Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Window Seat

Another post...not about food or exercise...

Some say that the eyes are the window to the soul. As I sit here looking out of the window on the 737, I see a capacious world beneath me and makes me believe it. Everything is still and it feels like we're frozen in time. I can see the horizon and it seems as if each layer of the earth is visible from my view. The contrast in colors are breathtaking and it makes you wish you were floating within these layers; the layers within the stratosphere, the space between you and the gravity that keeps you grounded to the earths floor. 

The turbulent air shakes me back to simple thought. I take a glance through the small rectangular window and see such an incredible full moon. The view from the sky is unlike any other I've seen. Its massive size makes it appear only a short distance away. The crimson colors and reflection from the sun make the clouds surrounding it glow like the reminiscent coals of a blazing fire. It lights up the earth below and I just bask in the beauty of the moon.

I notice another plane passing below at an incredible speed. Why does it feel like we're just suspended in air when this plane is zooming by at top notch speeds? It disappears into the clouds and leaves a translucent white trail behind it. I am left pondering if we are really moving...

As the plane banks slightly to the right and the nauseated feeling reminds me that we are in fact, moving, the magnificent moon disappears behind the wall of the plane. It's playing hide and seek with me between the two windows I am fortunate to have on this flight. My eyes fleet down to the twinkling lights below and the view never ceases to excite me. Among the vast spread of electric filled space are large areas of land that at night, look like a black abyss. I stare into the darkness with hope of finding some glimmer of light. And I do. If I look hard enough, I can see small dots of orange lights beaming up as if they're saying, "We're here, too!" They twinkle with every surge of electricity that is flowing through them. They remind me of the stars that shine above them and it makes me wonder if it's really just a reflection. 

Two hours into the flight I close my eyes and reminisce about the happy and peaceful thoughts that this view brings to me. Such a calm washes over my entire body. It's as if I am laying on the beach, the moonlight is reflecting in the water and all I can hear is the sound of the waves crashing as they come into shore and I can feel the wind softly blowing through my hair. I take a deep breath in and silently sigh. I fall asleep for a few minutes. The air gets a bit more turbulent waking me from a sleep that I am so thankful to experience undisturbed for that few moments. My eyes remain shut for a minute and I slowly open them. I look back out through the window and the sky is brighter than ever. The earth has moved along it's gravitational course so the moon appears higher and now has a white fluorescent glow. There isn't a cloud in the night sky as far as I can see. I close my eyes again and drift off to sleep to be woken up once again to the announcement that we have begun our decent into Bradley. I bring my seat back to the upright position and stare longingly out of plane wishing I could take this back with me in the car. I generally prefer the aisle seat on a flight; however, this upgrade to first class gave me an opportunity to explore the mystery of the outside world from within. A break from the inner torment of feeling like I don't belong up here with these folks. Being able to experience such a sight let my mind focus on other things aside from what I am eating, how I am dressed, how much I need to exercise. It's tranquil.

As we descend, those small twinkling lights that were barely visible are clearly defined into city street lamps and the windows in the house that look like a dreamy picture from a Christmas book. We approach the runway and I can finally see how fast we are really going. All the different colored lights on the runway blur together creating an image of a kaleidoscope. We slow down and start taxiing back to the gate. It has rained and all that is left to remind us are the puddles and steam reflecting in that beautiful moonlight. 

Maybe I will take the window seat more often :) 

Love and Wellness to all!


Patti xox

Thursday, May 29, 2014 are always on my miiinddd

I think about my weight a lot. A LOT. If I could lose a pound for every time I thought about how fat I am, I would be walking among the Victoria Secret models I so desperately envision being me. Thinking about my weight so much, I obsess about food and calories and sugar and fat and salt. I want them all, but cannot have ANY of it. Zero. Zilch. And like my blog in April, it's so much easier to control when I am home. 

I have multiple habitual tendencies and for the past two weeks I have developed yet another very strict way of eating and working out. Today was difficult in sticking to this routine. It is one of those days where you don’t want to get out of bed from pure exhaustion. I am sure you all have been there…those times when you fall asleep an hour before your alarm goes off and you lay there awake, eyes closed, talking yourself into crawling out of bed. I open one eye at a time and fling one arm off of the bed followed by my leg. My foot touches the ground and I immediately retract the pep talk I gave myself. I look like a circus act trying to get up.

I slowly walk to the bathroom and brush my teeth; second thought of the day that comes to my mind aside from wanting to go back to bed is: what will I be eating today?? So early to be thinking about food, but my mind has it planned – very carefully…as I walk to the kitchen, I think of my next move. Every step and movement there has to be precise in order to ensure I don’t stray from my plan and set myself on a downward spiral of a horrible eating pattern. I have a solid routine when I am home.

I take out the scale and weigh myself – stand looking at the number in disbelief. I put my head in my hands and just sigh. I don't move for a good five minutes. NEVER happy with the number, I hide it away in the mini closet as if it’s hiding me.

I walk out of the bathroom and to the counter in the kitchen. I open the New England Coffee French Roast (It’s sooooo good) and place the K-Cup into the machine. I let the cup sit to cool while I put a pot of water on the stove to boil some water for my eggs. (gross). I don’t want to eat another egg, but they are so low in calories but high in protein and they keep me full for a while so I don’t get that nagging hunger. And making them hard boiled means I won't add any additional calories as I would if I were to make them over easy. I measure my precut vegetables and fruit that I am eating for the day and put them in their respective containers. Then I put my protein – usually a shake with some mint extract and my shaker cup in my lunch bag and run over the list:

  • Eggs – check
  • Garlic powder – check 
  • Smoked Paprika – check
  • Valentina Sauce
  • Mustard – check
  • Separate fruit containers – check
  • Shaker Cup – check
  • Protein powder – check
  • Love handles (I call them; touch me there and you die handles)– check and check
  • Coffee and more coffee – check, check, check
I go back to the Keurig machine and remove the coffee cup. I take the ice out of the freezer and fill my travel mug; still half asleep. I pour the coffee over the ice, still warm enough to melt it and I add more. I cannot put the cover on because there is now too much ice. I never learn. I drink the coffee until it about half gone because once I start drinking it, I cannot stop. It’s like my drug. I put the lid on and let it melt some more so I feel like I have more coffee – which I tell myself I need for my commute in the morning.

Every morning for the last two weeks, this has been my exact routine. It has paid off so far – total lbs lost = 5. In conjunction with working out 1-2 times a day.

When I get to work in the morning, I arrive early so I can peel my eggs and mash them up with the garlic, paprika, Valentina and mustard and I drink about 16 ounces of water. I sip my coffee until I can eat my fruit. Then I wait for 12:00 to arrive and have my shake. Two hours later I am eating some more fruit and drinking more water. I get up to use the restroom at least six times!! I feel like I have the bladder of a 5 year old dancing in the middle of the store screaming: mommy I have to pee! I leave the office and head home. 

As soon as I walk through the door, I change into my gym clothes and immediately put on my work out DVD. Sometimes it’s insanely difficult to get through and sometimes I am ready to pass out from how hard I am working, but I push through it. Determined to get skinny. When I finish with my workout, I make some dinner and then shower. My dinner has almost been the same every night aside from switching up the protein if I include any. In the beginning of the week I had prepared my vegetables by chopping them into about quarter inch pieces and put them in separate containers: carrots, asparagus, onions and bell pepper. I measure out ¼ cup of each, ½ tsp – 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil, ¼ cup of water, turmeric and cayenne pepper. I sauté all of the vegetables for about 3 minutes so they are tender but still have a little bit of a crunch to them. If I make any protein, I will have about 1.5 ounces of ground turkey or ¼ lb of salmon. All of the vegetables fill me up enough to get me through the night. And of course I drink raspberry-lime seltzer water with my dinner. If it’s too late by the time I get home, I will just cook my veggies and eat them with some water. They are so delicious and I take it slow eating one piece at a time. Lately I have been obsessed with dipping each piece in a drip of Valentina hot sauce or Cholula! Both have zero calories and zest up your meal.

June is right around the corner…50 more lbs to go before I will feel any sense of security and can stop wearing these scarves. I hope I can keep this momentum! 1 week before I become Zumba certified and then I can kick up the work outs. I am super pumped!! Doing Zumba for 60 minutes can burn anywhere from 500-800 calories…I could do two a day! Eeeek!!
Stay tuned…

Love and Wellness to you,

Patti xox

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hungry Hungry Hip...Patti

Have you ever been sitting at your desk, everyone is diligently working and the still silence is interrupted by a low but forceful grumble that sends everyone’s eyes scattering to the window looking for the lightening that follows a boom of thunder? No? Me either. – Actually, this WAS me. ALL day yesterday and ALL day today. My hunger pangs woke me up this morning – before my alarm clock even had a chance to be its annoying self.

It didn’t matter what I ate yesterday, the satiated feeling that should follow after you eat was playing the role of David Copperfield in his disappearing act. It started after I ate breakfast; a low calorie, (130 cal) high protein (14g) small meal. I ate around 8:10 after I had gotten into the office. I continue working and then suddenly feel this gnawing sensation right below my ribs. It’s so incredibly strong that my stomach feels like someone is squeezing all the content out and into my throat. You know that feeling when you haven’t eaten in a while and that funny stomach of yours seems to be sending an awful lot of ghrelin into your bloodstream; causing your mouth to salivate and waves of nausea hit you one after another after another until you put something in it? Yeah, that feeling. That’s what it felt like about twenty minutes after I ate breakfast. I know this because I glanced at the clock believing that at least two hours had passed because there wasn’t any way I should be this hungry. I was so wrong. Twenty minutes. In an effort to control the mindless eating that happens when you work in an office, I decided to down about 16 ounces of water immediately. I took some vitamins and it calmed my needy, rumbling stomach.

Boom. My co-worker who sits across from me, turns and says “Did anyone hear that?” I’m thinking to myself; you’re kidding, right?! I answer, “Hear what??” He looks back at his computer…I don’t say anything. I think it’s understood that it’s obviously not thunder and it’s my body that cannot be satisfied with water! RRAAAHHHH. My stomach has many hats and today, aside from its magic act, is also a super hero. Introducing you to the Pink Hulk – my stomach is not green…at least I hope it’s not because then I wouldn’t be human and I think I am human. It wants to break out of my body and go find some food. Say hi because wherever you may be reading this from, I am sure you can hear it :)

I glance at the clock again and it reads 11:26 – I think to myself, only thirty-four more minutes and then I can eat lunch. I can do it! Mind over matter, right? I take a sip of my iced coffee and it settles my hunger for a mere 30 seconds. I agonize and stare at the bottom right corner of my screen and the time is moving at the pace of a snail with chronic fatigue. It finally says 12:04 – yes I remember the specific times – and I take my lunch out from my bag and devour it within minutes. Normally I eat very slowly, but I just cannot take slow bites or even savor the taste. It’s gone within 10 minutes. I didn’t bring anything to go with my turkey and cheese, no bread sandwich. Turkey meat and cheese. I still have insane hunger pangs…I am far from satisfied. I tell myself; wait and let your stomach digest the food. It takes at least 20 minutes for your body to get the signal that you are full. – So I drink some water and wait. Why am I soooo hungry?!?! I’ve consumed 440 calories, 22 g of protein and it’s only a little past noon. I shouldn’t be hungry; I literally JUST ate. I drink some more water and it still does not get rid of the hollow feeling in my stomach. I continue drinking, refusing to give into Mr. Grumbles.

Thankfully I have meetings the rest of the afternoon and I can no longer be taunted by my hunger because I don’t have anything to eat. Just my water to sip on. Before I know it, it is past 6:30 and I decide to pack it up for the day. SO much easier to leave at a more reasonable time than 8pm when I am traveling. My hunger never subsided. All I could and can think about is how much food I just want to shove down my throat in order to silence this loud and obnoxious feeling! Why is it so impossible for me to ignore? Is there such thing as hunger hormone removal?? KIDDING…sort of. Although I constantly think about food and what I am going to eat and sometimes plan my day around what I am eating, this hunger is of a different sort. It’s like I haven’t eaten in a month hunger. The desire to eat is all I can think about!

So I head out to the grocery store to pick up trash bags and Brussels sprouts. Worst thing you can ever do is go shopping when you are hungry. Not because I will buy things that are bad for me, but because I am tempted to buy the things that are bad for me. So instead of walking the perimeter of the store – and get the two things that I needed, I walk aimlessly up and down every aisle looking at all of the food that I cannot purchase because it will add to the ever growing circumference that I call my hips. I pick up a box, look at the calories and put it down. Grab a bag and put it down. Grab another box and put it down. This continues until I have spent over an hour and a half fighting with myself, sometimes out loud – sorry to the little girl who thought I was yelling at you; not to put that item in my basket. By the time I am done shopping, I leave with 4 boxes of Keurig coffee (yet another addiction, or should I say substitution for food), a bag of Brussels sprouts and a bundle of asparagus. (Yes I forgot the damn trash bags which resulted in another trip to the grocery store today with almost the same behavior – and now I have EIGHT boxes of Keurig coffee at home. Hope you enjoy, Eric)! I get home and it’s an agonizingly long time before the Brussels sprouts are ready…I had prepare and them wait for them to roast. By the time they were done, I was famished. I devoured a half of a bag myself. Although they came out mighty delicious. Want the recipe?? Okay Okay…it’s listed below :)

After I am done eating, and am still hungry I decide to shower again – because you can’t eat in the shower. Although Kramer did on Seinfeld….hmmm. When I get out, I take my time getting ready for bed trying not to think about my noisy belly. You would think with all of the noise and contractions, that it would send signals to my abdomen muscles to shrink and tighten! But it didn’t, I checked, flub is still there :-/ I finally lay in bed with yet another glass of water and read for a little bit before going to bed.

I repeated the same thing today. My stomach is still sending me signals that I am hungry, but as you can see…If my fingers are typing, it means I cannot eat. So as I click “publish” to this blog, I am going to shut my computer off and close my eyes. Feeling accomplished that I did not give into my distracting hunger.

Pink Hulk – 0                                               
Patti – 1

Brussels Sprout Recipe:
· 1 Bag organic Brussels sprouts
· 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil or Grapeseed Oil
· 1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
· Salt
· Pepper
· Garlic cloves (optional)

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.Wash Brussels sprouts
3.Cut the heads in half
4.In a bowl, combine the vinegar and oil mixture
5.Toss the halved Brussels sprouts in the mixture
6.Lay on a broil pan or an coated cookie sheet with the flat part facing down
7.Season with salt & pepper to taste; I add smoked paprika and garlic powder
8.Peel the garlic cloves and place around the Brussels sprouts for added flavor
9.Bake for 30-35 minutes or until desired colored is achieved


Health and Wellness

Love to you all,

Patti xox

Friday, April 18, 2014

Eating Healthy?!

The past six months has been such a whirlwind - I don't know whether I am staying or going and it's wrecking havoc on my body because I am letting it. First blog since all of the traveling picked up pace, and it feels great to be writing again. 

Traveling sure doesn't make it easy to eat healthy, but it doesn't make it impossible. The best thing you can do if you're in a hotel that doesn't have the necessary tools for you to go shopping and keep fresh food, is educating yourself. Educate yourself on the food that is available to you. If you are going out to eat, look up the menu online and prepare the questions to ask your waiter/waitress and choose what you are going to eat. You can look to see if the restaurant you are headed to has the type of menu you can order from; for example, if you need gluten free foods, or are a vegan. 

Eating healthy while traveling and constantly eating out doesn't have to be a battle. While it may seem extraordinarily difficult in controlling your desire to eat whatever you want; especially when the menu doesn't offer healthy choices, you can still make the better decision by knowing what and how to order. I was recently at a restaurant in TX with a few co-workers and this restaurant did not have a single dinner option that was under 1000 calories including the salads. So I had to make a decision on what to eat that wasn't drenched in fat, salt or fried. I looked through the menu and murmured to myself: "this is why you are so fat and continually gain weight." I sat at the table and looked over page after page...the smallest portion of steak or chicken they offered was 6oz. I have the most difficult time making decisions of what I want to eat in general, never mind looking at a restaurant menu with so many options. I start getting very impatient with myself because I cannot make a decision mostly because there isn't anything I see that I can order that isn't a heart attack on a plate. Everyone else is ready and the waiter is standing at the table. While he is taking the orders, I see the salmon and then just muster up the courage to order what I want and how I want it. He looks at me and I ask for a grilled piece of salmon, not cooked in butter and without salt with a side of grilled asparagus. It felt liberating. Strong word for ordering food? Maybe to others, but it's exactly how I felt. I ordered what I wanted, no sauce, no salt, no butter, just how I wanted it. It was delicious. 

I have been traveling for work for the last 6 months just about every week and it's been hard to get back on track with eating and working out. It's as if I get these small bursts of thoughts and excitement that I am going to do better that day and then hour by hour, it becomes increasingly more difficult for me to make the better decision with anything. By the time I get back to the hotel room, I am exhausted and I don't want to work out. We meet for breakfast at 6:15 a.m., working until at least 7 or 8 pm, then we go out for dinner and then I am dragging my feet at 9 or 10 night into my room. Then I open my lap top to catch up on some more emails that I was not able to get to during the day. By the time all is said and done, it's sometimes 1 o'clock in the morning and I do not feel like working out, nor getting up at 3 to work out before the day starts. This past week, I made the effort to leave the office by 630-7, and forcing myself to do an hour of cardio and some weight training before hopping back on the computer for work. Hoping that this week will be easier. 

Summer is right around the corner and I am in the same place I was last 10 years, obsessing over the fact I can't lose weight and that I promise myself that I will do better. This time it seems impossible. I just keep telling myself that with the support of my twin, and a few caring people, I can do this. I can make better choices that will promote my health and well being. Starting with eating while on the road since this is a very real part of my life right now. I've blogged in the past about being prepared for when I travel to make it easier, but taking the actions and caring enough about yourself makes all the difference. Right now I feel completely defeated. The scale seems to go up and up. But I am going to take my mini victory of decision making and continue to strive for better days. 

Today was a bad day, tomorrow will be better. 

Health and Wellness to all

Love Patti xox