Monday, May 31, 2010

Canceled trips and BL Challenges!

I should be in Rome right now, no literally I should. That is at least what my plane ticket said. But instead I am still siting in Hungary. Long story short I couldn't find anyone to go with, prices are very high, and getting to/from Bratislava airport would have been 120 euros since the one bus to/from there didn't run near my time of departure and arrival.....I'll admit I was sad to not go. I love Italy. I have so many wonderful memories of living there, with friends, and the culture Italy ranks number 2 in my countries I love, following Croatia by a pinch. I wasted 50 euros on the ticket, which hurt my wallet, but I wouldn't have had a good time going alone and I need to save up for my trip stateside unless I plan to mooch of my 'rents for a month. And the plus side I'll be back in Verona come August visiting, so maybe I'll make the trip to Rome then.

I'm also in the process of applying again for a Hungarian visa. People if you want to live or be in Europe for more than 3 months you need a visa and boy are they annoying to get. I'll admit my German visas were a piece of cake. These Hungarian visas take days of running to the bank, getting insurance statements, meeting with a lawyer, and so on and so forth. Not fun. This is what I will be spending my time doing for the next week, and hopefully I will get another visa so I can stay longer in Hungary!

Today was also the start of the Biggest Loser Challenge at 3FC! I'm on the red team. I am super excited for this challenge. I need so motivation to lose about 10-15 more pounds before I go home. That's reasonable I believe in two months. Now if I don't make it I won't be devastated because I lose weight so S-L-O-W. No joke. I can be on plan for a month and still lose a pound. Hopefully though I can get out of the 2-teens real soon!

Oh and I noticed I had followers! I'm so please....but don't lurk! I'd love to hear your opinions even if it is to tell me to suck it up, or to offer words of encouragement. In a weight loss journey one can not do it alone.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A grocery shopping I will go.....

So it has been another good weekend, with some minor slips.

I probably went to the grocery store three times this week! In my defense I went to three different store on three different days for different items! Plus I biked there each time. Shopping in Europe is NOTHING like shopping in the US. I really miss shopping stateside because it is convenient and has a lot more options......July can't get here soon enough! Plus, they don't have many low cal/low fat options. What they have I have to seek out at specialty stores and then the selection is limited.

But on with the goodies!

I located and purchased applesauce and tofu! Finding these items in Hungary is like looking for a needle in a haystack, luckily there is a German store "DM" that carried these products, and I got them in the organic section, bonus!!!

This is the same trip to the DM, but also added a trip to a normal grocery "SPAR". I love the 50% off stickers!
In addition I also picked up these items from the Aldi. I have never tried a veggie burger, but decided to give it a shot, it seemed to be my theme for this week. Trying new food.

Since I have been hearing good things about Greek yogurt I decided to pick some up and give it a try....

I used this yogurt. It is the only Greek yogurt I could find in this town, and I checked all the stores! They have some with honey, cookies, and chocolate but the calories are very high so I opted for strawberry. I put about half in with my banana muffin......It was delish! And filling. So needless to say I went back and picked up some more!

I also decided to pick up some tofu and try it. Now pre-get smart and eat healthy I thought that if you ate tofu you were one of those people, a crazy health nut so had no taste buds. Granted, I had never tried it when I was harboring these negative thoughts but I believed I was right and I wasn't ever going to eat it.....wrong.

So I asked around and figured the best way for me to make it would be WOK style. I picked up some specially labeled WOK veggies and soysauce, cooked it for 6 minutes and it came out this delicious dish.

I made a veggie burger and Mediterranean veggies that looked like this, my photo of it on the plate somehow diapered off my camera! But it was also very yummy!

In addition I also bought this vanilla protein powder to give it a shot. It's calorie steep but very good.I used it with these to make chocolate protein brownies.

The recipe called for chocolate protein mix and canned pumpkin, since I did not have those items I substituted an extra yogurt cup and one egg white.



and had this yummy creation. I also had a 615 calorie binge on a Lindt chocolate bar. In the past I would have let myself get away with it by justifying what I did. Last night was different. I made myself go through another exercise routine to burn 615 calories. It wasn't easy and I wanted to die when I was done, but that was my punishment for getting off track. And I am glad that I did the workout.

I also am questioning my calories. Two weeks ago when I started calorie counting I was to be between 1500-2000 according to SP, then last week they changed it so I was between 1200-1550 (probably because my weight drop). I stayed within my calorie limit but didn't lose. The first week I lost 3 lbs at about 1500-1700 calories. So this week I am adjusting my calorie limit back up to 1500-1700 and will re-evaluate at the end of the week if I need to adjust again or not.

Does anyone else calorie count and have this problem?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Emmmm muffins

Found this great recipe for low-cal banana muffins. They average 75 calories/ muffin and make 12. Best part is they are super easy to make! Gotta love that.

I took the recipe to work the other day and let the kids make their own, they approved! (They also decorated their muffins for fun...I'm not sure if it made it taste better or not!)

I froze half of the muffins....and ate the others throughout the week.

I ate them for breakfast w/ cherries...... I must say that I adored the cherries with these muffins, they made it extra good!

.......And for a pre-workout snack.

I mixed it up this week by eating muffins for breakfast occasionally, but I missed my usual morning breakfast oatmeal. To make it I mix oats with water then add in the 1/2 tsp lavender honey and 1/2 tsp cinnamon and serve with apples.

The staple to my morning oatmeal.....lavender honey.

I picked this baby up in Croatia and while I was not a honey fan before I think I am now! If you ever go to Croatia pick up a jar! It wasn't expensive and can be bought in the markets. I bought mine in Split but I believe you can get it throughout the country.

What do you eat for breakfast? Do you change things up or do you stick with one meal?

I know I can't function without a good breakfast. Breakfast is the key to how I feel and what I eat throughout the day. I generally stick with oatmeal, it is easy to make and hold me over!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Of Heart Rate Monitors and Hungarian Dancing.....

So this weekend has been very good for me! It started off great by me leaving work early and proceeded to Hungarian dancing and will end in a nice lazy Sunday (minus the hour bike ride I'll take later).

So after getting off work early Friday I immediately jumped in a taxi and headed to the Tesco (which is the European version of Wal-Mart). I ended up making these purchases!

Pretty good I'd say! The cherries were 50% off so I go a major deal there. And I stocked up on all the essentials like fruits, veggies, and yogurt!

Also in my trip I bought a HRM. Now I've been giving this some serious thought after I saw Jen at Prior Fat Girl's post about her HRM. I was a skeptic that I would even use the darn thing, but since I've bought it, it has been attached to my body (minus the Hungarian dance). This one is okay for now but when I'm back state side I'm getting a Polar one.

Saturday also turned out to be a good day. I got invited by my friend Moni to attend a local Hungarian music and dance program. After my initial apprehension on the fact that the program was 9 hours long and my Hungarian isn't great I decided to go. I wanted to experience the local culture.

I had this snack to hold me over. Cherries and almonds.....Yummy!

And looked like this as I was headed out the door.

The evening consisted of the band.

And dancing.

Overall the weekend was amazing! The Hungarian dance was a good time and the 9 hours flew by! I would definitely go again!

In other news I started calorie counting last Monday and since then I have lost 3 lbs! Whoa. That was a big number for one week, so I hope it continues on until goal.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

How to eat plain yogurt!

So yesterday was rather uneventful. However I did find a way to eat plain yogurt!

Take plain yogurt (in my case activia natural) and mix it with grapes (the red kind). Delicious. I only bought the yogurt because it was on sale, and I knew I wouldn't be thrilled but decided to be open minded and give it a shot. So for three days I ate it with strawberries....not so great. Had only a few strawberries yesterday so I threw in some grapes....and it was amazing! I think I may just switch to natural from now on.

Also I ran last night. I actually was nervous when it came time to run because I didn't want to re-aggravate my knee injury. At the end of the hour I was glad I decided to push through because it felt great....and a little sweaty! *I have no idea what is going on with my mouth.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Running! Thank you Knee.

Not so long ago I use to live by the motto, "I will only run if I am being chased". I HATED running. Have I mentioned I was on the track team? Okay so I did the field part of track & field but I still had to condition with the runners and after every meet we would run laps. SUCKED! I hated every minute of it. I did not like running. I thought it was pointless, why would people run for fun or exercise? It seemed so wrong in my mind.

Yes, exactly. See I would need a scary dinosaur, or at the very least an axe murder to make me run. Even then I'm not so sure I would have.

Well, somehow between really really really hating running I started to really really really love it! I don't know how it happened, actually I do it was that dang C25K.

Thanks to Cool Running I found a plan that was simple and turned me into a runner.

That was until last weekend when I hurt my knee. So going from 1 hour daily to 2 hours really wasn't the smarted idea I had. I guess I will go up in 15 min increments not hour increments!

The last couple of days I have been having this for my morning snack. Yes see that in the corner that is a heat patch for my knee. I was hardly able to climb stairs or walk for days. Well today I woke up and no knee pain! So that means.....

....tonight I'm going to put on these babies and run!

*Yes, yes they are huge! In my defense I should probably go down a size, but I love them so much. Luckily as soon as I'm back stateside in July I will have the exact same pair in pink (which I love even more) and they are a size smaller. See back in the day (okay a year ago) I thought I could wear any shoes to exercise in....WRONG!So when I wised up I bought this pair, but sadly they were out of my size in pink, bummer.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The start of a beautiful relationship with blogging

Everyone needs to read a good about me story.....right? I know I did when I first started my weight loss journey, I needed to see that other people could do it to know that it was possible and that I too could lose weight. I don't think I would be where I am in my weight loss journey without physical evidence of others that it could be done! So I hope to inspire those of you who are starting on your journey and contribute to those already in the process.

Here goes......I started my weight loss journey at 286 lbs! 286 LBS. Crazy. I didn't even realize I was that big because I stayed away from the scale! So it took me months to realize I needed to lose weight. I wish I could give a trigger as to what caused the desire in me to start, but there isn't one. I've seen the pictures, knew I was fat, yet I didn't have the motivation to lose the weight. One day *BAM* I got it, and have been losing ever since......
My friend Elese and I in Bologna, Italy. This was the picture where I realized, "wow I am fat". But didn't do anything about it.Notice the look of discomfort with having my picture taken..... November of 2007.

Me in Heidelburg Germany, I had started to exercise more. I walked daily. Couldn't diet, I mean I was living in Germany, land of bread and sausage, who could resist? June 2008. Approx. 285 lbs.

Flashforward to October 2009 in Bratislava, Slovakia. I had started eating better and exercising more. Weight was 240 lbs. I maintained this weight for about 6 months, just continued doing what I had been doing and didn't try to lose more, to many changes and weight-loss became a secondary priority.

A time where I actually asked to be in a full length photo! Split, Croatia April 2010. I weighed about 225 lbs. I got back into weight loss January of 2010 and the results speak for'll notice the smile!

More to come as the weight keeps getting kicked to the curb!

Okay so you might be thinking why are all the pictures in different countries? No? Oh, ok, well maybe I'm a bit of a bragger yes, but it is because my whole process has been about losing weight--Internationally. Hence the title of my blog.

I'm an American by nationality, but have lived in Europe most of my adult life, although I'm only 23 so that should say something. I work abroad while going to school for Criminology (you'll find through this blog that yes, I do love my major!) B.S complete now onto my Masters!

My plan started off my moving more, walking. I loved to walk and would do so every morning. Then I joined WW, that lasted while I was living stateside. I loved it counting points was an easy plan and I didn't feel deprived. I stopped WW and maintained my weight for about 6 months, during that time I was in a stressful job, moved countries, and tried to start again in Hungary (my current residence). January 2010 I started my journey again, I really wish I could say it was a New Years resolution that got me started but it wasn't. I had spent Christmas and the first week of January with a dear Italian family of mine that came to visit and took me back to Italy with them. The also had lost weight! They notice I had too! Wow, it was something as simple as "keep up the good work" that got my butt into gear! So I started changing my food choices and exercising. I count calories and run. RUN! Gone are the days of my motto "I will only run if I am being chased" and I enjoy running.....CRAZY.

I have a long way to go still.

Goal:180 (then re-evaluate)

But I know I can do it!

Hope you enjoyed my story and hope to see you around!