WW Weigh-In: Week 8

Weekly Recap

How’s It Going?

I lost 2.6 lbs this week.


How was that even possible? I skipped a few workouts, ate pizza (even though it was veggie…) and generally felt like a toad all week.

I am speechless. Thrilled. Ecstatic.

What Worked:

I’m still riding the “meal planning” train. I took some time this week to block out the next two months’ meal plans. Yeah. You read that right. Two. Months. I don’t have to think about what I’m having for dinner until November 1st. And by then I’ll probably have the rest of the year figured out.

The hour or two it takes to figure out what we’re eating for a month certainly pays off. I can do one big grocery haul at the beginning of the month and fill up the freezer, and add in produce and dairy each week as needed. Genius!

What Didn’t Work:

Working out didn’t work. I missed a few scheduled appointments with the treadmill, but apparently I was still at an overall deficit. That alone goes to prove that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.

The Plan for Next Week:

Crunch-time is over at work, thank goodness! Now we can focus on our DIY project of renovating my husband’s office and creating our home gym.

Meal Plan – Wednesday – Tuesday:

  • Glazed Turkey Meatloaf w/Air Fryer Potatoes & Green Beans
  • Garlic Herb Pork Loin w/Roast Veggies
  • Pizza (Made with WW 2-Ingredient Crust)
  • Chicken Florentine w/Mushrooms & Spinach
  • Sweet & Sticky Salmon w/Jasmine Rice & Veggies
  • French-Onion Chicken w/Spinach Salad & Garlic Bread
  • Grilled Steak w/Broccoli

*Disclaimer – this post is not sponsored by or affiliated with WW/Weight Watchers. Your results may vary based on your physical health, diet and exercise, and adherence to the program.

WW Weigh In: Week 7

Weekly Recap:

How’s It Going?

This week kicked my butt. Physically and mentally. It’s the start of fall semester at colleges and universities across the country, and almost everyone has questions about their financial aid. This time of year is the higher education equivalent of Black Friday and the day after Christmas.

Having said that – I was able to stick to the plan, even the day I gave in to my craving for a small bag of Doritos. I also managed to “adapt and overcome” our catered lunches all day this week to make them WW-friendly. Progress!!

What Worked:

Meal planning – what a lifesaver! I spend an hour or so each Sunday prepping everything I’ll need for the upcoming week. While it sounds incredibly tedious, it’s actually very relaxing and therapeutic. I put on some background music and just zone out with the knife and cutting board.

I got five walks in this week. Some were more energetic than others, but they’re done. We were signed up for a 5K tomorrow, but due to rising COVID cases in our area it was canceled. Instead we plan to do our own at the track

What Didn’t Work:

I gave in and ordered pizza last night: thin crust veggie with chicken. Even though I didn’t cook, I feel like we made a healthy (ish!) choice. We enjoyed it, tracked the points, and moved along.

The Plan for Next Week:

Things should start to settle down. It’s been a rollercoaster since the first of the month, and my workmates and I are definitely ready for some downtime.

Meal Plan – Wednesday – Tuesday:

  • Garlic-Rosemary Chicken w/Creamy Chive Potatoes & Roast Broccoli
  • Shrimp Fried Rice w/Snow Peas & Carrots EDIT – WE. HAD. PIZZA. 😛
  • Beef & Bacon Hash w/Zucchini, Tomatoes, & Shredded Cheddar
  • Baked Beef Ziti (WW Recipe)
  • Out of Town
  • Mustard-Glazed Salmon w/Corn, Snap Peas, & Tomatoes
  • Sriracha-Butter Steak w/Crispy Potatoes & Green Beans

*Disclaimer – this post is not sponsored by or affiliated with WW/Weight Watchers. Your results may vary based on your physical health, diet and exercise, and adherence to the program.

WW Weigh-In: Week Six

Weekly Recap:

How’s It Going?

Things slowed down a little this week, which I’d been expecting. My clothes are fitting differently now. I’ve pulled a few things out of the “I Have A Dream” section in my closet and they fit (or almost fit).

What Worked:

My fIrst week of meal planning went well. We went out last night for my birthday and splurged on a small dessert that we shared. We tried a few new recipes that went over very well, and will defintely be in a regular rotation.

I’ve hit the treadmill for 30 minutes most days week (Wed – Tue). Once the back-to-school rush is over and my workday isn’t as hectic, my time and distance will increase. But for now I’m trying to balance my usable energy between work responsibilities and health/fitness goals. Myasthenia Gravis makes things so complicated! I’d love to work out for an hour before work, but dealing with 100+ phone calls and walk-ins takes a toll. I started to lose my voice a couple of times – talking non-stop for 8.5 hours a day is tiring!

What Didn’t Work:

I need to make sure I stay hydrated. I have struggled with that a lot this week, mainly due to the volume of students that we’re seeing. It will proably help with my voice as well!

The Plan for Next Week:

No crazy goals or plans for the upcoming week. Right now I’m happy with staying in the groove and maintaining until the rush is over.

Meal Plan – Wednesday – Tuesday:

  • Steak Pizziaoli w/Garlic Toast & Roast Broccoli *
  • Chicken Yakitori w/Jasmine Rice & Green Beans *
  • Super-Creamy Mac & Cheese *
  • “Everything Bagel” Seasoned Salmon w/Chive Potatoes & Broccoli
  • French-Onion Meatloaf w/Cauliflower Mash & Peas
  • Pan-Roasted Scallops w/Bacon, Corn, and Potatoes

*Disclaimer – this post is not sponsored by or affiliated with WW/Weight Watchers. Your results may vary based on your physical health, diet and exercise, and adherence to the program.

WW Weigh In: Week Five

Weekly Recap:

How’s It Going?

Better than I could have ever imagined. I’m amazed. I had to dig around in my closet and find a belt yesterday. I can’t remember the last time I wore a belt. Speaking of belts, the seatbelt in my car even feels different.

What Worked:

It was another good week on the healthy-eating front. My job is extremely hectic right now (I work in Financial Aid at a regional university) and I’m proud to say that there’s been no “stress eating” at work. That’s HUGE for me.

We decided to break up with our Martha Stewart/Marley Spoon meal plan this week. Although the meals were delicious and I enjoyed the convenience, it was becoming difficult to select enough healthy options that fit our new way of eating. I spent most of Sunday planning out the rest of August using recipes from WW and some that I hav

Our last group run was last night, and due to the high humidity. But the treadmill and I have been good friends this week, even if I’m up before the chickens to get in my workout.

We successfully navigated two game nights and stayed (mostly) within our points range. Winner winner chicken dinner!

What Didn’t Work:

The decision to cancel our meal delivery service was bittersweet; I loved the convenience but I’m looking forward to trying some new ideas.

The Plan for Next Week:

Working on the house. Staying on the plan. Wearing out the treadmill. And getting a lot of sleep this weekend.

*Disclaimer – this post is not sponsored by or affiliated with WW/Weight Watchers. Your results may vary based on your physical health, diet and exercise, and adherence to the program.

WW Weigh In: Week Four

How’s It Going?

Pretty. Dang. Good. My “real” pants & shorts (the kind with zippers and buttons) have made a comeback. One pair is so loose I need a belt. Do I even own a belt anymore? Enquiring minds want to know! I may have to find one. A total of three pairs of pants and five pairs of shorts that are back in the rotation after sitting in the closet for over a year. It’s pretty cool!

Weekly Recap

What Worked:

Judging from my weigh-in, I’d say pretty much everything worked. After a month it’s becoming second nature. I haven’t had any real cravings to speak of, and dare I say that my sweet tooth has settled down a good bit. If I really have to have something, 3 of the tiny York Peppermint Patties seem to hit the spot.

We’re still rocking along with the Martha Stewart/Marley Spoon meal delivery service. I’m taking the time to run the meals through the WW app before I make my selections. All things are not equal, and things that I thought were on the healthy side really aren’t. (Beware of the added oils and butters!)

On the exercise front, we’re slowly amping up the walks/runs and we start tearing out carpet from the bedrooms this weekend. Not all workouts happen in the gym! I’m really looking forward to getting the weight equipment set up as well.

What Didn’t Work:

Surprisingly, things are pretty good on this front. We had our long-awaited Warhammer reunion over the weekend, minus a few players. I made turkey chili for the group and we had the left-overs for lunch this week. This weekend we’re getting together with our D&D group and have planned turkey tacos with grilled veggies. The rain has impacted a few of our scheduled group runs, but it’s easy enough to hop on the treadmill if that happens, and it’s not something I’m going to stress over.

The Plan for Next Week:

Keep on keepin’ on. Lots of chicken and turkey, and I’m planning on portobello mushroom burgers one night this week. Our group runs on Tuesday nights are coming to an end in a few weeks, but I’m sure we will continue on our own at the track.

*Disclaimer – this post is not sponsored by or affiliated with WW/Weight Watchers. Your results may vary based on your physical health, diet and exercise, and adherence to the program.

WW Weigh In: Week Three

So far, so good.

Three weeks in and I’m down exactly 10 pounds. I’m speechless. I don’t know how it works but I’m not complaining. I wore REAL jeans last week. With a zipper! Not leggings. I couldn’t believe it. I can wear my rings again. There are shorts in my closet from two summers ago that fit. It’s like getting a new wardrobe!

Weekly Recap:

What Worked

Pretty much everything worked this week. We made a surprise trip out of town to visit our daughter last Friday night and ended up having dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant. That was followed by two nights of gaming with friends and making good food choices.

Grilled chicken and fish are my new BFF. I know more healthy recipes for vegetables than you can shake a stick at. And I turned down french fries last night. We’ve been eating a lot of chicken and fish since I had my thymectomy in March, and thanks to using a meal delivery service (Hello, Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon!) it’s even easier to control portion sizes and make healthier choices.

On the exercise front, we were able to fit in a couple of outdoor runs. In addition, we’re working on renovating two rooms in our house and moving furniture between three different rooms. The joys of the empty-nester! 13/10 would recommend.

What Didn’t Work

I think I’m finally back “on schedule” after the 4th of July holiday and working an extra day at an orientation event. I am a creature of habit, and when my routine gets out of whack it drives me nuts. I’m working on being a little more flexible, I promise!

The Plan for Next Week

Second verse, same as the first. Stay active, drink water, eat better, sleep well. I finished a six-week wellness challenge at work last week and won a few cool prizes, one of which was this shirt. I think it will be my new mantra!

  • Disclaimer – this post is not sponsored by or affiliated with WW/Weight Watchers. Your results may vary based on your physical health, diet and exercise, and adherence to the program.

WW – The Journey Begins

My weight loss since 6/30/21

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit of a chunky gal. I survived breast cancer and developed some pretty good health habits that I continue to use. But age has a way of slowing things down, and the addition of myasthenia gravis made things worse. I take a handful of pills over the course of the day, and the side effects have wreaked havoc on my waistline.

Once COVID hit and we went into lockdown, the gym became a no-go for me. On a good day, I lost count of the number of people who walked away from equipment without wiping it down. My weakend immune system wasn’t about to take that on with the added risk of ‘Rona. Motivation, however strong, is easily lost when your routine is pulled out from under you.

We’re in the process of setting up a home gym and purchased a nice treadmill that I use regularly. More free weights and a cable weight machine are on the horizon, along with a trainer stand for my mountain/trail bike.

In the meantime, neither of us were getting any thinner or healthier. I decided it was time to make some changes, and signed us up for WW (Weight Watchers). I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well it’s going and the ease with which we have adapted to it. At the risk of sounding cliché, it really is shifting your mindset from what you can’t have to what you can have. And there really isn’t anything you can’t have, as long as you allow for the point value. My husband spent a few minutes at Publix scanning his favorite beers to find one that was “points-worthy.”

In a two-week span, I’m down 7.3 lbs and my husband is down 4.1 lbs. Not too shabby for a couple of former couch potatoes. We’re also stepping up our activity, weather permitting. Summer in the south is a violatile shift between blazing heat and torrential late afternoon thunderstorms. Yesterday we took part in a running meet-up at our local sports complex. It was nice when we started but by the time we left for home, we were dodging a downpour.

My goal is to post my progress weekly, and include some of our favorite healthy meals and snacks. Join me, won’t you?

So What Is Myasthenia Gravis?

June is myasthenia gravis awareness month, and as it draws to a close I thought I would share my experiences with this rare auto-immune diseease.

First of all, what IS it?  Myasthenia gravis, commonly abbreviated as MG, is an auto-immune disease that affects the communication between the nerves and muscles at the neuromuscular junction.  When a person wants to move a voluntary muscle, the nerve endings release a chemical called acetylcholine that is picked up by receptors in the muscle.  In patients with MG, the immune system produces antibodies that attack the receptors.  This action causes a reduction in the number of receptors and results in weakness and fatigue.  These symptoms increase as more demand is placed on a particular muscle. 

Once of the earliest and most recognizable symptoms of MG is ptosis, or drooping of one (or both) of the eyelids.  The muscles surrounding the eye contain the least amount of acetylcholine receptors, and damage to them is more apparent than other muscles.

This is where my MG story begins.  In 2014, after a long recovery from breast cancer, I decided to make a New Year’s resolution to start walking. I didn’t set any crazy diet or weight loss goals, or plot out an elaborate fitness regime I knew I would never keep.  I just decided to walk a mile three times a week.

By April of that year my husband and I were putting in laps at the local track on a regular basis and thought it would be fun to do a 5K.  What started as a trail run turned into a mud run.  We were soaking wet and freezing cold by the time we crossed the finish line.  And it was then that we fell in love with running.

What does this have to do with MG?  I’m getting there!  If there’s one thing a runner loves as much as running, it’s posting on social media that they run.  And they have to post a selfie.

My selfies were all over the place.  Red-faced.  Sweaty.  Hair in various stages of disgrace.  But a common thread ran through almost all of them:  drooping in my right eye.

I thought I was catching myself mid-blink.  But why wasn’t my other eye that way?  After a while I started making faces to distract from it or wearing my sunglasses for camouflag

It was around this time that I started to notice I was exhausted at the end of the day.  Some days it was all I could do to make dinner and eat before falling asleep in the chair at 7:30. I put it down to what had become a crazy workout schedule and a stressful job.

A few years went by and nothing improved.  I was still tired.  I felt like it was a struggle to lift my arms sometimes   My eye was still droopy. And sometimes it felt like I ran out of breath when I talked.

My husband convinced me to visit my eye doctor.  After a brief discussion of why I was there and a few tests, he sat down across from me and said “Lisa, you have one of four things going on. Either you’ve had a stroke, you have Bell’s Palsy, you have a brain tumor, or you have myasthenia gravis.  And I believe it’s MG.”

He set up a referral to a neurologist. Lab work confirmed the diagnosis of MG and I was prescribed Mestinon (pyridostigmine) to help control the symptoms.  My local neuro thought that my MG was confined to my eyes, which is known as ocular MG (OMG).  He didn’t do any muscle resistance testing and brushed off my questions about immuno-suppressants and removal of the thymus gland, both of which are common treatments for MG.

The Mestinon did improve my symptoms and I felt marginally better, but I wasn’t satisfied and asked my friend, who is also my primary care provider, to refer me to the University of Florida neurology department.  That was the best healthcare decision I have ever made.

The neuros at UF were nothing short of amazing.  They did a gait analysis.  They checked muscle resistance and reflexes.  They listened.  And they decided I should be taking an immunosuppressant drug called Cellcept. 

Suppressing the immune system can result in an improvement of symptoms.  The drawback is that patients are more vulnerable to infections and illness – imagine dealing with THAT during a global pandemic!

But it worked.  Very slowly, but it worked.  And I felt better.  Better than I had felt in a long time.  We talked about removing the thymus gland (thymectomy), since I was an ideal candidate.  Removing the thymus can improve symptoms to the point that many patients are able to reduce the amount of medication they take, and some go into complete remission.

After a consult with a cardiothoracic surgeon, we made the decision to move forward.  I had a robotic-assisted thymectomy at UF Health in March, and I have seen a slow but steady improvement in my symptoms. 

Looking back, I think of several instances that make me think I have had MG for a while, possibly since childhood.  In PE, when everyone else ran a mile without issue, I struggled to get through one lap without feeling like my legs were going to buckle underneath me.   Feeling like I couldn’t chew my food.  Double vision.  And the fatigue. 

I remember feeling so tired, like I would rather lie in bed and let the house burn down around me than try to get up and escape. 

I was told I was lazy.  That I was sleeping my life away.  Other people commented that they were older than me and still had more energy than I did.  I questioned myself a lot. Was I really just lazy? If I’m honest, I’m a little resentful about that and it’s taken time to find some peace over it.

Fast forward to now – my overall health has improved and I have an amazing support system of family, friends, and health care providers.  I feel like I have a better grasp of my disease and prognosis, and that I’m much more proactive in terms of making decisions related to my heath.

It’s been quite an adventure, and I’m just getting started!

Breathe Easy 5K – April 28, 2018

Another first!

Last weekend we ran the Breathe Easy 5K, sponsored by the lovely ladies of the Valdosta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.  Proceeds from the event were donated to Children’s Medical Services of Valdosta, an agency that helps children in our area receive treatment for asthma.

breathe 1
Courtesy of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.

It was a beautiful morning for a run and many of our regulars were in attendance.  Of course there were plenty of pictures.  After all, if you don’t post it on social media it didn’t happen.  Amirite?

Just hanging out with a couple of BOSTON MARATHON alums.  No biggie.

Breathe Easy 2
Courtesy of Delleese

Although this was the first time we have participated in this race, the course was similar to a favorite route.  Delta Sigma Theta did a wonderful job with race support.  Their volunteers were placed at every turn to cheer on the runners, and they had two water stops.  It was fantastic!

The first mile turned out to be my strongest. My usual pattern is to get faster as I go.  I’m not sure what happened with this run but that didn’t happen.  Joey started out ahead of me again.  I think he had ideas of crossing the line ahead of me.  He could have all the ideas he wanted but it wasn’t going to happen.  I caught up with him at the end of the first mile.  We played “cat & mouse” for about half a mile, and then I pulled away.  The road was shady and there was a little breeze coming through the trees.  Life was good.

But the second mile…brutal.  I don’t know why.  I wasn’t hot or tired; something was just “off.”  I pressed on, waving at the volunteers and giving them a thumb’s up.  Despite not feeling quite right my time was good.  Very good, in fact.  On track for a PR.  How awesome would that be? Two back-to-back PRs.

I caught up with another runner and we yo-yo’d from the halfway point to the end.  She and I were pretty evenly matched and it was great to battle through the last half of the race with her.  As we came down to the last half mile, I saw another friend up ahead.  His running pace is very similar to Joey and I, and it’s always fun to compete with him.  This time I couldn’t quite catch up with him.  Better luck next time.  I’m coming for you, Alex!

The final stretch was a gradual downhill.  I knew from Runkeeper that I would PR.  The clock came in to focus and I saw 37 minutes.  What the what?!?  Where did that come from?  I put everything I had into those last few yards and crossed the line at 37:30 (Runkeeper’s time).

I just couldn’t catch my friend.  One more bite of Wheaties and I might have passed her.

BE 11.jpg
Courtesy of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.

Wow!!  38 seconds faster than my previous PR.  I gladly took the water and cold-pack from the volunteer and basked in my accomplishment.  Joey was just over a minute behind me.

be 22.jpg
Courtesy of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.

We found our friends and parked ourselves in a shady spot.  Picture time!


Breathe Easy 3.jpg
All ages.  All shapes.  All sizes.  All colors.  All family.

The Details:

Finish time:  37:30 (Runkeeper)  12:05 min/mile pace


  • Mile One:  11:51
  • Mile Two:  12:24
  • Mile Three:  12:15


Through Glass (Stone Sour), Dreaming (Blondie), Over the Hills and Far Away (Led Zeppelin), Hey Jealousy (Gin Blossoms), Desert Rose (Sting), Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin), Nothin’ At All (Heart), Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel), Midnight Blue (Lou Gramm)

As always, #werun4Chasten #alpha1awareness #alpha1antitrypsindeficiency #whoirun4

Little River Run 5K – April 21, 2018

Mini road trip!

It’s the Little River Run 5K!  We made our way north to Adel, Georgia to run through Reed Bingham State Park.  The race was previously known as the Road Kill Run, which is exactly what you feel like when you’re done.  But all good things must come to an end and someone decided that wasn’t the most PC name for a road race.  It’s now named after the river that flows through the park and heads toward Valdosta.  Incidentally, we kayak on the Little River quite a bit!

We’ve done this race twice before, and my times were less than impressive:  50:25 in 2015 and 51:30 in 2016.  I was pretty sure I would do better this time around.  At least I hoped so.

We got to the park early – we always overestimate how long it’s going to take us to get anywhere.  Well…at least Joey does.  I, on the other hand, prefer to live on the edge and come squealing in on two wheels with a minute to spare.  Oh, wait.  That’s when I go to work.  Never mind.

Being early does have its advantages.  You get a front row seat to a beautiful sunrise.

This is why we get up before the crack of dawn on Saturdays.

There’s also plenty of time for pictures and warm-ups, and boy did we need a warm-up.  I was very grateful to find a long sleeve shirt lurking in the back of my car.  Joey wasn’t as lucky and broke the unwritten rule of wearing the race shirt before you run the race.  I know.  Oh, the shame.



After trotting up and down the road for a little bit the cold wasn’t as bad.  The sun was climbing higher in the sky and we shed our extra garb.  We’ve learned the hard way that by the half mile mark that you come to regret the extra layers.

Once again, Runkeeper decided to act a fool and didn’t start exactly on time.  It could be operator error or I may need to tweak the settings. Hopefully I can figure it out before the next race.


Joey started out with a pretty good lead.  I was feeling great as we crossed the bridge and looked out over the water.  The course went around the edge of the lake and through the campground.  It’s fairly flat, which is nice after all the bridges we’ve been over in the last six weeks, and we were at the first mile marker before I knew it.

He was still ahead of me at the water stop, but his lead was beginning to shrink.  By the time we hit the turnaround at 1.5 miles I was closing in.  His game was strong and I didn’t know if I could catch him.  But as we approached the second mile I started to reel him in.  I’d catch up, he’d pull away.  We went back and forth for about half a mile, and then I kicked it into high gear.  Tom Petty was dancing with Mary Jane one last time as the final stretch approached.

My lead was still slim as we came up to the bridge.  I knew my time was pretty good and I might even have a chance of a PR, so I decided to run all the way across.  It’s nothing like the bridges at the Gate River Run or the Tomoka Half.  It’s flat as a pancake (mmm…pancakes!) and the finish line was about 1/4 mile from the end.  It would be close.


The run interval ended just as I got across.  I was about thirty seconds ahead of Joey and within sight of the time clock.  Thirty seven minutes and change.  My PR was 38:28.  So close.

I started to run.  I saw the clock hit the 38 minute mark.  Almost there!  My unofficial time was 38:09.  The final results haven’t been posted yet, but I was almost 20 seconds faster than my previous PR.  Oh happy day!

But the best was yet to come.  Turning in my results card, I discovered I was second in my age group.  And the medals went two deep.  Guess who was going home with some  hardware?  As it turned out, I hadn’t figured on the master’s award and I ended up getting FIRST place in my age group.

Let’s recap:  1) a new PR, 2) first in my age group, and 3) I beat Joey.  Again.  Admittedly it was by a much slimmer margin than last week but who’s counting?

The Splits: (slightly off final time as previously noted)

  • Mile One:  12:23
  • Mile Two:  12:17
  • Mile Three:  12:12

Average Pace:  12:12

The Playlist:

King of Pain (The Police), I Would Die 4 U (Prince), I Won’t Back Down (Tom Petty), Mary Jane’s Last Dance (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), Zombie Zoo (Tom Petty), Let’s Go Crazy (Prince), A Passage to Bangkok (Rush), Baby I’m A Star (Prince), Hearts On Fire (Bryan Adams)

Who is that sassy girl with a medal??

As always, #werun4Chasten  #alpha1antitrypsindeficiency #alpha1awareness #whoirun4