October Weight Loss Chart Update AND Crockpot Ratatatatatatouille

I’ve been trying to focus on the positive the past few days, because it regards to my eating and exercise, it hasn’t been a fantastic few days.

I delayed this post a day so I could include the results of my October 1st weigh-in. Let’s see what the ol’ weight loss chart has to say, shall we?

Up three pounds. That’s five pounds that I’ve gained over the past two months. No bueno.  And here’s the crappy part about having a weight loss chart… it only took me approximately 15 seconds to realize that this is the heaviest I’ve been in about 18 months. The last time I weighed 241 pounds was March 2011.

It’s not muscle mass. I barely lifted weights in September. I was struggling to work out three times a week. I’ve let portion sizes slowly get bigger. I indulged in snacks and treats that I know better about indulging in. I’m really good when other people are around… but I let myself cheat when I’m by myself.

Ugh – and to think that last month, I wrote a post about how I plan on losing 6 pounds during the month of October. I never really took that goal seriously, and now here I am, farther away from that goal than when I started.

So, I’m disappointed in myself. Because of all those reasons, the weight gain wasn’t a surprise. And where my mind went after that weigh-in was to think about how the grasp I have on my own health is starting to slip away, and that in a few months time, I’ll probably weigh 402 pounds again.

That’s a really shitty mindset to have. I don’t like having a defeatist attitude, but that’s where my mind goes a lot of the time. And that’s why I’m focusing on the positive: I’m still down 161 pounds. I’m still working out a few times a week, when I can, which is something, considering that I’m putting in 55-60 hours a week at the office. I’m still bringing tons of healthy food with me every single day. And I have an amazing collection of family and friends that will love me no matter what size I am.

I’m still on top of my situation.

But man oh man, I wish this wasn’t so hard. And I wish I was better at not being so hard on myself. And I wish I was better at forgiving myself and moving forward. But those things, too, are hard.

Here’s another good thing I have going for me: I’m still curious by nature and eager to try new things. That’s actually a great thing, because it means, in theory, that it should be easy for me to dig myself out of ruts, like the one I’m in right now.

The latest new thing I tried was a recipe for Crockpot Ratatouille, or, as I like to spell it, Ratatatatatatouille, because why not? I made it when some friends came over a couple nights ago, and it was really easy, and really delicious. I followed this recipe, but with a few modifications (which is par for the course for me). The first modification was doubling the eggplant, because I like eggplant, and I hardly ever buy it. So that’s two eggplants that I peeled and chopped into cubes. I liberally sprinkled it with salt and let it sit for almost an hour in my colander, which is supposed to draw out the moisture.

Although I’ve read about this technique, and seen people do it on the Food Network, I’ve never tried it myself, and I was skeptical about how well it could work. An hour later, I was wrapping heaping handfuls of eggplant in paper towel and wringing out ungodly amounts of water. Yep, it works! After wringing it all out, the eggplant was reduced in volume by more than half!

That’s a lot of liquid that didn’t end up in the bottom of my crockpot. I’m glad I doubled the amount of eggplant that I used, too! I gave the eggplant one final quick rinse, to remove the salt, and patted it dry, and into the crockpot it went. Next up was 3 medium zucchinis (2 green, 1 yellow), and 2 onions, which I thinly sliced…

…and three tomatoes, chopped:

Plus two bell peppers, which I forgot to photograph. I used one red and one yellow, because that’s what I had lying around. Then I added 1 tablespoon olive oil (instead of three, which is what the recipe recommended) and 3-4 tablespoons dried basil. I was supposed to add a couple minced cloves of garlic, too, but I was out of garlic and forgot to grab some at the store.

I tossed everything together, and let me tell you, there aren’t many things that top the sight of a crockpot filled with veggies!

The veggies only need 3 hours on high to cook. You want them to be tender but still hold their shape. After three hours, you add a few more ingredients: 1 can tomato paste, a can of olives, chopped up, and some fresh basil if you have it (I didn’t have much, but I added what I had, and tossed in some more dried basil for good measure).

Give it a good stir so the piping hot veggies warm the olives and tomato paste, and voila! Your Crockpot Ratatatatatatouille is complete! The finished product:

So delicious. It was a hit with me, and a hit with my friends. Something I’d definitely make again.

Keep it up, David!

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8 Responses to October Weight Loss Chart Update AND Crockpot Ratatatatatatouille

  1. Once again, you and I are right on the same page. I think I’ve lost – and gained – this same ten pounds about six times now. If I hadn’t kept regaining it, I’d be almost done now! I’ve lost my focus… I’ve lost my determination… I’ve lost control! I’m struggling, too, David, and wondering why the hell I can’t seem to get my head outta my nether region and move forward. What can we do to help each other!?

  2. Lisa says:

    I am glad you both gave yourself a break and recognize how fast you can be out of control again. I gave up sugar a week ago, you know cookies,etc but I have had a couple bites and it’s amazing how satisfying one bite can be but at the same time I wonder why in the world I needed even one bite?
    Losing weigh is hard freaking work. Cooking healthy is hard–it’s way easier to do the drive through thing. Stay strong because you are an inspiration to me. If you can do it so can I!
    Back on track. Off to get some water. Any tricks to getting enough water daily? I’d so rather have a diet coke.

    • I drink a LOT of tea and flavored waters (Walmart has one that’s in a litre bottle and comes in many good flavors for about .75 a bottle. All liquid counts – doesn’t have to be plain ol’ water. Hang in there! :)

  3. geiger says:

    come on david–the most important part of all of this and in life is being able to pick yourself up and get back on the horse…every time you successfully do this, is greater proof to yourself that you will never be 401 lbs again. you are an inspiration NOT just because of your success, but because you can continuously rally back from “failure”…consider them small tests to your commitment and your resolve to put yourself first.

  4. Crock pots are a modern miracle!

  5. Coco says:

    55-60 hour weeks would take a toll on any healthy eating and exercise routine. I’m astounded you’ve been able to manage 3x per week under that kind of stress. Way to keep it up, David. I’ve been really stressed at work recently too and have found myself grabbing cookies and other garbage leftover from meetings when I normally don’t touch that stuff at work. I just need to pause before I reach for the easily accessible junk food.

  6. Karen J. says:

    I’m amazed you do even the 3X weekly with a 60-hr-workweek. You know the old ideas: park car far away from jobsite, get up every hour to walk around & stretch, take a stairs break–ten minutes up & down will burn a few calories, maybe do a juice fast on one of your days off [Meditate that day, too, visualize staying healthy & calm!] As for H2O: I am loving Canada Dry’s fizzy waters, like Orange flavor and plain old sparkling water on ice. When I am chilly, I love Celestial Seasonings Chamomile or Peppermint tea–it tastes sweet yet has no calories. Both are good for the digestion, too. No artificial stuff. Satisfies. Oh, think of this: you don’t have to begin all over again at 402, as I now do. I let my personal needs slide when I lost my home in this economy, and had to move out of state in order to continue the care of my family. I miss you, and friends from class. I miss routine. I ate my stress, forgot all the tricks that worked prior to being homeless. I may get to move into a rental house in two weeks, and then hope to make a routine & get back to exercise. Can you carve out some semblance of a Routine with the new job? If you do eat a cookie, go walk those stairs, that sort of thing?? Did you know stress, even good stress, can make one gain weight. It is true. So Deep-breathing Meditation is imperative every day for even 15 minutes. Break it into 5 minute chunks if need be. All I know to do is: Focus on the Positive {Hey, we Are *Above Ground*!}, and live your Motto with Cheerful Perseverance. I know I am always proud of you, no matter what. I love to read your adventures, healthy recipes & ideas. They inspire me!
    ¯ Keep It UP, David!

  7. Karen J. says:

    hey David, you can delete the comment above. I didn’t realize it was so long! Love you, miss you!!!

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