Aug 14

My Whole30 Experience

I would first like to acknowledge the fact that I went through a flurry of activity in September and then promptly moved on to other things and left this blog behind. This is my way, unfortunately.

BUT. I’m back on track and back here to hopefully keep myself motivated and share my story, which was my initial goal.

I want to talk to you all about the Whole30. It’s been getting a lot of press lately, and has been blowing up on social media with thousands of posts on Instagram and Facebook. I’m not going to write a post about what it is. This is going to be about what it’s done for me.

I completed my Whole30 on March 12 of this year, and I can attest to the fact that this program is truly life changing. Of course there’s the physical – I dropped 12 pounds in 30 days and was able to fit into pants that previously left my muffin top in a choke hold. But I also dropped my LDL cholesterol by almost 50 points. My heartburn went away completely and some pesky tummy troubles that have plagued me since freshman year of college all by disappeared.

Even though I’ve fallen off the Whole30 wagon a little (I’m looking at you, Sub Galley), the positive effects I felt from those 30 days almost five months ago are still keeping me running now. It made me so much more aware of how terrible I felt then and how amazing I feel now. Now, when I feel heartburn coming on, I can trace it back exactly to something that I ate and make a mental note to not eat it again, or at least acknowledge the consequences before I sink my teeth in.

I just started a new eating plan that I’ll be blogging about soon, but I’m still incorporating elements of the Whole30 way of life. Still avoiding sugars and SWYPO and just being more conscious of what and how I eat.

Anyone else out there care to share their own Whole30 experience? What were some of the surprise successes you had?

Sep 13

How I Got Here

My name is Ellie. I love my boyfriend, my dog, my job, spinach and The West Wing on Netflix. And in the last year, I’ve gained thirty pounds.

Those last four words – I’ve gained thirty pounds – have been incredibly hard for me to accept. I’m one of those girls who has basically been on a diet for as long as she can remember. My first, Weight Watchers, started the summer before my freshman year of high school. I got down to around 115 pounds (technically underweight for me at 5’6″), ditched the glasses, got my braces off and waltzed into high school a brand new girl.

What I didn’t know was that that first experience would shape my relationship with food and weight for the rest of my life. In the ten years since then, my weight has gone up and down as I’ve struggled with being a normal human and trying to achieve my “ideal weight” by starving myself. I managed to stay within a healthy range up until last year.

These thirty pounds didn’t happen overnight. It started with five – justifiable, not terrible, just a matter of cutting out some bad stuff. I got to ten, and it still wasn’t the end of the world. After all, what’s one pant size? When I hit fifteen, I cried. I tried eating next to nothing, and found myself eating everything. Twenty, determination. Twenty-five, even more determination. And now here we are at thirty. I’ve spent more money than I’d like to admit on weight loss programs, healthy food, gym memberships and new clothes.

And I’m just tired.

I look back at the way I hated my body in high school and wish I could reach back and smack myself in the head. I remember the disgust I felt for myself. Browsing through those same pictures now, I feel sadness and envy. That I didn’t realize what I had when I had it.

So here I am. Countless diets and late-night binges later, I’m determined to get back to being healthy and happy. All the pieces are there for this to happen, it just hasn’t yet. There have been excuses, setbacks and a whole lot of defeatism. But I’m ready now to stop blaming myself and start loving myself. To start listening to my body again.

I know the journey is going to be long, but I’m ready to start today.

Mar 12

Getting Back on the C25K Wagon

I just accidentally deleted this post so it a testament to my dedication that I’m rewriting this.

Things have been kind of crazy since I last posted. I need to get an app for my phone (do they make those?) because after sitting in front of the computer all day at work the only screen I want to stare at when I get home is the one playing Criminal Minds and the Real Housewives of Orange County.

I have been able to keep up with my healthy eating for the most part, but my weight is still hovering around the same (depressing) number because I lose all self control on the weekends. I’ve been sticking to going to the gym at least four days a week and have been keeping track of my calories. To help keep myself on track, I set a couple of fitness goals I’m going to achieve by June 1st. They are:

  • Lost 15 pounds (ambitious but doable!)
  • 10 good pushups (at about five now)
  • 20 pound bicep curls (at 12 now)
  • 50 pound deadlifts (at 20 now)
  • 40 pound bench press (at 24 now)
  • One good pullup (wimpy, I know, but it’s hard! I can’t even hold myself up!)
  • Complete Couch to 5K. For reals.

There you have them. I stopped C25K for the past couple of weeks because I was getting a weird feeling in my left knee. But I’ve been working on strengthening my legs, so I’m going to go ahead and try week three starting next Tuesday. Hopefully I don’t die!

I’m also dabbling in eliminating dairy (at least full fat) from my diet for the next month. My stomach condition has been acting up a lot lately, and I’ve noticed it seems to be worse on days when I eat a lot of cheese. So I tossed all the yummy stuff out and subbed my milk for the almond variety. I went with the Blue Diamond unsweetened original because I’ll probably have to make some mac and cheese for the SB and can’t use the sweet variety for that. My only issue is the thickness…it’s taking some getting used to. Instead of cereal for breakfast I’m going to try smoothies so I can still get my calcium in with the almond milk without having to taste it. I’m going to miss cheese but if it means I don’t have to suffer through the terrible stomach pains and bloats I’ll deal.

I’m trying some new recipes this week, trying some new stuff with chick peas, so I’ll check in this weekend and let you know how it’s all going. Hopefully I’ll have some weight loss to report!

How are all you other losers (who are really winners) doing out there? Anyone else trying to ditch the cheese habit?

Mar 12

I suck.

…Because I haven’t been keeping up with this. Yikes! I’ve been a little lacking in the motivation department because in the past week I’ve lost 0.2 lbs. Womp city. I know, I know, slow and steady wins the race. Slow and steady also sucks and is not keeping me motivated to keep going. But I’m trying to keep my head up and stay on track! Weekends are usually a killer for me, and this one will probably be extra hard because I’m going out tomorrow and then going home for Sunday and Monday, which is always hard. I’m at least cooking tonight, which means I’ll try to keep things fairly healthy. We’ll see how that goes!

Mar 12

Does anyone else ever notice…

…that within about two weeks of committing to a new fitness routine you end up getting sick and totally derailed? Yup, happens to me every time. I managed to get two workouts in this week before my as-of-yet-undiagnosed stomach condition reared its ugly head on Thursday. Thankfully I’m feeling better today and am going to the gym tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll get back on track. I’m planning on repeating the second week of Couch to 5k, so I’ll be finishing that a week later than planned but that’s okay. One more week won’t kill me.

Unfortunately having this stomach problem means eating a lot of carbs (white bread, white rice, saltines), so I’m feeling pretty gross today. Back to healthy eating again tomorrow. It’s also hard since I’ve been at home instead back at my apartment where I have more healthy foods on hand. I doubt one day is going to make too much of a difference. I’ve been doing well this week otherwise.

In other news, I did a solid seven non-girly pushups yesterday! I may not have gotten down the full 90 degrees, but I was darn close and feel pretty awesome about it. I’ve been following the One Hundred Pushups method, which has definitely been working. I’m working it into my workout plan, which tomorrow looks like this:

  • 20 minute warmup on the bike (I like this since it works different muscles in my legs than running)
  • Squat/overhead press, lunge/curl, pushups, plank, pullups (hoping this gym has an assisted pullup machine, I’m going to a different one this time since I’m at home)
  • Couch to 5k week two – alternating running for 1.5 minutes and walking for 2 for a half hour

Definitely am going to need the extra calories because the SB and I are trying a new pizza place near my apartment tomorrow, I got a LivingSocial deal for half off.


Feb 12

I have returned!

After a (somewhat) brief hiatus, I have decided to return to the blogosphere! After I graduated, my motivation to blog went out the window (this project was for one of my classes). However, in my seemingly never-ending battle with getting healthy, I’ve come to realize that I need some sort of accountability to keep me motivated. So here I am, airing my dirty laundry and getting back on the wagon. I’ve had some major ups and downs these past couple of months. I moved into a new apartment, started a new big girl job, got a new car. I also suffered the loss of my childhood pet, Maddie, which made the last month pretty difficult. But I’m feeling better, and am ready to re-commit.

Unfortunately, I’ve officially hit my heaviest weight. Ever. It’s only a pound or two more than I was a year ago when I started my last major weight loss plan, but even still, it’s a scary number. As I think I’ve mentioned before, I’ve done pretty much every diet. And every time the pounds come back, with a couple of their friends. I read a lot of health forums and blogs and etc, and everyone stresses the importance of making a lifestyle change, and not thinking of it as a diet. That’s what I’m really trying to do here. I’m still on the veg wagon, working hard to keep my nutrition balanced. I’m officially a member of Planet Fitness. The fact that I’m paying for the service makes me a lot more likely to go. It doesn’t hurt that I also get free unlimited guest passes, which means the SB gets to (aka has to) come with me at least once a week when we see each other.

So here’s the plan. I’m going to use this blog to post what I’m eating and my exercise regiments and achievements. I’m going to aim for between 1700 and 1800 calories on days I workout, and closer to 1600 on days I don’t (aka Fridays and Sundays). I’m aiming for my calories to be 50% carbs, 30% healthy fats and 20% protein. As far as workouts, I’m going to the gym Monday-Thursday and Saturday. Monday and Wednesday I do the bike and strength, Tuesday and Thursday I do Couch to 5k and Saturday I do a combo of both. Though I am trying to be transparent here, I’m not going to post my weight because the updates go to Facebook and I’m still a little weird about some kid I was in a class with in sixth grade knowing my number on the scale. But I will keep track of how much I’m losing. I’m going to weigh in on Tuesday mornings (tomorrow, yikes), and am going to invest in some measuring tape so I can try to keep track of my progress that way, too.

Let’s start with today, shall we?

Breakfast, 250 cals:

  • Morningstar Farms veggie sausage patty
  • Thomas’ “Healthfull” 10 grain English muffin
  • Smart Balance

Snack one, 130 cals:

  • Dry roasted, unsalted almonds
  • Dried cranberries

Lunch, 423 cals:

  • PB&J made with TJ’s natural peanut butter, Welch’s natural grape jelly and Wonder Smart White bread
  • Food Should Taste Good sweet potato chips (seriously, this things are amazing. FSTG rocks.)

Snack two, 105 cals:

  • Yoplait light strawberry yogurt
  • Strawberry (I brought more but they turned out to be moldy, only one was still good. Major bummer.)

Dinner, 921 cals:

  • Mom’s creamy pasta and broccoli (I was home for the weekend, couldn’t resist! Thankfully I only had enough for one meal, because man that stuff is bad for me. Not an indication of what I usually eat for dinner.)
  • Multivitamin
  • Pure Protein shake with 1% milk

Total: 1,825

Today at the gym, I did a half hour on the bike, then did two sets of eight and one set of ten chest flies with 10 lb weights, 50 situps, a 33 (yes, I’m being precise) second plank and a couple minutes on the High Step at home after I realized how much pasta I ate. My legs and arms are feeling like Jello, so even though I didn’t do that much I think the fact that I’m in terrible shape means I actually did get a pretty good workout. Silver lining?

So there you have it, day one of my commitment. I promise I’m going to be consistent posting on this thing. I also finally got my invite to Pinterest, so check out my boards there and follow me. I’m going to be posting fitness and healthy eating tidbits I find searching around.

See you all tomorrow!

Nov 11

My Weightloss-Minded Christmas List – Part 2

Yesterday, I talked about some of the cookbooks I asked for this Christmas. Here’s the other half of my list, which is focused more on fitness and discipline:

Gaiam Total Body Balance Ball Kit

Gaiam Total Body Balance Ball KitOkay, I know I said all you need to lose weight is walking. I didn’t lie! There are plenty of other tools out there that can you help you in your weight loss journey. And I picked a balance ball kit. I’m basically trying to take advantage of all the time I spend stationed in front of the TV by sitting on a balance ball instead of the couch. It gives you a nice little ab workout, so I’ve heard, so I’m going to give it a try! Couldn’t hurt, right?

Primo Digital Scale

Primo Digital ScaleI’ve wanted a kitchen scale for a while now, so I figured it was time to go ahead and ask for one. This will really come in handy for measuring food that has its serving size in ounces or grams, because up until now I’ve just been guessing. Which I think isn’t helping my weight loss efforts any. I also want it for baking, because I know some recipes call for really specific measuring.


The High Step

The High StepI swear I’m not trying to bring the 80’s back. But let’s face it, there really aren’t many workouts more effective than walking up the stairs. This is another tool I’m hoping to negate my couch potato-ness with. I doubt I’ll ever make it up to the highest step because I’m just not coordinated enough. But I definitely think it will be harder to avoid working out if I have this baby next to the couch.


So there you have it, my complete weightloss Christmas list. And here’s a gift for all you 90’s kids out there.


Merry Christmas, readers!

Nov 11

My Weightloss-Minded Christmas List – Part 1


All I really want for Christmas is Marias Carey’s singing voice. And to be able to fit into those cute skinny jeans that I bought this spring. So this year, I’ve asked for almost all weightloss related gifts. Exciting? Not exactly. Practical? You’re darned tootin’. Here’s what I’m asking for this year to keep my eating in check:

Flavor First

Flavor First

This cookbook by Cheryl Forberg offers all-natural, low calorie recipes for girls like me who want to make healthy choices but aren’t 100% comfortable in the kitchen yet. I know her recipes aren’t all vegetarian, I actually put this one on my list before I made the switch. I’m hoping I can find some veg-friendly meals or at least adapt some to my tastes. I’m hoping to use this for some easy every day meals to keep myself on the right track weightloss wise!




Happy Herbivore

Happy HerbivoreThis vegan cookbook comes from Lindsay Nixon, who runs the blog of the same name. Her whole thing is planning out low fat, vegan meals, so I’m looking forward to reading this book. I already read her blog (and am still planning on making some of those pumpkin cookies), so I think I’m definitely going to enjoy trying out some new recipes.







Super Natural Every Day

Super Natural Every DayThis one is from Heidi Swanson, who writes one of my favorite blogs, 101 Cookbooks. She also focuses on all natural foods, and is a vegetarian, but her recipes include eggs and dairy (which my cheese-loving self much appreciates). I expect to find more classics here that I’ll come back to time and time again. Maybe I can even get the SB to eat some.

Check in tomorrow to see what other tools I’m wishing for this Christmas!

Nov 11

Dear Dana: I Feel Your Pain

Vegetarian comic

First of all, if you’re a vegetarian and not reading Dana Treat, you need to start immediately. I recently stumbled upon her blog and have already read almost a year’s worth of posts in the past two days. Her recipes look delicious (definitely going to make some of her Cheddar Crackers some time soon!) and her posts about her life are also interesting and amusing.

Anyway, in my shameless scouring of her blog, I found her post “This Vegetarian’s Dilemma.” To sum up the main points, she’s disappointed in the way that most peoples’ view of vegetarianism is “stuck in the ’70s,” with people assuming we’re all hippies drinking juiced wheat grass and looking down our noses at all the omnis out there (okay, I added that last part, but it’s true!). She also touched on how hard it is to be a vegetarian foodie. There are some great food blogs out there, but it is very difficult to find strictly vegetarian ones. For some reason, people are more excited by bison ragout than vegetarian three bean chili.

What she wrote really resonated with me. As I’ve mentioned, I did maintain a vegetarian lifestyle for a little over a year in high school and ended up eating meat again just to avoid the ridicule and assumptions I got from a lot of my friends. It’s unfortunate that people think just because I choose not to eat meat that I look down upon others who don’t. I don’t care if other people eat meat. I date a guy whose main food groups are chicken fingers, hot dogs and pepperoni. I’m not going to force my opinions and preferences on him. I’m perfectly content grilling his beef burger next to my black bean. As my dad tells people, “I’m not a vegetarian, I just don’t eat meat.” For some reason vegetarian has become synonymous with “I’m a hippie jerkface who hates you for eating animals and am going to do everything in my power to make you feel terrible for nomming on that cow between your hamburger buns.”

I think I deviated a bit from what Dana was talking about, but I still really like what she says in that post. There’s nothing wrong with eating a meal without meat in it, even if you are an omnivore. I enjoyed my acorn squash on Thanksgiving just as much as all the turkey eaters in the room. I’m happy with my new lifestyle (take two), and think this time around will be a lot easier than when I was sixteen.

Are any of you vegetarians out there struggling with these problems? Anyone else obsessed with Dana Treat?

Nov 11

It’s the Day After Thanksgiving and for Once I Didn’t Puke

Yup, I have finally managed to go a Thanksgiving day without throwing up at around 2 AM.

Every year, I face the challenge of controlling myself over the course of the two Thanksgiving dinners I have – mine and the BF’s. To the strong-willed, this would be no problem. But place that plate of turkey and mashed potatoes in front of me a second time and, even as my stomach is about to burst, I just can’t resist.

I think what saved me this year was my recent return to vegetarianism. I know turkey is a fairly low-cal option, but it’s not just the turkey that I refused this year. At my Nana’s (Thanksgiving round one), I didn’t have the stuffing, gravy or any rolls (not a vegetarian problem, but still significant). I made sure to pile my plate with veggies, and only went back for seconds to get more of my stuffed acorn squash. I even managed to restrain myself at Mike’s, where I had a second plate but only indulged in a small piece of ice cream pie (come on, irresistible) and a pizzelle for desert.

I will admit that things got a little hairy at my friend’s house later, where I had a string cheese, a Babybell cheese thing, some Chex Mix and a piece of blueberry pie with ice cream.

But I didn’t puke! So it’s all okay.

How did you do this Thanksgiving? Any other strong-willed ladies out there dealing with multiple dinners?