Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007 Results

It's the last weigh-in of the year! And, phew, I still managed to lose .3 pounds this week - even with Christmas and a very meaty pizza-and-burgers outing. Hooray! I must be doing something kinda right.

And since this is the last weigh-in of the year, a look back....

I have now been tracking my weight loss progress officially since June 3, when I was at my heaviest weight. Blech. That means I've been doing this for 30 weeks. That's a long time, and it includes the always difficult fall season with our Gala and the holidaze.

How did I do?

I have lost 13.7 pounds, or 5.8% of my total body weight, and I've brought my BMI (body mass index) down by 3 points. That's an average of just under a 1/2 pound a week, which isn't bad considering there were some really tough weeks in there.

I feel good about all this, and even better knowing that this really didn't take all that much effort... meaning that I can follow my New Year's resolution to step it up just a bit both in terms of diet and regular exercise, not in a fanatical way, but just improvements - and that should make my results even stronger in 2008.

Thanks for coming along for the ride, and here's to an even better year in '08!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Navigating the Holidaze

Oh, the holiday season is tough for dieters. Big meals, and - even worse - huge plates of cookies and boxes of chocolate delivered to your very door!

But, I've been doing okay, surprisingly. Sure, I've had some treats here and there, but I'm also keeping to pretty decent meals when I can.

So, that means that I'm still on track, and almost 2 pounds less than I was after Thanksgiving. Sure, I'd gone up a bit then, but the overall trend is still down. In fact, last week, I had a great downward spike one morning as the scale showed me a number I haven't seen in a very long time. Whee! It's gone up a little since then, like you do, but at least I know it's out there... and I'll be bringing it back!

Just a quick trip to see the family, with some more big meaty meals, then I'm back and really working on getting the numbers - both weight and cholesterol - down again.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

You Are What You Eat

And I can't figure out what that is yet... I'm leaning lots of good stuff about what to eat both for my own health and for basic environmental sustainability, but my discipline level has had its ups and downs this week.

I had a good doctor's appointent. Of the two sets of bad numbers I had over the summer, one is now firmly in control thanks to some medication and some improvement in lifestyle choices. Hooray!

So now it's really time for me to focus on the other set of numbers... and those will be the much harder ones to fix, since it will all come down to my self-discipline. Yep, we're talking about cholesterol, so I *really* have to spend the next 2 months -- the time until my next blood work appt -- getting those numbers in line. And, of course, I just had a real whopper of a 24-hour-period for consuming bad stuff. I was bored this afternoon and, truly against my better judgment AND my inner voice, found myself downing kettle chips and onion dip. Egad. Thus the cycle of guilt and shame begins again.

So... I'm considering that snack blowout to be Cholesterol's Last Stand, the last splurge before I really get serious. And so what am I having for dinner? A plate of green beans, flavored with a little light Smart Balance spread and some seasoned rice wine vinegar. It's actually pretty tasty.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I Don't Know How...

...I lost weight this week, but I did! Somehow, I managed to lose 2.4 pounds in the last 7 days..... and that's with either a big cookie or a pumpkin-cream-cheese muffin or both every day. Yikes! Can emotional stress make you lose weight? Cuz I've practicially been mainlining that this week.

I've got a few more days of big work stress, but then pretty much the rest of the month can be wrap-up and holiday fun. Hooray! I just have to remember not to indulge too too much!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Cold weather has hit. I'm eating everything that isn't nailed down.... and I'm drinking lots of hot sugary drinks. Yikes, gotta put a stop to this bad behavior! I have another doctor's checkup next week, so that should be a motivator..... <>....

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pasta Fun

I've always been a big fan of using pasta dinners to experiment on new ways to eat your veggies. For the last few nights, I have made some really tasty "throw it together" pasta dinners that are also super-healthy. Hooray for cleaning out the pantry!

Pasta Fun #1:
Chicken tenders
Button mushrooms
Canned, no salt added stewed tomatoes

Saute the chicken tenders in a little olive oil, with minced garlic and black pepper. Toss in the mushrooms and saute as well. Once these are mostly cooked, add the undrained can of stewed tomatoes and basil and oregano to taste. Simmer until the liquid cooks down, serve over whole wheat pasta of your choice.

Pasta Fun #2:
Frozen chopped spinach
Cannellini (Great Northern) beans

Saute spinach in olive oil and garlic. Add drained and rinsed beans. Cook on low, adding black pepper and basil to taste. Add olive oil as needed to keep a slight liquid consistency. Beans will soften a bit, and that's when you'll know it's ready. Serve over whole what pasta of your choice.

These were both delicious, and have a few added nutritional benefits... they're both very low in fat, with most coming from the omega 3-rich olive oil. And, as long as you buy low sodium canned stuff, there's very little sodium overall... you CAN cook without adding any salt!

Monday, November 19, 2007


I did weight myself after all today. It wasn't pretty, but it could've been a lot worse. After my awesome triumph of last week, I'm now back up by 1.6 pounds. Not devastating, but it certainly didn't make me do a happy dance. I know what caused it... and I am trying to be better.... though I did eat a leftover cookie today. Yum.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Shame, Shame

Oh, it's been a bad week diet-wise. I think I'm going to take a pass on weighing-in this weekend, cuz I just know it will be disappointing.

I ate out a lot this week. Eating dinner out once or twice a week can be okay, if you made good choices at a restaurant and work to make up for it elsewhere. But, this week I think I did dinner out 4 nights in a row followed by a not-so-healthy catered breakfast and a moment-of-weakness bag of kettle chips for dinner. And, I was *not* good about ordering when I had those dinners out. Fish and chips? Spinach and artichoke dip?

Uh oh, the cold weather makes things tougher cuz it just makes me want warm comfort food... usually involving cheese or butter.

So, I will make it through Thanksgiving and the brotherly visit this week, then get back on track. Bear with me....

Monday, November 12, 2007


I lost a pound and a half over the last week. Hooray!!!!! And I didn't exactly make the best food choices - there was a work pizza lunch, and a grilled cheese day - but those bad lunches were balanced out with some lighter dinners, and a good variety of physical activity.

For those of you The Biggest Loser fans who like percentages, too, you'll be glad to know I've lost 6.1% of my total body weight so far this year.

I'll take it!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sweet AND Crunchy

Another snack tip...

I have already professed my love for Quaker Quakes, their flavored mini snack cakes, but now I have found their snack-world "little brother"... Quaker Mini Delights. The "Chocolately Drizzle" flavor is great! These tiny little multigrain cakes, each about the size of a quarter, really are drizzled with chocolate sauce. Like the title of this post says, it really does satisfy both of those snack desires.

These little guys are part of the low-cal snack pack trend, but 100 calories just aren't good enough for Quaker. No, these are 90 calorie packs! So the whole pack is a little 2 point treat, perfect for an after-dinner snack!

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Cafeteria Classic

Growing up, Fridays were my favorite day of the week, lunch-wise at least. Because in mostly-Catholic Upstate New York, that meant the school cafeteria skipped the usual mystery meat and instead offered either fish fillet sandwiches, cheese pizza, or my beloved grilled cheese and tomato soup. Yum! Nothing says comfort on a cold day than a good grilled cheese sandwich and a big bowl of steaming, creamy tomato soup.

But, that childhood favorite is not exactly diet-friendly. So I've worked up a little WW-friendly update that I am slowly becoming addicted to...

The soup is still soup, but now rather than getting a regular cream of tomato soup (full of fat and sodium) I now get an organic, fat-free, low sodium version. It's very light, and a little bit sweeter, but still really tasty in its tomatoey goodness.

Instead of a greasy, crispy grilled cheese sandwich - with lots of butter and white bread - now I opt for a quick and easy quesadilla. Using just a little fat-free cooking spray, I warm up a whole wheat, fat free tortilla and fill it with about a 1/4 cup of shredded light Mexican-blend cheese, sprinkled with a little cumin. Really tasty, and perfect to rip into pieces to dip into the soup.

Yum! And it's all much lower in fat and sodium than the original... and about 9 points for the whole lunch. Not bad!

Progress.... The Kind That Hurts

Well, I just got a really good sign of the progress I'm making..... I've passed a certain milestone on the scale (yippee!) which means that WW has now reduced my daily points target (boo!). I knew it was coming, and this particular benchmark only means 1 less point (about 50 calories) per day. But still!

It's nice validation, though, cuz in the whole year-and-a-half plus that I've had this blog, this is the first time I've made enough headway in order to get to this next level of WW play. Finally!

That's a First!

Wow. I actually LOST weight on vacation! And this was a vacation at my parents' house - land of huge portions. Hooray!

I've been losing half a pound here and there over the last few weeks, so I've now passed 11 pounds lost total. The best thing is that I'm actually starting to feel it, cuz my clothes are fitting better. That's always motivating, too, to actually see visible progress.

I'm back in town now, and back to counting my points. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Not So Bad

I did end up losing .7 lbs this week, so I've now erased all of that vacation gain and have started working on losing overall again. Good news! But I still feel like I've been hovering in the same range for weeks.... because I have! So I feel like jump-starting things again, and that means I have to be more disciplined. I've got 2 weeks before I go on another vacation again, but it's just to my parents' house again and I can ask them to keep my diet in mind when they're meal-planning. Back to work....

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Rough Week

This has not been a good week for dieting. I've had a stomach bug since Thursday... which I caught in either one of two ways:

(1) it's possibly something contagious that is going around our office. Now that we have all 12 of our staff sitting on top of each other in a single room during office renovations, we've become a pretty gross petri dish.... there's a head thing and a stomach thing going around, and I got the stomach thing.


(2) something that I ate on Wednesday, a day which featured TWO catered buffet meals from two different caterers, majorly did not agree with me.

I have a coworker who came down with pretty much the same thing, but he also has both of these potential factors at work, so who knows? Maybe it's a bug that also didn't agree with that gross salmon I made the mistake of eating at lunch.

Either way, that's already way TMI for all of you folks, but.... that's the roundabout way of saying that my tummy's been upset, so I have not been eating normally. And, you know me, I use any excuse possible not to exercise, so there's that too.

So far, the scale is okay and it looks like I'll still just be hovering around the same place I've been for weeks on end now. Which is okay... but I sure would like to see the scale moving again. Which means I have to get moving again. Blech.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Back on Track

Woohoo! I've lost 1.2 pounds this week, which has mostly erased the vacation damage. Proof yet again that vacation food is not the same as at home food, even when you are trying to be good. Hopefully this next week will erase the rest of the damage, and then I can get back to actual losing!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Good Substitute

I love crunchy snacks. Potato chips and I have had a life-long love-hate relationship.... and it's very hard for me to resist the temptation of getting a little bag of chips to go with my lunch. I've become a Baked Lays fan, but sometimes, when my deli doesn't have Baked Lays in stock... I face a real dilemma. I crave a crunchy, satisfying snack, but I should not eat real chips with all their grease, fat, sodium, and cholesterol.

Luckily, this week, I took a risk on something new and found a great alternative to potato chips: Crispy Delites fruit chips! Hooray!

This little bag of goodness contains an entire pound of fat-free fruity goodness - packing lots of fiber and Vitamin C but no added sugar or crazy processed ingredients. I chose the cinnamon apple variety, and these dried fruit chips were tasty, filling, and - most importantly - they had a really satisfying CRUNCH.

Plus, unlike with regular chips, I found I could eat a few and be happy putting the bag down until later, so I actually snacked on these for a whole afternoon. With Utz or Doritos or something, that whole bag would've been polished off in about 3 minutes or less...

I'm so glad I have a new, much healthier weapon in my arsenal in the ongoing battle for healthy but satisfying lunches during the week. Thank you, Crispy Delites!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Back to Reality

Hell Month is over... I've survived 2 out-of-town weddings, a Gala, a board meeting, 2 other big events, and a short vacay with my family.

Now I'm back, and life finally gets back to normal. I did fairly well in all the stress, only gaining 1.7 pounds. (Not bad compared to 2 years ago, when I gained TWELVE pounds in all the stress.) I hope to erase that damage by Monday's weigh-in.

So I'm starting back in full force again today, journaling and eating better stuff. And I HAVE to make myself exercise, cuz I know that's the magic solution to making the weight come off faster. Stay tuned...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Tough Time....But Doin' Okay

This is the hardest time of year for me for dieting, other than Christmas week. It's Gala time! So I'm working very long hours and am not really able to run out for long to get good, healthy lunches.... in past years, I've actually gained 12 pounds in the month leading up to the event. Yikes! Not this year, though. Even though I'm taking the week off of journaling my points, cuz I barely have time to breathe yet alone track everything, I'm still losing. Hooray! Slowly but surely, the pounds are coming off - at a rate of about 1/2 pound a week. I can live with that.

Better yet - I had good results at my dr's appointment yesterday. Hooray! I love not being scolded....

Saturday, September 01, 2007

NW vs. the Gym

When I woke up early this morning, I planned to go down to the gym. But, in a happy turn of events, I decided to head out to the mailbox with my Netflix before going down to the treadmill. And that's how I learned that it was a gorgeous sunny September morn in DC, with a chill in the air and a lovely breeze. So, I skipped the gym and went for a walk in the neighborhood instead.

I really enjoy walking outside so much more than the boring machines. The city was sleepy and quiet this morning, and I decided to explore a bit of the 'hood north of my place that I don't usually visit. There are some stunningly beautiful quiet little streets along Connecticut, and the early morning is the perfect time to discover these quiet little nooks.

I tried to MapQuest my route to show you all, but turns out MQ doesn't like it when you walk the wrong way down one-way streets. They can't map a walking route if a car couldn't do the same. Ah well, I still clocked in 2.27 miles, which is more than I would have done in the gym. Not only do I prefer walking outside, I usually pick longer routes that keep me walking for more time than if I was just trudging on the treadmill.

Clearly, we have a winner! As we ease into fall, thank goodness, I'll be heading back out on the streets more often!

You're Not Worth It!

Ah, Au Bon Pain Southwest Tuna Wrap, I hate to say it. But we have to break up.

With your 900 calories and your 51 grams of fat, you just no longer fit into my life. It's a toxic relationship for me, and I know you're not going to change who you are. So, I have to cut you off. Sorry.

In fact, I don't think we should even be friends. I will probably still hang out with some of our mutual friends, like the low-fat soups and salad varieties, but I promise I won't make them choose between us.

Hope you have a good rest of your life. But, for my own health, I don't ever want to see you again.

Dangit! I hate when I don't look up the nutritional value until AFTER I eat something!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Believe It Or Not

Honest to goodness, these things taste like Snickers!

Image courtesy of SlimFast.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Shiny New Look

Au Bon Pain has redesigned their web site, and I like it! The nutritional info is even more accessible, and I like the layout a lot better. Thank goodness ABP has some good choices for me on those days when I just have to get out of the building and grab lunch.

Not on the DL, Sadly

I just got my blood work back from my physical. Sad. My cholesterol went WAY up. Last time I had it checked, about 3 years ago, it was a nice, shiny, happy 182 or so. But now? Yikes. 262. That's not a number I'm proud of.... so I've got my work cut out for me. I'll have to go back for follow-up blood work in 3-6 months, and I've got to get that number down.

Dad's very interested in hearing all my stats now, cuz he wants to make sure I don't have the same experiences he had. Even though my cholesterol was high, I'm happy to report to him that my triglycerides are good, my blood glucose is normal, and that my HDL - the good cholesterol - is actually really good. It's just that my bad cholesterol is really bad. :-(

So, I shall soldier on, trying to live an increasingly fat-free life....

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My Swap-Out Dinner

I'm trying to make small adjustments in my cooking to reduce the amount of fat and sodium I use, and my experimenting is resulting in some pretty tasty meals.

Swap-out #1 -
I'm no longer cooking in olive oil, but instead am just using a small amount of olive oil-flavored cooking spray in my awesome non-stick skillet. This reduces the amount of fat, makes the final meal less oily (of course), and is cheaper!

Swap-out #2 -
I'm experimenting with different little flavor-toppers for things like veggies, rather than using margarine as a base.

Tonight, my dinner was:

Tilapia, crusted with black pepper and cumin.
Whole green beans, blanched and lightly dashed with garlic-infused rice vinegar.

This was so tasty! Light, fresh, with a little tangy zip -very low in fat and sodium, but totally filling!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Truckin' Along

I'm still here..... even while not posting, I'm still on the WWWagon. Things have been going pretty well - I'm now down 8.4 pounds from my official starting weight, which is really more like almost 12 pounds from my highest point (cuz I gained a few there after starting).

It feels good... every day still brings its challenges, like Restaurant Week with its desserts included and pasta nights with tomato cream sauce, but I'm managing to balance it all out. I track all my points in my little online journal, so I know to step it up after a bad day.

I'm still about the worst person ever about making myself exercise, but I know that and scold myself enough for it already. I'm drinking LOTS of water, and because I'm on a medication that leeches potassium (and means I shouldn't have alcohol), I have dr's permission to drink fruit juice. So I've had fun trying out different kinds - surprisingly, passion fruit juice wasn't all that.

The really good side benefit of all of this is that - finally! - I've now tried on the dresses I'll be wearing at the upcoming weddings, and I actually think I look cute in them! Hooray for not hating how you look! :-)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

WW Works

I'm still on hiatus, for now, so consider this just a brief update. In the last month, I have been sticking to WW online: tracking everything I eat, calculating my points, even counting my "oops" splurges. And guess what? The diet works. I've been steadily losing about a pound or so a week. I've been hungry, and I've made some mistakes, and I've had to resist a lot of temptation -- catered spreads, meeting donuts, boxes of cookies -- but I'm doing well. My Dad's recent health scare has been a real motivator for me. So, that's the update. I may not post very often, but I am updating my little hula girl ticker every week, if you want to follow along at home. :-)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Lights Out

I think it's about time for On the WWWagon to go dark, at least for a while.

I'm not getting the same thing out of the blog anymore - neither from writing posts nor from getting feedback from readers, and there've been less and less of both for months. I'm not in a great place right now thinking or feeling about my health or body issues, and I've been terrible lately in my own habits.

Sadly, I think the biggest thing I've learned by doing this blog is that I CAN'T do it on my own. I need to go back to more of the structure and feedback from following an actual diet, so for the zillionth time I'm going to try the real WW route.

Thanks for being supportive over the last year and a half. I'm just sorry I don't have more -- or LESS -- to show for it.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Takin' It To The Streets

It was such a nice morning this morning I decided that instead of forcing myself to the dark and dreary gym, I would go for a walk outside. It was great! It's starting to be a scorcher outside, but at least at 9 am there was some shade and a bit of a breeze so I didn't totally burn up.

I just learned MapQuest now lets you build a whole route, so I just plotted my little scenic tour of the neighborhood. (Yes, I'm a geek.)

This made for a 45 minute walk, and it's 1.87 miles total. It starts out on the downhill, then goes flat for a while, then has a huge uphill turn for a few short but very strenuous blocks, then evens out again. I worked up quite a sweat, but it feels good!

Not So Bad

I weighed myself this morning, and it wasn't as horrible as I expected. I have gained a half a pound since the last time I reported, so I'm up a total of 1.9. BUT... even though I gave myself a pass last week, I did weigh myself and so I know that last week I was up about another pound and a half. That means this week's gain was *actually* a bit of a loss, even though I didn't count last week. So that makes me happy!

Saturday, June 16, 2007


I have taken yoga classes several times over the last few years, but it has been a while. I recently picked up a new (to me) yoga DVD, cuz I've been feeling a need for the benefits of yoga again, and I thought I might as well break out my mat and strap and do it at home.

This is a the DVD I bought, and it's pretty good. It has a 45 minute workout that features both floor and standing poses, with lots of good breathing exercises mixed in with the stretching. What I really like about this disc, which is hosted by a woman named Suzanne, is that there are 4 women doing the poses for 4 different levels of difficulty. The host lady does the full poses, then the 3 other women consistently do medium or beginning levels of difficulty. It's great, and very easy to follow, even if you (like me) have to jump between regular poses for some things and medium for others. For example, my hamstrings are very flexible, so I can do full poses of all the forward bends and a lot of the standing poses, but my hips and torso aren't so great, so I do modified poses of the floor exercises. I think that feature is the best thing about this DVD.

I just did the whole workout for the first time, and wow were some of my muscles not so happy about working in such a focused way. My quads and my actual feet muscles aren't very pleased with me right now. But overall, it feels good. There's nothing quite like the feeling of those deep back cracks during a good forward bend.

What's the hardest thing about doing yoga at home versus in a class? Well, it's hard to explain to trusty cat Cleo that just because I'm sitting or laying on the floor doesn't make it playtime!

MIA - Sorry!

I skipped weigh-in last week, cuz I just knew I had been pretty bad. I was hoping to give myself this week to recoup, and I've been semi-okay. Until today, that is. Last night I was really good and got a big healthy salad out at one of my favorite restaurants. Unfortunately, my sensitive tummy somehow didn't agree with that healthy meal, and I've been sick all day today. :-( And, when I'm tummy-sick, I want nothing more than to soothe it with starch, followed by starch, with a little cheese mixed in, then a little more starch.

So I will weigh in tomorrow, but I do not have high hopes for it.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I Had a Bad Weekend

And sometimes that's all it takes to erase your progress and make you gain a pound or two. Aaargh.

Chips, candy, salty Chinese food... and I fell down in a restaurant and hurt my left knee and my right ankle, which are both sore today. Dang.

This week is going to be crazy with work events, both food and schedule-wise. So I'm going to try to really take it easy on lunches and get in as many fruits and veggies as I can, plus try to be more active... though the alternating rain and scorching humidity haven't been so motivating lately.


Monday, May 28, 2007

A New Tool in the Toolkit

Hooray! I've rediscovered an old love.... dijon mustard! This stuff is great. The brand I have (Safeway... I'm cheap) has zero calories and zero grams of fat, and LOTS of potential uses. I've used it as a marinade on chicken breasts, as a base for my first home-made vinaigrette, and just plain on sandwiches.

My problem with sandwiches is I tend to like the kind that go best with lots and lots of fatty mayo -- tuna salad, chicken salad, ham and swiss. But lately I've been trying different combos that taste just fine without mayo. I've got lowfat roast beef and lowfat pastrami, and they go great with this mustard. So I still get the convenience of just grabbing a sandwich, and getting the protein and dairy boost (cuz I'll still allow myself one slice of cheese), without the unnecessary added fat goo from mayo. Hooray!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Before the Feast

I'm heading off soon for some Memorial Day party indulgence...

...but I'm proud that rather than just lounging around all morning, I actually did just do a 20-minute ab workout. (A tearout one from SELF magazine that I like a lot.) I'll be feeling it tomorrow, for sure, but at least it makes me feel a little better about knowing that I'll be sampling lots of different tasty treats all afternoon!

Small Victories

Yay, I lost this week! It was small - only .4 of a pound - but that's enough to keep the losing trend going (hey, 2 weeks in a row I'll call it a trend). More importantly, it means I'm now in the negative on my little ticker, having lost the almost 2 pounds that I was up a few weeks ago. I don't know why my hula girl has a hard time with decimal amounts, but you still get the idea... now it's my job to make the amount a whole number, so she's not so confused. :-)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Light Dinner, aka Ode to Cumin

Inspired by one of Scotte's recent culinary adventures, I made a great light dinner tonight:

Mahi Mahi with Avocado & Corn Salad

The fish:
It started as a frozen filet from Whole Foods. After thawing, I sauteed it in olive oil in my favorite non-stick pan. I sprinkled it with cumin and black pepper. Mmmm, light, flaky, tasty.

The salad:
I took a 1/2 bag of frozen corn kernels and roasted them in the oven for about 15 min at 400 degrees. Before popping them in, I drizzled it with olive oil and sprinkled - you guessed it! - cumin and black pepper liberally across the top. Then I diced and scooped a whole avocado, and mixed it with the cooled corn.

And, here's the shocker -- I made my own vinaigrette! I've never done that before! It took 2 tries to get something tasty -- but I ended up mixing together 1 tsp of dijon mustard, about 1/2 tsp of lime juice, cumin, black pepper (natch!), and olive oil. It didn't mix together as well as I would've liked, and it was kinda tart, but overall it did the trick.

Visual Reference

There's nothing like seeing a picture of yourself - a side view, no less! - to give you that kick in the pants you need. Yikes.

So, I've been refocusing the last few days -- making better choices in my regular routines.

Por ejemplo:

Thursday for lunch at the deli, where I would've normally wanted a bready ham sandwich with mayo, instead I got a turkey wrap that has lots of veggies and a cucumber sauce. And no cookie!

Friday for lunch at a Thai place, where I would've normally wanted green curry with lots and lots of fatty coconut milk in the sauce, I ordered lad na with pork - a light brown sauce with lots of broccoli.

And Friday afternoon, when I went to see a movie? No popcorn!

And today? I just spent 45 minutes in the gym! Hard core, no excuses, in the gym. Hooray!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Reese's Smoothie?

I experimented with the blender again today, and based on a recipe I found on the Internets I came up with the following concoction:

- One WW giant fudgsicle - 1 point
- One T reduced fat peanut butter - 2 points
- 1/2 cup skim milk - 1 point

Oh my goodness! This tasted like a frothy peanut butter cup! Not bad for a sweet, satisfying 4 point dessert!


I lost 1.4 pounds this week. Yippee!

And that's even with being at a conference for 5 days -- airport food, constant grazing at buffet tables, irregular schedules, all of it! That's great, cuz last year I gained weight at this particular conference. I'm happy! (Even though my ticker seems to have gone a little crazy....?)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Bringin' Back the 70's

I was inspired tonight to go digging through the storage bins in my closet to see if I could find an old friend... I wasn't sure if it had survived all the moves of my 20's, and I didn't know if I'd kept it or sent it to Goodwill at some point, but.... success! I found it! My trusty old (and I mean old, it was one of Mom's hand-me-downs when I moved out) Osterizer blender! I think that sucker predates me, and I'm no spring chicken.

I was so happy that I found it that I just threw together a smoothie for dessert, using some frozen organic blueberries, fat free milk, and a little bit of light whipped topping. Deelish!

Now I'm on a mission -- to fully integrate smoothies into my home repertoire. Breakfast, snack, dessert - it's all good!

So what are your favorite blender concoctions? Now that I've dug out the Osterizer, I plan to get as much life out of the old girl as I can!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Gurgh. Aaargh.

Shiny new scale and I have not figured out how to be friends yet.

I'm up 1.6 pounds from last week! Bah.

Well, I know I had some indulgent dinners, and I ate out 4 nights in a row.... plus I have GOT to work in some exercise. I think I need to kick my own butt and just start doing it!

This week will be a real challenge, cuz it's conference time.... but I'll be very active, so maybe it will work out okay. Until next time...... pffffffffft!

I Met My Challenge!

I stuck to my lunchtime challenge for the rest of the week - hooray!

Wednesday: Another day of soup and a bagel at Au Bon Pain, with yogurt this time.

Thursday: Chicken bento box (though I did have a salty oat cookie)

Friday: A steak salad

So, I know these still aren't super low-cal lunches, by far, but I'm glad that I was able to go a whole week without getting into the cycle of killer deli sandwiches yet again. And I enjoyed every meal that I had at lunch... so let's see if I can make this a habit.

Now, to work on dinners, too....

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Two Days In

I've been doing fairly well on my lunchtime challenge so far....

Yesterday, I had a Cosi Signature Salad, as is (no added grilled chicken as usual), with the whole grain flatbread. That's it - no extra yogurt or cookie or anything.

Today, I'd been having a bit of tummy trouble so I didn't eat breakfast. By the time 11:30 rolled around, I was light-headed... but I also had a meeting coming. So I had to eat fast.

I got a large beef stew with a plain bagel and just one little cup of cream cheese at Au Bon Pain. Tasty. Again, no cookie or yogurt as a "side"....

I've successfully avoided the killer lunches both days -hooray! And I've discovered a very easy and convenient new snack for when my mid-day munchies come. The basement cafe at my office sells little single-serve cups of cereal, including my fave Smart Start, so I grab one of those and a tiny little carton of fat-free milk. It's sweet AND crunchy and keeps my satisfied.

That's all good stuff. Dinners, on the other hand, have NOT been very good.... but one thing at a time!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Take a Deep Breath

Ugh. So, my shiny new scale did give me a totally different number today. Like I said, I'm going to just accept it. What else can I do? But, um, yeah - it was TWELVE pounds higher than what my old scale gave me. (Remember, the old scale used to waver a lot on the dial, so I was never really sure where it was landing.) I guess it really was time to upgrade my weight loss technology, if it was so wrong....

But. Yikes!

So, there's nowhere to go but down!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Lunchtime Challenge

Lately I've been getting really lax on trying to have good lunches during the week.

My days are really busy, so when noon rolls around I'm usually facing one of two scenarios:

1. I need to give myself a break and get out of the building for a while, so I'll go out with a friend for a restaurant meal, most likely Austin Grill. (Mmmmm, gooey cheese and meat.)

2. I'm on the run and have a lot of meetings, so I just run out to grab something quick, usually at a deli or Potbelly's. My favorite so-bad-they're-good (but really, ultimately, very bad) options? The Italian sandwich at Potbelly's or a turkey & swiss & avocado sandwich on a greasy, buttery croissaint from the deli. Yikes.

I realize that this is the time of day where I'm most likely to make bad choices, with little forethought.

So, this week, I'm challenging myself to break that cycle. I want to eat healthier stuff at lunch - meals that are still satisfying, but are lower in fat and have better ingredients. My goal is to spend this whole week going back to some of the good options I have been successful with in the past: soups, salads, fruit, and bento boxes.

That's my plan for the week -- spend 5 days avoiding killer sandwiches and cheesy entrees. I'll report soon on how I do!

Shiny and New

I got my new bathroom scale today. Isn't it all sleek and fancy-looking?

I am worried that I'll have a bit of a shock when I step on the scale Monday morning. My suspicion is that my old dial-a-number scale probably lost its precision quite some time ago. So, scary, this digital readout may give me a number that is higher than I want to see... yikes!

But, I've decided that I'm going to just go with it. It's not that I will have suddenly gained 10 pounds or something, it's that I'll finally know what I actually weigh and can use that info as a starting point. And there's no way I want to mess with doing some algebra program to translate my stats from the old scale to the new one. Who can handle doing that on a Monday morning???

So... wish me luck. I will report in on the scary new number on Monday!

Monday, April 30, 2007

I Need a New Scale

No, that's not a spiteful statement. I think my old dial-a-number scale is on its last legs. This morning, it gave me 3 different weights, widely ranged. (One of which was soul-crushing!) If this scale can't make up its mind, I think it's time to get one of those digital ones. You know, the new-fangled 1990's kind.

Monday, April 23, 2007

A Reminder

The scale this morning gave me a little reminder that I need to be good.... I went up a pound. :-(

But, I also know I wasn't as active this past week and I was really at the end of my grocery supply so I wasn't eating the greatest stuff. But my grocery delivery is coming in 2 days, so that will be a help, and I can make myself do a little more especially now that the weather is so nice.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

I'm A Walkin', Yes Indeed...

Today's weather aside, now that it's theoretically springtime, I'm back to my routine of trying to do the 1-hour, 3-mile walk from my place to downtown at least once a week. It makes for a nice weekend plan to meet someone down in the Gallery Place area for lunch or a movie or to see a museum, and as long as I have the hour beforehand to do the walk, it's easy exercise. It's actually been a great way for me to catch up on podcasts, too, so it's kinda multi-tasking!

For this week, I am *so* glad I already got the walk out of the way yesterday.... cuz even though I have to go downtown today, it's going to be Metrobus all the way!!!!


1 more pound gone! Haters be damned -- I'm now at the 5 pound mark. That's very good news!

Now I think I'll go back to bed on this ridiculously gloomy Sunday.....

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Kettle chips and onion dip? Check.

Velveeta shells & cheese? Check.

Ben & Jerry's chocolate chip cookie dough? Check.

Emotional eating? Not in check.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Perfectly-Portioned Poultry

I splurged on my grocery delivery this time to try out something I'd been seeing in stores that seemed almost mythical in concept.... perfectly-portioned, prepackaged chicken breasts: Perdue Perfect Portions. The package, $9.99 in all, includes 6 single-serving size chicken breasts, all averaging out to 4.8 oz each. Most of what I've read say that the recommended serving size for chicken is 4 oz, so this gives you a little leeway while still being sensible.

The breasts were definitely smaller than what you'd normally find in a package, but you really don't miss it when you eat it. They cook up fairly fast, too. I did mine tonight at $350 for just about 20 minutes, and it was perfectly cooked through and still juicy. With honey BBQ sauce, yum!

And an added bonus? These little beauties are individually wrapped in plastic, so you can pop them all in the freezer without having to do the messy chore of separating them out and putting them into Ziploc yourself. They make it so easy!

Site Note

Where'd it go? Somewhere along the way my SiteMeter button on this blog disappeared. Huh. So I've just made a new one... which means it's all been reset. I'm probably the only one who will even notice, but just wanted to let y'all know. I'm still watching you watching me... ;-)

I Couldn't Wait


I decided to sneak a peek at the scale today to see how the last week affected the dial. Guess what? I lost THREE POUNDS! Hooray! I guess that's what sleeplessness combined with no appetite combined with drinking LOTS of water does for you! :-)

Seriously, I'm so excited. It's been a long time since I've seen anything like real progress on the scale. And I've actually FELT a little better this week - I did feel like my clothes were a little more comfortable, and even a little like I was flushing my system what with all the water and none of the caffeine. And, since my social life conspired to have me eat at home every night this week, I ate fairly decent portions and a lot healthier stuff. See, it's not rocket science. It's just a matter of doing it!

Today, my big Easter plans include walking the 3 miles downtown for a sushi lunch and movie with a friend. As long as I resist the popcorn, it's all good!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A Strange Week

This is been a very weird week, health-wise. Every year, when allergy season really kicks up, I take a 6-day course of steroids to kill my sinus pain. So, as you might imagine, there are all kinds of weird 'roid effects that play out... while my sinuses are being kept at bay, I get all kinds of jittery, flushed, hot, anxious. My appetite and sleep cycles go way out of whack for the week. I spent most of this week laying awake for hours at night but then crashing when I get home from work and sleeping until 8 at night. I haven't eaten as much, cuz my tummy has also been a bit upset, and I've had weird sort of sleepless energy. We'll see how all of this might affect the scale on Monday.

The biggest thing I had to watch out for this week is that I can NOT have caffeine while I'm taking the 'roids. Can you imagine how bad a mix that would be? So, I have actually gone a whole week without any chai or Coke zero. As much as I try not to think about how much I usually rely on caffeine, a week without it definitely showed me how much I do need those little pick-me-ups during the week. I probably have either a chai or a Coke Zero every day during the week... so without it, this week, the 3 pm-and-after part of the day was *really* difficult. That's why I found myself leaving work early and coming home to pass out in bed. It's not fun to think about needing that kind of artificial boost - and I probably could adjust the kind of lunches I eat to keep my blood sugar more regulated so I don't have that late afternoon crash. But still, I'll be glad to go back to having a little caffeine this week. Maybe I'll stick to tall instead of grande, though....

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Cherry Blossom Workout?

Since Willard Scott told me today was really the day to head down to see the cherry blossoms before the storms come through and knock 'em all down... I packed my trusty sneakers, sunscreen, a t-shirt and camera to change into after work and I made my way down to the Tidal Basin. Check my other blog for some photos I'm especially proud of.

But you know what else I'm proud of? I had a totally fantastic time, just me and my camera and my iPod, walking around the monuments for 2 1/2 hours. By the end of it, my feet and my quads were feeling it, and I'm sure I'll be stiff and sore tomorrow.

The great time that I had was totally inspiring, as I kept thinking of future Mall walking trips I want to take when the weather is good. Bringing that camera along is key. It keeps me engaged and leads to a workout by default! :-)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Tricking My Temptation

As many of you know, I used to be a vegetarian. I truly believed in what I was doing for moral reasons.... but, it was very hard to do and I didn't do it very well. I fell off that particular wagon and I'm now a complete carnivore again. And, surprisingly, one of my biggest downfalls these days is that I freakin' love steak. My friends who knew me when I was veggie still get a kick out of seeing me order and devour a big piece of steak.... but I do love it!

So, I now have to resist ordering a big slab of beef whenever I'm at a restaurant that has a decent steak on the menu. For a while, that was all I ordered at certain lunch places. But, come one, I really don't need a huge steak for lunch! I don't need the calories or the fat...even though it tastes so damn good.

Now, I have a new strategy -- it still gets me the taste that I want, but balances it out with some veggies and other ingredients -- the steak salad! Sure, it's still not hummus and veggies or salmon wrapped in a lettuce leaf. But it's a healthier option than eating an 18 oz steak for lunch...and some of the places I frequent have pretty tasty steak salads on the menu. So far, it's working for me!


Oh, thank goodness. I was so bummed out last week about losing track and gaining 3 pounds. I was a lot better this week -- even though I still can't get myself to be disciplined enough to track every day on WW, I was much better about what I ate and being a little more active. And it paid off, I lost 1 pound this week. Hooray!

I'm going to update the little ticker above... the 42 lb goal is looking a little intimidating lately, so I'm going to adjust my expectations and start with a goal of 20 pounds. Let's hope that's a little more achievable. I've totally done it before. Fingers crossed!

Monday, March 26, 2007

What Would You Order?

Ah, my restaurant-based lifestyle is often my downfall.

Tomorrow night, I'm having dinner at an old standby restaurant, Gordon Biersch. Home of bbq chicken pizzas, giant steaks, huge beers.... lots and lots and lots o' points to be had.

So, based on this dinner menu, what would you order as the healthiest possibility?

Some of the salad options could work, but they've got fatty toppings and dressings. Sometimes I order the Hawaiian chicken as a so-so option, but it looks like they may have taken that off the menu. Hmmm.... looks like I'll have to exercise some real restraint and plan for a doggie-bag, no matter what I order!

Not Proud

Uh oh. How'd that happen?

After 2 weeks of taking a "pass" on weigh-in days, I just weighed in. Now, I know I have not been good the last few weeks. I haven't really been tracking what I'm eating and I haven't made a point of exercising.

But it still was a surprise to see that I've GAINED 4 pounds. And that I now have a new heaviest-ever record. And that record is today.

Oh, that does not feel good.

Help! I know what I've gotta do.... back on the wagon as best I can. Please, please, please wish me luck.... and take those cookies out of my hand next time you see me!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Another Monday Morning

And more wavering on the scale. Aaargh. I'm gonna call it that I'm the same as last week, nothing lost and nothing gained. But it was close....!

I know last week was tough, but it's a little discouraging. I'm feeling like it's getting harder to lose weight the older I get. But I'm also not as disciplined as I was when I did this the 1st time.... It was now 7 years ago that I lost all that weight. Wow. But my life is very different now, so I have to just keep working at finding ways to make it work for me now. Here goes for another week....

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Strange Week

It's been a very up-and-down week due to my crazy schedule.

I had our Board dinner Monday night, and I definitely overindulged in the appetizers and really rich duck entree. But, life bit me back by hitting me with the stomach virus, so I was really ill on Tuesday and my stomach didn't settle down for about 2 days. So I didn't really eat much in that period...

Then we had a quick trip to Atlanta, also for work. Airport food, huge entree salads (yum, steak salad), and more wine and bready appetizers. Not so great.

But today, I'm ordering sushi for dinner and I'm planning fun ways to eat light tomorrow. Then it's weigh-in on Monday. Who knows how that will turn out?

But I've got plenty of negative motivation working for me.... cuz I just saw some new pictures of myself. Yikes, not happy. Even my face looks like I swallowed a balloon! So, as I know I'll be in lots of events with lots of pictures being taken this year, that's a little extra added oomph!

Monday, March 05, 2007


Even with a bad day yesterday (movie theater popcorn, ugh), I still managed to lose one pound this week. Hooray!

This coming week will be tougher, as I have a board dinner, a board meeting with breakfast trays, and quick overnight trip - so the choices will be a little harder. But I feel pretty good and I'll keep counting those points.

'Til next time....

Sunday, March 04, 2007

My First Week

Back on plan....

I did fairly well, considering. I earned a total of 13 Activity Points, exceeding my personal goal of getting in a minimum of 10 a week. I had several days where I was right on target with my points, and only 2 days where I really splurged.

The first was a belated birthday lunch on Thursday, where I totally went for it and had the steak platter and tortilla chips with queso. Yum. But I counted them all!

Then today, when I'd been really good and walked 3 miles before lunch and a movie, I splurged on an egg-and-chorizo omelet and then - GASP! - got popcorn at the movies. Of course, my tummy is having the last laugh cuz now I feel like crap.

Ah, well, I was still pretty good on the whole. Let's see if it makes any difference on the scale in the morning!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Something I've Learned

Guess what? Organic peanut butter is weird.

I had to get rid of my beloved Peter Pan a few weeks back because of whatever that latest E. Coli or salmonella or whatever it was scare. So, I happened to be at Whole Paycheck and bought their store brand of creamy peanut butter. I forgot until I opened it that organic peanut butter uses different kinds of oils, and so it all separates in the jar. You have to stir it up, but still it's never quite the same consistency. I like creamy, but not drippy. Yeah, it's weird.

But I'm also cheap, so I'll probably keep using this until it's gone.... but I won't like it very much!

Still Going Strong

I'm doing pretty well being pack on WW officially. I know, it's only 5 days, but it's 5 days where I've been better than I have been in months! I'm tracking everything I'm eating and logging in the Activity Points. I have been tapping into Flex Points, but that's okay, that's what they are there for. Let's see if it makes a difference when I weigh in on Monday...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I Did Really Well Today!

Hooray! I counted all my points and I did a lot of extra walking today. So I earned 4 activity points, yippee! I ate smaller, smarter meals (again, I give thanks to sushi) and walked all the way home from Farragut North. It feels good.

I did have to use my AP's and 1.5 Flexies today, but that's mostly because I chose to take on some beverage points. I have some orange juice in the fridge and I really wanted to drink it. Plus, I had a skim chai from Starbucks - but I did switch from grande to tall. So, I counted these points, but I know that as I make the transition back into counting points I'll probably change my beverage habits a bit. Or maybe not, as long as I count them all. I'm still getting light chocolate soy milk and organic orange juice in my grocery delivery this week. You know, a girl can't live on Crystal Light alone!

Monday, February 26, 2007

For Better or...Hopefully, For Better

So after the lack of resounding success of my 2007 diet strategy.... I have now reupped my Weight Watchers Online membership. I hope this helps me be a little more disciplined and more focused, and at least more accountable to myself. Here's to a(nother) new start!

The Worst Ever

Ugh. Not doing so well on this whole diet and exercise thing. Isn't it strange how life sometimes gets in the way? But it's so important, I really need to try and be better. Luckily I'm getting my groceries delivered again this week and will have lots of produce and diet-friendly stuff in my house. I've got to get out and walk some more this week -- darn that snow! Oh well, I'll keep trying....

Monday, February 19, 2007

Get Out of Jail Free

Ugh, I just stepped on the scale and I do not like what it said. So I'm going to use the once a year birthday pass and just not count it until next week. So that gives me a week to shape up and reverse the sluggish trend of the last few weeks!

Sunday, February 18, 2007


I am in love. With a salad dressing! It's Drew's All Natural Garlic Italian, and my oh my is it tasty!

I picked up a bottle of it at Whole Paycheck yesterday for the simple reason that it was on sale, and that my recent bout of terrible eating had me thinking I need to start eating more salads at home.

When I got home, I cracked open the bottle and poured some over some mixed greens. Which I then devoured, and practically licked the bowl. I had some soup later.... but then, believe it or not, went BACK to the fridge and polished off the rest of the mixed greens with ANOTHER bowl of salad. The dressing is just that good.

Of course, then today I was sad that I had already used up my whole bag of greens and still had so much dressingy goodness just sitting there. So when the opportunity arose to head to a market, I grabbed two more bags of greens and came home to another yummy salad.

The dressing is super simple - just olive oil, red wine vinegar, basil and garlic. But the result is so tangy and delicious I *almost* want to drink it straight from the bottle!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I Have Been Eating Crap

Ugh. This past week, I have just been eating the worst stuff! Between my birthday, Valentine's Day, the crazy snow/ice storm, and the fact that it's been 2+ weeks since my last grocery delivery, I've just been stuffing my face with everything bad. Cookies, cake, chips (for breakfast? oh yes.), plain pasta, and boxed/processed/frozen entrees and no fruit, veggies or even good proteins. And guess what? I feel sluggish and gross.

So on my way home from work today (yes, a Saturday) I stopped at Whole Paycheck. 86 bucks later I had a whole basket of goodies. Salads, fruit, deli stuff, things that I'm actually really excited about eating! Hopefully this will help get me through this week and feel better about everything. Cuz right now, I just kinda feel ICK.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Well, apparently eating your usual way and not exercising at all doesn't really work as a diet. Who knew?

I stayed the same this week, for the reasons I detailed above. Aaargh. I've gotta step it up a bit, but it'll be hard as this is birthday week! So I've gotta try to be a little more active, since I know I'll be eating a few good restaurant meals.

Tune in next week to see how it goes!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Fairly Tasty

Today I tried these little South Beach Diet wraps. They make for a pretty good quick lunch.
When you open the box, you'll see you that there is some assembly required. There are 2 small whole wheat wraps, a package of chicken pieces, a package of shredded parmesa cheese, and a packet of lite caesar salad dressing. Mix it all together and you've got 2 fairly filling wraps. It would be a little better if you added in some of your own shredded lettuce or something green.... but overall I was pleased. Bonus - it comes with a little cup of Sugar-Free cherry Jello to satisfy your sweet tooth.
I did learn an important lesson, though. It is clearly marked on the front of the package DO NOT FREEZE. Store in the refrigerator. Oops. Somehow I missed that -- but no worries, after a few hours sitting on the counter even the Jello thawed out! ;-)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Feel the Burn!

Well, pushing myself to do three full reps of my abs workout yesterday must have had a real impact. Cuz by the end of the day today, my abs and side muscles were SORE! That's a good sign, right? I can see why they say to do these kinds of focused workouts every other day, to give the poor muscles a rest. But I look forward to doing it again tomorrow! (That's *if* I can wake up early enough to do it - this cold weather is not making it easy!)


I stayed the same on the scale this week. Bah humbug. I guess it's better than gaining, but I was *really* hoping to lose at least 1 pound. Phooey. So like I said below, I guess it's time for me to recommit to the whole exercise component of the plan. And if the thermometer stays below the freezing line like this, it's gonna be time for A LOT of soup! Here goes for another week....

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The American Diet

In case you missed it... The New York Times Magazine had a great article last week about the problems with the American diet. "Unhappy Meals" covers everything from the history of nutritionism to the reactionary tactics of the food industry to how the soil has been affected by modern agriculture to poor Americans' confusion about what in the heck we are supposed to eat to stay healthy. It's a long article, but set aside some time for it cuz it's full of interesting info.

Revisiting My Own Strategy

Even though I'm still sore with that knotted shoulder I discussed in a previous post, I think the whole DC winter cold thing is *finally* behind me. That was about 2 weeks of feeling like crap and just being exhausted overall. This weekend, I finally was able to go out and do social things without it totally wiping me out, whereas I'd cancelled everything the 2 weeks before. Thank goodness, I was ready to rejoin the world!

Which means I need to get back on track for my whole plan for this year. The plan for 2007 is to make better food choices overall, but really to work to introduce exercise into the program. (Or programme, for my metric friends.) I've really let that latter part slide over the last few weeks. Bah.

But, today I was just inspired and did a whole SELF Magazine abs workout that is also pretty good for cardio. Woohoo for heavy breathing! ;-) And my goal for this week is to keep working on introducing just more activity in general, even if it's going for a short walk at lunchtime or taking a little longer walk as part of my commute. Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 03, 2007


I just ate the most fiber-filled dinner ever! Well, certainly the most fiber-rific meal I've had in a while.

I sliced up some mushrooms and zucchini and sauteed them in garlic and olive oil, then stirred in some tomato basil pasta sauce and let it all simmer and get tasty. Then I poured that all on top of some Barilla Plus angel hair pasta. Yummy. (Check out the nutritional stats for Barilla Plus here.)

I admit, though, that the portion was bigger than it needed to be, but it was pretty darn healthy and I loved every bite.

Now? Well, now, I just about feel like I could burst. That's a lot of fiber!!!!

All Tied Up in Knots

Ow. I woke up yesterday morning with kinda a stiff neck.... and then I had to sit and my desk all day and then went to a movie where I had to keep my head up to watch the screen... and after a night of semi-comfortable sleep, I just woke up and can barely move my head and shoulders. I have huge knots in my shoulders - ouch! This has happened this bad once before, about a year and a half ago, so I already had some generic Ben Gay on hand. So now my skin and my clothes all smell mentholated. Sexy. And I'm trying to slowly stretch.... hopefully a shower will help. Any suggestions?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Yummy Treat

I am a big fan of the cookies-and-cream genre of desserts.... ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, smoothies, shakes, Oreos in general. So I am very excited to announce that the Weight Watchers "Giant" Cookies & Cream ice cream bars are super-tasty! It's a vanilla ice cream bar coated in little cookie sprinkles. It might get a *little* messy, but the sprinkles are good and chocolatey and the ice cream is the way it's supposed to be, sweet and cold. They are a pretty decent size, and they're only 2 points! Hooray!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Back on the Scale

Well, there you have it. A week of being sick and pretty much eating crap and doing nothing but laying in bed? I gained 2 pounds. Urgh.

But, I am mostly feeling better...and I am definitely in the mood to eat much better food this week. Fruits, veggies, soup, sushi - here I come!

Freezer Find

Last night, I was really craving a sweet, light dessert. But, it's been a while since I've gotten new groceries so I didn't have any of the usual good stuff. I decided to explore the freezer to see what I could come up with.... and I found a pretty darn tasty combination:

Frozen Girl Scout Thin Mints cookies dipped in a little fat-free whipped topping.

Yum! It was cold, and sweet, and light.... perfect!

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Hey kids, sorry I haven't been posting. I've been officially sick for over a week now, and the whole diet-exercise-health thing has not been going well.

It started out with a 3-day stomach upset last week that may have been related to some questionable pot luck items or that may have been a harbinger of me catching something. Then over the weekend I caught the DC January cold, which led to 3 days in bed with a bad sore throat and then the painful, swollen glands thing. So now I'm on antibiotics and decongestants, and I've started taking expectorant to try to get rid of all the last vestiges of the cold. BUT, now I think that OTC cocktail has done something not so good, and I'm back to a really bad tummy situation. And all I want to do is stay in bed....

So I have not been eating normally or very well all week, and I have not exercised at all. I've had to cancel a bunch of things that I really should've done (sorry!) and I've basically become a lump sitting on my couch or sitting at my desk. I really want to eat a big fresh healthy fruit-and-veggie meal, but my tummy is demanding bland and starchy stuff.

I didn't weigh in this week, and I'm worried about what the scale will say this Monday. But, I'll take it as it comes, cuz I've just gotta keep doing what I need to get rid of this darn sick. I'm so ready to be done with it!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Delayed Benefit

I think I just skated by on the scale this morning. I did lose another pound - woohoo!

But I was not as good this week as I was the week before. I only averaged 15 minutes of exercise per day, whereas I did a 30 minute average before. And as I mentioned below, this crazy week at work has included lots of sandwich trays and cookies and chips, plus I've been enjoying some ice cream at home.

So, I think today's weight loss probably reflects a little bit that I'm using some better habits, and a little bit of the longer-term effect of being so good the week before.

But, whatever, I'll take it! Here's to another good week....

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Back to the Safeway

Since I'm only allowing myself to get groceries delivered once a month (a pricey habit), today I had to head out for a mid-month Safeway trip. And I was surprised at how well I did, not only with getting sale items but also with really thinking about the stuff I was pulling off the shelves and how it fits into a healthier plan for eating overall. Good times!

If any of you are heading out soon - check out these sales:
Safeway "Healthy Advantage" Veggie Chili - $1.00, reg price $2.19
Healthy Choice canned soups - $2.00, reg price $2.39
Safeway O Organics pasta sauce - $2.50, reg price $2.65
Lean Cuisine, entrees, pizzas, and paninis - $2.50, reg price $3.29 - $3.49
Jello Sugar-Free Pudding 6-packs - $3.00, reg price $3.99
Taj Mahal Chicken Tikka Masala - $3.99, reg price $4.39
Brown & Serve breakfast sausage - $1.00, reg price $1.66
Fresh Express bagged spinach - $1.00, reg price $2.99

Saturday, January 13, 2007

It's Been a Busy Week!

I've had a crazy, intense week at work, so I haven't been able to keep up as much over the last few days. No worries, it's all been good stuff at work, it just made for a lot of long, intense days with bad sandwich trays that left me exhausted at night. So I haven't been exercising as much as last week, but that's okay. Now, with the long weekend, I hope to make up for some of the past craziness and even just allow myself to relax a little! I hope it works out on the scale...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Good 'Nuff

Woohoo! I lost 1 pound this week. That's nice to see.... so now I'm down 3 pounds since the beginning, or 1.3% of my total body weight. Here's to another good week!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The First Week

I've done pretty well this week, all told. I've been sticking to what I laid out - focusing on eating a better variety of more nutritional stuff, cutting out some of the bad stuff, and exercising more.

The Highlights:
  • I ate a lot of good stuff this week, and thanks to my grocery delivery I've worked in fresh produce like spinach, avocado, broccoli, grapes, and bananas. Tasty! I cooked every dinner this week which is a real achievement!
  • I did indulge a few times, on leftover holiday brownies and some movie theater popcorn, but for the most part I avoided temptation. I didn't eat ANY of the cookies or candy that people keep bringing in the office, and I only had 2 chai lattes all week.
  • I've been drinking more water and I bought and started taking calcium supplements.
  • Even with that shin splint problem, I still managed to work in more exercise - an average of 30 minutes a day over the last week. That includes time on the treadmill, walking outside, and doing some of the fitness / workout dvds I have at home. And after a few days of low-impact stuff, my legs feel good again so hopefully I can slowly work my way back onto the treadmill....

Hopefully this will all have a good effect on the scale in the morning.... I'll keep you posted!

More Wrap Fun

I have another new favorite treat that came out of The Biggest Loser cookbook. Really, it's so simple it's hard to believe it even requires a recipe.... it's a PBJ wrap!

I start with a fat free whole wheat tortilla. Then spoon on about 1 tbsp of reduced fat peanut butter - Peter Pan is my favorite brand - and spread it thinly across the whole tortilla. Then add about 1 tsp of jam/jelly - I'm using Smuckers Low Sugar strawberry preserves -and spread it as well. Roll the whole thing up, and you have a pretty healthy, VERY tasty, childhood-nostalgia treat!

I tried using a banana with peanut butter on a wrap last night, but actually that made it a wee bit TOO sweet. I'm not sure how the banana is sweeter than the strawberry preserves, but there you have it. I'm sticking with the strawberry.

I've been eating them for breakfast and for snacks.... really, these little things are now a staple.

Feelin' Fishy

I had fun with another cooking experiment tonight: Tilapia!

I started with two small fillets, then sprinkled black pepper and a bit of ground ginger on top. Then I drizzled them with olive oil, topped them with about 1/4 tsp of minced garlic each, wrapped it all in tin foil and baked it in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Once it was done cooking, I lightly drizzled a wee bit of lime juice on top.

It turned out to be pretty tasty! I didn't really detect much of the ginger, so that may not have been needed. But the fish combined with the garlic had a nice nutty flavor. The tilapia is a little more substantial than the usual whitefish, so it held up well to the garlic's power. It was still light and moist (ick, hate that word), so cooking it any longer would've probably dried it out or made it tough.

This was a good dinner - thanks Dancer and Scotte for your suggestions. I'll definitely be making this again! Which is a good thing, cuz I did buy 2 pounds of it in my last grocery order....

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Leave It To Me

Yeah, I would be that girl who goes a long time without exercising, then after just a few days of doing some moderate walking gets totally sidelined by shin splints. Aaargh!

Last night, my legs were so sore I had a hard time sleeping. And today, my left leg - always my problem leg since I had a bad ankle sprain 20 years ago and now have tendonitis and a crampy calf - was a painful annoyance all day long. I just did a lot of reading on the Internets, and apparently it's a lateral shin splint based on where it is.

I'm pretty sure that after a day or so of resting, things will be fine, but it's a big reminder that I really do need to focus on stretching as a part of my new workout routine. You can't just jump on a treadmill or bike cold, cuz that way pain lies.

But the good thing is I just read about a great calf stretch that I've just spent the last 15 minutes or so doing, and it feels GREAT. Stand arm's length from a wall that you're facing. Plant your heels down on the floor and then lean towards the wall, bracing yourself with your hands. Bring your shoulders and then hips forward, keeping your back straight and your heels down. You'll feel it in both legs. Try bending your knees to stretch a different part of your calves.

Then, to really dig in deep, do the same stretch but only with one leg at a time. Keep one leg arms-length from the wall with the heel down, bring your other foot forward and bend that front knee while you lean into the wall with your upper body. Yowza - fantastic! After years of having a crampy, charley-horse-prone calf on my bad leg, I will be doing this stretch quite often!

Another Challenge

I need more sleep. I don't get the full 8 hours that I should every night, and waking up in the morning can be so painful! So another one of the things I want to try to do this year is cut down on my caffeine intake. I don't drink coffee, but I *love* chai lattes and Coke Zero, and I drink a chai or a diet cola probably 5 days a week. The caffeine definitely makes me jittery, and after a month of drinking a lot of Coke Zero (when I had a case at home) I could see a real, yucky difference in the color of my teeth. :-(

So, for lots of reasons, I'm going to try to cut back on the cola and the caffeine in general. I've switched back to my old standard, diet Sprite, to have at home. I do still appreciate carbonation every once in a while, so I'm not giving up on soda itself, just the caffeinated colas. And it's going to be hard to resist those Starbucks runs every morning at work!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Guilt-Free BBQ!

I just had a super-tasty dinner with HUGE flavor.

Back when I was a vegetarian, one of the things I missed the most was the good old taste of barbecue. Then I stumbled upon the Gardenburger BBQ Riblets and I was happy. Very, very happy! These little veggie "ribs" are delicious and have almost none of the fat and calories of real ribs! They clock in at 240 calories and just 4.5 grams of fat total, and they have so much tangy BBQ sauce smeared all over you'll want to lick your lips! I didn't last as a vegetarian for very long - only about 11 months - but discovering these little babies definitely extended my experiment in self-discipline.

Tonight, I paired this tasty Riblet with one of my new favorite dishes, a baked potato smothered in broccoli and low-fat cheese sauce. The whole combination was so warm and filling and satisfying - I can't wait to have it as a meal again!

A New Year on the Scale

I weighed in this morning, since I wasn't home yesterday morning to hop on the scale. And it wasn't too bad - I stayed the same as last week. But that's okay, considering the ginormous meal and snacks and dessert I had on New Year's Eve, plus the fact that I'm really just now getting started on the exercise-and-cooking plan. I hope that next week shows a little positive movement on the dial when I weigh-in back on my normal schedule, Monday morning.

Inspired by last night's The Biggest Loser marathon and my aforementioned love of Excel, I have created another spreadsheet that will help me track my weigh-ins. I'm looking at the number of pounds lost, but also the percentage of weight. That seems like another valuable number - so far, I'm down 1% of my total body weight!

I'm hoping these Excel workbooks will help me track my stats and take the place of the few tools I was using on the WW online site. Heck, the first time I did WW and lost 42 pounds, I did it all on Excel all by myself! I can't wait to make some pretty graphs....

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Strategies for the New Year

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about my weight loss goals and my own lifestyle and habits. My goal, of course, is to lose weight - but for me, the health reasons are the biggest motivators. It would be great to fit into cute new outfits, of course, but I'm most concerned about making sure I stay happy and healthy for a very long time.

I have actually decided I'm going to hold off on the specific WW strategy for a while. I cancelled my online subscription, cuz I didn't want to keep spending $17 a month when I'm not using the online tools. I'll keep the name of this blog the same - cuz there's always the chance I may sign up again (they give you a 6 month window where they keep your account dormant) and there's no doubt that I've learned a lot from Weight Watchers over the years. The biggest and most important lesson I've learned from WW is that all of this is about choosing a lifestyle, not just following a diet.

But, instead, I'm focusing on trying to change my habits and learning more about nutrition in general.

I'm reading that You: On a Diet book, which is really interesting and appeals to my more intellectual side about what weight loss really is. It's all about the biological and nutritional elements of what you eat and how you exercise, and it's all about the big belly fat problem. Which is absolutely my biggest challenge! Trust me, some of the stuff in the book is kinda gross to learn - but it's been very motivating to learn the *why* of the body's reactions and changes and learning how to take control of these very natural systems.

This book echoes all the same good science stuff I've been reading for years - which is all about moderation and smart choices, not starving yourself by counting points or eliminating carbs or only eating one kind of thing, etc. So with what I've learned from WW, and what I've read about here and in other places, here's my plan:
  • I will work on reducing my overall food intake through portion control.
  • I will work to introduce more fruits and veggies into my diet in new and easy ways.
  • I will stick to whole wheat or multigrain starches when I eat them.
  • I will stick to lean meats at home, but still allow myself some beef or lamb when I'm eating out.
  • I will cook more of my own meals at home, experimenting with new ingredients and looking for new healthy recipes.
  • I will exercise! I will aspire to hitting the gym, walking outdoors, or doing a variety of exercises in my own apartment several days a week, for real. I know this is the big, make-or-break element of the whole plan.
I have a bunch of new tools that I've been gathering lately to help me follow this plan. The iPod, of course, makes exercise so much more fun and I find myself looking forward to a reason to hear my tunes. Plus I really dorked out and made myself an Excel spreadsheet to track my exercise routines. Hey, I had to pass MIS in grad school! I might as well use that analytical side of me for something useful! And the at-home grocery delivery is really changing my life. Suddenly I now have more fresh produce and healthy choices in my kitchen than ever before. And I've finally talked myself out of being cheap and have started spending money on real tools for my kitchen, so I now have really nice new pans, knives, and utensils that are making cooking easier and more fun! Woohoo!

...and that's how I'm moving forward. Wish me luck!

Where are the Resolutions?

So, does it seem odd to anyone else that I just went to the gym on January 1 and it was NOT crowded? There was 1 woman there when I got there, and she left. And then as I was about done, another woman got there. That's it. Where are all the people with their "New You" resolutions?

Oh well - *I* was there!