Weighty Wednesday -- Hard Work Pays Off

I've been absent from Wednesday blogging for quite awhile as I feel that I've already said everything that needs to be said about losing weight.

I have.

But the interesting takeaway is that, for some reason, I have to keep relearning those same lessons over and over and . . . over again!

Last week I had a large weight gain +2.6 pounds. I knew it was a fluke number because of a few things I had eaten in the previous couple of days--pizza with pepperoni and prosciutto (sodium anyone??) and pancakes (flour makes me retain water).

I also knew that even though I suspected it was a fluke number, I really needed to focus this week.

I did.

And had a weight loss of -3.4 pounds.

Bringing me to within 7 pounds of my goal weight. Though my goal is to reach my goal weight by the end of school (5 weeks away! Eek!), I would actually like to get to the weight that is on my driver's license, 120 pounds. While this seems like a huge challenge, another 20 pounds, it really isn't too low of a weight for my height. Actually, it's right in the middle of my recommended weight range.

Another interesting thing that I learned about myself, I'm okay if I stay at the top of my weight range.

I look good. I feel good. And I'm old. I don't want to denying myself just to get to the "right" weight for my height. That's just crazy.

Want to know something else that's interesting?

Now that summer is here, it's short season. I have shorts that are sizes 4, 6, 8 AND 10 that all fit me the same way. In fact, some of my size 6 shorts, I've had to safety pin them because they are too large!

Remember, clothes sizes are just numbers, and no two designer/manufacturers use the same number system.

Get to a healthy weight where you feel good and look good.

Clothes sizes are a guideline. Don't get your nose out of joint because of a size. It's just a number.

Time for walkies!

Later, Peeps!



I confess that I've been AWOL from my blog for quite awhile.

This was for a couple of reasons, 1) I didn't really have a whole lot to say, 2) I was judging some contest entries that took a bit of concentrated time, and 3) I was busy rereading the Harry Potter books, and that, my friends, is a blog of its own.

Oh, and I also managed to go to a Q and A with Jim Butcher. I had to leave early though to pick my hubby up from the airport. Bummer, right?
Jim Butcher
Dude kept walking back and forth. I'm just glad it isn't really blurry like the other ones!

Though many of the people in the audience were Butcher fans, they were also LARPers (Live Action Role Players--the geeks you see fighting with wooden swords in the park when spring is in full swing) and asked a lot of LARPing questions.

There were a few writers in the audience and it was through their questions that I had a "Coming to Jesus" meeting that was a long time in coming to this writer.

Jim learned his lesson in college when he decided to prove his professor wrong when the prof asked him to write a detailed outline of a story, character development papers, along with the first three chapters of a story.

And thus, Harry Dresden was born . . . along with a 23-book outline.

I tried to find character sheets, but I must have no clue as to what I needed to look for.

But I did rediscover the Snowflake method of plotting and thought I'd give it a shot. I'm at the beginning stages of it, so I don't have anything to report quite yet.

I'll try to post a little more regularly, but it's springtime at the Golla Oasis, which means lots of yard work as we clean out the old and plant the new along with adding tons of mulch.

Time to fold some laundry, so to that end, I'll say adieu!

Later, Peeps!


Weighty Wednesday -- Chart the Big Picture

I should have posted last week, but by the time I thought about it, it was Friday!

Last week, I had a nice weight loss of 1.2 pounds, but managed to derail myself this week by a gain of 1.4 pounds. With a net gain of 0.2 pounds.

That's what happens when one purchases a bag of Bunny Bait trail mix and consumes the entire bag the day before weigh-in! Yeah, it's that good.

See? I am human. I do make mistakes. But the key is to 'fess up to those mistakes! AND not let them effect you the rest of the day/week/year/lifetime.

I erred. You will err. It happens. Get over it. And don't let it cloud your judgment and food choices for the rest of the day.

I just need to work on the timing of my naughtiness. The day AFTER weigh-in would have been preferable, but no, I had to go grocery shopping on Monday. Oh well.

Though I had a hiccup in my weight loss journey. That is all it was . . . a hiccup.

* I tried to copy my weight loss chart (documented since June 2011) from Weight Watchers, but they have it encrypted so I'm not able to copy it to show you. Even when I printed it, a pull down was inserted on top of the chart so I couldn't print it, scan it to my email, to put on my computer to clip and paste it here. Even with the pull down, I decided to share it anyway.*

Fact one: It has been over a year since I have weighed this low. No, I'm not at my goal weight, but it is a huge accomplishment.

Fact two: Even with hiccups in our weight loss journey, don't let a hiccup become the trend.

Fact three: Though I'm doing Simply Filling and only really need to document any food that would cost me weekly points. I found out that I need to document EVERYTHING.

Fact four: Prior to starting my weight loss journey in 2011, I had been at this current weight for a very, very long time. Plateaus happen. They happen for a reason. When they do, you need to shake it up.

Fact five: I've been very focused for over ten weeks, which means I've become complacent. Don't allow ennui to sabotage you. Recommit mentally.

The one thing to remember that what we see as setbacks might simply be a blip in the war to get to a healthy weight.

Later, Peeps!


Weighty Wednesday-- My Journey, NOT Yours

Oops--I didn't post on the correct day, but then again, I didn't really have much to say two days ago . . . but now I do!

First, though I didn't have an official weigh-in this week (due to hubs taking my car on the icy roads), I did weigh-in at home, which I do anyway especially on weigh-in day.

I had a loss of 0.7 pounds.

Not a stellar number, considering I have been clocking in around two pounds a week. But I'm not surprised due to two large meals over the weekend--P.F. Changs on Friday and Fleming's Steakhouse on Valentine's Day.

Still a loss, which is the most important thing. Right?

Confession time: With the yucky weather on Tuesday, I made a pan of shortbread . . . and ate virtually half the pan. This is probably the worst type of cookie one could indulge in since all it contains is flour, sugar and butter.

And then I made pizza for dinner.

AND opened a bottle of wine.

It wasn't a stellar day for me. And no, I didn't calculate how many points I ate while in the process.

So what did I do?

I counted ALL OF MY 49 WEEKLY POINTS the next day.

Yeah, I wasted all my weekly points on one poorly conceived day. It happens. I'm focusing the rest of my week on my allowable Simply Filling technique.

And I weighed myself today, unofficial of course, but to illustrate the point I'm about to make. Even with a horrible Tuesday, by today (Friday) I still managed to lose 0.7 pounds!

Meanwhile, my hubby has been extraordinarily successful on the WW tracking points technique--22 pounds, so far--but he's inserting himself into my process by accusing me of 'cheating' on my technique.

Yes, I had a bad day. Everyone does.

But did I 'cheat'?

No, because I counted the points. . . and I really, really hate that term. It's right up there with 'life style' change, thanks a lot, Dr. Phil.

But even if I hadn't counted the points, I still have an ace up my sleeve--I'm still losing weight!

His teasing/harassing/accusing me of cheating could have had an adverse effect depending on my mindset, but all it did was make me mad enough to prove I wasn't cheating and though I stumbled, I'm still losing weight.

Ultimately though I stumbled, I got right back into the technique and am working it to my advantage.

Don't let anyone cause you to stumble or distract you on YOUR JOURNEY.

This happened to me over a year ago, when someone's ill-timed comment (NOT my hubby--who really is very supportive!) distracted me from my focus. Over a year later, I'm finally coming to terms with my insecurities.

Your challenges aren't anyone else's challenges. Don't let your journey be about them, or allow them to influence your journey.

You are on this weight-loss journey for you, don't forget that.

Later, Peeps!


Foodie Friday -- Oatmeal Craisin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

A couple of weeks ago, I had a craving.

Gloomy weather does it to me as I have the urge to bake, and baking is detrimental to my weight loss efforts. So the key is to have the craving on a day when hubby had to go to work the next day and he can take the extras! Which he did.

Anyway, I was thinking how good Craisins were and that they would taste good with white chocolate chips. Lo and Behold! The good folks at Ocean Spray figured it out for me! This recipe was on the back of the mongo bag I had purchased from Sam's Club.

Excellent cookie! But man, it cost so much in WW points that I ate my one and only cookie really, really slowly.

Oatmeal Craisin White Chocolate Chip Cookies


2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 ½ cup old-fashioned oats
1 ½ cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2/3 cup Craisin Dried Cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together in medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
Makes 2 ½ dozen cookies.

Tips & Tricks:

·         I used a medium cookie scoop and it made only 22 cookies with a diameter of 2-2 ½ inches.

·         I did put this into the WW recipe builder and came up with a whopping 5 WW points per cookie. Yeah . . . I ate one, but sent the remaining cookies to work with the hubby the next day.

·         I’m lazy and prefer to use parchment paper on my cookie sheets. It’s quick. It’s easy. And there is no clean up. Just toss the paper in the trash when you’re finished cooking.

·         My oven tends to be on the hot side, so I baked the cookies between 9-10 minutes.  


Weighty Wednesday -- Positive vs. Negative

So even though I stumbled a little this last week, I had a GREAT weigh-in and managed to lose 2 more pounds!

Since I refocused (and hubby joined WW), I managed to lose TEN pounds! What I'm doing works for me. Hubs is working the plan a little differently and has managed to lose EIGHTEEN POUNDS!

I've been a WW for over three years, and though I have strayed this last year and regained weight, I am now on the straight and narrow. I have my blinders on, people, and know what my end game is. We all stumble--just don't make a point of stumbling as long or as bad as I did. Immediately get back on that pony when you see yourself sliding off.

Which brings me to today's topic: Positive vs. Negative.

For HOURS, I tried to find the right word: reinforcement, connotation, feedback, concept, blah, blah, blah, but none of the words were right. Do you have any idea how frustrating that is for a WRITER?? Yeah, that.

Years ago, I bought a book on writing that was called, THE 38 MOST COMMON FICTION WRITING MISTAKES, and as I read it, I wanted to go out and commit all 38 mistakes! Not the result they were shooting for with this NEGATIVE title.

Anyhoo, I finally decided that I thrive when someone puts a positive spin on things. Who woulda thunk it, right? Usually, when someone says something negative, "You can't do XYZ." I dig my heels in and figure out how to do XY or Z. But not any more . . . must be my age.

When I knew I was starting to get off track a year ago, I thought, "Oh, I'll just stop eating flour and sugar products." NEGATIVE

Well, that didn't work, now did it? Not by a long shot.

But when I got back on that pony and reconfirmed that I would follow the WW Simply Filling technique. I lost weight. POSITIVE

They both involve a similar concept--no flour/sugar--but they have a HUGE difference in the way the concept is presented.

When I tried to follow just the no flour/sugar concept--I seriously CRAVED flour and sugar products. Because I had denied myself, I really, really wanted it. Which is why this concept failed for me.

Whereas, on Simply Filling, I can eat, and eat, and eat...and EAT. But I'm eating Power Foods, the foods that force my body to work harder to digest, which keeps me feeling fuller longer, but I don't want to eat as much.

It's not that I can't have something made with flour or sugar, but I have to seriously contemplate the idea because it comes out of my Weekly WW points. This appeals to my analytical mind. What do I have to give up to enjoy that one fleeting piece of cake? Is it really worth it?

And I can answer this truthfully, NO.

I made a cake last night. I enjoyed a large slice. Was it worth it? Yeah, right, not in the least. And actually, I have a sugar headache this morning from the overload. I think I'd rather stay away from the sugar/flour in a positive way by eating all the Power Foods that my body craves.

It's a concept that's working for me. The scale might lie, but the clothes don't. Yes, my pants are getting baggier on me, and it's time to go to the lower size.

Later, Peeps!


Foodie Friday -- Cubed Steak with Mushrooms

Somewhere I saw a recipe that featured cubed steak and mushrooms. The picture made it look wonderful . . . and then I couldn't figure out where I'd seen the recipe.

And I had already bought the steaks and mushrooms.

I googled it, but every single recipe seemed to use Cream of Mushroom Soup (Yuck!), or some intense form of flour/egg white/flour dredging, so I winged it.

This turned out to be a pretty good recipe.

*When I bought the cube steak, it came in a package of three, weighing in just under one pound.

Cube Steak with Mushrooms

3 cubed steaks
Flour (1/2 cup)
2 Tbls. Vegetable oil
1 cup Beef broth, warmed
1 8-oz package sliced mushrooms 

Place flour, salt and pepper in Ziploc bag. Add one cube steak, toss to coat.

Turn large skillet on high and add oil. When oil is hot, place one cube stake in pan. Repeat dredging steaks in flour mixture, and adding to pan. Do not over crowd.

Cook on high until blood rises to the top of the steaks, turn to cook the other side. When blood rises from second side, turn once more for about 1-2 minutes.

Remove steaks to plate and tent with foil.

Add a little bit of beef broth to pan, scraping up brown bits.

Add mushrooms, allow to toast for 2 minutes. Add rest of broth, boiling until sauce slightly thickens.
Add the cube steaks, spooning sauce and mushrooms over top. Allow to cook for 1-2 more minutes until heated up and gravy has thickened.  

Serve and enjoy!

Tips & Tricks:

·         Cube steak is typically used for Chicken Fried Steak. This is a very tough piece of beef, which is why it’s sliced super thin and it looks like it’s been mutilated by a bunch of knives. This is the only way this piece of meat can become tender.

·         The beef broth is used to deglaze the pan, pulling up all sorts of yummy goodness that seared to the bottom of the pan.

·         I was lazy and bought sliced mushrooms—Baby Bellas—which are a little sturdier than your basic white mushroom. You can slice them yourself, but the price was the same at my store so I bought them sliced

·         I didn’t calculate the WW points, but I don’t think it added up to too many.

·         I served this meal with oven roasted potatoes and green beans.