Hello and happy Friday! This week’s featured snack is one of my absolute faves when I’m craving something salty: Gerb’s Lightly Salted Pumpkin Seeds. I’ve included the link in case you are interested in doing a bit of on-line shopping and can’t find these in your area. I like their mild and spicy versions too, but the lightly salted is undoubtedly my favorite. I’m sure that there are other yummy brands of whole pumpkin seeds available, and you might find some other kind where you live. Let me know if you have a favorite! You could also make your own.
The first time I bought these, I was looking for shelled pumpkin seeds to toss on my salads. I love their nutty little crunch. I usually buy them from the bulk section at Whole Foods, but the bin was empty that day. I picked up a bag of these babies thinking that they were the same as what I usually got from the bin. Imagine my surprise when I started shaking a few out of the bag only to realize that they were still in their shells. The bag suggested that I could eat them like popcorn, I did, and that’s how I became hooked.
I remember roasting the seeds from Halloween pumpkins when I was growing up, and I also recall being annoyed because they seemed so difficult to shell. Umm, yeah. I was trying to eat them like sunflower seeds. Little did I know, that you can eat them shell and all, and that you get a good amount of fiber when you do. As far as points go, the nutritionals for a one ounce serving are 120 calories, 5 grams of fat and 10 grams of fiber= 2 points. A whole serving also contains 5 grams of protein and enough omega 3s, 6s and 9s that they warrant a mention on the bag. Not bad! I find that half a serving is usually enough for me, and, as luck (and the ww points calculator) would have it, 1/2 a serving is only 1/2 a point!!
Alrighty, now on to the weekly stats!
Daily Points Target: 22
Weekly Points Remaining: 0/35
Activity Points Remaining: 22.5/33.5
I earned more activity points than usual this week, which may have explained why I found myself eating a bit more too. Still, I finished the week with a 22.5 point surplus, and worked in a few Valentine’s chocolates and molasses cookies along the way.
Saturday: 65 minutes of cardio combo (elliptical, running and walking with incline on the treadmill, jump rope intervals and stairmaster) with 10 minutes of core exercise and stretching
Sunday: 45 minutes of strength training,35 minutes of cardio combo, 5 minutes of stretching
Monday: technically a day off, but I walked/ran 5 miles and earned some bonus AP’s
Tuesday: 45 minutes of strength training, 35 minutes cardio combo, 5 minutes of stretching
Wednesday: 65 minutes of cardio combo with 10 minutes of core exercise and stretching
Thursday: 60 minutes of kickboxing
I love that on Monday, I decided to walk to meet my friend for lunch (about 5 miles round trip) rather than taking the metro or a cab. When I was bigger and more sedentary, that would never have occurred to me. I was wearing my gym shoes and some comfy clothes, and I found myself jogging part of the way sort of on an impulse. I have so much more energy than before, and sometimes walking just feels too slow!
Otherwise, my workout schedule was pretty typical. My trainer did her monthly fitness assessment on Sunday, and I beat my previous push-up record (on my toes) by doing 20. I also beat my previous plank record by holding the position for 2 minutes. I’m hoping to beat those records at next month’s assessment. The scale has been stubborn lately, but I’m seeing definite improvements in my strength and fitness levels. I’m hoping that there is some muscle building going on!
Speaking of the scale… you might recall that last week I celebrated my birthday and had a 2.8 pound gain. This week I was down 1 pound and weighed in at 160.4. I will take it! Obviously, I am doing a happy dance this week. I know that last week’s post depicted a different story, and I’ve reflected back on that post over the past few days.
Last week’s gain was larger than a normal “random fluctuation” gain for me, and I spent a bit of time feeling sorry for myself. It happens. I’ve typically experienced weight loss success, but frustration occasionally comes along to remind me that it is part of the package too. That doesn’t mean, however, that I should spend time beating myself up for enjoying my birthday. That kind of attitude is negative and counterproductive. I’ve mentioned before that I believe that focusing on positive things yields positive results, and I know that sort of negative thinking isn’t going to get me anywhere.
It is true that I’ve been hovering around 160 for a while now. I wouldn’t say that I’ve hit a plateau, because holidays and vacations have certainly played a part. I will say that it is becoming harder to lose the weight, but just as easy to gain. That fact is frustrating and might scare me a bit. Having said that, I know that if I allow negative frustration and fear to rule my behavior and my thoughts, the outcome will not likely be a good one.
Let’s focus on some positives instead. The truth of the matter is that I am not at all unhappy at the weight I’m at now. I don’t feel like losing weight is an emergency the way that it was at the beginning. I don’t worry about fitting into airplane seats, chairs with arms or roller coasters. I can shop in “regular” stores, run 10Ks, beat the stuffing out of a bag in kickboxing, and ride my bicycle for miles and miles. Overall, I feel great, have tons of energy and can do so many things now that I couldn’t do before. I also really love the food that I eat each day!
So, um, Sweetie Pie, if things are so great then why are you still trying to lose more? I’ve been asked this question recently by various friends and co-workers. It is an excellent question and one worth my serious consideration. I think the goal I’ve set is reasonable, doable, and healthy, and I like setting and achieving goals. I’d like to shed some more pounds for the sake of my joints, and because it would make running and kickboxing and all of those things I love to do even easier. I think it would enhance my overall health and fitness, and I think my energy levels would soar even higher. I also think that it will be easier to just keep going than to stop and then start again later. Newton might have been on to something with that whole “an object in motion tends to stay in motion” thing. I can think of lots of reasons to keep going, and I just don’t think I’m ready to stop yet.
I can also think of some good reasons to switch to maintenance. I understand that maintaining is hard, and I expect that very little would change in my life from day to day. The big difference would be my expectations when it comes to the scale each week. I like the idea of trying to eat intuitively and adjusting to deal with increases in weight. I do have a certain security in my little points framework, but I think it might be good to see what happens if I eat “off the grid” for a time. It might be like taking the training wheels off. I like new challenges, and I’m sure I would find plenty of them in maintenance.
My plan for now is this. Rather than declaring that I must lose 20 more pounds, I am going to try to lose 5, and then I’m going to reevaluate. If I want to keep going, I will. If I decide that it is time to switch to maintenance, I’m going to allow myself to do that. If I do keep going, I’ll reevaluate after the next 5 pounds. It will be my own little “choose your own adventure” style story. Overall, I’m going to remember that there is no rush. I’m planning to exercise and eat healthy food for the rest of my life anyway. I’m also going to do my best to focus on all of the positives, and to listen to what my body has to tell me (although if it tells me to sit on my behind and eat lots of cookies, we will have to have a little talk…). 🙂
That’s what I have for this week. It has been a good week. I enjoyed some good food, had some great workouts, and tried a few new recipes. I’m ending my week on a happy note. The icing on top of the cake are my plans to see Swan Lake at the Kennedy Center this evening. I love going to the Kennedy Center. The red carpets always make me feel sort of glamorous even if I am attending the ballet in my work clothes.
Just because I think we need a happy picture here to depict my mood, I’m going to leave you with a picture I took a couple of springs ago. I look forward to the cherry blossoms each year. They are beautiful, and their appearance also means that spring is here. The wind is bitterly cold today, and I’m daydreaming about the warmer weather to come. I hope you like the picture, and I hope you have a fabulous weekend!
One more thing: There is a contest going on until tomorrow for some pretty awesome looking granola over at Mon’s Appetit. You should definitely check it out. The Milk & Honey granolas look amazing!!