Monday, October 12, 2009

More Monday Madness

I spent the weekend completely exhausted. Does that ever happen to you? I wasn't tired, but my mind absolutely could not absorb any new information, nor could it share any. I didn't want to talk to anyone. So I didn't blog.


Friday- Went out to breakfast with the family, picked up a dog I'm watching this week.
Saturday- Housesat in the middle of nowhere.
Sunday- Bike ride with Dad!

My dad was in a bike accident a little over 2 years ago. It was really, really bad. He spent a week in a trauma hospital and then 3 more in an inpatient rehab facility learning how to form coherent sentences, walk without help, etc. He had to reform a lot of damaged pathways in his brain. He didn't go back to work for over 4 months, and wasn't back full time for about 10 months. It was really scary for all of us and I'm so glad I got an opportunity, 2 years post-accident, to join him on a bike ride.

Changing subjects here- I think part of the reason I was so exhausted by the end of last week is that I spend a lot of time playing dumb games on Facebook on the computer, for hours procrastinating and not a lot of time doing. I get so behind and I spend so much time absorbing information that I don't need (from the computer) that I don't sleep well, I don't keep up with my homework, and I don't keep the house as tidy as I'd like. Being responsible for blogging really holds me accountable when it comes to food and exercise, so I'm going to try it for getting stuff done.

To do tonight:
finish math homework
write PE paper
get to bed by 11

To do Tuesday:
drink water!
leave for school by 7:45am
math class
logic class
step aerobics
?take my bike out for a ride
drink water!
fold and put away laundry
clean bedroom (clean bedroom= clean mind)
study for math midterm 30 minutes
study logic 30 minutes
drink water!
update blog

Of course that list is just the important stuff that I've been skipping this past week. New blog tomorrow with pictures and an introduction.

October Goals Round-up:
Sleep: 89/250 hours
Packed Lunches: 1/20
Exercise: 6.5/20 hours
Homework: 4/45
Housework: 1/10

I can't believe we're almost halfway through the month! I need to pick it up, I should be nearly halfway through all my goals.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Becoming Blogworthy

Let's back up to yesterday. I was rushed, I hadn't planned ahead, and my day was a series of hastily-grabbed food that left me feeling a little sick and like I hadn't eaten at all. I don't even remember what I had for breakfast, but I had a Luna bar at some point and then made lunch while I was babysitting. Pictured above: (bottom left) Bryce's lunch: turkey and cheese sandwich cut into 3 pieces, apple quarter. (bottom right) Annie's lunch: same sandwich cut into 2 pieces, thin apple slices. (top middle) my lunch: salad w/ spinach, romaine, broccoli, cheese, and my favorite Newman's Light Balsamic dressing (plus apple on the side).

Those kids are so sweet. Not pictured is Leah's lunch because she was at school. They knew me when I still ate meat, and Annie (age 20 months, who actually didn't know me when I ate meat) was sure that the piece of broccoli I put on her high chair tray was mine. She fed it to me :-)

Later in the afternoon I grabbed some Cheez-its. If I ever go completely vegan, this is what I'll be "giving up." I don't mind not eating cheese and using almond milk instead of dairy, but I really like those cheese crackers. I did not eat the bunny.

I had tortilla chips and refried beans + cheese for dinner. I was starving by the time I got home and ate way too fast. A little later I had these:

And then I felt sick and went to bed.

This morning I woke up to this:

That's a cinnamon pancake that was waiting for me in the oven, I didn't have to make it or anything.

My tummy was growling by the time step aerobics rolled around, so I munched a quick bite of a lemon larabar. That's now my second favorite flavor (behind coconut).

I used the 8" bench again and I think it'll be the norm from now on. It was a good class! I was definitely hurting by the time it was over.

Then I went to the grocery store (actually, a couple) and picked up some produce and healthy foods that I can no feel guilty about eating because they'll look great on the blog (because that's what it's all about!). First up, lunch:

Spinach pasta (bulk bins, no healthier than white pasta but I like it) with Nate's meatless meatballs and TJ's basil marinara sauce. (This was a salad plate, by the way. I am watching my portions!) It was delicious, but I was waaaay hungry by the time I made it and I ate too fast. Must plan ahead!

I also picked up at 2 qt crock pot while I was out and it was on sale for less than $11. What a steal! I cut up some onion, red potato, carrot, and celery:

And put it in the crockpot with some lentils and TJ's Curry Simmer Sauce:

There's water in there too. They'll make some great lunches this week(end)!

Dinner: Sunshine burger, 1/2 avocado, and giant pear.

I'm doing my best to transition my eating habits into something I'm proud to share with other people. Planning ahead, taking pictures of's easy for a day, but so difficult when the week gets busy!

October Goals Round-up:
Sleep: 65/250 hours
Packed Lunches: 1/20
Exercise: 5.5/20 hours
Homework: 3/45
Housework: 1/10

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The famous breakfast cookie! This one had oats, chocolate protein powder, almond butter, almond milk, and coconut. The first few bites were good, but after that it was like an uncooked oat brick in my belly and I feel a little sick now thinking about it. I don't think I'm ready for the breakfast cookie. I'll try it with some different mix-ins in a couple of months and see how it is though. It certainly filled me up, and fueled me through step aerobics.

Now, I love step aerobics. I first took it at my school in the spring for credit and it blew me away. Every class was hard, but fun! The past couple weeks haven't been nearly as challenging (go me! more fit!) and not nearly as fun. So today I took a leap. A flying leap off an 8-inch bench, because I added a set of risers to my 6-inch bench. It was like a whole new world. Not only is it harder to step higher, but you have to move faster to stay with the music! I nearly chucked a set of risers in the middle, but I stuck it out and I feel awesome. Even better, I might be sore tomorrow!

In the car on the way to babysitting from school, I had a baby Luna bar. (The big one is just for comparison.) Is that the cutest thing you've ever seen? It's about 3 bites and was perfect to hold me over until lunch. Step aerobics ends at 11:30, but by the time I get home I'm too starved to prepare actual food.

The gal I was babysitting for, Colleen, made me lunch! This salad had spring mix, broccoli, tomatoes, carrot shreds, herbed feta, and croutons. The dressing is Newman's Own light balsamic. It was so yummy! When I cut up veggies they're just small enough to be considered bite-sized pieces, but Colleen cut them up smaller and somehow it tasted better. I must start doing this.

Apple cake. Starts with a fruit, ends in "cake," explains itself.

EDIT: Oops! I forgot the unpictured graham cracker here, near the end of babysitting.

When I got home from babysitting I was starving, so I had some of last night's bug mac and cheese (probably 1 cup) while I nuked a prepackaged burrito and set it on a plate with some pomegranate applesauce and tortilla chips w/ lime juice (way better than "lime" tortilla chips, by the way). I really run out of steam at night. I feel so guilty, not for the quality of the food (which was meh), but for the amount of excess packaging I was using in my own house by eating individually wrapped foods!

I had a (blurry) cup of hot chocolate with a little almond milk after dinner. It was perfect.

On Thursday, I'm not working after school. Tomorrow, I'll be going through my cookbooks to find some things to make so I can have healthy meals (or meal-starters) on hand throughout the week. Stay tuned for pics!

October Goals Round-up:
Sleep: 49.5/250 hours
Packed Lunches: 1/20
Exercise: 3.5/20 hours
Homework: 2/45
Housework: 1/10

Monday, October 5, 2009


I walked 5 miles today, not because I'd planned to but because the weather was just gorgeous! Look at that sky!

I intended this to be breakfast (ww mini bagel w/ berry cream cheese, gigantic grapes, hot chocolate) and snack (Odwalla bar), but I ended up packing the grapes for mid-morning and not getting to the bar at all.

I mixed some cheese into some instant mashed potatoes for lunch. Tasted good, but did not photograph well. Another thing that didn't photograph well: bug pasta with cheese sauce. I need to stock up on produce.

This short post is my break from homework. Saving it for Monday and then waiting until the last minute ON Monday to do it is a recipe for a late night.

October Goals roundup:

Sleep: 43.5/250 hours
Packed Lunches: 1/20
Exercise: 2.5/20 hours
Homework: 2/45
Housework: 1/10

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sick Weekend

And not fun sick, coughing and congested sick.

My eats this weekend were decidedly NOT blogworthy, given my lack of ability to taste anything. A cracker here, 14 glasses of juice there...pretty boring. Then, today, my first visit to Chipotle:

vegetarian bowl with some kind of awesome corn salsa, black beans, rice, green bell peppers and onions, lettuce, and guac. And by the way, that's the normal amount of guac, I didn't ask for extra. It's like they know me.

Eating at restaurants: Restaurants usually have one or two vegetarian items on their menu and they aren't generally very healthy (think cheese and white pasta). When I started Weight Watchers I knew I'd have to ask for something different. At first it was awkward ("I'd like this menu item, except completely different..."), but now I'm an old pro. Look at the other menu items! You can change sauces or get them on the side, add or substitute veggies, bulk up a menu salad with something from an entree- lots of options. The thing is, my family does not understand this. My youngest sister was completely silent when she ordered a taco and it turned out tiny. My dad sat down with his burrito and complained that they didn't explain what a "bowl" was or he'd have ordered that (what I had). If it's not what you want, speak up! Going through the line and getting to your table before you mention that your food isn't what you wanted is ridiculous. AND if you don't understand the menu, ask the person serving you!

Now a little update of my October challenges, by the numbers:

Sleep: 34.5/250 hours
Packed Lunches: 1/20
Exercise: 1/20 hours
Homework: 0/45
Housework: 0/10

I'll be adding to the sleep total shortly and the packed lunches and homework totals tomorrow. Hopefully some exercise too if I can breathe by then!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The blogging is getting ahead of me. I've learned so far that it is really, really difficult to remember to take pictures of everything I eat. Also, even after 2 days, I feel like I'm 1) eating a TON when the reality is that it just looks like a ton because I'm photographing it and 2) I barely eat any plants! Did you notice last post how my meals went from whole grain and veggie to white and bready as the day wore on? Part of the reason for that is I'm still in the mindset of "I did so well all day, it's fine to have this." And it IS fine, but will it nourish my body? No. The other reason is that I get more and more tired and tend to eat whatever the rest of my family eats.

Anyway, a quick recap of October's Challenges by the numbers:

Sleep: 6.5/250 hours (I'm counting hours since midnight yesterday).
Packed Lunches: 1/20
Exercise: 1/20 hours
Homework: 0/45
Housework: 0/10

I have an icky cold, so I'm hoping to knock out about 30 of those sleep hours this weekend, as well as a couple of the homework hours.

Update tomorrow, with pictures of everything.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Intuitive Eating, Let's Give it a Shot!

I started the day with oatmeal cooked with 1/2 a banana topped with unsweetened reduced fat coconut. I don't know if it was the finely shreddedness, the unsweetenedness, or the reduced fatness, but it definitely didn't taste like I wanted it to. I made up for it later with an unpictured coconut Larabar after step aerobics.

When I got home from step aerobics I had this lunch that I'd packed with the intention of eating elsewhere. It was just as good at home! Salad with green onions, black beans, brown rice, and salsa. Applesauce with ground flax and cinnamon, and a few dark chocolate-covered pretzel slims from Trader Joe's.

After lunch I walked this guy:

Something's missing? Oh yeah, his leg. Because it's a front leg it's easier for him to run than walk, so we jogged about 1/4 mile. I am getting MUCH better at keeping up with him and running more and more. Then I walked 2.5 miles by myself.

In the middle of the afternoon I had some pasta with sauce and a veggie meatball (all leftovers). I'm not sure what to do about the perpetual small meals following workouts, particularly step aerobics. I don't have as much ROOM as normal, but every few hours I'm starving. So, I eat.

Dinner was a quesadilla made in the toaster oven with ff refried beans and cheese. I chased it with a lemon bar that my mom brought home from a bakery plus a few bites of strawberry frozen yogurt (the rest of the yogurt went down the drain- it was gross).
I'm still attempting to reach a balance with my eating. I like vegetables, but I don't feel full for very long after eating them so I think of them less at night. The other thing I'm uncertain of is whether I'm eating enough or too much for the activity I do. Sure I spent 2 hours exercising today, but one of those was just walking and the rest of the day I basically sat! I'm hoping, within the next couple of months (and continuing forever) to be able to lose weight just by doing what comes naturally to me. I've been ignoring my body's signals for a long time and starting to listen again is challenging. I trust now that my body knows how to manage itself and by incorporating healthy habits (like my Goals for October) everything will come together.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Madness

I spent Sunday afternoon sailing with my dad instead of doing homework, so I had some stuff to finish today. I overslept (the alarm on my iPod nano doesn't work if you don't turn it on), so when I got up I rushed to pack my lunch and get ready for school. I had a whole wheat mini bagel with raspberry cream cheese with some ginormous grapes for the car.

Classes went well, largely uninteresting (except to me!) so I won't bore you. After class I spent about 3 hours finishing my math homework for the week. It's due every Tuesday so it's not like I was working ahead, but it felt good to finish.

I went looking for unsweetened coconut at Central Market and they had it! If you haven't looked at coconut in the baking aisle lately, it's all sweetened. Central Market always comes through for me when I'm looking for something unusual. Be looking for coconut when I finally post pictures!

I also picked up a bag of Veggie Booty. Seriously, that stuff needs to come in smaller bags. There are few packaged foods these days that I can finish in one sitting, but the 4 oz Veggie Booty is one of them.

I ate my packed lunch at home, even though it was 2pm. Then I proceeded to veg on the couch for 2 hours.

Shopping with my mom and sisters, Jamba Juice, and some pasta with (fake) meatballs later, here we are!

I'm using the next couple of days to "practice" for October's goals. As soon as I hit "Publish" I'm going to hit the shower and make sure I have everything for tomorrow, including exercise wear for my step aerobics class and a packed lunch so I don't gnaw my arm off on the way home. Hopefully I'll be in bed by 10!

First Post

I realized that if I kept waiting for the perfect first post, I'd never blog about anything. So here goes:

I'm Rebekah. I'm 19, a student at a community college, hoping to transfer in a couple of years to UW for a major in Psychology after I finish all the (cheap) prereqs I possibly can while living at home and babysitting part time. I have 3 cats and a dog, plus a few other pets that share my house but aren't mine. I'm a vegetarian. I know vegetarianism is defined in different ways by different people, but for me it means that I don't eat meat or fish, I read labels and avoid things like gelatin, and I also limit the eggs and dairy in my diet.

About the shrinking- I am currently about 50 lbs above a healthy weight for my body. At my very heaviest, I weighed 235 lbs. I followed Weight Watchers for several months in 2008 and lost about 30 lbs, then got tired of counting points and recording everything I ate. I stopped losing weight after that, gained a little over the holidays in 2008, and have maintained since then. Weight Watchers brought normal portions back into my life and restored my sense of balance. What I didn't like about WW was the amount of overprocessed...well, not even real food that was encouraged. I also reached a point where the meetings were just not helpful- all the "I've been so good this week" or "I was so bad!" all based on behavior with food just didn't suit me. Weight Watchers was perfect for me when I started losing weight because the plan is flexible enough to accomodate any type of diet, but it doesn't fit me in this stage of my life.

What does fit me? Well, my plan through January is all about being good to my body. There are 4 important parts. In order:

1) Getting adequate sleep. I am such a night owl, but it makes my mornings miserable! I've been so sleep deprived lately that I fall asleep the minute my head hits the pillow. My goal for October is to get in the habit of going to bed at least 8 hours before I need to wake up in the morning. I will do this by logging 250 hours of sleep in October (8 hours x 31 days=248, +2 because I'll need to catch up from September).

2) Packing lunch. My last class is over at 10:30 most days, 11:30 on Tuesday/Thursday when I take step aerobics so I'm usually home at lunch time. The thing is, I make very poor lunch choices when I'm at home. The best thing I can do is pack lunch in the morning or the night before. It gives me good nutrition, a chance to take a picture for you, and frees me up to stay at school longer if I want to finish some work. I will pack 20 lunches in October.

3) Exercise! I spent the last 6 months training for and walking in the Seattle Breast Cancer 3-day. Especially near the end of the training, all that walking was grueling. I love high intensity exercise (something I just learned earlier this year), but I didn't have the energy after walking 10 miles on a Saturday. Now that it's over, I'm getting back to the intense exercise I love! I take a Tuesday/Thursday step aerobics class at school, which is my absolute favorite way to exercise. On the other weekdays, I'll be packing gym clothes and hitting the YMCA on my way home from school. I'll probably take the weekends off unless I find something fun and active to do. I will log 20 hours of exercise in October.

4) Plan ahead so I don't stress out. This is possibly the most important part of the plan, but I put it last because it's the hardest. I'm a huge procrastinator. I'll put off doing homework, cleaning, answering emails...and it serves no purpose other than causing stress in my life. I will spend 45 hours outside of class time studying and doing my homework in October. This is about 2 hours per weekday. Further, I will spend 10 hours in October cleaning and decluttering in my room and the other parts of the house I use.

My goals add up to 325 hours. There are 744 hours in October, so over half of that time will be unstructured, driving, in class, etc. My goals are highly manageable! I'm telling you as much as I'm telling myself that I have no excuse for not following through!