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No Thanks to Cake: 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Week 28 Weigh-In: 50 LBS GONE FOREVER!

I went to weigh in yesterday, and am VERY pleased to announce that I'm down another -2.2 lbs!  What this means is that I have officially surpassed the -50 lb mark

SUCH a huge honor... I'd like to thank the stairs at the HS track (and the subsequent pain I've been in since Sunday), the TWO packages of Rotini and Meatballs I consumed last week instead of eating out for dinner, the trip to the gym that kept me up until 2am, and, last but certainly not least, the MANY tiny bottles of water that I consumed at the Marriott this week.

Cheers to -50 lbs!  Next stop is -56 lbs, which puts me officially in ONEderland!  -4.4 lbs away!

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Week 28... Salads, Stairs, and Furniture... Oh My!

Pretty great week... No weigh-in this week, so I have to assume that I'm down -9 lbs (kidding).  I had travel into Salt Lake City on Sunday night + my boss traveling with me = no time to weigh in this week.

My weeks on the road can sometimes be difficult, but this week was pretty solid!  I packed some of my ol' standby JC Rotini and Meatballs and JC Complete Start cereal.  I forgot to bring snacks this time around, but I still did pretty good.  I found a Rice Krispies Treat at the hotel's market - - SCORE!  The stats were solid and it was quite tasty! I also ate lots of McDonalds side salads with my favorite Lowfat Newman's Own Family Style Italian dressing.  

My boss is on a healthy eating kick and claimed not to have room for dinner, so I was able to skip dinners out with him and just eat in my room - - AWESOME!    Dinners out used to be fun, but if I can avoid a night out so I can eat healthy, that's preferred.  During the day, we did stop and have one of my favorite all-time salads - - Cafe Rio's Fire Grilled Chicken Salad.  I took a picture of it because it was so pretty and DELISH!  Now, I've confessed before that I can't do mexican very well, but I can definitely do Cafe Rio!  This is the only thing I've ever had here... so, it makes it easy.  New favorites rock!

HUGE salad, right?  I order it without the tortilla shell, no beans or rice, loaded up with pico (extra-extra), and with a small scoop of guacamole (they seriously have the best).  The grilled chicken is actually on the bottom, which is how they load up the salad.  It's so fresh and happy.  If you haven't been to Cafe Rio, get there soon.  So tasty!

I also worked out not ONCE, not TWICE, but THREE times this week.  I blogged about my reintroduction to the treadmill this week and went back a second time!  I have discovered though that I HAVE to work out in the morning and before 7:30pm.  That night I worked out in Idaho, I was awake until nearly 2am!  Too much energy!  Morning workouts from here on out...

TODAY, I did something different!  With my dear friend Kris, I tried walking at the local high school track.  We walked around the track 4 times for a full mile and then the fun began!  For some reason, I felt the urge to run the stairs a bit!  Kris and I went up and down the stairs six or seven times!  Loved this workout and will definitely have to go back and do this a few more times!

Three workouts in one week?  I hope this shows up on the scale tomorrow!!!  I also swung by my favorite shopping spot post-workout - - Super Target - - and picked up a few workout items.  Workout SHORTS (yes, I said shorts), some hand weights, and new socks!  Socks make a BIG difference in how your feet feel during a workout!  

My favorite thing that happened this weekend was that I got new living room furniture!!  I'd had my previous furniture for 12 years.... and now, I am just in love with the room's new look.  See the before and after below!

I am sooooo happy to have a new look in my living room!  It does, however, make you think about re-doing other areas of your home which are EXPENSIVE thoughts!  

In case you're wondering, the new digs are from Arhaus Furniture and the couch is from the Garner collection.  LOVE LOVE this new look.


I weigh in tomorrow morning bright and early, and I'm hoping for some great results.  Will also travel out to Idaho tomorrow night for a few days.  

I'll also be heading to Florida for a few days to visit my dad over the weekend.  I'll be sure to post some ocean pics upon my return!

Have a great week, JC'ers!  Let's lose some weight this week!

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Kicking it up a Notch!

I'm pleased to announce that after a THREE WEEK hiatus I finally got back to the GYM!  Wooooooooo!

The fact that I hadn't worked out since Montelucia has been looming over my head.  AND, I EVEN take workout clothes with me on all of my trips!!  It's a shame to bring them and not use them!

So, after a long drive to Idaho and inspiration from my friend LP... I FINALLY made it to the hotel workout room and not just for water!  A light workout overall, I did 10 minutes on the treadmill (snooze), 10 minutes on the elliptical, and 25 minutes on the recumbent bike!  Yesssssssss!  AND, I must have thought I was Jane Fonda tonight (Thanks, Nat) or something, but I EVEN added some 3 lb weights to my bike routine working those triceps and biceps.  I usually focus on lower body stuff because that's where my pear-shaped weight gravitates, but nice to add some arms in as well!

I'm also listening to an audiobook version of The Notebook, which is one of my favorite books and movies.  How much fun is it to listen to Noah and Allie fall in love while you workout?  Um... lots!  Sorta funny that it's read by Barry Bostwick, but still super-fun!

I'd call this day a success!  Ate on plan too, or off plan really, since I have no JC food.  I guess it was a DOMO, except for breakfast. 

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Whirlwind Weekend...

I got home Friday night from my trip to Montana to find that one of my friends from TN was passing through Denver.  We got together and went to a DELICIOUS wine and cheese bar to catch up.  So nice, but oh-so-many calories, I'm sure.  Eeks!

Last night, I had a dinner and a movie planned with a friend.  We go to a yummy asian restaurant where I'm able to get steamed chicken and broccoli with a little kung pao sauce on the side, which is a really good choice.  I don't do the rice, so I feel like it's usually a good pick.  I was starving, so I also had a cup of wonton soup.  Overall, not nearly the damage I caused the night before. 

Well... we went the following two movies!  Both were SOOOOOO good.  We saw Something Borrowed before dinner, and Bridesmaids after!  I thought I'd give you my review of both...

Movie One:  Something Borrowed
I'm a HUGE fan of Emily Giffin who wrote the book this movie is based upon, so going to see Something Borrowed was a no-brainer.  The movie was great with lovable characters and a romantic storyline, and it also puts you in that "what would you do if you were in that situation" mindset.  Overall, DEFINITE thumbs up!

Movie Two:  Bridesmaids
There was a preview for Bridesmaids at the showing of Something Borrowed, and it just looked so funny that we had to see it!  It was HILARIOUS.  If you've been a bridesmaid before, you definitely need to see this one... and honestly, a lot of the HUGE laughs that I heard in the movie were coming from men, so take your BF/hubby with you too!  There were a few points where I was laughing so hard that I was crying... :)

Food Dilemma
The scale was "up" this morning, but that may have something to do with the soy sauce and cheese night on Friday.  I literally ate great this week, until the weekend.  How does fun always equate to the scale going up??

I"m heading to Salt Lake City tonight, and plan on staying on track this week as much as possible.  I've got to get the scale's numbers down again.  Seriously!!

Also, I have my boss in from Seattle this week.  He likes to eat out at fancy places, so I'm sure this will be a challenge for me this week.  Sigh... That should only be about 36 hours though.  Surely, the rest of the week will be solid, right??  

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Travel and Dining Out Tips - JC Style

Over the past 6 months, I've had to figure out how to eat out. Traveling about 15 days a month and the fact that I like to socialize, eating at home every night just isn't an option.  

One of the new JC'ers posted today that she is facing this challenge for the first time and I thought it might be a good idea to post more detail to share with others! Here goes....

Download the JC Dining Out App - Most of us have the JC Dining Out Guide, but the online version is more comprehensive and oh-so-handy. I have it on my iPad, but it can also be downloaded for iPhone and perhaps Android (?)

The best part about the guide is that is has lots of restaurants AND some general restaurant genres that you can search to make good choices. For example, if you know you are going to a Chinese restaurant, you can search the "Asian Restaurants" list. This also lightens your luggage for all your other travel necessities by not requiring you to bring the book!

Consider Bringing JC Food (Or picking it up when you get there) - I travel to some places that have a JC location (i.e. Boise, Salt Lake City) and some that don't (i.e. Montana, Wyoming, Idaho Falls.) If there's a JC location, I usually stop in to purchase food when I get into town. For example, when I'm in Salt Lake City (and I will be next week), I swing by the local JC and get my breakfasts, snacks, and dinners. However, when I'm in Montana (like this week) I have to plan a little more. I packed myself several JC meals (Rotini and Meatballs tends to be my go-to shelf stable item. I know it's a lunch, but it can be eaten for dinner.) I also bring dry breakfast items (typically, Complete Start Cereal) as well as snacks.  There really is NO reason not to stay on track for breakfast; however, many times, depending upon what I've eaten for the day, I forego my snack.  For example, if I've had a glass of wine with a client, no snack.

Find Some New Favorites - I'm a creature of habit, and honestly, I don't have the best willpower. If I was sitting at Macaroni Grill (a place I used to enjoy often when I traveled to Salt Lake), I don't know if I could say no to the bread. So, I don't go there.

Instead, I go to Buffalo Wild Wings - a new favorite. I don't know the menu at Buffalo Wild Wings aside from the Grilled Chicken Salad (no cheese, no croutons, no dressing, extra tomatoes, + toss the chicken in Spicy Garlic Sauce.) I don't even look at the menu, so I don't get tempted.  Another example is Cantina Laredo - I've only had their salad, so it's my go-to and SOOOOO good!

ALSO - You can get creative and invent items that aren't even on the menu! I did this recently when I was out to dinner while on a team meeting trip in California. The waiter was more than happy to accomodate me and to transform the chicken dinner into something I could eat. I ended up with a piece of grilled chicken (prepared with no oil/sauce) and a side of steamed broccoli and asparagus (no butter.) This dish was NO WHERE on the menu, but should have been!

A Few of My Go-To Dining Out Dishes - Chinese Restaurants: Steamed Chicken and Broccoli at Asian Restaurants, Mexican Restaurants: Fajita Chicken Salad (no cheese, no sour cream, no tortilla bowl, + salsa for dressing), Subway: They've got GREAT lunch choices on their Fresh Fit menu - - I LOVE the Veggie Delite and the Sweet Onion Teriyaki Chicken. I also stock up on their pre-sliced apples when I'm on the road so I get my fruits in! Salads: You can really do them anywhere. Just make sure that you have a lean protein and you remove all of the undesireables (cheese, croutons, bacon, etc) + lowfat/JC dressing on the side.  Thank goodness most restaurants have at least one salad! Chick-Fil-A: An old fave was the Classic Chick-fil-A Fried Chicken Sandwich.  Now, I opt for the Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich. McDonalds: The best side salad is here! I usually get 2 and split one of the Newman's Own Low Fat Family Style Italian Dressing - Yum-O.  This is great when I'm at a hotel, as I can pair it with a JC meal.  It's also great when I'm out of lettuce at home!

Hotel Living - When I can, I stay at a hotel with a concierge lounge I can use. I typically use Marriott hotels and they ALWAYS have a continental breakfast where I can get fresh fruit, fat free milk, and yogurt, and most times they have a happy hour where you can get veggies and fruit. This makes life so much easier. If you opt for Courtyard, Hampton Inn, Residence Inn, Spring Hill Suites type hotels, there will be a fridge/microwave in your room, and you'll have a continental breakfast to get your fruit/milk/yogurt. It works! Regardless, you can always ask for a fridge/microwave to be delivered to your room. Most are happy to accomodate. I've even had the hotel's front desk keep my frozen meals... the super nice and super accommodating staff at most places just want you to enjoy your stay. Seriously, they don't mind.

Airport Eating - When you can, eat before you go! That just makes life easier. If you can't eat before you go, plan for snacks - - bring an anytime bar or your JC snack. If you absolutely have to, there are some good options at the airport you can hunt down. Most restaurants have salads you can get and even the walk up places usually have fresh fruit items.  Don't settle for the bad stuff!  It's not worth it!

My FAVORITE airport find is Peeled Dried Fruit. When browsing the dried fruit, you have to be VERY careful not to buy the kind that's full of sugar, but SLC and Denver both have the Peeled dried fruit where the only ingredient is fruit. LOVE IT. The packaging to the left is one to look for (Psssssst: Starbucks sells it, too!)  The pineapple is the B-E-S-T, and the apples are tasty as well.  I've also tried the cherries and hear that the mango is amazing.  You can also pair them with a bottle of delicious H20, available throughout all terminals in massive containers! They even sell the packets of Crystal Light, if you're into that! 

Airport Restaurant Options:  Denver, Salt Lake City, and Boise all have Quizno's on their concourses that I've eaten at (Small Honey Bourbon Chicken Sandwich on wheat with extra tomatoes).  This weekend, I found out Nashville's best option on Concourse A might be Wendy's (believe it or not) - - where I had a 1/2 size Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad with fat-free Ranch as opposed to Caesar dressing.  Again, I use my iPad app to determine what's best...

Another tip:  TSA is FINE with you bringing fresh food through without additional screening required.  Pack your shelf stable dinners/lunches in your checked bag and only bring what you need for the flight! I've been known to bring a Subway sammie through. I did ask an agent about a salad with dressing I wanted to bring through recently, and he said to pour the dressing on your salad before you go through if it's over the three ounce limit. If you have a packet, just toss it into your resealable bag with your lip gloss and other "weapons."

BOTTOM LINE:  It can be done.  You just have to determine how dedicated you want to be.  In the end, after you are done with JC, you have to know how to make good choices.  Eating out and while traveling is helping you get ready for maintenance!

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Monday, May 9, 2011

A Picnic Wedding and Positive Scale Numbers!

What a fabulous weekend.... I went to my first picnic wedding!  My dear friend Jen decided on her picnic wedding about 4 weeks ago, and of course, I couldn't miss the event!  

This pic at left is from the reception... adorable, right?  The bride had picnic baskets and quilts set up for the reception.  We munched on cookout foods and had all of our condiments and favors in the baskets on the quilt.  The favors were little individually baked pies and everything was themed very GREEN, as Jen is a huge advocate for green living.  Cute Cute!

Here I am with my friend Jaede, her daughter Elizabeth, and the Bride Jen.
Such a fun weekend, and of course, a great chance to meet up with dear friends in TN!  It also gave me a great excuse to shop!  What does one wear to a picnic wedding??  Well, it's casual, so I chose a brown maxi-dress (my new go-to) from Forever 21 and took a jean jacket just in case... and it was actually chilly that day!  Good call!  

Progress Pic: -49.8 lbs!
Whenever I travel to see friends and family, I always say those are the HARDEST trips I take food-wise due to all the food-related socializing and of course, the drinking.  How did I get through it?  I took my JC breakfast (cereal, as always) and some Pria bars (my anytime bar).  I also was staying with a friend on a diet - - BRILLIANTLY helpful!  There were a few slip-ups (ex. When the bride's dad insisted I have a burger at the wedding and the HUGE helping of BBQ turkey at Jaede's house), but overall, I did pretty good.  Veggies, my special spinach, and a quick trip to Subway - - I survived!

I had scheduled my JC weigh-in for the morning after I returned to Denver.  AND... I was down -2.2 lbs!  Woooooo!  My weight loss is now at -49.8 lbs.  Could I BE any closer to -50???  I plan to hit it this week.  FOR REAL. PS... 6 lbs to ONEderland!

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New Recipe: Harvest French Toast

I just watched Ross Mathews' latest talky blog on his website and he's demo'ing a new recipe from the Creative Recipes book.  I love his take on how JC recipes can be spiced up, and I do love the original French Toast as well! 

Check him out!  Such a fun spokesperson!  His website is also featured as one of the blogs I follow on the right. 

I have definitely enjoyed watching his transformation as well, and love his JC recommendations! For example, I tried the Rotini and Meatballs because he said it was his favorite - - I usually don't do shelf stable, but he's so right!

Thanks, Ross!  Keep the "Right from Ross' Kitchen" episodes coming!

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Week 26 Weigh In: 6 Months, Baby!

Holy cow!  It's been SIX months that I've been on Jenny Craig!!!!  Did you know that's ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY THREE DAYS????  Whoa...

Reflecting on the Past Six Months
Time to reflect on the changes that have happened over the past 6 months.
  • Down 47.6 lbs! - You know this already, but I'm excited for the numbers moving in the right direction.  How about this for great too:  Of the 26 weeks I've weighed in, I've lost weight 25 of 26 weeks - - the one exception being after Christmas week!  This just goes to show that Jenny Craig WORKS, especially when you WORK IT!
  • Down FOUR pants sizes - I'm a total pear-shaped lady, so pants sizes decreasing are a BIG deal!  I'll always have a bigger bottom, but it's nice to see things getting proportionate again!
  • Improved BMI - 7 points lower - I'm not going to pretend to be a body mass index expert, but obviously this number becoming SMALLER is becoming a big deal!  I really want to be considered "normal" in this index, and I won't even get there at my goal weight unfortunately. 
  • Down 23 inches! - I haven't had my measurements taken in over a month (my JCC is not the best at this), but as of my late March numbers, I was down 23 inches in the core (bust, waist, hips, butt.)
  • My Freezer Looks SOOOOOOO different - Does your freezer look like this?? On the bottom shelf you may see a lot of one item. WELLLLL... I may have bought 15 packages of cinnamon rolls today, out of fear of them being discontinued and me having to (GASP) live without them.  It just can't happen!!  The black dishes on the top shelf are Chicken Pesto Pasta - Another item that will be discontinued soon.  Yep, I'm a JC hoarder!

Today's Weigh-In
Today's weigh in was not that good; however, the scale showed a loss, so I can't complain AT ALL.  I'm down -.8 lbs over the past two weeks.  Considering the numerous things I ate on vacation and with friends this weekend... I'm lucky that I didn't gain.  Phew!

I'm focusing up, as of yesterday... and planning to be down another -10 lbs this month.  I've got a trip at the end of the month to see my dad, and I'd LOOOOVE to be down 57-60 by then since I'll be on the beach.

Here we go, folks!  Onward to the next 6 months! 

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

3rd Reward: Spa Weekend at the Intercontinental Montelucia

I did it.... I reached my 3rd Reward Threshold!  Well, slightly early, but I made it the -50 lb reward, as opposed to the ONEderland reward.  
The Kasbah Pool with Camelback Mountain in the Perimeter

It was truly the most amazing reward, and the most fabulous long weekend (Friday-Monday).

POOL-TIME: The hotel has exquisite service, which I think is one of my favorite parts of visiting the Intercontinental MonteluciaWe spent a ton of time at the pool, and that was our primary activity (as usual).  For me, spending some time in the sun and additional time under one of those beautiful red umbrellas is amazing.

Wearing a bathing suit this weekend wasn't so bad!!! There, I said it!  Almost 50 lbs down, I felt good about the way I looked in my suit.  Cute coverups and matching flip flops made it even better, but to lay in the sun in public and feel good about how I looked and how far I've come was a GREAT feeling.

SPA-TIME: We spent the majority of our time at the Joya Spa - inside the spa, and at the gorgeous rooftop pool.  The rooftop pool was perhaps our greatest find!  So quiet and the atmosphere/menu was TEN TIMES better than the other pools.  I also found my favorite new cocktail at the Joya Spa pool - Vodka, Cranberry, Peach Schnapps, Splash of OJ, Splash of Sprite.  Yum-O!

We also spent several hours inside of the spa.  I treated myself to a 75-minute hot stone massage.  Angela, my masseuse, was phenomenal... and gave me one of the best massages I've ever had!  We also decided to try out Joya's Blowout Bar!  Blowout bars seem to be showing up all over the country... and we decided to try it!  The glass of champagne was also a nice touch, and the gorgeously bouncy hair I had afterward was fabulous!

Joya Spa's Rooftop Pool
WORKING OUT: Something else that's helping... I feel like my friends are getting healthier, too!  I traveled with a dear friend of mine who was prepping for the Music City Marathon in Nashville, TN.  Every morning, she would head out for a 10K run or 7K walk.  So, while Donna headed out for a huge run, I would go to the fitness room and work out on the machines.  The treadmill, the elliptical, and the bike became my friends.  I did 45 minutes of working out daily while I was there, which is awesome.  I have never been one to work out on vacation... so this was kind of a big deal.  And, it was nice to counteract some of the drinks and whatnot I was taking in that I wasn't used to.

FOOD: Last time I was at Montelucia, we partook in their amazing breakfast buffet every morning.  Bacon, pancakes, breakfast potatoes... Not this time!  I had JC for breakfast every day!  I brought my trusty Complete Start Cereal.  I also brought Pria Bars and some Stretch Island Fruit Leather.  This helped quite a bit with snacking and the cereal got my day started right!

I really feel that spa's might be the place to go if you are trying to lose weight!  The restaurants rocked, with tons of HEALTHY options!  And... the lunch menu at the pool had nutritional information listed (calorie/fat/etc).  

Another example of great choices: They had a plate of frozen grapes and another option for watermelon, pineapple, or cantelope!  What great snacks!  

The Kasbah Pool facing Roq Bar and Joya Spa
MARCELLINO'S:  There was one night that I completely jumped off program. There's an AMAZING Italian restaurant (or should I say ristorante) in Old Scottsdale that we looooooove.  We had to go there one night.  I was so excited to have decadent homemade pasta.  There is really nothing like Marcellino's Ristorante.  I've eaten a lot of italian in my life, and it's my ultimate favorite!  They have this Cacio de Pepe that's described as "Cracked pepper and Romano cheese infused pasta with a hearty ragu of sautéed pancetta, caramelized onion and tomato"  Heaven on a plate!   Interestingly, it was equally delicious as the last time I had it, but I ate about 1/2 of what I finished last time.  I was miserably full after eating 1/2 of the plate of pasta.  And, I felt almost sick afterward (sigh.)  Keep in mind, I loooooooved every bite, but I think it was my mind processing the calories I had taken in and panicking and my stomach reacting to pancetta and cheese, which I have not eaten for months!
Looking relaxed with a glass of Malbec

READING:  I also spent some time reading under my red umbrella at Montelucia.  I've been hooked on the Emily Giffin books lately after reading Something Borrowed.  I tore through her latest book Heart of the Matter at the pool on Sunday.  If you haven't read her novels, I recommend giving them a shot.  She's fantastic at creating characters you can relate to.

If you haven't figured out a rewards program for your weight loss, I definitely recommend it.  I've never enjoyed a trip like this one because it was celebrating something I'd achieved and worked so hard to attain!

Ahhhh.... Montelucia.  Such a wonderful weekend, I miss you already.  We've made plans to visit again next April, and I seriously can't wait.  And, I will be at goal by that point!!

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