Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Like To Move It Move It

        I like to move it move, he likes to move it move it, she likes to move it, we like to move it. All you moms out there have heard that song. The first time I heard it when I took Jake to see Madagascar years ago and it is still my favorite part of the movie. You can't help but start dancing. Some of us remember the beat from hanging out in the club. Well the truth is I do like to move it move it.
        I did not always move it. That is one of the reasons that I weigh what I do. There was a time when the most activity I got was cooking all the exremely fattening foods that my family and I love to eat. Seriously, frying pans after pans of chicken requires a lot of energy. But while I was enjoying those crispy vittles all I wanted to do was lay down and watch tv. I am not crapping on tv. No. TV is still my friend. But raising the remote control to turn the channel did not burn calories and I blew up to almost 300lbs mostly because I couldn't see my ever growing ass because I was sitting on it.
        The first step to beginning to exercise should be a little one. When I realized that I should exercise, I purchased a beginner's exercise tape. It was 30 minutes long. I decided that I would aspire to work out three times a week. There was a lot of sweating, cursing  and heavy breathing. And yes there was a lot of pain. So much pain that it hurt to get into the bed at night. I wanted to quit because I did not think it was a good thing to be in pain all the time. But there is a lesson with that pain I was experiencing. I was using a body that was not used to moving. I was ripping apart muscles and the pain was my muscles repairing themselves. I know this well because my hubby gives me this particular lecture when I whine about being in pain.
         Pretty soon three times a week became five times a week. Eventually the workout seemed easy and I added weights to exert more energy and create more muscles. Then something mysterious happened. My body started changing. There were muscles popping up in places I don't remember ever seeing muscles. My clothes became loose. I dropped a jean size and then a month later I dropped another jean size.  Walking long distances were no longer a struggle. I found excuses for walking longer distances.  When the Weight Watchers 5K Walk Challenge came along, I  couldn't wait to do it. And thanks to Tam, who organizes the monthly 5k's, we will walk again once the weather gets better. Come on Spring!!
         I began to challenge myself in other ways. I started to jog. At first all I could think about is that everyone is looking at me. But that was all in my head. I was embarrased to be the fat girl running. Now this fat girl jogs. And guess what? Sometimes there are people watching me and cheering me on. Sometimes it's those people cheering me on that keeps me from stopping.
        Thanks to my fellow WW member Sheryl, I rediscovered my love of riding a bike. I purchased a big pink Schwinn cruiser for my birthday. I would change as soon as I got home so that I could  get a bike ride in before the sun went down. The best part of my bike riding is that I can ride with my son Jake. He and I entered a bike tour together. That never would have happened if I didn't take that first step to move.

        I did not move as much this week as I normally do because I was stressed out. I did earn 32 activity points from all day errands and a couple of dvd workouts. I was so stressed out that when the weekend came around I could not function. I spent the weekend on my bed watching tv. And I felt soooo guilty about it because I felt as though I was letting myself down. But the truth is I needed a break. I did indulge a little bit this weekend. When I hit my boiling point and found myself screaming I said the hell with it . I poured myself a big glass of wine and had some pretzel rods with it because it had been hours since my last meal. I served myself a giant bowl of spaghetti( with a tossed salad) and planned to fall into a twelve hour coma. My boys were not having that coma business. They came into my room and watched tv with me. I kept trying to sedate myself with Twizzlers and frosted flakes. And then I was done. The next morning I got up and made Sunday breakfast for the family. I had one and two egg whites, a hash brown, and a blueberry bagel( 7pts- I forfeited my turkey bacon so that I could have it). I went back to business as usual. We fall down and we get back up. A binge really is not the end of everything.
       This week I lost 3.4lbs. Thank goodness for that .4 before it puts a tiny crack in my plateau. I hope that I am on the the road to a 50lbs loss. I spoke with my doctor today. I expressed to him that while I am patient about the fact that my journey will be a long one, I feel that I am losing a little too slow. I told him that I have seen people join our WW meeting and drop 50lbs in six months but I haven't lost 50lbs yet. So next week he is going to run some tests to see if there is a medical reason that my loss is slow.
      Everyone have a good week! And don't forget to move it move it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Paint It Black

          I need to state that I am a little delinquent with my blog this week. I chose the Rolling Stones "Paint It Black" because I feel a teensy weensy bit that way. I have been going through some things for a while and I believe I have hit maximum achievement of stress.
Definition of stress: The body's reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental, or emotional adjustment or response.
         Apparently the things I have been going through; heavy work load, being mother's manager, and the usual everyday life have turned into a bad dream. You know the kind of dream where you are running from a villain and you never get caught but you are forever running away. I cannot escape folks. I need to work. I need to live everyday. And no matter what happened in the past, I cannot cut off my mother. So what do I do? I turn my stress inward. I tried to pretend I can do it all because. well, I have no choice. Now my body is reacting.
         I have been saying for the last few weigh-ins that I did not lose or gain but this week I gained 3lbs even though I exercised more. I have been driving my chiropractor and massage therapist crazy because I am having so much upper back pain and that was not what I was being treated for. So I am in pain all the time now. My doctor checks my blood pressure every week and it has been going up every week. So there's my triple threat; weight gain, high blood pressure and pain. I am the hamster on the treadmill. I am Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction sitting on the floor turning the light on and off.
          But I am not giving up. I need to figure out a way around it. I would like to buy a Tool For Living.
Postive Self Talking
-I will try to control the size of my dinner plate a little better
-I will try to figure out ways to use my 49 bonus points instead of fearing them
-I will figure out a way to relax
-I will lose the weight.I did not think I would get there at first but I did. And I can do it again.
-I will lose 9lbs ( 3lbs I gained this week+ the six I need to reach the 50lbs goal)
         Not all was lost this week. I did push forward in my exercise.
Tues: 9019 steps all day = 5pts
Wed. all day= 1pt + 30 mins dvd= 3pts
Thurs. 7728 steps all day 4pts
Fri. 11,822 steps= 8pts
Sat. jog in while watching tv for 60mins + all day = 9pts
Sun. jog in place for 30 mins + all day = 7pts
Mon. Rest day
         I found that even though I could not get to the track, I could kill two birds with one stone by watching my dvr recordings and jogging in place. At first I said to myself that this is a load of BS but when I saw it add up on my pedometer and the amount of sweating I was doing, I realized that I was exercising and made peace with it. Indoor exercise does not have to be just dvds.
       I was called out by my leader Melanie as someone who tries to avoid using my 49 bonus points. I normally avoid them. I found that when I used them in the past that I did not lose as much weight. But right now while trying to break my plateau/gain I may need to rethink my bonus points strategy. So I will attempt to use my bonus points for the next couple of weeks to see if I am indeed hoarding them or even under-eating( yes WW can under-eat at times).
      There is a friend of mine that is going through "IT" right now working to get back on track.  At our meeting this week she spoke out about gaining and being very disappointed in losing her battle. But as we know battles rage on for ages. Any one with large amounts of weight to lose have to know that this journey goes on for a while. That does not mean that we do not fall down. We do. I do. It is the fortitude which we use to get back up and try again that makes us who we are. Tip #37 in the the new WW Ultimate 3 Month Tracker says;
" Make time for yourself: The WW plan isn't just about your relationship with food, it also helps you learn how to mak yourself a priority"
      I am one of those people who struggle with making myself a priority much much more than worry about what to eat. I am blogging right this minute while high from consuming a plain donut. I will tell you more about this weekend in my next blog. But I will leave you with two great things that happened this week.
    1) I finally used a tip that my massage therapist ( who is vegan) and from the WW website. In my struggle to eat more power foods, I finally made the frozen banana treat. I sliced two bananas and put them in a ziplock bag in the freezer.  After dinner that night, I blended them in my blender and they magically turned into banana ice cream. I mean it tasted really good like Chunky Monkey ice cream. I predict that all banana lovers with a blender try it.

   2) My little man Jacob was student of the month receiving a medal at the PTA meeting.

       Everyone have a super week!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Got The Power

           This week's meeting topic was about Power Foods. Now I don't know if I was having a senior moment or something but when my leader Melanie asked us to name some "power foods", I couldn't think of one thing (clutch pearls here :O).  I felt like I was there to take a test and all of the information flew straight out of my head. Seriously, I heard crickets chirping. She must have thought I was sleeping with my eyes open. But I wasn't. Sorry, Mel. This bothered me so much that I went home to do my homework. I logged onto the Weight Watchers website and brought up the list of power foods. This too was overwhelming. Here was this huge list of power foods staring me in the face. I made a mental note to myself to print this this out when I get a chance. Still feeling a little dazed, I went to track my food for the day. And there it was. I eat power foods all the time. I may not be in the" power foods challenge" but when I checked the last week of tracking on line I saw GREEN TRIANGLES everywhere.
egg whites- POW!
light multi grain Thomas english muffins( even though it is now 3pts) POW!
whole wheat spaghetti POW!
brown rice POW!
Zero Point Soup POW!
fruit  POW!
tossed salad POW!
            It seems that the changes that I made in my diet while paying close attention to the Weight Watchers guidelines was giving me POWER. And making better choices for me and my family in what I cook was giving them POWER too. And they don't even know it. SHHHH!
            This week I scored a +/- 0.0 lbs again. I did not lose or gain any weight. I am okay with this because there can be a few reasons why this is going on. So while it is too soon in my journey to be maintaining, I am glad I did not gain.
            I started out this week by making six servings of my Zero Point soup. My grab and go soup came in handy right away. We had a training session at work last week and lunch was served. I decided that morning that I was bringing my soup to the meeting because I did not want to wonder what was in the buffet. It turned out to be sandwiches. Now there's nothing wrong with sandwiches but I wanted to count what I was consuming and not worry about mayo, cheese , ham etc. I strolled into the meeting with my container, a small whole grain roll and a banana. That's right. POW! POW! POW! I shot the sheriff.
          Another change I made this week is water consumption. I was reading an article about how much water you should consume. It said that you should take your weight and divide that by two and that is how many ounces of water you should drink each day.
233 divided by 2=  177 ounces
         I am not going out like that. I have my WW water bottle at the office which is 24oz. So I drink two in the morning and one with lunch. The good side to this is that I am putting a lot of steps on my pedometer running to the ladies room all day. The bad side is that I think my kidneys are doing the backstroke. So on most weekdays I am cosuming 72oz. On the weekends and days I work from home, I have a 32 ounce refill
 water bottle . I drink three of those so that comes to 96oz. I am doing this to see if the amount of water I drink has any effect on my diet.
         Although I am counting the days to Spring along with Melanie, I am having those Winter blahs. It keeps snowing and snow I lose the track in my neighborhood. I know you're probably saying, Carin why don't you join a gym. All I can say is that it's not in the cards right now but I will join one eventually because I don't want to go through this next winter. In preparation for last week's snow storm, I decided to plan a Activity Snow Day. I purchased a new yoga mat (IN PINK!!!!!) and I pulled out all of my exercise dvd's and vhs tapes. Man were some of them dusty. The first one I tried was Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shredd.

I purchased this dvd over a year ago when I wanted to move up a level. It's a 22 minutes workout. But alas I am still not into her "kill me in 22 minutes" workout. I did the whole workout but I struggled quite a bit.

          Next up was the Weight Watchers "Get Moving Mix". This is a beginners level workout but it still packs a punch. I did the 20 mins "Fat Burning Basics" routine.

          Third, I did the WW "Walking Kit" . I bought this one so long ago that I forgot I owned it and I never used it (it was really dusty). So I decided to do the 30 mins routine which really is not just walking but aerobics as well. I was so happy  that I decided to do the 10 minutes Power Walk as well.
        Last but not least, I pulled out the AM Yoga ( for beginners) so that I could have a relaxing 15 mins stretch at the end of all that working out.  Usually when I go to the track, I am walk/jogging for 60 to 90 minutes.  So while I did not workout as hard (with the exception of that devil Jillian), I did workout for a long time.
22 mins + 20 mins+ 30 mins + 10 mins + 15 mins=  97 mins
        On Sunday, I pulled out an oldie but goodie; Richard Simmons Groovin' In The House. This workout was approximately 60 minutes and I was having so much fun with it that I did not feel time go by. So while I miss you sweet track, I am still sweating.
This week's activities
Tues.: all day- 2pts
Wed.: 2- 20mins dvd's - 4pts
Thurs.:all day - 8pts
Fri: all day- 6pts
Sat: dvd's- 6pts
Sun: all day-2pts + dvd- 4pts
Mon:all day 3pts + 2- 20 mins dvd- 4 pts
        I was catching up on my Fitness magazines when I came across a recipe for light mac and cheese. I have been denying my mac and cheese cravings for all the points they consume and usually make sure there is plenty of the box and frozen varieties for Jake. But I ripped out the page and picked up the ingredients on the way home. It is a Rocco DiSpirito recipe.

-Nonstick cooking spray
-4 oz whole wheat macaroni
-1/2 cup onion-garlic puree(will explain shortly)
-1/2 teaspoon dry mustard ( I eliminated it)
-pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 cup shredded 50 percent reduced fat cheddar ( I used Cabot's 50% sharp cheddar)
-1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
-1/4 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs( I just used whole plain bread crumbs)
-1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

** Onion-garlic puree
-chop one Vidalia onion and nine cloves of garlic
-put in microwaveable bowl with 1/2 cup of water and nuke for 10 mins
-place nuked onions and garlic in blender and puree

1)Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray an 8x8 cooking pan with cooking spray.
2) Boil macaroni. When cooked, drain water and put macaroni in cooking pan.
3)Bring your onion-garlic puree to a boil in a separate non stick pot and add seasoning and cheddar chesse , strirring often until the cheese has melted.
4)Remove the pot from the heat and whisk it the greek yogurt until you have a creamy sauce.
5)Pour the sauce into the 8x8 pan all over the macaroni and mix it together until every macaroni has sauce on it.
6)Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top and then sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the bread crumbs.
7) Bake for 10-15 mins in 425 degrees oven.
8) Take it out of the oven and devour it. It has four servings of a 2/3 cup at 8pts.

                 So this was my week.  I still weigh 233.6lbs but I'm okay. I had fun with diverse workouts and found out that I've got the power of power foods.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Beware The Triggers

           When I was a little girl, one of my favorite shows was The Bionic Woman. For anyone who has never heard of the Bionic Woman, it was about a woman would was so critically injured in an accident that they had to replace some of her body parts with electronic equipment. Suddenly she had new strength that no ordinary person could have. She had super hearing with a bionic ear drum. She could run really fast and jump really high because of her bionic legs. Her arms were so strong that she could rip a telephone book in half. I loved that show and wished I were her. No. I did not want to have a terrible accident. I wanted to be powerful. I wanted to be able to defeat the villains like her. I still do.
           As a grown up, there were a few other heroines that I admired like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Le Femme Nikita. I am a serious fan of those two. I have the dvd collections to prove it. Of course there is the extreme adventure of being able to kick ass and still be hot while doing it. But I looked pass the actresses who portrayed them and their obvious beauty. What I recognized at the end of every episode was that although these women were strong and courageous, they could never escape their duty. That's real folks. That's not fiction. I could identify with them because they wanted to get away from the things that at times made them feel powerless. But instead, they stayed and fought the good fight.
            I just came back from being home for two weeks on vacation. The first week leading into Christmas was so busy that I barely remember it. The second week had trials. I have been dealing with some family situations and I found myself more than once, eating as a defense mechanism. I was overwrought with the situations and the things that I had to do to repair some things but in the end I felt very powerless. This was my childhood . There was always drama. There was always someone sick, someone dying, someone acting out. I was invisable. I was shy and quiet. I did what I was told. Quite often I was the caretaker. There was rarely someone who saw how hurt I was inside because I could put the mask on so easily. You know the mask. The one where you say "it's okay. I didn't really need that" or " it's okay I don't really want that". In the end I wound up hurting myself. I did things and people and then when those things seemed like they would kill me, I did food.
          A funny thing about food is that you actually need it to survive. Your body runs on it. When you know that you're supposed to clean your plate because there are starving children somewhere, eating can't be so bad. But for me, eating was the only thing that didn't turn on me. Eventually it did turn on me. Most of the time I fought it off with some diet or another but it kept coming back. The previous week I ate a gingerbread donut because it smelled so good and it tasted so good. But last week I ate a donut and I can't remember what it tasted like. I purchased Three Muskateers bars for myself as a treat during vacation and never touched them for almost two weeks. It took one confrontation for me to eat them all in one sitting. I don't even remember if they were good.  And I was down and depressed and defeated.
         But you know what? I got up the next day and I did my grocery shopping, laundry, cooked dinner, did my hair  and I found the time to exercise on Sunday. I could not wait to get back to the Tuesday Happy Hour Weight Watchers meeting because I really needed to draw the support from my homies. I went on the Weight Watchers website before the meeting and I realized that I forgot my tools for living.
Positive Self-Talking:
I know that there are people I have known forever who do not mean to take me apart. I will however put myself back together again. I am stronger than this. I will not eat away my pain and gain weight. I will stay on target one pound at a time. Honey, I am the Bionic Woman. I have been damaged before and I may be damaged again but I will build myself a better, stronger , tougher, indestructable body. I will use that body for the forces of good not evil.
            I had some fun with Points Plus this week. Wednesday I spent the entire day in the emergency room with my mother. I had my happy breakfast before I left the house ( 2 boiled eggs, toast, preserves, oranges) and thank goodness I did because I did not eat another thing until ten o'clock that night. I know what you are thinking. What happened to bringing a packable snack. My mind was not thinking of food. I did however pack knitting needles and yarn and magazines I had negelected. Knitting was a big stress reducer. I ended up knitting two hats and a scarf. Normally, I would have been looking for a food truck and shoved anything that smelled good in my mouth. But I didn't. My mother started calling me Madame DeFarge. But the yarn kept me sane. By the time we got home, I realized that I never had time to shop for or plan dinner for me and the guys. Josh and Jake were good with boxed macaroni and cheese but all I could think of was the points. I was a little delerious with hunger. So I took inventory of what i had in the house. I sauteed some onions, mushrooms, eggplant and persimmons in a pan and tossed it with whole wheat spaghetti. It was the best quick meal I put together in a long time and hubby and I enjoyed it. And I finally used the three persimmons that had been on the kitchen counter since the week before.
               In the middle of all my chores on Sunday, I took advantage of the warm air to do some laps. The last time I did my laps, I ran the first one and walked the last three. I hadn't jogged in a while so those last three laps went on forever. This time I walked first. No one was out because it had been raining during the night. I had the track to myself and my MP3 player. It felt so wonderful to do that for myself that I walked four laps and then jogged for one. I even enjoyed running through two deep puddles five times. Yeah it was icky at first but once I moved on most of the water left my sneakers and I was fine. My depression was lifting. I knew I was going back to work and yes my Weight Watchers meeting. There was and is pain in my thighs but it was great.
            I did not do much activity last week.
Wed. - the ER= 1pt
Thurs. errands all day = 3pts
Fri & Sat = 0 pts
Sun. 5 laps ( 4 walk/3 jog) + chores came to 19,441 steps= 12 pts
Mon.- all day + 20 mins dvd = 4pts
            I did not gain or lose weight this week . This is a good feeling. It's like knowing all that I went through plus knowing what I know. I managed to manage. Even though I need to lose more, it was nice not to gain. This week I definitely have to workout more even though my thighs are still recovering from Sunday. I will have to be creative this weekend since there will be snow on the track. But I can do this. I am the Bionic Woman.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

An Ode To Breakfast

          I love breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day. It provides fuel for my body and keeps hunger far away until lunch.  My earliest favorite breakfast was two boiled eggs and toast. It was one of the first things I learned how to cook when I was a little girl. I could eat it every single day of the week. When I was little, I would only eat the egg whites. It used to drive my mother crazy because I was throwing away the Yolks(they are her favorite). I would take a yummy first bite and pop the yolks right out. I would eat the toast crust first and then the middle ( still my favorite part).

          As I got older, I learned how to cook the adult breakfast; bacon, scrambled eggs and toast. I got so good at it that I could crack an egg  with one hand. I learned to make sunnyside up eggs with perfection. Breakfast to me was a work of art. Breakfast was the only thing I knew how to cook until my early twenties. Eventually I learned how to cook dinner, but that's another story.
          I remember being on a diet in my twenties and I had decided that breakfast needed to be eliminated. I figured out how to get by on coffee and orange juice everyday and not eat breakfast. It sort of worked. I actually was not hungry for most of the day. Another time, I tried the Atkins Diet. It said to have eggs and bacon for breakfast. I remember thinking that I loved breakfast so much that I could do it easily. Unfortunately, I grew sick of the sight of scrambled eggs and bacon. I would take a few nibbles and toss the rest out.
         Weight Watchers taught me to eliminate points by having egg whites. No one was happier than me to hear that because I love egg whites. Monday through Friday, I began starting out my day with one egg white on an english muffin with a slice of cheese. The cook in the deli in my office building knew what I wanted and it worked out until he quit. They replaced him with a cook who decided it was more important to flirt instead of listening to my order. When I got to my desk,I realized he kept forgetting the cheese. I was really pissed off since breakfast was an enjoyable part of my day. But even I realized that I did not need cheese. I began requesting two egg whites instead. It turned out that the two eggs whites were more filling. 

I also have one or two oranges with my breakfast. This is important for a few reasons.
1) Fruits were low points. Now they are zero points.Yaay!
2) It is better to eat fruit to add fiber to your diet than to drink it.
3) I take blood pressure medication and sometimes it depletes my potassium levels. My docter suggested that I eat a banana or drink orange juice.

        Sometimes my money is tight or I feel like a change. When this happens, I kept sugar free instant oatmeal packets in my desk drawer. I will purchase a container of blueberries from the local fruit vendor or frozen blueberries from the grocery store and bring some to work with me. I have tried other fruits in my oatmeal but I do not enjoy them as much as the blueberries. I also have the orange on the side in addition to the blueberries.
        Most Sundays, breakfast is special to me. I go into the kitchen and cook for me and the family. Here are some of the breakfasts we frequent;

frozen hash brown baked in oven
Scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast. ( I still have egg whites. I cook regular bacon for the troops and eat turkey bacon for myself.)

Whole wheat blend blueberry pancakes with light syrup and brown and serve maple sausages. (Jake usually has plain or banana pancakes. He does not like blueberries.Also I do not have sausage to save on points.)

           On the days that I eat breakfast at home, I go back to my old favorite two boiled eggs, a light english muffin with Smuckers sugar free strawberry preserves and two oranges. I no longer throw away the yolks and I still eat my toast crust first. I only make it for myself. It's my selfish breakfast . That breakfast and a taped episode of Morning Joe or The View are a sweet experience.