Category: Weight Loss

It’s been raining pretty hard lately. Emi’s been on call two of the past three days, and it’s been hard to be motivated to do anything except have “lazy days” as the kids are home for Thanksgiving week.Anya helping Emi make the cranberries for Thanksgiving

This morning I took the kids to the Seattle Aquarium, and we had a great time there, but other than that (and a few errands run), we’ve hung out around the house.

It’s days like these that can be difficult for me in my challenge to lose 15 pounds before the end of the year. I’ve had to resist temptation more than normal. I know I don’t really need to eat, but I am regularly finding myself thinking about food more than normal. So I usually grab an apple or some baby carrots to munch on and tide me over until mealtime, but today was more difficult than it should have been.

Tonight I went back on Facebook and looked through old photos. We all have pictures of ourselves that we don’t like too much for one reason or another, but I intentionally looked back at pictures of me when I was heavier, and then at ones when I was more fit … just to remind myself that I look happier, healthier and better when I’m not as heavy.

I don’t want to lose momentum. I’m nearly two weeks into my challenge, and I want to continue moving in the right direction. We’re having our Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday (since Emi will be on call Thursday we just moved it up a day … have to be flexible with dates in our family) and I will need to watch my consumption from that meal and after.

So I’ve allowed myself a couple of “treat” luxuries. A couple of nights ago, I had a small cup of Emi’s homemade “rompope” (like a spiked Mexican eggnog). This afternoon I made the kids a hot chocolate, and I had one too. And now I’m thinking about it, wondering if it was worth it for me to feel guilty. Then I feel weak … not only for having it, but for feeling guilty afterward. Hell, if I’m going to indulge, I should enjoy it, or what’s the point?

Anyway! We’ll see how things are progressing. We have a pretty full week ahead with parent-teacher conferences, holiday portraits, and of course, Thanksgiving.

The first week (OK, eight days now) of my challenge to drop 15 pounds before the new year has gone well! I realize I’m not going to drop four pounds every week, but obviously I don’t have to … averaging two pounds a week from when I started until the end of the year will get me there, and I’m well on my way.

I’ve really been watching what I eat, though I hesitate to say I’ve been dieting, since I’m not really depriving myself … I’m just making sure that I’m eating the right amount of things instead of continuing to eat after I’ve had enough.

Another challenge for me has always been the fact that I work from home. The kitchen is just upstairs, and it’s really easy to grab some of those pumpkin seeds (this year’s were some of my all-time best) or to cut some extra cheese to have with a couple of apples. So I just need to make sure that I continue to keep track of what I’m eating.

It also helps that I’ve been running fairly regularly. In fact, today my personal trainer (she’s super hot, but she’s married … oh, wait! To me! Awesome!) pushed me to five miles. It was a run/walk, and I only ran about half of it, but still … it’s five miles that I wouldn’t have gone before. And it’s really cool to explore the neighborhood from street level instead of from the car! It really makes a difference.

However, I admit I was tempted to collapse on the stone staircase of one house along the way. Rocks have never looked more comfortable. But I pushed myself and still felt good by the time we got back home.

Emi says “if you still feel good, you didn’t work hard enough.” This coming from the woman who just got off a 24-hour shift in the NICU and came bouncing home, wanting to run.

Anyway! Just wanted to post an update for my interested reader (who is ALSO super hot!) to share where I am now, and to keep me honest.

low fat healthy oatmeal pumpkin pancakes with honey and powdered sugar

Saturday morning, we made Fluffy Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Pancakes … and they were DELICIOUS – and deceivingly diet-friendly!

To start, we had to roast sugar pumpkins (medium size, remove stem and cut down middle; scoop and lay flat on foiled sheet and bake 35-40 minutes at 350).

Once roasted, we scooped out the pumpkin (actually was easier to scrape off the outer skin) and pureed it in our Cuisinart. In fact, for this breakfast (as with many others of ours) we relied on two of our kitchen workhorses … the Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor and our KitchenAid Mixer. oatmeal pumpkin pancakes, sugar pumpkins, Bob's Red Mill Extra Thick Rolled Oats, Proventive Harmonized Powder

Along with the oats and pumpkins, we also added Vanilla Protein Powder … this helps the belly feel fuller, along with the oats. We don’t usually use this, but we bought the Proventive Harmonized Powder and it worked really well.

We looked at different recipes online (One from Gina, an eggless one from Kristy, another from Kath) but in the end, we do what we often do … we combined what we thought would work best from different sources, and then added a little of our own.

For example … if you beat the egg whites in the mixer until they form stiff peaks, then it adds more volume and lightness to the final batter. kitchenaid mixer, pumpkin oatmeal pancake batter

Here is what we ended up doing for the final recipe, and it turned out great!

  • 1.5 cup rolled oats
  • 1.5 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 8 egg whites, mixed until fluffy
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4-5 tbsp Splenda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Cooking lowfat pumpkin oatmeal hotcakes on griddle

When done, you can serve with anything, but a little non-dairy whipped cream is low in calories, or a little honey … powdered sugar …

However you eat them, they’re a delicious, low-fat way to start your day! Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have it with a hot cup of black coffee.

Steaming cup of black coffee

My kids are old enough now to stay with me when I’m walking with them, but I still like to hold their hands sometimes. Through a parking lot, for example. Just to make sure they don’t drift away when they see something shiny.Eric C. Souza at Discovery Park

For the past couple of days, I’ve gone for runs with my wife. Emi is a great runner, and has been very encouraging with me as I’ve been establishing a more active lifestyle. I’ve let her take on the role of a trainer, and have followed her advice (for the most part … I had to stop on that last uphill).

But today, when she went to work and after I dropped off the kids, I was left to do a solo run. And I went looking for shiny things.

The first part of the run was the same. It’s a gradual uphill stretch from our home to the northern part of the Magnolia neighborhood peninsula. Magnolia Blvd. leads straight to Discovery Park, the largest city park in Seattle.

By the time I got there, I was winded (who am I kidding, I was bent over, gasping for oxygen like a fish thrown in a boat) and wanted to walk a little. So I entered Discovery Park for a walk, instead of turning and running home.

If you don’t know about Discovery Park, here are the basics. It’s gorgeous. Despite being in the city, it’s isolated and has been left as a 534-acre natural area. There’s a 2.8-mile trail that loops around the park. And then once on the trail, there’s a different trail that leads to the beach and the lighthouse.

It was a crisp autumn morning with temperatures in the mid-40s. I had a couple of hours before a noon event at the kids’ school, so I figured it would be a great opportunity to explore.


Each step I took on the way down the south beach trail, I had to remind myself that I would eventually have to come back up. It was not even a mile long, but it was all pretty steep.When the beach was in sight, I knew I had found it! My shiny thing! The waters of Puget Sound broke on the rock-and-sand beach, littered with driftwood. There were only a couple of people down there … a photographer with a macro lens trying to take photos of the “jumping spiders that live near the wood along the Sound” … and a far-off older couple walking near the lighthouse.

I was glad I had made it, but knew I didn’t have much time to relax there before having to get back home to shower and get to the school for Anya’s writing presentation.

Might I say, the expression “What goes up, must come down” also goes the other way. All of the steps that led to the beach had to be retraced. At the top of one particularly evil stretch of steps, a bench taunted me. But nope!

By the time I made it home, I was beat. But I had made it back in time to take care of my responsibilities. And I found my shiny thing.


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