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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry Christmas, now let's weigh in

This weekend we were home most of the weekend.  With the exception of Christmas day when we went to celebrate Christmas with my in-laws we were here.  And there was really one thing that we really did a lot of, and that was eat. Let me give you an example of what I mean.  This is from my journal on Christmas Eve.

2 slices Jennie-O Turkey Bacon
1/2 c. Egg Beaters fried into an omlette with 1 slice WW Reduced Fat singles
1 t. olive oil (to fry the eggs in)

4 oz. cooked pork chops
1 WW Pita Pockets
3 cups grapes
1 WW mini bar

Afternoon Snack:
1 1/2 WW Pita Pockets (baked into chips)
3 oz. Sabra roasted red pepper hummus

5 1/2 oz. Hormel Pork Loin (Mesquite flavor)
2 t. olive oil
1 c. asparagus with 1 oz. freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 serving Frozen Yogurt/Ice Cream treat
5 oz. red wine

Night Snack:
4 oz. Sabra roasted red pepper hummus
1 1/2 WW Pita Pockets (baked into chips)


I went over my daily allowance by 2 points which I thought was really good.  When I got to weigh-in today I wasn't sure how to feel.  Then I stepped on the scale. 

Down 1.8 pounds.  Ok, I'm happy with that!  Especially since I weighed in only four days ago!

I'm 0.6 pounds shy of 60 pounds for the year.  That's a pretty good Christmas present to me.
I know everyone was busy over the holiday so if you missed the few posts that I put out last week, I'm providing links here.

If you want to read about my VA (Veterans Administration) experience/tribute to my dad, click here
To read my thoughts on the weigh-in that I missed, click here
For the final installment in the story of my 4 pairs of jeans or to see pictures of my progress, click here

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Four pairs of Jeans

Taken in Portland at the Oregon Brewers Festival - July 2010
Today as we celebrate Christmas Dan and I will journey to his parents house to celebrate with his side of the family.  We celebrated with my side of the family at Thanksgiving so this holiday has been pleasantly quiet, except for the squeakers of new dog toys.  Anyway, usually my father-in-law takes a picture of the four of us (Dan, me, his sister and her boyfriend) so we have to dress relatively nice.  It's been a few weeks since I tried on the skinniest pair of jeans from my purchase of 4 pairs in 4 different sizes.  The last time I'd not been able to get them to button and I was disappointed.  Today, that was not the case.  Since a few of my friends have asked for me to post a picture of my progress so today I am.  Since I started WW I've lost over 55 pounds and have dropped 5 number sizes and 2 X sizes.  So the funny thing about the 'after' picture is that Briscoe hates the camera.  When you pull it out he will shy away and avoid you until you turn it off.  Apparently not today.
Taken in Pingree Grove at home - December 2010

Merry Christmas everyone.  Lots of love to you all.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Frozen Yogurt Treat

Fruited Yogurt with Ice Cream
WW PointsPlus per serving:  3
Makes 2 servings

6 oz. Weight Watchers Non-fat Plain Yogurt
Fresh fruit to your desire (we used about 1 oz. each fresh blackberries and raspberries)
Blend together until fruit is well mixed in
Pour into two bowls and freeze for about an hour or until slightly frozen

Prior to serving add 1/2 c. of Blue Bunny Fat Free Sugar Free Vanilla ice cream on top.
Additional fruit to garnish

UPDATED - 1/1/2011

If you add 1/2 ounce of crushed pistachios it will add 1 point to each serving
If you add 1 T of Hershey's syrup it will add 1 point to each serving
If you add 1 T of Caramel sauce it will add 1 point to each serving (I'd use chunks of apples with the caramel sauce)
The yogurt is naturally sweeter if you add two really ripe bananas

The desert in the photo is made with frozen blueberries, blackberries, cherries and raspberries (I bought them as a mixed bag) with crushed pistachios in the yogurt mixture and on top for garnish.  I really enjoyed the contrasting textures of the nuts to the yogurt/ice cream.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

I missed a weigh in

So last week I was in Madison with my Mom and Dad while Dad had surgery.  When I got home I had fully intended on going to a meeting and weighing in.  Unfortunately by Wednesday afternoon and evening I had what was the beginning of a very nasty sinus infection.  I didn't end up going to a meeting or even weighing in last week, which was sort of disappointing.  Don't get me wrong, I don't dread the weigh-in... I just don't usually look forward to it.  Well, last week I would have traded my left arm to have gone to the weigh-in instead of having this stupid sinus infection.  Maybe not my left arm... but something for sure.

Anyway ... this week, even though I still felt a little crappy and I didn't have much of a voice I went to the WW location and weighed in.  It's not like I had to sing a song during weigh-in so I really didn't have an excuse!  =) So the receptionist finally got the computer to work and said oh great you lost 1.8 pounds and I was like... hmmm... yeah me.  I don't know why this sort of disappointed me but it did.  I know it was way better than it could have been but when I look back at my weight loss chart this, on average, should have been a pretty big loss week.  So, I wonder what happened.  Maybe the sinus infection/antibiotic took more of a toll than I thought?  Maybe my weight loss trend is changing again.

So then I was reading a blog by the CEO of WW and his plan for Christmas which got me thinking about what my plan would be for Christmas.  I'm hoping that I'll still be able to journal and that I do pretty well.  I'd like to put limits on what I eat but since we are not hosting that's not always practical.  Ideally, I'd be happy to truly enjoy the holidays and the parties we are going to without gaining any weight.  So I guess you'll have to stay tuned to see what I find out at my weigh-in next week!

I'm curious to know, are there any tips or tricks that you are using so you don't go cookie/treat crazy this weekend?  Merry Christmas peeps.  I hope you have fabulous holiday season.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Dad, My Hero

I want to take a short break from talking about my successes and failures and tell you a little story about my week.  Don't worry, I will get back to telling stories to boost my ego and then another story with some deprecating humor soon enough! 

Everyone has people in their lives that really make them who they are.  People they admire for any number of reasons and I am lucky enough to have a father who is not only a fan-freaking-tabulous role model but also my hero.  My dad was drafted into serving in the Army and was sent to Vietnam.  When we were little I remember him bringing out the projector and looking at slides that he projected onto the wall in the living room of his time overseas.  He would tell us a few stories about his time there but not many.  I'm not sure why but at some point he stopped talking about Vietnam or looking at the slides.  I mean he completely stopped.  I remember writing a term paper my sophomore year of high school and it was about Vietnam and I had to pry any information from him.

My Dad has always been the quiet one who sits in the corner listening to the conversation.  He's not interested in being the center of attention so it came as a little bit of a shock when, a few years ago, he started reaching out to the men he served with.  He would spend hours and hours on the phone reconnecting with them.  Then Dad and Mom started attending annual reunions all over the country that one of the men in the unit organized.  A few years ago Dan and I had the opportunity to attend a reunion and we've met several of the men that Dad served with.  It is nothing short of incredible what these men have given of themselves for each of us.  I feel blessed and thankful each time I see or hear from one of them or their family.

Two and a half days of my week this week were spent in Madison while my dad underwent surgery at the Veteran's Administration (VA) Hospital to have two of his four parathyroid glands removed.  Two bonus points for anyone reading who knew what a parathyroid gland was.  Two extra bonus points if you knew there were four of them or as Dan like to say a pair of a pair of parathyroid glands.  Anyway... I've been to government run facilities before, the DMV, post office, etc... and I kind of dread going there.  Add that to the stories that surfaced a few years ago about the VA hospitals and let's just say I was a little sketchy about Dad having surgery there.

I was completely wrong.

The hospital was as I imagined it would be.  It's a large facility that is crammed full of people, equipment and activity.  The space may be limited but the staff really makes the most of it.  The building was clean and well maintained.  The rooms were comfortable and the accommodating.  Everyone that we talked to, both hospital staff and other patient's family members were tremendously kind and welcoming.  We were able to ask what seemed like endless questions and I never, not even once, got the feeling that the doctor was in a hurry and needed to rush off because there was something or someone more important waiting.  The thing that struck me the most was that anyone who came to see him, from nurses to aides to doctors all said one important thing to him before they walked away. 

Thank you for serving.

In this holiday season remember those who have loved ones serving or have lost loved ones in the service.  I know I will. 

Oh, and to my dad and the other guys he served with.  Thank you for serving.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bananas, Grapes and Apples... Oh My!!

With the introduction of the new WW plan last week I've been recalculating and reevaluating our favorite foods.  Following last week's meeting though we immediately hit the grocery store and I stocked up on Honeycrisp apples, bananas and red grapes.  I had eaten these foods before, obviously, but nothing in the quantity that we have in the past week.  I think I bought 6 pounds of bananas last Tuesday night and then I made another trip to the grocery store for more fruit and other items on Friday!  At this point the people in my meeting joked that we should have bought stock in Dole and Chiquita! 

I don't know if my weigh-in today was a result of the new plan or catching up from the last couple of weeks but something made a big difference when I stepped on the scale.  I lost.... (drum roll please...)

4.8 pounds!!!

The lady who was doing the weigh-in (not my normal leader) asked if I wanted to celebrate that?  I looked at her like she'd just spoken Latin to me but I replied politely "of course I do!"  I want to celebrate EVERYTHING!!!  Any loss is good news!

So that's my week.... surprising because we'd gone out to eat for three dinners last week.  I know I didn't make great decisions for everything last week so I guess I'll wait to see what happens next week.

How are you guys doing? 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My thoughts on the new plan

As I've mentioned in previous posts the WW plan changed this past Monday.  So, I've been working on this plan for a little less than a week and I thought I'd weigh in (no pun intended) on it. 


There are somethings that I really wish hadn't changed.  For example, the weight watchers ice cream cones that used to be 2 points are now 4 points.  A pita pocket used to be 1 point and now it's 3 points.  However, I think that it's easy to include the things you love that have gone up in points by substituting in some of the free fruits and vegetables.  That will both fill you up and free up some points for that little treat at the end of the day.

So, for my followers who are also doing WW, what do you think of the new plan?  Are you finding new things you didn't eat before?  Are you struggling?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Recipes Updated

Good Morning Peeps!

You may have heard that the WW program changed this week.  With additional science it became necessary to change the formula that we use to calculate how many Points are in each serving.  The new program is called PointsPlus.  One of the biggest changes is that the amount of calories is no longer part of the calculation.  The reason is that if a banana and one of those 100 calorie packs of chips both have 100 calories are they really equal?  No, of course not.  Many of the Points values of things went up but so did the daily and weekly points allowance.  A few things went down, including most fruits and vegetables.  Because of this change I went through and updated all the recipes that I've blogged so far so they are now listed with the PointsPlus value instead of the old Points value.  Any old references to Points values in individual posts have NOT been updated though.

If you have any questions about the Points values or whatever, post a comment and let me know.  Nothing gets posted to the public until I approve it so if you want to chat with me about something privately, just let me know that and I won't post it.

Have a great day and a banana.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A (New) coat ... and a funny story

I write this blog post because I think that you laugh at my funny little stories as much as I do.  So, first let me say that I was feeling a little inspired today.  I was feeling good, even though weigh-in wasn't great yesterday.  So, when I got out of the shower this morning and looked in the mirror I laughed at myself.  See, about 6 years ago I had an appendectomy because my appendix had ruptured and I had an open appendectomy which resulted in a scar that was about 9 inches long.  I remember this because my sister-in-law had c-section around the same time and we were comparing scars.  But I digress...  Today I noticed that my scar had moved, it appeared that it is now closer to my belly button.  I mean, I knew I was losing weight but the fact that my scar would move was never a thought that would have crossed my mind.  At this point, I literally laughed out loud.  So did my friend Sheri and my mom when I told them.

A little while later I was putting something in the coat closet downstairs where I've had a coat hanging, literally, since we moved here nearly 4 years ago.  The problem is, I haven't worn the coat in probably 5-7 years but I loved it.  It's this really pretty red with black *fur* cuffs and hood.  I think I only wore it for one season and I paid a lot of money for it when I wasn't making a lot of money which is why I kept it. 

Today I decided I wanted to put it on.  And it fit.  My day got better that at point!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Birthday ... but not really

If you know me, and let's face it, if you're reading this you probably know me or know someone who knows me.  Anyway, today is my birthday.  There are two days in my life that I like to thank my parents for having sex, today is one of them.  It usually makes my dad roll his eyes and my mom just laughs.  Anyway... today is my birthday but am committed to my weight loss so I went to weigh-in (+0.6).  Then we went out for dinner.

We went out with some friends of ours to a place that we used to go to at least once a week.  I mention this because I've heard a question over and over again, 'does anyone not know why they are in WW?'  Yeah, the frequency with which we dined at this particular restaurant is certainly one of the reasons.  This place has an amazing beer menu which is why we love it.  The food menu is good, don't get me wrong, but we go for the beer.

Apparently, in the 4 months that I've been doing WW my system has gotten used to not having quite so much fat.  I had spinach-artichoke dip with pita bread as an appetizer and grilled mahi mahi with chili lime rice and asparagus as my entree.  Within an hour after finishing the meal I had visited the bathroom twice.  And the beer is still with me.  Then my husband and I have this little exchange (when we get home):

ME:  If you have to go to the bathroom twice for #2 within an hour of eating do you still have to count points?
D:  Probably only half.
ME:  Holy crap batman.
My friend (via text message as I replayed this exchange for her):  No shit.

My friends and family are hilarious.  At least I think so.
Have a great week peeps!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Last weekend we were in Wisconsin for the weekend for my husband to go hunting and for me to spend time with my Mom.  It was a busy weekend and really our first road trip since trying to lose weight.  My husband will tell you that I'm a junk food junkie.  If we stop to get gas I always want to get something to drink and a snack.  So this road trip was both a test of will and a visit home.  We really tried our best to eat healthy on the road and at home.  So you can imagine my shock when I went to weigh in, after the last two weeks of -.2 and +.4 when the scale said I lost 5.8!!

5.8 pounds??

My leader was shocked and so was I, though pleasantly of course.  Over the 20 weeks we've been doing WW I've lost 51.6 pounds.  In real things, that's like 2.5 bags of dog food.



My birthday is in a few days and this is an awesome birthday present, I think.

Just a reminder, if you haven't read my Holiday Alternative post you might want too, it offers some healthier options to the usual Thanksgiving fare.

I wish you all a very happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving.  I'd love to hear if you come up with any new healthy Thanksgiving traditions or recipes!!  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holiday Alternative

In preparation for the upcoming holidays I was trying to find some weight watchers friendly recipes because when I calculated some of the points values for my family favorite recipes I was shocked.

Typical Pumpkin Pie = 9 points
Are you kidding me?  9 points???  Yikes.

So, here I offer you some alternatives in hopes they might become your new favorites.
I calculated my mom's stuffing recipe and it rings in about 3 points per serving.  This isn't really bad but a 1 point per serving recipe is so much better.  So check out a new stuffing recipe.

Instead of the butter crusted pumpkin pie, which as I said rings in at 9 points per slice see if you can get your family to try the Pumpkin Spice Muffins.  I don't think my family will accept that as an alternative but I'm making them so my husband and I can have them instead of pie.

For those who don't care for pumpkin pie, here's a new caramel apple salad recipe.  This could easily work as a side dish or a desert.  My friend, Sheri, made it last night and it was out of this world delicious.  She didn't put in the pineapple though and I think you could add either coconut or even some toasted walnuts, though that would definitely bump up your points value if you're not careful.

I haven't tried this but I think you could use some leftover turkey to make some 2 point chili.  Just to be sure to weigh the turkey if you're concerned about points value.

I also read that to safely navigate the holidays you should plan to have 2 vegetable or fruit dishes for every non vegetable/fruit dish.  Do you think your Thanksgiving table will be planned like that?

Caramel Apple Salad

Caramel Apple Salad
WW PointsPlus per serving:  2

8 oz. tub of Cool Whip FREE
1 box sugar free instant Butter Scotch Pudding mix
14 oz. can pineapple tidbits in juice
4 large Red Delicious or Fuji Apples (or more)
4 large Granny Smith Apples (or more)

Combine pudding mix and pineapple (with juice) in large bowl. Mix well and set aside. Dice apples into small pieces and combine with pudding mixture. Fold in Cool Whip FREE till well mixed. Chill and serve.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stuffing with Sage and Chives

Stuffing with Sage and Chives
WW PointsPlus per serving:  2

2 t Smart Balance Light Spread Margarine
3 English Muffins, split
5 slices Weight Watchers 100% Whole Wheat Bread
1 spray cooking spray
2 t olive oil
1 c onions, chopped
3 medium stalks celery, chopped
2 t dried thyme
2 t dried sage
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
2 c chicken broth
2 T chives
1 small apple

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Coat a 4 quart shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
Arrange bread cubes on a large ungreased baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake until lightly toasted, about 8-10 minutes.
Remove bread from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil and butter together for 1-2 minutes.
Add onion, apple and celery and saute until soft, about 3 minutes.
Add thyme, salt and pepper, stir to coat.  Cook until herbs are fragrant, about 1 minute.

Transfer onion mixture to large mixing bowl.
Add bread, brother and chives.  Toss to combine.
Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish and cover with foil.
Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake until top is golden brown, about 15 minutes more.

Yields 1 c per serving.

I think this would also be really good if you crisped up some turkey bacon OR with some additional spices such as a poultry seasoning.  If you add two slices of turkey bacon, cooked and chopped it will increase the points per serving to 2.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Travel vs. Plan

On Monday I flew out for meetings in Boston.  It was just a quick trip but one that I did fret about a little bit from a WW perspective.  I tried to plan ahead by taking some Pretzel Crisps (2 points per bag), Chocolate Pretzel Bars (1 point each), honey crisp apples and the standard Crystal Light Iced Tea with me.  Most meals were provided but I was still nervous and I had every right to be.  I've been to IBM conferences before and they are generally not very weight loss friendly.  This was no exception.  There was more fresh fruit available than normal but there are really only so many apples you can eat in a day, right?  Most of the other food served was either fried, in a cream sauce or dessert.  I had enough will power to avoid the dessert table, thank goodness for the 1 point bars! 

I did not have the will power to resist the New England Clam Chowdah however.  I had it for two different meals and I can tell you it was worth every single point.  Though I'm sure that someone is going to need to remind me of that the next time I go to weigh in, which I hope will be tomorrow.

It's really good to be home, especially because our house is really filled with lots of food that is really good for you and good for the program.  Being able to have a meal where you know the exact point value is amazingly refreshing.  I was lucky enough to have some 2 point chili left in the fridge and today was a great day for it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Asian Shrimp with Vegetables

Asian Shrimp with Vegetables
WW PointsPlus per serving:  4

This recipe is based on a recipe that was posted by Weight Watchers, however, we didn't like having so much sauce and Dan wasn't a fan of the sugar snap peas (from the original recipe) so we modified it slightly.  I think this would also be really good with broccoli florets.

2 t canola oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 t fresh ginger root, grated
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 pound shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 c chicken broth, divided
1 T low sodium soy sauce
3/4 t cornstarch
1 c asparagus
1 c bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 t brown sugar

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
Add garlic, ginger, and onion.  Cook, stirring frequently, about 1 minute.
Add bell pepper and asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
Add shrimp, cook until shrimp are almost cooked through and turn pink, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix together 1/4 c broth and cornstarch, stir well to blend.
Add remaining 1/4 c broth and soy sauce.  Stir again.

Pour broth mixture into skillet, scraping up and browned bits with a spoon. 
Stir in red pepper flakes and brown sugar. 
Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens and shrimp are completely cooked, about 2 minutes.
Yields 1 c shrimp-vegetable mixture.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Well I haven't grown

I've tried, hopefully I've been sucessful, to find some common thread or comical story to share with you about what I've learned or how my week went and today is no exception.  Two I actually have two stories to share with you.  It should also be noted that if you don't know my  husband he's kind of got that sense of humor that is pretty dead pan.  If you don't believe me I'll post the video from our wedding when the best man did an impression of him that, to this day, cracks me up every single time.  So... at least you've been warned!

For those who know me outside of work or school know that my daily wardrobe consists of t-shirts and either sporty pants/capris/shorts depending on the season. When I say sporty pants you know what I'm talking about they are like yoga pants but since I've never really done yoga it seems inappropriate to call them that. Now that I think about it given the purpose of this blog it seems slightly inappropriate to call the sporty pants too. Anyway...

At the scrapbook retreat a couple of weekends ago Sheri looked at me and said 'your pants are too big'.  I kind of knew this before she said it because the moment she said that I was currently pulling them up because they were falling down!!  Anyway, the fact that she said this was totally fine because I told her early on that she would have tell me when clothes didn't fit right because I'm a fashion catastrophe and my husband... well... he's no better.  She agreed, as true friends should, though she may have agreed a little too quickly. 

So, I ordered some new ones in varying sizes, same as I did for my jeans.

I put on the largest of the sporty pants I bought and showed my husband who promptly said 'those are too long'.  Which, duh, I was well aware of having stepped on the bottoms twice already. 

The following day, because I do not enjoy trying on clothes, I put on another pair, this time one size smaller than the day before. I was ecstatic! I said to Dan, look I've got little-er pants on to which he again promptly replied, 'those are too long'.

I looked at him and said, 'duh, I'm in a weight loss program not a height gain program.  I haven't gotten taller since yesterday!'

Anyway, I love the fact that I'm ordering smaller clothes and can fit into them.  I'm even going to send back the pants that were the bigger size.  Oh yeah, I really just said that!  Which totally gives Sheri permission to ask make fun of me until I do.

The second thing is that I hit a milestone last night at the weigh-in. 
46 pounds
Yes, I totally get that it's funny I made the font on that BIGGER when I'm trying to make myself SMALLER!  Anyway, this is an excerpt from the meeting last night during the celebrations.

Leader:  And we're celebrating with Jen because she lost 46 pounds
Sheri bursts out laughing
Leader:  Why is that funny?
Sheri:  It just seems odd to celebrate 46 and not 45
Leader:  I just want to give full credit for the 46 pounds
Sheri:  Well were there ounces there because she'll want to celebrate the ounces too
Jen:  Yeah, I will
Leader:  (Laughing) No, it was 46 pounds even.

I thought the whole interaction was pretty funny.

Enjoy your week folks.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Definitely not going anywhere for awhile!

You know the commercials that end... 'not going anywhere for awhile?'
They are promoting a favorite candybar.  Apparently what they meant by it was that after you eat it, you woun't be going anywhere while you work off the calories!  Since Halloween is upon us, and because I love you, here are some helpful tips when you consider digging into your candy stash. 

Candy NameServing SizeWW Points ValueActivity to Work off
Dots12 dots336 minutes of walking   
Hot Tamales20 pieces339 minutes of walking  
Hard candies5 candies230 minutes of walking 
Mike & Ike23 pieces339 minutes of walking   
Laffy Taffy1 Bar441 minutes of walking 
Nerds1 tbsp115 minutes of walking 
Riesen4 pieces428 minutes of walking  
Runts13 pieces115 minutes of walking   
Skittles.25 cup444 minutes of walking  
Starburst8 pieces441 minutes of walking 
Sugar Babies30 pieces446 minutes of walking 
Tootsie Roll6 pieces340 minutes of walking   
Butterscotch Candies3 pieces116 minutes of walking 
Blow Pop1 pop113 minutes of walking   
Dum dum Pops2 pops113 minutes of walking 
Tootsie Roll Pops1 pop115 minutes of walking 
Strawberry Twists3 pieces334 minutes of walking 
Junior Mints16 pieces444 minutes of walking   
Payday Snack Size1 bar223 minutes of walking 
Peanut Butter Cups (42 g)1 package659 minutes of walking 
Reese’s Pieces  (43 g)1 package557 minutes of walking     
Almond Joy Snack Size1 bar223 minutes of walking 
Hershey’s  Kisses9 kisses659 minutes of walking 
Milk Duds13 pieces446 minutes of walking 
Whoppers1 pouch226 minutes of walking  
Peppermint Patties1 pattie341 minutes of walking 
Hershey’s Miniatures5 pieces659 minutes of walking 
Kit Kat4 piece bar557 minutes of walking 
M & M’s.25 cup554 minutes of walking 
Peanut  M & M's.25 cup557 minutes of walking  
Snicker’s (2.07 oz)1 bar772 minutes of walking 
Milky Way (2.05 oz)1 bar667 minutes of walking 
Twix2 cookies772 minutes of walking 
Butterfinger Fun Size1 bar226 minutes of walking 

Maybe instead you should have a cup of my 2 point chili!  You can find the recipe here.

Happy Halloween everyone.

2 Point Chili

Two Point Chili
WW PointsPlus per serving:  3

My Weight Watchers leader shared a recipe for 1 point chili recently.  I was able to twist Sheri's arm into having her mom make it for our scrapbooking weekend.  Judy (Sheri's mom) is pretty awesome in the kitchen, I have to say, because she also made the Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate drizzle for me us.  Anyway... I told Sheri that I loved the chili and that Dan (who is particular about his food) loved it almost as much as I had.  She said she wasn't entirely happy with it because she likes her chili to be chunkier.  This got me to thinking ... and playing around in the recipe builder on the WW eTools.  The 1 point per cup chili has now become 2 points per cup chili.  What do you think?

56 oz. canned crushed tomatoes
2 medium zucchini, diced
2 medium yellow squash
30 oz. fat-free beef broth
3 large stalks celery, diced
30 oz. canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 large green peppers, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 medium vidalia onions, diced
20 oz. Turkey, 93% lean, cooked
15 oz. kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz. Cannellini (white) beans, rinsed and drained

Chili Powder, Cumin, and Garlic Powder to taste (or use a packet of chili seasoning)

Once you've got the turkey browned, throw everything in the crockpot and cook it until the vegetables are at the right tenderness for you.  High for about 4-5 hours is good, if you put it on low it can go much longer since the turkey is already cooked it's perfectly fine.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pride is apparently low fat/low calorie

Luckily this week I swallowed my pride.  For those who maybe missed a post or two, let's recap.  Two weeks ago I was down 6.2 pounds and last week I was up 6.4 pounds.

This week I was anxious, to say the least, to go to my weigh in.  Fortunately, if for my self esteem alone, I made my leader's jaw drop, again.  This week I am down 5.4 pounds.

I'd gotten to the meeting/weigh-in early so I had a minute to talk to my leader.  She congratulated me on my weight loss and I said I was relieved because I was down.  I explained about last week and the week before so I was nervous about the weigh-in this week.  Someone said this at the meeting last night, if you go through the effort of any sort of weight loss regimen and then you weigh in and you've gained you feel like you failed.  Why, with all the yummy food out there, would you want to do that?

I also told my leader that I very nearly didn't come to weigh in this week.  I told her that I was still determined to work the plan, just not sure about the weigh-in.  She said that's normal and that it's ok to feel like that.  There is another person at the 'office' where we go for meetings and her name is Pat.  I spoke to Pat about the loss/gain/loss and she said maybe that's your pattern.

I thought.... Huh?

She said that some people get into a weight loss pattern like this so there is nothing to get disappointed or nervous about. 

I thought.... Ok, maybe.  This hasn't been my pattern so far, but maybe my body is still getting into the pattern and I should relax a little.  This, of course, is so much easier said than done.

So, this was apparently a good week but somehow it still doesn't necessarily feel like it.  I'll keep working on that.  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

No celebrating this week...

This weightloss thing isn't about one individual week.

I'm going to repeat this to myself at various times throughout the week because last night we went to our weigh-in.  The results were not good.


Ugh.  What was I saying?  Oh yes, this weightloss thing isn't about one individual week.

Ok, anyway... There isn't even a good reason for this other than I ate deliciously flavored, full fat crap this weekend.  When I started WW, Dan entered a competition at work to see who could lose the most weight (based on a percentage of starting weight) and he said that when the competition was over he was going to get wings and shrimps to celebrate.  So we did.  The good news is that I counted the points.  The bad news is that Hooters buffalo shrimp and Buffalo Wild Wings wings are full of points.  I normally try not to use my weekly allowance, you know those extra 35 points they give you to use throughout the week, but last week I did.  I used all but 4 of them.

So, this week will be more about vegetables and fruit.  Getting more activity into my day and hopefully losing what I've gained. 

Also trying to stay positive would be a good but you can only make so many changes!  :)

Monday, October 18, 2010


I like to shop online because I do not like crowds, I get a little panicky if there are too many people around.  I also don't like pushy sales people.  This makes shopping online for many things, especially clothes, very convenient.  I am, however, not so good about returning things that I do not like or that don't fit properly.  I've been getting better about this but traditionally, I'm not so good at it.

This is where my great fortune happens to come into play this week.  About two years ago (I think, maybe it was last year, I don't know for sure) I bought a Chicago Bears sweatshirt.  It is really nice, looks like it's been worn for years but it didn't quite fit.  I said to myself, I'm not going to send this back because someday I'll be able to fit into it and it'll look great.  Apparently, that day is today.

Today, my bestie Sheri and I are going to stamp camp and I was looking for a sweatshirt to wear in case it was cold where we are going.  I thought to myself, just try on that sweatshirt and see, who knows?  Well.... it fit.  How awesome is that?  I also pulled out the third pair of jeans in my 'I'm going to order 4 pairs of jeans all in different sizes' to see if I was close to fitting into the next smallest size.  Apparently, I'm on a roll because those fit too.  The work towards weight loss is really paying off!!!

Though I suppose this also means that I only have one more pair of pants to fit into so I'd better start looking around for new pants again.  :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I went to my weigh-in meeting tonight, stepped on the scale and I watched the jaw of my leader hit the floor.  She was shocked and so was I.

When I go to the weigh-in I usually forget what my previous weight was because the scale at my house isn't the same as the WW scale, when I weigh at home throughout the week I track more with the +/- of weight than I do with the actual number.  This week I made a point of checking my tracker while waiting in line.

Did the scale really say that? 
The shock registered on my face.
My leader said, oh my god you hit 10%! 
She then high-fived me which was awesome because that's how I roll.
The loss this week was 6.2 pounds.

I texted Dan to tell him the loss and his response:  HOLY RAVIOLI!!

So the other thing I like to do is put the weight into realistic things.  Like, I lost five pounds so that's a bag of sugar.  Twenty pounds was a bag of dog food.  So, this week when I looked at the weight tracker I thought.... hmmm... that's TWO BAGS of dog food. 

And yes, while I was thinking about this I was screaming in my head (hence the capital letters).

So, I finally got my key chain.  I put my 25 pound charm on it and can't wait to get more charms.

When doing the celebrations my leader always asks something like do you have any inspiration or words of wisdom for the others?  I thought... not really.  I'm still fat.  I'm not as fat as I was and that's a good thing.  Apparently, I wasn't thinking about it at this point because I actually said that out loud.  I said, I'm sorry if that's offensive to others but that's why I'm here, the rest of you are fine.  You can celebrate my 10% by having a cookie!

See, I have to make myself accountable for my actions, both past and present in order for this to be a lifestyle change instead of a diet.  If I'm accountable for this the same way I'm accountable for paying the Com-Ed bill or the water bill, then I feel like I don't have to work at it quite so hard.  Or maybe the time is just starting to make these things more familiar to me.  Either way, I've learned good habits.  I'm happy. 

Someone remind me of this the next time I have a bad week, ok?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I think my body is 'winterizing'

I spent several hours this weekend with my friend Sheri doing some crafty work.  Sheri, coincidentally, is also a member of the Fatties Unite Tonight and one of my besties.  Anyway... she made a comment and I'm still stuck on it two days later.  She said something about the fact that she felt like she was eating more the last few days.

As I said, I've had this stuck in my head for a few days because I've been wondering if when the weather changes if our eating habits change?  The weather where I live in Illinois has gotten colder in recent days.  When it was warmer and sunny I felt like I was hungry for fruits and vegetables all the time.  Now that the weather has turned towards fall I feel like I'm more hungry for heartier meals.  Pastas, chili, stews etc...

Coincidentally, this was one of the topics at our meeting tonight and apparently it's more common than I thought.  People do start craving the homey comfort foods rather than the summertime fruits that we've so carefully added to our daily meal plans.  So,  what kinds of foods are you craving this time of year was the question posed at the meeting.  The first answer was sweets to which my leader, who is awesome by the way, replied I have a great trick for you.  Take an apple and slice it, sprinkle it with cinnamon and sweetener (e.g. splenda, truvia, etc... whatever your fancy) and then microwave it a little.  It's not quite pie but it is a homey comfort and it'll help use up all those apples that you'd been stocking up on.

Now I know that Sheri is cringing when I say this but this is the time of year when I pull the crock pot out from the back of the island where it's been since last winter.  See, Sheri is an avid crock pot cooker, and having THREE of them she can make a professional chef blush with the tasty vittles she cooks up.  She also likes any recipe that has 5 ingredients or less, preferably if it can be made in said crockpot.  Anyway, this is the time of year when the stews and soups start sounding really good.  So, besides a vegetable soup which is generally low in points, what are other ideas of low points or low cal/low fat that I can make?

C'mon... help a fattie out with some recipes or websites that have good ideas!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Imitation is - well it's delicioius!

I have an older sister, Brenda, who I have always looked up to.  Brenda has done an amazing job of managing her weight and she runs half marathons which makes me a little jealous but mostly uber proud.  Anyway, I have always looked up to my big sister and a couple of years ago Dan and I were at Brenda and Alex's house and they were telling us about this program they were part of called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). 
Essentially, local farms sell a 'share' of the farm.  You, as the shareholder, get a portion of what they grow.  I thought this was really cool so I looked into it the night we got home but I missed the deadline to sign up for that year.  So, I checked it out again this spring and found one that looked like they delivered a good variety of produce.  The farm is called Angelic Organics and it is located in Caledonia, IL.  I also did a quick google search on the farm and the CSA and I couldn't find any negative comments about it.  So, we signed up for a 12-week share of vegetables and a 6-week share of fruit.

This meant that beginning in August every week we pick up a box of vegetables and every other week we also pick up a box of fruit.  The farm that we use delivers a bunch of boxes all over the area and even into Chicago.  This was one of the selling points for me, convenience!  In addition to that nifty convenience, our CSA writes a blog post for each vegetable delivery and each fruit delivery so that you can know what you're getting.  They also offer a 'trade' box so that if there is something that you don't like you can leave it for someone else and/or take something that someone else has left. 

Our first vegetable and fruit box!!
Before the first week that we picked up food, we received a package in the mail from the CSA.  EUREKA!  The farm wrote a cookbook based on the vegetables they grow and share with their consumers.  Each item has several recipes but it also gives storage instructions and even some interesting stories from the farm.  For those who don't know me well, I love cookbooks.  I love reading them, I love looking at the pictures I really love everything about them.  So, this cookbook was right up my alley and now I was doubly excited to get our first box.

We have been delighted with our vegetables and uber delighted with our fruit.  I've purchased a few other fruit items in addition to what we've gotten in our box and I've always been tremendously disappointed in that fruit.  All of the items we get from our CSA have been so ripe and delicious.  In all of the produce that we've gotten during our time with the farm, we've only had two mis-steps.  The first was a smushed tomato that got in the way of a watermelon and the second was a box of figs that were moldy.  I was disappointed, but the rest of the delivery was fantastic.  I mean, yum times a thousand!

Anyway, this is my way of saying THANK YOU to Brenda and Alex for inspiring us to invest in our neighbors, in their farm, and especially in our health by joining the CSA.  If you can join a CSA, you should really consider it.  The produce you'll receive is way better than what you can find in the local grocery store.

Do you have any interest in joining a CSA?  You should probably check them out now because if you wait until spring it might be too late.  You can start your search for a local CSA here.  If you're currently a member or you join one I'd love to hear your thoughts on your experience.  I'd also love to hear any recipes that you've whipped up as a result of your fresh vegetables.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Pumpkin Spice Muffin
WW PointsPlus per serving:  2

1 Spiced Cake mix
1 can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling, just pumpkin)

Mix both ingredients together, pour into 24 muffin cups
Bake @ 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tomato-Basil Salad

Tomato-Basil Salad (Serves 4)
WW PointsPlus per serving:  2

2 large tomato(es), 1 red and 1 yellow, heirloom or beefsteak, thinly sliced    
1/4 cup(s) onion(s), sweet-variety, very thinly sliced    
4 tsp olive oil, extra-virgin    
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste    
1/2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped, or 1/4 tsp dried oregano    
20 leaves basil, fresh OR 1/2 tsp dried basil

To make each salad, arrange 1/4 of tomato slices on a salad plate and top with1/4 of onions. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of oil and season to taste with salt and pepper; crumble a pinch of oregano over top.
Let stand at room temperature at least 10 minutes for flavors to develop. Just before serving, sprinkle with basil. Yields 1 salad per serving.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Two bad things and a good thing

A few weeks ago my bestie Sheri told me that my pants were noticeably too big.  Like really big.  So, I went out and ordered four new pairs of jeans in different sizes.   I did this both as a reward for losing 20 pounds and a goal to keep going.  That and I had a coupon for 40% off!  I opened the biggest (which was still smaller than any of the pants that I currently have) pair and wore them a few times.... including on Oktoberfest, then I threw them in the laundry pile.

I had lunch plans with my friend Judy today.  I was so excited because I haven't seen her in awhile.  So, I took a bunch of laundry downstairs including the aforementioned pair of jeans.  When it was time to go I went to the dryer and pulled out a pair of jeans and then realized I knew what the 'thunk-thunk' was while the dryer was running.

I'd left my pedometer on my pants.


But I had to get going so I took the pedometer off the pants and felt in the pockets to make sure they were dry.  Then I looked at the pants and found a hole on the back thigh.  Seriously?  I'd only worn these pants a few times, literally.


What made this even worse was that I was afraid I didn't have any other pants that fit.  I went upstairs and found the next biggest pair of pants I had.  The same style jeans but one size smaller.  I pulled them out thinking that these probably wouldn't fit but I had to at least try.  So, you can imagine my absolute shock when I put them on and was able to zip and button them.  I had to go look in the mirror and make sure I hadn't split the pants or something, but nope, they fit.  They were maybe even a little bit too big. 


This was one of those things that was a major victory to me.
So I ask you - what do you do to celebrate these kinds of victories?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go try on my other smaller pants and see what happens!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Celebrating Oktoberfest

One of the hardest parts of changing my lifestyle is monitoring and limiting my intake of good craft beer.  This is especially hard because my husband is an award winning home brewer.  Some people are like, well gees, who cares?  If you've had really good craft beer, you would.  Some people have coffee or a snack that they absolutely have to have but for me it's a nice glass of beer.

After we got married everyone kept telling us that they had so much fun at our wedding reception.  When people keep telling you this, how can you not think about having another party?  Maybe not as big and maybe without such formal clothes but we wanted to get together with those we loved most and have a good time.  This lead us to the decision that we'd combine our desire for a party with Dan's ability to brew good beer.

This also brings us to the major challenge of the week.  On Sunday we celebrated our fourth annual McTews Oktoberfest.  We had seven different home brewed beers on tap, food catered from Der Rathskeller in Rockford and soft pretzels from Austrian Bakery & Deli in Chicago.  The day was awesome.  We had about 30 people here and we ate and drank like fools.  Ok, maybe the eating and drinking like a fool was just me.  I planned in advance that it would essentially be a bad weekend.  I wanted to enjoy myself and not really worry about food.

When I got my plate I thought I was very conservative.  I only took a small amount of sausage, about a half cup of sauerkraut, a half cup of lyonaise potatoes and some fresh vegetables and dip.  The beer is kind of where the wheels came off the bus.  First off, I didn't realize that plastic cups came in 18 oz. size.  Secondly, I don't remember how many beers I had.  So, journaling my food/drink for Saturday became much more difficult than I had hoped.

Things only got a little bit worse on Sunday because we had left overs.  And the food was really good.  I guess maybe my lifestyle change hasn't quite settled in enough to get me through the soft pretzels and Sunday left overs.

I know that tomorrow is another day and that I didn't put the weight on in one weekend so I can't expect it to come off in one weekend.  So, now we get back on the bus and start again.

The one good thing that came out of the weekend was the time I got to spend with one of my besties, Krissy.  We talked about WW, my journey and she asked me why I wasn't blogging about this because others may find comfort or inspiration in the things I've learned and humor in the stupid things I've done.  So, on Sunday night I started this blog.  I went back through my journal and wrote posts for all the weeks since I started and now we're really in present time so... let's enjoy the ride I guess!  I'll blog about my weight management goals, achievements and failures but I'll probably also throw in some other fun stuff too.  I hope you enjoy this and I hope that you'll participate through the comments section to let me know what you think.

I was kind of dreading weigh-in this week both because of the party as well as the pre-party party that we had on Friday night with our besties Jeremy & Krissy.  I was tremendously surprised, and there are witnesses who will attest to my surprise, when the scale said I lost 3.6 pounds.  The woman who was doing the weigh in said, 3.6 that's great.  My response?


Yep - and I've got the sticker in my weigh-in journal to prove it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Busy weekends

This weekend was a scrapbook retreat weekend.  This means that on Friday morning I pack up all my scrapbook supplies, drive to McHenry and spend the weekend laughing and scrapbooking with a great group of women.  It also very likely means that I don't leave the hotel until late Sunday afternoon.  This hasn't been a problem before but I've never been on WW and gone to a retreat at the same time.  This was going to be an interesting weekend and an interesting weigh-in.

As it turned out, I was exhausted on Tuesday and decided that with my FUT sisters we would not go weigh in.  Not only was I tired I was also worried that after last week's big 0 in the change department that I would either have the same result and be the exact same weight again or I'd actually have gained.  I love the hostess of our retreats and she did a fantabulous job of trying to make sure the food that was offered as fairly healthy but just because it's healthy doesn't mean you can eat 6 of them!

So, I spoke to my Mom on Thursday night and she asked how my week went because she knows I go to Tuesday meetings.  Oh great, a guilt trip from Mom.  Nope, I hadn't gone and when I spoke to her I was on my way to go grocery shopping.  This would be a good mix for sure, right?

I decided at the last minute that I'd at least go weigh-in.  I wouldn't stay for the meeting but at least I could weigh-in for the week and be done with it.  So, when I stepped on the scale I really thought there was something wrong.  Did the scale really just say that I'd lost 4.8 pounds?  Really?

It did.  I have the sticker in my meeting log that proves it.  HOLY CRAP!  That's awesome!  When you have those losses, it also makes it easier to go to the grocery store and focus on all the good stuff rather than that brownie you've really been thinking about!