Jenny Craig Update

Currently in the sixth week on Jenny Craig.  So far, I am down a little over ten pounds, and I have lost a total of six inches on the main places these things are usually measured.  I have lost half of the weight that I had put on in the last year, but then I would also like to lose about ten to fifteen pounds beyond that.

Overall, I am happy, and I feel healthy, though I did kind of fall off the wagon at a party this past weekend, and I think that made me miss all the tasty foods I miss, like real mashed potatoes and cake.  Manfrengensen and I are going out for dinner on Friday.  I would like to find a 4-oz. fillet somewhere.

I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier, but the type of Jenny Craig plan I am doing is the one where I can choose my own food for the week.  They also offer a pre-set plan, but I like having the choice.

Lately I have been “into” the Jenny Craig lunch pizzas, which are actually quite tasty.  There are two kinds, pesto and personal.  Both feature wheat crusts and chopped tomatoes, along with a fair amount of cheese.

I have given up on the chicken and tuna salads. Too little return for the investment, and I just don’t like the canned feeling of it.

I like the Chicken Stuffed Sandwich, another hot-pocket kind of deal filled with cheese, chicken and broccoli.  A good amount of chicken too.  It’s not like the McDonald’s apple pie, where you are down to the last bite and realize you have yet to see any real fruit.  It’s actually what it says: chicken stuffed.  It’s good, but as is the case with all things, even better with taco sauce.

About two weeks ago, I was kind of craving french-fries, so I got the Fish and Chips dinner entree, which was surprisingly good, and didn’t even need taco sauce.  You get a few potato wedges in that entree, and it bakes up nicely in the toaster oven.  Overall very satisfying.

I find I am eating a lot of pastas, Spinach and Cheese Tortellini, Rotini with Meat Sauce, Chicken Pasta Parmesan, etc.  I don’t really mind though, as the Italian blood in me could eat that for every meal.




In terms of snacks, I am still preferring the salty snacks to the chocolate ones.  The Bruschetta Veggie Chips are pretty good, and I am still into the Cheese Curls.  I tried the Chocolate Caramel Peanut Bar, which is kind of like a Snickers, but not packed with peanuts and offers only a thin layer of nuget.  Needless to say, Snickers is better, but this isn’t too bad a substitute, though I don’t feel I need to get it every week.

I’m also completely off of the cookies and cream Anytime Bar.  It’s all peanut butter flavor for me.  I don’t know what happened, but one day the cookies and cream one made me gag, and I haven’t gone back.  Again though, I’m not that fond of cookies and cream to begin with, so don’t go by me.

This week, I have two challenge-entrees, or the things I am trying for the first time.  Last night I had the “Cookout Style Chicken” which has barbecue sauce and a side of baked beans.   The chicken was a little stringy, and fell apart when I cut it.  It was about the size of my palm, no surprises there.  But the beans!  My god, the beans.  There were lots and lots of beans.  Maybe a whole cup of beans.  I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of beans for me.

This Sunday I’m also planning to try the “special” entree of the month, Spaghetti and Meatballs, which is only available in October.  I will let you know how that goes.

What’s Going On

Haven’t written in a while…I have been busy putting dresses on princesses from these Disney sets The Princess got for her birthday.  The dresses are made of rubber, and she can’t really put them on the dolls by herself.  Though she can take them off like nobody’s business.  The sets are great.   I’d say she spends 70-80%

Cinderella Precious Princess Sparkle Bag

Cinderella Precious Princess Sparkle Bag

of her playtime imagining with them.  I had bought her a small Snow White set at the grocery store last month that came with two outfits and a little Dopey doll.  No idea what’s become of Dopey.  Her aunt and uncle got her more expanded sets of Sleeping Beauty and Belle, each of which came with three outfits and some other accessories like Mrs. Pots and Chip, the teacup.  Then yesterday, we were shopping for gifts for upcoming events, and she came across a Cinderella set.  I don’t really like to buy stuff “off-holiday,” but I buckled yesterday because she was so excited about how this set came with Prince Charming.  Plus, like I said, she plays with it almost all day.  So, I caved. And it is pretty cute seeing her imagine them dancing together, humming her off-key, awkward-rhythm waltz.

The only slightly negative thing I have to say about them is that every dress comes with a matching pair of shoes that don’t stay on too well. We have probably lost a third of them so far.  I’m sure if we busted open the vacuum cleaner bag, we would find them.

Speaking of toys — have you ever experienced a kids game called Lucky Ducks?  It’s kind of like the duck pond you would find at a carnival, only there’s no water, and the ducks go around in a motorized circle, making repetitive and squeaky quacking sounds as they do.  The object is to find four ducks with the same color on their bottoms.  The Princess is playing it right now.  I’m telling you, if we took a few of these games down to Guantanamo, and fired them up, we’d be able to find Bin Laden within an hour.

Though I am sure the use of this game is outlawed by the Geneva Convention.


Diet Update

In other news, the diet continues.  So far, I have lost 7 pounds, which is motivational for the continuation.  But you know, I still think about the money.  Maybe it’s the part of me that’s always been broke, (a sense I will probably never shake — which I am sure is somewhat comforting to Manfrengensen) but I think, yeah that’s great, but what is it, like fifty bucks a pound?

But I feel good, I must say.  I do see a bit of a difference in my carriage.  Yesterday I actually found an outfit that fits me nicely (though it will look infinitely better with a little tummy control) which is good because in the coming weeks I have many social engagements, baby showers, baptisms and the like.  And of course you know that when you look good, you feel good, dahling.

I have tried a few other things on the menu, and I would like to tell you that if you are planning to do Jenny Craig, you should avoid the Breakfast Scramble.  It’s like an egg and cheese thing served over diced potatoes.  In general, I don’t like to mix my egg and potatoes in a hash-like state, but that wasn’t the worst of it.  I think it was the cheese…too tangy?  Or maybe it was the turkey bacon cubes…too smokey? I don’t know.  Not for me.


Good stuff though — Chocolate Walnut Brownie.  Too small.  But brownies always are.

Jenny Craig – Week 1 Overview

Okay — went back to Jenny Craig today.  Over the last week, I lost 3.8 lbs, so I am happy.  They assigned me a new counselor, who was a bit of a seller, which I don’t particularly care for.  I like to just go in, get weighed, get my food, and get out frankly.  I don’t need any cheerleading, or fawning, or anything like that.  So anyway, she was making all this small talk, meanwhile, I’ve got the Princess with me, and she’s running the length of the hall, making like she’s going to leave without me.

She had been pretty good today.  First, we had to go to the doctor in an effort to get rid of this cough I have that’s now on day 11.  Enough already with that. (More about the visit later.)  Then we went to the grocery store, and by the time we got to Jenny Craig, it was like 12:30.

So, the girl’s selling, and she sold me the discount program, which I had already figured I was going to get.  First of all, like I said earlier, I was on Jenny Craig before my wedding, and at that time, I got a “lifetime” membership, so I didn’t have to pay any kind of fee to sign up this time.  They’ve got some promotional deals, like I think they have a “Lose 20 lbs. for $20” deal going on now, but currently, the “membership” is $399.  Then, they have this discount deal where you pay $99 (“for the first year”) and you get 10% off the food for the first ten weeks, 20% off for the second ten weeks, 30% at 30 weeks and 35% off when you reach your goal weight.  Needless to say, I hope to reach my goal around the 20 week mark, but still, I figured I’d make the money back with those discounts.

So, then she says, “What about a pedometer?”  And I was like, “Huh?” And she says how having a pedometer can be really motivational.  So I said, “You know what I find really motivational?  My American Express bill.”  I don’t think she got the joke, but that’s okay because I was kind of kidding on the square.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you about the best and worst of the food I’ve eaten in the last week:


That stuffed sandwich turned out to be pretty good when paired with taco sauce.

Banana Nut Cereal — surprisingly filling

Maple Nut Cereal — I’d been warned that this was hot, but okay, I like oatmeal, right?  Yuk.

French Toast — Pretty good

Pancakes – Okay too.  The Princess actually begged for and ate a lot of that one.


Chicken Salad — not bad.  Adds the sensation of spreading something on a cracker like you’re at a cocktail party.  Came with an unsweetened applesauce that was okay.

Tuna Salad — not as good as the chicken.  And it came with a fruit cup of diced peaches.

Personal Pizza — took a lot less time in my toaster oven than the directions indicated.  Was burnt, but still edible.  I think it will be much better next time. Comes in both a tomato and a pesto variety.  Both were pretty good.

Turkey Burger and Chicken Sandwich — both okay.  Turkey Burger comes with barbeque sauce.  I chose to bake it in the toaster oven, but the middle was still frozen, even after baking it for more time, so I ended up having to pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds.  This seemed to happen often with the sandwiches.  Like this morning, I did the Sunshine Sandwich for breakfast, and the egg was still frozen in the middle, even after baking for 20 minutes.


Mesquite Chicken — good, though again, I messed up, read the directions wrong.  It said to “remove mesquite chicken from box.”  So, okay, I peeled back the cellophane on the entree and pried the chicken out from the broccoli and potatoes.  I thought it was weird that I couldn’t remove several potatoes that were frozen from the chicken, but whatever.  Turned out that the directions just meant to remove the entree from the box. Oh. I mean, who cooks the thing inside the box?  At least I’m not that much of a moron. So though it was tasty, because of my glitch there, the chicken was a little rubbery and the broccoli was microwaved to a limp grainy paste.

Sweet and Sour Chicken — Yummy. Made me regret the portion control part of the diet.

Chicken Fetuccini — Not bad. The cheese tasted more “real” than some of the chicken fetuccinis I have gotten at the grocery store.  My microwave kind of burned it a little, so next time, I will scale that back some.


Manfrengensen and I went out to eat one night, and I just had a soup and salad at the restaurant. But overall, it was an easy diet to follow.  Of the snacks, my favorites were the salty ones, the cheese curls and popcorn were quite satisfying.  I also had double chocolate cake, which was a little dry, but not bad, and also double chocolate cheesecake. Last night I had the smores bar, which the girl at Jenny had recommended, but it was small, and just okay.  I’m not a big fan of the smore anyway, so don’t go by me on that one.



I really like my doctor, but she has her practice in an urban hospital.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but just sometimes, I see things and people that kind of surprise me.  Like I said, I had to take the Princess with me, so I brought some books and snacks for her.  We were reading, and I was paying attention to the book and her.  The waiting room filled up, and a woman sat on the other side of the Princess’s chair.  She made a bit of a fuss over the Princess, as people sometimes do, and the Princess then proceeded to crawl into my lap and bury her face in my shirt.  This was nothing out of the ordinary.  The Princess is often shy of strangers at first, so though I was looking at her, I was making excuses to the woman, you know, she’s shy, etc.

Then I looked up, at this woman.  She had one tooth. One.  That was it.  Maybe some in the back, but none that I could see.  Only one of her eyes was fully functional, and her face was kind of set in a Popeye-like expression, not that I haven’t set my face in such a way (hey, I don’t claim to be Mrs. America), but I thought, my God, the Princess must think this is like something out of a fairy tale — the kind of scary part.  It was very hard, for me not to act as though I were taken aback, because honestly, I was.  I’m not saying that I expected to see Annette Benning when I looked over there, but the person I did see was wholly unexpected.


Here’s another thing about my city: My city’s urban landscape is one littered with the bones of half-eaten chickens, and usually those have been fried at some point. Not always, but usually.  The sidewalks of the downtown area are speckled with old gum and fresh spittle.  It’s not a beautiful place to visit.  I don’t want to seem like I don’t have home town pride.  I do.  But I think these spitters, these gum depositers and the half-chicken eaters kind of ruin it for the rest of us.

Jenny in Practice

So, yesterday I began the full Jenny experience.  Started the morning with the Breakfast Stuffed Sandwich, which is basically a Hot Pocket filled with egg, cheddar and smoked ham.  Not the most tasty thing I have ever eaten, but I’m not a fan of the Hot Pocket in general.  I left about 1/4 of it on the plate.  What I really wanted was the Sunshine Sandwich, which is like a turkey McMuffin, but they were out of that.  Should have opted for cereal or something…maybe if I add some hot sauce or something next time?  I also had some OJ as my fruit serving (1/4 cup) as I seem to be coming down with a cold, and that always helps.

For lunch, I had a salad with the Jenny Asian Sesame dressing.  Not impressed by that.  Too much soy, I think.  In the future, I think I will do my own lo-cal dressings, as the selection at Jenny is limited.  Also had the chicken sandwich. Probably would have been better if heated in toaster oven rather than microwave.  But, I had been out all morning, and forgotten to eat the morning snack (more fruit) so that by the time lunch came, I was ravenously hungry.  Toasting would have taken thirty minutes, and microwave took like two minutes, so you know which way I went. The bun came out a bit soggy, so I toasted it after.  The chicken came out a little rubbery as well, though I kind of expected that.  The honey mustard sauce that came with it was okay. I ate it like a stray dog since I was so hungry, but honestly, I don’t think I will be getting this for lunch again.

Mid-afternoon, I enjoyed the Jenny Anytime Bar in chocolate peanut butter flavor.  It was okay, with an interesting texture to prolong the chewing experience.  Just kidding, it actually wasn’t bad as far as protein bars go.


Chicken Fajitas in the foreground

Chicken Fajitas in the foreground

Tonight there were chicken fajitas, which were actually quite tasty, plus I was allowed to put taco sauce on them, so they were even more enjoyable.  There were two of them, and you heat the chicken, peppers and onions in a skillet with the powdered flavoring for five minutes and then roll them up in small tortillas. Overall, very satisfying.


All in all, I have to say, I wasn’t too hungry between the meals. I was allowed to have two fruits and pretty much carte blanche in the veggie dept.  For lunch, I added the salad, and that kept me afloat for the better part of the afternoon.

In the evening I got a snack, chocolate graham twists.  Now, on the package, they look a bit like chocolate covered pretzels.  There are some shiny looking twists there, so I was expecting a carob-coated-chocolate like experience.  In actuality, they were a pretzel-shaped-teddy-graham like substance.  Not bad.  A bit drier in texture than a teddy graham, but okay.

This was kind of a different day because we were busy in the evening with soccer practice and a meeting at Edison’s school. Manfrengensen had leftover chicken for dinner and the kids got chicken with their favorite (the only thing they all agree on) mac-n-cheese.  Tomorrow will be more challenging as I will need to cook for all four of them in addition to making my own meal.

I also drank a good deal of water during the course of the day.  It wasn’t bad, though I woke up hungry in the night. I’m thinking this is just an adjustment to diet mode.  My body is still asking for more than the 1200 calories I gave it yesterday because it is used to being fed on demand. But I stepped on the scale this morning, and there was a difference (minus two pounds from Monday).  Maybe some of that is the concerted effort I made before I started, and maybe some is Jenny, but I’m happy.  Seeing the lower number on the scale is always motivational.

My Jenny Journey

It’s time to start getting healthy.  Not that I am fat, or have a bad body image, but in the last year, I have put on almost 20 pounds, and the extra weight is affecting my health.  It’s not really image that bothers me, although I was left kind of withered when the Wii Fit told me I was what the boys pronounce as “obsees.”  I’m only a few points over on the BMI scale, but I don’t want to slide any further.

After seeing the doctor a month ago and finding out that my lab work was funky in the cholesterol and triglyceride departments, I decided to make some changes.  But change has been slow.  I’ve tried cutting certain things from my diet with little measurable success.  A few years ago, after The Princess was born, I did the South Beach Diet, which I was successful with. I think I lost about forty pounds.  But you know, the thought of going back on…it’s a hard diet.  There’s a lot of denial involved.  And life without carbs is a tortuous fate for me.  I mean, I hated feeling guilty about wanting a piece of toast for breakfast.

So, anyway, I decided to try Jenny Craig.  I had done Jenny Craig in the 1990’s to drop 20 pounds before my wedding, and had been very successful.  My dad and his wife got me into it, and they paid all the fees and for all the food I ate while I was on the program.  I think it’s going to go well, but I have to say — it’s expensive.  Like, eyes-pop-out-of-your-head-like-a-cartoon-character-when-you-get-the-bill expensive.  Gotta drop the weight fast because I don’t think I can afford to be on it for more than a few months…

I like the variety of the food and all.  And I like having the meals all planned out for me.  I will try to keep a little record here about my progress.


In other news:

Some things I saw in my travels today:

Woman walking the halls of the hospital I visited who was wearing a Red Foxx t-shirt.  She was walking toward me, this big red T-shirt.  She was a big, tall lady. His face was printed on the shirt in white.  I thought to myself, “Is that? Is that Redd Foxx?”

Guy working the pharmacy counter who was wearing a pre-fixed tie like the ones I’ve bought for my boys.  You don’t tie it…it’s like this kind of zipper aparatus that tightens or loosens it.


Hey, I don’t know if you saw Mad Men this week, but it was a really good episode. Next week’s looks good as well.  Can’t wait!