Birthday Celebrating

Today we celebrated our son’s birthday.  First we went out to Chili’s for lunch and then we went home for cookie cake.

5-3 at Chili's

5-3 Birthday

While I wanted to enjoy the celebration, I didn’t want to look back on today as a “blown” day for eating and then be sorry about it.  After showing a .2 pound gain at Weight Watchers yesterday, I was pleased to wake up this morning to a half pound overnight loss, so I really didn’t want to overeat today.

My son wanted to go to Chili’s for his birthday.  I looked at nutrition information before I left and thought I might have the combo with Margarita Chicken and Grilled Shrimp.  When I got there, though, I decided I was in a fajitas mood.  I had been shocked to look at the nutrition info for mix and match combo and to find that the fajita “base” was 300 calories.  This is the pile of peppers and onions and oil that the fajita meat lays on.  I had no idea that the base was more calories than the chicken (110 calories) and shrimp (80 calories) combined!  I didn’t have any guacamole or sour cream.  I wasn’t being virtuous since I don’t like them.  I had some of the pico de gallo and a tiny amount of cheese.  I had 2 of the 3 tortillas served and ate the rest of the chicken and shrimp by itself.  I only ate about 1/3 of the base.  But, being a little cautious with counting restaurant food, I counted that I ate half the base.  I elected not to get any rice or beans and I was totally satisfied with the meal.  My Fitness Pal says it was 512 calories and Weight Watchers says it was 13 Points Plus.

When we got home we had chocolate chip cookie cake from Nestle’s Toll House for birthday cake:

Cookie Cake

I had looked this up and was shocked to see that one slice (112 g) was 645 calories!  Yes, that is no joke.  645 calories for one slice.  I noticed that a regular cookie was shown on the nutrition info as being 56 grams so one slice of cookie cake is like eating 2 of the large Nestle Toll House cookies!  Now, I love chocolate chip cookies.  In fact, I love them so much I don’t ever buy them for the house.  But no way did I want to spend more calories on cookie cake than I had the lunch.  The main problem with the nutrition info was that it didn’t say how large a slice was except to give weight.  So, I had Charles cut what he felt was a typical size slice and I weighed it.  It was a the size that I would have normally eaten without thinking much about it.  It was 110 grams!  So I told him to slice me a piece half that size.  The piece I ultimately ate was really very narrow but when all was done, it weighed out to 297 calories (8 Points Plus).  It was very enjoyable to eat but was a lot of calories.

I am really happy that I looked up the fajitas and realized how many calories the vegetable “base” added to the fajitas and that I looked up the cookie cake to realize that a typical size piece was about twice as many calories as I would have thought.  Some people might feel that doing this took away from the celebration part of the birthday, but it really didn’t.  I feel so much better to have enjoyed the lunch and the cookie cake without having to be upset that I overate.  I enjoyed the celebration just as much as I would have if I had eaten without thinking about these things.  And, I will sure enjoy looking back on it much more knowing that I didn’t overeat.


My Husband Gets to Goal!

Yesterday, my husband Charles got to goal at Weight Watchers. He lost 73.2 pounds after joining Weight Watchers. Here are before and after pictures:

Charles High Weight

Charles close to his high weight, probably 10 pounds heavier than when he joined Weight Watchers 5 years later.

Charles 4-25-2014 the day he got to goal

Charles 4-25-2014 the day he got to goal


When we got married Charles was just a little bit over his normal weight range:

Weighing about 148, I could barely squeeze into this dress.

After we got married he started eating the kinds of foods I was eating and he quickly lost weight. He says he got down to 182 pounds then (his current goal weight is 182.8 pounds, with a goal weight of 184 pounds):

Charles 1992

But, as time went on and we had kids and a busy life, he slowly added pounds. The before picture above was probably close to his high weight, which is probably about 10 pounds higher than he weighed when he joined Weight Watchers. There were a few things that caused him to decide to lose weight. First, he says he wanted to make sure he was around for me and he was concerned that his blood pressure was rising and medication didn’t seem to be controlling it well. At his worst he says his blood pressure was around 190/100. Then, a co-worker had a heart problem at work which shook him up and caused him to think more about health and losing weight.

Over the years, he saw me go back to Weight Watchers from time to time. I noticed that when I was losing weight, we would usually eat healthier and would go out less. As a result, he would lose some weight. And, when I would backslide, he would backslide as well.

Then, in December of 2007, because of the health concerns he had, he decided to join Weight Watchers with me when I returned to it once again. We attended for several months and he lost 24 pounds. But, then for reasons I don’t remember, we quit going. In 2009, he went back. When I quit going to meetings, I usually gain. But, in his case he had maintained a lot of his loss during that period. We went to a few meetings, but quit again due to scheduling problems. Finally, we went back again in August 2010. Again, he had maintained some of his loss but had regained about 10 pounds from his lowest weight.

By this time, he had retired and had time to spend on weight loss efforts. He did great and started losing. He got down to 194 pounds at his lowest. But, around that time, we started looking at houses and then were involved in moving. We quit going to meetings regularly and he regained some weight and got up to 201 pounds. Then we sporadically attended meetings, and by October, 2012 he got down to 188.8 pounds within 5 pounds of his goal weight of 184 pounds. But, then we quit going to Weight Watchers for a few months. When he went back in early 2013, he had gained almost 10 pounds. He bounced around for a few months as we again sporadically went to meetings. Finally, in October 2013, we went back and resolved to attend meetings regularly.

He did well. He improved the overall quality of what he was eating even at times when he was on a plateau. One thing he was really happy about was that as he lost weight his blood pressure dropped dramatically. He went from needing to be on medication to now needing no blood pressure medication. He says that at a doctor’s visit a few days ago week his blood pressure was 110/72. While I know he is glad to weigh less and look better, I think that was probably the best thing for him about losing weight.

By the end of February, he was 4.4 pounds away from his goal. But, then things seemed to stall. Over a 5 week period, he lost 1 pound. During all the time had been on Weight Watchers, he didn’t really track his points on the Weight Watchers site. He did get a Fitbit Flex and so tracked his activity, but he didn’t count calories. He did count Weight Watchers points in his head, but I don’t think he was all that precise about it. I suggested a few times that he might want to start formally tracking, but he wasn’t that interested.

He told me, though, that he really wanted to get to goal by my birthday. So, about three weeks ago, he came and asked me how to go about recording what he ate on My Fitness Pal. I told him and he started carefully tracking everything he ate. Three weigh ins later, he had lost 4.6 pounds and weighed in Friday at 1.2 pounds below his goal! His reaching goal on my birthday was really the best birthday present I could ever get.

Me and Charles Birthday

4-25-2014 – My birthday and Charles gets to goal!

Friday Weigh-In

OK, I’m kind of put out by weigh-in today.  I did have a loss.  I went down .2 pound from 180.6 to 180.4.  Yes, I know, any loss is good.  But, I am still seriously put out.  Last week, I wasn’t happy with my weigh in of .6 as my numbers (Fitbit, MFP, WW) supported a greater loss, particularly when that was for 2 weeks.  I got up Saturday morning and even though I ate out on Friday I was down .6 of a pound of my scale at home, getting down to 179.3.  I felt then that some of “missing” weight loss from the prior week had shown up.  So, frankly, I expected to lose more than a pound this week.  And, in addition, to the loss that showed up on Saturday, I had a good week. [Read more…]

Friday Weigh In

After taking last week off from my weigh in (I was taking a medication that causes water retention so I knew it would craze me to weigh in and have a gain due to that), I returned to my Weight Watchers weigh in today.  I was down 1.2 pounds to 181.2 pounds.  Since this covers a 2 week period, it is an average of .6 pounds a week.  That is a little lower than I like, but last week I didn’t do any real exercise due to my allergies. I got back on track with exercise this week so that was good.  I ate reasonably well this week, but ate a little more calories.  In fact, I ate all of my weekly points and 2 of my activity points.  This is mostly because last Friday we ate out at Chili’s and I had a lunch item that I like, but which is more calories than I usually eat (the meal was 1155 calories which is about 400 calories more than my usual max when I eat out).  I only have this item rarely, but thought I could have it last Friday since I hadn’t had it in over a month.  Looking back on it, I don’t think I will have it again.  It is good, but eating it made the entire day go over where I like to be on my eating out days.  And, doing that, put me behind for the whole week and I had to be even more careful for the rest of the week.  It worked out OK, but I don’t like feeling like I’m behind the eight ball the whole week. [Read more…]

Constant Vigilance!

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fake Mad Eye Moody often says “Constant vigilance!” That mantra often comes to me in thinking about my weight loss efforts. For me, I find that I have to exert constant vigilance so that I don’t go off track. The biggest factor for me in weight loss success is to keep on the main train track moving forward, never veering off on a sidetrack. [Read more…]