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.


Weighty Wednesday-- Another Successful Week

Well, I had another good weight loss week, as I'm down 2 lbs.! This is about 8 pounds down from when I became serious again about my weight loss five weeks ago.


In the last two weeks I've been using the Weight Watcher's Simply Filling technique, which involves eating Power Foods and using my weekly 49 points as needed...and trust me, I needed all 49 points last week plus the 9 activity points that I earned!

Hubby has lost 15 pounds in the same time period by simply counting and tracking his points, but I will point out that he has a lot more daily points than I do!

42 vs. 26 points is an entire meal's difference!  

Just proving that you have to use a technique that works for you. Not all programs or techniques are one size fits all, and don't judge your progress against someone else's success.

One of the key factors in this technique working for me is because I still measure and track.


Because how will I know what I did wrong, if I do something wrong, unless I document it? I also use the Memo spot on my daily tracker to jot down how I'm feeling, where I might have eaten out at, or just a general comment area if I had cravings and what I did to counteract them.

One of the interesting things I've discovered is that  for the most part I've stopped eating sugar, flour-based products, and using artificial sweeteners.

This technique doesn't mean I can't eat them. I can. But the question remains--do I want to pay the price?

And when I look at it that way, the answer is usually no.

Just eating healthy costs me weekly points--in fact, just yesterday, I used 2 points for a little bag of nuts and I counted one point for my chicken tortilla soup. Now, I didn't add the tortilla chips, avocados or cheese, but I figured it probably had enough cornstarch / chicken broth to cost me at least a point.

And the bonus?

Well, I'm not in my size six jeans yet, but I did notice my hips and tummy decreasing in size, which is a good thing!

My goal is to be back at goal by the end of school. If everything continues at the same pace as the last few weeks, I might reach my goal by mid-April.

If you are with me on this journey, I will wish you the best of luck!

Later, Peeps!


Foodie Friday -- Chicken Tortilla Soup

Problem: rotisserie chicken sitting in the fridge. I had deboned it the previous week, but it was time to use it up.

Solution: Chicken Tortilla Soup

I found a version, well, actually I found numerous versions of this soup, but I didn't make my own fried tortilla chips--are you kidding me? What kind of nut has the time to do that?

And it looked a little bit boring, so I spiced it up with the peppers. I didn't think about adding zucchini until later in the day after I went to the store, so it didn't get put in there.

BUT if you follow this recipe and add the zucchini, it's pretty darn close to tasting like the Chicken Tortilla Soup that is served at On The Border.

Totally unintentional, but there it is.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 Tbls. oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ Tbls. cumin
1 Tbls. chili powder
½ tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbls. flour
3 bay leaves
2--14 ½ oz. cans diced tomatoes
8 cups chicken broth
Chicken meat from one rotisserie chicken, cubed

Cooked Wild rice—make according to package directions—it usually takes 30-35 minutes so start rice about the time you start the soup.

Avocados, sliced
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Tortilla chips, crushed
Sour cream

Heat oil in large pan over high heat. Add onion, peppers, garlic and cilantro; sauté for about 3 minutes. Add cumin, chili powder, black pepper, salt and flour; stir and cook for a minute or two.

Add two cans of diced tomatoes and bay leaves.

Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes before adding rotisserie chicken *if you are adding raw chicken, add when soup comes to a boil*.

Adjust seasonings—more salt might be needed.

Cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove bay leaves and enjoy!

 *do not add the rice to the pot of soup--it will turn to mush*


½ cup of wild rice in bowl. Add 8 oz. of soup. Top with crushed tortilla chips, cheese, avocados, etc. Enjoy!

Tips & Tricks:

·         Yes, the cumin and chili powder are in TABLESPOONS

·         When chopping the peppers, you might want to wear gloves

·         If you don’t use gloves expect the skin under your nails to tingle. . . jus’ sayin’

·         If you want it hotter, keep the seeds and the membrane inside the peppers

·         Cut the top off the pepper, pull out the seeds, cut them in half and proceed to dice them from the inside as the outside of the skin is tough. Be careful, because it might squirt you with juice as you cut. DO NOT RUB EYES!

·         Again, I use the Better Than Bouillon chicken base. I usually add a bit along with the spices and then add the water later.

·         I used rotisserie chicken because I had it in the fridge and it needed to be used. If you don’t have pre-cooked chicken, simply cut up four boneless, skinless chicken breasts and add after the soup comes to a boil. The chunks will cook in the broth. –just don’t taste test your flavors until after the chicken is cooked.

·         If you want to add zucchini, then slice one zucchini into rounds and half them. Add when you add chicken

·         If you want a thicker soup after it cooks down—mix 1 Tbls of cornstarch with ¼ cup of broth. Add to soup. Depending on your preference, you might need to repeat.

·         To put a healthier spin to the toppers—use 0% plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, --use a reduced fat shredded cheese, --or baked tortilla chips.

·         This recipe is Weight Watcher friendly—roughly 5 points per 8 oz. serving. Rice will cost you extra points, unless you are on the Simply Filling technique.



Weighty Wednesday -- Mind Games

About ten days ago I started Weight Watcher's Simply Filling technique, and I seem to be doing quite well with it.

Weigh in results=. DOWN 3.2 pounds

So the technique works!

As I mentioned in last week's Weighty Wednesday, Simply Filling involves eating what Weight Watchers has designated as "power foods"--you know all that healthy stuff. Technically, one can eat an unlimited amount of these power foods, but I prefer to weigh and measure them to keep a close eye on the process.

Even though you might have an unlimited amount of power foods, you still need to track the other items you might eat...which is pretty much anything not on the list: salad dressing, non-fat free dairy products, including cheese, fattier cuts of meat (hamburger), a glass of wine, etc. These points are deducted from the 49 weekly points, and trust me, these can disappear quickly!

Friday night (pizza night) finished my weekly points off. See, told you they disappear quickly!
Three days to go before weigh in and I was having to use the activity points that I accrued to make up for all the points I used (a few glasses of wine, a salad (off the Skinnylicious! menu) from the Cheesecake Factory, homemade pizza, Caesar salad).

*Poof!* They're gone! Trust me, it doesn't take much to use them up.

The big question was why this technique works for me, but not the simple tracking with daily points.

It all comes down to head games.

I'm sure I blogged about it before, but sometimes I need to repeat myself because I haven't  learned the lesson.

When I was counting points and tracking, I was allotted 26 points per day. So if I wanted to eat Fritos or peanut butter or a granola bar, I could. It would cost me some points, but no big deal.

BUT when one does Simply Filling, you only have your 49 weekly points to use throughout the week. When my hubby and I ate at the Cheesecake Factory and I had one of their Skinnylicious chopped salads, it cost me 6 points. I ate it over two days, but I still counted all the points.


Because it had blue cheese, corn, beans, and a salad dressing. Those goodies still count.

I made pizza last Friday--EVERYTHING counted. I only had one and a half small slices--thin crust, but we had pepperoni, prosciutto, and three types of cheese. I counted 14 points. It adds up.

Add a 5 oz glass of wine--4 points.

And by Saturday morning, I had used up my weekly points.

It was a good thing I was earning Activity Points by walking!

But the biggest part of the game challenges me with my number one problem--afternoon grazing/boredom.

If I need to eat, I can find all sorts of power foods to eat. Usually the problem isn't hunger. Being on Simply Filling keeps me from grazing inappropriate food items because I don't have enough points to eat them, or I'm too much of a point hoarder to use them!

But it makes me stop and think before I wolf something down.

This is the key for me to lose the weight. 

Once I get back to goal, I think I will keep practicing this technique.

If something works, why change it??

Later, Peeps!