Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wherein I Celebrate My First WW Christmas (and Weigh-in)

After a gorge-fest weekend I am happy to report a .2-pound loss. That’s not bad considering it was my first Christmas on WW. For me, Christmas is always more food-laden than Thanksgiving. It’s not so much the main meal on Christmas Day as it is the cookies and snacks that linger on afterwards. My family is a stocking-stuffer family. At the bottom of my stocking there is always a 4-inch thick layer of sweets. This year, I saved four small Dove bar minis and put the rest of the treats in a bag for Clay to take to work with him. I hate to give away those tiny gifts from my family, but it’s better than consuming them all.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Mine was pretty fantastic. I didn’t track on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I put a few things in my eTools that I knew I would be eating, but I didn’t plan out my meal the way I did for Thanksgiving. We spent Christmas Eve at Clay’s sister’s house. I ate a hot dog with some sauerkraut, a piece of pizza, and a few cookies. Not bad, right? Right. But then I saw the cheese tray. And the mini hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls. Shut. Your. Face. I ate a decent share, then retired to the living room so I wouldn’t be further tempted.
Christmas Day offered the traditional meal and some chocolate pie and cookies (so many cookies this year!). I knew there would be more food to consume yesterday, but I tried my best to stay on point for the last day of my holiday vacation. Clay and I tried out a new sushi restaurant in Monroeville. It’s been open for three weeks and I’m happy to say it was a pretty good place (Yamato Hibachi & Sushi Bar). The miso soup fell short, as did Clay’s pad thai, but the sushi was excellent. I had a spicy crab roll, a sweet potato roll, and a vegetable roll. I ended up taking most of the sweet potato roll home with me.
Also, I got my scale! Here’s a picture I found of it online: 
It’s pretty fantastic so far. I programmed it late last night, so I haven’t had time to play around with it much, but it does everything you can imagine a scale could do – body fat, caloric intake for maintenance, caloric intake for weight loss, bone density, water weight, etc. Soon it’ll be making dinner for me and brushing the neighbor’s dog. Today was my first at-home weigh-in. I have one more WW meeting next week then I’m officially on my own indefinitely.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and you got exactly what you asked for. I didn’t ask for this little guy, but Clay apparently thought I needed one (and I’m glad he thought that because I love it):
Weight loss this week: -.2 pounds
Total weight loss: 36.4 pounds

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Switch-up (and My Weekly Weigh-in)

Why, hello there. I gained .8 pounds this week. I worked out more last week than I did the previous three weeks, and I ate just the same (on point with the exception of two days), so I don’t know what gives. I did notice that my foot is swelling a bit and so perhaps it was just a slight water weight gain. I was down a pound already on my home scale this morning. Now that I’ve lost a decent amount of weight, I’m noticing things about my body that I never realized before. For instance, my foot, which used to be swollen non-stop, now only swells around the week or two leading up to my period. I don’t like to talk, or read, about periods on platforms like this (blogs, Facebook, etc.). I find it uncouth. But weight loss, as I’m finding, is really affected by it. I will leave it at that.

I’ve also been inadvertently watching my sodium intake. I cut back on my turkey kielbasa consumption (don’t even get me started, kids. I will devour anything with “turkey kielbasa” in the title) and other sodium-heavy foods in the past few weeks. Not intentionally, it just happened that way.  However, last week I ate some kielbasa and also had that Aldi’s soup for lunch several days. Store bought soup, as we all know, is full of sodium. I think those two inclusions in my diet also contributed to my weight gain.

I have been toying around with trying to go a week with eating nothing but natural foods – no packaged foods, no mixes, no preservatives – just veggies, fresh meat, and items made from scratch. Since starting WW I’ve cut back on those types of foods considerably, but I haven’t eliminated them completely. It would take a lot of planning and attention for the first attempt and I just don’t have the energy or time to do it quite yet. But I think of it often. Once things slow down, if they ever slow down, I will try it out. Hopefully winter will offer some extra down time, but I don’t think it will. I’m teaching a few classes in January and taking a semester-long class, so my life will be very hectic trying to juggle those things in addition to work. But it’s worth it, I think.

I have one more official WW meeting and then it’s just me and eTools. I’m kind of excited about it, actually. It will save me some money and I think time I’ve spent in meetings so far has laid a pretty good foundation for my healthier lifestyle. My exercise routine is also going to be all haphazard for the next four months as well. I have class on M, W, F, so I won’t get to do Kettlebell anymore. Boo! And the gym director, Lara, is also starting a weight lifting class on Wednesdays that I’ll miss, too. Double boo! But I have a plan in the works that would allow me to keep up with all the progress I made (I managed to do a 1-minute-long plank yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!! More about that later):

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 30 minutes weight lifting, 30 minutes cardio (all at work)
Wednesday: Kettlebell at home
Thursday: spinning (at work)
Friday: Rest or YMCA workout
Saturday: Rest or YMCA workout
Sunday: 45 minutes cardio at YMCA

How’s that for planning? Now, let’s revisit this plank sitch. When I started doing Kettlebell, I could hold a plank position for about 7 seconds. No exaggeration there, folks. Seven seconds. Then we got out of the habit of doing planks for a while. I noticed that my back was hurting from doing the Turkish Getups so I talked to Lara about it. She told me to practice my planks instead while everyone else was doing the getups. So I did. The first week I managed 17 seconds. Hey, not bad since I was shaking at 7 seconds before. Then last week I did 25 seconds. So in one week I added 8 seconds to my stamina. Then yesterday, I held a plank for the full minute! I am such a winner sometimes! Lara had us do another round of 1-minute planks, and I could only do 10-second bursts at a time, but I was pretty excited that I held out on that first one.

So that is why I don’t want to give up Kettlebell. It’s such a fantastic workout. I know I could just do planks on my own, but there’s so much more to it than that. The whole workout is just a great packaged exercise. I’m afraid I won’t push myself as hard if I do it at home (never been good with at-home exercises), but I haven’t tried to work out at home since I started WW. I know my drive and toleration for exercise has increased, so I’m crossing my fingers that this works out. Cross your fingers with me, will ya?

In fashion news, I’m wearing a shirt I bought in London four years ago. It was super duper tight then (because they don’t sell larger sizes in London since everyone is stick-thin) and now it fits! It’s about time too because it’s the cutest print. Here’s a close-up of it:

I hope everyone is ready and excited for Christmas. I know I am! My tree is filled with presents underneath and it glows so perfectly in the dusky hours after work. I asked for a new scale for Christmas, one that weighs in 2-ounce increments instead of ½-pound increments, so hopefully I’ll be able to start my solo weigh-ins on that if I get it. Again, fingers crossed.

Have a safe and fantastic holiday and don’t forget to hug.

Weight loss this week: +.8 pounds
Total weight loss: 36.2 pounds

P.S. I switched up my blog design again. I try to keep the background pictures health-focuses (veggies, people running, you know). I thought this picture was quite perfect because it's winter and there is a bike leaning against a street pole in the picture. Only when I loaded it, my blog covered up the bike. Bummer. But it's there, I promise.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Amazing Weigh-in

I don't know how I'm doing it, but I lost another 1.6 pounds today. I only got in one good exercise last week and two mediocre ones. Plus I ate all my weeklies between Friday and Saturday (lots of pizza and cookies were consumed). I told Clay on Monday night that I was definitely going to gain this week and was crossing my fingers for a break-even. I'm very thankful that I'm losing, but it's driving me nuts as to why. Because I feel like I fail all week long.

Okay, enough of that. Tomorrow is Kettlebell class. Due to vacation days, I missed class for about two weeks. On my first day back, last Monday, I couldn't move for days afterward. My goodness was I sore. It's amazing how your body adjusts to no exercise. It had only been two weeks and it was as if I never did Kettlebell in my life. Hopefully it won't be as bad this time. I have spinning on Thursday and Kettlebell again Friday.

I am only 2.8 pounds away from my next mini goal, which is a pretty big milestone for me. As a reward, I'm going to get a 90-minute hot rock massage. Have you ever had one? They are amazing. The smooth rocks push any tension right out of your muscles. And the heat? Oh, it's heavenly. In fact, let's go get one rightthissecond.

Weight loss this week:  1.6 pounds
Total weight loss:  37 pounds

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Day I Reappeared after I Disappeared

You thought I dropped off the edge of the world. And you were right to think of it as a possibility, but I haven’t. I’m weeks behind in my blog and I’m finding that with the holiday season and an increased workload, time has not been kind to me. To boot, the last thing I want to do when I finally get home from work is to sit in front of the computer for any more number of minutes.

You might also think my silence is indicative of me falling off the wagon or slacking on my weight loss. But I assure you that is not the case! Last week I lost a whopping 3.6 pounds (and over Thanksgiving week, nonetheless!), and this week I lost another .6 pounds. That brings my total weight loss up to 35.2 pounds. I am less than five pounds away from my next mini goal. Once I hit that I’m going to attempt running again. My feet haven’t been swelling at all since I got my custom shoe inserts, so I’m going to see if 40 less pounds will also help with my attempt at becoming a runner.

My at-work series ends on December 27, and WW is reconfiguring how they do at-works. It’s a long, confusing explanation, but in short, I will be attempting to do strictly eTools at the end of December, so no more WW official weigh-ins and meetings. Well, there will be official weigh-ins, but they’ll just be me weighing myself. I’m going to try it for one month and see how it goes. If I find it to not be beneficial for me, I will buy a monthly pass and start attending meetings again. So wish me luck!

Now, things have been happening. For the first time in my adult life, I purchased and decorated a Christmas tree. I had my very first sleepover with my 4-year-old niece (it went fantastically, btw) and we decorated it with Hannah. Two Hannahs in one house. Can you stand it? 

I also bought the cutest pair of plum-colored high heels (please pray I don’t break my neck) that I am slowly breaking in around my apartment before I unleash myself out in the world with them on my feet. They look brown in this picture, but they are plum.

AND, lastly, I found two great food finds. The first is a WW product: Fruities! These things are fantastic! They remind me of these mints that the Italian Oven used to hand out with the check. They have this rubbery, hard, chewy texture, making it impossible to devour a large amount at a high speed. You can have eight of them for 1 PP! My favorite so far is the blackberry.

The second food I found is Cookie Butter. I found this at Trader Joes and decided to try some out because it had half the fat content as peanut butter. When I got to the checkout, the cashier told me that it was not only delicious, but that Trader Joes is one of two places IN THE WORLD that carries it. The other place is somewhere in the Netherlands. How true that is, I don’t know, but I did try to Google “cookie butter” and had no luck. So until it catches on, I have one of the few jars of it (and it’s in a glass jar to boot!). It’s delicious and tastes just like cookies. It’s 1 PP for ½ a TBS, and 2 PP for 1 TBS. Of course, it doesn’t have the protein peanut butter has, but it’s a nice treat if you’re looking for a points-friendly snack.

I will try to keep this blog up with my weekly weigh-ins, but with the holidays coming I can’t promise I will have much time to do so until they are over. At least not blogs with weekly pictures. Sorry, folks. Words might be all you get until the New Year.

P.S. I have also been busy finishing up my spare room. There's a big bed in there now, so I had to change the location of my weekly pictures. Welcome to my kitchen.

Weight loss last week: 3.6 pounds
Weight loss this week: .6 pounds
Total weight loss: 35.2 pounds

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Thanksgiving

It was a success! Well, a success in the fact that I made a plan and stuck to it. I decided to plan my meal ahead of time and record it in eTools Wednesday night. I also tried to be as realistic as possible about it and account for all the delicious dishes I knew I would cave in for. So, I counted stuffing, mac and cheese (Clay's contribution), green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, pie, blah blah blah. I knew I wouldn't be able to turn any of it down, but I knew I COULD stick with portion control. So I counted out 1/2 c. of each item, added my pies, and spent a whopping 39 points on my Thanksgiving dinner. But guess what? I ate exactly what I planned for and was quite satisfied with my portions. I call that a success.

I realize I didn't do a weigh-in blog last week. I stayed the same, which is pretty awesome since I've been feeling less than motivated lately. So far this week the scale says I lost, but I'm not counting on that yet. I've been semi-decent with my eating but have only exercised twice this week (the two-hour spinning class on Wednesday was fantastic, btw).

As for the pies, they turned out pretty great. Of course I forgot to take pictures, but I got all the ingredients for a round 2, so I will hopefully remember to take some pictures then.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Teaser

Soooo, in ADDITION to my light pumpkin pie, I'm also making this scrumptious-looking peanut butter pie (recipe courtesy of Hungry Girl).

There is a 2-hour spinning class on Wednesday -- much needed for Thanksgiving week! -- so I'm going to do that then taking the afternoon off to spend the day baking with Clay. I will be sure to charge my camera and post pictures of my finished products.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to Eat and Exercise while Traveling for Work

Hey guys! Guess what DIDN’T happen this week? That’s right, I didn’t officially weigh in. I felt like I stood up WW. I’m in D.C. for work this week and spent my Tuesday morning at home packing, downloading templates, and going to the doctor’s. I did, however, use my weight from the doctor’s as my official WW weight. According to that scale, I gained .2 pounds. If you’ll recall, I spent the past weekend pigging out with no regard to points or regret. So a .2-pound gain isn’t bad.
I’m mentally preparing for Thanksgiving. I’m going to my parents’ house and am preparing for my weakness: pumpkin pie. To help with the temptation, I’m going to make this recipe from skinnytaste.com so I can have a guilt-free slice after my dinner.
I’m in D.C. until tomorrow (Friday) and I’m happy to report that I’ve been pretty much on track since my arrival and have exercised both full days I’ve been here. I say “pretty much” because, as I’m sure you guessed, I have to eat what is available to me here and that isn’t always WW-friendly food. Fortunately, the company that is hosting my classes has a smorgasbord of food with a decent amount of healthy options. Yesterday I had half of a turkey sandwich and some green beans; today I had half of a tuna fish sandwich, asparagus (only two spears because it was soaking in oil – bleck!), and half a cup of ravioli. For breakfast I had one piece of toast and a banana and half a T of peanut butter. Score! I love my PB & banana breakfasts.
I was able to research my hotel and snag one with a fitness center (and it’s also across the parking lot from the building where my classes are being held!). They have three treadmills, one elliptical, one recumbent bike, and a weight-lifting area. I did the treadmill yesterday with varied speeds and inclines, and an elliptical/treadmill combo workout today. Not bad, Kelly, not bad.
And as if it can’t get any better, I also packed some WW-friendly snacks for my flights. For tomorrow’s flight back to Pittsburgh I have a pack of 3PP WW honey mustard pretzels. I am on top of some stuff right now, I’ll tell ya what.

Weight loss this week: +.2 pounds
Total weight loss: 31 pounds

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Major Fail in the Cupcake Department

Hi guys. I've been neglecting my blogging, haven't I? No fear, I haven't completely fall off the wagon, although I think maybe my one leg is dragging on the path.

I lost one pound this week, which is pretty good. I know I mentioned this before, but I've been pretty relaxed about my eating. The newness of WW is wearing off and even though I still track and am making healthier food choices in my life, I am pretty haphazard about the weekends. Like today, I went to my nephew's first birthday party. I kept track, came home, entered it into eTools, and about shit when my points totaled 72! OMG I didn't even eat a real meal and I'm still hungry! Back at the beginning of WW, I would have had MAYBE one cupcake with no ice cream. But today, today I ate two cupcakes and two servings of ice cream. Why? Why would I do that? It wasn't even a to-die-for cake flavor and the ice cream was just vanilla. I DON'T EVEN LIKE CAKE AND ICE CREAM THAT MUCH!

Old habits, my friends. They're like cold sores. Just when you think you're through with them, they show up on your lip again.

I blew through my extra points, but I have 30 activity points and am going to the gym tomorrow morning to earn some more. That last part is important because tomorrow I'm going to an early Thanksgiving dinner at Clay's sister's house. Oh boy. I could eat my weight in stuffing.

There were good things this week, too, and I need to mention them so I don't convince myself that I'm a total sloth. Counting tomorrow, I will have worked out four days this week. I have also eaten within my points every weekday (although I went over by eight last night), and my size 16 jeans fit very nicely now. So there are some successes here.

But now I must be domestic. Fold laundry, wash dishes, and hum my way through both activities.

Oh! I accidentally bought a Christmas tree and all the necessary ornaments to go with it. This is a big deal because I have never owned a Christmas tree before. Too high maintenance. But I'm pretty pumped about the holidays this year and am getting all fuzzy just thinking about it. I'm having a tree-decorating night with Hannah and Hannah (friend and niece) and will be sure to post some pics.

Weight loss this week: 1 pound
Total weight loss: 31.2 pounds

Saturday, November 5, 2011

How I Conquered Mt. Everest and Pizza All in the Same Week

Hello! I gained .6 pounds this week. I exercised a lot, and I ate a lot. Other than that, I'm not going to over-analyze this one. Promise. I will say that I have a size 14 pair of Old Navy dress pants that have been hanging in my closet for years. I tried them on today and they fit! Woohoo! Old Navy runs big on their sizes, though, but I'll take it.

I realized that I haven't talked about my Mt. Everest two-hour spinning class yet. It was pretty fantastic. It was a climb-based class, so we did a warm-up of 14 minutes, then a 22-minute climb (standing and pedaling the whole time). Then we rested for a song, then climbed for another few songs. It went on like that for two hours. It was pretty intense and Lara (the gym director) varied the climb resistance, so sometimes we were doing a running climb, sometimes we were doing a if-you-let-yourself-slow-down-too-much-your-pedal-will-get-stuck-because-the-resistance-is-too-high climb. Those last ones are the worst. You just want to cut off your thighs right there on the spot. It was a fantastic workout. There was also a slide show that changed with each phase. Also, the music was just right: fast when you needed motivation, and slow-to-build music during our climbs. Lara did a fantastic job with orchestrating the whole thing.

She's giving another two-hour spinning class the day before Thanksgiving, so I'm going to sign up for that one too. Only this one will be a regular spinning class with jumps and sprints and climbs all mixed in. She's tough, too, so I might vomit.

Let's move onto food, shall we? The food I've missed most since going on WW is pizza. I could eat pizza every day for the rest of my life and I would die a happy, albeit very overweight, woman. Because there's so many different kinds and every pizza place makes it so differently that it's like a new food each time! I'm getting too excited and I need to calm down.

Anyway, I found a great way to make a whole pizza for nine PP. Yes, that's right. I said nine PP. The trick is using Flat Out. Each wrap is only two PP. I topped mine with 1/4 cup Ragu pizza sauce, 2 oz. of fat free mozzarella, 1 oz. of freshly grated parmesan reggiano, onions, green pepper, and 16 pieces of turkey pepperoni. That adds up to nine PP for a whole pizza! And it tastes delicious! Here's the thing in action now:

Tell me you couldn't gobble that up like a fat kid would. My goodness that is heavenly.

Now that I know how to get my pizza fix, you better believe I'll be all over this new trick. I must admit, one isn't enough for me. I'm still hungry (or at least not satisfied) after I eat it all. But they're so low in points that I usually have enough left over for my full peanut butter and jelly sandwich flat AND a cup of tea! That usually does it.

I don't generally post non-WW related things on here, but I was interviewed by Fiction Brigade today, so look for my interview on their website in the near future. I'll be sure to let you know when it's up. And if you write fiction (or any genre), send them a piece of it. It's a fantastic journal run by two great ladies. They're currently running a haiku contest and the winner receives a copy of my chapbook. What a great prize, if you ask my opinion. I think I heard you ask.

Weight loss this week:  +.6 pounds
Total weight loss: 30 pounds

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's Been A Week!

I have lost track of time! I need to get a picture up this week but am currently doing my 1-year self assessment for my job, which trumps any blog update at the moment.

I will write about this week's weigh-in when I can grab a second to do so, hopefully before the end of the weekend.

Do not think I have abandoned you, because I haven't!

Friday, October 28, 2011

What Makes Me Believe in Unicorns (AKA The Soup Post)

The genius that is Aldis/Trader Joes has done it again. I picked up this soup a while ago at Aldis for a very reasonable price (I believe it was slightly over $1).
It sat on my shelf for quite a while, as things always do at my house, and I would look at it sometimes and then think “eh, I’m not really in the mood for soup.” Because, really, who’s ever in the mood for soup when you can have pasta or chicken or cheese or a burger? But fall is the perfect season for soup, am I right ladies?! Why yes, I do believe I am.
Since my life has been insanely busy as of late, and I’m running low on the cash, I didn’t buy groceries this week. I had a few left over from last week and figured I would just eat from my non-perishable stash, which is ever-growing because, like I said in the above paragraph, I just let things sit on the shelf.
So I’m broke and hungry and most of all desperate. On Wednesday night I was also tired. I didn’t want to be clever with my lunch. In fact, I didn’t even want to pack a lunch. I wanted it to pack itself. Then I thought “The soup!” I figured out the PP value, which is 6 for the whole container, threw the soup container into a bag, and brought it for lunch yesterday thinking I could always buy a salad at the cafeteria if the soup was awful.
But guess what? You got it, the soup was fantastic! It was tasty and filling and most importantly, it was warm! I hadn’t noticed how good you feel after eating something warm for lunch. I felt cozy and ready for tea. It was a nice break from my salad and I’m going to buy more immediately so I can have some warm, filling lunches during the cold Pennsylvania winter months. I do believe that spells victory.
I brought this one today. It’s only 5PP! I threw some cheddar rice cakes in there too, also from Aldis. That store makes me believe in unicorns.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Weigh In and an Increase in Babble

I lost 1.6 pounds this week, which brings my total weight loss to . . . drumroll, please! . . . 30.6 pounds! Woohoo! I’m 30 pounds lighter than I was in May. How ‘bout that.
I read the WW blogs and often hear some people talk about “experimenting with their points.” As in, eating all their weeklies on one day vs. spreading them out; or spreading them out instead of using them in one day; or not using any; or only using their activity points, etc. You get the idea.
Anyway, I often wondered what the benefit of that would be. You have your daily points, and your extra weeklies. Activity points aren’t a given (you can choose to not be active), so if you stay within those first two areas, you’ll lose weight.
However, I have stayed within those first two areas various weeks and have gained weight. So this week I did an experiment of my own. I only ate over my daily points on the days I exercised. So last week, I went over my points on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. (Actually, I exercised on Wednesday but went over my points on Thursday.) But Saturday – that was a day of gluttony. It was Book Club Day, which means food. Now, the ladies I have this club with are not jerks. Stephanie is trying to lose weight herself, and Hannah is more supportive of my journey than I am sometimes. My point is that the food was not horrible. Stephanie made this FANTASTIC pumpkin chocolate bread that she found on skinnytaste.com (can you say mynewfavoritistsiteintheworld?) and I made some turkey pepperoni rolls. We met at a local winery where Hannah bought a bottle of wine for us, and we sat in the orchard and discussed My Cousin Rachel. It was a great day. Then we went to Hannah’s to watch the movie adaptation from last month’s book, I Capture the Castle. That’s where I had more pepperoni rolls, and a smallish plate of wonderful food (pasta salad was included). Overall, I ate 60 points on Saturday. That’s a lot of points, kids. That’s nearly two days’ worth for me. I was uncomfortable. I haven’t overeaten in a while, and I didn’t miss it one bit. But I did enjoy all the food!
What you can glean from that is this: I lost weight when I ate more points on the days I exercised. At least that’s what I hope has happened. Because I am starving on the days I workout but I don’t always allow myself more food. So if this works, I can allow myself more food on the days I exercise. The old Points system worked like that, and it makes sense, it's just taken me a while to get on board mentally. I'm trying it again this week so we'll see what happens.
Today is the 2-hour Mt. Everest spinning class. It’s from 4:30 – 6:30. I’m nervous and excited. I already started eating more than I normally would. I’ve been craving a breakfast sandwich for weeks now. So this morning, I went to the cafeteria and got a bacon, egg, tomato, and lettuce sandwich on a whole wheat English muffin. Oh boy, was that good. I figured if I’m earning 29 activity points today the least I can do is allow myself a craving that I’ve been avoiding for weeks.
Also, I did a 5K on Saturday with two of my sisters. Greensburg is no joke when it comes to hills. We were all pretty worn and sweaty by the end. I didn’t shatter any records, but we did it, and that’s the important thing. My legs are still a little sore too, which is great.
As for this week’s activities: I did a step aerobics class yesterday, tonight is the Mt. Everest spinning class, tomorrow is Kettlebell, and I’m hoping to get in a quick walk on Saturday before I head to Stephanie’s to carve some pumpkins, taste some beers, and eat some homemade soup!
Happy Halloween, everyone! (Clay and I are going to see Paranormal Activity 3 on Sunday. I’m gonna wear a diaper I think.)

Weight loss this week: 1.6 pound
Total weight loss: 30.6 pounds

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Picture Day

I can't find my regular weigh-in cami, so I had to wear this blue one instead. It looks nicer with the pants, I think. Although the vibrant colors are enough to make you want to judge me. 

Anyway, I noticed that in the past few weeks my rings, which used to be snug, are now sliding around on my fingers. One even flew off the other day at work. That's good because I always wanted to have svelte hands. Like my mothers. 

This week I'm posting two pictures. The one with me in blue is from today, and the one below it, with me in the beige cami, was taken before my first weigh-in back at the end of April. I've been on WW for about six months now. I look at my picture from week to week and always think I look the same, but when I compare it to the first week, my goodness, I'm a skinny little thing! Just look at my face and neck! 

Weight loss this week: 2.4 pounds
Total weight loss: 29 pounds

Weigh-in Sans Picture (Picture to Come, Promise!)

I lost 2.4 pounds this week. That means I’m one pound away from a 30-pound loss! I was really careful to stay on-point and only dipped into my weekly points on Saturday and Sunday. This seems to work well for me. If I dip into my extra points every day I notice I gain, but if I save them for one or two days, I’m usually okay. Also, I had very little activity last week. Only two day’s worth of exercise. Normally I get three or four. I’m wondering if that also contributed to such a loss.
This week I have a lot of exercise planned and I’m pretty excited to get back into a routine with it. Today I am doing a spinning class at work, Friday is Kettlebell and another spinning class at night, then Saturday two of my sisters and I are doing a 5K in Greensburg. They’re skinny little things, those sisters of mine, and they’re also fast walkers, so it’ll be a great challenge for me.
For some reason, the last two weeks of October have been jam-packed with things I have to get done. It’s a bit overwhelming, but I like keeping busy so I’m trying not to get too stressed over it. But my nights for the next two weeks are all filled up, so I have to be sure to get my exercise at the on-site gym during lunch; otherwise, I won’t fit it in.
I finally ran out of leftovers so I’m back to my regular lunch salad today. Plus, I snagged another plum at the chiropractor’s office this morning. Success on all fronts, I’d say.
I’m sneaking this entry in at work, so I will post a picture once I get home as I’m not in the habit of wearing that little beige and green number out in public. I only post it on the internet where every living soul has access to it.
Weight loss this week: 2.4 pounds
Total weight loss: 29 pounds

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My New Best Food Friend

I went to Trader Joes this weekend; my first visit in months. I stocked up on some WW staples: goat cheese (2PP per 1 oz and it’s delicious!), coffee (Pumpkin Spice to boot), whole wheat pasta, and Asian Peanut salad dressing (this is fantastic and I would recommend it to everyone who likes spicy peanut satay sauce; it’s 2PP per 2 T – perfect for my lunch salads).

But perhaps my best find were these little guys

They are mini heirloom tomatoes. Tomatoes and I have a rocky relationship. Some days I love them, some days I pretend that we didn’t just hang out the day before. But these tomatoes, oh boy, these tomatoes. They are just the right amount of ripeness: hard enough to pop in your mouth but not too hard that they’re bitter. Since I’m a tomato snob, I tend to buy a pack of cherry tomatoes and throw half of them out because they’re too soft and don’t meet my tomato-standards. The other half I put in salads because if I eat too many of them on their own, I get sick of them. But these tomatoes are different. They are all so individually wonderful. And since there are a variety of them, I never get sick of any one kind. I’ve been having fun trying to taste two different kinds back-to-back to see if I can tell the difference (like a beer or wine tasting, only without the points). I purchased them for my lunch salads, but have been bringing them to work in a plastic baggie for a mid-morning, points-free snack and I pop ‘em like candy. Mmmmm!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Weigh-in and The 33-PointsPlus Struggle

I gained one pound this week. Argh! This fluctuation drives me nuts. I’m sure you’ve picked up on this throughout my posts, but WW gives you a daily PointsPlus target to use. This is based on your age, height, and gender. 29 points is the lowest you can go, and most people in my group are at 29 points. They have to lose 20 or 30 pounds, are older, and shorter as well. Anyway, when I started I got 38 points. Ugh. But also, yay! I could really pig out at some meals back then. But as you lose weight the points are taken away one by one. I’m now down to 33 PP per day. I’ve been at 33 for a while now and even made a guest appearance back to 34 the week I gained 3+ pounds. But 33 must be the magic number because I am having a hell of a time staying in that range. 34 and above I could do, but 33 is proving a bit more challenging. But it’s just one point, Kelly, how hard can it be. Who said that? Listen people, it’s one point, but it feels like many more. It’s a cup of tea, a ½ T of peanut butter (which I’ve been eating with my banana in the morning to stave off hunger a bit longer), a Laughing Cow cheese wedge. It’s small things that I add to my meals that make them a little better. And soon I’ll go down to 32 (because I’ll be damned if I let this little hurdle stop my weight loss), then 31, and all the way down to 29, where I will remain until I reach goal. After goal everyone goes back to 34 PP for maintenance.
So that is where I am right now. I’m struggling with this small adjustment. I’m also not back in my routine. I’m still in vacation-mode and have recently been plagued with a series of nasty headaches that leave me useless until I can medicate and nap, which I did yesterday after I left work early because I couldn’t keep my left eye open (the pain, oh the pain!). I’m good today though, and am taking an 11:05 spinning class. Post-Blog Update: I have an 11:30 meeting, so I can't do the spinning class today either! Argh! Since I came in inhumanely early just to take the class, I'm leaving early to get my 33-PP butt to the YMCA. I've had enough of this exercise-runaround.
Speaking of spinning classes, the gym where I work is offering a 2-hour Mt. Everest Climb spinning class at the end of October, complete with visual aid (of Mt. Everest). OMG! We simulate climbing Everest. I’m so in. Gonna sign up today; hope there’s room left on the sign-up sheet.
Back to those pesky points. I’m happy to report that I’ve stayed in the 33-PP range all week. Yes, all week. I plan on keeping it that way except for Saturday. I have my monthly writing workshop then and am making pumpkin spice cupcakes for it (3PP! Can you say “give me seconds?”). I will also be at Hannah’s, who has this tricky closet filled with snacks and treats that I like to gorge myself on.
AND – I can’t believe I didn’t mention this earlier – I’ve been on the lookout for jeans. Just one or two cheap pairs to hold me over until I’m in my size 16s again (which I wore for a brief second back in 2005 and didn’t have the heart to get rid of them). I stopped at Gabriel Brothers yesterday and found two pairs of Lane Bryant jeans. Size 16. One pair fit perfectly; one pair was a little snug but will fit perfectly after I lose a few more pounds. Each were $7.99! I’m pretty excited that I found them, because all my jeans that I have now keep falling down. At the end of the day I just slide them off. No need to work those annoying buttons and zippers.
No picture this week. Because I’m lazy.

Weight loss this week: +1 pound
Total weight loss: 26.6 pounds

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Plum! I Found A Plum!

My chiropractor and his staff are wonderful. The office is also wonderful. They always have a table of food sitting out for their patients. Chips, cookies, cupcakes, water, pop, you name it. Today they had a bowl of fresh fruit. Usually, a bowl of free fruit would consist of apples, oranges, maybe a few bananas. But guess what my chiropractor put in the fruit bowl today? Plums! One of my top three favorite fruits! I squealed a bit when I saw it and started babbling about how hard it is to come by a good plum nowadays. Because I’m 80.

If you live in the Pittsburgh area and need a chiropractor, I would highly recommend Dr. Graham. He is personable, knowledgeable, and will actually listen to you and address your questions no matter how many people are sitting in the waiting room. And he knows how to adjust a back.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

How I Spent My Vacation

I'm combining a few different topics in here so this is gonna be a longish post.

I want to start by telling you what I did on Monday for the first time since I started Weight Watchers. I didn't track. Not a single bite. I have been tracking every piece of food I put in my mouth every day for five months straight. Let me explain why Monday was different.

While I was in New York, Clay's mother passed away. Hannah, being the person that she is, cut her own vacation a day short to have me back in time for the viewing and funeral on Sunday. I tracked for the morning half of Sunday, but I spent the night at Clay's dad's house, so the latter half of Sunday went untracked. Then on Monday, I helped out with some house cleaning and organizing and they don't have the internet at their house, so I didn't track then either. I ate funeral food all weekend. Macaroni salad, rigatoni, sandwiches, cake. I didn't overeat, but I didn't scrutinize my plate either. I felt okay with it because I knew on Tuesday I would be back in my routine and the macaroni salad wouldn't be in my grasp. I didn't see the not-tracking thing coming, but I can't say I'm all that upset about it. It's nice to have a break from the internet once in a while (I love internet-less days), and it was relieving to not be tethered to a set of eating rules for a day. Of course, those days will be the exception to the rule, but I'm happy to know that I can have one now and then and not go overboard with food or feel guilt-ridden for the rest of the week.

Back up a bit, I had a great time in New York. I haven't downloaded my pictures yet, but I will try to remember to post a few on here once I do. We visited another waterfall, Salmon River Falls, and perused a fantastic antique shop (I got a cute side table and a very sharp-looking purse). Activity was minimal, at least the kind of activity I've been accustomed to, but we did get in a few hikes and leisurely walks.

And if you back up a bit more, you'll arrive at my bike trip Clay and I took last weekend. We wanted to start in Williamsport, WV and bike 40 miles to Harpers Ferry, but the trail was washed out so we just continued on to Harpers Ferry and biked from there. That part of the trail is an old towpath, so it was pretty rough. I had been asking around about it prior to biking and the people who biked it kept explaining it as "rough." It was driving me nuts. Was it bumpy? Are you more likely to wreck? Will I have to push my bike around the rocks? Once I got there I understood. It's rough. That's the only way to describe it. It's rocky and bumpy and you have to slow your speed considerably to navigate without wrecking. We only did 20 miles the first day, spent the night in Harpers Ferry, then headed to Meyersdale the next day to bike another 25 miles. We didn't get in the 80 miles like we planned, but I had a great time. Here are some pictures:

Clay's obligatory Captain Morgan pose:

I find it pretty hilarious that both Clay and I treat our bikes like they are our children. I am obsessed with taking portraits of them on every bike ride.

Creepy house in the woods near Harpers Ferry:

The room we stayed in was actually an old telephone building from 1941. It was just big enough for a bed, a small sitting area, and a bathroom. It was pretty awesome.

It's becoming a tradition of mine to eat ice cream after a long bike ride. So I guess I bike for ice cream. Which is funny because I never used to crave ice cream all that much. Now I want it all the time. Rightthissecond, in fact. We lucked into some pumpkin frozen custard after our ride in Harpers Ferry:

To get to the bike trail from the town of Harpers Ferry, you had dismount from your bike and push it across a pedestrian bridge over the Potomac. Then, you had to carry your bike down (or up, depending on which way you were going) this spiral staircase. God bless Clay. He carried both our bikes up and down the staircase. What a sweetie.

So that's been my vacation, basically. I think I might post something a bit more food-oriented soon as I've gotten away from talking about what I've been eating lately. That will be for another time perhaps. However, I will say I made sloppy joes in the Crockpot and they were delicious. I used ground chicken and used my food chopper to puree celery, onions, and carrots to add to the mix. It was fantastic. Ask Hannah.

One last thing, I am doing hot yoga on Friday night with my friend Stephanie. A flow-yoga in a 90-degree room. What am I thinking? I'll let you know how it goes. I'm pretty nervous/excited about the whole thing.

Here's my picture for the week. 

Weight loss this week: 4.6 pounds
Total weight loss: 27.6 pounds

p.s. I noticed upon rereading this that my pictures aren't a uniform size. I'm too lazy to look into it, so just pretend they're all the same.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Weigh-in Quickie

I lost 4.6 pounds today! I was pretty excited after my 3.4-pound gain last week. I had a not-so-good week as far as activity and food portion, so I am very happy to see that I lost beyond that 3.4-pound gain.

Things have been hectic again (when are they not), and I'm getting to this post after a very, very long weekend. I will post a picture along with my bike trip photos before week's end. I promise. Now, when have I ever let you down?

Weight loss this week: 4.6 pounds
Total weight loss: 27.6 pounds

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Weigh-in and vacation

Hello hello! Since I'm on vacation this week I weighed in at an official WW center in Greensburg. I was up 3.4 pounds! Oh my goodness! But wait. It's not all bad. At least I hope it's not. I did Kettlebell on Friday and  I rode my bicycle for 45 miles between Sunday and Monday. So I had some pretty hefty muscle-burning activities in right before weigh-in, so I'm hoping that contributed to my gain. I did have some greasy food, but kept it to a minimum and stayed within my weekly points.

I'll blog more about my bike ride later and will post some photos. I'm in New York until Saturday so I'm enjoying my days by relaxing and reading. Today we went to Chittenango Falls and I got some activity points by hiking down the mountain to the bridge. Then I did a 10-minute walk/jog after dinner. Since activity is limited this week, and I'm at the mercy of my host's cooking (which is delicious!), I have to be very careful this week to not gain anymore. I hope the 3.4 gain was mostly muscle. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Everything I've Ever Done, Including My Weekly Weigh-in

This week I lost 1.2 pounds. Lately I’ve been feeling a little lack luster toward the whole WW process. I still track, and I still stay within my PP range, but I’ve been spreading my extra points out more and haven’t been as frugal with my portions. I’ve read a lot of blogs on the WW site about how they follow the program closely at first then start to relax after the first six months or so. Maybe I’m just relaxing. I don’t get out my WW calculator nearly as much as I did in the beginning. Maybe it’s because I've already calculated everything and have memorized the points. Maybe it’s because I’m slacking. Either way, it’s happening. Here’s the good thing though: I fill my day with healthier foods, even if I’ve lost some of that new WW shine. I eat healthier and am more conscious of what I put into my body. That’s worth something.

There are also two more things I’ve noticed that have nothing to do with WW: I exercise differently, and I’m starting to enjoy being outdoors. I think I touched on the exercising part before (how I push myself harder, crave new activities, and don’t quit as soon as I would have prior to starting WW), but this nature part caught me off guard and I only noticed it last weekend when Clay and I went apple picking:

I love being outside now. I love walking, hiking, meandering, sitting on the porch with some tea (I’ve always loved this though). I just enjoy being in nature now. I couldn’t have said that before. I spent a few weeks in France last year for a writing residency and the other writers laughed because I hated nature so much. I guess poets aren’t supposed to hate nature. And now I’m a true poet.

Anyway, the apple picking was fantastic! I urge everyone to find an orchard at once. We picked 1 bushel and ½ peck (or was it ½ bushel and 1 peck?). Either way, I kept singing, “I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.” It was beyond appropriate. Clay also got some baking pumpkins to make homemade pumpkin pie. Here are some more pictures:

We borrowed this crazy contraption from Clay’s mom. It peeled, cored, and sliced the apples for you:

Then we made three pies and I made six mini pies for my Book Club (which is perhaps the highlight of my month. I Capture the Castle = Heaven). The mini pies were 4 PP each. And we still have so many apples left. I’m afraid they’re going to go bad before we have another apple-baking day, but Clay thinks otherwise.

In other news, I now have two Kettlebell classes under my belt. That is some serious stuff right there. I must have done over 200 squats in each class. Last weekend I couldn’t move for four days. I’m a little sore today (I took a class yesterday), but nothing like I was last week. It’s a fantastic workout and I am looking forward to the next class.

Clay and I are going on an 80-mile (round trip) bike ride this weekend. We’re riding from Williamsport, MD to Harpers Ferry, WV on the C&O Towpath. Word has it that it’s pretty ugly with large rocks protruding out of the ground, so wish me luck!

Then, Hannah and are heading up to New York to visit a family friend (her family, not mine). We were gonna take our bikes, but I think I'm going to try to talk her out of that. My bike rack, although good, will stretch out her hatch (permanently, mind you), especially with two bikes on it for that many hours. I don't want to do that to her car. Instead, I'm going to download the Couch to 5K today and start that while we're up there. 

Here’s my picture for this week. If you look at my previous picture, you will see that my stomach roll is gone. It’s not gone in reality, but it’s not showing up in this picture, which helps to make me look really skinny! AND, my scoliosis self-diagnosis wasn’t too far off. I went to a chiropractor and found that my neck curves in the opposite direction of what it is supposed to. That’s why my shoulders are crooked. I’m getting that fixed so hopefully I’ll be all strait in a few months.
Weight loss this week: 1.2 pounds
Total weight loss: 26.4 pounds

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Weigh-in Post is Coming!

I haven't forgotten my weekly weigh-in update. It's the end of the fiscal year and work is crazy right now, so I've just been getting in some extra hours. That, plus I took next week off, so I'm squeezing in everything that needs to get done.

Tomorrow I will blog about my weigh-in and will have a picture for you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Weigh-in and My Attempt to Reign in My Neuroticism

I was up 2 pounds yesterday. I try not to gawk when the woman is writing down my weight, so at first glance I thought I was up 2.6 pounds. But then this morning I looked again so I could record my weight into eTools, and I was up only 2 pounds. Whew!
I weigh myself constantly. Hannah tells me to stop doing that. But I like it. I find it fascinating how bodies fluctuate so much in weight from day to day. Last night I was up .5 more pounds than my weigh-in weight, and this morning I was down 1 pound from my weigh-in weight. It doesn’t psych me out the way it does some people. I don’t hold it against myself (although I did when I first started doing it, before I understood what bodies do.)
What psyches me out is how I analyze my week after a gain. I spent all day yesterday reviewing my food and activity of the prior week. What I ate, when I ate it, how I used my extra points, what activities I did, the level of exertion in each activity, I reviewed everything. Then I tricked myself into thinking my lunch salad had become so much larger over time and it was too full of points and perhaps that was partial blame. (Yes, I make it in the same container every day, so the size really can’t change too much, but I used an extra tablespoon of dressing a few days last week, so perhaps that was adding up.)
Hannah also told me to stop doing that. Analyzing my food. I think she might be right on that part. Although it’s good to review your week after a loss in order to see how it differs from successful weeks, it’s probably not too healthy to take it to extremes the way I did yesterday.
My neuroticism is at an all-time high in this weight loss journey. But I think you have to have it that way in order to succeed at weight loss. Most people I have known who have lost weight (and kept it off) are a bit neurotic about it. Perhaps it’s only neurotic because most people don’t have to pay attention this closely, but for those of us who do, it becomes a necessary obsession.
This weekend, I wasn’t neurotic. I didn’t plan my meals. I tracked. I made sure I ate within my PP values (with special times for those extra points), but I didn’t obsess about it the way I usually do. And I tracked afterward. I didn’t research my meals to know how many points they were, I used educated guesses. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes it’s not. But preplanning and researching your food is always good, not sometimes good. I guess I was just tired of being so vigilant about what I was putting into my body.
So, I’ll take the loss and move on. I’m trying to get some extra exercise in this week. I went swimming last night (only lasted 15 minutes though because the chlorine smell was so bad it hurt to breath!) and then went for a bike ride through my neighborhood. Today I am taking a spinning class at work. Tomorrow I will do another spinning class. Saturday, Clay and I are going for a bike ride. And Sunday, we’re going apple-picking! I am most excited about the apple-picking. I’ve never done it before, but I’ve always found the idea of it to be incredibly romantic. That’s not much exercise, but I am too excited to not mention it.
One last thing, the last two nights have been very tame for me. I spent them cleaning my apartment, cooking dinner, then making a cup of hot tea, lighting some candles, and reading my night away. It has helped me relax so much that I wonder why I don’t do it more often.
Weight loss this week: +2 pounds
Total weight loss: 25.2 pounds

Monday, September 12, 2011

A New Look

Also, I switched my blog design up a bit. I'm not in love with it, so it'll probably change again soon, but let me know what you think!

Heritage Hustle

This weekend, two of my sisters, my niece, and I participated in a 2-mile walk in a small town near Greensburg. It was part of a 5K, but I wanted my niece to join us (she's only 4), so we signed up for the very doable 2-mile walk option. It took us 43 minutes and I burned 262 calories. We walked/jogged the whole thing, and my niece did pretty well. She did need a piggy back ride toward the end, but she was the main jogger for the whole thing.

Here she is in her race shirt. She got a lot of compliments on it. She was so excited about receiving an official number. And even more excited about the medal she received after the race was over.

Here is a picture of the two of us before the race started:

And here is a group picture:

Afterwards, I took Hannah and we had a fun day of lunch, pottery-painting, library-visiting, and ice cream-eating. It was a pretty awesome time.

Then yesterday, Clay and I went on a 10-mile bike ride. We did it in just under an hour. I kept my HRM on even during our small stops, which took my average speed down, but I estimate that while moving, I hovered around 12 mph. This is a pretty big milestone for me, because I usually average between 8-10 mph. I felt like I was flying. And I kept that pace the whole time. I think my weekly spinning classes are paying off. I'd like to try to climb the Cumberland mountain again. Maybe I'll tackle that before biking season is over. Anyway, I burned nearly 500 calories in that hour of bike riding.

Speaking of bike riding, I only ride my bike on Sundays because I keep it at Clay's. It was most convenient that way because last season I had just graduated grad school and still had a part-time job, which allowed us to bike together more often. But since getting my full-time job, I no longer have mornings off, so it wasn't really making a lot of sense to keep it there all week. So today, I stopped at his house on the way home and loaded my bike onto my car. It's now sitting in my living room. Classy. I've been wanting to do some neighborhood riding after work, and I think this will make that more feasible. I'm swimming tomorrow after work, but hopefully I'll have enough energy for a leisurely ride afterward.

Tomorrow is weigh-in. I'm not sure how I'll do. I expect a gain. My foot is swollen (again), so that will add some water weight, and instead of using my extra WPs over two days, I used them over four days, so I'm sure that will contribute if I do gain. But it's okay. I know I'm eating healthy and getting as much exercise in as possible, so I will take the results and move on.

To bed!