Thursday, August 24, 2006

It was 16 weeks ago today...

that I joined Weight Watchers. And to commemorate this milestone, I was given the "perseverance" charm -- a pair of hands in applause with "16" etched on there. I just need a gold chain to put it on.

And I lost another 3 pounds even, for a total of 37.8 lbs. That's a pretty good weight loss, and gets me back on track for "Laboring for 40."

However, let me give you a small caveat: I don't recommend the Migraine Method of weight loss (being just too damn sick to eat). I had a hellacious migraine Sunday evening that stretched on into Monday. I remember waking up starving somewhere around 10:45 Sunday night -- I had been asleep for about 3 hours then. I still had 15 points left over, but I satisfied my hunger with 2 pieces of dry white toast (which was all I really wanted anyway). Oh yeah, and a teensy Weight Watchers candy bar. How warped is that? So I ended up with a 10 point deficit for that day -- really 14 if you take the earned activity points into account. Again, that's not a normal way to do things, and it's definitely not recommended....

As you might guess, I'm beaming from ear to ear. Just 2.2 pounds to go for 40 and for my next CD to add to the collection: Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. I can't wait!!!!

Oh, and the other good news. I'm now officially over 35 pounds. My clothes should not be altered, because it would cost more and be more labor-intensive to alter them than to buy new ones. Gotta find good cheap pants now!!! I figure why pay good money on pants (like the ones currently in my possession, now unalterable) if I'm going to continue to lose weight (and I am!). So the search begins!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Great Breakfast Smoothie!

Weight Watchers does carry some foodstuffs at the meeting locations and their smoothie mixes are a good buy. It's a little pricey compared to Carnation Instant Breakfast (for example), but very versatile (recipes for other things are included).

So with a little experimentation, here's a recipe that I had earlier today. It's a hearty 5 points, and worth every slurp!

Mixed Berry Smoothie
Serves 1; 5 points

1 cup fat-free (skim) milk
1 WW French Vanilla Smoothie packet
1 cup frozen unsweetened berry mix

Put in blender and blend to desired consistency. I usually hit puree, aerate, then liquefy. You will have a milkshake-consistency smoothie that is delicious -- you get 2 servings of milk (yahoo!) and one fruit (maybe two?). YUMMY!!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The downhill run continues!

Another 1.4 pounds lost!!! HOORAY!!!!! It does make "Laboring for 40" a little more interesting to work toward. I need to lose 5.2 in 17 days. I can do it. It just means I work a little extra harder. It can be done! I can do it!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My secrets

A lot of people -- both in the 3D world and online -- have asked me to share my secrets for the success I have had so far. So here they are, along with a few helpful tips:
  • Bringing snacks to work helps a lot. Usually it's a piece of fresh fruit or a ziploc with baby carrots, a couple of bags of the 100 calorie pack stuff, maybe some hummus to go with the carrots (or Wheat Thins, if I pack those), maybe some yogurt, etc. Those 100-calorie packs are lifesavers. They're a little expensive, so you can use other stuff -- for example, Triscuits. You can have one serving (6 crackers), and it's more than 100 calories, but it's also really filling. I will put 6 in a bag along with some lowfat cheese, and WOO HOO! it's a party! By the way, those are the regular Triscuits -- with the reduced fat
    ones, you can have 7 for a serving. I'll stick with 6 and a little extra flavor!
  • I have breakfast every day. If it's a home breakfast, my favorite is a bowl of Kashi GoLean cereal -- it's a little more money but it's GOOD! And if it will keep me full, it will keep anyone full. It's got 10 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein (just by itself, without the milk). A cup of that, a cup of skim milk and 1/2 cup of fruit (usually berries or a 1/2 banana) and I'm good to go.
  • I try to use at least 25-30% of my points on breakfast. For the first couple of weeks, I didn't do it, and I wondered why I always seemed to have extra points left over (usually like 4-6). A coworker suggested start eating a heavier breakfast and lunch, and then a light dinner. By golly, she was right. I don't always hit it, but some days I do. If I don't then I can have an even heartier snack.
  • Eat often. I have breakfast no later than 9:30, then around 11:30 or so, I have a snack. I take the late lunch (after 1), then around 4 o'clock another small snack. Then dinner around 7:30, and MAYBE another snack around 9:30. I feel like I am eating all the time, and yet the weight is going away.
  • I am trying to get in the habit of exercising at least 3 times a week and eventually work up to 5 days a week. Exercise is my hardest part. I admit to a great deal of laziness. But I also know that if I don't do something, then it's going to be a harder struggle to get all this weight off. So I've been faithfully going to the Y at least 3 days a week. I am NOT a morning person at all -- but it is the only time I can fit it in. So I'm there before 7:00, and gettin'er done. And no, I'm not the fastest person -- my heavy-duty walk pace is another person's warm-up speed. But I'm working within the proper heart rates, and it's going well.
  • Water, water, water, water and more water. Weight Watchers suggests 6 cups (48 oz) of water a day but I usually go way beyond that. I keep a one liter bottle on my desk. I fill it in the morning and make sure that I drink it all before lunch. I usually have water (or maybe a diet drink) at lunch, and then go back and fill the bottle again and drink it all before going home. Once I'm home I may have one or two more 20 oz bottles of water. So on a normal day, for me, that's 12-13 cups of water.
  • I do love fruits and veggies. I used to hate eating vegetables, but it all depends on how you cook them. My favorite thing is to cut them up, drizzle a little bit of oil (either canola or olive) over them, and put them on the grill. We went to Lowe's and got a non-stick wok. We fill it up with veggies and put them on with whatever we're grilling. MMMMM! I usually use broccoli (fresh, just cut up the head), red onion (but regular onion will do just fine), red & green bell peppers, yellow squash, zucchini and sometimes mushrooms. I just slice everything up and put it in. Stir it up and mmmmm!
  • Not all bread is bad -- most of them time, when I have bread, I pick the whole wheat or multigrain. My favorite is Nature's Own light 100% whole wheat, but even the regular 100% whole wheat is great! I even use that for a bun if I am making a hamburger or chicken patty. I love bread .... I use pitas, tortillas and Flat-Out, which is a long wrap style piece of very flat thin bread. I also love brown rice and whole-wheat pasta. If you can't wrap your taste buds around that idea, try the "not-quite-whole-whole-wheat" pasta -- I know Ronzoni makes it, and maybe a few others.
  • One of the big things is just getting creative in the kitchen. Trying to figure out what will work and what won't. Like the salad wrap -- just came up with that off the top of my head. Learn how to make the proper substitutions. For example, fat-free foods aren't very good for cooking -- great for snacks but horrible in actual cooked or baked dishes. So go with reduced fat. It may add a point, but it will make up for it in taste and consistency. If you have a wild idea, try it.
  • BUT .... the most important thing that I have done is make the decision that I was finally going to put my stubbornness and iron will to work on something good for myself for a change. One of my dearest friends and I were having a discussion one day, and I told her that I didn't seem to have much "willpower" (I love that word, right?). She just fell out. She
    told me that it was total BS -- she'd seen the real me in action; that I usually found a way to get what I wanted, but in a non-threatening, easygoing manner. I realized then that I had lots of willpower -- and I needed to learn to tap into it. It took a few more years (and the
    horrible numbers I read on the scale that day) to galvanize me into action.
Hopefully this will be very helpful to you as well.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Another "I did it!" moment

As I mentioned in the previous post, my "assignment" this week was to eat a favorite food that I'd not eaten since starting the program. I had mentioned lasagna in class, but then by the weekend, I had a craving for the Chinese spareribs.

So Sunday, I sat down with the dining out guide and came up with a plan: a small serving (1/2 to 1 cup) of boneless spare rib pieces (around 6 points), a cup of rice (another 4) and some vegetables (2 points for a cup). Okay, that was manageable. I ate a little less that day for lunch and breakfast, and even skipped my midday snack.

It worked out even better. I am a doofus, and accidentally picked the bone-in ribs -- and two of those were only 4 points. One cup of vegetables was a quarter of what they gave me -- so I upped that to 2 cups (for 4 points), and the rice. All told, the same 12 points. AND I had enough leftovers for lunch on Monday. MMMMM! They were just as good the second day!

So armed with this information, I plan to enjoy some very good foods -- but remembering to eat them wisely.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Rolling steadily downhill...

and loving it! Another 2.4 gone this week for a total of 33.4 pounds gone in 13 weeks.

My God. That's an entire Thanksgiving feast for 20 people -- and I had been carting it around on me. There's plenty more where that came from.

Last night, we discussed our favorite foods -- and what we've stopped eating. So this week, our "assignment" is to eat one of our favorite foods that we've sworn off, but find a way to work it into our points. I mentioned that I love Italian food -- anything loaded with cheese and meat sauce and pasta and.... I'd better shut up while I'm ahead.

But I think I will eat some of my favorite Chinese dish this week: barbecued spareribs. Normally I get the boneless ones -- already chopped up off the bone. And I usually get steamed rice with it anyway. Fried rice is okay, but you get tired of it. They used to have brown rice (which I dearly love) but people in my hometown weren't too impressed by the offering.

So it's how to work it all in. Luckily, I still have enough points to fiddle around with......

Thursday, August 03, 2006

It is official now!

YES! I did it! I lost 3.0 pounds this week for a total of 31.0 -- and since it is similar to what I had weighed at the gym, I'm counting the "30 by the 31st" as a success. Next up: "Laboring for 40" -- 40 by Labor Day. I figure that's 4 weeks for 9 pounds, which is very manageable.

I'd like to say it just gets easier and easier -- and sometimes it does. But there are times I'd run you over for a Godiva bar or (worse) a bunch of breadsticks. Believe me when I say there is an enormous amount of self-control involved here. But that's part of the whole process -- being in better control so that I don't get out of control again!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

It's semi-official, but....

I did achieve "30 by the 31st"!!! I went to the Y this morning, and used their scale -- which showed a 3 pound loss. So that's 3 in 3 days. Nothing is official (at least not in my book) until Thursday, but right now, it's looking pretty good. And I'm counting it!

Tonight, I was doing a little measuring, and am pleased to know that I'm losing inches. I should have done some measuring at the very beginning, but at least I can start now and re-measure another 12 weeks down the pike.

These little things are good encouragement for the long haul.