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 (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