Saturday, March 29, 2008

Weigh in Report for March 29th

Guys.....I am down another pound! Total loss is 62.6 now! I am very grateful for this loss because I was worried about my Vitamuffin debacle that was my week. I made sure I threw in some low point days and even though my heart wasn't in it, I did get my basic workouts in.

After meeting, I walked with my friend at the local college for about 3 miles. Starting the week off on the right foot I'd say!

Friday, March 28, 2008

New Accomplishment

I am thrilled to say that yesterday I only used one of my points on something sweet. Eating sweets and chocolate in particular has always been my favorite pasttime. Over the past week, I stopped bringing Fiber One bars with me to work. I have still been eating my no pudge brownies for dessert in the evening, but last night I decided I would forego that and stick with a 1 pt WW fudge bar instead. I did it! I only used one of my daily points on chocolate. I wonder if one of these days I'll be able to go a whole day without chocolate?
Here is my food journal for yesterday

yogurt 1 pt
banana 1 pt
English muffin with Pb2 and fruit spread 2 pts
salad with tom, mush, carrots, FF ranch and bacos 7 pts
orange 1 pt
popcorn 1 pt
apple 1 pt
6 oz chicken 6 pt
1 cup cottage cheese 3 pt
1/2 cup taco soup 1 pt
1 cup broccoli 0 pt
WW fudge bar 1 pt

Total points used 25

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Gaining Control Once Again

I think I all the things I bought on my shopping trip this weekend sent me a bit over the eating edge. I have had a very difficult time controlling my eating since Saturday. I am so used to eating pretty much the same stuff day in and day out, that all the new choices I brought home sent me for a loop.

I only ended up eating one point over my daily points but the manic, out of control feeling was very reminiscent of my pre healthy days. I felt like the Warner Bros. Tasmanian devil spinning around the kitchen yesterday looking for my next victim. I of course have already devoured the Vitamuffins. (All three boxes!) I’ve already made and ate the polenta. It’s like I want to try everything and want to do it all at once. I am already planning what day I am going to make the soy meatballs and the ahi tuna steaks. At least the next time I go shopping to TJ’s the stuff won’t be so new and novel.

Today I feel much more in control. Although I did start my day with three little hemp/flaxseed meal/black bean brownies (1 pt each) that I made to share at work. All those that enjoyed the brownies giggled like high schooler’s when they saw the box said hemp. The rest of the day has been uneventful. I had my super yummy salad with chicken breast and tomatoes and mushrooms and still have to eat my two pieces of daily fruit.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Trader Joe's and Whole Foods

We started at Trader Joe’s (TJ’s). When we pulled in the parking lot, we both groaned because the store looked so small. Never fear it still took us two hours to shop all of the isles in my new favorite store. Trader Joe’s was amazing.

So many tantalizing options. Here are a few things I picked up: Soy meatballs, greek cucumber dip, rice crisps (potato chips), Chicken potstickers, chili lime chicken burgers, Black bean and rice burritos (for John), TJ’s cereal (like cheerios), a few of their reusable grocery sacks, organic apples, ahi tuna steaks.

We were very careful to calculate the points per serving on everything before allowing it in our carts. I found TJ’s to be quite reasonable as far as prices go, but wonder if one of the other Michigan locations has more square footage. Oh, and the flowers….they had beautiful flowers that were quite cheap!

Whole Foods or as many people call it “Whole Paycheck” was next on our list. It was only about a mile from the Trader Joe’s and by the time we got there we were starving. Whole Foods has the most amazing hot bar buffet, along with a salad bar, and sushi bar and deli. You fix your plate with whatever you like, pay at the cash register and then eat it at the little area with cafĂ© tables and a big screen TV.

The selection of hot food was amazing. Nothing you can get in our neck of the woods. I tried this baked polenta with mushroom gravy over it. I had never had polenta before and am now a big fan!!!! I also sampled the Orange ginger tofu stir-fry. OMG….I have always enjoyed tofu, I just don’t know how to cook it, well, I am going to figure out how they made that dish. I could eat it everyday. Oh and the samples…… they were everywhere! Cheese, truffles, hummus, fruit smoothies… name it, someone was passing it out to try.

I am also a big fan of Quiche Lorraine which is not very WW friendly but since I didn’t have to temp myself with a whole big pie, I did enjoy a slice of it. They also had organic homemade mac and cheese that was divine. Pretty pricey, my little plate of food came to over $10 but being able to sample so many different and exotic (for me anyway) foods was priceless.

We did find a big stash of Vitamuffins there and both bought a few boxes which for me was a mistake. I have already eaten way too many of them. They had a beautiful selection of organic fruits and veggies and their store was enormous.

I plan to go back to both stores on a regular basis, and I will always vote for eating lunch at Whole Foods but enjoyed shopping at TJ’s more.

Weigh in Report for March 22nd

Down 1.4 pounds for a total gone of 61.6 pounds lost since the end of July. Not too shabby. Stacey and I left right after WW meeting to go to Ann Arbor for our soon to be monthly trip to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. More about Saturday’s trip in a later post.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Trader Joe's and Whole Foods

I am planning my first trip to both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods this Saturday. I have never been to either store because the nearest one is over two hours away. I have heard so many people raving about both stores that I am going to add some extra funds to my grocery budget this week and plan to try some new things.

I am planning to take a big cooler and have a blast. Hopefully, my friend that lives in the area will be able to meet me for a minute too.
The only thing I’ve had that Trader Joe’s carries is their low fat, low cal peanut butter (love it!) and I have been told they carry different varieties of No Pudge Brownie mix. I’ve always wanted to try Greek yogurt (Fage) so that is on my list. I also hear that they have great Turkey meatballs (Thanks Skinny jeans).

If anyone has any thing that they absolutely love at either place, please give me a heads up so I can check it out. I’ll be sure to let you know what all I buy and give a review.


Looking through the archives here at work, I found a few old pics that I want to share with you.

The first pic is from Thanksgiving weekend 2006.

This 2nd pic is from the company Christmas Party in 2006

This is from company Christmas Party this year (2007)

I can unequivocally say I can see a huge difference in my body and in the sparkle in my eyes.
Yeah me!


I feel stunning today so I had one of my coworkers take a couple of pics.

I absolutely love my outfit today. I bought the purple sweater I am wearing today for our company Christmas party but it seemed a bit too clingy until now.
Better than that is the necklace I am wearing. I have had this necklace for years but never been able to wear it because it actually would not fasten around my neck without choking me. Now it’s loose!

I am also wearing the pants I picked up at Goodwill this weekend for only $3.29! I never used to shop at resale shops because they never had anything in my size, let alone anything that didn’t qualify as a mu mu. A friend turned me back on to them last weekend. Considering that my size is changing regularly, I don’t want to pay full price for clothes. Goodwill and consignment shops are a good place to find cute lightly used stuff.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Low Energy Density Foods

WW teaches us to choose low energy density foods because they fill us up with fewer calories. Well…….I couldn’t be more surprised if I woke up with my head sewn to the carpet (anyone know what movie that line comes from?), but I guess all them fancy scientists that work for weight watchers are actually right.

About three weeks ago (at the suggestion of a reader) I cut out the Lean Cuisines in my daily diet along with some other processed items and added more whole, clean foods. Basically I am trying to choose my foods from the core list whenever possible. I am limiting my sweets to just 3-5 points per day. If I really want something sweet, I’ll try a yogurt or a piece of fruit first to see if that satisfies the need. That feels really weird to type, so not typical for me…..

Since then, it is very seldom that I use all my points for the day. In the evening, when I can see by my food journal that I have three points left to use, I can honestly say that I am full and if I ate anything else before bed I would be uncomfortable. Yesterday I stopped at 21 points (I can have 29). Didn’t feel deprived, felt full all day in fact. I find I feel I’m full a lot now. I am just astonished that I am learning what feeling full feels like. 3pm is usually my microwave popcorn snack time, but I just finished my workout and a bottle of water, so I just don’t feel like it. I’ll probably have an apple before my next workout at 4:30.
So take a minute and look at that core list of foods and just try to choose a few of them instead of something out of a box. Hopefully you will feel like I do about energy dense foods.

The Girls at Work

I am so pleased to give you an update on the girls at work doing Weight Watchers on their own. There are four of them and they are all doing fantastic.
Jessica has really changed her behaviors. She works out to Turbo Jam almost daily and has lost 16.5 pounds so far. Her goal is to lose 20 pounds by the first of April. I think she is right on track.

Tracey is the point counting queen. She never goes anywhere without her point calculator and has lost 9 pounds so far and wants to lose another pound by the first of April.

Tammi has a very stressful job here as our quality engineer and at a moments notice has to go off for days at a time to our customer’s facilities. So I really admire her ability to stay on track when she can’t plan anything. She has lost 8.5 pounds so far.

I believe Sandy (not in the picture) started the week after the other girls and has already reached her goal of losing 15 pounds. Sandy has always been pretty healthy, I know she works out in the morning and usually has a salad for lunch so she didn’t really get the jump start that many of us do when we decide to lose weight of our body being shocked into a big loss the first couple of weeks.

I am so grateful that I have other people in my office that are in the “healthy boat” with me.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I find that things taste better now. In the past, if didn’t come packaged full of additives and preservatives, I really didn’t eat it. If you remember my rant on why we eat Fritos over an apple, I chose the former because I was always guaranteed to get the same thing when I opened the bag of Fritos, whereas with an apple, it’s a crap shoot. I think all those preservatives and chemicals make it hard for our taste buds to do their job.

I think since I have stopped “dumbing down” my palate, foods taste better. For example. I usually eat a Fiber one bar as my desert after lunch. Today I am having an orange instead and it tastes amazing! The citrus explodes in my mouth. Never before would you have caught me eating an orange instead of chocolate! Never! The orange is satisfying the sweet craving I have after a meal.

I also think I have gotten wiser about choosing fruits and vegetables. I am learning what is in season when and I choose according to that. I know that oranges are in season right now, so it is rare for me to get a bad one. Grapes on the other hand, are not in season and are putrid! I decided to be an upstanding citizen and didn’t taste test the bag before I bought it and ended up throwing away 2 pounds of green grapes. That will teach me to not steal a taste first. Also not in season, are melons in general. I had to throw away a musk melon the other day that I had bought for John. They are not sweet at all right now. I hate to waste that precious grocery money, but better to keep trying and learn than to go back to the chemicals.

Life in the Present Tense

Sometimes I feel like I don’t enjoy the present as I should. I have this need to always be planning or looking forward to something. I am just beginning to plan a couple of summer adventure vacations with a friend. Of course I’ve already got the weekend planned. I wonder why that is? Why can’t I just enjoy this moment, or today, or this week just to enjoy it? It’s like Christmas. You anticipate, and plan and look forward to it and then it is over in the blink of an eye and you’re left wondering, what just happened?

The dogs (Morgan pictured here) don't look forward to things. When they hear the word walk, that's when they get excited. When I say time for dinner, that's when they come running. They don't plan their lives. Maybe this is one more instance that I should be more like my dog. Although, I can't ever see myself enjoying poopcicles in the back yard.....

I would like to stop trying to push the present out of the way to get to what I am looking forward to. I just have this feeling that if I don’t stop and enjoy each moment, I may be disappointed when I get to the end of this. You have to remember I have a history of thinking that my life is going to be perfect once I lose weight and then gained it back when I realized that getting to goal does not come with a magic wand. I don’t want to fall into that trap again.

So here I am, trying to enjoy this moment and not think about next week or this summer or next year. I am just enjoying today. Is it okay to not completely enjoy being at work and look forward to getting home to play with the dogs? What kinds of things do you do to just enjoy the moment?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Weigh in Report for March 15th

Another banner week for me! I was down 2.6 pounds for a total of 60.2 pounds total gone. What a thrill. SIXTY pounds!

I am so pleased that my body isn't fighting me like it was in Jan and Feb. I am so proud that even though I was stuck for so many weeks that I didn't give up, I just kept trying new things until my body finally gave in.

You can bet I'll keep it all in mind the next time my body revolts against me.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Secret

Has anyone read this book? I just borrowed it from someone and am listening in my car.

In a nutshell since I am only on the 2nd disk, according to the book, what ever you focus on is the vibration that you send out to the universe which then sends you back what you are focusing on.

One the one hand, I am a science based person and this concept seems a little new agey, eating tofu, going vegan to me. Not that there is anything wrong with being vegan or new agey, I just have never been those things, not that I wouldn't want to try them, I just haven't yet

On the other hand, it’s not like using the principles will do anything to harm me, so I think I am starting to “buy in”. I do have one friend that believes the Law of Attraction has worked in her life in many instances. I like listening to how excited she is about the concepts. She said she wants to help me with my visualization chart. (Have no idea what she’s talking about because I’m only on the 2nd disk).

I’d like to hear from you guys. I jsut wondered what your experiences and opinions were.

Mean People Suck!

Sorry that I have been MIA for the past couple of days. I have had to deal with some stuff and my head just hasn’t been clear enough to think of anything inspiring to say.

I am so sick of mean dog people interrupting my joyous life. It just astonishes me that there are people out there who decide they don’t like you they look for ways to nitpick you or point out every fault you have that they can find. I could be overreacting, but Wednesday night I was the recipient of a hateful, spiteful phone call.

This all has to do with my local kennel club and it is way too high school to go into on this oh so happy blog. Let’s just say that there are a couple of people that don’t like me and want me to quit the club so in their pursuit of this goal everything I do or don’t do in scrutinized more than former Gov Spitz expense reports. It doesn’t matter what I do, they point out the fault with it.

On one hand I am ready to quit the club because I don’t deserve the abuse. For gods sake I was club member of the year last year and now I am a bum according to them. But do I really want these egos to take over a club that I have put many hours of sweat and tears into? This is something I have to weight very carefully. I think that in the immediate future I will just lay low and not go to club activities.

And now back to our regular scheduled programming........

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

One Word

If you could only pick one word to describe you, what would it be?

Determined. That is the word that best describes me right now. I am determined to be healthy and enjoy my life. I will not let the drama or stress of daily life interfere with my ultimate goal.
What word do I want to describe me? Athletic. I want to be considered athletic. When I imagine an athletic person, I see someone that is healthy, and enjoys physical activity. I picture tone muscles, running 5K’s without stopping or playing on a woman’s softball league. I can see an athletic person hiking thru the woods or kayaking down a river. Please take note that I am not picturing a size or weight. I think athletic transcends the size of your clothing or the number on the scale.

So what word describes you right now and what word would you like to describe you in the future?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fitness Heartrate question

I am hoping one of you will be able to either answer my question or point me in the direction of someone that may be able to answer it.

Most pieces of exercise equipment will tell you how many calories you burn while using it. I also know that they are not reliable. However, I would think that if you use two different pieces of equipment and keep your heart rate in the same place on each of them that the calories burned would be the same. Your heart rate is the indicator of your exertion as far as I understand.

So on the Matrix I keep my heart rate in the high 130's for 40 minutes. (it asks for my weight as when I start) It says I burned around 300 calories. Today I used the Arc for 40 minutes and kept my heart rate in the high 130's. I would think the amount of calories should be about the same but it said I burned 600 calories in that amount of time. Again, I am not using that number to run out and eat more food. I'm just curious what formula they use to calculate the calories.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Weigh in Report for March 8th

Down 1.4 pounds today. Well, I think anyway...... They put the readouts on the counter now where we can see them when we weigh in and I swear I calculated 1.4 pounds gone, but when I looked after the meeting at the sticker in my book it said I had a .4 pound loss. I weighed again, but I had already drank a huge coffee during the meeting.
So I say down 1.4 and that is what I am sticking too.

I had a lovely weekend, I got 4 of the dogs groomed from top to bottom on Saturday. The former show dogs are very happy they don't have to stay up on the table as long as they used to for a grooming. Hopefully since the sun is shinning today I can get out with them in the big yard and get some pics.

Friday, March 7, 2008


The New Sporty Brenda! I finally got into my stylist (she usually has a two week waiting list) last night and decided it was time for a new look so I went from sort of short hair to super short hair. It’s been years since I’ve worn my hair so short.
This style will be much easier to fix after a session in the gym than the longer version I’d been wearing. That is my stylist in the pic with me. We have been friends for almost ten years and I so look forward to my hair appointments because we both reserve the night to go out for dinner and drinks after. She is amazing and also incidently the one that took me to the Bette Midler concert.

I also want to share another compliment I received at work yesterday. Fred, one of our maintenance men, poked his head into my office yesterday afternoon and asked how much I’d lost. I told him I was closing in on 60 pounds (man, I love being able to say that!). He said, “Well, you’re really lookin’ good sweetheart. I might have to jump ya!”
So I can now say that I’ve been propositioned! (of course he was kidding, he is very happily married to a lovely woman)Hee Hee. Really Fred is an awesome guy and in such amazing shape for 70 years old! He has more energy than three men around this shop. I know he is big into health and really takes good care of himself. I hope to be so active when I am 70!

The New Equipment has Arrived

If you remember, I was given the honor of finding a new piece of equipment for our corporate gym. I have it narrowed down to the Matrix Ascent and the Cybex Arc. These are not your normal elliptical. In fact the Arc isn’t at all like an elliptical. Basically I ended up with two sales guys saying that their product is better and the other guys stuff sucks. So I told them each to bring their equipment and let us use it for a couple of weeks in order for us to decide which we liked better.

Thursday, two sets of big burley men rolled in the new equipment. These things are huge! The Matrix is the size of a small car, I swear. I couldn’t wait to work out. Yesterday I used the Matrix for 30 minutes. I won’t say I didn’t like it, but I felt like the elliptical motion and the momentum generated made it do more of the work than I was doing. My top heart rate was only in the 120’s. (When I do hills on the treadmill, I keep it in the high 140’s) I think that I’ll need to play with the resistance and incline the next time I use it. I am really sore in the front of my quads and a little in my triceps. So, okay workout for the first try.

Today I hopped on the Arc. I AM IN LOVE!!!!!! I did 30 minutes on it and went about a mile and a half and it said burned 300 calories. (I don’t put much faith in the calorie readouts of any machines) What amazed me most was the amount of sweat I generated. I have never sweat so much during a 30 minute workout. My heart rate was in the high 130’s low 140’s. I had rivulets of sweat running down my cheeks. I even drank my entire water bottle to stay hydrated. I was soaked when I finished. Now that is a good feeling. It was fun. The movement of this machine is between an elliptical and a Stairmaster. It does not have a continuous movement that propels you. You do the work. Nothing is sore as of this moment so I can’t tell you for sure what muscle groups it worked.

I’ll let you know which piece of equipment we end up with. I’d love for it to be my decision, but considering I’m not the one writing the check for it, I’ll be happy with what the owner decides to purchase.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The nicest compliment

One of the floor employees just popped in my office and gave me the nicest compliment. She said, “I didn’t wave at you last night as you were walking to your car because I wasn’t entirely sure it was you. You’ve lost so much weight that I didn’t recognize you.”

Is that amazing or what? I think I’ll beam over that one for days.

Instead of hugging her and smiling, I said “shut up, you’re lying!”,then I thanked her very much. We all need to be better about accepting compliments. Why in the world do we play down compliments we receive? I know that I am working hard and I am losing weight, therefore when someone notices, they aren’t making it up. They are genuinely happy for me and want to encourage me.

I am making a new pledge. From today on, I will accept compliments gracefully. Period. No more false humility, or making light of my accomplishments or calling them a liar! I will smile and say thank you, then run to my computer so I can blog about it

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Bridal Shower

Do me a favor, the next time I start bitching about not making any progress, please remind me of this past weekend. I made both physical and mental progress this weekend. You’ve already read about my fantastic weigh loss, and being able to wear my Bette Midler concert T-shirt. I have one more weekend item to share.

Saturday I had been invited to a bridal shower being given by a friend. First I have to share that I think bridal showers, baby showers, and children’s birthday parties are sheer torture. I have always avoided them at all costs. I always feel very out of place and as if everyone is looking at me and that I am never dressed right.

Side bar: I hate the cute little pieces of cake they pass out. Hello, give me the fucking knife so I can cut a piece I would normally eat! Oops did I say that out loud? They are passing out these little bite size pieces and I am thinking how can I sneak up and get three more servings? Am I the only one that thinks this?

The hostess was begging me to come and I told her flat out that I don’t do social things like that. She reminded me that the old overweight Brenda didn’t go to those things but that the new slimmer, more confident, happier Brenda would have a lovely time. So basically, she wasn’t going to let me out of it.

She was right; I didn’t go to those things because of my size. I didn’t want to deal with being the biggest person there, or having people watch what I was eating. I would especially avoid social gatherings if there would be people there that I hadn’t seen in a while. I think I’ve said before that I am really good at reading other people’s thoughts and just know that those people were actually not listening to what I was saying, instead they were thinking about how much bigger I had gotten since the last time they saw me.

So I wore clothes that fit and looked nice. Spent some extra time on my hair and makeup and went to the shower. It was actually quite nice. I nibbled on a few veggies and pieces of cheese and didn’t have any of the cake. (It wasn’t chocolate so why bother)

So there, I got through my first shower. It wasn’t that bad. Not that I want all of you to start inviting me to all of your functions, but I won’t hem and haw at going the next time I get an invite.

Kiss My Brass!

Saturday morning I rifled though my closet to find something to wear to Weight Watchers. I ended up grabbing a T-shirt out of the back of the closet. I didn’t realize until I slipped it on, that it was the concert T-shirt I bought at the Bette Midler show I went to a few years ago. It not only fit, it was a bit too big!

I almost always buy a shirt when I go to a concert. For me, it’s a way to remember the fun of the evening. Problem is they NEVER fit. I would buy the biggest they had (sometimes I was even able to find a XXL) but they never fit. So I just hung them in the closet. It always made me so sad that I couldn’t wear them.

I haven’t been to a concert in a while, but I think I’ll look for one to go to just so I can buy the T-shirt and wear it. Until then, I’ve got some great Prince, Lilith Fair, and Indigo Girls shirts to wear.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Weigh in Report for Sat March 1st

Hip! Hip! Horray!!!!!!Down 4.4 pounds today making a total of 57.2 pounds gone! What a great feeling.

An enormous thank you to Tiff who gave me so many great ideas last week about "eating clean". I swear girl, if I would have had your phone number I'd have called and thanked you from the scale this morning at WW!

I really think not eating everything that comes in a box made a difference for me. My plan this week is to do exactly the same stuff I did last week.

Journal for Friday Feb 29th

Happy Leap Day!

WW yogurt 1 pt
English muffin 1 pt
PB2 and SF jelly 1 pt
Fiber one bar 2 pts
Four Wasa crackers 2 pts
4 oz chicken mixed with FF mayo 5 pts
apple 1 pt
6 egg whites 2 pts
bread 2 pts
FF cheest 1 pt
1 cup FF milk 2 pts
SF mocha 3 pts
no pudge brownie 2 pts
1/2 cup breyers 1 pts
Total points 25 I stayed way under points today and chugged water because I was worried about eating that movie theater popcorn.

Activity: went out skiing for a bit over an hour. I took a few different trails and while I won't say I got LOST again, let's just say that had I had a map with me, I would have made different choices.