Diet to Go Week Three!

Hello everybody! Let’s start off with some good news – Elisabeth G. won the KalorieBox Giveaway! Congrats, Elisabeth – watch for an e-mail!

I wish I could start this week’s post with another awesome weigh in like last week (Remember, 3.7 pounds?!), but unfortunately, it’s one of those times of the month *cringe, I know, this is awkward* and evidently my body is acting like a camel (ie so much water floating around my body I could hydrate an army). So we’re just going to skip the weigh in this week to give myself a couple days to um… dry out. (I weighed in and I’m up a couple pounds from last week – but I’m staying optimistic and know that I’ve done the work I need to do, and as KJPugs says, you always get the week you deserve eventually!) But on the positive side, I am still absolutely loving this week’s Diet to Go meals! This week was a mess of meetings, appointments and deadlines – so I was happy to see that the meals are truly “to go”, especially when I scarfed a smoked chicken sandwich in between stop lights as I drove to an offsite meeting. You can see photographic proof of that, here.

Diet to Go Omelet Pomodoro

Diet to Go Omelet Pomodoro

I had a lot of favorites, food wise, this week. Let’s talk about breakfast. Several years ago before I started this whole get healthier thing, I never ate breakfast. But now, it’s like “Whee! I get to eat!” when I wake up. Diet to Go has mastered the use of cheese and tomatoes when it applies to eggs. Today, I had this amazing omelet pomodoro (220 cals) – a basil spiced omelet with cheese oozing out of the middle and sicilian flavored asparagus tips. This breakfast was amazing – I even forced my husband to taste it as he was walking out the door to go to work.

Yummy Grilled Cheese French Toast from Diet to Go. Note the Fitbloggin post-its!

Yummy Grilled Cheese French Toast from Diet to Go. Note the Fitbloggin post-its!

Here’s one of my fav lunches from the week – a french toast style grilled turkey cheese sandwich with apricot pudding and a mushroom artichoke salad (560 cals). The apricot pudding was more like ice cream, and the bite I had of my mushroom artichoke salad was refreshing and tasty.. but then I couldn’t eat the rest because my cat licked the bowl and stole a mushroom out of it. Since I’m not a fan of sharing my meals with cat-breath (do you KNOW where they lick?!), I disposed of the artichoke mushroom salad but happily nommed on the rest.

Black Bean Soup and Pretzel from Diet to Go

Black Bean Soup and Pretzel from Diet to Go

This lunch is easily another one of my favorites- see that little pretzel there? I would like to raid the pretzel factory that makes me, because I’m pretty sure I could just lay in my bed and eat soft pretzels all day and be perfectly content. Add an iced cold raspberry lambic and I’m in heaven. Booze, carbs and bed… what could be better?! Anyways, I’m off topic. This lunch was super yummy because it’s something I wouldn’t normally pick for myself but I really enjoyed it. The black bean soup had a nice spicy touch, with lots of smokiness (probably from cumin), some juicy strips of bell peppers, and a lightly salty broth. I dipped the pretzel in it and enjoyed a peach pudding for my dessert. This meals comes in at 700 calories but includes a string cheese which is not shown here since I saved that for a snack. The thing is, when you look at some of the calorie counts for the meals, your instinct might be “My god! That’s a lot of calories!” but when you factor in the portion sizes and the fact that you’re pretty much full all day long, it all equals out. I’ve actually ended up coming under calories a lot in myFitnessPal, simply because I’m too full to eat the “extra” like the string cheese or yogurt that comes with the meals.

Diet to Go Turkey Dinner

Diet to Go Turkey Dinner

This meal does not photograph beautifully, but it was delish! Has anyone ever tried the SmartOnes Turkey and Gravy Dinner? It used to be a favorite of mine, but now that I’ve had this one I can see that was a weak favorite, for sure. These mashed potatoes were REAL – no instant junk here – and the turkey was lightly seasoned with a simple brown gravy. This was truly a comfort food meal.

If you’re interested in trying Diet to Go for yourself, check out their website here. You can use coupon code FEB15PERCENT to save 15% off any meal plan, and you can also enter next week for your chance to win a week worth of free meals!  /

Does anybody have any questions about Diet to Go? Have at it! :)

Thailand 20 Tuesday – Week 5

Hi everybody! Sorry I missed a post yesterday – I got home from Chicago and have been catching up on work and such!

This week brings a disappointing weigh in – I’m up one pound. I think it’s pretty much impossible for me to reach 20 pounds lost in the next five weeks, but I’m going to keep going because SOMETHING is better than nothing. I’m a little frustrated with this week’s weigh in results because I consistently stayed in my calories on MyFitnessPal for 5 out of 7 days… and did a bunch more cardio this week. I think what set me off was that on Saturday and Sunday I overate. I didn’t go crazy, but I went over on calories by about 300 – 450 on both days (Chicago Pizza and White Castle Onion Rings sent me over the edge.) I’m finding when I’m on a weight loss kick, I need to be damn near perfect in terms of eating and exercise 98% of the time.I guess you can’t have “cheat” days when you’re trying to aggressively lose weight. :(

Some of the big important things happening this week are: 1) I should get results from my next Thyroid test. My doctor was concerned about how I was “close” to the hypo-thyroid range last time, so she’s checking it out since it has been six months since my last test. If it’s low, we’ll have a good indicator of why my body should be nicknamed “Sally Slow” when it comes to weight loss.

2)Despite this week’s gain, I’m not going to get too down. Here’s why:

Weight loss is about choices. In Chicago on Saturday, I really WANTED a cream-filled Dunkin Doughnut for breakfast… but I also want to lose weight. What did I order? An eggwhite flatbread and unsweetened iced tea. It was ok – not anything spectacular, but for a healthy and filling breakfast item, it was A-OK. Then on Sunday, as I dashed through the airport, I wanted to grab a quick bite to eat. Boy, Taco Bell would be good, I thought… and then once again that little internal voice kicked in and I walked away with a veggie sandwich on whole wheat.

It felt really good to see my family, and despite the sad reason we were there, it was a good way to remember cousin Josh’s life by celebrating him with people we loved. Here I am with my cousin Jenny and my two younger-generation cousins (Children of my cousin Michelle). Aren’t we cute? We’re definitely all related. In closing, I’ll leave you a picture of the thing that probably de-railed me – the Chicago pizza. I only had four small square pieces (they’re cut in squares, not wedges), but I bet the salt and grease blew up my tummy. Yay.

I thought four pieces was a reasonable serving, but maybe next time I need to have two. (They weren’t that big, I swear!!!) Ah, well.. the weight loss jig continues. And I guess if I lost weight as quickly as I wanted, I’d have nothing to blog about, right? ;)

Until next time – make good choices, keep on sweatin’, and come back next Tuesday, where I will report a loss even if I have to chop off my left arm to do it :) PS: Last day to enter the Homemade Harvey and Whole Foods Giveaway!

 

 

Weekly Weigh In #5 – The Big Bad Bloat

I went in to my Monday morning weigh-in knowing and expecting I’d be up a couple of pounds from the weekend’s indiscretions – what I didn’t expect was that the scale would blow up with 4.5 extra pounds! Thankfully, my saintly registered dietitian talked me through it, and I was able to understand that it’s mathematically impossible to gain 4.5 pounds in three days. To do that, I would have needed to consume and not burn off an extra 15,750 calories – the equivalent of three triple-layer buttercream birthday cakes.

While it wouldn’t be far-fetched to gain an extra pound from the overeating I did (but even that’s a stretch, as I don’t think I overate 3,500 calories – my fitness pal said it was only 1100!), 4.5 pounds is not likely. But it isn’t far fetched to gain as much as 7 pounds in bloating, sometimes overnight! My body hasn’t been used to salt and oil – and a meal like fried chicken was just enough to puff me up like a blowfish. The RD’s recommendation was lots of water to help beat the bloat, and to get movin’, as aerobic activity can also help diminish puffiness and swelling.

I’m not going to let this little setback screw up my downward trend – and now I know that even a little bit of “cheating” can really de-rail what the number on the scale is. The good news is that there are some non-scale victories showing up – like the fact that my jeans are loose, I feel more energized and I’m getting full faster. Now I feel motivated to do really well this week, and not let the temptation of junk get the best of me. Do you find when you splurge a little bit that you bloat up like a beach ball too?

Puffily yours,

 

Cake, Cake, a Smackerel of Cake!

Using the star tip to ice sugar cookies

Tonight I started my first Wilton Decorating Basics class at Michael’s Crafts. It’s only $22 for a four week session, and I get to learn basic icing piping techniques like shells, stars, flowers and ribbons. Tonight we started by learning star tips on cookies. While in class, the topic of weight loss came up, and as usual, a few people were shocked that I was trying to lose weight while taking a decorating class. “Isn’t it, like, torture?” asked one valley-girl teenager, smacking her gum. That’s what’s so weird… cake is fun and pretty and fancy and all, but I’m not a craver of cake. You all know by now that my poison is popcorn and salty crunchies…not cake! Cake, Cupcakes, Cookies – no worries. These cookies will be eagerly devoured by my co-workers anyways, so they won’t be loungin’ around my stomping ground for long.

Star Tipped Icing Cookies

Cakes and cookies and other crap aside, speaking of junk food, this week I saw 21 Jump Street with my gal pal Kelly. (It’s super funny, by the way!) I had decided to treat myself to some popcorn, so I diligently bought a small bag and passed on the butter. So – it was totally delicious and salty and yummy, but I should have stopped half way through, but I kept going and ate it all – and then, I had a gnarly stomach ache the rest of the night and woke up at 3:30 AM with heartburn, which I NEVER have. It’s really interesting how even just a week or so of healthy eating can translate into “Oh hi, junk food. We’re going to use you to remind Alyssa’s body that junk food is bad in oh so many ways. Let’s start with a stomach ache, then add heart burn, and then we’ll finish off with crazy bloating!” So it was good food for thought for me. I enjoyed the popcorn, but I don’t know if the side effects were worth it.

Do you guys notice that even subtle changes you make in favor of a healthier lifestyle can make a big impact on how you feel? It might have been my hyper sensitive imagination, but I even felt like I was more sluggish and low energy today after my junky treat. What do you think – are you what you eat?

Weekly Weigh In #2

I weighed in on Monday morning, expecting things to not go well. Even though I had stayed within my daily 1,600 calories, I couldn’t exercise as much because of homework and work, and my scale at home showed that I was up. When I weighed in on Monday I…

Gained/Lost 0 pounds

So basically, I maintained. I was disappointed, but after a good talk with the nutritionist, we pinpointed some reasons. First of all, I’m not really mindful of salt before weigh ins. I always thought it was just hocus pocus that eating a bit of salt would puff you up, but after chowing down on homemade stir fry this weekend (hello, soy sauce!) and a couple frozen meals, apparently  I was puffy (and sure enough, I’m down a pound this morning. Oh well.) Secondly, my nutritionist thinks I shouldn’t eat the extra calories I get from exercise through the My Fitness Pal app. She broke down the math for me and reminded me that I have a slow functioning metabolism – one that theoretically isn’t “broken”, but needs lots of stoking. We also decided I need to amp up my cardio to 4-5 times per week.

These changes are all pretty significant for me, because they point out the thing I’ve been kind of hoping wouldn’t be true for a long time… and that’s that for me to lose weight, I need to be damn near 100% in my efforts. The last time I lost 30 pounds was my last semester in college – when I was working two jobs, serving as an editor on the college paper, attending classes and constantly riding my bike to and from campus. Weight loss seemed easy back then – because even though I was involved in so many things, I was active. I didn’t sit on my butt all day. Now I sit 40+ hours a week, and then I sit some more, after work, when I do my thesis project or go to class.

The increase in cardio is good – while I’ll struggle at first, I know it will help decrease my stress, get me in shape, and most importantly, it will help rev up my metabolism. I like to imagine my metabolism as a squishy little cartoon character wearing a fuzzy robe and bunny slippers, with a perpetual yawn, curling up inside me next to my thyroid like the ultimate couch potato. I want that little metabolism to sweat and start being more productive, and the only way I’m gonna do that is to stop being my own form of couch potato, and move it to lose it, ya know?

 

One last thing I forgot to mention is I’m moving to bi-weekly weigh ins, because the wise nutritionist thinks it will be better for me to focus on my weight less and my energy and fitness level more. She reminded me that in cases like mine, sometimes you can be doing everything right and your body just takes some time to “prove it”. So yup – next time I weigh in on May 16… 3 days after my birthday!

I’m so glad I have a “weight whisperer” like the nutritionist to help me put some perspective into this challenge of mine that feels like something I’ll never overcome. But I will overcome it eventually – I just have to accept that weight loss is not going to be as simple as driving to the store and picking out a new, size 6 metabolism with a button nose and a love of volleyball. Weight loss is hard – which is precisely why the first three letters of diet are die. Heh. How are you doing this week? How are you feeling? Any revelations about anything?

The Last Hurrah

Last night, I celebrated the “last hurrah”. The last hurrah for what, you ask? For my impending membership in…. Weight Watchers! After Alycia’s inspiring guest post and the fact that my work finally got the monthly-pass option, and that they’ve reworked the points plus system, I wanted to give it another try. Not to mention my flex spend account will cover Weight Watchers for 2012 – so I really had no reason not to give it a go. (And if I run into similar issues like I did last time with the meeting/leader, I can now attend meetings other than at work.) Our first meeting is on Thursday.

Sangria Sampler, yum!

Anyways, we had a groupon for Muvico – an awesome movie theatre in Thousand Oaks that has age 21+ movies where you can bring wine and beer into the theatre, and feast on free popcorn! We met up with our friends Shelley and Daniel for a double date! Before the movie, we had a light dinner at the Lazy Dog Coffee. I started my evening with a delicious Sangria sampler consisting of Red Pomegranate, White Peach and Black Currant Rose. The white peach was definitely my favorite – and Shelley’s too! I also had some super tasty lettuce wraps.

Lettuce Wraps

After dinner, we headed in to the movie theatre to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This movie theatre had very plush, reclining seats that also gently rocked back and forth. With my hot, salty popcorn (Fresh from the popper!) I was a happy girl.

POPCORRRRRN!

The movie was really good – very suspenseful and with a strong (albeit a little nutty) female lead. I was enjoying a healthy buzz from my sangria sampler, which regretfully lead to the inhalation of one bag of sourpatch watermelon slices and about a bag and a half of popcorn. I pigged out, and am not proud of it as the bloat from crazy salt manifested itself as an 8 pound gain on the scale this morning :|

However, I know it’s 8 pounds full of salt and water and little pieces of candy floating around, so I’m not that worried. I’m back on track after my last hurrah, and even spent 35 minutes sweating my butt off on an incline 6 on the treadmill at the gym today. I’m ready to get started… and have even started tracking again! Here’s to hoping this time around I can make Weight Watchers work for me, by consistently tracking, being honest and keeping up the exercise. In this case, my last hurrah was exactly what I needed to get mentally prepared for some of the changes I need to make in the coming months.

When you’re getting ready for a diet or “lifestyle change” (I hate both of those terms), do you ever give yourself a “last hurrah”?