Thursday, February 7, 2008

My love/hate relationship with Buffalo Wild Wings

Tonight I’m meeting up with some friends to go to Buffalo Wild Wings. (From here on out Buffalo Wild Wings = BWW because that’s too durned much to type.) Do you guys have BWW in your area? My gawd they have good wings. I credit some of my 2007 weight gain to BWW and their wings.

I used to go to BWW with my friends all the time. I’d order 12 wings with sauce, plus a little ranch dressing, a couple 24 oz. light beers, AND some sort of appetizer to share. Hey, at least they were light beers, right? Ugh. Based on what I found online, the 12 wings cost me about 35 points, the beer would be 8, I’m going to throw another 4 points for the ranch, and who knows how many points for the appetizer. That’s 47 points before the appetizer is even factored in! That is MORE THAN TWO DAYS WORTH OF POINTS FOR ME! In ONE MEAL!

Sorry to yell, but that’s just crazy.

When I got my eating back under control last fall, I stopped texting people saying “BWW 7 PM” … and our friends stopped going for a while. It seemed my husband and I were the big BWW pushers in the group. But then in December when a couple of months had passed without a BWW trip, my friends started talking about how much they missed going. At that point, I started trying to hunt down BWW nutrition and points information.

There is a little bit of information out there. You can find info if you really dig around, but in general the company does not openly provide nutritional information so it isn’t easy to come by, and I wonder if the information that I do find is spot-on. Anyway, from what I did find, it was clear that I’d have to seriously alter my menu choices. Since my friends started organizing BWW visits every few weeks or so, I had to figure something out. I’m not willing to kill my social life because I’m eating well. I work from home – if I don’t get out of the house, I go a little insane.

What stinks about BWW being the hangout, though, is that some of the healthy choices there are really not good.

They have naked wings – basically “grilled” unbreaded chicken breast strips. Theoretically that would be a good choice, and it is a good choice nutritionally, but they are like shoe leather. I asked a waitress about it (you know, the one who knows us because we used to go there so often?), and she said that they get made early and then they’re microwaved when folks order them. YUCK! They also have a grilled chicken sandwich that is a little easier to stomach because the texturally challenged chicken is masked by the bread and stuff, but there is SO MUCH bread. There are grilled chicken salads which are pre-made (so they’re not fabulously fresh), and they’re covered in cheese. And then there are buffalitos, which are basically chicken soft tacos.

I’ve found that the buffalitos are my best choice … it comes with chips – if I sub the chips with celery sticks and get all the sauces on the side so I can control how much I get, I estimate it to be 10-11 points. The texturally challenged grilled chicken is chopped into chunks so you don’t notice the texture as much. If I get a beer, I’m still eating more points than I usually eat in one sitting, but thank goodness we don’t do this every day or even every week, so it works out fine with a few flex points.

You know what’s funny? Now that I have been doing this eating well thing for a while, I don’t really miss the greasy regular wings. It doesn’t bother me to see folks eating them, and I enjoy being there with my friends. Plus, I get that yummy spicy sauce in my buffalitos. What does bother me is that there are so few good healthy choices there. I try to be grateful that there are some choices, but is it too much to ask that there be a variety of good tasting healthy options?

I didn’t have much of a point with this post. I just wanted to get all that off my chest.

By the way, I know switching restaurants would be an option. I did ask the group, and we did try. But because of the location and the fact that the place is run more like a bar than a restaurant (so folks who are getting off work at different times can show up at different times), BWW is the one that has worked out best for the group. Being with my friends is valuable to me and I enjoy the atmosphere, so I plan ahead, use some flex points, and it all works out. (But again, why so few good healthy choices in that place? Grrrrr!)

Oh, and also? BWW’s not providing nutritional information … it pisses me off. I’m not going to boycott them because I would be shooting myself in the foot socially. But it pisses me off.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Couch to 5k Week 1 is ...

... DONE!


On to Week 2. I'm hitting it either Friday or Saturday, and I need to get a good strength training session in before Sunday, too.

I feel really good about this C25k program. Although today I realized that the 5k I had in mind would require me to go through the program without repeating any weeks, so that might not work out. I'm trying not to let that get me down.

Let's focus on this ... I finished week 1. Hooray!

Multiple quandaries

Today is going to be week 1 day 3 for me on the couch to 5k plan. Oh, before continuing, I want to welcome Blubba to the couch to 5k support group, er, I mean the group of people doing the couch to 5k. Welcome! That makes jb, Ashley, Blubba and me. Woo hoo!

Anyway, today is my day to run. And that would be just fine, except that I’m ALREADY running. I woke up this morning with an insane urge to pee, and I had to run to the bathroom. That isn’t unusual given the water intake I (try to) have. But this morning, it was worse. I think I’m coming down with a bladder infection. Ack! I’ve been running to and from the bathroom repeatedly this morning. Like, even more repeatedly than normal, even.

So I still have every intention of doing my run, but I’m a little challenged as to how to do it if I can’t go very long without peeing. I can’t exactly squat on a corner or lift a leg on a fire hydrant like a dog.

Oh, and dogs … that leads me to my next quandary. Did I mention that we had a party this past Saturday? Did I mention that I drank my weight in mimosas? (Hmm, you’d think all that vitamin C would be fighting this bladder infection. But I digress.)

So this past Saturday I’m all getting my drink on, and I start talking to my next door neighbor about how I’ve started the couch to 5k program. He has a dog, you see, and while he’s at work all day the dog is at home alone. I figure if I’m out running around the neighborhood before neighbor gets home, I might as well grab the dog and bring him along. We discuss this, and he’s open to the option, but then we start discussing how he is no dog whisperer; the dog may not be so good on the leash. We have a short dog whisperer conversation, blah blah blah, party continues.

Fast forward a couple hours. By this time my mimosas contain almost no orange juice. The last couple people, including the neighbor, are leaving. I’m trying to convince neighbor to take goodies with him, since he’s having a super bowl party on Sunday, but he resists. So what do I do? I “tssst” him repeatedly. Like the dog whisperer. Apparently I sense that calm assertive energy and a good handful of “tssst’s” will make the neighbor calm submissive, and he’ll take the goodies?

What the hell?

Alcohol is a strange, strange chemical.

So the dilemma … should I go talk to the neighbor about borrowing his dog? Maybe I should just try to let both of us forget the whole thing. Was I acting as crazy as I think I was? *sigh* Damn that demon alcohol. I guess I should be grateful … it could have been worse, right?


Oh well, that dilemma can wait. I’ll deal with facing the neighbor later. Maybe I can get over the embarrassment by this coming weekend. The more pressing issue is the issue of running with my sad broken bladder. I guess I could just run around the block over and over. That way I can stop in to the house to pee as needed.

I’ll keep you posted. I’m sure you want all the details on my running AND on my urinary tract. Oh, and of course on my new assertive/submissive relationship with my neighbor.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Where am I? (Volume 2)

It's Tuesday! Know what that means? It means that twenty-four states are holding caucuses or primary elections. But that's not what this post is about ... Tuesday also means I do a "where am I in my weight loss journey" stats check for the Healthy You Challenge.

Weight loss since last Tuesday: 0.4 lbs
After this past weekend, I'm shocked to see any kind of loss. Since I expected a gain, this wee little loss is a happy surprise. Hey, I'll take it! All the little losses add up over time, right?

Weight loss since fall 2007 (most recent leg of weight loss journey): 13 lbs
I gave myself a 10 lb badge last week, so 2 more lbs until my 15 lb badge.

Total weight lost (entire weight loss journey): 27.6 lbs
I gave myself a 25 lb badge last week, so 2.4 more lbs until my 30 lb badge.

Slowly but surely I'm taking this weight off. I have 2.4 lbs until a couple big milestones ... I'm not going to try to take that much off in one week, but I'm going to set a mini-goal to lose 2.4 lbs by the Tuesday after next. Losing 1.2 lbs/week seems completely possible, but it also seems like I'm going to have to focus.

As far as other goals go, I'm doing a little better when it comes to exercise. I'm not awarding myself an exercise badge, though. This past week I didn't meet my minimum 3x/week cardio 2x/week strength training goal. But yesterday was the start of a new week, and I have confidence that I'll acheive that goal this week. Now that I'm doing the couch to 5k program, I'm a lot more motivated.

It's not too late to join me and Ashley and jb in the couch to 5k program. We're doing this together so that we can support and inspire each other. I'm only at the end of week 1, personally, and I think Ashley and jb are about where I am. I expect before too long we're going to end up on different weeks since it is a self-paced program, so if you start out now you're still very much running with the pack, so to speak.

Having a structured, specific goal of "I want to run a 5k by following this program" is definitely helping me focus, and it's given me a sense of purpose that I didn't have before in regards to exercise. In all honesty, I'm a little intimidated by the idea of running 5k. I don't see myself as a runner. But I've looked around and I see how many other people have done this program and met their goals, so I know I can do this. To everyone who did this before me, thanks for setting an example and giving me hope.

Anyway, last night I did week 1 day 2 of the program. But wait, there's more! Afterwards, I did an hour of strength and cardio intervals since Monday is the night I work out with a trainer along with my husband and a friend. That's 90 minutes of exercise, my friends! Yay!

I'm a little stiff today. Gee, I wonder why?

Monday, February 4, 2008

What a weekend!

I had a completely unhealthy, exercise-free, eating challenged, drank-too-much weekend. It was wonderful.

Saturday morning/early afternoon my husband and I had a big Valentine's themed brunch party. I stayed up most of Friday night cooking, got up early Saturday morning to finish cooking, and put out one hell of a spread ... I made three kinds of quiche, egg and sausage casserole, hash browns, cookies, homemade coffee cake, homemade strawberry bundt cake, homemade cherry pie, toast, bacon, cheese and crackers, and we bought donut holes and sausage rolls, too. Champagne, mimosas, poinsettias, screwdrivers, bloody maries and coffee with Irish cream and Kahlua flowed freely.

I was so busy entertaining that I forgot to eat (it's true!), but somehow I didn't forget to drink, and I ended up passing out from exhaustion and intoxication at around 5 PM. I woke up at 2 AM with a hangover, but managed to get back to sleep, and when I woke up again at 8 AM I felt better.

Then on Sunday I ran errands and ate junk food all day ... why do McDonald's and Dr. Pepper and pizza all taste so good post-drinking?

The only thing wellness-related that I did all weekend was buy a new pair of running shoes. I'll be doing week 1 day 2 of the couch to 5k program this evening. I'm not letting a weekend of being off-plan derail me.

I have to confess ... I don't feel at all bad about my weekend of depravity and decadence. I feel like I should feel bad, but I don’t. In my married, suburban, 30-something existence, weekends like this don’t happen very often.