Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Week in Review 1: Success

At my WW meeting tonight I weighed in down 3.8 lbs. I'd say that the scale proved I've had a good week. Planning ahead with meals, spending time cooking and preparing meals, and reaffirming my visions and missions have helped significantly. The next stage, continued motivation, is going to be critical. To continue my narrow focus, I want to do a weekly review of my actions as they pertain to my mission statements for that week.

MS1 (this week's focus): I will not accept maintance, nor rely upon the past.
Sounds strange, but I really tried to focus on the 'here and now' and forget about the first 80 lbs this week. I looked up every food's point value, recalculated the points on all my "normals," and made sure I was pushing myself.

MS2 (upcoming week's focus): I will stay within my points target.
This is a difficult task that I have struggled with for the past year. WW gives flex points (35 per week) that can be used in addition to your daily points target. I abuse these flexies and I want to stay within my given "normal" 26 points a day. This week I made it on four days out of seven. My goal for next week is to make it on six days. In order to do this, I will need to plan very carefully around Des' graduation party on Saturday and stay within my points target every other day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Home Cookin': Breakfast and Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Breakfast was the topic of this weeks WW meeting and I've been attempting to break out of my normal breakfast--cereal with Almond Breeze. So far I've made an Egg Beaters omlet, Egg white McMuffin, and this parfait type breakfast. It looks like a lot of food, and it is really filling for a very minor three points (cereal and milk is 4 pts). I put it in a bowl the first time I made it, but you couldn't tell what everything was in the picture.
  • 1/2 Light and Fit Vanilla yogurt
  • 2 oz fresh raspberries
  • 5 oz fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup Kashi Crunch cereal
This beauty is one of my favorites--BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich! Typically, I'd order this at a BBQ place and guess the point range 15-25 points. I've adapted a WW reciepe into this (I've made it several times) which is 1 point per oz. In the picture, the serving is 5 oz and the bun was 3 points. Total, this meal cost me 8 points.
  • 1-1 1/5 pound pork roast with limited fat
  • 3 cups of BBQ Sauce of your choice
  • 4 cups of water
  • chopped onions


  • Add pork roast into crock pot
  • Cover with 2 cups BBQ Sauce
  • Add water and onions to sides (allow top of roast to be coated in sauce)
  • Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours
  • Flip roast over half way through cooking time
  • After cooking, take roast out of crock pot (it should be falling apart) and shred into large bowl. Make sure to remove all extra fat to keep point value low.
  • Add remaining cup of BBQ sauce and stir
  • Serve on Hamburger bun/roll of choice and add BBQ sauce if needed individually

Monday, June 22, 2009

Food Obsessed

Disclaimer: What you are about to read is real. The words were thought while running errands in a timespan of one hour.

On the way to Lowe's
Jen: Oh, there is Jamba Juice. I could get a jamba juice for only four points. Hmm...

On the way out of Lowe's
Jen: Jamba Juice is an option, but Jennifer you shouldn't spend the money and you could make one at home and you don't. Get in the car and drive away.

On the way to Walmart
Jen: McDonalds...I could get chicken nuggets, no chicken nuggets are too high in points and not filling... Classic grilled... like always... oh and an ice cream cone! No, remember mission five, eat at home. You have plenty of food at home. Upon seeing a sign for pizza: Yum, pizza sounds good, I could order myself a pizza, but I would have to eat the whole thing...

Inside Walmart, shopping and checking out
Jen: Those donuts look so good and fattening, walk away, Jennifer, walk away. I should get a WW muffin, they are low in points. picks up the box: no, not for four dollars and three points each. in check out line: a snickers sounds good, oh, so does an ice cream sandwich, no Jennifer. I can just go to McDonald's and order a ice cream cone for cheaper and only three points.

McDonald's Drive though
Jen outloud: Can I have a kids meal and an ice cream cone, please? Wait, cancel the kids meal, just a ice cream cone... (I know, I broke down here!)

At Target
Jen: you didn't cave in too bad, at least you didn't buy a kids meal, good job. Walking in the door at Target: how about popcorn, no Jennifer, no popcorn... a soft pretzel would be better... no jennifer, you're eating at home...

At Home
Jen: okay... what should I eat... warming something up is all I have the energy for...layered enchiladas take two.

Masters Degree

After many hours of class, even more hours of homework and "reading," and three essays for our comps, Desiree and I are finished with our first MA degree!

Although the ceremony was on Father's Day, my parents, grandparents, and Aunt Luanne came to support me. The ceremony started at 2 pm inside the giant gym. My mom was happy because they had comfy seats and air conditioning!

We are known as the twins at CSUSB because we're always together and look similar (so they say). Some of our professors don't know who is who for awhile, but they always LOVE us. These two professors were our favorites in the program. Dr. Jindra (red cap) and Dr. Groen (blue cap) made live wonderful in our program. Dr. Jindra actually convinced us to do the second Masters program and she'll be our professor again :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Date Night

Dave and I went on a date tonight! After dinner at home (woot, woot, I cooked two days in a row), we went to the Plaza to see UP in 3D. The movie was excellent, yet very sad. We had fun wearing our 3D glasses.

I got a new, tiny camera so I've been taking a lot of pictures!

Giving Credit

With Fathers' Day right around the corner, I thought I'd give my dad credit for something very special to me. I love my dad and he is amazing in so many ways; he taught me to love a good story and to read that good story with gusto. He also taught me that 100 pages is the "end" of a book and you can't stop/talk/eat or do anything else within the last 100 pages. My love of reading came from my dad! He reads constantly and read to me every single night before bed.

As I was tidying up the house today, I came to a startling realization--I have novels in almost every room of my house. The only rooms I left off were the bathrooms and kitchen (can't count the cookbooks)!
With summer here, I really look forward to reading! I've already finished three books: A Bride with a Bargin by Deanna Gist and Remember Me? and Undomesticated Goddess by Sophie Kinsella.
Mom's Note: I think I would like credit for the 100 pages statement....that was me!!! Since I have "watched" you all read in my house...and not do anything while reading....I decided that instead of yelling at you guys to "make your beds!" "brush your teeth!" or even "just get dressed!!" That I would give MYSELF a break and declare the "100 Page Rule."

YES...your mother came up with the save myself from the frustration that living in a household of Readers!! I made the Rule for my sanity!!
Thus...when the statement is Declared....I get to do NOTHING (mommy is not around) until you all finish your books!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Home Cookin' Lesson: Layered Enchiladas

Often I joke that the WW meetings are like my AA meetings, but the main difference? Alcoholics can/should/do complete stop drinking when they are "on track" with AA! I will fully admit that I am a foodolics, a truly fat child, a food-lover and it would be better for me to stop eating; however, I can't stop eating completely or I'll die! It would be like an alcholic having to have one class of wine, but just one, a day! So it brings me to a dilemma that I'm sure everyone who has ever tried to lose weight comes to--which food to eat, how much to eat, how to fullfil the cravings, and how to pass up on something you really want.

I use to make a big deal about how I lost weight even though I ate out four or five times a week; as part of my renewed sense of purpose and mission #5 (cooking healthy, filling foods) I will begin cooking.

Today, for lunch I was craving cheese (as always) so I decided to make a yummy layered enchilada cassarole. We made something similar at my Tupperware party and I've been dying to make it again. This time, I carefully measured out the cheese and all the other ingredients to make sure I was accurage to my recipe I created on the WW website (coolest thing ever--Recipe Builder--free with ETools).
For 8 points, this recipe creates 6 servings.

Layered Enchilada Cassarole
  • 12 oz boiled chicken breasts, shredded finely (I used my KitchenAid Mini-Chopper for perfect little pieces)
  • 1 can Enchilada Sause (green or red, mild or spicy, I used mild red)
  • 9 small Corn Tortillas
  • 2 1/2 cups Shredded Colby and Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 small can sliced olives

Instructions (I used my handy-dandy tupperware microwave container and cooked it all there, but I'm assuming that it would work exactly the same in the oven)

  • Spray bottom with Pam Non-stick spray
  • Layer three corn tortillas
  • Layer a thin layer of shredded chicken, olives, cheese
  • Cover with another layer of corn tortillas
  • Pour as much enchilada sause as desired
  • Repeat three times (to double the recipe, add more layers)
  • Top with remaining cheese and olives
  • Cook in Tupperware Cook n' Serve for 15 minutes on Med-High (Oven times different!)
  • Sit for 5 minutes and serve

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Weight loss Vision

Tonight I attended my weekly weight watchers meeting like normal; however, tonight wasn't a normal meeting. I asked to start over, start fresh with a new book and a new outlook. The first year on WW I lost 80 pounds. The second year of WW I maintained my weight and gained a little back in the last five weeks of craziness. Maintaining 185 pounds is not okay for me; I need to lose 48 more pounds to be considered healthy. So tonight, I begin anew. As this comic says, I am tired of being in the "in-between" which is where I've lived for the last year.

I'm prepared with groceries, meal plans, print outs to make my custom journal, and a new mindset. My body is different than it was when I started at 270 lbs and I must treat it differently.

In my leadership class I just finished, we talked significantly about our professional vision when it comes to education and it was VERY easy for me to develop, write, and implement my action steps to make this vision a reality. I think the concreteness (I know, not a word) of it helped me see the small and big steps to take and made it achieveable. As we learned in class, a vision is a long-term goal projected for two to three years. The mission is the process we take to get there. I will take the same approach in my weight loss struggle

My vision: I seek a healthy lifestyle where obesity is not an issue, proper eating and exercise are integrated with life, and I am able to do anything I set my mind to without consideration of my weight.

My missions: I will not accept maintance, nor rely upon the past. I will stay within my points target. I will journal my food (every lick, bite, and taste) before it goes into my mouth. I will measure and weigh my food because I know it works. I will cook healthy, filling foods for Dave and myself. I will begin the journey to regular exercise.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Arlington Lion

It is official. I will be an Arlington Lion next year teaching ninth grade Intro to Literature for four classes and a reading support class for the fifth class of my day.
We're lions and our color colors are burgundy and gold!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Whirlwind of Activity

Monday has come again and I can't believe a full week has passed by already. I wrapped up the school year with sadness as I said goodbye to my students, my school, and many relationships that have formed over the past four years. I know we're adults and living in the same town, but everyone is so busy, I know we won't see each other often. (To the left: Kacey and Shannon, two of my wonderful yearbook students)

I felt an outpouring of love from my students and their parents when they found out that I'd be leaving Central. Maddie, one of my yearbook kids, wrote me a beautiful poem that I will frame and keep forever. They signed cards, hugged me over and over again, and shed a few tears. Overall, the students took it better than me :) (Below: Nicole and Brianna, two of my yearbook class leaders who have been in yearbook with me for two years!)

Thursday was our promotion ceremony, which was beautiful. Mr. Garcia started the tradition of releasing doves into the air after we ring the bell nine times to signify their promotion to ninth grade and like every other year, when those birds fly I cry with joy for my kiddos. After promotion, the staff had the end of the year party at Mi Tortilla. Parts of the party caused tears to flow (I doubt that there was a dry eye in the place) and goodbyes were said to fourteen staff members (teachers and classified) that will be finding new homes next year. (To the left: Ruth Hutchison, the woman who I aspire to be when I "grow up")

Friday I packed up the remaining of my classroom and talked to a lot of people. Three of my wonderful kids came to help me in the afternoon, but I was finished, so they helped Mrs. Balice and played with Melissa and I.

Saturday I had my last class for my one unit class, then went shopping with Melissa. It was relaxing to spend money :) We went and saw "The Proposal" with Sandra Bullock in the evening. It was, by far, the best chick flick I've seen in a very long time. Melissa and I laughed so hard and walked out talking about it.
Yesterday, Melissa and I went to Disneyland for most of the day. Steven and Brian joined up with us at the Celebration Parade (by the way, WONDERFUL parade) and went on a few rides.
This morning, I interviewed at Arlington HS with Mr. Garcia, a VP, and the English department chair. The interview went well and I look forward to hearing the the official "you're hired" late this week.

Melissa and I are now off to Disneyland to watch Nightastic and the new firework show. Dad and Steven are meeting us there, so it should be an eventful day.

Tomorrow, my plan is to read a book and get a pedicure :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Today was sad and I'm sad.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Saying Goodbye, Part II

With a very quivery voice and tears, I told the yearbook class that I wouldn't be returning to Central. It was, by far, the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. I know it may sound trivial, but I felt like I was letting them down tremedously. I didn't make eye contact very well because their eyes were filled with tears too.

Thank you for all of the phone calls and prayers today after you read my previous blog, I need all the prayer support I can get over the next three days.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Saying Goodbye

I have four days left at Central; four days left after spending four years there. It is strange. I think I began "processing" this as a fact (rather than a hypothetical situation) this weekend and it resulted in more than seven hours of naps. I didn't want to deal with what I have to do...

How do you go about saying "goodbye" to a school, to a staff, to a group of kids? I would be lying if I said that it was "just a job" or if I said it doesn't hurt. My life has been wrapped around that school for the past 1,460 days.

I feel like I grew up in Room 410 and on the beautiful Central campus. I have such a strong support system of fellow teachers that I cannot see myself successful without them. We've celebrated birthdays, weddings, babies. We've cried and supported each other through deaths and illnesses. We've joked and laughed through hours of meetings and crazy twelve-year-olds. We've encouraged each other when testing and pressure from above was unbearable. Most important, we've loved each other.

Although most people wouldn't expect it of me, I'm a crier. I have shed so many tears over this move, it doesn't seem like there should be any more to shed, yet they fall.

Tomorrow, I have to tell my yearbook students that I will not be back for them next year. I'm sure anger will be their first emotion and I'm prepare for it, but tears, oh, they will keep falling if I see tears from them. I know I haven't birthed them, nor seen them grow from infancy, but the last year I've spent with my seventh graders qualifies them as my babies. I am filled with overwhelming grief that I have to say goodbye to them and leave them in a stranger’s hand. It sounds silly, but I've been praying for weeks that who ever takes over yearbook next year will love them for me and give them what they deserve.

I wish there were rules for saying goodbye...

Monday, June 1, 2009

I should be working on my group project...

but it frustrates me... so here is a fun picture of Melissa and I at Disneyland. This was matching red day and matching blue day...