Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 1

One thing I've learned today is that there is never an ideal time to start a diet. And if you keep on waiting for the right time, you'll never make the change. So far, my first day has been a little rockier than I anticipated, but I've managed to stay on plan, so that's good.

I ate one packet of instant oatmeal with a sliced banana for breakfast and planned on grabbing Subway for lunch after my weigh in at noon. But unfortunately at 11am, my supervisor announced that the whole office was having a mandatory lunch meeting at 11:45 with pizza. There went my healthy plans.

When I walked into the meeting, I was informed by the VP that my company won a new contract, but that most staff members were going to have to take pay cuts. Then the VP said that we'd all have to sign our new offer letters by the end of the day. So of course everyone was anxious to see the new letters. But before handing them out, the VP insisted that everyone eat pizza and enjoy their lunch.

So, not only did I have to wait 30 minutes to get my offer letter, but I had to watch everyone else eat pizza while my stomach rumbled. Now, of course I could have had a slice (or two) of pizza, but it was my first day being healthy and I didn't want to wreck it and then procrastinate for another week. So, instead, I drank a diet coke and waited for the verdict.

Thankfully, I did not receive a pay cut. As soon as I got the letter, I drove over to Subway and got a turkey sandwich and baked chips. And I'm going to weigh in at a different meeting at 4:30pm, and I'll let you know of the verdict later. So far so good with Day 1 of healthy eating.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bloated Whale

Hello everyone. I've returned from my trip! This is a picture I took with my phone of Sanibel Island at dusk. It doesn't really capture how beautiful it was on the island because I took the picture with my phone, but it does give you a sense of the place.'s been difficult to get back to the blog since I returned on Sunday, because I feel like a huge hypocrite writing a health blog, as I stuff my face with chocolate chip cookies and whatever else I can get my hands on. But here's the truth--I'm not perfect. And right now I've completely lost my mind and have been eating terrible food for the past few weeks and barely exercising at all because I feel like a bloated whale. And honestly all the junk food and excessive eating makes me feel UNWELL and unfit to exercise.

Let me try to explain what happened. Prior to the trip, I was struggling with controlling my bad food cravings and feeling pretty low energy due to the short days, stress at work, etc. Then I went on the trip and I gave myself a free pass to eat everything I wanted in whatever quantity I wanted. Of course, I still felt guilty after I would eat past a level of contentment, but then I'd wake up starving and the cycle would repeat the next day. In some ways, this put a bit of a damper on my otherwise perfect trip.

And then I got home from the trip feeling bloated and gross and what do you think I did? I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies (my specialty) and consumed the entire thing while watching a season of Gray's Anatomy. Of course, I mixed the food up with macaroni and cheese, microwave pizza, and bagels with cream cheese. By the way, the sixth season of Gray's Anatomy is pretty engaging, if you ask me.

So, this is the deal. I feel like I gained 100 pounds and I don't feel attractive at all. Which is making me want to hide from everyone I know, especially the numerous ex-boyfriends who live in a one mile radius from my house. My face is also breaking out due to all the gross food I've been eating. Yes, I am feeling sorry for myself--I'll admit it. And what does this feeling lead to...more cookies and more Gray's Anatomy. Bad, bad!

Okay, what would the former Katie do in this situation? I know that 2.5 weeks of bad eating will not ruin my weight loss journey and that I need to get back on track asap. At the moments, my pants still fit despite the bloat and I can still button my shirts. I have not gained 60 pounds in the past few weeks and I am not back to where I started. Now, on the other hand, if I continue to delay, it's very likely that I will regain the weight I lost and maybe even more. I don't want to be that nonathletic, seriously overweight person ever again.

So now is the time. It's time to clean out the kitchen, buy healthy foods, weigh in, start exercising, and jump on the bandwagon again.

But I think I'll start tomorrow after I enjoy my last meal of macaroni and cheese and peanut m&ms. Wish me luck =)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Leaving for Florida!

Well folks, I'm leaving for Florida for the week. Can't say I'm going to worry too much about healthy eating on this vacation. I'll be back on the 26th and will start up again then!

Bye bye!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

No Weigh In Today

I was actually going to weigh in today, despite being somewhat off track this week. But then it decided to snow in Richmond. Forecasters are predicting 3-5 inches of snow. Now, I'm not really afraid of snow--I survived a winter in Syracuse, NY after all--but I really didn't want to risk getting in an accident two days before my vacation. Especially since my tires are low on air and my car is really bad in the snow and I have a 30 minute commute. So when a coworker offered to drive me to and from work, I jumped on the opportunity. And now I'm stuck at work, sans car, so I guess I'm not going to weigh in. But it's also likely that the meeting this afternoon will be cancelled due to snow, as well.

On the bright side, this allowed me to eat a yummy (and large) breakfast of oatmeal and tea this morning. Last night, I went back to my Zumba class and then had a fairly light dinner of a baked sweet potato with butter and marshmallows and a large glass of wine. This morning, I felt pretty hungry, so I'm glad that I didn't have to fast until noon =)

But I haven't gotten out from weighing in, completely. I've been weighing myself (fully clothed/ with sneakers) on the gym scale at the end of the day. The scale is actually showing me pretty positive results. It looks like I'm down to my original low--around 176 pounds. And I'm okay with that.

I leave for vacation tomorrow and I'm not going to count points or be overly concerned with being healthy. I haven't had a week off in over a year, so I'm just going to focus on having a good time and getting in some exercise. And then when I get back home from vacation, I'm going to buy a scale and weigh myself in the mornings.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Party Success...Maybe...

I went to my annual Christmas luncheon, knowing that I could eat anything I wanted. I know that if I was really obsessed about being healthy, I could have smuggled in a Subway sandwich. But I decided, in the spirit of relaxing my urge to diet, to just attend the party, eat reasonably, and try to have an okay time.

When I got there, however, I wished that I had smuggled in a turkey sandwich. The food consisted of the following: soggy, greasy green beans, odd colored mashed potatoes, fried chicken, grainy roast beef, corn salad (which actually looked fairly edible) and a ton of desserts. So, yeah, I didn't really want to waste the calories on such unappetizing food. But on the other hand, I couldn't be completely rude (I was sharing a table with the CEO and VP of the company) so I took a reasonable plate of green beans, roast beef, a small roll, and the corn salad.

As I was walking to my seat, one of the senior employees loudly shouted, "That's not on your diet, is it Katie?"

Did I mention how much I love the employees at my company? Haha, needless to say, I walked past him and didn't feel one bit guilty about my plate of food. Then I proceeded to make small talk about the weather and traffic tickets and eat maybe four bites of food plus the entire mini roll. And I drank two cups of strong coffee with cream.

And then I got back to the office and had an apple with peanut butter and an english muffin with butter. A few people commented on my second lunch, but I just smiled and said 'I'm a hungry girl.' =)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I think that swimming may very well be the most underrated physical activity that there is. For the past few months, as my gym constructed the new swimming pool, I was excited to get in and start swimming relaxed (cough cough) laps for at least an hour or so.

Dream on.

Yesterday evening, I got in the pool and started to swim laps of freestroke and instantly realized that swimming is way harder than I had thought. It's especially hard to balance getting out of breath from physical exertion with literally being out of breath from being underwater. If that makes any sense. I swam for what I thought was a half an hour and then looked at the clock--it had only been 7 minutes. After that I decided to alternate freestyle, breaststroke, and backstroke to make the laps more doable. I think I managed to swim for about 25 minutes, with a few second breaks after each lap. It was hard work, cardio wise.

Anyway, it was a very nice change from running, even if it was harder than I expected. It felt really nice to get in the pool and feel light as a feather. I think I'm going to have to buy a stopwatch so that I can know exactly how long I've been swimming/ running.

Then I went home and cooked a nice dinner of breaded chicken breasts with lemon, baked sweet potato with a few marshmallows, and peas with a little bit of butter (to have something green on the table). And then I also drank a good sized glass of red wine. I also managed to weigh myself on the gym scale, and like I thought, I'm up one pound. Oh well. One pound does not equal three double chins and a higher size in pants. And probably some of it (at least) is water weight. So, I'm not going to fret about the binge/ binge gain.

I love trying new activities, but not eating plans, lol.Today, I'm set on getting in a run (hopefully another 3 miler--in the gym of course) and I'm thinking of grabbing Subway for lunch. Dinner is still up in the air, although I might use my leftover chicken to make a nice chicken salad. Happy Tuesday everyone.

Monday, December 13, 2010

With a little help from my friends...

Thank you everyone for all the advice and support you've given me today. I e-mailed Monica, who writes the blog Run, Eat, Repeat and she gave me some great advice:

"It sounds like your body and your mind are both a little burnt out from being on WW for so long. The combination of not losing and the breakdown at a meeting are sending you a message - maybe you need to take a step back for a few weeks? I know that's super scary to even think about because you don't want to gain it back. But, you really do need to respect your body's signals if you want these to be life long changes.

'I don't know what to eat in order to maintain my weight.' - Maybe your head doesn't know, but I bet your body does. If you eat too much you'll feel super full and if you don't eat enough you'll still be hungry. So, it's unlikely you'll eat enough to gain 10 pounds in 2 weeks. Remember one pound is 3500 calories - that is a lot of extra food to eat to gain that much!"

So, for now, that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to continue to exercise and I'm going to respect my body's hunger signals. I'm not going to count points, but I am going to be conscious of what I'm eating. Case in point, today I had oatmeal with banana for breakfast and a large salad for lunch, consisting of the following: beets, lettuce, spinach, green pepper, a spoonful of blue cheese, 1/4 cup edemame, a hardboiled egg, and 1/4 cup chopped turkey and some fat free dressing. I have no clue how many points that was, but it was yummy and contained lots of healthy foods. Tonight, I'm going to have some chicken and a sweet potato with butter. I might also indulge in a glass of red wine.

I had a good conversation with my dad, and we both agreed that I know how to live healthy and that I don't need to obsess over points. I'm also going to get in some exercise--either Body Pump or swimming in the new pool. Happy Monday everyone.

The Good and the Bad

I'm trying not to beat myself up about this weekend, so I'm going to start out with the good news.

I ran 3 miles with my friend Kerrianne in 33 minutes on Saturday morning. Exactly an 11 minute mile. That's the fastest I've run yet, and I'm proud of myself for that accomplishment.

The bad...I had a major food meltdown this weekend. You'd think that after running 3 miles, I'd be more conscious about my food choices. But nope, I completely let myself eat like crap for a day and a half. I'm embarrassed to write this post, especially since I've been so determined to live in a healthy way. I hate that I let binging sabotage my progress.

Here's the thing, I'm pretty sure that I struggle with seasonal depression. As the days get shorter, it gets harder and harder for me to be social. I start to think illogical thoughts--like I'm too fat and ugly to go out. And then I feel the urge to stay in and eat, which only makes me feel fatter. It's especially hard since I live alone and can literally spend an entire day in my pjs, on the couch, watching a dumb tv show series, and eating ice cream out of the carton. That was yesterday for me. I am embarrassed about this and it's hard for me to write about it publicly. But maybe someone out there can relate to this struggle.

Today, I woke up determined not to feel bad about myself. My size 14 dress pants still feel loose. I have not gained back much weight from 1.5 days on binging. I still was able to run 3 miles on Saturday. My binge has not wiped out all my progress. I have to keep telling myself this. Because in my head, I feel like I have grown three double chins, a huge belly, and can't even run a lap. In my head, I feel like I weigh 240 pounds.

So anyway, I'm at a loss of what to do. If I were on the message boards, I know that fellow WWers would tell me to get back on track starting NOW. They'd encourage me to go to the gym and eat healthy for today. So, that's exactly what I'm going to do. I already ate a healthy bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and I packed my gym clothes in the car. HOWEVER, I honestly am really mixed about this new WW program. I hate looking up the foods and weighing and measuring everything.

It's making me obsess about food. Which can sometimes lead me to binge. I really need to find a balance that works with me. I know that WW can work (and has worked for me in the past) but now I am facing a new challenge: winter and seasonal depression. I'm not feeling all that confident in my ability to manage that. Hmm...the worst possible thing would be to gain back the weight I have lost. I'm afraid that I already gained about a pound from this weekend's craziness, but a pound is not the end of the world. I feel this urge to start fresh as of now.

I think I'm going to consider taking the antidepressant and taking this journey one day at a time. Today, I'm not going to track my points, per say. I'm just going to focus on eating moderately healthy meals and no snacks (including dessert). I'm also going to get in some kind of a workout after work. Wish me luck. I've lost some confidence in myself this weekend, and I could really use some encouragement.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A little bit of faith...

I feel kind of sheepish for writing this post, but here goes. I'm going to stick to the new WW system--at least for a while.

After getting a full night of sleep last night (for the first time in a while), I rationally thought about this situation more this morning. How would I continue to go to meetings and use WW E-tools if I went by my own system? Essentially, I'd be paying $40 to get weighed in every week. Kind of a lot. Especially for a broke college graduate such as myself.

So, I went back to the WW office, armed with my weekly tracker and spoke for about 45 minutes with a different leader there. She was much more sympathetic and told me that, from the looks of my tracker, I was doing EVERYTHING right and the fruit I was eating should not have caused a gain. And then we talked about other factors (my previous big weight loss, water retention, etc) and we decided that my weight gain was probably not related to my performance last week. In other words, it's likely that I would have seen a similar result had I been doing to old Points system last week.

So, I'm going to have a little faith. WW would not design a program that makes you GAIN weight when you follow it. No way. That would be a terrible business model, for one thing. And it doesn't make sense. The last system worked well for me and I suspect that this one will too. One thing that has been bugging me is the "cost" of wine and processed foods, such as ice cream and bread. It was really hard to incorporate them when I tried to stick within my DPs. So, I'm going to use all the points at my disposal so that I can comfortably drink a glass of wine a night or have an ice cream sandwich. Feeling deprived only leads to quitting.

Here's the real thing. In the past few months, this blog has been a little too focused on losing weight, rather than the true purpose of my blog--getting healthy. Eating fruits and vegetables is HEALTHY and so is exercise and eating yummy foods in moderation. So from now on, I'm going to try to spend less time worrying about whether I lose weight and more time trying to lead a healthy and happy life. I've already lost a bunch of weight and I know that I already look good. Yes, losing the remaining 26 pounds will be a great accomplishment, but it's more important to try to make this a lifestyle change.

There are about a million fad diets that would help me to lose this remaining 25 pounds in a few months--including starvation diets, pills, etc...But is losing 25 pounds more important than being healthy and happy? No. And I want to lose this last chunk of weight in a sustainable way so that I can keep it off for the long run.

And I'm REALLY going to work on staying calm on my WI day. I promise.

Another 5K!

I have decided to run the Richmond Toys for Tots 5K tomorrow with my friend Kerrianne. Like the last 5K, I need to make sure to prepare.

1. I need to find out where exactly the race is/ how to get there.

2. I need to do laundry and make sure my race clothing is clean!

3. I need to eat a good diet today and make sure to get in some carbs ;) Yum. Love my carbs =)

4. I'm taking a complete rest day from working out.

5. I need to stop by the toy store to buy a toy and/ or bring $10 to the race =)

On another note, my first day on "my plan," which is essentially the same as WW's old plan, went pretty well. I went out with friends after dinner for some wine and actually had enough points to spare. My body seems to like eating 27 points a day.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Own Way

I've been following WW for the past 8 months and have had great successes. But lately my weigh ins have been a little unpredictable and I haven't been losing as much as I would like by following the WW system. Case in point, my 4.2 loss after Thanksgiving was actually when I went off the plan over the holiday.

Today, after following the new WW plan this past week, I gained 0.6 pounds. Now, I know that's not a lot and I know that my weight could have fluctuated for any number of reasons. But, on the other hand, it's disheartening to diet and exercise for a week and actually gain weight. When I burst into tears in the reception area, my WW Leader suggested that the reason I gained was because I'm not getting enough dairy. Now, I'm no medical expert by any means--but COME ON. For one thing, I actually consumed more dairy this week than I typically to. But more importantly, dairy consumption shouldn't have much of an impact on weight loss. It never has had any impact for me in the past. After my WW Leader made that statement, I asked the logical question: Could the increased amount of fruit I was eating (it doubled) have impacted my weight loss? She said no.

I left the meeting feeling more frustrated than ever--feeling like I'd never get a handle on my weight loss. I got back to my desk at work and, on a whim, looked up the calories of the fruit I was consuming for "free." Well, I was roughly eating 300-400 calories every day in fruit and not counting it. I may not be a scientist, but yeah I think that might have had something to do with my 0.6 gain.

So, with the help of my very patient dad (who also happens to be a scientist) and, I have devised a new variation of the WW plan that I intend to follow. Here's the deal: (a health and fitness site) says I need 1350 calories a day in order to lose roughly 2 pounds of weight each week. SparkPeople confirms this.

-Now, I recognize that it would be too much of a challenge to shift my thinking to calories from points.

-However, the old WW system is roughly a calorie counting system, by which 50 calories = 1 point. Therefore, if I convert the calories to points, I should be eating 27 points a day (under the old system).

My new plan is to follow the old WW system and set my daily points target for 27, as opposed to 24 (as I would get if I switched back). In addition, since I feel that I need some wiggle room, I have decided to give myself 11 additional points a week(35-21). (I got 21 from multiplying the 3 additional points I'm eating per day by 7.) I'm also going to try to follow the GHGs and get in 5 servings of fruits/ vegetables, lean proteins, healthy oils, and dairy. So, to sum up, I'm basically going back to the old WW plan, but I'm going to give myself a little more to eat each day. And, when it comes to APs, I'm going to use them the same day that I earn them so that I never consume less than 1350 calories per day.

Needless to say, I am super relieved to return back to my old points. English muffins will go back to being 2 points, as will my skinny cow ice creams. More importantly, 27 points seems like a totally reasonable amount of points each day.

Now, I know a lot of people would advise me to give the new plan more of a chance. But honestly, I'm not thrilled that wine/ beer has doubled in points (while our DPs and WPs have not doubled) and I don't think it's a good idea that fruit is free (for me, since I tend to overdo it with "free" items).

It's actually empowering to know that I can change my plan so that it works with my lifestyle and my goals. For the time being, I will continue to attend my WW meetings, but I'm also feeling a bit unsure of whether it's a good idea to weigh myself once a week. I'd probably be happier if I weighed myself every other week.

As I've said in the past, this is a lifestyle change, not a diet, and it's important to do what's best for myself. This blog is called Katie's Way to Healthy for a reason.

And I want to give my way a shot.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Running Hurdles

After my 5K on Thanksgiving, I was euphoric because I had discovered that I actually enjoyed running outside. I remember hitting the 3 mile mark of the race and thinking, "I could keep doing this for a while." Haha, saying that I could run "forever" would be pushing it, even in my state of exhilaration. After the race, my shins felt a little sore, but that was it--I felt fine. And then two days after the race, I had another great 2.5 mile run with my dad, where I barely even got out of breath. At that point, I decided I wanted to be a runner and started to plan for a 10K in the spring.

Since then, I have become somewhat disheartened about my dreams of becoming a runner. Here is what has happened:

1. I chose to start running outside at the end of November/ early December. While I technically live in the South (Richmond, VA) it still gets pretty cold this time of year.

2. I have a full time job that requires me to be at work (or on transit to work) from 7am-5pm. And this time of year it gets dark at exactly 5pm.

3. I am overweight and my knees can definitely feel the extra pounds. My right knee in particular has been stiff and sore after my runs.

4. I live in the city and it feels a tad bit unsafe to run by myself in the dark. Not to mention, it's a little easier to get hit by a car.

5. This is the biggest set-back: this morning I had an asthma attack in the middle of my run. (Note: I haven't had any asthma symptoms in years and was not carrying an inhaler.) I basically had to walk a mile home very, very slowly. I did some research and apparently cold air can bring on Exercise Induced Asthma.

Okay, I know that I can brainstorm some solutions to my hurdles. For one thing, I can take the inhaler before I run. I can wear warmer clothes. And I can (maybe) run outside near my work, so that I can fit in my run at 4:30 pm, as opposed to 5pm. I can also plan to run at least one day during the weekend. Worse case scenario, I can obviously go back to the gym and run on the treadmill/ work out on the elliptical.

How do all you runners/ outside exercisers deal with the hurdles of winter?

Oh, and by the way, I know I'm the most contrary person in the world. Of course, I decided to work out indoors during the beautiful months of the spring and summer, and now I want to run outside during the fall/ winter. I can't help it--it's just who I am. For example, in high school, I insisted on wearing dress pants. Now that I have a professional job, I own (at least) seven pairs of jeans and two pairs of dress pants.

I should have been named Mary =)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Society's Opinion of WW

On Friday, I was talking about the new WW plan with a coworker, who is also doing WWs, and a different coworker, an elderly man, overheard our conversation and said something along the lines of, "I can't believe you waste your money on something stupid like that."

Well, that ticked me off. So I simply told him that WW has enabled me to make some positive changes in my life and helped me to lose a good amount of weight. His response: "Well, if you hadn't let yourself get so big, you wouldn't of had that problem."

Now, I realize that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, and that many people (particularly healthy people) might think that spending $40 a month on a program that essentially teaches you how to eat right/ exercise is a waste of money.

But at the same time, WW is not some diet gimmick that claims it can make you lose weight fast with little effort/ lifestyle changes. Instead, WW helps you to slowly change your eating and exercising habits to become a healthy person. As someone who has struggled with weight issues for most of my life, I can tell you that change is difficult. You don't simply wake up one morning and decide that you're doing to eat healthy from now on. Instead, you need a manageable plan (along with a strong support system) to help you achieve a healthy lifestyle.

Prior to joining WW, there were so many mornings where I would wake up with a dry mouth and feeling disgusted with what I ate the night before. Those mornings, I'd swear to eat healthy for the rest of the day. So, I'd eat lightly for the morning and afternoon, only to binge at night and repeat the same cycle the next day. WW helped me to change those habits, by setting small, attainable goals. I started out trying to eat 1-2 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and to go to the gym twice a week. Now, nearly eight months later, I generally eat 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and workout 4-5 times a week. But that didn't happen overnight.

Real change is incredibly difficult to accomplish. And for those of us trying to transform from junk-food addicts/ couch potatoes to healthy eaters/ athletes, we can use all the help we can get. Even if that means spending $40 a month to attend meetings, get weighed in, and use WW's e-tools.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Some New Progress Pics

Thanks for all the wonderful support and praise yesterday. It's such a good feeling to hit a few goals. So far, I have lost over 60 pounds (check!), gotten into the 170 decade(check!), and moved to an overweight bmi (check!) Of course I have more weight to lose and I have more fitness goals to accomplish, but it feels good to be moving forward towards my goal.

HOWEVER, even though things are going well, I know that this WLJ is not nearly over and I still look chubby--but oh so much smaller than before. On that note, here are some current progress pics. Yes, I know that I'm obsessed with my blue and gray sweater =) Thanks to my cousin Natalie for taking the photos and uploading them on Facebook!

Me and my sister Gena at Thanksgiving dinner.

The three girls at Thanksgiving dinner--Katie, Sara (sister), and Natalie (cousin)

Katie today, standing by the work Christmas tree. Yup, I'm a little sleepy from waking up at 5:30 am for my 2.25 mile jog.

Just for kicks, Katie last year standing beside the work Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

And the Verdict is...

Down 4.2 pounds!! I'm so excited right now. It's been a rough few weeks, with fairly small scale losses, and I'm so happy to see a big loss! I'm a little sleepy from some debauchery last night, but I'll be sure to expand on this more tomorrow. One thing I have to mention--according to BMI, I am in the OVERWEIGHT category, not obese. That is a major victory for me =)