Monday, August 31, 2009


After my last post, I had a breakthrough on Saturday. I was doing my usual jog routine, getting that nervous tightening in my chest as the warm-up concluded and it was time to jog, when I decided to change my thinking.

Normally, I am a panicky worker-outer (yes, that's a word. For my purposes). No matter how comfortable I am with a particular workout, I always panic before I get into the heart of a workout. Maybe it's fear of failure? Or fear of an asthma attack, which I had often when I was younger? Whatever the reason, the panic always remains. Especially with jogging/running.

So I decided that this time, there would be no fear. Just jog; who cares if I'm slow, or look goofy, or have to take a quick walk break? I'm in a room by myself in my own house--who cares?

So I did. I ditched my interval routine and tried to jog as long as I could before needing to walk--and it worked! I went for longer, I was calm, and I felt really great after working out. After being stuck on a certain week of my plan for almost three weeks (yeesh), I feel ready to move on.

Not to be too cliche, but it got me thinking: Where else in my life do I let panic or fear hold me back? And how can I fix that?

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Long Road

It's kind of dark and moody out, and I'm feeling contemplative this morning.

Friday is my weigh-in day for my Weight Watchers online program. I just logged my weight and sighed--yes, I was down, that's great. But then I was thinking of how the weight I just logged is still SO heavy. It's easy to get discouraged.

But then I thought: You've come so far from where you were two years ago.

Confession time! I was 289 pounds when I came home from the hospital with my son in July 2007. 11 pounds from 300 pounds.

300. POUNDS.

WTF, Me? I remember sobbing when I got on the scale. Even though I knew a good bit of that weight was the bloating from post-surgery drugs, it was still an insane amount of weight.

I remember in high school, after finally losing weight and looking somewhat normal, being terrified of going over 150 pounds. I remember third year of college, when I actually hit the 200 pound mark I had been terrified of for so long. Then 2001, when I hit 240 pounds, the heaviest I had been ever. Then getting down to 203 for my wedding and being thrilled that I was beginning two new chapters in life: marriage and healthy living. Then November 2006, when I found out I was pregnant at 247 pounds. What was I doing to myself? What happened to the girl from 2003?

Luckily, I had a healthy pregnancy weight gain (about 25 pounds when I was admitted for delivery) and the weight came off FAST post partum -- I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight less than a year after having my baby. Most moms would rejoice; I remember thinking that yay, I was down 42 pounds, but look at the road I still had to travel.

I'm traveling, though. I'm below 247, but confession time is over for now. Everything is still such a work in progress, and while I'm proud of what I've done so far, it's hard not to get caught up in what still needs to be done. It's getting to a point where I wonder if I'll ever be below 200 again in my lifetime ... but I'm trying to stay positive. I know if it's ever going to happen, I need to be more aware of my history than ever, or I'm bound to repeat it.

Hopefully I'll be able to confess some more (long gone weights) in due time. In the meantime, more treadmill jogging awaits tonight.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

As the World Turns ...

... I'm just kind of existing right now. Hence, the lack of a post lately. My life is interfering with my blogging! :P

We've had a few family/life things to attend to lately, as well as work, play, and general family time. We're trying to enjoy the last few weeks of summer, basking in the glow of a successfully accomplished Awesome Summer Plan. I never thought I would like summer after being a kid, but this year we had a great time. I like summer again. Yay!

But ... I LOVE fall. Like full-on butterflies in my stomach oh my god is it here yet when can I start making stews and baking not to mention holiday time LOVE it. I'm watching preseason football games, people. This is how much I am looking forward to fall (and football - if you think I am crazy about fall, I am barely tolerable during football season. LOVE.)

I'm also being a bit of a lazy slug because work is ramping up for the last two quarters of the year and the monthly trips to North Carolina are starting up again. I'm kind of bummed that the lazy summer days are almost over, but I'm kind of excited to get back to a routine. Tom just started his school year so it feels like everything is back in order.

So ... an Awesome Fall Plan, maybe? Not sure - my fall seasons almost always tend to be awesome, so I may not need a plan. But the Cooking by Instinct Plan is still on; I just need to get to it. I just posted a Brown Sugar Cookie recipe on Tasty Kitchen; check it out!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cooking By Instinct

Do you cook by instinct, or are you a recipe follower?

This question's been on my mind since I joined and started contributing recipes to Tasty Kitchen, Pioneer Woman's new community cooking site. I love how simple it is to search for recipes, and members have been really friendly, which is great!

Although I realized, in trying to contribute recipes, that I have almost none I've created myself. The site encourages members to contribute their own recipes and not just exact replicas of existing recipes (with good reason). I've only contributed three recipes so far.

I've been thinking a lot about cooking from instinct, rather than finding a recipethen cooking it but not remembering it for the next time. Then out comes the recipe again ... my dependence is embarrassing. I have a photographic memory, for Pete's sake!

I'm challenging myself to make up more recipes. Oh yeah, it's another plan! Maybe cooking at home will be more interesting if I'm not relying on recipes left and right. So off I go, in search of my own culinary creativity. First stop: I really want to read Michael Ruhlman's new book, Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, which focuses on mastering formulas that have endless food possibilities--and freedom from recipes.

Yes, I do realize that it's kind of weird to try and "free" yourself from recipes in order to ... develop your own recipes that you'll share with others. I'm not opposed to recipes, I'd just like to have a few solid formulas in place so help me with my own creativity. I still heart a good recipe, and I know that if it weren't for publications like Cooking Light or websites like, I wouldn't be the cook I am today (which, not to be boastful, I'm a pretty good one).

Should be fun! Oh ... and if you want to friend me on Tasty Kitchen, I'm under amandapan. Happy Cooking!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

We did the family vacation thing ... and it was great!

Really, it was. Yes, even with my parents there! Stop looking at me like that.

With a bit of planning and a lucky score of a nice resort suite at a good rate, our vacation was a success. I think, mostly, because we only planned one thing (taking B to Busch Gardens to see the Sesame Street area) and everything else was whatever--we just did what we wanted.

I think my aversion to agendas might stem from my issues with authority, or maybe one of my other 1 million issues. But I HATE having an agenda, especially on vacation. My husband's uncle takes his family to Disney World every year and everything is planned to the minute from the time they arrive until getting back on the plane. I would riot and run like hell if I was made to do that, but to each their own.

So the first full day we were there we did BG, and my little guy was awesome: he rode rides (save the ride he rode by himself and thus burst into tears, sorry bud)! He politely waited for the other obnoxious kids to get out of the way so he could meet Bert and Ernie! He sat at the table like a big boy at the Festhaus for lunch! The only downside: hot as Hades. We just had B there for the morning through lunch time, which was plenty for a little one. Tom and I returned later that night to ride some roller coasters.

When we weren't sweating our asses off at BG, we spent most of our time hanging out, having pool time (and lunch poolside - at one point, I looked at B and said, "You've got it made, kid. I wasn't eating lunch poolside at a foofy resort when I was 2!") The resort couldn't have been nicer in terms of service and staff -- if you're ever in Williamsburg, check out Kingsmill Resort.

B slept in a toddler bed in our room, which ... yay for him for sleeping fine without a crib, but boo for having him in the same room. B is a really LOUD, spastic sleeper, and every move he made woke me up with a panic that he had fallen out of his bed, or was rifling through the dresser, or something. Ah, well. I will say having a suite rocks -- B could sleep in our room while Tom and I hung out in the living room.

And having my parents there was actually ... nice! They served as a fun attraction for B, allowing Tom and I have to have a fabulous dinner at Le Yaca on our last night. I also love that B is making fun memories with his grandparents--I've been thinking of how we can include Tom's parents on another trip sometime next year. Gotta spread the B love around.

So yeah, our first official family vacation was a big success. Now to figure out our next destination ...