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!