Sunday, January 30, 2011

Week 4

Hello Readers!

This week I feel great but I figured before weighing in this morning that I wouldn't lose weight. I have a few examples of why I felt this way!

First, my parents came to visit, so I knew I would be eating more. When we went to a delicious brunch at one of my favorite spots, though, I made smart decisions: I got two eggs and a bowl of pretty fruit with homemade whip cream. I REALLY wanted the french toast, but I obviously had to abstain. Take a look at Belga's menu and you will understand how difficult it was to eat healthy. I left the restaurant feeling full, though, and the eggs there are THE.BEST.EGGS.EVER. I'm not exaggerating. They really are. :)

Second, my bf and I threw our make-up holiday party. He was sick in December when we were going to throw our Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, so we rescheduled it (theme and all!) for this past Saturday. While we did plan our day in a healthy manner and made two amazing Weight Watchers-friendly appetizers for the party, I did indulge in some alcohol. I haven't had much to drink in a while, and I had a lovely time with my friends and parents drinking socially and sampling the snacks. While I did have fun, I did not go overboard. I am proud of that. Instead of holding court at the snack table, I mingled. Instead of drinking heavily, I drank steadily and always had a drink in my hand. Sure I had a little bit too much, but it's my party and I'll drink if I want to! :)

Third, the bf and I had a LivingSocial coupon for Chima Brazilian Steakhouse and decided to go to dinner there on Sunday. To save money and points, however, we decided to choose the meatless option. I know that sounds crazy to go to a steakhouse and not eat, you know, anything that previously mooed, but we did and we left very full and satisfied! We each had many points left for the day, giving us almost free reign of the AMAZING salad bar, including creamy veggie soup, black beans, rice, cheese and prosciutto! Mmm! We had a great time and laughed remembering the last time we went to a steakhouse and felt so full that we thought we'd burst.

So, there you go. Before Weight Watchers this weekend would have been a pig out fest, but instead I made good decisions and it paid off!

Weight loss: 2.1 pounds! :)

Total weight loss: 8.8!!

Pounds remaining to reach goal weight: 31

Overall mood this week:
The week was interesting because I had two papers due, my parents were here, and it was the first week without working. There were highs and lows, but today I feel happy because I had a great networking meeting, AMAZING workout (I love boxing!), and I got an interview lined up for tomorrow! Wish me luck!

Worked out:
Only twice, but they were tough!

Yummy finds:
We served two incredible appetizers at our party that were Weight Watchers friendly. First, we made Skinny Taco Dip by Gina. Gina is so amazing! This dip was a huge hit - it was absolutely gone by the end of the night and I didn't feel guilty sampling it throughout the evening. Second, we made Creamy Parmesean Spinach Dip by Gina. I was shocked by how much this tasted like something I would eat in a restaurant. It was fun to see all of my friends enjoying healthy food at the party and I especially loved telling them that they were Weight Watchers recipes! We might make one of these dips for the Super Bowl this Sunday! HERE WE GO STEELERS HERE WE GO!!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Week 3

Well hello, readers! It's been a pretty good week overall and I feel awesome. My classes are seriously inspiring, and combined with the weight loss my new found confidence is through the
roof. I have gone full force in the job search (anyone in Chicago need a MASTER of communications working for them? haha) and have been diligently working on my online portfolio while brainstorming creative projects for the semester. I even had an idea for two videos I want to make. I'm pumped.

I'm also excited because I've been presented with a challenging opportunity: searching for internships. My organization downsized this week and I am therefore out of a (paid) internship. Wah. However, this is my last chance to use school as an excuse to intern part-time. Wish me luck as I hope to get an internship at a PR/marketing/communications firm!

Weight loss: 1.4 pounds! :)

Total weight loss: 6.7!!

Pounds remaining to reach goal weight: 33.1

Overall mood this week:
Excited! My jeans felt pretty baggy this weekend and I felt more confident in my workout clothes. Okay, okay, I admit it: the jeans were probably stretched out and needed washed, but still! Albeit annoying, it felt nice to be constantly pulling up my pants! And don't fret, Monday was laundry day, and even after washing them, they still feel pretty loose!

Worked out:
3 times! Go me! Even though I'm carting around tons of junk with me everywhere I go, I feel great :)

Yummy finds:
First of all, I LOVE that fruit and veggies don't have points. We have been trying different fruits that I normally wouldn't buy. I have a new found love for cherries, and my favorite apple is Honeycrisp. YUM!

I didn't add any pictures last week, so here I go. First of all, the Chicken Ropa Vieja I mentioned from Gina's Skinny Recipes? Here's a picture! The bf's mom shared her delicious black bean and rice recipe with me, so if you're interested please let me know and I will ask her if she doesn't mind that I spread the love.

The bf and I tried another of LaaLoosh's Recipes: Baked Ziti. MMMMMM!!!! We used 99% fat free ground turkey and a low carb penne instead of what's recommended. LaaLoosh's recipe is also from the old point system. On the new point system it is 11 points per serving and is very doable for a delicious, healthy, and filling dinner. Look at this serving! It's HUGE!! We found another on the WW site for fewer points, so we may try that next time, but I love this so much that I'm not sure I want to!

The bf also had a great find at the grocery store this week: Special K Cracker Chips. They are tasty and only 1 point for 13 chips! That's amazing! Good find!! :)

My beautiful Little from my sorority shared some tips with me so I'm looking forward to trying those this upcoming week. I love the blog she suggested ( and can't wait to sample some of these treats! If you or anyone you know is on Weight Watchers and has great tips to share, please let me know!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Week 2

Hi there, readers!

It's the end of my first week back on Weight Watchers. WW claims that the program is a lifestyle change, but I think of it more as an adjustment. We realized that it really just involves more grocery shopping and cooking, less eating out, attention to portion control, and a small amount of discipline. It's been a wonderful lifestyle adjustment so far, and it has brought the bf and I even closer because we're doing it together. We have always loved to cook together, so it's been a blast trying out new recipes. It wasn't that difficult to stay on the program this week, except when we went to a party on Saturday and it was SO hard to resist the Pizza Hut! It's my favorite!! I did it, though, so go me! Anyway, here are the details that I aim to update on a weekly basis, no matter the results.

Weight loss: 5.3 pounds!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pounds remaining to reach goal weight:34.5
Overall mood this week: hopeful, happy, and feeling good! I am so excited about the weight loss, but since I've done this before, I know that the big loss is due to basically the shock my body had this week by being healthy haha. I'm a little annoyed about my goal weight assigned by Weight Watchers. You see, if you don't know me I have a muscular build and as we all know, muscle weighs more than fat. Needless to say, when I was at my thinnest weight in college, multiple people said I looked 20 pounds less than I actually was. I'm keeping that in mind because the "healthy weight range" for my age and height worries me. I am not sure that if I reach this goal that I will be able to maintain it. But we shall see. Also, I know that the first three weeks are typically bigger loss weeks followed by losing 1-2 pounds per week on the program. This is healthy, so I know this is a good thing especially because it's healthy weight loss that will be easier to maintain. Of course I'm also keeping in mind that I may gain every once in a while and/or hit a plateau where nothing is happening.
Worked out: once...I need to be better about this!
Yummy finds: I have two amazing blogs and the Weight Watchers site to thank for the delicious recipes! The bf and I were able to find our favorite dishes with healthier options, so we're hoping this will help us to stray less and cook more.
  1. Gina's Skinny Recipes is an incredible blog. We tried her Chicken Pot Pie Soup and my favorite Cuban dish Chicken Ropa Vieja this week. They were insanely delicious and we made enough for leftovers. Talk about getting the most out of our money! We also took her word for it: Ronzoni wheat pasta truly is better than your average wheat pasta :)
  2. We also tried the Weight Watchers recipe for Turkey Meatloaf. WOW was it full of flavor! The ingredients include ground turkey and bbq sauce, among others - for only 4 points per serving! If you are interested in the recipe let me know and I can email it to you. I think it might only be available to online members. This was fun to make, especially because it was categorized as "Man Food" on the WW Men's site. Very clever!
  3. Thanks to the blog LaaLoosh I went to Trader Joe's tonight to pick up a beef, cheese, and bean dip - at only ONE point per serving - to satisfy my Mexican food cravings (which are typically nightly haha!). I can't WAIT to try it! I laughed at myself because this low-fat dish is surrounded by really fatty foods and was why, I predicted, that the product was still on the I bought two in case the word gets out about this dip and people go crazy buying it! I know that's silly, but I had to do it.
  4. Since I was already at Trader Joe's, I figured I should browse, right? Well, I'm SO glad I did, because I came across DELICIOUS peanut butter at only 2 points per serving! It's called Better 'N Peanut Butter, and while the consistency is runnier than typical peanut butter, it tastes just as good! I cut the serving size in half, added a tablespoon of grape jelly, and put it on a slice of Pepperidge Farm Light Style wheat bread for a healthy and satisfying 3 point snack. However, a tablespoon of jelly is waaaaay too big for one slice of bread...and of course some of it missed my mouth and landed on the couch.

So that's it for Week 1. Hopefully we can keep this up, but so far so good! We need to take our measurements and should have done it last week. Anyway, maybe soon I'll document how many inches I lose, too!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Week 1

Good morning!
So I have made a few resolutions for the year. I know this yearly tradition for many people is full of empty promises, but I have made three realistic goals:
1) Hang out with friends more often. Especially now that I plan to move after graduation, I want to make sure that I spend quality time with the people I have come to love over the 3+ years I have been here.
2) Blog more. I discussed this yesterday, but it really is a wonderful tool for reflection and release. While my grammar is suspect and I do not have the best writing ability, it is enjoyable to put my thoughts into text.
3) Follow Weight Watchers. When I was a senior in college I joined WW and lost 35 pounds. I was the thinnest and healthiest I have ever been in my life. So, my bf and I decided that we should join and feel better about ourselves again. It will be good for us to journey together, but I am not doing this for him or for anyone else. Senior year I did it so I would get male attention, and as ashamed as I am for admitting it, it is the truth. Now that I have the love of my life at my side who (God bless him) says I am perfect the way I am, this goal is solely for me. I want to feel good again. I want to fit into the jeans I wore senior year. I want to love myself. I don't mean that to sound like I am depressed because I am quite happy. Rather, I want to believe the compliments again. I truly appreciate any kind words, but until you believe them yourself they do not absorb. So this final goal is going to be the most difficult challenge, but I know I can (and truly need) to do it again. I weighed myself this morning, so I know that it will only get better from here!

Luckily, WW has changed the plan a bit and now all fruits are pretty much 0 points! Woo! Any time I am hungry I can load up on grapes or whatever and hopefully that will curb my hunger without any guilt. This is exciting considering fruit was typically 2 points a serving on my old plan :)

Anyway, I figure that my WW journey will enable me to write once a week about my challenges and successes...and maybe I'll write in between, too!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Dear Readers (if you still follow my blog!),

Today marks the first day of my last semester of grad school. I happily took the day off of work, met my bf for lunch, got a manicure, did some work, finished reading for class, and was until a moment ago engrossed in a fantastic book. I am sitting in my school's common area, similar to what I had in undergrad. What is different, however, is the complete social aspect. There is a student-operated coffee shop and numerous tables, chairs, and sofas are clustered throughout the open space. Students are all buzzing through the room, whereas no one would willingly hang out in my undergrad common area - this is an interesting realization, considering I think my undergrad was more fun than my current school! However, my fellow students are overall excited about tonight's basketball game as well as starting the new semester. Most of all, though, I am noticing the hugs - hugs of friends people haven't seen over break or maybe longer, hugs of people who missed each other, and hugs generally wishing the other person a good day.

What struck me was how this experience coincided with my reading for today's class. Basically this article served as an introduction into my course called Product Development and Usability - in short, it was an article on inspiration, backed by theories dating back to Plato up to recent interviews of people who feel inspired. I can't help but surmise that the hugs I have seen over the last hour have inspired me to write. I haven't felt inspired in a while, or perhaps I didn't focus enough in order to let myself write for fun. Instead I write for work and school, and while I enjoy both, I never get to write about myself - and let's be honest: this blonde is a little selfish at times (please see above paragraph where I say I took off work to get a manicure. I understand if you vomited slightly.). One point the writer emphasized was how the people she interviewed stated without pause that the opposite of inspiration is anxiety or depression. I am okay with admitting that I have had my anxious days in the past year as I realize how much I have grown as a person, essentially grown up if you will, and the anxiety of getting older and gaining responsibility can at times cloud perceptions, goals, and as I came to realize - inspiration. While I am proud of myself I realized that I ultimately was not motivated...I was just going through the motions. As the sun shines directly into this window over my gorgeous campus, though, I am inspired - I hope that this semester continues my successful graduate journey and I have to trust that this is only the first of many posts.

Hugs for everyone,
Special K