Sunday, January 31, 2010

Recipe: Citrus-Cilantro Black Bean Salad

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I saw this recipe on the Weight Watchers website recently. It's actually called "Orange-Cilantro Black Bean Salad". I'm no fan of oranges, so I swapped ruby red grapefruit instead.

  • 1/2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp read wine vinegar
  • 2 medium oranges or grapefruits, peeled, segmented
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • (Note: I thought it called for Lemon Juice, but it does not. I didn't use it, but I could have. The lemon would have worked very well with these other flavors.)

First I chopped the red onion & garlic:

Chopped Red Onion & Garlic

While chopping, in a large skillet, warm olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add onion and saute 2 minutes.

Sautee Onions

Add garlic and cumin, cook 1 more minute.

Add garlic & cumin

Stir in black beans -

Add black beans

Cook until just headed through-

Then I chopped the grapefruit and cilantro-

Chop grapefruit and cilantro

Transfer bean mixture to a medium sized bowl and stir in cilantro and red wine vinegar-

Add Cilantro

Add grapefruit (or oranges)-

Add Grapefruit

I covered my bowl with the lid and shook it to try to mix it (it was too shallow for me to do it with a spoon)

The end result

Per the WW website, this yields approximately 3/4 cup per serving, makes 4 servings and is one point per serving. They show it alone, as a small salad. I decided to use mine as a salad topper.

I cut up one head of Romaine lettuce-

I cut up a head of romaine lettuce

And topped it with one portion of the mixture-

Top lettuce with mixture

I added salt & pepper-


And that's it!

Ready to eat - over a bed of romaine lettuce

This was obviously super easy and made a really nice salad/side dish for just one point. If you didn't notice - it's all filling, natural foods!

I really enjoyed this and am very satisfied right now. I also have a few more portions left for quick healthy mini meals this week. I will definitely make this again.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Day on Plan: My Food & Activity Journal (and some milestones!)

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This is what I ate this past Tuesday, 01/26/2010. Most of this was TWIETed (I didn't tweet the banana and yogurt). A lot of the food is my usual stuff, but I ate more snacks than normal. I have photos of some but not all of my food for this day...

0630 Coffee with 1/4 cup Silk Light Vanilla soy milk (.5 pts)Hot rollers are in, time to put on make up!

Morning coffee

Coffee with 1/4 cup soy milk (.5 pts)

0930 Grapefruit (1 pt)


1000 Bob's 10 Grain Hot Cereal (1/4 cup= 2pts) with Canned Pumpkin (1/4 cup=0 pts) and Cinnamon


1200 Pink Lady Apple (1 pt)


1230 Walk to gym - 40 minutes at the gym on the Arc Trainer - walk back to work.
Stats: 40 minutes total, 39 minutes in heart rate zone, average heart rate = 133, high heart rate = 147, total calories burned = 268. Per eTools, this earned me 5 activity points.

1400 Sandwich (3 pts)
4 slices Tofurky vegan deli slices (1 pt), Matthew Whole Wheat bread (2 slices=2 pts) with Tabasco and mustard (0 pts)
1430 Super Salad (6 pts)
Romaine, arugula, tomato, rice vinegar, lemon juice (o pts), 1/4 avocado (2 pts), 1/4 package of Tofu Lin (2 pts), 1/2 cup chick peas (1 pt), 1 tsp sesame oil (1 pt)


1800 Coffee with soy milk (.5 pts) at my Weight Watchers meeting

2100 Dinner (9 pts)
Vegan Chorizo (5 pts) in a whole wheat tortilla (2 pts) with onions, peas, peppers, collard greens and spinach, cooked in coconut oil (1 pt) with tofutti sour cream (1 pt)

Dinner (9 points)

2145 Aloe Juice with a splash of blueberry POM and my daily vitamins

Aloe Vera Juice w/ Blueberry POM Juice and vitamins

2200 Banana (1.5 pts) and Soy Yogurt (3 pts)

Total Daily Points Allowance:
Points Earned from Activity: 5
Points Consumed: 28 (I used my 20 daily points, my 5 activity points and 3 of my weekly points.)

And for Weight Watchers Good Health Guidelines, here's how I did:
  1. Activity: Check!
  2. Water: Check! (At last count, I had 20 glasses of water this day!)
  3. Healthy Oils: Check! I had only 2 oil servings (sesame and coconut). Though they are not in the "WW healthy oils" list, I still think this is ok.
  4. Fruits & Veggies: Check!
  5. Vitamins: Check!
  6. Dairy: Check! (Soy milk, soy yogurt and supplement)
  7. Whole Grains: Check! (Thanks to my Bob's hot cereal)
  8. Protein: Check! (The soyrizo and Tofurky slices count towards my protein)
What a *great* day on plan!

Now for some truly incredible milestones-

Over 2500 readers!

Today my number of blog readers surpassed the 2500 mark. This is incredible for a few reasons:
  1. I never in my wildest dreams imagined I'd have so many readers.
  2. A year ago, I was blown away when I hit the 500 mark. I can't believe that in a year's time the number has quintupled!
  3. I just hit the 2000 mark before New Year's - so in one month, that number jumped by 500, or 25% in one month! Incredible! Thank you all for reading and referring me to others!
I tell you all to not focus on the number on the scale, and I live by that concept. In fact, remember the amazing week I had last week? When I weighed in at WW that night, I was up half a pound. I did not let that bother me. I know I made great choices last week and I can see and feel that I am smaller - it was just a fluctuation on the scale and I did not let it bother me. However, that being said, I have been weighing myself at home daily and I've been in the 140's consistently for a while now. This, alone, is so exciting to me. There is a huge difference in my body in the 150's and 140's and it's in the 140's that I feel truly tiny and amazing.

In fact, many other people have noticed it too - one of my co-workers told me she almost didn't recognize me because I "looked like a toothpick" walking towards her. And another said I was "wasting away". I assure you I am not that thin, but those few pounds really do make a huge difference in my body. In fact, I'm back in my smallest skirts ever and things I wore a month ago are falling off me!

But this morning when I weighed in, I saw a number that I have not seen since September 2007: 145.2! One forty five (point two)! Holy crap! That's amazing!!! See the tinyness for yourself!

Here I am this morning before going to the gym:

01/30/2010 145.2 pounds!

And here is a snapshot of a spreadsheet I use to keep track of my weight on the Weight Watchers scale that I use. It measures more than just weight, as you will see below. I used to weigh in every Saturday morning but stopped for a while. I resumed this at the end of last year and intend to record my stats weekly this year. The green highlighted cells represent the lowest numbers ever for that category:

Scale Stats

I'm so excited today, I can't even tell you!

Now to find something that fits my tiny frame and go to the store for my organic produce. I have a WW recipe to make and blog tomorrow. Have a great weekend, everyone! :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weekly Meeting Topic: Why We Eat

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Tonight the leader said something that I totally agree with and blogged about over a year ago:
We do not have a weight problem. We have an EATING problem.
Think about that - it's true: The weight is just a result of the eating. (This same logic applies to my strong stance that you need to focus on your behaviors, not the number on the scale. The behaviors will effect that number, but you have no control over the number. You have control over the behaviors.). Since the eating is the problem, that's what we need to address: Why we eat.
Obviously, if we all ate only when we are hungry we would probably not be in the situation we are in. It's all the extra eating we do that leads to the problems: the weight gain, the health issues, the quality of life issues.

So that leads to the obvious question: Why DO we eat?

I think this is such an important topic because every single one of us eats for reasons other than hunger. And it's so important to be aware of those reasons so we can address them and ultimately change those behaviors.
You can probably think of a few circumstances off the top of your head that trigger you to eat - certain emotions (happiness? anger? sadness? stress? boredom?) or situations (certain people/places/events) that cause you to self medicate with comfort foods. But as you think about all those times you've turned to food to comfort you, I want you to ask yourself: Did the food help? If you're honest with yourself, you'll acknowledge that no, the food did not help.

The food did NOT cheer you up.
The food did NOT solve a problem at work.
The food did NOT bring back a lost love.
The food did NOT make your kids behave any better.

If anything, the food introduced a whole new problem. And it surely did nothing to solve the original problem.

Turning to food in situations and for reasons other than hunger are merely habits we've picked up over the course of our lives. They are only habits. We have control over habits. We have the power to change them. We just need to be aware of them and be willing to make an effort to do so.
My biggest non-hunger related food triggers were:
  • Stress at work
  • Night time eating
  • Certain places/situations (usually things like treating myself to something when I go shopping - like a 12 point dark chocolate bar)
I addressed the stress eating at work a few ways: 1) I stopped buying snacky stuff like cereal bars (this was back when I still ate a lot of packaged food, mind you) and 2) I addressed it by removing myself from the situation so I could think - this was when I started going out for walks outside or on the stairs. I honestly cannot remember the last time I ate out of stress.

As for the nighttime eating, again I stopped bringing certain food items into the apartment - things I would be likely to have trouble stopping if I started eating them. I also have a 'brush my teeth after dinner' rule. This helps me mentally feel like my mouth is 'off' for the night. And I don't want to ruin my clean mouth feeling.

And as for the treating myself when shopping, that usually involves me avoiding the trouble zones: the chocolate section and the baked good section. At most stores, I can reason with myself that the items aren't vegan, and therefore are off limits. But at places like Whole Foods, where they have vegan chocolate and vegan baked goods, I either avoid them or tell myself that I do not NEED those things and they are not going to help me. I look at them and tell them they have no power over me.
As for addressing and changing your own behaviors, I am not suggesting this is quick or easy - but it can be done. Personally, I think it *must* be done for long-term success. It's the behaviors that led us to eat the food. It's the behaviors that put the extra weight on us. It's the behaviors that brought us to the point where we are today. And we are totally capable of changing those behaviors so that we aren't hindering our efforts and our health.

Now for my weekly questions:

What did I accomplish this week?
(Holy Moly - so much, I'm like superwoman!!)
  • I tracked everything for 7 days! Everything! I am *so* proud of this! Not only that, but I stayed within my points. I used all my daily points and 33/35 weekly points. I didn't touch my activity points! Here's a snapshot of my journal:
Weekly Journal
  • I TWIETed again today (Tweet What I Eat Tuesday) I really enjoy doing this. I just hope my non-WW Twitter followers don't stop following me... This keeps me so accountable and I get a lot of feedback from my Twitter followers, so I am going to continue doing this on Tuesdays.
  • I made it to Pilates on Sunday like I said I would. And as a bonus, I found out my Pilates teacher reads this blog! And he had so many nice things to say about it! Thank you, Max :)
  • My experiment to leave a bite or so at the end of each meal is still going well and becoming a little more automatic.
  • My sweet co-worker William is out for a week and a half. Normally he drives us to the gym on Monday, Thursday and Friday. Last Thursday, I considered not going to the gym since I'd have to walk there and back (just over half a mile away), it was cold out, and it would take over an hour to walk there, change, workout, and walk back. But then I reminded myself that the gym is just a block from Target. And I walk to Target once a week, so why shouldn't I walk to the gym? To save some time, I changed into my workout clothes at work (instead of bringing them and changing at the gym) and walked there, did my workout and walked back. I did this on Thursday, Friday, and again today. And because of the walk there and back, I burned even more calories!
  • As planned, I used the Wii Fit on Sunday.
Working out @ home with the Wii
  • When I did the body test portion, I thought they were just weighing me. But when I saw that they had also been testing my balance, and it was nearly perfect, I almost fell off my Wii Balance Board! Look at this!!
This totally blew me away!!!
  • New record on the stairs: Distance! I normally do the stairs on Tuesday, but yesterday it was raining and super windy and I didn't want to walk to the gym, so instead of doing NOTHING, I changed my schedule and swapped gym day with stair day. But even better was that I decided to challenge myself to do 12 sets, for a total of 96 flights of stairs. Yes, I said NINETY. SIX. And I did it!! In just over 33 minutes! Here I am before I began (I seriously look super tiny here):
Before walking 96! flights of stairs!!

and after:

33 minutes later...
  • I made my own snack bags and didn't *eat* any of the snacks as I did it! I made baggies with 1/4 cup of raisins (2 points) and .6 oz mixed nuts (2 points). This may not sound like a big deal to some of you, but it was for me - not only did I portion these items so that I wouldn't eat more at at time than I should, but I managed to not indulge in them as I did it.
I made my own snack bags
  • I worked out every day this week, earning 31 Activity Points! Here is my activity spreadsheet from this week:
Weekly Activity

What do I want to work towards?
  • Continue to work on leaving a bite at each meal.
  • I want to have another stellar week of tracking: 7 days!
  • Pilates and Wii again on Sunday (I need to make this a weekly thing)
  • TWIET again on Tuesday
  • I have a new WW recipe I want to try, and will photograph it for a blog.

On a final note, here are thanks to more bloggers for mentioning me or linking to me recently:
Thank you all so much for reading. I am about a week behind on my email replies right now. Be patient. I will get to you!

xo Sheryl

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm a winner!

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Correction: I was a winner. Last month. I just didn't have a chance to blog about it yet...

One of my blog readers, Shari over at Rotten Bananas, was having her first ever giveaway last month. The prize? A tin of homemade "Best Ever Ginger Snaps" (Ginger Snaps? Really?? One of my all time favorites!) and an apron (Awesome! I just so happen to love and collect aprons!) *with* the recipe printed on it - upside down - so you can read the recipe while you are wearing the apron! Very cool indeed.

I followed the entry instructions and didn't think about it after that.

But just days later, I received an email from Shari. Apparently I had won! The blog post where she announced it was so cute - she had put all the participating blog reader names in a tin and had her 100 year old neighbor pull a name at random. It happened to be my name, which elicited a chuckle from Shari.

And just days before Christmas, my package arrived. I knew these cookies weren't vegan and I had avoided products with eggs for months. But I also knew that I was going to make an exception for these cookies.

Here's my package -

My Package from Shari @ Rotten Bananas

Being a lover of baked treats, it should be no surprise that I was dying to try the cookies. The moment I took the lid off the tin, I was hit with the most intoxicating aroma of sugar, ginger and molasses. It was wonderful! Look at these beautiful cookies!!

Gingerbread Cookies

As for the cookies themselves, they were AMAZING!!! I would say they were perfect, actually. I'm even going to try the recipe without eggs (subbing applesauce). But I also have to find out what shortening is. (Seriously, I don't know what shortening is. I've never used it - is it vegan??)

And as for the apron, I warned Shari that I had intended to photograph myself in it, wearing nothing else - other than heels, of course. Fortunately, she was ok with this plan. Unfortunately, the top was too narrow and would have shown far more than I intended to reveal, so I had to wear a long line bra under it. And I was already wearing hose, so I kept those on. Here I am in my kitchen showing off this adorable apron:

I won this super cute apron! It has a recipe on it, printed upside down so you can wear it and read it!

Thank you so much, Shari! I'm proud to be your first giveaway winner and I *loved* my prize!

I think I should do a giveaway too. But what to give away...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Day on Plan: My Food & Activity Journal

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Since I often eat very similar things on weekdays, I thought I should show you a Saturday on plan. This is what I ate/did on Saturday, January 23rd (note: I woke up at 9:30 am)-

10:30am Water

11:00 - 12:00 Total Body Conditioning @ the Y (stats at the end of the post)

12:10pm Banana (1.5 points)

01/23/2010 147.2 pounds!

13:00 Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes and Coffee (6 points)
2 pancakes=3 pts, 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup=2 pts. Coffee with 1/2 cup Vanilla Silk Light Soy Milk=1 pt

15:30-17:00 Went for a bike ride - errands in Greenpoint, followed by a short trip to Long Island City, Queens (activity stats at the end of this post)

Bike Outfit, and a few photos from the day's ride-

01/23/10 Bike Outfit

Citi Building from 45 Ave

I captured a bird in flight!

These homes are simply beautiful!

I love this building on the corner of Franklin & Freeman

Clothes line in Greenpoint

18:00 Vegan Chorizo Dinner (9 pts)
I linked to a similar recipe, but made it a little different this time: Coconut Oil (1 tsp=1 pt) Peas, Onions, Peppers, Collard Greens, Spinach (0 pts), Field Grains Vegan Chorizo Link (5 pts), on a Whole Wheat Tortilla (2 pts), topped with Salt, Tabasco and Tofutti Vegan Sour Cream (1 Tbsp=1 pt)

18:30 Vitamins with 2 oz Aloe Juice and a splash of blueberry POM (0 points)

20:00-22:30 Beer with some of my favorite Greenpointers (2 pints=7 points)

mmmm beer!

I <3 my new turquoise wallet from vegan collection!

I am a sucker for a full length mirror

23:00 Sandwich (3 points)
2 slices Whole Wheat Bread (2 points), 4 slices Tofurky Vegan Deli Slices (1 point) with spicy mustard and Tabasco (0 points)

23:30 Raisins (1/4 cup=2 pts)

Here is today's activity as entered into my spreadsheet:

Activity 2010.01.23

Total Daily Points Allowance: 20
Total Points Consumed: 28.5
Activity: 6 (3 for Total Body Conditioning, 3 for the Bike ride)

That was a pretty great day. I used my 6 activity points and only had to dip into my weekly points a little bit, using 2.5 of them.

As for Weight Watchers Good Health Guidelines, here's how I did:
  1. Activity: Check!
  2. Water: Check! (On the weekend I drink less water, but I hit at least 8 glasses this day)
  3. Healthy Oils: Needs Improvement*. I had only 1 oil serving, and it was an oil that is not in the "WW healthy oils" list (coconut oil).
  4. Fruits & Veggies: Check!
  5. Vitamins: Check!
  6. Dairy: Needs Improvement*. (Same as usual: the 1/2 cup of soy milk would only count towards 1/2 a dairy serving, short of the 2 servings WW recommends. But I take a calcium supplement among my vitamins so hopefully my body is absorbing that. And as a reader pointed out recently, my green leafy veggies have some calcium too.)
  7. Whole Grains: Check! Thanks to my Bob's pancake mix!
  8. Protein: Check! (The soyrizo and Tofurky slices count towards my protein)
That's actually a stellar weekend day for me. I'm really proud of it!

*Thank you to the blog reader who suggested I not use the word "Fail". She is absolutely right. I replaced "Fail" with "Needs Improvement". Thanks, Mel!

Before I go, I want to thank more readers for blog awards and mentions. Thanks to...

Time to make another batch of pumpkin pancakes and then Pilates at 11. Have a great day, everyone!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Punk Rope on Martha Stewart!

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I blogged that the Martha Stewart show came to our YMCA in Greenpoint, Brooklyn last week and filmed our Punk Rope class. I wasn't sure if I'd appear in the footage they used on her fitness show this past Tuesday, but I was excited to see the clip regardless.

Now you should know something about me: I have an irrational fear of being videotaped (which is why. although asked, I did not participate in the Never Mind Aerobics, Here's Punk Rope DVD). I think this fear goes way back to my childhood - when I was about 4 years old, my brother and I appeared in a Child World commercial. They ran this commercial in the NY area up until I was about 11 years old, but I haven't seen it since (if anyone can find this commercial anywhere, I will give you my eternal thanks!!!). The thing is, I remember watching it when I was little and I could never *find* myself in it. It's not that I was part of a large crowd, it was more that I didn't recognize myself, or I didn't believe what I was seeing was me. Does that make any sense?

I managed to avoid being on video since then. And when CBS asked to interview me last year for Tart-Gate, I almost declined. I just hated the thought of being on camera, "in action", and having to see myself and accept the reality of what other people see. I agreed to do it, but the day I had to meet them, I was truly TERRIFIED. My heart felt like it was going to explode for a half hour before till a half hour after the interview. I have only watched the footage once and just barely glanced at myself.

So when I found out the film crew was coming to Punk Rope, I almost skipped class because of my fear. But I wanted to overcome it. At least this time I wouldn't have to talk, but I know that jumping and running aren't really good looks for me and didn't want to look like a total spazz. Despite that, I talked myself into going to class and just hoped for the best.

The piece aired this past Tuesday morning. I was at work but my DVR was set. And as I found out via tweets, texts and emails all day, I did appear in the clip. I finally saw it when I got home that night and I actually approve of the tiny segments of footage of me that were used. I'm only disappointed that there are no shots of me actually jumping rope.

Without further delay, here is a link to the episode. The Punk Rope segment starts at the 2 minute, 40 second mark.

I've been a Punk Roper for nearly 3 years now, and I still look forward to class every Wednesday. I love punk rope and am so glad to be a part of it. Congratulations again to Tim & Punk Rope!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Weekly Meeting Topic: Moving Matters

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Tonight we talked about activity - why moving matters. I'm sure you all realize this but I am going to tell you some of the benefits of exercise. These are all things that I have noticed personally, and I think it's safe to say you would experience too:
  • I feel better in every way possible - mentally, physically and emotionally.
  • I have so much more energy throughout the day. I never feel fatigued unless I am sick or had less than 5 hours of sleep. But before working out, I used to feel sluggish all the time. It may be hard to wrap your head around this, but energy *breeds* energy!
  • Being active made me *want* to eat better. For one thing, you don't want to "undo" all the good of working out by eating poorly. In addition, I realized my body worked much better when I gave it good fuel. So it has a direct impact on the foods I choose.
  • I sleep better - For the most part I fall asleep as soon as I hit the pillow and sleep till my alarm clock rings. I feel fine when I get up, not groggy like I used to feel.
  • (If you're under 18, close your eyes): Sex is better too. Pilates, I am quite certain, made my um... pelvic floor muscles tighter. With my new body and confidence, I am more comfortable scantily clad and I have a lot more stamina and endurance.
  • I feel, and have actually become, stronger. I feel it when I walk, when I run, when I lift something, when I ride my bike, when I climb the stairs, when I jump rope, when I hold plank. I feel strong and great all the time!
  • Exercise is instant therapy and I use it to help me clear my head or try to figure out something that's bothering me. I do some of my best thinking when I'm exercising. I have no distractions. That's total *me* time and I get to focus on whatever I want. It's quite an indulgence.
  • I have great posture (I actually get posture compliments from strangers on a regular basis).
  • I have better balance.
  • I feel so proud of myself - after the workout, of course, but also looking at how far I have come. I never thought I could be the person I am today. I would have never thought it was possible for me to turn my life around the way I did. I also feel proud that I'm taking care of myself.
  • It's fun to challenge myself with different activities/levels of intensity/minutes - I often make a game out of whatever I'm doing - like trying to do a mile in x minutes or telling myself I'll push really hard for x seconds or x number of steps. I always find some way to make it fun.
  • I have a confidence and radiance that I've never had.
  • I am happier than I've ever been in my life.
  • I'm in the best shape I've ever been in in my life.
  • I've said it before - I know that exercise cured my lifelong depression. There's no doubt in my mind.
  • And yes, exercise has changed my physical appearance in ways I never could have dreamed.
As much as people may assume it's the weight loss that has changed my life, I give the activity far more credit for the new person I have become. My changes are less about "the number on the scale" or the size of my clothes, they are about how *I* changed - from the inside out. I finally feel GREAT. I finally know that life is worth living. I finally look forward to my future and my life instead of just letting things happen and wishing I knew when I was going to die (side story: My Mom believes in psychics. I, a science person based in fact and reality, do not. About 10 years ago, she took me to a "psychic". I had one question for that psychic: "When am I going to die?" It is something I have wondered my whole life - I was a very morbid kid/adult. The psychic was horrified and didn't give me a concrete answer. I knew she couldn't possibly have the answer for me, I just thought if I did know it would help me plan my time here better. Oh well...). I finally realize that I'm pretty awesome. I am finally HAPPY. And that's all because of exercise.

If you are one of the people who are still on the "I hate exercise" bandwagon, know this: I was once you. But look at where I am today. I'm proof that you can change, that it *can* be done.

No, it didn't happen overnight, but it *did* happen. I can tell you with absolute certainty that if I hadn't started moving 3.5 years ago, I wouldn't be the person I am today. But I had to start.

As I told a blog commenter recently who said "I get frustrated because it takes sooo long to get results or at least I think it takes forever" - don't worry about how long it will take to see results from the activity. That should not be your focus. Your focus should be on the immediate and quantitative results: doing more today than you did yesterday. Feeling better. Getting stronger.

The physical results will eventually show up. But it's not a race. You'll see results when you see results. Besides, commenter, you mention it "taking forever", which I realize is an exaggeration but let me remind you that life is forever. Being healthy should be your focus forever. So who cares how long it takes? (for the record, it took me 10-12 weeks to see changes in my body) You'll be working towards seeing the changes if you start. But you do have to start.

Finally, think about this: if you don't start somewhere, you're not going to go anywhere.

I hope that motivated at least a few of you to incorporate some activity into your lives, or maybe try something new or increase the intensity of your current workouts.

Now for my weekly questions:

What did I accomplish this week?

  • I tracked 5 of 7 days. The 2 days I didn't track (Sat and Sun), I probably consumed 40ish points per day - way over my points allowance. I have no excuses for not tracking, other than my usual - not wanting to *see* it. (I know one day I will get to the point where I track despite that. I'm working on it!) But I'm glad I got back on track yesterday, and that continued today. I feel better already! Here's my weekly tracker:
WW Journal
  • I am wearing a skirt (literally, right now, I'm wearing it) that hasn't fit in over a year - it's the one I'm photographed in at the top of the page. This skirt only fits if I'm between 145 and 150 pounds (this morning I was 149). I love this skirt and I missed it so much! I made William take this photo of me at work today, showing it off -

(I am actually wearing the same outfit and attempting to recreate a favorite photo of me from October 2007)

This is the greatest piece of art EVER
  • My experiment to 'leave a bite' at the end of each meal/snack has been going pretty well. By my estimations, I managed to do this for half of my meals this week. It's really weird seeing that last bite of food sitting there and not eating it, but I'm sure it will get easier over time.
  • I have enough money saved up for my new bike! I am just not sure what I'm getting yet. The Bianchi, or something else. I have a few months to figure it out.
What do I want to work towards?
  • Continue to work on leaving a bite at each meal.
  • Track all week.
  • Attend Pilates on Sunday (I didn't go this Sunday and I regretted it all day).
  • Use the Wii once weekly, at least to weigh in and check my balance (Sundays are ideal for this)
On a final note, I want to thank all of you who have been giving me blog awards lately! I am sorry I don't reciprocate, but thought I'd at least thank you here. (If I missed you, let me know and I will include a thanks in my next post). Thanks to these fine ladies!
And thank you to Jennifer Barley for including me/my blog in her latest newsletter!

Thank you, I'm really flattered and appreciate that you not only read my blog but you enjoy it enough to share with your own readers.

On that note, have a great and ACTIVE week, everyone!