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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Verdict

At my weigh-in today at Weight Watchers, I found that...

(drum roll please)

My weight stayed the same!

That's right...I maintained my weight during Christmas week!  I am not sure how it happened, as my eating was not "on plan."  However, the progress I have made and the increase in my activity level apparently worked for me because I still weighed in at 230 pounds today!

I am going to change my ticker to reflect my official Weight Watchers weight each week, as this will give me a concrete number to input on the ticker.  Therefore, it will look like I have a gain this week (because of the whole first-thing-in-the-morning-in-my-birthday-suit vs. later-in-the-day-with-clothes-on weighing difference), but it will make it easier to track in the long run.

Make it a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 in review...and what's on my plate for 2011!

I can't believe that 2010 is drawing to a close!  It feels like it just got here, and already we are saying goodbye.  This year was HUGE for me, in terms of health and fitness, and it feels so good to look back on the year and feel satisfied by how I am doing in my seemingly endless struggle against my weight.  I still have more work to do, but I feel like I have learned so much this year, and I am actually feeling optimistic that 2011 may be the year that I reach my weight goal!  And I know it will be the year that represents the first time in a LONG time that I have weighed less than 200 pounds.  I don't have all that far to go to hit that goal, and I am looking forward to it!  I had hoped to weigh that on my 35th birthday, which is four months from tomorrow, but I am no longer thinking that is going to happen.  However, my new goal is to be under the weight I was when I first joined eDiets when I got out of college in early 1999, which was 221 pounds, and I can easily do that before I turn the big 3-5!

To recap, on January 4, 2010, I started my journey to health and wellness at 274.6 pounds on my old scale.  Last week, when I weighed in on my new scale, I weighed 226.5 pounds.  This represent a total weight loss of 48 pounds.  I had lost about 40 pounds by the end of the summer, and I hit a plateau, but I maintained that weight loss while still enjoying food, and I have kicked things back into gear with the help of the new Weight Watchers PointsPlus program.  My official WW weigh-in last week had me at 230 pounds on their scale (with clothes on, while I weigh myself at home first thing in the morning in my birthday suit), which represents a weight loss of 5.8 pounds since I attended my first meeting.  Now, I did overindulge for the four days between Christmas Eve and yesterday (thereby not meeting my goal of limiting myself to two days of excess), so I will not be surprised to see a gain at tomorrow's meeting, but I have been 100% back on track today and look forward to seeing where WW is going to take me!

One of the biggest things I have done this year is increase the amount of time I am spending in the gym.  Now, I used to spend no time at all in the gym, so any increase would be a huge one, but I have really gotten into the habit of going to the gym, for the most part, four days per week.  My work schedule does not allow me to go work out on my work days, but for most of the year, I have been consistent in my gym habits.  I have not been going as often lately because my second job, which is a retail job, has picked up a lot during the holiday season, but that should calm down soon, and then I will have plenty of time to spend in the gym!

Here is a list of my 2011 goals/resolutions, as well as some discussion of them:

To lose the remaining 50 pounds of weight to my ultimate goal - Even with my several-months-long plateau, I managed to lose almost 50 pounds this year.  Next year, I would like to avoid such a long plateau (which I can mostly attribute to being a lot more lax with things for several months, really, so maybe it was more a fall-off-the-wagon than a plateau) and lose the rest of the weight!  It's hard to imagine how I will feel when I accomplish this goal because I have struggled with my weight for so long.  However, I know the plan that I am following is one that will work, and I know that I can do it!

To attend Weight Watchers meetings every week of the year - This one is important to my success with my first goal.  I know that WW works, and I know that part of what makes it work for me is the support that the meetings give me.  I also know that it's easy to let one skipped meeting turn into me disappearing off the face of the WW earth, and I don't want that to happen.

To cut back my fast food consumption to once per month - I still answer the call of the drive thru way too often, usually when I am on my way home from work and am exhausted.  I most often stop at Chick-fil-a, which isn't the worst thing in the world, but it is money I don't need to spend at the very least.  Now, the nice thing about WW is that you can build treats like this into your plan.  However, a treat doesn't happen twice in one happens once in a while.

To increase my fitness to the point that I can run 5K by the end of the year - I am a C25K dropout, and most of my exercise these days is on the elliptical or on the StairMaster.  And I love both of those because I can read books on my nook while working out, which keeps me working out for long amounts of time.  However, I still feel very strongly that I want to become a runner (well, jogger, really).  And therefore, I am going to restart C25K once the coldest weather goes away, and this time, I hope to complete it!  I know that treadmill running will not work for me at this point, although I did used to enjoy some treadmill running back in the day when I called myself a runner.  Therefore, I am going to continue building up my fitness level using my current cardio methods, and then when it's nicer out, I will add in the C25K program.  Here's hoping it sticks this time!

And two non-health-related goals:

To follow Dave Ramsey's debt snowball for the entire year to pay down CC debt - I have accrued a good amount of CC debt in my life, and I really want to work on getting it paid down.  It isn't the ideal time to do this, as one stepson is headed to college this fall, and the other will follow the next fall.  However, I am feeling stifled by the debt I have, and I want to work on it.  I have downloaded a great planning and tracking spreadsheet that will make this easy to do, as long as I can stick with it and learn the difference between "wants" and "needs."  I have my budget for the year set up and filled in, and now I just have to stick to it (and hope that not too many unexpected expenses head our way this year)!

To read 111 book in '11 - This is my goal with my online book club on The Nest.  I read 100 books this year, and I want to challenge myself a bit for next year.  It would be too much of a stretch for me to read 125 books, I think, but 111 is probably doable.  In the years after that, I will probably stick to a 100-book goal every year, but I look forward to challenging myself with this one!

So that's it!  Those are a lot of goals, but so many of them are interrelated that I think I will be able to achieve them!  Here's to a wonderful new year and a health, happy 2011 for us all!  Make it a great YEAR, everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More WW success!

I weighed in again Monday afternoon for the fourth week of PointsPlus,
and I was thrilled be THREE POUNDS down on the scale! Our meeting was
all about strategies on dealing with holiday temptations. One thing
that I think is important is the "compartmentalization" of holiday
events. By that, I mean that I think it's important not to let the
whole week be a free-for-all. This week, I have two major "events"
planned. The first was dessert with the girls last night at the
Melting Pot. The second is a two-day event, namely Christmas Eve with
my family and Christmas day working at the hospital.

I prepared for last night be eating a bit lighter during the day
(although my holiday baking included a bit more taste-testing than was
strictly necessary) and also going to the gym for an hour-long sweat
session on the StairMaster, which earned me an extra seven Points+! I
did overindulge at the restaurant (we split a chocolate fondue course
AND a cheese fondue course, and I had two glasses of red wine), but it
was worth it because it was yummy and fun! And it was a much-enjoyed
night out with two friends I don't get to see very often!

I am of the opinion that a holiday is a holiday, and while I try not
to make completely bad decisions on holidays, I also don't deny
myself. I will not be tracking strictly on Friday or Saturday, but I
will try not to blow my eating plan completely. And then on Sunday, I
will be right back on track! I may see a little bit of gain after this
week, especially after this week's stellar results, but I will not let
it bother me, as long as I nip it in the bud immediately!

Make it a great day, everyone!

Sent from my mobile device

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

Monday, December 20, 2010

Update on my WW journey...

I started the PointsPlus program from Weight Watchers about three weeks ago, and so far, I am continuing to love this new program!  I can't even believe the quality of the food I am choosing when faced with the 36 points I get for the day!  I am still having some indulgences (a little Chick-fil-a here, a spot of Sonic there...really need my New Year's Resolutions to include some limit on fast food drive thru stops), but I am eating so many more fruits and vegetables than I ever have, and it feels amazing (except for day likes yesterday when the fruit and veggie overkill wreaks a tiny bit of havoc on the old GI system).

One of the first things I did when I restarted WW was to buy a little journal so I could write down the PointsPlus values of my most often eaten foods.  For example, I could eat for breakfast everyday a serving of steel cut oats (4) with 1 T of chia seeds (1), some sort of sweetener (either 1 T honey (2), 2 T maple syrup (3), or 1 tsp. Splenda/brown sugar mix (0), for the most part), and a banana (0).  I have been eating this breakfast for almost a year the majority of the time, and I have yet to get sick of it.  I was never a huge fan of oatmeal, but steel cut oats are beyond amazing (I thank the clean eating members of the H&F board on The Nest for introducing me to them), and I don't see myself getting sick of them anytime soon.  I also eat a lot of Morningstar Farms chik'n patties (4) on Arnold or Pepperidge Farm sandwich thins (3), with a slice of 2% milk cheese (1) and 1 T lite mayo (1).  It's a great go-to lunch or dinner because I can make it in fifteen minutes with the assistance of my toaster oven, and with a side of veggies, it fills me right up.  In fact, it's a great alternative to the drive thru and is what I chose last night for dinner when I got home from work at 8PM!  I also wrote down some PointsPlus values for not-too-bad drive thru options, as well as some of my Starbucks favorites, which will be OCCASIONAL treats for me but are something I don't want to give up forever.

Last week, I saw a number on the scale that I have not seen in MANY, MANY years, and I claimed it as my official weigh-in, so you  can see it reflected in my ticker at the top of the blog.  That official weigh-in was 227 pounds, which is 47.6 pounds lost since January 4!  I about fell right off the scale when I saw that number!  Of course, as most women know, our weights can fluctuate from day to day (and even hour to hour, really), so after dinner at a Chinese restaurant on Friday, I am up a bit, which I am crediting to water retention, I guess.  I am not too upset about it.  I am having my official Weight Watchers weigh-in today, and it will be my fourth meeting since starting the new program.  The scales at my meeting location are different from my scale at home, so I am sort of maintaining two weight loss totals.  There is my ticker total, which I have here on the blog, and there is my WW weight tracker, which is updated when I weigh in at meetings.  My WW weight was 235.8 pounds at my first meeting, 233.8 pounds at my second meeting, and 233 pounds at my third meeting.  I weighed myself at home before that third meeting, and it seems like my scale is at least 1.5 pounds different from theirs.  I also weigh myself in at home in the mornings, and I am going to WW meetings at different times of the day (the first was at 10AM, the second and third at 7PM, and today's at 1PM), so that is going to make a difference.  I am also trying to hit different meetings to get an idea of who the leaders are because I would love to attend meetings led by some of my favorite meeting leaders from my last WW go-'round!

I have been slacking on the gym, mostly because I have been working a lot more hours than usual at my retail job.  However, I was called off of work from my usual (nursing) job today, so I have an unexpected day free!  I have some Christmas prep to finish up (a bit of shopping, along with wrapping and baking), and I have plans to go to the Melting Pot tonight for dessert with my two best friends from high school (Hooray for those weekly extra points that WW gives me!), but that still leaves time to hit the gym.  I am reading Catching Fire, which is the second book of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins on my nook, and that should make my elliptical and StairMaster time fly by!

If I don't post again before the weekend, I want to wish all those who celebrate a very merry Christmas.  And to everyone, a happy, healthy New Year!  Make it a great day, everyone!

Monday, December 06, 2010


I have now been following the new Weight Watchers PointsPlus program for three full days, and I have to say that I am LOVING it! I used to be such a fan of the Points program, but after a while, I lost sight of real foods and began only to care about how many Points were in the foods. I was filling my diet low-point foods that weren't of great nutritional value. And eventually, I fell off the Points wagon. I was burnt out on figuring out the Points values for all my foods, and I gave up on getting healthier.

In January, I got back on track as far as getting healthier, and I am among the most healthy I have ever been as an adult. I have weighed less as an adult than I do now, but I have never been as consistent in my exercise habits as I am now, and I drink a lot less alcohol than I did in my 20s. However, as I mentioned in my last post, I have stalled.

I am not finding it difficult to transition to the new PointsPlus program because it has been a while since I have done Weight Watchers. And I am enjoying using the new materials. I love that we get more Points than we used to, even if the Points values of many foods are higher. And I LOVE that fruits and most veggies are free! I have been enjoying fruit quite a bit this year, and on the old Points plan, I mostly avoided fruit because I was too busy using my Points on things like 100-calorie packs. Today, I enjoyed a banana in my oatmeal this morning, some cherries with lunch (note to self - don't buy any more cherries until spring because they are NOT good at this time of year!), and an apple after dinner. Love that!

Ny first weigh in will be Thursday evening, less than a week after I started the program. However, my work schedule does not allow me to attend Saturday meetings most of the time. I will be interested to see the results, as the meeting will be in the evening after a day spent with my parents' in NYC. Usually, when you start a new diet, you get some amazing weight loss that first week because you lose some water weight. Since I have been eating better for many months now, I wouldn't expect to have that WHOOSH of water weight loss. In the long run, I am confident I will have great results with this program. However, those great results might not start with this first week! But that's why it's a marathon, not a sprint!

Make it a great day, everyone!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Changing it up...

After being at the same weight for multiple months now, I am starting to think that this is more than a plateau.  What I am doing doesn't seem to be working anymore.  I don't know if this is because I am being less strict, or if I am not eating enough, or if I am eating too much, or what.  Therefore, today, I am going to make a change.  Today, I am going back to Weight Watchers.  I have an unexpected day off of work (although I might have to work four hours later today), and there is a meeting at 10 AM at my closest meeting location.  I have done a little bit of reading up on the new PointsPlus program, and I really like the bones of the program.  I like that there is a focus on fat, fiber, carbs, and protein and how best to balance those.  And I love that veggies and fruits, for the most part, are free.  I did Weight Watchers when I first got married, and I was really successful with it, and I lost a good amount of weight.  Of course, I gained it back because I really was still relying on processed foods and "low points" foods, and that just wasn't feasible for the long term.  With my switch to cleaner eating, I feel like this new program will really work for me.  And I think it will actually encourage cleaner eating because I am really going to want to get the most bang for my bucks, points-wise, and cleaner foods are the better way to do that.  The good news is that after losing the weight I have this year, I now weigh just about as much as or even slightly less than I did the last time I was at a meeting.  So I don't have to go in there with my tail completely between my legs (which is not the way anyone there would make me feel...the people at Weight Watchers are nothing but supportive, and I have never felt judged or ashamed, even at my heaviest, by anything they have done or said, although sometimes in my own head I have felt like I was slinking back to the fold after doing something "bad").

I was a little concerned to stick my Larabar into a PointsPlus calculator and find that it comes out to six points.  I am interested to go to the meeting today and see what my daily allotment is.  I will report back later and let you know how I come out!


Several hours later...

I went to my first meeting!  The leader was one of the women I remembered from when I used to go to WW meetings, and the meeting room was packed!  They are also in a new, much nicer location that has a parking lot, which is nice, as the old location had on street parking only.  I got my new program materials, and I also bought two of the PointsPlus calculators, as I like to keep one in my purse at all times and one handy to use.  And this way, I have a back-up, in case I lose one.

The new calculator is really nice, as you can calculate points on it and also do some tracking of your points on it.  And the program materials look like they are really well done, although some of them are out-of-stock at my meeting location right now, so I will have to wait a bit to get my hands on them.

My weight was up a little from what my scale said yesterday, but I know that all scales are different, and I am excited to have a place to officially weigh in every week.  The next meeting that I will probably be able to get to is Thursday evening, so I will weigh in again then.  I get 36 points per day, along with the 49 flex points for the week.  I also am noticing that my usual hour-long workout at the gym (which I gauge to be a moderate intensity, for the most part, with some higher intensity thrown in) equals seven additional points to work with.  I will be interested to see what a week of eating this way brings my way in terms of results!

I have been having some back issues that seem to be related to my sciatic nerve, so I have not been to the gym this week.  I am planning to head back there on Monday to get back into the swing of things though.  I did go to yoga this week because it was our last class until January, but other than that, I have just been trying to give my back some rest to feel better.  I really miss my time on the StairMaster and elliptical, and my reading of books has suffered a bit as a result of the break!  My goal is to read 100 books this year, and I have about seven to go, so I have to get to that!

Make it a great day, everyone!