*update...chili recipe*

you can find the recipe here

i have loved this recipe for years, but i just decided to play around with it and add some chunky veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, and carrots. i also like to garnish with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and sour cream. its warm, slightly spicy, and wicked delicious. perfect for a cold winter night.

and btdub, i frigging love my dutch oven!

holiday wrap up and setting goals...

the holidays are winding down and now we're preparing to meet 2011 head on. we had an amazing, wonderfully relaxing christmas, full of family, friends and great times. i got some great gifts, with a definite culinary focus. i got a mini muffin pan, a set of springform pans, a supercute giant cupcake pan, and my favorite, often longed for, a dutch oven! it is beautiful, red enameled and hefty. i plan on christening it this evening with a nice big batch of weight watchers beef and black bean chilli. yummmm

new years eve is tomorrow and i've been thinking a lot about what kind of goals i want to set for myself in the coming year.
one big goal is to take the time to take care of myself and start losing weight again. i've gained over the holiday, and i know that i need to do better. it's time to get serious about weight loss again and get back on track. i've got to.
another big goal is to start keeping a budget and putting money away. we have a new place to save for, and all the stuff that goes along with a major move (and the combination of two people's crap). i want to be as prepared as possible.

what are some of your goals for 2011?


another semester annhilated...

and i can finally release the collective breath i've been holding for the past month.

officially took my last final today at 2:15.

by 3:00 i was slipping and sliding my ass over to the bookstore in the snow to sell some books.

at 3:15 i walked away with a cool $115 and i was a happy camper.

::huuuuuge sigh of relief::

it's over : )

my grades arent completely in yet, but it looks really good that i could get dean's list for the first time ever. i have pushed myself so SO damn hard this semester. i never knew i had this kind of motivation in me, at least academically. it feels good to realize that this potential i have in me actually be achieved.

on the weight loss front, i'm stalled at the moment. but i honestly think focusing solely on school gave me the freedom to achieve my goals this semester. my mind is starting to come back around to weight loss, i'm starting to get that motivation back and its feeling good. i think one of my biggest goals during the break is to focus on what i'm eating, not eating out of boredom, and staying active while its cold and snowy out. i'm going to have a suddenly greater amount of free time and i'm going to struggle to get up in the morning and stay busy as opposed to sleeping in every day and staying up every night.

but joy of joys (warning: sarcasm imminent) the spring semester starts in 3 weeks! then i will be stuck at a grueling pace of classes 5 days a week, plus an internship. gulp. i think i better enjoy my free time while i actually have some.

life is going so quickly its making my head spin. the first leg of school is coming to a close, a career is looming, the guy and i are talking about cohabitation, planning our upcoming (after a nice long engagement!) nuptuals, babies, and so much. i'm going a little crazy with all this future couply stuff. i've for so long been a solitary soul.

at the start of this month we celebrated a year together and it just blew my mind. it feels like a blink of time. i want to spend more time just being us, not planning our futures to the T. i'm trying to slow things down. i know i'm going to spend my life with him, but i dont want to wait until the babies are come and we're far into a marriage to spend time together just being together.

and just as an aside, did christmas sneak up like a bitch on anyone else? freakin christmas is next week and i am SO not prepared.

i need a drink.

have a great holiday y'all.


and when it was finally over...

so the thanksgiving holiday went swimmingly. everyone was together and fed and happy, there was no family drama, and no one barfed.

in all, i'd say it was a huge success.

first things first, i helped my kitchen-ly challenged best friend with a thanksgiving trial run, teaching her about proper turkey care and mashing about 5 lbs of potatos. i also baked pie, because if i didnt, no one in that house would have had pumpkin pie, and that, in itself, is a tragedy. everything went well, my surrogate children enjoyed pumpkin pie for the first time, and the holiday season was kicked off beautifully.

then on thursday my mom and i hosted the big dinner this year at her place, and on top of all the uncles and cousins, we welcomed my fiance and his mother into the mix as well. everyone got along and hit it off really well. and we tried a new tactic this year: buffet line in the kitchen, dinner in the dining room. although not intentional, location of the food, and also location of my seat at the table were a big factor in how i handled myself eating wise and managed to be satisfied without going overboard. i was comfortably sandwiched between raphael and his mother on the far side of the table, meaning that once i sat down, getting back out again would have been really difficult since we squeezed as many people as we could around that big ol table. add in not having platters and bowls and baskets circulating around the table (and sitting there temptingly in front of me), i was able to make my one plate, take my one roll, and have a delicious, satisfying, not at all puke-inducing meal  surrounded happily by my family and loved ones.

and now as we move into december, my house is full of christmasy scents, my tree is up (and i even let the boy help me decorate....minus all my "rules" about proper ornament placement. dont judge lol) and the semester is coming to a close. there is snow in the air, music on my radio, and i couldnt be happier.

i truly couldnt.



first of all, i want to thank you guys for your support and suggestions. you helped calm my nerves and didnt tell me i was crazy for being afraid. it helped a lot.

and, you were right! i have mild bell's palsy (me and george clooney), the doc hooked me up with some 'roids and i should be back to normal in a month or so.


currently i am baking two frigging delicous looking pumpkin pies (with brown sugar pecan topping!) and listening to the boy snore away on the couch. tomorrow i will be surrounded by friends, family and yummy food.

life is good : )

hope y'unz all have a happy thanksgiving! (as my gram would say lol)


why i hate making doctors appointments and why i (literally) feel like harvey dent...

ok. so since friday of last week i've been feeling like i have two faces.

not in a figurative way either.

...perhaps some background is necessary here.

for a few weeks now i've been having constant, daily headaches, jaw pain and facial twitches on my left side. i thought it was just stress, maybe i started grinding my teeth, or something. friday morning i woke up to find a completely new symptom; the left side of my mouth stopped moving and i was having trouble closing my left eye completely. it was fucking scary dudes. my mind went immediately to STROKE, holy fuck i had a stroke. luckily, i watch copious amounts of House and knew the components to the stroke test. slurred speech? nope. downturned lip? nope. numbness? nope. inability to hold my arms parallel to the floor? nope. thank fucking jesus.

my wonderful EMT fiance thinks its TMJ or something to do with the nerves connected to my jaw. tmj is usually easily treated, but i'm gonna be honest here, the most terrifying part for me is wondering if my face will be like this forever. if i'm always going to feel like a picasso painting. wondering if everyone is going to notice and ask what's wrong with me. terrified, y'all.

i have a doctors appointment tomorrow at 8 am (moangroan) to see whats the what. i am going through such intense anxiety right now. and heres the reason why i havent been to the denist since 2006. or why i was near death the last time i forced myself to go to the docs. why i'm a coward when it comes to the gyno or getting a mammogram. what if i go in, and they find something horribly life-alteringly awful. i would rather hide in ignorance.

but i'm going tomorrow. after fighting to gather the courage to make a call the last few days, i did it. it doesnt make me feel better. it makes me feel like my stomach is a black hole, lead balloon, anything really bad.

but i'm going. i am going. really really going.

i know, because raphael is driving me. so i cant flake out. (even though i want to more than anything in the world.)

i am going.

please god let them figure out whats wrong with me. and let it be treatable. please.


bitty baby steps...

i started tracking again today.

it's been a long ass while.

but i'm sick of zoning out when im eating, eating crap, and then pretending to be all confused when the scale puts up crazy fluctuating numbers.

this chick needs some structure back.

also, have you guys seen that show on tlc called "ton of love"? i have always been fascinated by all the tv shows about morbidly and supermorbidly obese people, but this one is different. not in a good way. other than one couple on the show, all the others seemed downright blase about the fact that their weight is seriously affecting their lives. there was one couple who had been trying to have a baby for years, but both of them were over 400 lbs. i thought it was common knowledge that obesity drastically cuts down your likelihood of getting pregnant and maintaining a healthy pregnancy. when the wife found out she had pcos, she almost didnt even connect part of it to the fact that she was obese. like it wasnt even a tiny factor. a big part of my motivation to lose weight is so that i have better chances of getting pregnant, lowering my risk of medical problems during pregnancy, and preventing pcos. it's a constant motivation. especially now that i'm engaged to the man i want more than anything to have children with. i would be downright terrified if i was 421 lbs and pregnant. so afraid of the complications that come with trying to carry a child and an extra 250-300 lbs of weight.

how do you guys feel about the different kind of aspects in shows like this? do you think it raises awareness or acceptance?


best. new. thing. ever. (and holiday prep)...

green bean crisps.

thats right. best new thing ever. my mama and i hit up bender's potato barn in chambersburg today before we braved the grocery store (to buy everything under the sun for a thanksgiving feast for 12 people....and also butter in the shape of a turkey. dont judge) and it was awesome. it was my first time there, and i'm pretty sure i fell in love. i love menonite/amish markets like crazy and this was no different. it was so cute, and had a huuuuuge selection of candies, baking goods, produce and all sorts of neat little gifties. well, one of the many many things that caught my eye was a little plastic container of green beans. crispy, dried, salted green beans. holy bejeesus. these are so fantastic. like a damn green bean potato chip.

like i said. new best thing ever.

speaking of thanksgiving, i'm starting to prep, schedule, plan and all the good stuff that keeps neurotic, perfectionist hostesses like my mother and i from losing our minds. part of that for me is planning ahead what to avoid, or what to only have a little bit of. for the healthy eaters, we're doing a hummus dip (sans oil) and pita chips/veggies. for the people who dont care, swiss cheese and onion dip (basically a greasy pile of cheese and onions that you spread on bread.) this crap is so good, but so damn greasy. i managed to almost completely ignore it at our christmas dinner last year, and had maybe one bread round with it on, and i was good for another year. people go nuts over this shit, but if it were up to me, i wouldnt have it on my menu. other than that, the usual spread, minus a few things that no one ever really touches anyway, and then piiiiieee! i have been waiting all damn year for pumpkin pie.

this year i'm baking and cooking a little extra for some friends of mine going through tough times. i know they'd be there for me if i needed it, and sometimes all you need to get through the holidays is to have a good friend feed you pie and give you a hug. i can definitely do that.

i always get this huge buzz going on during the holidays. this is my element. the hustle and bustle, the cooking, baking, friends and family, and just all the great things (and none of the bad) that come with the cold season. like christmas music in mid november. fuck yes. i heard Feliz Navidad (my favorite goddamn christmas song EVER) on the radio tonight and i just knew it was gonna be a good week. i can do this.

have a great holiday everyone!


fighting demons...

so my birthday weekend went pretty great. my dad took me out for dinner and drinks friday and i got to have a really relaxing couple days with people i love. minus a few rough patches.

like saturday...

i woke up late on saturday and ended up being lazy in bed finishing up reading the new book i had. for whatever reason, i was grumpy as shit. and it was pretty much all focused on raphael. the poor guy could not do anything right in my book. every time he called saying he was going to be late to pick me up, or whatever else, i bit his head off. when he did finally get to my house i was deep in a funk. i was snapping and arguing and he just kept asking me what was wrong (which is like the thing i hate to hear the most because it requires me to actually think about why i'm going crazy). as i'm trying to think it out and talk it out i just started crying and couldnt stop. i started shouting and crying and calling myself crazy. a lot of people might not know that since childhood  i have constantly been fighting a pair of demons known as Anxiety and Depression. they usually come in together and spur each other on and make me feel like i'm two people in one body.

about a week ago Mrs. Fatass bravely posted publicly about her struggles with anxiety. it made me realize that all those things inside me that i try to hide from people so that they think i'm "normal" really dont get hidden all that well. i've been struggling with anxiety about my weight, but the bulk of it is focused on school. i'm doing wonderfully, i have a great group of friends, and i just found out that i'll be graduating a semester earlier than i expected. but regardless of all the good, i still have a voice in my head telling me i'll fail. that i'm still not cut out for college. so i started missing the occasional class, having to make up an exam here or there, and fighting a losing battle with my sleep schedule. when i'm dealing with both anxiety and depression i get pulled and pushed between insomnia for days or sleeping for 18 hours a day. my advisor, who is also one of my professors, started to notice. when i missed the exam the other week, she called me out on it. she made me face my anxiety and made me realize that the mask i try to keep on isnt as effective as i think it is.

so all week long i've been aware of and actively trying to keep my anxiety at bay. but saturday night must have been my breaking point, because i let it all out. i gave my anxiety a voice and let it scream out all those hateful things that i tell myself. i opened the floodgates. and a funny thing happened. i heard myself saying these things that i make myself believe sometimes and i knew it was ridiculous. i knew it was a lie. i knew it was fear of failure and fear of disappointing others that bred all those ideas.

but most the most important thing, i let someone i loved in. i often exhaust myself trying to play pretend that everything in this head of mine is all hunky dorey. its not always. but it is so important to me that no one sees that side of me, because i dont want pity. i dont want people thinking im crazy. but i opened up a can of my craziest crazy that night, and you know what, he told me he loved me. that he loved me even more because i trusted him enough to be that real around him.

it broke the spell. and it felt so good. after i wiped the tears i felt so light. i felt like this burden didnt have to be mine alone anymore. i know that he'll be there for me and understand why i cry randomly or shut down for no reason. he's taking this journey with me now, he's picked up a sword and will be at my back the next time i go into battle, and it feels amazing.


birthday goodness...

today is my birthday.

it has been one of the best birthdays on record. and the good birthday thing for me is relatively a new concept. i had a shit streak going for a long time whereas birthdays were full of anger and sadness and pain. gladly the last few years have been much better. no screaming matches, no crying, and in their place love and laughter and good warmy things.

i got to sleep in, all snuggled in warm covers. when i finally got out of bed around noon i settled in on the couch for a house marathon and an onion bagel and hot cocoa. after a while i got up and whipped together a frigging delicious batch of pumpkin spice cupcakes. (by the way, cupcakes are way cooler than birthday cakes) then i decided to lounge around and browse the new bridal magazine i picked up the other day and watched some more tv. around 6pm my padre came home and took me out for mexican and margaritas. yummmm. now i'm back home just relaxing and basking in the birthday bliss.

i think the only thing that could have made this day better would have been getting to see my guy. poor thing's been in D.C. since tuesday between working and doing his EMT recertification classes.

my life is just so good right now. i'm thankful every day for all the little bits and pieces that fall into place to let me do what i do and be who i am. one of the things that has made my life so perfectly good is raphael. i've noticed (and my family and friends have noticed) a marked difference in my personality and ambition and my overall good mood. he lets me be me, neuroses and all. he lets me be a control freak when i need to, and takes my cues and steps in when i feel like i'm losing control. and the best of all,  he loves me. every little thing about myself that i obsess over, he loves. he makes me feel beautiful and sexy and like i can do anything.
not to mention my relationship with my parents has blossomed into something i never expected. i'm learning things about my family that i never knew, and finding out more about the people that created me.

school, life, fiance, birthday....everything is amazing.

now its time to work on reaching my weight goals. i am getting my body back. learning to eat well and get more exercise again.

happy birthday to me, my birthday candle wishes are starting to come true  :)


lovin from the oven

i love when my weekends include baking. the house is full of rich, warm scents and my favorite part; sharing with the people i love. i get to enjoy one of my favorite hobbies and then joyfully give the goodies away.

after a massively full day yesterday, i hit the sack way way early and slept in till about 11 this morning. while browsing my blog reading list i found this.

i adapted the recipe a little to knock out the butter and add yummy pumpkin flavor

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirled Brownies

boxed brownie mix and ingredients needed on package ( i used betty crocker's dark chocolate mix)

cream cheese layer
8 ounces cream cheese, softened

4-6 tablespoons canned pumpkin (libbys)
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons flour

-Heat oven to 375

-Mix in large bowl the brownie mix and the ingredients called for on the box. Spread 3/4 of the mix in a baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.

-Mix cream cheese, pumpkin, and sugar until well mixed. Add eggs, vanilla and flour.

-Spread mixture on top of brownie mix. Drop remaining brownie batter on top and use a knife to make a swirl design on top.
-Bake for 40 minutes or until baked through.

in the original recipe it calls for butter and orange food coloring. i decided to swap out the butter with pumpkin and the natural color of the pumpkin gave the cream cheese mixture a nice soft orange color. the flavor was subtle and light. for a deeper, spicier fall flavor, you could add pumpkin pie spice.

this made about 18 servings, and come out to around 250 calories per serving. to lighten it up even more, you could use light or fat free cream cheese, splenda, or reduced/ fat free brownie mix.

these are a great fall or halloween treat and satisfy a sweet tooth or chocolate craving.

also, i weighed in this morning and things are on their way down. 330.2 this morning, a loss so far of 4.4 lbs. imma keep on truckin y'all.
till next time : )


taking a new path...

so here's the thing.

i love blogging. it makes me feel great. i want to keep writing about the things that i experience and the things that interest me.

ever since i started my newest jump on the wagon i've been struggling with one issue in particular. and that's this feeling like i owe it to you guys to lose weight. like you dont deserve to read a weight loss blog where the author doesnt lose weight. it's been making me avoid this place like the plague when i gain, or binge or whatever. sometimes i get this crazy feeling like you're going to find out i'm a total hypocrite, a sham, a failure.

i skip posting weigh ins because i dont want to  feel like a failure. i dont want to let you down.

but i think i have been. not by gaining and losing and yo-yoing, but by not letting myself write about me. i've been trying so hard to make it all about losing weight that i forgot about the major component of that equation. me, as a person. forgot to vent and share about the ups and downs of my days and all the wonderful, painful, stressful, rainbow-of-emotional things i see and do and feel. i want to tell you about my cooking, my baking, and not worry about people thinking i could do without it, or that i could probably lose more weight if i avoided it. i want to tell you about how great school is going, how honored and stressed i was about recieving a scholarship, how amazing my fiance is and how truly in love with him i am. i want to tell you about the daily, sometimes hourly, struggles i have with my body, my weight, and my eating.

i think by unconsciously focusing so hard on not letting someone else down, i doubly let myself down by thinking my shit isnt worth writing about, and by self sabotaging my goals. that self sabotage is a handy tool, if you can recognize it for what it is and your unconscious motives behind it. i need to show myself again that life isnt all about losing weight. its about all the crazy little bits and pieces that make life so topsy-turvy awesome.

i will be continuing my weight loss efforts, and i might even share some numbers, but i think for now i'm going to focus on other things within this space.

and i do honestly know that all of this is in my own head. i'm pretty sure you guys arent all sitting out there thinking how disappointed you are in me, thinking i've given up. i know this. but if i can ask one small favor from you guys it would be this, right now, from all of you, but especially those who comment, i don't want advice. right now i need support, and understanding. thank you.



crazy yet awesome weekend, topped off by a great class tonight.

weigh in scheduled for tomorrow morning....

(thank god i behaved and ate well at the apple harvest...though i SO wanted to try the pumpkin funnel cake)


its mini candy month bitchesssssss....

oh yes. i have fun size fever y'all.

this is my plan of action: purchase ONE single bag of whatever halloween candy of my choice. i give myself carte blanche to eat it whenever i want. i can choose to eat it all at once, or i can choose to make it last. regardless of what i choose, on november 1st, the leftover candy is getting given or thrown away. that gives me roughly one small piece of candy per day if i stretch it out.

so i'm giving myself this chance. i'm not giving myself any restrictions. i'm thinking of it like a bank account, very much the way i view my calorie "budget" for the day. i have so much of x. i have y amount of days to make it last. i can choose to "spend" it all at once, and feel tempted for the rest of the time. or i can budget, spread it out so that i can satisfy my halloween candy cravings all month long.

sounds like a win to me.

dudes though, i think i found my new favorite school night dinner. tonight i came home starrrrrrving. i was craving some salmon, but so did not want to fire up the oven and wait around for one little piece of fish. so i decided to take a bowl, put the frozen salmon filet in the bottom and poured in about a half cup of water and 2 tablespoons of low-sodium teriyaki sauce. topped it with parsley and a little garlic powder and nuked it for 5 minutes. it came out tender and just a little crispy on the top and sides, just the way i like it. it sucked up all the marinade and made it so so so tasty. a quick nuked baked potato and green beans and i had dinner ready to go in less than ten minutes.

in other awesome news, i've been crazy busy and minorly stressed, but for once there's nothing bad about it. everything is kicking ass. i was awarded a scholarship, which will definitely help pay for school/books next semester and i am currently carrying all A's in all my classes, all of which i love. i am also on the cusp of deciding if i want to finish my associates degree or go hardcore and get my BA. i think part of me has already decided, but i want to carefully weigh all my options.

slowly working my way back to having healthy eating and activity be second nature. it's taking a while, but each day that i complete my goals is one more day towards a future of doing it every day. a healthy future where i am not held back by my weight and bad habits.

and in the spirit of doing healthy things, i am setting my quit smoking date (the latest, gonna try damn hard to make it the last time) for my birthday. november 5th 2010 i will be 23. i am giving myself the gift of health. giving myself the gift of breaking my dependence on ciggarettes for support. i want to work up to being able to live life without needing the crutch of smoking. i deserve it.


week 1 weigh in...




thats a loss of 1.2 lbs.

i'm ok with it. not ecstatic, but i've got one week down and i lost. thats a win in my book.

as for my goals, lets check in and see how i did:
-track every day- i didnt really get my act completely together until about wednesday, but i've been tracking consistently every day since.
-30 mins of activity per day- so didnt happen. this one will probably be the hardest for me to get in every week.
-take my vitamins every day- i only remembered to take my vitamin twice this week, but i'm working myself into a routine. someone suggested to me that i take my vitamin at night time before i go to bed. i've been doing it the last two days and i wake up feeling pretty awesome. apparently the body absorbs it better at night. i've been popping a vitamin each night right before i brush my teeth, so hopefully i can keep up this habit going.
-motivational quote- i think i'm going to can this one because i weigh first thing in the morning and i completely forgot about doing this. maybe i'll pick one or two fun quotes to put on there every month or so.

alright, decent first week back. let's go week two!

P.S. I'm playing around with new backgrounds and stuff, and i wanted to know if the one i currently have up makes it difficult to read, or do you guys dig it?


like trying to run with only one foot...

progress has been up and down. i mean, i know its only been a matter of days since day one, but sometimes i forget how much you actually have to pay attention to do what you want to do. i feel like i've been tripping over my own feet, getting in my own way, and it's making me feel like a rookie.

one thing that i think will be a huge help; i just got the livestrong.com MyPlate app for my blackberry. now i can put in my info from anywhere instead of trying to remember to get on the computer at the end of the day. i'm on my phone all the time, so it should help keep tracking my foods on the front burner of my brain. i KNOW that for me tracking is absolutely key. tracking, more than anything else is what helped me lose 30+ lbs last time. so its kind of an obvious priority. dont know why it took me this long to figure that out.

with the start of the fall semester, another struggle is making sure i have healthy, easy to prepare (or heat up) meals for school nights. on mondays i only have one class, and don't have to leave till 5 so i have been trying to plan on cooking several nights worth of meals on monday nights. tuesdays and thursdays i'm on campus from 10 a.m. till 8 p.m. here is where the pre-made meals come in. by the time i get home from school, i am starving. so i need to have something to eat right away, and that something needs to be healthy and filling enough that i dont feel the need to graze later while watching tv and doing homework.

tonight i made some baaaaaaangin sesame chicken. i used a weight watchers recipe and modified it slightly. it wasnt exactly takeout style, but it was so freaking good. especially with some white rice and green beans. YUM!

here's to relearning old lessons!
see ya'll on saturday


and the verdict is.......


i can work with that.

my goals for the last 100 days of 2010 are:
-track every day
-get at least 30 mins of activity per day
-take my vitamins every day
-every week before i weigh in, stick one motivational, inspirational or moving quote to my scale.

time to get busy folks.



getting ready...

oh man. tomorrow's the day.

THE frigging day!

part of my preparations are taking inventory of my pantry and fridge, to start plotting out meals, and jotting down a list of necessaries.

another part of that is cleaning. i don't know about anyone else, but when my house is a clutter hole, i always get just a little bit lazy. having clothes piled in my bedroom, towels everywhere in the bathroom, and the kitchen in shambles makes me just want to escape with a bag of cheetos in front of the tv.
so today, is a cleaning day. a laundry day. a dishes day. as much as i hate it, i know it will help me, and that's really all the reasoning i need.

one of the things i've been planning to do is keep a body log. i want to post or privately journal every day about how my body feels. i want to be able to track the correlations between what i eat and what i do, the effects it has on my body, and vice versa. i think by recording it, i might be able to see patterns from month to month so that i can proactively prepare for when my hardest days will hit.

i'm also taking inspiration from the people doing the Hot 100 challenge. i'm not actually participating in the challenge, but i will be doing a personal challenge for myself. the idea is that you start with 3 or more goals that you challenge yourself to stick with every week, for the last 100 days of 2010. tomorrow i will be stating my goals as well as my first (or billionth first) official weigh-in.

to be honest, i'm scared. but also freaking excited.
its been a long time since i've gotten excited about doing something for myself.


countdown to the re-start...

i'm setting my re-start date for saturday.

there are people out there who will say that you should just start right away, but i'm preparing myself. i'm making sure i have everything i need on hand so that i don't start stumbling right off the block.

i'm motivating myself, reminding myself what i'm really doing here and what my goals are.
i'm reminding myself that i am doing this for *me* and my health. i'm not doing this so i can wear skinny jeans.
i'm doing this so that i can climb the stairs to class without dying.
i'm doing this so i don't have to carry 100 lbs of dead weight.
i'm doing this for my heart.  i'm doing this for my knees. i'm doing this for my feet. for my back.
i'm doing this for my future children.

i  brought my scale home (it was living in the boyfriend's bathroom), so that i can start day one bright and early.

3 days and counting....

here we go, let's bring back an old favorite:

goals folks, let's achieve em.

bring it.


by way of review...

for myself and for anyone just starting or just trying to start over again...

weight loss 101

the basics-

-eat healthier.

-eat balanced.
i try to balance my intake depending on what activities i plan on doing afterward. for example: i eat a higher protien diet usually, but i try to eat the most protien for my morning meal because thats when i need to be able to stay full and focused until i get a chance to eat lunch. for my midday meal i eat more carbs (but healthy carbs) because i need the energy as my body starts to wind down for the evening. by dinnertime i eat my smallest meal of the day. since i usually plan on sleeping only a few hours after i eat, i dont need a ton of protien, nor do i need the carbs for energy. i load up on veggies to fill me up and generally divide my plate into quarters. i make two quarters of the plate vegetables, another quarter of protiens, and the last quarter is a carbohydrate.

-track what you eat.
however you do it, do it, and do it consistently. personally, i have found past success in simply tracking calories. i give myself a goal of about 1900-2000 calories per day. no one can ever eat *exactly* 2000 calories a day, but giving yourself a goal can give you an idea of what to eat and when you should eat it.

-get active.
pretty much self-explanatory here. taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away, taking time out of your day to be more active. i'm planning on hitting up the gym on campus once the weather gets cooler.

-be self-aware.
this is a big one for me. what caught me up the last time was not keeping track of how i was feeling emotionally. i put a lot of stock into numbers and it just kind of left the emotional part of me hurting. sometimes writing regularly in a journal, in addition to blogging, can help me keep an eye on when im feeling vulnerable or insecure.

-drink water.
yea yea, sometimes this isnt always conscious. i've gone days in a row without drinking any water. those usually arent my best days. i try to keep a bottle of water within reach most of the time, which makes it the first thing i reach for when i'm thirsty.

-wear clothes that are comfortable AND fit you well.
clothes that are too tight or too loose can mess with your self esteem. when your clothes fit well, no matter if you plan on losing weight, you feel better. when your clothes fit you can also better guage any fluctuations in your weight or body. whenever i wear clothes, especially jeans, that are way too big, i dont always notice big, or little gains.

-don't label foods as "bad".
you know the second you tell yourself you can't have something you want it even more. so why not let yourself have some. key word here: some. don't eat a whole pan of brownies. eat one brownie. satisfy your craving, and move on. if having large amounts of tempting foods around makes you feel like bingeing, put them in containers that you can't see through. sometimes when i can't see the food, i forget about it. or, give it away. i'm an avid baker, and i love making things that may not always be friendly to my weight loss. so what i do is keep a small portion of whatever i make for myself, and split the rest up between family and friends. trust me, you'll be less tempted, and your friends will LOVE you.

i'm sure there are a metric ton of tips and tricks for weight loss, but these are the ones that work for me.

what are your tried and true tips?


a full day, a perfect day...

perfect days are so rare, and so wonderful....like a rainbow, the longer it sticks around the brighter it makes your day.

today was one of those days. there was no rainbow, but babydolls, i didnt need one.

i got a solid 8 hours of sleep last night. woke up early enough to not only shower and pick out a cute outfit, but to eat a healthy breakfast, pack a healthy lunch, and put a healthy dinner in the crock pot. i also left the house early enough to make it on campus 20 minutes early, and get a great parking spot.

at this point i was braced for the other shoe to drop right on my head. but it didnt. it kept on being amazing.

home to a hot meal, and now relaxing on the couch with some criminal minds. ready to enjoy my weekend.

lets see if this rainbow can keep on shining. i'm taking it one day at a time.


blogger? its me, erin....

it has been a lonnnnng time...
but you know, i think i needed some time away. not that i don't love you all (cause i do), but because i gotta take care of me sometimes in ways that don't involve baring my soul (and fat ass) to the web community at large.

i've had a whirlwind couple of months this summer, some days were amazing, some exhausting, frustrating, pick your adjective, i felt it.

you ready?

i got....ENGAGED!!! oh yes, the most romantic, completely spontaneous proposal story ever (which by the way, we wont be able to share with our families...if you know what i mean *wink*) i don't have any pretty sparkly bling pics for you as of yet because the proposal came before the ring lol so right now i'm just wearing my claddagh ring on my left hand, which on its own has a lot more meaning to the both of us than a diamond.

along with all the happy, theres been some not so happy. i gained maybe 15 lbs of what i previously lost, back. i think a combination of more time at home (as opposed to being at school for most of the day) which gave me more time to snack and make bad food choices and not being as active like i was during the semester let me pack on the pounds again.

i'm not going to make any rousing motivational speeches, i'm just here to say i'm back. i'm going to make an effort to blog here at least once a week, because it does help a lot to keep me focused and help me get things out on "paper" to help me work through the rough spots. no more trying to muscle through and do it on my own with no support. this time i'm asking for help when i need it.

as all great starts go, i've got a fridge and pantry stocked with healthy eats, a sweet little lunchbox to carry my healthy lunch to school, and a stack of great recipes to keep me full and fired up this winter.

i took a couple steps back, but heres to taking the first step forward once again.


weakness (and the strength you can find from admitting to it)

so here's me saying i'm not perfect y'all.

i completely surprised myself when i realized that all motivational crap i was using to fill space on here was just that. crap. i don't know if i was trying to convince you guys, or myself, but i was pretending.

i forgot to stay true to myself and be honest with myself. i started this blog for me. then people started to read and follow and i started censoring myself and tried with all my might to make this blog sound anything but whiny and emotional. or god-forbid, boring.

you know the old adage that the more you tell a lie, you start to believe it yourself? we'll thats what happened. i kept feeling shitty but i made it sound like i was hanging tough. but the more i tried to pretend, the shittier i felt about it.

i knew it was bad when i felt like i was letting my readers down before i felt like i was letting myself down.
so i just stopped writing. stopped pretending.
i needed to either live in my misery, or struggle through it.
i got to the point where i was ok with the idea of not blogging anymore. i think for the first time i understood why some people just up and disappear forever from the blogrolls. and i think i needed that. i needed to get to the point where going a month without blogging didn't make me feel guilty. or backsliding a bit didn't make me horrible. it just means i have be twice as strong to go back down the road to my goals instead of settling where i am.

i'm not going to force myself to be chipper or motivational for you guys, because i'm still trying to motivate myself. i'm still trying to believe my personal pep talks.

here's me admitting that i am, and was, weak.
and that makes me feel stronger.


it's been a trip y'all...

girlfriend ain't doing so well folks.

in the past two weeks i've gone up, and down, and over again. and i'm not even talking about my weight here.

i kind of screwed myself when i started off the weekend before finals with a "fuckmydiet" attitude. i was studying for hours at a time, and when it came time to scarf something down my mind was on everything but getting in my fruits and veggies.
 then came finals week. INsane stress y'all. little sleep, lots of carbs/caffiene. but when it was over, instead of going back to eating well i justified bingeing on cheese curls and margaritas and chocolate covered things by telling myself i was celebrating.
and THEN...this saturday some heavy family shit came to light and sent me spiraling real fast toward anxiety attacks and depression. i fought to get over that by downing wendys and peanut butter eggs.
did i mention i also quit smoking 3 weeks ago?


its been fun.

the long and the short of it is, i've gained like...5+ lbs in 2 weeks and i feel awful. my body feels heavy and sluggish. i'm not happy. and not being happy about my body doesnt really help with trying to feel better about everything thats going on.

this is me saying enough. i could let this put me into a 3 month food coma, but i'm not. i'm not letting my mother's problems ruin my happiness too.

i know i make declarations like this often, but i think its important. not for repetions sake, but to keep reminding myself that i have a person to take care of. me. above anyone else, i have to take care of me.

in better news, i passed all my classes! 2 a's and 2 b's. woooohooo!!! all that hard work definitely paid off. cant wait to go back in the fall.

i'm going to make a better effort to post on here more often...this place gives me more support than i've ever found anywhere. i loves you dudes.


updated progress pics....

thank you for reminding me!

i'm pleased...but i just dont see as big of an improvement from the last one...and that was almost 20 lbs ago! perhaps its going from other places than my belly...(though check out my booty...whered it go?!)

regardless...i'm happy. i know i'm kicking serious ass. *kaPOW*


back in the saddle (weigh-in)...

ok folks, new weigh in day, and my first official weigh in since my body, brain, and scale decided to battle...

and here are the resulllllts.

starting weight: 350
current weight: 318.4
loss since last weigh in: -5
total loss: -31.6

ahhh...so nice. i do so love the feeling that comes with having a great weigh in, especially when you've been fighting so long and not seeing the numbers you want.

and guys..i'm so pumped. i am just 3.4 little lbs away from my first 10% loss. its taken a hell of a lot longer than i anticipated, but the fact is, i will hit that goal. i can take pride in knowing that when i hit a roadbump this time around, it was only a month or two where i was caught spinning, not 6 months or a year or more and wake up again 30 lbs heavier. no, i can proudly shout that i am 30 lbs lighter today, and i can feel it in every part of my life.

in other news.. i have 98 followers! you guys!? thats so awesome....i'm kinda feelin like i should do somethin to thank you. i'm a little broke for a giveaway, but i'll def think of something :)


well hello there...

hey all...

things have been purdy exciting around these parts lately but at the same time, i just have not been in the mood to blog.

first things...its spring motherfuckers! it is gorg-us out all the time now and i can't get enough.

second thing...my body finally corrected whatever imbalance was going on inside that kept making my weight fluctuate so much (and maybe some fresh batteries for the scale helped too) and i'm back down to my lowest weight since starting in august. in fact, i'm down 1 from there, leaving me at 321 for the week.

now that i'm back where i feel like i should have been all along, i'm ready to get back into posting my weekly weigh ins. i'm claiming mondays as my new weigh in day, ensuring that i will be on my game during the weekends and ready for weigh in bright and early monday.

thats bout all i've got for ya's today, other than school is going great, ready for summer....

i promise i will try and post at least once a week, but we're in the final lap here for school and projects and finals are looming, so, i will do my bestest.

till then...


just like crack...only sexier....

so last weekend, i attended my very first Zumba class....


it was AMAZING. the whole class was so fun. i worked my ass off, but didn't feel like dying. i was smiling and laughing and enjoying every minute. i made it through the whole 1 and a quarter hour class and when it was over i wanted MORE. like...right away.

i felt so good all day. i felt energized and full of awesome. the boy even said i looked "radiant". um? i will absolutely take that.

i had some minor soreness in my hips and feet/ankles, but when youre shakin your ass for an hour your hips are bound to feel it, and i know the foot/ankle shit is cause my sneaks need serious replacing.

but lemme tell you, i cannot wait to take my next class. the center where i did it holds classes tuesdays, thursdays, and saturdays. it seriously could not have worked out better.

it is such a good workout y'all. one 1 hr. session burns around 750 calories...for an average (150 lb) person. just imagine how much more it burns for someone weighing twice that? you know how long you have to walk on the treadmill or the elliptical to burn that much? nuuuts. i'll take the fun, dance-y option over the stay-in-one-place-and-die-of-boredom one. but thats just me :)

other than that...i've been doing really well lately. i'm in hella better spirits and i'm back in a serious groove. i'm eating seriously well and still enjoying the various treats of spring and summer.

 i've sort of modified my "low-carb" diet to reducing mostly only processed food. most of the processed foods available are super high in sugar/carbs/badstuff, so i want to be avoiding that. some fruits and veggies are high in sugar/carbs, but its all natural, and i'll be hellbent to find something wrong with it. there are no preservatives or chemicals, or additives, so i know its safe to put in my body, and whatever sugar or carbs that are in it will be used, and used well. i think by reducing the amount of processed foods, the number of carbs i consume will be naturally lower.

my jeans are fitting better every day, even if the scale isn't moving. my brother and i did discover that my scale is messed up though. i should be well under 320 by now, but the scale shows me between 323 and 325. whatnow? my scale has always been wicked reliable and now its trying to make me cry. the scale at my moms shows the right weight, so i'm not super worried. i know i'm doing what i should be and sticking with my goals, i'm not going to let it get me down and bingey. no ma'am.

till next time,
goals folks, let's achieve em!


full steam ahead....(and a NSV!)

well folks, since i left you with my last majorly motivational (at least to me) and serious hear-me-roar declaration i return to tell you i've been moving full-out-no-stops towards my goals.

its been somewhat of an adjustment getting used to cutting a large part of my daily carbs, but after some minor slips and slides, i got my footing and more of an understanding of what it means to be committed to this low-carb bishness.

tonight i made a delicious dinner that was most definitely on plan. i made jamaican jerk seasoned flounder fillets, sauteed zucchini slices, and probably the most wonderful thing i've ever tasted...mashed carrots with garlic and butter.

as far as my NSV...oooh yea. i dug out my jean capris last week and holy crap...these things were tight as shit last year. like, barely squeezed myself in tight. this year? they're practically falling down. WIN!



my battle cry....

i have been fighting a war my friends.
a war where i am fighting from all sides.

not only am i fighting the scale, i am fighting myself. i've been in an angry stalemate for the past few months.

but girlfriend wants to WIN this war.

i've been in this vicious battle, and there had seemed to be no end in sight. i was eating well and seeing crap numbers on the scale. i let that dumb little number stress me out, and drive me into some serious denial/self-loathing. which led to some massive bingeing. in secret and not so secret.

but last night, i had a break, or breakdown. it helped me realize how negatively i've been feeling towards myself lately. with the strength of love beside me, i verbalized everything little feeling i've been trying to eat (literally? word) since the new year. i said hateful, awful things, and laughed when i knew i was about to cry.

i'm through.

i'm through watching this battle carry on, day after day, while i feel trapped inside a maelstrom of shame and hate.

i'm going to fight. and fight hard.

i am fighting for my life after all.

so this is what i'm going to do.
i am NOT going to let that scale defeat OR define me.
i WILL look that plastic, battery operated bastard in the face once a week (and only once a week) and i will NOT step off feeling like a failure.
i WILL defeat him with the sheer power of my determination to win.
i WILL look at the physical measurments of my progress and not despair. (sex on top anyone? WIN)
i WILL bolster myself with positive reinforcement, fuck being negative ya'll. that only leads to girl scout cookie binges.
i WILL NOT give up.
i WILL NOT give in.

i'm starting off this week with a metric ton of motivation. me and the boyfriend are gonna start hitting the gym. together. my mom and i are going to a zumba class this weekend, hopefully a regular thing. i am volunteering. i am putting myself out there. i am taking a personal interest in ME.

every single one of the posts i've made in the last few weeks and months have been leading me to this. every attempt has been to pick myself up, but this feeling, baby its a strong hand pulling me up.

this is my battlecry...and i will not go down without a fight.


its not you...its me (but really...its you)

oh baby!

spring is such a tease, 'specially up here in the northeast. 50 degrees and sunny one day, 2 feet of snow the next. but soon my friends, soon, it will be all spring-all the time and i cannot wait.

now dont get me wrong, i looove me some winter, but just in like...reasonable, non-debilitating ways. and now that its march, i don't think its unreasonable to tell winter to just move on. we had a fling, and its over. sorry winter, if i wanted to be monogamous i'd move to alaska. i've found someone else. someone warm and cuddly, with only a touch of your cold breezy mystery.

i wanna get out there and walk again without freezing my cookies. i wanna put my coat away (which, if you know about my deep and torrid love affair with coats, is really saying something). i wanna spring clean, ya know, in the spring? i wanna smell fresh grass, and flowering trees and hear the birdies. all that spring-y shit. i want it.

now-ish would be super.

and going with the spring theme here, i'm feeling revitalized. refocused. i've found a new stash of kickassitude.

i realized something the other day. so many people, myself included, give up when they have a bad day, week, or month (months? holla). when i used to do weight watchers, something would come up and i would justify eating badly and i would gain a little. then i'd feel so bad about spending the money for WW and then gaining that i would spiral. and instead of forgiving myself and picking my poor deflated self confidence and motivation off the floor, i'd leave it there. ignore it. and while i was ignoring it i descended deeper into emotional eating, comfort eating, angry eating...etc. then all of a sudden to resurface 6 months or a year later 30 lbs heavier and freaking the fuck out.

i'm getting better at noticing little emotional me all trampled and deflated on the floor. i just give her some love and breathe new life and confidence into her. i'm giving myself that billionmillionth chance (cause you know that second one had came and went a LONG time ago) to recharge and get back on my feet. i may be a little scraped up, but wounds heal...if you let them.

one final thing, i need some help y'all.
i want to go lower carb. LOWER, not superlow. like cut my average daily carbs by like...a fourth. or a third. just something. help me be more aware of the right and wrong kind of carbs i'm putting into this beautiful machine of mine.
so..what i need from you guys:
if any of you are doing low carb, or are carb conscious, or want to try to be,
-i'd appreciate any tips or tricks to reducing carbs
-suggestions for different foods to keep on hand
-meal ideas/recipes

you get the idea? bueno.
i would also love to hear your feedback or any research you've done on low(er) carb living/eating.

oh! i also recieved some blog awards a few weeks ago, which i promise i'll post, but i wanted to officially say thank you for!!

till next time...

goals folks, lets achieve em.


every day, in every way...

i'm getting better and better.

what is: the life lesson i've been re-teaching myself lately.

these past two months have not been my best. but one thing i do know? they were far from being my worst.

so, i quit bashing myself. i quit saying what a failure i was, how i let myself go off the deep end.
and i allowed myself to be happy with what i've accomplished. so far this year, my achievements haven't been very weight loss related, but another life lesson? weight loss is not my whole life. it's one part of my life. sometimes there are other things that need my focus more. on that note, i have been OWNING in school. seriously owning, and it feels so good.

this week i've been turning my focus back to weight loss, and it doesn't feel forced this time. i'm ready to get back into it and give myself what i deserve, health wise.

i've also made a new goal. i want to be down to 299 by June 1st, 2010. thats 23 lbs in 13 weeks. thats a weekly goal of a little less than 2 lbs. doable? heck yes!

in addition, i want to get moving more too. i checked out the free-for-students fitness center at school, and plan on going for walks now that the weather is getting sliiiiightly warmer. i'm aiming for at least 30 minutes of non-everyday activity.

oh! and i put the scale away for the month of march. i was seriously spazzing out. weighing in every day, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. it only led to being frustrated watching the numbers move up and down constantly. major stress and self hating goin on there. so i'm banishing it to the linen closet once more. 

i'm feeling good. finally got rid of my way-too-big jeans that were making me feel frumpy and baggy and slipped into my much sexier smaller jeans. i can't believe i'm down two whole jeans sizes. it definitely goes a long way to makin a girl feel good about herself.

ahhh...feels good to be back for real.

shall i say it?
i wannnnna say it...

goals folks, lets achieve em.

till next time bitches.....



oh. hi....

perhaps you may have noticed a slight decrease in the posts department over here?

yea. about that...

i found a loophole around not being able to post from my laptop. this is true.
i can post from school. also true.

i am absolutely, 100% not pleased/feeling majorly guilty about sucking hard in the weight-loss/eating well/exercise department. majorly true.

i've been avoiding posting like the plague. i just shudder at the thought of coming here day after day and posting about how i need to work harder and so clearly am NOT doing so.

clearly, a wake-up call needs to happen. i've become more and more content each day with crappy (oh and i mean crappppy) eating habits i would have flipped out about mere months ago. no good.

i'm straddling a line here. i could go back. really, i could. no one could stop me really. but do i want to go back? do i want to go back to dying each time i climb the stairs? do i want to totally eradicate the progress i've made so far? just to eat junk food and veg out?

fuck. that.

i'm doing it. just fucking doing it. no giving up. no excuses.

here on out.


snowed in and kickin ass...

we've got maaaajor snow here, but lemme tell ya what, there is no better workout than shoveling snow.

my undying need for freedom from cabin fever has me out in the white stuff, shoveling like a pro. after a few hours of scooping and tossing onto an ever-towering wall of snow, my arms and legs are tight and burning, but i was loving it. i love being outside in the snow. though frankly i wanted to jump into it and build a fort more than i wanted to do work, but my dad and i paired up and worked alternately to clear out both our cars and the rest of the driveway out to the road. if the township doesn't send someone to plow, we'll be back out there again tomorrow clearing the 4 foot high snow drifts that stretch all the way up our quarter mile lane. jeebus.

but the payoff? 1 hour of shoveling burns 500 calories. !!! um? win!?!

i've decided to start posting my calorie goals and activity again. it definitely helped me stay on top of things. i've also started logging my food on fitday.com. when i was losing consistently i got into the habit of being able to judge my food by sight, but i'm feeling the need for a little structure. no one is gonna make me do it but me, so hey, here's me saying its time to do work. time to find that place where i just do it, that place where i'm pumped and focused and committed. i'm gonna pretend that the "ball" is made of spun sugar and full of something precious, like dreams and newborn puppies. i absolutely canNOT drop that ball. think of the puppies!

in other new, i had a really good day today, eating wise. i did go over my initial goal, but the level of effort i was putting in outside demanded some extra calories to burn. at the end of the day, i came in with a pretty good deficit, so i'm not upset.


calorie goal: 2,000
calories eaten: 2,300
snow shoveling-2 hours
calories burned: 1,114 !!!!

till the next time folks!


i still be livin...

i just wanted to check in, let y'all know i'm not dead. my laptop decided to be a dick, and i haven't had the time to blog at school. i'm still here.
still playing with the same damn 4 lbs since mid january. it frustrates me, but i know that if i put some serious effort into it, it would be gone like *that*
i'm not beating myself up terribly over it. my clothes are bigger, so i know i'm losing something from somewhere, and it feels good. real good.
so my goals for the next few weeks is to bust ass. bust it haaard.
goals folks. lets achieve em.