Thursday, April 29, 2010

A quickie

The good:
· I had a banana, apple and tablespoon of peanut butter for breakfast, a salad for lunch and have drank about 5 bottles of water so far today, and it’s only 2:30 here.
· I’ve planned a salad for supper with smoked chicken.
· I walked for 30 minutes 3 times this week (so far)
· It’s a 4 day work week in the Netherlands, thank you Queens Day!
· Exercising, even just this little bit that I’m doing, has made me feel wonderful. It also makes me want to eat better. Eating better makes me want to exercise more. Exercising makes me want to eat better. Eating better makes me want to exercise more. So on and so forth.

The bad:
· Just when I’m feeling great, positive, resisting the urge to eat poorly and making changes to minimize my exposure to sweets (for fear of a total binge), my colleague plops down chocolates she brought in announcing “I’ve restocked my chocolate”.

The ugly:
· My walk today caused a nasty blister on my heel (I forgot my socks at home).

And there is your little catch up for the day!

I may not be back until Monday so I wish you all a very happy, healthy weekend!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

So Tuesday, time for an update of sorts. MadameK commented (THANK YOU!) and asked me how it was going with the therapy so I thought I’d let “the masses’ know, I haven’t started yet. Apparently, once you register, there is a 8 – 10 week waiting period for….well because that’s how the Dutch like to roll. On top of the waiting period, they also claim they didn’t get my referral from my doctor, even though he sent it by fax and by post. Now how both of them managed not to make it to their office, I’ll never know, so that tacked on another two weeks to my already lengthy waiting period. I was more than frustrated. I mean, you finally decide “okay, I need some help to tame this monster that is my subconscious” and they put you on a 2 month waiting list? (for those who may have just joined the .02 blog world, I've been diganosed as a "disordely eater" and am seeking help with a center here that will have a team of people trying to sort me out. Sounds fun, eh? All kidding aside, I will be seeing a psychologist, nutritionist and other people who are focused on people with eating disorders and weight loss)

As I’m patiently waiting (sarcastically) for my call saying that I have my first appointment, I’ve been walking 3-4 times a week during my lunch hour for about 20-30 minutes. It’s been super weather recently and I’ve really enjoyed the movement. It's not like I'm going to sit around waiting for them, right?

I’ve cut out a few of my morning coffeess (yes, plural, we're talking 6 - 8 cups a day here and that's before lunch). I've been eating more fruits and veg, less carbs and have curbed my late night snacking (although not nearly as much as I need to). I’m not perfect, but then again, I’m not trying to be perfect, just a little bit better than I was yesterday.

I’m still chugging the water but could probably step it up a notch. I’m eating fruit for breakfast rather than a toastie. I’m skipping the cafeteria to avoid being seduced by the brownies and muffins and opting for bringing my breakfast from home instead. I'm also getting coffee out of the machine rather than the luscious lattes they serve in the cafeteria. This mighty adjustment has helped loads!

I’ve managed to maintain the 2-3 pound loss that I had but would really like to kick it in gear to meet my goal of losing 10 pounds by May 20th, when we leave for our vacation (should that stinking volcano in Iceland quit burping out hot motlen lava and ash, thank you very much). Seriosuly, with the weight I’m carrying, this goal should be simple to achieve but I just don’t seem to be motivated or focused enough to really get in there and do what I know I need to do and CAN do. I’m not quite sure what it is that’s stopping me, it’s like I can’t put my little finger on it. I’ve made some small, yet significant, changes. I’m just going to keep picking at it like a scab I guess.

I hope you all are having healthy and successful weeks!

(p.s. don't forget to join my rss feed there, to the left and become a follower of .02 so you'll never have to worry about missing an update!)

Friday, April 23, 2010

I betcha didn't know I could do THAT

A woman I know that belongs to an online-message-board-group-thingy that I belong to recently asked me to help her with a project she was working on. She was sewing a baby blanket for a hospital for the Neo-natal care department on a volunteer basis and wanted to include a little writing, maybe a poem, to add to the finished product.

I actually get a huge kick out of it when people ask me to write things for them, for something specific, like a project or speech or anything really. It helps them, but more than that, it helps me. It helps me be creative. It helps me think. It helps me feel like I can help somebody else. It lets me use my talents for the better good of the people, or at least for a laugh. It makes me feel proud that they trust my creative fingers to do the writing. I love getting "assignments" and having a deadline and the pressure of it all. It's honestly a thrill for me. When I got this assignment all of those happy little emotions ran rampant and I was extremely happy with the outcome.

Said friend finished the blanket project and gave me a shout out on her blog for the poem. So check out Life at the Hatchery and get that warm snuggly feeling. I'm in love with that poem and plan to keep it in my back pocket for future projects, possibly of my own!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I need your help

I've posted this on my blog once before but need to post it again one more time. Can you please click here and vote for our school? Long story short, the new school they built 7 years ago sunk into the ground and now the kids are going half days in trailors. They need all the funding they can get to help rebuild their school (building is condemned). If you can just take a second to vote (and even leave a comment on the bottom of that page to give some encouragement if you'd like) please do so. You register via your email address but you don't get spam mail. So please click here and vote for my old stomping grounds new school!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekend Chocolate Blow Out

Birthday parties thrown by my Greek friend, Alexandra, should be 100% off limits for anybody, especially me, who is trying to lose weight. Totally off limits. Greeks are known for feeding their guests to the maximum, and then giving them seconds 'to be sure', (according to her)(and when I say she's Greek, I mean she was actually born and lived in Greece for most of her adult life, not the "American Greek" where your great-great-great-great-great-grandparents-came-from-somewhere-there-but-we-still-hang-onto-the-old-stereotypical-outdated-no-longer-done-traditions-anyway-Greek). She's the real deal.

Oh where to begin where yesterday went wrong... was it the gigantic cookie tree I assembled (and tasted each kind, of course)? Should I start at the three tiered cake that I had a huge slice of (chocolate, with chocolate, with chocolate concluded with... chocolate of course!)? Would it be right to begin at the cream cheese and smoked salmon sandwich I ate? Was the beginning the fudge? or the truffle? or the shortbread Greek something or other that was studded with almonds and covered in powdered sugar? maybe it was the rolled up, baked, phyllo dough something that was delicious (and the plate was re-visited twice over)... who knows where to begin when there was so much food involved and it all went oh-so-totally-wrong?

But today is going so much better. I'm not letting yesterdays chocolate-fest-2010 derail or even discourage me. I could say "well you're never going to make your mini goal now" but you know what... I AM going to make that goal! Or at least I'm going to keep trying for it.

I'm not going to weigh in this week because I know seeing that number on the scale could be the deciding factor in pushing me over the edge but I will weigh in next week and I will try to stay on course this week and I will keep on keepin on!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Introductions are necessary: Meet the Parsnip

It is a beautiful day in Amsterdam today and I went for a 30 minute walk during my lunch hour. My tushy muscles are flinching in my seat right now but I feel really good! I also discovered that right up the road is a beautiful little street with a canal on one side and little houses on the other. I walked almost to the end but ran out of time and had to turn back. I’m going to have to start bringing my Ipod to work with me to help me pick up the pace a little. All in good time though.

I also had a wonderful roasted lunch today with sliced turkey, a small potato, parsnips and a little (tablespoon size) bit of dressing. It was like Thanksgiving in April in the Netherlands! (considering I had frozen pizza last turkey day - this was a treat).

Lets' get down and dirty with the parsnip, shall we? What in the world are they, you ask? Don't feel silly, I asked the same question or at least I used to ask, as I had never had one until a few months ago when I was accidently introduced to them at lunch. They were part of the "meal" deal so I took them and tried them and voila... a new favorite food! If you like sweet potatoes or carrots, I strongly recommend you try them. I’ve only ate them roasted so I’m not sure how/if you can have them raw but YUMMY YUMMY! Give 'em a go!

Naturally I assumed since I liked my new found parsnip so well that I would google “parsnip” to find out that they are about as healthy as a donut because that just how things go in the weight loss world, right? Well ADDED BONUS (insert sounds of bells, buzzers, diggy-things, a whooptie whistles here)… they’re really good for you! Directly from :

Parsnips provide an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, pantothenic acid, copper, and manganese. They also offer a very good source of niacin, thiamine, magnesium, and potassium. They are a good source of riboflavin, folic acid, and vitamins B6 and E. Parsnips provide similar nutritional benefits as potatoes. Some significant differences are that parsnips are lower in calories and contain only about 50 percent of the protein and vitamin C content of potatoes.

However, parsnips do contain more fiber than potatoes. Even though both parsnips and potatoes provide good amounts of B vitamins, parsnips provide a much better source of folic acid.

Holy Cow! I'm going to go parsnip bananas here! Share your parsnip recipes w/ me and if you've never had a parsnip, leave a comment (so I don't feel like I've lived under a rock my whole life!)
For those who are also crawling out from under the rock and may want to purchase a parsnip today at the store, look for something like this:

Have a parsnippty good time trying it out!

Monday, April 12, 2010

I just realized this this morning, as I was on the scale, that I didn’t share a little mini-goal that I set recently with all of you. We’ve booked a vacation, 8 days in Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands for May. It’s my first time going to any of the Canary Islands and it’s actually my first time on a relaxing, beach vacation! EVER! Goes to say, I’m pretty stinkin stoked! Our Bungalow/beach accommodations can be seen here but be forewarned, I cannot take responsibility for your reaction to what you’re about to see! You may drool, foam at the mouth, have slight heart palpitations or a number of other super duper jealousy related emotions that sometimes happen to people who aren’t going on vacation on an island off of the coast of Spain.

Back to the goal, so two weeks ago I made a mini goal that I would like to lose 5 kilos before the trip, May 20th. That’s about 11 pounds in 5 weeks, should I adhere to the 1-2 pounds a week rule, that should be just do-able.

As I mentioned previously, I was on the scale when this realization that I didn’t share my goal with you popped into my head and what I saw on the scale was pretty darned promising. As of this morning, I am proud to say that I only have 4 more kilos, 9 pounds to go to meet that mini goal! This is totally do-able and now that I’ve seen the first two pounds gone, it gives me that much more resolve to make it! It's a small, small step, but it's a step!

WOOHOO! Look our Lanzarote, here I come!


if some wonderful person can tell me how to make my links open in another window, rather than taking you from this page, please feel free to share.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Where do brownies fit into my life?

Well yesterday one fit directly into my mouth. Not exactly my "plan" but not the end of the world either (although the dialogue in my head would tell you a different, bloodier, much more dramatic story ending with my head exploding into a million chocolate pieces while brownie batter drips from my neck stump where aforementioned head used to sit. Nicccccccce).

But where do brownies actually fit into my life? The answer may never truly be known. Am I a person who can have one brownie and leave it at that? Well, I did yesterday but it was a huge brownie (4 inch square probably an inch and a half thick) and I didn’t even think of getting a second. But that brownie yesterday can regurgitate itself at any moment, usually a moment of weakness, hours, days or weeks after I’ve eaten it. For instance, if I am back in the cafeteria and another brownie is sitting there, whispering my name seductively, will I say “Sarah, you had a brownie yesterday so that’s enough” or will I say “Sarah, you had a brownie yesterday so you may as well have another today”?

The obvious answer is choice number one, “I had one yesterday so of course that will hold me over” but I live in a real world (or at least it’s my reality), where I know I am not quite mentally stable with all-things-brownie (and sweet) related and I could very well talk myself out of passing it up and right back into the brownie driver’s seat. I can totally see myself saying “well you screwed up yesterday so what’s the point of trying”. And at that instant, that split second in time, that very wrong moment, that statement will actually make sense to me. When I talk about it now, not in a brownie trance, it seems silly, laughable even, but those moments of absolute craziness do happen to me, so what’s the best way to combat it?

If you’re expecting an answer here boy were you sadly mistaken. I don’t really know the answer or have some wise statement to make about how the brownie is really a reflection of ____ which can be interpreted as ____ or ____ which means I am _____, ______ and ______. My thoughts about brownies are the only thing leaving my mind _____. Yeah, I have some ideas about what I can do, what I should do, and how to defeat my sweet tooth monster but I’m not quite “there” with posting them at this second. I need to mill around a while. Let them swirl around in my head and maybe even test the waters. Then I’ll fill in the blanks for you (and for me!)

Enough about brownies! I didn't get to go on my lunch time walk yesterday (craptastic weather) but I am going to make up for it today. It's BEAUTIFUL out and I can't wait to get in the sun and get moving. I’m going to avoid the brownie section of the cafeteria because, well it just makes sense.

I hope you’re all having fantastic, healthy, successful weeks!

edit: I DID go on a walk today at lunch for about 20-25 minutes and wow, am I out of shape. I can't believe I was up to running over a mile before and now I can hadrly walk without huffing anf puffing. It'll be easier tomorrow though. I remember what it was like when I first started running. At first I could only go a few feet (seriously, like 50 feet max) without having to stop but it was just a few days before I could go twice that far and so on. I'm pretty stoked.

Oh and I had a fabulous lunch of tomato bread with humous, shredded apple, shredded carrots, three dates and a couple slices of cheddar cheese with a banana and a diet coke.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

One foot in front of the other, that's how you walk

And today I took a step in the very right direction! I found a partner at work who would like to spend lunch hours soaking up the sun (or rain, as we ARE in the Netherlands) and walking with me! I've been thinking that now that spring has sprung that, rather than wasting my lunch actually eating lunch, I could use that time to squeeeeeeeeeeeeze in some exercise and have a light lunch afterward. After all, I get an hour, rarely use but 20 minutes of that time actually "lunching" and then come back to my desk and

I can't seem to find time or make time for exercise at home since my free time is usually spent running after a very active 20 month old (YEAH, she's 20 months already!!!!!!) or reading to her or giving her a bath, or trying to coax her into eating something, anything so this is the best alternative that I can come up with and now, I have a partner in crime!

She and I are going to start tomorrow! I just have to remember to pack my walking shoes! I'm on the right track... I can finally say that with a bit of confidence.


I hope you're all having healthy, successful weeks!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

How about an analogy to start off your Tuesday?

I’m feeling pretty positive right now even if the scale was a scary, scary site this morning. I’m still at 129 kilos, 284 pounds roughly which isn’t my all time high (thank God, right?) but it is where I have spent the largest chunk (pun totally intended there!) of my adult years.

So, why the positivity you wisely ask? Why in the world would you be even semi-happy that you are now 52 pounds heavier than you were at your lowest weight, back in good old 2007, before getting pg? What in the world do you have to be happy about?

Well I will tell you just that…

I’m making some “good” choices, some better choices and most importantly, I am making conscious choices. It’s pretty interesting, when you think about it, how you can actually go through an entire day and not make, what seems like, one single conscious decision. Everything is “yeah, okay” or “that sounds alright” or simply “whatever”. Is that really considered participating in what happens in your daily life?

I’m all for going with the flow. Taking it easy. Not getting all up in arms about everything but that’s not always the way to go about your life, your daily business, especially if you’re in the business of pushing off some of those unwanted pounds. Sometimes instead of going with the flow, you have to actually sit in the raft and paddle your arse off in the other direction of the flow, don’t you? (no need to answer that, it’s crystal clear).

I’ve been floating along for far too long now and it’s time that I start paddling. Hard. I’ve put on my life preserver (a really stylish bright orange one!) because you know, sometimes you fall off that raft and I don’t want to be one of those “missing persons” on the milk-jug-of-weight-loss-blog-life. I want you guys to be able to find me if I do, indeed, fall off this raft. So here I am, crawling back on, one more time. Let’s just hope I can stay afloat!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Not a complete 180 but it's a good 165 at least

I think I mentioned the problem I had with losing vision in my eye on here a few weeks ago. To make a long story short, they put me on calcium channel blockers (high blood pressure meds) to see if it would stop the blindness episodes, thinking it was a vascular spasm causing them. So I took the pills, even though I was pretty concerned about the low blood pressure factor that could happen, considering my blood pressure is always normal and I started reaping the “benefits” of all the side effects almost immediately. I was flushed in my face and so hot. I was tired, felt sick, dizzy and all the other fun stuff that comes along with the meds but I wanted to stick with it to see if it would help my eye sight. Well after a week of it I was so puffy and swollen that I couldn’t fit in my shoes and I had a hot flush-flash that lasted over 4 hours and some tingling in my face, I thought “maybe I should call”. (gee, ya think?)

They told me to immediately stop taking the medication and I will have a follow up phone call appointment on the 6th of April and of course monitor my eye sight in the meantime. It wasn’t 8 hours later that I was already feeling so much better. Not only better with the the hotness, red face and swelling but my overall mood improved. I feel better now than I have since starting the medication, emotionally and physically. I really think that played a big part in my tornadic and tumultuous feelings over the past week. Pretty amazing how your heart keeps your whole body and mentality in check, isn’t it?

So today, with no meds for 24 hours, I am feeling fantastic and in very good spirits. A lot of the swelling has gone down in my legs and feet and I could almost put my dress shoes back on this morning. I’m drinking tons of water to try to flush it all out but I think by next week I should be back to normal.

Thank you all for the sweet comments and emails and your general concern for my well being. I really appreciate it more than you probably realize. My blog readers are the best!

I want to wish you all a Happy Easter! May the bunny bless you wish lots of yummy chocolate (or a moderate, yet still healthy amount), good times with family (or the total avoidance of family for those who are related to lunatics) and plastic grass that will get stuck in your vacuum and live there for eternity!