Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tasty Thursday!!!

Tasty Thursday is brought to you by Forgetful Tuesday... ;-)

I drank 2 big jug fuls of my WW mug water, one before lunch and one after lunch. Love this jug! Seriously, if you don't have a nice 32 oz water jug, I highly recommend one! It's such as easy way to make sure that I always get in at least 64 oz of water daily. Breakfast was a delicious bowl of oatmeal (1 cup dry) made with unsweetened vanilla almond milk (1 cup) and a chopped up banana. YUM.Lunch was seriously amazing. On this open-faced sandwich: 2 Morningstar Farms chik'n grillers patties, 2 tbs hummus, and 1/2 an avocado. On the side I had baby carrots and cherry tomatoes, sprinled with pepper.I really don't know why, but after that gigantic meal I was still hungry, so I ate my Lara Bar early (had planned it for late afternoon) along with 6 redvines. Everything in moderation, folks! My afternoon snack was a can of no-sugar-added peaches. (recycled picture, since I forgot to take a picture of these! I swear this looks exactly the same.) On my way to class after work, I couldn't help noticing this. Whose skinny thighs are those? Mine!!! How exciting to recognize that my thighs are no longer overweight. I hope that each and every one of you reading this has either already had this moment, or will have it soon. It will not soon be forgotten... I have thin thighs. :-)
Before class began, I enjoyed some more baby carrots and cherry tomatoes. Seriously, carrots are nature's crackers, and cherry tomatoes are nature's kettle corn. So sweet and salty!
I had to take this picture in the school dirty bathroom, just to show you a cute new outfit! That's right, I have an hourglass shape, and I'm wearing stuff to show it off, FINALLY! I am loving my new-found confidence, and I'm hoping that I don't bore you too much with "Wow, don't I look great now" thoughts.
Dinner was 1 cup of a mixture of barely and brown rice (cooked together in the rice cooker, YAY, how exciting that I can do that?!), 1 cup of ff refried beans, and a can of tomatoes. Loved this combo!
Now, I have to get back to THIS. Anyone want to write my International Relations paper for me? Hmmm? ;-)

P.S. Just had to add: All pictures that have a steering wheel in them were taken while PARKED. Just in case anyone was worried! :-)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

NTFC Update!

The first 3 days of the No Trigger Foods Challenge are over!!! :-)

So far, this challenge has really helped to save me from myself at least twice.

Since starting college, I've found that I have been tempted by emotional/stress overeating, especially in the late evening. My go-to snacks for that were all of my Trigger Foods: chips, "healthy" crackers, "healthy" light bread, and oreos.

Since those are all off-limits for the 21 days of the challenge, I have been doing so much better. Last night, I overate a bit. But here's what my late-night snack/meal consisted of: kidney beans, steamed veggies, 1 tortilla, 5 saltine crackers, 1 tablespoon almond butter.

After tracking all of that into my Sparkpeople tracker, I had actually IMPROVED my nutrition for the day. I had been behind by about 10 grams of protein, and by about 5 grams of fat. I still was in my calorie range and carbohydrate range (the categories that I had surpassed the two previous days). Apparently, if chosen mindfully, my late-night snacking can actually be... HEALTHY??? Wow.

There was a bag of light Ruffles at the house, and a bag of oreos. And believe me, it was only because of the NTFC that I was able to say, "no" to those options, and choose healthier options. And with the saltines and almond butter, I still got my crunch and my sweet. ;-)

Sometimes, this is all mental, isn't it? Really, the NTFC only exists in my head and on this blog. But, if it's enough motivation for me to make healthier snack choices, then I'm happy with it.


Do you ever trick yourself into making healthier choices? How has it worked for you?

P.S. Sorry about no Tasty Tuesday. I didn't remember to take pictures of anything after breakfast... I'm a terrible Tasty Tuesday blogger. :-( I am going to try to make it up to you with a Tasty Wednesday or Thursday. I'll get back...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rewards for weight loss?

I've been asked by some people what I'm going to "give myself" as a "reward" for getting to my goal weight.

In the beginning of my WLJ, I had a clear image of what I wanted to reward myself with once the scale announced to me that I weighed a mere 135.0: a trip to NYC, where I would buy myself a pair of ridiculously expensive designer jeans in my new size! It was a pretty motivating goal for a couple of months.

...Then I lost sight of it. My rewards became mental, completely mental. As in: Just seeing a smaller number on the scale was enough of a reward for me! Those NSVs (non-scale victories) are so rewarding. Here are some amazing and free (or nearly free) rewards that I have "given" myself over my WLJ:

1) old shirts that used to show my rolls that now look awesome!

2) luxurious bubble baths with a cold beverage on the side and a good book or magazine to read (okay, the bubbles, drink, and reading material cost some $, but not much)

3) the ability to wrap a towel around myself, and not a beach towel... a regular towel!!! Walking around the house (er, apartment) wearing the towel, doing homework in the towel, folding towels in the towel, etc.

4) Cooking a healthy meal, enjoying every bite.

5) Dark chocolate. (yep, I went there. Food rewards are still valid to me!!!)

6) Amy's pizza (again with the food rewards! Do I have a problem?) ;-)

7) old jeans that were boxed away because they were way too small. I love giving myself my own old clothes!!!

8) me time: an hour at the gym, a long walk, a bubble bath (I know this was already mentioned, but it needed repeating), permission to read for pleasure for an hour, permission to watch an episode (or 4) of Buffy or Charmed, and my favorite daily reward: The Young and Restless (which is often combined with good food or exercise, double reward!)

9) Blogging. Sometimes, this blog is very cathartic for me, and it helps me to get through a tough day. Today is one of those days, people! Trying to write a bit about positive things to remind myself that the bad days are few and far in between.

As much fun as the cheap/free rewards are, I decided to finally break down and reward myself monetarily recently. I got a haircut, bought some new work clothes, and just now ordered myself three guilty-pleasure books from Amazon.

Two of them are... embarassing! But I want to read them, and will definately be sharing exerts from them if I enjoy them as much as I think that I will...

1) The Black Book of Hollywood Beauty Secrets, by Kim Douglas and Cindy Pearlman.

Sound exciting, no? This can only be helpful for my quest to work on my outer beauty more.

2) The Black Book of Hollywood Diet Secrets, by same people This book looks totally lame! It also sounds completely mindless. And like stuff that I've read a million times in several different magazines... and yet, I'm so excited to read this! Why not enjoy some mindless and fun reading, that may possibly contain the secret to weight loss? (Please know that I'm joking about believing in any such secret, okay? Eat less + move more = only "secret" to weight loss out there) 3) Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited to try making these. I have recently discovered a bakery right here in Memphis that sells vegan cupcakes and cakes, and have been enjoying a few every couple of weeks. Making vegan goodies myself will only save me money, right? ;-) I can't wait to share a recipe with you guys, and let you know how it goes!

P.S. Stay tuned for Tasty Tuesday post late tonight, which unfortunately will NOT have a lunch photo, since I completely forgot to take one. Bad blogger, I know. Sorry! I will describe my boring leftovers lunch in detail, don't worry. :-)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Taking a WW break...

First of all, thanks for all of the haircut and swimsuit compliments!!! They made my day(s). :-) Yes, it took a lot of guts to post that swimsuit picture on a public blog, but I figured: why not? I hope to inspire other women to post pictures of themselves in swimsuits, smiling from ear to ear, and loving the way they look despite imperfections. And yes, despite how much I love that swimsuit, I did notice imperfections in my thighs and hips in that picture! But, I was somehow able to look past that, and to know that overall, the picture was beautiful.

I am officially taking a break from Weight Watchers. I doubt that this will last longer than a week, but it just may.

Why am I doing this? Mostly because I'm just kind of feeling "eh" about it. I want to eat healthy vegan foods to satisfaction. All healthy vegan foods.

I'm not going to take a break from tracking my foods, however. Or from eating right, or from exercising. Just from calling what I do "Weight Watchers" because I don't think that I want to follow WW right now.

I just want to be me! When I made this announcement this morning on my Weight Watchers home page, I was met with a bunch of "don't do it!!!!!!!!!!!!" warnings.

I want to assure my blog readers that just because I'm taking a break from WW, I am not going to gain any weight back. No siree, regain is NOT an option for me. I really believe that WW has taught me a lot about healthy eating and portion control.

I will resume "Leah's Weight Watchers Plan" next week, probably. And tomorrow will be another Tasty Tuesday! And it probably won't be very different from what I have been eating on WW.

Have any of you ever tracked on Sparkpeople?? I have started it today, and I'm loving it. My username is: LEAHNEW.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

New Haircut and new swimsuit (pictures!!!)

Here is my new haircut!!! Short and awesome. I'm thrilled that I went for it. LOVE.
Here I am in my new swimsuit! Yes, I got a head start on swimsuit shopping, and I'm thrilled to announce that I love the way that I look in this. NSV for sure!!!
Down .8 this week, down to 147.8. 2.8 pounds until I reach my WW goal weight.

Friday, March 25, 2011

NTF Challenge!!!

Tomorrow I'm starting a new challenge for myself (and for anyone else who wants to join!!!).

I'm calling it the "No Trigger Food" Challenge! I did something simular a few months ago with chips. Basically, I will be challenging myself to go 21 full days without any trigger foods.

What are trigger foods? Trigger foods are any foods that once I start eating them, I cannot stop. Sometimes, eating trigger foods turns into a full-out binge. I've pretty much put binge-eating behind me, but sometimes I still find myself wanting to overeat just for the sake of overeating.

I remember that when I did my "no chips challenge", it really helped me to stop craving chips so often. This time around, I'm adding all trigger foods to the challenge.

My Trigger Foods:
  • chips (potato, corn, pita, etc.)
  • unhealthy crackers that masquerade as healthy crackers (triscuits, wheat thins, whole grain saltines, etc.)
  • oreos (any and all types)
  • light wheat bread (seriously, this stuff is like crack to me.)
I think that these are it, but if I think of any others to add to this list, I will update it! So, tomorrow is the first day of the first "No Trigger Foods Challenge" (NTFC). 21 days without any trigger foods. Can I do it? Yes I can!!!
Why am I doing this? This week, I found myself eating more of these trigger foods than usual, and feeling a bit out of control with my eating. I'm scared that it's the beginning of a pattern, especially since I'm not PMSing. This is my way of taking control before I gain any weight with these trigger foods!
Yes, I do realize that this is very anti-Intutive Eating, but I'm still in the beginning phases of weaning myself off of WW/getting back to IE. :-)
I'm going to add a cute new ticker to the top of this blog showing how many days are left of the NTFC. (Yes, I'm obsessed with tickers!!!)

Congrats, Alicia!!!

I feel like as a blogger who blogs about The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone, I should have known about this before today. Where was I??? Alicia Silverstone is very pregnant, and I'm so happy for her! I'm excited to see how she does with raising her child as a vegan.
Congratulations to Alicia and Chris!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Selfish with my healthy foods... (rant)

This morning I felt like an angry monster. Mostly because when I went to make my oatmeal, I discovered that Stacey had DRANK my almond milk and it was ALL GONE. >:-(

I am often quite selfish with my healthy foods. Is this justified selfishness? I'm not sure.

Here's why I don't like Stacey eating my healthy/vegan foods:

1) They are expensive. Since we split groceries 50/50, this really shouldn't be an issue. Technically, half of the almond milk was "his". But sometimes, I will buy an Amy's pizza in the middle of the week, and when I bake it on Saturday he'll want to split it. When his Totino's pizza is sitting right there.

2) He is not trying to lose weight or eat healthy. Therefore, why is he eating my delicious healthy food?? He will eat a can of vienna sausage, a little debbie, a tall glass of sugary not real juice juice, and a lara bar. NOT COOL.

3) He's not vegan, and not trying to be. So stay out of my special vegan foods, especially my Amy's pizza, almond milk, and vegan boca burgers. Please?

Okay, vent over. Now on to rational thinking. LOL, if he reads this, I am sooooo in trouble. Not really... Stacey, I love you, and I'm sure that I do a lot of crazy things that you would blog about occasionally if you had a blog, right? :-)

I would love it if he decided to start eating healthier or to start cutting back on his meat consumption. If he did those things, I think that I would enjoy sharing my vegan goodies with him. But I will never pressure him to be vegan, like he'll never pressure me to give up veganism.

It is sometimes hard to live with someone who doesn't eat the same things that I eat. I struggle with this, mostly because I'm afraid of what will happen in the long term, if we should ever start a family together. I will want to raise the kid vegan, or at the very least vegetarian (I realize that it would be hard to keep him/her 100% vegan once they start school).

Also, I currently almost NEVER cook for Stacey. This is because he has stomach issues with beans, and I refuse to cook meat. So we each cook for ourselves, and he doesn't cook at all, so he is eating mostly this: canned meat, bread, balogna, frozen meals, lots of fruit, little to no vegetables, and fast food.

I feel guilty about it, but then I remember that I'm a feminist, and why should it be assumed that I should do the cooking in the household just because I am the woman?

P.S. Sorry for no "Tasty Tuesday" this week! My camera's batteries died and I haven't bought new ones yet.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The transition to IE, and Listening to my body...

First, an updated weight loss ticker, just to brag! :-) I love seeing that I've lost over 70 pounds since starting my weight-loss journey. I encourage all of you to post updated weight loss tickers to your blogs, and to smile and feel great about your progress, wherever you are on your journey.
By the way, "weight-loss journey" used to annoy me to no end. But I've really come to embrace that term, for I cannot think of a better way to describe the last 20 months for myself. It really has been a journey, and a lot of it has been focused on weight loss... so, WLJ it is. ;-)
I'm still not sure about my ultimate weight goal of 145. I have really decided to just really start listening to my body about this issue. I've mentioned my goal jeans before (American Eage size 10's from around 2004) and I continue to strive towards fitting into those.
My new weight loss goal: Once I get down to 145 (which I highly supsect will be pretty soon!), I will stop focusing on the scale as much and instead focus on the tape measure for progress. I still have a few inches that I would love to lose (mostly around my stomach and hips) and I just know deep in my gut that the way to get to my ultimate goal size is with Intuitive Eating and exercise, not Weight Watchers.
But to avoid the terrifying "re-gain" that I have often read about with people who get to goal and then quit WW, I am slowly weaning myself off of WW, not quitting cold turkey.
I will also be re-reading the book that taught me about IE, "Intuitive Eating" by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. I will post updates on this blog about the chapters that speak the most to me, just to let you guys know the gist of Intuitive Eating. I absolutely love it, and encourage anyone looking for something new to pick up the book and see if it's for you.
Listening to my body
This morning, I really wanted to do my planned workout on the Wave.
I have been having some lower back pain lately (something that I get on and off, I have a bad-ish back), and felt as if that would do more harm than good, so I stuck with my newest love, the recumbant bicycle (pictures coming soon!).
I'm really working on learning to listen to my body, and everything that it's telling me. Last night, I just knew that I was done eating for the day, but my body was telling me differently. So I ate some triscuits (PointsPlus counted, not a LPF) with salsa and some pickles.
I'm wondering if my body was telling me that I needed more sodium? Looking back on yesterday's menu and water consumption, that could easily have been the case.
Today I am craving vegetables for lunch, so I'll probably have a green monster and a big salad. It feels so good to listen to my body!!!
Do you listen to your body, or do you stick to your plan no matter what?
I used to be a strict planner, which is making this challenge to listen to my body pretty... well, challenging. It's just another baby step towards intuitive eating.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Excited about exercise...?! Really excited.

Remember this post? Well, I'm all done with that. I'm excited about exercise again!!!
I'm pretty sure that it is because I have been switching it up. Rediscovering the Wave has been amazing to me!
Another reason that I'm excited: I finally got that free exercise bike from my cousin yesterday!!! It's just a basic recumbant bike, but it has the ability to increase the resistance, which is a challenge for my leg muscles.
Plus, it's in the front room. Which is the main TV room, so now I can look forward to watching DVD shows as well as DVRed shows, all while exercising! How exciting. :-)
One more reason that I'm excited about exercising: I have some new goals.
1st goal: to become a runner.
Yes, I badly want to be a runner. I have spent years telling myself that I couldn't run for many reasons. Mostly, that I am very prone to shin splints.
Well, I finally figured out that if I do shin strengthening exercises a couple of times a week, and ice my shins after a run, I can pretty much avoid shin problems. :-) :-) :-)
This weekend, I did three days in a row of running intervals. Run one minute, walk one minute, run two minutes, walk one minute. Back to one minute. And so on! It felt amazing! I felt so strong and beautiful while I ran. And I know that it worked my heart and a lot of other muscles, since I was drenched in sweat and sore the next day. I'm almost ready to start calling myself a "runner". Almost. I'll let you know. ;-)
Now I'm dreaming of 5Ks and half marathons in 2012... we'll see.
Another goal of mine: getting bikini ready. And yes, I know that this is a shallow, common goal. But I still want it!
I'm pretty sure that I'll look good in a bikini this summer, since last summer I rocked one at 180 or so, and thought that I looked good.
Why not really challenge myself into working on my thighs, butt, abs, back, and arms by working towards getting bikini ready?
I can't think of any reasons. So, official goal: get bikini ready.
The final reason that I'm getting more excited about exercise: It's a big stress reliever. Seriously. Here's my current week day schedule:
  • Go to work for 8 hours.
  • Go to class for 3 hours.
  • Go to the library and study/do homework for an hour or two.
  • Get home around 10pm.
  • Eat a late dinner/take bath/study more/laundry/etc.
  • Get some sleep...
What better way to start that crazy day than 40 minutes of high-intensity exercise??
What motivates you to exercise?
Do you have any fitness goals right now?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Healthy crackers and cold cereals = Leah Power Foods (LPF)

I love pretending that my new Weight Watchers plan is something official. ;-) As something official, it definately needs its own acronyms. The first one is "LPF" for Leah Power Foods. LPFs are foods that I'm incorporating into the Weight Watchers Power Foods list (found here if you are a WW online member).

This week, I added hummus as an official LPF. Next week (starting tomorrow for me), I am adding the second LPF to my plan: healthy crackers and cold cereals.

What qualifies as a healthy cracker or cold cereal? I'll tell you what doesn't: trigger foods.

For me, that automatically disqualifies things like oringial Wheat Thins and original Triscuits. I'll give examples of healthy crackers as I find more.

Last week I tried some delicious spelt cracker flatbreads from Whole Foods that definately qualify!!! They had pronouncable and recognizable ingredients, tatsed delicious, and aren't something that I would be tempted to binge on. Oh, and they were VERY low Point.

Healthy cold cereals: same rule. If I would be tempted to binge on it or if it has way too many unpronouncable and unrecognizable ingredients, it won't make the LPF list. So far, all the Nature Path cereals that I have tried qualify.

I'm subtracting 15 WPA to allow for these LPF. Last week, I was down 5 for hummus. This week I'm down 15 more, so my total WPA remaining will be 29. Gulp. Can I do it? I think that I can handle it! :-)

Tomorrow morning is a WI, and I'm not expecting anything great. I had an OKAY week, not a GREAT one, eating-wise. I'll report back tomorrow morning and let you know how it goes!

I hope that all of you have great weekends!
P.S. Yes, I know that I broke the "day of silence" but I couldn't help myself.

For Japan: Bloggers Day of Silence

Click on either picture above to donate.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Exercise getting boring???

This morning, my Nordic Track workout was... blah.

Usually, I've been able to enjoy my workouts. I think that the reason that I've always been able to enjoy my cardio workouts is (embarasingly enough) TV. There is not much I enjoy more than watching a kick-butt episode of Charmed, Buffy, or the Young and the Restless while sweating up a storm doing some cardio. I know that I'm cool; you don't have to tell me! ;-)

...I recently moved the Nordic Track out of the living room because it was such an eyesore for me. Stacey always said that he didn't mind it, and I had pretty much gotten used to it, but I hated how ugly it looked right in the middle of the floor.

So, as soon as we got a cable box in the spare bedroom, we (okay, Stacey) moved the Nordic Track into there. I figured that with cable, I could find something cool to watch all the time (after living without cable for years, I just had that fantasy...).
Turns out, I don't like doing cardio during commercials. I get BORED. I start thinking thoughts like, "How many mintues do I have left?" which is just not cool.
I'm supposed to go get an exercise bike soon, that will replace the NT as the new living room eyesore. That way, I'll have something cardio to do in front of the DVR and DVD player.
Another option: Get another DVR box to put in the spare room/gym. But that costs an extra $15 a month, so it's not really an option. I could also buy a 3rd DVD player to go in there, so at least I can watch Buffy and Charmed.
Since going back to school, I've had less time to devote to vegging out. I hardly ever get to just sit around and watch TV anymore. Therefore, I treasure my exercise TV time even more, and would love to use it productively by catching up on Y&R.
Yes, to me, Y&R is not an option, I must always watch every episode aired. So, since I'm going to watch it anyway, why not do it in the mornings while on the Nordic Track??
... I don't know if I had a point with this blog entry. I guess my point is that I may be moving the NT back into the living room, just so that I can watch DVRed episodes of the Young and the Restless.
Is that sad?? I don't think so. You gotta do what you gotta do, right?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tasty Tuesday!

I started the day off right with a high-intensity workout on the Wave. I find the way my legs look in this picture hilarious!
Next up, a giant bowl of oatmeal made with oats, banana, light soy milk, and a tad of vanilla almond milk. With my morning Diet Cola and lots of water! Once again, this oatmeal was eaten half at 8am, and a bit more around 10:30. Didn't end up eating all of it this time, just wasn't that hungry.

One of the engineers brought me a present: a bunch of fancy cookies from the first class lounge at the airport! The ingredients were all vegan, and it was so tiny that I counted two of them at 1 PointPlus, since I really have no clue.

Lunch started with a Green Monster smoothie made with soy milk, flax seeds, spinach, dandelion greens, kale, a banana, and some unsweetened applesauce.

Hi to Stacey on the couch! Don't mind the crazy glare on his glasses.

I was still a little hungry, so I had some leftovers of barley with black beans and veggies! Mixed a teaspoon of EVOO in there, too.

I packed a baggie of veggies and a sandwich for school. I only ended up eating a few of these, and none of the sandwich. Wasn't hungry for it!

I did enjoy a late afternoon clementine... okay, two. ;-)
No, I wasn't driving when I took this, but yes that is my steering wheel!

This is what I'm eating right now for a late dinner. Some more leftover barley and beans with some toast. 1 tsp of EVOO drizzled on the toast.

Thanks to Megan for the name idea of "Tasty Tuesday". I love it! BTW, if you read my blog and don't read Megan's, that crazy! Hers is way better.

*edited to add: I ate an additional 5 pieces of light wheat bread late last night!!! Note to self: stop buying this for awhile, it's clearly a trigger food for me.

"Leah's Weight Watchers Plan" has begun...

As I mentioned recently, I have been considering making the Weight Watchers plan a better fit for me by changing the program/diet up a bit to suit my needs (and wants!).

This is not something that I recommend to anyone just starting out on Weight Watchers, and I am going into this with my eyes wide open. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. If I gain weight, I gain weight. And if that happens, I will have to either tweak my tweaks, or go back to Weight Watchers as written.

It just feels like the next step for me, as I get closer to maintenence. I want to make a few tweaks to the Weight Watchers plan that will help to make it better for ME.

Basically, I will be staying on the Simply Filling Technique, but adding some foods to the Power Foods. As I add more foods to the Power Foods (foods that I can eat to satisfaction without counting PointsPlus), I will subtract PointsPlus from my 49 Weekly Allowance Points.

This week, I have added hummus to my Power Foods, and since I rarely eat more than a spoonful a day (usually much less), I have subtracted 5 WPA.

Next week, I'm planning to add one more item, and subtract WPA accordingly. I'm taking this process slow, and seeing what happens. I'm pretty excited to see how it all works out!

Foods that I will be adding to my Power Foods list:
1) hummus
2) healthy, whole foods crackers and cold cereals
3) nuts and natural nut butters
4) avocados

After adding one new item weekly, I will eventually no longer have the 49 WPA, and will be using Activity Points for any foods not on the Power Foods list (which will by then include all of the above foods).

Did I explain it okay? I hope so! I think that tweaking the plan is a good thing for me right now. It didn't work in the past, but I'm pretty sure that was for a few reasons:
  1. I wasn't working hard. I was using my "tweaks" as an excuse to be lazy and not really work any program.
  2. My tweaks were too vague.
  3. I was interested in losing weight, but not committed!
Have you ever changed the program to fit your needs?
What were your results?

Stay tuned for tonight's "Tasty Tuesday" post! ;-)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

THE 140's!!!!!!!

Just a short blog entry to announce to the world (well, to you guys, anyway!!!) that I am officially out of the 150's! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hello, 140's. Feels great to finally meet you!

Don't you just love breaking into a new "decade"?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tuesday Food Photo Fun!

Here is my first installment of "What I ate on Tuesday" (I'll work on the name later...)
The day started with an amazing workout on my Wave by The Firm. Seriously, LOVE THIS WORKOUT!!! I was not really ready for it when I bought it, but now, I'm more than ready and I'm rocking that Wave. It's a new goal of mine to do this workout at least twice a week in place of Nordic Track workouts, just to mix things up!
Sweaty Leah post-workout. (Like my sparkly bandana thing?)

Breakfast was oatmeal made with soy milk and sliced banana. Plus one packet of Splenda. Yes, I'm still consuming artificial sweetners! When I decide to break that habit, you will be the first to know! Don't expect it soon, though. :-) Baby steps towards clean eating!

I ate about half of this giant oatmeal concoction when I got to work around 8, then the second half around 10:30, when I got hungry again. I love eating this way, it just seems so healthy!!!
Yes, that's a generic "Diet Cola" you see. But please focus on the water behind it! I love my 32 oz. Weight Watchers water jug. I try to fill it up before lunch and after lunch, ensuring that I get in the minimum water intake (64 oz.) at work. That way anything I drink at home is just a bonus!

Lunch around 12:30 was leftovers! It was the rest of a bowl meal from the weekend (barley, tomatoes, chickpeas) mixed with some leftover cooked yellow squash. I also added some salsa and 1 tsp of EVOO, which made this taste pretty good for leftovers. Yum!

At 4:00, I was hungry again. I ate a can of No Sugar Added peaches. Delicious and filling!

Dinner was around 6:00. I was really hungry and ended up eating this entire bowl, normally at least two meals for me. This was brown rice, kidney beans, and a can of spicy tomatoes, mixed together with a teaspoon of EVOO.

Around 10:30pm, I enjoyed 12 PointsPlus worth of my new favorite junk food: chocolate creme oreos. Worth the Points! *note: this is not my picture, I found this on google because I didn't have my camera with me at this time!*
I hope that you enjoyed my food photos; I'll do this again next Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What I ate on Tuesday, coming late tonight!

I actually DID take pictures of all of my Tuesday meals and snacks, and it felt great doing it!

...Then I left the camera at my parents' house. My mom is out of town this week, so I go over there after work to let their dogs outside and feed them. I also decided to make myself some dinner over there yesterday, and took my camera out of my purse to keep up with the picture trend... and left it on the kitchen counter!

So, I will be sure to get the camera back today and do my "Food Picture Tuesday" post late tonight. :-)

I had a pretty on-plan day, full of Power Foods and I'm excited to share it with you!

***edited to add: So sorry that I didn't do the post last night! I didn't end up going to my parents' house yesterday. Planning on getting the camera at lunch today and blogging Tuesday's food tonight. Do you still want to see it, now that it's Thursday? :-)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Beauty Routine needs a major revamp!

This is going to be my first BEAUTY post on this blog. I've never really been into making myself beautiful, but I've made a personal resolution to myself to start trying harder in this department!

I think that I never really felt worthy of beauty. As if because I was obese/overweight, beauty just didn't apply to me.
First, I would take the fat off, then I would start taking care of the rest of me.

How backwards is that thinking?! Why didn't I care about my looks? Why did I not feel worthy enough to take care of?

The fat excuse is now gone for me. I'm no longer overweight. What's my excuse now? Well, you'll be happy hear that I've come up with a whole list of reasons to not worry about my beauty routine just yet:

"I'm too busy." Extensions of this include, "School is more important,""Work is too draining,""What am I supposed to do, wake up earlier???"

"I still have a couple of pounds that I would like to lose before I start worrying about makeup and hair."

"I have a boyfriend, and I rarely go out. What's the point of makeup?"

I could probably go on and on with more and more excuses.

The truth is, I want to be beautiful, and I'm sick of my excuses! And while I know that I am naturally beautiful, (as are ALL women!) without any makeup on and without my hair done, I still really have always wanted to have some knowledge of the beauty world, and to wear a decent amount of makeup at work.

I am ready to start a real beauty routine, and am looking for advice!!

Here are the facts about me:

1) I am very, VERY, pale.

2) I have extremely sensitive skin (probably should make this an extension of #1)

3) I have very fine, thinning hair (this is why my short haircut suits me so well)

4) I have a very limited budget (Cover Girl and Suave are my go-to brands)

5) I am not a morning person, therefore need a simple and quick daily routine

Here's what I am currently doing:

1) I've started to be religious about exfoliating and moisturizing my face and body. In the shower, I'll use a facial scrub cleanser (Clean & Clear morning scrub) and exfoliate my body with a loofah. After showering, I use both body lotion and facial lotion. Just adding this to my daily routine has made me feel fabulous! It feels good to do something so loving for my body, which I have treated so poorly in the past.

2) I have begun to use a foundation every day, on my face, after moisturizing. If I'm wearing contacts, I will do some eye shadow and mascara. With my glasses, I don't ever do eye makeup. I love how smooth my skin looks with foundation on! I would love to add some more items, like concealer, blush, powder, and lipstick!!! Or is that too ambitious for a newbie?

3) I have started to grow my nails out. I am usually a biter, gross I know! But now instead of biting, I file. Me, filing my nails! I am starting to think about painting my finger and toenails regularly.

Any tips for someone who is very much a newbie when it comes to beauty products?

Anyone reading this who is currently putting off a beauty routine until you get to a certain number on the scale, why don't you start feeling beautiful now? :-) I wish that I hadn't put this off for so long!

BTW, I'm not trying to say that all women need to wear makeup to feel or look beautiful! I'm simply saying that I would love to learn more about it, and to start putting more effort into my appearance. Just focus on me for a bit. Why not? I only get to be "Leah" for another 50-60 years, if I'm lucky!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blog ideas...?

I'm thinking of adding some more features to my blog.

One thing that I find is lacking in the healthy living blogging world is information about quitting smoking. When I was considering quitting smoking, I would have loved to see some more information about this from fellow foodies! (Did I really just call myself a foodie? Wow...)

So, I will be adding a page with "Tips for Quitting Smoking" just as soon as I get the time to do it! I think that while there is a lot of information about it out there, there is less information about how to quit while also losing weight. Many people (myself included) are terrified that if they quit smoking, they will quit losing weight, and may actually gain weight! It's just not true (doesn't have to be, anyway), and I think that a page of "quitting tips" on a Weight Loss/Healthy Living blog like mine may help some people. What do you think?

I'm also considering adding a page for WW tips specific to the Simply Filling Technique, but I'm still pretty new at it, so that may come a bit later.

Another idea that has been flitting around in my head is that I would love to share more pictures of my meals and snacks with you guys! I would never be able to commit to doing this daily, but what about weekly? What if I photograph all of my food every Tuesday? Something I'm thinking about... If I decided to go for it, be sure and check in tomorrow for the new feature.


I also am planning to start sharing my measurements on here monthly, along with a basic workout schedule for the month.

And: Is anyone interested in my life outside of food and exercise? If so, I am considering doing a weekly update: life edition on here! Or should I just keep this blog for food and exercise? What do you think? I would never get too personal, political, or religious on here. Just basic life updates (like tonight I'm going to a Memphis Grizzlies game with my boyfriend and his two kids! Is that something that you'd like to read about? Etc...)

I'm excited about these new ideas that I have, and I hope that you will enjoy reading them as much as I'll enjoy writing them!

Please leave any comments/advice/feedback in the comments section. I'm really interested in changing things up a bit on here, and would love to know what you think!

I hope that all of you are having wonderful Mondays!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Firm Wave, measurements, and a possible modified WW plan for me...

I've decided to finally start taking measurements of my body! I did this at the beginning of my WLJ, and I would love to see how far I've come since then! Unfortunately, I can't remember where I put them, but as soon as I find my original measurements, I will share my results with you. For now, I've decided to "put up or shut up" when it comes to my goal jeans.

Yes, I have raised my goal weight, but I still dream of fitting into those size 10's. Here's a lovely picture of my "goal jeans". They are American Eagle size 10 (and yes I know that is a teeny-bopper store!)

They actually currently go up past my thighs and hips, but are about 4 or 5 inches short of being able to zip up. :-) So, I'm making it a new goal of mine to focus on losing inches, not just pounds!

One way to up my inches lost is to change up my workouts, which is something that I discussed on here recently. I've decided that I really need to add more strength training to my workouts to start seeing maximum results.

And since I get bored with strength easily, I've decided to trick myself by using fun workout DVDs that combine cardio with strength. I dug out my Firm Wave and the DVDs that came with it.

Wow, I forgot what a great workout this is! I did the 40 minutes DVD last night, and this morning I'm feeling the burn in exactly the places that I want to firm up!!! (hips, upper thighs, lower stomach) so I know that adding this workout into my routine will help. Plus, it's 40 minutes long, the exact amount of time that I have to exercise before work. How perfect is that?!

Anyway, I am down .8 for my second week on the Simply Filling Technique. YAY!!!

I have decided to definately follow WW as written until I reach 145, and then to slowly start modifying it to fit my needs and wants.

Here are my thoughts on the "Leah's Modified WW Plan" so far:
  • -Stay on the Simply Filling Technique
  • -except add the following foods to the Power Foods list: nuts, natural nut butters, avacados, healthy no-sugar-added cold cereals, almond milk
  • -Reduce Weekly Points Allowance to 10-15 to make up for my Power Foods additions...
  • -Eat all AP if I want/need to

What do you think?

I think that those modifications could keep me ridiculously happy and able to stay on WW (even if not the "real" plan). I'll let you know how it goes, but it's not going to start until I'm maintaining for a bit.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A-Z Survey!

copied from Oh She Glows and others... Please feel free to copy and paste to your blog! I had fun answering these.

A: Age- 26

B: Bed Size- Full/double (it has felt a lot bigger since I lost so much weight! Another benefit of weight loss!!!)

C: Chore you dislike- I have to choose one? I guess... anything to do with getting rid of soap scum and/or mildew.

D: Dogs- growing up: Stuffy (cocka-poo-chi, RIP, best dog ever) and Rose (Jack Russell mix, 13 years old, still going strong and living with my parents!). As an adult: Diva and Jacques (chihuahuas, age 8 and 7, living with my parents permanently now... sad.); Dot (mini pin, age 5, really my parents' dog, but I couldn't leave her out!)

E: Essential start to your day- caffeine, usually in the form of Diet Coke (lately it's been the generic "Big K Diet Cola"). A habit that I would love to eventually break!

F: Favorite color- pink!

G: Gold or silver- white gold or silver looks better with my skin, in decorating I love yellow gold!

H: Height- 5'6''

I: Instruments you play(ed)- piano, clarinet, bassoon, vocal Soprano I

J: Job title- Administrative Assistant by day, Student by night...

K: Kids- none yet, but I want to adopt an older child or two some day. No big desire to do the "baby thing", but people keep saying that my maternal instincts will kick in some day. I'm in my late twenties... not feeling them yet, starting to think it's a myth!

L: Live- Memphis, TN. Dream- NYC

M: Mom's name- Mary Kathleen, goes by Kathy. (hi, Mom!!!)

N: Nicknames- none. When I was 12, there was another Leah in my class and I went by "Lei" for a year. Does that count? I don't think anyone but me even remembers that...

O: Overnight hospital stays- just once, and it was to stay with my mom who was recovering from an illness.

P: Pet peeves- "Aks". It's pronounced like it's spelled, Memphians!!! "Ask."

Q: Quote from a movie- "I'll never let go." -Titanic (it's the first thing that popped into my head)

R: Righty or lefty- righty for writing and using scissors and knives, but lefty in most other ways (untwisting a toothpaste lid, for example).

S: Siblings- one brother, Joel. That's all I need! But I bugged Mom and Dad to have another baby until I was at least 15. I wanted a baby sister! :-)

T: Time you wake up- work day: 6-6:30; weekend: noon.

U: Underwear- What does that mean? Thong or briefs? Where I buy it? Do I wear it? I'm going for "do I wear it": yes, I do.

V: Vegetables you don't like- olives. Or is that a fruit? Either way, I can't stand them. (even though I love their oil, go figure!)

W: What makes you run late- oversleeping comes in first, followed by looking for my keys.

X: X-rays you've had- both legs and both arms (all 4 were seperate occasions), chest, stomach

Y: Yummy food you make- beans and rice! Well, the beans are canned, so does that count?

Z: Zoo animal favorites- giraffes. Can't help it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Healthy Vegan Intuitive Eating!!!

The title of this entry is what I'm starting to move towards, diet-wise. Weight Watchers has been amazing for me, and I don't plan to EVER stray from their basic principles, especially the Good Health Guidelines.


...I'm getting tired of dieting. I'm sick of tracking every bite. I'm starting to resent Weight Watchers. And yes, I know that IT WORKS because I have lost almost 70 pounds!!! For that, and for so much more, I owe WW a lot.

I've said from the beginning of this blog that I want to eventually stop counting and start eating intuitively again. I've decided that, as risky as it may be, that time will start a month into maintaining my goal weight of 145. Maybe sooner than that! I'm just ready to really start listening to my body again.

The Simply Filling Technique has been AMAZING for me so far. It allows me to keep clinging to the diet that is Weight Watchers while having much more freedom in how much I eat. I'm now actually listening to my hunger signals and choosing healthy foods at least 80% of the time. Yesterday, I had a 100% Power Foods day and didn't really realize it until today.

Choosing Power Foods has become much easier for me.

Here's why I want to eventually wean off of WW: I want to enjoy healthy fats again. And I know, it's possible to enjoy them as a WW-er, but I have issues with the high PointsPlus values assigned to things like avocados and almonds. Those are very healthy foods!!! If WW distinguished between good fats and bad fats, I could probably stay on WW forever.

For now, I'm going to continue on with WW's Simply Filling Technique, using my weekly PointsPlus and Activity PointsPlus on healthy fats and the occasional vegan pizza/cookie/chips. It definately is working for me, but there is still something missing.

It's just another step towards how I want to eat forever: Healthy. Vegan. Intuitive.

I want to make this clear: I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the Weight Watchers program! It is exactly what I needed to lose the weight, and what I will need to learn how much I'll need to eat in order to maintain that weight loss.

It's an amazing way to learn portion control and about healthy eating. It's a wonderful plan that will allow you to lose the weight slowly and steadily (something that I now love, but hated at first!) and will teach you how to keep the weight off. I love WW! I will probably track my food in some way or another for the rest of my life. Just not always in the Points/Calorie counting way.

I just wanted to be honest on my blog here: I'm almost ready to say "good-bye" to WW. I'll let you know before I take the plunge; it won't be any time soon. Probably by the summer.

To my WW/calorie counting readers:
Do you plan to stay on WW and/or count calories forever?