When I first started Weight Watchers, I remember how unsure of myself I was. I had no idea what to eat and how much/hard to exercise. I remember eating a sausage with penne and marinara sauce the first week and wondering skeptically if I could *really* lose weight eating this way. I remember walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes at 3.3 mph and wondering if it would *really* get me in shape.
I doubted all of my habits (for good reason!) and started the program with Socrates' famous truism, All I know is that I know nothing. I knew my past habits were unhealthy, so I looked for new ones. I experimented with new food, some of which I learned to love (beans, asparagus, oatmeal, sweet potatoes) and some of which I never quite got into (brussel sprouts). I experimented with a bunch of activities--running, Zumba, Body Pump, workout tapes, Jillian Michaels (she deserves her own category), Pilates, biking, and swimming. And from all of this experimentation, I've learned a few things about myself.
I like moderate exercise. In particular, I love walking. Lately, I've been walking a lot more and it's so much easier now. Without my excess weight, my stride is long, and I enjoy the feeling of stretching my legs, walking with purpose. My dad and I used to walk more quickly than the rest of my family, and some of my best memories are walking alone with my dad during the summer, stopping occasionally to wait for my mom and younger sisters. I like repetition, fresh air, and having a chance to think (or talk out-loud to myself). I like being self sufficient.
I also like running. When the mood hits, it's wonderful to go outside and jog. I love getting in a rhythm, where my feet tap the ground and I feel the exhilaration of pure speed. I love the way my breathing gets more shallow and sweat trickles off my neck, but I don't feel like I'm going to die. I've learned to appreciate a good workout. I also know that I can ALWAYS stop. That's important to me. In the beginning, I felt this obsessive desire to finish each workout and match (if not beat!) the intensity of the previous workout. These days, I listen more to my body. If I feel good, I keep going. If I don't, I walk. Walking is okay; in fact, it's more than okay =)
When it comes to food, I've learned that I like big breakfasts. I used to typically skip breakfast and now the first thing I do when I wake up is think, 'What am I going to eat?' I like big bowls of oats with a banana and peanut butter. I love poached eggs with an English muffin. I like a nice omelet with green pepper, cheddar cheese, sliced turkey/ ham, and mushrooms.
Oh and in case I haven't shared my oats at work breakfast recipe, here it is:
1 packet low sugar instant oats (any flavor you want)
1 small banana
1 tbsp reduced fat peanut butter
Mix the oats in a big microwavable bowl with roughly 3/4 cup water.
Put on high for 1.50 minutes
Add sliced banana for 30 seconds
Add peanut butter for 30 seconds
Voila, you have a good bowl of oats.
I also love big, veggie-heavy dinners. In case I haven't shared, here's my easy, low point stir fry recipe:
Chicken breast (3 ounces)
Half a can of mushrooms (or fresh)
1 green pepper
1/2 can of pinto or butter beans
1/8 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp of sugar
2 tsp of ground ginger
Or, alternate sauce:
1/8 cup of red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon of canola oil
1 tsp of sugar
Make the sauce
Marinate the chicken (chopped into bite sized pieces) in the sauce
Chop the green pepper into bite sized pieces
Spray non-stick cooking spray on a frying pan
Add the pepper--cook until tender
Move the pepper to the other side of the pan, and dump in the chicken with some of the sauce (the pan should be hot)
Let the chicken cook (don't move it until the chicken is 3/4 way cooked--should look golden brown on the bottom)
Once the chicken is mostly cooked, toss it with the pepper
Add in all the other ingredients including the rest of the sauce
Cook for approx. 3-5 minutes.
Eat and enjoy
Depending on the sauce, the entire recipe is 5-7 points. You can also add other vegetables to bulk it up. Green beans and spinach make a good addition.
***Note: Do not make this meal the evening before your weigh in, since it's fairly sodium heavy***
Well, I hope that you enjoy the recipes. I know that they are easy and fairly obvious, but I've always liked reading about different takes on simple meals.
In other news, I weighed myself this morning and I'm down to 157.5 =) Happy Thursday everyone.