Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mid-Week Update

So I've already missed the mark with most, if not all of my goals for this week.   It's been crazy!  But the good thing is, just because I've had a bad day or 2, I'm not giving up for the whole week.  Each day I am trying my best to stick to the program.  I'll be so glad when the next couple of weeks are over.  I've been stress-eating big time.  Fortunately, I've been moving more too so the scale is still moving in a downward direction.  I'll give a scale report this weekend.

Monday, September 26, 2011

One Week Down - 26 To Go

My first week of getting back on plan was a success!  I ended up losing 1.2 pounds, only .1 off the mark.  It could have been more had I not gone off the rails Friday night at dinner, but I'll take it.  I ended up going over my weekly points, but I had activity points to cover them.  All in all, I think it was a very successful week.

So my goals for last week was to follow the plan exactly as it was written.  I almost made it.  There were a few days where I didn't get in all of my good-health guidelines.  That is going back on this list for this week, but I'm afraid I've already failed because I'm pretty sure I didn't get them in Saturday or Sunday.  Another goal was to not eat any of my activity points.  Again, I failed on that one as well, so it's going back on the list.  My third goal was to get 30 minutes of activity in each day.  I did get this one...if you take the minutes I worked out and divide by 7.  Some days was an hour, and other days I had nothing at all.  I'm still considering this a success because I earned activity more days than not.

So here are my goals for this current week:
  1. Follow the plan exactly as written, including getting in all of my good-health guidlines
  2. Do not eat any activity points
  3. Get an average of 30 minutes per day of activity
  4. Do not eat more than my daily points, plus any remaining weekly points on Friday
Starting weight: 193.6
Current weight: 192.2
Goal weight: 161.5

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Back On Track - I Mean It This Time!

I've started this blog a million times this summer, but I could never really get behind it mentally.  I've been a slacker.  I've gained back 3 and a half pounds over the summer.  I just didn't care.  I say I was busy and had a lot of things come up, but the truth is, I was just lazy.  I could have worked out, but I didn't.  I could have tracked my food, but I didn't.  I could have followed the plan, but I didn't.  I purposefully chose not to do those things and it didn't go very well.

Now, I really feel like I'm ready to get back at it.  All of the sudden my motivation has picked up and after 4 and a half days I am still 100% on plan.  The scale and my pants are thanking me.  At meeting on Saturday we talked about committing to following the plan 100% for just 1 week.  I thought, I can do that.  It's just 1 week.  I've done it before.  The extra motivation came when I weighed in on Saturday and I had gained enough weight back that I got an extra point to eat every day.  Not good.  The awesome thing is that since I've been planning my food I've been able to indulge and splurge on a few things while still staying on plan.  This includes such things as a carmel apple cobbler at BD's Mongolian BBQ, and a hot dog and beer at the ballgame tonight. 

My husband has even offered to sweeten the pot so to speak.  We leave for a cruise in 24 and a half weeks.  I really wanted to lose 20 more pounds before we go.  He challeneged me to lose 40.  I thought he was crazy, so after some negotiating, we agreed upon 32 pounds.  That's 1.28 pounds per week.  If I can do that, then he is paying for all of my expenses on the cruise up to $1000.  How awesome is that?  I know I can do it.  At first I was worried that I wouldn't be able to have those yummy, "bad" things, but after tracking and planning this week, I know I can, it just takes a little bit of time and effort on my part to fit it in.  No more mindless eating.  No more grabbing the chip bag and taking it to the couch. 

The way I'm going to make it to my big goal is to set smaller, weekly goals.  This week, my goal was to follow the Weight Watchers plan 100% as written.  There have been a couple days where I've only gotten in 4 out of my 5 fruits/veggies, but other days I've gotten more so I'm counting it as even.  Next week my goal will be to, again, follow the plan 100% as written, but make sure I get in ALL of my good health guidlines.  I have also commited to only going out for lunch once a week.  That means a lot of cooking on Sunday for me. 

I need your help with all of this though.  I need you to follow up with me, check in on me, nag me, whatever, so that I'm accountable to someone other than myself for staying on track.  At the beginning of each week I will post my goals here, and then at the end of the week I will post whether or not I met them, what I learned, and how the scale reacted. 

Starting Weight on 9/17/11: 193.6
Goal Weight for March 10, 2012: 161.5

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I'm Making A Comeback

It's been almost a month since I've blogged.  My head, and heart for that matter, just haven't been into it.  I've been maintaning, but not losing.  I haven't been working the plan, and I really haven't cared.  I've been busy, and my diligence has been put on the back burner.  I'm almost 8 months into this thing and I still haven't hit my 10%.  Heck, after weigh-in this morning I'm back under 20 pounds lost.  It's not a good feeling.

The topic at the meeting this week was about busting through plateaus.  Most plateaus are caused by lack of diligence.  There was a check-list of things that could be causing a stall, and I went through those, identified the areas in which I'm struggling, and have come up with a plan to get back on track. 
  1. Are you tracking everything? - I have to admit, I haven't been.  I've been tracking everything until I'm out of points, but then I keep eating and don't log it.  Starting today, if it goes into my mouth, it's going into my tracker, even if that means I go over my points.  I know that if I'm committed to logging everything, I won't want to go over my points.
  2. Do you eyeball portions? - absolutely I do.  I haven't put much of anything on the scale lately.  The biggest culprit is the bag of potato chips.  I would just grab the bag after dinner and eat until I thought I had eaten 2 servings.  In reality, I was probably eating 3 or 4 servings, and then not counting it.  Starting today, everything is going on the scale.
  3. Are you filling up on fruit? - fruit is healthy right?  Yes, but it still has calories and in mass quantity can pack on the pounds.  I'm pretty sure I haven't been eating too much fruit, but since it's zero points, I haven't been tracking it.  Starting today, I will measure and track all of my fruit intake, just to make sure that I'm not going over board.  I will also have to remind myself that serving is a half cup, or one small piece.
  4. Do you attend meetings every week? - Yes, religiously!  Since I started on January 8th, I've only missed 3 meetings, and all 3 were because I was out of town.  The power of the meeting is having the accountability.  If you weigh on your own scale at home, but don't share it with anyone, then you're not accountable to anyone for how you are doing.  You could also be tempted to not get on the scale since you don't have to.  Knowing where you stand is the only way to stay on track. It's also a great place to get support, tips, and advice. 
  5. Could you be overstimating your activity? - I can honestly say that I don't do this.  I am very careful to only record what I legitimately do, and a lot of times I will underestimate since I know I will probably end up eating those points later.
  6. Do you follow the good health guidlines daily? - for my non-Weight Watcher folks, the good health guidlines include things such as liquid intake, fruit and veggie servings, dairy servings, activity, healthy oils, multivitamin, and activity.  The goal is supposed to be to check these off each day, with different minimums for each.  I have been very bad about meeting my GHG's over the last few months.  Starting today, I will make every effort to get in my minimum GHG's every day.  The one that will be the hardest will be getting in my 2 servings of dairy.  I'm a bit lactose intolerant, and I generally don't put cheese on much because of the points.  I think I'm going to make one of my daily snacks a piece of mozzarella string cheese wrapped in some lunch meat or dunked in some marinara or pizza sauce.
This week, I'm starting over.  I'm going back to the basics, and hopefully I can have a big loss on the scale. 

Starting Weight: 210.4
Current Weight: 191.4
Goal Weight: 130.0

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Power of Positive Thinking

I am officially stating that my plateau is busted.  I saw a number on my home scal this morning that I haven't seen in a looooong time.  I'm now only 12.6 pounds away from matching my driver's license weight.  I think that weight was entered in 2002 when I moved back to Ohio.  I guess all of the extra gym time is paying off.

Last week at Weight Watchers, I finally hit 20 pounds.  I'm at 20.2 to be exact.  This is the most weight I've ever lost on Weight Watchers.  In past attempts, I would get really close, get frustrated, and then quit.  Quitting is not an option this time.  I missed my 10% by 0.8, which kind of bummed me out, but I'm pretty sure I'll get it this week. 

On the Weight Watchers website, I'm part of a challenge to lose 50 pounds by the end of this year.  There is a great group of girls on there who have become part of my support network.  Every week we have a topic or question to discuss.  This week's topic was to state how much weight we'd lost and then talk about something we've gained through this journey.  We were not allowed to get down on ourselves, or wish that we had lost more by now.  I found it a little difficult to come up with an answer at first.  Yeah, I'm proud I've lost 20 pounds, but I do wish I would have lost more by now.  But once I actually sat and thought about it, I have learned a lot about myself.

I've learned patience and perseverence for sure.  It's taken me almost 8 months to lose 20 pounds.  That takes perseverence.  I've learned that I'm a lot stronger than I give myself credit for.  Even on the days I've hurt or didn't want to go, or had stuff to do at home, I've made it to the gym as scheduled.  I've learned how to stand up for myself.  It amazes me the people who have either intentionally or unintentionally tried to sabotage or derail me.  People at the meeting talk all the time about how they get upset when people tell them that they don't need to lose more weight, or they don't need to lose as much as they'd like to lose.  I have learned to take that to mean that I don't look as fat as I think I look and say thank you.  I've also learned how to say no when someone asks me for a spur of the moment lunch or treat.  I no longer feel awkward telling them that I can't because I didn't budget the points or I want a good weigh-in on the weekend. 

My goal for August is to think positive thoughts, and not beat myself up for anything that I may do poorly.  It's amazing how positive thinking can turn things around.  August is a month of happy thoughts! :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Gym Is My Friend?? When Did That Happen??

I vowed at the beginning of July that I would get in a minimum of 2 work outs each week.  This week is week 4 and I think it's finally becoming a habit.  We've been walking 6 miles on Sunday mornings and I've been going to water aerobics on Wednesday nights.  But I've been adding in 1-2 sessions of riding the bike at the gym on top of that.  Last night I decided to skip the gym, and at about 8:00 I found myself thinking, "I kind of want to go to the gym."  For anyone who knows me, they would think hell had frozen over if those words came out of my mouth.  My biggest problem with the gym is that I hate getting sweaty.  Now I've decided that it's a side effect I can live with.  I just think of it as the fat pouring out of my body. 

My eating has been way better this week too.  I went a little off track over the weekend, but not near as bad as I used to.  I would expect myself to be hungrier than I have been with all of the gym time, but I think the heat is working to supress my appetite, which is good.  I'm determined to at least hit 20 pounds this weekend.  I want more, but I'm not hoping for more than that.  I'm setting my expectations low so I can be pleasently surprised :)

Time for food finds!

I love Chinese food.  A free Chinese dinner is the only reason I agreed to go out with my husband on our first date (I'm glad he offered Chinese food!).  I tend to have a weakness for orange chicken from Panda Express, but 1 serving eats up most, if not all, of my daily points.  It's just not worth it to me.  Tonight, I found mandarin orange chicken at Trader Joe's for 5 points per serving, and it's a decent size serving.  Not quite as sweet as Panda Express, but every bit as good.  You cook it in the oven, but it turns out crispy just like restaurant orange chicken.  Definitely going to keep a bag of that in the freezer.

We also tried a new burger recipe last week; Asian Beef Sliders.  These things were delicious, and even though one slider doesn't sound like enough, they are pretty filling.  We ate ours with corn on the cob, but you could pair just about anything with it.  5 points for my WW peeps, and 239 calories with 8 grams of fat for my non-WW peeps.  Not to mention they only take 30 minutes to make.

Asian Beef Slidres with Pickled Cucumbers - serves 8

2 Kirby cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced (we used vidalia)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/4 pounds ground lean beef (7% fat or less) - could also use turkey?
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons wasabi powder
1 1/2 teaspoons water
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise (we used low-fat Miracle Whip)
8 (3 inch) mini sandwich buns (1 1/2 ounces each), split
  1. Spray grill rack with non-stick spray.  Preheat grill to medium-high heat, or prepare medium-high fire.
  2. Toss together cucumbers, onion, vinegar, ginger, mint, and pepper flakes in medium bowl; let stand 10 minutes.
  3. Combine beef, scallions, chili-garlic sauce, and salt in large bowl and mix well.  With damp hands, form mixture into 8 patties.  Place patties on grill rack and grill until instant-read thermometer inserted into side of each burger registers 160degees for medium, 4-5 minutes on each side. (I think we cooked them 4-5 minutes total).
  4. Meanwhile, to make dressing, stir together wasabi powder and water in small bowl until smooth; whisk in mayonnaise.  Spread cut sides of buns with dressing.  Place burgers in buns and top evenly with cucumber mixutre.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Art of The Cheat

I finally have a handle on my food this week!  Granted, I've eaten all of the activity points I've earned, but I've only eaten 1 more point than that, and I'll make it up tonight.  I think my body is getting used to all of the extra activity as well because I'm shedding pounds like crazy.  For the last 3 mornings I've been under 190 on the scale at home which hasn't happened since probably 1999.  I'm positive I'll hit 20 pounds this week, and I'm hoping I'll finally hit my 10%.  It's so much easier to stay motivated when the scale is moving down.  The only downside to all of the gym time is that I feel like I'm not getting anything accomplished at home.  I think I need to find a little better balance, but with the pounds falling off I'm not about to adjust the workouts. 

As a little extra motivation, me and my neighbor joined a weight-loss challenge that starts on Monday.  It's something they are doing here in Kansas City.  We have 6 people on our team and the contest runs for 10 weeks.  Whichever teams has the highest average of percentage lost wins a trip to Arizona, including airfare, accomodations, spending money, and spa treatments.  It would be pretty awesome if we won, but at the very least at least we'll come out of it skinnier!

Through all of this I've had to rethink my "cheat" days.  I weigh in on Saturday morning.  I would then use Saturday and Sunday as days to kind of pig out and eat all of those bad things I wanted but wouldn't let myself have throughout the week.  Cheat day didn't mean just 1 splurge, it meant multiple splurges over a 2 day time period.  I would then spend the entire week playing catch up on the scale.  This week, I let myself have some indulgences on the weekend, but I made sure not to eat more than my daily and activity points.  I don't feel deprived at all, which was shocking to me.  I've also been a little better about planning some small splurges throughout the week.  I'm hooked on potato chips right now.  Probably because we found some zesty ranch kettle chips.  I make sure that I have enough points after dinner to have a serving of chips. 

I'm finding that losing weight is more mental than anything else.  I had made somewhat of a mind-shift when I started Weight Watchers in January.  I found through my plateau (if you can call it that because I definitely wasn't working the program the way I knew I should), that the path is constantly changing.  For a while, I could get away with having 2 full cheat days a week.  That came to a screeching hault and I wasn't ready for the next mind-shift.  Now, I feel as though I've made that next transition and can continue on my way.  I had to realize that while I could still have 1 or 2 splurges throughout the week, I couldn't have 10. 

It's all about prioritizing and figuring out what you truely want.  I want to be thinner.  I want to be healthy.  But I also want greasy, cheesy pizza, chinese food, french fries, and beer.  It finally clicked with me that to have the pizza I need to give up something else, whether that be high point meals for the rest of the week, or time at home because I'm at the gym.  Let's face it, deprivation diets don't work.  No one can eat like that forever, especially me.  But I've also realized that I don't need the bad food all the time in order to feel satisfied. 

Last weekend my splurge was sushi.  My dad and I went to the sushi train for lunch on Saturday.  They put 2-3 pieces of sushi on small plates, and a train pulls them around the counter.  You just pick off what you want and they count up the plates at the end to get your total for the bill.  After 4 plates, I was feeling full.  I ended up eating a 5th plate because it looked good, but all in all I ate 12 pieces of sushi and 3 potstickers.  Not necessarily an unhealthy choice, but those points add up.  That was my splurge for the week and I'm completely ok with that.  Next week I think my splurge will be Chinese food.  I haven't had any since our vacation in June and I'm craving it. 

I will update after weigh-in on Saturday.  Can't wait!!