Unplanned Hiatus

Yeah. I know. I went dark. Again. WHOOPS.

This time wasn’t my 100% fault, though. Maybe only 95%.

I went out of town for a week and failed at two things:
1.) Forgot my laptop (but packed my iPad, which is just as good).
2.) Forgot about the fact that my destination had no internet (and very, very little cell phone reception).

So, even though I had the intention to blog daily, I was handicapped by the lack of internet access and the annoyance of having to use a touch screen keyboard to do all of my writing.

That being said, of course, I ultimately enjoyed the full disconnect from technology for a solid four days – and, once I got over the anxiety of all the urgent work emails/text messages I was positive I was missing, it was pretty damn freeing.

I’ll go into more detail on my upcoming posts (and yes, I swear, there will be more posts this week) about my vacation, but let’s just say it involved a lot of eating (mostly healthy), a lot of outdoors and movement, and a lot of love.

Here’s just the tiniest sneak peak:

Lots of good stuff to come over the next few days, but in the meantime …bon apetit, my friends!

~ Victoria Elizabeth

 

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

 

Should I Get a Garmin?

So, I’m on day four of being “back on the wagon” and everything is going really well:

  • I’ve worked out every day (another run with my neighbor today!)
  • I’ve done really well with nutrition (I went a bit over yesterday – about 1500 calories – but I worked out hard and still felt hungry at the end of the night, so I figured my body needed it)
  • My weight is down again: 141.4 lbs this morning.

After running with Susan and her friend this morning, though, I’ve been really wondering if I should consider upgrading from my FitBit Charge 2 to a Garmin. I feel like all of the runners I know have Garmins, and they seem to have so much more functionality in terms of intervals, pacing, heart-rate monitoring, etc.

I’ve enjoyed my FitBit immensely since I got it (December 2016) and I thought it had a lot of cool functions and features, but in observing my friends and how they use their Garmins to actually fully control their runs (speeding up, slowing down, running in their ideal heart rate, etc), it makes me wonder if I am missing something.

Does anyone reading my blog have a FitBit or a Garmin and want to weigh in? Would using a Garmin improve my running and, if so, how?

Thanks for the feedback, guys!

~ Tori

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

The Yo-Yo’s Fall

It has definitely been a while since I posted, and I have to admit, I’ve been dreading it.

My weight this morning was 148 pounds.

While I know this extra-high number was contributed to by three very salty weekend meals and Aunt Flo, I know that my true weight –which is likely closer to 144 or 145 lbs– is very much a fact.

In the last three years, I’ve managed to put back on 22 lbs from my all-time low in June 2014.

The last ten pounds were packed on in the previous three-four months. No real reason for it, either. My life has been good. I’m not overly stressed, I’m at the tail-end of my graduate degree, and I’m at a really good place in my life. Honestly, I’ve just been overeating and exercising less, and I have no real cause other than a bit of apathy.

As I stared at the scale this morning, though, I decided I was ready to get back on the wagon.

I’m ready to be honest with myself and admit that more of the clothing in my closet is too tight to zip, and that I’m slowly slipping back into my pre-2013 dresses; a weight/size I’m not OK with and don’t want to get back to.

While I’m still down almost 70 lbs from my all-time high (of 214 lbs), I am not OK with the fact that I’ve let myself take so many steps back from my goal weight and all the success I worked so hard to achieve.

I am back to being transparent with myself: tracking calories, exercising daily, and not eating back the calories I burn. This yo-yo is ready to pull herself back up from the ground and bounce back into the proud, fit, and athletic version of myself that I love a HELL of a lot more than this tubby, tired one I’m dealing with right now.

I’m recommitted to sharing my journey here –the good and the bad– and I’m asking all of you to help me stay transparent.

On that note, it’s time for dinner. A healthy, balanced, and not chocolate-centric dinner.

Bon appetite, my friends!

~ Tori

Run, Baby, Run

I’ve been running.

A lot.

After my successful completion of The Great Chocolate Race in early November, I decided to fill the next few weeks with more races. On Thanksgiving, I completed the local Turkey Trot (5k), and this past weekend, I ran in the OUC Half Marathon.


I’m getting faster.

I’m getting stronger.

I’m getting happier.

I’ve basically stopped weighing myself, and I hardly count calories now. I focus on meals as an opportunity to fuel my runs, and, as a result, I find that I obsess less about food and make healthier choices naturally.

I can’t wait for the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge: just four weeks away!

~ Tori

The Great Chocolate Race!

I know I’ve been rather quiet on here the last year or so, but rest assured my interest and passion for exercise, nutrition, and weight loss has never abated.

In fact, in the last few months, I’ve developed a love for running that has become nearly an obsession.

I have always wanted to be a “runner;” that is to say, I always wanted to find the joy in running that so many people I know had, but it always seemed elusive to me. I’d sign up for 5Ks and find myself snoozing my alarm clock, looking for excuses not to go. When I did get myself there (about 50% of the time, sadly, prior to 2016), I would hate every step of the run, and would count down the mileage like a silent prayer to the fitness gods.

But something changed. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but something in me flipped. I think it was in the Spring, at the Winter Park Road Race. I think running the 10K without stopping, setting a personal PR of sub-55 minutes, was the catalyst I needed.

I think the main reason I disliked running was because I thought I was inherently bad at it, purely because I wasn’t the fastest.

But running, unless you’re an Olympic track star, is not about speed: it’s about going.

Once I realized that running was about the mind-body connection and not about the speed, running suddenly became an addiction.

I found myself amazed by my strength and endurance, and each run I managed to run longer, faster, and with less recovery needed.

Last weekend, I ran in The Great Chocolate Race, a 10+ mile course covering downtown Orlando. My only goal upon arrival was to RUN the whole thing; no stopping unless I truly had to (i.e. shoes untied or some halt-worthy emergency). I didn’t care about my time: I just wanted to be able to say to myself that I never stopped.

Well …it worked.

 

Per my RunKeeper app, I ran 10.52 miles (must have taken wide turns?) in 1:35:37.

1:35:37

That’s a 9:05 Min/Mile pace.

That’s more than a minute faster per mile than I planned, and it was one of the best races I’ve ever had.

I went into the run with the goal of finishing, and I ended up taking 2nd place for my age/gender.

SECOND PLACE!

Overall, I came in 45th place out of ALL runners, and came in 22nd out of all females.

When did I become a runner?

The day I decided I was one.

Bon appetit, my friends, and happy running (or whatever sport tickles your fancy),

~ Tori

Still Here!

I didn’t post Friday-Sunday, but it wasn’t because I fell off the wagon: I was literally just so exhausted each day from my action-packed weekend, I didn’t have the steam (or motivation) to post!

Friday my grandmother came to spend the day with me to celebrate her 74th birthday. She’s like the perfect combination between a crazy, eccentric German woman and a toddler; she’s brilliant and funny, but if you don’t keep your eye on her, she runs off and eats sand or something.

She loves the beach, so I took her to New Smyrna Beach!

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Kidding, kidding, but she does require a lot of energy and attention. She lives alone, so when we’re together she basically pummels me with conversation, which is definitely enjoyable but surprisingly exhausting after a few straight hours.

She’s also a diabetic who refuses to eat right, so I’m constantly aware of what she’s doing, eating, and drinking, making her check her blood sugar and cancelling her order (and getting herself she should be eating) when she turns her head at the restaurant.

Saturday, my husband and I spent the whole day at Disney World and had a blast. We ran around Magic Kingdom all afternoon, and then wrapped up our evening at Epcot. Despite our workout that morning, we still managed to get in an additional 20,000 steps (putting me at almost 38k for the day!) by the time we got home around 11pm. Yeah, needless to say, we crashed hard that night.

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On Sunday, we went out to lunch with friends (Vietnamese! Pho is my jam!) and then went to the Orlando City Soccer Game that night.

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Yes, I budgeted calories for that Jell-O shot, and it was worth it!

All three days, I managed to control my eating and stay on track, not to mention getting in a hardcore workout every morning!

After a successful weekend, I am going into my new work week back down to 134.2 lbs, down a staggering 7 lbs since Monday last week! I know it’s not realistic or sustainable to lose 7 lbs in one week, and I’m sure much of this is water weight, but it still put me in a great mood this morning and further reinforced my commitment to sticking to this as a lifestyle tweak, not a diet.

Hoping for another great week, and I’ll try to get back to posting daily from this point on, but I make no promises.

~ Tori