Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And the winner is .... ME!

This is what I saw when I entered my weight into the WW site this morning:

HOLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! I hit my WW goal AND THEN SOME! I’m currently sitting at –71 pounds and feeling fabuloso. Six weeks in the maintenance phase and then LIFETIME MEMBER (aka noooo moooore paaaayiiiinngg). Halleluia!


OH! And I didn’t want to mention anything until I knew for sure, but ...

I’m gonna be a WW leader!!!

I applied, had some interviews and then got the offer. Paperwork came in the mail yesterday. YAY! I figured I should give back to the program that really jumpstarted my healthiness journey. It’ll be a while before I begin actually leading meetings, but I’m excited to embark on this new gig!

It’s funny that I hit my WW goal and received my WW job paperwork the day the meeting topic was Celebrating Successes. Mark down two huge successes for me yesterday!

But really, it’s important to celebrate even the smallest successes. Like how I passed up the goodies in the cookie-share at work the other day or how I turned down grabbing an adult bevy a couple of nights ago and opted for tea instead. Each little success adds up to HUGE accomplishment. (Not to toot my own horn or anything, but 71 pounds beep beep!)

Oddly enough, I still don’t give myself enough credit. When someone says, “Wow! You look great!” or “You’re an inspiration,” I often respond with an insincere “Thanks, but ….” I really need to work on taking in those genuine compliments and leaving it at “Thanks!” Exclamation point, dammit. I’ve worked my tail off for this!

I’m TOTALLY pumped about all I’ve accomplished …. but it’s not over. It’ll never be over. That’s not such a bad thing, though. I really do get a kick out of incorporating new healthy elements into my life. In the last year, I’ve taken up running, decreased my intake of processed, already-made meals, increased my ability to prepare healthy meals from fresh ingredients, and eliminated meat from my diet. I can only imagine what 2010 has in store for me.

That’s all, folks. I’m so jazzed about my progress I can’t even come up with more words. Wow. Who knew?

OK OK a couple more :)

Focus on the positive. Celebrate success. Cherish every moment.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hi, I'm Earth. Have we met?

Well, folks, I have some good news and some not-so-good news.

The good news is that I’m officially in the 140s!!!

The not-so-good news is that, as of last night’s weigh-in, I’m still 0.6 pounds from my next milestone and 0.8 pounds from my WW goal.

I was mildly disappointed, but whatever. I’ve lost more than 69 pounds for cryin’ out loud! I weighed this much when I was at my fittest in high school. I didn’t really weigh myself back then, so I don’t even remember the last time I was in the 140s. I’m loving it so far!!!!!!!!! I’m soooooo skinny! Haha OK not really, but I feel great :)

I do know that I weighed between 150 and 155 when I entered college a little more than six years ago … and I weigh less than that now. Gotta say, that’s pretty darn cool.

Here’s a picture of me the summer
after freshman year of college
(about 5½ years ago).

And here’s a picture of me from earlier this month.

Aside from the differences in hair color and crazy tan, I don’t think my face looks too different. And that’s a good thing! As I got chunkier and chunkier, I definitely noticed my increasingly plumper face. I’m finally back to normal Amanda face! YYYYAAAYYYY!!!!

I really should have been able to reach my goal last night, though. SHOULD have been able to. But I wasn’t working as hard as I should have been. I didn’t eat that well or work out at all during the week. Did I really think that tracking what I ate and working out ONLY on Saturday and Sunday would undo my lackadaisical week?? Please. I was obviously living in Fantasyland.

I’m back in the real world now and I’m ready for a superb week. The goals I made for myself yesterday are not difficult, and I’m actually looking forward to a regular workout schedule, a nighttime routine and daily food/drink tracking. Holllaaaaaaaaaaaa. Let’s do this.

Oh my gosh. I can’t believe I haven’t posted my Spicy Sweet Potato Chips recipe yet. I made them for Thanksgiving … and now it’s time for sharing.

Spicy Sweet Potato Chips

2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed well
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
½ tsp salt

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice the sweet potatoes into rounds as thin as you can get them. Place the sweet potatoes in a bowl and add oil, pepper flakes and salt. Toss until the potatoes are well coated. Spread the rounds on a baking sheet (no overlapping) and bake until they are browned, crispy chips, about 20 minutes.

I used beige sweet potatoes when I made these for Thanksgiving, and, unlike my Brussels sprouts, they were a hit with everyone! Next time I make them, however, I’m going to change a lot of things.

First, I’ll use FOUR large sweet potatoes because there were just not enough noms to go around. Maybe I’ll try orange sweet potatoes next time, just for funsies.

Second, although I’ll have twice as many potatoes, I’ll still use ¼ cup of oil. There was just too much oil on these babies last time, which makes getting crispy chips very difficult. I’ll also try drying the potato slices thoroughly with paper towel before tossing with the other stuff.

Third, I’ll add more red pepper flakes and probably more salt. The sweet, spicy, and salty make a major party on your tongue.

Last, I’ll bake the chips for 20 minutes on one side, flip them all, and bake for another 20 minutes. I’ve found that it’s pretty difficult to bake sweet potatoes and get them crispy. And you should take my experienced word for it, considering I’ve made sweet potato fries once and sweet potato chips once ;)

Peace to you all, my lovelies!

PS This is my 50th post. Neat :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

I’ve got a feeling.

Greetings, Earthlings! Tonight’s the night. I’m supernervous for my weigh-in. And excited, of course. But more nervous. I’m sooooo close to hitting another milestone and reaching my WW goal.

If I don’t gain any weight during the day (water/food that doesn’t leave before 5:30 ...), I’ll hit both of these targets. If I only gain a little, I should at least be able to hit my next five-pound milestone. (That’s 70 pounds lost, if you’ve been keeping track!)

What am I even talking about? My next milestone weight (149.2) and my WW goal weight (149) are basically the same number.


I clocked 65ish treadmill minutes on Saturday and 42 minutes yesterday. Both days I walked uphill most of the time and threw a couple of 10-minute runs in the mix. I even did abs and some pushups on Saturday. I mean business, people!

Weekends tend to be my downfall when it comes to food and drink, but I was very mindful of my meals Saturday and Sunday. I tracked everything that went in my mouth and stayed within my daily POINTS and everything! I admit, I rarely track anymore, but I really need to get serious about it again if I want to ditch these final 10 pounds and reach my personal goal weight.

As I’m writing this I’ve discovered some things:
  1. I shouldn’t be THAT jazzed about working out Saturday and Sunday. That should be automatic by now. It hasn’t been, but I’m gonna work on it now. GOAL: I will hit the gym at least three or four days a week.

  2. Big whoop that I did abs and pushups ONE day. I used to do that every night when I was a senior in high school. It takes, what, like 10 minutes? I’ll just look up the trusty ol’ 8-Minute Abs video on YouTube (LOVE the cheesy music and even cheesier enthusiasm. Come on, gang!) and do some pushups after those glorious eight minutes. (Still girly pushups for now. Baby steps.) GOAL: I will do abs and pushups before bed every night.

  3. Yay me for tracking two days in a row. Let’s turn this into every day, shall we? I NEED TO TRACK WHAT I’M EATING. Every day. Starting now. GOAL: I will track every day, dangit!

Alright. Goals set. Nervousness out there for the world and less on my shoulders. Wish me luck, friends!

Think thin!

Monday, December 7, 2009

smile today.

Happy Monday, kiddos :) Whether you like it or not:
I had a fun and FULL weekend — two birthday get-togethers! You know what that means? Drinkies. And you know what THAT means?? Empty cals and extra poundage. Boo that. BUT total funtimes, nonetheless, and staying up later than usual equals more cals burned, right?? I’m going with yes.

I tried to be extra good during the week so that the weekend’s events wouldn’t have too bad of an effect on my waistline … and I think it worked.

I even spent more than an hour on the treadmill yesterday! (I burned about 550 calories, a-thank you very much.) My workouts have been so sporadic lately, and it felt good to sweat and move my bod. I was only planning on being on the treadmill (alternating walking at a high incline and running at 3.0 incline) for an hour, but The Holiday was on TV, so I just kept walking for awhile until it got to my favorite part. Haha you wouldn’t think that movie would be a go-get-’em workout flick, but evidently it was yesterday.

As usual, I’ll weigh in tonight at my meeting, so we’ll see if last week’s smart eating and last night’s workout paid off. I know for sure I’ve lost weight since last week, but that’s because last week was a gain week. I’m thisclose to hitting my WW goal — I’m talking like 2 pounds away — and I REALLY thought I could hit it this week. Prob not gonna happen. Next week, I tell you!

Like I said, I’m about 2 pounds from my WW goal, which is 10 pounds more than my real-life goal of 139. Now that I’m getting closer and closer to these SUPERCOOL milestones, I’m so excited! However, the weight just does not come off like it used to. Not at all, actually.

I need to buckle down and actually put in some hard work. Maybe another 5K in the nearish future? (Liz: If you’re reading this, how ’bout it??) I know FOR SURE that I need to get back to working out at least 3 days a week. And I’ve already gotten in one day this week! Off to a great start!!

And now for the Lemon-Marinated Brussels Sprouts recipe I’ve promised since Thanksgiving :) (I forgot to take pictures (for shame), but my finished product looked similar to this picture of Brussels Sprouts with Lemon-Mustard Sauce from FatFree Vegan Kitchen.)

Lemon-Marinated Brussels Sprouts

1 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp minced garlic

½ tsp sugar

½ tsp dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp grated lemon zest

3 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Trim Brussels sprouts; cut larger ones in half. Cook in boiling water until barely tender (5-6 minutes). Plunge into ice water then drain well. Combine remaining ingredients — except lemon juice and apple cider vinegar — in a medium bowl. Toss in the Brussels sprouts and let them marinate in this mixture 1-2 hours at room temperature (or longer in the refrigerator), tossing occasionally. Just before serving, mix in the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Adjust any of the seasonings to taste.

I served mine as a side dish, but you could also eat them with toothpicks as more of an appetizer or throw some in a salad.

They turned out really well! And they taste so fresh and lemony! I thought they’d be a hit on Thanksgiving, and I was really pumped to contribute something to the meal; however, I misjudged my audience. Most of the eaters were not looking to fill valuable plate space with vegetables, and, if they were, it would be the familiar stuff like corn or raw carrots. A couple of people said they really liked them, another couple thought they were gross, but most didn’t even try them.

I’ll admit my feelings were a bit hurt. I couldn’t care less if someone doesn’t like a particular food. Everyone’s tastes are different, after all. But to not even try something? Not even one measly sprout? But, like I said, I misjudged my audience. Better luck next time!

On a happy note, my Spicy Sweet Potato Chips were a hit that day, and I’ll share that supersimple recipe later this week :)

Focus on the positive. Peace.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Songs and Subs

Hello, friends! I hope y’all had a fab holiday weekend. That is unless you don’t live in the United States … then I hope you had a fab normal weekend! I spent some QT with fam and friends, but the time breezed by and I didn’t even get to do all the stuff and see all the peeps I intended. Christmas vacay isn’t too far away, so I’m hoping to make up for what I missed then.

Something that DID happen was that I found out that a bunch of my hometown friends (Holla, Onalaskans!!!) read my blog! Many a convo downtown began like this: “I know this is kinda weird ... but I totally read your blog!” Some of these folks are better friends than others. Some I might see once a year or less. No matter the relation, I’m glad that I can amuse/inspire/interest you :) You make me smile, too.

Pictures and recipes from Thanksgiving weekend will come later this week. Stay tuned!

I bought Adam Lambert’s CD last week and you know what I thought right after I popped it in? These will be great workout songs! That was new concept for me. Usually I would think something more like, “Hey, this is great happy-fun music!” Which it very much is.

This event surprised me, but it makes sense that my brain’s way of relating things have changed along with my healthier lifestyle. I don’t think about food just as stuff to shove in my mouth, but as fuel and nutrition. I don’t think about exercise as a nuisance, but as something that makes me feel good during and after. And apparently I think of upbeat songs as potential workout jams!

But anyway, back to Adam. You should really check out this album. This guy can sing!!!! I’ve loved him from the time I watched his American Idol audition aaaaaall the way through the season.

My absolute favorite song on the album is Music Again. My second favorite: For Your Entertainment. Third fav: Whataya Want From Me. (I could do without the stupid spelling of the third one, however.) But who am I kidding? I love the whole thing. You NEED to check him out if you want some superb workout or funtimes songs.

(Ummm, I didn’t even realize what’s happening right now. I’m watching this morning’s episode of the Ellen DeGeneres Show … and watching Adam Lambert’s performance. I was totally writing about his wonderfulness before he came on. Weird.)

Now onto something else I love: SANDWICHES! More precisely, subs. I’ve written before about how I get a footlong Subway sandy after pretty much every Monday evening WW meeting. Today, I’m gonna compare Jimmy John’s sub options based on the Nutritional Information on their website. The lessons learned should work across the board, though, as far as sandwich ingredients go.

I order the Vegetarian. #6, baby.

Here are the facts for the Veg sub as it’s prepared per the menu:

And after you subtract the cheese and mayo:

The Jimmy John’s Vegetarian sub just went from 14 POINTS to 5 POINTS in a hurry! Wanna keep the cheese? 8 POINTS. I prefer mine sans cheese and mayo, but I add onions and extra alfalfa sprouts.

When I used to eat meat, I ordered the Turkey Tom.

Here are the facts if you order it straight up:

Minus the mayo:

Soooo you can have your 14-POINT Turkey Tom for 6 POINTS just by taking off the mayo! Worth it.

The only other thing I ordered at JJ’s back in the day was the Totally Tuna. The mayo’s already in the tuna mix, and cheese isn’t included with this sub, so I couldn’t take it off.

Here’s the bad news:

That’s 15 POINTS! I only get 22 (aaaalmost 21) POINTS per day, so using 15 all at once — when I probably would get a high-POINTS bag of chips on the side — is just not gonna happen.

Moral of the story: Ditch the mayo. If you really want the cheese, keep it, but I suggest nixing that, too. It doesn’t really add THAT much flavor. If it’s flavor you’re looking for, add onions (like I do) or any of your favorite veggies. Yay veggies!!! Also, opt for a yummy huge pickle (a mere 22 cals) rather than the BBQ chips (320 cals/bag — yikes!) or cookie (420 cals — double yikes!).

Hope some of my tips helped! Peace and love, lovelies :)

(My apologies for the abrupt signoff; True Lies is on and I forgot how great it is!)