Super Fast, Low-Carb Pizza

In a rush for a quick dinner that didn’t break the caloric bank, I decided to whip up a low carb (net carb: 10g) pizza that could be ready in 10 minutes or less.

Using a Multigrain Flat-Out brand tortilla as the base, it literally takes under 90 seconds to prep and only about 6-8 minutes to bake. Seriously, talk about FAST FOOD!

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Ingredients (serves one):

  • One Multigrain Flat-Out wrap.
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce of your choice. (I opt for a low sugar marinara, but to each their own.)
  • 1/2 cup shredded 2% mozzarella cheese
  • 4 tbsp shredded Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 10-12 Turkey pepperoni slices

Preparation Instructions:

Place the multigrain wrap in the center of a very lightly greased cookie sheet. Spread out the tomato sauce to cover the surface area and then top with shredded mozzarella, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and pepperoni slices. Top with Parmesan.

Pop into a 425 degree oven for 6 minutes. For the last 60 seconds, set over to Broil. It’ll toast the cheese and help the crust crisp up.

Approximately 275 calories, 10-11g net carbs, 8-10g of fat (depending on the brand of cheese you use), and about 15-18g of protein.

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

AKA, The Yo-Yo Dieter

Fall Down Nine Times, Get Up Ten

I’m not sure how long it has been since my last post and, admittedly, I’m scared to check.

It’s been a while. A long while.

The last few years have been a whirlwind. After a nearly four year journey, I finally completed my Master’s degree on Saturday, May 12th. In addition to absorbing the education, I also managed to pack on at least twenty-five pounds onto my 5’3″ frame.

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While I’m still no where close to the obesity of my teenage years, I’m deeply disappointed in the fall back into my overeating habits. I’ve always been an emotional eater, and the coupling of high stress and desk-bound studying (e.g. research papers!) pushed me back into my mindless eating habits.

Fortunately, it didn’t all go to hell.

As you probably remember, I got into distance-running in 2016 and I’ve continued long-distance running throughout graduate school. Granted, it couldn’t prevent the weight gain completely, but it did taper it/inhibit it a tiny bit.

Now that my graduation is almost two weeks behind me, I realize it’s time for me to drop my excuses and pick back up on the habits that made me successful:

Tracking calories.
Exercising daily.
Strength-training 3-4 days per week.
Posting here.

Having a community of like-minded friends with me on the journey keeps me honest and accountable, so it’s time I tap back into my best resource: all of you!

My journey restarts today: Thursday, May 24th at 5:14pm EST.

Height: 5’3″
Weight: 148.8 (up from my all time low of 123.4 in June 2014)
Pant Size: 6/7
Shirt Size: S/M

Let’s do this, friends!

~ Tori

AKA, the Yo-Yo Dieter

 

Three Days In

After just two full days of clean eating, moderate exercise, and lots of water, my weight is already starting to slowly come down.

Monday’s terrifying wake up call (148 lbs!) definitely reminded me that this is a life-long commitment to wellness. Once you’ve been very heavy (and, at my highest of 214 lbs, I did qualify as morbidly obese for my height), your body never forgets it. Unless you have liposuction, you never actually get rid of the fat cells, so overeating in the future means your body will quickly (and surprisingly efficiently) refill those storage containers to try to get you back to your former state.

I weighed in this morning at 142.6; still a very high number compared to my 123-124 from Summer of 2014, but much easier to digest than the borderline-150 from Monday.

One day at a time.

On Monday, I ate 1,209 calories (57g carbs, 64g fat, 89g protein) and on Tuesday I ate 1,370 calories (77g carbs, 74g fat, 99g protein). On Monday, I burned roughly 700 calories doing HIIT run/walk/jog intervals, and on Tuesday I went running with my neighbor and for a long walk after, burning a little more than a 1,000 calories.

Tonight, I plan to hit the gym for strength training, Stairmaster, and maybe a yoga class.

One day at a time.

My struggles all come down to diet, so watching my snacking and making good choices is crucial for me to be successful.

Here goes day three.

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

Great Run!

At least one hundred times in the last three years, I’ve bumped into a neighbor in workout clothes and we’ve chatted about our mutual love of running.

Despite this almost daily interaction, we had never run together. I had often thought about suggesting it, but I was intimidated by her fitness level: she regularly competes in triathlons and, despite my Marathon success this past January, my weight gain has really crushed my self confidence.

A few nights ago, after we’d bumped into each other walking our dogs, she told me she planned to do an 8 mile training run Tuesday morning and asked if I’d want to join. I hesitated, embarrassed that I wouldn’t be able to keep up, but then told her I’d love to.

For two nights in a row, I panicked, worried she’d be so much faster than me or that she’d feel like she had to tone down for me to keep up, and I even debated canceling on her. I didn’t want to be that person, though, so when my alarm went off at 4:45am this morning to get ready, I got up, stretched, and put on my running clothes.

I met up with her and her friend, another super fit runner, and I could feel myself getting really nervous that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. But they were so nice and friendly and excited to run together, I decided I would give it my all and hope for the best.

Nine miles later, we finished as the sun was rising over Lake Baldwin, and I couldn’t believe we were done. We talked the whole time and, except for a quick water stop, we ran the whole route. Because of the high heat and humidity, we committed to a 10:00 minute mile pace; and it felt perfect the entire way.

No pain. No stress. Just a beautiful run and great conversation.

I’m so glad I didn’t cancel, and this gave me the confidence I needed to know that my few extra pounds haven’t diminished my athletic ability or endurance. I can get this weight back off, and I can continue to get stronger and faster at the same time.

I can do this. We can do this.

Bon appetite, my friends!

– Tori

An Anniversary Thought

Today marks four years since I originally started this blog.

Four years of successes and four years of failures, all shared vulnerably and with the hope of connecting with others who are enduring the same lifelong journey toward health and wellness with me.

For the first three years of the blog, I was consistent: I posted several times per week, often daily, providing insight into the diets I’d tried, the recipes I’d created, and the emotional roller coaster that is an eating disorder.

And, during those first three years, something magical happened: in sharing my inner thoughts and secrets with the world, I was somehow freed from the pain (for the most part) of the eating disorder. By making it public, it lessened its power over me. For the first time in my adult life, I managed to gain some semblance of control over my eating (and obsessive thoughts about food), even hitting my goal weight in June 2014 and maintaining it for almost six months.

But, around the end of year three, I started to slip.

I posted less and less. And, as the time between updates grew longer, my relationship with my body and nutrition began to regress.

I watched my weight slowly climb up on the scale, and over and over again I tried to convince myself that I would take back control “this Monday,” always excusing each binge as my last fling with food.

My posts grew more sporadic, and I found myself spending hours at the gym, trying desperately to counteract the more frequent binge eating I was experiencing. I was logging 40-50 miles per week running, not to mention the time spent on the elliptical, stairmaster, and other random cardio, while watching my weight increase and my clothing get tighter.

As my good friend Fitz always tells me, “You cannot out exercise a bad diet.”

For me, this wasn’t a bad diet. My eating disorder was back, the demons had returned, only now it had manifested into exercise-bulimia instead of the more common purging through laxatives, diuretics, or vomiting. Regardless, I was punishing myself. I was losing the battle against my body.

I randomly posted on here, more out of guilt for my silence than genuine concern for my body, and I could tell I was losing my readership. Worse, I was no longer believing anything I had to say, because I felt like I had lost any validity or right to talk about health – considering I’d stopped carrying about mine.

Last night, while out on a date night with my husband, Fitz forced me to wake up.

After reading a message I’d posted earlier in the afternoon in a Facebook Support Group she hosts about my heavy workouts (and my overeating, which I tried to playfully minimize), she messaged me on Facebook.

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I don’t think she realizes it now, and I’m not 100% sure I fully grasp it, but I think having her call me out (with nothing but love in her heart) might have saved my life.

I was spiraling, and fast. I had recently purchased boxes (yes, that’s plural: boxES) of laxatives and diuretics. It was only weeks (or days?) until I started to purge in every way I knew how. And, let me tell you: taking tons of diuretics and laxatives while overexercising your body is probably one of the most dangerous things you can do. I know it logically, but, looking back at how I was feeling even 24 hours ago, I honestly don’t think I was very far away from trying it, trying anything, to make the guilt of the binges go away.

Her message, though, reminded me that there are people who SEE ME, people who CARE, and people who expect me to take care of myself. Not for the benefit of others – not so that I can be a role model or an inspiration – but so that I can be the healthiest, happiest version of myself.

I owe Fitz so much for throwing me a life ring, because I see now I was drowning. Which, looking back at it, I don’t know how or why I didn’t see it. I don’t know how I let my ED sneak back up on me so quickly, and how it managed to spiral so fast. In less than a year, I erased nearly three years of success.

Well, I’m viewing this as my second chance. My second chance to regain control of my life: not of my diet, but of my life. My relationship with food, my relationship with my body, all of it. Fitz gave me a second chance, and I’m not going to waste it.

Expect to be hearing a lot more from me in the coming days, but let today be the first good day of many to come:

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

P.S. It’s good to be back.

Trying Something New

Well, as much as I was ENJOYING the Dine N Ditch meal plan service, they unfortunately closed up shop just a few weeks in. Not a permanent close (I hope), but they needed to relocate their kitchen, hire new staff, and take a step back from the service for a few weeks to restructure the entire business model.

I was doing exceptionally well on the meal plans, dropping almost 10 lbs in my first four weeks, but after the deliveries ended and I was left to my own devices …well, you can imagine what happened.

Today’s weight: back up to 141.2.

Yikes. It’s hard to believe that just two years ago I hit my all-time low of 123.4, and now I can barely get (and stay) in the 130s anymore.

I know it has been a combination of factors: stress, overeating, and, shockingly, overexercising.

For those of you who have followed the blog a long time, you know I’m a cardio-junkie and, as my weight started to slowly climb at the beginning of 2015, I started to seriously step up my cardio, hitting more than 3 or 4 hours on some days.

Well, as I’ve learned, you not only can’t out-exercise a bad diet (or, in my case, a healthy diet, but in MASS quantities), over-exercising can actually sabotage weight loss by making your body freak out and think you’re fighting for your life on a daily basis. Hence my weight creeping up and up, even when my diet was in check. Yeaaaaaah, that fucking sucks, if you don’t mind me being frank. Ugh.

So, with less than 5 weeks until my 32nd birthday, I am trying to switch things up and break out of my rut.

For the next 34 (well, basically 33, since it’s 11:35 pm EST as I write this) days, I am going to drastically reduce my cardio (think 10-30 minutes per day, versus my usual 90+) and look to integrate substantially more strength training, yoga, and stretching. My body has been in a perpetual state of stress for over a year as I pummeled it with intense bouts of cardio, so now I’m going to try to give those slow-twitch muscles a bit of a break and focus on building lean muscle mass.

In addition, I’m attempting to modify my diet slightly, increasing my fat in take and leaning more toward a Ketogenic plan. Not full Keto – which involves like 70% of your calories from fat – but definitely hoping that incorporating more healthy fats, like avocado and coconut oil, will help with satiety and appetite control.

Yesterday was a rough start, only because I have absolutely no will power when it comes to nuts, so my “single handful” of almonds before bed turned into half of a can, but today’s been better:

Calories: 1,611
Carbs (total, not net): 72g (about 17% of my daily calories)
Protein: 136g (about 33% of my daily calories)
Fat: 93g (about 50% of my daily calories)

I prepped all of my food for the next two days (salmon and green beans, chicken and broccoli, shrimp and sauteed cauliflower, etc), so hoping that having quick, easy to grab meals will help me stay on track. I’m aiming for 1,350 calories per day, but happy as long as I stay under 1,700, as I am exercising pretty consistently.

Fingers crossed I can reset my system and get back into the 130s before I hit 32. I feel like it’s only getting harder with age, so I need to really get control of my weight now before it becomes an impossibility, you know?

Any advice, suggestions, or feedback is always welcome.

Bon appetite, my friends!

~ Tori

P.S. The photo is totally my dinner tomorrow night: shrimp sauteed with basil, garlic, coconut oil over a bed of chopped cauliflower and orange pepper. Much noms. Many yums. So delicious.

Sometimes the Good People Win! (AKA, I won the battle with Julian’s Bakery!)

Well, it took almost a full week, but I finally got Julian’s Bakery to refund my money for the nasty, inedible, and falsely advertised protein bars they shipped me last week. I made it very clear that mailing the product back was not an option, and it appears they conceded in battle.

Since it has been so enjoyable for my readers, here’s the final round of correspondence between myself and the lovely staff of Julian’s Bakery:

To: Julian Bakery
Sep 21 at 8:44 PM