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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A new chapter

It must seem I'm fallen off the face of the earth with this blog. I'll admit, motivation has not been there, neither has there been the time to post. Blogging is so two years ago, LOL. Seriously though, I have wanted to post a few recipes here and there, but then the moment passes, I don't do it and I end up regretting that I "lost" the recipe I originally wanted to keep a hold of. After all, I know I use this blog more than anyone else.

 So I'm moving forward with what I have on my mind now, and that is a confession to make. Back in February I started Weight Watchers. I've never in my life done a "real" diet. When I've seen the scale creep up to the high end of my comfort zone I've always relied on myself to step up the water intake, bump up the exercise, and focus on eating whole foods. Not to mention laying off the dessert. It's always helped me get back in my comfort zone quickly. And being honest here, my comfort zone for the past several years has been a 5 pound range of 142-147. This seems to be where I landed years ago when I lost weight and it's where I've hung out for several years now.

 However, the scale was consistently hovering around the high end of the zone for a year, then started creeping up to the 150 mark. Yikes!! I swore I'd never see the 150's again. My old methods were not working (I'm not in my early 30's, after all) and I needed a real kick in the butt. I had turned a blind eye to my eating for so long and relied on working out to allow me to eat whatever I wanted. Bad idea.

 So, on Valentine's day I decided I had had it. I needed an intervention for myself and it needed to be a real plan, not just my own. I'd seen WW work for others so I knew it was legit. I decided to give it a real effort, setting a "goal" weight of 137. I figured if I really stuck to it, I could feel good about myself by bathing suit season. So I signed up for the online program and jumped into the world of "points." I decided I'd have my own rules, though. I refuse to count my 1-2 cups of coffee (with real 1/2 & 1/2 and agave). It's not sustainable to me to alter that long term. I also decided to not count wine, so long as it's up to two glasses a week. Beyond that I'll count it. I'll be honest, I hated the whole thing at first. Just the figuring out of it all was frustrating. I was hungry a lot. I felt like it was impossible to do life on only 26 points a day. But, as with most things new, once I figured out a system that worked for me, found food "finds" that I love, and watched portion control, I've grown to really like it. Or I at least think it's doable.

The weight has consistently come off each week, even on weeks where I felt I've blown it. I'm always surprised to see a weight loss after a weekend of social activity and eating out. I no longer feel guilty and puffy when I go to bed at night, and I feel more confident throughout the day. I'm definitely eating more whole foods and less of the "bad" stuff. Portion control and stopping when I'm satisfied have been a tough lesson for this Southern girl, but it's been a valuable lesson. Oh, and I've had to buy new jeans because my old ones are too big!

 And just today, I stepped on the scale and it said "139.2". I had to weigh myself repeatedly just to make sure it was right. I haven't seen the 130's in about 15 years! Yay!! Along the way I've found a few recipes that are weight watchers friendly and totally yummy. I wanted to make sure I posted these because truly, they're great whether you're watching what you eat or not. I hope these links work and that you don't have to be a WW member to access them. If you can't connect, please let me know!

  Arugula, roasted red pepper and white bean salad - I'm obsessed with this salad. It's amazing. I squirt a little fresh lemon juice over it and add a few of Trader Joe's marinated mushrooms. This is a salad you'll crave, I promise!

  Grilled meatball Kebabs - I added chunked pineapple to the kebabs and brushed on some Trader Joe's Island Soyaki marinade. My 7 year old even ate them!

  Mushroom Bisque - I really couldn't believe this was a "diet" recipe. So rich and creamy.

  Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Stew - packed full of good for you ingredients and flavor. She's got some great recipes on her blog. Also check out her Slow Cooker Pot Roast. She uses coffee and it really adds a depth to the dish. My aunt said it's the best pot roast she's ever had.

 Over time I'll keep adding to this list, but these are just a handful to get started!