Slender?

Today I found out that someone referred to me as "slender." Seriously? Are you kidding me? Me? Slender? Come on now, that is way too funny. I have never, ever, in my whole entire 36 years of living, been referred to as SLENDER. 

Here’s the story: This guy came into my place of employment and talked to my boss about something. My boss told the guy that I was the one who was at a certain meeting and gave him my name. The guy said, "Oh, you mean that dark-haired, slender gal?" Yep. Apparently, that’s me. The dark-haired (my hair is black), slender gal.

Slender. 

It made my day.

And I am still smiling!

The D Word

Last night, I was thinking about the whole "diet" versus "eating healthy" thing because the other day, a couple co-workers and I were talking about a cake that someone else had brought in and left on the table in our break room for others to enjoy. I said I was going to avoid going in the kitchen and one of my co-workers (she is a summer intern, so she is new) said, "Oh, you can’t eat it because you are on a diet?" I said, "No, I am not on a diet, I just eat healthy!" 

I actually wanted to scream and say, "Just because I am CHOOSING not to eat a piece of cake doesn’t mean I am on a diet. People actually can CHOOSE not to eat crappy foods." But I chose not to say that.

In the past several months, since I began this journey and started losing weight, I have had several people ask how my "diet" is going. I always explain that I am not on a diet. Instead, I have chosen to start eating healthier foods and really watch my portion sizes. Yes, I do still eat cake and chips and ice cream and such, but not all the time and not huge portions.

Yes, my eating has drastically changed. But I am not on a diet. I don’t take any pills. I don’t use shakes or other types of drinks as a meal. I don’t use pre-packaged food I buy online or in the frozen food section. I don’t use any type of meal replacement bars or anything else that people who want to lose weight quick use. This is how I now eat. Period. It’s not for a couple of weeks or couple of months or for a couple of years, for that matter. This is for life.

I eat real food. Food that is prepared by me (or most of the time, my husband!). I literally weigh and measure most of the food I eat. We typically don’t use oil when cooking or if a recipe calls for it, we usually cut the amount in half and we always use extra virgin olive oil. I don’t use butter – ever. I don’t use ranch or other creamy-style dressing on my salads – unless it’s the fat-free version. I don’t use mayo or whatever that stuff is called – unless it’s the fat-free kind. I buy 45-calorie wheat bread. I buy light-style English muffins. I use low-calorie, low-fat, high-fiber tortillas to make wrap sandwiches, tacos, fajitas, etc. I use fat-free sour cream. I use low-fat cheese. I eat 100-calorie light yogurt. I eat 60-calorie Jell-O. I like baked chips. I typically don’t eat at fast food restaurants. We only use chicken breast with no skin, no bones and all the fat trimmed off. We only use top sirloin steak because it is one of the leanest cuts. We eat pork tenderloin and turkey tenderloin and ground chicken and turkey and when we eat hamburger, we try to only use the 90 to 95 percent lean. And, we usually only buy our meat when it is on sale. My husband is the best grocery shopper around. I am lucky.

I could go on and on about the foods I eat. Like I said, my eating habits have drastically changed. But it’s not because I am on a diet. It is because I want to be healthy. I want my family to be healthy. I truly LOVE eating healthy. Since I started my healthy eating journey, I have only averaged .9 – that’s point nine – pounds lost per week. If I was on a diet, I would probably be losing two to four pounds per week. I haven’t even lost an average of one pound per week. But I am happy about that. I did it right this time. I learned how to eat and how to do it right. Oh, and I do incorporate some exercise in there…for sure three days a week, but I try to do five days per week.

And I do have to give kudos and tons of credit to Weight Watchers. They teach their clients how to change their lifestyle and still enjoy their lives. Thanks, Weight Watchers! (For more information about WW, visit the website at www.weightwatchers.com.)

Diet root beer yellow cake?

OK…so I have been experimenting with baking cakes lately. I love cake. It is one of my favorite foods. If I could live on cake and not turn out looking like the Pillsbury Doughboy, I would…in a heartbeat. I love the smell of cake. I love the texture of cake. I love the taste of cake. But, as you know eating healthy and cake don’t necessarily mix. Hence the experimenting.

This time around, I mixed a can of A & W diet root beer with a Pillsbury reduced-sugar classic yellow cake mix. As I am writing this, the cake is in the oven and the smell is almost, well, shall I say, orgasmic. Seriously, that is how much I love cake. Have you ever been to Cold Stone Creamery…they have cake batter ice cream there. It is heavenly. I would take that over some ooey gooey chocolatey delicious ice cream any day.

Anyway, I think this cake is going to taste a lot better than the diet Pepsi chocolate cake, which by the way, there are still a couple pieces left. I know the batter tasted great!

And just so you know, cake isn’t the only thing I have been eating lately. My gosh, have you tasted the summer fruits lately…blueberries, cherries, plums, canteloupe, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, watermelon….oh my, I also LOVE fruit. I actually found out this year that I love plums and I really love fresh blueberries. In fact, I had a cup of blueberries as a dessert after my lunch today. 

Well, the buzzer just went off. Time to go try some diet root beer cake….yum-yum!

Diet Pepsi Cake?

I just tried a new recipe…well, it wasn’t really a recipe. I learned at my Weight Watchers meeting that you can bake a cake using only a can of diet pop. I decided to try it and it turned out pretty darn good. It was more brownie-like, but still good. I don’t think I baked it quite long enough. If I do it again, I would bake it probably five minutes longer.

Here’s what I did:

I used a Pillsbury moist supreme reduced sugar devil’s food cake mix and a can of diet Pepsi. I mixed the two together until the mix was moist and there were no clumps of mix. I preheated the oven to 350 degrees. I sprayed a 9X13 pan with butter-flavored Pam. Then, I dumped the mix into the pan and baked for about 30 minutes. Next time, I would bake the cake for a good 35 minutes. 

That was it. No fuss. I didn’t put any frosting on the cake, but next time, I may put a tub of fat free Cool Whip on as frosting and then keep it in the fridge. With no frosting and the cake cut into 20 pieces, each piece was worth two WW points. Not bad for a chocolatey little snack!

Slacker

Okay, so you may have noticed I have been kind of slacker at updating my blog. Sorry about that. To tell the truth, I got mad at the site awhile back because I had this awesome post all done – it really rocked – and when I went to upload it, the site crashed and I lost it. I got mad, so I haven’t posted in awhile.

Want to know another truth? I have actually been doing really well on my healthy eating journey. I have just 3.6 pounds until I hit goal…something I didn’t think I was going to achieve. But I am almost there. I can taste. I can feel it. I want it

Now, that’s not to say that I haven’t had my ups and downs. I have. For instance, on the Fourth of July, I went crazy with eating sweets. Like seriously crazy. Unbelievably crazy. Want to know what I ate? Well, let’s see…if you count both Saturday and Sunday…I ate two 7-layer bars, two fudgey oatmeal bars, one other chocolate bar that actually wasn’t the best, but I still ate, two cupcakes, two of my favorite cookies (Lofthouse frosted sugar cookies), one Rice Krispie bar and probably a half a bag of Doritos. Yep. I did it. I ate all of that. Man, did I have a sugar high going.

But, I also ate tons of fresh fruit and tons of fresh veggies. And I didn’t eat any brats or burgers or BBQ’s (Sloppy Joes, whatever!). I exercised on Friday and on Saturday, I nearly ran three miles. I actually did a little more than three miles, but I walked part of it. I did a little bit of exercise on Sunday. I honestly think the exercise helped.

Oh, and believe it or not, I didn’t have any alcohol. Crazy, I know. I was the DD for our group on Saturday night. I love waking up and feeling wonderful the next day while everyone else doesn’t. Kind of fun, really!

Anyway, back to the journey. I am having fun. I have learned not to beat myself up when I eat crappy food, like on the Fourth holiday. I have learned to incorporate exercise, even though it is not my favorite thing to do. There is actually quite a bit I have learned. I will write more about that later as this post is getting quite lengthy.