Friday, October 29, 2010

When the Going Gets Rough... have to have faith that it will be okay.

Since marrying my best friend in the world, our life has not been easy.  Our *relationship* has been fantastic and wonderful and every other good word that there is... but life, it's been HARD.  I won't go into the details of everything, but my husband was injured at work before we were married, and he hasn't worked in nearly 2 years.  Thankfully we receive a worker's comp check each week, but it's a fraction of what he would be making if able to work, and on top of that, my 40 hours were cut to 35 back in July.  So while 5 hours doesn't seem like much, it adds up when you're hurting as it is.  Financially, this has been the most difficult year ever.  But we keep on trucking, because really, that's all you can do.  Our mortgage payment is always our priority, followed by utilities, but sometimes other bills have had to be late because the money just wasn't there. 

On top of our financial issues, there have been a number of health issues in our little family, as well as with extended family.  I won't elaborate much, because although this is my blog and I don't mind sharing about myself, I don't know that others would want their business broadcast on the internet.  So let's just say it's been a hard time, health-wise for people I love, and that has impacted me throughout the last year or so.

There have been times over the past year that I've felt so overwhelmed and felt that I was carrying the world on my shoulders, just trying to keep it all together.  I've always been "the fixer" and unfortunately that role oftentimes gets utilized so often that people don't realize it takes a toll on a person.  Also, being the fixer, you learn to put others before yourself.  In theory, that concept is great; I have always been one to worry about others and help others whenever possible... but in reality, if you always put others first, you never have to/get to worry about yourself.  And that's probably been why I am the weight I am.  It can be my excuse, and it has been... I can't worry about losing weight right now because so and so needs me, or I need to be there for so and so... I allow myself to be less important so that I don't have to face my fears and let go of the weight once and for all.

But I'm not going to do that anymore. 

I never used to let people do things for me (even though I did nice things for others, I hated for people to go out of their way for me).  However, last week, a kind stranger did something for my family that is going to change our lives if we let it.  This woman reached out to my husband and I and offered us a gift that will help us stay on track and get our weight under control.  I know that sounds rather vague, but it's all I plan to share publicly, again, because this is my space, not other peoples' and I don't want to share more than others would be comfortable with. 

It's time to really embrace taking time for myself and making myself a priority.  There's nothing wrong with that, and I need to work towards realizing that.  And there's also nothing wrong with telling someone else that I can't give them what they're needing from me right now because I have to be a little selfish for awhile.  Being selfless has allowed me to put myself on the back burner.. and it's time for me to take the wheel for awhile and take charge of my life.  It's time to be in control for good.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stuffing Burgers

A few years ago when I first started this blog, I posted about something called Stuffing Burgers here.  Those were 2 point burgers, and I decided to make them again tonight, but added some things to it.  I also used what I had around the house, which meant no egg beaters (I prefer regular eggs these days) and I didn't have lean ground beef, I had the 85/15 stuff, which I know, isn't the healthiest, but it was what was on sale... so, my re-vamped burgers ended up making 12 patties at 3 points each.  They were delicious and I highly recommend you give them a try!

Stuffing Burgers (12 servings/3 points per serving)
-1 pound 85/15 ground beef (obv. the leaner the better, but this is what I had)
-1 box Savory Herb Stovetop Stuffing
-1 cup water
-1 egg, beaten
-1 tbsp minced garlic
-1/2 c. chopped onion
-2 cups uncooked spinach, chopped

To start off, mix your water, egg, and stuffing mix in a bowl.  Stir until the stuffing is moist & set aside for 10 minutes to allow all the liquid to be soaked in.  After 10 minutes has passed, add your garlic, onion, and spinach, then your ground beef.  I prefer to use my Kitchenaid stand mixer to mix all of this together cuz it keeps my hands clean, but if you don't have one of those, dig in and mix with your clean hands!  After everything is mixed well, make 12 meatballs (roughly 1/2 cup per meatball, maybe a little bit more) then pat into patties.  Cook in a skillet for about 2.5 minutes per side, and you've got tasty burgers in nothing flat!

Sometimes what I like to do is make the patties and store them individually in ziplock baggies then freeze them to have at a later time.  However you do it, it's good!  I also like to top with a small amount of crumbled feta.  The cheese complements the flavors of the herbs just right, in my opinion!

I've never had these burgers on a bun, as I feel like they're tasty as-is, but they'd probably be just as tasty that way too! 

What are your favorite healthy burger recipes?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Playing catch-up

My time back on WW has been going pretty well.  I've had losses 3 weeks in a row, including a significant 4.8 pound loss this week!  This was a big deal for me this week, because it means I've made up a good portion of the weight I gained back over the summer when I went on my WW hiatus.  I still have a few more pounds to go to get to the point I had lost before, but I'm getting there.  Over the summer, I gained an embarrassing 17.6 pounds.  This means that when I went back to WW 3 weeks ago, I was at my all-time-ever-highest weight.  I weighed more than when I started the program back in May.  I was beyond embarrassed.  To see that +17.6 from my previous weigh-in til that day was tough.  But it was reality.  And in the past 3 weeks, I've gotten rid of 10 of those 17.6 pounds, so I am at least in "positive" territory as far as being below my starting weight from May.  It's good to get rid of that weight!

This week I also earned "The Snake" at my meeting.  Why we use a stuffed snake, I have no idea, but whoever loses the most weight each week gets this stuffed snake to take home with them to celebrate with all week.  I was the biggest loser this week, so I got the snake!  I put him on top the fridge looking down on me so that whenever I go to munch, I'll see that as a reminder that I did great this week & need to keep up the good work!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Shrimp Florentine

I didn't have an exact plan for dinner this evening, but I knew it was going to involve pasta and shrimp.  I gathered up what I had in the house to concoct some deliciousness, and it turned out great!  (I would have a picture, but the uploader on blogger is being insanely slow for me... so you can find a picture on my 365 project site here:

I call this entree Shrimp Florentine.  I'm not really sure what constitutes something as "florentine" but it sounded good, and tasted good... here's what I used:

1 onion, diced
5 large fresh mushrooms, diced
1 hand-full (maybe 1 cup?) spinach, chopped
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 cup large pre-cooked shrimp, tails removed (it was about 20 shrimp)
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp flour
2 c. skim milk
1/4 c. parmesan
1/2 box angel hair pasta, cooked
salt/pepper to taste

1.  Add olive oil, veggies, and 1 tbsp garlic to a skillet and sautee until all veggies are cooked through.  Remove from pan & set aside.
2.  Melt butter and add 1 tbsp garlic to pan.  Warm shrimp through (or cook through if you don't use pre-cooked shrimp!) then remove & set aside with cooked veggies.
3.  Add flour to butter that remains in the pan to make a rue.  Slowly add milk to the rue while whisking to ensure all lumps are gone. 
4.  Cook on medium-high heat until sauce begins to bubble and thicken.  Cook about 3 minutes while stirring constantly & allowing the sauce to continue to thicken a bit.  Add parmesan to sauce, then add in veggies and shrimp.
5.  Serve over angel hair pasta--4 servings.

It was SO good!  Eddie said he'd have it again and was really happy with how tasty my improvised recipe was!  Definately a recipe to try (and remember, see my 365 project site to see what it looked like!)

Two Weeks

The past couple weeks since getting back into the WW swing of things have gone pretty well.  I know I haven't been as diligent with counting points as I need to be, but I've still had some successes.  I saw a loss on the scale week before last, as well as last week, totalling 5 pounds.  That's definately positive progress!

A couple weeks ago, they were having a promotion where you could bring a friend for free.  I drug my husband along so he could see exactly what it was that I did at my WW meetings and so that he could maybe be encouraged to do the program with me, even if he didn't join.  To my surprise, he even participated in the discussion at the meeting--I was so proud of him!  It was a huge group too, and usually he doesn't talk much around new people, but he was there next to me, supporting me, and it meant so much!  He's going to be joining after Christmas, I believe, just due to finances, but he's still going to be eating like me and watching what he eats as much as possible until then.  He even called me the other day to ask what a good fast food option would be, as he had to eat out that day.  Also, this weekend, when my mother-in-law offered to buy us dinner at Sonic, we got onthe computer and calculated points before we ordered.  She offered to buy us chili-cheese coneys, and I was appalled to find out that they are TWENTY points each!  I went with grilled chicken instead!

We also went grocery shopping this weekend and bought a lot of healthy alternatives to keep the house stocked, and we have some pretty good meals planned for this week.  Hopefully some of them will make an appearance on here!  I have a veggie/shrimp/pasta that I'm planning out in my head for tonight.  So hopefully that turns out well!

Thanks to those that continue to stop by the blog & leave encouraging words, it means a lot!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Up & At 'Em

So last week, I headed back to my WW meeting on Thursday.  I was definately up from the last time I was there, but that's no surprise.  I'm more or less back to where I started from when I joined WW this time around, but that's OK, I'm just going to have to stick to it for crying out loud!  LOL

They have a promotion going on right now where you can bring a buddy to a meeting for free, so next week I'm dragging my husband with me.  We both need to lose weight, and while I know he'll do it if I do it, I need him to be invested in the program with me.  So while he may not join & attend meetings like I do, I at least want him to know what it's all about and what happens when I go to my meetings.  There is also an event later this month that's an open house, kind of, where successful members in the community are going to be speaking about their journey.  I think that will be really inspirational & we're planning on going to that as well.

At the end of a WW meeting, they always celebrate those who have lost weight that week, whether it's a 5-pound increment or a milestone like 5 or 10% lost.  There was a woman there this past week who was celebrating her 50 pound accomplishment.  And I recognized her as someone that started the week after I did, back in May.  I was so proud of her, she looked so happy & more importantly, proud of herself!  And it was a reminder to me that if you stick with it, you see results, plain and simple.  And that had I not chosen to go off plan for 3 months, that could have been me celebrating a big loss.  So, I am using her as inspiration and a reminder that you can come a long way in a short time, as long as you're committed.

This week hasn't been an easy first week back on plan, considering we had dinner out Friday, a wedding Saturday, and a birthday Sunday... but I'm confident that I'll at least make some progress in the right direction when I go on Thursday!