Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Nice Fresh Start

   I made a decision a while ago that may seem controversial to some.  I decided to let my WW membership lapse so that I could start again.  Weird, right?  Let me explain - I've been struggling for a long time.  A little up, a little down, struggling to find and maintain motivation.  And the alarmingly overall trend in my weight has been slowly upward.  I was feeling exhausted, and spending a lot of time berating myself over lost ground.  It's an unhealthy mindset to be sure, but I couldn't shake it.  I started thinking about resetting myself - doing a mental do-over to reinvigorate my thought process and help find motivation.  Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn't.
   I'd been thinking about this, and trying to work through it for some time.  When Hurricane Sandy hit, we were fortunate.  Very minor damage, and we were in the lucky position of being able to help out and house family members who lost power and heat.  That kicked off a month of semi-controlled chaos, which included lots of ups and downs: the birth of a  new grand-niece, the loss of my beloved cat, the opportunity to spend time with far-flung family, and the loss of privacy and regular routine.  And the loss of regular routine was just what I needed.

   So after months of thought, I took the opportunity that this chaotic period provided to stop attending meetings and weigh-ins.  I let my membership lapse, and two weeks ago started my journey fresh.  New weight record, new goals, new tracking notebook, new gym membership.  I purchased the 10-week commitment plan, and had a very successful first week back on plan.  Second weigh in comes this weekend, and I'm once again looking forward to meetings.  It was a radical step, but I never had any intention of actually quitting.  Doing this allowed me to let go of all the baggage and berating self-talk, and I no longer feel like I'm failing.  It was definitely the right move for me.

   The next step in all the newness will be a redesign and relaunch of this blog, with updated statistics and some pictures.  It's funny how much lighter I feel psychologically and emotionally.  I'm excited once again, and feeling positive, and hopefully I will be able to use this blog to let those things come across!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Celebration Time

  So as I posted on Facebook earlier, I had a great week on the scale and lost 3 lbs.  What makes me happy about that, besides the simple fact of the weight loss, is that it brings me back to a total of 50 lbs lost.  For anyone who's been a reader before, this is a huge deal because I backslid for a while and gained back a lot of what I had once lost.  But I held on, stopped the slide, and started working my way back.  This benchmark is very important to me.
   Which means celebration time!  I already did one thing for myself, which is schedule a doctor's appointment.  I've been doing the very cliche thing and ducking the doc since my numbers weren't good.  Bad me!  So I went ahead and made the appointment, even though I'll still show a significant gain over the last time I was there, it's time to get back to doing the right things, and that includes getting new bloodwork and a checkup.
   But my real celebration will be more fun.  I'm going to go down to REI and get myself a really good and sturdy pair of hiking shoes. I usually go walking/hiking in my sneakers, and that just doesn't cut the mustard.   A 20% off coupon for the store just came in the mail, so it's like I get to celebrate and save money!
   It's my favorite time of year, and I've decided that since my stupid foots hurts whether I walk a lot or a little, I may as well feel the pain because I'm doing something I enjoy - I already have a few walks planned out in my head, so it's off to the store for me!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Vacation's Over!

   Well, I'm not sure how things went over vacation.  The scale is not happy - says I gained 5 lbs.  But I know that isn't entirely accurate.  We spent over 10 hours in the car yesterday, and I can see how swollen my ankles and feet still are this morning.  So I figure that out of that 5 lbs, some of it is fluid and some is food.    How much of each I guess we'll see next week.

  My food choices weren't all good ones, but overall I'm pretty happy with the decisions I made.  There were some planned indulgences to be sure.  And a few unplanned ones.  But I also made a lot of good choices, more than I usually would on vacation.

   I also followed through on my plan and tracked everything - that's how I know some of it is food.  I was over my points a few days and activity probably didn't cover enough of it.  But that's the bonus plus side - we had such gorgeous weather while we were there that I was very active.  Did lots of walking around, and some hiking through a few nature preserves.  Even walked over to the local farmer's market and found some really wonderful things there!

    I had a great time, and I'm feeling good, despite the number on the scale. My initial reaction this morning was to not go, because I had seen at home just how ugly things looked.  And I came very close to talking myself into not going.  Then I took my big-girl pill and went anyway, and that's already helped me set the positive tone for this week!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I'll be a Maine-iac this week!

  So this week Dave and I are heading up to Boothbay, ME for a visit with his brother and sister-in-law.  I wasn't sure we'd be able to go this year, so I'm really excited we found a way to work it out.  I love it up there and we always have a great time.   MANY thanks go to my nephew, Michael, who will be house-sitting and caring for our beloved Seymour.

   I'm a little concerned about the week and what it will bring.  I've had a really amazing run at WW these last few weeks (14.8 lbs in 3 weeks!), and it's probably time that the weight loss will be slowing down a bit to a more reasonable rate.  But throw in a vacation week and my anxiety level is a little higher.

   I'm bringing my tracking notebook with me, and intend to write down everything I eat.  One of the cool things about where we're going is that there aren't any chain restaurants in the area, it's all local-owned.  But that can make tracking a bit of  a challenge, since my guesstimating skills aren't that sharp.  I want to make as many good choices as possible, and with the abundance of fresh seafood I should be able to focus on that.  My plan is to make the best choices I can, indulge a little in some of the unique things up there that I really love (hello Moody's Diner 4-berry pie!), and write it all down.

   I also have a plan to get in some activity while I'm there.  My brother in law's house is close to their local Y, so we can guest there a few times to swim a bit, or do some cardio.  They also have a big soccer field and playground behind their house, so I can always walk a few laps. That's actually my preference - I'd much rather be outside than in a gym.  The biggest concern I have is the plantar fasciitis acting badly and limiting my mobility.  I really lurch around by the end of the day, even with only moderate day-to-day level activity, like grocery shopping.  But getting some activity in is going to be crucial in managing the week.  I'm bringing some pain pills with me and my anti-inflammatory rub.

   I haven't set a weight based goal for the week. I think it's more important for me to set these behavioral goals instead, and let the scale fall where it may!  Now excuse me while I go pack!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Knowledge is Power

  Dave and I have always had a tradition of using one day a week as an indulgence day, rather that scattering our weekly "extra" values during the week.  Of course, the problem with that is that we weren't tracking at all, and sometimes it became a whole weekend rather than one day.  There are many flaws in that approach, and we've realized that we have to make changes to that habit.  But that's another blog.

  Today, I did something I've never done before, which is to track everything I ate today, even going to websites to get the points values correct.  The news was scary, and a little eye-opening.  But also empowering.  Because now I know.  I can make adjustments, and do some things like get in extra activity this week to mitigate some of the excess. I'm not off plan, I'm not sliding to pieces after a great weight loss, I'm not cocky and thinking I can get away with anything.  Most importantly, I don't have that "well I blew it today so what the hell" kind of depression that comes with overindulging.  Because I got myself reoriented by tracking and taking control.

  It's an important step, because tracking has always been a weakness of mine, even under the best of circumstances.  And I notoriously don't track when I don't want to acknowledge what I've eaten.  So taking the step to write it all down and look up points is a huge one.  It's reinforced my knowledge that I MUST change my habits and choose more wisely, even when indulging.  And I go into tomorrow feeling in control, because I have done this positive thing.  In control and with a plan, and that's a good result!

Friday, August 17, 2012

5 pounds

   Hello everone... just a quick post tonight.  I believe I may have finally hit bottom in my self-pity wallowing. I am officially sick of myself.  There's a lot to say, and more posts will be coming soon.  But for now, let me just say that I've had it with myself.  I've taken some awfully big steps backward, and undone a lot of good, hard work.  But that's the past, and I can't change it.  And I'm tired of moping.  Time to take charge once again and do the work.

  I have been doing a lot of thinking lately - too much, really.  But one of the things I realized is that I need to go back to basics, back to the mindset I had when I started this journey.  Back then, I wasn't overly eager to  join and start working.  I had just come to a place where I knew things had to change.  I believe that the reason I had success was because I kept my focus small.  Never more than a 5-10-25 plan.  My short term goal was never more than 5 lbs away, medium range was 10, and long term was a 25 lb milestone.    And I realized then that it didn't matter how long it took, as long as I kept making strides in the right direction.  Those beliefs kept things feeling manageable.  It helped me stay focused, because each food decision felt impactful when my goal was 5 lbs.  When I started looking bigger picture, it got easier to start sliding on individual decisions.  I got into an "in the scope of 100 lbs to lose what difference does one (fill in the blank) make?" headspace.  And that way led to madness, and more and more sloppy decisions.  When I was just trying to make it to the next 5 lb marker, it was so much easier to see the direct correlations between what I ate and reaching my goal.

  So that's my goal.  I'm going to a meeting tomorrow morning (Saturday) to face the music. Whatever has happened is now the past, and I'm starting from whatever I weigh tomorrow.  I want to lose 5 lbs.  That's all.  Once I do that, I'll do it again.  As many times as I need to.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Back From the Dead, Metaphorically Speaking

I've been AWOL a long time.  It's very hard to explain what's been going on with me emotionally, so let's just say that it's been a two month long pity party.  I haven't quit WW or anything, I'm still attending meetings regularly, and half-assing the program enough to continue treading water.  But it's also been productive in a sense, because as a result of all this navel-gazing, I've had a few minor breakthroughs.

This is a quickie post to announce my return to the land of the living.  I've worked out a plan, that I'll be posting in a bit of detail.  That plan includes regular blog posting (including weigh-in and plan accountability). It also includes redefining my focus, and returning to the beginning.  I also read a really great article on Motivation that I'll be discussing in some detail, as it made a huge impact on me.

So for now, this is just me waving hello!  Details to come, either tomorrow or Monday, depending on schedule.  So watch out for some more regular updates from me!

Also, if anyone ever reads these posts, feel free to contact me on Facebook under the name WoobieLosingWeight.

See you all soon!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Giving Myself Credit

  I had a great WI today - down 6 lbs.  That's first.  Now in full disclosure mode, I have been having some fairly serious gastric problems of late.  I am scheduled to have a test done next week in hopes of nailing down a diagnosis.  But last Saturday evening, I had another serious bout of pain, and although I didn't need to go the the ER like last time, it was still pretty scary.  And for most of this week, I have been limited in my eating.  Some of that was simple fear - if I ate too much, I was afraid I'd start feeling pains again.  In the first day or two, I simply felt very tender, as a result of the stresses of Saturday night.  If I ate smaller amounts, I felt ok.

  So when I had this great weigh in result, I was tempted to write it off and say, well I was not feeling well, so it doesn't really count.  But the truth is, as I felt better, there was a pretty good war going on inside me most of the time.  I wanted to be cautious, because of the fear of another episode.  But I still really wanted to eat a lot at times, and not always good choices.  In fact, the devil on my shoulder kept rationalizing, and saying that since I was eating much smaller amounts than usual, and was frequently feeling actual hunger, that it would be ok to make some of my choices higher calorie/fat options.  Like having one of those delicious new frappes from Burger King instead of making myself a smoothie at home.

  I felt like it was an interesting week, with this battle raging on.  And the fact of the matter is that I continued to make smart choices, both in what I chose to eat and in my portion size. As a result, I've decided to give myself credit for the weight loss, because although some of it can be attributed to illness, the simple truth is that it would have been a lot less than 6 lbs if I'd given in to temptation.  So I gladly accepted the star the leader gave me, and shared my success at the meeting, with no hedging.

  It's so easy to diminish ourselves and our accomplishments.  To play them off, and act like they were accidental or just no big deal. So I followed last week's advice, and spoke to myself about it the way I would speak to a friend, and take the credit for the work.   And you know what?  I'm glad I did!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Little Tiny Goals

  Been needing to recharge my commitment lately... I've been seriously half-assing this thing for some time, and it's got to change.  I know I say things like that sometimes, and I've said it before.  And I'll probably say it again.  None of us are perfect, and I think that everyone struggles with their focus and motivation.  When something is a life-long process, like weight loss and maintenance is, there's bound to be some fallbacks.

  So I've decided to go back to basics this week, treating it as though it's my first week on plan.  I've got some good food options in the house, including lots of fresh fruit and veggies.  I have a healthy dinner already planned and ready to go for tomorrow.  And while I'd like to get back to setting some more aggressive goals, I figured this week it would be good to start with some baby steps...things that are important for success, but not very difficult to achieve with a little work.  Here goes:
     1.  Tracking EVERYTHING this week.  My tracking has fallen seriously by the wayside, so I have a nice new notebook and a pen I really like all set out and ready to go.
     2.  WATER WATER WATER.  I drink water pretty exclusively, so choosing it is a no-brainer.  But making sure I'm getting enough is important.  I have a WW insulated cup that holds 32 oz at a time.  I must drink at least 2 of those cups full per day.
     3.  At least 5 servings of fruits and veggies per day.  Going back through my materials so that I can accurately track portion sizes.
     4.  Activity - this goal is all about starting small.  It's activity 4 times this week, for a minimum of 30 minutes per day.  Hoping that most of it will be bike-related, since it's good cardio, and easier on my hurting feet.  Tendinitis in on foot and a heel spur in the other have led to some challenges, so I think that biking is my best solution this week.  I do have a couple of other options in my head though, in case that doesn't pan out.
     5.  Motivationally, I will write a list of all the things that I want to achieve on this journey... the laundry list of all the benefits and reasons I started in the first place.  It will be good to get it all down, to be able to use it to keep focused.

  That's the plan for this week.... I'll post again next week to let you all know how I've done!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Power of Fresh Groceries

   Last week I didn't do any grocery shopping - we just lived on what we had in the house plus we ate dinner out most nights.  This was mostly due to the punishing amount of yard work I had to do, and the resulting pain and stiffness.  Well, the yard looks great, and I was able to accomplish more than I had originally thought, so that was a win.  But I knew that I needed to shop ASAP.

  So I spent some time over the weekend planning meals, organizing coupons and making lists.  And today my husband was nice enough to accompany me to both BJs and Shoprite on his day off.  There was a LOT of shopping to be done at both stores, and it took quite a bit of time to get it all done.

   But I love the possibilities of a freshly stocked kitchen.  Knowing that I have tons of fresh fruit and veggies, smart dairy choices, healthy meal ingredients, and even some WW-smart treats leaves me with renewed enthusiasm. I know that although I have a very busy week planned (lots of last minute cleaning and organizing in anticipation of some guests staying with us), I know that I can just pop open the fridge, cabinets or pantry and have lots of healthy options, and a wide variety of choices at my fingertips.

  I really think that sometimes when I'm struggling, the best thing I can do is stock up on great groceries... it's like an instant mood lift!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Mulch Queen Cometh!

  Hello friends and reader(s)!  I've been keeping my head down these last couple of days taking care of business. My current project has been outdoor spring cleanup.  The weather is perfect right now, so I've been taking advantage of it.  Spending the last couple of days re-mulching the landscaping in front of my house.  Hauling bags all over the place, spreading the stuff out, pulling weeds, spraying weed killer, pulling up old dead plantings.  I am sore, I can tell you that much.  So I'm rewarding myself with some night-time internet fun time, while I wait for the anti-inflammatory to kick in so I can go to bed.
  My eating has been a little off the reservation this week, but not too bad.  I'm certainly racking up activity points that will help counterbalance.  Tomorrow should be the last of the mulch party, part 1.  There's more to do on the side of the house and in the back yard, but I may let Dave handle those over the weekend.  Although I really love the sense of accomplishment when I look out there and see the evidence of all my hard work.  And since we had the landscape plants fixed up last fall, it's really looking spiffy with the fresh mulch bed!
  I always prefer my activity in the form of activity, rather than exercise.  I do realize the benefits of structured exercise - particularly weight training.  But my money's always on just being active in some way.  Bike riding, tossing a frisbee or baseball, hiking, yard work - those are my activities of choice!
  So I'm feeling pretty positive about having stayed disciplined and doing the work I need to do, and saving most of my online time for later.  Starting to feel like things are coming back under my control - spring cleaning is good for that.  Making plans and following them has been very good for my state of mind... clutter and chaos beware!  The Queen of Mulch is coming for you!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


   The last 10 days or so have been a major step in the right direction.  I've started being more productive during the day, and limiting my Facebook/internet time until later at night (for the most part).  My eating has gotten more controlled, and while not totally where I'd like to be, it's a HUGE improvement.  All in all, I'm feeling pretty positive.  I actually saw the scale go down last week, and that helped me feel like I've moved in the right direction.
   I was able to find a really nice park to check out, and have been there twice since the weekend.  It's got lots of hills, so walking/hiking there is a good workout.  There are benches scattered about, so after doing a bunch of walking, I rewarded myself at one of the ones at the top of a hill to do some birdwatching while I waited for my husband and my nephew, who were there bike riding (they are training for triathlons).  
   The really spectacular weather this week in our area has made me really itchy to get outside, so tomorrow starts the yard work/spring cleanup in earnest.  I expect to be able to gain a lot of activity points, since there's so much to be done.   Picking up sticks (where on earth DO they all come from?), weeding and mulching should keep me hopping.  I can't wait until the cleanup is finished, though - even though we had a mild winter, my yard looks like a disaster area!
   So that's where things are right now.. in progress!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

It's Been a While

Hi all!  It's been a long time (over a month) since I've written.  Mostly it's because I've been doing some hard thinking  - really taking a good look at myself and my behaviors.  Trying to figure out what's gone wrong, and why my progress has taken such a bad turn.  I'm up and down, gaining and losing the same weight.  I had to face the harsh truth that it was about 9 months ago when I was at my best weight, before my trip to San Francisco.  And even then, it had been a while since I had seen the scale move significantly.  To be honest, the last 18 months or so on this journey have been disastrous.  My weight is still up from where it was, and all progress I made in January I erased in February.

So I've been thinking about my motivations, and my penchant for self-sabotage, and my fears of really being successful.  And what I have come to realize about myself is this.... I'm lazy.  I spent a long time doing the work, and seeing results.  And just like what happened in the past, I got a little loose with things, and a little cocky.  And I stopped working so hard.  Hence the mess I find myself in now.

But I realize that it isn't just the weight loss work, although that's a big chunk of the problem.  It's life in general - I've been skating on housework and maintenance as well.  I've become terrible at managing my time, and lazy about doing the things I find tedious or difficult.  And just like with the weight loss, the results are not good.  Setting the ship to right requires major effort.

So I spend my time doing things I enjoy, like dopping around online.  Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest - lots of time goes to those activities.  I see work that needs to be done and instead of doing it, I add it to my mental checklist of stuff I gotta do.  And as things add to that list pretty quickly, I get overwhelmed and do nothing.  So it's time to put myself on a diet, internet-wise.  So at this time of night, when I'm waiting for the cat to return from his outside adventure for the evening, it's ok to spend some time blowing off steam online.  But I have to cool it during the day, unless I've actually accomplished what I've set out to do that day.  I think that's the only way for now.

And from a Weight Watchers perspective, that means I'll have more time to shop, search recipes, cook and get in activity.  Now that spring is upon us, that becomes easier for me, since there's so many outdoor chores that need doing.  I think that the only way to regain control is to simply seize it.  If I'm right, there will be a positive domino effect in the near future.

So posts may get further and fewer, as well as FB status updates.  But if all goes like I believe it can, and I gain control over my schedule, I'll be able to find a good balance.  And that's the key!  So it's off now to set a few concrete goals for this coming week, and put the finishing touches on the To-Do list!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January in Review

  I have to say that I'm pretty happy with how January has gone.  I began the month pledging to recommit to WW, and to get myself back on track.  By and large, the month has been a success.  I set some 6 week goals, which are coming due on Valentine's Day.  I've already exceeded my weight loss goal, and have done pretty well in meeting my behavioral goals.
  The area where I fell a little short was in adding new recipes.  I did add a bunch, and upon reflection think that perhaps my initial goal was a little unrealistic.  I'll work at it during these next two weeks, and perhaps revisit it when it's time to set the next batch of 6 week goals.
  I've started upping my activity a little bit.  This week looks like it'll be a good one for getting in some bike riding, which is great!  Activity is always the biggest challenge for me, and I think it's the thing I have to spend the most time trying to understand and improve.  Some of it is discomfort and some mobility limitations, most of it is pure and simple laziness!  It's hard, and it's uncomfortable, and I feel self conscious (when at the gym or out in public), so I don't do it as much as I should.  I've set pretty modest goals for this first 6-week period, and have been able to meet them, and then some.  So I feel proud of what I've done so far.
  It's been hard work, but it's been worth it.  Being back in control and on plan is the best thing I could do for myself to start off this new year.  So now it's onward to February!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Catching Up

  Time goes so fast!  I didn't realize it had been two weeks since I'd posted anything, although I have been keeping my Facebook page updated fairly regularly.  The first two weeks of the year have gone well.  I've been doing the work, and seeing results.  From a scale perspective I've lost 8 lbs, which is a hugely encouraging step in the right direction.  It feels so good to have two weeks in a row with losses - something I hadn't done in a while.
   But more importantly, I've been keeping up with the goals I set for this first 6 weeks of the year.  Having already met my scale related goal, I can focus on continuing on with my behavioral goals.  I have been experimenting with a few WW recipes - added two new keepers to my recipe file:

That's WW stuffed peppers and WW Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore.  I also made a WW baked apple dessert, which I forgot to take a photo of.  I've got two new recipes on deck for this week.  I'm also undertaking a HUGE project to get my recipe collection under control, which will help.  It will involve spending a lot of time on the Recipe Builder (in e-tools) to update PP values, but it will be worth it.
  I've been keeping up with my PT exercises again, which has been a big help already.  When weather permits I've been riding my new trike - can't say how much a difference the new trike makes.  It's so much lighter to ride and more stable, and much easier on my knees.  I even kept up with one of my original ideas, and rode it over to the local CVS when I needed to pick up some things.  This week, I'll be adding in some time with the new Just Dance Wii game I got for Christmas to help bolster activity points.  The goal for this week is at least 3 20 minute sessions.
   So that's where I am right now, feeling much better for having taken control and stopped making excuses.  There's lots of work to be done, and it won't always go so well, but it's good to have my head in the game once again!