Something to chew on

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Treats

I could eat my weight in candy corn. Seriously. Real candy corn, not the chocolate or caramel or green apple kind. The old-fashioned, yummy stuffy that'll give you a stomachache when you eat too much...

So, what are you handing out to the ghosts and goblins and princesses that show up at your door this evening???

I wanted to buy some little toys like bottles of bubbles or something along those lines (last year we handed out play-doh and giant gummy spiders), but I just didn't get around to the toy shopping this year. So it's individual packages of Scooby-Doo cookies and Sponge Bob crackers, Twizlers, Reese's white chocolate peanut-butter cups and mini M&Ms. As of press time, I've had one little packet of the M&Ms and one peanut-butter cup. I think I've shown tremendous control!!! hehe

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ten Things to Do Other Than Eat

This is probably a list that I should print and post go on my refrigerator and pantry doors. When I think I'm starving and must eat NOW -- but am not even really physically hungry -- I need a gentle reminder that there are other things that can fill the moment.
  1. Drink a glass of water.
  2. Call my grandmother.
  3. Make a card for a friend or scrapbook.
  4. Hit the floor with some push-ups.
  5. Walk a dog. Or two. Or three.
  6. Watch a few minutes of the Food Network.
  7. Read.
  8. Blog.
  9. Write an article for work.
  10. Clean something.
Others you can think of??? The longer the list, the better...

Here's how my day ended up.

Breakfast: breakfast sandwich: 5 points
(The new Jimmy Dean D-light with Canadian bacon)

Mid-morning snack: WW yogurt: 1 point

Lunch: chicken nuggets: 4 points
fruit cup: 1 point
snack cakes: 1 point

Afternoon snack: mixed nuts: 3 points
carrots: 0 points

Dinner: pork chops: 3 points
apple: 1 point
parmesan: 1 point

TOTAL: 20 points. Wow. It can be done!!!


Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday Food Journal

Breakfast: oatmeal: 2 points

Mid-morning snack: apple parfait: 2 points

Lunch: English muffin pizzas: 4 points
pretzels: 2 points
mini M&Ms: 2 points

Afternoon snack: butternut squash: 2 points

Dinner: quesadilla: 5 points
chips and salsa: 2 points

TOTAL: 21 points. Good deal...


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday Painting Fun

Three-quarters of the bathroom is painted in "Sparrow" -- a nice shade of silvery-gray. Tomorrow night I will finish up the fourth wall with "Dark Granite" -- a deeper charcoal color that Cole's younger sister Erin suggested for our new bathroom combo. I'm pleased with the way things are looking...

Nutrigrain bar: 3 points
breakfast taco: 6 points

Lunch: sandwich: 8 points
chips: 4 points
cookie: 4 points

Evening snack: banana: 2 points
mixed nuts: 2 points

Activity points for painting the front bathroom: 6 points

I normally don't calculate activity points, but after taping and cleaning and painting for about three hours, I'll include it just for fun here. That would bring my total to 23 for the day. Not a bad start to the week.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

No Wonder...

If you've been keeping up with the numbers, you know that I've been bouncing back and forth within the same two pounds for about six weeks. (Today I banked a 0.2-pound loss.) Well, come to find out, I've been miscalculating my points. Not miscalculating really, just not adjusting my daily points target as I should...

I can't give you the full formula here for fear of getting a letter from the Weight Watchers lawyers, but when I first joined, I calculated my points based on what I weighed at the time (and other important factors). Did you know that each time you lose enough weight to fall below a zero, you're supposed to take a point away?!?! (Say, going from the 170s into the 160s.) Shocking. So now instead of aiming for 22 points every day, I'll now be shooting for 20. Twenty points. My brain fears that that might not even be possible. But it is.

I'll have to make the change by doing things like eating carrots at lunch instead of chips and salsa (exactly two points). Maybe having an apple instead of a banana as my mid-morning snack (saving one point). Switching from whole-fat cheese to some made with 2 percent milk instead (saving one point). And just keeping complete control of my portions. I bought the cutest little red square plates today...

Anyway, it can be done. And I'll probably start seeing an immediate difference on the scale. The good news??? I won't have to drop my number of daily points again before reaching goal. And I know after this unintentional six-week experiment that maintenance will be fairly smooth for me...

On another note: I discovered that Time Warner Cable has a fitness-on-demand channel (channel 1431 here in Austin if you have digital cable). I did 11 minutes worth of abs this morning after we went for a long family walk. I'm sure I'll be sore in the morning...

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday Food Journal

Just a quick journal... Oh, and a picture of tonight's dinner.

Breakfast: oatmeal: 3 points (I tried the third Quaker Simple Harvest flavor this morning, the vanilla, almond and honey. As yummy as the other two!!!)

Mid-morning snack: banana: 2 points
brownie bites: 2 points
(I knew better than to buy these.)

Lunch: chicken salad sandwich: 6 points
chips: 2 points

Afternoon snack: mini bagel and peanut butter: 5 points

Dinner: grilled chicken: 4 points
roasted veggies: 0 points

TOTAL: 24 points. Better. But I'm definitely going to hit my target of 22 tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I Don't Want to, But Here Goes

It's days like this that I don't want to blog. I don't want to look at the list of everything I ate, flashing at me in bright, red neon lights. Well, it's in black and white, but you know what I mean.

On the other hand, that's why I'm here: To keep track. To be accountable. To be mindful of what I'm eating in the course of a day.

I've made strides when I compare my menus lately to what I might have eaten just a few short years ago. But I still can't help but feel a little guilty when I have a day like this. A day with too few fruits, too few veggies and just too much food. I guess that means I'm learning the lessons. I'm learning how to control my portions and how to recognize when I've gone too far. Now if I can just keep from getting to the "too far" point, I'll be doing great!!!

Nutrigrain bar: 3 points
(I was just famished after walking the dogs.)

Breakfast: oatmeal: 2 points

Mid-morning snack: fruit salad: 2 points

Lunch: taco: 4 points
chips and salsa: 3 points
two tortillas: 4 points
South Beach cookies: 2 points

Afternoon snack: mini fig newtons: 2 points

Dinner: pizza rolls: 12 points
brownie bites: 2 points

TOTAL: 36. Shameful.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's Cold

I love this time of year. The air is cool and crisp, but the sun shines through and feels so cozy and warm through the breeze. If there was a place where it was the beginning of fall year-round, I would live there.

And that makes me think about the holidays. And that makes me stress over what I'm going to eat at the nine family dinners that we'll be attending over the next couple of months. I need to start to narrow my dishes down, the dishes that I'll be contributing to these bountiful potluck meals. I want to take something healthy and beautiful.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how healthful our dinners are becoming, but they lack some sort of visual WOW factor. I need to learn to carve roses out of radishes or fashion swans out of white peaches. I just want to be visually pleased while eating healthy. For some reason my mind believes that if a dish looks good, it will be. I tend to go for the chocolate cake or brownie because it looks so good. If I can get our healthy plates to look good, I think it will make a big difference in not wanting to go "off program."

I wonder if I dare challenge myself to lose four pounds by Thanksgiving...

My day in points:

Breakfast: oatmeal: 3 points

Mid-morning snack: banana: 2 points

Lunch: chicken/cranberry salad: 6 points
100-calorie Three Musketeers: 2 points

Afternoon snack: mixed nuts: 3 points

Dinner (pictured above): grilled sausage: 4 points
fruit salad: 2 points
grilled tomatoes: 0 points

TOTAL: 22 points. It's nice to be back on track...

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Friday, October 19, 2007

I'm Weak

I broke. I wanted to make it all the way through the week. I wanted the official number Saturday morning to be a surprise. But I guess I didn't want it bad enough. Because this morning, I stepped on the scale. And it was not a pretty picture.

I blame it on the steak fajitas last night. Mind you, mine were wrapped in lettuce and there was no sour cream or guacamole or anything horrible. I think it's simply the weight of the steak sitting in my stomach like a ton of bricks. So, today I've been very strict with my points (as I should every day) and all but water-logging myself. We'll see how tomorrow morning goes.

Then I have to drive to Brownwood. That's enough to make me want to take up drinking, let alone eating like a crazed woman...

Breakfast: oatmeal: 3 points

Mid-morning snack: mini fig newtons: 2 points

Lunch: baked potato: 6 points
snack cakes: 1 point

Afternoon snack: peanut butter toast: 5 points

Dinner: quesadilla: 3 points
chips: 2 points

TOTAL: 22 points. Why can't I do that every day?!?!

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

My Red-Flag Weight

Not long ago, I thought that I would set my red-flag weight after I reached my goal weight. Well, I haven't reached goal yet -- I'm hovering 7-8 pounds away -- but I'm ready to declare the weight which I will never go above again.

My all-time highest weight was 188. Wow. It's so odd to me to think that I was ever up that far and that at the time I was okay with it... for a while at least. It's amazing to me how/why/when the brain and the heart get together and decide to make the body healthy, but that's a post for another day. So, after deciding it was time to get healthy and lose some weight, I proudly got down to about 142. Then up to 170ish, then down to 150ish and then back up to 162, which is where I was when I started this round of Weight Watchers.

But along that roller-coaster ride, as I saw my weight start to creep back up, I would tell myself things like: "Okay, two more pounds and I'll get to work again." "Seriously, no more than one pound above where I am today." "Really, I won't let myself go over 155." Then it became 157; then I let it become 160. I never set my red-flag weight. But I'm doing it right now.

So here it is: 150. And that may change. Once I hit my goal, I'd like to be able to say that I'll stay there, at goal, for ever and ever. But in case I don't, I need a number that will hit me like a ton of bricks and tell me that it's time to cut out the sweets or jog a little further with Thunder or do 25 more push ups before going to bed.

Breakfast: oatmeal: 3 points

Mid-morning snack: banana: 2 points

Lunch: sandwich: 5 points
chips and salsa: 2 points
snack cake: 1 point

Afternoon snack: oatmeal: 2 points
banana: 2 points

Dinner: fajitas: 6 points
wrapped in lettuce, no tortillas

TOTAL: 23 points.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday Food Journal

I'm having deep thoughts about my red-flag weight, you know, the weight which I will never allow myself to go above again. But I'm tired. So I think it will have to wait until tomorrow.

You get my fascinating food journal instead...

Breakfast: oatmeal: 3 points

Mid-morning snack: banana: 2 points

Lunch: grilled cheese sandwich: 7 points
chips and salsa: 2 points

Afternoon snack: oatmeal: 2 points

Dinner: grilled chicken: 4 points
steamed green beans: 0 points
roasted asparagus: 0 points
ice cream: 6 points

TOTAL: 26 points. Not bad considering there was ice cream in the mix.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Avoiding the Scale

I'm gonna try it this week. I'm not going to get on the scale here at the house. I will rely on healthy eating and activity, and I will just wait to see the magic number Saturday morning when I weigh in at my meeting. Since starting my weight-loss journey several years ago, I don't think I've ever gone a full week without weighing in the privacy of my own bathroom, several times even. I normally do it just to get a feel for how the week is going and to tell myself when it's time to buckle down. But this week, the number will not be the focus. I will focus on hitting my points target each day, drinking more than enough water and letting Thunder take me for a jog every evening.

Oh, and I tried a new flavor of the Quaker Simple Harvest oatmeal this morning: the apples with cinnamon. Now, when I tried the first flavor, I was very pleased with the taste, the all-natural ingredients list and the fact that it only had 3 WW points. But the apples with cinnamon only has 2 points when made with water. 150 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 4 grams of fiber. I think I like the maple and brown sugar version better so far, but I love the 2 points in the apples and cinnamon. Vanilla, almond and honey is next.

Breakfast: oatmeal: 2 points
banana: 2 points

Mid-morning snack: yogurt: 1 point
(tried the WW vanilla for the first time today)

Lunch: chicken and pasta: 7 points
5 saltines: 1 point
snack cakes: 1 point

Afternoon snack: mixed nuts: 3 points
sugar-free pudding: 1 point

Dinner: BBQ cup: 5 points
grilled fruit: 1 point

TOTAL: 24 points. Darn nuts.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Small Gain

Stepped on the scale this morning at Weight Watchers, and I packed on 0.6 pounds in New York City. I'm actually quite pleased that it wasn't more than that. It makes me think that I'm actually going from dieting to "living as a fit and healthy person."

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Because You Can Never Eat Too Much Pizza

Here's a quick lunch or dinner that even Stacey could make: English muffin pizzas.

Mom used to make these when I was a kid, and I hadn't thought of them for probably 15 years until just about a year ago. So quick and easy, and they can even be Weight Watchers-friendly.

So, split an English muffin or two and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Get the oven preheating to 350 degrees. Put your favorite pasta sauce or tomato sauce on the split muffins. Add your favorite cheese and toppings, and bake 10-12 minutes. Easy as pie. Pizza pie.

I've been using the Thomas brand 100-calorie English muffins. High in fiber and low in fat, one muffin is only one WW point.

Breakfast: Smart Ones muffin: 4 points

Mid-morning snack: banana: 2 points

Lunch: English muffin pizzas: 4 points
10 saltines: 2 points
snack cakes: 1 point

Afternoon snack: oatmeal: 3 points

Dinner: spring rolls: 6 points
won ton soup: 2 points

TOTAL: 24 points.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Into the Groove

I hope that come Saturday morning, when I step on the scale on Weight Watchers, I can at least have maintained. I didn't want to, but I stepped on our scale here this morning. I was having scale withdrawals after five days of having no idea what the numbers were doing.

I was pleasantly surprised. But getting back into the groove today and tomorrow will be the trick and tell the truth. We'll see how it goes...

Today in points:

Breakfast: oatmeal: 3 points

Mid-morning snack: apple parfait: 2 points

Lunch: panini: 6 points
pretzels: 2 points

Afternoon snack: snack cakes: 1 point
fruit and grain bar: 2 points

Dinner: pork chops: 3 points
sweet potatoes: 3 points
snack cakes: 1 point

TOTAL: 23 points. I'm pleased for my first day back on track...


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Home From NYC

After eating our weight in pizza, we're finally home from five days in New York City.

We had an absolute blast -- and my pants did fit this morning when I got dressed -- but I haven't stepped on a scale yet to see the damage. Hopefully walking seven miles every day helped too...

Back on track tomorrow...

It's good to be home.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My New Favorite Breakfast

Have you tried Quaker's new Simple Harvest oatmeal yet??? You should. It's so good!!!

So far, I've only tried the Maple Brown Sugar With Pecans variety, and I give it two thumbs up. It doesn't look or feel or taste the least bit artificial. That's because it's not. So yummy. I can't wait to try the other flavors.

Listen to this ingredients list of words I can so pronounce:
  • Whole grain rolled oats
  • Whole grain rolled wheat
  • Rolled barley
  • Whole grain rolled rye
  • Sugar
  • Pecans
  • Whole flaxseed
  • Oat flour
  • Natural flavors
  • Salt
  • Molasses
With 160 calories, 3.5 grams of fat and 4 grams of fiber, each packet (when made with water) is just 3 Weight Watchers points. There are also 4 grams of protein to keep you going through the morning. I didn't even need a mid-morning snack today.

Let me know what you think.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Five Thoughts to Carry

This is a note to self, so please don't feel like you have to read it...

When traveling this week, the following five things will help me stay in control:
  1. Watch portions!!! It's okay to eat just half of what's on my plate and waste the rest.
  2. Get some fresh fruits and veggies in every day.
  3. Drink more than enough water.
  4. Wear the pedometer every day. The highest number I've ever seen on the pedometer was around 19,000. It'd be nice to hit 10,000 each day.
  5. It's okay to have fun. I will not feel guilty about the cupcake I'm going to enjoy Sunday evening.
Today's points:

Smart Ones muffin: 4 points

Mid-morning snack: banana: 2 points

Lunch: nuggets: 3 points
fruit cup: 1 point
snack cakes: 1 point

Afternoon snack: English muffin w/peanut butter: 4 points

Dinner: pork chop: 4 points
apple: 1 point
parm crisps: 2 points
snack cakes: 1 point

TOTAL: 23 points

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