Monday, January 30, 2012

Why I decided to join Weight Watchers

For this being a blog that focuses quite often on healthy living, and my progress in that category, there's something about this I haven't shared with you all yet.

Let's start in the spring of 2011, during this time my body just felt really blah. When I was diagnosed with celiac in March, it helped with this feeling. I didn't feel as bloated, or agitated by certain foods, and I thought all my problems were solved with this. I wasn't as fatigued as I had often complained about, and thought all my problems with how my body was feeling would be solved.


With the madness of this summer and back and forth trips to DC, other work trips, packing up our condo and ultimately moving, my body still didn't feel right. Sure, I wasn't feeling awful like I did when I was eating gluten, but I wasn't feeling great. My clothes were not fitting well, my runs felt harder and more exhausting to complete, and I hated the way I was feeling, and the way I looked in certain outfits.

In September I went to the doctor and was weighted in just got 158 pounds, and I was in shock. Could I really be at that weight? What was I doing? I exercise, I eat right---or, did I?

I mean, of course I didn't eat great when I was moving, or when I lived in a hotel for two weeks, or before our kitchen was being unpacked, but I eat well otherwise, of course I do!

Denial is a powerful tool, and let me tell you, I was in denial about my habits. They weren't just that month in transition, it had taken months for me to get here. And as in denial as I was, the proof was staring back at me everyday in the mirror.

Now to be fair, I have to tell you, I'm not in the gifted and talented group when it comes to genetics as far as being able to eat what I want, and not have it show on my body. And if you are, I hate you, leave my blog immediately (I kid...sort of).

I have the same genetic make up that a few other members of my family were blessed --I mean cursed,with (I blame the German genes for this one) and age wasn't helping. You know in Big Daddy when Adam Sandler said that he used to be able to eat whatever he wanted, but as he got older if he ate a milk shake his ass would then jiggle for a week? Yeah, that.

When Ben and I got married in June 2010, I was fluctuating between 140 pounds, and 143, it was a very happy weight for me, so seeing this 158 (and sometimes plus) killed me. I was especially upset when I saw that this puts me in the "overweight" BMI area for my height of 5'6". I knew I had to do something.

So, I started tracking my food again like I did before our wedding, it was eye opening, I really wasn't making that great of choices. I splurged too often on "treats," and was eating A LOT. I always had the justification, if it's good for you, it's OK to eat a lot of, right? WRONG AGAIN.

By Thanksgiving I had lost two pounds and was sitting steady at 156 pounds. During the holidays I did my best not splurge, but lost interest in tracking my food (I was using My Fitness Pal App on my iPhone) and decided that if I wanted to make a change I HAD to do it now, I couldn't go down this slippery slope of being content with having a few extra pounds.

So, on the day after Christmas, I joined Weight Watchers online, and from the moment I started, it's proved as a great tool. As of last Friday, my last weigh in day, I was down to 151 pounds, five pounds lost in 31 days. My clothes feel good, my runs feel great (when you're lugging around less weight, it really does make a difference), and my body feels better when I'm feeding it better choices.

I don't know how I forget this when I'm making poor choices, but it's so true to say,

Fit and Healthy feels better than anything can taste.

Weight Watchers online does take some work, but it's not super hard. I can easily enter recipes and determine points, and I love the way the points plus program encourages me to eat more real food like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.

Do I still splurge? Heck yes, I have to live. This weekend I had the most delectable Red Velvet cupcake from Sprinkles in Georgetown (they put a DOME of frosting on cupcakes there, for a sugar freak like me, it's heaven). The difference between now and then is, that's a once a week splurge, not a three or four times a week splurge.

The points tracking has made me realize the times I eat out of habit, not hunger (dessert after dinner each night especially) and how a few extra bites each day can lead to extra pounds over a few months, and that with patience and persistence, you can get back to a healthier place.

This experience has also proved to me that because I drew the short straw for not so naturally skinny genetics, that this has to be a life long process. I can't let my guard down, and I have to be OK with that. As much as it sometimes feels so unfair sometimes to not be able to eat sugar and french fries whenever the craving comes my way, things could be a lot worse in life.

I'm signed up for Weight Watchers through March 26, and I plan to continue it another three months after that for continued accountability.

For my five pound reward, I got a massage last Friday, and my next reward will be when I hit 145, eleven pounds lost, and I'll let myself FINALLY get a pair of Wunder Unders from Lululemon!

These pants are super comfortable and have been said to make your legs and rear look great. hey, at 145 pounds, plus the cost of these pants, my ass better look dynamite!

I can't promise updates all the time, but I'll keep you updated on my progress as I reach these milestones, my ultimate goal--138!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Houston Adventure

The last few weeks have a been a whirlwind in my life. The holidays came and went, January started with great weather, then fell into an icy mess this weekend.

Over MLK weekend, Ben and I visited Houston, Texas where he lived before he and I met. It was my first time in Texas, and his first time back since leaving there in the fall of 2006.

Ben enjoyed his favorite thing about Texas...

Tex Mex!

Ben loves the restaurant Pappasitos there, and I have to admit, it was great, and they did Gluten Free well. Another great gluten free restaurant in Houston was Goode Company Barbecue. Both restaurants let you try the native flavor of the area, without having to worry about getting glutenized.

And I enjoyed my favorite frozen yogurt shop ever...


There was a Yogurtland right next to our hotel in Maui on our honeymoon, and I literally went there everyday. Not the healthiest, but it was our honeymoon, so I lived large. Now, I don't let myself have self-serve frozen yogurt too often, (although my favorite treat here is getting it from Josie's) because I find it hard to control myself with the toppings, even if I get a small dish. We don't have Yogurtland in Virginia, so I let myself go NUTS at this, and boy, was it worth it!

I also got to experience that everything really IS bigger in Texas. For example:

Because those mini flags on a car aren't enough apparently

We had a great time in Houston, staying with Ben's friends Heather and Tom and their daughter Emma. Ben hit up some of his favorite places to hang out (and most did involve more Tex Mex!) and I got to see some real Texas Two-Stepping when we were out on Saturday night. I was totally impressed by the way men there lead women across the dance floor, and were into the dancing, rather than just swaying back and forth reluctantly like middle school boys.

Our last night in town we stayed at the Westin Galleria. I looove Westin's (as you can tell from my last trip to Minneapolis when I stayed there as well), and highly recommend this location also for it's central location, and being connected to the Galleria Mall.

Now, I'm completely focused on training for my half-marathon, I ran this weekend on ice and slush, with a light snow falling, and my legs have ached ever since from gripping my toes trying not to slip for most of the run.

This week, my plan is to rest today, and hopefully get in the pool, do some strength training and some speed training Wednesday night. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Weekend Meal Planning

Hola friends! What a great weekend it has been. Yesterday, it was close to 60 degrees, and I started the day off right, heading out for a long run. I ran to the trail that's near our house. I thought it was two miles away, turns out, it was 2.75 miles away, oops!

Really, it didn't matter though, because I had such an amazing run! I planned to do between seven and eight miles for my half training and ended up doing nine miles. Partly because of my poor planning, and partly because I just couldn't turn around on the trail when I was planning to, I was just feeling too great! And even today, my hips are a bit tight, but I still feel great, and plan on strength training tonight, along with a short swim, to keep things hopefully on this upswing.

Post Run Happiness

I was wearing the Lululemon shirt that I had blogged about on my Christmas list. I bought it with a gift card Ben gave me for Christmas to Lululemon, and it worked great! If you can still find this shirt on any clearance racks (it was the last one on the clearance rack at the store near my house last week), I highly recommend it either for winter layers or spring/fall weather days like yesterday.

I also found the perfect new thing to listen to during my run, How I Met Your Mother Podcasts with the cast. They are great! Highly recommend them if you love that show.

Planning my meals for the week, I had to share with you all the great recipes I have planned. Ben and I did a major grocery run today, and I'm going to make a couple of these today, so they're easy to pop in the microwave or oven for dinners this week.

Meals include:

Also, my winner for my Rudi's Giveaway never contacted me, so I picked a new one. That winner is...


Lindsey, e-mail me at with your mailing address by Tuesday, January 10 at 11:00 p.m. Eastern to claim your prize!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday season and a great New Years!

Ben and I started Christmas Eve off by going to see his beloved Vikings take on the Redskins here in D.C.

Sunny Vikings Game

The Vikings won, but running back Adrian Peterson torn his ACL and damaged his MCL, putting a damper on celebrations.

In other news, my Packers are 15-1 going into the playoffs. =) hehehehe

I spent a few days last week in Minnesota and had a great time seeing so many friends, as it's the first time I've been back there (minus a connection at MSP in October) since we moved. My friend Cindy picked me up from the airport last Tuesday night and it seemed surreal, I was back! I felt a wave of anxiety and excitement as I realized I had roughly 72 hours to see so many people, and was about to get blasted by cold I hadn't felt in a long time (and it actually wasn't that bad!)

Jen was nice enough to let me stay at her place a couple of the nights I was there and let me use her car during the day while she worked.

The gracious hostess and I!

It was so nice to stay at her place, catch up with her make dinner (since I ate out most other meals) and see other girlfriends (like Jen H and of course Cindy who came over to laugh, eat and have fun with us).

By far the best part of my trip, was being able to run one of the Chain of Lakes. Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes and that is really the biggest thing I miss there. The lakes were beautiful and easy to run, always had clear paths, and of course I loved the friends I ran with. I ran the 2.75 miles of Lake of Isles with a few gals and loved every minute of it. The conversation flowed, my feet felt light, and breath felt wonderful even though I thought I would have a hard time running in 30ish degree temperatures for the first time since last winter. I wish I would have taken a picture, because that run reminded me again why I love running so much, and why I keep doing it.

I was able to meet up with other friends as well and some gluten free, and delicious restaurants in the area. There are definitely more gluten free choices here in the DC area, but the ones I've come to love in Minneapolis were great to revisit, including: Cooper, Pizza Luce, Bonfire, Bank, and Highland Grille.

Annette, Annie and I after enjoying a wonderful meal at Cooper

I spent one great night in the Westin in Downtown Minneapolis. If you're ever staying in the Twin Cities, I highly recommend this hotel. Great location with skyway connections, the Westin Heavenly Bed that feels like a sleeping on a pillow, great service, and Bank restaurant in the lobby that's delicious.

Huge and comfortable room at the Westin!

I also was able to see many college friends and met up with my parents at Mall of America for lunch and of course shopping one day!

Last but not least, the random winner of the Rudi's Swag Bag giveaway is...

Erin Slocum!

Erin, e-mail me your contact information