Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Biggest Loser: End of Week 2

So, if it's any indication to how my week is starting, this is a day late. However, at least I made time to do it. The past week went really well for Bill and I. We are still going mostly gluten-free with lower carb tendencies. We are also drinking a lot of water and it's been over two weeks since either of us had soda or candy. I'm proud of our progress! Alas, I can't say how proud or what our progress is. Why? Well, my Wii board has decided to malfunction and isn't weighing properly. So, I need to buy a scale before I can report back on here. I will do that soon but I am currently in bed because my back went out again. So, for now, this will have to be a good enough update. We are sticking with the plan and I think we will have great numbers to report soon. Mom lost a pound and a half and Sarah lost a pound so we will see if I am behind them or in front of them in the contest soon. Until then, I will be resting. I hope everyone is having a great week and that everyone on diets are doing well and watching the weight fall off!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Biggest Loser: End of Week 1

Week 1 of my diet ended this morning when I weighed myself. It's been a good week and an interesting one. We've been figuring out how to adjust to gluten-free foods and I'm happy to report that it hasn't been that difficult. Everything we have tried has turned out quite tasty and leaves us feeling a lot less heavy after we eat. We are not 100% gluten-free but we are very close. Everything we buy now is gluten-free except for our FiberOne bars and our Kashi cereal and, once the gluten-type products are gone, we will be purchasing the gluten-free counterparts of things like Ketchup.

Our breakfasts have consisted of fruit and yogurt smoothies or Kashi cereal. We mostly snack at lunch or I've had a small spinach salad. Peanuts and light popcorn are now our favorite snacks. We are eating a lot better and it's only been one week!

Our dinners have been a fun experience! I've really been having fun cooking and we've come up with some great meals. It's funny, I thought I'd miss the ease of going through a fast-food drive-thru or cooking up random crap but I'm having fun cooking. One thing I must note for anyone wanting to try gluten-free cooking: not all gluten-free brands are the same! This may seem like a "duh" comment but we tried two different types of noodles. One was delicious and tasted great. The brand was Quinoa, I highly suggest it. The other brand I forgot the name of but the noodles were smooshy and stuck together. I wish I had written down the brand name but just be warned, they vary greatly! Here are some pictures of our culinary masterpieces!

My General Tso's Chicken on gluten-free brown rice 
was almost gluten-free (the sauce had a little in it).
Bill's Spicy Chicken Alfredo was delicious. We didn't like those
noodles but it still tasted great!
I wish I had taken a picture of the Mac and Cheese. That had to have been the best mac I've had in a long time. The recipe was in Elizabeth Hasselbeck's "Deliciously G-Free" cookbook so I don't feel right sharing the recipe but anyone with access to the book should try it. It was excellent!

We also had fun grilling up some burgers on our new George Foreman grill that we got for Christmas! (Thanks mom and dad!) We bought low-carb buns and had cheeseburgers. This wasn't gluten-free but it was low-carb and we are trying to do less carbs as well. They do make gluten-free buns but I haven't had a chance to get them yet. They are on my "to try" list.
Yay grill!
Now we are getting ready for Week 2 and I'm looking forward to cooking and eating even better. I'm happy to say that we both lost weight this week!

Bill lost 8 pounds!
I lost 8.8 pounds! (Yes, very specific, thank you Wii!)

We are making great progress! If I have done my calculations right, and I think I have, this puts me at a 4.32% weight loss. My mom and sister both lost great amounts (4 and 6 respectively) but so far I'm in the lead for our contest. It's a 6 month contest so I have to keep it going in order to win. It's still any woman's game but I'm invigorated by my first week's success! On to week 2!

I still can't do much with exercise, because of my back, but I hope to work my way up. Have any comments on eating better or any great recipes? Leave a comment below! Here's to another great week!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Biggest Loser: Family Edition

A few weeks ago, I told my mom that I wanted to lose weight. It will be better for my back, better for my health in general and, let's face it, I hate how I look in pictures these days. She presented me with an option, a challenge, so that I wouldn't have to go after this goal alone. She and my oldest sister, Sarah, are going to start their own version of the The Biggest Loser with me. The competition begins tomorrow and will go until June, around the time that my family is coming to visit me in New York. Each of us gets to choose our own diet and work-out routines because we have different lifestyles and bodies (for example, I can't work out much because of my back so my diet will be very important while I work my strength up). We will weigh in using our Wiis to keep track of each other. I have been ordered to take a picture of my weigh-in on my phone so they know I am not lying...I have ordered the same in return. At the end of the competition, the person with the greatest weight loss percentage wins. We decided to go with percentage because we are all different heights, weights, etc. The winner of the challenge will get $100 from each person to go shopping. So the incentive to win has four sides: to lose weight, to be beat them, to win money and to not have to pay money. It's on!

I told Bill about our challenge and he told his mother and they are now in their own competition, though theirs will be based on pounds lost and a bit different. This excites me! I knew he'd be willing to diet with me because he has told me he wants to eat better but now he has the incentive to win. Like me, he doesn't like to lose. So I now have a support system in my house and we are ready!

So what is our diet plan? Well, one of my doctors told me a while back that carbs aren't the best for my back because they cause inflammation in the body. I've also noticed that carbs make me feel heavier and that Bill seems to have some problems digesting gluten-filled foods. The day before I left Colorado to return home, I watched "The View" with mom and Elizabeth was showcasing gluten-free foods from her new book. I was surprised. The foods looked so, so normal! They looked edible yet they were supposed to be better for me. So I purchased Elizabeth Hasselbeck's book "Deliciously G-Free" and I've been reading it since it arrived. I'm not saying we are going to go 100% gluten-free. We are going to start using some of these recipes instead of our heavier gluten-filled ones and we are going to be looking at a lot of gluten-free foods. We are also going to to be going low-carb, high protein and adding in fruits and vegetables. Basically, we are eating healthier. This is more of a lifestyle change than a diet because I don't want to "end" the diet and go back and gain my weight back. 

As for exercise...well, I can't exercise with my back so I am hoping I will slowly build up on my walking time and add in light weights and work my way up. That's pretty much all I can do. Bill is going to take advantage of the campus gym and also start running again. We have a good plan set up and I am excited to see it in motion.

So, the challenge begins tomorrow. I let Bill have what I call "last meals" before we started. This means we ate at some of our favorite places because we won't be seeing them for a long time and we won't be seeing them nearly as much as we used to. They will now be treats and treated as such. Our last treat will be going to All American Burger tonight (if you haven't heard of this place, it's like the mecca of hamburger happiness in Long Island...so yummy but so horrible for you). Tomorrow, the diet begins. I'll be doing weekly updates on our progress. This will be added incentive because I will not only have my family holding me to this but anyone who read this blog. For the sake of my own pride, I won't be putting my weight on this, only the weight lost. Maybe at the end I'll feel brave but until then this will have to do. I'll update on our progress and hopefully find some yummy, good-for-you meals to share.

I guess that's it. Wish us luck!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tebow: The Answer to a Broncos Fan's Prayers?

Alright, before anyone accuses me of jumping on a bandwagon I want to make a few things very clear. I was happy when we drafted Tim Tebow, I DIDN'T buy his jersey until after I saw him play and I waited not-so-patiently for Kyle Orton to get the boot. Now that we can put this aside, I'll answer the question posed in the title of this blog post: Yes, Tim Tebow is our answer. I don't care if you are Christian or not, this isn't a religious posting, though I am a Christian. If it makes you feel happier inside, pretend the question was "Is Tim Tebow the hope for the Broncos' future?" Happy? OK, good, that's another thing to mark off the list of sensitive subjects and now we can get down to the matter at hand, Tim Tebow.

What a happy draft day it was for me!

I have spent every day that I work with my male co-workers defending Tebow. "He can't throw," "He's a college quarterback," "He's a running back." I've heard all of these comments and I don't care. Tebow doesn't make the calls so it's not really up to him to make the decision to throw all the time. Give the kid a break. The entire week leading up to the Pittsburgh game was full of news commentators and sports critics saying that Denver didn't have a chance of winning. Well, we won! I honestly think that Tebow thrives off of being doubted. Did you see how ampted up that boy was? It was like he drank 20 Red Bulls and went skipping around the field with enthusiasm. That's what I like to see! The only thing missing for me was him waving sparklers in a frenzied manner. He wants to win and prove himself! The poor guy has been fighting to prove himself all season. If he won it was a fluke or a 4th quarter miracle. It can't just be a win, it has to be a win that is up for debate but let's look at the facts. Tebow went 7-4 after replacing Orton. Yeah, Orton was 1-4. The Broncos ended up 8-8 and won the AFC West. I'm not saying this is a rock-star record but it got the Broncos into our first playoff game since 2005. 

See how amped he was?!
Where's the sparklers Tim?

It's been a long, lonely road for Broncos fans these past few years. I'm not saying we were the saddest team in the NFL but we got close. Then we got Tebow. If anything, this gave fans hope. Then us fans waited...and waited....AND WAITED until we finally got to see what he could do. Now, we are in the playoffs and we took down the Steelers. Still, they doubt him. If you look at his stats, I understand a little bit. His career completion percentage is a 47.3% which is pretty meager no matter how you try to paint it. However, he threw for  316 yards in the game against the Steelers and it finally felt like they were letting him do his job, whereas it's felt like they have been restraining him for quite some time. I'd also like to point out that someone has to CATCH the ball, not just throw it. Let's take a look at the whole offense when we have problems, including the play calling, not just the quarterback. 

"See? This is what happens when you
believe I can win!"

So tomorrow the Broncos face the Patriots and, once again, Tim Tebow will be called into question by millions. Well, for this Bronco fan, all I have to say is that he already proved himself to me. I hope they win but my support of Tebow isn't contingent on it. Whatever happens, I hope in the off-season that they take Tim aside and work with him because I see a lot of potential in him. This is our future, Broncos fans, don't screw it up by doubting him over and over. Remember our hero John Elway? He went 4-6 his first year with a completion percentage of 47.5% (and, side note, the highest his completion percentage ever got in a season was a 63%). He needed time and so does Tebow. Give him the time and let's see what an amazing quarterback he can be. Go Broncos! Let's kick some Patriot butt!

My helpful references: