Inches Matter (that’s what she said).

I came back from my WI on Saturday discouraged at my only .6 loss – its the third week in a row that I’ve had below 1 pound losses.   Tony picked my spirits back up (thanks honey!) and as I was bike riding yesterday at lunch, I realized my muffin top wasn’t getting in the way as much on my rides. 😀

You ladies will know what I mean, sorry to the few men who read my blog. 😦  I didn’t do any measurements before I started to get serious with WW on March 1, but I did at the beginning of last years 101 days of summer challenge, and I started out 4 pounds heavier this year at 173 pounds.

So I decided to measure myself.  The scale is only one indiciation of success and I have to keep reminding myself of that.  I think I keep getting fixated on my 135 goal weight, that when I only lost .6 I feel its going to take forever.

I also have to remember I didn’t gain 30 pounds in 3 months, so I need to be patient, take it day by day and keep the long term goal in my vision, and know that by making good choices most of the time will get me to my goal.

Drum roll please . . . .

Last year at 168 pounds on May 31, 2010  (February 23, 2011 of this year I was 173)

  • thigh: 24.5
  • hip: 40.5
  • bicep: 14
  • waist: 38
  • chest: 39

This year at 157.2 as of June 11, 2011

  • thigh: 23 / -1.5 inches
  • hip: 39 / – 1.0 inch
  • bicep: 12.5 / -1.5 inches
  • waist: 37 / – 1.0 inch
  • chest: 39 / – 1.0 inch

Not bad – I can really tell in my thighs and arms that they are smaller – I think the swimming helps. 😀  I am not going to be a slave to my scale. 😀

I also decided that I need a goal to work for at the end of the summer to keep me on track.  One of my 101 Days of Summer challenges was to run two 5k’s in a race.  Imagine my surprise when I found a dualthlon (okay – Nicole inspired me!) that starts with a 5k, then a 20k bike ride, and finishing with a 5k – I can wipe out my summer goal in one race!

So I went to check it out . . .you have to either sign up for your age group in 5 year increments, or a weight group.  I’ve heard of men racing as Clydesdales – that means weighing over 200 pounds.  I never knew there was a group for women like that – check it out:

 Participation DivisionsAge Groups: 15-19 years, 5 year age groups through 70+.

Athena: Female participants over 150 lbs.
39 years and under
40 years and over

Clydesdale: Male participants over 200 lbs.
39 years and under
40 years and over

So they consider any woman over 150 pounds to be overweight – that sounds so crazy to me.  I consider myself somewhat fit at 157 pounds.  Although, by the time the race is on August 14 – I am going to be lean mean fighting machine. 😀  It still kinda rubs me the wrong way.

Do you think there should be a separate race categories for weight?  Does anyone know why the weight class separation is even necessary?

Okay, let’s get on with the food.  I loved, loved, loved this breakfast.  I like to call it leftover hash!

  • 3 ounces baby potatoes
  • 1 tsp. olive oil (healthy guideline!)
  • 3 ounces lean steak, cooked and diced
  • 1 big handful of baby spinach, sliced
  • 1 egg
  • key ingredient – 1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary

I heated the oil and then sauteed the potatoes for about 10 minutes, so they got all crispy.  Then added the diced steak, and spinach and when the spinach just started to wilt, I added the egg, rosemary and salt and pepper.  I loved the addition of rosemary with the eggs – I might never have my eggs any other way they were that good.  Breakfast comes in at 8 PointsPlus, with two kiwis sliced on the side.

My SIL came over yesterday and she tried quinoa for the first time – and liked it!  I had this on my lunch menu last week, but never got around to it.  While each serving is 6 points, I added 3 points of grilled chicken – this was 9 PointsPlus.

Asian-Flavored Quinoa Salad

(from www.weightwatchers.com)

  • 1 1/2 cups canned chicken broth, or water
  • 3/4 cups uncooked quinoa**
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil (I used olive oil)
  • juice of half of lime (I added)
  • 1 tsp. lime zest (I added)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha sauce (I added – leave out if you don’t like spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger root, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup snap peas (left out)
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, fresh and diced
  • 2 tablespoons scallions (you know I left those out)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted (left this out too)

** note I cooked the quinoa in my rice maker, then I just mixed the dressing together and tossed the cooked quinoa, diced veggies and dressing together.

Here are the rest of the directions if you do it the original way.

In a small saucepan, combine broth and quinoa, bring to a boil over igh heat.  Reduce to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking together the vinegar, marmalade, oil, lime zest, lime juice, sriracha, ginger and salt, set aside.

After quinoa has cooked for 10 minutes, toss in snap peas to partially steam them; cover and simmer until most of the liquid has absorbed, about 5-6 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in the carrots, cabbage, peppers and dressing, mixing thoroughly to combine.  Garnish with cilantro, scallions and sesame seeds.  Serve warm, room temp or chilled.  Yields one heaping cup per serving.

I ended up eating the salad part cold, but warming up my chicken for about 30 seconds in the microwave – and liked the different crunchy textures – and love the kicked up version of adding the sriracha and lime juice/zest. 

I brought it to Tony to look at yesterday and his first look at it was “Ew.”  That’s okay – more for me. 😀

Since I had so much leftover chicken I decided to make chicken alfredo pasta.  Here is a simple cheese sauce – this dinner was so quick – boil the pasta according to package directions.  While the water is boiling, mix together 3/4 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream and 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt. 

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan, add 1 teaspoon minced garlic – saute garlic for a few minutes.  Add in broth mixture and stir in your chopped cooked chicken.  Just before the pasta is done, add in 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, salt (go easy on the salt because of the parmesan cheese) and pepper and mix until bubbly.

I added chopped spinach to mine – 1 cup pasta, 1/4 of the sauce (which is 4 points) and 3 ounces of cooked chicken – a delicious, quick and easy weeknight meal – 12 Points Plus.

Stats for Monday

  • 29 points
  • 6 activity points earned in 50 minute bike ride
  • average blood sugar 122

I am on my way to they gym to get my swim on before work.  Hope you had a great start to your week!

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36 thoughts on “Inches Matter (that’s what she said).

  1. Look at you!!!! Those are awesome stats, Biz – way to go!
    I’m not too familiar with tri’s so I don’t know if the weight limitation is common or not. I think it’s bogus, though.

  2. That is so weird about the weight categories Biz – I don’t agree with that nor the differentiation that all women over 150 are overweight. Balderdash!

    You are doing great – a little is better then none & a lot better then a gain, right? Slow & steady wins the race 🙂

    Have a great one!

    • Biz, I think you’re looking at the Athena the wrong way. It’s proven in running that each 5 pounds translates to an improvement in time. There’s a reason why the High School kid that just ran a sub 5 minute mile is 6’1 130 pounds. Or that most champion marathoners make people in Hollywood look a little chubby. In running, being lighter IS a HUGE advantage.

      I think an Athena or Clydesdale category is acknowleging that some people can’t be running waifs, they just don’t have the body type (genetically, no mater how much they lose) but they are strong, powerful runners who are at a disadvantage because of their body type. The women who win the Athena division at our local races are not fat. They’re muscular, and strong. Frankly, they usually look like they could kill you. And they do on the race course 🙂

      And the divisions are pretty common. Delaware has a statewide competition for Athena/Clydesdale. We were at the championship and they all had to be certified for weight race morning–it was like wrestling, if they lost they were out!

      • Also, do you think age categories are unfair? A person typically (for running) reaches their peak sometime in their 30s. But yet people still run well into their 90s in some cases (there was a 91 year old that finished my last half). No way is someone going to be as fast at 50 as a 30 year old. But they should still be able to compete against someone in their same category.

        PS–I’ve been replying to comments because I can’t straight up comment on this new version of WordPress.

      • Good point on the age groups Beth. I came in 4th in my age group in a 5k last year (very small 5k). I was 40. If I’d run in ANY OTHER AGE GROUP I would have placed, or even won. 40 year old women are fast.

        (for the record, my 5k time was about 27 minutes…I’m not speedy)

      • Very interesting point. I was initially a little upset that they would make that weight distinction, but I think you make a really good point.

      • While I see the point of weight categories – especially when the athlete can self-select to be in it or not, not like they force one to be in the category – I wonder if it would be more useful to go by BMI rather than merely weight? For one of my height, 150 pounds is in the healthy BMI range. And when I look at triathlon results, I’d still typically be at the back of the pack, whether I race in age or weight category.

        What’s even more useful is what the did at my 3rd triathlon: they had additional categories for road bike vs. hybrids/mountain bikes, based on tire width. There’s a tremendous equipment advantage to having a good road bike.

  3. Yay for inches lost, Biz! You are so right about not being a slave to the scale. There is more to being fit than just a number!

  4. I’m telling you, the scale is not the be-all-and-end-all…just look at your inches lost!!! Awesome, awesome, awesome. Plus I love hearing that you thing your biceps and thighs are smaller because of swimming (*crosses fingers that the same will hold true for me*)!

    I love quinoa. I made a cold salad last summer with feta, parsley, craisins and fresh lemon juice – so good. Now I want to try yours! Break out the wine, I may cook! 😉

    I’ve never done a race where they categorize you by weight. That would bother me, too – I know that they’re probably separating out the competitors so the *ahem* heavier *bullsh*t* women (at 150 lbs? give me a break!) have a chance to win their age divisions, too, but still. That said, I am laughing at your wanting to knock out BOTH 5K’s at once! You so funny!

  5. Weight categories?? I’ve never seen such a thing. That seems to be something only applicable to sports like boxing to me…but. I think its fabulous that you’ve decreased your measurements! Keep rocking it!! Your kiwi looks yummy. Kiwis are such a cute fruit. And Alfredo? Yum!

  6. I think you are doing and awesome job. Congratulations on the inches lost! As always, I am happy to have your delicious recipes.

    Best,
    Bonnie

  7. OK, so you know I’m going to clarify about the Athena/Clydesdale thing. Those divisions are NOT to classify anyone as an overweight runner. What they do is acknowledge that folks who weigh more have to work harder at running faster. (As a comparison, elite runners(as well as those one would normally look at and think “typical runner’s body) carry only around 2 pounds for every inch of height, Believe me, you can enter a race as an Athena and guess what you’ll run into? A 6 foot tall woman who weighs 155. So, even with those categories the competition could be stiff. As a further example, we have a local runner who is always registered as a Clydesdale. He is 57 years old and regularly runs 7 minute miles! Do you know how hard that is for him compared to someone lighter and younger?

    The one and only time I won a division I was registered as an Athena. Believe me I was never so happy to weigh 155 in my life as I beat out 12 other women, ALL of whom were younger than me too 😀 So, don’t take that as an insult – as it’s actually recognition of your hard work. Go with it and you might find yourself winning a prize!

  8. As someone else already said, “Athena” and “Clydesdale” aren’t necessarily for overweight runners! Just bigger!
    I personally know women who are 6′ tall and 160 lbs and not overweight in the slightest!

  9. Yeah for the inches lost – I knew that would be the case! 🙂

    Love the quinoa salad!!

  10. Good job on the inches lost & for getting out there & doing your exercise (and no wine!). I have no weigh-in (pun not intended) about the weight categories, but considering how common they probably are, I’m sure it’s not designed to be discriminatory. I think that definitely some women in that category WOULD be overweight if they weighed over 155 based on height (like myself, as I am 5’1”) but you’d probably also get giantess women who were not overweight. I’m not sure. Go you if you do that duathlon. That would kick my ass for sure!

  11. Great job on the inches lost and a great way to look at your progress. In the past three weeks I’ve lost 0.6, 0.2, and 0.2, so I know it can be a bit discouraging. (Although in my case it’s because I got a little lazier on the exercise.) I’d never heard of the weight divisions for a race. I agree with you that 150+ for a women is not necessarily at all overweight. As someone said above, though, it truly is more difficult to run when you weigh more. Personally, I am about 40 pounds heavier than I was when I ran regularly about 4 years ago. I’ve just started trying to run again, and it is much, much harder. I mean, it’s much harder. Also, sometimes I go for walks/little jogs with a couple of slender friends. They do not work regularly and I do. They can always, always run/walk faster than I can and not be out of breath. I, on the other, struggle to keep up and my heart rate is close to its max. So in some ways I think the weight divisions give the heavier a better chance and recognizes how hard they have to work. Although I personally would feel a little awkward having to register in the heavier division and letting everyone know that I weight over 150.

  12. Congrats on the weight and inches lost!! I get discouraged by slow progress too, but at the end of the day progress is still progress!

    I have some plain (cooked) quinoa in the fridge – this recipe seems like the perfect way to use it up! I laugh everytime I see your recipes. My hubby doesn’t like onions either so I love using your recipes for inspiration.

    Don’t get to hung up on the triathlon/duathlon Athena/Clydesdale categories. The categories are meant to make things more fair – it’s not saying that those athletes are overweight. I do triathlons and I qualify for Athena, but I’ve always registered in my age bracket. I’m pretty sure that even with my (slow) times I usually place better in my age bracket than I would in athena. Good luck with your duathlon!!!!!

  13. You are a superstar!! 😀

    As far as the weight categories go, it’s just something I would sort of expect in athletics. I’m not an athlete but I have noticed that most sports are divided by weight, age, speed, etc. As others have said, it seems to make the competition a little more fair.

  14. I feel normal at 150 which is my line in the sand to stay under. Like the BMI, these guidelines don’t apply to everyone and we all need to find a place where we are comfortable, not where some chart says we should be.

    I used to get so frustrated when I had a tiny little loss but now I get excited as long as I’m heading in the right direction. Those tiny little losses add up quick.

    Still haven’t tried quinoa yet but, once again, you make everything look delicious.

  15. That is progress! I think inches might be even more key than the scale’s number, if you think about it.

  16. Yes…inches DO matter…in all forms of the use! lol
    That is utterly INSANE about the weight categories in the marathon. I don’t even know what to say beyond that.

    Oooooo…maybe I will make that quinoa salad to go with the pork tenderloin I am planning on grilling for dinner tonight. Thanks!

  17. Congrats on losing those inches – I agree, that’s always what makes me really feel lighter – being able to fit into clothes better, etc. – rather than solely what’s on the scale. At first I thought the weight distinctions in the race seemed crazy, but it was interesting to read everyone else’s comments as to why it’s organized that way!

  18. WTG on the lost inches! I should check mine as I haven’t done it since starting Weight Watchers. I too get frustrated that it’s so slow-going. I think they must separate by weight b/c I think that thin people are naturally faster. I’m probably wrong, but it seems like it would be easier to fly along with less weighing you down. So it’s probably more of a favor to heavier people to do this since you would be racing against those in your own weight group. Wait, is that how it works? Do they say the winner in each division or just overall?

  19. Small losses add up over time. You just don’t notice them as much. Kind of like the way the pounds came on, just a little here and a little there and you think “Oh, just half a pound, no biggie”. Then they add up! Now you are in reverse 😀

    That is one thing I love about lifting. It made me smaller, even though the scale didn’t budge. I will take looking smaller even if it doesn’t mean being smaller 😀

  20. Those stats are fantastic! I need to get measuring….for more motivation!
    You’re so right about not being a slave to the scale – sometimes I just want to kick it to the curb!

  21. I love that you took your measurements! We need to remember that the scale isn’t the only thing that we can see our successes with! Great job! 🙂

    yum to it all….pass the pasta please! 🙂

  22. Congrats on all those inches lost! Great job!

  23. yum leftover hash! leftovers seriously make the best breakfast!

  24. Wow, awesome job, Biz! I heard that inches are the real way to measure because some people lose bone mass when they lose weight…NOT a good thing. This proves you are chug-chugging along in your progress. 🙂

  25. I have to admit that I’ve always felt a bit insulted that the Athena category started at 150 lbs. as well. Like you, I always felt like that meant anyone over that must have been considered overweight. I love reading the alternate viewpoints presented by Beth & Helen. It makes so much more sense to me now! Thanks ladies. 🙂

  26. Wow, love those stats! Keep up the good work!
    Your breakfast looks amazing! I love doing egg scrambles like that. Yum!

  27. I think it’s awesome you lost inches!! You are also building muscle and muscle weighs more . I am sure the scale will show in time but celebrate all those other things that show you are on the right track 😉

  28. Mmm, what a yummy quinoa salad and yay for all those lost inches!
    I qualify for the Athena division but I always just register in my age group instead, because I don’t really get it.

  29. I wish I could comment as often as I used to, but just wanted to pop in and give you a hearty “woo hoo!” for a job well done! I’m so impressed by both your blood sugar numbers AND your “sticktoitiveness” with Weight Watchers; your hard work is paying off!
    And I’m excited for you & your duathlon – can’t wait to hear about it! I already commented about weight categories, but it’s common in triathlon and not at all indicative of “overweight.” (The excellent explanation given explains why I’m finding running to be a little harder work these days.)

  30. I agree that inches are what matter. There are so many ways scales can lie. 🙂

    The new 101 Days of Summer Challenge makes me nostalgic. Maybe I should sign up again? I even posted fresh new progress pics at my blog, so I could use them as a reference point.

    I love the picture with the kiwi slices. Great vibrant colors.

  31. thanks for linkng up to the summer salads blog hop!

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