Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 2011 Stats

Starting weight : 152.0 lb

Ending weight : 150.4 lb

Change : 1.6 lb lost (average 0.38 lb lost per week)

This time last year : 172.4 lb

This was a rough month with several trips, but getting back in the gym help kept any gains at bay. 1.6lb is a good monthly loss, so nothing to complain about here! My goal for the month was to hit 150lb, and I came pretty darn close. Can't wait to get into the 140s!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Coming Soon - Points Plus 2012

This morning I received an email from Weight Watchers informing me that the new Points Plus 2012 program will begin on December 4. As I've mentioned before, Weight Watchers is always evolving the program to make it the easiest and most efficient for members. This will be the 4th change since I've been a member.

The email gave away very little on the details on the new program, but there were a few details that I will share with you all. They are working on making the program more customizable since everyone is different. They mentioned that there will be more flexibility in how you are able to spend your Points Plus budget. They also stated that there will be the possibility of taking a break from tracking for a day or two (most likely similar to what I refer to as my "cheat days"). There will also be upgrades to the activity points and more support on how to reach your exercise goals. The tools available online to members will also be changed to help maximize the benefits.

Like I said, these are not extensive details, but on December 4, they will become fully explained to all members. I will be away at that time, so I probably won't get the info until Monday night at the earliest, and whatever I don't learn online via etools, I will learn on December 10, when I go in to weigh-in.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pumpkin Oat Bread


Pam cooking spray
1/2 cup regular butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
2 cups canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 tsp table salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups uncooked quick oats
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
24 walnut halves

Step 1:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with Pam cooking spray.

Step 2:

Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and pumpkin; beat well. Add salt, pumpkin pie spice, flour, oats, and baking soda.

Step 3:

Pour batter into prepared baking dish and place walnut halves on top so there will be a half of a walnut on each piece. Bake about 40 to 45 minutes, and use a toothpick to test.

Step 4:

Cool in pan and cut into 24 servings.

Makes 24 servings; 4 Points Plus per serving

We made this recipe over the weekend to take home for Thanksgiving and it was AMAZING!!! Normally pumpkin bread ranges from 8-10 Points Plus, so this recipe allows you to have that great pumpkin bread without feeling like you've killed your day.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Weigh-in for 11/19/2011

Last weigh-in (11/5/2011) : 151.6 lb

This weigh-in (11/19/2011) : 150.4 lb

Change : 1.2 lb lost

I am happy with the past two weeks and losing over a pound in that time. After last weekend, I am glad to have lost any weight. I was down more than this before we left for last weekend, but I know I'll get it back. Now, on to Thanksgiving and Disney before my next weigh-in!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Planning your Week

Something I have found helpful over the years is planning my dinner meals at least week in advance. Sometimes I go further than that so that I know that I won't repeat any particular dish too often. What is nice about planning my dinners for the week is I can also decide which dish is going to be on each day. This allows me to not have two pasta dishes back to back, and I make sure to put heavier meals towards the beginning of the week, with lighter meals towards the end.

Planning my dinners, also helps me to plan my lunches. I usually don't plan my lunches until that morning or the night before. I look at what we're having for dinner and that helps make my choice. If we're having pasta for dinner, I avoid that for lunch. I can also look at how many points dinner will be and plan my lunch to be lighter or heavier depending on that. Using this method, most days I have trouble reaching my daily points target which is the lowest that anyone can have on Weight Watchers. This means I'm not overeating, but at the same time am satisfied enough that I'm never hungry. Try planning your meals in advance and see if it makes a difference for you!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back from a Traveling Weekend & a Wedding

We traveled to Philadelphia this past weekend to see a college friend of Andy's get married. But, before that we traveled to Delaware, where Andy's cousin lives, so that she and her husband could watch Brady while we attended the wedding and he could play with his 1 year old cousin.

We started our weekend on Friday at 11AM, when I picked Brady up from a half-day at work. We hit the road and what should have been a 9 1/2 hour drive, and it took 12, due to several delays. We had to eat on the road twice and although I chose a grilled chicken sandwich for lunch, I also had fries (which I usually only allow myself on the road). Dinner was chicken tenders at Popeyes, but I was able to choose my side and went with corn on the cob.

We knew the wedding was going to have a buffet, so I thought I would be fine and be able to choose some good options. When people talk about our wedding, all they can ever talk about is how much food there was. We had a minimum to spend to hold our room and had to choose a lot of extras at the last minute, although we didn't have time to eat any of them. This wedding allowed me to understand what people were talking about. There was a never-ending stream of hor' dourves, which were all delicious and then we headed in to dinner. There were stations and everything looked delicious and tasted the way they looked. Then during dancing, they put out the cake, and had other small desserts and cupcakes. There was also a coffee station.

Yesterday, we headed home from Delaware and it only took us 10 1/2 hours to get home. We ate breakfast before we left, so we only ate once on the road and again chose a grilled chicken sandwich. It was good to get home and be back into our routine today. I know that before I left, I was down significantly from last weigh-in and I hope with good eating and working out in the next few days, I can at least keep those numbers, which would make me very happy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How Your Brain Processes Food

This week on the Biggest Loser, they had a really interesting segment where a doctor who specializes in brain science came in and talked to the contestants about how their brain processes food. He was primarily focused on the pleasure center of the brain in relation to food. He showed them the differences between a lean person's brain and an obese person's brain.

He started with the amount of pleasure from seeing and smelling food. A lean person's brain had a very weak pleasure reaction and an obese person's brain had a very strong reaction. Not very surprising. What was surprising was how their brains reacted to actually eating the food. A lean person had a very strong pleasure reaction, whereas an obese person had a weak pleasure reaction. This in turn, leads the obese person to eat more in trying to reach a higher state of pleasure. It's not just that obese people are more hungry.

They also talked about how your brain can be "rewired." Basically, what they said was that you have good feelings associated with eating healthy and exercising because of the results they produce, so you crave those things, when you never did before. They said it could take months for this "rewiring" to take place. What I didn't agree with was how quickly this "rewiring" could be undone. They said one week of vacation where you eat anything you want would completely reverse the good behaviors your brain associated with good feelings. I've done this where I go on a trip and eat whatever and get right back into my routine and into my "zone" again. I've even gone on longer periods of time where I'd eaten badly for months and when I reached a certain breaking point and get back on track. It's tough to think that if you hadn't been so bad you wouldn't be losing weight that you've already lost once, or twice, or even three times before. The important mentality to have when you have a rough day or week is to think, "Tomorrow is another day."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Brownie Cupcake Bites


21oz regular brownie mix
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 package light whipped topping
1 package candy corn

Step 1:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a mini-muffin tin with cupcake wrappers. In a large mixing bowl, combine brownie mix, water, applesauce, and egg whites. Mix about 50 times with a wooden spoon; do not under mix.

Step 2:

Pour brownie mixture into prepared muffin tin, about 1 tbsp per hole. Bake cupcakes until a tester is inserted and comes out clean, about 12 minutes.

Step 3:

Remove cupcakes from pan and allow to cool completely. Before serving, decorate each cupcake with a tbsp of whipped topping and one piece of candy corn.

The recipe says it should make 36 cupcakes, but when we made it, it made about 60. 2 Points Plus per cupcake.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Weigh-in for 11/5/2011 - Official Lifetime Member!!!

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

This weigh-in (11/5/2011) : 151.6 lb

Change : 0.4 lb lost

6 weeks of maintain down!!! I am official a lifetime Weight Watchers member! They gave me a new card that will gain me access to any meeting around the world, a new key charm for my key chain, and a gold member book! The key charm is something that is earned after you lose 10% on program and you get charms for 25lb, 50lb, etc, and I also got one when I hit goal in the shape of a star.

The way lifetime works is that I maintain the free status as long as I weigh in at least once a month, no more than 2lb above my goal weight (which for me would mean staying under 157lb). The first weigh-in of the month is the only one that counts for the month. This means that if I weigh-in under my goal at the start of the month and go over the 157lb threshold later in the month, I won't have to pay. I would only ever have to pay if I started out the month over 157lb.

I had great satisfaction calling in today to cancel my monthly pass. Something that comes with the monthly pass is etools, which are accessible via online, my iPhone, and iPad. The etools contain a graph of your weight loss, the ability to track on the go, calculate points for any foods, and recipes. Before we switched to points plus, it was very easy to stay on track and not use the etools (which I never used until after I had Brady). You could calculate points via a slide rule they provided you and you could purchase books with the point values of every food and restaurant. Now there are too many factors in calculating points plus, so without etools, it's very difficult to stay on program. I did some research a while back and found out that I would lose my etools unless I wanted to pay $12.95/month to keep them as a lifetime member. There were a lot of people that were outraged at this since the promise is that you no longer have to pay when you hit lifetime. I figured that I would just use Andy's since his company pays for his membership. The leader told me today that if I can hold on one or two months, they are going to make it free for all lifetime members. This made me very happy, because I rely on my etools, especially on the go with my iPhone.

This week was difficult and I am grateful to have lost what I gained the week before. My next weigh-in will be in two weeks since we will be out of town for a wedding next weekend. That will also be the last weigh-in before Thanksgiving, so I hope I can make it a good one.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Holiday Season

Between Halloween and New Years, the average American gains 10lbs. That's a scary thought to most people and the reason why Weight Watchers meeting rooms are packed the week after New Years. There are so many temptations during these two months and it's hard to ignore all of them. Like most people, I will be baking Christmas cookies and traveling home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Also, because all of our family lives in the same city, that means we have to "double dip" when it comes to these famous eating holidays. We go to two places on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. We also split time staying with each side of the family. Sometimes it easier to stay with them, and other times I wish I still lived there so we could just go home after a long day. Usually, we also spend several days visiting my grandma in NYC between Christmas and New Years and she's an Austrian immigrant, so she knows how to cook and none of it is healthy. I can count on one hand the number of times I've missed going up there during the holidays and this will be one of them, bringing the total to 3 missed visits.

I really hope that I can buckle down during the times we are at home during these two months to try and at least maintain. My first holiday season on weight watchers, I lost 4lb (it shocked even me), the second, I gained 4.6lb, the third, I gained 1lb, the fourth (when I was pregnant), I gained 10lb, and last year, I lost 0.8lb. So when I take the average of all five of those year, I have gained 2lb per year average. If I hadn't been pregnant one of those years, the average might have been lower. Being in the gym any time that we're home is hopefully going to help counteract the amount of eating that will take place in this marathon of events until after New Years.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 2011 Goals

Last month, I did not achieve my set goal by 1lb. I wanted to be at 151lb and ended at 152lb. This month has several road blocks. This past weekend was not the best. We had guests and ate a little more than we should. Also, Halloween was yesterday and there is candy in my house. We have gotten rid of quite a bit of it, although there were very few trick-or-treaters. Next weekend, we will be traveling 11 hours first to Delaware, another 2 hours to Philadelphia and then 2 hours back to Delaware, and then the 11 hours home. We are going to Andy's cousin's house in Delaware, since she will be watching Brady for us, and then going to Andy's friend's wedding in Philadelphia. We will be doing all of that driving in a little over 48 hours. I had said when we made our trip from Michigan to SC that I'd never do a trip this long with that short of a turnaround time, but here we are. We are only 3 1/2 weeks out from Thanksgiving which is never easy. My goal is to hit 150lb by Thanksgiving. Hopefully, now that I'm back in the gym, it will become achievable.