From 60 to Zero in 2.5 Seconds

It’s scary just how quickly I lost ALL of my motivation these past few weeks. Everything that I was so gung-ho about a few weeks ago – the blog, the diet, the photography – I no longer have any interest in. I’m even smoking again. Writing this blog post is a struggle, but I’m forcing myself to do it. I need to snap out of it.

My current rut was caused by a series of unfortunate events that began on April 1. First I got a computer virus. A computer virus is never good, but in the case the timing was particularly awful, because I had plans to go away for the weekend and I had A LOT to do for work in the two days before I left.

It was soooo annoying. My computer would work for about 20 minutes, then all the icons on my desktop would disappear and it would go black, and then the computer would freeze. I’d restart it and it would work fine, and then boom, 20 minutes later it would happen again. I didn’t even have time to try to figure out what the problem was. Instead, I spent the next two days working in 20 minutes spurts. I must have restarted the computer 50 times. But I got everything done.

When I woke up on Friday morning I had a cold. Or allergies. Or both, I don’t even know. Allergies are pretty new to me. I only started having them like two years ago. I didn’t even know what they were at first. One day I was complaining to my friend Di that this weird “sneezing cold” had been going on for three months, and she looked at me like I was an idiot and told me it was allergies.

Anyway, regardless of whether it was a cold or allergies, it was time to hit the road. We were going to a cabin in Mississippi with another couple. I already knew that I would be off my diet and smoking for the weekend, and I was okay with that (Haha I wasn’t just okay with it – I was excited about it).

The cabin was great. I’ll try to post about more about it some other time. It was beautiful and peaceful. But if I thought my allergies were bad in New Orleans compared to NY, holy crap, in Mississippi they were on some next level shit. It was crazy. As soon as we stepped in the cabin my allergies ramped up, and unfortunately it was like that the whole weekend. So even though I was happy to be away and managed to have some fun, I was still kinda miserable.

When we came back from Mississippi, my allergies were still terrible, I had to figure out what was wrong with my computer, I needed to get things together to file my taxes (always a stressful event for me), and then I got my period. Ughhhh. I was in a “fuck the world” mindset those few days. Fuck the diet. Fuck the gym. Give me a cigarette. I just felt really drained.

By the end of the week, things were looking up. My allergies had subsided, the computer issue was resolved (someone from my company’s IT department helped me out), my accountant filed an extension for me, and my period, well, that’s only bad on the first day. But by then the damage was done, because even though I was feeling better, I had lost all of my motivation as far as “being healthy” went. I just didn’t care. “I’m on a downward spiral,” I told Dave. I didn’t know how to snap out of it.

Today, things are a bit better. I’ve been trying to write this post for several days, so I’m a bit more motivated than I was when I wrote the first paragraph. Actually, that’s not true. I’m not more motivated, but I’m forcing myself to do things I don’t want to do in the hopes that soon I’ll actually want to do them again. I went to the gym every day, I only smoked on Tuesday night when we went out for drinks (that doesn’t count, okay?), and I haven’t cheated too bad on my diet (tortilla chips and way too many peanuts have proven to be my downfall this week). I’ve been taking this online photography class, which has forced me to take a buttload of pictures, and now I’m starting to have fun with it again.

My next priority is getting my diet back on track. I was down 8 pounds before I left for vacation, and now I’m only down 5. But I’m not stressed about it. On Monday I’ll start my diet up again full force (because diets always start on Monday). No big deal. Diet on a Monday – story of my life.

So yeah, that’s where things are at.

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Weekend Recap – Hogs for The Cause and GSD (Getting Sh*t Done)

What a great weekend! On Saturday I worked in the morning and then Dave, his son and I went to Hogs For The Cause. It’s basically a fundraising charity thing with live music and a TON of food vendors. All of the food had some type of pork in it. OMGGGG – everything was so delicious! I decided not think about my diet for the day. Dave and I shared lots of little foods – pork belly on steamed buns (my favorite of the day), pigskin nachos, bbq pork egg roll, a pulled pork cuban sandwich, and bacon rum cake.

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Mmmmm. I love food. Sigh.

Yesterday I was very productive. I worked, went to the gym, cleaned up my office/Dave’s workshop, and spent several hours reading about cameras and food photography and playing around with the camera Dave gave me two Christmases ago that I never touched until last week.

I am determined to take this food blog to the next level, and I know the only way to do that is to take amazing pictures. Unfortunately I don’t know a thing about photography other than what I’ve read on the internet – which is a lot, actually, considering I’ve been reading about food photography and food blogs for a few years now. But all the reading in the world hasn’t done me any good, because I haven’t applied any of it! I just need to get out there and start taking pictures.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I cleaned out the office because that’s where my “studio” is going to be. Later on we’re going to go to Home Depot for wood and paint and stain so I can create “tabletops” and make backgrounds for these food photos. I have an online photography class starting next week, so I’ve been doing a lot of reading so I can get a head start and at least be familiar with the basics. I’m really excited about this. It’s nice to have a new hobby!

I haven’t done my Monday weigh in yet. I’m waiting until I poop so I’ll be a little lighter. I have no idea what the effect of Saturday’s pork binge will be, but I hardly ate anything yesterday so hopefully it’ll balance out. Fingers crossed!

Some pics I took yesterday while playing around with my camera’s settings:

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Diet Update – Week 4: Finally seeing progress

First: I PROMISE that this blog isn’t going to be only diet updates! I’ve just been really busy with work and haven’t been doing much other than work and gym. I do have a few recipes I want to post, but I’m stuck at the point of taking pictures. I never think my pictures look good enough. But I am taking steps to remedy that – I bought a Groupon for an online photography class! Hopefully that will help.

With that said…

I weighed myself on Monday and I’m pleased to report that I’ve lost a total of 8 pounds so far! That averages to 2 pounds a week, which from what I’ve read is a healthy rate of weight loss. My problem is that when I did those HCG drops I was losing FIVE pounds a week. So even though 2 pounds a week is good, it feels like it’s taking forever! But whatever, I’m still pleased with my progress. Mostly.

This was the first week where I was able to visibly see my progress. I can’t specify where I look thinner, but I was studying myself in the wall-to-wall mirror in my salsa class and I just look a little bit slimmer in the midsection, between my knees and boobs. So that made me happy.

I finally added weight training to my workouts. When I first started back at the gym my plan had been to do a half hour of weight training and a half hour on either the arc trainer or treadmill. But then I did something to my hip during salsa class back in February and the treadmill hurt and I was scared to do lower body. So instead I’ve just been doing an hour on the arc trainer every day.

But Dave convinced me to start weight training again. He started a new workout/diet last week, some 21 day shred thing, and he wrote me up the woman’s version so I could do it at the gym. So for the past 4 days I’ve been doing an hour on the arc trainer followed by 30-40 minutes of weight training. That’s a lot of time to be spending at the gym, but right now my work schedule is flexible enough that I can actually do it. So I might as take advantage of that while I can.

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Diet Update: Week 3 – Ups and Downs…and Ups

Week three was not a good one. I weighed myself three times, and I was up two pounds, down two pounds, and up two pounds in the course of one week. It was annoying but not completely unexpected. I took a few days off from the gym, I did a fair bit of drinking (and by “fair bit” I mean a hell of a lot), and I had one or two meals where I ate a few things I shouldn’t have. Plus I had my period, so I’m some of the ups and downs were related to bloating.

It’s frustrating to have only lost 4.5 pounds in three weeks, but I know it’s my own fault. If I want to lose weight quicker then I need to stop drinking. Period. But I’m trying to maintain some type of diet/life balance and enjoy myself. This weekend was the St. Patrick’s Day parade. What was I gonna do, stay home so I wouldn’t cheat on my diet? No. And while I know I could have gone to the parade without drinking, it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun. New Orleans is very much a drinking city.

So that’s what’s up. No real progress in Week 3. But a lot of fun.

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Nail Talk

It is ridiculous how much time I waste thinking about what color I should paint my nails next.

I was tempted to cut my nails off two weeks ago after one of them broke, but I decided not to because of an instagram pic that my bestie tagged me in (I think this is where it originated):

FullSizeRenderI thought this was hilarious! My nail broke the day after she tagged me in this, so I was like, “Yeah, f*ck you broken nail, I’m not cutting the rest off just because YOU were weak.” So I repainted them and then left them alone. Until yesterday. The broken nail had grown to a somewhat decent length, so I decided to cut the rest to match.

But then I got the urge to try a stiletto nail instead. I’ve been seeing stiletto nails all over the place lately, and I wanted to give it a try. I watched a few youtube videos and got to work shaping my nails.

Turns out my nails aren’t quite long enough to get that pointy stiletto look. At least not to my liking. But I did manage to file them into a very pretty almond shape. I still have the one nail that is shorter than the rest, but there’s nothing I can do about that. In another week or two I should be able to get that thinner, pointier stiletto look. If they last that long.

Now I’m trying to decide what color to paint my nails. White? Pink? Purple? French manicure? Half moon manicure? Should I do an accent nail? Should I add stones?  I have these bows that I bought, should I try them now? What about glitter? Arrrggg there are SO MANY OPTIONS!!! I spent a good three hours yesterday looking at pictures of stiletto and almond manicures. So many pictures, each one prettier than the next. It’s so hard to decide! I’ll probably spend another two hours looking at pictures. Then I’ll get really frustrated and end up doing a French manicure. Because that’s what I always do.

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Diet Update – Week Two: The Week of Branching Out – and Eating Out

I’m calling Week Two “the week of branching out” because, well, that’s what I did. I added various vegetables to my list of “allowed foods,” and I ate out TWICE. And I still managed to lose another 2.5 pounds!

The first time I ate out was last Wednesday. It was absolutely GORGEOUS out – 75 degrees at 10 am. (I still can’t believe that I live in a place where I can go out in a t-shirt during the winter. It’s crazy!) I decided to put my work aside and go with Dave and his son to the park. After the park we walked down to Lebanon’s Cafe, which is in my Top 5 Favorite Restaurants in New Orleans. It’s a Mediterranean restaurant. Soooo good.

I always get the same thing – beef shawarma with hummus and rice. This time, though, I got salad instead of rice, and instead of using pita bread to eat my hummus, I just scooped it up with the beef (or used my fingers). I had considered not eating the hummus, since it’s high in fat and beans definitely are not “approved” for this part of my diet, but hummus is healthy and I love it and I didn’t really see a point to not eating it. You gotta live, right?

So I ate it. And when I weighed myself the next day (I weigh myself Mondays and Thursdays), I was down. So that was nice.

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My second time eating out was Saturday night. After going to the Pelicans game, Dave and I met up with friends. I had a feeling I was going to drink a lot, and I knew that if I didn’t eat something for dinner, I would get too drunk and end up puking. There happened to be a food truck there, and after a quick perusal of its menu I ordered a grilled eggplant sandwich – by far the healthiest option. I could have thrown the bun away, but I wanted something substantial in my belly since I was planning on drinking, so I didn’t. But I did give away the chips that the sandwich came with.

Can I tell you how proud I am that I managed to eat out in a healthy way? I think of eating out as an indulgence, and if I’m gonna indulge in something, then I’m going all out. So my mindset as far as dieting and eating out was either don’t do it, or do it and accept the fact that I’ll be eating lots of things that I shouldn’t. There was no in between. So it’s quite an accomplishment for me to go into a restaurant and not stuff my face with things I shouldn’t be eating.

Tonight will be another test for me, because once again I’m going out to eat. This time I’m meeting my friend Ximena at Hoshun, an Asian restaurant. Hoshun has become “our spot” when we do dinner and drinks. We usually share the Sashimi Salad, Udon noodles and some type of specialty roll. Mmmmm. It is going to be incredibly difficult for me to go into an Asian restaurant and not eat some type of noodle, because noodles are F*CKING DELICIOUS. Andddd, I just started my period, and I usually use my period as an excuse to eat whatever I want. But I figure that if I eat an entire salad to myself and we share some healthier type of sushi, that will be enough of an indulgence and I’ll be able to skip the noodles.

Fingers crossed!

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Diet Update – Week One in the Books

I was so happy – and surprised – when I got on the scale yesterday morning and saw that I’ve lost 3 pounds since last Monday. It is such a relief to know that my cheating episode didn’t do any lasting damage! It’s also nice to know that the glass or two of wine I drink  every night will not keep me from losing weight.

I know I blamed my cheating episode on hormones, but after thinking about it a little more and analyzing the food I ate every day this week, I think the reason why I was so freaking hungry on Friday night was because I didn’t eat breakfast that morning.

My food, drink and exercise routine has been the same every day I’ve been on this diet:

9:30 – Morning coffee
11:00 – Half a grapefruit
11:00-2:00 – More coffee
2:00 – Gym
3:30 – Lunch
5:00 – Snack (orange or apple chips)
7:00 – Dinner
Rest of the night – Wine or margarita (sugar-free!), apple chips if I get hungry

Except for Friday, that is:

9:30 – 1:00 – Several cups of coffee
1:30 – Lunch
2:30 – Gym
4:00 – Lunch
5:00 – Orange
5:30 – Dinner #1
6:30 – Dinner #2
7:30-9:00 – Cake, tortilla shell, and spaghetti with avocado sauce

I’m pretty sure that not eating anything until 1:30 pm is what f*cked me up for the rest of the day. Not that half a grapefruit is a lot of food, but maybe it’s enough to keep my blood sugar level up and keep my body from going into starvation mode? I wish I knew more about the way the body works, but I don’t. But these past three days I have made sure to eat my grapefruit by 11, and everything’s been good. So I’m just gonna keep doing that.

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