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I know you didn’t just “read” that title.

You sung it, didn’t you?  At least in your head.  I know I did when I typed it!  The classic Oreo song is embedded in my brain, and probably the brain of most red-blooded Americans.

So I’m on a diet you say.  Can’t eat Oreo cookies you say?!?  I tell you that’s rubbish, all rubbish! 

As a dieter, you can tend to start to feel as though you are in a food prison of sorts.  We’ve all been there.  You get into a diet plan, read all the materials, and they insist that you absolutely cannot eat sugar, fat, carbs, for fear of certain death, or a far worse fate…lack of weight loss.  While I agree that moderation of the things mentioned above is crucial for any weight loss, I take serious issue with the diets that restrict you to the point where you can’t even feel like a “normal person” when you sit down to eat something.

So we all know my goal while on this journey has been to try to debunk food myths, break down the foods that are healthy and great, and the ones that are good for you, but not so good TO you *evil eye to Kashi cereal box*.  I selflessly took on the world of reduced fat cookies this week, and put my bets on Reduced Fat Oreos.Studying the label, I will warn people once again that just because an item totes the “low or reduced fat” logo, doesn’t mean that it’s going to be much better for you, or that it’s actually going to be less calories, or Weight Watcher Points in my case.  For example, there is the same amount of sugar and carbs in the reduced fat Oreos, in fact slightly more, than there is in a regular Oreo cookie.  The fat is indeed lowered, from 7g for 3 cookies down to 4.5g for 3 cookies. 

So I got to crunching the numbers.  For those of you who follow Weight Watchers, this is a plus, you save one point, eating 3 reduced fat Oreos is 4 points plus value, while 3 regular Oreos comes in at 5 points.  When you are counting, every point can count.  But then came the important part, did they TASTE like an Oreo?  I mean, I’ll burn that extra point if it’s going to give me the proper taste and texture.

So bite I did…dunk I did…and I’m pleased to say that I don’t think I could have told you a reduced fat Oreo from a real Oreo in a blind taste test.  In fact they were so good my hubby suggested that “Maybe they just label them reduced fat, and they’re really not.”  I pray that the good people of Nabisco aren’t doing that…but I’d strongly recommend the reduced fat Oreos.

So there I sat, with my cookies and my glass of skim milk, feeling something like a little kid who didn’t have to think about calories.  I thought about them when I wanted that 2nd helping of cookies….lol…but I resisted, and felt much better knowing I’d have some there for tomorrow!  😉

Chesty Rating: 4.5  (only because it’s not a HUGE reduction in calories or sugar) 

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Well…some of you are probably wondering where I have been?  I know the speculations…did she fall off the wagon?  Has she ballooned up to 300lbs again? 

Well, first off I’m happy to report that I have not fallen completely off the wagon…I was sliding for a minute, but I kept riding along with enough of a grip that thankfully I have not gained back weight.  Here is some recent “photographic evidence” from my little brother’s wedding a couple of weeks ago in Minnesota.  I’m proud of where I am…but not where I want to be!

I could claim I hit a plateau…yeah, a self-inflicted plateau.  See, what had happened was….all those good fatty foods that I had knocked off my radar started to creep back in.  I had a couple of months of a cheat here, and a cheat there, followed by enough days of good eating to get me back to my same weight.  To be honest I have been playing this yo-yo game since January…and looked up the other day and thought…this has GOT to stop. 

I’ve had loving and well-meaning friends and family tell me that no…I don’t ned to continue and knock off these last 30-40lbs…but in my heart, I know where I will feel comfortable, and I know I need to get there.  I’m not sure if it was all the compliments that I have gotten about my transformation, or just laziness that got me into stall mode, but rest assured as of yesterday…things are changing back for the better.

So last night, in 90+ degree heat, husband at my side, I hightailed it back to the gym.  I realized that was where my motivation, in large part, was coming from.  I had really been so focused on things going on with my family and life that I was not taking the time for me.  In my mind, I was taking the time for me by feeding myself all the badness I was craving, but I never felt “good”, even when it tasted great.   I know now that this journey will have ups and downs…let’s hope we don’t have any more of these LONG dry spells, but I’m proud that I nipped my lack of forward movement in the bud before I found myself gaining back everything that I fought so hard to lose!

So be prepared for many more posts…I’m going in hard…and let’s hope by the end of this year, we can put a bow on the gift of weight-loss that I am giving to myself!  LOVE to all of you for reading, and support!  MUAH!!

What is one of the first things that any child learns?  You learn visual things.  What a stop sign is….what caution is, what means “Do not enter” or “Danger”.

 Well, when I perused the cereal aisle last week, and saw a sale on the healthy Kashi “Go Lean” cereals, I thought I was going to have a health food breakthrough.  I love granola, and these looked to be granola-ish.  Promising, right?

 So I pick out three boxes, cuz of course the sale was not on ONE box, and think I’ve done something quite wise, as the box told me that I had.

 Sitting here now, well, more like levitating, I realize that there was not one single warning flag, emblem, or logo on this otherwise unassuming box.  Nothing to make me aware that after a day or two of this “Healthiness”, I would experience nothing less than Chinese New Year jumping out of my rear!

 I’m not being overly dramatic either!  These fiber packed pieces of cereal, if that’s what they call themselves, are apparently full of so much fiber that I am bloated, rumbly, and feeling like a balloon entry from the Macy’s Day Parade!

 This is probably all TMI, but if you can’t talk on a dieting blog about the ill effects of excessive fiber, where, I ask, can you talk about it?  This issue has got to be addressed!  I consider myself to have a pretty solid system, no food allergies, nothing that gives me too much trouble…well, now with the exception of excessive fiber.  I’m off the Kashi, effective immediately, and I suggest you test this out with caution…on a weekend, when you have no major plans.

 Flatulently Yours….Chesty

The Number Game

I never have been a fan of numbers.  I wasn’t a math wiz, and I don’t enjoy calculating much of anything! 

Well, I should say I didn’t…until now.  Not only do I love to watch the numbers on the scale drop, and add up the ounces as they fall off, but I’ve also realized the importance of my measurements.  When the numbers on the scale don’t move as quickly as you want them to, or don’t move at all, my friends who are currently maintaining their weight loss told me what works…and that was to measure.

Even if you don’t see a huge loss, if you are working out and really changing your body, the numbers will reflect that.  I didn’t do my first measurements until almost a month into my diet, but let’s look at the numbers…

 

09/19/2011

10/02/2011

10/30/11

01/02/2011

Total Inches Lost Per Area

Neck

15.6”

15”

14.75”

14.25”

-1.35”

Shoulders

45.5”

44.5”

43.5”

42.5”

-3”

Chest

48.6”

47.5”

46”

45”

-3.6”

Left Bicep

17.5”

16”

15.25”

14.75”

-2.75”

Right Bicep

17.6”

16.25”

15.75”

14.85”

-2.75”

Waist

42.5”

41.5”

40”

38.25”

-4.25”

Left Forearm

12.1”

12.0”

11.75”

11.5”

-0.6”

Right Forearm

12.1”

12.0”

11.5”

11.6”

-0.5”

Hips

53”

52”

51”

50”

-3”

Abdomen

48”

46.5”

44.5”

42.75”

-5.25”

Left Thigh

30”

30”

27.25”

26.5”

-3.5”

Right Thigh

30”

30”

27.75”

26.75”

-3.25”

Left Calf

20.25”

20”

19”

18.75”

-1.5”

Right Calf

20.5”

20”

19.5”

18.75”

-1.75”

Total All-Over Inches Lost

N/A

-10”

-25.75

-37.05

 

 It really brings it all into focus.   As I entered these numbers, I could not get over the amount of inches lost!  I’m super psyched about my abdomen, aka the fattest part of your belly, because that is my most hated area, but also the area where I saw the biggest weight loss!  I can’t wait to report back in February, but if you are just getting started, look at the small amount of time that you can commit and see a HUGE result!!

EXTRA!! EXTRA!!

I know it’s been on your minds…there have been many sleepless nights.  It’s just one of those things you think you will NEVER get an answer to!

Ok, truth is that you probably haven’t thought about my progress pants since last I mentioned them.  In case you had forgotten, let me bring you up to speed.  When we started in September, the pants did not fit…I mean like at ALL.  I could pry them just barely up over my hips…and they were no closer to closing than the two sides of Korea are at making peace!  About a month or so ago, I tried them on again.  To my surprise, they fit.  They did not, however, fit well, and I couldn’t wear them in public for the muffin top squeezed out of the top of them was not ready for prime time!

As I hit my 50 lbs milestone, I realized that once again it was time to try on the pants.  I looked at them, sitting innocently on a hanger, sucked in a breath, and carried them with me into the bathroom. (Heck, I needed privacy in case the results weren’t good.)  I slipped into the pants, slipped them up, and realized…these pants just SLIPPED ON UP!  I was able to zipper them without sucking in massive breath, and once zipped, absent was the voluminous muffin top!  After doing my own little personal victory dance, I had to take a picture of the moment.  I do have more than one t-shirt, I will say, but happened to have the SAME blue one on in both posts. 

So, with that mission accomplished, I am now plotting out what my next piece of progress clothing will be.  This part could get tricky, as those pants were the smallest item of clothing I owned.  I will have to go shopping, and am debating what size I want to shoot for.  I’m thinking maybe a cute pair of jeans in a size 14.  Might take me a few months to get there, but if we don’t aim high, who will?

I would NEVER have taken this picture.

Like NEVER..ever.

6 months ago, hell even 3 months ago, there is no way I would have crammed myself into some leggings and a fitted t-shirt and posted a picture anywhere.  I said there were going to be some changes…and I haven’t let myself down.

I took measurements today.  Before I say that, let me make the big announcement!  When I did my weekly weigh in last Monday, I hit the 50lbs mark!  Actually 50.2, so let me say that I SURPASSED the 50lbs mark.  Never in my wildest dreams when I started my serious weight loss journey in the first weeks of SEptember did I imagine that I would be able to say I had lost 50lbs by year end.  I knew I’d seen people do it, with the assistance of a reality show’s dilligent trainer, or even a risky weight loss surgery, but I knew what I was going to try was going to be a new type of challenge.  I don’t take away from anyone who loses weight through surgery, because without the very same willpower that I have they won’t succeed.  But I guess I doubted myself, that me and my “hard work” approach would get such fast, good results.

As I hit that scale the morning after Christmas, I thought about how many people would have “gains” that week, but a gain was not even an option to me.  I did enjoy some Christmas treats in moderation, but knew the best gift would be to see a number that showed i’d reached my goal.  I couldn’t believe it when the scale hit that number, with a week to spare until the end of the year.  I have not felt so proud in a long time, nor have I felt so motivated to keep going.

I have to give a BIG thanks to my health club, Anytime Fitness in West Allis, WI.  Without my membership, and the fact that I USE it, I guarantee there is no way I would be seeing such great loses, as well as so much transformation in my shape.

So keep up the good work.  I know I want to lose at least 50 more pounds, and I no longer feel like that goal is far from reach.  I hope that this new year leaves you with a commitment to yourself, to the ones that love you, and to a better 2012!!!

I know…where have I been?

I could come up with alot of good excuses for why my posts haven’t been abundant…but excuses are only made to satisfy yourself, so I won’t bother to make any.  I will say with the holidays and everything else going on that it’s been a busy month or so.  I have still been working hard on my diet and exercise, with an almost two week break from the exercise part due to a bad “welcome to winter” cold. 

I’ve got a few great things to post about today, but wanted to shoot a quick apology for my absence.  We’re entering a new phase of “Chesty Changes”, and I will be keeping you up to date with even more recipes, fitness tips, and fun along the way.

My Grown Up Prom

I never went to my prom…I don’t know why exactly.  I could have gotten a date, could have gotten a dress, but at the time I just thought I was too cool for school, so I didn’t bother to go.

Looking back, I often regretted not enjoying that rite of passage.  So this year, when the All Black Affair came around, the hubby and I decked ourselves out and went to party.  Not only was it a fun time, for me it was the first chance I would have to show off the lighter me!

After finding the perfect dress, matching up the right accessories, we headed out.  The hubby had thrown out all the stops, even gotten us a limo to and from the event.  I felt like such a princess, and much more confident knowing I was slimmer and looking better!  We had a fantastic time, and I finally got to feel like a princess, going to her prom with the best date a girl could ask for!!

Ok, maybe I should explain!  There’s really no need to call child protective services.  I have not literally lost anyone’s five-year old child.

I read a blog by a good friend of mine who recently lost over 100 lbs.  She posted at one point that she had “lost a child”.  It seemed to me to be SUCH a major milestone.  I knew I was going to try, but I never actually thought I would see that point for a long time. 

This week I reached two major milestones!  with week 11 of my new lifestyle under my belt, I was a little anxious as I got on the scale.  The last two weeks, my losses had been less than a pound, combined, and I was convinced that I was going to see a gain after my sampling of  Thanksgiving deliciousness.   I knew I hadn’t gone overboard, but I guess I was giving myself a hard time.

So I got on the scale, and was happy to see, well ecstatic to see that I had lost 3lbs since last week, bringing me over the 40lbs mark to 41.8 lbs total!  I kept thinking about that number all day, and when I was panting away on the elliptical last night I got to thinking, that was ALOT of weight.  I did a little looking, and sure enough, an average 5-year-old can weigh about 40lbs!  I think about moms trying to carry about a toddler who is 2 or even younger, and I thought, “Dang, I was basically carrying a 5-year-old on my back, waist, and thighs, every day!  That can explain why I have so much more energy, and how I just feel “lighter”…cuz I am! 

Next we’re going for the nifty fifty!  I told myself I wanted to lose  50 lbs in 6 months…now with 8.2lbs to go at the three-month mark, here’s hoping that I can do it in 4 instead!!!

Happy Eating!!

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

Courtesy of: weightwatchers.com

PointsPlus® Value:    6
Servings:  6

 

Ingredients

 
  1 1/4 pound(s) uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces   
  1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste   
  1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste   
  2 Tbsp all-purpose flour   
  1/2 tsp table salt   
  1/4 tsp black pepper   
  2 tsp vegetable oil   
  4 medium leek(s), white and light green parts only), thinly sliced   
  4 medium shallot(s), thinly sliced   
  2 medium carrot(s), sliced into thin rounds   
  2 stalk(s) celery, sliced (medium)   
  1 leaf/leaves bay leaf   
  1 tsp thyme, fresh   
  2 1/2 cup(s) fat-free chicken broth   
  2 Tbsp all-purpose flour   
  2 Tbsp uncooked cornmeal   
  3/4 tsp baking powder   
  1/4 tsp table salt   
  1 1/2 tsp parsley, minced   
  1/4 cup(s) low-fat milk   
  1/2 cup(s) apple juice   
  1/2 cup(s) frozen green peas, thawed   

Instructions

  • Season chicken with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Mix flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle chicken with 1 tablespoon of seasoned flour. In a large skillet, heat oil and lightly brown chicken. Remove from pan.
  • In the same skillet, sauté leeks and shallots until lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Add carrots, celery, bay leaf and thyme and cook another 3 minutes. Stir in remaining tablespoon of seasoned flour and it cook until it begins to color, about 1 minute. Pour in chicken broth and apple juice. Return chicken to pot. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until chicken is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile to make dumplings, sift 2 tablespoons flour, cornmeal, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt together into a bowl. Stir in parsley. With a fork, stir in milk until dough just comes together. Drop dumpling mixture with a teaspoon into chicken mixture. Simmer, covered, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add peas, and cook until dumplings are done, another 2 to 4 minutes. Serve in six 1-cup portions.

 

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