Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Going Nowhere . . . Fast

So much for my 2-lb a week average - I am back up 1.2 pounds. In other words, I've accomplished absolutely nothing in the last month.

After I get back from my Christmas travels, I am going on Core again. For real this time. Maybe that will help me get back on track.

I have every reason in the world to want to lose weight. Now I just to have to find the strength to actually do it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Belated update

Somehow I got busy and forgot to post my progress from Monday's WI. I recovered somewhat from the previous week's disaster and lost 2.2. Technically, I've only lost 1 pound in two weeks. How lovely is that?

I almost quit this week - not because I'm giving up, but because of a serious lack of funds. After debating it all day, I decided that I was worth the extra $. I did cancel my online subscription, though. This means I'll have to find another way to journal. I prefer using the computer, so maybe I can develop a spreadsheet or something.

It's slow going. My heart isn't always in it, but I don't want to give up, either.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It Coulda Been Worse

I gained a pound. No surprise there. It's time to move on and hope for the best. This could get interesting, since my budget for the next few months isn't going to allow much more than Ramen noodles. I'm going to do the best I can anyway. *sigh* I don't really need another reason to de-motivate myself.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

I Ain't Getting Nuttin for Christmas...

... cause I ain't been nuttin' but BAD!!!

Oh, yeah. I hit another one of my gotta-eat-everything-in-sight-and-half-of-what-isn't phases this week.

It was not pretty.

So I've been guzzling water like a Hemi guzzles gasoline and trying to eat well as I can the last couple of days. Maybe tomorrow won't be a total disaster.

In the meantime - I made turkey pot pie, and it was SO GOOD! Here's the recipe - substitute chicken if it's what you have.

Turkey Pot Pie

1 1/2 c. mixed veggies (if frozen, thaw them out first)
1 1/2 c. diced turkey
1 can 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup
salt & pepper to taste
phyllo dough (I used 1/4 of a 16-oz package)

Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, combine veggies, turkey, soup, and salt and pepper. Spray a 9-in pie plate with cookine spray. Working quickly, layer one sheet phyllo dough in the plate and lightly coat with cooking spray. Repeat until 5 sheets are left. Spoon in turkey mixture. Cover with remaining five sheets. Spray top liberally with spray (or use butter spray). With a knife, cut slits for steam to escape. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Allow to stand 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4. (5 WWP each)

Now, if you've never worked with phyllo dough, I have to admit I cheated. I could care less about making it look pretty, so I didn't cover the dough with a wet towel while I worked. Technically you're supposed to do that, but if you go fast enough you can get away with just peeling off each layer without the towel. BTW - the stuff is super-thin, like tissue paper. It does tear easily. You'll have to wad the ends up back into the crust, and I rotated each sheet a little so my corners would be spread out evenly around the pie plate. This was my first time working with it, but it tasted fantastic as a crust, and is ten times lighter than your usual pie crust. I will most assuredly be trying it again with other things.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I Survived Round One!

I did it. I made it past Thanksgiving. Honestly, this isn't much of an accomplishment - Mom & Dad were so supportive of me, and so careful to make it easy for me to make good choices that it made the holiday a breeze. The ride home was far worse than the Big Meal itself. By the time we'd fought traffic for 90 minutes longer than usual, I wanted to do nothing so much as devour six double cheeseburgers. (I just ate one single.)

The WI today was good, but not stellar. I lost 2.2 for the week. I was hoping for something a little more exciting - but considering that's nearly six pounds in two weeks, I can't complain.

I have probably said this before, but I am starting to feel the groove again. I've had a few decent WIs, and if I can keep it up for a while, I might get back to my 2-lb per week average from my first try at WW. One of the ladies at the meeting said it looked like I had lost, and I was thrilled to hear it from someone besides my parents or my husband, who I am sure feel somewhat obligated to praise me regardless. (Not that I mind - it's just a little different when it comes from someone else.)

Moving on. . . I have to mentally prepare for Christmas. That will be the tough holiday. I am dreading it from a food standpoint. It looks like we'll be going to Indy this year, which obliterates my original exercise plan. I'm going to have to rethink, and I'm not sure of the best approach just yet.

One more thing - I'm experimenting with leftovers this year, and if it's as yummy as I hope, I'll have some new recipes to share in a few days.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thankful for a Good WI

Woot! I was down 3.4 pounds this week! This made me very happy, especially since I really blew right past my weekly points after the tornado Thursday. (No pun intended.)

Now to Thanksgiving. . . I am really not stressing this one. My last stint on WW saw my greatest loss Turkey Week, and since Mom & Dad are so supportive, I know they're doing what they can to make sure I have good choices. I have decided to enjoy the foods I love (like Mom's dressing) in moderation. We're lightening some things a little, but not too much. I'm just going to stay out of my WPAs until Thursday and Friday, then go back to dailies only for the rest of the week. If I am careful, I should do well - and maybe get past the 10-lb mark.

Now that would be something to be thankful for! :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Weekly Musings

After a weekend of insanity (read: watching 3 kids age 4 and under), I am pleased with the results of my WI last night. Down another 0.8 pounds - not much, but it's still a loss.

I seriously need to get back on track with my exercise. Tonight, short of the final destruction of Earth, I am going to work out - preferably a longer 50+ minute DVD. I have been remiss in my exercise lately, and I really need to correct that before it becomes a habit.

Today I began with a healthy and filling breakfast - a scrambled egg sandwich made w/light bread, a ff cheese slice, ff Miracle Whip (yum!), and roughly 1/2 c. eggbeaters; a honeycrisp apple (simply divine - I didn't know apples could be so sweet!); and about 3 cups of coffee mixed with a cup of skim milk, daVinci sf hazelnut syrup, and splenda (yes, I know - I really need my caffeine!).

One failure to report: in trying to cut back on spending, I decided to subject myself to canned soft drinks for my carbonation fix instead of spending $1.75 on a soda from a fountain. Sadly, canned Diet Mountain Dew is horrible, horrible stuff - nothing like its delicious counterpart from the Taco Bell fountain machine. Now I have eleven cans of nastiness in the fridge that I probably can't pawn off on anyone.

Guess I'll stick with diet Coke from now on.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Surprise, surprise

In spite of myself, I actually lost weight. Guess I should quit paying attention to the scale at home. It seems to be perpetually wrong. Finally, finally, finally - I have broken the 5-lb mark. I never dreamed it would come off so slowly this time. I've really got to keep at it, and pray that I don't slip again.

Monday, November 5, 2007


I feel pretty confident that today's weigh-in won't be a good one, based on the scale tucked in the bathroom. Four weeks and I haven't been able to lose five measly pounds. Before there were times when I'd lose five pounds in one week! I am so frustrated!

I've decided that I need to back off the exercise a bit. I think I'm overdoing it - by exercising (hard) five days a week, I'm not leaving myself much room to grow. Besides that, I'm just not sure my body is ready for that kind of abuse yet. Technically I can do the exercise, but I'm risking burnout in the process.

Something's gotta give. I need to lose the weight; I know that. But if I don't start seeing some progress soon, I'm going to lose my sense of motivation - and that is a dangerous thing.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I gained yesterday. Ack! The crazy thing is that I did everything almost exactly the same as I did the week before when I lost nearly 4 pounds. I suppose it could be because I am working out so much harder. Most likely I'll never know why that blasted scale went up instead of down. I guess I am just going to have to be thankful it was only 0.6 pounds.

I am going to make some adjustments this week. I think I'll eat less of my weekly points and see what happens.

On the plus side, my jeans are fitting better. I didn't have to go through the usual gyrations to stretch them out when I wore them fresh from the dryer. My exercise must be paying off, even if it's making the scale slow down.

On to next week...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


This week was much better than last. I lost 3.8 pounds for a total of 4.2. In my previous life on WW, I averaged 2.2 pounds a week, so this puts me back in that range. I am pleased. :)

I admit I splurged a little last night on a banana split, but it was a planned splurge. I like to have a couple of nights a week where I use WPAs to enjoy something I wouldn't otherwise eat.

Exercise has been going well. Although I can't tell much of a difference in my clothes, I seem to be more aware of my muscles. That sounds strange, doesn't it? I'm not sore (except in my shoulders), but all the lifting is making me more in tune to muscles I didn't know I had. Today is a rest day, for which I am terribly grateful!

Tonight I will earn a few APs by doing housework. I think I'll spend some time in the kitchen prepping meals for the freezer, too. It almost seems odd to have a night off from exercise. At any rate, I will hopefully accomplish much this evening - nowhere to go, and nothing to do but clean.

Boy, do I lead an exciting life!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Another Monday

It is Monday again - which means it's time to face the scale. I think this will be a better weigh-in. Guess I'll know soon enough.

In the meantime, allow me to share with you the most fabulous baked spaghetti I have ever put in my mouth. I adapted a recipe from Light & Tasty magazine, and it was so good I had to put it in the fridge before it had cooled so I wouldn't eat it all!

Baked Spaghetti

12 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
1 lb. 96% lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 c. Ragu No-Sugar Added Tomato & Basil Sauce (1 1/2 jars)
4 c. 1% cottage cheese
2 1/2 c. part-skim shredded mozzarella, divided
1/2 c. grated reduced-fat Parmesan, divided

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook beef, onion, and garlic until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the spaghetti sauce and heat through.

In a large bowl, combine the cottage cheese, 2 cups mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Drain the spaghetti.

Spread 1 cup meat mixture into a 13x9 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with half the spaghetti, half the cheese, and half the remaining sauce. Repeat layers. Dish will be full.

Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Serves 10, 6 points per serving. Still haven't figured exact NI.

The key to the low points (and flavor) is the brand of Spaghetti sauce. It's the lowest-point brand I've been able to find, and it really makes the dish.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Disappointed, But Not Discouraged

With multiple factors weighing in, not the least of which was a very bad food weekend, it did not surprise me in the least to see that I only lost 0.4 pounds at weigh-in yesterday. Lack of surprise did not keep me from being disappointed. I am used to stellar performances at the scale, and 0.4 pounds did not measure up to my high expectations.

Even so, I am not giving up. I have nothing out of the ordinary going on this week, so it should be a little easier to stay on plan. Besides, I have much to be proud of - even on the day I blew it, I still got in all the 8HGs. I exercised 3 days last week. I journaled everything I ate. I took little baby steps toward making this a lifestyle. I will not be discouraged.

In other news... have you tried the lettuce wraps at Chili's? They are wonderful - not quite as spectacular as the ones at PF Changs, but delish nonetheless. So many distinct flavors meld together it's a veritable explosion in your mouth. I love Asian food!

Somehow, despite eating at Chili's last night and indulging in Southwest Rolls and a bit of spinach-artichoke dip, I managed to only dip into 3 of my WPAs. I have some of the lettuce rolls left over for lunch today - yum! Their Guiltless Grill menu just doesn't appeal to me, but it would appear that I managed to make good choices anyway - yet another victory!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Redemption of a Bad Day

So I didn't do so well last night. I'd budgeted points for an all-night crop that I attended, and stayed within those points while I was there. But when I got home, my allergies went beserk and I started feeling badly. When I feel bad, I eat. Factor in an impending TOM, and disaster was bound to strike.

I blew it. Blew the door right off my weekly points.


But I was good today! I exercised, ate one under my daily points (a no-no, I realize, but since I ate out twice today I thought I'd give myself some leeway), and got in all of the 8HGs. Maybe my weigh-in tomorrow won't be a total loss.

You know, despite blowing it yesterday, I did manage to do all the HGs again. That is something, considering how much I struggle to do that.

Now it's off to the shower and then to bed. I'm sleepy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I decided to go ahead and start attending meetings again. As it was, I got in on the last week of free registration. Smart girl, ain't I? (Or maybe just lucky...)

Anyway, I had forgotten that the WW scales always read lower then the one I have at home, so I was pleasantly surprised by my starting number. I'll be updating the stats on the sidebar to reflect that.

I think if I ever lose the weight, I could be a Leader. I'm enthusiastic about the plan and love to share information with others. Something to think about - but first I have to get rid of the excess poundage.

For the first time, I feel that I'm really back into the swing of things. My heart and my head are finally into the right frame to do what must be done. I haven't forgotten the sweet taste of success. Somewhere in a drawer is a red Wonder Woman T-shirt. I bought it when I was at my lowest weight. It fit snugly, but I felt so cute wearing it - and I somewhat felt like a wonder woman for all I'd accomplished. I look forward to putting on that shirt again. I'm still early in the process, but now it seems like it might actually be attainable.

Hope. It's a wonderful thing to own.

Monday, October 8, 2007

One Week

I did it. I stayed OP for an entire week. Seven days. One hundred sixty-eight hours. 10080 minutes. I did what I was supposed to do. I exercised, I drank water, and I didn't go over my points! Yay, me!

This morning I got up early (tough, for a night owl). I exercised, took out the trash, and showered before work started at 6:30. You cannot imagine how difficult it was to drag myself out of bed at 5:20 when it was after midnight before I finally drifted off to sleep. I'm fairly awake at the moment - more so than I would be had I stumbled out of bed at 6:25, at least.

Now that I don't have exercise looming over me this evening, I may double up my cooking and make two meals at once. It's a little extra effort, but makes for a nice break the day after.

I'm debating whether or not to go back to meetings. The lectures didn't really help me, but there's something about knowing I have to face an Official Scale that keeps me on my toes. Besides, some of the ladies there were so supportive. The other perk is that I can get eTools (from the WW website) for fairly cheap. The downside is the extra cost of meetings. I just don't know. Since I can register for free this week, I'm leaning towards doing it.

I'll let ya know tomorrow, okay?

Thursday, October 4, 2007


I have gone three days now without blowing it! Seems my strategies are working, at least for the moment. I weighed in this morning at 268.6. It's higher than it was a few weeks ago, but a drop from last week.

I did not exercise as intended last night. I was scheduled for an ab workout, but I had a very sharp pain in my ribcage and just couldn't do it. I'm not sure if I pulled a muscle, slept on it wrong, or if it was something else entirely. Tonight is Smallville, so I'm working out, but only briefly. I can't very well let something as trivial as exercise interrupt an all-important episode of a hot young Clark Kent, now can I?

In other news, I finally figured out the nutritional value of the chili recipe I developed a couple of years ago. If I use 97% lean ground turkey, it comes out to an amazing 189 calories per 2 cup serving - not to mention a massive dose of fiber from the beans and tomatoes. I had no idea it was such a great nutritional choice.

You have to keep in mind that I'm a Rachael Ray-style cook - I don't do a lot of measuring, especially when it comes to spices. The only reason I can calculate nutrition info on this recipe is because everything is canned or pre-portioned. In the spirit of healthy eating (and good chili), here's the recipe - just remember that how much spice you use is entirely up to you. This recipe is similar to Wendy's chili.

Amanda's Chili

1 lb. 97% lean ground turkey
1/2 onion, chopped
1 14-oz can tomato sauce
1 14-oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 15-oz can pinto beans
1 15-oz can kidney beans
1 4-oz can diced green chilies
chili powder
black pepper

In a large skillet, brown meat with onion. Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add cooked meat and heat to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes to an hour, checking occasionally to add liquid if necessary.

I guesstimate spices, but go heavy to light in the order listed in the ingredients. Start with a little, then work up to suit your tastes.

189 calories, a ton of fiber, and 2g fat - 3 WW points per serving. Makes 5 big bowls of chili.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Small Victory

I've had an awful time lately, but yesterday - yesterday was a good day. I didn't go over points. I exercised. I took my vitamin. I drank enough water. I had five servings of fruits/veggies and two of milk. I journaled the food I ate. I stayed on plan.

It's just one day, but it was a successful day. That pleases me greatly, and gives me a little hope for today.

Monday, October 1, 2007


First let me say that I blew it. Bad. Surprised? I didn't think so.

I'm trying to make some adjustments. My big goal for October is simply to stay on plan. We'll see how that goes.

Since I'm always getting rushed and harried, I thought it would help to start freezing complete meals. This week, I'm doubling 3 of the recipes to that end. Since lunches almost always consist of leftovers or frozen meals, this menu should leave me in good shape.

Monday - Sausage Lentil Soup (new recipe)
Tuesday - Wild Rice Turkey Casserole
Wednesday - Jambalaya (double)
Thursday - Chili (double)
Friday - Pepper Steak (double)
Saturday - Vegetable Lentil Stew

Tonight I made a delicious Thai Turkey. It's one of those spicy, sinus-clearing dishes. Unfortunately, Jeff got into my leftovers, so lunch tomorrow will be a TV dinner. But in case you're interested, here's the recipe for tonight's vittles:

Thai Turkey

3 c. diced or shredded turkey
3 green onions
1 red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Dried cilantro leaves
1 tbsp. honey
1 ½ tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. sesame oil
½ tsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
Cilantro sprigs for garnish, optional

Coarsely shred turkey-breast meat. Thinly slice green onions; cut red pepper into 2-inch-long, matchstick-thin strips. In small bowl, mix garlic, soy sauce, cilantro, honey, curry powder, sesame oil, cornstarch, crushed red pepper, and 1/3 cup water until well blended. In a skillet over high heat, in hot salad oil, cook green onions and pepper, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender and golden. Stir in liquid mixture and shredded turkey meat and cook, stirring to coat turkey well, until heated through. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

Don't let the long ingredient list scare you away. It's super-easy to make - I threw it together in less than 20 minutes. You could add a yellow onion and green pepper for more veggies & color if you wanted.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Frustrated (Possible TMI)

Yesterday I knew I would have a good WI, because I've stayed on plan all week, and the scale was reading lower in the afternoon, which is usually my highest time of day to weigh. Sadly, it was not to be so. I've been, um, stopped up a bit lately, and it caught up to me. I got on the scale this morning 4 pounds higher than yesterday afternoon. I know that's not quite right, so I am going to re-weigh tomorrow and see if it looks any better.

I've been working out consistently, and that can make weight loss slower. Dang it, I want to see that scale go down! This is taking forever, and it does not make me happy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


The weekend did not go well for me, but yesterday did. I used 6 WPAs - 1 more than I wanted to use, but it's no big deal. I shouldn't use that many today.

Last night I made a seriously yummy white chili. I'll post the recipe as soon as I get the nutrition info on it. It will be my lunch today, along with a tossed salad. Breakfast was fried potatoes, onion, and sausage, plus watermelon and iced coffee. For supper I'm trying a new recipe - Mexican couscous salad. I've been on a Mexican kick lately.

Weigh-in should be interesting Thursday. I hope I have a good one. It's time for that scale to start going down again.

In spite of eating poorly, I have kept up with my exercise. Tonight will be a 55-minute C+S workout. Overall this week will be a bit lighter, because I'm heading to Mom's for the weekend and won't have much time to exercise. I think this will be okay, though. I'm scheduling my exercise rotation based on the assumption that the best weight loss occurs when you constantly "surprise" your body. Some weeks I do a lot of cardio, some weeks I rest more than I work out, and some weeks I do a very steady routine. It's easier to schedule a rotation around my schedule than to schedule around my rotation.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Warning: I'm Going to Rant

About the flippin' Core Police.

I've been a member of WW's message boards for two years now. During my hiatus from all things weight loss, I managed to forget how utterly obnoxious, rude, hateful, and outright tacky some of the people on the Core board behave.

For example: kettle corn is not Core according to the "rules." 94% fat-free butter popcorn is. There is a brand of 94% fat-free kettle corn with the exact same ingredients as the butter variety, plus splenda. When I made the mistake of suggesting this was acceptable to eat, I was treated like a leper. "Oh, NO. That is NOT Core. You can sprinkle your own Splenda on 94% fat-free butter popcorn, but you can't have it if it's already in the bag."

Do you see the absurdity of this argument? I don't even eat much popcorn - maybe a bag every month. I think the "logic" (if you can call it logical) behind the rule is that it could be a trigger food. But butter popcorn isn't? Please.

Second example: When I started Core the last time, you were allowed to snack on anything you wanted that was on the Core list without counting points. For some reason, they have severely restricted that so that some of my usual snacks are no longer allowed. Keep in mind, it was things like a bowl of shredded wheat or roasted chickpeas. Because I lost weight on the earlier version of Core, that's the version I continue to follow.

But of course - I was harassed for having the gall to say so. It's no different than Flexies following the old Winning Points system.

What disgusts me so is the self-righteous, pious way these women behave. They will cut you down in a heartbeat if you disagree with them. It's really quite discouraging, and has left me in a snit all afternoon. One woman has in her signature "'tweak' is just 'weak' without the 't' ". Was that really necessary? If I lose weight and still eat kettle corn without counting points for it - why do they care?

I am actually considering finding a host for my own message board.

*end rant*

Today's Game Plan

Yesterday was mucho better, thank goodness. I had a few non-Core items, but earned enough APs to make up for it. Today is off to a good start as well. Breakfast was chicken salad & watermelon. Around 10 I'll eat an apple w/ my caramel-PB dip (1 WPA). Lunch will be ww spaghetti & a salad. I've planned carrots & hummus for my second snack, then supper will be a breakfast scramble - canadian bacon, eggs, onions, peppers and cheese. My late-night sweet fix is going to be a banana smoothie - frozen banana chunks, butterscotch pudding, milk, and a tiny spoonful PB. Yummy!

I earned several APs last night, cleaning house and exercising. I only did the Express version because it was so late by the time I finished the housework. Tonight I'm doing a 55-minute cardio routine. I'm not exactly excited about, because it's long and tough. I'll manage, but I know it's going to wear me out.

And then tomorrow.... sleep. Blissful sleep.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Oh, boy!

Picture this in your mind: I'm standing in front of a large concrete wall. Very deliberately, I am slamming my head into that wall. Over and over and over and over.....


I wish I knew what my problem is. I wish I knew how to stop the binging. I wish I had been endowed with great strength and willpower.

I wish, I wish, I wish.

Like my daddy says, I can wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which fills up faster.

Need I say that I blew it? I don't mean a little slip, I mean fell-off-the-wagon-and-drug-through-the-mud blowing it. I couldn't stop myself. It was like watching myself from outside my body. I ate and ate and ate, and then ate some more. I went to bed feeling like an out-of-control fool.

So far I'm doing better today. For breakfast I had a teeny bit of leftover turkey sausage, plain hashbrowns & onions, ff cheese, and a scrambled egg. Makes a very filling meal, especially when you add the yellow watermelon and Starbucks coffee.

I haven't decided about lunch yet. I think I'll make chicken salad for supper. I have a recipe that's simply divine. I went to the "other" grocery store today, because their produce section is infinitely better than Wal-Mart's. Their selection is not as good, but the quality is so much better that it's well worth paying a little extra. Hmm... maybe I should make hummus for lunch. I could dip my carrots, celery and peppers into it....

There's a turkey thawing in the fridge, but it's taking its good old easy time. It may be 2-3 more days before I can cook it. I have delightful plans for said turkey, all the way down to using the bones to make turkey broth.

Tonight's selected exercise is Hard Core Fusion - a cardio + sculpt DVD. It's hard - I haven't even been able to get through the Express version without pausing to come up for air. But since I feel the need to punish myself for yesterday, I am going to do the whole thing tonight. I also have a lot of housework to do this evening, which should earn me a few APs as well.

I can do this. I have to do this, or I'm going to wind up killing myself.

Monday, September 10, 2007

News Release

The why before the what:

1. I am spending too much money eating out.
2. Counting points is getting old.
3. I need a kick-start (again) because I'm becoming lax.
4. I'm hoping for a good weigh-in as a result.

Now for the what... I'm switching from Flex to Core. Yeah, I know - big news. Woo-hoo. Yeah.

I wasn't planning on doing this so early in the game, and I may well go back to Flex, but I need to try something different before I lose my momentum altogether. Besides, it's hard to eat fast food on Core, and this should save me some money.

In other matters, I decided to make my own rotation calendar for exercising. I've been winging it, and I think it's a Bad Idea. Having a schedule already made should help considerably.

I also simply must get some sleep. I'm killing myself with exhaustion.

Friday, September 7, 2007


I am not doing well.

I am also a master of understatement.

It seems that once I get a little off-track, I feel obligated to derail in a grand fashion, like something you'd see on TV - World's Wildest Binges. Well, maybe that's not entirely fair. I haven't been eating nonstop, just making really bad choices. I'm also not doing a good job of exercising regularly. It's been somewhat hit-or-miss.

I've pondered this problem of mine for a long time now. I believe at least a part of the difficulty is that it's just plain exhausting to constantly be thinking about what I eat and when I will exercise - and for me, it has to be on my mind continuously. I have a life outside of dieting, and sometimes I need a break from the monotony of counting points and performing squats. Unfortunately, little breaks become near-permanent cease-fires.

So I've blown it for a few weeks now. It doesn't help that my chosen form of exercise - the FIRM workouts - can seriously slow weight loss, if not stop it altogether. I know I should see results, but I'm so big that at the moment I'm not seeing anything at all.

But I'm making excuses, aren't I?


Okay... Today I resolve to make healthy choices. I probably won't be able to work exercise into my schedule today, but I will be sure to do so tomorrow.

I also resolve to take time to plan my meals for next week, as well as work out an exercise rotation - and then actually follow it.

And, though I know it will bore you to tears, I will post the previous day's menu for the next seven days. My condolences - and my permission to ignore my blog altogether should you feel a reduction in brain cells. :)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

On Jeans

Perhaps the most interesting part of weight loss is the adventure of transitioning between sizes. I've been anxiously awaiting the day that I could safely wear my next smallest size, stashed safely in the dresser, without causing a riot on Main Street. Today is that day - but it doesn't come without a little bit of work first.

I'm not entirely sure why designers added spandex and lycra into perfectly good jeans. Depending on the day of the week, it can be a good thing or a bad thing. In the case of today's jeans, it's a "work" thing.

Allow me to explain.

Lycra may make a pair of jeans more comfortable, but when they first come out of the wash, they require a good deal of stretching out to loosen them enough so that 1) you can't see the imprint of "Hanes" on the band of my underwear through the jeans; and 2) you are spared the temptation of asking me if my legs are made of wax - because how else could I have possibly poured myself into them?

Here's the ritual: Before attempting to don the jeans, I put my arms into the legs and pull in opposite directions as hard as I can. I also attempt to stretch this particular pair down, since they are a tad bit short. Now I can go through the agonizing process of trying to tug them up to my waist. Once I get the waistband in place, I reach around and stretch the butt out, hoping to avoid horrendous pantylines. Then the pants are zipped.

That's the easy part. Now I go through a serious of squats, jumping jacks, leg lifts, and plies to further loosen said pair of jeans. (All the time my dog is watching me, head cocked to the side. I suspect he is thanking God that he can run around with it all hanging out.) After 20 minutes or so, the lycra has given up the rebellion, and has loosened to acceptably modest proportions. Now I can go to church without stopping by the confessional box.

Thirty minutes later, I stand up for a prayer - and realize that the lycra hasn't given up the rebellion at all, but instead employed a new tactic. This time it decides to stretch out like a piece of salt-water taffy, and my jeans have now dropped three inches from my waist. Oh, yeah -they're loose now, baby! I spend the rest of services attempting to discreetly pull them up, so as not to attract the attention of the pre-pubescent boys on the pew behind me. I'm just hoping that their mommas taught them to close their eyes during prayers!

All this to wear a pair of pants that will only fit correctly for 23 minutes!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Crock Pot Cookin'

I'm going to let you in on a little secret that will forever change the way you cook pork chops. Well, maybe. It has for me.

I bought some massively thick chops - more than 1-inch - and threw them in the crockpot with a homemade bbq sauce. (More on that later.) After cooking for 7-8 hours, I literally cut them with a spoon. They were intensely good!

I've been afraid of my slower cooker in the past, because it actually cooks a little fast. I couldn't just leave it all day for most recipes. Now that I work at home, I can keep an eye on it. It's freeing me up to try things I hadn't before.

Now about that bbq sauce...

I haven't tried to calculate nutrition info on this yet, but here's the rough version of what went into it:

1/2 c. ketchup
1-2 tbsp. apple butter
1 tbsp. apple cider
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 c. water

I mixed it all up in right in the slow cooker. The apple butter gave it just the right touch of sweetness without adding sugar, and the spices really worked together well. Yummy! I'm going to try it on the stovetop next time and see what happens.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Well, whaddya know?

Weight loss can be an interesting thing. As those who've traveled this road can attest, there are times when it blows your mind. Like this morning, for instance. I didn't weigh in last week because I was out of town. After making many awful food choices and avoiding exercise for the past two weeks, I was sure I'd see a gain this morning.

You can imagine my shock when the scale informed me I was down 2.4 pounds. Huh? How is this possible? I had cold fries, greasy hamburgers, decadent ice cream - you get the idea. The only thing I can figure is that I might've lost a bit of muscle mass, though I'm not sure I've been working out long enough to have built up much.

Speaking of exercise, I didn't last night. I'm having difficulty getting back into the swing of that. I swear tonight I will work out. If the USPS site can be trusted, I will probably get my last set of videos & equipment in the mail tomorrow. I'm crossing my fingers - I'd really like to have it soon, since some of my new DVDs require the equipment.

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tired & Struggling

I did not do well yesterday. I felt awful (not at all like cooking), and I wound up eating a fish sandwich & fries from McD's after I'd already gone through my points for the day. Maybe it's post-convention lag, or maybe it's because I was off my thyroid meds for a few days - but I am really struggling. I have no energy and I'd like to curl up in bed with a hamburger and fries and just stay there.

I didn't exercise last night because I had an unbelievable headache. Might've been a migraine - but how exactly does one define a migraine? At any rate, I thought my head would explode, and the least movement or noise just made it worse. It lessened by the end of the day, but not enough to even think about a full-blown exercise routine. I really need some yoga tapes. That shouldn't be so strenuous for days I just don't feel like it.

Today is a new day. I'm eating a little more than usual for breakfast, but maybe it'll keep from the munchies later today. I have to decide what exercise to do tonight, too. Gotta get back on track!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Duplicate DVDs, Whole-Wheat Couscous, and Energy Pills

I finally assimilated most of my new workout videos into my collection yesterday. Naturally, all but one arrived while I was out of town. I was rather disappointed to find that I'd managed to duplicate two of them. My first set of Firm videos was a 3-disc set. Braeden broke one of the DVDs by accident. Since that time, they've changed the covers for the set, so when I ordered online, I didn't realize I was duplicating the set I already had. Prunes! I'd already opened the DVDs before I caught the mistake. It could have been worse - I got a DVD to replace the one that broke plus one that wasn't in my original set.

I also received upper- and lower- body workouts, as well as a new cardio video. I hate cardio, but I make myself do it anyway. Hopefully my last set will arrive soon. When it does, I'll be in good shape to work out with variety!

I'm hoping the new stuff motivates me. I'm tired. Two weeks in a row of being totally off-kilter and off-schedule has sapped some of my drive. Sure, I'll recover - I just hope it doesn't take too long to do it. I started a lower-body video last night, but just didn't have the energy to finish it. Tonight is cardio, and just the thought is already making me exhausted.

On a brighter note, I went grocery shopping last night. The pickins' are much better today! I'll be having crock-pot pork chops (cut-them-with-a-fork-tender!) and probably whole wheat couscous. I have 8 pounds of ww couscous. Yes, that's a lot - but to order from the net, I had to get a huge amount. Least I know I won't run out anytime soon!

I wish they packaged energy in a pill. Real energy, not the fake kind derived from ephedra or ginseng or stuff like that. Four-year-old boy fresh from nap energy - now that's what I need!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Wagon

There's a reason I like Weight Watchers. When you fall off the wagon, you can just jump on the next one that comes along.

I had a ball at CKU this weekend. Mom and I got to spend some much-needed time together. Unfortunately, food choices at the Opryland Hotel are not the best. In fact, they're just plain awful. The only place to get fruit was on the opposite end of the hotel, and there simply wasn't time to get there. I did the best I could, but it was easy to see that I couldn't possibly stay within points.

I also tried to exercise, and I did the first night I was there. But on Thursday we ran around so much that I got extremely hot and sweaty - and wound up with a horrific heat rash in a place that couldn't have been more uncomfortable. It completely eliminated any possibility of exercising for the rest of the weekend.

So I'm expecting to see a nice little gain on Thursday, especially considering that I didn't weigh in last week at all. It's a little frustrating, but I decided not to get too stressed about it. When there's nothing else you can do, just go with the flow.

Tomorrow's a new day. I can eat well again. I also got most of my new workout videos in the mail while I was gone. I'll have to pick them up from my friend tomorrow. I can't wait to try them out!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Please don't laugh. . .

I'm begging you. I did something crazy and added a section to the side showing my weight loss progress. That number is a hard thing to put out for the world to see. I'm hoping it will be a motivator to me, knowing that I have to post it every week. I could've just put the pounds I lost for the week, but I thought the actual weight was more important. Don't laugh at me. I hate what I've done to myself enough as it is.


Don't tell Jeff! (He's never read any of my blogs, so I am not the least bit concerned about him reading the news here.)

The DVDs I ordered a few days ago haven't even shipped yet, and I've gone and ordered some more. Oooh, I am such a glutton for punishment! I got the TransFIRMer set, plus the Jiggle-Free Arms/Buns bonus pack. I debated long and hard over whether to get those or to get the bonus pack for my new TransFIRMation set. Finally I decided I needed the step worse than I did the newest set. Besides, maybe I can con someone into buying the new ones for me for Christmas!

This will give me a total of 14 DVDs to rotate, plus the WATP & Tae Bo DVDs I already had. That probably seems like overkill, but you have to understand - I get bored very easily. If I am going to consistently do this at home, I simply must have variety. I'm slowly learning the moves to the current set, then I'll gradually work in the others as they arrive.

Maybe I shouldn't have spent all that money on myself, but it's a big motivator for me. I'm enjoying working out again. . . well, sort of. I don't actually look forward to working out, but I always feel better for having done it. In my gut I know it's good for me, and that keeps me going even when I really don't feel like it.

I'm looking for a yoga DVD. I don't get into the New Age mind/body/soul bit, but I want something quiet (and easy!) that will help me stretch. If you know of one, please let me know!

I can tell you right now, after the workout I had tonight, I am going to be hurting for a couple of days. My arms are already cursing my existence.

That's a good thing, right?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Shrimp Fried Rice

It's officially the weekend, and I officially find myself wanting a hamburger. Maybe if I can get all the 8HGs in before suppertime, I will let myself have one.

Last night I had a yummy supper - Shrimp Fried Rice. It made a huge serving, plus enough for leftovers for a couple of days. I am all about leftovers - they make the best lunches! Here's the recipe. Enjoy!

Shrimp Fried Rice
Serves 4

2 tsp. canola oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 scallions, sliced
1 tbsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
2 c. cold cooked brown rice
1 c. frozen petite peas
2 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
3/4 lb. cooked small-medium shrimp

Heat 1 tsp. of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the eggs and cook, stirring occasionally, until scrambled and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Heat the remaining 1 tsp. oil in the same skillet. Add the scallions and giner; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice, peas, soy sauce, vinegar, and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 4 minutes.

Add the shrimp and egg; cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Per Serving (generous 1 cup): 267 Cal, 7g fat, 237mg cholesterol, 467mg sodium, 5g fiber, 21g protein, 72mg calcium. Points value: 5

Friday, August 17, 2007

New things

Now that my air conditioner has finally been fixed, I've started my exercise routine again. Since I missed several workout days, I decided to backtrack a week. It's unreal how quickly muscles can lose ground.

I made some exciting purchases yesterday. After much weeping and gnashing of teeth, I finally found tahini. It was in the weirdest place - by the peanut butter, of all things. I was expecting it to be either with the spices or the ethnic foods. Weird.

Then I came home and made two separate orders. From Overstock I found a total of 5 FIRM videos. One is a cardio video that comes with a stretchy band, and the other is a set of 4 of the older Body Sculpting System sets. I need variety in the worst way, and figured that since I have the old Fanny Lifter (isn't that a funny name?) I might as well put it to good use.

After that I moseyed to Amazon and bought two popsicle molds and a humongous jar of whole wheat couscous. I've been searching for the molds everywhere, but I guess since it's the end of the summer everyone must be out of stock. The kind I bought has the plastic bottoms so the popsicle won't drip as badly, perfect for a wild four-year-old. I'd given up on finding the ww couscous, and this massive jar will probably last me for a year, after which I'll probably give the jar to Braeden.

Moving on...

Have you ever had the iced coffee from McDonald's? I didn't especially like it, but I liked the idea quite a bit. I splurged on some of the Starbucks French Roast (couldn't find Sumatra, my fave blend) and made a bit vat of iced coffee. I flavored it with sugar-free daVinci syrup and sweetened with splenda. Now it's sitting in my freezer getting ultra-cold. On a day like today, I seriously need the caffeine boost! :)

As bizarre as it might sound, all these things should help me with my dieting. As far as I'm concerned, the coffee is a decadent treat. Couscous is my new best friend because it's so versatile. And I've found oodles of recipes for sugar-free fat-free popsicles that will be cheaper than storebought and good for both me and Braeden.

My logic goes something like this: I need healthy living to be a lifestyle, not a quick-fix. If I can truly enjoy the things I'm eating (and drinking) I believe it will be much easier to stick with in the long run.

Maybe that's not logic so much as it is common sense!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


My weigh-in this morning was not what I'd hoped. I lost, but it was only 0.8 lbs. This is really getting frustrating. The last time around, I lost an average of 2 lbs a week. I am just not doing that well this time, and I really don't understand why.

Perhaps my experiment didn't work. I'm seriously considering using the older version of daily points and dropping back down to 30 a day. I think maybe I'm eating too much. The thing is - I did things right last week. I stayed on plan, only with the deliberate splurges. Maybe I'm getting older so I just can't do that anymore. It seems, though, that I shouldn't notice that much of a difference in just two years.

If I didn't have a previous stint to compare, I don't think I'd be so disappointed. I just really thought this time would go as well as the last did, and it ain't. Not by a long shot.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Small Town Dilemma

One of the most frustrating things about WW (and cooking in general) is that my tastes can run rather exotic - or at least well beyond the realm of good ol' Southern cooking. I love to experiment with funky new recipes, and most WW cookbooks have divine-looking dishes that I'd love to try. The problem is that half the ingredients simply can't be found in this rural area. This is particularly true of the ethnic foods - things like tahini and rice noodles are impossible to find. I've searched every grocery store in the county with no luck. I'm about to jump into the internet-grocery store fray. I feel a little weird ordering food online, but since I'm not likely to find cannellini beans or whole-wheat couscous anytime soon, that may be exactly what I have to do.

Last night I felt the frustration again. I love hummus. It is the best dip known to mankind. For those of you who don't know, hummus is a Middle Eastern dip made with chickpeas. It is fabulous with veggies and flatbreads. One of the key ingredients in hummus is tahini - a paste made from sesame seeds. I've been looking for tahini for months now with no luck. Last night I searched the internet for 30 minutes trying to find a hummus recipe that didn't include tahini. Eventually I threw my hands into the air and decided to make my own. I come from the Rachael Ray school of cooking (I don't measure anything) so my quantities are estimations at best. But in case you want to try something yummy that doesn't include tahini, here is the version I came up with last night:

Amanda's Tahini-less Hummus

1 15-oz can chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)
1/4 c. lemon juice
3 tbsp. EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
coarsely ground black pepper

Heat chickpeas in saucepan on stove. In a blender, mix lemon juice, EVOO and pepper. Drain most of liquid from peas and add to blender. Pulse until well blended. Serve veggies (carrot sticks and peppers are my fave) or tortilla chips/flatbreads.

I found that heating the peas helped them puree better in the blender. I don't have a food processor so I have to make it blender-friendly. Besides, I like my hummus warm anyway.

I know hummus sounds a little strange to someone who hasn't tried it - but trust me. It's gu-uuuuud!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

An Experiment

As I mentioned previously, WW has changed since my first time through. Some of the changes are minor (like the Core program giving "approved" snacks - ha!), and some are more significant; mainly, the way daily points are calculated. It used to be that male or female, your daily points depended on your weight. Every 25 pounds lost saw two points per day lost.

Now it's different. There's a quiz you take, and your answers assign points values. It's based on a combination of age, weight, height, sex, and daily activity. Even though I am completely sedentary for my job, I started out with four more points than I did last time. That's roughly 200 calories extra per day. On paper, that doesn't seem like much - but it seems like a ton to me.

I had trouble eating 30 points last time. Now I often find myself coming to the end of the day with 10 points left, and absolutely no desire to eat a thing. One thing hasn't changed - you are supposed to eat all of your daily points. Because I'm struggling to get in my daily points, I've hardly touched my Flex points (the 35 extra you get each week to "spend" however you choose). This is where the experiment comes in.

My weight loss has not been as good as it was the first time. I haven't decided yet if it's because I'm eating more, because I'm doing some serious muscle-building exercise, or because I'm not digging into the Flex points like I was before. So for this week, I decided to take two days to burn through the flexies. Since the air conditioning has been out, cooking has been a laughable pursuit, so it seemed a good time to eat out and blow some points. Yesterday I had a burrito, cookies, and ice cream. Gotta love WW!

My theory (at least the first one) is this: I've had a pretty consistent daily caloric intake for the last several weeks. It could be that my metabolism is getting complacent b/c it thinks it knows what I will be feeding my body. My hope is that by shaking it up for two "heavy" days, I will actually burn more calories in the long haul. I know this sounds weird, but there is some scientific research to back it up. I just don't know if that's my actual problem or not. I'll find out soon enough - Thursday is my weigh-in day.

I'm crossing my fingers and toes that today the a/c will be fixed, and I can go back to cooking today. I have so many yummy veggies in the fridge, just begging to be eaten!

Monday, August 13, 2007

where I came from. . . and where I'm going. . .

I first joined Weight Watchers two years ago, just after my 28th birthday. As had become the pattern, my birthday sucked, and I sat alone, wallowing in self-pity. Something inside me clicked, and I realized that even though my world was spinning out of control, there was one thing left for me to take charge of - my health. Before the moment of inspiration could pass into the oblivion of good intentions never realized, I signed up for Curves, and the next Monday, Weight Watchers.

I jumped into both with a spectacular enthusiasm - and I did remarkably well. In nine months' time, I'd lost 80 pounds and went from a 24W to a 16. I was closing in on my college weight, and felt oh-so-good.

Then the inspiration fizzled. I went through even more life changes, and my dieting responded well to none of them. Before I knew it, I'd gained back all that I'd lost - plus a few extra pounds to boot.

Fast forward to my 30th birthday. This was the day I was supposed to be at my goal weight. I was supposed to be svelte and sexy and beautiful - and instead I felt like an elephant. Once again, something clicked. I realized that I'd been looking to Weight Watchers for a quick fix, a cure-all to an overeating problem that was far deeper than I'd understood. For the first time, I realized that food was my addiction - just as some people are addicted to alcohol or cigarettes. I used food as a pacifier, as a rebellion, as a friend. I'd been lonely and sad, and instead of turning to God with my hurts, I had allowed food cover them over like a temporary local anesthetic.

Once I came to this understanding, I knew it was time to try again. This time I had to face the whole situation differently. Dieting and exercise couldn't be a solution - they had to be a lifestyle. And that's what I'm working toward. The journey is going slower this time. It annoys me to no end to see myself in the mirror, knowing that I failed so royally. I don't like to admit my own shortcomings.

I work from home now, so it's been necessary to adjust my routine considerably from my last go-round. Having my son at home with me has made it especially challenging to exercise. I've started using the FIRM workouts. Hopefully I can gradually build up my library so I don't get too bored.

I'm also struggling to teach Braeden healthy life habits. I've been a rotten example, and the result is an overly picky kid who won't eat much of anything but mac n cheese, chicken nuggets, apple juice, and french fries. Sometimes he'll "exercise" with me - I hope that he will learn that fruits and vegetables are good things, too.

The plan is a little different than last time (more on that later), so I'm re-learning, and brushing up on the things I'd forgotten. I pray that this time I've given myself the tools to do it right - and to do it permanently.