I Hate Numbers

I have a love/hate relationship with numbers!  Before I go on my rant, I have a few positive things to share.

First off, we have TWO Clif Bar giveaway winners!

Congratulations to Paula and Jocelyn!  Please let us know what you think of the season Clif Bar flavors!

My second positive thing to share is that I had an AWESOME dinner with one of my blog readers, Katy, last night!  It was so wonderful meeting a reader, sharing our stories, and laughing at our similarities.  Most of all though, I’m so excited to have someone to hold me accountable and I hope that I can help her in the same way.

For dinner we met up at Cosi and I ended up ordering the hummus and veggies sandwich (10PP), which was AWESOME!!

Today started off a little weird.  I was a rock star last night and packed my gym bag, lunch, and even slept in my gym clothes with the goal of going to the 7AM spin class this morning.  I’ve been sleeping on the couch these past two nights (awesome sleep btw) and totally woke up at 7:30AM to no alarm.  Eek!  I don’t even remember my alarm going off at 5:15 this morning.

The good thing is a.) I didn’t have to shower again b.) My work clothes were already laid out and c.) I didn’t wake up at 9:30AM.

My meal plan for today is a little off since Neal and I are going to a food tasting with a potential caterer at 4PM.

Breakfast – 3PP

  • banana – 0PP
  • apple- 0PP
  • Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte from SB – 3PP

Early Lunch -8PP

  • Homemade turkey taco meat mixture (ground turkey, black beans, rotel, refried beans, and taco seasoning)- 7PP
  • 1 Tortilla factory tortillas- 1PP
  • lettuce- 0PP

So now for my rant….

I HATE NUMBERS!!

My work offers a free health assessment each year, which is great, but I’m always so discouraged by the outcome.  I know that I’m overweight, but I honestly don’t view myself as unhealthy as my numbers make me out to be.

  • Height – 5′ 9″
  • Weight – 225
  • Body Fat – 36.2% (Borderline High 31-36.9)
  • BMI – 33.2 (High > 25)
  • Waist – 40.5 inches
  • Total Cholesterol – 148 (Desirable)
  • HDL Cholesterol – 40 (Higher Risk)
  • Total/HDL Ratio – 3.7 (Recommended 3.6-4.9)
  • Glucose – 90 (Normal < 139)
  • Blood Pressure – 120/80 (Normal)

The recommendations from the dietitian were to incorporate more fish into my diet, lessen the processed foods in my diet,  exercise more, and continue to lose body fat.

I am going to keep a positive attitude, despite today’s numbers.  It is my second day on Weight Watchers and I know I will improve these numbers by this time next year!  That is my goal.

Have a happy Thursday everyone!

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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!

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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

Dinner-

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.

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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!

Celebrations at the Melting Pot

Tonight Neal, Liz, Matt and I went to the Melting Pot to celebrate Liz’s and my birthday, Neal’s and my engagement, and Matt’s return to DC.

Liz, Matt, and Eric (the buffalo stand in)

It was so nice to have a dinner date with the gang, as Matt has been out of town on business for the past 5 weeks.  We started dinner with the Wisconsin Cheese Trio fondue.

We then had a wonderful main course (herb chicken, terriaki steak, filet mignon, Tuna, and shrimp).

We also enjoyed a few cocktails!!

For dessert we had a WONDERFUL dark chocolate fondue with marshmallow and oreos.

It was great catching up, making plans for the winter months, and talking about Eric’s return to DC in February.

Liz can’t wait to have her man back!! We all miss Eric a lot!

Tonight’s dinner was the perfect way to end the weekend and a great way to start the week.  This week is going to be REALLY busy, but I’m looking forward to getting a lot of stuff done at work, continuing our wedding planning, and cranking out a LOT of graduate work!

Weekly Plan: October 24-30

Workout

Breakfast

Lunch

Snack

Dinner

Plans

Monday

Off

1 egg, 1 slice turkey bacon, on sandwich thin, banana

Veggie patty on sandwich thin, small salad

Pumpkin fluff, honeycrisp apple

Dinner at Mama Ayesha’s

Dinner with Becky

Tuesday

Elliptical and Weight Lifting

Multigrain cheerios, banana

Lunch with Melanie

Pumpkin fluff, apple pear

Turkey tacos

The Biggest Loser

Wednesday

3 mile run

1 egg, 1 slice turkey bacon, slice of tomato on English muffin

Leftover turkey taco meat on salad

Pumpkin fluff, apple pear

Dinner at Cosi

Dinner with Katy and graduate work

Thursday

Elliptical and Weight Lifting

Multigrain cheerios, banana

Leftover turkey taco meat on salad

Pumpkin fluff, apple pear

Food tasting with caterer

Graduate Work

Friday

30 min run

1 egg, 1 slice turkey bacon, slice of tomato on English muffin

Leftover turkey taco meat on salad

Pumpkin fluff, apple pear

Salad @ home

Wedding Planning with Neal — visiting venue #4

Saturday

6 mile run

Oatmeal, sunflower butter, banana

Smoothie and wrap from Tropical Smoothie (post run tradition)

?

Dinner at Neal’s (turkey or chicken burgers)

Long run and lots of graduate work

Sunday

Off

Multigrain cheerios, banana

?

?

?

Wedding Expo at one of our venue options and lots of graduate work

This week, my goal is to continue my Get-in-Shape Checklist and to accomplish a lot on my to do list.  I am also having a GIVEAWAY on Tuesday… so stay tune for that!

Have an amazing Monday and a great start to the week!  What are your goals for this week?

My Wedding Planning Binder

Today was much better than yesterday, though I totally have to tell y’all, Neal stop by last night to give me flowers!  It was so incredibly sweet of him!  He knew I was having a bad day and wanted to cheer me up.

This morning Neal and I met up for our 4 mile run.  It was super windy and a little chilly at first, but it was awesome running weather.  I wore my Forerunner 305 again, YAY, but totally forgot to restart it thus my timing and mileage was off.  Oh well.  We still had a great run.  I’m not sure how Neal felt, but I felt like we ran the 4 miles with ease… which is great since we are running 8 miles this Sunday!

After work, Neal and I had dinner with Heather and Greg at Maggiano’s.

Thursday, October 20 – Food Journal

  • Pre-Workout – banana
  • Breakfast – 1 cup of coffee, 1 sandwich thin, 1 egg, 2 slices of turkey bacon, and 1 slice of cheese (homemade breakfast sandwich)
  • Lunch – 1 sandwich thin, 1 veggie patty, apple and pumpkin fluff
  • Snack- banana
  • Dinner – Calamari, salmon salad with green beans, tomatoes, red onion, and dried noodles, a few bites of pumpkin cheesecake

When all was said in done, I…

  • Ate 3 serving of fruit and 6 servings of vegetables (9 out of 9 servings)
  • Ran 4 miles with Neal this morning
  • Drank 8 glasses of water (8 out of 8 )
  • Took a multivitamin and vitamin D

Tomorrow is an exciting day for me, as Neal and I are going to check out my favorite wedding venue thus far.  It is this 200 year old barn and I just LOVE the pictures!  We’ll see how it looks in person, but I’m really excited.

To help me with my planning, my Aunt Donna and my Cousin Taylor made me the cutest planning binder ever!

I loved the wrapping paper.  White, black, and teal is so cute in my opinion.

The binder had so many adorable sections, which will allow me to organize the material I receive, my notes, and my ideas.  I just love what my Aunt and Cousin made for us!

I have such an amazing family and I’m really excited to celebrate my marriage to Neal with them next summer!   Seeing the barn in the morning is exciting and I hope it takes us a step closer to having a reception venue.  Have an amazing Friday everyone!

The Wrong Foot

Wednesday wasn’t looking too hot as of 8AM this morning.  Last night I fell asleep on the couch while watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 6 and woke up a little before 3AM with too much on the brain.  I didn’t fall back asleep until 4:30AM, which made getting up at 6AM a total pain.

For whatever reason, I just could not get out of the door this morning.  I thought I was doing good on time but I didn’t leave the house until 7:50AM, which meant I had to drive to work instead of metroing…

and then I hit DC traffic…

And then even more traffic.  It took me 1 hour and 40 minutes to get to work today.  Lets just say that my day did NOT start out on the right foot. 

There was a beautiful rainbow over DC though once I got to work, which was pretty beautiful!  I also had Panera for lunch, which was a total treat!  I ordered the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich, my favorite!

Pesto, red onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta and lettuce.  YUMM-O!

Wednesday, October 19 – Food Journal

  • Breakfast – 2 cup of coffee, 1 sandwich thin, 1 egg, 2 slices of turkey bacon, and 1 slice of cheese (homemade breakfast sandwich)
  • Lunch – Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich from Panera Bread
  • Snack- banana
  • Dinner – Leftover lentil pilaf, peas and corn, chicken breast, and a side salad

When all was said in done, I…

  • Ate 1 serving of fruit and 6 servings of vegetables (7 out of 9 servings)
  • Did not work out (day off)
  • Drank 8 glasses of water (8 out of 8 )
  • Took a multivitamin and vitamin D

Tonight I’m planning to watch the World Series, do a little graduate work, and then snuggle up with these babies

My plan is to be to bed early, that way I’m well rested and ready for the 4 mile run Neal and I have tomorrow morning.

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?

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. 

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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

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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!