Candy, Chocoholic Frolic and more

Last weekend, my husband and I participated in our first-ever Chocoholic Frolic race. We opted for the 10K, which is 6.2 miles. I found out about this race after seeing a billboard for it along Interstate 94. I also think a few friends told me about it, but apparently I didn’t really pay attention to them. For some reason, that billboard made me take notice and check into the race, which is put on by Final Stretch.

The them of the race, of course, was chocolate, as it was sponsored by World’s Finest Chocolates, among other sponsors. Besides what you would normally find in your race goodie bag, such as your bib number, flyers for other races, pins and possible shirt, our chocolate-colored goodie bag also contained chocolates. Yes, they were yummy. Here’s a few chocolate-themed pics from the event.

Our goodie, the chocolates and my bib number.

The “finish line” at the race expo on Saturday. This was directly above the World’s Finest Chocolate booth, which is of course, where we picked up a few more chocolates!

A sign at the expo. This sounds like my kind of “diet.”

Another sign at the expo. There were plenty of more, but I only took the time to capture these two. I was kind of bummed when we were walking about the expo as there was a cupcake booth, which was supposed to have samples of cupcakes. They were gone by the time we got there…an hour after the expo started! Apparently the company didn’t realize just how much runners like cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes!

The starting line for the 10K race. Notice the two women in brown shirts – these were the shirts we received with our registration. They are awesome!

And here we are at the finish line, which yes, is falling down! Sunday, which was race day, was an especially windy day! As we were getting our photo taken (as usual, by a random stranger!), a big gust came up and started blowing down the inflatable finish line. Luckily, it didn’t blow completely down as there were still runners coming across. Al finished the 6.2 mile run in 50:55 and I finished in 1:02:46. Despite the wind and the VERY hilly start, we were both pleased with our times. And, we both said this was one of the most prettier courses we’ve ran. For those of you in the St. Paul area who are looking for a pretty route, check out this link to the map. It seriously was gorgeous!

Here’s a look at my splits…yes, I started WAY too fast (for me). Surprising, considering the first half-mile was all up hill! Oh, and by the way, the “issue/problem” I talked about in my last blog post, surfaced near the end, but wasn’t nearly as bad as the half-marathon or the 10-mile Monster Dash. And, to let everyone know, YES, I made a doctor appointment. I go in November 19. I’ll keep you all posted. Thank you, by the way, to those who responded via message, FB message, email or in person. I appreciate your thoughts and concern.

So, as if the chocolate we received in our bags and at the expo wasn’t enough, there was chocolate along the route as well. Around mile 2, there were chocolate cupcakes and around mile 4, there were chocolate candy pieces or something. Believe it or not, I DID NOT indulge in any of the chocolate along the route. As much as I LOVE chocolate, it just didn’t sound appealing to me as I was running. And if that chocolate wasn’t enough, there was even more chocolate…we each received a chocolate caramel “finisher’s bar” at the end of the race. That is what they handed out instead of medals.

This is my husband’s candy bar. It’s Wednesday. The race was Sunday. He STILL hasn’t eaten it. Mine? I polished it off Monday morning…for breakfast! (To my Weight Watchers members, don’t ask how many PointsPlus values it was. It may shock you, but I didn’t figure it out! Which means, I didn’t track it. Nope, I did not!)

Now that the weather has gotten slightly colder and we have less and less daylight, my hubby and I have found we are spending more time at the YMCA. AND………I tried something I said I hated doing and that I would never do. THE TREADMILL! Yes, I ran on the treadmill. And, more than once already. And…..it’s not THAT BAD! I guess.

 

Thankful

Two years ago on November 19, I embarked on my healthy living journey. Numerous people thought I was nuts for starting before the holidays, but for me, the timing couldn’t have been better.

If I was going to do it, why did I want to wait until after the holidays? Knowing me, I probably would have packed on a few extra pounds anyway, so I thought, why not get ahead of the game and start losing then instead of gaining the extra pounds and have even more to lose come January 1.

On November 19, 2008 I joined Weight Watchers. It was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. Honestly, I can say that Weight Watchers changed my life. And I am not just saying that because I am now an employee of the company. I wholeheartedly know and believe in my heart that had I not joined WW, I would not be where I am today. I believe I would be miserable and unhealthy.

So where I am at today? I am at the healthiest place I have probably ever been at in my life (well, okay, except for probably junior high!). I no longer have to take high blood pressure pills, I don’t have high cholesterol anymore and I am no longer a borderline diabetic. All three of these run in my family. But I didn’t want those things. I wanted control and I got it.

I took control. Of my life. Of my health.

Being healthy, to be honest, is something I never really expected to be. Or at least, I didn’t expect I would stay that way. I had tried so many ways to lose AND maintain my weight, but the difference between then and now is that then, I relied on other things – pills, shakes, pre-made food, easy (stupid) diets – to lose and keep my weight off. I never learned or took the time to learn how to eat, as in what and how much.

I know I have talked about this before, but sometimes, it’s just a good idea to bring it up again. People can’t DIET and expect to live a normal life. Does that make sense? People have to be ready and willing to change their LIFESTYLE if they want to lose weight and then maintain their weight goal. People need to be realistic about their weight loss goals. Really realistic. Yes, sometimes, it is great to shoot for the moon, but sometimes, it’s okay to shoot for the next town instead. Little by little, inch by inch, pound by every little stinking pound. As the saying always goes, “Slow and steady wins every time.” And I wholeheartedly believe that.

This Thanksgiving, as I reflect back over the last two years, I am grateful and thankful for who I am and where I am at. I am thankful for the people I have met in the past two years. I am thankful for those who have inspired me and for those who I have inspired. I am thankful for my family – my son and my husband – who have been behind me 110 percent on this journey. And I am thankful for all of you who take the time to read my blog. You all inspire me more than you know.

Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you and may your healthy living journey be filled with fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, lots of activity and so much more! (And of course, a little sweet treat once in awhile…we ALL deserve a little chocolate every now and then!)

Remember, you can find me on Facebook, just click here and if you want to chat or have a question, feel free to send me an email. Keep in mind, however, that I may not respond immediately, but I promise I will respond. Email me at confessionsofaformerfatgirl@gmail.com.

Taking a hiatus…from eating at restaurants!

After three days in a row of eating out, I have decided I am taking a hiatus from restaurant food and I am really going to try and eat at home for the next two-three weeks. It’s not that hard, actually. I’ve done it before. And survived.

However, with my schedule over the course of the next few weeks, it may be a lofty goal.

I am sure going to try, though, because seriously, going out to eat sure takes a toll on the ol’ pocketbook. Plus, the calories really add up fast, as does the sodium. My gosh, restaurant food must be salty! I seriously feel like the Michelin Man or the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from the movie, Ghostbusters. Plus, the number on the scale this morning was not fun to see. Every morning, right before I get in the shower, I step on the scale. For the last couple of months, it has been hanging around the 138 mark. Nice, huh? Yep, much better than the 192 pounds it used to be! Anyway, the numbers this morning…were…are you ready for this….144 pounds. In the course of three days, I had gained about six pounds. Yes, 6….S-I-X!!! Craziness. Pure and simple.

So, it all started on Friday when I went out to lunch with my Weight Watchers co-workers. I ate healthy…a #4 Turkey Tom Unwich with no cheese, no mayo, add avocado spread and cucumbers. Oh, and I also had a bag of plain, baked Lays potato chips. Not bad. Actually, it was pretty darn good…and healthy!

Then, after my husband got home from work (I took the day off), we headed to Fargo, ND for Saturday’s 10K race. After checking into the hotel and then a brief stop at Scheel’s to pick up a headband for Al, we headed to HuHot, a Mongolian grill. This can be healthy, as long as you stick to lots of veggies and stay away from the noodles and rice and only have one helping. Whoops, I, believe it or not, had two helpings and had my fair share of both noodles and rice. Aren’t you supposed to load up on carbs before a race? Think so, but probably not as much as I ate. Stupid. I seriously felt sick after, but it did taste great when I was eating it.

On Saturday, after the race, we headed to IHop, which by the way, is becoming one of my favorite go-to breakfast places. They have healthy options on the menu, which I love. They are called Simple and Fit and are all under 600 calories. I had the Simple and Fit Two x Two x Two, which is two pieces of turkey bacon, two pancakes (I had it with sugar free syrup) and two scrambled eggs using egg substitute. The calories, without the syrup, was listed at 400. Not bad. Didn’t feel totally full when I was done. It was a nice feeling.

Saturday evening, Al and I headed out to Bella’s on Broadway, an Italian restaurant in downtown Alexandria. We had planned to go out to eat because we were celebrating our second wedding anniversary. Because it was a celebration and because I had planned for it…I mean, come on, I ran a 10K that morning, I didn’t even think about what I was ordering and just ordered whatever I wanted! Of course, I had to indulge in the pre-meal bread dipped in balsamic vinegar and oil. Yum, it is sooo good. I think I ate four pieces! Or maybe it was five. We also ordered a bottle of wine to go with our meal. Yes, I said bottle. Not glass. For my entree, I ordered the Farfalle Diavolo, which was bowtie pasta with artichokes, black olives, tomatoes, onion and garlic in a red pepper cream sauce. Yes, it was as delicious as it sounded. Believe it or not, we opted not to have dessert…at Bella’s anyway. Oh, and I actually didn’t finish my meal. I brought home leftovers. (Yes, I devoured them the next day!)

We ended up going for a walk and found ourselves at another restaurant/bar…6th Avenue Wine and Ale in downtown Alexandria. We ordered the chocolate blossom for dessert, which was a chocolate pastry thing with chocolate ganache inside a puffed pastry with whipped cream and caramel on top. It was…just okay. Yes, just okay. Too much pastry and not enough chocolate for me. Al actually ate most of it.

So, when Sunday arrived and I woke up, I could feel the puffiness. My fingers were swollen. My toes were swollen. And I was thirsty as all get out. The sodium was definitely having an affect on me. I usually tend to stay away from sodium and I rarely, and I mean rarely, eat prepackaged-type foods that are oozing with too much sodium. My body just can’t handle that much sodium.

Well, we got a call from our friends from Fargo…they were on their way home from Sartell and wanted to stop in Alexandria to visit and…to go out to eat. We couldn’t resist because we don’t see them that often and we LOVE visiting with them. They are one of our favorites couples.

So, off to yet another restaurant. This time, it was Tennessee Roadhouse, a local restaurant out by the Interstate. We haven’t eaten at this restaurant in a really long time, so I was actually looking forward to it. Because I felt like I was starving for some reason or another (it was probably the wine from the night before), I ordered the barbecued pulled pork on a bun (yes, the bun was slathered in either oil or butter and then grilled to perfection) with sweet potato fries. I just wasn’t feeling very healthy. Well, I am glad (kind of) that I ordered what I ordered because…OMG! It was delicious. I scarfed the entire meal. It was delicious, fattening, sodium-filled and I didn’t even care. We ended up having dessert because part of our order was messed up. The turtle cheesecake definitely hit the spot. Was I really hungry for it? Nope. Was I filled to the max already? Yep. But did I eat my half and then some? You betcha. And was I feeling like absolute crap afterward? Yes, indeedy, I was. I made my hubby walk around Walmart for nearly an hour because I was feeling so yucky.

So, now it’s Monday and I am trying to detoxify and rid my body of all the sodium, fat and junk from this weekend and the three-day eating binge. I am proud of today. I ate awesomely. Lots of fruits, veggies and hardly any sodium. I even managed to get in a 2.5 mile run. Thank goodness.

So, my goal stands. I am hoping to stay out of restaurants for the next couple of weeks. But, I am a realistic person and if it so happens I end up going out to eat, I WILL EAT HEALTHY. I will. I promise…to you, my readers, and to myself. I also plan to exercise at least four days each week. And I will do it. I have to. I can. I will.

A great big sugar high!

Wow, it’s amazing what too much sugar can do to a person…especially when that person hasn’t had much of "that" kind of sugar.

Every now and then, okay, about once a month or so, I feel the need to indulge in a few sweet treats. Today, apparently, I over did it. Really. Don’t get me wrong, I eat sugar – the natural kind found in apples, oranges, bananas and McDonald’s ice cream cones. Oh wait, I guess that’s not the natural kind I was talking about.

Today, I was just about done with work when I heard the door to my co-worker’s cabinet/locker-thingy open. She’s in the next cubicle over, but metal doors aren’t the most quiet in a nearly empty office, especially when the door kind of sticks. That sound signifies that someone is more than likely snitching a piece of candy from her candy bowl, which she so graciously keeps full for all the sweet tooths in our office. You can almost always find the likes of Hershey’s kisses, mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, Dove chocolates and much more in that gigantic plastic bowl of hers. Usually, I don’t indulge. At least not that often. Maybe once a week. Maybe. Really, it’s probably once a month. Really.

Well, today was my day. After the candy thief went back to his/her own corner of the office, I made my way to the candy cabinet. Because it was that once-a-month thing I was talking about, I knew I had no business even peeking in the cupboard. But I did. I snitched my own piece or two…during the first trip. By the time I got back to my desk, the two pieces I ate – two Dove chocolatey caramel goodness pieces – were long gone and I wanted more. Not the it would be awesome if I could have a couple more feeling. It was the OH-MY-GOD-I-HAVE-TO-HAVE-MORE-NOW feeling. I think it took me five steps instead of the usual 15 to walk to her desk. It was crazy.

Well, I snitched three more pieces. Ate them down so fast I don’t think my brain processed exactly what I was doing. Funny thing when I was done, though, I immediately went online to my Weight Watchers site and logged my five Dove chocolate/caramel candy pieces. Five pieces, five points. Yep…5. I can eat an entire meal for less than that. But, honestly, it was worth it. Even though I don’t think I necessarily chewed them or for that matter sucked on them until they melted, they just kind of went down. Fast. But nonetheless, I enjoyed them greatly. Because I kind of stocked up on fruit today (let’s see, I ate an orange, a banana, an apple and a pear), I was fine with eating five pieces of chocolate.

Well, until about 10 minutes after I was done. WOW! It was like I was floating on some kind of sugary cloud. But with another cloud above me that was rumbling over my head causing a kind of sugary headache. I really didn’t like that feeling. At all.

I really don’t think I will be indulging in that much sugar in such a short amount of time ever again. Ever. Not to say that I won’t indulge in that much sugar again…it will just be spread over a longer time period. 

P.S. If you’re a member of Facebook, look up Confessions of a Fat Girl and become a fan. I would surely appreciate it. Thanks and thanks for reading my blog!

Why do we do it?

Last night, my husband, son and I decided to go out to dinner. It’s my husband’s birthday on Sunday and he received a certificate in the mail for a free birthday meal from a local restaurant that could be used anytime this month. So, we thought what the heck, we could celebrate early for his birthday and celebrate my son’s grades…they are all A’s and B’s! If you saw what his grades were last year, you would want to celebrate with us. We are so very, very, very proud of him!

Anyway, because we have been to this restaurant several times, I knew exactly what I was going to order. I knew for sure I wanted the sweet potato fries…yes, I know they are probably still deep fried, but OMG are they good! I love these things. Because I knew the fries weren’t entirely good for me, I ordered a plain hamburger to go with it…as in plain Jane. No bun. No mayo. No cheese. No bacon. Nothing. Just the burger. Oh, I did eat the tomato that came with it. My meal was awesome. I felt good about ordering it. I felt good after eating it. I did also sneak a couple of bites of my husband’s battered, deep-fried fish and a bite of my son’s gooey, cheesy, pasta dish. Both were spectacular. And a bite of each was all I needed.

Of course, after we were through eating, the waitress asked if we wanted to see the dessert menu and of course, I said yes. WHY? I don’t know. To torture myself, I guess. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid with a capital S.

I am a glutton (I previously had gluten..whoops!) for chocolate desserts, especially those that are a cake-like substance and oozes warm chocolate from the middle and are topped with anything whipped…whipped cream, whipped mousse, you get the picture. Now, I know that my son doesn’t eat this sort of thing, never has and probably never will. Lucky duck. And usually, my husband will eat half.

Nope, not tonight. He didn’t want any…said he was too stuffed. I practically begged him to tell me he would have at least a bite of it if I ordered the chocolatey, volcano of goodness. He never did concede. But, of course, I just had to order it anyway. Seriously, what was I thinking. I guess I wasn’t.

Do you think he had one bite? Nope, didn’t even touch it. Who do you think ate it? Yep, you’re right. It was me, myself and I. I ate almost the entire thing to myself. There was way too much whipped chocolate mousse on it so I scraped about half of it off. Oh, goody for me, right? Whatever.

I did, however, eat the whole cake part, the fudge part drizzled all over it and on the plate and the teeny, tiny two scoops of ice cream on the side of it. Yep, it was delicious. Yep, I felt like crap when I was done. Yep, I regretted it the minute I took the first bite. (But kept eating it anyway…aargh!) Yep, I know I shouldn’t have ordered it. 

And a big fat NOPE, I didn’t go home and exercise. Instead, I sat on my butt and watched the Biggest Loser. I guess I thought it would give me a little inspiration.

Maybe it did. I am meeting with my student trainer today. She sent me an e-mail yesterday that told me to dress in workout clothes and be prepared to sweat. I am so excited. Hopefully that chocolatey, heavenly, decadent dessert hasn’t found a permanent spot on my hips yet! It will hopefully be gone after tonight! Bring it on, Kristy. I am ready.

p.s. For once, I didn’t figure out the Weight Watchers points for what I ate. Again, stupid me. Maybe I will do that today. Maybe.