Thursday, February 28, 2013

Getting in more daily movement

Yesterday was a rest day. I was curious how it was going to go with the ActiveLink, because the ActiveLink gave me a goal of earning 3 PointsPlus per day. When I run, I earn those PP very quickly. But yesterday was the first day that I had a rest day while doing the ActiveLink challenge.

Wearing the ActiveLink has certainly gotten me motivated to move more. I love to eat, so if moving more earns me more PP to spend, then I will do it ;)  I had some errands to run yesterday, which involved me getting in and out of the car a few times, crossing parking lots (I made sure to park far away, but I do that most of the time anyway), and just moving around in general. I was surprised to see by lunchtime, I hadn't even gotten to 25% of my goal for the day!

I did laundry after lunch, and to get in a lot of steps, I put away the laundry one article of clothing at a time--ridiculous, right? Jerry was making fun of me the whole time. I had the basket of clothes on the living room floor, and I would pick up one item and go put it away before getting another. I spent at least 15 minutes doing that, and I just barely reached the 25% mark.

My house is super clean right now--I've been looking for every excuse to move, so I've been cleaning counters and floors and everything a couple of times a day. I continued with that yesterday, and by dinnertime, I was just over 50%--which was my baseline (the minimum movement I'm supposed to do on a daily basis). It was exhausting!

I was very determined to get to 100%, however, so I created a little game with the kids--and they had a blast with it! We walked single file around the house in a big loop--through the living room, kitchen, and hallway. For each loop, we added something else that we had to do during that loop--first, we had to pet each cat as we walked by; then we had to touch each chair and pet each cat; then we had to give Jerry a kiss, touch each chair, and pet each cat; then march the loop instead of walking it while doing all those things; and so on. (It reminded me of that Father Abraham song, where you keep adding a body part to move for each verse).

It sounds completely ridiculous, but both kids said, "This is the most funnest thing we ever did before bed!" and they loved it. After doing that for a while, I was at 91%. I was totally ready to just sit down and watch The Middle with Jerry and the boys, but being so close to 100%, I walked in place for the first 10 minutes or so of the show, and finally... FINALLY... reached 100%!

I cannot believe how much activity it takes to earn just 3 PP in a day when I don't run. This morning, I ran four miles after the boys left for school, and by 8:40 AM, I'd already reached 100% of my goal (3 PP). I did the four miles on the treadmill this morning, because outside is full of slush--so hard to run in. Also, I needed to get my fix of Jax on Sons of Anarchy ;)
Anyway, I don't know how people reach their ActiveLink goal on rest days! Especially when their goals are higher than mine is, at 3 PP. By the end of the challenge, I'm supposed to be earning 5 PP per day. When it gets nice out, I'll probably go for a walk in the woods, but for now, I'll have to make up silly games with my kids, I guess!

Today's run got me to my goal of 100 miles in February. Having this month be a few days short of all the other months makes a big difference in my mileage--it was tough the last two weeks to reach that goal! Two weeks ago, I saw that I was only at 40 miles for the month--so as of today, I ran over 60 miles in 2 weeks. Now I'll go back to my regular schedule.

Yesterday, Jerry and I had to go to the courthouse to pay his "impeding traffic" ticket--TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS, can you believe that? While we were out, we went to McDonald's to get an ice cream cone. I was craving something a little more indulgent, but I didn't want to blow all of my weekly PP on the first day of my week. After looking up the PP values of the flurries, I saw that a snack-size Oreo McFlurry is only 9 PP. I was going to spend 5 PP on a cone, so I figured 4 more was worth it for the splurge.

I've actually never gotten a McFlurry in my life, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I guess I pictured it to be tiny like the Wendy's miniature Frosties, but I was really impressed when I got it. It's the perfect size! Not big enough to feel guilty for eating it, but big enough to feel like you're indulging. I think it's a 10 fluid-ounce cup, so that's a perfect-sized treat. I'll stick with my vanilla cones most of the the time, but I would definitely get the McFlurry again if I have some extra PP.

I will leave you with this photo that Jerry took of Phoebe--it's SO adorable! She fell asleep wedged between the couch cushion and the back of the couch...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Weight fluctuations

Everyone has been talking for days about the big storm we were going to have last night. At school, the teachers even sent home extra homework because school was sure to be canceled from the nine inches of snow that we were predicted to get. I could hear it raining all night long, and then this morning, it was quiet. So I looked outside to see the mountains of snow we'd gotten...
Needless to say, the kids were disappointed that they did, in fact, have school today ;)

Yesterday, I was so tempted to run on the treadmill because I was dying to watch some more of Sons of Anarchy, but since the weather was supposed to get bad, I ran outside instead while I was still able to. I felt good, and went farther than I'd planned so that I could be a little closer to my 100 miles/month goal. I was happy I went a couple miles extra, so that Thursday will be a sure-thing to get in my 100th mile.
I was excited to check my ActiveLink and see how many activity PP I'd earned. At that point, I'd already earned 6 PP, and it was only 9:30 in the morning. So the rest of the day, I kept moving as much as possible--cleaning the house, doing laundry, taking extra trips while putting laundry away, etc. Last night, I plugged it in again and saw this:
That extra activity made a huge difference! For the whole day, I earned 12 PP (reaching 204% of my activity goal). Before ActiveLink, I would have counted that run as 6 PP and that would be it for the day. So I'm interested to see how all these extra PP are going to affect my weight. I'm going to eat them and see what happens.

Speaking of weight, today is Wednesday Weigh-in. I was happy to see 131 on the scale this morning...
That's up 0.5 from last week, but I'm not worried about that at all since 131 seems to be my body's "happy weight" that it keeps going back to. On Monday, the scale was up to 134.5(!)--no doubt from all the salty food I ate during the two days before. It was that olive tapenade, I'm sure of it. It's not unusual for my weight to fluctuate a couple of pounds like that after a salty meal.

This brings me to a question I got from a reader in an e-mail last night, and I thought it would be perfect to write about today. She asked, "I'd love to hear your thoughts on fluctuations in your weight now that you're maintaining.  Do you weight yourself daily?  How does that affect how/what you eat?  What weight 'counts' each week, etc."

My mindset over weighing in has changed quite a bit over the past couple of months of maintenance. I've always been a daily weigher, and that hasn't changed. I know weighing every day is not for everyone, but I like to see how certain foods affect my weight (like the tapenade, for example). I know that small fluctuations are normal, and I don't get bothered if I see the scale go up a pound overnight. 

Since reaching maintenance, I still weigh every day, but I only "count" the weight that I am on Wednesday mornings. (I picked Wednesday just because it was the day that I started losing weight back in 2009). Throughout the past couple of months, I've seen numbers as low as 129 and as high as 134.5, but if it's not on a Wednesday, then I don't pay much attention to it.

I don't let the number on the scale affect my eating habits at all (assuming that I'm staying on plan, and not binge eating!). Since I'm doing WW, I just follow the program and trust that my weight will stay pretty steady on a weekly basis. I tend to use my weekly PP in large chunks at a time, so my weight might go up by two pounds overnight, but then I don't have a lot of weekly PP left to do that every day, so my weight naturally goes back down a little.

But I don't look at the scale one day and see, for example, 134, and think, "Oh no! I'd better eat a little less today" or "I'd better cut back on sodium" or something. I just follow the program and trust that my weight will stay fairly steady on a weekly basis.

Here is a graph of my daily weight for the entire month of February... see how it fluctuates each day?
But my Wednesday Weigh-in numbers were much more consistent: 131, 132, 130.5, and 131. 

Maintenance has made me much more relaxed about what the scale says. When I was losing weight, I always used to focus on my Wednesday Weigh-in being lower than it was the previous week. Now, I just follow the program, and my weight is what it is on Wednesday, and I don't stress about it. If it's up a little, I know that's normal. 

Because this is the first time in my life that I'm not actually trying to lose weight, I feel a huge sense of relief. Until December 12, 2012 (the day I reached goal weight), I was always either actively trying to lose weight, or wishing I was losing, or angry with myself for not losing--it was stressful and unnecessary, and I wasted a lot of time thinking about that stuff. Now that I'm not trying to lose, I feel a sense of freedom from all those negative thoughts, and I'm much happier with myself.

It's all kind of hard to explain, but if you've struggled with your weight for your entire life like I have, then you probably understand. I just wish I had been able to reach this place of being happy with my weight before I actually hit goal! But I guess the struggle is what makes it so rewarding to be here now.

If there is one bit of wisdom I can share from all this, it's not to put too much focus on the scale--if you're doing everything right, and the scale isn't showing what you'd like, just trust the process and don't give up! I could easily see 134 and think, "I'm up 3 pounds! This is ridiculous. I might as well just eat ____" (sounds dumb, but that's how I used to think back in the day!) Instead, I just think, "Holy tapenade!" and keep on doing what I've been doing, and trust that my weight will go back to normal ;)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Oscars party!

As you may remember, Special K gave me the opportunity to host an Oscars party--they sent me Special K Popcorn Chips, a red carpet for decoration, some OPI nail polish, some beaded coasters, and a $100 Visa gift card to buy party supplies. They even generously allowed me to give away the same package to a reader! I was super excited to invite my girlfriends over for some snacks, wine, and of course, the Oscars.

On Sunday evening, Stephanie was the first to arrive, which was convenient since she's my own personal photographer ;) (Thank you Steph for all the pictures I'm about to post!) She looked AMAZING in her jeweled pink gown...
She wanted to get a picture of each of us girls on the red carpet, which was fun...
Me, in my "Vanna White" gown

Tammy

Jessica--I said on the invite that black-tie
attire was optional, and Jess had a long day...
So she chose comfort ;)

Renee

Emma (she made this dress in about 15 minutes
 from a huge choir gown)

Rachael (she came in the best of both comfort
and classy--a dress on top, and pajama pants
underneath)
(Not pictured is my friend Alicia, who would prefer that her photo is not on the blog). I had lots of snacks and wine to go around...


This Olive Tapenade with Crostini was a big hit, and I totally
blame it for my weight jumping two pounds the next day ;)
The rosemary makes it unique and delicious! This was 1 PP for
2 Tbsp, and a little goes a long way.
This Red Pepper & Feta dip was my personal favorite (I used
fat-free cheese, and this came out to 1 PP for 1/4 cup!) I liked
it best with tortilla chips, but it was also good with vegetables--
particularly the red pepper strips.

Citrus Tahini Hummus (a typical hummus recipe, only it
includes adding an orange to the food processor with the
rest of the ingredients--it was good!)
And of course I included the Special K Popcorn Chips--but rather than just throw them in a bowl next to all this food, I wanted to take them to the next level--Oscars level. (The chips they sent me were the Sweet & Salty variety). Since I had recently bought some chocolate-covered potato chips from Trader Joe's, I thought, "Hmm... I bet these would be great dipped in chocolate!"

So I melted 3/4 of a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave until it was dip-able, and I dunked one corner of each chip in the chocolate and laid them out on foil to harden the chocolate before putting them in a bowl.
They turned out to be really good! I did try the chips plain, and I also like them that way. They are kind of like a rice cake, but they're really thin, so they're crunchier; also, you get a lot of chips in one serving. I actually bought these chips before, so I already knew I liked them before Special K contacted me.

Anyway, I calculated the PointsPlus in the chocolate-dipped chips, and I could eat four chips for just 1 PP--awesome! I estimate that I probably ate about 16 of them, however--whoops. I was sitting right next to them, and it was hard not to keep reaching for "just one more".

I did make the Guacamole Deviled Eggs I'd mentioned, but they were so ugly that I just couldn't bring myself to take them out of the fridge. I used chili powder instead of the minced serrano chile, so the red powder + yellow yolks + green avocado made for one really gross looking filling. They tasted really good, though! Thankfully, Jerry loved them, so he took them all to work with him yesterday.

For dessert, I made single serving Boston Cream Pie in jars. They were very easy to make, and I love single-serve desserts, so that I don't go overboard.

And what Oscars party would be complete without champagne, right? So we did a champagne toast...
I had so much fun chatting with my friends that I didn't pay too much attention to the Oscars! But I hadn't seen any of the movies that were nominated, so I just blindly picked my winners, and was wrong with all of them ;)

I did pretty well in regards to staying on plan, but I ate more than I'd counted on. I kept picking at the Special K chips and the tortilla chips, which were right in front of me. I plugged everything into my tracker after everyone left, and I was 13 PP in the hole for the week! So I've been working on earning extra activity PP to make up for it. Regardless, I had fun and I don't feel I went overboard, so I wouldn't change anything.

(Very big thanks to Special K who made this happen--I wasn't paid for this post, but like I said, Special K sponsored the party in exchange for my reviewing the chips. This was, by far, the most fun review I've done yet!).

Monday, February 25, 2013

Motivational Monday #4

Motivational Mondays make me so happy! I absolutely love to read all the positive changes that you have made for yourselves. No accomplishment is "insignificant"--that's why I like to focus on one week at a time. All those little accomplishments add up to BIG accomplishments in the long run :)  

Here are some super inspirational readers and their photos to prove it!


Libby Dilard (who lost 90 lbs last year!!) completed her first marathon--the National Marathon To Finish Breast Cancer (a.k.a The Donna).
Libby, you look fantastic, and I absolutely LOVE how happy you look in that photo! Great job!


Laura has lost 60 lbs over the last year, and celebrated with her sisters in Orlando by doing the 5K on Saturday & Princess Half on Sunday! 
Congrats, Laura--both on the weight loss and the races. What a great way to celebrate!


Allison ran a 10K with her son (who is just 7 years old!) on Sunday. Her son placed third in the 20 and under division!
I got goosebumps when I saw this--he looks so tiny to be running a 10K! That is SO amazing. Congrats to both of you!


Amber rode her stationary bike over 60 miles last week after nearly a year of not working out. "I feel so great and strong--I started riding 30 minutes, then went to 40, and then 45... today I'm going for an hour!"
Amber, I imagine your picture is blurry because your hands were shaking from all the work you just did! ;) What an AWESOME accomplishment--great job!


Britt tried on some designer skinny jeans... "I'm not longer too big for the biggest size!!" 
That is such a fun milestone, Britt! You look great in those skinnies!


My motivational event happened Saturday night at a local 5k. It was called Freezin' For a Reason and the money raised was to benefit a friend of mine who has cancer. He is a volunteer firefighter and a paramedic. I would have never been caught dead in a costume let alone wear one for a race. But I made my costume top to bottom and wore it all night for the race. After the race, myself (I am a firefighter and EMT), his manager at the ambulance base, and two other friends/coworkers took an icy plunge in to a dump tank of water at 8 pm in 20 degree weather as a show of our support to Chris. There was a huge crowd there to watch but I sucked up the courage and jumped out of my comfort zone the whole night. It was a huge success and I am proud that I stepped up and dressed up in a wild costume and also took the plunge.
First off, your costume is ADORABLE--you should be so proud to show that off! And I know just how hard it is to step out of your comfort zone, but you went all out for this. How fun!


For Motivational Monday, I like to focus on small mini-goals (which is why it's a weekly thing); but I got a few e-mails with before/after photos that were very inspiring, so I'm going to share those as well today. I think that soon, I'll do a special version of Motivational Monday that is just before and after photos, because those are always fun to look at!

Emily lost 12 pounds (2 pant sizes!) in 6 weeks. "I worked out 4 times a week and stuck to my 1 month vegan diet challenge! My endurance has increased incredibly."
That 12 pounds made a huge difference--you look fantastic! Although I have to say, you look great in the "before" photo as well... ;)


Ashley has lost 47.6 pounds, and is super excited to reach the 50-lb. mark soon!



From Margaret:
"I teach in an elementary school - each spring we do a 'Colonial Day' with our 4th graders.   Teachers, kids and parents dress up in colonial costume, play colonial games, create colonial crafts and even dance traditional colonial dances. Seven years ago, a parent made this costume for me - LOVED it and wore it each year.   Last year it barely tied...this was just before I made the decision to really get serious about losing weight and running. I started last year on President's Day--this year, I could only wear the hat from the costume!   The apron wrapped all the way around and the vest and skirt just wouldn't stay on! One year and nearly 100 lbs!"
Margaret, that is AMAZING--I'm stunned at what a difference a year can make! Congrats on all your hard work!


And as always, you can find a ton more on the Motivational Monday Facebook post, so make sure to check that out. Here is a small snippet:


Anyone have a small goal that you hope to accomplish this week? Please share in the comments!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

First day with the ActiveLink

Finally! My assessment phase for the Weight Watchers Active Link is done, and today I was able to use it to earn PointsPlus. I plugged it in right when I woke up, just to check out what it said before I started my day.

First, it said that I'd earned approximately 3 PP per day while I was in the assessment phase. I was surprised by that! I thought it would be lower. I didn't wear the ActiveLink during a couple of my runs, because I've been running farther than usual to reach my 100 miles in February goal. Here is what it said I earned last week:
The days that I wore it on a run were Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I ran 4, 4, and 5.4 miles respectively. The other days, I either didn't run or I didn't wear it while I ran. If I had been counting activity PP manually, by the book, I would have earned 5, 5, and 6 PP on those days; but the ActiveLink gave me 7, 7, and 9... I'll take it! It said this was my activity pattern...

Basically, I do get in a good workout most days of the week, but other than that, I'm not very active. Which is exactly what I expected it to say, and that's the reason I'm looking forward to using the ActiveLink--to motivate me to move more!

From now on, I have to reach my "baseline" of activity each day--this is a fixed number calculated by my age, weight, sex, etc. It has nothing to do with how much I moved during my assessment. So each day, once I've moved enough to reach the "baseline", any movement beyond that will earn Activity PointsPlus.
They've also set up a challenge for me--since I earned 2-4 Activity PP per day during the assessment phase, I'm supposed to gradually increase that until I'm earning 5 PP per day in 12 weeks.

At the end of the day, I can plug in the ActiveLink and it will automatically add those earned PP to my tracker, so I can eat them :)  Today, I started the day off with a four-mile run on the treadmill.
As soon as I was done, I plugged my ActiveLink into the computer to see if I'd earned any PP for it, or how close I was to reaching my baseline. It turns out that I didn't need to run very far to reach my baseline, because I'd already earned 4 PP and it was only 9:00 in the morning! Since I'd reached my baseline, any movement for the rest of the day would earn me PP (not as much as running, but every little bit of movement helps).

So I spent most of the day cleaning, prepping more food for tonight, and moving around a bit. Just now, when I plugged in the Active Link, it shows that I've earned 6 PP today.
This shows that I woke up at around 6:30, moved around in the morning (got the kids ready for church), ran on the treadmill, then went to the grocery store for a couple of last minute things, and cleaned the house during the afternoon.

I'm happy with the results of this! I was worried I wasn't going to be earning as many PP as I was used to, but it looks like it will work out to be about the same, if not a little more. And it certainly is an incentive to move more during the day!

I hate to cut this short, but my computer is running on battery alone and I have no way to charge it--Jerry accidentally broke my charger today :( 
See that little metal piece? It broke completely off. I called around to buy a new one, but nobody carries it, so I wrote Microsoft to see if they'll let me exchange it. I can use Jerry's computer (my old one) to blog on if needed, but I hate not having all of "my stuff" on the computer.

I'm excited for my girlfriends to come over tonight to watch the Oscars with me! I've actually never watched the Oscars before, so this is new to me. But any excuse for wine and girl talk is a good excuse, right?

I forgot that tomorrow is Motivational Monday, so I'll post about the Oscars party on Tuesday instead of tomorrow.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Causes of binge eating

I didn't wake up until 8:00 this morning! I never sleep that late. Last night, I took a sleeping pill so that I could sleep through the night--lately, I've been waking up constantly, feeling like I'm wide awake, and it drives me crazy. It worked like a charm, but I felt super tired when I woke up.

I sat and watched a movie on Lifetime for a little bit with a cup of tea. I am loving the David's Tea that I bought! I love all the flavors, and really can't choose a favorite. Today I had the Toasted Marshmallow flavor, and it was heavenly.
That's Phoebe in the background. She really likes Lifetime movies, and she sat and watched with me ;)

Once I got a little more energy, I got to work cleaning the house for my company tomorrow. It's funny, whenever I start doing the cleaning that I normally don't do very often (dust, for example) my kids always ask me, "Are your friends coming over?"

I was really in the mood to organize, so I ended up cleaning out the pantry. I have a really big pantry, and we somehow acquire a lot of food in there that I forget about. So I went through, checking the expiration dates of stuff, and throwing out things that have been forgotten. It looked much better when I was done.

This afternoon, I got to work on preparing the food for tomorrow. I chose to make things that I could do ahead of time, so that I don't have to be in the kitchen while my friends are over. I started by making the dessert. I've seen a million recipes for different desserts in a jar, and I thought that would be very convenient to make ahead of time. I decided to make a Boston Cream Pie version. They turned out pretty cute!
They are 11 PointsPlus each--not bad, for a decent-sized dessert. (I'll post links to all the recipes that I use when I post about my Oscars party--probably Monday).

I also made a Citrus Hummus, Roasted Red Pepper and Feta dip, and Olive Tapenade. Tomorrow, I'm going to make Guacamole Deviled Eggs. It was SO hard to make all this food today without eating it! I did a few tastes, and snacked on too many tortilla chips while I was making everything, but I counted the PointsPlus for it. The Red Pepper dip was so amazing that it's going to be my new go-to party dip.

Jerry posted this little cat chart on Facebook for me, and I thought it was hilarious, so I wanted to post it here. If you have a cat, you will probably get a kick out of it (click to enlarge it):


I haven't posted a "reader question" in a while, but here is one that I got recently:

Q. What do you think causes your binges when they occur? Difficult emotions? Love of food? Both? Something else entirely?

I have been in binge mode lately. I am still maintaining because I binge, then eat healthfully, binge, etc. I can't figure out what is up with me all of a sudden! I know this is a slippery slope.

A. Well, I'm happy to say that my binge-free streak is now at 167 days and counting :) But, I really wish I knew the answer to this question! I've noticed that when I feel really anxious, binge eating usually makes me feel better, so that's one reason. Stress is another reason--if I feel stressed out for any number of reasons, binge eating relieves the stress. I've tried other ways to relieve stress and anxiety, but nothing works the way food does ;)  And since someone always asks how I define a binge, here is a post that explains it.
 
I do have other binge triggers, though--food blogs are one of them! I can't read/view food blogs or browse Pinterest because then I fixate on food and it almost always leads to a binge. Since I've started this binge-free streak, I've only used Pinterest to bookmark certain things I find online--I don't browse through it like I used to. 
 
And, there are certain binge-triggering foods that I can't have at home. Ice cream, graham crackers, regular sized chocolate chips (the mini ones are fine to have a home, but nothing bigger--strange, I know), Biscoff Spread/Cookie Butter, and Marshmallow Fluff, to name a few things. 
 
I think it's important to find out what your triggers are--maybe stress, boredom, food porn, any number of other things--and then find ways to eliminate them or make the best of them. If your problem is boredom, then maybe make a list of things you can do when you feel the urge to binge--play solitare, read a book, go shopping, whatever. If your problem is food porn (food blogs, Pinterest, etc.), maybe it's time to eliminate it, like I did. 
 
Binge eating is SUPER hard to overcome--I was binge-free for a whole year when I was losing weight, and then I started doing it again. This time around, I'm trying to learn from my mistakes and hopefully I'll keep this streak going even longer than before. But it's a very tough road! 
 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Great start to the weekend

Oh, Friday. My long run day. I tend to dread Fridays all day on Thursdays, because I just don't want to run long. But after I've done the run on Friday, I just feel SO great all weekend for doing it!

This morning, I woke up and checked the weather on my phone while I was roasting under the electric blanket.
Hmm... snowing, feels like 7 degrees, with 20 mph winds? I clicked on that little red alert button, which basically said, "Go back to sleep. You're stupid if you're thinking of running outside right now!"

I thought about putting it off until tomorrow, but then I would just dread it all day today and be mad that I was being such a baby about it, so I decided to just get up and run on the treadmill. All 12 miles. I put Sons of Anarchy on Netflix, set the treadmill to 6.8 mph, and just started running.

I really like Sons of Anarchy, so it certainly helped to pass the time, but I was still looking at the distance way too often. I made it through two full episodes and one partial episode of the show--that's a long time to be on a treadmill! But I was SO happy to be done, and I felt good.
My ActiveLink is still in the assessment phase right now, so my Weight Watchers account won't let me add my activity points. But when I run 12 miles, burning nearly 1,000 calories, you better believe I'm going to add some PointsPlus to my day! So I just looked up the points in the WW book, and I've been keeping track on a little notepad on my phone:
The book gives me more PP than the formula I was using (calories burned divided by 80)--but since my weight has dropped a little, I figured adding a few extras won't hurt. Once I run out of my weekly PointsPlus, I will start dipping into these. Tomorrow is the last day of assessment on the ActiveLink, so on Sunday, I should start to earn PP again.

Jerry was off work today, and the kids were off school (all week), so we wanted to take them somewhere fun for their last day of winter break. They wanted to go up to this jungle gym place, but it's an hour away, and the roads were really bad from the snow. Instead, I took them (and Jerry) to the ice skating rink and dropped them off. While they were skating, I went to the store to buy the groceries for Sunday (my Oscar's viewing party!). I'm trying out a few new recipes, so I have no idea how they will be, but I bought lots of wine, so it shouldn't matter ;)

I picked the boys up, and we ate lunch at Wendy's (a large chili is only 7 PP and very filling!). Then we went to Mrs. Fields so I could spend my activity PointsPlus on something fun. I earned it after 12 miles on a treadmill! I got the same thing as last time--the Peanut Butter Dream Bar.
I would be happy ditching the crust and just eating the peanut butter and chocolate ganache layer. I don't think there is a better match than chocolate and peanut butter... it was so good! When I brought the bar home, I weighed it on my kitchen scale just to see if the portion size was the same as it is for the nutritional information I was able to find. It was only one gram off (stats are for 134 grams, and mine weighed 133 grams), which is pretty impressive! Here are the stats, if you're interested:
Calories- 670
Fat- 42 g
Carbs- 70 g
Fiber- 3 g
Protein- 10 g
PointsPlus- 19

It's kind of amazing that they can pack so many calories and so much fat into one tiny little rectangle! I used to eat two of them back in the day.

I had the worst headache ever today, and I'm sure it was from dehydration--that usually happens when I run in the heat or run on the treadmill--I get overheated, dehydrated, and my head throbs all day.

Yesterday was my last day on call for Jury Duty--and thankfully, I never had to report! I had to call an 800 number every day after 6 PM, and they told me whether or not I'd have to report the next day. It was kind of nerve-wracking, wondering if I'd have to go, but yesterday I was told that I'm no longer on call. I think it would be kind of fun to serve on a jury, to learn more about the whole system, but I'm a little relieved I didn't have to go.