Priorities and Stress

Posted: October 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

So. We’re moving in a few days Not far, just 20 minutes south of where we are now. We bought the house we’ve been living after deciding that we weren’t going to have kids. Small, two bedroom one bath – perfect for us and the dog, right? Well, along comes our child and the house gets super small super fast. So after 7.5 years we finally buy a new house.

Now, add hardly working out all summer and fall (read nothing this last month and maybe two days a week the few months before) and the stress of buying a new house, deciding to rent out our old house, packing and a seven year old that absolutely does not want to move, and I’m in bad shape.

Found a great small gym a mile from the new house.and the guy does cheap personal training focused on strength training. Today, I really, really, really needed to work on packing the house. Hubs and I have been working stupid long hours and extra days and are about 1/3 of the way packed and ready to move in two days.

So what did I do this morning? That’s right, since Ryan had open slots I went in for chest day. And let me tell you, I really, really, really needed that. Man, after a month off of working out, that endorphin and adrenaline spike came right back. Like within 10 minutes of finishing the workout. Man, I feel great! Came home, scarfed a bunch of food (apparently the ravenous also comes back with a quickness too) tossed out a bunch of stuff we’re not moving, pack a bunch of boxes, got dinner rolling, wrote a blog post….

Yay fitness!!

Oh, and here’s my sweat angel to commemorate Ryan trying to kill me today.

So, it occured to me that I do a ton of “LOOK HOW GREAT I’M DOING” posts, but I really haven’t given a fair timeline. Or, IDK, maybe I have and just don’t remember it. So, here it is.

Right now, at 05/2015, I’ve been following my weight loss/get fit plan for 2.5 years. I’ve come a long way, I’ve made amazing progress, but it’s taken 2.5 years to get here.

It has been hard, there have been seriously low times, especially when I would hit a plateau or would eat unhealthy. Especially the first year. That first year was hell. Seriously. I had SO much mental negativity. My exercise was bare minimum, I mean Biggest loser DVDs 2-3 days a week. And if I skipped a day, whoa, I was super harsh on myself. I mean straight up abusive to myself. It was bad. Same with eating bad. I would eat super unhealthy one day then spend the next week in a downward spiral eating terribly and telling myself I’ll never reach my goals.

Over that first year I spent so much time learning to forgive myself and identifying what was causing me to skip out on workouts (not doing enough to push myself and really get anything out of it so I never saw results) and why I was slipping up on eating (filled out a specific form every time I consumed anything which helped me identify when I was actually hungry and triggers for emotional eating). I also learned, through research and trial/error how to push through plateaus (for me I need to either up the intensity of my workouts or cut 150-200 calories from my diet for a few days and within a week to a week and a half I’d be through the plateau)

The second year was much better, I sailed through skipped gym days, although that rarely happened. Man, once I got used to the endorphins, increased energy level, and the amazement of seeing my weights get heavier and heavier from working out consistently…. it became way too easy to head to the gym. It was easy to push through plateaus and realized that it was okay to have times when I could go back to unrestricted eating for a week or so. Guilt free. But, those times were rare and I always felt like crap from eating things that really weren’t good for me.

Now, in the first half of the third year, half my dirty clothes are gym clothes and if I don’t feel sore, I’m not working out hard enough. It’s weird, I wake up and my muscles are sore and I feel great about my workout the day before, and I can’t wait to do it again. I look forward to being able to finish out my 4th set on a lift without difficultly because that means I get to add more weights to that lift. I have muscle definition happening and I love it. I still have a lot of fat to get rid of, so it’s not that visually impressive yet. But, I like seeing it, even if I still have jiggle around it. I really enjoy eating my high lean protein, tons of veggies and low to no carb foods. I spend a lot of free time looking for protein powder recipes, new lifts and fine tuning my eating habits. I talk with others who lift and follow simaler eating habits, and it’s totally the “How much protein do you consume a day?” and “Bro, what are you lifting right now?” convos. We revel in talking about how sore we are. Seriously. You should hear my friends Chris, Z and myself talk. Me: “DUDE! I upped my weights on squats and deads yesterday. If I drop something, it’s living on the floor.” Chris: *Elbow bump* (Kitchen thing) ~or~ Me: Z! I’m so tired of eating. All I do is eat now. Or look for food…. Z: Right?! I told you! You start lifting and your muscles get hungry. Eating is like a part time job for me. I had 8 eggs for breakfast. Me:…..So hungry. Where’s that left over chicken breast from lunch…..

Also, since the beginning of this year, I have moved from filling carts at Shop Plastic Land, Sourpuss Clothing, Pin Up Girl…. ect. with things I will never buy due to price – to filling up carts with exercise clothes, gym shoes, protein powders, plate weights, dumbbells…. it’s weird. I love when I catch these changes, but it does surprise me. This time last year, I was a totally different person. And, I do like who I’m becoming.

But, and while I’ve made these amazing and great strides, it took so much time, sweat, tears and mental rewiring to get here. And, I’m never going back to the woman I was a little over 2.5 years ago when I started down this road.

Takes Time

So, don’t get me wrong here. I’m really impressed with what my body is doing.

I have arm muscles. Real, defined muscles in there. It was weird, I have never had arm muscles before. I was on the fly machine and noticed this line in my arm when I pulled in. Showed it to Seth and he looked at me like I was nuts, said simply that it was muscle definition. Still look at it in the mirror because it’s new.

Same with my ass muscles. Sitting feels different since I’ve started doing weighted squats and lunges. Do you have any idea how weird it is to have your butt feel foreign when you sit down. 30 some odd years its felt one way and now it’s different… So weird.

But, the one thing that is the hardest for me to wrap my mind around? I am hungry. All the time. The number on the scale is going down, the number on the weights I’m lifting are going up, and I’m always hungry. I mean it. I’m either eating or looking for something to eat.

Seriously. Take the other day for example:

  • Breakfast – 2 eggs, three turkey sausage patties, 1/2 cup oatmeal w/ 1/4 cup blueberries and 2-3oz almond milk and 12oz coffee w/ 3-4oz almond milk
  • Morning Snack – 16oz protein shake
  • Lunch – 6oz chicken breast, 2c steamed green beans
  • Afternoon Snack – 3 chicken tenders w/ 1/4c nacho cheese sauce (don’t judge)
  • Post Workout Snack – 4oz tuna salad made w/ olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper, 2 slices Dave’s Killer Bread 21 Grain
  • Dinner – 20oz grilled steak, 2c steamed broccoli, 3-4c green salad w/ veggies dressed w/ olive oil, lime juice salt and pepper
  • Evening Snack – 8oz protein shake

Even with all that, I lay in bed that night and realized I was still hungry.

I’m so very tired of eating and always looking for food…. Even as I sit here and type this, having just inhaled about three chicken breasts and some veggies, not 10 minutes ago, I’m hungry and going through the mental catalog of what’s in the house for easy to eat food.

Everyone I talk to who lifts and is fit and all my research and reading on lifting for health says this is totally normal. That it’s my muscles using what it needs and the calorie burn from my exercising that is causing a HUGE deficit. It makes total sense, it really does, it’s just weird and I’m wondering if I’m ever going to get used to it.

But for now, off to find food, or a protein shake…..

That’s really the tract my weight loss has followed.

It all started about a 100 years ago when I lost about 60 pounds doing Atkins. Learned super quick that low carb was totally for me. I could live without pasta and bread, I couldn’t live without bacon.

Like I said, I lost about 60 pounds doing that. Kept it off too. Well, minus the 10 pound gain back after eating normally again. And okay, it wasn’t 100 years, that just might have been an exaggeration. It was probably more like 10 years ago.

Then, in 2013, when I really count this journey starting, I was trying the calorie counting route. Blerg. It was all egg whites and turkey bacon and steamed broccoli and chicken breast only. I went to culinary arts, man. I know how to make food taste amazing. And it’s not by watching how many calories are in it.

About 2 months into what I call Calorie Counting Ickyness, Ideal Protein became a thing. I saw how it worked for a lot of people and I hopped right up on that wagon. It totally works. If you have the extra money and mindset to stick to it – it allows for absolutely zero cheating – I suggest doing it. Only problem was that it really isn’t geared for people who are active. I wasn’t looking to just get skinny, I wanted to be fit too. (Hey, if you’ll notice I changed the title of this blog from “Skinny” to “Fit” – nice yeah?)

So, I kinda followed IP and it did work, but I wasn’t happy because I did not have the energy I needed to work out. So, I lost about 40 pounds doing it, gained back 10 when I added in carbs and normal eating.

Seeing the 10 pound gain back pattern? I did! Good reference for when I was all about the number on the scale. Set my goal for 10 pounds less than I actually wanted to weigh so I’d be at goal with the gain back.

Anyway, my super awesome friend Juice/Jen and I decided to go back on IP and keep each other accountable. Sadly, it didn’t stick, but I did get a copy of the IP for Athlete’s plan out of that endeavor. This allowed, like, half a serving of dairy, whole grain carbs and fruit along with the standard plan. I liked this. My body needed the extra natural sugar and carb boost for fitness. That lasted a good chunk into 2014 before I got tired of the extra cost of IP foods.

Around the end of April 2014 I found the best thing ever for keeping me accountable in weight loss. Diet Bet. I will now and forever sing the praises of – Holy Hell, will I never stop loving that whole deal! You have to put up your own real cashy money and either lose 4% of your body weight in a month or 10% in 6 months. It’s super simple, everyone who reaches the goal splits the pot, those who don’t reach their goal, get nothing. Amazing motivation to stick with your plan. And, I’ve made (actually made, as in not counting the money I put up) around $500. Keeping it all in the bank and going to use it for new clothes!!

Using what I learned about watching carb gram counts from Atkins and cutting out fatty stuff from IP I came up with my own eating plan. And, it’s not a diet, it’s a total eating makeover. Totally easy for me to stick to as well, I mean, there are days when the doughnut spread at work is super tempting, but for the most part, it’s not a struggle to stick to it.

Wanna know what I’m doing?

Of course you do.

Here goes. In a day I can have:

  1. As much lean protein as I want – cooked healthy – no frying!
  2. As many veggies as I want – cooked healthy – steamed, roasted
  3. One cup of tea or coffee and one cup of milk (I drink unsweeted almond) then nothing but water. NOTHING but water. I can toss some lime or lemon in if I want, but that’s it.
  4. At least 10 8oz glasses of water – I usually blow this out of the water by 11am.
  5. One serving of whole fruit – it has to be low carb/high fiber fruits: berries, avocado, apricots, lemon, lime ect.
  6. One serving of whole grain based carbs, two servings if I’m working out that day
  7. No added sugar foods
  8. Low carb whey protein powder or similar high protein/low carb drink for 2 of my three snacks out of the day – or any time I feel hungry and it’s not a meal time
  9. 90% of my fat from healthy sources – avocado, olive oil, unsweetened nut butter, nuts ect. (I say 90% because sometimes I just need bacon)

My workout day menu typically looks like this:

Breakfast:                  1-2 eggs, 2-3oz turkey sausage, 1/2c oatmeal, 1/4 berries, 2ish oz milk, coffee/tea w/milk

Mid Day Snack:         Protein shake or drink

Lunch:                       Lean protein – typically baked, and veggies – typically steamed – As much as I want

Post Wkout Snack:    Dave’s Killer Bread: 21 Grain, 2 tablespoons unsweetened nut butter, protein drink

Dinner:                      Same as lunch

Water Consumption: About 90-150 ounces. Seriously. I have a giant pink water bottle that is 70oz, I drink almost 2 a day.

Non workout days I typically have my carb at dinner – baked sweet potato (NO sweetener) or whole grain dinner roll or small serving of potatoes ect.

Now, I do have a sweet tooth flare up once in a while. And man, the doughnut spread in the Cafe…. dude. I’m there when they get dropped off. The boxes are still warm, the glaze still dripping, and smelling like they just came out of the fryer….. Yeah, it gets tempting. The protein powder I use is much sweeter than I like, so I’ll have a little bit to kill the sweet tooth at work, at home I’ll have a piece or two of Russel Stover’s sugar free candies. So good and a few pieces will not kill your carbs for the day.

Working out followed an evolution as well.

Started with DVD’s at home. Loved The Biggest Loser work out DVD’s. Pretty sure there’s a post forever ago about my love affair with them. The DVD’s were great and so was the treadmill and elliptical I had at home.

Then after about 6-8 months of doing the stuff at home, I joined Planet Fitness. I know there is a ton of Planet Fitness hate out there. But seriously?! Just ‘cuz you think the “Lunk” thing is bullshit or are a total CrossFit snob , doesn’t mean you need to get down on people joining any kind of gym. And yes, by hatin’ on the gym, you really make the people who use it feel like you’re looking down on them too. Anyway, I digress. I joined Planet Fitness and found the elliptical. Loved the elliptical. Rocked that bitch for about a year. I did trow in a class or two with the trainer at PF, but I totally cardio bunnied it up in there.

After I talked with the trainer at PF and he explained that burning calories doing cardio vs. lifting weights was like feeling full by eating soup vs. oatmeal. One lasts a lot longer than the other. So, I started with weight machines. Do the row of leg machines and elliptical one day, row of arm machines and elliptical the next day, do the circuit area and elliptical one day…

And on and on and on.

Let me tell you, there is some weight to be moved using machines. But then I took the next evolutionary leap. See, using the machines really doesn’t push you. It’s a start, but you work so much less because you don’t have to use a million other little muscles to keep form. I can do, like, 65 pounds for flies on the machine, but like 20 with free weights, and I hurt so much more when I use the free weights.

So, with the help of a few friends who have gone down a similar path with weight loss/getting toned, a trainer and Fitness Buddy (totally worth the money to buy the app) I now sit down at the beginning of my week and map out what muscle groups I’m doing on what days and make sure I have five balanced days scheduled out.

After moving to free weights, I totally get the whole “Oh Damn, leg day was yesterday. I can’t even sit to pee today” thing.

I mentioned earlier about when I was only worried about the number on the scale. To a degree, I still am. I figure I have about 40-50 pounds before I quit worrying about the scale and worry only about the mirror. See, a girl who doesn’t lift and is 5’5″ at 130 pounds won’t look at good as a girl who lifts and is 5’5″ and tips at 160.

Don’t want to be skinny, want to be fit.


So, best thing about all this?

The energy and endorphin spike I get from eating right and working out.

It totally rocks.

Looooooong Time, huh?

Posted: April 1, 2015 in Rambling, Updating

So. It’s been a minute since I’ve posted.

Lot has happened. I started my job back in a kitchen. SO good to be back!

I finally, FINALLY broke 220! I haven’t been this small for probably 12+ years.

And, I think I can break 200 in the next month, so, you know, gonna have to ask y’all a favor.

I need Gris Gris and what nots to help make sure I don’t fuck it up.

OH! I’ve also started weight training! Super excited! I have arm muscles! Like, real, legit arm muscles! YAY!!

Sorry it’s been so long. Life and all.

Big Yays – 20 pounds down since the begining of May – So that’s good. Only 10 more pounds to get my tattoo expanded!!

But, today, boys and girls, lets talk about what stress does to us.

We all have stress hit in different ways, and while I would love to be the person that has stress hit and can’t eat and winds up cleaning non-stop, I’m not. Well, not all the time at least. Well, not the cleaning bit. I do get so stressed that 500 calories in a day is about the max I can handle. But, mostly I get super stressed and I eat terrible food and want to hide under a blanket and marathon bad TV.

Now, it’s been a while since I had a bout of really bad stress, or at least stress that pushed me to that point. Usually it’s just the run of the mill, pissy attitude and super short temper type of stress.

You know, let me lay some background for you.

I took this summer off to play around and have fun. I always planned to go back to a professional kitchen when Hellian reached full day school. That time has come. I was talking to a friend who told me to apply at the hospital to cook there. Come to find out two of my friends from Culinary are working there too. After doing a lot of thinking, I realized something. This would be it. This would be the last job I looked for so long as I lived in Fairbanks. Shy of opening my own restaurant, this would be the 20 year job for me.

Had the interview yesterday and after talking to them, it seems wonderful. It’s the perfect mix between standard mass production cooking and running your own show in restaurant kitchen. I was excited about the health benefits (our $690/month out of pocket health insurance fee is killing us) but they have a ton of awesome benefits outside that. They partner with the movie theater, a fuel company, AT&T and a ton more to get us breaks on a bunch of stuff. But really, I couldn’t care less about the fringe benefits. I WANT TO GET IN THAT KITCHEN!!!

Anyway, I submitted my application and for the week and a half it took them to call for an interview I was a nervous psycho mess. I would check the online status of my application about, oh, IDK, an average of 20 times a day. Seriously. Not even kidding. Then I got the call and the interview set up. The next 18 hours were spent with me so wigged that I could not eat. Now, in the last 24 hours I went from “coming to” with terrible food in my hand/mouth to being so stressed that my stomach is growling I’m so hungry but absolutely nothing looks or tastes good. I mean, I sit down to eat and I just can’t.

Stress can do some terrible things to us. Send us into some wicked mood swings. It would be so easy if we could just talk ourselvs out of whatever the issue is. Yes, once the stressed bit of our life moves on the problem doesn’t seem that bad. But man, there is just no help for it when it’s right over our head. For a long time I tracked (daily) Yesterday’s calories, stress level exercise and both quality and quantity of sleep – alongside that day’s morning weight. What did I find you ask? Well, I found that if I was stressed or didn’t sleep well the day before, I had a weight gain the next day. But, it’s not just the gain that’s a downer. It turns into this whole self replicating deal – stress leads to poor sleep leads to weight gain leads to lower self esteem leads to less positive thoughts leads to inability to perk yourself up leads to inability to mentally bring yourself above what’s stressing you leads to more stress leads to poor sleep ….. and on and on and on.

In short? Stress sucks.

Tune back in next week kids when I tell you all about the Holy Grail of keeping yourself on track with your weight loss.

So. I Joined a gym

Posted: December 3, 2013 in Rambling, The Plan, Updating

We had Planet Fitness move up here a bit ago.

I know it’s not the best gym out there, and that I’m probably going to be working out with a ton of senior citizens, but I don’t even care.

It’s $20 a month for unlimited equipment use, classes, personal trainer help, tanning and massage chairs. And, and I can bring someone with me.

And, before y’all go off on the evils of tanning, I’m not excited about the vanity bits of tanning. I’m excited to see if it helps with my sun allergy. The longer I’m in Alaska, the worse it gets. I have to wear SPF 50 or higher and reapply every hour or hello painful hives. I ‘m hoping that getting in the tanning bed a few minutes every few weeks will help lessen the UV shock to my system in the summer.

Anyway. Back at IP and now adding fitness.

Woo. Look at me go.




I’m running for the School Board up here. The whole damn upheaval inside me is written over in the Effed Up Blog. Over here, I’m gonna touch on what the hell this is doing to me and the weight loss saga y’all have been kind enough to listen to me whine about.

So. It’s fair to say that I have been eating away my nerves for 30 years. I mean, well, maybe not from the very beginning, but close enough.

After making the decision to run for the Board, and remembering that it’s a borough wide vote, not internal school district family vote, I’ve been having the hardest time with not eating.

I’m serious, I have been picking up and putting down some terrible foods recently. It’s been bad, really bad.

And, let’s be honest, an IP brownie is not the same as a thick, doughy rich chocolate brownie. I mean, it’s a decent compromise for the real thing, but when you want comfort foods, you want the real thing.

Eh. this will all come out in the end, I just have to ignore the 30 years of stress eating and try to soldier on.

This last weekend was bad. I gave in. I had a brownie, mac and cheese, french fries, bread, pancake with real syrup, wine and a bourbon drink. It wasn’t pretty. Like, even a little bit. I knew better, but I had someone talk about how rough running for the Board is going to be and they just went into every fear I had, When the brownie was brought out for desert, I caved. It was really, really good. Baked exactly the way I liked. Not quite baked all the way through with dark chocolate chunks dotted throughout it. I ate it. Then lunch the next day was a burger with fries, dinner was ribs with mac and cheese and the next day’s breakfast was a pancake, eggs and a bit of sausage.

Ug. I’m back at it today, with all sorts of regrets. Hate that I did that, I was about a month away from extending my tattoo. Now it’ll be closer to 6 weeks, maybe two months.

Anyway. I felt so awful after eating the bad foods, I’m hoping I won’t do it again. I was on such a roll too.



So, I made these today. They still need some work, but are really good and I’ll post updates after I tinker with the recipe a little more.

  • 2 Egg whites
  • 2 oz Cold water
  • Few drops of extract (I like almond, orange or rum)
  • 1 Packet chocolate pudding mix (or any flavor, really)
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking powder
  1. Pre heat oven to 350.
  2. Whip egg whites, water and extract in a mixer until stiff peaks form.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the pudding mix and baking powder.
  4. Fold into the egg white mixture. Don’t be too heavy handed when folding the mix in. it will not blend fully.
  5. Scoop out with a tablespoon or small cookie scoop onto a well greased sheet pan. They don’t really spread so don’t worry about spacing. It made about 12.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the outside is a little crunchy to the touch.
  7. They will falls a little flat after removing them form the sheet pan, but they have an awesome crisp outside texture and spongy inside texture.

I don’t like sweet, so these were perfect. If you like sweet, add a bit of your favorite non calories sweetener.


Kinda look like dirty snowballs, huh?

IP Fudgecicles

Posted: July 21, 2013 in Ideal Protein, IP, IP Recipe, Updating
Tags: , ,

Guys? GUYS!

Go to Jo Ann’s. Buy this. It’s on sale for 40% off right now (at least at my store):


Then take two pudding packets and mix with two cups of unsweetened chocolate almond milk.

Divide between the 8 Popsicle slots, drop in the stick thingies and pop in the freezer.



Best part? 4 of them equal one unrestricted packet!! And yes, the almond milk isn’t really approved. But, a swig out of the carton (don’t judge me, I’m a grown up and can drink out of the jug) is my sweet tooth saving grace!

Also? The unsweetened stuff is not bad on the carb scale: