Salad…Glorious Salad

I work at a college, and when I started Weight Watchers, I decided to take advantage of the cafeteria’s salad bar for lunches.

Best. Idea. Ever.

I was worried that I would get sick of lettuce, but there’s enough variance down there that it keeps things fresh. And everything is healthy enough that I can still have my ranch dressing.

Side note: I hate…HATE…fat free dressings, and I hate diet soda. So I decided early on that I wouldn’t allow either of them into my life. I would just cut back on the amount I consumed.

Back to this salad bar. It’s fabulous! And lunch is always beautiful. Like today’s:

Today’s salad features a hard boiled egg, roasted chicken, zucchini, grape tomatoes and sunflower seeds.


Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

Yesterday was quite a day. My car broke down and my husband brought the kids with him to pick me up. What was supposed to be a solitary trip to Goodwill turned into a family affair. Which just about doubled what I would have originally spent.

My father-in-law had surgery also, to put a stint in his neck so he won’t have another stroke. He’s doing well, but he’s in the ICU. We spent the evening visiting him, and the hospital is about 45 minutes away from my home. So we got home late.

And we ate dinner at Taco Bell. Or should I just call it like it is:

taco_bellJust because I have the points available to eat nachos at TB does NOT mean I should. I haven’t had fast food in almost a month. That’s not very long, but it was obviously long enough that my system wanted to reject that crap. I was MISERABLE. Ugh. No more.

This experience has also caused more worry about next week. We are going on a week-long trip to the Niagara Falls region of Canada to see my oldest son graduate. That’s one week away from my routines and the safety of my kitchen. One week of unknowns and chaos and all that FOOD.

I am strong. I can do this. I will have a week-long experiment to pretend I’m a normal person without food issues. I’ll portray the woman in the movie who is confident and has never had a weight problem. I’ll stop eating when I’m full, and I won’t eat unless I’m hungry. I will scoff at the idea of eating junk food. And I will count my points like it’s a lifesaver.


New Blog Home!


Happy Tuesday! I have really been enjoying blogging, but found that I wasn’t happy with a few of the things on the Blogger site, so I figured that if I was going to make a change, I should do it before I got too invested in that location. So I’ve switched to WordPress, where I had this blog a long time ago the LAST time I did this, and I kind of like having that history attached to this one.

It’s been a few days since I have written anything, so let me fill you in on what you’ve missed.

  • My second-oldest child (17), left to spend his summer with his dad and brother (my oldest, who is 18) in Canada.
  • I am still struggling to eat all of my points each day. It’s like I see the line in the sand, but I’m afraid that if I get near the line, I may just jump over it and start dancing a jig that involves shoving food in my face. However, I did allow myself to figure out the points for a meal at a Mexican restaurant, but then didn’t count the number of chips I ate. I know – CRAZY! I’m trying to teach myself that it’s okay to not eat everything that is in front of me…that there will always be food available when I’m hungry, so I don’t have to eat it all right this very minute. So I nibbled the chips, pretending I was a normal person without food issues. It seemed to work nicely. I’ll have to do that again sometime.
  • My co-worker is my water buddy, and it’s glorious. When we first get to work, we go fill up our water bottles. It has to be empty by lunch time, when we fill them again. It’s been quite helpful to have someone involved in the process. We call it Water Club.
  • I am still not tired of eating salad for lunch every day. Grape tomatoes are bae.
  • My ankle is FINALLY starting to feel better! Which means I can start taking walks soon! YAY!

Okay…lunch time. More tomorrow.

Points Fail

I have already broken one of my bullet points from yesterday. My food yesterday:
  • Breakfast: Instant grits with a cup of coffee with creamer – 7 points
  • Lunch: Big ol’ salad with cauliflower, grape tomatoes, cut-up chicken, sunflower seeds, pepperoncinis and ranch dressing – 15 points
  • Dinner: (pictured below) 4 oz steak, Heinz 57 sauce, small potato with butter AND sour cream, and a roasted zucchini – 10 points

I had FOURTEEN POINTS left over at the end of the day! OUTRAGEOUS! And I kept thinking that I should find something else to eat…but I wasn’t hungry. And the only thing readily available was a bag of Doritos, and I wasn’t going there.

And, of course, I woke up STARVING.

I think I’m going to have something more for lunch today than my usual salad.

I’m disappointed in myself.

Butter Motivation

Today was weigh-in day! I lost another 2.8 pounds this week, which brings my total to 6.4 pounds GONE! Huzzah!

A very good friend of mine is also losing weight, and she mentioned that she likes to figure out how much she’s lost so far in things like sticks of butter. How many sticks of butter have I lost?

Just over 25 1/2 sticks of butter! That’s a lot of damn butter. Melted away, never to be seen again.

Things I need to work on in the next week:

  • Drink more water! Some days, I do really well. Most days, I only manage to get in about half of what I need. I have cut myself down to one cup of coffee per day, but I need to drink more H2O. I have a water buddy co-worker, so hopefully that will help. I have not had any soda in 12 days, and I don’t really miss it yet.
  • Use all of my points! I really need to bring some healthy snacks to work with me, because most days, I am not consuming enough to use up all of my points. While that isn’t necessarily a bad thing to have as a problem, the points are there for a reason and they need to be used. Also, if I don’t use up all of my points in a day, I wake up the next morning STARVING.
  • Work on not being so lazy. I am still not able to get out and go for walks (stupid swollen ankle), but I want to work on doing more things for myself. Having two little kids in the house tends to make me ask one of them to get something for me. I need to stop that. I can get it myself. I’m fully capable.
  • Create a meal plan. The last thing I want to do after a day at work is go home and figure out what’s for dinner. Especially when I sometimes have to cook something for me and something different for the rest of the family. So I want to plan things out and possibly take away some of that stress.
I think those are all doable. I also bought my bracelet and the bauble I will add to it when I’ve lost my first ten pounds. I’m super excited to put that puppy on my wrist! Right now, I’m wearing the bare bracelet as a reminder that I WANT to put something on it. I rather like it. Which is good, because I’ll be wearing it for a long time.
I think I’m going to print this out and put it above my computer monitor at work:
And with that, I’m off to hydrate.

Confessions of a Food Addict

Let me start this post by saying that I did NOT eat all of the junk food in my house this weekend. I just had this epiphany about prior habits that I did not see until I became aware of what I was doing. Saturday was, by far, the hardest day I’ve had so far. The work week is easy because I am around other people who see what I’m doing, and that helps keep me on the right path. I’m accountable to myself because I know that they see what I’m doing. When I’m at home, my kids could not care less about what I’m doing in the kitchen, as long as I’m feeding them. When I walk back and forth from the living room, through the kitchen, to the bathroom, no one sees me when I grab something off the counter and shove it in my face. I didn’t even KNOW I did stuff like that until I stopped myself mid-reach this weekend. It was just habit. It was so difficult staying on plan just because I was the only one who knew what was going on with me.


And then, Saturday evening came around and we were all going to go visit my father-in-law, who is now in the rehabilitation center, working back from his stroke that happened two weeks ago. The kids and I met up with my husband after he got off work, and he wanted to go to Chicago Dawg House for dinner. Where there is absolutely nothing healthy. They threw a “Grilled Chicken Salad” on the menu, but the more I thought about getting that, the more resentful I became, knowing that everyone else would be sitting around me, eating deep fried this or that with everything that goes along with it. And I’d be pecking at my salad, while (in my mind), the whole restaurant would be looking over, thinking, “Oh, the fat girl must be trying to lose weight”. Plus, this lifestyle change isn’t supposed to be a study in how to deny myself. It’s supposed to be learning how to be able to function in real life without going crazy with food, right? So I ordered the chili dog (no cheese!) and the bun turned out to be thicker than the hot dog, so I tore off the top part (half the bun points!). I drank my iced tea (no soda!), and I ate a few fries (not the whole basket!). I was pretty damn proud of myself.

Sunday, we decided to go fishing for part of the day, and my husband bought some picnic-y stuff we could eat for lunch. The morning was really chaotic, and I wound up not being able to fit in breakfast. We ate lunch at the lake at around 12:30, and I’m really realizing just how much I am not a fan of sandwiches anymore. I had turkey lunch meat with a bit of Miracle Whip and a serving of Bugles. I just kept thinking about what a waste of points it all was, because it really didn’t taste all that good. Bread is, actually, pretty tasteless. So I didn’t eat all that much.

We got home, and my husband (bless his heart!) made dinner. Pork chops, roasted mushrooms and Brussels sprouts and some white rice. My plate was heaping with food and it was just delicious. However, I ended my day with 15 points left to spare, which is a huge no-no. I was planning to have a snack if I got hungry, but I never did. Instead, I woke up starving.

So…I learned a lot about myself this weekend. And I realized that I have more to learn than I had anticipated. I also learned that I am the one holding myself accountable and no one else really matters.


Ahh Turkey Day

I had kind of planned to write this blog with a few posts about the history of me, but now I think you’re just going to have to get to know me as we go along…as though we’re forming an actual friendship.  Different things will come out as the chips fall (poker chips, not potato chips…and if they’re potato chips, can they be the baked tortilla chips instead?  I really like those.)

Today marked day 3 of me working out.  Third day in a ROW, even.  I bought a treadmill last weekend from a lovely friend of mine and my family actually spent a day cleaning up the back room of our house, which was once a storage area, and still also houses our washer, dryer and deep freezer.  But now we’ve added a couch, tv, video game systems and my treadmill.  Yes, I’m one of THOSE moms.  My tweens heard some space was clearing up in the back and they decided to move in, too.  But it’s all good.

Anyway, I am pretty proud of myself for getting through my third day of working out.  30 minutes on the treadmill!  I tend to stay between 2.5 and 3.3 mph, with a steady love of 2.9 mph for some reason.  I even pushed myself to jog for 2 minutes!  And yes, I even worked out on Thanksgiving.  I had to get up early to get the turkeys going, my husband left to go on his annual pheasant-scaring hunting trek with his father and brother, and the kids were all still sleeping.

I will admit that I spent a few minutes sitting at my computer, telling myself that my legs were sore from the day before’s workout and I really shouldn’t push myself too far too fast.  I told myself that a bath would be nice in the quiet time.  Then I thought about how long my bath would be…about 30 minutes.  Before I could think of anything else, I put on my tennis shoes and hopped on the treadmill for 30 minutes instead.  And it was hard!  I was stiff, but the stiffness went away pretty quickly.  I put my earbuds in my ears and warmed up with some G. Love and Special Sauce.  By the time the next song started, I was getting into my groove.  Vampire Weekend and Weezer helped me focus on what was going on, and since no one was home/awake, I could sing out loud!  Every time I looked down at the time, I said to myself, “Just keep going one more minute.”  Or, “Just until the end of this song.”  And before I knew it, my 30 minutes was up!

Two things I am doing that will hopefully keep me motivated to continue on:

1)  I have a post-it note on the treadmill that will likely be replaced by a wall calendar where I write down what distance I traveled that day.  Yesterday, I beat it.  Today, I went a bit lighter on myself and went the same distance as I had on day 1.  Never, though, will I be allowed to go less distance than that first day.  It’s my jumping off point.

2)  I log my workouts on my account.  It is SO nice to know that every day I work out, I could hypothetically add 3 more points onto my food intake for the day.  I don’t intend to do that, but I could if I wanted to.  And if I work out for 30 minutes every day, I earn 21 more points for the week!  That’s 2/3 of a day’s worth of food!  But instead of thinking about it that way, I chose to think that what I’m doing is burning 2/3 of a day’s worth of food.

As for Thanksgiving, I had decided before the day that I wasn’t going to track my food, but I was going to try to eat like someone who doesn’t have any issues with food.  I have been a faithful follower of Weight Watchers since August, and this was going to be my first real time letting loose for a whole day.  I was nervous.  A bit scared.  Like an alcoholic in a halfway house who had to go to a bar for a while.  Luckily, the meal was being held at my house, so I had more control over the menu than if we’d been going somewhere else.  I had a few new recipes to try…and I tweaked some old favorites to make them healthier.  Instead of milk and butter in the mashed potatoes, I used chicken broth and light butter (and we had less leftover mashed potatoes this year than other years!).  My sister made the traditional sweet potato casserole, so I made maple-roasted sweet potatoes (I’ll post the recipe because it is SO good).  When a recipe called for butter, I used light butter…that kind of thing.

I had told myself I wasn’t going to log my food for the day, but today on the treadmill – with sweat dripping down my back – I figured that was really cheating myself instead of the system.  I was working my ass off (literally!) and how was I to know just how much it was paying off if I didn’t know what I was eating?

So today, I logged my food from yesterday.  I had no problems thinking back to the scarf-fest and remembering what I ate and exactly how much.  It was like reliving my first date with my husband.  Each detail was right there while I logged it.  And yes, I went overboard.  But not so much that I used up all of my extra points for the week.  And I’m not even close to having to touch my workout points.

I love this process.  I’ve always loved food, and I find that if you have the right options in front of you, loving food is not an evil thing.