Post-Holiday Weigh-In: Not Too Shabby, Chick! (heh – see what I did there?)

Good morning, everyone! Hope your Memorial Day was a good one (and if you’re in a country that doesn’t celebrate Memorial Day, well, “Monday,” then, ‘kay?).

monday pew

(Easy there, kitteh! It’s Tuesday, so you can relax now!)

Anyway, let’s do the weigh-in thing, shall we? Here we go:

181.6
scales
pick-up sticks

Hey, not too shabby!

shabby chick

I was a little worried since yesterday we had our first backyard barbecue in a longggg time. Granted, we only had one guest, Mr. 50by60’s mom. It was her birthday as well as Memorial Day, and even though she recently broke her wrist, she managed to enjoy the festivities (and the French Vanilla ice cream) with a smile.

maggie tea

Plus my weight has been wildly fluctuating this past week — Saturday it was almost at 185! But that’s the reason for doing the daily weigh-ins: you can see the long-term trends in your weight, and not sweat those little ups and downs.

roller coaster

So all in all, a good weigh-in, and since I had a loss, off I go to a guilt-free breakfast!

Have a great week, everyone — see you next Monday!

Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in, and You Do the Math!

Good morning, everyone, and happy Monday! Let’s get right to it, shall we? First of all, the always astonishing Weekly Weigh-in:

196.6
Do the Little Kicks!

Yay! I was a little worried, since I went on a chocolate bender Saturday. See, we were almost out of Trader Joe’s Mini Hold the Cones, so naturally I suddenly started craving CHOCOLATE!! which is weird, because chocolate has never been a major “trigger food” for me.

rhoda

Still, I’ve learned that when I start craving something, it’s best to get the healthiest, lowest calorie version of it I can, so I won’t go too far afield.

I went to my friendly neighborhood Albertsons and got some Skinny Cow Chocolate Truffle bars which, at 120 calories, are only about 30 calories more than the Mini Cones, and actually pretty yummy. Also did a little walk around the store (which may or may not have worked off that extra 30 calories), got my Monopoly game pieces (the clerk assured me someone else had JUST won $2 million, so I’m feelin’ lucky), went home, and enjoyed one big chocolate truffle bar.

And then … I enjoyed a SECOND one, to make sure I stifled that chocolate jones! Plus, my husband went to a birthday party at an accordion school (absolutely true!) and brought home a delicious cupcake topped with yummy frosting. Sorry I don’t have a photo of it for you, but it went into my digestive system pretty quickly.

So with all that sweet stuff, I was a bit worried. Still, as I’ve said before, the great thing about calorie counting is that if you really WANT the sweet stuff, you can have it — you just have to pay for it out of your calorie budget.

Let’s say you have a 1,500-calorie-a-day budget, and you’re craving a 1,000-calorie breakfast “slam” at your favorite high-calorie diner. Well, if you really want it, you can have it. But do yourself a favor: stop and DO THE MATH first. If you eat that 1,000-calorie breakfast, you’re only gonna have 500 calories left for the entire rest of the day. That’s 250 for lunch and 250 for supper. And that’s it! No room at all for snacks, bub.

Now maybe you’re sitting at that breakfast table, grinning from ear to ear, looking down at that huge, yummy plate o’ goodness, sure that this won’t be any problem at all, ’cause after this big breakfast, you “just can’t eat one more bite!” Trust me — from personal experience! — in a couple of hours, you WILL be hungry again. And now you’ve stretched your stomach out to the point where it’ll be demanding WAY more than 250 calories to fill it up again!

“But I LOVE eating a big breakfast!” you wail. “Why you so MEAN to meee??” Sshh, sshh, calm down. I’m not gonna leave you high and dry. Here ya go — my Big Three Big Breakfast Calorie Cutting ideas for today!

  1. SLASH ONE: This takes a LOT of self-discipline, but if you’re already in the diner, determined to get a taste of Bob And Denny’s Big Giant Combined Slam, go ahead and order it. BUT ask your friendly waitperson to bring you a doggy bag/box right away, along with the meal.

    Then, as soon as you get the meal, before you taste ONE BITE, take your fork and dump HALF that Plate O’ Buttery Goodness into that box. HALF, okay? That means if you got 4 sausages, you put TWO in the box. Four pieces of bacon? Two in the box. Four eggs? Two slices of French toast? You got it – HALF IN THE BOX.

    Then — and this is gonna be the hardest part of all: Excuse yourself from the table, take that box with you, go into the restroom, and THROW THAT BOX IN THE TRASH! That’s right — I’m advising you to THROW FOOD AWAY! Do it, pal!
    simpsons

    “But … but wasting food! Sin! Evil! Starving people everywhere!” Yeah, yeah, cry me a river. Listen: you’re paying for that meal, whether you eat every bite or only one, right? That means you can do whatever you want with it, right? And you were about to shove the entire contents into your bulging tummy, right?

    So all I’m telling you to do is shove HALF of it into your tummy, and the other half where it would’ve wound up eventually anyway. And now you can eat the other half in peace, happy in the knowledge that you just slashed that giant 1,000-calorie breakfast into a more manageable 500-calorie chunk. You’re still getting the goodies you wanted. Your stomach will be satisfied. And you’ve got 1,000 calories left from the day, which is a LOT easier to divide into two meals and a snack or two.

    Right? Hey — it’s worth a shot. But still, if you just can’t bring yourself to throw away perfectly good food (and I’ll concede the food is good — it’s just not good for YOU, right now!), here’s another idea.

  2. Pick Two: Instead of ordering the Big! Giant! Huge! Breakfast! Slammerino!!, order a la carte. That’s French for “one thing at a time, pal.” What I mean is, instead of ordering the Breakfast Combo, which is usually bacon, eggs, French toast, regular toast, rivers of butter and jam (and don’t forget the salsa!), look around on the menu till you find the section usually labeled “Side Orders.”  Then order just TWO things. Maybe a couple of slices of bacon, and one egg. Maybe one piece of toast and two sausage links.

    Be picky and choo-choo-choosy. Just order the two things that are calling out to you most insistently from the Big Giant Stomach-Stretcher. You’ll still have a nice yummy breakfast, but again, WAY fewer calories than if you just ordered the combo. Also, if you’re just ordering one or two things, it’s easier to get an accurate calorie count. Trust me, math is hard — make it easy on yourself!
    barbie

  3. Spread Out! Listen, I get it … it’s morning! You’re hungry! Breakfast food rocks! Have some, by all means — just take it easy and don’t have it all at the same time! Spread the goodies out over a few days —  and they’ll taste just as good! Try this: Bacon for breakfast today … scrambled eggs for breakfast tomorrow … toast with butter and jam on Wednesday … sausage on Thursday … French toast on Friday. Mmm! Everything you were seriously considering having TODAY, in one high-calorie meal, but spread out over the week in manageable, lower-calorie chunks. It’s worth a shot, right?
    stooges

Well, there ya go, three calorie-cutting strategies, just off the top of my head, pre-coffee and everything! What do you think? Let me know if you decide to try any of ’em, and how they work out for you!

And now, to reward you for reading this extra-long post (and as suggested by Penny Wilson in the comments last week), here’s a “happy Monday” video for ya! Enjoy, and I’ll see you Friday!

Friday Five: 4 Food Ideas for your Hotel Fridge, and One to Avoid

Hey, everyone – this’ll be my first Friday Five written entirely on my smartphone, with my travel-weary thumbs, so yay for me! I assume you’ll forgive the occasional, inevitable tpyo.

Anyhoo, if you do any travelling, and you’re counting calories, you might want to stock up on these. Each has less than 100 calories, and are really good for when you don’t feel like putting $5 worth of change in the hotel vending machine for some salty chips that have 400 calories per bag and aren’t good for you anyway.

1. Buddig Deli Slices – prepackaged turkey, beef, ham, or chicken. 9 slices per package, 90 calories per bag. Sure, they’re frowned on by health & wellness gurus, but since I’m not one of those, who cares?

2. String cheese. Lots of different brands to choose from here, some better than others. My personal fave is Frigos Light CheeseHeads. They’re only 50 calories each, and they’re super stringy, which makes them load of fun to nosh on while reading a good book by the pool.

3. Next in line is good ol’ reliable Yoplait Light Yogurt. There are lots of good flavors to choose from, and grocery stores often give great discounts if you buy in bulk. My personal fave flavors are Cherry, Vanilla, and Key Lime, mmm! Nice for breakfast in the room when you don’t feel like trudging down to the flimsy hotel continental breakfast.

4. Diet soda. Oh yeah, it’s bad for you. Pure poison. Dieters beware, am I right? Well, tough turkeys. I know I’m going to want some at some point, and again, why pay extra at the vending machine which doesn’t even work half the time? Buy your own and savor the illicit fizz.

5. Here’s one thing I DON’T recommend you stock up on, or at least don’t buy more than one: frozen dinners, like this:

Yeah, wouldn’t it be nice to keep a few on hand just in case you don’t feel like leaving the room at all? (Because who doesn’t love staying in hotel rooms for days on end, right?) Here’s the problem: where do you PUT ’em? Check out the fridge in my room:

Notice anything missing? Yeah, that’s right: no freezer compartment. And the thing is, I’ve stayed at this particular hotel about a thousand million times over the last 20 years, and you just can’t predict whether a fridge will have a freezer or not. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. It’s the luck of the draw.

And even when they do, it’s just that tiny little shelfie thing that you can’t fit more than one  frozen dinner into, and don’t even think about trying to shove any ice cream in there too. 

Let’s face it: Hotel fridges kinda suck. So take my advice, and stick to the little refrigerator-type snacks. They’ll keep better, and they’re better for you.

And the whole experience will just make you that much happier to get home, so it’s all good.

How about you? What are some of your favorite – or not-so-favorite – road foods?

(And today’s unused pingback is: Orange!)

Happy Monday! and an Exciting New Diet Breakfast Idea, patent pending!

First, and most importantly, my Weekly Weigh-in:

228.9

scales

I’m in my 20’s, y’all!

flapper

Yippity skippity!! I haven’t been in this decade for … well, for a decade!

When I got married in 2007 (late bloomer, long story), I weighed 220 pounds, which was definitely way too much.

mewedding

But the thing is – it was still WAY less than what I’ve weighed for the past few years.

So – nice way to start the week, doncha think?

Now, here’s a little Diet Wisdom Tip I came up with this morning, while debating what to have for breakfast.

In the not-so-distant past, I used to go out to breakfast every Monday morning with a gal pal. We’d go to diners, like Denny’s, Bob’s Big Boy, and others.

The one thing they all had in common? BIG BREAKFASTS.

big breakfast

Sigh … yeah, it wasn’t at all uncommon for me scarf down close to 1,000 calories at one sitting. French toast? Bring it on! Bacon? Yeah, baby! Fried eggs, sunny side up? You got it! Not to mention the accoutrements – butter, maple syrup, and of course, lots of strawberry jam for the toast (and more butter, of course!).

bacon meets egg

But I felt virtuous about it, ’cause I’d always order the WHOLE WHEAT toast. Yeah, that was healthier, right?

mary p

So, long story short, last fall, I’m sorry to say, I had falling out with this gal pal, so we stopped going out to breakfast every Monday morning. Which, looking back now, was probably the best possible thing that could have happened, primarily because I was so comfortable with those big giant Monday breakfasts that I had no problem whatsoever with trying to reenact them on my own, other days of the week.

And OK, I know this is getting a little longer than I’d planned, so let me just cut to the chase with my Big Dieter’s Breakfast Breakthrough Idea. Ready? Are you sure? ‘Cause I could build up to it a little more, and —

get on with it

OK, OK! Anyway, my big breakthrough idea this morning was – if you’ve decided to count calories, but are having trouble reconciling yourself to the idea of not being able to eat all that great stuff you were used to having for breakfast – why not have them all, BUT HAVE EACH ONE ON A SEPARATE DAY?

In other words, a week-long Big Breakfast, divided into five days!

Make a list of all the stuff you enjoy having for breakfast and know you’d really, really miss if you had to give it up completely. For example:

  1. Bacon
  2. Eggs
  3. French Toast
  4. Toast smeared with butter and jam
  5. Piping hot cinnamon roll

OK – now here’s the great news. YOU CAN STILL HAVE ALL THOSE THINGS! Just not all on the same day!

So let’s say it’s Monday (and what a coincidence – it is!). You’ve made your list of My Top 5 Favorite Breakfast Thingies That I’ve Always Enjoyed In One Big Meal (or MTFFBTTIAEIOBM, for those who like acronyms).

Now, just pick ONE THING from that list – and have it for breakfast, today. Yes, before you dot another “i,” Bob Cratchit!

scrooge

Tomorrow, pick another thing from your list – then Wednesday, another – and so forth and so on, etcetera etcetera – till you get to the end of the week. At which point, you will have had ALL the breakfast thingies you love so very, very much – and you can REALLY feel good and virtuous, because you haven’t had them all every day!

yay

Look at you, cutting out a whole bunch of calories every day without giving up the foods you love! Aren’t you wonderful? Yes, you are!

I mean, OK, you still need to check the calories on the stuff you’re having, and make sure you don’t feel so virtuous you overstuff yourself at lunchtime to make up for it. But still, if big breakfasts are a big problem for you, why not give it a try?

Who knows — MTFFBTTIAEIOBM may just become the new diet buzzword of the decade!

acronym

Or, maybe not!

Either way — hope you have a FANTASTIC Monday!

(Unused pingback of the day: Planet)

Breakfast of Champions

You’re SUPPOSED to have breakfast.

Right? You’ve heard it before, I’m sure. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” “dieters should NEVER skip breakfast,” etc., etc.

Yeah, we get it. Only what we HEAR, with our “fat ears” (TM Shannon Sorrels) is, “Go to Denny’s and have the Monster Slam! And don’t skimp on the French toast!”

Well, calm down! You’re on a calorie budget, remember? Don’t spend it all on breakfast, or you’ll be in Oliver Twist mode by suppertime!

Plus, come on – not everyone is a morning person, and not every stomach can deal with a whole bunch of food comin’ at it, first thing in the morning.

It’s OK to just have a teeny tiny breakfast! Really, it is! (pat pat, console console) Just have a little somethin’ somethin’ before you head out the door, and have a nice big lunch later on.

My husband can’t deal with anything more than a glass of water and a Trader Joe’s Organic Pop Tarts (200 calories), and that works for him.

Me, I like a little more bang for my caloric buck, so here’s my breakfast this morning:

Coffe with one tablespoon of whipping cream & artificial sweetener (50 calories)

String cheese (70 calories)

Mini box of raisins (45 calories)

Yoplait Light Blueberry (90 calories)

… for a grand total of 255 calories. Not as much as that Grand Artery Slam I used to have on a regular basis, but enough to get my tummy and my brain woken up and alert, so I can face the day ahead.

And since our kitty apparently had a little “accident” on our freshly washed sheets during the night – I’m gonna need all the alertness I can muster!

(p.s. unused pingback of the day: Anticipate)