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.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Seeing the future

Maintaining.  This is a word I always associate with dieting.  Some would disagree with me and say it applies to other things.  My take on it is that whenever I've heard it, "She's maintaining; that's good." I can only assume it relates to a diet.

So that's basically what my past week brought.  Maintaining, or as our leader says, not getting on yourself for a failure to lose.  I can't really complain because I'm up only .2 lbs.  Not much to spill your milk over and cry in it.  I think the word should be changed to motivating, because whether you are losing or gaining, you have some motivation to keep going.  That is, if you face it as an adult and move on. 

Today's topic, which focused mainly on planning your future (tomorrow, the next day, the day after that), turned into "Why did I go to that Superbowl Party, eat those wings, drink so much beer?"  I personally did not suffer from this malady because I still chose wisely.  I decided early on that if my husband wanted some sort of Super Bowl treat, it would remain a healthful one.  Luckily, he wasn't against that and eagerly ate all of his Weight Watchers recipe Mozzarella Sticks.  I'm extremely thankful for the WW String Cheese, because it is the main contributor to the recipe.  They were quite yummy and I would definitely make them again.  I will, however, freeze them before baking next time because they melted into cheese puddles in the oven.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, because, as I've mentioned, they were yummy.

So, what is stopping us from planning the future?  Why don't we plan for exercise, which, as told by our leader, is an important component.  I'm sure we all know this, but we're better at making excuses for not doing it rather than having it in our weekly plan.  If we can track our food, we can track the exercise we get, no matter what it is.  This has always been a downfall for me in terms of maintaining the weight I lose.  I never realize that along with the good eating habits, I need to keep moving.  My job keeps me pretty sedentary; there's no running around the office when you're updating HTML and Java Script all day.  I can't do jumping jacks when I'm creating buttons in PowerPoint and saving them as JPEGs.  That sounds like exercise, doesn't it?  I can testify to the fact that it isn't.  I'm glad that I've been doing more walking.  I've taken advantage of WW's new Active Link, which I wear on my belt all day long.  It tracks every move I make, which is good, because it helps me earn activity points.  If I earn enough of them in a week, I can swap them for food.  My goal is to start earning more than I have been.  Walking to and from the train and a little bit during lunch has been gaining me 1-2 points a day, but that's not where I really should be.  I have to amp it up.  I was given a free DVD when I joined, so I really need to explore that.

I want to be able to talk about my goal setting next week at the meeting, so I'm resolving (ooh, there's that word I hate) to really check out the DVD (not just read the back) and to add more walking to my day.  I know I can make that work. 

Hit the comments and let me know what you're planning to do.  I know it will give me inspiration, as I hope this blog is inspiring you.