Decisions

This morning began with a breakfast I’m not accustomed to: oatmeal. I was wanting something else for a change and Edgar was agreeable about it, so last night I mixed up a few things in a crock pot, set it on low, and this morning Edgar portioned it out for me and I came down to this for breakfast:

Cranberry Spice Oatmeal

I call it Cranberry Spice Oatmeal

  • 1 cup steel cut oats (don’t skimp on this. use any other oats and you’ll get a mushy, disgusting gloop. I know this from experience)
  • 3 oz (by weight) of dried cranberries
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 cup packed Splenda Brown Sugar Blend (or half-and-half Splenda and regular brown sugar)
  • 3/4 cup fat free Half and Half
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon (I grind mine fresh in Ed’s hand-me-down coffee grinder)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • a dash of ground ginger
  • a dash of ground cloves

Serves: 6
Points: 4

—-

Lunch was a sandwich made with Albacore tuna, a little Miracle Whip Light, a little celery, and a little onion. Stuffed between two slices of wheat bread, of course. On the side I threw 4 baked Tostitos stuffed with avocado.

Albacore Tuna Salad on Wheat; Fresh Avocado Scoops

A winner lunch. I didn’t get hungry at all this afternoon! I think there’s a thing about tuna. When I was in college I’d eat tuna sandwiches from the caf at lunch because I knew it would satisfy me longer than anything else that was offered. Guess I need to make this a weekly rotation. ūüėČ

I did eat a Fiber One bar around 4:20 since I didn’t want to go to my 5:00 Zumba Gold/Toning class on an empty stomach. That class, by the way, is great. I’ve been missing Zumba something fierce. The Aqua Zumba class is on the same days at 6:00 but I wasn’t nearly as impressed with it as I had hoped. Plus, the time was awkward for me, so I decided to finally try out the Zumba Gold class because this round includes toning. And let me tell you, I’m gonna be trim and toned come May. Monday I did the class; felt sore the next day. Did Wii boxing on Tuesday night; even more sore today. Did the Zumba class again today, and now I’m not sure I’ll be able to lift my arms or bend over tomorrow without crying out in pain. A beautiful pain though… ūüėČ

Came home and made a variation on a meal my college roommate and I came up with a while back:

Turkey and Creamy Rice

  • 1 box of Rice-A-Roni Parmesan & Romano rice blend, prepared with 1% milk
  • 1/2 lb of extra lean (93/7) ground turkey, cooked without oil
  • a sprinkle of Italian seasoning or basil
  • a 12 oz bag of steamed broccoli, prepared

Add it all together and Edgar moans in delight. It’s a keeper.

Serves: 3
Points:
6

————–

I must confess: last night I was really stressing out. We had our monthly office party yesterday and I still must reiterate that a few little things will magically rack up enough calories to where I could have gone to Chili’s or Pizza Hut and eaten a reasonably sized meal for fewer calories. I happened to make this point during a conversation where my comment was merited and another coworker said, “while this may have more calories, think of it this way: it’s FREE!”¬† I didn’t say much in response, simply because it would not be understood and it’s pointless to argue about it anyway. My thoughts on that are:

1. It was not free. It was my turn to bring food so I had to buy the cookie dough at some point.
2. While the food is understandably good, it’s not good enough to deserve the calories it possesses.
3. I’d rather have spent those calories on a good date or at my friend’s birthday party this weekend.
4. We have parties every month. It’s not special anymore.
5. I’d rather spend a little more money on good, satisfying food than a few small pieces of run-of-the-mill finger food.

It’s not to dis the food that was generously provided, or the people who provided it, but right now it’s not a leisure I can take. Yesterday I was technically supposed to reduce my daily points by 1 point. I started planning and the stress began. I couldn’t recover from the 20-point loss on the very first day of my WW week without killing myself at the gym. From the very beginning I’ve eaten all my weekly points and most, if not all, of my activity points. Since my calories have gotten reduced, I RELY on those “extra” 35 points every day throughout the week so I don’t STARVE. And yes, I do eat “filling foods.” In fact, they contribute to about 80% of my calories.

My point is… well I have a few points. 1) A 20 point loss in my weekly points was a BIG DEAL, especially when I am supposed to have a 22-daily-points target, and especially when I have two other social events this week that involve a meal! 2) I’m beginning to realize that maybe I’m eating too little. On weeks where I feel very in control and don’t have any events that consume a large portion of my weekly points (in other words, weeks where I ration out my weekly points throughout the week), I typically lose about 2.4 lbs. It’s a little more if I eat a few (FEW!) beyond my weeklies and activity points. I don’t want to starve myself, and I don’t want to train my body to NEED LESS food to maintain than what I can comfortably handle. So I made the decision to keep that one extra point per day until I feel like I need to reduce some more. I feel a lot less stressed out about yesterday’s needless splurge and about planning this week’s meals and still being able to get the nutrients I need without going over. It’s amazing what one point extra per week can do.

——-

Now I’m off to shower before our weekly Sunday school class social at McDonalds. There will be an ice cream cone consumed!!!

First Weigh-In of the Year

Sometimes I really hate having my Weight Watchers meeting at noon.

I would have been awarded my 10% had they weighed me this morning. I was 1.2 lbs heavier by noon, and therefore a scant .2 over my 10%.

Bitter.

I know I really shouldn’t be. I lost weight, and that’s good. It’s just annoying.

I found out today that in order for me to pay on a weekly basis I’ll have to go to the community meeting instead of the one here at work. This means I’ll be weighing in at 5pm, when my body is naturally 5 lbs heavier than it was when I woke up. Ugh. I’m on a mission, and I’m not letting anything stand in my way. I’m trying to lose this weight a soon as is¬†(healthily) possible. We’re on a tight budget and the sooner I get to¬†Lifetime, the sooner I can quit paying $12/mo. I don’t want to drag this out any longer than is necessary.

I know I shouldn’t rant after a loss on the scale, but there it is.

Highlights and Recipes

Okay, this will be a mixed photo post of various eats over the past few weeks. Call it catch up (ketchup?) , if you will. ūüôā

My husband, Edgar, mixing salsa with avocado in our tiny but loveable townhouse kitchen:

A recent visit to Market Street resulted in this grocery bag (Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, Sugar in the Raw, a sample packet of maple almond butter, whole bulbs of garlic, and whole nutmeg, since I’m trying to increase my use of whole ingredients, particularly herbs and spices).

Made this several weeks back. Every Sunday I make a point of having a crock pot meal. I prepare it Saturday night, set it on low, and we have our after-church dinner at home. This prevents us from spending so much money on going out after church, since I hate cooking on Sundays. This bowl of savory satisfaction is Buffalo Chili. I’m a good Texan and don’t typically like my chili with beans, but I decided to experiment with a can of organic pinto beans. This was very good, but my roots beg me not to use beans again.

  • 14 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes with chipotle (I use Muir Glen Organic)
  • 14 oz can of pinto beans (I used Full Circle Organic. Can omit if desired)
  • 8 oz low-sodium beef broth (I used Swanson 50% Less Sodium)
  • 2 bell peppers, diced (I like using yellow and orange–makes for a more colourful chili)
  • 1 poblano pepper, roasted and diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions (I use frozen chopped onions and make it easy)
  • 2 lbs of ground buffalo
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp barbecue sauce (I use Jack Daniels Steakhouse variety)
  • Worcestershire sauce (I’ll be honest. I go to town with the Lea & Perrins. I never measure, but it might be in the ballpark of 1/4 cup)
  • kosher salt to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

If you prefer spicier, add hot sauce.

Serves 6.
Points value of 4

My new favorite snack! Cocoa Roasted Almonds!

I’ve been shamelessly munching on these, too. So addicting!

Over the Christmas vacation I went to Central Market in Southlake, TX. There I bought me some Boneless Bison Country Ribs, delicata squash, a few cinnamon sticks, and Fage Total 0% Greek yogurt. The ribs we grilled. They were good though next time they’ll see some oven action. The delicata squash I baked into fries with a little kosher salt. I’M IN LOVE. They’re little strips of buttery goodness. I hope Market Street has them…

Okay, this is the infamous Tri-Egg Scramble! This breakfast staple was born out of compromise. You see, Edgar is a bona-fide country boy who grew up eating real eggs, bacon tips, and biscuits with Crisco and butter every morning. In our house, I cook dinner and he cooks breakfast (since in the midst of my grogginess, I will always choose sleep over cooking). To appease both of us while I’m in “losing” mode with Weight Watchers, we’ve compromised on this recipe:

  • 1/4 cup Egg Beaters
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg white

This is usually spiked with 3 slices of cooked, chopped Oscar Mayer Center Cut bacon (Naturally Smoked variety), kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, a little olive oil, and some red pepper flakes. Serves 2, Points value: 2 (with bacon, without oil)
Interesting food find at Super Target! It tasted good too!

So one evening I was so eager for a good flatbread. I found a recipe for pita bread and amended it to be a good, chewy whole wheat pita, since the ones at the store are dry and tear oh, so easily. This was my first time making pita bread, so watching it PUFF! was so fascinating for me! (Comment if you want the recipe!) Makes 12 whole pitas, 2 points each, or 1 point per pocket.

Edgar and I at a local burger joint several evenings back. He had a big ol’ burger and I had a BLT. I gave him my top piece of Texas toast and one of my monstrous bacon strips. I inhaled the rest of the bacon-y goodness. I’m convinced almost everything is made better with good bacon.

That’s it for now! More to come soon!

A Different Day and WW News

So yesterday didn’t go entirely as planned. Ate most the items on the menu except for the Green Monster which was replaced with too many candy cane flavored hershey kisses.¬† Did discover that I L-O-V-E delicata squash.¬† All I did was cut it into small fries, sprinkled them with kosher salt and roasted them on 425 for 30 minutes. They came out a little sweet and quite buttery tasting! Unfortunately the squash I bought was small to begin with and became even smaller once baked into fries. Next time I’m in the vicinity of a delicata squash, I’m going to have to stock up on some sizeable ones. I could have eaten that whole thing myself. The bison was good, though next time we may try cooking it partially in the oven. It was a a little tough, even for being medium rare, but that comes with the fact that it’s very lean. I’ve read that some people swear by oven roasted it and NEVER put bison ribs on the grill, be we wanted to try grilling it first. We have one humongous rib leftover, and that’s going in my serving of Steak & Feta Fettuccine tonight. Ed gets the beef sirloin.

I went to bed last night with a killer headache and dizziness. I woke up this morning still miserable so I called in sick. After spending probably the entire morning in bed, I finally got up so I could some stuff done. I still have a little bit of the headache, but I’m trying to keep focused on all the things I need to get done during business hours. This of course meant that I did not go to Weight Watchers today. I resolved that it’s probably best that I didn’t. I am still recovering from a week of a half of terrible eating and I think I finally got rid of the water weight this afternoon. I am still 1.8 lbs more than I was at Christmas, but that’s a more realistic number than the 6 lbs it was measuring yesterday. This week I’m back on plan and look forward to seeing that excess weight drop. Next week I want to weigh in and receive my 10% reward.

Another thing about Weight Watchers: I found out yesterday that if I want to continue with the next session of Weight Watchers, I’ll have to pay for it myself. No longer will the school pay for it. This is also the case with my YMCA membership, since I won’t be taking enough semester hours. This means I’m going to have to drop a thing or two in order to afford to continue with Weight Watchers. I’m considering going to meetings only once per month so I can keep up the accountability but only pay $12 per month. I do want to continue using eTools, so I’ll probably pay for the 3-month plan with that. I’m trying to decide what to do about the YMCA and my trainer. Aqua Zumba began last night, and that’s something I’ve been looking forward to for so long. That’s something I know I can stick to, and I really, really enjoy doing it. But even with the corporate discount,¬† it’s not cheap.

On a tangent, Edgar and I have plans to purchase a Wii here in a few weeks. We’ve collected our wedding and Christmas cards and money and when the next paycheck comes in we’re heading straight to Walmart to pick it up! I want to get Wii Fit and EAS Active soon, and that will help with the working out thing. Won’t have a continuing fee with that…

But now I’m off to get insurance taken care of! I’ll post more tonight…and with pictures!

A Proud Grocery Episode

I’m back in Plainview and so glad. I’m sick of the mindless eating madness. Today, while wasn’t fabulous, was certainly better than I have been doing. I ate pretty much the calories I would normally eat on any given (on plan) day. Tomorrow I’m going all out with the healthy food in order to shed some of this water weight before weigh-in on Tuesday. Tomorrow’s goal is to eat as little processed food as possible. Fresh is key. This led to the following ending up in my fridge and pantry from grocery shopping in Fort Worth, Plainview, and some stuff Mom sent me home with:

* Eggplant (for slimmed-down eggplant parmesan)
* Bison boneless ribs (SOEXCITED. Got these at Central Market wrapped in butcher paper. Love that!)
* Greek yogurt (okay, I had it this morning. Not a fan, I’ve decided. Made pumpkin yogurt out of it, and I do have that in the fridge)
* Delicata squash (aka “sweet potato squash.” Having it with our bison ribs tomorrow night!)
* Whole Wheat Fettuccine w/ Flax. (Was not able to find these in West Texas, but Mom found ’em and gave them to me)
* Whole cinnamon sticks (for dang cheap. 35 cents!)
* Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Gnocchi (EXCITED!)
* Carrots and celery (for Beef Stew and Creamy Mexican Turkey Soup)
* Red potatoes (for the stew and the general side)
* Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit
* Agave Nectar
* Shallots
* Red Seedless Grapes
* Fresh Spinach
* Clementines
* Musk melon (also incorrectly known as cantaloupe)
* Fresh broccoli florets
* Organic 1% milk
* Soy Slender Vanilla soymilk
* Cabernet Marinara sauce (for the eggplant parm and for a lasagna dinner I’m doing in a few weeks)
* Whole Wheat Oven-Ready lasagna noodles (for aforementioned lasagna party)
* Extra Lean Ground Beef
* Lean Ground Turkey
* various low-cal granola bars
* various Rice-A-Roni boxes I can’t find here
* Jimmy Dean D’Lights breakfast sandwiches (great for breakfast in a rush. Tasty and very filling)
* Diet Cherry 7Up Antioxidant
* Diet Pomegranate 7Up Antioxidant (Pictures to come when consumed!!)
* Low sodium chicken broth
* Egg Beaters

As for tomorrow’s menu, I’m planning:

– Egg scramble with bacon, laughing cow, and herbs
– A high-fiber tortilla with nutella
– a glass of milk
– a turkey, avocado, spinach, and bell pepper wrap
– bison ribs with delicata squash fries and steamed broccoli
– a green monster made with spinach, soy milk, musk melon, frozen mango, frozen banana, and grapes
– a weight watchers yogurt
– 3 clementines

That’s it for now. Sorry for no pictures or links. This is sort of quickie post since I need to get to bed soon. I’ll be back in the groove sometime this week!

An Honest Vacation

Since December 26th the husband and I have been out of town visiting family. We’ll be back on January 3rd and I sincerely hope I haven’t gained TOO much weight.

I will admit that I have not been in control of my eating. I can make excuses about how it’s the holidays or that I’m not the one providing my food, and each excuse has its own level of merit, but it does not excuse me to eat with reckless abandon.

I have decided that it’s not worth the stress to count over the holidays, but it is important for me to at least be honest and accountable for what I eat. I’m journaling on Twitter, and I think that will suffice until we get back to Plainview. I went to bed last night hating how I’ve been eating and eating and pretending that all that food doesn’t have calories. I haven’t been honest with myself, and that’s about to change.

A Lighter New Year

It’s crazy to me to think that when I started this year, I was approximately 180 lbs, and I will leave this year behind somewhere in the 150’s. I haven’t been in the 150’s since the early summer of 2008. I have not fit into my size 12’s since then, and it’s a good thing I kept those jeans around, because I’m just a few pounds shy of wearing them on a regular basis again. I’ve daydreamed and planned throughout the years of losing a significant amount of weight and squeezing into an older, smaller wardrobe, and it’s still so surreal to me that it’s actually happening now. So many times in the past I’ve given up prematurely or resolved myself to a lost cause, and I’d have to live with my excess weight forever.¬† I’m proud to think that I’m currently 20 lbs lighter than last New Year’s, and I’m excited to find out where I’ll be a year from now.

Victories at Week 12!

I DID IT! I MADE 10%!

Starting Weight: 176.8
10% Goal Weight: 159.1

New Weight!: 159.0

Total lost: 17.8 lbs!

To add to the list of victories, I can now pull all of my size 14 pants off without unbuttoning them. I can also get my size 12 jeans on without having a muffin-top. However, they are still a little too snug for comfort for wearing on a regular basis, so I’m just getting used to seeing a gap between my size 14 waistbands and my skin. It’s fun to show off anyway.

I’m having a little trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year. I’m not around my parents and sisters, and I’m not in Fort Worth. I’m used to being in my parents house and feeling the warmth of all the decorations and the company. Our townhouse is a wreck, and while it is decorated, it’s not the same without the hustle and bustle.

It’s also hard not having fun Christmas goodies around. I just know I can’t be trusted around a plate of cookies. Today at Walmart I splurged and bought two Christmas candles and a bag of Candy Cane flavored Hershey Kisses. Needed SOMETHING.

On my list of stuff to make/bake before Christmas:
Hungry Girl No-Nonsense Nog
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls (reduced calorie)
St Lucia Buns (also reduced calorie)

I haven’t been very good at posting images of my eats. I have been taking pictures… I just have a hard time uploading and editing them every day. Go figure. To make matters short, I haven’t been focusing on my “Good Health Guidelines” very closely. I hope to at least get my fluids in. I tend to slack on that on days when I’m not at work.

I’ll make sure to post more frequently. Sometime tomorrow I’ll post about my recent adventures making whole wheat pita bread for the very first time! I will just say that I made 12 of them two days ago and most of them are gone today, and I will never buy pita bread again.

For the love of Reese's

I’m convinced Reese’s peanut butter cups are my trigger. Every morning this week I’ve come to the office and found a little Christmas gift bag from one of my twenty-some-odd coworkers. Two of these included Reese’s in some shape or form. I find myself rearranging my points for the day in order to accomodate the tasty indulgence more and more!

On a slightly different subject, I find it rather sad to see that some of my Weight Watching coworkers are throwing in the towel for the holidays. I understand, in a way, but I keep hearing, “Oh, I’m not counting points today!” and “I don’t even want to know how many points I’ve had!” Instead of trying, they’re just giving up! I understand not depriving yourself for the holidays, but at least do what Roni Noone said today: be honest with yourself. Don’t think so much whether you’re “good” or “bad” this holiday, but be honest about what you eat. I know some people are going to allow a little gain¬†over the holiday, and that’s fine if that’s their plan, but it’s hard to see people throwing out the plan, throwing out their accountability just because of obstacles. For me, I plan on losing this holiday. That’s my goal. I plan to get to my 10% by Christmas and allow a little buffer because New Years will be more difficult– an awesome New Years party, my second wedding reception two days following, and three family Christmas celebrations thrown somewhere in the mix. Though, I plan to approach¬†them with rationalism and a healthy, balanced indulgence:

* I won’t eat for the sake of eating “because I can”
* I will eat only what I really want to eat
* I will¬†not stuff myself silly.¬†It’s uncomfortable and doesn’t make the food taste any¬†better
* I will eat¬†a small, healthy meal before any party. It will keep me from being famished and devouring the entire¬†spread. It will also create a cap on my eating so I get¬†“pleasantly full” sooner.¬†¬†
* I will create a reasonable balance with plenty of exercise and healthy meals when not at the parties.
* While at parties I probably won’t count points¬†(there’s no telling what’s in that Hot Wing dip), I WILL track WHAT I eat and HOW MUCH I eat, even if I don’t know the point values. Just being aware of my portions will give me a healthy sense of restraint before I engulf the entire tray of cookies
* Focus on maintenance. The week between Christmas and New Years is going to be full of obstacles. In that 8-day period I will be attending 5 parties. This is why I want to reach my 10% before Christmas. I want to focus on maintaining that 10% loss the week that loss will be quite difficult. It’s, again, part of being rational about my lifestyle. This is one week out of 52 in the year. One week of restrained indulgence will not wreck my weight loss goals.

Left my camera at work by accident yesterday, so I’ll post pictures of my eats later tonight.

*Week 11*

Yesterday was a little difficult. We had our office Christmas party from 11:30-1:00, which I knew would make it near impossible to get an accurate reading when I weighed in at Weight Watchers. I had such a wonderful week and could tell I lost a significant amount of weight (in a healthy way). I decided to weigh in anyway, even though I had just eaten lunch (I never eat right before weighing in), I had to go to the bathroom (I always go right before weighing), and I had a ridiculous amount of carbonated beverages in the hours before WI (I always drink plenty of water before weighing). The official read out indicated I lost only .2 lbs. I decided I wanted a more accurate read since I put a great deal of effort into the previous week. After work I went out and bought a digital scale (complete with body fat indicator!). This morning I woke up, went to the bathroom, then stepped on the scale (sans clothes) and found: 160.4 lbs.

I know that the WW scale wouldn’t indicate that. I don’t step on that scale nude, and I always weigh in at 12:30 pm, not¬† the moment I roll out of bed, but this is probably going to be the more accurate representation of my weight. It will do me good for the next few weeks. I don’t really want to go to the other WW meeting in town, since it meets in the evening, and that REALLY won’t be accurate to my weight, especially since it’s my goal to reach 10% before the end of the year.

STATS REPORT!

Starting Weight: 176.8
10% Goal Weight: 159.1

New Weight!: 160.4

Total lost: 16.4 lbs!

*Body Fat Percentage: 34.9%

This leaves me less than 2 lbs to my 10%! This is so great! My actual goal is to get there before I leave for Fort Worth to visit family (in case I gain a little over New Years, I want to have a little buffer so I can be awarded my 10% the first Tuesday of the new year).

Praise the Lord!

* I’m not convinced this is accurate. When I had my body fat calculated back in August, it read 28%, which I thought was a tad low. 35% is really high, and I definitely am not 35% body fat. I’ll be using this measure as an indication of loss of body fat, rather than an actual measure of my percentage.

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