Monday, December 5, 2011

Alien Abduction

Despite rumors to the contrary, I am, in fact, still alive.  It's been quite an adventure.  Here's what happened.


Last spring, after enjoying an evening session of heart-pounding Zumba for Senior Citizens, I toweled off and headed for the parking lot.  I noticed strange lights in the sky far away.  I stood around watching for awhile, as everyone else from the class left the lot.

Suddenly, the lights zipped over my head, and I realized it was some kind of spacecraft.  Terrified, I did what any suburban mom would do -- I ran for the safety of my SUV.

Unfortunately, I didn't make it.  The craft's lights flashed and brightened to a blinding degree.  The next thing I knew, I was being lifted into the ship.

While I'm happy to say I was NOT probed in the way you might expect (ick), I WAS injected with fat cells via inordinate amounts of delicious junk-food.  It was, as you might imagine, a harrowing experience.

Anyway, after several months of studying me for alien science (Weights and Measures Division), those creatures finally released me back to my natural habitat.

The good news is that I was left relatively unharmed; the bad news is that I was left with this alien-induced extra weight.  Not to mention that I'm constantly being trailed by Men In Black these days.

Just remember, readers.... "The Truth is Out There."

Monday, March 28, 2011

Count 'Em!

Thursday's weigh-in was really good.  I hit a milestone!
Count those 5-pound stars!  And FYI - don't try to do the math.  That 5% sticker is just stuck on randomly.  I know someone thought she figured out my starting weight at 300 pounds from this pic.  Nope!  
 This is big news for me, because 35 pounds is halfway to my "high goal" with Weight Watchers.  What's my high goal, you might ask?  It's the highest I can weigh at WW and still make lifetime status.  My "big goal" is to be even below that, but I'm taking it a step at a time.  Oh, yeah, and I'm actually down 36.2 pounds total!!

And now for my Weekend Update...

Friday Night:
Big party animal that I am, I hit the gym.  Apparently I'm the only one in town with no social life this night, if the gym attendance is any indication.  At least I had my choice of ANY machine I wanted!

Lonely gym
Saturday Afternoon:
Back to the gym.  I decided to try to break my record for stats on the elliptical machine, and I did it!  Now, I don't know how accurate these things are, but it looked pretty good to me either way.  I did an hour plus a 5-minute cool-down, and it shows 6.56 miles distance and 912.9 calories burned.  Even if it's off by half, that's not too shabby!

My record high!
Saturday Night:
Casino Night Fundraiser for a local school.
 It was lots of fun, even though I didn't win any prizes.  The food was catered by one of my fave restaurants (Rails), and I think I ate sensibly.   I chose the spring mix salad over the Caesar salad, with vinaigrette dressing (just a drizzle) instead of the Ranch dressing.  I didn't take any bread or potatoes (hard to do, but not that big of a deal).  Then I had a smallish portion of chicken breast and a tiny bit of pork tenderloin, green beans, and a tomato/onion/pepper creole side item.  No dessert (cheesecake and chocolate cake), and a small glass of white wine.
My losing raffle tickets
My birthday!
Went with the family to eat Mexican food.  I wanted to have an enjoyable meal without going nuts, since it was my birthday.  I had chicken fajitas (just ate the chicken and veggies) with pinto beans (not refried) and a dab of guacamole (yum-o!).  I had a couple of chips with salsa, then asked for corn tortillas to dip instead.  That's GOOOOD!  I also had 1/2 of a flour tortilla, because they make them there at the restaurant and are my favorites.  It was a great time, and my kids were good while we were there, even though my daughter was disappointed that I wouldn't let them ask the wait staff to cram a sequined sombrero on my head and sing happy birthday.  (Fear of wearing a multi-use hat, not fear of attention.  Clearly, I love attention.)

Later we drove to Comfort, a little town nearby.  One of our friends was there and mentioned she saw my favorite (red velvet) in little cupcakes at a little restaurant/shop called High's, so we went out on a quest.  I really want to go back to High's for lunch one day.  It looked really cute, and the menu looked tasty.  Click here for the link if you want to check it out.  We took some of these little beauties home.

Red Velvet Cupcake - The Best!
Birthday Chick
 Because I'm still tracking everything I eat this day, I looked up the Points Plus value for red velvet cupcakes.  Uh, yeah, 14 Points Plus!  Yikes!  But it WAS my birthday, so I couldn't deprive myself and just cut mine in half.  Ah, just right!

Half the cupcake, all the flavor!
We also went to Sweet Comfort, a little candy and ice cream shop down the road from High's.  We picked up two of the biggest chocolate-covered strawberries I've ever seen.  I had a little bite of this (just enough) and let the family have the rest.  It's fun to share sometimes!
So.  Good.
 After all that indulgence, yes, I actually went to the gym this evening.  I didn't hit my record on the elliptical again, but I did come close.  It's probably because I had to change my age from 40 to 41 when I set it up, right?
Birthday Stats
 As I was leaving, the girl at the front desk wished me a Happy Birthday.  Then she asked why on earth I was at the gym on my birthday.  As I walked out, I realized something.  I was there on my birthday because I wanted to be.  Because I wanted to give myself a gift I've been denying myself for a long time.  I want to be healthy and take time just for me.  And that's a very good thing, and it was a very happy birthday indeed!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Not Slacking

I've been lax in my blogging the last few weeks, but that does NOT mean I'm slacking off.  Nope.  In fact, I've really been staying on my plan with eating, and I've been hitting the gym regularly as well.

The past week was Spring Break for the kids, and we traveled to visit family for the week.  I amazed myself and did great with my food intake, though I got very little exercise.   I had to miss my weigh-in last Thursday since we were out of town, but I'm actually looking forward to this next one.  I am determined to see a loss.

I also got a B12 shot yesterday.  I have no idea if they do anything, but I've heard they're good when you're trying to lose weight, so I got one.  Maybe it's all in my mind, but I did feel more energetic afterward.

Lots going on lately, but I'm feeling really focused on the weight loss effort and feel like my heart is getting healthier with my workouts.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sticky Stickers!

I've missed you, my bloggy friends!

Just a quick update...At my last weigh-in, I FINALLY got another 5-pound sticker!  That's a total of 31.8 pounds gone!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Food Choices

Our family was invited to a Super Bowl party on Sunday.  I decided to bring a veggie tray, to help me make better food choices there.  I wound up taking home almost the whole thing!  I guess veggies were not as popular as the meatballs, stuffed mushroom caps, and cheese dips that were available.  Oh, it was all so tempting!  I did have a few tastes here and there, but I loaded up on the veggies.  I could have done better, but I was quite restrained nonetheless.

Yesterday my husband took me to lunch at one of my favorite local restaurants.  I had my standby "Farmer's Market Salad" which is baby spring mix with green apples, a little Texas goat cheese, walnuts, dried cranberries, and grilled chicken.  It comes with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing, and I used that sparingly.
This restaurant is called Rails - A Cafe at the Depot.  It's in an old railroad depot, and has a cool vibe about it and really good food.  I highly recommend trying this place if you're ever in the Texas Hill Country.  Besides the food, one of my favorite things is the ceiling:
Inside Rails
I'm trying to learn to enjoy dining out and enjoying healthier options when doing so.  I'm trying to focus more on the conversation, presentation of food, and details of my surroundings.  There are so many perks to going out to eat other than seeing how much fat and carbs I can cram down my throat.  It's not an easy transition, I must admit, but I'm working on it one meal at a time.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Jumping the Gun

Normally I wouldn't post anything right before a weigh-in, but I've decided to do just that today.  Here's why.  My friend Mandy mentioned the need to remind herself that no matter what her weight today, she has worked the program and done what she's supposed to.  I'm doing that too.

First off, I did weigh at home this morning, and it showed a little gain.  I could let this get me down, but I'm not going to.  Instead, I'm going to learn from it.  I did what I was supposed to do this week, and I added in exercise.  So why the gain, you wonder?

Here's my theory.  I ate out several times this week, and I tracked everything and didn't go over my Points allowance.  So I thought.  What I've decided is that I must have just misjudged my restaurant servings.  It's the only explanation.  I really enjoy going out to eat (don't we all?), but I need to cut it down a little if I can, at least while I'm trying to lose weight.

The hubs and I met up with about 16 other people for dinner at the new Japanese restaurant on Monday.  It was lots of fun.  Judging from all the butter slathered all over everything, I'm guessing this could have been a contributing factor to my gain.

Wish I'd gotten a photo of the flaming volcano onion!

Where's the rice?  P.S. - That's my husband's beer, not mine!
This was my plate (before the little bit of beef was added).  I actually did order steamed rice, but for some reason it didn't get delivered.  I didn't ask for it, and still enjoyed the meal without the extra carbs/calories/points.  

Sunday, our family went to a late lunch/early dinner at Mamacita's Mexican Restaurant.  Afterward, we were walking to the car and I couldn't help noticing how warm and perfect the weather was.  We got in the car and I said, "It's so beautiful outside, it makes me wish I could just walk home from here."  Mike stopped the car and said, "Then walk home!"  He was joking in an "I-dare-you" sort of way.  I looked at my shoes (not workout shoes, but Skechers), and figured they'd work just fine.  So I hopped out and hoofed it on home.  Now, it's not really all that far from there to my house -- maybe 1.5 miles -- but it was a great feeling.  I was doing something spontaneous, just because it would be good for me, got a little exercise, and got to enjoy the sunshine.  It's hard to believe it was around 80 degrees just a few days ago, and right now it's like 16 here!  

I have another friend who just got certified to teach Zumba, and that will start on Monday.  I'm going to go try it out and will let you know how that goes!

To close, I just want to say that I probably will see a gain today at Weight Watchers, but it's not because I didn't try.  I just made some mistakes somewhere in my estimations, I think, and I want to learn from this and keep going for more losses coming up.  Not gonna let this get me down, but I'm also not going to take any gain lightly!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekly Weigh-In

Thursday's weigh-in was good.  I'm down 2 pounds!

While the last couple of weigh-ins were good, and it seems like I should really be well on my way to goal, let me just clear this up.  I'm pretty much where I was two months ago.  Grrrr!   It's my own fault for letting the change in Weight Watchers throw me off.  I was up and down and steady for those two months.

Rather than staying the course and sucking it up and just working the program, I just coasted along through the holidays and beyond.  For the most part, I tried not to go crazy, but I wasn't really doing anything specific.  And I GAINED weight.

While I love with the idea of intuitive eating, the truth is that I'm so far from that point right now.  I'm still pretty much a newbie.  Lack of structure in this quest for me, right now, is the way for me to fail.  So I gained weight.

But the good news is that I'm back to where I was when I got my 25-pound mark a couple of months ago.  And, yes, I'm ready to dig into that "virgin fat" and start shaving that off now.

Oh, and by the way, for anyone else who's in my position with the WW thing and being reluctant to try the new plan...Just do it!  Once you start, you'll realize how similar it really is to the old plan, and even better really, because I am not eating as much processed foods.  I'm buying (and eating) more fruits and vegetables than ever before.

I'm back in!  And I WILL have another loss at my next weigh-in on Thursday!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Giving In Just a Little

The Spurs game Friday night was so much fun!  And the Spurs won!

It's always fun watching my boyfriend at work.
Tony Parker -- Okay, so maybe he doesn't know he's my boyfriend yet, but I'm sure I'll be a refreshing change of pace after Eva Longoria!

We watched the basketball action from the suite, where all kinds of food was served.


I had some chicken with hot sauce -- no tortillas, cheese, sour cream, etc. -- and just a few cashews (I counted them like a nerd and had 8.)
Snacks everywhere!
Lots of drinks were available, including all kinds of beer and wine.  I prefer hard liquor, so I was safe and drinking water or Sprite Zero, until someone opened the liquor cabinet.  I couldn't resist and had a little Jack & Diet Coke.

The dessert cart came around, and I just went out for a peek and a photo.
The Delightfully Evil Dessert Cart
Then someone came in with a shot of DiSaronno in a little chocolate shot cup.  Okay, so I had one, minus the chocolate cup.  I got mine in a regular glass.  I don't normally drink much, but it looks like my big splurges for the night were alcohol related.  We had a great time, and I tracked everything, so it's all good.

Saturday night was a fundraising gala in Kerrville.  That was fun too, but I had already decided not to drink.  I had a big salad, a little pork tenderloin, and lots of veggies on the side.  No bread, just because I knew if I started on that, I would get that carb rush and go nuts.  And then dessert was served.  Turtle brownies.  This could be trouble.
Are you kidding me?!
I took one tiny bite, then my husband had a bite.  Then I took another little bite.  It was the best dessert I've had in a long time.  So I passed the dessert to my husband and made him place it far away from me.  My tactic worked!
The Turtle Brownie in Exile
Then, of course, there was dancing and socializing, and I got out of there feeling pretty good about it and having had a wonderful time.

I had planned to work out on Sunday, but started feeling really bad and didn't feel up to it.  I think it's just a bad cold, but it's put me in slow-motion.

Aside from feeling under the weather Sunday and today, I had a really fun weekend and feel good about the food choices I made.  Exercise is on tap this week, and I'm determined to have another loss at Weight Watchers this week.  

Friday, January 21, 2011

It Works!

This was the first week I really committed to the new Weight Watchers plan.  Ever since they changed it, I have been slacking -- some weeks more than others.  But it turns out, the new plan does work.  For me, just being aware of portion sizes and healthy choices is a big deal.  I might think I'm doing well but actually be eating more than I need.  Writing it down (or tapping it into the iPhone, as I do) works for me.

Yesterday's weigh-in was good.  Very good.  I lost 6.4 pounds this week!

As for the Zumba, it didn't happen this week.  The instructor called me Tuesday and said there would be no classes this week.  It's only offered two days a week anyway, so I'm hoping we'll be back on schedule next week.

I'm looking forward to attending a Spurs basketball game tonight and a charity gala tomorrow, but as always with events like this, I'm gearing up for the food challenge.

Hope you all have a fun weekend!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Truth Hurts

Well, it was quite a big gain, as promised -- 5.6 pounds.  My friend Mandy asked if I was okay after seeing that.  I am.  It's just a result of my poor choices.  To get the results I want, I have to change my actions.  Next week I'll have a loss.  Take that to the bank!

Off to a good start.  My little guy's birthday was a few days ago, and he took cupcakes to Children's Day Out on Thursday to celebrate turning 4.  We made these, and he helped me decorate them.  I didn't have a single one!
I'm not holding my breath for one of those TV shows about fancy cakes to offer me a job!
In other news, I've tried something new.  I went to the grocery store for more fresh produce, and noticed something I've seen before.  It looked like a strange tomato in the fruit section.  It's a persimmon.  I got one and gave it a try.  It was okay.  Not a favorite, but definitely an interesting flavor.  The point more than anything was to give myself a boost by trying something new and unusual.  It seems like such a small and inconsequential thing, but somehow it really put me in the right mindset.

Persimmons could pull off identity theft of a tomato!
Oh, and my friend Denise made a new recipe.  She saw some hotsy-totsy french chef on TV making this.  I tasted it, and it was really yummy.  It was so creamy and rich that I worried about the Points value.  I put it in the Weight Watchers Recipe Builder and was shocked and thrilled to find it was only 4 Points (power points, the new version) per serving!  That's really good!  It could be even lower without sauteeing in oil/butter.

Here is the recipe.  No photo, but it's a creamy white soup with green leeks.  Give this simple recipe a try to serve up with a fresh green salad!

Rustic French Country Soup
(Potato & Leek Soup)

3 leeks, cleaned and chopped
1 quart chicken broth
1 cup potato flakes
1 cup milk

Saute chopped leeks in 1 Tbsp oil and 1 Tbsp butter until wilted.
Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Add potato flakes and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil.
Add milk and simmer for 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Confessions of a (Non) Stick Figure

Yes, my friends, I'm still here!  I've just been struggling the last couple of weeks.  Initially it really worried me.  I started to doubt my ability to follow through on making changes for a healthier and, yes, thinner me. I started to wonder if I could actually ever get to the point where this would be my lifestyle and not just a diet.  I began to doubt myself.

Now, don't get me wrong -- I realize this has been yet another setback, and I don't like it.  However, I also realize that I'm fighting it out with life-long habits I've developed that did me no good yet still had a powerful hold on me.  And sometimes they still do have a hold on me.

I missed my weigh-in last week.  I was busy, but I could have made it if I'd really wanted to.  So tomorrow I will go to my Weight Watchers meeting and take my lumps like a grown-up.  I will do a better job planning, and I'll stop at the grocery store to make sure I'm all stocked up with healthy and easy options to go to.

It won't be pretty, folks, I promise you that.  But I'll report it honestly, and then I will get busy doing what I have to do to wrestle with my issues so that I can give myself what I deserve.

Now, that being said, I would like to add that it wasn't all bad.  I tried Zumba!  To give you the full effect of how that went, I'm whipping out my awe-inspiring artistic skills.  Now, before you wanna-be artists ask, I can't tell you my secrets to creating perfect form like this.  It's just a gift.  You're either born with it or you're not.  Aaaaaand, apparently I'm not.

I now present "Stick Figure's Fitness Adventures."

First of all, the Zumba class was held in a shopping center, and the building was windows upon windows, to give any passers-by a nice view of the Zumba gyrations.

Despite realizing I was the biggest one there (you know you always check for that too), I was glad to see that everyone was pretty much in my age range, about 35-45 years old.  Onward we go!  I realized immediately my lack of coordination, but I didn't let that stop me.  I just kept moving, pausing to apologize now and then to anyone I might have bumped into.

Wobbly legs?  Check.
Sweating buckets?  Check.
Out of breath?  Check.

But I did it!  I didn't stop once, and I felt like I'd really gotten a great workout and accomplished something new!

We were done, and the Zumba instructor pipes up with this little gem.  She says, "You know, actually, this Zumba routine was originally designed for senior citizens."
(The Devil's Skinny Sister)

That's just fabulous news!  (Read: sarcasm)

It was still a fun experience, despite feeling a little like a doofus for thinking that the old-lady routine was challenging.  In fact, I might go again tomorrow night!