When the Cat is away...

...well, you know what happens.

In other words, my scale is not functioning right now! It's an old fancy-shmancy Tanita model that would measure your body fat in addition to telling you your weight. I'm not sure if it's kaput or just needs a new battery. I keep telling the Husband to take a look at it and ya know what he tells me?

I thought you said you would check your progress by seeing how your clothes fit. So, how do your pants fit?

Men. Seriously.

But I suppose he's probably right, even though it's driving me bonkers not to be able to weigh myself. So, I ask myself, Self, how do your pants fit?

Well, they fit just fine, thankyouverymuch.

But I still think I should lay off the homemade peanut butter cookies. And the bittersweet chocolate chip ones too, just in case.

Holding Pattern

I am still in a holding pattern 'round these here parts, right at about 168. I did lose about 1 pound in the last few weeks somewhere, but am happy just hanging out in the upper 160s for now. This puts me at a small-average size 14. I do have some short-term and longer-term goals that I have been thinking about, as well as strategies to help me get there.

Short-term Goal: 165 by January 2nd. More ambitious goal: 160 by January 2nd. We have a family wedding to attend on that day, so I figured that might make for a good incentive to lose a couple pounds. It's always difficult for me to lose weight around the holidays, which is why I'm not planning on going on an all-out weight-loss campaign during the next few months. How: Exercising 2x a week and drinking more fluids. Yes. Just those two simple things. I think my eating is fairly under control & I just will need to put some smart choices into practice when it comes to holiday entertaining. I am currently suffering from a fairly severe pinched nerve in my neck, so I will need to wait until I can get that cared for before I begin undertaking a more active regimen.

Longer-term Goal: Size 12 by Spring (March 21st). I'm really not sure how many pounds this will equate to, but I'm guessing it would be another 10-12 pounds from where I'm at now. If I reach the January 2nd short-term goal, I'll only have a little more to lose in order to hit this longer-term goal. I'm always willing to re-evaluate though, as I move along. Marathon, not sprint, people. How: I probably will have to start counting POINTS again and keeping up with the exercise.

So there we have it. I'm glad I'm writing it down now, thereby having something I've committed to and goals which are more concrete to work towards. Any concrete goals you're working towards at the moment?

Gone for good?

The 170s, that is.

They might just be gone for good. I haven't kept up very well at all with the progress page, but the bottom line is that the first two numbers on the scale are a 1 and a 6. This, for me, is considered a big victory. Besides that, I am officially a size 14, albeit a slightly wonky-shaped one. I know this is probably the "average" size in America, but for now, "average" is just fine with me.

I haven't been counting POINTS for weeks now, but have still been steadily losing due to the good habits that I've developed. I guess I have trained myself to just naturally reach for the 'better' foods instead of the high calorie, fatty ones. I will probably pause for a bit at the weight that I am at, since it almost equates to about 10% lost. Once I feel up to it again, I will start counting POINTS and perhaps even add in some physical activity. *Gasp*, I know.

There have been long periods of time in my life where I'd look around the room and wonder if I was the biggest girl there. I hate that feeling. Can I just say that again? I hate that feeling. Life is too short to live that way; to be constantly standing in judgment of myself. Now, even if that is true, I feel better in my own skin. Maybe not Amazing or Wonderful, but at least Good.

And sometimes Good is good enough.


I am newly convinced that the more 'ingredients' you have in your shopping cart compared to the number of 'prepared items', two things will be true: you'll spend less money and probably be healthier. During a recent grocery trip I was examining the contents of my cart. It was half full of fruits and vegetables, including several canned veggies, among whole wheat flour, Splenda, reduced-fat cheese and, well, the requisite Lean Cuisine type meals. I'm pretty sure people who buy lots of cookies, crackers, frozen-meal-in-a-bag, premium frozen pizzas, ready-made-sauces, chips, soda, deli salads and the like probably have much higher grocery bills than mine! I would think that the more aware you are of what you are eating {buying mostly 'ingredients'} the better you will eat. I'm wondering if the budget theory is true, how far can you take it? If you grind your own flour, for example, or buy a side of beef and have it butchered, will you 'save' money?
Whadda ya think? Is there any correlation between what's in the cart and how much is on your body (or in your wallet)?

A Dozen

Which is about how many pounds I have lost so far, more or less. I weighed myself a few days ago and the scale said I had a 13 pound loss, but with all the crazy eating I have been doing over the weekend, I think it's probably more like 12! In honor of my dozen, here are two lists of twelve according to this Healthy Foodie: things to get rid of and things to add to your diet to jump start some healthier eating and hopefully some slimming of pounds!
Twelve Things to Get Rid Of
  • Mayo. Easily done. Ask for 'no mayo' when you order sandwiches and avoid those potato or pasta salads that are laden with mayonnaise.
  • Regular Soda. Besides the fact that there is zero nutrition, there's also lots of empty calories. Switch to diet and drink it only as a treat or when out on the town.
  • Sugary sweets. Really. Since it's summertime, there is no lack for really fresh fruit or other juicy treats at the farmstand. White sugar also falls into this category. Switch to Splenda or even start with half sugar and half Splenda. Look for 'sugar-free' options when buying drinks, candy, or condiments (syrup, jam, etc.).
  • A Get-thin-quick Mentality. Healthy weightloss and eating is a lifestyle, not a temporary fix or a sprint. If you start thinking longterm, all these 'little' things will add up to 'big things'. Speaking of big things....
  • Big Portions. What's with all the super-sizing? Order yourself a kid's meal when you're out. Or when you're at home, measure your portions. Even if it's only for a week, it's a great exercise to train yourself to 'see' how much you should be eating. And another big thing to get rid of....
  • Big Plates. I *love* this trick. I only use small plates. At a recent bridal shower I attended, there was loads of foods. Literally. It was quite a lavish spread. I probably could've eaten 4 days worth of POINTS right then and there! But I found the smallest plate there was and filled that up. Several of the motherly guests were chuckling at me and telling me to "GET A BIGGER PLATE!"  But that was just my point. Smaller plates make a little food seem bigger.
  • Cheese. Full-fat cheese can really be a healthy diet buster. It's great in tiny amounts, but most people don't know how much a 'serving' of cheese really is. Just skip it altogether {or use light cheese} and you'll be better off for it.
  • Late-night noshing. Every heard about not eating after 8 pm? I usually do it out of boredom, so I grab a cold drink instead. If I plan on staying up late, say past 11, I do allow myself a planned snack. Since we eat dinner around 5 pm, if I don't snack on those late nights, I'll go to bed with a rumbly tummy, making it really difficult to fall asleep.
  • Stress-eating. Don't even go there. I know it happens to the best of us, probably most people even! I try to pray instead, but you can do whatever helps you get through the moment. Go for a walk. Take a hot bath. Sit down with a glass of (light) Iced Tea and new magazine. Just don't reach for the bag of potato chips.
  • White-flour products. It's just plain not as good for you as whole-wheat. Calories with very little fiber.
  • Fast-food fare. It's truly not all bad, but your usual cheeseburger-and-fries order should be traded in for something better for you. Many restaurants have healthy menu options, so stick to those when dining out. Nearly all the fast food places have nutritional information available, either at the counter or online. I nearly always 'plan' what I will be eating before I go, so that I'm not tempted while waiting in the drive-thru lane.
  • Anything 'fried'. Don't really need any explanation here, do I?

Things to Add to Your {Almost} Healthy Diet
  • More fluids. I, for one, drink too little and eat when I'm really thirsty. Staying hydrated is good for you and makes your skin look healthier too.
  • Fruits & Veggies. I add more veggies to everything. We'll splurge on a $5 pizza from Little Caesar's and I'll load mine up with sauteed veggies. Same thing with a convenient Lean Cuisine. Eat salads. Try some new recipes for creative veggie side dishes. Grab a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar.
  • Reasonable Expectations. I'll never be a size 6. Trying to accomplish that will only leave me discouraged with a great sense of failure. As we age and/or have more children, our bodies change. We can't expect the same things from them as we once did. You can't expect to lose 20 pounds in one month, well, most of us can't. Set yourself up for success by planning some reasonable short and long term goals. Then stick to it!
  • Sleep. When I don't get enough, I start feeling sluggish around early afternoon, so to compensate I would pump my body full of sugar to overcome that tired feeling. Not good. Feeling well rested helps me make eating choices. Period.
  • Fiber. In the Weight Watchers world, the fiber lowers the amount of POINTS in an item. I love Fiber Bars (generic taste great too!) when I need a filling treat. Some of them remind me of candy bars leaving me feeling less deprived. Which leads me to....
  • Dessert. It's not evil and we shouldn't paint it as such. If we remove every indulge that we once enjoyed, we'll only end up feeling grumpy and probably binging or giving up. Split a dessert with a friend. Or allow yourself X number of bites. Also available are the lower calorie treats like Trader Joe's No Pudge Brownies, Skinny Cow ice cream bars, or 100 calorie pack goodies. Every Healthy Foodie needs dessert!
  • A Scale. Not only the kind that you weigh yourself on, but the small kitchen type for your food. Do you really know what 3 ounces of chicken looks like? You should. It'll help you keep your portions in check.
  • Good-for-you Convenience Foods. All the cooks in the family need a break every now and again and even the slowest of lifestyles has its hectic days. Fill the cupboards and freezer with a couple of healthy on-the-go snacks and quick fix meals to keep yourself from getting too hungry and making bad food picks.
  • Exercise. I really don't do it often enough, so this one is kinda just paying lip service to what we all know to be true. Exercise is good for us, both our bodies and our spirits. I like late afternoon or evening walks with the kids, a swift bike ride on the local trail with the wind on my face, or a good round with a Tae-bo video. Other small things add up as well, like parking further from the front door of a store or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Incentives. We're all motivated by something. Building in non-food rewards to your weight loss plan (if that what you're after) can help you keep your eye on the goal. Treat yourself to a manicure or a movie or a new outfit! Sometimes an event is a great motivator as well. The last time Hubs and I visited Door County, I told myself that I would be at least a size smaller the next time I returned. I wouldn't let myself go back unless that was true!
  • Variety. It's the spice of life, people. I get bored fairly easily so I try to mix things up by purchasing a new healthy snack, trying an unusual vegetable, or attempting a creative recipe. If I get bored with the same-old same-old, imagine how my taste buds must feel!
  • Accountability. Some people just can't lose weight or commit to being healthy without it. Whether it's your husband, kids, weight-loss forum or some gal pals, tell people what you're planning to do or change and them give them permission to hold you to it.
There you have it. Twelve pounds lost and 6 pounds left to go to reach my first short-term goal: 10% of my starting weight lost. Hope you're finding yourself healthier & happier!

Mental Note & Week 4

Do not alter your diet to include mostly healthy foods and then splurge on a greasy burger AND an Italian sausage in the same meal. Especially if you have had your gall bladder removed. If you do, you might be kept up most of the night writhing in pain with a horrendous stomach ache, just wishing you would vomit so that you would feel better. ASK ME HOW I KNOW.

But besides that, week four brought a loss of 1.5 pounds! I was a little lax on the weekend {see mental note above} due to a first birthday we attended and because it was Sunday. I've also decided that I'm not going to count POINTS on Sunday as part of my 'keeping the Sabbath'. I'm trying not to go crazy with the eating just because I'm not keeping track, though. I've realized that I prefer to 'eat clean', as I call it, during the week and splurge a little on the weekends, as opposed to just eating a little extra on a daily basis to use my 'weekly' POINTS. Since the weekends usually have more opportunities for eating out or at parties, I figure this is practical too.

So after only four weeks, I've lost about 9 pounds! I need to start thinking about a nifty reward for the 10 pound mark. Ideas?

Greek Salad

Greek Salad:

chopped {or hand-torn} romaine

chopped tomatoes

chopped cucumbers {cut in half, scrape out the seeds, then chop}

finely chopped red onion

sliced black olives

sliced cooked chicken breast

Creamy Feta Dressing

{serves 2-3 salads}

3 T. fat-free mayo
1/8 c. crumbled fat-free Feta

1 T. fat-free sour cream

1-2 T. skim milk

1 t. grated lemon zest

1 t. fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

Layer salad ingredients in a bowl in the amount of your liking. As for the chicken, you can use leftover grilled or roasted chicken. If you make if specifically for this salad, sauteeing with a little oregano adds to the authentic flavor. I used a poached chicken breast, sprinkled with a little oregano, then sauteed, just to brown it a bit. For the dressing, I kinda used what I had and what I could find that was budget friendly. I used low-fat mayo {on hand} instead of fat-free and had to just use regular feta {found at Aldi}. If you save the dressing for another day, you may have to add more milk to thin the dressing out again. Top with dressing. Enjoy!

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