Outlets on the Walls, Filling in the Chips and I Challenge Thee to a Duel

First thing is first.

Outlets on the walls – my last post dealt with the strawberry banana bread, which was very tasty. I used to be a sous chef and have a love of cooking. The hard part is having the results sitting in my kitchen. I have no will power and will eat anything bad, if it is around. Well, that bread turned out a little high in the WW points to keep in the house. I brought it in to work and put it on the IT bench. By noon, most of it was gone.

People said they liked it, which was cool. It’s fun to get to make something new and yummy, but not have to worry about the aftermath of not eating it. I work in an IT group. They will eat anything!

So on with filling in the chips – I get Groupons for myself, so that I can have rewards as I lose weight. Losing 124 lbs is a huge goal, and just working toward that would be way too overwhelming. Weight Watcher’s community is so supportive in this respect. Many advocate mini-goals and mini-rewards. Focus on 5 or 10 lbs. Commit to getting x oz of water in, every day for a week or a month. Challenge yourself to x min of activity every week, every day, etc.

I was looking through my Groupons last week, and noticed that I had a manicure one. Since my nails were green from St. Patty’s day, and starting to chip, I figured it would be a good opportunity to get them done. Made an appointment for Monday (yesterday). This is not the normal type of nail place I frequent. I go to places that have names like “Star Nails” or “Nail Pro”. They are in every plaza in big areas, and it’s about $15 for a french manicure. This place had a groupon for $25 for a manicure. That is the Groupon price! They offered me wine, and were totally nice. When I was done, the nail tech said “your nails are wet, but you can leave.” I could kick myself for not saying something. My nails ended up all messed up by the time I got home.

 Called them and the only appt I could get to get them fixed this week, was tonight. Well, when I went tonight, the (new) nail tech mentioned that she had gelish on her nails. For those not familiar, gelish nail polish does not crack or chip. It stays perfect for about 2 weeks, which is way better than nail polish, no matter how well it is put on. It cost an extra $15, but it was worth it!

So I got that done, packed my breakfast and lunch for tomorrow, and made dinner. Yummy horseradish salmon with french cut green beans. My Tuesday ritual, having salmon and veggies, while I watch Biggest Loser.

I have been very anxious this week, because I have a lot going on.  I don’t want to get overwhelmed, run out of energy, not get everything done.  Now that I have gotten done everything up to this point, a lot of that anxiety has subsided.  I feel happy and confident that everything will get done.

So onto the challenge.

 One of the great parts of the Weight Watcher’s community (and there are many), is the challenges. Anyone can create a challenge. I created one to not use your snooze button. It has a long time range, as I set it up as an experiment. Not a short term challenge, but building a habit. Right now I am not fairing so well, but every day I don’t use snooze is one more. The hope is to build this habit, so it happens more often over time, til I am not using the snooze more than I am. At least that is the hope!

The challenge I want to discuss is the new one I created. It is an Ultimate Abs Challenge.

135 participants already!!! That is so cool!

I actually found it on another blogspot blog. The post is here, if you want to check it out: 2012…My last fat year!!: The 300 Challenge [Ab & Core Workout] There are 11 exercises and they are insane!! The challenge is to do 25 of each every day for a month. Because I am so not there, and neither are a lot of people in the WW community, I customized the challenge a bit.

So here are my challenge rules –


The exercises came from here:
Click Here For Ab Core Challenge Examples!!

There are 11 Ab exercises, and the goal is to do 25 reps each.  The site link above has great pictures and tutorials, but I will list them here. 

  1. In N Outs
  2. Bicycles
  3. Reverse Bicycles
  4. Crunchy Frog
  5. Cross Leg/Wide Leg Sit-Ups
  6. Scissors
  7. Hip Butt Ups
  8. Heels to the Heavens
  9. Roll-up /V- Ups
  10. Leg Climbers
  11. Kayakers

For each exercise, do as many reps as you can.  For each rep, you get 1 point.  The max is 25 points per exercise, per day.  So if you do 5 reps, of each exercise, in a day, then you have earned 55 points for your team.  Keep track of them on your own.

At the end of each week, you must report your totals into a google docs spreadsheet.  The Spreadsheet will be posted once registration has closed on March 31st.

Bonus:  If you finish at least 1 rep of each of the 11 exercises in one day AND you do the two stretching exercises, you earn 2 points for each stretching.

  1. Cobra Stretch
  2. Child’s Pose

If you do all 11 exercises and both stretching, you have earned the max of 279 points for the day.  If you get this perfect score, then you earn a bonus 121 points for you team – a total 400 points! 

Every Sunday, results need to be posted to the google doc.  Because we have enough to keep track of, I will likely not post any mini-challenges.  You are welcome to post your stats on the walls and discussions, but they will not be added to the doc for you.

Each person is responsible for keeping track of their numbers and posting weekly totals on 4/7, 4/14, 4/21, and 4/28.  I will total and determine winners after the 28th postings. 

Please let me know if you have any questions!  Remember, this starts on 4/1/12!!

So that is it. Its is a 30 day challenge, to absault our abs! Yeah, I went there. Since so many people tell me that I inspire them and motivate them, I thought I would post this challenge as a public blog post. Feel free to take part in this challenge. Anyone not on weight watchers (and participating in my challenge) call yourself the blue team, and post your results in the comments here. My mom asked me what the winning team wins.  If you have to ask that, do the challenge and find out for yourself.

 I challenge you!

Tuesday Stats – So Much To Do So Little Time

Total body 59 min – 345 cal
Precor 30 min – 262 cal
Step master 20 min – 190 cal
Total 1 hr 49 min – 797 cal

I wanted to get a blog written last night, but alas I had to get a mani. Had a groupon. Great place, and all went well until we finished and I was told “your nails are still wet, but you can leave now.”

So now my nails are all messed up and I have to go back to get them fixed. Who tells someone with wet nails to leave? They even tried to put my coat on me. So weird! Well I hope I can get them fixed. It was a reward groupon!!

Funday Monday – Stats

Spinning 55 min – 504 cal
Treadmill 33 min – 362 cal
Total 1 hr 28 min – 866 cal

Got to bed at midnight, and I am wondering how I will get more sleep any other night this week. So much to do!

I could have totally done the stepper for 15 min, to get 1,000 calories but my leg muscles are already really sore. I think it’s from the kettle bell workout. Weird! I didn’t think it was that hard. Tomorrow is also total body, so strength training is right around the corner.

Hope everyone has a Funday Monday!

Happy Woman Baking

Watching Mad Men, and for the fun of it, I am happy, not mad. I have a surplus of bananas and strawberries.  I have never had old bananas and just decided to make bread.  So today, I thought I would.  I looked on WW site, but didn’t find one that was the point range I wanted.  Turns out, there’s a reason.  I didn’t know this until I finished, but it was a good learning experience in cooking.

Found 2 recipes on pinterest:
This one –

And this one –

My final recipe is gone. Once I ended my membership with Weight Watchers, it seems they deleted the link to the recipe I made on their site.

This is how I start – take out all ingredients and line them up – helps me to make sure I have everything!  As I add each ingredient, I put them away.  That way, when I’m done, I don’t have much of any clean up except bowls and measuring/mixing tools.
Strawberries.  If I worked with cutting up strawberries more often, I might just want a huller.  It’s kind of pain to cut out the stems.
This is how I diced up the strawberries.  Just wanted to give a picture.  I didn’t leave them big at all.  I also didn’t want them pureed with the banana, yogurt mixture.
 Dry mix.  Pretty dry.  Pretty straight forward.
 Batter all together and ready to bake!
While it was baking, I used the timer to see if I could get the rest of my stuff done.  Cleaned up the dishes.  I programmed the coffee for 5:00 am, and made my peanut butter dip for the rest of my strawberries.  Here is how easy that is:
 Above are the ingredients.  Plain chobani yogurt, 2 tbsp of peanut butter, and 2 tbsp of confectioner sugar.  This time I also added 1 tsp of cinnamon.
 Doesn’t that look yummy?  No?  Well, we gotta mix it! 😀
 Makes 3 servings.  Package up some strawberries, and you will be excited for your afternoon snack!  2 PP on WW.
 I also packed my breakfast, which I have after the gym at work.  I know, it’s just cereal, but on WW I find that we often get ideas for a way to change up our meals, by what others post.  This is 1 serving (3/4 cup) of Fiber One Honey Squares (2 PP), 1 serving Special K Fruit and Yogurt (3 PP), with 1 cup of skim milk (2 PP).  Totals 7 PP on WW.
 For lunch, I packed a salad.  It is a little pointy, but lots of veggies!  5 PP for the chicken.  I package it separately, so I can microwave it and put it on the salad, hot.  The salad has olives (1PP), 1/8 cup feta (1PP), and 3 tbsp Wegman’s Light Peppercorn Ranch dressing (3PP).  Total of 10 PP.
Ok, folded the laundry and got this blog done.  Here is the final product of the strawberry banana bread.  Very tasty, but turned out at 11 servings, 5 PP each.  A little high for me, as a snack.  Going to bring it in to IT tomorrow.  Those guys will eat it up.
Hoping to get another blog up soon on the abs challenge I started in the Weight Watchers community.  Should be fun!!!

Full Cup A Brewin’

[Spoiler alert warning –  this post contains a spoiler for the movie Crazy Stupid Love]

Stats for today are definitely low: Jillian Micheal’s Shred It Kettle bell workout.  29 min – 215 cal.

It’s a great workout, but I slept in, so I don’t have time to go for a run or to do some yard work.  It was a new thing to try, which was good.

My mom is in for the weekend, so that we can celebrate our birthdays together.  Her’s is on 3/21 and mine is on 4/4.  Exactly 2 weeks apart.  When I was growing up, we always went to the Ichiban Japanese Steak House, in Syracuse, NY for every persons’ birthday.  That would be my mom, dad, brother and myself.  It was a tradition.  After my parents divorced, my mom and I kept up our tradition.  Since our birthdays are so close, we go in the weekend in between.

After I finished college, we started meeting at Turning Stone.  We would get a free room, play bingo, play some slots, and go to Syracuse for Ichiban. Their salad dressing is so yummy!

Last year, I took her to Vegas, for her 65th.  Not exactly Ichiban, but we had a good time. I took her to a Japanese steak house, at MGM.  It ended up to be really foo-foo but the sushi appetizer was great.  We also saw Whoopi Goldberg, which was bucket list worthy.

This year, we met at Turning Stone.  Alas, we did not come back with gobs of money, but we had a good time.  In way of WW notes, they have a fantastic greek salad in their food court.  I added grilled chicken. Said “Woah!” to the lady about to put a cup of feta on the salad (not kidding), and told her to use less.  Got the dressing on the side.

While playing slots I stuck to diet soda and decaf coffee.  Totally could have chosen water a bit more!  Went to their diner in the morning and got an egg white omelet, no butter on the grill, packed with veggies, turkey and some swiss.  Didn’t finish it.  I love not finishing food.

Came back to Rochester and ordered takeout from Sinbad’s for dinner.  Awesome Mediterranean in the area, and probably one of my favorite cuisines.  We watched Crazy Stupid Love.  My mom said she thought it was deeper than she had expected it to be from the previews.  I enjoyed the twist that Hannah was his daughter.  I hated Ryan Gosling’s accent.  It wasn’t consistent and it wasn’t necessary.  I would have liked more development of Juliane Moore’s character.  I also thought that the antics of their son were a bit far fetched.  No way a kid goes up in front of classmates and parents, and says to his babysitter, sorry you walked in on me yanking it.  I mean, come on.  I know people want to think their families are that interesting and colorful, but let’s not encourage stupidity.  Even if it is in the title.

So today we are going to hit the public market.  Rochester has an awesome one.  Tonight we are going with friends to Magnolia’s, which is another fantastic place to eat in Rochester.  They have incredible paninis, wraps, and a to die for tomato artichoke soup.  Oh I will be getting it!

Then we are going to the Geva theater to see Angels in America.  I saw the mini series on HBO and it was incredible.  About a month ago, I was in a Starbucks, getting my lean protein post-workout skinny latte reward.  I looked over at the bulletin board and saw a poster for the show.  In about 2 seconds I was sending a pic to my friend, telling her “I know what I want to do for my birthday!”

In other news, my mom got me a heating pad, the dvd of the Help and of All That Jazz.  So cool! (and warm as the heating pad goes lol)  I got her a $50 gift card to the Michael Spa Salon in her home town.  She was excited, because she can use it for a deep tissue massage.

Well, that’s all for now! I gotta go make the coffee and breakfast for mom and me.  My cup runneth over.

Statistical Whatisthis?

I promised to explain the stats, and since my iphone is updating to the new OS, we have time.  On Weight Watchers, we are allotted a certain amount of points each day.  Those are our daily points or DP.  It is comparable to your calorie intake, but more comprehensive, because it takes into account what those calories are made up of.  Fat, fiber, carbohydrates and protein.  We are also allotted weekly points.  Now daily points do not carry over from day to day.  One is meant to get a certain amount of nutrition each day and this ensures that we develop consistency.  A healthy habit!

The weekly allowance points can be used through the week, but don’t need to be used.  Now the clincher.  We can earn activity points, or AP.  In the online community, there is debate about how these are calculated.  When I started back on WW last year, I didn’t work out at all.  I was a big rotund couch potato, twice baked.  I didn’t like getting out of bed, let alone exerting effort for the point of exerting effort.  Excuse me?  You want me to what 10 times?  ha!  I slowly started to go back to the gym and add some activity in.  Ride a recumbent bike and read a book, maybe spin my legs on an elliptical.  Eventually I got myself back to a spin class.  I used to go and loved it, so I did want to get back. 

Now when I would go to the points tracker on the WW site, and put in 1 hour of spinning, it came up with 16 AP.  16!!!! I couldn’t believe my wondrous eyes.  That is enough for 2 big meals, 3 smalls ones, or lots of drinks or some yummy dessert.  Yikes!  I could get into some trouble with that!  I started to look on the message boards and found a lot of opinions on the matter.  Many feel that the points tracker is a bit too generous with the AP, and that we are better off with a more calculated approach.  Being that I am a geek, this is right up my alley.  The idea is that one should use a heart rate monitor or HRM.  Track the workout and at the end, check the stats to see how many calories burned.  Some say 100 calories should = 1 AP, and others 80.  80 calories seems to be the most popular. 

Well, this entire concept had me intrigued.  With an HRM, I could see how hard I was really working.  That might be cool!  I researched online and asked on fb for suggestions.  I ended up getting a Polar FT4.  One thing I found is that there is not much getting around one with a chest strap, so that your HR can be accurately monitored.  I wasn’t wild about that, but I got over it.  When I am working out, I don’t watch the calories at all.  I am not trying to earn a chocolate cake (although I might…).  I am actually monitoring my HR.  I find myself checking it and saying “Move it!” because I see I am at a low HR and could do more.  Other times, I see myself spiking and can check myself, and back off. 

When I am done with my workouts, I go through the stats and list them.  I was posting them on fb, but will now post them here.  Many people on WW and fb have told me that my stats inspire them to workout.  To move.  I think that is great!  They also come in handy when I go to track my AP in the ww tracker.  So I can see how good of a workout I did.  Over time I can see how I am progressing, etc.  It serves a lot of purposes. 

Back when I was researching the whole AP thing. I saw someone posting in the WW community, on their status, that they were planning to burn 1,000 calories every day at the gym.  I thought they were insane!  I was thinking that I specifically would never do this.  I mean, come on, 1,000 calories!  Yikes!  

Well, that picture is the first time I burned over 1,000 calories at the gym.  I actually did that move where you pick up your knee, bring in your fist and say, yes!  I was dancing out of the gym.  I did it!  It was such a cool accomplishment.  As you can see by today’s stats, I was 20 off.  Some days (usually a Saturday if I have time) I will stay til I get over, but generally my goal is a good burn, and to work out well,  Hitting 1,000 is just a fun bonus.  I ride high the rest of the day, feeling so physically fit.

So that is the story of the statistical wowisis.  That is whatitis….

Where to Start When to Finish

It’s 9:00 and I am just eating dinner.  I set this blog up, because I am addicted to blogging, and I needed more space.  As you may have read in the description, I started blogging on Weight Watchers.  In January of 2011, I re-joined their online program, and set a goal to lose 124 lbs.  So far, I have lost 64 of that, and have 60 left to go.  The blog that I built on that site dealt with weight watchers community support, fitness, eating healthy, my struggles and successes of the last year, as well as my personal and professional adventures.

The limits of the WW blog site, started to hit my head, or I started to hit that ceiling.  Don’t get me wrong. Weight Watchers is a great community.  The online site has so many tools and resources.  The blog is just not a complete out and out blog.  There is a limit of 2,000 characters.  Only one picture can be posted per blog, and there is no ability to have an rss feed to the blog.  This makes it too limiting for my taste, as I have gotten more and more into wanting to blog.

Here, I plan to expand on my growing interest in fitness, healthy eating, gardening, my house and it’s ever-promising potential.  Yesterday, I spent the day with friends.  We set up our crock pots at one house.  Some were corned beef and cabbage.  Because corned beef is so high in fat (and salt), I decided to try a new dish.  I call it…

Something with Guinness
2 packages of Turkey kielbasa
2 packages of sauerkraut
1 package baby carrots
1 bunch of celery – chopped
1 lbs baby red potatoes – quartered
1 package of sliced baby bellas
1 can Guinness
Slice and brown the sausage in a pan, with garlic powder and pepper.  Put rest of ingredients in crock pot.  Add sausage.  Let sit overnight (optional).  Turn crock-pot on low for 8 hours.
So good!