Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Woe Is Me

Well here is a lovely squinty photo my husband took of me over Thanksgiving weekend. I was hamming it up, but on the inside this is about how I really felt. I was going to come home and post about how I've been doing lately, write out all my sad excuses as to why I've gained 13 pounds since I went back to work in October, and wonder what in the world I was going to do about it. Then a (not so) funny thing happened. Apparently I must have picked up a bug during the holidays, and I came down with strep throat. Not just a mild case, mind you, because I do everything BIG. In fact by the time I finally let my husband convince me to go to the urgent care center, the doctor told me it was one of the worst cases he'd ever seen and it was, as I quote the doc, "quite impressive." Typical symptoms, fever, all sorts of nasty things coming out of me, and a throat that was SO sore and in screaming pain that I couldn't even drink water. In about four days, I lost said13 pounds. Yes, just like that, a snap of the finger, a few days in bed with 103 degree fever, and those pounds were gone. Mind you, I was sick and not at all hungry, even if I could have eaten. I did manage a pack of Jello here and there, and a little ice cream until the milk product and the mucusy yucky on my insides decided to disagree and leave.

After I was back on my feet this Monday, I thought to myself, okay, even though I was sick I am going to use this as a do over and start back out on the right foot. Only, that night my husband and I decided to go out and eat after work, and since I was finally finally able to eat solid food for the first time since last Wednesday, well, I ate pizza like I would never ever get the chance to again. Today it was lunch out with the hubby, Chinese food. Not a good beginning. I won't get on the scale tomorrow, I just won't do it.

This whole episode has reminded me why "dieting" doesn't work. There's the starvation then the big quick weight loss. Then you finally get back to real life and the old way of doing things, and the weight just comes right back. Having strep throat is not a preferred way of dieting, but you get my meaning. However you want to phrase it. Going on a diet. Starting a program. "Going on" and "starting" all have counterparts, which are "going off" and "ending". I know that what I need to do is CHANGE. And make it permanent and make it healthy and make it stick with me in everything that I do and everything that I eat. I feel like I am just struggling along right now, like everyone else, waiting for January 1st. But, I will be 43 on December 31st, so I've put things off now for way too many New Year's Days!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Get Ready Get Set!!

(A cute Thanksgiving table scape at my sister-in-law's house)

Today was the official beginning of "the season" for me. Anyone who has ever been on a diet knows that "the season" is that crazy food-filled time of year that runs from Thanksgiving to New Years. My season began at lunchtime, with the annual company luncheon for employees, where we were treated to a buffet line filled with turkey, ham, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, mashed potatoes, bread and butter, pumpkin pie, cold cans of soda, and oh yeah, I think there was a salad up there somewhere but I pretended not to see it.

Then at the end of the day they sent us all home with a big frozen turkey (since James and I each get one, he donated his to the local fire department). Tomorrow my department goes out for "our" Thanksgiving lunch, to a popular local buffet here that everyone just loves (me, I eat the mac & cheese, that's about it). I will probably be loosening the buttons on my pants after that, then James and I take off for a quick weekend getaway together (where there will be plenty of meals out), just to catch our breath before the whirlwinds of the holidays begin.

For Christmas, the office has already passed around the sign up sheet for the big accounting luncheon, where I wrote down my famous lemon cake. The day after that, another company-sponsored Christmas luncheon, which I'm sure will spoon up plenty of tasty offerings just like today. Then we get sent home with our yearly gift of spiral cut ham. And as for me at home, my coffee table is covered with magazine clippings and recipe cards, where I will eventually weed out my five or six favorite treats to bake for gifts to co-workers and neighbors.

And these are just work related diet busters! I didn't even mention Thanksgiving and Christmas meals with the families. I suppose I will get around to blogging about that fairly soon. I love the holidays, but man I wish I was a size four so I wouldn't worry about the 5-10 pounds I know I will gain!


(Christmas at our old house in South Carolina)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Please Do Not Feed The Humans

(The cats last night anticipating OUR dinner coming to the table)

When you're trying to lose weight, do you ever feel like everyone else is allowed to eat whatever they want- everyone except for you?


(The deer this morning having breakfast in our backyard at the corn feeder)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Up and Down

Up and down is a golf term that I've learned from my husband- you have one shot to make it up on the green, and a second shot to make it into the hole. But, since I don't play golf, up and down to me is the best way to describe my weight loss for the last few months. I hit my plateau (the green) sometime back in the summer, and I have yet to make it over that hurdle and on to the next phase (getting the ball into the hole). I lost the first 45 pounds in just five to six months, and since then, nothing. The number on the scale goes down and up, up and down. With at least sixty pounds to go, I am getting frustrated- not with the weight loss, but with myself and my lackluster efforts. On my regular Friday morning visit to the scale, I was down a half pound since last week. But, mind you, I'm still working on taking off the weight I gained in Las Vegas last month. However, if things go as they usually do, I will gain weight over the weekend and then settle back into my routine come Monday. Does anyone else go through this? You stay committed to your eating plan during the week, then on the weekend it's like a free for all?

James and I pretty much go out almost every weekend, whether it's out and about town to run errands, or up into Atlanta to hang out, or off to sporting events, or even going out of town for our frequent weekend getaways. So there are always meals out on the weekends. And even when we stay home, which is rare, I always seem to lose track of myself with my snacking. This weekend is no different. If you read my other blog, you know we were expecting company over the weekend, who long story short, wasn't able to come stay with us. But before we knew that, we stocked up the house with chips, dips, crackers, soda, and even a big bag of bagels and cream cheese from Panera. Now mind you, we also went last night and did grocery shopping for all our normal staples of fresh produce, lean meats, and low fat dairy. But I know me, and I know I will be digging into the Wheat Thins and cajun crab dip before I reach for an apple or fat free yogurt. I wasn't out of bed for five minutes this morning and I was chowing down on a big chewy sesame seed bagel. I won't "overdo" it as far as the amount of food I will eat, but I know I won't make the right choices with all the yummy snacks in the house. I just haven't quite made it to that point yet where I can simply turn up my nose at the tub of pimento cheese spread and say to myself, leave it alone.

So later on today, as you are reading this, I will probably be watching a football game or the NASCAR race, with a plate full of cheese and crackers in front of me. And tomorrow I will avoid the scale so I won't have to admit to myself how badly I misbehaved over the weekend. And I will pack my lunch bag for work with my bottled water and yogurt and half a turkey sandwich and tell myself I will walk the straight and narrow all week long. Until next weekend rolls around and we come up with more fun plans for the two of us. Heavy sigh.

(photo of General claiming my jeans last night after we got back from eating out and I was so full I had to put on flannel pj pants instead........)


Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Weak Week One

Well week one of the new job didn't go quite as perfectly as I'd hoped. The first day there, I was in orientation and training all day long (yes, even though I'd worked for the company for 8 years already, I was considered "new" at the Atlanta office). I brought my lunch bag, pitifully packed with just a can of Slimfast and a Fiber One bar, because I knew I wouldn't be there the full eight hours. That day, it was storming all afternoon and at lunch time, the people doing the training decided that instead of "letting" us go to lunch, they would be nice and order in pizza and soda so we didn't have to go out in the miserable weather. The training would continue while we ate. I was in a room full of men and didn't want to seem the odd bird out, so I ate pizza and Coke along with everyone else. Strike one.

The second day, which was my first real regular day in the office, I packed my lunch bag again, adding a few extra nutritious snacks. Walked right out of the house that morning without it. I realized it was still sitting in the refrigerator, when I was about twenty minutes down the road. I stopped at a gas station with a big convenience store and picked up a Coke Zero and as "healthy" snacks as I could find. I think I ended up with a Slimfast bar and a pack of cheese crackers. I don't think most gas stations are really concerned with those of us watching our calorie intake! There were at least a dozen different types of Little Debbies, but maybe two types of low fat granola bars.... Boo, strike two.

Finally, I got my act together and brought my lunch for the rest of the week. I had a bowl of high fiber cereal and skim milk for breakfast every morning, then took a cup of coffee with me in the car. Lunch was a small turkey sandwich, light string cheese, carrots, a pudding cup, a Fiber One bar, and a bottle of water. This constituted lunch and both snack breaks. It sounds like a lot of food, but by the time I got home at almost six in the evening, I was starved out of my head every night. I had to have another snack to hold me until dinner (James gets home a little later). I'm not sure if I need to add more food to the lunch bag, or more water. I know one bottle isn't nearly enough.

One bit of lucky news is that the group of ladies I work with now are all trying to lose weight, in fact they are all in a competition held by the company that ends in about three weeks. They walk at a very brisk pace on their morning break and afternoon break, out in the parking lot, and asked me to join them. I did, and brought along my trusty pedometer to find we were walking almost one mile on each break. Although I'm not super happy with the way I ate this week, I did get on the scale on Friday morning (when I would normally have weighed at Weight Watchers) and I was down a pound this week. So I guess the pizza and cheese crackers didn't do me in after all. Onward...


Monday, October 26, 2009

Home Is Where The Gym Is

James spent yesterday afternoon putting together the recumbent bike that we bought the other day. I couldn't have put it together if I'd had a month to assemble it, but James made pretty quick work of it, and he even worked out on it right away. We set it up in the master bedroom and moved the treadmill in beside it (below, with Romeo standing guard). It doesn't show in this photo, but they are facing the television- very important of course. The treadmill had been set up in the guest bedroom, which is much smaller and it sort of crowded the room. Before in this spot, we had a chess table set up that we bought a few years ago at an auction. It's beautiful, but I don't play, and the only time the pieces got moved is when the cats jumped up on the table and knocked them over. So the chess table is now in the guest room. Not in the photo is my wooden crate full of free weights, I've got them all the way up to 20 pounds. That's about the extent of my exercise equipment, not counting my step aerobics platforms from a million years ago (the 80's). I do have a nice stack of exercise DVD's, which are sitting in the living room currently collecting dust. Most of them I gave up on, because I am horribly uncoordinated, and you do NOT want to see me try to bust a move with those. I do love my Leslie Sansone DVD's- back in 2003 I used them almost every day and lost over 80 pounds (the same 80 I am trying to shed again now). I've got the workouts from one mile to four miles, but I see she has a five mile one out now! I confess, they're easy and they work, and I'm not sure why I haven't been doing them lately. Tomorrow my new schedule starts, and I will have to find my groove as a full-time working woman. I went to the grocery store this weekend and bought enough healthy food to pack my lunch bag every day and eat at my desk. I also had great luck with finding new clothes, and I was surprised at how many times I went for the larger sizes, only to have to come back out of the fitting room and get a smaller one. That's a super good feeling, especially when you can find them on the clearance rack at Kohl's- my favorite store, their plus size clothes don't make me feel like a second-rate citizen in a potato sack the way some lines do. And hopefully, when I can't fit into the new clothes anymore, it will be because I'm down another size again!! Well, having said all that, I'm headed off to ride the new bike...


Friday, October 23, 2009

Dress For Success

So today I did a lot of blank staring at the clothes hanging in my closet, trying to make decisions. I told James today that I want to dress more professional for my new job starting next week. I will be making more money, and have a position with more face to face contact with the sales staff, and I want my new supervisor to be happy that she picked me out of all the other many applicants. Before, when I worked for the same company back in SC, I was there almost eight years and frankly, I was so comfortable with everyone there and my place in the department, that I stopped worrying about what kind of impression I made on people. I had no contact with the public. I worked off hours so that for the first 3 hours of the day, I was the only one there at all. There were days I schlepped into work wearing the same capris and sandals I would wear to the beach. When you're heavy, sometimes it doesn't matter how nicely you are dressed or how put together your outfit is, you still feel like a slob and a mess. I had many days like that. But I don't want that for myself anymore. I will be working with complete strangers who don't know anything about me at all, and I know first impressions are usually lasting ones. So, I've been thumbing through the pieces in my closet and finding What Not To Wear, instead of finding the right clothes I should be wearing. Suddenly nothing I have in my closet seems good enough for me to wear when I go out into the world and meet my new co-workers. When I was at home all day long, no one saw me but the cats, and they are surprisingly nonjudgmental. I have trouble letting go of clothes, but I do try to donate to Goodwill as often as I can. I have things that I still wear simply because they are comfortable, not because they look good on me or fit properly. Okay, so I love my Life Is Good shirts and I won't get rid of those no matter how worn out they are. But do I really need to keep (and keep wearing) that shirt I bought at Target two years ago that is now too big and is starting to fuzz up with age? I know I've talked about this before on my other blog, but now it has a more significant meaning since I'll be working again and meeting new people. This weekend I'll have to spend a good deal of time trying on clothes shoved in the back of the closet that I haven't seen in awhile, and putting together (matching) outfits for work. And yes, I will probably do a little shopping too, because what woman doesn't love a good excuse for buying new clothes? I haven't really had to "worry" about how I dressed in a very very long while- probably the last time I took extra care in my clothing choices was back when I was dating James!!!- but next week I will feel like a debutante making her entrance. I know the new person in the office always gets scoped out with a critical eye, because come on, who of us hasn't done that to the new receptionist or the temp?? And at my size, I can't simply fade into the woodwork, so I might as well straighten my shoulders and wear a brand new blouse...


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Check This Out

If anyone needs a little extra inspiration- and who doesn't- please go check out Tosca Reno's website. I have all her books and am trying to ultimately work my way towards following her food plan. Yes, with Weight Watchers you have the ability to eat whatever you want as long as you stick with your points. Tosca may not be a household name like Jillian Michaels, but I love Tosca's fresh approach to eating clean. It's real and it's not gimicky and it's healthy. I discovered her book The Eat-Clean Diet about two years ago and have read all her books now. I have fallen backwards and have been relying on Lean Cuisines and the like to keep me on the right path, but I know processed foods are high in sodium, full of chemicals, and not realistic if I want to lose the weight and keep it off for good this time. Tosca did it all on her own, and if you go see her before and after pics, you will be impressed. Has anyone else out there checked out her cookbook yet? Let me know what you think about it.


Nothing Earth Shattering

No news to report today, as I struggle with getting rid of the pounds I gained on vacation. I do it every time we go out of town, so I am not shocked that it happened again. (Who ever lost weight in Vegas? Money yes, weight no!) But I know I will have to toughen my resolve as my life and schedule change drastically next week. On Tuesday I go back to work full time, after ten months of staying at home. I will be working 8-5, like the rest of the world, after about six+ years of working 4am-noon. It's a 30-40 minute drive to my new office, thankfully through beautiful winding countryside on roads with little to no traffic- so no stress or road rage to put me in a mood. I will be gone from home now from 7 in the morning until probably close to 6 at night. I know, that's how the whole world turns! But, it's been a very very long time for me since I held down "regular" hours. I will no longer be able to make my Friday morning meetings to Weight Watchers, and if you read my other blog then you already know going on the weekends will be nearly impossible since James and I so often go out of town, or at least get into Atlanta. And of course housework that I was able to do during the week will now have to undoubtedly be shifted to the weekends. It will be a big adjustment, but I don't have any desire to give up the fight yet. I plan to carry my lunch to work and avoid the pitfalls of eating out with co-workers (one of which is the hubby), and I will go back to emptying my wallet of any change so I'm not tempted by the vending machines. These are all traps I have experience with, and I know they are easy to give in to on days when stress and deadlines and work loads become too much to shoulder. I am less concerned about my diet (easy to control, I can only eat what I bring with me to the office) and I'm more worried about finding the time to exercise now. I know me, and I already know I will kiss the gym bye-bye. I won't make the time to go. But, I absolutely love my treadmill and as long as the battery is charged in my iPod, I can stay on there for four and five miles at a shot. Now that we have the new recumbent bike (above- much assembly required) to set up right beside the treadmill, there will be no whining about how it's too cold outside to walk or how I don't have time to make it to yoga class. Both of these pieces are going to be placed right in front of a TV, so I can't even use the excuse of a new episode of NCIS as a reason to skip working out. I am mostly worried about my use of time in the evenings now, since I will have very little of it. I've had the luxury lately of twelve and thirteen hour days home alone to exercise whenever I wanted to, and now I am going to have to make myself set up a structured schedule and stick to it. I've always been fantastic at time management at the office, but boy I suck at it when I'm at home...We'll see how it goes, starting next week...


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Getting Over Vacation

Vacation- that time when we step out of our real lives for just a short while and discover new places and new experiences. Sadly, I stepped back on the scale when I got home. NOT pretty. Vegas wasn't kind to me this trip, and even though I ate "less" than I did when we were there in April, I think I ate more unfriendly foods this time. And I sat on my butt more this time, too, which didn't help. I think we only ate two meals a day- I only remember getting up to have breakfast once. But I also tried to branch out and eat different things this trip. One afternoon we had Korean food, very delish but also swimming in some thick sauces that surely had to be high in calories and fat. One night we went to a fancy burger joint that gave you a list of about 100 ingredients you could top your burger with- I had my usual rare burger, and topped it with goat cheese and of course, the always present mayonnaise. I inhaled it before the waitress could come back around and refill my water glass, it was SO good. (I'm telling you people, if you get the chance, order your burger rare- you will never want it any other way again!) Dinner on our last night was a spectacular meal of Chateaubriand- and while I didn't finish my lovely green beans that accompanied it, I sure didn't waste time ordering the creme brulee for dessert. I couldn't even behave the one day we went out for brunch (above)- this is Vegas' version of one pancake, and yes it was as big as the platter it came on and although the photo doesn't show it, it was an inch thick (check out James' towering breakfast below).

So is there any wonder that yesterday we went out and bought a recumbent bike, to crank up the exercise routine a notch? Yes, we need it after this trip!


Monday, October 12, 2009

I Survived

Well I made it through the weekend visit with my parents, and am happy to say I didn't blow it. Our decision to stay out of the restaurants really paid off. Although we did meet James for lunch on Friday afternoon- at our favorite pizza place that serves calzones as big as hubcaps- that was my only misstep. Saturday night I made my famous buffalo wings. I used to make them the way the rest of the world does- deep fried in a pot of oil. But awhile back we made them in the oven instead- baked with no oil. And I'm here to tell you that once they get tossed in the sauce, I dare you to tell the difference between my baked wings and the normal fried ones. You can't! I know wings in general are a fatty tidbit all on their own, and baking them actually gets some of the grease out and leaves it behind on the cookie sheet. The key is baking them for a long time at a low temperature (an hour at 350), until they get "crisp" just like they would right in the fryer. Sunday night we had planned for steaks on the grill, but by dinnertime everyone was sort of in a happy, lazy mood from watching football, golf, and NASCAR all day, so I don't think anyone wanted to go through the hassle of cooking (and eating) (and cleaning up after) a big meal. I ended up having a salad for dinner that night, and was just as happy with that as I would have been the steak.

I wish I could say all of this was due to sheer willpower on my part, but I think it was more because I'm fighting a horrible cold/allergies. I spent more time this weekend with Benadryl, vitamin C, and my neti pot than anything else. I was not really that interested in food, although I did eat my fair share of wings. What is it about having a soar throat, runny nose, and congested head that suddenly makes even my favorite foods seem unappealing? Maybe I have stumbled onto a secret for losing weight! Trust me, if I could bottle up my allergies, I would give them away to the first taker. Most people think that spring is the season for allergies, when everything is blooming. But the sad fact is that fall is the worst season, and yet it's my favorite season for being outdoors and keeping the windows open. There's a price to pay!

But today starts a whole new challenge, as we are leaving for a week of vacation. We just planned this vacation a few days ago, about as last minute as they get. But of course the spontaneity is part of the adventure. I'll blog about it when we get back, but right now I feel equal parts excitement and dread about how I will eat this week. Another thing that is tough about trying to lose sometimes overshadows all the fun you're supposed to be having!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Gym and Jim

I have a confession to make. I have not been going to the gym lately. I have been making excuse after excuse, and none of them are valid enough. Really, is doing the laundry ever a good enough reason to skip the yoga class? I started going to Atlanta Fitness for the yoga, but very quickly learned that "yoga" at the gym was not the kind of yoga I was looking for. The class name, Centergy, should have given it away. The class is actually a fast-paced aerobics class that happens to use yoga poses and movements for the routine. Not to say that I don't need to burn more calories, but I was looking for very traditional yoga, where the movements were all about holding the poses, stretching the muscles, and deep breathing from your core. You know, the kind where you sit on the mat and inhale and exhale for five minutes. My therapist recommended this to help with my leg pain. And I'd taken yoga in the past and enjoyed it. Anyhow, the yoga at the gym was not what I wanted. I ended up going just to use the treadmill (which I have at home) and the recumbent bike.

But James and I have been looking at recumbent bikes lately. His sister has one and James used it during our last visit, and he liked it. And I like using it at the gym. So we're seriously contemplating the purchase of one for our home. We've narrowed our search down to two models (above). The NordicTrack is the model his sister has, and it's got all the bells and whistles and a big wide cushy seat (for those of us with excess gluteus maximus issues). But, it's sort of pricey. Okay, it's actually fairly expensive. The other model is by Gold's Gym, and it's less than half the price, but it too has a lot of great features. Does anyone out there have any experience with either of these models, to offer any advice or recommendations? I am sadly one of those brainwashed Americans who automatically thinks that the more expensive something is, the better quality is just HAS to be. So if any of you have any suggestions on recumbent bikes, please let me know. James is going back out today to look at the Gold's Gym bike, so hopefully we will be deciding soon. And then I can ride the bike while watching NCIS, instead of sitting on my ever-expanding gluteus maximus on the couch at night!! Oh yeah, and I can save on the gym fees as well...


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sometimes It Works!

So sometimes the science experiment does work, as it did for lunch yesterday. Okay, I admit I love pizza, I could eat it for every meal if given the option. On my really bad days, I would indulge in a frozen pizza from the store, like a DiGiorno. The only problem is, I would settle in on the couch to watch TV and eat the whole thing myself. For most of you reading this, you've possibly done the same thing in the past. The pizza that I preferred- the cheese garlic bread pizza- has a total of (drum roll please) 2100 calories and 84 grams of fat. Shocking, I know. You think, hey, it's just a frozen pizza. But I looked it up and a piece of the frozen DiGiorno has exactly the same numbers as the Pizza Hut cheese pan pizza- 350 calories and 14 grams of fat per slice. We all know how cheesy and gooey and greasy Pizza Hut is, right? So, surely a cheap frozen pizza is better for me? Apparently not.

I do keep Lean Cuisine pizzas in the house, but they just don't satisfy the craving when it's a bad day. And yesterday was a bad day. So I had to find middle ground. Enter Lavash bread. I confess, I've never had it before, but the other day at the store James and I spied a bag of Lavash roll-up bread among all the bags of pitas and tortillas. One piece has only 100 calories and 4 grams of fat, and 6 grams of fiber. The style we bought is made with whole wheat, flax, and oat bran. With just a small amount of finely shredded cheese, and a little Pam sprayed on top to give it a nice glisten, I turned out a wonderful little (very) thin crust pizza. (Photo above.) The whole thing had less calories and fat than one slice of the DiGiorno variety. And it definitely hit the spot I needed it to.

I'm sure when Lavash bread was invented in ancient days, they never intended for it to be a substitute for Pizza Hut, but it worked well for me!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Well, this is progress from the last photo of weigh-in, and I will take it. Getting below 200 is my greatest goal for right now. It's been a long time. I think the last time my weight started with a one, is in early 2006, and I was pushing the 200's at my wedding in February of that year. I must be the only bride in the world who didn't go on a diet in the months before her wedding. Anywho, hopefully some time next week I will be able to post a photo with a number "1" taking up the first position. My parents are coming to visit this weekend, and in the past we would have gone out to eat A LOT. But we've all made the decision to stay in and make our meals this go round, for many reasons. That's not to say we won't have fun and enjoy the visit and have a great time together. I know we'll play cards, we'll watch football, and get to catch up on a lot of talking. After all, that's what spending time together means.

In my last Weight Watchers meeting, we focused on eating out. We of course had the discussion about gigantic portion sizes, and how Americans have come to expect it. One woman, who visited Italy recently, talked about how eating out there was a long affair and many small courses were delivered to the table over an hour or two. Here, we can barely finish our salads, and the waitress is throwing the entree at you! I personally would rather have a small plate of delicious food, than a big plate of just plain ol' blech. But it seems as though we are programmed to equate dollars signs with how much food we get, not the quality.

In the meeting we also talked about why we automatically chose to go out to eat in order to socialize with someone. We meet for drinks or coffee, lunch or dinner. Getting together with girlfriends, another couple, out of town visitors. It's always going out for food. And I don't know why. I can have a nice conversation with my husband over the dinner table at home just as easily as I can at Olive Garden. But it's true, and it seems in this economy we all still meet up with friends to visit over a large pizza or an endless basket of fries or a 620 calorie coffee (that would be for my drink of choice at Starbucks, which also has 27 grams of fat!).

So for this visit with the folks, we're going to try to stay in the whole time, at least as far as meals go. That's not to say we're going to sit around nibbling on lettuce. No, we'll probably grill ribs or make wings in the oven, for college football Saturday. But I find being able to control your environment, and your ingredients, is a lot healthier than just taking whatever they serve up at the local BBQ shack!


Monday, October 5, 2009

Science Experiment

One of the most challenging parts about losing weight is changing the way you eat. At least for me. I am not a good cook at all- unless it's something cheesy and fatty and Italian (oh wait, that's me). Even so, I do try to find new recipes here and there, to wedge in between the endless nights of baked chicken and steamed veggies. I have a small library of cookbooks and cooking magazines, amassed back in the day before I discovered and the Food Network. Last week I decided it was time to break out the Crock Pot, and dig up something new to throw in it. Above would be a recipe I located in a slow cooker cookbook from 1995. I should have left it, undiscovered, back in '95. This is Spicy Pineapple Pork Chili, which looked great on paper. Only, there was hardly any pork and even less "spice". The dried beans were still crunchy, even after nine hours of cooking. It was worse than my own old tried and true chili recipe. Something about the fall weather just makes me crave homemade soups and casseroles and yummy concoctions from the Crock Pot- but, this was definitely not one of them. But, we try to be a thrifty household and the leftovers got tucked away into the freezer. I'm sure I will revisit them before the season is over, but I definitely won't be making another fresh batch of this again. On to the next new recipe...


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Extra Credit!

I decided to revisit my weight loss tracker at the bottom of my page. I started it back when I first joined Weight Watchers. But then I realized, I'd lost a few pounds on my own at the beginning of the year before starting WW. I felt like I was short changing my efforts by not recording it and not "counting" those pounds, too. So I've updated the tracker now, to reflect my true weight loss for the whole year and to give myself the credit where credit is due!! Hey, I've earned it!


Friday, October 2, 2009


Okay, I couldn't look at that other gross photo of me any longer!!!!! So instead here's a nice one of me and the husband in the Virgin Islands last year.

I Didn't Chicken Out

So here I was this morning, sitting in my car outside of Weight Watchers. I got there ten minutes early, so I had plenty of time to reflect on the deeper reasons of why I was there and why I needed to be there. I decided that since I drove 30 miles to get to the meeting, it would be a waste to not weigh. I was surprised and shocked. Only a 1.4 lb gain. I guess getting back on the right track earlier in the week paid off. It was all the encouragement that I needed. I was dreading weigh-in for no good reason whatsoever. My previous meeting a month ago, I had a 1.4 lb loss. So, I feel as though I am back at a great starting point, and I'm wiping the slate clean and giving myself the second chance that I need. In the past, I would have just given up, and maybe when January of the next year rolled around, I would slink back into a meeting. I've still got a whole quarter of a year left! So instead of spending the holiday season on the sidelines in 2009, just passively waiting for the year to end and New Year's Resolutions to begin, I'm instead going to set myself up with a goal of losing at least another ten pounds before 2010 gets here!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Advance Planning

Above is the last entry from my Weight Watchers book where my weigh-ins are recorded. As you can see from the date of 9/4- it's been almost a month since I stepped foot inside a meeting. Sure, I've got a zillion reasons why I was absent those weeks- it was storming rain, I was on my period, I overslept- but the fact is in the month that I've been skipping meetings, I gained 8 pounds back. From the first week I started in February, until I fell off the wagon last month, I'd only had two meetings where I gained weight, and both times I had just returned from vacations. Forgivable sins. All the other weigh-ins were successful and hard-fought losses. My leader always insists that going to meetings is the surest way to stay on track with weight loss. Just "knowing" how to follow the program isn't always enough. There's the accountability of weigh-ins, the support of fellow members, and the information and tips provided at the meetings. And in the back of my mind, I've known all along that she is right. The only time Weight Watchers has ever worked for me- and it has- is when I go to the meetings and go face the scale. Their scale. Not the one I have in the dark corner of my own bathroom, where no one else knows my trials except for me and the dust bunnies.

My meetings are early on Friday mornings, and in the past I have always been delighted to load up my cute little bag with my WW gear, get all dressed up, and drive the half hour to the center in Peachtree City. On the way home, I always stop and do a little shopping, sometimes even meeting the husband for lunch out. I always looked forward to Fridays. Tomorrow is Friday, and I want to go to my meeting with every ounce in my soul. But I know what that little sticker will have printed on it. The one they stick in my permanent book, the one that announces what the scale records when I step on it. I just don't know if I want to see that in print tomorrow morning. Of course, I know how much I've gained, because I weigh here at home. And even though their scale always weighs me heavier (don't they always!), it is still a gain of several pounds. I plan on going to the meeting, I just haven't decided yet if I am too chicken to weigh officially or not. See, I do have a Get Out Of Jail Free card. Specifically, a coupon I can turn in at the front desk where they will allow me to attend the meeting but bypass the scale. Tonight I'm trying to decide if I want to use it, or just go face the music. I already KNOW how much I've gained, so why is it bothering me SO much to know that it will be recorded for eternity in my little book? Silly, huh??

I don't think I will know until I walk through the door if I'm going to weigh or not.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Distant Strangers

I don't like veggies- I never have, and I don't know why. I tend to keep them at a safe distance away from my plate. If you are a fellow Weight Watchers member, then you know how much the program stresses eating vegetables. At least my leader does. She is always trying to steer us away from the evil that is processed foods, and into the direct oncoming path of a whole food freight train. Perhaps it's because at her house, she and her two children suffer from celiac disease and she has to pretty much make all their meals from scratch so that she can control the ingredients. Still, anyone on WW also knows that veggies are low in points, and since we are limited in the number of points we can consume, and since we all got overweight by eating too much to begin with- well, we try to combine quantity with low points. In other words, we're all trying to eat as much as possible but still stay within our points limit for the day. Enter the vegetable- most are low in points, some are even zero points.

Logically, we would all shove aside the fatty (high point) foods like burgers or pizzas or nachos and instead consume vegetables morning, noon, and night. Logically. So why can't I see beyond stinky broccoli or flavorless cauliflower? Why can't I eat any other vegetable besides buttery starchy corn? I can make myself a gigantic salad loaded with plenty of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, but my salads are also loaded down with cheese, bacon, croutons, and lots of dressing. I know in my head that I should be serving fresh vegetables with every meal, but my taste buds usually overrule my brain cells. But for dinner this evening I'm going to give it the good ol' college try, and open up this scary looking bag hidden in the freezer. It's six pounds of vegetable madness, and I'm going to dish it up tonight. Mind you, not all six pounds at once.

The ironic part of this tale is that my husband absolutely LOVES vegetables, he swears he could adhere to the vegetarian lifestyle and be mighty happy about it. So as a dutiful wife, do you think I could put veggies on the dinner table a little more often? Yeah, I'll have to work on that...


(Spider is ready to help Mom make dinner tonight.)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where Did I Go Wrong?

It was hard work, losing those 45 pounds since Christmas of 2008. But it was barely the halfway point. Then somehow, somewhere, my resolve slipped away without me even realizing it. My bad habits started to creep back into my daily routine and I didn't even notice. Or did I? Over the summer it seemed like whenever I went into town for an errand, I managed to find myself reaching into the little cold case at the register. I'm not sure what internal conversation I had with myself every time, to justify yet another bottle of Coke and maybe a small pack of cookies to go with it. The occasional treat turned into a weekly habit, and then suddenly I lapsed every time I was in a store- be it Target, Kroger's, CVS, even PetSmart- oftentimes now it is two or three times a week. Once last week, I even bought two Cokes at the same time- one to drink while I was in the car running around town, and one to take home for later on that night. I'd skipped breakfast, it was lunchtime, it was Friday. There is always an excuse. After all, I'm an adult, I don't need anyone's permission to have a soda and chips in place of an actual healthy meal. Right??

Then there is my habit of always ordering the biggest thing on the menu, whether it's a fast food combo or lunch at an Italian restaurant. A very old habit, and one I still struggle with, and I probably always will. I know, the easiest way to nip that in the bud is to not go out and eat. But I love going out with James, and I don't intend to put the kibosh on date night with the hubby. After all, there really are healthy choices out there. I just don't make them. Something inside of me makes my eyeballs skip right over the salad section of the menu, and go over to the pasta or the burgers. I open my mouth to say water, but Coke comes out instead.

But it's the start of a new season now, we're getting ready to flip yet another calendar page over. The weather is cooling off, the skies are a clear bright blue, and I'm going to take a good hard look at my habits and the choices that I make. Both need to be overhauled dramatically. Before the food extravaganza known as "the holidays" gets here...


Monday, September 28, 2009

Back to Basics

Well, I've decided to start a new blog, about my weight loss efforts. Which have seriously faltered lately. I haven't been going to Weight Watchers regularly (my leader keeps sending me postcards that say "we miss you!"). I rarely count my points anymore, and can't even find my food journal. I don't remember the last time I got on the treadmill here at the house much less the one at the gym. After reaching a glorious 199 for about all of five minutes last month, this is where I'm at today (below). I have no one to blame but myself, and no excuses that can justify this slide backwards. I fell off the diet wagon all by myself, no one pushed me off. So I am going to rededicate myself to the Weight Watchers program and regain my focus on exercise. I know it's a lot of excess pounds to carry, but I'm climbing back up on the wagon as of right this second. I realize it's going to be a bumpy ride, but I'm going to do my best to hold on tight and not get thrown off again!