Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Intro: Rachel

Hey everyone! My name is Rachel. That is me, with my amazing husband Cole and our beautiful baby girl Ava, who is now 13 months old. I was so excited when Susan asked me to join this weight loss journey blog and be a "poster." I enjoy blogging about my family and our home, so of course I jumped at the chance to write about loosing weight. Something I think 99% of women have had to deal with at some point in their life. Now I must be honest and I confess something to you all right here and now...
I do! Always have, too. I remember being teased about how much I ate growing up. My parents used to say that I had two hollow legs because they didn't know where I put all of the food I consumed. I could eat the boys under the table in high school. I was a high school athlete, and never struggled with weight issues until my first year of college. Still, what I call "weight issues" were just the normal Freshman 15... or 5 in my case. But that weight came off easy after I moved out of the dorm (and the meal plan) and I never struggled again. I was a size 0 (sometimes 00- yes that is such a thing!) when I graduated college. Did you just gag? I did. Anyway... then I walked down that magical aisle to the man of my dreams about 4 years ago. What is it about getting married that make the pounds just PILE on?!?! But again, I was able to adjust my diet slightly and get things under control. THEN we got pregnant. OH BOY! Now I have always had a "picky stomach"- later diagnosed as IBS and Lactose Intolerance. Fun times, let me tell ya! So the adult Rachel had never known the joys of ice cream and large amounts of pizza. But a curious thing happened when I got pregnant. My stomach issues temporarily went away! My OB told me this is fairly common. For the first time since I was a little kid, I was able to eat as much ice cream and pizza as I wanted! And I DID. Eat. A LOT!!! The staff at Larry's (no lie) used to moan and roll their eyes when I would walk in because my big fat pregnant self would eat at least two pizzas. Not including the dessert pizza! I am not sure they didn't consider limiting my weekly visits in the second trimester! HA! Now being that weight had never been an issue, and being that I was pregnant and "eating for two," and because I was now able to eat glorious food previously off limits, I took full advantage of this opportunity! FULL ADVANTAGE! And that resulted in a hefty weight gain. I don't know exactly how much, because towards the end I just asked that they stopped saying it out loud and I closed my eyes. But I know when I stopped looking was the point I hit 180 and was officially heavier than my husband. And I still had about 5 weeks to go. Yeah. It was bad! Now I am about 5'7" (although I like to claim 5'8") and have "long" features. My dad is 6'6" so I come by my length honestly. But even being long couldn't hide the weight that was left after my sweet 7 lbs bundle arrived in February 2010. Now 2010 was a stressful year for me. Not only did I give birth in February, but in April I kissed my soldier husband goodbye as he deployed for a year long mission in Eastern Europe. (He will be home next week and I can't wait!!! The photo above was taken on his 9 day R&R in November.) So when he left, and I had a two month old to care for alone, I turned to food as my comfort. Couple that with the fact that my darling baby wouldn't breast feed and I pumped for as long as I could (only 7 weeks), I gained some weight. :) So finally, about 3 1/2 weeks ago, I did it. Months of thinking about it, talking about it, I just did it! I signed up for WW online. When I started, I weighed 166. Now I don't have a scale that does ounces, so I have to loose pounds to show anything scale wise. Right now, it reads 158. My goal is to get down those two more pounds (or at least one more) before my husband comes home next month, for a total of 10lbs. My final goal is 130. That might be stretching it a bit, but that is what I weighed when I got pregnant. So that is my desired weight. We shall see! I KNOW weight watchers works! My mom has lost a total of 103 lbs (yes you read that right!) and is a lifetime member! She is such an inspiration to me and I look to her for some much guidance and encouragement. If you ever have any questions about WW, and are doing it online like me, please let me know and I will give you her email address. I know she would love to help or encourage you! I don't cook much right now, since it is just me, but I plan on getting back to it when Cole gets home. So I hope to post some yummy dishes as well as borrow ideas from others! For right now, here is a yummy eggs Florentine recipe that is actually a WW recipe. It is SUPER yummy and a great lunch or brunch dish. And I think you could add a slice or two of fat free turkey lunch meat for some more protein and not change the points value much, if any! Man my mouth is watering now...I need to go eat dinner! I have 18 pts left! Good eating for me tonight! HAHA! Oh, and here is my tip- I am not a huge breakfast person, so I will eat a piece of fruit- usually an apple or orange- for breakfast. It doesn't cost me any points, and it holds me over until lunch! Have a great week! Enjoy this great weather that they say is going to happen soon!

Wednesday is Weigh-day

I lost .6lb this week! Not so exciting after seeing 4.4 last week, but I'll take it. I've lost 10 grand total now. I weigh 152. A pair of size 10 khakis in my closet went from too tight to too loose in 1 month.

Something I've learned: Plan ahead. Not to hard for me as I am a chronic plan-a-holic. If I know I'm going to be out running errands all day, I pack lunch and snacks. I've found it difficult to eat out and not blow half of my day's points. What are some items ya'llve found at fast food restaurants that aren't too bad? 1 taco is 4 pts, soft or hard. I've heard Subway isn't bad. I think you have to get turkey, no cheese, mustard, and whatever veggies on a 6 inch.

If ya'll don't start commenting, I'll lose motivation to keep this blog up.

Shrimp and Broccoli Chowder

3 pts for 1 c.
This was good. It needed spicing up some. I added Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning. I also used vegetable broth instead of chicken cause I had a box of it open that needed to be used. That actually may have made it less points. I also used a regular baking potato cause you can't buy just 1 yukon.
I LOVE seafood, so I'm super happy that it's all relatively low points! By the way, crawfish is 1 pt for 16! Can't wait for the boils to start!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Multiple Authors

I invited Leah and Rachel to author posts. Anyone else want to? Just let me know. The more the merrier. Tell as much about yourself as you want.
Is this safe? I have it open to anyone, but can change it if ya'll think it wise. We won't be posting anything revealing or dangerous, but still, never know these days. My personal blog is private, but I put pics of my kiddos on there. What do ya'll think?
Black forest cake:
1 angel food cake mix
20 oz can cherry pie filling made with Splenda (Walmart)
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
Mix altogether by hand! Pour in greased 9x13. Bake 350 for 35 minutes. Only 4 pts. Even with a dollop of fat free or lite cool whip on top!
You can experiment with this. Try different fruit fillings, as long as they're made with artificial sweetener.

I made this yesterday. It was in one of the hand-outs at one of the meetings. 8 points but the serving size is HUGE and very filling. I had 6 pts left over for dessert, but didn't even want anything. I used a chipotle chili powder that I had which I think added an extra spicy kick. I might decrease that next time! It's very good. Seth, my hubby, liked it too. Knocks out at least 3 veggie intakes too.

Intro: Susan's Background

Ok, girls! I hope to keep this up-to-date on my weight loss adventure. I'll share recipes, tips, food products I stumble across, and ultimately, hopefully my success stories! I can even invite others of you to author posts with your recipes, stories, etc! Remember, we're all friends here and want to encourage and uplift each other!

This is me almost 1 year ago.
Ok, that's not entirely fair as I did have 2 babies in that enormous belly (35weeks). However, I put on a lot more weight than birthing 2, 6.6 newborns took off. Breastfeeding helped take off a lot, but I stopped that at 7 1/2 months. Those twins literally sucked fat right off, no doubt; unfortunately, more in some spots (BOOBS!) and less in other spots (muffin top) than I desired! So I'm left to do the rest via diet and exercise!

I started Weight Watchers on February. 24, 2011. To date, I've lost 9.4lbs. I'm going to be brutally honest. I'll tell you how much I weighed; I don't care; I'm not embarrassed. I was at 162! According to the chart, for my height of 5'6'', I should be in the range of 125-155. I've always weighed a lot, even more than I look like I do. I was blessed (sarcasm) to be one of those people who builds muscle very easily, ie 'bulks up' like She-rah with a little weight lifting! I also played soccer my whole life through college, so I have a background of lots of running and weight training. My husband is the same which is much more flattering for a male....oh, our poor daughter! Anyhow, I digress.....
My point is, the scale is only a minor measuring device for me. I judge by my clothes and how I feel! However, it is nice to know, I'm 'acceptable' on paper now at 152.6. My original goal was 150, but I think I underestimated myself. I can do better! I'm not sure an exact number, and my instructor, Melissa, said that's ok. I might just have to know when I get there. I agree. When I'm satisfied and feel I'm the best me, I'll try to maintain!

I picked WW cause I saw firsthand how well it worked for my mom growing up. I truly feel it's the best program out there. You eat real food not frozen meals; however, there are SmartOnes for those nights you don't have time to cook. I eat them for breakfast and the wonderful desserts! FYI: If you buy 10 at Kroger right now, you get $5 off, and you can find a $3 off coupon online. So, it's easy to keep up for the rest of your life. It's kinda depressing that I've reached the age where I do have to consciously think about everything I put in my mouth. But, that's life! Also, you don't have to give anything up! In the month of my 9.4 loss, I ate Taco Bell once, Pizza Hut once, and had birthday cake at my MIL's party. I was in no way deprived!
The downside to WW, it's expensive, but money well spent. Joining fee varies. I got a slight discount cause of my health insurance. I paid $33 to join. Then, it's $12 a week at meetings. If you miss a meeting, you still have to pay the $12 for the one you missed at the next one! Holds you accountable. Once you meet your goal and maintain for 6 weeks, you're a lifetime member and it's free as long as you go once a month to weight in and are no more than +2 lbs of your goal weight.

I'm no expert and don't claim to be. I'm seeking ya'lls advise and help just as much as I want to offer mine. So PLEASE comment!