Three Years

Today is my wedding anniversary. Three years ago the hubs and I got married in Las Vegas with just a few people who were able to come and join us. We didn’t officially invite loads of people on purpose. We just wanted it to be small, intimate. In fact how it turned out is that a few people from high school were able to come (I am still friends with several, mostly all orchestra or girl scout friends), a few people I’d known for years from the internet that I’d never met before (Like NakedJen) and a couple of colleagues came. All in all we were about 15 people I think. Anyway, it was brilliant :)

We went to Phoenix, to Las Vegas and then drove over to Los Angeles and it was a really great trip for us both (with the exception of the fake daggers nails that I had put on before we left the Netherlands for our trip, the Nail Girl didn’t listen to me at all when I told her SHORTER). I mean, of course it was, we got married right? :)

Leading up to the event I think I attempted to lose weight about 23 times (this after the weight loss in 1999 – 2001 with the maintenance until around 2004- 2005), but I never really committed. I was going through a LOT of “stuff” (aka shit) and not coping very well with my life. And I was eating. And drinking. And definitely not exercising. I promised myself I would not be a 100KG bride, but unfortunately I walked down the aisle anyway hovering around 95KG (because I started AGAIN in January 2009). Well, no matter, I felt pretty good, my husband looked hot and well, more importantly we were making a pretty grand commitment to EACH OTHER and that out”weighed” my KG number on the scale.

And he has never had any issue with my weight. When we met I was around 68KG. So you can imagine from 68-100 in a short amount of time I was pretty out of control, but hubs has always said I am beautiful, sexy and gorgeous (he’s a keeper for sure – but we all agree it’s not necessarily what’s on the outside, the inside counts loads, right?). There’s always that moment that you have when you say enough is enough. I’m not sure I even had that moment in January of 2009 but I know AFTER we got married I had the big moment and that was when my 40 year old friend Michael suddenly died. Michael and I had been friends since 1997 and had both been on the weight loss – weight gain roller coaster. We got on health kicks together, went to the gym together, but we also partied together, traveled together, spent holidays together, you know that kind of stuff. I didn’t have a lot of contact with Micheal in the year prior to his death – we were both pretty busy and he was kind of a loner; loved to be by himself, he was a musician constantly creating his music at home coming up with newer and fresher songs than the last, tweaking and striving for perfection. I imagine he had “let himself go” again because he suddenly had a pulmonary embolism. I know you can just be genetically disposed to something like this, but it’s also fair to say that overweight and sedentary people ARE more susceptible to this that those of us who are more fit and healthy (and not overweight).

So Hubs and I got married, me not at an ideal weight but once we came back from the States we started the C25K program. Michael died about one month later. That was the moment that I said “this really has to be my last time.” And it is.

So here we are 3 years later and I know you all have heard me whinge on and on and on about it – since March of 2009 I have lost now officially 12 KG (and 5 prior to March). I am by no means anywhere near a number goal and let’s face it, I just can’t really have a number goal anymore. It makes no sense for me to have one and it only makes me feel unhappy. But in that time I’ve run more than 1,300 Kilometers, cycled more than 1,100 Kilometers, and participated in many races from 5KM to Half Marathon and I do it (almost) every single time thanking the Universe for how lucky I am that I am alive, that my body works the way it should and that I have a husband and two great stepchildren that came with the package for love and support. Back when I lost weight before on Weight Watchers and maintained it, I didn’t really have this kind of appreciation. I didn’t think about how lucky I was that I could walk, run, swim, I just thought about how many calories I needed to burn to work off the pizza and booze I stuffed down my gullet the night before.

Attempt 3,839 April of 2008. Again from about 100 KG down to 95:

September of 2009, looks like I finally stuck with it – 85KG:

So this time IS different. This relationship I have with my hubs is different, this relationship I have with myself is different, this relationship I have with my body is different. I am so, so lucky. I am so grateful.

One of these days I’m going to also reach a number goal, but hopefully you guys will stick with me, like my husband sticks with me, while I reach a few other goals instead.

I told you it was crazy right?

sorry for the silence, especially after that huge rant!

after speaking to my PT, I did actually try the new diet again and was probably 90% successful from Saturday until Friday night when I had pizza. It wasn’t a breakdown it was actually just a choice that I made and enjoyed :)

It’s not super hard to eat this way, I think it’s mostly mental. Now that I know when and how I can eat it’s really fine.

I have to say though, I was away (well, away from the office, still in Amsterdam) for 3 days working at a huge leadership conference and it was fairly challenging to eat outside of your own realm of control so there were moments of carbs combined with protein. I did prepare by bringing loads of approved fruit and veggies and I even brought some coconut milk to replace the dairy. These three days were only at about a 70% success.

So I’m back at it again. Dinners are challenging, but maybe I’m going to pick up a cook book. I don’t like to be limited so I have to make the best of it to really give it a go and see if it works.

I did actually lose a kilo from the first time I weighed in at the gym, to the last time that I saw the PT. No idea if that was diet related or not. You know me, I don’t want to celebrate too quickly.

Tomorrow is another appointment. I’m exhausted otherwise I would share more with you.

The Photographic Evidence

Of the last couple of weeks:

It was snowy and cold:

(not my bike)

Park Musis (in Arnhem)

I bought a new Garmin (which I haven’t used yet… dangit!)

My new favourite breakfast (needs to be changed a wee bit for new “diet”)

cottage cheese, Sabra “Pikant Aubergine” (it’s not spicy at all), cherry tomatoes, spring onion, avocado

The reason I prefer to make my own food, bring my own sandwiches – I bought this before going to the gym Wednesday:

in case you can’t tell, that’s tuna, pickles and ruccola/rocket salad.

Now I’m going to start prepping for food next week and we’ll see how much time I have left for other things.

Do you take photos regularly? Even of what seems to be small insignificant things to others but stuff you want to remember?

It’s true, it’s a story

So, Hey, how are you?

Sorry I haven’t really updated lately. Even the 11×11 post was not meant to be published yet. Bloody hell I am not so great with this stuff am I?

So a little update on the last couple of weeks:

Gym: I’m going to the gym! I realize now I may not have gone to my previous gym as much for more reasons than just the hours. Of course, that was my story – they had crap hours so I didn’t manage to go. Funnily enough though, I’m going to the new gym in the evenings, at 7:30 or 8:00 and even just doing a 45-60min workout and then going home. I think *maybe* I didn’t actually like my old gym very much. Maybe it wasn’t only the hours. Since joining my new gym, and even with the couple of hiccups the first few appointments I had, I’ve been going at least a couple of times a week.

Last week I went on Monday, then I went on Wednesday with my friend (which I will tell you about later) and then I went on Friday and met with a personal trainer.

This week I went on Monday, I went last night and I’m going to meet the personal trainer again tonight.

So that means, pretty much, I’ve decided to go for personal training.

Honestly, I know what to expect in a way. I know I will be pushed and challenged and I know it will cost me an incredible amount of money which I have but I don’t have if you know what I mean? I went to the “proefles” knowing full well that he was probably going to ask me to sign up with him – even at EUR 200 less a month than the original quote it’s still expensive. So I suppose I will definitely not putz around with the training and the food advice he’s going to be providing me. At the same time I’m feeling a little apprehensive about it, mostly the food stuff, because I made it clear I do not want to focus on weight loss, as strange as that may seem; frankly it depresses me and I know myself well enough that I can be quite obsessive about it, which, when loss doesn’t happen it then spins into the depression – frustration cycle. He mentioned that I will have to track my food (no biggie, I do that about 85% of the time anyway, including weighing and measuring and logging in on MFP) and he mentioned a “way of eating” that I am pretty sure is paleo. In general this is also fairly ok, but to be honest I don’t understand cutting out “good” grains and I appreciate them when I’m bulking up my salads for my lunch (for example). I don’t eat a lot of bread as it is and I focus a lot on getting more protein than carbs (though I do love my oatmeal breakfasts when I have them). Anyway, I feel this is going to be quite challenging to make these changes if I can have NO grains whatsoever; my husband cooks most of the time and already alters recipes to bulk up with vegetables, uses less oil, less meat than a recipe calls for and that sort of thing. I know part of my problem is eating too much for dinner, that’s a fact and I have slowly been making changes to the amount I consume (in rice or pasta for example), but now to ask him to change AGAIN or try to cook for us based on what I need, well, I’m not sure how that will work. 1) I don’t know think it’s fair to him – this is MY problem, not his and 2) If I have to cook in the evening there will not be gym time plain and simple. I don’t even get home most nights until 7pm and this is the very reason he does groceries and cooks!

I’m kind of judging all of this and jumping to conclusions before I even try it – I know. And I am reminded (by my own head) that “If you always do, what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got”.

So I see him again tonight and I’m supposed to see him after that twice a week. I also believe I will understand the food stuff more tonight and get some sort of intake booklet because he wants to see what I eat. Updates surely to follow.

So, what else?

Food: I looked into the paleo thing a bit this week and as I mentioned I think I already eat pretty natural and caveman like :) I love my veggies and protein, I eat nuts regularly, peanut butter, and I like meat so that’s not an issue. What I’ve read is somewhat confusing though – some plans say no caffeine (uh, this is going to really be hard – I WORK AT A COFFEE COMPANY!!!), some say paleo people are pro-caffiene. And no pulses? Really? I think beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc are all a great source of protein! Oh and seems like no quark either – I’ve been eating quark rather than yoghurt because it has more protein… no beer (!!!!!!) but wine is fine according to the trainer (???). So, yeah, but better to know what he wants me to do first rather than judge, right? So this week I actually ate no carbs (well, besides in veg and fruit) until dinner up to Thursday. And, to be honest, today I just lost it. I cut out my coffee when I arrive at the office (apparently it spikes cortisol production) and, well I really missed it. NOT physically. Mentally. I also had leftovers for lunch which were carbs (whole wheat pasta) and then it was all over, there was some stress and I ended up shoving some ridiculous piece of sugar bomb into my face. *sigh*

Sometimes I really think I’m a hopeless case!!

Social: Nothing social this week. Too tired. We’ve also had ridiculous disruptions with the trains because of the weather and it’s taken ages to get to and from work. This weekend I also have nothing planned and I haven’t made a new date to do the Sh’bam class with my friend again (I promise you will get the story on that). Last week was busy, then Saturday I was up early to go to the hairdresser, then we had a housewarming / birthday party to go to. This weekend is my stepdaughters birthday party, so up early tomorrow to get a couple of pressies for her and then I might just get to go on a date with my husband!!! We’ve had so little time together, just the two of us, so I’m really looking forward to that.

Running: Nothing happening there either.  On Sunday it will be two full weeks so actually my plan is to do just that. I have been riding my bike to the gym, even though we’ve had snow and ice and extremely cold temps (well, I’m sure it’s all relative). Last Sunday I walked a 5K round and took photos, mostly on the dyke where I run often. It was sunny and snowy and beautiful so I had to at least get out and walk, you know?

Work: crazy as usual. Stress stuff and nice stuff together. At least they balance each other. I have a couple of (fun) things to put together for the next two weeks and then the last week of Feb I’m going to be involved in an absolutely huge event, which I also have to prepare for on the “real job” front. Not that my “real job” isn’t fun, but, well, come on, fun is always better than the practicalities of work!!

That’s it. Did you make it this far? How was your week(s)? Have you been running? What are you eating these days? Have you ever been to a personal trainer?

Another Week Goes By And What Have I Done

I realize it’s Tuesday (evening for me) and I’m very late with my update, but this is my life and the way the lowfat cookie crumbles.

Again a week has gone by and my intentions to blog during the week went right out of the window. You guys are used to that right?

So what have I done?

Monday evening I had my second appointment at the gym with the trainer to get a program set up for me. I have to say I’m not really impressed but my expectations were not that high. The thing is, I already had a program at my other gym, I’m not new and I don’t really need the machines totally explained to me – new ones, yes, thank you, but not ones I’ve been working with for years. So again I arrive on time – and I cycled there so I would already be warmed-up – and again the trainer is nowhere to be found and there are two others waiting for him as well. The woman who did my fitness test came over and told us the trainer would be with us shortly and we should go and do a warm up on one of the machines. :( I realize not everyone has the same dilemma as I have, but my time is precious and I already warmed up so I could start immediately! A few minutes into the elliptical the trainer came over and we could start. The two other ladies were complete beginners so for me this trip to the gym was slightly a waste of time. After setting up a program I did a little bit more cardio and then cycled home. So much for that.

Tuesday I was up early to prep my lunch and snacks (because if I go to the gym in the evening I won’t have time to do food prep if I want to go to bed on time). Work was “normal” (if you can use that term for it!) and at 5pm I left to go and meet some old friends in Utrecht – my friend Beth and her husband used to live here but moved back to Texas (where Beth is from – her hubs is Dutch) 7 or 8 years ago and this was the first chance to see them since they moved back. Another friend of ours, Gwenn, also came and it had probably been even longer since I had seen her last! It was great, just like old times, but again slightly bittersweet – it brings back not so nice memories and thoughts around that time and reminds me of my “previous life” in Den Haag. I love them though, and it was really wonderful to catch up. Luckily we were not out too late and I was home around 10pm, then pretty much straight to bed.

Wednesday I already had plans to see another friend Sarah – we’d planned weeks in advance because I’m trying to have only one social engagement a week – Beth being in the country kind of threw a spanner in the works, but I also want to be more flexible with my schedule. So Sarah works at this expat shop in Leiden and I had asked her to bring me some Vegemite and then we could catch up, have a drink, dinner, etc. I hadn’t seen her since this summer and that was brief and not really one to one. Sarah met me at Leiden train station and we ended up having dinner at a place called De La Soul; apparently it’s “soul food” in the Netherlands… and the menu looked good but we ended up having burgers which were delicious (you guys have no idea how hard it is to find a decent hamburger in this country!). Time went by too, too quickly and I had to go home as Leiden is pretty far from where I live. Luckily hubs again picked me up at the train station when I arrived around 10:30pm.

Thursday I worked from home – I actually had a doctor’s appointment in the morning because I wanted to discuss my TOM issues with her. Nothing major, just that I have a lot more pain than I used to have, not only cramps but my back as well. Not much they can do; I got a prescription for painkillers and am supposed to try that for a couple months before we look at other options. I was going to go to the gym after I finished working – but all of my gym clothes were in the wash. I didn’t want to NOT exercise at all, because the old me may have just said “oh well, my clothes are in the wash”, but the new me wants to keep moving! So I walked 3.5 KM into town to use up my nearly expired coupon from my running shop to buy new socks and I also ended up checking out another sports shop that was having a mega sale, buying a pair of fitness/gym shoes (the ones I was using were over 10 years old!!!) and yes a new pair of gym pants. I was explaining to the lovely Karen that yes, I have running pants, but I don’t like to wear them in the gym. I don’t have a lot of insecurities about my body and I’m ok with my ample backside most of the time, but I feel very exposed in tight running pants and feel like my arse is on display. So, now I have 3 pairs of gym pants I can wear and no excuses why I couldn’t go and work out!

Friday after work I went directly to the gym since I didn’t make it on Thursday. I was busy working out and had to ask one of the trainers where the weights bar cushion thingee was (you know what I mean?), and he started talking to me, asking me if I was new, what my goals were, etc. Anyway, we chatted for a while, he told me he was a personal trainer and asked me if I wanted a try-out session. He said he could definitely help me reach my goals of being fitter and stronger but he could also help me lose weight. I explained to him that I didn’t want to focus on weight loss, that I’ve been on this plateau forever yadda yadda yadda (you guys know the drill) and focusing on weight loss drives me mental. He said we didn’t have to focus on it, it would just be a bonus side effect. So I said, sure, why not, I would try it, nothing to lose really, right? I gave him my number, he gave me the name of his website and I carried on with my work out. I arrived home around 8pm or so, had a wonderful dinner with my hubs and a glass of wine and just hung out. Nice :)

Saturday morning slept in a wee bit, did some errands, had a failed shopping trip and then headed off to the kids’ house to celebrate my step-son’s birthday (he turned 11 on Monday :) ). Arrived back home, quick rush to get ready, then out for a quick bite to eat and straight afterwards to a MeetUp my friend M and I had organized for the expats in Arnhem. Was actually really nice, tons of people showed up, lots of newbies! It’s cool to meet so many expats in the city I live in, especially considering it’s not the biggest city in the Netherlands (but the 2nd largest in my province). Sadly my back was killing me after several hours standing so we went home around 12:30am.

Sunday more sleeping in, lots of pottering around and then finally I got my bum in gear for a RUN! It was cold, but I layered up and headed out to Westervoort. I love running over the bridge, along the dyke and through the farmland! It’s so amazing that it’s so close to the city yet so removed from it all. I can clearly still see the couple of people I saw also running along the dyke and smiling from ear to ear. I know it sounds cheesy but I just love to see others running, acknowledging each other and knowing the other one is loving it too! It was a fantastic run, I honestly could have kept going! When my loop was done I was almost at 10KM so I just kept going until I hit that mark. I stopped off at the supermarket (weird, I know, in all my sweaty, stinky, running clothes glory) to get something the hubs needed for dinner, went home, had an amazingly delicious meal, prepped all my food for the next day, showered and then settled in to watch a movie with hubs until it was time for bed.

Phew!! Now THAT’S an update!!

This week:

Monday – Gym
Tuesday – break
Wednesday – Gym (aerobics class with my friend G)
Thursday – don’t know yet
Friday – PT appointment!!
Saturday – too much going on probably nothing
Sunday – Going for a run :)

I was thinking of doing the aerobics class with G only every other week and then maybe if my friend M is up for it I could see her in town on the off weeks. I’m trying not only to be good to myself this year but also be good to my friends. That means making time when I can and spending even one or two hours with them as opposed to having weeks go by and not seeing each other. This year is all about the balance. Food, sleep, work, fitness, friends, hubs. Not in that order :)

The Quick Update Update

Sorry to have to be so quick, but it’s either cleverly think of things to blog about for this week or just update and go into the kitchen and sort out my food for tomorrow. We all know how I like to plan and be prepared so the quick update wins.

Monday I went to the gym for my first appointment which happened to be my fit test. We know what happened with that :)

Tuesday I worked too late, had too much stress, went home and wanted to go for a quick 5K around the park. Unfortunately some a$$hole decided to run next to me in the park and mock me skipping (I was skipping as part of the exercises the physio gave me). It was dark, I didn’t have my phone/gps with me and quite frankly he freaked me out ruining my run. Nice. So, 3.5K it was.

Wednesday more stress at work, but after work I went out to the airport to meet an old but very dear friend of mine. We hadn’t seen each other in YEARS. I contemplated not going because I was exhausted and very stressed out but I just didn’t want to cancel on her after we finally made a date. I broke my no alcohol during the week rule and split a bottle with her (we chose the airport because it’s 10 min from my work and 15 from her house) and had dinner. Turns out she goes to my new gym so we are going to go to a class together on Wednesdays (starting NEXT week). I can stay at her house and get to work very easily in the morning. Of course I will miss Hubs though.

Thursday late again and stressed again. Work has been such a nightmare lately. Home late, meant to cook, had pizza instead. FAIL.

Friday I felt like absolute crap on a cracker. I went to work, did what I needed to do, came home and made sure I was in bed by 10pm. I slept until 11am Saturday and did absolutely NOTHING all day.

And here we are at Sunday. I slept again for 12 hours, feel better, did a little walk/run to the gym, worked out, came home and had a delicious dinner. I actually tracked all my calories for today and have 1 calorie left over.

Things coming up this week:
Clearly not a lot of sleep!!
Monday – gym
Tuesday – meeting old friend who lived here, moved back to Texas and is here this week visiting
Wednesday – meeting friend in Leiden
Thursday – work from home, gym
Friday – pass out as soon as I’m back from work

So you can kind of see why I need to sign off now and prep my food for tomorrow at least?!

How was your week? Was it how you planned?

The Last Foodie Friday of 2011

We made it guys! WHOO!!

This week has not be stellar for me once again but we are not surprised by now. After all this is NOT A WEIGHT LOSS BLOG so no real reason to expect that I’m a green, mean, clean eating machine all the time, right? With the holidays coming to a close, finally the biscuits, cookies, chocolates, cakes, special breads, etc., will stop being put in my face until next year and I can at least go on with my life in the way I actually MEAN to go on.

Remember last year I did the 30 Day I’m Not Going to Eat Any Crap At Work Challenge? Well it’s time to have that challenge again. This is utterly ridiculous and not who I am.

It’s funny because we have stuff at home right now, chocolates that my husband bought, but the thing is, I don’t like them, so I don’t eat them. I don’t like half the shit I’m shoving in my face at work, but I’m still eating it. I’m not hungry, I’m eating it. I’m looking for stuff to shove down my neck. I know that it’s stress related.

But it’s amazing (here comes the broken record) that even though I know it doesn’t help I do it anyway. Really annoying. I can quit smoking, but I can’t stop shoving crappy things in my face?

Anywho. I had some really good stuff this week too though. I must be such a food/health dork because I just LOVE a great salad. I am definitely going to refocus and get my good food on next week and beyond :)

Thanks to Tracy, I had these Cheddar Snack-a-Jacks with lowfat Philadelphia and 4 slices total of chorizo for breakfast. In hind-sight, I agree that these are more a snack item and not breakfast as I was just too hungry too soon. Lesson learned.

Another breakfast: Green Eggs. I used spinach (frozen, thawed out from night before), spring onions and courgette (zucchini) with two eggs and two egg whites, about 10g of parmigiana and (sorry if this sounds weird) used the pan that had a wee bit of oil (< 1TBSP), garlic (whole clove), chilies and cumin fried in it the night before. This was delish and definitely more filling than the snack-a-jacks.

Curry (Dahl) – OH MY GOD this is insanely delicious and healthy, really! Lentils, tomatoes, chicken, spices… with basmati rice and the “topping” as mentioned above ^^^^

The topping, in the pan:

Wait that’s not food! (Nena, Kitty #2 hanging out)

Another breakfast: this was good, but only semi-filling. I had a couple weeks there where I was doing all right but lately (maybe again lack of good sleep) I’m hungry by the time I get to work. Again need to revamp and figure this out. Ah I’m in a constant state of reinvention, no?

2 Hard boiled eggs, leftover rice and two small ripe tomatoes:

This week I also had, but did not photograph, leftover chili con carne with rice (yum), leftover Dahl (no chicken, no topping) and I had some leftover rice, steamed broccoli, chicken, courgette and red onion that I whipped up together for lunch yesterday.

With all the not so healthy choices (and chocolate/biscuit face shoving) there were some healthy ones in there too.

What did you eat this week? What was amazing and healthy? What could you improve upon? Did you also almost eat up a cute kitty cat?

Week in Review:: Stop the World I want to get off Edition

Another week in review and to be quite honest with you it was almost the same as the last.

Busy, hectic, too much to do, too tired, too packed full of stuff.

In fact if I think about it now I have no idea what even happened two days ago let alone a whole week.

I do know there was no running (but the bag is packed to run at lunch tomorrow).

There was no gym.

There was somewhat of an attempt to do my body weight exercises.

There was less planning and too much random eating.

Friday I worked at one of our stores so I was not really in a position to have my regular food and snacks and Friday night was our company Holiday Party… there were *some* alcoholic beverages comsumed (and quite a bit of dancing, yay!) Saturday I was a wreck though (I’m not good with drinking much anymore… could be a good thing right?) so I didn’t eat or drink well and on top of that I had plans to go out with my friend M, meaning more food and drink was involved.

You know I don’t think the holidays should be a time when you say “screw it” and eat everything that isn’t nailed down, but it is a special time of year and very often you end up presented with food and drink that you normally wouldn’t have during “normal” times of the year. While I think my brain still wants to hang on to that a little bit (enter the panicking about food/weight Pinky), part of me feels really free. You know, I feel quite good. Healthy. I was looking at my body a bit the other day (which to be honest I don’t do much and maybe I should because it’s not exactly BAD…) and I thought “damn. for a 43 year old you really aren’t looking bad at all”. I bought this cute dress for the holiday party and it fit perfectly and I just thought “yeah! being this size/weight isn’t really bad!”

So yeah. Not the best example in the world, but I’m an honest example. It’s the holidays. Enjoy being with the people you love and if there is food or drink involved just use your head. You know, enjoy. Be present. Make memories. It’s nice and something to treasure. Nobody wants to sit around and pick at all the things they did “wrong” (ie what they ate and drank… people, life is too short!), pick at the things you did right!

I was in situations quite often this past week where I was late going home and hungry so I tried a few things I hadn’t had before:

Have you Had these?

I think these were 140 cals for two biscuits

Fruit Bites - Tasty, 90 cals but downside made from concentrate

I was in a BTL Chat about a week+ ago and we were talking about tips and tricks… one of my favourite tips is… if you are eating pasta with meat/tomato sauce, have less pasta and bulk it up with broccoli.

100g Kamut Pasta with 150g steamed broccoli

mmmm mmmmm leftover homemade (lean) meat and tomato sauce courtesy of the Hubs

Also I have a twitter friend who has a cook book shop in town and she actually blogs here (in Dutch); she has some great recipes that she shares but this past week she made what sounds to be like a very simple but amazingly delicious mandarin cake… she saved me a piece so on Thursday I went by…What a treat!!

mandarin cake courtesy of Riejanne S.

I love to support local businesses and I wish you all lived close to me so you could visit her shop!

One of my favourite things this week? Homemade cappuccino. Yes I’m back to making them again at home.

foamy milk and creamy espresso

A Perfect Beverage

Plans this week:
Monday – dinner with friends (and looks like I’ll finally be meeting Penny!!! YAY!) packing my bag to run at lunch time.
Tuesday – recover from Monday, make sure I make my lists for food we need over the holiday
Wednesday – I may again run at lunchtime; driving the car because I need to bring some stuff home from work, don’t want to be stuck in Traffic
Thursday – meeting up with my friend P after work. Last minute shopping?
Friday – am supposed to work in another store of ours. don’t know if I’ll make it.
Saturday – last minute (food) shopping, making cookies for the Hubs Santa Claus.
Sunday – CHRISTMAS! Whoo!

Calgon, take me away!

How was your week? How do you feel about all of the busyness and food and drink this time of year?

Week In Review:: 4 Dec – 11 Dec

This post should be titled:
The Week that Wasn’t

or alternatively:
Don’t be like me and eat crap all week

But alas, I’m going with the standard Week in Review Post…

You know when people talk about motivation, I find myself thinking about the post that I wrote some time ago and I truly believe that motivation is nothing something you can just “get” from somewhere. Not having motivation (in my opinion) is actually just an excuse why you (general “you”) don’t do the things you know that you need to do to be healthy, fit and feel good about yourself in general.

For example, it wasn’t lack of motivation that I ate like crap this week. It was other things. And they were all related to emotions:

I’m tired.
I have some quite some stress at work.
I had my Aunt Flo visiting me this week and felt like complete and utter shit on a stick (massive back pain and cramps)
I found out that my grandmother has pretty bad dementia and my dad actually thought she may have had a stroke (this particular fact had me crying a LOT last week – am so afraid I won’t see her again, plus she is my only link with where I come from, she’s my history, my GRANDMOTHER, someone I spent so much time with; I was her first grandchild and the thought of her dying now just really upsets me greatly) – she’s now moved into a nursing home. On Wednesday I even almost booked a flight home.

So with these as my excuses/facts I do realise 100% that sticking my head in the candy jar at work is NOT a solution. The stress and the pain in my back could be relieved with a run or an hour at the gym, but clearly I wasn’t willing to do that this week. I’ve no one else to blame here. I made the choice and I have to live with it. I’ll be honest, I’m fairly sick of myself and reacting with food in these ways that I do feel a very serious change coming on. I cannot continue my life like this – this emotional eating does absolutely nothing for me but enhance my crappy feeling.

So another week has gone by and I did not go to the gym. That’s 2 weeks since October. I did however fill out the form to join the other gym that my company pays a chunk of the membership fee each month. I just need the option to go to the gym in the weekend after 12. So I’ll be sending my letter (again) to my current gym to stop my membership.

Something fun happened this Saturday – although eating was still not stellar, the kids, hubs and I all went to the Openluchtmuseum (Open Air Museum) here in Arnhem. It was SO MUCH FUN. And I can tell you we were walking around pretty much all day. We even did a bit of tubing down a “snowy” hill and went ice skating. It was the kind of day that just made you forget all of the stress and worry, just for a few hours. I was so grateful for this day, even though I’m pretty broken from landing on my tush a few times on the ice skates. For your viewing pleasure, a few photos:

It was an absolutely GORGEOUS day!

S-Daughter and Hubs (waving) on ice:

My Family *swoons*

Coming down the hill

How can anyone not enjoy this scenery?

I got a run in today that I called the Road to Redemption; feeling much better mentally and physically!!

So, plan for the week: Get some food prepped (still haven’t done it and it’s nearly 7:30pm), go to the gym, enjoy the party next Friday night (company party), try to get through Christmas shopping, see my girlfriend M and get a run in. Should be possible.

How was your week?

Week In Review:: 27 Nov – 4 December

Oh wow! Decemeber already!!! Unbelievable!

This has been another crazy week, I can tell you! No time for much catch up. Once again I wanted to share with you a foodie post prior to Sunday, but lucky reader… you will get that today!

So the week ended/started out all right with my “new” Sunday ritual of roasting vegetables and prepping for the week. AND an 8K run in the evening. Running is going well, it feels good and I’m glad to be doing it. Sunday I ran through town a bit because to be honest I prefer different routes vs. running around the park several times. I’m then paying less attention to how many more kilometers I have to run and more attention on my surroundings and maneuvering my way back home.

Monday was my regular day to come home early from work and relax in the evening, but with all the things going on at the moment, I wasn’t able to leave on time. Tuesday was an absolute nightmare – I left for work but I only made it almost half way when there was a big problem with the trains. I had to turn around and go back and work from home instead. Since this was my busiest day of the month it was not stop people asking me questions (over IM), calling, emailing, problems with the system… basically working from home is supposed to be less stressful but it was by far the worst day of my week! I *did* go for a 6 K run on Tuesday evening (once I finally got to sign off), but when I came home I had two missed calls from my boss and a bitchy email, so I knew I wasn’t quite finished yet. It was a day for a LOT of coffee:

Italian Roast in Italian Roast

Luckily I had prepared my food for that day so I had something healthy to eat and wasn’t just reaching for anything, like this tuna, rice and green bean salad:

Wednesday and Thursday I worked late. I wanted to go to the gym Thursday but as I had my friend Kary coming to visit me on Friday (for the weekend) and I still need to clean and tidy up, this just wasn’t going to happen. Sadly, this was the first week since October 1st that I haven’t been to the gym.

Friday I left early because K arrived!!! I wasn’t quite sure what we were going to do for the weekend since I am sort of out of the loop when it comes to guests. My dad and stepmom were here earlier this year, but they didn’t stay with us, they stayed at a hotel near the station. I haven’t had anyone come and stay for probably 10 years! K made it really easy though and I did imagine in the back of my mind that we would probably just spend a lot of time talking and that’s exactly what we did! Hubs made a great dinner for us on Friday, Saturday we spend the day in town drinking coffee, talking, eating, talking, drinking wine and then eventually we went to our favourite Thai restaurant in town. Sadly the weekend flew by and K’s already on her way back to Sweden.

I’m going to now probably have a cuppa (or more specifically a shot)

and prep my food

Sundried Tomatoes and Roasted Vegetables

I’m eating Peas now!!!

Peas are my new love

My breakfast this week has been only yoghurt, fruit and some nuts (in this case almonds). I’m waiting now until about 7:30 to eat, though admittedly I’m pretty hungry by then.

A friend of mine actually gave me this “energy bar” – I was really hungry Thursday morning and remembered I had it in my bag (it’s vegan too!)

This coming week will also be a bit unconventional – I’m having dinner with a friend tomorrow night, but Tuesday I took the day off to go with hubs to some doctor’s appointments, then by Thursday I need to come up with a dish I can share with my team; Friday we have a sort of Pot Luck and we all have to bring something that represents where we come from… again, tons of food on Friday that will not exactly be part of the plan…

Looks like gym’s going to happen on Friday after work…

How did your week go? What are your plans for the upcoming week?