Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 2012 Stats

Starting weight : 154.0 lb

Ending weight : 158.2 lb

Change : 4.2 lb gained (average 0.7 lb gained per week since last weigh-in on 2/18/2012)

This time last year : 172.6 lb

Sure, I'm not happy seeing two months straight where I've gained about 4lb each, but I've finally taken control of my weight gain and made the effort to change.  The past two weeks have been much better and I've made better choices.  Even if I'm unable to lose anymore here, I can feel confident in the knowledge, that when I put my mind to it, I can at least maintain.  If I can get home with this number, I know I can take it off quickly when I get there.  I'll have more food choices and way less stress on myself.  I'll have access to a gym and more help during the day with Brady.  I just have to keep telling myself, that if I can make it through the next 16 weeks, I'll be home and it's so much worse it could be.  Here's to a much better April!

Weigh-in for 3/31/2012 ~ Didn't Make the Cut

Last weigh-in (2/18/2011) : 154.0 lb

This weigh-in (3/31/2012) : 158.2 lb

Change : 4.2 lb gained

Well, this starts the mark of all weigh-ins being "unofficial" until we get back to the States.  I wasn't quite able to bring my weight down low enough to make it to the last meeting of the month. 

Although I would have liked to see a better number, I take comfort that during the past two weeks I have taken myself down almost a pound.  I felt like I was on a runaway train, so putting on the brakes was not only necessary, but vital to my physical health, but my mental health as well.  I have been making better choices both at home and out of the house.  I'm still allowing myself a few small things here and there, but nothing like before when I seemed to have no self control.

I've never experienced a period of gaining quite like this during my time with weight watchers.  Sure, I've put on weight before, but never this fast.  I know there are so many factors I can't control, but I have to try my hardest to focus on those factors that are in my control to help balance things just a little bit.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tex-Mex Rice & Bean Casserole


1 cup frozen yellow corn, thawed
1 tbsp canned green chilies
15oz can pinto beans
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese
3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Step 1:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 2-quart glass baking dish with Pam.

Step 2:

In a large bowl, combine corn, chilies, beans, rice, 3/4 cup of cheese, sour cream, chili powder, salt and pepper.

Step 3:

Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Step 4:

Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese melts and casserole is slightly bubbly, about 10 minutes more. 

Makes 6 servings; 5 Points Plus each

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Meatless Lasagna

I want to preface this by saying lasagna is not something I have eaten very often in my life.  It seemed growing up, that every time my family ate lasagna for dinner, someone ended up in the hospital (no joke).  We stopped eating lasagna in our house and I can safely say, I've eaten lasagna once in the last ten years until this past week, when we tried this recipe.  It was really good and no one ended up in the hospital!


1 large onion
24 oz tomato sauce with basil
12 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
8 oz fresh whole milk mozzarella cheese, shredded

Step 1:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a large lasagna pan with Pam. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, eggs, parsley and 3 tbsp parmesan cheese; stir in about 1/3 cup tomato sauce so ricotta mixture turns pink.

Step 2:

Spoon about 1/2 cup of sauce on bottom of prepared pan. Cover sauce with 4 lasagna noodles, breaking up some noodles to form a single layer, if necessary. Cover noodles with 1/2 of ricotta mixture and 1/3 of mozzarella cheese; spoon 1/3 of remaining sauce over top.

Step 3:

Add another layer of noodles and remainder of ricotta mixture; sprinkle with 1/3 of mozzarella cheese and another 1/3 of sauce.

Step 4:

Add the final layer of noodles and cover with remaining sauce; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and remaining tbsp of parmesan cheese. 

Step 5:

Add the final layer of noodles and cover with remaining sauce; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and remaining tbsp of parmesan cheese. 

Makes 12 servings; 7 Points Plus each

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Rollercoaster Week, but a Step in the Right Direction

This week has been interesting to say the least.  I definitely buckled down, although I know I can try and be even better this week.  The only time I had a pastry was when I had my first apple strudel in Germany on Saturday night when I went out with my friends.  I think that's the least amount of baked goods in a week I've had since we've been here.

I stepped on the scale mid-week and was down about half a pound, so I was starting to feel like what I was doing was working.  I got back on the scale yesterday to see if going to weigh-in this week was possible and I was blown out of the water.  The number staring back at me was 161.2lb!  That meant in the time between Tuesday and Friday, I went up 2.6lb!  I was just dumbfounded, thinking what I could have done in those three days that would set me back in such a huge way.  I had started walking with friends, so I thought that was going to help me.  I felt really defeated in that moment, because I was making better choices, yet I was putting on weight as fast as I was when I was making bad choices.  I was starting to have images in my head of how much I would weigh when we went home in just under four months if things continued this way, and that just scared the hell out of me.

Fortunately, when I stepped on the scale this morning, I was back at 158.4lb.  I had talked to both my mom and Andy on Friday in despair, and they both suggested that the sodium in the food has something to do with these huge fluctuations.  I can't think of any other reason for the weight to come on and come off in such huge numbers in a matter of 24 hours or so.

I am going to try even harder this week and hopefully be down to 157lb, where I can at least weigh-in and not lose my lifetime membership status.  That would greatly upset me, so I need to do everything in my power to see that it doesn't come to that.  Last week, I was able to cut down dramatically on the number of baked goods I was eating and this week I'm going to try and focus on tracking everything and only eating when I'm hungry.  Hopefully, those two things, in addition to the decreased baked goods, can get me where I need to be next Saturday.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Paprika Chicken


1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 tbsp paprika, divided
16 saltine crackers, crushed to crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1lb uncooked chicken breasts, split into 4 - 4oz pieces

Preheat broiler and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Step 2:

Place yogurt and 1 teaspoon of paprika in a small shallow bowl; mix to combine. Combine cracker crumbs, salt, pepper and remaining 2 teaspoons of paprika on a large shallow pie plate; stir to combine. 

Step 3:

Place each chicken cutlet in yogurt mixture and turn to coat. Next, place chicken in crumb mixture, turning to coat both sides and pressing lightly to make crumbs stick.

Step 4:

Place coated chicken on prepared baking sheet and lightly spray with cooking spray. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat source until golden brown and cooked through, flipping once, about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Makes 4 servings; 5 Points Plus each

Monday, March 19, 2012

Whole Wheat Chili Mac


12 oz ground beef 7% fat
1 medium onion, uncooked, chopped
14.5 oz stewed canned tomatoes, Mexican-style, undrained
12 oz canned tomato sauce 
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 cup dry whole-wheat macaroni (rotini or penne works well)
15 oz canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Step 1:

In a large pot, cook beef and onion.  Stir in undrained stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, and cumin.  Bring to a boil.

Step 2:

Stir in uncooked macaroni and kidney beans.  Return to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until macaroni is tender (about 15 minutes).

Makes about 6 servings, about 1 1/4 cup each; 6 Points Plus per serving

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Scale Shock

Earlier this week I made some resolutions to get myself back on track.  Well of course, there's the initial reaction that you want to get being bad out of your system and that's just as bad.  Our friends had gotten me a Swiss truffle cake for my birthday, so that was eaten during the week.  I went out with friends a few times and ate badly.  I was just at a point where I couldn't help myself.

Yesterday was the first time I was on the scale since before Switzerland, which was only a week and a half before.  Before Switzerland, I was 154.6lb and when I got on the scale yesterday I was 159lb!!!  It was so shocking it took a few minutes to really sink in.  That means that not only have I gained almost 10lb in the two months that we've been here, I've gained 4.4lb in the last week and a half.  I could easily use traveling as an excuse, but that would be a lie because in all the trips we've made in the last year, I've come out with a loss at the end of the week.

I'm even 2lb above my buffer weight for lifetime, so I can't even think of going to a meeting to weigh-in for this month until I've lost that 2lb.  There are only two weekends left in March, so I am on the clock and that's never a good feeling.  It also doesn't help that Andy also got on the scale and hasn't gained a single pound the whole time we've been here.  I just don't understand how that's even possible since he eats a hot lunch at work every day and the Germans eat their "dinner" at our lunchtime.

Being here is hard with the lack of variety and light options, but I'm not making good options outside of the house.  I was at a point where I was always saying, tomorrow I'll start being better.  Then tomorrow would come and I'd be just as bad as the day before.  I can honestly say that although I've had upswings before, I've never put on weight this fast.

I've had several breakdowns over here, wanting to come home, and mainly it's due to weight gain and the never ending stream of temptations that I can't seem to turn down.  I see something good and I get it, no matter if I'm hungry or not.

Even before I started this blog, my weight issues have been a public struggle, so it's hard to separate my weight from my identity anymore.  Growing up, I was under constant scrutiny by my extended family.  Even when I was newly pregnant with Brady and had barely gained 3lb, I found out later that although they didn't know I was pregnant, they were discussing that I'd put on some weight.  I can't even imagine 3lb being that noticeable.  All my friends know I'm on weight watchers and as soon as anyone knows, I'm forever under the microscope.  People watch everything I eat, questioning whether or not I am even allowed to eat certain things.  It's a lot of pressure.  So when I got to 148lb and was starting to feel really great about myself, I was thinking that there was no going back, not only for my self-esteem, but because of what people would think or say about me.

I'm very self-conscious, even when I'm at my lowest weight.  I worry about what people will think about how I look in the clothes that I wear.  I've mentioned before that I'm not the type to dress nicely every day and that means even in jeans because I like to be comfortable.  Last night, I went out with some other mom friends here and because my jeans were tight, I had to wear yoga pants.  I was then thinking what they would think of me.  I didn't bring many nice things here because of the freight weight restriction.  I have a lot of sweats and right now only a few of them fit.  

I am horrified to think that I might have to resort to the few maternity pants I brought with me just in case we decided to try for baby #2.  At this point that's not even something we can discuss because the stress of being here, the new food situation, the time change, and the weight gain combined have completely stopped my cycle.  I've taken several pregnancy tests just in case and they are all negative, so that's not even a possibility.  It's crazy to think that something like a move overseas can affect your body so severely.

I've talked to some of the other ladies here who sympathize with me because they are in the same boat of wanting to lose weight, but it's difficult over here.  One lady walks with her daughter in the stroller every day to get her to sleep and takes the train to different parks in the city so it's not the same scenery all the time.  She has a monthly train pass and initially I thought it would be a wash for me because it would cost the same as if I took the train twice a week, which is what I was currently doing.  The more I thought about it, the better the monthly pass option sounded.  That would mean I wouldn't always need cash on hand if I wanted to get out of the house and I could go out every day if I wanted to and just walk if the weather is nice.  I also intent to get a monthly pass the the zoo in the next few weeks and that will be another great opportunity to get out and walk, and for Brady to enjoy as well.

It's going to take some major changes on my part, both in attitude and actions.  I don't want to come home two weeks before our beach vacation and not be able to wear my bathing suits, which I was started to get really comfortable about wearing at my lowest weight.  I would like to have a second child sometime in the near future and would hate to start at a higher weight than I started with Brady.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Reaching a Breaking Point

We've been in Germany just shy of two months and I've reached a breaking point.  I had a pair of jeans that were my favorite "skinny" jeans.  When I went down below 155lb, they became my "fat" jeans because they were way too big.  This past weekend, I brought them with me, and when I put them on, they were uncomfortably tight.  The only time they've ever felt that way in those jeans was when I was around 165lbs and I know I'm nowhere near there.  That just scared the crap out of me.

I'm still in a point where I'm putting up a fight, but not a very good one, so the weight is still coming on.  I'm not very happy here, so it's easier for me to give in to eating than pick a healthy option, but that has to change.  I don't feel better when I don't fit into my clothes well and I don't have an endless supply of sizes in my closet.

Most people make a New Years resolution, but since my birthday was two days ago, I'm going to make a birthday resolution.  Here's the list of things I'm going to try to do to turn my situation here around:

  • Track more consistently
  • Eat a maximum of two pastry/bread items a week
  • Make healthier choices when I'm away from the house
  • Plan to cook more meals instead of filling my freezer with pre-made ones
  • Drink more water
  • Pick more filling snacks
  • Go for a walk with Brady when we have nothing else planned and the weather is nice enough (no rain), instead of staying inside the house
  • Try to have a more positive attitude
  • Eating only when I'm hungry and not when I'm bored (which is all to often here)
  • Stick to the food plan I have for the week
  • Ration out the Swiss chocolates we recently acquired so they don't create more of a problem
  • Stop thinking about my weight all the time (which is easier said than done)
  • Try to manage the pre-dinner slump a lot better instead of eating anything I can find and then not being hungry for dinner and eating it anyway

That probably seems like a long list, but there are so many moving parts in weight loss and weight management.

I haven't been on a scale since before our trip to Switzerland this past weekend and I know I was about a pound up from the last official weekend, and I know it could easily have gotten worse in the last week.  A huge sticking point for people frustrated with small loses in meeting rooms, was that the weight didn't come on overnight, so the weight coming off won't either.  Sometimes I agree with that, but right now I'm having a hard time.  I keep thinking in my head that if I continue gaining at this rate, I'll be up almost 20lb by the time we come home and I just can't deal with that mentally.  I've had periods of weight gain during the course of my journey, but I made more bad choices during those times.  I feel frustrated and helpless with the limited variety and light choices here and sometimes when I feel bad for myself, I just say, "It's not fair."

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Beef Stroganoff


1 pkg egg noodles cooked
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 small onion grated
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp. pepper
dash ground nutmeg
1 pkg fat free brown gravy mix
½ cup light mayonnaise.


Step 1:

In a frying pan brown the beef and onion, drain.  Heat up a pot of water.

Step 2:
Prepare gravy according to package directions.  Place egg noodles in boiling water and cook according to package directions.

Step 3:
Add mayo and seasonings to the meat/onion mixture and then add the gravy. Blend well and heat through.
Serve over noodles

Makes about 8 servings of meat mixture.

1 serving of meat mixture over 1 cup of egg noodles; 
12 Points Plus