Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fighting the "Diet Mentality"

Okay, I am starting to get used to the new WW plan. This morning, I had the most scrumptious oatmeal EVER. It included the following: one package of instant oatmeal, 1 sliced banana (0 points now!), 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, and 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips. I heated the oatmeal up first with the banana, oats and water for about 1:30 in the microwave, and then I added the peanut butter and chocolate chips for about 30 seconds. The result--pure joy =) Plus it kept me full much longer than usual. Under the new system, this breakfast was about 7 points.

Sometimes I still get stuck in the "diet" mentality, where I feel self conscious about eating delicious things. For instance, last night I made my dad's AMAZING chinese chicken and broccoli. The meal consisted of 1 cup of brown rice (I actually bought the single serving rice so there could be no eyeballing), roughly 2 cups of broccoli and about .40 ounces of chopped chicken. It was DIVINE. But it made a huge plate of food--because of the broccoli. And I thought to myself, how can I possibly lose weight when I'm eating so much delicious food? At the same time, the logical part of my brain knows that 1 cup of brown rice and .40 ounces of chicken are not unreasonably large servings. Similiarly, my indulgent breakfast this morning wasn't really that crazy. In fact, both meals were nutritious and easily fit into my new 29 point day.

Sometimes, I think my idea (pre-WW) of dieting doesn't quite match up to the reality of living a healthy lifestyle. Look at any food blog you want--Beth's Journey to Thin, Run Eat Repeat, Kath Eats, and others--and you'll find that these incredibly healthy/ active women love eating and, more often than not, end up eating delicious, reasonably large portions of mostly healthy foods. They also exercise quite consistently. The diet mentality that some people in my family subscribe to--i.e. yogurt for breakfast, a skimpy salad for lunch, and a tiny piece of chicken for dinner--is NOT the norm amongst the food bloggers of this generation. Instead, we're creating oatmeal bowls, sweet potato fries, risotto with vegetables, homemade pizzas and chilis, corn muffins...the list goes on and on...Most of these bloggers, including myself, also strive to make activity a major part of their lives.

The bottom line is that each meal I eat now should be scrumptious and satisfying because this is not a diet--it's a lifestyle. Why shouldn't I enjoy food and feel full, even though I'm not at my goal weight? I need to shake this bizarre sense of guilt once and for all. Oatmeal with a sprinkle of chocolate chips does not make one fat. And neither does a stir fry with 2 cups of broccoli.

After all, prior to joining WW, there were days when I would eat ice cream for breakfast. But I have to say, I prefer my oatmeal+peanut butter+banana+chocolate chip combination.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ran a 5K!

This time last year, I could never imagined that I would be able to run a 5K. But on Thanksgiving morning, bright and early, I woke up and ran 3.2 miles outside without walking. My time was 35:23 and my average mile was 11:24. Not too shabby for a first race. It really wasn't as bad as I expected and I managed to pace myself throughout the race so that I never felt too out of breath or tired.

Here's what I learned that works for me:

1. It was about 40 degrees and a little rainy so I dressed in light layers--good call.

2. I ate 1/2 a bagel with a thin smear of peanut butter about 1.5 hours before the race. That definitely helped give me more energy.

3. I got to the race EARLY. It was a madhouse at the race (4,000 people came out) so I'm glad that I managed to get there at 7:30 (a half an hour before the race).

4. I stood near the back of the pack. That helped because I wasn't with the all the fast runners and I actually managed to pass some people (rather than being passed by everyone).

5. I paced myself. I kept myself to a light, steady jog until the 3 mile mark where I went a little faster to finish the race. It felt good finishing strong.

6. I had the support of my family. My mom and sister woke up early to see me run. It was so nice of them and they were so proud of me.

7. I took a complete rest day the day before the race which helped me a lot.

8. I was already able to run for 35-40 minutes on the treadmill, so I was in pretty good shape.

Overall, it was a great experience and I'd definitely like to run more 5Ks. There's a Jingle Bell 5K in Richmond during the second week of Decemeber, so I might run that. Also, I'm seriously considering training for a 10K in the spring. I think that I can do it--I would just need to seriously train.

The rest of my Thanksgiving holiday was pretty awesome. Thanksgiving dinner was delicious and I ate small portions of nearly everything (except the pies). I felt pretty guilt free about it since I earned some APs in the morning. And then on Saturday morning I went for a jog in my neighborhood (roughly 2.5 miles) and that was fun. I am actually starting to enjoy running. It's relaxing to jog through a quiet neighborhood and just be by myself.

Today, the plan is to adjust to my new points--WW just came out with a totally new plan that seems to emphasize fat, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. It's kind of a pain to have to rethink all my food choices, but at the same time maybe this will help speed up my WL efforts. I get 29 points with the new plan and 49 WPs. Weird, huh. But I put in my foods that I brought to work today and I was shocked that my yogurt with canned peaches was 6 points (it was 2.5 under the new plan). On the other hand, my hamburger on an English muffin is only 8 points and it was 10 under the old plan. Does WW not want us to eat yogurt now? So strange.

Anyway, I also plan on either going to my Body Pump class or going on a run after work. Happy Monday everyone.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Taking a Break

So, after another somewhat disappointing loss this week (0.6), I have decided that I need to take a break from counting points and obsessing over every calorie. By chance, this coincides with Thanksgiving and my trip to visit my family (Wed-Sun). So, in my opinion, that's a pretty good time to ease up a little bit on the plan so that I can enjoy the family gatherings and not obsess if I have an extra glass of wine or a slice of birthday cake or pumpkin pie.

I will, however, focus on making healthy choices and exercising. I am running the 5K tomorrow and I'm a mixture of excited and nervous. I'll let you know how it goes and maybe I'll even be able to post some photos =) In the past, I've been so worried about taking breaks because I felt it would get me off course and distract me from my goal. But, this time, I have to view what I'm doing as a lifestyle change, and throughout life you occasionally need breaks. And after sobbing my heart out on the phone to both of my parents, I recognize that I have hit that wall and desperately need a break. Further, I did some research on WL plateaus and it's possible that I am not eating enough--which might be stunting my WL efforts. So a week of increased eating might do both my mood and metabolism a bit of good. Importantly, however, I am not going to cut back on my activity because I like exercise and it makes me feel good.

So wish me luck on the race tomorrow and I'll let you know how it goes. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My First 5K

I'd been thinking about doing a 5K for the past couple of weeks, and last night I signed up for one. It's called the Virginia Run Turkey Trot, and it's taking place at 8am in Centreville, VA on Thanksgiving Day.

I have mixed emotions about the race.

I am not at all sure that I'm prepared. I haven't been doing a 5k training program and have barely run outside at all. What if I collapse in a heap on mile two? Also, I have never run a race before and I'm not sure about the race preparation/ race day protocol. What should I wear? What should I eat? When should I arrive at the race? All these questions are making me feel anxious, so I'm going to do some research today and try to figure them out.

But on the other hand, I feel enormously proud of myself that I have decided to take on a huge physical challenge, especially on one of the most gluttonous days of the year. And I do feel stronger than I have in a long time. I can run for 30-40 minutes on the treadmill (usually about 3-3.5 miles) and I recently increased my weights in my Body Pump class. For the past 6 weeks, I have exercised regularly 4-5 times a week, and for the past 7 months I have exercised regularly 2-3 times a week. I am not in bad shape. I am absolutely certain that I could walk the 5K, and I think it's possible that I could run the entire thing.

But on the OTHER other hand, I am incredibly nervous about the prospect of lining up with a bunch of athletes to compete in a race. That brings back dreadful memories of high school gym class, where I would huff my way through the mile run as my other fitter classmates would run past me. I hope that I don't feel that sense of panic on Thursday.

But on the OTHER OTHER other hand, I am volunteering to do this race--it's not a mandatory gym activity. And even if I come in last, I will feel proud of myself for doing a 5K.

But on the OTHER OTHER OTHER other hand, I really hope I don't come in last.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cleaning and Laundry

Last weekend was unusually productive for me. I cleaned the house, did my laundry, and cooked all my meals. In less pleasant news, my brother Nick got hit by a car while bike riding yesterday. He is okay, thank goodness, despite a concussion and a bunch of bruises.

Moving on, I went to the Farmer's market with a friend on Saturdy afternoon, I went to the gym on Friday night and Sunday morning, I did mountains of laundry on Saturday, and I cleaned my house on Sunday. Not too exciting, but it is pretty nice to have clean clothes and a clean (for now) house.

Now, I love having cats. They snuggle with me all the time and they constantly keep me amused with their wacky behavior. BUT...they have a terrible time with the litter box. For some reason, they delight in spreading litter all over the house. It drove me crazy that yesterday, just as soon as I had finished mopping all the floors, Leo went into the clean litter box to investigate and then got it all over the clean floors. Grrr....He's lucky he's cute.

Here's Leo, with my formerly pudgy arm (the photo was taken about a year ago)

And here's his sister Fanny

Anyway, my weekend was pretty good, health wise, because I managed to only use about 13 WPs, which is really good for me, since I have 22 remaining WPs. I also earned some APs. So, all in all, a good weekend for weight loss. Hopefully this translates to the scale, haha, although you never can tell ;). As for Thanksgiving day, my meeting is cancelled so I'm going to weigh in a day early on Wednesday morning. I haven't decided whether I'm going to count points on Thanksgiving or whether I'm just going to allot my 35 WPs to the day. The only problem with doing that is that I LIKE having spare WPs to use throughout the week, especially when I work out. So, I'll have to think about that. I also am thinking about going for a run or even doing a 5k on Thanksgiving so that I can eat more on the big day =) Does anyone know of any 5ks on Thanksgiving in either the Richmond area or the DC area?

Anyway, I gotta get back to work. Happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I spoke too soon...

Little drama queen that I am, I freaked out before my actual weigh in.

I actually lost 0.8.

Yup, I feel a bit sheepish right now. But oh, how I hate those weigh-in jitters. Happy Thursday everyone.

Weigh In Jitters

There was a time, not too long ago, where I'd go to my weigh-ins expecting a loss. Sure, I'd agonize over whether it'd be a 3.5 pound loss or a 1.2 pound loss, but still I expected a loss.

Sadly, those times are gone. For the past few months, I've gone to WIs without knowing what to expect. Maybe I'd see a big loss, but more than likely I'd see a small loss or a small gain--even when I worked out a lot and followed the plan. Today is no exception--I ate within my DPs and WPs and exercised 5 times (two Body Pump classes and three cardio sessions) yet I'm not guaranteed a loss. In fact, the scale at the gym has me up a pound. Now, the rational side of my brain KNOWS that I will not gain weight if I stick to the plan and exercise consistently. But the other side is freaking out and starting to imagine that my body has secretly been invaded by a monster that is determined to hold onto every last ounce of weight. And it won't let up until I weigh 400 pounds and have to join the circus and end up marrying a dwarf named Bubba and...

Okay, I digress. But seriously, is it so hard for my 180ish pound body to get rid of these excess 30 pounds? Why is that so difficult? I sweat, I plan my meals, I get in most of my GHGs (good health guidelines), and does the scale budge?

Sometimes...when it's in a good mood.

The rational part of me is telling me that (1) I've lost a heck of a lot of weight so far and I should be pleased with my loss, (2) If I continue living healthy, I will lose the weight, and (3) I look and feel amazing now, so why not focus on that?

But of course, I am anxious to lose this last 30 pounds and finally be at a healthy weight...for the first time since I was 13. I guess all things come in good time.

I'll let you know what the verdict is. I'm just hoping that I don't cry (again!) at my WW meeting.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blog Update

So, I never said I was technologically savvy, which explains why it has taken me nearly seven months to discover how to create a new page on this blog (thank you WW message boards!). I finally posted some photos, which (I hope) give you guys a good idea about my weight gain/ loss pattern over the years. As you can see from the photos, I've been struggling with my weight for quite some time. I will try to take some current "body shots" so that I can post them as well. I have gotten out of the habit of taking photos, haha.

Anyway, so far my week has been going well. Yesterday, I stayed within my DPs (give or take a point because of a few bites of some fried oyster) and I worked out for 40 minutes on the treadmill. I pushed myself and made it to 5.4 for about 4 minutes, which was awesome! I've never been able to go so fast on the treadmill...EVER. Tonight, I'm planning on getting some quality time on the elliptical, so that should be good.

On the food front, I've managed to make smarter food choices, which means I get to eat more! My menu today consisted of the following:

Oatmeal (2)
Banana (2)
1/2 cup of canned pumpkin (0)!!
Black tea with splenda (0)


Mixed greens (0)
1/2 cup b. beans (1)
1/8 cup rf cheese (1)
2 ounces of chicken (2)
2 tbs dressing (2)

A toasted cinnamon raisin bagel thin on the side (1)

And that's it so far. I've only eaten 11 points and I feel completely satisfied. Now, if I recall, my chicken salad over the summer was roughly 12 points, and now I've managed to cut it down to 6, and it's still quite substantial.

Anyway, I have to get back to work. Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Green Apples, Wine, and Ice Cream

I hope that everyone had a great weekend. I had the best weekend I've had in a while =). I hung out with great friends, went for my first bike ride in Richmond, went to a great party on Saturday night, and saw a movie on Sunday. Good times.

On Friday, I forced myself to go to my Body Pump class after work and I'm glad that I did because it gave me an excuse to chill out, guilt free, on Saturday and Sunday. As you may recall, I was planning for a splurge on Friday night (pizza, ice cream, twizzlers) but, after my Body Pump class I didn't really feel like I "needed" the splurge anymore. So, instead, I ate a hearty meal of the following:

-Toasted ciabatta roll with a little butter
-Baked asparagus with EVOO and kosher salt
-Sliced green apple (I'm addicted to these!)
-Grilled chicken
-Skinny cow strawberry ice cream, yum!

A pretty hearty meal, but I was starving after Body Pump. After dinner, I went out with the girls and got a few light beers and a glass of wine =)

On Saturday, I was supposed to go to brunch with a friend. Unfortunately, I never made it there because it was the Richmond Marathon, and traffic was pretty much gridlocked in the city. So I decided to park my car and walk the roughly 2 miles home. It was a beautful day, and it felt good to get some exercise. After I got home, I decided to take my new bike out for a ride in Richmond. I rode to Carytown and then decided to bike to my car downtown. I love being able to get around on my bike =) Then, on Saturday night, I went to a wine bar with some friends and then went to a party at my neighbor's house.

All in all, it was a great weekend, and despite a little too much drinking, I still managed to save roughly 6 WPs for the rest of the week. The only drawback is that I did not a get chance to clean my house or do laundry, so I'm going to have to try to work that in during the week.

I hope that everyone has a happy Monday!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

And the Verdict is...

Down 3 pounds =) Yay!!! I'm so glad to see a loss, and a big one at that!!

Recap of Goals

Good morning everyone! I am feeling much more energetic this morning after getting a good night of sleep :)

It felt so good to get out of the office yesterday and go to my Body Pump class. The class was especially difficult because I focused more on form and I used heavier weights. I definitely broke a sweat ;) I'm glad that I'm starting to incorporate more strength training into my workouts because I feel more toned, overall, especially in my arms and shoulders. I've always been a bit skeptical about weight training because I didn't want to "bulk up," but none of the people in my class (even the men) are large. Instead, they are lean and strong. My class focuses on using smaller weights with many reps, so maybe that explains it.

After the class, I stopped by the grocery store and picked up some essentials for dinner. I settled on a chicken salad with an irresistable ciabatta roll. I bought a package of the rolls and each roll was about 300 calories, so I assumed they'd be 4-5points. I was wrong--each roll was 6 points!! But it was so yummy and filling and I had the points to spare, so it wasn't a big deal.

The salad contained the following:

1 1/2 cup of mixed lettuce with carrots, onion, and spinach (0)
3 ounces of chicken marinated in honey mustard dressing (3)
1/4 cup of ff cheddar cheese (1)
3/4 cup of reduced sodium pinto beans (2.5)
1 tbsp of honey mustard dressing (1)

Along with the bread, the meal was 13.5 points, which exactly filled my remaining DPs. Anyway, I'm eating leftovers for lunch, and I'm already excited :)

So to recap on my goals for the week...

-I worked out Friday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday--thereby fulfilling my goal to exercise 4 times.

-I stayed within my DPs and WPs, and I even had 4 WPs left to spare :)

This week, I'd like to focus on the following goals:

-Work out 5 times (2 Body Pump classes and 3 cardio sessions)

-Stick to my DPs and WPs

-Not get so sidetracked over the weekend!! I want to be more active and not succumb to pigging out...except for my mini-splurge I have planned for Friday night :)

Anyway, today is my weigh in day, so wish me luck. I'll let you know what the verdict is this afternoon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Splurge Guilt

My eyes are glazed over from editing 90+ pages of a document this afternoon, so please forgive me if this post lacks my typical energy. I can't wait to get out of the office and go to my Body Pump class this evening :)

Anyway, as for the midweek update, I am pleased to tell you that I did not let the splurges from the weekend destroy my week. Starting on Monday, I got back to eating healthy and exercising. Both days I ate within my points and did cardio at the gym. I think that this may be the secret to maintaining one's weight--alternating "bad" eating days with "good" ones. I weighed myself on the gym scale (I know, it's a bad idea to use different scales) and it looks like my weight is back down a bit, so hopefully I'll see a loss at my weigh in tomorrow.

At the moment, all I can think about is the weekend. Bizzarly enough, I'm actually craving some alone time and I'm thinking about allowing myself a mini-splurge on Friday night with some pizza and maybe an ice cream sandwich (and a good movie, of course). It's kind of been bugging me that I've been wasting my WPs on social activities (yes, I'm still peeved about the Chipotle incident). So, this week, I'd like to splurge on foods that I actually like. Haha...what a novel concept, right?

So, I'm thinking on Friday that I'll make my own individual pizza at home and then buy an ice cream sandwich and maybe top the night off with some popcorn or twizzlers...Just to be clear, this is not a binge, just a splurge. Maybe I'll use 10-12 WPs. Does this sound like a healthy-ish plan to you?

It's weird. In the past, I've tried to make my splurges social events so that I don't feel guilty about them. But now, I'd like to plan a splurge for the food. Does that make any sense to you? Do you ever plan food splurges that aren't related to social activities?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fancy Dinner, Polyface Farms, Chipotle, and Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I feel like my post title sums up my weekend. Basically, it turned into a mishmash of activities and foods--not too healthy, by the way. But oh well, what did I say last Friday? It's time to move on.

On Friday night, I met a friend at the restuarant of the Virginia Musuum of Fine Arts. The restaurant was gorgeous and we had a really nice view. We ordered a salad to start (it had yummy candied walnuts) and this delicious chicken curry dish for an entree (we split everything). We also ordered a bottle of red wine, and we got a complimentary spread of desserts at the end of the meal. It was quite a delicious splurge ;)

Then on Saturday I woke up super early (7 am) to drive to Polyface Farm. In case you're not familiar, Polyface Farm is an organic farm near Staunton, VA. It was featured in Food Inc. Anyway, NZ and I drove all the way to Staunton to see this farm and buy some organic meat. The verdict? It looked like you'd expect a farm to look--a little messy, animals, dogs and cats hanging out. Nothing too spectacular. The farm definitely had a lot of great features--the cattle grazed on grass, the pigs and chickens had enough space, etc...I wish there were more farms like that in the US. Anyway, I picked up some ground pork and I'm cooking dinner with it tonight, so I'll let you know if I notice a difference in taste.

Then, (cue scary music here) we stopped at Chipotle on the way home and I ate nearly an entire chicken burrito. Ugh. Diet fail--especially considering how many points I know those burritos have.

The rest of the night was a bit of a wash since I felt uncomfortably full and was lying prone on my couch watching Gilmore Girls. Haha.

And then on Saturday I went out for brunch with my friend Adriane and ordered CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES. They were delicious, and they were mostly all I ate yesterday so I don't feel super guilty.

Today, the plan is to get back on track with eating well and exercising. I brought a healthy lunch and I packed my gym clothes in the car, so hopefully I'll be able to manage that ;)

I feel a little bloated and gross this morning. I really need to get back on track with eating well. It's so hard for me this time of year!

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Verdict

I gained 2 pounds this week. It's official--the WW scale says so. And I'm not that upset about it, although it is the biggest gain that I've seen since I started this journey in March. Simply put, I ate too much over the weekend, exercised too little, and I deserved to gain.

At the same time, it is astonishing how quickly you can gain back weight. I dieted/ exercised HARD for the previous three weeks and lost a total of 2.4. I messed up one week and nearly gained it all back. Whew...how the weight comes back on quickly. This explains why it's so easy to regain weight once you have lost it.

I am proud of myself because I forced myself to weigh in, even when I knew I wasn't going to be happy with the result. This is so much stronger than I've been in the past. Before, I would overreact to mistakes and think that my diet had failed. Now, I see the gain for what it is--a bad week of eating--and I move on. Because, as I've said before, I am never going to be the perfect dieter who sticks to the plan 100% of the time, with no slip-ups. I am who I am--someone who likes to eat (sometimes too much) and who relies on food too much when I'm feeling emotionally out of whack. Although I am definitely trying to work on these issues, I will, likely, always struggle with them. And that's okay.

As for this fresh week (see, weighing in is good because you get to start a FRESH week), I'm going to focus on (1) sticking within my DPs and WPs and (2) exercising four times. I think it's interesting how last week's extreme goals lead me to extreme binge, so this week I'm going to focus on living normally and achieving manageable goals. I think I can do it ;)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Unrealistic goals and getting back on track

Last week, for a fleeting few hours, I decided to eat a WW menu for the week. I even posted the menu (for one day) on the blog. Long story short, that did not happen. I never even bought the groceries. Although, I did try some chocolate soy milk that was delicious and I did eat a veggie heavy stir fry on Friday evening.

My week has not gone super smoothly so far, diet and exercise wise. I ate a huge unhealthy dinner on Thursday night, I ate two(!) huge slices of pizza on Friday night (in addition to dinner) and I pigged out on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I also completely stopped exercising, from Saturday-Monday. However, I am here to tell you that I am not overridden with guilt. These things happen (even for healthy people) and the imporant thing is that you get back on track. So yesterday, I ate healthy and worked out for 45 minutes on the elliptical. It felt really good to get back on track and I'm determined to have a good day today. (FYI--there were some life factors that got in my way this past week: drama with guys, too much drinking, visiting my family, etc...)

Today, the plan is to eat my typical breakfast of oatmeal and banana (it may be boring, but it's filling, yummy, and cheap!), a subway sandwich with baked chips for lunch, and a chicken stir fry for dinner. I'm also going to my Body Pump class after work--my friend Allison is meeting me there so I can't get out of it :)

On other news, I met a new guy named N--same name as my ex--so we'll call him NZ. We went out last Friday and last night and things seem to be going well. Last night, we went out for crab legs, beer, and Pho soup. It was both yummy and healthy. NZ is also very health conscious so it doesn't look like it's going to be too difficult to stick to my plan while dating him. I plan on taking things VERY SLOW with NZ, so I'll keep you updated.

Anyway, I have to get back to work. Happy Hump day!