Friday, April 30, 2010

How I know the gym is working...

Rico and I decided that since this was his last night before the "big diet" begins and since I just finished up my contest (and haven't had a cheat day in 4 weeks) that tonight we would splurge.  We decided on Outback.  I still managed to stay within my calorie allotment for the day even with steak. I still requested that neither the steak nor the veggies - I vetoed the potatoes and fries - be cooked in butter, which significantly lowered the calories and fat. Outback now has selections on their regular menu that can be modified to be under 500 calories (marked by a feather - as in light as a feather??)

That was until the Double Chunk Chocolate Chip cookies at Fred Meyer's called our names!).  But as soon as I got home (and polished off a few of those delicious cookies) I started feeling guilty.  Is that eaters remorse??  Did I deserve a cheat day (well only a meal really)? Yes.  Did I go overboard? No.  So why the guilt?  Who knows.  But to work off that guilt, slipped into my workout clothes and headed out to spend my Friday evening at the gym.  I lead such an exciting life!  But I did work off that steak...I didn't burn enough calories to work off the cookies but I feel better either way.

And the winner is...

#3 - Joe at 2%
#2 - Me at 4.42% (yes I'm going to be trivial on the amount because I'm damn proud of that #!!)
#1 - Holly at an awesome 6%

Congratulations Holly!  I now have to go scrounge around for quarters because I owe her a Subway sandwich for lunch.  These were high stakes, people!

As we wrap up BFL here, Rico is just beginning his.  For the next 12 weeks.  I've lost 10.4lbs in the past 4 weeks (about 2.5lbs a week) which they say is the healthiest way to lose it and keep it off.  I have to constantly remind myself not to compare to the real Biggest Loser because that's TV and while they're doing it healthily, they also work out 7hrs a day and have trainers and take 6 months off of real life to do it.

I'm actually really enjoying trying to find new recipes to torture Rico with.  I've started following Cooking Light and Kalyn's Kitchen.  I have to give up such delights as The Pioneer Woman because while all of her recipes are delicious, they also contain enough calories to drown a horse! 

We don't really have any weekend plans right now, but Rico did find a photography equipment sale going on at the Puyallup Fair grounds, so we might go check that out.  I'm really drooling over a Nikkor Autofocus 50mm f/1.8D which is a really great universal lens that takes awesome shots in low light situations.  So like my Thanksgiving pictures that came out yellowish...yeah, this would have helped that! Now the other's on the "you can only afford it in your wildest dreams list"... AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR.  I want this one for landscapes - you know those really awesome wide angle shots that have a ton of sky and detail to them.  Yep, that's what this lens does!

You may go back to your regularly scheduled programs now and I will go wipe the drool off the keyboard and get back to that thing they call work ...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Photo Walk

My photo buddy, Amanda and I signed up to do this walk on June 5th.   It's going to be held in 20 cities around the US - we're attending the Seattle version (obviously).  From what I understand, we'll do a two hour walk around Seattle, taking pictures of models and sites with a tour guide that will give us tips for on-location shooting.  This group normally focuses on human faces which really isn't my forte but I figured we'd give it a shot and maybe get some professional tips out of it.  We'll end the tour with lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory! Yum!  It's rain or shine so knowing Seattle weather... we'll definitely have to bring umbrellas and risk looking like tourists because there's no way I'm getting my beautiful camera wet!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

I feel like we've done our small part...we've switched to reusable canvas bags when we go grocery shopping, recycling, changing out our high energy sucking light bulbs for "green" lights (even Rico hates them because they buzz), at least one of our cars is great on gas mileage (over 30mpg - Go Malibu!), and we've made a concerted effort to switch from bottled water to using tap water and just refilling our regular (refillable) water bottles that we take to gym.  I know there's more we could be doing but just listing those off makes me feel better! (But then again... I'm not that crunchy to begin with!)

I have one week to go until our BFL weigh in at Emerald Downs.  I won't reveal numbers yet because at least one of my competitors follows the blog ::waves to Holly::.  We weigh in next Friday.  I'm the largest competitor so I have more to lose in order to catch up with those Skinny Minnies in the contest.

But contest aside, overall the diet is going really well.  I did the same diet back in high school with Mom and it worked then and I lost 32lbs and got down to an astonishing 128!  I'm hoping for even better results this time (definitely not lower than that # but the ability to lose more to get back to a healthy weight).  Rico and I have dramatically cut down on going out to eat -- which is extremely good for our waist lines and our wallets. I'm working out 3-4 times a week with about an hour of cardio when I go to the gym.  I don't know what clicked this time, but I'm actually starting to like going to the gym.  I've heard people say it before and I didn't believe it would come out of my mouth but...the gym can be addicting! ::gasp in horror::  No, really, I feel much better after having worked out and I'm definitely seeing the results on the scale, as well as in clothes.  I keep to my diet on Spark People, which is a free support forum/website that has a ton of healthy recipe ideas, your charts so you can keep track of weight, what foods you eat and how much of each nutrient is in each food.  My goal is to lower my sodium and fat intake, up my protein and stick to around 1200 calories a day.  Spark People made it very easy to do that, along with keeping track of how many glasses of water a day I drink and how many servings of fruits and veggies I have.

Rico begins his Biggest Loser contest with work next Thursday, but his runs for 12 weeks so that should give me the extra boost to stick with this change in eating habits.  An unfortunate side effect of my being in the BFL is that Rico has lost 5lbs already...without exercising!  I say that like it's a bad thing- it's really not! But that means he has 5lbs less to lose during his competition.  His incentive though is pretty sweet...$500 cash!  

I didn't mean for this to turn into a novel about the new diet but that is the major thing going on in our lives right now.  I finished up my 3rd and final Photoshop class at Green River last week.  I got some helpful hints and am starting to understand what an amazing program it is.  I still have a long way to go but another cool thing I've discovered is called "Actions" which are like preset "maneuvers" that you can do to your photos, kind of like shortcuts!  I am loving those!  But I kind of feel like I'm cheating because I'm not really learning how to do those individual steps, but whatever, its the same end result, right??

Monday, April 12, 2010

Beach Adventures!

The beach, horses and doesn't get much better than that for me!

Mandy asked me to go along with her to chaperon her sister Rachael, Rachel's friend Lacey and Mandy's daughter Abby on Spring Break in Ocean Shores.

I'm-An-Adult-Realization-Moment #1: I overheard the girls say one morning, "They're already dressed and ready ...its only 10:30!"  Oh, the horror! And my mother will laugh when she reads this because I was the exact same way!

I'm-An-Adult-Realization-Moment #2: We had to teach Abby how to use a VCR this weekend...she'd never seen one before!  What? Rewinding takes minutes instead of seconds?!

We had a wonderfully beautiful weekend with great weather, if a bit windy.  We were afraid we would get rained out or it would be too cold but neither happened.  Abby was even able to get into a bathing suit on Sunday afternoon and dig some holes in the sand.

While the girls were playing in the sand and releasing some pent up energy from the 2 1/2 hr ride, Mandy and I grabbed our cameras.

 Miss Abby and her favorite horse:

Saturday afternoon, we went horseback riding on the beach.  I got to ride a gigantic horse... I don't know if he was a Clydesdale but he sure had the look and height of one!  He was the Great Dane of the group :) His name was Trigger and he was a doll!  If I could do this everyday, I would be one happy lady!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More Cooking Ventures... Herb Roasted Chicken w/ Zuccini/Squash Medley

I tend to get bored cooking really easily - at least when I'm cooking the same thing over and over again.  Other than my go-to items like spaghetti, I try to find variations on a regular basis.  I found this recipe on one of my favorite cooking blogs - The Pioneer Woman

Other than Thanksgiving or Christmas, I don't usually stuff whole birds with anything.  But this came out really well and I'll have to remember this trick (I say trick like it's a new thing but really, it's not new - I've just never done it).

From this:
 To this:

A very healthy plate if I do say so myself!  I didn't eat the skin but it does add nice color to the plate.  The zuccini/squash medley is compliments of my  mother.  For some reason, I use to not like this (probably because of the onions - good thing I'm over that now!).

Zuccini/Squash Medley
1 zuccini
1 squash
1/2 onion (or more depending on preference)
8 mushrooms sliced (or more)
1 can of diced tomatoes (with Italian herbs)
3 T of Olive Oil
1 T minced garlic

Heat oil in a large saute pan on med-high.  Once heated, add onions & garlic for about 2 min.  Turn heat down to medium and cook until onions start to look translucent (about 2-3 mins) and add zucchini, squash, mushrooms.  Stir to get all ingredients coated with the olive oil goodness.  Add diced tomatoes (including juice).  Stir & lower heat to med-low.  Cover and let simmer for 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally.

Below are some pictures from around the apartment complex...Spring is fighting to show its head in between the rain showers and gusty winds!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Quick Update

The one where I don't see my husband for the next week!

The accounting department at work is doing their own version of BFL (Biggest Frickin' Loser).  Every week we bet a quarter (yeah I know, big gamblers, huh?) on who will be the Biggest Loser of the week on the show.  Last season, all of Emerald Downs participated in a company wide Biggest Loser competition, with great results -- my boss won with losing over 30 pounds.  Well, this season, the game's on with our department.  Holly, Mike, Joe, Steve and myself are competing against each other for the next 30 days to see who can lose the highest percentage of weight.  

Rico and I are doing really well by cutting our portion sizes, adding more fruits and veggies as well as going to the gym and working out at home.  Hopefully this will be the kick in the pants we need ...I just found out my dad has Diabetes so that puts me (and our future kids) at a higher risk too.  Luckily he's not insulin dependent yet.  He's on Metformin to control it right now and it seems to be working.

So with that said, in between working out, I also signed up for my first Photoshop class through Green River Community College.  It starts tomorrow with 3 sessions (Monday, Wednesday & Next Monday), from 6-9pm.  So excited! I really want to learn how to make my photos look more professional. And on Tuesday, I have an orientation for Opening Day at Emerald Downs.  

Also, this coming weekend, I'm having a girls weekend in Ocean Shores, leaving Friday and returning Sunday.  It should be lots of fun and hopefully the weather holds out because we plan to ride horses on the beach :D

Rico also began Spring Quarter at school so he's diligently doing homework in his classes.

Happy Easter everyone!