Rejoining Weight Watchers

“Why is weight loss so tough?”, I thought to myself this past weekend.

Since August I have gained 12.4 pounds, which is CRAZY to me.  I struggled with binge eating back in August, but since then I’ve really done a good job of controlling my portions and sticking to my weekly plan.  In addition, Neal and I have been training for the 15K and are up to 8 mile long runs!  I am just baffled by my weight gain, but I knew it was time to make a big decision.

In the past, I have been extremely successful with Weight Watchers.  I have probably joined weight watchers 15 times (no joke) in my lifetime, but had the greatest success back in 2006-2007 when I lost 50 pounds.  I had gotten down to 207 by the summer of 2007 and have fluctuated between 207 and 220 since then.

This weekend I made the decision to join Weight Watchers ONE LAST TIME!  It’s scary to say that because I know it’s going to be tough.  I know it’s going to be challenging.  And I fear that I will quit, just as I have done in the past.

Since losing the weight back in 2007, I wanted so badly to do it on my own.  I was happy at 207, I felt skinny, and even though “there is no way I can get down to 179 pounds!  I wanted to be free of dieting and to just live a happy and healthy life on my own.  I’ve tried, and I’ve been successful, but I have learned that I still have a long way to go and I LOVE accountability.

The Weight Watchers program has changed over the past 5 years, making it easy for me to be cynical.  When I lost the 50 pounds back in 2007, I did it on the Weight Watchers CORE plan and have had it in my head that “I never want to count points again”.  Having said this though, I know that the Weight Watchers philosophy is a great one and I believe in their program.  Returning to Weight Watchers is a VERY big decision for me and one that I did not take lightly.

Last night at 6:45PM I talked into my first Weight Watchers meeting.  Now, I don’t know about you but weighing myself at night is SCARY.  I usually try to weight myself first thing in the morning with as little clothing on as possible but this time around I said “screw it”!  I am going to weigh in at 6:45PM on Tuesday nights in whatever clothing I have on that day.  I am going to be true to myself and am going to give it my all.

Last night I weighed in at 229.4 pounds, my highest since losing weight back in 2007.

My goals for right now are ….

  1. Weigh-in every Tuesday night (Biggest Loser night, woop woop)
  2. Continue to workout and train as I have been doing
  3. Look and feel great for Neal’s and my engagement photos
  4. Lose 5% of my body weight — 11 pounds (218.4)
  5. Lose 10% of my body weight — 22 pounds (207 — my lowest from 2007)
  6. Decide upon my next goal after losing 10% of my body weight
  7. Don’t quit!


This week, based on my body weight, I can eat 38 points plus a day and have a weekly 49 points plus allowance.  Those 49 points will come in handy on Thursday night, as Neal and I have a food tasting appointment with a caterer.

Breakfast – 7PP total

  • 1 cup multi grain cheerios – 3PP
  • 1 cup skim milk – 3PP
  • 1 banana- 0PP
  • 1 cup coffee with 1 TBSP creamer- 1PP

I do have to share about this shot glass measuring cup.  This is a great way to measure out salad dressings and creamer, without having to get out your measuring spoons.  I found my shot glass at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Lunch – 9PP total

  • Homemade turkey taco meat mixture (ground turkey, black beans, rotel, refried beans, and taco seasoning)- 7PP
  • 2 Tortilla factory tortillas- 2PP
  • lettuce- 0PP

Snacks- 7PP

  • Apple- 0PP
  • Cabot cheese- 2PP
  • NuGo dark mint chocolate bar- 5PP


I have 17 PP remaining for dinner tonight, which leaves me with a LOT of options.  Tonight I am having dinner with Katy, one of my loyal readers!  We’ve having dinner at Cosi, so I went ahead and checked out Cosi’s website.

After checking out the menu and plugging the nutritional information into my calculator, I have narrowed down my dinner choices to either the Greek Chicken Pizza- 15PP or the Hummus and Veggie Sandwich- 10PP.  If I got the sandwich, I could always grab a latte after dinner.

Whatever I decide, today should end right on point, without having to use any of my weekly points allowance.  I did not workout this morning, but hope to take spin tomorrow morning.


Thank you for being a part of my journey!  If you’re on Weight Watchers and ever have questions and/or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.  If you’re not on Weight Watchers, I’d love to hear about your journey and to help you along your way!

OH, and don’t forget that today is the last day to enter to win my Clif Bar giveaway.  Just leave a comment on yesterday’s post!

A Bench Press Beauty

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s Biggest Loser night!  I haven’t forgotten about my Biggest Loser weigh-ins (week 1 and week 2 recap), but I still need to buy a new scale.  My scale at home is jacked.  No excuses but I’ll totally update y’all on my weight soon!

Today I continued my Get-in-Shape challenge and am feeling great!

Tuesday, October 18 Food Journal

  • Breakfast – 2 cups of coffee (wasn’t hungry when I woke up)
  • Snack – Banana
  • Lunch – Sweet potato, lettuce with dressing, pear, mango kombucha
  • Snack- pumpkin fluff, apple, cottage cheese
  • Post Workout- Luna protein bar
  • Dinner – Salmon with lime, lentil pilaf, side salad

When all was said in done, I…

  • Ate 3 servings of fruit and 4 servings of vegetables (7 out of 9 servings)
  • Lifted Weights
  • Drank 8 glasses of water (8 out of 8 )
  • Took a multivitamin and vitamin D

My workout today was fantastic.  I really love lifting weights and felt great both during and afterward my workout.

  • Bench press — 2 sets of 10 at 65 pounds
  • Bench press — 3 sets of 8 at 95 pounds
  • Wide grip bench press — 3 sets of 10 at 45 pounds
  • Leg lifts (abs) — 3 sets of 10
  • Snatch — 3 sets of 8 at 45 pounds (bar only as they did not have bumper plates at the gym)
  • Leg Press — 4 sets of 8 at 225 pounds
  • Lat. Pull down — 3 sets of 8 at 70 pounds

My knees have been giving me a little trouble lately, so I focused on my upper body today and incorporated a little leg press.  My knee pain is usually linked to tight hamstrings, IT band, and weak quads.  Stretching has been key and working on my leg strength.  If it continues though, I may have to make my way to the doctor as I don’t want an injury to develop.

As for tomorrow, there is a LOT of rain headed towards DC so Neal and I have moved our 4 mile run to Thursday morning.  I actually love running in the rain, but it’ll be good to have a day off tomorrow.

I hope y’all had a great Tuesday and I hope you have an even better hump day!

Get-in-Shape Checklist

The trees are starting to change colors here in Washington, DC.

I just love walking to work and passing all of the shades of yellow, red, and orange.

Especially when I have a Starbucks in my hand!

Lets just say I was one happy girl this morning, especially with a 30 minute run under my belt.

While perusing The Knot, I found this awesome Get-in-Shape Checklist.  I LOVE how simple it is.

  • Eat 9 servings of fruits and/or vegetables a day
  • Exercise each day
  • Drink 8 glasses of water
  • Take a multivitamin

Today was my first day using the checklist and I thought it was fantastic.  Eating 9 servings of fruits and/or vegetables was actually really tough.  Here’s what my day looked like…

  • Breakfast – Bowl of Special K cereal with skim milk
  • Snack – Pear
  • Lunch – Veggie patty on 2 slices of potato bread, apple, pumpkin fluff, yogurt
  • Dinner – steak tacos in corn tortillas with pico de gallo and sour cream

When all was said in done, I…

  • Ate 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables (5 out of 9 servings)
  • Ran for 30 minutes with Neal this morning
  • Drank 8 glasses of water (8 out of 8 )
  • Took multivitamin and vitamin D

Focusing on eating 9 servings of fruits and/or vegetables really impacted what I ate today.  Looking back I could have added a banana to my bowl of cereal this morning and I could have had either a salad for dinner or the vegetable fajitas.  I also need to make sure I refill my Nalgene water bottle at the start of every work day, it makes a big difference in the amount of water I consume each day.

I really like how I’m feeling, even after 1 day.  Tomorrow (Tuesday), I am going to add fruit to my breakfast, add a veggie to my lunch, and add veggies to my dinner.  With those additions, I should be able to eat my 9 servings of fruits and/or vegetables!

What’s on your get-in-shape checklist?

28 before 28

I love setting goals and creating to-do lists, so I thought creating a list of things I want to do or plan to do before turning 28 next year would be a good idea!  As I shared the other day, this is the first year that my age has really hit me.  Maybe it’s because Neal and I are getting married and we’re starting to talk more about our future, but either way I feel like I’m getting older.

Health and Fitness

1.  Meet with a nutritionist/registered dietitian
2.  Eat more fruits and veggies
3.  Cut back on sweets
4.  Reach 199 pounds!
5.  Create a weight lifting routine
6.  Continue to run after 15K and maintain ability to run 8-10 miles with ease
7.  Become a certified spin instructor


8.  Continue to develop Coffee, Cake and Cardio
9.  Redesign Coffee, Cake and Cardio
10.  Host a giveaway each month on Coffee, Cake, and Cardio

Neal and I

11.  Plan a nice date night once a month with Neal
12.  Downsize my apartment (and encourage Neal to do the same) before we move in together
13.  Move into Neal’s and my first home together!
14.  Plan our wedding and stay under budget
15.  Get married!
16.  Plan out 2012 trip to Australia
17.  Plan our 2013 trip to Europe
18.  Develop a savings plan


19.  Graduate from Kansas State University with my masters degree
20.  Take tap dance classes
21.  Finish my high school scrapbook
22.  Learn how to knit hats
23.  Plan a girls weekend
24.  Recover all of my photos and documents from my old laptop
25.  Save and organize all digital photos in one, safe place
26.  Buy and iPhone
27.  Read 4 non graduate school related books
28.  Pursue coaching discus and shot-put at a local high school

Here’s to another great year!

A Little Coffee Love

Happy Thursday everyone!

This week has been rather good but I am totally looking forward to the weekend.  Isn’t it interesting how we’re always looking forward to the weekend.  Kinda weird how we want 5 out of our 7 days each week to fly by.  I love my job, so that has absolutely nothing to do with my week days, I think it’s more that the weekend is my time to relax, go on adventures, and not have an agenda (sometimes).  Still, Monday through Friday can be wonderful…

This week so far…

Monday — Ran for 40 minutes with Neal before work, made butternut squash mac and cheese for dinner, and then cranked out a learning profile project for graduate school.

Tuesday — Worked out on the elliptical for 20 minutes and then lifted weights for 40 minutes (squats, chest press, chest pulls, core exercises, and hamstring curls), had dinner with some friends at Matchbox in Chinatown after work (ordered the veggie pizza, yummy), and then watched the Biggest Loser.

Veggie Pizza and an onion ring 🙂

Our tables' dessert trio!

Wednesday — Ran for 30 minutes with Neal before work (we weren’t feeling it yesterday) and then met up with my Daddy and Neal for dinner at Ted’s Montana Grill.  Neal and I love Ted’s and I ordered the blue creek burger, my favorite!  It was wonderful seeing my Dad!  I love him so much.

This morning I have a doctors appointment, so it was nice being able to sleep in and put a little extra effort into getting ready.  Today I’m wearing heels to work– YAY!  After work the plan is to lift weights at the gym, make tuna casserole at home, and then crank out some more graduate work.  OH, and I was finally able to weight myself this morning…

Biggest Loser Challenge Week 2

  • Starting Weight: 226.6 pounds
  • Week 2 Weight:  225.2 pounds (up .4 pounds from last week, but I have eaten out the past two nights)
  • Total Weight Lost: 1.4 pounds

Now for a little coffee love from Pinterest….

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Last month I saw this amazing recipe for Macaroni and Cheese in Cooking Light magazine.  I just knew I had to try it, as it cuts almost 600 calories from the traditional mac & cheese recipe.  So here’s my version, enjoy!

Ashley’s Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

  • 3 cups of peeled butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 1 pound uncooked whole wheat shells
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

2.  Combine squash, broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce hear to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.  Remove from heat.

3.  Place the hot squash mixture in a blender.  Add salt and pepper… Greek yogurt is called for in the original recipe but I missed this step… I was too focused on the blending of the squash.  Remove the center piece of the blender lis (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender.  Place a clean towel over the opening in the blender lid (to avoid splatter).

Blend until smooth.

Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in cheeses and mix until combined.

4.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Add pasta to the squash mixture and stir until combined.

5.  Spread mixture evenly into a 13×9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle panko breadcrumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Italian seasoning (my added touch) evenly over the hot pasta mixture.

6.  Bake a 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

7.  Enjoy!!

This is really an awesome and easy recipe.  Neal and I both found the sauce to be a little sweet, so I might change up the cheese next time.  Trader Joe’s has this awesome 5 cheese mixture… I think it would do well in this dish.  I would also recommend adding additional seasoning to the sauce prior to adding the noodles.  The Italian seasoning on top was great, but I think it’d be better inside the dish.

All in all, I give it 3.75 out of 5 stars. 


Today is also Biggest Loser day, so you know what that means… Weigh In!!  My scale was giving me really random numbers this morning (it’s clearly broken) so I am going to weigh in on Neal’s scale tomorrow.  I will update tomorrow morning…

Biggest Loser Challenge Week 2

  • Starting Weight: 226.6 pounds
  • Week 2 Weight:  ?? pounds
  • Total Weight Lost: 1.8 pounds


Well, I’m off to work!  With 20 minutes on the elliptical and 40 minutes in the weight room under my belt, I’m feeling really energized this morning.  I’m hoping I don’t crash today, though it’s bound to happen.  Staying up until 12:40AM to do graduate work wasn’t the smartest idea. 😉

I hope everyone has a fantastic Tuesday!

My Scaleless Summer

This summer I tried out a Scaleless Summer, where I put away the scale and focused on what I was putting in my mouth instead of focusing on the number on the scale.  I started out the summer weighing 217 pounds.  About a month later I went to the doctors and weighed in at 213, totally forgetting that I wasn’t suppose to look, but was really excited about my weight loss.  My plan to fill half of my plate with veggies before adding protein and carbs was working well and creating weekly meal plans on Sundays left me feeling great.  My workouts were all over the place, but I knew I was making some good decisions in regards to what I was putting in my mouth.

July was a really stressful month for me as I tackled 2 graduate classes, interviewed for a new job, rocked the house on my current job (at the time), accepted a new job, and went on a vacation with Neal to Florida.  Still, by the end of July I was feeling great and knew I had lost/maintain my weight.

August was another story though.  I love the summer, but with the heat comes lots of eating out (baseball games, happy hours, dinners with friends, etc.).  Although I love the summer, it can be a challenge to know how many calories I’m consuming each day.  In addition, I’ve really been struggled with overeating since August.  It could have been stress or it could have just been my inability to say no to the foods I love.  Either way I have consumed way too many calories in one setting on a number of occasions.

As of yesterday, I weighted in at 226.6 pounds.  I was honestly shocked to see my weight that high.  I don’t feel like I’ve gained almost 10 pounds this summer nor do I think I look like I’ve gained 10 pounds.  It could be muscle mass, as I do put on muscle rather easily and have boosted my workouts up.  Either way, 226 at the end of a scaleless summer is not where I wanted to me.

I have learned a lot this summer, both about my workouts, my eating habits, and about my mentality surrounding weight loss.  To some degree I feel that I have been on a 4 year plateau.  My weight has gone up and down during that time, and as of June I was 9 pounds from my lowest weight (209 in the summer of 2007).

I want to will defeat this plateau.  I want to will break 200 pounds.  I want to will love myself through the entire process.

This past week I focused on counting calories.  It was really helpful to see how many calories I had been consuming and to focus on what it takes to consume the proper amount of calories needed to lose/maintain weight (1533 calories for me).  I didn’t count calories during this weekend’s getaway to Cleveland and I honestly regret it.  I feel like I’m back at a point in my life where my habits are not good habits.  Until I create lasting healthy habit, I need to always be focused on weight loss and what I’m trying to learn/implement.  Here’s what the weekend looked like sans counting calories/thinking about weight loss…


  • coffee at Jill’s
  • food samples at the market
  • cup of soup and a slice of bread at the Souper Market
  • 1.5 mini cannolis
  • 1 medium mate latte
  • 2 PB and J sandwiches (which I had packed for Friday but didn’t eat then)
  • 1/2 of Porky Cheese sandwich at Melt with fries
  • 1 more bite of a cannoli


  • coffee at Jill’s
  • soy chai and raspberry scone at The Root Cafe
  • Other half of Porky Cheese sandwich
  • Diet Pepsi, yogurt covered raisins, and honey wheat pretzel rods during road trip
  • cranberry orange scone and soy chai from Starbucks
  • 3 slices of banana bread at home (from neighbor)

Sunday was pretty bad, as I could have made so many different choices.  Take the banana bread for instance, my super sweet neighbor brought it over when I got home last night and because I was too tired to cook dinner, I just opted to eat the banana bread.  The banana bread would have been a perfect addition to my breakfast … over the course of a week.  Instead I ate it in one night.  (I’m being honest here guys)

The Scaleless Summer was not a loss by any means.  I rekindled my “love” for running and have started training for a 15K with Neal.  I also learned a lot about my body, my portion sizes, and what it’ll take to lose weight and create healthy habits.   Over the past three months I have learned what my two main issues are in regards to my eating… 1. Eating when I’m not hungry 2. Rare binge eating sprees.  As Neal said though, “it’s nothing I can’t conquer”.

Yesterday I jump started my quest to break 200 pounds with the start of The Biggest Loser.  I consumed 1599 calories and burned 984 calories at spin.  I really felt great yesterday and stuck to my meal plan.  The only thing I added was carrots and hummus after work and a salad with my pizza.  This morning Neal and I ran 3 miles in 33 minutes and I burned 569 calories.  Again, I feel like I do a great job of planning but for me the key is sticking to my plan and not binge eating.

Here’s to a happy and healthy fall!