Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How I Rewarded Myself

I blog with some great news. I’ve unofficially hit my 10%!!! Ten percent of my starting body weight is gone! I say unofficial because, as you know, the WW meetings at my work are on a 2-week hiatus. This means I have to weigh myself at home. Usually the scales match up pretty closely, and I’m nearly a pound below my 10%, so I’m pretty comfortable with saying I’ve reached that milestone. Now to just keep going! I set my new goal weight for 15 more pounds. That’s just a temporary goal, mind you. I will set another goal once I lose that weight.

I was trying to think of a reward to give myself for losing that weight. I found these cute little heels online, but ruled them out because I need to try those kinds of shoes on. Then I thought of getting some official running shoes complete with the stance evaluation, but that was a little too pricey. So . . . I bought this!

Not the woman, although I'm sure she's a lovely person. The skirt! I bought the skirt! I have read countless articles about how a pencil skirt should be a staple in all larger women's closets. I've tried several in the past but never liked any of them. They somehow always managed to make me look bigger. But I really liked the cut and style of this one, so I tried it on in the store (Lane Bryant) and loved it, but it was too expensive. Then I found a 40% off coupon and that pretty much made my decision. And here’s the awesome part – I bought it a size smaller than what I currently wear. Yep. So I HAVE to lose weight in order to fit this fantastic skirt.

This week has been pretty hectic. I say that a lot, I know. But it’s always true. I still don’t have a picture for you, but next week starts the new WW at-work series, so I will have a picture for you then. I promise. And between now and then I hope I have a free minute to put a picture blog together from my hike this past Sunday.

One last thing – I took a spinning class at work today. There are several different instructors and apparently two of them have started a little competition to see who can have the harder class. The class was so intense today that I thought I was going to vomit afterwards. Twenty minutes of nausea. Sit with 20 minutes of nausea and see who blinks first. It’s gonna be you.

Monday, August 29, 2011

How I Wrote and Hiked My Weekend Away

It’s been a good weekend. I stayed put this weekend (a rare treat) and managed to eat relatively well. On Friday, I met my sisters for dinner at Subway then took a nice walk around Ligonier. After that, I met Kristi at Fashion Bug and managed to snag an adorable dress for only $3.80!!! (There was a coupon snafu and the cashier was too anxious to close the store so she let it go.) I was going to post a picture of it here, but I can’t find it on FB’s website.
On Saturday, I worked on some writing projects that I’ve been too busy to get to, so I didn’t exercise that day, but Saturdays are usually when I eat most, if not all, of my weeklies, and I’m happy to report that I didn’t! I ate very healthy and only went over by a few, which I explain a little later on.
Sunday was a fantastic day. Clay and I went on a 4-mile hike at Lynn Run Park. A full blog to come on that, complete with pictures.
My goal this week was to cut out snacking. I’m happy to report that I did so successfully, with the exception of one minor instance. I visited Hannah Saturday night, after I had spent the day working on my writing and putzin’ around Irwin (please tell me you are in love with Irwin Aldi’s and Giant Eagle as much as I am). Hannah’s home has such a welcoming feel to it that I just slide right into comfort as soon as I enter. It feels more like a home than my own apartment. And we know what happens when I’m surrounded by cushiony comfort (as referenced here), I EAT! Yes, I eat. Every time I visit Hannah, I make a beeline for her snack cupboard and pull out anything from chips to crackers to cookies. Anything. I’ve gotten better at this since starting WW, but I have yet to stop it completely. Now I just look for low-point snacks and limit what I eat. Saturday, I found some fruit snacks and allowed myself two Cool Ranch Doritos (don’t even get me started on Doritos – I could eat three big bags in one sitting, which is why I don’t buy them and haven’t bought them in years).
But I did okay! I kept my snacking to a minimum and it only happened Saturday night. It’s shown on the scale too. This is another non-weigh-in week, but I was unofficially down another two pounds throughout the weekend. Even during the afternoon hours, when my weight is usually up. I’ll weigh myself tomorrow morning and record that in eTools, but I am feeling very good about my week.
One treat I allowed myself on Friday night:

They have baby ones! (The baby one is mine – the momma one is Kristi’s. Notice how they are the inverse of one another. Ahh!)

Friday, August 26, 2011

This Has Nothing to Do with Health

I was just scrolling down through my entries and noticed that while I have the same font (Times New Roman since they say serifs are easier to read in long text), I have different font sizes. I don't know how you people put up with my inconsistencies.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Gym Outfit

I packed for spinning class last night and was looking forward to taking the Tuesday class with a different, more challenging (so the rumor has it) instructor. I had a mandatory meeting in Pittsburgh from 3-5 and a report I had to edit before then, so I got up at 5:30 a.m. to make sure I would have enough time to fit everything in.

Sadly, the report was too time consuming and around 10 a.m. I gave up on the 11:05 spinning class. I had just gotten over my disappointment when 12:30 rolled around and I realized I was almost finished with the report. If I could get it done by 1 p.m., I could get to the gym to walk/jog for 20 minutes, get a shower, then head into the city just in time for my meeting. Perfect! I started getting all jittery and nervous, like you do when you’re doing something wrong or sneaky. I don’t really know why I felt that way. I guess it was the mid-day workout – it still makes me feel like I’m shirking my work responsibilities.

Anyway, on the way to the gym I realized that I only had my bike shoes with me. I was wearing comfortable black flats, so I decided I would just walk/jog in those. But then a few more things happened. Earlier that morning, while getting ready, I could only find one of my compression socks. It was early and I was running late, so I just put the one on and called it a day. Then came the dress socks. Here’s the thing: I hate throwing away socks (and bras and underwear). It’s just my thing. So this morning, I grabbed a pair of mismatched socks whose mates had been eaten by the laundry monster. One was black. The other was grey. I didn't realize until I got to the gym that I had forgotten to pack a pair of socks for my workout.

The gym pants I packed were green capris. So I had on capri pants, one compression sock, one black dress sock, one grey dress sock, and a pair of suede black dress shoes. I was lookin’ pretty sharp. I didn’t jog much because I could tell I didn’t have my orthotics in (you can really tell a difference – my arch felt very vulnerable), so I mostly walked at a fast pace and added an incline to make it a little more challenging.

I made it to my meeting and ate an apple to hold me over. After the two-hour meeting we had a happy hour from 5-7:30. I ate one each of five hors d’oeuvres and counted them as 10 points. I think some were three points, but a few were just one, so I think 10 is a fair assessment. Then I came home and had some spicy corn on the cob soup that I made while working from home on Friday. It was pretty low in points so I managed to squeeze in a PB&J snack too! I ended up going over by one point, but I didn’t snack at all today, which was my main goal. Those hors d’oeuvres threw me off my game a bit though. I hadn’t planned them into my day and I’m not sure that I analyzed the food enough to get an accurate PP value.

As for my weigh-in, I unofficially weighed myself on my scale this morning and lost .5 pounds.  I went to work and recorded that in eTools, but then I weighed myself at the gym and that scale said I gained 2.5 pounds. Bummer. But, it’s all unofficial, so I’m just gonna do my best in the next two weeks and see how the WW scale reacts at my next official weigh-in.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Food Weekend

I could have done worse. That’s what I keep telling myself. The weekend of eating out went well for the most part. I ate out three times and once at the wedding. I had a salad at one restaurant, a veggie wrap with a side of fruit at another, and a grilled chicken sandwich (no cheese, bbq on the side) with a side salad at the third. I noticed that even though these meals were the better, if not the best, choices on the menu, they were still high in points and I could have made them at home for half the points. It’s hard not being able to control how much chicken breast you use or the type of bread. These things add up as do the bites of appetizers (which I had a few on Saturday and Sunday), which I will talk about in a bit.
The wedding was a different beast. I’m not a wedding-food type of girl. I’ve never found wedding meals to be particularly tasty, so I was a little worried about filling my body with mediocre food. If I’m going to put greasy food into my body, I would prefer to choose that food and make it worth the points, you know? But this wedding food on Saturday? It was pretty good. And I went from the mindset of “I will ask for extra veggies, even though they’re probably in butter and take the skin off my chicken” to “Mmmm! I never new twice-baked potatoes could be so good!” Yikes! I ate the whole plate save some breading on the chicken. And don’t even get me started on the cookies. I swear they were made by Jesus himself. I had one each time I walked by the cookie table (which is apparently just a western PA thing). Overall, I believe I had 8-10 cookies. Luckily I got a nasty headache so I couldn’t stomach too much wine (I wasn’t lucky with the headache, mind you, only lucky that the headache ruined my taste for wine, which is 3 points per 3 oz.). I estimated the whole evening to be worth 50 points, leaving me with 14 WP left. I used two of them last night on some frozen yogurt.
I haven’t been losing too much in the past few weeks. One pound, .2 pounds, .8 pounds. They’re all losses, and I’ll take them with a smile, but I have been reevaluating my habits as of late and realized that I’m getting pretty relaxed with my “bites” of food directly preceding my meals. Three or four bites of an appetizer don’t sound like much, but when it’s full of oil and cheese, that’s easily 5 points. I add it all into my meal, but if I would just abstain from those few bites then I wouldn’t have to dip into my weekly points later on when I get hungry. I’ve also been breaking out my small measuring spoons (seriously small – like ¼ tsp. small) to have a little peanut butter every day. The worst part about that? I DON’T TRACK IT!!! I just pretend that ¼ teaspoon of anything isn’t trackable, even if I have three helpings of it. This is what got me here in the first place. I am a snacker, big time. I pick and pull and nibble and then still eat my full meals. I seem to have a handle on my meals as far as healthy guidelines goes, so now I have to get this snacking under control. I cut it out completely when I started WW, and look how much weight I lost! Now that it’s creeping back into my life, my weight loss is slowing down. So no snacking this week. Let’s see how that reflects on the scale.
Speaking of which, I won’t have an official weigh-in for another two weeks. I decided against going to the WW center near my apartment. The new, healthy lifestyle isn’t going to stop just because I don’t have an official weigh-in for two weeks. Also, I’m kind of excited to do it on my own if just for a little while. I need to know it’s sustainable on my own. Of course, I will welcome my weekly meetings back with open arms in two weeks.
On a side note, I was sitting in my bathing suit on Clay’s couch yesterday morning about to go to the Y for some much needed wedding-calorie burn off. Then Clay said “today’s the 21st. The pool is closed this week.” Bummer. I needed exercise badly, so I suggested a quick bike ride. We did 9 miles in an hour on the local trail in Greensburg and I felt much better about my day. Between the awesome running I did on Saturday and the bike ride yesterday, my legs are feeling pretty worked out today. Clay’s on a 112-mile bike ride as I type this. I don’t know what’s wrong with that kid. My ass hurts just thinking about it.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Running Success

You will never guess how many minutes I ran this morning at the Y. Five minutes! Five whole minutes without stopping!!! It was a slow jog and came out to .35 miles. Now I only have to figure out how to transfer that over to jogging outside, which is infinitely harder to do. Next time maybe I'll run a whole half mile without stopping.

Five minutes!

Friday, August 19, 2011

How I Gave Away My Memories

I've been running again. Well, walking/jogging. I mentioned that I hadn't been running for a few weeks, and I can certainly tell. I could only do 75-second jogs last night. I'm going to the Y in the morning and hope to do a little longer of a jog on the treadmill. Cross your fingers for me.

This weekend is filled with restaurant meals. I'm going to dinner tonight with two of my sisters, lunch with Hannah and her sister tomorrow, a wedding dinner tomorrow night, out for lunch on Sunday (my family is getting Pizza Hut but I told my mom I would probably stop at Subway instead - go me!), and a special treat of Vincent's Pizza on Monday. My plan of attack? Plan ahead as much as possible and PAY ATTENTION! I have already studied the menus of a few of the places, but not all. For instance, I don't know what kind of food will be served at the wedding. I'll most likely stick to salads. I'm pretty good at estimating the points with the toppings and dressing.

I did spinning this week, but didn't do yoga. I was all packed for it, but work was too busy and I had to work straight through the class. I got sushi with a friend yesterday and then came home and jogged with my sister. She's a much better jogger than I am. She said she used to run for one mile on her treadmill at home. How did I not know this? I find it incredibly impressive when people can run a whole mile without stopping. I hope I get there someday.

Then we talked about how sedentary my childhood was. She had these memories of going on groups walks with the youth group and I had no idea what she was talking about. "That's because you never went," she said. How sad is that? A perfect memory I could have had but gave it away because I didn't want to exercise. How many other memories am I missing?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Weigh-In and The Out-of-Whack Week

I haven’t forgotten you! I promise. Things are hectic and I am not even living in my own apartment this week, so my schedule and routine is out of whack. I lost .8 pounds this week. I was secretly hoping for more because I switched up my exercise routine and did a 21-mile bike ride. Yesterday’s weigh-in was the last in the series for my WW-at-work. In the back of my mind I was hoping to reach my 10% (only 1.2 pounds to go) by the end of the series, but it was not meant to be. A new series is starting up in two weeks, but until then I am on my own. I am considering weighing in at a center near my apartment, but I haven’t fully committed to that idea yet since it just means more money. I still have eTools, which is great, so I might just weigh myself at home for the next two weeks and start up again at work. If the work sessions weren’t continuing I would definitely join another WW group near my apartment. I think I need that weekly gathering and discussion, even though I don’t say much during it. In fact, I’m kind of afraid to not go to a meeting and have an official weigh-in for the next two weeks. My health is worth the $12 weekly fee, right? We’ll see how I do this week.
I took a spinning and yoga class at work last week and am doing it again this week. Both were fantastic and my body was feeling the effects of yoga for days afterward. I’ve missed yoga. On Sunday I went swimming at the Y and on Monday Clay and I took a bike ride. Like I said in my previous post, it was supposed to be a 54-mile ride, but pending rain stopped that from happening. But at least we got in 21 miles! I swear every time we plan a long day ride it ends up raining. At least it feels like it.
Sara Rabbit might not be able to make the 5K in Regent Square, and I haven’t fully committed to it either. I promised my niece that I would take her to paint pottery and that’s the only available day I have before she starts school, so I might miss that 5K. But there is one coming up in October and I’m going to see if I can’t find one for September as well. That was a great workout and I’m anxious to try it again.
AND, I realized that I haven’t walked/jogged in weeks! How awful! I don’t really have a reason either, other than time. But I’m getting in plenty of exercise so I’m not sure that time is really the issue. I need to get back to it. How will I become a runner if I’m not running?
No picture today, but I do have a picture of how I spent my weekend:

Thanks to Hannah, I went from seeing no Harry Potter movies to seeing all eight Harry Potter movies in a matter of moments. Number seven was my fave. Hermione’s outfits were fantastic in that one, don’t you think? Just look at the fit and shade of this jacket! The textures just pop right off the screen. And the way that collar lies across the neckline from the shirt underneath? And the pink sleeves paired with the grey/blue? Yes, yes, and yes!

Weight Loss this Week: .8 pounds
Total Weight Loss: 22.8 pounds

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Weigh-In and Miscellaneous Babble

Yesterday I lost .2 pounds. Guess why that is so wonderful? Go on, now. Guess.
It’s so wonderful because on Sunday, I ate potato salad, baked beans, a pepperoni roll, cake, and ice cream. THEN, on Monday, I had another piece of cake!
My parents had a gathering at their house for my gram’s birthday, so there was a lot of food and socializing going on. I’m quickly learning that I don’t do well at these little picnic outings, so I planned ahead and pre-tracked my meal, allowing myself a decent portion of the foods I knew I would want the most. It was a lunchtime meal and I knew it would fill me up for the whole day, so I hardly had to dip into my extra weekly points. In fact, I still had 20 or so left by the end of the week and still had all my activity points.
And, the biggest victory of all came Monday night. I told Clay I was going to eat BOTH pieces of cake that my mom sent home with us. One was banana cake and the other was a mayonnaise cake with peanut butter icing (my absolute favorite in the whole world).
I started with the banana cake, because I wanted to save my favorite for last. But by the time I was halfway through the mayonnaise cake, I had my fill of sweets and so guess what I did? I STOPPED EATING THE CAKE!! Yes, my favorite cake in the whole wide world. I threw half of the piece away.
Let me tell you about this cake. A few years ago I decided to give up chocolate for Lent. I’m not Catholic, but my mother encouraged my sisters and me to sacrifice something anyway. I chose chocolate because it’s not really a weakness of mine, so I knew it would be relatively easy (yes, very crappy/cheaty of me, I know). So I was doing fine all of lent until I went to my parents’ house one weekend. My mother had made a mayonnaise cake with peanut butter icing and before I remembered that I gave up chocolate for Lent, I had already devoured two pieces.
That cake puts me in a trance. It is moist and the mayonnaise gives the cake this tangy edge that mixes so well with the sweetness of the peanut butter icing. I didn’t even remember I had given up chocolate until I was halfway through my second piece of cake. That’s what this cake does to me.
And I threw half of a piece away.
I have to get creative with my activity this week. I’m two pounds away from my 10%. Can you imagine?? Ten percent of my body weight – gone. Poof! I love it. I don’t like to set weight-loss deadlines, so I don’t care if it takes me a few weeks to drop those two pounds, but my regular exercise timeslots aren’t available this week – work is pretty hectic right now and my sister is staying at my place to get her radiation so I have to get everything ready for her and move out of my apartment for a few days – so I had to think of some new times to exercise.
Solution: Today, I signed up for a lunchtime spinning class at my work (I love that there is a gym where I work), tomorrow I am signing up for a yoga/pilates class during lunch, Sunday I am swimming in the morning, and Monday (weather permitting) Clay and I are going on a bike ride. I hope I can squeeze all that activity in.
No picture this week. But I gave you a treat last week, so that should keep you going until next time.

Weight Loss this Week: .2 pounds
Total Weight Loss: 22 pounds

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Love Affair with a Peach

I don’t want to brag, but I just ate the most fantastic peach in the world. I’ve been reading a lot of Weight Watchers articles on peaches and how they are in season rightthissecond. I love the taste of peaches, but I hate the mess they make when I eat them so I usually bypass them in the grocery store. I did make peach salsa the other week for Clay and myself and it was excellent, but I had yet to eat a peach as a whole piece of fruit this season.
When my mom was down to visit a few days ago she brought me a zucchini from her garden, a nectarine, and two peaches. (My mother is incredibly supportive of me doing WW – what mother wouldn’t want to see their child get fit and healthy – but she is absolutely adorable about the whole thing. The nectarine and peaches weren’t from her garden; she bought them at the store, so she gave them to me out of her own personal stock of purchased fruit. I love her and should do a whole blog post dedicated to how she supports me in my journey.)
Anyway, back to the peaches. I ate one the other day, and it was pretty good. Then I ate one just now, and it was AMAZING! The best peach I’ve ever eaten. If pressed, you could feel the solid body just underneath the top squishy layer and as you bit into it, you could feel the fibers giving way (not tearing, mind you!) to your teeth. There was no crunch of an almost-ripe peach; no blandness of an overly-ripe peach. There was just peach. The most perfect peach in the world. It was so good that I was holding on to the seed just so I could eat the whole entire thing. The seed. That’s all that was left. Just the seed. My desk, hands, arms, and sweater (it’s cold in my cubicle) were a mess with peach juice, but it was worth it.
How lucky a girl am I???

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Weigh-In and My Next 5K

I lost 2.8 pounds this week. For some reason, that 2.8 pounds made me look leaps and bounds thinner in my weekly picture, which you will see in a bit. But first, let's address the teasers I wrote about earlier today, yes?
Another 5K! My friend Sara Rabbit, who you might remember from this post, texted me about a 5K in Regent Square on August 27th. Run Around the Square has a 5K and a 1.5-mile run/walk. Sara Rabbit, who is a stellar runner, said she was doing the 5K, but I wasn't so sure about another 5K so soon (you'll find out why in a minute), so I initially committed to the 1.5-mile run/walk. From the route posted on the site, it looks like you hike through the park. Maybe not hike per se, but there's definitely a higher level of nature involved as opposed to the 1.5-mile run/walk, which is through the streets. But, after a handful of excuses and a long conversation with myself, I decided to do the 5K. I'm looking forward to it. Sara Rabbit has been accepted to one of the best PhD writing programs in the country, so she won't be around Pittsburgh for much longer. I'm sad to say that this will be our farewell for a while, so the least I can do is walk the whole damn 5K. Besides, I will have earned my celebratory beer afterwards by doing the 3.1 miles.
Dining out and how I refrained from being a jerk! I had an unexpected dinner offer last night and found myself at an unfamiliar restaurant, staring at unfamiliar food. I had already pre-planned my dinner in eTools, so I wasn't even sure how many points I had to play with (normally I would have logged on quickly to see how many I had left, but they were all taken and I was in a hurry). That probably makes no sense. Anyway, I managed to go only three points above my dailies. I got a Tuscan Salad, which had spinach, blue cheese, candied walnuts, raisins, mandarin oranges, and raspberry vinaigrette dressing. And I added shrimp to it. The salad came out with 17 small shrimp. Seventeen! Damn. I pushed 7 to the side, so I only ate 10. Then I divided up my candied walnuts so I only ate half, which was about one Tablespoon. I also slid some of the raisins out of the way, because I'm not big on raisins. AND, I got a cup of French onion soup. I forgot it came with tons of cheese, so I gave my friend most of my cheese and about half of the bread in the soup.
Afterward, we went next door to sit outside Serendipity Tea Room, which was closed, while we workshopped some poems. We were out there so long the owner brought us out two bowls of ice cream and two mini chicken salad sandwiches. They were fantastic.
The night before that, I went to dinner with Hannah and my sister. I am happy to report that I controlled myself there too. So it's been a pretty successful restaurant week for me, my friend(s).
The after effects of my first 5K! The two days following my 5K were pretty painful. I had a sharp pain/dull ache in the middle of my right ass cheek. It affected my hip, knee, and foot. I got out of bed in the middle of the night and thought I was going to fall down, the pain was so bad. But after two days, the pain faded and I was left with the general ache of over-worked muscles. Sara Rabbit caught me in the middle of this when she asked me to do the 5K, and it was that pain that contributed to my hesitation. But the pain is gone and I'm getting pumped for my next 5K!
As for exercise, I did 40 minutes of swimming yesterday and signed up for the spinning class again on Friday. Saturday I'm going to the gym to walk/jog on the treadmill for a bit and I am going to be sure to get in 3.1 miles. I want to be a little more prepared for this next 5K. And Sunday, if all goes well, Clay and I are going for a quick bike ride before we head to my parents' house. He got new wheels and tires for his bike and is anxious to test them out.
I did something different for tonight's picture. I paired my current self (on the right) with my former self when I first joined Weight Watchers (on the left). Wow! Even my mom was impressed. Now, my former self looks to be a giant, but I am just standing a little closer to the camera. 
Weight Loss This Week: 2.8 pounds
Total Weight Loss: 21.8 pounds

I Haven't Forgotten You

I haven’t forgotten about you, dear reader(s)! It’s just been a whirlwind few days. I have my weekly picture ready to post and will tell you tonight about all these wonderful events going on around me:
Another 5K!
My weekly weight loss! (yes, loss!)
Dining out and how I refrained from being a jerk!
The after effects of my first 5K!
All those exclamation points are making me sick in the stomach, so I’ll stop there. See you tonight.