Thursday, May 31, 2012

EAT-- Adding Up Dinner

So I got home from work tonight and I was starving, I mean STARVING. The kind that when you say "I'M STARRRRR-VINNNNNG" you say it in the "Hulk Angry" voice, deep and slow. I needed something good and something fast. My friend Cari turned me on to this thing where you grill a half head of romaine lettuce and then top it with all kinds of goodies, but I did not even want to wait to grill the lettuce! So I chopped the head of Romaine into a salad bowl and added this (WW Points included):

2 Tbsp. Bacon Bits = 1 point
2 Tsp. Sun Dried Tomatoes = 1 point
Green Onions
Red Bell Pepper
2 Tbsp. Light Alouette Garlic and Herb Cheese Spread = 1 point
2 Tsbp. Newman's Light Balsamic Dressing = 1 point
6 Ounces Grilled Chicken Breast = 5 points
Total Points -- 9

I would have taken a picture but by the time I remembered the salad was gone!

And it took no time at all! The trick is keeping all the stuff on hand so that you can make a good choice even when you are STARRR-VINNNG!

You can go here to see grilled romaine!

Monday, May 28, 2012

BIKE--Extravaganza Wrap-Up

Today the Formerly Three Now Two Day Bike Ride Extravaganza wrapped up with a trip to Medical Lake to ride their paved path around the lake. According to their website, it is a four mile loop, but we went around it twice and only logged six miles. It was a fun and pretty ride.

I tried again to take pictures while I rode, it might be easier if I used my camera instead of my iPhone. Anyway, the lake was very nice. There is a park with baseball diamonds and picnic areas and lots of people were down there having picnics for Memorial Day. One guy had a tightrope tied between two trees and was walking on the tightrope while juggling! I took a picture but he was too far away.  There was a start and finish line painted on the path by the park, I thought that was pretty cool.

There was a guy running in the opposite direction from us.  He had on a shirt that had "Land Shark"  printed on it. We saw him three times during our two loops, I think he was faster than we were!  The third time we saw him I couldn't take it any more and yelled "GO, LAND SHARK!!!"  I don't think he appreciated it and I'm not sure my friends did either!  However, we did think that the Land Sharks would be a good name for our bike club gang.

After our ride was finished, we thought of some other places we could ride, some local, some a bit of a drive. I'm so glad I have friends who like to ride bikes as much as I do, I hope we keep this going all summer long!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

BIKE-- Ride On, Ride Off

So since I have gotten my bike, I have become a total convert, love it to death, and wish I could just ride all the time.  So when this Memorial Day weekend came along, I decided that I would make it a three day bike riding extravaganza!  Yesterday, we rode the Fish Lake Trail. It is a beautiful trail, 7 miles of smooth pavement. This is the only picture I took, since I am not coordinated enough to ride and take a picture at the same time. 

So I am not too sure what happened, but I think I may have pedaled too hard or something at one point, because today the ball of my right foot hurts like a bitch so I did not go on today's ride. I am resting my foot so that I can go riding tomorrow. Two day bike riding extravaganza doesn't have quite the same ring to it, but it will have to do. Today I will plant my tomatoes and perhaps knit with my friends. Life is good!

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Weight Watchers has my number.  They do this thing where they give you a key ring and charms as you achieve certain goals, weight loss and otherwise.  I am close to getting some of these and it is keeping me on track and motivated to continue.  They are just stupid little charms!  They have no power!  However I am powerless over my own coveting nature, which compels me to collect these little pieces of metal.  I am trying to figure out which one I will get first.  I estimate I am about a week or so away from getting my 25 pounds lost charm. I am 2 weeks away from getting my 16 weeks charm, which they give you after you have gone for 16 weeks. Weight Watchers says that is how long it takes to create a habit, so they reward you for it. The award I will be receiving last is ironically the one I should have received first! It is the thing that holds the charms, and you get it when you lose 10% of your body weight. I still have a few pounds to go before I get that one, but not too many! I am looking forward to receiving all these in the next few weeks. The next one after these will be the charm for fifty pounds lost. That will take a while, but I am reasonably certain that I will eventually get there. I am in it for life!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

EAT--Shaving My Coffee

As a Weight Watcher, I can have a certain amount of points worth of food every day.  When I first started, that number of points was 37.  As my weight goes down, so do the number of points per day. Now my number is 34, and it will continue to go down as I lose more weight.  So I have started to try to figure out how I can cut out a point or two here and there while not sacrificing taste or amount of food.  Every morning I have coffee with coconut creamer.  The coffee is zero points but the creamer is three points.  So far, being able to have my creamer from my pre-WW days has been worth the three points. But now I am at a point where I do not want to give up my coffee but I do not want to spend three points on it either. So I am experimenting with different ways to make three points into one point but still have it taste good. I bought some of that syrup they use at coffee houses, sugar free coconut, no points! And half and half is only 1 point for 2 tablespoons!  So I was all excited to try it, and I have to admit I was less than impressed with my one-point coffee. Tonight I tried almond milk instead of half and half with the syrup, and again I was disappointed. Perhaps I should quit trying to shave points off my coffee and look elsewhere for point cutbacks!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Coming To

I have lost 23 pounds in the past 3 months. And I feel fatter than ever. Here is what's going on.

I read somewhere recently that most overweight people are unconscious of their bodies. This resonated with me because that's exactly how I have felt for most of my life. And I didn't really realize it because I was unconscious to all of it. Body image was not something I ever thought about. I mean, I have a good self image and happen to think that I am a great person, and a lot of other people think so too. My body and how fat or thin it was never really entered into it. But things are changing on the outside, and the inside is following. I am becoming a more active person with more energy. And now I am finding that the image of myself in the mirror does not match up with who I am inside. My clothes are getting looser but I am not quite ready for the next size down, so I just feel like a baggy slob these days. Weight loss cannot happen fast enough. I still have a long way to go, in fact I could stand to lose another 100 pounds. But I guess the good news is that for the first time in my adult life, I can see what's going on with me inside and out. I am no longer unconscious.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

KNIT-- The Lilac Garden

Last night we got to knit at the park for the first time this year! The lilacs are almost in full bloom and their fragrance is strong and sweet. It was absolutely lovely. In a couple of weeks we will move up to the Rose Garden!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

EAT-- Have I Talked About Oatmeal?

So for the first month I was on WW, my breakfast consisted of 2 eggs, a sprinkling of cheese and some canadian bacon, all mixed up in a bowl and microwaved. It wasn't a bad breakfast, points-wise, but if my doctor wants me to lower my cholesterol, eating 2 eggs every day is probably not going to help with that. And I kept hearing about oatmeal, specifically steel-cut oatmeal.  About how good it is for you. I wanted to give it a try, but two things held me back: 1) I was worried that because oatmeal does not have as much protein as my egg breakfast, it would not hold me the 4 hours I needed it to when I was at work, and 2) It takes 25 minutes to cook!  What a pain in the ass!  I don't have 25 minutes every morning to make oatmeal! I kept talking to my oatmeal eating friends, and they gave me a good idea for cooking it.  Just make a bunch of it ahead of time! So was continuing to think about it, because if anyone can overthink something it's me. Then one day I was at the grocery store with my friend Cari, and she walked me through the buying of the oatmeal and also some almond milk which she uses to make it.  Armed with my new healthy breakfast items, I decided to make 4 servings on Sunday night and eat them during the week.  So I did! I used 1 cup of oatmeal to 4 cups liquid, 2 cups water and 2 cups almond milk. I portioned it into 4 bowls so that I could just take out a bowl in the morning and microwave it. I added some blueberries to it and it was delicious!  Now I eat it all the time! Yay me!  Anyway, I heartily recommend it to anyone and everyone. It can't hurt!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Last week I agreed to go on a bike ride today with several of my friends.  It is 3 miles each way. My previous distance record was set yesterday, a whopping 1.6 miles. To say that I am worried that I won't be able to do this is a vast understatement. But I have wonderful supportive friends so whatever happens, I am in good hands. I am such a novice at this biking thing, I don't even really know how to prepare for it.  I am bringing water, my bike lock, some cash, my phone and my helmet. I hope that is enough! I will update this post later with how it all went.  Wish me luck!

I want to do it every week!! The three miles there were the hardest, and they weren't even that hard!  Max taking me up all the hills in my neighborhood really helped prepare me.  I rode up every one!  Then we went to Rocket Bakery and had some food and coffee and rested for a little while, and then we rode back, which was mostly downhill. and before I knew it, I had ridden 6 miles! What is awesome, is that my heel doesn't hurt at all when I ride.  It hurts now, but I am ok with that.

My first actual bike ride was a smashing success!!  YAY!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Got it!

So once I realized that a smart phone has useful apps that will help me on my journey, I knew it wouldn't be long before I had one. Last night I got an iPhone!  My phone plan was up for renewal, so AT&T enticed me to stay another 2 years by giving me an iPhone 3GS for a dollar. That was okay with me!  So far I have downloaded 2 Weight Watcher apps, including the barcode scanner, which is so cool! I went into my pantry and tried it out, did you know that a quarter cup of Mrs. Butterworth's sugar free syrup is only 1 point? Awesome! I also downloaded Endomondo, which tracks your activity using GPS.  I am going to try that out later today. And, because Leo asked me to, I am now also playing Draw Something. I have had the new phone  only 24 hours and already I can't live without it.  And we thought the aliens were going to control our minds, it's  Apple!

Friday, May 11, 2012

EAT-- What I Learned Last Night

I am in a Bunco group.  This means that once a year it is my turn to host Bunco at my house.  Last night was that night.  This includes serving dinner for 12 people before the game. This year I decided to make it easy on myself and got pizzas from Papa Murphy's. I did my nutrition research beforehand, and decided to get one of the pizzas with their light crust, and I planned my portion along with my points. But here is what I learned: if I am faced with unlimited amounts of pizza, I will eat unlimited amounts of pizza! I had my 2 slices that I had portioned out, then a third slice of that one, and 2 more slices of the super cheesy fatty thick crust kind! The 2 pounds I had lost earlier in the week were right back on the scale when I weighed this morning, no surprise there. I think the lesson I can take from this is, pizza is my heroin, and I am rendered helpless in it's presence.  I need to just stay away from it when I can.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Never Saw It Coming

I have a cell phone.  It is not a smart phone. I like to call it my dumb phone. It does what I want it to do.  I can call and text, take pictures, and be reminded to take out the trash and clean the cat box.   I figure if I need the internet there is always one of my friends around with a smart phone to look up whatever I need. That has always been enough for me. Until lately. Allow me to make my case for a smart phone:
EAT:  There are some really great apps from Weight Watchers that would make tracking what I eat much easier. In addition to the restaurant points guides, there is a really cool app that allows you to scan the barcode of most foods and will calculate the point value for you right there in the aisle of Walmart! These apps would allow me to be make better choices if I am on the go and have nothing planned.
KNIT:  Again with the cool apps. Tools to make the knitter's life easier abound! Not to mention, if I had a camera phone that I could beam pictures right to Ravelry with, I might be better at posting my projects on there.
BIKE: So I was on my first bike ride on Saturday with Andrea, and we were going over the rules of the road and talking about bike accessories. She mentioned how long we had been riding and how far we went.  I asked her if she had a cyclometer on her handlebars and she said no, she has an app that uses GPS to track her rides.  I said, so essentially, space is your cyclometer, and she said yes. Well,that was the last straw. I want a smart phone now!
I am sure I am not convincing any of you, as you have most likely already drank the smartphone kool-aid. So I guess the question is this.  Do I really need an iPhone, or will something else do as well?

Monday, May 7, 2012

BIKE-- Three Days In

Well, it has been three days since I got my bike.  I have ridden every day!  Granted, the rides have only been 8-10 minutes long, but hey, you have to start somewhere! I figure if I keep riding regularly, it will eventually get easier.  I hope that is true.  I was looking at a bike rack for the RAV 4, but because it doesn't have a trailer hitch I would have to get one that attaches to the spare tire mount. Those cost around $200, so it looks like if I take my bike anywhere it will be in the back of my rig for now.

I also have been thinking about what her name should be. I was going to name her Pearl because that is what I was going to name Leo but got thwarted when he came out a boy. But Pearl doesn't seem right for her.  Then I wanted to name her Betty, but it turns out that Electra already has a bike style called Betty. And frankly, it has a lot more personality than my bike, and that personality costs about $200 more, so I will be happy with my Vanilla Townie.  So because her color is vanilla, I was going to name her Millie.  Millie Vanilla, get it? But that is too dumb even for me.  So the search for a suitable name continues. I am open to any and all suggestions.

So while my bike isn't that cool looking, my helmet is another story.  As soon as I saw it I knew it was the one for me.  The checkerboard pattern reminds me of ska and I want to get a sticker of the English Beat girl  or the 2 Tone guy for the side of it. Also, the shape of the helmet reminds me of the video for "Take On Me" by a-ha. Every time I put it on I hear the song in my head! (I hope that gets old after a while and stops.)
So, if you are on the lower south hill and see a fat old woman with a cool helmet riding a bike and grinning, stop and say hi!

EAT-- What I Take

Here is another post from the WW blog, this one from 4/12/12:

This post is about nutritional supplements, which is just a fancy way to say vitamins! I am taking quite a few these days, most of them on the advice of doctors for various reasons. I take six pills and two gummy vitamins every day. Every morning when I take my pills I am reminded of when I was a teenager and my mom would take her vitamins. She didn't take a multi-vitamin, she had one bottle of every letter--A,B,C,E, etc. She was ahead of her time, since this was the 70's and the idea of taking all those pills was a foreign concept to most everyone. She kept all of her pill bottles in a wicker basket that she kept on the kitchen counter. Looking back, I do think they helped contribute to her good health.
So anyway, the wicker basket that used to hold my mom's vitamins now sits on MY kitchen counter, full of the supplements that I take! I love that I get to carry on the tradition, Mom would get a kick out of it! So here is what I take: Iron, Vitamin C, Red Yeast Rice, Flaxseed Oil, Calcium/Vitamin D, blood pressure meds, and Chewable gummy multis.

--Iron. About 9 months ago it was discovered that I was severely anemic. Probably has to do with the giant periods I had been having. My ferretin level was 8, the bottom of the normal range is 16. Today my level is 26, hooray! I no longer want to take a nap at my desk in the afternoon, that is a good thing!
--Vitamin C. Was told to take it with the iron because it helps the body absorb iron better. Of course there are other benefits too. I can tell you that during this winter cold season, I never got the bugs and viruses that were going around the office.
--Red Yeast Rice. My doctor told me to take this to help lower my cholesterol. I had never heard of it, but I went to the store and there it was! I am hoping that between my new way of eating and taking this, that my cholesterol numbers will be low enough that I won't have to go on medication.
--Flaxseed Oil. I take this to lower my cholesterol as well. I know that Fish Oil is more effective, but I do not like the fish burps, yes I have tried the good ones that say there are no fish burps, I still get them.
--Vitamin D/Calcium. I told my doctor I get really mopey in the dark of the winter and I don't want to clean my house. I asked her if there was a pill I could take that would make me want to do my dishes, and she told me Vitamin D! And that I should 
take it year round, since evidently we do not get enough light up here in the Northwest. It sort of works, I do my dishes more often and sit around less, although it is getting to be spring and that happens anyway.
--Gummy Multivitamins for Adults. I like the chewables because I just don't want to swallow another pill. They are not really sweet like a gummy bear, they taste more like a Sunkist fruit snack, kind of mild. And I think that because it is a chewable, that the vitamins get into your system faster. I take them before work, and by the time I get to work the B vitamins have kicked in and I'm all "WOOOOOOO! LET"S WORK!!!" My co-workers think I am crazy, I think I am healthy! I also take a prescription blood pressure medication. Hypertension runs in my family, but I hope that as I lose weight, I can lower the dose. And while I typed this, I took my pills! Have a great day!!

I still need to take pictures of my bike and talk about that, but this week is very busy for me.  I have Bunco at my house this Thursday and have a LOT still to do.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

EAT--The Backstory

Here is the first post I made on the Weight Watchers blog, originally posted on 3/11/12.

"You all know how most of this story goes, so I will skip the part about how I have been overweight most of my adult life due to laziness and poor food choices. Let's skip to my last doctor's visit.

So a month or so ago, I went to the doctor for my annual physical. I worried as I fasted the night before that my blood sugar would be high and that I would get the news that I am now a diabetic, so welcome to Hell. So I was relieved when the bloodwork revealed that it was not diabetes that was going to kill me. Relief lasted about 5 seconds because I found out that what is really going to kill me is a heart attack. Maybe a stroke. Either way, it's not very pretty. My doctor had to double my blood pressure medication, and informed me I had 2 months to lower my cholesterol or she would put me on a statin drug.

I have felt hopeless about my health and my weight for quite some time. I felt powerless to do anything about it (see laziness above) and felt like at age 50 it was really too late for me to change. The good news is that my doctor told me it was NOT too late to change! She suggested Weight Watchers, which I took as a sign because I had already been to their website and had looked up the nearest meeting to me. So three weeks ago, I went.

Now, I had done WW before, about 15 years ago. They did have the points system back then, but it was different. This new program is a much better fit for me. I love the flexibility of the extra 49 points per week. If I overeat a little, I just count the points and eliminate the guilt that always led me to abandoning the program. Also, the e-tools make it so easy to track what I eat, no more writing and adding! In three weeks I have lost 9.4 pounds. This has resulted in a feeling that I had not had in many years, the feeling of hope. The feeling that maybe it's not too late to turn my health and my life around. The feeling that maybe my fifties are going to be awesome!

I am looking forward to my bloodwork in several weeks. Maybe it won't be the best, maybe I will still have to go on drugs. But today I have hope that things will change."

So there is the backstory.  Since this post I have lost another 10.6 pounds for a total of 20 exactly. This story is ongoing!

Out Of The Ashes

I have been having this huge urge to blog again. That is because whenever my life is undergoing major changes, I find I have a lot to say. I decided that I needed a blog that reflects what is going on now. So I took my knitting blog, Knitmare on Elm Street, and changed the name. This kind of makes me sad because I think Knitmare on Elm Street was the best blog name ever, seeing as how I knit AND live on Elm Street! But these things happen. Allow me to explain the change.

EAT-- About 2 1/2 months ago, I joined Weight Watchers. Even though I go to meetings, I use their website's tools to track what I am eating. On their website they have a community which includes a place to blog. I have put several posts up, but it seems silly to use their blogs when I have several blogs of my own just sitting here getting dusty. I will be reprinting some of those posts here, as well as talking about my weight loss (20 pounds so far) and what I eat.

KNIT-- As everyone and their uncle knows, I am a knitter. I made a promise to myself that I would be better at documenting what I knit. So there's that.

BIKE-- I made a list a while back of things I wanted to do when I lost weight. Number two on that list was Ride a Bike. I thought about it and decided not to wait. After weeks of research and coveting, I bought a bike yesterday! This blog will chronicle the process of me becoming a genuine bike rider. Because I am not that now.

And of course there will be posts about nothing as well. So I hope to have some readers eventually and would love it if I were an inspiration to somebody someday!