Thursday, January 21, 2010

Greek yogurt like no other...

I think if you guys know anything about me, you know then when I find something I like, I have a tendency to shout it from the mountain tops. Well, I've found something I like.

Actually, found it about 4-5 months ago and it's really been helping me with my diet (as in food choices, now restrictions from food).

Chobani Greek Yogurt.

Have you guys ever tried it? I've tried other greek yogurt brands and frankly they all grossed me out. They had a very sour taste or were WAY too thick and gooey, and—and this is the most important for me—they were all WAY too expensive.

Not Chobani.

Their texture is thick and creamy, but not heavy at all. The fruit flavors are amazingly fresh tasting. I don't feel like I'm eating sugared down yogurt or artificial flavors. And I love the size of tub that it comes in, it looks larger than regular yogurts although it's the exact same ounces as the rest of them.

The best part is the HUGE amount of protein in every serving—14 to 19 grams!!! It keeps me fuller longer and is a great recovery after my morning runs.

Before I go much further, I have to say that they asked me to taste test 2 of their newest flavors, raspberry and strawberry-banana. And they sent me one container of each flavor. Who am I kidding, I would have done this even if they didn't ask me or send me free product.

First I tried the strawberry-banana. I have never been a fan of strawberry-banana flavored anything. It always tasted like it was too sweet and had a fake flavor like kool-aid. Not so with Chobani's strawberry-banana. I could taste fresh bananas mixed in with fresh strawberries. It was amazing.

Then I tried raspberry. Oh my gosh was it divine! The raspberries tasted like I was eating fresh raspberries straight from the produce section. These weren't sugared down, sweetened raspberries, these were real honest to goodness tart raspberries. Lets face it, raspberries, by themselves, are not sweet. But mixed in with the sweet creamy flavor of the yogurt it was the perfect balance.

I don't think these flavors are available in the grocery stores yet. And so far, in my local stores I've only been able to find blueberry, strawberry and peach. But as luck would have it, those are my 3 favorite flavors anyway.

(Oh, and by the way, Publix has them on sale right now 10 for $10. The sale goes until Feb 5th.)

They also have honey, pineapple and pomegranate. I can't wait to try the pomegranate. Oh, and I tried the pineapple in December when I won a whole case of yogurt FREE from a game I played on their website.

It's called SPOONS. You have to follow @ChobaniNicki on twitter and whenever she says "ok, Spoons has started" you click on the link which takes you to their website and all you have to do is click on a spoon and you win a free case of yogurt. The trick is, you gotta be quick, with over a thousand twitter followers the game usually only lasts a few seconds.

I just won again today. I'm going to try their honey flavor this time. Can't wait for the case to arrive.

By the way, if you guys go to twitter and start following @ChobaniNicki, be sure to tell her @mag_maker (that's me) sent you. :)

You can follow them on Facebook here. They're always coming up with new recipes and great ideas to incorporate greek yogurt into your daily menu.

Have you guys ever tried Chobani? What's your favorite flavor? Have you made any recipes with greek yogurt?


Monday, January 18, 2010

Weight loss newsletters...

I love getting email newsletters. Do you? I subscribe to all kinds. Different one's like crocheting, running, social marketing, music, movies, radio shows, design, publishing, health & fitness, cupcakes, crafts, charities, baking, and of course lots of weight loss newsletters. And I've found a few weight loss newsletters that I really like and want to share with you.

The first one I really love is from Eat Better America, which is distributed by General Mills. I love this newsletter because, well, #1, it looks nice. I love it when something looks professional and put together. Secondly, I love that all of the recipes are healthy. They feature recipes that have healthy substitutes. I've tried a few and they've always turned out very nice and tasting great. And lastly, it always has coupons you can click and print out. Here's a link to their most recent newsletter.

Another newsletter I like is, well, pretty much anything by Martha Stewart, but the one I'm enjoying currently is the Whole Body Action Plan which is a 4-week plan to start the new year off by making healthy eating choices and moving more (she offers different "healthy" newsletter type challenges throughout the year and you have to sign up for each of them). Their first week started with a detox, which I have to admit, sadly, that I did not follow. But I plan on doing it soon. I'll let you know when I do. Here's a link to the most recent newsletter.

Never Say Diet is one I've subscribed to for years, almost since I first started losing weight. Their part of which, if you haven't been there, you should. There is just TONS of great info on there for women. They have a section on their website called Your Total Health that has articles about just about every aspect of your health. I've actually been a member of iVillage since the late '90s. Anyway, their Never Say Diet newsletter is a short and sweet tidbit of nutrition. Sometimes its fitness tips, sometimes nutrition, sometimes recipes. I really love it! Here's a link to one of the newsletters.

Oh, of course there's Weight Watcher's newsletter. I don't think you have to be a member to get it, either. I have to confess I don't always read it, but I have found some wonderful thing is it before. Like this one article about the different kinds of ice cream and how you can tell what you're getting just by what it's called. Like did you know that "slow churned" is just another word for "whipped". Basically they churn it extra long which adds air to it so you actually get less ice cream and more air than regular ice cream. So it's better for you. Here's a link to a sample newsletter. is another good one. She's lost over 200 lbs and her newsletter is full of motivation, tips, recipes and of course products that she sells (that are all extremely healthy). I don't have a link to her newsletter but here's a link to her website where you can sign up for it.

I'm on the look out for some more good ones. Which one's do you subscribe to?


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Where would I be without you...

Wow, what a week!!

I'll start off by saying... I think I ate EVERYTHING that came with in a 2 block radius of my mouth.

And secondly I want to say... I gained 3.4 lbs.

Hmm, I wonder how those 2 sentences relate? I wonder!

Am I surprised that I gained 3.4 lbs?? ... NOT ... AT ... ALL. I wholeheartedly earned every ounce of that gain. And actually, I think I really needed it. I think I get this way every few months where I just take one week and throw caution to the wind and eat like I used to eat when I was 275+ lbs.

Am I proud of it? No, not at all. I'm not ashamed of it, though, because it is what it is. I did the proverbial "facing the music" this morning (where the heck did that saying come from I've always wondered).

Now I've gotten it out of my system and I'm ready to get my head back in the game. I think its just because I've eaten all of the food that normally haunts me and so I have no desire to eat it again. Almost like, "well, I did that so I don't want to do it again" at least not any time soon. I'm sure I'll have another week like that in the months to come, but it won't be any time soon.

You know I was re-reading your comments from my last post and I think you guys might be on to something. I think Jinxxxygirl might be partly right saying that I can live with the weight that I am now. I can. I mean, when I look at myself in the mirror, I see a healthy, normal looking woman. I don't see myself as overweight, although technically I am. I need to drop another 20 lbs before I won't be considered overweight by most doctors' and dietitians' standards. But I am happy with the way I look. Although, that being said, I'm still disgusted by the fat rolls that are still hanging around my middle section, that's for sure. I'm not in any way, shape or form happy at all with those.

And Brooke, I never really thought of it that way, but there is a fine line between contentment and complacency. I'm not at all content with my current weight or body image, but I'm very complacent with my weight loss efforts. I do need to find a bigger distinction between the two. I'm so focused on the scale, too, but I'm not entirely certain I want to break that dependency.

That being said...

Gina, you're brilliant. Why didn't I think of that. I've already been able to break my scale addiction at home—I don't weigh myself on the scale every day. In fact, I will only weigh myself at home on Saturday mornings before I go to weigh in. But what if I didn't do that. And what if I did ask Barb, the WW secretary, to not give any indication as to whether I gained or loss and I just didn't look at the results. I wonder if that might help me stay more focused. Gina, I think you're onto something. If I didn't find out if I gained or lost then I wouldn't know if I had any "splurge" room and I might be more apt to stay on track and not indulge or splurge like I normally do when I've found out that I lost.

And Donna B, you're right, I do need to have more faith in myself. I'm stronger than I give myself credit for being. And Kelly!, you know, I do need to get my mindset off of me "being stuck" at this weight. I know the mind is a very powerful weapon. If I can change my mindset to how far I've come, which I have a tendency to take for granted SO much, and get back to thinking that I'm still headed in the right direction, maybe that'll help me stay sane through this process.

So, Screwdestiny and Miz and blueraspberry and MaryFran I just need to buckle down, stay focused and make the right choices TODAY. And restart my focus each morning and keep going in the right direction.

I'm not going to focus on where I'm not.

I'm not going to focus on how far I haven't come.

I'm not going to focus on where I wish I was.

I'm going to focus on where I am now, how far I've come and rest peaceful in the fact that I am still headed in the right direction and I will make my goal. I can do it. I will do it.

Thanks everyone. You guys always keep me going. What would I do without you??

Oh wait, I know... back up to 275 pounds.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

I'm still in the game, but...

Miracle beyond miracles... I lost 3.6 pounds this week!!


I guess you were right, Jess, it came off just as quick as it came on. That almost NEVER happens for me, though. My track record is easy on... near impossible to get off.

Funny thing is, I did pretty much the exact same thing I did week before last as I did last week. Weight loss.... I don't know if I'll ever figure it out.

I think that was why I was so darn frustrated last week. I just can't figure it out. Most of the times, it all seems so nonsensical. I feel like Alice stumbling through Wonderland sometimes. I hear things and see things that seem to make sense and then all of the sudden they change form and I have no idea where I am.

I mean, I think I got this thing pretty well figured out... fruits & veggies, whole grains, lean meats, milk, water, oil, portion control, regular exercise, journaling, and accountability. It's all neatly packaged in my "guidelines to losing weight". But... why does it work some weeks and not other weeks?

I was talking with my daughter about it today and I think I might have discovered my problem. Whenever I have a good day, I have a tendency to loosen the reigns. Whenever I break even or gain, I buckle down and stick to my guns. That's what I used to do with I weighed myself every day. If I was up that morning, I'd be sure to eat only 21 points for that day and exercise so I'd be down or at least the same the next day. Then as soon as I was down, I'd eat "regular" which is not that good. I'm not sure how to break this cycle, though.

I somehow need to get my head into the space where it doesn't matter how much I gain or lose. That no matter what, I need to stick to my points and exercise regiment. I'm really not sure how to do that, though.

I truly appreciate all your comments from my last post. I don't really want to throw in the towel. I really don't. I want to be skinny so bad. It's all I think about most days. I just keep envisioning myself looking like the Biggest Losers at their final weigh in.

Take Helen Phillips, for example. She was 47, I'm 43. She started at 257 lbs, I started at 265. She's 5' 6", I'm 5', 6".

Now, granted, I have no plans of getting down to 117 lbs. That's just ridiculous! But why can't I get down to at least 145 lbs? What's so wrong with that? Why am I STUCK at 165-170??!!

I just keep seeing all those Biggest Losers and how skinny they look and I wonder why I can't be that skinny. People keep telling me, "maybe this is the weight your body wants you to be". But what if it's not the weight I want to be?


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Can I throw in the towel now??

I have been having the hardest time, lately. My old demons of food addiction have been creeping up on me alot lately. Its really made me rethink all of my weigh loss accomplishments. Have I really come as far as it looks?

This week, I gained 3.2 lbs.

So that's the outward assessment of my weigh progress for this past week. But my inward assessment is that I feel like I'm slipping back into the old me. Now, I haven't been bingeing or hiding my food or eating in secret and I haven't been really over eating (too large portions) but I have been craving food and eating what I crave.

A craving is a good and natural thing. Most times. Our bodies will tell us when it needs certain foods. Right? So what do you do when your body tells you it needs a cheese quesadilla? Or fried chicken? Or chocolate cake? Or cheese fries? Or how about hand made potato chips covered in blue cheese, cheddar cheese and bacon? Why does my body possibly need these things??

It doesn't.

These are cravings in my mind and in my emotions, but most definitely not in my body.

But they feel the same. It really feels like my body wants these things. I feel it all over. My head tells me. My stomach tells me. My heart tells me.

I heard Dr. Oz say this week that we get cravings for only 10 minutes at a time and all we have to do is (drink water first) ride out those 10 minutes doing something else (distraction) for the craving to pass and then we'll be okay. What?! My cravings last for days! Sometimes weeks. What's up with that?

And while I'm "satisfying" these cravings (by eating all these bad things), I feel vindicated, comforted, and completely satisfied. Even afterwards I usually don't feel bad about eating them. I usually feel like I've just set through a productive therapy session or a deep conversation with a friend who has helped me work out my issues. I rarely feel guilty for giving into these cravings.

Now, sometimes my stomach makes me feel "guilty" by tossing and turning after I've eaten these bad things (like it feels right now because I just finished a half a brick of cream cheese and half a bag of Ruffles).

Its weird, because sometimes I do great when these cravings hit and sometimes (like now) I don't handle them well at all. The problem is, the times that I don't handle them well usually set me back anywhere from 2 to 10 lbs and then I'm right back where I was a year ago.

I'm so mad I could scream!!

I am now at the exact ... same ... weight as I was on September 20, 2008!!!

I know... take this one day at a time, Cara. I can't keep looking back. I know. I have to get a grip. I just want to throw in the towel and surrender to this whole weigh loss thing.

If it wasn't for how disgusted I am with the fat rolls lazing around my waist and drooping on the under side of my arms between my elbows and armpits, I swear, I'd give up and raise the white flag! But it makes me so much more mad that I have to carry around these extra fat rolls.

And what also makes me mad is the extra skin hanging around. I really think I'd be 10 lbs lighter if I didn't have all this extra skin hanging on me. I can't (won't) get surgery to get rid of it so I'm just stuck with it, I guess. I would have thought that after almost 3 years the skin would have gone back, but it hasn't so I suppose it never will.

Can you tell I'm just stinking frustrated!?!?