Monday, March 31, 2008

Weekly Weigh-In: Back in the Saddle Again

Hello! I haven't forgotten about you, even though it seems as though it's been forever since I've posted here. The past week and a half has been a bit crazy. First my mom came to visit me for my birthday/Easter. Then, I went to San Francisco for a work conference. I was super stressed over the SF trip, mainly because I was running so far behind due to my aunt's funeral a few weeks ago. But... San Fran was just what I needed. A friend and I completed our responsibilities to the conference and then had FUN. We walked for miles all over San Fran, ate good and yummy food, and enjoyed all the sights. I feel like I've returned refreshed, ready to tackle everything that needs to be tackled: work related and health related.

What's even better is that I ran into a bunch of people I haven't seen since I took my job almost two years ago. And everyone had the same response-- that I look great! Healthy, happy and moving on. That's exactly how I feel, and I'm glad that people who knew me when I was super heavy can see that as well. I know, it's kind of hard not to notice when someone's lost 35 pounds since the last time you saw them, but still! It feels so good to get that attention.

That being said, I weighed in this morning, even though I usually do my weigh-ins on Saturday. And... I lost 1.4 pounds since I last weighed in on March 22!!! This weigh-in brought me to my mini-goal of being 195 by the end of March. I'm actually under 195! I guess all that walking helped me lose while I was eating pasteries, chocolate (I blame the Hilton and Ghirardelli Chocolates for this!) and other types of food that aren't in my points range. Today, I plan on going grocery shopping before my workout and stocking up for the week on fruits and salad stuff. That's what helped me lose my weight that I had gained before Easter, and so I'm going that route again. Wish me luck!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Forty Days and Forty Nights

I gave up candy/chocolate for Lent. On Saturday, while at Target, I decided to get some candy to enjoy for Easter as a reward for sticking to it. Dove Chocolate Eggs and Reese's Mini PB Cups sat patiently on my kitchen counter for me to open on Sunday morning. I opened them up and had one each before church. When I came back from Mass, I attacked the bags full force. By 3PM, I felt like what former vegetarians do when they begin to eat meat again-- sick at my stomach. I gave it a rest and had some more chocolate today. Again, a bellyache. Does this mean my love affair with chocolate is over?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Weekly Weigh-In: A Hike Sounds Like A Good Idea

Although I'm not completely following the WW program, I have been eating carefully this week. Lots of salads helped me get back on track. I lost 2.6 pounds this week!! I'm so excited. It is very possible that by the end of the month I'll get down to my goal of 195, since I'm at 195.8 lbs right now. My mom is visiting this weekend, but we're going easy on all the snacks and goodies. I leave for San Fran on Wednesday, and my goal is to have a salad for lunch every day and then take it easy at dinner. Enjoy my food, but take it easy. There is no reason to have so much food... when you're too full, you really don't enjoy yourself.

Yesterday, my mom and I decided to go for a drive to this state park near my house. The state park is on top of a mountain and at the top is a great lookout over the valley. So, I had just assumed that we would be able to drive to the top and walk to the lookout... no. The gates were closed. We had the option of walking the 3.2 miles to the top of the mountain, and then walking the 3.2 miles back down to the parking lot where we were going to leave the car. And we decided to go for it. We saw six deer on our hike, huge white-tail deer. They were gorgeous, but unfortunately, I couldn't take a picture fast enough (doesn't help that both my mom and I were going LOOK!! DEER!!!! Hunters we are not!). We finally got to the top and the lookout. It was gorgeous. But then we had to walk back 3.2 miles to the car. I am so sore today in my calfs. It's been about ten days since I've had a good workout, and now I know what I want to be doing come the spring.... hiking!

As a side note, I found this picture of myself on my cousin A's facebook page. That's me in the green sweater, getting ready to pig out. I'm convinced that I was bigger than my original estimate of 230 pounds in seeing this picture which was from Thanksgiving 2006... but look where I am now. And seeing pictures like this convinces me that I never want to be where I was back then. Take a look at this pic, and then page back up to the pic of me on top of a mountain. Hard to believe that eight months ago, I was that big!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bringing out the Big Gunn

Can I just say how excited I was that Tim Gunn was going to be the special guest for last night's Biggest Loser? I am a *huge* Project Runway fan, and I even own my own Tim Gunn bobblehead, who reminds me to "make it work" at my job. Anywho, last night's BL started with Maggie being voted off, which surprised me a bit. Was Maggie really a bigger threat than Brittany? It all happened so fast that I couldn't figure it out. Then, there was Tim Gunn! What was especially funny was that Contestant Ali was the only one who seemed excited about the whole thing. The rest of them were like, who? (My friends, time to turn into Bravo more often!) Tim gave us the requisite quips, like when he told Roger that his causal outfit was "a lot of look" and then finally gave up and gave them their outfits. Okay, it didn't really happen like that because Tim *is* a stylist and his whole job is to pick out outfits for people, but geez. Is Kelly really into the old lady look? Could she possibly complain about the fit of the shoes a bit more? Was Roger really a wack job to wear something as hidious as that purple shirt he picked out? Tim did his style magic and they all looked WONDERFUL. Especially Brittany.

Dan... oh, Dan. My friend, you may *think* you are a rock star and a bad ass, but you are just a silly little boy with the world's straightest blonde hair. Where on earth did you get the idea that you would look like Keith Urban? You ended up looking like this little guy from the Simpsons:

I don't think Tim Gunn would approve. Tim couldn't you have gone to the salon with them and stop Dan from turning into Ralph Wiggum?? I think the biggest transformation surprise was Kelly! Wow, what good highlights and a flat iron could do to a bad perm. Keep the look up Kell!
So, Brittany went home this week. I'm not really surprised. I was actually talking with my mom while the weigh-ins occurred, so I can't comment too much on it, but I knew she would be going home.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Do Calories Count More in Canada?

I gained... grr. Okay, not so much grr, as I expected this to happen, but at the same time, it's my first gain since I started WW back in January. While I was in Toronto with my family this weekend, I ate like there was not a thought on earth. Not to mention, when you're at someone else's house, especially for the occassion being what it was, you don't ASK for different food. You eat what was put in front of you. So, pasta, Italian cold cuts on huge rolls, and more pasta it was.... but I didn't really have to eat the chips, the pasteries, the cannoli, and all the other sweet and salty things that were put in front of me. But like I mentioned before, I am a stress induced eater. Eating made me feel like there wasn't a hole in my stomach every time I thought of why I was there with my family. How frustrating. What's worse is that my mom is coming to visit at the end of the week for Easter... and then I'm off to San Francisco for a conference. Instead of having the time to regroup and get myself back down to where I was before, I am being faced with two weeks of challenging eating schedules. Therefore, I'm not going to be really tough on myself until March 31, when I return from all my visiting and travelling. That is when I'm going to do the major crack down, and I can return to a regular exercise and eating schedule. I'm definitely not admitting defeat at this point. I just know how crazy my life is going to be over the next two weeks, and I'm not going to get down on myself to the point where I want to give up.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sad Day :(

As some of you already know, my aunt passed away from a battle with liver cancer this morning. I'll be leaving for the funeral tomorrow, and so, no new posts until Monday. I'm really upset over this, as you can imagine, but in memorial of my Zia A., I post this picture, the last one of the two of us together, at my wedding in 2006. It's unfortunate that I have to be in my wedding dress as I'm in the process of getting divorced, but this is one picture from my wedding that I will always cherish.

Surprise Surprise Wednesday

Biggest Loser last night... WOW! Of course, I missed the first two minutes. When I turned on my tv and all the contestants that were voted off were standing in the gym, ready to be weighed in, I was like, what the...? Finally, Host Ali (we need to differentiate between her and Contestant Ali) got around to explaining that both the female and male contestants with the biggest percentage of weight loss would be let back into the house to compete for the $250K. On the women's side, it was Contestant Ali who looked FABULOUS. Wow, what an at home transformation! And for her to have the biggest loss this week too... all I have to say is that the game is getting interesting again. On the women's side, super-emotional Mark was back (unfortunately)... I was really hoping that it was going to be Trent or Bernie, but Bernie missed by just a little bit. Darn.

By the time the weigh-ins were over, it was already 8:45. What the heck were they going to do for 75 minutes, considering on regular shows, weigh-ins start at 9:15. They did a little challenge which was kind of on the dumb side and really made me annoyed at Brittany and Maggie. Is it wrong for me to betray my gender by saying that I'm so glad those two are on the chopping block this week? Whine whine whine, sigh sigh sigh. "I can't go home, because I'm just going to gain all my weight back!" "Why did they have to bring Ali back, she's just competition." "We can't win against the BOYS." WTF? Seriously, suck it up you too. You haven't been losing, and we see you slacking in the challenges against the guys (Brit, are you going to say that you didn't stop cycling??) But in true BL fashion, they're saving the cut for next week... and bringing in Tim Gunn for makeovers!!!! I LOVE TIM GUNN. I'm actually a little upset that I need to wait until next Tuesday to see that, because I'm not sure if I'll be near a TV next Tuesday.

My other surprise.... I won free chocolate! I know, I know... didn't you just say you gave up chocolate for Lent? Aren't you watching your weight? The answers to those questions are 1) Easter is eleven days away and 2) you can't deprive yourself of everything! This great website has free food giveaways. I won some Tcho Dark Chocolate, and this stuff is supposed to be fabulous. I think I need to whip out the old WW cookbook and find a dessert to make with it. I still have eleven days to think this over!

Oh, and for those of you who are wondering how Jillian and I are getting along... I'm sore. Super sore. My quads were screaming during the workout last night, and last night I manuvered my way through my apartment like an arthritic old lady. I think last night was the first night in a long while where I actually slept straight through the whole night, didn't get up to pee once. A good workout will do that to you :)

Yesterday, on my Health and Fitness board that I like to frequent, someone posted that there is this site ( where you can upload a picture of you now and see what you will look like after you lose 10, 15, 20, 50 pounds. So, I did it. And I'm not too happy with the results. My shoulders are huge (seriously, am I a linebacker?) and they didn't airbrush my face at all either. Weird. Thought you might enjoy some Mariah Carey airbrushing with your morning coffee. I *sure* hope that I don't look like that by the end of the year! I look weird!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Vice City

This time of the semester is my worst eating time... well, midterms kind of equal the end of the semester, but that is besides the point. Some of you know that I've been writing two conference papers that are driving me straight up the wall (coauthor issues on one of them), that I've been ignoring all the grading that I have because of these stupid papers, and I've been writing really crappy lectures along those lines as well. What you may not know is that I'm a muncher. Or a grazer... but I think grazing connotates cows and grass, and trust me, when I get stressed and overworked the only thing that I want to eat is salty, chocolately, bad-for-me goodness. No grass or veggies or anything good for me during times like this. I can tell you about trips to the bookstore when I was writing my dissertation (and the campus bookstore was as good as any convinience store!) where I would emerge with jumbo bags of M&Ms, Cheetos, and a 20 oz. Cherry Coke. This is my first semester where I am not medicating myself via the vending machine. I gave up chocolate for Lent (d'oh!), the Cheetos grab bag is like 10 points a piece, and I have a diet coke in my work fridge. I CAN'T DO IT. The only thing I could justify is the Cheetos, and I can't justify 10 points on something that can be inhaled in less than a minute.

So, where do I find myself? I'm like an ex-smoker who has gotten the urge. Maybe if I look in every drawer, all the nooks and crannies of my fridge, something will materialize, like that forgotten pack of cigs I forgot to throw out after I quit. I just had a revelation... is food my crack? Am I the 197 pound equivolent of Amy Winehouse? But instead of the press taking pictures of me smoking a pipe or having white residue on my nose, they'd find me with donut powder or chocolate residue around my mouth. Oh gawd, what a thought!

Forunately (maybe unfortunately? I haven't decided), I've done a good job of not keeping any bad for me munchy foods in my house. And by staying in my PJs all day, I'm not tempted to run to the grocery where one of my students might find me in my light blue Santa monkey flannel pajamas with a ball cap on my head, swan diving into the junk foods aisle. So, maybe this cold turkey thing will work for me. It doesn't make me any less on edge while typing or grading, I'm chewing a pack of gum a day... but hopefully, all this will show when I step on the scale on Saturday, that it will show that I've lost instead of gained nothing through mindless munching.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Angel and The Devil

No, I don't really think that Jillian is the devil, but after doing my first Jillian workout, I took pleasure in drawing little devil ears on her and a nice halo for Bob. Jillian's workouts are frantic. You are constantly moving. As in: sit on the bench, stand up, lay on the bench, stand up. She's not as good with cues as Bob is. I had to constantly be looking at my TV to follow her direction. But I have to say... Jillian's workout went by a lot faster than Bob's. I was sweating like crazy, at a few points I thought my lungs were going to explode (jumping jacks with full presses, anyone?), and then Jillian said my favorite words: "It's time for a cool down." Huh? Really? Already? After that was finished, I took a bit of a break and drank a glass of water. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do at least another 20 minutes of cardio, but I soon realized that Jillian's workout felt GOOD. I felt strong. I felt that I had challenged the "tough one" and even though I didn't win, I did a good job for my first time. I'm not sore... yet. Talk to me after tonight's workout :)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Cooking Creations: Homemade S'mores!

I'd like to blame R for introducing me to this very addictive recipe that truly tests your commitment to the idea of portion control. I was having guests over for dinner on Saturday, and I was freaking out a bit regarding dessert. So, R suggested that I try my hand at these WW friendly s'mores. At three points a piece, who could resist? Hence, the assembly line above for my dinner guests (and you thought they were all for me). My guests loved them, as they were a great treat on a snowy night. The down side is that if you have a toaster oven, you will be quickly tempted to make one as a treat on a Wednesday night. Again, I've come to the conclusion that I can't stock Marshmallow Fluff in my house. Geez, do I have ANY self control????
Homemade S'mores
1 low-fat honey graham cracker, broken in half
1 tablespoon of Marshmallow Fluff
1/2 tablespoon of semi-sweet chocolate chips
a dash of cinnamon
Spread the Fluff on one half of the graham cracker. Sprinkle some cinnamon on the Fluff. Place the chocolate chips on top of it. Put the other half of the graham cracker on top to make a sandwich. Wrap them in tin foil and bake them for 8 minutes on 450 degrees (if you are making just one in a toaster oven, adjust the time to 6 minutes). Let them stand for 3-5 minutes after you take them out of the oven. Most important: Warn your guests that they are hot, ooey, and gooey. And yes, they will be messy, but yummy!!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Greetings from Snowy Appalachia!

I've been waiting for my friends the Blue Jays to come visit on a snowy day. This pic was taken off of my balcony, at the tree that is directly behind my apartment.

Week Eight: Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing

I lost 1.6 pounds this week! I think this number could have been closer to two pounds had I not splurged a bit this week. My body has been kind of off this week, which I think is the worst. I don't know if my body is off due to my cycle being a little screwy because I'm stressed at work or if my body is trying to stop the same upper respiratory infection that everyone at work has. Or both. Either way, this week has been bad. I haven't been keeping up with my food journal like I usually do, I've been snacking a lot more than usual, and when out with friends, I've kind of given my WW guidelines the shrug and splurged on things like lobster bisque (YUM-- perfect for a rainy day).

And, after eight weeks of doing the Biggest Loser Volume One video, I've decided to give it a rest until after my conference. I'm getting a little bored by it. Don't get me wrong... I love me some Bob, and this video has helped me lose weight (11.4 pounds) as well as inches (remember the incredible 12 from last week???). However, I've been reading up on changing your exercise routine up every so often. So, what I will be doing instead is Jillian Michael's Winning by Losing series. Jillian is tough-- a lot tougher than Bob. I've already done her cardio kickboxing routine and it is a capital W Workout. I already know that I'll have to modify some things. But you know what? I'm a lot more fit than I was eight weeks ago. Bob will be waiting for me after my conference, and I wouldn't say that I've gotten "used" to Bob's workouts. In fact, there are still portions which I modify. It's just gotten so predictable. So, time to set Bob aside and have some Jillian time. (Wish me luck... and send me some Ben Gay for my sore muscles!)

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Emperor's New Clothes

Since I've begun my weight loss journey in September, I've only bought about six articles of clothing... a sweater on sale at the Gap, a sweater that I really wanted at Target, a sweater that was on supersale at Eddie Bauer, two pairs of jeans from Old Navy, and a dress from QVC (don't knock it until you've tried it... some of their stuff is really trendy and cute!) What's funny is that most of those clothes (minus the QVC dress, which I just bought last month) are huge on me. Since January, when I've been working out and toning, my body has really changed. So, enter my seamstress....

Her name is M, and she gave birth to me close to 28 years ago :) Her assistant seamstress is J, and she's my aunt. These two ladies have been a godsend to me since I've lost weight... and in many other ways throughout the years, but you can't knock having relatives that can sew!!! My mom has taken in countless pairs of pants for me over the past six months. Aunt J has put the finishing touches on it with her sewing machine, since my mom's is broken. When I was home in February, they had to put more darts in my size 18 jeans because they had gotten too big. My one pair had close to eight darts in it!! Now, they are close to falling off my waist. I love calling the two of them up and telling them to put their handiwork to use, because they are truly proud of what that means... that I lost more weight! Right now, they have all my summer capris at home and are adjusting them to fit me.

My budget is pretty tight right now, and it's hard for me to go and buy clothes in every new size that I'm in, especially since I don't plan on staying at a size 14/16 for long. So until my old clothes can't be taken in any further, I'm giving mad props to my mom and Aunt J for saving me many dollars.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Falling into the Trap

Earlier this week, I blogged about my adventures at the new grocery store that opened in town. It was an exciting adventure on Sunday, but now on Thursday morning, I'm beginning to think it wasn't so wise. I really haven't been eating so great this week because I've had "healthy" and "WW-friendly" junk around. I had Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches, soy crisps galore, and Vitamuffins. In eating these things, I've been taking points away from healthy options. I usually just buy one bag of soy crisps a week, this week-- I bought three because they were on sale. And yes, they are ALL gone. All six of the Skinny Cow ice creams are gone (technically, I bought them on Friday with my free bottle of wine, so I had one a day since then). And, what's going on? My body feels off. I don't feel as though I have enough energy to get through the day. I'm breaking out, which is something that really hasn't happened since I've started anew in the New Year. So, in eating all this stuff this week, there is one good thing to come out of it: It's all gone. I fell of the wagon in a kind of sneaky way, and now, I'm climbing back on, today, Thursday. I'm not going to throw the rest of the week away for being bad earlier this week.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Biggest Loser Wednesday

Sniff, sniff. Yes, I almost cried over Bernie leaving last night. As soon as Bernie gave Brittany immunity, I had a feeling that was going to be the last we would see of him. I really really wanted Kelly to go, but the stupid Blue team. As soon as Jay cast his vote, I knew it was going to be Bernie gone. Something tells me it will be like last season, where the stronger team (last season was the black team) eliminated the players on the other team one by one.

Sorry for the short analysis, but 1) not much went on in this episode and 2) busy day at work :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Rough Night: A Vent

Last night, I received an email from my cousin about my aunt who is battling cancer. One of the doctors in charge of her care came to the family (very unexpectedly) the other day and told them that she's never going to walk again, that her liver is not going to regenerate (they took a huge chunk of it out along with the tumor they removed back in January), and that they might want to consider stopping treatments for her. Needless to say, my family was floored. They had not been expecting this. My cousin finally got in touch with the surgeon who did my aunt's surgery, and he reassured her that the doctor was completely out of line and that his opinion was not shared by the other doctors on my aunt's team. While that is sort of reassuring, it amazes me that some doctors have no finesse, no bedside manner not only with patients, but with families as well.

After I got that email last night, it weighed heavily on my mind, even after I went to bed. I had a dream about my aunt. I think we had all felt that she was progressing strongly for something as tramatic as she has been through. It's just hard to wonder if she is getting better or if we are fighting against the clock. And please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. I feel that gives her strength.

I decided over the weekend to walk in my local Relay for Life. My church is putting a team together, and so I found the perfect opportunity to do something about my frustrations towards my aunt's struggles. I'm thankful that I'm in a more fit position than I was last year at this time in order to participate in something like the Relay for Life. By clicking here you will be redirected to my American Cancer Society's Relay for Life fundraising page. I really think that in some way, we've all been touched by cancer. If you do decide to donate, I ask you to send me a name to put on a t-shirt that I plan on wearing at this year's Relay for Life. I want to FILL this t-shirt with names, of people who have survived and of those we remember that didn't. So far, I feel that my friends have been great in responding to this request. I ask you to do the same, dear readers. And, of course, I'll be posting pictures of my shirt after the walk in April.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Drool... new grocery store

Okay, tell me I'm not the only dork who loves going to new stores. This weekend, I got to go to the new Kroger not only once, but twice! The first time I went was to just be nosy, and get a bottle of wine with my $5 gift card that I got for turning in a survey. The second time was yesterday. I was blown away by the health foods/organic section! It was a WW girl's dream. My big complaint was that everything that I wanted was sold out. For instance, Kashi Heart to Heart was 2 for $6 (I know!) and it wasn't on the shelf at all.

I did make quite a few Amy's Kitchen purchases. I've tried some Amy's things before (namely their enchiladas) and I wasn't a fan. However, I've been REALLY hungry for vegetable lasagna. I didn't want to make a big one just for me, and honestly, I've never made veggie lasagna before. My family's lasagna tends to lean towards lots and lots of cheese and meat. And so, I bought Amy's Garden Vegetable Lasagna, and in a gesture of goodwill, I also purchased a Bean and Rice burrito. Okay, actually I bought it because I've been driving past Qdoba, looking at it longingly, thinking of sour cream and cheese filled burritos.

Amy's isn't the lowest in points. In fact, the Garden Veggie Lasagna was six points, but for dinner, I was willing to splurge a bit. I had originally planned on making parmesan pork loin, but after reading a bunch of boring articles for my conference paper, I was not in the mood to chop some onions. I popped the Lasagna in the microwave, and in a matter of seven minutes, I was eating. The noodles were made with rice rather than the usual flour and water, but you couldn't notice the difference (says the girl who used to adore her Nonna's homemade pasta). There was enough ricotta to make me happy, and the veggies-- carrots, zucchini and spinach-- were there in the perfect amount. This is definitely a meal that I'll be reaching for again during those crunch times where I don't have time to make dinner. Pairing this with a salad was the perfect on the go meal.

I was also excited that I found Vitamuffins. I thought these were the things of WW legend, like Western Alternative bagels: super low points food that taste good and are good for you. Not only did I find Vitamuffins in the organic/healthy freezer section BUT they were chocolate chocolate chip. Drool. I haven't tried them yet, but at one point a piece they are definitely on my list for a snack tonight while I watch my Prince William on 20/20 :)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Cooking Creations: Oven Fried GOODNESS

One thing I really miss about living down south is eating all sorts of fatty, Paula Deen-esque types of foods (that and BBQ-- can't live without good southern BBQ). Imagine my happiness when I found a WW's recipe for Southern-Style Oven Fried Chicken. I made it with some WW mashed potatoes, and paired it with some carrots and pickles to make it feel like I was at some southern picnic, instead of sitting in the cold snowy Mid-Atlantic. The chicken comes out so moist and the corn flake crumbs really gives the chicken a crunchy feel.

Both of these recipes call for buttermilk. You might be thinking, what the heck am I going to do with a container of buttermilk. Well, first, I suggest you buy the smallest container of buttermilk possible (they have 16 oz. containers). In making this recipe for myself (remember, I usually cut recipes in half to make just two servings each), I used half of a 16 oz. container. I FROZE the rest. It's completely safe to freeze buttermilk. Pour the buttermilk into an ice cube tray, and when it is completely frozen, take the cubes and put them in freezer safe bags. You can then take out cubes when you need them and defrost them in your fridge when you need them :)

Weight Watchers Southern-Style Oven Fried Chicken (4 points a serving)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 oz. buttermilk
1/2 cup cornflakes
1 pound uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into four 4 oz. pieces

Preheat oven to 365 degrees. Lightly coat an 8x8x2 inch baken dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine flour, salt, and cayenne pepper togehter in a medium-sized shallow bowl. Place buttermilk and corn flake crumbs in two separate bowls.

Roll chicken breast halves in flour mixture, and evenly coat each side. Next dip chicken in the buttermilk and then corn flake crumbs.

Place coated chicken breasts in prepared baking dish. Bake uncovered until chicken is tender and no longer pink, about 25-30 minutes. Makes four servings.

Weight Watchers Mashed Potatoes--with some edits by moi (1 point per 2/3 cup serving)

1 lb. red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into two inch chunks
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk OR fat-free sour cream (I've tried it both ways, and like the ff sour cream better)
1/2 tsp. garlic
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Bring to a boil in a large saucepan the potatoes and enough cold salted water to cover. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well in colander.

Combine the buttermilk, garlic powder, salt and pepper in 1 cup glass measure, stirring well until blended, set aside. (If you choose to go with sour cream, you can skip this step, since you'll just throw everything in after you mash your potatoes.)

Return the potatoes to the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Mash until blended while pouring in the buttermilk (or sour cream).

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Week Seven: If it's a loss, I'll take it!

Happy March everyone :) This morning, I woke up and did my morning ritual: guessing what the weather is like on the other side of my Venetian blinds (sidenote, I live in an apartment, don't mock the blinds that were here when I moved in!). It seemed kind of bright, and so I thought to myself, Yes! The sun has returned! But, alas, when I opened the blinds, huge white snowflakes greeted me, and there is about an inch on the ground. No spring yet. Darn.

Anyway, I'll be honest. I wasn't expecting any miracles out of this week's weigh in for a number of reasons. First, Aunt Flo will be coming to visit in a few days, and yes, I'm one of those women who bloat. Ain't life lovely. Another thing is that I'm in the middle of work hell month. Okay, well I guess I'm one week into work hell month, and things aren't going to get any easier as time moves towards the end of March. I'm not really struggling to eat right (it's pretty easy when there is no other option in your kitchen than making something quick, simple, and healthy), it's my exercise routine. I spent most of yesterday afternoon searching for one piece of data that I already had in my possession. I don't know about you, but I get really tired when I'm on the computer longer than necessary. I actually had to force myself to go put in 30 minutes of Bob and the Biggest Loser cardio workout. Something tells me it's only downhill from here. My mom is coming to visit me on the 20th, which means these papers (yes, there are two of them) need to be written by the end of the day, on top of all the grading I'm going to gather over the next few weeks (an exam and a paper for BOTH of my classes that I'm teaching). The answer to your question "what was she thinking when she got herself into this?" is "I was a bit delusional." There, I've admitted it :)

Knowing March is going to be a bit of a crazy month, being overworked until the 20th, visiting with my mom from the 20th to the 25th, and then going to a work conference in San Francisco from the 26th to the 30th, I've set a low bar for myself. I'd like to be down to 195 by the time I leave for San Francisco. That's 3.6 pounds away, and it will bring me to my 35 pound loss. I'll get tougher when I'm back in April, but for now, as long as I'm losing, I'll be happy. Losing how much really doesn't matter as long as the scale keeps showing me numbers that are smaller than the ones the week before.

So, the weigh in... I dropped .8lbs this week. Again, can't really complain, because it IS a loss. Actually, this is my fifth week in a row of a loss after that week where I lost nothing at the beginning of February. So yay me!! I also did something a bit different. I decided to measure myself once a month to see how much my body has changed. It's interesting, because this is the first time since high school that I've really stuck with a fitness routine, and probably the first time that I've lifted weights seriously. So...drumroll please... I've lost a total of TWELVE inches on my body. I measured my bust, arms, waist, hips, and thighs. The biggest areas of loss for me were my bust and waist, where as my arms and thighs only lost one inch each. I kind of wish that my arms and thighs were shaping up like the other parts of my body, because, to me, they are the most noticably biggest parts of me. I want to look good in a tankini (LOL) by the time I go up to Connecticut for my weekend at the lake at the end of July!!