Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Weekly Weigh-in!

Result:  After not dining out for more than a week, I am thrilled with my results on the scale. This week, I lost 3.6 lbs. I've seen huge numbers on the scale in the past, but now that I'm getting closer to a "normal" weight for my height, I don't see big numbers anymore so 3 lbs. feels like a big loss now. I've been in a real rut lately, and I'm starting to think it was due to dining out multiple times each week. No matter how many times I say it, I still don't listen to what I preach: The best choices you make while eating out are never as good for you as your own prepared meals. Lesson learned-- stay home for optimal weight loss. I'm really going to try to make dining out an occasional treat rather than a backup plan when I'm too busy. 

Goals:  As for as goals for next week, I will strive to drink eight cups of water a day and exercise a minimum of five times this week. The amount of exercise won't prove as difficult as the water consumption. I've mentioned it a number of times, but I'm rarely thirsty. I'll have to go out and get some lemons or limes to make my water more exciting. I'm hoping to lose at least two pounds next week-- no more of those single pound weight losses! Stay tuned.

Short-term Goal I:    ACHIEVED
Short-term Goal II: 14 lbs. until I've lost 100 pounds!!!
Ultimate Goal:            31 lbs. away 

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Weekend Without Eating Out

Just as I had predicted, sticking to my "no eating out" challenge was very tough this weekend. After much discussion, Dan and I were able to pinpoint why we eat out so often. Here's what we came up with:

  • We're lazy. Despite my love of food and cooking, preparing meals takes a lot of time and effort (planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc.). It's a daily chore that we want a break from. This is usually the case on a weekday when we get off work late, had a rough day, trying to work with the gym schedule, and so on.
  • We're having a craving. I might be fully prepared to cook up a dinner, but Dan decides he has a hankering for seafood alfredo. On other days, the falafel place we love posts delicious photos on Facebook, like the one below, and we aren't satisfied until we have it. 

Falafel, 'shroomus, and pita, and salads from Uncle Jack's Good2Go in Ocean, NJ
  • We're socializing. Our friends like to eat. To make matters worse, it's very unlikely that they want to venture to healthy restaurants. Most times, we are making late night runs to Sonic or a pizza place. 
  • We're on the go. On the weekends, Dan and I are out and about all day. We're driving to the other side of the state to visit friends and family all day or hitting five grocery stores so I can score some sweet deals. When this happens, eating out is unavoidable. We're not home for two meals out of the day. What does one do, pack lunches and dinners? This is the primary culprit of our dining out problem on the weekend, and it seems there is not much we can do about it.
This Saturday, we spent the entire day out of the house. I had to visit ill family in Pennsylvania and Dan had to see a friend in South Jersey. For lunch, we stopped at a Polish market in Trenton where my extended family buys the BEST bread and delicious deli meats.  I purchased bread, smoked ham, and Swiss cheese and made sandwiches in the car between destinations. The sandwiches were tasty, AND we didn't have to fail the challenge. Unfortunately, we didn't get home until 10 pm. As we drove back, we considered stopping at a restaurant for dinner, but I didn't want to lose my challenge AND I only had 7 WW Points+ to spare (I could basically eat lettuce and smell the real food with that pitiful amount of points. Most point-friendly places aren't open very late.). When we got home, Dan ate some leftovers, and I made some Italian eggs on that delicious Polish bread. While I wouldn't recommend waiting that late to eat dinner, we weren't famished since we ate lunch late, and we didn't eat a heavy meal at that late hour.

This week has helped us to recognize our downfalls when it comes to eating out. It's one thing to fight the cravings, laziness, and the social eating but another to cope with being out of the house all day. We should try to make shorter trips (which is tough with rising gas prices since we try to accomplish everything while we are out). If being out of the house all day is unavoidable, we're going to need to plan our meals-- eat lunch before we leave or pack something small so we only need to eat one meal out. Then, be sure that the meal we eat out is healthy (not cheeseteaks, fast food, or pizza). 

I have to say, I am LOVING the results of this challenge on the scale this week. Stay tuned for official weigh-in news tomorrow. This challenge also saved us around $100 this week since we didn't dine out... so I spent some of that on a new pair of running shoes.  ;)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Update on This Week's Goal: No Eating Out Challenge

As you may remember, I set a goal to not dine out all week (until next Tuesday). In all honesty, Dan and I have been struggling to stick to that goal. I've wanted to grab a breakfast sandwich from Wawa as I left for work in the morning, get a quick dinner when we didn't get home from the gym until almost 8pm, or stop for breakfast at a dinner when Dan woke me up early this morning so he could go geocaching. It was the hardest when we wanted to celebrate my first day working on my own cases as an attorney on Wednesday. I wanted to sip wine at our favorite wine bar or sit down to a nice dinner at our favorite little Italian place, but I fought the urge. It was not easy!

Instead of celebrating my big day with a meal out, I cooked up one of our favorite homemade dishes, what we like to call "Sausage Pepper Pasta." The pasta (in this case whole wheat linguine) is drizzled with chipotle olive oil, loaded with crumbled hot Italian chicken sausage and sauteed bell peppers, onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, and garlic. Since I was so busy that day, I didn't have the opportunity to each lunch so I was STARVING. Thankfully, Dan was too. I served myself an "I don't give a !@#$" helping (about 1.5 servings worth) and a large glass (or two) of red wine. Dan took care of dessert. We had tea biscuits topped with Nutella and a homemade strawberry banana bruschetta. So tasty! Sure, I went over my points by almost 10 (tapping into my weekly allowance points), but I'm sure I would have done worse if we went out to a restaurant. The only thing I missed was the fresh bread and caponata.

I just wanted to let you all know that I am sticking to my goal of not dining out this week. Dan is not making it easy for me. He keeps trying to find ways to eat out on a technicality, but I refuse to budge. "What about hot food from the Italian market. That's a store, not a restaurant! AND we are taking it home to eat it!" I said if it didn't come packaged with nutritional information OR would classify as a prepared food, I'm not eating it. However, the weekend still lies ahead, and that tends to be when we fall victim to dining out. Wish me luck!