30-Day Plan: Day Seventeen

Okay guys, so I am going to come out right and admit right now that I’ve kind of let this little “holiday” get the better of me and have somewhat fallen off track.  I say “somewhat” because it hasn’t been totally bad – for one thing, I am still writing absolutely everything I eat in my food journal and counting my Weight Watchers points.  I’ve also been trying to do some sort of exercise every day (although haven’t worked out at all yet today).  But other than that, little indulgences every day are starting to add up, and unfortunately today was no better.  Here’s how Day 17 has shaped up:

First of all, since I was up late last night visiting with girlfriends, Mom didn’t wake me for the 7 a.m walk this morning.  It was kind of nice to sleep in though and I was still out of bed just after 8 a.m (Mom had not only myself, but my cousin and his wife and three kids, and my three nieces all staying here last night so it was a little noisy around the house pretty early this morning as all the little humans came to life!)

Breakfast:  Since we had so much company, Mom whipped up some of her amazing pancakes this morning.  I couldn’t say no.  Instead, I had one small one and was careful about how much butter and syrup I put on it.  All in all, I figure it came out to about 7-8 WW points and although the meal wasn’t exactly filling or healthy, it certainly was quite delicious!

After breakfast, most of the gang here headed out on a day trip to Quebec while I agreed to stay home and watch my two oldest nieces (7 and 4 years old).  Shortly after breakfast, I lathered the girls in sunscreen and we headed out to the first of three parks we’d hit today!image

Lunch: After playing at two different parks, I brought the girls home to grab a quick lunch.  Mom’s fridge was packed with leftovers so I had some leftover chicken breast and treated myself to some leftover macaroni salad that Mom had served a couple nights earlier (macaroni noodles, diced veggies, diced cheddar cheese, light mayonnaise).  I probably shouldn’t have eaten as much as I did but I decided to just finish up what was left in the fridge, which ended up being about a serving and a half.

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After lunch, I brought my nieces to a nearby town where they have a movie theatre. Before hitting the movies, the girls wanted to play in the “big park” by the lake. After a little stroll on the boardwalk and checking out the water, I let the girls play for a bit before we packed up again and headed to the movie theatre.

My sweeties by the lake near the park.

My sweeties by the lake near the park.

Selfies at the park.

Selfies at the park.

Snack:  Since I hadn’t planned a healthier snack to sneak into the movies (who hasn’t done that?!), I decided to just go ahead and have some popcorn and diet pop at the theatre.  It ended up that there was way too much butter and salt on the popcorn (even for my liking) so if I’m being honest, I really didn’t enjoy the popcorn all that much. But I ate it anyway, mindlessly munching away while we watched the movie. About half way through the bag though, I stopped myself.  Eating an unhealthy food that’s not absolutely delicious is just not worth it for me. Instead, I shared a box of Smarties chocolates with my niece and gave her the rest of my popcorn.  I also had a Diet Coke – all in all my movie snacks came to about 13 points – eek!

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This popcorn wasn't the best but I half of it anyway.

This popcorn wasn’t the best but I ate half of it anyway.

By the time the movie ended and the girls were loaded up, it was getting close to dinner time.  Sure enough, as McDonalds came into view my little niece piped up from the backseat, “I’m hungry!”  I knew the rest of the family wasn’t going to be home for dinner and the girls and I were having such a fun day together, that I decided to treat them and pulled into McDonalds.

Dinner:  I’m not going to lie.  At this point, that “might as well go all out now” mentality came into effect a little bit as I contemplated what to have at McDonald’s.  I knew I’d already made quite a few unhealthy choices between the pancake, the macaroni salad, the popcorn, and  the chocolate.  To make things just a teensy bit better, I decided to order a kids meal (smaller portion).  I chose the chicken nuggets Kids Meal which came with a mini order of fries and a small Diet Coke for a total of only 9 WW points (not too bad for a fast food meal!)

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It’s now early evening and I am already at 46 points for the day.  If I am hungry later, I will be sure to have a healthy snack (most likely yogurt and almonds or some rice cakes) since I’m already out of “bonus” points for the week.  I’m also heading home tomorrow morning so I plan to get right back on track and start sticking to my 30 daily points again starting first thing tomorrow morning!

17 days down, 13 to go!

30-Day Plan: Day Sixteen

So I read an interesting article last night written by a guy who’d been obese all his life and then lost a lot of weight.  The article focussed on the psychological aspect of weight loss and was something I could really relate to.  Every time I go on a weight loss program, I feel a little neurotic about it.  I have to think so carefully about all my food choices each and every day.  I realize this is just a temporary thing.  I have to think hard and consciously make good choices until habits develop.  In the past, when I lost a significant amount of weight it took a year or two before I didn’t have to work so hard.  By then I had developed some pretty good habits and things came more naturally.  But for me, when I first start back on a program, it takes significant work.  I have to think carefully about all my choices, do extra work to prepare healthy meals, make sure I get my workouts in, and the hardest part of all – try to find a healthy balance between restricting myself and treating myself.

This week, I am on somewhat of a “holiday”.  Technically, I get the whole summer off but I’m out of town visiting family this week.  There have been a lot of food temptations this week and although I’ve done quite well with making good choices, it’s definitely been a challenge.  For one thing, we celebrated three birthdays this week so there’s been a lot of cake.  Also, there’s been a crazy heat wave going on so there’s been a lot of ice cream.  And of course, when families get together there’s always hearty meals to sit down to.  Since I am still on my 30-day program, I had intentions to restrict myself and stay as close to my daily 30 points as possible.  However, I do have to recognize that I am on “holidays” this week and need to be a little forgiving to myself.  That’s where the balance comes in.  And balance has always been the part I struggle with.  How many “treats” are just the right amount?  Am I being too restrictive?  Am I being too lenient?  If I have “treats” three days in a row, will it slowly evolve back into a bad habit?  (See this is where the neurotic part comes in… I end up over-thinking everything).

So the golden question is, how does one truly get to a place where they have established enough of the right habits that maintaining a healthy weight isn’t so much work?  Where I can feel like I am living freely and enjoying food, but I don’t have to worry about how much weight I might gain or what kind of habits I am creating?  And if I do start losing weight, when will I be truly happy with my body?  Is that even possible or do we all have insecurities no matter how fit and healthy we are?

I guess it’s just one of those days where I am over-thinking things.  That being said, I decided to go a little bit easier on myself today and indulge in my holidays a little.  Here’s how today has gone:

Workout 1:  Despite getting up three mornings in a row now to go walking at 7 a.m I have realized I am still definitely not a morning workout person.  I much prefer moving slowly after I get out of bed – watching morning talk shows, reading, checking social media feeds, and having a leisurely breakfast and coffee.  Nonetheless, I enjoy walking with Mom and she goes at 7 a.m.  So once again, I laced up my sneakers and off we went.  Today’s walk was no easier than yesterday’s, in fact I pretty much felt like I was sleep walking!  I dragged myself along though, and completed the 5km walk in about an hour for a total of 6 activity points.

Breakfast:  Today, I repeated yesterday’s breakfast – a fried egg, 3 slices of turkey bacon, and a slice of toast and butter.  Mmmm, toast and butter.  I seriously could eat a whole loaf of toast and butter for breakfast!  I think when I go back home I will find a healthier carb alternative (to help sustain hunger a little longer) but for now while on “vacation” I’m loving every single bite of toast and butter.  I also enjoyed a morning coffee with 4 tbsp of French- Vanilla cream.

This was yesterday's breakfast but I repeated it again today.

This was yesterday’s breakfast but I repeated it again today.

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30-Day Plan: Day Fifteen

Today marks the half-way point of my 30-day commitment to myself which is kind of ironic because today was pretty tough.  I don’t know why but all day, all I wanted to do was eat.  And then eat some more.  Here’s some of the challenges I faced today.

Workout 1:  I woke up to go for a walk with Mom at 7 a.m again and today’s walk was no easier than yesterday’s.  My body is just not awake that soon after I get out of bed!  I dragged myself along even though my lower back ached and my legs felt like they weighed a thousand pounds each.  Thank goodness I had Mom to chat with or I likely wouldn’t have completed the entire 5k route.  That, and today was really hot and humid, but at 7 a.m the air was still refreshingly cool and the town is still very quiet as most people are just starting to get moving.   When all was said and done, our walk earned me 6 activity points.

Breakfast:  I enjoyed breakfast on the patio again today.  I cooked up my usual fried egg and turkey bacon (2 slices instead of 3 today) and then because I was feeling more hungry than usual, I also made a slice of toast with butter.  (If you read yesterday’s post you know that toast & butter is practically like having dessert for me!  So yummy!  I savoured every last bit of that single piece of delicious toast!)

Even just looking at this picture of that toast makes me want more

Even just looking at this picture of that toast makes me want more

After a shower, I took a few minutes to chop some more vegetables and pre-cook some more turkey burgers and turkey bacon.  I find vegetables so much easier to eat if they are prepared ahead of time!   I also hate cooking (and am not a morning person), so by pre-cooking my turkey bacon I can just warm up a couple of slices in the morning. I sipped on my coffee and French-Vanilla cream on the drive to the grocery store.

Speaking of the grocery store…. Have I mentioned today was one of those days where I just wanted to eat everything?  A grocery store is not the place to go when you are having one of those days.  While I watched Mom shop (she needed things, I was just along for the ride), I gazed longingly at the shelves of delicious foods wishing I could eat anything and everything….. Ice cream, pancakes, Eggo waffles, sugary cereals, bagels, chips, chocolate bars, granola bars, cookies, even Toaster Strudels (which I’ve actually never eaten in my life).  I am happy to report, however, that not a single one of those items went into our cart.

Lunch:  On the way home from the store, I dove into a bag of Quaker Mini Rice Cakes to ward off my desire to eat anything.  I tried to keep the portion small but I’ll admit, I was eating pretty mindlessly and kind of just devouring all the rice cakes.  I figure I ate about 8 points worth on the short drive home.  When we arrived home, I prepared my regular turkey burger, feta cheese, and sautéed vegetables and also devoured a large chunk of watermelon and drank a 32-oz bottle of water in one sitting!

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Workout 2:  This afternoon, my family and I headed to the local pool.  I used to never be much of one for swimming but recently I’ve discovered that being in the water is actually pretty relaxing so I’ve started to go a little more often.  I like the pool in my hometown on hot days like today because it’s outdoor and it’s the one I grew up going to!  I have many, many fond childhood memories of hot summer days spent at this pool.  Anyway, in an effort to get a bit of a workout, I did actually try to do some swimming as opposed to just walking around in the pool and playing with my stepson.  Overall though, it wasn’t really much of a workout per se, so I’m only counting about 2 activity points.

Pool days

Pool days

My son leaping off the diving board

My son leaping off the diving board

Dinner:   By the time we got home from the pool a couple hours later, I was very hungry.  It was still an hour to supper so I drank some more water hoping that would hold me off.  For dinner, my Dad barbecued pork chops (delicious but huge!) and Mom prepared a macaroni salad and a garden salad. Instead of having some of the macaroni salad (prepared with mayo), Mom had set aside some of the pasta for me and I made my own version of pasta salad with a diced veggies, a few cubes of cheddar cheese, and a bit of light Italian dressing.  Although I measured out 3/4 cup intending to only eat some of it, I ended up eating the whole serving since I was still feeling like I wanted to eat everything in the house!

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After dinner, I resisted the leftover birthday cake and decided to have a 1/2 cup of chocolate frozen yogurt for dessert instead.  I absolutely love Chapman’s frozen yogurt and would highly recommend it if you’re looking to make an easy transition from ice cream to frozen yogurt.

By 7:30, I was feeling like I needed to eat again.  And once again, I wanted to eat anything.  My husband had brought home this giant jar of peanut butter-filled pretzels and I wanted to devour them.  Instead, I had two and then checked the WW points using my app.  8 points for 17 pretzels.  Considering they’re a pretty good size that’s actually not too bad but I knew if I ate them I still wouldn’t be satisfied and then would have to eat something more.  Instead, I grabbed a small handful of almonds and then some more mini rice cakes and a Diet Coke.

So I am definitely over my points allotment today but as previously mentioned I am not sure what’s up today but I just want to eat ALL. THE. FOOD.   I don’t know if I didn’t drink enough water, if it’s a specific time of the month, or if it was just “one of those days” but I certainly hope this feeling has gone away by tomorrow!   I do have to give myself some credit though because I did better than I could have today.  For instance, I passed on going to the chip hut for lunch with my cousin who is visiting, and I avoided Mom’s freezer that has all kinds of ice cream including Drumsticks, and her snack cupboard which has several bags of chips!  Still, today overall was a bit disappointing in general (especially considering I’ve had a couple high-points days recently) so I am hoping to do better tomorrow!

15 days down, 15 to go!

30-Day Plan: Day Fourteen

So today has been a pretty awesome day mostly because it’s my Mama’s birthday!  For those of you who don’t know, my Mama and I are best friends.  I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful relationship with her and she is the most amazing woman I have ever known!  Needless to say, we did some celebrating today!  Here’s how today went:

Birthday girl!

Birthday girl!

Workout 1:  So the day started off with my Mom waking me up at 6:45 a.m to go for a walk!  I am so not a morning person, let alone a morning workout person!  I had actually discovered a while back that I do not prefer to work out in the morning.  My body just takes too long to physically wake up, making the early workout less enjoyable and not productive (in my opinion).  That being said, I agreed last night to get up early to go walking with Mom this morning – after all, it is her birthday, and I really do enjoy going for walks with my Mama!  We walked for about an hour and although the weather was pleasantly cool and the company was great, the walk itself was certainly tougher than normal as my body fought to wake up!  When we finally made it back home, I collapsed onto the couch where I stayed for about the next hour sipping on my morning coffee with French-Vanilla cream.

Breakfast:  After recovering from our morning walk, I cooked up a fried egg and 3 slices of turkey bacon for breakfast.  By this time, it was beautifully cool but sunny so I got to enjoy breakfast on the deck!  The rest of the family was also having bacon and eggs but they were eating the most delicious looking buttery toast with theirs.  I was practically yearning for one because it looked so good (have I mentioned my affinity for bread?!) but I knew there would be other temptations in the day (including birthday cake!) so I resisted and instead focussed on just enjoying the beautiful morning with my family.

Breakfast on the patio!

Breakfast on the patio!

Lunch:  For lunch I warmed up a leftover turkey burger and covered it with sautéed vegetables and a bit of feta cheese.  I also had a giant piece of watermelon and, after the early morning wake-up call, a second cup of coffee (and cream).

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Workout 2:  After lunch, we decided to do some adventuring for Mom’s birthday.  We headed about 45 minutes out of town where you can hike a short trail that comes out at a location called Devil’s Rock – which is essentially a lookout from a 300-foot cliff that provides the most spectacular views of Lake Temiskaming.   It took us about 20 minutes to make our way down the rugged, rocky trail through the woods.  I was glad it wasn’t too hot out today and for the cool shade all the trees offered.  But guys, let me tell you about these views when we finally made it! My pictures don’t even do it justice (only taken on my iPhone) but my breath was literally taken away!  I can’t believe I had grown up so close to this area and never discovered it before!  We spent some time walking around the top of the cliff (being very careful not to get too close to the edge!) taking photos, exploring the area, and just soaking in the stunning nature all around us.  After, it was a 20-minute hike on the same trail back to the car which all in all, was about  an hour of hiking and adventuring.

Hiking

Hiking trail

Panoramic view

Panoramic view

Spectacular

Spectacular

Enjoying the view

Just over that edge is a 300-foot drop straight down to the sharp rocks and lake below! My heart was beating faster for sure!

On the ride back home, Mom wanted to stop for a coffee at Tim Horton’s.  My stepson ordered a Chocolate Maple Chill which is essentially a sugar-packed sweet drink similar to a chocolate milkshake.  After our hike and the heat, I had a pretty good hankering for an iced cappuccino, but again knowing there would be birthday cake after dinner, Idecided to pass and instead I ordered a nice cold bottle of water (although I did have half of a honey dip Timbit – my mom said she was “saving” me and bit half of it off before “allowing” me to have it – HAHA!)

Dinner:  As a gift to Mom, my husband and I took on the task of cooking dinner.  We invited my brother and his family so there were six adults and four children in all.  My husband makes the best cedar-plank salmon and I made some vegetable-flavoured rice and vegetables to go with it.  The veggies weren’t my favourite (but I wanted to try something different) so I smeared a little garlic butter on them to make them taste slightly better.   I also couldn’t resist a half-piece of toast and butter and then after I made one of the biggest diet faux-pas ever – I ate the crusts of my niece’s toast that she had left on her plate!  (Oh my god, I was dying to eat bread! Haha). And not going to lie, toast and butter is so darn good!

Not pictured – toast and butter!

Of course, after dinner we had to have birthday cake!  My sister-in-law and nieces had made the prettiest little cake which they decorated with purple and yellow icing, sprinkles, and little candies.  Since I was in charge of cutting and serving the cake, I made sure to cut myself a fairly small piece which I enjoyed very much!  Surprisingly, I didn’t even want a second piece after the first was done.  I mean, I could have eaten another one mindlessly (which I may have done in the past) and then felt really sick afterwards.  But I’ve already started to notice that now that I’ve been trying to cut back on sugar, when I do eat something sweet, it tastes really sweet and because of that, just a small amount is enough.

A yummy treat

A yummy treat

It’s now nearly bedtime and I won’t be having an evening snack tonight since we finished dinner/dessert pretty late.  I’m happy to say that I don’t even feel the least bit guilty about having that cake because I planned ahead for it.  I made the conscious choice to have it and avoided other treats throughout the day knowing I would be having it. Plus, I kept my portion a reasonable size, ate slowly, enjoyed every bite and accepted that I was done instead of mindlessly eating seconds.  This is a huge success for me!  It will still take time for me to learn to treat myself without feeling guilty, but it’s all about baby steps, right?

14 days down, 16 to go!

30-Day Plan: Day Thirteen

Well, I am happy to report that I had no difficulty at all getting right back on track today after yesterday’s challenges!  We arrived at my Mom & Dad’s this afternoon and are here for the week to visit with family and friends.  Just as I was concerned about the camping trip, I know that this week may also be challenging as food is often so central to many gatherings.  I did, however, bring along a lot of my own groceries and will make my own meals when necessary in order to stay on track.  Here’s how Day Thirteen has gone:

Breakfast:  Guys, this morning when I woke up, I was craving a peanut butter and jelly sandwich so bad.  I’m not sure what that was all about – I chalk it up to all the sugar I consumed last night making my body crave more sugar (hence the jelly). That, and PB&J sandwiches have been one of my favourites since I was a kid!  I don’t have any jam in the house right now though (in an effort to cut back on sugar) so fried up my egg and 3 slices of turkey bacon instead.   After breakfast, I lounged while watching morning talk shows and sipping on my coffee (6 tbsp of French-Vanilla cream – this cream is just so good – it’s been really hard for me to give up because I just enjoy it so much!)

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After breakfast, I made a quick trip to the grocery store to stock up on a few of my healthy staples for our trip to Mom & Dad’s.  In my cart, I added things like salmon, turkey burgers, turkey bacon, frozen yogurt, mini rice cakes, rice, watermelon, and an assortment of veggies.

Lunch: I quickly grilled up my ol’ favourite – turkey burger, feta cheese, and sautéed vegetables so that I wouldn’t be hungry on the hour-and-a-half trip.  I filled my water bottle with ice cold water for the ride, loaded up the car, and off we went.

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Halfway to Mom & Dad’s, I got a message from them saying they had stopped for lunch nearby on their way home from a camping trip.  My son and I decided to stop in to say hi and travel with them the rest of the way.  When we got into the restaurant, everyone was eating the most delicious-looking home-made French fries.  You know those kind that you can usually only get in little privately owned diner’s where the meals are like Mama’s home cooking?  Or at the best kind of chip huts?  Yum.  But guess what?  When my family members kindly offered to share, I said no.  I was so tempted to steal a few fries off my niece’s plate (even her homemade grilled cheese sandwich was looking divine!) but I resisted.  Definitely a win for me!  Instead, when my son and I got back into the car, I grabbed a bag of Quaker’s Mini Rice Cakes from the back and we snacked on those during the next leg of the drive (with me mentally counting how many I ate so I would know how many points I had – which was 4 by the way).  Oh, one thing I almost forgot!    On the way out of town today, my son wanted to stop for a snack at Tim Horton’s.  If you are familiar with this franchise (hello fellow Canadians!) you likely know that there are not very many healthy options here!  One of my favourites is the iced cappuccino but it’s loaded with sugar and therefore high in points.  Instead, while we waited in the drive-thru line, I quickly checked the Weight Watchers app to see what I could have for a low amount of points (which, by the way, there were very few options!) I ended up deciding to try an iced coffee with chocolate milk (4 points).  It was  okay, but after a few sips I decided I really didn’t like it enough to use 4 points on it.  So on the next pit stop, I tossed it in the garbage.

Dinner:  By the time we arrived at Mom & Dad’s, it was nearing dinner time and I was pretty hungry!  I had my husband barbecue some boneless skinless chicken breasts (with a little bit of Montreal chicken spice for flavouring) and I whipped up my version of a taco salad (romaine lettuce, green/red/yellow peppers, red onions, shredded cheddar cheese, broken tortilla strips, and light Italian dressing.  I had a pretty big portion of the salad and half a chicken breast for 6 points.

So I totally forgot to take pictures today so here's another beautiful nature picture from our camping trip!

So I totally forgot to take pictures today so here’s another beautiful nature picture from our camping trip!

A little after dinner, I had dessert which was 1/2 cup of Chapman’s chocolate frozen yogurt.  I love this yogurt because it tastes just like ice cream – smooth, creamy and delicious!  And surprisingly, half a cup is use the right amount to satisfy my sweet craving!

Workout:  After dinner, Mom & I went for an hour walk.  Okay, okay, about fifteen of those minutes were me stopping to capture Pokemons (don’t judge me – the game is actually really fun, and I am so not an iPhone game player!) So altogether we walked about 45 minutes for a total of 4 activity points earned.  The best part of this workout?  Spending quality time with my mama!

Snack: A little after our walk, I was starting to feel hungry again so I carefully counted out 13 almonds and 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt – yum!  Now I am going to brush my teeth (this always seems to trick my brain into believing “eating time is over”) which tops me off at 32 points for the day (2 points over but considering I earned 4 activity points, I am technically still within my points!)

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Altogether, I have to say I am quite pleased with myself for not letting yesterday’s derailment pull me completely off track.  I got right back on today, followed my plan, and had another successful day!  I have to give a shout out to those of you who are following along and leaving sweet comments.  Your kind words are very encouraging and truly part of what is keeping me going!

13 days down, 17 to go!

30-Day Plan: Day Ten, Eleven, Twelve

Well I’m back from my camping trip am and now 12 days into my 30-day plan.  I know some of you are curious to know how I did this weekend and I am going to be honest and say I am feeling mixed emotions about it.  I was doing really well and feeling pretty proud of myself until today – and now I am feeling totally guilty and mad at myself (although trying really hard not to because I know this isn’t about being “perfect” but doing the best I can and I can still get right back on track tomorrow!)

First of all, let me wrap up Friday for you.  I had had all my mealsat home and didn’t head out to the campground until after dinner so I still had 8 daily points left.  I had been feeling so nervous about staying on track this weekend because in the past, camping trips have always been associated with a lot of unhealthy food in my experience.  Sitting around the fire at night is an especially dangerous place because my family loves to snack on junk food at the fire.  Anyway, in an attempt to avoid the chips, I ate some dill pickle cracker chips instead for a total of 6 points (counted and portioned out carefully into a bowl so I would not be tempted to eat the whole bag!). Then a little later on in the evening, someone brought out the stuff for making S’mores.  I decided to have one as a treat and let me tell you, it was worth every bite – so delicious and I was pleasantly surprised after to find out it was only about 4 points! (We use the digestive cookies coated in chocolate and then just roast a marshmallow and stick it in between two of the cookies!  Yum!) All in all, I finished Day 10 at only 32 points and feeling really good about my choices and how I finished my day!

 

My alternative to potato chips

My alternative to potato chips

Mmm S'mores

Mmm S’mores

Day 11

When I am camping one of my guilty pleasures is sitting in the morning sun sipping coffee and reading (currently: The Man Who Quit Money by Mark Sundeen).  I started off Day 11 with a coffee with French-Vanilla cream and enjoyed every single sip (there’s something so relaxing about drinking coffee in the great outdoors!). Here’s how the rest of the day shaped up:

Breakfast:  While everyone else had toast, bacon, and eggs, I skipped the toast and fried one egg and had it with my usual 3 slices of turkey bacon.  Water to drink.  Later, my daughter showed up with a box of Timbits (aka small donut holes from Canadian coffee shop Tim Horton’s). I avoided them at first but later they were just calling my name so loudly (haha).  I limited myself to just one so didn’t feel too badly.  Plus, I had avoided sneaking any of the gummy and sour candies my uncle had bought for the kids!

Workout 1:  While we didn’t do any strenuous exercise this weekend, we did do quite a bit of walking.  Most of it was just strolling casually around the campground or back and forth to the beach, but we did manage to squeeze in one hike.  Seeing as we had my four- and seven-year-old nieces, and my disabled uncle with us, we opted for a short (2km) and easy trail (only very small hills).  We took the pace a little slower than normal too.  So this may not have been a major calorie burner but the scenery was absolutely gorgeous!  The sky was brilliant blue and the sun bounced off all the trees and greenery – it made it seem like we were in an enchanted forest at times!  When all was said and done, I only counted this walk as 2 activity points since the intensity level was extremely low.  That being said, it was wonderful to be out in the woods with my family soaking up nature.

Hiking

Hiking

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Lunch:  While the rest of the gang had hamburgers and snacks, I stuck with my usual turkey burger, feta cheese, sautéed vegetables and a large slice of watermelon. And of course, more water.  Later, at the beach I snacked on some Quaker Mini Rice Cakes being careful to count my portion which added up to 6 points.  A cheese string was another 3 points.f

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30-Day Plan: Day Ten

Wow, Day 10 is finally here and I am officially one-third of the way through my 30-day plan!   I really can’t tell you guys how excited I am by that!  I’m headed out on my weekend camping trip pretty soon but we’re still waiting on my husband to get home from work so I figured I’d write a quick update about how today has gone so far!

Breakfast:  I returned to my typical breakfast today – 1 fried egg and 3 slices of turkey bacon.  I also pre-cooked another package of turkey bacon which I am bringing camping with me this weekend!  Pre-cooking makes breakfasts so quick and easy because I often wake up pretty hungry (especially since I’m snacking a lot less at night!) I also had a coffee with 5 tablespoons of French-Vanilla cream (don’t judge me, I counted the points!)

Workout:  Okay, so this heading really shouldn’t be here because I did not work out today. I had planned to do my Jillian Micahels DVD this morning but when I got up, I just wasn’t feeling it.  I made the excuse that I had a lot to do but really that’s all it was, an excuse, because I actually had more than enough time to workout today and do the tasks that needed to be done.  That’s okay though because I’ve worked out every day this week and I definitely believe in rest days.  I will make up for it by trying to do a lot of walking and swimming this weekend!

Lunch: Turkey burger, feta cheese, and sautéed veggies followed by a huge slice of watermelon – keeping things simple! 🙂

Dinner: Since we are headed out right after dinner, I decided to do something quick and easy, and grabbed a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store for dinner.  I had one of the breasts (no skin!) and paired it with a few sweet potatoes (grilled with diced red onions) and my typical sautéed vegetables.  It made for a pretty easy yet satisfying dinner although I am not going to lie, I was super craving pizza for dinner tonight (I even scoped out the frozen pizza aisle in the grocery store!)  It wasn’t that tough to make the right choice though, after reminding myself that there will be lots of opportunity for treats this weekend.  I skipped out on the pizza and grabbed the chicken instead.

Tonight's dinner.

Tonight’s dinner.

So I am currently sitting at 22 points for the day with 8 remaining which should work out good for snacks around the campfire tonight!  Time to go load up the car and get moving – the great outdoors is waiting!   Have a great weekend everybody – you’ll hear from me soon!

10 days down, 20 to go!

30-Day Plan: Day Nine

 


Ok guys, I can not believe that I am almost a third of the way into my 30-day commitment!  Nine days and still going strong. Truthfully writing daily updates here is part of what’s kept me going.  I guess in a way it’s a form of accountability.  Plus I’ve got a few people who comment regularly and are giving me suggestions and encouragement which is really appreciated!  (Thanks guys!)

As I was walking the other day, I started to consider if I should change the format of my posts about my 30-Day Plan.  I thought about whether or not I should put more or less photos, whether I should make my posts shorter and less detailed, and even whether I should post a question asking what people would like to see more (or less) of.  But then, I quickly realized that pleasing other people is not the reason for this blog.  Sure, I want people to read it, and comment and share their support and suggestions.  But if they don’t that’s okay too.  Because the purpose of writing about my weight loss journey is partly to inspire others, but more importantly, to keep myself accountable.  With that being said, here’s Day 9.

Breakfast: Surprise!  I tried something different for breakfast today!  Instead of my usual turkey bacon and fried egg, I was really craving toast so I made one slice of multigrain toast and had 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter on it.  I had 1/3 cup of vanilla yogurt on the side. I was a little surprised to find that this breakfast actually held me over for about four hours before I started feeling hungry for lunch.  Looks like I may have another safe option on the days when I don’t feel like bacon and eggs.

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Workout 1:  I only did one workout today which was a Zumba class at my gym.  It was pretty cardio intensive and I had a very good sweat going by the time it was done!  What I enjoy about Zumba though is the great music and the fact that you get to dance!  The routines are fairly easy to pick up because the choreography is simple and repetitive.  If you’ve never tried Zumba and enjoy dancing, I highly recommend It! This 50-minute workout earned me 7 WW activity points!

Lunch: When I got home from the gym, I was actually craving my typical lunch of turkey burger, feta cheese, and sautéed veggies.  I still can not get over how delicious this simple and healthy meal is!  I followed it with another giant piece of juicy and sweet watermelon, and some more water.

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It was a rainy afternoon so I spent most of it on the couch reading (FYI: The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis is a truly enjoyable and entertaining fictional read about life in Canadian politics!) While I read, I enjoyed a coffee with 5 tablespoons of French-vanilla cream.  Yes I know, 5 tablespoons is a lot of cream but I figured since I was only at 9 points after lunch, I could spare five more for the simple pleasure of a deliciously sweet coffee.

In between all the rain, I noticed these darlings blooming in the backyard!

In between all the rain, I noticed these darlings blooming in the backyard!

Dinner: I finally used up the last of my chicken tonight and made another Chicken Taco Salad (same as before: mixed greens, romaine, peppers, onions, chicken, shredded cheddar, a few flavoured tortilla chips, and a bit of light Italian dressing).  It was a bigger portion than usual tonight so it came in at about 10 points instead of 7.  That still put me at 24 points so I decided to indulge my chocolate craving after dinner with 1/2 cup chocolate frozen yogurt.

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It’s now nearly 9 p.m and I’ve still got 2 WW points left to reach my target for the day.  I am not sure yet what I will have for a snack – I am thinking maybe a few almonds.  In the meantime, I am still continuing to prepare for this weekend’s camping trip (I head out tomorrow night).  I’m planning on bringing my usual foods:  eggs, turkey bacon, coffee, loads of water, turkey burgers, chicken, diced vegetables, mixed greens and lettuce, watermelon and am going to throw in some treats like Quaker Mini Crisspie rice cakes and Breton BBQ cracker chips (I’m hoping the latter two will help me overcome the temptation to eat chips which I know will be on hand!) I’ve also saved all my bonus points so I might be able to indulge in a cheat meal or two, like pancakes or a hotdog cooked on the fire!  I also plan to bring my food journal with me – writing everything down not only helps to keep track of my daily points but also helps me to make better decisions about what I am eating.   Finally, I hope to be a little more active this weekend than I normally am when I go camping.  The park I am going to has lots of interesting hiking trails and a great beach so I’ll make efforts to get some activity in as well.  Finally, I’m most looking forward to being with my family and enjoying the great outdoors! (I will update the blog when I get home to let you know how it all went!)

9 days down, 21 to go!

30-Day Plan: Day Eight

Well the first day of the second week of my plan is here and I am not going to lie, it was a bit tough.  I finally woke up a bit earlier than usual (I’ve been sleeping in way too much lately!) and woke up feeling hungry right away.  It was a sign for the rest of the day because I’ve kind of felt hungry all day.  I’ve been very tempted several times to eat something unhealthy and have had to very consciously tell myself no.  The biggest reason I didn’t allow myself to indulge too much today is because I’ve got a camping trip planned for the weekend and I know I will need all of my bonus points to make it through the weekend successfully.  Anyway, all this being said, here’s what today has been like:

Breakfast:  As I already mentioned, I felt hungry as soon as I woke up this morning.  I made my typical fried egg and turkey bacon (3 slices).  I’ve still yet to try anything else for breakfast although I’ve got a recipe for homemade granola and a few other suggestions to try!  I’m also struggling with trying to figure out how to incorporate some healthy carbs into my breakfast (especially seeing as I don’t like most fruits).  In fact, I’m not really sure what constituents healthy carbs at all so that is something I am going to look into.  Suggestions welcome!

Breakfast. Need some ideas for healthy carbs.

Breakfast. Need some ideas for healthy carbs.

 

Workout 1: Today was another one of my favourite classes at my local gym – power yoga.  This class is similar to the gentle yoga class I do but it’s a little tougher and involves more flow through the movements.  The nice thing about today’s class was that there were only two of us in attendance so the instructor took the opportunity to make corrections on our poses (I really had no idea my shoulders were that hunched in my downward dog!) I left the class feeling strong, as well as deeply relaxed and energized all at the same!

After the lunch, I went to a very fun place – the public library!  I absolutely love strolling through the rows and rows of books searching for titles that catch my attention.  I only made it through half the stacks today and already had four books piled in my arms so I figured that would keep me busy for a while.  Plus, my parking meter was running out and I was pretty hungry, so I checked out my books and left.  As I got into my vehicle, I remembered that Pita Pit was close by.  I suddenly started to crave a pita (I haven’t had one in forever!) I seriously considered grabbing a chicken pita for lunch but decided to quickly use the WW app first, to check the points.  Although I couldn’t find the exact pita on the app, I was able to estimate that the pita would be at least 12 points (or more).  I decided to skip on the pita and headed home to make a healthier (and cheaper!) lunch instead.

Can't wait to read these!

Can’t wait to read these!

Lunch:  To keep things simple I decided to repeat yesterday’s chicken taco salad.  The only thing I did different today was I didn’t heat up the chicken and peppers (the chicken was cooked and leftover from dinner the other night).  Yesterday, I found that the warm chicken made my lettuce warm so I opted to keep it cold today.  In case you missed it yesterday, here’s my version of the taco salad:  In a salad bowl, I combined mixed greens, diced red/green/yellow peppers, diced red onions, a tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons of flavoured tortilla strips, and some diced chicken.  I added a dash of light Italian dressing for flavour and the salad was so yummy that I ate the whole thing today (WW points value = 7).  After lunch, I was still feeling hungry, so I indulged in 1/2 cup chocolate frozen yogurt.

Delicious chicken taco salad

Delicious chicken taco salad

Dinner:  I hadn’t planned dinner tonight but seeing as I still had some leftovers and veggies in the fridge and I was only cooking for myself, I figured I would just throw something together.  But by the time dinner rolled around, I really had to spend some time contemplating what to have.  For some reason, I was really craving carbs tonight – bread, tortillas, pasta – anything.   Seeing as I haven’t had any of those in over a week now I decided it’d be fair game to whip up some pasta as long as I watched my portion.  One of my favourite summer meals is pasta salad so I decided to make one of these.  I cooked some bow tie pasta and then added my peppers, red onions, a bit of feta cheese, and some light Italian dressing (normally, I would have added cucumber too but I didn’t have any on hand).  Seeing as 1 1/4 cup of the pasta came out to 9 points, I figured if I had only 3/4 cup that would equal about 5 points.  I carefully measured out the right portion (with the feta and dressing my portion of salad came in at 7 WW points). Since I wanted to add some protein to my meal, I grilled up a turkey burger and ate it plain on the side.  After, for dessert, I enjoyed a big piece of juicy watermelon.

I love pasta salad.

I love pasta salad.

 

Sadly, this is the only fruit I enjoy. But it's in season and delicious right now!

Sadly, this is the only fruit I enjoy. But it’s in season and delicious right now!

Workout 2: We had another softball game tonight.  Sometimes softball can be pretty inactive (if you strike out or if no balls get hit to you) but tonight I had to run the bases a few times (once even all the way from first to third – that may not sound like much but when you’re sprinting as fast you can, it sure gets the heart rate up fast!). So fortunately, our game tonight was a little more of a workout than it sometimes can be.  The best part about playing softball?  It’s always fun to get out, see friends, and socialize.

Snack:  By the time I got home from playing ball, I was getting quite hungry again (even though I had drank a lot of water during the ball game).  After my pasta salad at dinner, I was already at my targeted 30 points for the day.  The whole drive home I pondered about what I could have for a low-points snack that would keep me as close to 30 as possible.  To be honest, when I got home, I really just wanted to rip open the fridge or cupboards and eat just about anything.  I considered crackers and guacamole, whole-grain toast and peanut butter, cereal and milk, and a range of other snacks.  And I’ll admit, while I considered what to have, I mindlessly shoved a few multigrain crackers down my hatch!   Finally I decided to have 1/3 cup of Source vanilla yogurt and some almonds.  Ahhh, almonds.  Here’s where I need to rant for a minute.  Okay, I get that almonds are high in calories and fat.  But they are full of healthy fats, protein, and have no sugar.  Here’s my question than: Why are they so bloody high in WW points?  (1/3 cup = 10 points!)  As I mentioned in a previous post, I believe that every “diet” program has its flaws and I would like to argue that this is one for Weight Watchers (that, and the fact that a diet pop is 0 points, but that’s a rant for another day).  It really frustrates me that almonds are so high in points despite their health benefits.  Then again, unless I was eating mindlessly, I really don’t see myself eating 1/3 cup of almonds in one sitting.  I did some simple math and figured out that I could have about 12 almonds for 3 points.  Not bad at all.  Okay, rant over.  So tonight’s snack was vanilla yogurt with almonds for a total of 5 WW points.

This tasty snack kept me within my points

This tasty snack kept me within my points

So now that the day is said and done, I am pretty happy with how it turned out considering I found today pretty tough from the beginning. I am so happy I did not act on a whim and eat mindlessly but instead thought consciously and carefully about my food decisions!  I still think that is so key in my success.  Taking those few minutes to consider options carefully makes all the difference when it comes to eating better.  And although I did finish the day 5 points over my daily target, I don’t really feel guilty because I’ve been earning activity points each day that I haven’t been using (on WW, physical activity earns you points, just like eating uses points.  Some people choose to “eat” their activity points but, until today, I haven’t done so).  Today I earned 11 activity points and only “ate” 5 of them, so altogether I still consider today to be another success!

8 days down, 22 to go!

30-Day Plan: Day Seven

Well, it’s officially been one week!   I am so happy with my progress and, more importantly, with how I am feeling.  It’s truly amazing how after just one week of being “on-plan” your whole mindset can change. Just a week ago, I thought the new Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale program was impossible for me.  I thought I’d never be able to eat within my points target.  I believed that I had too far too go and would never get to the so-called “finish line” or my goal weight.  But now, not only have I proved to myself that it is possible to eat within my points, but more importantly, I feel like I can (and will) get to where I want to be.  Before I truly got started, it all seemed so overwhelming (for those of you who don’t know,  in the past I lost 65 lbs and then gained it all back.) For far too long, I beat myself about “failing” and ending up back at square one. I was consumed with how to get back to where I was when I was 65 lbs lighter.  I wanted answers to how and why I failed so I would not let it happen again.  Most importantly, I wanted to be 130 lbs again, now.

But now that I feel like I’ve truly got the ball rolling on healthy habits again, I can honestly say that my mindset is becoming so positive, that I am not focussing so much on the end result.  My primary focus right now is my commitment to myself to follow this plan for 30 days.  I’m taking it day by day until I get there and then will decide what I will do (I’m hoping by then that I’ll have a lot of new healthy habits that will stick).  So yes, I am saying things to myself like “No, I can’t have that” and “That’s not on my plan” but because I know it’s only for 30 days, it doesn’t feel like such a deprivation. If I were saying that to myself about certain foods and the timeline was that I could never eat that again, I’d become overwhelmed and resentful and want to quit.  So all in all, I’m focussing on this 30-day commitment to jump start some healthy habits, to “train” my brain to crave healthier foods, and to develop a positive and confident mindset that will stick around for the long haul.

Here’s what Day 7 has looked like.

Breakfast:  I have truly mastered the cooking of fried eggs now!  This morning’s egg was so delicious.  I paired it with my usual 3 slices of turkey bacon.  I really can’t believe how much I don’t miss milk in the morning.  For my entire life, I’ve had a glass of milk with breakfast every day.  Now in an entire week, I think I’ve had one glass of milk. I still crave sugary cereals some mornings but, like the milk, I’ve only had Cheerios once this week!  I consider that a success 🙂

Tried and true :)

Tried and true 🙂

 

Workout 1: Despite a heat warning, there was a really strong breeze, so I took my fur-baby and we headed out for our usual 2.5 km around the lake.  That breeze certainly helped because the humidity was insane!  I had to stop several times to give Tucker some water.  It’s safe to say I had a decent sweat on by the time we were done.  Eventually once the heat passes a bit, I hope to start doing two laps around the lake for a total of 5km.

Love walking here

Love walking here

Lunch: I finally decided to try something different for lunch today since I wasn’t really feeling like my typical turkey burger and veggies.  I had some leftover BBQ chicken in the fridge so I sliced some of that up and threw it in a pan with red/green/yellow peppers, a bit of olive oil, and some light taco seasoning.  In a salad bowl, I combined mixed greens, a bit of shredded cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons of flavoured tortilla strips, and then the chicken and peppers mixture.  I poured a tiny bit of Kraft light Italian dressing on it, and voila!  A pretty yummy chicken taco salad for lunch (for a total of 7 WW points).  I also had a huge piece of watermelon to cool off from the humidity, and of course, drank tons more water.

Chicken Taco Salad

Chicken Taco Salad

This pizza has been in my fridge for a few days and I've managed to avoid it by hiding it behind the spinach! 😂

This pizza has been in my fridge for a few days and I’ve managed to avoid it by hiding it behind the spinach! 😂

Workout 2:  I love Tuesdays because there’s an awesome gentle yoga class at my gym that I love.  This class is so peaceful, quiet, and relaxing.  We do a lot of basic yoga poses (downward dog, tree, Warriors), but the flow is really slow, and well, gentle.  Today there was some really calming and beautiful music playing with birds singing in the background that made me feel like I was doing yoga in the rainforest.  Although gentle yoga is not a super strenuous workout, there is definitely some strength training involved, but more importantly, it feels so good on my body and my mind.

I love yoga

I love yoga

After the gym, I made a quick stop at our local market to pick up some more fresh vegetables and fruits.  This place has the best produce and just being in there makes me want to eat healthy!  I considered picking up something new to try but in the end stuck with my personal favourites: mushrooms, peppers, onions, zucchini, romaine lettuce, baby spinach, mixed greens, and watermelon (I’ve been buying the small ones, they tend to be a lot sweeter!)

Dinner:  I only had to cook for myself tonight so to keep things easy I resorted back to my turkey burger, feta cheese and veggies.  Before making dinner though, I pre-chopped all the veggies so they’d make cooking this week easier and simpler.  Tonight, for a little treat after dinner, I had 1/2 cup chocolate frozen yogurt.

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Later on tonight, I decided to head to Wal-mart to pick up a few things (including some grocery items).  Have you ever made the mistake of going to the grocery store while being hungry?  Let me tell you, it is not easy to avoid temptations!  I can’t tell you how many different things I actually had in my hand before I decided to play it safe and put it back!   It was definitely pretty tough but I am proud to say, I only bought what was on my list!  That being said, I did pick up a few “treats” for the camping trip I am going on this weekend.  I am already starting to worry about this trip because for me, camping is always associated with eating junk food (hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, pancakes – you name it!)  I know that the temptation to indulge is going to be huge this weekend so I picked up some Quaker Mini rice cakes (dill pickle flavour) and some BBQ cracker chips.  I am hoping these alternatives will satisfy me while everyone else around me is eating chips!

Snack: When I finally got home, I was able to have a snack.  I still had 7 WW points remaining to meet my daily target and still had 21 bonus points left over for the week (Weight Watchers allots 49 “bonus” points per week for special occasions and for “treat” meals).  Even though Quaker Harvest Crunch is 9 points for only 2/3 cup it is really good in yogurt.  Since I found this Source vanilla yogurt which is only 1 point for 1/3 cup, I decided to treat myself for a total of 1o points!  This put me over my daily points by 3, but as I mentioned I still had “bonus” points left so I can officially say I stayed within all my points now for an entire week!   That’s something worth celebrating!

This cereal is high in points so I consider it s "treat".

This cereal is high in points so I consider it a “treat”.

 

 

 

7 days down, 23 to go!