Thursday, March 31, 2011

Food Journal - Day 5 - Week of Accountability

Today really was a great, on plan, day. Unfortunately, I am nearing the end of the week which means it's grocery store time. Some of my easy grab lunch/snack stuff is gone. But, it's ok. I made do with what I had and I have points leftover for the day.

How did you do today?

Daily PointsPlus Allowance: 50
Daily PointsPlus Used: 45
Weekly PointsPlus Allowance: 49
Weekly PointsPlus Used: 9

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Food Journal - Day 4 - Week of Accountability

Today was a bit more challenging of a day. Not because I was more hungry but simply because it started off with a co-worker's birthday celebration. Let me say I love the fact that my team at work does these things but it does make it really challenging.

Honestly, I did well with it. I had a small sliver of a cookie cake and mostly fruit. But, I do so much better when I don't have sweets like cookies, cakes or ice cream during the day, and I KNOW THIS. I try to avoid but sometimes it's just impossible. That's why we have weekly points. :)  So, today I did have the little treat and it tasted soooo good. So good in fact, I craved it the rest of the day. When afternoon came, I did have another very small portion of it but again, very small and I tracked it the best I could. I'm proud of my portion control. I think that in and of itself is a win in this scenario. The rest of the day was fine as far as tracking goes.

Woooohoooo over halfway there for the week and still on track! How are you doing?

Daily PointsPlus Allowance: 50
Daily PointsPlus Used: 50
Weekly PointsPlus Allowance: 49
Weekly PointsPlus Used: 9

Loose skin, poop, pee and tinfoil hats - life's lessons while I lose weight

I've learned a few things the last 10 months on this weight loss journey. Some are a bit crude, some are a bit funny, and some may even be informative.

1. After popping three children out of your uterus, drinking 100oz of water in one day may cause emergency pee situations! If even the slightest urge to pee is present before leaving the office - FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY GO PEE! Shoot, even if the urge isn't there, just go!

2. Loose skin is exciting!!! It shows that your body is changing. Fat be gone - *poof* - loose skin! It's all good baby!

3. No matter how you dice it or slice it, eating a Big Mac will never, ever again feel "good" after knowing how terribly unhealthy it is. The feeling you get afterward just isn't worth it.

4. You will feel really great when you fuel your body with good foods. On days when I make poor choices, I physically feel sluggish. It's like putting bad gas in a car and it putters as it drives down the road. I don't like putter days.

5. Everybody poops and sometimes (and this is where you can stop singing that to the REM song "Everybody Hurts"), being a Weight Watcher, you have to forget about the no-pooping-in-public hang-up and just go! That high fiber cereal for breakfast and a plateful of broccoli at lunch will NOT wait until you get home from work. Stop suffering and fretting and just do it.

6. Speaking of feces. A "gain" CAN be from a bowel movement that came just an hour too late on a Sunday morning. It really can. And that's all I'll say about that.

7. You don't have to be deprived, hungry, starved or unhappy when changing from an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one.

8. Diet Coke is way over-rated - a Diet Coke addict can go for five days (and counting) and not really miss it.

9. Don't set your goals or expectations too high, they can quickly flip from goals to motivation zappers in the blink of an eye.

10. There will be people that want to sabotage you. *dons tinfoil hat* They are out there! Don't give in, stay strong - they will eventually stop.

11. Sometimes the absolute best support comes in text messages at 7:55am on a Sunday morning saying, "Where are you?"

12. People care and are genuinely happy for you when you make this change. Learn to accept a compliment already!

Do you have any funnies you've learned while losing weight? Perhaps some serious lessons? Feel free to add to this list!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Food Journal - Day 3 - Week of Accountability

Here we go. . .Day 3 of my Week of Accountability.

How did you do today?

Daily PointsPlus Allowance: 50
Daily PointsPlus Used: 44
Weekly PointsPlus Allowance: 49
Weekly PointsPlus Used: 0

The little lunch bag that could

I pack my lunch daily. Quite honestly, it's way more than lunch. I pack my breakfast, lunch and snacks to cover me from 9am-5pm. I've done this nearly everyday since I started Weight Watchers last May.

Days that I don't pack are challenging days and I don't like them. So, no matter what, I spend the time to fill out my meal plan for the day and pack my lunch bag.

It is also a great way to minimize waste, as I can always throw in left over veggies from the night before or make a little extra for the following day's lunch.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Food Journal - Day 2 - Week of Accountability

Here we go. . .Day 2 of my Week of Accountability.

How did you do today?

Daily PointsPlus Allowance: 50
Daily PointsPlus Used: 45
Weekly PointsPlus Allowance: 49
Weekly PointsPlus Used: 0

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Food Journal - Day 1 - Week of Accountability

Here's my Weight Watchers PointsPlus tracker for Day 1 of my Week of Accountability. I still haven't had my snack for later this evening, but I already have it planned and tracked with a few points left over for the day.

How did you do today?  If you wish to do so, please reply with your food journal, calorie count, PointsPlus Values, etc. for today.

(If you are unfamiliar with the Weight Watcher's program, please scroll to the end of this post where I explain what these values mean.)

Daily PointsPlus Allowance: 50
Daily PointsPlus Used: 45
Weekly PointsPlus Allowance: 49
Weekly PointsPlus Used: 0


Weight Watcher's PointsPlus Program Summary
For those unfamiliar with the Weight Watcher's program, let me explain. On Weight Watcher's you don't count calories, you count PointsPlus Values (PPV). Your daily allowance is based upon your age, weight, height and gender and calculated by Weight Watchers. This number will change as you lose (or gain) weight.  You are also provided a weekly allowance of 49 PPV which you may spend at any time during the week on anything you wish to spend it on.  So basically, this is your budget. You have a set number to spend daily, and a number of weekly PPV's that are optional to use throughout the week.

Of course, all foods have a PPV. The value is based upon how much Fat, Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fiber are in the food. Weight Watchers has a calculator that can be used for these calculations. (Available as a pocket calculator you can carry with you, an Android App, an iPhone app or through membership of etools on the Weight Watcher's website, where my screen shots came from.)

The key is to keep your daily food intake within the budget. For me, this requires planning, tracking and measuring my foods.

You can also earn additional PPV's through exercise. Again, the value of PPV's given to an activity is based upon the persons weight, longevity of activity and the intensity of the workout. These PPV's are also optional on if you spend them or not.

So there you have it, Weight Watchers PointsPlus plan in a nutshell. 

By the way, Weight Watchers is running a special that if you sign up now for a Monthly Pass, you get it for $19.95! The regular price is $39.95 so it really is a great deal. If you have been considering joining, now is the time to get nearly 1/2 off your first month.

Now let me say this, I am not a spokesperson, salesperson or employee of Weight Watchers. I don't make any money by telling you about that special but this program has changed my life. I am just a member using the plan and sharing what knowledge I have after being on the program 46 weeks.

Good Bye Diet Coke!

I've decided the time has come to give up my Diet Coke.

Weeks ago I stopped buying 12-packs of the fizzy beverage to try to force myself to not drink it as often. I bought those little 8-pack mini-cans at first, thinking that I could grab one of those in moderation, here and there, when the craving really hit.  Yeah, that didn't work out so well. I really should know by now that I'm often not a person that does well with "moderation." I'm trying, I am. But mini-can Diet Cokes means you will just grab two!

About two weeks ago I decided that I was no longer buying a supply of Diet Coke to have in the house. If I wanted one, I'd have to go get it.  All I did was create the situation that when I wanted one, I had to leave the house, drive to a convenience store, purchase it for double the amount I would normally pay and then drive back home. Well, that resulted in was a lot of trips out in the car and a lot more money spent on Diet Coke!

So, I'm doing it. Today is Day 1, although, technically, yesterday was since I haven't had my favorite beverage since Friday. But I'm counting today as my official start. 

Yesterday I found something I normally never would have tried. Sweet Leaf Tea: Diet Citrus Green Tea  OMG! It was so good, but a bit pricey (about the same as buying a Diet Coke at a convenience store every time I want one LOL).

I've decided I really want to try to make my own homemade version of this beverage. I'm thinking all I really need to do is brew some green tea, squeeze juice from a fresh orange, lemon and lime into the tea, add a bit of splenda and it would taste close if not better than the bottled stuff. We will see, but I did really enjoy my first venture into actually LIKING green tea.

Now I just need to find a quality green tea.

Do you make green tea at home? Do you brew it just as you would black tea (for summer iced tea)? What brands do you prefer?

Week 46 - Weigh In

All I really can say is Wow! Weigh in this morning was amazing - I lost 3.4lbs! This is amazing after having such a rough week. I can't explain it and you know what, it doesn't really matter. I'm thrilled! There is nothing more motivating than a nice loss.

Several weeks ago I hit my 50 pound goal. However, I had not been able to find my key-chain to take a photo of all my milestone charms together. In fact, I never did find it. My wonderful Weight Watcher's leader replaced it at today's meeting. I'm so thankful to have it back again. It's funny how these little things mean so much, but they do.

Since today's weigh in brought me back over my 50lb milestone, with a total of 53.2lbs lost I think the timing is just perfect!

My week of accountability (part 2) starts today! I'll be posting my food tracker each day this week. Please join me!

This is really going to be a fantastic week. I'm back and I feel great!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Struggling - Time for Another Week of Accountability

I'm struggling. Last week I wrote about how this week was going to be better. I was going to be back on track and I was pulling the car out of reverse. Unfortunately, I can't really say I succeeded. This has been a really rough week. I've been sick and spent nearly three days in bed. That's not an excuse and there is far more to my floundering than just illness.

I've been uninspired. I've been lacking motivation. I've been stressed and allowed it to consume me.

I also broke my own rule. Last weekend I went to a wholesale type store and purchased several things I don't normally purchase, but not only did I purchase them, I purchased them in bulk. Things like pop-tarts and sugary cereal. I honestly bought them for my children and my husband because for some reason I felt guilt that they hadn't had those "treats" in a while. I'm not sure how I guilt-ed myself into thinking I was doing them an injustice by not feeding them crap, but nonetheless, I did.  Naturally, I found myself tempted and I caved, regularly. Perhaps it works for other people to have these items in the house for others' to have - but it doesn't work for me!  I do not have the willpower to avoid the pantry with brown sugar and cinnamon pop-tarts. I thought I had come far enough that I could. I thought I would be able to pass them up and grab my fresh fruit rather than pop that little pastry of goodness in the toaster. But, I'm not there yet and not sure I ever will be. This was an eye-opener. As healed as we think we may be, as strong as we've become, what happens in the privacy of our own kitchens in the wee hours of the night aren't so private when those sins we commit show on our bodies as added fat.

The problem is, when I allow myself to get down like this I feel worse from NOT doing what I need to be doing, which only compounds the feelings of negativity. I know this, but it's so easy to come here, write about how this is it, I'm moving forward and then fall down two steps into the week, flounder on the floor for a few days and then by the end of the week be back up on my feet and ready to go again - only it's too late.  But too late for what really? The scale to give some number that I base my success upon?

No, my success will not be determined by the number on the scale. Certainly it's important, my goal is to lose weight which is measured by a number.

However, when I'm struggling like this I must measure my success in different ways, otherwise it's far too easy to throw in the towel and give up. I REFUSE TO GIVE UP THIS TIME! I've come too far to blow it now.  My success will be going to my meeting tomorrow. My success is planning, again, for what should be a good week. My success will be tracking more than I did this week. My success is coming here writing for the third week in a row of poor choices which have lead me down a path of negativity.

This is honestly one of the most difficult things I've ever attempted in my life. Weight loss always has been. This time it's so much more involved because my goal isn't just to lose weight or be thin - my goal is to change myself FOR LIFE! It's a large undertaking and I have to do it one day at a time.

Several months ago I was struggling and I decided to do a week of accountability. I am vowing to do that again, starting tomorrow. Each day I am going to post my food tracker with everything I consume. At last week's meeting it was brought up to share your tracker with a buddy but I didn't participate in that portion of the challenge. So, I'm a week late but this week you all are my buddies!

Tomorrow I will weigh in and take whatever number the scale spits out. Perhaps, by a miracle, it will show some form of loss, although I wouldn't bet on it. But this is not the end, it's just the beginning, all over again.

To those that follow me regularly, thank you for sticking with me. There are weeks when I feel like I'm disappointing you with not having a great loss to share. In reality, I'm disappointing myself. However, I'm determined to get back to my losing streak and your words of encouragement during these tough times have meant a lot.

Who else has been struggling for the last few weeks? Would you like to join me on a week of accountability? If so, just reply to the daily posts with your food intake. Perhaps you journal it, perhaps you base it on calorie counts or exchanges - however you track, just respond and together we will have a transparent week. We can do this!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week 45 - Weigh In

Enough is enough! I'm done floundering! This morning I saw the gain, as I expected. I'm up 3.6lbs. Yep, I went off track big time. But, what is done is done and I'll take it back off. I think this only illustrates how much I NEED to go to my meetings, track my foods, plan my meals and exercise. For years, I ate as I did this week. Flying by the seat of my pants, eating anything I wanted without giving it much thought - running to the vending machine when the chocolate craving hit and eating that Kit Kat whenever I pleased. It's easy to see how one could become nearly 400lbs when gaining 3.6 in one week. 36lbs in 10 weeks. . .72lbs in 20 weeks. . .

I've already gone to the grocery store and purchased all the right things. Today I'm going to sit down and do my normal planning routine, that I missed last week. I'm taking control again.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I refuse to live my life in reverse

Have you ever had to drive a car in reverse for anything more than backing out of a parking space? 

Years ago I was on an ice and snow covered hill. My car was a rear wheel drive and just as I reached the top of the hill, my momentum had slowed to the point that it just couldn't make it over the hump. I ended up having to throw the car in reverse and back up all the way down the hill. It was difficult to keep it under control in reverse on ice. The car wanted to weave. It was difficult to see the bottom of the hill clearly. After a few attempts with the same result, I had to leave the car at the bottom of the hill and walk it. The climb was difficult but it was far less frightening than driving in reverse down the hill and I eventually made it home.

The last two weeks (give or take a few days) I've been stuck in reverse. I haven't tracked my food. I haven't worked out as planned. I've made poor choice after poor choice. Really, this is how I used to live my life, everyday.


So, here I go again, same words, different moment - I'm getting back on plan. I'm not sure what caused me to fall down this time. Spring break was last week and I had more time in the evenings. The week prior I had made a goal to visit the gym everyday since I would have more time - but somehow I just consumed the time with other things and never made it to the gym. The free time also allowed for more lax eating habits. It was like I was on vacation BUT I WASN'T ON VACATION!

I have no real excuse or reason as to why, other than, I consciously decided to make poor choices. There is no candy coating it. I did it, I own it and part of that ownership is saying, "STOP IT!"

What is done, is done. Tomorrow morning, it's back to my meetings, back to the scale. I'm facing the music -  facing the gain that will surely show - and moving on!


If you are on this same journey, know these types of blunders will happen. The important part is snapping out of it before it's too late!  If you have already reached your goal, please share some of the times you fell off the wagon. I know it happens to us all as we strive to make these changes in our lives but it surely helps to hear how others fell down and got right back up again!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Boobs, pants and you can't touch this

Yeah, the title applies but you know you clicked this because the word "boobs" was in the title. Admit it, it's ok. Advertisers have known for, well, ever, that sex sells. LOL :) (I'm kidding, of course, kind of.)

For the last few months I've been slowly shrinking out of my clothing, obviously. However, I've had a few pieces that I wasn't ready to give up. For one, I hadn't replaced them and for two, I hadn't fully absorbed the fact that the damn clothes really were too big. I'm not sure why but for whatever reason, I was still thinking I needed to wear those size 32 dress slacks. Never mind the fact that my blue jeans are now a size 24. Never mind the fact that my shirts are also much smaller.

This morning I woke up and put on my black dress slacks. I went to work and as I walked I kept having to tug them back up. I was on a mission to drink a lot of water today which meant many trips to the restroom. Well the restroom at work as a full length mirror. My first trip I noticed my pants literally looked like clown pants. I looked frumpy and the HUGE pants did not reflect all the weight I've lost, at all. They were so large that they were gathering and as I stood looking at myself in the mirror I could see myself dancing like MC Hammer and singing, "You can't touch this. . .oohh, oohh, oohh, oohh, oohh, oohh, you can't touch this."

To only compound the issue, the bra I wore was also too large. While I was walking I not only was tugging my pants back up to my waist, but also trying to keep "the girls" under control, as they wanted to slip right out of their holder, and not in the pushed up, can kind of get away with having two mounds way. No, this was slipping under the bra and at one point I honestly thought they were going to fall completely through and my bra would consequently be pushed up around my neck. Bra necklace anyone?

By lunch time I had enough. I was sure I was going to have some sort of wardrobe malfunction that would be far worse than Janet Jackson's at the 2004 Super Bowl. I ran out at lunch to a local store to try to find a few items that would fit.

Now, anyone that has been morbidly obese knows that shopping for clothing is limited to three stores; Catherine's, Lane Bryant or The Avenue. All of which are overpriced. Often a shirt will cost $50. Same with a pair of pants - and these aren't designer or even great quality. They are often in prints that you hate but are forced to wear because that is what some person, likely very small, has determined fat people look good in. However, it's apparent that they have never seen said fat people in the bold, flower prints or horizontal stripes. Yet, when you are nearly 400lbs, you are just thankful you can walk into a store and buy something that will cover your body. Style is a second thought, and often not a choice.

Today, I decided to not go to any of the three aforementioned stores. Rather I went to another woman's clothing store that offered "normal" sizes but also had a plus sized area. Always before I left these types of stores discouraged and frustrated because even their largest sizes never worked for me.

I walked in and gathered a few stylish shirts that I really liked! OMG, shirts I actually LIKE!!! I also picked up a pair of size 24 jeans, not expecting them to fit. I'm not sure why I've lived in this state of denial that the size I've purchased the past few months weren't "true" sizes, but I've played this mental game with myself. I went into the fitting room and tried everything on. Every single thing fit!  I went back out on the floor, and decided to leave behind a few of the selections. Again, this is a new thing for me. Normally I'd have to just take the very few things that fit, no matter if I liked them or not.  I then decided to give this size thing the true test - black slacks. I picked up three different pair of black slacks, two that were 24's and one pair that was a size larger. I tried them on. The size larger was too big, the 24's fit perfectly. Yeah, I know you are saying, "well, duh." (Especially since Charlie Sheen has brought back the word, duh.)  This is the FIRST TIME EVER that I tried something on that was TOO BIG!!! EVER!!

This was a shopping experience that I have looked forward to for a very long time. It's taken some time for me to admit I really am this much smaller. The mind games that go along with weight loss are interesting (and sometimes not so amusing.)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's going to be a "berry" good week

This week one of my "new" foods is the addition of fresh raspberries and blackberries. I normally buy blueberries and strawberries. But, I decided I wanted a whole mix of berries so purchased them (even though it was quite the splurge based on the price they were.)

I'm happy to say the extra spend was well worth it and my children have a new found love for berries.

I also decided to try another recipe from the Weight Watchers Just 5 Cookbook for a very late brunch.It wouldn't have been so late but I forgot to thaw the phyllo dough, so had to wait for it. I was fearful that this one would be more complicated but decided I'd tackle it anyway.  (For as many kudos as I'm giving this cookbook, let me just say I am in no way being paid or affiliated with Weight Watchers. I'm just a member and a huge fan of these recipes.) 

I've never worked with phyllo before and was a bit worried it would be difficult or I would somehow mess it up, but I'm happy to report it behaved and I was able to create nearly a picture perfect strudel!

The ingredients were simple:
olive oil
phyllo dough
jarisberg cheese (now a new favorite!)

I did end up putting sugar on the kids' berries and I put splenda on mine. We found them to be just a wee too tart for our tastes. Perhaps as time goes on, we can eat them right out of the package but for now, a little sweet is better than no berries at all - so we compromised.

The result of my efforts was a beautiful brunch with my family around the table on a Sunday afternoon. I even brought out the "special" coffee so the hubby and I could sip on Starbucks Sumatra while enjoying the meal.

Week 43 - Weigh In

I had a great week. The scale is moving in the right direction again. The theme of last weeks meeting was "Shake It Up" and I took that challenge seriously. I ventured into cooking some new recipes with foods I had never had before. I also started weight training. I believe those two changes made a difference and are what pushed the two pound weight loss.

I'm going to continue on my "try new things" venture. I have some new recipes to try and this week I have some pretty hefty fitness goals. They start today.  I'm hoping the extra activity will really push the numbers on the scale, as it is my hope to get in the teens by next week. I think I can do it!! Changing it up like this keeps me from getting so bored.

My fitness schedule for this week is:
Sunday (today) - 1 Hour Treadmill
Monday - 20 minutes ARC Trainer
Tuesday - Upper Body Weight Training
Wednesday - Personal Trainer Appointment
Thursday - Lower Body Weight Training
Friday - 20 minutes ARC Trainer
Saturday - 1 Hour Treadmill

It's spring break from school and I really want to push myself in the gym. So, here's to another great week!

Do you have anything new or different planned? Do you have an challenges or goals you are placing in this week?  I would love to hear them!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Whole Wheat vs. White - What's the big deal?

The difference between whole wheat bread and white bread is a lot more than color!

There are a lot of buzz words surrounding carbs right now, since many of the fad diets have made carbs the fall guys for obesity. Of course, many of the fad diets have it VERY wrong, which is why they are fads. Unfortunately, during the craze there is a lot of misinformation that goes around and sticks.

So, let me start by saying CARBS ARE GOOD! They are an important part of a balanced diet. They provide our bodies with the fuel it needs to go to work, think, type, exercise, drive a car, you get the idea. Carbs are our energy source. The problem lies when we take in more carbs than we are going to burn or store in our liver (as glycogen). Our bodies, the hoarders that they are, convert those carbs over to fat (as with any other macromolecules that we eat in excess and don't use), saving them for a rainy day. Fortunately, because we don't have mass starvation and hopefully no major illnesses, that rainy day never comes, we continue to consume more energy than we spend and it results in a lot of stored up energy - fat.

Oh yeah, I have enough energy packed on this body that I could power a small city for a few years.

Ok, joking aside. Why are carbs not created equal? To explain this we are going to have to dip our toe into biochemistry. Just a toe, as I don't think I could fully swim in the subject, but I can share what I've learned over the last two years in my higher level science courses.

Monosaccharides (Simple Carbs)

When our body breaks down our foods into the nutrients it uses to fuel our bodies it uses energy. Yes, just eating will cause you to burn calories to process the food. Some foods require more energy to break them down than others. That energy is spent, primarily, by breaking bonds of elements that are joined together to form the molecule (or chains of moledules). Carbohydrates have a basic molecular formula of C6H12O6 for one molecule. When you have a monosaccharide (a simple carb) it takes your body less energy to digest as there are less bonds to break.  When I look at white bread now, I think about the processing it has already gone through. That processing used energy that my body otherwise would have spent, to make it refined.

Disaccharides and Polysaccharides (Complex Carbs)

Complex carbohydrates are multiple glucose molecules, joined together (polysaccharide is a string of three or more), so they have more bonds for our bodies to break. This is why they maintain a more consistent level of glucose in our bloodstreams, as our bodies spend a longer time breaking them down, releasing the glucose steadily rather than in one quick burst.

In addition to that, fiber is present, giving the complex carbohydrate more bang for it's buck. Our bodies cannot digest fiber, however, it does great things while moving around within us! First and foremost, it fills our bellies longer due to the fact that it can't be broken down. It sits there, churning, keeping us more satisfied as our other foods are digested and broken down. Additionally, fiber molecules eventually hit our bloodstream where they act as little cleaners, scrubbing buildups of cholesterol and other fats off the lining of our arteries. But, their work isn't done in those little tubes, they continue to clean as they recycle back into the GI tract where they scrub and clean our intestines and colon.

So, when I'm shopping I now look for the products that will allow my body to do the work, rather than allowing machines in the food processing plant to do them for me. I'm going to eat anyway, I might as well make my body work harder in the process, get some cleaning action from it!

The key is moderation and making sure your carb has its good buddy protein, as the two work well together.