I know, I've been slacking on the blog. To be honest, I've been lacking motivation. Last week, I upped my exercise a lot, which meant that sparkpeople also upped my daily calorie intake. It didn't turn out well... the scale didn't budge at all on Sunday's weigh in. I know I'd been working harder and to see the scale not move at all, when I was so close to hitting the 20 pound mark last week, was a little disheartening. I know this happens sometimes, but it's the first time it's happened this time around.

Then, I took advantage of the bit of sunshine on Sunday to try out that whole running thing again. My ankle had been feeling fine for weeks now and I was confident that everything was good. I didn't push myself, I listened to my ankle and felt no pain, and only jogged for 10 minutes. I figured that was a good first attempt. Everything was going well, and I was excited.

...until the next day. Monday afternoon, my ankle starting hurting a lot. I hadn't done any exercise since running the day before and almost exactly 24 hours later, the pain came. It just got worse and worse to the point where come Tuesday morning, I couldn't put any weight on it at all. I had planned on calling my doctor to set up an appointment to have it looked at, but it was out of the question at the moment. There was no way I'd be able to bike the two and a half miles to my doctor's office. Instead, I stayed in bed all morning but mid-afternoon, I really had to leave the house [I was out of cat food! I can't explain to the cats that they have to miss a meal because my ankle hurts]. So I hobbled the three blocks down to the store and it was so painful. I spent the rest of the afternoon resting it and by the time I went to bed, it was feeling much better.

This morning, it was sore but not super painful like it had been the last two days. Since I felt like I could now successfully bike to the doctor, I called them up and made an appointment. Usually they can squeeze me in the day I call but, well, I hadn't been to that office in a few years [due to being in Chicago and/or being without insurance/money] so I have to go in for an entire physical instead of just checking up on my ankle. Which I wasn't surprised to hear, I just... really just wanted my ankle quickly looked at! So I have a full appointment tomorrow afternoon. [And let's not even talk about the last time I went to this office, I was at goal weight and now I'm definitely not so that's frustrating as well.]

To add to all of this, the scale's been making its way up the last few mornings due to not exercising. Okay, and being so frustrated with all of this meant that I haven't been tracking my food as diligently as I usually do.

But, no more. The scale's going to go back down now. I'm going to track everything I eat and I'm going back to my injured ankle workout plan. I managed to exercise with a hurt ankle for two months before it started feeling better, so it doesn't hold to just use the excuse of "my ankle hurts, I can't work out". It's still frustrating, because I really want to start running, but there are lots of other things I can do instead.

So, doctor appointment tomorrow. Hopefully I'll receive some good news about my ankle healing. Hopefully she won't tell me that I'll never be able to run again. As for right now, though, I'm going to stop feeling sorry for myself and go out for a bike ride.

Mother's Day weigh-in

Weigh in yesterday... I'm down 1.6 pounds. Not bad, not bad. The only frustrating thing is that I am 0.2 away from hitting 20 pounds gone. Just a teeny fraction of a pound! Why couldn't the scale just give me that? I want to add another star to my bracelet! And I know it's water retention because my muscles were KILLING me yesterday morning. Oh well, next week I'll get it.

After weighing in, I went shopping/out to eat with my mom and sister. I hadn't seen my sister since my birthday in January, I think there's quite a difference in my looks since then! Do you?


me, my mother, and my sister

I hate this picture because my head looks so disproportionate to my body. I actually have a really tiny head, but nothing like a too-large body to accentuate it!


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This is the first time I wore this top [I got it for Christmas but it didn't fit/look good on me until now], and the skirt hasn't fit in over a year. Also, you totally can't tell but I'm also wearing a bra that hasn't fit in forever. SO EXCITED.

But enough about me. Yesterday was Mother's Day, as I'm sure everyone in the US has been aware for the past three weeks. We don't usually do anything for this holiday but yesterday we did, which is why I didn't get this up until now [I actually started writing it yesterday morning and just now had to go back and change all the tenses!]. I just wanted to write a little about my mom. She's so amazing, such a strong person, and I'm so happy to have her in my life. Growing up, she was always the "cool mom", the one who always had fun things planned and our friends LOVED coming over. She was a troop leader for Girl Scouts and threw amazing birthday parties and never complained about running the three of us around to our various meetings, practices, and sleepovers. When my father died, she managed the three of us by herself [which was no easy feat considering she then had to get a job and we were now Troubled Teenagers]. A couple years after that, she joined Weight Watchers and lost a lot of weight, hit her goal and made lifetime, and I'd never seen her so happy. In high school, my friends often had to escape their own difficult homes in the middle of the night and she never, ever complained when she woke up to find one of them sleeping on the couch [my senior year, this was a weekly occurrence at least]. When my sister was hit by a drunk driver and nearly killed, my mom was at the hospital every day and I never saw her falter. When I was having trouble managing my depression and dropped out of college, she never said a word of failure. She just gave me time and support to get myself back together, which I'm eternally grateful for [when I returned to college, I got straight A's until graduation]. Even last summer, when I couldn't afford to live in Chicago anymore and had nowhere to go, she never said anything bad to me. She just pulled together the funds to get me back home, and she got me this amazing house for me and the cats. I would've been homeless and starving in Chicago if it weren't for her. Even back here, I would've starved without her generosity until I got on food stamps [and my cats would've starved as well, and Avocado would've died over a year ago without her putting up the money for an emergency surgery to save his life]. I hate how much I've been relying on her recently, but I love that she's always been there to be relied upon. 

As I mentioned, she's a lifetime member of Weight Watchers and that's how I first came to know the program. When I joined in late 2004, it wasn't because of her pressure [she actually never said a negative word about my weight, before then or even when I put it back on] but because of her positive example. Due to her success, after watching her try other diets with no results throughout my childhood, I knew that I could do it as well so I joined up. She's now been working for them since last fall, a job she loves, and I think she'd make a great Leader if she wanted to. Despite her success, she never reprimanded me for gaining weight and not going to meetings anymore. When I decided to clean up my act and get healthy again this winter, she was the very first person I reached out to. Before I reset my sparkpeople page, before I told my old WW buddies, before anything else, I emailed her and asked her to help me eat healthy on a budget. She took me shopping, comparing prices and showing me healthy snack ideas for cheap. I was at such a loss those first few weeks, it had been so long since I had eaten healthy and I had never done it on a food stamps budget, but she was right there helping me out. 

I love my mom. She is the definition of a Super Mom, and I honestly don't know how she's done it so well for the past 30 years.

healthy ice cream

Ice cream that has no milk [or milk alternatives], added sugar, or excess fat and is still delicious? Can it be? YES IT CAN! I stumbled upon this idea and just couldn't wait to give it a try, since ice cream is a weakness of mine and I'd love to find a healthy, portion-controlled version. So I present to you... basic banana ice cream!

Cut a banana up into 4 or 5 chunks and freeze [minimum 3-4 hours]. Then throw it into a food processor with a teaspoon of cocoa powder and blend. That's all! Wonderfully simple, isn't it? The first time I tried it, I was skeptical so I added a little bit of agave nectar and vanilla extract for sweetening but they turned out to be completely unnecessary. The second time, I omitted them but added in some shredded coconut for extra flavouring. The results were amazing. Absolutely delicious!

It makes a very generous portion just from one banana and, if you don't add anything in besides the cocoa powder, you can get away with this treat for around 100 calories [depending on the size of the banana]. I can't believe it. I've been freezing fruit for years as healthy summer treats [frozen grapes are my favourite, they're like tiny popsicles!] but never thought to put them in a blender to make ice cream.

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All this just from one banana!
Yes, the consistency is a little not-ice-cream-like. Actually, you know what it reminds me of? Dippin' Dots. That was my favourite thing to get at Six Flags on summer trips, it was such a treat because nowhere around me sold them, and I loved it. I haven't had any in years because they're not vegan, so this was a great surprise! I'm sure you could get the consistency to be a little more cream-like if you experimented [or possibly just by blending a little longer], but I'm perfectly happy with this result. [Actually, I took a non-frozen banana, some ice cubes, and a little bit of agave nectar and threw them in a blender together, then froze it all, and that came out more similar to ice cream.]

I used to have a fancy, expensive ice cream maker. I'd spend hours putting the ingredients together [some of which were on the pricey and hard to find side] and mixing it in the maker. And I still ended up with not-really-healthy ice cream. Who knew the solution was actually so simple? I'm going to go to the store and stock up on strawberries, raspberries, pineapple... all sorts of fruit, and see what I can do with this. But I know not to try sauerkraut, as much as I love the stuff in general!

What frozen fruit do you think would make a great ice cream flavour?

close to second major goals

I spent yesterday being grumpy. I had a really bad night's sleep, my back was hurting and I had a stomach ache and the dog was hogging the bed. I eventually ended up going to sleep in the spare room, which has a super firm bed. The bed's usually too firm and hurts my back, but it was just what I needed at 5am yesterday. And then, of course, I was woken up a few hours later by the dog barking, wondering where I was. Anyway, the grumpiness stayed, except for one little thing.

I weighed in yesterday morning, and I was down 2 more pounds to 202.8. !!! I AM SO CLOSE TO ONEDERLAND AND MY 10% GOAL AND MY ORIGINAL WW STARTING WEIGHT.

I was nervous about this week's weigh in, because I'm still not exercising much due to my ankle, although I have stepped up my strength training to make up for the lack of cardio. Still, the scale was staying completely steady all week. Not even gaining or losing tiny fractions of a pound. And then suddenly, the weekend came and it just dropped. Yay!

I doubt I'll lose 3 pounds in the next week, and I need to lose 4 to hit my 10% /WWSW [weight watchers starting weight], but it's still only a couple weeks away so that's really exciting. I am ready. Let's do this.

Oh, and I also took measurements for the beginning of May and although the numbers continue to be less-than-impressive, I realized that all my inches lost are coming from my belly, which I don't normally measure. So I measured that and it turns out that I've lost 3 inches just in my stomach. Which is exciting and explains why smaller shirts fit better now. I will not complain about losing inches here, at all. Although I'd like to lose some in my boobs so my bras fit again. But besides that, I'm really happy for losing inches here because for most people, it's the last place to drop weight.

My ban on exercise comes off on Thursday, we'll see how it goes. My ankle feels fine for the most part, actually feels really damn awesome to be honest, but I still think I'm going to have to build up to intense exercises. I plan on spending the week going on long walks, if the weather holds, to help build up its strength. I did this a few days last week but for the most part, the weather wasn't cooperating.

Here's to another stellar week for all of us!

new motivations and rewards

I did a few things this weekend to keep my spirits up in light of this whole "no exercise" thing [the ankle's feeling much better, as frustrating as not working out is!]. I finally worked on the last of sparkpeople's "getting started" steps, creating a vision collage. It's something I wanted to do for a while, because I'm extremely motivated by visual things [hence why I have bikinis and size four jeans hanging up in my bedroom], but I didn't have the tools for it. So, I headed to the craft store and picked up some poster board, glue sticks, etc. and my mom brought over a bunch of her old scrapbooking supplies. I only had three magazines, copies of Vegetarian Times, at my disposal at the moment [all my old copies of Yoga Journal are at my mom's] but it was at least a start.

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I especially love this little dude and its message: 
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And yes, that is Sheryl down at the bottom. I just couldn't resist adding in one of the people who's been so inspirational to me!
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It's still a work in progress. I plan on eventually having the entire thing filled, and covered up with even more inspirational pictures, and constantly evolving. Because that's how this whole journey works. But even still, it's a pretty good start that I love to look at.

Along with a bunch of other craft supplies for various projects, I also picked up something I'd been planning on for a while and even earned: my charm bracelet! As you might remember, this was my 5% reward but I just hadn't gotten to the craft store yet. As luck would have it, Jo-Ann's was having a sale on all jewelry-making supplies this weekend so everything was super cheap. I picked up the chain for 97 cents, the big charm for $1.50, and a bag of 50 stars for a little over 2 bucks. And I love it!

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I get a little star for every 5 pounds lost, and a big charm for every "major" milestone [5%, 10%, 50 pounds lost, etc. as well as non-scale victories like running a 5k, my heels touching the floor during downward facing dog, only eating one serving of ice cream instead of the entire carton in one sitting... you know, stuff I struggle with]. I went with an anchor for my first big charm because this is my anchor. I've written before about how having an anchor used to keep me on track and remind me not to make horrible food choices... until I lost it, at least. Well, I've really been missing having one so here it is.

As for scale victories, I was down another pound this week, bringing my total to 16.2 pounds in a little over two months [nine weeks, I think?]. 7.2 pounds total lost this month, which isn't too shabby since I worked out even less than last month [I took 7 days off from exercise completely, compared to last month's 4, and they were almost entirely due to my ankle]. I also lost a total of 3 inches, including FINALLY an inch in my waist and half an inch in my hips. Those numbers are slow going, but I'm losing a lot of belly fat that doesn't show up in those measurements. Ah well, eventually everything will go down.

This month, since I'm still resting my ankle/easing back into exercising it, I'm doing a fairly low-key Spring into Shape Bootcamp Challenge on sparkpeople. And by low-key, I mean I'm making the cardio low intensity for me [just walking, at the moment]. The strength training is hard so far! But I guess that's the point of a challenge, right?