Wednesday, June 30, 2010
There, I said it. But it's true. I love them. Though they are made from meat slurry, though they have little to no nutritional value, and though their nickname is derived from male genitalia... I. love. hot dogs.
Unfortunately, my hot dog love has always been synonymous with hot dog shame. I remember one junior high night spent at Skating Plus, our local roller rink. I had been eyeballing Kevin Norris all night, hoping he'd ask me to skate during couples' skate. I promptly forgot about Kevin, though, when the tasty, aromatic smell of hot dogs wafted my way from the snack bar. Moments later, I was engrossed in a delicious dog and oblivious to all else—including the mustard that had built up around my mouth. The mustard that Kevin pointed out between bursts of laughter when he approached me a little while later.
I'd like to think that things have changed since I was 13—that my tastes have become more sophisticated, that my choice in cuisine no longer causes me shame, that potential dates don't burst out laughing at my mustard-covered face upon approaching me.
Sadly, this is not the case. The smell of city hot dog carts still stops me in my tracks, I can't sit down at a sporting event without a dog in hand, and I maintain my yearly Costco membership for the hot dogs alone.
And so I have had to find a healthy way to live with my love of hot dogs. The solution? Ballpark Turkey Franks. The same great meat slurry taste at only 3 points. (I officially grant them permission to use that as their product tagline.) I have tried various brands of turkey dogs and this, in my opinion, is the best.
But while turkey dogs are a great Weight Watchers-friendly alternative, sometimes I still crave the real thing. So what do I do in those cases? Save up my points and indulge. After all, what's a baseball game without a hot dog?
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Us Winos naturally stumbled across Hungry girl a month or two into our journey because Weight Watchers pimps her out big time. Lucky her. Yes, we are jealous of her fame. Yes, she has about 193,000+ more "Like"-ers than we do. Yes, she has hella sponsors. Cool, maybe we can learn a tip or two! So we all decided to follow her on Facebook.
What has ensued over the last couple months while getting to know her style was a downward spiral of "she bugs." At first, I was willing to giver her goodie-two-shoes take on everything a chance. WOW this, YAY that. Now, her postings are just boring and nauseating. One of the more ridiculous ones of recent memory: "Tea, Black or Green?" Um, really? Who cares. I am beginning to think the only reason she asks these ridonk questions is to get market research for her food prostituting. Some other recent Facebook news feed fodder and what I'm really thinking when I read them:
Hungry Girl I'll be on Joy Behar's HLN show tonight. Please PLEASE don't start a whole debate about whether you love or hate her on here. She did a fun interview with me and if you're an HG fan, try to tune in... XOXOXOX
So, you're going on a show but telling people not to let you know if they don't like the host? Censorship!
Hungry Girl COME MEET ME & TRY the NEW LAUGHING COW LIGHT FLAVORS & HG mocktails at WEGMANS in Downingtown, PA tomorrow (FRIDAY) at NOON!!! Cheese + booksigning = WOWOWOWOW!!!!
What are mocktails? Does this mean there is no booze in them? NO THANKS! #FAIL
Hungry Girl WOW! Was SO SO close to Tom Cruise at GMA today. He stuck around for my segment & I believe he eyeballed my Sassy Veggie Eggrolls. He is VERY adorable, BTW.
1) Tom Cruise is lame. 2) If he is so cool, why didn't he say hi to you instead of eyeballing your whatever-they-are eggrolls? Rude!
Hungry Girl What's the WEIRDEST food you have ever seen on a menu? For me it could be a PB & J hamburger. But I don't travel outside the country very often…
Don't travel outside the country? Boring. You are rich and famous now -- get out there!
Hungry Girl A NEW VITATOP IS BORN!!!! Happy Birthday, Apple Crumb!!!! YAYAYAYAYAY!!!
You can tell who her sponsors are from a mile away.
I have come to the conclusion that it is time to un-Like Hungry Girl. Because Hungry girl doesn't make me want to eat...she makes me want to barf! I've held on for as long as I could, but I just can't get behind anyone serving mocktails. Buh-bye.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Similar to what Wino Miranda was talking about in her recent post of plateaus and bad habits, recently, I realized that I'd completely abandoned tracking. I guess I thought I knew what I was doing and could handle it all on my own, in my mind, without the help of writing anything down. I was wrong.
What was once a .4 loss away from my 10% goal became a 1.2 loss, and then slipped further away to 2 pounds. Who knows what this week will bring, I am guessing not much better! Bottom line, I was sabotaging my weight loss by abandoning the one thing that was getting me to goal in the first place - tracking.
Realizing this, I started to become disenchanted with the program ... thinking there was no turning back now and I would continue to gain and gain until I was back up that 20 pounds I had lost over the last few months.
Until this past weekend.
Call it being in the right place at the right time or call it, simply, attending a regularly scheduled meeting (admittedly we've been skipping meetings due to conflicts or sushi hunger), but the WW meeting I went to on Saturday with Wino Suz led by Liz (Jennifer Hudson's leader, pictured above) was exactly the inspiration I needed to get my a** back on track with this program.
Hi, I'm Jen and I've Stopped Tracking.
I had all but abandoned this crucial step in the system and, what happened? I found myself slipping further and further from my goals. Coincidence? I think not.
You see, like Liz said, the tracker is like a boyfriend or a girlfriend. You start out blissfully happy - together all the time, holding hands, the feeling that you've found the one - after all, he/she's giving you everything you ever wanted! But, as you start to spend more and more time together, you start to get bored. You start to feel like he/she's asking to much of you, so you start to withdraw. You don't call as much anymore and sometimes, you'll go out with friends and leave your tracker at home. Heck, after your evening, you might not even tell your tracker where you've been or what you've been doing. Your tracker wants too much from you - he/she wants a commitment. A long term together forever commitment and that's just too much to take. So, you break up. You toss the tracker aside and think you'll find someone else who's better for you.
The thing is, you won't. The tracker is the one for you. It's your better half, the secret to your success on this journey to weight loss happiness.
I'm already in a committed, loving relationship, but I'll be honest ... as of today, the love affair with my tracker is in full force again.
But no one ever talks about the Great Plateau. You see, plateaus are innately boring. In fact, I don't even think a plateau could rightfully be named "Great." They are mounds of unfaltering inactivity. They don't climb, nor descend. Just continue.
After months and months of Weight Watchers, I've hit the Great Plateau. Lose a little. Gain it back. Lose a bit more. Gain some back. I've hovered around the same weight for months now and I just can't seem to reach the finish line. I'm 5 lbs from my goal, but worlds away.
It's like when mountaineers ascend Everest only to see an incoming storm just as they are about to make the final climb to the top. They have no choice but to lay in wait or cut their losses and turn back.
Well folks, there is no turning back now! I have come this far and it can't all be for naught. I can't bear to see my double chin reappear in photos. Or have to buy fat-jeans again. Or ever get mistakenly congratulated on a non-existent pregnancy (and I'm not exaggerating here, this has actually happened).
But I need a little inspiration. I've become repetitive with my meal choices, lackluster with my exercise plan and decidedly sloppy with my tracking. Help! I've fallen off the plan and I can't get up!
Hopefully the vocalization of this sad state of affairs will help motivate me back into action. After all, there are only 16 days until I'm going to need to don a swimsuit. In public. In Mexico. Frightening! More to come on that soon.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
The photo on the left was taken at an 80s Prom party this past winter. And while the 80s Prom theme excuses the sequin dress and feathered bangs, there is no excuse for allowing myself to have gotten that large and in charge. In fact, seeing this photo of myself (and others from that night) is what made me sign up for Weight Watchers to begin with. Blech... it's hard for me to even post this publicly because looking at it still makes me want to vomit.
However, 5 months and 15.4 pounds later is the picture on the right. I still have about 20 lbs to go to reach my goal weight, but I am making progress and I feel good! Weight Watchers was the catalyst I needed to make some concrete lifestyle changes. Now I am running 15 miles per week to train for a Half Marathon, riding my bike to the train station instead of driving when weather permits, drinking tons of water, eating a healthy breakfast every single morning, and packing my lunch daily.
Clearly, a little bit of change has done me a lot of good! But not all things in my life have changed so dramatically. Seconds after each of these pictures was taken, I picked up my glass of wine from where it was resting nearby and promptly refilled it. You see, I'm still me—I'm just a slightly better version of me. Cheers!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I MADE IT! Whew! Just finished my third of the day and final 1 cup of 0-point Progresso soup. Here are some random thoughts and learnings from this day:
- Doing Zero Points all day long is time consuming. I happened to have everything in the house I needed yesterday when I decided to do this, thanks to some foresight at the grocery store on Sunday. But you have got to be stocked up with options.
- The prep work is also a time-suck. I was cutting and measuring out my day for a whole hour this morning! It made me realize why celebrities have their diet meals delivered.
- There is such a thing as too many vegitable. I usually can't get enough of them and try to have them at all meals. But when it is 95% of your diet for the day, it gets old. New awe and confusion for vegans.
- This exercise has given me new respect for low-point foods. How indulgent it will feel to eat a 1-point bagel thin tomorrow morning for breakfast with lowfat cream cheese on it! With a 1/2 glass of OJ on the side, that breakfast will hit 4 points and I cannot wait!
- Some people are wondering how many calories I ate, since Zero Points does not equal zero calories. From my best guestimation, I have tallied 500 total. Hardly, if any, fat. One billion grams of fiber.
My only regret is that I do not already have a bottle of wine open right now, because I would celebrate accomplishing this day (and not having to do it again!) with 1/8th of a glass of wine for Zero Points! But I don't, and I can't bring myself to opening a bottle for that. Besides, who knows what I'll do after one taste. I could end up destroying this ZERO POINT DAY!
See my complete Twitter feed below, from bottom up.....BOTTOMS UP!
8:56pm Just finished cup of soup and veggies. I made it! Appreciate low point foods so much more now. 1 point anything sounds luxury!
8:29 and back from walk but jsut realized I've been forgetting to drink H2O today. Opps!
Ok, that wasn't so bad, and I learned a new trick! 1 cup fat free broth #zeropoints
Monday, June 14, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
1 garlic clove; minced
1/4 cup red onion; finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes; diced
2 tbsp fresh basil; finely chopped
2 oz whole milk mozzarella; diced
1 tbsp olive oil
14 slices french baguette (about 1/2" high)
Mix first 6 ingredients in bowl; season with salt and pepper.
Let sit for about 15 minutes.
Toast the bread under the broiler until golden brown on both sides.
Top with bruschetta.
Servings = 14
WW Points = 1
Friday, June 11, 2010
Salt & Vinegar Kettle Chips ... most definitely a top five "red light" food for me. The salty crunch combined with the tangy zip? Too good to resist. But, resist I have. While I may have indulged in different chip varieties - Sun Chips, pretzels, and, recently, plain ol' Lays - over the last 4 months, this is only the second time I have given in to the deliciousness that is, in my opinion, Kettle's best chip.
How could I, after coming off a 1.4 lb gain this week, indulge in 7 points of non-filling, nutritionally void* food?
Excuse #1 - "Dedication to my job"
A client I used to work on recently acquired Kettle Chips and, as a result, we had some "samples" laying around the office. I was simply supporting my client, therefore, it was done out of dedication. Yeah, that's strike 1 ... I don't even work on that client's business anymore.
Excuse #2 - I have the points, so who cares?
True, I did. But, Strike 2 in my book because now I have opened a can of worms. I have the taste and the craving for these chips on the brain now whereas, before, when I wasn't giving in to this red light food, I wasn't even thinking about them.
Excuse #3 - No one will know
Also true. If I don't tell anyone, who will know? Plus, I am not even going to track it, so it's like it never happened. What 7 points?? That was Strike 3 and the impetus for this post.
You see how the bag is crumpled? I pulled it out of the trash in order to take a photo and write this blog. Because that's what accountability is to me ... it's pulling food out of the trash where "no one will know", tracking it, telling you all about it, and bouncing back from my 7 point indulgence.
Did I need those chips? No. And, I did feel guilty about eating them? Yes. But I did eat them and, honestly, I did enjoy them ... the difference is that now I realize how much my mindset has changed. Whereas I used to eat these chips whenever, wherever I wanted, I now think of them as "treats" for special occasions when I really want to indulge.
Last week's weight gain pushed me 2 lbs further from my 10% goal, so I am sure there's something else in this trash can to write about! In the meantime, is there anything you have in your trash can - proverbial or otherwise - you'd like to share?
*Note: if you are going to eat chips, Kettle Chips are at least somewhat of a healthy option. With each serving's 9g of fat, 7g are Monosaturated fats which are the "good fats", helping lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). What can I say? Client or no client, I am a slave to my advertising job ;)
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Because I shopped for the party at Costco, there are leftovers. And I'm not talkin a bite here, a nibble there. There is a 1/2 pound gorgonzola wedge sitting in my fridge, calling my name….mocking me. "Erikaaaa…….I'm in here…..you know you want me…..just a smidge. Come on, it'll be fun! No one has to know. You spent good money on me. You don't want me to start growing mold, do you? Better start eating." Also hangin around at the After-Party is leftover Italian meats marbled with chunks of fat, and a restaurant-portion slab of homemade cake. (The champagne....well, we drank all that!)
Monday, June 7, 2010
I am terrified of authority- always have been. I immediately start to cry if I think I am being pulled over by the police. I once went to pieces and pulled myself over before I realized the highway patrol was after the car next to me. I think this is one of the reasons Weight Watchers works for me. There is a checks and balances system and the scale is the authority. Weighing in with a gain is like a bad mark on your permanent record and that spells scary disaster for me. I also know that if someone gives me free license, I will not use it well.
This is why last week was, well, confusing. In the rush to get fit for the wedding, I bought 12 personal training sessions. That was 6 months ago and I have only used 3 of them. With the wedding less than 60 days away, I met with my trainer, Austin, last week. He knows that I have lost 25 pound on Weight Watchers and that I am only 8 pounds away from goal. After a slightly painful training session, Austin sat me down and told me he wanted to have a talk. I felt scared, like he knew I had consumed a whole bottle of Rombauer Chardonnay the night before (which I had).
Instead, he wanted to share a perspective on how to get the last eight pounds off. Trainers love to make losing weight sound so simple. Austin said “Just get to the gym as much as you can and watch your diet.” Well, DUH! I frowned and told him I was already doing that. Then he asked what I was eating. As we are still without a kitchen, much of my diet is being cooked in the microwave. He stood up and said “Would you be up for a field trip?” Hoping there would be snacks at the end, I drove with Austin to the grocery store and here is what he said:
It is difficult for the body to get rid of processed foods. Even if the processed food is low in calories, the body might still hang on to it and treat it like fat. As we traveled through the story reading ingredients, I began to see his Au Naturale Philosophy. His basic rule of thumb is if you don’t know what the ingredients are, neither does your body. We compared energy bars & I left with a new type of bar, the Larabar (YUM!). I also purchased unprocessed peanut butter. That’s right, peanut butter!
I felt like I was speeding down the highway with my new unprocessed diet. I told Austin I was worried about the calories (aka points!). He encouraged me to let go for a week and see how I felt. So I did and here are my thoughts: I found that the unprocessed foods kept me full for longer. I felt a little guilty eating them, but they were good and felt healthy. In the end, I shaved off another pound last week. I think it will be a struggle to eat unprocessed, especially without a kitchen, but I am looking at labels for more than just points now. I will be interested to see how to merge unprocessed and points, but for now all I can think is “how can you argue with eating peanut butter with a spoon?!”
Sunday, June 6, 2010
First, a history lesson (thanks to Wikipedia).
Paella is a Valencian rice dish that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century. Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain's national dish, but most Spaniards consider it to be a regional Valencian dish. There are three widely known types of paella:
- Valencian paella (white rice, green vegetables, meat - rabbit, chicken, duck - snails, beans and seasoning)
- Seafood paella (replaces meat and snails with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables)
- Mixed paella (a free-style combination of meat, seafood, vegetables and sometimes beans)
Other key ingredients include saffron and olive oil.The dish you see above loosely resembles seafood paella, hence my use of quotes. So, here's the basic recipe.
1 package Goya yellow rice (this rice mimics the saffron color and flavor of traditional paellas)
2 medium zucchinis
2 medium carrots
1 medium spanish onion
3/4 cup vegetable stock
1lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail off
Cook the rice according to the package (omit the oil or butter) and set aside.
While the rice is cooking, chop the vegetables into bite sized pieces.
Spray a large saute pan with cooking spray.
Saute onions and carrots until tender; about 4 minutes.
Add zucchini and saute for 1 minute.
Add the stock and shrimp.
Cover and simmer on low until shrimp has turned pink and stock has reduced.
Add the rice and mix all together.
You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand, throw in a can of red beans, etc. Experiment!
Servings = 4
WW Points = 6
Friday, June 4, 2010
No such luck for us in San Francisco, but maybe it's summer where you are? Drink up with this tasty, low point cocktail!
- Dissolve four packets of sucralose sweetener (such as Splenda) into 4 tablespoons of water
- Pour into pitcher
- Add slices of oranges, lemons, limes, peaches, plums or nectarines as well as grapes (for white wine sangria, red grapes; for red wine sangria, white)
- Add a bottle of red or white wine
- Stir, then let sit
- Before serving, top pitcher with a drizzle of club soda
Courtesy of weightwatchers.com
Thursday, June 3, 2010
If we've been successful, like last night, we toast to our success with a beer, some sake, or wine, of course! If we haven't had success, we try to cheer each other up by brainstorming new ideas and angles that will keep things interesting and keep the pounds coming off. Regardless of whether or not we have lost or gained that week, we always have fun!
Swear off fun, fruity beverages? Never! Just follow these Weight Watcher tips to help lighten up summer classics!
- Cut a room-temperature lime into quarters and drop it in a shaker
- Add one packet of sucralose sweetener (such as Splenda) and one tablespoon water
- Mash the mixture very well with a wooden spoon, dissolving the lime into mush
- Add a shot (1 1/2 ounces) of white rum and enough ice cubes to fit in an old-fashioned glass
- Shake well
- Pour mixture (including the peel) into a glass
*Variation: Add slices of mango or a few cherries along with the lime*
Courtesy of weightwatchers.com