It’s amazing what you can eat…

I am a food tracker junkie. Being on Weight Watchers, you are highly advised to track keep track of the food you eat. I keep track via the Weight Watchers website and love doing so. Every single thing that goes in my mouth goes down in my points tracker. I am obsessed with tracking. Seriously, my laptop sits at my kitchen table and at breakfast and lunch, I eat while I log. At supper, I log as soon as I am done eating…even before I load the dishwasher!

Anyway, with Weight Watchers, I get a daily points allowance and so when I log my food, it is based on points, not necessarily calories or fat grams. However, the lower the calories and fat grams in the food item, the lower the points value. For instance, a medium-sized apple is 1 point, versus a small Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup blizzard, which is 12 points. I get a daily allowance of 23 points. 

Doesn’t really sound like a lot, does it. Well, let me tell you everything I ate today:

Breakfast: One Kashi trail mix granola bar and a 6 ounce container of Yoplait Light Thick and Creamy French Vanilla yogurt

Lunch: One Flatout light original tortilla wrap with 10 slices (they are small slices) of Oscar Mayer smoked turkey breast with about a cup of spring mix lettuce and one tablespoon balsamic vinegar; 1 1/2 cups of cooked sugar snap peas; one Weight Watchers lemon cake and one Weight Watchers sponge cake

Supper: A 3 1/2 ounce piece of cooked pork tenderloin with some kind of dry – not oily or creamy – seasoning on it, 1 1/2 cups cooked asparagus (sauteed in a pan with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and sea salt), 2 cups of lettuce with 1 tablespoon of raspberry balsamic vinegar on it; about 1 cup of fresh strawberries for dessert

Snacks: One apple, one 4 ounce container of Weight Watchers strawberry shortcake yogurt, one Kashi dark chocolate and coconut granola bar, 1 cup of all natural, no sugar added applesauce and one Weight Watchers fudge bar

Because I am choosing healthier foods, I get quite the bang for my buck…er…um…points. Now, I am not saying that everyday is like this. There are days when I choose not so healthy foods, like this weekend, when we were in St. Cloud and I ate a small pretzel bites with cheese sauce at Pretzelmaker, which by the way had a point value of 12 – basically half of my daily points allowance!

With Weight Watchers, however, I also get a bonus weekly allowance of 35 points that I can choose to use whenever I want. I can use them all at one time or I can use them little by little. I typically use those points on the weekends…especially on the weekends we drink wine! One bottle of red wine happens to have a point value of 10…

At any rate, my point is that when you choose healthier foods to eat, it’s amazing how much you can consume in one day! Bon appetite!

The journey

Now that I have reached my first goal – losing 10 percent of my weight – I am moving on to my next goal. But first, I want to share a few things I have learned along the way and things that I am thankful for.

First off, I am fortunate enough to have a supportive husband and son at home who are behind me 110 percent on my healthy eating/living journey. My husband, who cooks most of the time (or we do it together) enjoys finding ways to make the foods we like healthier. My son has actually started trying new foods and doesn’t wrinkle his nose so much when we have a salad as our side dish. And he doesn’t say, "Oh, ish, I don’t like that," even though he hasn’t even tried whatever it is we are having. My husband, thankfully, is daring enough to try new recipes, healthy recipes, and he’s not the typical "meat and potatoes" kind of guy. I love that about him! He loves the grocery store and loves to cook. (Seriously, I am SO lucky!) And even though they both balk when I ask to go for a walk or exercise at home, they both do it and secretly, I think they enjoy it. I thank both of them for taking this journey seriously and being supportive and encouraging.

I know too many women who have families at home that won’t or don’t support them and that’s sad. And what about the women who are so busy taking care of everyone else around them that they don’t take the time to take care of themselves. That makes me sad, too. I so wish I could help those women.

I have learned that this journey isn’t short, it’s not always easy, it takes time and commitment and planning and effort and energy and sometimes, even a little researching and studying. But I have found it to be so rewarding. Will it last for the rest of my life? I want it to. I think it will. But only time will tell. 

I have learned that changing the little things can sometimes make a bigger difference than one thinks. Swapping out fat-free sour cream for the real stuff. Using 1-2 tablespoons of a vinaigrette dressing instead of 4 tablespoons of a creamy, fatty ranch dressing. Using Pam or other type of spray instead of butter or oil when cooking. Eating low-calorie wheat bread instead of high-calorie white bread. If you have to use mayo for something, using the light or fat-free. Using spray butter instead of real butter or margarine. There are so many more!

I have learned that the well-known saying "Everything in moderation," is actually true. Eating 3-4 ounces of steak tastes the same as eating 12 ounces, only my stomach doesn’t hurt afterward. Having one piece of pie/cake/bar/anything else sweet treat tastes just as good as gorging myself on half the pie, row of cake or pan of bars. And once again, my stomach doesn’t hurt after eating just one. In moderation, I can eat pretty much anything I want.

I have learned that exercise does make a difference. Period.

I have learned that fruits and vegetables are really good…when given the chance.

I have learned that I like having energy and feeling good about myself. I don’t like feeling like a big, fat, slob.

I have learned that diets are evil. The word diet only sets people up for failure.

And there is so much more I have learned and will share along the way. I am no expert by any means. I am just one regular, female, human being struggling like just about every other woman in this world. I have just finally chosen to make a change, a real change, a permanent change (hopefully). And I thank you for taking the journey with  me.

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FINALLY!!!!

Well, I finally did it. I reached my 10 percent goal and then some….

When I went to weigh in at my Weight Watchers meeting this morning, I told the ladies that today was the damn day and it was. I have been working at this for about a month, but had hit a plateau. I only needed to lose .4 – yes, that is correct, .4 pounds to reach my 10 percent weight loss goal of 19 pounds. 

My weight loss this week was 2.8 pounds for a total weight loss (since I started Weight Watchers in the middle of November) of…….21.4 pounds!!!! Holy crap! I didn’t think I was ever going to reach 20 pounds. I am now under 170 pounds, which I also never thought I would see again. This is so exciting.

I just had to share this news with you, my dear blog readers. Right now, that is all I have time to write, but I promise to write more tonight!

Private eating

At my Weight Watchers meeting on Wednesday, the leader shared a great quote with us and boy did it ring true for me…at least it DID, but it doesn’t anymore.

She said, "What you eat in private, you wear in public."

Hearing those words conjured up so many negative images of myself and the things I have done in the past. Like the many times I would run to the grocery store after work and grab some kind of sweet treat, whether it was Lofthouse Cookies, Little Debbie snack cakes, Hostess snack cakes, donuts or what have you, and literally run from the store to my car and in near panic mode, rip the package open and shovel the food in my mouth. I couldn’t get to the food fast enough.

And, I couldn’t get enough of those sweet treats to eat. There were many times I would eat four of the Lofthouse Cookies, with the deliciously sweet, soft frosting and uber soft, melt in your mouth cookie part. You know how when you eat something salty and you can’t get enough water? That is how I used to feel with those type of sweet treats. I always felt sick after eating whatever it was I was eating. But I did it over and over and over again. 

Those eating binges were never done in front of anyone. If I pulled up to a stoplight and someone pulled up next to me, I would put the food down so they couldn’t see me eating. I would hide food under my front seat so my husband and son didn’t know what or how much I was eating. I didn’t want anyone to see or know what I was doing.

At work, there used to be an abundance of sweet treats in our break room. (Thank goodness there isn’t as much anymore!) I couldn’t tell you how many times I would sneak back there to grab a bite or this or a shovel full of that. But, I would only eat if no one else was in the break room with me. Who was I kidding? Like my co-workers didn’t know what I was doing when I would make a hundred trips back to the kitchen in one day. Plus, I would always be walking back to my desk licking my lips. They knew. I’m sure of it.

Well, it’s been close to five months since I have had one of my eating binges. There’s no more food hidden under my seat and I try to stay out of the break room when I know there are treats on the table tempting my taste buds. And guess what, I am still alive AND, I am nearly 20 pounds lighter. (I still haven’t hit my 10 percent goal yet, but it’s so close. But that’s another whole story!)

It feels good. 

 

(Here is an update on my sister for those who are regular readers: Her cancer is her breast cancer reoccurring. It is in her lymph nodes behind her esophagus and infiltrating into her lungs. This week, she had a brain, bone and abdominal scan. The only thing that was found was a little spot on her ribs. Otherwise, everything came back clean. Right now, her treatment will be to take a pill every day and then every two weeks, she will be given an injection of something, but it’s not chemo. She doesn’t have to do any radiation, which makes her very happy. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers! Thank you.)

Eating out

Last night, my husband, son and I went out to eat at one of my now favorite restaurants. It’s my favorite because I can order sweet potato fries, which I have discovered is one of my favorite foods. I make baked sweet potatoes at home all the time now. Oooh, they are so good. (See how I make them at the end of this post.)

At the restaurant, I did well when I ordered…I had the sweet potato fries (versus the mashed potatoes), the steamed asparagus spears and a sirloin steak, which is one of the leanest cuts of steak (besides the spendy filet mignon!). The meal came with a big chunk of bread and a pat of butter, which I avoided. 

I was doing really well…the food was tasty and I was feeling good about my choices. Then, I did the mistake of tasting my husband’s mashed potatoes, which was not just a little mistake, but a huge mistake. OMG! They were the best tasting mashed potatoes ever. Why, you may ask. Because they were made with butter and heavy cream. It almost tasted like they had a white sauce on them or something. They were creamy and exactly how I like my mashed potatoes…not good for you and loaded with fat and calories.

Well, I had a couple….okay, a few bites. I tried to get my husband to hurry up and eat all of them so I could quit thinking about them, but that didn’t work. He said he wasn’t going to finish them because he was full. I finally made him take his napkin and cover them up before I finished them off. Oh, they were so good. I ate my entire meal, so it wasn’t like I was hungry. It was the taste. Oh, the taste of those potatoes. I have been a potato lover since I was born. 

The waitress finally took our plates and I was so happy. I didn’t have to think about those darn potatoes anymore. I don’t know why I tasted them in the first place. Next time, I will know better!

Here’s how I make my sweet potatoes at home:

I scrub up the potatoes, just like a baked potato. Then, I cut them in to bite-sized chunks or cubes and spread them on a cookie sheet. I spray them with butter flavor Pam or other butter flavored spray and sprinkle them with sea salt. Regular salt will also work. Then put them in a 400-degree oven and bake anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. That’s it. They are ready to eat and enjoy!!!!