Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lifting Me Higher

              I started out two weeks ago feeling bad about not working the program. So I got into it. Points Plus gave me a boost in two very important ways. Fruit and exercise. You're probably thinking, Carin weren't you already doing those things. Yes I was, but I was also losing some of my mojo due to the change in season/weather. I was feeling depressed about it being dark in the mornings and early evenings. I was feeling down about being bundled up in my coat. By the time I got home at night, I just wanted to crawl into bed. The introduction of the new Points Plus made me pay close attention to things again.
              At first, I did not lose weight and that can be a little frustrating. But then I pushed myself just a little. I bought a new pedometer and found out that the activity points are higher. I told myself that I could do at least two points a day to get started.
Day 1: all day =   4pts
Day 2: two 20 mins dvd workouts = 4pts
Day 3: all day + two 20 mins dvd workouts = 6pts
Day 4: all day = 3pts
Day 5: all day + four laps walk/jog aournd track = 10pts
Day 6: rest day
Day 7: all day + two 20mins dvd workouts = 5pts
Total for the week: 32pts
         I surprised myself that I could do that much when I push toward a goal of more activity. I also did all that activity while fighting a head cold.  I also ate more. I had two major challenges on Day 3 and Day 4. On Thursday, we had our annual holiday luncheon. When my leader Melanie asked us about our upcoming challenges, I had forgotten about the annual luncheon. The food is served buffet style and yes, the dessert has its own table. Also, you are in the room with the food for two hours playing Bingo. So I brought my trusty camera so the you could see all of my options.

          I chose a small square of veggie lasagna, salad ( wild bitter greens- I could not eat them), seafood salad ( vinagrette not mayo) and melon.
 I was never so happy to see fruit in my life. Before Points Plus, this would have been a situation. But when I saw the melon. I knew it would workout. So while some folks were scarfing down petit fours, I was eating honeydew melon. At the end of our lucnheon, our manager has a couple of giant baskets filled with assorted chocolates. We are each allowed to take one as we exit. I saw a jar of olives in the basket and claimed it for my own. Olives before chocolate. I also won a theater card and a metro card at Bingo.

           As though the luncheon was not a big enough challenge, the next day I was invited to a farewell for one of my co-workers. The menu for the farewell was cupcakes and champagne. CUPCAKES AND CHAMPAGNE!! But I went to the farewell and politely said "no thank you". And when I got back to my desk, there was a banana waiting for me. Every Monday I buy a banana and keep it in my desk drawer. I call the my "IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY BREAK GLASS" banana. It's there just in case I feel a little hungry or my stress level rises to the point that I need to medicate myself with something in my mouth.

         When I went to my meeting the next week I lost 3.6lbs which was kind enough to bring me back to my 44lbs weight loss. There was another wonderful surprise at that meeting. Dave, the marvelous CEO of Weight Watchers was present for Tuesday night meeting happy hour.

          My next challenge was my first week of vacation. I usually do well on vacation because I have more free time to plan workouts. But not the week leading into Christmas. I do not drive and tend to walk to most of my local errands. Even though I was not able to do a formal workout, I racked up alot of activity points.
Tuesday: all day: 4pts
Wednesday: all day : 6pts
Thursday: all day : 8pts
Friday: all day: 6pts
Saturday/Christmas: rest day
Sunday: all day: 7pts
Monday/Snow day: rest day
Total: 31 points
          I did have food challenges. I bought Dunkin Donuts for the guys and wound up eating two of those decadent gingerbread donuts. Damn you gingerbread donuts!  Those things are so wrong. My friend Angie invited me and the boys to her office holiday party which is geared towards the children. The menu was chicken nuggets, french fries, macaroni and cheese, mini burgers and fries, pigs in a blanket, mini pizzas and low and behold a fruit cup. 

These are for you, Tam.

         I chose pigs in a blanket, fruit cup and water.  I was tempted to have the cupcakes folks. Very tempted. As a matter of fact, after passing them again, I picked up another fruit cup.

         The next day we went to my sister's house for Christmas eve. Here is where I lost reason. The dinner was good and I took very small portions of everything, but I consumed way too many Ghiradelli chocolates that my sister laid out on the coffee table. I swear I must have eaten between 8-10 of those things. When did they create ones with peanut butter inside?  For my own family, Christmas dinner was turkey burgers, frozen fries and onion rings. A couple of years ago I decided to stop making a multi-course dinner on Christmas because my extended family celebrates on Christmas Eve. Since it's just us at home on Christmas day, we chose to eat like any other day. It saves on there wear and tear on me and it's still a good dinner.
          I have to confess that I made lasagna and homemade blueberry pie on Sunday. I had extra lasagna and chased it down with a slice of pie. I paid for my crime when my husband and I were in a fetal position for the rest of the evening.
           Yesterday my son Josh and I were catching up on the last two episodes of Fringe on dvr. Sometimes this turns into a snack fest. I decided to arm myself with two good snacks. Fat free popcorn and a pomagranite. I purchased two pomagranites from a fruit vendor on the way home from the kiddie cupcake party. I haven't had one in a while and they are alot of work. Eating one lasted a whole episode. I stocked up on bananas, pears, apples and oranges to keep me in check while home on vacation. So thank you to my meeting homies for recommending the pomagranite and the persimmons( I have no idea what to eat them with but I will give it a try). 

what do I do with these?
            Also a big thank you to Sheryl and Jenn. Their Jingle Jog insipred me to get out on the track and get back to jogging. I was only able to jog one lap and walk for the other three. It has been a while since I jogged and I was exhausted after one lap. But it was nice to complete one lap of jogging. I am hoping to do a running 5K in the spring so I need to get on it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Week That Got Away

         Hi! It's me , Abby the tabby. Remember I laughed at my crazy mom while she danced through West Side Story. I am writing my mom's blog this week to cut her a break.

                       This week did not go quite as planned. It started out okay. Mom worked out and planned two days in a row and then it hit her. "Life"! Life has a way of getting in the way of best laid plans. You humans allow life to drive you nuts when you should just do what I do. Go lay down and take a nap. She found herself dealing with situations and then caught a cold on top of that. On the third day she dealt with "Life" and did not work out because , you know, the weekend was coming and you can do a lot on the weekend. But she woke up to sinus trouble. I told her to rest a little bit and then do some laps and rest some more. But my wonderful older brother Josh decided to pull up the wall to wall carpet in two rooms for us and she could not let him work alone.Personally I would have.Plus he was removing my favorite thing in the world to scratch. So she found herself helping him move the piano, and the couches and the computer desk with the computer on top. Also, since he was pulling up the carpet, she was loading it up onto the shopping cart and bringing it down to the basement to dump. This went on into the night. And after she cooked dinner, she was cooked.
          She did not sleep most of the night, but she had Sunday. And then there was more "Life" and it went into most of the day. By the time she got home there was more dinner to cook. She did not sleep well that night either. On Monday, she did not take a sick day because she will be on vacation next week. So she dragged her sorry butt into the office. When she got home, she medicated myself and passed out. I had to look after her. A cat's work is never done.

         After all of that she was not looking forward to getting on the scale but I heard from a reliable source that she did it anyway. As it turns out, she gained 1.2lbs.Trust me, you don't want to know her on a bad weigh in day.She has a 'tude. Now I know it sounds like a wild pity party but it is behind us now.  She put it in a box,  put the box on a ship and watched it sail away. Bye, bye wasted week!
         This week she is getting back to POINTS PLUS MADNESS. So she decided today that she was going to make the infamous Zero Point Vegetable Soup. I know what you're thinking. You mean she never tried to make the soup that it a gift to all Weight Watchers? No, she never did. I did my best to suggest it but some moms never listen.I finally opened up the new Points Plus Getting Started booklet to page 88 to show her and  I followed her up and down the kitchen watching her every move. I even took pictures. My mom made some changes to the recipe (mostly because my dad could not find zucchini and purchased dried minced garlic). She also added Sazon cilantro and tomato seasoning like she does to most stews and soups as well as two bay leaves. Mom also had some mushrooms left over in the fridge. I looked them up on E-Tools and I it says that they are zero points. Take a look.

bay leaves

1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/4 cup diced onions
2 tbsp minced dried garlic( dad may have improvised but this way it will last forever)
3 cups of fat free chicken broth
1 cup diced green cabbage
1 cup frozen chopped spinach
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup fresh mushrooms
2 dried bay leaves
1 packet Sazon cilantro & tomato seasoning
1 tsp black pepper (mom likes it hot)

                I snuck in a little taste when she left the kitchen and it was good. She put it into three containers. It did not come to six whole servings, so she now has three almost two cup servings to take to work. Mom can even put one in the freezer to take to work Monday morning.Hey wait a minute she's not going to working Monday morning. Maybe I'll have it for lunch while she is at work.

               Tune in next week to my mom's blog. I promise you that she will be on her game if I have to become her trainer like Bob and Jillian. By the way , did you see last night's season finally of the Biggest Loser. I knew Patrick was going to win all along. Mom was rooting for Ada the Terminator. Ciao.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action

            There's a new plan in town and I need to step up to it.Weight Watchers has designed a new plan called Points Plus.  I am still learning the way.  I have to admit that it took a few days for me to read the 'Getting Started' booklet. I need to read it a few more times.
            First of all, I gained some food points. I used to have 28 everyday points and 35 bonus points but now I have 33 everyday points and 49 bonus points. I am a little nervous because it has taken me a while to learn to eat less. Now I need to learn to eat more and still lose weight. I liked the safety of knowing what I like to eat and what will get me through the day. One of the great perks; fruit is now ZERO points. I am a big advocate of fruit. I like to eat it with my breakfast and my lunch. I love to think of my lunch fruit as my dessert. The plus side was that I rarely ate between meals because adding the fruit helped to fill me up. Just in case I am hungry during the day, I always keep and "In case of emergency- break glass" banana in my desk drawer and in my kitchen at home. WW wants to encourage people to eat their fruit as a "GO TO" snack. At night I usually like to have a processed snack ( this happens because of taste- rarely hunger). I allowed for these snacks for most days. Because of my long commute, some days I eat dinner so late that I do not require a snack. But now with Points Plus, I leave a piece of fruit on the counter top instead of in the fridge for negotiations. This means I negotiate whether or not I really want the process snack.

Do you think this fruit is zero point?
          I received a tip of advice from Tamra to try pre-tracking. This is an excellent device because it forces you to pay atention to what you eat again. My meeting homies,Tamra and Cindy sent me their pre-tracking for the day. So here was mine for today;
2 boiled egss- 4
1 english muffin- 3
1 tbsp Light Country Crock spread- 1

2 pieces whole wheat bread - 4
1 tbsp Skippy honey roasted peanut - 3
1 tbsp grape jelly - 1
1 banana- 0

2 chicken thighs- 7
1 cup brown rice- 5
1 cup carrots - 0
1 cup broccoli - 0

1/2 bag Orville's Smart Pop 94% fat free kettle korn - 4
1 pear- 0

      Lately, I haven't been working out. That is going to change. I already did two 20-minute workouts for today that gave me 4 activity points.  I am sad to say that I only did a few workouts in the past week.
Tues.- 3pts all day pedometer
Wed..- 3 pts all day pedometer
Thurs.- 30 mins aerobics dvd- 3 pts
Fri.-  3 pts all day pedometer
Sat. - walked four miles- 5pts
Sun- 0pts
Mon. walked 30 blocks for unch + all day - 5pts

This week's plan
Tues. all day- 4pts-complete
Wed.- two 20 mins dvd workouts back to back- complete
Thurs.- 30 mins walk at lunch and 30 mins dvd at night
Fri.- 30 mins dvd workout at night
Sat.- get back to four miles walk/jog
Sun.- get back to four miles walk/jog
Mon- 30 mins walk at lunch and 20 mins dvd workout at night

           Last week was my office Christmas party. Me and the hubby went all dressed up. I did not purchase a new dress because I went shopping in my closet. I found a LBD with beading on top that I wore about ten years ago. This will be the last time I wear this dress. It was too big. As a matter of fact, when I dress up I like to put on an industrial strength body shaper so that I look smooth. While cleaning up, I found a body shaper I purchased a few years ago. It was one of those numbers you see on an informercial on television that promises to make you look 10-20lbs thinner instantly. It says so on the box. I ordered it in the largest size. But when I tried it on, I was so fat that it did not fit. Can you imagine purchasing something that is supposed to help you and it does not work? I was too embarrassed to even return it. The box lanuished in a corner in my room. But Friday night I pulled it out so that I would look smooth in my cocktail dress. Guess what happenend? The body shaper was so big that it kept popping out of the top of the dress. I finally had to take it off before we left for the party. Also, the dress was pretty loose itself. I had to ask my hubby to let me know when/if my bra was showing because the top of the dress was too big and kept shifting from side to side.
            Here is what I ate at the party;

drink one

I only had two drinks

       The sudden extreme cold weather made me hunt for warmer clothes. In the back of my closet, I found about five turtlrnecks and sweaters that I haven't worn in years because I was too big. In a turtle neck I looked like a sausage. So I washed them and kept warm during the past week. They all fit very well.
       Saturday I dragged the boys into the city for the big yarn sale. That's right! I like to knit and crochet.We had to walk all the way to the west side of Manhattan to the hotel where the yarn sale was taking place at warp speed through tons of happy tourists at Christmas time.When we arrived I blissed out while Jake and Josh carried the yarn for me. Then we had to walk all the way back to the east side. It was freezing cold so walking very fast helps. I clocked four miles on my pedometer that day.And I purchased some yarn too. Did I tell you that I like yarn. I am in the middle of a special project and I needed a specific knitting needle to finish it. Up until now, I have made things for babies and hats and scarves too. But every time I thought about making something for me to wear I would get frustrated. By the time I would cast on all the stitches to make it, I would think how long it is going to take me to finish something big enough for me to wear. My yarn guru showed me a shrug she made for herself . This inspired me. I decided it was time to do it. I was almost finished when I realized I needed another tool to complete it. When I put on what I had completed, I started to cry. My hubby looked at me as though I had lost my mind. He asked "didn't you make something for yourself before?" I had to reply "no". I had never taken the time to make myself clothing. I asked him "what is my MO?" He had to reply that I always do for everyone else and not myself.  Weight Watchers has not only helped me lose weight but it has helped me realize that 'bit of selfishness' that I need to take care of me. I will debut me shrug when I finish it.


I love yarn!
          This week I plan to KICK IT UP A NOTCH! (Quoting Emeril Lagesse is fun). Stop the whining and the complaining and get back into moving more. At last week's weigh-in I gained 2.6lbs. At this week's weigh-in I lost .2lbs. My total loss right now is 41.6lbs and I weigh 236.0lbs. I am hoping that my renewal with the POINTS PLUS plan will help me get to a 50lbs loss. Right now that is as far as my telescope can see. I need to get out of the 230's and up to a 50lbs loss.