Alyssa’s Weight Watchers Weigh In: Week 1

Tuesday was a great day. Even though I had nervous anticipation all morning before I stepped on the scale on my lunch break, I felt confident with my choices from the week before. I drank a lot of water, I exercised nearly every day, I snacked on Persian cucumbers instead of chips, and I minded my portions. I knew even if for some reason the scale didn’t reflect my good work, possibly the next week would, because “you always get the week you deserve eventually.”

I kicked off my flip flops, climbed on the scale, sucked in my breath, and wished for good news. “You’re down this week!” the leader said, and when she showed me the number, I actually let out a little hoot of joy. Here’s what made me so happy:

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YAY! 4.4 pounds is a big, big loss. I was also on the tail-end of completing the Mamavation Two-Week Bootcamp, so being forced to do burpees and arm curls and cardio helped, too. I’m so relieved that the first week of “Simple Start” worked. Basically, it’s a plan focused on lean proteins and dairys, whole grains, vegetables and limited fats. It’s pretty much a “Don’t Eat Crap” manifesto, though you can choose one crap item (junk food) per night, with suggestions being things like a Weight Watchers ice cream, a glass of wine, etc. My crap items were Weight Watchers Dulce de Leche ice cream bars (they’re okay. Kinda fake. Not my fav), oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I made, and one night, two squares of white Irish cheddar cheese. Deeeeeelish. This week, I need to be aggressive about staying “good” — sometimes when I have a strong success like this, I tend to think “Oh! I did so good last week that I can cheat a little bit and I’ll still lose weight!” Nope, not so much. Don’t wanna get over confident over here. However, I did realize this week this is the first time I’m trying a “real” weight-loss plan again now that I know what’s up my wacky body, and that’s exciting.
I was also thrilled this week to hear from three different people that it looked like I was losing weight. Those comments are so encouraging to me, because I see myself all day, every day. Hearing it from someone else is sometimes exactly what you need to remember why you’re choosing the salad over the pizza.

So that’s my awesome news for the week! Can’t wait to share with you next week about my next weigh in, and I can only hope it will be as good as this one, but I’ll be happy with any sort of loss. :)  I’ll be back soon to tell you about my newest fitness gadget, the Fitbit Force!

 

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!

 

 

Feelin’ Fair at the LA County Fair

This weekend, Matt and some friends and I kicked off the long weekend by heading to the LA County Fair! I’ve always loved going to the fair – where else can you indulge in 100% pure American excess while going on rides, people watching and eating things like the Giant Rib? Don’t answer that… Vegas? It was a beautiful toasty day and as soon as we entered, our eyes were bombarded with signs and smells and colors for all sorts of things, like fried kool-aid and the 15 pound hamburger.

 

Feelin' Corny

I started with some kettle corn that was hot and salty right out of the popper. This actually ended up being a saving grace for me, because I ate enough popcorn to stave off any crazy feasting that otherwise might have ensued. Don’t worry, I still got plenty to eat… After the kettle corn, I decided a flame grilled ear of corn sounded good. Yum, yum – don’t I look happy? The corn was a bargain at $4 when priced against things like our upcoming red velvet funnel cake for $9.

 

 

Red Velvet Funnel Cake

I think one of the best things you can do if you want to experience fair food without the disgusting deep-fried hangover is to go with a couple people. We went with another couple and we ended up splitting everything four ways, which helped cut down costs and gave us a little bit of everything. The red velvet funnel cake was tasty, but personally in my opinion, nothing to write home about. I had a few small bites and left room in my tummy for other things… like my favorite of the day, the deep fried oreo!

 

Deep Fried oreo

Deep fried oreo sounds disgusting, right? I anticipated that I’d take one bite (like I did with the deep fried Twinkie) and go EWWWW. Sadly, I took a bite and thought “Oh. Ok. this is pretty goo- OMG YUM NOMMMMMM.” There was something about the temperature that caused the cream in the middle to slightly melt, and the batter was not overly sweet, so it became this delectable, soft, creamy cookie. YUM. Thank goodness we only got four in the order and each got one, because one was all I needed.

We sampled several other things that day – a bloomin’ onion, curly fries, a smoked turkey leg, lemonade, deep fried snickers (again – another thing I had a bite of and went, “eh, not worth the calories”). The great thing was, I left feeling pretty good – because we had been walking from 4 pm to midnight, I never got to an “ugh” point with too much food, and truly, the method of splitting everything four ways was brilliant, because I got to taste a little bit of everything but couldn’t truly go overboard. While calorically I know this was a fat bomb of a day, it was fun and didn’t feel as excessive as it could have when you consider all the walking around and small portions we had. However, it was nice to be back to a light dinner of salad the next day :)

View at night from the sky tram

In addition to eating fried stuff, we visited a bee hive, pet some cows, watched bad product demonstrations, saw some zebras, admired the London themed hall of Flowers, watched a No Doubt cover band (called Gwen in Doubt! Great name, right?), rode the sky tram (so scary to have your legs dangling way above the fair! eeek!) and I got to go down the giant slide. Giant slides = awesome. If you want a way to feel 10 years old again without a care in the world, stick your feet in a potato sack and scoot your ass down a giant slide. It’s magnificent. Flying over big humps with the wind in my hair was pretty darn rejuvenating. I highly recommend it!

Have you been to a county fair recently? Which one? When you go, do you splurge and try some of the crazy foods or do you play it safe by eating before you go? I got back on track on Sunday and today, and it’s time for me to start using MyFitnessPal again after a brief hiatus. Also, I took my last confession post to heart and have already gotten started with exercise again, so now my new plan of attack is to walk a little bit in the morning before I start work for the day. What’s new with you? :)

 

 

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?

Low Cost Bounty

  • 1 bunch of lacinato kale
  • 2 leeks
  • 8 turnips
  • 2 beets (my new obsession – for some reason i thought i didn’t like them. They’re so tasty!)
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 pounds of apples (for juicing)
  • 5 pounds of satsumas (these are like candy!)
  • 2 pounds brussel sprouts (roasted with lemon and evoo -yum)
  • 1/4 pound dried peaches (a delicious snack)
  • 2 pounds broccoli
  • 1 cluster of ginger

That’s a lot of food, right? For $25, Matt and I strolled out of the Farmer’s Market with stuffed bags and hungry bellies. Did I mention it’s all organic? One of my favorite community activities is going to the farmer’s market. I think it’s an amazing way to support local businesses and operations, and you really score awesome savings on produce. (And we saw Gwyneth Paltrow and her mom there this week!)

This food would have easily cost me double what it had if I had gotten it at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. Tonight I was in Trader Joes and their trimmed leeks were $2.89 for two of them. I paid $1.50 at the farmer’s market. TJ’s beets were $2.50 for two. I paid $2 for two. Their ginger was $1.89 for a tiny little cluster – we paid $1.

When I first started eating healthy, I used to complain that it cost way more money to eat healthy. Today I realize I’m wrong. It only costs more money in that when you buy healthy things, like fruit and vegetables, you eat more of it because it goes bad faster. In that regards, yes, healthy food can add up because you’re buying more of it. But when I think about how much better I feel after eating a clementine compared to a candy bar? So worth the tiny bump in price.

To save on things like lettuce that last a little bit longer, I buy the jumbo pack of romaine hearts from Costco. It’s $2.89 for six romaine hearts. I chop them up and spin and dry them and then I have tons of salad ready to go for the week. I buy some perishables at the 99c store, because often times, they’ve got overstocked organic mushrooms or bell peppers waiting for someone to take them home. Sure, they might be lopsided or have a little ding in them, but who cares? It all ends up in my belly anyways.

How do you save money when you’re eating healthy? Do you think it’s more expensive to eat healthy? Why or why not?