Guess what I just did?
I ate almost a whole pound of strawberries and some chocolate, and I don’t feel guilty at all! I’ll share the easy-peasy recipe below.
So, I know I forgot to update after my last entry, but I will say that I have been on track with my health and weight loss goals since then, which, for me, is saying a whole heck of a lot.
The elliptical every day for at least 25-40 minutes, walking the dog for at least 30 minutes, and more all-around activity has been keeping me from my usual summer sloth-fest. I even started lifting weights and doing crunches– weird!
I’ve been feeling pretty good about it, too. Usually, hate sets in around the second day, but I’ve been going strong for almost a week! This is pretty big news for a gym-hater like myself. It helps that the gym is free in my apartment complex, is air conditioned (a relief in this 95+ degree heat), and I haven’t run across any creepy or obnoxious gym folk as of yet. All positive!
Now, it’s about watching what I eat. I don’t have a good history of abstaining or moderating my food, so I started using the MyFitnessPal app to help me understand what I’m putting in my body. I tried this months ago, with little success, as I just became obsessed with my eating and if I went over on calories, I just basically said “Screw this!” and ate…and ate…and ate. Then I felt bad about it. The big thing was I wasn’t keyed in on exercising and being healthy overall.
What changed? Well, I went athletic shoe shopping with my mom, which, of course, turned into clothes shopping as well. Awesome, right? Not so awesome when I realized that the only clothes I felt comfortable in were the spandex blend exercise clothes. Every pair of cute jeans I tried on did not fit. Dresses didn’t fit. Some shirts didn’t even fit! I was in tears in the fitting room, realizing that I had officially gone from larger-ish to what the clothing industry considers “plus size.” Not okay.
Hey, I know the clothes-sizing industry isn’t fair and/or realistic, but to be fair, I have gained about 30 pounds since my wedding three years ago. Between an increase in life and job stresses, new medications, and unhealthy habits, my body has gone from comfortable to not.
Many of you who have known me a long time might be thinking a variety of things about this. Yes, for years I was pretty skinny without having to do a lot to be that way, but I also had some major size distortion when it came to clothing, which I blame on being tall and growing up in the 90’s, when it was fashionable to be “baggy” (what were we thinking?!). Basically, I realized about five years ago after a shopping trip that I was buying clothing two to four sizes too big. Crazy, but true!
When I started gaining weight and actually became those sizes, I felt pretty comfortable. After all, I wore those sizes for years, unknowingly! The sizes have been creeping up and up for a while now, and when my bra size went up a whole cup size, it was pretty cool. But then stuff started not fitting right, and my clothes started becoming uncomfortable to wear. I would see things I liked on the rack, but wouldn’t be able to wear them. However, the clothes trying-on incident from last week was the last straw.
Also, I have a pretty big family history of obesity and heart disease. With my heart problems, I became scared to exercise, but now I realize more than ever that I’m not getting any younger, or healthier, sitting on my butt and pretending nothing is different. Life changes are in order. And I am tired of feeling bad about myself and my health.
So, in a roundabout way, this brings me to the tasty summer treat I was craving earlier. Since I’ve been doing well with my exercise and diet goals, it has almost become a contest for me, like a game. When I started craving sweetness, I tried to think of a relatively healthy way to both beat the heat and stay within my goals. Hence, Organic Strawberries with Melted Chocolate!
Alas, not the best picture, but super tasty and easy! One pound of fresh strawberries is 145 calories. I used semisweet chocolate chips from Costco (Kirkland brand), which is 70 calories per 30 pieces of chocolate. What that equals is deliciousness at under 300 calories, depending how many strawberries and/or chocolate you want to eat. Me, I ate the whole pound and about a serving and a half of the chocolate! Perfect!
1 lb fresh, organic strawberries, hulled and quartered
Semisweet (at least 50% cacao) chocolate chips, 30 to 60 pieces
Wash, hull, and quarter the strawberries. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in increments of 15-20 seconds, stop, and stir, until chips are melted. Dip strawberries into melted chocolate and enjoy! If you aren’t worried about calories, top with some whipped cream!