Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Have you heard the one about the tortoise and the hare?

Some weeks I feel like I'm moving at lightning speed; others, not so much.  This pertains not only to my weight loss, but extends to other parts of my life.  

It extends, for example, to me at work.  I wear many different hats and can be juggling several projects at once.  Some weeks, I am like a dynamo - I can lose 4.2 lbs. and finish every single project with aplomb and even perhaps applause.  Really.  Some weeks, I walk around without a clear thought in my head and I forget to do things, even the mundane things that are part of my weight loss journey and part of my job.  I don't quite get it, but I move on from everything with a smile and a plan to improve upon anything that I do.  I want to do things better even if I've done it well in the first place.

To that end, I'm on a quest this week to lose better than the .6 lbs. I lost in the last week.  Most would say, "Wow, you did great!  You lost almost 5 lbs. in two weeks!"  I'm the opposite.  Someone even said, "Hey!  At that rate (.6/week), you'll be down 30 lbs. in a year!"  No matter how optimistic I appear, inside I'm always finding the the black lining.  I never think I've done well enough.  

This even extends to things that are not particularly under my control.  When things I manage, but am not really responsible for making work do not work, I take on the blame.  It's kind of dumb to do that, but I take it on anyway.  I've talked about this in therapy, but haven't really gotten past it yet.  I end up saying sorry even when it isn't remotely my fault.

So, you probably get at this point that mostly I'm the tortoise, but it doesn't directly relate to how slow I am in losing weight; it points to the fact that I'm slow on the uptake in getting that it's a process. 

How can I change my attitude?  I'm not quite sure yet, but I know that continuing to attend meetings every week will help.  I also think I have to find other things to focus on, even when a day turns into gloom and doom.  I've got to do some research.  What do you do when you experience something like this?  How do you turn it all around?  Hit the comments and let me know.  I'm going to turn this all around.  Tomorrow.


Monday, May 6, 2013

I Can't Make Me Love Me (but I should)

As I began this journey again in January, I had a renewed sense of hope.  I decided not to base this on resolutions, like every one else was scrambling to do.  I wanted this to be my decision and my decision alone, not one that I made because a holiday dictated it.

Now, in my fourth month of trying to lose weight, I find that I am losing that sense of hope.  I know that I can find it within me, however, I find obstacles in other areas of my life that seem to slow me down.

Where I'm not slowing down is in exercising.  I'm continuing to do that, whether I am walking the treadmill or riding the recumbent bike or marching all over town (at some point this weekend, I actually marched because I spent some time with a little friend and well, it was mandatory that we all did).

What I'm not consistent with is tracking.  You must have heard some weight loss guru say that it's important to write down every morsel you take in.  I used to be very good with this.  I was so good, in fact, that I was obsessed with it and I ended up stopping because it was consuming my life.  This time, I started out really well with it and one day, when work was especially stressful, I did not track.  That put me on a downhill spiral.  Each day, I would promise myself that I would track my meals, but for some reason, I would "conveniently" forget to do it.  Once this was happening for several weeks, I'd effectively created a habit and I was done with it.  Now, you say, how can not tracking be a habit?  If you are not doing something, how does it become routine?  Well, I can speak for myself, but I can bet you that many people find ways not to do something they normally consider routine and once they stop, they are comfortable with their new habit of not doing it.

This, of course, scares me a little.  If I can create a way to not do something as simple as logging into the WW site and tracking my meals, I can probably do the same with many other things.  Will I stop exercising?  [Maybe] What if I stop making the bed?  Will I refuse to wash dishes?   The answer to the last two is probably not because even at my age, my mother is still in my head scolding me for things she doesn't even know I'm not doing.  Confused?  I am.

Okay, so really the answer is that I need to get back to tracking.  I have to start making it a habit again.  I really want to succeed at this, mainly because I like to have good health.  The secondary thing is that I want to look good (okay, maybe that's up there with health, but I don't want to sound selfish).

I took a step this week that I can't elaborate on, but I can tell you it was something that was pursued after I spoke to someone about staying in touch.  I knew if I did this, it would make me feel good.  So, the plan for me has to be that I get back on the tracking, er, track.  I know if I make it through at least one week, that can turn into two and soon it will be four weeks, where my habit will be on the positive side again.

What do you do when you fall off track?  How do you fix broken routines.  Hit the comments and let me know.  In the meantime, you can find me tracking. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

I'm at a Loss (and not just for words)...

I should have been anticipating this.  "What?" you ask.  I should have anticipated a loss.  I honestly had no idea and did not feel like any weight was lost in the past week.  Why?  I have been struggling a little with losses.  There has been a lot of up and down in the past 4-5 weeks and I wasn't really in that frame of mind.


What you probably already know about me is that I'm not really good at focusing on more than one thing.  So, when I finally joined a gym a few weeks ago, that became my focus.  So much so, that I have obsessed about it every day.  I'm staying on track with when I go and I am still making sure that I add a little walking each day, at least 10 minutes.


I was even sort of beating myself up this weekend when I was feeling a little under the weather.  Speaking of weather, it was still kind of sucky out in that the temps didn't feel like going above the mid-50's.  I ended up lounging most of the day Saturday until I pushed myself to go do some shopping and while I only ventured out for 10 minutes Sunday, I came right home, made us a healthy breakfast and broke out the vacuum and mop.  I even moved some furniture.  The only being not pleased with my mini-redecorating was the cat.  Too bad, so sad buddy.  It took him only about 20 minutes to realize we moved his food and litter box to different places.  He'll survive. 


It actually took me an hour or so to get into all of our nooks and crannies with the dirt sucker and the mop (or grime pusher as the hubs likes to call it).  What pleased me was that I was really sweating when I was done.  I probably should have blasted some Bruno Mars (both CDs) and gone to town.  But, I worry that I would have gotten bored.  What will I do Wednesday night when TV blows and it's not a gym night?  This way, I can do some more cleaning and the weekend will hopefully have some nice weather in which I can walk.


It may seem like I don't have a point here (that goes to my wacky focusing problem), but I do, I promise.  I now know that if I can't go to the gym, I can still find ways to incorporate moving into my routine.  Perhaps I can start dancing when I'm cooking dinner.  Maybe I can watch my favorite show while walking back and forth.  I don't know.  I just want to make sure that I am putting a focus on exercise and that I am still eating right.  At some point I will see losses every week, and if they are as good or even not so good as this week's (3.4 lbs, people!), I'll be able to move on.


What kinds of things are you doing to stay creative in your journey?  Do you have a crazy way of moving that no one else you know is doing?  Hit the comments and let me know.  Here's to moving and losing for good. 




Monday, April 15, 2013

Let's Groove Tonight (Or Any Time of Day You Wish To) - Earth, Wind & Fire Won't Mind

I have a very strange relationship with exercise.  As a child, my first exposure was to ballet; when my feet were found to be pigeon-toed, I ended up in braces and they decided dance would help me.  I loved it and wanted to go on, but it was cost-prohibitive after a while.  In elementary school I did the standard go to gym class every other day stuff.  In the early years, they mostly taught us the do-si-do and some other crazy country dance.  We played dodgeball (called kickball in our school, as the boys loved to kick the ball at the girls to rid them of cooties) A LOT, where not only our bodies, but our self-esteem was hurt badly.  You remember not being picked for the team, right?  Yeah, me, too.

As I grew older and my body settled into its right places and size, I didn't need as much to think about exercise, but you can bet that I was striving to be the best at the President's Fitness Test every year.  Sadly, while I passed the test every year, it wasn't with flying colors.  Why???  Because I could not and probably still cannot climb the stupid rope.  First of all, they were making you do this inane task with no gloves on a very worn rope and only your sneakers to propel you upwards.  What the what were they thinking?  You probably noticed, as did I, that the gym teachers never demonstrated their ability to climb the rope.  Had they, we might have had a baseline or even a technique to copy.  Of course, there were always those few annoying sporty chicks that could do it without any issues.  I hated them.

Fast forward to now.  During my last WW journey, I slowly added walking back into my routine, and my weight dropped fairly quickly.  I was pretty stoked about that because, hey, you have to walk every day anyway (at least somewhere) and I love walking.  Using that logic this time around, I began to amp up my walking schedule, especially on really nice days.  If you are familiar with New York City's weather this winter and spring, you know the groundhog lied and we're stuck in a purgatory between the seasons.  In any case, since I do work in the midtown area and a lot of the space around is underground, I started adding tunnel walking to my routine.  

While this all was working for me at the beginning of my latest attempt at weight loss, I found that just walking wasn't cutting it as the time went on.  At least every month, the gyms in NYC are running specials and I never ever take advantage of any of them.  This time, I was determined to find something for me and make it work.  I'm tired of being the size I am, especially since I was doing great 4 years ago and keeping it off until my illness kicked in.  After that, I was sad all the time and had zero energy to put towards a weight loss program, let alone exercise.  

Good news:  I've found something I really like and even though it's been only a week, I am really feeling good about this choice.  I've tried most of the machines and have found two that I know are really good for me at this stage.  Each time I go, I am finding that I can push myself just a little bit more.  I'm more aware of what my body can handle and having so many friends who are already fit and have the knowledge to guide me, I am on the right track.

What are your feelings about exercise?  Do you love it, love to hate it or just can't stand it altogether?  What works for you?  What doesn't?  What tips to you have a for a beginner.  I'd love to hear it all, so hit the comments and let me know.  Oh, and become a follower while you're here.  I love you for it as much as I now love exercise.  

Monday, April 8, 2013

Call me... Redundant (Maybe?)

If you're reading this blog, you know that a few months back, I'd purchased the activity monitor that Weight Watchers promotes, ActiveLink (AL).  I made it through nearly five weeks of having and using it when I sadly lost it in the snow.

Since there is a cost involved in owning the thing, I made a decision at that time to cancel my account and wait to buy another (if I was ever going to buy another).  I thought, I can do the same thing with a free activity monitor.  I particularly thought this when, with the purchase of two mugs from The Breast Cancer Site, I was afforded a free pedometer.  What could go wrong?  Well, lots.

I'm beginning to believe that when something has the label FREE attached to it, it automatically makes you not accountable for how much you move.  I did move, mind you, and I moved a lot.  It did motivate me to make sure I'm walking a lot, but not as much as my friend AL.  It was great to see that I'm averaging nearly 9,000 steps in a day, which depending on the day, is about 3 miles walked and 500 calories burnt.  All great.  

What's even better about AL is that you have to link it to your computer to find out what your daily results are.  It won't tell you things through osmosis.  You have to be proactive and I have found that I need tools that put me in that mode.  It was nice having the pedometer to look at and see if I reached any goals, but the point here is that I didn't really set any goals with it.  With AL, you're forced to have goals, which it sets for you after an assessment phase, which lasts about 8 days.  

To end the suspense, after today's WW meeting, where our leader dressed in her skimpiest workout clothes (I'm not judging) to bring home the point that now that we are comfortable with changing our spaces, creating routines and doing them daily, we can do this with exercise, as well.   When I had listened to her and analyzed what she was saying, I decided that I needed to bring a motivational tool back into my plan.  I had choices; they sell a pedometer that also calculates activity points, but that itself is $24 and while AL is a little cost prohibitive ($40 upfront and $5/month), which is why I didn't get one after I lost the first, I realized that my budget could actually handle it.    I also knew that I had done much better in the weeks I was wearing AL the 1st.  I immediately went to the clerk in the front and grabbed AL the 2nd.  I know how I lost it.  I hooked it to my pants pocket and checked it a million times a day.  I know that all this extra activity that would not even be recorded was fruitless.   I've learned my lesson; I know now that I can wear it on a necklace chain around my neck.  It could get annoying bouncing around, but I can get used to it.

So, what tools do you use to motivate you?  What helps you get through each week in your plan.  Head to the comments and let me know.  Next week, I'll know what my challenge is and be able to set real goals.  For now, it's off to the planet of the exercisers. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

As Jermaine Jackson Might Say

Why do we do what we doThis was the theme of our WW meeting today.  I don't know why, but it instantly made me think of the mild hit Jermaine Jackson had with "Why Don't You Do What You Do When You Did What You Did To Me?"  Long title he had there.  

Why do we?  I honestly have no idea, but from what I could gather from the meeting (I arrived late because one elevator was out in the building), we automatically make bad choices.  Of course, this cannot be true of every living being because the world would be filled with obese, dumb people.  In any case, WW wants us to stop making bad choices, one of which is giving into hedonic hunger, or eating for pleasure.  I get the whole "eating to live" thing but not being ever able to eat for pleasure is a slight problem for me.  It kind of makes no perfect sense.  I think what they really want is for us to change our mentality when it comes to eating.  

I feel I have already done that and my environment is proof.  I have changed my spaces at home and at work.  What that means is that I've gotten rid of everything that could tempt me in the wrong way and only snack on things that are good for me.  I cannot say that I am 100% eating just to live.  I mean, even with spaces changed, there are some seriously good tasting things that are still good for you.  Both WW and Skinny Cow have come up with new recipes and flavors that help me, at least, stay on track.  Now, if only I could find a store in my area that sells the new Skinny Cow candies, I would be really happy.  

So, as for changing my mentality, I am glad WW has provided us with a self-checking device to see how we can not just do what we do and automatically make better choices.  There's a series of questions we can ask ourselves every day:   
  • Have I met my Good Health Guidelines for fruits and vegetables?  
  • Do I have an activity plan for the coming week?  
  • Do you wave off a craving if it is sitting right in front of you?  
  • Are you eating any of your Points Plus values each week?  
  • What happens when you have a slip-up?  
  • Do you check restaurant menus when you are going out to eat?          
I feel that I already do most of these things.  Do I always have fruits and vegetables on my menu for the day?  Of course; I was doing that before I joined WW again.  Do I have an activity plan.  Yes, I am committed to walking every day, even if I can only get ten minutes in.  As for cravings, if it is sitting right in front of me, I cannot always wave it off.  I just don't let it bother me.  For instance, last week, during Passover, a friend posted a recipe for Matzoh Crack (matzoh drizzled with a melted brown sugar-butter mixture, baked and then spread with chocolate chips - like icing).  I had it in my mind to go home and make it since I had everything the recipe needed in my pantry.  Oops, I guess my spaces aren't that perfect.  But, I do have a living, breathing husband in the house, and I know he needs certain snacks to keep him going.  Hence, the chocolate chips.  I ended up not making it, but the very next night, guess what was sitting right in front of me?  Matzoh Crack.  My lovely cousin had made some to bring to my mother's seder and I could not pass it up.  First, I'd never even had this before and second, I just had to try it.  It was a slight mistake, but I rebounded from it by not eating any other dessert-y things for the rest of the week.  When I say dessert-y, I mean not on the plan.  Don't go thinking I'm going without something sweet.  That's just not natural.

Okay, so where were we?  Why do we do what we do?  I'm not sure we'll ever figure that out, but as long as we recognize that we can come back from anything, we will be fine.  I know I will be fine.  I continue to lose each week, even if it is only a little bit.  So I'm staying the course.  Will you?  Let me know in the comments.  Good luck!!


Monday, March 25, 2013

To Stress or Not To Stress

I wasn't able to stay for the WW meeting today; I met our leader in the ladies room and ended up having a short conversation with her.  I said I was sorry I could not stay, that tonight Passover begins and I have to leave work early for it.  She said we can't be there for all meetings, but as long as we're being true to ourselves it would be okay.  I love that she's so optimistic.

My problem this past week was that I couldn't bring myself to track anything.  I don't usually do this, and I mostly am obsessive about it.  I don't want to fall asleep at night without making sure that I have everything logged into the tracker, including if I drank enough water and got exercise.  

It started when I had my cold last week.  I was too tired to do anything, let alone track what I'm eating and everything else.  Surprisingly, I had this burst of energy in the middle of the day and wiped down all my cabinets in the kitchen.  I don't normally need a burst of energy to do that, but when you are feeling yucky... you know.

As I mentioned last week, I was sort of gorging on poor food choices.  Maybe gorging is the wrong word, because technically, I didn't really go over on my points allowed, except for a small amount a couple of days I wasn't feeling well.

To that end, I became really obsessed with not making said choices the rest of the week.  I wanted to be really sure I didn't slip at all.  Of course, this is not realistic.  Day-to-day, work is pretty stressful, but some days it becomes extra stressful.  To say I'm putting out fires that don't need to be set in the first place is an understatement.  I find that I become stressed not from my own issues, but from what happens outside of me.  Perhaps some of these things aren't really my problem, but some days it seems that way.

In any case, I began a plan to relax towards the end of the week.  When that plan was sort of railroaded by a fire that again did not need to be set, I really wanted to hunker down and eat a full 8 oz. of mozzarella.  Did I?  Of course not, but the motions of the stress created that and I fought it with all my being.  I went to my favorite recipe website, Skinnytaste, and found their recipe (side fact:  The Two Fat Ladies used to pronounce recipe "receep".  I always loved that!) for Chicken Parm.  This one is baked and so good - you wouldn't miss the real thing.  

So, what result did I end up with when I weighed in today?  I lost!  It was only .6 lbs., but I lost.  And, that's the goal.  That, and getting rid of stressors in my life.  What stresses you out?  What do you do to deal with it?  Hit the comments and let me know! 


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

In Sickness And Indulgence

I ended last week on a pretty good note, tracking-wise.  How I felt was another story.  I thought there was a cold coming on, given the ridiculous fluctuations in the weather.

Friday night I was tired, but still managed to stay up and watch "Fashion Police" - I need my Joan, Giuliana, Kelly, George fix each week but was down for the count immediately after it ended.

I knew that I ate well; I'd stayed within my points total and was able to indulge in a hamburger and sweet potato puffs (portion controlled).  I even managed to eat a great egg-white breakfast (I know, some of you wouldn't consider that great, but I love it).  As the day wore on, I began to feel the cold monster kicking in.  A nap in the late afternoon didn't ward it off and I began to crave naughty food.  Still, I held my resolve and cooked dinner for us that night.  Simple grilled chicken and pasta.  No biggie and even with a few extra snacky things during the day, I kept to my points total.

Come Sunday morning, as we settled in to watch our fave news programs, I felt the monster creep up on me.  I was freezing even snuggling under the covers.  I got the cat to come over and lay on me for extra warmth.  That didn't really do the trick - even at 10 lbs., he can't act as a warming blanket and of course, he comes and goes as he pleases.  Now I knew I was in for it.  When I was little, the things that made me happiest when sick were lots of love from mom and lots of bad food items.  That has not changed 40 years later.

When I changed my spaces two months ago to have only good food items in the house, I hid a number of bad cereals.  I'm sure General Mills wouldn't think their cereals are considered bad, but given that my mother didn't really like us to have sugary snacks, I do.  Wouldn't you know that I found those sneaky Sugar Puffs?  "Ribbit, Ribbit" the little froggy guy on the package beckoned.  Who am I to refuse his offer?  I found some raisins in the refrigerator and in an effort to not go too overboard, I measured them to exactly 1/4 cup.  As for the cereal, I just poured and the smell of the sugar gave me an instant high.  I was so excited.  As I was eating, I thought that I was going to hate myself afterwards, but I just didn't care at that moment.  I also didn't care later that evening when I was really starting to feel the cold overwhelm me and I did not want to cook.  Out came the menus and our local Chinese delivery service was called.  We stuck to Beef and Broccoli and brown rice, but I can tell you that I didn't portion it out correctly.  It was soooo good.

As I woke up Monday and realized that it was bone chillingly cold out, I prepared myself to get to work.  I showered, but when I needed to sort of hold onto the wall, I was getting to the point of thinking, I need to be in my pajamas and under the cover.  Hubs left for work, and I wrote an email to my job, letting them know I wouldn't be in.  Of course, after I slept another two hours, I was starving.  I wished at that moment that the Sugar Puffs were gone, but alas they were not and neither was my craving.  I had to indulge again.  I finished the B&B for a late lunch and then had an epiphany.  This could not continue.  I've been feeling too good being on my WW plan.  I decided to do a 180 and cook.  Thankfully, there was still healthy food in the house.  

What have I learned?  It's okay to be sick and fail a little at your plan.  I can't really kick myself because I haven't deviated from it since I decided to get back on track.  Being at work yesterday and today has helped because it is where my routines are easiest to follow.  What challenges do you have when you're trying to lose weight?  Hit the comments and let me know. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

This is a story about control, my control...

Although I'm sure that Janet Jackson is not singing about the kind of control I'm writing about, I know we can all agree that control has to be part of a plan, especially a diet plan.

I'm proud to report that I've shed 8.2 lbs. in 8 weeks.  I was pretty shocked when I got off the scale and the WW chick told me I was down another lb.  I honestly thought that I had made some bad choices in the past week, but I guess I stayed in control.  Our meeting today was about Eating Out.  How do we control our choices outside of the home?  What tactics do we use and how do we put them into play so they become part of our routine?  That's the key word - ROUTINE.  The new WW program is all about creating routines, whether it is about eating, drinking enough water, knowing how you are going to move the next day.

Since I began the program AGAIN I have made a conscious choice not to eat out.  Of course, that's not entirely true; my choice is really about making the right choices.  We have not ordered in at all since I've been back on the plan and it is benefiting both me and my husband.  His goal was to merely drop  a size and he's pretty much achieved that.  As you know, I've got a much bigger goal, but staying in control is keeping me on track.

As for staying on track, one of the top ways for me to do that is to track what I'm eating.  Any diet plan will tell you to write down what you are consuming.  WW makes it easier because you can do it all online and their site is loaded with all the tools you need to make tracking a way of life.  The last time I did the program, I became obsessed with the tracking part.  While I was successful in losing 52 lbs., I was so obsessed with tracking, it became boring after 8 months and I stopped.  I now know that you can't put all your eggs in the tracking basket.  You need to look at the whole picture and I believe I am at that point now.  I make a mental note of what I need to be doing each day, exclusive of tracking it.  I am still doing the tracking, but I'm not quite as consumed by it as I was before.  My mental notes include taking my pedometer because knowing how much I'm moving and the calories I'm burning (which WW does not really track) is very motivating.  I make a note when I do the weekly shopping that I need to fill the cart with the really healthy stuff first (salad items, veggies, protein etc.).  Then, I will add food that rounds out the program (WW approved snacks).

Back to eating out.  I am kind of doing that every day.  I really like the chicken noodle soup from the local deli near where I work, so I suppose you can call that eating out.  That I can eat that for lunch five days a week is a little weird, but I like it and I know I'm not consuming anything too bad.  The one thing I really need to work on is how much sodium I consume.  I've tried really hard, but the fact is it does make you food taste better.  I've experimented with some new spices, but let's face the facts, it's not the same as salt.  I do know that using lemon juice in place of salt can help a lot.  I tried it once before and was pretty satisfied with the results.  It's my goal and plan to CONTROL that this next week.  I know I can't just say to myself I will stop using salt.  In some instances, it is really needed in a recipe.  

What are the things that you need to control, whether it is in a diet plan or just in life.  Do they cross over?  I have found this is true for me, but that's another post in another blog.  Let me know what you do.  Head to the comments and spew.  See ya next week.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Anticipation... It's Keeping Me Wai, ai, ai, ai, aiting...

Anticipation.  There, I said it.  Now I can get that off my chest.  Well, not really.

Why am I talking about anticipation?  It's in our lives every day, because we're all waiting for something.  Some are standing in the freezing cold waiting for their dogs to finish pooping.  I don't have that problem, because I have a cat and he pretty much handles his own business.  I'm proud of him for that.

When I was a little kid, it was ketchup.  Yup.  The commercial with Carly Simon singing her awesome song made me want to wait for ketchup (specifically the one in the commercial, which I know I can't mention without giving credit here).  You know which one I mean.

Some people are waiting for the bus.  Seriously, still waiting.  I had to laugh the other day when a woman from my neighborhood told me she was waiting over 15 minutes for the bus to arrive.  Funny thing is, the walk to the train is infinitely less time than that, so why the heck was she waiting?  It made no sense to me.  One girl waiting with her resorted to calling the MTA; as if they'll answer on a Saturday.  Funnier still is that the weather had taken a break from being cold and I'd just walked 3.06 miles and burned nearly 450 calories on this gorgeous day.  Maybe none of this is funny to you, but I found it laugh-out-loud hilarious.  Of course, I didn't laugh in front of them; that would have been rude.

My point here is that waiting is something we have to do whether we like it or not.  Currently, my waiting has to do with my weight loss.  I've been on WW for nearly 7 weeks and I'm only 7.2 lbs. down.  I've spoken about this before.  Seems it's on my mind a lot.   I'm becoming impatient.  Sadly, I'm that way for a lot of things in my life.  It probably has to do with my own personal procrastination, which in a way is anticipation for the people in my life.  As a child, I am sure I made people wait.  I was slow as molasses.  I am not that way anymore.  I can get ready to go out in under 1/2 an hour.  Makes it much easier in the mornings when I'm getting ready to leave for work.  Since I procrastinated getting back on WW after my illness a couple of years ago, I end up anticipating bigger losses each week and when they don't happen, I'm sad.  Not in a weepy way, just sad.  Part of it has to do with the fact that the last time I took this journey, the weight practically fell off.  52 lbs in under 8 months.  I was stoked!  

Now, I'm feeling like it is taking ages to take off the weight I did before.  I suppose I should be happy that there are losses week-to-week.  I generally am.  What is a problem for me, as stated above, is that I have no patience.  When someone is heading somewhere with me and it takes them almost three times the amount of time it took me to get ready... to get ready, I can't handle it.  So this all seeps into the weight loss part of my life.  It seems to me, that even with the increased amount of exercise (who am I kidding?  I barely exercised the last time), I'm not making better progress.

Perhaps it has to do with planning, which was a theme in this week's WW meeting.  How are we planning our days and weeks?  Do we track everything, including exercise, right away in the morning?  I would do that because I generally eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch (at least during the week), but I prefer not to, just in case something changes.  Like today.  Normally, I would have grabbed the great chicken soup from the cafe downstairs, however, today I had a hankering for their healthy tuna.  It's really delicious and satisfying, even at the 1/2 cup serving.  So, when I woke up, I thought I'd have soup, but I made that dramatic (in my mind) left turn to the tuna.  To be honest, I've never been good with planning.  It's probably why I overheard my parents say myriad times, "She's so smart; she just doesn't apply herself."  The school anthem of the 70s.  In my 6th grade class, our teacher had a system where we had to fill out a calendar weekly with what we thought we wanted to learn.  Way to let the students handle their education.  Believe me, it was groundbreaking then, but in the years since, and because I have taught several grades myself, I can testify to the fact that this was never a good idea.  For 11 year old kids, who would rather be quoting funny lines from Bugs Bunny and tipping over their friend's crayon boxes.  For people on WW, it's a fabulous plan.

So, how am I going to handle my own anticipation of losing more weight?  I honestly have no idea.  I do know that I am going to try a couple of the things the WW leader suggested.  Who knows, it could put me on a path to being more organized in my quest to complete the journey.  What's your anticipatory hang-up?  Hit the comments and let me know.  I love to hear what everyone else is doing to help themselves, and again, it doesn't have to be weight loss.  That's my plan, and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

To Plateau Or Not To Plateau


[pla-toh or, esp. British, plat-oh] noun, plural pla·teaus, pla·teaux [-tohz, -tohz] verb, pla·teaued, pla·teau·ing.

Psychology . a period of little or no apparent progress in an individual's learning, marked by an inability to increase speed, reduce number of errors, etc., and indicated by a horizontal stretch in a learning curve or graph.
When I weighed in yesterday afternoon, I was surprised to see that I didn't lose any weight.  I had really stepped up my game as far as exercising and was proud to say that, even without having the Active Link (remember, I lost it in the snow a week or so back), I kept my promise to know how I was going to be active every day.

That being said, I needed to take a look at everything I'm doing, especially if I think it is right.  The week prior at our meeting, we focused on portion control and how to be handling it correctly.  I assumed I was doing it right; how hard could it be if you are using the Weight Watchers issued measuring cups?  Believe it or not, I wasn't doing it correctly and I probably was lying to myself a little.  You don't always realize you are doing this; you think you would, however, for me, that is not the case.  I missed some of the demonstration and was unable to stay after the meeting to see it again.  That hurt me a bit, in the end.   

In any event, I ended up taking a look last night at the instructions for the cups.  A cup or 1/2 cup of one thing is not the same as a cup or 1/2 cup of another.  I think the best option for me is to find a real scale, preferably a digital one (I have bought others in the past and were not pleased with their measuring abilities).  I think that I also need to extend weighing and measuring when I am shopping, too.  Supermarkets have scales and a lot of them are digital, so I will be employing them the next time I do a big shopping.  

I also need to take some time and figure out what it takes for me to walk a mile.  If it is nice enough this weekend, before we go out for the evening, I will take a walk in the nearby park since I know that to and from is 2.5 miles.  I think my iPhone has a pedometer, so I can use that to measure a mile (I think).  Once I know that, I will know what my time is and can truthfully report it in Activity Tracking.

I've also said that I will examine the DVD that came with my member kit; I haven't endeavored to do that yet, but I know that just keeping it in my purse is not going to help with my goal.

So, this week, I plan to make these changes.  Our leader is going away for three weeks and she asked us to have something good to report when she returns.  I will be happy if I've followed through with my promises and even happier if said promises result in some loss.  That would be awesome.

Moving on... 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Losing, Literally.

It's been just about a month that I'm back on Weight Watchers (WW).  In that time, I've lost nearly 7 lbs.  I feel good about it, really, I do.  I just feel that I probably could be losing more, given the fact that I have significantly amped up how much I move.  I was doing virtually nothing before.  

Let's talk about measuring achievements for a sec, here.  When I rejoined WW, they told us about a new product that they developed in conjunction with Phillips.  It's called the Active Link (AL).  I thought, what the heck?  Try the thing and see if it works.  The only thing that would have held me back was the cost.  AL has an initial cost of $39.99 and a $5.00 monthly charge thereafter.  It also only works in one computer, so they tell you to use it with the computer you're using most.  For me, that's my work computer.  The thing is magic really.  You have a choice of three places you can wear it:  on your belt or pocket, on your bra strap or on a chain (which is what I should have done, but we'll get to that in a moment).  I chose to wear it on my pants pocket; if I wasn't wearing pants on a given day, I kept it on my bra, but that is really not comfortable.  You only have to have it on and it will record your movements.  It's looking for up and down, side to side and anything else you do.  It really motivates you to move.  My job involves a lot of sitting, so for me, this is good.  I almost never get up from my chair to move if I'm not heading to the bathroom.  This made me aware I should be moving more day-to-day in addition to exercise.  So, I mostly wore it on my pants pocket.  To tell you the truth, I was constantly checking to see if it was there.  Constantly.  Until I didn't check.  When I left my office this past Friday, I know the AL was on my pocket.  I even checked to make sure it was tight.  I put on my coat, hat and scarf and headed home.  I don't know why, but I left it alone for the entire ride home.  I did not check it once, which as I've mentioned, and because I was becoming obsessive compulsive about the thing, is rare.  I began to walk home in the snowstorm.  It is normally a good ten minute walk from the subway to my apartment.  With the snow, it would be harder, because it was coming down and the inches were piling up.  I started trudging through the snow piles.  At one point, I stopped to take a picture, so my friends in sunny Florida could see what was going on.  I continued walking along my merry way and then for a sudden, I checked to see if the AL was in place.  This time, sadly, it was not.  I started to panic.  The one time I don't check for it, it's gone?  Don't even ask the curses I started spewing.  Thankfully, there weren't too many people out.  I took a second, and decided to re-trace my steps.  Honestly, what was I thinking.  I has no idea when I lost it, so what good would that do?  Really, all it did was add to my exercise for the day, which because I was being so diligent and sticking to my promise to myself, was at almost an hour already for the day.  Adding another ten or 15 minutes would be great.  But, I was still soooo pissed.  I headed back towards the train station.  The snow was really coming down now, and it was colder than a witches... you know.  I had my gloves off, so of course, my hands were freezing.  By the time I got back to the subway, I hadn't found it.  I decided to turn around and head home again.  Of course, I couldn't go home without calling Weight Watchers and telling them I lost it.  I thought they'd have a measure of sympathy, which they kind of did, but not enough to say, "Oh, we'll send you a new one."  I did not remember that they told us that the contract was really with Phillips and since they were closed for the weekend by that point. I had to wait till Monday to deal with it.  The woman at WW did put a stop on my account, so it wouldn't be charged, but only Phillips could fully cancel the thing.  I did get a slight chuckle out of the phone call when WW woman said, "Perhaps when the snow melts, you'll find it".  Okay, hon, right.

Now, as this ends up, I have to decide if I want to invest in another Active Link.  I really loved the little guy.  I don't want to run the risk of losing it again.  If I did decide to, I would definitely put it on a chain and never take it off.  The question is, can I stay motivated to keep on track with the exercise?  I think I am able to.  Stay with me and follow my progress.  I am still on track this week and I plan to do that next and the week after, etc.

The journey continues.