Friday, December 31, 2010
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
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
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!
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.
Monday, December 6, 2010
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:
1 package multigrain oatmeal - 4 points
1 banana - 0 points
1 Grande Nonfat Earl Grey tea latte - 5 points
Thai Chicken Frozen Dinner - 7 points
1 apple - 0 points
1 mandarin orange - 0 points
1 apple flavour larabar - 5 points
1 slice high fibre bread - 2 points
1 tbs peanut butter - 3 points
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 :)
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
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
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
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
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 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
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
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.
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
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
Saturday, October 30, 2010
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
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.
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.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
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
Monday, October 25, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
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?
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
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
Monday, October 18, 2010
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
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Fortunately I have a whole schwack of points at my disposal.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
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!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
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
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.
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
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?
But am really and truly treating it like one?
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
That just isn't right, people. I should be fantasizing about running off to a deserted tropical island with my boyfriend, not desserts.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
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.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.