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Weight Watchers Update

It is getting progressively harder to find time for Thursday night Weight Watchers meetings. Work has really ramped up; I already have to leave by 5:15 on Mondays and Tuesdays to be on Emerson Detail since my husband teaches those evenings. I end up staying late on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and many Fridays to catch up. Also it seems every blogger event and concert I want to attend is on a Thursday night.

I want to look for a meeting at a different time… but I don’t know of any time that would be better. Life is just so darn crazy right now. I am typing this at 8:30am while Emerson eats oatmeal and watches a movie; I have the dishwasher, dryer, and washing machine going, have already cleaned a bathroom and the kitchen. We’re leaving in three hours for a cousin’s son’s 6th birthday in Towson. As soon as we get home, my husband is heading to a concert. Tomorrow I am hosting a CAbi party and between the end of this birthday party and 2pm tomorrow I need to clean my house, go to the grocery store, figure out food for the party and write an article. This is my life in a nutshell, and I am not sure there is any time better than Thursday nights for Weight Watchers.

I rant and I whine, and then this was the quote posted at this week’s meeting:

You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make time.
-Charles Bruxton

Work won’t always be this hectic, I just need to plug through. And I need to make time for Weight Watchers, and my health.

In this week’s meeting we were to write down our typical day. What time we get up, go to work, eat lunch, etc.

  • 5:30 – Hit snooze a couple times, put in contacts, floss, brush, take shower
  • 6:00 – Go downstairs, let out dogs, eat oatmeal and a piece of fruit, drink 22oz. water while checking email and possibly watching something on the DVR. Sometimes I get inspired and do an exercise video, crunches, or sun salutations. More often than not I don’t.
  • 7:00 – Head back upstairs – do hair and makeup
  • 7:30 – Get Emerson dressed if my husband hasn’t already
  • 7:45 – Get Emerson in the car, take outfit photos
  • 8:00 – Get to Metro, use commute to read The Express or a book
  • 8:45 – Arrive at office. Fill water bottle, get cup of coffee, begin checking email
  • 9:00 – 5:15 – The day varies. Sometimes I get a lunch, more often than not I eat at my desk during a conference call or webinar (or while updating my blog).
  • 5:20 – Get to the Metro to head home. Use commute to read
  • 6:00 – Husband picks me up from the Metro
  • 6:10 – Husband goes and takes a shower, I get Emerson’s dinner ready and feed her dinner while checking the mail, doing laundry, washing dishes or some other task
  • 6:45 – Hang out with Emerson. If it’s nice out, we go outside to play, if not we’ll hang out in the living room. Sometimes I have so much to do, it ends up being Emerson plays alone while I get chores done.
  • 7:45 – Bath and bedtime for Emerson
  • 8:15 – Begin making dinner
  • 9:00 – Eat dinner with husband, more often than not at the coffee table while watching TV
  • 10:00 – Go upstairs to get ready for bed
  • 11:00 – Lights out

We’re supposed to look at our schedule and see times where we can exercise or be more healthy. I can see right away that I can use my hour in the morning to actually exercise rather than watch TV (I can also stop hitting snooze and have more time). Many in the meeting said they use their lunch hour to walk, but I really don’t get lunch hours but just a couple times a month (and then I have to use it for errands). I have gotten better and bought a bunch of frozen meals and stocked the work freezer so I don’t grab a cup-a-noodles or Au Bon Pain when rushed for time. I also have healthy snacks in my desk for that same purpose.

As Emerson gets older, and as this new work project settles in, I will have more space in my schedule, more opportunities to make time. But for now, I am trying to do my best with what I have.

And this week I removed 1.2 pounds. So since my last Weight Watchers update, I can now fit my wedding band, wore a pair of size 10 jeans, and now officially weigh less than I did before I got pregnant!

It’s funny, before I got pregnant I was doing yoga twice a week, kigong twice a week, and hitting the gym from time to time. I was in far better shape, but wore the same size and was the same weight. I just think, if I MAKE the time for more exercise… imagine how much slimmer I would look and how much better clothes would fit me!

So the goal is to figure out how to make more time for me, my health, and my future. I feel I have the food under control (not really tracking on a daily basis, but creating systems so that I have easy access to WW-friendly meals and snacks), now it’s time for the exercise.

And for those who don’t attend Weight Watchers meetings, there was a fabulous recipe in this week’s Weekly I wanted to share. We’re totally making it this week!

Coconut Curry Shrimp
8 PointsPlus per serving
Prep – 10 minutes, cook – 8 minutes
Serves 4

2 sprays cooking spray
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp mild (or hot) curry powder, to taste
½ tsp table salt
3 medium scallions, thinly sliced, green and white parts separated
½ cup light coconut milk
1 lb. large shrimp, shelled and deveined
3 cups cooked brown rice

Coat a medium to large skillet with cooking spray; add oil and set over medium heat.  When heated, add curry powder and salt; cook, stirring constantly, until curry is fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add white parts of scallions; cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes more. Add coconut milk, stir to blend. Add shrimp; cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp turn pink, about 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with green parts of scallions; serve. Yields about about 5 to 6 shrimp, ¾ cup rice, and 1 to 2 tablespoons sauce per serving.

Notes: Add cilantro, hot peppers, or tomatoes for a completely different twist. Service this recipe with fresh pineapple, mango or papaya to cut the spice (will affect PointsPlus value).

Interesting fact: ½ cup of light coconut milk is 2 PointsPlus, while ½ cup of regular coconut milk is 7 PointsPlus.

How have you all been doing? What have been your setbacks, and what are your recent accomplishments?

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Weekend Weight Watchers Update

I think I need to start calling this my weekend Weight Watchers update, since I have been a Friday slacker. Fridays have been busier than expected lately.

So this week I gained weight. A hair over a pound. This is the first time I have gained during the Weight Watchers process. And I am not surprised.

1. I missed two meetings
2. I haven’t been tracking every day
3. I fell off the wagon

Falling off the wagon for me is eating foods that aren’t worth it. I’m talking having a crappy day, come home, and throw some regular tortilla chips in a Tupperware container, sprinkle a ton of regular shredded cheddar on top, a bit of Frank’s Red Hot, microwave for 60 seconds and eat in front of the TV.

On Weight Watchers, eating less fat, more fiber, more vegetables caused me to stop craving so much of the heavy, filthy foods. I would come home, look in the fridge, and desire a pickle, or maybe some Wasa crackers with Laughing Cow and tomato. If I was starving while cooking dinner, I would munch on celery sticks dipped into my homemade super low-point ranch dressing (Hidden Valley ranch packet with 1 cup skim milk, one cup reduced fat mayo). I stopped wanting the pasta, the homemade crappy nachos. But then you try it once, maybe it’s PMS, maybe it’s not going to the grocery store for fresh produce… next thing you’re back to craving things like salt and vinegar potato chips and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

So I know what I did, and what I need to do to get back on track.

Weight Watchers tip – did you know you can attend any meeting for free? Even if you aren’t a member, you can attend. You can’t weigh in, can’t get the materials, but you can sit for the seminar. And I find the seminars so darn helpful. It’s as though Weight Watchers knew I would gain this week, and made the meeting tailored for me.

This week was about positive self-talk, being your own cheerleader on the road to weight removal success. It’s about dealing with the gains, the plateaus, the tiny removals that feel like nothing (did you know 0.8 pounds is the weight of a coffee mug? Doesn’t that seem like a lot more weight to remove when you can compare it to something?).

This week my leader said, “You are going to gain weight at some point during Weight Watchers, so get mad now.” Her point was, it’s so easy to have a week of gaining get you off track. You’re mad, this doesn’t work, this plan is stupid. You just can’t lose weight, you’re a failure. You punish yourself, and you veer even farther off the plan. Instead of saying, “I was bad,” say, “This is the choice I made.” Because it’s true, every bite you ate, every minute of exercise you did or did not do, it was a choice.

We can make excuses until the cows come home about no time and our lack of control in our weight loss situation. The boss kept you late, the husband didn’t go to the grocery store, it was your birthday, your friend’s bachelorette party, they brought donuts into the office, the kids got up early/went to bed late. And let’s not forget about that metabolism you got from your mom, your thyroid, your bad knee. But if you have time to be on the Internet checking blogs, you have time to eat properly and move your body, at least a little.

Do what you can with what you have, where you are.
– Theodore Roosevelt

So you can’t run a 5K, or you have a bad back. You work 12 hour days and come home to three kids. You can’t afford a gym, let alone farmer’s market fresh produce. You can hardly boil water, let alone make recipes from Weight Watchers cookbooks. Do what you can with what you have, where you are in life. It’s better than nothing. It’s better to lose the weight of a coffee mug, than no coffee mug at all. And it’s better that I gained less than two pounds this week than dropping Weight Watchers all together and probably gaining far more.

This Saturday, our friend had a festival for a type of alcohol at a nearby bar. We went, and ate bar food. I had a Bloody Mary, a Miller Lite, a couple sips of this liquor that tastes more like lighter fluid. I ate Buffalo wings and crab dip and French fries. I knew I would have a day like this. Soo for breakfast, I made my Eggbeaters, and I cooked it with chopped up wedge of Laughing Cow and a couple slivers of red onion and some thin 98% fat free deli ham. I put it on top of one half of a Thomas multigrain Bagel Thin. I drank a ton of water all day. Before I went to the bar, I ate half of a banana so I wasn’t ravenous. When I came home, I drank more water to help flush out my system. A couple hours later I was hungry so I had some leftover grilled fish from the previous night’s dinner on a ginormous salad of just vegetables and had it with tea. I didn’t go to bed hungry, I didn’t feel deprived, I planned accordingly for day’s event. And this is how I plan to handle this week so I can again remove what I gained and push forward with this Weight Watchers journey!

And for those starting just now, here are my previous posts about Weight Watchers

Friday Weight Watchers Update (on Saturday)

I have been terrible with my Weight Watchers updates.

Last week I was flat – didn’t gain, didn’t lose. I wasn’t too surprised and actually expected a gain. I was terrible. I didn’t exercise at all, I didn’t track a couple days, I ate things like cupcakes and Cheetos and such. It was bad, a week where I didn’t even want to go to my meeting but I did. I did because the reason I stopped Weight Watchers in the past was because I would fall off the wagon one time and not go to the meeting because I didn’t want to see the number on the scale. Next thing I knew, a month had gone by and I had gained back all I had removed.

So I went, and was actually happy to see no change on the scale. And I was motivated to get back on track.

This past week I was better, and it was hard. I had Labor Day weekend which was full of hot dogs, funnel cake and beer. And then four high-intensity days at work where I got in early, stayed late (we’re talking 12 hour and longer days), and felt overwhelmed, stressed, panicked. Days where I wouldn’t see Emerson at all, where I wasn’t home until like 9pm and was getting up the next day at 4:30. But I brought my lunch every day except yesterday, I stuck to drinking just water, coffee, and diet soda only when I HAD to have something “bad,” and though I didn’t have time to walk or do an exercise video, I did walk down the stairs at work, park far away from my destinations, and did a couple crunches.

And because of this crazy work week, I didn’t get off work in time for my Weight Watchers meeting. I didn’t even have time to call my mom and tell her I wasn’t going – she and our leader were worried about me. So I don’t know if I lost, gained, stayed flat. But I know for sure I will be going to my meeting this coming week!

So, as for food lately…
– Has anyone tried the Laughing Cow blue cheese? I didn’t even know it existed until I saw an ad for it in… Real Simple magazine? Somewhere. Anyway I am a blue cheese addict and wonder if it’s delish. Haven’t found it in any local grocery stores, may have to ask my local market to get me some!

– Speaking of blue cheese, I have been deviating from my daily breakfasts of either oatmeal or an Eggbeaters and Laughing Cow cheese sandwich on a Thomas Bagel Thin or light English Muffin. I have been taking Eggbeaters and adding onion and a bit of shredded cheese, or just blue cheese crumbles and adding before cooking. It ends up being sort of like an omelet but creamier and really fluffy. I have had that a couple times with coffee and a side of grapes and it feels really special, like a breakfast I would get at a cozy café.

– Blue cheese is surprisingly low in points, considering you don’t need much to get much impact. It’s pretty much a point per tablespoon, and only one tablespoon is needed in my morning omlet – that’s the same points as Laughing Cow but with a whole other flavor and feeling. Since realizing that, I haven’t been afraid to add blue cheese to some dishes for more pungent impact. The other night my husband cooked scallops, we had them with a big salad and small baked potatoes. The salad was just tons of veggies, so I added one tablespoon of blue cheese crumbles on top and it made it feel more decadent. I have also used blue cheese on a baked potato and added on a sandwich of very thin deli ham and crusty bread and field greens. Weight Watchers isn’t about depriving yourself, just having portion control and balance. I have been depriving myself of blue cheese because it’s a full fat cheese, but since so little is needed for impact, it really isn’t something I need to avoid.

– I tried the Lean Cuisine meals that are in the bag… and they are far better than the regular box meals. I have been sticking to sandwiches with Lean Cuisine and Weight Watchers because I find the meals to be salty, sorta yucky, and they don’t fill me up or leave me satisfied. My coworker had one of the bags and said it was good. They are easy to cook – no stirring halfway through or cooking partially on a weird level on the microwave. Throw the bag in the microwave, cook like 6 minutes, open and pour on a plate or in a bowl. I had the Chicken Alfredo and the noodles weren’t gummy and the pieces of chicken were ginormous and tender. I will definitely try them again.
Note: for you Lean Cuisine eaters, click this link to get a coupon for $1 off Lean Cuisines!  I found this when visiting the Lean Cuisine site 🙂

– I have been drinking more diet soda than I would like. I usually don’t drink soda at all unless it is a special occasion or it’s in a cocktail. I hate the artificial flavors, all the chemicals, the artificial sweetener. Well lately I have just wanted something sweet and bad, and diet soda is a point-free option. Occasionally I have stopped by 7-Eleven or on the way out of the grocery store have gotten a Diet Dr. Pepper. I sometimes snag a can of Diet Coke from the stash we have at the office for in-house lunch meetings. And this week when I went to the grocery store I bought a 6-pack of Diet Coke cans. Last night I wanted a beer, but instead went with a Diet Coke because it didn’t have points. I don’t love this habit, but think it’s something that fulfils a need now, and I will outgrow.

– I have been counting points from what I eat off Emerson’s plate. I realize more often than not, I am pretending or actually eating to encourage her, letting her feed me, taking a spoonful of something between feeding her. It’s hard to not do it, so I allot 3 points a day just from Emerson eating times. It’s a painful use of points, and is really encouraging me to not do that any more. I do find that I no longer nibble while cooking, I need to now stop nibbling when feeding Emerson.

– Wine is totally worth the points, and one glass of kick-ass wine tastes so much better than three glasses of mediocre wine. Weight Watchers is really teaching me how to enjoy the small things, and have what I enjoy be small.

Instead of an Outfit…

Today I’m wearing a pretty cute outfit – a gorgeous jade green drapey jersey top courtesy of Gwynnie Bee (one of their new arrivals), with these jeans from Jag which are utterly brilliant, and my leopard flats. I didn’t take pictures because I decided to use that time to have breakfast with my family. I adore this blog, but am finding it’s taking more and more time and am trying to look for ways to better schedule my time without losing quality (either in life or in blog content).

Speaking of which, I will be having theme days on the blog so you’ll sort of know what to expect. Don’t worry, I won’t be having Wishing for Designer Bags Monday or Instagram Friday, but I will continue to do an Ask Allie every Wednesday that is about pairing and styling clothing, and will continue to have the True Fashionista series each Friday. I’m also toying with having Saturday posts that are more like this – random ramblings and updates that can’t fill an entire blog post on their own. Outfit and advice posts will obviously continue, but I am not going to kill myself to churn them out on a daily basis. Likely they will still be daily, but I am taking off some of the pressure I have placed on myself as of recent.

I finished Stacy London’s book this week and I can’t stress enough how awesome it is. While I feel it’s a bit goofy to have her constantly use trendy phrases like amazeballs, the content is spot-on and really gets to the heart of the matter why many women are in a sartorial rut, fear or hate fashion, and believe style is only possible for the rich and thin. Even if you know your personal style, this book is a great read.

I forgot to mention on here, but I also finished Caitlin Moran’s book, How to Be a Woman. I know she got some justified flack this past weekend on Twitter, but I still think she’s pretty inspiring and her book is a good read. I think if it was 100 pages shorter it would have had more impact, but I think it’s a great memoir about her life and her view on feminism. If you think feminism is passé or a bad word, consider checking this book out and you may change your opinion. I’d call it Feminism Light, which isn’t a bad thing – it actually makes it digestible and clear to those who hear the word and think only of these characters from Portlandia:

I love fashion and beauty, I find it charming when a man holds a door for me, I admire and respect mothers who choose to stay home to raise their children, and I spent much of my pregnancy barefoot in the kitchen (the cold ceramic tile did wonders for PUPPPS), but I am a feminist. And I am betting if you are reading this blog, there’s a feminist inside you too!

I desperately need to get to the salon. I miss my stylist Kathleen desperately, and I am also doing bad things to my hair like dying it at 4am with a box of Natural Instincts that I found in the back of the linen closet and trimming bangs with cuticle scissors. Such antics were fine at 25 but not so cute at 37.

I’m really excited for this Tuesday. My friend Maria, who is also a blogger and PR person is working with DC Wine Week to host Red, Burgundy, and Plum: A Night of Fashion and Wine at Lost Society DC. Open wine bar, yummy food, fashion, and some of the most fabulous people in the city – I can’t wait! I’d love it if you came as well, and considering who is hosting this event I KNOW it’s going to be fabulous!

This weekend is our dear friends’ son’s birthday party and Emerson can NOT wait. Since their son’s birthday is so close to Halloween they make the event a costume party. While she said she wanted to be a “princess witch… or a princess pirate” for Halloween (figure both include a black tutu and a crown and the rest is her imagination and choice between “Yo Ho Ho!” or her crazy “diabolical laugh”) I couldn’t pass up the great deal on a bee costume from Old Navy. On sale and then I had a coupon for an additional 30% off so it ended up being about $10. Emerson is Princess Bumble Bee today and I bet tomorrow as well, and can’t wait to be in full bee regalia Saturday.

So I have dropped Weight Watchers. I never go, and lately my husband has been on a cooking kick, flying through the amazing recipes in this book. We haven’t gone full vegetarian again, but we’re going meatless during the week and cutting down on eggs and dairy. Our goal is to make animal products a treat instead of something we gobble without thought. We’re both finding that our vegan meals are far more filling – we eat half of what we regularly consume and are left sated – no growing tummies, no sluggishness, just not hungry any more. The gym at my new office building opens up next week so I hope to stop by there a couple times a week. I honestly don’t care if I remain this size for the rest of my life, I just want to be healthy and strong and have a good quality of life for as long as possible. I can tell when I have gained and my body just doesn’t perform as well, but I also realize that getting smaller requires a major life change and I am accepting that I just don’t have the time or desire right now for that. Virgin FreeFest reminded me of how strong I was – while I was worn out the day after, I was proud at how I kept going the whole day without being fatigued, in pain, or needing to rest. I love that I can go on a hike for two or more hours with my husband and keep up without pain or stress, and I love that when I am eating healthy real food I sleep better and my skin looks and feels amazing. For me, that means more than the size of my jeans.

A proper post will happen tomorrow, but for today you get my random ramblings. I’d love to hear from you – what book should I read next (just ordered the Beth Ditto memoir, but I usually read two books at a time)? TV season has returned, what show should I add to my DVR? What fun things have you been up to?

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