Category Archives: Weight Loss

Points Life Forever

After apparently five weeks of being MIA at my local Weight Watchers meeting, I returned tonight.  Sadly, I didn’t plan accordingly and forgot that it was the beginning of the year and the first meeting at our meeting place that wasn’t snowed out since the new year.  That meant that the line was insanely long, full of fresh faces.  They all shared the same look – that look of fear as the line slowly inched forward to the grey metal square. They watched as the seasoned veterans disrobed down to the lightest layer of clothing, ritualistically preparing their weight tracker for the kind receptionist who greats those she knows by name.  Shoes come off and the line moves forward in an array of colorful socks, each pair taking a 2 inch step up at their final destination.

ww-logo1I may have shared that look today.  Even though I have been there for a long time, having been away for a month was nerve-wracking.  Add to the fact that the month I was MIA was the month of December, also known as the month full of Christmas parties, Christmas cookies, and lots of Holiday cheer.  (You can read that as I completely threw my Points tracker out the window and ate what I wanted, when I wanted.)

I knew that the scale was going to show a gain.  I hadn’t been doing anything to promote the ideals and values that a good Weight Watcher should show.  I wasn’t saying the Weight Watcher pledge.  I got a little down on myself instead.  Alright, fine.  I beat the living daylights of out myself over it.  Positive self-talk has never been a strong point for me and those who know me would claim that I’m a perfectionist and that I don’t allow myself to make mistakes. Then, when I make those mistakes, I just spiral around the crazy-go-round with them.  It’s not always pretty.  That’s why I knew I had to face the music and really get it done. Knock on wood that I don’t need any major medical things this year.

The worst thing is that I had one of those moments when the song you hear just hits you with a 2×4 across the face and you realize that it’s now your theme song.  The daughter has been on a Disney Frozen kick (along with almost every other girl from 4 years old and up) and that means I have probably heard “Let It Go” about fifty million times now.  There’s a few lines in the song that summed up my inner voice, the one that I sometimes don’t listen to when I should probably listen to that voice all the time.

frozen

“It’s time to see what I can do / To test the limits and break through / No right, no wrong, no rules for me, / I’m free! / Let it go”

I need to let it go and see what I can do.  It always looks good on paper.  I just need to figure out exactly how to do that.  Let it go.  I need to let my mistakes go.  Let go of my not so perfect days. Let go of perfection.  Someone once told me that perfection was boring anyway.  Just let it go.  Maybe someday I might fully and truly understand what those words mean.

No matter how I slice it, I have to let go of the fact that my body cannot process food the same as other people’s.  I need to let go of the fact that I will always, no matter what age, have to pay attention to what I’m eating.  I will always count points, even if I do not write them down.  Through December, I was counting points mentally.  I knew how many points I was over every day because I was keeping count.  I can rattle of points values of foods like Rain Man can rattle off a tv schedule. I’m going to just accept that.  Maybe that will help letting go of some of the other stuff a little easier.

Tomorrow is week one, for the sixth time officially.  I’m letting go of the other times.  Tomorrow is Friday. It’s a day.  It’s one day.  It’s one day in which I’m going to count my points.  It’s one day where I will make good choices and if I slip, I will forgive and move on.  It’s one day.  It’s one meal.  It’s letting go of all the other stuff and living in just the moment.  Let go of the what ifs.  Let go of the woulda, coulda, shouldas.  Let go of the maybes.  Just deal with the moment.  Let it go, let it all go but that one moment.

Let it go.

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Filed under My Relationship with Food, Weight Loss

Eating Cupcakes While Watching the Biggest Loser?

The Biggest Loser is inspirational, a little unrealistic, but inspirational nonetheless.  Watching this show, I’m reminded, for the umpteenth time, as to why I haven’t completely given up on Weight Watchers.  I may have been moving a snail’s pace, but I haven’t given up 100%.

Watching these people stand up on national television and bear it all to help inspire others is pretty amazing.  And yet, here I sit, enjoying a chocolate cupcake.

Yep.  A chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting and fall colored jimmies.  It was good.

By Kat Kellner [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Kat Kellner [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I probably should have been doing squats or lunges.

Sometimes, I think I need Jillian or Bob to yell at me to keep my fat butt in motion.  But then I realize, that they can yell at me all they want.  If I don’t fix what is broken, it won’t matter one bit.  The broken parts will always be broken.  It’s hard work.  Having done some form of this hard work my whole life (since I was 8), I get tired of it.  It’s what’s wrong right now. I’m tired of having to weigh and measure every single bite. I’m tired of having to write everything down.  I’m tired of having to wake up thinking about it.  It wears you down.  Even if I get to a point where I’m at a healthy weight, I will still have to track, weigh, measure.  Constant vigilance.

It’s sometimes discouraging.  But, then I think about being six feet under and not being able to see the Daughter hit some of life’s major milestones…that’s even more discouraging.

It’s a constant struggle. I know that I cannot give up, but on the other hand, I have never been able to fully imagine myself at the finish line.  Either way, I’m not giving up. Time to pony up and put the cupcake down.

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Filed under Emotional Health, My Relationship with Food, Weight Loss

Suck it Scale!

It is Thursday. Date night with the scale. I was apprehensive about it because I was afraid that I would have a gain after the previous night out with the husband. I made a rookie move and ordered fried clams! the night before weigh in. Of course that only added to my nerves.

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I faced the scale though and I was victorious!

Loss/Gain: -1.2
Lbs to next 5 lb goal: 3.8

 

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The Scale and Her Numbers

Since February of 2012, my health hasn’t been so great.  Two operations later, I’m finally ready to get back to my weight loss goals.  That also means that I’ll probably be posting a little more about my journey.  I feel like calling it a journey is cliché.  I mean, yes, it’s a mental journey in a manner of speaking but I’m not really going anywhere.  According to dictionary.com, I fall more closely to the 4th definition of journey: passage or progress from one stage to another: the journey to success.  I guess that works.

more than a day

Tonight was my weigh in at my trusty Weight Watchers meeting.  It was ugly. I’m fairly confident it was ugly for a few reasons.

1) I usually stop eating and drinking around 2 pm on weigh in day.  Today, however, I was drinking and grazing right up until 4pm.  My meeting is at 5:30.

2) It has been ridiculously humid which means any kind of moisture is staying in my body.

3) I purposely wore jean shorts, knowing that today was the baseline.

4) I have been horribly lying to myself in my tracker.

I could continue along on all the wrong things I have done and all the things I should be doing, but honestly, what would be the point?  I know what I did and it’s time to make the changes I need to make before the clothing situation gets any more depressing.

I am sorry if these kinds of posts annoy you.  Skip them if you want.  I just sometimes feel that there is some kind of extra accountability in posting this experience to anyone who is willing enough to read it.   Also, you will understand if there is a sudden tone shift in my posts…those will be the days I’m working on removing one of the not so good foods, like sugar and eventually diet coke, from my diet.  I promise to not make you want to go insane but, I will probably check-in weekly with updates ( because in my mind, you all want me to succeed!) and maybe a recipe or two as I get back to whole foods and clean eating.

It’s time to get healthier!

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Eating the Emotions

It is not a secret, dear reader, that I go to Weight Watchers.  I do not hide that and have talked about it frequently in my blog.  I have not had the most successful year with this whole grand endeavor but, with surgeries and other glorious set backs, I have not gained everything back yet.  I consider that to be a success!

As I work through Weight Watchers and re-learning my relationship with food, I have had to do a lot of thinking and reflecting.  A great deal of that reflection always brings me back to the “why” of my eating.  The reasons that bring me my weekly Thursday night always come back to the fact that I am an emotional eater.

Makes sense to me...

Makes sense to me…

It really doesn’t matter what emotion it is that overwhelms me, I turn to comfort food.  My definition of comfort food would be ice cream, cookies, chocolate, cakes…anything filled with carbohydrates and sugary sweetness.  It’s not something I’m proud of but, it is something that I deal with on a daily basis.  I have to constantly remind myself that it’s ok to feel my emotions, not feed them.  I am not always successful.

Many people do this.  Most people though know when to stop and don’t feed every single emotion they feel.  Sadly, I am not most people.  It’s a tough habit to break and at the same time can be terrifying because I have to face the emotions that I sometimes don’t want to face.  I guess that’s part of being a grown up though.  Facing those feelings and knowing how to handle them is just one thing that needs a little extra work.

This post is part of the May NaBloPoMo.  This month’s theme is Comfort, though today’s post was a little uncomfortable, but that’s ok.  I did not reach for cookies to write this…  Today’s prompt was “What makes you reach for a comfort food?”

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Clear Out The Distractions

There are times when I feel like I can’t do what I’ve set out to do. There’s so much involved with getting healthy and getting my life back to what it should be at my age. It’s a lot at times to take head on. The big picture can be intimidating and overwhelming because let’s face it, I don’t have just 25 lbs to lose. There are a lot of things I need to do to not let myself get side tracked.

distractions

The list of what I need to do is simple.  Eat right, exercise, go to weigh in no matter what, track my every bite, lick, and taste, and forgive myself when I slip up rather than let it landslide into a food avalanche.

When I sit down to do the math, the total number of time that I need to lose five pounds can seem impossible. But, that smaller five pound goal seems more possible than the grand total!   That is the trick, you see.  I need to look at little victories.  In Weight Watchers, we call them the non-scale victories, things like losing inches, fitting into new clothing sizes, being able to say no to a gorgeous, decadent piece of cake even though every cell in your brain is screaming eat the cake!  Looking at these small victories and combining them with the larger more obvious ones like the number on that metal box many people torture themselves with, it is much easier to stay energized and focused on the task at hand.

The distractions are just that, they distract you from your goal.  You need to keep pushing, never give up, never surrender.

Never give up.  Never surrender.

“Never give up. Never surrender.” Commander Peter Quincy Taggart – Galaxy Quest Though, this picture is not one of Commander Taggart but rather of the Thermians. 

The reason I haven’t already gained back every pound I lost and then some on this round of Weight Watchers is that in the almost 3 years I’ve been going and weighing in, I haven’t given up. Yes, there have been some struggles (hello 2012 and the great gallbladder saga), but I haven’t given up.  I have faked it some weeks, some months.  I firmly believe that is why I have not gone back to where I was at the start.  I also believe that is why I will eventually get to my goal.  This week has been one of those fake it weeks.   I can admit that because I know that even though I’ve been faking it, I will still go to weigh in.  I will own the fact that I haven’t made the best choices this week.  I will do my best to clear out the distractions and keep moving forward.  In the end, it will happen.

Today’s post is part of January 2013 NaBloPoMo.  This month’s theme is energy.  Today’s prompt was, “Benjamin Franklin said, ‘Energy and persistence conquer all things.’ Do you agree or disagree?”  What do you think of Mr. Franklin’s observation? 

 

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C is for Cake; K is for Kryptonite

kryptonite

Superman was weakened by kryptonite.

GLLamp

Green Lantern was unable to fight against wooden objects and then later anything yellow.

martian_manhunter

Martian Manhunter was weakened by fire.

wonderwoman

Wonder Woman just needed her hands bound and she was rendered a non-threat.

 

My weakness?  My one true thing that just makes me forget everything about myself?

~ps431.tmp

Doesn’t matter what kind it is (well except coconut or lemon), but cake is the one thing that renders me useless.  I lose myself.  I may think I have the willpower to resist anything while on Weight Watchers, but when I see a beautiful piece of cake, I get all weak in the knees.

Funfetti Cake - the best cake ever!

Funfetti Cake – the best cake ever!

It’s something about moist cake, sweet sugary frosting (none of that whipped cream kind please!), and if it’s a layer cake, even better!  My arch nemesis would have it relatively easy.  If they themselves can’t bake a  yellow cake with chocolate frosting (possibly the best combination of cake and frosting), then they just need to go to a bakery or grocery store and buy a cake.  I would be defeated. It adds to my growing waist line and causes me to lose focus on my weight loss journey.

vanilla-cake2

Yes, I am a cake fiend. I cannot resist it.  There, now you know my weakness.  Do not exploit it.

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Filed under Food, NaBloPoMo, Weight Loss

Sunday Goals

This weekend has not been the best for someone who is supposed to be on Weight Watchers.  Today alone, I had a 70 point day.  I know that I get a lot of points every day, but I dipped heavily (no pun intended) into my weekly allowance points.  For those not in the know, on Weight Watchers, everyone gets a daily points value based on their height, weight, age, and sex.  For me, I get 45 points a day.  On top of those daily points, everyone, no matter what their daily points value is, gets 49 weekly allowance points.  Think of them as your fun money, you know that little bit of your paycheck you set aside each week for something fun.  You don’t have to use them but if you have a busy weekend ahead, you can use them.   So today, I ate 70 points.  In one day.  Bleh.

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Tomorrow is Monday.  It’s the middle of my Weight Watchers week so that means it makes total sense to set my goals for the week tonight.

1) Keep tracking everything.  Even those dumb 70 point days.  Track it all.  Every bite, lick and taste.

2) Start stepping again.  When I was doing really well and the weight was just melting off, I was doing steps at night in front of the tv.  The Wii Fit has a section for “free step”  and you can switch back to the tv feed, watch your shows, and it will track your steps.  It was so easy to do the steps in front of a 30 minute sitcom.  My goal this week is to start off doing 1 sitcom a night.

3) More water.  I have cut back again on the Diet Coke but it’s still too much.  I need to get rid of it altogether.

4) Less sugar.  MyFitnessPal allows you to break out your food by nutrients and lately, my sugar amount has been so high.  Need to change that.

simple-sugars

I think those goals are pretty doable and won’t make me go too crazy this week.

In non-weight loss and health related goals:

1) Get back to trying one new recipe a week.  It was fun to pick out that one recipe a week and make the family into my guinea pigs.  I’ve been going through Pinterest today to figure out what that one recipe is.  I’m not sure that was a wise decision though because now I have a million new options to narrow it down to.

2) Write two blog posts a day.  One dedicated to NaBloPoMo and one dedicated to my new schedule that I’m setting up for myself.  Fun times.

3) Write my story for at least fifteen minutes a day.  No editing, no worrying about much other than just writing.

I’m going to keep these three for now until they are back to being second nature.

What are your goals for this week?

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Filed under Food, Healthy Me - Yay!, My Relationship with Food, Weight Loss

A New Recipe to Keep Me On Track!

I haven’t posted about my weight loss journey much lately.  My heart has been half in it.  I just felt like it was never going to end because there is just so much I need to do!  I let the mind game win.  But I didn’t throw the towel in completely.

This past week, I was 100% back on track.  I wrote down every BLT (bite, lick, and taste).  I was moving more.  I really focused on doing what I know I can do.  Last night, it paid off.  The scale rewarded me with a 4.2 loss. It felt good to have such a great loss.  Why do I depend so much on that scale dictating what I feel?  Why does it matter?

diet journal

I suppose the easy answer is that it is instant gratification.  The number pops up in a matter of seconds and then I know, for a fact, that something worked.  I know that even though I don’t feel like it, I am lighter than I was 7 days ago.  I don’t deprive myself, but I cannot eat whatever I want, whenever I want. I never have been able to.  Accepting that as life rather than a sentence that forever forces rice cakes and celery sticks on me is probably the biggest thing.

The scale is a measurable way for me to see that I’m getting healthier.  I suppose I could have my cholesterol checked every other month, or have my blood pressure taken every other day, but I really am all set with going to the doctor’s office so frequently.  I could take my measurements but to be honest, those numbers depress me.  Lots of people like to see the measurements as a great non-scale way to track the changes, but at this point, I just am not feeling those really high numbers that are known as my measurements.  Maybe someday.  So YAY for a great loss at the WW Scale!

Now…we tried a pretty good recipe recently and I thought I would share it with you all.  It was very low-calorie and very filling.  It was a success with half the family but part of that may have just been the topping choice.

Cheesy Polenta & Mushroom Pizza
(from the March 2012 Woman’s Day magazine)

Active: 25 minutes, Total: 30 minutes, Serves 4

1/2 instant polenta (I use Indian Head Old Fashioned Stone Ground Yellow Corn Meal to make my polenta)

1/4 grated Parmesan (1 oz) (Stop and Shop sells the good grated Parmesan in the cheese section or you can grate your own – I just try to avoid the kind that comes in the green tube because it does make a difference in taste)

2 oz Gruyère or Swiss cheese, shredded (1/2 cup) (I opted for the Gruyère because I love Gruyère!)

Kosher salt and pepper

3 TBSP Olive oil

8 oz small button mushrooms, quartered

8 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 shallot, thinly sliced

1 TBSP small fresh thyme sprigs

Mixed green salad, for serving

1 – Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cook the polenta according to package directions.  Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan, 1/4 cup Gruyère, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.  Scrape the polenta onto the parchment paper and spread out to form a 3/4 inch thick oval.

2 – Heat Broiler.  Heat 2 TBSP of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add half the mushrooms and cook, tossing often, until golden brown and just tender, 4 to 5 minutes; transfer to a plate.  Cook the remaining mushrooms with remaining TBSP of oil.

3 – Return the first batch of mushrooms to the skillet and toss with the shallot, thyme, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper (I eyeballed the salt and pepper.)

4 – Scatter the mushroom mixture over the polenta and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 Gruyère. Broil until the cheese begins to brown, about 3 minutes.  Serve with a salad, if desired.

Switch it up: Use the polenta as a base for other tasting toppings. Try roasted tomatoes, or replace half the mushrooms with cooked sausage and spinach.

cheesy-polenta-mushroom-pizza-180

As I said, half the family liked it, the other half was not sure what to think.  If you like polenta, try it.  It’s filling and it’s low-calorie.

Here’s the NI per serving:

288 calories, 17g Fat (5g saturated fat), 20 mg cholesterol, 492 mg sodium, 10g Protein, 26g carbs, 2g fiber.

In the land of WW, it works out to 7 pts.  It’s a little higher than you would think but that is in part because you use two kinds of cheese.  You can probably try to substitute low-fat Swiss in place of the pointy Gruyère or use less Parmesan in the polenta which would also bring down the point value.  Either way, it’s tasty!

Do you have another polenta recipe you’d like to share?  Please do, because I love the stuff!

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Filed under Food, Healthy Me - Yay!, New Recipes, Weight Loss

A Loss on the Scale and a Doctor’s Advice

I have been toying with this post for a few days now and when the power went out today during Sandy, I had lots of time to really get my thoughts in order and write it.  Thursday was my weekly date with the scale.  If you’ve noticed, I haven’t posted much in this department.  Why?  Well, dear reader, the results haven’t been so great lately.  I gained back quite a bit since my surgery back in August.  By quite a bit I mean almost 10 lbs.  In the grand scheme of my personal weight loss journey, that’s a drop in the bucket.  But considering how hard I have to work for every single ounce, I was slightly devastated.  It was slow coming back on.  I am slowly backtracking.  Not good.

This week, I had a very good loss, a loss I needed to have.  Down 2.2!  That’s amazing.  Movement in the right direction.   A loss to keep me moving forward and not giving up. Why, then, was I not thrilled?

There are so many things that I allow to get in my path.  Emotions, stress, conversations, and all the small things in life get some kind of weird power over me and I let them.  It’s as simple as that.  I. Let. Them.  Part of it is because I have somehow worked it into my brain that when I talk about my emotions with anyone, I’m burdening them.  When I eat my emotions, I’m not burdening anyone.  Well, correction, I’m only putting the burden back on myself.  It’s quite ridiculous.  I have said it before but for some reason I cannot seem to make my brain accept it.

Over the past two weeks, there have been quite a few stress inducing incidents: news, doctors, tests, storms.  Normal people don’t eat through these things…or maybe they do but then they know how to stop or how to counteract it.

This past Wednesday,  I had my final appointment with the surgeon.  It was nice to finally be discharged from gall bladder issues but it was with some interesting advice.  My surgeon said that my goal over the winter months was to “not lose any weight but not gain any weight.”  I asked him to repeat it.  He did and then added that over the winter I should just maintain and then in the spring really go at my weight loss.  I was a little surprised at what he said.  Considering the amount I still have to work on getting to my end goal, it was a first to have a doctor not tell me to keep working hard.  I don’t know that I’m going to follow that advice 100% to be honest.  In my life, as far back as I can remember, I have never had a doctor tell me to not worry about losing weight for any period of time.   It was a bit of a shock.  My other two doctors are encouraging me to continue losing, though, because it will help fix some of my other issues, namely the PCOS.  I’m going to stick with two out of three doctors.  Plus, I really want to buy some new clothes.  I’m really tired of what’s in my closet right now!

Tomorrow is a new day.  A new chance to start fresh and a take today as my own.

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Filed under Exercise, My Relationship with Food, Weight Loss