Thursday, January 19, 2012


So today I was kind of snacky all day. I didn't have a lot of calories left for dinner. I wanted something tasty, so I took Ted's recipe for Jamaican escovitch and trimmed calories, fat, and carbs from it. I also stole his photo.

Slimmed-down Jamaican Escovitch

4 Servings
per serving:
Calories: 157
Fat: 2g
Carbs: 7g
Protein: 28g

4 Flounder filets
1 Large onion
1 Medium carrot
1 Habanero pepper (or Scotch Bonnet, if you can find one), seeds removed and sliced into thin strips
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Allspice berries
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup malt vinegar
1/8 cup water
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Heat a stainless steel saucepan over medium low heat. Briefly remove from heat and spray with cooking spray (I used the olive oil kind). Add onion, carrot, habanero, and garlic; heat for about a minute, then add the bay leaf, thyme, allspice, crushed pepper, salt, and pepper.
Sweat for about 5 minutes, stirring, or until the onion is soft and translucent. You may need to spray with additional cooking spray to keep moist.

Add the vinegar, water and lemon juice, stirring well. Bring to a gentle boil. Boil briefly to let the sauce reduce a little. Cover the pan and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the vegetables are tender.

Wash fish thoroughly in water with lime or lemon juice added. Dry thoroughly.

Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Place the fish on the foil and salt and pepper to taste. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 18 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with fork.

Spoon the hot vegetables and sauce over the fish and serve right away with lime wedges. This is also good the next day as a cold lunch (and if you leave it cold, your coworkers won't kill you for making the office smell like fish).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stepping Forward, Stumbling Back

It's hard to gauge how well I'm doing.

On the one hand, I'm staying within my calorie range most days. I'm also working out regularly, and additionally doing little fun things that are active (I went to a line-dancing class this evening; it was fun!). Everything about my lifestyle has improved. I'm eating fewer calories; the calories I do consume are mostly healthy, nutritious calories; I'm becoming more active; I'm drinking far less alcohol; I've almost completely cut out diet sodas; I've started drinking green tea. Heck, it doesn't have anything to do with fitness or weight loss, but I've even stopped biting my nails.

On the other hand, I still have days and short strings of days where I completely lose my give-a-damn, and fall right back into my old habits. Weekends are the worst; I think it is because I don't have a weekend routine. I've fit my healthy eating and exercise into my work days, and I have figured out how to maintain that. But on weekends, where things are happening spontaneously and I'm doing something different all the time and I'm unprepared for half of what happens, I wind up eating fast food. Or going to a nice sit-down dinner out. Or drinking too much scotch and cider (Scotch with a cider chaser; not mixed together. I do have standards.). And these days are affecting my progress. That is frustrating.

I truly want to focus on what I'm doing right. I want to love myself for all the hard work and sacrifice I have done lately. I want to be proud of myself. But my setbacks keep me from feeling that way. Instead of feeling like a success for the five days I was strictly on-plan, I feel like a failure for the long weekend where I completely blew it. I just can't seem to cut myself a break.

Part of this whole ordeal is learning to give a damn about myself. I'm learning more about what that means every day. I'm not there yet; but it's getting closer. I have proud moments and little glimpses of progress I have made. The good is beginning to outweigh the bad, and if that trend continues, I may actually make it this time.

I want to thank all of you. Julia and Ted have been absolutely wonderful and so incredibly supportive through all my ups and downs. SGT Ken and Amber and all the instructors at START Fitness have done so much to help me learn how to push my body and become stronger. My precious friends, Suzan, Gayle, Adam, all my FB Fit Before the World Ends friends, and many others have been there for me and I couldn't have come this far without you. Thank you so much for listening, laughing, encouraging, mocking, and pushing me. We still have a long way to go.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Warning: You Don't Want to Read This Post

You've been warned.

First, I'd like to say that I am grateful to live in the modern world, where I have options for when it is my "ladies time," and I don't have to go shear a sheep or just sit in my room in a puddle of my own uterus until it is over. Seriously, I'm happy for that.

But honestly. Feminine products manufacturers, I'm talking to you. I mean, seriously? Your target consumer group consists of women who are bloated, hormonal, and bleeding out of parts of their body that usually make them very happy. Do you really have to add so much additional complication?

I don't need wings. Not on the front, the middle, or the back of my feminine products. I'm not taking flying lessons; I just need a barrier between my unstable uterus and my underwear. The last thing I want to worry about is getting the little sticky sides wrapped around the crotch of my panties while keeping them from sticking to themselves when I'm trying to discreetly change the sheets in the women's bathroom of a fancy restaurant. Just please give me a strip of absorbent fabric to lay across the crotch of my panties. That doesn't seem like too much to ask.

You cannot say you were not warned.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It Has to Work for Me

Okay, I'm going to put this out there and I'd like to know what y'all think.

If you've been following the blog lately, you'll know I've had a few off days because of Christmas and New Year, and I've jumped right back on plan after both those events. Even with the lapses, I've lost weight since I started really counting calories in December. I'll post my official weigh-in tomorrow.

Anyway, I expect to have a lot of weeks where I have one day where I go over - not really a "free day" where I pay no attention whatsoever, but a day where I may have a heavy dinner or a few more drinks than the plan allows. For example, this Saturday night is Whiskey Club. My plan is to eat a light, sensible, healthy breakfast and lunch, and enjoy the food and drink at the gathering. Sampling whiskey and eating snacks will probably take me over on calories for the day. Could I make a sacrifice and not participate in the tasting? Sure. Am I willing to make that sacrifice? I'm not sure; I don't think so. Not yet, anyway. I am making conscious sacrifices every day. I am learning from them and growing from them. But that doesn't mean I have to sacrifice every single pleasure in my life that involves calories. If this is going to be long-term, then there will have to be exceptions. There will have to be variety, joy, and fun.

My thoughts are that this keeps me from quitting altogether, and it's still a lot better than I was doing before. I expect this to continue to result in a downward trend on the scale, though it might not be the two pounds a week that my actual to-the-letter-plan is geared for.

I'm actually making it to the gym a lot more, and mostly doing pretty intense workouts. Zombiefit and Crossfit are really tough, almost as tough as boot camp (though the workouts are shorter, so still not as intense). The Zumba classes aren't all that hard, but it's an extra hour of moderate cardio, and that should be at least a booster.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Worst is Behind Me (I Hope)

"Remember the race is not always won by the swift nor the conflict by the strong ... but if you have money to wager put it on the fast strong guy." -Zacharia TeKawaare

I haven't been the fast strong guy lately. But I have been determined.

Christmas and New Year's were a couple of tough obstacles in my nutrition revamp, but I pushed through and did not let them derail me. I had two out-of-range days for Christmas, and three for New Year's. After each, I jumped right back on and stayed on track. I have had three successful days in a row. I'm learning every day about what foods are wasted calories, and what foods contribute to long-term satisfaction and good nutrition. I'm also learning what I am willing to sacrifice, and what I am not willing to sacrifice. For those things that I am not willing to give up, I plan. If my plan does not allow for those things, I either rework it or I forego that particular vice for the day, with the knowledge that I can start again tomorrow, and make sure it fits within my plan.

Nothing is forbidden; nothing is required. This is not about anyone else's idea of what I should or should not be eating or drinking. It is about me learning what works for me.

I am going to give myself another week on my plan before I report any weigh-ins. As I said, Christmas and New Year's threw me off, so I'm going to give myself a chance to even out before I start reporting progress. I also need a new scale, as my current one seems to be behaving oddly.

I haven't been very funny lately. For that I apologize. I've been pretty focused on getting my act together, and it really hasn't lent itself to comedy. I will figure out a remedy to that soon.