Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weight Watchers: Week 3 Weigh In

Hello!!!!!
  This week I lost a total of 2.8 lbs!!! YAY! That's a great number to see after the .4 lb weight loss last week. That brings my total to 7.8 lbs lost! NOT TOO SHABBY!

  As I mentioned in my last post, I focused on eating more salads for lunches and/or dinners, and I tried to drink more water, and it seems to have helped. I was even able to make a gluten free pizza (using Udi's pizza crust) last week and stayed within my points for the day/week.

  I was only able to get in a little exercise - I went on a mile walk around our neighborhood with my 16 lb baby strapped to me in a front carrier! I hope to do that walk at LEAST once a week. And as I mentioned before - I also need to find a workout that I'd like... like maybe a Zumba DVD.

  How was your week? Let me know how you did!

 I'll leave you with a great quote from my mom this week:
     "Remember, nothing tastes as good as being thin/fit feels!!!"

Have a wonderful week!
~Brianne


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Weight Watchers: Week 2 Weigh In

Hi all! Sorry to post this several days past my weigh in day, but life has been very busy.

As promised, I am here to tell you how my week 2 weigh in went. I lost .4 lbs during week 2. I'll admit, I was a little bummed that I only lost half a pound, but then I quickly realized "Hey, at least I still LOST weight!". I also realized that maybe the food choices I made last week weren't quite the best. My goal this week is to tweak my meal choices and see if it makes a difference.

Last week I made one of my favorite new recipes - Chicken Tortilla Soup (a la the Pioneer Woman). Since the recipe didn't have the nutrition facts included on the website, I had to search the Weight Watchers website for a generic Chicken Tortilla Soup with Cheddar Cheese and Tortilla Strips category, which I found... and that's what I used to count my points each time I ate the soup. Well, I am realizing now that I think the soup that I made was higher in points than what was given to the soup on the WW website. (I also think that I may have used WAY more tortilla strips than what the WW soup used).

So now I need to adjust my meals and snacks and try to eat even healthier.  My answer to that is to eat more salads for my lunches while at work. Most fruits and veggies are zero points, so if I eat a lot of salads with mostly veggies (and even some fruit), then I will be using less points. This week for lunch I have made taco salads (with a little bit of ground turkey with taco seasoning) and a spinach salad with slivered almonds, some goat cheese, and a little chicken for protein. Both salads did a really good job of keeping me full during the rest of my work day.

I am also going to try not to use up all my allowed extra weekly points. Hopefully, changing up some of my meals and trying hard not to use ALL the points allotted to me will help me lose a little more weight. I also need to focus on drinking MORE WATER. I do a pretty good job of it while I am at work, but once I am home, I forget about my water bottle.

Again, I didn't exercise at all last week, and I am realizing that now is the time for me to start doing SOMETHING to exercise. Last night my husband and I took a walk around our neighborhood with Riker (walked about a mile. It was late and cold out... but I'd like to start walking a little farther each time we walk). I also want to find a good workout video or Xbox One game. I tend to like dance based workouts, so I need to look into what they have out there for that. (Although, I would also like to focus on toning up my arms, butt, lets and tummy. Well, EVERYTHING really, ha). Let me know if you have any suggestions for workouts for me!

How did your week go? Did you make healthy choices? Don't forget that you CAN eat a little treat now and then, just limit yourself to how much of it you eat, and how often you eat those kinds of treats. I just ate a few M&M's to satisfy my sweet tooth. But I will make sure to count them toward my points for the day/week.

Keep at it, friends! Keep eating healthy and exercising. Its SO good for you. And you are setting a great example to your friends/children/family. And aren't you PROUD of yourself for wanting to take care of our body, and for actually trying to be healthier!? Doesn't it feel GREAT to see the weight come off, or to feel like your clothes are fitting looser!? I'm proud of you!

Good luck with this week! Please share with me how you are doing... if you are having any struggles. We're in this together!

Have a great rest of your week!!!!
  ~B

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Weight Watchers: Week 1 Weigh In

Hello friends!
  So, as promised, I am here to tell you how my first week on Weight Watchers went, and give you my results and tips.

  My weigh in day is Saturday mornings (you only weigh yourself once a week), and after my first weigh in I discovered that I lost 4.8lbs the first week! YAY!!!!! I wasn't sure what to expect - would it be a big number? A SMALL number? But I had to remind myself - any amount lost is still a loss (of fat/weight)... so if it had only been a single pound, or even a few ounces, that's still SOMETHING - And you (us as a whole) should be proud of that!

  I am very happy with that number! And I thought I would give you some insight as to what I ate last week (in case you want some meal ideas). (Please keep in mind that I eat very simple meals. I don't really cook fancy meals. I want quick and easy... and yummy, of course).

  In the mornings, I am always busy taking care of my 4 month old son while trying to get ready for work... so I found that snacking on apple slices and drinking water usually tided me over until I ate a late lunch right before I went to work (I don't start work until about 3pm). I started toasting an english muffin, putting mayo and a little mustard on both halves, and then putting an over-easy egg on each half of the muffin (and eating each side as an open-faced sandwich). If I had an avocado, then I would slice that puppy up and put that on top. I also made Ore Idea Crispy Crown tater tots with it (I know - interesting sounding lunch... but hey! It keeps me full, and it tastes good!). For my meal at work, I would either eat left overs (this week it was salmon and rice with broccoli one day, and pizza another day) or I would make a peanut butter sandwich, as well as bring carrot sticks and an apple (which are both zero points!). I kept a low fat Yoplait yogurt in my lunch in case I got really hungry and needed it (only 2 points) but I never did. Sometimes I'd start by only eating half of the sandwich, then switch to the fruit and veggies and see if that would tide me over until I got home (because peanut butter sandwiches are kinda high in points). Sometimes all I'd need is that half of a sandwich (and if that was the case, then I would eat the other half when I got home as my dinner (I get home late at night so we don't have a lot of family dinners in the evenings during the week) so the half of a sandwich is handy to have). But sometimes I needed to eat the other half while at work... and that was totally fine.... it just limited what I could eat when I got home from work - because I will have eaten more points). Those were my usual meals that week. I also ate sushi one night (YUM!) and found that Jimmy John's lettuce wrapped sandwiches (called an "Unwich") was low in points!
  PS: Remember how I said that I felt hungry ALL THE TIME when I first started? Well, don't worry, that went away once I found which foods kept me fuller longer.

  Tips:
  ~ Drink a lot of water. Its super good for you! And most other drinks are surprisingly high in points. Plus, sometimes when you are dehydrated you feel hungry. Drinking water will help keep you from feeling hungry when you aren't really needing to eat again.
  ~ Limit your carb, sugar and starch intake - those foods are high in points.
  ~ Weigh yourself from the same scale each time. Only weigh yourself ONCE a week (or you could become too obsessed with the number on the scale - especially if you see it rise at any point). And make sure its around the same time of day. I weigh myself in the morning before I've eaten, right before I get in the shower (meaning strip down, people!!!! Different kinds of clothing weigh different amounts. You don't want that altering your weigh in amount each week because one time you were naked, but another time you had your pjs on, or another time you were layered in a ton of clothes).
  ~ You can totally eat that brownie, or piece of cake or slice of pizza... you just have to have a smaller amount than you probably want. But after a while, that's all you'll need to satisfy that craving.
  ~  Track EVERYTHING that you eat. And if you aren't quite sure of the point value, record it at a higher point value, just to be safe.
  ~If you know there will be a day or time during your week where you will want to splurge with your food choices, just save up your extra weekly points that you are given and use those! Just try REALLY hard not to go over them.
  ~ Just keep going! Don't give up! Sometimes you will hit a plateau, where you will not lose any weight... or you may gain a little. DON'T LET THAT DISCOURAGE YOU! Its totally normal for your body to hit a plateau. But if you keep at it, I promise that you will eventually start losing again. (This happened to me the first time I did WW... but I didn't give up, no matter how frustrated I was. It took a few weeks, but the weight started dropping off again.)
 
  This program isn't a diet for me. Its more of a lifestyle change. It helps me to learn the correct portion sizes, and shows me I can eat that cookie... just maybe not have four of them at one time. It keeps me from over-doing it on carbs (which are my favorite kinds of foods... and I would LOVE to pig out on those foods all day long). And because you are eating healthier, you body starts to crave the bad foods less and less, which is nice.

  Also, I wanted to mention that I did not work out at all this last week. I do move a lot at work, but I did not exercise (Although I plan to start exercising again soon).

  I hope that this information helps or inspires you. Please don't hesitate to ask me any questions you may have - I will try my best to help you or give you more insight.

  Please keep at it friends! You can do this! We can do this together! Be proud of yourself for wanting to be healthier and for actually DOING something to help yourself! It may be hard and slow at first, but it will get easier if you keep at it.

  I'M PROUD OF YOU!!!!! You are doing a GREAT job! Keep it up!

 Much love,
    Brianne
 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I started Weight Watchers!

  Hi friends! As the new year approached, I was noticing how uncomfortable I felt with my own body. I had only lost half of the baby weight I gained (which is totally normal, I know), and was also starting to gain weight slowly because I was in the habit of eating a little more than I should (due to having been pregnant, then breastfeeding, and also because while pregnant I was able to eat some of the foods I used to have allergies/sensitivities to. One of those things is gluten. So now I am eating cereal and bread and pasta (all the things I love), when I haven't eaten any of those carbs in three years.).

  About 3.5 years ago, I went on Weight Watchers after I had gained about 40lbs after I got married. I remember it working very well (I lost 35lbs with WW,  and then lost an additional 15-20lbs after I cut out gluten and most dairy). So I made the decision to start on WW again to help me lose the rest of the baby weight, and to help me with eating correct portions and more balanced meals.

  I started WW on Saturday, January 3rd. Aaaaannnnnd I forgot how challenging it can be in the first few weeks. Ive felt hungry pretty much constantly since I started (its only been 4 days). But once my stomach shrinks, and I find the right combo of foods to eat to keep me full, while staying within my allotted points for the day, I think I'll be just fine.

  My weigh in days are Saturday mornings. I'll keep you posted on how everything goes!

  I know a lot of people start their weight loss journeys at the beginning of the new year, so I decided to share mine with you to hopefully help support and encourage you. Lets do this together! Please share your plans and goals!

With love,
  Brianne

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Holiday Traditions

Hi friends!
As I was writing a post the other day about the day after Thanksgiving, I mentioned something about a Christmas traditions of ours and thought I would write a short post about our holiday traditions!

My husband is big on us having family traditions, especially during the holidays, so that we can build special memories for our family. We started most of these traditions before we had Riker, and I am sure that we will start some new ones as he gets a little older.

HOT CHOCOLATE
We LOVE hot chocolate, and definitely drink more of it during the holidays. We even make a special item to go with the hot chocolate that will lead me to our next tradition....
(But first, here is a little fun fact - did you know that there is a difference between hot chocolate and cocoa?! Hot chocolate is made with milk and hot cocoa is made with water!)


HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS
Every Christmas I make homemade marshmallows to go in my hot chocolate. Its just something extra special to have during the holidays. Its very easy to make homemade marshmallows, and they are SO good. I use Martha Stewart's recipe. She has several different recipes, but this is the one I follow: Homemade Marshmallow Recipe. Sometimes I use cookie cutters to cut out the marshmallows and sometimes I just cut them into different sized squares. Helpful hint: if you want to use cookie cutters, don't use ones that are too small or intricate - it will be too hard to get them out of the cookie cutter. 


COCA COLA IN GLASS BOTTLES
The weekend after Thanksgiving we will go to Costco and get a case of Coca Cola in glass bottles. It always tastes so much better than canned Coke! I don't know if its because they have festive Christmas Coca Cola commercials, or what, but it has become tradition that we have Coke from a bottle at the holidays. This is the only time we buy them, and we try not to keep soda around the house that much the rest of the year.


PUTTING UP OUR CHRISTMAS TREE THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING
My husband and I LOVE Christmas time. We love all the decorations, the music and the feel of the holiday spirit. So, because of these things, we want to have our Christmas tree up for as long as possible. We cut down our tree the morning after Thanksgiving and place it in the tree stand when we get home. We wait until that evening to decorate the tree (because we are always gone in the early afternoon-evening). We will put on Christmas music, sip some hot chocolate or coca cola and decorate away!


 CHILI AT MY AUNT JANN AND UNCLE DENNIS' HOUSE THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING
After we cut down our tree and get it into the tree stand at home, we run off to my aunt and uncles house for some of her homemade chili and cornbread. Its the best!!! We love visiting with them and oftentimes will put up her Christmas decorations for her too!


YUMMY CHRISTMAS TREATS
Ok, so this is the first time I have made ONE of these treats, but it will definitely not be the last! We plan on making both these treats every year on Christmas Eve Eve. Treat number one is something I have made before, and my husband calls it Chex Mess. Its a recipe I found on Pinterest and each time I have made it, its been a BIG HIT! Its made with Chocolate Chex cereal, chocolate, caramel, mini Reece's candies and a few other scrumptious things. I have a blog post with the recipe HERE.

The other treat is a delicious and simple cookie. Its so simple there are only three ingredients: Ritz crackers, Chocolate Almond Bark (Or Chocolate Melties) and peppermint candies (or candy canes). It sounds weird but they are SOOOOO good! They are actually quite addicting. My husband was raving about these cookies his coworker makes and we had a cookie baking party at her house and I was able to see how she made them AND taste them. It was love at first taste! Haha. They are so good. She also does a version of these with salted carmel between two Ritz crackers that are covered in chocolate (no peppermint pieces on top). And another friend of mine makes these with peanut butter in the middle (without the peppermint pieces on top). Trust me, they are SO good and SO simple. GIVE 'EM A TRY!


Those are our main traditions so far. I am sure that as our son gets older, we will start new traditions with him.

What are some of your traditions?

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Happy New Year!
~Brianne