Sunday, February 28, 2010

Exercise, Shmexercise

I am not a fan of the gym.  So if you are trying to lose weight and get healthy, what do you do if you hate the gym?  You find alternatives.

Once I accepted the fact that I was going to have to exercise, I started looking for some options that I would enjoy.  I started with bike riding on the weekends and on an occasional week night but then it turned cold and one of my riding buddies got sick.  I didn’t want to do it alone.  I did some self-evaluation and realized that I need social interaction when I exercise.  That way I focus on the social part and forget about the fact that I am working out.  

I moved on to the Wii Fit Plus.  It allows you to set a calorie burn goal and tells you how you are doing along the way.  It was fun and it worked.  But I needed more than the interaction of a digital trainer that asked me if I had breakfast and told me my left leg was weaker than my right.

I read an article in Southern Living magazine about Sunny Becks Crumpton of Hooprama in Nashville.  She teaches hoop dancing for fitness.  Using a weighted hula hoop, you learn to move and “dance” with the hoop.  I found a local teacher, Charity of, and joined her class at BAPA in Knoxville.  It was fun and harder than I thought.  I started with one 6 week series on Sunday nights and will begin my next series of classes tonight.

I liked the group and dance part of this form of exercise so I started looking into the other classes offered at BAPA.  There was belly dancing, yoga, ballet, flamenco, hip hop, and some other stuff I had not heard of.  I decided to try Sizemology which is designed for all sizes of women but primarily larger women.  It mixes Jazz and Hip Hop and you learn different choreography each week. I also tried Zumba, a mixture of Latin dance and Aerobics.  And as soon as Anna of Sizemology added a second class, I signed up for that too. IMG_0154 Today’s picture is a demo we did during The Healthy Living Expo.  It was snowing really bad and Anna and I were the only Sizemology dancers that could get there.  But we rocked!  Well, she did anyway.

I love the interaction in the classes, the dance part of it, and the all around fun of it.  I burn a lot more calories doing this than I do on a treadmill at the gym and I love it.  And I am exercising more than I would in the gym.  I do an hour on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and an hour and a half on Saturday.  And I still do my Wii Fit occasionally. This morning it was 30 minutes of yoga, strength, cardio and balance activities.

So don’t let the gym stop you.  And if you love the gym, go for it.  The point is to find something you love to do and JUST DO IT.
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

It Was A Good Day

The last two days I had meetings and there was eating out.  I didn’t do too badly but I cannot be sure of the accuracy of some of my calorie estimates.  So today, it was back to my routine and carrying my little cooler of healthy food.  I love it when things are in my control.

So here is my food tracker for today.  The only thing not on there is the Endangered Species Dark Chocolate that I will be having here in a few minutes as an evening snack.  I still have about 520 calories left and the chocolate is 210 so I will still be well within my daily allowance.

I hope you had a good day too!

February 25th, 2010

Meal            Item Brand Item                     Name Calories

breakfast Philadelphia (Kraft) 1/3 Less Fat Strawberry Cream Cheese 70

breakfast Thomas's Bagel Thins 110

Coffee 8

breakfast Nestle Coffee-mate Liquid, Hazelnut flavor, Sugar Free 60

morning snack
Hummus 88

morning snack Tostitos Multigrain Tortilla Chips 150

lunch Kashi Tuscan Veggie Bake 260

afternoon snack Chiquita Coconut Pineapple Bites 40

afternoon snack Back to Nature Cranberry Pecan Granola 100

afternoon snack Fage Total 0% 90

Spicy Chinese Shrimp and Veggies With Rice 366




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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Recipe: Pesto, Spinach, Tomato, and Goat Cheese Pizza

roma tomatoI am not a big fan of traditional pizzas.  But since I am trying to eat healthy and get a wider variety of ingredients into my diet, I have tried a lot of things that I never really thought about before.  

pestogoat cheese I knew I loved spinach just about any way you fix it and I knew that a little goat cheese  will go a long way to adding flavor without a lot of calories.  So when my daughter made a yummy tomato and goat cheese pizza from a Cooking Light recipe I thought I would start experimenting and try some additional ingredients.   

The pizza recipe below is what I came up with.  It uses some prepared ingredients, some fresh and it makes a pizza with 6 slices at 221 calories per slice. 




  • 1 100% Whole Wheat Pizza Crust by Boboli
  • 2 tbsp Pesto from the grocery
  • 2 oz Fresh Raw Spinach
  • 1 medium size Roma Tomato, sliced
  • 2 4/5 oz Alloutte crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 oz Asiago Cheese or Parmesan, shredded


Spread pesto on pre-made pizza crust. Layer on spinach then add sliced roma tomato. Top with goat cheese and sprinkle with asiago cheese.
Bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes.

This pizza is pretty filling and you get a lot of veggies in.  You could add diced chicken or chopped artichokes, or replace the Roma tomato with chopped sun-dried tomatoes.  Be creative and make it your own.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Breakfast That Feels Like You're Cheating

So we all know that breakfast is important, right?  But most of us don't take time to eat it.  Or we eat crap.  Speaking of . . . what justifies crap?  Well, to me it's things that don't fill you up or things that are fast and easy but not enjoyable or things that make you feel blah.  So I have had to work at breakfast.

I don't do carbs for breakfast - no cereal, no sweet stuff.  I gotta have me some protein.  I am a meat girl when it comes to breakfast.  And it must be portable.  I usually eat it in the car so you can see how cereal might be a problem, sorta like texting while driving.  Fruit is okay but rarely does it fill me up.  So, again, I have to work at breakfast.

I like breakfast sandwiches and that's usually what I have each morning.  Don't turn you carb hating noses up at me! There are tons of good options (calories, fiber, and lower carbs) out there now for breakfast breads:
  • Thomas' Better Start Multi-Grain English Muffins  (100 Calories) 
  • Arnold Multi-Grain Sandwhich Thins (100 Calories)
  • Thomas' Bagel Thins  (110 Calories)
You can trim calories for the meat portions of a breakfast sandwich by paying attention to serving sizes and using leaner cuts.  Sodium can be a problem so compare labels.  My favorites:
  • Jones Farm Canadian Bacon (60 calories for 3 slices)
  • Jimmy Dean Light Bulk Sausage (140 calories for a 2 oz. patty)
  • Center Cut Bacon (50 calories for 2 slices)
  • Johnsonville Smoked Turkey Links (110 for a whole link, I usually use half)
Can you tell I love pork???  Which brings me to a point - don't deprive yourself of things you love.  If it is something you are not willing to give up, don't.  It will only make you miserable.  Just figure out a way to make it healthier and eat less of it - like JUST one serving instead of 6.

So . . . back to breakfast. 

I choose a bread and a meat and then . . . my favorite substitute for decadence . . . Laughing Cow Light Wedges.  I love cheese.  Truly love it.  And not only do I hate fat free or low fat stringy, yucky cheese, but it's hard for me to stop at a 1 oz. serving of the real thing.  But Laughing Cow is a great substitute.  And it is only 35 calories per wedge.  I use it in so many recipes, some of which I will share later, and it makes my breakfast sandwiches feel like I'm cheating.

So, for example, my most favorite breakfast:
  • A Better Start English Muffin, toasted
  • A wedge of Laughing Cow Light spread onto the muffin
  • 2 slices of semi-crispy center cut bacon, halved and layered between the muffin
It's a very filling breakfast for only 185 calories.  Sometimes I use 4 slices of bacon just 'cause it's so yummy and I can still keep it below 250 calories.  That is so much less than a fast food breakfast or a frozen breakfast sandwich.  And less than a bowl of cereal too.

As you can tell by now - I only count calories.  I pay attention to sodium, fat, fiber, carbs and protein but I don't limit myself in any area.  I am very healthy despite being fat so someone with health issues might not be able to do things the same way I do.  But this is what works for me.

Hope it works for some of you too.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Food Diary and Yummy Yogurt Bowl

I am posting my food tracker diary here not only to hold myself accountable but to also share some healthy recipes and low calorie food ideas.  I had a yummy treat today of 0% Fage Greek Yogurt, Truvia sweetener, sliced strawberries, sliced banana, and Udi’s Vanilla and Almond granola.yogurt and fruit
Today’s food:
Total of 1899 calories taken in, 2643 burned for a deficit of 744 calories.
Food ItemServingsCals
Nestle Coffee-mate Liquid, Hazelnut flavor, Sugar Free4.0060
Lotsa Cheese Mac and Cheese1.00448
Turkey Chili with Beans1.00406
Banana, medium1.00105
Fresh Strawberries By Weight0.3318
Udi's Vanilla And Almond Granola1.00120
Nonfat Plain Yogurt (fage Total 0%)1.0080
Spinach, Tomato and Goat Cheese Pizza3.00654
FitnessMinutesCalories Burned
bodybugg (manual)-2,643.0
Totals: -744

I Need Another Blog Like I Need . . .

It was this picture . . .  me on the beach

And this one . . . me at Andie's wedding
And this one too . . . me at biltmore 

All of these photos were taken in the spring of 2009, two of them in May, one in July.  They are the photos that made me decide that maybe . . . just maybe . . . I needed to change my life.
There you see me in all my 292 pound glory.  There . . . I said it.  292 pounds.  I have not said that out loud to anyone but my doctor and now it is out there . . . in writing.
So I decided to change my life.  You can call it a diet but I choose not to do so.  I have not figured out what to call it yet.  I have another blog where I write about everything in my life, including my weight loss but I needed to say more about this journey and felt a separate blog would be a better place to share more about the struggles and successes I have had over the last few months.
I started the first week of August, 2009.  Since that time, I have lost 46 pounds and today weigh 246.  Again, I have not told anyone that.  But I will share here.  I will share my story, my daily food tracking and calories burned, the weight losses and my real weight, tips for food and alternatives for exercise as well as my thoughts on food, weight loss and diets.
I hope you can identify with my thoughts or feelings and if it helps one person then great.  If not, I know it helps me.