Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How'd Week One Go?

Week One wasn't *terrible*. It wasn't 100% either, though.

Sugar: I actually did really great on my No Sweet Treats plan all last week (starting Monday) until Saturday. Saturday we attended FOUR birthday parties. Crazy, right? I was pretty proud of myself-- I had planned to have one treat at the last party. That friend is a great baker, and I knew her cake would be worth it. So I withstood the pink funfetti cupcakes at Party #1. I didn't eat the blue Robot cake at party #2. I just dropped the girls off at Party #3, so no temptations there! And I ate one cupcake at Party #4 (plus one chocolate covered pretzel rod). Then Sunday I wanted a trefoil cookie (Girl Scouts!!) and I thought, eh, it'll be fine. 2 cookies won't hurt. That turned into 4 cookies. Then the past few days I've had a cookie here and there. And I think I've kept myself to just one M&M since Saturday.

So the Week 2 Goal related to the Ultimate Cut Out The Sugar Goal, sill stay the same as Week One. Get that sweet treat craving kicked!!


I've been walking more! Yay! I am one workout behind this week-- I had intended to workout on Monday and it just didn't happen. One thing after another built up and it's the old excuse that I didn't get to it. I did work out today and will tomorrow, too to "catch up" on my 3 workouts this week!

Week 2 Goal is staying over-- 3 trainer workouts a week (with walking) and 4 days a week of stretches

Water. Oh. man. I thought this was going to be the easiest of the goals this week, but HAHAHAHA!!
I think I actually drank less water per day than I did even before I started this goal. I have no excuses or reasons. I either didn't want it, didn't think of it until later, or or or. Definitely need to step up my game this week!!

Exciting thing this week! I am planning my annual Labor Day Mommy's weekend off trip! Some friends and I are definitely hitting a beach this year! All the more reason to get healthy over the next few months!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Week One: Goals

I know it's Wednesday, but maybe I'll roll over each week on Wednesdays? Start when and where you are-- no reason to wait until the arbitrary Monday!

Ultimate goal: Cut out all added sugar
Week 1 goal: Cut out sweet treats. 

I never thought I had a sweet tooth until I started paying attention!!
-B is currently potty training and gets M&Ms for his successes (I know, I know... food rewards aren't the best. We tried other things at first, but this is what is actually working). He would get 2 M&Ms, and I would get 2 M&Ms. Or 5. or 10.
-Girl Scout cookies are in my house. I tell myself I can eat just 2 and be satisfied. But I end up eating a third, and sometimes fourth after lunch. Then another 2-3-4 after dinner.
-When I drink my coffee I either like it really gussied up (mmmm maple & brown sugar lattes...), OR I like my plain old regular lattes and coffee with cinnamon toast or some sort of sweet roll or chocolate.

This needs to stop. I'm going to talk more about this concept later, but I am an Abstainer. It means I don't do moderation well (this is part of my eating disorder behavior, too). I'm an all or nothing sort of person and for this stage of my work, I am just going to abstain from sweet treats all together. When I feel more secure, and when these items are less of a binge temptation, I will see if I can add them back in once a week or something.

Ultimate Goal: Do some sort of workout/body movement/stretching activity every day
Week 1 Goal: Complete trainer workout (including a short walk) 3 times a week. Do stretching program on the off days. 

This goes with the Abstainer idea. I need to make sure I am doing something intentional to move my body every single day. If left to my own devices, especially in these cold winter months (It's not even 30* here today!), I just cuddle up under a blanket and read books all day. Luckily, my kids help with this sedentary lifestyle some. I am always going up stairs to check on them, picking things up around the house, chasing B down the sidewalk when we go pick up the girls. When it's warmer/my back is fully healed, we will walk the girls to and from school again. I did this the entire first semester, and it was great! It is .6 miles to their school, so it was really nice to walk about 2 miles each school day. I'm looking forward to that happening again!

I do have a trainer and she is awesome. I see her just once a month, where she comes to my home and goes through the month's exercises with me. Then I get an emailed plan of my workouts for the month. This is really the best set up for me. The gym isn't a good option for me right now, plus everything I need to do to get my core strengthened I can do at home. Her plans include doing the week's work out 3 days. I am doing a stretching set she put together for me the very first week when I was still pretty injured on the off days to keep the healing process going.

Ultimate goal: Drink 120 ounces of water every day. 
Week 1 goal: Drink 80 ounces of water each day this week. 

This is obvious, right? Water is important. I hear all the time you should drink the number of ounces that equals half of your weight, so this is sort of around there. Seems like a good place to start and adjustments can be made as needed. That's a LOT of water. I have a 20oz straw bottle I'm using, but I need to figure out how much I am actually drinking because I need ice in my water.

I guess those are my current ultimate goals. Notice I am not focusing on a number of pounds to lose in these big goals. I won't try to be all high and mighty about it-- the numbers are definitely in the back of my mind. But I am really going to try to keep them there-- in the back of the mind. I want to keep the focus on building healthy habits, and creating goals that are sustainable long term for me.

I'll be back early next week with a post about the whole Abstainer/Moderator concept!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Starting over. At the bottom of the mountain.

*Deep Breath*

I'm starting over.

7 years ago, I lost 60 pounds. My goal, my "why" was to get pregnant. And boy did I-- our twins are 6 years old now. I gained 90 pounds during the twin pregnancy, though my doctor has said at least 30 of that was water weight I put on due to pre-eclampsia. But still. 90.pounds.

After the girls (A & N) were a year old, I lost 60 pounds. Again. I did spin, bootcamp, running, weights. The whole shebang. Between losing the water weight and then the workouts, I still had 30 pounds of the twin weight on when I got pregnant again.

With my singleton, I gained just under 40 pounds.  I was pretty happy about it, and my doctor was, too. I lost 20 of those as soon as B was born. But I had learned when I was nursing the girls that I was one of those women who can't lose weight while nursing. My OB tried to make me feel better by saying that it means hundreds of years ago, my babies and I would have been the ones to survive famines and droughts. Didn't help a ton, but thanks. my goal while nursing is just to not gain weight, and then once weaned, my body lets the pounds go a little more easily. Plus, I am not chained to my baby and can get out and walk and exercise more easily.

But. Oh, here's a big but. when the baby (B) was 5 months old, I had my thyroid removed. It has been 2 years of tumult trying to get my meds figured out. I gained 40 pounds in the 6 months directly following my surgery. Let me assure you, this is not because of any particularly bad habits. My levels were so low, I barely got out of bed, and I surely didn't waste energy walking from the couch to the fridge when I was that low.

I've done some stops and starts these past two years and I have lost 12-13 pounds from the Most I Have Ever Weighed. I have a long, long way to go.  Let's add it up: 30 twin pounds, 20 Bennett pounds. 40 thyroid pounds. (90pounds) and then subtract the 12 I've lost-- I still have 78 pounds to get down to my lowest weight ever. I'm not sure if that's my ultimate goal, though, at this point. We're going to go 10 pounds at a time and see where I land. Where I'm comfortable. Where I'm not obsessed with each calorie, but able to enjoy life and food around me.

In January, I hurt my back while doing yoga. One of those "damn right I have the availability to do boat post" moments that you regret the day after. It took 6 weeks before I could walk upright again. I'm 10 weeks from the injury, and I can still feel my back getting tired REALLY fast. I am also noticing some disordered eating popping up here and there (I have been treated twice for an eating disorder. I will probably talk more about this in another post).

So I need to get back in it. I need some accountability. So I will be posting to this blog a couple of times a week. If you still follow this blog at all and it randomly popped up today, feel free to comment. Support is good. Accountability is good.

I am ready to work.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Diet Struggles-- a mind game

So, obviously the past few weeks I've not been blogging. The main reason for this is that I've been completely ignoring dieting. I've chosen to actively ignore the need on many different levels to watch what I put into my mouth and instead wallow in self-pity and the "unfairness of it all". Because I'm human and I'm weary. I'm flat out weary of not having a "normal" body (I'll pause here while we all laugh at how I think everyone who is skinny doesn't struggle with food on any sort of level and that their bodies don't rebel in some way some how and that everyone who is skinny is automatically happy and has their life completely pulled together). I'm weary of telling myself no.

The truth is that is just sucks and it's hard to completely change habits. It takes willpower and effort and generally being un-lazy. I'm so not good with being un-lazy.

So for the past 3 weeks, I have half-heartedly gotten up and gone to the gym maybe 2 days a week. I go on my "easy" days- Thursday when I work out on my own and can therefore do 15 minutes on the elliptical and 10 crunches and say "well, that's better than nothing" and go home to a bagel and coffee and Friday when I go to yoga in the middle of the morning without my kids and while it's a pretty good workout, it's more about having 'me time' built in away from the "stress" of being at home. I know I'm using a copious amount of quotation marks here which are mostly technically grammatically incorrect, but I want you to know that these  phrases I'm using I don't 100% believe myself.

I also quit tracking my calories and told myself I can "keep up with it in my head" (I can't) and "eh, I'm pretty sure I'm close" (I wasn't). So I gained 3 pounds in about 2 weeks. I'm back at having lost less than 30 pounds and that REALLY BUGS ME.

Today, I was getting back on the wagon. I had a horrendous day yesterday (If you every looked at my food journal yesterday, you'll see that I never recorded dinner when I had 350 calories left in the day-- yeah. that was on purpose).  Today already kind of stinks. I made a poor choice for snack (coffee cake made by a friend. Sooo good.. but you know, not.) My goal over the next few weeks is to record everything. Even if I'm over my 1200 calories for the day. ESPECIALLY when I'm over my 1200 calories for today. I need to acknowledge these failures. I need to pray. I need to do a lot of things besides tooling around the internet thinking about which iPhone case I should get.

There's my confession. I'm here to work on myself. I will not be motivated to say no 100% of the time-- I will not lose the next 50 lbs overnight (though, at times I really do think and say to God "You know how hard I"m working-- can't you just make this happen more easily??? I know you can!" but more on that whole struggle another day).

We'll talk again tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Bleh. I went over in my calories today-- roughly 150 over. There were so many things I could have done differently for that not to have been the case, and I even thought of doing some of them a few times, but I didn't. Why? I have plenty of excuses. Wednesday is my off day from exercise-- my body needs time to rest. Tara, this doesn't mean you can't take a 30 minute walk with a stroller. You could have totally burned off that extra little snack. We had friends over for lunch (always fun!!) and both of the women who joined us are nursing mothers so THEY got (and totally should have!) to have an extra croissant with the chicken salad. I had one, too. That's 90 calories right there. One of the guests brought some Uh-mazing brownies with her. I totally ate one. That's 110 calories that were 100% WORTH IT. But I should have done something to counteract it.

Tomorrow I'm doing my incline program at the gym. I typically do 30 minutes and then just head home. I think tomorrow I'll do the 30 minute incline program and then something else (rowing? yoga? ab work? hmm...) for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sounds weird, but it was so good!

I had a roasted grape, goat cheese and honey stuffed sweet potato for lunch today. I know, it sounds weird. Roasted grapes? Sweet potatoes with what cheese? Yeah. well. It was fabulous. Go here and get the recipe and make it. Well, if you like goat cheese. You definitely taste that awesome tang, and if you already you know you hate goat cheese, you will probably hate this. But still go roast some grapes. Cause they.were.awesome.  And the whole thing was about 250 calories (medium sized potato, and I'm out of honey so I used agave nectar). Just delicious. Yum.

And here's today's accountability. If you look right this instant, obviously dinner isn't up yet, but we're having Lebanese style beef patties. Just 340 calories and super flavorful. I'll share that recipe next Monday, I think! Oh, and we have LifeGroup tonight, so hopefully I can handle myself with the snacks. That's always a hard time for me. I don't want to make the hostess/snack provider feel bad and think "well my snack isn't good enough/healthy enough/whatever for that Tara Salsman. hmmph." And goodness knows I WANT to try it... and try it again... and about 12 times. But I also know that if I eat just one cookie, I'm going to end up eating 4. I'm horrible at portion control. I'm really an all-or-nothing sort of eater most of the time. But I'm working on it. I promise. Check out my food journal later tonight to see how I did!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A few words on breakfast and notes on a weekend

Happy Monday morning, folks. Apparently I'm not a weekend blogger. I'm ok with that-- I wasn't entirely sure how weekends would shape up in the blogging world since we sleep in (kind of... we do have 2 toddlers) and I don't formally exercise or typically record food intake on Saturday and Sunday. So Monday-Friday seems to be when I'm able to hop on.

So breakfast. I'm finding that a lot of dieters/lifestyle changers really struggle with breakfast. Some people's former go-tos are now perceived as off-limits. No more sugary cereal; no more PopTarts; bacon or no bacon? There just seems to be so much confusion about what will be filling and truly break the overnight fast and get you to lunch time and still stay within calorie and nutrient restrictions.

Last Monday, I posted a recipe for pumpkin pie baked oatmeal which has 190 calories per serving. I try to stay around 300 calories for breakfast (then there's 400 for lunch, 400 for dinner and 100 for a snack). However, that is just my personal preference. If you'd rather have a bigger breakfast and cut back at lunch, go for it! It's all about what is sustainable and works within your lifestyle.

I have noticed in my own diet and in the diet of many around me that we (Americans? Mid-Americans? my little group of friends & family? I'm not really sure how to define the 'we') are somedays severely lacking in vegetables. Scott and I are members of a CSA, so we do have access to a lot of fresh produce that I am struggling to learn to cook and use effectively (this is our first year); but some people I talk to say things like "I know I need to eat more kale/chard/greens/green vegetables, but I have no idea what to do with them and/or what I tried last week tasted TERRIBLE." I'll admit, greens take a little getting used to and take some creativity and really good recipes to actually ENJOY for me. I have a friend who loves greens and seems to eat them constantly (I'm sure this isn't true, though). I've been trying a lot of different things, and one that has worked REALLY well for me has been adding kale to my scrambled eggs in the morning. I know, I know you guys are thinking "WHAT?!!? I don't need greens THAT badly! KALE! for BREAKFAST?!" Yeah, I thought the same thing. But guys. I have one serving of veggies under my belt alread and it's not even 8am. And it adds extra volume to my breakfast and I almost couldn't finish my eggs this morning. So give it a shot. I think you'll like it! Here's my method:

1. slice up one (or half of one if they're big) apple & maple chicken sausage (I used meijer brand). Saute over medium-low heat in a pan sprayed with cooking spray. Let it get a little brown, but not too much.
2. While the sausage is browning, chop up a nice handful of kale. I used 2 small leaves. Remove the middle rib and chop leaves into 1" cubes. I used organic red kale, but any sort of tender green like chard, any sort of kale, or whatever you have on hand should work well. I wouldn't use more bitter greens like turnips or collards. Those need to be cooked longer.
3. Add kale to the pan with the sausage and saute until bright green and a little wilted. My kale hasn't been wilting very much lately, so just saute for 3ish minutes. Remove sausage and kale from pan.
4. Scramble one or two large eggs (so stir up in a separate bowl, add a tablespoon of milk and a pinch of salt & pepper) in the same pan. Just before set, when it still looks a little wet, add back the kale and sausage and mix together.
5. Sprinkle with some grated fresh Parmesan (just a tablespoon or so). Stir to melted and then eat! I had a whole wheat frozen waffle (Van's brand) with mine, but any bread product would be great.

Let me know how you like it!

Today's food diary can be found here: