Smoothie love and progress pics.

First off, I know it has been quite a while since I last wrote here on the blog and for that I am sorry.  It is always flattering for me to hear from my sister that people ask about where I disappeared to so thank you, I feel loved.

I have been having an incredible amount of fun over the past few weeks and have been staying busy with new adventures mixed with some midterm testing for school.  However, even with my rushed lifestyle that I have been rocking for a while now, I haven’t made much progress on dropping down numbers on the scale.  I had my Weight Watchers meeting today and I was up 4.2 pounds since the last meeting I attended two weeks ago.  Oops.  I know exactly how I gained those pounds and I know exactly what I need to do to take them off.

Here is the smoothie that created much adoration.  Plus, how could one not love a drink that comes with an umbrella?

Here is the smoothie that created much adoration. Plus, how could one not love a drink that comes with an umbrella?

I have been eating rather crappily over the past week but went shopping and am ready to get a grip on my nutrition.  I’m also on day two of no artificial crap caffeine (as in Red Bull and soda).  I had a HORRIBLE headache last night so I think I need to just pop some Tylenol early on in the day to try to avoid the headaches.  I’ve been having around five headaches a week now and it is getting pretty old… I spoke with the doctor and she suggested that I start taking a bunch of vitamins/minerals to see if that helps, including magnesium, riboflavin (B2), and Co enzyme Q10.  Otherwise she recommends some daily pill which I don’t want to get on as I would rather just take a pain killer when needed, not every day.

Besides my lame headaches, I’ve been trying out new ways besides salad to get fruits and vegetables in my life.  One of the new additions to my life to help me get more produce into my life are smoothies.  I’ve always loved smoothies yet rarely have them because I’m too lazy to do the prep and clean up.  Recently I have been reintroduced to the greatness of the cold drink packed with nutrients and have shown ways to make smoothie making less tedious.  Yes, I know that they have a lot of sugar.  However, they also have a lot of potential for extra nutrients like fiber and protein if you add fun ingredients like chia seeds, yogurt, and leafy greens.  Plus, they are still way better for me than the amount of sugar I get in my Red Bull addiction.

The smoothie you see pictured has a bunch of fantastic things in it like kale, spinach, strawberries, pineapple, blackberries, almond milk, cucumber, chia seeds, ground flax seeds… A smoothie like that is a great meal replacement and my buddy has lost 65 pounds by supplementing meals for smoothies like this.

Veronica's amazing drawer of smoothie wonder

Veronica’s amazing drawer of smoothie wonder

I made myself a lower calorie version the other day with just some banana, strawberries, blueberries and yogurt. Although it was annoying to me to have to chop off the tops of each little strawberry, I endured through the task and decided to cut up ALL of  my strawberries in motivation to create a frozen drawer of goodness like one of my favorite women in my life, Veronica.  I’ve always admired Veronica’s master skills at organization and since I babysit for her twice a week, I get to experience first hand in how doing a little bit extra effort at one point can result in simplicity later on.  Veronica chops up all her fruit and sticks it in the freezer so she is always ready for her two children’s requests for smoothies.  I think it’s awesome and wanted to share with all of you how easy she makes smoothie making, check out her freezer drawer!  Plus, it’s a great thing to do if you know you’ve got excess fruit that you just don’t want to waste!

Do any of you guys make smoothies?  What do you like to throw in there?

And as promised.. here are my progress pics.  🙂

Two months of Weight Watchers from January 3rd to March 3rd (~10 pounds down)

Two months of Weight Watchers from January 3rd to March 3rd (~10 pounds down)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have an awesome weekend, everyone!

Love and smoothies,

AprilSignatur

What’s Up, Wednesday?

Hi guys! (And girls!)

Sorry for my radio silence lately. Ya know that John Lennon quote, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans”? Yep, that pretty much sums it up. I’ve had a very busy month, filled with lots of awesome house guests and fun excursions. I figured I’d fill you in on a couple things before getting back to a regular (I’ll try) writing schedule.

1) My Weight Watchers attendance has been more sporadic than I’d like, (I’m set to go today), but at the last meeting I was down .6 of a pound. Hey, it’s not a big loss, but it’s a loss, so I’ll take it! I’ve been far more laidback about tracking than I should be, so I need to get back into the “If you bite it, write it” mentality.

2)  I had an appointment with an awesome endocrinologist a few weeks ago. He ran some blood tests and confirmed that my hormone levels definitely signify PCOS. There wasn’t really any doubt about it after the ultrasound scan I had, but the markers in my blood make it more like “Yep, sorry, it’s for sure.” The good news is that my thyroid appears to be functioning normally, so I’m able to discontinue the thyroid meds. He doubled my PCOS medication, Metformin, which should help with the weight loss and some of the other pesky hormonal problems of PCOS, like acne. I’m seeing a dermatologist this week about some of the acne. I’m so glad I have a PPO and can hop, skip, and jump to whatever specialist I need. That’s a definitely luxury, and I feel like I’ve finally assembled my medical dream team. Now that I know what’s up, I know my marching orders!

3) Next Friday, I’m honored to be speaking on a panel about networking for bloggers at the Lifestyle Blogger’s Conference in downtown Los Angeles. My friend Ana Lydia, whom I met at Fitcation, is hosting the whole event, and she and her team have some amazing panels, sessions, and workshops planned. Check out her latest blog post for a special surprise if you’re interested in attending! If you DO attend, make sure you let me know so we can meet up.

LL Blog Badge v2 SPEAKING

4) Also in blog related news, I was so jazzed to participate in a Blog Swap hosted by my friend AJ at Confessions of a Fat Girl! The purpose of the blog swap was to write a post assigned to you by another blogger that would take you out of your comfort zone. Think wife swap for bloggers. My pal Chris at What I Run Into assigned me a post about red lips! I don’t wear a lot of makeup, so having to actually put color on my face was intimidating at first as I browsed the drug store aisles looking for RED. While some of the drug store finds were alright, ultimately, I found my happy ending at MAC. Check out my post on Chris’ blog, and stay tuned for my swapped blogger’s post soon. (Hint: it will involve something yummy!)

5) The other half of the Double Chin Diary was here this weekend! April and I had a ton of fun zooming around Los Angeles, doing things like hitting up a vintage flea market, hunting for fossils, baking cookies, and watching Despicable Me 2. Here’s a snap of us at the flea market. I definitely got in my 5,000 steps that day, AND scored a vintage sterling silver deer pin. I love productive fitness, and I love my sister! Maybe she’ll move down to Los Angeles to finish her degree. Hint, hint, wink, wink.

That’s all I got for today, folks! I hope you’re having an awesome week so far, and I’ll be back soon!

Love,

The Double Chin Diary Siggy

 

 

 

 

 

 

April’s 2-month Weight Watchers Review

It has been roughly two months since I signed up for Weight Watchers.  I had never been a fan of doing “molded into a box” programs that have been designed for the masses, but I figured it was cheap at $21 a month and I struggled with being accountable for my own actions.  Eight weeks in, I’m down roughly ten pounds.  January I lost the majority of that, February I fluctuated up and down because of sickness and winter blues, and now that it is March… well I guess we’ll just have to see what this month brings for me.

One major criticism that has been bugging me about this program is that I don’t feel I’m getting what I should out of it.  According to this article, Weight Watchers pulled in  $253 million dollars in 2012.  The article highlights the low wages their employees are getting, which isn’t surprising to find out about since most large corporations pay the backbone of their company like crap anyway.  However, I’m sure that profit margin is still reasonably high considering the actual work the company does for each individual client is relatively small.

Once I was registered for my first meeting and my weight and height were popped into the system, I was assigned my point value for my day.  There was no personal assessment of the foods I could and could not eat because of health restrictions.  There was no measuring of my body fat or even just with a tape measure to my gut.  I stepped on the scale, got my sticker with my weight, and sat down with the rest of the stickerfied people ready to listen to our leader.

With all the complains this blog post may have, I do have to emphasize the greatness I have gotten out of the meetings.   The meetings are why I signed up for the program in the first place.  I didn’t think I needed help with knowing what to eat, especially when I discovered what kind of processed food they suggest (but I’ll get to that another day).  What I wanted is a group of like-minded people to get together with and talk about our struggles and accomplishments with our health.  So… basically this blog!  Haha!  But in person.  My meeting leader Adrienne is spunky and inspirational and always motivates me to share my own experiences or to get up in front of the group and do a demonstration of food portions or, my favorite, writing on the white board.   I have noticed a correlation between my weeks of losing and going to meetings compared to the weeks I gained and NOT going to the meetings, so that’s interesting.

Outside of the meetings, however, I nitpick on the little things that irritates me about the program.  Alyssa and I both agree that their smart phone app is horrible in comparison to Myfitnesspal.  Their database of food is incredibly small and navigating your way through the app can be slow and frustrating as you discover that you accidentally were searching for a food in your “favorites” section instead of the general search.  For such a large company, we feel their app should be flawless and incredibly easy to navigate.  If two young women brought up in the technological world of smart phones and computers have issues with  the app, what do the people who didn’t spend their teen years with a cell phone in their hands do?

Honestly, I have not counted points for weeks.  Because of my hatred of  the app and not being home enough to be focused on checking in on the computer every day, I just don’t track my points.  I have a basic idea of what I should be eating to stick within the Weight Watchers plan, but really, if I’m not using the app or website…. I am basically just paying to go to the meetings.  $5.25 per meeting to me is worth it to see Adrienne and the rest of the awesome people fighting the struggle with me, but is it worth it to everyone?

I hope that the majority of people using Weight Watchers are finding more of a value in it than I am.  Maybe if I had no idea of what I was doing I would like it more.  Maybe if they bought out Myfitnesspal’s database for their app, I would like it more.  Maybe if they sent me an annoying email every once in a while saying “We notice that you have not tracked your points for 37 days,” I would like it more.   Myfitnesspal does that and they don’t even charge for their website.

It is unlikely that I will register again after my six months is up in August but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try to make the most out of my Weight Watchers experience.  It is working for me and I do credit the new support system I have found in the meetings for keeping me motivated. I just hope that Weight Watchers can use some of the hundreds of millions of dollars their pulling in each year to put it back into their products and individualized customer service.

Lots of love,

AprilSignatur

Alyssa’s 16 Pounds Lost Progress Pix

Hello, hello! How are things? My weigh-in on Tuesday wasn’t stellar — I was up 2.2 pounds. But, not gonna let it get me down. Pickin’ myself up and brushin’ myself off, because I seem to be in a little bit of a big loss, then gain, then another big loss type pattern. I was holding water from some yummy food on my weekend away, and I’ve been back at the tracking and exercise with a vengeance. So I know next week will be better. Moving on to Non-Scale Victories!

I’ve been wanting to update my progress pix for awhile, and now that I’ve officially passed a 15 pound milestone, I thought it was time. It’s frustrating to think that it took me since June to lose these 16 pounds, BUT, I’d rather take it suuuuuper slow than nothing at all, if it means I’ll eventually get there. Without further ado, here’s what I look like minus 16 pounds. (And unfortunately, there’s no poorly photoshopped cats this time around. Next time!)

FRONT_FEB

Side_Updated

Back_Updated

I’m so glad I have these pictures, because on days where it feels like it’s just not worth it to try to lose weight, I can look at these and SEE change. Especially through my mid-section. Whenever my middle starts to whittle, I know that what I’m doing is working. Even better? The joyous “You’ve lost weight!” exclamation from friends who haven’t seen me in awhile. Love it, love it, love it. But it’s not really about how I look — it’s more about how I feel. And I’m feeling good. I have more energy, my body feels less tense, and I’m not huffing and puffing from simple things. I’m so glad I’m finally seeing some progress on this very long road I’ve been traveling on for several years. It makes me think that maybe, just maybe, the future is within my reach — and it’s very bright!

Alyssa’s Weight Watchers Weigh In #3

You guys. YOU GUYS. Yesterday’s weigh in? Amaaaaaazing. I didn’t want to psych myself out, but I had a feeling it was going to be good. For a couple reasons. The first being that I’ve been super excellent about drinking tons of water, thanks to my in-laws discovery of flavored Electrolyte Water. They started drinking it where they live up North, then I looked for it down here, and now Matt and I go through like 10 of these a week. (We recycle!) You can get it at Von’s or Ralph’s, and if you’re on a no-soda, no artificial sweetener kick like I am, you know that finding delicious things to drink is kind of difficult. (Water, tea, or Perrier… all day long.) These waters come in a huge bottle, are usually on sale for a buck a piece, and come in tasty flavors like lemon, lime, blueberry blackberry, strawberry kiwi, mango and mandarin orange. My favorite is Mango which is carried by Ralph’s (Kroger’s for you Midwestern/Southern folks). Give ’em a try – they’re my mid-afternoon water break. So a large part of this week’s success was based on water, because I feel like I’m always dehydrated, but not anymore.

Selfie with a bottle of water, cuz that's how I roll.

Selfie with a bottle of water, cuz that’s how I roll.

So enough about water. How much did I lose?

I lost a whopping 3.2 pounds…

bringing my three week Weight Watchers total to 6.4 pounds! I’m so excited, because as you all know, I haven’t exactly been the poster child for loving weight loss. I usually sort of resign myself to this quiet, ho-hum concept of my weight loss being the kind that happens at a rate of 2.6 pounds lost per year (if I’m lucky). But, but, but… could it be, that finally, with the right medications and habits for my body type, I’m on to something? I sure hope so. Even better than the Weight Watchers success is the fact that the 6.4 lost on Weight Watchers coupled with my 8 pounds before the holidays brings me to just about 15 pounds lost. I can finally FEEL and SEE those 15 pounds — as evidenced by me trying on a pair of snug jeans (you know the kind where when you take them off at night, the indentations in your skin look just like the jeans? yeaaaah… sucks). I sucked it in, buttoned the button, and exhaled — only to be greeted by the amazing sensation of the jeans actually fitting, not cutting off my circulation like a sausage casing! These things, my friends, these are the wonderful perks of weight loss, the things that make you decide maybe it is worth forgoing the chocolate Easter bunny the size of your head or the Parmesan sweet potato fries. I’ll have to snap some updated progress pix soon so I can finally update that section of this site.

Exercise helped too — wonderful yoga classes and even just the occasional walks I take during lunch breaks. Now that I’m working remotely full-time, I find if I don’t step outside for some sunshine on my lunch break, I get a little too chatty for my poor husband when he arrives home at 6:00. To save his ear drums and my sanity, I like to stroll the block a few times, for both the sunshine and the FitBit steps. So that’s what’s up with me. Keepin’ on keepin’ on with the weight loss, and hoping I can keep up these good habits for some lasting change.

Tell me about a success you’ve had this week. It doesn’t have to be weight loss or fitness related — it can be anything, from as small as “I didn’t get shampoo in my eyes in the shower” to as big as “I won the lottery.” (Wouldn’t that be wild?) Hope you’re having an amazing day!

Love,

The Double Chin Diary Siggy

 

 

 

Thursday Thoughts

Holy cow, you guys! How is it Thursday? I’ve been keeping busy in LaLa Land. So… let’s first address the double chin in the room.  I had my second Weight Watchers weigh in yesterday. No beatin’ around the bush — I gained a pound. There were some food indiscretions over the weekend involving chocolate cake, an enchilada, and frozen yogurt. There were also some hormonal things going on, if you catch my drift. Despite the gain, I kicked ass on making it to the gym, squeezing in extra steps, and drinking water — so I know I’ll be back at losing this week. No harm, no foul. Moving on. I’m past the point of beating myself up over a gain.

This week there’s a few things I wanted to touch on that have got me thinking.

1) I am now the proud owner of a FitBit Force. My initial thoughts are that it’s a neat little tool for tracking activity, but I’m having some user issues like it seems impossible to find and add friends, I only get “active” minutes from walking (and not from things like Zumba), and I am suspicious of its calorie burn functionality if it’s not based off of heart rate. It’s disturbing how little I move some days. Especially now that I work from home, I spend the majority of my day curled into my chair with an electric blanket around my feet. I’m trying to make a point of taking walking lunches. Today, I walked to the neighborhood ATM, which only took 30 minutes and scored me 3,500 steps. You’re supposed to shoot for 10,000 steps a day. I have modified my goal to 5,000 steps t0 begin with — still about 2.5 miles walked daily. At my new job there are a few FitBit power users, so I’m hoping they can tell me their secrets and get me into more of an “I love my FitBit!” type mentality.

2) This isn’t weight loss or fitness related, but how awesome is Lauren Conrad for coming up with this awesome, witty reply on the spot? You guys know I’m always on my media/feminism/body image soap box, so her snappy comeback delighted me. Go, L.C.! (Gif via TheFrisky.com)


3) My newsfeed has been blowing up about the Biggest Loser champion Rachel and her drastic 155 pound weight loss.  I’ve never watched the Biggest Loser with regularity, because I had problems with the fact that they paraded the contestants around shirtless and in sports bras, and to me, that just felt mocking. I understand the point is to emphasize what will be a transformation, but there’s no reason to shame folks by making them wear embarrassing clothes. As a non-watcher of the show, yeah, Rachel’s transformation looks like it went a little bit too far. But I feel for her, because she’d be scrutinized if she didn’t lose “enough”, and now she’s being scrutinized for losing too much. It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. Does she look healthy? Maybe not. Did she look healthy at her heaviest? Also maybe not. Does it matter how she looks? Maybe not. I’m starting to realize that the Golden Goose of this whole weight loss thing is really, at the end of day, not about how you look. It’s about how you feel, your blood pressure reading, your energy level, if you can schlep your booty up a mountain, if your skin glows, your jeans fit, if your smile says it all. It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds, but for now, I’m curiously watching along, specifically on Twitter, as Bob and Jillian refrain from making any comments. What do you think?

4) Kinda loving this as this week’s reminder as I charge ahead with trying to lose weight and committing to being fit. Just a great reminder, over all.

So there you have it — a few random Thursday thoughts. Give me one of yours!

Till next time,

The Double Chin Diary Siggy