Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Reaching goal doesn't mean I'm cured

In the past whenever I tried to lose weight I went into it thinking that I needed to lose X pounds by X date or before a wedding or other event.  It shouldn't be surprising that I felt like a failure when it didn't happen exactly that way and then I'd quit.  This time when I joined Weight Watchers I didn't have it in my brain that I'd lose a certain amount of weight by a certain date.  In fact, I never thought that I'd actually stick with the plan.  Frankly, I thought it'd be something fun that my friends, Sheri & Bri, and I could all do together.  And it was, don't get me wrong but I really made an effort to actually resist thinking about what would happen if/when I reached my goal weight.

The struggle is worth it
I think this was helpful along the way because had I focused on the number 215 pounds I would have quit.  That's A LOT of weight to lose, especially in the beginning when you're just trying to lose those first 5-10 pounds or so.  However, now I find myself struggling to maintain the weight that I lost.  I realize that I am not cured - weight problems aren't like other addictions where you can just avoid the trigger.  I mean, no one says to an alcoholic to go ahead and just have one drink per day.  I know that I don't want to perpetually live in a state of "scale is boss" but right now I am.  I am still slightly above my goal weight and that frustrates me.

It actually made me stop and think that if I had a member or a friend ask for advice on what they should do when it hit me.  I'd been half ass-ing my workouts after spending the majority of 2013 training for one half marathon or another.  I considered this time to be true recovery for my muscles and my brain because come January when training starts again in full force I will be ready.  So far I have 4 half marathons on the schedule, though I haven't registered for any of them officially but I know that I'll be training for a long time so this recovery time is also important to me.

In addition to training for what seemed like the majority of 2013 I became a little more relaxed with the food and portions but when I stopped training I didn't change the way I was eating.  So, the last few weeks I've been struggling to get back on track.  I changed my tracker back to the "lose weight" setting rather than maintaining and dropped my DPT from 28 to 26 in an attempt to lose the 10 pounds that have crept on since early November.  It seems to be working but just reinforces the notion that I will always have to be diligent about what, and how much, I eat and drink.  Especially during the holidays when there are so many temptations around every corner.

How are you going to manage the temptations around the Holidays?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Holiday Gift Ideas

This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Koss.

I was crafting this post when I received an email from a co-worker who knew I was a runner.  She is shopping for a gift for a runner friend of hers and wanted some advice.  It was at that moment that I realized I needed to finish this post since the holidays are already upon us!  Here are a few fabulous ideas of things I'd like to find under my tree or in my stocking...

KOSS Fit Series Headphones.  This is a perfect gift for the active woman in your life.  Koss’ female designers teamed-up with Gold Medalist Dara Torres to create the world’s first headphones designed specifically for women, by women. They come in Fit Clips (as seen to the left) and Fit Buds (no over the ear piece).

I was lucky enough to receive these from KOSS as part of my Fitfluential Ambassadorship and I've been wearing these headphones all week while working out and am in LOVE with them.  They come in a bunch of different colors including coral, mint, blue, lime and purple.  In addition to the fun colors they are comfortable (they come with 3 different cushion sizes), sweat resistant, don't fall out and, best of all, the sound quality is AMAZING!  Find them at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Walgreens, Kmart or Sears.

For those who are looking to buy some clothes for that special runner girl in your life look no further. Swirlgear is an all-woman, local (to me, at least) company that I found via social media a few months ago.  I own the Pink Running Hoodie and the Pink Cap Sleeve T-shirt.  I wore the T-shirt during the hot summer months while training for a couple different half marathons and was amazed at how cool it kept me.  I wore the hoodie during the half marathon last month.  The temperature dropped pretty rapidly in the days before the race and I was worried about what I had planned on wearing.  Well, the hoodie kept me warm while we were waiting to start and kept me cool (and mostly dry) while I was running.  I sweat heavily so I was also worried that I'd get cold during the race as the hoodie wicked away my sweat.  It wasn't until the last 1-2 miles that I actually started feeling cold so I consider that a major victory.  You can purchase Swirlgear online and if you use code 936 during check out you'll get free ground shipping on your purchase!

Another product that I absolutely love and rarely (if ever) run without is a Bondi Band.  As I said, I sweat pretty heavily and I hate having sweat roll into my eyes so back when I started getting active I read a lot of blog posts about these bands.  I decided to try them out and found it to be the perfect solution to my sweaty problem.  I like them because the band is wide enough that I can use it to cover my ears/keep me warm on cool days or tuck it behind my ears on the hot days.  The bands have a backing that helps them stay put so it doesn't move around while I'm running.  You can buy these bands online or at some local running stores.  They now come in fleece headbands and I'm thinking I need to add that to my collection for these cold, midwestern winter runs!

I keep drooling over the Erica Sara Designs website but haven't added anything to my collection yet.  Maybe Santa will read this post and put some in my stocking!  I love the 13.1 necklace or the Say It Do It bracelet but I think all of the designs are gorgeous!

I think any or all of these items would inspire and encourage you to log a few miles or hit the gym.  What's on your wish list?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Healthy Snacks

Last month we talked about slowing down and sipping water between bites.  I have a hard time with that routine but will continue to work on it this month.  I feel like I have extra time to continue working on this routine because I already have the December routine perfected.

The other day I ended up taking my car to the shop because the check engine light was flashing.  I'd packed a couple of things to take with me and I was certainly glad that I did.  What I hoped would only be an hour or so of work ended up being more than three hours.  I know that had I been sitting there without a snack I would have either gotten something out of the vending machine or tried to eat nothing until I got home at which point I would eat everything.

This has become my routine.  Whenever I leave the house I think about how long I will be gone and where I'll be going.  Depending on the amount of time I might just take water.  Yes, water can be a snack because sometimes dehydration will fool us into think we're hungry.  If I know I'll be out awhile I'll usually take water and a snack.  Generally, my snack will be an apple because they are one of the more durable fruits that I can toss in my bag.  If I know I'll be out for a significant amount of time I'll either pack a couple of snacks, including some protein.

How do you deal with being out and about and realizing that you're hungry?  Do you pack a healthy snack before you leave the house?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My "Why To"

We spend a lot of time talking about the "how" of weight loss.  In the Weight Watchers meeting rooms we're exposed to new routines and we try to build new, healthy habits.  Some of them are easy to adopt - Pack a Snack?  Yes, please.  If you've been around me for more than a couple of hours you know that I likely have an apple (and probably a granola bar) in my bag, just in case.  Slowing down while eating by putting my fork down and sipping water between bites?  That one is a little trickier to adopt, though I keep trying.

The topic this week seems to bring things full circle though by asking us to think about the "Why To" side of the question.  Why to lose weight...  I mean, obviously I want to be healthier than I was before I started Weight Watchers but the truth of the matter is that I'm overall just happier.  Was it hard to change my habits?  You bet, change IS hard, but it gets easier.  But you know what's even harder?  Staying the same and being unhappy and missing out on doing things that you want to do.

Considering all of the temptations we'll have in front of us not only this week but in the coming weeks I thought I'd share my list and see what you guys have come up with?  Do you keep your list somewhere close by to remind you why you're doing this despite all of the temptation we face?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanksgiving Plan

If you're hosting Thanksgiving are you planning your meal yet?  Last year, about midway through the turkey roasting, my brother asked about pie at which point Dad exclaimed that he'd forgotten to make it and quickly busied himself making a blueberry pie.  Aside from the last minute pie making I really do like to plan because I know that it helps me stay on program and feel in control.

My fantastic father .... making pie
Since we are just over a week away from Thanksgiving I realized that I probably needed to get moving on a plan.  I like plans and luckily for me most of the menu will be very similar to last year.  Some of it will be prepared before Thanksgiving day (roasted vegetables) and simply reheated before dinner.  This makes Thanksgiving day much less stressful that is for sure.

I know there will be other food temptations throughout the weekend and I am going to allow myself to eat/drink for the Thanksgiving meal with minimal measuring and then get right back on plan.  I'm also planning on logging some running and hiking miles to make up for any indulgences.

Do you think we'll have enough food?  There'll be 5 of us!  :)

What is your Thanksgiving plan?  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A moment to reflect

Nearing the finish line - Dec 2012
On Sunday some of my Team Challenge Family took to the streets of Las Vegas in the race and city where I made my half marathon debut!  As I saw Tweets and Facebook posts with pictures I got a little jealous that they were running this race and I wasn't.  I mean, this race wasn't on my race schedule for this year and I wasn't trained but there is a part of me that really wished I'd been on the team flight, at the hotel and hanging out with some of my most favorite people.

Nearing the finish line - November 2013
But I wasn't.  I was at home and using social media to stalk the people I knew who were running the race when it hit me about how far I've come.  I've come a long way when it comes to running, to weight loss and to just changing my life for the better in the last few years.

I mean, can you believe that this is the same person in both of these race photos?  When I was getting close to the finish line in Las Vegas last year I could barely run.  I made the effort seen in this photo because Coach B told me that I had to run or at least look like I was running for the photo op.  This was not that last time she's told me that, but I digress!  When I ran in Lake Mills earlier this month I walked through my water stops and for about a half mile closer to the end but I had an absolutely amazing race.

Maybe it's the time of year (as we close in on Thanksgiving) that I feel the need to reflect and I feel eternally grateful for all the people who have helped and supported me along the way of this crazy journey.

Have you made any realizations about how far you've come on your journey?  Well.... share it with me!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


When I began this journey back in 2010 I started reading healthy living blogs.  When I began most of the blogs I read were focused on healthy eating.  As I got active I started looking for blogs that talked about being active.  One of my favorite blogs, Losing Weight in the City, covered both.  Theodora, the blog creator, lost 50+ pounds and is a repeat marathoner.  I find her tremendously inspiring and love following her journey.  As I read her blog posts she talked about training for races and referenced her half marathon (or marathon) race pace.  I always got a little jealous of that and wondered what my half marathon race pace would be.

A new favorite photo
Dan and I before the Tyranena Beer Run
Dan PR'd the 1/6th Barrel Race
I PR'd the half marathon
The other day I was talking to Dan about an upcoming 5K that we're both going to run.  He told me that he wanted to run a certain pace and that he needed to train so he could maintain it.  At one point I asked him if he wanted me to pace him and he immediately dismissed the idea saying that he thought I would want to run faster.  After a little more discussion his opinion changed and he thought maybe that would be a good idea.  He said that he wanted to run a 10:00/mi and wondered if I could do that?  I said, sure, that's my half marathon race pace.


I don't always seem to maintain it throughout the half marathon but I'm certainly getting better at it.  And to be honest, this journey is all about progress and not about perfection, right?

I am making progress in the weight loss arena as well.  I was pretty happy to step on the scale and have lost 4.2 pounds this week.  I'm still above my goal weight but I'm working on it.

Have you realized that you now "have" something that you never thought you'd have?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Your inner voice

When I began my weight loss journey I thought that it was a competition.  A competition between my friends or the other members of my meeting group.  Then I realized it wasn't a competition with others, but rather a competition with myself.  At various times throughout this journey (and on long runs during half marathon training) there is voice inside me that tells me to quit.  

When things get hard and I just want to binge eat the voice tells me to go ahead.  

When I'm at mile 9 and my toes hurt the voice tells me to stop running and walk awhile.  

Except, I know that there is more inside me than that voice.  I know that I want more from myself and that means that I have to ignore that little voice.  I have to push past the craving and the painful toes and just keep going.

As it turns out this week is no exception.  I'm not sure what happened but when I stepped on the scale yesterday I was MORTIFIED.  I gained EIGHT POINT SIX (yes, yelling for emphasis cause it's 8.6 freaking pounds!) pounds in one week!  I'm hoping it's some strange hormonal thing or that I'm retaining every ounce of water I've been drinking to rehydrate since my half marathon.

Either way I have changed the voice inside my head.  I know that the effort it will take to lose that weight will be hard but I also know that it'll be worth it.  So... I'm back on track.  Back to tracking every single bite, lick and taste.

How do you push past that voice?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

RACE RECAP: Tyranena Beer Run 1/2 Barrel (Half Marathon)

We drove up to Lake Mills, WI yesterday (Saturday) morning.  It's about a two hour drive and since we could only pick up our packets the morning of the race and the race didn't start until 11:30 am we had plenty of time to eat a healthy breakfast, pack up and get on the road by 7:45 am.  Soon we were pulling into the Kwik Trip in Lake Mills to grab some more water and then we headed over to Tyranena Brewing Company.  We parked, picked up our packets and beer and walked back to the car to get everything ready that we needed for our races.  I was running the half marathon and Dan ran the 1/6 Barrel (aka 4.37 miles) race.

Dan and Me
I had packed a peanut butter sandwich (since it'd have been a few hours since we ate breakfast) to snack on pre-race as well as a banana and I enjoyed those while we sat in the warm car.  Shortly after that my sister sent me a text message to let me know they were there so we gathered up our stuff and headed to the tent. It wasn't long and they were calling for runners to come to the starting line.  Either people didn't want to come out of the tent or no one wanted to be up front so I stood toward the front and had plenty of room to warm-up while we waited for the official start.  We sang the anthem, got last minute starting instructions and were off.

While running these hills I was suddenly thankful
that I'd run hills in Idaho and at our weekly
fun runs in Deer Grove!

Going into almost any race I'm nervous.  I'm nervous for a number of reasons and so I sent a text message to my running friends (Coach B, Naomi & Kim) and received a massive outpouring of support and what they sent me is what stuck in my head the entire race.  I'd trained for this day and I was prepared.  This, no matter what the course was like, is what I'd spent months training for.

I'd reviewed the elevation chart last week so I knew there would be hills.  This was one of the bits of advice that Coach B gave me.  To run strong up the hills because I was trained for them and she was right.  There were a few that made me doubt whether I'd be able to run all the way up but I kept reminding myself that I was just out for a fun run and that I had trained for this.

I think I spent a lot more time enjoying the scenery of this race than any other I'd run before.  The leaves were in full color change making the views positively spectacular!   While we ran through the town of Lake Mills there were spectators here and there but once we left the city and headed out on the country roads the course support got more sparse.  I think my one actual complaint about the race had to do with the first two water stations - they seemed woefully understaffed and had no cups filled as I ran past.  I was thankful that I was carrying my own water at those moments so I could just keep trucking along.

Best damn cheer squad
L-R:  Paula, Mark & Brenda
I remember feeling really good up through mile 8 or 9 where I saw my sister cheering on runners.  I was happy to report that I'd been running the entire time except for the few breaks I'd taken to drink from my water bottle and eat the dates I brought for fuel.  Just after I saw her I came up to the last water stop.  I stopped to refill my water bottle to ensure I'd have enough to get me through the finish.  At this point I realized that I'd started slowing down... I went from a sub 10:xx/mile average to 10:2X/mile average but I knew I was still far ahead of my PR pace and I rationalized that if this pace felt good that I should continue at this pace so that I'd be able to run the entire race.

On the elevation chart it doesn't look big but my toes (which always hurt after about 8 miles) hurt, and my knee was bothering me and I just .... I don't know.  I just felt the need to walk a little bit.  At first I told myself I'd only walk two minutes and before I realized what had happened I'd walked about a half mile.  I knew I had to start running again or my muscles would continue to get tighter and I wouldn't be able to run.  So, I ran.  Slowly.  And suddenly these crazy people on the sidewalk screamed my name.  It took me what seemed like forever to realize they were my cousins Mark and Paula!

I was so tempted to walk a bit again but knowing that people I knew were watching me made me keep
The runners
L-R:  Alex, Kristi, me, Dan
running.  I got about a quarter of a mile up the road and I thought about walking again and then I saw Kristi who told me that the finish was just up around the bend.  And now I couldn't walk because there was someone else watching me!  As I turned the corner I could see the finish line.  Then I saw Dan and Brenda.  As I made the final turn I saw the finish line and I'm not sure where the burst of energy came from but I hauled it across the finish line.  I saw the clock as I crossed and as my feet hit the timing mat the tears hit my cheeks.  I had just hit a HUGE personal record.

My previous PR was 2:28:24
My new PR is 2:18:23

That's a full TEN MINUTES off my previous time!  I'm still shocked.

So, as far as my goals... let's review:
  • Run the entire race
    • So close... but not quite.  
  • Begin Slow
    • Yes!  I definitely consider this a success.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
    • Yes!  While I fueled appropriately I still felt dehydrated at the end of the day but I also realize that I ran a half marathon so that's to be expected.
I consider this half marathon to have been a complete success.  I truly appreciate all the advice and support I got from family, friends and fellow runners.  You all have no idea how much your words carried me through the miles and built my confidence.  I loved every single minute of this race and will definitely run this race again.

Who's in for next year?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Thoughts pre-Tyranena Beer Run

My first half marathon!
Tomorrow I'll toe the line of my last half marathon of 2013 in Lake Mills, Wisconsin at the Tyranena Beer Run.  The mental craziness started pretty much 9 days ago when I could start stalking the weather.  At the time the weather report was predicting 15 mph winds.  Yeah, pretty sure that's enough to make you want to cry for your mommy after 10 miles, in my opinion.  Since then they've changed it to be 8 mph winds gusting to 15 so I'm really hoping that the gusting is a tailwind.

While I've completed the half marathon distance before the distance is still a little daunting.  The majority of the long runs I had during this training season have gone really well so I'm going to try to channel in on those positive feelings when my mental energy starts to wane.

The other courses I've run have been promoted as fast and flat courses.  This course is not promoted as flat so I'm really hoping that I'm trained well enough to handle the hills.  I'm pretty sure that the Coach B voice in my head will quote Christopher (her son) and tell me to pound my legs into the hill and climb it strongly, or something like that.  

I read a tweet this morning that seemed like it was meant just for me, but more likely for the tens of thousands running the New York City Marathon this weekend.

So... my goals:

  • Run the entire race
    • Of course I really want to be able to run the entire race.  That is except for the short breaks when I have to stop to drink since I can't seem to do that without choking if I'm running.  
  • Begin Slow
    • I'm hoping to be smarter about this race than any of the others I've done - going out slower than I normally would in order to conserve energy for the final miles.  
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
    • Fueling at pre-determined times to keep my hydration levels up so that I don't get dehydrated, again
So who else is racing this weekend?  Any tips?

If you're in the Lake Mills, Wisconsin area c'mon out and cheer me on.  I'll be sporting my usual Team Challenge singlet!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Weight Loss/Maintenance Tool Box

Have you ever stopped to think about the tools you keep in your weight loss/maintenance tool box?  No, well, take a minute to think about it, we'll wait...  Ok, done thinking?  What'd you come up with?

While listening to the discussion at a few meetings this week the obvious ones were thrown out.  Tools like measuring and tracking, planning menus/shopping lists, and using the recipe builder were hot topics.  A few other ideas included the weeklies, cookbooks and eTools.

How about considering your internal tools?  Sometimes we forget that only we can hold ourselves accountable for what we eat and what we do.  For example, have a really bad meal and feel like not tracking it?  Sure, it's probably not the most idea situation but your very next choice could put you back on track.  So maybe instead of feeling like you've blown it so you might as well give up on weight loss how about learning from the situation.  Try to learn that no matter how big of a mistake the meal was you're still healthier than you were before.  I think it's also helpful to remember that it'll never be easier to get back on track than if you start as soon as possible.

On the flip side are you also prepared to celebrate your accomplishments?  Realizing how far you've come, whether you are new to weight loss or whether you've been maintaining your weight loss for years you have to celebrate your accomplishments in a healthy way.  Maybe we should spend some time thinking about this as well!

What kind of tools do you rely on?  How about ways to celebrate your accomplishments?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween Alternatives

When I was a kid I liked Halloween because I'd get to go trick or treating but living in the country meant a limited candy haul.  As I got older and had my own apartment/house I enjoyed Halloween because it meant I got to buy the candy and would stock up.  I mean STOCK. UP.  I hate to think how much candy I bought let alone how much I bought that never made it into the hands of kids.

The first year I was on Weight Watchers, back in 2010, I still bought candy but tried to limit it to things I didn't like but we ended up with a huge amount of candy left over.  This became a major temptation so after that first year I stopped buying candy for Halloween.  Instead, I bought small trinkets to hand out.  I'd buy a Halloween themed pencils, toys, notepads or activity books.  So, if you're looking for a few alternative ideas here you go:

Halloween Whistles
Bat Wing Clappers
Bouncing Ball Assortment
Glow in the Dark Necklaces
Halloween Stickers
Glow in the Dark Pumpkin Face Stickers

If you're still considering stocking up on candy you can use this list as a handy guide to PointsPlus values.
Snack/Candy Name Serving Size PointsPlus Value
100 Grand Fun Size 2 Bars 5
3 Musketeers Candy Bars, Fun Size 3 Bars 5
3 Musketeers Candy Bars, Mini Size 7 Pieces 5
Almond Joy Milk Chocolate Bar Snack Size 1 Bar 2
Baby Ruth, Fun Size 1 Bar 2
Bit-O-Honey 1 Piece 1
Brach's Candy Corn 20 pieces 4
Butterfinger Candy, Fun Size 2 Pouches 4
Butterfinger, Fun Size 1 Bar 3
Butterfingers Candy crème Fun Size 2 Bars 6
Butterfingers Wafers Fun Size 2 Bars 6
Charms Blow Pop 1 Piece 2
Cheetos Crunchy Halloween Treat Size 1 Pouch 3
Crunch Bar, Fun Size 1 Bar 2
Crunch Crispy Wafers, Chocolate crème, Fun Size 2 Bars 5
Dots, Fun Size 1 Box 2
Goldfish Baked Snacks Brownie Grahams OR Cheddar Crackers 1 Pouch 1
Heath Candy Bar, Snack Size 3 Pieces 7
Hershey's Bliss, Caramel OR Milk Chocolate 6 Pieces 6
Hershey's Cookies & Cream, Snack Size 3 Bars 5
Hershey's Kisses (any flavor) 9 Pieces 6
Hershey's Milk Chocolate 3 Pieces 6
Hershey's Miniatures (any flavor) 5 Pieces 6
Jolly Rancher Caramel Apple Lollipops 1 Piece 1
Jolly Rancher Lollipops, Original Flavors 1 Piece 2
Junior Mints Caramels, Snack Size 2 Boxes 4
Junior Mints Creamy Mints, in Pure Chocolate, Snack Size 1 Box 2
Kit Kat Crisp Wafers 3 Items 6
Kit Kat, Snack Size 3 – 2 Piece Bars 6
Lemonheads, Fun Size 1 Pouch 1
Lifesavers Big Ring Gummies 4 Pieces 3
M&M's Chocolate Candies – Milk Chocolate, Fun Size 1 Pouch 2
M&M's Chocolate Candies – Peanut Butter, Fun Size 2 Packs 5
M&M's Chocolate Candies – Peanut, Fun Size 1 Pouch 3
Milk Duds Candy, Snack Size 3 Boxes 4
Milky Way Candy Bars, Mini, Caramel Apple 5 Pieces 5
Milky Way Candy Bars, Simply Caramel, Fun Size 1 Bar 3
Mounds Bars, Fun Size 1 Bar 3
Mounds Bars, Snack Size 1 Bar 2
PayDay, Fun Size 1 Bar 3
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups 2 Cups 6
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures 5 Pieces 6
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Minis 2 Packages 5
Reese's Pieces 51 Pieces 5
Reese's Pieces, Snack Size 1 Pouch 3
Skittles (Original Fruit), Fun Size 1 Pouch 2
Snicker's Candies Peanut Butter Squared, Fun Size 1 Bar 4
Snicker's Candy Bar Pumpkins 1 Pumpkin 4
Snicker's Candy Bar, Fun Size 2 Bars 5
Snyder's of Hanover Pretzels Snack Sack 1 Packet 1
Spooky Nerds 1 Box 1
Starburst FaveReds 8 pieces 4
Take 5 Candy, Snack Size 2 Pieces 6
Tootsie Fruit Rolls 8 pieces 4
Tootsie Roll Midgees 13 pieces 4
Tootsie Roll Snack Bars 2 Bars 3
Twix Cookie Bars Fun Size 1 Cookie 2
Twizzler's Candies Snack Size 5 Pieces 4
Whoppers Malted Milk Balls, Snack Size 1 Pouch 3
York Peppermint Patties Snack Size 1 Piece 2
If you want to donate leftover Halloween candy:
Compiled October 2013 @
How are you planning on handling Halloween to stay on plan?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

RECIPE: Cranberry Orange Scones

Cranberry Orange Scones
Cranberry Orange Scones

Points Plus Value Per Serving:  3
Makes:  12 scones

I have been absolutely delighted that fresh cranberries are back on store shelves!  I love the flavor of cranberries and oranges together because it reminds me of baking with Mom.  Unfortunately, Mom's muffin recipe isn't exactly Weight Watchers friendly, yet.  I'm going to try making it over this week or next but until then I got my cranberry orange fix with this scone recipe.

2 c all-purpose flour (Use whole wheat flour to kick up the nutrition a bit)
1/2 bag fresh cranberries, picked over
1 T. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. table salt
1/4 c sugar (I used Stevia)
1/4 c. egg substitute
1 c. fat free buttermilk (see note below to make buttermilk)
1/4 c. low calorie butter, melted (I used Brummel & Brown)
Zest and juice of one large orange

Mix 1 T vinegar or lemon juice + fat-free milk to make 1 cup & let stand for 10 minutes = 1 cup fat-free buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Coat a baking sheet with non-fat cooking spray or parchment paper
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except cranberries together until mixed well.
Fold in cranberries.
Drop 12 equal two-inch mounds of batter on prepared baking sheet about 1-inch apart.
Bake until tops just start to turn golden, about 12 to 15 minutes.

These are wonderful fresh out of the oven.  They are also fabulous if you toast them briefly to warm them and make them a little crispy, again.

Sometimes I'm a moron

I know how much you guys love to hear my stories about how stupid I can be so here is one to chalk up to the old "duh" category.  For those that don't know I have been hired by Weight Watchers as a Receptionist and Leader.  A couple of months ago my Territory Manager (aka my boss) asked if I'd ever done the Simply Filling technique.  I told her that I hadn't and she strongly encouraged me to give it a try so I promptly went home and looked up some Power Foods.

For those that don't know the Simply Filling technique is a program where you eat Power Foods (fresh/frozen fruits and vegetables, lean protein, fat free dairy, etc..) until you are satisfied and then you stop. Any indulgences are subtracted from your 49 Weekly Points Allowance.
The trick with this program is that you have to listen to your body signals.  I believe that this is a skill I've never truly mastered and one of the reasons that I needed Weight Watchers in the first place.

When I started looking at the list of Power Foods I was amazed at the Whole Grain/Reduced Calorie breads that are listed as Power Foods.  As I was following the PointsPlus Plan I'd eat a maximum of one serving of bread per day, usually for breakfast.  When I started following the Simply Filling technique I decided that my indulgences would be whole wheat english muffins with a little honey (oh goodness they are delicious, aren't they?) and soon I was eating at least one or two more servings of "bread" every day.  When I track my PointsPlus values 3 PointsPlus per english muffin seems like an indulgence (4 PointsPlus with a little honey) so I'm not sure why I thought I could/should eat this every day.

After a few weeks of Simply Filling and watching the scale climb I decided to go back to tracking my PointsPlus values and I lost the weight, again.  However, I don't like being defeated so I'm trying the Simply Filling technique, again, but being smarter about what (and how much) I'm eating.

Have you tried Simply Filling?  Any thoughts?

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Have you been to a Weight Watchers meeting this week?  If you have you might know that this week we are talking about making small changes and if you have been reading this blog for more than five seconds you'll know that this is quite possibly one of my most favorite tips to sustained weight loss.  The problem is, it's not flashy and it doesn't necessarily result in big or immediate losses.

On the other hand making what might seem like laughably small changes can be the key to sustained success.  When I started Weight Watchers back in July of 2010 if I only let myself think about the total amount of weight I needed to lose for about eight and a half seconds.  After that I focused on the smaller goals and making small changes so that I wouldn't get overwhelmed and so that I could change the routines and behaviors that had become so ingrained in me over the years.

When you think about behaviors, something you've done for years, changing the way you perform the behavior may be easy at first because it's new and exciting but after a week or more life sort of takes over and work gets busy or the family is demanding more and more of your time and soon you're falling into the routines and behaviors that feel comfortable, aka your old behaviors, because they are easy.

However, if you make small changes to build new routines and behaviors then even when life gets busy you are well on your way to continuing on with your new healthy routines and healthier behaviors.  That said, don't distress if you still revert back to old habits from time to time.  The key is to get back into your new behaviors as soon as you can.  You can also make small changes even while in the midst of your unhealthy behaviors.  Realizing that you've made an unhealthy choice is the first step.  Then get right back on track with your next food/activity choice which can put you back in control of your weight loss.

What small changes have you made recently or are you planning on making?