Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It is all about choices!

Today it is all about the choices we make that impact our success. Every day you CHOOSE to get up out of bed and start your day. We tell ourselves we HAVE to, but really we are still CHOOSING to do what is necessary or what we have committed ourselves to do. In the end it comes down to choices.  It is the same with diet. We tell ourselves we CAN'T have this or we HAVE to eat that...but really that is just a way to make swallowing the choices we make a bit easier. We act like we don't have a choice in the matter, but we are choosing to or not to.

Being on a diet is hard. We try to change everything we eat and suddenly try to force ourselves out of our comfort zone with new foods, completely avoiding foods we love and try to exercise every day when we never did to start with. It is all very funny really. We choose to make our diet and exercise regimen impossible to stick to and as miserable as possible. Are we trying to punish ourselves for the poor choices we made to get ourselves to this place we don't want to be? Are we punishing the fat for sticking to our bodies? We are choosing to make it as unpleasant as we can and we are in turn setting ourselves up for failure. You don't have to starve and you don't have to eat macrobiotic food. You don't have to eat cardboard or work out for 6 hours every day to be successful. If you do that to get to your goal, and you are seriously miserable doing it, do you honestly think you are going to choose to stick to it after you meet your goals? No.

So, how do you make choices you won't be miserable sticking to and still find success?

Well that is all about personal preference. For me, I like to eat. I don't want to starve myself to get to my goals because I know that I will just gain it back later when I  no longer eat that way. So I have to find healthy choices that allow me to have a lot on my plate but that won't pack on the pounds. Because I do the Weight Watchers Points Plus program, it is easier for me to look at it from that perspective. I get 31 points for a day. Every food has a points value, fresh fruit and veggies (non starchy ones) are 0 points so I can eat as much as I want of those. I try to keep my breakfast at 6 or under so that I still have plenty for the rest of my day. But WHAT you choose to eat can make just as much of a difference as how much you eat can. I like as much food on my plate as I can get on it for the amount of points I am consuming. It makes me feel like I'm not starving (because I'm not) and it keeps me from feeling like I need to eat again in an hour.

For example:

1 piece of Rudi's Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread = 2 pts+
1 Teaspoon of butter = 1 pts+
Total points+ for breakfast = 3 pts+

Yeah, only 3 pts+ and with black coffee or tea with no cream and sugar and you think sweet I was WAY under points for breakfast......but you will be hungry WAY too soon. There is no way you will make it to lunch..... I know I won't. So how do you make a CHOICE that is going to keep you full and put WAY more on your plate and in your belly?

Like this:

1 piece of Rudi's Gluten Free Cinnamon raisin Bread = 2 pts+
1 teaspoon cream cheese = 0 pts+
4 egg whites scrambled (cooked with just a tiny spray of Pam), seasoned with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes for a little spice = 1 pts+
1 apple (fresh) = 0 pts+
Total points+ for breakfast = 3 pts+

Which would you rather eat?

It is all about choices. You have to find what you like and then figure out how to get the most out of it. I do the same thing with all meals and with activity too. I know that I can burn calories doing just about anything.....as long as  I'm not just sitting still. So if I vacuum I count it. If I rake the leaves in the yard, I count it. If I spend a half hour scrubbing the showers and tubs, then I count it. I get my exercise wherever I can....I'm not going to go out and suddenly run a marathon. My back can't handle it and my body isn't ready to train for it yet. Someday I know I will walk/run/jog/crawl my way through a half marathon but I'm not going to just be able to get up and do it today. lol So I CHOOSE to find  something in my day that can be exercise and make it as beneficial as I can.

I am CHOOSING to change my life, my health, my habits, my self esteem and my weight. Each choice I make, every single second of every day affects my success...for better or not....that CHOICE is mine.

"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch."

Monday, November 12, 2012

Witty Title Here

Today is a day I feel like I need to blog, but I'm not sure what to say. I guess I'm just struggling with getting motivated today, in every regard. I know I'm not alone in this, we ALL have those days. So how do we get past that and move forward? For me, I blog about it. It helps to vent it out and "voice" why I'm stuck or feeling like there is no real reason to keep moving forward with gusto.

First, we had my husband's birthday party this weekend with family and a few friends from the neighborhood. Always a tough one for me. The months of September, October and November are HARD to stay on track. We have my nephew's birthday party, then my daughter's, followed by my son's and my brother in law's, then my niece's birthday and Halloween rounded out by my husband's birthday....then we have Thanksgiving....all before Christmas. ::deep breath:: So  needless to say I either find myself throwing my program out the window entirely or I end up trying to starve myself all day so the points I have available to me for the day are used for the party. Yeah, not a wise idea.  This time I tried to do things a little differently. A novel idea really....stick to program. HA HA!
I did track, sort of. Which actually for me is way better than I usually do on the weekends. I normally just allow myself to eat with minimal thought and honestly no tracking. I still lose, usually...but not nearly as much as I probably would if I stuck to program EVERY DAY like I should be.

So today being Monday I would normally walk with my neighbor. BUT it is raining something terrible out there and the temperature is very quickly dropping. Tonight should get to a wonderfully brisk 28ยบ. Gotta love winter in Ohio. So I figure OK, I'll get my exercise another way today. Of course I have found every excuse not to get started on SOMETHING that doesn't involve just sitting here....including blogging. Yet here I am, writing instead of doing something even minimally active such as the dishes, vacuuming, dusting, dragging the Christmas Decorations out of the basement to figure out what is going to need to be replaced before we get everything up after Thanksgiving, or even.....::gasp:: getting on my treadmill or stationary bike my wonderful husband set up for me. ::hanging my head in shame now:: It is all there, available and waiting for me to just get up off my rear end.....so WHY do I find it so hard to get to it?

I have been having some GREAT success. And the weight is coming off faster than it has in the past now that we have figured out that I can't have Wheat. So why am I still feeling like I'm failing? I have gone down a full size since last summer. 20 pounds off and I'm down just over a size. Maybe it is because that "size down" is still larger than I want? Maybe it is because that "size down" is too big in many regards but the NEXT size down is still too tight to really be comfortable? It isn't that the NEXT size is too small per se, or that it looks horrible, but I am so uncomfortable and lack the self confidence to really wear it without drawing attention to the fact that I feel HUGE. Being between sizes is certainly contributing to that feeling of failure....so I am vowing to NOT put on that smaller size (that NEXT size) for another 5 pounds. I'm just going to have to DEAL with the saggy butt and thigh look of my pants until I can truly wear the NEXT size without feeling like I look like a stuffed sausage. ::sigh::

I think that is one of the hardest things. We look at each pound as a step closer to a goal, and a step closer to a smaller size. Then, we are clearly too "small" for that size and we excitedly try on the next size down....only to have that door slammed in our face and made to feel like the Staypuft Marshmallow Man. It doesn't help that I just don't have the clothing that I need for the impending weather....especially since I was 20 pounds heavier last year and now those clothes are hanging weirdly on me. It isn't that I'm swimming in them, but they do hang differently now. Knowing my luck they are probably hanging properly now and it just feels odd. I think mainly I just don't want to wear them because I feel like they are my FAT clothes and I shouldn't be wearing them now....they shouldn't fit me. REALLY they do fit me though. They were too small before I just refused to buy new clothes so I looked terrible in them and I convinced myself I didn't. Ah....denial.

With the holiday's fast approaching I think I might refocus myself on a smaller goal. I would love to lose another 10 pounds by Christmas...especially since I'm headed home to California for Christmas. But I find myself feeling less and less like that is a possibility. Which is sad really, because I COULD do it if I REALLY stuck to program every single day, every single meal, and I stuck to exercise on the days that I have already decided I was going to get it in. It is so hard to not feel discouraged when in 15 months you have managed to lose ALMOST 20 pounds. Last time the weight was much easier to take off over all....but I was planning a wedding, still had all my internal organs (don't let anyone tell you your gallbladder isn't necessary...removing mine messed me up big time....and God wouldn't have given you one if you didn't need it) and I worked full time. So, the *new* goal is to just feel comfortable enough in my own skin to not dread, or hide, from the camera. I'm going to need a lot of work on that one. I really don't like being on the other side of the camera.....that *eye* is so unforgiving. Photos force me to see myself for how others see me, which makes me feel bad about myself, regardless of how far I have come.

How we perceive the world views us, though it shouldn't carry much weight (no pun intended), can greatly skew our view of ourselves and our self worth. Even those who say they don't care, people can "blow it out their nose" or whatever....they aren't really being 100% honest. There are days where I can say, I truly don't care what you say about me....and though I don't, I still do. It is hard to explain. I know I can't be the only one who feels that way. It doesn't matter what others say, but it still hurts. It doesn't matter what they think, but it still hurts when they give you a disgusted look. It doesn't matter, but it does. The 'self' we project to the world isn't always what lies under the surface, nor is it always what is accepted by the world. There are some people in this world that won't like you, there are some who will go out of their way to make you feel small, defective, repulsive and make fun of you. They will deflect their own insecurities onto you and shine a spotlight on your flaws to distract others from their flaws. But we are all flawed. We tell our children it is OK to be different while killing ourselves to fit in. A vicious cycle too deeply ingrained in us all to break so easily.

And so I sit...pondering the complexities of my weight loss journey, convincing myself that I am not the only one who struggles. Telling myself I can't be the only one who feels that a success is just not a large enough success sometimes. I know there are no "quick fixes" and that losing weight won't "repair" the damaged psyche I have collected along the way. Other people telling me I'm pretty, or I'm an inspiration won't suddenly make me feel like I am....I know that. I just wish that I could flip a switch and change that feeling. I wish I could be like Genie and just cross my arms and blink ::poof:: thin again. But being "thin" isn't going to fix anything inside on its own. It will help, yes...in many ways....but it isn't the solution to it all. I'm imperfect just like everyone else....and I have to find my own beauty in that imperfection.

My desire to be thin isn't what drives me entirely. I think THAT is what I have to tap into to motivate me to get moving and get things done. Just 30 minutes of exercise....clean, scrub, move boxes, walk on the treadmill, do squats and crunches, ride the stationary bike..... I really don't have any valid excuses except maybe my back issues. And even then there are things I CAN do even when I can barely move. BARELY moving on a treadmill is still better than sitting on the couch or at the computer.

So how do you motivate yourself to get moving when you really just don't feel like it?!? You don't. You can't MAKE yourself motivated when you know you aren't. You just have to CHOOSE to get up off your butt and DO IT. Motivation has NOTHING to do with it really. At least, that's what I'm finding out.

"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch." ~ Anonymous

Friday, November 9, 2012

Keeping on: Keeping on

So yesterday was "weigh-in" day at my WW meeting. It was a good week. I lost 1.6 which means that since my heaviest weight Summer 2011, I have lost 20 pounds. Since rejoining Weight Watchers, I have lost 7.6 pounds...in 9 weeks. No, it isn't as "fast" as I would like it to be, but the important thing is that I do it. On the days that I don't do as well, I try to not let that feeling of failure set me up for a week of failure. I try to make my choices good and healthy ones, but let's face it, we aren't always going to be as successful as we want to be.

The biggest change I made from the previous week (where I gained .6) to this week (losing1.6) was to actually track. Tracking is something I don't really do very well at this point. I always mean to do it, I try to keep to it, but I haven't reached that point where it is a completely automatic thing I do just yet. I got there last time I was successful on WW but I just have to be patient until I get there again. Tracking what you eat is so important. It is SO easy to over eat or eat the wrong foods when you aren't really paying super close attention to the portions or the quality/content. Although it may not be a TON of over eating, or even terrible choices, it certainly does eventually show on the scale.

Another thing I really stuck to as much as I could this last week was to pre-plan meals for the week. i don't plan out EVERY meal for EVERY day, but I have dinners figured out for the week.  I also have a few lunches and breakfasts that I stick to so that I have variety but I never have to stand in the kitchen staring at the cabinets or the refrigerator trying to "figure out" what to eat.

And so, with the success from this last week, I am repeating what I did. :-) I'm going to just keep planning dinners for the week, and I'm going to keep having my "special" foods so I am not totally bored with food and therefore start just looking for ANYTHING.

Crossing my fingers for another loss next week!

"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch" 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The big picture: a step forward is still a step in the right direction

So last week on Thursday when I weighed in at my regular meeting I found that I was up just a little bit. It was only by .6 lbs but it still felt a bit like a failure. I *knew* that I would probably be up just a bit since I didn't track anything all week and had all that Halloween candy in the house. I didn't eat a ton of it, just 2-6 pieces a day, but I didn't track any of it. I also had a massive fast food craving all that week. It is hard to eat out when you are on a diet and you tend to tell yourself certain foods or restaurants are "off limits". Being gluten free doesn't make it any easier to eat out either. I'm a bit limited on what I can order, it takes forever to order unless the restaurant offers a gluten free menu, which most don't. I have to go online and research, or order a salad, read all ingredients in the dressing and get no croutons. McDonald's has a dedicated fryer for their french fries so I can get those.....and I had a huge craving for them all last week. lol so I "paid" for that. Feeling a bit "down" about gaining the .6, I had to stop myself from beating myself up for having "failed" that week. It isn't a huge gain, it isn't like I can't bounce back from that. So why do I have to make it a failure just because the scale was up a little? I was failing to see the bigger picture.

The bigger picture: I learned a lesson...which isn't a failure but a success!

I learned that I CAN have McDonald's french fries, I CAN order fast food with a little thought and planning. I HAVE to allow myself little freedoms within my diet and weight loss goals or I will have major cravings for a week, eat it every day or every other day, throw all my plans, knowledge and motivation out the window and then the cycle will continue. So, the SCALE might not show a success, but last week WAS a success.


I had a bunch of dental work down on Friday, including removing a broken crown and finding excessive decay. The tooth (or tooth nub) can be saved and will get a new crown in the very near future, however the neglect I showed my own teeth (let's face it, as parents we worry about our children's teeth first) has resulted in a lot of damage to the surrounding teeth. So by the end of Friday's visit I had had my teeth cleaned (the first time in nearly 20 years....lol but they were impressed at my gum health), I had a root canal and 3 fillings along with the tooth nub build up....all on the upper right side. Needless to say, it was difficult to eat for the rest of the weekend. lol So I resorted to soft easy foods like cottage cheese, refried beans with a little sour cream and pudding. Not really the best choices but at least I didn't just STARVE myself that day. I also found out at the dentist that I have even MORE extra wisdom teeth than originally thought....but the oral surgeon is going to have to tell me exactly how many I had to start with after they remove the ones still in there. (At this point I have had 3 or 4 removed). LOL So I guess I'm extra smart.


Saturday was a bit interesting. I was unsure what I would be able to eat since we had my niece's birthday party and I'm the only one GF in the family.  But my sister in law was great and provided snacks that were healthy (my MIL and FIL are on WW too) and also made sure that she could tell me what was in certain things, even had labels handy for me. :-) I ate a little cottage cheese before we left so that I wouldn't be starving and stuff my face and it also helped just in case my sensitive jaw still wouldn't allow me to put enough pressure on my teeth to chew. We had ice cream cake at the party, and I just didn't eat the cookie center, so that was fairly easy to do. But my tracking was still lacking that day. :-( I ended up feeling like I just didn't eat enough, so I figured I would probably gain.


It was a lazy day around here. I don't even remember what I ate, what we did.....but I know I didn't track. So on Monday I *knew* that scale would reflect my poor choices again......


Wasn't so bad. I woke up with a renewed sense of control and determination. I went on my walk with my friend "G" after the kids all were off to school, I tracked religiously, drank all my water and made a yummy dinner. :-) The scale was up that morning....but I'm choosing to focus on the fact that I have to keep taking a step forward, even if it doesn't seem to be making any positive progress, because a step forward is still a step in the right direction...right?


Being Tuesday, I hopped on the scale to get an idea of how yesterday went for me with the choices I made....I do this almost every day (yeah I know people say only weigh once a week but I need that visual to keep myself on track with making better and better choices). I was down 2 pounds from what MONDAY said. Now, I realize that might not be what the scale says on Thursday when I actually record my weight and count my loss/gain officially, but I weigh at the same time, in the same place, in the SAME clothing every day at home....so it is a pretty good guide for me on staying on track.

So, back on track, taking steps in the right direction even when the scale doesn't record that forward motion is still very important. I promised to keep a better blog, write more and even include more meals or recipes...so here you go:

Today's breakfast is 3 points plus on WW, and completely Gluten Free.

Rudi's Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread (2 pts plus), 1 tsp cream cheese (0 pp), 4 scrambled egg whites (1 pp) with a little salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, mandarin orange sections (no syrup or sugar) (0 pp).

"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch"