Monday, December 29, 2014

A Short Look Back Then On To The Future

I would imagine most everyone that posts is planning some type of year end recap, so here goes mine.  I would say that 2014 was a good year, not a major stand out, but pretty damn good.  I didn't have any big events good or bad and sometimes that's a good thing.  It was all about being and doing which is my favorite.
I celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary, and I love him more than ever.  I participated in my 5th Portland to Coast Relay, and moved to our ideal neighborhood.  My husband and I have avoided major illnesses and I even had a mole removed that had caused years of speculation.  The scar looks way better than the mole did so that's awesome. 
I did not lose any weight at all this year!!  How can that be possible when that is my number one goal?!  On the upside I didn't gain any either.  The fact is I must not have wanted it that bad.  With a trip to Hawaii in two months you better believe I'm starting to care a lot!  I do love a good New Year kick start for a great dose of motivation.  This will be our first trip to Hawaii together and I am so excited!!  The Keto diet is going to be key to the weight loss success of my team.  Of course I have put my husband on a diet too, misery does love company.  Side dishes are the hardest part of low carbohydrate meal planning for me.  I am a pasta and potatoes kind of girl!  My goal is to find great dishes and share them here in case anyone else is having the same problem.  UGH!!!!  I have got to get it together and fast!  Go team!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I Love the Season of Temptation

'Tis the season to party and shop and over indulge, it's as though they made a holiday just for me.  I refuse to be a holiday calorie nazi, but I also try not to go bonkers.  It's no doubt that there are way more opportunities for drinks and food with friends and family this time of year and that poses a problem with weight gain.   This is my favorite time of year, and it seems silly to freak out about a few (hundred) extra calories and some missed sleep.  People are happy and outgoing right now and I want to be a part of it.  I have plenty of time during the sleepy winter months to sit around my house.

I have decided my goal for this holiday season is to maintain my weight and hit the weight loss goals hard after New Years Eve. I have been really good about riding my stationary bike, even on the weekends.  Salt is currently my biggest annoyance, it seems as though every restaurant is hitting the salt shaker a little hard for my taste and it is showing in my puffy hands and face.  I really will have no time to lose come January 1.  I will have exactly two months to go before I want to be in a bathing suit and not in tears.  Establishing a strong exercise routine during this hectic time will pay off when I add diet to the mix, at least that's what I asked Santa for.  My project before that needs to be finding satisfying lunch options and side dishes. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

We're Only Human

We only get one life to live and we have to live it to the fullest.  Sometimes it's easy to forget that with all the pressures of being an adult that isn't independently wealthy with a kick ass metabolism.  I know I for one get bogged down with silly things like did I over do it and blow everything or worrying about what I'm wearing.  Even when I worry about the huge things like my spouse passing away I turn around and forget to really appreciate him. 
Between the thanksgiving holiday and a friend of mine being terminally ill I want to make appreciating the things I have a priority.  Yes, sometimes going to work or other chores isn't what we want to do but at least I'm well enough to do them.  Instead of worrying about my husband dieing, a legitimate fear since I seem to know a lot of widows,  I should increase the life insurance and appreciate each day we are together more.  If there is a way to make the small worries go away so I can keep to the business of living I should do it!  This brings me to my weight, I think I need to focus on health.  I'm working out more and trying to eat better.  That will go along way to helping me reach my goals, I think.  At least it's a positive start.  I love the holiday season!

Monday, November 10, 2014

So Close

I was really on a roll last time I checked in.  I was biking and cooking low carbohydrate meals at home.  I even tried new recipes!!  I made masked cauliflower and it was great!  Even my husband liked it.  Then the social activities started on Thursday afternoon and didn't stop until Sunday night.  I really lost focus and did all the things that got me to this weight in the first place.  Did I have fun?  Yes! 
That's the issue, is it worth it to skip the fun for thin?  I imagine a fitness person might say you have to re-frame what fun means to you to achieve your fitness and weight loss goals.  I suppose pretending you enjoy sipping water while everyone else is having wine and cheese plate.  However, I felt really good about myself while I was on task and not so much when I wasn't.   When I was with my friends and drinking I was having fun, but the regret was pretty brutal. 
I did enjoy the feeling of accomplishment I had for a few days last week, and I see it as something worth pursuing.  I went to the store to get meals for the first three days of the week.  I plan to make ahead salads for tomorrow night so that I can just heat up some meatballs and pull out the ready made side.  I really need to get serious and succeed so I can get off this roller coaster.  It's exhausting! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

I Have A Rest & Relaxation Addiction

It all started about 10 years ago when I was suddenly promoted from assistant director to director of a daycare center.  We had just come back from our honeymoon and I was thrust into a position I wasn't ready for without an assistant, like I had been, to help me.  I loved my staff and working with the kids, but the parents and getting the money from the parents was too stressful. 
I began having stress related insomnia.  I would be exhausted from a 10-12 hour day working with people and fall asleep just fine.  Then around 2 am I would wake up in a full panic and be unable to go back to sleep.  Then I'd often get a call that someone was calling in sick so I'd have to go in early and stay late.  I felt like I could never sleep or even relax and there was a ton of crying.  On the weekends I would have to go in and do my paper work which I didn't even mind that much because at least it was quiet.  It wasn't the long hours that stressed me out so much as the parents and my regional manager.  I had a few parents that I had trouble getting tuition checks from every week and a manager that screamed a lot.  I am just not the type of person that can turn a child away at the door because tuition is late. 
In the end I quit after six miserable months. When I look back now, of course, I see things I could have done to possibly improve my situation and keep the job.  However, I was so unhappy and making my poor husband miserable I'm sure.  We went to Las Vegas that weekend and I partied my ass off!!  Then I came home and slept for about three days straight.  I'd get up and eat and go back to bed.  I started taking an anti anxiety medication and started sleeping normally again.
The problem is I think this experience made me a freak about sleep and down time.  I work in promotions at a radio station so when I work I deal with people non stop and am very outgoing.  I imagine people see me as an outgoing person that likes to socialize and party all the time.  In reality I play hard and rest even harder.  Luckily I only work part time so I get random weekdays to just be at home puttering and keeping to myself.  I often stand at my wall calendar holding my breath looking at my upcoming schedule.  When I lock eyes on the day off coming up I feel I can exhale.  I also feel the need to get in bed early most nights and "wind down".  Sometimes I do that even if I took a nap! 
Lately I worry this is holding me back.  Do I really need that much down time?  Is there such a thing as too much sleep?  Would I be happier if I went and did things outside with other people on my days off?  Should I make a busier social schedule for my husband and I?  I see some people on the dreaded Facebook that seem to never have a sweatpants day even or evening for that matter.  When do they recharge?  I often joke that I have a touch of agoraphobia, but it didn't used to be that way.  Maybe the going nonstop people wonder if they'd be better off if they rested more.  Today I don't have to work, but I'm going to go for a walk with a friend.  That's a good start.

Monday, November 3, 2014

What's It Going To Take?

I have less than a month until Thanksgiving weekend when I will see most of my family.  I haven't seen some of them in a while and my weight gain has got to be noticeable.  I have finally resorted to making low carbohydrate dinners in an attempt to see some actual weight loss.  It's difficult on the one hand because my enthusiasm for cooking is not helped by a lack of my favorite things such as pasta and rice and bread.  However, the idea of actually losing weight has been appealing the last few days that I have been trying this out. Plus my husband seems excited and I love that. 
Main dishes seem pretty easy to figure out, take a protein and spice it up.  It's the side dishes that are causing me problems.  Usually I would make a little pasta or rice, but that's what I tend to over eat.  It's usually half a plate of carbohydrate heavy side and a protein.  In fact, I would usually be happy to skip the protein altogether!!  So far I have relied on sauteed mushrooms, but that's not green and I know I'll burn out.  Eating healthy is really expensive!  The recommended snacks and entrees are much more expensive than the pasta and rice I usually make. 
Tonight I'm making scrambled eggs with bacon and a sauteed portobello mushroom.  Tomorrow I plan to pick up a Cooking Light entree at Target on my way home from work.  I am going to get totally crazy and try out mashed cauliflower.  I used to think that sounded so stupid, then I got desperate to lose weight for an event, go figure. 
The weather has really changed here in Portland and I haven't been walking as much as I was.  I have stepped up my biking routine to help compensate.  Just this week started riding it for an hour on days I don't have to work.  I read in All You magazine that our health insurance company might reimburse up to $150 per year for a health club membership so I need to add that to my research list.  I suppose shame motivated me to lose weight for my own wedding perhaps it will work for me this time too.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

What's For Dinner?

The age old question that haunts the end of each work day...What's for dinner?  It's the worst!!  I am not a person that loves to cook or spend a lot of time cooking and cleaning up.  In fact, I'm a person that prefers restaurants and take out.  Every once in a while I do like to make something, and I'm pretty good at a few things.  Very few. 
I cook mostly pasta, comfort foods and heat and eat and that's not really a great thing for weight loss.  My main issue is I'm not comfortable with raw meat. It gives me the creeps and I'm not really sure how to cook it properly.  I think I need to take a cooking class, but I'm also being cheap right now.  I guess a cooking class would be a fun date and learning how to cook meat could save me money in the long run. 
I'm constantly wondering what other people are making for dinner.  I think my assignment should be to find some blogs to follow and research cooking classes.  At the very least I could get some steaks and Google it.  There, now I have a plan.

Fall Says It All

It's only the beginning Fall I have already had my first cold of the year and I'm not a fan.  I don't usually get sick until after Christmas, but then I get really sick.  This was just a minor cold, but it slowed down my bike progress a little.  It did motivate me to go and get my flu shot before that became an issue so that's good.
I think what I'm going to do this week is add in all my biking and steps, but with the knowledge that I should come in about 200 calories below budget.  This way if I do splurge I can have some wiggle room with my extra calories.  When I was on Weight Watchers the program encouraged you to exercise by giving you extra activity points to use on splurges and it was motivating.  If I do come in under budget most days I think that could really help me start to lose weight. 
Then I need to add in not going crazy when I do splurge.  Once I start down the eating and drinking path it's hard to pull back.  I need to remember it's not the number of days I'm on point it's the overall intake and output of calories, there is really nothing else to the equation. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

What Is A Perfect "Diet" Day?

I talk so much about my goals and how I envision achieving them, but I don't seem to be getting anywhere.  I see food diaries from people in Weight Watchers magazine and it seems like something someone else should have to do to reach their goals, I should have it a little easier.  I'm not that heavy shouldn't I be able to have real pasta and not spaghetti squash masquerading as pasta?  I feel like I spend a ton of time thinking about being on a diet and denying myself things and for what?  I suppose I could be heavier and would be, without a doubt, if I didn't try as hard as I do.  What I am not doing is losing weight though, which is the point of all this bullshit I hate so much. 
I keep saying things to myself like "tomorrow I'll have a perfect day" or "good job!  Today was a perfect day".  What does that mean?  And why does it seem like I can string several "perfect" days together and still not get where I want to be?  Are the "imperfect" days really screwing things up that badly? 
What do I think is a perfect day?  Here it is:
  • All meals logged and totaling under budget for the day
  • Bike ridden for at least 30 minutes
  • At least 10,000 steps
That doesn't seem so hard!!  Why am I not doing that most days?  I do feel like I'm improving and have made some progress lately which is great, but mostly I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels.  I think the answer is to keep going with the exercise and adjust my Fitbit.  Either not add my biking minutes to my day or don't count my steps so that my calorie allowance reflects a slightly lower number to help swing things painlessly, almost, in my favor.   There!  I made a plan to help improve my success, now I just have to implement it. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Checking In

I don't have much in the way of news lately.  I am having some success with my daily biking and I do find that the extra activity makes me feel better.  Even when I'm walking I can tell that my legs are getting stronger.  I have a cold so I'm feeling a little blah.  I feel a little intimidated by my weight and financial goals.  I keep thinking if I were a person that was comfortable with moderation and self control I wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.  I mostly feel like napping and eating pastries, but I continue to torture myself with the idea of achieving goals.  Wouldn't giving up be easier?  Probably not:)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Life Diet

This week felt like a really tough one.  I worked a lot, and had a few weeknight social engagements which I find makes it hard to maintain focus.  All that said, I did manage to bike for 30 minutes every day this week even if it meant setting my alarm to do it before work.  I also have kept above 10,000 steps every day and logged my meals all but dinner on Wednesday before seeing Dream Girls. It was really fun and it's always great to support local theater.
More good news,  I convinced my husband to join my at home Biggest Loser team.  He favors a lower carb program when he watches what he eats, so I am going to take that into consideration for meal planning.  He mentioned that he's already tired of the almonds I got him so I may have to cave and get some cashews even though I like to be cheap.  He is also trying to kick his diet Coke habit which I think is going to be hard but worthwhile. 
Things are going better with our money diet.  We increased our 401k contributions to maximum and will definitely feel the pinch of that when it starts being deducted.  We have had some low moments when an article or news report tells a bleak tale of the tech industry or lower returns now than in the past.  I imagine everyone worries about these things, but the older we get the more immediate the issues become.  My main money saving tactic has got to be cutting down on expensive out meals and drinks.  That is really the bulk of my spending and has the biggest potential for pay offs.  Ugh!!!!!!! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mid Week Update

So far this week I have biked every day and eaten fairly well.  I have also been logging my food which is one of my least favorite things to do second to exercise.  That's the upside, the bummer part is our insurance denied the gastric sleeve surgery for my husband.  I didn't realize that I had started to really want this for him until I felt so disappointed at hearing the news. 
We have what I always thought was good health insurance with BlueCross BlueShield, but they do not cover any weight loss surgery.  They have a morbid obesity clause that excludes weight loss surgery even if it would solve other costly medical problems.  Basically you can have all the heart attacks and babies you want, but preventative weight loss measures are frowned upon.  I feel like my options now are to research our plan with a fine tooth comb and see what there is available for us, and or pay for it out of pocket. 
In the mean time I have been watching The Biggest Loser and it really inspires me.  I would love to turn our house into my own version of a Biggest Loser camp and I would love for him to join me.  Regardless of what my husband chooses to do I have to get serious about losing weight right now.  I have events coming up that I really want to feel fit for.  I'm hoping that the upcoming trip to Hawaii will inspire him to help me create a healthy lifestyle for us both so we can support each other.  I know I could really use a partner in this, after all misery does love company.  I can't wait for the weekend!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fall Is Another New Beginning

I had a wonderful time in Kah Nee Ta this weekend celebrating our 19th anniversary.  I wore my new swimsuit and sat at the pool all weekend.  I find myself on yet another Monday needing to get a full head of steam up for the week ahead of me for making good choices and trying to make some weight loss progress. 
Today is the beginning of Fall and a perfect time to try new things.  I am going to try to exceed an average of 10,000 steps per day and add biking in at every opportunity.  I also need to log my meals as often as possible.  I usually like to set a more specific list of goals, but I feel like I just need to start working harder in every aspect.  Maybe I'm still just so relaxed from my weekend. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Small Wins, Small Gains

Last week I set a two level goal for myself, I would be thrilled to not have wine until this coming weekend, or happy with myself for making it to this past Friday.  I made it to Friday and it was a struggle, but I did it!  I turned down at least two invitations for meals and wine out and they were each difficult.  Thursday night I was beside myself with cravings for a patio dinner in the sun of salad and Pinot Gris.  However, I persevered and I felt great about it.  That is until I got on the scale this morning.  WTF?!!  I have put on another two pounds!  I'm freaking out!  I actually cried and considered canceling my trip to Hawaii. 
After I pulled myself together I realized I only have one choice and that is to keep trying.  I will drink a ton of water and see if the bull shit I'm selling myself about water weight is at all true.  I have logged breakfast and I'm going to plan some extra exercise.  I ordered a swim suit online that arrives Wednesday so I need to get a grip.  I also need to talk to my husband about the lead up to weight loss surgery.  There's been a lot of talk about how it will be good for both of us, which is true, but I will still have to diet and exercise to lose my weight and I need to stop this dream talk. 
My goals for this week are simple; exercise, eat light, avoid salt and wine. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Back To Basics

I have plenty of excuses for how last week went.  I worked late and I felt sorry for myself, plus summer is ending and I feel sorry for myself.  Ok, so basically it's the one excuse for several different reasons.  The bottom line is I can't give up on my goals.  I have decided to get down to basics and just try to not over indulge. 
We are getting ready to go on a weekend trip and I have decided that if I do not go out and have wine etc until then then I get an A+.  If I go out this Friday and that's it then I can have an A-.  Anything more than that and I'm going to be pissed off enough to give myself an F!  It's only 11 days for Christ sake!!  I don't know why having fun now is always more alluring than achieving my goals later!  I just want to party and have fun!  Constantly thinking about each thing I put in my mouth is exhausting and I get sick of worrying about it.  That said, I also get tired of feeling chubby.  Here is to a fresh start on a Monday.  After all, that's about the only thing Mondays are good for. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Short Week Syndrome

Am I the only one that is finding this short week particularly difficult?  I started out thinking "this should be easy, it's a short week".  Now I'm finally to Wednesday and I'm exhausted and I still have to work tomorrow night!  I worked last night, and was so depressed about it that I caved in and went out for drinks with friends which turned into more drinks and snacks.  I had an easier time being disciplined over the holiday weekend when I was relaxed. 
I do have some things going on at home which are distracting.  My husband has applied to have the gastric sleeve surgery and is very anxious to hear if he was accepted. This seems to be making my normally calm husband a little touchy which is in turn making me tense.  I was not a big fan of the idea at first because I'm from the school of "Eat less, Move more".  Of course you all know how well that's going for me, eye roll.  We went to a meeting to hear about the program at a local hospital and I looked around and realized this wasn't about me.  I'm 25 pounds heavier than I'd like to be, but I'm not obese or in ill health due to my weight.  I have no barrier to exercising and I don't have a food addiction.  This is not true for my husband, and after seeing how badly he wanted to do this I have come to see that this is what's best for him.  If he's healthier and happier, than I will be too.  I have always worried about his health, and have had concerns about losing him. 
In the mean time, we wait to hear if or when things will be happening.  I am very nervous, and worry if this really is the right thing to do.  In the end as adults in relationships we have to realize when our partner is going to do something with or without our blessing.  If I should come to want some sort of face lift surgery in the future I wouldn't want him to tell me no because he thinks I don't need it.  Well, of course he should say I don't need it, but then support me all the same!  I guess that's what a relationship is all about.  I am going to try to be more sensitive to his feelings and at the same time not sooth my ruffled feelings with food and wine. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

September First

The first day of anything (the month, the year, vacation) always holds so much promise.  It makes us feel like we can become anything we want to be.  For a brief period of time we allow ourselves to see what we really want and how we plan to achieve it.  That resolve is usually fleeting, and sends us back into our regular lives feeling a little blue.  However, come the next first day opportunity we get right back up and go for it again with renewed hopes and enthusiasm. 
Today is September 1st and I am going to grab this opportunity to ride a high that only the renewed spirit of a first day can give you.  I want to lose some weight.  I know the popular phrase is "get in shape", but it's too late for soft peddling.  I am almost the heaviest I have ever been and I know my face looks different because of it. 
The bottom line is I need to consume less calories and burn more.  A food journal is non negotiable and I think I need to go for 7 days per week because I way over do on the weekends.  Food and wine will need to be the main change because I generally get a pretty decent amount of activity.  Lame!!!  I hate this already!  I have a trip planned in a month and I want to wear a swim suit at the pool and I don't want it to be too tight.  I also have a wedding coming up in 3 months that I would love to not feel fat at.  Here's my plan for the coming week, which is shaping up to be an annoying week working 2 nights.

Goals for this week:

  • 10,000 steps 6 out of 7 days
  • Log food for 7 out of 7 days
  • Bike - 3 times 30 minutes
Here's to the power of fresh starts!  

Friday, August 29, 2014

My Sixth Portland to Coast

Last week I was in full preparation mode for my 6th annual trip to Portland to Coast the walking relay of Hood to Coast.  It was a rocky road leading up to the race, but everything turned out great!  I did have one drama queen in my van but that couldn't overshadow the amazing camaraderie of the team. 
I did great this year as far as time and endurance.  The long walks I have been taking all summer with my very fast walking friend have clearly paid off.  In addition to that I walk twice as far to and from work now.  I was very nervous going into this race because I am heavier than I've ever been on the race and I knew carrying the extra weight would make things harder.  It turns out I may have more body fat than before but apparently I was more prepared this year.  I wasn't very sore at all and I walked my two legs and split a third to cover a teammate.  This year I also took measures to prevent the massive blisters I have suffered the past 2 years.  I used Band Aid Blister Band Aids on the inside of both heels and was so thankful for them, I will absolutely do that again next year. 
Now I need to try to get back into the swing of things for Fall.  First, I think I will enjoy my holiday weekend.  My goal is to have fun and not over eat while getting in some walking and site seeing in Portland.  I would love to hit the Portland Farmers Market and get some flowers and veggies and go to Art in the Pearl.  Other than that I am looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Portland To Coast Week

Let me just start by saying my weight seems to be out of control and I'm taking a week off from obsessing about it.  That said, I had a great week in all my other goals!  I think adding the bike back in to my routine is going to be a positive thing, and not just because it sits in my living room and mocks me when I don't.  The food diary is another tool that I think I need to eventually be successful. 
Here is a recap of my week:
  • 10,000 steps 6 out of 7 days - I made it 5 out of 7 and one day I had over 9,000
  • Log food 5 out of 7 days - I completed 4 days and was only over calories on 1
  • Plank 6 out of 7 days - 1 day then I hurt my shoulder and took the week off
  • Bike 3 times for 30 minutes or more - 3 out of 3!!!! 

Goals for this week:
  • 10,000 steps 6 out of 7 days
  • Log food for 4 out of 7 days - I'm going to be out of town and this is more realistic
  • Plank - I'm taking this week off I don't want to aggravate my shoulder pre-race
  • Bike - 3 times 30 minutes
 This is going to be a crazy week!  I will be walking in the  Portland To Coast relay for the 5th year in a row.  It's part of a running relay called Hood To Coast, which is one of the largest relay races in the world.  This annual event is a fund raiser for cancer and as a cancer survivor it's always a very special weekend.  I am very lucky to have an amazing team and a kick ass group for my van.  As van captain I will be very busy this week getting everything ready, and work is super busy this week too.  I know that eating may be weird this week, so I'm going to try to off set that with consistent exercise.
The scale was starting to bum me out so I have decided to do what I know I need to do and just stop worrying about the number.  It's difficult to behave and see a weight gain on the scale.  My husband keeps reminding me that this is how all my diets start and if I keep with it my body will level out and cooperate.  The problem is I want to have major success after each day of good choices!  I suppose that's not very realistic.  I have to go now, I have to go get some compression pants so my things don't start a forest fire during the race. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fun Is Complicated

I find myself in a constant struggle between having fun and "being good".  I want to have fun so that usually wins out, then I beat myself up after.  On the one hand I feel like I'll never wish I had stayed home and had more sensible meals when I'm old and looking back on things.  On the other hand I wonder if feeling great about how I look would be worth it, but what fun is being thin if I'm sitting at home desperately trying to maintain it?!  I wonder if people like Jennifer Aniston ever tire of not having the cookie or extra glass of wine.  Maybe they feel so happy with their achievements that they don't miss those things.  Can that be? 
I over indulged last night which is annoying for a weeknight.  I was supposed to go to a party that got canceled and instead of staying home I decided I still needed to go out to dinner.  I spent the evening saying I should be more adventurous and go out on weeknights more etc.  Of course I woke up this morning thinking I should never go out again and I should probably be punished.  What's with the self guilt trip?  What makes it worse is I have to work tonight, so I'm spending the day moping around the house waiting to go to work.  I swear I really am my own worst enemy, I drive myself crazy!  I am so lucky to have a husband that's willing to give me pep talks about what I consumed the night before. I did ride my bike for 30 minutes which did make me feel better.  Now I need to decide between another productive activity and a nap.  I swear I can't handle an unsatisfying nap though! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Any Day Now

Maybe I'm an optimist, or maybe I fit the definition of insane for once again thinking I'm really on track this time.  Either way, I do feel hopeful and what I would call motivated.  I have not lost any weight since last week, but I went out of town for a few days and didn't gain any.  I have set a goal for this Friday and I am going to do everything I can to achieve it.  So far I am having luck with the other non weight goals that I have been setting which is something.  Here's how last week shaped up with a 3 day vacation in the mix.

  • 10,000 steps 6 of 7 days: I exceeded 4 of 7 and was less than 1,000 away 2 of 7
  • Plank 6 of 7: I made it 4 of 7
  • Food log 5 of 7: I made it 4 of 7 but exceeded calories 3 of those 4 times
  • Bike 3 days 30 minutes: Did it!!!  This was my real win for the week.
I felt that these goals were achievable, and that I will meet or exceed them this week.

 Goals for this week:

  • 10,000 steps 6 out of 7 days
  • Log food 5 out of 7 days
  • Plank 6 out of 7 days
  • Bike 3 times for 30 minutes or more 
I went to the beach last weekend and had a really great time.  I don't feel like I busted either my calorie or money budgets which feels great!  I have a busy time at work coming up, and I am a little nervous about resisting the urge to treat myself to things just to make myself feel temporarily better.  I am going to pick out a nice restaurant that I would like to go to next time the occasion arises so that I don't burn an opportunity on mediocre. 
I still have not used my credit cards!  This is a huge win for us!  We went to the beach this weekend and it would have been so easy to use the vacation special event excuse.  The less I spend the more I think about what I'm spending.  I have had a few bumps along the way such as only bringing one bottle of wine this weekend and having to pay $3 more to purchase it at the beach.  Live and learn. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Goals Helped Let's Try It Again

I have a diet pattern that is rearing it's ugly head.  I tend to gain weight at the beginning which is SO unmotivating!  I had salty foods and an all day brunch celebration this weekend, and despite doing pretty well up until then, I am right back where I started last week.  I have no one to blame but myself so that sucks, but it does mean it's within my control to change.  Here's how the goals shaped up last week:

  • 10,000 steps 6 of 7 days: I made it 3 of 7 and far exceeded on those 3 days
  • Plank 7 days: 6 of 7!  Not bad, I think that's my new goal.
  • Food Log: 5 of 5!  
  • Bike 3 days 30 min: One day 30 minutes

I was broke last week, and I still did not use my credit cards!  I wanted to so bad and I resisted!  I carefully set up my finances for the next 2 weeks until my next payday, and I am really hoping I can manage my money better than last time so I'm not counting change the day before payday.

Goals for this week:
  • 10,000 steps 6 out of 7 days
  • Log food 5 out of 7 days
  • Plank 6 out of 7 days
  • Bike 3 times for 30 minutes or more

Monday, July 28, 2014

Clearly Defined Goals

My weight is inching up way too fast for comfort.  I'm sure there's some water weight blah blah blah, but facts are facts and the fact is I am eating more than I'm burning.  I have decided to go back to listing my goals for the week.  I already have a plan for my budget this week so I really just need to stick to it and add these diet and exercise goals.

Goals for the Week of July 27th:
  • Exceed 10,000 steps 6 of 7 days
  • Bike 30 minutes 3 days 
  • Plank 7 days tweet it as a motivator not to break the streak
  • Food log 5 days 
I'm hoping this will help me kick start my weight loss, I would like to be down 3 pounds next week. I have several occasions coming up where I would like to look and feel my best. 

I have taken some steps to reduce our monthly overhead by lowering our cable package and trading in one dvr for a simple converter box.  My next mission is to find the least expensive checking account at Wells Fargo.  I seem to be paying $13 per month and I could have sworn I started with free checking, I wonder if they even have that anymore.  Then I would like to sign up for the public library.  I walk past one of the best libraries on my way to and from work.  I think they might have digital books I can read on my kindle and they have movies.  Here's to reducing my weight and my debt! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Change Is Hard

This whole save money lose weight plan is quite difficult.  So far I haven't lost any weight, but I have been very tight with money.  Mostly because I don't have any left after putting as much as possible on my credit cards.  I have several motivating factors to succeed at both things right now which means I have to really step it up.  We have just purchased tickets for Hawaii and I don't want to feel fat or broke on vacation.  Ironically the stress of my goals makes me want to eat and spend money.
Today I rode my stationary bike for the first time in a very long time.  I plan to combine the steps I've been getting with some additional biking.  What I have been doing is great, but it clearly isn't enough so cross training seems like a good solution. 
Saving money is hard because I like to go out and do things and that costs money.  I have been making a concerted effort to go to less expensive places when I do go out and I have even been cooking at home this week.  One thing I have noticed is the less expensive things don't seem to be as diet friendly.  I need to work on portion control when I cook at home, and look for ways to eat less starch. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Restaurant Addict: Taco Salad Tour of PDX

The hot weather makes me crave taco salad, and I spent last week sampling three great ones.  It all started and ended on the patio of Cha Taqueria & Bar .  I got the apple wood smoked chicken and it was amazing!  I think that's what really set this one apart from the others.  I also like how the fried shell was taco sized and served like a cornucopia so it wasn't a massive fried thing that you cant help eating.  At $10 it seemed like a great deal and it was so good I went back again 6 days later and got the exact same thing.
The next day I couldn't get taco salad off my mind so I went to Casa del Matador.  This one came in the more traditional large fried shell bowl.  I chose the chicken instead of the carnitas that was listed on the menu.  I'm not a huge fan of their sour cream so I had that on the side and used it sparingly.  This was the most expensive of the three at $10.50.  It was good and I would definitely have it again, but their hard shell Tacos Dorados are my favorite so I might just get that instead.
Day three of the taco salad tour was Chipotle.  I live very close and eat here often, but I usually get the bowl with barbacoa.  This time I got the salad and it was very good and at $6 it was the least expensive and probably the healthiest.  Since you select toppings as you go, I was a little more conscious of not adding sour cream and I don't like their guacamole so I skipped that also.  I only used a little of the dressing so I saved calories there too.  This was my second favorite of the three and I will definitely get it again.  I love summer!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Get Serious

I ate too much and I drank way too much this weekend, of course, I did have a great time.  Now that the holiday weekend is behind me it's time to get serious about this whole losing weight thing.  The big calorie tanker is wine, there I said it!  I do love to have as much wine as the evening (or afternoon) calls for without a thought to the liquid calories.  In addition I do love to eat a lot after my defenses are down.  Proof of this is sitting in my cupboards and freezer in the form of ill advised drunken snack purchases made over the weekend.  That reminds me I need to clean that out right away. 
No point dwelling on the past, time to move on.  How is the hard part.  My friend and often partner in crime is cutting back on her drinking so that will help me.  If I limit my wine to 2 days per week I could cut calories and spend less.  Take out is cheaper than eating at the restaurant and less temptation for wine and bread.  With the great weather comes more opportunities to get out and walk and I have been taking advantage of a lot of those.  I just need to stop acting like I'm on vacation.  I'm sure lots of people go out to dinner and still meet their goals.  I just need to keep working at being one of them.  My goal for this week is to log everything from Monday to Thursday in my food journal. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Holiday Weekend On A Budget?

Lately I have been giving more thought to my financial diet than my calorie diet.  I don't think I have really changed my weight, but I wouldn't know for sure since I haven't weighed in for a few days.  It's super hot in Portland right now which luckily makes me crave salads and other lighter fare.  On the other hand, it makes for the perfect excuse to go out.  For example it's going to be almost 100 degrees today and all I can think about is going somewhere with industrial strength air conditioning and taco salad. 
 The other thing swaying me to the dark side is it's a holiday weekend that I have turned into a holiday week.  I love the fourth of July because in Portland it's Waterfront Blues Festival weekend.  This year we went for it and got passes with seating so we don't have to bring chairs and stake out a spot for the entire day.  With that comes a higher price tag and the question of how to maximize our fun and not spend more than necessary. 
I have been checking out all the restaurants within walking distance and have selected several at a lower price point.  We have also gone through the performance schedule to determine when we may be at home.  I'm really hoping that some initial planning will really pay off in the end.  However, my biggest goal is to have a great time and really enjoy myself.  We have already spent a fair amount for this experience and the weather looks perfect.  I want to relax and have fun, and with that comes managing expectations.  I have a tendency to get super excited and build things up too much.  With that said, I am very cautiously excited.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: First Budget Meeting

My husband and I had our first sit down talk about our budget.  I was feeling angry from the minute I got up knowing it was coming, but we went through with it and I'm glad we did.  I decided that it seemed like a good idea to go out to dinner and discuss it on neutral ground with no distractions.  Plus any excuse to go out before the hammer comes down. 
It went great!  We chose a less expensive place close to home and sat outside, we couldn't help but have a nice time.  We agreed before we left home to do this process in stages and that stage one is getting all the information together.  Luckily I had written out our expenses and due dates already.  Then we chatted about where we can make cuts and what expenses are fixed.  It was nice to be on the same page and talk about the future. 
Places we can make cuts are on electricity, I'm having the dryer looked at since it takes 90 minutes to dry a load.  I turned heated dry off on the dishwasher and we agreed to turn on lights when we leave home.  My husband also agreed to use the Safeway rewards card which was a shocker!  Comcast seems to be the hard one to nail down.  They make it very difficult to compare plans apples to apples, but we are going to look at that for the next meeting.  It was great to find out how much less we're spending on transportation since we moved.  All in all I would call the first meeting a success and I can't wait to pick out a budget conscious restaurant for the next meeting.
As far as my diet goes I'm definitely stagnant.  I am getting a lot of walking in which I love, but I'm also taking all the great opportunities I have been getting for free parties through work.  Oh well, at least they're free.  And with all this walking I am racking up calories/dollars on my fitbit for The Weightless Project, I'm up to $19.85 since I signed up!!!  I do love summer!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: The Budget Talk

One of the things I love most about my husband is, for the most part,  he likes the same things I do.  The only problem with that is we both like to go out to eat and spend money on having fun.  Some relationships have conflicts about money because one is a saver and one a spender, we have conflicts because we each try to be the saver every once in a while and everyone ends up feeling resentful.  I really think we have started to reduce the amount of money we're spending, but it's not enough.  With goals such as; pay off credit cards, save for a condo and still go on vacation we need to make some serious changes. 
We have decided to sit down and make a budget.  I'm not entirely sure what that means, but it pisses me off immediately.  My husband is a computer guy so he seems excited about making spreadsheets in google docs.  I don't enjoy change so all I can think about is "how is this going to affect the fun that we have?"  My rational side totally gets that being out of debt and having a secure future will make my life more fun in the long run, but the other side of me wants to go out to dinner to make myself feel better about feeling bad about needing a budget! The first thing I need to do is make a list of our monthly fixed expenses, so at least I have a project that I can focus on.  This weekend we have several cheap and fun things planned that will help me visualize how this is possible.  I can have plenty of fun and still save for the future, right?! 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: Forming a Plan

I actually surprised myself while writing my last post.  I had intended to talk about my weight and how to make progress on losing some of it, but I ended up taking a look at the big picture.  I came away with several questions for myself that required some thought.  It ended up boiling down to this, I would like to weigh less and have more money in savings.  All, of course, while not affecting my lifestyle. 
This is a work in progress, but I really feel more aware of the choices I'm making since I began questioning everything.  I find myself at the store thinking twice before I buy something and I have passed on several things I didn't need already.  I have also chosen an inexpensive pizza dinner over a fancier option I may have wanted in the past.  They have a wine I like, and their outdoor area was just as nice as some of the more expensive places.  And you know what, I had a great time!  Here are my ideas to save calories and money while still living the city lifestyle.

Restaurant Reductions:
  • If I want to go to a high end place try lunch or better yet happy hour
  • Have snacks and a few drinks at happy hour and have a light dinner on the patio at home
  • Eat breakfast and lunch at home most of the time - keep a few things on hand
  • Make a list of fun less expensive places - a patio is a patio
  • Make a list of cheap and easy weeknight meals I can make-it's hot and salad is easy
Reduce Overhead:
  • Look into getting a cheaper cable package - after Game of Thrones of course, lets get real
  • Wash full loads of laundry and dishes
  • Find out why I pay a monthly bank fee - find cheapest option
  • Save electricity: keep blinds down to use less AC and turn off lights when I leave
  • Shop around coupons and sales more
There are a lot of fun things I want to do, going out is one of them, but I also want to weigh less while doing even more.  I'm really enjoying being more thoughtful about what I'm doing.  I just may make some progress yet.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: Weighty Issues

I am not living up to my full potential where my life goals are concerned.  I have a ton of fun, which is great, but I am not making progress towards the goals I said were important to me.  Each week I set small goals towards the things I want to achieve such as steps, planks and logging my food intake.  Why do I want to do these things?  What is my motivation?  Isn't having fun enough?  So, I decided I needed to take a look at my true goals in order to re-motivate myself.

I want to lose weight.  I am not that far away from my goal weight, and yet I can't seem to make it happen.  I want to lose 13 pounds, but why?
 Losing the weight would take more working out and that would mean I was in shape.  When I'm in shape I feel more confident and find daily tasks easier.  It is more fun to wear cute cloths and cute cloths are easier to find when I'm in shape.  I think I would look younger if my face was less puffy.

I want to save money.  I love to go out and eat and drink which is contrary to my goals, but adds so much fun to my life.  My favorite thing to do is go out to bars and restaurants and eat and drink with friends.  Unfortunately this is why I need to lose 13 pounds and why I have no savings. 
I need savings in order to have a secure future.  All the fun evenings won't make up for poverty in retirement.  Buying a condo would help to secure my future and the discipline to do so will also impact eating habits. 

It seems that if I ate out less I would save both money and calories resulting in two goals one stone.  So why is it SO difficult not to go out to eat?! I can think of several reasons right off.  First, I don't enjoy to cook.  And even more so, when we go out to dinner my husband is forced not to be on the computer.  We actually sit face to face and talk for 30-60 minutes straight.  I feel like this is when we do our talking and make our future plans. 
What's the solution?  I do NOT want to stop going out it's my favorite thing, but I DO want to lose weight and save money.  I need an action plan to achieve this that addresses the following; increase activity, make smarter food choices more often, save money everywhere possible, find less expensive restaurant options. 
It sounds like I have my work cut out for me, but I do love a project that requires making lists.  I am going to make a plan to help me maximize my fun and achieve goals.  I know I have cuts both financially and caloric that I can make when it doesn't matter so that I an keep the things I love and still move forward.  Wish me luck!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: If It Was Easy...

Here I am on yet another Monday no closer to my goals than before.  I'm no worse off, which is nice, but what's the problem.  I feel like I spend a fair amount of time and energy thinking about my goals and I assume that's the issue.  I need to do more and think less.  If I'm going to splurge on Friday than I need to work harder Monday-Thursday.  Being good most of the day is enough to maintain my weight, but not enough to reduce it. 
My husband would really like to try lower carb dinners.  I really like carbs and hate making dinner, so I have always used them as the draw for shopping and cooking.  I also feel like move more eat less is the true answer to weight loss. However, I realized that I'm not getting to my goals doing what I've been doing so what the hell.  Tonight I'm making chicken cordon blue (frozen of course) and then I'm going to saute broccoli and mushrooms. 

Goals for Week of May 12th:
  1. Log what I eat.  This is the hardest goal for me, so I moved it to number one.
  2. I love my fitbit and I love hitting my step goal and tweeting about it. #10ksteps
  3. I haven't been able to get back on the #plankstreak so I'm really going to work on it. #plankit

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Restaurant Addict: Al Amir

After hearing about it for years I finally got to try Al Amir with a group of friends and I can't wait to go back!  We had a group of 7 on a Saturday night and it was so much fun.  There was music and belly dancing and by the end of the evening everyone was dancing.  The food was fantastic and done so well for a large table.  They brought us a sampler served family style and it was a flat $20 per person.  It made it so easy to try everything and settling the bill was super easy.  However, everything but dancing was more difficult after sampling the specialty cocktails that were delicious.  Next time I'm looking for a place for a group I will think of Al Amir. 

Restaurant Addicts Diet: Belated Update

I haven't exactly been on task where my goals are concerned.  I have been doing great in one key area and that is hitting and even exceeding my daily step goal.  Planks and my food journal are goals to reset starting today.  I have a million excuses including, but not limited to,  my birthday and anniversary.  Plus there was that one week of nice weather when every patio in town called my name to have a drink.  The nice weather did also entice me to go outside and walk anywhere just to have something to do outside.  Another added bonus is I'm using my car less and less since I moved to a more walkable neighborhood.  I walked to the store twice today just to grab a few things.  I hope this is a trend that will continue as we have more consistently nice weather.  In honor of a belated Earth Day I'm recycling my last goals.
  1. 10,000 steps per day 5 days this week.  Keep tweeting where I am when I hit it #10ksteps
  2. Resurrect the #plankit streak
  3. Record what I eat and try to hit 6 days this week, but 5 would still be great.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Restaurant Addict: St Jack

This weekend we went to dinner at St Jack with some friends that chose the restaurant and made the reservations.  I really enjoyed not having to make any decisions because I usually have to be the one in charge.  This friend is always checking in on Facebook at unique restaurants around town, some I had never even heard of.  I asked her what her secret was and she told me about The Essential 38.  This regularly updated list by Eater covers several cities including the Portland Metro area and all types of food.  We had an amazing time at St Jack, we ordered several appetizers and a cheese course that we let them choose for us.  We had the hanger steak and the clams and they were all delicious.  The butter lettuce salad stands out as one of the tastiest salads I've had in a long time.  I can't wait to continue checking places off list!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: Week 3 Goals and Update

This week was not as successful as last week.  I broke my plank streak and had trouble meeting my step and food log goals as well.  That said I'm not giving up!  I will do my very best this week even though I work late a few nights which usually throws me way off.  I'm going with the same basic goals as last week.

Goals for week of April 21st:

  1. 10,000 steps per day 5 days this week.  Keep tweeting where I am when I hit it #10ksteps
  2. Resurrect the #plankit streak
  3. Record what I eat and try to hit 6 days this week, but 5 would still be great.
I'm almost to 10,000 steps as I write this and I'm going to plank and log my food so far today right now.  I have a good start!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Restaurant Addict: Daily Cafe

One of my favorite places in Portland's Pearl District is the Daily Cafe.  Luckily I moved very close to it and have found that it's just as great for dinner as it is for lunch.  They do two house made soups every day and have a brioche grilled cheese sandwich that is so delicious.  In addition they have daily specials and offer gluten free and vegan options.  I had their house made pasta special with a light cream sauce, mushrooms and ramps and I was very happy with it.  I can't wait to try their weekend breakfast options, Saturday is breakfast all day and Sunday brunch. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weightless Project: Exercise For A Cause

As you know, and everyone who has talked to me since Christmas knows, I love my Fitbit.  I started following them on Twitter, and found out about this really cool charity called The Weightless Project.  The Chopra Foundation has partnered with several health and fitness companies to address both obesity and hunger.  People looking to get fit can incorporate their fitness devices such as the Fitbit and turn burned calories into money for food.  They made it so easy that even I was able to do it without help.  I signed up six says ago and I have generated $3.09 already! 

Restaurant Addicts Diet: Week Two Goals & Updates

I am really glad I started this goal setting project!  Once again I did not meet all my goals, but I tried harder than I would have with out them.  I picked up extra steps here and there and did planks when I didn't want to all in an attempt to have a great weekly report.  Here's how things went:
  1. 10,000 steps per day 4 out of 7 days, but was very close on the other days
  2. Plank a day is on a hot streak!  I haven't missed a day yet
  3. Recording what I eat was a new goal set in week 2 that I think was a really good decision.  I made it 5 out of 7 days my first week!  Of course the days not recorded were Saturday and Sunday.  

Goals for the week of April 14th:
  1. 10,000 steps per day main goal to hit that 5 days this week.  Keep tweeting where I am when I hit it #10ksteps
  2. Can't stop the #plankit streak
  3. Record what I eat and try to hit 6 days this week. 

I would really like to show some progress on the scale.  I think I will weigh myself this Friday and again the following Friday.  I hope I can handle the pressure!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Restaurant Addict: Oba

Oba has been one of my favorite restaurants for a while.  I think this description from Zagat says it all: 
Food: 26 Decor: 26 Service: 25
A “vacation for your taste buds” is provided by the “inventive, perfectly executed” Nuevo Latino plates on offer at this “lively” midpriced Pearl District resto-lounge; while “professional” service draws “romantic” types and
other serious diners to the expansive “cheerful and colorful” dining room,
“dangerous margaritas” fuel a “high-energy” bar scene that’s “young”, “hip” and “happy.”

Now that I live so close I want to try some new things.  The Happy Hour menu at Oba is a great way to sample their food.  I went with a friend and she said the fish tacos were delicious..  I had Arepas with Yucatan Pork, griddled Colombian corn cakes topped with achiote braised pork.  They were so good I can't stop thinking about it! The house wines for $4 a glass include a Pinot Gris and that never happens.  I can't wait to go back!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: A Week With Goals

Setting goals and stating them in last weeks post was a great idea!  I did not meet all my goals, but I learned a lot. I only met one of my three goals now that I think about it, but I'm excited to try again this week. 
I only hit 10,000 steps twice last week, but I really enjoyed tweeting #10ksteps when I did. 
My most successful goal was do a plank a day.  Previously I had read to hold the plank as long as you can five times.  I hated doing it, so I didn't.  This time I decided to do one plank and hold it as long as I can and I made it seven days in a row!  I think it's improving my posture, and I can't wait to see how long I can keep the streak going. 
Eating in until Thursday was my third goal and I caved in on Wednesday.  This failure actually clued me in to something, it's not where I eat but what I eat. 

Here are my goals for this week:
  1. 10,000 steps a day is a worthy goal, so I'm going to stick with it.  I love tweeting #10ksteps when I meet my goal, I may even add a picture.
  2. My favorite returning goal is a plank a day.  I had fun sharing my small wins last week on Twitter, so I'm going to tweet #plankit when I complete that goal for the day.
  3. My new goal this week is to record what I eat in Myfitnesspal.   I don't enjoy to cook that much, and I do love to go out to eat.  I want to lose weight, but I also need to be realistic about my lifestyle.  Saving money is a very important goal also, but I think I'll try to focus on diet and exercise this week.

I'm really looking forward to meeting more goals next week.  I have been having fun shopping and hanging out in my new neighborhood and I think that's giving me a positive attitude.  I love spring!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Restaurant Addict: Piazza Italia

Even before we moved to the Pearl District I had heard several people rave about Piazza Italia.  It is less than a block from my house now, so I knew I had to try it right away.  This authentic little restaurant is full of activity.  Most of the staff speak Italian and there is a clear love of soccer, excuse me football.  We wisely made a reservation for a beautifully sunny Sunday night.  The place was packed both inside, and at the outside tables.  We sat inside which was nice because it was just starting to cool off.  At times the place felt a little chaotic, but the food was worth it.  I had the home made pappardelle pasta with creamy pesto and mushrooms and it was amazing.  My husband had the special which was spaghetti and meatballs, I tasted it and it was delicious.  I can't wait t go back!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: It's Not Easy Being Good

All of these convenient and fun restaurant options in my new neighborhood are very tempting!  It's so easy to say "Screw it, let's go out!".  One way to put the brakes on that is to realize you are out of money until payday.  Luckily I was over do for a relaxing weekend at home.  We made tacos and used the low carb tortillas again.  I swear they taste the same and they're smaller so I instantly eat less.
I have good intentions of making progress towards my weight loss goals, but I lack focus.  I read some blogs and started following some motivating people on Twitter and I found a lot of great ideas.  First, I'm going to use my twitter account @Daily_Grievance to report where I am when I hit my #10ksteps.  I figure if I make it a fun celebration I'm more likely to pursue it.  Second, I've decided to try listing out my goals for the week and then I'll  report back on my progress at the end of the week. I'm hoping these additions to my routine will add the accountability I need. 
Here goes:
  1. Walk at least 10,000 steps per day using my fitbit and tweet where I am when it hits #10ksteps
  2. Do one plank per day
  3. And for my most challenging goal,  eat in until Thursday night.
 I only have to hold out until Thursday, then I get to have my hair cut and go to First Thursday.  I know I can do it!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: New Neighborhood

We moved two weeks ago to my dream neighborhood and it's as great as I hoped it would be.  I live in the middle of shops and restaurants, my apartment is nicer and I'm having more fun.  My commute to work has gone from a 15 minute walk to at least 25.  While this is not my favorite in the morning, it seems to be helping me maintain my weight.  I have one month until my birthday and 10 year anniversary and I really think I can kick it up a notch and lose a few pounds.  The interesting thing about a fun and lively neighborhood is people tend to pay attention to their grooming which in turn makes me more interested in looking my best.  I'm making meatballs and salad tonight to kick off the week on a low carb note.  Another perk of my new place is I live less than a block from a Safeway grocery store so keeping up on ingredients is easier than ever. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Restaurant Addict: Apizza Scholls

We finally got to try Apizza Scholls after hearing people rave about it for years.  We made an attempt to dine as walk ins a few weeks ago on a weeknight and were turned away.  This just made me more determined to try it, so I made a reservation.  We ordered two pies; pepperoni with mushrooms and olives and Canadian bacon and pineapple.  They're known for a slightly "charred" crust, and for me the pepperoni pizza was a little too much so.  The Canadian bacon was fantastic!  They cure it in house, and it was done just right.  I would definitely go back, but I probably won't make an effort to do so right away.  I liked it, but that's not my favorite type of crust and making a reservation for pizza is not very practical.  I would say that you should at least go once so you can be part of the conversation.  I would like to try Ken's Artisan Pizza next and compare. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: Moving = Excuses

Wow!  I know myself well, because I knew as soon as moving became a topic that I would use it as an excuse to over indulge.  I'm up a few pounds and we don't move until Saturday!  On the upside our new neighborhood is very walkable and I have been getting a lot of exercise both riding my bike and packing the house.  I better go, I have reservations at the hot pizza place I'll tell you about next time. Happy Fat Tuesday!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Restaurant Addict: Brasserie Montmartre Happy Hour

Lately it seems when I'm headed to happy hour one of my old favorites, Brasserie Montmartre, is the answer.  I was there twice last week and everyone had fun both times.  The happy hour white is a pinot gris that's delicious and the burger with bacon is to die for, not to mention the mac and cheese.  The atmosphere is another huge selling point.  It feels like a cool old loft space with ample seating for both bar and restaurant, and they feature live music nightly. I can't wait to go back!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Restaurant Addict: Irving Street Kitchen Brunch

I had to work this Saturday so I decided we had to treat ourselves to brunch at Irving Street Kitchen.  It was delicious as usual.  I had one of my standards, the 2 eggs, potatoes, bacon and their fantastic homemade English muffin toast.  My husband always gets the smoked scrambled egg nachos, it looks good but I don't like spicy for breakfast.  The mimosas are a good ratio of juice to champagne, but they don't always come fast enough for my taste.  I'm looking forward to trying dinner here, for some reason we have only had brunch.  I've heard their chicken and waffles is excellent and they serve it at both brunch and dinner. 

Restaurant Addicts Diet: I Don't Want To Succeed!

I don't want to succeed!  That's the only logical explanation I can think of for why I sabotage myself at every opportunity.  It turns out we are going to move in two weeks and I am so excited, I celebrated all weekend and had a great time.  Saturday I had brunch, happy hour, and late night eating and drinking.  So here I sit once again trying to use Monday as a launching point for good behavior.  I've been to the store and have salad stuff and chicken strips so there is no excuse for going out tonight.  I rode my stationary bike for 45 minutes and I forgot how good it feels to not blow off exercising.  Our new neighborhood is very walkable so the Fitbits will be fun to use.  Even though I drank all day Saturday I still managed to get over 18,000 steps which I have to assume is the reason for the scale not being as bad as I had anticipated.  I have to work really long days both Tuesday and Thursday and I have challenged myself not to drink until next Saturday when we have plans to go out. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: I Spoke Too Soon

UGH!!!  I just can't seem to get myself on track.  My excuses have gone as such; Super Bowl, snow storm and now Valentines Weekend.  We are talking about moving, so you know I'll use that excuse whether we move or not!  In fact, I combined Valentines Day and a possible move for happy hour at Jake's Grill and a trip to City Target this Saturday.  It was so great!  It really was worth it even though I'm up 4 pounds from when I started this experiment of eating out less.  Today is Monday, and the one thing that Monday is good for is starting fresh.  I'm on track with breakfast and lunch and I had to walk today and will again this afternoon.  That just leaves dinner and I used all my salad supplies yesterday, so I do need to stop at the store.  I guess we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: Making Progress

I did it, I made the jambalaya I had planned!  Everything was going so well until I realized that the brown rice I was using required more cooking time.  Rice is SO touchy!  Once I took the lid off there was no getting it completely cooked.  Luckily I was able to add more chicken stock and cook it quite a bit more, but it just never got to the texture I was looking for.  The upside is it was still good and I was able to adapt to a problem in the kitchen.  The experience also left me wanting to try it again and get it perfect instead of feeling discouraged and mad which is progress.  My challenge today is that I have to work late and that's a slippery slope for me with wine and snacks.    I can't wait until Friday!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: Back On the Wagon Take Two

I am having a very hard time getting back on track after Super Bowl and the snowstorm.  To make matters worse I am working late a few nights a week for the next few weeks which is always a trigger for me to over eat and drink.  Last night we were going to try a new place but I got done so late at work that we hit the drive through instead, very disappointing.  Tonight I'm going to make jambalaya which I've made before and we both like.  I'm already looking forward to the weekend and I can't wait!  However, I do want to feel better going into next week than I did this Monday.  I have ordered two complete dinners and dessert from Elephants Delicatessen to celebrate Valentines Day Friday night.  We decided a long time ago that we don't enjoy eating out on the biggest date night of the year.  Then I'm thinking tacos on Saturday night and I'm going to try low carb tortillas for the first time. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Restaurant Addict: Tilt

There's a new casual eatery in Portland's Pearl District called Tilt.  It's very Portland, with loud music and shop towels for napkins.  They serve sandwiches, burgers and breakfast all day.  My husband had been there for lunch several times, and already has a favorite.  He gets the Classic Italian which I tasted and it was really good.  I got the burger and it was good, but I ordered it well done and it was more medium.  I can't tell if they don't care how I want it, or if it just didn't work out this one time.  They have a full bar, and they had several choices of wine and I will definitely go back, but I might get the Italian sandwich. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: Snowed In

I was getting ready for a snow storm to hit on Saturday, then it came Thursday.  The upside is the worst day of the week at work got canceled, and I was able to get a few things prepared.  I stopped at Safeway on my way home and got pizza which I quickly ate way too much of.  Today I am hoping to get it under control with a normal day and the frozen chicken cordon blues I picked up last week.  I was supposed to get to go to a new restaurant tonight, but it looks like that will have to wait.  Oh well, a snow day and the Olympics will fill in nicely. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: Low Will Power

I had the best intentions of making chili last night!  Then I got a "lets have Panda Express" text from my husband and I just couldn't resist the easy solution to my dinner making issue.  Not only is it tasty, but it's cheap and I don't feel that guilty eating it.  That said, I am definitely making chili tonight.  Since planning ahead has helped me in the past I am already making plans to stay in this weekend.  The Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics is Friday and the weather is calling for snow so it seems like the perfect opportunity to stay warm and eat in.  I'm thinking a pizza bar with take and bake pizza from the store and toppings to add.  Then Saturday I'd like to make tacos and try the lower carb tortillas.  I think it would be a good idea to add one more dinner and at least one lunch option.  My go to weekend lunch is grilled cheese and tomato soup.  The only issue there is excessive bread that I love so much.  That will give me something to think about the rest of the week. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Restaurant Addict: Cafe Nell

Since we have been eating out slightly less often my goal is to try new places.  We decided to start our Super Bowl Sunday with brunch at Cafe Nell.  I have been wanting to try this place since last summer, and it was worth the wait.  I started off with a Manmosa, which was just the right mix of juice.  I take every opportunity I can to get a great Benedict.  You have to be so careful not to order one anywhere that might use a premade sauce.  It was delicious!  The sauce and the biscuit were homemade and just right, and it wasn't too salty.  My husband had the Huevos Rancheros with the sausage sauce on the side and he loved it too.  I can't wait to go back and try dinner. 

Restaurant Addicts Diet: Back On The Wagon

My second week back at work was a very busy one.  I did pretty well, but after Super Bowl weekend it's time to get real about my goals.  We have been invited to Hawaii for Christmas next year, and we want to stay for 2 weeks.  Not only do I want to look fantastic in my bikini, but I also know how expensive it's going to be.  With the Olympics to enjoy while hanging out at home it seems like a great time to do my best.  The premade chicken cordon blues I bought were great and could not have been easier.  Tonight I'm going to make a pot of chili, then tomorrow we can have chili dogs without the bun.  I could really use a carb reduction in my life not to mention wine.  One nice thing about work is I'm almost guaranteed to get my 10,000 steps in.  Here's to a successful FABuary! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: First Day Back At Work

I had a great day back to work from the holidays!  I was a little anxious, after all, worrying is my hobby.  I have TV plans with my friend, so it's Whole Foods hot bar night which is always a welcome break from cooking.  I did stop at the store on the way home to get pre-made chicken cordon blue for tomorrow so I wouldn't have any excuses to order takeout.  Having something easy to make is the important key for not blowing it off.  The trick is not to plan things that you are sure to make because they are high calorie comfort foods.  I'm always up for mac n cheese or mac and anything for that matter!  I love starch and cheese!  Stay strong!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Restaurant Addicts Diet: Post Holiday Report

It has been a fantastic holiday season, from Thanksgiving through New Years I have enjoyed myself immensely.  I had a terrible cold, but I didn't get sick until New Years day.  It set me back a little on my exercise.  I did manage to eat at most of the steak houses in Portland, but I also showed some restraint and cooked at home.  I return to work tomorrow and I am looking forward to getting into a routine.  I got a Fitbit Flex band for Christmas and I love it!  I have the app on my phone and I tied in Myfitnesspal and the Withings scale app as well.  I love having my steps counted into my overall daily exercise count.  Last night I cooked jambalaya and tonight I'm making meatballs.  I'm hoping to start a habit of cooking in.  I looked over Mint and I really think I have reduced my overall spending on food and beverage.  I really would like to achieve my goal of losing weight and saving money in 2014.