Wings & Things

Tuesday night my co-workers and I trekked the far trip to the lower east side to a place called Croxley Ales that boasts amazing chicken wings for the mere price of $0.10 each! Back in the day before I started to eat healthy, chicken wings were my favorite food ever. In fact, there is a video of me at the age of about 4 where I am dancing around and singing how much I love them. Luckily that is somewhere lost in the sea of VHS tapes, so that can’t haunt me anytime soon!

These days, my stomach cannot handle the fried goodness that is a chicken wing. The last time I attempted to eat them was last summer, and it ended in me being sick for 3 days. So while I could not partake in the cheap chicken wing feast, I had a sandwich that was pretty amazing. I had the grilled buffalo chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries, which was definitely close enough to chicken wings. The sauce was so spicy (just how I like it!) and the blue cheese crumbles were amazing. We all shared the fries and my group said the wings (and the boneless) were great. Croxley Ale’s is a tiny bar but were able to house our group of 6 just fine. I will definitely be going back for the sandwich; one of the top 5 I’ve had since living in NYC!

Moving on to things. I had Wednesday off of work and I honestly had such a depressing day. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed for sure, coupled with PMS that keeps getting worse and worse each month since I have been off of birth control (about 10 months or so now). I wanted to give my body a year off of it since I was on it for 3-4 years and in that time I had lost so much weight. This might be TMI but I wasn’t sure what had caused my sex drive to go completely away for so long. My doctor was sure it was most likely just a change in my hormones and stress from losing 110 pounds, and then last year once I was borderline starving myself and working out so much. I haven’t been too open about it, but I did lose my period for a few months. That’s when I got really freaked out and started to get healthy again. Too bad I went a little overboard (I needed to gain about 10 lbs, ended up with 20-25) and am now struggling to lose 15. But, that’s a different story for a different day 😉

ANYWAYS, the depressing day. It was just hormones because yesterday and today I feel fine. But one big thing that has been bothering me is the fact that I am struggling so much this time around losing a measly 15 pounds (compared to the 110 I lost.) Actually, it’s not even a number because I haven’t weighed myself since the end of 2011. I got way too obsessed with the scale, and thought I could just go by how my clothes felt. Well, my clothes just kept getting tighter and tighter and the size 4 I was at the healthiest weight I have been (at my unhealthy, a 0 was big) has turned into an 8. Yes, I work in fashion so yes, I know that sizing in clothes these days means literally nothing. Every brand is different, and vanity sizing has taken place of true sizing. I also want to note that I in no way think that sizes dictate who a person is. I know people who are a size 8 who weigh and look like they weigh less than I do. This is just a personal thing, and also because I am not happy with how my body looks at the moment. My body is a little on the boy-ish side, meaning I have no real hips, butt or boobs, and so I carry any extra weight in my arms and stomach. Not flattering.

A few hours of sulking later, I read Lauren’s amazing post. There are so many of us out there who are struggling with weight loss because it is obviously one of the most challenging things to accomplish, and then keep off. For those of us who have lost weight, we know how to do it. There are really no tricks, it’s just simply eating less than you burn. Focus on eating clean, whole foods that power and fuel our bodies. We know all of this, have done it in the past and had the results, so why is it sometimes it’s so hard to not eat chocolate covered animal crackers and sweet potato fries multiple nights in a row (and not just on cheat day)? Why is sticking to 1700-1800 calories (for me, with my activity level) to lose the pounds that bother us so much seem like such a daunting task? That amount of clean food is plenty, trust me! So for the last few months I have been working out like crazy, yet eating at my maintenance amount of calories (2300+) so I have not lost the weight that has stuck to me the last 9 months. Due to where my weight goes when I gain, it’s easy to see where I have gained and it bothers me mostly because I strive to be such a role model to those who are struggling with their own weight. I have proved to be someone who lost a remarkable amount of weight and kept it off for awhile, but now I have gained. Yes, 15 pounds is not a crazy amount but it’s enough to show, and it’s enough for my adorable new wardrobe that I bought the last 2 years to not fit.

What have I realized since reading Lauren’s post, crying for hours, and some soul searching? I am the only one in control of my life. I choose to let food rule in emotional times, and not just when I am hungry. I choose to go off track too many days out of the week instead of just one day per week. I choose to have an extra few spoonfuls of peanut butter before bed out of habit instead of being satisfied with dinner. All of these things just need to STOP and just like that I can gain control. I had some wicked willpower during the year that I had got out of control with how little I ate. I would never want to go back to that, but I do need to channel the willpower I know that I have. A year ago I was terrified of eating 1200 calories. I would work out no less than 2 hours per day, and I had family and friends worried about me. I was the thinnest I ever was my whole life, but I was miserable. I can say now that even though my body is not where I want it, I am much happier with myself.

Yesterday morning in spin class, a guy who sits next to me every Thursday morning asked me after class what sports I played growing up, or currently. When I told him I never played sports, and have only been physically active the last 2 years, he refused to believe me. At this point, the spin instructor came over to us and joined, also in shock that I don’t play sports. They both told me that I “kill it” in every class, and always push myself to go just a bit further than others in the class (which leaves me in a pool of my own sweat). That moment almost brought me to tears, because I realized that my fitness is not only great compared to others who look more fit than I, but greater than I ever imagined in my wildest dreams. I was happy when I could finally walk 2 miles, but now a 4-5 mile run is just a “quick” little run, and 2 spin classes in a day is fun for me. The weight will come off, but what matters most to me is that I am physically fit and I don’t have to start from scratch again. I will never allow myself to gain 30,40,50 pounds and treat my body poorly. I just need to get my head straight, which I will say is not easy given the last 9 months and what I have gone through. But, I am determined to end 2012 on a positive note.

Whew, this was quite the honest post! Give me some feedback. What are ways you get back on track after falling off for awhile? Have you ever fallen off for a longer period of time?

9 miles

What a weekend.

Friday night was delightfully lazy. Cereal for dinner and watching a marathon of Law & Order SVU and Portlandia while cuddling with John is my favorite way to spend a night.

Saturday was work, followed by thinking I was going out to party for the night.. Until I got a surprise text from my running buddy asking me to join her for a long run with the Jack Rabbit running group! We hadn’t gone in a couple of months so I decided to stay in and be a nervous wreck all night 🙂 I get such bad anxiety before working out with other people! I love it once it’s happening though!

Sunday morning came and I headed down to 72nd street. The group had more people than the first time which was fun, and we all set out for a long run in Central Park at different paces.

We had a fast start, running 8-8:30 min miles and because of my anxiety and knowing I had to run for over an hour, I got burnt out fast. I wanted to run 8 miles so I slowed down and had a few others slow down too, which is why running with a group is so nice.. They’re super motivating and supportive! And they don’t judge you when you’re the slowest in the group and breathe like you need an oxygen mask 🙂

The first 5.5ish flew by, as we explored the park on the most gorgeous winter day. We stopped to use the bathrooms at the Boathouse and then continued on. The last miles were brutal and almost all hills. I wanted to stop at 8, but we had 1 more mile to get back to the store so we ran it back.

My longest run to date, 9 miles in 1 hour 25 mins and some change for an average pace of 9:27. Not bad at all!

Post run: grocery shopping, a very upset stomach, hot shower, egg white oats in a PB jar, 3 mile walk with Caitlin for froyo.

Snickerdoodle froyo, peanut butter cups, crushed cookie and cheesecake bites. Great lunch if I say so myself!

John met me for dinner at my new favorite place, Grey Dog Cafe in Chelsea. They play awesome music and have such good food; why go to one of the 9866 billion other restaurants in NYC when you have the best in one place?

Favorite meal maybe ever: sweet potato fries + a turkey and avocado sandwich on homemade 9 grain bread with honey mustard. 84% healthy.

I am weird and always have my legs in weird positions, even in restaurants. This is why I avoid fancy places, I don’t they would like my feet on their chairs..

Pics are at the bottom because I’m blogging from my phone and it doesn’t add them after each caption. If only I could afford an iPad.

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Snow!

FINALLY NYC got snow! I don’t like winter but since it’s not an option, it better at least be snowy if it’s going to be cold.

Friday I was still feeling really drained so I went home from work and went right to bed. I watched TV for awhile but finally slept from 9 to 10 the next morning! I woke up feeling awake and ready to get a good run in. It had snowed all night and I have always wanted to run in the snow 🙂 I hit up Central Park for a few miles, sans music (also a 1st for me) and it was amazing to hear the silence that snow brings. Kids were sledding and runners were running, but snow really quiets a city down. I love it!

5 miles later, I met up with Caitlin and some of her friends for brunch at Galaxy Diner where I had coffee, egg whites, 7-grain toast & homefries. For $5. Yum.

Still in my Lululemon jacket, vest, tights, sneakers and headband, I walked all over the city with them for close to 5 hours! It was FREEZING, but so fun since I haven’t had a day like that in too long. Best part: walking through the tunnel that goes from East 66th to West 66th through the park on a very narrow, snow-filled path. We felt like kids, especially since the adventure ended at 16 Handles for frozen yogurt. It was beyond refreshing to have a day filled with no responsibilities 🙂

I took the hottest shower of my life and then it was time for a date with my love! He took me to a cozy cafe in Chelsea called Grey Dog Cafe. Hipster vibe without the pretentious feel, you order your food at a counter, seat yourself and have your food brought out to you by a guy yelling your name. After a 5 mile run and 4 hours of walking, I was hungry!

I went back and forth between a few choices, but I settled on the grey dog turkey club sandwich on 9 grain bread, without bacon, mayo or cheese. I added avocado because I am going through a huge avocado phase right now, and it’s more flavorful (not to mention healthier than bacon or mayo). With sweet potato fries on the side, this was a perfect, huge meal for my huge runners appetite 🙂

The sandwich was incredible. So fresh and healthy tasting, and the sweet potato fries added that level of comfort that is craved on a cold, snowy night. For dessert John had a huge piece of apple cobbler with homemade whipped cream, and I had a spicy hot chocolate. Perfect date night in my book!

Sunday I had to work, but afterwards met up for dinner with my old boss from upstate NY and another former co-worker who were visiting. We had delicious salads and pizza at Angelo’s Pizza in midtown east and caught up on the last almost year of each others lives. She is like a second mom to me 🙂

After dinner, I went home and finally watched Bridesmaids! I basically cried for most of the movie because it is the exact friendship that my best friend Brenda and I have! The movie was hystarical just like everyone had said.

Only downfall of that snow run: I’m having major knee pain 😦 My left knee is really hurting again. I went for a slow, hilly 2.5 mile run this morning and went to spin tonight, but I’m not running tomorrow. I might just cross-train this week and do some Jillian because I cannot risk hurting it more! Boo 😦

How was your weekend? Eat anything yummy? Any good workouts?

weekend re-cap

Happy (belated) Halloween! I dressed up as Rachel Zoe for work yesterday & for Caitlin’s party Saturday. I didn’t have to spend a dime since fur vests and huge sunglasses are staples in my wardrobe 🙂 This weekend was fun and a little bizarre to have a snow storm in October! Back track to Friday… I’ll let the pics do the talking!

baby food as a snack? delish.
biggest pear ever. not pictured: peanut butter (duh)
I look horrible but had to post it because it looks like "fart" is behind John (it said earthlings?).
5 Napkin Burger date- veggie burger on multi-grain w/ extra pickles & sweet pot fries! ❤
all bundled up for pumpkin froyo at 16 handles!

It was a pretty wild (and indulgent!) Friday night and we were in bed by 11. We slept until noon Saturday which I haven’t done in years, and woke up to a white out snow storm! I love snow especially now that I don’t have to drive in it. I walked to the grocery store to get breakfast ingredients which included eggs, fat-free reddi whip, pumpkin and LIFE CEREAL! It’s one of my favorites, it was on sale and I haven’t had it in at least a year (name brand cereal is very expensive in nyc!). I made John whole wheat french toast and some pumpkin oatmeal protein pancakes with warm diced apples for me 🙂

With plenty of fat-free reddi whip

We watched a marathon of Arrested Development and spent the whole day cuddling while it snowed 🙂 You can work up quite the appetite being lazy, so I had a huge bowl of Life cereal with a banana and peanut butter.

Slept some more, then got ready to head to Caitlin’s halloween party! She had an amazing spread of mini carrot cake cupcakes, chips, hummus & veggies and CAKE POPS DIPPED IN PEANUT BUTTER CHIPS!

Rachel Zoe!
Rachel Zoe and Capt Morgan.. missing his Diet Coke!
my sexy lumberjack girlfriend
my 3 favs!

We drank lots of wine and decided not to go out in the snow storm. John and I picked up a piece of pizza on the way home thanks to the alcohol, and it was amazing! Not for my waistline, but whatever.

drrrrrrrunk pizza

I slept a whopping 3 hours before I was wide awake and watched Fashion Hunters on Bravo… Love that show! I decided to get grocery shopping out of the way and walk off some of the alcohol. I got off at 116th st and on my walk got invited to breakfast with Caitlin and her friends, so I went on down to 51st and had a delish $3.50 breakfast at Galaxy. I had egg whites, 7 grain toast & potatoes. Aka perfect hangover food!

I spent the rest of Sunday walking around the Upper West Side and ended the day with a coffee date with John at Bourbon Coffee on 14th Street. If you live in NYC or visit, try to go there. They made my pumpkin spice latte with REAL pumpkin instead of gross sugary syrup! They also have the most amazing dessert called a “Jedhi bar” which is a layered cookie bar of graham cracker, dark chocolate, coconut and coffee/cocoa powder. We get it every time and share it. My phone had died at this point since I walked all day, so no pic.

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling super stuffy, so I made a big green monster smoothie with some egg whites for breakfast.

Due to the snow storm Saturday, the power, internet and HEAT was out at work. Apparently Jersey got a lot more snow than NYC. Yet we still stayed doing absolutely nothing for 7 hours. Luckily I had snacks but I wasn’t able to eat my oatmeal for lunch because we had no hot water or microwave. I had a big apple with peanut butter, and a greek yogurt mixed with PB2, fiber 1, a banana and peanut butter. AKA not enough food for me.

We ended up finally leaving at 4 instead of 6, and Caitlin and I had BIG plans of hitting the gym… but our growling stomachs got the best of us. Not to mention we’re both fighting a cold courtesy of hangovers and freezing cold temperatures. We were starving for chinese, so we found a place in her neighborhood for some take out and headed back to her place to watch Sex and the City and chow. I learned my lesson with the fried chinese I had upstate, so I got steamed chicken with steamed broccoli with absolutely no oil, and a side of steamed vegetables.

It was so good and now I know I can eat chinese and have it be healthy! We also indulged in some dark chocolate since it was Halloween and all. We went walking around her neighborhood and I continued on a stroll up the Upper West Side and got to enjoy some costumes. I walked a lot Sunday and Monday but it was my only real exercise. Obviously this weekend was super indulgent and void of vegetables, so I was happy to hop back on the running train this morning!

Sorry for the crazy long post, I have to stop being so busy shoveling food in my mouth on weekends and make time to blog! 😉