Monday, April 30, 2012

In which my bloodwork is back

Last month I went to see my primary care physician for my annual checkup.

This was a big deal because I think it's the first time in forever that I ever went back on schedule. If I had to go to the doctor, I usually blew off the follow-up because I was going to get, eventually (and rightly), The Talk, aka, "You've got to lose weight."

But since getting to goal and maintaining my weight, I am now all about going to the doctors because it's all praise. And you know me, if I'm going to get a compliment, I will be there.

Last year my doctor was super impressed, I think at that point I had lost around 80 pounds. This year, he was over the moon. Not only had I reached a healthy weight, I was staying there. And we all know that staying there - not getting there - is the real fight. (I hate to be the one to tell you this in case you were unaware, but it is the truth.)

Anyway, I was excited to get my bloodwork results back to see how I did. I knew they would be good since I eat very heathy.

And, if I'm reading those < and > right (click for a bigger picture), I think I'm doing just fine.

This is a pretty amazing turnaround from someone who, less than 2 years ago, had dangerously high blood pressure, serious sleep apnea and was pre-diabetic, and is now a vegetarian-bootcamper-runner who works for Weight Watchers.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Food Of The Day: Grilled cheese

My alarm went off at 4:45 am today. I rolled over, hit Off, and then glanced over my left shoulder, surprised there wasn't a child wedged in between me and my husband.

I swung out of bed and shuffled (accurate verb) downstairs.

The first coherent thought in my head: "I want a grilled cheese sandwich."

For real. Who else thinks like this? Times like this I believe I may have a legit mental problem.

Anyway, I haven't had a grilled cheese since I don't know when and I have no idea why I thought of it when I woke up this morning. But I was going to make it happen.

This was good for at least one reason: I've been in a food rut, eating the same-old, same-old and it's good to mix things up.

I had to go to the store later anyway, so I seriously thought about how to construct this sandwich for relatively low Points. Sure, I could whip up a food-porny one with real cheese, real butter and some delicious, hearty not-Points-friendly bread from the bakery.

That's one of the things I love about being a Weight Watcher, we can always find a way to make something lower-Point. It's like a conditioned response, mention a recipe and you can almost see our WW wheels turning, How can I knock that down?

However, I wanted to keep the Points for this endeavor reasonable. If I want to blow out my Points, I'm heading to the bakery and it ain't for bread.

First off, bread - what was I going to use for bread? I could use the - let's face it - crappy, airy, smooshy, really-low-Point bread. But you need decent bread in a grilled cheese and even I'm not cheap enough with my Points to go that route.

I also wanted a decent-size sandwich, so that ruled out good bread in a silver dollar size.

Then it hit me: lavash. Lavash! I love lavash bread. It's my favorite bread. I use it as a wrap. I eat it as toast. I use it as pizza crust. And a whole sheet (pretty big, like a foot long) is only 2 Points.

So I got my lavash and then checked out the Points hit on 2% cheese. 2 Points per slice. Eh, pass. I checked out Weight Watchers cheese and found a Pepper Jack for 1 Point per slice. This would do.

I got home and cut the lavash in half, then half again (2 Points). Two sandwiches! I added 2 slices of cheese to each sandwich (4 Points total) and covered each with 1T of real fake butter (1 Point). Real fake butter as in this stuff, not I Can Believe It's Butter-Flavored Chemicals (which I do use).

I threw them on the griddle, saddled them with a bacon press and watched them like a hawk so they didn't burn. Seriously, I don't watch my children as closely as I did these sandwiches.

They smelled awesome. The lavash browned and the cheese started to bubble out of the side. Done.

Wow, so good. Seriously, for 7 Points, two cheesy, gooey, buttery sandwiches. Make it happen, heed my pre-dawn food cravings. You won't be sorry.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

In which I get strong







It was about 6:20 am and I stood perpendicular to a concrete wall, about 10 feet away, repeatedly hurling an 8-lb medicine ball at said wall in the scariest-ever solo game of catch.

The exercise was scary only because my mind was wandering. If I didn't start paying attention, I would soon do what I did just a couple of weeks ago and be rewarded for my inattention with an 8-lb med ball right to the lady business.

I stood sideways across from the wall, behind the blue cone as instructed. I held the ball to my outside hip and rotated through my hips, hucking that med ball at the wall and catching it when it flew back: Ooof. And it flew, landing with a thwack and snapping back toward me like a cannonball.

It was the velocity that surprised me, causing me to think: Wow, I don't remember ever throwing the ball this hard.

And the I realized: Because you couldn't. And then, thankfully, the bell rang and it was time to move on to the bench press.

I've written it before, but it's still true: When you get in shape, the most fun realizations can be the ones you don't expect. Like suddenly being able to run 3 miles or saying good-bye to the plus-size section forever.

I had another such moment yesterday when I pulled out the lawn mower for the first time this season. I enjoy mowing the lawn, but I always hated starting our cruddy push mower. It usually took me several pulls, flooding the engine a couple of times and pulling some muscle in my right arm before I, pissed off, trudged in the house looking for my husband to start 'er up.

One time I had to ask my good friend and neighbor to do it, and she still gives me grief:

"Hey, remember the time I needed to start the -"

"Oh, shut up."

So yesterday I pulled the mower out of storage and let it bake in the sun for an hour or so. I came out, made sure the kids were occupied in the garage, adopted the stance, squeezed the handle, held my core tight, grabbed the pull cord and yanked.


One pull, one start. Well, hot damn.

I looked around, hoping any other adult in the neighborhood was outside so I could give them a cocky nod, a la, "No, I am not surprised. And, yes, I am the shit." but, figures, no one was around. Damn.

My first instinct was to hop up and down, hands in the air triumphant, a la Rocky, but I realized if I did, the engine would stop and my celebration would be for naught.

Bootcamp, weight loss, life. The challenges seems big, the mountains to climb, high. But, cliched as it sounds, you take little step after little step, pound after pound, class after class and it all builds up.

Your little wins accumulate and, one day, out of the blue, they become something cool, something big, and you can start the damn mower yourself.