Monday, January 31, 2011

Defining "A Slice"

Pandan Flan and Durian Cheesecake
Pandan Flan and Durian Cheesecake featured as part of the DineLA menu at Starry Kitchen.

Sean and I went to Starry Kitchen for DineLA (it's the 2nd week). One of the things we puzzled over while eating was trying to figure out what the Weight Watchers Points Tracker app meant by "a slice" of cheesecake. Whatever it was we had half.. but the thing is, the tracker doesn't specify what a slice is.

Do they mean the sort you get at your average restaurant? Do they mean the sort you get in a Sara Lee box?? Doe they mean the size we got at Starry Kitchen (which this was half but they are by no means Claim Jumper size to begin with.. they are 'normal sizes'.. when normal was you know, normal) We settled on a half of 'fast food restaurant cheesecake 9 "points plus" (which I think is an insult to Starry Kitchen. Everything there is made from scratch.. so no fast food anything!).. I still wonder.. What is a slice?

more food pRon from our Starry Kitchen visit here

End of Week 4

Another Monday, another weigh in. Saturday we were at Costco and picked up a new scale. The Weight Watchers scale was on instant rebate (til the 30th) for 14.99.. which seemed like a good deal. This new one weighs in the .10 percents and seems to be more in agreement with the wii fit.. which.. is a good thing?

01/31/11: 209.7 lbs
01/24/11: 214 lbs.
01/03/11: 220 lbs (start weight)

Here's my wii Fit BMI test/weigh in..I weigh in on the wii fit every couple days: (I switched it to pounds but you can still see the BMI and of course the little wii fit coach says "ooh you're OBESE!" sigh.. it's so snarky!)

New week

**SIDE NOTE** I entered my weight in the weight tracker part of Weight Watchers app & I got a warning about losing too much weight too quickly. I'm chalking this up to the scale issues we've been having.. but it's good to know that my 2 lbs a week personal goal is a safe one.. **

Ironically I was worried I wasn't exercising enough as I've been just walking and not running or training for one of the Disney 5K's that I'm wanting to do this year. I'm considering doing the "couch to 5k" training (which is actually less walking than I've been doing already at first) I walk every day. and the couch to 5k has several rest days that I wouldn't consider doing (what with being on Weight Watchers).

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Daytime Lion

along with regular walking I've been doing the "Walk it Out" game for the wii but carrying the exercise meter in my pocket to keep track of my activity time.

A couple days ago my "Personal Trainer: Walking" target was increased from 3,000 to 4,000. I did some housecleaning this morning along with some walking in place so I was able to get my 4000 step target by 10am.

After lunch I played "Walk it Out" which is like the wii fit meets the Sims: You walk in place for points, the points in turn can unlock routes on a virtual island, music tracks that you can later play while you walk, trees, streetlights & bridges. The steps on the wii game differ from my steps counted on the exercise meter, another reason to keep the meter in my pocket when I'm playing.

I got hungry for dinner earlier.. I only had 10 points plus left for the day without getting into the weekly allowance. I ended up picking up a turkey & ham salad from Ray's Old Bank Market. I asked for no cheese & dressing on the side:

It came with a little avocado which was easily removed. I picked the olives out as well. I would say it had about 2 olives worth of sliced black olives but I wanted the salad to be as low point as possible. I left the artichoke hearts (there was only 2 pieces) and the meat I guessed at 3oz/2oz of Boar's Head brand meat respectively.. (I'm pretty sure I over-estimated) I measured the dressing which was 1/4cup exactly.

Along with some Fiber One bars, I'm pretty full a couple hours later. Yay!

Monday, January 24, 2011

End of Week 3

Monday means weigh in day.. I'm having scale issues. The wii fit and the bathroom scale are NOT in agreement, but I'll default to the scale (which weighs me a little different every time).

01/24/11: 214 lbs.

01/17/11: 215 lbs
01/03/11: 220 lbs (start weight)

So officially a difference of one pound (or 6 overall since starting). The wii fit says I weigh about 211.. so.. who knows? I guess I was expecting a better outcome because of the walking I did yesterday. When we got back last night I checked in with the "Personal Trainer: Walking" game on our Nintendo DS.

Personal Trainer: Walking

personal trainer walking (nintendo ds)

The "Personal Trainer: Walking" game for the DS comes with 2 'exercise meters' and the game which can record up to 4 exercise meters.. (you have to buy the extras separately but we don't need more than 2).

The Exercise Meter is about the size of a pedometer but doesn't have a counter on the outside. It looks more like a keyfob remote and uses a larger size watch-style battery (CR2032). After carrying around the meter in my pocket all day, I get our Nintendo DS to check my record for the day..

Once the little meter 'drops down' into the screen it saves the record and then goes over the findings.. showing the segments of activity and counting up the steps. The whole process takes 2 or 3 minutes.

After it totals up your steps, it assigns your walking to an 'animal type' like daytime koala or daytime sheep.. Sean got "daytime deer" once and yesterday we both got "daytime horse" (that being we walked mostly in the day and our style of walking "was like a horse.. covering large distances with short periods of rest" =)

Here's what my screen looked like:
total steps sunday 1/23
total steps for yesterday was 15,586.. not as much as I'd like for a day at the park.. but.. *shrug* I know I didn't walk as much as I would if I were hanging out at the park by myself & not riding several attractions. It's a pretty good average though for being at Disneyland, (I'm expecting my count to go up considerably when we're at Disney World later this year) and I had fun visiting with friends. =)

Afterward it has you choose a stamp for what kind of day you had and gives you a new mini goal (along with the standard 3,000 step goal).

It's basically a fancy pedometer, except for whatever reason I haven't had a lot of luck with the regular pedometers. They either don't count my steps in my pocket or 'refresh' themselves in my pocket. When they're on my belt they count when I'm not walking or they fall off my waistband, (or worse they fall off & I don't notice). So far I'm liking it and having fun with it. As you walk there's supposedly games you can unlock but I haven't explored that yet: perhaps another time.

steps for 1/24: 4638

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Treating myself

The original plan for Saturday was to head to Hollywood & Highland and walk down to the Egyptian Theater to see a Lord of the Rings (director's cut) movie marathon.. OK, the original original plan was to check out Art Weekend LA but then Sean got these tickets.. then our plans fell to the wayside as his work changed things.

Whatever, I started the day doing some walking (just in case) we ended up seeing the films. 10+ hours in a dark theater aren't conducive to exercise. So when we couldn't go we headed out after lunch to check out a few galleries.

Lunch was food from home.. I ended up having a Lean Cuisine Philly Style Steak & Cheese Panini which (if you go to their site) is just loaded w/ sodium. Otherwise I actually liked it. I heated it up (doesn't take long) and ended up eating it open face. It had plenty of meat on it.. (I forgot to take a photo of it before starting to eat so I only have a photo of half of it)

It reminded me (a little) of Trader Joe's Philly Cheese Steak pizza which I just LOVE and can't eat too often (and especially not these days).

For something sweet to finish it off, Sean had brought home some other WW novelty treats to try. These ones are in the old packaging and say "1point" on the box. They are actually 2 "points plus" but, much more affordable than those "4 Points plus" ice cream candy bars..

the bar image on the box is obviously not to scale. =)

It was pretty sweet and not too latte tasting.. I thought I tasted a caramel accent to it though. It's artificially flavored so it's no surprise it reminds me of those instant iced cappuccino mixes I would stir into my skim milk years ago.

For 2 points (plus) I'm not complaining..

I WILL be happy though when the new packaging comes out in the next month or so..

Day 20 Sat 22 Jan: "Personal Coach: Walking" daily steps: 8487 (@445pm) **EDIT** 10,341 @718pm
Day 19 Fri 21 Jan: "Personal Coach: Walking" daily steps: 10606

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Keeping Active

One of my 2011 goals is to 'walk, bike or wii' everyday. I'm not necessarily doing that EVERY day.. but I am trying to do something even if it's walking in place.. I did about 45min today on top the walk to & from the City Hall Farmers' Market.

Sean is taking the stairs up from checking the mail. He's got me taking the stairs down at least, although I seem to have a depth perception issue even when wearing my contacts. =)

One thing I'm noticing is the 3,000 step daily goal is pretty easy to attain as long as I get off my butt.. We hit the mark on our way back walking from visiting City Hall this morning around Noon. City Hall is 3 blocks up the street.. so double that plus the walking around at the Market (getting a healthy lunch to go) and visiting the "National Coffee Break" event on the 3rd floor.

We had PTI (Pardon the Interruption) on and that was easy to start walking in place while they did the 'rundown'.. Sean went to do something else so I changed it to another show and kept walking. I did 45min of continuous stepping in place.

You can do any number of things I've found to get "activity credit" if you want. Playing the wii is an easy and fun way to do it, whether playing Wii Sports or doing the wii fit. You can do an exercise DVD (there's a list of stuff including "Walk off the Pounds" or you can take a walk around the neighborhood, walk the dog (if we had one) or a zillion other things. Just move. That's about it. I'm working on it. I'm no expert of course, and I've gotten out of habit.

Day 18: 20 January Nintendo DS "personal trainer: walking" 9820 steps

Dining out @ the DIsney Soda Fountain

19 January: Day 17 (Day 1 was 3 January)

Sean had the evening free, so we headed to Hollywood & Highland on the Metro to see Tron Legacy at the El Cap.

We left early enough to have dinner, and while there's a lot of choices in the area (including places on my points tracker app) we ended up at the Disney Soda Fountain which is has a separate entrance from the theater.

I did pretty good for the day and had 17 points plus left. Sean ordered the BLT on sourdough and I ordered the Chicken Ranch Wrap:

You get an option of chips or fresh fruit and as seen, I opted for the fresh fruit. We both ordered diet cokes to accompany our meals. The wrap had plenty of chicken and not too much dressing. The tortilla I am told was a chipotle herb wrap, but to simplify it, it really is just a flour tortilla.

The problem with dining out is that you can't really know exactly how much food is actually in your food. I was guessing that it would be somewhere between 10-15 points based on how many chicken strips were in there along with the tortilla and the dressing. I ended up going with the amount for a Sandella's Chicken Ceasar Wrap, although I've never eaten at Sandella's to know how much to compare it to. Either way I ended up not using all my points for the night.

The dinner was very filling. I ended up having a time finishing my meal, so that really changes my mind about eating a tourist-y place like the Soda Fountain. They do have a lot of comfort/ kid friendly options but there's a few things, like my wrap or a roasted turkey on ciabatta that might be a yummier and healthier alternative to the burger and mac n cheese rut.

For our movie treats Sean opted for a small non-buttered popcorn (I don't do popcorn in general and never movie popcorn).. we both got the 20oz Diet Pepsi (yes Coke is served at the Disney Soda Fountain Shop and Pepsi at the concession stands,, and coke products at the theme parks..)

The El Cap didn't have anything I could eat at the concession stand (I could get the King Size Reece's Cup & only eat one or two, but didn't. Instead, I opted for a Fiber One 90calorie bar I had in my purse (yes I took my black Harvey bag out for a walk) and that's only 2 points plus so I had had that instead.

I had the Nintendo DS "Personal Trainer: Walking" w/ me
Total Steps for that evening were 4,690.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What are Points?

**Disclaimer** I do NOT work for Weight Watchers nor am I a nutritionist. I'm just another fat cat trying to lose some weight on the new Points Plus Program. That said..

What are points?

Weight Watchers assigns 'points' to food. On the old program, treats like the Weight Watcher Novelties were nice.. (they were on sale at the downtown Ralphs so we got a couple boxes):

the 'candy bars' are the closest I'll be getting to those "Snicker Ice Cream Bars" any time soon.. on the old system they are (as noted on the box) '3' points (vs. approx. 10pts for the Snicker Ice Cream bars).

But that was the OLD system.. packaging for the new points plus hasn't come out yet.

On the OLD system you figure the calories, fat and fiber to get your points.
ww candy bar
Here you can see the bar is 150calories, 9g of fat and.. 3g of fiber. On the old system they only count up to 4g of fiber.. so while eating high fiber food is good it won't help you lessen your points. On this ice cream novelty it doesn't matter (because it's under 4) so a point is around 60calories50 calories so a way to 'cheat' that is to divide 50 into 150 then add 90calories (for the 9g of fat) then subtract the 3g (or 30calories worth of fiber). Not an accurate way to figure the old points.. (that's why it's also handy to have the points on the box or have your points calculator).

**EDIT/Correction: 1103am Thanks to Ben for the point calorie correction! It's been a while since I was on program with the old system..

On the NEW points plus system you do NOT count calories. Instead, you count fat, carbs, protein and fiber... I have NO CLUE how the math is worked out but on my "Points Tracker" app it figures to 4points.

This is happening a LOT with many of the food I was used to eating. My 0 or 1points "Progresso" soup is now 1-2pts a serving, (which is still better than a regular can of Progresso soup) my Yoplait light fatfree yogurt went up from 2points to 3 points. My sugar-free Jell-O is still 0 points.. My double fiber Oroweat bread is 2points (can't recall if it was 1 or 2 points before it's been so long since I was counting).

So I haven't figured it out or if there is a cheat. I'm not worried about that right now honestly. I'm re-learning the program and while it's still early, I'm happy with the results. I figure if I can lose an average of 2lbs a week I will be well on my way to looking "OK" by May. It'll be nice to have 20-40lbs less of me to carry around for the D23 Scavenger Hunt this Spring. =)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Goals and My Points

At Christmas I was weighing 220lbs (not the most I've been but the most I've been in a REALLY long time..) I've always had issues with my weight; even in the army it was hard for me to keep within a 5lb limit of my proper weight target and weigh-ins always seemed to occur when I was weighing the most during the month. After my service was up I immediately gained about 20lbs which only fueled my binging. Looking back at those photos I only wish I still weighed 140lbs.. It really doesn't look fat from where I'm sitting now.

I tried going back on program in early 2010 and failed. I wanted to lose 80-100lbs by May of this year. I think that is what made me fail... Looking at the big picture and not allowing myself the little things that make the process a success.

This time I'm doing smaller goals and getting serious this time. I think it does help that I'm on the new "points plus" program because I don't feel so deprived. The points are higher for food I'm used to eating but on the other hand I can treat myself to fruit and veggies, which wasn't such a treat before. If you had to count points for the banana you ate, verses the fat-free yogurt what would you pick?? I ate a LOT of yogurt. =)

I was already on the weight watcher site; but to use the eTools you have to be a member and since the new points plus program is much harder to calculate (I haven't figured it out) than the old program, it behooves me to join for the 3month trial membership which I've done.

Differences in programs I've noticed: I personally don't get anymore daily points than before, but how it's done is different.

On the old points program I got 26-31points; I was encouraged to "bank" points for special occasions that I knew I'd need extra. So planning ahead was key. I'm not that good.

On "Points Plus" at my start weight of 220 I got 31points a day. No banking. Instead there are 49 weekly points that can be used for whatever. That special occasion you don't plan or times when you go 'just over' your limit. I call that "going in the hole." I personally don't like going in the hole because it means I didn't keep better track of what I'm eating and not making the right choices. I understand the 49 points is there to be used.. but it doesn't have to be.

Activity Points: these were on the old program but I honestly don't recall how they worked.

On "Points Plus" I'm getting credit for stuff like playing on the "wii fit" or taking my normal everyday walks, bicycle rides, etc. You can use the activity points like the weekly points.. The "points tracker" system is defaulted to use the activity points AFTER your weekly points have been used up. There's a way to change that but I haven't figured it out yet. I'm sure I'll post when I've got it figured out. As of now though, I don't tend to use my weekly points much.. last week I used 13 of my weekly points over the course of the week and the week before I think I used 5 over the course of a week.

At the beginning of the new week (weigh in day) you start all over with new weekly points so you if you don't use it you lose it, but honestly.. I'm trying to 'lose it' not eat as much as I possibly can.

I think knowing I have the weekly points there as insurance is encouragement for me to try and stay within my limits. Whatever keeps me on program right?

OK.. so here it is so far..

Start Weight: 03 Jan 219.6lbs
Week 01: 10 Jan 217lbs
Week 02: 17 Jan 215lbs

Starting my 3rd week at 215lbs has lowered my daily points to 30. I still get the 49 weekly points. As my daily points gets smaller, I"m curious to see if I use those weekly points more than I have in the past. Hopefully I'll get used to proper portions again and I won't be tempted to snack on the wrong things.

My first goal is 209lbs which I think is a 5% of loss.

New Blog New Me =)

Starting a new blog at the start of my 3rd week on Weight Watchers Points Plus..

What this blog is or hopefully will be, is a place I can put all that food pRon and program related stuff. Neither Sean or myself is affiliated with Weight Watchers or have any nutritionist experience.

We've been 'on program' before with good results. It's going off program, forgetting (or ignoring) those good habits you learn, eating a bag of chips, etc. that make the weight come back on. I used to walk A LOT and I got down to 170lbs. I kind of plateaued and got discouraged. I wasn't walking as much, I kept eating...

I started on the NEW points plus program on the January 3rd. SO yeah, I'm a little late on starting this blog. I won't be journaling my food here.. but I will post about the food I eat, the places we go, the games we're playing on the Wii or the DS. How my tracker app is working out.. that sort of thing.

Sean may or may not be posting here as well. He's on program with me. Yay!