Monday, January 31, 2011

Where Does the Time Go?

It seems, the older I get, the faster and faster time goes by. I'm pretty darn sure that is just a side effect of aging. But please, time, just for this week, can you slow down just a little bit? If you've ready any of the past few posts, you know that I have 3 tests this week (I just knocked out the first one, about an hour ago). So I have 2 to go. And if there is anything more stressful than trying to study for 2 (previously 3) tests in one week, it's trying to study for those tests while trying to find time to workout and eat healthy. 

I was talking to an old softball friend from back in my travel ball days, (shout-out to Brandi! Love ya girl!) and we were discussing how time is such a mean, mean culprit of college weight gain. As I was musing about this as I walked the track at the gym, I figured that there is probably someone from almost every stage of life with this problem. For us college students it's labs, tests, piles of homework, fraternity/sorority events, and just the cheapness and ease of fast food on a tight time budget. For parents of younger children, its basketball practice, church, gymnastics, soccer, and just trying to appease your kid's picky eating. And for those with teenagers, (I know my mom has a problem with this) it's cooking something that everyone likes, can fill everyone up, and just getting everyone to the meal at the same time. There are so many other situations that take up time in everyone's life, and it definitely takes a toll on all of our diets!

So something I've learned from Weight Watchers is that you CAN eat fast food, but like everything in life, you have to make the right choices! Yes, you can have that Big Mac - but I promise you will feel guilty about that later. When fast food is absolutely the only way that I can eat that night, I try to go to KFC. Their grilled chicken is hardly any points and they offer some good veggies for sides! I normally have no problem giving away that biscuit away to someone at the frat house and can eat the rest of the meal guilt free! Another good option that normally pops up when you think of fast food dieting is Subway. Yes, Subway can be really good (I mean c'mon look at Jared), but be careful. Cheese and other condiments (yes, I count cheese as a condiment - it's a sneaky diet wrecker!) can really hurt you without you even thinking about it! I can almost promise you that making your own sandwich is going to be healthier (and cheaper!) than a Subway sandwich.  Yet another "drive-thru diet" is this Taco Bell Fresco menu. Yes, last semester I would eat off this menu for late night snacks, but I am trying to completely steer clear of the Bell (check out the nutritional values). Not to mention, it takes a little more to fill me up than an itty bitty burrito!

What do I do instead of fast food? I try my darnedest to plan my food out for the week. I normally know what is going to be going on for the next week in advanced, so I can plan my meals accordingly - whether it be a Soup at Hand and a turkey sandwich or a grilled chicken breast with vegetables. Another thing that has come in really handy as a college student (for those of you who aren't in college, I'm sorry!) is the cafeteria. I normally pop in there right after my workout for some fruit and a sandwich piled high with veggies - it's delicious! One last thing that I try to make sure is in my kitchen is edamame. If you know me at all you know that more times than not, I will be walking around with a little baggie or bowl of edamame pods. It is a delicious alternative to french fries or potato chips! So today I leave you to ponder your fast food habits and that a little planning can go a long way!

P.S. College kids - when you're studying for that test take a 30 min break and exercise. It's a great stress release!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Shake it up!

I am having a lazy, rainy Sunday studying for my three tests I have coming up this week. So, I'm just going to give you just a fun little happy of mine. I recently had to retire my good ole New Balances - they were some great tennis shoes! Dick's had a sale on the Easytone by Reebok shoes, (40% off!) so I grabbed a pair!

I mean who wouldn't want a rear-end like that? Plus, I catch myself singing that commercial song more times than not. Now, I think that we should all realize that owning and wearing a pair of these shoes isn't going to make a huge difference in our lower half without putting any other effort in. BUT - I love these shoes. They are super comfy and make walks across campus fun. It feels like you're walking on mini exercise balls (which is pretty much what they are).  My absolute favorite thing about them? When you're in spin class - doing standing climbs or jumps or whatnot - they provide extra cushion for the balls of your feet while giving you a little bit more of a push.

Well, I lied. My ABSOLUTE favorite thing about them, is the inspiration I get from them. It's not like a mushy- gushy uplifting inspiration, but the inspiration to dance. Yes, if I am wearing these shoes, I want to dance. And not like just kind of shuffling around - I'm talking spinning and hopping from foot to foot and making an absolute fool out of myself. I'll put in my headphones and go crazy. My roommates have caught me from time to time in the kitchen cooking and doing my "easy-tone commercial dance." I am pretty sure it might have scarred them for life, and here I apologize. I am talking I get excited to clean my bathroom, because I get to dance. I'm doing laundry - I'm dancing in my shoes. If you have never questioned my sanity before, I am almost positive you are questioning it now - it's okay, I do it too sometimes!

But anyways, to get to the point I've been trying to get to all along - if you walk, run, or any type of exercise and you've wanted these shoes, get them! They're really fun and you know, you might find yourself just wanting to dance (and hey! dancing burns calories!). But of course, you don't have to have these shoes to be crazy like me! Just put on some music and dance - it not only gets that heart-rate up and burns calories, but I'll guarantee you that it WILL make your day ten times better!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weekend Recipe

Okay sorry to be so late posting today but I thought it would be a waste of a GLORIOUSLY beautiful day to do anything but lay out side and soak up some Vitamin D (which has some great health benefits). So if you saw my Facebook status today, yes I really did layout (it was 75 degrees here in Starkville!) I couldn't quit thanking God for giving us such a great day! And did you see that sunset? He is WONDERFUL!

As I am typing this, I am eating some absolutely delicious asparagus. Some of my frat brothers enjoy stealing pieces when I cook it, so I thought y'all might enjoy it too! Thanks to Mom for this addictive (but healthy!) recipe!

You'll need:
            20 stalks of thin asparagus (this is about 1/2 of the bundle you can buy at Wal-mart)
            Olive Oil (in a sprayer - if you're cheap like me you can just use a spray water bottle)
            2 tbsp of GRATED Parmesan cheese (shredded will not work - trust me)

Lightly spray your pan/cookie sheet with Olive Oil. Break the bottom of the stalk off and lay the pieces on your pan. Spray your asparagus with olive oil (lightly!) and then sprinkle with the cheese!

Bake at 350 for around 8-10 minutes until your cheese browns! Sit down and enjoy!!

And I'm going to go ahead and warn you - when you go to the bathroom after eating this beware of the asparagus pee! It's a pretty interesting chemical reaction in your body but I won't bore you (you can read about it here.)

So I leave you for tonight to go study (on a Saturday night woohoo). I hope you had a great Saturday and a fantastic Sunday!

Friday, January 28, 2011

So far + My Motivators

So, for me, Week 5 started on Wednesday (the 26th). I know I'm a month behind on starting this blog, but I'm going to catch you up really quickly.

     Week 1 - It came off quickly! -9lbs Spent most of the week trying to figure out the WW system.
     Week 2 - And then I lost too quickly - 10lbs Looking back, I had a lot of weight to lose and had a drastic change in diet and exercise, so my body kind of freaked out - and I paid for it in week three.
     Week 3- Then I gained weight! +3lbs This is very discouraging, and I will discuss this later in the blog.
     Week 4 - And I lost again. -5lbs Then the WW site fussed at me for losing more than 3lbs in a week.

So, for a grand total, as of Wednesday morning (the beginning of Week 5) I've lost 21lbs (give or take a tenth of a pound). "21lbs in one month? That's unhealthy!" you say. Yes, I agree. For Week 1 and Week 2, I hadn't fully grasped the concept of Weight Watchers yet. I thought if I ate below my given daily points allowance then I would be fine - how wrong I was! For those of you not familiar with WW, you're given an allowance of "points" everyday, with some "weekly points" if you want a treat or if you go over your daily allowance. Every food, every taste, every bite has a point value and you need to count it. I did pretty good about that - but I was only eating about half of my daily points! So for Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3, I was sufficiently starving myself and my metabolism was not pleased. While it was sufficient for getting the lbs off quickly, my body didn't have the nutrients it needed for the rigorous 1-2 hour workout I was putting it through daily, and it rebounded by going into the ever-feared starvation mode. It held onto that nasty fat like no tomorrow - and I gained weight!

But I took this as a challenge for me and a chance for you to learn from my mistake. YOU HAVE TO EAT! You just have to make the right choices. Pick the food that will keep you fuller longer (Mmmm Mmmm gotta love that protein and fiber), eat lean meats, and eat your fruits and veggies and eat these things 4-6 times a day! I know I sound like your mom here but I promise, if you eat fruits and vegetables to help fill you up (never eat past when you're full no matter the food -it stretches your stomach out!) then you WILL lose weight. Choose green beans over french fries, strawberries over that brownie and you will be happier when the day is over! Also, if you have a few days where you haven't lost any weight, try eating a little bit more one day (bump up that caloric intake about 300 - 500 calories). This reminds your metabolism that you are NOT dying of starvation!

Now, goals, goals, goals. I've always been one to shoot for the stars, set a big goal, and fail miserably. This go around I have set myself small goals that are easily achievable. My new obsession is nail polish. Callie Torres from Grey's Anatomy always has the best nail polish - and every Thursday when I see it I immediately want to go buy whatever color she is wearing. But I digress. So, my motivator is every time I lose 10 lbs I get a new nail polish! YAY! It is a fantastic motivator for me to hit my goals, and I have pretty, pretty fingers. I'm going to brand-drop here and tell you that my absolute favorite is Sally Hanson's Insta-Dri. It covers in one coat and it dries so quick I don't have time to mess it up! So for my first -10lbs I purchased 'Sick Slate' and it is by far my absolute favorite nail polish of all!

For the next -10lbs I purchased 'Uptempo Plum,' and it's pretty darn fantastic, too!

And yes, if you were wondering, I stopped mid blog to repaint my nails. I'm sorry, but it is definitely an addiction!

So I leave you today with the challenge to pick something small and fun you love as a motivator! It really truly gives you an extra push to get that poundage off!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Little Green Dress

Ah, the Little Green Dress. It is somewhat of a legend in the Steadman household. It is the dress I wore on my first day of senior year at Ardmore High School, and I wore the very same dress for Freshman Orientation for Mississippi State University. Of course, as the college years have gone by, the scale has gone higher and higher - and I don't mean that it has creeped up. I can gain weight so quickly the stretch marks can't even keep up!  Over the past three years, when I would visit my parents in Ardmore, my mother would tell me "I want my daughter in the green dress back!" Since I am what some people (ahem, Sandie Steadman a.k.a. Mom, ahem) would call "hard-headed" I would take this negatively - instead of as encouragement, as I am sure it was meant - and normally a tear-filled fit would be thrown quickly after. Now, I shall show the picture of the green dress from the first day of school followed by the picture that has changed my life.

This second picture was definitely a wake up call if I've ever had one. It was taken on December 24, 2010 at my Nanny's house, with my extremely fit younger sister, and my extremely tall younger brother.  As we got home from Nanny's for Christmas Eve, I looked through the pictures on Mom's camera. At first glance, I wondered "Who is that fat girl with my shirt on?" Then it hit me. I was horrified! I, at that point, decided something absolutely had to be done. I hadn't stepped on a scale, nor worked out, since summer and I had no idea what I weighed. Of course, no one wants to be on a diet for Christmas day, so I decided I would give myself a few days to enjoy the holidays (and the candies that comes with it) and then it was time for food rehab! As I lay around the house for the next few days (we were snowed in! I still can't get over our white Christmas!) I noticed the Weight Watchers free sign-up deal. Then I saw Cecelia - a college student who lost 70 lbs! I thought "If she can do it, I can do it!" So I took the debit card, and signed up!

So, the purpose of this blog is to (hopefully) act as a way to rejoice and vent about my struggles in weight-loss. Also, I hope to post the stuff that works for me and encourage others who are trying to lose weight, too. No, I will not use this blog to tell you every bite of food I ate that day - that's what twitter is for right? I promise, I will try my darnedest not to bore anyone to death! And as a little side note, the reason the blog is named "Never a Size Six" is that, like it says, I will NEVER be a size six. It's something that I long ago came to terms with, and it no longer bothers me. At my smallest, (the summer between my junior and senior year) I was a size 10. Of course this will take some work, so come on over every once in a while and check out my progress! I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I do writing it!