Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me

So today is my 49th does it feel to be almost 1/2 a century old?  Pretty much how it felt yesterday - lol!  Age has never bothered me, I always think the best is yet to come!

Yesterday I grabbed a banana on the way out the door planning to have my oatmeal at work.  It never happened.  So by lunch time I was STARVED!!  I had brought a 2 pt+ soup, but it was quite obvious that wasn't going to keep me full and I didn't want to end up in the "eating everything in sight" when I got home either.  So I drove over to Panera Bread.  I find Panera rather pricey, but I know you can cut down the points on the sandwiches by getting them without cheese and they are a little healthier than fast food.  When I got there I decided to try the "Pick 2" menu - you pick 2 items from 1/2 sandwich, 1/2 salad, or soup.  I chose to go with the 1/2 sandwich and 1/2 salad.  I chose the Smoked Turkey Breast Sandwich exactly as they make it (it doesn't come with cheese) and the 1/2 Classic Salad that comes with Balsamic Vinaigrette.  I also chose an apple instead of bread or chips.  It was DELICIOUS!!

The salad comes with Cucumber, Red Onions, Romaine Lettuce, Tomatoes and Baby Spinach - all 0 pt+.  The sandwich is on a country miche bread with turkey, tomatoes, red onions and green leaf lettuce.  I opted for mustard over mayo - so all the toppings were 0 pt+ as well.  Once back at work I got on their website to check nutritional information.  The whole meal (both sandwich and salad) came to only 7 pt+ (8 pt+ if you include all the nutritional info for the veggies - but I didn't).  I always get excited when I find a low point, great tasting meal.  Like I said, I find them rather pricey - but a treat like this once a month will be great!

So today's menu so far:

Instant Oatmeal...3 pt+
1 Cup Skim Milk...2 pt+
1 Banana...0 pt+

Lunch will be:
1 Crabcake...6 pt+
1 Extremely Small Baked Potato...1 pt+
1 Apple...0 pt+

Haven't decided on dinner yet, CC wants to take me out!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

It's Sunday.....

So yesterday's menu consisted of:

Baked Oatmeal...7 pt+
Banana...0 pt+
Chicken Breast...5 pt+
Bird's Eye Veggies...2 pt+
Snack Cheese...2 pt+
Orange...0 pt+
Peanuts...4 pt+
Coke Slurpee...8 pt+

It took all my dailies plus 2 weeklies; and again I realize it wasn't the healthiest eating but I'm fighting off a cold and my appetite sucks...but when I have a cold, I WANT that coke slurpee-lol!

But anyway, I did get some fruits and veggies in and that has to count for something.

I've been reading on a lot of blogs and sites about Baked Oatmeal and I do really enjoy it; but I don't like the 7 pt+ that comes with it.  So I came up with my own version that lowers it by 2 pt+:

1/3 cup Quick Oats....2 pt+ (this was the tweak; 1/2 cup will cost you 4 pt+)
1 egg white...0 pt+
1 tsp cinnamon...0 pt+
1 tsp baking powder...0 pt+
2 packs splenda...0 pt+
1/4 cup skim milk...1 pt+
1/4 cup frozen berries...0 pt+
1 TB semi-sweet chocolate chips...2 pt+

Combine all dry ingredients, then add milk and mix.  Top with the berries and chocolate chips; bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

The original recipe also calls for 1/4 cup of water - add that if you're using fresh fruit; but frozen fruit as it bakes will melt some liquid into it.  If you prefer your oatmeal runnier - than add the 1/4 cup of water regardless.  I may try a version of this adding pumpkin to it, as you can tell it is very adaptable to whatever you like.  Obviously the chocolate chips are an added bonus and can be left out completely (which will save you some points as well).

I came across this on FaceBook:

That is so very true and it goes for your cupboards as well!  I know that can be hard when you have a family; I have a husband who can eat anything and as much as he wants and never gain an ounce, but if he wants snacky stuff - he buys it himself and fortunately he loves most of the meals I cook for us.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I'm Struggling....

I'm really struggling with the weight loss thing AGAIN; last week I was down 1.6, this week I was up 2!  I know a lot of times it depends on what I was eating during the day; and I had been eating some heavy stuff before weigh-in (pizza and such) so it was my fault.  So it was time to re-vamp and try again...

When points plus started, the minimum daily points was 29.  I lost on 29, but when I hit maintaining I gained at 35, 34, 33, 32,31, 30 and then I'm back at 29 and can't lose or maintain.  It seemed a common problem with "short" people for some odd reason and the next year the minimum dropped to 26; but by that point I was too frustrated.  Recently, I was working with 29 again, but I've decided this week to drop my daily to 26 and see what happens.  Yesterday, I came in way under for some odd reason - here was the menu:

Breakfast:  Instant Low Sugar Oatmeal Maple & Brown Sugar Flavor..........3 pt+

Lunch:  Handy Brand Crab Cake..........6 pt+
             11 McCain Classic Fries...........3 pt+

Dinner:  2/3 cup Birds Eye Mixed Veggies..........2 pt+
              2 oz. Baked Potato..........1 pt+
              5 oz. Chicken Breast..........5 pt+

Snack:   Pumpkin Smoothie..........2 pt+

Total:  22 point plus for the day.   The chicken actually weighed less than 3 oz., I chose to make it 5 because it just seemed so large for some reason, and I didn't believe the scale; so I could actually be lower than 22.

Yes-I know, I hit very little of the healthy guidelines; but I was working with what I had in stock at the house; hadn't been to the store yet.  Fortunately hubby did some shopping for me yesterday on his day off.

So today, I started the day with Baked Oatmeal @ 7 pt+ and a banana 0 pt+ and I'm having left over Chicken and Veggies for lunch.  Dinner is unplanned at the moment.  Weekends are very hard for me, so I'm trying to stay on track!

It's always trial and error!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

So I'm a Lifetime Member, Now What?

If you're a Weight Watchers Lifetime Member and are within 2 pounds of your goal weight at your weigh-in you will get a code to get e-tools for free.  As a lifetime member you never have to pay joiners fees again and as a lifetime member within 2 pounds of your goal weight you don't have to pay meeting fees.

The above is all that you get as a Lifetime Member.

The free e-tools is nice (if you use it), but seriously all that work and now they basically send you out the door.  And they do.

I realize that Weight Watchers is a business first and foremost and as a business their goal is to make money, but I think there should be a little more support for their members that are trying to maintain.

2 pounds of goal isn't really a lot of lead way - it's downright hard.  5 pounds within goal would make much more sense.  But probably my biggest issue is all the "little" rules that are out there.  Here's what my little pocket guide says:

As a Lifetime Member, you'll never pay a registration fee, and as long as you weigh in monthly within two pounds of your defined ultimate weight goal, meetings are free of charge.  We'll continue to reward you-with stickers and additional charms-for continued attendance within two pounds of your weight goal.

I'm way over my weight goal, so I have no issues paying for my monthly pass and doing weekly weigh-ins again; so it's almost like not being lifetime at all; but we had a little issue this week that left us confused.

CC is lifetime and weighs in once a month.  I only think she has ever had to pay once or twice for being more than 2 lbs. over goal and it really wasn't by a whole lot.  But for the most part, we go to meetings and she chooses a week during the month to weigh-in which can vary depending on when she feels comfortable in doing it and our leader nor our regular receptionists have ever questioned when she weighed in.  The past 2 weeks, we've had the leader from another day filling in as a receptionist because things have been really busy.  When CC approached him this week to pick up her weekly, he immediately went into the "we must follow policy EXACTLY" mode.  Apparently that part that reads:  "you weigh in monthly" really means "that you must weigh-in on the very first meeting you attend in a month"....she was planning on weighing in next week; he didn't seem to like this AT ALL.  Anyway, he didn't make her weigh in, but he did hand her a pamphlet with all the rules.  Sigh.........  Do you realize how delusional you can make a person with all these rules?  It kind of makes you want to eat!


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Weight Watchers 360

Regardless which weight loss program you've chosen, my pick is Weight Watchers.

Weight Watchers has gone through lots of changes through the years.  Those there from the beginning will tell you about having to eat liver once a week, fish once a week etc.  They told you the foods to eat.  Just to get a peek of what this program offered, check out CandyBoots and view the old Weight Watcher recipes cards - you'll laugh and be so very glad this program changed.

In 1989 they introduced an exchange based program - you know, so many dairy exchanges, so many veggie exchanges, etc..  Worked for many.

There were other changes through the years, but the biggest change came in 1997 when they introduced the first point based plan.  The program name changed every year with minor tweeks, but the way you calculated your points using fat, fiber, and calories did not.

At the end of 2010, Weight Watchers presented their biggest re-vamp since 1998 - Points Plus.  Your food still had a point value but the calculation changed drastically - fat, fiber, carbs and protein.  The gear was to make you choose healthier options; but like the old point system they do make some minor tweeks each year.

This year Weight Watchers presented 360.  Just so you know, the way you calculate your points plus has not changed - it is still fat, fiber, carbs and protein.  But 360 give everything a new look (they need to attract new members and re-excite the current ones remember).  360's goals is to get you set into healthier routines - thus bringing everything a full circle.

I only do this as a posting as I'm seeing on many boards people questioning what the new program is (apparently they don't bother reading through the other threads) and they seem to be under the assumption that every year Weight Watchers changes its plan drastically and are questioning how points are now calculated.

The Points Plus plan name has changed, nothing else.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

You Thought I Disappeared Didn't You?

Well I kind of did!!

If you're still following your lifestyle change (aka: diet) then you need to be able to eat some good tasting food.  Being a Weight Watchers person I like to look at the following websites:

Skinny Taste  If you mention this one at a meeting, most people will have heard of it.  It is loaded with recipes, you'll never get through the whole site.  Watch the older recipes for points plus values (it may only have the old point value).

Emily Bites  Another one that is becoming a favorite out there.  I've made several of her recipes.

Green Lite Bites Most haven't heard of this one which I find odd as it was the first site I came across.  I've made many of her recipes and all have been fabulous.  Again watch the point values so you aren't calculating the old point system.

The Yummy Life One I came across this past year.  Love the refrigerator oatmeal!  Wasn't fond of the fruit flavored water or some type of muffin I made.

Hungry Girl There's a website, there's cookbooks, there's even a tv show!  Can't beat Hungry Girl - again watch for old point values.

Danicas Daily Love this site!  Lots of recipes and just seeing her daily meals gives you tons of ideas.

Obviously you don't have to be on Weight Watchers to try the recipes at these sites.  They are designed to be "healthy".

Monday, January 7, 2013

Don't Be A Slave To The Scale

The dreaded, dreaded weigh-in.  No one likes the scale, but it's the most common tool of weight loss there is.

Don't become a slave to it.  The number one best way to weigh is to do it at the same time always.  Don't over do it with weighing - you'll just become frustrated.  Read here:

Why The Scale Lies

Why The Scale Lies To You

Diary Of An Aspiring Loser

Despite all the information out there, the scale will still get used.  I suggest the following when weighing:

1.  Don't weigh yourself more than once a day - actually you'd be better off to go with once a week.

2.  Weigh yourself at the same time.  Don't weigh yourself one day in the morning and a week later weigh at night - you'll be very discouraged.

3.  Wear the same outfit at each weigh-in (or something comparable).

4.  Don't be discourage with what the scale says - if your clothes are fitting better, you're doing just fine.

So where are we at?  Your mind, a plan, a tracker, a buddy, water and a scale - You're on your way!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Water, Water, Water!!

Because I'm starting anew with Weight Watchers, you're going to see a lot of "dieting" type posts this month.  It keeps me excited and motivated and I hope it may help someone else struggling a long.

The last post listed 4 important tools you needed for weight loss - Your mind in weight loss mode, a plan, a tracker and some buddies.  I wanted to add that if you are not the online/app type of person - buy yourself a notebook that will fit in your purse/pocket and write things down.  The old way can still help you a long!

You can dive right in to weight loss or you can make changes a little at a time.  If you've visited Bringing Healthy Back In 2013 on FaceBook, you'll notice the one common thing most of us want to do is drink more water.

Let's talk water.  On Weight Watchers they say you should have 6 servings of liquid a day.  You read that correctly, LIQUID not water.  Though water is the preferred choice, ANY liquid counts and remember some of those liquids may have a points plus value to them.

Let's talk Weight Watchers for a moment.  6 liquids makes sense on the old plan because - you're given a point target and you eat/drink to that target.  You lose weight, end of story.  But with the introduction of the Points Plus program in 2011, that concept doesn't make sense to me.  Let me explain:

Points Plus wasn't just one of the yearly changes or enhancements made to the program - Points Plus was a totally different program.  Yes, all foods still had a point value, but how those points were calculated totally changed and the whole program geared towards making healthier choices.  For example - on the old plan if I were looking for a snack I could have a 100 calorie pack for 3 points or a banana for 3 points - hmmmmmm...which am I going to chose?  The 100 calorie pack every time!  On Points Plus that snacky pack is going to cost me 3 points but that banana is going to cost me 0; I'm going to choose the banana and use those 3 points elsewhere!  See?  That snacky pack is not as point worthy as it use to be!  So the programs goal isn't just for weight loss but for eating healthy as well.

So there is no way you're going to tell me that a diet soda (0) and water (0) are the same thing, nor can you tell me that my body processes them in the same way.  So it's the one thing about Weight Watchers that I just think they don't have right - they need to make those 6 liquids water - water is always the healthier choice!

I am totally a diet soda-holic; that is all I would drink if I could get away with it and I have been doing that for a while.  There is nothing in a diet soda that my body needs or wants - so drinking more water is one of my healthier choices goals.  I'm one of the lucky ones, I can actually drink water (some people just hate it) and I've been faithfully drinking water since January 1st - 6 of them to meet the Weight Watchers requirements.  I have my outlook calendar notify me every two hours at work; when that notice pops up I get up and drink a cup or two of water.  I have a cup that I've put a measure line on it at 8 oz., I fill the cup to that level.  Some people like to fill a huge container and sip on it all day, I've tried that and it just looks too overwhelming, smaller works better for me.  And don't get me wrong, I still have coffee and diet soda - but just not as much; and no diet soda until I've had my 6 servings of water!

But water can be struggle for a lot of people.  I suggest you find how you like temperature, cold, over ice....but if you're really struggling don't forget the flavored waters out there (just watch for added sugar and such).  One of the things I'd like to try is this:  Naturally Flavored Water.  Good idea, healthy and if you aren't into the mason jar thing - you can actually buy fruit infusion pitchers!  The tools are out there, so use them!

If you need some inspiration, read here:

7 Awful Things Diet Soda Is Doing To Your Body

9 Great Reasons To Drink Water

So now - you have your mind, a plan, a tracker, buddies and water!  5 steps to success!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Starting Fresh!

Starting fresh at the beginning of the year with the serious weight loss brain in the right frame of mind!

Whenever someone asks me what's the number one thing to successful weight loss, I tell them "Your mind has to be in the right place."  It is very easy to say "I want to lose weight." "I need to lose weight."  I said it for years - but I never did it.  For some people that moment may come after a certain event that happens in their life or like me, you just wake up when morning and say "I'm going to do it this time" and your brain says "Okay, I'm right there with you."  Because if your mind isn't where it needs to be, it won't happen.

So you're mind is with you...what else do I need for success?  TOOLS!  Okay, not a hammer or screwdriver; but some weight loss tools to get you going.

If you don't have a weight loss plan; it may be best to find one to follow.  Ask your doctor what he thinks you should do (you did check with him/her before starting right?).  There are many many plans out there and my side bar has many.  Some are free, some are not.  My plan of choice is Weight Watchers - I've been successful with it, CC's been successful with it, a few people I work with have as well; but I do know it doesn't suit everyone.  But a tool you should use with EVERY weight loss program is a Food Diary.  Write down everything that is going in your mouth - it is the number one way to stay accountable.  My side bar has online plans that have online tracking and phone app tracking.  IMO - I recommend the following (because I've used them):

My Fitness Pal
Spark People
Lose It

Both offer apps so that you can take your tracker right with you.  If you own a FitBit, FitBit has it's own website and app; also the FitBit will sync with the Lose It site.

So you got your mind, you got your tracker - what else do I need?  How about a fitness buddy?  It can be an online person or group if none of your friends/family are in weight loss mode.  Kim started a page on FaceBook that everyone is sharing at - you do need to be a FB member to access, but please come join us at Bringing Healthy Back In 2013.  Spark People and Lose It have communities as well and most others do also.  So look around.

So you got your Mind, Plan, Tracker and Buddies....You are off to a good start!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year and A Movie Review

REMEMBER:  All movie reviews may (and probably will) contain spoilers, movie review is for : Les Miserables.

I stayed awake long enough to see the new year come in and then I went to bed (yes, we are partying people).

Today Hubby and I caught the morning showing of Les Miserables.  Where do I begin?

First we had leather recliners and second it only cost $5.00 a piece to get in!!


I've heard of Les Miserables but I have never seen it on stage, never read the book, had no idea what it was about.  Fortunately, I read a synopsis of the story line online.  That turned out to be a good thing, had I not I probably wouldn't really know what was going on.

Let's talk performances....the performances were great!  Everyone gave a great performance, but no one gave a stand out performance:

Hugh Jackman - I had seen a television performance of the stage play Oklahoma with Hugh leading the cast one time long ago.  Can he sing?  Yes he can.  Is he more a singer than an actor?  No he is not.  He's just a character singing through the movie.  Nothing spectacular or special.

Russell Crowe - I've been hearing terrible things of his singing in this movie.  Is he that bad?  No he is not.  Yes, Russell Crowe is more an actor than a singer, but he can carry a tune and stay in key which means he was as good in his role as Hugh Jackman was in his.

Anne Hathaway - Anne did a great job, she looked the part, she sang well; but the part is so small it was disappointing.  Hardly any screen time.

Sacha Baron Cohen - His performance I liked.  Not because he was this great singer or gave a fabulous performance; but he gave the small amount of comic relief that you needed from the rest of the movie.

Helena Boham Carter - Did you see Sweeney Todd?  Then you've seen her performance in this movie; I even think she wore the same outfits!  If you've seen her in anything else - same type of character, different clothes.  I really like her, it is a shame she is so type cast.

Amanda Seyfried - Nice voice, very little screen time, nothing special.

Eddie Redmayne - Seriously, I had to look this actor lasting performance.

Samantha Barks - Now here was a performance worth watching.  Beautiful voice, madly in love with the man who doesn't love her.  Believable.

Daniel Huttlestone - Very talented young actor - and hubby's favorite character in the movie!  He'll go very far.

Now the movie.....

Like I said before, I was unfamiliar with this musical, and I do love a good musical; but this just wasn't it.

The movie is; people aren't kidding when they tell you that you will never imagine you're sitting over 2-1/2 hours - yep, it feels more like 5!!

Have you ever met a person (or had a teacher) that talks in one straight tone all the time?  That's what this movie is except it was one big song done in one tone.  BORING!!

It started at the opening scene, I was so glad when the song ended and it jumped to something else, except.....the song picked up again.  If there are different songs in this movie, it is very hard to tell one from the other.  Oh and there is no dialogue to break up the singing which at some point gets nerve wracking.  I kept waiting for the scene that would captivate and pull me into the movie, it never came.

The movie goes on and on and on and on and you keep waiting for there to be some resolution, but there isn't.  Hubby even told me he began to think of our turtle Bob and his new tank (we were buying a new one after the movie).  Every time I thought the movie was over, it kept going on.  I could of cared less of the love between Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne's characters because there was no chemistry - HOWEVER, there WAS chemistry between Eddie Redmayne's and Samantha Barks' characters.  I didn't understand why Russell Crowe's character jumped to his death nor did I care; I only cared when Hugh Jackman died because I knew the movie would finally be OVER (or at least I was hoping it would)!!!

After the movie, we went to PetCo where there was an aquarium sale and we bought Bob an overdue new aquarium.  He long ago out grew the old one.  That was better than the movie.

Back to work tomorrow!!