I have had so many friends comment or message me “I sure wish I had your motivation.”  Such a funny thing to say because you can’t have my motivation.  I need it!  But I thought maybe, I could give you some of your own.

First, let me say that I don’t feel like I got this weight-loss thing all figured out.  I haven’t even reached my goal weight yet.  I feel confident that I will and that I can maintain it when I do.  But I sure haven’t mastered it!

Last year this time, my knees were killing me.  Absolutely killing me.  For a few weeks, I was scooting up and down the steps. . .very inconvenient when chasing a 2 year old.  I got to thinking. . .how are my knees going to be 10 years from now?  20 years from now? 30 years from now?

That’s when I decided I had to do SOMETHING.  I had been thinking that I wasn’t really in ‘the place’ mentally where I could commit to a healthy diet and exercise.  I would just have to wait until my brain got there and THEN I would start.  Wrong, wrong, wrong!

 

Here are somethings to think about:

1)  You are NEVER going to be any younger than you are right now.  In that regards, it’s never going to be easier for you than it is right now. There are probably situations where this isn’t true. . mostly thinking about those fighting illnesses, but you see my point.

2.)  Your life isn’t going to slow down.  I always thought when summer comes I won’t be so busy.  When Chelsea starts school.  When Owen starts school.  On and on and on . . .but time is like money.  You spend what you have.  If suddenly your schedule clears up, you will fill it with something.  Promise.

3.)  Any effort is better than no effort.  So maybe you aren’t mentally ready to commit to a full on counting calories and weighing out your food and logging your steps.  Fine.  Cut back on the number of times you eat out.  Start substituting a low cal beverage (water!) for your half your soda intake.  Start thinking of your dinner plate in terms of zones ( 1/2 veggies 1/4 protein 1/4 starch).  I’m willing to say that one of those changes will probably impact your weight.  Perhaps seeing some results will get your brain in the right mental place!

5) Money money money.  I also thought that paying for a weight loss program was wasteful.  Investing in a healthy, longer life is not wasteful.  That being said, money is an issue.  If you can’t afford to pay for (or just don’t want to!), there are some really excellent programs that are absolutely FREE.   Google it.   Personally, the WW plans suits me.  It lets me splurge on my terms which makes me feel successful even when I hit a drive-thru.  Nice thing about WW is that once you hit your goal weight and maintain, the meetings and online tools are FREE.  I’ve come to accept that I will pay for WW as long as I need it (which will probably be my whole life).  I’m worth $20-$40 a month.

6.)  Another little roadblock for me. . I was happy overweight.  I mean, I had a great husband and beautiful kids.  Apart from the scooting myself up and down the steps,  my weight didn’t really hold me back too much.  Wrong.   I didn’t realize how my confidence was lowered carrying around the extra weight.  So sure, you might be happy . . .you could be happier :)

7.)  The next time you throw a roadblock in your way take a good look at it and ask yourself if it’s valid.  Look for ways around or under or over.   What you end up with might not be ideal or even perfect, but anything is better than nothing.  My biggest one is eating away from home.  I get it in my head that if I can’t count points exactly then I may as well not count them at all.  I have to make the best decisions with what I got!

I also pulled the. .”I’ll start Monday” . . .”I’ll start Janaury 1″. . .”I’ll start next grocery day” . .”I can’t start now because I have (insert fun eating opportunity) coming up”. Why wait? There are two days between today and Monday that you could be working towards your goal. There are 3 weeks betweens now and January 1! Do your best with the groceries you got, but start NOW. And that fun eating opportunity. . .those are going to pop up every where all year long! Are you going to take every chance you get to overeat and indulge? Why not start learning how to balance those days right now?

8.) And the final straw. . .If I’m eating healthy, so is my family.  Sure my husband could stuff himself silly (and sometimes he does), but now he’s stuffing himself silly with healthy food.  My kids are still super picky but I have a whole new unappreciation for fastfood.  I notice more when we sit around and do nothing.

Okay so now think about those things and when you are ready to start. . . . .

1.) Take a picture.  You don’t have to get in your underwear Biggest Loser style. I really wish I would have done this instead of having to search for a picture to use for comparison.

2.) Take your measurements.  Another thing that I didn’t do.  I don’t know that it would help me stick to it, but it would be nice to have more numbers to compare than just the scales.

3.) Let people know what you are up to.  I imagine I get quite a few eyerolls from my facebook friends.  I never shut up about it.  I’m posting stuff about my buttons or healthy recipes or my goals or exercising.  But now I’m accountable.  There was a few weeks when the scales.did.not.move and while I was frustrated, I also wanted to have something to share with my facebook supporters. So it does play a big role it sticking to it or coming back to your plan after a little detour.

4.)  Start a project (button bag, perhaps?) because I am in looooooooove with mine.

Hopefully that wasn’t too know-it-all, because I sure don’t.  These are the things I tell myself to keep myself on track. . .or get back on track. . whatever the case may be.

One last thing. 

If getting healthy or being thin is your goal. . . .there is no telling how long it will take or how many times you’ll go off track. . .but if you don’t try, you can be guaranteed that you will never reach it. 

Take care of yourself! 

Dear Brain

10/17/2011

Dear Brain,

First let me say that I really appreciate how organized you are with meal planning and making a grocery list.  It makes eating healthy so much easier when I know exactly what I’m having for dinner tonight.  Plus, having all the ingredients on hand prevents a ‘quick trip to the store’  which always includes some unhealthy extras.

We need to talk about these unhealthy extras.  You know that if there is a bag of chips in the cupboard or peanut butter cups in the freezer, there is no way I will pick a nice baked snack or an apple. 

We both know that it’s okay to include those things in the grocery cart on occassion.  Sure there are healthy substitutions for everything, but every now and then it’s nice to have the full fat, full sugar version that we’ve grown to love and have literally GROWN from loving.

You’ve had several weeks of indulging me and now it’s time to buckle down.  The next time we are in the store and I reach for some oreos, just remind me that sugar free pudding is a few aisles over and oh so good.

Feel free to remind me that the healthy versions will consume most of my points and leave me unsatisfied.  I’ll be left standing in the fridge with a rumbly stomach and no points.  My only options will be to stay hungry until the morning (we both know that won’t happen) or to go off plan (that’s more like me) and then I will just chuck the whole week.

It’s just no worth it.  It’s much to hard to resist those things when they are in the house day after day after day! 

Let’s just stick to the list.  Pack it with our favorite veggies and fresh fruit. . .hunt down some new whole grain treats. . sneak in some lean dairy that I loathe. . it will be better for both of us this way. 

I know you like a challenge.  You like switching things up.  So instead of using those unhealthy options to stimulate, let’s look for some new recipes to try.   Even better, let’s think of a food we’ve never tried and add it to the list.

Much love, me

 

August

08/03/2011

August already?  It’s hard to believe we are almost 3/4 of the way through the year.  Autumn will be here before we know it.  I am really looking forward to cool air and the leaves changing.  Not to mention that this year BOTH of my kids will be in school!  I’ll have plenty of free mornings to get my walk in.  I’m not even going to think about what comes after fall. . .long walks in my living room with Leslie Sansone DVDS.

July was a coasting month for me.  If I wasn’t working, I was traveling.  If I wasn’t working or traveling, I was packing or unpacking.  It was just not a good month for meal planning, healthy eating, or exercising.  That being said, I didn’t lose or gain any weight. 

Lately I’ve been thinking about just making this blog about whatever, instead of just weight loss.  Things I enjoy talking about (and sharing!).  Recipes and sale shopping and kids and autism and pop culture and ‘finds’.   I think it would help me write every day.  I feel like a broken when talking about weight loss.   Either I’m knocking it out of the park or I’m struggling.  How many times can I write that??  And how many times can you read about it?

 

My first big gain!

07/13/2011

The best thing I can say about the gain is that I knew it was coming.  It would be much harder to deal with if I worked hard all week and it didn’t work.  I worked crazy hours last week and spent the weekend away from home.  I did have a ‘plan’ to deal with eating fast food all weekend. 

The first booboo was not saving my extra points for the weekend.  Weight Watchers is designed to allow you to have those heavy eating weekends.  You just have to save those weekly points. . .which I did NOT!

The second stumble was Starbucks.  We don’t have one at home.  Our first stop on our weekend away was Starbucks.  I didn’t even notice the ‘skinny’ menu items until after I ordered my coconut mocha frappuccino (which was heaven  in a cup!).  And after I decided to forge ahead with the drink,  I added on a piece of blueberry crumb cake (also delicious!).  That set the tone for the weekend.

On the positive note,  I did squeeze in a 30 minute walk both days we were away. 

All I can hope is that my body responds enthusiastically to being back on the program.  Perhaps, the pounds will melt off pretty fast and I can find myself back on track.

That being said, we are going away AGAIN!   And I’m also working crazy hours to compensate for the time off.   I really do not want to repeat last week.   I did some investigation work to find out what restaurants are going to be nearby.  I calculated points for things I’d like at those restaurants.  Plus the hotel has a pool and a fitness room.  I definitely have the tools I need to stay on track. 

The real challenge is eating well and exercising on the non-travel days.  One day down, 6 more to go!

 

I wish I had a good report . .full of exercise and healthy eating. . .but that is not the case.    The problem is all in my head, I’m sure of it.  Once I get it straightened out, I’ll be back on track. 

It’s an odd combination of issues.  The first is this darn evening shift.  I find myself eating out for lunch on my way to work. . .and then eating a reasonable dinner at work . .and then being hungry when I’m done working.   Clearly, I need to eat a better lunch.   More bang for my points and maybe keep myself from going over.  I think going over unintentionally sets the tone for the remainder of my week.

The second issue is I haven’t been planning my meals.  I know I posted about it before, but it’s absolutely true!  If I can map out my food for the day,  I am able to stay with the plan give or take a few weekly points.  If I don’t map out my food, anything goes.  Today for example I tentantively planned Subway for lunch and some grilled chicken/corn on the cob/baby baked potatoes for dinner.  A lunch invitation popped up and without much thought I’m off plan . . enjoying some delicious pot roast with gravy covered french fries!  And since I have no idea how many points that was. . .I just ate and ate and ate the rest of today.

I’m not wallowing in guilt over here. . .but I do want to get this train back on track.  I want to make progress!!

The third (and possibly hardest to explain) issue is excitement.   I’ve dropped 2 dress sizes and maybe almost a third depending on the cut of the dress.  I am just about down 2 jean sizes as well (meaning I can get them on and buttoned and just a little too snug for my liking).  I’m at the point where my old clothes look ridiculous.  While I don’t want to fill my wardrobe with this ‘new’ size,  I need something!  So I am really REALLY into shopping.  It has somehow taken the focus off what I’m working towards.  You would think it would just spur me on . .to want to see the next size down.  .and it’s not even that I’m content here. . .but it still feels good.

Well, tomorrow is the last day in my WW week.  While I’ve bombed the first 6 days (in varying degrees),   I am going to try and make tomorrow a good one.  No more of this ‘waiting and restarting next week’.

I’ve missed 2 WW meetings in a row (one was cancelled and the other I *grimace* went out for dinner).  I’m hoping that a meeting and a fresh week will set me right.

I am going to focus on planning my meals.  I am going to be reinstate the alternating beverage (bottle of water between other diet beverages).  And I need to get my exercising going! 

I’m guilty of what I’ve lectured others not to do!  I’m defeating myself with negative talk. . getting in my own way!!!  I’ve talked bad about my walking routine . .it’s getting old, my body is bored with it, blah blah blah. . .but instead of changing it up, I’ve only walked once this past week and that’s IT!   I really need to mix a new exercise in with the old standard walking. 

Well, it felt good to get this all out of my head.  I feel more confident about it.  While it feels like I’ve been floundering for weeks,  I’ve not given up and that says something.  I am fully committed to reaching and maintaining my goal weight.  It just may take a little longer than I would like.

Beany Cheese Cups

06/25/2011

I tried a new recipe this week.  Hungry Girl Beany Cheesy Cups.  Apart from being incredibly simple, they hit on some of my craving notes.  They have nice crunch to them with the fillo cups.  They are finger foods.  They are quick to prepare and quick to bake.  5  little cups for 3 points.  

The first time I made them I followed the recipe exactly.  Here are my pointers. . .  1.) Add more seasoning.  I used some taco seasoning the second time and LOVED them.   2.) Use a butter flavored non-stick spray.  The regular pam gives the fillo an odd taste.  3) Serve them with a salad for a meal! 4) Add some heat,  mix some chopped jalapenos into the bean mix.

Another great thing about this recipe is that I tried the fillo cups for the first time.  I can not wait to experiment them.  I’m thinking some chopped turkey pepperoni, 2% cheese, pizza sauce, and my favorite pizza toppings.  I’m going to chop them all up and fill the cups.  I’m also thinking about some desserts!

I was surprised to find the Athen’s Fillo Cups and pleased that they were less than $2 a package.  The laughing cow cheese has several wedges in a package and you can make this recipe 4 times with one package!

Well,  I don’t have much to say today.  I wanted to post something and I wanted to share my recipe experiment before I forgot!

I really don’t feel like blogging right now but I think it’s only fair to post in my lows as well as my highs. Even the most optimistic person is going to have both. So here it is!

I don’t even know if I would call it a low. . but just a lull. I feel like I’m just going through the motions and it’s reflecting on the scale. I’m bored journaling my food. I’m bored taking a 30 minute walk. I’m frustrated with my new work schedule.

I figured I had two options. To push through and force myself to keep going through the motions. Or take a break from counting points and taking my walk. I think pushing through would have led to an uncontrolled breakdown. At least a scheduled break is controlled.

I decided to have a look at my current hurdles and decide how to jump them.

COUNTING POINTS – As I said, I’ve just been going through the motions. Meaning, I’m just staying in my points. It doesn’t work that way! I need to be eating ‘filling foods’. I need to be planning my meals and hitting more spots on the healthy eating guide. (lean dairy, veggies, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins). I need to be drinking more water. I’ve been eating fastfood which takes way too many points and is not filling! Then I am forced to go over my points to feel full. I know when I’m really working the plan I see results. All of my big losses have been a result of really doing the plan.

EXERCISE – There are so many other options to exercising. I can go to the gym, I can go to Zumba, I can go to the bike trail or school track. I just need to get over my fat girl fears and go. Yes, I am still obese. . .but I’m smaller than I was and in better shape than I was. I just need to get out there and try new things.

NEW WORK SCHEDULE – The hours are actually great. It works so well for my family and even gives me more time to exercise. However I end up eating two meals away from home. I need to work out a better meal plan to keep me full when working late. I know it can be done with some effort.

I will say that it feels good to not want to give up. It feels good to be patient with myself and realize that a week off the plan doesn’t mean defeat.

Hopefully, I’ll have some positive posts over the next few weeks!

Satisfied!

06/14/2011

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day. inspired by A. A. Milne


Today marks 4 weeks of really being dedicated to the program. In total, I’ve been chipping away at it for a little over 5 months. Until a month ago, I was pretty sporadic. Counting points some days and not others. Mostly, I would allow little things to make me quit on the week.

I’m down 22 pounds all together, but about 10 of those are from the last 4 weeks. So today (and only today), I decided that I’m not counting points. My WW week starts over tomorrow anyways. I thought it would be nice to just let my brain relax.

I would expect myself to fall right into my old ways. Quickly gorging myself on whatever I’m craving and snacking without end. I actually had to remind myself that I could eat some Pringles without weighing them out first. In reality, I probably didn’t even go over my points allowance for the week. If I sat down and added it up, I may have came out okay.

Now, I know that this doesn’t mean that my battle with food is over. It does say to me that taking it slow is working. The longer it takes the longer my mind has time to adjust. I just wish I could fully convince myself of this when the scale doesn’t show me a big loss.

It’s just a relief recognizing that a day off plan does not equal quitting.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that for once I have absolutely no doubt that I am going to reach my goal. It’s just a matter of time. I’m not in any great hurry. Sure I am excited to live life at a healthy weight, but I’m also enjoying life at this current size.

Shopping 2 sizes smaller is FUN. Walking up a hill without needing to slow down for breath, AWESOME! It’s just going to get better and I am going to get THERE!

Definitely headed in the right direction . . .

Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don’t know and I don’t care.
Jimmy Buffett

ap·a·thy/ˈapəTHē/
Noun: Lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.

Perhaps it is the slightly cool temperature. Or yet another change to our weekly routine. But I am feeling completely apathetic to this day. I don’t feel like doing anything on my list. I don’t feel like counting my points or planning my feels. I also don’t feel like eating particularly bad, either. And I really don’t feel like exercising.

I’m giving myself 10 minutes to finish writing this and then I am forcing myself to do SOMETHING. . ANYTHING. .so that later this evening I won’t look back on this day and call it a waste. After tonight, I have 3 days of home and I think that’s where my focus lies. I just want the next 12 hours to pass so that I can truly concentrate on the things I want to get done.

Another reason, my WW meeting has been cancelled for the week. I certainly didn’t take this as a free pass. I’ve counted my points and exercised faithfully. The scales don’t seem to be responding. .I’m not overly concerned as last week was a big loss and the week before was small. I decided that I am paying for the meeting so I need to do my best to find another meeting.

Well, I have 3 minutes until I am forcing myself to do something productive!

Hopefully I wake up tomorrow ready to cross plenty of things of my list!

Plan Plan Plan

06/11/2011

What’s that quote “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail”?? That fits me to a T! In the 5 months that I have been doing WW (off and on and kinda off and kinda on), I have found that I need to plan. When I wake up in the morning, I need to have a good idea of at least one of my meals. Even better, when I plan all my meals and leave my snacks open.

I started a new work schedule this week and like my other schedule, it was planned to fit my family. I find the hours kind of odd, but somehow completely reasonable. They are permitting me to be home when my kids wake up (which is important to my little son). They allow me to get my kids off to school ever day and see them home on most others.

However, I end up eating dinner at work. Or not eating, as the case was this week. For some reason, I convinced myself that if I snacked on pretzels (counted out in portions!) that I would be set for the day if I ate a decent lunch. WRONG! Come 9 pm I am hungry and even worse TIRED after working! Hungry and tired can only lead to one thing. . .FAST FOOD!

That being said, I am 4 days through my WW week and I have dipped in Weekly Allowance points by 16. I have 33 left. All considered, that’s not bad at all. What troubles me is how close I was to just throwing in the towel for the week.

Friday night, I convinced myself to stop at Arby’s for a Roast Chicken Club (no cheese, no bacon = 10 pts). Then I thought well I’m already going over, why not throw in some mozzerrella sticks (another 12 pts!!). Then I thought “If I’m going to do that, I may as well go all out!!” meaning 2 hot dogs (9pts each!!!) and maybe some fried apps from Sheetz (goodness only knows how many points that is and I’m not about to calcualte!!)

In the end, I came home and made a little bowl of pasta (elbows with a few chopped green olives, onion, parm cheese, and light italian dressing). It’s my version of pasta salad. Normally, I add chick peas for protein, but since I was trying to keep my points down I left them out. I ended up using 7 pts!

The lesson here is that I need to plan, . and plan. .and plan. I need to consider what my day involves. I need to consider what keeps me full and just kills a craving. I need to find more things that do both!

Three more days until this week is over and I’m feeling optimistic (shocker!).

Exciting note. . .typically on my work days I don’t exercise. I like to say that the hike from the parking lot into my work is enough exercise as it is. Truth be told, I would be completely out of breath by the time I reached my car. Lately, I find myself wanting to break into a sprint!

Yesterday, I decided to walk to Rite Aid instead of driving over. I wasn’t buying much and I didn’t have the kids. Using my Walk Watch app, one way to the store measured 1/2 mile. So I was pleased to fit a mile in, when normally I wouldn’t have.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

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