Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Time for a Change

After far more deliberation than was necessary, I made the leap.  I am now a member of:

I have no idea what the chickens have to do with Weight Watchers.
When I googled images for Weight Watchers, this came up.
How could I not pick it?

I hemmed and hawed about joining because a couple of years back, I did lose 50 lbs, all by myself.  Logically, if I did it then, I should be able to do it now.  Except when you examine some of the differences between then and now.  Three years ago, I was in college, had a free pass to Dome (the gym there; my SD friends know what I mean!), access to aerobics classes, and all the free time in the world.  Now, I'm a grown-up (at least, that's what they tell me).  I work; I have two kids.  Free time is at a premium.  Sadly, a free gym membership is no longer part of my life, nor is easy access to aerobics classes (I'm a dork--I LOVE step aerobics).  

Also, there is something to be said for the monetary investment and commitment involved with Weight Watchers.  Knowing that $40/month is going towards this, I'm more inclined to take it seriously.  

Some of you may be wondering, "Wait--you said you lost 50 lbs.  What the hell happened?"  (Or maybe none of you care.  Well it's my blog, so you're going to hear about it anyway.)  I can tell you what happened in three words:  Darren and Leah.  

When I found out I was pregnant with Darren, I was down to 140.  I had been at that for a couple of months, and was hoping to eventually lose another 10.  And then I saw the two pink lines.  I remember the exact moment that I decided to be a freaking moron.  I had taken the test in the morning.  That noon, I was standing in the kitchen, trying to decide what to have for lunch.  I held a box of Mac 'n' Cheese in my hands.  I stared at it for quite a while, trying to decide whether I wanted it or not.  Suddenly I thought, "What the hell.  I'm gonna get fat anyway.  Might as well have fun."  And fun I did have.  I more than made up for all the self-restraint I had exercised in the year prior.  I ate everything.  

If I could impart one bit of wisdom to mothers-to-be or anyone who hopes to someday be pregnant, it is this:  do not eat everything in sight.  Pregnancy is NOT a pass to eat anything that is not nailed down.  You WILL regret it.  Just before I delivered Darren, I was up to 220.  (Yeah, do the math.  That's 80 lbs. in 9 months.  You're supposed to gain 25-30.)  After I had him, I got down to 200 pretty easily.  I started watching what I ate, walking regularly, and got down to 190.....and then I got pregnant again.  I'm happy to report that I wasn't quite so stupid the second time around.  I don't recall my high pregnancy weight, but I was able to get down to 185 fairly quickly.

While I obviously know what is required for weight loss (eat less, do more), I think the accountability will help me out this time around.  

So, in the spirit of my quest for a smaller ass, I present a couple remarkably good recipes from this month's WW Magazine.

Lemon Cod
2 small plum tomatoes, diced
1/4 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth
6 kalamata olives, chopped
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil
2 tsp. EVOO
1/4 tsp salt
2 c. refrigerated ready-to-cook potatoes*
1 lb. skinless cod

1.  To make the topping, combine the tomatoes, broth, olives, lemon zest, basil, oil, and salt in a bowl.
2.  Spread the potatoes in a 2-qt. microwavable dish and place the cod on top.  Spoon the topping over the cod.  Cover with plastic wrap; then prick a few holes in the plastic.
3.  Microwave on HIgh just until the potatoes are tender and the cod is opaque in the center 10-12 minutes.

*I wasn't going to buy refrigerated potatoes.  I diced up two regular, non-refrigerated potatoes.  I also had reservations about making the whole thing in the microwave.  I'm just not a big microwave person.  I covered it with foil and put it in the oven on 375 for about an hour.  

Ryan really liked this recipe, which kinda surprised me.  He's not normally much of a fish person.

Lebanese Chicken Patties
1 tomato, diced
2 tbsp. chopped mint
3/4 c. plain fat-free yogurt
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. water
1/2 c. bulgar*
1 lb. ground chicken
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. pepper
6 c. baby salad greens
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. olive oil

1.  Preheat the oven to 375.  Spray baking sheet.  Mix tomato, mint, 1/2 c. of the yogurt, and 1/4 tsp. of the salt.  Bring the water to a boil in small kettle.  Stir in the bulgar; remove from the heat.  Cover and let stand until the water is absorbed, 25-30 minutes.  
2.  Transfer the bulgar to a large bowl.  Stir in the chicken, garlic, cumin, pepper, and the remaining yogurt and salt.  Form into 8 patties.  Bake until cooked through, about 25 minutes.  Toss the greens, lemon juice, and oil; divide among 4 plates.  Top each with 1 patty and 1/4 c. of the yogurt mixture.  Chill remaining patties for up to 3 days.

*I couldn't find bulgar, so I subbed 1/2 c. quinoa.  I just cooked it up and used it in place of the bulgar.  Also, you'll note that it makes 8 patties, but 4 servings.  It's designed as "planned left-overs" so you can make soup later.  Which I will be doing Thursday night.

I was a little concerned to note that a serving of this is only 1 patty.  Fortunately, 1 patty and the lettuce is only 3 points, so it's not much of stretch to have two.  I was also pleasantly surprised to discover it was quite a bit more filling than I expected.  I did also have a small side of Quinoa Black Bean salad to round out the meal.

(And speaking of that salad, have you made it yet?  If you're not big on cilantro, it's probably not for you, but otherwise,  you need to make it.  It is SO good.  I think I could sit down and eat all of it.  It's that good.)