Thursday Weigh-In: Pound by Pound

Hello! Just a quick post to check-in with the whole Weight Watchers losing weight thing I have going on. Despite the fact that all I do it eat, I have somehow managed to make enough healthy choices this week to balance out the unhealthy ones. My biggest challenge is socializing, and planning ahead to avoid major splurges when eating out, but so far I’ve been doing a good job of eating a smoothie for breakfast and/or a salad for lunch if I have plans to go out.

Ok this is all a lie. My BIGGEST challenge is alcohol. Specifically in the form of beer. It’s not that I drink a lot, but dammit, if I want a beer at the end of the day with friends, I want a beer at the end of the day with friends. This basically means that I’ve been a bit hungrier than I should be, and saving my flex points for those beers. But sometimes I skip the beer like a good kid. I just never want to feel like I’m denying myself anything, because I know myself, and eventually I will get really annoyed at the lack of Ben and Jerry’s or Kraft mac and cheese, and then I will over-do it and eat the whole pint/box/6-pack (that’s I lie, I’d pass out after three beers). So I’m allowing myself the little indulgences, and I’m finding that just being mindful of EVERYTHING I eat throughout the day makes those indulgences not weigh me down. Ha.

Also, I started a tumblr with pictures of all the food I’m eating to keep me even more accountable. I have another friend on WW who is doing the same thing, and we’re following each other. It’s a good way to add on the guilt, and a good way to get inspired by what other people are eating. So if the three of you who read this thing want to stalk me even more, and see even more terrible iPhone photos of food, you can find me on tumblr.

And now the numbers! I think it’s funny that my body is shedding one pound at a time. None of this .5 lbs business for me!

Starting Weight: 1766.6 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 170.0
This Weigh-in: 169.0 lbs
Difference: -1 lbs



All I Do Is Eat

When I decided to stop focusing this blog solely on books I was afraid that I would run out of things to write about. Turns out I should just quit my day job and become a professional eater!

Last night I went out for a friends birthday. We had dessert before dinner. I would share with you my terrible iphonography, but honestly, my scoop of ice cream looks like… a scoop of ice cream! But it was from Salt & Straw, so clearly it was delicious. I tried a bunch of their special seasonal flavors, including the bizarre “Universe II” which was chocolate pudding and lime and something else weird. It of course tasted way better than it sounds, but I ended up going with my old standards of Olive Oil and Salted Caramel. Boring can be delicious too. Oh, right, you non-Portland people are like, Olive Oil ice cream, WTF?! Well, let me tell you. IT IS SO GOOD. It’s just smooth and yummy and…mmmm. It really does taste like olive oil, but it’s subtle. I really like it because of the texture. It’s not overly sweet either. It’s kind of like eating butter flavored ice cream, but not as gross and rich as that sounds. After Salt & Straw we headed over to the Whiskey Soda Lounge.

afterlight (2)

Yes, I had a little fun with photo filters. It was really dark!! One of these days I’ll start taking my good camera out with me and the quality of photos around here will be better, I promise. Anyway. Whiskey Soda Lounge is owned by the Portland-Famous Pok Pok, and is a “bar/lounge serving Aahaan kap Klaem, the drinking food of Thailand.” Translation: They serve really cool/unique thai food and delicious delicious drinks. The lounge opened up across the street from Pok Pok when that shit got SUPER popular, so people can go across the street and have a drink while waiting for their Pok Pok table. But it’s a great place on its own, and they have delicious chicken wings.
afterlight (1)They. are. so. good. They’re cooked with fish sauce, so they’re slightly sweet, and tangy. And they’re really nicely sized, so a few chicken wings is really all you need. We also got drinks. afterlightI had the Pok Pok Gin & Tonic (left), which uses their house infused Kaffir Lime gin. Refreshing and delicious, and tall! Not your average tiny g&t. But that tiny cup on the right? It was so cute and full of something alcohol I don’t remember what. But come on, it’s a tiny cup!

In summary: Salt & Straw + Whiskey Soda Lounge = Delicious Portlandy Night. I love that Portlanders get really attached to their local restaurants/ice creameries/coffee shops, and when these places do well they multiply like bunnies–there are three Salt & Straw locations, and a bunch of different Pok Poks–including a Pok Pok in New York. Because Brooklyn is the new Portland. And if you didn’t think I could get more Portlandy: I just read that last year’s Salt & Straw/Breakside Brewery Salted Caramel Stout is back and being released at Belmont Station this week, so guess who will be saving up her weight watchers points? (answer: it’s me!)

I do love Portland. I really do.

Farm Cafe

Once a month two of my best friends and I go out to monthly drinks. A) It’s nice to schedule a fun night out because we’re all so busy, it’s good to know we have one night for us! and B) We dress up and go explore Portland. We select a special drink that we all have, and this month due to the New Year, we decided on champagne cocktails. After a little bit of research we headed out to the Farm Cafe for Goldenrods. The Farm Cafe is a restaurant in a house in inner SE Portland that boasts a fresh farm to table menu.

photo 1Our Goldenrods were indeed golden, and consisted of: sparkling wine, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and a splash of lemon juice, with a twist of orange.  Yum! The drinks were delicious. We also started out with baked brie, and despite being in the middle of a gluten-free experiment, I was an idiot and ate some bread. It was so good. Yay bread. The brie was good and gooey, and I ended up with a very sticky hand from the honey the whole thing was soaked in.
baked brie
I ordered the seafood cioppino for dinner. I love seafood. I was torn between the cioppino and the trout, and well, maybe I should have gotten the trout. The cioppino had clams, shrimps, and big chunks of salmon… and it was so so salty. I still ate the entire bowl and didn’t feel like I got cheated on seafood bits (as can be the case), but man. I can salt my own food. I find that this is often a problem for me, so maybe I’m just overly sensitive to salt.

We couldn’t end the meal without dessert.
chocolate souffle That is a chocolate souffle with coffee ice cream. Which, I am happy to report was not too salty. While I had a lovely evening, and there are many other interesting items on the menu that I want to try, there are so many other amazing restaurants in Portland that I would probably choose over Farm Cafe. If someone suggests it, I won’t shoot it down, but I’d say it’s a solid B restaurant, and pricy at that.

And yes, this meal was courtesy of my Weight Watchers Flex Points. I have been super strict with WW, and I’m trying to let go of that a little bit because this has to be a lifestyle change. And sometimes in life you need chocolate souffle.

The Farm Cafe on Urbanspoon

Early Bird Award

ALA AwardsGood morning! I was up early this morning because today is a special day in the Children’s Book World. It’s ALA AWARD DAY! YAY! Every year the American Library Association announces the winners of the youth media awards–the most well known are the Caldecott, for illustrations and Newberry, for children’s literature–but there are a whole slew of other awards. The awards were announced on the east coast at 8am, so this little bookshop girl had to wake-up and get to the store at 4:30 to watch the live webcast (ok, I’m not the buyer, so technically I didn’t HAVE to wake up, but it’s fun and exciting!).

A full list of the winners can be found here. Honestly, I’ve been out of the children’s book world for awhile, but I’m glad my bookstore still has a place for me. (And a new website, that I designed! Yay!) So I’m a little out of the loop on some of the winners, but I have a few YAY! THEY WON!s: Mr. Wuffles! received a Caldecott honor, and Eleanor and Park  received a Printz honor. One of my favorite picture books and one of my favorite YAs of the year. Yay!

Eleanor and Park also received an Odyssey honor for audiobook, but honestly, I listened to the audiobook, and while the narrator did an excellent job of the Park sections, I really think they should have picked a female voice for the Eleanor chapters. He was just trying too hard and I cringed every time he used his fake-girl voice to read Eleanor.

I have to say, with Kate DiCamillo winning the Newberry, and David Wiesner getting a Caldecott honor, it feels a little bit like Ground Hog Day (you know, the movie…) they’re both very talented, but it would be nice to share the love with other talented authors and illustrators who don’t get recognized as often.

After we watched the webcast, and put together the display above with the winners that we had on hand, my lovely coworker/friend/bookbuyergenius went to breakfast at Beaterville.

photo 2 (1)I got the breakfast of champions! Well not really, but I figured I’d make my corned beef hash look festive. If you’re in Portland and haven’t tried Beaterville, I recommend it. They’re open super early and always have a solid breakfast. There was a table of teachers eating breakfast as well, and we suspect they had been up early to watch the awards too. Solidarity.

(And yes, I only ate half my breakfast, for you judgey people who have been reading my Weight Watchers posts.)

And now it’s nap time! Have a lovely Monday everyone!

Thursday Weigh-In

I can’t think of anything relating to weight-loss that starts with a T, so I’m sticking with a boring title for this post for now… Thursday Torture? Tummy Be Gone Thursday? Thursday Things But Really Just Weight? Yeah, I give-up.

First of all, I want to thank all of the commentors on my first weight-loss post about how I joined Weight Watchers. You’re support means a lot–oh wait. I have like zero readers. Well…. thanks for the strangers who stopped by and said NOTHING. I appreciate it. No really, I do. This whole posting about my weight thing is kind of embarrassing, really. Especially when I think of the fact that people I know might google me and find this blog somehow. But whatever. I’m being ACCOUNTABLE.

Like this salad I just ate:


Turkey: 1 point, Laughing Cow Cheese: 1 point, Egg Whites: 1 point, Romaine Lettuce: 0 points, Oil & Vinegar Dressing: 2 points TOTAL POINTS: 5 P+

Win. I was still a bit hungry, and considering that’s a lovely low point lunch, I grabbed a Picky Bar.

smoothcaffeinator_largeI’m pretty sure I heard about these bars from someone at Bar Method, but I could be wrong. Either way, I was housesitting near a fancy grocery store that carries them, so I figured I’d give them a go. And it was really good. And I’m full. So win-win! (5 Points Plus, ala WW calculator.)

So Weight Watchers. I last left you guys being afraid of going, and then I went, and it’s working. So what goes on in Weight Watcher meetings? That’s what you really want to know, right? Well, as someone said at today’s meeting, it’s kind of like AA. At first I thought this was a shameful thing. I mean, alcoholics have a serious problem. Do I have a serious problem? Definitely not in the same way. But that doesn’t mean a support group can’t help. And that’s what we are. The meetings keep you accountable, knowing all week that you’re going to go to a meeting and get weighed, and have a number to be faced with. Well I don’t know about you, but I don’t like disappointing people. So I want that number to be going down every week. It actually has helped me get through the week. I want to feel HAPPY getting off that scale. So I imagine myself happy, and I don’t eat the pint of ice cream, or slice of pizza.

Today we talked about how it’s really a lot of little steps that get you to your goal. And how it’s a marathon not a race, blah blah blah. The thing is, we all know these things. We have the tools. It’s really going every week, and staying on top of it, I think, that’s going to help me be successful. I mean, I’ve gone on wacky diets. I’ve given up before. I don’t want to give up this time. If I lose a pound every week, that will keep me going. If I lose half a pound, that will keep me going. I’m probably NOT going to lose every week. But making this about a healthy lifestyle, and not about a wacky trendy diet, that’s what’s going to make the difference.

I’m probably not going to always go to the meetings–it’s expensive, and time consuming. But it’s working for now, and if it works, it works. Confession: I just googled trying to find this quote from someone in today’s meeting and came up with a bunch of terrible articles on WW, and now I’m a bit spooked. Because SO many people gain it all back. But right now I don’t have to worry about that, and I’m not going to get ahead of myself, dammit. One week at a time. One pound at a time. And it really was one pound this week.

Starting Weight: 1766.6 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 171.0
This Weigh-in: 170 lbs
Difference: -1 lbs

Big Brother Is (Weight) Watching

Yes. I’m laughing at the title of this post. Ha ha. I’m so clever.

Moving on. I was inspired by this post by Gretchen, to come clean.

I have a secret. For the past few weeks I’ve been starting conversations with my friends about this secret. Telling them “This is embarrassing, but…” or “I know it sounds hokey…” and then I would sheepishly tell them my secret. I was ashamed of my secret. But the thing is, once I told them, I found out I was not alone.

My secret?

I joined Weight Watchers. And for the first few weeks I was completely embarrassed, ashamed, and was laughing at myself. Weight Watchers! Those ads! That stigma! I thought Weight Watchers was for overweight soccer moms in the 90s. It turns out quite a few colleagues and acquaintances of mine have at some point tried it. And to much success, too.

So here’s my story. Because we all seem to have one, and we all seem to want to tell it. It’s not like losing weight is some sort of Amazing Life Struggle that needs to be documented in a Franzen novel, and yet, there are so many fitness/health bloggers out there. I think it helps keep us accountable. And man, Weight Watchers really helps with the accountability. I digress. My story!

At the end of December, I received an email from a fellow Bar Methoder. I had been struggling lately and she had some really kind things to say. And for the second time, she lightly nudged me about Weight Watchers. It was not a High Pressure Pyramid Scheme OMG thing AT ALL. All she said was that it worked for her. And she included that she HAD to go to the meetings to stay accountable. I love that word. Accountable. I decided “hey, this could be something funny to write about! I mean, Weight Watchers! Come on!” So for the sake of journalistic excellence, I joined. And because it was the beginning of the year, I actually felt less shame, because I knew that the meeting would be packed, and I would just sit in the back quietly.

I expected to be given a free set of wrist bands and a fanny pack when I walked in the door. I expected to have a funny story to tell about the Crazy Weight Watchers. Neither of these things happened. I was greeted warmly by the meeting leader, who handed me the weekly newsletter and a little booklet to keep track of my weigh-ins, and then nicely asked to step on the scale.


That number. Now I need to go on a slight tangent. Because that number. I hate that number. I am 5’3″ and I swear to God I do NOT look like I weigh over 175 lbs. That is a LOT. I weighed 115-125 in high school and college. I was TINY. And I’m used to being tiny. This body I am in now? This is NOT my body. I don’t know where my tiny body went, and I want it back. Honestly though, I don’t feel fat. I don’t think of myself as a fat person. But then I look at pictures, and omg. I look in the mirror when at Bar Method, and compared to the women there, I look fat. But I still have the mindset of Tiny Me. I still wear clothes I probably shouldn’t. I still think “oh I can eat that, I have the metabolism of a 12-year-old!” But at some point, things slowed down. That pint of Ben and Jerry’s for dinner? Trader Joe’s Mac n Cheese? Sure! It’s NOT that I ate/eat badly. I really don’t think I do. I don’t eat fast food. I love veggies. I eat salads! But I also wasn’t paying attention to how often I splurged, or how much. And over time, it added up.  I’ve had friends tell me I look fine. I’ve had stranger men tell me I look fine. Sure, maybe I look fine. But this isn’t my body. I didn’t used to be the girl who made jokes about how “they don’t have the fat girl jean sizes,” and then secretly cry in the dressing room because I couldn’t buy the pair of Seven jeans I’d been saving up for because I didn’t fit into ANY of them. So. Here I am. 176.6.

Except, not anymore! Because, you guys, it’s working! As of my last weigh-in I’m at 171. Hooray! Honestly, I expected to lose more, and quicker (It’s been three weeks on the plan), but I’ll take it. And I’m a little afraid of my weigh-in for this week (what? beer has points?!), but we’ll see. I know I’m not going to lose weight every week, but a girl can hope. I’ll post more about the actual Weight Watchers plan later. For now I just wanted to share my secret with half of the internet.

Starting Weight: 1766.6 lbs
Last Weigh-in (1/16/14): 171 lbs
Difference: -5.6 lbs


Bookshop Girl Confessional

So, I suck at blogging. But the thing is. I don’t really. Not in my head. In my head I’ve written 23424509834 glorious posts. So why have I not POSTED these posts? Because I feel like an asshole. This blog. It is called Bookshop Girl. I LOVE that name. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. But. I want to break ALL THE BLOGGING RULES. I don’t want to blog about JUST books. I love books, but a book review a week…blah. I could do it. Of course I could. But I don’t want to write about just books. I could start another blog. A blog with all of my witty I HATE BEING SINGLE posts. Or a foodie blog. Or a blog about how I JOINED WEIGHT WATCHERS. But I don’t want a new blog or two. I want this blog. SO. I am making a declaration. I AM NOT WRITING A SPECIFIC BLOG ABOUT SPECIFIC THINGS. Sure my traffic to this lovely place may suck. Sure I might not become FIT AMBASSADOR because I’m not writing specifically FITNESS ALL THE TIME. I might not make it to the top 24245346 Food Blogs. But you know what? THERE WILL BE CONTENT. I won’t feel ashamed posting my food/fat/single/cat/knitting posts. Because this blog? It’s mine.

So now I’m going to stop yelling at you all now. Be prepared for everything and anything. This here? It’s what people call a “lifestyle” blog. Which is a nice way of saying, I’m self-centered and want to write about ME.