Only ten weeks and two days till Christmas (October 14 – December25). What positive action can you commit to for ten weeks?
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since I’ve talked about Atomic Habits, I thought I’d make a quick video about how how to develop Atomic Habits to get yourself to exercise.
Start small – practice regularly – experience results
September has come and gone, and a new month has begun. Here are my goals for October:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
With the month being such a challenge, I’m thrilled that I ended up with a loss at all. I had some NSVs this month (non-scale victories), as well.
- I worked more on self-care. I started a skin care routine. Since the first of September, I’ve had a nightly ritual of washing my face with a good quality cleanser, using a toner and night cream on my face. I spent my 71 years taking my good skin for granted. I have always worn makeup every day, but I rarely took it off before going to bed. I’d take off the old makeup immediately before putting on fresh makeup each morning. No more.
- Part of my self-care has been another nightly routine of sipping a large cup of herbal tea prior to going to bed. That’s actually rather funny because I had a box of herbal teas that sat on my kitchen counter for a couple years, and I never drank any of it. So I gave it away a few months ago. Now I’m drinking it every night. That’s okay, though. A new box should be delivered today, and I already have the teas the fill it.
- I have been exercising more. Not a lot, but I’ve made a start, and that’s good. We have a great exercise room with all the equipment I could ever want. So I have no excuse for not exercising.
- I’ve gotten back into reading the Bible and having a morning devotional. That’s something I’ve done off and on for a long time. I’ve been consistent with it the past month.
So, even with the challenges, I am pleased with how September ended. The total weight I’ve lost since I began on July 19th is 8.4 lbs. Slow and steady . . . .
The dictionary defines momentum as “strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events.” After two weeks of gaining weight while completely sticking to my WW plan, I realized my enthusiasm for sticking with my commitment was compromised – and I yielded to that lack of enthusiasm over the weekend. It’s almost humorous to think of the things that I eat when I’m feeling defeated. It varies. This time it was Rice Krispies Treats. I actually lost count of how many I ate. I logged it as 8, and I think that’s accurate . . . but I’m not 100% sure.
I was starting down a familiar path – that of thinking about what a loser I am – except for weight – can’t seem to lose that. How I start things and don’t finish them. How I have never successfully lost weight and kept it off long term. Those voices in my head were gaining strength.
I stopped, though. Did I want those voices to gain momentum like they have in the past, or did I want to change direction and gain momentum in a positive direction?
You know what stopped me? Last week in one of the Facebook WW groups that I’m in, someone wrote something about how we should stand naked in front of mirror and name ten positive things about our bodies. I did that a few days ago – and I couldn’t come up with ten. I could only see the negatives – the extra weight, the scars, the blemishes. I wondered if maybe in my heart I feel I don’t “deserve” to be at a healthy weight. I also wondered what made me become so hard on myself – so critical and unforgiving. Why is self-judgment my go-to response?
This morning when I woke up, I knew I had to stop, change course, and build some momentum away from Rice Krispies Treats and towards success. One success builds momentum towards another success. It all goes back to the Atomic Habits I’ve written about several times before.
So I logged my breakfast, and then left to run a bunch of errands – first I had a dentist appointment, then to the post office and UPS office to mail packages. I picked up some papers at my husband’s office and made a quick grocery store stop for fish and some herbal teas. Except for the dentist office, those were errands I’d been putting off since last week. I got it all done. I felt good about handling so many little nagging errands. I stopped by Chick Fil A and had their grilled chicken nuggets for lunch. I got only the nuggets. No, I assured them, I didn’t want to “make it a meal” with fries and a coke.
I came home and felt good. I did some work around the house, took a 20-minute nap and, with my husband, planned our dinner.
Today was my STOP-REASSESS-CHANGE COURSE day. I started with a small act (handing errands I had been procrastinating on since last week). I continued to build momentum by sticking to only grilled chicken for lunch. And then I had fish and vegetables for dinner. Snacks were all low point and moderate-sized servings. I’m ending the day having used only 19 of my 23 daily points. The extra points will roll over into my weekly points, which is good since I used so many weekly points yesterday.
Momentum. I learned I can get it back or shift its direction simply by stopping and deliberately doing something in the direction I want to go. That success moves me to another success, and so it goes.
And one day soon, I intend to do the naked-in-front-of-the-mirror thing again. This time I will come up with ten positive things. After all, this body has seen me through 71+ years of life, it grew two amazing babies, rocked children and later grandchildren to sleep. I like my green eyes and the fact that my hair has just a little natural curl to it. That’s a good start.
Being overweight is hard. Losing weight is hard. I have to choose my hard, and I choose losing weight.
Sigh. So here’s today’s weigh-in numbers. Notice the +. I have tracked every single bite I’ve put into my mouth since July 19th. I have not gone over my points a single week.
I’m probably eating too much fruit – lots of watermelon and grapes the past week. Seriously, though, would watermelon and grapes cause two weeks of weight gain?
Ten weeks – that makes an average of .68 lbs. per week. STILL over 1/2 pound a week. But . . . that’s so slow . . . . Sigh.
So I will repeat the usual self-reassurances: It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a lifestyle change, not a diet. Look at the big picture. Back in July, you would have been thrilled to weigh what you weigh now. And repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
What can I do differently so that next Friday I will be happy with the number on the scale? Three things:
- I still haven’t been exercising, and that is something I want to make a life-long thing. This week – starting TODAY – I will exercise – aerobics and strength training. Atomic exercise habits.
- I will better manage my zero-point foods. They still have calories, and so limiting them to a few servings a day would be good. My goal is to get my body accustomed to less food. So I want to work on reducing the amount I eat – not just substituting healthier snacks.
- Drink more water.
Sometimes we come across a book that actually changes our lives. That happened to me a couple years ago when I read a book titled Atomic Habits by James Clear. The basic premise is that if we set big goals, we often set ourselves up for defeat since big and perfect goals take so much time and effort. However, if we work on small habits – 3 minutes of exercise each morning, cutting out one teaspoon of sugar in our coffee, writing one thank you note each week, making two business calls before lunch – then it becomes like compound interest. The benefits snowball over time.
Back in March when this pandemic isolation began, I decided that one atomic habit I wanted to develop was getting outside for just a few minutes each day. Here is a video I made on today’s walk. Excuse the breathlessness! I had just walked up a hill. I could’ve waited till I caught my breath to start the video, but this is calling “Living Real with Carol!” and the reality was that I was a little breathless at the moment.