April and Weight Watchers

So it’s been a bit of time since I posted on here but I’ll spare you all of my excuses.

Regardless of how long it has been – I’m back!

And I’ve got a whole new exciting topic to start writing about – WEIGHT WATCHERS!

About a month ago, I wrote a post talking about how I was thinking about signing up.  I had never done any sort of diet program like that before and I was interested to see if I would be more successful. 

I was so happy when I heard from one of my friends, Laura,  that she was thinking about doing it too!  So we started chatting and agreed, AFTER the holidays, that we would start going to the meetings.  Laura has done WW before so she was already “in the know” with the best meeting leaders available.  Our first meeting was last Friday and I could see why Laura liked this particular leader.  Her name is Adrienne and she’s got the energy of a three-year-old after their nap and I love it!  I was surrounded by about thirty other women all in there for the same purpose – to get healthier!  Adrienne pumped us full of faith in ourselves while talking about her own struggles with her weight.  I’m excited for Friday to arrive because according to the scale, I’m already down 4.4 pounds!  Water weight or whatever it is, it was nice to see a decrease of numbers.

Day One of Weight Watchers!

Day One of Weight Watchers!

Weight Watchers has a new program out called “Simple Start” with a fool-proof plan for two weeks to help newbies get started.  With helpful pictures and easy to follow listed meal choices, it takes away the stress of planning your meals.  I bought most of the food that was suggested but during the past three days that I’ve been doing it, I’ve made a few small modifications.

I don’t want to start eating a whole bunch of chemically made foods because WW suggests it.  The program highly suggests eating things like non-fat cheese, light yogurt, and non-fat dressing but after staring at the ingredient list of these products at the grocery store, I decided I’d rather take the additional points and eat foods with ingredients I can pronounce.

One ingredient in many of these products is aspartame.  I’m just not down with aspartame, as I’ve mentioned in a few posts.  When I lost all my weight seven years ago, I never bought the low-fat or light options.  Jamie, a previous weight loss mentor/nutritionist of mine,  was very clear on her logic of weight-loss marketed foods. She would much rather me have me consume a normal yogurt with 120 calories than a light yogurt with just 80 because the nutritional contents of the actual food ingredients are MUCH better for our bodies than the empty aspartame calories of a light yogurt.

So I bought blue dressing dressing made with yogurt, rather than some weird modified oil. It has only 35 calories and costs me one point.  So worth it.

I also have bread that is 60 calories (or 2 points) per slice.  And it’s not advertised as a “light bread.”  It’s just a simple bread.  And I’m not afraid to eat it.

Those two pieces of bread, a little homemade jam, and two eggs have started me off in a happy way the past few days.   For my other meals, I had to get a bit more creative.  Alyssa and I got to reconnect with one of our high school homegirls – Lisa – who happens to be super smart when it comes to losing weight and eating well since she’s dropped 130 pounds!   After I discovered my whole wheat penne ate up like 15 points on my first day, I tried out one of her suggestions to use shredded vegetables instead of pasta . To my surprise – IT WAS AWESOME!  It was even more awesome when I told Alyssa how I had tried it – and she happened to try it that very same night for her first time!  I just threw some broccoli slaw into a pot of boiling water with some broccoli I had started earlier, covered it with a ground turkey and tomato sauce I had made, and have had a deliciously healthy (and just 4 WW points) for the past two nights.

My typical day of meals

My typical day of meals

What kinds of little tricks have you learned to sneak vegetables into your day?

 

 

Have a lovely Tuesday,

AprilSignatur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflections on 2013 and wishes for 2014

2013 was a big, important year. The past few months have had more challenges than I’d like, and overall, I’m happy to be wrapping up 2013. Let’s review what happened, shall we?

1) I crossed a major bucket list item off the list — traveling to thailand! One year ago today, I started my first new year’s resolution with a bang! I had wanted to be more active, and 2013 was kicked off with a huge, intense jungle hike across Phi Phi island to a ferry. It was an experience I’ll never forget — in both good ways (the view) and bad ways (the mosquitoes and getting lost on a foreign island with no Malaria protection).

elephantriding_thailand_doublechindiary

2) I crossed another major item off my list – earning my master’s degree! While I’m so glad I did it, I’m not going to lie that working on a master’s degree while working full-time was a challenge. There were many tear-filled nights as I had to work through exhaustion and keep plugging away on my thesis, but in the end, I’m proud of what I accomplished. Plus, it’s fun to humblebrag about how I’m a master of mass communication. Oh yeah!

Very excited at my commencement ceremony! Photo by my wonderful thesis chair, Dr. Bluestein.

Very excited at my commencement ceremony! Photo by my wonderful thesis chair, Dr. Bluestein.

3) The Double Chin Diary took me lots of amazing places, like Portland for FitBloggin‘ and Paso Robles for Fitcation. April also joined the Double Chin Diary  this year, and I’m so thankful because she picks up the slack when I don’t have much to say, and it has brought us closer together as sisters and friends. There’s nothing like realizing you’re not alone in any sort of battle you’re going through. April gets it — and I know together we’ll be able to accomplish our goals. I’m always so gracious that people take the time to read this blog. Life is chaotic, and busy, and the fact that you stop by means a lot to us. THANK YOU! I’m also grateful to the great brands that believe in what April and I are doing — from Diet to Go to Amana to Hollywood Wax to Blogher. This year, I’m thrilled and honored to be speaking on a panel about blogging at the Lifestyle Blogger’s Conference in downtown Los Angeles, and to be attending FitBloggin’ in Savannah!

4) I finally got some insight into why losing weight seems to be my unreachable feat. After some stressful months of loss then regain then loss then regain, I worked with a few doctors on in-depth blood testing and PCOS screening. After several frustrating courses of misleading results, I finally had a solid diagnosis of PCOS, a fatty buildup in my liver, and subclinical hypothyroidism. I’ve been on medications for a few months and am happy to be at about 13 pounds lost. 2014 will be the last year I ever say my new year’s resolution is to lose weight. Now that I know what’s going on and have the tools to do it, I’m doing it. No stopping me. I will be victorious!

Life's a river. I'm gonna keep paddling!

Life’s a river. I’m gonna keep paddling!

Those were highlights from 2013, so now what about 2014? I don’t have any “resolutions” other than to keep on fighting to get to a healthier me. The Double Chin Diary has been kind of a “weight gain and weight maintenance” blog rather than a “weight loss” blog, and I’d like to change that. (Maybe I’ll just start a new blog? LOL.) I think I finally have the tools to do it. The So Cal Lady Bloggers, a blogging collective I’m a part of, asked a thought provoking question of what word I would choose to focus on for 2014. In 2013, I felt like I was always struggling to find balance. To find balance between how many projects are too many. To find balance in learning to say no. To find balance in continuing to exercise even though I was seeing weight gain instead of weight loss. To find balance in how I approached spending and saving. After some careful thought, I think my word for 2014 will be PERSPECTIVE. I spent a lot of time in 2013 learning to readjust the way I chose to see the world, and how I reacted to challenges. I’m beginning 2014 as a different person; a matured person in that recognizing sometimes all of the difficult things we encounter do actually serve a purpose. In 2014, I want to remember that a positive, thoughtful perspective on life will always serve me best.

Perspective_DoubleChinDiary

 

 

I’m wishing you the most amazing new year, and now, I want to know:

What will your word be for 2014?