Friday, January 30, 2009
The picture is just evidence. I am going to a black-tie gala with my sister tomorrow night and I had nothing to wear. I wanted to go out and find something that would pass suitably for dressed down black tie (as in - hell no I'm not wearing a ball gown - kind of thing). I decided to try Lula, a vintage shop in St. Paul thinking I could find a really cool dress. Nothing fit right - in a great way. It was all too big in some part. I realize this is because vintage wear is typically made for your average to tall height lady, and that is why things fit me strange (gaping throughout the entire back of the torso), but it was still a nice feeling. I also headed to the new Everyday People store that opened just a few doors down on Selby. It's adorable and they bought a ton of the things I brought to consign. I left with a bracelet, a ring (no dress!) and $84. Ka-ching!
I knew I'd have better luck at my ultra favorite shopping spot, Nu Look. I stopped home quick to let out the dogs and check my online account with Nu Look where they store information on the items that you've brought to consign that have sold, and what remains - as well as the current balance of your account. I had $45 in there, and I was ready to use it.
I made the trek to the store, walked right in and straight down to the dress rack. I pulled about 9 amazing dresses that I would have been happy to wear. In the fitting room, they were all so marvelous that it really came down to exact fit, and of course price. Lastly, it fell between a gorgeous and funky ruffled dress that I LOVED for $90, and this also very beautiful Ann Taylor dress at 75% off $34, making it $8.50 for anyone who is not a math wizard. The dress fits like a glove and it's ultra flattering. Being that it's petite it even hits at the correct line of the knee. I love the way I look in it, I'm just not a fan of the color.
The obvious choice was to get the super cheap dress. So I did. I am now $84, a dress, 2 necklaces, a bracelet, a ring and a shawl richer.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Tonight while I was trying to figure out what to eat, I remembered when the South Beach Diet was a huge thing and my mom and I went out to some weird chain restaurant, I think it was called Bennigans or something of the sort and they had mashed "potatoes" made out of cauliflower. I thought I'd do my best to recreate such a thing. I boiled the cauliflower until it was very very tender, and then through it in my awesome Kitchen-aid mixer with some WW Cream Cheese, salt and pepper.
The nuggets came after the cauliflower experiment. I knew I was going to need to eat the turkey that was in the fridge because I took it out of the freezer about 3-4 days ago and it was not going to last much longer before it was in the slightly funky category. What do you do with Jennie-O Extra Lean boneless turkey medallions? I didn't feel like just tossing them in the pan with some oil, so I went Hungry Girl style and rolled them in FiberOne with this weird herb blend by Better Crocker that somehow ended up in my kitchen. Instant delicious.
Corn is corn. There's not much to explain there, obviously.
I've been thinking a lot today. I once again did not make it to the gym, not because I was too busy, but because by the time I was able to make time to go, I genuinely did not want to. I've been running around like a maniac this week bouncing from event to event to errand to event. My mind, however, hasn't been on food. This is both good and bad. I haven't had time to focus on my hunger signals because I barely had time to eat. I would literally FORGET to eat. Next week is far less packed and I fully intend to work on that reflection project and taking the time to listen to myself and my signals then.
I've promised myself I will go to the gym tomorrow whether I feel like it or not. I simply can't go the entire week without earning a single Activity Point. However, I do feel like my body is responding in a favorable way to the break from so much extra physical activity.
I ended up being too busy to make it to the gym yesterday, but I did do an unofficial meeting weigh in since I had to miss my meeting for the Speed Networking Event I hosted. The number on the scale shocked me.
Maybe I've been working out too hard? Unofficial clothing on fake meeting weigh in at 5pm last night is....
Now, I'm completely set in reality that this may not be what shows up on the scale again on Monday morning, but just to see that 4, after 26 weeks in the 150s, to know it's even possible.... I AM SO MOTIVATED.
Assuming that thing I'm forgetting to do doesn't catch up with me, you'll find me in the gym later this afternoon. Hopefully I'll have a real update for you sometime soon on some topic that's actually useful and helpful rather than completely self-indulgent.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Today I have a plan. A meal plan and a vow to get back to the gym after an entire week away. My menu is skillfully written across the refrigerator door, my gym back is packed and I'm enjoying a brief cup of coffee before work.
I'm operating on very little sleep this morning due to a dog issue. We are watching a friend's corgi Cooper while she is out of town for work a few days. He apparently hates our house and isn't happy to be here. He barks a lot and his bark is very high pitched. He licks feet and he has accidents because he's at tiny dog and I'm not used to having to let dogs out that often. I pretty much got out of bed every 2 hours last night to let him outside. Exhaustion....
I have made a conscious decision to start eating breakfast this week. It's something I tend to not do. I usually eat my first item of food around 10am, after having been up for 5 hours. It's usually also a small snack, like an apple or a kashi bar. This morning I'm going to have some yogurt and bring along that apple and kashi bar. I think my metabolism needs a kick in the butt.
Feeling renewed (again... despite the lack of sleep) and ready to take on the day. Talk to me in like 3 hours though, I'll be singing a different tune.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Last night was the annual Pizza Luce Holiday Party. This is where all the employees of what is now a 5 store chain get together and drink way too much, eat way too much and just generally do pretty stupid stuff. When I actually worked at Luce, I skipped the party in favor of working and getting a gift certificate to a local record shop. I'm not really into stupid parties. I go now because Justin, my partner, still works there and thinks it's a blast. For the last 4 years I have left early every time, simply because the choice of venue offers little to do aside from eat and drink and socialize. As much as I love those things, I do them on a different level than these folks... slowly and within reason.
This year, however, the party was hosted by Grumpy's downtown where there are pool tables, darts, give aways and a room specifically for karaoke. Now, I am always tempted by karaoke, but never actually do it because I get too scared. Somehow, last night, I was convinced by a girl I've met only once to participate. I ended up doing a number of songs and had a blast.
The real NSV though, is the fact that there was a large spread of food, buffet style and I didn't go nuts! As long as you're away from the food at a party, I think you're ok. I ended up being the sober cab for a few boys, which helped me to feel productive and I even got a lot of compliments from people I rarely see on my weight loss progress. It was pretty exciting. All in all, a pretty good night.
Yesterday, Justin and I went grocery shopping. I am now the proud owner of a fully stocked fridge with tons of healthy options. I'm excited to be back on track and holding myself accountable once again.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I have completed 10 whole days of this 14 day challenge now! I feel so great about being in control that I want to go back to the meeting topic, which was "Your body is trying to tell you something." I am horrible with boredom eating when I am at home. I know that I love to eat if I'm watching t.v. This is both habitual and out of boredom, so I will do it for either of those reasons despite the fact that I'm generally not hungry at any given point that I am watching t.v. I also NEED dessert. Literally, my body craves something sweet after eating, but I guarantee I could get away with having a Lifesaver rather than a bowl of ice cream and get the same effect. Either way, Diane (my leader) was simply talking about listening to your body, and attempting to figure out what's really going on. Are you actually hungry? No. What are you feeling? Anxious. What else could you do? Go for a walk. Things like that.
I don't typically listen for signals when I am at home. I only do this at work to avoid the mass amount of baked temptation in the staff kitchen. I need to realize that even though my home is stocked with healthy foods, and I'm not going over points - I don't need to snack when I'm not hungry. There is just no point. I want to begin to fill those bad habits with something else. I think it's going to take a while to figure it out, but I'm determined to get in tune with my body. You hear that body? You and me are going to be buds.... some day.
Also, if you ever want to ruin your ability to walk for at least 24 hours, take an African Dance class. I am still sore.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I wanted to eat all day long, but I didn't. I knew I wasn't going to make it to the gym (because of the dreaded curse) so I had to keep the snacking to a minimum. In order to do this I kept busy all day by cleaning. I cleaned the kitchen top to bottom, the bathroom too and I reorganized my office and files and through away a ton of stuff I no longer need. I went to Target and finally bought curtains for the HUGE front bay window, but one was the wrong size and they didn't have another one in the length I need. I had to put on on hold in the suburbs. I'm headed that way tomorrow for some funtime shopping anyhow. Now I'm baking FiberOne Apple Cinnamon Muffins with banana slices stuffed in the middle. Could be good, could be bad. I won't know until tomorrow when I eat one.
I have been feeling bloaty and gross, so I was having a hard time drinking my water. I decided to go the Crystal Light route, mostly to appease my sweet tooth but also to get in some much needed hydration. I doubt I'll make it to the gym tomorrow either, and they're close on Monday in order of MLK day. I guess I'm ending my week at 25 APs, all of which were earned in 3 days. I think that's impressive.... will the scale?
I have 4 points left and I'm about to lay down and watch a movie, so I think I'll indulge in my delicious vanilla fro-yo, honey and granola dessert.
My favorite part about my adult life is that this is something that is honored now. I realize there are better ways to frame what I am trying to say, and I'm working on that - but I am eternally grateful that my friendships have all progressed to the point where Honesty is a real value. We're no longer just searching for affirmation that we are friends, that there's someone there to call on Friday night to hang out. I have friends who will tell me I'm making a huge mistake with my life, that my pants are too tight, or (and this is the worst) that I have really hurt their feelings and all the reasons why.
The benefit to this type of relationship, though trying and hard at times, is that it's real. It's real and I can learn from it. It's real and it will stand the tests because we are being open and honest about all the things we will deal with.
I am so comfortable with this fact and these dealings that even when things are going horribly wrong - I know I'm in a good place. I know that eventually things will work themselves out, not on their own, but through lots of talking, explaining and honesty.
I'm not having any sort of relationship problem today. This post is merely inspired by how mature I feel at times when I spend a significant chunk of a night on the Weight Watcher's Twenty Somethings message board. For me, a lot of inspiration comes merely from reading other posts and having NO relation or reaction to them what-s0-ever. It's strange to feel like I'm in a completely different place than the majority of a generation I apparently belong to. I'm on the "late" scale of the 20 somethings, but they're still my peers.
I love being able to be on the boards and offer advice to people who actually want it. When you're genuinely seeking advice, having someone with years of knowledge on the subject spell it out for you is usually exactly what you're looking for. It seems, however, that when you're a self-centered "20 something," you've already got your answer, and you're seeking advice as a mask for affirmation that what you've already chosen is ok. You instantly go into defense mode when someone brings up a different point of view and then it all turns into a ridiculous argument with insult flying when the original goal was to assist and aide.
I am SO glad I'm not there.
I had a great conversation with one of my best friends, Jessica, in a similar realm of this yesterday. I was confiding in her all the ways I know I need to improve myself. The way I present myself to people, my intelligence (I severely need a larger vocabulary) and the way I balance my time. My stress levels are THROUGH THE ROOF due to a job that is brimming with pressure, a relationship that is kind of walking on egg shells due to scheduling and qualms with certain members of my family.
The best part about being secure with myself, is that I can pick through the list of things that are causing me to freak out and cross off the ones I just can not control. I can't solve those, and there is no sense in worrying about them. It doesn't mean I won't, I'm a natural worrier, but it provides a solid 5 minutes of calm to remember that I simply can't change it.
I have no idea where I'm going with this entry. It does make me feel better to spell all of this out just for my own personal reference. Perhaps it will resonate with you?
Do you feel like an adult or a perpetual teenager?
I go back and forth between the two. I know, in my heart, that I'm an old soul, but I see in my smile that I'm a goofy awkward kid and I feel like I couldn't ask for a better mix.
Friday, January 16, 2009
TOM finally showed up, so I need to watch it today and leave room for snacking. I am hanging out with my brother tonight (YAY!) and I'm sure I'll have a drink as well, so I've planned for that.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I work my butt off, that's how... literally.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Either way, I still belong to their mailing list, so I get weekly updates and interesting articles, et al.
I wanted to share this one because I think it might strike a chord with some people. Something that seems like common sense to most of us, is a revelation to others. Either way, I frequenly find people on the Weight Watchers boards overestimating their activity and activity points, and I feel like this article really hits it on the head. Yes, you have to move, but no, cleaning your apartment is not going to make you lose 2lbs. Knock it off, suck it up, and exercise.
9 Cold, Hard Weight Loss Truths
What the Diet Industry Won't Tell You
By Brie Cadman of DivineCaroline.com
Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, chances are you’ve seen some
ideas on how to do so: “Eat what you want and lose weight!” “Lose 30 pounds in
30 days!” “Finally, a diet that really works!” “Lose one jean size every 7
days!” “Top 3 fat burners revealed” “10 minutes to a tighter tummy!” But these
claims are readily rebuked by anyone who’s tried to lose five, 10, or 100
Losing weight ain’t that easy.
It’s not in a pill, it doesn’t (usually) happen in 30 days, and judging from the myriad plans out there, there is no one diet that works for everyone. Looking past the outrageous claims, there are a few hard truths the diet industry isn’t going to tell you, but that just might help you take a more realistic approach to sustained weight loss.
1. You have to exercise more than you think. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) recommends getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week; this includes things like shoveling snow and gardening. And while this is great for improving heart health and staying active, research indicates that those looking to lose weight or maintain weight loss have to do more—about twice as much. For instance, members of the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR)—a group of over 5,000 individuals who have lost an average of 66 pounds and kept it off for five and a half years—exercise for about an hour, every day. A study published in the July 28, 2008 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine supports this observational finding. The researchers enrolled 200 overweight and obese women on a diet and exercise regimen and followed them for two years. Compared with those that gained some of their weight back, the women who were able to sustain a weight loss of 10 percent of their initial weight for two years exercised consistently and regularly—about 275 minutes a week, or 55 minutes of exercise at least five days a week. In other words, things like taking the stairs, walking to the store, and gardening are great ways to boost activity level, but losing serious weight means exercising regularly for an hour or so. However, this doesn’t mean you have to start running or kickboxing—the most frequently reported form of activity in the NWCR group is walking.
2. A half-hour walk doesn’t equal a brownie. I remember going out to eat with some friends after a bike ride. Someone commented on how we deserved dessert because we had just spent the day exercising; in fact, we had taken a leisurely 20-minute ride through the park. This probably burned the calories in a slice of our French bread, but definitely not those in the caramel fudge brownie dessert.
Bummer. And while it’s easy to underestimate how many calories some foods contain, it’s also easy to overestimate how many calories we burn while exercising. Double bummer. Even if you exercise a fair amount, it’s not carte blanche to eat whatever you want. (Unless you exercise a ton, have the metabolism of a 16-year-old boy, and really can eat whatever you want). A report investigating the commonly-held beliefs about exercising, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, concludes that although exercise does burn calories during and after exercise, for overweight persons, “excessive caloric expenditure has limited implications for substantially reducing body weight independent of nutritional modifications.” In other words, to lose weight, you have to cut calories and increase exercise.
3. You do have time to exercise. If you have time to check email, watch a sitcom or two, surf the
Internet, have drinks, coffee and dinner with friends, go clothes shopping, and on and on, then you have time to exercise. Yes, sometimes you have to sacrifice social, TV, or leisure time to fit it in. Yes, sometimes you have to prioritize your exercise time over other things. But your health and the feeling you get after working out is well worth it.
4. Eating more of something won’t help you lose weight. The food industry is keen to latch onto weight loss research and spin it for their sales purposes. A prime example is the widespread claim that
eating more dairy products will help you lose weight. However, a recent review of 49 clinical trials from1966 to 2007 showed that “neither dairy nor calcium supplements helped people lose weight.” This idea—that eating more of a certain type of product will help you lose weight—is constantly regurgitated on supermarket shelves (think low-fat cake, low-carb crackers, whole grain cookies, and fat-free chips), but is in direct opposition to the basic idea behind weight loss—that we have to eat less, not more.
5. Calories in = calories out? There is a fair amount of controversy over the basic question of how people gain weight. Is it simply a matter of energy intake being greater than energy expenditure? Or is there more too it; do the type of calories we eat matter and can avoiding certain types help to lose or prevent weight? The various low-fat, low-carb, and glycemic index advocates can’t seem to agree on which it is. However, most can agree, and logical sense would tell us, that drinking 500 calories of soda is not equal to eating 500 calories of fruits and vegetables. One is simply “empty” calories—those that provide no real nutritional benefit and don’t do much to combat hunger. Whether you ascribe to the simple idea of trying to burn more calories than you take in or focus on avoiding certain types of calories, you want to minimize intake of empty calories, and maximize nutrient-dense calories.
6. Your body is working against you. Most people have noticed that it’s hard to lose weight, but easy to gain it. This is a relic of harder times, when food was not as abundant as it is today. Our genetic taste buds made energy-dense food desirable because it was necessary to pack away calories so we could make it through the thin times. We feasted when we could, in preparation for the famine. But now that we live in a time of abundance, that system predisposes many of us for weight gain and retention. And for obese dieters, this system is even harder to overcome; after weight loss, they become better at storing fat, making it harder to keep weight off. However, this isn’t to say that many haven’t lost weight and kept it off successfully. It just means you have to be diligent.
7. Our cultural environment is also working against you. Let’s face it, modern society does not make it easy on those trying to eat healthfully and exercise. According to Linda Bacon, associate professor of nutrition at University of California at Davis, “We get a tremendous amount of pressure to eat for reasons other than nurturing ourselves, and over time, people lose sensitivity to hunger/fullness/appetite signals meant to keep them healthy and well nourished. It’s hard for people to come to a healthy sense of themselves given the cultural climate, and nutritious and pleasurable options for healthy food are not as easily accessible as less nutritious (ones).” That doesn’t mean this can’t be overcome, but it does require maybe putting other parts of your life on a “diet.” TV would be the biggest culprit, since many food advertisements, especially for children’s junk food, come during this time. Other areas to put on a “diet” are chain and fast food restaurants (where portion sizes are distorted), a bad-influence friend, or driving, which may help increase walking and biking.
8. Maybe you don’t need to lose weight. Some feel that the medical problems associated with excess weight are exaggerated. Gina Kolata, a New York Times science writer questions the notion that thin is a realistic or necessary objective for most. In her book, Rethinking Thin, she asserts that weight loss is an unachievable goal for many, and that losing weight isn’t so much about health as it is about money, trends, and impossible ideals. Recent research also challenges the idea that being overweight is bad. A study in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that being
25 pounds overweight did not increase the risk of heart disease and cancer, and may even help stave off infections. It’s true that people can be fit and healthy and not necessarily be thin, just as it’s true that thin people may not necessarily be healthy. Good health, rather than weight, should be our focus; too often, it’s not. Striving for an unhealthy level of thinness may be detrimental to our health, but understanding the health repercussions of obesity is also critical.
9. This is not a diet; this is your life. The diet industry would have us all think that we can lose weight fast, and that’s that. But most people who maintain their weight understand that eating and exercising are not temporary conditions, to be dumped once a pair of jeans fit. Instead, they are lifestyle choices, and ones to be made for the long haul.
Editor’s Note: This article is courtesy of www.DivineCaroline.com.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I made a stupid mistake today, but I recovered from it. There were bagels in the kitchen at work. I knew they were bad, I knew I shouldn't have one, I didn't even really want one. I decided I'd have a bite of one and see if I wanted more. I did, and then I ate the whole bagel. 6 points. I had no idea how much the bagel was worth when I was eating it. I knew it'd be bad, but in my head I was thinking more like 4.. not 6.
I tracked it. I'm done with it.
I went to the gym a little later than usual today so it was slightly busier than I am used to. I wasn't able to get the machines I wanted and my workout suffered because of it. It was still an amazing workout and I burned 659 calories, but now that I've been pushing myself super hard at the gym - I crave it. I pushed myself hard, but with the cardio machine options I was working with - it wasn't happening.
I have officially (unofficially) completed Day 2 of the Two Week Totally OP Challenge, assuming I don't eat 35 points worth of desserts later. Or, I suppose given the fact that I already have 16 APs for the week and it's only Tuesday (my weeks start on Monday) that it'd have to be 51 points of crap. Not going to happen.
So, in my effort to be completely and totally OP, I'm drinking one of my favorite juices for breakfast today. It's V8 fusion AçaiMixed Berry. Clocking in at 2 points for 8oz, this baby has a full serving of fruit AND a full serving of vegetables in that glass. Mmmm Mmmm. Two check marks down. It's made up of sweet potatoes, purple carrots, carrots, apples, white grapes, açai, blueberries, and limes. I mostly don't buy into the whole açai fad at all, but this juice tastes great, and I'll buy into anti-oxidents.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
So that's that.
I'm hopefully headed to trivia in a little while, though I haven't heard from anyone so that may not be true. If it is though, I'll be adding a glass of wine to my daily points.
1 Egg + 1 Egg white scrambled with Broccoli, Spinach and Shrimp + VitaMuffin Blueberry Bran with 1 tbsp FF Ricotta Cheese + 1 Nectarine + Coffee = 5.5 points
I just got back from the gym about an hour ago. I skipped BodyFlow today, I just wasn't in the mood for it, which is totally odd. I'm pretty sure TOM is on it's way because I hate everything and feel really heavy and gross. I did burn 749 calories though, regardless of the fact that I forgot to take my vitamins this morning. Maybe that's why I feel sluggish and rude, I just took them so they'll kick in soon.
I'm going to make a delicious delicious dinner tonight, so stay tuned.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
I was completely and totally OP today until 8pm when I walked into Tejas restaurant - a staple of the 50th and France area of Edina -- a ritzy neighborhood suburb of Minneapolis. My good friend Allysen invited me out because it had been quite some time since we'd had a "girl's night" and she had a $100 gift certificate.
I tried to choose wisely from the menu. We shared everything, and I feel like I made decent choices, I just ate too much. I ate beyond being full - which I wasn't much of when we got there. I also had a prickly pear margarita... which definately wasn't part of the plan (wine was the plan) so that ate up 6 points right there.
We ended up sharing guacamole, of which I had 6 chips worth. I ate verrrryyyy slllloooowwwllly. Then, pan seared calamari (not fried!) followed by butternut squash enchiladas (which just tasted like dessert). So I got a lot of vegetables in and some good protein also. I haven't tracked this yet, so I don't know the extent of the damage, but I know it was more than I had points for. I know that.
As a small NSV despite this mess, (NSV= non scale victory) I did only have the ONE margarita, despite the fact that Allysen also had one, as well as 2 glasses of wine. Idecided that since I had the maragarita, I shouldn't have the "couple" glasses of wine I had planned for. I drank water instead. No dessert.
Well, I'm off to track this mess. Tomorrow morning will be extra gym time. I'm at 26 APs for the week so far, and tomorrow is my last chance to make it over 30. I also PROMISE MYSELF to drink drink drink the water. Many waters. Gallons of water. I have to cleanse.
Today I spent a little time in the kitchen. I went grocery shopping on Thursday and so I had plenty to play with. Today, as I was dropping off my mom's ID card that we so idiotically left at the Y when she came on Tuesday, I decided to head to Lund's because Jessica had mentioned she knew they carried some variety of VitaTop Muffins.
Lunds is an excellent higer-end grocery store. It's spendy, but probably worth it because the quality is very good. I found the VitaTops I was looking for (chocolate tops and corn tops) as well as some FF Redi-whip to go along with the Chocolate ones. I was browsing around and found the Tofu Shirataki Noodles that HungryGirl is always using that I've never been able to find. I bought to packages and rushed home.
The first thing I made today was the Fettuccine Hungry Girlfredo. [see link for recipe]. It was totally amazing after I seasoned it with a few things. The serving clocked in at 81 calories, 3 grams fat and 4 grams of fiber, which if you have your points calculator handy adds up to only ONE POINT! I added some brocolli and 5 or 6 cocktail shrimp, which according to the recipe builder added NO POINTS. I can't believe it. I ate a giant heaping bowl of "pasta" for 1 point. Fantastic.
The second thing I did was take a box of Pillsbury Reduced Sugar Devil's Food cake mix and add a can of pumpkin to it as a sub to the oil and eggs. I added the amount of water it called for and mixed it up. The cake just came out of the oven about 20 minutes ago, but it is EXCELLENT and moist and ultra delicious. According to the recipe builder, this will come out at 3 points per generous slice! A savings of 2 points per slice versus the eggs and oil! Plus, it has TONS of fiber, so I won't feel guilty when I indulge (it's also essentially fat free)!
Lastly, I tried a new WW recipe for White Beans and Bacon. [see recipe below]. I doubled the recipe, and it turned out really well. I always love making bacon because the entire house smells delicious for hours. This makes a really excellent (and interesting) side dish for when you are having a piece of meat as an entree [i.e. chicken breast, porkchop, et al].
It's been a pretty great day, all in all.
White Beans and Bacon
- 2 slices lower sodium turkey bacon, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 15oz can of no-salt-added cannelloni beans (rinsed and drained)
- salt and peper to taste
-Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add bacon to pan and cook 3 minutes or until bacon begins to brown, stirring often.
-Stir in onion and bell pepper; cook 4 minutes or until veggies are tender, stirring often. Add beans, salt and pepper and cook 2 minutes or just until heated through.
Yields 4 servings (serving = 1/2 cup) 122 cal/5.4 fat/4.2 fiber = 2 points per serving
Yesterday was the last session of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Strategic Connectors Leadership Institute I have been participating in for the last year. It was a very loaded day, emotionally and technically. There is never any shortage of horrible foods to choose from. Right when you walk into the door of an all day session, you're greated by coffee and donuts... and bear claws and fruity pastries... oh my. There is also always bananas and apples. I started with coffee and a banana. And then I thought... I haven't touched these pastries all year.
So I had one.
And then I had another one. (about 14 points to start... with the banana)
Later, during a snack time, I ate the Kashi bar I had packed to curb crave attacks. (yay! 16 points, running total).
Lunch was a big spread of delicious African food. Which means I had no idea what any of it was, except 2 kinds of lentils. I chose those, a little big of yellow rice, a chicken leg covered in spicy stew and a big piece of spongy flat bread. (no idea how to track, but since I went back for a second chicken leg and more lentils, I decided the whole "meal" was about 25 points... (36 points running total)
Later, we had cake. (40 points running total)
At the close of the institute, we had to go around our circle. We have a garden trowel that we used to open and close the ceremony by stating what we are "leaving behind" to be present in the session at the beginning, and then again at the end to state what we're taking away. Because it was our last session, we weren't allowed to talk when we had the trowel, but rather others were encouraged to yell out the things they've learned about us, admire about us, envy about us, etc. I was freaking out as the trowel went around. For the last 3 months, I've been too busy to put a lot of time into the relationships I've formed because of this Institute. I started to feel that these people didn't know me anymore, and I wasn't being a contributing memeber. I was scared that the room would be silent.
I was wrong.
Taking compliments, we were told, is just as big a part of leadership as giving them. I believe that's true, though it's much harder to take them - especially when you're not allowed to talk. I ended up having the trowel for what seemed like hours (probably almost 10 minutes) as the compliments kept coming. Every time I'd try to pass it on, someone would say "NOOOOO not yet. Just let me say..." and about half way into it, I started crying. That brought on new things about how Kelly, a member of my cohort whom I admire immensely, admires my ability to be authentic and always be real with whatever I'm feeling.
People had been crying all day, so I felt so "cool" that I hadn't yet shed a tear. And then I felt stupid, so I laughed about it. It was so incredibly touching, I wish I had a recording of all of these things so I could listen to it when I feel immensely crappy.
Anyhow, after the session we went to POP!! for happy hour. I had a Cava Cocktail (5) and a Summit Winter (4). (49 point running total).
Needless to say, I had a salad for dinner. I used imitation crab for protein (1) rather than chicken because it was lower in points. The salad was about 2.5 points in the end. (total for the day 51.5 points, more than twice my daily target.)
At least I made it to the gym in the morning and earned 5 APs. Not that that made a huge dent in my crazy binge, but to be honest, I only feel bad about the points total - not any of the food. I feel like I made smart choices with what I was offered. I turned down a lot of other things, the pastries were a moment of weakness after denying myself for a whole year (no guilt there) and the lunch... I picked smart. I didn't need the seconds, but I chose the best of what was available to me because of what I had learned while on this program. I'm also not that scrared about it because I have today and tomorrow to be completely OP before my first WI of the week.
I'll have two WI now, which will be both annoying, but good for being held accountable. Mondays I'll weigh myself at home, that's the number you'll see. And Wednesdays I'll WI at the meeting - with clothes on. I'll keep a meeting tracker too, and I'll probably tell you my meeting progress, but I'm not going to take that number as seriously as the number and way I've been doing it for the last year. When I hit 135 on my home scale, I WILL celebrate goal! And then I'll keep working to get to "meeting goal."
All in all, I ate it, I admitted it, I don't feel bad about it and I'll be happy to try to work off the difference.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Sorry to tempt you with such a delicious looking dessert so early in the morning, or late in the afternoon, or whenever you read this.
That was my dessert last night. It was awesome. 1/2 cup of Edy's Slow Churned No Sugar Added Vanilla Frozen Yogurt (2) with 1 tbsp of Honey (1) and 1 tbsp of Bear Naked FIT Granola (.5).
I love that granola. It's relatively expensive compared the the delicious granola I was able to get at the Farmer's Market this year - but is the only store-bought granola I've found that has less than 3g of sugar and doesn't taste like butts, so I buy it. It tastes great with FF Vanilla Yogurt. That's a snack I like to eat frequently.
I can't get over how tired I've been the last two mornings. I'm hoping it's due to the whole not smoking thing rather than actually getting sick. I tend to feel fine after I've been up and going for a little bit, but this morning I laid in bed for more than a half hour before getting up. I'm a morning person, so that's kind of a big thing for me. Either way, I guess I can't really do anything about it, so no sense obsessing.
Today is an errand/chore day. I am going in to work in about 10 minutes and I'll leave around 1pm. Then it's clean the house time, then laundry time, then put laundry away time, then grocery shopping time, then clean out the fridge of nasty moldy leftovers that got pushed to the back time, then put the groceries away time and then I'll probably collapse and die on the couch. That doesn't sound like that much work, but trust me - it is.
I will definately be taking more pictures of what I'm eating this week, because after I go to the grocery store, here is a list of some of the things I'll be making:
- Tuscan Chicken with Spinach Parmesan Fettucini
- White Bean and Bacon Salad
- Chicken and Spinach CousCous
- Cabbage Apple and Chicken Saute
- Coconut Pineapple Ginger Rice
- Gorgonzola Burgers with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
- Quinoa Caprese
- Crab Salad Stuffed Tomatoes
- Brown Rice-Banana Pudding
That should have all of next week covered with all the staples in-between. I realize I eat a lot of chicken. I'm not a very big fan of red meat. Those burgers will be turkey burgers, most likely, but I'm confident the recipe will suffer because of it. The flavors of bleu cheese go way better with beef than turkey. Oh well. We'll see!
Also! I got the new Momentum cookbook at the meeting last night. I haven't really had time to look through it yet, but it's HUGE! The biggest of all my WW cookbooks. I'm psyched to have a whole new list of meals to make after next week. These ones are mostly all new also, because I picked up the mini-ww cookbook from Target and then also stole some ideas from a Shape Magazine menu. Yay, new things!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Hrmmm, the first meeting was. The leader was a drag, the people were... old, and the "Receptionist" had my least favorite personality type; and she didn't listen. AND she made me wait in line and register, when I told her I already had a Monthly Pass FIVE times. When I got up to the desk, she said "Ohhh you have a Monthly Pass? Well then you just go weigh in the back, you didn't have to wait." ANNOYING.
Hated the meeting. Checked my watch approximately 8 times in 40 minutes. Not a good sign.
I remembered seeing something on the meeting finder about a meeting at the Y (my gym). I had an inclination that it was on Wednesdays (today) so I called. It was! Even though I had just gotten out of boring meeting #1, I headed to the Y, read the CityPages anxiously awaiting the start and got there a little early to meet the leader.
Instantly I was greeted with conversation and a VERY welcome atmosphere. The leader came up to me personally to help me because I was new. Diane (the leader) was nominated Leader of the Year last year, so you know she's good. It felt like a million year friendship from the first second we talked. I'm sure she comes off that way to everyone, what a GREAT character. I explained that it was my second meeting of the day, I'd been on the program for 13 months, lost almost 50 lbs, etc etc. She was so excited. Genuinely excited about my progress. She doesn't even know me! It was great. I also mentioned I was looking for a meeting that wasn't full of boring old people. She told me that they had a great mix of young and old, lifetime and new members, and that everyone liked to talk.
I knew it was the place for me.
At meetings, you get stickers and rewards and bravos and people clap for you. What once felt like it would be a chore, now feels exciting. Diane even pointed out my prior progress by myself to the group afterwards, so even though I hadn't done anything *that week* according to them, I felt honored, inspired and inspiring.
It's so convenient and fun! I'm excited about meetings now. The whole... weighing with clothes on thing isn't very cool. I weighed 157lbs at 4:30pm in my clothes today. It's a big change from being mostly naked first thing in the morning, but I'll deal with it. That means my 135 goal is really going to mean 129 or so in the meeting. YIKES!
I can do it.
I'm attending my first meeting tonight to see what's up. I'm a little nervous because I generally weigh in on Monday mornings in my nightgown. Today I'll be weighing in at 4:30pm in all of my clothes. Obviously, the weight will be higher than it is first thing in the morning with nothing on. I need to set myself up to realize this, and hope that seeing that little "blip" on my weight tracker won't screw me up.
I've decided that I will only be tracking the weight I take from home, assuming I'm still able to do that... I hope I can. That would suck if I couldn't. Even if I can't, I'll be weighing MYSELF on Monday mornings regardless, and those will be the updates you see on this blog and in my progress chart, regardless of what my WW site states.
In general, I'm not sure meetings will really help me. I do love to talk, so having a forum where people are generally interested in my tips and tricks and can help me with my struggles will probably be assuring, but otherwise, I already read a lot of the articles on the website, so I'm not sure that the topics will necessarily be of great assistance. However, it would be a pleasure if this is what does it for me. Besides, they hand out little phamplets each week and I bet they have recipes in them. I'm always looking for new recipes.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I had a decent workout. My mom doesn't get off work until 3:30pm and then she had to go to the pharmacy for something. She didn't pick me up until 4:15pm. We were at the gym during rush hour, at my lowest energy point of the day, on my 2nd smoke free day. I worked hard, but not that hard. I burned 549 calories in one hour. I'm fine with it, considering I ate pretty modestly today, with the exception of a big handful of walnuts, which cost me the same 5 points I earned at the gym. Ugh. At least those are good points. I'll just have Sugar-Free Rice Pudding for dessert instead of the ice cream I was hoping for. I'm trying to leave a little deficit everyday because I KNOW I'll end up over doing it on Friday. I have my last session of Leadership Institute. They order out lunch and it's always something that's horrible for me, but delicious and I don't want to bring my own lunch. I'll be spending overtime at the gym on Saturday and Sunday.
Monday, January 5, 2009
I need to start treating exercise differently.
For a long time now I have been exercising because I know I "have" to. It's just something I "have" to do in order to lose weight. Yes, I want to be healthy, yeah yeah yeah. But I can't tell you how many times I am half-assing a machine just counting down the minutes until I can get off, debating with myself that 22 minutes is just as good as 30.
Today, I just powered through. I realized that I should be using this as an opportunity to see what the body I've built over the last year can do! I'm STRONG. I capitalized those because it's fucking true. I even swore about it. I'm very strong now. Today I did a mix of a new strength training circuit I found, and cardio. I worked my ass off. Truly. I was sweating buckets - and it was fun. I was pressing myself and grunting and breathing heavy and panting, etc etc.
I burned 896 calories in just over an hour. That's amazing for me. I even went back in my heart rate monitor (HRM) computer to compare similarly timed workouts and this was double that. There were two points the week before last where I worked out around 1 hour and 37 minutes on average and burned between 400 - 450 calories. I love the gym again, and I love my new vitamins.
I'm still smoke free, I'm going on almost 24 full hours now. It's pretty stressful and exciting.
Actually, Weight Watchers does not suck at all. It's a fantastic program, and I'm so greatful I joined, but if you do not have a lot of self-motivation, don't even think about doing the online only program, because you get hit with stuff like this. Sure, it's cheaper, but it's like having that passive agressive friend who actually wants you to be fat so she can be the "pretty one" help you lose weight.
WW, you're a bad friend. Figure it out.
On the other hand, I lost 2 pounds this week! I'm very happy with that, I worked very hard. That's a pretty huge loss, but I was mostly just going for losing my holiday gain, and I've accomplished that. I'm only 1 1/2 pounds away from reaching the 140s. I can't believe this!
I totally rule in 2009.
Also, I quit smoking last night. If there is a sudden massive influx of updates, it's because I'm keeping my fingers busy. I apologize in advance.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
There are a whole lot of weight loss bloggers writing up about their commitment to their various weight loss programs after a bad holiday season. I'm pretty proud of my holiday season, I made it through by gaining less than 2 lbs, which is better than I've done in general as of late.
I am too, however, recommitting to Weight Watchers this year. I am going to be taking things seriously, and in logical steps. I already mentioned that I'll be getting back to basics. That means measuring portion sizes (which was a wake up call with my cereal yesterday. Darn. It's so delicious, cereal is my biggest weakness. Except cheese - my real biggest weakness. If they made cheese cereal... look out.) I'll also be planning my meals again, which was always really helpful because I have such a busy schedule. It's easier for me if I have a list of things I should eat. I'm generally not hungry for any one specific thing (except cheese and cereal) so if I can just glance at the fridge menu, know what I'm supposed to eat and then eat it - I'll probably succeed.
I also want to try to be more creative in my cooking in 2009. I've certainly fallen into a rut of favorite recipes. I realize that more creative cooking will be a bit of an investment on both the time and money sides, but it will be worth it. I love food. I want to eat things that taste good. I also like entertaining, and it's fun to be able to pass along recipes of decadent foods that are still incredibly diet friendly. It makes you a god in the eyes of other women, and let's not pretend - we kind of all want that.
The fitness thing has been the hardest for the last 6 months. My work schedule makes it almost impossible to make gym time a huge priority. I'd love to be able to go first thing in the morning, but I generally start work at 6:30am, and my gym opens at 5:30am. It would be near impossible to have any sort of "good" workout in that short amount of time. My usual luck of finding time happens in the afternoon, and I'm always pleased with that time of day because there's rarely a large crowd. If, for some reason, I'm not able to get there in the afternoon - I kiss my workout goodbye. There is nothing I hate more than going to the gym during "rush hour." It's all crazy people. Crazy, packed in, stressed out people who yell about things and try to kick me off machines or won't get off my machine. Screw the rush hour crowd. They'll all end up killing themselves fighting over the #18 elliptical someday (it's the one closest to the TV that plays Oprah).
So... I'm excited to reembark on this path. I definitely feel up to it. I really need to refocus my energy into something good for me. The need for career advancement may just fall in my lap if all the other areas of my life are in line (here's hoping). In the mean time, this will be the year I hit goal. I can feel it.
Friday, January 2, 2009
Chicken Spinach Salad with Tomato and Black Beans + Pita Chips with Hummus = 5.5 points
Yum. This dinner was amazing. I'm so glad I had all these little bits of leftovers and threw them together. It turned out to be fantastic and really filling. I still have 7 points left for the day, plus the 5 APs I earned earlier at the gym, but I'm not going to force myself to eat anything considering I've used almost all of my flex points due to New Years Eve. It will be good to create a deficit (if possible) for the next couple days until weigh in on Monday. I hope I didn't do too much damage.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
My original resolution for the year was the quit smoking on the first. That's today, but I didn't quit. It's kind of pathetic, but I have been smoking for a very very very very long time, so it was foolish to think I'd wake up in 2009 without the urge to continue doing it. I did decide to take some logical steps towards that goal. 1) I am going to preroll cigarettes for the day and leave my tin at home. If I run out, I'm out of luck. Should have budgeted better. Just like points. 2) No more smoking in the car. This is where I tend to smoke the most. When I have to run errands, every time I get back in the car, I want another cigarette. Now I can't.
Another goal is obviously to attempt to make Weight Watchers Goal weight. I know this plateau has been because I have been slacking in portion sizing and sneaking in things here and there. I'm actually really content with the fact that I have stayed in the 150s, rather than ballooning back up. It really gives me confidence that I have learned the essential balancing skills for maintaining a steady weight. The logical steps towards reaching goal are to 1) return to the basics. I'm going to concentrate on GHGs (Good Health Guidelines) and start measuring my food again. 2) Recommit to fitness as priority, which goes along with my other resolution....
Make more time for myself by learning to say "NO!" No. It doesn't seem too hard to say, but I somehow find it impossible. I'm always trying to help everybody, even when it's unsolicited. I need to start doing the things I love to do again and fit everything else in around THAT rather than vice versa.
All in all, this year will about continuing my journey to a healthier me, and adding some mental nurture along the way.
Hope you all had a wonderful New Years Eve. Hopefully you've crawled out of bed by now.