Food Blogger vs. Fat: Weeks 24 & 25

It’s a double update this week as we catch up on the last two weeks of my journey to better health. It’s been a whirlwind two weeks, but the results keep coming. Here’s a look at the weeks that were:

The Challenges

As we begin this blog, I have a confession to make to my readers. If you’ve followed along with my successes, you’ll have noticed that I have recorded a lot of house cleaning in my exercises over the past few weeks.

That’s because Julie and I are getting ready to expand the Berks County Eats family when we welcome our first child (due in November).

Julie has a baby on board. I have a food baby on board.

It’s a Boy!

I wanted to make a big announcement on Facebook months ago when we announced it to our family and friends, but just never did. Part of that is because it’s been a bit of a challenge for both of us.

That challenge was never higher than last week when Julie was admitted to the hospital last Sunday (September 10). Everything is fine, but the doctors were a little concerned so she was admitted and we spent two nights at the Reading Hospital.

Chicken panini and cole slaw from the Tower Cafe

The Reading Hospital puts out some pretty good food for a hospital.

Again, I would like to reiterate that everything is fine. Julie and baby are good, and we are excited about becoming parents in two months.

We were even able to celebrate on Saturday with Julie’s surprise baby shower.

Cupcakes are the enemy of diets.

Cupcakes are the enemy of diets.

Between the four meals in the hospital and a day of noshing on Philly Pretzel Factory Rivets and celebratory cupcakes, it wasn’t the best time for my diet.

The Successes

With the exception of those few days above, I have really entered into a routine that is working.

My breakfasts consist of Honey Nut Cheerios and fat free milk. I’ve measured it out and eat about 1.5 cups of cereal with a cup of milk. Amazingly, Weis’ generic cereal is 20 calories less per bowl than the real thing.

Lunch usually consists of a bowl of soup and chips. Whenever I need it, I stop at the Wegmans grocery store in King of Prussia and pick up a quart of fresh-made soup. It lasts me two meals and it’s significantly lower in sodium than canned soup.

My chips are almost exclusively low sodium Pringles. Why? Because it’s a lot easier to count out the 16 crisps in one serving of Pringles than it is to figure out how much is in one ounce of traditional potato chips.

Lightly salted Pringles are perfect for my low-sodium diet.

150 calories and just 75 grams of sodium.

In between, I always eat one of my Graze snacks – usually between 100-200 calories. Occasionally I will indulge in a second snack after lunch, but I usually mitigate that with a walk around the office complex.

Dinner varies, but we try to plan out healthful meals: chicken stir-fries, homemade soup and portion-controlled casseroles are favorites that usually come in between 500-800 calories.

And that leaves plenty of room for an evening treat. Julie and I have found some great sweet snacks in the freezer aisle at Weis.

Yasso frozen yogurt bars are only 100 calories.

Mmm…100 calorie sea salt caramel

One is Yasso brand frozen yogurt popsicles. Flavors include sea salt caramel, raspberry chocolate chip and peanut butter. And they are all just 100 calories each.

Outshine Fruit Bars

Only 35-45 calories per bar.

My other go-to is Outshine fruit bars. These are actually fruit bars, not fruit juice bars. And Outshine makes a 12-count box of snack-sized bars that are between 35 and 45 calories each.

If I have more calories available, I will pull out the blender and make a fresh fruit smoothie. Peaches and bananas are my favorite. I mix each with almond milk and ice (and a little sugar for the peach smoothies). Two bananas and a cup of almond milk is only 240 calories. Peaches are even less. But both are delicious and filling.

In the last two weeks, I have only missed my target calorie count twice – once while we were in the hospital and once when we dined out for a review.

The Results

Current Weight: 160.8
Two-Week Weight Loss: -3.4
Total Weight Loss: -28.6

Last week, the update that didn’t happen, I was at 162.6, so I had back-to-back weeks of great success. I’m also just 0.8 pounds away from my original goal weight of 160 and 1.4 away from the 30-pound weight loss I promised myself at the start.

The Week Ahead

What I am trying to avoid now is falling out of my groove. Things are going so well that I don’t want to take a step backward by overdoing it. Other than a church picnic coming up on Sunday, it should be a fairly routine week.

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