2020 Progress Report

2020 is at an end, and for me (physically speaking), it has been pretty good.

15.8 pounds lost in 2020

I am actually looking forward to what 2021’s final graphic (like the one above) will be.

Pluses for the year: weight loss, walking 2+ miles regularly, ups and downs for emotional health because of Covid, but overall, I’m in a better place both physically and emotionally.

I have established some healthy routines during 2020. I eat a mostly healthy diet without totally foregoing treats. I have a bedtime routine that helps me sleep better – I drink a cup of herbal tea late in the evening and go to bed earlier than before (still late, though). I’ve stuck with a skin care routine for several months now. In the past I’ve taken my good skin inheritance for granted. However, at 71, even great genes can’t keep away the wrinkles and dark spots forever.

I read something (don’t know where or what) about putting oneself first, which is hard for me. I’m accustomed to taking care of chores and responsibilities before doing what I know is healthy for me – like walking at the park. Now I do my walking first. Then I handle other responsibilities. That’s a definite plus. It’s important to making self-care a priority.

I also talked with my doctor in April and got a prescription for an anti-depressant. I had taken one years ago and saw no difference at all. So I stopped taking it, and I saw no difference when then either. I went about 15 years without anything. However, I now realize that I probably would have been helped if I’d requested a different anti-depressant all those years ago because I can feel a change with this one. Nothing major because I don’t need anything major. However I’m able to function in a better state of mind as opposed to a stressed state of mind.

So here’s to 2021 – may we see Covid become no big deal (ha ha!), the USA be led by the person who legitimately won (whoever that might be), may travel be safe and easily accomplished again, and may we all be healthy and grateful for our innumerable blessings.

Natural and Whole foods – Looking ahead to lifelong habits

One of my challenges in losing weight is battling my tendencies to get more food for each point in the Weight Watchers food plan. Those zero-point foods become more attractive, and that’s the way WW intended it to be. If we focus on lean proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables, we will become healthier and lose weight.

However, a problem arises when we start manipulating foods with artificial flavorings and sweeteners in order to stretch out those WW points. When we start doing that, we aren’t learning to be satisfied with smaller portions, and we aren’t learning to rely on whole, natural foods.

17 Best images about Fresh & Healthy Food on Pinterest ...

A few days ago I bought a diet lemonade (sweetened with Splenda) from Chick Fil A. Within a little while I had a headache. I’ve noticed that several times recently – a headache and usually stomach upset not long after drinking or eating something with artificial sweeteners. Yesterday I made a dozen muffins using a sugar-free cake mix as the base. “Sugar-free” typically means “sweetened with artificial sweetener,” and that was the case with these muffins. I ate one of the muffins for lunch, and all afternoon I’ve had digestive issues as a result. The rest of the muffins are going in the trash.

When I consider the fact that I started this WW health, fitness, and mindfulness journey in order to become healthier, then I don’t want to eat or drink anything that doesn’t foster that. Every now and then, I will still enjoy a Diet Coke. However, rather than a multiple-times-a-day thing, it is now something I consume maybe two or three times a month.  And that is okay for now. I may cut them out entirely at some point.

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My mother is 97 years old, and one of the reasons (I believe) that she has led such a long and mostly healthy life is that she sticks to healthy food: lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grain bread. She almost never eats pork, and she has lots of meatless meals.

No major insight for this post – just a reminder to myself of the importance of natural, whole foods. That will continue to be one of my focuses for my daily life.

Weekly Weigh-In – 11/13/2020

It’s Friday which means it is weigh-in day. When I suddenly gained approximately 5 pounds a little under two weeks ago, I assumed (incorrectly) that it was just a temporary water gain. However, I still have another pound to lose to get to my low weight of exactly two weeks ago.

However, I am committed to sticking with WW for life. So this is just a little bump on the road. When I started this journey in July, I would have been thrilled to weigh what I do right now.

Short term goal is to get to -15 lbs. Then it will be 5-pound increments for my goals. I’m particularly excited to reach -25 because that will be the lowest I’ve been since around 2005.

This happened today!

See the source image

I’m in shock. I got on the scale this morning fully expecting for the number to be up a couple pounds because, although I’ve been following the WW plan and I’ve logged all my points, I’ve already used up ALL my weekly points. Today isn’t my weigh-in day, but when I saw the number on the scale, I decided I’m logging it anyway. LOL!

Monday will be my 3-month “anniversary” of starting WW. So that brings my average up to almost 4 pounds per month. Wow! I totally will take that.

Yesterday I had a friend lean over and say, “You’ve lost weight, haven’t you?” It is nice for someone that did not know I am on WW to notice the weight loss.

Recipe: Pigs in a Blanket

I wanted a hot dog – particularly a pig-in-a-blanket. And I knew I needed two things to make them: bread dough and hog dogs. First, the dough.

My Bizzy Kitchen has a pizza dough that can be used in many ways, and I like it much better than the 2-ingredient dough because it doesn’t have the strong tangy taste of the Greek Yogurt. You can find the recipe here. It’s quick and easy to put together. Make a batch of the dough, divide it into four equal portions. Put three of the portions into individual zip-lock bags. You can use those portions for individual pizzas or bagels or whatever bread product you’d like. The dough will be good in your refrigerator for at least a few days.

You will use the other portion (1/4 of the recipe) for these pigs-in-a-blanket.

Next, the hots dogs. Hebrew National has great hog dogs, and they have two that can be confusing – a “reduced fat” and a “97% Fat Free” version.

NOT THIS ONE!
THIS IS THE ONE TO BUY!

Get the HEBREW NATIONAL 97% FAT FREE BEEF FRANKS. They are only 1 WW Blue point each – and they taste really good!

Take four hot dogs out of the package. Take your dough (which is 1/4 of the recipe) and divide it into four equal portions. Take one portion and roll it into a long snake-like shape and wrap it around one of the hot dogs. The dough might be sticky – use just a little extra flour to make it workable

Sorry, but I forgot to take photos of the four pigs-in-a-blanket ready to go into the oven. However the other three looked just like the one shown above.

Note: I THINK that you could probably get away with dividing the dough into six portions and making six Pigs-in-a-blanket instead of four. It would bring down the number of points each, too. I intend to do that next time.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes – until bread is nicely browned. The hot dogs are already fully cooked, and so you have to worry about whether they are done. As long as they’re hot, they’re good to go.

POINTS (WW Blue Plan)

1 Pig-in-a-blanket = 2 points (hotdog-1, dough-1)

2 Pigs-in-a-blanket = 5 points (hotdogs-2, dough-3)

3 Pigs-in-a-blanket = 7 points (hotdogs-3, dough-4)

4 Pigs-in-a-blanket = 9 points (hotdogs-4, dough-5)

Time Out – Got Gout!

Last week I was so gung-ho – feeling good and energetic. Then Saturday morning came, and suddenly I couldn’t walk. I don’t mean that it hurt to walk. It means I went to bed Friday night feeling just fine. I woke up Saturday morning and literally could not walk because my left foot was so painful. It was red, swollen, and when I tried to walk, it felt like daggers through my whole foot. Even sitting still with it elevated and with cold packs on it, it throbbed with pain. So I spent Saturday, Sunday, and Monday sitting and sleeping – with as few trips to the bathroom that I could manage. That was the extent of what I could do.

Quiet time Stock Photos, Royalty Free Quiet time Images ...

Tuesday morning (yesterday) I finally got in to see an orthopedist. I thought perhaps I had a stress fracture or a bad sprain. However, it is gout. Gout is caused by too much uric acid in my system. The doctor gave me steroids, and my foot is much better today. I’ve been reading up on how to prevent gout.

Gout arthritis infographic Royalty Free Vector Image

Preventing gout has implications for my WW lifestyle because, for me, it’s mostly about food choices. The doctor may prescribe medication – but not for now. I’ve been looking at the graphic above on the foods to avoid. I have no problem with alcohol, liver, salmon. However, poultry and fish – especially tuna and Halibut – have been mainstays of my WW meals. And I have bacon (red meat) almost every morning. I will definitely need to re-evaluate my menus.

I drove today for the first time since Friday – picked up some groceries I ordered last night. I had tart cherry juice in the order since numerous people told me cherry juice was key in keeping gout away.

I’ve stuck with WW throughout this time. In fact, the pain made me feel less hungry. Thus I had leftover points at the end of several of the past few days. Up to 4 unused daily points can be rolled over into weekly points each day, and now my weekly points are up to 44 from 35. Hopefully I will have a good weight loss this week because of less eating.

I’m on the mend – just taking a little break from posting. My mind couldn’t concentrate on writing when I was in significant pain. LOL! Can’t imagine why.

Big shout-out to my husband, Ron, who has taken excellent care of me – he has cooked for me, brought me drinks and pillows and ice packs – helped me put on the orthopedic boot my daughter loaned me. Ron drove to Larisa’s house to get the orthopedic boot for me – and later he drove across town to get a scooter so I could get around a little more easily.

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What will I change? Here are six changes I will start today:

(1) I’m going to experiment with a sugar-free cherry and nonfat Greek yogurt something-or-other for breakfast. I will see what I can come up with.

(2) I will switch from pork bacon to chicken bacon. Chicken bacon isn’t quite as good, but daily pork bacon isn’t worth having another Gout flare-up.

(3) I’m upping the apple cider vinegar gummies and vitamin C gummies that I take each day since both of those are part of the preventive regimen.

(4) I’m also adding tart cherry juice to my daily menu. It’s 2 points for every 1/3 cup I drink. I will research to find out how much I should drink each day.

(5) I will research to determine what other supplements will be helpful.

(6) I will add more low-fat dairy, whole grain breads, and vegetables.

October Goals

September has come and gone, and a new month has begun. Here are my goals for October:

  1. Make a list of meals that work for me. I want to plan ahead so I don’t waste so much food. Those plans will be food that I like.  I started on this last night – writing out meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with snacks and desserts. I plan to convert them to pdf and post them on this website.
  2. Build on the exercise routine I started in September. That means doing circuit work in my exercise room, along with having the goal of at least 5K steps each day.
  3. Continue with self-care routines – skin care, bedtime herbal tea, prayer and meditation time each day.

I will stop there. My tendency is to go overboard on plans, but the reality is that they need to be kept small and do-able.