Monthly Archives: January 2011

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 3

As anticipated, this week’s weigh-in didn’t go that well.  I was honestly recovering fairly well Mon-Wed from last weekend’s over-indulgence, but then I went to book club last night.  And I had a fantastic time.  And I ate way too much delicious food — veggie curry, naan, homemade eggplant dip and hummus, and honey-poached-pear-cake-with-white-chocolate-pistachio icing. Seriously.  I realize I should have and could have eaten smaller portions of everything, but well, I just didn’t.  So without further ado:

Weekly +/-: + 1.9 lbs

Total +/-: – 2.0 lbs

I feel pretty lame about it, but really at this point all I can do is move forward.  When I logged into WW online to log my weight it told me this:

“Look back at this week and see what you might be able to change; then let go of what you can’t. The best thing to do is focus on is making this coming week a success.”

Although I find some of the WW emoticons and encouragements a little cheesy most of the time, I thought this was really good advice.  I knew I probably wouldn’t have a great weigh-in this week and I think I used that as a crutch to not be as diligent at book club as I should have been.  I mean, hey, I’m going to gain tomorrow anyway so this extra piece of naan really isn’t a big deal, right? Um, wrong. And here’s why:

It is a big deal because I reverted to past bad behavior.  It is a big deal because I didn’t forgive myself for what I ate last weekend; instead I used it as a reason to wallow.  I didn’t let go of the things I couldn’t change and move on to what I could do to be successful.  And now it is time to do just that.

Things I can change this coming week:

1.  Eating at home for the weekend.  Okay, don’t get crazy, I probably won’t eat every weekend meal at home, but I can at least schedule a few.  I’m concert-bound on Saturday night with the fabulous Miss PR, and instead of going out to eat before the show we’re going to whip up something fabulous and healthy together!

2.  Getting in a Sunday workout.  Last Sunday I laid on the couch for like 10 hours. I’m not kidding.  This week I would like to hit up the Sunday afternoon spin class to sweat out the weekend and get the week off to a good start.

3.  Spending more time at home.  Generally, I am busier towards the end of the month.  The past two weeks have really been no exception.  Next week I have very little scheduled on the weeknights so I am looking forward to eating at home. With my measuring cups/spoons.  Come to think of it, I really should have asked for a measuring cup last night.  Let’s come back to this…

Things I need to let go of:

1.  Today’s weigh-in.  I gained weight.  It happened. I cannot change it but I can do the work to make things different on the scale next week.

2.  Everything I ate last Sunday.  It is haunting me.

About those measuring cups, I really wasn’t kidding.  Portion control is crucial to the WW program and really to our health in general.  I am often guilty of over-eating healthy foods, which is almost as bad as eating things that aren’t healthy because too much is too much.  I’ve also found that when I measure out a cup of something, like couscous, I see that it really is a lot of food.  I think as a visual eater it is important for me to see that.  So bust out your measuring cups/spoons this week and see if you’re eating the correct portions of your favorite foods. I dare ya.

Something I did this week that I am proud of was actually thawing out some of the soups I made and froze a couple of weeks ago.  I freeze stuff all the time.  And then I pull it out of the freezer, get grossed out and throw it away, Tupperware and all.  I know, crazy wasteful. And pretty stupid.  So this week I revisited the Black Bean Soup and the Broccoli-Cheese-Sausage-Potato Soup, which meant I did almost no cooking.  Unfortunately, I didn’t think the Black Bean Soup was as good after spending two weeks in the freezer.  The texture of the carrots and celery was kind of funky but it was still edible.  But the BCSP Soup was great!

What can you change from last week to next week that will help you achieve your goals?  What do you need to let go of?

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The One Where I Feel Discouraged.

Today, I’m just not feeling it. I know I went way overboard this weekend.  I know that no matter how perfect I am for the next three days I will probably have gained weight when I weigh-in on Thursday.  I know I will have to post that here and explain away (for no one’s benefit except my own) why I did this or didn’t do that or gained this much.

I’m annoyed.  And disappointed.  And frustrated.  I know that I can’t expect perfection from myself, and I really haven’t, but the way I ate on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you would have thought I was trying to put on weight to make the Varsity Football team.  Don’t worry, no scrawny O-lineman here.

So now the challenges are: 1) getting back on the wagon and 2) pinpointing what lead to this undisciplined behavior.

1)  I made myself a delicious Black Bean Burger for lunch and I feel better already.   It was colorful and filling.  I’ve already planned my post-work workout and I am ready to get back in the gym and keep listening to Mockingjay on my iPod.

2)  This is the hard part.  I’m not entirely sure what contributed to my weekend eating mayhem.  I know that part of it was a result of Miss H’s Fantastic Fiasco birthday bash.  There were lots of yummy snacks and the cocktails flowed, which meant that yesterday all I wanted was food, glorious food.  My solution to a hangover usually involves Ramen noodles, copious amounts of Diet Dr. Pepper, and either something spicy or something fried. Hell, sometimes it’s both.  I mean, nothing about a salad screams hangover cure.  That said, I ate 3 bad for me meals yesterday.  Last night, I felt fine.  I wasn’t even hungry really, but I felt like I should eat dinner because it was dinner time and I didn’t want to cook.  I also ate more than I should have on Friday for lunch and dinner and on Saturday for lunch — to coat my stomach for the night’s festivities, natch.  Basically, I was completely out of control.

Clearly, drinking leads to more eating for me.  I don’t drink heavily that often so I don’t think that a bigger lunch on Saturday before the party and/or on Sunday after the party would be that big of a deal, IF I hadn’t eaten like crazy for 3 days straight.  The problem is really that I went completely rogue for 3 solid days.  And now I feel guilty and groddy.

I think part of the problem is that I was getting bored with the food I’ve been eating.  I think it would be beneficial for me to start halving recipes so they make less so I don’t have to eat 4-5 servings of the same meal in a week.  Also, the chili I made last week just wasn’t that good so I know that didn’t help me out.

My other problem is social.  Last week I had several fun outings and I have several more this week. It was really, really fun, but it is also usually detrimental to my food/exercise choices.  My friends are incredibly supportive and encouraging, but when we are out and about I don’t want to order a salad or only have one glass of wine.  For me, food is often a part of making merry and I don’t want to “miss out.”  I know that I need to work on reforming my attitudes toward food, but I also need to remember that this year I promised myself (and all of you) that I would focus on my HEALTH.  And sometimes that means I need to stay home when I feel like my will power just isn’t there for the week.

I plan on coming up with some small goals and rewards to go along with them to post this week.  I think/hope having a few smaller, concrete goals in mind will help me when my resolve is waning.

And a couple of things to end on a more positive note:

1) I made Lighter Buffalo Chicken Dip for the party on Saturday night and it was seriously good.  I just scooped it up on celery sticks. Also, it was so EASY to make.  Definitely a recipe keeper.

2)  A little bragging – The playlist I made for the party was literally a masterpiece.  Every time a song came on and people said, “OMG, I love this song!” my heart went all aflutter with pride.  Obviously, I still feel pretty darn good about it today.

At least I can be proud of the musical masterpiece I created this weekend.  Time to let everything else go. . .

What helps you stay motivated?  How do you recover from major eating mishaps?

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Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 24th

I’m feeling rather uninspired today.  I was completely out of control this weekend when it came to eating. I didn’t track. I ate and drank like a fiend.  And today I feel badly about it but I also want to continue it. Why is it so hard to get back to normal, healthy eating after a few days of indulgence/bingeing?  Argh.  I know writing this post is my first step back to being a normal, healthy person.  It has to be.  Plus, I’ve got my gym bag packed and ready to go for a nice long work out tonight.

As I mentioned last week, my plan is to eat what I have in my freezer this week.

Meatless Monday:  Boca Black Bean Burger; Black Bean Soup

Tuesday:  Broccoli Cheese Potato Sausage Soup; Turkey Sausage link, Brussels sprouts, couscous

Wednesday:  Turkey Sausage, Brussels sprouts, couscous; Veggie Curry (at Book Club)

Thursday:  Broccoli Cheese Potato Sausage Soup;  Pizza (at Book Club)

Friday:  Black Bean Soup; TBD

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Weekly Weigh-In: Week 2

So I tried to weigh-in this morning, really, I did, but no such luck.

 

All dark at WW this morning.

 

My meeting location was closed! Okay, I’m not sure that is 100% true.  Here’s the deal: I woke up later than planned because I had been up off and on all night checking on my roommate’s dog (I’m dog-sitting and the pup was not doing so hot when I got home last night so of course I was paralyzed with fear that something horrible would happen) and then when I first went outside to try to warm up my car the doors were frozen shut. Awesome. So anyway, things got off to a slow start and I arrived at WW about 10 minutes after the meeting would have ended. But there is a meeting later today so the lights would have been on and people would have surely still been milling about if it had actually been open.  So I am telling my self, that WW was closed and it is not my fault that I didn’t get to weigh-in.  Good thing I got on the scale at home!

Weigh In: – 0.3 lbs*

Total Lost: – 3.9 lbs

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed.  I feel like I have been working really hard and that loss is small, but a loss is a loss is a loss. Still moving in the right direction.  I do think that I indulged too much over the weekend.  I counted all of my food and stayed within all of my points, but I still think it was a little too much.

At this stage in my journey, I get a LOT of points.  My daily points are based on my weight and the activity points I earn are also related to my weight.  (30 minutes on the elliptical basically burns more calories on me than it would on someone 50 pounds lighter than me.)  Since I’ve been working out roughly 5 days a week for 45-60 minutes, I have earned a considerable amount of activity points.  And while I know that I can eat all of them, I’m not sure that I should eat all of them.  Some people (i.e. my mom) eat all of their activity points every day while others don’t eat them at all.  I’m still working on finding the right balance and I know that will take some time.

The only thing I really have on the agenda for the weekend is Miss H’s birthday party so I should be able to eat/drink/exercise reasonably the rest of the weekend.  Sometimes I eat out on the weekends out of sheer laziness or because I feel like I should since it’s Saturday or whatever.  But really, it isn’t necessary.  I also think by Saturday I’m bored with cooking and cleaning and want to take a break, which is fine, but that break shouldn’t necessarily always include tacos.

I’ve thought a lot about my goal of working on my sleep schedule.  I had been trying to get up and work out before work, but I haven’t been very successful.  I think working out in the mornings is great, but I’ve managed to get in plenty of exercise after work and on the weekends so I may just let this go a little bit.  Maybe I’ll make it my goal to get in 2 A.M. workouts per week and call that good.

Goals for the upcoming week: 1) Eating some of the stuff in my freezer and 2) Lifting Weights.  My workouts lately have been pretty cardio heavy, which will help me drop weight more quickly, but I don’t want to be all jiggly.  (And let me tell you, I can feel all my wobbly bits in spin class!) My body typically responds well to strength training – I can see the difference in my shape pretty quickly and my metabolism is a fan.  So I know I need to do it, now I just need to pick what type of training I want to do and commit to the days I plan to do it!

What have you been working on this week? What would you like to work on next week?

*This loss may not be perfectly accurate.  My home scale and the WW scale are always quite a bit different.  The – 0.3 lbs is based on the comparison of my weight last Thursday on my home scale and my weight today on my home scale.

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Savings Sense

*Click on image for source.

I’ve decided I need a new strategy when it comes to my savings.  We all know that I kind of suck at it.   The good news is that I can blame my parents for this — they aren’t great savers either (on their own, but their financial planner has whipped them into shape!) so it must be genetic.  For the past several months, I’ve been trying to save about 15% of my monthly income.  So I have the money automatically withdrawn from my checking and deposited into my savings account(s). Easy peasy, right? Well, I usually do really well with it for a couple of months . . . and then it’s so-and-so’s birthday and I have one of those excruciatingly long pay-periods that includes three weekends between paychecks and then Old Navy has a sale and . . . you get the picture.  Stuff happens, I want to spend money, I move the money back from savings to checking.  And trust me $50 here and $75 can suck up a lot of savings really quickly.

So I spent a little time last week looking over my budget, trying to figure out how to leave my savings money in my savings account.  Well, I realized that I wasn’t leaving my self a lot of flexible money in my current budget.  As someone who isn’t terribly disciplined with money to begin with, not having room to buy a couple new v-necks and contribute to the party for Miss H’s bday (woot woot!) just doesn’t work.  It’s not like I don’t have any money, but the way that it has been allocated has been setting me up to fail.

Time for a new plan.  I have decided to decrease the amount of money I am putting into savings every month from 15-17% to 10%.  I know, I know, some financial guru is having an aneurysm right now.  Saving more is always better, right?! Well, I feel like it isn’t better if I’m constantly taking the money back out of savings and putting it in my checking account.  At this point, I’m probably actually saving less than 10% a month just based on the number of transfers I’ve made over the last couple of months.  So 10% it is.  I know that in the big scheme of things 10% really isn’t a lot but I can wrap my head around 10% and at this point I think that is important.  If I can successfully save 10% per month for 6 months, I’ll reevaluate my plan.  Maybe I’ll get crazy and bump the monthly savings up to 11%.  Exciting stuff, huh?

Do you struggle with keeping your grubby little paws out of your savings account?  How much is “enough” to save each month?

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Menu Plan Monday: Week of Jan. 17th

Usually when I plan my menu I try to take into account what nightly activities I have going on.  If I am supposed to go somewhere I try to keep cooking simple/to a minimum.  This week is so exception with the Boyz II Men concert on Monday night, game night on Wednesday and a sorority meeting on Thursday.

Sunday: Lunch  date w/ Miss PoliSci and Mrs. Bookworm; Chili (made with lean ground beef, ground turkey, and lots of veggies)

Meatless Monday: Boca Black Bean Burger; Veggie quesadilla (made with corn tortillas, fat-free refried beans, and reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese)

Tuesday: Chili; Baked Salmon w/ Brussels sprouts and a sweet potato

Wednesday: Chili; Snacks at Game Night — I’m taking an assortment of veggies, laughing cow cheese, and some Wasa Crackers

Thursday: Lunch out; Chili

Friday: Chili; TBD

I know that is a lot of chili but it’s easy and I love it.  Plus, I didn’t really want to make anything else this week since I’m going to be out and about so much.  I froze several servings of it as well.  I think next week is going to be an eat-what-you-have week since I discovered that I really have a lot of food in the freezer right now — black bean soup, turkey sausages, turkey hot dogs, black bean burgers, broccoli cheese potato soup, and now chili.

I’m also working on wasting less food.  The Pork Carnitas I made last week made A LOT so on Saturday morning after my spin class, I made Pork Carnitas breakfast tacos.  I admit they were a little random/weird, but they were delicious! The pork added a lot of flavor and I managed to work in another serving of the pork before it went bad.  Another way I can waste less food is to take a couple servings to my parent’s house when a recipe makes more than I can eat.  I ate the Pork Carnitas 4 times (I think) and Miss H and Miss K2 each had some and I still ended up throwing some out last night!

 

1 egg & 2 egg whites scrambled with pork carnitas, onion, and bell peppers and topped with reduced-fat cheese, salsa, cilantro and lime, served on corn tortillas.

 

 

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Facebook = Failure

It seems that in the after-glow of the bustling holiday season we are all forced to bask in an explosion of Facebook updates – I know five of my “friends” got engaged over the holidays and two more got married.  Miss Dubs had two friends get new cars for Christmas from their husbands.  Another friend announced her pregnancy.  And as a bonus, everyone uploads album after album showing off their holiday loot or Mexican vacation or the fancy schmancy decorations they put up in their 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath house in the ‘burbs.

For Christmas I got a new iPod nano, a Kenneth Cole watch and a wicked head cold.  Don’t misunderstand me, I use my new nano every single day and I am rockin’ the watch as I type, but neither of them is an engagement ring or a house or a car or a baby.  I wasn’t expecting anything more than what I got but after logging on and scoping out what everyone else has going on, well, it made the gifts I received, it made my life for that matter, seem inadequate.

These news feed-induced feelings of failure aren’t really limited to the holiday season but because there seemed to be a flurry of major activity between Christmas and New Year’s the emotions surrounding it all are definitely heightened.  I hate to sound like I’m not satisfied with my life because I think I generally am, or I try to be at the very least, yet I can’t help scrolling through Facebook and thinking about all the things other people have or have done that I haven’t.

It reminds me of how far my twenties have been from what I thought they would be.  It makes me feel like a failure in some ways because I can’t declare that “OMG I LOVE MY LIFE!!!!” or “Thanks to my FAB.U.LOUS husband for taking out the trash!” or “Close on the house today! Woot woot!”  I realize that the people who throw up those status updates every 23 minutes are over compensating and are probably full of crap and feel just as lame as the rest of us, but I can’t help but feel a little jealous sometimes.  And not only jealous, but also out of sync with my peers.

 

Best.Halloween.Costume.Ever. And the infamous sword. Also, the "furry boots" are rather infamous as well. And yes, I still wear them regularly.

I am currently living in the world of frozen rent-house pipes and mice infestations and cooking for one and spending an entire weekend in leggings and house shoes because I have nowhere to go.  (I think I just made our house sound crappy and it totally isn’t. It’s just old and older houses have a harder time in the winter than the new ones in the ‘burbs, or so I hear.)  There was a plastic sword from my 2006 Xena the Warrior Princess costume hanging on our living room wall for six months and I’ve been driving the same car for almost nine years.  And we all know how long it has been since I’ve been on a date.  My world seems light years away from the world of nursery decorations, engagement photos, hosting family holidays, and cars with big red bows.

 

But really I’m okay.  Until I see that seemingly everyone else in the free world is conquering adulthood like champions and I feel like I’m still in some weird in-between phase.  Apparently there have actually been studies completed about this “Facebook Effect.”  It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who recognizes that while most of it is mere puffery, it still has the power to make you feel like you are losing at the game of life.  I asked Miss Dubs if I should start obsessively “hiding” people from my news feed and she thought it might be a good idea.  I think the better plan is to remind myself, as frequently as necessary, that we all try to put our best foot forward on Facebook and even the people who seem to have it all don’t.  I don’t really want their life anyway — I just want my life to feel like a little more sometimes.

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