Finally, a picture of progress

It’s not much, and my posture really doesn’t make the progress as noticeable as it ACTUALLY is, but I think the smile on my face says it all:

ImageTaken today, 3/30/2012, I am posing with 20lbs of potatoes, which is the total amount of weight I have lost to date!


Baby steps

So after my miserable 2nd attempt at Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred, I have been timid about exercise. Hesitant to jump back into it and risk the third failure. But at the same time, I hate the stagnation- I know I’m not going to keep moving in the right direction if I don’t get my body moving. It’s time to stop being lazy, and start getting active.

This weekend, rather than committing to exercise, I committed to yard work. It got me up, outside, and doing work. And boy, did we work. 7 straight hours on Saturday, and at least 2-3 more on Sunday. We moved, raked, pruned, clipped, and pulled weeds. When all was said and done, we had a 10 foot long pile parallel to the road (we get free pickup inside the city limits) that was at least 3 feet high and 4 feet deep. It was huge.

Let me tell you- Jillian Michaels has nothing on my yard. 5 days later, I am still feeling the burn. But for once, I avoided the excuses and committed to working through the pain, in a safe and proactive way. After work Monday, Alex and I began our first of many daily walks. From our house once around the block is just a little over a mile. Everyday so far this week we’ve walked it once, and our goal is to move up to twice tomorrow. We’re moving at a fairly brisk pace, but nothing too strenuous. The days have been warm with a forgiving breeze, and we definitely feel the “workout” when we get done, without me feeling incapacitated for days on end. It may not yield the huge results that 30 day shred ultimately will, but every single day since Sunday I have seen the scale drop 1 entire pound.

This is huge after 5 weeks of steadily losing no more than 1lb in a week!

I am officially down 17.2lbs, weighing in today at 257.8lbs.

These numbers are not huge, but they are going in the right direction. I’m feeling refreshed and reinvigorated. I finally feel like I am back on track, and ready to speed things up. Thank you all for continuing to support me, follow my progress, and share in my experience. Thanks for sticking around, baby step after baby step.

Salmon- my new obsession

Prior to starting this journey, I wouldn’t touch salmon with a ten foot pole. I don’t know if I just never had it prepared well, or if I was just too scared of fish to really give it a fair chance, but literally…the pole would have had to be ten feet, at least.

Alex and I went to O’Charley’s one night with some friends at the beginning of my healthy eating revolution, before I was really comfortable ordering off of a menu at a restaurant. Since I knew salmon is supposed to be super healthy, and the meal only came with a side of broccoli, I figured it would be a pretty safe (and healthy!) bet (minus all of the additional sodium that I feel is in pretty much any meal that I don’t prepare myself…)

I tried their cedar-planked salmon, and I have not turned back since. O’Charley’s is not my favorite restaurant, and some of their food is slightly strange, so I was definitely a little nervous. But both of the friends that we went to dinner with either previously worked at O’chuck’s, or currently work there, and they both stood by the salmon as one of the highest reviewed and biggest selling dishes they offer. So I gave it agao, and it was love at first bite.

I can’t fully describe the absolute succulence that pours through every taste bud with this dish, but I knew that I had to learn how to replicate it at home. Alex and I picked up a four pack of cedar planks at our local Kroger, and got them soaking in some salt water. Essentially what I have learned is to let them song as long as possible. Our package said at least 1 hour in salted water, but everything I read online said the longer, the better. We settled on about two hours since we didn’t have much more time to prepare, and while I don’t think the fish even needs a strong marinade when cooked on the plank, the recipe below was one of the most delicious pieces of fish I have eaten, ever. Bar none. I’ve peaked, it will never, ever get ANY better than this salmon. On a side note, you can use cedar planks in the oven, but it’s 80 degrees in March, so we used the grill, damnit!

Cedar-Planked Asian Salmon
2 mid-sized salmon fillets, skin removed (this is kind of difficult pre-cooking, but do it.)
1/2 cup soy sauce (I use low-sodium Kikkoman)
Dried mustard (I don’t do measurements when I cook…)
Grated ginger (see above…)
Granulated garlic (see above…)
Granulated onion (see above…)

I split the fillets into four equal pieces, and stirred the marinade together in a bowl. Once the ingredients were well-mixed, I placed the fillets inside and refrigerated them for 2-3 hours. During this time the planks were also “marinating” in the salt water.

When everything else is getting ready to go (you want to be out 20 minutes out from everything being ready) fire up the grill. You want the grill right around 350-400. Heat the cedar planks on the grill for 3 minutes, then flip and place salmon fillets on heated side. Close the grill lid and let salmon cook without flipping at all for between 10 and 15 minutes depending on the size of your fillets.

We paired these with some baked potatoes and roasted asparagus for one of the most succulent, juicy, smoky meals that grill has ever produced. Each bite was like walking one step further into heaven. The salmon was smoky, meaty, and full of Asian flavor. It paired perfectly with the potatoes and asparagus, and even had my salmon-hating mom’s mouth watering!

If you’re skeptical about salmon, give this recipe a go- you’ll never doubt it again!

I don’t have caloric information for the entire meal, but the Salmon breaks down like this: 199 calories per serving, 4g carbs, 9g fat, 27g protein, 1g fiber. The recipe claims a large amount of sodium, but you don’t drink the marinade, so you don’t really get as much as it says (so much so that I won’t list it here!)


Getting back to the roots (and I don’t mean vegetables…)

I have been struggling lately.

There, I feel better already.

You can almost bet if I have an absence from the airwaves, outside of being crazy busy, I’m most likely struggling. And no matter how gung ho I appear about sharing this journey and making my struggles public both so I have an accurate catalog of my journey, and to garner support, advice, and positive thoughts…part of me is still that timid girl who keeps to herself. That nervous first-time writer in her first creative class who nearly breaks down at the thought of having her writing read.

No matter how much talk I talk, it is always harder for me to walk my walk. But today I read one of Mark’s posts over at A Fat Man’s Journey, and I was just so inspired. I’ve been following Mark since I began my journey, and have always found him to have some pretty profound things to say, and I’ve always related with both his struggles and his triumphs, but today just really shook me awake.

Today he talks about the guilt he felt taking a day off from working out, and the panic he feels if he forgets to log something. These are the exact same feelings that I struggle with. But when I start to struggle, I get scared. When I get scared, I hide. I hide from my support network, I hide from my blog, I hide from My Fitness Pal. I run, and I hide, but at the end of the day, I can’t hide from myself.

Some of my last posts on here talk about starting the 30 day shred. Well, I started! And, once again, I made it through two days. TWO DAYS. And not because I couldn’t do it! Because once I stopped and felt guilty, I fell into my same holding pattern of excuse after excuse. “I’ll start back on Sunday, so that I have a full week…” then Sunday comes and goes. Rinse and repeat. Or, “I’ll start walking instead since the weather is so beautiful! Then I’ll work back into the shred…” Then I sit on my ass and watch tv all night.

If I miss logging my food once, I freak out about missing it and stop logging altogether. Excuses, for me, are like Lay’s. You can’t have just one. Before you know it, you hear yourself oink, look down, and the whole bag of chips is gone.

I guess that’s part of what’s bringing me back here today. My bag of chips (excuses) is empty. I physically can’t make anymore. The weather is divine. The basement is clean and has plenty of indoor workout room. Our internet connection works. I’m not sick anymore. I even have a new 7:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m schedule at work. NO EXCUSES.

So, I’m back on the air, and I’m looking for you. I’m looking for every single one of you. The occassional readers, the loyal favorites, the strangers, family, and friends alike. I’m asking you to be on high alert. I’m at the tipping point. I’m at the tip of my mountain where I usually fall back down the other side. I can’t start back at square one. Despite the excuses and the clumsy lack of moderation I’ve had over the last few weeks, I have managed to maintain and continue losing in very small amounts.

I started my journey at 275 lbs, a number that I have never shared with anyone, but one that you all deserve to know (I’m asking you to hold me accountable, afterall…) Today, I weigh 258.6 lbs, a total loss of 16.4 lbs. Today I shake it off. I shake off the excuses, the struggle, and I get back to basics. I stop the snacking, and start the movement again.

All I want from you is a little extra encouragement. Throw a like on my post. Leave me some kind words. And for goodness’ sake: if I don’t let you know how I’m doing, give me a shout! Yell at me! Jump up and down and wave your hands in front of my face! Give me a cyber-slap of reality. And remind me that I CAN do it, and that the only thing standing in the way of my success is my own fear of success.

Later I will catch you up on some of the things I have accomplished, including a few new recipes, but for now…it’s time to get to work!