Friday, September 30, 2011

September 2011 Stats

Starting weight : 157.8 lb

Ending weight : 153.4 lb

Change : 4.4 lb lost (average 1.04 lb lost per week)

This time last year : 177.2 lb

I thought last month was huge with 3.8lb lost. I never anticipated hitting goal a week early and then pushing past it so far to lose 4.4lb this month! It's really hard to imagine that time time last year I was up almost 25lbs from here. My clothes fit better and I've needed smaller sizes, but since I'm the same person on the inside, it's hard to remember feeling differently at that weight. My life was all about Brady then and it is now. I'm anticipating a move just like I was then. My life is all about uncertainty.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Red Light Foods

Red light foods. Every one has at least one and every one is different. A red light food is a food that you can't stop eating. For some people it's pizza, popcorn, or even french fries. For me it's tortilla chips and sometimes cookies. If I go to a party and they have tortilla chips, I will keep eating them because I can't stop myself. I try to keep them out of my house because I can remember eating a whole bag in one sitting before I joined weight watchers. I have a little more control now, but I could still eat the whole bag if I don't keep myself in check. When it comes to cookies, my friends in high school used to call me Cookie Monster and would know if I'd had one because I'd get a little giddy from it. When I see those cookie cakes in the grocery store I have to hurry by them because they are my ultimate cookie weakness. I will usually only let us get one maybe twice a year, but they don't last more than two days in my house.

It's hard to eliminate red light foods from your life forever, but it's better to try and stay away from them as long as you can.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Great Support System

Nobody wants to be the only one on a diet. You feel like an outsider and once everyone knows you're trying to lose weight, they start watching everything you eat like a hawk. They question whether or not you should be eating what you're eating. This can be tough, especially when those close to you don't really understand how it works and that it's basically the age-old mantra of "eat less, exercise more." You can have anything you want in moderation and it can be really annoying when everyone around you is saying, "You're not allowed to eat that."

It's always better to start a weight loss program with a friend or relative. My mom and I joined together back in May 2006. We were both at the heaviest we'd ever been and were desperate to get our lives on track. I can't tell you how amazing it was to have someone in my house (who was cooking all the meals I might add), who was doing it with me. We completely changed what we were eating at home and everyone else was along for the ride, whether they liked it or not. We would go out to eat together and discuss which options were best. It was great. It really helped that my dad is super supportive and would always praise us when we lost weight and never said anything negative when we gained. He's still so supportive today!

That first summer on weight watchers was a breeze and I lost about 25lbs. Then it was time to head back to college, where I only met up with my mom once a week for meetings and other than that was on my own, trying to deal with a college meal plan and eating healthy. The exercise part was easy since I was in color guard at Pitt and we practiced 4 nights a week and had a game almost every Saturday. That was probably the only thing that kept me from gaining that fall semester. It took until I came home for Christmas break to start losing again (crazy, I know), but when I got back to school in January, it was plateau city again.

School ended in April and I started dating Andy in June 2007. He was inspired by my weight loss and even took it upon himself to lose 15lbs on his own that summer we started dating. It was great to have a guy in my life who would eat the meals with the substitutions I made on a daily basis. Not everyone at that point was into the healthy meals. My brother, Alex, will balk at meals made with ground turkey, and my brother-in-law, Chris, would instantly decline any meal we made that looked like it might have whole-wheat pasta in it.

I went through two more years of school and did the gain and lose again dance several times before we made it to our wedding in May 2009. I bought my wedding dress in March 2008 because they take forever to come in and when I bought it, the dress they had in store was a 12 and fit me (I weighed 170lb). My measurements never line up with my clothes size, and it was a good thing the dress they had was a 12 and they could see it fit or they would have ordered me a size 16 based on my hip measurements. I had several fittings in the spring of 2009 and the last one was about 3 weeks before the wedding. The seamstress asked if I wanted her to take in the bodice and me and my mom said no because I had a corset back and could just tighten it up if I needed to. No one would have guessed that in those last 3 weeks, I would lose another 5lbs. We laced the corset back of my dress as tight as we could and it was still loose. The problem with that was that they bodice is heavy, so without it being tight enough up top, the entire weight of the dress rested on my hips. I was in pain the entire day and when I finally got out of my dress, I had gouges and bruises where it was resting on my hips.

That spring I got pregnant with Brady and the weight came on fast. Of course, Andy would decide that he's not happy with his weight at this point and decided to join weight watchers 7 weeks before Brady was born. While I'm feeling huge, he's losing weight and rejoicing. Before Brady was born, there was a point where I was gaining so fast and he was losing so fast that he started to weigh less than me. That didn't sit well with me at all. Thank goodness, I was back in a meeting a week after Brady was born and the weight started coming off again.

It's been fantastic having Andy doing weight watchers with me. The main reason he joined was because doing it on his own, he had no motivation. He said that paying a monthly fee was going to force him to lose weight, because he didn't want to waste the money. That worked for a while until his company decided that they were going to pay for employees' memberships. That was right around the time we moved here to South Carolina. So while I was starting this hot streak, he was gaining and gaining. The worst part was that he would whine about gaining, but then I'd watch what he was eating and even found him sneaking junk food! I kept telling him that the key to my most recent success was tracking. I've been telling him for months and this last month, he has been tracking and losing and it's like a light bulb went off.

I've been very fortunate to be living with another weight watchers member since I started. Not everyone is so lucky. Having a friend go with you is just as good. You keep each other in check and motivate each other. It's another layer of accountability. I know how hard it is to go to a meeting alone. I can count on one hand the number of time I've gone to a meeting alone because I just feel weird. If I know I have to go alone, sometime I just don't go and that's what happens when you try to do this on your own. So get out there and do it with a friend. It makes it so much more fun!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weigh-in for 9/24/2011

Last weigh-in (9/17/2011) : 154.6 lb

This weigh-in (9/24/2011) : 153.4 lb

Change : 1.2 lb lost

1 week of "maintain" down, 5 to go! I'm feeling really good right now about where I am. I anticipated being at 155lb this week, so I may actually be able to hit the goal I set before Germany. The more I lose at this point, the further away I get from the "maintain" ceiling of 157lb. The last time I gained more than 1lb in a week was right after last Christmas, so I don't anticipate having any week with a huge gain that would push me above that limit.

This is the kind of week that proves that you can eat whatever you want on program, as long as you stay on your points. I ate steak twice, had chicken fingers at the Mets game, had frozen yogurt twice, and had Aussie cheese fries in ranch at Outback the day after weigh-in. Anyone can do this and can still live life!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Cure for my Pumpkin Addiction

Earlier this week, we were at our favorite frozen yogurt shop, and they had non-fat pumpkin frozen yogurt. It was to die for!! On the way over I was trying to figure out when I could fit in the pumpkin pie shake at Sonic and this frozen yogurt made me forget all about it. I could probably have this flavor three more times and not even come close to how bad that shake would be. Full sugar, non-fat frozen yogurt is only 1 Points Plus per ounce, so it's a perfect snack. I also topped it off with some graham cracker crumbs to make it like pie. Andy wasn't convinced that it was non-fat because it tasted sooooo good. He was thinking of having it tested like they did in an episode of Seinfeld and found out that it wasn't non-fat, so when they busted the shop and they made it non-fat, it was terrible. That makes me think about how far non-fat and low-fat has come over the years. I remember eating Snack Wells cookies as a kid and how terrible they were. Now most people can't tell the difference if they're eating something light unless they're told.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Filet Mignon with Red Wine Sauce


1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1lb filet mignon beef, trimmed, divided into 4 - 4oz pieces
2 sprays of Pam
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp water
2 1/3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp fresh chives, minced

Step 1:

Rub 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper all over steak. Coat a grill pan with cooking spray (Pam); set over medium-high heat. Heat pan until it's almost smoking. We used an outside grill, so either works.

Step 2:

Place steak on pan and cook, without turning, for about 5 minutes. Flip steak and cook about 4 to 6 minutes for it to reach medium done. Move steak to a cutting board and loosely cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 10 minutes (steak will continue to cook under foil).

Step 3:

To make the sauce, bring a small saucepan 1/3 filled with water to a boil. In a small metal or glass bowl, beat egg yolk with 1 tbsp room-temp water until frothy.
Create a double-boiler by placing the bowl on top of the saucepan. Stir constantly until yolk thickens (about 3 to 5 minutes). Remove egg yolk from heat; slowly whisk in melted butter until well-combined. Stir in lemon juice and remaining salt and pepper; whisk in fresh chives.

Step 4:

Serve steak with sauce.

Makes 4 servings (3oz cooked steak and 1 tbsp sauce); 6 Points Plus each

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Biggest Loser

Tonight is the premiere of the Biggest Loser. I can't say I've watched it since it first came on the air, but I did start watching in the fall of 2007 when Alison Sweeney (from Days of Our Lives) took over as host and I was 1 year into my own weight loss journey. I have watched Days of Our Lives my whole life and Alison Sweeney has been on since she was a teenager and she was chubby herself. She has conquered her weight issues and two kids later looks AMAZING. I see her almost every day on Days and want to look like she does.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Biggest Loser. I love it in the beginning, when the contestants are first starting out. It makes me feel good about myself to see people who are so much larger than myself. As the weeks go on, there comes a time about 3/4 of the way in that the female contestants start to weigh less than me. That's when I start to hate it and feel bad about myself. I do understand that they're losing weight at an alarmingly fast rate and work out 8 hours a day. The trainers compare them professional athletes. They hardly ever show them after a workout where they're all in a recovery room, covered in ice. Every year, I say that by the end I'm going to feel good about myself and to this day, I've never gotten to that place. This season is going to be the season where I still feel great about myself at the end!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Weigh-in for 9/17/2011 - I Hit Lifetime!!!!

Last weigh-in (9/10/2011) : 156.0 lb

This weigh-in (9/17/2011) : 154.6 lb

Change : 1.4 lb lost

I DID IT!!!!! 5 1/2 years, 4 states, 2 college degrees, and 1 baby later I finally hit goal weight! I'm still in shock. I want to dance and scream in the streets about it, but once again have just come home from more dental work and I'm numb.

So here's what happens now that I've hit goal weight. I am officially at a "normal" weight. I have to "maintain" for 6 weeks and then I become an official lifetime member, where I no longer have to pay as long as I "maintain." I put maintain in quotations because the definition of maintaining on weight watchers is to go no more than 2lb above your goal weight. So for me the magic number to stay below is 157lb. Hopefully, this won't be a problem because I want to keep losing weight.

It's hard to believe when I started this current hot streak, it was April 2 and I was 172.6lb. That's 18lb lost in just under 6 months. If you'd have told me it was possible back then, I'd have said, "Yeah right." It's time to set a new personal goal for myself now that I've reached a goal I've been working towards for almost 5 1/2 years, since I was 20. It was always, get to 155, get to 155, so I never thought much beyond that. Now I'm below it and I have to think about where I want to set the next benchmark. It took me a little less than 4 months to lose the last 10lb, and I have almost exactly 4 months before I step on a plane and head to Germany (don't worry, weight watchers is worldwide). That means I want to set my next benchmark at 145lb, but in reality I would be happy with anything below 150 since we are coming up on the holiday season.

You can probably see that my weight loss ticker at the top of the blog page has moved from a goal of a total of 60lb to 75lb, and 75lb would place me at 140lb. That's where I would like be at ideally before I get pregnant again, but we'll see what happens. I was 163lb when I got pregnant with Brady.

Friday, September 16, 2011

My History with Jeans

Yesterday it was 92 degrees. Today and tomorrow are in the mid-60s, with 20+mph winds. That can only mean one thing - jeans weather. I think it's fair to say that jeans are a very popular pants choice and most people wear them almost every day. I have a complicated history with jeans.

I am a creature of comfort and that being said, I would choose comfort over fashion 9 times out of 10. As a child, I made a conscious effort not to wear jeans and didn't wear them until I wa
s in middle school. In the 90s, jeans came up over your belly button and that was probably the reason why I never wore them. While I was in middle school, low-riders came back into style and I was more comfortable wearing jeans, but still never wore them every day.

I think my weight had something to do with me not being fully comfortable. Jeans are more restrictive than other materials and I am built differently than a lot of people. My hips are very wide and even at the present time, my hip measurement is 12 inches more than my
waist measurement. That meant when I found jeans to fit my hips, the waist would be gaping and I was self-conscious about it. When I found a pair that wasn't terrible to wear, I would wear them until they wore out.

Women's fitted sweats and gauchos changed my life and made me forget all about jeans in college. I could now be comfortable all the time and wear jeans only on occasion. I still prefer to wear sweats and if I'm at home all day or just running to the store, I see no reason why I shouldn't wear them.

I've reached a turning point in my life when it comes to jeans. Today, it was cool enough to put on my favorite pair of jeans (pictured below). They are dark denim boot cut jeans size 11. It was a liberating feeling this morning when I was putting them on and I didn't have to worry about whether or not I could get them zipped (a thought that would go through my head every time I put them on in the past). I didn't even have muffin top above the waistband. When something fits so well and is comfortable, it's not hard to imagine wearing them out more often. I will be very sad when they become too large, but I will simply have to start a love affair with a new pair.

Christmas Eve 2007 (the last time before today that I was truly comfortable in my favorite jeans)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pizza Casserole


1 box whole wheat rotini pasta
1lb lean ground turkey (you can also use lean ground beef)
1/2 package of turkey pepperoni
1 medium chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of black pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
12oz jar of pizza sauce
16oz can of tomato sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 package 2% mozzarella shredded cheese

Step 1:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Boil pasta according to package instructions (helps to leave it a little al dente). Drain and place in a 9x12 baking dish.

Step 2:

Place ground turkey and pepperoni in the same pot that you cooked the pasta. Stir over medium high heat, adding chopped onion when meat is partly cooked. When meat is fully cooked, stir in salt, pepper, and oregano. Add pizza sauce, tomato sauce, and sugar to cooked meat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 3:

Stir drained pasta into meat sauce. Pour half of the pasta-meat mixture into the 9x12 baking dish. Sprinkle 1/2 of mozzarella cheese over mixture. Place remaining pasta-meat mixture on top and top off with the remaining cheese.

Step 4:

Bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Makes 8 servings; 8 Points Plus each (with ground turkey)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Keeping Yourself Busy

The biggest reason people eat besides hunger, is out of boredom. They eat because there's nothing better to do and they want to keep busy. Watching TV, it's just habit to have a snack and people that do this eat without even enjoying the food they put in their mouth. I can't say that I'm innocent of ever doing this. In college, there was way too much time and our pantries were always stocked with food. If I'd already eaten, and an hour or two later my roommates wanted to go eat, I'd go with them and eat another whole meal. It is ridiculous to look back upon.

Something I have learned is that if you keep busy with hobbies or outings, there's less chances to be sitting around eating out of boredom. I love to cross stitch and scrapbook and when I do either of those things, my hands are busy for hours on end and I'm not even thinking about food. I'm not in the habit of eating out more than once a week right after weigh-in, so if Brady and I are busy a good portion of the day, I'm not eating. Most importantly, in order not to wake Brady during a nap, I go into my bedroom and don't come out until he wakes up. I eat my lunch before going in and that's 3 hours where I'm not eating and I don't mind it because I'm just enjoying my alone time.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Weigh-in for 9/10/2011

Last weigh-in (9/3/2011) : 156.8 lb

This weigh-in (9/10/2011) : 156.0 lb

Change : 0.8 lb lost

I am getting closer and closer to goal. It's getting me really excited because when I get there, I will be able to set a new personal goal for myself. Only 1lb left and two weigh-ins in September left. Granted, the first October weigh-in is on the 1st of the month, so if I hit it then, I will still be satisfied that I hit it by the end of September. I know that one of the next two weeks will be a gain or maintain because it happens once a month like clockwork, so I am not going to get discouraged. Almost 19 months ago when I was 215lb, I never dreamed of being 155lb. It's just one stop along the journey and I'm going to push past it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Quick Chili Con Carne


1lb extra lean ground turkey or beef
1 package chili seasoning mix
16oz can of tomato sauce
16oz can of light red kidney beans


Brown meat. Stir in seasoning mix according to package directions. Add tomato sauce and kidney beans. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

This also is good as leftovers, served over a baked potato. Poke holes in potatoes, cover in olive oil and salt, then place in oven for 1 hour, 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Recipe makes 6 servings; 4 Points Plus each (with ground turkey)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Autumn Temptations

Although we haven't officially closed out "summer" and won't feel a temperature change here until late October at the earliest, autumn temptations are starting to appear. Yesterday, I was at Sonic for my diet cherry limeade fix and they are now offering a pumpkin pie shake. I bravely put off the red velvet shake until it was gone, but pumpkin pie is another story. And of course, they already have Halloween candy in stores, like it's not 8 weeks away!

Autumn has to be one of the hardest times for me to lose weight. I am a sucker for warm apple cider, anything with pumpkin or pumpkin pie pieces, and I LOVE candy corn. This is the one time a year I let myself have candy corn. In addition to all those things, I make a killer Halloween treat that contains peanut butter, honey, marshmallows, candy corn, and a cereal base (recipe will be posted closer to the holiday). I only make it once a year because peanut butter is my Kryptonite. I don't even let it come into my house because of what happened when I was pregnant. Let's just say I ate an entire jar of peanut butter in the last month before Brady was born and it probably accounted for my last 10lbs.

I know I can't see these temptations everywhere and resist them all, so it's all about strategic placement. I will only let myself have one of these items right after a weigh-in so that I have the rest of the week to make up for it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

7 Layer Taco Dip


16oz can fat-free refried beans
1 packet taco seasoning
8oz light sour cream
8oz light cream cheese
12oz jar of chunky salsa
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 cup fat-free Cheddar cheese
1 bag Baked Tostitos scoops (more if you have a larger event)

Step 1:

Mix refried beans and taco seasoning with an electric mixer and spread into the bottom of a pie dish or serving dish.

Step 2:

Mix sour cream and softened cream cheese with an electric mixer and spread over bean layer. Add salsa. It helps to drain it a little so there isn't too much liquid.

Step 3:

Sprinkle lettuce on top of salsa, then cover lettuce with Cheddar cheese. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

This is a great recipe for game day if you're stuck at home or want to have people over to watch the game.

Makes 6 servings; 5 Points Plus each. Baked Tostitos scoops are 3 Points Plus for 15 chips.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Weigh-in for 9/3/2011 - Lowest Ever!!!

Last weigh-in (8/27/2011) : 157.8 lb

This weigh-in (9/3/2011) : 156.8 lb

Change : 1 lb lost

This week marks the lowest weight I have ever been on weight watchers. This is helping me realize that I can break through old barriers and move forward. The last time I was at this weight, I can't even pin-point because I shot from 130lb-160lb in one summer when I was 14. That means it was sometime in the summer of 2000. I am now 1.8lb from lifetime and the closer it gets, the more I want it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Way You See Yourself

Sometimes it's hard looking at yourself in the mirror. You see yourself every day, so it's hard to notice weight loss. Sure your clothes fit better or are too big, but you don't notice it in the mirror. Other people tell you they notice, but you still see your flaws. When I look in the mirror, I can't tell that I look any different from when I was at 165lb (almost 7.5lb ago).

On the other hand, my clothes fit completely different. I have a ton of clothes from before I got married that still have the tags on them because I bought them a little too small and was going to work my way into them. I was between a size 12 and 13 when it came to dress pants before I got married, wore a jean size 11, and most of my dresses were sized 11 or 12. Yesterday, I wanted to prove to myself that my body is different than when I
was 165lb, so I went through my closet. I was able to get into a pair of size 10 dress pants that still had the tags on and even a size 9 sun dress that I couldn't zip up when I bought it.

It feels good to see that kind of progress, but I feel like I was thinner the last time I was at this weight. When I was working my way back down post-pregnancy, I kept thinking that 155 was some magic number where I would technically be at a healthy weight and somehow I would be thin. Pictured below is a picture of me in 2007 at the beach h
ouse in VA Beach and I was 159lb. I really don't feel like my butt (my main problem area) is this small and I weigh less now. I guess you're always harsher on yourself.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 2011 Goals

This is it. This is the month that my goal is to hit lifetime membership. I am 2.8lbs away and if I average 0.7lb per week for all of September, I will hit it! That's an easier goal per week than I set last month. I've been this close before and bounced back up, so this is the test to see if I can actually get there. I am looking forward to hitting my lowest ever on program!

Andy made a promise to me when we first started dating that when I hit goal, he would take me on a trip. When he made that promise, we thought I would hit it before we got married since I was so close at the time. The promise still stands, but the logistics will be much harder now that Andy has a job and we have Brady. We have planned out all our vacation days for this year and are headed to Germany in January. Traveling in Europe is something we're going to do anyway so it doesn't count for my reward trip. That means we will have to wait until we come back and depending on when we have a second baby, I may have to wait until Thanksgiving 2013 to get my trip minus the kids. It will be worth the wait! I'm thinking Vegas since I haven't been since I turned 21 and Andy has never been.

September usually poses a series of challenges with the football season. We are too far from home to keep our Pitt season tickets, so that takes away several weekends of eating stadium food. I'll miss seeing the games live, though. Since 2004, I've been at almost every home game and this year I will only make it to 1. Being far from home also means no family gatherings for Steelers games, which also means food. The only challenges this month will be Andy's company picnic and when we travel to Atlanta to see the Mets play the Braves.