Category Archives: Living The Skinny

Fitbit

I feel like I’ve done a good job of staying away from the Fitbit craze, but on Friday afternoon, I finally caved and ordered myself a Fitbit Zip.  I’m participating in a fitness/steps competition and I thought it might be nice to have something where I can collect data long after it is over versus a standard pedometer.

Even though there are some great perks to the wristband styles, I am incredibly allergic to nickel (allergic reactions to fitness trackers are well documented) so, they were a no-go.  Also, between my RoadID and running watch, adding ANOTHER wristband would be all too much to deal with.

Which is to say that I own this now.

Fitbit

It smiles.  How friendly.

I have already told Marcus that if I talk about my steps, etc., he has to stop me because there is literally nothing more annoying than people who have to talk about how many steps they’ve walked that day.  Literally nothing.

I also want to give a shout-out to Lis, who taught me how to find Fitbit friends.  Without her, I would be working my way to 10,000 daily steps all on my own.

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A boring post about eating healthy food after vacation.

Let’s call a spade a spade.  Half of you are probably secretly wondering if I gained like 15 pounds while we were in Italy and the other half of you are like, Kat is talking about healthy living and watching paint dry is more exciting so we’re going to skip this post.  Live and let live!

If I had to guess, I probably gained somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 pounds or so while we were in Italy.  Whatever.  I didn’t weigh myself before the trip, so this is art, not science.  But it was vacation, we only ate carbs, When In Rome, and all of that.

The food in Italy was really wonderful.  Pizza!  Pasta!  Focaccia!  Tiramisu!  Cannoli!  Sfogliatelle!  Arancini!  Gelato!  Panini!

The portions the restaurants served were very reasonable.  The ingredients were fresh.  We walked a great deal each day.

Eating those things (some or all of them) for a night out is one thing.  But eating those things on a consistent basis for 17 days wreaked absolute havoc on my digestive system.  Would I do it again in a heartbeat?  Yes.  Like I said, the food was wonderful.  But (there is always a but), eating that way for that amount of time really crystalized for me why we eat the way that we do (high protein/vegetables/fruits, low processed carbs).

This is the first time I have come back from vacation and I really haven’t been worried about how many pounds I gained.  Mostly, I just want to feel physically good again, which is crazy I am telling you!  I remember when we got back from our honeymoon and the idea of having to lose vacation weight overwhelmed me.  How far we have come!

I can already tell you that I’ve been off the Italian food bandwagon for 48 hours now and the difference is like night and day.  I knew that when I started eating normal-to-me-food, I would start to feel more like myself (aka like my digestive system was functioning normally), but I had no idea that it would happen SO quickly.  Truly, I just feel better.  Now, I’m just looking forward to a season of springtime that is full of running and enjoying the gorgeous weather and getting the grill uncovered and cleaned up so that we can start doing dinners on the deck again!

Toast.

There was a point in time (for probably at least a year and a half, to be honest) where for breakfast I would eat some baked sweet potato, wilted spinach and top it with a pair of soft fried eggs and hot sauce.

If you’re wondering what that breakfast was actually like, darling Megan wrote a post about it once and all of her photos/instructions are 100% better than anything I could ever construct.

When I got back from the Texas Trip That I Haven’t Blogged About Yet in December, I ate it for a week and was completely repulsed.  I don’t know if I was just “over” the eggs or if it was the whole spinach tastes like earth-thing or what, but I could not do it.

So I’ve been on a bit of a toast crusade for the past month or so.

It has involved a lot of avocado toast.

Avocado Toast

Avocado toast is really not a new thing in this house.  I’ve been known to bring the fixings for lunch during the week if Marcus and I are out of leftovers (I really try to avoid buying lunch at all costs!) and it has made its appearance for breakfast/lunch on the weekend more times than I can count!

I’ve also been actioning a lot of smoked salmon + cream cheese.

Smoked Salmon Toast

Because smoked salmon = fancy.  It has honestly been ages since it has made an appearance on the grocery list and it is one of my favorites.  I remember the first time I ate “lox.”  We were on a Carnival cruise when I was in third grade and we were sitting down to breakfast in the formal dining room (my parents were insistent upon this – we were not buffet eaters).  I don’t know how they determined that an eight year old needed to try bagels and lox for breakfast instead of say, pancakes, but that is what they ordered for me and it has been love ever since.

Considering the fact that it used to take me a solid 15 minutes to get my breakfast assembled in the morning (heating up the spinach and potatoes, frying the eggs, cleaning the pans), clearly these are much faster options.  Toasting has freed up extra time for me to sleep in, log more intense workouts (without having to wake up before 5:00 AM), and to just relax a little bit more as I get ready for my day.

I’ll be honest, switching from my sweet potato-spinach-egg breakfast to this one worried me just a bit, because that meal was loaded with protein and fiber.  But!  This has done a great job of keeping me full.  Next week?   I may just have to try a mashed banana-almond butter-honey-combo.

A New Year’s Day Reality Check

I don’t know about you all, but this has been a long season of eating, drinking, and being merry.

Between Thanksgiving, a trip to Texas, Hanukkah and Christmas, I feel like if I had to describe my efforts at eating healthfully and working out in one word, it would be Subsistence.  I 100% do not regret any of the things I’ve gotten to eat or do over the last five weeks but it is absolutely catching up to me.  My skin is in open revolt, my December running mileage was drastically lower than the other months (four days in a car will do that to you), and I have no idea what my normal routine is actually supposed to look like anymore.

This morning, I decided that I was going to grab a snap from my stint as a member of the 2008 University of Minnesota Homecoming Court in honor of Throwback Thursday and our New Year’s Day bowl game.  As I picked through the trove of pictures from fall/winter of 2008, my heart sank as I looked at one photo after another of a girl who was 70 pounds heavier.

I don’t go through college photos in general, but one after the next, for hundreds of photos this went on.  For some reason this year, it was more difficult as  I scrutinized each one, looking for hints of unhappiness.  But the thing is, I wasn’t unhappy at the time.  The reality is that in my senior year of college, my health and my body were my absolute last priority.  Between a full credit load, working 30 hours a week, being active in my sorority, taking conversion classes, and spending time with Marcus, these things did not even come close to making the list.

Sometimes we’re doing the best we can with what we have.

If ever I needed a reality check, that was a great one.  As the holiday haze wears off, I may be looking at myself in the mirror and asking What happened to you?  That’s a fair question, I think.  But it absolutely made me take a step back, put the claws away, and think about what it is that I really need right now.  The answer to that question is extremely simple: I crave a return to routine.  New routine, old routine, a combination of the two, I’m not terribly picky.  I just want to get back to that ordinary place, whatever it is that ordinary looks like in 2015.

If the uniform fits.

My cheerleading uniform still fits.The Varsity 3 The Varsity 2

And I’m sure you’re wondering, Just exactly how did you figure that out, Kat?

My parents are in the process of purging their house in preparation for a move next spring/summer.  Which means that every week my mother appears with a new bag/box of things that we now must possess, which is only sort of tasking because we live in a two bedroom townhouse that we outgrew the moment Marcus moved in five years ago.  So, lots of space for stuff and things, you know?

Last week’s adventures brought my mother to the discovery of a sweaterbox full of sentimental clothing items.  Think: My infant snowsuit (I was a lamb), my first communion dress, Christmas dresses that my grandmother sewed by hand, the odd romper, and my high school cheerleading uniform.

It was sort of a reunion because I made some of my best high school memories in that uniform, but because I am a glutton for punishment, I absolutely had to try it on and face the heartbreak.

Except for the part where it fit.

Which was sort of unsettling, really.  Because I honestly thought I would be thinner now than I was then.  Yes, seriously.  I’m sure at this point some of you are rolling your eyes thinking, Kat, you’ve lost us.  At that point, I had lost me too.  11 years later, why did I feel that way?  Why was that (of all things) my first reaction?

And so I had to think about that feeling and why, exactly, I felt it.  What I realized is that while I am exactly the same size that I was at 16, I feel so much lighter.

When I was 16, everything was wrong.  My hair wasn’t blonde enough, I wasn’t tall enough, I wasn’t thin enough, I was too loud, I didn’t watch the right cool movies, I didn’t know enough about music to know that the band OAR is pronounced by its initials and not like the word.

In short, I was a teenager and even though I had a very happy home life, friends, and things to do (band!  cheerleading! newspaper! track!), everything was wrong because it sort of has to be at 16 years old.  I doubt I feel the amount of angst in a year that I felt in a day at age 16.

It’s no small wonder I feel so much lighter now.  When I look in the mirror, I truly love the person that I see 100% of the time.  I know that 16-year-old me was not capable of extending that level of kindness to herself.  She was ready to tear herself down before anyone else could even have the chance.  It’s exhausting just to think about, you know?  How thankful I am to have come so far.

Of course I am lighter now.

70 Pounds

I’ll preface this by saying, apparently I have a lot to say lately as I seem to be on quite a streak.  We seem to all agree that my life insurance medical exam was just a little bit bizarre.  And let’s be serious.  It was.

But, besides life insurance rates, there was another good thing to come out of that visit.  Because that forced-march onto the scale showed me that I have officially lost 70 pounds from my highest weight.

Five years ago, when I started my weight loss journey and started to learn what it looked like to be healthy, this is the goal weight I targeted.  I had no idea what that would actually look like, what it would mean, or if it would even be reachable!

About 10 pounds (and two years) ago, I decided that I was at a weight I was happy with.  And by that, I mean that it was a healthy weight for my body size and I was at peace with the person in the mirror.  I was comfortably maintaining my weight, eating well, working out and being able to do all three of those things without worrying about disturbing the balance!

That doesn’t mean that the last 10 pounds came off by accident, because there are no accidents with weight loss.  It’s not that I have been trying to lose weight, but my life (not shockingly) has continued to change.

What has changed?  I haven’t run or trained for a marathon in the last 19 months.  Even though marathon training is easily one of the best things I have ever done in my life, when I marathon train, I gain weight and I gain muscle.  I would do it again in a heartbeat, but that’s just the reality.  I have (tragically) stopped drinking beer because it hasn’t been sitting well.  I’ll still go for it from time to time but it simply isn’t appealing.  I’ve continued to get better about balancing my frosting and sprinkles with my normal meals.  I finally have actual, honest-to-God hunger cues.  Crazy, right?

I remember when I was in the middle of the real, hard, work of losing weight and I would read all of these articles and stories about the person I would become.  How I would feel, what I would be able to do without worrying about all of the weight coming back, what I would actually want to do.  And here I am, living it.

This is normal.

Fall Footwear

It’s fall now.  I know there are some fall-deniers, but considering we might have a morning windchill of 34 degrees during the tail end of the week, I’m feeling pretty comfortable about just accepting it.

My first pair of riding boots are finally (and tragically) biting the dust.  I noticed it last March-April when I took a look at the seams and discovered that there were chunks of pleather that were very literally flaking off.  They are to this day, one of the biggest milestones on my weight loss and healthy living journey.  I don’t know that I’ve ever owned anything else that I have been prouder to wear, really.  Those were the thing I bought where I thought to myself, I finally fit in with everyone else.

Understandably, last spring it was impossible to find a replacement pair because spring is not the season for riding boots.  So I made a mental note to check back in early fall to make sure that I had, you know, a selection.

I ended up ordering two pairs from Payless today because they were doing that BOG50% and there was an additional 10% off + free shipping.

Like, that’s a deal, right?

There’s also the small detail that they make a lot of riding boots with a wide calf option, which is again, the only way I can wear them.  And did I mention that their pleather-ish material stands up really well to road salt and Minnesota winters?  Because yes to that as well.

So these two pairs are in the mail and on their way to our house.

Boots 1 Boots 2

Fingers crossed they fit properly and I do not have to exchange them because we all know that returns defeat the point of internet shopping.  I’ll be sure to report back once they make it through the door!