Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Since I didn't eat much for breakfast, I was hungry and ate a sort of big but healthy lunch at Au Bon Pain. That 5 point Asian Chicken Salad is becoming a staple, plus a tomato soup and a breadstick. It's both a blessing and a curse that Au Bon Pain takes debit cards!
A friend of mine emailed me mid-afternoon to see if I felt playing hooky, which I did. We intended to go hit a museum but our timing was off, so we ended up at a Cosi drinking hot cider. There're some beverage points I hadn't counted on. But it was so cold in that wind that the cider hit the spot.
I rounded up the day with the aforementioned dinner plans with the BFF gang. After a lot of discussion where none of us were really feeling any of the dinner options, we ended up at an old standby, Gordon Biersch. I went for the same combo I had last week - a glass of wine and the Hawaiian Chicken. The key is to not eat very much of that heavy but tasty jasmine rice.
So, I did eat a lot of food today, but I think I'm fairly accurate on counting myself at 5.5 points over. Once again, that's what Flex Points are for!
Thanks, everyone, for all of your breakfast suggestions! I'm certainly not a regular at a fancy-shmance place like the Hay-Adams, so hopefully I won't have that dilemma again for a while!
Monday, January 30, 2006
Breakfast is at the Hay-Adams (yes, fancy), and here's the menu. It looks like I'll need to stick to that first section of fruits and yogurt. Although a goat cheese, tomato and basil omelet sounds freakin' fantastic. Made with egg beaters? Maybe.....
Sunday, January 29, 2006
South Beach Bars - $2.50/box of 6, usual price $3.49
Nabisco 100 Calorie Pak, Chips Ahoy - $2.50, reg price $2.99
Yoplait Nouriche Light Smoothies - $1.66, reg price $1.99
Lucerne Light Yogurt Smoothies - $1.25, reg price $1.69
Butterball Turkey Kielbasa - $3.00, reg price $3.99 (Lady B, this is my favorite brand)
I have to say, though, that Sunday night is not a good time to go to the Columbia Road Safeway. Everything is very picked over (there was no fat-free milk on the shelves) and the lines are v.v. long.
But, there is one area where I need to do a better job of sticking to the plan. WW wants you to make sure you're still getting balanced nutrition, even as you're eating a lot less. They have strong suggestions on what you need to make sure you're getting every day - and the online Points Tracker even has little icons for each of these that you're supposed to tick off as you're eating meals throughout the day.
According to WW, you need 3 servings of dairy, 6 servings of water, and 6 servings of fruits/veggies every single day. I'm pretty good about the water, but I do need to work on making sure that I get in my dairy and fruit/veggies on a daily basis. I'm finding that I do still consume protein and starch pretty darn regularly, so I have to find ways to work more balance into the diet.
Most days, I do start out with a breakfast of non-fat yogurt, but I need to figure out how to keep getting 2 more servings of dairy every day. Even though it adds points, it's good to get a slice of cheese on a sandwich or to sprinkle some atop whatever salad or soup you're eating. Fat-free or reduced-fat shredded cheese is a good staple to keep in the fridge - I need to be better about tossing some into my egg beaters or in other meals. I'm not a regular milk drinker and I HATE cottage cheese, so I've just got to keep trying new low-point ways to use cheese in my diet.
And the fruits and veggies? Well, that seems to be a challenge for a lot of people I know, who tend to have a lot of meals out and aren't home cooking all the time. Thank goodness for Au Bon Pain soups and salads and for those Green Giant frozen veggies. I just have to force myself to eat more of the good stuff every day.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
AS and I met up at my place then walked the 20 minutes or so down to Dupont Circle. For the 2nd time this month, I was *foiled* by a favorite restaurant being under renovation (first Cafe Asia, now Luna Grill) so we had to improvise on our choice for dinner.
We ended up at Bertucci's. It's not a favorite normally, but it was close by and fit the budget for the evening, and I knew I could get a big salad. I ended up getting a cup of minestrone soup (with romano cheese sprinkled on top) and then their grilled chicken spinach salad. I did eat a roll with the oil dipping sauce, too, cuz I was starving. Their menu does not have many diet-friendly choices AT ALL, but sometimes that makes it a lot easier to just pick something that looks like it's the best option.
When it came time to tally up the points, I was also foiled by an apparent lack of availability of Bertucci's nutrition info. It wasn't available on Dotti's or other diet web sites, either. So, I estimated. I came up with 19.5 points for dinner. That's pretty hefty, but I still was able to stay OP for the day because I'd eaten so little earlier on and because I earned 2 Activity Points in the walking.
Still truckin' along....!
Friday, January 27, 2006
I came back and did an approximate calculation of the points. Both shrimp and pineapple are extremely low in points (8 large shrimp = 1.5 points. BOSS.) so the real damage was in the curry sauce itself. I gave a fair calculation that I actually ate about 1/3 cup of the sauce itself, which is 6.5 points. A 1/2 cup is 10 points. Yowza. All told, I'm giving this lunch 10 points. That's a lot for the small amount of food that I ate, but it was so worth every deeeeelicious bite.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Anyway... I thought I had gone way over my points today. It was a very busy day, and I knew that I was going to have some temptations. I was leading my first-ever staff retreat all afternoon (it went very well, thanks for asking :-) and I knew that I had to bring some treats to get my staff through the 3-hour meeting. Then I was meeting a friend for dinner.
I planned for this rocky day with a small 4 pt breakfast and I really skimped on lunch, eating only a 5 point Lean Cuisine. The chicken caesar bowl thingy is actually pretty tasty and filling. Then, I got a mix of treats for the meeting - something for every taste, as available at CVS: a package of Chewy Chips Ahoy, a can of salted cashews, and 2 packages of sugar-free chocolate candy. The sugar-free stuff was for me, so I would feel better about it. The meeting worked out well, actually, cuz I spent the first 1.5 hours standing up writing on the big notepad on the easel. So I was away from the table when my staff really chowed down on the treats! I did have 3 Chips Ahoy and 2 sugar-free mini peanut butter cups. By the time we got to dinner at Gordon Biersch, I was pretty hungry. But I was also really craving some protein, and I've learned to go with that when my body says so. I picked one of the lighter things on the menu - the Hawaiian chicken. It came out as 2 small grilled chicken cutlets with a side of pineapple and jasmine rice, plus a mixed greens salad. I ate *a lot* - all of the chicken, the salad, and the pineapple, plus a few bites of the rice.
Because I had been so busy all day, I hadn't logged in any of my meals into the Points Tracker since breakfast. So I really had no clue where I was points-wise and thought I was way over. I just got home at 11ish and put it all into the computer... guess what? I didn't do badly at all! In fact, counting everything up, I actually hit exactly on plan for the day! I used one Activity Point, but didn't need to use any Flexies at all! Phew. So the key is really sticking with a small lunch if the rest of the day is gonna be filled with temptations....
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
First off, I totally dissed the bread basket. No need to spend 4 points or more just to have a little piece of cornbread and some butter. Hooray for willpower! I had the soup du jour, which was this really interesting carrot, fennel and apple soup, topped with a little swirl of pumpkin oil and pumpkin seeds. Delicious! Then I tried their new "chicken salad" - which wasn't a salad like we'd normally think of at Applebees or something. It came out as 4 good-sized chunks of grilled chicken spiced with curry and other Indian flavors, and then in the middle of the plate was a "cucumber-tomato compote" with chick peas covered with arugula. I had asked for the vanilla-cardamom dressing on the side, and it was a small serving of it so that was okay. This was also really delicious, and filling. (This place isn't always very filling, so in the past when I've had work lunches there I've found myself heading to Starbucks afterwards to get something supplemental.)
I'm now back at my desk and tallied everything up. I had to go on some estimates, but I think I was pretty conservative. It came to 9.5 points - not bad! And the food was both interesting and tasty. Well done, me. :-)
Monday, January 23, 2006
Unlike normal, I had no idea what I was going to be eating. I went to a meeting tonight that included dinner and we weren't told beforehand what the food options would be. It turned out to be a gorgeous spread of food from the Lebanese Taverna. And it smelled great. And I was hungry. So I made myself a big plate of it and had 2 small cups of white wine. Hey, it was a 3 hour meeting! I needed sustenance!
When I got home, though, I was really hungry again. So I broke out a package of the Smart Pop 94% fat-free popcorn. It's worth it to not go to sleep hungry....
Thank goodness for Flex Points. I used 10 of them tonight. Tomorrow's another day!
Sunday, January 22, 2006
My Dee-Lish dinner of pasta with fresh spinach and tomato sauce:
My Spanish rice cooking on the stove:
This is a WW trick I heard a long time ago. Take a regular boxed package of Spanish rice, which calls for adding water and one can of tomatoes. Do that, but also add a bunch more stuff to your liking to make it more fiber-rific. I usually add a 2nd can of tomatoes (the kind with green chiles or jalapenos), a can of light red kidney beans, another can of either dark red kidney beans or black beans, and as much as an entire pound of frozen corn. All the beans and veggies lower the overall point value per serving and make the single package of Spanish rice go a lot further. I made this last week and ate it for 5 big satisfying meals. You can figure out the points by sorta calculating a combination of the prepackaged Spanish rice as prepared and the added beans, corn, etc. I usually top it with a little reduced fat cheddar cheese. Yummy!
Saturday, January 21, 2006
I've already started the day with a big breakfast. It wasn't actually breakfast food, though - I ate the leftovers from my lean turkey Hamburger Helper dinner from last night. So a whole bunch of points are already gone. I'll reverse my usual and have a light lunch, and I'll be doing about a mile of walking to get myself to the Metro. That's only about 1 Activity Point, but I'll take it.
I'll report later on how big the splurge is -- but as we all know by now, the key to WW success is planning, planning, planning!
Friday, January 20, 2006
In case you're wondering -- I'm totally rooting for Drew. May he become the more famous Lachey! He's just so cute and enthusiastic, and he really is a great dancer.
But today, a good friend of mine was so sweet. I am planning on spending Saturday to Sunday with friends who live up in Gaithersburg, and when we do these weekend visits we usually go all out with cooking big meals and drinking lots of wine. One of our favorite things in the past was the giant stuffed pork chop that she gets at the Amish market up in Germantown (I think) - it's huge, and stuffed with bread and cheese and rich, fat, goodness. So she called today as she was doing her shopping and said "This is what we were planning on getting...but what do you want to eat? Do you want us to get you something different and healthier?" And we talked about options and decided that I would eat a plain pork chop, and she's gonna get a bunch of extra veggies and light sides to make for me while they eat the usual high-pointy stuff. Hooray! That was so sweet of her to think about me and ask before making their plans.
As y'all know, any kind of major effort like this is easiest when you've got your own network of cheerleaders -- so thanks, y'all, for being so encouraging and - as the case may be - for making special shopping trips for me! :-)
Thursday, January 19, 2006
I just calculated the points using Au Bon Pain's nutrition info and it was really good! The salad itself was only 6 points, plus 4 for the dressing. Wow, dressing really is a lot if you're honest about how much you actually use. (Sometimes I've been known to cheat and just say "ah, 2 points!" when it really should be more.) But that was a very tasty, fresh, filling lunch selection for 10 points. I also had a bag of regular Sun Chips, which made for another 3 points. And I brought back some pineapple to eat as a snack later.
The real key, I've found, is that I have to have small breakfasts - 5 points or less - in order to make sure I can have a satisfying lunch. Cuz I really do need something tasty and filling in the middle of the day to keep me awake and motivated!
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
It does make me a little annoyed to see how freakin' skinny the men get - they go from having really big bellies to being just cut with ripped arms and all. It really is different losing weight for men. The women look great too, but they're definitely still curvy.
The thing I liked about this episode is that they picked 2 couples that were overweight but still attractive. Once they had lost all the weight, they were so young and good-looking, you had to root for them. Who wouldn't want to win a dream wedding???
Next week they're back to doing a special family episode, and they picked 2 families that both own restaurants. Oooh, a challenge.
They are pumping their new online weight loss club - I may check it out in the future to see what advice they've got. As long as I don't have to deal with Jillian...
Actually, this meal was a very close approximation to the taste of Cafe Luna's pasta with spinach and tomato sauce. I guess it's all about the fresh ingredients!
I knew it would be a pretty saucy concoction, so I also made 2 pieces of whole wheat garlic bread to eat with it and sop up all the liquid. Mmmmm, even more yumminess.
I counted up all the points for this dish. That's a new thing for me, really, since I used to kinda cheat and think "oh, pasta and veggie sauce? that's gotta be zero points." Well, not so much. But this HUGE meal, both healthy and delicious, came to a total of 13.5 points. That's a lot, but I had planned it. I used up 5 Flex Points for the day, but as you all know I'm trying to eat more of those this week and see how it makes a difference at weigh-in.
But I salvaged the rest of the day, and now it's a new day. Back to eating the good stuff. With this weather, I'm thinking it might be a soup day....
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Monday, January 16, 2006
60 minutes brisk walking = 4 Activity Points! Hooray!
And I am ready to make a bold statement.... Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" is absolutely the best walking song ever. Seriously, the beat of that song is perfectly timed to my stride, and you just can't help but smile and walk with a little attitude.
I kinda knew that I was gonna have a good morning on the scale. You never want to get your hopes up too much, but for the past couple of days I've actually started feeling and seeing a little difference. I haven't felt as puffy as I had over the holidays, so I was hoping to see a correlation on the scale. And I did! :-)
But Weight Watchers did give me a little scolding, saying that 3 pounds was a little too much to lose in one week. They really want you to stick to a max of 2 pounds lost in a week, because they don't want people to have too rapid a weight loss. Losing weight too quickly is often a sign that it's not going to be sustainable, cuz it's too dramatic a change. The advice they gave me today was to make sure I use all of my Flex Points this week so I can have a more gradual weight loss. Can do.
I actually think I'm ready to start exercising more, anyway. My body feels like it's adapted pretty well to being on the diet - those hunger pangs of the first week have mostly gone away, which I knew they would. So I'm gonna start slow and plan to hit the gym a few times this week, and make sure that I'm upping my points intake in a smart way, so hopefully I won't have that dizzy thing start up.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
I also took advantage of the Lean Pockets sale. That darn pepperoni pizza Lean Pocket is delicious. And only 6 points!
I've been really good with points today, so I now have enough left for some microwave popcorn when I'm watching my favorite night of tv. And maybe even a pudding cup or a WW cookie dough sundae! Ah, the choices....
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Um, do NOTHING all day except watch bad cable and play with my iPod. I'm conserving points to use when I go out tonight. Friends and I are going to my curent favorite restaurant, and while I will play it safe with a really tasty entree salad, I'm damn well going to use some Flex Points on a little mini-burger as an appetizer. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
I'm expecting a lazy Sunday (but no Chronic-what?-les of Narnia), and tomorrow will probably also be my grocery day. Since I'm spending the whole day on my own, I imagine I will be blogging. ;-)
As long as the weather is okay, I plan to go for a long walk and then meet a friend for a movie. We're not doing a meal, maybe just coffee, so I'll be able to be good about my points. But maybe I'll treat myself by going downtown early and getting a nice soup/salad lunch. There is an Au Bon Pain very close to the movie theater. I'll keep you posted. And then there will be popcorn Monday night, for it's my 2nd-favorite awards show of the year, the Golden Globes! I've got the 94% fat-free box at the ready....
Friday, January 13, 2006
I ventured out today without checking Dotti's site first for point-friendly lunch ideas. Sometimes that can be dangerous. But today it worked out really well!!!
- a small size of the Pasta E Fagioli soup
- one of their new items, the small container of Asian Chicken Salad
- a breadstick
- a diet Pepsi
I consumed them all happily (well, only 1/2 the breadstick) and was a little worried that when I got back to the computer to tally it all up, that it would turn out to be a high-point disaster. But guess what? It didn't!!!
I was pleasantly shocked to see that Dotti gives the 8 oz serving of Pasta E Fagioli only 2.5 points. Hot damn, I was off to a good start! Since I ate half the breadstick, I gave myself 2 points for that as a pretty standard bread-item total. I had to do some searching for info on the Asian Chicken Salad. It's a new item, so it's not on Dotti's site yet. With some help from folks on the WW message boards, I got to the nutrition info on the Au Bon Pain web site. Turns out that little dish of chicken-fruit-and-mayonnaise was only 5 points! So I had a very filling and flavorful lunch - with lots of protein, some good beans, and a nice amount of fruits and veggies - for only 9.5 points. This so could've gone another way, but I'm glad it didn't. Hooray!
Thursday, January 12, 2006
I have a career that is based largely on relationships. That includes relationships with very high-profile donors, with Board members, with community partners, and with my own colleagues. And, of course, one of the best ways to keep these relationships strong is to grow them on a personal or social level, which can often happen with a meal out or drinks after work.
I have "professional" social outings quite often, and I had two of them today. I had lunch with two colleagues after we took a work-related field trip, and we ended up at the Cap City Brewing near Union Station. I chose the seared tuna salad, which was a pretty good choice for staying on plan. After lunch, I was in meetings straight through until it was time to go meet a contact for a quick drink. I had originally planned to use my frozen dinner-before-going-out trick, but my meetings lasted so long that I didn't get a chance to cook my Smart Ones meal before it was time to go. But I decided when we sat down that I was just going to order a glass of wine and skip any appetizer. It was hard to watch my companions devour some mini burgers and chips, but I just kept sipping my wine. Hooray for staying strong! Hooray for learning that even a single glass of wine on very few calories during the day can make you plenty tipsy!
My tips for avoiding a disaster on these work outings:
- Check the menu before you go and start making the decision about what you'll order before even setting foot in the restaurant.
- Try to eat something small and sensible beforehand so you're not starving when you get there -- it's much easier to make a good decision when you're not feeling those hunger pangs.
- When confronted with a lengthy or unfamiliar menu, only look at sections that you know will have good choices. I tend to only look at the appetizer/small plate, side order, and salad/soup sections these days. By not reading over the full entree section, you won't be tempted by that bbq chicken pizza or a creamy pasta sauce. If you don't see it, you won't want it! ;-)
So those are my tips on work meals when you have the option of ordering. Sometime soon I'll post about what I try do at catered events, with all those fatty finger foods. I've got several coming up in early February!
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Last week, I was sticking really close to my daily allowance of points and used very few of my 35 extra Flex Points. As you know, I was *very* hungry for several days. This week, I've been using some of those points to get me through days with a little more in the schedule.
Tuesday was another 2-meals-out day. I met JJ for lunch at Gordon Biersch, and I had a gift certificate so our lunch was free. That meant we were a little more liberal about ordering... They have a pretty decent selection of salads, but I've had a lot of entree salads and a whole lot of raw tuna lately, so I wanted something a little different. I went for the 1/2 turkey sandwich and salad combo. The sandwich was a little boring, but it was probably the most substantive thing I've eaten in days. I added it up and gave it 10 points, to be on the safe side. It came with a nice mixed greens salad. JJ and I then debated whether she should order dessert, since it would be free... and we landed on the "if you order something, I will" deal. So I asked my favorite server (yep, I'm a regular there) what the options were and I ordered just a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream. Of course, it ended up being a dish with about 3 scoops, but I was SO GOOD. I really only had about 4 litt! le teaspoons-full... I checked the WW online listings and gave that 3 points. Not so bad for a little induglence. And honestly, the full-fat vanilla ice cream tasted so rich - kinda too rich - that after just a few bites I was ready to be done with it. That was a big lunch, but it still fit in with what I was doing for the whole day.
My friend C and I were planning to go to a gallery opening tonight, and I knew there would be wine and some not-so-point-friendly munchies there. We decided to go to Teaism first for a healthy dinner, and that was the right move. I wanted to make sure I was NOT HUNGRY when I went to the opening, cuz I didn't want to be tempted by all the cheeses, dips, and spreads. I got a bowl of miso soup and the shrimp spring rolls plus a big mug of tea. The miso soup was a much bigger portion than last night at the sushi place, so that cut into my points a bit. But I ended up using 7 points at Teaism. When we got to the gallery, I allowed myself 1 glass of chardonnay (2 points) and totally skipped the munchies table. Score! I knew I would be hungry when I got home, though, cuz that Teaism stuff wasn't super-filling. So I broke out the reduced fat wheat thins and a little hummus, and fully allowed myself to use up some of my allowed Flex Points to finish out the day. I used 5 of them total, after I used I think 3 yesterday. But that's fine - I'm spending the next few nights in and will have more low-point choices in my own kitchen.
There's a reason we're given these Flex Points - it's to use them! So even though I ate more food in the last 2 days, I'm still totally on plan. Hooray for WW!
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
As I mentioned on my first post on this blog, I've been overweight all of my life. What has come with that is the fact that I have been the victim of some pretty cruel comments for as long as I can remember. They've come from strangers, from classmates, from those who are supposed to care about me... And I know that these comments, these horrible things that people have said, have stuck with me forever. And when I'm really feeling down, these are the voices that are loudest in my head.
I joke sometimes about my lack of success with men and I often call myself "undateable" in a self-deprecating but jovial way.... but the truth is, that's the way I really feel. I've gotten so much negative feedback in my life about how I look, and I really can't think of any positive feedback I've ever received from men. Sure, my gal pals are great about telling me when I look cute, or when an outfit is really looking good on me, but I've never heard it from a man. Ever. This is me, the girl who's never been asked out. So the random, cruel comments plus my 30 years of zero positive physical attention from men have added up to me being just a basket case when it comes to my own self-esteem and self-image. I may be the totally confident Miss Independent type in my career and activities and stuff, but in this particular area of my life, I'm terrified.
In the hopes that holding these cruelties up to the light will make them less scary, and less powerful, I thought I'd give you a vivid history, the full tour, of my own demons. And let me say at the outset, I'm not looking for a pity party here. Sympathy is appreciated, but I'd rather have solidarity. And offers of beating people up would be welcome, as well. I know my story is not unique, that unfortunately lots of people experience this. I've never shared these stories with anyone. So blog world....Buckle up, here we go:
- In fifth grade, this stupid kid Larry decided to tell everyone - both in front of me and behind my back for months - that the reason I was so fat was because I was pregnant. This is the first time I remember coming home from school crying.
- High school was filled with mean girls just randomly walking by my locker and saying "Lose some weight, fatso!" kind of comments, all the time.
- In college (this one is hard), my whole floor of freshman girls went to my roommate's house for dinner, and her mom took a big group picture of us. I was in the front of the picture so you could see me clearly. Sometime later that semester, I was in the group bathroom but could hear these loud drunk guys in one of the girls' rooms (whom I thought had been my friends). They were obviously looking at pictures, and I heard them say "Wow, look at Stefanie, she's so fat!" That hurt, but I tried to put it out of my mind. The next day, a girl I knew in my anthropology class came to me at the end of class and said "Why is there a picture of you up in the dorm?" I was confused but terrified, thinking the worst. I ran back to the dorm and looked, and there it was. On the door to our wing of the building, they had taped up a perfect cut-out of me from that picture. There was no caption or anything, just a little me taped to the door that hundreds of people had already walked through. I ripped it down as fast as I could. People asked me about it for days, and I was the only one who knew who had done it and what their conversation had been.
- My friends and I were out at Denny's one night, just having a good time talking and laughing. An angry girl who'd been sitting at another table got up to leave, and shen she passed by she said "Shut up, fat cow." For no reason.
- I was out with grad school friends at a cheesy club in Pittsburgh, standing in line for the bathroom. I could hear some of the hair-gelled guys in line across from me going through the whole line of women talking about who they'd *do* - when they got to me, I heard one say "Ugh, the fat one? Never in a million years."
- Also in Pittsburgh -- I was standing waiting for the bus after work one day, when a guy came up to the group of people and started asking for money. When he got to me, I said "no, sorry" - the usual. And he got very close into my face and said, loudly, "Why are you so fat? You could stop spending money on food for a change."
- When Mom and I went to San Francisco, we were walking around the city. There was a homeless guy walking towards us, looking the total part of the crazy wacko. He was yammering away at the universe until he got right up close to us, when he turned and said to me as clear as day "Why don't you stop eating and lose some weight?" And then he went back to yammering. The worst part was that my Mom didn't hear him but was curious and she kept asking me "What did he say to you? What did he say?" And there was no way I would go through the indignity of telling her what he actually said.
Okay, so these are all pretty much strangers or acquaintances. Cruel, yes, but not personally so cuz most of them I didn't know or care what they thought. The ones that really hurt are the ones that come from the people who were *supposed* to care about me and not want to see me in pain:
- About 5 years ago, in what we all now agree was a very angry phase of his life, little bro and I got into a stupid fight on the phone about, of all things, Good Will Hunting. It was just a dumb fight that escalated into sibling rivalry barbs. But after I said some kind of "oh, whatever" comment, he said "shut up, you fat fucking bitch." Oh, that hurt. My bro and I have had our moments of fighting, but as adults for the most part we've been really close. But that one was close to unforgivable. Because of shock, anger, regret, distance, and awkwardness, we didn't talk for a year after he said that. I heard from my Mom all the time about how he was saying he'd done something horrible and felt bad, but didn't know how to apologize because he felt so bad. It ended up just getting swept under the rug the next time we got together for a family holiday, cuz I couldn't NOT speak to him. We're close again, but we've never talked about it since.
- And then, the current killer... About 2 years ago, the man I was most recently in love with said to me, repeatedly, in several different ways.... "Stef, you're the perfect woman. I would marry you in a heartbeat, but I don't find you physically attractive at all." That threw me off a cliff of sorts, and most days, I'm still falling.
I'm gonna publish this, I've decided. What the heck - maybe it'll give others the opportunity to get something off their chest? If you talk about these things, and shine the spotlight on them, maybe they'll keep getting smaller until they just fall away....
Monday, January 09, 2006
Sushi is absolutely the best thing to get while dining out on a diet. Next time, though, I want to make sure to go to a place that has my favorite, Tom Yum soup. We went to Sushi Taro tonight, which is a bit on the expensive side and does not have Tom Yum. I like that cheaper, neighborhood place at the Woodley Park metro... hooray for sushi happy hour prices!
My new goals for this week are to drink more water and to get in some more physical activity. I'll keep you posted.
For now, here's a quote by Aristotle that the WW site gave me when it congratulated me for losing:
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit."
Sunday, January 08, 2006
There are three things that I pretty much always have in my pantry and/or freezer: spaghetti, canned tomatoes, and frozen spinach. Every so often, I put them all together. I thaw out the spinach and lightly saute it in some olive oil (or as Ray Ray calls it, EVOO) and minced garlic, then add 1 can of diced tomatoes. Once it cooks down and reduces some of the liquid, I serve it over pasta with a light dusting of the Kraft parmesan cheese stuff.
My lessons on choosing the ingredients:
- I strongly recommend the chopped frozen spinach cuz the cut leaf spinach can be too chunky and doesn't separate as well as a part of the sauce.
- There are lots of varieties of canned tomatoes. If you use one of the kinds that comes with basil, oregano, and garlic, great. If not, you'll definitely want to add in salt, pepper, basil, oregano, etc. to season the sauce and give it more flavor. I used the no-salt added ones today and I actually didn't like it as much, so I'll plan to save those no-salt ones for other recipes that have more flavor built in. I sometimes also add a little tomato basil spaghetti sauce for flavor/texture, but then you'd want to drain off some of the liquid cuz it gets soupy.
- I usually use a long-strand pasta like spaghetti for this dish, but of course it would work with any shape or cut. If you're using whole wheat pasta, I highly recommend the Buonaturae (sp?) brand, which comes in the tan-colored plastic packaging. It's the tastiest I've tried by far.
- Of course, this same thing can be made with all fresh ingredients, which I've done many times. But the beauty of this dish is that it *is* something that can be done when you're running low on groceries and need to use up some of the pantry staples.
Notes on the WW points values:
- The pasta: A 1 cup serving of cooked spaghetti is 4 points. 1 cup of whole wheat pasta is 3 points.
- The tomatoes: A can of plain or no-salt added diced tomatoes is 0 points, but the kind that has the basil, garlic and oregano added in is 1 point per serving. My guess is that this has olive oil added in, which adds calories.
- The spinach: Happy veggie, zero points!
- The olive oil: 1 tsp = 1 point. I also count a little bit extra cuz my minced garlic is in olive oil, too.
- The Kraft Parmesan cheese:- this is roughly 1 tbsp = 1 point
So, this is a really easy, very low-fat recipe that is filling and comes to about 6 - 7 points per meal. Works for me!
Saturday, January 07, 2006
So my first milestone / reward... When I hit one month on plan, I'm going to take a personal day and head to a spa. I think a massage and facial would be a great treat! I officially started this diet on January 2. I have to work on 2/2 with an event that night, so February 3 shall be my official reward day. It's a Friday, so that makes it really fitting. Other WW folks are planning manicures, pedicures, new highlights, or new jeans as their rewards. I think it's fun that we tend to look for physical things that make us look and feel better, which goes along nicely with losing weight!
Now I need to check out spas in the area! It has to be close, Metro-accessible or walking distance, and reasonably priced. I think there's a new place in the 'hood, maybe on Florida Avenue. Does anyone have any recommendations?
So, part of my new commitment is a resolution to try to make it to the grocery store every week. That will help me keep buying good things and can help me make sure I always have a good variety of healthy things from which to choose here at home. It's a lifestyle change, right?
Today was grocery day. It's a beautiful day out here in DC, and since I also had to go to the post office I made it a day for errands in the neighborhood. I had the fun of walking around with my new iPod, too.... want to know the exact walking distance from the Kalorama post office to the Columbia Road Safeway? It's equal to 2 full plays of the Scissor Sisters' "Take Your Mama." Wow, that put a smile on my face!
Safeway had some really good pro-dieting sales on today, so I loaded up:
- Lucerne non-fat yogurt - 5 for $2.25
- Jello Fat-Free Pudding cups - $2.50 for a six-pack, reg price $3.49 (Velvet, here's your chance!)
- Egg Beaters - $2.50, reg price $3.19
- Safeway brand Spanish rice mix - 80 cents (I'll tell you my Spanish rice trick later)
- Orville Redenbacher 94% fat-free Microwave Popcorn - Buy One Get One Free!!!
- Plus, Healthy Choice and Lean Cuisine were on sale and majorly picked over!
Friday, January 06, 2006
So I'm not going to be having the major activity/exercise that I talked about last night. It's just too damn cold and gray outside. I was thinking about leaving work early today to walk home (3 miles, uphill!) but I'll save that for another day.
There will be a challenge this afternoon - my friend's N baby shower. I've scoped it out with my friend who's planning it, and I know there will be cake and various treats. I wanted to make sure I knew the deal before I go out to lunch, so now I know to definitely just get a salad or soup so I can be prepared to have at least a little treat at the shower. And I have a salad at home for dinner tonight, so I can make this one work. Like I said yesterday, I'm okay with using some Flex Points. The beauty of WW is that it does allow for things like friend's baby showers without making you feel like you're a terrible failure. And this, my friends, is why WW is my favorite diet. Cuz they know that every once in a while, you need a piece of cake. :-)
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Today was a day with new challenges. I had a full day of work, but then we also had a work meeting that ran from 7 - 9 pm. So I knew I would have to come up with a dinner plan that would still fit in with the points. I also correctly predicted that my boss would want to go out for a drink and appetizers to pre-meet before the meeting. But, with some planning and good decision-making, I made it and stayed on plan! I had a reasonable breakfast and Subway for lunch, thne I brought a Lean Cuisine to eat at about 5:30 to curb any hunger that would make me want to order mini burgers when we went out. It worked! I had a small glass of wine (2 points) and a tiny but filling seared tuna appetizer. I made it through the evening without being too hungry, and then when I came home I had another small snack and I actually feel great about how I rounded out the day.
I did end up using 3 Flex Points. Quick WW overview: You're given your daily allowance of points based on your starting weight, but then you're also given 35 Flex Points to use throughout the week as needed. There are varying schools of thought, but I have mostly heard that those Flex Points are meant to be USED - they enable you to have flexibility throughout the week but still maintain a good level of caloric intake - and you should plan to use them up each week. Well, so far I've been sticking really close to just my point lvel this week. And I've been STARVING. Yesterday was especially bad with the late afternoon and late night hunger pains, so I decided when I woke up this morning that I would be tapping into some of my Flex Points today. Mission accomplished!
I plan on consuming more points tomorrow, too, cuz if all goes as intended (keeping you in suspense) I will hopefully be getting in a lot more activity during the day. I'll let you know tomorrow if I reach that goal!
Oh, and the best part of today??? I sat through an hour and a half staff meeting with a plate of homemade cranberry-pecan bread AND chocolate brownies sitting in front of me, and I didn't have a single bite! :-)
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Of couse, because it's reality tv, they picked two families with such emotional stories that you really have to root for them. In one family, the mother had just overcome cancer and they weren't even sure if she was still going to be alive for another year. In the other, they have a son who's off fighting in Iraq who they haven't seen for 2 years, and they want to surprise him by being skinny when he comes home.
At the final weigh-in (is it live?) after 5 months, the families just look fantastic. It's amazing to see how much more confident they all look, especially the teenage daughters. And both of the mothers look 10 years younger, their faces are so much leaner. Okay, here we go, I'm crying. Damn you, kitten-choking reality tv! The blue family lost a total of 144 pounds, or 23.34% of their total body weight. Wow! The red family won, with a total of something like 170 pounds. The red mother herself lost 78 pounds!
Next week, they'll be showing two engaged couples trying to win a dream wedding. I'll probably be tuning in!
I am a very social person, as you all know, and much of my social life revolves around meeting friends for a meal. So I need to pay special attention to what I do at restaurants. I tend to think the easiest way to dine out while dieting is to stick with the s's: sushi, soup, salad. There are lots of great ways to make a meal involving those items, and most restaurants have great varieties to choose from. If none of the s's are an option, well then it's time to make some smart decisions. And as Lady B mentioned, it's always good to plan ahead and check points before you go eat.
There's a great resource online called Dotti's Weight Loss Zone. It's the website of a woman who's lost a lot of weight and shares her tips with everyone. The real prize of Dotti's site is the restaurant guide, which includes nutritional information and calculated points for menu items at almost all of the major national and regional chains. This site becomes biblical in importance while dieting.
For today, I'm going with a known quantity. My friend and I are meeting at Teaism, and I already know that tuna bento box is pretty darn low-point. So that's my strategy. And for lunchtime in general, I plan to stick to the safest places around my office - Teaism, Au Bon Pain, Cosi. If I find myself at danger-zone places like Austin Grill or Gordon Biersch (which I know I will), I just have to remember the s's.
Do you all have any tips for making good choices while dining out?
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
In the past, when I have gone full force on both the WW diet *and* a regular gym plan, I have actually had pretty strong dizzy spells and feelings of light-headedness. I'm not exactly sure what caused them. They didn't happen while I was exercising, but could surprise me at any time of the day. I went to the doctor at the time and she said it was not dehydration, she just told me to be careful and make sure I was getting enough nutrition and doing things in a smart way.
So, cuz I don't find those dizzy spells to be very fun, I'm going to take the time to get used to the diet. I hope that my body will grow accustomed to having less "fuel" every day and will adjust, then I can start working the exercise in and adjusting my protein and water levels accordingly. I hope that takes care of the problem.
Has anyone else experienced this? Any advice?
Ray Ray's dish was poached grouper, covered with diced tomatoes and basil, with a side dish of "Mediterranean succotash" and a dessert of melon, berries, and fat-free sorbet. It all looked great. I had no idea that's what succotash was, just sauteed veggies and beans. I thought it was something starchy, I don't know why.
When I was on the South Beach Diet, Scotte was his very supportive self and made a low-carb dinner for me once. He made poached tilapia covered with diced tomatoes and ... some spice? The one that's licorice-flavored? Plus he did a side of blanched green beans that were gorgeous. Ray Ray's meal looked a lot like this...which makes me wonder. Was Scotte making a variation of Ray Ray's recipe? Or, is Scotte just that much of a brilliant chef that he could easily have a show of his own?!? I think it's the latter!
I'm glad I caught this episode, cuz it gave me some more good ideas for things to do to increase the variety of what I'm eating on WW. I don't cook elaborate meals, as has been established, but I could see myself doing pared down versions of all three of the things she prepared. The succotash was intriguing. Hello, all vegetables and beans!!!
Monday, January 02, 2006
So, as I get started, a little background....
I am using Weight Watchers. I have tried several different ways of dieting over the years, but WW is the one that makes the most sense logically to me and it's the one on which I've had the most success. The first time I really worked on dieting I did use WW and lost 42 pounds. Wow, that felt great! I like that you can eat your own food and it really is all about teaching you how to make smart choices that fit within a real person's lifestyle. Other people may be able to do those prepackaged food diets or the ones that involve serious cooking and planning, but that's not for me. I don't go to meetings, but I do use WW Online for my journaling and weight tracking, and I also like using their message boards. I'm going to post this blog on my WW profile, so I hope that I get some visitors from the WW world.
I've been overweight since I was in the first grade. I have all those sad stories of low self-esteem and examples of surprising cruelty from both kids and adults, so y'all know how that can affect your psychology, which also affects success in weight loss. It's something I work on a lot.
I come from a family that has always struggled with weight. We're short but solid Midwestern stock. And my family lived for huge portions. I was amazed over the holidays, actually, to see just *how much* food those family members of mine eat. My dad eatws every meal off a platter! Not a plate, a platter! My brother often goes in for full 2nd helpings of the whole meal. I felt sick after a few days being home cuz I was just eating so much more food than I normally do. (I hope that has something to do with the extreme of today's weigh-in, not reflective of my own normal behavior.)
So I've been a bigger girl my whole life. I never really dieted until I was an adult. There was one year in college when I lost about 15 pounds because my dorm and my main academic building were on the tops of two opposite hills and I did a lot of walking... but then I moved off campus the next year and drove everywhere. The weight came back. In April 2000, I decided to try out Weight Watchers and I did it all on my own. That's when I lost 42 pounds and really learned about what works for me. But, after about 6 months I started to feel like I knew what I was doing and could be a little more lax. The weight slowly but surely has all come back - plus some - since then. I've fitfully stopped and started WW again several times, plus one experiment with the South Beach Diet (hello constipation). I also spent a year as a vegetarian, which ended up being a really bad decision for my weight. I'm not by nature a very domestic person, and I do'nt really experiment with cooking. A year of pasta, chips, DiGiorno 4 Cheese Pizza, french fries and grilled cheese was not good.
So, here I am. I need to do this for my health and for my happiness. I have started to worry about my health because it's no secret that I'm getting older. I'm watching my Dad have health problems relating to his weight and I need to do what I can to stave those off for myself.
I will be tracking my daily progress on the WW site, and weighing in before breakfast every Monday morning. I'll share details on those WI's here, and I'll probably be posting about my challenges and successes throughout. I would love to hear words of support and cheerleading cuz that really does help keep me motivated. Largely, it helps me feel accountable. If I'm telling everyone that I'm doing this, well, heck, I better really do it. Whatever works, right?
So, there it is. Wish me luck!