1 of 2
jujube oyster mushroom curryJujube is just across the street from our offices, so even on my busiest days I know I can get a healthy but filling (and affordable!) lunch thanks to the restaurant's oyster mushroom curry.
2 of 2
Photo by Briana Brough
andrea headshot 2013
I’m pretty pleased with my results thus far. (If you're just joining us, read all about my decision to publicly blog my quest to lose 30 pounds by my 30th birthday in early September here.)
I lost 12 pounds since Jan. 1. I ate a lot of salads (hold the croutons) and soups (hold the side of bread), but I also enjoyed steak for many dinners with a vegetable like asparagus on the side. I snacked on string cheese and carrots with salad dressing. I tried to drink a lot of water, although that one is tough for me when it’s not extremely hot outside. I told pretty much everyone I encountered that I was trying to lose weight. And news flash: Folks were so supportive. I attended work lunches, happy hours and fancy dinners out, and all of my fellow diners stopped pressuring me to order dessert/cocktails/fried food the second I revealed my weight-loss goal to them. Thank you, friends and colleagues, for the support!
I didn’t feel deprived hardly at all, except for maybe three moments of weakness. I set a goal for January of cutting alcohol out completely – just to kind of detox after all the holiday merriment – and I lasted until January 29, when a Blue Moon in the back of my fridge called to me. Not bad. (Side note: My husband thought he had rid our fridge completely of all the beer; he just missed one! A very important piece of advice: Don’t keep “trigger” foods/drinks in the house! There is a reason why I never, ever, ever kept tortilla chips in my pantry, even when I wasn’t on a serious mission to lose weight.)
I broke the rules I set for myself (no sugar and no flour) a few times – a restaurant served an amuse bouche that featured a mini grilled cheese, so I enjoyed it; I had one order of potato wedges; I had bread with dinner at one restaurant; a friend offered a treat from a Charleston bakery, and I went for it. But I am OK with that. Life isn’t perfect, and neither am I. And I don’t have to be.
A few weeks into the New Year, I stopped weighing myself every day. You see, at first, the weight was just falling off, so it was fun getting on the scale every morning, but then I hit several days in a row where it wasn’t budging – or it was going up by half a pound. Of course, my brain knows that you shouldn’t live and die by the scale every day. This is a marathon and not a sprint. I told myself I’d only weigh in on Wednesdays, but then I kept sneaking a peek most mornings and then getting discouraged by the lack of results. So I decided weighing in every day was doing more harm than good. After all, I can already tell my clothes are fitting better. I’m looking thinner, and I’m feeling more energetic.
I’d say the worst thing about January and February was that I didn’t focus enough on working out. Sure, I went for walks and lifted weights from time to time, but my activity wasn’t frequent enough, intense enough or structured enough. I find that I have trouble focusing on both eating and working out at the same time. For years, I have been all about the fitness – I even ran a 10K – but not so careful about my eating. So for March, the goal is to create a workout plan and stick to it.
Here are some of my favorite go-to restaurant meals in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. (I tend to eat out a lot at lunch, whether I’m dining in or grabbing it to go.)
- Jujube’s oyster mushroom curry. Very rich and filling (and spicy) but gluten free.
- Chipotle. I am a sucker for Mexican food. I love getting a burrito bowl with chicken, fajita vegetables, lettuce, salsa, cheese, sour cream and guacamole. No rice, beans or chips for me!
- Southern Season’s deli/hot bar. I get the shrimp salad or the vegetable soup.
- For a really big lunch, I get Tobacco Road Sports Café’s Greek lemon chicken. It’s grilled chicken served with garlic mashed potatoes, spinach, feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes and lemon caper beurre blanc. Because I’m trying to lay off the starches, I substitute green beans for the mashed potatoes.
- Venable’s tomato soup and beet and goat cheese salad.
- Kitchen’s Thai curry mussels – I resist the fries, though.
- City Kitchen’s grilled chicken, served with sautéed spinach and lemon-roasted sweet potatoes.
- Il Palio's wilted spinach salad with candied pecans, crumbled gorgonzola and a warm bacon and thyme vinaigrette. (It also comes with fried shallots, but I pass on those.)
Comment below: What are your go-to spots locally for healthy meals? How are you staying motivated now that two months have passed since New Year's?
Our editorial director is on a mission to lose 30 pounds by her 30th birthday in early September. Although she is not a professional in the weight loss industry, experience has taught her plenty! Follow her progress here on the 8th and 30th of every month.