I've had a very pleasant low-internet few days, in which I...
...exercised every day! I'm still on a roll for the #100daychip, on that as well as planned food. Thursday was at Slimmons, Friday was in the pool, Saturday was at Slimmons, and today I'll be back in the pool.
...organized our spice cupboard! Previously, every recipe would send us on a wild spice chase. Now it is - I'm not kidding you - in alphabetical order. When it comes to organizing, I'm the picture-image of Longfellow's Little Girl with the Little Curl. "When she was good, she was very very good, but when she was bad she was horrid."
Earlier this week at Good Will, I also purchased a second-hand spice magnet set. Alas, it doesn't fit within our cupboard, so it's now hanging on the fridge, waiting for us to select our six most popular spices.
...bought some makeup! Thanks to roller-coastery hormones, I've been breaking out terribly the last few months, but my inflammation has finally tamed down. I'm usually an all-or-nothing girl with makeup. Bare, or matte with ruby lips. But thanks to the glow I've gotten from healthy eating and regular exercise, I wanted to take a look at a few more 'natural' cosmetics, that would allow me to clean up for special occasions without covering up. (Well, special occasions and Slimmons, where Richard tells us quite plainly that we should wear makeup in class. He does, after all, so why shouldn't we?) I have a trove of Target gift cards I've been sitting on, so I headed to Target where I found some excellent natural products, including:
Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer. This is very light and sheer, though it helps me even my skin tone. It's slightly luminescent so it adds a fresh, dewy finish. (If I want to be fancy, I'll use a little pressed powder over top. I use Dior, though I'm running out and may have to try something a little more budget-friendly when it's gone.)
Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush. More of a creamy stain than a typical blush, this helps me bring out a little more color after the Pixi primer evens my skintone. It was very light for a cream, which - to me - means that it doesn't make my already oily skin any more of an oilslick.
And my new favorite, Maybelline's Color Sensational Lip Stain (in Touch of Toffee.) This is exactly what I was looking for - it is a stain, not a stick or gloss, so it adds a dimension of sheer color that stays in place for several hours. It looks (and kind of feels) like a felt-tip marker! It's a little bit on the drying side, so I have been putting a little lip balm on top to keep them soft. (My favorite is by Tokyo Milk.)
...hung out with friends. I stayed within my targeted calories and planned 200 calories of indulgence, despite the lovely array of their snack table. Half an ounce of herbed goat cheese, two crackers, and two tangerines. (I was able to bypass things that involved puff pastry or chocolate chips.) Again, eating before parties or movies makes all the difference for me.
...watched a movie I knew I'd dislike, for the very pleasure of disliking it. I am not a big fan of hate as a general rule, but for some reason, I get a real kick out of hating movies. (For the record, it was Sucker Punch. No one incites more hate-glee in me than Zach Snyder.)
...decided to eat pizza and cake. Yes, really. She'll skip puff pastry and chocolate chips, but eat pizza and cake? Yes. But I haven't eaten either of them yet.
I made a rule for myself that has really helped me aim for moderation and avoid emotional eating. I'm going to be on this path for the rest of my life, and if I don't practice eating all kinds of food in moderation, it will always be a challenge that hangs over my head. Enter the seven-day rule. If I am craving a food that doesn't typically fit within my target for nutrition (both calorie total as well as overall balance), I allow myself to eat it. If I still really want it after seven days. That way, I'm not eating on emotional impulse. And I still get to step outside of what I normally choose to eat these days. The rest of my life is - I hope - a very long time to not eat something. I haven't made all of these changes to 'punish' myself, but to take care of myself. Cutting out pizza, or sugar, or any kind of food entirely is a quick path to guilt and shame and failure. So instead, I plan, I allow, and I balance.
I've only had one real craving since I started in January, and that was in early February, for a particular brownie I missed. So I waited the seven days... then I waited four more days, because I wasn't sure I wanted to slow down any progress I was having. But then on that twelfth day, I decided it was time. I was not going to let one brownie knock me off my path - it would, in fact, help keep me on my path. I ate the brownie (over two days, actually.) And because I didn't want it to be mindless eating, I uni-tasked it: I sat quietly and enjoyed the brownie with all my senses. It was all I needed.
I'm at the seven-day mark for pizza craving today. We make single-serving homemade pizza every few weeks, but I wasn't craving homemade pizza. I was craving pizza-pizza. Specifically, Round Table's Gourmet Garlic Chicken pizza. So once I reached my seven-day mark today, I had the familiar "now that I can have it, do I really want it?" feeling. It's going to slow down my loss, and that's never fun. So just to get a good picture of how much it would slow down my loss, I went to Round Table's nutritional information, where I discovered that one slice of a personal-sized skinny-crust Gourmet Garlic Chicken is only 140 calories. With a dinner that includes some fruit and steamed veggies, I could have two pieces and still be right in calorie range (with two pieces frozen for planned indulgence later.)
The cake, on the other hand, isn't a craving. It's a recipe. Lately, it seems like Cake Pops and Cake Balls are everywhere. I love the idea of having a single-bite serving: it's built-in portion control, as long as you eat just the one portion. But at bakeries and restaurants, some Cake Pops are up to 250 calories per tablespoon of indulgence. But having learned so much about healthy recipe adjustment, I knew instinctively that the total per serving could brought down significantly with some healthy swaps. So today, I'll be trying out my first batch of Cake Pops - and I've calculated them to be 90 calories per serving according to my tweaks. The real trick, for me, will be making sure I only enjoy them infrequently. Luckily, my whole batch will go in the freezer, and when I want one, I'll have to thaw just that one. After it's thawed and I've enjoyed, there won't be another thawed one to readily snack upon. And I find that my appetite responds pretty well to thwarting immediate gratification.
So stay tuned for a step-by-step on the cake pops, plus some other fun recipes we've been trying, a list of goal rewards, and a weigh-in Tuesday that should prove to be a pretty big milestone!