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.
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?


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

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.


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.