Friday, January 23, 2009

Tis a good day

Yup, it's Friday ... weigh in day. Since the title says it's a good day you must know that I lost some weight. I did! Not as much as would have liked but more then I thought I would. Today's weigh in is 203.8 ... that's down from 204.6. Almost a pound ... I can live with that.

I got up bright & early this morning to get my workout in. I did a 45 minute walk. It felt so good to get moving. I still have tons of energy so I'll probably do a second workout like I did yesterday. I'm trying to bump up my cardio everyday so I'll have a better chance at seeing the scale drop quicker. As you know I was hoping to see it drop a pound a week but the scale Gods just don't want to work with me. I think their having more fun laughing at me being frustrated. Oh well. At least I can say I'm losing something so my efforts aren't for nothing. Right?

Nothing major going on around here today or even this weekend. I think we're taking the kids to see Ink Heart tonight & then bowling tomorrow. Nothing is ever set in stone around here cause what we may be interested in doing one minute we don't feel like doing the next. We're very spontaneous people. Of course this can be a good or bad thing depending on who you are and if we've made plans with you or not. =P Yes, I'll admit it, I've canceled a lot of plans that I've had with friends just because I didn't feel like doing what was planned out. I've gotten better at just telling people we'll see how I feel. I hate letting people down.

Anyway, hubby wanted to play the lottery ... I hate doing it because to me it's just a big ole waste of time & money. Time because we have to drive about 45 minutes to get to Florida then money for gas & of course he never gets less than $10 worth of numbers. We've been playing for about 5 years & we have only won money twice. The first time we won about $78 and then the last time was I think $8 ... see not worth the time. Hubby wants to play cause he wants to take me to all the places I have dreamed of going. Ireland & Germany being at the top of the list. So Wed. when he got home from work we headed for Florida ... no, we didn't win a darned dime. He was so sure we were going to win ... could feel it in his bones. I swear, the man tells me this same thing every single time he buys tickets. You think he would learn. Guess it's a guy thing.

Oh, I joined FaceBook yesterday. I kept getting invites to join ... got tired of being asked so I went for it. OMG, I don't know why I waited so long. I'm connecting with old friends from high school. It's funny to learn how much we have all changed yet to know we're pretty much still the same. I guess that's how life goes though.

Guess I should get back to the kids. Son is having one heck of a time with school this morning. Math ... percentages. He's usually amazing at math but for some reason his brain doesn't want to work with percentages today. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Computer Rant ...

I'm having one heck of a time getting my computer to work for me. Hubby thinks it's in need of more RAM but I don't see how as I have most everything that didn't come with the computer on my plug in storage. I just don't get it. This thing runs slower than thick mud ... so hubby says well, lets go get some more RAM. We get to the store & he decided I should have an early Valentine's day gift. He out right buys me a new computer. This time it's a laptop ... nice one. Sony Vaio! Anyway this thing has 4 gb of RAM. Guess what? I'm having the same damned problem as before. I can't get web pages to open, AOL stops working ... it's so darned frustrating. I want to throw this computer in the garbage, make him take the laptop back to the store & just say I'm so done with computers altogether. I'm not kidding! I have a headache just from stressing over not getting pages to open. I tried to pay bills the other day & I couldn't get the sites to hardly open. 2 bills were late cause it took me days to get them to open. It pisses me off. I'm sure it's not the web sites I go to because my kids can go to them just fine. That's why we were thinking it was the computer ... now with a new one the same problems persist so it's either me & my damned luck or it's Vista! My kids laptops have Windows XP & so does the old desktop that's in my daughters room. Do any of you with Vista have this problem? Not that it really matters cause they don't sell computers with anything but Vista on them now & to buy the Windows XP software seems like a total waste of money after what I have already paid for the stupid laptop that's turned out to be no better than this desktop. Ya know I haven't added an entry here because I wasn't able to get the page to open up! Doesn't that just bite?!

Anyway ... diet/activity wise I'm still on track. I should be taking in more fruits & veggies but I haven't been in a mood to eat this week. I don't know what's going on with me. For breakfast today I had a piece of toast with 1/4 cup egg beaters and a cup of coffee, snack was an orange, lunch was 1 cup of chili with 1/2 serving of Frito's/cheese, snack was a nutrigrain bar ... that's it so far. Dinner will be chicken quesidillas but that sounds like crap right now.

I got up at 6:30 this morning to get my cardio out of the way. It was a 30 minute walk video. I'm thinking I should probably do something else today and make it a BIG calorie burn tomorrow since weigh in is on Friday. I really want it to be a good day but I'm thinking I will have lost only an ounce or two if that. I don't know what to do with myself. Seems like I'm damned if I do & I'm damned if I don't. Ever feel that way? If I exercise more I eat more thus I don't lose weight but gain ... if I exercise less I eat less but I barely lose anything at all. Uggg, I guess I'm just in a crabby mood today & can't seem to find anything to be happy about.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The 2009 New Year, New Resolve Challenge: Week 3

By committing to this four-week New Year, New Resolve Challenge, you are pledging to look forward, not backward.
Last week, you bumped up your Filling Foods and your activity, and took the important step of reaching out for a little extra help. This week is all about fun, food and friends.

Week 3

Try a new recipe
If the habits you picked up in Week 1 of the challenge have taken hold, then you’re still planning your meals up to a week at a time. Good for you! The challenge in keeping this great habit going, though, is balancing routine (going for the same few meals that you know how to cook and that require staple ingredients), with variety (lemon chicken again?).

So, when you plan your next few meals, make room for something brand new in the line-up. Look at recipes; pick up a food magazine next time you’re out, or browse the internet. Or, if you’re feeling really brave, grab a cookbook, fan through it with your eyes closed, and vow to make whatever you land on. If it’s a high-calorie nightmare, think of ways to lighten it up.

I'm not kidding – as long as you can push through the initial self-consciousness, dancing around your living room to the music you rocked out to as a teen will plaster a grin to your face like little else. You might pick a time when you know you’ll be alone in the house, or you might decide to get the whole house involved. (Those of you with teenage kids might get an extra kick out of watching them struggle between being embarrassed, and wanting to join you.)

Of course, if you want to kick it up to the next step, you could plan a night out at a club, or even a dance class. You might even want to ask a friend if they can recommend somewhere in your area. As well as the happiness factor, you’ll be burning calories while you grin and grind.
Find that you’re fine at the beginning of your tracking week, but your resolve peters out midweek and/or over the weekend? Give yourself a jolt of motivation and accountability by going to an extra Weight Watchers meeting or if your part of a weight loss group ask for help there. Meetings aren’t just about stepping on the scale and seeing how you’ve done; they help you connect to other people, the Plan, and yourself. By going to a different meeting, you’ll meet different people and maybe learn a new tip, or even just find knowledge in listening to a new person’s struggles and triumphs. If you belong to a weight loss group online then you can gather strength & motivation from them. We've all been at a cross roads before ... none of us are alone in this journey. They key is being brave enough to admit we need help to reach our goals.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Another one bites the Dust

Another pound that is. Weigh was today & I'm happy to tell you I'm now 204.6. That's down 6 oz since last Friday. I wish the weight could melt off of me as quick as it does others but it never has & I'm guessing never will. It's ok though! As slow as it comes off ... I can also take pleasure it knowing it comes back on almost as slowly. I'm keeping up with my cardio & am still indulging in my fruits & veggies like there will be no more tomorrow. I'm sure there may come a time where I balk at the sight of the fruit ... it always happens this way, but I'm hoping it becomes more of a habit that I continue to enjoy the wonderful taste.

As I peer out my window the day looks lovely but knowing that the wind chimes are chiming constantly makes me fully aware that the chill in the air would probably cut me to the bone. The fire place is all ablaze as I try to knock the chill from the air ... I'm now almost completely sure that the cold front has reared it's ugly head as it's nearly impossible to keep this drafty house warm. Global warming my pa toot! It hasn't been this chilly in years. We're not hitting record lows but it a good 10 degrees cooler then the 5 years I have lived here. It always amazes me how I can wear shorts one day and the next be bundled up tightly in a snow coat begging for warmth. Doesn't make sense to me. I moved to the south for the sun, the warmth of it ... I hate to be cold!

Today it like all the rest ... I'm paying bills, doing daily household chores, teaching the kids ... and making for sure I stay on the straight & narrow. My end of the month goal almost impossible to reach. I'll have to lose 2 pounds per week to reach the goal. I had thought I would be able to make it when I set the goal. I usually lose 3-5 pounds the first week that I'm back on plan but I suppose the older I get the less my body wants to play this game. My first week I only lost 2 lousy ounces. I'm still keeping the faith that if I bump up my activity just a bit more & eat a little more fruit that I can actually lose 2 pounds per week to reach my goal. I truly want to make it to ONDERLAND by February first. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Still on Course

I'm standing steady with my food & activity plan. I was very proud of myself yesterday. I went to see the movie our church put on for the community ... "Fireproof". It was a wonderful movie for any who are interested. I walked away feeling so lucky to be married to my husband. Anyway, as I was saying & so easily feel off track ... I was offered soda & popcorn. I decided to go with the bottled water that sat off to the side. I did grab a bag of popcorn but after opening it up and seeing all the butter & salt, I took one small handfull, wrapped up the bag and set it on the floor. So I did so good ... I was really proud that I didn't munch down a whole bag of popcorn. Even during the 10 minute intermission I didn't go back for a snack. Yeah me! Big accomplishment.

Last night I had a moment of weakness ... my body (mostly TOM) was screaming for chocolate. I knew I had M&M's in the freezer but hubby was right there reminding me of my 1.6 pounds that I lost & how I didn't want to unravel a week of hard work. I didn't want to but darn it ... my body was screaming very loudly for chocolate. Instead of the M&M's ... I went for 3 WW chocolate chip cookies with a glass of milk. It was a total of 5 points but it's much better than the 20+ points I would have taken in had I gone for the M&M's. Another thing I can say I conquered over the weekend.

I didn't work out on Friday or Sunday but it's ok ... my body was feeling weak so I figured it needed a small break. I did work it pretty good last week & the scale did reflect that. Not to let myself down or get out of the habit I woke before 7 this morning to get in 20 minutes of pilates then a 15 minute walk. It felt great to get up & get the workout out of the way. Hubby e-mailed me asking if I wanted to go for an afternoon walk when he got home ... I shocked myself by saying sure instead of my usual "I've already worked out"!

Nothing much else for today ... just busying myself with reading & a few household chores until hubby makes it home from work. Have a great on plan day!

Friday, January 9, 2009

The 2009 New Year, New Resolve Challenge: Week 2

This week borrows some wisdom from the new Weight Watchers Momentum™ plan, bumps your activity up, and encourages you to think about how you’re really doing.

Week 2

Befriend a Filling Food
Not all POINTS® values were created equal. Anyone who has spent their daily POINTS allowance on bagels and candy will tell you that. Weight Watchers’ new Momentum plan introduced the concept of Filling Foods; those foods that can help keep hunger at bay, and really stretch your POINTS values to help you keep on track.

What are Filling Foods?
People tend to eat the same volume of food each day 1— by filling their stomachs with food, they avoid feelings of hunger. Some foods — Filling Foods — help keep you full longer, and fill you up on fewer calories. By incorporating Filling Foods into your meals, you’ll learn to stretch your POINTS values and make better choices.

Filling foods include; Whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, potatoes and grains. Vegetables and fruits. Whole-grain cereals – without added sugar, nuts or dried fruit. Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs. Fat-free milk and milk products. Soups, made with Filling Foods.

Now look at the difference for 3 different meals. The left side will be just grabbing something while the right side is going for filling foods. Both use the same amount of points but when using filling foods you can eat a lot more food.




Your challenge this week, then, is to make sure you add at least two Filling Foods™ every day. This is easily done by simply increasing your intake of fruits and veggies, lean meat and whole grains. But look beyond additions, and think carefully about substitutions. Instead of sugary cereal, try shredded wheat cereal with cut-up strawberries or banana supplying the sweetness the sugar had provided. Instead of a popsicle, eat a handful of frozen grapes. And who needs to eat chicken breast day in, day out, when you can try duck breast or pheasant instead? Be bold!

By tracking faithfully — including charting your hunger patterns throughout the day — you will be able to see how much value these Filling Foods represent in terms of keeping you more satisfied, longer.

Go for the (extra) burn
How much activity did you get last week? Make a point this week of increasing that number by 5 minutes each day. If you already have a robust exercise routine, do something different this week — treadmill junkies, try a dance class. Gentle yoga stretchers, take a hot Bikram class. Maybe even give the forlorn, lonely rowing machine a little attention — it’s a great workout for your upper body as well as your legs, and you won't have to stand in line even as the January newbies crowd the gym floor.

The 8 Good Health Guidelines prescribe at least 30 minutes of activity a day on most days of the week (starting with 10 minutes if you’re sedentary now). Getting in more activity during the space of a week is not an unreachable target, and the health benefits are plentiful.

Ask for help, or just check in
If you’re struggling in any aspect of following the new years (get healthy) plan, it’s important that you sit back and really think about what it is that’s tripping you up. Keeping your anxieties general will often lead to an overly generalized reaction: Giving up.

But it’s not always possible to figure out where you’re going wrong by yourself. Sometimes it takes a third party to hear the evidence and realize what it is that’s going on. Let me be your resource for helping solve these problems, but have you also considered bringing in a confidante closer to home? After all, many of the roadblocks we meet are caused, even if unknowingly, by our friends and family.

We are sometimes reluctant to share our weight-loss journey with others; we might not want them to see just how hard we have to work at staying on Plan. But those people closest to you will often jump at the chance of helping a loved one succeed at something so important to them. Whatever is bothering or confusing you, reach out to someone who can give you, if not a solution, then at least a different perspective.

Ok, I'm off my soap box now. The good news is today is weigh in day & I LOST! Nothing major but more then just 2 oz like last week. I lost 1.6 pounds this week bringing the total to 1.8 pounds for the year. I'm 205.2 this morning & getting closer to ONDERLAND as I type. =D It feels good to be in control of my body once again. Have a great weekend ... don't over eat, grab a healthy filling food. See ya on Monday to weigh in again.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

OMG ... I'm starving

I don't know why but I have been so darned hungry all day long. Of course TOM is at least 2 weeks late. Nope not preggers, just don't have a regular system. It's sad that my 11 year old daughter is more regular then I am.
Anyway, instead of going for all the wrong foods I'm just picking a lot of high fiber foods today. Hoping it will hold me over than regular foods. I'm also drinking my water today. Anything to help me feel full.

I exercised again today ... it's becoming a habit for me again. At least I can say it's a good habit, right?! I did 10 minutes with Jillian Michael's ... jogging in place for 4 minutes then squats/upright rows for a couple of minutes and monkey bars ... I always hated doing it as a kid but it's fun the Jillian way. he he he I was sweating like a pig so I switched over the the regular Wii Fit game. I did a total of 35 minutes. It was a mixture of step, balance, and a few abdominal moves. I need to really focus on this gut of mine. It's toooo big!

Sherry left a comment in my last entry about Chinese recipes. I don't have recipes per say ... we just heat the wok up with seasame seed oil, saute' broccoli and mixed veggies then throw in small chunks of steak. When it's almost done we add low sodium soy sauce. Put it over a serving of rice & that's it. Sometimes we do the pasta but since it has a lot of carbs I'm trying to stay clear of it for now. All items are now being measured out one serving per each person because if we have extra's then we will all over indulge and since I'm trying to get my family healthy at the same time ... well, it's just easier this way!

parkay Pictures, Images and Photos I have a wonderful find to share with all of you. I love butter & the thought of having to give it up was killing me. We went shopping Sunday & something caught my eye as I walked past the butter isle ... fat free parkay spray. OMG, I scooped it up brought it home, typed in the calories, fat, & fiber to discover it's "ZERO" ww points!!!!! Yeah, I can have butter again. So I had butter on my pancakes this morning then again o my baked potato. My baked potato was my new recipe for the week. Yes, I've had baked potatoes before but never without some type of meat on it. This time I shredded spinach over it. WOW ... it was really good. Even the kids were eating it like crazy. Gotta love a meal that's kid approved! =)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Checking in

Still working my WW plan ... feeling pretty good about the foods that have been chosen for me but I have to tell ya ... hubby isn't to happy about all the ruffage that I'm taking in. he he he it's making me very gassy. =D I just sit back, laugh, and say pay backs a biotch! he he he
You'll see a lot of different things on my activity section. I did the WiiFit today & made for sure I kept track of all the things I did. I think I'll just use the low impact aerobics for everything except the yoga from here on out. I get lower activity points for it but I'd rather under estimate then over estimate.
Oh ... one last thing ... as some of you know I like to weigh in on Mondays so I do better with my food choices over the weekend. Well, good news ... I ended up losing 2 oz (206.6 now) over the weekend & that's with me not exercising on Saturday. It feels good to see the number come down on the scale but it's gonna feel like heaven to be in Onderland again.
Off to help hubby make dinner. We're opting out of Chinese take out & just making it ourselves. Healthier for us but not depriving ourselves of a meal that we love.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Working my Points

Clicking on the picture will bring it up to a readable version. I don't know why Blogger makes these type of photos so darn hard to see on here.

I'm using the Flex points system with weight watchers cause right now I just don't feel I have the capacity to stick with core foods to lose this weight. I have a bunch of will power ... just not enough yet to stay away from all the things I love the most.
I do have to say that I jumped a major obstacle today. Sunday is when I make up my shopping list for the week that follows ... WW said I could have milky war bars 2 nights in a row plus a couple Hersey kisses with a meal on another day. Now I know me & chocolate ... I took it off my meal plan & didn't buy it. I was highly impressed with myself. I also know that TOM is coming in for a visit any day now & I just don't need that kind of temptation dangling in front of me.
I didn't work out yesterday but I fully intend to work out this afternoon. With church & shopping out of the way I can concentrate on the me part. I'm thinking Jillian is calling my name so that's gonna be a kick ars workout! I'm hoping for a good weigh in tomorrow. It's not a required weigh in or anything like that but I have to weigh in on Friday's with WW and for me personally I find since I have tendencies to eat poorly on the weekend if I know I have a weigh in on Monday morning I won't eat as bad because I do NOT want to see a huge increase.
I bought a new product while shopping today. Hubby has been telling me about it for a good year now but the though of paying $3.50 for nut butter just didn't do it for me. Well, I say it sitting on the shelf today & said well I am trying to get healthier right? So I bought it ... NUTELLA spread. It's supposed to be a better choice for peanut butter. By the time we got home I was starving ... I ate before we left but I guess it just didn't hold me over. So I grab a banana and a bit of Nutella ... OMG ... OMG ... this chit is so darned good I had to put the lid on it so I wouldn't over indulge. I made one critical error though ... I didn't check to see how many points the 2 tbsp serving had. "5" darned points! I was shocked! I now know I can have it every once in a while as a treat but not on a daily basis.
Ok, so that's all for me today. Just wanted to check in to keep myself accountable to myself & to all of you. I find I'm less likely to go over board if I know I have to come here & confess. Thanks ladies!

Defeating the Midnight Munchies

You planned all your meals and tracked every second of the day. You're on the home straight — but what's this? It's late at night and you're in the throes of a snack attack! Here's how to deal.

The problem
Help, it’s midnight, I can’t sleep and I just want to snack. How can I stop the nighttime munchies?

The solution
Remember when you were a kid at bedtime, and you were afraid that as soon as the lights went off the monster lurking in the back of your closet was going to come out and get you? Now that you're an adult, you know that nighttime monsters don't really exist. Or do they?

Nighttime munchies are a scourge that has affected every dieter at one time or another — knowing how to successfully deal with late-night cravings is one of the keys to effective weight loss. No matter how good you have been during the day, something hits you at night, usually around 10 o’clock, and you must eat, NOW.

What are some strategies you can use to control your late-night snacking urges? Surprisingly, the best way to help avoid the nighttime munchies is to make sure you eat breakfast and lunch.

Establish regular meal times and patterns. Erratic schedules and skipping meals, especially breakfast, set you up to overeat later in the day. I liken breakfast to fuel for a car. While we are able to run without proper fuel for a while, at a certain point each of us would 'crash' and start scarfing down any food within sight. That's when nighttime snacking comes in.

It's also important to understand the difference between true, physical hunger and emotional hunger or boredom. The urge to late-night snack usually comes from the latter and not the former.

If you aren't physically hungry, then you may need to explore simple deterrents to eating. One of the best is brushing your teeth and using a strong mouthwash. That will make anything you eat afterward taste bad. You can also go on a short walk, call a friend, answer email, organize your desk or just sit alone quietly for 10 minutes. Usually if you wait a few minutes, this desire to eat may subside. Lastly, you may just be thirsty. Thirst is easily confused with hunger. Have a sugar-free beverage and call it a night.

However, if you are actually physically hungry, you should eat. Depriving yourself of food when you’re truly hungry can lead to binge eating later on, which is much, much worse than simply having a nighttime bowl of cereal.

I recommend a rice cake with a little cashew butter on it or a small apple with a slice of low-fat cheese or a cup of yogurt or even a handful of mixed nuts. (Just don't eat the whole jar.)

If, after all this, you just can't stop the night munching and you're waking up in the middle of the night and snacking, you might be suffering from a rare eating disorder called night eating syndrome.

Night eating syndrome is characterized by overeating during the evening and waking at least three nights a week to eat. The evening overeating has to be at least 25 percent of the daily caloric intake after supper, and there has to be a minimum of three nighttime awakenings during the week. It's important to distinguish these awakenings from binges. The average caloric intake of a nighttime digestion is 280 calories, which is not a binge by any means.

If this describes you, then you should consult your physician. Treatments include a form of anti-depressant that works through serotonin, a neural transmitter, and cognitive behavior therapies.

Yes, nighttime monsters do exist, but it’s better face them rather than run screaming to the kitchen.

Here are some things you can do to stop the midnight snacking:

Make sure you eat a good breakfast and lunch.

If you feel like snacking, have a big glass of water first

Stay busy — a lot of nighttime eating is sparked by boredom.

There are some great novels and films out there.

Or, go for a nighttime ramble with the dog.

Keep calories/POINTS® value friendly snacks, like low-fat popcorn or rice cakes, handy for those times when you just have to treat yourself. To cure that crunch craving, try baby carrots.

My favorite trick to avoid night time noshing is simply to drink a big mug of herbal tea. I've recently picked this habit back up & not only am I back to NOT snacking at night .. I'm also back to sleeping straight through.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Real Resolutions

How to choose a real resolution that you can stick with.

Ever since the Babylonians began celebrating the New Year 4,000 years ago and resolved to return something they borrowed from a neighbor the previous year, humans have made resolutions. And for 4,000 years, we haven’t been very good at keeping those resolutions. In fact, we can’t even agree that it was the Babylonians that actually started the tradition. So, with 2009 now up on us, lets break down why resolutions fail and how you can make a resolution this year that you can stick with.
Each year, millions of Americans resolve to lose weight, exercise more, make more money and quit or cut back on a vice (such as smoking or drinking). While these are reasonable and often necessary changes to make, we have a difficult time seeing the resolution through. Experts say this is because we bite off more than we can chew — expecting sweeping results in a short amount of time.

I believe that resolutions fail the overwhelming majority of the time because people initially set their goals too high or do not take the time to plan how they will accomplish their resolutions. It is not about the person. I believe that anyone can be successful in keeping their resolutions. They just need to put a little time and effort into planning and structuring their resolutions.
Given that Americans often expect too much in too little time, there is a process to planning a successful resolution — or any other kind of behavioral change, and it’s called the SMART theory.

SMART Theory

S-Specific: What exactly are you going to do? Make it clearly defined and simple.

M-Measurable: How long? How much? What are the milestones you’ll reach along the way?

A-Attainable: Make it reasonable. Don’t expect to lose 50 pounds in 3 months. How about 5 to 8 pounds a month for X amount of months? Or just to attend your meeting every week without fail?

R-Rewarding: You have to stop and reward yourself along the way. Small rewards for reaching modest milestones will keep you motivated and keep you positive.

T-Time-limited: Set an end date. That last thing you want to do is keep your resolution open ended, because you’ll have less focus. At the same time, make sure you give yourself enough time to attain your main goal.

With your new SMART thinking, coming up with a reasonable resolution should be fairly easy. And if you follow these rules, you’ll have a much better chance for success.

Staying positive is a critical aspect of keeping your resolution. We see negative mood states as being influenced by thoughts and behaviors. So, if the resolution appears to be slowly going awry, the key is to examine your thoughts and behaviors. We all have an inner critic that comments on the world around us, but we do not have to listen to it. Focus on the benefits of achieving your resolution versus the costs in working for it.

More good advice: Don’t go it alone. Clue your friends and family into what you’re doing. Not only will those people encourage you along the way, but you’ll also be publicly accountable for your resolution, giving you added incentive to see your resolution to fruition. With a positive attitude, you can adopt your new behavior for life.

We’re Americans. We’re a country of hope. We tend to be fairly optimistic, and that if we try this year, we can do better. With the new year, we get a clean slate and we can let go of last year’s baggage.

Now get to it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The 2009 New Year, New Resolve Challenge: Week 1

A brand new year is the perfect opportunity to dust off your resolve and climb back on the wagon. Whether you’re new to Weight Watchers as I am, or simply looking for a framework to help you recommit or stick to your plan, here's how to succeed.

With its cold weather, post-holiday anticlimax and, for many, uncomfortably snug pants, January is not the kindest month. Why, then, do so many of us also spend half the month beating ourselves up about what we ate and drank in December? Right here and now, we are officially declaring the holidays Behind Us, and instead are here to help you focus on your goals for 2009.

Your goal might be a sizeable one, or it might be just a few pounds away. Whichever camp you fall into, contemplating a whole year stretched ahead of you can feel overwhelming. So, instead of worrying about the next 12 months, how about something far more manageable ... four weeks of activities, ideas and motivation.

By committing to this four-week New Year, New Resolve Challenge, you are pledging to look forward, not backward. Each week you’ll have three key tasks that will focus on food, activity, and behavior. None of the tasks is overly challenging or hard to achieve; rather, each one is designed to help you stay mindful of the choices you make, and to find new ways of traveling along the road of your weight-loss journey without getting bored and succumbing to a detour.
Before you begin
Go to the Challenge Commitment page (at the top of entry), where you are encouraged to think about what you want to achieve overall. With the specific tasks I'm giving you this week, checking them off is the easy part. But what is it that you want to feel at the end of the four weeks? And how do you want to build on this momentum as we go into February and beyond? Only you can answer these questions, so I've deliberately left these spaces blank for you.

When you have printed, filled in and signed the Challenge Commitment and pinned it somewhere prominent, you are ready to start tackling Week 1.

Week 1
The three tasks for you to tackle during this first week of the Challenge will both encourage planning and prepping, and give you something to do immediately.
Remember – your three tasks are related to food, activity, and behavior.
Plan (and shop for) a week’s menu ... remember; “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Take it from me: standing in front of the fridge is no place to plan your next meal.

Instead, take some time at the beginning of your tracking week, or on a Saturday morning, or even a midweek evening — whenever works for you — to plan a week’s worth of meals. If you’re suffering from blank-page syndrome, check out a good cookbook from the library or any online site that has recipes.
If all these ideas are too overwhelming, start smaller: Buy a rotisserie chicken (or roast your own), and think of three ways to use leftovers. Even if it’s just with a big mixed salad and a whole wheat roll, you’ve got a super-fast dinner that will help you check off some of your daily veggies — and one night’s dinner. Swap ideas for stretching chicken leftovers with one of your friends.
Make your shopping list with items grouped by type — even by aisle, if you are that familiar with your grocery store. Not only will this help you get around the store (and away from temptation) more quickly, it will also show you at a glance if the make-up of your diet is a little out of whack — for example, if you have an over-reliance on packaged goods rather than fresh.

Add five minutes to your active life every day
This one’s the quick fix. Whether you’re an exercise newbie or have been working out for a while, the goal is the same: Once a day, when you’re moving enough to put the glow in your cheeks, go for five minutes longer than you normally do. Push yourself on the treadmill; walk another turn around the block; do one more Sun Salutation in your yoga practice. If you’ve taken a class at the gym that has a fixed start and end time, then do a quick five minutes on the elliptical afterwards. Better yet, instead of just standing around in line waiting for the class to start, look down upon your classmates from the vantage point of an exercise bike, knowing you’re getting a far better warm-up than they are.
Here's my latest secret ... I let my kids workout on the Wii before I do then I do everything in my power to out do their scores. This makes them work harder if I beat their scores but it makes me feel like a kid if I out do theirs.

If you truly are brand new to exercise, then your five minutes might already be more than you’re used to. If you vow to walk briskly for just five minutes, who knows? Maybe you’ll want to carry on when the time’s up. (Remember, talk with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.)

Take your measurements
What’s this got to do with planning? Think of taking your measurements now as an insurance policy against the disappointment of weight-loss plateaus later. Even when you follow a plan faithfully, you may find some maddening weeks that your good efforts are going unnoticed on the scale. So take out the tape measure instead and look at the numbers. What may look like a plateau on the scale might actually be a part of the process, and inches might be whittling without you realizing it. This goes double if you’ve recently started an exercise plan.

Different people lose weight in different ways — and from different places. So knowing your measurements along the way can teach you a lot about your body, and remind you that while it’s tempting to compare your success to others’, your body is going to do things in its own, sweet way.

The bare minimum to measure is chest, thighs, arms, hips, buttocks and waist. Also consider measuring your neck, wrists and ankles. It’s not always easy to figure out the best place to measure, but as long as you’re consistent each time you measure, the results will still read accurately. It’s great if you have someone you can trust to measure you — some measurements can be trickier to capture if you’re not sure you’re holding the tape straight. But even if you take the DIY approach, here are a few tips:

Measure yourself with as few clothes on as possible — preferably naked
Use a plastic tape measure — cloth ones can stretch out over time
Keep the tape measure taught, but not squeezing you. You’re only cheating yourself if you’re sucking your breath in for a smaller number!
As you measure, look straight ahead and don't slouch to look down at your reading. Place one finger on the end of the tape measure, pull it away from your body, then read.

Write each measurement down as you take it.
We can all do this, we just have to be willing to believe we are worth the effort & then stick with it.

Wii Sooooore

Ouch is all I can really say right now. Hubby bought me a new game to go along with the Wii Fit. I thought Jillian would make a great addition to my fitness program because any of you who have ever watched Biggest Loser knows what a kick ars trainer she is ... I need that right now.
I tell ya ... the game is great but I'm paying for the workout I did last night & then this morning. My weight did go down though so I am a little thankful to see a smaller number showing. Anyway, the game is circuit training. You decide how long & strenuous a workout you want, program in your age, weight, height ... when your complete up pops a screen to tell you how well you did in each event & how many calories you burned. I'm burning about 250 calories for 30 minutes but I tell ya ... the way the sweat is rolling off of me it feels like it should be 400 or more calories gone. I'm not kidding. You will sweat your ars off ... literally. =)
So I have set up a 30 minute program both times I have been on it & this is how it went; for about 2.5 minutes I jogged ... then for 1-2 minutes you will have a talk to complete it could be anything from tire jumps, kick boxing, rowing a boat, throwing grenades, crossing monkey bars ... just lots of different things. After each task is complete you go back to jogging for 2.5 minutes. Now it may be longer or shorter times if you program your workout for a longer or shorter amount of time. After you finish your workout Jillian will unlock a diet/fitness tip. It's pretty cool information. This workout is not for the faint of hearts though ... if you want to quit easily ... this workout is NOT for you! My son did the 30 minute workout once & from his actions today I doubt he will ever workout to it again. He says she's evil! =) Anyway, to help you stay motivated is some rockin tunes.
I'm still working my WW points ... today was my weigh in day & I'm proud to say that even though I barely lost a thing from Monday's weigh in at least I can say I lost something ... 2 ounces. Better than gaining 2 oz.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hungry Girl Movie Help

Hungry Girl shares her favorite movie munching tips
Sometimes even the scariest horror films aren't nearly as frightening as the calorie and fat counts of some of the snacks you'll find at the theater. HG's got the 411 on what to chew and not to chew at the movies.
Popcorn shockerIf you're used to popcorn being a better-for-you option, you'll probably fall out of your chair when you find out the stats on the movie theater version.
A large size with butter packs in around 1,500 calories and 130 grams of fat. That's a POINTS® value around 40 and almost two days worth of POINTS values for many people — ouch! Opt for the smallest one, leave off the butter and it'll still set you back around 500 calories and 25 grams of fat (POINTS value around 11). It just doesn't seem worth it at all, especially since we're all used to munching on those mini bags that have a POINTS value of 1 to 2 each. Sneaking in your own microwave-popped bags is one potential solution, but we don't need to tell you that movie theaters frown on this. So chomp on your own popcorn at home or just skip it altogether, because movie theater popcorn + you = larger pants (sad, but likely true).

Beverage blunders
A movie theatre-size "small" soda (16 not-so-small ounces) clocks in at around 200 calories (POINTS value of 4). The scary slushy machine pumps out an equally offensive beverage; with around 220 calories in each same-size serving (also has a POINTS value of 4). Skip 'em — stick with water or diet soda, and save your calories for things you can actually chew.

Helpful food fact
Studies have shown that people eat more during sad movies than they do during upbeat funny ones. So arm yourself with guilt-free snacks if you're going to see a tearjerker!

King size mistakes
Watch out for those giant-size movie candies, people!
A 3 oz. bag of peanut M&Ms contains 470 calories and over 24 grams of fat (a POINTS value of 11). Who needs that?

Reese's Pieces 8 oz. Movie Size has 1,200 calories and 60 grams of fat (a POINTS value of 29). Zoinks!

Twizzlers 6oz. Movie Size contains 600 calories and 4 grams of fat (a POINTS value of 12). And you thought this low-fat treat was a good idea, right?

Movie Snack 911
While no movie candy is actually healthy, sweet and tart Lemonheads are fat-free, and only about 100 calories per ounce. Plus, their super-sour taste makes it hard for you to overindulge on these lemony snacks. So if you're all out of options and you find yourself at the snack counter desperate for a treat, grab a box.

Alternative options
But until movie theaters start selling healthier treats, you may need to resort to subtly bringing in your own. Here are some no-guilt snacks that can easily fit in your purse:Tootsie Pops and Blow Pops: With just 60 to 70 calories each, and hardly any fat at all (Blow Pops are fat free), these lollipops have a POINTS value of 1, and will keep your mouth happy and occupied for a long time. Yum!

Weight Watchers Fruities: These are a fantastic alternative to the higher-cal gummies found at the concession stand. They are, without a doubt, my favorite movie snack ever (and I'm not just saying that because I'm writing this column for With fewer than 70 calories in an entire pack (POINTS value 1), these chewy sugar-and fat-free fruit snacks take a long time to eat, so one pack can easily last an hour or two. The catch is you need to go to Weight Watchers locations to buy them, but you don't need to be a member to purchase them.

Apple Slices: Apples aren't boring — cut up a pretty Fuji apple, squirt some lemon juice on it (to keep it from getting brown) and toss those slices into a zip-top bag. You'll have a delicious and completely healthy snack that has fewer than 100 calories and a POINTS value of 1. I'm obsessed with Fuji apples. Mmmmm!

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Hungry Girl, aka Lisa Lillien, distributes her tips, tricks and takes on new food products through her daily emails and Web site. Check out