Monday, October 31, 2011

October 2011 Stats

Starting weight : 153.4 lb

Ending weight : 152.0 lb

Change : 1.4 lb lost (average 0.32 lb lost per week)

This time last year : 173.8 lb

I am 1 week of "maintain" away from becoming an official lifetime member! I can't believe I've made it this far. It's a dream come true and someday I will be able to work at weight watchers part-time and help change the lives of others. After several big months of weight loss, this month is more typical with 1.4lb lost in the whole month. I missed my month's goal of hitting 151lb, by 1lb, but I'm not too upset.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weigh-in for 10/29/2011

Last weigh-in (10/19/2011) : 151.6 lb

This weigh-in (10/29/2011) : 152.0 lb

Change : 0.4 lb gained

5 weeks of maintain down, 1 to go! I'm never happy with a gain, but I am grateful that it's less than half a pound. I also take comfort in the fact that the last time I had a gain was 10 weeks ago in mid-August. I was back in the gym this week, so it's a slight shock to my body. Most people would think, "I worked out so I should lose this week," but it doesn't always work that way. Your body is getting muscle and takes about a week to adjust to the change. I also accept that I ate a little more badly at the beginning of the week than I normally do, so I can't blame it all on getting back in the gym. I am excited that so long as I don't gain more than 5lb in the next week, I will become an official lifetime member! Here's to a great week!

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Chai Addiction

One of my favorite things is a non-fat, no water chai tea latte at Starbucks. I was pretty spoiled living in Oakland because we had one literally on our street, but two blocks down. It would be nice to throw Brady into the stroller, get out of the house for some fresh air, and have an amazing treat. We would often go for a long walk around Oakland while I sipped my nice hot drink.

When we moved to Michigan it was a little harder because although there were Starbucks nearby, none of them were drive-thru and it's so hard getting a baby out of the car and carrying a baby and a hot drink back to the car. It's almost impossible. This meant I only got a good chai occasionally at the mall and once a week on the way to Gymboree because there was a drive-thru Starbucks nearby.

Moving to South Carolina, I was in for quite a shock. There is not a single Starbucks in all of Anderson and the closest one is 25 miles away! We are overrun with Dunkin Donuts here, so that's why there are no Starbucks. My habit got taken down to sometimes once a week because Gymboree is in Greenville and there is no shortage of Starbucks there.

Recently, I was shopping around in Target and noticed a box of the chai concentrate that they use in all Starbucks. To make things even better, it was decaf! I bought two boxes ($4 each) and was thrilled to think that I didn't have to wait a whole week for my next fix. Buying the boxes of concentrate means I am saving a ton of money as well. A venti chai at Starbucks costs over $4 and I can make 6 from each box. So using the two boxes, I am saving $40! What's also great is I can control how much I make, so I can even lower the points if I don't have many left in a day and I really want to have one. It's a total win/win situation!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Back in the Gym

I will admit that I'm not the most dedicated when it come to working out on a long-term basis. Generally, I work out for a month or two (sometimes less), lose some weight, then get lazy and not want to work out anymore. After I had Brady and we moved to Michigan, we had a gym at our complex, but my excuse was that there was no one to watch Brady for me. When we moved to South Carolina, the excuse became that we had a house and no longer had a gym. I did pull out the Wii Fit in late March and I stuck with that for about a month and half, losing 5.8lb. The problem with the Wii Fit was that it would take me an entire hour or more to burn 200 calories. In Mid-May we joined the YMCA and started to work out 2-3 times per week. Between Mid-May and early July, I lost 5.2lb (an average of 0.7lb per week). We then started to travel the entire month of July and part of August and things started to fall apart.

The last time I stepped in the gym was August 8, almost 3 months ago. The day after that work out, I suffered debilitating back pain and after several trips to the chiropractor to fix what was wrong, I was a little apprehensive about getting back in the gym and possibly injuring myself again. I realized later that for a whole month, in which there was lots of travel, Brady's power sliding door was broken and I had to open it manually, which it's not meant to do. The strain of constantly forcing that door open with all my might probably led to my back problem.

In the time that I'd stopped going to the gym, I'd lost 10lbs (an average of 0.67lb per week). I'm not saying that I am not happy with the weight loss, but it was probably helping to keep me out of the gym. My mind was thinking, "well, I'm losing a lot of weight anyway, so what's the point?" Well, weight and inches are two very different things. While working out, I lost 2 inches off my hips (my problem area), and I've only lost 1/2 an inch since I stopped working out. I feel like someone at my weight would be in a smaller pants size than a size 10, so working out might be the way to lose more inches off my hips and get into smaller pants sizes. I've given up on my top size going smaller than a medium because my bust is never going to shrink. It's just a fact of life.

On Monday, I decided that it was time to get back into the gym. Andy had been going with his friend, even when I didn't, and took Brady to the day care. I kind of used that time to relax and be by myself. When I thought about it, I am "by myself" when I work out and it's up to 2 hours of "me time" where I'm doing something good for myself. I felt good while working out and of course, the soreness hit me yesterday, but it feels good to know I'm sore because I worked hard. I'm going back tonight and hopefully will continue until Christmas, when we have to cancel our membership due to the move to Germany.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cheat Days

Although it's hard on a Friday night knowing that I have to weigh-in the next morning, I generally like that Saturday morning is my weigh-in day. This means that Saturday and Sunday are my "cheat days." When I say "cheat," that doesn't mean I pig out and eat 3-4 times my daily points. It just means that I allow myself things that I don't later on in the week and sometimes get a special treat. There are lots of things I miss and crave, but I only allow myself a really good thing once a week. I usually spend my whole week thinking about that one thing until I can have it on Saturday or Sunday. This past week, I weighed-in on Wednesday, so I had 10 days before my next weigh-in. This meant I could be a little more bad than usual. On Friday, I allowed myself to share an Auntie Anne's pretzel with Brady. I haven't had one of those in 3 years! On Saturday, we went to linner (a combination of lunch and dinner) at Chili's and it was Rita Fest, so I got a margarita. I don't drink very often, so the last time I'd had a drink was at the beach on vacation in July. Today, I had one of those KFC bowls with the mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, cheese, and popcorn chicken. They came out with those years ago, and I hadn't allowed myself to try one until today. It was fantastic and almost like shepherd's pie with chicken. It's okay to still live your life and also live a healthy lifestyle. If I had to live the rest of my life without french fries, bread, cookie, cheesecake, and other things (I could go on forever), I would probably have abandoned ship long ago. It's good to know that at the beginning of the week, I can treat myself.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sweet & Crunchy Cereal Squares


1 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup unsalted butter
10 oz package of marshmallows (minis work the best)
6 cups Fiber One Caramel Delight cereal
1 1/2 cup candy corn

Step 1:

Grease 9x13 baking dish. In a 4-quart saucepan, combine peanut butter, honey, butter, and marshmallows.

Step 2:

Cook over low heat until marshmallows are melted, stirring occasionally.

Step 3:

Carefully stir in cereal using a wet or greased spatula. Turn off heat and slowly stir in candy corn (if it's still on heat, the candy corn will melt). Use spatula to spread mixture into 9x13 pan. Cool completely, cut into 36 bars.

I love this chilled in the fridge, but for little ones as a Halloween treat, I recommend leaving it at room temperature so it's easier to bite into.

Makes 36 servings; 4 points plus each

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Weigh-in for 10/19/2011

Last weigh-in (10/8/2011) : 152.2 lb

This weigh-in (10/19/2011) : 151.6 lb

Change : 0.6 lb lost

4 weeks of maintain down, 2 to go! The space between this weigh-in and the last one was about 11 days, which is about 4 days longer than I usually get. The reason for this is that I left for Pittsburgh last Thursday and our weekend was very hectic, so we went in on Wednesday instead. This means I won't weigh-in again until next Saturday, so again I will get about 10 days.

I am excited that I was able to lose some weight while being home because we eat out a lot more. I had a Primanti's sandwich at the Pitt game, which is something I don't even want to know the points on. For those of you who are not Pittsburgh natives, a Primanti's sandwich has meat, cheese, then is topped with fresh cut fries and cole slaw. It's place on amazing Italian bread. At the stadium they serve "The Pittsburgher, " which is a cheese steak. I've been to Philly and have had real cheese steaks, which are amazing, but this is a different animal because of the fries and cole slaw. In Pittsburgh, we put fries on our salads too, not something you see outside of this region. People often think we're crazy, but we love it!

There is one more weigh-in left this month and I am 0.6lb from my month goal of hitting 151lb. It's very attainable and I can't wait to set my goal for November!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mark it on your Calendar

Most people know I am really good with dates. That's because I use my wall calendar to full capacity. Something I have done since starting weight watchers had been to record my weekly gains and losses on my wall calendar. I start by putting that month's starting weight in the top corner. I then just put a + or - with the weight gained or lost on any given week in the box for the date of that weigh-in. At the end of the month, I place the ending weight with the month's starting weight at the top corner and then record the change that has occurred in that month. It's nice because I keep my wall calendar in my bedroom, so it's never on display for others (for those who don't want to broadcast their weight). I look at it every day and start thinking about the next weigh-in and how much I have already gained or lost in that month. I have kept every wall calendar I have had since 2001, so I have 10 years of calendars and 6 of those calendars have weights on them. It's nice because I can go back and look at which months I lost the most and how I was averaging per week. It's been particularly helpful in the last 20 months since Brady was born, to the point where I can look back and see when the last time I was a certain weight.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Small Victories - Pajama Pants

Most people who know me, know that I love to lounge around in my pajamas when I can. This time last fall, I bought probably my favorite pair of pajama pants of all time. I got them at Target and they were flannel with grey and white checks on them. My favorite part was that they had small lines of light blue and light pink edging the checks. The only thing I didn't like about them was that they were a size XL! I've always been bottom heavy, but even before I got pregnant I was wearing medium sized lounge pants. I was 175lb last fall, only about 10lb up from my pre-pregnancy weight. I had a hard time accepting that only 10lbs would put me up two pants sizes (general sizes, not numeric sizes).

The last time I wore those pajama pants was in April at Easter when we went home to Pittsburgh. It was cold there, when it wasn't down here, so I didn't wear them again. I've had my eye on a new pair (same brand and still at Target) for a while and was waiting until closer to my trip home this week. As luck would have it, they went on sale when I was going to buy them this week anyway. I went today and unfortunately, the brown and pink plaid ones I had my eye on were only available in sizes small and XL (I guess that's what I get for waiting). I did find another pair that was dark blue with light blue spots that was the same brand and took a medium into the dressing room to try them on. Not only did I get them on, there was wiggle room!!! Not enough wiggle room to consider trying on a small, and me even thinking that someday my butt could be a small blows my mind.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Weigh-in for 10/8/2011

Last weigh-in (10/1/2011) : 153.4 lb

This weigh-in (10/8/2011) : 152.2 lb

Change : 1.2 lb lost

3 weeks of "maintain" down, 3 to go! I'm halfway home! I'm very happy with my weight loss this week. Brady had a cold last weekend, that he in turn gave to me and Andy, and we have battled with it all week. The only positive about being sick is that you don't have a very large appetite. My next weigh in will be in about a week and a half, while I am at home in Pittsburgh. I wouldn't be shocked if I see a small gain at that time because there will be a lot going on.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Those of you located in the Midwest are probably familiar with O&H Danish Bakery, located in Racine, Wisconsin. I had never heard of this bakery until I met Andy and he knew of it because he had spent a summer working in Racine. This bakery is famous for making kringles, which are a traditional Danish pastry. They can be filled with fruit or cheese, and sometimes have an iced topping. It's a large pastry that can serve about 12 people. Andy introduced these to me and it was love at first sight. I think the first one I ever had was cherry and I LOVE cherry. Since then, I think we have gotten about 2 a year and often get them for my parents as a gift. To date, I think I've tried over 10 flavors and they're always introducing new ones. My favorite was probably the pumpkin caramel we had a few years ago. My last birthday was the first Friday of Lent, so we got a King Cake kringle to celebrate. They only offer those during February and March so we hadn't had one before. This fall they introduced two new flavors, apple crumble and pumpkin cheese. Both were very appealing to me, but we decided on the apple crumble, which is only available in September. It was delicious and reminded me of my Oma's apple strudel. When it arrived, there was of course another catalog and we saw they now have a red velvet kringle. That's something we will definitely have to get before we head overseas.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Southwest Chicken Salad


1lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 packet taco seasoning
1 bag of salad
Fat-free cheddar cheese
Multi-grain Tostitos chips
1 can black beans
1 bag steamfresh corn
Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch dressing

Step 1:

Cook chicken in a pan and when no longer pink, add taco seasoning according to packet instructions. Microwave bag of corn and black beans (separately) in a microwave-safe container.

Step 2:

Start putting together salad. This works best as a salad bar where everyone makes their own. This is how I do it. I lay down a bed of salad, weigh out about 4oz of chicken, then add 1/4 cup fat-free cheddar cheese. I top that with 1/2 cup corn and 1/4 cup black beans. The final touch is about 1/2oz of multi-grain Tostitos and 2 tbsp spicy ranch.

14 Points Plus (according to how I prepare my salad)

Monday, October 3, 2011

White Chicken Chili


1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 - 15.5oz cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
14.5oz can chicken broth
2 - 4oz cans chopped green chilis
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream

Step 1:

In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion, and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink.

Step 2:

Add beans, broth, chilis, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Step 3:

Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream and heavy cream. Serve immediately.

Make 9 servings (1 cup = 1 serving); 6 Points Plus per serving

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October 2011 Goals

Last month was awesome. I hit a goal that I'd been working towards for almost 5 1/2 years and even managed to push past it by 1.6lb. I am in the midst of my 6 week "maintain" period and getting excited to become an official lifetime member and stop paying each month. This month brings with it an incredible challenge : Halloween. I love candy and I'm hoping that the trick-or-treaters take the majority of the candy that I'll be buying. I also will be taking a trip home (on a plane this time) and making it to my only Pitt football game of the year (can you say Primanti's sandwich?). I would really like to make it under 151lb by the end of the month, which would mean 2.4lb lost. I will have 3 more weigh-ins this month, so I need to average 0.8lb per week.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Weigh-in for 10/1/2011

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

This weigh-in (10/1/2011) : 153.4 lb

Change : 0 lb

2 weeks of "maintain" down, 4 to go! I am more than happy to see no change on the scale than see a gain. I'll take it and move on towards the new week ahead of me. This week, my plan is to get back into the gym for the first time since the end of July, so hopefully that will give me a little kick start!