Broccoli with Garlic

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Broccoli, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup jarred roasted red pepper (not packed in oil), chopped

Recipe

  • Bring ½ inch of water to boil in large non-stick skillet.  Add broccoli and cook, covered, until crisp tender, about 5 minutes; drain.  Wipe skillet dry.
  • Add oil to skillet and set over medium heat.  Add broccoli, garlic and oregano; cook, stirring, until garlic is golden, about 2 minutes.   Stir in roasted red pepper; cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute longer.

Yields 4 servings

Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers® New Complete Cookbook – 4th ed.  Deborah Mintcheff.Hoboken: Wiley Publishing, Inc, 2011.
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Honey-Mustard Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Dijon Mustard
  • 4 tsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Cider or White Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ tsp Black Pepper
  • 4 (5 oz) Bone-In Loin Pork Chops, about 1 inch thick

Recipe

  • Liquefy honey in a microwave safe bowl, at 20% power for about 30 seconds
  • To make marinade, stir together all ingredients except pork in bowl
  • Transfer marinade to large zip-close plastic bag; add pork.  Squeeze out air and seal bag; turn to coat meat.  Refrigerate, turning occasionally, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  • Spray broiler rack with non-stick cooking spray.  Preheat broiler.
  • Remove chops from bag; discard marinade.  Place chops on prepared broiler rack and broil 5 inches from heat until cooked through, about 6 minutes per side.

Yields 4 servings

Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers® New Complete Cookbook – 4th ed.  Deborah Mintcheff.Hoboken: Wiley Publishing, Inc, 2011.
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I Think I Mean It This Time…

Anyone who diets, WLS patient or not, knows that once you’ve fallen off the wagon, it’s hard to get back on and, the longer you’ve been off, the harder it is to get on the straight and narrow.  I’ve been a piece of shit for quite some time now, since November really, and I am feeling ready to be back on the healthy horse; the best part is, I think I mean it this time!  LOL

After doing a huge grocery tour, I came home and prepped healthy lunches for the week and prepared a stir fry that both my boyfriend and I really enjoyed.  I’ve got a couple other recipes on deck to try and I’m really looking forward to trying those, as well.  Sometimes, I think new recipes and cooking is all I really need to get back into the swing of things… That’s not to say I don’t feel like a crackhead going through junk food withdraws, because I do, but being back in the kitchen, cooking and preparing BOTH of us healthy meals, has me inspired to be a better me again and that’s the first step; well, that and being so disgusted with the past 6 months of poor eating habits, over eating and the nasty physical feeling of being weighted down by garbage.

I plan on posting the recipes I try and my reviews of them again; I love sharing food and my take on it with ANYONE willing to listen.  After this… it’s time to get back into the gym.  Healthy eating is only going to take me so far; this stubborn stomach isn’t gonna kick rocks by itself, right?  Thankfully, not only do I now have the most amazing friend in the world supporting me but I have my significant other ready to change his health, too.  I have support from every angle at all times of the day and there’s no excuse for any further slacking off; the only person left to blame is myself…

Ready or Not, Self, Here I Come ‘Cause Ain’t No Stopping Me Now… I’m On the Move!

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Tortellini Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 5 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 8 to 9 oz fresh or frozen tortellini (meat or cheese filled)
  • 2 to 3 TBS chopped fresh parsley
  • Black pepper, to taste (I use 1 tsp and add it in with the other spices)

Recipe

  • Heat the olive oil in a medium soup pot or large saucepan.  Add the onion, zucchini and carrot.  Saute over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent.
  • Add the stock, basil, bay leaf, tomatoes and salt to the pot.  Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a low boil.  Add the tortellini and bring the soup back to a low boil.  Cook it for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5 to 6 minutes longer.  Gently stir in the parsley and pepper during the last minute or so.

Yields about 6 servings

Tortellini Vegetable Soup.” Recipe. FamilyFun.com. 2010.  <http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/tortellini-vegetable-soup-682394/&gt;.
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Resolutions Are For Quitters

I don’t like making new year resolutions, mainly because I never follow through with them… Ever.  However, for the past three years, I have made a promise to myself to pick one thing in my life and work on it.  In 2009, I worked on my love life; 2010 was dedicated to getting healthy enough, both physically and mentally, for weight loss surgery; 2011 was all about incorporating gastric bypass into my life, all while still being as normal as possible.    Now, in 2012, I have been searching for a a central focus point for the year and I believe I have finally found one…

I truly believe it is high time for me to work on confronting my inner-self, all while maintaining everything I worked so hard for in 2011.  I am going to work on rediscovering who I am on the inside and defining myself by my character instead of my outward appearance; I plan to tackle some demons that have been living inside me so long that they have permanent residency status in my soul; I’m going to fall in love with myself from the inside out.  It’s probably the biggest feat I’ve ever taken on but, it’s so worth it!

I know I said I don’t make resolutions but I do have one public resolution I am willing to make and am asking everyone who reads this, so yeah, all TWO of you, to hold me very accountable: I MUST GET ON AND MAINTAIN A VITAMIN REGIMEN!  I have worked too damn hard to get healthy to fall into a state of deficiency that will do nothing but cause an entirely new set of health concerns.  This simply just is not optional.

So, back to the gym and the healthy eating I go on Monday.  As far as those demons, I haven’t quite decided how I plan to approach and tackle those yet but, I do know, it will no longer be with negative choices.

Happy New Year to You All!

Love,

A New & Improved Former Fat Bitch

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Identity Crisis

*** WARNING ***

I am about to selfishly rant & rave about things you may not give two shits about.  If you don’t like it, here’s an idea, don’t read it.  Moving on…

I am so sick and tired of everyone having an opinion about everything!  When I was a fat cow, people were so concerned with how overweight I was, how unhealthy it was for me and how badly I needed to drop pounds.  Let’s not forget having to hear, my entire life mind you, what a “pretty face” I have.  Can we discuss the rejection?  Let’s talk about how, while Hispanic and African American men were loving my ferocious “curves”, I was snubbed by every single white man on the face of this planet.  Now, this is not awful, as my physical attraction level is directly related to the amount of melanin your body produces but, nevertheless, who wants to feel unwanted and undesirable by an entire race?!

<INSERT NICE FLOWING SEGUE HERE >

Of course, being the hyper-sexual individual that I am, I embraced the black man’s love and have been dating them for the past decade.  I have always been a thicker girl, too.  I mean, I’ve been called bubble butt and had Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” sung to me since long before I even knew what the hell either one really meant.  Obviously, at 300+ lbs, I took that shit to a whole new level; in fact, my ass probably needed it’s own zip code, it was so huge but, being with a black man, any black man really, that was never a problem and, of course, it became my “selling point”; well, that and the triple D’s I once had, but that’s an entirely different rant.  Actually, no, it isn’t.  It fits right in…

Here’s the dealio… Now that I’ve dropped 130+ lbs and I’ve gone from being a voluptuous, but appreciated, woman to a thick, desirable, woman, I’ve now, unbeknownst to me, settled in at “just another chubby white bitch”.  I was informed by someone who has known me from 180 to 315 and now at 163 that I have simply lost “too much weight”.  When I asked my boyfriend what he thought of that statement, he didn’t really have much to say.  The only thing he could truly do is attempt to clarify the statement by saying “he is talking about your curves”.  This is where I then proceeded to parade around in leggings and a belted shirt, accentuating my rump, saying “how the fuck have I lost curves”?  I mean, seriously, I have lost a ton of weight, and almost as many inches as I have pounds, so but I am still rather proportioned, if I do say so myself!  THIS is where I insert my intelligence because, aside from my “pretty face”, I’ve always been “so bright”, too!

 

BUST

WAIST

HIPS

OLD

53.25

50.00

58.00

NEW

37.75

30.50

40.50

YES!  Everything is smaller!  Yes, my ass no longer needs a wrecking crew to open up doorways before I walk threw them but how are my new ratios not so much better than my last?  The definition between my bust and my waist is so nice and the waist to hips ratio is RIDICULOUS: 10 whole inches?  Come on, Man!  While I no longer “have an ass” or “titties”, I’d like to point out the part you are overlooking: I ALSO no longer look like I’m 87 months pregnant with a preschooler!

So, you know what?  FUCK what you say!  FUCK what your boys say!  FUCK what my girls say!  FUCK what anyone says, really!  When it’s all said and done, the only opinion that really counts is mine!

<INSERT IMITATION LIGHT BULB OVER MY CARTOON HEAD >

Now…

<INSERT ME TAKING A HAMMER TO THAT LIGHT BULB >

The true problem is, I have no sexual identity anymore.  I’ve been so used to being the freaky white girl with a booty and a bosom out of this world that was so highly desirable that, now that that isn’t how men see me, I am going through a severe identity crisis.  Some may say, I shouldn’t care what others think of me; others may say, it doesn’t matter how other men see me as long as MY man loves me for me.  You know what I say to all those people? FUCK you, too!  If you don’t care for my demeanor, my attitude or my language at this point, please allow me to redirect you to the top of the page where I warned your ass to stop reading at any time.  It makes me no difference how much or how little you read this post.  What matters to me, at the current moment, is truly expressing MY petty problems.  Not worrying about someone else’s or trying to fix what’s broken in someone else’s life but focusing on me for the entire hour it took me to truly express how lost I feel now that I have been stripped of the outside exterior that I have spent the past 10+ years hiding my very wounded heart & soul behind.

<INSERT REAL LIGHT BULB HERE >

Because it wasn’t until I literally typed that line out that I realized what is really bothering me!  I have nothing left to hide behind… My exterior is beautiful, know matter what anyone else’s opinion is, and, unfortunately, I can’t “bypass” my internal demons.  It just doesn’t work like that… I really wish it did!

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The Stress of Stress

For those of you who actually know me, you know that November was one of the most stressful times in my young life.  Between the passing of one of my closest friends and the family drama, I have been a complete and utter basket case!  As I’ve shared with you all before, I am a notorious stress eater, too.  In fact, I’m so bad that my girlfriend at the office can tell my stress level by the amount of times I hit up the Hershey kisses and baby candy canes we keep on hand to calm the sweet tooth.  Well, let’s just say I, and I alone, have made a significant dent in that gallon-sized ZipLock bag this past month.  I’ve also been avoiding my kitchen, too.  I haven’t really had the desire to cook; nothing new, nothing old, nothing tried, nothing true.  This depression-induced lack of motivation has then caused me to feel pretty awful about myself and my habits, as I’ve also been absent from my gym routine.  What a vicious circle life’s emotions are, right?  I’m depressed and I feel bad about shit and then I make poor choices and lose my motivation for health and then I feel worse about myself and then the damn cycle starts all over again.  It’s like you can’t even win for losing!

Here’s the thing, though: my angel up above, Shayla, has been working some sick miracles for me these days and it seems like the worst is behind me.  I took care of one final piece of business last night and it now seems like life is finally getting back on track for my boo and I.  With all my worries pacified, I woke up this morning with a new attitude, too, and so, by 8 AM I was dressed for the gym and headed out the door!  I stopped at the post office and got that errand out of the way and then I, happily even, headed to Curves to get my workout on.  Seeing as how I was in such a good mood, I decided that I would risk destroying it all by stepping on the scale and evaluating the damage the last month of depression had caused and, what do you know?

I LOST ANOTHER 5.8 POUNDS!  I’m sorry, let me say that one more time: 5.8 FUCKING POUNDS!

Let me take this moment here to make this PSA: I absolutely do NOT encourage unhealthy weight loss done in any manner at any time.

Ok, now back to me being pumped about my 6 lb (yeah, I’m rounding, don’t judge me) weight loss!  Man… I really thought since I had been absent from the gym for about two weeks and hadn’t been eating nearly as healthily as I typically do PLUS sprinkling Thanksgiving into the mix (and the double stuffed Oreos and sour cream & onion Pringles I snacked on for the first time in a year) that I would have either stayed the same or, at worst, even gained a little bit of weight.  Granted, I’ve been back to being as healthy as possible this past week and I even kept my alcohol consumption to one-and-done at pool Wednesday night but still… All I can say is “Woo Hoo!” because it was the exact motivation I needed to get back on track with my health goals!

Here is where it gets uber exciting, though: not only did I lose the weight but, my body fat %, my fat mass and my BMI all dropped down, too!  For the first time since I was 7, yes 7 year old, I am in a desirable body fat % and fat mass range.  That BMI is still a bitch but it definitely gives me something to continue striving for.  How wonderful it is to see that my hard work has paid off and how reassuring it is to know that I have built my new life around a strong foundation of health and fitness and that, when I stumble and fall, there is always the knowledge that as long as I get back on my wagon, success will always follow.

I let my emotions keep me from getting into Curves at least 12x in November but, with December starting out with a Saturday workout, I think I can do it this month!  In fact, I think I can also lose the additional 3.6 lbs to get me down to my goal weight by 1/1/12, too.  Watch Out World!  I’m coming for you!

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Annual Comparison Table

I was already asked for a year to year comparison chart so I quickly made one up.  Now you can see how I got to 97.25″ lost and where it all fell from…

Starting

1 Year Later

Total Lost

Bust

53.25”

37.75”

15.5”

Waist

50.0”

30.50”

19.5”

Abdomen

54.0”

38.75”

15.25”

Hips

58.0”

40.50”

17.5”

Thighs (x2)

61.0”

41.0”

20.0”

Arms (x2)

34.0”

24.50”

9.5”

Weight

296.0 lbs

169.4 lbs

126.6 lbs

Body Fat %

49.0 %

33.3 %

15.7 %

BMI

49.09

28.19

21.9

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Number Crunch #12

My 1 year anniversary finally came and, while I didn’t meet my “goals”, I must say… these numbers aren’t too shabby!

Here it is since my last weigh & measure:

 

Goal

Previous

Current

Monthly Loss

Goal Deficit

Weight (lbs)

160

172.2

169.4

-2.8

+9.4

Bust (in)

36

38.75

37.75

-1.0

+1.75

Waist (in)

28

31.75

30.50

-1.25

+2.5

Abdomen (in)

37

40.5

38.75

-1.75

+1.75

Hips (in)

38

41.75

40.5

-1.25

+2.5

Thighs (in)

22.5

21.75

20.5

-1.25

ACHIEVED+

Arms (in)

11

12.75

12.25

-.50

+1.25

Body Fat %

21 – 33

35.4

33.3

-2.1

+.3

Fat Mass (lbs)

30.0-55.61

61.01

56.41

-4.6

+.8

BMI

18.5 – 24.9

28.7

28.2

-.5

+3.3

As I mentioned, I didn’t hit my weight goal within the year but my measurements are getting lower and lower each and every time.

I pulled out my old stats and a calculator and came up with some pretty impressive numbers: 126.6 lbs lost and a total of 97.05 body inches gone since last year!

I lost an entire person in the past 12 months.  The truth of the matter is, I truly GAINED myself in the meantime.  I’ve never been more stable in all aspects of my health & happiness than I am today.  Gastric bypass surgery saved me and that, my friends, is the most amazing achievement of all!

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Under Pressure…

As I sit here, feeling extremely moody, I am contemplating everything and anything my mind finds itself marinating on.  Currently, I am sitting here, repeatedly checking my My Days app, trying to figure out why I am having craving after craving after craving for random and just plain BAD food but, of course, I am well aware that I am nowhere near the red zone, my term of endearment for PMS, and even further from actual menstruation so I decided to reel myself back in and really try to pinpoint this roller coaster of emotion I’ve been riding since 4:15 PM… And it hit me… I’m stressed!

Since being laid off last November, my life has been relatively stress-free: no annoying customers to worry about or deadlines to lose sleep over at night; no spoiled-ass children working for Daddy’s company, making six figures, while I sit at the right hand of the owner doing my work, his work and the work of all of the shitheads he spawned too, just so I can pay the bills.  Instead, I’ve been spending my days helping my abundantly talented girlfriend get her own business up & running.  Who doesn’t want to get up every morning and spend the day with their best friend, doing something you love to do and being APPRECIATED for it?  Now, after a year of this, she has grown enough to move into office space and, for whatever reason, it has increased the workload available to me and it has inspired me to grab my own destiny by the balls and really push for success!  I’ve also had to get myself on a real schedule for the first time in a year, too.  Before, I could roll out of bed, do what I felt like and be to her house by 10 am and feel like it was completely normal.  Now, I’m up by 6 (on a good day)/6:30 (at the latest), rushing out to Curves, racing back home to shower and dress and be to the office by 9 am.   Now, for anyone who knows me, it isn’t hard to imagine that I actually LOVE the change this has brought to me; I am a stickler for schedule & order and truly appreciate that I have a routine again but, HOLY SHIT has it taken its toll on me!

All this, on top of an unrealistic goal to be at 160 lbs by 11/15, has had me feeling a bit Under Pressure lately!

Let me tie this all together for you.

Hi, my name is Amy and I’m an over-eater and I placate my emotions, of any kind, with food.  *pauses for everyone to say “Hi, Amy!”*  I’ve been on the wagon for almost 1 year, 355 days to be exact, and I’m proud of my accomplishments.  I consider myself the poster child for gastric bypass surgery; I’ve yet to have a serious complication or problem occur and I have followed the “program” rather well, not that I’ve been perfect.  It has been refreshing to recreate my life from a healthy template my doctors have given me.  But, today, I’ve learned that I still have a journey ahead of me because it wasn’t until today that it hit me: I still have so many coping skills I need to learn.  Every craving I had today was triggered by an emotion that I was feeling: excitement, anger, disappointment, stress.  Thankfully, I keep black bean based brownies, beet based red velvet squares and Greek yogurt filled tiramisu pieces on hand at all times but, when you start to consume one of each per day, no matter how much “healthier” they are for you, it’s still overeating any which way you look at it.

Maybe the gym should be my outlet.  I do truly love how good I feel once I’m done with my workout but working out isn’t always an option at the time.  When it isn’t available to me, I need to find new outlets to embrace my feelings without enlarging my waistline.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  • Walking, even if it is just around the block or a lap around the office building, takes my mind off of the “feeling” so I think I will be implementing that during the workday.
  • Blogging.  When I started this blog, I was ready to go hit up the third dessert of the day.  Now, I am turned off at the thought of consuming another bite of food.  I’m actually still pretty satisfied from my dinner I had about an hour and a half ago.

What says you readers?  What can anyone offer me as a quick and effective way to nip an emotional craving in the bud?  Hit me!

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