Thursday, October 28, 2010

Weekly Weigh-In and Hot 100 Update

Today was a good weigh-in day.

First off, my WW buddy got her second 5-pound sticker PLUS her super-duper 5%!  Way to go!  I'm realizing how much better it is attending with somebody who is also really committed to this.  Celebrating each of these pounds and fractions of pounds that comes off just makes me want to keep going and not give up.

Then after she got her sticker prizes, I scored this little beauty...
Another 5-pound star!

As well as this!
10% Keychain!
I'm now down a total of 22.4 pounds.  Just 47.6 more to go before I hit my Weight Watchers goal!  I realize that sounds like a lot (and it is), but I'm almost a third of the way there.  Not too shabby!

How about a Hot 100 update?  You got it!

1.  Lose 15-plus pounds by the end of the year / end of the challenge.  I'm down 7.4 pounds from the start of the Hot 100.  This means I'm about halfway to my goal of losing an extra 15 during this challenge.

2.  Get more sleep.  It's always a struggle, but I'm still doing better.  Not perfect by any means.  Last night I actually turned off the light and went to bed right when I felt a little sleepy.  My husband wasn't even in bed yet, and I rarely do that.  I'm like a big heat-seeking lizard or something.  Need my warm fella to curl up next to.

3.  Start taking vitamins.  I was just about to go off on how amazing I am at #3 on my list, when I realized that for the first time I forgot to take my supplements today!  Well, other than today, I've got this one in the bag!

4.  Make a plan for eating and exercising over the holidays and stick to it.  Still have not purchased Halloween candy for the trick-or-treaters.  After this week's binge on candy corn, I realize I cannot be trusted with any kind of candy products of any form.  In fact, I'm a little concerned I might start wolfing down those spider rings I bought for trick-or-treaters if I'm not careful.  No, they're not SUPPOSED to be edible, but you should have seen me going after that candy corn!

Be good, and do good, my friends!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Betcha Can't Eat Just One

Yesterday I fouled up.

Here's what did it:

Candy Corn 5lb

Feeling festive, I bought a bag of candy corn.  I don't normally keep treats like this in the house anymore, and this is one of those items that only comes out once a year.  "It's for the kids," I told myself.  Apparently, I lie to myself on a regular basis.

I realize there are worse things in the world, but I shouldn't have eaten as many as I did.  On a positive note, I wrote down the calories, calculated the Points, and went light on the rest of the day.  This enabled me to stay within my calorie range for the day, despite having about three servings of tri-colored sweetness.

Who said, "A calorie is a calorie, no matter what the food is"?  I'm gonna have to call B.S. on that.  As far as weight loss/gain, I might not argue the point.  However, by last night, I felt gross from all the sugar.  Had I enjoyed 480 calories worth of, say, apples or veggies or almonds, I don't think I would have felt the same as I did after 480 calories of corn-shaped sugar and corn syrup.

My plan for today is this:

Eat my regular breakfast and lunch.
One or two SMALL, healthy snacks between lunch and dinner.
Extra water.
Lean dinner.
Nothing after 6:00 PM.

I weigh in tomorrow at noon.  Hope I haven't blown it.  I've exercised more in the past two weeks than I normally ever do, so at least I know I'm doing something good for my heart.

I will be very diligent today and might try to come in a couple hundred calories below my norm.  I'm not going to starve by doing this for one day.  Tomorrow I will resume my regular pattern.

This is a good reminder to me that I need to be more careful with my environment, especially around the holidays.  I make it far too easy to set myself up with excuses during these months.  I really convinced myself that candy corn would be a safe bet, since it's not chocolate.  Clearly, I'm not that picky in how I blast sugar into my system.  Good to know!

Anyone else have a Halloween food item that triggers overeating?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Queen B

The birthday party I attended was at Queen B's English Tea Room.  It's in this old house which is filled with shelves and shelves bursting with antique teapots and cups and little knickknacks, all of it for sale.  The tables are right in the midst of all these items, and it's very cozy.  In the mood to be a little silly? Queen B's has loads of hats and boas and lacy gloves to add to your "posh afternoon."

The Tea - About ten of us ladies shared the day's celebration for our friend.  We each had our own little pot of tea, which we poured through strainers into our floral cups.  I chose vanilla, but the choices were endless.  There was Summer (fruity), Winter (spicy), Gunpowder (a strong green tea), and Chocolate (yep, chocolate), just to name a few.
The food - Wonderful and abundant food, with choices from soup and salad and sandwiches to more traditional English fare.  Then I had one little treat and put it in my food journal.  Still stayed within my calorie range for the day!  However, I must admit that despite my wee indulgence, I showed incredible restraint while sitting in front of this:
The gifts - We were instructed not to bring gifts.  I always feel a little funny about this, for some reason, but I obeyed the request.  At one point, the birthday girl said that she wanted to let us know that we had already given her gifts.  She then presented each of us with a slip of paper containing her account of ways our friendship had blessed her.  Each was specific to the recipient.  I thought this was such a sweet gesture and was a real celebration of friendship.  

The bonus - In the central area of Queen B's is a little shop with British items for sale.  I'm sure it's actually a lovely product, but I had to snap a picture of this item that caught my attention purely for its interesting name.
Cheerio, loves!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hot 100 Update

My update for the Hot 100 Challenge:

1.  Lose 15-plus pounds by the end of the year / end of the challenge.  I missed my weigh-in yesterday, as explained in my last post, but I am still down according to my scales.  Not going to count it until it's on my "official" WW scales though.  But I'm on track to make my 15 pounds during the challenge, for a total of at least 30 total by the end of the year!

2.  Get more sleep.  After a comment from Dr. Fatty Finds Fitness on my last Hot 100 update, I really see the value of sleep and am determined to do better.  So every night (except last night), I've gotten to bed earlier.  I'd still like to get to bed even 30 minutes earlier each night, and I'll get there.  Feeling better already.  Thanks, Dr. F!

3.  Start taking vitamins.  I continue to choke down a fistful of supplements daily, including a couple for my joints.

4.  Make a plan for eating and exercising over the holidays and stick to it.  Still have not purchased Halloween candy for the trick-or-treaters.  Planning to wait until the last minute and then to purchase candy I don't like (if such a candy exists).  Or I might just forgo candy altogether in lieu of these other treats I've gotten.  So far I'm stocking up on spider rings, scary pencils, orange and black bracelets, and mini-size Play-Doh to give out.  Better for the kiddos too, right?

Don't get weak now, Hotties!  We're just now starting up that hill of holiday temptations, so now is the time to pick it up!

Weekly Weigh-In

I'm on my way to a birthday lunch for a friend, so I will miss my official Weight Watchers weigh-in today.  I knew all week I wouldn't make it to my meeting today.  I could have slacked off and done some sneaky eating this week, hoping to make up for it by the next weigh-in.  But did I do that?  Hell no, people!  I didn't want to lose my momentum this week just for some curly fries.  I weighed at home, but I don't officially count it until I weigh at the meeting.  However, my home scale showed -1.8 for the week.  Not too bad.  I didn't work out as much as I could have, so that's my goal for this coming week.

P90X, by the way, is not as scary as you might think.  Yesterday we did the workout for arms, as well as the Ab Ripper X.  Okay, the Ab Ripper is pretty brutal, and my arms are really sore today, but you do what you can.  I'm going to be a total badass with some major brute strength when I'm done.  Or at the very least I will be able to do regular push-ups and not the girly kind.

My post just before this included a recipe for Taco Soup.  Some of you expressed concern about the dry ranch dressing mix.  I promise you it won't wreck it, and it won't taste like dressing.  It just thickens it up a little and gives it some extra oomph.  When you see how much this recipe makes, you'll notice that the mix is a very small percentage of the whole.  So sprinkle that dry mix without a care in the world!  Trust your Auntie Char.

Oh, and in case you're wondering and decide to chastise me about not attending another meeting this week, here's the deal.  My little town offers only 3 meetings per week.  One of those is in the evenings when my kids are out of school and husband is still at work.  I am NOT taking those little monkeys to the meeting with me.  But my reason for not going to the other remaining option is based purely upon my narcissistic need for attention -- I'm expecting to get my 20-pound star, and I want my regular group to clap for me.  See, I'm not too proud to admit my true motives.

Hot 100 update coming soon!

Monday, October 18, 2010

There's a Taco in My Soup

No pizza was ordered while my parents were visiting this weekend!  This just might be a first in my life.  I'm so blessed that they're so supportive of my weight loss efforts.  I think they realize that I need to lose weight for my health and not just for my jeans size.  They were very good about accepting my food choices and staying with my kids while I went to the gym.  I did make some white chocolate macadamia nut cookies while they were here, but luckily they were already prepared and ready to pop into the oven.  They were from a fundraiser, and I mentioned being afraid of them in an earlier post.  But no fear this time!  I thought they were pretty and smelled really good, but I didn't feel like having one.  Instead, I had a mini ice cream sandwich (100 calories), and it was good and took me about three times as long to eat as a cookie would have.

Last night for dinner, I made Taco Soup.  Now, I know most of you already have a favorite version of taco soup, but I'm going to put my version here, just in case one of you hasn't tried it yet.  I put the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers site, and it came out to 3 Points per 8 oz serving (makes about 17 servings.)  This will make a lot of soup, and it couldn't be easier to do!

taco soup

Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
         - 2 pounds ground beef (96% lean)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 can pinto beans
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can whole kernel corn
- 1 can stewed tomatoes - mexican style (I also like fire-roasted with garlic)
- 1 can Rotel tomatoes
- 1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies
- 1 pkg. taco seasoning mix (dry mix)
- 1 pkg. original Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (dry mix)
- 2 1/2 cups water or more, to make soup broth

Brown ground beef and onions in a large pan, drain off fat. Add remaining ingredients (no need to drain items before adding) and simmer for an hour or so before serving.

Top with cheese and sour cream, if desired.  Can be served with tortilla chips or flour tortillas.  (Cheese, sour cream, chips, tortillas will add points to the total.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Shake It Up, Baby!

Craving a thick, creamy milkshake?  I posted this recipe in response to a request Christina posted on her blog,, asking for a milkshake substitute.  I think this is pretty close.  If you aren't going to give in and have the real thing, try this instead!

It's super easy to make and is actually kind of filling too.  The pictures really don't do it justice, but I'm giving them to you anyway.

This recipe makes about a 16 oz. milkshake.

1 cup skim milk
8 ice cubes
2 tablespoons fat-free sugar-free instant chocolate pudding mix
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons fat-free Cool Whip

Place everything in a blender, and blend for 3-4 minutes.  Pour into a glass and enjoy, or you can place in freezer for 4-5 minutes to thicken and chill (optional).

* For a variation, you can use any flavor of pudding you like, and you can change up the flavoring extract as well to create your own versions of this recipe.  The pudding mix helps it thicken up more than with just milk.
* Another of my favorite versions is cheesecake pudding mix with almond extract.

Put ingredients in blender.

Blend it up.

Cool, frosty goodness!

Sip that shake!
Need more chocolate flavor?  Try adding some sugar-free chocolate syrup.
Christina tried this recipe and loved it as much as I do.  She was kind enough to list this nutrition information for a regular shake and this lighter version.  (I didn't check the numbers, but it looks right to me.)  Thanks, Christina! As you can see, other than the sodium, the light version is a pretty safe choice.

       Regular Chocolate Shake(16 oz)        Lighter Version(16 oz)
Calories                 650                                               180
Fat                            16g                                                  0g
Sodium                 530mg                                         760mg
Carbs                     119g                                                33g
Fiber                         0g                                                  0g
Sugar                     103g                                               14g
Protein                     12g                                                 8g


Hot 100 Update

My update for the Hot 100 Challenge:

1.  Lose 15-plus pounds by the end of the year / end of the challenge.  I'm down a total of 19 pounds so far (4 since the start of the challenge).  So I have 11 to go to hit 15 additional pounds lost by the end of the challenge, which will be a total of 30.  I can make it!

2.  Get more sleep.  Nope, not even close. (yawn)

3.  Start taking vitamins.  I still choke down a fistful of supplements daily, and I've now added two more for my joints.  (Old lady pills.)

4.  Make a plan for eating and exercising over the holidays and stick to it.  Halloween is fast approaching, which in the past has meant hoarding candy and eating massive amounts of it before the trick-or-treaters even got to the door.  This year I'm working out new strategies for this fall holiday and beyond.

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Weekly Weigh-In

Down 2.4 pounds this week, for a total loss of 19 pounds even!

My clothes are getting a little looser, but I'm ready for it to show in the mirror.  (It doesn't yet.)  For it to be obvious just by looking, it will just take more pounds due to the larger number needed to have a noticeable percentage lost.  That's okay.  I'm just looking forward to that happening.  I have a feeling it will happen around the 40-pound mark.  Sounds like a lot, and it is, but it also means I'm halfway to that point!

Elliptical tonight, P90X tomorrow.  Then my parents arrive for a little visit.  Can't wait to see them, and the kiddos are beyond excited.  Should be fun!

Since we usually order pizza at least once while they visit, I'll just have to keep in mind: "Don't order pizza...Don't order pizza..."

Hot 100 update tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jabbering Janes

I love to talk. Sometimes I talk too much.  I'm okay with that. However, there is a time and a place for it, right?

Today at the gym, there were women on the two machines next to mine. They were chatting it up - LOUDLY.  They both had their earbuds in, and were speaking at a volume to allow them to hear one another over their own music.  Now, if they can hear each other over their music, doesn't it stand to reason that everyone else in the gym is hearing them too?  And I have my music on because I don't want to hear anyone else talking.

But wait, there's more!  Since it was impossible not to hear them without causing serious damage to my own ears by blasting sound into my head, this is what I picked up: Their conversation covered several topics, with some of the loudest portions centering on the following: All the details of getting their first period; neighbors and friends who are addicted to drugs and/or in prison; and how much they hate Mormons.  There were several middle-aged and older men in the room as well, and most of them wore that "please shut up" expression.

When they finished with the machines, they stood in the aisle right next to me and continued to chat it up on these subjects, but now they were joined by who I assume was the daughter of one of them.  Oh, yeah, and this pre-teen was in a bathing suit, sopping wet.  Then when somebody wanted to leave, they would not move! Finally, after two "excuse me" attempts, they scooted over half an inch for me to pass, but the soaked kid bent over and stuck her rear end in my face as I walked by.

But enough about my new best friends; it's time for my workout report...

I did 45 minutes on the elliptical, which means I'm making progress!  I've been doing 35 minutes, but I couldn't resist the sparkling conversation around me and stuck around for ten extra minutes today.

Additionally, P90X with my neighbor Denise continues on most days.  When we haven't done the workout, I've gone to the gym or walked, though I do take one or two days off each week.

The tag line for the P90X workout is, "Bring it!"
So I say to you now, you know you've got what it takes, so BRING IT!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Spooky Shindig

I took my three-year-old son to a Halloween-themed birthday party full of preschoolers yesterday.  So cute!

Instead of a big cake, there was an army of skeleton cupcakes  (forgive the photo quality - I took them with my mobile phone):

Luckily for my weight loss efforts, these little guys couldn't be quickly and discreetly gobbled down in a corner somewhere, so I passed on the cupcakes.  Instead, I watched the kids play sweet little games like "Pin the Spider on the Web," "Musical Ghosts," "Bobbing for Apples," "Painting Pumpkins," and a mummy game where they wrapped each other in toilet paper.
Smiling Skeletons
This was also served, so I could munch without fear.
Haunted Bunny Food
 Then after partying down with the preschoolers, I headed to the gym, where the elliptical was my evening activity.
Making Progress!

This was a good test run for the upcoming holiday parties, I think!  What strategies do you have for dealing with the holiday festivities?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Weekly Weigh-In and Hot 100 Update

Well, my weight loss has slowed considerably, with 0.8 lost again for this week.  It's okay, but I'm going to have to lose just over a pound a week to meet my goal of 15 additional pounds lost by the end of the challenge.

I'm now down a total of 16.6 total.  It's still too soon to tell by looking at me that I've lost any weight, but I'll get there!

Hot 100:
Speaking of the Hot 100 Challenge, here's my update for this week:

1.  Lose 15-plus pounds by the end of the year / end of the challenge.  Despite a mild start, I'm still heading in the right direction with 13.4 pounds to lose by the end of the year.

2.  Get more sleep.  Still failing miserably.  I need to get a grip on my time management in order to make this happen, so I'm not scrambling around at night trying to finish everything up.

3.  Start taking vitamins.  I'm rocking this one!  By the way, I enjoyed everyone's comments about the Horny Goat Weed from my last update.  Still not sure what it really is intended for.

4.  Make a plan for eating and exercising over the holidays and stick to it.  This one is still several weeks off, but I'm already mentally rehearsing for it.

Book Club:
Last night was my monthly book club meeting.  It is one of my favorite activities ever.  In case anyone is interested, we'll be discussing The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton at our next meeting.
The Forgotten Garden: A Novel

We always start with drinks and appetizers, followed by salad and main course, plus dessert.  I passed on the sangria, which looked and smelled delicious, and I ate one Triscuit but none of the cheeses or meats on the appetizer tray.  

Then we had a nice green salad (dressing on the side).  My friend Wendy hosted last night, and bless her heart, she made a very healthy soup for the main meal.  Big chunks of veggies and chicken in a clear broth with nice spices.  Yum!  By the way, Wendy is my "tiny friend" I referred to in my post about the Chocolate Lounge.  Don't hate her for being thin - she really is one of the sweetest people I know.  She also served her world-famous artichoke bread, and I had one small piece of that.  

Then came dessert.  It was a lovely thick pound cake with berries and whipped cream.
Book Club Dessert

I had my dessert, but without the cake.  Still yummy!

My Version of the Dessert
Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pretty in Pink

October is National 
Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Today I attended the "Baubles & Beads Style Show and Luncheon," which assists local women who might require financial help with their breast cancer treatments, medications, or other needs in order to battle their disease effectively.  This annual event has provided funds to the Peterson Regional Medical Center Breast Cancer Assistance Fund since 2002.

Our Table

Before the crowd arrived

Pink everywhere!

Rose petals on the runway

Baubles & Beads

Naturally, I started thinking about health and wellness during this luncheon.  I thought about how lucky I am not to be dealing with a life-threatening illness, even though I've eaten loads of junky foods and gone long stretches of time being sedentary.  

Sitting at my table were Jennifer and Kacy, who are both runners.  We talked about health and the importance of physical activity.  Jennifer started running just recently.  She has a friend with breast cancer who is beating it and credits that partly to her active lifestyle.  Kacy has been running for about two years, but is really getting serious about it lately (after having major knee surgery, mind you).  She's recently lost almost 50 pounds!  They were very supportive of my efforts to get healthier, and I had a great time visiting with them today.
Jennifer and Kacy
This got me excited thinking about what I might work up to.  I'll be sensible about it, of course.  I've recently recovered from a year-long foot injury, so I won't try to run right now.  I'll need to build up to it.  But already I can see improvement in my abilities.  If I try it and have a problem, I'll just build up more.  But I think I would like to try to run.  Maybe not a marathon, or even a 10K.  But how about a mile?  I know for a fact I couldn't run a mile right now, but maybe someday.

And speaking of physically fit, next up came the local firemen, strutting down the runway to collect money for the cause.  They really knew how to work the crowd, and women were stuffing those boots with cash!
Firemen on the Runway

These little pink gift boxes were at each of our place settings.  What could be inside?  
Open it!


Ah, looks like my two kiddos will each get a little treat!

And speaking of little treats, even the dessert was pink.  Here's where serendipity hit... One guest at our table was not served her dessert.  She asked the waiter for it, but it never came.  So instead of sitting there thinking about how to resist eating the whole thing, I offered my untouched dessert to the other woman.  It worked out great!  

I heard it was delicious!

Today's luncheon was very emotional.  I'd encourage everyone reading this to do what you can to help eradicate breast cancer.  Donate time and money, if you can.  Wear your pink ribbon awareness gear.  Talk about it.  Sign up for events to raise awareness.  This can happen to anyone (and statistically, most of us will be affected by breast cancer during our lifetimes - either personally or through someone we care about.)

So here are my final words (stolen from a t-shirt I saw for sale today): "Feel your boobies."  Check yourselves, and remind others to do the same!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Monday, October 4, 2010


Well, the P90X workouts have begun.  My friend Denise and I started Friday.  I'm still sore from that day, but in a good way.  Not pain like I'm injured, but that reminder that I've actually tapped into some muscles that have gone unused for far too long.  Tomorrow is my least favorite workout - Yoga.  Yes, I know, lots of people adore yoga.  Me, not so much.  But I'm going to do it anyway and try to find that inner peace I keep hearing you can get from yoga.

Yesterday I attended a fundraiser for Young Life.  The event was at an open-air pavilion at one of the many camps located here in the Texas Hill Country.  The weather was perfect, and the pavilion was between a pond and the river.  It was catered by Acapulco Mexican Restaurant, but I still managed to stay within my food range - fajita meat, one tortilla, beans, guacamole, lots and lots of salsa and pico.  No chips,  no rice, no cheese, just one tortilla, no dessert.  No regrets.  It was good, and I enjoyed what I had.

Also, I got my first blogger award!  Thanks to Becky at My Walk From Flab to Fab for the "A Blog With Substance" award.  I'm so excited and so honored!  Becky puts it all out there and is very open with sharing her struggles and successes.  Check her out, and let her know I sent you to visit.

According to Becky, upon receiving the award, I must:

1. Explain my blogging philosophy, motivation and experience in five words.
2. Give the award to ten other bloggers.

Part I - Explaining My Blogging Philosophy, Motivation and Experience in Five Words
Like others, I wondered how in the world I could do this in just give words.  Ask me again in a month, and I'll probably have a different answer. But for now, five words that explain my blogging philosophy, motivation and experience would be this:  Being open grows my soul.  

Part II - Awarding 10 Other Bloggers
I'm still quite new to the blogging community, so I had a really hard time with this.  I don't really know all the etiquette of the blog awards, so I'm going to offer the award privately and will post the recipients after they reply.  

And since Becky said it so beautifully, I'm going to quote her:  "Thank you to all of you bloggers who don't settle for what yesteryear had to offer. Thank you for creating tomorrow anew and inspiring me and so many others to do the same."