Friday, October 30, 2009

Contest: Eating Healthy Pays Off!

Its weird how my tastes keep changing. I mean, 2 years ago, you couldn't get me close to a plate of kabobs. Now, I'm in love with them. I actually had them 3 days last week and once so far this week.

Hubby and I chop up a sweet onion, a green pepper and 10-12 ounces of top sirloin (very lean) then slip everything onto 3 skewers and plop them on the Foreman Grill for just a few minutes and voila! dinner is served.

The first time we had them, I made some brown rice to go with. I can't stand rice but it seemed like the thing to eat with meat and veggies. I added some steamed corn to the rice so I could tolerate eating it (I have a natural gag reflex to rice when I eat it, don't know why). But I was STUFFED after eating all that food. So the next night, no rice and it was perfect.

It's just funny how my tastes have changed over the course of this weight loss plan. Watermelon used to be a waste of my time—too watery. Now, it's like nectar from the gods.

So what is it that's changed my tastes? Is it that my body is getting used to the new food? Is it perhaps because my body is craving healthy food now that its actually getting some? Or is it just because I can't eat the fatty foods like I used to so I might as well be happy with what I'm allowed to eat? Who knows, but the benefits are wonderful. I feel so much better eating healthy. My body feels good and my mind feels good—like I'm making smart decisions.

So I thought I'd start a contest to find out what you guys eat that's healthy and yummy that you would have never eaten before you started your weight loss plan.

I was given a set of Measure Up bowls to give away on my blog from Heather at Measure Up Bowls. The bowls have ring indent markings on the inside if the bowls to show you where the 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, 3/4 cup, etc. marks are. So when you're pouring your morning cereal or afternoon snack or bowl of soup, you don't have to worry if you're putting to much in the bowl, you'll just pour until you fill to your desired portion size. How genius is that!?!?

No more "guesstimating" on your portions. I was reading a blog post the other day from Jinxxxygirl and she showed a picture two bowls of cereal sitting on the counter. The one on the left was the serving size suggested on the box. The bowl on the right was the actual amount of cereal she'd been pouring into her bowl every morning. It ends up that she was eating 3 times the serving size and thought she was doing good. She thought she was a little over her servings each morning so she added another point or two but had no idea she'd actually tripled the amount she should be eating.

It's things like this that trip us up on our weight loss efforts. We think we're doing good, but if we don't measure, we don't know. With these Measure Up bowls, you don't have to worry about getting out the scale or the measuring cups, you just pour to the line that you want and enjoy.

(By the way, if you have a sec, you should check out Heather's weight loss story on the Measure Up website, here.)

So to enter the contest, leave me a comment telling me about the healthy food you eat now that you would have never eaten before you started on your weight loss plan. You can increase your chances of winning by Tweeting about the contest. Just use the hash tag #measureupgiveaway. I'll choose one comment or tweet at random and the winner will get a set of Measure Up bowls—one "Small Bowl" and one "Classic "Bowl". The Classic has 1/2, 1, 1-1/2 and 2 cups premeasured portions on the inside of the bowl and the Small has 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 cup premeasured portions on the inside of the bowl. Together, it's a $29.99 value. Yours for the taking.

I'll draw one winner at random on November 15th.

(Don't forget, if you want to tweet about it you have to use the #measureupgiveaway hashtag.)

If you want to follow me, my Twitter account is @mag_maker.

Good luck!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday ramblings...

So here it is Tuesday and I still haven't made it to the gym. Hubby and I promised each other we'd go to the gym every night this week. What are we waiting for??!! Its almost like if we both don't say anything about it then we really don't have to go. It's our little secret right? Ugh!

Like a few months ago a lady at work and I decided we'd start walking in the mornings again. We both need to walk and we live only a block away from each other so it was perfect. We both walked one morning and we never brought it up again. It's like, if you don't say anything, then it's okay, right? Ugh!! Ugh!!

And I'm having the darnedest time eating 5 fruits and veggies a day. The most I can get in is two. What's up with that??

At WW last weekend, our leader posted the "quote for the week" and I loved it:

To eat is a necessity
To eat intelligent is an art.

Boy, that's the truth isn't it? We have to eat. But how we eat what we eat is the magical part. Its where science becomes art.

Oh, I found something so amazingly yummy that I HAVE to share with you guys. Audrey, from WW, first told me about these weeks ago, but I just this week tried them. They're my new favorite thing of all times.

French Twists... I love the tag line underneath the product name "Layers of Sweet Puffed Pastry". It really should say "Layers of Sweet Heaven".

They're light and flaky and a bit crispy but in the lightest way possible. The container I got was a plastic tub (about the size of an extra large margarine tub) and each twist was about 3 inches long.

Two twists was only 60 calories, 2 grams of fat and 4 grams of sugar. But the best part is that the type of sugar that's in the ingredients is good for you sugar. Check out the ingredients: High protein wheat flour [whole grain goodness], soy oil [healthy oil], palm oil [a natural appetite suppressant] beet sugar [great for your body], cinnamon [great for your blood sugar] and salt [probably to offset the sweetness of the beet sugar]. That's it! Totally healthy for you and it sure doesn't taste like it.

I wish there was some way you could taste the picture on the screen. They are truly amazing! Here's their website if you wanna try and find where they sell them in your area. I bought mine at Publix.



Monday, October 26, 2009

Helping to find a cure for breast cancer...

I participated in the Susan G. Komen Central Florida Race for the Cure yesterday morning and boy did it kick my butt!

I've been wanting to run in the Race for the Cure 5K for quite a while now, since before I did my first 5K. And it was everything I'd hoped it would be.

I didn't do the competitive run, I just did the fun run, but I timed myself. My time was about the same as my first 5K was. Weird. Because that was 8 1/2 months ago and I've run another 5K and a 10K since then and I really thought I'd be able to run a faster time. I really pushed hard, too.

After the 2 mile mark, I had to start speed walking because my left knee started hurting again. Darn knee! It'll usually start hurting after a couple of miles of running. But I speed walked for about 3/4 of a mile then I started running again. Pushed through the pain. Once I hit the 3-mile mark, I kicked it in gear and ran full out.

I thought I was going to die before I made it across the finish line. My heart rate went all the way up to 198. Ugh! I know, NOT good!! But I just wanted to push as hard as I could. I was totally inspired by the event and by the courageous women running with me.

They had these "back signs" that you could get (letter size pieces of colorful paper) that you could write down someone's name on who either died from (in memory of) breast cancer or who has survived it (in celebration of) and pin them to your back while you raced. And the whole time I was running, I kept reading the back signs of the runners who passed me. Most of them would have a woman's name but some said in memory of "my mom", "my wife", "my sister" and some said in celebration of "my mom", "my wife", and "my sister". Whenever I saw these, they just lifted me up and encouraged me to keep pushing. Running in a 5K and being completely exhausted and spent is NOTHING compared to what they each had to go through or are still going through.

So when my heart rate got up that high, I just pierced my eyes on the back signs and kept pushing.

Through the whole race, I kept hearing what sounded like someone following me, like their sneakers were scuffing on the pavement behind me. But whenever I'd look back, there was no one there. Kept bugging me. I thought there'd be someone there but then I thought maybe they got around me before I could see them or something. Then just before the finish line I figured out what it was. It was my back sign. It was scuffing up against my back.

I had written down my husband's aunt's name on my back sign. She died almost 20 years ago of breast cancer. She was one of those who knew there was something wrong and didn't want to go to the doctor for fear that there really would be something wrong. So it was way too far along to do anything about it by the time she went to the doctor.

Merle Odom was her name.

So about the time I realized that it was my back sign making me think there was someone behind me, it dawned on me that there was someone behind me—Merle. She was running right behind me in the race, I know she was. Then I knew I'd be able to finish and finish strong. And I did!

So what that my finishing time was a bit worse than my first 5K over 8 months ago. So what that my average heart rate was 178 beats per minute. So what that I just about passed out as I crossed the finish line. I did it! And I finished strong knowing that what I was doing was helping us get one step closer to the cure to breast cancer.

I think I'll run in the Race for the Cure every year from now on. It's really the least I can do, right?

If any of you would like to donate to the Susan G. Koman fight to find a cure for breast cancer, here's a link to my fund-raising page. I'm trying to raise $150 to help find a cure. Just click on the "Donate to Cara!" link under my picture to donate online. You can also print out a donation form and mail in your check. Thank you for anything you can give. <3


Saturday, October 24, 2009

From great disappointment to great victory (I hope)...

Weighed in this morning. Very disappointing. I gain one whole pound.

In the grander scheme of things, gaining one pound isn't really that big of a deal. But I tell you, when I saw that "+ 1.0" I wanted to cry! I teared up a bit but quickly calmed myself down.

I know why I gained. That's the part that makes me want to cry.

I've been doing it, every day, for the last year and a half—2 years, 5 months, 12 days—896 days for crying out loud! Why am I NOT at goal by now?!

I sat down the other night and did some horrible math! I mean, the math was correct, but the amount was horrible.

I added all of my losses each week, from Oct 2008 to Oct 2009, and figured out that I've lost a total of 46.8 pounds.

Good huh?

Some would say great!

Here's the kicker...

I then added up all of my gains from each week, during the same date range, and I've gained 49 pounds!

I've spent the last 365 days—every day—counting my points, exercising (off and on), sacrificing (and indulging), paying close attention to everything that goes in my mouth, and I've gained a total of 2.2 pounds over the past year.


I know what to do. I know how to lose weight. Am I just choosing not to?

What the heck!!!???

Look at my weigh in stickers from last year and today as proof positive.

Do you realize if I'd have lost those 47 pounds and kept them off, I'd be 123 pounds right now? Well, okay, so that's WAY to skinny for me. So I could have stopped losing weigh 10-15 pounds ago. Wouldn't that be just darn sweet?!

I want to cry.

But instead...

Here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to beat this. I'm going to win this war against the scale (I know, bad analogy). I've got a 2-part plan.

#1, I just went and dusted off my Weeks 1-10 books from WW (the one's from 2 1/2 years ago, I can't for the life of me find the 2009 books, I think I lost them in the move). I'm going to sit down and read through them—cover to cover—every page. Then I'm going to write down, in my cute little food journal notebook (the one that I didn't write in at all this past week) the basic things I need to do, like the 8 Good Health Guidelines. (We talked about 4 of them in the WW meeting this morning.) So I can focus on exactly what I need to do, every day, and see it in writing in my food journal, every day.

#2, I'm going to move more this week. There were a couple of girls in class who encouraged me to join them at the gym or at a dance class this week. I'm going to email them for starts to see what they're doing, and when, to see if I can join them. I'm going to go with my husband to the gym this coming week, too? I'm thinking 3 evenings this week would be good to start. Then whatever else I can squeeze in.

Those 2 basic things are a LOT! I know. But I know it works. I know, because those two things helped me lose the 100 pounds that I've lost so far. So I know they can help me lose the last 20-25 pounds I have left.

Care to join me? Click the link to read the 8 Good Health Guidelines and move more with me this week. We can do it, right?

Leave me a comment if you want to commit to these 2 things this week. Then we can encourage each other along. Tell me what's going to be the hardest thing for you. For me, it's going to be exercising and getting 3-5 servings of fruits and veggies in every day.

Oh, by the way, I'm running in the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure 5K tomorrow morning. The last 5K I was in, I couldn't finish running, I had to walk. We'll see how this one goes. It'll be a lot cooler this time, so we'll see. Race starts at around 7am, it's supposed to be in the upper 60s then. Wish me luck!


Friday, October 23, 2009

Thinking about giving away something on my blog...

Well folks, I'm not doing too good—again. Again???

I've been having a hard time this week focusing in on my goals. I haven't splurged. I've stayed on points. I've even kept my cravings at bay, but I haven't exercised, not one lick!

I got so mad this morning because my weight is pretty much exactly what it was last week and I couldn't figure out why. I'm drinking my water. I'm eating my points. I'm eating well balanced meals. Plenty of fiber and protein. Veggies. Dairy. Oil. Etc., etc.

But no exercise.

I just can't get motivated to go to the gym or to do a noon-day workout. I can't even get inspired to take the dogs for a walk.

What is up with me???

On a slightly different note, I've been thinking about doing a contest on my blog. I have been given a few products to give away on my blog if I want to. And I want to. But what do you guys think? Do you hate blog contests? Do you love 'em?


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Is it okay to be fat?

I just finished watching the Biggest Loser and was SO sad to see Dina go home. She's been my favorite since the beginning. I don't understand why they voted her off. She wasn't the lowest percentage of weight loss this week. She didn't do or say anything negative to anyone. I'm baffled.

One thing that so touched me, mainly because I can totally identify, was Shay going to the gym once she was at home. She felt so self aware walking around. She said she could feel all the eyes on her all thinking 'what's she doing here' and 'she doesn't belong here'. I know so many of us can identify with that.

For years, that's how I walked through life. I was so embarrassed to be in the skin I was in. I just knew people were always looking at me with disgust. I could feel the judgments just from the quick glances. I became real good at hiding in my own skin. No wonder I developed a horrible self image.

I used to hate it when I would walk up to the end of the line at the grocery store and the person in front of me would instinctively turn around just to see who walked up behind them. It's something quite simple and natural. We all want to be aware of your surroundings. And we've all done it a million times and probably not thought anything of it. But for me, I felt so violated by their quick glance. Because I just knew that quick glance was sizing me up perfectly.

First, they'd see how huge I was, then they'd naturally take a peek at what was in my basket or cart and the first sign of junk food would solidify in their mind why I was a big fat lazy slob. I just knew they were secretly rolling their eyes in disgust at how fat I was and saying 'man, what a pig' or 'no wonder she's as big as a cow, look at all that junk she's buying' or even 'if she wasn't so lazy and she bought healthy food, she wouldn't be as big as a house'.

Now, granted, they probably weren't thinking such horrible things, but it sure felt like it to me. And I think if you look deep inside yourself, you'll see that you've probably had similar (secret) feelings like this yourself whenever you've seen someone who's obese maybe buying junky food or eating horrible food.

Why do we do this? Think about how society as a whole shuns the obese. We look at them as if they've got some sort of contagious disease. 'Don't come around me, you're not cool.' How many kids in school get ridiculed beyond belief because of their size.

Is it because they're different? I know we don't like to be the 'odd man out'. We don't want to be the last one picked. We want to be appreciated and loved by everyone. Is that it?

Or is this some sort of natural preservation type of instinct. Is the reason we look at the obese with such disgust some sort of ingrained thought pattern created so we won't want to be obese ourselves?

I don't know, but I do know that I look at the obese in a WHOLE new light now that I'm not among them any more. I have such empathy for exactly where they are—emotionally and physically.

In fact, every time I see someone who is more than a hundred pounds overweight, my heart goes out to them. I just want to run up to them and say "you can do this, you can lose the weight that I know you so desperately want to do". And then I want to say "here, let me help you." I mean, I did it, right? I just want to whisper in their ear that I've done it and they can too.

Why don't I?

I think I keep thinking back to when I was that size and thinking about how I would react if someone came up to me and dared say "don't you want to lose weight and feel happy and healthy again?". Oh my gosh! I would have been appalled. How dare someone say I am fat! Who the heck do they think they are?! I know that's how I would have taken it. I wouldn't have seen a compassionate arm extended at all.

So I'm left looking at them from a distance and crying inside knowing that they'd be so much happier if they just lost some weight.

Which brings me back to what I first started talking about. Why is it so bad to be fat? Why is it so horrible? I mean, put all medical ailments aside. Because for me, I've always been perfectly healthy—no high blood pressure, no high sugar, no high cholesterol, no joint pains, no nothing. So I'm sure there are many obese people out there exactly like I was. So what's so wrong with being fat? Sure, it looks bad, but why? Why does it look bad to be fat? And why can't we get over this mentality?

I don't think we were meant to get over the instinctual feeling that being fat is bad. I think that's something ingrained in our beings because not everyone is like me—healthy fat. The majority of us have horrible medical problems that we would not have if we weren't fat.

So what about the people who say "be happy in the skin you're in". That can be a completely healthy outlook, right? It sure can help us through a tough time in our lives. But I think there's a big difference between being happy with what we look like and being happy with being fat. I fooled myself with this one for so many years. My husband was always supportive of me no matter what my weight. He said he'd love me no matter how big or small I was. So I took this as my license to be "happy in the skin I was in". I was fooling myself.

I was not happy.

Being fat is not happy. No matter how you twist it or turn it into something else. It's not fun. It's not happy. It's not comfortable.

It's horrible. I don't ever want to be fat again. And if there's anything I can do to help anyone out there to get past that 'happy in the skin you're in' phase they're going through I want to do it. That's one of the main reasons I started this blog. I want to help everyone I can to lose weight. I just can't approach them like I want to. I have to wait for you to come to me.

Is any of this making sense? I sometimes feel like I'm just rambling nonsensical—wax poetic, if you will.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hump day and exercise... a great combination!

This week's been going good, so far. I haven't exercised that much. I had no excuse on Sunday, I should have gone for a bike ride, but I didn't. Monday I woke up with a sore throat and by lunch time I was sporting a mighty fever. I stayed home after lunch and slept the rest of the afternoon. I woke up at around 5:30pm and my fever was gone. Yay! My throat was mildly sore. I went to bed around 10pm and couldn't for the life of me get to sleep.

I tried reading, which usually puts me right to sleep... nothing. I laid there in bed for 2 hours with the lights out listening to soothing music and still couldn't get to sleep. I finally gave up and went into the living room to read some more, still not drowsy. I surfed the net and got caught up on reading all my cupcake blogs that I've been meaning to read for weeks, still not drowsy. I watched an old movie I'd seen before, still not drowsy. I finally went to bed around 6am but still couldn't get to sleep. I texted my boss at 8am to say I wouldn't be in and FINALLY I fell asleep. I slept til around noon then got up and went into work.

So no exercising Monday or Tuesday. Needless to say I was whipped Tuesday night. I was so paranoid that I wouldn't be able to sleep last night that I took one of my husband's Tylenol PMs which put me right out. BUT, I was so horribly groggy until lunch time today.

But I woke up enough to do level #2 of Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred at lunch time. Here's a sample video showing a little bit of all 3 levels. I've spent the last 2 weeks on level 1. This was my first time trying level 2. I think I'm going to need more than 2 weeks to master level 2. Man! It kicked my butt! I couldn't finish. I pooped out about 3 or 4 minutes before cool down. She was doing some wicked tough moves!

I'm going to try it again tomorrow.

I received a package in the mail from Yoplait (pictured) that has a yoga mat (along with a coupon for a free yogurt and a autographed book from Nancy O'Dell, which I'll tell you more about later) that I've been using in my workouts lately. I really love it.

And I don't know about you guys but I love Yoplait yogurt. I tried a new flavor the other day that was outa this world: apple turnover. It was SO good! It was only 2 points and didn't taste fat free at all. Plus it has lots of Vitamin D, which I know I need more of in my diet. Especially now that I've started working out more. The bones in my upper arms had been sore alot lately. I started taking a multivitamin that has lots of Vitamin D in it too and my arms don't hurt as much as they used to.

I'll let you know how my workouts go the rest of the week. Oh, and check back with me because I've decided I'm going to do my first ever contest with a free giveaway. I'll tell you guys the details soon. It should be fun! I've always loved participating in other blog giveaways. Now I'm going to have one of my very own. =D


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Diggin deep and uncovering... me.

Weigh in this morning... I lost 8/10ths of a pound. Not quite the 7 pounds I lost last week, but I'm still just as excited for the 8/10ths as I was for the 7, that's for sure.

Although a small trophy, my 8/10ths trophy was earned from my diligent efforts this week:
  • I tracked everything I ate (in my new cutsie food journal notebook)
  • I exercised 6 times
But the most important thing I did this week was keep it all in perspective. I had a conversation with my (adult) daughter last night to explain what's been going on in my head so far as my attitude towards food lately and it felt good explaining these things out loud.

I feel like I've finally found the keys to the kingdom. I've gone through so many ups and downs since I started this wretched journey 2 1/2 years ago. I've gone from great successes on to subconscious sabotage because I was not worthy of the successes on to total complacency, and finally into my recent bout with the fear that I'll never be able to eat the way I want to for the rest of my life. And it's all brought me to the realization that my love for food isn't going to run my life any more. That was such a hard one to come to terms with.

I mean, first, it's realizing that my food addiction is just that. Now, mind you, I do not throw that phrase around lightly—food addiction. I think some of us use it as a crutch. I know I have for years. It makes it sound so much better when it sounds like it's not our fault that we eat like a cow. If feels good to hide behind an "illness" or something that is beyond our control. But the thing about an addiction—as with all addictions—is that they can be broken. If an alcoholic can quit drinking after 40 years, if a smoker can quit smoking a pack a day since they were 12, then that only leads me to believe that a food addict should be able to break the addiction, right?

My excuse has always been... but how does one break an addiction to food?? It's like telling an alcoholic that they must stop the addiction, but then they have to take one drink three times a day for the rest of their life. But break the addiction! Yea, right! Right?

With an addiction to something that our body needs to survive, it has to be different. It has to move from a physical reaction to the food to a mental, emotional and spiritual response. At least it has to for me.

So first, I had to start looking deep within my soul for exactly what "food addiction" meant to me. I had to put the crutch aside and dig deep to see what my reaction to food is. What is it about food that made me become addicted?

The taste, first and foremost. The texture. The smell. Those were obvious signs.

But what is it about the food that makes me crave it with every breath I take? Start at the beginning... when I first think about the food. I picture it in my head. I imagine what it smells like. I start wondering how satisfied I'll feel once I have it. (By the way, one of the tools you use to lose weight, is to plan ahead. Make smart choices long before the food is in front of you. Difficult to do for me, because that's when the dreaming started. But I'll go on.)

After that, I see the food. It looks amazing because I know how it's going to taste and how my body is going to respond to it. I smell it. I start anticipating it. I want it immediately. Immediately!

Then comes the best part... that first taste. But that was the key point for my discover and ultimate control over the addiction. The taste was the satisfaction part, sure, but I had to sit in that moment for a while. At every first bite, the food first passed my lips and rested on my tongue and I would pause and close my eyes, if even just for a brief second, to relish the taste and sensation and satisfaction. I'd take a deep breath so I could breath in the food at the same time as I was tasting it. I'd feel a complete warmth come over my body. A sensation like no other. A sensation that rivals sexual pleasure. When that warmth comes over my body, I feel it in every pore of my skin, in every cell of my blood, in every sensor I have in my body. The ultimate feeling of intense satisfaction and what I like to call "the world is right again."

This is the place where I was able to meet my addiction head on. This addiction was turning something that God had intended for us as fuel and sustenance into a perverse feeling of pleasure and profound contentment. I was confusing the body's natural reaction to being refueled and re-energized, which provoked the same exact feelings, with an emotional and spiritual reaction. Food was not meant to be an emotional reaction! It was meant to be a physical one.

So then it hit me. Dieting isn't about my body at all. It's not about my physical characteristics. For me, dieting is about, or rather should be about, retraining my body to react as God had intended. For me to turn my feelings and reactions back into physical responses.

Man that was a tough one. I really didn't think it was possible to turn my addiction to food—from which I draw the strength to keep living—back into what it should be, a physical response to nutrients filling my body's needs.

So here I sit, with this newly found realization, which I hope makes sense to you, and what I'm having to do is dig deep with every approaching meal to keep all that I've learned in the front of my head and in perspective. So that before every bite, before my every thought of food, that I remember that the food is to service my body, not my mind, heart or spirit.

It sounds so crazy to think that anyone could have feelings towards food that involve the mind, heart or spirit. I mean, good grief, it's food for crying out loud, it's not a spiritual experience or intellectual interaction or a heartfelt discussion. It's food! Fuel for the body. Sustenance. Nothing more.

So as I was sitting there trying to explain that all to my daughter, it felt good. She was proud of me. I felt so silly for a minute because here she is 20 years old and she already knew all of this. She's never had to deal with any addictions in her life. For me, by the age of 20, I was already fully addicted to food, but I had no clue that I was. But to see her smile at me and be so happy that I've learned this meant the world to me.

Has any of this that I've said make sense to you? Does it sound like alot of hooey? Does it sound like some psychobabble to cover up my overwhelming desires to eat everything in site? Does it sound twisted and nonsensical? Is this just me trying to create a cover up for the real problem—that I love food too much?


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I found some great food...

I don't usually blog just about food, but I had two really good things yesterday that were so yummy and surprisingly low in points.

The first was at lunch. I went to Panera. I had an old stand by—turkey on wheat. But before I went, I looked at their website to see how healthy this is, because you and I know that turkey is turkey, but who knows about the bread or any of the "toppings" that come on it.

The first thing I have to say is that the sandwich was AMAZING!!!! The turkey was so tender and juicy. And it came (99% fat-free) smoked turkey breast, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, spicy mustard, salt and pepper (and I asked for no mayo).

And the bread was STELLAR!! On their website, it showed that they have a whole grain bread. I know, "whole grain" sounds so totally opposite from "stellar", right? Well, this one was the best whole grain bread I've ever had. It tasted like it was fresh out of the oven (which it probably was) and it was so moist and flavorful. It wasn't dry and crumbly. (I'm considering going back there and buying a loaf for my sandwiches at home.)

Best of all, the sandwich was only 5 points!!!

Then for dinner, I tried a WW recipe I've been wanting to try for a while—Chicken Pot Pie. I don't know about you, but I miss chicken pot pie. It used to be such a staple for me. You could get the little frozen pies at the grocery store for less than a dollar and they were so darn yummy!

The recipe was surprisingly easy, though it did take more than the 15 minutes of prep time that was stated at the top of the recipe. And oh my gosh was it yummy! It didn't taste like it was missing anything. Didn't taste low fat or low calories at all.

Best of all, one serving was only 5 points!!!

Though I have to admit, I overindulged and had 2 servings, but it was okay, because I did have 10 points left for dinner. I used a couple of flex points for my fudge bar dessert. :)

Here's the recipe if you guys want to try it. You can substitute the white wine for apple juice, apple cider or chicken or beef broth but I recommend splurging on the wine. I had to buy a bottle because we don't drink white wine and I only spent $6 on the bottle. I'll have it for next time I make this—cause I know I will! Also, I substituted a bag of frozen mixed veggies (peas, carrots and corn) for the carrots, peas and corn the recipe called for. I just cooked them in the microwave for a couple of minutes before adding them to the recipe (that way there wouldn't be any added water). Oh, and I'd also never cooked with Phyllo dough before. It was very good. It came in a long rectangular sheets all rolled up. I had to defrost them on the stove while I was cooking the chicken. Then I laid the dough over top of the casserole and just cut the edges of the rectangle off to the shape of my dish then I just threw the extra pieces on top and it turned out perfect!

Chicken Pot Pie

Partly skimmed evaporated milk makes an excellent replacement for cream-based sauces. Keep a few cans in your kitchen and experiment with it in your favorite creamy recipes.

1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 cups water
1/2 cup wine, dry white
2 cubes chicken bouillon cube, crumbled
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 cup frozen green peas 2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped 3 Tbsp white all-purpose flour
5 oz fat-free evaporated milk
15 1/4 oz canned white corn, drained
6 sheets phyllo dough
  • Place chicken, water, wine and bouillon cubes in a medium pan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook gently, uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Set aside one cup of broth and chop chicken into chunks.

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Coat a deep 8-inch (20cm) pie dish with cooking spray. (I used a medium sized casserole dish and it worked just fine)

  • Microwave carrots and peas for 2 minutes. Drain. Heat oil in a medium nonstick pan, add onions and cook until soft. Stir in flour and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.

  • Remove pan from heat and stir in milk and reserved broth. Return to heat and cook, stirring, until mixture boils and thickens. Add carrots, peas, chicken and corn.

  • Pour chicken into prepared dish. Layer sheets of phyllo over pie, trim edges and press down firmly to seal. Lightly coat with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes, lower temperature to 350ºF (180ºC) and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes more.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Physical? Or emotional, spiritual and intellectual?

Drum roll, please...

I lost 7.2 pounds this week!!!! =D

Can you believe it??? I don't remember if I've ever lost that much in one week.

Now, mind you, I had gained 10.6 pounds since my last official weigh in, two weeks ago. But, in my food journal, I wrote down what I weighed last Saturday morning at home (before I took the no-weigh-in-pass at WW), which was 10.6 pounds more than my weigh from the previous week. (Yes, I gained 10 pounds in ONE WEEK!)

So this week, I "officially" gained 3.2 pounds (documented in WW system), thanks to the no-weigh-in-pass from last week. If I would have weighed in last week, I could have "officially" posted a 7 pound loss... No More No-Weigh-In-Passes for me!!

I still lost the 7 pounds, though.

And you know how I did it?? I went back to to the beginning and did what I did when I first started WW. I journaled everything I ate. Wrote down what exercise I did and didn't do. Tracked my flex points as I used them. I became more active. And I kept my craving demons at bay.

It really was a sweet victory because I focused internally for benchmarks on how I was doing, not focusing on the scale. I don't know if I've ever done that before. I had to get my head straight and think about the weight loss from an emotional and spiritual and intellectual perspective, not a physical one. Weird because weight loss is a physical thing, right?

Well, kinda. It sure has physical results. Tangible. Visual. But I think I'm learning that it is anything BUT physical.

It's all in my head and in my heart. What a revelation, huh?!

I still need to be able to process this new perspective on weight loss. But I'll tell you one thing its doing for me is it's helping me keep my emotional eating in check. Funny, because the topic at WW yesterday was emotional eating. It's like WW is really trying to tell me something. I needed motivation last week, so they talked about motivation. I needed to conquer my emotional eating and they talked about it this week. Cool, huh?

I started out this past week just focusing on one day at a time and one meal at a time. But more importantly, I focused inward on what my heart was saying about the food I was eating and what my mind was thinking about it and I tried to separate the physical responses I was feeling in response to eating or not eating or craving.

Usually, by the end of the week, I've already planned out what I'm going to splurge on on Saturday. At one point, I got a craving for chips and cream cheese (Ruffles chips dipped in cream cheese, mmmmm!). So I set my sights on that. But as the week went on, I couldn't find the excitement about eating the chips. I just kept remembering how the last few times I ate them, they weren't as good as I remembered them. That's separating my emotional and psychological response to food from my physical responses.

That snack used to just bring the world back into balance for me. When I ate them, I'd feel this rush of warmth that would start at my tongue, travel to my brain, then warm my entire body. "Mmmm." or "Ahhhh." is what I'd say. But this past week, I kept trying to envision those feelings and all I could come up with was that the taste wasn't going to cure or fix anything in my body. It would just be a waste of points and calories that I'd have to work really hard to get back off.

So all day yesterday, I kept checking myself whenever a so called "craving" would hit. Nothing I thought of was worth eating. Nothing I thought of eating was worth having to work it back off.

So I didn't splurge.

And I didn't miss it.

I think I'm on to something. :)

I went for a bike ride this morning. First time I've gone for a Sunday morning bike ride in a while.

This whole thing isn't getting any easier, but I'm hoping I'm learning more about myself and I can start to keep it all in perspective a little more.

We'll see. :)