Monday, December 31, 2007

Year in review: the top ten things learned or earned

Today being the last day of 2007, I thought I'd spend some time reflecting on the things I've learned this year and on the victories I've achieved. So here's my top-ten, in no particular order.
  1. Life has more zest when you don't have fifty extra pounds to lug around.
  2. I can achieve goals I set for myself.
  3. I walked a half-marathon.
  4. Pantyhose is still difficult to put on.
  5. I no longer have to shop in plus-sized stores.
  6. I learned to take pride in myself again.
  7. Rum is not my friend.
  8. Healthy food can be filling AND tasty.
  9. I crave Kraft Dinner when I'm sick.
  10. I wouldn't be where I am today without the support of my husband as well as my online friends. Without the kind words, the help, the gentle remonstrations and suggestions, I'd be lost somewhere in Denmark, looking for a vending machine full of chips and chocolate. I love you all!
Okay, so now it's your turn! Post your top ten on your blog, I'd love to read it!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The goose is back (a.k.a. Forty-seventh "weigh-in")

My apologies for the delay in writing. It's been so busy these past few weeks I've barely had time to sleep! But I'm back now and ready to get into the swing of things again. As you can see, I had a great time on my ski vacation. That's me in my new pirate toque, showing off my mad ski skills. If ever you get a chance to go skiing for Christmas instead of dealing with the dysfunctional mess of family and inlaws, I highly recommend it.

So, where to start? My "free food pass" plan backfired. I was so off plan, it was like I was doing some sort of twilight zone ass-backwards version of Weight Watchers. Haha! But the thing is, I don't feel guilty. Well, I do sorta feel guilty...for not feeling guilty! Hehe. Well, really, I gave myself permission to go to it. And I did. And then some! So much so, that my home scale says I've gained five pounds. It's amazing just how quickly it goes back on, doesn't it?

Although I did go to my meeting today, I didn't actually weigh-in. I used one of those "No Weigh-in" passes I've been hoarding. I'm okay with gaining, but I didn't want to hear a lecture that would make me feel not okay with it, you know?

And while we're on the subject of confessions, here's another one: I haven't been to Curves in over six months. I guess I just fell out of habit with it and once one month went by, the next month went by just as quick. However, in the spirit of getting back at things and removing the extra five pounds of english toffee, tarts, turkey, and pudding I've accumulated, I finally dragged my butt in there this morning after the meeting. As usual, I'm glad I went.

There was a new girl there (who didn't bug me, just the kind of girl I like!) and it was easy to slip back into the routine. While I was on the leg push machine, I came to two realizations: first, I haven't shaved my legs for awhile. Second, somewhere along the way, my legs have gotten skinnier. So much so, I kept staring at them all through the workout even when it was safer to keep my eyes on the task at hand. When a muscle would start to kink, my brain would kick in gear and drag my eyes away from my legs. Even now I keep staring at that picture of me up above. Even with the ski pants, my legs are looking distinctly skinnier!

Anyways, I hope everyone's holidays went well and I wish you all a belated Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and bright blessings on the solstice :)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Forty-sixth weigh-in

I actually didn't make it in to weigh-in on this day. I was too busy with packing and prepping for my vacation! I'm recording it anyways so that I know how many weeks I've been on Weight Watchers :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas is coming and the goose is...

Well, the goose is having problems. As I mentioned way back when, I have family issues when it comes to food. At Christmas time, these issues are much more pronounced. More than any time of the year, Christmas was when the treats came out. Christmas was when, for a small period of time, our family didn't feel so poor. We'd have mincemeat tarts, cookies, chips, dip, foil-covered chocolate balls, and lots of other treats that we didn't get any other time of the year.

In short, for me, Christmas is intertwined with food. And so far this year, I'm having no great success in untangling it. The nearer the day gets, the more deprived I've been feeling. I've been letting off the steam in small barely-managed bursts of treat eating. Sunday afternoon, the dam burst. There was a plate of cookies, a bowl of foil-covered chocolate balls, snowballed from there.

Today I'm feeling equally rebellious. I've eaten some chocolates that a client brought in as a gift. I also didn't say "no" to the Hazelnut Lindt ball that my coworker saved for me. I even encouraged my manager to bring in her famous rumballs. If you're thinking this is sounding like an imminent train wreck, you'd be right. The brakes aren't working and the engineer is talking on her cel phone.

So I'm making a deal with myself today. Since separating food from Christmas is just about nigh impossible for me right now, I'm giving myself permission to go ahead and eat treats from now until the day I get back from skiing. Yes, a free food pass. However...and there's the big however right there...I also have to do something for my physical well-being in return. Here's what I'm going to do to keep it together:

  • Have a nutritious breakfast every morning
  • Take my multivitamin
  • Drink at least 6 glasses of water each day
  • Exercise every day
  • Practice moderation as much as possible

I am also going to continue to do what I've been trying to do. And that's to find fun Christmasy things to do that don't involve food. All of this is damage control to be sure. And yes, there's a whole lot more that I could be doing. But it's a start and better than letting the train tumble into the canyon.

I also realize that weight gain is likely. I'm hoping though that with permission given, a sense of responsibility will prevail. As they say in the movies, with great foil-covered chocolate eating power comes great responsibility.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Curling at Christmas

Last night was my husband's office party. He works with a lot of extroverted people who tend to be focused on appearances. They're what I'd call the "popular" crowd in high school. With my weight ballooning over the years, I hated going to the party and being the only overweight socially-inept wallflower there. For the last couple of years, I managed to avoid going altogether.

However, the party this year was a learn-to-curl party. And being the curious gal I am, I decided that learning to curl sounded too much fun to pass up despite my social ineptitude. The desire to learn even trumped my trepidation at having my weight loss noticed. Though my weight loss has given me more confidence, some of these people can be catty. I'd just as soon as melt into the wall than be noticed by them.

But I sucked it up, put on a nice sweater and went anyways. I felt a little like a bug under a microscope. I could tell some people had noticed just by their expressions, but blissfully they didn't say anything to my face.

However, when we finally got on the ice, I knew that I'd made a huge mistake. The last thing in the world I wanted was to wipe out on the ice in front of all these people. But then a funny thing of the fellows on our team who seemed to be about as inept as I was (at curling and at social functions), fell as he tried sliding the rock for the first time. I could see he felt badly and embarrassed so I made a decision right then and there that I'd show him it was okay to fall. So, after he went, I went. I slid, I threw the rock, and then I fell on my bum rather spectacularly. He started laughing which is what I had hoped for.

The rest of the lesson went well and sooner than we knew it, we had won our first round and were playing another team. I knew the people on the other team as they were longtime employees. One of them, a good coworker and friend of my husband's stopped me mid-ice. He hadn't seen me for awhile and was blown away at how good I was looking what with my weight loss. He even touched my chin as he said it. I guess he wanted to point out just how thin I was looking. It was a little weird, but cool at the same time as he isn't one of the catty people and isn't normally a touchy-feely person.

For the rest of the night, I had a blast. I learned to curl, hurry-hard, and not be too intimidated by all these extroverted people. And towards the end of the evening, my husband's coworker again approached me, again complimented me and said that I looked like a shadow of my former self. I found out later that his wife also mentioned how good I was looking to my husband.

This morning my knee hurts, my head hurts, and I have "ice" throat. However, I'm feeling happy and accomplished. The night I learned to curl will go down as one of my better Christmas memories.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Forty-fifth Weigh-in

This week, I managed to lose what I gained last week – 1.4 lbs. This means I'm back over the 50 lb mark. Yay! Hehe, I'm a bit more confident in this loss as I know it wasn't entirely due to sickness.

At the meeting today, our leader went over the new 2008 materials as well as a small change to the Core plan. We received a revised Week 1 booklet (one small change that only affects Core), a "KickStart Your Success" booklet, a smaller points finder (thank goodness), and another No Weigh-in Pass.

Of the new materials, the KickStart booklet is the one I'm most excited about. It's been designed for people new to the plan, but it's also a good way to get back on track if you've been at it for a while. There's meal plans, recipes, wallet-sized quick reference cards (with snack ideas and restaurant "best bets"), and a shopping list. I'm hoping I'll find time this week to try some of it out!

Lastly, I wanted to thank everyone who was kind enough to leave such wonderful and encouraging comments on my progress pic. I really wouldn't be where I am right now without the inspiration that I receive from each and everyone of you. So thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. It means so much to me :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Progress pictures: 50 lbs

As promised, a photo from my fancy night out in my new duds. After all my protestations, I wound up getting an almost sleeveless shirt, haha.

Anyways, the one on the left is me at my heaviest (sorry it's a repeat; there's not many of me when I was heavy) and the one on the right is after 50 lbs gone.

Oh, and thanks again everyone for your fashion help. I'm sorry I wasn't able to order the winning dress. Next year I need to start earlier!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Festive Sunday

Last night went really well and I think I even looked pretty darned good! I have pics taken but I need to format them still. However, I'll be heading out shortly to help some friends with Christmas shopping so it'll have to wait.

It started to snow this morning so husband and I went out for a walk. Which is fortunate because I'm spending my APs on some hot mini-mincemeat tarts fresh from the oven right now. I made them as point-friendly as I could by using mini-tart shells and only two teaspoons of filling. They work out to 1.5 points each which is quite reasonable. Yummy!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Forty-fourth Weigh-in

My wish was granted! I've regained some of the weight I lost when I was sick. Teehee, I never thought I'd be happy to regain a little weight. Yep, I'm up 1.4 lbs this week and couldn't be happier. While this does inch me back under 50 lbs lost, I'm celebrating anyways as I've still come a long way. Hehe, the receptionist couldn't figure out why I was so pleased when she recorded my gain :)

I'm still planning on posting pics later with me all dressed up. Here's hoping for a good hair day!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Concert and a coupon

Since I'm still feeling better (touch wood!), I took the plunge and just now ordered some tickets for my sweetie and I. I'm taking us to a Christmas music concert tomorrow night. I was going to just dress as nice as I could with what I have, but then someone on the board shared out that there's a 20% off coupon on Reitmans' site. Woot! I'm definitely going to check out what they have tonight or tomorrow.

I wub coupons and so am passing it on to the rest of you. Get out there and shop for something special, you deserve it! :)

Thanks to perkyhappygirl for finding it!

I just got back from shopping. Success! Reitmans has a lot of really pretty holiday tops right now and at very good prices. Little black dresses not so much. But, I found a sparkly black top, some black dress pants (that fit!!) and two necklaces. I even saved about $18 with the coupon.

Tomorrow I'll post some pics of my new ensemble. It's about time for some progress pics :)

Honey from my honey

As I was preparing for bed last night, my husband magically appeared beside me with a spoon and a squeeze bottle of honey. Apparently, he'd read about the study that found honey soothes kids' coughs better than cough medicine. He wanted to make sure I had a better sleep and so brought me some honey. Awwwww!

I dutifully had a spoonful* and I'm happy to say I had a solid nights sleep. Whether or not it worked or was just a happy coincidence, I'm feeling much more awake this morning than I have all week. *takes an experimental sniff* And I can still breathe out of both nostrils. Bonus! Three cheers for nostrils.

I'm still going to take it easy. If there's one thing I've learned with this cold is that if I overdo it (like on Wednesday night when I went Christmas shopping) I'll wipe myself out. I might just forgo dress shopping and go straight to a night out. A night out with my honey is a special reward with or without a dress :)

* A teaspoon of honey is roughly half a point. And yes, I calculated that before I had it. Haha, the life of someone on Weight Watchers!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Breathing is awesome

Despite a rough night last night, I think I'm finally on the mend. I woke up last night in a fit of coughing which turned into a fit of dry heaving when my stomach felt left out of the action. I'm dead tired today as a result, but I gotta say...breathing through your nose is seriously awesome. It should be right up there in the top ten list of Bodily Functions That Rock.

Planwise,'s not been totally out the window while I've been sick, but it hasn't been great. According to my home scale, I've gained a bit of weight since last week. I'm not fretting about it in the least though. Right now all I want is to get better and regaining some "sick" weight is fine by me.

I still have my eye on getting a little black dress. I'm hoping tomorrow I'll be bright eyed, bushy tailed, still breathing out of both nostrils, and up for clothes shopping. There's a Christmas concert on Saturday night that would be lovely to go to.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The little black dress continued

Thanks everyone for casting your votes! I like "A" the most, too. However, I should've checked inventory before setting my heart on it. All they have left is red and a size 8. Boo! I did visit my local Sears to see if they had anything similar and had no luck. All the nice looking dresses are sleeveless which is a pity*.

I'm hoping that I'll get better soon and can make it out to a mall. Right now I'm so dead tired I can hardly make it through the day.

* Call me old fashioned, but I just hate going sleeveless. Not only do my underarm bulges hang out, but going sleeveless means something much much worse: having to buy a suitable bra to go with it. I know plenty of people would say "so what?" If it weren't for the fact that I despise bra shopping, I'd agree with them. But no...I loathe bra shopping with the very fibre of my being. I'd rather be strapped to a chair and forced to listen to "achy breaky heart" over and over again than go bra shopping.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Blog update

My apologies to anyone who might've been lurking around while I was messing with the template. I'm finished for now, but I still have my eye on a few things that I'd like to tweak. Please let me know if you've any problems viewing the new layout. I've tested it in Firefox and IE6 but can't speak for Netscape, Opera, or IE7.

Oh, and please do let me know how you like the new header!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The little black dress

First of all, thanks everyone for your kind words! You guys really do keep me going :)

Second of all, I'm thinking I might buy a little black dress as my 50 lb loss reward. Although there's no special parties to go this season, I think it'd be really nice to have a night on the town with my husband. A theatre show and a (points-friendly) dinner would be so nice. However, I haven't owned a nice dress since oh...I got married seven years ago.

I went over to to poke around their dress selection and guess what? They finally got around to adding a MyVirtualModel feature to it! Best of all, if you've created an MVM account before, you can sign in using it so you don't have to redo your model. So far, only has dresses and swimsuits, but it's a good start.

So here's where I need your help. I'm fashion-challenged, so I've no idea what looks good, is in style, or anything like that. Here's my choices courtesy of What do you think? What looks the nicest for a night on the town? A, B, C, or D?

Forty-third Weigh-in

Wow. Well. I don't know how to say it, but here goes: I lost 2.2 lbs this week. This means I've now lost over 50 lbs. And yes, it's in part to being sick this week, but I'll take it. Oh boy oh boy oh boy will I take it!!!


And check out my new WW charm. It's another dumbbell/washer, but copper-coloured this time. It's hard to make out, but it says "50lbs." It's so purdy! I also received another star for my bookmark. That makes 10 of those shiny little guys and I couldn't be prouder of them!

Once I'm feeling better, I'll think of a suitable reward and what my next Italian bracelet charm will be. Right now, I'm too tired to celebrate properly except to say....


Friday, November 30, 2007

Mothers-in-law, snow and orchestral music

What a long day and I'm glad it's over with. I'm still sick (insert violin music here) but had to go into work again (more violin). Fortunately, I was allowed to go home early (orchestral upswing) but had to do errands all afternoon (violin again).

To top it off, I had to do the dinner thing with my mother-in-law on account of it being her birthday (tuba section in d-flat). Though she did compliment me nicely on my weight loss (apparently I'm looking rather "trim") she almost took the conversation into full on uncomfortable diet conversation talk. She doesn't quite understand obesity and tends to make really uninformed and ignorant comments. Fortunately, her longtime boyfriend saw where she was going, squashed it like a bug and changed topics like a pro. Gosh I love him (1812 overture with cannons).

I'm finally at home now, in my PJs, a cup of hot chocolate in hand, and an eye to the window, waiting for the snow to come. I know most of Canada hates snow, but I absolutely love it. *insert clappy happy dance here* I'm hoping the roads will be clear enough tomorrow for my weigh-in and that my chest will cooperate enough to let me go outside and get some snow on TinyTrim action (walking in a winter wonderland)(with cannons).

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fixing tickers and finding perspective

I finally got around to fixing my weigh-in tickers. After a certain period of time, inactive tickers are shut down. And because mine are single-post tickers, I had a whole lotta broken images. I knew it was something I should've taken care of way back in the beginning, but I kept putting it off and putting it off until the job of fixing it looked about as fun as a root canal. But now it's did and there should be no more broken tickers unless Picasa implodes.

However, the real point of this post is this: after having gone through every weigh-in to fix the tickers, I'm amazed at just how far I've come. Things that seemed big at the time, turned out to be small and surmountable. I also used to be 204 lbs. Can you believe it?

For everyone else, I encourage you go back through your own weight-loss blog – to the beginning if you have time – and look at all you've accomplished. Hopefully you'll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. And if you don't, you should! :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hand me my violin

Well, I'm back at work, still sick, still oughter not be here, but there's yet another deadline. And I'm the only one here who can work on this particular project. So, I've spent my day infecting my keyboard, picking apart HTML templates and generally wanting to be at home with another bowl of KD and a tiny violin.

I had a near thing at lunch time when I went to get some wonton soup and saw they had spicy fried chicken on the menu. Can you say yum? When I'm better and my stomach is more settled, I need to arrange a (chaperoned) date with Colonel Sanders. says I can, so I think I'm going to follow that advice.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sensible KD

I'm sick again. Just like last time, the Kraft Dinner came out of the cupboard and said "eat me!" Yesterday, while I was ensconced on the couch, covered with two comforters, two cats, and a roll of toilet paper, my husband was in the kitchen cooking up a box of it for me. After the water had boiled, he said, "I'm going to make it according to the 'sensible' directions, okay?"

I'm embarrassed to say that my first thought was "@&%# dang it!" I was actually hoping he'd make it using the half a pound of butter method and screw any suggestion of "sensible." LOL. But, I wisely said nothing because, sick or not, the "sensible" choice would be better for me.

This morning I'm feeling better, but I've kept myself at home lest I infect my coworkers. (A sensible decision.) I've had a sensible breakfast of a scrambled egg, whole grain toast and a mandarin orange. And for lunch later, I see that in the fridge there are very sensible pre-portioned containers of sensible KD.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

HMCS Crock Pot: The Sunday Dinner

This being a lazy Sunday, I've thrown together a pork roast in the crock pot for tonight's dinner. I cobbled together two ideas (Junebaby's and Brodiegirl's) and it looks pretty tasty so far.

Pork roast, 1 cup chicken broth, 1/3 cup dry sherry,
1 small sliced onion, half a sliced apple, salt and pepper to taste.

Hopefully it'll turn out okay! (At my house, cooking experiments sometimes go horribly wrong.) At the very least I triple checked to make sure I removed the absorbent pad from the bottom of the roast. Not that I've accidentally cooked the pad in with the meat many times before. *shifty eyes*

Well, it turned out rather dry but it's not the recipe's fault. It's my $%@%# crock pot's fault. I really need to get another one. The manufacturer missed the "slow" part of slow cooker. This thing gets very hot despite being on low and will overcook things in about five hours. Even though I know this, I always think (for some reason) that this time will be different.

It's time to keep my eyes peeled for a new one with a timer. Because really, what's the point of a slow cooker if you can't leave it on all day while you're at work?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Forty-second Weigh-in

I've lost another 1.4 lbs this week! I'm almost at 50 lbs lost, can you believe it?

The meeting was good as usual. There's a lot of successful folks there. One lady had lost 59 lbs, another had lost 45 lbs, and of course there were many people just starting out who had lost weight, too. I just love hearing everyone's successes, big or small.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I'm off to Mark's to hopefully get some cozy sweaters and some boots for my ski trip :)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A slice of cheese

I eat at Subway a lot. What can I say? Their sandwiches are quick and relatively healthy. I can get a serving of veggies in and protein at the same time. I also discovered – quite recently in fact – that if I get a turkey sub, I can have cheese on it for only 1 point more. Cheese makes the world of difference on a toasted sub. It's almost like mayo. But gooier.

As profound a thought as that is, I'll go a bit further and discuss my other favourite cheese – trashy romances. With Christmas nearing, I've been treating myself to 25-cent specials from the local thrift store instead of filling up on cookies and chocolate. There's nothing like curling up on the couch, drinking Mandarin Orange Spice tea, and reading a Christmas romance. It's about the best zero point treat you can have.

Of course, it goes without saying that there are certain parts of these books I like the most. You know, the nookie parts. They make an already cheesy romance a full-fat cheesy romance. However, despite being romances and all, you'd think that there'd be lots of nookie going on. But alas, I keep striking out. Every book I've bought lately has had either no nookie or sub-par nookie. It's like taking a bite of a twinkie only to find out they forgot to put the creamy filling in. It's just not the same!

So I ask you, what is it with these nookie-less books? Is there a shortage of nookie going on? Women who love nookie demand an answer!

The answer could be that I've been picking the wrong books. For example, my latest thrift store purchase looked promising. A Christmas double-digest with two romances for the price of one. After getting about a third of a way through the first one, I became rather suspicious that this was a non-nookie book. Maybe it was the third or fourth time the author had slipped a psalm from the bible into it that gave it away. That's not to say that there's anything wrong with a few good psalms now and again, but in a romance novel, it doesn't bode well for the nookie connoisseur. Sure enough, I decided to take a closer look at the cover and found the culprit right away. Publisher: Steeple Hill. Their logo: a church. Nookie: denied.

And so my quest for a nookie-filled romance continues. At least I can do it now, secure in the knowledge that if I can't have full-fat cheese in my romance novel, I can at least have it on my Subway sandwich. (You see how clever I am tying the two together?)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I. Love. The. Biggest. Loser.

I've been meaning to write about it ever since it started, but now I finally have to say it. I love the Biggest Loser show. It's unbelievably inspiring to see all these people working hard at losing weight. Though it's difficult to watch sometimes (seeing backstabbing and heartache), the "how are they doing now" segments at the end of each show are great to watch. You're sad that someone was voted off, but wow, look at them now!

And tonight's show was beyond awesome. I just loved seeing the makeovers and the reunions with loved ones. That rocked so much. My husband and I both were sitting there bawling our eyes out because it was so touching.

***Warning: Spoilers ahead!****

The only thing half sucky about the show was that they voted Kae off. Kae has been my absolute favourite. Of all of the contestants, she's been the most inspiring to me. Not only because of her size, but her determination and focus. If only we could all be like Kae every week! Though I hated to see her voted off, I loved seeing her transformation at the end of the show. Wow. She looks absolutely fabulous. Between that and her reunion with Bob, my husband and I were bawling again. Hot damn what a great show!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Forty-first Weigh-in

It's nice to see my little hula girl moving in the right direction. Plan-wise I've being doing pretty darned good and it's paying off. I'm down 1.4 lbs this week!

It's a great feeling being committed again, happy to be tracking my food, and basically being in control.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Blood test

I finally got in to get my blood test done this morning. Now all I have to do is wait. I hate waiting!

In other news, I'm afraid my "new" black pants may have to go to another home. I wore them all day yesterday and came to the conclusion that they're just too big. Teehee!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Seasonal Treats

It's that time of year again. Seasonal goodies are coming out of the woodwork. Fortunately, I've found a number of low-point treats to tide me over and I thought I'd share.
  • Mandarin Oranges - easy to peel, eat, and they taste great. One orange will give you a serving of fruit and almost 40% of your daily vitamin C. And, if you manage to remove the peel in one piece, your wish will come true! Or at least that's what my grandpa used to tell me. A medium mandarin is just half a point.
  • Celestial Seasonings Teas - there's a whole variety of holiday teas out now, my favourite being Candy Cane Lane. Yum! Of course it just makes me want to add cream and sugar to it, hehe. Also look for Mandarin Orange Spice. Although technically not a "holiday" tea, it's still Christmasy to me! Also keep in mind that with no added cream or sugar, herbal teas are zero points.
  • Starbucks Sugar-free Gingerbread Latte - a tall non-fat latte with sugar-free gingerbread syrup (and no whip) is the same points as a regular latte but with Christmas mixed in. If you're not big on sugar-free syrups, get a "short" instead and go for the real deal. While you might not get as big a cup, it's still just 2 points.
I've had all of these over the last week or so and am feeling very spoiled and Christmasy. In fact, I'm sipping a cup of Mandarin Orange Spice right now, thinking longingly of the next time I go to Starbucks, and eyeing the green paper-wrapped oranges on the table. Now all I need is for someone to invent no calorie whipped shortbread!

If anyone else has low-point holiday treat ideas, please share!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Shopping in your own closet is awesome

There's been this pair of black jeans kicking around in the bottom of our drawers for a long time now. I thought they were my husband's. He used to complain that his black jeans were too tight and so stopped wearing them. Since he's lost about 8 lbs since I started WW, I told him to go try them on this morning. That's when I hear from the bedroom, "Honey, these say women's cut on them."

Sure enough they were! They'd been around so long, I'd forgotten they were mine. I assumed they'd be too tight for me (after all, they'd been around much longer than I've been fat) and almost put them back in the drawer to wait for thinner times. On a whim, I slipped them on, did them up, and found they were a bit too loose. Eeeeheeeheee!

I now have a pair of serviceable black jeans. I don't know whether I'm more excited that they're loose or that I don't have to go pants shopping!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Review: Mexican Cafe con Leche

I saw a recipe for something called Mexican Cafe con Leche on a few weeks back and I finally had a chance to try it out. It was really good!

It's a creamy and sweet cinnamon-flavoured coffee drink and is well worth the points. Preparation was easy and the coffee itself had a nice sharp kick to it - mostly likely due to the fact that the coffee is boiled. I made it for some friends who seemed to like it. I know I definitely did! I'd for sure make it again, especially on a cold dreary night. Yum!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fortieth Weigh-in

Today's weigh-in is brought to you by Staying the Same! I didn't lose this week but I didn't gain either. And I'm perfectly okay with it. In fact, I'm more than happy with it. I knew that Halloween had to catch up with me. I'm very happy that it finally did, and it didn't cause me to gain. I'll take staying the same over a gain any day!

Plan-wise, I've been right on track and nowhere near the half-assed attempts of the last few months. I've been tracking on time (and not minding), I've been exercising, and I've been trying to meet the healthy guidelines. In short, everything as per normal before things got rocky :)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Charms: 40lbs, 45lbs, and Half Marathon

My latest charms arrived in the mail faster than I expected! The replacement "BMI" butterfly is there along with a few more:

As usual, these have meanings, too:
  • Turtle (40 lbs): Slow and steady wins the race. Though it might seem like it's taking forever, I'm still moving forward!
  • Ribbon (half-marathon): A special charm for accomplishing this momentous feat.
  • Yin and Yang (45 lbs): Balance in all things. There are times when it's easy, but there's also times when it's hard. Both are needed to learn from the other.
My bracelet is getting close to being full. There's only five blank links left!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Girly little bites

I've never had a stranger comment on my food choices before. That is, until last night. My husband and I went to a friend's birthday celebration. I did pretty good at dinner and even mentally prepared myself for cake. When the cake came, I declined saying I would only take a bite from my husband's plate. And when I finally got around to taking said bite, a guy sitting next to my husband started rudely going on to me about how I was taking a "girly little bite" and maybe I should just go get my own piece of cake. WTF???

First of all, it's one of those prearranged things with my husband and I. He'll often let me take a little bite of whatever he's having so that I don't feel deprived. Second of all, it's no business of anyone else if I want to take a small bite. So, [insert rude gesture here], piss off! I'll have my "girly little bite" if I want to AND I'll count it as an NSV.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The one test I can't wait to take

I went to my doctor's this afternoon for my annual checkup. I've always hated checkups. Especially the weigh-in part of it which I always managed to block out thanks to a habit of closing my ears and humming "la la la" to myself. But this time, I proudly stepped on the scale and didn't cringe once. In fact, I had to resist striking a John Travolta pose.

When the doctor finally came in to see me, the first thing she said was "Wow, you look GREAT!" And all through the rest of the checkup she kept complimenting me* and asking me things like if I've gone shopping yet, what my ultimate goal was, and so on. When she asked if I was still on Weight Watchers and I told her I was, she did a little dance in her chair, grinned and said that she always loved hearing success stories like mine. Success stories! Like mine! Eee!

It was so nice to go to an appointment and be showered with praise instead of being gently remonstrated about my weight :)

At the end of the appointment, she looked at me and said, "Let's do your cholesterol! I'm so excited to see how much it's improved!" As much as I hate needles, I'm excited, too! At my highest weight, my cholesterol was verging on being too high. I remember thinking at the time that I was too young to have high cholesterol and that it was the sort of thing that only happened to my folks. Well, no. I wasn't too young. My weight was to blame. But now, I've lost over 50lbs since my last blood test and I'm hoping that means the cholesterol has gone down.

Bring on the 10-hour fast and the nurse with the pointy thing!

*John Travolta pose*

*Tip: compliments during a pelvic exam do not take your mind off of things happening "down there" as much as you would hope they would.

Charms: BMI and 35lbs

Sorry it's taken so long to post this, but better late than never! Here's a photo of two charms I earned a couple of months ago:

As with my other charms, these have meanings as well:
  • Butterfly (BMI of 29.9): With this BMI, I'm no longer classified as "clinically obese." Therefore, the butterfly is a fitting symbol of transformation. I'm emerging again, healthier than before.
  • Watering Can (35 lbs): Tending your body is like tending a garden. With water (lots of water), the proper nutrients, and love, it will flourish.

I owe myself a few more charms for other achievements and have gone ahead and ordered them. I'm actually replacing the butterfly charm pictured above because I really don't like it. It's too big and doesn't really go with the other charms. I think maybe it's part of the reason why I haven't been ordering charms or even wearing my bracelet. So, out it goes! I'll be replacing it with another butterfly – one that isn't so big!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The recurrent dream

About once a month, I have a dream with a recurrent theme - namely finding myself having to go back to a job I loathed. It's always a great relief to wake and find that it was just a dream and that I hadn't totally lost my senses. However, when I got larger, these dreams changed. Not only was I there, tail-between-my-legs forced back to a dead-end job, but I was embarrassed to be seen by my old coworkers as having become fat. It's hard to shake off that sort of dream because, though I can reassure myself that I'd never work that job again, weight does not disappear when you regain consciousness. Funny how that works.

Last night, I had the dream again. This time it was a job I hadn't worked at for a good ten years or more. But this time in my dream, I wasn't actually working there. I was visiting. And I was distinctly not embarrassed to be seen by my coworkers. I remember thinking "I can hold my head up now." I didn't mind that I still had a few more pounds to shed. I was proud of myself and happy to see my coworkers and be seen by them in turn.

Now, I don't kid myself that this means the end to these sorts of dreams. But I am hoping my weight isn't going to be featured in them anymore. It was an awesome feeling not to be embarrassed by my body anymore :)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Thirty-nineth Weigh-in

I didn't deserve it, but there it is. I'm down 1.8 lbs this week. Well...maybe I deserved it a little. I've been pretty hard on myself this last week – not only did I not feed myself well, but I also beat myself up pretty badly about it.

However, in spite of it all, I did manage to pull myself out of it. I could've let the whole week go. I wanted to let the whole week go. It would've been easy to say "well, you blew this week, let's wait to start over next week." But I didn't give into that...and so...perhaps...a little credit is deserved along with a good stern talking to. I almost feel like a teenager whose spectacularly bad decision (let's use mom's credit card to go to Vegas for the weekend!) ended better than it should have – with a "thank goodness you're safe" from mom and a year's worth of hard chores.

Though I no longer live with mom, I have been served a punishment of sorts. My loss this week puts me into the 150s (yay!) but it also means I've lost a daily allowance point (awwww, moooom!). Normally losing a point is a celebration, but I've been getting less excited about it. Whoohoo, I get to eat less!

My loss also means that I've lost another 5lbs. I received a star at my meeting and now I'm shopping for new charms for my bracelet. I never actually got around to buying a charm for my last five pounds, so I'm rectifying that. Maybe by the time they arrive, I'll feel a little more deserving of the latest charm.

Lastly, thanks very much for everyone's kind words of support. You're absolutely right. If this was supposed to be easy, we'd all be on the beach by now sipping margaritas in our scanty polka-dot bikinis :)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Thirty-eighth Weigh-in

I've come out from under my rock to finally post my last weigh-in. There's no two ways about it, I'm embarrassed. I've decided to post it and get it over with despite how sheepish I might feel. I'm up again, another .4 lbs. I know it's just a wee amount, but then I look over the last few months and it's distinctly becoming a trend.

I know I can certainly explain it away to my heart's content – work has been busy/stressful, I'm back on birth control meds, it was that time of the month, etc., etc. – but excuses only cut it so far when you're not really following the plan. I did it before when things were rough, why not now?

This week hasn't been any better. There's been one Halloween festivity after another. I even paid for it dearly the morning after a night of icing/eating Halloween cupcakes with friends. My stomach was in such knots that I took the day off work. Though that wasn't fun at all, I still ate badly on Halloween itself. Needless to say, I'm expecting another gain tomorrow.

So, what to do? I am reminded of a quote from my favourite movie...

When a job went wrong, you went back to the beginning.”
– Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

And that's what I'm going to do. Back to the beginning with me! Menu plans, tracking every morsel into my mouth, drinking water and exercising. All the good things that got me to where I am today. Because, despite my excesses this week and my hit-and-miss attitude of the last few months, I've still lost over 40lbs and should never lose sight of that.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Thoughtful Game

When it comes to treats at the office, I often imagine myself to be a soccer player trying to get my ball past the other team. I dodge, I move sideways, sometimes I move backwards, sometimes I move forwards, and sometimes I get tackled. Up until now, I've always thought that my team had only one player – me.

It's nice then to know that this is not the case. I was approached yesterday morning by a coworker who wanted to know if it was okay if she brought treats in to the office. She knows I've been watching what I eat and has been rooting for me, but she also likes to bring the occasional treat in for the office. I was so very touched that she brought this up with me as she didn't want to impede my progress.

I told her as much and thanked her for thinking of me. But I did go on to say that though I appreciated the thought, I really don't expect anyone to act or eat differently because of me. In fact, I'd be mortified if someone felt they couldn't have something because of me. I encouraged her to bring treats whenever she wanted and that I wouldn't mind in the least. If I wanted to have some, I would. And if I didn't, well, I hoped it was understood that I wasn't being ungrateful.

As I dodge, duck and shuffle my ball along, around the treats and players, I know it's not a game that is easy but it is necessary. I can't expect everyone to dive out of my way or pick me up and carry me, ball and all, to the goal post. It's life, plain and simple, burly players, red cards and all. However, it's still nice to know the playing field isn't full of enemies and that there's at least one other player out there that doesn't want to take my ball away. Hopefully she knows that I don't want to take away her ball either.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thirty-seventh Weigh-in

I'm down 2.4 lbs this week. Wow, what a jump! I'm hoping it's not entirely because of my lack of eating enough on a couple of days this week.

I'm also surprised to see I only have 25lbs to go. It's really hard to believe! I was going to set my next weight goal as my final goal, but I think I'm going to go back to baby goals of five pounds at a time. I've been buying charms (reminds me, I really must post pics of the most recent ones) but aside from that, I haven't been celebrating as much as I should be. I think now, more than ever, I need the encouragement to keep going!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Snow, snow, snow, and ski pants, too!

I'm super excited! We're going on a ski vacation this Christmas! After being taken for granted by our family for 13 years, my husband and I decided to take care of us instead this year. So, this Christmas we'll be spending four glorious nights on a snowy mountain with three of our closest friends. I booked it yesterday. Whoohoo!

But that's not what I'm excited the most about. I'm more excited because I will finally be able to hold my head up high when shopping for ski pants. It used to be that I'd have to borrow ski pants from my husband's work in the biggest men's size they had and still have them be too tight. I can't tell you how shameful that felt. But now, now I get to shop for my own snow pants and in regular sizes! Yay!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday Confessional - the "I'm tired" edition

In the industry I work in, there seems to always be a deadline with not enough time or budget for it all to get done. Like the last time a big deadline came down, eating right has been very hard this week. Yeah, I know. I said I would plan more. And I planned to plan more! But it never quite happened.

Eating has been difficult, but at least I've been tracking. Unfortunately I've not been tracking on time - after a couple of days I went back and tracked the missing days and found that I hadn't eaten enough! Which is just as bad as eating too much. I'm working to remedy this. It's just that I'm often so tired that I don't want to eat in the morning or during the day. It's probably why I'm so tired - not eating enough!

On the bright side, this morning I pulled on what I used to call my "skinny jeans" (pre-WW) without undoing the buttons. They're too big for me now but I'm wearing them today anyways because I'm in desperate (emotional) need for something comfy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Chocolate mushroom cake? Rolaid rolls?

Cakes, sweets, and chips could be full of mushrooms and heartburn medicine in the future.

I don't know about you, but it sounds really interesting and positively vile at the same time!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Thirty-sixth Weigh-in

I'm down 1.2 lbs this week. Who would've thought that tracking your food and well, actually following the plan does work? (Said with a pointed look towards self.)

I really have been on a yo-yo this last month. I'll be good, I'll be bad, I'll be good again, and so on. I have to get it into my head that there's really no "off" time from this. It's a lifestyle and you have to live it and be mindful of it always. Ah well, at least I'm still taking one more step forward than I am back!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Subway Mini Subs

I'm not sure when this started happening, but Subway is now offering "Mini Subs." There's nothing special about them except they happen to be about half the size of a regular 6-inch sub. Since I was still hungry after my soup today, a small sandwich was just what I needed! According to Subway's site, they offer them in Tuna, Ham, Roast Beef, and Turkey. Excepting the Tuna, they're all 3 points*.

All in all, I'd say they're a great snack and perfect for a pick-me-up. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a whole meal, but with soup, definitely. If you don't see them on the menu board, just ask. I only knew they carried them because I happened to see it on their website today.

* This is of course for a sandwich on whole wheat bread, lots of veggies, and no cheese or condiments. Visit Subway's site for detailed nutritional information.

Mid-week checkup

This week is going much better than last week. I've been a good WW'er and have been tracking my food. I'm also making more of an effort to plan meals ahead and follow the healthy guidelines as best I can. I even got my act together enough to make a crock pot roast this morning.

I'm also recovering well from the half-marathon. Fortunately, I only had minor aches and pains afterwards and each day since has been better and better. Today, though, I'm really really hungry and I wonder if it's also part of the recovery process. I ate a truckload of food (66 points worth, scary I know) on the day of the half-marathon and have been really watching my intake since then. Maybe I need to ease up a bit and eat more regardless of the amount I ate on Sunday?

Anyways, eating more today is definitely in order. I'm going to nip out for a Subway sandwich soon because the gnawing pit in my stomach won't let me concentrate. It apparently didn't notice the nice big bowl of beef, bean, and veggie soup I fed it an hour ago!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ring toss

My rings have been going through phases during the weight loss journey. They'll be loose, tight or just right, almost as if the fat in my fingers has been shifting around my body trying to find a spot to hide. I did start to wear my engagement ring on my right hand as a precautionary measure but neither it or my wedding ring ever got to the point where they would slide off on their own.

But this morning, just as I was reaching for something on my desk, my wedding ring slid right off. I put it back on and found it stayed on, but just barely. I thought, "Gee, that's cool!" and then I had the idea of moving my engagement ring back over to see how it fits now. Well, my engagement ring falls right off now. Unlike my wedding ring, there's no slight resistance, it slides right off.

It's funny. I was just thinking that I was fortunate not to have lost any of my rings during this year's Thanksgiving preparations. The last time I lost weight two years ago, I lost my wedding ring when I was stuffing the turkey. Fortunately, it didn't fall in the cavity, but it was lost for a good hour before I found it in a kitchen corner.

Lest I lose my rings again, I've moved them both over to my right hand where they're still a bit loose but at least they won't go anywhere!

Thirty-fifth Weigh-in

There's a reason why I took so long to post my weigh-in. Well, aside from the half-marathon, hehe. I'm up .4 lbs. Whoops! But there's a good reason for that. I was eating for fuel last week. And, I had the big old Thanksgiving dinner the night before. So, I'm not entirely upset about it. I'm back at it this week and as I'm always fond of saying, each choice is a new opportunity!

EDIT: Of course, having just re-read what I wrote earlier this week, the gain most certainly was attributed in part to me being pouty and not tracking my food. There's a lesson in this to be sure. Dear Tiny: don't be pouty, track your food!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Medals for the heart, medals for the soul

I did something extra special yesterday. I achieved a goal I set for myself in May. I trained for it all summer. And yesterday was the day it all came together. When I crossed the finish line at the half-marathon and felt the medal placed around my neck, it was all I could do not to burst into tears. It was pouring rain, and my body was numb with cold, but I could feel the warmth of the medal hanging around my neck. My medal.

I was never athletic. I was always the kid who was picked last for teams. And I never had medals or trophies to adorn my wall or make my parents proud. But now, now I have a medal. And it's my medal. I fought for it and I won it. And I am so very proud of it.

When I came home from the event, and placed my medal beside my other two participation medals from other events this past summer, my heart swelled with pride. My soul swelled with pride. Though I am no longer the last, nor even the first, I am still a winner. And I have the medals to prove it.

Friday, October 5, 2007

TGIF (night)

Dinner is finally over. My family was a lot more stressful this year than most years. My mom didn't show up, my dad ate and left (leaving my husband to drive my stepmom and brother home which no one was expecting), AND my mother-in-law, by way of greeting, told my husband to shut my music off because she hated it. Though that was enough stress by anyone's count, that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Somebody save me from my family >_<

And save me from myself. I didn't do great food-wise, stress having gotten the better of me. I'm the type of person that eats for comfort. Even knowing the mantra "if it's not hunger, food won't fix it" didn't help. Ah well. It could've been worse. I made some pretty good choices in the middle of it all. For example, I filled half my plate with salad, only had a small amount of mashed potatoes and a thin sliver of pie. That erases all the extra ham, stuffing and bread I ate, right? Right???

But, if there's one silver lining, it's this: before I sat down to write, I was seriously thinking of making myself feel better by digging into the leftovers in the fridge. However, writing it all out has helped immensely. The family is gone and I'm sipping ice cold water from a wine glass. The leftovers might be good, but they won't fix anything.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Thursday confessional

First things first. I'm not sure that my Ham Plan is working out as intended. I bought the ham last night and it's the most delicious smelling thing ever. The scent of sweet hickory smoke just ooooooozes out of the package. It smells so gosh darned good that I'm salivating thinking about it. Focus, Tiny my girl, focus!

Second thing, I've been bad. It's embarrassing to say but I might as well get it off my chest: I haven't been tracking consistently this week. And I've been letting food control me instead of the other way around. Why do I do this to myself every time I hit a milestone? You'd think I would've learned from last time! But instead, I'm in a rebellious phase where *pouty look* I don't wanna track. *sticks out bottom lip*

But whining and stubbornness won't get me anywhere. Or at least whining won't. Being stubborn is one of those traits that can work for or against you. I can latch on like a pitbull if I want it bad enough but I can also flat out refuse to latch on though the ground is giving away. Ah, the mindset of a Taurus!

The rest of the week I'm going to work on that stubborn attitude and make myself do the things that I know work and are good for me. And I will track my food for goodness sake! So, enough with the whining, Tiny, and stay outta the ham!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Preparing for T-Day

If they had an award in high-school for "person most likely to be stuck cooking big family dinners for the rest of her life" I would've won it, hands down. In my family, holidays are important. It's a chance to sit down and be awkward together. In spite of this, or rather, because of this, my husband and I are always the hosts. The family dynamics are too long and complicated to go into, but suffice it to say, the family feels the most comfortable at our place.

This Thanksgiving, I thought I'd be able to dodge hosting duties because of the half-marathon on Sunday. Saturday we're resting and taking it easy, Sunday we're walking, and Monday is recuperation day. And after all these years of hosting, it'd be nice to have a year off.

Unfortunately, every time I try to take a year off, something invariably conspires to keep me from doing so. This year is no different [insert long story here]. So this is where I'm at: planning a last-minute Thanksgiving dinner for Friday night.

This means last-minute mental rehearsals because I didn't think I'd have to deal with eating a big Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings! Fortunately, I still have a couple of days to get into the mindset and have already made great strides towards a hopefully guilt-free dinner. I'm serving ham instead of turkey. I like ham, but I love turkey. Specifically, turkey skin. I could eat the skin off an entire bird if given half the chance. But ham? I like it but not with the unending devotion I have for turkey. And with my weigh-in the very next morning, I have even more reason to be good at dinner.

I'll also be serving a lot more veggies than normal and may even try the WW recipe for Sausage, Apple and Cornbread Stuffing if there's time. I know stuffing isn't supposed to go with ham, but what the heck :)

If you've got any tips for a guilt-free Thanksgiving, please feel free to share!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Review: Starbucks warm breakfast sandwich

If there's one thing I would love to have every morning, it would be some sort of breakfast sandwich. Egg, bacon, cheese, yum. But, trying to follow this whole eating healthy thing, I wisely do not indulge in this desire. Or, at least not on a daily basis.

However, I still plan for the occasional sandwich. Which is why, when I espied a reduced-fat version of the new Starbucks breakfast sandwiches, I knew I had to have one. I'm happy to report that I found it quite good. Reduced-fat turkey bacon, reduced-fat white cheese, an egg that tasted like an egg but apparently has had its cholesterol magically removed and all served on a whole wheat biscuit bun type thingy. At this point you're either thinking it sounds absolutely horrible* or are desperately wanting to know what the points are.

Surprisingly, it has the same points value as a Bacon n' Egg McMuffinlicious. So I dug a little deeper to see which one was better nutritionally. Here's how they stack up:

Weight (g)CaloriesFatFibreProtein

† Note that this nutritional info is only as accurate as the info provided by the companies and as my fingers can make them. Also note that Starbucks nutritional information varies according to region - and it can vary wildly! You will need to visit the Starbucks web site in order to obtain the appropriate nutritional information sheet for your area.

Disclaimers aside, you get more bang for your points value out of the Starbucks sandwich. Not only is it bigger, it has less fat and twice as much fibre. Still, it's not a low point meal, but if you've got enough to spare, you might want to give it a try!

* After writing my post, I wandered around the blogosphere to see what others thought. There's a number of folks who think poorly of the Starbucks sandwiches, with the reduced-fat version faring the worse. To those people, I say, "What do you expect? It's reduced fat!" And to my readers I say, "Take my recommendations with a grain of salt." Murphys Law says that I'm an anomaly and the only one who actually likes it.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Thirty-fourth Weigh-in

It's funny how when I have an awesome weigh-in, I post it right away instead of getting around to it on Sunday. Yes, it was a great weigh-in. I'm down 1.6 lbs this week. This means I've earned another star AND I've lost over 40 lbs!! I was so excited and in such a happy daze that it took the receptionist's gentle reminder that I still had to give her my weigh-in booklet and coupon. This means I've also met my mini goal of 164lbs and have lost over 40% of my starting weight. Whoohoo! I still don't know what to do with myself other than order another charm for my bracelet and set another goal.

The meeting itself was very fun. I'll be posting more about that later with a fun exercise everyone can do.

40lbs!!! :) :) :) :)

Friday, September 28, 2007

This weight loss brought to you by...

Sometimes I think I ought to be a spokesperson for any number of companies who've helped me lose weight. I eat under-6-grams-of-fat Subway sandwiches, I order non-fat lattes from Starbucks, I go to Curves, I've eaten Slim-Fast bars for snacks, I load my iPod Shuffle with audio books from Audible, I buy exercise videos from Amazon, and of course I go to Weight Watchers. Not to mention local grocery stores and businesses with fresh food or healthy menu choices.

So what do you think? Are you a spokesperson, too? And if so, for whom?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New clothing = the key to better posture

In new clothing, I sit up straighter, I keep my stomach in. No, it's not because I've found a stronger sense of pride in myself. Instead, it's to keep from everything hanging out. Clothing which fits – being neither too big nor too small – has no room for slouching. None whatsoever. Take this lovely sweater I'm wearing today. One momentary lapse of control and it won't be pretty.

So take it from me, new clothing will help you sit up straighter. It'll also work your abs, too!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Review: Slim-Fast Optima Chewy Caramel Crunch

Wanting a sugar fix, I bought a box of Slim Fast's Chewy Caramel Crunch Optima bars from Shoppers on the weekend thinking they'd taste just as good as it's cousin, Peanut Butter Crunch. Not so. It's 3 points for a bar of mediocre. I found the caramel taste to be metallic and the "crunch" to be mostly soft with the occasional crispy morsel. Though I ate one bar in its entirety, I regretted it later and have been moodily thinking about tossing the whole box.

The verdict: If you're a fan of the Peanut Butter Crunch Optima bars – and you should be, it's only 2 points and tastes like an honest to goodness Crispy Crunch – steer clear of the caramel bars.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Autumn is wonderful

On a sunny fall day, it feels good to be out and about. Today, my friends and I went on a day-trip to a beautiful provincial park with the most glorious waterfalls. We walked all over the park, following the river down and hopping from rock to log to rock again. I felt so very healthy and vibrant that it was difficult to imagine being anything but. But of course, half a year ago, I wouldn't have been able to keep up as well, nor even feel the joy of simply being outside and moving my body.

The company and scenery aside, I also did very well with food today. Normally I don't do so well on the weekends, let alone day trips. But, I spent some time practicing in my head beforehand what I'd order for breakfast at the restaurant (known for its fattening, but tasty breakfasts) and pulled it off flawlessly. I also did well at lunch, forgoing the side of fries for a side of the soup of the day. And, because I had earned so many Activity Points leaping around the park, I indulged in a small treat from the bakery.

As I write this, I'm sipping a cup of tea and enjoying some gingersnaps. Autumn is wonderful and it feels good to be alive, healthy, and fit.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Thirty-third Weigh-in

Today's weigh-in is also known as "turnin' this ship around." My hard work and back-to-basics approach paid off this week as I'm down 1.2 lbs. And it feels great! I also made my mini-goal of getting 20 Activity Points in this week which means I get to go umbrella shopping as soon as I get the chance.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Recipe: Chicken and Vegetable Tortellini Stew

As requested, here's the crockpot recipe I made earlier this week. Note, that I didn't write the recipe, but I did modify it. The ingredients listed include my modifications and are cut and paste from the WW Recipe Builder. The points value is likewise from the WW Recipe Builder though I encourage you to recalculate on your own in case I made a mistake. Bon Appétit!

Chicken and Vegetable Tortellini Stew
Source: Best Slow Cooker Meals, Pillsbury Most Requested Recipes, Volume 9, No. 1, 2004
Makes 6 servings, approximately 5 points per serving
  • 9 oz cheese tortellini, without sauce
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 2 medium carrot(s), sliced
  • 2 clove garlic clove(s), minced
  • 2 medium scallion(s), sliced
  • 1 cup spinach, baby, firmly packed
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 500 gm boneless skinless chicken thigh(s), trimmed of fat and cut into 3/4" pieces
  • 284 ml Campbell's (Canada) Chicken Broth (non-fat, reduced sodium)
  • 398 ml Eden (Canada) Organic Navy Beans
In 3 1/2 or 4-quart slow cooker, layer carrots, garlic, chicken, and beans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour broth and water over top. Stir to combine. Cover; cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours.

About 20 minutes before serving, stir tortellini, spinach, onions, and basil in chicken mixture. Increase heat setting to High; cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until tortellini are tender.

My modifications include the omission of a medium fennel bulb (chopped) and Parmesan Cheese (sprinkled on individual bowls). I also changed the amount and type of beans from a 19-0z can of Cannellini beans, to a smaller can of navy beans. And lastly, I used non-fat chicken broth instead of regular. As for serving size, the original recipe says that each serving is 1 1/2 cups, but as I've made modifications to the ingredients, only take this as a very rough guide!

Lastly, one shout out for the magazine this came from. Just about everything I've made from it turned out great. If you can find it used, do pick it up! Otherwise, keep an eye out for other Pillsbury publications.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lost and found

I used to be thin. I say this with a reasonable amount of certainty because I have pictures to prove it. Despite this, the doubt remains still. Somewhere along the way I'd forgotten, truly forgotten, what it was like to be thin. There was no then anymore. It was as if I'd always been overweight and the thin girl in the photos was someone else.

Consequently, as I started to lose weight, I'd observe thin people wherever I went. Imagining myself to be them because, as I said, I could not remember being anything other than overweight. However, as time went on and I lost the pounds, watching thin people no longer held the same appeal. On the contrary, it stirred up decidedly uncomfortable feelings. Instead of exploring said feelings, I took the easy way out. I stopped watching thin people.

It wasn't until recently that I figured out why watching them made me feel uncomfortable. It was because I was seeing something in those people that I hadn't seen for years: myself. Or rather, the doppelgänger of my thin self - entirely unrecognizable and yet eerily familiar all the same. No wonder I wanted to run screaming in the other direction.

Nowadays, I no longer feel that strangeness. I'm starting to remember what it was like to be thin. I'll be looking at myself naked in the mirror and think, "I remember my back looking like that." Sometimes, I'll catch myself standing in a certain way, a way in which I used to carry myself when I was smaller. That feeling of being petite but with an indomitable spirit.

Everyday, I see more and more of what my body used to be. It has more scars and stretch marks, but the shape is the same. I've found what was once lost. And I've come to believe that the same could be said for many people. The thin girl - or boy - has always been inside of us. We might not remember or recognize them, but they're there all the same.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Further adventures in the HMCS Crockpot

Though I haven't made as many meals as I've wanted to, I've still been keeping up with using my crockpot. For the moment, I've put aside Fix It and Forget It Lightly because there's almost too many recipes in it, often with the same sorts of ingredients. There's no photos either, which I find I like to see, if only to get an idea of what the dish will look like in the end.

So, I turned to my old crockpot recipe books and magazines to see what the points values were like. I was pleasantly surprised to see that often times the recipes are reasonable in points even if they're not labeled "diet" or "light." For example, the Chicken and Vegetable Tortellini Soup I made earlier this week was about 5 points per 1 1/2 cup serving. It's terrifically yummy and hearty enough to eat for a main course at dinner. And yesterday I made a Turkey and Vegetable Stew which was about 6 points per serving.

If you've got a few crockpot recipe books or magazines, have a look at them and you might be surprised. And even if you don't, have a look at the checkouts of your local grocery store - crockpot books come out of the woodwork this time of year. True, some recipes can be high in points, but there's usually a way to reduce the points value by substituting lower fat ingredients (like reduced-fat cream of chicken soup, non-fat sour cream, fat-free chicken broth etc.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The latte that got away

While I was poking around the Starbucks site, trying to find nutritional info on a number of their heavenly sounding treats (the verdict: not good), I was pleased to see that even more beverages are coming in a light version as well.

Off I headed to Starbucks this morning with the aim of securing a Pumpkin Spice Latte. However, Starbucks was all out of syrup. Doh! So, I opted for the sugar-free skim milk version of the Cinnamon Dolce Latte. Which is...*takes a sip*...not too bad! A nice hint of cinnamon, warm, comforting, and a tasty treat on a cool autumn day.

Having been denied my pumpkin latte, I returned to work to find out how many points the Dolce was. Fortunately, it's only 2 points. Unfortunately, the Pumpkin Spice – even with skim milk and no whipped cream– is 4 points, which is 2 more points than I originally thought it was. Though I could've spared the points, I'm thankful they were out of syrup.

But that's beside the point. The point is, the nutrition calculator on Starbucks' site is pretty nifty. (The baked goods "calculator" is a whole other rant.) Try it out. You can pick your expresso, and then customize it with options for skim milk, 1% milk, soy milk, no whipped cream, and so on. Click the recalculate button and voila! Nutritional info for your particular beverage.

Tip: Do you like the sugar-free syrups but find them a bit too over-powering? Ask for a half-shot, or half-sweet.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Every little step counts

Yesterday was a good day. I tracked my food and I exercised by doing a WATP video and by going skating in the afternoon with friends. When I got home in the evening, it was to a crockpot of nummy Chicken and Vegetable Tortellini soup.

Today, I had a good lunch (thanks to leftovers) and managed to do my grocery shopping for the week. And now I'm about to set out for a walk in the September sun. I have my iPod charged up and filled with a new audio book.

Ah, life goes so much better when you're prepared :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Thirty-second Weigh-in

This is also known as the "Getting Serious" weigh-in. I'm up .2 lbs and I deserved it. I deserved it big time. In fact, it could've been worse, so I should also count my blessings.

As the scant number of posts alludes to, I've been super busy with work. A big project, a big deadline, and little time to do much else. I've eaten out more times than I can count these past few weeks. I haven't exercised at all. Not even a half-marathon training walk. Basically, I've been using work as an excuse to let everything slide when I know in my head and heart that I could do much better regardless.

Needless to say, I've been feeling crappy because of the poor nutrition and lack of exercise. My lower back problem came back and I've been wandering around feeling foggy, achy and tired.

When I admitted to what an awful week I had to the Receptionist at the meeting, she asked me what I was going to do about it this week. I knew the answer right away. Recommit and plan, plan, plan. Exercise is top priority. It eases my lower back and gives me the energy I need to get through a long day at work. Having easy-to-prepare food is also priority. I'll be less likely to eat junk if I have something I can pull out of the freezer to heat up at work.

So, today I've sat down and made out a meal plan for the week and have committed to getting my exercise in every day. In fact, it's been a long time since I've set a mini-goal, so I'm setting it now. This week I will earn 20 Activity Points which is what I typically earn. As a reward, I will buy myself a snazzy looking umbrella I've been wanting.

I'll close with a promise I wrote to myself while I was waiting for the meeting to start.
This week I promise to take better care of myself. I will make sure I have healthy, easy-to-prepare food and snacks available. I will exercise more, aiming to get activity in each day of the week. Lastly, I will forgive myself and remember that each choice is a new opportunity.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The cupboard is no longer bare

My shopping excursion yesterday was, on the whole, successful. The morning was the most successful. I bought a jacket I'd been keeping an eye on - a $200 winter jacket on sale for half off - as well as a number of pretty and professional shirts. The afternoon was not so fortuitous as I became increasingly tired and desperate to secure a pair of pants or shoes that fit.

Pants have always given me trouble and, like pantyhose, care not a whit as to my size and were just as ornery now as they have ever been. Though I told pair after pair that they darned well better fit this time, alas, none of them listened and continued - resolutely - not to fit. They were either too small, too big, or too "look at my pantylines!"

The quest for shoes faired no better. Just about every single pair that I tried on was either too tight across the toes or too loose in the heel. After a sales girl at Aldo earnestly assured me that the shoe I was trying on was supposed to feel like an excruciatingly tight metal clamp, I conceded defeat and headed to Walk In Comfort where I found a pair of black nondescript Rockports that fit reasonably well. Though not fancy or exciting as I would have hoped, they're good quality, leather, and should last.

Troubles aside, I'm happy with my purchases (the best of which is this darling little black hat) though my shopping isn't quite done yet. After removing tags and organizing everything into my closet today, I see I need more casual shirts and sweaters. And of course the pants. I only found one pair that fit well enough but I need more than that. After a few days of rest and recuperation, I should be back at it, wandering the Sears clothing racks looking for that elusive beast - the pant that fits.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Thirty-first Weigh-in

It looks like my little camping buddy left and took a roommate with him. I'm down 1 lb this week. I'm getting close to my next weight goal and it's exciting! As for the meeting, I confess I wasn't paying as much attention as I usually do. I arrived late and was sitting in the back on a stepstool because it was so packed in there. I couldn't see my leader's face, so it was hard for me to listen. I'm weird this way, but I need to see a person's face in order for their words to sink in.

Afterwards, I went shopping!! And boy am I tired. And I'm not even finished yet! I'll post more later as to how it went.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Well that was fun

I just finished weeding my closet and drawers. Take a look at the aftermath:

Yes, those lonely clothes hanging out on the right side of the closet are all that's left of the clothes that still fit me or are too dear to let go of. Of the clothes that I purged, the best clothes (about 3/4s of it) will be going to a local women's charity. As these clothes are still quite wearable and in good condition (some are not even a year old!), it's hard to part with them. But, I kept reminding myself that they would give someone else pleasure if I released them back to the wild.

On a lark, I decided to find out how many pounds of clothing I was liberating. So, I hopped on the scale with a laundry basket full of the clothes, did a quick calculation and came up with 28lbs. Yep. 28lbs of clothes. Almost as much as I've lost! And in case anyone is wondering what 28lbs looks like, here it is:

Add 10lbs more to include the cat.

Yup. That was definitely fun :) :) :)

The Cupboard is Bare

I can hold off no longer. My wardrobe choices have dwindled to one pair of jeans and a few summer shirts. Everything else is either too big, too old, or too ratty. Even my shoes are needing replacement. The cheap barely year-old peeling-at-the-toe ratty black pleather shoes just don't seem to go with my new sense of self-esteem anymore.

So, this weekend I'm off to indulge in my most anticipated excursion of the year. Fall shopping for clothes. Squeak! I plan on buying as inexpensively as I can – after all, I'll be going through the same wardrobe replacement process in about half a year's time – but I'm not going to scrimp on the shoes.

Here's what I plan on getting:
  • Black leather shoes: good quality that'll last and go with just about anything.
  • Winter jacket: nice and warm for the skiing I plan on doing! If I can find an inexpensive fall jacket, I might get one of those, too.
  • Sweaters: as many as I can afford, I get so cold nowadays without my padding.
  • Long-sleeve shirts: pretty and professional for the office and grocery shopping. I must look good wherever I go!
  • Pants: two pair and again, for the office/glamorous grocery trips.
  • Underwear: and not in the two sizes too big I accidentally bought the last time.
  • PJs: you know your nightgown is too big for you when you bend forward and everyone can see everything from your bosom to your slippered feet.
  • Scarf: purely for frivolous reasons. Some people love shoes, I love scarves.
We'll see how much I can actually afford but it's always fun to dream! I plan on hitting all the stores with sales/inexpensive buys as well as some secondhand places.

Tonight I'm going to ruthlessly go through my closet and start a donation box. I'm going to keep those pre-WW jeans of mine (the ones that caused a near wardrobe malfunction the other day) as a memento though. There's a few sweaters that might pass muster, too. And I might even weed out my scarf collection. Everything else though? Donate, donate, donate!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Six pounds of camping

When I got back from camping on Monday, I weighed myself on my home scale. I wasn't surprised to see that I'd managed to gain 6lbs in only three days. I was reasonably certain that most of those 6lbs could be attributed to the symptoms of having eaten poorly: upset stomach, bloating, and water retention.

Fortunately, I was right. Five of those pounds are gone again, leaving a lone pound hanging around and generally getting up to mischief. If he sticks around for official weigh-in this weekend, I'll consider myself lucky before I run him out of town.

Hopefully, my lesson is learned. Even if I wanted to eat bad food, my body is clearly not used to it anymore. The three days it took me to recover is warning enough!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Camping hangover

Ugh. So I've just spent the long weekend camping and fun though it was, I ate entirely the wrong things. Yesterday afternoon and today I'm really suffering from the bad food I ate. Sugar hangover, upset stomach, all the hallmarks of eating badly, I got 'em. The only saving grace is that I walked a LOT. Still, it's back to basics this week!

Even with camping, I still made it to weigh-in on Saturday morning. I'll be waving my magic blogger wand and posting it shortly.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Thirtieth Weigh-in

I'm down 1.8 lbs this week which has broken the trend of the past three weeks. Whoohoo! My leader also noticed my new jeans and complimented me on them. I guess it wasn't too hard to notice as I'd been wearing pretty much the same clothes to weigh-in for a month straight! Anyways, she brought it up in front of the meeting and asked me to share with the other members how many sizes I went down. That felt good :)

The meeting topic was about reviewing the Weight Watchers booklets. Which is a good thing. I occasionally crack them, but I confess I don't recall everything in them. As soon as I get some time this week, I'm going to read all of them again, back to front!

I also plucked up my courage and passed along the kindness a member did me last week - I complimented a lady on her progress. She's been in meetings for as long as I can remember and she really has done phenomenally well (over 70 lbs lost!) . I hadn't seen her much during the summer, so when I saw her again, it was amazing how much she had changed and how good she looked. So, I told her so and she seemed really pleased. That also felt really good :)

Friday, August 31, 2007

New jeans = awesome

I bought some new jeans today and now I can't stop looking at my legs. The jeans were bought in a hurry (they were needed to avert a major wardrobe malfunction*) but dang if my legs don't look mighty fine in them. My legs are much thinner than I thought they were and I've been trying not to stare at them as I walk.

The jeans are dark-blue size 12 petites, just right for my short legs. They're also tighter than I would normally get which is why, combined with the narrow cut of the leg, I think they look so good. Normally, I'd just get something on the loose side because I'm all about comfort. But not this pair. This pair looks great. My legs look great! I don't know how long it's been since I've looked at my legs with admiration instead of disgust :) :) :)

* Desperate for pants this morning, I grabbed my old pre-WW jeans to wear to work. Though most of the day was spent hitching them up, the near critical meltdown came in the evening as I was walking in the mall. With each step, the waistband dipped lower and lower until it cleared a good three inches of underwear. I knew then that it was essential for me to buy new pants lest I get arrested by mall security for indecent exposure. It was a near thing, but a strategically placed hand on the hip with one finger slipped through a belt loop kept the whole thing from going horribly wrong.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Compliments in the kitchen

I received another compliment on my weight loss today. It was from a coworker who had mentioned it a few months back, but wanted to compliment me again on how amazing I was doing. She said that I had lost "a lot" of weight. I guess my small frame really doesn't carry weight well. Or, to put a positive spin on it, I guess my small frame loses weight really well ;)

One other thing that struck me about the conversation was that it occurred in the kitchen again. I seem to be getting more compliments there than anywhere else.

Mental note to self: hang around in the kitchen more often.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Pantyhose Polka

Tiny Trim Tip of the Day: getting into pantyhose is NO easier after losing weight. It was hard at 204lbs, and it's still hard at 169lbs. I didn't mention it before, but I earned a good number of Activity Points rolling around on the bathroom floor at the wedding trying to get into a pair. There was a few tense minutes when I couldn't get the crotch section to go any higher than mid-thigh. I briefly considered just leaving it be, but decided I couldn't pull off walking around like a duck all day.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Peas sir, no more!

I just wanted to take a moment out of my busy day to say that sometimes life isn't fair. I'm working on a particular project right now that requires me to work with high resolution images of food. Not just any food...delicious food. I'm talking full-colour cheesecake the size of my monitor. Even the peas look good and that's saying something.

If there's lick marks on my screen at the end of the day, it's not my fault!

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something really really really tired

I know some of you have been wondering where I've been since my last post. Well, I'll tell ya. I've been acting as an impromptu wedding organizer for some good friends.

We found out last Sunday that they wanted my husband to be the best man. So there was a flurry of activity in trying to get a tux rented with only a week to spare. Then there was half-marathon training walks, dropping off decorating supplies to the bride, and shopping for new shoes. I know there was more, but last week was kind've a blur.

Saturday was spent on setup - mainly decorating the arch and helping with yardwork. I then found out that we were asked to drive the bride and groom to their hotel after the wedding. This is fine of course, but our car was dirty and we hadn't planned on decorating it. So, the afternoon was spent running around trying to find car decorations, getting the car washed inside and out, and driving around looking for road side stands selling dahlias (more flowers were needed for decorating). The evening was spent fluffing car pompoms, designing a "just married" sign, and making last minute decorations.

Yesterday, being the day of the wedding, saw us up at 6a so that we could get showered, pickup a platter of food, decorate the car, and get to the house by 10a for more setup. After that, it was a bit of a blur. There was so much to do. Flower arranging, food serving, more decorating, making sure everything was where it was supposed to be, getting dressed up, taking pictures, making a toss bouquet on short notice, trying to fix the arch so it wouldn't blow down during the ceremony, serving cake, etc. etc. etc.! And everyone kept asking me wedding questions. Which is funny, because I've only been married once, and that was seven years ago!

I was wearing my pedometer the whole day and wound up clocking over 10,000 steps (half of which in heels!). Food-wise, it was a bit of a write-off. Though I don't think I overate, I wasn't too particular about what I chose. Ah well, I figure all those steps I took has to count for something!

So now I'm at work, dead tired and in need of more caffeine. Tonight we've been asked over for the unwrapping of gifts so it's not quite over. I did manage to get in for my weigh-in and meeting on Saturday morning so I still have to post my results. As soon as I get time, I'll be sure to wave my magic blogger wand and get that posted!