Week 26: Oh hi! Remember me? Amanda?

After a month-long hiatus, I am happy to say HELLO again! :) Did you miss me?

What a busy month October was! Work has really picked up more than usual with the holiday season rapidly approaching. Since I last wrote about the delightful fall weather, our Jockey.com team has completed our holiday gift guide, new holiday site design (with a hidden surprise on the home page–can you find it?), and our cute new wintery blog design. Not to mention, I’ve been on several photo shoots, one of which was for this season’s festive women’s sleepwear. (Can’t wait to get my own!)

With a slightly overflowing work schedule, I ran into the problem that many of us face: How do you fit in a workout after a looong day at work? Or further, when all you want to do is sit down and veg in front of the TV when you get home—how on earth do you motivate yourself to go outside in the cold, or worse, to the gym?!

patience now will help you run thousands of miles later!I will admit, I fell out of my routine a bit. I went from working out almost daily, to working out maybe every other day (and sometimes my workouts were really half-hearted, as my roommate can attest to). I took solace in the fact that there was a light at the end of the tunnel with my slightly hectic schedule, and that this few weeks of workout slow-down was the perfect time to give my body a little rest. Which, to be honest, my ankle still really needed. After trying to run on it for a few weeks, I quickly learned that it was just too much. I listened to the pains and saw the swelling and backed off. Just this week, I’m finally back to running/walking every other day, and that is okay with me. As one friend said, “Patience now will help you run the thousands of miles later!” Solid words of advice.

I wish I could say I have lost more weight over the last month—but hey, losing one pound is better than gaining a pound. Weekends out on the town, plus a couple Halloween celebrations, and candy around the office have not been helping. But, it is now my goal now to lose the final 5 pounds before Thanksgiving, so it’s time to buckle down.

Typing in the words “Week 26” in the title of this post, I realized that I have been sharing with you the “skinny” on my life for six months now. And, I’d like to think we’re good pals. Thanks so much for following along so far, sharing your words of encouragement and advice, and just having fun with me. I’ve loved sharing my experiences with you all, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about them, too!

My question that I am dying to hear your answers to this week is, what is your favorite cold-weather workout/activity? Do you get outside still, or do you find an indoor sport to take part in?

Fat Stats:
Starting weight: 166 pounds
Last week 4 weeks ago: 151 pounds
This week: 150 pounds
Goal weight: 145 pounds

Have a sunny day!

Week 22: Ode to Fall Joy

fall leavesWhen one season ends and the next begins, it always seems that the “new season” is my favorite of the year. But as fall has slowly made its chilly, crisp descent on Wisconsin, taking the green leaves and replacing them with rich reds, golds and oranges, I am reminded more and more why I really LOVE this season.

I love that everything comes in pumpkin variety: pumpkin-scented candles, pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin muffins and breads and ice cream, pumpkin lotions, and the list goes on…

I love that Sundays mean making a big brunch, followed by settling on the couch to watch some football with fresh Wisconsin cheese, fruits, and summer sausage as a mid-afternoon snack.

I love that when I walk out my door in the morning to go to work, I can take a deep breath of brisk air and smell the sweet, crunchy leaves scattered across the ground.

I love that when I leave work in the afternoon, the sun is still shining and the temperature is just right for running.

I love that my injuries are healed and that I CAN run this fall!

I love staying in on Friday nights, getting cozy with my boyfriend, a bottle of wine, and a good movie while the cold wind blows outside.

I love that I’m starting to design things for Christmas at work, because that means my favorite holiday is just around the corner. :)

I love bonfires on cool nights, bundled up in a sweater and scarf, and the bonfire smell that still sits in my hair the next day. (And eating s’mores, of course.)

I love experimenting in the kitchen again, grateful for the good smells and the little bit of extra warmth from the oven.

I love coming up with crazy costume ideas, and going to the craft store to buy all the necessary pieces to make a fabulous Halloween costume. (So much cheaper & cuter than those pre-made, scandalous ones!)

And, at this very moment, I love that fall means it’s Homecoming weekend for my college. Lots of old and new friends will be gathering at my alma mater and we’ll be catching up on all of our crazy lives, laughing a lot, reminiscing, consuming several adult beverages, eating good food, and having fun nights out. That will be my fall weekend, this weekend. And that makes me happy!

What are your plans this weekend, and what do you love most about fall?

Fat Stats:
Starting weight: 166 pounds
Last week: 151 pounds
This week: 151 pounds
Goal weight: 145 pounds


Week 20: Call me little miss homemaker

I love the fall because, although I’m sad to see the warm weather go, I don’t mind warming up my kitchen again. In the summer, it’s hard for me to get motivated to cook or bake too much because it just makes my small, stuffy apartment swelter even more. But now that the temps are cooling down, I’ve begun to crank that oven up!

My biggest challenge with being on a healthy diet is cutting out the sweets. It doesn’t matter what kind of sweet is presented to me—I love them all. Especially chocolate. I have it in some form every day (even if it’s just a granola bar with chocolate chunks in it, or a low-fat ice cream bar). I’ve realized that it’s important not to deprive yourself of the things you love to eat, otherwise you’ll eventually overcompensate and gorge yourself on your cravings.

So, to satisfy my sweet tooth, and my particular fondness of muffins, I decided to whip up a batch of the little treats the other night so they’d be ready for breakfast the next morning. Cooking them myself, I was able to make sure that they (1) had some chocolate in them, of course, and (2) were fairly healthy for me. With only about 170 calories each, plus about 3 grams of fiber, they are a breakfast goody that I don’t feel guilty about.

Here is my recipe for whole wheat banana dark chocolate chip muffins, morphed out of a bunch of recipes that I have found all over online, plus adding my chocolate touch to them. I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:yum! whole wheat banana chocolate chip muffins
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 or 3 overripe bananas
4 egg whites
1 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt
3 tbsp. honey
½ cup no-sugar-added applesauce
6 tbsp. dark chocolate chips

Preheat over to 375°F.

Sift dry ingredients together and set aside.

In bowl, mash banana with a fork, then add egg whites, yogurt, honey and applesauce until well blended.

Add dry ingredients and mix together until halfway moistened. Fold in chocolate chips, mixing batter just until all powder is absorbed. (Don’t over-mix it.)

Spray muffin pan with cooking spray and distribute batter evenly into the 12 cups. You may think the cups are going to overflow, but they will rise up perfectly!

Bake in over for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven.

They are best if you eat them warm with a steaming cup of coffee…that’s my preference. :)

What are your favorite fall-weather recipes?

Fat Stats:
Starting weight: 166 pounds
Last week: 152 pounds
This week: 152 pounds (Will I ever break out of the 150s?)
Goal weight: 145 pounds

Happy healthy eating,