Monday, November 28, 2011

Vegas Approaches

   I was a little thrown off this weekend after my post Thanksgiving weigh-in didn't go as planned.  I was prepared for a gain at the scale because of the nature of the challenges I faced during the week, and the choices i made.  I just wasn't prepared for the gain to be as high as it was.  Now honestly, it was less than 1 pound above what I was prepared for, but it threw me nonetheless.  But back to a good attitude, and shaking off the disappointment.
   That all  being said - I leave for Vegas on Thursday!   I'm a little less anxious about flying, since I know I can get an extender, and I also don't have to worry if I encroach a little into my husband's seat.  I won't - I can actually fit in one seat, but we can put up the armrest between us so it's a bit more cozy.  It takes some of the stress out of it.
   We have a ton of activities planned - a couple of state parks, the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Lake Mead.  One or two days exploring the casinos and the Strip, and on Sunday Dave runs the half marathon.  We got a room at an all-suites non-casino hotel, that affords us a full kitchen and laundry area in room, so that we can have better control over a good portion of our meals.  I'm hoping that the activity and walking/hiking we have planned will take care of the rest.
   So I'm spending today doing laundry, and when Dave gets home from work we're visiting with our niece before she moves back to Maine. Tomorrow we'll finalize the outline for our itinerary and make preparations to go!
   So I'll probably be quiet for a while, although I will be bringing my netbook with me.  I'll post pics on FB, and maybe a blog along the way!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cue the scary music...

...Because this week is Thanksgiving!

   Actually, I have a few challenges this week besides Thursday.  The first was tonight, with a family get together to watch some Sunday Night Football.  I did pretty well, though - we had dinner first, that was tracked.  And then I chose to keep the snacks in a separate area from where we were watching, so that people could load up plates for themselves, but I wouldn't be mindlessly eating from bowls of chips and such.  I did partake, but in a very restrained way, and kept to my Points.  Plus, I earned some good activity points today doing some leaf raking, which I'm holding on to for Thursday.
   The second challenge this week is that we're going out for a birthday dinner on Tuesday night.  So tomorrow's agenda item is to review the menu online so that I can make my choices beforehand, and not even have to look at the menu when we're there.  My friend Maureen gave me that idea, and I think it will be crucial!
   Then comes Thursday.  This will be the first year I'm not hosting, and I'm grateful at how relaxed I feel.  Not doing all that baking and cooking helps eliminate some of the "quality control" sampling that can really rack up the points.  And being able to relax and enjoy the week means having some extra time to sneak in more Activity, and to do my best to mentally rehearse and solidify strategies for not going bananas once I'm in front of all that food!  We already have some games planned, and I plan on doing a lot of my hanging around that day strategically away from where the snacks and desserts will be.
  So all in all, I'm feeling pretty good about this coming week.  Now if only my cold would go away so that my energy level would come back up to normal!  That being said, it's off to bed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Being positive in the virtual world

  Over the past couple of months, I've noticed a trend in magazine articles about Facebook and similar social media sites.  The trend is to admonish people to not be too "chirpy" (and yes, that's the word I saw in one article) when posting about your life, because it makes other people feel bad.  I even saw an article to this effect in a WW publication.  That you shouldn't let other people's posts get you down, since people tend to make their lives look better online than they are in the real world.

  And honestly, this pisses me off.

  There are braggarts in this world, and one-uppers.  And I'm sure that these behaviors abound on Facebook as they do anywhere else in life.   But if I have a friend who's lucky enough to have a lake house to enjoy, then why should that make me feel bad about me?  Why shouldn't I just be happy for my friend and their blessings?  If an online  friend has a great weight loss, why should that cause me to be anything but glad for them?  Are we really that over-sensitive now as a nation that we can't let anyone have anything because it might make us feel bad?  Are we really that selfish?  I fear the answer may be yes.

  Someone else's success does not equal my failure.  If I don't have a lake house, or a good weight loss, or a meaningful career or hobby, the I should do something to change that in my life.  Not try to take someone else down, or complain that they made me feel bad.  I want my friends to be happy and successful, and have lives filled with things they find enjoyable.  And I love to see them sharing those things on blogs and Facebook.

  As for me, I try to think about the positive, and post accordingly.  I could have easily posted a status update today complaining that I'm freezing and can't seem to warm up.  Or whining about the mountain of laundry that needs folding.  But I chose to make my status a positive note about how yummy my afternoon snack was.  Mundane, yes.  But I'd rather think about and share something positive then just complain.  If that's too "chirpy" for people, then that's sad for them.  I try to keep my status updates and my blog posts upbeat, or funny.  Sometimes the tiny vat of rage or angst seeps in.  But I won't stop trying to be positive, and if it upsets other people, then maybe they aren't actually friends at all.  And who needs that?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Prepping for Vegas

Hubby and I leave for Vegas on the 1st... very excited to do so.  To help make it easier to make good choices we booked a hotel room  that's not in a casino, and is a little off the Strip.  Even better, we were able to book a suite that comes with a full kitchen.  It's also just a few miles from Red Rocks park, where we plan to spend some quality time hiking.  
  While Vegas will present a challenge food-wise, having a kitchen will help us control a few things.  Once we get out of the airport, we'll head to a grocery store to stock up on some fruits and veggies, some good breakfast choices, and some healthy snack options.  I don't pretend that there aren't going to be LOTS of temptations, nor do I pretend that I'm going to be cooking all the time.  But if I can surround myself with easy to grab healthful choices, then it's definitely worth the effort.
  I'm looking forward to the trip, and we're spending the next few days researching some more active, less casino type things to do while we're out there so we can make the best use of our time.  I like having a plan for the trip. It makes it so much less stressful!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The great fruit and veggie experiment

  One of the things I've been struggling with, WW-wise, is the concept of "free" fruits and veggies.  Because as it turns out, these items are only free if you eat them separately, or out of hand.  As soon as you incorporate them into a recipe, their nutrient values get added and their PP values are calculated.  So for example, if I make a smoothie, and eat a banana on the side, then the banana has 0 PPV.  However, if I add that banana to the smoothie, it can have up to 4 PPV.  Same banana, but very different calculation.  I've tested this on a couple of things through the e-tools Recipe Builder.
   Another example:  when I make pasta, I tend to load it up with veggies, thinking they are free. And on e-tools, if I add them to my tracker as part of a meal, I get charged points for the pasta and oil, and the veggies list as 0.  BUT if I take the same meal and run it through the recipe builder and call it "Pasta with Veggies", it has a very different PPV.  
   So this week I've decided to undertake the Great Fruit and Veggie Experiment.  I'm going to eat as I normally would, but anytime I'm not eating fruit or veg out of hand, or separately, then I'm going to run it through the Recipe Builder, calculate the PPV and use that figure to see what the difference might be.
   Last example, my new favorite side-dish obsession is butternut squash and apple, diced up and roasted with a small amount of canola oil, salt and cinnamon.  I've been thinking that this only costs me PPV for the oil, which would be 2.  But in the recipe builder, it tells me that a serving is actually 4.  Not a huge difference by itself, but I have a suspicion that a bunch of those little differences may add up.  Maybe not as much as I fear, but as someone who always uses all my weeklies, any overages may be an issue.
   I'll post later in the week with some of the findings...I think this will be good because it will help me REALLY think about what I'm eating and how many PPVs I'm using.