of carbs, you’re not burning glucose, so you burn fat instead. That’s why people on low carb diets, whether Primal, Paleo, Atkin’s, or some other plan, usually see results right away. If you’re trying to lose weight, fat burning is a good thing, right? Well, yes and no. You do want to burn fat, of course. That’s sort of the goal when it comes to weight loss, isn’t it? You just don’t want to do it so quickly that your body doesn’t properly adjust to the changes in your metabolism. And it can lead to disruptions in your system, some of which can be dangerous.
That’s a brief summary, with the injection of a little opinion based on my own experiences. In the world of WebMD and Wikipedia, it should be noted that you can’t always believe everything you read or hear. But I feel like I know my body better than anyone, so I’m proceeding with caution. Before anyone asks, I know I’m not pregnant. (Phew!) And I’ve not scheduled a visit with my doctor. From my research, I’ve come to the conclusion that with the addition of a few more carbs, which don’t have to be grain-based, in my daily diet, I could probably get myself back on track. And of course there’s always the possibility that my cycle was going to derail at some point anyway, and this has nothing to do with dietary changes. I just think it’s suspiciously coincidental that this happened as I made changes to my diet. Dramatic change is intended to produce dramatic change, so that makes sense. It just may not have been a dramatic change I was counting on.
So … my weight is holding steady. Not going down, but not going up. Not even fluctuating like it used to every single day, so that in itself is encouraging. I think I was also stressing over the very late period, as well as a few other things, and that probably made me hold onto some weight. But that’s all done now. My body fat is at a level I haven’t seen since I was about 15-20 pounds lighter, so that’s very encouraging. I don’t want to see it plummet overnight, but it seemed like with my previous weight loss efforts, I would show favorable scale numbers, but my body fat never really seemed to budge. So this is all very positive, overall. Clearly, the changes in my diet are making a difference there.
For now, I will see how I feel and what my scale says in a few days and then take it from there.
I’m taking a little time off from work. Well, it’s never really time off. I’m just slowing down for a few days. I’ve nearly wrapped up all the ads in this issue, and still have a few interviews to do and ads to write, but I’ve got a few days break before they’re scheduled, and I’m taking advantage. Yesterday I do NO work at all. It’s not that I didn’t have anything to do, I just decided to do it another time since it wasn’t time-sensitive. Good to have those days once in a while. Today, I’m doing a little work, but mostly administrative stuff. In the meantime, I’ve been looking up recipes and planning menus. This has been the first full week of dinners for my family based on Primal Blueprint. So far, so good. I have even incorporated some grains for them so they’re not feeling deprived and I just skip that part of the meal or have something else. Win-win.
On Thursdays, we usually have bagels and on Fridays we usually have muffins. Of course, those are not options for me right now. I will find some Primal-friendly muffin recipes at some point, but the bagels are definitely out. I usually make myself a smoothie those days and I might have a cheese stick or hard boiled egg, too. Seems like it’s not a meal if I don’t work my jaws at some point. However, Thursday is my regular grocery day and sometimes the fruit selection is a bit lacking around here on those mornings. I never want to go to the grocery store hungry, so it can be a bit of a pickle.
While looking for recipes, I came across this one for Broccoli & Cheese Mini Omelets. I thought, ‘Oh yeahhhh, I could totally do that!’ And before I even started baking, I was already thinking, ‘Hey, I’ve got some leftover roasted turkey breast from Cobb salad the other night. I’ll use some of that, too.’ And, ‘Oooh, I bet a little crumbled bacon would be good in that.’ This is what I love about cooking. To me, a good recipe is a little black dress. I can accessorize it to meet my needs for any occasion and I’m good to go. When I find something my family likes, we sit at the table and offer suggestions of different ways to customize the recipe and come up with infinite possibilities.
So, today I made these. Don’t they look beautiful?
Broccoli, Turkey & Cheese Omelet Muffins
They were SO delicious. I couldn’t stop at one. I figured I’d make a batch and freeze them. Then I can pop them in the microwave for a quick breakfast when my family is enjoying their carb onslaught bagels or muffins.
They are packed with steamed broccoli, which I chopped up very fine, a sprinkling of kosher salt, a generous amount of black pepper, a mere teaspoon of olive oil, some oven roasted turkey breast, also chopped very fine, cheddar cheese, eggs, and egg whites. I only used the salt once, instead of twice as stated in the recipe. I don’t like the taste and figured there was enough salt in the turkey anyway. I only had cheddar, so that’s all I used. Other cheeses would be great, though. They have a wonderful savory quality, and the texture was perfect. Moist without being soggy, firm without being dry. I actually got 12 muffins out of this recipe, instead of 9 as written, BUT I did have to add a little more egg/egg white. I mixed the turkey in with the broccoli and layered that on the bottom, but it all mixed together beautifully while it baked.
I intended to take one bite to show you the inside. But it was so yummy I actually had two. OK, three. And then I ate another one.
I couldn't help myself!
I can’t wait for them to cool off so I can put them in a bag and get them in the freezer. I’m sure if I don’t do that immediately, I’ll eat the rest another one.
I’m totally stoked that this is a new option for me. One challenge in giving up grains has been finding quick ‘grab and go’ options for a meal or snack. This will definitely fill that void. I’ll try to incorporate this into my weekly food prep, and make different variations, so I’ll always have something ready.
That’s all that’s going on here. My weight is holding steady, although I’ve noticed that my body fat has gone down, and it appears I’ve lost another half inch in my waist. I had to cut some of my cardio short this week, and will have to skip my weekly treadmill 5K tomorrow because my son has an early baseball game 30 minutes away from home. (A big, heartfelt ppllbbtthh! to whomever scheduled that, by the way.) I’m feeling strong, healthy, and energetic. And, dare I say, slimmer. And dare I even more say, beautiful. I am seeing bone structure I haven’t seen in quite a while. Sort of forgot what that looked like, and I find myself smiling a lot more recently. Things are going well. They’re just going a little slowly for my liking. But this isn’t a race. It’s the rest of my life. It feels like a lot of things are finally falling into place, personally and professionally, and I finally feel like I’m making healthy, positive changes that will lead me to where I want to be.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Well hi there. I took a few days off from blogging because life got hectic. And then it slowed down and I just wanted to be lazy while I had the chance. But I’m back now.
For any of you (OK, probably no one) who read my blog way back when, you may know that a few years ago I took my daughter off dairy and reduced her sugar intake when she was displaying symptoms of ADD and the school psychologist deemed it so minor that he wouldn’t even see her. This was an extension of some healthier eating habits we’d already established, but my girl LOVES her sugar and carbs, so this was a tough transition. From the very start, I told her that we shouldn’t focus on the things she couldn’t have, but instead concentrate on the things she could have. (Sound familiar? Sort of a theme around here.) And I found this recipe for black bean brownies, which she loved. Yes, black beans. Yes, weird. Yes, yummy.
So let’s fast forward a few years. One thing I have missed with my Primal-ish eating is a real dessert. I’d gotten back to the habit of only eating dessert on Sundays, which was way better than where I had been, but I was having trouble finding recipes for things I actually wanted to eat. Then I discovered a recipe for sweet potato Paleo brownies. OK, that I can do.
And am I ever glad I did.
In my experience, most of the unconventional, “let’s use veggies or other non-traditional baking ingredients and call it dessert” recipes wind up looking like a turd a little different. They may taste fine but nonetheless, there is that “turd” odd appearance factor which can make them a little difficult to enjoy.
But look at this:
They are made with dark chocolate and are super fudgy. These actually came out a little too moist, probably because my sweet potatoes were too big. One criticism I had of this recipe was that it didn’t give a specific weight or amount for the sweet potatoes. I think one large one would be fine. Or, I could add another tablespoon of coconut flour. I’d also like to add a little cinnamon next time, or maybe some ground espresso powder, to complement the flavor of the chocolate. Also, because they were so moist, it took about 45 minutes at 325, and 5 more at 350 for them to be completely set. The middle still has a very creamy, almost pudding-like texture, but it was cooked through. However, all in all? They were delicious.
The recipe also calls for the sweet potatoes (I used garnet yams, by the way) to be peeled, boiled and then run through a food processor. My food processor died several years ago, and I have been using human power, aka my biceps, ever since. I peeled and chopped the sweet potatoes into even chunks, boiled them on the stove to get them nice and soft, then drained them and went to town with my potato masher. I guess if I really wanted to do more dishes get them completely lump free, I could’ve used my little mini chopper, but it would’ve taken my about eight “loads” of sweet potato to get the job done, so I just flexed my muscles instead. A rogue, stringy sweet potato fiber here and there wasn’t going to harm anyone.
My family loved these, even after learning the ingredients. I will definitely make these again! Nice for a treat once in a while.
I don’t think I’ve blogged since then, but late last week I went down another pound and a half, for a total of 14.5 pounds. That makes 5 pounds since I started Primal-ish eating on April 4. I’m anxious to get to 15 for the year, and then some. Didn’t have time to measure myself last week, but I’m looking forward to doing that this Wednesday.
Just a quick post today. I need to leave soon to do an interview. Everything is just status quo, nothing exceptional. I’ve had a few grains the past few days, due to previously planned menus and the fact that I’ve been too busy to get to the grocery store lately. Really happy I’ll have a chance to pick up a few things on my way home from my interview today and then do my big shop tomorrow. I also missed my regular Wii workout yesterday. But in spite of all that, I’m still down another half a pound. That makes 13 for the year. I feel like I’m still tiptoeing into the weight loss thing, trying to be careful and not awake the sleeping gorilla. Don’t want to get too excited. But with every half pound that comes off, I see that I am farther and farther away from that January 1 scale number, and closer and closer to my goal. I really love the little ticker on my blog. It’s exciting to see the progress each time I log in and update it. Once I’m done with this set of 10 pounds, I’ll really feel like I’ve accomplished something, and I’m sure I’ll need to go down a size. Good thing I have a lot of smaller clothes in my closet already, although I’m sure some celebratory necessary shopping will occur.
So, that’s it. Nothing too exciting. But I’m getting there, and that’s what matters to me.
That’s the question I’ve been asking myself lately. I’m still babystepping into Primal-ish eating. Haven’t given up my weekly serving of oats, had a little potato the other night, a little corn in a salad last night. I’m sure as the weeks go on, and I plan more menus, I will be able to phase these things out. I even put a spin on a non-Primal dessert recipe – apple fritter cake – and although it had too much sugar and a touch of cornstarch, I made healthy substitutions where I could. That included replacing all of the white flour with coconut flour, and increasing the eggs, applesauce, and Greek yogurt. It turned out really well, and my family gobbled it up. So quickly, in fact, that I didn’t get a photo. I know I’ll still tweak the recipe as I go, but it’s a keeper. More importantly, it proved that I can really do this. Yes, there will be times when grains are unavoidable, or I’ll just feel like having a piece of cake. Or oats. Or corn. But I’m looking at these as “sometimes foods.” This is a term I came up with back in 2005, when I was embarking on my first weight loss journey. I wanted my kids to see that nothing was really off limits; rather, we just chose to eat them sometimes, not all the time.
I dropped another half pound. (And that was after having dessert 2 days in a row.) I’m approaching that womanly time of the month and I’ve found it’s best to have zero expectations on the scale at that time. I will still weigh myself in order to keep an eye on things, but I’m not going to fret if I see a number I don’t really like. The weight loss has been consistent since I started going Primal-ish. No huge, dramatic numbers, but that’s OK. I know from past experiences that it’s easier to keep it off when you lose slowly and consistently. Right now, my scale number is making me happy. Not where I want to be, of course, but it’s still a number I haven’t seen since sometime last summer. And it’s one pound below one of those dreaded milestone numbers, so I’m very motivated to stay on the downside of that higher number. Overall, I think it’s very telling that it took me 3 months to lose 8 pounds. And then, without any changes to my workout routine, it took me about 2 weeks to lose the next 4.5.
These have been good changes, ones I think I can maintain. But there’s been another change lately, too. I’ve been much more focused on my work and career, and have even turned down work lately. You may have read about how I said no to some extra work recently. The same client called me today with another assignment. Keep in mind the deadline for the first assignment they offered me was today. This one was for the same publication, with a deadline of tomorrow. I said no. I am working my butt off with my local publisher right now, and it’s going really well. I will still do work for the other client. But right now, it’s just not going to happen. And just like they did with the first assignment, they contacted me a second time. “Are you suuuuuure you can’t do it?” Yep. Totally sure. Sorry. Don’t get me wrong–the extra income would be nice. Especially since I just got boned on paid my taxes. But not everything in life is about money.
I guess, overall, I’m feeling so much more in control than I’ve been in a long, long time, maybe more than ever before. I’d given up soda before, even for several months at a time, but never made it stick. I still craved it. I’d lost weight before, but never kept it all off. I still found ways to sabotage myself. I’ve turned down work before, but always felt bad about it. I didn’t feel bad today, or last week. I’ve got a few more plans up my sleeve, too, but all things in due time.
I realize that I am still a work in progress. I’m not going to start drafting my acceptance speech just yet. There’s still a long way to go. But it’s funny how all of these changes, baby step by baby step, feel like I am finally, finally discovering my true identity. Who is this girl?
I guess I’m finding out.
It’s Monday and I think for the first time in a month, I can say that this week should be a little less hectic than last week. Hoooo-ray. Of course, that can change at a moment’s notice, but I’m gonna go with that for now. So why not keep the positive energy flowing and talk about some good news?
I’m excited to share a non-scale victory with you. I’d been looking for a right hand ring for a while. I don’t earn a lot of money, but I’m working a lot more now than I have in years. I wanted to buy myself a little something as a reward. So I found this beautiful ring at Kohl’s a month or two ago. It was not expensive. I just liked the design.
There was just one problem. I tried on the 8 & it felt a little snug. I was petrified of getting it stuck on my hand while I was in the store. So I looked for an 8 1/2. But, they only had whole sizes. So I bought a 9. It was a little large, but my weight fluctuates so much, and I figured I could get it sized.
My pretty new ring
I wore it on my ring finger, but it was a little loose, so I eventually moved it to my middle finger. Then after about a week of Primal-ish eating, I noticed it was too big for that finger, too. I wore it to my lunch meeting and my boss asked to see it. When I went to show it to him, it nearly fell off my finger. He said, “Oh, you need to get that sized. You don’t want to lose that beautiful ring.” So, I decided to visit my local jewelry guy and do something about the sizing.
Let me just mention that I love the local jewelry guy. He has repaired countless pieces for me and he rarely charges me anything. I always ask him, “How do you stay in business?” And he always answers, “I know you’ll be back and buy something one of these days.” So I make it a point to stop in there whenever I’m looking for a gift or want to expand my jewelry wardrobe. I’ve always believed in keeping your local, small-town guy in business. He looks like Kid Rock, minus hair, and he shares his shop space–an old house–with his mother, who bakes and sells pies. Yep, you walk up the steps and go through the front door and see jewelry on the left and pies on the right. It’s your typical, quirky, little town business. Her pies are incredible, and the smell of that crust baking fills the entire space, but when I walked in there last week, I had no desire to even look at them.
So he takes a look at the ring. “Wow, that’s beautiful,” he says. I put it on my finger, and said, “Well, I’m losing weight so I need to get it sized. Let me show you.” His eyes got wide and he said, “Umm, it’s huge? Let me see that.” He sized it for me. Turns out it’s actually a 9 1/4. So he pulls out his big set of sizing rings on a stick. He says, “Here’s an 8. Let’s try this.” I put it on and it fit, but it was still a little loose. He said, “Let’s go down a little bit.” So he hands me another ring and I slip it on. That’s more like it. I said, “Wow, so I went down to a 7 3/4?” He said, “No, my dear, that’s a 7 1/2. And it’s almost too big. What are you doing to lose this weight? You look fantastic.”
So I told him and he said, “You look fine just how you are.” Very sweet. Of course, I have about 35 pounds to go. But I thanked him and said that I’m doing this for my health. We talked for a little while and he took another look at the ring, then said, “You know what, this is just silver plate, so I have no way of sizing it.” I frowned. That’s what I get for not splurging on myself like I should’ve. But I’d fallen in love with that ring and really wanted to wear it. Then he said, “I have an idea. Give me a minute.” So he went back to his office and came back with a guard fitted onto the ring. “Try that,” he said, slipping it on my finger.
Just a little room in there, huh?
It’s an adjustable guard, so when I lose more weight (or if I gain, gasp), I can still make it fit. I told him my weight will fluctuate up to 3 pounds in a day, so this is fine. But check out how much room I have in that ring!
That made me so happy to see that. I still use the scale, of course. But things like this really make me see how far I’ve come. I was rushed last Wednesday and didn’t take my measurements, but can’t wait to do it this week. I’m looking forward to more victories, on the scale and off, in the weeks to come. My weight has been holding steady, but I’m thrilled that I saw the same number today that I saw last Friday. This is two weekends in a row that I didn’t bounce up 3 or 4 pounds, so that tells me I’m on the right track. I’m sure I’ll be back to losing soon. Would love to see that number go down a little more this week.
I live in a small town near Boise, ID. We moved here in 2004, from San Jose, CA, the 11th largest city in the U.S. Life here has been a wee bit different. When you grow up in what is destined to become “The Capitol Of Silicon Valley,” you get used to certain things. Like not having to drive an hour round trip when your child needs a new pair of shoes. Or you run out of printer ink. Or you just want to find some low sodium options on a grocery store shelf. There are no big box stores, very few national chains, just a lot of mom & pop merchants trying to do the best they can to keep their doors open in this economy, with a limited selection. In exchange, however, we have a nice little community here. Not too big, not too small. People are pretty friendly. You get to know all the shop owners and employees because not only do you see them in their places of business, but your kids go to school together, play on the same ball fields, and go to the same birthday parties.
Working at home, I am by myself most of the day. That’s fine, as long as I’m working. I can concentrate on the job at hand and not be distracted by others. When I take a break for lunch, I try to disconnect from work. The only problem is that my desk is in our living room, and there’s a constant reminder that my work is RIGHTTHERE. So, about every 3 weeks, I escape my home/office and take myself out to lunch. Living in a small town, my choices are: one burger drive-thru place; two national chain sandwich shops; two coffee places; one really gross Chinese restaurant; one family-style restaurant that is just a little grimy for my taste; one decent pizza place; one very overpriced diner-now-pizza place; one horrible Mexican-ish restaurant; and one really, really good Mexican restaurant.
I grew up in California, and my mom is from New Mexico. I love Mexican food. Hello, who doesn’t? Finding good Mexican food in Idaho, however, has been a challenge. Until I realized that the very best Mexican restaurant in the area just happens to be about two miles from my house. It’s the place we always take visitors. I bring my kids there on the last day of school and whenever we want to go out for something special. I even order my tamales there at Christmas. It’s owned by a wonderful family, and they and their staff are so friendly. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows everyone. The owner always comes over to shake your hand, “Hola, amiga, how is everything?” Then he asks how you’re doing, shakes hands with your kids, and comments on how big they’re getting. On any given day, you’ll see the mayor, a group of teachers, city council members, girlfriends catching up over margaritas, sweaty construction workers, captains of small town industry, and everyone else. On Thursdays and Fridays, they offer up a wonderful buffet, with freshly made tortillas and lots of yummy food. I like being able to choose from a wide variety, so that’s what I get.
From the start, I have approached this Primal nutrition plan from the standpoint that I don’t want to go out and buy all new foods, prepare two different dishes for every meal, or stand in my pantry with a garbage can, dumping foods I’d already paid for. Instead, I’ve tried to modify menus I already had planned because I come from the school of “let’s not reinvent the wheel.” Change is a lot easier when you focus on what you can have, instead of being upset about what you can’t have. So since I was done with work for the week and I have been working my tail off lately, I decided I needed to get my ass out of the house and visit my favorite restaurant and see what I could eat from that buffet. (I also love their stuffed avocado with crab salad–yeah, crab with a C, the real thing–and knew I could order that if the buffet wouldn’t work.)
When I got there, my favorite hostess greeted me. I’ve been working so much that I haven’t been there in a while. I was dressed in a long-sleeved black t-shirt, jeans, and my worn out black Nocona cowboy boots. My hair was pulled back and I had on a pair of dangling turquoise flower earrings. I felt really good, especially since I’d just come from the jewelery repair guy. (Next post.) “Look at you!” she said as she hugged me. “You look amazing.” I’ve probably lost less than 10 pounds since she’s seen me. But I know I’m feeling so good that I’m carrying myself differently. She seated me and said, “Diet soda?” I shook my head and she said, “Oh, that’s right. Water.” I went to the buffet and to my horror, they were out of salad. They had a green salad and a spinach and strawberry salad with poppyseed dressing, and both were empty.
But, I told myself, this isn’t going to stop me. Let’s see what I can have. I skipped past all the taco and tostada shells and made my way to the meat. They have a great selection and it changes a little each day. On Friday, they had carne asada, carnitas, adobado (a marinated pork with chopped onions and raisins), and lengua (tongue). After all this time, I just can’t get the lengua. I hear it’s delicious, but … ewwwww. Whenever I see that, I think of being a kid and my dad would see that on a restaurant menu and say that if he got that he’d be afraid it might try to taste him back. Good enough for me. I’ll pass, thanks.
So I got a serving of each of the other three meats and took a small spoonful of refried beans. No rice. They had a few other dishes which didn’t interest me. Then I came to one of my favorites, the tolteca. This is a layered casserole that is similar to lasagna, except it’s made with tortillas, beans, meat, onions, and cheese, then topped with olives, tomatoes, and green onions. It’s delicious. I picked a tiny square, about 2″. The top layer of tortilla had come off the corner, so I got that piece. Then I went to the other part of the buffet, which has all the toppings for taco. I saw the shredded lettuce. Score! Loaded up on that, some fresh pico de gallo, a little cheese for the top of my beans, and a serving of ceviche, which is a dish of raw seafood (in this case fish, but they sometimes do shrimp), cooked in lime juice and tossed with tomatoes, green onions and jalapenos.
It was a very tasty lunch. For dessert, they have another buffet section which includes some little cinnamon-sugar donuts, similar to a sopapilla, a bunch of fresh fruit, and little 1″ squares of flan. I passed on the donuts, and got myself a plate full of melon and one tiny square of flan. After being at lunch and grossing out while watching my boss eat chocolate cake the day before, I really had zero desire for anything too sweet. The flan was perfect, about three bites worth. Just enough to taste like I had a little dessert, but not so much that I felt like I needed to go and jog it off.
When I was done, I went up to pay, and my favorite hostess said, “So, what are you doing? You look great.” I told her and she said, “Well, it’s definitely working for you.”
It’s nice to get compliments. Nice when people notice the changes you’ve made. Nice when you can slide into that smaller pair of jeans and not have to suck it in to get them zipped. Those things make every girl feel good. But I’m realizing that I’m already feeling good, because the changes I’ve made have made me much healthier. It shows. And, I proved that I can go to my favorite place and still find plenty of options without feeling like I’m missing out on all the good stuff.