Tag Archives: scales

The Trouble With Food Tracking and My Wish List

I learned a valuable lesson today. It’s a lesson I’ve been forced to learn about 187391092779 times over, and I hope this time the true meaning will stick in my mind so that I’ll quit making the same mistakes.

If you are monitoring your food intake, ALWAYS TRACK YOUR MEALS.

I know, it seems obvious. It is obvious. It’s also the cornerstone of the Weight Watchers philosophy. But I am the laziest tracker in the history of the world. I spent the month of March being really lazy about my tracking habits- partially because I was fasting, and partially because I’m just really freaking lazy. As a result, when I stepped on the scale two weeks ago, I wasn’t very surprised to be pissed off by the number it gave me. However, I was a little surprised to be even more upset by the number I saw last week. In my defense, I was on my period and I always weigh really heavy when I’m menstruating. But I also didn’t track very well last week. I always start the week strong, and then I taper off toward the middle of the week. When I stop tracking, it becomes infinitely easier to impulsively eat the foods which sabotage me and my goals.

This week, however, I really focused on my tracking- even when I didn’t feel like it. And I saw definite results on the scale this morning. I need to maintain this momentum- sometimes tracking my food is just such a F-ing hassle. But I have to remember that the long term goals are worth the extra five minutes of effort.

In other news, I’ve been accumulating a wish list of items which will improve my blogging/cooking/athletic life. While the list grows steadily every day, there are a couple of items that are really key:

canon rebel1. New Camera- I love my camera. I really do. It’s small, and I can take it everywhere. But I need to get serious about my photography, especially in regard to my blogging. I mean, I’m well aware that a fancy camera does not create great photos- there’s no substitute for good lighting and composition. But I want the quality of my photography to increase, and I don’t want to invest more money in another point and shoot when I’m pleased with the point and shoot I’m using. I need to upgrade to dslr. My ideal model is the Canon Rebel– of course, it’s really expensive. I’m looking for a used canon, and I’m actually looking primarily at older models. I spend quite a bit of time scouring ebay for viable options. At this point, it’s just a little too far out of my financial grasp. But I’m hopeful- if you know anyone who is upgrading to another model and wants to get rid of their dslr, let me know!

garmin heart rate monitor2. Heart Rate Monitor: I think I need to be monitoring my activity level more vigilantly and I think a heart rate monitor will really help with this goal. I’d like to kn0w exactly how many calories I’m burning while exercising and I’d like to get more precise heart rate calculations. This will help me determine how I should be increasing/decreasing my exercise levels, especially as I reach weight plateaus and finish couch to 5k. At this point I’m battling between a garmin and a polar– price is an obvious factor, but I’m still just trying to decide between the two brands. As always, I’m really open to any insight you guys might have.

running shoe fitting guides3. Running Shoes: I actually already talked about this, but it’s become a true necessity. I don’t know how I’ll make it through the summer running season (especially since I definitely plan to run/race when I’m in Boston) wearing the shoes I have right now. These are great sneaks for general exercise, but I need to take better care of my tootsie wootsies if I’m going to keep up this hobby. I’ve received some great running shoe store recommendations in both GSO and Winston-Salem, but I still can’t quite decide between Fleet Feet and Off’N Running. In fact, I might have to get fitted after Saturday’s race– but maybe I’m being too impulsive. Thoughts?

citrus reamer4. Citrus Reamer: Self-explanatory. I bite my nails, and citrus juice+ bitten cuticles= LAME.

All this talk about running has made me pretty pumped about my run tonight. It’s weird how I’m sort of starting to like it.

…I hope I didn’t speak too soon. Smile

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Filed under blogging, body issues, couch to 5k challenge, exercise, food, goals, money honey, races, running, shopping, weigh-in, Weight Watchers

Holy Guacamole: My Weekly Weigh-In, and Eating The SAG Awards- a Movie Buff’s Super Bowl Sunday

Is this where I address my WEEK LONG absence? Is this where I beg forgiveness? Is this where I scold myself for letting the mundane details of my life consume me?

I certainly hope not. Because here’s what happened: I was busy. Very busy. And sick. Fairly ill, in fact. Many things happened during this week long sabbatical from blogging. I’m going to start talking about several of those things in just a moment.

But I’ve already done enough emotional flogging related to my blogging break. I think that in order for me to  successfully maintain this journal, I need to stop giving myself such a hard time about the way I communicate with others. I’m actually quite upset with myself because not only was I too busy to write, I was too busy to read my 21093041787 favorite blogs. Therefore, my google reader is about to hemorrhage from too many exciting blog entries.

However, that’s neither here nor there, and yelling at myself on the internet will not turn back the hands of time.

First thing’s first: in spite of my tumultuous week (which involved a GIRLTALK CONCERT, sinus related illness, and breaking my Couch to 5k Personal records), I managed to LOSE WEIGHT this week. Now, while I’m obviously unbelievably stoked to have had this happen, I think there’s an actual Weight Watchers related lesson embedded in this experience:

ALWAYS WEIGH-IN. I didn’t want to weigh-in today- I was convinced I’d gained weight, and I didn’t feel like dealing with the consequences of my actions. I was in a very low place. However, I told myself that I needed to calm down because how could I change my actions if I refused to even see the results? So I stepped on the scale, totally prepared to see a gain. And I lost. I lost over a pound. But the point is that I was PREPARED FOR THE GAIN. I was ready to take responsibility for my bad choices (yes, super salty cheese enchilada that was SO not worth the ww pointsplus….I’m looking at you).No matter what kind of ridiculous roller coaster week I’m facing, I need to always remember that the proper way to start over is by getting all the facts.

ANYWAY, like I said, this week was very congested (and so was my nose- HAHAHAHA). I made a lot of really interesting food (most of which I didn’t photograph- boo hiss), and I increased my standard pace during week 2 of the Couch to 5k Challenge.

In particular, Sunday night was particularly exciting because it was the live broadcast of the 17th Annual Screen Actor’s Guild Awards.

sag awards

Anyone who knows me is well aware that Awards Season is the Jessamyn Equivalent of March Madness. In other words, Sunday night was essentially my own personal Super Bowl Sunday (yeah, that’s right, I just combined sports metaphors).

In honor of the occasion, I decided to make a lot of party related food for one person (one person because, aside from my mother, I’m the only person I know who is obsessed with awards shows).

I decided to make guacamole, hummus, and a pizza.

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This probably sounds stupid, but I’m 99.9% sure I  had never opened an avocado before Sunday. Yes, I’ve eaten avocado- I love avocado. But for some reason, the preparation of fresh avocado is not a very large part of my life.

The guacamole turned out pretty delicious:

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I used a very generic guacamole recipe, i.e throw avocado, onions, salt, and lime juice into a food processor, but there are a few changes I might make. For starters, while using a food processor is time efficient, it creates a fairly smooth consistency. I prefer chunky guacamole, so I might just use a fork to mash up the fruit next time. Also, using ripe tomatoes is usually tastier than using recently picked tomatoes- as a result, I had unnecessarily large chunks of tomatoes (and I hate tomatoes- ok, that’s an overstatement but you get the picture).

In addition to the guacamole, I made a batch of hummus using canned garbanzo beans. It turned out ok, but the flavor is a teensy bit off to me. This was my first time making hummus from scratch, and for that reason I’m cutting myself a little bit of slack. Maybe it tasted off because the beans were canned and not fresh- the recipe I used said to use some of the water drained off the beans. In all honesty, I think this added to the weird flavor. In general, canning juices are not know for having the most palatable taste. Whatever, the hummus tastes pretty good in wraps and with homemade corn chips. I just need to futz with the recipe a little.

The main event of my SAG Awards Viewing party was the homemade pizza. I’ve been craving pizza for weeks, and I finally had enough time to make a crust from scratch. However, before I started the pizza making process, I decided to fulfill one of my goals: Making turkey sausage from scratch.

Now you’re probably wondering: Jessamyn, what does one put in turkey sausage? Well, for someone who follows directions well and reads recipes thoroughly, the ability to rattle off an exact ingredient list is probably second nature. However, if you’re like me and have the natural urge to do things the hard way, then you probably just eyeballed every spice in your kitchen until you came up with something resembling sausage. I mean, making sausage is basically just handmixing a bunch of spices into a mass of raw beast right?

(my great-grandmothers are probably rolling in their graves).

Anyway, I started with a pound of lean ground turkey. From that point, the sky was the limit. Here’s a sampling of ingredients that made their way into Jessamyn’s turkey sausage:

–cumin seeds

–thyme

–rosemary

–cayenne pepper

–oregano

–onion powder

–garlic powder

–nutmeg

–fresh ground black peppercorns

WAIT A MINUTE. Let’s pause here a moment, and I’ll give you a process shot of my beloved turkey sausage:

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I bet you’re wondering why I just inserted a photo of chocolate chip cookie dough into a blog of sausage making. That’s because it’s NOT cookie dough- do those look like chocolate chips to you? Let’s turn the flash on this baby:

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Yeah, that’s right- my gorgeous turkey sausage was marred by accidently dumping half a canister of WHOLE BLACK PEPPERCORNS into the mixing bowl.

I wish there was a photo of my face as the pepper fell into the bowl. I’m sure it was priceless.

Needless to say, I spent the next 15 minutes individually picking the black peppercorns out of the raw sausage. Yes, I washed my hands often. Yes, I was BEYOND pissed off. But I’m not made of money- there was no way in HELL that I was going to toss out a pound of meat because of a few hundred black peppercorns.

Anyway, after much trial, tribulation, and peppercorn picking, this finally went into my oven:

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And then, miracle of miracles, the crust rose properly! And it was both soft and crunchy. AND I DIDN’T EAT IT ALL AT ONCE (probably the greatest miracle of all).

By the way, the crust recipe I used was my own personal spin on a WW recipe- instead of using 4 1/4 cup ( s ) all purpose flour, I subbed in 2 1/4 cup ( s ) whole wheat flour- partially because of the health factor and partially because of the ‘I ran out of all-purpose flour’ factor. A lot of people are afraid of whole wheat flour, but I think it’s perfectly delicious.

Original WW Recipe:

1 1/2 cup(s) water, warm (105-115°F)

1 tsp sugar

2 1/4 tsp yeast, or 1 package

1 Tbsp olive oil

4 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp table salt

Jessamyn’s Adaptation:

1 1/2 cup(s) water, warm (105-115°F)

1 tsp sugar

2 1/4 tsp yeast, or 1 package

1 Tbsp olive oil

2  cup(s) all-purpose flour

2 1/4 cup(s) whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp table salt

  • Combine the water and sugar in a measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until foamy and lagoon-ish, about 5 minutes. Stir in the oil.
  • Combine the flour and salt in a food processor, stand mixer, or with your bare hands (like in olden times- just pretend you are someone’s Italian grandmother). With the machine running (if you don’t feel like busting it out with your hands), scrape the yeast mixture into the bowl; pulse until the dough forms a ball, about 1 minute. If necessary, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth and elastic.
  • Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray; put the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down the dough, then cut in half. Refrigerate or freeze in floured zip-close freezer bags at this point or use as directed in the recipe. Yields 1⁄12 of dough per serving.

I only used 1/5 of this recipe to create my Sunday night pizza. The dough can be used in a lot of different recipes, and I have big plans for homemade calzones later this week.

ANYWAY,

How was your week? If you watched the SAG Awards, were you shocked by any of the wins and snubs (for example, are the various critics associations just pretending Inception never happened? Actually, maybe it was all just a dream…)

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Filed under couch to 5k challenge, food, recipes, verba abuse, weigh-in, Weight Watchers

Cue The “Twilight Zone” Theme

scale 001

Is you heart racing? Is your blood pumping? Are you shaking in your boots because this scary item has finally arrived and now you have to (as Allison Sweeney loves to say on TBL) “Face The Scale?

Yeah, me neither.

I weighed myself yesterday. I smiled. I stepped off the scale. I put back on my clothes and went to class.

I wasn’t afraid. In fact, on the contrary, I felt semi-happy. Who knows if this feeling will last until next week. Who knows if it will last until tomorrow. But right now, I don’t hate myself for my weight. I don’t begrudge myself one pound.

And I think that means I’m finally doing this for the right reasons. That self-realization is enough for me to do a booty shake all over this apartment.

Another AWESOME moment? I actually woke up when I heard my first 5am pre-workout alarm this morning. No snoozing for this girl!

I’m ‘adult’ enough to know that not every moment will feel this way. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t hold on to the moments that do.

On a completely unrelated note, this is my first entry where I’ve used Windows Live Writer. I’ve got to say: this might be love at first write.

(OMG HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH ME, I’M SO PUNNY.)

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Filed under exercise, goals, weigh-in, Weight Watchers

Scales, Scales, Scales: A Buyer’s Guide

It took me longer than usual to start this entry for two reasons:

1)      I’m listening to Daft Punk’s Alive 2007 (“Around The World/Harder Better Faster Stronger”, to be more specific), and the beats distracted my flow of thought.*

2)      North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad has been attacked by a snow/ice extravaganza! Being a Southern girl, I’m completely entranced by snow, even though it’s really just very cold rain. However, I actually dreaded this particular storm- the arrival of our third (!!!) notable snow of the season will inevitably delay the release of UNCSA refund checks, and I’m already skating on thin financial ice. Oh, well. At least school was cancelled.

After a lot of research (which also translates to ‘a lot of homework time wasted’), I’ve finally decided which two items I’m going to purchase in order to make my new goals a reality. Obviously, it’s completely unnecessary to go shopping before you start a new plan. However, I’ve been thinking about making these purchases for a really long time, and I think I’ve finally found the right products.

1)      Eat Smart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale

The Eat Smart Precision will not be my first kitchen scale- in fact, the reason I know so much about the function (or rather, malfunction) of kitchen scales has quite a bit to do with this little beauty:

Word to the wise? Don’t buy key kitchen gadgets at Ikea**. Cheap is awesome sometimes- cheap is not awesome when it comes to measurement accuracy. Not to mention that spring scales are (in general) less accurate than digital models. I’ve read dozens of reviews, and the Eat Smart appears to be the best combination of price, accuracy, and efficiency. Also, quite ironically, after I decided to purchase the Eat Smart, I found out that Danica of Danicasdaily uses the exact same scale! She did an awesome product review almost one year ago, and her review definitely helped push me over the edge.

2)      Weight Watchers Memory Glass Electronic Scale

Ok, it’s time for a confession: scales are one of my biggest fears. They rank in my top five, hovering somewhere between heights and massive snakes.  And, not to be presumptuous, but I don’t think I’m alone in this fear. Women (and men) are trained from a young age to put an unnatural amount of stock in the numbers produced by scales. To make matters worse, a person’s weight can vary by several pounds depending on which scale you step on. Needless to say, I’ve had seemingly never-ending hours of anxiety surrounding my personal scale activity. For years, I absolutely refused to purchase a scale- during my previous Weight Watchers stints, I’ve insisted upon only weighing myself at meetings. That being said, I still don’t think it’s a great idea to weigh oneself more than one time per week- weight can fluctuate dramatically during any given week, and I don’t want to subject myself to more emotional trauma than absolutely necessary.

You’re probably wondering why I would purchase a scale if I have so many ridiculous psychological issues with them. Well, for one thing, since I’ll be doing Weight Watchers Online, I need to keep track of my weight loss numbers. Second, all of the psychological issues I’ve listed have made me realize that I’m turning into a TWENTY-THREE YEAR OLD PSYCHOPATH. A person should not be afraid of their own weight- that’s absolutely ridiculous. I need to come to terms with my numerical body weight, and I think purchasing a scale will help expedite this process.

I’ve chosen the Weight Watchers Memory Scale because I want a scale with good memory functions- this model stores the start, last, current, and goal weights for up to four users. It has received great points for weight accuracy, and has an interesting leveling system to make sure you achieve proper balance before taking a weight measurement. However, it costs a little more money than I would typically spend on this sort of item- however, I need to stop being such a cheap ass and start buying higher quality items, instead of cheap items which will break shortly after purchase.

Is My Fear Totally Irrational? What are your Fears Associated with Body Weight?


*Daft Punk’s “Alive 2007” ranks really high on my list of Music For Working Out. Get Familiar.

**I still absolutely love Ikea, even though I found the Ikea Kitchen Scale to be lackluster.

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Filed under buyer's guide, food, goals, shopping, Weight Watchers