Something to chew on

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Guilt of Yumminess

Last night we went to see Spider-Man 3 at the Alamo Drafthouse. That's the only way to see a movie, but I left there feeling a bit of guilt. I ate too much; I didn't step on anyone's toe or nab an old lady's purse. But still I had this overwhelming feeling of guilt over fried pickels, pizza and chocolate chip cookies. Why does food draw up so much emotion in us???

During my weight-loss journey, I've learned that I'm not an emotional eater as so many who struggle are. I don't turn to the pantry when I'm sad or to the fridge when I'm worried. My biggest struggle is portion control, which leads to a whole other set of emotions that follow: love of the yumminess, guilt over the gluttony, fear of the impending step on the scale, you get the picture.

There are also a few other things that I realized after our movie outing:
  • People who eat ice shouldn't come to the movies. Or at least, the person who is with said ice-chomper should say, "Hey, man, the whole theater can hear you. Cut it out!!!"
  • What happened to personal space??? There were all of 25 people in this theater that would gladly hold 150. Two rows above us there was a couple who had gotten there early and secured their seats right in the middle of their row. There was a couple about eight seats down from us and a few folks in the rows below us. Well, another couple came in late and went up two rows above us and sat right beside the couple in the center. They didn't speak to each other as if they knew each other. 125 other seats to choose from, and they sat without even one cushion between them and the couple already there. Cole and I would have moved, don't you know.
  • Whoever it is who first decided to submerge a battered pickle in hot oil: I want to shake your hand.
  • If Cole ever leaves me and runs away to join the circus, I'm moving to Hollywood to find Timothy Oliphant.
  • How did we ever survive movies and bad TV from the '70s??? It was just awful...
  • BUT... Cartoons were much better when I was a kid than they are now. I'm not talking about the cool Pixar stuff. That's, well, cool. I'm talking about true Saturday-morning cartoons. I miss them.
How my day added up...

Breakfast: yogurt smoothie: 1 point
blue berrymuffin bar: 2 points

Mid-morning snack: banana: 2 points

Lunch: taquitos: 5 points
beans and cheese: 3 points

Afternoon snack: graham crackers: 3 points

Dinner: chicken nuggets: 6 points

TOTAL: 22 points on the nose!!!

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Getting Over the Weekend

Time to buckle down.

It amazes me sometimes how quickly the scale turns on you after a weekend of not counting points. There was too much meat and birthday cake and fries at the theater. And, I started reading The Omnivore's Dilemma this weekend. Although I haven't gotten into anything scary quiet yet, I'm sure this book with cause at least a small shift in the way I feed my body. I'll keep you posted...

yogurt: 2 points
granola bites: 2 points

Mid-morning snack: mini candy bars: 2 point

Lunch: South Beach wraps: 5 points
Melba toast: 1 point

Afternoon snack: saltines: 1 point

Dinner: steak fajita salad: 6 points
tortilla: 2 points

TOTAL: 21 points.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Meat Overload

I normally don't have 12 different cuts of meat at dinner, but we were celebrating a special occasion: Dannie's birthday (with Mom in photo).

So this evening we tried the new Estancia Churrascaria in South Austin. We had originally talked about making the trip to Houston to eat at the real meat-o-rama, Fogo de Chao, but we decided that sticking close to home would be best. (They'll be opening a Fogo here in Austin by the end of the year, by the way.)

Here's my quick review of Estancia Churrascaria if you're considering going. I can't help but compare it to Fogo: The salad bar was small, but everything was very fresh and colorful. The rolls were amazing. They were these soft little puffs of cheesy bread that didn't even need to be chewed. Their warmth melted in my mouth, and I could have eaten about 20 of them. The sides were fine, nothing too exciting, but the garlic mashed potatoes, plantains and fried yucca were all decent. It was my first time ever eating yucca. I'd describe it as a chewier, dense French fry.

Now the meat. I didn't really eat all 12 cuts of meat that the place has to offer, but I would definitely call two my faves: the bacon-wrapped chicken breast and the pork ribs. Both, delicious. The chicken was tender and cooked to perfection. The taste was flavorful but mild. The rib meat fell from the bone with ease and there was a perfect amount of salt and spice.

The major drawback of the restaurant: It was entirely too crowded. They could take out about half of the tables and patrons would be much more comfortable. The back of Cole's chair was getting hit every time a waiter went to serve the table behind us.

Overall, it was a good dinner. Followed by cake at our house with Mom, Dannie, Randy, Dee Dee, Cole and me. We're truly blessed that our families get along so well. It sure makes for a nice Saturday evening...

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Flag-Wavin' Arms

So, it happened this weekend. That dreaded realization that I am a female getting older and more out of shape each year. I'll call it Cole's fault...

We went to the lake Sunday. It wasn't our best day ever on the lake by any means: It was windy, choppy and crowded, and we fought with waves, the boat cover and the anchor. One thing we did get accomplished though was the installation of a rear-view mirror so that I don't fear being hauled off to boat jail for breaking the law that says you must have a third person or a rear-view mirror when skiing. Cole technically installed the mirror; I held the instructions and enjoyed the warm sun and cool breeze.

When the mirror was secure and we had had a bite for lunch, I drove the boat while Cole skied. Now, I try to be a good driver and give him good signals when he skis (along with the courtesy of trying not to drown him). You know, signals like drawing invisible circles in the air with one finger when I'm going to turn and making an up-and-down movement with a flat hand when bumpy waves are coming his way. And that's when it happened. I made the "bumps are coming" signal with my arm. And that's when I saw it in the rear-view mirror. My arm. My flabby arm. My pale, 35-year-old, flabby arm.

I was devastated. I was sad. I didn't want to look in that blasted mirror again. But then I got a grip on my crazed mind and took a deep breath and paid attention to Cole jumping the waves behind me, having what looked to be a little bit of fun.

So along this weight-loss journey, I have to remember, among many other things, not to focus on one imperfect arm, but to focus on the fun going on around me.

I think it's time to dust off the hand weights and get the guns into shape. Losing the weight is one thing, but getting what's left in good shape is a whole other...

Breakfast: yogurt: 2 points
granola bites: 2 points

Mid-morning snack: banana: 2 points

Lunch: SB wraps: 5 points
French fries: 5 points

Dinner: edamame: 1 point
Asian chopped chicken salad: 6 points

TOTAL: 23 points.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

An Update on the Scale

Well, I didn't make it to my regular weigh in Thursday evening, so I opted to go Saturday morning. I felt out of my element a bit: none of my regular fellow losers were there, neither was my regular Leader. But one thing was the same: those blasted scales.

I was nervous about climbing up there. I had several days of being sick followed by several days of eating everything in sight. Mind you, I have learned enough not to eat a whole cake when I see it, but I do allow myself a bite or two of said cake. Anyway, the time had come to step up. Just for good measure I slipped my shoes off, took a deep breath and closed my eyes. And lost two pounds!!! For a total loss of nine pounds now.

My goal this week is simple: To make it to an even 10.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Cheesy Salsa Chicken

If you ever need a good, quick, easy chicken dinner, we had one last night...

We sent Stacey a little "love from Texas" package last week that included her favorite salsa, and ours, Hell on the Red. Our pantry is never without it. So, wanting to do an easy chicken dish and having Hell on the Red on hand, I simply did this...

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

I use a 9x9 glass dish. But anything with high sides would work. Spray pan with non-stick spray and put boneless, skinless chicken breasts inside. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pour on the Hell on the Red (any salsa will do), just enough to top the chicken. Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and remove foil from pan. Top chicken and salsa with your favorite cheese. Sliced, shredded, whatever flavor you want, whatever amount you like. Bake without foil for an additional 10 minutes.

Last night we had it with just steamed rice. But you could pair it with anything in the world. Fresh tortillas, steamed veggies, baked potato. Enjoy!!!

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Being a Bottomless Pit

If you're a girl, you'll understand. There are a few days each month when I am an absolute black hole of starving emptiness. No amount of food could fill the bottomless, vacuous pit which is my stomach during these couple of days. After being sick for a few days and now this, I'm holding off on weighing until Saturday morning. Plus, Thunder had a vet appointment this evening that would have had me late to my regular meeting time. (Nothing serious, just a couple of annual shots.)

I need to get a grip. And I know after these couple of rabid days I'll be able to count points with a little more enthusiasm.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Being Sick Sucks

After five days of eating no more than 10 points a day worth of saltines and dry toast, and having nothing but Gatorade and bathroom floors to blog about, I'm finally feeling back to normal.

Remember Wednesday when I was getting ready to quit Diet Dr Pepper??? I was gonna take it slow, cut back gradually. Well, DP was actually the first thing I put on my stomach Wednesday morning after taking Mom to work, and it all went downhill from there. So, after going cold turkey (not by choice) and getting through the massive withdrawal headaches that came on top of whatever bug had crawled into my stomach and died, I haven't had a DP in six days. I believe Sprite will now be my go-to bubbly drink of choice. But I won't be drinking one every day.

Tomorrow I'll be back to eating like I should and counting points again. It will be interesting to see what the scale has to say about all of this come Thursday evening...


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

6:55 a.m.: The Phone Rings

Bless Mom's heart. As if we/she didn't have enough going on this week, she went out to get into the car this morning and head to work, and she had a flat tire. This is the same tire that has been losing air ever since they got the new set just a few months ago. The same one that was supposedly patched by the place where they purchased said set.

Dannie was already at work by the time she headed to the driveway to get in the car, so she called me to take her downtown. No problem at all. The dogs are probably upset though; they didn't get their morning walk.

Mom and I talked about her calling the place (it was Costco) where they bought the tires to see what they had to say for themselves and what they might offer to do. But after we talked about it for a minute or two, we decided Dannie should be the one to make that call. Dannie is a kind, gentle and sweet person, but when he suggests that you do something, it gets done. He just has this way about him...

And on a somewhat food-related note: I think I'm about to quick Diet Dr Pepper. It's tearing my stomach up. It's a sad, sad day, and I know they'll notice it in their sales starting immediately. But I'm going to slowly make the transition. Cut back to one a day, then maybe one of the tiny ones a day. Then nothing. Nada. No more dark diet colas for me...


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Feast for the Senses

The fine folks over at The Diet Pulpit offered a link today to Bless their hearts!!!

(picture found on's own chockylit's flickr page)

I don't know about other dieters, but I L-O-V-E to watch the Food Network and look at food magazines more regularly than normal when I'm watching what I eat. I somehow feel like visually taking in the yummy, rich food will keep my brain satisfied and I won't have to actually ingest the food (HA! I typed "inject" the food). The cupcake blog may become a regular visit for me. "Food porn" I believe they call it, and it certainly does the trick for me...


cinnamon toast: 6 points

Mid-morning snack: banana: 2 points

Lunch: grilled cheese sandwich: 5 points
veggie soup: 1 point

Afternoon snack: trail mix: 3 points

Dinner: small filet: 3 points
steamed veggies: 1 point
sweet potato fries: 2 points

TOTAL: 23 points. One too many, darn it!!!

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Busy Week Ahead

It's Monday. And already I know it's going to be a busy week...

Wednesday I'm having lunch with a group of clients. Thursday I'm meeting Mom at the mall to shop for Gran's birthday during lunch and then stepping on the official scale that evening. Friday evening I'm driving to Brownwood for Gran's 75th birthday brunch the next morning. I'll then drive immediately back to Austin. Saturday evening we're going to a friend's crawfish boil/party, and Sunday is Mother's Day to be spent on the lake. My plan for getting through the weekly safely, with hopefully a loss???

  • When eating on the road, split a meal with Mom or order the kid size.
  • Put a few snacks like bananas or granola bars in my purse for when the need hits me.
  • Drink plenty of water. It's hard to do on the road. I'll be making a pit stop in every small town between here and there.
  • Eat a small piece of birthday cake. How often does Gran turn 75?!?!
Here's how my day went with points...

Smart Ones muffin: 4 points

Mid-morning snack: yogurt: 2 points

Lunch: grilled chicken sandwich: 5 points
cup of fruit: 1 points

Mid-afternoon snack: cheese toast: 4 points

Dinner: lasagna: 6 points
salad: 2 points

TOTAL: 24 points. Two from my wiggle-room points. "Not too shabby" as Cole would say.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

I Can't Breathe, But I Have a Plan

Allergies stink. Not that I can actually smell anything right now because I'm so stuffy and stopped up.

After I braved the scale yesterday and surprised myself by losing a pound for the week, I decided I really wanted to buckle down this coming week. I'm off to a great start today, even got to have dessert. But a little nervous about tomorrow.

My mom's cousin Clay and his wife, Betsy, are in town for the weekend from Dallas. We're meeting them for a BBQ lunch at the County Line on the Lake. Of course, it's okay to eat out while watching dieting. The trick is to plan. Plan. Plan. So, I'm planning on having the smoked turkey breast "lite lunch" with no cole slaw. Knowing their portions. I'll also be leaving half of everything on my plate.

Kashi hot cereal: 2 points
coffee: 1 point

Mid-morning snack: banana: 2 points
WW chocolate/raspberry bar: 1 point

Lunch: South Beach wraps: 5 points
crackers: 1 point

Mid-afternoon snack: trail mix: 3 points

Dinner: pork chops, apple and parmesan: 6 points

Dessert: WW ice cream bar: 2 points

TOTAL: 23 points. Nice.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Knowledge Is Power

It's Thursday. That means that come 6:30 p.m., it's time to step on the official Weight Watchers scale and hear the news. I didn't want to hear it this week. My gut told me there would be a tiny gain again (remember, last week I gained .4). I just didn't want to know.

So my plan was to go to the meeting and skip the scale. I would go and listen and participate, but I didn't want to hear that number.

The closer I got to the building, the more convinced I became that I should step on the scale. Okay. Fine. I'll step on the scale. When I got up to the counter to check in, I told Ruthie that I was very hesitant to weigh. I asked her if she would simply print my little weekly sticker and put it in my book. I told her that I didn't think I had had a very good week. My plan was to look at the sticker tomorrow, to take that information and learn from my bad week, and start fresh.

But to my surprise, I was down a full pound, for a total of 5.4 lost since going back to WW three weeks ago. Can I just say, I'm 31 down from my all-time high. That makes me proud, even if I did just lose just one tiny little pound this week.

muffin: 4 points
coffee w/Splenda and creamer: 1 point

Mid-morning snack: yogurt smoothie: 1 point

Lunch: quesadilla: 7 points
chips: 1.5 points

Mid-afternoon snack: yogurt: 2 points
granola bites: 2 bites

Dinner: pizza: 8 points (I'm guessing there)

TOTAL: 26.5 points for the day. Not great, but tomorrow is a new day.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Honesty, Health and Vanity

Brian over at Lose Weight With Me posted his list of the 10 reasons he's losing weight after he was inspired (or guilted, hehe) by other bloggers who had done the same. I thought I was losing weight for two reasons -- health and vanity -- but after reading his list, I think I can go a little deeper than that.
  1. The health of my body parts that I can't even see. Almost two years ago, my liver enzymes tested high at a regular annual check up. My doctor, correctly, thought that it was "fatty liver" and told me that losing a few pounds would probably correct the count. He was right and I haven't let myself get to that point again.
  2. The health of the parts I can see. When we're healthy, not just thin, we show it. Our skin has a glow, our hair is shiny and beautiful, our posture is better. I'm not losing weight just to look thinner, I'm losing weight to look (and be) healthier.
  3. Shopping sprees. I want to buy $150 jeans that my body will rock in. It's not fun to buy jeans in a size 14 or to have to go up a size when I find a must-have shirt. I like to shop when I know I can buy a size that I won't just physically be comfortable in, but that I will mentally be comfortable in too.
  4. Looking younger. Like Brian, I definitely want to look as young as possible. I won't ever look 21 again, but I don't have to look 35 either.
  5. Turning heads. Okay, my sweet husband tells me all the time that I'm hot because it's in his contract to do so, but catching the eye of a handsome stranger would definitely be a boost for the ol' ego. I don't remember the last time that happened...
  6. Staying away from needless meds. I don't want to have to take drugs prescribed for helping with high blood pressure or cholesterol. If I can, I'd like to lose enough weight and maintain that loss well enough to have those things under control naturally, which they are now. I just don't want to have to turn to the pharmacist for help on such things simply because of my weight.
  7. The possibility of becoming a mother. I would think that starting a pregnancy at a healthier, lower weight would make losing that after-baby weight much easier. Or at least there would be less to have to tackle if that time comes.
  8. Participating in life. I'd like to rock climb one of these days, and I don't want to be afraid that the ropes won't hold me or be afraid of the harness cutting off the circulation in my legs.
  9. Learning life's lessons. My mother struggled with her weight most of my life, and I learned a lot because of what she went through. She's now 175 pounds lighter and has been for five years, and I want her to know that she didn't just make a difference in her life and health, but in mine too.
  10. To look smokin' hot. Wait, did I mention that already?!?!

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