Friday, January 30, 2009

Super Non-Scale (and pro-wallet) Victory!

Size 6, baby. Size 6. In a dress, granted, but it's a 6. Today I also WORE a pair of size 8 pants - COMFORTABLY. It's definately the brand that matters, and it's such a superficial victory, but I am flying high.

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.

Great day!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dinner : Thursday : My answer to KFC

"Fried" (turkey) Nuggets + Mashed "Potatoes" (cauliflower) + Corn = 7.5 (oil + BBQ sauce)
Oh my god, this was seriously awesome. When I was at the co-op the other night, my favorite frozen veggies were on sale, so I bought a ton of them. Cauliflower, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, etc (Jessica knows what's up). I genuinely had no idea what I was going to do with the cauliflower, I just knew it was a good deal so I should probably buy it.

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.

Good Morning.

I am running ridiculously late for work, but I wanted to toss in a quick update. I am having one of those days where I know I forgot to put something on my day planner, but I can't think of what it is.

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

The Last Twenty : Morning Edition

Good Morning.

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

Thoughts from the Desk : Avoiding work I really should be doing.

Even though I said I wouldn't be updating "for real" until tomorrow, I felt compelled to sing my own praises.

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.

Catch Up Post! Oops, I'm back.

It has been an incredibly busy week for me. I've also been a bad little Weight Watcher. I'm elated and incredibly suprised to have had a nice .4lb loss at weigh in on Monday, but my being absent from this blog will ALWAYS be a sign that I'm not following the rules... or I'm hurt somewhere, but more likely that I'm not following the rules.

So, with that, I don't have much of entry. I promise to be back to the way things were as of tomorrow. For now, I leave you with some recent meals I've had.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dinner : Wednesday : 1/21/09 : Totally Tomato

Crab Salad Stuffed Tomato + Wilted Spinach and Cabbage + Pita Chips and Hummus = 10 points
My meeting last night was both dissapointing and inspiring. I had to run a bunch of errands in the early afternoon, so I didn't even get a chance to eat lunch until 4:30pm - which (and I'm not trying to make excuses) I think affected my weigh in. I gained 0.2lbs, which I KNOW is nothing. I could have sneezed that out before hand, but it still just kind of annoyed me because I know I wasn't taking care of myself yesterday. I should have made time to eat. I did, later, make time to prepare this delicious meal! Yummy Yum.

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

Workout Stats : Tuesday : 1/20/09 : Inaugural Activities!

Workout Stats : Tuesday : 1,371 calories burned!
Workout One:
+30 minutes strength training non-stop circuits
+15 minutes stepmill
+15 minutes bicycle
+15 minutes elliptical
(716 calories burned)
Workout Two:
+90 minutes African Dance Class at Zenon Dance Academy
(655 calories burned)
So I totally feel like I deserve an Olympic Medal today. Not really, I just thought it was a cool image - and I burned a HELL OF A LOT of calories today. I'm very proud of myself. I went back to the gym for the first time since last Wednesday, it was almost a week away and I was dying for it. I pushed myself hardcore and burned 716 calories there.
My sister asked me to come along to the Beginners African Dance class at Zenon. We had gone to this class a few times together about 5 years ago and she started going back. There was a new teacher, and he is from Ghana - so he teaches more traditional dances, which was great because I really connect with them. They tell stories. The old teacher was a some weird white lady. Not that white ladies can't know a lot about African dance... but c'mon. Either way, the first time I ever attended that class I would guess I weighed about 175lbs, but I was very very unfit. My face turned purple from all the strenuous jumping in barefeet and just crazy movements that my body was not used to attempting. This time, the class was still very hard, but no purple face. That's kind of a NSV I guess. Either way, it was a blast and I'm glad I wore my HRM! 655 calories burned there.
I also walked to and from the train to get downtown to Zenon. I didn't count that as anything, but it's probably about a mile (the round trip, not one way).
Oh yeah, and we have a new president. Did you hear? I'm very very excited and moved and inspired and hopeful. Hopeful that people will step up to the plate and stop taking this country for granted. I know so many people who work so hard all day every day to beautify and improve the way we live here... and I want to be able to say EVERYONE I know does that.
I'm doing my part and I know I can do more.
So I will.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weigh In : At Home : Monday 1/19/09

Weigh In : 1/19/09 : 152 lbs
A loss of .4lbs! That's awesome to me, especially since I'm still going through TOM. I know that next week's loss will be even more awesome with the absence of that lovely gift.
Short entry today, not much to say, haven't really eaten and the only exciting news I have is that I'm going to be taking a pole dancing fitness class tonight at Flex Appeal Studios. Hopefully it will be as hilarious as it sounds - it's my only activity for the day.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

T (minus) TOM

Ugh. I'll try to keep this polite because I know I have a boy blog follower, but seriously - this TOM is killing me.

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.

Thoughts from the Desk : Coffee and Conscience

I'm a good person. I will celebrate with you, commiserate with you, give advice when you need it, or pick you up at 4am when you've had too much to drink. I'm a loyal friend, who's honest to the point of being brutal.

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

Brunch : Friday : 1/16/09 : Eating smart!

Egg scramble with Spinach, Mushroom, Black Beans and Salsa + Fat Free Plain Yogurt with Blackberries and 1/2 Grapefruit = 5 points!
So part of this Two Week Totally OP Challenge is figuring out how to get all the GHGs in. When you really do stop and make sure the majority of your meal is made up of filling foods, you will certainly get to eat a lot more of it! Eating more of anything is usually my goal, so this works for me. As usual, I used one egg + one egg white to conserve points. It also leads to WAY fluffier eggs, a bonus. Somehow, portobello mushrooms ended up on my grocery list, but they are not called for in any of the recipes I had set aside for these 2 weeks. I must have had a fleeting thought about making Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms and decided against it. Oh well, it worked out for this breakfast because I had more veggies to toss in.

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

Thoughts from the Desk: First sips of coffee

People are always asking me how I've lost so much weight, as if there's some sort of secret they don't know about. Some way to avoid the super hard work at the gym and reframing the way I fuel my body. Sometimes, I get offended. When I can tell that someone is looking for an easy way out, it makes me associate that with the fact that.... Wow... they must think I took an easy way out.

I work my butt off, that's how... literally.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dinner: Wednesday : 1/14/09 - Chicken and Apple Cabbage Slaw

Chicken + Apple Cabbage Slaw + Tomato Soup + Whole Wheat Pita = 8 points
A weird combonation, for sure. I was just craving tomato soup but I wanted to eat a "real" dinner too - not just grilled cheese. It ended up being fine. I dipped the pita in the soup and enjoyed the protein of the chicken. The cabbage apple slaw stuff was good too.
I still have 8 points left for the day. I'm not really sure what to do with them. I'm done being hungry... I just ate dinner. I'm sure I'll be excited to eat some ice cream later, that will help make up the difference.
The meeting was excellent. We didn't even really go over the topic, I don't think that's what this meeting is about. It's about a group of people, together in a room sharing stories. I like that, that's more motivating to me than hearing the leader talk about how to do the program. I know how to do the program. I love this leader, Diane, because she's great at continuing the conversation among us.
She's also great in the respect that she found out as much as she could about my journey on my own, and then decided that my actual starting weight for the meetings would be 203lbs, since it was 199 in my naked at home weighing. I just assumed my starting weight would be the 157 I weighed in at - so I'm VERY excited that I will get rewards for my 50lb mark when I hit it there! EEEK!
So I lost 2.6 for meeting weight. In clothes at 6:40pm tonight I weighed 154.4lbs. NIIIICE. That means when I'm naked on Monday, assuming I keep this up, I'll be down down down.
Woo Hoo!
Assuming I don't go nuts tonight to fill the deficit, I am finishing the 3rd day of my Two Week Totally OP Challenge! 11 more days to go!

Lunch : Wednesday : 1/14/09 : Before Weigh In Salad

Spinach salad with Tomato, Fat Free Cottage Cheese and Deli Turkey drizzeled with Oil and Balsamic Vinegar =2.5 points

Trying to keep my super late lunch light with this salad and still get in some of the GHGs I needed. I've got dairy, veggies and oil in this one, so it worked out well. I've got my WW Meeting tonight and I'm excited. I'm not really sure why, but it's just something to look forward to. Plus it's kind of funny to be at the gym twice in one day like I was last week for the meeting. I burned 813 calories during today's workout, so that ruled. I now have 24 APs for the week on my third day. NICE!
On a completely off topic note, I was at Target today and bought Olay Regenerist Touch of Foundation Moisturizer. My summer makeup obviously no longer matches my face and winter tends to make my skin extremely uneven. I tried it out after my shower and I LOVE it. It's so light, you don't feel it at all, and while it's not heavy coverage (something I would not like) it does give some great sheer coverage to even out the skin tone and you can add a little extra (mock concealer) to trouble spots for better coverage if you need it.
I'm having a GREAT day self-esteem wise because of the workout, this new makeup discovery and some comments Justin made earlier. It's getting harder for him to grab on to me!
My weigh in outfit for the evening is a pair of exercise pants and a thermal shirt. I think I look ridiculous, but I know people wear exercise pants as... well... regular pants all the time. My Mom does a lot. I guess I really am a jeans kind of girl. Oh well, the lighter the better.
I'll be back later on with whatever I end up eating for dinner (still need 2 veggie servings and an oil for GHGs) and the update on my Meeting Weight.

Info Share : SparkPeople

SparkPeople is essentially a free weight loss community - kind of like weight watchers, only free. I signed up for it quite some time ago, but just genuinely find the "points" program of Weight Watchers to be far more user friendly in terms of understanding caloric needs, limits and keeping track. It's easier to keep track of 12 "points" than to remember 623 calories. I don't know, I'm probably just lazy.

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

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

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dinner : Tuesday : 1/13/09 : Keen QUINOA!

Quinoa Caprese + Campbells Select Harvest Light + Spinach drizzled with oil and balsamic vinegar + Red Wine = 10 points
YES! This dinner ruled. I tend to associate dinner with heavier items and I'm trying to move away from that. This meal totally hit the spot and helped me fit in all of the GHGs I still needed.

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.

I'm going to sit on my ass, on the couch, and watch American Idol auditions. I've never watched the actual show/competition, but MAN I love the auditions!

Thoughts from the Desk: Never hungry in the morning.

Most weekday (and weekend) mornings, it's a large chore for me to force myself to have breakfast. Though its my favorite kind of food, it's my least favorite time to eat. I get up very early, around 5am Monday through Friday and usually around 6:30am on the weekends and I'm just not programmed to wake up and want to eat.

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

Dinner : Monday : 1/12/2009 : Gorge on the Gorg

Gorgonzola Burgers with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce + Butternut Squash fries, Bacon and White Bean Salad + Spinach salad with Tomatoes and Red Peppers = 9 points
So incredibly delicious. Just... delicious. Can't come up with a better word, how lame. This was so easy to make too, I'll be sure to post a recipe soon. It's too late to write much of an entry.
The only other thing I want to note is that today is the end of Day One of my Two Week Totally OP Challenge. I succeeded in being completely OP. I got all of the GHGs and hit my points target on the dot! I also earned 10 APs sweating it out at the gym. It was intense and glorious. I am a gym master now. I'm really proud of myself for rekindling my joy of exercise.

Weigh In : Monday : 1/12/09 (At Home Weight) : Little Gain

152.4 (+1 pound)
Eh, so I had a little gain this week. I told you I screwed up. What is impressive to me, is how badly I screwed up (flex points and APs in the red... eek) and all I gained was a pound!
I did end the week with 38 APs, so I'm sure that helped a lot to offset the damage. I'm totally inspired to get back on the program train. I'm going to be completely and totally OP for two weeks. Just two. I can do two.
I'll also feel ok with the fact that regardless of my little gain right here, I'm going to "lose" at my meeting. I didn't realize how heavy clothes are, so I'm wearing much lighter ones to the meeting on Wednesday night. I'll update you on where I am from last week's 157 with clothes on. It's such a strange difference, going from nightgown/first thing in the morning to winter clothes/7 in the evening.
The fact that I have to be accountable for TWO dates during the week now will be helpful I think. There was a little bit (ok... about a month) where Mondays were kind of just a free-for-all. I had already weighed in and I'd have a whole week to make up for mistakes. No more!
New day, day one of the 2 week challenge. Let's do it!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dinner: Sunday : 1/11/09 : I lied.

Fruit Inspirations SmartOnes - Honey BBQ Mango Chicken + Orzo Pasta + Bean/Bacon Thingie = 7 points
I lied about making something awesome for dinner. I did MAKE it, but I'm not eating it. I'll eat it for lunch tomorrow and show you. For whatever reason I decided that eating a frozen meal... sodium and all... on the night before weigh in... was an excellent idea. I'm sure tomorrow I won't think it was, but tonight I'm wholly satisfied because it was DELICIOUS.

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.

Brunch : Sunday : 1/11/09 : Mmmm.

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 totally love breakfast food. I never eat actual breakfast at "breakfast time." I tend to favor easy things like cereal or oatmeal rather than cooking it up, but then again, I get up early and time is precious in the morning. I do, however, love having "breakfast" for lunch or dinner (we call it brinner). My favorite point saving technique is to use only one egg mixed with the white of another egg, it makes for lots of egg with far less points (well, 2 less points than using another egg). Anyway, by doing that I can add a VitaMuffin (1) and a Nectarine (1). WAY more food for the same amount of 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

Thoughts from the Desk : Post Oops #2

Tejas = El Diablo

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.

In the Kitchen : Cooking Day

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

Thoughts from the Desk : Post Ooops...

I had a very "bad" day yesterday. I ate a lot and made a lot of very poor choices. I am back on track as of dinner, when I returned to my own house where I felt like I could make my own choices.

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

Thoughts from the Desk : Pre-Work

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

Meeting Update : I'm a MEETING girl now!

So, with the newly switched plan and a monthly pass, I geared up today and went to a meeting. Well, technically I went to TWO meetings! I figured it would take me a while to find one I liked. I've been to meetings before and found them boring, uninspiring and full of old people.

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.

Thoughts from the Desk : Pre- MEETING!

I just switched my account from Online Only to the Monthly Pass. I will now be attending meetings in addition to my e-tools subscription. There are a few reasons why I did this. One is because I really believe I'd make an excellent leader someday, and sadly, due to ignorance on Weight Watchers part - you can only do this if you attend meetings during your Weight Loss journey. Two, because I have been stuck in a rut lately, and this will be a great way to change things up. Lastly, I really like stickers.

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

Dinner : Tuesday : 1/6/08

4-pepper spiced Chicken Breast + Corn + Spinach + Sweet Potato Fries = 8 points
Nothing special about this dinner. It was good, I mean, but not exciting. Full of the things I needed to round out the day. I took my mom with me to the gym today. She is thinking about joining the YWCA (where I work out) because she works at the hospital very very close to it. She hadn't been to the gym in a long time, so I was very proud of her for coming. I hope she liked it, I think it would help me motivate her - though we'd rarely go at the same time (which is probably a good thing).

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

An Ode to the Wonderous Vitamins and Gym Revelations

I am now officially convinced that my new strength and stamina is at least 50% due to the vitamins that Jessica recommended to me. That, coupled with two revelations I have had at and about the gym in the last 72 hours.

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.

Weigh In : 1/05/08 : WW Crappy Inspiration, again!

I could totally see getting this message if I had gained again. Or if I had perhaps only lost about .2lbs. But a 2lb loss and this is how I'm greeted!?! WW, you suck.

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

Workout Stats : Sunday : 1/4/08

Workout Stats : Sunday : 849 calories burned
+15 minutes stepmill
+30 minutes run/walk intervals on tredmill with incline
+15 minutes elliptical in reverse
+50 minutes BodyFlow
This was a great workout. Truly. It felt effortless but the sweat was pouring, I think I was just really energized. Perhaps it's due to the new vitamins Jessica prescribed to me - she's not a doctor, but she knows her stuff. I was really proud of my running skills even after taking a sabbatical from running for more than 2 weeks due to knee pain. I've been wearing a brace, so that's helped. I was able to go on the treadmill at an incline of 3.5 doing 3 minute runs, 60 second walks, for a whole half hour. That's a lot for me, so I"m proud. I made it pretty "far" in terms of distance too - so that's great.
BodyFlow is by far my favorite class. If you belong to a gym and they offer it, check it out. It's relaxing and challenging at the same time, incorporating Tai Chi with Yoga and Pilates. I always try to workout before hand, because I feel so relaxed by the time I leave BodyFlow I can't imagine trying to do anything active in the next hour. It's my favorite time of the week.
That might be kind of a sad thing, but at least my favorite time of the week is slightly fitness oriented.
I'm drinking a cup of coffee before I decide what to have for lunch. I'm trying to be creative with what's left in the cupboards and fridge before we go for a "real" grocery run. I did stop at the store today to pick up coffee beans and spinach - two things I NEED on a daily basis.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Thoughts from the Desk : Pre-Gym

When I was typing the title, a little "r" accidentally made it into the word gym. The end result being a rather phonetic spelling of grim, which made me giggle slightly because that's how I'm feeling about going there today. My knee aches, something that's becoming more and more chronic as the temperature drops here in Minnesota. I'm also just generally tired, for no reason, probably as an excuse. I'm sure I actually feel fine.

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

Dinner : Friday : 1/2/09

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.

Workout Stats : Friday : 1/2/09

Workout Stats : Friday : 519 calories burned
+ 5 minutes Jump Rope
+20 minutes bicycle
+15 minutes rowing machine
+15 minutes stepmill
Though I'm very happy when people resolve to live healthier lifestyles, being at my gym during the first week in January drives me nuts. It's not a very big gym, so the sudden influx of crazy gung-ho active people is very noticable. They also tend to not know the "rules" and mess everything up for those of us who've been there for quite some time.
Either way, this was a decent workout. I'm suprised that was all I burned because when I left to change I looked like a contestant from a wet t-shirt contest, only not in a hot way.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! First post of 2009.

Welcome to your New Year.
2009, huh? It's not real for me yet. I haven't had to write the date. I am, however, nursing myself from a very long, very fun day yesterday. I rang in the New Year with people I love, and I'm thankful. I had time to reflect on the past year and my accomplishments and take a few moments to really delve into what I want to get done this year.

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.