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November 2014

Weight Watchers Wednesday: Vegetables!

Down just about 2 pounds since Friday's weigh-in, so I'm good with that. I am elbow deep in Thanksgiving prep so I've gotta keep this short.

Kitchen mayhem
Just a little of my kitchen mayhem right now.

I'm making a bunch of side dishes to go with the hubby's barbecued turkey, and the vast majority of the ingredients are vegetables. I've got acorn squash, brussels sprouts, parsnips, corn (I know, it's a starch), and the stuffing is loaded with kale. I also made two cranberry dishes and I'm about to make Devin Alexander's Pumped-Up Pumpkin Pie Bites.

I like what my Weight Watchers leader keeps reminding us -- it's just one meal. But that meal, if loaded down with traditional dishes, can top 3,000 calories. Mine won't. It'll still be really yummy but people won't feel like they need to take a nap after they eat.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to clean 3 pounds of brussels sprouts!



Weight Watchers Friday: Stop, look and listen

STOP: I'm not even going to dwell on the fact that those STUPID 3 pounds came back this week. Perhaps it was my lead-lined workout pants, maybe it was water retention, muscle weight gain, perhaps it was the random things that found their way into my mouth (I'm guessing that).

All I know is I need to figure this out and fast.

LOOK: So I did a little detective work, peering into my Withings scale readings and online food journals. I hunted down the time I was at my lowest current weight (this past March) to see a pattern in my eating. Here's what I found:

  • A smoothie just about every morning that included protein, healthy fats and a serving of fruit.
  • A big salad at lunch, with protein, a couple servings of healthy fats and some fruit alongside it.
  • Snacks of around 150-200 calories in the afternoon and in the mid morning.
  • Dinners that included protein, a small starchy serving and vegetables.
  • And no evening snacking.

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Now, who the hell knows whether I was writing everything down. All I know is I weighed 9 pounds less than I do now, so I'm going to go back to those meals because, obviously, something was working then.

LISTEN: About 5 minutes after I got back from Weight Watchers, I got a phone call.

"I'm going to rejoin Weight Watchers," my sister said.

That was completely unexpected. She's had a lot going on, with her recent condo purchase, moving and fixing up said condo. Not to mention working a job and a half and being a divorced mom of two teenagers. I decided I was going to work on my own ish before sticking my fingers in anyone else's business, so I haven't been talking to her about weight or going to the gym or anything like that. I didn't even ask what prompted her to rejoin Weight Watchers. All I said was "Cool!"

We (OK, I) used to be very competitive about weight with her, but this time around, I think that instead of making it a contest, I'm going to make it all about mutual support. I go on Wednesday mornings and she's planning on going Sunday mornings, and since I have a monthly pass I can go as many times a week as I want, so I'll be joining her at Our Lady of Perpetual Kale Chips for Sunday morning services. 

Strength in numbers and all that.


Weight Watchers Wednesday: I am a big, weasly baby

I didn't go today. Instead, I decided to give myself a couple more "good" days and weigh in Friday morning after I go to the gym. 

I really should have just sucked it up (and sucked) and gone today but I somehow I knew it wouldn't be a "good" week on the scale.

Speaking of the scale, I don't get on mine very often (I'm leaving that up to the nice front-desk lady at Weight Watchers) but I did this morning and was down a pound from the last time I got on the scale. But what really bothered me was that my fat mass and lean mass are going in crappy directions -- fat up, muscle down. That has me concerned. 

But it's not uncommon -- I recently read this blog post from Precision Nutrition, and I think THIS is what's going on.There's also THIS article from Coach Calorie. I'm putting a bigger focus on exercising and less of a focus on really clean eating.

The exercise makes me healthier -- my knees don't bother me at all anymore, I can push super-heavy furniture across my house by myself, my resting pulse rate is in the low 60s and my blood pressure isn't something that elicits concerned looks from the nurse at the doctor's office anymore, but it's just not helping me lose weight.

So while I'm going to continue exercising FOR HEALTH, I need to focus on the quality of my food.

Just because I pounded down 11 points of rice crackers on Monday and logged every one of them doesn't mean I'm going to lose weight eating those zero-fiber yummies.

Todays breakfast
Yeah, carbs. I love them. But today I made myself an avocado omelet with an egg, a quarter cup of Egg Beaters and half an avocado with a squirt of sriracha. I paired it with fresh raspberries -- not cereal, not a muffin. Not starchy at all and still really good. But that's not what I usually do for meals -- my instinct is to carb it up and add some protein. I have to start thinking differently. 

Not to get too down on myself but I am a big, weasly baby in not going to Weight Watchers today and not wanting to clean up my eating. 

I have been choosing fruit over snack bars more often than not but I'm still reaching for those "easy foods" more than I'd like. And it's apparent that when I eat more unprocessed food I do better on the scale.

And water? I'm barely drinking it at all. So tonight I'm sitting here writing this with a Camelbak bottle next to me and I'm not going to bed until it's gone.


I'll be back on Friday with another Weight Watchers update.

Tunes for Tuesday: Danger Zone, by Kenny Loggins

There's a very specific reason I chose this week's song. I have entered my own personal PMS danger zone, which, given my age, can either last a week, a month or two months! It has tripped me up in months past, but I'm on to you, crazy hormones! Not this month! I just got back from a 4-mile walk and I'm going to increase my water and decrease my sodium until this nonsense resolves itself.


Weight Watchers Wednesday: The tiny snowball

OK, I rolled up a tiny snowball this week -- a 4-ounce snowball to be exact. But it's a quarter pound down and it's about right. There was still a lot of lazy meal planning and forgetful food journaling, so this week the goal is to make the snowball bigger by:

  • Planning my meals BEFORE I eat them instead of eating, going "Oh, crap, 12 Points!" and then tracking.
  • Drinking more water and waterlike substances. I got a little better this week but still not nearly enough.
  • Going to bed before midnight. Going to bed before midnight. GOING TO BED BEFORE MIDNIGHT!!! (I need reinforcing.)
  • Enjoying the cooler weather with more outdoor walks.

OK, that's enough for this week. If I were to actually DO all these things and do them consistently, the weight loss will continue.

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Is consistency a problem for you? (It is for me.)

Tunes for Tuesday: Shake it Off/Aerobics Mashup

Have you seen the Taylor Swift song "Shake it Off" mashed up with the 1988 National Aerobics Championship video? It sprung up last week and is hilarious. I was trying to find a version of this video that wouldn't self destruct on YouTube because, apparently, the one that first made waves was yanked from the Internet. I was really into those Crystal Light Aerobics Championship VHS tapes back in the day and owned a few of them. Yes, I drank a lot of Crystal Light, wore a lot of silly aerobics outfits and did a lot of aerobics in scrunchy socks.

Greetings from Mom-Land

I've sorta taken my eye off the diet-and-exercise ball this past week -- or maybe I pulled my head out of my ass -- and it felt nice not to obsess.

I've been doing a lot of mom/wife/home stuff and the diet and exercise have been on auto pilot, but a good kind of auto pilot. 

I was feeling a little beaten up from the gym lately so I've done more walking, stretching and functional fitness (furniture moving, anyone?) and my body seemed to appreciate the break by not being sore all the time. 

And that review of the barre workout videos? Don't worry, it's coming. It's just that when the weather cools off, I take every advantage of exercising outdoors. 

Plantation preserve
I mean, c'mon! Who can resist a walk in a nature preserve?

That beautiful place is a nature preserve that wraps around the city golf course. I haven't been there since the teenager stopped taking golf lessons, so I took advantage of the glorious day and drove over to enjoy it for a few miles.

And then Thursday, Friday and Saturday was Band Mom time. Thursday was an early-release day from school, so the teenager had me stuff him and a few of his friends into my car and bring them over for 5 hours before marching band practice. Friday was the final football game of the year, and Saturday was an all-day marching competition up in Palm Beach County. I had been doing a three-day jumpstart plan that came with the new Nutri-Ninja blender (more on that later!), but I had to abandon it Saturday since I wasn't home all day. But I did stop for a really good matcha green tea smoothie at Jamba Juice and stowed a Larabar Uber bar in my purse for the afternoon so my eating was good.

It even stayed clean Saturday night after I got back from the band competition for a date night with the husband at our favorite sports bar (Bokamper's) that happens to have really good food. All I wanted to do was stick my face in a giant bowl of salad, and Bokamper's has a Key West salad with grilled chicken that fit the bill. It also had fresh fruit and a light sprinkling of dried cranberries, blue cheese and pecans.

I spent most of Sunday hooking up the TV components back together in a new cabinet, and I'm not sure how'd you classify it but it was like a sadistic yoga workout. Lots of twisting, floorwork, stretching around things and, of course, swearing. But I got everything hooked up correctly on the first try! So it was worth it.

And I had a total non-scale victory on Thursday -- I pushed a gigantic, early 1990s-era home entertainment center out of the den and into the hallway without injuring anything! I felt really strong and felt like all the time pushing heavy stuff around at the gym was paying off in real life.

I didn't really have a spare moment to overthink what I was eating or doing for exercise, and it felt pretty good. I got back on the wagon today and hopefully my brain vacation won't derail anything on the scale Wednesday.


Weight Watchers Wednesday: Get fresh(er)

Gained a pound this week but I'm not surprised at all. I'll sum it up for you:

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Halloween candy.

Even though I was counting the points (yep, I really was!), apparently candy is not conducive to weight loss.

I still have a net loss from when I started last month but it's pretty darn tiny.

So this week is all about cleaning up my eating.

This morning, for example, instead of grabbing a 100-calorie protein bar with my mug of tea to eat during the Weight Watchers meeting, I took my tea and grabbed an apple instead. It served the same purpose and it was a fresher choice.

Sometimes I just get lazy with my food, reaching for protein bars or cheese sticks instead of fruits and vegetables. Don't get me wrong, I still get plenty of fruit and vegetable servings throughout the day, but I could do better.

So while I gained that pound, I'm not concerned about it because I know it was a "processed pound" and all this week I'll be reaching for more fruits, vegetables and other less processed foods.

Just watch -- it'll be gone next week and hopefully it'll take some friends with it.