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“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” --Colin Powell
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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Call of the Wild Vending Machine

I’m pretty pleased that I’ve been able to knock the “crunchy food” craving this week with some ice-cold veggies. I know it sounds like a “well, DUH” but each time I head over to the restroom at work, the vending machine is there, in all its glory, right across the hall. With the amount of water I drink daily.....well, you get the idea.  Sometimes, that vending machine calls a lot louder than others; this week, the Flaming Hot Cheetos were calling to me. Fortunately, I dumped out all the change from my wallet and I didn’t have any singles in there either. So, what to do? Press my face on the glass and weep? No. Be all grumpy because I couldn’t have a bag of fat-saturated crunchy goodness? No.

I had some carrot sticks and some celery sticks in ice water at home, so after Day One of craving…I brought those things to work. With a couple tablespoons of some garden vegetable cream cheese, I had a very satisfying and filling snack. Okay okay….I know that even though carrot sticks are orange and I’m putting cream cheese on them, it doesn’t make them Cheetos. I get that. I know it isn’t the first time I’ve had that craving, and it sure as heck isn’t going to be the last. The point is, I didn’t bring money from home for the vending machine and I also didn’t eat a bazillion points by having that crunchy contraband either. I’ve been making an effort to eat more fruits and veggies, and these veggies were darn tasty and COLD. Cold, crunchy veggies are a happy thing, especially when it’s hot out; they’re easy, quick, they taste good and are good for you.

Sure, they don’t make the Call of the Cheetos go away, but they do make it a little easier to ignore.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Week Ten

So I go in for the weekly weigh-in this morning, and I'm UP 0.6 pounds.  What.  The.  Heck.

I weigh myself at home each morning, and it looked like I was down several pounds earlier in the week.  Thursday, for whatever reason, is usually my "heavy" day and the scale went up a little; still, it looked like I had another loss this week.  Apparently, that was my body going "HA HA!!!  Watch this!  I'm gonna mess with you!"  Whatever.  I was really hungry yesterday, and I mean REALLY hungry.  It seemed like I needed, not just wanted, to eat every 3 hours and that's just not the norm for me.  Perhaps, it was my body just reacting to being in pain and not having much of an appetite earlier in the week.  Like, Friday was THE day to make up for everything.  Yeah, that's not so fabulous when you have to weigh in the next morning.  Maybe it was adjusting to being back to the normal everyday routine since the previous week I had been out of town.  Maybe it was just the Universe being silly and tweaking the answer to everything  a couple tenths higher.  Who knows?.

I also admit that I wasn't as intense in my workouts this week since my back was just killing me.  Usually I kick that treadmill into a steep incline and I'm cranking away at it doing a fast walk.  Not so much this week.  I tried to keep the pace the same, but I just couldn't do the steep incline.  I think it really did make a difference.  Next week will be better, exercise-wise.  It has to be.

Overall though, I'm choosing to take this for what it is:  a simple little hiccup.  Is it damned annoying?  You better believe it.  I was 4.4 pounds away from my 10% target loss....and now I'm 5 pounds away.  Is it the end of the world?  Heck no.  If nothing else, it's a reminder that this is a journey.  Journeys are not perfect, they have wrong turns, bumps in the road, fogginess, etc.  The bottom line is that I have lost 20 pounds (maybe my round self is liking these nice round numbers....and I wish it would take a liking to 25) overall and I'm going to keep losing weight over the next however many months it takes.  I'm in this for the long haul, and I will meet my goal!

Looks like I've got some fuzzy baby strawberries going this week.

Cilantro isn't the only thing that got fat and sassy this week; its neighbor, Mr. Dill Plant got big too.  The other herbs are growing quite a bit too.  Guess they all really enjoyed the rain we got this past week!

Here's another big stem of new growth on the raspberries.  It's got about 3 more stems coming up as well, they just aren't as big.  As soon as I'm able, I'm going to have to start training those stems to grow on the trellis.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Just Get A Move On....

This cold, damp weather has not been nice for me at all.  I love the rain, I really do, but the dampness just sets in and I ache.  I'm talking a 4 Advil kind of ache.  Ever since I got rear-ended 4 years ago, I've noticed that my lower back does tend to hurt a bit when the weather turns foul.  Today is also Monday....Monday is one of four go-to-the-gym-with-my-mom days.  Sigh.  Pop the Advil.

The thought of just not going....just calling from work and begging off since my back hurts and I'm walking around the office like Ozzy Osbourne (minus the unintelligible speech) was tempting.  But no.  I'm a better and stronger person than that.  Plus, I was challenged to lose the remainder of my 10% target weight over the next 2 weeks.  So, I went to the gym and did my usual workout.  Well, not really, I'm not Superwoman.....I did dial down the intensity a smidge. 

I left the gym 40 minutes later all sweaty, smelly, funky, tired, but surprisingly not in pain.  I don't know if it's all that good walking on the treadmill or those Advil kicked in....but I felt pretty darn good.  I also felt good knowing that even though my body wouldn't let me do my usual intensity for my workout, I still went.  I still exercised, I still got sweaty, and I still got my heart rate up. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rained Away

I was looking forward to going to the Farmers' Market today, but they were rained away.  Bummer.  I don't buy a lot of produce at the grocery store anymore, since there's a few really awesome vendors I go to at the farmers' market.  I get my salad mix from the "lettuce guy" and haven't bought bagged salad in probably 6 months.  Not only does it taste better, but I've used salad mix I bought 2 weeks ago, and it's still okay.  Yeah, it gets a little wilty from the fridge, but there are NO rotten lettuce leaves in the bag.  None.  Plus, buying the lettuce at the farmers' market doesn't cost any more than it does at the store.  You're also supporting small local farms, which I really love the idea of.  We also get our berries there from "the berry people"; they're the only ones right now that have raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, in addition to strawberries.

Maybe next weekend......I will be thoroughly out of produce by then.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Week Nine

Well.....just got back from the weigh-in/meeting........and I'm down 0.8 pounds!!!!!!!!  Total weight loss:  20.6 pounds.

I totally expected a gain this week, I really did.   I was estimating maybe a 1 pound gain, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised to find that I did have a small weight loss on the scale.  It really renews your faith in the weight loss journey when you are somewhat forced to eat out 3 days of the week for all your meals, and you STILL lose weight.  I know the weight loss was due to all the activity I did (mostly walking, a LOT of walking in Avalon), and getting back on track with eating properly at home.  I'm totally happy with this week's weigh-in.  I was all smiley when the lady behind the counter told me I had actually lost.  No, I did not do a happy dance.

I potted some strawberries and raspberries in the last few weeks, and they're finally looking good.  The strawberry plants have tripled in size and the raspberry plant is coming along.  I'm hoping it's happier in the bigger pot now.  I'm looking forward to when we can actually eat the fruit!!!

Strawberry flowers!  There's finally a bunch of buds on the strawberry plant this week, so I'm hoping I'll have some strawberries to post in a week or so.

Raspberry bush....I know it looks like the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree right now.  But, it has all that new growth, so I'm excited!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Week Eight

Okay, okay…I know I’m going in for the 9 week weigh-in, but as of 8 weeks I had lost 19.8 pounds!  I’m beyond happy.  I have “found” 2 pairs of jeans at home that I can actually wear again.  If you think that’s exciting, then just wait until I can actually get my wedding ring set on again.

We’ll see how the 9-week weigh-in goes.  I have to admit, I’m a little curious since we went to Catalina for a couple days, and I had to relinquish Absolute Power over my food to the restaurants.  For my part, I really did try hard to be smart about my food choices and not overeat.  We did a LOT of walking, so I’m sure that extra level of activity did help out a lot in mitigating the effects of my non-portion controlled, full-fat recipe, non-Weight Watcher plates.   It’s not like there’s a Subway shop for me to roll into on Catalina, people.   If the scale says I gained this week, I’ll just take it in stride.  After all, no one is perfect all the time and, for me, it’s hard to effectively lose weight when I’m eating out for all my meals.

Still, I’m hoping that there’s at least a small loss on the scale this week. 

Weeks One to Seven

As it was last time, I don’t know why I didn’t go back to Weight Watchers sooner.  I really don’t.  I had all the excuses going in my head and I should have known better.  This time is going to be different.  I swear.  I’m not going to do this a third time.

I already got my nerd on and made up a weight tracker in Excel that has a chart and nifty, neat-o graph to actually show the decline in weight each week.  I’ve made the commitment to cooking at home and reducing the amount of times we do actually get a meal out.   It’s not only figure-friendly, but also wallet-friendly.   I’ve loaded up the pantry with all sorts of zero Points Plus value condiments/seasonings and planted an herb garden.  I take my Points Plus calculator when I go to the grocery store so I don’t bring home stuff that I won’t eat because it’s WAY too high in Points for me.

I do my darndest to drink plenty of water every day and take my vitamins!!!!  I’ve made exercise/going to the gym part of my daily routine, and I generally do some sort of activity 3-5 times a week.  I’ve got some serious poundage to dispense with, and sitting around watching Top Chef and re-runs of Cops isn’t going to get me there!