Friday, December 31, 2010

Any excuse will do

The month of December passed and I barely even stepped foot in the gym. Any excuse to skip a workout was good enough for me - I haven't finished making my Aunt's gift, I haven't wrapped presents, I haven't cleaned the apartment, I worked too hard, I'm feeling under the weather, it's too cold. But the worst?

I don't want to haul my giant gym bag to work. It's so heavy.

How lame is that? But it's true. I work less than 10 blocks from home, and the gym is on my way. I didn't want to struggle with my giant winter coat, my giant boots, my big heavy gym bag...so I didn't take it to work. And then when I came home, the couch beat a workout DVD every single time.

So I hit up sportchek and picked up this:



(Well, something similar. Different bag, same basic style)

I own several gym bags. Most of them were free duffle bags. They're just way too big, so I'd been using an overnight-size shoulder bag. It was way too heavy with everything I'd managed to cram in there.

So this makes me downsize.

My pants, top and sports bra fit perfectly. There's a pocket on the outside for my water bottle, and two zips for my keys, wallet and phone. There's a little zip on the inside where I keep a small bottle of lotion, a small stick of deoderant and a little bottle of the hair product I use. I toss in my hairbrush and a headband and I'm good to go.

Missing? Towels - they're provided by the gym. And shoes.

The locker room at my gym has shoe storage. It's definitely at your own risk - but my sneakers were $30 at Costco. If someone wants to steal them that badly I'm willing to let them go. Plus, I have a spare pair at home for those days when we hit a different gym or I workout in the living room.

Hopefully this lighter load will help me make it to the gym regularly over my lunch break. I do love that post-spin class high!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Locker Room NO.

The downside of working the week between Christmas and New Years is that you are working the week between Christmas and New Years, a week generally reserved for lounging and resting and doing jigsaw puzzles and eating.

The upside is that the gym is pretty empty, and you can take a little bit longer over your lunch break because you're the only one in the office and you've received one email so far that day.

So I went to Spin class at lunch, and I was surprised that it was almost full. BUt yay me! That's two Spin classes this week, and last night Gary and I went to the gym and I put in 40 minutes on the elliptical. I can feel the perogies burning off my thighs already.

I walked into the pretty busy locker room and standing in front of me is a 10 year old boy and his mother.

Now, I am going to preface this by saying that I don't have children. I'm sure I don't understand how hard it is to have someone depending on you at all times, and I won't until I'm there myself.

But honestly.

The gym downtown is (as far as I understood...) an adults-only facility. If you have a membership at the downtown club, you can use any of the gyms in that chain across Calgary OR Edmonton.

Your sitter cancelled? Plenty of those clubs have free child care services.

Only one family car? And someone else has it downtown? Plenty of those clubs are accessible by public transit - in fact, one if them is basically beside the c-train station.

Why did you bring your ten year old to the adults only gym? And if you did, fine. But why did you bring your ten year old son into the Women's locker room?

I don't care if your son isn't uncomfortable with this. I am uncomfortable with this. Sure, there are family change rooms at most pools and I expect to see little (like, 3 - 5) boys in the locker rooms when I go to the Y or a public swimming pool. I expect there are little girls in the Men's with their dads, too.

But ten?

Ten is old enough to make me feel uncomfortable about dropping trou in front of your child. Ten is old enough to sit in the lobby by himself and wait for Mom.

Am I out of line? I almost complained to the manager, but I felt that was a bit much. There's not much he could have done, anyway. I almost turned around and left, I was so uncomfortable.

Toning Shoes



why yes, I do want a butt like that...

Contrary to my collection of as-seen-on-tv devices (Magic Bullet Blender, ShamWow!, SlapChop), I don't see myself as a person who buys into gimmicks.

I know that cutting corners might get you to your goal faster, but I know that doesn't often last. Putting in the work is really the only way to do things.

But I've seen so many ads for those toning sneakers that I'm starting to want a pair. And now they're on sale because of Boxing Week. And unlike the toning pantyhose I looked at the other day at the Bay, these actually seem like they might be useful.

I don't think that wearing them while I sit on the couch and eat chips is going to slim my thighs - don't get me wrong. But if I wore them on my walks to work, or to the gym, or shopping - do you think they'd really help with muscle conditioning? Or is it just a scam to make me buy more $100 runners?

Does anyone have them? Can anyone point me in the direction of a good, unbiased review of them? Are they going to end up killing my feet?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

feeling like a cabbage roll

Oh, hello there.

On the bright side - I had a marvelous Christmas holiday with my family. And this week, despite eating every single thing in sight for the past few days, I've only gained 1 lb.

On the not-so-bright side, I've been hiding from you in shame, because I've been eating everything in sight for not only the past few days, but at least 3 weeks.

It's not been pretty.

I'm currently at 212 lbs.

Over the holidays, at one point between shoving cookies in my mouth and washing them down with glass after glass of rye and coke or red wine, my mom and I reminded ourselves that after the holiday, it's back to the old "double-you double-you".

But I'm so ready for getting back to it. The sweets are still calling my name - I almost had pie for breakfast -and January is going to be a great month for sure, but why not just start now?

Yesterday I dragged myself off the couch and went to spin class at the gym. This morning, I've logged in to Weight Watchers and already tracked my breakfast (3/4 cup non-fat greek yogurt, 1 banana, 2 tbs granola and a coffee) and lunch (homemade pizza).

I'm tired of feeling like a stuffed cabbage roll. I really needed a break, but now I've been not exercising and eating like crap for long enough to remember that I really don't like feeling sluggish and tired.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday WI

The scale showed 209.2 this morning, an increase of .4 lbs. I'm not surprised, but I'm looking forward to next week.
 
I am pretty impressed with this new plan. Tonight we're going to the Keg for Gary's office Christmas party. I pre-calculated the points for what I always have for dinner there, and because of the protein count of the steak and a few adjustments - garden salad instead of caesar, skipping over the bread - I managed to fit it into my daily points total without a problem. Some lentil veggie soup for lunch, fruit for snacks and I'll make it through the day satisfied and completely on plan. I might even have some room for wine...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Meatless Mexican Monday!

Apparently Meatless Mondays are a 'thing'. I didn't really know that, but Gary and I are trying to eat less meat for a few reasons. It's cheaper, it's healthy, and it's fun. I like trying out new recipes!
 
Monday night I gave these lentil tacos a go. I've tried making lentil taco filling before, in my slow cooker, and it was a disaster. A smoking, charred disaster. These were great. I didn't use taco seasoning (I thought about it - so easy!) to keep the sodium lower. I also used low-sodium chicken broth, but you could use vegetable broth or beef broth, whatever you have - or even water, and just up the spices to your taste.
 
This recipe is a keeper. The taco filling is flavourful but not greasy, has a great chewy texture and fantastic spicyness - but the best part is, it's customizable. Your family doesn't like spice? Use mild salsa and the chili powder sparingly. I upped the chili powder a bit and used a medium salsa and it was sooo good. And easy. And low-fat, high in fibre and protein, and delicious. Did I mention delicious?
 
This would also be good for taco salad, or in a burrito, or on nachos...
 
Lentil Tacos (originally from a Taste of Home publication I bought at the supermarket)

1 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano - I didn't have any so I used some cayenne pepper instead.
2-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup salsa
 
Taco fixings - whatever you like, or:
12 taco shells
1-1/2 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
6 tablespoons fat-free sour cream - or plain fat-free greek yogurt!
 
In a large nonstick skillet, saute the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly. Stir in salsa.
Spoon about 1/4 cup lentil mixture into each taco shell. Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream. Yield: 6 servings.
 
Nutrition Facts: 2 tacos equals 361 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 25 mg cholesterol, 874 mg sodium, 44 g carbohydrate, 12 g fiber, 19 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 2 lean meat, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weight Watchers Points Plus - Day One

Re-learning is a process I don't really enjoy. I love learning new things, but I get frustrated when I feel like I'm behind, or 'speed it up, I know this already...' or I struggle to grasp concepts that used to be familiar.

That's kind of what this new plan is like. It's familiar enough - you could points, you get a certain number of points a day and a weekly 'bonus amount' of points, you earn points with activity.

But the way the points are calculated is different. And it's messing with me!

Old WW plan calculated points using calories, fat and fibre. The New Plan uses fat, carbohydrates, protein and fibre. Note the absence of calories - because caloric count is really just a formula using the others, or so I understand it.

I could eyeball the points on something pretty quickly by using the nutritional information before. Now, I've got no clue.

I freaked out about it for about three minutes. How was I going to make good choices in the grocery store? How would I know what to order on a menu with a quick review of the nutritional information? HOW?!

Obviously by using my brain.

The new plan focuses on whole foods and good nutrition. Fruit and veggies are all (almost all of them, anyway) 'free', or zero points. A banana on the old plan was 2 points. On the new plan? 0.

So I took a deep breath and reminded myself:

Use your head, Meg. When picking food at the grocery store or restaurant, choose those that are full of veggies, lean protein and whole grains. Stay away from creamy sauces and fried foods. Opt for fresh fruit as a snack more often.

It's actually remarkably common sense - and I think that it'll really teach me the skills I need for this to be a life-long doable thing, not just a quick fix. A banana is a good snack. A granola bar is a good snack too, but lacks the vitamins and nutrients of the banana. Use your head.

This is what I ate:

Breakfast:

1 package multigrain oatmeal - 4 points
1 banana - 0 points
1 Grande Nonfat Earl Grey tea latte - 5 points

Lunch:

Thai Chicken Frozen Dinner - 7 points
1 apple - 0 points
1 mandarin orange - 0 points

Snacks:

1 apple flavour larabar - 5 points
1 slice high fibre bread - 2 points
1 tbs peanut butter - 3 points

Dinner:

2 lentil tacos - 11 points
1 cup spanish rice - 7 points

Total: 44 points

I used 9 of my weekly points, but that latte and the rice will be totally worth it :)

Not Starting Over, Starting Fresh

It's been a rough couple of weeks for me, motivation wise. I've gone back to some old habits and behaviours, some of which I'm really not proud of.



Right here is a fine example. Yes, that's poutine and a hot dog scarfed down while reading a health and fitness magazine. You wouldn't believe the number of times I've done exactly that in my lifetime. It's embarassing. But there it is.

I've gone to the gym twice since we got back from our vacation, which I better than not going at all, but still not great. I've eaten pretty much whatever I want, whenever I want. I've tried to be reasonable in the quantity I eat, and stop eating when I'm satisfied, but that doesn't always work for me.

Last Wednesday I was up .6 lbs, to 208.8lbs. Right back to where I stared when I pledged to get under 200lbs by Christmas. Christmas is less than three weeks away, and it's not going to happen.

I'm tired. I'm tired of working out and making better choices and thinking about weight loss all the time. I'm tired of trying new things and not getting results. I'm tired of doing the things that used to work, but don't anymore. I'm feeling quite frustrated - it was really, really hard to get to where I am - just over 20lbs down - and I've still got 40 to go. I know how hard that's going to be, and it's daunting.

I don't want to hate the process of finding a wedding gown. I don't want to be frantic about it and sad about how I look for the rest of my life, never mind on the day I'll be the most photographed in my entire life.

But it's hard. And I feel stuck. And I'm sad and angry at myself, and frustrated and tired.

Today the new Weight Watchers program started, and so it's another uphill process. I have to learn a whole new plan, another new way of eating, and learn to get back into doing more activity.

I'm excited, but timid. I've decided to ease myself back into this - maybe I just went too hard and burned out. I'm going to learn the new plan, take baby steps, and head back to the gym - but you won't see me there every day.

It's a welcome change in plans. I'm excited to start fresh. I'm a little burned out, but I'm not giving up. Not today, not tomorrow, not anytime soon.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Weigh In: November 24

I'm back from vacation, and to be honest, I really didn't want to step on the scale this week. I almost thought about just skipping it and starting over and weighing in next week instead - but I've been down that road, and I know what happens there. Accountability is almost as important as calorie intake - if not more so!
I was back at 208.4 this morning, up 2.2 lbs this week, but part of that might be the weight of the new diamond on my left hand.
 
Life is short. The special moments sometimes seem to be really far and few between, and getting engaged on our vacation was a really big special moment, not like, a Tuesday which is a pretty lame excuse to treat myself. I tried not to overindulge, but I can't say that I did too well on that front. C'est la vie! I'll take a 2.2 lb gain with the amazing memories of the past week anytime.
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday WI

Whoops...how did it get to be 5:00 already? We're leaving tomorrow morning to go hang out in Long Beach, CA until Monday, and I've been pretty jammed at work for a variety of reasons. Suddenly it's the end of the day and I haven't checked in.
 
I was up a pound today. I don't know why. Water retention? Stress? Residual hang-over from Saturday night? The portion-controlled and totally planned for Mexican Monday dinner we had? I'm not sure, but I continued planning all of my meals and sticking to my plan and still, I'm up. I don't really get it, but the scale likes to mess with me so there you go.
 
But hey, Self, don't let it get under your skin. Don't turn this one pound gain into reason to binge out of control on your vacation. I give you permission to eat your weight in Mexican food once, but think about what you're eating and choose responsibly every other meal. You can handle this.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day Off

I had today off for Remembrance Day, and I spent the whole day in my apartment. I got up, put on some shorts and a really unattractive sweatshirt, made some coffee and wrote all day long.

I stopped for a smoothie break for breakfast, then a few hours later to do 30 minutes of pilates. I had lunch, but instead of the pita/hummus/veggies I had planned, I had a pita with 2 tbs of peanut butter and half a banana. I wrote some more, drank some tea, wrote even more, snacked on some snap peas and ... you got it, wrote.

Just over 8,000 words later, I made dinner. My 50,000 word novel project sits at a hair over 20,000 words.

It was an awesome day. Usually my days off at home alone result in me doing something outrageous like baking, and eating, an entire batch of cookies. Once I baked a cake (in my defense, a small cake) and ate it all for breakfast, lunch and supper.

I'm pumped that I wrote as much as I did, because I think I might be on to something. It might suck, but somewhere in there is a good story. I'm pumped because I stopped to do something productive, instead of turning on Gossip Girl and eating chips. And I stayed with what I had planned to eat, despite a box of cake mix in the cupboard and a McDonalds a half a block away.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday WI



I weighed in this morning at 205.2, a loss of 1.8 lbs. That number is even lower than the one I saw yesterday, so I am pretty pleased. It's been awhile since I've seen a loss that significant, and it feels really good.

I'm returning to spin class today - and it's sandwich for lunch day!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Peeking

This morning I peeked at the scale. I usually weigh myself in the mornings, even though I know I should only do it once a week, on Weigh-In Day. But I can't help it.

I was down. A good amount - well, a good amount for me, anyway.

I am sincerely hoping that the number stays low tomorrow morning. I had another good, on-plan day.

We're getting ready to go on vacation next week, and I want to have a stellar week before I go and eat Mexican for 4 days straight (I kid...mostly). Christmas is getting closer! 7.2 lbs to go...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day One: Sticking to the Plan



Day one of my pre-planning bonanza was awesome. I got out of bed and brewed some coffee while I checked the menu list on the fridge. I made my smoothie as planned, with some frozen fruit, plain yogurt, fruit juice, spinach and my daily requirement of healthy oils. I packed my snacks for the day and reviewed what I'd have when I met my friend for lunch.

I stuck to that plan, despite temptations of delicious pizza, butter chicken, fresh baked scones and the best sandwiches EVER. But those sandwiches will still be there tomorrow. Or next week. There's no world shortage of sandwiches, right?

Tonight's dinner is just about ready to go on the stove, and I'll round off the day with a big ol' glass of wine. I've discovered that I'm much better at writing fiction with a glass of wine in my hand, which is sort of important given that I'm writing a novel this month.

Pre-planning took a significant amount of time, and it means that I can't just drop everything and go for lunch with my friends or coworkers, or treat myself to a pick me up. But everything has drawbacks.

One of my biggest problems with dieting is the mental stress. I am constantly thinking about food - what I can have, what I can't have, what I want, what I'll eat next. Having planned every single bite out removes that stress - at least until I start to get stressed about not being able to be flexible and eat whatever I want. I didn't find myself getting agitated at 10:30, wondering what the soup of the day at the deli down the street is, or if I should go to the food court and try my luck there. I didn't start craving pastry at 2:30 - instead I reached for my apple and peanut butter. And before I knew it, the day was over.

How was your Monday?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Planning for a great week

Yesterday afternoon I sat down with a pen and some paper and I did my meal planning for the week. But not just dinners. I planned every single meal and snack. Then I wrote down exactly what groceries I'd need - ie: 3 pita pockets, 100 gm turkey breast, 3 larabars, 6 apples - and bought only those this morning.

Little treats and snacks have started finding their way into my grocery basket. Gary doesn't snack - unless it's on red vines, and you can't buy them anywhere in Canada except at two London Drugs locations we've found. He's not into cookies, or crackers, or chips, so who am I kidding by buying them and telling myself that they're not for me?

Now I'm going to sit down and input all of the meals I planned into my weight watchers tracker, tally up the points, and schedule in my spin classes and activity at the gym. I have a new set of strength training exercises I pulled out of a magazine that I'm going to try, and I'm going back to spinning twice this week.

I'm going to do this. I'm going back to basics, back to planning and being really anal about scheduling and measuring and counting. It's not how I necessarily plan to live my life for ever, but I've been messing around for two months and not seeing any results.

I'm tired of dieting, of watching every bite and skipping snacks and treats, but I'm more tired of half-assing it, still feeling deprived, and not seeing any results at all.

Go hard, or go home. You with me? 7 pounds, 7 weeks. Onederland!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

DVD Reviewlette: Marisa Tomei Core and Curves



Why yes, I do want to look like this.

Last weekend I was in HMV with Gary. I swear, we spent hours every weekend in HMV and Chapters, looking at books and movies. It's one of my favourite things to do in the whole world.

Anyway, I had been wandering around for awhile when this dvd caught my eye. It was cheap. I bought it.

Last night I tried it out, and while I didn't make it through the entire 3 workouts on the dvd, I got through a good chunk.

This video is weird. The trainer doesn't address you, the watcher, at all. They don't correct for form. It's like watching Marisa Tomei have a private training session and following along at home. I kind of like it, but if you're not a fly-on-the-wall type, it might not be for you.

There is no way that doing this workout alone, even if you did it every day, will help you look like her on the cover. But combined with regular cardio and diet, I think it's a good companion toning video. Here's a clip.

It wasn't too intense, but I could definitely feel it. And my abs are sore today, which is awesome. But if you hate crunches, stay far, far away. She does like 9 million of them - and that means you will, too.

Progress Photos!

Well, I've been feeling pretty down on myself lately. It's hard to stay motivated when the scale moves so slowly. For all of my posturing about measuring victory in other ways, it's the one that matters the most.

It's been about two months since I took progress photos - when I started, I took them weekly! I can tell my enthusiasm has been waning.

But hey! Look at this!



Left to right: June 4, September 8, November 4.

On June 28, I weighed 222.8 lbs; September 8 I was 209.6, and yesterday I was 207. (Yes, that's depressing, in two months I've lost less than 3 lbs...)

But I think I can see a little bit of a difference.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Food



This is my food diary for today. (click to enlarge) I'm actually doing not so bad - dinner is one of my favourites, barbecued chicken with veggies and polenta. I had a salad for lunch and it was delicious. All summer long I happily ate salads. I haven't had a salad for lunch for months.

Oh, winter in Canada. You are a cruel, cruel mistress.

Tonight I plan to go home, do 30 minutes of pilates, clean the apartment and relax. Hopefully relax. Maybe relax?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday WI

My weight stayed the same this week. This is not a surprise - I've been slacking in the exercise department, I'm stressed and I'm not getting enough water or vegetables. Onward ho!
 
 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tracking? Fail!

Yeah. I haven't tracked for the past two days.

Sometimes I get really busy and I just jot down what I eat on a notepad or on my blackberry and plug it into etools on WW Online when I have a few minutes. But I can't even remember what I ate yesterday. Or Thursday. All I know is that there was a festival of small, orange and yellow wrapped chocolate bars, some pretty healthy sweet and sour meatballs, and oatmeal.

(I thought I had outsmarted the system, btw. We live in an apartment building, so no trick-or-treaters...this means no candy necessary! But then I found the office stash, and that was the end of that. However, 4 or 5 pieces over 2 days is nothing compared to 92 pieces in a weekend.)

But I'm back to tracking today. I'm seriously craving a salad. Fresh, leafy produce is getting harder and harder to find around these parts - sure, I can buy a bag of mixed baby greens any day of the year now, but it's just not as good as the fresh stuff.

Gary and I are off to the gym in the next little bit, then to acquire a salad for me and something lunchable for him, and then off to find him a Halloween costume.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Is it about the food?

Last night Gary and I went out for dinner at East Side Mario's. I've got a soft spot for their soup - and despite the fact that we live downtown and have dozens of more authentic Italian restaurants to choose from, it's one of my favourites.

In the afternoon, I checked out their menu online and picked out what I would order - the Chicken Marsala. It's actually pretty points-friendly. When I eat out, I like to do this, and then not even open the menu. It keeps me focused and prevents me from being tempted by other, delicious, less-WW friendly items on the menu.

Which is exactly what happened last night. I browsed through the menu and was tempted. And I gave in. I ordered the Chicken Tetrazini. Chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes and linguine in a creamy alfredo sauce. So not diet friendly.

I ate less than half of it, which ended up being 10 points - less than the entree I had planned to order. But I felt sick IMMEDIATELY. Within an hour, things were unpleasant. I felt sluggish, my stomach hurt, and things were not going well - I actually thought I might be sick.

It wasn't a food prep thing, it was a fatty, rich food thing. I haven't had pasta in cream sauce in six months. It did not go over well in Stomach-Land.

Lesson learned.

I've read on several blogs lately that when it comes to weight loss, it's what you eat that matters. I kind of have it in my mind that if I watch my portion sizes and exercise frequently and with intensity, I can eat pretty much whatever I want - of course, within reason. Calories in, calories out. But now I'm sitting here thinking about it.

I want to lose weight for a diverse number of reasons. One of them is for improved health, and exercise is a huge part of that. I'm not going to stop working out, because I'd like to be lean and toned, not thin and flabby.
 
But am I kidding myself, thinking I can eat pizza and cookies and still lose weight if I hit up spin class and watch my portion sizes? I'm not sure anymore. What do you guys think?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In

I stepped on the scale and I'm down .8 lbs this morning. Yay! It flickered around a few lower weights, but this was the most consistent.

So that means I've got 7.2 lbs to go until I see Onederland! Let the snow fly!

I planned on taking my measurements this morning, but my measuring tape is in the glove box of my car, which is currently at Gary's office. So no dice today.

After my knee pain post and your comments, I've decided to take the week of spinning and running. Swimming, elliptical and yoga are on the agenda for this week. My friend Dana suggested some good stretches, and I'm looking into a physio. It's not any worse, which is good, but it still bothers me, so I'd better get it looked into before I screw up my body but good.

I've been posting my daily food diaries on a seperate page here - check them out if you're interested in seeing what I've been eating. This week has not been a typical week food-wise; I usually eat significantly more servings of vegetables but I've just been so tired that I haven't prepared them or had nearly as much enthusiasm. Frozen perogies (I had 8) for dinner last night was sort of a desperate times, desperate measures situation ;)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Avoiding the cookies: days one and two

Yesterday was an epic fail at avoiding my mid-afternoon sweets. I was doing fine until I went to a Staff Appreciation event, where I skipped over the fresh fruit and veggies and headed straight to Cookie Town.
 
Today I'm doing better. I'm fighting hard, though. I'm tired. I'm a little stressed about a project. A scone or a cookie would really take my mind off my troubles.
 
(NO IT WOULD NOT!)
 
But I'm sipping on a diet coke, chewing some gum and hanging in there. Only 25 more minutes to go in the workday - I can do this.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Spin Junkie

I love spin class.
 
I've said this before about a lot of things - Zumba, swimming, the 30 Day Shred. Obviously what I really love is variety!
 
I love spin class because it's 45 minutes of high-intensity cardio. I would never push myself that hard on the elliptical, treadmill or stationary bike. I love that the instructors are motivating, that the other people in the class keep me from giving up, and I love doing a class over my lunch break and coming back to my desk recharged.
 
I have spin today, but my knee is killing me.
 
Two weeks ago after a run I noticed that my knee was sore. I figured it would go away - but it hasn't. It's only getting worse. It's not a sharp pain, more like a constant stiffness. I wince when I put weight on that leg, like when I get out of a car. I tried icing it one night, and that helped a bit. This weekend I sat in the hot tub and that helped, too.
 
I'm not sure what to do. In my experience, knee injuries and knee pain is resolved with surgery, and I"m not interested in that route unless absolutely necessary - as in, I can no longer walk. Anyone have any suggestions for minor workout-related aches and pains?
 
 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The 2:30 Pastry Craving



Every day at around 2:30, an intense craving for baked goods hits me like a pillowcase full of doorknobs. It has to be pastry. Cookies. Tarts. Scones. I don't know why I crave the carby goodness (uh, it's delicious?) at the same time every day, but I do.

I work hard to avoid it. I often ask myself, "are you actually hungry?"

The answer is no. But wouldn't a vanilla sugar cookie or a piece of baklava taste *awesome* right now?

Thanks, self.

I've tried building room into my diet to accomodate a daily treat. This works, but I'd rather build up the willpower to say no. Cookies and pastries should be a sometimes food, a treat, not an everyday occurance.

I've tried quitting cold-turkey - no sweets at all. This works, but only for a couple weeks.

I've tried packing an extra fruit or veggie snack to munch on mid-afternoon. This sometimes works. And then sometimes, I go for the sugar hit anyway.

I've decided that for the next few weeks, I'm going to try to use self-talk and a hot cup of tea (with splenda) to try to break this habit. I don't need to snack. I'm not hungry. I'm antsy. I want the work day to be over. I'm looking for a distraction.

Any advice? Another option is to find some low-point, reasonably healthy pastry-like treats. Any suggestions for those?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Walking in a Winter Onederland


I know, it's not snowing. Yet. But my walk to work in the mornings gets just a teeny bit chillier every day. The ski and snowboard bunnies among us are getting antsy, and winter tire ads are everywhere. So please don't hate me for what's coming next.

I've never revealed my actual starting or current weight publicly. But it's posted on my Weight Watchers bio, so it's there to see if anyone ever really wanted to track it down.

I don't know why I struggle with telling you the numbers, but have no problems posting photos of me in tight workout clothes. What difference does it make?

I'm coming up on a pretty big milestone, weight-loss wise, and now it's time to share.

The number on the scale when I started in May? 230 lbs. On Wednesday? 207.8 lbs.

In the Weight Watchers World, and I'm sure other dieting circles, the term for hitting a weight under 200 lbs is 'Onederland'. I'm very close. Close enough that I want to get there by Christmas.

Hence: The Winter Onederland Challenge.

My goal: lose 8 pounds in the 9 remaining weeks before Christmas. My math might be off a bit, there might be 10 full calendar weeks left, but I have 9 Weigh-Ins left before December 25th.

How I'm going to do it:

-Track every single day
-Post my food diaries on this blog, but on a separate page so you can check them out if you're interested, skip it if you're not.
-Go to two spin or other group exercise classes per week
-Aim for 4 days of activity per week, minimum (not a hard goal as I always, always get sick in November)
-Go for my free Personal Fitness Assessment at my gym
-Use my free Personal Training session with the intention of working with the trainer and setting up a routine I can do on my own
-Post weekly scale results and measurements

Reward: A snowflake-themed piece of jewellery

So here goes. I've said before, many times, that I don't like putting a time frame on scale-related goals, but I need some serious motivation to get going. I think this is a realistic and reasonable goal, and it will help me stay on track during the pre-holiday Eating Bonanza.

Anyone want to join me?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday WI

This morning I was down .6 lbs. Yay! I have recommitted to the plan, but not with the vigor I need to in order to see big, splashy results. This weekend was pretty low-energy, and I can tell that I'm going to get sick soon, so I've been taking it a little easy with the activity.
 
Yesterday I posted on the WW message boards about waning enthusiasm for this whole process. I'm still tracking, still working out, still motivated by the same reasons why I want to lose weight, but I just don't have the same amount of energy for it. I look back at old blog posts and I was so excited about little changes, NSV's, new foods, new strategies. The truth of it is, it's not new anymore. Going to the gym at lunch has become part of my routine; it's a habit now. Which is great! But not as thrilling.
 
How do you keep weight loss exciting? Should I revisit my list of reasons to lose weight? Take a new fitness class? Post some more progress photos?
 
Or should I accept that while I need to stay motivated, maybe this isn't always going to excite me as much as it did when it was new? Like everything in life, the novelty wears off a bit and then we're left with the hard work and the day-to-day.
 
 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Poor Me

I had a real pity party this weekend.

I have always compared myself to other people. I spent years and years, mostly my teenaged ones, feeling like 'it's not fair' that other people were thinner, or smarter, or had more luck than I did. Frankly, I know this is crap. We all make our own paths with what we're given, no more, no less. There is absolutely NO point in comparing ourselves to other people. It's a giant lose-lose situation.

But knowing that doesn't mean I don't do it sometimes.

I had a teary little fit on Saturday afternoon. Gary was sick, so we spent most of the weekend laying low. We did go for brunch and then browsed around the mall that's a whopping 4 blocks from our apartment, but other than that, we didn't get up to much.

My little 'poor me' party was sparked by a number of things. One, feeling like my weight loss is coming along SO SLOWLY. This weekend a friend of mine told me that she'd lost almost 50 lbs - which is FREAKING AMAZING! (Way to go, CARMEN!) But obviously I compared myself to her. I must not be trying hard enough, I must not be doing the right things, etc, etc, my body hates me and it isn't fair.

Then I tried on some clothes at the mall. This was a mistake. Nothing fit. NOTHING. I felt like a giant, awkward brontosauras.

Then I came home and moped around about the fact that one of my cousins hates me and will probably never speak to me again and that so-and-so makes more money than I ever will and why are all of my relatives so much more attractive than me and...and...and... and POOR OLD ME.

I cried. I told Gary exactly what I was feeling. And I swear to god, his response was perfect. It was just the right amount of indulgence and shame. And I snapped out of it.

So here's some self-talk for today: I'm sure we all feel that way sometimes, but honest to god, Megan, what an immature response. So what if you don't make as much money or the pants at the Gap didn't fit or someone is thinner than you or has shinier hair. Maybe those people WORK HARDER than you do. It's not the universe trying to screw you over. Think about that for awhile. Now go to spin class.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Back at 'er

Yes, I am recovering from the Thanksgiving Binge of 2010.
 
Yesterday's spin class was a good one. My favourite spin instructor at World Health is Ashley B, who teaches on Wednesdays. I don't know exactly why, but her personality, combined with the music she picks and the really high intensity drills she does make her class undoubtedly my favourite. Next week she's teaching on Monday AND Wednesday - hurray!
 
I've managed two great on-plan days, with a healthy weekend planned. Tomorrow night we're having some friends over for dinner and I'm doing a cheese fondue, which isn't exactly the healthiest option, but I do plan to fill up on salad and veggies and keep my french-bread dipping to a minimum. I also have a schwack of weekly points I've planned to save for the night so I should be in good shape.
 
I need to work on getting more water in, and also stretching a little bit more. My knee is quite sore from a running workout on Tuesday morning and yesterday's intense spinning, so I'm taking today off the exercise and look forward to getting back to the gym tomorrow.
 
How is your week going?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday WI

I've lost track of how many times I've weighed in, so from now on I'll just keep it simple! I was up 1.8 lbs this morning.
 
This weekend was a disaster. After last week's great weigh in, this week went all to hell with a long weekend, a trip out of town, a giant food-oriented holiday and not enough activity.
 
Guys, I ate an entire wheel of brie on Sunday. By MYSELF. As a SNACK. With some popcorn chicken bites. Before I ate a turkey dinner. And two pieces of cheesecake.
 
*hitting head against desk*
 
I didn't eat it because I was hungry. I ate it because I was bored. Because it was there. Because I had some feelings and it seemed easier to just shut up and eat rather than deal with them. So I did. It rained all weekend, too, so I spent it mostly curled up on the couch reading, or browsing through bookstores, giant chai latte in hand. It was bliss.
 
I'll be honest, yesterday was also a gong show. I ate poutine at the mall. And a cinnamon bun. And some chocolates. Because, well, what the heck. I wanted it, and it was there. These are all things I can eat, it's not like I've been depriving myself or feel like I'll never be able to eat a cinnamon bun or poutine again - it's just that I shouldn't eat them all IN ONE SITTING. I haven't acted like that in almost six months. Then we got home and the healthy dinner I had planned was burned to a scorched, smokey mess in the crockpot. So we had pizza.
 
Note to self: Don't try to invent new ways of cooking lentils in the crockpot and then leave for 6 hours and not monitor the process.
 
It's more than a bit ridiculous, my eating this weekend, but now it's out of my system and I'm moving on. Yogurt and fruit for breakfast, spin class at lunch, healthy shepard's pie for dinner.
 
 
 
 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A high, and some lows

So I didn't come back and post photos of my shopping spree goods. Because I didn't spend the whole giftcard. I have $104 left in my spree account that I will be spending tonight after work on some carefully pre-selected items. And I swear, I'll show them off!
 
Yesterday I felt really good about myself and my priorities and my plan and my progress. Then I got to work this morning, was sucked into a spiral and had to miss the spin class I was very much looking forward to. I am frustrated and stressed out and I totally lack the ability to self-soothe without food.
 
I was definitely a kid who was soothed and rewarded with food. But don't get me wrong: the fact that I am overweight is no one's fault but my own. My parents comforting me after a bad day with a cookie was their way of showing me love, and I am well aware that food doesn't equal love. I get that. I'm working on not turning to food for comfort - or for something to do when I'm bored, but that's another post. Most of the time I can actually act on my feelings now - be it getting angry and talking it out or leaving a situation to cool my head, or realizing that I'm stressed and I need a break from the monitor to walk around the building, not a cookie.
 
But today I am ragged. I'm tired, I'm stressed, and I'm frustrated. All I can think of is going to buy some chips to crunch on. Sure, baby carrots are a crunchy substitute, but they won't soothe me.
 
Neither will chips - at least for any longer than 10 minutes. I know this. But today might be one of those days where I cave in.

Fortunately I have a whole schwack of points at my disposal.
 
 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Guess what I'm doing after work?

GOING ON A SHOPPING SPREE!!

That's right - this morning I reached my 10% goal. In fact, I surpassed it slightly! I was down 2 lbs this week. Sure enough, eating a little more to balance my fiendish workout schedule was what my body needed to bust through that plateau.

I'll be back later with more details and I promise to show off the goods with a new progress photo and a description of what I scored on my shopping trip!

Yay!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I could eat a horse

This afternoon feels like the longest afternoon of my life. I think the last ten minutes has been about four years long.
 
I went to spin class today over lunch. I had planned out my meals for the day and decided on a protein smoothie for lunch. For breakfast I had oatmeal with a banana, and I had yogurt and a small granola bar for a snack before class. I've also eaten an apple with 2 tbs of peanut butter and downed 2 L of water, and I am STARVING. Usually this tides me over all day, but right now I could eat. I could seriously, seriously eat. I think I have some cup a soup in my desk drawer - that might be the only thing saving me from hitting the pastry case at starbucks like there is no tomorrow.
 
Tonight we're having barbecued steak, roasted acorn squash and sauteed mushrooms for dinner. And now my mouth is watering just thinking about it! I like to eat a lighter dinner the night before weigh-in, and my fingers are crossed for tomorrow morning.
 
 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Non-scale Victory!

This weekend Gary and I went to check out the new Chinook Centre expansion. We went really early on Sunday morning - as the mall was opening, in fact. It was really cool to see the new stores together. I love shopping - even when the clothes don't fit or money is too tight, I've always loved browsing through the stores and the general excitement of the mall. But Gary? Not so much. So it was really nice to go together!

We stopped in at RW&Co, a store I've never been able to shop in. I think I bought one outfit there about 8 years ago. I've always loved their clothes, and every time I go in there I'm a little bit sad. In fact, the week before I joined WW, I was in RW&Co with a girlfriend and decided to try on a few things, and not one of them came close to fitting. Some of the skirts I couldn't even get above my knees. I was mortified.

I was so, so happy on Sunday when I tried on a really cute skirt and, lo and behold, it fit. It was even on sale! I bought it, and can't wait to wear it this week. Their pants still don't fit, and I'm not sure they ever will, but yay! Yay for shopping in stores I couldn't a few months ago!

Friday, October 1, 2010

September Recap



I was so close to hitting 25 stickers! I earned 23 stickers in September, which meant that I earned activity points on 23 days of the month. Not bad, I think - but it's still 7 days off.

In October, I'll be doing the same challenge. I bought some sparkly bat stickers to get myself into a spooky mood. By Halloween, I want all 25 of them up there - a challenge for sure, because we're taking a 4-day holiday to BC for Thanksgiving and a weekend in Banff. Hiking and long walks around Gary's mom's neighbourhood might just be in my future.

Priorities

On Wednesday, I blogged about excuses. The very next day I was full of them – a sudden announcement at work meant that I had to scramble all day to answer media calls and deal with the ‘crisis’.

After a long day, all I wanted to do was go home and collapse. I told myself, “Meg, today was INSANE. You deserve a break!”

And then I realized I should listen to my own bloody advice. So I went to the gym, got a workout in, carved out some time in today’s schedule to go to spin, and made sure I didn’t use that stressed/tired/angry excuse to cave in and comfort myself with cookies and French fries.

Today I’m going to talk about how I’m making weight-loss a priority in my life, to remind myself when the going gets tough and the excuses are easier and easier to believe.

What I’m doing already to make this lifestyle change a priority?

There are a lot of things I already do to make not only room for change, but to make it important. Every Sunday I plan out our evening meals for the week. We buy groceries and plan ahead for any dinners out or commitments that might mean missing a meal at home. Eating healthfully is important to Gary and I and we have gradually been increasing the number of veggies, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins we eat, and decreasing the amount of processed or convenience foods and higher-fat options. We also try not to buy a lot of ‘treats’ to keep in the cupboards.

Every Monday I sit down with the gym schedule and block out time in my calendar for group classes and workouts. I look ahead at the week to come and see if there are any challenges – lunch-time meetings or late nights that might get in the way of a workout, and then schedule around them.

I blog. Not as frequently lately, but blogging is a huge motivational tool for me.
I keep the WW Online site in my bookmarks bar so I see it every time I turn on my computer at home. I’ve got it at work, too, so I can log my points and activity throughout the day.

Things I need to work on:

Getting up earlier. I know that working out early feels really good to me, and that having that mellow time before a busy day means I’m less likely to cave in and rely on convenience foods and skip a workout.

Not cancelling on workout commitments – find another way around it. If I can’t go to a class, go for a walk. Go after work. Ask to leave 30 minutes early if I work through lunch.

Pre-planning ALL my meals and snacks, not just the evening one. Lunches and breakfasts that are fast, filling, nutritious and low-point are the goal, and stocking the fridge with them makes crazy mornings easier.

Asking for help.

Pushing past my comfort zone – I recently won a gift certificate for a personal training session at the gym, and I’m terrified to use it. I don’t strength train at the gym, either.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Excuses



I am full of them.

But you know what I realized today? That every time I say:

-I'm too tired
-I'll do it tomorrow
-I have work to do
-I should clean the kitchen instead
-It's just one cookie, I'll make up the points later
-The gym will be busy, I hate that
-I deserve a break
-I deserve a treat
-I'll do better tomorrow
-I've always been this size, it'll never change
-I can't do one more rep/minute/circuit, I'm too tired
-I'll never make it
-I'll never succeed, might as well save myself the trouble
-I'll be late
-I need ten more minutes of sleep
-I'd rather take a break
-I need some 'me time' to relax
-I don't have clean socks
-Just one skipped day/treat/fast food lunch/bite won't kill me
-I can't sprint/do hills/stretch further, it'll be uncomfortable
-I can't run/hike/lift/go to step class, I'm too fat


I'm really saying this isn't a priority in my life.

Is losing weight, improving my fitness and being healthy a priority?

OF COURSE.

But am really and truly treating it like one?

WI # 20 - Wednesday September 29, 2010


Image Source: Married to the Sea, hilarious, you should check them out.

Just keep swimming.

I was up .4 lbs this morning. Yesterday I checked my weight and I was down a pound and a half. Whatever. Don't eat pasta the night before weigh in, I guess. Even if you only eat half of it and choose the most weight-watchers friendly item on the menu...

So I am trying again. This week, again, I will eat more. But I'm going to try my best to eat more GOOD, healthy food. I just earned 8 APs in Spin class, so I've added some low-fat chocolate milk to my lunch. Long-time Weight Watchers often eliminate beverages with calories entirely - it's one of the main reasons I stopped drinking milk and juice as a teenager, and still only rarely drink them. Water, diet coke, crystal light, tea, coffee - these are my beverages of choice these days.

Oh, and wine, but that's kind of different ;)

I hope the rest of you out there keep swimming, too. I have two options here: quit and gain the weight back, or keep going. I might break this plateau next week. Or the week after. Or, I might never lose another pound. I might stay this size forever - I have been this size forever, or at least since I was 15.

But the logic part of my brain insists that if one exercises regularly and with intensity, and consumes a reasonable amount of food low in calories and high in nutritional value, then one's body has got to change at some point.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An update

I woke up this morning and realized that it's been awhile since I posted. I hate it when people say things like that, but I am a pretty regular blogger, and it's unusual for me to not post. It's part of my routine, and part of my weight-loss strategy. Writing on this blog keeps me involved and interested in the weight-loss process, even when things turn south.

I am sticking to my strategy of eating more, but honestly, it scares me. I'm scared that tomorrow I'll see a higher number on the scale. This week I've been working on getting over that fear, controlling it, making it not consume me. I probably chose things that weren't the healthiest (chicken fingers, Butter Chicken, copious amounts of naan bread, movie theatre popcorn) but I did stay within my daily, weekly and activity points allowance. I was feeling in control, feeling good about things, but then last night we went out for dinner with a friend for his birthday. I figured I'd order a salad - everyone has salad! Well, not an Indian buffet. So I ate what I ate and tried not to beat myself up about it.

Whatever the scale shows tomorrow, it shows. I'm planning to stick to this strategy for another week anyway, and then if it doesn't work, try to figure out something else.

There have also been a lot of things I've been trying to blog about, but when I sit down to write, it's hard. I have a list of blog posts to write - a personal history post, a post about a behaviour I've had my entire life that I'm trying so desperately to shake, another emotional post about feelings and food. But it's really hard. A lot of you that read this know me in person, and letting you all in on my secrets makes me nervous. I know you won't judge me unkindly, but judge me you still might. Will I be able to look you in the eye at a cocktail party, knowing that you know the exact number I see on the scale or how old I was when I started hating my body or what I do when no one is around to see? Or am I totally over-reacting, and what you're thinking when we run into each other in Starbucks is, 'hey, haven't seen you in a while, your hair looks different!'?

So I'll end this post with a thank you. Everyone reading right now, whether I have shaken your hand or not, you're out there. I imagine that you're cheering me on. You support me by making me be accountable to myself. It's so easy to give up, but the supportive emails, texts and comments from you keep me going when my personal dedication wavers. The last few weeks have been hard, but I know I'll pull through, and you're a big part of that.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Determination



This morning I was really angry. I vented, then I went to the gym to sweat it out. It really helped. I noticed that I can handle a higher tension and a higher speed in my spin classes. I've been doing them for about a month, and I don't think it's a coincidence that a month ago I couldn't fit into those jeans, but now I can. So yes, my body changes, even if my weight doesn't.

While I walked back to my office, I thought about what I'd do next. As Deb pointed out, I am dangerously close to falling off the plan completely at this point. All it would take is one binge - well, one binge followed by a lack of recovery - and in two months, I'd probably be back up to where I was when I started this journey in May. And I really don't want that to happen.

So I cleared my head and worked out a plan.

This week, I'm going to eat every single point from my Daily and Weekly allowance, and most of my Activity Points - I'm aiming to use just over half of them. That's a lot of food for someone who regularly doesn't even eat half of those Weeklies! (For non-ww'ers, I get 28 Daily Points every day, 35 Weekly Points to use at my discretion if I choose throughout the week, and I can also eat any Activity Points I earn. A 45 minute spin class earns me 8 points.)

A few people on the WW Boards pointed out that maybe I'm not eating enough. Maybe I'm eating the wrong things. Maybe I'm just 'stuck' and need to do something entirely different. This can't hurt, and if it does, well, then I know that eating a bit more isn't the solution for me right now.

In addition to juggling my points around, I'm going to continue to exercise. I looked back over past weeks and I have definitely been earning more AP's in the past month - from an average of about 20 to now 30 or over. This is great, because exercise is good for me mentally and physically.

So that's the plan. No derailing, no out of control binge-arrific pity party, no irrational crash dieting. I celebrated by letting myself have something I've been drooling over for the past couple weeks - a pumpkin cream cheese muffin from Starbucks, all 11 points of it. A big indulgence, but that's okay. It's totally on the plan.

WI # 18 - September 22, 2010

This morning I was very, very close to throwing my scale off our 23rd floor balcony. But technically that's illegal, and I didn't want to hurt anyone, so I just kicked it back under the sink in the bathroom.

I was up .2 lbs today.

No, I didn't expect this. Yes, I had a big fancy dinner on Friday night - but I didn't order steak. I picked a more reasonable entree, points-wise, and it was delicious. I watched what I ate during the week carefully. I didn't overindugle on Sunday night - in fact, I didn't even eat half of my entree. I stopped when I was satisfied, not full - which turned into probably a quarter of my gnocchi.

This is what my week was like, points-wise:




I'm active most days. This, for me, means almost every day - 5 or 6 times a week. I don't go over my points. I choose healthy options first and treats second. And yet, in the last month, I have lost exactly .5lb.

I am frustrated. So, so frustrated. I'm angry. I'm angry at the scale, I'm angry at my body, I'm angry at Weight Watchers. I do not understand why my efforts aren't being rewarded. I can understand when losses are inconsistent, I can understand if I hadn't really been trying and have had lackluster results - but I have been busting my ass. If I put in the work, really honestly put in the work, should I not see results? Is that not how the world works anymore?

Yes, it's important to take measurements and celebrate other successes. The fact that I'm still here, still blogging, still following the plan is a giant success for me. This is the longest I have ever stuck to a diet and exercise plan. I joined a gym. I'm wearing size 14 jeans right now. I am starting to change the way I think about food and treats and exercise and lifestyle. And according to one of my friends, I've won the weight-loss lottery because despite dropping 20 lbs and 7 inches off my waist, my boobs are still the same size.

But honest to god, I am so frustrated that I could cry. This is hard. This is SO hard. And if I can't even see the scale budge a whole pound in four weeks, the motivation to keep going really fades.

I'm not at a healthy weight. I'm still obese according to the BMI scale. I'm still wearing what some stores consider plus-sized clothing. I'm so very angry and I have no one to direct that anger to, because I think right now if I blamed myself I'd dive headfirst into a plate of poutine.

So instead I will go to the stupid gym and take that stupid spin class and eat my stupid salad for lunch and go home and make a stupid grilled chicken and veggies (no added fats!) and get 8 stupid hours of sleep and drink 3 stupid litres of water and still see no stupid change on the stupid scale next week.

Thank you for listening.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The schedule

Yesterday morning I sat down with the gym's class schedule and my calendar and blocked out time in my book for the classes I wanted to take this week. I booked Zumba, Spin, even some time on the treadmill. I put the time into my outlook calendar, blocked it as 'out of office' and highlighted it in red so that I was sure to go to the gym. I set up my 'appointments' and was really looking forward to the week of workouts ahead.
 
Well, I do media relations, and that occasionally means my entire day can be derailed by a media request. This morning, that happened - great for me at work, bad for me in terms of gym time. I missed my spin class, didn't go get the salad I had planned for lunch, and was starving by the time we finished. I grabbed some soup at the coffee shop next door and went back to my desk to deal with the rest of the stuff that comes up in an average work day.
 
But now I'm exhausted. I've got 2 hours left in the day and I really, really don't want to go to the gym. But I didn't go on Friday, or on Saturday, and if I want to meet my goal of getting 25 sparkly leaf stickers on that old calendar at home, I've only got one more "free day" left.
 
I know that to fail to plan is to plan to fail, but I think I've got to work on my flexibility. It won't be an 8 AP day, but hopefully I can convince myself to cram in 30 mintues on the elliptical after work.


EDITED TO ADD:

Okay, I forced myself to go to the gym. I did a half-assed 30 minute program on the treadmill, but I broke a sweat and I'm not so exhausted anymore. I'm glad I told my coworker to walk me to the gym doors after work, without that accountability I never would have gone. Also, I'm glad I didn't listen to the little voice in my head that said "Ooh, you'll go after dinner! Don't worry about it!"

I know better, little voice. The only place I ever go after dinner is directly to the couch.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A size smaller

Back in July, I wrote about buying a new pair of jeans, because the ones I was wearing every day were a saggy, saggy mess. I was a bit disappointed, because the size 16 jeans were a bit tight, but I bought them anyway.

Now those jeans are a saggy mess, and I am so proud to tell you that today I am wearing the smallest jeans in my closet. Yesterday I slipped into the size 14 jeans I had bought about two years ago, wore for a few weeks, and then promptly "grew out of" - but they're back on now! They are a tiny bit snug in the waist, but they fit great everywhere else.

Two months is how long it took for me to drop a pants size. Two months. I've lost 5.8 lbs in those two months, which again disappoints me - everyone wants to drop 8-10 lbs a month, right? But wow. Talk about a motivator! Just when I'm starting to feel like the amount of work I'm doing isn't worth the reward, I see results in a different way.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pre-tracking for special events

Tracking seems to be on a few people's minds today!
 
Tonight Gary and I are celebrating a special little anniversary of sorts. We're dorks that way. We really like celebrating ordinary things with a special dinner date. It's a chance for us to get dressed up and really celebrate and enjoy each other. This time Gary's planning it, and it's a surprise. I don't know where we're going, only that we're going for dinner.
 
One of the things I do to stay sane while on weight watchers is to review the menu of a restaurant before we go, so that when I sit down at the table, I don't even need to look at the menu. That way I'm not tempted by the lucious lasagna or three-cheese pan bread or deluxe hamburger, and I'm happy with my spinach salad with strawberries and chicken or grilled fish with veggies.
 
The concern tonight is that I have no idea where we're going.
 
We usually go for steak (how Albertan!), so even though I don't know for sure what I'll order, I have a rough idea. On Wednesday, when my points re-set, I pre-tracked dinner for tonight. I was generous. I logged 4 glasses of wine, dessert, an average appetizer, bread, and the steak-potato-mushrooms meal I usually order when we're at a steakhouse. It used all my points for the day, plus almost all of my weekly points. This way, I knew that I couldn't 'afford' to splurge on a cookie yesterday afternoon, or an extra helping of sweet and sour meatballs on Wednesday night. I also know in advance that Sunday dinner with my parents at an Italian restaurant is going to have to be a conservative one, both portion size and menu selection-wise.
 
I know it's just one night, and it's a special night, so maybe I should loosen up a bit. But I'll be honest - as much as I am looking forward to a special, delicious dinner date, I'm a little nervous about making it through the rest of the week with no weekly points to subsidize what I get on a daily basis.
 
Guess it's soup and salad for lunch today and extra workouts this week!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WI # 17 - Wednesday, September 15

This morning I was pleased with the results of my weigh-in. I was down 1.6 lbs, which is much more than I've lost in about a month. I'm still 1 pound (ONE MEASLY POUND!) from my 10% goal, which I do find frustrating, but yesterday I was shredding away and had a thought.
 
I'm slimmer than I was four weeks ago. I know, because I take my measurements regularly, and I'm wearing clothes that didn't quite fit properly in August, even though I've lost less than 3 pounds. The clothes that did fit are getting looser every single day.
 
I'm anxious to spend some money on my reward shopping spree, but I guess if it takes me longer to get to the number on the scale, I might actually be smaller by the time I get there. Does this make sense? Today is crazy. I need more coffee.
 
 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wondering about...

One of the things I love doing with my downtime is browsing through cookbooks and cooking websites. I love reading recipes, looking at gorgeous food photography, and dreaming about what I'd like to serve at imaginary tea parties, brunches, and dinners. But I'll be the first to admit that most of the recipes I drool over aren't exactly diet recipes - they're decadent, rich biscuits, creamy sauces, crisp and juicy roasted meats, and sweet baked goods. This summer, I fantasized about making homemade vanilla sugar cookies and sandwiching orange sherbet between them for DAYS after reading about it on a blog.

That just isn't right, people. I should be fantasizing about running off to a deserted tropical island with my boyfriend, not desserts.
 
Can there be a balance between eating to lose weight and eating for pleasure? I love to cook and try new recipes, and I've been enjoying the challenge of creating healthy, low-point meals for our little family of two, but sometimes I really just want to bust out the butter.
 
Yes, I could bake and braise and cook to my heart's content and then give it away, but I love eating and I'm selfish. Those ingredients can get pricey and we're on a tight budget, and if I'm going to make a 30-step pie, I want to eat the damn thing.
 
So for now, I don't. I don't make cornbread and slow-cooked brisket, I don't make soft, fluffy biscuits and jam and cream, and I don't bake elaborate cakes and cookies and pies. It makes me a little sad. Do you think the day will come when I'll be able to just let go a little bit and bake (and eat) without feeling guilty? Probably not if I want to get to my goal and stay there.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I think I'm still sweaty!

A few weeks ago I was changing at the gym when I noticed a woman struggling into her pantyhose. Honestly, there is probably nothing less appealing to me than putting tights or pantyhose on immediately after working out. I'm sweaty, I've just showered, I'm frantically trying to get dressed and get out of that tiny room filled with strangers in their underpants - the last thing I want to do is hobble around on one foot trying to wiggle into tights.
 
We've got a function after work today, so I'm wearing my fancies all day. I can now say that after putting hose on at the gym, putting spanx and a satin dress back on after a treadmill session and a sprint shower rank really low on my list of enjoyable things to do on my lunch break. Ugh. But hey, at least I look good.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Work in Progress

Today was tough. I had a disappointing weigh-in, missed the gym at lunch for a team working lunch - and then, the ww-friendly lunch I had pre-selected from the menu before we got to the restaurant wasn't available so I ordered pasta in a cream sauce instead.

I was late getting home and just didn't feel like heading to the gym. But I really wanted a sticker for my calendar, and I knew that 'I don't wanna' wasn't a good enough reason to skip a workout so early in the month. So I did Level 3 of the 30 Day Shred and was impressed by how much progress I've made, fitness-ability wise. Those pushups just keep getting easier!

Then I took some progress photos, something I haven't done in awhile. I figured, even if the scale didn't budge, maybe I'd be able to see the proof in the photos.

This is from August 3 (left) to September 8 (right). I've lost 1.4 lbs in that period of time.



I don't see a ton of difference, but a little bit is there!

This is a more dramatic comparison - from June 4 to September 8th, a 9.4 lb difference.




I'm more motivated now. I'm proud of myself for busting through a down day and earning my sticker. I'm proud of the changes I've made, for not giving up, and for having faith in myself. I can do this. I can lose the weight. I will.

WI # 16 - Wednesday, September 8. 2010

This morning, the scale and I are not friends.
 
After a week that included 3 spin classes and a run and and only ONE day where I didn't log any activity points; a week where I stayed on plan and within my points even while enjoying a full-out turkey dinner and a weekend away...I stayed the same.
 
I have been inching along. This week, no change; last week, down .4, the week before, down .2. I know, I'd rather be down .6 lbs than up after 3 weeks, but it's really discouraging to try so hard and for the results to be so slow.
 
This is where I'd give up, in the past. Working this hard for little payoff is frustrating. But I really, really want this. I just really wish it was happening just *slightly* faster!
 
 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Early to bed, early to rise

This morning Gary was up and off to the gym at 6:00. I got out of bed minutes after he left, brushed my teeth and popped in a yoga DVD. I love stretching in my PJ's while the sun slowly rises.
 
Last winter, my former job was so stressful that I took to doing a relaxation yoga DVD in the mornings before work simply to de-stress before the mania began. I assume that normal morning yoga is a little more energetic, with the intention of getting the blood flowing and the mind ready for the day ahead. I still love my Candlelight Yoga routine, with its calming music and gentle stretches, but I do think something a little more vigorous would help wake me up.
 
There's an abs class I'd like to start going to in the mornings, but it starts at some ungodly hour - like 6:15 or 6:45. Left to my own devices, I would get out of bed at 8:30 every morning, but obviously on work days, that doesn't fly.
 
We're coming up on another time change, and I had a brilliant idea yesterday. If I get myself in the habit of getting up early now - like 6:00 - when the clocks roll back, it'll be that much easier to continue getting up at 6:00. Or even 5:30. I do love mornings, and I find it much easier to slide into the day rather than sprint in late and unprepared.
 
Are you a morning person? I go to bed at 10:00 every night, so in theory, I am getting more than enough shut-eye, but I'm still not an early riser by nature. There is something quite appealing about getting up with the birds and having some relaxation time to myself in the mornings, though...and getting that workout out of the way before 8:00!
 
 

Friday, September 3, 2010

So far, so good

September is off to a great start.

So far, I've got 2 sparkly leaves on my calendar and plan to get one up for today before we leave town. We're heading to my mom and dad's for the weekend, which might normally mean a 3 day couch-and-snack fest, but this time, I've got different ideas. Snowflake (my mom!) is also a WW'er and has been doing a great job. She's also very supportive, and I'm sure she has some healthy snacks and options kicking around the kitchen!

A four-hour road trip might mean fast food, but we've staked out a healthier option and I've pre-tracked what I'll have for dinner.

My brother is coming home, too, and bringing his new puppy. A 3 month old Yellow Lab needs lots of walks - which means lots of activity for "auntie". I've also packed my workout clothes and a few different dvds, in case the aerobics spirit moves me over the weekend.

I'm really looking forward to a mix of activity and relaxation. I hope you have a great long weekend!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Weight is Falling Off

Yes, it's cheesy. :)

I was raised by two teachers, and while I'm not one (no patience for 'but I don't GET it!') I do have a lingering obsession with stationary products and sticker-based reward systems.

For months now, every day that I exercise, I put a star sticker on our calendar. Gary circles the days he goes to the gym in red sharpie.

I usually win because I am AWESOME.



I have to walk past that calendar dozens of times a day. It's what I see in the morning enroute to my coffee, when I'm checking my makeup, when I'm on my way to the kitchen for a snack. It keeps me going, and is also a great check in - if there aren't many stars on the calendar, I'd better step it up.

We were at Michaels on the weekend and after I browsed through the needlework section, I got lost in the Scrapbooking Aisles. Holy mackerel! I caved, and picked up some new stickers.



These are totally amazing stickers.

There are 25 sparkly leaves on my sheet of stickers, and I want them all on the calendar by the end of the month. So, instead of setting any September goals, this month I'm simply aiming for regular activity. I already work out, but I want it to be part of my daily life. I'll get a sticker for every day that I earn "activity points" - be it spin class, yoga, running, Zumba, or simply, a walk in the park with my boyfriend (not a leisurely one, though!).

I know that exercise is going to be the key for me. Eating healthy and tracking are also super important, but I want to be slim AND toned.



By the end of September, the calendar is going to be totally covered in leaves. At least these ones I don't have to rake up!

WI # 15 and August Goals In Review

This morning I was down .4 lbs. This felt like a measly .4 lbs, to be honest. I have been up and down the same 2 lbs all month, and it's starting to drive me a little batty. But now I'm in a new 'decade' of numbers and getting ever closer to that 10%. I can do this. Even at 7:30 in the morning when it really feels like I'll never, ever get there.

August was a tough month for me. The first three months on Weight Watchers seemed to be full of success. They were easier. The frustrations were there, but getting past them was really rewarding. Now I feel like I'm settling in for the long haul, and I have got a LONG way to go.

I didn't do so well on my August goals. As a refresher:

1. 750 minutes of exercise - I completed 630. It was so easy to come up with excuses.
2. 4 morning yoga workouts - I did a whopping ZERO. I've been stressed, and while getting out of bed to do yoga would have helped, staying in bed won every.single.day.
3. Try 3 new recipes - I completed 3 out of 3. But none of them were particularly remarkable.

The good, though? In August, I joined a gym. Went through my closet and purged stacks of clothes that are too big for me. I started the C25K program, and can run for 3 minutes without dying. I gave myself a makeover.

September always feels like a fresh start, and I'm certainly ready for it. Instead of setting goals this month, I've decided to do something a little bit different. But you'll have to wait to find out what!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How to hit the gym on your lunch break

It's only taken me 10 days, but I've realized that I already prefer going to the gym on my lunch break than after work. By 4:30, I'm totally wiped out from a day at work, and all I want to do is go home to my cute boyfriend and our cuddly house hippo. But at noon, I've still got energy to burn!

I know that a lot of people don't like going to the gym at lunch, because - well, if you sweat up a storm, going back to the office can seem kind of gross. And who has time to work out, shower, re-style the old hairdo, and re-apply a face full of makeup? I get an hour for lunch and my spin class? It's 45 minutes. NOT including the stretch.

I don't really have a problem with my coworkers seeing my hair wet, pulled back in a ponytail or some kind of clipped-up 'style' - except for one minor thing. Last week I hacked off over 6 inches off my hair. That means it's short now. And short hair can't be pulled back into a ponytail for the afternoon.

So here's my secret: dry or waterless shampoo. You can get it in an aerosol spray, but I really like this foam.




My post-workout routine goes like this: a quick hose-down in the shower (I don't get my hair wet), a few pumps of this product worked through the sweaty parts of my hair, and a vigorous rub of the towel over my head. This gets rid of any sweaty smell and freshens up my hair. I get dressed, spritz on some body spray (perfume can be too heavy) and then hit the damp sections with the blow-dryer and a big round brush. I flip the ends out or under, run my fingers through them a little, spritz with some hairspray and I look almost as good as new.

Some lip gloss, a touch-up of the eye shadow and a quick swipe of mascara and I'm out the door, back to the office.

I'm so thrilled that my new haircut works with my natural hair texture really well. It takes me no more than 10 minutes in the morning to dry and style it, which is fantastic. No more 'I'll look gross all afternoon' worries - and no excuses to miss a mid-day workout.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Making a plan

I did not have a great weekend, weight watchers wise. I did some good, like spending time at the gym on Saturday and choosing oatmeal over pastries on Sunday morning, and I did some not so good, like ordering chicken fingers and fries when I could have had salad and a Costco hot dog when I could have just said no thanks. I topped it off with a slice of birthday cake I didn't even want, just because it was in front of me.

But the very worst thing I did this weekend? I didn't log in to WW online to track my points.

Writing down what I've eaten, no matter what the damage, is really important to me. It helps me face up to it and provides a mental checkpoint for me. But not logging in makes me feel guilty, and then I start avoiding the website, and the next thing you know, I fall off track entirely.

So if admitting where I've faltered is the first step to recovery, this is me fessing up.

I know I have to make a plan for my weight loss. I do much better when I have a strategy, a schedule. I have today's healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner planned out. I've already tracked my food. I have scheduled time to hit the gym for a spin class. I've got no reason to slack off today.

Tomorrow, the same. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Exercise. It's all penciled in, all ready to go.

This is what I have to do to succeed. I can't just wing it, I have to work at it. I'm not expecting a loss this week, but I'm not going to let that get me down. Are you with me?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sometimes

Sometimes I start to waver. A little voice in my mind tells me that I can't do it. That I'll never make it. I can run and eat veggies and stretch and sweat all I want, but I'll always be frumpy, fat and unhappy.

Today I let that little voice nag on my nerves. I woke up on my bonus day off with a brutal red, sore eye and had to skip the gym. I couldn't read, I couldn't watch tv, I couldn't surf the internet. I was sad, I was disappointed, and three hours in to my pity party, I was starving. I downed a chocolate bar, a frozen entree, a diet coke - and I stopped. Eating a boatload of junk wasn't going to make me feel any better, was it?

I closed the shades, I put on some inspiring TV on the computer, and I waited until I could see again. Only 6 hours :)

And in that period of time, I thought a lot about myself. I'm not fat. I'm working on the happy thing. But the frumpy?




This is the Megan everyone sees on the outside. These are two examples of my day-to-day, regular appearance. Not awful, but not that inspiring. It's obvious I don't love the way I look. Pretty frumptastic!

But guys, that's not who I feel like. I catch myself in the mirror and I'm proud of my slimmer waist and long legs, but I just don't feel sassy.





This is who I feel like on the inside. And now it's what I look like on the outside.

3 more pounds and I'll have some new clothes. 40 more pounds and I'll have an entirely new body. But today, all it took was an irritated eye, a disappointing day, and 6 fewer inches of hair to get a whole new attitude.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Right round, baby, right round



Yesterday I went to a spinning class at my new gym.

My butt is killing me. I sat down on a cement step at lunch today and I almost yelped. But hey - a 45 minute killer cardio workout is worth a little suffering.

I've tried spinning before, at the YMCA, and this was definitely more intense. The room is tiny. TINY. The bikes are packed in. You're about a foot from your neighbours on either side, and in front and behind. The room is hot, the music is loud, and the energy is amazing.

I had a great workout, and was very impressed by the instructor. It felt like she was making eye contact with me the entire time (despite the 30 other people in the room) and at the end of the class, she asked me how I thought it was. This woman teaches one class a week, but she knew that it was my first time in her class. That made me feel special, not singled out.

Spinning is great, because it's cycling. Have you ridden a stationary bike? You can do this class. You set your own tension and tempo. If you want to push, you can push; if you're looking for a recovery day, you can go a little easier on yourself.

If you're thinking about trying a spinning class, I say, go for it! When I started exercising more often in May, I prefered to do it alone, at home. Now I'm craving the rush from working out with other people, in a class atmosphere. I'm also really loving the treadmill - something I never, ever thought I would say.

WI #14 - Wednesday, August 25

This morning I was down .2 lbs, which makes an even 20 lbs lost since I joined Weight Watchers!

I also did my measurements this morning, and since I begun this process, I've lost:

1.5 inches off my upper arms
2.5 inches off my hips
2 inches off my bust
7 inches off my waist (!)
2.5 inches from my left thigh
and went from wearing a tight size 18 jeans to a loose 16 (and I tried on my 14s in the closet, which I would bet I'll be in before September ends)

So while I had a fantasy of reaching my 10% goal (3 lbs away!) this morning, I knew it was unrealistic. I'll take what I've got and run with it - quite literally. See you at the gym!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Woo hoo!!


I am a long, long, long way from one of these, but that's how I feel today.

Yesterday after work I headed to my new gym for my first weekday workout. I was really concerned that it would be packed, but it wasn't. I was also concerned that it would be full of buff workout bunnies (you know, the ones who are only there to meet guys) and morons (you know, meatheads, with their ed hardy t-shirts, who are only there to check out girls), which it was, but you take the good with the bad!

I also had an unpleasant run-in with someone I used to date. Awkward.

But I'm counting yesterday's visit in the Wins column, because I progressed to Week 3 of the Couch25K program. To say I was intimidated would be putting it mildly - this week moves from 90 seconds of running to a full 3 minute interval. Can I even run for 3 minutes? I don't remember the last time I did. And it certainly wasn't pleasant.

But after some positive comments from fellow WW'ers, I decided that I had nothing to lose. I'd try, and if I couldn't, I'd just stay at Week 2.

Well, I'm proud to say that not only did I complete it, I completed it without dying, collapsing, or otherwise limiting my ability to walk today. I am so proud of myself. In my opinion, there is very little that feels better than proving to yourself that you can stretch your limits.

What are you proud of today?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Some Sunday Night Inspiration

Yesterday afternoon I spent some time cleaning and then settled down for some relaxing Meg time. I'm a knitter, and I find it's a nice balance between weight-loss/exercise/just-plain-crazy Meg - kind of soothes the soul, if you know what I mean. But I also like to take on challenging projects - right now I'm working on a boat-neck sweater, something I've never done before.

While I knit, I usually listen to audiobooks, but yesterday I wanted to watch something. We don't have a TV, so I streamed a show on my laptop.

Have you ever heard of How to Look Good Naked? Maybe I'm way behind, but I'd never heard of this British show - apparently there's a Canadian version, but I do so love the charm of UK TV.

It's kind of like What Not To Wear on speed, and, of course, the finale is nude. What a refreshing show! Everyone has body hang-ups, but everyone has a fantastic gift in their body that is worth celebrating. It was great food for thought as the weekend wound down, and made me all that more excited to celebrate my body by fuelling it with healthy, delicious, nutritious foods and do good things for my body, like exercise.

Because while losing weight with an end goal of looking hot is fine in my books, losing weight to be healthier, prouder and kind to your body is also important - and seems likelier to stick in the long run.

How are you going to celebrate your body today? I'm going to wear a cute new dress I dug up, power up with a treat of fresh seasonal fruit, and hit the treadmill. Week 3, here I come!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The great gym membership debate

I have never paid for a gym membership. When I moved to Calgary to attend the U of C, the campus fitness centre was free for students. Then I got a job working for a theatre company, and they gave us donated gym passes. After that, I worked for a company that paid for my YMCA membership, which was great because the Y was right beside our office.

But since then, I haven't had a gym membership. I've worked out in my living room, or in the dingy basement 'gym' in our building. On the weekends, I pay the drop-in fee at Gary's gym to join him, which is $10.

But I've worked out the math in my head, and for the roughly $80 a month a gym membership will cost, I have to go twice a week to make it worthwhile. And as it is, Zumba costs me $10 a class - and the gym has free Zumba. And free yoga! And spinning.

I`ve decided, after three months of internal debate, that tomorrow is the day. Gym, I`m coming for you. It`s an investment in myself, my health, and my happiness.

But first, I have to make it through the evening. We`re going clubbing. The last time I went clubbing was probably in 2008, and I lasted about two hours before I yahonged up the nine Jagerbombs I`d had in the ladies`.

I`ve got no idea what to wear, I`m not even sure I`ll be able to stay up past 11:00, when we`re meeting my bro and his girlfriend, and I`m dreading being the fattest girl there. Guys, I`m not at my optimal clubbing weight. And I`m really not sure I`m okay with this.