WW Week 39 Recap

I’m almost back to my pre-falling-off-the-wagon weight. Next week I’ll get there for sure. Yay!

It only took 2 weeks to gain the weight but is taking 3 weeks to lose. Yep, it is definitely easier to gain than to lose. You’d think I’d know this by now. Ok, ok of course I know this. But I still fall off track every once in a while.

I probably sound like a broken record. It happens. Sometimes more often than I might like. What is most important is that I don’t keep spiraling out of control. I get back on track. I don’t give up.

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I’m not sure I can say that I have learned my lesson…yet. But I am learning.

One of the topics of discussion in and after today’s meeting was the struggle of Freestyle. Some people, me sometimes as well, are having difficulty dealing with extra points and/or eating extra of the zero point foods. Here’s an example of each.

Extra Points: Some of my meals are so low that I may have 10 points at the end of the day. This is ok. I know this because it’s within my healthy point range. Remember my daily points is 23 therefore my healthy point zone is 13-28. So 10 below, is just fine. However, I see that I have those points available and I like my sweets so I have 2 or 3 pieces of chocolate. To have this every once in a while is not a bad thing but on a daily basis and it can be.

Eating Extra: I made my Turkey Chili last week. When beans counted as points, I only put 2 cans of beans in to try to keep the points low. Now that beans are zero, I thought why not put in an extra can of beans. It’s not going to change the point count. But even though that bowl of chili was the same number of points, it wasn’t the same number of calories. In addition to the beans, I didn’t measure how much corn when adding it to my pan. Again, 2 cups vs 1 cup is the same number of points, but it’s not the same number of calories.

I’ve said this before and I’ll probably keep saying this, I think the best way to maneuver around this Freestyle change is to keep doing what I was doing. It was working for me. I can still have my turkey chili, it will just be less points. I don’t need to make any changes to it. I ate it just fine the way it was before. It didn’t need that extra can of beans or the extra corn. Don’t fix what’s not broken, right?

Besides Turkey Chili, I made a Shrimp, Sausage, Veggie Skillet. It was pretty good. Not one of my bests but not terrible either.

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Pretty much it was 2 kids of chicken sausage – apple and Italian, shrimp, zucchini and yellow squash. It filled me up more than I thought it would and it was only 3 points. It sort of reminded me of those Foil Packets I first made about a year ago. Guess what, those were 11 points but are now 7. Yay! I might have to add them to the menu here soon.

What’s on the menu this week? Good question. I’ve been thinking about it for a couple days now and nothing yet everything was sounding good. I decided on Spicy Sausage and Lentil Soup (thanks to someone in my WW meeting talking about lentils) and Turkey Meatloaf with Veggie Mac & Cheese and Asparagus (thanks to another saying they were having meatloaf). Inspiration from my WW people at work. =)

The Spicy Sausage and Lentil Soup used to be 8 pts but is now only 5 and the Turkey Meatloaf is 6 pts. The veggie mac & cheese will be 2-3 pts and the asparagus, of course, 0 pts. It should make for another winning week.

Oh yeah, I just realized that I told you I am close to my pre-falling-off-the-wagon weight but I didn’t actually tell you about my weight loss. I came in at down 1.4 lbs this week. Not as much as I was hoping but still a loss so I will take it!

My Blue Dot Challenge is going great! I have received a blue dot each day this month. Yay!!

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Remember, I need to update the app on my phone because the Healthy Eating Zone is inaccurate. It keeps track appropriately but doesn’t say the correct range on this page. Weird. If I ever empty all the pictures off my phone, I will update the app and see if it fixes itself. One of these days. lol

Anyways, I am so proud of myself for sticking with this challenge. I’m half way there and am so excited to see a whole month of blue. I’m not going to lie, I almost didn’t get a blue dot one day last week. I was having dinner with a friend before she left the country for the DR. She and her family spends half the year down there (they’re missionaries) and half the year here in the States.

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We met up at Applebee’s where we both had the Thai Shrimp Salad (7 pts) and a couple drinks. I ordered a glass of white zin. One of my go to drinks. I was surprised when the server asked if I wanted 6 or 8 oz. I’ve heard of a single or a double but have never been offered various sizes of wine. I debated with myself but decided to go with the 8 oz. After awhile, and checking out my WW app, I decided to have another glass. This time I ordered 6 oz. Another 8 oz was going to put me over my 28 pts in order to stay within my Healthy Eating Zone. When the server brought me my 2nd glass of wine, he told me that the bartender poured it a little heavy and gave me 8 oz. Normally, I would be thrilled at this. Who wouldn’t like extra alcohol for FREE?! However, I struggled with the blue dot aspect of it. Those extra 2 oz was going to put me over my limit. I could have lied and only counted the 6 oz. No one but me, and my friend, would know. The extra 2 oz wasn’t going to hurt me. It wasn’t like I was going to gain 10 lbs for drinking them. But it would bother me. I try to be honest. You fudge a little this time and you might fudge a little more next time. Slippery slope people. So I did my best to estimate what would be 2 oz and I stopped drinking. I even asked the server to take my glass away in case I was tempted or even accidentally drank them. Bye Bye wine!! =(

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I try to be honest with myself the best I can. And I got my blue dot! Wooho!! Call me crazy but I say it’s FOCUS and DEDICATION at work!!

Maybe I am learning after all! 😉

 

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WW Week 38 Recap

This week was fantastic! I was focused all week and it paid off. If you remember last week, I had a gain of 6.2 lbs. (Ok I think I told you guys around 4 lbs because I was wearing heavy clothing and normally wear exercise clothes. Thus I was estimating that 2 of the 6.2 was due to the heavy clothing.) This week was the exact opposite with a loss of 6 lbs. You read that right, 6 lbs!!!

What was different this week?

Well, do you remember how last week I said I had gotten 3 ideas from one of my WW meeting’s? One was to change my attitude, set a goal and I would see success. I did just that. Part of changing my attitude was working in my Bullet Journal last Monday. I was setting up my new 2018 journal and in doing so needed a new Word of the Year. Each year I have a different one. For 2018, I decided on FOCUS. Working on my Word of the Year page did wonders for working on my attitude. I was feeling more positive and began letting go of being hard on myself. You can’t change the past. You can only work on the present and plan for the future.

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Part of my planning was setting some goals for myself for the next week and month. Obviously, I wanted to track everything I ate but I also wanted to drink at least 64 oz of water. I came up with my meals on Monday and even cooked two of them – Ham and Cheese Quiche (8 pts) and Detox Immune Boosting Chicken Soup (1 pt). Recipes to come for both.

 

After changing my attitude and setting a goal, I surely did see success! So happy!! It was just what I needed. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the new year. BTW I’ve been drinking at least 70 if not 80 oz of water each day.

Another idea was to purchase perky pencil stickers as encouragement for tracking each day. I haven’t purchased the stickers but I did track all my meals including my non-meals. Tracking was the important part of this.

The week was a stressful one at work. I tend to lean toward chocolate and other sweets when I’m stressed. I did this on Thursday, 12 points worth to be honest. Yes, over half of my daily points. But my meals were low enough, I had my Detox Immune Boosting Chicken soup for both lunch and dinner that day, 1 point each, so I was had a little wiggle room left for the chocolate. Woohoo!

I even made sure to track any drinks that I had. My sister’s birthday was Friday. We met up for a movie and had a drink while doing so. A couple more the next day after our Freezin’ for a Reason drive. Crown and Diet warms you up real nice!

 

If you are going to track, you have to track everything. Otherwise, it isn’t going to do you much good. When I’m tracking, I take it very seriously.

The third idea was my own personal Blue Dot Challenge. I can say that week 1 was a huge success. I received a blue dot every day!

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I was a little nervous on Saturday night. After the 8 point quiche for breakfast, chili for lunch and 2 Crown and Diet’s, I only had 1 point left for the day. To receive a blue dot, technically that meant I had 6 available. My sister and I, after having hung out all day, decided on Mexican for dinner. I wasn’t 100% what I was going to do but I knew I’d come up with something. My first thought was fajitas but decided to go with a Fajita Taco Salad. This way I would also have some lettuce to help fill me up. Chicken, peppers, onion, lettuce…all zero points. I can definitely work with that. I figure they cooked everything in oil. Of course I don’t know how much oil but estimated a tablespoon and counted the dish as 4 points.

4 points? I know, you’re thinking I’m conveniently forgetting about the toppings. I asked for no cheese and I don’t like sour cream though that would have been zero too. Ok, what about the shell part of the taco salad you ask? I didn’t touch it. Look, here’s proof of both the no cheese and the no shell.

 

I did add salsa but salsa is zero points. So 4 points for my meal and I get my blue dot. Yay!!

Sometimes you have to think outside the box but it’s doable. I didn’t feel deprived and I was able to enjoy my sister’s company. Win Win

After this morning’s meeting, I ran my first race of the year. Let me set this up for you a bit. It’s been cold here. The race, The Hangover Race, was supposed to take place last Monday on New Year’s Day. However, it was postponed due to the very low temperature’s we had. I believe that day we went negative. The temp today was around the low to mid 30’s. Not bad. I’ve ran a few races in that temp range and survived. However, it started raining on my way to the race. Fear set in that the sidewalks would be icy plus I surely didn’t want to be rained on in that temperature. I was beginning to think I’d pick up my packet and just head home. Fortunately, the rain turned to a drizzle. I decided I can do this. I hadn’t been in the gym all week. Remember, the stressful week at work? That also meant long hours. I tend to not go to the gym if I have to work late. So I wasn’t prepared physically, it was cold and there was a drizzle. I didn’t have high hopes with a good time. In fact, my goal was to finish in 45 minutes. That is 9 minutes slower than the last race I ran on Thanksgiving.

I did it! My official time was 42 minutes and 2 seconds!! I did quite well the first mile running faster than I do when on the treadmill at the gym. But then I slowed down a lot. Oh well! It’s done. I finished! It just means the next race will be easier to improve my time. =)

 

I came home and made myself a healthy treat – Banana Split with Yogurt. Banana (0 pts), Strawberry Cheesecake flavored Light & Fit Yogurt (2 pts), strawberries & pineapple (0 pts) and 1/2 a granola bar crushed up (3 pts) = 5 pts. It was yummy!

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Honestly, I think this would even be good for breakfast. I might have to give it a try sometime.

As you can tell, it was a good week. I’m planning on making this next one good as well. On the menu is Turkey Chili (now only 5 pts) and Cajun Shrimp & Sausage (Chicken Sausage) Veggie Skillet. I haven’t figured out the points on this one yet but the only thing that will count is the chicken sausage so I’m estimating it to be low.

Lifetime here I come!

ChickLits Book Club – 2017

I don’t know if you remember but last July I made a list of things to do or try in the days leading up to my birthday. Some of the items on the lists were touristy like things here in KC. Some were things that I said I would do and never did. One of these was to join a book club.

So…I did. The book club reads a different book each month then meets the first of the next month to discuss. I had full intention of reporting that first meeting since it was part of my “30 by the 30th” series but never did. Each month I said that I would catch up. Still no.

It’s a new year though. So let’s do this!

First a recap of the 6 books we read in 2017.

July – Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

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I’ll admit this is not a book that I would have normally chosen for myself. If not for the book club, I wouldn’t have read it. I’m glad I joined the book club. =) The writing style was not one that I had seen before. Instead of chapters, many of the pages were memos or emails between various characters. It made for a quick read.

Overview:

“Bernadette Fox has vanished.

When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown. And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces.

Which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades. Where’d You Go Bernadette is an ingenious and unabashedly entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are, and the power of a daughter’s love for her mother.”

Recommendation – Read it!

August – The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

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I loved this book! Though I had read it prior to the book club. About a year, maybe 2, yeah 2, before I learned of Liane Moriarty when I picked up her book Three Wishes at B&N. I loved it so much I went on to read all of her other books. All of them! I think at the time she had 6, now 7.Image result for picture of all liane moriarty's books

This is her latest book…

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This is a book that you won’t be able to put down.  That’s right, you will read it all in one sitting. It’s that good. The Husband’s Secret follows several characters whose lives are intertwined but don’t yet know it. You know something has happened but you aren’t quite sure what until the end. Then everything happens at once. Climax, climax, climax!

Overview:

“At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that is not meant to be read…

My darling Cecilia,
If you’re reading this, then I’ve died…

Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not only the life you have built together, but the lives of others as well. And then imagine that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive…

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything—and not just for her. There are other women who barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they, too, are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.”

Recommendation – Read it! Then follow it up with the rest of her books. Trust me!

September – The Nest by Cynthia D’ Aprix Sweeney

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This was not one of my favorite books. I was forcing myself to finish the book in time for our meeting. However, about half way through it started getting better. By the end, I found myself enjoying it. The book was a slow starter to say the least but it won me over in the end.

Overview:

“Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs’ joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the futures they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.”

Recommendation – Give it a chance. Maybe it will grow on you as it did with me.

October – A Game For All The Family by Sophie Hannah

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This book was the exact opposite than the last book. I started out liking it but ended with just wanting to be done with it. The book reminded me of a bad Hallmark movie that you watch on a lazy weekend when you are bored and can’t find anything else to watch on tv. Yeah, it was that bad.

Overview:

“Pulled into a deadly game of deception, secrets, and lies, a woman must find the truth in order to defeat a mysterious opponent, protect her daughter, and save her own life in this dazzling standalone psychological thriller with an unforgettable ending from the New York Times bestselling author of Woman with a Secret and The Monogram Murders.

You thought you knew who you were. A stranger knows better.

You’ve left the city—and the career that nearly destroyed you—for a fresh start on the coast. But trouble begins when your daughter withdraws, after her new best friend, George, is unfairly expelled from school.

You beg the principal to reconsider, only to be told that George hasn’t been expelled. Because there is, and was, no George.

Who is lying? Who is real? Who is in danger? Who is in control? As you search for answers, the anonymous calls begin—a stranger, who insists that you and she share a traumatic past and a guilty secret. And then the caller threatens your life. . . .

This is Justine’s story. This is Justine’s family. This is Justine’s game. But it could be yours.”

Recommendation – I say pass but everyone has their own opinion. I will say I was not alone in my dislike of the book at the book club meeting.

November – Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik

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I loved this book! The book follows a group of women, who all live on the same street, over 40 years. You can imagine all that can happen in this span of time. There are good times and bad but the women stick together, mostly, and get through it all.

Overview:

“The women of Freesia Court are convinced that there is nothing good coffee, delectable desserts, and a strong shoulder can’t fix. Laughter is the glue that holds them together—the foundation of a book group they call AHEB (Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons), an unofficial “club” that becomes much more. It becomes a lifeline. Holding on through forty eventful years, there’s Faith, a lonely mother of twins who harbors a terrible secret that has condemned her to living a lie; big, beautiful Audrey, the resident sex queen who knows that with good posture and an attitude you can get away with anything; Merit, the shy doctor’s wife with the face of an angel and the private hell of an abusive husband; Kari, a wise woman with a wonderful laugh who knows the greatest gifts appear after life’s fiercest storms; and finally, Slip, a tiny spitfire of a woman who isn’t afraid to look trouble straight in the eye.

This stalwart group of friends depicts a special slice of American life, of stay-at-home days and new careers, of children and grandchildren, of bold beginnings and second chances, in which the power of forgiveness, understanding, and the perfectly timed giggle fit is the CPR that mends broken hearts and shattered dreams.”

Recommendation – Must read! You won’t regret it!!

December – The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman

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I was hugely disappointed in last month’s book. First of all, it wasn’t even a book. It was a novella. If you can even call it that. So I’m one who likes to own my books. I don’t use an e-reader. I like to carry a book in my purse at all times. Yes, my purse gets heavy but without my book, I feel like I’m missing something. When I went to B&N to purchase this book, I learned of how short it was – 65 pages. I thought it was a mistake. Surely my beloved book club didn’t choose such a short book. It was not. This was the correct book. I was not a happy camper. Somehow I missed at the meeting that they were wanting a shorter book due to the holidays.

Since this book was a Christmas novella, it had the price to go with it – $18. I refused to pay $18 for 65 pages. So glad that I did to because not only was the story (yes, story, because it is hardly a book) not enjoyable but there was a picture on every other page. Yep, not even 65 pages of reading! Fail! I was fortunate to find the book at a library. Otherwise, I may have had to skip this month’s meeting.

Overview:

“It all begins with a father telling a story to his son on Christmas Eve. But this isn’t your typical Christmas story. The father admits to his son that he’s taken a life but he won’t say whose—not yet.

One week earlier, in a hospital late at night, the man met a five-year-old girl with cancer. She’s a smart kid—smart enough to know that she won’t beat cancer by drawing with crayons all day, but it seems to make the adults happy, so she keeps doing it.

As the man tells his son about this plucky little girl, he slowly reveals more about himself: while he may be a successful businessman, idolized by the media and his peers, he knows he failed as a parent. Overwhelmed by the responsibility of fatherhood, he took the easy way out and left his wife and little boy twenty years ago to pursue professional success. Now he is left wondering if it’s too late to forge a relationship with his son, who seems to be his opposite in every way—prizing happiness over money, surrounded by loving friends in a cozy town where he feels right at home.

Face to face with the idea that something is missing, the man is given the unexpected chance to do something selfless that could change the destiny of the little girl in the hospital bed. But before he can make the deal of a lifetime, he needs to find out what his own life has actually been worth in the eyes of his son. And so, he seeks him out and tells him this story…

Written with Fredrik Backman’s signature humor, compassion, and “knack for weaving tales that are believable and fanciful” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), The Deal of a Lifetime reminds us that life is a fleeting gift, and our only legacy is how we share that gift with those we love.”

Recommendation – Pass! Although I have heard that the author is good. I may try one of his other books.

Ok, you all are caught up now. Sorry this is such a long post. It happens when you have months to catch up on. January’s book is The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello. This one was suggested my yours truly. I hope it’s a good one!

WW Week 36-37 Recap

I’m not quite sure how to begin this week.

I’ve hit a set back. I get within 10 lbs of goal, so close, it’s within reach and then I go and blow it. Last week I had a gain of 3 lbs and this week a gain of around 4. I’ve doubled what I need to lose now.

I knew this was going to happen. I wasn’t tracking and I was eating very poorly. I mean bad. Really bad. Here is just a couple examples for you.

Neither of these meals are from holiday related events. One was at the New Dinner Theater with my Aunt and Uncle. (My aunt will read this. She is a loyal subscriber. Love her! This is not your fault. Please don’t think it is. It’s just an example of me making poor choices.) I could have chosen smaller size portions. Larger portions of the veggies and maybe skipped one of the starches. But no. I did not. The show was hilarious though. One of the best, if not the best, I have seen to date. I loved it and my time with family.

The second picture is a dinner I picked up on the way home one night. I had worked late, didn’t meal plan and wasn’t in the mood to cook. I also couldn’t decide where I wanted to go – Taco Bell or Sonic. So I got both. That’s right. I got a Jr. double cheeseburger and fry at Sonic then went next door to Taco Bell and picked up 2 tacos. I ate all of it! Plus, I had a few pieces of chocolate for dessert. I don’t even want to know how many points all of that was. My guess is around 40 for the food and who knows how much, maybe another 20-30, for the chocolate. That was just one meal; doesn’t count all that I had ate earlier in the day.

I told you that I’ve been bad.

I wasn’t lying.

It’s not like time stops when days or weeks like this happen. I’m no longer just 7 lbs away. I have back tracked and have to take the 7 lbs that I gained off, again, to get back to the original 7 lbs that I still needed to lose. Ugh!

This will be my 3rd time taking off these same 7 lbs. I don’t want for there to be a 4th time.

When I started Weight Watchers, I was feeling terrible. I had gained so much weight in such a short amount of time and it was affecting my health. Some of those same things that I felt 8 months ago, I felt again this last week. I was:

  • bloated
  • clothes feeling tight
  • gassy
  • breathing heavy
  • hard to get up off the couch
  • uncomfortable to sleep at night

I didn’t think I would ever feel those things again. Yet, I am. Yes, still am. I have had heart burn most of the day. It’s not good.

I’ve been doing a little reflecting. When I first started, the weight came off rather easy. The first 15 lbs especially, the 2nd 15 wasn’t much worse. It’s these last 15 that I’ve been struggling with. What’s the difference? Well, I was strict at the beginning. I did the program. I tracked every single thing I ate. I planned accordingly. If I ran out of points, I stopped eating. I remember saying time and time again, what is the point of being in Weight Watchers if you weren’t going to follow the program. When I did what I was supposed to do, I lost weight.

It’s only been these last few months when I have tracked less and less or fell off the wagon and not tracked at all, that I’ve been struggling. I wasn’t following the program.

I went to 2 meetings today. In the first one, I broke down. It was too emotional for me and I’m a crier. It was a low point for me. But in a way it was good. Everyone was so supportive. We’ve all been there. I put too much pressure on myself. Yes, I had hoped to be at Lifetime around Thanksgiving. Yes, that was adjusted to around the beginning of the New Year. No, it’s not happening. But I will get there. As long as I do, does it matter how long it takes me? Not really. Other than, it’s still costing me money. lol

After my usual Sunday meeting, I thought I would give myself some extra encouragement and attend my old meeting as well. I got a few good ideas while I was there. One – perky pencils! I think I’m going to go buy some and start using them myself. One of the girls I’ve become friends with there said that she is going to start giving herself one for each day that she tracks. I am loving this idea. At least for this first month. I miss the perky pencils. If I look back in my book, I think I received one each week for the first 5 months. These were the successful months.

If you don’t remember, my old WW leader passed out perky pencil stickers to everyone who tracked to the best of their ability at least 5 out of the 7 days of the week. I tracked everything! Therefore, I always got a perky pencil sticker. =)

The second idea was to have the right attitude. I’ve been hard on myself lately and haven’t had the best attitude. This has lead me to continue making poor decisions. Change my attitude, set a goal and I will see success!!

The third idea is the Blue Dot Challenge. I didn’t participate the first time around because, well, I wasn’t tracking when this took place. I’ve declared January my own personal Blue Dot Challenge. My goal – to see a blue dot for every day in January. What does this mean? In order to receive a blue dot, you first have to track. Then you have to stay within the healthy range of points. This range is designated as 10 below your daily points and 5 above. For me, my daily points is 23 so my healthy point range is 13-28. If I stay within this range, I will receive a blue dot. I am going to strive to receive a blue dot every day in January.

So today is the last day of the year. It’s the first day of a new week. It’s time for a new beginning. I’m going to follow the program as I did when I first started. I’m going to track everything that I eat. I’m going to plan my meals. I’m going to drink more water. I’m going to get my perky pencils because I have the right attitude and I’m going to see a blue dot each and every day this month. I’m going to lose these last 15 lbs and keep them off! I can do this!!

WW Week 35 Recap

It’s the holiday season. We can say oh well, give up, eat all that we want and pick up again after the start of the new year. Or we can still allow ourselves to enjoy the holidays with our friends and family and maintain or even, get this, still loose weight.

Which would you rather choose?

Gain weight and have to work hard to get back off the pounds you worked hard to loose the first time or make smarter choices and plan for those big holiday meals accordingly. I’d rather choose the second. That’s just me though. There isn’t a wrong choice. You have to do what is going to work for you.

This week I knew that my work was having a Christmas party and so I planned my meals around that. I didn’t want to eat anything heavy so I stayed away from pasta. But I still wanted to be satisfied. You’ll just end up eating more if you aren’t satisfied.

I ate the same thing most every day. I make that sound like this week is different from other weeks. It’s not. At least in that sense.

It’s just me so when I make a meal it lasts all week long. Means I am able to cook less but it does mean I tend to eat the same thing every day.

For breakfast I ate 2 eggs (0 pts), 2 turkey sausage patties (3 pts) and a banana. This has been my breakfast most days for the last several months. Sometimes I’ll have a glass of milk (fat free – 3 pts) and sometimes not.

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You would think I’d get bored with it but I haven’t yet. However, it is nice to eat something different every once in a while. Thanks to my nephew who insisted on wanting waffles when he stayed the night a couple weeks ago, I now have a box of waffles in my freezer. Fortunately, I got wheat and he couldn’t tell the difference. 2 waffles are 5 points, no butter, 2 tbsp’s of sugar free syrup (1 pt) and a banana. Yumm!

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For lunch I was in the mood for tuna salad. Well honestly, I was craving some sort of chip action and this was my way of satisfying that since I eat the tuna on crackers. One can of tuna is 2 servings for me. I add in 2 eggs, 2 sweet pickles that I chop up and 2 tbsp of light mayo. It ends up being 2 pts a serving. Not bad.

I ate it with 9 Triscuit crackers (5 pts), baby carrots (0 pts) and some applesauce (0 pts). I go through phases where I love applesauce and want it all the time or I can not touch it for months. Weird. But this week it hit the spot.

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For dinner I made a healthier version of Chicken Parm. Oh my, was it good! I posted the recipe yesterday. Check it out here. =)

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The Chicken Parm itself was only 4 pts, green beans (0 pts), salad mix (0 pts) and my favorite dressing, Ken’s Lite Italian Dressing (1 pt for 1 tbsp). So good!

Wednesday was my company’s Christmas party and I wanted to be free to eat what I wanted while there. So…I ate as few points during the day as possible. Guess what? I didn’t starve myself doing so. Thanks to the recent changes in the program, my breakfast of 3 eggs was zero points. For lunch I had baby carrots, applesauce and a salad totaling 1 point. I was good to go come dinner. =)

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This is what I mean by living life, being flexible, still enjoying events whatever those events might be but not giving up. I made smarter choices during the day and then enjoyed myself that evening and yes, I ate whatever and however much I wanted. I did not count. I do this from time to time. I think it’s ok. I just don’t go crazy and I start tracking the very next day.

Friday turned out to be a curve ball for me. This will happen! I had a half day at work and needed to run some errands. One of the errands was up North near my sister. I asked her if she wanted to join me for a late lunch. She did. I love it when we can get together. =)

That lunch turned in to hanging out with her the rest of the day including going to a birthday party at Olive Garden (Olive Garden!) and a Christmas party after. I did not plan for this. In fact I ate a somewhat unhealthy lunch, buffalo chicken flat bread pizza with alfredo ranch sauce, because I had had a lighter breakfast and knew how many points my dinner was going to be.

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That all went out the window with Olive Garden though. Or did it?

My sister knew that I’ve been working hard to loose weight for about 8 months now. She suggested that we each just have a bowl of soup or share a dish. We ended up sharing a bowl of soup and an entree. She remembered that I had told her salmon was now zero points under the new program and suggested we eat that for dinner. So we split a bowl of Zuppa Toscana, our favorite, and a salmon entree with a veggie side dish. It was just right. I didn’t feel hungry nor stuffed. I even avoided the bread sticks, which is hard to do let me tell you!, but did enjoy a glass of wine. My original dinner for 4 points turned in to a 16 point dinner but it was all right. It could have been much, much worse!

The Christmas party was actually more difficult than dinner. There were so many goodies – chips, dips and the sweets! I wanted all of it. But I resisted. Though it wasn’t easy. I even had to leave the room in order to keep temptation at bay.

It was worth it though. I weighed in this morning and guess what? I’m down another 2 lbs this week, I received another 5 lb star (finally after more than 2 months since receiving my last one) and I’m 7 lbs away from goal. Lifetime is so within reach! I’m getting excited!!

I wouldn’t be this close to Lifetime if I had decided to give myself a pass for the entire holiday season. I would be getting farther and farther away and honestly, it would make it that much more difficult to get back on track after the new year. Once you fall off, it’s not easy getting back on. That’s why I give myself free passes every once in a while, more often now then when I first started, but then I immediately start tracking the next day. Life is all about balance. You can’t avoid certain situations and who would want to but you can’t give in all the time either.

So make smarter choices this holiday season, do what is going to be best for you and get back on track right after! Happy holidays!!

Healthier Chicken Parmesan

I love Chicken Parmesan! Do you love Chicken Parmesan? Of course you do! Who doesn’t?

So Olive Garden Chicken Parm is 32 points. Yikes! Now that includes the spaghetti that is served with it but still, wow. Not sure how much it would be if you were to make it at home but my guess is it would still be 10-15 points, including the spaghetti.

Mine, however, 4 points! Yay! Ok, not exactly mine but hers. Mine now though because I will be making this recipe time and time again. It is that good!

I did decide to omit the spaghetti. Spaghetti noodles and sauce would probably tack on another 8 points. Still not terrible. 12 points for a meal. But if you add roasted green beans and a salad such as I did, you have yourself a 5 point dinner. That’s even better!

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Tell me that doesn’t look good. Oh my! It’s as good as it looks. Let me tell ya!

What makes this version healthier than normal Chicken Parm? I’m so glad you asked. First and foremost, the chicken is baked rather than fried. Secondly, the chicken is only breaded on one side. Weird right? I thought so. Trust me though, you won’t even notice when you’re eating it.

So…this is how you make it.

Gather your ingredients and take a picture. Oops! That’s what I do. You don’t have to do that. I mean, unless you want to. Completely up to you. lol

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Mix together the breading for the chicken – panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, Italian season, salt and pepper.

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I just love the look of seasoned flour, breadcrumbs, etc.

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Beat an egg and set up your dredging station.

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Spray a sheet pan with Pam or whatever cooking spray that you use and start dredging. Now, remember to only bread one side of the chicken breast. This will feel slightly weird because it’s not what you’re used to. After the first one though, it won’t feel weird anymore. At least it didn’t for me. Spray the top of the chicken, after breading, with Pam to help get extra crunchy and brown.

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For the green beans, cut off the tips and toss in a bowl with some Pam, salt and pepper. Lay as many green beans around the chicken as you can. If needed, use a separate sheet pan.

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Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. If your chicken is cut thin, 15 minutes will be enough.

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Spread the marinara sauce or spaghetti sauce of your choosing, beware this may change your point value, over the top of the chicken breast. I’m going to be honest here, I didn’t think half a cup of the sauce would be enough. In fact, when I first decided to make this recipe, I put the recipe in the WW app and entered 1 1/4 cups of both the sauce and the mozzarella cheese. I just knew I was going to put a 1/4 cup on each. Also thought I would be making 5 instead of 4, hence the 1 1/4 cup.

I was so wrong though. All you will need is 1/2 cup of each your sauce and your mozzarella cheese. Back to spreading the sauce on each chicken…then top with the shredded cheese. Put back in the oven for about 5 minutes so that the cheese will melt.

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This looks promising, doesn’t it?!

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After 5 minutes, pull the chicken out of the oven. If your cheese is not fully melted, leave it in for a couple more minutes. I thought mine needed a little more color and decided to sprinkle a little Italian seasoning on top. Excellent decision if I say so myself. Which I do! =)

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Doesn’t it look so good? You know it does!

Here’s the recipe.

Healthy Chicken Parmesan

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

4 points per chicken breast

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken breasts (this doesn’t have be exact, I think mine was more like 1.34 lbs)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning plus some to sprinkle on top of cheese at the end
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb green beans (or however much you like)
  • Pam cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce (I used garlic and basil) *note if you use one w/ meat, it will be higher in points
  • 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Set oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Mix together the panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Place in a dish so that the chicken can easily be placed in it for breading.
  3. Beat the egg and place in a similar style dish.
  4. Place one side of the chicken in the egg followed by the panko mixture. Press the chicken down in the breading mixture so that as much as possible will stick to it. Place breading side up on a sprayed baking sheet.
  5. Repeat for remaining chicken breasts. Spray tops of chicken with Pam to help brown and get crispy.
  6. Cut ends off green beans and toss with Pam, salt and pepper. Spread green beans around edge of baking sheet.
  7. Put chicken and green beans in the oven for 15 minutes.
  8. Pull out of oven and spread first the spaghetti sauce evenly over the chicken, then the shredded mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and put back in the oven for roughly 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  9. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I did. Share your pictures if you make it! =)

WW Week 34 Recap

Week 1 of the new Freestyle program with Weight Watchers and I am down another 1.2 lbs. I’m officially 9 lbs away from goal! Yay!

I was honestly expecting to see a larger weight loss since I felt I embraced the new program and planned my meals around now 0 point foods. I made the taco chicken and had burritos using Ole’s 1 point tortillas. The taco chicken had chicken (o pts), black beans (0 points), corn (0 points) and salsa (1 pt, don’t ask). Awesome, right?! I thought so. My brother and his boyfriend even joined me one night for dinner, yes, it makes that much, and seemed to enjoy it. I also made ham and beans, which are now 3 pts a serving, throughout the week.

See, chicken, corn, beans and more beans, I embraced the new program. However, I probably had more than 3 oz of the chicken mixture in my burrito. I didn’t measure, shocking for me, but I’m guessing closer to 5-6. Not terrible, but still more than 3. I also made cornbread to eat with my ham and beans. The cornbread alone was 7 points per serving. Ouch!

I have seen others announce that they had a loss between 4-9 lbs. Wow! So I was expecting to lose a decent amount. I still had a loss though. For this I am happy. Constantly I’m thinking “had I done this” or “if I would have done that”, I would have lost more. When will I learn that a loss is a loss? I’ve said it on here many times and still I need to keep telling myself to be happy with any loss that I have. Any loss is still heading in the right direction.

So this week, I’m still going to embrace Freestyle but no more 7 pt cornbread. I think I’m going to have tuna and Triscuits for lunch. Since tuna is now 0 pts as well as the eggs, I only have to count the light mayo and sweet pickles that I add to it and of course the Triscuits. For dinner I’m going to try a healthier version of Chicken Parmesan. I love Chicken Parm so I’m hoping it doesn’t disappoint. I’ll keep you informed. =)

Have a great week everyone!