Quiet Saturday with Some Self-Pity Thrown In

SaturdaySaturday is the only day of the week when I can sleep until I wake up. Sunday I’m off to WW in the morning and the rest of the week is work. I could tell by the number of mornings I hit the snooze button for an hour that I needed more sleep than I’d been allowing myself – but I was surprised this morning to look at the clock and discover that I slept for eleven hours. ELEVEN. Wow.

When I get too much sleep, I wake up groggy and today was no exception. I lolled around most of the morning after taking a shower and washing my hair to feel human and help wake me up. It was a gorgeous day but today I just wanted to do as little as possible and it felt good.

I wrote some posts, did grocery shopping (after procrastinating for hours), watched Clean Sweep for inspiration and did some sorting/weeding. And met with a respiratory therapist who delivered my new CPAP machine. It’s a Res-med A8 Autoset CPAP with heated humidifer – and that puppy sells for almost $1,300. It should work exactly the same as my old one but it takes up a lot less room, which is a big improvement. The old one looked like a giant bug next to the bed.

I’m making lists of things I need to do before I leave Boston, including scheduling a ton of medical appointments to see everyone one last time (and get fresh prescriptions to tide me over). I didn’t know quite how many doctors I have; I guess it’s a sign of my senior status.

There are some pieces of furniture that I’d like to sell or donate, which will make a difference. My computer desk is gorgeous and I adore it, but it’s really bigger than I need, especially since I do more with my laptop now than the desktop. It weighs a million pounds and comes apart into pieces – but I don’t know that I can actually get on the floor to unscrew them, since my knees start screaming when I even consider doing that. Maybe I can make that part of the pick up and lower the price.

Clothes are another problem. Two new pairs of pants managed to shrink up at least 3 inches in the wash, even though I followed the laundry directions. I’m seriously annoyed because I loved them and had hoped to wear them into the spring. But I will look like an idiot so I’m not enthusiastic. I also need to dig out my warm weather clothes to see what fits, what doesn’t, and what I don’t like anymore. I definitely need to weed out a lot but I also need to have things to wear if the temps get higher than 60 (we’re still in New England and the spring weather hasn’t quite hit us yet).

There is too much stuff everywhere and it’s driving me nuts, especially since I know I have to either pack or pitch it all. Even the food in the kitchen should be dragged out of cupboards and freezer so I can see what I actually have in there and plan meals accordingly. Though how I will make meals out of some of the oddball combinations in there is a bit beyond me. Perhaps I’ll just put some in a bag to take to the food pantry, which will clear out the cabinet and benefit a good cause at the same time.

Tomorrow will be more productive and more structured, with WW, shopping, and laundry to do as well as finishing up a work project and sorting through everything in one storage cabinet. I’m starting small.

I also have to confess that I’m feeling bitchy and mean in reading about Lori’s big weight loss today. I know in my head that this isn’t a competition but it’s hard. We talked not all that many months ago and were at the same weight, and now she’s 20 lbs lighter than I am, and I’m feeling like a failure. That’s a hard cold fact. It’s hard for me to be excited and happy for her when I’m annoyed and upset with myself.

I could be working harder than I am, being more consistent and disciplined. Maybe I am simply doomed to be fat because I can’t get my act together. Right now the best I can do is stay treading water in one place. I know how to work the program; the problem is wrapping my mind about having to do it yet again, when it seems as though all I do is restrict and limit and fail and try to get a grip. It’s like being on a hamster wheel and repeating and repeating the same thing over and over.

I actually get some comfort in reading blogs of people who aren’t shedding pounds with abandon because it makes me feel less alone. I see how hard everyone is working on their lives to balance food, family, exercise, work, health and fun, and that inspires me more than just concentrating on the food stuff all the time. I’ve done that before and ended up distorted and unbalanced.

I’m in the right place for me now. Treading water to stay the same is the best I can hope for right now; if I lose, great, but if not, I need to be content and make sure I’m working as hard as I can on the things that matter right now. Which includes all the pre-move stuff.

It’s never dull.

Making up points

Weight Watchers Ultimate Points GuideYesterday I went to lunch at the food court in our student union. We were short on time, the line was long for salads, and I didn’t really want one anyway; it was cold and I’m sick of salads. I had lots of options – pizza, Mexican, soups, Cranberry farms, pre-made stuff, hot sandwiches – and Panda Express. I haven’t had Chinese in a long time and I love it, even though PE is more of “fast food” Chinese than what I really like. But hey, it was there and I wanted it.

So I got in line and got a Panda Bowl with white rice, mixed vegetables, mandarin chicken, and spring rolls. the rolls were totally not necessary and I thought I was just getting one, anyway, but somehow when I got to my table, there were two on the tray. That meant I had to eat them, right? I did. They put way too much rice in the bowl and I left about 3/4 of it behind after eating the bit that I wanted. What a waste of food. It was tasty, though.

The fun came when I was back at my desk, trying to fill in my e-tools points tracker for what I’d eaten. Based on the options available, I estimated the points and tried to go on the high side of an estimate, coming up with 22 points. I was appalled that I could eat that many over one little bowl of stuff.

Last night, just for fun, I found the Panda Express website and used their nutritional information to really figure out the points values. Much to my surprise, they were a lot lower than I’d estimated and instead of 22 points, I’d really only had 12.5 – even with the two spring rolls.

Which brings me to the challenge of figuring out the points for what we eat. My step one is to write down everything I eat in a journal and being honest. If I ate a big chunk of chocolate cake, I can’t say that I only had a Pria bar just so it looks better. Eating 1/2 a pizza is not the same as one slice of a big one. Portion size matters but that really only kicks in for me after I’m honest about what I actually DO eat.

WW has lots of materials for figuring out the points, from the free Week One food guide to the ones they sell you: the big points guide, dining out guide, etc. etc. Except I never have those handy so they’re not much help to me. I’ve been using the WW e-tools points tracker since January and love it because it has points values ready when you select a food and how much of it you ate.

But not everything is in e-tools or the WW food guides. This is where the web comes in. The web is your friend. If I take the time to look for the website of a restaurant or Google a product to find a web page for it, I can often see nutritional values spread on a page or see a PDF version of the nutrition label. What more could I want?

The last step is figuring out the points based on that information. Sometimes the number is less than you dreaded; often it’s a lot higher, since we like to underestimate points so we can eat more of what we want.

I’ve found that actually looking up points values in advance of eating out or eating a specific thing reins what I choose to eat. Had I looked up the Panda Express stuff before going over (which wasn’t practical yesterday but often would be), I would have seen that the mandarin chicken had way more salt than the other entrees, and more other things too. I should have gotten Green Bean Chicken or a number of other options that would have yielded fewer points and would have been just as tasty.

Whether I’ve looked things up in advance or not, writing down what I actually DID eat as soon as possible after doing so – and looking up points – brings a major reality check. Yesterday I saw my preliminary guess of 22 points for lunch and immediately adjusted my dinner plans since I was almost out of my day’s total by then. Before I would have just eaten whatever looked good or was easy; now I’m paying attention and adjusting on the fly.

I’m always careful to have Boca burgers, salad fixings, yogurt, and a few others on hand so I have fast, easy options. Not eating dinner out of penance for a large lunch isn’t the right solution because the next morning I wake up and everything not nailed down.

Because I looked up my points yesterday and didn’t just make up some number because it would let me eat more later, I actually ended the day having only used 1 of my flex points. This is the last day of my first week trying to stick to 5 flex/day and was able to keep to that on all but one day. So no matter what the scale says tomorrow, I’ve learned that I can do it – and be honest at the same time.

Break out the bubbly

Champagne bottleIt’s time to celebrate! Fizzy water will do if you don’t have any champagne handy – or choose not to drink it.

The reason for the celebration? I accepted a new job! yes, that’s right – after 17 years working here at Big Urban University, I’m moving south a few states to work at Smaller Elite University later this spring.

It’s a big change for me, stepping down from a senior administrative position to manage a smaller unit, but this is a quality of life decision. I’ll be working with people I already know, like and respect from years of interaction at the national and regional levels. The library is well funded, always a nice thing when you’re building research collections.

And I’ll be moving from large Boston to a smaller community. I’ve never been a big city person, other than vacations to places like NYC, and I’ve been getting antsy to change that, too. I’ve happily lived in small college towns and small cities and am looking forward to going back to that again.

I don’t know when I start this new adventure – we’re still working out the start date – but sometime late May or early June. I’m a senior level manager now and need to give appropriate notice as well as complete some traveling to fulfill national responsibilities. Makes me sound important to say that but I still have 4 trips before the end of April, plus a vacation trip to NYC with friends.

So – I’ll get back to serious weight discussions soon but today I’ve just been telling people my news and letting it sink in. Woooohoooo!

PB2 follow up

PB2 powdered peanut butterI’ve gotten many comments and questions about PB2, the powdered peanuts recommended by Hungry Girl. Yesterday I got a comment from Bill at Bell Plantation with more information about ways to use this powdery goodness. I’m copying here so it doesn’t get lost:

First I want to say that I am responsible for Sales and Marketing at Bell Plantation. I did a Google search on our PB2 and found your form. So I have been up front about who I am. We sent our samples to Lisa Lillian w/ Hungry Girl.com and she liked our product and put it on her web site on January 24. Since then the response has been incredible.

Here are the nutritional facts : Reg PB has between 190-200 calories per serving, PB2 has 54. Reg PB has between 140-150 fat calories per serving, PB2 has 25. PB2 is all natural. There are no additives. You need to mix it as you use it.

You mix 2TBS of PB2 w/ 1 TBS of the liquid of your choice. Water will reconstitute it to the consistency of regular PB. You adjust the formula to your taste. JC’s granddaughter likes it w/ grape juice. Try it with your favorite liquid. I know someone that mixes it w/jalapeno juice. Talk about a kick.

I have heard of people mixing it w/ Nesquick and milk to get a Reeses PB cup type drink. It goes great in smoothies. Great protein. My wife bakes w/ PB2. I will be glad to answer any of your questions. Just e-mail me at bkeith@bellplantation.com. If you are outside of the Tifton, GA area at this time you will need to order yours at www.bellplantation.com. Hope to be in a store near you soon.

Let me know how you like it, so for the comments we have received back are very positive.

It took me a while to get my jars because of the flood of orders that came in after Hungry Girl recommended this products. But they did come and I love the stuff. I’m not tempted to just stick my finger in the jar which happened quite frequently with my regular PB in a jar. I haven’t tried anything fancy yet, tho it would be great in smoothies and I may try that out this afternoon. (Now that it’s not bitter cold, a smoothie sounds better than it did even 2 weeks ago.)

HG didn’t lie about this one. It doesn’t have quite the consistency of the fatty PB but it has wonderful taste. I actually mix in a little bit more water than called for to get it the consistency I want and here’s the beauty of it: you can do whatever you want!

You do need to place a minimum order of 4 jars so up front it might be more expensive than you’d planned. But then you have it and don’t have to fret about where to get more, since you can’t run down to the local grocery store and pick it up. I think it’s definitely worth it!