Abs are made in the kitchen

I’ve been bitching a lot about not being able to hit the gym, because, despite my thunder thighs saying otherwise, I actually love to exercise. To me, nothing’s more satisfying than feeling the sweat drip during a particularly grueling work-out.

I’m still out of commission because of my toe, but that doesn’t mean that my weight loss efforts have gone down the toilet. I’ve just taken a different approach and focused entirely on my food intake (for the moment, anyway). To that end, I’ve summarized two important factors that have helped me lose some extra blubber.

Eat clean, yo!

As you’ve probably gathered from my bazillion mentions of the Eat-Clean Diet, it works. I’ve done the whole fad diet thing in the past, gaining everything back and then some when I resumed my normal eating habits. I have someΒ  friends who even pulled a Beyonce and tried the Master Cleanse (drinking nothing but lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper). I cannot stress enough: These. Diets. Do. Not. Work.

I love the principles behind clean eating (excuse me while I wax poetic about it): You’re not counting carbs, you’re not ingesting weird diet pills and you’re not depriving yourself of any one food group (unless you count processed junk as a food group). I read about one diet that completely eliminates vegetables from your diet. Fuck that noise! You really think that will help you lose weight? If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.

By eating clean, you nourish your body with whole, natural foods that keep everything in tip-top shape. EverythingΒ  tastes so fresh and vibrant once you wean yourself off sugar and excess salt (as much as the withdrawal sucks in the beginning). For more information, refer to my previous post Eating clean and getting lean (hopefully) or hit up the Eat-Clean Diet website.

Pound back that H2O

I generally drank a lot of water before I started eating clean, but I know it’s a challenge for some people to chug two or three litres a day. Trust me when I say that drinking enough water is uber-important. Don’t like the “taste” of water? (I never did understand that one.) Try adding lemon slices, mint leaves or whatever tickles your fancy.

I notice a huge difference when I don’t drink enough H2o — I get headaches, I get constipated and I get cranky. (Seriously, run in the other direction if you happen to catch me when I’m dehydrated.) It’s been proven over and over again how essential it is to drink lots of water when you’re trying to lose weight. An added bonus? Your skin glows from the inside out. When I first upped my water intake a few years ago, I noticed a visible difference in my, um, glowiness within a week (and others commented on it, too).

So what does this mean for me?

I’ve heard over and over again that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. I now believe it. Though I’m still counting the days until I can re-join my boot camp (29 to go!), I am confident that I can keep losing, barring any major plateaus.

Oh, and the temptation of the massive buffet/unlimited alcohol in Jamaica (21 days to go!). πŸ˜‰

 

The dreaded weekly weigh-in: week 11

Starting weight – 229.6 lbs
Last week – 211.6 lbs
This week – 209.2 lbs

Total weight lost – 20.4 lbs

Go, fat girl, it’s your birthday! I’m happy to reach the 20-pound mark, but kind of sad that a lot of my recent weight loss is probably muscle loss while I’m on hiatus from the gym/boot camp/Zumba. Le sigh.

On the plus side, I’ve taken on some new freelance clients, who are definitely keepin’ me busy. This week, I worked over 30 hours for one client alone (hence the lack of blog posts). Let’s just say that coffee has been a staple in my diet for the past few days.

Also exciting (to me, anyway): My boyfriend bought the juicer! I can’t wait to make me some veggie juice.

Here’s to keeping my sanity during this busy time! Cheers!

Give me the juice!

Hi, my name is Andrea and I’m addicted to vegetable juice.

No, really, I’m on a massive veggie juice kick — not some stupid “lose 12 pounds in a week” gimmicky detox diet or fast or anything. I just really, really dig veggie juice.

I hated it for the longest time. Drink ground-up salad? No thanks, I’d rather bathe with a toaster. But once I reached adulthood, my tastebuds must have changed. I went through a ridiculous amount of tomato juice before I ventured into hardcore-veggie-drinking territory.

With a sea of Chinese and lame chain restaurants in my work area, there isn’t much I can eat without blowing my meal plan. But my coworker just informed me of a little cafΓ© hidden in a nearby office building. In addition to a slew of I-can’t-believe-these-are-healthy salads, wraps and smoothies, my new favourite haunt also serves veggie juice. Lots and lots of veggie juice. I’m in clean-eating heaven!

My favourite combo? Carrot, beet and cucumber. I still don’t like super-carrot-heavy juices because, quite frankly, they taste like camel piss (not an exact description). Beets, however, sweeten the juice — although I don’t really need any extra sweetener because I’m sweet enough already (*boom*tish*). Also amazing in juice? Spinach, believe it or not. I’ll throw a handful of it into my fruit smoothies because 1) it adds a bazillion nutrients and 2) you can’t even taste it, so it’s also a staple in my veggie juices.

Yesterday, my boyfriend told me he’s going to use part of his bonus to buy a juicer, so now I’ll be able to juice my little heart out at home. I knew there was a reason I’m keeping him around.

Anyone have any recipe suggestions for a juicin’ noob?

The dreaded weekly weigh-in: week 10

Starting weight – 229.6 lbs
Last week – 213.4 lbs
This week – 211.6 lbs

Total weight lost – 18 lbs

Uh, hell yeah! I had another bad week, food-wise, thanks to my boyfriend’s birthday celebrations. (Don’t worry, babe, I won’t hold it against you…unless you keep leaving the toilet seat up, too.) A rather conservative list of the junk I inhaled this week:

  • Lasagna dinner at the boyfriend’s mom’s house
  • An embarrassing amount of chocolate cake with lots o’ icing
  • German buffet dinner with schnitzel, potato salad, spaetzle — the works

Oh, and that’s not counting the Big Mac and fries I wolfed down after a few too many gin and tonics on Friday. (Hey, it was St. Patrick’s Day weekend, give me a break.)

Even so, I still managed to lose some weight. How? No idea. I have a feeling some of it was muscle mass since I’m still out of boot camp and Zumba until my toe heals. My doc told me absolutely no exercise, so I’ve basically been sitting around, twirling my thumbs. It sucks, to put it bluntly.

When that toe heals, I will be a force to be reckoned with. Just you wait!

One fat cat

“When the lasagna content in my blood gets low, I get mean.” -Garfield

I recently realized that Garfield and I share many similar qualities: we’re both fat, lazy and snarky as hell. And, like Garfield, I love lasagna. As one might imagine, lasagna, for the most part, is not a staple on a clean-eating diet. (Why do I do this to myself again?)

I’m sure there’s a clean version of lasagna floating around out there somewhere, but the following recipe is the next best thing. Seriously, it tasted just like real, honest-to-goodness, gooey-cheese-bubbling-on-top lasagna.

Even though I’ve been venturing into the kitchen a little more, I am by no means a master chef — but even I could make this dish, which I found on the My Fitness Pal forums and modified slightly.

Without further ado, I present to you…

Artichoke and spinach penne casserole

4 cups cooked multi-grain penne
6 cups (loosely packed) baby spinach (I loves me my spinach — I swear I was Popeye in a past life)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (24 oz) jar marinara, no sugar added (I used President’s Choice Blue Menu marinara)
1 (14.5 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half
1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
1 cup part-skim, shredded mozzarella
1 cup low-fat ricotta
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon sea salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup parmesan

Directions

1) Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Cook penne to your liking.
3) Chop or tear spinach leaves into small pieces. (Side note: Tearing six cups’ worth of spinach takes a while. Next time, I’m choppin’ those bad boys.)
4) Add olive oil to a large skillet, heat to medium-low, add spinach and cook just until wilted.
5) In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked penne, marinara, wilted spinach and artichokes, then toss to combine.
6) In another large mixing bowl, combine cheeses (except parmesan), egg white, salt, black pepper and oregano.
7) In a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish, add 1/2 of penne mixture, top with 1/2 of cheese mixture and continue layering until all ingredients have been used. The cheese mixture should be the top layer.
8) Sprinkle parmesan over pasta and additional black pepper if desired. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
9) Pace yourself as you eat the deliciousness that is this casserole.

My boyfriend is a lasagna addict and he absolutely loved this dish. I think it’s the first time I’ve heard him say, “We have to make this again!” The only substitution? Next time, we’re going to try adding mushrooms and removing the artichokes (neither of us really like artichokes, we discovered).

There you have it, folks: a recipe that gets both the clean-eating and lasagna-addict stamps of approval.

No laughing matter

Are fat girls funnier than their size-2 counterparts?

We’ve all heard the old adage that fat people tend to be nicer, funnier, smarter, (insert non-superficial quality here). You know, because our looks aren’t on par with society’s standards, we need to be insanely funny or charming to prove our worth. (I’m kidding, obvs. I’m not really that jaded…I think.)

Sad as it is, the reality is that people perceive you differently when you’re overweight.

Image

Even the movie and television industries play on the fat-girl angle. There are several ways writers spin fat characters, the first of which is actually pretty common: a) they make the character extremely funny/witty or super raunchy in an attempt to be funny or b) they resort to uber-lame jokes like having the character break a chair or get stuck in a waterslide (legitimately a big fear of mine).

News flash: Not every fat girl is as quick as a whip when it comes to humour (and not everyone thinks a fat girl breaking a chair is funny). Though I laugh at my own corny jokes, I don’t actually think I’m funny. I have a really dry, snarky sense of humour (shocking, I know) and have zero comedic timing in real life. I’m a really bad storyteller, let alone joke-teller.

Lots of fat people use humour as a shield. Lord knows I try to. I’d rather own my ghetto boo-tay and make fun of it myself than have someone else point it out to me. But you know what my main motivation is when attempting to crack a joke? I want to deflect attention from my body and be known as someone other than “the fat chick.”

Superficial? You better believe it. Sad? Yes, ma’am. But it’s a defense mechanism, one that I hope to break as I regain my confidence.

And that, folks, is no laughing matter.

The dreaded weekly weigh-in: week nine

Starting weight – 229.6 lbs
Last week – 213.6 lbs
This week – 213.4 lbs

Total weight lost – 16.2 lbs

Pity party is over, folks! I can’t believe I actually lost weight this week. It was a baaaaaaad week for me. Too many cheat meals. Too many caesars and Long Islands. Too much ugly crying. And no boot camp, to boot (ha).

Yep, boot camp and Zumba are officially a no-go until my stupid toe heals. That leaves me with the gym — more specifically, the free weights and certain resistance machines. On the plus side, I’ll be ripped before my much-anticipated trip to Jamaica next month. (Not really.)

I’m already channeling the Jamaican spirit. I keep singing, “Don’t worry ’bout a thing…because ev-ry-li-ttle thing’s gonna be alright.” Yeah, mon.