Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's Really Happening!

It’s really happening! I made a goal for myself to complete a 5K before I turned 25 and I’m happy to say that I registered for my first 5K this morning! My co-worker and husband are both joining me in this 5K. As of right now, I am not really nervous. I’d say on a nervousness scale of 1 to 10, I am at a 2. The 5K will be taking place in a nearby city on April 28, 2012. The only real expense for this 5K is the entry fee. Both my co-worker and my husband are supportive of my weight-loss efforts so I was very pleased when they expressed their interest in joining me at this event!

(Photo from Registration Packet)

I know right now that I am not going to be running the entire 5K. I don’t even think that I can run a mile at this time, or five minutes straight for that matter. I want it, though. I want to be able to run a mile, which makes me want to run two miles, and then three. I love the feeling of accomplishment, so I think that even if I don’t run half of the 5K, I will still be so happy to complete it!
I’ve never been a spectator or a participant in a 5K before. Does anyone have any tips/advice that I can take with me?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Big Bridesmaid Challenge - Week 7

Big Bridesmaid Challenge Update - Week 7

The Plan:

I'm going to set weekly goals/plans for myself until August 11th. That is the date of my best friend's wedding and I want to feel good about myself in my bridesmaid dress!

The Terms and Conditions:

~ Weigh-in's will be every Sunday morning
~ Dinner plans are to be posted for each week
~ Exercise plans are to be posted for each week

Weekly Weigh-In:

Start Date: 1/11/12
Starting Weight: 245 lbs.
Current Date: 2/19/12
Current Weight: 239.4 lbs (-1 lb from last week)
Total Loss: 5.6 lbs.
Goal Weight: 200 lbs.
Goal Date: 8/11/12
Pounds to Goal: 39.4 lbs.

Dinner Plan for the Week:

Sunday: Mini Eggplant Pizzas
Monday: Shrimp w/ Rice and Broccoli
Tuesday: Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken over Noodles
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Pineapple Pork over Rice
Thursday: Sesame Chicken w/ Rice and Broccoli
Friday: Homemade Calzones
Saturday: Zuppa Toscana

Exercise Plan for the Week:

Sunday: Wii Fit
Monday: Gym
Tuesday: Wii Fit
Wednesday: Gym
Thursday: Wii Fit
Friday: Gym
Saturday: Rest

Recap from the Week:

I am happy to be down a pound this week. Especially after the night that I had! I went out with some friends last night and was suffering from the brown bottle flu all morning and early afternoon. I'm feeling much better right now. Mostly, I'm feeling better thanks to my grandma's homemade beef vegetable soup. My husband was visiting my grandparents this morning, and as a joke I told him to ask her to make me some chicken noodle soup since I wasn't feeling well. Much to my surprise, she did send him home with soup! Grandma's soup is comfort food at it's finest!

My grandma's beef vegetable soup.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Committed

I surprised myself today when I was texting my husband! We were going to have friends over this evening until I realized that I was schedule to go to the gym tonight!




If you read my previous post, I have been up two pounds all week. That is, until this morning when it finally came back down! I was very frustrated because I was doing everything right, yet I was up in weight. I'm still not sure why that happened, I'm just relieved to be back down!

As for tonight and tomorrow, all that I can do is my best, and hope to break the 230's by Sunday morning!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Wish I Knew Why!

I need to keep reminding myself that I have been doing great this week, despite what the scale has been telling me. The scale has been very, very wrong in my opinion. According to the scale, I am up two pounds and have been for the past three days now. I feel betrayed because there is no cause for this "gain". I have been eating exactly within my nutritional ranges and have been sticking to my exercise plan for the week for the first time in 6 weeks. On top of that, my pants are getting so loose that I may need to go down a size, soon. This, I just noticed this week. The same week that the scale decided to start lying to me. I just wish I knew the reason why!

In other news, I tried a new recipe last night. I got this recipe from a post at healthyberg.com. It was a good recipe and with some minor modifications, I'm glad that I tried it! I used ground chicken instead of ground turkey because our grocery store doesn't carry ground turkey. I also used white rice instead of brown. Since I tried this new recipe last night, that brings me closer to reaching my first goal in my 25 by 25 list.

1. Try 25 new recipes

Recipe 5 of 25:




Stuffed Bell Peppers with Ground Chicken


Servings: 2
Nutrition Per Serving: 417 calories, 31 carbs, 19 fat, 32 protein
 
Ingredients:
 
2 bell peppers (any color)
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup white rice (cooked)
1/8 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/8 cup mozzarella cheese



Directions:

  
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash peppers and slice off tops. Remove seeds and membranes of peppers and set aside.

2. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms and sauté until onions start to caramelize and mushrooms brown (about ten minutes). Add ground chicken and cook until chicken is evenly browned. Remove from heat and add mixture to medium-sized mixing bowl. Add cooked rice, parmesan cheese, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, oregano and red pepper flakes. Stir together with spoon until mixed evenly.

3. Divide mixture evenly and spoon into each pepper. Place in a nonstick baking dish and bake for 40 minutes. Five minutes before peppers are done, divide mozzarella cheese and sprinkle on top of peppers.



Sunday, February 19, 2012

Big Bridesmaid Challenge - Week 6

Big Bridesmaid Challenge Update - Week 6

The Plan:

I'm going to set weekly goals/plans for myself until August 11th. That is the date of my best friend's wedding and I want to feel good about myself in my bridesmaid dress!

The Terms and Conditions:

~ Weigh-in's will be every Sunday morning
~ Dinner plans are to be posted for each week
~ Exercise plans are to be posted for each week

Weekly Weigh-In:

Start Date: 1/11/12
Starting Weight: 245 lbs.
Current Date: 2/19/12
Current Weight: 240.4 lbs (-2 lbs from last week)
Total Loss: 4.6 lbs.
Goal Weight: 200 lbs.
Goal Date: 8/11/12
Pounds to Goal: 40.4 lbs.

Dinner Plan for the Week:

Sunday: Steak w/ Parsnip Fries
Monday: Large Salad (Dinner out with friends)
Tuesday: Shrimp w/ Rice and Broccoli
Wednesday: Stuffed Bell Peppers with Turkey and Rice
Thursday: Sesame Chicken w/ Rice and Broccoli
Friday: Mini Eggplant Pizzas
Saturday: Slow Cooker Pineapple Pork over Rice

Exercise Plan for the Week:

Sunday: Gym
Monday: Wii Fit
Tuesday: Wii Fit
Wednesday: Gym
Thursday: Wii Fit
Friday: Gym
Saturday: Rest

Recap from the Week:

I have to say that I was feeling very impatient with myself this morning. I did lose two pound this week, however, I was expecting to be further ahead than I am right now. Actually, I digress. According to this week, I am right on target. It would take 1.73 pounds per week to reach my goal at this point. I need to focus on the brighter side of things. It's not like I can even say I was doing everything right since day one of this challenge; I failed to follow my exercise plan for the 6th week in a row this week. More proof, my friends, that healthy eating alone won't beat this. I know this, I just need to practice what I already know. You get what you give; if I want more, I need to give more. That's what I plan on doing this week!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chinese Take-Out Friday

At my office, nearly everyone participates in "Chinese Take-Out Friday". I was participating for quite some time, myself. Chinese food is a HUGE weakness of mine. I particularly love sesame chicken. Last Friday, I was strong enough to resist ordering take-out. I ate my packed lunch, while everyone else in the office ate their chinese. Which, by the way, smelled amazing. Right then, I decided that I wasn't going to go without "Chinese food" next Friday. I don't like feeling deprived, because that's when I am most likely to give in. Last Friday, I was close. Instead of putting myself in that same position this Friday, I made a plan to make my own homemade "Chinese food" to bring in for "Chinese Take-Out Friday". Last night, I tried another new recipe, which means I was working on my 25 by 25 list, yet again!

1. Try 25 new recipes

Sesame Chicken 

Servings: 4
Nutrition per Serving: 287 calories, 16 fat, 7 carbs, 28.6 protein



Ingredients:

1 pound (16 ounces) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized chunks.
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp raw cane sugar
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup white, untoasted sesame seeds
liberal pinches of black pepper, ground ginger and ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients except chicken in a bowl.

2. Add chicken, mix together well so the chicken is thoroughly coated in the marinade, cover and let it sit in the fridge for 2 hours or so.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
.

4. Arrange chicken on a cookie sheet, and pour liquid on top of it.

5. Bake in oven for 5 minutes, flip chicken pieces with a spatula, and bake for another 5 minutes, or until done.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lost 3 Pounds Overnight

I am relieved to say that the 3 pounds that I had miraculously gained yesterday, is gone today! No wonder "they" recommend that you only weigh yourself once a week. The daily weigh-ins aren't very accurate. Now, if only that was enough incentive to make me stop doing it! If I get too caught up in the daily numbers, I will definitely consider putting an end to my morning "weight checks".

Speaking of mornings; this morning I woke up early and made myself an amazing omelete. If you like mushrooms and cheese in omelets, you might agree with me; this thing was incredible! I used two egg whites, one egg with yolk, a dash of milk, one slice of american cheese, and four fresh mushrooms. Topping of catsup once omelete is finished is optional, but oh so delicious!






I split the omelete in half, eating some at home, and the rest once I got to work. Doing this really helped me make it through the morning. I've got a new recipe to share with you all tomorrow, but for now I will leave you with this funny "e card" that I found today. If you've read the Hunger Games, you'll get the humor, as well. If you haven't read the Hunger Games... what are you waiting for? It's a good book and the movie comes out next month!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gained 3 Pounds Overnight

Yesterday was Valentine’s day, otherwise known as the day that I ate so much chocolate that I gained 3 pounds overnight. Okay, so I guess the overnight weight gain was not just from the chocolate covered strawberries and sponge candy; we went out for dinner, too; which brings me to my sad confession that I did not make it to the gym last night, and I didn’t follow my meal plan for dinner, either. Valentine’s day caught me off guard. My husband was entirely too sweet to me this year, showering me with gifts, roses and a nice dinner out. I got carried away with it all, and even though I gained weight from it, I do not regret it. It was one day out of the year, and it was a romantic one at that.

When I say romantic, I mean my husband surprised me at work with flowers...





... and he surprised me at home with some blu rays that I have been wanting!





This afternoon, I am leaving work early to attend my neurologist appointment, that in which I have been dreading for months. My neurologist is going to want me to do another MRI to see if there have been any changes since my last one in December, 2011. He is also going to have me submit more blood work in a few weeks, as my Vitamin D level was dangerously low. Another reason that I have been dreading this appointment is because I am going to have to confess that I haven’t been taking my copaxone injections, and I must inform him that I don’t plan on taking them anymore, either. I am going to ask that we try the healthy living/vitamin approach. I really dislike using medication in any form these days, so despite multiple sclerosis taking away so much from me, I feel as if I can take advantage of the one thing I do have control of anymore, which is my ability of choice. I am choosing to hold off on the painful daily injections until I see for myself if I can manage this disease in a natural way. I know that the odds aren’t in my favor, but this is my wish.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Just Can't Even Explain


1. Try 25 new recipes

Last week, for dinner, I made a new recipe as a part of my 25 by 25 list. I made Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken, a recipe from one of my favorite sites, sparkrecipes.com. My husband and I both loved this dish so much, I just can't even explain!

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Servings: 4

Nutrition Per Serving: 157 calories, 7 fat, 3 carbs, 20 protein

Ingredients:

Brown sugar, 4 tsp unpacked
Chicken Breast, no skin, 12 ounces
Garlic, 1 clove
Butter, salted, 2 tbsp
Salt, 1 tsp
Pepper, black, 1 dash

Directions:

1. Melt the butter in the frying pan. Brown garlic in butter.

2. Add chicken breasts to butter and garlic, cook thoroughly, adding salt and pepper as you like it.

3. When chicken is fully cooked add brown sugar on top of each breast. Allow the brown sugar to melt into the chicken (about 5 minutes).

4. If cooking with noodles as a side, cook noddles as directed. Add to butter and garlic mixture to coat noodles. (I sprinked a little more brown sugar on top of the noodles. It tasted amazing!)


source

Monday, February 13, 2012

I Love This Challenge!

I am having so much fun marking items off of my 25 by 25 list! This weekend, we had my father-in-law over for sausage sandwiches.

14. Invite my father-in-law over for dinner 5 times

I love this challenge! It has been a lot of fun, and I still have so many other items to work on before it's over! Another thing I have been in love with lately is chicken sausage, especially the chicken sausage pictured below. The italian chicken sausage from al fresco tastes so much better than your typical sausage. I might not ever go back!

My favorite mix of fresh veggies!

My father-in-law pictured with my husband.
I actually didn't have a sausage sandwich, myself. I just had sausage with veggies on the side. It was still very filling and so delicious!

My plate of chicken sausage with veggies.


On Sunday morning, I made a batch of low calorie blueberry scones. I used THIS recipe and they turned out even better than I remembered!



After baking, I split them up in to seperate containers. One container for my breakfast for the week, and another for my husband. These scones are amazing with a cup of coffee in the morning. Let me know if you decide to give the recipe a try; I'd love to hear what you think of them, too!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Big Bridesmaid Challenge - Week 5

Big Bridesmaid Challenge Update - Week 5

The Plan:

I'm going to set weekly goals/plans for myself until August 11th. That is the date of my best friend's wedding and I want to feel good about myself in my bridesmaid dress!

The Terms and Conditions:

~ Weigh-in's will be every Sunday morning
~ Dinner plans are to be posted for each week
~ Exercise plans are to be posted for each week

Weekly Weigh-In:

Start Date: 1/11/12
Starting Weight: 245 lbs.
Current Date: 2/12/12
Current Weight: 242.4 lbs (-1.4 lbs from last week)
Total Loss: 2.6 lbs.
Goal Weight: 200 lbs.
Goal Date: 8/11/12
Pounds to Goal: 42.4 lbs.

Dinner Plan for the Week:

Sunday: Tomato Mozzarella on Caibatta
Monday: Shrimp w/ Rice and Broccoli
Tuesday: Chicken w/ Fresh Vegetables
Wednesday: Steak w/ Parsnip Fries
Thursday: Sesame Chicken w/ Broccoli and Rice
Friday: Chicken Sausage w/ Fresh Veggies
Saturday: Pineapple Pork over Rice

Exercise Plan for the Week:

Sunday: Gym
Monday: Wii Fit
Tuesday: Gym
Wednesday: Wii Fit
Thursday: Gym
Friday: Wii Fit
Saturday: Rest

Recap from the Week:
I almost typed that I am "only" down 1.4 lbs. but I don't know why I would expect to be down more than that! 1.4 lb. loss in one week is a good thing! Especially considering that I only attended the gym once at the beginning of last week and didn't follow the rest of the exercise plan for the week. Eek! This upcoming week I am going to focus more on the exercise plan and will be keeping myself accountable each day through my blog. I've got 42.4 more pounds to lose before August 11th. I need to stay focused!

This is what I need to keep in the front of my mind this week:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Parsnip Fries. What a surprise!

Last night I was able to cross another item off of my 25 by 25 list!


20. Try a new fruit or vegetable
 As you can guess from the title of my blog, the vegetable of choice was parsnips and they were amazing! I can't believe that I haven't tried parsnips before. They were so good, my husband even said that he wants me to use them again and again. I'm totally in agreement with that!

Since this was my first time trying parsnips, naturally, this was my first time cooking with them, too. Which means that I was working on another portion of my list last night:

1. Try 25 new recipes

New Recipe 2 of 25:

Parsnip Fries

Servings: 4
Nutrition Per Serving: 174 calories, 27 carbs, 7 fat, 2 protein

Ingredients:

2 pounds parsnips, washed and peeled
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
 
Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel then cut the parsnips into batons. Try to keep them about the same size so they cook at the same speed.
 

2. Scatter the parsnip batons on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle over the olive oil, and sprinkle on the salt. Using your hands, toss the parsnip pieces until the oil and salt are well distributed. Spread the parsnip pieces out into a single layer.Roast the parsnip fries 20-30 minutes, checking every 10 minutes and, if you like, tossing them around with a spatula once or twice to brown them evenly.
 
 
3. Take them out when they've got nice brown edges and spots, but don't let them burn - blackened parsnip fries are bitter. Serve immediately.
 
 
 
Details
 
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:  

source

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oops! It's Tofu.

Last night I completed an item on my 25 things to accomplish before I turn 25. Drum roll, please....


4. Try tofu for the first time

That's right! I tried tofu for the very first time last night and I even made it myself! I printed a recipe from the internet and just decided to go with it! There was just one little problem. I seemed to have overlooked one of the main ingredients for that recipe so I had to come up with my own, on the fly, with a food that I had never tasted nor cooked with before. It was a pretty interesting adventure, but I managed to pull it off and created a new recipe for myself. Which brings me to another item on my 25 by 25 list:

1. Try 25 new recipes
New Recipe 1 of 25:

Oops! It's Tofu!

Servings: 4
Nutrition Per Serving: 130 calories, 9 carbs, 7 fat, 9 protein

Ingredients:

1 pkg. nasoya lite firm tofu
1/2 medium onion
4 fresh mushrooms mushrooms
16 oz. hunts garlic & herb pasta sauce
2 tbsp grated parmesan
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil


Directions:

1. Saute mushrooms and onions until onions are translucent. Add crumbled tofu.




 2. Season mixture with pepper, garlic salt, organo and basil. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.


3. Add 16 oz of pasta sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes.





4. Top with parmesan cheese.

If you like tofu, you may like this recipe. We didn't like it much at all. Tofu just isn't for everyone, I guess!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Love Affair with Almond Joy Creamer

This post is for the coffee drinkers out there. I don't usually drink a lot of coffee, myself, but sometimes it's a nice treat in the mornings when I am feeling "less than perky"! Whenever I go grocery shopping, I usually bounce around between whichever creamer is on sale that week. Just my luck, this Almond Joy creamer from International Delight was on sale last week. I have used it in every cup of coffee since. It's amazing! I use to use sugar and creamer in my coffee, but with this creamer, I have found that the sugar is moot.



After work yesterday, I went to the gym. I felt AMAZING afterwards. I love it whenever I get "that feeling" after a good workout. I walked for 15 minutes on the treadmill and did 15 minutes on the elliptical.

My dinner plan for the evening was shrimp with rice and broccoli; however, I had to improvise whenever I found that didn't have much shrimp left. Instead, I threw in a link of italian chicken sausage and it was a pretty delicious mix.



Tonight, I am giving tofu a try for the very first time as a part of my 25 by 25 list. If you have any suggestions or tips on preparing tofu, please let me know! I'd love to hear from you before my big adventure this evening!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cheesecake AND Weightloss?

I celebrated my 24th birthday this weekend, and with it, I completed one small portion of my 25 by 25 list; the list of 25 things that I would like to accomplish before I turn 25.

Which part of that list did I work on this weekend, you ask? Why, I worked on number 8 from my list:

8. Go on 12 dates with my husband

Date 1 of 12:

For my birthday, my husband took me to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. We invited my sister to come along with us because we always have a lot of laughs when she is around. It was a great way to spend my birthday and I wouldn't have had it any other way!


My husband and I at dinner.


Appetizer for the Table: Crab and Artichoke Dip

My Meal: Edamame (soy beans) and Sausage Ricotta Flat Bread


My Sister with her Snickers Cheesecake

My Cookie Dough Cheesecake (I only ate half of it)

My husband and I outside of the restaurant

Legacy Village

My husband and I in Legacy Village

My favorite shop in Legacy Village (Arhaus)


My "after shopping" green tea smoothie
 I was most impressed with the fact that I was down in weight the next morning after our visit to the Cheesecake Factory. I guess that exercising throughout the week, and making healthier choices for dinner really payed off! The cheesecake and green tea smoothie seemed to be treats well deserved after such a great week of healthy choices! My motto for today is: balance, balance, balance!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Big Bridesmaid Challenge - Week 4

Big Bridesmaid Challenge Update - Week 4

The Plan:

I'm going to set weekly goals/plans for myself until August 11th. That is the date of my best friend's wedding and I want to feel good about myself in my bridesmaid dress!

The Terms and Conditions:

~ Weigh-in's will be every Sunday morning
~ Dinner plans are to be posted for each week
~ Exercise plans are to be posted for each week

Weekly Weigh-In:

Start Date: 1/11/12
Starting Weight: 245 lbs.
Current Date: 2/5/12
Current Weight: 243.8 lbs (-4.2 lbs from last week)
Total Loss: 1.2 lbs.
Goal Weight: 200 lbs.
Goal Date: 8/11/12
Pounds to Goal: 43.8 lbs.

Dinner Plan for the Week:

Sunday: Simple Slow Cooker Chili
Monday: Shrimp w/ Rice and Broccoli
Tuesday: Tofu Scramble w/ Rice
Wednesday: Steak w/ Parsnip Fries and Green Beans
Thursday: Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken over Noodles w/ Carrots
Friday: Chicken Sausage w/ Fresh Veggies
Saturday: Pineapple Pork over Rice

Exercise Plan for the Week:

Sunday: Just Dance 3
Monday: Gym
Tuesday: Wii Fit
Wednesday: Gym
Thursday: Wii Fit
Friday: Gym
Saturday: Rest

Yesterday was my 24th birthday! My husband and I ate at the Cheesecake Factory in Cleveland. We brought my sister with us, as well. It was a really good time! After dinner, we walked around the shops of Legacy Village. I'll post the pictures from our trip and talk about that some more tomorrow. For now, I've got to go grocery shopping, and then I'm off to my mother's house for my birthday party! Ice cream cake included. Boy oh boy!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Present for Myself!

I went to sleep last night as a 23 year old and woke up this morning, 24. Before I went to sleep last night, my husband and I watched the movie, "In Time", with Justin Timberlake. We both liked it and I think that it was an appropriate movie to watch on the eve of ones birthday. It made me realize that I don't know how much time that I have left, but I want to make the most of it while I am here.

This morning, I sit here feeling happy and refreshed. I have goals and I have dreams. I have the determination and will to accomplish those goals and dreams. My cozy home is full of love this morning; my husband, our dog, and our cat. We're a little happy family and I love where I am in life. I am proud of where I have been, and looking forward to where I will go.

My husband made a special omelet for me this morning. It's special because I usually eat egg whites for breakfast. Instead, this omelet consisted of 3 eggs, 4 fresh mushrooms, and 1 slice of american cheese.

Max, who apparently has claimed his own chair at the table, was mighty jealous of my birthday breakfast.


Nutrition information for my delicious breakfast, with 1 tbsp. of catsup added.
 
My husband is the master of breakfast foods. He's an amazing cook in general, but breakfast is his favorite meal to make. In addition to my birthday brunch, he is also planning to take me in to Cleveland tonight for dinner and some window shopping.

As for my birthday present to myself, I bought a domain for my blog!
I am pleased to announce that I am officially a "dot com"! http://www.goaloflosing.com/ to be exact. Go on, try it out for yourself!

Friday, February 3, 2012

25 by 25

In the past and most recently, I have seen people all over the internet making goals for themselves to acheive before a certain age. In light of my 24th birthday being tomorrow, I have decided to make a list of 25 things that I would like to accomplish before I turn 25 years old, on February 4, 2013. Here's the list, in which I will refer to as my "25 by 25" list:

1. Try 25 new recipes
2. Complete a 5K
3. Try 3 new bike/walking trails
4. Try tofu for the first time
5. Read 5 books regarding healthy living
6. Post 5 video blog recipes
7. Reach "Onederland"
8. Go on 12 dates with my husband
9. Treat myself with a professional massage
10. Travel out of state 3 times
11. Crochet a blanket
12. Cook something for our mothers, "just because"
13. Host a bonfire with friends
14. Invite my father-in-law over for dinner 5 times
15. Host a picnic with family
16. Search for beach glass at the lake
17. Go canoeing
18. Swing dance in Cleveland
19. Shop at a whole foods market
20. Try a new fruit or vegetable
21. Try a new workout
22. Complete a home project
23. Take our dog on 10 walks and blog about them
24. Try a new restaurant
25. Pay off a credit card ($1,000)

I will be reporting back occasionally as I mark items off of my list throughout the year.

Now, I'm off to enjoy my last day as a 23 year old! :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Fat Convinced Them

One of my best friends is getting married in August, which is the reason that I began my Big Bridesmaid Challenge. The bridesmaid dress that we seemed to agree on was being challenged last night my the maid of honor, the bride's older sister. She wanted all of us to wear the same dress (whereas the bride, my friend, didn't care either way, but seemed to be deferring the decision to her older sister last night). When I arrived at the bridal shop, the maid of honor had what seemed to be 10 dresses picked out for her to try on in her size 4. My friend, the bride, said that we were going to pull all of the same dresses in my size to see if we could come to an agreement on a dress that looked good on everyone. Thankfully, the dress that I thought we had already agreed on was in the pile. You can see that dress by clicking HERE.

A fashion show of bridesmaid dress after bridesmaid dress would most definitely be fun for a size 4, but it is a nightmare for a size 24. With each dress that I tried on, I worried if it would zip. I was very self conscious and actually felt bad about myself. It was a horrible feeling, dress after dress. The issue was me; every dress looked good on the size 4. The reason why were were back at this dress shop was because of me. You can read about the initial bridal shop visit by clicking HERE.

The other dress, however, was a form fitting dress that showed every imperfection of my body. It was worse than the dress that I initially turned down. My face felt like it was on fire as I watched the maid of honor talk the bride in to saying yes to this dress. I love my friend, enough to go through the humiliation of one day in a form fitting dress, but I want to look good for her. It wasn't even all for me. Time seemed to slow down again, and I couldn't believe that I was being put in this position, again. Because of my weight! I was very uncomfortable, physically, in this dress, but I didn't want to ruin the moment and come right out and say "no"! The bride looked from the maid of honor (size 4), to another bridesmaid (size 2) and then to me (size 24). I was "sucking it in" as much as I could, but it barely made a difference. When something is form fitting, it is form fitting! As the bride started making her rounds again, looking from the size 4, to the size 2, and then to me; I realized that if I didn't do something, this was going to be the dress that she was going to pick if I didn't do something! Her sister and her mother were gushing over how great it looked on her, and it really did, but it was a nightmare on me. I felt bad. At that moment, before her eyes reached me for a second time, I stopped "sucking it in"; instead, I "let it all out"! After all, this is what it would look like on me at the wedding. I didn't want to give her false hope that it actually looked good! I was trying a new tactic. I was going to let my fat convince them not to get this dress. After an embarrassing minute of silence, which of course felt like five minutes to me, somebody suggested that we try on the other dress; the dress that actually looked good on all of us! I was so relieved! I hurried in to the dress that I was comfortable in and was so relieved when the bride agreed that this dress was the one. She said that we could buy the dress that night if we wanted to, and the maid of honor said that she would wait. I had this sinking feeling that if we waited, we wouldn't be ending up with this dress, so I said that I was ready to pay and put the dress on our credit card.
All things considered, I suppose that the visit at the bridal shop was a success. I wish I didn't have to be the difficult one in this process. I want the very best for my friend and her wedding. That is just another reason why I need to work on losing this weight. Once I got home from my super long day, my husband had dinner and a hug ready for me. We went to the gym afterwards and I am still feeling good from that workout! The evening at the bridal shop has given me another boost of motivation to lose this weight; and I will!