I’m back (again)!

Who am I? Oh yeah, just that one girl who lost some weight that one time… and then gained it all back. Surprise, surprise!

So much has happened in my life since my last blog post, I almost don’t know where to start. I got engaged. I got diagnosed with an auto-immune disease that has turned my world upside down. Oh, and I gained back the nearly 50 pounds I’d lost. Stress and excuses took the steering wheel of my life and I just sat in the passenger seat, holding on for dear life.

No longer, my friends. I am back. I will begin regularly posting again!

The time has come… for a new blog!

Hello, everyone! Thank you for hanging in there with me. At long last the time has come… the new blog is ready! Please update your feeds and readers, and subscribe to my new posts at www.emilinasassperina.com! 🙂

Please go check it out! 🙂 Thank you again for sticking in there and stay tuned. As a thank you for hanging in there with me, the first Emilina Sassperina blog give-away will be coming soon!

Some things we just can’t do alone.

It’s hard for us to admit sometimes, I suppose, but some things we really just can’t do by ourselves. Sometimes we need a helping hand or encouraging words. Sometimes we really need a bravo sticker and a room full of applause.

A week ago I returned to my regular Tuesday night Weight Watchers meeting. I returned roughly 9 pounds heavier than my lowest weight after months of “Oh, I’ll get back on track tomorrow” or Monday, or just… sometime, eventually. I was seeing the weight creep back on, and I knew it was time to nip it in the bud. It’s hard for me sometimes to think that I can’t do it on my own, but the reality is that I don’t have to. And why should I? I’m not even close to the only person struggling with their weight or getting healthy. I’m not full of the best ideas. I still need help from time to time, and a weekly meeting offers me the reinforcement that I need to continue on this journey.

So after a few months break (again), I’m back on plan. I’ve been OP for 8 days now, and as of yesterday’s weigh in, I’ve lost 2 pounds. I’m happy, confident, and revitalized. I can do this.

With that said, I have an announcement: I’m working on a new blog.

I’ve purchased my own domain name, and I’m working on getting it set up. Once it’s up and running, I will set this domain up to forward over to it so you won’t lose me. 🙂

As I’ve lost the weight, I’ve gained a lot more confidence. I look in the mirror now and I can see the beautiful girl who’s been hiding behind 100 pounds of extra weight and a massive curtain of curly hair. I used to think I was doomed to be a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl, because no one would make clothes that would fit both my size and my personality. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

My new blog will not only focus on food and my continued weight loss, but will also be about fashion and feeling good in my skin. I hope you’ll continue to follow me as I stretch my wings. I’ll have more to come soon. 🙂

Quick & Easy Dinner Recipe: Mushroom Chicken

My rules for cooking dinner are as follows:

  • must be easy to cook
  • must not require many ingredients
  • must be affordable (no crazy expensive, exotic ingredients)
  • must be calorie/diet-friendly

So last night, I decided to give a recipe my mom used to throw together a try. This is seriously about as easy as making spaghetti for dinner. All you need is sour cream (I used reduced-fat), cream of mushroom soup (I used 98% fat free), salt to taste and chicken.

Open the can of soup, and scoop/pour into a mixing bowl. Prepare the soup as directed on the can, by slowly mixing in the extra can of water.  Add 1 cup of the sour cream to the mixture, and stir well.

After that, pour some of the mixture into your baking pan, and then place desired amount of chicken on top. I only wanted to make three breasts, but you could probably stretch this out to five or so breasts.

Once you have the chicken in the pan, go ahead and use the rest of your mixture to cover the top of the chicken.

Then place the pan in the oven and bake until the chicken is cooked. I baked mine at 350 degrees for probably about 30 minutes. That’s not exactly right because I was working on carving pumpkins at the same time, so make sure you’re checking it so that it’s not over/under done. While your chicken is in the oven, however, go ahead and make some rice. I like brown rice, so I just used a box of minute rice and cooked it in the microwave. Follow regular package instructions.

I also used a package of Steamfresh Broccoli, which cooks right in its own bag. Once all the food was finished cooking, I put about a cup of rice on my plate, then put a piece of chicken and drizzled sauce over it. You can see where I repeatedly checked the chicken to make sure it was cooked since I wasn’t closely following the clock and I have no timer in my kitchen.

Mmmm… delicious. 🙂 The points will depend on how you make it and how much sauce you use, but what you see on my plate here was roughly 8 points.

101: “Jack”-o-lantern

I started this 101 in 1,001 project to get myself motivated to do things I hadn’t done before… to get outside and enjoy my life. Tonight, I carved my first pumpkin. For some reason, I always let my parents do the pumpkin carving. Well, that was on years that we actually did carve pumpkins… more often than not they wound up smashed all over our front yard, so we stopped making them. Well, I didn’t want to carve the regular triangle-eyed two-toothed pumpkin, so I decided to go for a more interesting face– that of Jack from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.

Well, let me tell you. Carving pumpkins is NOT that easy. First you have to cut the bad boy open and scoop out all the nasty goop and seeds inside.

So scoop I did. I didn’t have any fancy tools, so I used a regular steak knife and a spoon. It was tough, but it worked. Then I outlined where I wanted to carve with a regular Crayola marker because I didn’t have a Sharpie. I forgot to take a picture of that part, but you can see my sketches around the edges of his eyes and such. After I had him sort of sketched, I carved his face out with a paring knife.

It’s really hard to cut those teeth. In fact, I accidentally punched one out, and it’s currently being held in place with a nail, because I didn’t have any toothpicks. Oh, well, it seems to hold it in place!

On the right is Sam’s pumpkin. We’ll just call him AngryPumpkin, since he didn’t quite turn out right. 😉 Oh, well. He’s still cute!


101: Crossing Off the First Goal

So today I was able to cross off my very first thing to do on my 101 list.

47. See MUSE in concert : Completed 10/11/10

I’ve loved MUSE since the moment I first heard “Supermassive Black Hole” on the Twilight soundtrack. Yes, I like Twilight. Yes, I’m a loser. No, that’s nothing new. Let’s move on, shall we? 😉

A few months ago, Sam let me borrow Origin of Symmetry. I’ve always been a sucker for piano, and MUSE’s fusion of classical and rock really captured my interest. It was great to hear “New Born,” “Plug In Baby,” and “Feeling Good” off of that album. I was admittedly sad that they didn’t play “Neutron Star Collision,” since that song has been a recent obsession of mine.

Needless to say, MUSE has a pretty spectacular light show.

Sam and I just before MUSE went on. I have to give him a little credit– he got my ticket for my birthday. 🙂

These gigantic eyeball balloons were filled with red confetti. It actually took them forever to pop, since people were passing them around like beach balls.

I’m excited that I finally got to cross something off of my list! 100 to go!

Seeing My Goal: Who I Used To Be

For about a year now, this photo of me has been hanging on the refrigerator at my parents’ house.

Forgive the blurriness, I had to take a photo of the photo to be able to show it to you.

That photo was taken when I was 12 years old… about 11 years ago. It’s amazing to think about what I’ve done to my body in that time. 12 years ago I was 5’6″, and I weighed 145 pounds. So in the past 11 years, I managed to pack almost 100 pounds onto that same 5’6″ frame and etched stretch marks into nearly every inch of my pale skin. I completely lost everything you see in that photo there, from the skinny waistline to the confidence it took to pose like that (in a bathing suit no less!) in front of a camera.

When I moved out of my parents’ home, I left this photo behind. I left it sitting on the refrigerator, tucked away behind coupons and newspaper clippings. In some sort of subconscious way, I guess I was once again allowing myself to slink back to the little hole I hid in for 11 years of my life.

Seeing this photo again this morning gave me hope again. When you start your weight loss journey 100 pounds overweight and you near the half-way point, it’s discouraging to look in the mirror and still see the same old fat girl you’re used to seeing. For me, I had spent so much time convincing myself that I really “wasn’t that bad” at my highest weight, that when I got to -48, I felt like I didn’t look like I had lost any weight. In truth, I had just finally gotten to the size I had talked myself into thinking I looked.

I’ve had a really hard time recommitting to the program. Be it boredom or complacency, I let the past four months really slip from me. Though I haven’t gained back what I certainly could have in this time, it’s hard for me to keep going. This photo has helped me to today have the confidence that I’m going to get to goal one day, even if I have to drag myself there kicking and screaming. Okay, maybe it won’t be that dramatic. But at some point I have to tell myself that no, I don’t need the food I’m putting in myself– I just want it. I have the luxury of being able to eat what I want, when I want it. It’s hard to recognize food as more of a means of sustaining life than a crutch or a pastime, but I’m getting there. Does that mean that I don’t thoroughly enjoy each meal, or eat yummy foods? No. It just means that I need to refocus this addiction into a healthier mindset.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated?