Weekly Weigh-In Week Five

Well, it happened this week. I gained. 1.8 pounds. Erasing two weeks’ worth of loss. I’m frustrated. I’m not exactly surprised since I ate heavily last weekend and went over my daily points almost every day this week. But I also exercised a lot more and never felt like I was going overboard, eating as much as I would have used to. I kind of expected a gain, but not almost two pounds. I’m mad at myself. And mad at how good food tastes, continuing to tempt me.

Anyway, there’s no use obsessing over what I did wrong, I just need to refocus and do better next week. I started by taking a ninety minute walk pushing the boys in the double stroller this afternoon. It was completely exhausting, but energizing at the same time. I figured I better take advantage of these last few days of nice weather before I’m stuck inside all the time. Winter is the time to resort to exercise videos, not when it’s beautiful outside.

Overall, it’s just been a pretty rough week around here. I’ve had an extremely hard time getting motivated to do much of anything. Caden and Shepard are both still sick and have been in terrible moods. I have no patience for it anymore. I did try and turn things around a few times, like when we went to a petting farm on Tuesday for a few hours. I went on a brisk walk alone last night which was nice. And of course our long walk today which included a stop at a pumpkin stand and tiny dishes of ice cream for the boys. We usually have good days when we leave the house. Being at home is when things get rough.

At any rate, this next week should be exciting. Tomorrow I’m going to Cranberry Fest with my parents – one of my favorite days of the year! If you like craft fairs and live within a few hours of Warrens, WI you NEED to go to Cranberry Fest. It’s amazing. Then next week is our first week of Caden needing to be somewhere every single day. I’m not really looking forward to that much running around, but it’ll be good for all of us sticking to a more regular schedule. Then next weekend is my birthday! Lots of happy days coming! I’m just trying not to focus on my weight gain this week and think about how much better I’m definitely going to do next week. I can’t get stuck only five weeks in.

Caden’s 4th Birthday Bash

Over the weekend we celebrated Caden’s 4th birthday! I can’t believe that he’s four already, though at the same time, I can barely remember what my life was like without him in it. Everything changes when you have a child. Absolutely everything. Caden has helped me to grow in so many ways. He’s also brought out the best and worst in me as we’ve struggled and triumphed through so many things in the last few years. I love my son more than anything and was so happy to celebrate with him on this special weekend.

Saturday was party day so we started with a special (and easy) breakfast of donuts.

I decorated the cake right away in the morning. I didn’t really have a clear vision of what I wanted to do ahead of time, but I think it turned out pretty well! I baked the cakes on Thursday night and froze them, then made the fondant and rice krispie treats on Friday. So putting it all together on Saturday was pretty easy. I’ve never been too thrilled with making or eating cake, but I like to try and do something really special for my boys’ birthdays. Besides looking pretty cool, this one actually tasted great too! The chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and marshmallow fondant…a perfect combination for deliciousness!

Earlier this week the boys and I made salt dough leaf ornaments to give as party favors. I wish I found the motivation to do little craft projects with them more often because I usually love how they turn out!

It’s party time! Notice I even dished out six dollars so I could have my own Angry Birds shirt that I’ll probably never wear again. It made for a cute picture, though, right? 🙂

Caden was so hyped up by the time the party started. He loves seeing all his grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles!

Shepard was sleeping until the party started, so he was a little perplexed by all the people and balloons that appeared while he was out. Everyone was standing up so he just kept wandering around with his head up staring at everyone.

Birthday silliness.

Caden still rolling wildly around.

Present time! Shepard got to open the first present, which seemed to confuse both of them.

The first of many Batman presents!

He’s pretty excited about opening up a big present.

This toy was definitely a hit! The boys have been playing with it almost nonstop since it’s been open. Caden got a ton of Batman accessories and extra figurines too, so it worked out perfectly.

Donkey Kong Jenga.

CooCoo the Rocking Clown game. I’m kind of obsessed with Blue Orange games so awhile ago we watched all the game videos they have on amazon and Caden really liked this one. I’m glad he got it!

Shepard is very concerned because Grandpa kept falling asleep.

Another hit! Caden has been obsessed with toy guitars the last few months so this was really exciting. Hopefully this will make him finally forget the toy guitar I bought for Shepard awhile ago for Christmas that he found out about and was really mad that I wouldn’t let them immediately play with.

The aunts and uncles dove into Jenga. I was amazed at how long their game went. I’ve never been very good at Jenga.

Happy birthday, Caden!

Me and my little angel – ha! I guess he was being an angel during the party. 🙂 Which was a huge success! I think everyone had a great time and Caden felt so special.

Here the boys are bright and early on Sunday, Caden’s actual birthday. The first thing they wanted to play with was this cash register that I wouldn’t let them open in the chaos Saturday night. Caden loves playing store so this is the perfect accessory!

Birthday breakfast of cinnamon rolls, bacon, and orange juice.

More presents!

Shepard is still busy playing in the Batcave.

Angry Bird underwear seemed to be his favorite present of the day. He was a lot more excited than I expected!

Caden immediately had to put a pair on, so of course Shepard did too.

I was excited about giving Caden this camera that I’ve had picked out since last Christmas. He loves playing with my old cameras, but I thought it’d be nice to have a kids camera that actually can do cool effects and stuff. So far he only seems somewhat interested in it.

Another Blue Orange game. They make cool games.

Playing Batman together in their Angry Bird undies.

Birthday boy showing off his new Daddy shirt and new Batman shoes.

Shepard in the background once again copying everything Caden is doing.

We had lunch at Wendy’s. You can tell by now that he’s really not feeling well. He only ate half of a chicken nugget. After Wendy’s we went swimming at the Y. He loved that!

After swimming the boys took long, late naps and everyone woke up seemingly more sick and cranky. I felt pretty bad for Caden. It’s no fun feeling so crummy on your birthday. He handled it fairly well, though. I just wish he’d start feeling better.

I like our perfectly color matched outfits.

Shepard really woke up in a bad mood. But he stopped crying so he could get a picture (just like Caden).

Trying out Jenga again. Both boys were surprisingly good at it.

I was going to make a special dinner, but we ended up having leftovers from the party instead. The root beer was his special treat – and the only thing he actually had for dinner. He said his tummy hurt and he could only drink things, not eat.

I also had cupcakes I was going to frost and make special for him, but we decided to just do a piece of leftover cake instead. He ate the little candies I put around it.

And that was his birthday! He’s a very well loved and special little boy. I love how much he’s changed in this past year I can’t wait to see what comes of the next! Happy birthday, Caden!

Weekly Weigh-In Week Four

Another week has passed. And another loss! 1.2 pounds this week. I’m feeling a little discouraged since the weight loss is getting smaller and smaller each week. But this week was a little unusual since the first three days we were on vacation and eating out a lot. On Monday I made caramel apple muffins and ate those every day for breakfast. On Tuesday we were running a lot of errands and ended up getting fast food for lunch. On Thursday Greg and I went on a date to a local restaurant. And I’ve had a cold all week, putting very little effort into exercise. So I guess considering all of that I should be pretty thrilled I still lost over a pound! Weight Watchers states that you should only lose one to two pounds a week with their program, so I guess I’m still on track. It would just be nice to see a bigger loss again.

Overall this has been another relatively easy week. I actually only went over my point limit one day. I’ve found that it’s a lot easier if I eat something about every two hours and never find myself overwhelmingly hungry. So most days I eat breakfast around seven or eight, have a banana an hour or two later, then something light for lunch at eleven, a snack around two, and then a bigger dinner around five. I’m usually not that hungry at night, but if I have a lot of leftover points I might treat myself to some chocolate. This plan seems to be working out pretty well for me at the moment. Hopefully it’ll be easier every week from now on.

In other news this week… On Wednesday Caden brought a birthday treat to school. We made monster brownie pops. It was cute how excited he was to bring them in and afterward he wouldn’t stop talking about how everybody loved them and even the teachers ate them. He was also really excited that his class sang to him and gave him a sticker. His was the first birthday in his class, so it was pretty special for him.

On Wednesday afternoon Caden started speech therapy again. This year he’s getting bumped up to two twenty minute sessions instead of one thirty minute session. I know it’s good for him to have that extra one on one time, but it sure is a pain bringing him to that twice a week now too. Especially since Shepard and I have to just sit outside the door in the middle school hallway and try to keep quiet. Last year it was my most hated half hour of the week, usually because Shepard spent the entire time trying to go down the stairs, which he wasn’t big enough to do. (And throwing massive fits when I wouldn’t let him.) Hopefully this year he’s at least old enough that I can distract him with books or toys. Or my ipod…

Anyway, it’s been a good week for Weight Watchers and a rough week for everything else. Caden got his cold last Friday and the rest of us had it by Monday and Tuesday. Nobody felt good and we all took it out on each other. Even though Caden is really excited about all these new things in his life, he also seems to have a lot more rage and frustration at home. He’s been screaming and hitting A LOT, which Shepard always immediately runs to copy. Shepard has clearly been feeling really crummy too. Tonight he took a late nap and when he woke up he literally bawled his eyes out for an hour and a half straight with no desire to be comforted. It’s been a very physically and mentally exhausting week.

Fortunately, we have some happy days ahead! Tomorrow afternoon is Caden’s big family party. It should be a lot of fun. On Sunday is his actual birthday and I think we’re going to go swimming since that seems to be one of his favorite activities right now. I can’t believe that my little boy is almost four! Time is definitely speeding by.

Door County Getaway

This past weekend we had a little fall getaway in Door County with Greg’s parents. We were there for three days and packed in a lot of fun things. I don’t have a whole lot to say about it, but here are some pictures!

We stopped at a park in Green Bay on the way up for a picnic and play time for the boys.

We stopped at a few stores when we got into Door County and then had dinner at Al Johnson’s, where the goats live on top of the roof. Kind of touristy, but the food was actually really good. Then the boys had ice cream on the brain so we went to a gelato place and got them each a small dish. This is my favorite picture from the trip.

Some running around time.

Then we went to the secretly “famous” Pebble Beach. It’s a super tiny unlabeled beach filled with smooth pebbles. We stopped there on our Door County vacation last year and almost froze to death. It was a much more beautiful day this trip!

I love this picture too. Shepard was enthralled by the waves. I wasn’t very happy with most of the pictures I took on the trip, but at least I got a few decent ones.

Bedtime at the hotel…always an adventure. The boys are usually pretty difficult the first day of any trip and then settle into the routine the following days. They actually stayed in their beds pretty well this time, but Caden developed quite the cold on Friday and was tossing and turning all night. Shepard woke up about ten times in a scream too. Nobody got much sleep, but that was expected.

Saturday morning we to Bailey’s Harbor for some fall festival they were having. It ended up being an antique car show and a craft fair with maybe twenty booths. We strolled through and then went down on the marina.

Next we went to P.C. Junction to play and have lunch. This is definitely a must see stop if you have little boys or anybody with you who loves trains. We found this place on our last trip and we all loved it. These four person bikes are awesome!

Caden loved riding with Grandma!

Shepard just didn’t seem to be aware of what was going on.

Caden sat on the steering side – watch out!

Still just very confused.

Lots of fun things to do outside and pretty things to look at.

Inside the restaurant the food is delivered by train. I think Caden (and Shepard since he was only three months old last time) was much more excited about this than he was on our last visit.

Next we went to Plum Loco Animal Farm. This place was pretty cool too – especially for Caden and Shepard. There were tons of animals to feed and a miniature village to play in with all the kid sized accessories to go with it – Caden was in heaven!

We stopped at the Not Licked Yet custard stand in Fish Creek so I could eat my dinner of Chunky Monkey Sundae. It was my one food splurge of the weekend. I had this on our last trip too and it was incredible. It was just as good this year! Yum.

On Sunday we headed out pretty early, stopping at a few shops and interesting looking places on the way. We all really liked this building near the water that people are allowed to write their names on.

Being sweet, but spreading those cold germs! I think by today all of the rest of us have the cold too. I hope we’re all cured by Caden’s big birthday weekend bash!

Goodbye, Door County! It was a very memorable trip! The weather was perfect and I loved seeing everything in the fall. Yay for weekend getaways!

Weekly Weigh-In Week Three (and some rambling)

I’m doing my weekly weigh-in a day early because tomorrow I’m leaving on vacation (!) and won’t be able to write for a few days. So I’ll get right to it – this week I lost 1.4 pounds. And this week was hard. I thought after a much easier second week it would only get better. I was definitely wrong.

I’m not sure what the difference was, but this week I was so much hungrier and had a lot less motivation to stick within my point range. I gave in and ate a lot more junk food, using up my points for the day much more quickly than if I stuck with healthy foods. I went over my daily target almost every single day. Granted, I still have plenty of “extra” points left over, but I’m trying really hard not to use those unless it’s a really special occasion. I don’t like using a handful of them every single day just because I’d rather eat chips than carrots.

I am happy that I lost over a pound because I really wasn’t expecting it. Like last week it feels pretty insignificant, but in three weeks I’ve lost 6.6 pounds which is a lot better than I could do on my own. It also makes me feel better to know I can give in every once in awhile and it won’t make that big of a difference. I just wish I didn’t have to think about it so much. It still feels like a big struggle. I’m thinking about food all the time and I’m really sick of it.

One of my biggest struggles this week has been thinking about baking – and how I just can’t trust myself to make anything because I’ll eat way too much of whatever I make. I truly have a passion for baking and in the past year I’ve started to feel like since it’s the only thing I’m really good at, I should start focusing on it as a potential career path. And now I feel like that dream has been ripped away from me because I realized how badly it was contributing to my weight problem. I hope that someday I’ll have a lot more willpower and can bake again, but it just doesn’t feel like an option right now. And I really, really miss it.

Besides the Weight Watchers stuff, the last few weeks have just seemed especially hard. Caden and Shepard have just been sooo cranky. When Caden gets frustrated he gets naughty. These days that usually means attacking Shepard and completely ignoring every single thing I say to him. Shepard is a tantrum thrower. Which is actually kind of funny sometimes because Caden was never a throw himself on the ground kicking and screaming kind of kid. Watching Shepard do that just strikes me as funny. At least once a day. When he’s doing it a hundred times a day….it’s not so funny anymore. I’ve been pretty irritable with them lately and have really been struggling to have the tiniest amount of patience.

I’m assuming that starting school and working around a new schedule is the main reason for Caden’s crankiness. He’s never been able to handle different situations very well, even if they’re fun changes. He’s always at his worst on Mondays after a weekend filled with Daddy and extended family. So I assume I can blame school for his short temper. Though he seems to really be enjoying it after three days. I’m happy for him and hope that he’ll start adjusting. Especially since his schedule is going to be a lot more filled in the coming weeks. He’s going to start additional speech therapy again, he’ll be going to the occasional art class, and I plan on putting him in swimming lessons on the days he’s not in preschool. He’s going to be one busy boy!

Yesterday seemed like it was going to be one of the last nice days for awhile, so we went to our river spot to throw rocks after school. I’m not sure why throwing rocks in water is so much fun, but they definitely have a great time doing it!

So that’s been my week. I’m really excited that we’re going on a weekend getaway to Door County tomorrow. It’ll be good to get out of our house for a few days and just have some fun. I think we all need a few days’ break from routine and schedules and stress. Hopefully at my week four weigh-in I’ll have a lot happier news to report!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins (easy!)

September’s cooler days usually inspire people to start craving typical fall flavors – apples, pumpkins, breads, pies, etc. For awhile now I’ve really been wanting to make this awesome recipe I have for pumpkin scones, but I found out one scone equals 10 weight watchers points. And I’d usually eat two!! So holding back on that (until maybe my birthday, which I’m declaring a no points day), I’ve been searching around for another pumpkin recipe that would be a little healthier. I finally came across this super easy and delicious recipe – and it’s only 4 points per muffin – much better!

The bare bones recipe for this recipe is to combine one yellow box cake mix with one can of pumpkin and bake for 20-25 minutes. You’ll pretty much have muffin shaped pumpkin pies. And as much as I love pumpkin breads, I hate pumpkin pie. So I read some reviews and decided to bump the recipe up a little bit by first using a spice cake mix, one can of pumpkin, 1/2 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (easily omitted if you don’t have it on hand), and one egg. It only takes about two minutes to mix all that together and scoop batter into greased pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and this is what you get!

I was impressed by how well they rose and how beautiful they looked! Muffins are always pretty tricky for me, but I guess since these aren’t really from scratch they decided to cooperate.

Despite how good they looked plain I decided to make them a bit more attractive to the boys. Caden already declared he didn’t like muffins so dipping in butter and cinnamon sugar made them much more appealing.

As with pretty much everything, Shepard LOVED them.

He was shoveling them in as fast as he could.

Shepard ate two. Two! I ate two! And was incredibly stuffed afterward. Shepard ate two and asked for more. Um, I don’t think so, buddy!

To spruce up our first fall tasting breakfast I added a teeny vase of orange mums (my favorite!) to brighten the mood. I got this little mason jar for 25 cents at a garage sale a few months ago – an awesome find! Anyway – try these muffins. They’re really filling and quite delicious!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

1 spice cake box mix
1 15oz. can of pumpkin
1 egg
1/2 cup water
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Mix all ingredients. Pour into 12 greased muffin pans. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Eat plain or dip in butter and cinnamon sugar mixture for extra yum. Enjoy!

Weekly Weigh-In – Week Two

Fridays are my weigh-in day for Weight Watchers. The first week I weighed myself every day and when I saw the scale go down a bit each time I felt a lot more motivated to push through. This week I decided to follow the rules and wait the entire week before testing the scale. The verdict – I lost two pounds. Which is better than gaining weight. Better than staying the same. Better than only losing one pound. But two pounds? It seems so miniscule. Especially considering I hardly used any of my extra food points for the week. Most days I didn’t even reach my maximum points for the day and I still only lost two pounds?? It doesn’t feel like enough.

This second week was a whole lot easier, though. There were occasional afternoons where I’d wish I could just binge on some junk food, but for the most part I was simply making better decisions and eating pretty full meals without ever feeling desperately hungry like I was that first week. One of my best discoveries has been Brownberry Healthful Bread – one slice is only one point. So a lot of days this week I had two pieces of toast and a banana for breakfast, only using two points of my entire limit. Other days I’d have my two slices of bread to make a 3 or 4 point sandwich at lunch. I think it’s impossible for me to ever give up bread completely, so I’m glad I found a way to eat some without it fattening me up. It’s pretty tasty too.

Now one of my only complaints is how sick of fruits and vegetables I’m already getting. I don’t think I actually ate any salads this past week (maybe my reason for only losing two pounds instead of over three like the first week!). And for awhile I was using fruit, mostly grapes, to sustain me any time I got hungry, but that’s kind of old too. I guess I need to find a way to make fruits and vegetables more exciting. Without adding extra calories…

Anyway, it’s been much easier this week until today. I kind of feel like I relapsed a bit. First of all, I decided to BAKE. Pumpkin muffins, which were delicious, and only 4 points if I had eaten one. But of course I had two. I don’t like using so many points in the morning. Then I took the boys on a super long walk and we got home two hours later than we usually eat lunch. I was starving so I had toast with nutella, chips, and a small chocolate square. I feel guilty and yucky now. But I learned my lesson – never let so much time go between eating or I won’t have the willpower to make the right choices. Hopefully week three will be even easier the more I put these decisions into practice.

Caden Starts Preschool!

Today was Caden’s first day of preschool! I realize this may be a little excessive, but here are the photos I took before school this morning. I was a little peeved at the weather for being so icky and not giving me good lighting for the shots. 


On a random note, I got my hair cut a lot shorter than I intended last night and I don’t think I like it. I told the stylist that I wanted it short enough that I would feel inclined to leave it down and not have to do anything to it. I haven’t left my hair down without doing anything to it since like sixth grade. I’m not sure I’m able to leave it like this. I feel so undone and gross. It looks okay in these pictures, I guess, but not so much in the mirror!

I had to wake Shepard up so we had enough time to take a few pictures outside – at least the rain stopped for a bit. It was just really wet.

Suddenly playing with rocks was a lot more fun than posing for pictures the way I wanted.

Before we left, Caden was really excited about going, but got pretty hesitant and nervous when we walked in the door. He wanted me to stick close while he played with some toys. I stayed for about twenty minutes until all the other parents started leaving and I figured it would be best to go too. I thought I was happy about him starting school, but I felt pretty sad leaving him behind. I know it’s only preschool, but this is the beginning of fifteen plus years of school. A new way of life is starting for us today.

When I picked him up he was very excited again. We walked out the door and he yelled, “This is a really really fun school! Can we come back tomorrow?” I’m so glad he liked it. But Monday is going to feel like a lifetime away for him!

Caden’s Camping Adventure

Last night Caden had his first camping adventure! My brother Timmy and his wife Brittany are big campers and they wanted to share the experience with Caden before the summer was over. We weren’t too sure how he would handle it so we decided to sleep in the safest place – our parents’ backyard.

Greg and Shepard decided to come along for the campfire portion of the night. We got there early so the boys practiced their bumper car skills while we were waiting for everyone else.

Caden started the prep work by filling up buckets of water for the fire. Shepard was not being very helpful.

Taking a break to tell Grandma some stories.

They were having a great time poking sticks into the leftover ashes. I love how they do everything together now. Shepard imitates absolutely everything Caden does and Caden is usually a very willing teacher!

Making sure everyone gets equal Grandma time.

Uncle Timmy has arrived! Caden was very interested in learning how to set up the tent.

Caden is usually a pretty good helper – at least if it doesn’t involve helping clean up toys.

Timmy was pretty trusting giving Caden the hammer.

Caden was so excited once the tent was up! He had to go try out all the zippers.

Then he ran to get Shepard to show it to him.

And when Shepard realized where he was being led he fought with all his might to get away.

We are very proud of our tent building skills. 🙂

Now he’s getting ready to build the fire. He takes his jobs very seriously.

Maybe this is a skill he shouldn’t know yet…

Hanging out with my silly baby. He was having an awesome time too (as long as he didn’t have to go in the tent).

Taking a break to give the dogs a walk beyond their fenced limits. Shepard wasn’t very good at holding on to the leash.

Uncle Timmy gave Caden his birthday presents early so he could enjoy them throughout the night.

A combination whistle, compass, and magnifying glass.

There you go, Shepard. I love his evil grin.

Watching Grandpa get rid of the extra ashes.

This is my favorite picture of the night. We gave Timmy this double hammock for his birthday a few weeks ago so he brought it back and we all tried it out. Caden LOVED it, of course.

Shepard, not so much!

I got super dizzy in it. I could never sleep in a hammock.

Contemplating the sky or something.

Okay, enough hammock fun.

The fire has started!

Shepard was actually really good about keeping his distance and watching from afar.

I wanted a picture of Greg and I, but Shepard insisted on being in the picture. Then he didn’t even smile!

I think at this point he was getting really tired. Or just so hungry he didn’t have any strength left to stop zoning out.

Hot dogs are roasting!

Timmy was the first one brave enough to try a pudgie pie.

Teaching Brittany how to make a pudgie pie.

Shepard ate a ton of chips and salsa.

And then he ate all of Grandma’s beans.

It was the perfect evening to just sit outside around the fire. We all had a lot of fun!

He is such a comedian.

Finally s’more time! Caden was definitely waiting for this all day long.

Another birthday present – perfect!

My mom’s new dog Gracie checking out the s’more.

Cuddling by the fire for about five seconds. Caden was moving nonstop. He did so much better than I ever would have expected, but he didn’t really grasp the concept of relaxing by the fire!

Around 9:15 Caden declared he was ready for bed and immediately marched across the yard to the tent on his own and went right in! I couldn’t believe it. He handed Grandma his flashlight when he passed her in the yard and was ready to sleep. If only he would go to bed so easily at home! I decided to go in by him and we talked for a few minutes and then he fell asleep. He slept straight through until six o’clock – no sleeping in for that boy no matter how busy he was or late he went to bed.

Anyway, it was a perfect night of camping! I really think it was one of the best nights of Caden’s young life. We all really had a great time. Thank you to Timmy for organizing it, my mom for putting all the food and details together, and everyone else for participating! It was an awesome first camping experience for Caden!

A Quest for Change

So, I wasn’t planning on sharing this with the world until I felt more confident, but I changed my mind. Showing weakness can sometimes be a strength, right?

Here’s the deal. Last week I joined Weight Watchers. I didn’t really want many people to know about it in case this turns out to be a completely failed attempt to lose weight. But I’m beginning to think that if I can write out my frustrations and a few details about this journey I’ll feel a lot better about the whole thing.

I’ve never been on a diet before. So for those of you that have, you may think I’m being a total wimp when I say this is incredibly hard. Maybe one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I thought it was going to be relatively easy and I had a very rude awakening. This past week has been difficult in so many ways and I honestly don’t know how I’m going to make it through my three month trial and still manage to stay on track. Especially considering those three months include at least three birthday celebrations (including my own), a mini vacation, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the beginning of the holiday baking season. The whole thing is stressing me out so much and I’ve only just begun!

I never wanted to be one of those women. The women that are constantly agonizing over what they put in their mouth AND always talking about it. The women that never seem to really enjoy what they’re eating because they have to exercise such restraint. I like food. And I absolutely love baking. So I am always mildly offended when people make comments about how my food looked too good to eat or simply skip it all together because it was clearly too fattening. And it probably was. I always prided myself on the fact that I made my delicious desserts using only the best of ingredients – butter, cream cheese, whole milk, heavy cream, etc. I never tried to cut corners making things healthier because I knew everything would taste better the real way and I refused to cater to the people that turn down that food.

Finally, in the past few months when I started gaining more weight, I realized that as much as those women annoy me, I need to be one of them. I need to change. I am 27 years old and very quickly heading down a path that will be nearly impossible to reverse. I can’t keep eating whatever I want, whenever I want it. I hope to keep baking, but I can’t bake new things every day, especially since I’m usually the only one that eats what I make. I need to seriously start considering what I put in my mouth and if it’ll have a positive or a negative effect on my body. It was time for a serious change.

I began trying to turn things around a few months ago by forcing myself to exercise every day. Granted it’s usually only a short pilates or aerobics video, but it’s better than nothing. I’ve also been biking a lot more now that the weather is cooled off. I thought with all the extra exercise I’d start seeing improvements. But I didn’t. So I looked at my options and realized that I’m never going to be able to do this on my own. I simply don’t have the willpower to push myself. I did a little research on various exercise programs, detoxes, diet pills, etc. And I decided that Weight Watchers was the way to go. I’ve known a handful of people who have used this before and have always seen success so it seemed like my safest bet to actually shed the weight.

I began last Thursday. That day was pure torture. For those of you that don’t know, on Weight Watchers each food is assigned a point value and each person is allotted a certain number of points to use during each day. You’re also given extra points to use during the week for splurges – like a dessert here and there or if you go to a party or restaurant and eat foods with higher point values. You can also earn activity points which can be converted into extra food points if you use up all your points for the week and need more. Anyway, it’s a very simple system to use. There are tons of foods in their database and if you can’t find what you’re looking for you can enter in the nutrition facts (fat, carbs, fiber, and protein) or if you’re making something at home you can enter all the ingredients in a recipe and you’ll find your point value. I figured that the only guaranteed way to lose weight was to stick within my daily target and try to use very few of my extra points each week.

After a week, I’m beginning to think that maybe I’m being too hard on myself. Those extra points are built in for me to use and I should still lose weight even if I use them all. But I want to be careful. I’m constantly stressing about what I can eat each day, thinking days in advance. I think about food and their point values all day long. I dream about them all night long. And I hate it! It’s an awesome system that really does give you a lot of freedom as long as you’re careful about portion sizes, etc. But I feel like at the moment I’m a total slave to food. This is really bothering me about the whole thing right now. Should I really be agonizing over what I’m going to be able to eat at Caden’s birthday party a month away?? Should I be saying no to get-togethers because I’m not going to be able to control the food available to me? I don’t think so. But I can’t help myself!

In this past week I’ve learned so much about myself and my eating habits. Things that I really needed to know. For example, there are so many times during the day where I normally would have grabbed a quick and easy (and probably not so healthy) snack. Not even because I was hungry – just because I didn’t have anything better to do. Now I have to seriously evaluate if I’m actually hungry and if I choose junk food it’ll severely limit what I’m able to eat for the rest of the day. The good news is that fruits and most vegetables are 0 points, so I can eat as much of that as I want. The bad news is that fruit never seems to fill me up and I really don’t like many vegetables. I ate a salad almost every day this past week and by the end I was gagging. I am so not a salad person. I never have been, unless it’s loaded with extras like cheese, croutons, and dressing. All of those things totally defeat the purpose of the salad. I also love my chocolate and it’s been really hard to give up. The first few days I went crazy and bought a bunch of Fiber One bars hoping to satisfy my need for chocolate, but after the first bar of each flavor, I had had enough. I know it’s only been a week, but I think it’ll continually be hard for me to find a good variety of foods that are healthy, but will sufficiently fill me up as well.

I’m not sure how the next eleven (or more!) weeks of this journey will go. I’m feeling motivated at the moment because after my weekly weigh in this morning I’ve already lost 3.2 pounds! But I’ve also been an emotional wreck this past week and I’m not sure I want to continue like that. I usually spend half my day pretty happy with myself and this new resolve to actually lose weight. But then that six hour span between lunch and dinner occurs and I get so crabby and angry because I’m starving and I can’t eat anything but fruit if I want to eat dinner. From about 1:00 on I’m feeling lousy and depressed about how hard this whole thing is. I hope it will get easier. I assume it will once I start automatically making better choices. But right now it still feels so, so difficult.

Anyway, I just wanted to share the beginning of this journey. I’m sure it’ll come up once in awhile the next few months. It’ll also mean fewer baking posts (a fact I am severely mourning – a future without baking feels so bleak). But I’m determined to push on. Partly because I already paid for three months of the program. And partly because I really want to see how much weight I can lose. It’s a quest for change and I hope I can find myself where I want to be at the end!