Friday, December 4, 2009

Lessons learned and re-thinking plans


There's not much more I can say about this week. It has been an eternity since I've written a new post.

I've been really bad at following my original plan, and in the last few months, I have regained nearly 20 lbs. Nope, not proud of myself at all.

People say, "you don't look like you've gained". Gee, thanks!

I decided to change primary care providers recently. I really like my previous doctor, but he is getting up in age, and honestly, looking at his crooked toupe each visit was slightly disturbing. But I digress.

After Thanksgiving and the ridiculous amounts of food I ate that day and the enitre weekend, I started feeling odd stomach pains. Cut to the new doc and an appointment. Walked in, waited over an hour to see him. BP checked - get this, 190/120 - WHAAAAAAAT?

Last time it was checked, nearly a year ago, it was 110/90. What the hell had I done to myself? Clearly I am not paying attention to taking care of myself. Right away, they put me in a room, told me to take this orangeish pill and lay down. Huh? It was all happening so fast. I was freaking out. Probably didn't help that I dissolved into tears when the doctor gave me the numbers. "Are you like this all the time?", he asked. I'm like, "Uh, no!" Girl comes back in 20 mminutes and the numbers are down. Okay, but not enough, it seems. Other half of pill is given. "Lay down for a little while longer", she says. OMG! 20 more minutes go by and I'm crawling out of my skin. Doc comes in and says it has gone down more, but the lower number is better than the higher. He writes a prescription for meds and tells me to go home, take one tonight, and one per day; come back Thursday. So soon? All righty, then.

Thursday... BP still high. So now they've doubled the dose (not thrilling me, due to the cost of this stuff).

So, I'm still learning. I suppose we will do this until we leave this lovely earth. I'm going to write more. Still need to undergo a test to see what the stomach stuff is... December is a month of doctor visits, and getting back on track.

Stay with me...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Caveat Empty (the refrigerator)

I believe we all need to empty our refrigerators from time to time. You know, there could be something rotting in there (don't judge - you know this has happened to you). I don't believe we need to do this daily - yes, we need to eat, but not the way I have been doing lately.

I started this blog to talk about weight loss issues - my issues and how I overcame them to lose a whopping 50 lbs. in 9 months! Well, lately, I have been on all sorts of plateaus. Today, I am proud of myself, because an obnoxious response from someone in my office could have caused me to head straight to the deli to get something sinful to eat, but I didn't. For some odd reason, I tend to forget that I purchased a very delicious box of Chocolate Mint Vita Tops a while back. This is good, since, if I remembered this every day, I could end up eating the whole box - yeah, that would be 2,400 calories in one sitting - is that still low in points with all the fiber I'd be consuming? (each one has like 6 grams of fiber and only 100 calories). No, silly - that would be one day of points and then I might look like a walking Vita Top. Look, they are very nice looking, but I didn't start a diet to look like a chocolate muffin top, which would happen if I did this very thing. I could imagine walking down the street - people would say, what a pretty chocolate muffin top! OK, I am waking up from this ridiculous dream.

I know I am getting off topic here... my point is I want to be able to get back to what prevents me from the success I initially achieved. 2009 has been quite an emotional year. The poor economy in the U.S. finally hit my company, and in March, we learned that our salaries would be cut by 10%. At first, it did not bother me too much. As time went on, it began to, and my eating issues followed. I wish I did not let stuff like this bother me. Of course, I am only human and I know I can't escape it.

How do I get my focus back? Do I need to attend WW meetings again? Maybe. I recently felt that I could do this myself. I could follow my points program without attending meetings. It doesn't seem like that is working.

OK, I am making a new plan. I am committing to attending at least one meeting by the end of next week. If I do that, I can stick to it. They always say you have to try something once, and you will know if you really want to do it. I want to lose more weight. I don't want to get back to my former size. I hated it. I love fitting into the size I am now (and it doesn't hurt that I am getting a gift from a pal who I helped with her office transition - a $250 pair of jeans from her company in my current size!). Don't want to screw that up! Keep up with the blog to see how I do!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How something insignificant impedes my progress...

Wow; I have really been on a plateau lately. I'm not sure why a scheduled day of fasting makes me eat even more than I normally do. Psychologically, I'm thinking that if I do "fat stores", I will be okay the day of the fast. This does not work.

The interesting aspect of this all - I'm not really gaining anything. I just continue to stay at the same weight I've been after gaining nearly 16 lbs., and losing 6. My real plan to is to stay on track and lose more than what I gained. I want to do this as I never really reached the original goal I set for myself. I patted myself on the back for a very long time after losing 50 lbs. That's easy to do when you get a lot of compliments on how you look. Listen, for me, this is not about numbers, but it is about how I'm feeling. I am totally amazed at how just a small number of pounds can make you feel not well again. That was my wake-up call. Stop patting yourself on the back and get in the game again.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was totally excited by the return of "The Biggest Loser". I started watching only last season, but what a season it was! So inspiring! This season, not so much. I began to watch last night's episode, which occured immediately after last week's weigh-in (this is normal, for those of you who don't watch). If the group dropped a total of 150 lbs., no one would go home. They ended up dropping 155 lbs., and they even had a 15 lb. advantage from a challenge. I was excited for them, since they really, really need to be there. This week, however, made me feel like the show is channeling Survivor. When I watched last season, I felt that the challenges were things they could handle psychologically. This season, much like the aforementioned jungle reality show, the challenges are causing them to make choices they are not ready to make, and it is affecting the entire group. Both challenges were won by a woman who began the competition by collapsing during a one-mile run/walk, ending up in the hospital with a still-unknown ailment. Obviously, her weight caused what ever problem she had, but we haven't been told what really happened to her. The two challenges were choice based: "Would you rather ____ or ____?" - first asked to decide whether they wanted a 2-lb. advantage or their trainers, this girl quickly decided she needed the 2-lbs. Problem is, she neglected to discuss this with her partner, and it affected his week. He needed the trainers (although, the way they are acting this year, I could do without them - no need to be so mean). Next, they were challenged to not eat cupcakes. The winner would be who ever could eat the most cupcakes. That person would win, and the prize was controlling who got to be weighed in each team pairing. As I said before, the same woman won. Impulsively, she ate 4 cupcakes. Only one other person ate, and he consumed only two. So, now she controlled the game.

While this may all sound quite tedious, it fully impacts anyone who is on a diet and exercise program. You absolutely cannot make rash decisions. You have to think about everything you are putting in your mouth, and you need to take the time to think about it. In the real world, what you do with your diet does not control the people around you and how they eat. But anyone who watches this show or reads this blog needs to follow a plan. Please don't let the decision made on this show affect what you are doing. I'm trying not to let it affect me. But it is.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The real "Biggest Loser" is back!

I was so excited to watch the season premiere of "The Biggest Loser" last night. While I know this is always an emotional journey, I don't think I was prepared for this season's contestants. Everything started out fine, with the theme this season being "second chances". We even have a contestant from last year, Dan, who already lost 142 lbs. on the show in season 7 (he was a fan favorite).

Each contestant has gone through something that has lead to their obesity. Abby lost her entire family in a car accident when her youngest was only 2 weeks old. She believes that she was not in the car for a reason, and feels her fate is sealed in that she can have this second chance at being healthy and moving on with her life. Julio and his wife (not a contestant) decided that at age 40, they would make healthy changes - they promised their daughters as much. Shay, the largest contestant in all 8 seasons, was raised by a heroin-addict mother who chose living on the streets over providing shelter for her daughter. As a result, she ended up in foster care, where she was able to get some love and a great education (she is a social worker), but at the start of the season, weighs a staggering 476 lbs. I don't even know how you can get there. Even at my heaviest weight, I was aware of how big I was getting and made several attempts to lose the weight. She seems to have had no clue and is now embarrassed at how big she has gotten. It was great to see her lose a substantial amount of weight in the first week. I hope she really sticks with it, because 30 is too young to die.

I'm looking forward to next week's episode, where hopefully, as in episode one, no one ends up in the hospital for just exercising. Two contestants suffered this fate, and as of the end of the episode, only one was back at the ranch.

This show is so inspiring. Watch it if you have a chance. Even if you are at a healthy weight, you can learn something!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I decided this morning, based purely on receiving an email from a former professor who has a blog (and has been quite a frequent poster), and the mere fact that I haven't written a post in nearly two weeks, that I have plateaued.

Webster's (the dictionary, not the little guy on 80's TV) defines a plateau thusly:

Pronunciation: \pla-'to, 'pla-\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural plateaus or pla-teaux \-'toz
Etymology: French, from Middle French, platter (hmmmm...) from plat flat
Date: 1796 (people have been exhibiting this behavior for a while now, huh?)

1 a: a usually extensive land area having a relatively level surface raised sharply above adjacent land on at least one side: TABLELAND b: a similar undersea feature
2 a: a region of little or no change in a graphic representation b: a relatively stable level, period, or condition (this sounds like me)
3 a: a level of attainment or achievement (okay, are you as confused as me yet?)

Maybe I need to Google the word. Clearly, this plateau thing applies quite well to weight loss, whether you have a reached a goal you want to climb the mountain tops to share, or if you have simply hit a spot in your progress that is stagnant.

Listen, I knew when I got back on this road, that there would be periods where there would be no movement on the scale (up or down).

I see my pattern here. And currently, I am listening to the fabulous Beatles tell me: "Because the world is round..." I am suddenly believing this has something to do with my plateau. The intelligent me knows this can't be true, but there are people out there who think this rules their days, so I can't be that far off.

My new goal is to just get through this. I am doing everything right: keeping a food journal, which besides having fun with making a neat cover for it, has actually been fun and informative, sticking to my daily points, adding exercise to my routine (yeah, some days, that last one seems to be the thing that I put last). I know that I will. Starting today...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thank God for the Bender Ball (tales from a frustrating morning on the subway)

This morning, for a change, the train decided to take a little break - from MOVING! Even little things excite me (it doesn't take much), so when the train got to my station with seats (Yay!), my heart jumped a little (believe me, this occurance is rare). We started to move towards the next station, slowly. At first, I didn't think much of it. But then, we stopped at that next station for two minutes - no announcement. We began moving again towards the next station, and again we stopped for a full two minutes (I knew this because I was playing a timed game of solitaire on my phone). What was up?

The train ambled along towards the city. I looked at my watch: It was 8:20 a.m. I realized I'd been on the train for almost 40 minutes now. Huh? Normally, I am at my lower Manhattan stop sooner than this. We hadn't even left the borough yet! Oy! Finally, when we got to the last stop before Manhattan, the conductor decided to enlighten us: "Sorry, folks, there is a train with mechanical difficulties ahead. We will be moving shortly." Ugh. We got this message about 5 more times, and then the train moved again. Slowly. Finally, they said it could be another 15-20 minutes before it moved out of this particular station. What the? I again consulted the time: 9:08. Unbelievable. At 8:45, I sent a Blackberry message to my bosses - problem is, they could not get that from underground. Now, all of this would normally put a knot in my back. I was stressed that I couldn't get to work on time, but I was calmed by the fact that all this stress wasn't affecting my back - sitting on a train for that long is not fun for your muscles. Then, I realized why....

At work, I am forced to sit in what is supposed to be an ergonomic chair. Yes, according to the box, this chair was specifically designed to help with back pain and posture. It actually does help with posture, on the rare day it actually stays at the correct height. Either someone is screwing with my chair, or it has a mind of its own. Back pain, however, has not been fixed by just sitting in this "miracle chair". It has actually gotten worse.

Because of this, I have been looking for something to take away my lower back pain. I knew it had something to do with being overweight, but it never occurred to me that there was a product out there that would accomplish two tasks: strengthen my abs and core muscles and alleve my back pain! Yes, it is the Bender Ball. This little ball is pure genious!

It probably didn't help that I regained nearly 15 lbs. over the course of four months. I'd lost 50, and I thought the back pain was gone (it still hurt from time to time). Well, thanks to the bender ball (and that other genious, Gilad), I've lost a little over 4 lbs. in just two weeks. Oh, add to that the return to Weight Watchers way of eating.

So, the next time the train decides to not move (and I assure you, this will happen again), I will remember that I have a tool at home to help me. And that should make my ride smooth no matter what happens. By the way, I got to the office at 10:00 a.m. And my back is fine....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tips and Tricks (what I've learned in the past and on this new journey)

I love that I am getting followers now... my goal for this whole thing is to have people read the blog and walk away with something useful in their own weight loss journey as well as me benefitting from the comments.

That's already happening! This is very exciting to me.

And now I want to share some tips and tricks that I've learned along the way (beginning with my original quest to lose, and the one I am on now):

  1. If you find yourself wanting to eat poorly between meals, give yourself ten minutes to decide if you really are hungry. I know about this because I do it when I am bored. (I normally want a snack at around 11 a.m. - I don't always need one - ten minutes not too long to wait!)
  2. If you find yourself wanting to eat poorly between meals (Part Deux), drink a tall glass of water! It really works!
  3. For those of us working every day, make sure you get up and move around the office. Studies have shown that even a little bit of movement is good. So, do it!
  4. Eat fruit! Eat popcorn (the light kind, preferably without butter)! Eat veggies (I choose colorful ones so they are fun to eat)! Spice up your food; when we have to eat in limited quantities, it is better to give your food some flavor - it will be more satisfying - stock up on spices, herbs, garlic, etc. Just make sure you pay attention to the expiration dates on the spices - old spices do not taste good.

Okay, I am keeping this short. I do welcome from you more suggestions (and I have been getting great ones in the comments, so read that, too!) And, as I just told my friend, Rock on With Your Bad Self! You can do this!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Weekends and staying on track

I have decided that I personally need to eat on the weekends as I do during the week. I did have a setback during the work week last week, however, I overcame that and got back on track rather quickly.

The weekend was a different story. I ended up having to work late Friday night. Was it absolutely necessary? No. The reason I had to stay later was that my boss had been traveling in Latin America and arrived to the U.S. just Friday morning. That being the case, he needed time to get himself together before he came into the office. This, of course, did not bode well for me. I had this feeling Friday that he would show up late, get on the phone to do his job, and wait until the very last minute, as is his custom, to hand me a pile of expenses. This is normally a task I enjoy doing; I actually have to use my brain for it, and make sure that all expenses that are going to be paid do end up being paid, and on time, for that matter. When this particular individual does expenses, he tends to give them to me piecemeal. That could potentially mean hours upon hours of doing this, but you know what an anal person can be like. What am I saying - I'm pretty anal!

In any case, instead of having me handle the calculations, which, I assure you, I am quite good at, he decided to do them himself. Honestly, he had many other things he could be tending to, but he chose this path instead.

Are you thinking that I am totally veering off course from my story? You might, but I am not. I promise!

All of the actions taken by the aforementioned individual caused me to have more stress than I actually have been able to handle lately. I do work well under pressure, but being that this was what I previously titled "MS", it was causing me all sorts of stress. The silly thing is that these expenses are not technically due until later this week! Why did they need to be done Friday? The client needs them for billing purposes. Okay, I get it. You need to bill your client. Could you have come to the office earlier? Could you have let me handle the task in its entirety, so it would get done in a timely manner and you could be doing the tasks you had to do? Sure. I know I am being completely selfish - they pay me to work for them. I understand that dynamic.

My real problem was handling my food issues over the weekend. I know it really had nothing to do with the expenses, or any task I would have been asked to do that took longer than it actually needed. All of this happened to me, when, in my mind, I was ready to tackle eating healthy over the weekend. It generally tends to be the time when I don't pay attention to my points. Friday's events brought me across the street to the cookie store - they had no cookies, and I should have walked out, but I didn't. I chose a blondie instead. Probably had more calories than a normal human being should consume in one sitting, but I did not care. I needed a pick me up to finish my task and I knew my 1-point Vita Top was not going to cut it. Normally, as I've mentioned before, I would spend the weekend beating myself up for it. I didn't. But, I didn't really try to eat well the rest of the weekend. I tried telling myself I was, what with scheduling meals with longer time periods in between. Let me tell you now: Don't do this! Eat three regular, healthy, points-worthy meals. Be satisfied, but don't sacrifice your whole diet to do it.

And keep loving yourself. This is how I am getting through the setbacks, and I hope you do, too!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


That is what I am afraid you can call me today. I can't think of any other word to describe me at this moment.

You know how you have those mornings where everything is going well. You have made the plan for your day, and you are sure it will all go smoothly. You've had those days, right? We all have. Even though I knew the temperature was going to climb to nearly 100 today, I did not let it faze me. In the short time I've been back at this, I have noticed a little (and I'm telling you, a very little amount of looseness) in the clothing. Another thing to keep me from being discouraged.

I arrived to the railroad early. The person behind the counter at the cafe got everything in my iced coffee order correct, not to mention the fact that I didn't have to hear the owner of said cafe scowl when I asked for FAT FREE Half n' Half. Yes, she usually scowls about that. For some reason, she thinks that a lot of her customers don't want FAT FREE Half n' Half, but believe me, she is dead wrong. I've heard plenty of people ask for it specifically. Whatever, I am getting away from my original point. The day was going perfectly.

And then...

Bum, bum, bum.....

The subway had issues. The line at the deli was out the door. My first instinct? To try and wait. Normally, when the line is long, it is because of the sheer amount of orders being thrown at the wonderful guy behind the counter. What was going wrong today? He wasn't there. What? How could he do this to us? Notice I don't say only me, because I know he has a loyal following. There was bellowing: "Hey, kid, you gave me the wrong sandwich!", "Yo, dude, can you get us some freakin tongs?"... yada, yada, yada. I instantly got a knot in my stomach. Really. Of course, this would not annoy the average chick on a diet. But me, no, I couldn't handle it. Yeah, I am a creature of habit. When something is not going my way, my habit is to avoid it altogether. I had to come up with a plan of action. Problem is, there are no other healthy proteins to be had at this place. Could I have gone somewhere else? Probably. Did I want to? Absolutely not. So, I did the thing I truly did not want to do. I grabbed a tong (by this time, they had put them out) and took a cinnamon raisin bagel. Yes, that's correct. I went towards the dark side. I got even darker. I purchased a tub of butter. Eeek. It is the very thing when avoided that brings great results. Am I mad? A little. Will I get though this. Sure.

The plan for the rest of the day? Write it all down (not just in this blog). I remember my original plan for the day: take control of this thing. And that is just what I am doing. I have used more points than I intended for breakfast. Luckily, this morning I painstakingly measured exactly 1/3 cup of tuna fish (in water, of course), and exactly 1/2 tablespoon of mayonnaise. Mixed together, it will make a fabulous tuna sandwich for lunch.

And that will be it. My real point here is that I am proud of myself for not really freaking out. The old me would have totally obsessed all day long. I'm not going to do that. To compensate, I will make sure I take that walk I have planned with my friend later. I will keep to my points total for the rest of the day.

And tomorrow is another day. Have a great one today!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

When boredom makes you want to eat...

Oy... it is really, really slow at work these days. I am sure I am not the only one with this complaint, but when there is nothing to do, I begin to think of things to compensate not doing anything.

So far, I have done one personal favor for the boss (yes, the package he wanted sent was sent), I have looked at Facebook a gazillion times, read my soap opera information, checked all three of my email accounts (don't judge - I know you have them, too!), walked around the office a little bit, peed several times (thanks to the extra water I am drinking).

I knew when I got back into the weight loss thing that it wouldn't be a piece of cake. I don't even really like cake. I know - you are probably thinking: she doesn't like cake? Yeah, it has pretty much always been that way. Don't get me wrong. I don't dislike all sweets. For some unknown reason, as most of my family has no problem eating cake, I just can't get a jones going for it. It doesn't matter what type of cake, I just tend not to eat it.

Now, cupcakes are a different story. Yes, I will eat those little round bundles of joy, but I've got rules. Yup, I can't eat 'em if they don't adhere to my personal cupcake list. Any cupcake I eat, must be constructed as such: White cupcake, has to have chocolate frosting; Chocolate cupcake, has to have vanilla frosting. Prefer white cc/choc frosting, but will eat the reverse version if forced or no other option is presented. Also like my friend's carrot cake cupcakes. Delish. That's all. Any other sweet ingested has to be of the chocolate candy or ice cream nature.

Back a year and a half ago, when I started WW, I was quite nervous about dessert. I'm not sure why, since, as a rule, we don't generally have dessert after meals in our house. I thought, I am going to get through this; I won't have to worry about dessert. Then, the points came into play. Be sure to eat all your points - don't deprive yourself, our leader intoned week after week. So, I began to obey. Was I glad I did - WW has some really delicious desserts! Yum, Giant Chocolate Cookies and Cream Pop! Yum, Mint Flying Saucer! And it doesn't end there! The Skinny Cow is part of my routine now, too! Yum, Chocolate Mint Chip Ice Cream Cone! That one is a particular favorite. Only caveat: it is 3 points. I saved it for days when I had 3 points left. Luckily, there is competition that is equally as good. WW recently introduced their own Chocolate Mint Cone... it is just 2 points, and the cone itself is chocolate! Yum!

So, how am I going to get through this spate of office boredom? Hmmmm, I don't really know. I can write more posts, but let's be realistic, I don't want this to become an obsession. I want it to be a tool to help me in my quest to get back in shape, and I want it to be fun for you to read! Feel free to offer suggestions! I'm open to them.

And now, I gotta get back to work (really!)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Here I Go Again (thanks, Whitesnake!)

Yes, here I go again.

My journey towards health and weight loss began exactly 1 year, 6 months and 10 days ago. I joined the fabulous Weight Watchers on February 8th, 2008. By the beginning of September, I had lost nearly 43 lbs! Yay, me! I was feeling better, looking better, down 4 sizes (yup, that's right!). By December (holiday time), I was down a total of 50 lbs. I could not contain my excitement. Everyone I knew or did not even know personally was complimenting me.

So, what happened? The truth is it is not too shocking in terms of weight gain. I really believe it is my self-esteem that has been affected and is affecting the journey from continuing.

Have I given up? No, it is not in my nature to do that. I really, for a long time, months even, believed I was maintaining. I spent my days telling myself that after more than a year recording every morsel, I could take a break from it. The result of that break? Weight gain. I cannot put it more simply than that. I decided about a week or so ago to give it another try (hence redux).

So, do I have a plan? Yes. Am I sure it is going to work? Not at all. Weight Loss (and the maintenance thereof) is really a life-long pursuit, at least for me. Luckily, I have the most supportive husband (he really was a big part of my initial loss, and I know he will continue to be). My family and friends are ultra there for me, too!

The plan? To try it myself, with Weight Watchers' help, of course. I still subscribe to the website. I have to be more diligent about going to the meetings. I must record every morsel eaten. I will not beat myself up if I eat too much, even if I gain weight from said eating too much. To begin, using the gift certificate I received from my great bosses two months ago, I purchased a genuine WW scale (it's pretty), a digital food-weighing scale and a Bender ball. I also began DVR'ing some exercise programs. Yes, I even managed to get ten minutes of Total Body Sculpt with Gilad in last night after work.

So, Here I Go Again. I hope you'll join me!