Since I’ve been back on WW now for 5 weeks, I’m in a pretty good routine. I eat a filling breakfast (protein or oatmeal), a lighter lunch, and then dinner is usually my biggest meal simply because it’s the one I enjoy the most. I’m rushed at breakfast, lunch is usually at my desk (I know, bad….), and dinner is the one I put the most effort into cooking and I enjoy having dinner with hubby. I also have two snacks, one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon. I always have dessert at night, hopefully before 8 because I don’t like eating too close to bedtime. Dessert can be a 0 point treat like sliced bananas with fat-free cool whip or a low-point treat like pineapple cake. In my world, you have to have a sweet treat after dinner.
One of the wonderful things about Weight Watchers is the extra weekly points you get – 49 glorious points on top of your daily points. I can have 26 points in a day, plus however I want to use the weekly points.
During the week, it’s not uncommon for me to go into my extra weekly points each day. That’s what they are there for. Some days I don’t use them, other days I may use 7 or 8 in a day. Some weeks, I’ll have a few left over unused. I always try to use them. Weight Watchers is not about starving yourself and I am always more successful when I do use the extra weekly points.
Here is my progress report for Jan. 5 – Feb. 1st showing how often I track my food, activity earned, weight loss during that period, how I met my daily target, and activity tracked.
WW eTools Progress Report – Jan. 5 – Feb. 1. 2013
Since I weigh-in on Saturdays, that is day 1 for my new week so my 49 weekly points start over then. This is perfect timing for the weekend as we are definitely more likely to eat out or on the run on the weekends and I will likely tap into them before the weekend is over.
This past Saturday, being my birthday, I chose to have whatever I wanted for dinner and dessert. It was my birthday, I wanted to enjoy it, and let’s face it – I love food and enjoy eating. I didn’t calculate any points before ordering my dinner or dessert, I just enjoyed. We went to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and I ate Frizzled Onion Strings, Shrimp New Orleans, and garlic bread. I enjoyed two glasses of white sangria. It was delicious and I enjoyed all of it. For dessert, we went to Kilwin’s Ice Cream and I had a waffle cone with salted caramel ice cream. It was sinfully amazing and I wasn’t worried about the points. Every bite was worth it.
When we got home later that night, I was so stuffed I felt sick to my stomach and this was a huge reminder of how I used to eat to the extreme of feeling so full that it was uncomfortable. I don’t need to eat to that extreme. I don’t need to feel so stuffed that I have to lay on the couch because I almost feel sick.
In addition to the weekly points, you can also earn activity points. For example, the 5K that I ran on Saturday earned me 8 points. You can even choose if you want your activity points used before or after the weekly points. I may not use my activity points that I earn.
On Sunday, I decided to calculate the points from my birthday dinner and ice cream dessert so I could track it. I went online and did my best to calculate it either with actual nutritional info or something close if that’s all that was available. So it was really a close guesstimate of points. What did I come up with? 68 points. 68 POINTS.
I had my 49 weekly points, the 8 points I earned from running the 5K, and the 8 points from our 10K walk on Sunday. I had 65 points given to me and immediately taken away. And I was 3 in the hole.
So was it REALLY worth it? As I sit here and write this, the answer is NO. Yes it was delicious and for that time it was nice to not think about how many points any of it was. But now, I have to go the rest of the week and not go over my 26 daily points which is proving hard to do because of how I go about my day and my meals. Or if I want to splurge and have a beer or two during the week, or maybe a meal that may be higher points than normal. Despite the fact that I got to use and enjoyed every one of those 68 points in the moment, I now feel like I’m being deprived as I go about the rest of the week.
The wonderful thing about Weight Watchers is how accommodating the program is. It can work for every one. You don’t have to eat a certain thing at a certain time, and nothing is off limits. The thing about the weekly points is they are flexible. You can use them however you want. And I know there are people who use them exactly as I did, all in one shot. And that is fine. But it doesn’t work for me. Being on this side of it, and trying to eat as I normally would without the extra points is proving to be a challenge. There is no right or wrong way to use them – each person can decide how to use them. But for me, using them all in one shot is NOT the way to do it and I will think twice about doing it that way again.
If I have a gain this week, it will be even more proof that that did not work for me. Even if I had just had less of those foods – one less drink, half as many onion strings, and just half of the Shrimp New Orleans, I’d still be better off than I am now. I’m counting this as a lesson learned in the every day struggle that is weight loss.
If you follow WW, how do you use your weekly points?
Ever since I went to Trader Joe’s back in November, I’ve wanted to go back. You can read about my first trip here. It’s a little bit of a drive, down in Sarasota, and it’s hard to get down there with everything we have going on. I also wanted to go on a weekend so that hubby could go. Yesterday was finally the day! We decided to hit the road early and my mom joined us. The drive over the Sunshine Skyway was pretty, but the bridge will always freak me out.
Being back on WW, I decided to plan ahead and try and make a list. Thanks to the interwebs, I found a couple lists of Trader Joe’s popular items and their WW points plus values. This made it much easier, although I totally would have gone through the store with my handy dandy WW iPhone app and calculated points on whatever I wanted. I ended up doing that for a few things not on the list.
My last trip consisted of a lot of carbs (pasta), sweets, and alcohol. This trip was much different. I knew going there I would not be buying certain things, such as the most evil Cookie Butter and even posted as much on Facebook when we were headed there. Accountability rocks. When we got there, I even took a picture of the evilness in all it’s glory on the shelf and posted a picture about how I was NOT buying it. Which by the way, did you know they now have a Chunky Cookie Butter? Holy yummy goodness, I can only imagine. I steered clear of that too. I could totally have it, 2 points for a tablespoon, but I am here to tell you there is no way I could stop at one tablespoon. Best to just not have it. Nanci – 1, Cookie Butter – 0
We were there probably about an hour and a half. I had my lists printed out and my iPhone app out. I checked just about everything I bought, except for anything I knew was 0 points. I made out pretty well and can’t wait to make many yummy meals with everything I bought. Here goes… And yes, I have four Trader Joe’s bags, one of them insulated. A girl has to be prepared.
Here is a list of what I bought and the WW Points Plus values, just for you! (ppv = points plus values)
Reduced Guilt Tortilla Chips – 3 ppv / 14 chips
Reduced Carb Whole Wheat Tortillas – 1 ppv / 1 tortilla
100-Calorie Pack Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – 3 ppv / bag
99% Fat Free Blueberry Wheat Bran Muffins – 2 ppv / 1 muffin
Butternut Squash Soup – 2 ppv / 1 cup
Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette – 1 ppv / 2 tbsp
Cilantro Salad Dressing – 1 ppv / 2 tbsp
Marinated Mushrooms With Garlic – 0 ppv / 1/3 cup
Pineapple Salsa – 0 ppv / 2 tbsp
Mild Fresh Salsa – 0 ppv / 2 tbsp
White Bean & Basil Hummus – 1 ppv / 2 tbsp
Guacamole Hummus – 1 ppv / 2 tbsp
Sliced Prosciutto – 2 ppv / 1/4 package
Peppered Uncured Turkey Bacon – 1 ppv / slice
Roasted Potatoes with Roasted Pepper and Onions – 2 ppv / 3/4 cup
Frozen Steel Cut Oatmeal (Brown Sugar & Maple Syrup) – 4 ppv / packet
Shrimp Fried Rice – 4 ppv / 1 cup
Frozen Organic Brown Rice – 5 ppv / 1 cup
Frozen Stacked Eggplant Parmesan – 6 ppv / 1 cup (1/2 package)
Frozen Eggplant Parmesan (Not Fried) – 7 ppv / whole container
Frozen Asparagus Spears – 0 ppv / 12 spears
Frozen Harvest Hodgepodge – 1 ppv / 3/4 cup
Frozen Fire Roasted Bell Peppers & Onions – 1 ppv / 3/4 cup
Frozen Kale – 0 ppv / 2/3 cup
Frozen Artichoke Hearts – 0 ppv / 3/4 cup
Avocado - 2 ppv / 1/4 avocado
Asian Veggie Stir Fry (produce) – 0 ppv
Broccoli Slaw (produce) – 0 ppv
Shallots – 0 ppv
Another fun trip in the books! I’m sure I’ll make another trip down in a couple months. For now, I’m good with what I bought. On our way back, we stopped by PDQ in St. Pete for lunch. I absolutely love their salads, it really hits the spot.
For dinner last night, I had the Trader Joe’s Eggplant Parmesan (Not Fried) frozen entrée. I baked it in the oven and it was really good! I’ll have to get it again next time I go to Trader Joe’s. The flavor of the sauce was just right. I also made a salad to go with it – baby spinach, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, Trader Joe’s Marinated Mushrooms (YUM!), and homemade Italian dressing. The eggplant entrée was 7 points for the whole tray, I ate about 2/3 of it, and just 1 point for the salad. So 8 points for a filling dinner.
If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, what is your favorite go-to item from there?
I was recently going through some photos, a trip down memory lane, and I came across my before and after photos from the very first time I did Weight Watchers. After hitting my goal and making lifetime in 7 months with a 30 pound loss, I made a little photo album of my success. Why I ever put the photo album away makes no sense to me because it should have been kept out as a reminder of how far I had come, and how I never wanted to go back that place before. Ironically, not only did I go back to that place, but I went even farther, as you know since I revealed my starting weight in Saturday’s weigh-in post.
To date, there are two times in my life when I have lost a lot of weight. Back in 1997, I lost 43 pounds strictly eating low-carb, going from 173 pounds to 130. I will never ever do low-carb again. Yes, it worked, but I was miserable. I’m Italian, I can’t give up entire food groups. The whole theory of telling me I can’t have a certain food just does not work and I am not sure how I did it back then.
By the time I joined Weight Watchers in January 2006, I was 156 lbs… Not to discount any of the hard work I have ever done to lose weight, I almost have to laugh at the fact that I was so unhappy at 156 lbs.. What I would give to weigh that now. But, there is no sense in going there. Everything happens for a reason and if I felt strongly enough about it at the time, then it was important that I do something about it. And Weight Watchers is a FANTASTIC program, I can never say enough about it.
What prompted my decision to join Weight Watchers in 2006 was seeing a photo of myself. When I first put saw it, I put it away. Months later it came out again, and within weeks I joined Weight Watchers. This is the picture…
Worst photo ever, I thought. That can’t be me. There’s no way. I can’t even stand looking at it. And off I went… At the time, there was a Weight Watchers in the shopping center around the corner from our house, right next to the Publix we shop at. Talk about accountability. I knew it was right for me the minute I walked in. Everyone was very welcoming and the meetings were great. No one was telling me I couldn’t eat pasta or bread. Getting on the scale every week was enough of a motivator for me.
For 7 months, I went to meetings, followed the program, and stuck to the points like my life depended on it. I never felt deprived. I worked out. Hard. Often times, twice a day. I did TaeBo and turned my walks into runs. I was a machine. Shortly after making Lifetime, I took a new picture of myself.
Quite a difference. I was so proud of myself. I went from a size 14 to a size 6. I felt much better that time around than when I did the low-carb diet years before. Amazingly, shortly after hitting goal, my family opened an Italian restaurant and for much of our time there, and I STILL kept the weight off. I would allow myself one day a week to have whatever meal I wanted (and would make it myself since my mom and I were the cooks!).
So here we are, 2013 and I am working the program again. Three weeks in and I am down almost 8 pounds. It’s not all going to be easy and I will have a week where I gain. It happened the first time around, I know it will happen again. But I am not going to give up this time. I can’t keep giving up. Starting this time around 22 pounds heavier than the last time is just not acceptable. I’m not going to keep asking myself how I got to this place, how I let it go so far because I wasn’t ready before. It wasn’t the right time. I wasn’t mentally prepared to tackle it. But I am now, and that’s what’s important.
I have a new before picture picked out for this time around, this one from New Years Eve, the day before I went back to Weight Watchers. I was not comfortable in my dress, but I wore it anyway because I wanted to dress up. Here it is…
I can’t wait to be able to post an after photo. I want to dress up comfortably. I don’t know how long it will take, but it will happen. I will get there – you can #ExpectAmazing.
Do you take before and after photos as part of your weight loss journey?
I think we need to have longer weekends, how about you? It seems that the weekdays drag on and on and once Friday afternoon gets here, it fast forwards to Monday. I don’t like that. But alas, this past weekend was great while it lasted and I guess that’s all I can ask for.
I headed up to the mall at lunch time on Saturday to meet my sister-in-law Jenna, cutie-pie niece Autumn, my mom, and Bea. Bea is my dad’s cousin’s wife and they spend January – March(ish) here in Florida. We love it when they are here! The plan was for all of us to have lunch at Red Robin and then Jenna and I would go for some much needed pampering. A mani/pedi to be exact. But first… Lunch! Red Robin. Yum. This was to be my first time eating there where I was not going to cave and have the ginormous mushroom burger, fries, and coleslaw. I was a good girl after my WW meeting in the morning and went online to decide what I could have that wouldn’t kill my points for the day. So, going in I knew what I was ordering. I’m telling you, that’s the way to go. Know what you want and then there is no going back on forth on everything and you’re less likely to cave and order something really high in points. I ordered a garden salad, balsamic vinaigrette on the side, and a cup of chicken tortilla soup. I took the sour cream and cheese off the top as I forgot to ask them to leave it off. And I had ice water with lemon. It hit the spot, all for 9 points. Not awful. The best part? Sitting across from this cute face… I’m not lying when I say she is THE cutest niece ever. EVER.
After lunch, we headed to the nail salon. I was entertained by Jenna’s excitement and giggles as we sat in our comfy chairs and got ready for our pedicures. I’ve had them for years and yes, I am extremely ticklish. I told her that she would love it. Yes, it would tickle, but just for a minute, and the wonderfulness of it all would make her forget about the ticklish part. Needless to say, there were a lot of giggles and laughter. Did she love it? Yes! Welcome to the dark side, Jenna!
I can’t tell you how bad I needed a pedicure. My feet were begging for some TLC, and they got it. We both chose the same color, Opi Skyfall, I always seem to pick the dark red / burgundy colors for my toes (Opi Malaga Wine is also a favorite) and this was perfect. See how happy my toes were? Bliss!
We also had manicures. Jenna had a French manicure which came out beautifully – I should have taken a picture. I opted for clear as my nails are still growing. I am a nail biter and if my cuticles are out of control, I bite more. Don’t judge me… I am so happy with my manicure and clean cuticles and soft hands, now I won’t mess with them and they will grow.
We walked around the mall for a bit afterwards. Jenna and I grabbed a Starbucks (yes, I cheated on my Keurig!). One a week isn’t bad. We both tried the new Vanilla Spice Latte, with soy milk of course. It was very good – the vanilla is very subtle. And I love soy milk in all coffee drinks – it makes them so smooth and creamy. Hello, old friend….
My mom and Autumn had Dairy Queen and we sat around chit chatting for a bit. A great way to spend a cool Saturday afternoon!
See my hair in the picture with Autumn? it’s getting crazy long. I may have to cut it soon because when it gets this long, it has a mind of it’s own and I can’t deal with it.
I headed home after our mall fun and before I knew it, it was time for hubby and I to go out to dinner with our friend Rachel. She plays paintball with hubby and she is a trip. Five minutes with her and you are laughing your butt off. It was a great dinner, and I stayed on point again. Go me! Salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, broiled tilapia with broccoli and asparagus, one biscuit, and a glass of wine. A very filling dinner and the biscuit was a nice treat. After dinner and a lot of laughter, we headed home. For dessert, I had a slice of the pineapple cake I made last week with some fat free Cool Whip. Hubby loves it too – score!
Sunday morning after hubby headed out to play paintball, I put on my running shoes and headed to the park for a run. I intended to go to a 90-minute Power Hot Yoga class but I was slightly scared, plus I had not run since last weekend at the Glow Run and I keep thinking about the 3 races I have coming up next month. I had a great run. I tried not to look at my Garmin during and went with what felt right. I alternated running and walking (I like to go from sign to sign, tree to tree, etc… Keeps my heart rate up!) for the whole time. I know the exact route I have to take to hit 3.11 miles so I know when I’m done. I finished with a solid 42:59. Not too shabby for this girl. Despite the cool morning, I was soaked when I was done. It was a great run (but I MUST get back to yoga this week!!!).
After my run, I headed home for breakfast. I was starving! I don’t like to eat before my run (unless it’s a long one) so I was ready for food. I made scrambled eggs with fresh diced tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms with basil, and a cup of coffee. My favorite coffee right now? Green Mountain Limited Edition Golden French Toast. It is so good! When it’s brewing it smells like maple syrup. So good. And it’s not too sweet, it’s just the perfect flavor.
After breakfast and some blogging, I headed to the store. I make noise about grocery shopping but I actually do like it because I enjoy starting the week off prepared. Nothing sends me into a tailspin faster than when we have no meals planned for the week. I have to be prepared. I spent about an hour at the store, but we are set for the week for lunches, dinners, and snacks. I even put celery and carrots in snack bags and cut up strawberries for hubby. The topic last week at WW was all about your refrigerator and being prepared. No convincing needed on my part, I know how important it is. When we don’t have food on hand to cook, that’s when I cave and want to pick up take-out or order a pizza. Right now, I just can’t do that. Our refrigerator is ready for this week! Chicken, turkey sausage, and lots of fruits and veggies. YUM!!
The rest of Sunday was spent cleaning the bathroom (the worst thing ever), laundry, a quick nap, more blogging, and spending time with Blue and Ozzie. They love days when I am home, there’s a lot of snuggling and snoozing and cuteness. Blue is doing much much better and today he will stay home after going everywhere with me last week to keep an eye on him. He still has a few days of meds left and is still eating chicken and rice, but he’s Mr. Saucy Pants again and that’s how we know he’s feeling good. By the way, you should pop on over to hubby’s blog and read his post about Blue and Ozzie, appropriately titled Crazy and Lazy.
I hope you all have a great week!!
What foods do you keep in your refrigerator for go-to snacks? How often do you grocery shop?