Biggest Loser Challenge: Week 1

Hello All!

My first week on my self-perscribed “Biggest Loser” challenge was successful – a loss of 2.6 pounds.  I feel awesome about it.  I was still able to go out because I stayed on track at every other meal.  And I know that this is a week one result, I changed my habits drastically and I shouldn’t expect this every week. But, let’s hope the trend continues.  I hope I don’t have the curse of a “Biggest Loser” week 2.  🙂

For dinner, I made a new concoction.  For three servings, I mixed 3 Jenni-O turkey bratwursts (sliced), 2 cups of a pepper/onion mixture (from TJs), 3 servings of low-carb pasta, 1 1/2 cups peas and a little feta (I wasn’t sure if it was going to work, but it did!).  It was pretty good and simple to make.  I was able to get away with not using any oil. I cooked the meat through and removed it from the pan.  It left enough fat to cook the peppers, onions and peas.  Meanwhile, the pasta was cooking.  After the veggies were done, I added the meat back in and warmed it up again.  I combined everything together and added a little feta to the top.  (I love feta and put it on just about everything.)

If I did my math correctly, it comes in at around 400 calories (per serving).  Not too bad.  It was nice and filling and tasted like it was about 600 calories.  I’ll take it!

Alright – off to finish “The Biggest Loser”!  My DVR actually taped it this week.  (I was devastated last week!)  G’night, all!

My Biggest Loser Challenge

It’s a new year full of challenges, excitement and who-knows-what.  This year, I start student teaching and I could have my own classroom by September (God willing!).  And, I’ve decided that this year is the year that I kick this crappy unhealthy lifestyle in the butt.  Will it be easy?  Definitely not!  But, there are certain things that I think will add to my motivation and help me stay on track. (Like Key West in June and my brother’s wedding in 2011)

Two years ago, I was successful in losing 30 pounds before my wedding.  I tried to determine why I was so successful.  And I came up with a few things – a strict schedule, I scheduled workouts (some with buddies), I planned ahead and I counted calories.  You’d think I would’ve just kept going – but I got really, really lazy.

The first (and most important thing) was a change in schedule.  When I saw success, I was working 9-5 at an internship and when I wasn’t working, I had a lot of scheduled meetings, study groups, etc.  After I got married, most of the day was empty.  I didn’t really start working until 3 or 5 with a class or two thrown in.  I’ve learned over the course of the last few months that I am TERRIBLE when I have a lot of down time or inactive time (lots of reading, emails, creating workouts, etc) – especially in the apartment.  I get bored, I look forward to eating and it just happens.  Before I know it, I’ve completely sabotaged my day.  It happens.  Starting at the end of the month, I will have a very consistent schedule – and I will be gone most (if not all) of the day.

The other change?  I need scheduled workouts.  I’m normally really good at putting a schedule together when I have to.  If I fall into the “Well, I have all day to workout” trap, I don’t do it.  If there is only a specific time that will work, I will usually do it – even if it means getting up early.  I used to meet a friend every Friday morning to swim.  I had to get up before the sun came up, but I knew that if she was going to be there, I had better be there.  Tomorrow, I’m starting that by meeting my sister’s boyfriend for kickboxing.  I know that if I don’t show up, I’ll never hear the end of it.  And, when I start student teaching, I have the perfect time period between teaching and swim practice – there are even TWO gyms on the way to swim practice.  (And, one has the best pool out of all the WACs)

The two other components are planning ahead and counting calories.  I got pretty bad with not packing anything when I had a long day.  Instead, I would normally stop for something or wait until I got home and just eat way too much.  I just need to get on top of things.  As for counting calories, I hate doing it, but it works.  Towards the end of my weight loss, I was able to know how many calories were in certain foods.  I came up with good breakfasts and lunches therefore, I only had to focus on the calories in dinner.  I hope I can get back to that place again.

This brings me to the new plan.  For Christmas, I received “The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps: 100 Easy Changes to Start Living a Healthier Lifestyle”.  In the book, the show’s dietician, Cheryl Forberg, gives an overview of nutrition, including the basics of “The Biggest Loser” plan.

In the book, she gives the formula for daily calories (7 X Your Weight) plus how to divide it up (Divide the total into four parts – take one of those four parts and divide it into two.  The three parts are your three meals, with the portion you divided into two equals the amount for two snacks).

For example:

Weight = 200 pounds

7 X 200 = 1,400 calories

3 meals of 350 calories & 2 snacks of 175 calories

At first glance the calorie counts seem pretty low.  For now, I am going to try it just to see what happens.  I’ve always gotten really hungry when I’m really active – so I might have to adjust it a little bit.  The trick is finding foods that actually fill you up for very few calories.  The book also goes over how much protein/carbohydrates/fat should be in each meal.  And, it also includes a few simple recipes that look pretty good.

So, in honor of “The Biggest Loser” starting up again on Tuesday, I am going to start my own Biggest Loser challenge tomorrow (okay, it’s a day early).  I’m going to start weighing myself on Tuesdays with the show and attempt to follow their plan while working out at least 10 hours a week.  (I can’t afford to workout 6-8 hours like the contestants do – but I wish I could!)  We’ll see how it goes.  The only thing I really worry about is the amount of calories – who knows, maybe I’ll just get really good at finding the perfect combination of food.  It could happen!

Now, if only I could get Bob Harper here….  🙂

Where’s My Tim Gunn Makeover??

Dinner is digesting and the “Biggest Loser” is on.  I love the makeover show – mostly because I love Tim Gunn.  And, they have Tabitha on??  I love her too – her show is a guilty pleasure of mine.  No. Shame.

Breakfast was the same as yesterday – oat bran with a ‘nanner, cinnamon a little vanilla sugar.  It was delicious. 🙂

I headed to class which was a bore.  It truly is amazing when the professor can make the Bolshevik Revolution boring.  That takes talent!  My goodness!

I had my education class tonight – I have A LOT of work to do before the end of the semester.  Our teacher told us that it would be easy because we have been working towards it all semester – but there’s A LOT more work to do before December 1st (which is when I am presenting).  I’ll get there…

Dinner tonight was fantastic.  The hubby and I made the decision that we aren’t going to watch TV and eat dinner anymore.  I was watching Dr. Oz yesterday and he talked about losing weight as a couple.  One of the changes that he suggested was not eating while watching TV – he said “It’s the death of couples”.  So, we decided to change.  Last Tuesday, we ate while watching “The Biggest Loser”.  That’s not right at all…  This week, we ate, cleaned the kitchen and sat down and enjoyed the show.  Sounds good to me.  🙂

But, the best thing about dinner was the dinner!  Pesto Chicken Pizza!  It was absolutely delicious.

It tastes better than it looks...

It was a refrigerated pizza dough (we like Trader Joe’s), pesto (prepared by you or Trader Joe’s), chicken breast (cooked in a skillet before putting it on the pizza), an Italian cheese blend and a balsamic vinegar (we used Rachael Ray’s).  We normally made our own, but the prepared Trader Joe’s stuff was so much cheaper.  Around here, it’s hard to find big bunches of basil (my personal garden died already).  It’s about $3 for a cup of basil – I need about 3-4 of those to make one batch – not to mention the cost of the olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and parmesan.   We found a prepared pesto at Trader Joe’s for $3.50.  It just made sense – and it was delicious.

For dessert, it was three squares of dark chocolate with sea salt.  Yummmmmmm!

Now, it’s off to look over my notes for my lesson.  It’s the last one I have to teach until student teaching next semester!  I’m getting antsy for the end of this program.  I want to be in the classroom – on my own – already!  🙂

G’night!

It’s Tuesday!

Tuesdays are generally my really long days.  I go non-stop from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm.  Today was a little bit longer – kind of.  For some strange reason, my professor believes that if she starts an hour late (due to a meeting), we need to go an hour later.  Ugh!  That means we had class until 8:10 tonight.  That makes for a long day.

However, my day got a little “shorter” when I showed up to observe a social studies class and there wasn’t a class to be seen.  It was a testing day for the sophomores – so the seniors (who I observe) didn’t have to come in until later.  So, I talked to my teacher (who is also my professor) and we went over the plans for the next lesson I’m going to teach.  I was able to head home and work on some homework.  It was a nice break.  🙂

The day started off with a Fiber One blueberry muffin and a yogurt.  I was surprised at how delicious the muffins are.  They are a bit small, but pairing it with a yogurt is perfect.

Lunch was awesome – a baked chicken breast with a bit of lemon-pepper marinade, some peas and edamame and a little bit of rice.

Lunch!

It was nice and filling.  I didn’t even need anything sweet. 🙂

I was off to class after lunch.  It was pretty painful.  I was watching the clock the entire time.  It’s a bummer because I love the content – LOVE IT!  It’s a comparative politics class.  (Yes, I’m a nerd.  I know!)  But, my professor is terrible.  He just talks – no outline, no notes, nothing.  It’s frustrating.

After class, I decided to have a green monster to hold me over until dinner.  It was a good one – spinach, kale, Juice+ chocolate protein powder, flax seeds, banana, peanut butter and a little bit of honey.  I managed to keep the size down a little bit.

GM2

But, here’s a word of advice – if you plan on swimming, don’t drink one of these bad boys before you go.  It’s not a good idea!  It just sat in my stomach.  Oh well!!

I did swim with the girls today.  They got a kick out of it – they kept correcting my strokes and telling me what to do.  One girl just laughed at me the whole time.  I love it.  At least we can keep it fun.  🙂

Workout:

200 Swim/200 Kick/200 Pull

8 X 50 on 1:00 (choice)

3 X 100 on 1:40 (I was supposed to do 6 – I was too tired!!)

8 X 25 on :30

3 X 25 sprints – from a start

1 X 150 cooldown

In the end I wish I was able to do more – but I was so out of swimming shape.  And, on top of that, my asthma was acting up and I didn’t have my inhaler.  I hated not being able to do what the girls were doing – but I guess I have to consider that they have been training all season for this.  I was proud of myself for getting in.  That’s the most important thing, right?

I left the girls and headed to class.  It was long.  Boring.  Long.  Boring.  I just wanted to go home.

I got back home and realized I didn’t take ingredients out of the freezer to thaw – and I was way to tired and hungry to wait.  The husband and I settled on a Bird’s Eye frozen meal.  It was pretty good.  We added a bit of ricotta cheese.

photo1

We’ll just have the shrimp jambalaya tomorrow.  I just have to remember to take the okra out of the freezer!

Alright, off to finish “The Biggest Loser” (They’re in DC!  I miss that city so much!) and to find out of my old high school passed a referendum – which included a pool!  (We didn’t have one at all when I was in school)

G’night!!  🙂