Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Time Capsule

I got this idea from the blog "Escape from Obesity"

That blog is amazing. It chronicles Lynn's weight loss journey. She has already lost 100 pounds and is getting really close to her goal weight! She is using Medifast, which is a program that I disagree with personally (too few calories, not vegan at all, highly processed) but I support her 100% with this. This is what works for her, and I believe that there is a diet/program out there that will work for everyone. Please go check it out, she is very inspiring to me. :-)

Anyway, this entry is inspired by her blog (see link above). Basically, I am writing a letter to my future self about where I want to be in a year, and how I feel about my life right now, creating a sort of time capsule for myself. I will open this up on December 29, 2011 and see what has changed.

Dear future self,

Right now, I'm feeling pretty good about my weight. At my last weigh-in, I was at 156.8. (It may have gone up since Christmas, but I'm pretty confident it won't be up too much. )

I look and feel amazing in size 14 pants. My 16s are all super-loose. I still wear some of them, though, because I don't have many 14s yet. So they are loose, but not "falling off" loose yet.

I'm cooking a couple of times a week, usually a variation of the same meal: rice, beans, vegetables, evoo. I still eat a lot of processed vegan goodies on the weekends, though, and right now I'm okay with that.

I exercise 6 days a week on average. I usually do an hour of cardio, and sometimes will add half an hour at Curves to that.

I would love it if in a year, I was down to my goal weight of 135 (or higher if I end up changing my goal weight).

I would love to be fit and healthy. I want to learn how to increase the intensity of my workouts, since I will have less time to devote to them once school starts.

I also hope to learn to cook several new meals, and to share my experiences with them on this blog, along with the recipes. I want to focus more and more on whole foods and superhero cooking.

I hope that I will wear a bikini this in the summer of 2011 and feel great in it! I rocked one in 2010 at 180 pounds, so I'm sure this won't be a problem.

I want to help and inspire other Weight Watchers and Kind Lifers (and anyone else, too!) to reach for their goals this year, too. If I manage to inspire just one other person to get to goal (or close to it!) in 2011, I'll be so happy!!!

Your Past Self

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas: The Good, the Bad, and the Victorious.

The good: There was very little stress. I decided ahead of time to have a stress-free holiday this year. Just going into it with that attitude really helped me. I enjoyed time with my family, good food (I'll get to exactly how much and what in a minute), and good times. I think that this may be the first Christmas as an adult that I actually genuinely enjoyed from start to finish.

The bad: I ate a lot. A lot of JUNK. A lot of CRAP. And I threw my "good-girl Christmas Plan" from my last blog entry out the window for about 48 hours (Christmas morning through late last night). I have no idea how many PointsPlus I consumed. But I can assume it's somewhere in the 100+ range. Those tiny cookies and bite-sized candies really add up. Especially my vegan peanut butter balls that I made using mostly peanut butter, coconut, corn syrup, and sugar.

The Victorious: I honestly don't care that I ate too much. I have no fear whatsoever of long-term regain. If I gained anything from two days of gluttony, I know that it will be gone within a couple of weeks, and I will be able to continue on my weight loss journey with no problems. Also, I looked amazing in all of the photos (coming soon!) and the compliments from family who hadn't seen me since last Christmas felt great. Next year's Christmas plan: Don't make a Christmas Plan. Just enjoy myself for a couple of days and focus on family fun.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Christmas Weight Watchers Plan!

Okay, it's good to have a plan for things like this. This year, I feel like I have mastered getting through situations that used to cause weight gain unscathed. For example, I actually lost weight while vacationing in NYC, and I actually lost weight my birthday week. So, I am wondering if I can actually lose weight over Christmas.

Really, I'm fine maintaining for the week. But since I don't know how to maintain yet, I will go for losing. My week starts over on Saturdays, and Christmas is on a Saturday this year!

This does mean that I will be skipping my weigh-in, because I will be out of town (and away from my scale). This also means that my points will reset on Christmas morning! This is excellent for me. In case I get carried away with treats, I will have all 29 DP plus all 49 WPA to eat in one day, if necessary.

I have already begun my Christmas WW plan: I got up early this morning and did my cardio workout before work. Me, the biggest evening exerciser out there, got out of bed early just to exercise.

And guess what? Not only is it possible for me to do this once seemingly impossible task, I REALLY ENJOYED IT. I officially know how I am going to keep exercising through the school year: I will do it before work. I am still energized from this morning's workout, and it's after 3.

Joel is coming to town today, so I knew that if I didn't get up and do it this morning, it wouldn't get done. So, first item: check!

The next part of my Christmas WW Plan is to cook a healthy dinner tonight, even if/when my family orders pizza or gets fast food. I simply can't afford to eat like crap just because my brother is in town, even though I always have in the past. I need to save my fun points for truly special food, like cookies and bon-bons.

Which brings me to item number 3: Calculate PointsPlus for all of my holiday baking (for me that is sugar cookies and bon-bons, both vegan-ized, plus some special vegan chocolates that my mom ordered for me) and plan to eat some of each holiday day. For my family, this is Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and The Day After Christmas.

Number 4: Get in some exercise tomorrow, preferably an hour. Then, give myself permission to take three days of rest in a row. Otherwise I will stress about exercise while out of town, and I really don't want that stress. It's been a long time since I had that many days of rest in a row, but I think that I can manage to do this once a year.

Number 5: Bring plenty of healthy snacks and foods to Grandma's house. I don't think that I will be the only person who would appreciate some healthy options! I'm thinking lots of cut-up fruits and veggies, plus a bag of brown rice and some beans. Oh, and some peanut butter and sandwich thins. No one else in my family is even kind of vegan, so I never go to family gatherings expecting there to be something for me to eat. Always go prepared with my own food! (which, of course, I will share if anyone wants some)

Number 6: TRACK every day. Every bite, lick, and taste. That way, if I do end up going "overboard" with anything, I will know exactly why I gained weight this week. But I don't intend on going overboard. Really, there's no need to: I have a great plan in place, and LOTS of points to work with.

Number 7: Pictures!!!*** I have avoided the camera for so long, that it looks as if I didn't exist for the last three Christmases or so. And that is so sad to me. Now that I like the way that I look, I no longer want to avoid the cameras. I'm ready to shine! And I will be posting pictures on here, no worries. :-)

Finally: Enjoy my family. Christmas is not just about food, or even mostly about food. I'm not religious, but I do believe in peace on earth and goodwill to all. And I believe in my family. I love every single one of them so much. I cannot wait to see them! I need to remember to not obsess about food, just enjoy the company.

***Please don't avoid being in pictures! Even if you don't like the way your body looks right now, some day you will regret not being in the photo album. I know that I do.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What I eat Part #3- Weekends!

I eat a lot more on the weekends, usually. I also tend to eat more salty things, more processed things, and more "junk" food in general. Most of the time, I will ignore the GHGs completely on Saturday, and only half-ass it on Sunday.

This is not what is recommended on either Weight Watchers OR The Kind Diet, but I want to be perfectly honest on this blog. I eat more and poorly on the weekends.

However, I don't throw it all away and binge anymore. Now, it's controlled chaos. :-)

Typically, my weekend will begin with a weigh-in on Saturday morning (or afternoon, whenever I wake up). After that, I will eat a banana or another piece of fruit before heading to the gym with my boyfriend. After an hour of working out, we return home and I will usually eat an entire Amy's pizza and some Ore-Ida steak fries. This meal is usually 30 PointsPlus.

Very delicious. Very filling. I am usually full/satisfied until 8 or 9 pm after this 2-3pm mega-meal.

At that point, I will usually eat some vegetables and some fruit. And sometimes leftovers from Friday's dinner (rice, beans, veggies, evoo). Otherwise, I will eat some air-popped popcorn with EVOO.

My typical Saturday ends with about 40 PointsPlus eaten. I get 29DP and 49WPA, so it's all good. Eating this "mega-meal" of pizza and fries after my weigh-in just feels so right to me. I love it, and I look forward to this meal all week.

On Sunday, I will usually stick closer to my DP than on Saturday, but sometimes I don't. My favorite Sunday junk foods are:

-light lays (14 PointsPlus for entire bag)
- double-stuff oreos (4 PointsPlus for 2 cookies)
- boca vegan burgers (3 PointsPlus for 2)
- Sweet Chocolate Dream vegan chocolate bar (12 PointsPlus for entire bar)

I will snack throughout the day on Sunday, occassionally eating a good GHG-infused meal for dinner.

It's not the healthiest plan, but it works for me. Eating like this on the weekends has really helped me to lose the weight. I get the best of both worlds, so to speak. I still get to eat my favorite junk foods, but in moderation.
Actually, since PointsPlus started, I will usually have 25-40 WPA left for the work-week. Which I love! I used to burn out most of the 35WPA on the weekends. No more! I love PointsPlus.

What I eat: Part #2- Dinner and Snacks

My favorite week day dinner is home-made (mostly. I used some canned things in my meal). I cook some brown rice, usually the "boil-in-a-bag" kind. This really helps with portions, because one baggie makes 2 cups of cooked rice.

While that is boiling, I will start cooking the rest of the meal. I usually will start with red wine vinegar and lime juice, but sometimes I use balsalmic and lemon juice. I will add some minced garlic, some chopped red onion. Once the onion starts to carmelize, I add a chopped tomato, a can of rotel (usually original diced tomatoes and green chilles), a chopped bell pepper, and finally, a chopped heart of romaine lettuce.

Salt and pepper to taste. This whole process takes about 10 minutes. Then the rice is done.

Add the entire two cups of cooked rice to the mix. Stir in one cup of beans (I usually will use canned beans, rinsed off, in either black or kidney). Eat half of this entire pot for 7 PointsPlus, but it's a good idea to also add a teaspoon of healthy oil (I use EVOO) for another Point.

Save the other half for the next night, or share with someone.

A simpler version of this meal will suffice for days that you don't want to cook. The convenience foods are more costly, but some days I need a break from cooking! All you need for the simple version:

- Uncle Ben's "ready rice" in whole grain brown
-a bag of Bird's Eye "steamfresh" in your choice of 0-points veggies (I love broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)
-some canned beans
Microwave steamfresh bag for 5 minutes. Microwave rice for 90 seconds. Add a half cup of beans. For more flavor (and to meet the GHGs) add a teaspoon of EVOO. Salt and pepper to taste. Filling, delicious, easy.

Snacks. I love them! I crave them. I need them! :-) There are some things that have remained the same for me since starting WW, and one of them is my need for snacks. Usually I will eat something between lunch and dinner, and then something else late at night after my workout. Here are some of my staples.

Blue Diamond almonds in BOLD- Wasabi & Soy Sauce. I love these! One serving is 28 almonds, and I get all 28 for a PointsPlus value of 5. It's definately a point-y snack, but it's so filling that I never need more than that. Of course, if you want just 1 PointsPlus, you can eat 7. 14 almonds come out to 2 PointsPlus. But I almost always eat the whole serving. I get so many daily PointsPlus that it works for me.

Fruit. Now that fruit is zero PointsPlus, I eat it like candy. No, I don't "abuse" the zero-point fruit, I just eat it when I really want something sweet, instead of going for cookies. My favorite snack fruits: apples, bananas, clementines, black seedless grapes, canned pineapple (no sugar added).

Redvines are amazing to me. If you like licorice, you'll love redvines. The only boo-hoo is that they have now doubled in Points, so they are an entire point for one stick. I used to get 2 for 1, but you win some, you lose some! It's still a pretty good deal when I really need some candy. I will usually have 4 vines for 4 PointsPlus.

Finally, I like to eat at least one big bowlful of steamed vegetables a day. This wards off other cravings and usually will help me get another healthy oil in, too. I am in love with these Ziploc "Zip n' Steam" bags. Put in a bunch of veggies (I usually use cut up broccoli, baby carrots, and cauliflower), add a bit of water, and microwave the bag for about three minutes. 0 PointsPlus, unless you add a teaspoon of EVOO for 1 PointsPlus.

My next post will be all about what I eat on the weekends!

Monday, December 20, 2010

What I eat: Part #1- Breakfast and Lunch

It's been awhile since I have let you guys in on what I eat. The truth is, most of what I eat now through the week is pretty much the same things. breakfast is usually:

a Nature Valley crunchy granola bar in either Peanut Butter or Roasted Almond (5 PointsPlus), plus a banana (0 PointsPlus). This will usually get me through to lunch time, but sometimes I'm hungry again and will eat a second piece of fruit to tide me over.

For lunch I have one of two options: Wasa crisp n' light (6 slices for 3 PointsPlus), fat free refried beans (1/2 cup for 2 PointsPlus), 1 tsp EVOO (1 teaspoon for 1 PointsPlus), salsa (0 PointsPlus). I will mix the beans with the salsa and EVOO and use it as a dip for the crackers.

The second meal I have sometimes, if I'm feeling more sweet than salty, is:
an Arnold sandwich thin (1 sandwich thin for 3 PointsPlus), Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter in "White Chocolate Wonderful" (1 tablespoon for 3 PointsPlus), and some grapes on the side (0 PointsPlus).

I will come back later and let you know what I eat for snacks, for dinner, and what I eat on the weekends (which varies almost every week!).

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!

Yes, I'm shouting. But only because I'm so excited about making this goal.

The goal that I'm talking about is "Lose 50 Pounds in 2010" which as of this morning, I have done.

:-) :-) :-)

I started out weighing 207 on January 1, 2010 and as of this morning's weigh-in, I weigh 156.8.

Some people get very de-motivated by calendar goals. I used to be one of them. But in January I decided that I would make my first big calendar goal of losing 50 pounds in one year.

That is losing "only" about a pound a week. I was tagged (on facebook) in a picture from about a year ago, putting up the Christmas tree in December of '09. I decided to attach that picture, along with one that was taken on December 11 of this year.

It's pretty amazing to see how far I've come. And that a pound a week adds up!!! Don't ever let anyone tell you that it's not enough to lose 4 pounds a month.

I have not suffered one bit to lose a pound a week. I just eat a little less, and exercise a little more. (Okay, okay, I exercise a LOT more, since I was pretty inactive before). But my main point here is that you don't need to cut out a food group or eat barely anything to see real results.

And everyone who mocked my slow weight loss a year ago is now asking how I did it. How did I lose so much weight?! I tell them, "Weight Watchers, which is basically just 'eat less, move more' with a support system. Plus I cut out meat and dairy, and exercise a lot. And I never give up."

Friday, December 17, 2010

going through photo albums...

I've been going through old photo albums in an attempt to find some good pictures of me with my Grandma for a painting/collage that I'm making her for Christmas.

It's surreal. I haven't seen these pictures in years, or ever. I don't remember a lot of these moments, even the ones from just a few years ago. It's strange to look at my past, and to know that this was my life, these moments really happened, even if I don't remember the specifics.

The baby pictures and little kid pictures are the most fun to look through. There's me with my brother, Joel, I'm one and he's three. In the next album I'm three and he's five. In less than 20 minutes, I watch Joel and I age from 0-10, and it's really fun.

The photo albums stop at around that age, and then I switch to the big photo boxes. I guess we got less cute or something! No more albums.

I never realized exactly how much my weight has gone up and down since I was 18... until I saw the pictures.

Luckily, I'm now pretty close to being as thin as I've ever been, so there weren't many pictures that made me think, "wow, I wish I were still that thin" like there used to be. So many obese and overweight photos of myself, from ages 18 on. Then there was the year that I was anorexic, and looked almost too thin.

I guess the point of this rambling post is to say that it didn't scare me. Last year, this would have scared me into thinking that I was doomed to have yet another regain. Not anymore!

I guess this is because I'm finally done with hardcore dieting. I'm eating less and moving more, and my body has grown used to both of those things.

And yes, I am following a diet (Weight Watchers) but it's not strict or terrible. It's how I know that I can eat for life.

I just love these little epiphanies.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A couple of things...

First, I just want to update my weight for you: I am down to 158.2, which would usually mean that it's time for an updated progress picture. But this time I'm waiting to get down to 155, since that is the weight that will put me into a "normal" BMI, so I really want to post pictures then, which is now only 3.2 pounds away. YAY!!! At the rate that I'm losing (1 pound a week on average) I will be there in January, so look forward to more progress pictures then.

(This .2 is sticking around, so much so that I'm considering changing my goal weight to 135.2!!)

Secondly, I want to apologize for not re-reading the first part of The Kind Diet as I said that I would. So much is going on in my life right now (mostly that I'm recovering from a cold that won't go away!) that I keep forgetting about it when I'm at home. As soon as I pick it up (hopefully tonight) I will report back the next day with the chapter review, as promised.

Finally, I want to share my happiness with the new Weight Watchers plan, PointsPlus. I'm loving it. I know that I gave it a kind of harsh review initially... but I've come full circle, and I love it now. :-)

I feel as if I get to eat so much more, and still lose my weekly pound! It's crazy science, I'm sure, but it works. The extra weekly allowance points have really helped me.

After a weekend that had TWO holiday office parties, I still have 39 WPA remaining to get me through the week. Last week, I ate all 49 WPA, but I'm not sure if I will have to this week. They are there for me if I'm hungry, or if I suddenly decide that I just have to have an entire Amy's pizza with some french fries for dinner tonight. (yum.)

I'm loving the free fruit, and the increased APs (though I didn't need to use them since I had so many WPAs), and the satisfaction of eating more whole foods than ever before. I think that this transition has been easier for people like me, because I haven't been relying on heavily processed foods as much as a lot of Momentum WW-ers were.

PointsPlus is really about eating more whole foods than Momentum was, which is just another reason that WW and TKD work so well together. Loving it!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Time for me to re-read The Kind Diet

I need to re-read The Kind Diet. I really feel like I've gotten too Weight Watcher-y lately, and less focused on The Kind Diet/Weight Watchers combo: whole foods and on a transition into a more "Superhero" diet/lifestyle. (If you do not know what I mean when I say "Superhero" please read The Kind Diet along with me! It's a great book about transitioning to veganism).

Weight Watchers has been amazing for me. I lose about a pound a week, which is my goal. Slow and steady weight loss is what I'm going for, for the first time in my life. My slow and steady losses are what make me believe that this is the time that I will get thin and stay thin. :-)

Anyway, it's time to re-read the book that inspired this blog. I will update with thoughts about each chapter of the book as I re-read it. If anyone wants to read (or re-read) along with me, I will be starting tonight with the introduction and the first chapter.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My honest thoughts about who should be vegan...

I have done some major soul-searching since going vegan. It was a big decision, and continues to be a big part of my life. I love being vegan!

It really helps me to know that no living being suffers for my food. All that crap that I read in Skinny Bitch about how eating meat and dairy is like eating the pain of the animals... it's finally ringing true to me.

It wasn't until I went vegan that I started to love myself, really love myself. Veganism is another reason to love myself. Even though I don't get a picture of an animal I saved by being vegan every month by mail (which would be awesome! Why doesn't PETA do something like that?) I know that animals are being saved by me. And that makes me feel so good. So warm and fuzzy.

Plus, I don't miss meat and dairy. It's a lot easier to be vegan than I thought it would be! I feel lighter, more beautiful, and more care-free on a vegan diet.

Why am I a vegan? Because it just makes sense for me.

Should you be a vegan? It is a completely personal choice. I don't think that everyone should be vegan. That makes me different from a lot of vegans, I know! :-) I don't like to preach about veganism; It makes me feel funny. Even though I don't eat meat or dairy, I'm not perfect. I still use products that have probably been tested on animals on a regular basis. I wish that weren't the case, but I'm on a tight budget and can't always go cruelty-free. :-(
My stance on who should eat meat:

If you would be willing to kill it yourself, eat it. If you can honestly say that you would be willing to break a chicken's neck, slit a pig's throat, bleed a cow to death... then, you should eat meat. If you hunt or fish, you should eat what you kill, not hunt or fish for sport. I believe that hunting and fishing for food is just fine, and it's how many people around the world survive. Plus, it's been done since the beginning of time.

But if you are just being willfully ignorant about what your food is (yes, that fried chicken used to be an animal, same with your beef patty, your turkey burger, your tuna salad and your bacon), you claim to love animals, you say that you care about animal rights, and would NEVER kill an animal for food, then in my opinion you should be a vegan***.
***Of course, if your doctor has told you that you will die without animal products, then just try to eat them in moderation. Every little bit helps!

Hopefully this clears up some questions that people ask me about why I'm vegan. Of course, this entire blog post is my opinions, not necessarily facts. :-)

I also want to say that I would never judge anyone based on their diet. It's none of my business what anyone eats. This is just my honest opinion about who should and shouldn't be eating meat.

Monday, December 6, 2010

My first weekend on PointsPlus

(Saturday Weigh-In Results: 159.2!!! Down another pound, and out of the 160's!!!)

My first weekend on PointsPlus went very well! Saturday marked the beginning of my first full week on PointsPlus (the new Weight Watchers program).

I have to say, after a weekend on PointsPlus, I have begun to come around on this plan. I ate two of my favorite "junk foods" (Amy's pizza and a bag of light Lays) and used 20 of my Weekly Points (WP). Now, on this plan, we all get 49 WPs to be used every week on top of out Daily Points (DP).

So, I am entering into the work week with 29 WP remaining. Which means that it's entirely possible that I won't use all of my WP... and that will be a first. I always use all of them. And I still may, but it seems like a lot of food.

As promised, I will share a few daily menus as I learn how to live the PointsPlus way. Here is the plan for today (I get 29 DP):

breakfast: banana (0), granola bar (5)

lunch: wasa crackers (3), 1/2 cup ff refried beans (2), 1 tsp EVOO (1), salsa (0)

dinner: 1 cup brown rice (5), 1/2 cup black beans (2), 1 tsp EVOO (1), veggies (0)

snacks: apple (0), peanut butter (1), nilla wafers (3), chocolate soy milk (3), Hi-C (3)

P.S. I'm done with my "no-chips" challenge. I've decided that when I'm really craving chips, as long as I plan for them and track them, no big deal. And I don't crave them often anymore, thank goodness!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

PointsPlus- the new Weight Watchers program

Blah. That's how I feel about the "new" plan so far. Blah.

Here's what's new and different about
PointsPlus (vs. Momentum, the "old" WW plan):

1) It sucks.

Just kidding. Here's the real list:

1) I get more daily points now! Yay! I used to get 23 daily points, and now I get 29. That's 6 extra points every day, right?!

2) Almost everything that I consume regularly has a higher points value now... so, really, no extra daily points.

3) There are now 49 WPA, which is a lot more than 35 WPA... and I think that this one actually makes me happy, that definately adds up to more food. :-)

4) Activity points are now easier to get. I now earn 8 points for my Nordic Track workouts, where before I was earning 5 or 6. This is because 1 AP now = 80 calories, instead of 100 calories. So, again... more food!!!

5) Momentum points were calculated using calories, fat, and fiber. This meant that I could eat a lot of high fiber foods for few points. Things like beans, brown rice, and granola bars. PointsPlus points are calculated using protein, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber. This means that my favorite fiber foods are now increased in points. :-(

6) However... FRUIT IS FREE. Meaning, ALL fruit has a value of zero points.

How has this new plan changed my menu?

It really hasn't so far. But this is a funky week, since I started my Weight Watchers week on Saturday (down 1 pound at my weigh-in, WOO-HOO), and the new plan started on Monday. I did not have a perfect OP weekend by any means.

I was sick. I didn't track. I did the "eat whatever I want within reason and just assume that all of my WPA are gone" thing. It's not the best decision, but it's one that I make on occasion.

So starting on Saturday, I'll track my food on here publicly for another week, just to see if there really is a difference in the two plans.

My work week breakfast is usually a granola bar and a banana. The granola bar has gone from 4 to 5 points, and the banana is now zero points, so what was once a 5.5 point breakfast is now a 5.0 point breakfast. So it's about the same...

Basically, my feelings are mixed about the new plan. I love carbohydrates. I usually focus on complex carbs, but not always. One of the things that I loved about Weight Watchers was the freedom to eat as many carbs as I wanted, as long as I stayed within my points and followed the Good Health Guidelines. (Speaking of which, yes they are still there, but the whole grain requirement seems to be gone... what the what?!)

Is the new plan easier for meat and dairy eaters?

I think it is. Apparently the points values for meat and dairy all stayed the same. So if you eat a lot of meat and dairy products, instead of a lot of carb products, you will get to eat more, since you get more daily points. Not fair.

I will be following the new plan for as long as it makes sense. I've always said that eventually I'd like to go back to "Intuitive Eating", but that will probably be after I've maintained my goal weight for awhile. Time will tell...

P.S. A major NSV for me happened on Black Friday: I tried on clothes. I tried them on and loved the way I looked in them! There was not a tear in that dressing room... Well, maybe a happy tear or two. :-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Vegan Sugar Cookies!!!

First off, I just wanted to announce that I'm down another pound... and am still on track to losing 50 in 2010!!!

Unfortunately, I ate every single WPA over the weekend. I went out to eat and baked cookies.

Still, I tracked every bite, and am still OP. :-) And, I brought the remaining cookies in to work today, to share.

It was the first attempt to make vegan sugar cookies, because I don't want to be left out of the holiday baking this year. It's a family tradition, decorating sugar cookies the week before Christmas.

(Of course, I will be opting out of the family tradition of gaining 10 pounds every December this year!)

Anyway, I thought that I would try out a new recipe every week until I found the one that tasted the most like Mom's.

I found the perfect recipe the first time around. These taste just like regular sugar cookies!

The frosting, I did badly on, and ended up having WAY TOO MUCH because I added too much soy milk to the mix and had to keep adding sugar and margerine until it got the right consistency again. But it tastes awesome. Here's the recipe:

Vegan Sugar Cookies (makes 25 cookies, approximately 2 points each)

- 3/4 cup vegan margarine
- 1 cup sugar or granulated sweetener (I used regular white sugar.)
- 2 egg replacer "eggs", prepared (I used Ener-G egg replacer)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt

In a mixing bowl, cream margarine and sugar together. Blend in egg replacer eggs and vanilla.

Add sifted flour, salt, baking soda. Combine to form a dough.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill about 1-2 hours.

Roll dough to desired thickness, approximately 1/4 inch thick, and use cookie cutters to form shapes. You could also just make these into rounds.

Place cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (I didn't have parchment paper, so I just baked on a greased cookie sheet). Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until just starting to brown. Cool on racks.

Frosting (cookie with frosting will be approximately 3 points)

-3 tablespoons vegan margarine
- dash of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- soy or rice milk (I used soy)

- Once cookies are cooled, make the frosting by beating the ingredients until they are fluffy. Add enough rice or soy milk to reach your desired frosting consistency.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sharing my Journal, Day 5

This is the last time that I'll do this until after the new plan starts! (Which is scheduled for November 29, so probably will be sharing my new plan menu the first week of December)

November 11 Food and Exercise Journal
time- food/exercise (points)

8:15am- banana (1.5)

8:45am- granola bar (4)

12:30pm- wasa crackers (2), 1/2 cup ff refried beans (1), 1 tsp EVOO (1), steamed broccoli and carrots (0)

3:00pm- almonds (4), Hi-C juice box (2)

6:00pm- 1 cup brown rice (4), 1/2 cup black beans (1), 1 tsp EVOO (1), cooked veggies (0)

7:00pm- dog walk (+1)

8:30pm- 1 hour Nordic Track (+6)

9:35pm- graham crackers (4), 1 tbs peanut butter (2.5), 1 cup grapes (1)

Points Summary:
23/23 daily points used
6/10 WPA used
7 AP earned
0/35 AP used

GHG Summary:
fruits/vegetables: CHECK!
healthy oils: CHECK!
lean protein: CHECK!
vitamins: CHECK!
whole grains: CHECK!
activity: CHECK!
sugar/alcohol: CHECK!

Lessons Learned:
I am still LOVING planning for more points. It feels great to me; As long as the scale agress that this method works, I will do this again next week. This week hasn't felt like a diet AT ALL.

I am really looking forward to the "new plan" that is going to come out at the end of the month. I have heard some rumors about it, but really know nothing yet.

Today's Plan:
breakfast- granola bar (4), grapes (2)
lunch- wasa (2), beans (1), veggies (0), EVOO (1)
dinner- rice (4), beans (1), veggies (0), EVOO (1)
snacks- popcorn (4), popcorn oil (3), almonds (1), Hi-C (2)
exercise- Curves (+2), walk (+1), nordic track (+5)

No More Chips Challenge: update

I'm keeping it going. I have gone 3 full weeks without my #1 binge food: chips.

I'm going to try to go three full months, because that's (supposedly) the length of time that it takes to truly break a bad habit for good.

:-) So far, so good.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sharing my Journal, Day 4

November 10 Food and Exercise Journal
time- food/exercise (points)

8:15am- banana (1.5), granola bar (4)

12:30pm- 1/2 cup ff refried beans (1), 1 tsp EVOO (1), salsa (0), 6 crisp n' light wasa crackers (2), 28 soy/wasabi almonds (4), 1 Hi-C juice box (2)

5:30pm- 3/4 cup brown rice (3), 1/2 cup black and kidney beans (1), veggies (0), 2 servings ore-ida fast food fries, baked (6)

7:00pm- salad (1)

8:30pm- 1 hour Nordic Track (+5)

9:35pm- steamed broccoli and carrots (0), 1 tsp EVOO (1)

Points Summary:
23/23 DP used
4.5/15 remaining WPA used
5 AP earned
0/28 AP used

GHG Summary:
fruits/vegetables- CHECK!
healthy oils- CHECK!
lean protein- CHECK!
vitamins- CHECK!
whole grains- CHECK!
activity- CHECK!
sugar/alcohol- CHECK!

Lessons Learned:
Still loving eating an "extra" 5 points every day. I can't wait to see how this style of eating has affected my weight, and I hope that it's in a good way. Because I LOVE it. Spreading the WPA out evening has felt amazing to me.

It's helped with my self-control and my appetite. Planning for 28 points instead of planning for 23 and then feeling as if I "went over" when I eat from my WPA, but still always eating them all anyway, was disheartening. This way, it's planned, I feel no food guilt whatsoever, and I'm satisfied.

Plus, go me for getting in that second oil serving last night! I really wanted peanut butter, but realized that I can eat some today. :-)

Today's Plan:
breakfast- banana (1.5), granola bar (4)
lunch- wasa (2), evoo (1), salsa (0), beans (1), steamed veggies (0)
dinner- rice (4), evoo (1), beans (1), veggies (0)
snacks- graham crackers (3), peanut butter (3), Hi-C (2), grapes (1), boca burgers (3), green beans (0)
exercise- Curves (+2), dog walk (+1), Nordic Track (+5)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sharing my Journal, Day 3

November 9 Food and Exercise Journal
time- food/exercise (points)

8:30am- granola bar (4), banana (1.5)

1:30pm- 6 crisp n' light wasa crackers (2), 1/2 cup ff refried beans (1), 1/2 cup salsa (0), 1 tsp EVOO (1), almonds (4), Hi-C (2)

5:15pm- Curves circuit training (+2 AP)

6:30pm- 1 cup brown rice (4), 1/2 cup black and kidney beans (1), veggies (0)

8:30pm- 2 graham crackers (3), 1 tbs peanut butter (2.5), almonds (2)

Points Summary
23/23 DP used
5/20 WAP used
2 AP earned
0/23 AP used

GHG Summary
fruits/vegetables: CHECK!
healthy oils: half check
liquids: CHECK!
lean protein: CHECK!
vitamins: CHECK!
whole grains: CHECK!
activity: CHECK!
sugar/alcohol: CHECK!

Lessons learned:
I probably should have added a teaspoon of EVOO to my dinner. That was my original plan, and I forgot to do it. So, I'm human and forget things sometimes, oops! :-)

Also, I had planned for an hour of Nordic Tracking, and instead listened to my body and went to bed early. This was probably for the best, since it's definately cold and flu season here, so I need my body to be operating on as much sleep as possible. But it also means that I am now behind on my exercise minutes goal of 1650 for November. So tonight's exercise is NOT optional.

Today's Plan:

breakfast- granola bar (4), banana (1.5)
lunch- wasa (2), EVOO (1), salsa (0), beans (1); steamed veggies (0)
dinner- rice (3), beans (1), veggies (0), EVOO (1)
snacks- grapes (1), almonds (5), graham crackers (3), peanut butter (2.5), Hi-C (2)
exercise- dog walk (+1), nordic track (+5)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Should I go back to eating chips?

I have issues with chips.

I've mentioned it... oh, several times on here.

I even started a no-chips-for-three-weeks challenge.

And I've almost done it!!!

In three days I will have gone 21 days without eating chips.


I'm nervous about what that means. Do I go back to eating chips? Do I buy a bag to celebrate?

That seems counterproductive.

Maybe I should continue in a chip-free life? At least for awhile?

I don't know.

But I promise that I will figure it out by Saturday's grocery run.


Sharing my Journal, Day 2

November 8 Food and Exercise Journal
time- food/exercise (points)

8:30am- banana (1.5)

9:30am- granola bar (4)

12:30pm- 1/2 cup ff refried beans (1), 1 tsp EVOO (1), salsa (0), wasa crackers (2), leftover rice and beans from Sunday (3)

5:10pm- Curves circuit training (+2 AP)

6:30pm- 1/2 cup edamame (1), 1 cup brown rice (4), 1 tsp EVOO (1), salad (0)

7:00pm- 15 minute walk with Rose (+1 AP)

8:30pm- 1 cup grapes (1)

8:45pm- 1 hour Nordic Track (+5 AP)

10:00pm- 12 triscuits (5), salsa (0), apple (1), 1 tbs PB (2.5)

Points Summary:
Daily used: 23/23
WPA used: 5/25 (remaining)
AP earned: 8
AP used: 0/21 (remaining)

GHG Summary:
fruits/vegetables: CHECK!
healthy oils: CHECK!
liquids: CHECK!
lean protein: CHECK!
vitamins: CHECK!
whole grains: CHECK!
activity: CHECK!
sugar/alcohol: CHECK!

Lessons learned:
I did really well yesterday. I planned well and ate well. I love days like yesterday.

This week I am trying to stick with the "use 5 WPA every day" to spread them out evenly. Just to experiment with how that affects my weigh-in and my appetite. So far, so good. Those extra five points daily have felt luxurious. Usually I eat most of them on one or two days, and stick to my DP the rest of the week. I think that spreading them out like this will really help me to avoid any mini-binges this week.

Today's Plan:
breakfast: granola bar (4), banana (1.5)
lunch: wasa (2), EVOO (1), beans (1), veggies (0)
dinner: rice (4), beans (1), EVOO (1), veggies (0)
snacks: almonds (4), graham crackers (3), Hi-C (2), grapes (1), peanut butter (2.5)
exercise: Curves (+2), Nordic Track (+5)
Points Plan: 28/23

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sharing my Journal, Day 1

Time to share my journal on here again! Just feeling like it will help me stay on-plan.

This weekend went really well, points-wise, but I could have made some better GHG decisions. Here's what happened yesterday:

November 7 Food and Exercise Journal
time- food/exercise (points)

11:00am- 4 graham crackers (6)

1:00pm- 2 boca burgers (2), baked french fries (6), green beans (0)

2:30pm- long walk/jog (+5)

4:30pm- Hi-C juice box (2)

6:00pm- 1/2 cup brown rice (2), 1/4 cup beans (.5) 1/2 tsp EVOO (.5), veggies (0)

9:00pm- 1/2 tbs peanut butter (1), small apple (1)

10:00pm- redvines (3)

Points Summary:
Daily Used: 23/23
WPA Used: 1/26 (remaining)
AP earned: 5
AP Used: 0/13 (remaining)

GHG Summary:
Fruits/Vegetables- CHECK!
Healthy Oils- NOPE!
**Dairy- NOPE!
Liquids- CHECK!
Lean Protein- CHECK!
Vitamins- NOPE!
Whole Grains- CHECK!
Activity- CHECK!
Sugar/Alcohol- CHECK!

Lessons Learned:
**I'm not going to worry about dairy anymore. I have now experimented with both ways a vegan WW-er can handle dairy: Substitute with soy milk, or ignore it. Both ways result in the same results on the scale and in how I feel. I am now choosing to ignore it, so this won't appear in my GHG checklist tomorrow!

Also, I'm very bad at remembering my vitamin, but I figure that if I remember at least a couple of times every week, that's enough to fill any nutritional void that may be there.

Today's Plan:

breakfast- granola bar (4), banana (1.5)

lunch- wasa crackers (2), 1/2 cup ff refried beans (1), 1 tsp EVOO (1), salsa (0), steamed veggies (0)

dinner- 1 cup brown rice (4), 1/2 cup beans (1), 1 tsp EVOO (1), veggies (0)

snacks- leftovers (3), apple (1), 1 tbs peanut butter (2.5), 12 triscuits (5), 1 cup grapes (1)

exercise- Curves (+2), dog walk (+1), Nordic Track (+5)

28/23 DP
5 WPA used
8 AP earned

Friday, November 5, 2010

Vegan compliment

I think that I've mentioned on this blog that I belong to Curves. My mom and I go together at least three times a week most weeks.

Anyway, one of the ladies who works there gave me some pretty big compliments yesterday.

She started by asking for vegan book recommendations!!! I told her all about The Kind Diet of course. How it was the book that changed my life, literally. She wrote it down.
She told me that she has noticed that not only have I lost a lot of weight since going vegan, but I carry myself with more confidence and appear much happier and healthier.


This is the moment that I have been waiting for since beginning The Kind Diet. Not only have I noticed that I'm happier and healthier, but now I know that others are noticing, too. And apparently I carry myself with confidence now. Me. Confidence!


I don't even remember telling her that I was vegan, but I guess that back in April when I made the switch I was so proud that I told anyone who would listen.

My point is, hang in there. If you are newly vegan, or just considering it, (or "flirting", as Alicia says), what the book claims about the health benefits are true.

And I am not the only one who notices my improved health and outlook on life. It's obvious to everyone now.

And, I may have inspired someone to give veganism a try. To this vegan, there is no greater reward than that!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lose 50 Pounds in 2010 (and other accomplishments)

7.4 pounds left/8 Weeks left in the year!
I can do it. I have 8 weeks left in which to lose 7.4 pounds. I can do this!!!

It has been a long ride, 2010. I can't believe how much I've accomplished this year (so far), and not all of it has been weight-loss related.

First off, it will be my first full year as a non-smoker. I quit smoking in July 2009.

Secondly, I have seen an advisor at The University of Memphis, and am planning on visiting financial aid later this week as well as registering for the spring 2011 semester next week. I'm so excited to start school again! This is step one in becoming the adult that I've always wanted to be, with a real career and everything. :-)

Third, I have finally overcome my depression. My therapist, Bob, says that I only need to check in monthly now. And that's just as a precaution. He is amazed at how much progress I've made.

Fourth, Stacey and I are in a great place as a couple. At the beginning of the year, I wasn't sure if we were going to make it. Now we are more in love than ever, and are more committed to a future together than we've ever been.

Finally, I have lost 42.6 pounds in 2010. How amazing is that?! Even if I don't make my ultimate 2010 weight-loss goal of 50 pounds lost, that is pretty amazing. 42.6 pounds since January 1, 2010. And I'm still going strong!

Sometimes, it is necessary to step back and look at all of your accomplishments, big and small. For me, finally, I have several BIG ones!!! Yay! :-)

Monday, November 1, 2010


... I lost two whole pounds last week.

Not complaining.

I don't know if it's because of "no chips" or what, but I'm pretty excited about it. And I still ate all of my favorite foods (outside of chips). And I still ate all of my 35 WPA plus a few AP. And lost 2 pounds.

Okay, I am going to do the exact same thing this week, and hope for simular results!! But I'm not going to expect to keep losing two pounds every week, that would be crazy... or would it?

Time will tell. :-)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Overused, or used just enough?

"Check yourself before you wreck yourself."
"Progress, not perfection."
Both of these have been running through my head this week. Both have helped me to stop and think before completely derailing myself.
On Monday night, I almost binged. I was eating chocolate graham crackers (my "healthier" alternative to oreos choice for the week; don't ask me why I thought that they wre healthier or why I thought that I'd be less likely to binge on them). I ate a strip, then another, then another... before I knew it I had eaten 10 additional weekly points. My plan for the week had been to spread them out, eating 5 every day.
My plan was ruined. Suddenly I wanted to give up on the day. I wanted to keep eating the rest of the graham crackers and to stop counting. Who cares?! No one would know but me, and they are only graham crackers! They won't hinder my progress... or will they?
I remembered the phrase "Check yourself before you wreck yourself". It was a powerful message for me at that moment! I wrapped up the remaining graham crackers and tracked the 10 points that I had consumed, noting that I still had 11 weeklies left for the rest of the week. It was not the end of the world, and I was still OP.
Last night I realized that I hadn't gotten in my healthy oils for the day. I still had a DP left and it was time for my post-workout-late-night snack. I remembered the phrase, "Progress, not perfection" and I prepared some steamed vegetables with a teaspoon of EVOO. Yes, I would still be one teaspoon shy of the requirement, but the fact that I took the initiative to get in one at the end of the day instead of reaching for something non-filling shows how much progress I've made.
So those are my two helpful phrases for the week, and I'm sure to find more as I stumble through the rest of the week.
What cliche phrases have been especially helpful to you lately?
having technical difficulties again on this blog. No matter how many times I go back and edit in paragraphs, when the post comes up, it is ONE BIG PARAGRAPH, which probably makes it hard to read. I finally gave in a made every other paragraph bold, which hopefully helps you read this... sorry!

Monday, October 25, 2010

No chips - Day 4

...and going strong! I have to say that it took a lot of willpower to start this challenge right before a weekend.

Usually one of the rewards that I give myself after a great weigh-in is a bag of light lays. I know, food shouldn't be a reward... but, still, that's what I've been doing.

On Saturday, I stepped on the scale and it said "166.4" which is a new low for me. Yay!!! I'm now offially only 11.4 pounds overweight. That's not very overweight at all. :-)

I am not stopping eating chips because they have hurt me on the scale. No, I was definately getting away with my post-weigh-in chips ritual.

I'm stopping eating chips to prove to myself that I don't need them. There are healthier alternatives to potato chips out there, and I'm using this time to get to know those options better.

You know what I was craving this weekend? Honest to Goddess. Salad. SALAD. So I added lettuce and spinach to my grocery list, and made a big ole' salad when I got home. And it was amazing. And I plan to have another one tonight. Want to know my super-secret zero-point salad dressing recipe? Here it is:

Leah's Super Secret Zero-Point Salad Dressing

- 1 part (this can be a teaspoon, tablespoon, or just eyeball it) lemon juice
- 1 part (ditto) balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste

Stir and enjoy.

It's amazing!!! Oh, and if I need another healthy oil, I could easily add a teaspoon of EVOO to that, and it would probably taste pretty good, too.

Okay, that's all for today, my beautiful readers. I hope that you are all having awesome days!

Friday, October 22, 2010

3 Weeks no chips?

I'm going to (once again) start a "no chips" challenge for myself.
I've read several places (no source will be mentioned in this entry, just "several places" will have to do) that it takes three weeks (or 21 days) to make a new habit, but three months to kick a bad habit for good.
So I'm going for the three weeks.
No chips!
I have gotten entirely too addicted to Lays Light original (and sometimes ruffles) potato chips. I have been eating 1 or 2 bags every weekend. Gross.
So I'm not saying that I will NEVER eat these again, but for three weeks, I won't.
Here we go, three weeks NO CHIPS. I can do this. I will do this. And the reason that I can do this is that I'm not giving up potatoes, or crunchy salty snacks. Just potato chips.
Time to make some homemade guacamole and break into the wasa crackers. Yum! Or some air-popped popcorn with EVOO and sea salt. Or just a plain baked potato... The possibilites are endless.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Progress Pictures! 168.2 *the front*



Progress Pictures! 168.2 *my profile*

Not much a difference from the side in the last 10 pounds! The ones with the blinds open are from 178.2, with the blinds closed 168.2

More Progress Pictures! 168.2 *my back*

<---178.2 pounds

<---168.2 pounds

Shamelessly plugging my dorky new blog...

Who- me! And all of you are welcome to follow along, too. :-)
What- my new blog: Memphis is Just Like New York City is about how I'm going to make it as a Memphian who wants to be a New Yorker.
When- Just started today. Updates will be at least weekly.
Why- I just wanted to expand on that part of my life a bit more, and keep "Leah: The Kind Weight Watcher" mostly about my dieting and exercise. The new blog will be about me and my life outside of dieting, with a big focus on my goals and dreams for the future.
Okay, shameless blog plugging over. No pressure to follow it, just wanted to let you know about my new blog! I'm hoping to have a lot of fun with it, and that it will inspire others to really think about what they want out of life, too.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Some vacation photos!

This is me right outside of the Met, the best museum I've ever been to. When I move to NYC, I will become a member so that I can go there as often as possible! Without having to say, "Yes, I'd like to pay nothing, or a LOT less than the recommended $20 a person..." which is embarassing, even though it is allowed (and supposedly encouraged, the reason they have that option is so that no one is left out of seeing the art.

This is one of only two full body shots that I have of me on vacation. So this is what I look like at around 168 pounds in NYC. :-)

Here I am playing with the marionette that my brother got me for a birthday present. You may not get it, but this is a perfect present from my brother. Amazing.

Kind of a strange angle, but I think that I look pretty good. Especially since this was taken after a day of traveling.

This is a cute shot of me and Stacey, my boyfriend. He had so much fun in the city! He officially wants to move there with me some day, so I guess that he passed the test. Yay!

I will close with a picture of my brother Joel and me! This was right after the real reason of the visit, a reading of his new show. (He's a musical theatre writer, see his link to the right

My vacation was amazing. I hate to be back to life and reality, but it's necessary. I have a lot to do before I go back to NYC to live. The memories that I have from this trip are amazing. I can't wait to see Joel and the city again! :-)

How did my vacay game plan go? Well... I did NOT track for most of the time, and I had one day with a lot of indulgences (belated b-day celebration with lots of vegan restaraunts). But I made really wise food decisions most of the time, and exercised almost every day.

And now I'm back to tracking religiously. So we'll see how the scale will respond this Saturday. I'm hoping for a loss! But time will tell...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vacay Game Plan...

I'm going on vacation! Yay!!!

I'm going to New York City! Yay!!!

I'm going to see my brother! Yay!!!

My boyfriend is going with me! Yay!!!

There will be lots of delicious food! Yay!!!

My routine will be disrupted! ...

I am such a creature of habit. Especially when it comes to diet and exercise, especially when what I'm doing is working for me. So as amazing as this vacation is going to be, I'm a little worried about my routine being disrupted.

There will be lots of delicious food, for real. I am planning on going to at least one vegan bakery and at least one vegan restaraunt, both luxuries not offered in Memphis. I am scared that I will be so joyful that there are vegan options almost everywhere that I will feel the need to overeat on vegan goodies. Also, my Nordic Track is here, not in NYC.

So, I need a game plan. A plan that will help me to stay on track while on vacation. Maybe with a bit of wiggle room with the GHGs. Okay, here's what I can think of:

1) Get up early every morning and go for a walk/run for an hour. That, plus all the daily walking that will get done while site-seeing should ensure that I get more than enough exercise in.

2) Track everything, even the foods that I will have to guesstimate that points. Overestimate points on things like baked goods.

3) On days that I eat out, forget about the following GHGs: healthy oil, dairy, limit sugar and alcohol, whole grains. Just focus on total points and getting plenty of fruits and vegetables in, as well as lean protein.

4) Pack a lot of non-perishables in my suitcase (canned beans, packets of crystal light, granola bars) and go shopping for some produce upon arrival. Plan to cook at least once a day.

5) Have fun, and don't worry about it SO MUCH. I'm on vacation. But that doesn't mean that I'm on vacation from Weight Watchers. For once in my dieting life, I feel that I don't need to stray from my diet just because I'm on vacation. This must mean that I've finally made a...


Okay, that's it. That's my game plan. Wish me luck, I will be back to blog about how I did on October 19.

Friday, October 8, 2010

the most motivating picture I have... one of myself before I gained the weight (this time). I lost a bunch of weight before, and got down to the weight shown in this picture, 135 pounds.
Oh, and I was three years younger, and blonde. (I used to get highlights, I'm naturally a dirty blonde/light brunette.)
Anyway, I love this picture because of how thin, healthy, and beautiful I look in it. I will be that thin again, in about 34.2 more pounds. :-)
But despite how much skinnier (and probably prettier) I am in this picture, I have to say that now I am much happier than I was when this was taken.
And that is much more important! I was miserable, despite my phony smile. My life was bad. My fiance (now ex-fiance) would make very mean remarks that made me feel fat. I thought that
I was much heavier than I actually was. I never felt "good enough" or "thin enough" for him (or for me).
So when I left him, I immediately gained a bunch of weight, quickly. Then I lost a bit, then I regained even more.
Now, here I am, less than 35 pounds away from weighing what I weighed in this picture. I'm ready to be thin and beautiful and KNOW that I'm thin and beautiful. I'm sick of feeling "less than". I'm finally feeling beautiful again, and I'm feeling healthy. And I know that I'm getting closer and closer to my ultimate goal weight.
And this time, when I smile into that camera, it will be a genuine "I love myself and I love my life" smile. :-)