Tuesday, August 31, 2010

No One Else To Blame But Myself

*Sigh* this week's weigh in wasn't good, not good at all really I'm up 2.5 lbs.  I was so happy watching the scale slowly go down over the last month, it was a little demoralizing to see it creep back up again.  I'm not quite back to square one (where I was before starting this blog) but almost.  I'm hoping these extra pounds will disappear as quickly as it showed up this morning.

I know why I'm up and I know its my fault.  You may recall from my last entry that I talked about being worn down/burnt out!  I had spent two weekends in a row away from home, about to spend a 3rd weekend in a row away.  From Thursday to Thursday of last week I hadn't been home prior to 8:30 PM on a single night. 

Then there was "the run", yes "the run" was I think the straw that broke the camel's back.  I had gone from work to visiting a friend, from there it was to Taekwon-Do to assist/observe the Little Tiger's class at TKD (I'll be teaching them on Mondays starting September 13th).  Since there was about an hour between classes I decided to go for a run, instead of the short 15 ish minute route I had done before I decided I wanted to run a different route to a dog leg in the road and back.  Before I even reached my turn around point, I knew I had bitten off more than I could chew.  Did I turn around?  No, because I'm stubborn!  I had to run to that dog leg!  45 Minutes and 6KM later I made it back to TKD in time to take my own 60 minute class.  Can you say overkill?

Thursday I did finally take an "off" night, no exercise, no side trips, just a relaxing evening at home. Friday I revved life back up again, Todd and I went to the annual Takewon-Do camping/outdoor training weekend. Of course we camped from Friday-Sunday (surprise surprise not sleeping in my own bed again) Saturday morning we had outdoor training, and it was pretty warm out. I didn't actually do a lot of training since I spent most of my time assisting with the Little Tigers who were in attendance. By the afternoon, I was just pooped and ended up sleeping the afternoon away, feeling headachy and "off". When we got back home on Sunday morning, guess what I did? Yup I slept, for about 3 hours! Then I was off and running again to go have dinner with a good friend of mine, we wanted to get caught up before the school year got into full swing.

TKD Outdoor Training Group Shot

Performing Chon-Ji

Me in my TKD duds!

Me and this Little Tiger bonded over the outdoor training, which was followed by a water gun fight.  Unfortunately rank did not save me on this day!  There wasn't an inch of me that was dry!

The end result of all this activity and non-stoppedness in my life?  My resolve when it came to food went out the window!  My desire to eat chocolate and chips went out the roof!  Last week I scarfed down all the Cadbury Thins I had in the house, I also hit the jar of Nutella Todd keeps hidden (and thinks I haven't found ), ate M&M's and twizzler's that were offered to me, when the chips and s'mores went around the fire pit I didn't keep passing them on, but helped myself, and I had a few cookies and brownies at the Saturday BBQ/Potluck.  I also didn't track properly nor did I track honestly, heck the weekend I didn't track at all!

This all added up to my 2.5lb gain over one week!

As of Monday I have been back on program, eating healthy and filling foods, working out and tracking honestly.

What did I learn from last week's stupidity?  That I need to listen to my body, when I'm exhausted... I MUST STOP!  Not to let my stubbornness be my downfall (which sometimes its a strength), and that every once in awhile its okay to stop and sleep.  I am not Superwoman ... though somedays I think I am!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Rock You Like a Hurricane

I know this is a cross post... if you read both of my blogs but I've gotten such a kick out of the news this am that I wanted everyone to see!

Guess what? I'm a HURRICANE, I've quickly upgraded from a category 3 to a category 4 overnight!

Hurricane Danielle

Danielle, do you see the resemblance?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Weekend Challenge

This past weekend, I went out to Brighton for the Knowledge and Needles open house an event I look forward to every year!  The last two years I've had a new challenge to face at this particular day/weekend because its a potluck event!  Oh boy!

As a Weight Watcher we have talked about at meetings about how to deal with situations like potlucks and buffets!  But knowing how to deal with one and actually standing there in front of all this wonderful, tempting foods are two different things.  How should one deal with a !wonderful array of food that you help yourself to?

First of all never arrive hungry!  I have been known to have a salad at home, a piece of fruit or cut up veggies about 30 minutes before leaving the house.  Does it spoil my dinner?  No, but I'm not so hungry that I could devour everything in sight and make poor decisions doing it.  I find I'm more likely to make poor food choices when I'm starving because you want that taste and instant satisfaction, not the healhty salad or dish.

Second survey the terrain, so to speak.  Without a plate in hand walk the buffet/food area from one end to the other.  Decide what foods you're going to eat before you serve up your plate.  Is there that one dish that you can't pass up?  Have that one dish, have a reasonable sized serving, not the serving size you'd like to have.  My favourite tactic which often saves me a lot of points (calories) and fills me up is to fill at least half of my plate with vegetables/salads/fruit, a quarter of my plate is some sort of starch (roll/potatoes/rice/pasta) and protein (aka meat). 

Third, remember how Mom always told you to eat your veggies?  You've got it!  Eat those veggies first!  If you fill yourself up on those veggies, lower point foods on your plate you will be less likely to eat as much of the higher point food(s) on your plate.  If you find yourself becoming full, don't force yourself to finish what's on your plate.  It may sound awful, but don't be afraid to throw out food!  Yes there are starving children in country x,y,z but do we really need to be obese because we were taught to clean off our plates?  I have always taken small servings of foods, because there's no law that says you can't go back for more if its really good and you're still hungry!  Also if something doesn't taste good, again don't eat it to be polite.  There's nothing I resent more than eating calories that don't taste good.

Fourth, bring a Weight Watchers friendly dish!  Make something you like that's low in points.  This way you know there's a go to dish there amongst all the higher point foods at the table.  This is also a tactic you can use when going to a dinner party, offer to bring something.  Your hostess may think you're being sweet, helping out but in reality... you're being smart!

Fifth, don't forget this is a social event!  If its a potluck you're at a party, with friends, or family.  Hang out in a different room from all the food (especially that dessert table or table of nuts/chips/cheese & crackers).  Be a social butterfly visiting and talking with the other guests.  Have a drink in your hand (diet pop/wine spritzer/light beer) at all times, this way your hands are full and you can't mindlessly pop food into your mouth.

For me the hardest part is dessert!  As I've said in the past, sweets are my weakness I'll eat them even when I'm not hungry.  Especially if there is something paticuarly tasty to be had.  I do my best to stay away from the sweets table, I try to be in a separate room.  I do survey what's there and if there's something I like I have a small portion, enough for a taste that will satisfy me.  Sometimes its really good and I have a little more.  Another tactic I use is what I call my "deal breaker", for example I like cake... I mean really like cake.  I'll tell myself before I leave (Weight Watcher's Tool For Living : Mental Rehearsing) that if there is fruit for dessert that's what I will have unless there is cake.  If there is cake I can have one small slice.

So there, you go!  My tactics and ones I have learnt to deal with a self serve situation where there may be many temptations.

Potluck aftermath!

How did I do this past Saturday?  In terms of the main dishes I did really well there were a lot of fantastic salad/veggie dishes on hand this year.  I have found over the years (I've been going to this event for 8 years now) we have become a healthier eating group as a whole.  I filled my plate with veggies and salad, I even got a fantastic new recipe for a couscous salad that has hits of lime and ginger.  I also brought a tossed salad and several choices of low calorie dressings to add to the mix.  At first I handled the dessert table really well, I surveyed it had small servings of a few sweets that I knew or looked good.  I also made sure I put them on a small plate!  My downfall for the day?  Well the dessert table was on the way to the washroom, you couldn't go pee without walking past that darned table.  This is where I consumed more points than I should of, and ate when I wasn't hungry.  Then one of my old habits reared its ugly head, there was a big bag of Mrs. Vicky's chips.  I opened the bag (really shouldn't of done that) and had a hand full, which led to about 4 hand fulls in a row.  When I realized what I was doing I left the room, mentioned that I opened the bag of chips.  In short order... they were gone, thank goodness!  Also when "dinner time" came around I didn't bother getting anything to eat, because in all honesty I wasn't hungry.

What was the result of my slight loss of control at the scale this week?  I think all my exercise helped to balance things out, I had a stay the same week!  Yay!

Now on the other hand, I've not been as saintly as I should be this week after being away, and eating potluck.  I'm really tired, I've not had an evening at home for a week (until tonight).  I've worked out 4 days in a row and I really over did it last night, biting off a little more than I could chew when going out for a run before my Taekwon-Do class.  Being this tired and practically burnt out I have made bad food choices.  I'm craving chocolate and sweets.  I've had some chocolate every day this week!  I've been pretty good for awhile now, I just have to get myself back on the straight and narrow soon.  Starting with getting some rest and sleep!

I've got a good, active weekend coming up we're doing some outdoor Taekwon-Do training on Saturday and earn myself some more activity points!

Run for the Cure update : there's 38 days until the run!  I've raised $195.00 out of the $1000 I'd like to raise.  Click HERE if you'd wish to donate!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Weekly Meeting Topic : Dealing With Deprivation

This week's meeting topic beautifully compliments last week's discussion on how to stay satisfied/filled with filling foods.  This week we talked about dealing with deprivation : Not a Diet -- Healthy Eating.

Weight Watchers main selling point is that we can still enjoy our favourite foods and loose weight!  I think one of the key reasons why Weight Watchers is a successful plan is because I have lost my weight and I can still have my treats, for me that translates to either chocolate or ice cream.  We learn to recognize our weaknesses (foods) and how to eat/enjoy them in moderation/control and to recognize the foods that make us loose control (aka : eat it all!).

Deprivation of the foods we love/crave strongly leads to :
  • a diet that is not sustainable
  • frustration
  • anger
  • over eating
There are some changes we can make physically/psychologically to help us deal with deprivation
  • Recognize this is a lifestyle change not a diet
  • Plan your indulgences
  • Earn and use your activity points
  • Use your weekly points wisely
  • Find new and healthier ways to indulge
Before I decided to loose my weight I would satisfy any whim/craving that came to mind!  I used to think that I liked both salty (chips, popcorn) foods and sweets.  I actually used to pig out on things like chocolate, twizzlers, jujubes, and other sweets until I almost felt sick so then I'd go and balance that out with some salty foods (was I ever truly hungry when I ate these foods?  Nope).  I remember I used to love to pick up a bag of twizzlers and a bag of crunchy Cheetos, I would go to my room read a book and alternately eat sweet and salty.  Being on Weight Watchers has definitely taught me where my true weakness lies and that's with the sweets.

Did I eliminate sweets from my life, no way!  I don't think I'd be at this point today if I had, I'd still be 207lbs, maybe heavier!  Cadbury Thins (2 points) have definitely saved my behind when it comes to handling my chocolate cravings!  When I crave my other favourite : Chunky Kit-Kat I only pick one up from the store and share it with a friend or Todd, that way I'm only consuming half the calories in that sweet treat and each time its enough to satisfy me.  I've learnt over the last two years not to keep my "red light" foods in the house, to buy them in single, smaller servings, and I try to share with a friend.

Am I always successful at dealing with my "red light" foods?  Not always, sometimes I eat more than I meant to/should of, I just make sure I count the points and move on.

Normally I'd let you know how this week's WI went but this blog entry is getting long enough.  So I'll save it for tomorrow (I hope), I also want to talk about the challenges I faced this weekend with the pot luck at the Knowledge and Needles Open House.

I wanted to share this picture I took of myself (yes... I'm vain), thought I was feeling slim and looking cute in my capris (which two months ago were on the tight side and fit perfectly this day) and my $4 Joe Fresh t-shirt that I love!  When I was overweight I would NEVER wear horizontal stripes, anything not to look anymore fatter!

A shout out to my friend Bonnie!  This is us on Saturday at the open house, I took this picture of us so I look a little freak-ish.  Props to you girl for making it to a yoga class tonight after spraining your ankle a few weeks ago!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Weekly Meeting Topic : The Power of Filling Foods

I think for the first time in at least a month I went to my usual Weight Watchers meeting , it was nice to check in with my regular leader and let her know that finally this month I didn't have to pay for the first time since March!  She let out a big woo hoo for me!

I weighed in at home this morning, like I usually do and I'm down another 0.5 lbs!  The scale is still moving in the right direciton!  I'm so happy!  I'm half a pound from cracking that 146 barrier and into 145!

This weeks meeting topic was "The Power of Filling Foods", ever since Weight Watchers moved from the Points program to the Momentum Plan the focus have moved to listening to your hunger signals and filling foods.  Filling foods are foods that Weight Watchers/science has found to leave one feeling fuller longer.  What are filling foods?  Crudely put, it either comes from the ground or has a mother (chicken, beef, pork. lamb, fish... you get the idea).  These are foods that have the right combination of protein, fat, and fiber that take longer for our body to digest thus we feel fuller longer!

The best example the meeting leader gave us, was you could have a brownie that's worth about 5 points, but in about 30 minutes 1 hour you're going to feel hungry.  Or you can have 5 apples for 5 points!  Imagine how full you would feel after eating 5 apples, how long that would take you?  Would you even be able to eat 5 apples?  I couldn't!  Not only would it take longer for your body to digest those apples but you get many more nutrients to feed your body than you would from that oh so good brownie!

Yes that brownie would be wonderful but would it really fill you?  Is it really better for you?

I'd Like To Raise $1000 This Year! Please Help

Some of my long -time readers may remember the breast cancer scare I had back in April of 2007.

I am one of the lucky people the lump in my breast turned out not to be cancer. Since then I've wanted to be able to do something to give back.

For the third year in a row I'll be participating in CIBC's Run for the Cure (5K charity run) on Sunday October 3rd. I would like to surpass last year's effort of $955.00 and raise at least $1000. If you wish to sponsor me and make an online donation click HERE to go to my personal fundraising page and make a donation (anyone from anywhere in the world can donate).

I'll also be out and about with sponsorship forms on me at almost all times. So if you live in my area or at a stitching get together with me and wish to donate using cash or cheque, just let me know!

Please let me know if the link doesn't work.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weekly Meeting Topic : Bend With the Winds of Change

Yet again this week, I had to go to the Saturday meeting and it seems to be the trend this summer.  But that's okay because the meeting leader there is really cool and very creative when it comes to discussing the week's topic.

First of all I decided to get weighing in for this month out of the way since I know next weekend there will be so many temptations at my upcoming stitching weekend it'll be a surprise if I'm not slightly up afterwards.  I stepped onto my scale at home when I got up, 146.2 NOT BAD!  Down almost 1lb from Tuesday which is my "official" weigh in day on eTools and if I go to my regular meeting.  So I told the meeting leader, depending on how my weight was on the "official" scale I'd like to weigh in for the month.  In other words ignore me stepping on the scale if its not between 145 and 147lbs.  I was bang on 147!  Wooo hooo!  I was so happy for the first time since MARCH I didn't have to pay!  I've finally gotten back into my "safe zone" but I'm not stopping there, I WANT to get back to 145 and if my body will let me, perhaps a little lower?  So looking at my weigh in card, I'm down 2lbs from last month's weigh in, that's 4lbs in two months!  I'm so happy!

This weeks meeting topic was Bend With the Winds of Change in other words we are not all perfect and we need to learn to be flexible.  Instead of presenting us with the ABC's of being flexible she presented us with the "P's and F's"
  • Patience - be patient with weight loss its not going to happen at once.  Also be patient with yourself, we're perfect people and you have to be patient with yourself when you have a bad week.
  • Progress not perfect - Look at how far you've come, the setbacks you've overcome, make a chart of the weight you've lost the overall trend will be downwards, despite the odd bump along the way.
  • Flexibility - life throws so many curve balls at you!  You have to be flexible to life's bumps and curves otherwise you're setting yourself up for failure.
  • Feedback not Failure - So you've had a gain?  This is your body's feedback to what you've done during the week.  Did you track?  Did you track honestly?  Did you exercise?  What do you need to change this upcoming week to see a loss at the scale the following week?
  • Forgiveness - learn to forgive yourself when you have a setback or eat something you now feel guilty about.  There are two ways you can deal with guilt, to get yourself back on program and track that item you ate or keep on binging your way to failure.
At this point the meeting leader brought up something I had said the week before when we talked about how to get yourself out of a binge and get back on program.  That "setbacks allow for comebacks" its something I had seen on the sign outside one of the churches in my community and it struck such a cord with me that I haven't forgotten it!  When she mentioned this at the meeting, one member spoke up and told us about how last Wednesday she woke up that day and started binging.  She recognized that the reason was emotional, she had lost a very close friend this past year and was experiencing a sense of guilt that she was still alive.  This triggered a binge.  She said that then she heard my voice in her head saying "setbacks allow for comebacks" she told us that this motivated her to get back on track and not let the binge go any further than that one day.  It was nice to get such an affirmation of something I said and to be publicly thanked for it.  At the end of the meeting I went up to her and gave her a hug!

Now back to the meeting topic at hand, the leader then pulled out a bendy straw and pointed out to us how the long part that goes in the glass is 80% of the straw and the part we drink from (before the bend) is 20% of the straw.  To keep this in mind and that if we eat properly, be active and follow the program 80% of the time and that the 20% is the curves life throws at us.  If we try our best to be on program 80% of the time we will be successful.  Also that if you take your daily points for 7 days that is 80% of the points available to you in a week and your extra 35 weekly points that is essentially that 20% we were previously talking about.  One strategy is to try to eat only your daily points and your weekly points for "life's surprises" for those times where we are not perfect or in control.

She also reminded us that so many members get stuck on the big picture your long term goal of reaching your goal weight.  For some members that can be a very large number and they give up right away seeing the big, scary picture!  We should focus on short term/smaller goals, 5lbs, 10% of our body weight, something that you can find obtainable.  These short term goals give us the motivation to make it to our long term goal.

As part of the group exercise for the meeting she asked each of us to share one of our accomplishments since starting Weight Watcher.  For me, it was being able to run something I could/would never do prior to my weight loss.  Now I run several times a week, and something I continue to improve on.

Before we left, the meeting leader gave each of us our very own bendy straw to remind us "be flexible and not to blow it".  My bendy straw is now tapped to my fridge!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Unremarkable Chickpeas

It was prettyful, it was colourful, it was not tasty!

Chickpeas aka: Grabanzo Beans, I've realized I don't mind them!  I quite like them as the main ingredient in hummus (especially roasted red pepper hummus).  Earlier this summer my firend got a chickpea salad from the grocery store deli, delish.  So I decided this week (remember trying new foods) to come up with my own chickpea creation to have little delightful zingy bites in my salad!

1/2c serving = 2 points

1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed & drained
Eyeballed amount of Kraft Caloriewise Zesty Italian Dressing (great stuff its 5cal per tbsp!)
Sprinkling of dehydrated onion (too lazy to cut up red one I've got)
A little minced garlic
Chopped green, red & yellow peppers
Chopped carrots

Put it all in a container shake, shake, shake baby!  Put in the fridge.

Well there were no delightful zingy bites in my lunchtime salad today.  So I'm wondering what can I do to liven this up?  I'd be interested in ideas or recepies!  Chickpeas are an uncharted territory for me!

Should I put in REAL FRESH onion?
Olives might be tasty!
A little lemon or lime juice?
More dressing?  Or perhaps the ones at the bottom will be super tasty tomorrow?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Weigh In Day & New Foods For Me

Its Tuesday, which means just one thing in my little world... its WEIGH IN DAY!  I hopped on my little digital scale at home... unfortuantely it dosen't say what's in the one picutred here... I'd be one happy camper.  Fortunately the scale showed no loss and no gain either!  After being way from home for 4 days then eating out two extra meals since coming back home I'd say I've done pretty well and I'm darned proud of this!  I have managed to loose 1.5 lbs during the two weeks I've been off of work.  I am proud of myself.  Now if I can work my butt off I'd like to hit my "safe zone" and weight in at WW beofre my next big social event : the Knowledge and Needles open house on August 21st!  There are always too many tempting foods at the open house!  I'm planning on making a big, fresh, fruit salad this year.

When I did my grocieries this week, following through on the snacking theme from the WW meeting two weeks ago I picked up some new to me foods:

Fiber1 100 Calorie Peanut Butter & Chocoalte Bars - 1 point each.  In two words, they suck.  At first I thought they tasted of stale Rice Crispies then I realized they're made mainly from Puffed Wheat which I just can't stand.  I'd rather have a regular Fiber1 Oats & Chocoalte granola bar more satisfying and they come in at a not bad 2 points.

Babybel Light - 1 point each, a yummy little cheesy snack.  I've had to guard these from Todd who is a cheese fiend!

Almond Butter - 2pts for 1 tablespoon, pretty much the same stats as Peanut Butter.  This stuff is not bad, but I have to get used to the no salt thing.  It may be the same stats as PB but its way healthier and the ingredient list is all natural where PB has sugar, salt and a few other things.  I won't be giving up my Kraft PB but this is a nice change.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Weekly Meeting Topic : Stopping the Eat-A-Thon Marathon

Many of us who are overweight or have been overweight aren't this way because we eat three square meals a day.  It is because we more than just that, some of us food was an all day occasion, for some it is done in secret.  We all have reasons why we overeat, and its up to us to figure out what our own reasons are, it is believed that if we don't find out our reasons our weight loss may not be as successful or long term.

There are three categories our overeating can fall into:
  1. Food triggers
  2. Emotional triggers
  3. Environmental triggers
Food triggers which we also refer to as "red light foods" this is usually a particular food or type of food that once you start eating you just can't stop.  I think we all have this trigger, for me I know I can't eat just one bite of chocolate... I have to eat the whole chocolate bar and I will obsess about it until its gone.  The best way to deal with a food trigger is to recognize what that food is and keep it out of the house.  My trigger food chocolate, I tend to have it outside of the home, and share a chocolate bar with someone else so that I've eaten my portion and its gone.

Emotional triggers are exactly what it sounds like.  We eat when we celebrate, happy, sad, mad, angry, tired, bored, stressed out.  Emotional eating is also a very common problem for most of us!  The best we can do is recognize the signs that we are eating to satisfy an emotion and to try to stop.  Not easy is it?

Environmental triggers personally I think this could also include boredom or stress.  There is also only so much of our environment we can control what food is in it.  However, there are places like work, parties, celebrations, and people gifting us with threats.  Its easy to control your home what foods are available and not available.  For me I find the workplace can be a challenge, there are often goodies on offer in the staff room, the main office, and other areas.  Some days I can walk right on by and not touch it.  Some days I can be satisfied with a taste, and other days I have a huge honkin' piece and I feel guilty right away knowing that wasn't a desired behaviour!

Any of these triggers depending on the factors in your life at that time can start a binge.  The best we can do is recognize the signs that we are or have lost control and get back on program right away.  Not in an hour, and not tomorrow morning, but right away.  There are numerous tactics to stop a binge or a potential binge the main one is being distraction.  Call a friend, visit the message board at the WW website, pull out a book, work on your favourite hobby (for me that's stitching), get out of the house and go somewhere there is no food.  Another tactic is to see support, if there is a WW meeting, go to the nearest one, talk to a friend who understands or is sympathetic, read success stories on the WW website.  Finally if you do have to eat, make sure its healthy, filling foods.

My leader finished off with a line I thought was very appropriate "Eating in private always shows up in public".

Do you have any great coping tools you can share when you feel the desire to start a binge?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

On Vacation...

Going on vacation doesn't mean we should completely go on vacation from everything, not just getting away from the house, but from eating properly or exercising.  I find being away just makes me that much more *aware* of my eating and exercise schedule.

First of all it makes me realize how much of a schedule my stomach is on!  I'm never really hungry when I get up but during my normal week I eat anyhow because I know my body needs fuel to get started for the day.  From there my body is just on one huge schedule!  Sack at 9:30, lunch at 11, snack at 2, dinner around 7pm ish depending on the day.  In there there's either a trip to the gym, my Taekwon-Do classes or down into the bowels of my basement to pay homage to the treadmill gods.  Boy when life goes off the beaten track do I miss these routines! 

At first its getting my body used to eating at different times, takes a few days and I find I have to suffer a few hunger pangs and travel with healthy snacks (I at least keep a Fiber1 bar in my bag, sometimes an apple too).  Then there's the exercise challenge!  If you're travelling its figuring out where to fit it in, and what exactly that activity will it be... since I'm away from home.

Before going on vacation you have to decide what do you want to do during that time, and you have three choices:
  1. Loose weight while on vacation
  2. Stay the same while on vacation
  3. Gain weight while on vacation (if this is your choice... set a limit so that you don't go hog wild!)
I think during the last two weeks I've done fairly well this year!  I started off my holidays with a few days at home and a wedding to go to.  I made sure I exercised the day before, of and following the wedding so that I was able to enjoy the fantastic food and that evil four letter word: cake without too much guilt.  Monday of that first week on vacation I went to visit my friend Sheila in premier cottage country here in Ontario, Georgian Bay.  I got myself up early enough to pray to the treadmill god, eat a healthy, and filling breakfast (my favourite smoothie with some protein powder added in for staying power), I packed a bagged lunch for the road trip (5.5 hours by car) to avoid temptations like Tim Horton's, Wendy's or McDonald's which litter many exits and rest stops along the 401 and 400 highways.  A little forethought and preparation and I was able to avoid eating "unnecessary" fast food points on the road.

Something that's easy to get worked up over when staying at someone else's home is "oh my God what is she/he going to feed me?", "will it be points friendly?", "can I eat that?"  Slowly over the last two years I've learnt to deal with this anxiety.  My early coping mechanism was to bringing along some of my favourite low point breakfast foods (Yogurt, Fiber1 Crunchy Original Cereal, Weight Watchers Bagels and light cream cheese) which when I first started the program was a huge help to me!  I was still learning how to eat and how much to eat and these foods were my safety net.  As time has gone by everyone who knows me is aware that I am an active Weight Watchers member and like to do my best to eat as well as I can.  I never ask for anyone to cook in a special manner just for me, that I can cope with whatever is on the table and there will be some things I may have just a taste of and other I will heap on my plate (aka veggies!).  This has worked very well for me and takes the pressure off of the host, though I have always appreciated it when they've gone the extra mile to cook healthy while I'm there!

When I am away and its a new area I'm going to I check to see if my gym has a branch in that area.  LOL so far I've not been that lucky.  I try to do my best to work out as many days in a row as possible before going away (and upon return).  When I pack my bag, my running shoes, a couple of sets of workout clothes and iPod are always packed!  They may not make it out of the bag, but if they're there I do think about getting out for a walk or a run and I often make the extra effort to do so!  Walking is always free (if you can persuade ... best done with a friend), and something is better than nothing.

During my 4 days at Sheila's I have to say meals were quite friendly and delicious and being at the "cottage" well for them its their home, one must enjoy the summer evening with a beer!  I have to say I did something I hadn't done in a long time I had on average one beer each evening, we somehow had chips and ice cream every day too!  Between being conscience of my portion sizes and getting out for a 30 minute/5K run each morning before it got too hot, only resulted in a 0.5lbs gain from Monday-Saturday morning.  I was quite pleased with that, considering the treats I enjoyed!

I had two days at home before I headed out on the road again.  From Friday-Monday morning I made an effort to eat very healthy, low point foods and to stay within my daily points target (20).  I also ran each day.  This time I was heading 5.5 hrs in the opposite direction to Quebec City with my Mum for a 4 day, 3 night trip.  This time I knew I'd be eating out every meal. 

I have to say that so many restaurants have somewhat healthy choices on their menu (and we never really know unless they publish their nutritional information which so many don't) that for each meal I ate without hesitation or guilt.  The one lesson I did learn since we did stop into McDonald's for lunch on the way to Quebec City is that if you think you're saving points by having a Quarter Pounder with Cheese instead of a Big Mac... go ahead and have the Big Mac there is only a 1 point difference.  Why didn't I order a salad you ask?  Well I've often discovered that having a salad in a fast food joint unless you eat it very naked is often just as many and sometimes more points than if you had the burger... and well I felt like having the burger (should of had the Big Mac)!

Exercise wasn't a big deal on this trip, I knew we'd be walking a lot, especially since Viex Quebec is built on a hill.  There's a lot of hills and stairs to tackle!  Also there was a fitness room in the hotel.  That I have to say was a very loose term to call what was there a fitness room.  The treadmill was "slipping" so I couldn't run, the elliptical was impossible for me to get going, the weight machine I didn't dare figure out, so I used the stationary bike.  I don't "earn" as many points as I do for running for 30 minutes but it was something!

What will the results of this 2nd week of vacation be?  I don't know!  I'm back home today and I've not worked out (way too tired, and the "fitness" room at the hotel was closed this AM due to a leak in the room that had soaked the carpet).  I'll weigh in on Tuesday to find out, in the meantime I'll be getting in my daily exercise and eating right!

I did weigh in on Monday before I left for this second road trip and from my previous weigh in after returning from Georgian bay I'm down 2lbs!  I hope my efforts and cautious food choices will pay off and those 2lbs will stay away!

Hopefully this has given you some ideas/food for thought for your next vacation!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Weekly Meeting Topic : Safe Snacking

I was a visitor at a different meeting in my area on Saturday, as my meetings are on Tuesdays and well... I was out of town!  This weeks topic was about Safe Snacking!

Snacking is definitely a downfall for many of us... we didn't get fat from not eating!  I was never a huge snacker but I must admit I never snacked on the right foods.  So as a Lifetime Member of Weight Watchers if we are going to snack (and I do) we have to snack smartly!  I can't believe that there are people out there who go from meal to meal without eating in between.  My body is on such a natural clock during the work week that I have to eat every few hours because I'm starving!  I tend to eat breakfast at about 6:50, snack at 9:30, lunch at 11, snack at 2, dinner between 6-8PM.  So that's my eating day (when I'm working).  If I eat dinner very early (5PM ish) then there will be another snack around 10PM.

So yes, I'm a snacker!  But I do snack smart, my morning snack is often an apple or fruit, if I'm still hungry some yogurt.  My afternoon snack is either a Fiber1 Bar or more fruit.  I have to say fruit is often my go-to snack, I always eat vegetables with lunch and dinner, so I tend not to want it for my snacks.  Some of my other favourite snacks are yogurt with Fiber1 Curnchy Original Cereal in it, nuts and raisins, Simple Pleasure brand cookies, apple and peanut butter.  So there it is, if you need to snack here are my favourite choices!  Make sure you're snacking because you're hungry, not because you're bored!  I always ask myself : is it my stomach that's hungry or my brain?

I weighed myself before I went away for my first half of my holidays and I was up 0.5lbs for the previous week.  That's okay with me because it was a busy week, I didn't work out over a few days, and well there was wedding CAKE and an excellent dinner that I enjoyed and didn't worry about not eating.  I weighed in at my meeting on Saturday morning and the end result for the month of July is I'm down 2lbs in total!  I'm very happy with that as my goal was to weigh less at the end of the month as I did at the beginning of the month.  I will continue this goal for the month of August, to weigh less at the end of the month than I did at the beginning.

I wanted to share with you the AWESOME dinner I made last night!  It was incredibly points friendly!

Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast - 3pts
Cob of local corn with a little margarine -2pts
Roasted peppers and onions - 1pts
Point total :6pts

The chicken was marinated in a herb and garlic marinade all day and barbecued, the corn had the silk removed, husk left on, soaked in water and grilled on the BBQ as well. 

Roasted peppers and onions
1 each red, orange and yellow peppers cut into 1-1.5inch pieces
1 red onion cut into 1 inch wedges
1 tbsp of olive onion (I think I could of used less)
1tsp fresh thyme (I used dried)
1/2 tsp of sea salt
1/4 tsp of freshly ground pepper

Pre-heat oven 425F

Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray, mix all the above ingredients together in a large bowl.  Place on cookie sheet without pieces overlapping.  Cook in oven 10 minutes, turn/stir put back in for 10 more minutes. If peppers are fragrant with brown spots, its ready, if not stir and put back in for 5-10 mins more.