Thursday, October 28, 2010

Focusing on Filling Foods

I am astonished, and pleasantly surprised, by how my meeting turned out today. I weighed in and tried not to be disappointed by the 0.6 loss. I did my best, but it's that time of the month, and well, it's hard to see a small loss when you work so hard. I know, I know, I wrote in my blog post that I didn't care what the scale says. But I do. A little bit.

So, during the meeting I spoke up and told everyone how frustrated I was. And everyone was incredibly supportive. Members told me how proud they were about the amount of weight I had lost and how toned and fit I was looking. That felt really nice.

I explained that I was "starving" all of the time and found it hard to stay within my 25 points. When I said that, the leader and the members looked at me in surprise and said that I should be full eating 25 points and asked what I was eating. We went over my menu and it looks like I need to eat more filling foods and snack more often (especially when I work out). They told me there's a menu builder on E-tools, so when I got back to the meeting I checked it out. It's a really cool tool that helps you create menus that fulfill your nutritional requirements.

So I have come up with a menu for the week, which I'm going to try to stick to =)
Now, I am not particularly organized, but I think my diet could use some improvements, and I'd like to stop feeling hungry all the time.

Here's the menu for tomorrow:

B: coffee yogurt with granola and banana (5)

L: Ham wrap: 1 tortilla, 1 tsp mayo, 2 oz of lunch meat ham, 2 oz of cheese, 1/2 cup lettuce, and 1/2 cup red pepper. Apple (8)

S: 1 cup sliced strawberries and fat free vanilla yogurt (3)

D: Stir fry beef: 4 oz beef, 1 tsp canola oil, 1 tsp ginger, 1/2 cup red pepper, 1/4 cup carrots, and 1/4 cup onion. With 1 cup of brown rice on the side. (9)

What do you think? Sound like a plan?

And the Verdict is...

Down .6

I feel like I said it all in the previous post.

I'm happy for the loss and I'm looking forward to the new week and getting my 35 weekly points refilled.

Mental Preparation

Today is my weigh in day.

For the last two weeks, I have let my weigh in verdicts get me down, but not today. My goal today is to accept whatever number the scale throws at me--even if I see a gain. Because I know, in my gut, that I had a successful week. I worked out 5 times. On Saturday, I went on a bike ride; Sunday, I went for a jog; Monday, I went to Body Pump; Tuesday, I worked out on the elliptical for 40+ minutes; and Wednesday, I went to Body Pump. I stuck within my points, although I did use a few APs, and I tried to get in my fruits and veggies, lean protein, and calcium every day. I have started taking a multivitamin.

To sum up, I am probably the healthiest I have ever been in my entire life.

At the same time, I did not overly restrict myself this past week. If I was still hungry after dinner, I allowed myself a snack, even if it put me over on my DPs. I drank 2% milk instead of 1% because I prefer the taste. I had a WW fudge ice cream bar last night and it was delicious :) I didn't count points for the milk or cream I put in my coffee. In other words, I made the plan manageable for myself. After my extreme reaction to last week's weigh in, I decided that I can't restrict myself too much because I won't be able to sustain it. And this, as I keep telling myself, is a lifestyle change, not a diet.

And if that means that it's going to take a whole year to get to goal, so be it. The worst possible thing would be if I lose the weight quickly in an unhealthy way and then gain it all right back plus extra. I haven't been as thin/ fit as I am right now in a long time and I am enjoying being my current size. While I would like to get to my goal weight, I'm not exactly desperate to do so (if that makes sense).

So, hopefully I am mentally prepared for my weigh in. Whatever happens this week, I know that if I keep exercising and eating as I have been doing, I will eventually lose the weight and become a healthy person. Just as I know that if I eat pizza and ice cream every day, I will gain weight.

Weight loss is not a mystery, even though daily/ weekly fluctuations can make it seem like it is. But in the long run, if you lead a healthy lifestyle you will get to a healthy (or reasonably healthy) weight. It's just a matter of time.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Believe it or not...

For the last three weeks, I have exercised 4-5 times. What's even crazier, I have enjoyed getting so much exercise.

Say whaaat???

This is coming from the girl who avoided exercise at all costs, who dreaded carrying grocery bags up the flight of stairs to my apartment.

This girl has actually started to like exercise. I like the way my body feels when I exercise. I like the feeling I get in the middle of an exercise when I'm starting to sweat, yet I know that I can complete the workout.

Most of all, I love the confidence that exercise gives me. You want to go on a hike, fine by me. You want to go on a bike ride, that's cool too. And if you, crazy person that you are, want to go on a jog outside, I'll grab my sneakers and join you. All of a sudden, I've become the kind of person that I used to envy (and let's face it, possibly loathe) the exercise junkie. I've become the kind of person who pushes activities aside to schedule in exercise. I've become the obnoxious person who talks about exercise in public and fantasizes about owning a Heart Rate Monitor.

So, as you can tell, I've been on track this week with exercising and eating healthy. My biggest challenge has been sticking to my DPs (daily points), but I have given myself some wiggle room with that. If I go over by 1-2 points, I let it slide because I earn at least 2 APs (Activity Points) for each workout. This, after all, is a lifestyle change, and there is no way that I'm going to settle for going to bed hungry for the rest of my life. So, I might as well make the plan work for me. Bizzarly enough, I have the sneaky suspicion that I actually need to extra 1-2 points to keep losing weight as well, so that my body doesn't go in starvation mode.

I also need to work on eating more filling foods. I squander 2 points daily on crackers/ baked chips with my lunch and that doesn't keep me full at all. I'd be better served to eat something like carrots and some 1 pt dip (I'll have to remember to buy that when I go to the grocery store). I also use up a lot of points on my higher calorie wheat bread, but in that case, I think it's worth it because the sandwich thins/ bagel thin don't fill me up.

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

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Bike!

So, for my birthday present, my parents bought me a used, purple, Trek bike. I am so excited!! I told my mom that I wanted something fitness related. And they surprised me on my Saturday morning with the bike.

I went on a bike ride with my dad on Saturday and I have to admit I felt a little nervous getting on a bike after all these years. But I quickly grew more comfortable and we had a great time on the bike trail. The trail was fun, and I did pretty well with the hills. I guess all this working out is paying off.

Not only is the bike great for fitness, but I'm excited to use the bike to travel around Richmond. I hate having to drive for small distances and it will be great to travel on my bike. The only problem is that I don't feel comfortable riding at night, so I'll have to do most of my bike riding on the weekends this fall and winter.

As for the rest of the birthday weekend, I had a great time and managed to make reasonably healthy choices, although I didn't try to count points. My mom outidid herself in terms of cooking and made two spectacular dinners, which I definitely enjoyed. On Sunday, I went for a jog in my parent's neighborhood (I think it was roughly 1.5 miles). My goal for the rest of the week is to exercise Monday-Wednesday and eat within my 25 points. Wish me luck, and happy Monday!

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's Time to Celebrate--Birthday Weekend

There is a fine line between being focused on this WLJ and being obsessive. And I think I may have crossed it yesterday ;)

After taking a day to put last week's weigh in result in perspective and hearing advice from everyone--my parents, siblings, friends, and members of the WW community--I have come to the conclusion that it's unrealistic to expect to lose more than a pound a week. Even when you work your butt off. And when I set crazy expectations that I don't have control of, it can lead me to get upset and sabotage my healthy lifestyle. Which is not what I want to do.

So, on that note, let me take back what I said yesterday and properly celebrate my 1.2 loss. After about six months of making healthy changes, I have accomplished the following:

-I am officially 1.2 pounds lighter this week and only 33.4 pounds away from reaching a healthy weight.

-I have lost 56.6 pounds and have gone from a size 18-20 to a size 12-14.

-When I started, it was a struggle to walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes at 3.5. Now, I can jog on the treadmill for 40 minutes on 4.5.

-I have tried five new classes at Gold's gym--Zumba, Body Jam, Body Pump, Pilates, and Step. I can jog 1.5 hilly miles outside.

-I routinely eat 3 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

-I can feel my collar bones and hip bones.

-I have much more self confidence and I am starting to like the shape of my body.

When I began this journey at the end of March, I could never imagine that by just October I would have made so much progress. So, if I consider the 1.2 loss from that perspective, it's one small victory that has lead up to this amazing progress.

Anyway, speaking of the passage of time, my birthday is tomorrow (I turn 25) and I'm excited to celebrate this weekend and splurge a bit. My dad's birthday is today (he's turning 52) and I'm heading up to Nova to celebrate the birthdays (mine, my dad's and my grandma's) this weekend. My goal is to indulge some but stick within my DPs and WPs (I may have to exercise more and earn some APs as well) and get in some exercise on Saturday and/ or Sunday. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

And the Verdict is..

Down 1.2 pounds.

Warning: What follows is a bit of a rant.

To say that I'm frustrated right now would be an understatement. I worked out 5 times, ate as few WPs as possible (about 10) and still lost just 1.2 pounds. My leader asked me if I was going to let a disappointing weigh in keep me from doing well this coming week.

I said no. But honestly, I felt like I gave WW my all this week. I starved, I sweat, and I even DECLINED alcohol, all so that I could lose a measly 1.2 pounds. Which come to think of it is roughly the same amount of weight that I lost when I was dating N and eating pizza, ice cream and large quantities of alcohol.

I can't think of a way this past week could have been better. Grrr....

Monday, October 18, 2010

No Longer Plus-Sized

On Friday night, I was determined to go the gym, but I stopped at the mall across the street first and decided to go to my old stand-by, Lane Bryant.

So, I poked around the sales rack and picked up a few size 14 items. And...drum roll please...nothing fit. The salesperson, Jennifer, made a face when I came out of the dressing room, and said, "Honey, the clothes here don't fit you anymore." When I first started shopping at Lane Bryant, roughly five years ago, I kept expecting salespeople to tell me I was in the wrong store. But the 14-16s fit, and no one said anything. But now, after losing all this weight, the unexpected has finally occurred: I am no longer plus-sized.

I must have looked bewildered when Jennifer gave me the news. (Now, some backstory here: Jennifer is always at Lane Bryant and she has helped me pick out clothes since I moved to Richmond last September. She has seen me throughout this entire weight loss journey.) So, on Friday, after I tried on the clothes, she turned to me and asked how much weight I had lost, and I replied that I had lost about 55 pounds.

All of a sudden, she grabbed her purse and told her coworker, "I'm going to take her to Old Navy and help her find some clothes. I'll be back in an hour." She told her coworker to call if things got busy. So we walked through the mall to the Old Navy and she helped me to select a number of items. And she kept telling random Old Navy salespeople, 'This girl lost 55 pounds. She used to be a size 20 and now she's a size 12.'

I ended up buying a pair of size 12 jeans and a size medium sweater. I can't thank Jennifer enough for taking the time to help me and for being proud of me. It was an amazing experience.

In other news, I worked out twice over the weekend and managed to stay pretty much within my daily points, despite drinking a little too much wine on Friday night. I'm planning on going to the gym after work and doing the treadmill or elliptical and then taking a Pilates class. Happy Monday everyone.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Changing It Up...

I am in a food rut. Oatmeal, banana and tea for breakfast, turkey sandwich or white bean chili for lunch, and something breakfast-y for dinner, cream of wheat, eggs, etc...

Now, I know that I'm not getting a heck of a lot of fruits and vegetables. And I'm also a little bored with my thrifty, post-grad cuisine ;) So, this week I am challenging myself to switch things up. Maybe that will help me lose some more on the scale. Who knows?

So far my menu today has consisted of the following:

B: Fiber 1 Bar and tea (1 point)

L: Peanut butter and honey sandwich on reduced calorie white bread, carrots, and baked chips (10 points)

D: I'm tentatively thinking about making a stir fry (with chicken, green pepper, and mushrooms) and rice/ a tortilla on the side.

I have so much to do after work today. (1) I have to go to my apartment and pick up my paycheck, (2) I have to go to the bank, (3) I have to go to the gym, (4) I need to stop by the grocery store, (5) I need to straighten my apartment. I may have plans with my friend Adriane and her boyfriend tonight. Anyway, I hope that everyone has a great weekend. I'm planning on taking another Body Pump class tonight (if I can get to the gym early enough). If not, I'll have to make do with the treadmill/ elliptical. Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Disappointing Verdict

After a week of sticking within my points and exercising FIVE times...

I am down 0.6.

Now, I know that first of all, a loss is a loss. And I also know that I had a very big loss last week. And I also know that I could possibly be building some muscle mass.

But none of that makes me feel any better. I keep analyzing my week. Was it the 1/2 of funnel cake that I ate at the Folk Life Festival? Or was it the two glasses of wine I had on Tuesday evening? I thought all of that fit into my 35 weekly points, but maybe not? However, I have splurged in previous weeks and lost? Why not this time?

This is probably the most frustrating part about losing weight. You get on a role and think if I can only lose X pounds per week, I'll be at my goal in X time. So you force yourself to go to the gym, you eat healthier food in smaller portions, and you pray to the WW gods that you'll see a substantial loss on the scale. Sometimes it happens. And sometimes, like today, it doesn't.

I guess the only thing to do is to keep chugging along. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Exercising Makes Me HUNGRY

This week has been fantastic when it comes to exercise. I went to Body Pump on Friday evening, I jogged on the treadmill on Sunday, I went to a Pilates class on Monday, and I worked out on the elliptical last night. While all of this activity is great, it definitely has made me hungrier this week. Let's just say, I've gone over my daily points nearly every day (although I'm still OP because I've only used about 30 of my 35 weekly points).

I discovered (through the WW message boards) a site called SparkPeople.com that helps you track your nutrition and activity. The site is very similar to WW E-tools. You enter your information (age, height, weight) and it tells you how much you should be eating. Unlike WW, however, this site gives you more specific guidelines in terms of calories, fat, cholesterol, protein, sodium, calcium, iron, carbs, etc...It's a great resource. Even if you don't end up using it, I'd recommend entering in a sample day and seeing how well you are meeting the guidelines.

So, according to SparkPeople, I should be eating 1200-1550 calories per day. When I eat just my DPs, I usually hit 1200 calories, which is on the low end of the spectrum. That was news to me. I guess that's why they are called your MINIMUM daily points. Anyway, yesterday I had a good OP day + two glasses of wine and ended up using 1388 calories and going over my DPs by 2 points. At first, I was kind of upset with myself for once again going over my DPs. But on the other hand, I was well within my range of calories to lose weight. In addition, I met all of my other good health guidelines, except for potassium.

So, in the end, it looks like it's good to use your additional weekly points because the daily points are the minimum of what one should be eating. I'll definitely keep this in mind as I go through this WLJ.

I really hope that I still see a loss this week, despite eating most of my WPs!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pilates

Despite being pretty sore yesterday, I forced myself to try out the Pilates class at Gold's gym. I'm so glad that I did, because it wasn't too intense and it definitely helped me to stretch out my sore muscles.

The last time I tried Pilates was before I started losing weight. I remember doing a tape with my mom and struggling quite a bit to reach/ maintain the poses. I could barely squeeze my legs together, much less use my stomach muscles to lift myself up.

I was surprised by how much easier the class was this time around. My thighs fit together with no problem, and I had no trouble getting into the majority of the positions. My only problem occurred when we had to balance on the huge rubber balls. I kept tipping over ;)

It's amazing how much I have changed over the past six months. Before losing weight, I was afraid to try any new activities because I figured I would fail or that the activity would be too strenuous. These days, I feel fairly confident trying new exercise classes, from Body Pump to Pilates. I know that I'm not in great shape, by any means, but I am capable of doing a lot more than before I started WW.

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

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekend Fun

I worked out twice over the weekend, but I also managed to use just about all my 35 weeklies on alcohol and snacks. So, I guess that evens out, right? I hope so.

I had a great time this weekend. After work on Friday I tried a new class at Gold's Gym, Body Pump. I'd been meaning to try some resistance training in addition to cardio. Randomly, on Friday afternoon I met this girl in the locker room and she convinced me to give Body Pump a chance, despite the scary name. The class was definitely a challenge for me. It consisted of an hour of doing arm weights, lunges, squats and sit-ups. I could barely move the next day, and I'm still sore three days later!

Friday night was full of drunken debauchery, so I won't go into much detail there, haha. Needless to say, I had a good time. Then on Saturday, I went to an old friend's surprise birthday party, which was awesome. I hadn't seen her in several months and she definitely noticed my weight loss. And then on Sunday I went to the Folk Life Festival in Richmond. It was an amazing time, and yes, I splurged and got the funnel cake ;)

All in all, it was a great weekend, and I'm a little sad to be back at work today. I forced myself to jog for 30 minutes on the treadmill yesterday and now my legs hurt more than ever. I also plan on going to a Pilate's class tonight, so wish me luck!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Recap of the Week

First things first, I want to wish my mom a very happy birthday. It's a gorgeous day to celebrate turning 53 :)

I feel like I can barely write today, given how exhausted I am with work. I am a technical editor, and my job involves editing proposals that my company submits to the government/ private companies. My job is either super slow or crazy intense. This week I've been swamped with editing a 100 page technical document that has needed A LOT of work. I can barely see straight at this point, much less write coherently. So, forgive me if this post seems scattered.

Anyway, I'd like to touch base with my goals this week. I exercised four times (thereby hitting my goal of 3 times) and I stayed within my points. To be honest, there were a few days when I may have gone a bit under my points, but there were also days when I used my 35 extra points. So, as a result, I had my first BIG loss in months: 4.8 pounds!! It feels really good to make some significant progress on my goal.

Last night it hit me: I am only 35 pounds from a BMI healthy weight. While 35 pounds is a significant amount that will, likely, take me several months to lose, it's not that much weight. I mean, a lot of people need to lose 20-30 pounds...it's not a crazy amount of weight. And that means that I'm not that seriously overweight anymore.

Everyone has been telling me this. My parents, siblings, friends, guys that I date have all said/ implied that I'm not that big. But for some reason it's hard for me to believe. It's strange--when I was bigger I saw myself as smaller and was often shocked by photographs/ clothing sizes. And now that I'm smaller, I still feel like the biggest girl in the room. I mean, I'm not crazy, I know that I fit into smaller sizes and weigh less, but I still FEEL huge. I can't wait until this feeling goes away and I can just feel confident with my body.

But the sad truth is that these insecurities will not disappear as I lose weight. The weight loss helps, but I think it might take time, and possibly some therapy, to shed my insecurities once and for all.

I'd appreciate any feedback/ advice you guys can give me. It's a long road to becoming both physically and mentally healthy.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

And the Verdict is..

Down 4.8 :)

Work has been crazy busy these last few days, so I don't have much time to post. But I wanted to let you all know about my good news. I'm pretty excited!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Apple-Shaped


I did the measurements and the verdict is in. Apparently, I have an apple-shaped figure, which means that I have broader shoulders, a bigger bust and stomach, and narrower hips and thighs. Or in other words, I look like the Superman cartoon.

According to Look Fabulous.com,

"The apple is a wonderful fruit. However, apple-shaped women don’t always feel as wonderful. You see, an apple shaped body tends to have a softer fuller middle with slim thighs and upper shapely legs. She often has fuller breasts, thinner hips and thighs and a flatter rear end than most. A protruding tummy is also common among the Apples and is a source of much frustration and low self esteem for many of them.

When Apples gain weight, they have a tendency to gain in the midsection, they usually grow thick around the middle down to the thighs. So not all apples are curvy and overweight but generally, all have larger upper body and wider shoulder. This is down to the fact that Apple shaped women have higher androgen levels compared to women with other body types. The high androgen level leads to the skeleton developing in a more masculine pattern and fat is mainly distributed in the chest, face and abdomen."


So, apparently, I am cursed with the worst female figure ever. Not only do I have the big belly, but apparently I'm more manly than other types of women. Grrr...

I found this [the fact that I'm apple shaped] out the hard way when I decided to go pants shopping yesterday. I had one pair of dress pants that fit, so I decided to go and buy another pair. Not as simple as it sounds.

I went to three stores and struggled to find pants that fit both my waist and thighs. Several of the pairs I tried on fit my waist, but then ballooned around my thighs and butt, which made me look dumpy. And to make matters worse, I am in between a size 12 and a size 14, so the 14s were a bit too big and the 12s were too snug. Last but not least, I'm relatively short, so all the pants were way too long. Let me just say, this shopping expedition was not fun. Eventually, I found a pair of pants that fit my belly and thighs and were the right length, but I must have tried on 30 pairs.

The only consolation is that, according to other random websites, there are some pretty gorgeous skinny "apple-shaped" women, including Angelina Jolie and Catherine Zeta-Jones. So, I guess there may be hope for apple-shaped women after all.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Back on Track

I am proud to report that I am back on the exercising/ eating healthy wagon. Since my weigh in on Thursday when I gained 1.4 pounds, I have worked out twice and stayed within my daily and weekly points. I know that it's only Monday, but I feel really pleased that I have managed to get back on track after my two week relapse.

On Friday night I went to the gym after work and jogged on the treadmill. I jogged at alternating two minute increments of 4.2 and 4.4 for 32 minutes. While that may not sound fast to you, it's the fastest I've ever gone on the treadmill. When I first started WW in March, I could only manage 3.5, so I feel like I've definitely gotten into better shape in the past six months.

After going to the gym, I went to see The Social Network with a new guy E. For those of you who haven't seen the movie, I don't want to spoil it for you, but I was not impressed. I love Aaron Sorkin and I was really excited to see the movie, but I felt like the dialogue was kind of flat. Anyway, after the movie, we went to hear my favorite swing band play at the neighborhood bar, which was awesome. And then I ended up going to two more bars and stayed up until 4am. Good times ;)

On Saturday, I drove up to Nova to visit my parents and see my best friend Michael. Michael and I cooked up an awesome dinner of sausage and peppers and tater tots. Yum.

And on Sunday, I went for a jog in my parents' incredibly hilly neighborhood. The jog was much tougher than the treadmill, but it felt really good. It was really nice spending the day with my family yesterday. We went out for breakfast. I went for a walk with my brother Nick (and ended up with muddy clothing thanks to an unfortunate dare!), made white bean chili with family friends, Ann and Mike, and ate a delicious dinner of roasted chicken and collard greens .

Unfortunately, I got back to Richmond pretty late (around 10pm) so I'm a bit tired this morning. Oh well. It's worth it because I had an awesome weekend. Anyway, gotta get back to work. I hope that everyone has a great Monday.