Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekly Check in: Week 4: Cheese and Stroganoff!

Four weeks down. I lost another pound this week, so that puts me at 4.5 lbs lost in 2012. On one hand, that's YAY! on another, I'm feeling a little UGH. It's been two months since I got back on the wagon, and I'm down a total of 14.5 lbs. I'm working out. I'm more fit than I was. These are all good things, and yet, today I'm feeling very impatient. I know that when you lose weight in healthy ways it doesn't happen overnight. I know this is going to take a long time. As much as I like the changes in my body, and the changes I see in the mirror, I wish it were happening faster. I feel like after two months, I should be a little farther along than I am.

10 years ago, I hopped myself up on Metabolife (before they removed the ephedra) and for three months I was on an uber strict diet and hit the gym 5-6 times a week, doing an hour of cardio plus weights every day. I dropped 30 lbs in 90 days, going from about 275 lbs to 245 lbs. I looked fantastic. I was also cracked out and crazy bitchy.

I know I should know better, but there's a part of me that feels like I should be losing as fast as I did that time around. Nevermind that I was working out more, eating less, taking what amounted to legal speed, and let's face it, I was ten years younger than I am now. (*sniffle*)

I also burned out, stopped taking the pills, and eventually the weight crept back on. I KNOW BETTER than to expect overnight results. It doesn't work that way, but that's where I am right now. I'm staying on program, going to the gym (three times this week, like a good monkey) and keeping up with my commitments to myself regarding this blog, healthy weekly recipes, and sleeping more. I have every intention of continuing to do those things. I'm just feeling crabby about the pace of my progress. I know that realisticly, I can expect to lose 1-2 lbs per week. I just REALLY want to keep it closer to 2. I don't want the 52 lbs to take all year. I plan to stick with it either way... blah. I'll stop complaining now.

In other news, two different people this week on two different days commented on how great my butt is looking. The words "exceptionally perky" were used.

If that isn't a great incentive to keep pounding out the high incline on the treadmill, I don't know what is!

In this week's culinary adventures, I went out for Korean BBQ with friends, and it was fantastic. I'd only had Korean once before, and I have to ask myself why the hell I waited so long to go back. I need more meat in my life. <3 We had so many tasty things, and I couldn't tell you what they were. Lots of sides and kimchee. There was some kind of soup with tofu, crab stuffed leeks, short ribs, steak, and marinated pork. Lots of spice. (I'm waiting for my Beef Stroganoff to finish cooking as I write this, and my mouth is watering! LOL!)

More of this, please!

I also travelled to the great city of Beaver, Utah to meet up with my mom and return her parrot to her. Beaver is a tiny town of 6,000 that has three things going for it: the best tasting tap water in the rural United States (2006),

An unfortunate name that brings LOTS of revenue in souvenir merchandise to an enterprising gas station owner: 

Best of all, in my expert opinion: they're home to a Cache Valley Cheese dairy and distribution center.  

That means fresh curds at the Chevron.
Squeeky Cheese!!!!

And then there was this.

The cheese of my people.

I had a cheese-gasm.

Now, I should tell you a little bit about why this is special. See, I was born in Cache Valley, which is about 70 miles north of Salt Lake City, and spent most of my summers in the country there as a kid. Beaver is their most southern distribution point. I can't get this stuff in Vegas. Even as a kid, I remember stopping in Beaver with my mom to pick up cheese curds at the gas station on the way back to Vegas. I remember going to Gossner's Dairy in Logan with my grandma as a kid for cheese and fresh ice cream. So for me, this is like a little piece of cheesy, homespun, food nostalgia.

 I'm on a diet after all, and I was a good monkey. I came out of there with just one bag of cheese curd, a block of bacon cheddar, and a small jar of chokecherry jelly. I'm really looking forward to cracking the jelly open. It reminds me of Saturday morning pancakes as a kid at my grandparents house. Mickey mouse shaped pancakes served by my papa hot off the griddle, smothered in homemade chokecherry syrup: my favorite breakfast. Mmmmm... memories. =)

As for my culinary exploits closer to home this week, I prepared a Beef Stroganoff which I adapted from a recipe found in "Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery" by Patt Levine and Michele Bontempo-Saray. It's a great little cookbook full of low fat/high protein recipes.

*Please note, I am not a chef. That being said, I love to cook, and more often than not, my food tastes pretty awesome. Do what works for you.  =)

Beef Stroganoff

Cooking spray
1 head of garlic, minced
2 1/2 lb lean eye of round roast, trimmed and cut into 1" cubes.
3 6 oz cans of Tomato Sauce
1 1/2 cup dry, red wine
5 cups sliced mushrooms
4 bay leaves
1 1/4 cup fat free sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Spray a large non stick skillet (with lid) with Pam or other cooking spray. Sautee garlic about 1 minute, then add meat,  and cook about three minutes on medium high heat, stirring frequently.

Remember, you're not trying to cook these through, just brown them a bit.
They'll be simmering for about 90 minutes.

2. Add tomato sauce, wine, mushrooms, bay leaves, salt and pepper.  Cover pan with lid and simmer on low heat for about 90 minutes. (The longer you let it simmer, the more tender your beef will become.)

Aren't the colors pretty?

3. Remove from heat and add sour cream. Season with additional salt or pepper as needed.

Serving suggestion, aprox. 12 points.

Makes about 8 cups.
Aprox 6-7 points per cup

Serve over No-Yolks egg noodles 
(2 oz dry noodles= 5 points)


Notes: I'd made this recipe once about three years ago, and loved it. This was tasty but not exactly what I expected. The original recipe called for 1 lb of lean eye round, and the only cut I could find was a 2.5 lb roast, so I upped my proportions about 2.5x. It was a little soupier than I expected, but had a wonderful flavor. I used a fat free sour cream from Trader Joe's. The flavor was okay, but it was a little grainy in the pan, and never integrated the way a higher fat cream would have. I think next time I will use a low fat version instead of fat free. I also may use a little flour to thicken up the sauce next time. Still, it was YUMMY,very hearty, and there will definitely be a next time.

And yes, I used an entire head of garlic. It was scrumptious.

Based on the nutrition data in the original recipe, this recipe would be about 4 points per serving.

With the modifications I made, I'm estimating my version at about 6 or 7 points per cup, plus the egg noodles.

As always, if you try one of my recipes let me know what you think, what works for you, and what doesn't.


So, that's about it for this week. I got my car back from the shop Wednesday morning, and I'm working to get back in the swing of things with my gym routine. I've been making a point of eating dinner after work, but before going to the gym. That means I run the risk of slacking off and not going with my belly full of dinner, but I think it's a better choice than working out first, then eating a huge dinner close to bedtime. I'm still working to find a balance with it.

My goal this week is to keep on keeping on. I've got this. Just have to keep at it, slow progress or no.

Weeks down: 4
Weeks to go: 48
Starting weight: 271.5 lbs
Current weight: 267 lbs
This week's loss: 1 lbs
2012 weight loss: 4.5 lb
2012 goal: 219.5 lbs
Starting BMI 40.00
Current BMI 39.4

Started WW on 11/28, @ 281.5 lbs 
Total loss: 14.5 lbs

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekly Check in: Week 3

Hello Friends!

One more week has come and gone, and I find myself still firmly on target. I'm getting close to 8 hours of sleep most nights (even if I have to drug myself with Benadryll to do it) and feeling better as a result.

The good stuff: I'm down another 2.5 lbs this week! Woo Hoo! *commence happy dance*

The bad stuff: My car has been in the shop since Thursday, so I only got to the gym on Tuesday and Wednesday.

So... I haven't been as active this week as I would like to be, and didn't meet my gym goal of 3x a week or more. I have a good reason, but I'm also not making excuses for myself. I suppose I could have gone walking around the neighborhood, but it's COLD! I believe we've established I don't do cold. In any case, most of my activity this week came from puttering around the house doing chores, and grocery shopping. (You better believe I count all of that in my activity points!)

I think part of the reason I'm still losing well in spite of all of that is because I'm being very strict on my points. I'm still not using my extra allotment of weekly points at all (49 pts) and I've only been using 20-25 of the activity points I've earned. I'm also getting better about not eating as late at night (one of my biggest challenges.) When I do eat later, I try to make it protein, and not carbs or fruit. I read somewhere that if you eat carbs close to bedtime and don't work them off that they just turn into sugar and go into storage (read: fat.) I don't know if that's true or not, but I'm going to try to stick to that guideline. I'm also making a point of eating a small meal or dinner before going to the gym rather than after.

Friday night came rolling around and I realized I still hadn't figured out what to do for my Recipe of the Week. I've been trying to be good about using what's already in the house, so after rummaging around in the pantry and fridge, I turned to teh interwebs for a good cauliflower soup recipe. The ones that caught my eye tended to include lots of butter, cream, and cheese. *sigh* But no... I can do this! It's going to be light, and it's going to taste great. I found a basic recipe for a roasted cauliflower soup, made it as directed, and then decided it wasn't nearly good enough. It was okay, but a little bland for my tastes. Not nearly enough punch. So, I dug out the vinegar, rosemary, mushrooms, and truffle oil and turned a so-so soup into an entree that I'm pleased to share with all of you.

As with most of my recipes, some of the measurements are aproximate, and some ingredients are optional. Feel free to play around with it and do what tastes good! The vinegar and the truffle oil are probably the biggest "optional" items this time around. My BFF Tabitha gifted me with two kinds of truffle oil and truffle salt for Christmas, and I've been putting it to good use. The salt is awesome. Especially on popcorn. But, I digress!

Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Soup
1 head of cauliflower, rough chopped in smallish pieces.
10 cloves of garlic, (More or less to taste. I love garlic!)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp butter
1 Onion, diced
2 Shallots (optional, but I had them laying around.)
3 Tbsp flour
1 14 oz can broth (either chicken or veggie)
1 cup non fat milk
2 Tbsp red wine
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tsp rosemary
8 oz white mushrooms, sliced
3 Tbsp garlic chili paste (optional)

* The original recipe called for 1 TBSP dry sherry, but I didn't have any. This gave me an excellent excuse to open a bottle of wine! Nevermind that I only needed a thimble full... hee hee... 

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
2. Place your chopped cauliflower and garlic in a small-medium sized roasting pan. Add salt, pepper, and drizzle with olive oil, then toss to more or less coat the veggies.

3. Toss that bad boy in the oven and roast about 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so until your cauliflower is golden and tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.

4. While cauliflower is baking, melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Sautee onion about 10 minutes until golden brown.

5. Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir to coat. Slowly pour in broth and milk. Stir with a whisk until all of the flour is dissolved. Stir continuously as you bring this to a boil. Once your soup base is thickened, reduce to low. 

6. Transfer soup base to a blender, and add cauliflower until everything is pureed. You may need to add up to a cup of water or your soup may be too thick to blend properly.

7. Return pureed soup to sauce pan and add rosemary, wine, chili paste, and vinegars to taste. *I think next time, I may try this with a dry white wine instead. (I also added about a quarter of a cup of fat free half and half because I got a little overzealous with the vinegar.)

As far as I'm concerned, this stuff is ambrosia. Spicy, garlicky ambrosia. As evidenced by the nearly empty bottle.
Also, I need a manicure.

8. Add sliced mushrooms and simmer on low until mushrooms are tender. If you would like to add a little truffle oil, now is a good time.

Makes about 7 cups. (4 points per cup)

Serve with a sprinkle of truffle salt and devour along with your "leftover" bottle of wine.

You can also add a little sliced ham at the end like I did if you want to make a meal of it.
If you've been drinking as you cook, there may not be much left! Haha!

The wine I cracked open was recommended to me by a very nice sales associate at Total Wine (my happy place.) It's nothing incredibly fancy, but it's their best seller under $10. 

It's an artisinal blend of zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and petite sirah, tasting of velvety, rich berries. Perfect for a casual evening in. Just remember to track it. At 8 points per cup, it adds up fast!

The highlight of my weekend was going out to a sushi lunch to catch up with a good friend that I hadn't seen in a few months. It was WONDERFUL. I used to have a weekly sushi date with my girlfriends, but then my schedule changed and that was the end of that. This time I hadn't had any in almost two months! I nearly died! Seriously. 

I love the little fishies... I love them GOOD! 

Sushi really is one of my most favorite things on the planet. I love that so much of it really is about the combination of super fresh, light ingredients. Sure, there are lots of tasty Americanized deep fried rolls stuffed with cream cheese and avocado, smothered in mayo that someone on a diet has no real business going near.

And I love them.

But there are tons of great choices that are low in calories and fat. The heaviest part of most rolls is the rice. (Your average roll uses about one cup of rice.) Beyond that, avoid the heavier fatty items, and you're good to go with an amazing weight watchers friendly meal that will keep you full for hours. (6 hours later, and I'm STILL not hungry.)  My favorite roll of the day was a salmon roll wrapped in more salmon, topped with paper thin slices of lemon. It was so light and fresh. I'm sure that it's a little bit of what heaven must taste like. Ha!

With my car in the shop, there's not much more to tell this week. Hopefully I'll get her back on Tuesday morning, or Wednesday at the latest, and then I can get back to the gym. I had a little pity party for myself Saturday afternoon and got down on myself thinking about the weekend fun I was missing out on, and the huge pile of money that I'm certain my mechanic is going to charge me for all of the repairs. I've been working so hard to get ahead... but there's nothing to be done about it. I just have to suck it up.

I'm reminding myself that sometimes life is going to throw a wrench in my gears. I can either let myself get thrown off track, or choose to stay focused and get back on the horse as soon as I can. It would be so easy to get lazy and slack off, but I'm not going to do it. So there. In the meantime, I'll stay active where I can. I may even break out a yoga or bellydance DVD and get moving at home.

Until next week, my dears!

Weeks down: 3
Weeks to go: 49
Starting weight: 271.5 lbs
Current weight: 268 lbs
This week's loss: 2.5 lbs
2012 weight loss: 3.5 lb
2012 goal: 219.5 lbs
Starting BMI 40.00
Current BMI 39.6

Started WW on 11/28, @ 281.5 lbs 
Total loss: 13.5 lbs

Sunday, January 15, 2012


"You are all beautiful! The beauty of a woman isn't in the clothes she wears, The figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes; Because that's the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. The beauty of a woman isn't in a facial mole; But true beauty in a woman, is reflected by her soul. It's the caring that she cares to give, the passion that she shows; And the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows."

~Maya Angelou

Weekly Check in: Week 2 & Thinspiration

Hello readers! I had a pretty damn good week and I hope you did too!

I was a VERY good monkey, and stuck to my weight watchers plan like a champ. I went to the gym Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I was going to go Saturday night, but I was just worn out. My feet and legs hurt because I'd pushed myself so hard the three previous days. Instead, I opted to take a long hot bath with epsom salts to soak away some of my soreness. I tossed in a few handfulls of some fancy bath salts that I bought as a reward for myself for sticking to my gym goal the week before, and it was just what the doctor ordered.
Zum bath salts from Whole Foods. $12 a pound, but sooooo worth it!
I picked up a smal bag of peppermint, and another of frankincense and myhrr.
I'm reminding myself not to overdo it. If I injure myself at the gym because I pushed too hard too fast, I won't be able to go at all. Shake it, don't break it, right? I need to stagger my gym days or something. One more thing to work on.  I've managed to get 8 hours of sleep almost every night this week, and eat breakfast most days, which is somewhat of a challenge for me because I've never been a big breakfast person, but I really can feel what a difference it makes in my day, I've started to realize that when I eat breakfast, even if it's just a bowl of cereal, I feel more awake and focused at work. I thought I was groggy because I wasn't getting enough sleep, but now that I am more rested, I'm seeing that I'm groggy because my blood sugar is low. Duh.

I didn't get to the gym Tuesday night, but I had a good excuse: 4th row tickets to Celine Dion at the Colosseum! Amazing show. The woman gives 110% and has one of the best sets of pipes in the business, in my humble opinion. On top of all that, I'm absolutely IN LOVE with the theater, the effects, and the lighting.

Celine closed the show with "My Heart Will Go On" surrounded by a shimmering curtain of water.
Stunning effect. Additionally, I want her dress. In my size.

I tried a few fun new recipes this week, some of which worked better than others. They might seem a little heavy or high in points, but they will also keep you full for a good while. Dinner tends to be the heaviest meal of my day, and I've been trying to cook and eat dinner before I go to the gym in the evenings, or I find myself eating dinner at 10pm, and then in bed two hours later, which isn't the best strategy for weight loss.

18 points
Pan fried Swai fish over whole wheat pasta with light alfredo, artichoke hearts, and organic broccoli. The fish was great. Swai is very light, like tilapia, with lots of protein and almost no fat. Fringe benefit: it doesn't stink up the house when you cook it like most fish does, which makes my vegetarian roommate VERY happy. The pasta was just alright. I really want to like whole wheat pasta, but I just don't. It's too fibrous and gummy.

15 points
I took the inspiration for this recipe from Claim Jumper. Their version has 1400+ calories
Baked sweet potato stuffed with blackened Jamaican jerked chicken, and a tangy relish of organic white corn, bell peppers, and onion. OMG, YUM! .

19 points - I need to lighten this one up, or just eat half of it. It was a lot of food.  
Leftover Jamaican jerked chicken with blanched organic broccoli and alfredo organic pasta. I love this pasta because it cooks up huge, and I feel like I'm getting a much bigger portion than I am. The cheese was a special treat from Whole Paycheck: a tiny block of "Cheeseland Ewephoria." No joke, that's what it was called. So good!

I'm having fun in the kitchen trying new things, eating LOTS of veggies, and using a lot less salt than I usually do.

In other news, I'm on a healthy lifestyle support forum, and a member there posted a link to a "Thinspiration" photo blog. The blog included pictures of lots of different women. Some were before and after shots of women who'd successfully lost their extra weight. Totally inspiring. Yet, these were sprinkled in among a huge gallery of very thin women, some of whom looked borderline anorexic. Many of them contained captions that were meant to be inspirational. Some of these were actually helpful, and some of them creeped me out, because of the unhealthy headspace I feel they encouraged, which seemed to me to base a girl's self worth on her dress size, and on what people think about her.

This one's not so bad, and I like the caption.

I get the sentiment, and we've all been there, but this one is on the borderline...

I'm not embarrased... should I be?

I figure I need all the focus and positive reinforcement I can get, right? So I started saving all the pics I could find in a file folder and decided that I would run them as a screen saver on my laptop. That way, when I'm busy on my work laptop, the slideshow would serve as a background focus. I collected a LOT of pictures, and after a day I found myself feeling down, and making negative comments in my head.

 I'd kill to look like that.

 Looking at them makes me want to eat nothing but celery and live at the gym.




I know better than to start getting down on myself. I've fought that battle for years, and I KNOW that no good will come of that line of thinking. I started being honest with myself. I'm a size 22 and 31 years old,  I've never been small. I have stretch marks. I'm big enough that even if I'm able to lose ALL of the extra weight my skin will probably not bounce back all the way. There might be a little bit of extra skin, there might be a lot. Either way, no matter how hard I work, it's not realistic for me to expect to look like these girls. I will NEVER be an 18 year old size 2.

This whole "thinspiration" thing just wasn't doing the trick for me. Still, I wasn't going to give up on the concept, I just needed to go about it differently.

I started thinking about the people who inspire me. People I admire professionally and/or personally, and who's body transformations inspire me. Some of them were celebrities, (Adele, Jennifer Hudson, and Crystal Renn top that list) but most of them were friends. People who've lost weight the old fashioned way and looked damn good after. Turns out, I know a lot of these people! I sat down and made a list, and came up with at least 15 people that I know personally who took charge of their health and made it happen. They're not perfect paragons of virtue. They have real lives and battles that they face. Some of them have significant health issues, full time jobs, kids, and still managed to get it together. It didn't happen overnight for them, and it won't happen overnight for me.

What have they got that I don't have? Some magic pill? Nope. A fairy godmother? Not that I know of. They had a whole lot of focus, hard work, dedication, and a determination to stick with it and turn their goals into reality. After all of that, the conclusion I came to is that if they can do it, I can do it.

If you're reading this, and you're one of those people, thank you for being an inspiration to me.

I went back to the drawing board on the inspiration slide show thing. I started compiling pics of my celeb inspirations, inspirational quotes, and beautiful plus sized models. Did you know that the average plus size model is anywhere between a size 6 and a size 12? I feel like that's a more realistic goal.

It didn't happen overnight for Adele

She's always been pretty, but now she's a knockout!

Will I ever look like these women? Maybe. If I lose 100 lbs or so, hire a team of stylists and a professional photographer to shoot me and then edit the pics to show me in my best light. Ha!
Still, it's something to aspire to. Just in case you're curious, here's me at about 25 lbs less than I am now, at about 245 lbs. That was when I lost about 30lbs on Weight Watchers the first time around.  I don't really know what I'd look like if I was smaller. These are from about 5 years ago, but you get the idea.

The biggest piece of inspiration came in the pic below, and it had nothing to do with her dress size, and everything to do with her can-do attitude.

Athlete Aimee Mullins
“Born without fibulae in both legs, Aimee’s medical prognosis was discouraging; she was told she would never walk, and would likely spend the rest of her life using a wheelchair. In an attempt for an outside chance at independent mobility, doctors amputated both her legs below the knee on her first birthday. The decision paid off. By age two, she had learned to walk on prosthetic legs, and spent her childhood doing the usual athletic activities of her peers: swimming, biking, softball, soccer, and skiing, always alongside “able-bodied” kids.”

If she can do that, I can stick to my goals too. One day at a time. One week at a time.  

Weeks down: 2
Weeks to go: 50
Starting weight: 271.5
Current weight: 270.5
2012 weight loss: 1lb
2012 goal: 219.5
Starting BMI 40.00
Current BMI 39.90

Started WW on 11/28, @ 281.5 lbs 
Total loss: 11 lbs

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I know I'm losing weight when I can't get warm. I've got the house temperature set to 74*. I'm wearing socks, slippers, thick sweat pants, a long sleeved henly thermal, and I'm running a space heater under my desk on high. Even with all of that, my feet are still like blocks of ice.

This sucks!

funny pictures of cats with captions

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Weekly Check in - Week 1

The first week of January, I hit the ground running. I was determined to work off the holiday pudge I picked up between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day. (Come on now, who doesn't love the rich foods that come with this time of year? Om nom nom nom...) Still,  I was a good monkey all through December, except for that week.

A litte background info:  I'd tried my hand at the South Beach diet this spring, and by mid June I was down to about 260 lbs, but then I got lazy, got busy, and generally stuffed myself silly with all manner of tasty things, plus a fair amount of cocktails and wine. Before I knew it, BAM! I was up twenty pounds and weighing in at 281.

Not cool.

Not okay.

I was basicly back to my highest weight ever. So, I got back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon, and took all of the good things I'd learned from South Beach with me. Lots of whole grains. Lots of veggies. Very little refined sugar and alcohol. I got my ass to the gym, and dropped  10 lbs by Christmas. I overindulged and gained back about 4lbs, which brought me up to New Years and where we started my fabulous blog. *grins*

Now, I LOVE to eat, which is part of how I get myself into trouble. I also love to cook, and I'm reasonably good at it, and getting better. As I mentioned in my bio, I watch WAY too much of the Food Network, but it really has helped me hone my cooking skills. I feel like I'm more creative in the kitchen, and more likely to try new things. The challenge for me this year is to learn to cook wonderful, tasty food that's also good for me. I won't settle for less than great flavors. One of my goals this year is to add one new dish per week to my repetoir, whether it's someone else's recipe, or my own creation. 

 Starting on Monday the 2nd I was back on track with Weight Watchers. I don't do meetings. I track all of my food and activity on the website, and on my iPhone. I love the program, and as long as I stick to it and excercise I lose weight. It's a no brainer for me as long as I stick to it.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the way that the Weight Watchers program works, all foods are given a point value based on a formula that takes into account an item's fat, carbs, protein, and fiber. The more wholesome a product is, the lower the point. For instance, an egg is 2 points. A cup of fat free milk is two points. butter and oil is about 4 points per Tbsp. A cup of white rice or pasta is about 5 points. A single serving bag of chips is about 6 points.

You get a daily point budget which is based on your weight and your activity level at work. I sit on my ass at a desk all day, so I'll get fewer points than someone who's running around waiting tables at a restaurant. You also get a weekly point allowance which you can use as you see fit, or not. You can earn extra points for activity which you can then use or not as you see fit. For example: Walking on a treadmill at an incline for an hour earns me about 8 points.  Generally, when you don't use up your freebies, you lose weight faster. As you lose weight, your daily point allowance is reduced because a smaller person needs fewer calories to maintain or lose weight. Currently I get a daily point allowance of 43, and a weekly allowance of 49.

Got it? Good!

One other awesome thing is that most fruits and veggies are free. The idea is to encourage you to eat things that are good for you, and fill up on those. Nobody is going to get fat filling up on a plate of steamed broccoli. I like WW because I can eat what I want within reason. When I fill up on healthy foods I'm not hungry, and I don't feel like I'm depriving myself. I usually eat pretty healthy when I'm on program, and if I want to have the occasional treat or go out for drinks with friends, I can do that, as long as I stay within my point budget.

This weekend, my roommate cooked some of the most wonderful Mexican food I've ever had. Simple, delicious, and not exactly healthy. But it was so good! LOL! Saturday night was (deep fried) cheese chile rellenos, potato gratin with poblano peppers, refried beans, and mexican rice, all drizzled with crema, and two different kinds of salsa and homemade guacamole. Sunday morning was huevos rancheros with chorizo spiced potatos and the leftovers from the night before. (You can read about all the evil deliciousness and learn how to make it yourself on his blog here:

Chile Rellenos - 37 points and worth every single one!

Yes, after all of that I went to the gym!

So, back to the first week of January. The long and the short of it is that I busted my ass and dropped most of my holiday week weight. I stuck to my points, and kept my hands off all of my weekly points, and most of the 76 excercise points I earned. (76! Booyah!)  I went to the gym five days in a row, Tuesday-Saturday, and then cleaned my house for most of Sunday afternoon. (I earn points for housework too! Yay)

I ate a ton of fruits and veggies, and I'm developing a few veggie stir fry recipes. My standard dinner lately has been a big pan full of veggies like green beans, broccoli, baby bok choy, eggplant, brussels sprouts, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Usually not all at the same time. I stir fry them all up with a little Pam spray (little to no other oil) and serve alongside a cup of pasta in a very light sauce. Sometimes I top it all with a little herbed feta or parmesan.

Baby bok choy and musrooms sauteed with garlic in coconut oil, in a sauce of tamari and white wine vinegar with rice and nutritional yeast. 9 points of tasy healthy goodness!

And... now I'm hungry. LOL!

All in all, I'm really proud of how I did this last week. I'm being honest with myself that I won't always have weeks like this. I may not always get to the gym as often, but I intend to go at least three days a week. I will also try my damndest to stay within my points, and I'm going to try to keep my hands off my extras.

So, that's week one. Stay tuned for next weeks adventures.

Weeks down: 1
Weeks to go: 51
Starting weight: 271.5
current weight: 271.5
2012 goal: 219.5
Current BMI 40.00

Started WW on 11/28, @ 281.5 lbs 
Total loss: 10 lbs

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome aboard! Please stowe your bags and any loose items securely, because it's going to be a long voyage: fifty two weeks to be exact, and at some point I'm sure we'll hit some stormy seas.  You're getting off light, jumping on at this particular port 'o call, as this here ship left her moorings over a week ago, bound for the shining seas beyond the horizon, to that mystical land where mermaids gain legs to walk upon the land in search of their true loves, and sea witches with fantastic drag queen fashion sense can turn a too-plump mermaid into a svelte siren with a snap of her fingers!

Okay, okay...

No more crappy nautical/Disney jokes. Okay, maybe just a few more. Bonus points if you got the reference.

Time to get down to business. You're here because you're probably a facebook friend of mine who followed a link that I posted, or maybe you stumbled upon me in another way. You're here because you're curious about what crazy thing I'm up to now, or you want to be supportive, or some other good intention. Maybe you're bored and hoping I'll say something entertaining or do a trick. And I tell you now...

I intend to!

But it might take me a while.

I'm starting off as I mean to go on, full throttle, no apologies, no excuses.

This Not-so-Little Mermaid has found herself with a few too many curves. Oh, there are the nice ones, to be sure... but there are a few others that have crept their way in, and it's high time I did something about it. There's no fabulous drag queen Divine/Sheri-Renee Scott Ursula around to poof a potion over my head and settle all my curves down into the right places, although that would be an epic win. On multiple levels.

There's just me.

This blog will be the written and photographic record of a journey that I've chosen to take this year. One that's very exciting, and more than a little terrifying for me.

I've chosen to dedicate myself to my health in a way I've never done before: publicly.

For those who may not know me, I've struggled with my weight for most of my life. I've been up and down and around again, and what it all comes down to is that I need to lose about a hundred pounds. I won't bore you with the long, drawn out details now, but I assure you, I'll get to those at a later time. Haha!

So here's where I am:

Age 31.


Scorpio. Aries moon, Libra ascendant, in case you were wondering.


271 lbs

Weapons of choice:

Weight Watchers, sharp wits and an even sharper tongue, healthy sense of humor, a gym membership, a love of cooking, and a knack in the kitchen.

My goal is: 52 pounds in 52 weeks.

What you get out of it: Weekly check in posts, recipes I'm trying out, food porn, general entertainment, and other tidbits along the way.

If I can do it, it will be the longest I've ever stuck to any regimen.

If I'm successful, I'm going to look really freaking hot. I mean, I'm pretty hot now, but I mean REALLY hot! :-)~

It's exciting.

It's scary.

It's a huge ass commitment.

And I'm going for it.