Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday WI

I was up 1.2 lbs this morning. Which is a little disappointing, but I can't say it was a surprise or undeserved. I definitely ate my way up the scale.
 
But again, trying to focus on positive things so I don't get bogged down and quit - I put on a Spring/Summer dress this morning in an attempt to woo the warmer weather, and the cute dress that I was bursting the seams and buttons on last summer is a bit too big. Needs a belt. Very pleased about that :)
 
I also looked at my weight tracker again, but from a different perspective. I always compare my weight to my starting weight - and we know I've been hovering around the 207 mark for months. And months. And months. Well, since Christmas, I'm down 6 lbs. I'm still hovering, but I've lost the weight I gained in that blissful holiday post-engagement season.
 
I've also been thinking lately that the Weight Watchers thing might not be working for me anymore. Or, rather, I'm not working for the program. I do believe it's a great plan, but even on weeks when I give it my all, since the Points Plus plan launched I haven't seen results that make me happy. Focusing on exercising has helped, because I see a difference in my shape. But maybe it's time to take a break from the ol' WW and try something different. Something maybe more challenging. I've always liked that on WW, if I want a cookie, I can have as many as I have points for - but maybe the point is to restrict myself for awhile and see how it goes.
 
Any thoughts?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Confessions



(Well, yeah, I suppose I do live in sin, but that's a confession for another time)

I have not been super strict with myself this week. I've tried, but...

- I skipped the gym on Friday because I was feeling some discomfort after a doctor's appointment

- I missed Spin on Saturday, but only because some instructor Yorgo was teaching and the class, which is NEVER full any other Saturday, was packed - he must be hot. Really, really hot. That's the only explanation. So I did some cardio and abs work on my own.

- We totally had nachos for dinner on Saturday. I could have made something, anything, healthier, but nope. Bag 'o chips, giant pile of cheese, pure bliss.

- I definitely had a cookie after work today before I went to the gym. Where I did bust it on my strength training routine.

I was aware every time I made a decision that didn't support my goals. I was aware every time that by doing X, I wasn't making health and fitness and weight loss a priority.

I can't seem to make it stick for longer than a week at a time. I can go super hard, and then something happens (like, oh, buying our first home!) and I fall to pieces. I guess it's half the battle that I get back up again, but I'm starting to get frustrated with myself.

But hey. On the upside, here I am, confessing my blunders to you instead of hiding. That counts for something, right?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wednesday WI (a day late)

This was an exciting week. Not only did I have a fantastic dinner party to attend with amazing friends on Tuesday night, but we also found a condo over the weekend and fell in love with it. Not to mention a 3-year anniversary dinner on Friday night and 2 birthday parties over the weekend!

I didn't do too well at staying away from the cake, the beer, the red wine. There was a lot of discussion over a lunch at the pub where I chose less wisely than I could have.

But on Wednesday morning, I was down .6 lbs. And even better - this morning, I had to move over a notch on my belt - in the right direction! These jeans are just over a month old!

The next few weeks are going to be challenging, as they'll be full of meetings with brokers, agents and lawyers - and the potential of missing more than one workout. Add to that the 'it's just easier if we go out to eat instead of cook tonight' and it could be messsy. But I think identifying that in advance is helpful. I've got to formulate a strategy to get through this.

Any ideas?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday WI

This morning I was down 1 pound. I earned a ton of activity points again, but this week I switched the way the tracker counts them, so that it 'swaps' my activity points out before the weekly points allowance. I don't know that it actually makes a difference, because a point is a point - but it was worth a shot.

My tracker for the week:


Sure, I posted a loss. But I was happier with a few other things that happened this week. I am proud that I can complete an intense 60 minute spin class and not fall over and die - or even just stop. I'm happy that my jeans feel looser, and that I look in the mirror and think I might just look a little slimmer.

I tried out a new circuit-based strength training workout on Monday, and I plan to keep switching things up. I'm looking forward to Zumba on Thursday because it's fun, not because it burns a lot of calories.

And even more, I'm proud of the way I reacted when I slipped up. On Monday, I had a business lunch and had sat down with the menu to decide what I would order. A salad with chicken, hold the blue cheese and dressing on the side. I was even looking forward to it!

But then we got to the restaurant, and what did I order? The bbq beef sandwich special that came with creamy, cheesy potato soup, fries and even cookies to go.

I didn't even eat half of it. I was so disappointed with myself for actively making a choice that wasn't going to get me where I really wanted that I lost my appetite. My priorites were laid out there, right in front of me, and that bbq sandwich wasn't even worth it. Good lesson.

But the cookies were pretty good :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rest Day

I am very proud of the fact that I went to the gym six days in a row last week. But today, my gym is closed, and I'm having a full-blown day of rest.

I got up this morning and met a girlfriend for coffee, started a new kniting project, and then the very best part - a long nap.

I entertained the idea of baking something sweet this afternoon, but the nap won over the cravings.

I firmly believe that burnout is one of the most damaging things you can do to yourself, and I have definitely started to burn out on all fronts. I needed a day to chill out at home - how did you spend your Sunday?

I'm wrapping up the day with a BBQ, some TV on DVD and heading to bed as early as I can manage.

Breakfast: Smoothie made with a handful of spinach, a banana, a cup of frozen berries, 1 scoop protein powder, and a half cup of milk

Snack: Latte

Lunch: 6 inch turkey breast and ham sub from Subway

Snack: Reese's peanut butter cup, 1 (sooooo good)

Dinner: 1 chicken breast, oven baked sweet potato fries, mushrooms, steamed broccoli

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday Eats!

Gary and I are sitting on the couch, three magazines spread out in front of us, planning our meals for next week. Looks like a lot of lean protein, fresh veggies and whole grains for us...

Saturday Eats!

Breakfast - Coffee
Lunch - 1 egg, poached; 1 slice rye toast, 2 cups fruit salad, 1 cup cottage cheese
Snack - KIND Granola Bar, 1 string cheese
Dinner - 2 large lentil tacos (lentils, 2 tbs cheddar cheese, salsa, lettuce); 1 1/2 cups spanish rice, 1/2 cup rootbeer

Activity: 60 minutes spin class (earned 14 points)

Total points used: 36 (35 weekly and 1 activity point swapped)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday: What I ate

Sorry for two food-centric posts in a row; today was nuts. But I got to meet my friends' brand new daughter, and I'm convinced she is the most adorable little girl in the whole entire world. Baby snuggles are the best.

Breakfast: I took the advice of a few commentors and switched it up a bit. 1 egg, scrambled with 1 cup fresh mushrooms and 2 tbs salsa, small whole-wheat tortilla

Snack; Large Hazelnut Latte (the 15 point one from Second Cup. Yes, a total treat...but it's Friday and I planned for it!)

Lunch: 1/2 thin crust veggie pizza

Snack: earl grey tea, handful of nuts and dried cranberries

Dinner: 3 cups romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup chopped, skinless chicken breast, some broccoli and raw mushrooms, 1 cup grapes, 1 small chocolate

Activity: 40 minutes strength training routine

Total points used: 44 (35 daily, 9 activity)
Points earned: 4

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday in review

I thought I'd post what I'm eating - I'd love feedback and opinions!

Breakfast: 1 english muffin, 1 tbs chunky organic peanut butter, 1 banana, coffee

Snack: 1 Grande Non-fat cappuccino, orange

Lunch: 1/2 personal sized thin crust veggie pizza, raw veggies (zucchini, peppers, carrots, broccoli)

Snack: 1 apple, 1 tbs peanut butter, earl grey tea with splash of skim milk and splenda

Dinner: 1 chicken breast skewer (greek style), 1/2 serving roasted potatoes, 1 1/2 cups of greek salad with dressing, 1 cup fruit salad

Activity: 60 minutes Zumba

Water: 3 L

Total PointsPlus: 37 (35 daily points, 2 activity points)

One day at a time

Thanks for your comments yesterday - whether in person, email or on the blog. I really appreciate that I have so much support from the people in my life - I truly would have given up long ago without you.

I feel better today. I'm not surprised that I do - the frustration is intense, but it doesn't ever last very long.

Yesterday was really bad. Some time after I posted, I went to a spin class over my lunch hour. It was hard. Really, really hard. I was trying to sweat out my stress and disappointment and frustration, but instead I nearly collapsed into giant heaving sobs right there on the bike in the middle of class.

The feeling of holding back tears while running or exerting myself to the max isn't new to me, and reminded me of all the times I did just that while in gym class or practice for some sports team, telling myself how much I sucked and how awful I was and how I was a waste of space over and over. It's not a pleasant recollection for me.

But I made it through. And I had a good, healthy lunch and made it through the day, which even included a two-hour meeting with our mortgage broker (EXCITING TERRIFYING GROWN UP STRESS!). Then I poured my heart out to my fiance, and he listened while I railed on and on about how frustrating it is to not be losing weight, and how much effort it takes to see no results and what's the point?

And after sleeping on it, and a hot shower, and a good breakfast, I feel a whole world better.

Tonight I'm going back to Zumba, something I'm really looking forward to. I've got my water bottle beside me and I'm ready for the day. Today I'm going to forget about what might happen next week, or two months from now, or how I'll look on our wedding day and just do the best I can today.

And then I'll do it tomorrow, too.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday WI - Frustration

I was up .2 lbs this morning. There were some tears of frustration in the shower this morning, I'm going to be honest. There's a lot going on in my life right now - work is crazy, we're trying to purchase our first home, we're getting into wedding planning and I'm still trying to lose weight.

And to add insult to injury, there was no hot water for my shower this morning.

So I stood there, wrapped in a towel, dripping wet and freezing cold, and cried a little.

It just sucks. It sucks. I tracked all week. I said no to so many things to counter my 'splurge' Saturday - which didn't even put me over my points for the week! I worked out like a bandit. I tried new things. I focused on filling foods, fresh veggies and fruit, and higher-protein choices. There's a freaking cake on my kitchen counter that I haven't TOUCHED since Sunday morning! The amount of willpower exhibited alone should have burned enough calories to result in a 15 or 20 pound loss.

But no.

A gain.

So now what, Universe? Should I start skipping meals? Cut out entire food groups? Shake diets? No carbs? Increase my gym attendance from 4 or 5 days a week to 9? What? What do I need to do to lose this damn weight?!

Here are some visuals:

My tracker for the week.




And this is my weight loss progress from the very beginning.



I can't figure out why it stopped. I can't figure out why I'm not losing anymore. I feel like I'm hitting my head against a wall all day long but I can't stop. And inside my head, this runs on a loop:

What's the point? I'm never going to be able to do this. I'm going to be a fat bride. I'm going to die early of a heart attack. I'll never meet my grandchildren. I'm never going to be happy with my weight or my size or my body.


Grrrrrr. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

30 days left...

I have 30 days left until my next birthday. Honestly, I thought I'd be really close to my goal by now. But I'm not.

The gym I go to is having a Biggest Mover contest. For 30 days, your attendance and participation in group classes, personal training, and so on is tracked and you are awarded points. The 'biggest mover' or the person with the most points at the end of 30 days wins.

I am going to win. It's obviously a sign - 30 days of contest, 30 days until I'm officially in my 'late' twenties...the universe conspires for me to take home this prize.

Or at the very least, I'm going to beat Gary :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Strength Training

It's been almost two months since my initial training sessions at the gym. I'm really proud to say that I've not only stuck with the routine, but added a few different exercises and increased the weight on almost all of them.

My standard 'strength day' workout looks like this:

10 minutes of light cardio warm-up

3 sets of 12-15 of each of the following exercises:

Lunges - sometimes with one foot on a bosu board
Squats with 8 kg kettle ball OR hold a squat on a bosu board while I do shoulder presses with dumbells - 3-5 lbs, depending on what's available
Narrow-grip lat pulldowns - 50lbs
Hamstring curls on machine - 40 lbs
Bicep curls on 'preacher bench' thing - 20 lbs, which is WAY more than I'd ever consider possible but is getting too light now
Bent over row OR row machine thing - 20 lb barbell OR 30 lbs on machine
Tricep pull-down - 40 lbs
Ab work - crunches on ball, planks, reverse crunches

Sometimes I add in chest presses, more shoulder work or some extra tricep curls; sometimes I also add leg lifts and leg presses. Sometimes I also add another 10 minutes of cardio in, or, if I'm feeling really ambitious, I'll do 30 minutes of cardio first and then the weight training stuff.

I've pretty much mastered my routine. I try to do the exercises in a different order each time, to keep up some variety, but generally speaking, I start with some arm work, then do tne leg stuff, then some core, then back to arm work and finish with more core.

I'm pleased with my results, but I think it's time I keep stretching beyond my comfort zone. I've got a stack of workout guides and a bunch of different books to look at for ideas in varying my routine. I think I need to add in more core work and more lower-body exercises.

Do you have a favourite strength training move? Do you like free weights, machines or body-weight exercises?

The Soup: Planning Ahead

The coffee shop across the street from my office has the most incredible, delicious soup I've ever tasted. It's a spicy, creamy thai chicken bowl of goodness - and there is no way it's good for you. It's warm, and hearty, and freaking awesome - but it's got to be loaded with cream, butter and coconut milk.
 
I could eat it every day. In fact, some weeks, I have. But I'm trying really hard to balance out my Saturday splurge, so no soup for me.
 
The only kink in this plan is my standing (until our new manager starts) Monday lunch meeting with our VP, at that coffee shop. It's a great place to work, so we often meet there. The sandwiches don't do much for me and the menu is pretty short, so I'm left with the soup.
 
I'm not one to turn down a free lunch, but today I'm going to do it. I've got some veggies and hummus, greek yogurt, almonds, and an orange to last me through the afternoon. I'll order some tea and resist the soup.
 
I can resist the soup. I will resist the soup. I am stronger than the soup.
 
 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Splurges

Yesterday was a total high-calorie splurge day. And it was worth every bite.

We got up early and hit the gym. I do like starting Saturdays with a 9:30 spin class; it gets the workout out of the way, and I would never push myself that hard on my own, especially on a weekend.

In late December, Gary and I had dinner at a new burger place in Calgary - Five Guys Burgers & Fries. It's an American chain, and he'd been there with his coworkers. It was AMAZING. Then in January, we decided we were going to really give it our all on the healthy eating/exercising front, and that was the end of burgers and fries for a long time.

Several weeks ago, we decided we'd splurge and go back to Five Guys in March - and god, it was worth it. Yesterday's hamburger was awesome. I'd gladly give up fast-food fries and cheeseburgers forever for a burger like that three or four times a year.

Important lesson to learn, right?

Then we had some friends over for dinner and I wanted to try out a lemon cake recipe I'd been looking at for awhile. I wouldn't bake just for Gary and I - that's too tempting - but for friends? Sure!

It was equally yummy. And totally worth the points! I didn't go over my weekly points, so if it means I have to have three more strict days until weigh-in, that's fine. It was worth it, and I feel no guilt about splurging on good, wholesome, honest-to-goodness treats instead of a lame bag of cheetos and ridiculous 15 point lattes.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Trying to Remember

Today I have my meals planned and packed, with the exception of dinner.
 
Breakfast: oatmeal, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 cup blueberries, non-fat latte
Snack: orange
Lunch: 1 cup stirfry leftovers (chicken and veggies); 1 cup brown rice
Snack: fat-free yogurt, 10 almonds
 
Dinner is, at this point, a looming unknown. We're going to the gym right after work, but then I have to go back to work for an event, so I'll probably pick up some sushi or subway or something in the food court on my way back to the office.
 
I'm trying to remember what it's like to be a 'good dieter' - to harness the power of that feeling of denying a craving. Yesterday I was really hungry in the afternoon, but I didn't want to eat anything until dinner. So I had a giant glass of water. I was still hungry - and probably should have eaten something small, like some fruit, but the feeling I got by stomping on that hunger was a good reminder. I ate a reasonable dinner and went to bed without caving in to the temptation to go get an ice cream treat from the store downstairs.
 
Felt good.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Missing...

In that period of time that I've been silent, I haven't quit. I'm still working out. We aim for 5 days a week, but 4 is probably more realistic. I'm still doing the strength training routine Stephanie showed me, but I've also added some other exercises. And I've increased the resistance or weight on almost every single exercise, too. I actually have a bicep...somewhere. I promise. It's under that wiggly bit on my upper arm. I can feel it.

I've also reduced my measurements everywhere, including my hips (VICTORY!) and thighs (SWEET VICTORY!) I've lost a pants size, and bought a pair of jeans in a non plus sized store that I've never been able to buy jeans in before - not even when I was in high school. That was a total triumph. Then I realized that they might even be a smidge too big, and had to buy a belt. I haven't worn a belt in almost a decade - why would I, when I had my rear end to hold my pants up?

But still, in that two weeks, the scale didn't budge.

This morning, in the name of accountability and realizing that two months have slipped past, I stepped on the scale and finally. The number is lower. I feel inspired again. I can do this.

I lost 2.8 lbs this morning. The last few weeks I've been down, then up, then up some more, and now I'm back down again - and at 207.4.

It's hard. I don't want to blog when all I'm feeling is frustration. I don't want to be a whiner. But at the same time, I want to be open and honest about this process. When I started WW and exercising back in May, I looked ahead at my future and figured that I'd be at goal - or at least close to it - come February or March. I was even on track there, for the first three months. And then, everything slowed to a grinding halt.

I've been losing and gaining the same damn three pounds since October.

And it's driving me nuts.

So that's it, guys. I've figured out the exercise thing. I'm seeing progress in other ways. But I'm still reaching for starchy sugary comfort foods at 2:30 when I realize I have nine more hours of work to do and two hours to do it in. I still neglect to track what I'm eating and assume that I'll still see results. I still think I can get away with eating this freaking delicious, creamy, fatty thai chicken soup twice a week for lunch and lose weight.

I can't.

In about 5 months, maybe less, I want to go shopping for my wedding gown. I want to be 10 lbs from my goal at that point. 10 pounds will make a difference in how I look, for sure, but isn't so much that I'll need to alter that dress down an insane amout.

That means I have just over 25 lbs to lose to get there. That's a lot, considering I can't seem to lose .5 pound a week consistently. But 5 lbs a month - when you write it down, doesn't seem unrealistic.

I know the key is the food I eat. I guess it's time for some re-education on the diet front...