It's amazing how one tiny piece of new information can nearly derail your whole plan for a healthy lifestyle.

I am pregnant.

I took this new information rather hard. As an emotional wreck, it wasn't that I was turning to unhealthy food for comfort, but rather abandoning the healthy foods that I knew were good for me. My attitude was that of giving up my goal of losing weight and eating healthy. Now that my waistline will only be getting bigger rather than smaller, I felt as if my efforts were in vain. As some time has passed though, {and with the help of my uber great support system}, I have come to realize that my 22 pound weight loss should not be something to just toss aside and has not been all for naught.

The encouraging news is that since I stopped counting POINTS 5 weeks ago {I am 9 weeks along}, I have not gained a single pound. I am starting this pregnancy 22 pounds lighter than I would have, had I not begun a journey towards a healthier life. I have new-found knowledge about what & how much to feed my body to keep my weight in check and also to look & feel great. I have the confidence that after this pregnancy is over, I know that I can {and will!} lose the baby weight that I will have gained. I hope to make this my healthiest pregnancy ever, as I have *always* gained much more weight than I should have.

For me, overall health means so much more than just the shape of my body. There is also emotional, mental, and spiritual health that should be considered as part of my whole. At first, I had begun to think of this pregnancy as a roadblock on my highway towards better health. A roadblock means you can't proceed. Halt. Stop. I am accepting that this is just a detour. I might not be able to stay on the same road I was on before, but my trip continues nonetheless, just with some slightly different scenery than I expected.

So this will now be considered Chronicles of an {Almost} Healthy Foodie: The Pregnancy Edition.

Still sharing my thoughts about being a healthier me, more great food tips, and hopefully encouragement as
you continue on towards your destination. I'm just taking the scenic route.

Ode to Mashed Potatoes

How I love your buttery richness!
You are so comforting, especially on these bitter winter days.
I carefully sprinkle you with kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper.
Even days later as leftovers, your creamy goodness still shines through.
I'm wondering though....

....could you have anything to do with the 2 pounds I've gained?


I read a little blurb in December's All You magazine about how to replace some of your favorites and at the same time cut 100 calories. I'll list the items that they suggest to replace with my own ideas about what to eat instead {just cuz I'm a little rebellious like that}:

Replace..............................With This
Ice cream............................Fit 'N Active Slim Ice Cream Sandwiches
Vegetable Oil.....................Pam Spray {Spray it on veggies for roasting!}
Ranch dressing..................LF or FF ranch {Sometimes you just gotta have ranch!}
Pizza with pepperoni........Thin crust pizza with lots of veggies
Chips with dip....................Pretzel thins
Cheese dip........................?? Homemade low-fat version ??
Sandwich............................No need to replace a sandwich!
Slice of Quiche..................Crustless quiche made w/ low-fat Bisquick

Anything you used to eat, but don't anymore? Feel free to add your own "replacements"!

Week at a Glance

I'm taking a break from the "sampler" series to give ya'll my weekly update.

*drumroll, please*

Lost 2 more pounds! I'm seriously as surprised as you are. I like to give my body two weeks to adjust, but seeing as Thanksgiving is this week, I won't be surprised if I don't stay *exactly* where I'm at {165!}. I used quite a few flex points in the beginning of the week {um, I think it was emotional eating} so I buckled down from about Wednesday onward. I tried limiting myself to a 3 PT breakfast & 6 PT lunch with a morning snack, just to see how that worked out. The first few days of the week I had a 4 PT breakfast & an 8 PT lunch with no snack in between. For some reason, going without that mid-morning snack, even though I had a bigger lunch, still left me feeling hungrier throughout the day.

I'm still diggin' on my Thomas' Multi-grain English Muffin spread with a Laughing Cow Light. I've had this for breakfast about 3 times this week. You'd really know how much I must like it if you knew I much I love variety. After all, it is the Spice of Life, people!

I tried an Aldi Fit 'N Active Pizza Puff this week, which I will review in another post. I love trying new things to keep my palate happy. I also tried a recipe from Cooking Light magazine for Buttermilk Biscuits. That's another thing on my list to remake & review. I'll just say that they were delish!

I'm reading another foodie book called Trails of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home. It's the memoir of an adopted Korean girl & how food is a comfort in both her geographical and emotional journey. Part of it is set in France {self-proclaimed francophile here!} and is sprinkled with recipes throughout. I think it's so poetic how much a part food plays in our memories. The author remembers with fondness the dishes her grandfather used to make for her after school. I too remember different dishes I've made throughout my life. I keep remembering how I used to make Chicken Pot Pie with frozen vegetables and Bisquick when I was first married. I laugh at it now, but that dish, which requires little culinary technique, respresents the same amount of skill I had in the area of being an excellent wife.

My small group leader complimented me twice last night for looking "put together". I eventually casually said that it might have something to do with the 20 pounds I've lost. It could also be due to a book I've been studying called Sam Saboura's Real Style: Style Secrets for Real Women with Real Bodies. Love it! You analyze your body type & then the book shows you how to build your wardrobe based on your body. For me, dressing better makes me feel better. Feeling like I look better keeps me motivated to continue my good relationship with food and treating my body well. I realize that throughout my life, I've really only dressed "nicely" when I felt like I looked good. When I was weighing upwards of 180, my wardrobe consisted mainly of sweatpants, leftover maternity clothes {when the timing dictated} and loose fitting cotton shirts. I guess it was because I just didn't even feel bien dans ma peau. Or good in my skin, so to speak. It still feels like a conundrum to me. Shouldn't I have loved myself anyways? Enough to at least present a nice appearance? If I did love myself enough though, wouldn't I have loved myself enough to change my relationship with food & shed that unnecessary baggage?

Have you dressed the same way whether you've weighed 125 or 165? Or is your style based on how well you feel dans sa peau {in your skin}?

Sampler: The Lunch Edition

Now that I've told you what I'm having for breakfast & what I'm snacking on, I'll move on to lunch! I try to keep my lunches around 6 PTS and it's usually a combination of the following:

  • Leftovers: hey, they're not glamorous, but surely are frugal.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich on Healthy Life bread with (2) 2% cheese slices & ICBINB
  • Salad with LF dressing. I'm loving Kraft Catalina right now because it's 1 PT for 2 T.
  • Chicken burger with caramelized onions on a Whole Wheat High-Fiber bun. I *love* the Fit 'N Active chicken burger patties from Aldi, although I'm having a hard time finding them now :>(
  • Lean Cuisine: either a 4-5 PTer with an additional side or a 6 PTer. I nearly *always* add additional sauteed veggies to my Lean Cuisines. Too bad Aldi doesn't make a Fit 'N Active version!
  • 0 or 1 PT Progresso Light Soup. Love, love, love it! Great filler, warms me up on a cold day & makes a great snack too!
  • Lunch meat sandwich. Great go-to meal for when I'm feeling lazy, which seems to happen quite frequently. Sometimes I'll put some 2% cheese on it & broil it til toasty.
  • BLT with basil. Turkey bacon for the "B" part & light mayo. Since you know I'm a foodie, I'll pretty much only eat these when tomatoes are in season or if some really good "on the vine" ones can be found at the market.
  • Terra Chips. Love 'em. They're a gourmet brand of chip {gourmet = $$}, but oh, so yummy. I love the Mediterranean flavored Root Veg chips. There are only certain ones that I buy. Basically the ones that are 3 PTs for 1 ounce. For some reason, eating "potato" chips makes me feel like I'm still "normal" and not missing out on food that's bad for you!
Go ahead and add your favorite lunches! You're so close to the comment button, you might as well click it.

Snack Sampler

Next up, snacks! I must, must, must have snacks throughout my day. I just think my body {and probably most bodies} work better when constantly fueled throughout the day, instead of in three lump sums biggrin. Here are many of the snacks that I keep stocked on my shelves:

  • 1 Laughing Cow cheese with some crackers, like Trader Joe's Ak-mok, All-bran high-fiber or even Aldi's Light & Fit wheat crackers {1 pt for the LC and I eat 1 pt worth of crackers}
  • String cheese {1-2 pts depending on brand}
  • Banana
  • Apple with one ounce of really good sharp cheddar cheese {I just found a great 2% sharp cheddar sold in a brick!}
  • Frozen grapes {Haven't done this in a while, glad I reminded myself!}
  • Hard-boiled egg with kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
  • Healthy Life bread spread with ICBINB and roasted garlic
  • Light popcorn
And my top two favorite snacks are.....
  • Pickles {I don't know what I would do without pickles! Nearly 0 calories so I can eat a couple for 0 pts!!}
  • High fiber bars like Fiber One or Aldi's Fiber Now -- almost makes me think I'm eating a candy bar plus it's a good source of fiber -- yummy!!
Ok. Bring on the Snack Attack! Got some favorites to add to my list?

P.S. I'll be doing "Sweet Treats" separately, so save up some ideas for those!

Breakfast Sampler

Thought it might be kinda fun to post about some of my typical meals while on WW. Maybe you'll see that eating healthy really isn't such drudgery or it'll shake up your current healthy eating plan. Here are some typical breakfast menus:

  • Multi-grain english muffin with 1 Laughing Cow Cheese spread & a banana {4 pts.}
(I love this combo because the muffin with the laughing cow reminds me soooo much of a bagel with cream cheese, but a lot lighter of course.)
  • 1 c. of frozen berries with 1/2 c. of low-fat homemade yogurt & about 1/8 c. of homemade granola {3-4 pts.}
  • Kashi cereal {different varieties, but usually GoLean} with skim milk {I make it add up to 4 pts.}
  • one scrambled egg with 2 slices of Healthy Life bread {with 1 T. ICBINB light} and 1 slice turkey bacon {4 pts.}
  • 2 slices Healthy Life bread spread with 1 T. peanut butter and one apple {3 pts.}
  • 1 small pancake with ICBINB & syrup with a slice of turkey bacon {3 pts.}
Those are pretty much my go-to breakfasts. If the kids are having cinnamon rolls {reduced-fat} I might have one of those with an egg and a piece of fruit. Or if I made waffles that morning, I'll have too. I'd like to maybe work in some smoothies or maybe low-fat muffins, but haven't had time to plan ahead for those. Guess the breakfast of frozen berries with yogurt & granola could easily just be added to the blender, yes? I think at this time of year, some pumpkin-y breakfasts might be an order.

Any favorite healthy breakfasts to add to my rotation?

Part Human

My scale, that is. It likes to tell me how much I weigh based on what kind of mood it's in. If it's having a bad day, it tells me I've gained. If it's feelin' good, it tells me I've lost. This morning it read 167.5?! Tomorrow will I weigh 185 again? I forgot to weigh myself yesterday, my normal weigh-in day. Ok. Let's be honest. I ate a bunch of pizza on Saturday and some Hot Fudge Cake {even the memories of it have calories}, hence the no weighing. I guess I'll just have to rely on how my clothes fit, instead of on my codependent manipulative scale. The clothes are a more accurate reflection of my progress anyways. Humph.


I think my scale was playing tricks on me. I weighed myself when I returned from my big anniversary trip {169.5} but when I did a mid-week check, I was over 170! How disappointing. Lately my motto has been: Keep. Moving. Forward. And really that is what I am doing. What's done is done. This is not a race. This is my life. This is not a race. I think I need some refocusing time. I probably should write down some short-term goals, take a look at where I've been, and remind myself of where I'm going. All this Thanksgiving menu planning can't be helping my psyche either. Too many food thoughts. Looking forward to weigh-in on Sunday. Hoping the first two numbers are 1 and 6. Until then....

Assessing the Damage

Thanks to a great weekend getaway with the love of my life, I will now be assessing the damage from all the wonderful food we indulged in. I did not regret a minute of my no-POINT-counting-weekend, well, ok, maybe just a little driving home & dreading what the scale might read. I realize that the worst thing I can do is not weigh myself. The worst that can happen is that I gained a few pounds & will just have to eat "clean" this next week. The good news is that my mom has joined WW and has used my example as her motivation! This, in turn, motivates me to keep...moving...forward. So, the damage is....

....*gained 1 pound*.....

Phew! Not nearly as bad as I expected. Guess all the walking & extra activity paid off!

my thoughts: After "falling off the wagon", weigh yourself as soon as possible. No use avoiding the scale as you're only fooling yourself. Assess. Plan. Move Forward!

Goodbye 170s!!

Hello 160s! {I have not seen ya'll in a really long time.} It's been about 3 years, I believe, before the holiday season of 2005. I remember being about 168-ish then. I gained 10 pounds that holiday time & never lost it.

I am happy to report that I am nearing the 20-pound-lost mark! We had another round of the sickies, which left me with low appetite this week. I've been neglecting the POINT counting as well this weekend. Yesterday {not my official weigh-in day, but I was going to have a big lunch/dinner & was afraid Sunday morning's weigh-in would reflect that} the scale said 168.5. Then this morning, official weigh-in day, the scale said 168. HUH. I will be going with 168.5 for the record. That would still mean I lost 2 pounds last week. Surprising, but I'll take it!

Some days I feel really great about my body & my progress. Other days I feel as if I went from being really, really fat to just really fat. {Does one "really" make any difference?} I look at my flabby Santa Claus-like belly and wonder if that thing will ever go away. Hubster says that I "feel" thinner when he hugs & holds me, which is seriously encouraging. Sometimes I wonder why more people haven't noticed those missing 20 pounds. Maybe I do not really look that different? Maybe they have their own issues with extra-pounds, so would rather not broach the subject?

Dressing a little nicer than usual helps me to lift my spirits on those "fat" days. There's nothing like digging out a pair of pants that fit too snugly to wear just a few weeks ago & finding that, not only can you button them, but they fit flatteringly as well {happened just this morning}! My definition of "fit" {when it comes to pants} is being able to button/zipper them without a belly roll hanging over the top. Sounds yucky, but true. Some people might think that if you can shove yourself into those babies & take a deep breath to latch 'em shut, that that constitutes the fact that they "fit". Not me.

What's your definition of clothes that "fit"? Being able to squeeze in or wear comfortably?

A Couple "Befores"

Since Alicia keeps asking so nicely for "before" photos, I am finally obliging. I realize I don't have many photos of myself because a) I am usually the one behind the camera and b) poor self-image = don't want to see myself in pictures. But here are a couple I dug up nonetheless.

:: march 2006 - around 170 ::

:: april 2007 - about 178 ::

:: june 2007 {3 months pregnant} - low 180s ::

:: june 2008 - around 186 ::

That last one is actually, before the last few weeks, the most recent picture I have of myself at my highest adult {non-pregnant weight}. I am actually really enjoying seeing myself in photos lately, which is a really great feeling. Another small victory, peeps.

Stay tuned for a couple of "after" pictures!

P.S. Blogger is not playing nicely today, so if the pictures & words come out all wonky & not aligned, now you'll know why.

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

My dad used to say that "ALMOST only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades". Today was my short-term goal date for losing 10% of my body weight (18 pounds). I guess I can only say that I almost made it. If it weren't for those two weeks of sickness thrown in there, I might've come pretty close. My short-term goal weight for today was 168. The scale said 170.5 this morning. I am so excited to be close to breaking into the 160s! I decided that once I break 170, I will be treating myself to a new {or new-to-me} Pilates DVD. Gotta have those rewards built in, girls! I then will refocus my attention to my next short-term goal, which is to weigh 160 by December 6. That gives me 7 weeks to lose 10.5 pounds, meaning I would have to lose exactly 1.5 pounds per week to make that happen. I am considering moving that goal date back by a few weeks, considering I will have our anniversary getaway and Thanksgiving thrown in the mix to contend with. I keep telling myself, "This is not a race. This is not a race. This is your life. This is not a race." I need to extend myself a bit more grace than I have been. I need to remember to enjoy my life.

Got any short-term goals you're working on? How are those coming along?

In everything

by ifijay

I was introduced to a new worship song at church this past weekend. The main idea is that "God is in everything". The verses included lines like God in breathing, God in resting, God in working, etc. Which got me thinking about....
God in eating. If we are sure that God is in everything, then that would have to include eating also, right? I am not sure how this applies in a practical way, but here are some things that come to mind:

: He is the Creator of all things, food included {well, the natural ones at least}, and we should enjoy the good things He has made. I can marvel at His creativity whenever I am eating something natural and observing its facets: flavor, color, texture and how those things make a melody in my mouth. {Melody in my mouth, I love that!} I think it probably gives Him praise when we delight in these things!

Am I using my eating to fill a void that God should be filling? a.k.a. Emotional Eating. The term "Comfort Food" was coined for a reason. It's comforting! There shouldn't be any guilt in eating something warm, hearty, and filling on a cold winter's eve, but eating a quart of ice cream, straight from the container, in one sitting, should raise a red flag. There is hunger (physical) and then there is HUNGER (spiritual); we shouldn't confuse the two.

Evident Fruit:
One of the fruits of the Spirit is "self-control". In Titus 2:5, older women are told to teach younger women to be "self-controlled". I think, somehow, it brings Him glory when we are able to be good "managers" of what we are eating. Just because salad is healthy, doesn't mean we should eat bowlful after bowlful if we are not truly hungry. I would also add: making prayer a part of our mealtimes, even if it's something as simple as just thanking Him for His provision. Not sure if that would fall under a category I listed, but thought I'd mention it none the less. What comes to mind when you consider God in eating? Any thoughts on how that looks in a practical way? Am I crazy?

Please remember, I am on a journey here, like maybe many of you are. I am not claiming to be any kind of expert on eating philosophy. Just trying to change my life, one small step at a time.

Welcome Friends!

Just wanted to formally welcome readers & commenters:

peaceful chaoz

Greetings also to the lurkers as well! Thanks for stopping by with kind words & tips!

Why I *Love* Thrift

Because I can get new-to-me name-brand clothes for ridiculously low prices. Just last weekend I got 3 long sleeves shirts {Old Navy, Target, Wal-Mart}, two sweaters {Old Navy & Ann Taylor Loft}, and one sweater & one shirt for my 3-year-old {both Gymboree}, all for a grand total of: $15. It almost makes me feel criminal to get so much for so little. I almost bought a tan colored long wool coat for $13, but I let my sister-in-law talk me out of it. I went store shopping not too long after & couldn't even bring myself to purchase anything. One shirt alone would've cost me more than my entire thrift store trip! What I'd really like to do is make a list of classic wardrobe "must haves" {suggestions?} and start buying them thrift as I see them. The hardest thing to buy thrift is pants. I was thinking I could wear some sort of tight exercise shorts under baggy pants, so that I could try on different pairs to see how they fit. I don't really care about looking ridiculous at the shop, if it means I can get 5 pairs of pants for the price of one pair brand new. I don't think I'll ever buy a coat brand new again. My two current coats are from the same shop. They always have certain color tags marked half-off each day, so if you hit it on the right day, you may just get lucky. My top three hints for thrift shopping are:

#1. Plan your time according to shop size. My favorite one is enormous with racks upon racks of clothes. Next time I will be sure to set aside several hours of time to devote to shopping.

#2. Leave the kids at home. Reason? See hint number one. It's next to impossible to focus on the plethora of clothes with a screaming baby in the cart. Ask me how I know.

#3. Wear clothes that will allow you to try things on. A tank top under a jacket or sweater will allow you to try shirts over your tank.

Can't wait til my next trip so I can steal score a "new" wardrobe!

Back on Track

subtitled as, "Why not to take more than a week off of conscious eating"

I really feel that I still made the best choice I could by not strictly managing my eating while sick. Some days, I would sleep for 9 hours at night & still need a 1 1/2 hour nap! Suffice it say, measuring portions & making critical healthy food choices were not at the top of my list. Some days I barely ate anything {2 crackers by lunchtime!} and other days my appetite was a little better. All things aside, I maintained my weight for one week & lost about 1/2 pound the second week. I must say though, it was mighty hard to restart the conscious food choices after so long of a break. It's almost like I had lost some momentum. I started counting POINTS again on Sunday and I am just starting to feel myself gain steam again.

The family and I went on a great bike ride today, enjoying the beauty of His creation and a day that turned out to be absolutely perfect. I love these kinds of days, cooler, clear blue sky, leaves starting look splendid. It was made all the more marvelous by the fact that I started out dreary, overcast & depressing. I felt like there was some sort of spiritual lesson to that fact! Hubs pulled my two littles in our bike trailer & oldest daughter rode her two-wheeler. I left the family at a pit stop & continued on for a ways, then turned around and nearly caught them on their way back. It felt good to get the body moving while in nature, especially during this season. Not only that, but I earned 2 exercise POINTS while I did it!

One Week Ago....

....I got sick & stopped counting POINTS. I am still sick & still not counting, focusing on just getting better. I figured that even if I don't lose anything {or even gain a pound} it won't be too big of a deal. I rather spend the little energy that I do have on homeschooling, my family & my home, instead of on keeping track of & planning what I am eating. I did already lose another 2 pounds last week, so I am getting pretty close to breaking into the 160s. That will be so exciting!! I think it's probably been about 3 years since I weighed one-sixty-anything.

Breaking the news.....

In all honesty, the reason I haven't shared this blog with anyone boils down to one thing: fear of failure. I figured if I didn't tell anyone that I was trying to make healthier lifestyle choices & I failed, then no one would know. It's not something that I should care too much about in the first place: what other people think, I mean. I promised myself that once I had lost enough pounds for others to start noticing, that I would go public with this blog, aka announcing it on my personal blog. Well, someone noticed. It's just one person, but it encourages me that I am beginning to look different. I definitely feel different and my clothes feel different {mostly being too big}! I think it will be soon that I will put this out there for more people to see.

I can't wait to start feeling better so I can get back on track with managing my eating a bit better. Ta-ta for now!

The Sickies

Nothin' worse than having a case of the sickies {well, except if Hubby has it at the same time}. Runny nose. Body chills. Headache. I don't know if it was the rapid change in weather that spurred it on or just some virus acquired from who-knows-where. In any case, I am not worrying about counting POINTS or losing weight this week. Just trying to take care of my body & eat what feels good. English muffins. Soup. Hot tea. Sipping on apple juice. Cream of wheat for breakfast. That doesn't mean that I should eat a quart of ice cream because I'm not paying attention. I am trying to stick to healthy foods as much as possible. Once my body has recovered, then I will return to my more planned eating approach. Until then......

31 by 31 and more

I'm here to report: Twelve pounds gone forever! There are 15 weeks left in the year and that means about 21 weeks until my next birthday. If I can maintain about a 1 pound a week loss {with a tiny bit of wiggle room for those food-laden holidays}, I can possibly lose 31 pounds by my 31st birthday. I think that goal just has a nice ring to it.

On the clothing front.....

I wore a pair of capris yesterday that will have to be permanently relegated to the too big pile {saving them just in case I decide to have another baby & need some bigger clothes}. I really dislike being in between sizes, but am too practical/frugal to buy too many clothes to bridge the gap. When clothes are too loose, it just looks sloppy to me. When they are too tight, it seems like I am trying too hard to be in a size I don't belong in. I guess I'll just have to get by with my new go-to Old Navy jeans until more of the smaller clothes start fitting. Now if only the weather would cool down so I can wear them!

Weekend Pleasures....

We went to our local apple orchard as a family this last weekend, where I *enjoyed* two apple cider doughnuts. I started with just one & after careful consideration, decided to eat a second one as well. I thoroughly enjoyed them, each and every bite, savoring their warmth, light texture, and sugar-crusted goodness. I kept telling Hubster that, "Those were the best doughnuts I've ever had....." It was truly mindful eating at it's best.

The Black Bra & Old Jeans

I purchased a Black Bra eons ago. Nothing fancy. Just some Target brand cotton braziere, but a change from my typical white/beige selection nonetheless. It hadn't been worn more than a handful of times before it was no longer the right size. {Those darn dryers....always shrinking things! Now if only I could fit in there......} I don't remember if it was holiday weight gain or pregnancy or just random weight gain for no apparent reason. It proceeded to be filed away with all the other no-longer-wearables. That pile grew slowly, over time, but now that I think about it: What a depressing pile that was to behold!

Fast forward to this week. My current bras, all nursing ones from my baby, sad to say, are becoming too loose. Not enough support for my girls, if ya know what I mean. Hubster is constantly tightening the straps in a futile battle to keep 'em up. The Black Bra somehow pops into my mind. It was just waiting for me in my closet, along with all the other no-longer-wearables {hopefully that will change soon}. With heaploads of doubt, I try on the Black Bra and to my shock/surprise/utter delight, it fit like a glove.

In the same pile lurked a pair of American Eagle Jeans, size 14. I tried them on last week. Tooo snug. Didn't want to lose my lower extremities due to a cut-off of blood circulation so I figured it best to wait to wear them. For some unknown reason, I tried them on again this morning and......success! They are still a little snug, but I'm not in fear of losing my legs. Can 1 pound really make that much of a difference? Maybe the pound I lost solely came from my waist? Either way, I will take it. {Well, actually, leave it, but you know what I mean.}

So who knew a Black Bra and an Old Pair of Jeans could bring so much pleasure to this {almost} healthy foodie. Small victories, my peeps, small victories.

Why Being Tired is Dangerous

Because I just want to eat, eat, EAT to raise my blood-sugar! In an effort to revamp my daily routine, this self-proclaimed night owl is attempting to wake up at 6:30 am, before the children, to get a jump start on my day. Side-effects? Serious sleepiness. I have been going to bed earlier, like 9:30 pm, but maybe I just need more time to adjust. You know the day is gonna be rough when you wake-up tired. A bit later in the day, I found myself telling my husband that I am just going to HAVE to drive to the doughnut shop & eat about 12 doughnuts. Scary thing? I was willing to do it. My body felt desperate. The good news is that after I passed out took a short nap on the couch, I am feeling much better. A nice cup of tea will stand in for that sugary snack. I just saved myself a trip into town......

Recipe Review: Pistachio Cake

I made this recipe for a small group gathering & it was a huge hit! Many people could not believe that it was guiltless :>)

Weight Watchers Pistachio Cake

I was so worried. Low-fat baking is pretty much against my culinary point-of-view. Nothing compares to the full-flavor of butter, flour, sugar & eggs. {I'm sure nothing compares to the calories either!} I used low-fat CoolWhip, instead of fat-free. Baby steps, people. I wasn't too keen on the flavor of the diet 7-up in the frosting/pudding mixture. Next time, I will probably substitute skim milk in the frosting/pudding for the soda. The cake was amazing! Moist and yummy as the reviews stated!

Based on 12 servings with Low-fat CoolWhip & skim milk in the frosting.
NI: 239/7/0 {calories/fat g/fiber g}

(This is a pretty close estimate as the recipe calculator I use does not have the exact flavor of pudding....)

That would make pretty large sized servings. I would probably only eat a 1/24 serving for 1/2 the points. Enjoy!

What size am I?

If only I knew! I have been patiently waiting to fit into a pair of beloved size 14 jeans. This weekend, they buttoned & zippered {small victory}, but after a few hours of wear, I deemed them still too tight. I want to be comfortable, ya'll. I was wishing I had a pair to bridge the gap between my frequently-falling-down 16s and the too tight 14s. *Insert Old Navy sale here.* I found a great pair for $20 {plus a 50% coupon = $10 jeans!!} that are, huh, a size 14. They fit perfectly. Not too tight at all. As a matter of fact, I can get them on without unbuttoning. Has the sizing system changed in 5 years? Is a 6 now an 8? Maybe it is the stretch in the jeans? I would've tried on a 12, but quite honestly, my mental state just wouldn't believe that I would fit in them. Maybe I should have.

I wore the *new* jeans again today & hubby commented that I really must like them. Yep. They're my new go-to jeans. I told him that I can't always be pulling up my falling-down pants, especially when I have to keep up my falling-down bra. Only one item of too big clothing allowed, LOL! Sounds like some serious shopping may be in my future......

So, now I'm wondering what my real size is? I guess, in the end, the number doesn't matter all that much. I am a size ME. And I am happy with that :>)

Dining Victory & Update

Last Sunday my step-mom took the train in from Chicago for a visit. She graciously offered to take the family to Biaggi's. I love this restaurant & it has been several years since I have been there. I have been telling hubby that I don't want to be a "slave to my POINTS", letting them totally control & dictate how I live & eat. When I sat down to look at the menu, I nearly started salivating over all the yummy dishes. {I think I should've counted one POINT for simply reading about all their cream sauces & pasta!} I almost threw the whole POINTS deal out the window, but decided on showing a little self restraint instead. I had one piece of bread from the breadbasket {herbed foccaccia, I believe} dipped in olive oil. ONE piece! I still can hardly believe it. Hubby & I shared a small caesar salad, of which I ate less than half {I can make it better at home}. For my entree, it was grilled chicken which had been marinated in balsamic vinegar, rosemary & a touch of honey served with veggies. I was repeatedly kicking myself for forgetting to ask for the veggies in light oil or grilled. UGH. Lesson learned. We did order dessert {Tiramisu, uber-YUM!} and I limited myself to 4 forkfuls. I left there feeling satisfied in more ways than one. Small victories, ya'll.

I am down one more pound this week. This was a good result, considering the dinner at Biaggi's and our weekly small group meeting {last night}, with lots of food {affectionately nicknamed "the trough" by the way}. Seeing the numbers go down still seems a bit surreal to me, like these are just arbitrary numbers with no concrete meaning. I think once I start fitting into some of my older clothes then the weight loss will seem more real. {I wonder if anyone else feels this way!} I am wearing an OLD pair of jeans today, that I believe I haven't worn in two years, which is leaving me feeling a little out-of-sorts. "Huh? Do these really fit?" They are a little on the snug side, but my daily go-to pair of jeans are now a little too big & I am constantly pulling them up. I wish I had an in-between pair, but hopefully in a few weeks the ones I have on will be fitting a little better.

That's all for now. Thanks for stopping by!

Recipe Reviews: Flounder & Baked Potato

This is a simple review of the two recipes I tried last week. I think trying new ideas will help me to stay motivated, as I love to cook!

Broiled Flounder

Simple to prepare. Five ingredients or less. The texture of my fish was, um, mushy. I don't know if it was because I used frozen flounder? Does anyone have experience with using fresh? It was ok, but nothing spectacular. Probably would not add this recipe to my normal rotation.
My rating:
2.5 out of 5 stars

WW Sliced Baked Potatoes

Wowzas! Simple to prepare. Five ingredients or less. Visually stunning enough to use for a special occasion meal. My one caveat is that the advertised WW points {4} can not be right. Just a quick addition of the potato itself, 1/2 T. of butter & the cheese gets you a point value higher than that. I reduced the butter to 1 t. and used RF cheese. Next time, I will use ICBINB instead.
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Now I just need to find some recipes to use up the flounder in my freezer.........

Why I Love Club Soda

Because it gives me the taste of soda without the calories or caffiene. PLUS: It's cheap! It's this frugal foodie's new friend. {Try saying that 5 times fast}. I usually just put a couple splashes in my Crystal Lite {WM generic version, ya'll}, but my favorite combination has got to be, what I like to call, the Weight Watchers Kiddie Cocktail.

WW Kiddie Cocktail
1 tub of fruit punch Crystal Lite {or generic}
1 tub of pink lemonade Crystal Lite
Club Soda

Make one gallon of drink using the above flavors. Pour into glass. Add a couple big splashes of club soda. Add little paper umbrella or straw for atmosphere. Enjoy!

Bye-bye 180's!

I weighed myself yesterday morning & the scale said 177.5. Very encouraging after a 0 loss last week! I think this means that I've lost enough not to fluctuate back up into the 180s. This also means that I need to dock myself another daily WW point, down to 23. I haven't seen this weight since before I got pregnant with baby #3, 18 months ago. The loss still doesn't feel real, like some arbitrary number with no real meaning. I think once I start fitting into clothes that I haven't been able to wear, it will become all the more real.

Hooray for another small victory!

A New Lifestyle

In thinking about losing weight & making healthy changes, I knew I did not want to partake in a "diet". I did not want some kind of script to follow that forbids bread or cake or fruit or meat. That is just not something I am willing to sustain for a lifetime. I wanted a lifestyle plan, where no foods were off-limits, everything being allowed in moderation. I came across the book Why French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano. So many things about her story & French principles inspired me. It is totally intriguing how differently the French approach food as compared to Americans. She talks about savoring your food, each and every bite. Loving food more, not less. {Confirmed to me in an article I read here.} Treating each meal like a ritual, using real dishes and cloth napkins. {I'm sure eating a yummy greasy McDonald's quarter-pounder while driving is an abomination.} Focusing on all the good things there are to eat, instead of all the bad ones that you should mostly avoid.

The practical application of these lessons that fits my philosophy best is Weight Watcher's Flex plan. I have learned everything regarding this plan by reading the WW Flex forum and collecting information from various spots on the web. Basically you get a set number of minimum daily POINTS based on your gender, age, weight, and physical activity level, along with 35 weekly POINTS to use as you need them. You can earn activity points by exercising. Every food has a POINT value {the healthier foods are lower in POINTS, while the unhealthier ones are higher}. There is an emphasis on portion control {something I didn't realize how badly I needed}. There are also 8 Healthy Guidelines which you should try to meet every day, such as water consumption, taking a multi-vitamin, etc.

Best part? No food is forbidden. You can save your weekly POINTS for a special occasion or weekend meal at a restaurant. You can eat chocolate. Ice cream is on the menu. With no severe restrictions, I don't feel deprived or like I need to binge on something because it is being withheld from me. I see this plan as something I can sustain for the long-haul. I hope once I get to the Maintenance Phase of my weight journey, I can move away from the continual POINT-counting and will have already learned what foods are best for me, in what portions, and how to keep those special yummy treats in balance. {The POINT-counting seems like the most monotonous part of the whole deal.}

I guess you could say that this is my French-American version of how to adopt a healthier lifestyle, the combination of the French Women's lessons along with the guidelines of WW. It just all makes sense to me. I. am. ready.

The County Fair

Rides. Food. Games. Food. Vendor tents. Food. More rides. Food.

Did I mention there was food?

Corn dogs, hot dogs, chili dogs, funnel cakes with ice cream & chocolate syrup on top {talk about gilding the lily!}, hamburgers, french fries, pizza, smoked turkey drumsticks, corn on the cob, pork on a stick, gyros, ice cream, sno-cones, lemonade, root beer floats, malts & milkshakes. I think I need to count a couple POINTS for all the grease I inhaled from fried foods. Fried stuff. Yum.

Oh, how I coulda inhaled so much of that County Fair goodness. BUT, I did not. I had one bite of hubby's funnel cake. ONE bite. I had one lick of my daughter's ice cream cone. For dinner I had a corn on the cob & a prime rib wrap {light cheese, no mayo/ranch dressing}. It was quite tasty, filled with grilled onions, lettuce, and tomato, all tucked neatly into a garlic flavored flat-bread. Chicken or pork on a stick might have been good choices as well. The Sweet Tea was calling my name, but I was able to avoid the temptation. Diet Pepsi filled that void well.

The two-plus hours of walking helped to off-set the more-POINTS-than-usual meal. I am still astonished at my own restraint. Small victories, people. Small victories.


Well, I guess there's no turning back now. Putting my details here for the whole world to see is at the same time both scary & motivating. If this helps/motivates/encourages just one other person to change their own life, it will have been worth it! {I guess even if it doesn't, it will have been worthwhile to me.}

Click here for "before" photos!

Height: 5' 2.5" {yep. That 1/2" matters.}

Round 1 (began August 5, 2008)
Week 1: -4
Week 2: -3
Week 3: 0
Week 4: -2.5
Week 5: -1.0
Week 6: -1.5
Week 7: -2.0
Week 8: 0
Week 9: -.5
Week 10: -1.5
Week 11: -.5
Week 12: -2.0
Week 13: +.5
Week 14: +1.0 {BIG anniversary trip}
Week 15: -1.5
Week 16: -1.5
Week 17: -2.0

Beginning Weight: 186-ish
Beginning Size: average 16

Current Weight: 177
Current Size: loose 16/tight 14

Round 2 (began July 14, 2009)
Week 1: -4.5
Week 2: 0
Week 3: -2.5
Week 4: -1.5

The Beginning

Let’s start at the very beginning. a very good place to start. ~ Fraulein Maria in The Sound of Music


Hi. I’m Becki. *waves at crowd or lone reader, who knows?* I am keeping these chronicles, mostly for myself, as a record of my journey towards a healthier lifestyle. Perhaps some of my insights, recipes, successes, and failures will inspire someone else in the same vein. I would love for you to join me as I make big and small changes in an effort to change my body & life.

A little about me

I could start by telling you that I am a 30-something Christian stay-at-home homeschooling mama to three great kids & that my hubby is a self-employed stay-at-home husband. {Our neighbors must think we are doing some illegal stuff here, since no one leaves to go to school or work.} But since this isn’t another mommy blog, I’ll just cut to the chase….

I *love* food. Period.

Seriously. Do I have to say anymore? Shopping for it. Cooking it. Reading about it. Writing about it. I am a {somewhat} trained pastry chef & prior to becoming a Domestic Engineer, I worked in the restaurant field as such. I have a passion for Christian hospitality & love cooking & baking. I have a decent collection of cookbooks and totally dig my subscription to Fine Cooking. My favorite part about making a recipe is watching people eat it & the pleasure that my work brings. I’m weird, I know. On to the nitty gritty…..

The Top 10 Reasons Why I Want and Need a Healthier Lifestyle

#10: Mainly to Lose Weight, which will in turn, hopefully, accomplish most of this list

#9: So I can live longer

#8: So my back won’t hurt as frequently

#7: Because I only get one body {well, until I get to Heaven that is…}

#6: So I can fit into some of my old clothes {a.k.a. closet shopping}

#5: Better sex? *blush*

#4: To learn to have control over just this ONE thing

#3: More energy to do all the things I enjoy & spend active time with my children

#2: So I can look better for my husband

And the #1 reason why I want and need a healthier lifestyle….

…so that this outside shell {my body} can more closely match the beauty of my inside {Spirit}.

So there you have it. And in case you ARE interested in reading my personal blog, I welcome you to visit me there! Thanks for stopping by =)

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