Food and Weight: An Ongoing Journey

Archive for December 2012

It was a good week, weightwise!  At meeting this morning, I weighed in at 239.4, for a weekly loss of 3.6 lbs., and a total loss this time around of 23 lbs. We were discussing looking objectively at our pasts  (with regard to weight loss), and reflecting on what worked for us and what didn’t work for us.  For me, what worked is:

  • Recommitting to becoming more flexatarian in my food choices
  • Tracking as religiously as possible
  • Getting out of my computer chair and moving every day

What didn’t work is:

  • Thinking I could do it without making permanent changes
  • Thinking I could do it without tracking
  • Thinking that because I had lost 80 lbs I could go back to eating the way I had in the past
  • Not making the changes in my routines and thinking that would support my progress and maintenance

This week, I have committed to move for at least 15 minutes each day.  Given that most of my time is spent sitting down, this is a big one for me.  In the Spring, Summer, and Autumn, it’s pretty easy to go walking (now that I can walk again), but in the winter — even when the ground is not covered in slush or frozen — it’s harder to get motivated to go outside, especially if I don’t have a destination in mind. So, I think that the first thing I will need to do is to create a bunch of destinations that I can have, that won’t force me to spend a lot of money.

I don’t have pedometer figure this week.  Sadly I forgot to switch the pedometer to my sweats pocket, and I wore them most of the week (when I bothered to dress at all), because I was cleaning.  I did wear my ActiveLink, and I seem to be getting closer to achieving my daily goals, but I’ve  only actually made it past by enough to earn an activity point once.  I still have hopes of reaching the goal for my 12-week challenge, though, especially if I get off my but the way I am committing to doing.

So, as 2012 draws to a close, What are your goals for 2013?  What strategies will you use to get there?  What worked for you in 2012?  What didn’t?  Can you look at the past year objectively (which means without attaching a judgement about yourself to it)?  Further, having looked at it objectively, can you come up with routines and strategies that will support your moving forward in the New Year?



First, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday (if you celebrate) or a great Tuesday (if you don’t).

Dinner was better than I had expected.  Lots of good conversation, lots of quality time with some friends I don’t get to see all that often (and a few that I see on a regular basis), some brainstorming for a friend’s new project, and far too much really good food.

There were changes — as these go, there usually are — but everyone got fed, no one went hungry, there were yummy leftovers, and everyone had a great time.  As a bonus, I now have a living room where I can have company over when I want to, and the rest of the apartment is sufficiently clean that (while it would certainly fall short of my mom’s standard) I can have people over without having to apologize for.

The food:  The roomie made a turkey breast, roasted sweet potatoes, and her dirty mashed potatoes; I made my pistachio pie, my split pea soup and some chili; C made her broccoli/cauliflower mash, spaghetti squash, and butternut squash;  N made a glazed ham, stuffing, and one of the best green bean casseroles I have ever eaten (she made the mushroom soup for it from scratch!), as well as some lovely chocolate snaps; and R brought some lovely baked goodies.

Even better, I was totally able to stay within program, choosing to stuff myself with the veggies & protein and just sample things that I felt were not optimal choices for me.

As an extra surprise, C’s boss sent us a package of crackers (the kind you pull apart (with a loud popping noise) and a party favor, a paper crown, and some riddles and trivia come out.  We left the boss a fannish phone message of thanks,which we hope won’t shock her *too* much.

As often happens when I am around people, I forget to take pictures. I did, however take pictures of my now visible living room:

Kitt on the couch Entertainment Center Free Stuff Box & Holiday Tree Main bookshelves Dining table, Blocked Front Window, & Secondary Bookshelves

It was, all in all, a Really Good Day.

This one invites five friends and her roommate for dinner.

Fortunately, I’m not terribly observant, and I don’t keep kosher, so food won’t be a problem…much.

You see, every one of my guests (including me) has at least one food quirk or allergy.  I’ve actually taken a leaf from my friend P (who won’t be here tomorrow) and started a spreadsheet.  The roomie can’t eat mushrooms or anything too spicy; L is a lacto-ovo vegetarian; N can’t eat dairy; C can’t eat mushrooms; R gets headaches from aspartame and dislikes bell peppers; I can’t eat most things with ginger in them; and A doesn’t do green vegetables.

Fortunately, I had enough notice to work around this.  There will be food for everyone, even if everyone can’t eat everything.

For A, there will be chili, which I know she eats.  I was able to assure R that we do not use aspartame as a rule here, and that I dislike bell pepper myself.  For N, one dish is being made with soy milk & soy margarine, so she can enjoy it.  There will be a dessert with sugar for A, and several with Splenda for me & those who can’t do real sugar.  There will be turkey breast.  There will be cut up veggies & onion dip, and PopChips and fresh-made salsa, as well as some very good peppermint, tea, and coffee hard candies for those who want them.  There will be N is making a fresh ham, a green bean casserole, stuffing, and a dessert to be named later.  The roomie is making her dirty mashed potatoes.  I’m also making sweet potatoes (with or without kale & chick peas) and a mixed greens and mushroom saute with slivered almonds and tofu.

I think we’ll have enough food.

No questions today — just a wish for a happy, healthy holiday (or non-holiday), and a reminder to hold your friends and family close, and not take their existence for granted.

Peace out.

Went to meeting today, despite feeling crappy when I woke up this morning.  I seem to have developed some kind of cold or other weather-related crud, and the cold meds I had in the house seemed to be taking forever to kick in.  We talked more about routines, and about how we walk around what our real issues are rather than facing them head on.

The scale said that I had gained half a pound, which is no big deal, since when I am retaining solids, I can register as up to four pounds heavier than I actually weigh.  My current weight is 243 lbs., even, but I bet I have a decent loss next week to make up for retaining solids this week!

After meeting, C and I headed back to my place, where we did a bit more digging out of the living room.  We also found and set up the Christmas tree that Dee and I used the last year he was up here, and hung a garland from the bookcases. =That done, C and I had some lunch — pernil for her, and split pea soup for me.

We then tried some experiments in baking, one of which failed miserably, and one of which looks like it will work out pretty well (if it does, I promise a recipe).  I also learned how to make pie crust — something I had never endeavored to do before.

That done, we improvised a small snack to hold us over until dinner:  C had mentioned melting mozzarella over sliced tomatoes, so we tried it with some  Laughing Cow Light (French Onion) – two wedges cut in half and placed on top of a tomato cut into four slices.  The cheese didn’t exactly melt, but it became a bit more creamy, and tasted yummy.  Great snack for only 1 point apiece!  Can’t beat that much.

Walking hasn’t been so great this week.  I have not been wearing my pedometer, since I was mostly hanging around the house in a sweat suit and forgot to switch the pedometer to the sweat suit pocket.  Will have to do better than that this coming week.

However, I am really happy this week, because of getting the majority of the living room dug out, so I can now have guests over.  In fact, I am planning on throwing Christmas dinner, with the help of a few friend.  The roomie is making her dirty mashed potatoes; my friend L is making a chocolate mousse pie; my friend N (L’s wife) is making a ham, a green bean casserole, stuffing, and a dessert to be named later;  C is making her cauliflower/broccoli mash, some butternut squash soup and (if she can find some) her yummy spaghetti squash.  I will be making a turkey breast, and my pistachio pie, a well as a saute of leafy greens and mushrooms for those of us who like such things.  I will also be serving my cousin Ira’s salsa, with some cut up veggies, some Pop Chips, and some WW Roasted Multigrain Salsa Crisps.  C also suggested that we make one of Hungry Girl’s egg nog recipes, which sounds like an excellent idea to me. I am looking forward to having a party where I know what is in everything, so I can make intelligent choices about what to eat and drink.

My plan for the holidays i to do what I have been doing — taste everything, but remember that I want the proportion of food on my plate to be 2/3 veggies to 1/3 carbs and proteins combined.  As for the dessert, they will all be WW-friendly (except maybe the chocolate mousse pie), so there is no chance I will feel deprived.  I am planning on having a bite of each (and wrapping up anything more than a bite to be saved for later.  I am also planning to give a fair portion of the leftover to my guests, so that we all have some food for Boxing Day, but none of us have too much food to take home.

What is your strategy for dealing with the holiday and its celebratory meals?  If you are not hosting the meals, is there some dish you can bring that will support your program, without making a big deal out of your changing lifestyle?  

Also, if you have any really great veggie recipes would you consider sharing them here?  I am always delighted to learn of new ways to use veggies.

Other than that, let me wish you a good weekend, with a minimum of last minute holiday craziness!

I’ve been cleaning and transferring music to iTunes today, getting ready for the company I’m having on Christmas Day.

Today, I did something I don’t normally do — followed the Simply Filling plan.  I’d started the day with a chili omelet (2 eggs, 2 Tbsp chili, 1 Tbsp fat-free sour cream), but I found that it didn’t give me the full feeling I’m accustomed to when I eat hot cereal.

Lunch was the leftovers from the Chinese takeaway I had last night, supplemented with about 3 oz. of the leftover pork shoulder.

Dinner was a pork chop that the roommate overcooked, and 2/3 of the plate full of veggies, rounded out by about 2 oz. of the leftover pork.

I was still hungry, so I had a small treat — a bagel thin, half with some blueberry jam a friend had made, and half with Laughing Cow Original Swiss cheese.  I’m feeling satisfied now, which sort of confirms to me that the hot cereal is the way to go for breakfast these days.  So, tomorrow breakfast will be some farro, and I shall see how I feel the rest of the day.

What are you learning about what makes you feel satisfied, and what leaves you feeling hungry?  What have you learned that will help you stick to your food plan, and to make wiser choices?  

Don’t  have a lot to share today, but I didn’t want to miss posting.

I made a pot of chili over the weekend, that worked out to 6 Points Plus for a one-cup serving.  It was also a bit milder than usual, because I couldn’t find the can of Ro*Tel I thought I had handy.  I also made pernil (roasted pork shoulder), which came out yummy.

I’m going to make a pot of split pea soup tomorrow, and a friend is bringing me some jars of mince to make into pies at some point.

However, the main thrust of this week will be cleaning.  I seem to have committed to making a dinner for some friends on Christmas Day, so today was spent, for example, digging out and reassembling my dining room table.  Two of my friends, N & C, have each volunteered to bring things:  N is bringing the stuffing, and a green bean casserole, and C is bringing her cauliflower/broccoli mash, and — if she can find some — spaghetti squash!  The roomie and I are making a roasted turkey breast, and a ham, and assorted side dishes that we love (we are going to sit down to plan in a while).

One thing I’ve done is to finally start a list of my friends’ food allergies and dislikes.  I picked up the idea from my friend P, up in Massachusetts, because so many of the people I enjoy cooking for do have food allergies.

One other thing I will be doing this evening is a test run of making a serving tray out of peppermint candies.  I saw this on The Chew, in a “Clinton’s Craft Corner” segment, and it caught my fancy.

I am intending to get through the holiday and not stray from my program.  I’ve done this before, and I know that I can do it.  Diana pointed out at meeting that we tend to revert to behavior that no longer serves us.  We do this for a number of reasons — fear, return to a comfort zone, stuffing emotions in a family situation — the reasons are as numerous as the people who choose them.  Me, I intend to stay with my program, and realize that no matter what food choices I make, they are choices.

We make hundreds of decisions about food every day, consciously or  unconsciously.  My goal is to make them consciously — if I see something I want to eat that is not a better choice, to ask myself if it’s worth the points I would spend on it.  There are some things that will be, no doubt, but December holidays only come once a year, and will not break me, no matter if I lose weight, stay the same, or (heaven forfend!) gain a few pounds.  Should the latter happen, I will just pick myself up and get back on track at the next meal.  I am committing to not doing a “I’ll go back next week” kind of thing, because I know that “next week” becomes “next month,” becomes “I gain back all the weight I lost.”

So, as the holiday approaches, my questions are:

What do you expect your food experiences to be over the holidays?  Do you have dishes you can contribute to the meal so that you won’t feel deprived?  What strategies will you use — Simply filling?  Plate proportion (2/3 veggies, 1/3 protein)?  Counting Points Plus?  Choosing to eat the way you did before you decided to make better food choices?  

This will be a bit of a longish post, I suspect, because a lot of good has been happening.

The quick accountability is that I lost 1.25 lbs this week for a total of 20 lbs. gone!  My current weight is 242.4, and I added a second little black rubber bracelet to my wrist to note the milestone.

After meeting, my friend, C, and I headed to the Mirage Diner for lunch, where I had a yummy osso bucco, although I did not eat all the orzo it came with because I was full.  From there, we headed to Radio Shack to get some batteries, then to my house, where C helped me make a major dent at getting junk done in the living room.  All the clothing that was lying around is either put away or is put in one of two laundry bags.  We also got some of the books on the shelves, and a lot of stuff condensed, so that it can be dealt with later on.  Since I want to have the living room clean enough to put up my dining table when I make Christmas dinner, this is a huge start toward that goal.

Meeting was really good today!  We covered more about routines, and about how we revert to old patterns for reasons such as familiarity, fear, ignorance, habit, etc.  We also discussed committing to new habits, and followed up on the commitments we made last week.  At that time, I had committed to cutting down on using the chips from WW for my snacks.  I was pleased to report today that I had changed a lot of my snacking to using power foods, and that I noticed that it had made an impact on how I felt.  I had more energy — and less cravings — all week, and this week I am committed to exploring more non-chips snacks I can have without blowing my plan.

Walking this week was a bit weird.  Managed to have some really respectable days, with only one day I didn’t get anywhere at all:

  • 12/7:  4,237 steps
  • 12/8:  821 steps
  • 12/9:  466 steps
  • 12/10:  0 steps
  • 12/11:  1,826 steps
  • 12/12:  3,736 steps
  • 12/13:  210 steps

So, it has been a very good week in terms of my program.

I don’t have much to add to that, and I only have one real question for today:  What is one small thing that you are willing to commit to for the coming week?

Freelancers Union

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