Weight Watchers

Loving Lately

After yesterday’s downer of a post, I thought it would be fun to do something a little bit more upbeat today and share some things I’ve been loving lately!

1.) The PointsPlus Cookbook

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I bought this cookbook last week at my Weight Watchers meeting, and I can’t get over how great the recipes are! (You can also buy it on Amazon here if you are interested.) I wasn’t sure what the recipes would be like, but most of them are largely made with whole foods, are simple to follow, and sound delicious! A few of the ones I’m planning on making are:

    • Spicy Chickpea Lettuce Wraps
    • Grilled Shrimp Tostadas
    • Falafel Sandwiches with Lemon Yogurt
    • Pear and Fig Crostata with Gorgonzola
    • Frozen Banana Dulce De Leche Pie

The only ingredient that some of the recipes use that I’m a little wary of is fat-free half and half, but that is only in a few, and most of the recipes seem to use wholesome ingredients and the recipes sound awesome! I’m so excited to try them and will keep you guys posted when I do.

2.) Boots!

I have had a LOT of luck lately finding boots that fit over my ginormous calves. I got both a black pair and a tan pair, one from DSW that are actually Aerosoles but are adorable (and were just $65!) and the other from Old Navy that were on clearance for $18! SCORE!

3.) Lost

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I’ve mentioned this before, but I am waaay behind on the phenomenon that is Lost. I started watching it from the beginning on Netflix just a few months ago for the first time ever, and am on episode 67 of the 100, exactly 2/3 through! It’s so addicting, and I cannot WAIT to hear/see how it ends!

4.) The Hunger Games

I think I told you guys that I read/was in the process of reading the trilogy, and finally finished the third book when I was in California last week. And, like everyone and their mother, I absolutely LOVED the series. The first book, The Hunger Games, flew by so quickly, that I could not wait to start the second one – Catching Fire. I really loved the second one, but it was a tiny bit slower moving than the first in my opinion. The third book, Mockingjay, took me a little longer to get into, but I think that was largely because I started it around the same time that I discovered Lost on Netflix – and they were both competing for my attention. Once I got to a certain point in the third book though, I could not put it down.

And then, yesterday the trailer came out for the movie, which will be in March 2012 – I cannot WAIT. In case you missed it…

 

5.) My impending iPhone 4s purchase

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My plan is to get the iPhone 4s in White – the 16gig. This one costs $199 with a two-year agreement on Verizon, and I also will get a $30 credit since tomorrow is when I’m eligible for my new-every-two, which I’m grandfathered in for since I’ve been with Verizon for so long. I’ve heard they don’t offer the phone credit anymore, but $200 doesn’t seem TOO bad for a phone, ipod, camera, and personal assistant, all in one!

6.) Pay Day

I am also LOVING the fact that today is pay day. Enough said!

What’s something you are loving right now?

Time to Regroup

One of the key takeaways from BLS was that we are all members first, then employees. No matter how far we’ve come or how far we have to go, it will always take hard work and dedication to stay on track. It does get a bit easier over time, but it also gets easier to think that I know what I’m doing and don’t have to pay attention to what I’m eating.

That is not the case.

After getting back from BLS, I took a cab to my apartment, threw on a dress, and immediately went out to catch the end of one of my best friends’ engagement parties. I stayed out too late celebrating, then slept too late on Sunday and had to unpack upon waking up and head out the door for another Weight Watchers commitment where we met as a whole territory. I feel like I’ve barely had a second to breathe lately!

While I was sitting in the meeting listening to the exciting things we’ve done in the area over the last year and what we have to look forward to for the next year – it dawned on me. I’ve been so caught up in being a Weight Watchers employee and haven’t been focusing on myself as a member. I had stepped on the scale before the meeting and after the whirlwind of the last few weeks and saw a number I was not happy with, and quite frankly isn’t acceptable since I now work for Weight Watchers.

It’s time to stop that.

I decided to make a stop at Trader Joe’s on my way home from the meeting, invest some time menu planning and cook for the week for the first time in a while. It felt really good to refocus and spend an hour getting some food ready for the week so I can stay on track/get back to my goal weight even though I do have another busy week ahead.

In terms of prep, I cooked a huge spaghetti squash (1 hr at 400 degrees), made 3 servings of steel cut oats, and defrosted half a batch of those amazing black beans that was leftover from the last time I made them. Here’s what I came up with for a meal plan:

Breakfast Lunch Snack Dinner
Monday Pumpkin Oatmeal with cottage cheese and sliced banana Spaghetti Squash, Kale, Feta, Poached Egg (Recipe coming!) Greek Yogurt w/Apple Brown Rice bowl w/black beans, cheese, tomatoes, salsa, tortilla chips
Tuesday English Muffin w/Sunbutter + banana Black Bean Taco Salad (Spinach, bbs, corn, salsa, chips, cheese) Cottage Cheese w/defrosted berries Reader Get Together at Sweet Green
Wednesday Pumpkin Oatmeal with cottage cheese, banana Black Bean Taco Salad (Spinach, bbs, corn, salsa, chips, cheese) Greek yogurt, defrosted berries, vanilla Spaghetti Squash with garlic, evoo, egg, parmesan
Thursday Pumpkin Oatmeal with cottage cheese, banana Leftover Spaghetti Squash with garlic, evoo, egg, parmesan Greek yogurt, Veggie Fried Rice w/tofu
Friday Toasted Waffles w/Sunbutter + banana Leftover veggie fried rice w/tofu Cottage Cheese w/defrosted berries Dinner at Jaleo with Jen and Alexa

It feels so good to have a meal plan for the first time in AGES. I used to post them every Monday along with groceries, and while I don’t want to get back into the habit of doing that every week, I think I need to start doing it semi-regularly for my sake!

And while I was at it, I’ve also been slacking a bit in the workout department. Here’s my plan on that front for this week:

    • Monday: 45 min Total Body Conditioning class, 15 min stairmaster
    • Tuesday: 45 min Spin Class
    • Wednesday: rest
    • Thursday: Outdoor Run (~ 4 miles)
    • Friday: Weights + Cardio – tbd

Mini goals for this week include:

    • Drink at least 64 oz of water at work every day this week (check for yesterday!)
    • Bring breakfast/lunch to work every day
    • Stick to 29 pts+/day all week
    • Workout 4x
    • Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night

What is one thing you want to or need to focus on this week?

PS: Tonight is the reader get together at 6pm at Sweet Green in Dupont. I hope to see you there if you’re local!!

BLS Breakdown

If I had to pick just one word to describe BLS, it would be incredible. While intense, surreal, exhausting, emotional, humbling, and inspiring would work too, none of them quite capture the essence of the experience that was BLS.

For a little background, BLS stands for Basic Leadership Skills, and it’s basically an intensive three-day training course that prepares you to be a Leader for Weight Watchers. Being a WW Leader has been a long term goal of mine, and I’ve been working as Receptionist for them since March of this year with this goal in mind.

I’ve been go-go-going for so many months, that I didn’t really take any time to consider what it meant that I was going to BLS until I was actually on the plane to Chicago. Granted, I passed out for almost the entire flight (I’m a really gifted plane sleeper), but as I was boarding the plane, it hit me.

I was on my way to a course where I would learn to lead and inspire others to change their lives, like Weight Watchers had done for me.

It also made me realize that I am really a real-life Weight Watchers success story, and even though it’s been a little while since I’ve changed my life, it’s still hard to get my head around that fact. I’m one of the ones who made it through WW, stronger, thinner, and a million times happier on the other side of the program.

When I actually got to the hotel and into the training room, I realized that my story wasn’t so unique in that group. There were about 25 of us all there for the same reason, everyone having used WW as a tool to change their lives and hoping to be able to pay it forward to others. People had lost between 20-something and 120 (!) pounds, and while I was definitely one of the (if not the) youngest people there, I felt like I fit right in.

Though it had been a while since I’d been in a classroom setting, the three days FLEW by. We went through the history of Weight Watchers, and it’s pretty incredible to think how it started in someone’s living room based on where it is today.

The rest of the three days were used to break down the different components of a WW meeting and practicing the different portions of the meeting in front of the group. The final test was to prepare for and present a full meeting in front of other Leader-hopefuls and the trainers who were leading the training.

We got feedback at every stage of the way, and I was honestly surprised at how terrible I was at the beginning. I love talking in front of people, and really do live and breath Weight Watchers (most of the time) so I didn’t think I’d have any trouble transferring that into leading a meeting. But, during my first presentation, I had my hands glued to my thighs and was standing there frozen!

Luckily, during the course of the three days, I improved quite a bit and got a lot more comfortable presenting in front of the group. I ended up doing well on my final presentation and am excited to report that Weight Watchers will be moving me forward in the process to become a leader! It’s really happening!!

Back At It

Whew. I am SO glad that is over with! I have been putting off going back to weigh in at Weight Watchers because I knew I was up a few pounds and haven’t really been counting points in ages. But today, I sucked it up and went and I am so happy I did. I’m not thrilled with the weight itself, because I gained 3 pounds since the last time I was there, I’m just happy that I went and can start fresh. So, officially now, I have 9 pounds to lose to get to my goal weight, which is very do-able if I just make a few tweaks to my diet and keep up with exercising frequently.

The way that I generally do WW which has worked for me in the past, is I pick one “free” night where I don’t really count points, and then just assume I’ve used all of my weekly points. Then I try to stay at my daily target every other day or else use Activity Points that I’ve earned if I need extra points. My free night is actually going to be tonight since I have the happy hour, and that should give me plenty of time to make up for any set back I have tonight so that I have a good weigh in next Thursday.

So, here is my plan:

  1. Back to Weekly Meetings – Every Thursday at 12pm because it’s over lunch and works well with my schedule. There is a Wednesday 12pm meeting as well in case I have a conflict on Thursdays.
  2. Keep up with the Water – Though WW calls for 6 cups a day, my body is happier when I have 8+ cups a day. This was one of my June Goals which helped me get back into drinking a lot of water, so the plan is to just keep up with my water consumption.
  3. Exercise Consistently – My goal is to work out 4-5x a week, with 1-2 days of running, 1-2 days of Bikram, biking, and some strength training.
  4. Count WW Points – Another one of my June Goals which I have been relatively consistent about, but I plan to try to count as much as possible until I am at my goal weight. This will be a little bit of a challenge because when I first started WW and was good about counting points, I was eating a LOT of processed foods, which are easier to count points of because the nutritional info is right on the package. Now that I largely eat whole and unprocessed foods, it will be a bit more of a challenge to count points, but I will try my best and estimate when necessary.
  5. Keep a Mostly Whole Foods Diet – Going along with the last bullet, I don’t want to revert back to a lot of processed foods like I was eating when I first started WW, so I want to keep eating a lot of the same things, just a little less of it, and treats in moderation.

So that’s it! Seems very simple and straight forward, but as everyone who has ever struggled with their weight knows, its a lot easier to say than to do. Please stay tuned and check in with me and make sure I’m sticking with it so that I can get to my goal weight and look and feel my best for my best friend’s wedding!  On the bridesmaid dress note, I ordered a size 10 which is a bit too snug, and my friend Jess got a 12 which is a bit too big, so we’re actually going to do a test tomorrow and possibly switch dresses. While I still want to fit in the 10 by the wedding, I do not think I need the pressure of the dress possibly NOT fitting, so I’m hoping the switch works out.

Onwards!

Lunch today was a treat to myself for going back to WW. I went to the Juice Joint, my favorite quick spot for a healthy lunch in DC. I got a small side salad to go (no dressing)

Which had organic greens, tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers (0 pts).

I also got my favorite sandwich from there, the Fresh Mozzarella & Roasted Veggie Sandwich. It has roasted zucchini, squash, red peppers, sprouts, tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella on multigrain bread. It comes with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, too, but in an effort to be a little light, I asked for it without the dressing. Check out how packed with deliciousness this sandwich is!

And you know what? I didn’t even miss the balsamic! I probably will order this sandwich just like this going forward, even after I’m at goal. The veggies and cheese add so much flavor that you don’t even need it. I’m counting this sandwich as 7 points (just a guess), by breaking down the bread as 4 points and the mozz as 3. I’m guessing that’s a little high because there wasn’t much mozz and the bread was pretty thin, but the veggies may have been cooked in a little EVOO so 7 sounds safe. That means 11 total for today with breakfast, which is not bad at all.

Have you struggled with your weight before? What are the key changes you made to your diet/exercise routine that have helped you along the way? For me, drinking a lot of water, eating tons of fruits and veggies, and exercising at all (because I didn’t used to!) were the biggest changes that helped me to lose most of my weight.

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