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.