5.31.2011

Conversation #84: WW Update and more

First, I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day.  My husband plays in our community band so I went to see him at an outdoor concert, and it was full of patriotic music and people.  It was a great time!  This time of year (with the 4th of July and Veterans Day to follow) always make me wish I had the courage to serve my country, and I am always so humbled by those that do.  I have read many military wives' blogs over the years, and I thank you for the sacrifice of your spouse to protect the rest of us.  I am in awe of all service people and their families.  THANK YOU!!!

Because of those that serve and protect us, we can all write about whatever silly thing we want to on these blogs we have.  It is hard to think that maybe we couldn't - I'm glad for that freedom!

So onto my WeightWatchers update for the week (a little sooner than usual!): I lost 3 pounds last week!  I am so excited about that.  I tried to work really hard this last week and really sticking to my points and stepping up my exercise.  I think it did the trick.  Now I'm only 6 pounds away from my goal weight, and I feel great.  A pool party yesterday did me in a bit, so I'm going to spend the rest of the week exercising and watching points.  At least I didn't use all of my flex points yesterday!

I also want to take a quick moment to clarify how WeightWatchers works.  I have had some friends ask about it, and now I realize that some people don't know what it is.  I have no idea why I knew, but I feel like I always did so I just assumed others did as well. 

First, I'm not a spokesperson for WW and have no affiliation with them other than being a current participant of the online plan (that I paid for myself).  WeightWatchers is not a diet.  I like to call it a lifestyle change.  You don't buy food, and the goal (at least in my mind) is that they try to teach you how to eat correctly for the rest of your life.  I don't plan on changing how I am eating now just because my "subscription" expires.  If I still had more weight to lose to reach my goal, I would sign up again, but I'm hoping to be in maintenance mode before my 3 months is up (you sign up for 3 month increments online). 

Okay, this is a little scatter-brained, but basically you are assigned a point value for what you should eat per day (based on age, sex, height, and weight you want to lose, and probably more things they factor in that I don't know).  Those are the things I told them and then they gave me my daily points (29) and weekly flex points (49).  I always try to eat my full points a day and then I have varied a lot each week on how I use my flex points.  So far I have lost 12 pounds, and I'm a believer!  It has helped me see how poorly I was eating (which I didn't think was even that bad) and has encouraged me to really eat so much better (more fruits and veggies, better protein).  I don't know how strictly I will actually count points everyday for the rest of my life, but I have learned so much about how to eat the right foods and the right portion size and I do plan to strictly follow that for the rest of my life. 

I don't diet.  Never have.  This is the first time I have ever even tried to lose weight.  I realized I was heading down a path of gaining a couple pounds a year, and I didn't like that, and I freaked out about my cholesterol and family history of heart disease.  I figured making a forever change now would be easier and more beneficial versus waiting for some other "right time" in the future.  I was always taught that diets tend to make you gain more weight because you often deprive yourself while on it and then your body hoards the calories when you go off.  I don't want to ever enter that cycle.  Also, I like that I can make my own food and buy what I want and track the points versus having to eat pre-made food that may or may not be good.  I feel full and satisfied on WW, but at first it was a little hard to resist those temptations of a donut or cookie at work.  However, now I find that I just get mad at myself if I give into a treat I didn't plan on.  Not in a obsessive way, but the sugar makes me feel tired and just gross if I eat more than I'm used to now.

Also, there is no official food to buy or meal plan like some other programs, but they do have some food for sale.  I love the WW ice cream section at my grocery store - the treats are so yummy and easy to fit into my daily points.  I tried the lemon snack cakes once, and they weren't my favorite, but now I want to try these protein bars that I got an email about. 

Anyway, as you can see, I really love the program, but I'm no expert.  However, if you have any questions about it, I would be more than happy to try and answer them based solely on my personal experience.  I would definitely recommend WW though whether you are trying to lose 10 pounds or 50 - it works!!!

5.27.2011

Conversation #83: So what do you call a thumb that is neither black nor green?

*First, real quick, my WeightWatchers update again was nonexistent on Monday.  That is probably because I had no loss and no gain.  I think I was still recovering from vacation, but I feel much better this week!

Okay, onto the real post.  What I mean by the title is that I don't kill plants anymore (I used to), but now I can't get them too bloom.  I have lovely green growing bushes with no flowers :(  I'm trying to be better with the fertilizer so I hope that helps, but I just want some pretty color in my front yard. 

Also, my garden is actually looking pretty good this year!  I feel like every year I have some crop that doesn't do well.  This year it is the spinach and lettuce.  However, I can plant those again in the fall.  I do have some nice tomatoes, strawberries, blackberries, onions, peas, green beans, cucumbers, and many herbs taking off.  My pepper plants aren't doing as well as years past, but they are still growing.  I'm so excited to be able to "harvest" them soon. 

Do you have a garden?  How do you make it grow?

5.20.2011

Conversation #82: A really really reallly late update


Late updates seem to be the norm with me lately.  I actually have a lot of things I want to blog about, and some posts even started, but I just can't seem to find time to sit down and do it very often.  All in good time, I guess. 

I do have one excuse, though.  Last week, my wonderful parents came down so we could go on vacation in the beautiful hill country of Texas.  You should really visit if you haven't been there.  I don't think most people realize how many different landscapes there are in Texas, and the hill country is one of my favorites!  Pictures to come - I took a lot, especially of the deer.

So that is the main reason I didn't do a WW updated last week.  It would have been a good report: lost another pound to make my total loss 10 pounds.  Then we went on vactaion an my husband wanted to visit every bakery in every small town in the area.  See, I had been doing well because I was keeping myself out of temptation zones as much as possible, but put this girl in front of a bakery counter filled with yummy homemade goodness, and you can count me gone!  Luckily I gained 2 pounds but then lost one before official weigh in on Sunday so I ended up gaining 1 pound.

I thought I would be super motivated this week to get back on track, but that time of the month hit so I haven't been feeling like exercising as much and I have been more tempted with eating.  However, thankfully I haven't run over my points yet so I really hope I at least lose one pound this week.  We'll see on Sunday morning!  Don't worry, I'm not obssessing.  I just really want to hit my goal before I lose WW online so I can move into maintenance mode and know how to eat from here on out to stay in shape and healthy.

I went to Star*bucks a couple of weeks ago with a friend, and I wasn't armed with a drink order that was WW friendly.  It was okay and ended up being a treat for the week.  However, when I knew I would be going again this week, I really wanted to know something yummy I could get without using a ton of points.  I got on WW and looked up said coffee place and found that I could get a grande iced skinny cinnamon dolce latte for only 2 points!  I love iced coffee and it sounded good, but I was worried that I would forget the name.  So I did this:
Yep.  I wrote it on a sticky note and put it on the card so I wouldn't forget what I wanted to order.  I really liked it so maybe as I order it more, it will become second nature to say it.  Honestly, I'm not really a lover of Star*bucks.  When I was growing up, my hometown for many years was not large enough to have a Star*bucks, and I frequented local coffee shops instead.  I LOVED them!  I even went to one so often and always ordered an Irish Cream Cappucino, that I was regular who got asked if they wanted the usual.  That was heaven to me :)

Now that I live in a large city, I haven't searched out any local places because honestly, I'm too cheap to pay for coffee very often (especially at Star*bucks - sorry, I think is overpriced).  However, I do love their white chocolate mochas (the bad for me drink) and many of their other "mixed drinks."  I don't really like their straight coffee as much, but I don't think they are evil or anything.  I enjoy their pastries and special drinks.  Plus, it is a nice place to be able to meet with friends and chat for as long as you like without having to purchase a meal and pay for tip.  Yes, I'm that cheap.  Until my student loans are paid off, I will be that cheap.  Let's face it, my husband and I will probably always be cheap.

In fact, we started going to Star*bucks at all when my husband was given old gift cards from his job.  When they cleaned out a person's office who left, they found a whole bunch of cards and nobody else wanted them.  I loaded them onto the SB website, and we had about $20 to spend.  It is nice to have a on trips (especially in airports) and we always seem to get one from some random place to keep the card loaded.  I actually did put a little more on the card recently because I didn't want to lose my status for getting free drinks and all.  I always love the free stuff!

Okay, that is all for today, but maybe I'll suprise y'all with some weekend posts!  Hope everyone is doing well in the blog world for today.

5.05.2011

Conversation #81: I really wanted to post, but...

I couldn't think of anything worthy to say the last couple of days. Sad, I know. I thought of something in the car the other day, but alas I didn't right it down and the thought has not returned.

I am going to share though that I have decided to join in Kim's (at Anthroholic) shopping ban/shop your closet challenge. I think I recently realized I was getting a little crazy with my shopping again (I just can't turn down a good deal) and I have a couple of upcoming weddings that I should save for instead. I have recently purchased a few new things that will more than get me through the summer. My only "cheat" will probably not really be a cheat at all - I ordered something before the ban that got to my house last night that didn't fit. I'll probably exchange, but hopefully that is all. It has been hard to delete the Cinco de mayo deals I have gotten in my inbox, but so far I have lasted!

If you want to join, hop on over to her blog and let her know! Happy closet shopping :)

5.02.2011

Conversation #80: A weight watchers update on Monday!

I'm am super overwhelmed and stressed right now thinking about work, so I figured I might as well use my break/lunch time to share something good and maybe dump my worries hear to get them out of my head.

First though, I was super excited because I lost 3 pounds this week!  I know you are only supposed to lose 1-2, and I didn't mean to lose 3, but it just happened.  I ate my points everyday, but I did start working out more this week.  We'll see how this week goes, but I think for now I'm okay with the 3 versus 2 pounds.  I think as long as it isn't a regular occurrence I'm okay.  I didn't use a lot of my extra weekly points last week so I'm thinking maybe that is why I lost more???

Now onto the brain dump - I need May to be over.  I try to never wish life away, but I don't do well with anticipated stress.  You know, the kind of stress you get because there are things looming in the distance you don't want to do and you have to.  I honestly kind of get that way with the dentist still (I actually have an appointment in a couple of weeks) so I always schedule appointments for early in the day so I don't worry all day.  Lovely way to live, right?

Next week my parents and my husband and I are taking a little vacation.  I'm so looking forward to that and wish it could be now.  I just need to get a lot done between now and Friday so I don't have to worry at all while I'm gone.  Then bright and early on Friday morning I get to help run a scholarship golf tournament I have been planning for weeks.  Then the next weekend is our local arts festival, which requires a large traffic engineering staff, and then I have a career day program to prepare for three 3rd grade classes.  For some reason this scares me the most, and was just dumped on me.  I love kids, and I love babysitting and entertaining them, but I am NO teacher.  I tried tutoring and that was a no go for me.  I don't know how to keep 30 3rd graders entertained for 30 minutes about traffic and transportation engineering??? Plus, I have a ton to do for the golf tournament, and I have a coworker who is planning to leave soon and I know all of his responsibilities will be dumped on me.  I am pretty much the dumping ground. 

Anyway, above all though, I am trying to remain extremely grateful for having a good, stable job, and hopefully I can just push the stress away and remember the positive!!! 

Sorry for the dump, I think I need to vocalize all that was freaking me out, and then I could get it out of my head and let go of some of it.  Hope everyone had a great weekend :)