Non Scale Victory Friday!

It’s Non-Scale Victory Friday! I had a lot of positive things happen this week. You can find the first Non-Scale Victory Friday here, and so without further ado!

  1. I went shopping last night after my run and bought so many whole foods and then proceeded to cook most of it into healthy meals for the upcoming week. My fingers still smell like garlic this morning!
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My grocery haul for the week. So yummy!
  1. I ran the ZOOM Annapolis 10k on Saturday! I already wrote about that, but the bit thing was that I classified the race as “fun!” I was talking about it to my boyfriend after and he stopped me and said “Do you realize you’ve never described running as ‘fun’ before?” He’s right too! So yay for running being fun!
  2. My church had their annual Greek Festival this past weekend. After jet skiing I was starving so I stopped by and got some food. Once there I was craving french fries much more than usual (I think it was the salt). I bought a serving of them and enjoyed about ten, and then I stopped! I LOVE french fries, they are easily one of my favorite foods, but so unhealthy, so I try to avoid them. Still I’m so glad that I didn’t deny myself a craving, I let myself thoroughly enjoy every unhealthy bite, and then, most importantly, stopped when I’d had enough.
  3. I was so sore on Monday after running, jet skiing, and water skiing the previous Saturday, but I still managed to go for a short two mile run! After those two miles I had to stop though. My legs were so mad at me!

What were your non-scale victories this week? Share them in the comments below, and have a great weekend!

39 Thoughts I Had While Swimsuit Shopping

As I mentioned on Monday I recently found out that I need a new swimsuit because my old one has become far too large. YAY…..

It’s good news. It means I’m becoming healthier and my body is changing for the better. Still I wasn’t too excited.  I HATE swimsuit shopping, largely because long ago the boob fairy just wouldn’t let me be (don’t get it? watch the video for a good laugh!). I ventured over to the mall to try and find a swimsuit and it was interesting to say the least.

  1. I haven’t been to the mall in so long, I should come more often.
  2. Oh yeah, I’m poor, I’m not allowed to come more often.
  3. Okay! Elizabeth, we’re on a mission let’s find a swimsuit!
  4. Look at how cute this one is! I wonder if they have it in my size?
  5. Nope every size but mine, moving on!
  6. There is no way that this swimsuit will cover me I might as well use a postage stamp.
  7. Maybe if I go up a size the cup size will too.
  8. False, if anything this is smaller. How does that make any sense?
  9. This doesn’t look like something you can swim in…
  10. What’s the point in a SWIMsuit if you can’t SWIM in it?
  11. This is cute and in my size I’ll give it a shot.
  12. Wonder how much it costs?
  13. HOLY! Nevermind! Back on the rack
  14. Full Support! This is what I’m talking about!
  15. Ugly
  16. Ugly
  17. Ugly
  18. Why are all of these options ugly?
  19. Well this one is cute
  20. I like this one too.
  21. Okay I have some solid options time for the fitting room!
  22. Option 1. Let’s go!
  23. And HELLO Quadroboob….Didn’t know they could be squashed that way.
  24. NEXT!
  25. Well this one appears to fit. Let’s try the jump test
  26. Jump! Jump! Jump!
  27. Well if I wanted to give everyone on the beach a free show this is the perfect option!
  28. NEXT!
  29. Where do these straps go?
  30. Does it wrap around here?
  31. Or here?
  32. Wait is this for my leg
  33. Maybe my leg goes here?
  34. No…How long until I strangle myself with this swimsuit or hit my head on the bench from falling over?
  35. How long would it take them to find me if I died in here?
  36. I have a college degree and can’t figure out how to put on this swimsuit without injuring myself.
  37. NEXT!
  38. So I look like I have the body of an 80 year old in this suit…
  39. I GIVE UP!

 

As you can see my shopping expedition came up empty handed. I ended up purchasing a suit online from of all places Walmart!!!! Shocking I know! I found this cute number in red, it’s actually the same one I had before, and I loved the vintage quality and how flattering it is, plus $30 for a swimsuit?! Can’t beat that. Hopefully, it’ll still be just as flattering. I can’t tell you how many compliments I’d gotten while wearing my old one. I did really want to get a new style but I guess it just wasn’t in the cards this time, tried and true won out this time.

 

How I Found Out I Love Brussels Sprouts

I have a confession to make. Until two years ago I had never eaten a brussels sprout. My parents hated them and so they were never on the menu in our house. That situation was fine with me. Growing up my friends reminded me how lucky I was that my parents didn’t make me eat brussels sprouts, so I counted my blessings and never even gave the vegetable a chance.

That, is a tragedy! The fact that I dismissed an entire vegetable as something I won’t like because popular culture, and my parents said I won’t means I’ve missed out on deliciousness for years. Granted if I had eaten them earlier I would have probably been subjected to steamed or boiled brussels sprouts, which I hear makes them bitter and gross and the reason they get such a bad rap. I have never eaten them that way, and quite frankly unless someone convinces me otherwise I never will.

My introduction to brussels sprouts came when I visited Miami for a work conference and a coworker took me to a favorite restaurant of his insisting we try the brussels sprouts. I was hesitant, but the brussels sprouts were cooked with bacon, and who doesn’t like bacon? I’ll try anything once, and I was curious to finally find out why they got their negative reputation. Well I never found out because those sprouts were delicious!

Despite becoming a brussels sprout convert I still didn’t even attempt to start cooking them until a few months ago. After careful research I decided roasting or pan frying was the way to go. I tend to prefer pan frying, largely due to how much easier and quicker I think it is.

Recently, I’ve started throwing some bacon in with the sprouts for some added flavor, however, I’ve cooked them without it, gone heavy on the garlic and loved them just as much. I love both ways equally as well.

This recipe yields a lot, so if you want less just halve it. I love cooking large portions of food as it makes it easier for me to eat healthy throughout the week. This is my first recipe I’ve ever written so bare with me and definitely let me know if something doesn’t make sense.

First prep your brussels sprouts by rinsing them, removing the outer leaves, cutting off that icky stem, and quartering them. DON’T THROW AWAY THOSE LEAVES  save them and keep them in the refrigerator for brussels sprout chips, your stomach will thank you later!

Washed and all ready to go!
Washed and all ready to go!
Peeled and quartered.
Peeled and quartered.
Outer leaves. DO NOT THROW AWAY!
Outer leaves. SAVE THESE!

Chop up your bacon and throw it into a pan over medium to medium high heat to begin cooking (confession, I usually can’t help myself and throw in an extra strip or two of bacon)

Mmmm...Bacon!
Mmmm…Bacon!

Once your bacon has browned throw in your brussels sprouts, MIX IT ALL UP and watch the magic happen. If you are so inclined throw in some minced garlic right before you do this. Stir occasionally, BUT NOT TOO MUCH, you want the sprouts to brown, and the only way to do that is to be patient and let them sit.

All mixed up and ready to cook!
All mixed up and ready to cook!

Once they’re done scoop up and ENJOY! (I usually under cook mine a little so I can throw my leftovers in the microwave throughout the week and not end up with a soggy mess, as a result mine are never as brown as they should be.)

Yum! Let them brown even more than this if you're eating them right away.
Yum! Let them brown even more than this if you’re eating them right away.

Not Your Mother’s Brussels Sprouts

4 1/2 cups brussels sprouts cleaned and quartered
4-5 strips of bacon chopped (look for bacon with the least amount of additives, and if you can, no sugar)
2 garlic clove finely chopped (optional, I like it fine without it if I’m using bacon)

Cook bacon over medium high heat stirring often. Once browned put in the garlic and allow to cook for about 30 seconds (careful the garlic doesn’t burn!).

Throw in the brussels sprouts and mix together. Let sprouts sit so they can brown and stir occasionally to prevent burning. Sprouts will be done in about 10-15 minutes or until softer but still firm.

Serve and Enjoy!

 

Racing, Wine, and Fun in the Sun!

It was a busy weekend! Like I mentioned in my previous post I ran the Zooma Annapolis 10k This was my first year running this race and my second 10k overall. I was nervous but definitely excited. A friend of mine had recommended the race previously this year and it didn’t take much convincing. The sell? It has great swag and free wine! Two of my favorite things and it didn’t disappoint.

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Before Zooma selfie!
Zooma
It may be early for a Saturday, but I’m ready to run!

The race went through downtown Annapolis, right by the water. It was the perfect weather and such a great course. I had been slacking on my running in the weeks prior so I was most happy that I was able to complete the course without stopping to walk. My time wasn’t anything spectacular, but I didn’t run any slower than I normally do so I was more than happy with my results.

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Post-race wine and fun!

Once I finished I enjoyed my post-race wine with friends and then got ready for some water fun! My boyfriend and I had some friends join us for jet skiing and it was just what I needed after my race. It was the perfect way to spend time with friends and welcome the start of summer!

Along with all the fun activities, I also had some very encouraging realizations throughout the day. The first was finding out that I need to go swimsuit shopping. I had brought two options to go jet skiing in and since last year both have become too big! I made do for Saturday, but I’m going to have to make my way to the store for a new swimsuit in the near future. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to shopping for one though, swimsuit shopping is like torture for me. I can’t be the only person who feels this way…

I also tried my hand at water skiing for the second time on Saturday. Last year was my first attempt. and while I enjoyed it, I was barely able to get out of the water. While I still wasn’t able to do very much in the way of actually skiing, I was able to get out of the water and ride for a half a second before crashing straight into the water extremely graceful like. More importantly, it was considerably easier to do than it had been last year! My boyfriend thinks since I’ve been working out consistently I’ve gotten stronger, which makes it easier to do and I agree. Now it’s just a matter of finding my balance, which could be hard.  If there’s one thing I’m severely lacking in, it’s balance. I’ve been known to trip and fall while standing in place. Still it’s encouraging to see my progress in ways that don’t focus on the way I look.

As exhausting as Saturday was (I woke up at 5 am and didn’t fall asleep until 11!) it was the perfect way to usher in the summer months. I can’t wait to run in even more races and hopefully by August I’ll be water skiing like a pro!

Non Scale Victory Friday!

If you’ve never heard of a Non Scale Victory (or NSV for short), it’s basically exactly what it sounds like, healthy victories in your life that don’t have anything to do with the scale! As I was thinking about a way to track my progress on my blog this seemed like a no brainer. It’s the perfect way to keep track of all the positive outcomes that are a result of my lifestyle changes.

I’m going to devote Fridays to a reflection on the past week and to list out the various non-scale victories in my life. This isn’t just about me either, feel free to share your own NSVs in the comments below, I’d love to read about them! And so without further ado….

  1. I threw away my scale! I already wrote about this here, but it’s worth repeating. Doing this and starting this blog is my first step of many towards a life of positive and healthy changes in my life.
  2. When the thunder and lightning started up on Tuesday evening, ruining my running plans, I made the best of it and did a 40 minute Jillian Michaels workout video at home instead. My abs are still killing me!

jillian michaels

  1. While going through my summer wardrobe I found I can now wear shorts that I haven’t been able to fit into for years! I’m excited to rock my bright pink shorts this summer!

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And lastly…

  1. I’m running my second 10k tomorrow! I’ll be in Annapolis for the Zooma Annapolis Half Marathon and 10k. This is my first year running this race, and I’m very excited. You’ll be able to track my progress on twitter so make sure you’re following me @ScalesDown!

I’d say overall it was a pretty good week. Feel free to share your non-scale victories in the comments below!

Why Last Week Was One Of My Best

Last week felt like everything kept going downhill without stopping. I was an emotional wreck and by the end was just trying to take everything one day at a time. Thankfully, everything is resolved and I can move forward with a smile on my face confident everything will be okay.

Having said that, it probably means the title of the post is confusing. How could last week have been one of my best if it involved me being an emotional wreck? I certainly don’t wish to relive last week, but I learned some really important things about myself that make me feel even more encouraged regarding my health goals.

In the past I have always allowed bad days, weeks, or months to take over and consume me. I’m an emotional eater with a sweet tooth so my typical mode of operation is to go home and bake lots of desserts, or buy junk food, and sit on the couch watching lots of TV. It was an unhealthy practice that, a majority of the time, was the reason I didn’t succeed at my goals. Score one for me though because I didn’t do that last week.

That isn’t to say that I didn’t want to. I came to work last Wednesday morning with my running gear and every intention of going for a run after work and by 4 pm the last thing I wanted to do was put on my running shoes and go for a run. I kept reasoning with myself that I could put it off, one day off wouldn’t kill me.

I was right, one day off wouldn’t kill me, but I knew it wasn’t a smart decision. Ultimately, ten minutes before the end of my work day I dragged my butt to the bathroom and changed, reasoning if I decided in the car I didn’t want to run I didn’t have to. Then I drove to the park and I had one of my best runs. A slow and steady two miler, it allowed me to clear my head and really take in the beautiful springtime scenery around me. I felt so much better and refreshed, and was able to put some things into perspective.

That run was definitely a win, but the wins didn’t stop there. I was starving after running and remembered I was out of food at home. So I needed to go to the grocery store, while hungry and in a depressed mood, definitely not a safe move. I knew that junk food would be calling my name, and I was right.

I went to the grocery store determined. I was going to shop the perimeter of the store. I would only enter the aisles for a bottle of olive oil. Well wouldn’t you know it, I succeeded! I purchased a cart full of fresh fruit and vegetables, some meat and eggs and I didn’t even try to purchase anything unhealthy!

This was a HUGE win for me, and I was able to prove to myself that I don’t need food to help me feel better emotionally. It sparked a series of healthy decisions that continued throughout the week. I went for a five mile run that Friday, when again, it was the last thing I wanted to do, and I cooked lots of healthy and tasty meals to enjoy instead of junk food.

I know this isn’t the last time something difficult will come my way, so it’s encouraging to know that I can successfully handle my emotions without having to turn to unhealthy habits. Wallowing with sugar and lethargy may feel great in the moment, but it’s always left me feeling gross in the days that follow. Now when I think back to last week I’ll be able to remember how I didn’t let my negative emotions screw up a positive routine. Excuse me while I celebrate this major victory

I Threw Away My Scale!

Scales are the devil’s form of torture. I firmly believe this. There is nothing worse than feeling great about yourself after a successful day, week, month or hour (who hasn’t been guilty of the “AM I SKINNY YET!” an hour into healthy eating.) of eating right and exercise only to have the scale tell you that either your weight hasn’t budged a pound or, even worse, you’ve gained weight.

I know, I know, there are several reasons why your weight can fluctuate (or not fluctuate at all dammit!). A quick Google search can explain away whatever weight gain or stagnation you’re experiencing. Water weight, muscle mass, that time of the month, I just ate five pounds of candy in one sitting. I’ve read it all, and it makes you feel better, until the next time you step on the scale and nothing’s changed.

Sure the scale isn’t all bad, there are times when it seems the stars align and the universe works in your favor and the numbers will magically melt away, and each time you step on feeling optimistic and step off elated and excited ready to conquer the world. For some people this is the relationship they have with scales, they know how their body responds to certain things, they’re honest about their habits and they’re realistic about what to expect. For those individuals the scale is a tool, and a useful one at that. It helps them measure progress and decide what works for their body and what doesn’t. But for others the elation that comes with seeing a lower number (or higher number depending on your goals) can turn into a high that leads to unhealthy habits and behaviors when things don’t go in your favor.

Scale picture
RIP bathroom scale

I am one of those people. My relationship with the scale started off well enough. I adopted what I thought were healthy practices hoping to lose just one pound a week.  I would step on the scale once a week, every Tuesday morning, bladder empty and definitely naked. I carefully logged every calorie that passed my lips. At first this worked, and I watched as the pounds slipped off week by week, until they stopped and I hit a plateau.

I can hear it right now “Elizabeth! Everyone hits a plateau you shouldn’t let it get you down!” That’s easy to say, I’ve said it myself, but that attitude only goes so far.  When your self-esteem is tied to a fluctuating number then it’s only a matter of time until you’re eating an entire bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups (YUM!) while sitting on the couch watching episode after episode of Gilmore Girls. Oh wait, that’s just me? Never mind then….

This cycle came to a head a month ago. I had just completed my first Whole 30 (Check it out, it’s awesome!) and I felt great! I hadn’t had a headache in a month, and everyone was complimenting me on looking thinner than they could remember. Part of Whole 30’s rules is that you can’t weigh yourself, so I was suffering from withdrawal and I was understandably eager to find out what the results of my hard work were. I mean I had to have lost at least five pounds!

I hadn’t lost five pounds. I hadn’t lost four, three, two or one pounds. My weight didn’t even stay stagnant. My weight had gone up two pounds, and I was devastated. All the positive changes I had made in my life before this (I ran my first 10k a week before this, GO ME!) dissolved to nothing because I placed too much importance on the combination of three digits underneath my feet.

That was a month ago and I am deciding today that it’s all changing. I’ve thrown away my scale, and I’m going to stop tracking every calorie I consume (or feel guilty for being too lazy to track, oops!). My measure of success is going to be how I feel both physically and emotionally. I’ll dedicate my energy to eating whole foods, exercising regularly and developing a positive body image, because everyone should feel beautiful regardless of their size. I’m putting my scales down and laces up