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.