Thursday, December 30, 2010

C25K Week 1, Day 1

Big day: First day of C25K, first day at the gym.

Even for a confirmed non-morning person like me, getting up at 5:30 am wasn't too much of a shock. I think Day 1 is the easiest because it's new and you're excited. The trick is to feel the same way on Day 42.

Anyway, got up, dressed and had a snack (Luna Protein Bar), then hopped in the car and made the 10-minute drive to the gym. On the way in the door, I've got an armful of junk: running shoes, iPod, headphones and a water bottle. Note to self: Find a gym bag.

Got in the door (yay, my security key fob works) and only 1 of the 6 treadmills is occupied. A good sign.

Hopped on, remembering not to stand on the belt when it starts, but straddle it my standing on the edges of the treadmill, and off I went.

Running for 60 seconds was work and I was happy when it was time for 90 seconds of walking. The time passed pretty quickly between my music, the TV on the treadmill and the math I was doing in my head to ensure I started running and walking at the right times.

After 10 minutes of warm-up, 20 minutes of run-walk, 10 of cool-down and thorough stretching, I was done.

6:45am - a good hour before I normally get out of bed - and my workout for the day was done. And I already got in 32 oz of water. Not bad!

Now, Day 2, when the real work begins.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In which I join a gym

I did the most cliched thing you can do 2 days before New Year's Eve: I joined a gym.

I've been thinking about it for a few weeks, and I decided I want to amp up my exercise.

When I was losing in 2002-2003, I completed the C25K program. I even ran a few 5Ks and had a good time. I didn't keep my running up and eventually all the weight came back (eating whatever I wanted helped, too).

But running was great in that is burned a ton of calories, toned me up and gave me a lot of confidence in that I did something I never thought I could do.

To run, at least for the winter, I need a treadmill, which means I need a gym since there is absolutely no space for one in our home.

My gym requirements were pretty simple:

  • Close to home.
  • Working treadmills.
  • Clean.
  • Open 24 hours.

    There are a couple of 24-hour gyms close to home. I called the first one, all ready to schedule a tour and join that day. Left a message and never heard back.

    Instead of calling the other gym, I just showed up, took a tour and joined. It met all my requirements, and the owner said it's not super busy in the early morning, so I shouldn't have a hard time getting a treadmill. I don't quite believe that, but we'll see. There are 6 treadmills, what are the chances they're all occupied at 6 am? I type this hoping there's not a post in January titled, "I Can't Get An Effing Treadmill At 6 am!"

    So, I'm excited. This is a new, fun jumpstart my exercise needs. I still love Leslie's walking workouts and I will do them as a kind of cross-training. They're still challenging and they're weather-proof. I just needed a boost.
  • Tuesday, December 28, 2010

    Week 16 Weigh In

    New Years is already in swing at WW, even though we haven't moved to a new calendar.

    The meeting filled with new folks and the WI line was 5 people deep for the whole meeting. Getting on the scale took a long time as nearly everyone was new, so lots of paperwork and only one receptionist. Can't wait to see what it's like next week. Actually, I can wait.

    -2.4, so I hit my -45 New Year's goal. Next goal: -50. Celebrated with what's becoming a new Tuesday tradition: sushi.

    There was one new member who really tugged at my heart strings. I only saw her from the back, as I always sit in the last row so I can chase after my 17-month-old, who loves to run into the WI room and bug Donna. The leader was asking members for their New Year's Resolution: specific goals they wanted to achieve. We heard the regulars: feel better, more energy, better health, etc.

    Then this woman, who was new and had to be north of 275, said quietly, "I want to enjoy my children more."

    My heart broke in empathy for this woman. I know where she is, hell she even kinda looked like the old me from the back. I know what it's like to be tired, sad and fat. I wish I had thought of approaching her after the meeting and at least giving her a smile. I hope she knows she can do this. I'll keep an eye out for her in future meetings, hope she comes back to mine.

    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    In which I receive another early Christmas gift

    Had a great workout today - with no pain.

    For the past week, a muscle in my right upper quad/groin/whatever has been really nagging me during workouts. Thankfully, not enough to have to stop them, but enough to make them less enjoyable than they already are.

    Today I had to get in just one more workout, then I could enjoy Christmas Eve and Day without guilt over skipping a workout.

    Amazingly, it was a great one - no pain, went quickly, felt challenged but not dragging.

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    In which I conduct my first pre-dawn workout

    Another first today - worked out before everyone got up.

    Actually, my husband was up early, so I got up in support and then decided, since I was already up, why not bang out those 2 miles I planned to do with Leslie?

    It wasn't too bad getting up, and I loved having my workout done before the kids rose. Having it hanging over my head and trying to jam it in in between appointments, school and naps is a real drag.

    I hope to do it again, soon.

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Week 15 Weigh-In: Merry Christmas to me

    Great weigh-in today, -4 which means I hit my goal of 40# down by New Year's. -43.2 to be exact.

    I'm very proud of this WI as I had two birthday parties and a Christmas party in the past week. I ate out, had pizza and 2 slices of birthday cake over the past week. I also ate all of my 49 extra weekly Points (for the first time) and still pulled it off.

    And, today was my 16th meeting in a row, so I earned my SAS (Stay and Succeed) Charm. Attend 16 meetings and you get this charm for sticking it out and going to meetings. Many WWers come, weigh in, buy some stuff and leave. The meeting really is a key to long-term success. I didn't attend meetings after I hit Lifetime and look where it got me. I thought I could do it on my own. Wrong. Believe me, once I hit Lifetime again I will still be attending meetings every week. I just won't have to pay!

    After 1 week on Points Plus I am pretty impressed, and I was relatively jaded going into it. I am naturally not a fruit or veg person, but the choices of opting for free fruit and veg vs. Pointsy carbs hasn't been too hard. I still eat carbs, but not as much, and I believe that's a good thing.

    If I can lose 1.8 lbs next week, I could reach my super-secret goal of 45 lbs lost by New Year's. Not going to get too hung up on it if I don't, but I will do my best. There is that little holiday coming up in 4 days and I intended to enjoy as many of my 49 extra Weekly Points as I want.

    Pros This Week

  • Managed 3 special occasions and stayed within Points.
  • Switched over to Points Plus (and didn't mind it too much).
  • Ate more fruits and veg and fewer carbs than ever before (see above).
  • Drank more water.
  • Did my first Leslie Sansone 4-miler.

    Goals For Next Week

  • Eat in control and within Points on Christmas.
  • Drink 48 oz of water a day.
  • Monday, December 20, 2010

    In which I am confronted by a serious statement

    While visiting with a friend today, she suddenly adopted a very serious (and uncharacteristic for her) tone.

    "Melissa..." she started.

    Oh, man, I thought in a nanosecond. Something is very bad.

    She continued: " need new pants."

    "I know. And stop scaring the crap out of me!"

    I do need knew pants. The track pants in question are 3 sizes too big. But I was in my house and I am kinda lazy about getting new clothes. Plus, I know anything I buy will not be with me forever, as sometime next year they'll be 3 sizes too big.

    But, yes, I need something better-fitting than what I've got now. I could get easily pantsed in a stiff wind in the current outfits.

    After New Years, I'll head to Target.

    I did buy two new pairs of PJ pants, which fit, but not comfortably enough for me to wear yet. I'll try them on in another month and see how they fit then, that's always fun.

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    In which I am surprised by pants

    Went to Wal-Mart (I know, I know) to get new jeans today as the 24s were getting annoyingly baggy.

    Picked up a 22 and a 20, the latter because I hate shopping at Wal-Mart and it would save me a trip in the future.

    When I got home I tried on the 20s just for fun to see how they fit. And, it turns out, they fit! Snug, but wearable.

    And my grand plan of avoiding a trip to Wal-Mart was dashed as I now have to go back and return the 22s. But I'll take it.

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    In which I celebrate NSV Thursday

    Two big Non-Scale Victories today:

  • Bought a new pair of workout pants at Target - XL. Sayonara additional X.

  • Did my first 4-miler with Leslie. Good to push myself.

    Groin muscle (or at least that what I think it is) still bothering me during workouts, but not to the point I can't continue (thankfully).

    And, in fabulous neurotic weigh-in fashion, I felt up every pair of XL workout pants at Target to determine which is the lightest for weekly weigh-ins. I know other people do this. OK, I hope other people do this.
  • Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    In which I search for a gym

    I am doing the most cliched thing on the planet: Joining a gym in late December.

    I almost want to apologize to the staff when I go in: I swear, I am not a cliche. Really, I've been working out since October!

    But the desire to scratch my itch to run coincides with the replacing of the calendar, and here I am. Also, I've been working out in the afternoons when my youngest is napping and I want to start working out before the kids get up. I hate having a workout to-do hanging over me all day and I also dislike having to work out with one ear on the monitor, as in: If she gets up early, workout is over.

    My main goal for a gym is A) Close to home. B) Open 24 hours.

    There's a great Y about 20 minutes away, but a 40-minute round-trip commute combined with the deadline for getting back home in the morning would leave less gym time than I want. There's a 24-hour gym about 10 minutes away, and since I envision working out at about 6 am, that commute would be very...OK...pretty fast.

    I hope to stop by and check it out between Christmas and New Year's. I am shaking my head this is so cliched.

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Week 14 WI

    Down 1lb, getting annoyingly close-but-not-close-enough to my 40# down New Year's Day goal.

    Only .8 to go to hit 40 lbs lost. Really, body, you couldn't cough up another .8?

    Donna The Excellent Weigher encouragingly noted, "You'll get it next week!" I hope so, but I am impatient.

    Pros This Week

  • Stayed within Points all week.
  • Had a successful dinner out without going off-plan.
  • Got in my 4 planned days of exercise, even thought with schedules, etc. it would have been easy to skip 2 of them.

    Goals for Next Week

  • Switch to new Points Plus program. Adios Points Classic.
  • Drink at least 48 oz of water each day.
  • Try rebounding (more on that later).
  • Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Mmmmm, fudge

    I love fudge, so I was excited to try the recent WW recipe for "Creamy Fudge."

    It was easy to make, had only a few ingredients and was delicious.

    Each square is the size of a postage stamp, in true WW fashion. Seriously, what other recipe would have an 8x8 pan of fudge yield 64(!) "servings." I'm all for portion control, but c'mon.

    However, the fudge is so rich, I don't feel (too) ripped off for the 3 Points spent.

    My only advice is to use good chocolate, like Ghiradelli. And give a lot of it away, because these suckers are delicious. I made a batch, had 3 squares and then split the rest between my daughter's preschool teachers. Win-win.

    10-oz bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1 14-oz can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
    1/2t vanilla extract
    Pinch coarse sea salt
    1/2t flake sea salt

  • Line 8-inch-square baking pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 2-inch overhang. Smooth out wrinkles.

  • Combine chocolate, condensed milk, vanilla and coarse sea salt in large, heavy saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Transfer fudge to prepared pan; spread evenly with rubber spatula. Let cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

  • Uncover fudge. Remove from pan by lifting overhanging plastic wrap. Invert on cutting board. Cut fudge into 8 strips, then cut crosswise into 8 pieces. I found that if the fudge sticks to the knife, run the knife under super hot water, cut the fudge. Wipe the knife and repeat.

    64 svgs = 3 Points+ each
  • Saturday, December 11, 2010

    Out to dinner, in control

    I've been resisting going out to dinner. I initially wanted to write "scared," but that sounded a little dramatic.

    Regardless, I like the comfort of my home, knowing I have controlled things to the point I am unlikely to go off-plan.

    But Saturday night the family was celebrating and the kids chose Friendly's, a not-so-Friendly place for someone on controlled eating. I decided in the beginning that I will not let me weight loss issues hijack my family. My issues need to adapt to the family, not vice versa.

    So, off we went. I was starving as we had been out for a few hours and although that's the worst feeling to have going out to eat (if you can't eat everything you want), it is what it is. Or was.

    Anyway, I held it together pretty well. I had about a half-day's worth of Points to use, so I got a gigantic salad with breaded chicken tenders (maybe 1-2 oz of chicken). Gave the boiled egg and tortilla chips to my youngest and I was OK.

    Did I want a huge sundae for dessert? Yes. Did I want to feelings I would experience afterward: regret, anger, disappointment? No.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    In which I consider returning to running

    I have a love-hate relationship with running.

    I hate running, but I love the results.

    When I lost 126 pounds from 2002-2003, I took up running about 10 months in. I was never an athlete and had never run before without getting side stitches (or course, I was going about it all wrong, but I had no one to tell me so).

    But in my mind, and in the minds of many formerly unfit people, running is the ultimate achievement. It's the one thing you could never do successfully in your current condition. And what sport epitomizes health and fitness more than running?

    So I started the famous 9-week Couch to 5K (C25K) program. I read John Bingham's great books. I finished the program and later ran a 5K (me, above right, May 2003. On the left, one of my best friends, Cara). It was a huge accomplishment and one of the best non-family-related days of my life. Sure, 3.2 miles may not sound like a big deal to you, but when you used to weigh 286 pounds, it is a Very Big Deal. I ran a few more races, but I failed to set more running goals and as I watched Lifetime status fade in the distance and felt the pounds return, my running shoes retreated to the back of my closet.

    But now, I'm getting that itch again. I read a lot of weight-loss blogs and they're so amazingly inspiring. Like Ben or Sheryl, for instance. They were fat. They lost weight and began to run. They didn't think they could and, voila, like every Hollywood cliche, they did and did well.

    So here I am, thinking about hitting the treadmill again and finding a race. Stick around, this should be fun. I think.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Week 13 Weigh-In

    Down -1.4 this week, still on Points Classic.

    The meeting was not as crowded as last week and, interestingly, the Center sold out of Points calculators, so the new program is off with a bang.

    My leader reported she's down 6 lbs in 5 weeks on Points+ and people certainly seem enthusiastic about it.

    I will definitely try it, maybe this coming week? Total loss is 38.2, coming very close to my New Year's Goal of -40 lbs down. 3 more weeks to nail that down.

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    In which my day was made

    Got together with a friend today, one whom I hadn't seen in a while.

    First thing she says, "You look great!"

    Awesome. I feel like I'm coming into the "visible rewards" section of this process. Progress is starting to show.

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010

    Week 12 Weigh-In: Hello Points+

    Great one today: -4.2 and that includes Thanksgiving. I didn't do anything special this past week, just stayed OP (on program) and worked out 4x, but I will certainly take it! Current total, -36.8. One major holiday down, one more to go.

    Points+ rolled out today and, man, was my meeting packed. There were three-times as many people there and only 2 receptionists. A lot of people were rejoining, so that slowed things down considerably, plus the center lobby/WI area is really small (especially considering this Mommy & Me meeting has a lot of strollers). Plus, everyone was buying something. All understandable, but they could have used another receptionist.

    Anyway, I bought the New Member Kit. It was $35 (usually $45, I think) and came with Complete Food Guide, Dining Out, Recipe Book, 3-Month tracker and a coupon good for a free Points Calculator.

    Given I'm riding a hot hand, I will stick with and track Classic Points until I feel I need a kick. However, I'm going to use the new Points Calculator and track what each day would be on PP, just to see how it compares with CP. But I'll still being doing CP until I need the change. It'll also give me an opportunity to read up on the program, etc. Looks like most non-protein, fruits & veg are up 1-2 pts per serving, at quick glance. That's a bummer, as I love my carbs, but the program seems to be working for everyone who tries it. Rumor has it Jennifer Hudson lost her 80 lbs on Points+.

    The only "bummer" was they gave all members - new and old - a new weigh-in booklet. I loved my old one, as it had all my stats in it. But, what's neat with the new booklet is it calculates your Daily Points Total right on your Weigh-In sticker. That's cool if you're losing a lot and your Points keep dropping. My current Daily Points - 37, up from 32 on Classic Points.

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    In which I close the book on my 1st tracker

    I love the 3-month tracker. I'm good about tracking my Points and I like to keep all the info together in case I need to reference something (Point values for a favorite food, what I ate at a party, etc.)

    Today I reached a big milestone in that when I finished the day I was out of pages. Twelve weeks was up already.

    I still have all my old trackers from 2002-2003 when I reached Lifetime. I number and date the covers and then put them away in case I need them again. That reminds me, I should dig them out and see if I can find any good food ideas...

    Now, onto Tracker #2.

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Week 11 Weigh-In

    -1.6 at WI, so I hit my mini-goal - under 250 (249.8, but it counts, LOL). Next mini-goal - 247 for a 35# total loss. I will do my best to hit 242 by New Year's Day to make it an even 40 for the fall.

    The meeting was sparsely attended, not a surprise given it's 2 days before Thanksgiving. I joked with the leader: "Does anyone come to WI the day after Thanksgiving?" Surprisingly, she said people do.

    Next week is the "BIG SURPRISE" (or the worst-kept weight-loss secret in a while): The New Program. I'll be interested to hear what it's all about, instead of all the rumor swirling around.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    In which I make exercise a priority

    Sitting here cooling down after doing 3 miles with Leslie.

    Very proud that I got it in before picking my oldest up from school. I hate having it hang over me and the later it gets in the day, the less I want to do it, but I know I'll be PO'd at myself if I let it slide. So I jammed it in after a playgroup and a quick trip to the mall.

    These decisions are the ones I consider the biggest victories. The everyday ones that could easily go the other way.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Week 10 Weigh-In: Finally, 10%

    My weigh-ins have reached double digits and to celebrate my body coughed up an even 3 lbs, for a total of -31.

    This is a big deal for two reasons: I went over 30 lbs lost and I made my 10%. And it happened before Thanksgiving, which was my goal. And, I got my much-desired keychain, which now sports the 25-lb charm.

    The meeting - or meetin' as my leader says in her best Bahstin accent - was fine. Definitely thinning out, but 'tis the season. The leader calls this The Bermuda Triangle period, where people get lost after Halloween and don't return until January.

    Half of the back of the meeting room was covered in unopened boxes stacked 5-feet high, must contain the new materials and repackaged foods, etc. for the new program. The boxes were covered in a giant blue WW sheet. Big secret! LOL.

    I wonder why WW would roll out a new program right before the holidays, but I figure it's because they want to have it running smooth before January, and the people going during the holidays must be pretty dedicated, so I guess we're good guinea pigs.

    After the meetin' went to TJs and stocked up on a ton of frozen veg & meals. My food rut is getting old, I want to shake it up a bit. I bought a giant chicken burrito. 12pts for the whole thing, may have 1/2 today and 1/2 tomorrow. Despite my inadvertent vegetarianism (that would be a good title for a blog, LOL), I do love meat. Also stocked up on veg and goods to try one of the 0-point stir frys I found at WW online. That will probably be dinner tonight.

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    In which I inadvertently become a vegetarian

    I was checking my food journal tonight and discovered I have become a vegetarian without realizing it.

    I haven't eaten meat in a week - no time to cook! However, my newfound obsession with Roasted Red Pepper hummus and Kashi's Mediterranean Brushcetta crackers are keeping me happy.

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    In which I indulge

    Had my first massage in 5 years today.


    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Recipe: Tomato-Basil Pizza

    OK, "recipe" may not be the right word for this as it's insanely basic.

    One of the first few WW meetings I attended was focused on coming up with answers to persistent weight-loss problems. The friend who I attend with noted she was having problems with her family's Friday Pizza Night, so the leader encouraged her to make her own instead of eating regular pizza.

    Our leader mentioned how she makes her own pizza: on a pita crust topped with chopped fresh tomatoes, basil and cheese. It sounded so good, I went to the store to try it myself. Instead of a pita I chose a Mini Wheat Boboli crust (6 Points).

    I chopped up a Roma tomato, then added a lot of fresh basil. On top of that I added 1/2C Kraft 2% Italian Shredded Cheese blend (4 Points). It is awesome. I make this at least once a week and it's decadent.

    Edit Feb. 2011: Under Points+ calculations, the Boboli mini wheat crust is now 10 Points. Boo! But still worth it.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    Week 9 Weigh-In: So close

    Since rolling out the Points program over a decade ago, Weight Watchers has always encouraged people to first set a 10% goal.

    It's doable and a good motivator, and if you lose even 10% you'll feel much better and see real results. And you get a nifty keychain.

    The only problem is, if you weigh more than 200 lbs, it can take a while to reach 10%. Hell, my 10% (28 lbs) is more than my meeting leader lost total. When I rejoined the program, I discovered WW now wants people to focus on 5% first, then aim for 10%. It's a good idea, especially for those of us who have a long way to go.

    My goal since joining was to hit 10% before Thanksgiving and this week I almost made it. So close! I had a great weigh-in (-3.8 lbs) but fell short of my 10% by two-tenths of a pound. Just .2. So, hopefully next week, I will get my celebratory 10% keychain.

    But, another cool thing: Since I passed the 25lb mark today I got my 25lb charm. Which goes on the keychain. Which I do not have yet. You know you have a lot to lose when you earn the 25-lb charm before you earn our 10% keychain!

    These charms are neat - they didn't offer them on my last WW go-around. You got your 10% keychain, then a goal charm (a star), then a Lifetime charm (a key). Now they give out additional charms for each 25lbs you lose: 25, 50, 75, 100. I will collect them all!

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Week 8 Weigh-In

    I survived Halloween.

    That sounds pretty dramatic as the whole candy-in-the-house thing doesn't bother or tempt me much. But if there was a holiday that revolved around kids going door to door, receiving baked goods, then bringing them home, yes, there would be difficulty here.

    But, anyway, it's over and I'm down -2.8 for a total of -24.2, inching closer to my 10%.

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    In which I eat out for the first time

    Today the kids and I went to visit my husband at work. After, since it was getting late and everyone was getting cranky and hungry, we all decided to go out to eat.

    I won't lie, it made me nervous. Something about going out to eat worries me, as if I will throw all caution to the wind, eat off-plan and blow up a week's worth of hard work.

    We went to TGIFriday's and I realized the shrimp is a pretty safe choice. I had 12 small grilled shrimp, a side of broccoli and a good time.

    I realize that dining out is going to be a relatively common occurrence in my life, and I have to get over this irrational fear that I will suddenly get WW amnesia when I walk through a restaurant door. I need to suck it up, order smart and not obsess.

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    Week 7 Weigh-In

    Down -1.2 this week, my lowest weekly loss yet.

    That's to be expected, though. I can't keep reeling off giant losses, that's just not the way it works - even with good eating and regular exercise. One of those Keep-On Keepin'-On weeks.

    I am a little bummed because I walked a 5K last Saturday morning with a friend. It took us 1:01 to do it, and it was a haul, but we did it. I expected a bigger loss coming off all that exertion, but perhaps my body is still in shock from the event and is readjusting. I know, I shouldn't "expect" or try to predict any loss, but old habits die very hard in that regard.

    I haven't been at a 5K since I ran them - 7 years ago. Seeing all the runners and pre-race excitement made me miss it a bit. Maybe I'll run again someday, but today is not the day to obsess over that!

    Total loss is -21.4, inching closer to 10%.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    In which I find the most inspirational video ever

    Any time I don't want to work out (read: often), I watch this and my attitude changes.

    Seriously, it's that good. His blog is just as good, too.

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Week 6 Weigh-In

    -1.4 this week, lowest weekly loss yet, for a total of -20.2.

    Two big developments this week: I broke the -20 barrier and I survived my first big non-planned eating event: a friend's wedding.

    The wedding was on Sunday, which was closer to weigh-in day than I wanted but, then again, picking the date wasn't up to me. I ate my chicken dinner, had a couple of small appetizers and a piece of wedding cake. I enjoyed my meal and didn't go overboard, so that felt good.

    Last week I had a really large loss (-4.6), and given my losing pattern now and in 2002-2003, most of my large weekly losses are followed by a much smaller loss. So I'm not disappointed.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    In which there are a hard 4-6 weeks

    I believe the first 4-6 weeks of a new eating lifestyle (not diet) are the worst.

    You don't have great momentum yet, there are a lot of firsts and new situations to handle, not to mention food, planning, exercise, etc.

    And to add insult to injury, in these first several weeks you're not seeing a lot of easy victories, major milestones, etc. There are no, You look great!, Wow, what are you doing? comments that make your day.

    It's easy to get discouraged and quit, and I think that's why many people do just that.

    So why do some people throw in the towel and others forge on? It's probably different for everyone, but my 2 cents is you have to want it more than anything. You desire, your drive to change has to superceede everything in your life.

    I'm convinced that if you can just push past those difficult challenges in the early weeks, you can make it happen.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Week 5 Weigh-In

    Nice big loss this week, -4.6 for a total of 263.6.

    This large loss was most likely aided by a terrible stomach bug I woke up with yesterday. It was brutal and I ate only 5 Points the entire day (2 Edys Grape Fruit Bars and 1 slice of Fiber One toast).

    I wouldn't recommend a stomach bug to anyone, ever, but if I had to suffer through it, I'm glad it was the day before weigh-in.

    Saturday, October 9, 2010

    In which I get new Leslie DVDs

    I've been a Leslie Sansone fan for years, and I believe her workouts are fantastic, especially if you haven't worked out in a while.

    But now that I'm back to exercising a few times a week, I find that the Leslie DVDs I've done in the past feel a bit musty. I've done them hundreds of times, and while they're effective, it's time for a change.

    I headed over to QVC (where, in a bit of trivia, Leslie was the very first guest) and found she had a new set out: Eat-Walk-Lose. To be honest, I'm only interested in the walking and losing portions, the eating I leave to WW.

    Regardless, it got fantastic reviews, and comes with a pair of strength-training cables, so it looked like a good purchase to me.

    I've worked out with the set (1 and 2 milers) several times and it's a great workout. The Body Boost cables add some nice strength training in with the cardio, and overall it's definitely worth the time.

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    In which it's time to start exercising again

    When I rejoined WW last month, I knew how overwhelming it can be, especially for a Type A/Perfectionist personality like me.

    There are a lot of to-dos with WW, but one trick is you don't have to do them all perfectly in the beginning to see success.

    I knew trying to balance losing and parenting was very new and demanding, so trying to plan and execute everything simultaneously would only burn me out. For example, starting out I only had one goal: Eat within my Points. I knew if I did that, I would lose weight.

    I made a deal with myself: Master eating within your Points, then you can move on to something else. I feel confident that I can eat within my Points, so now I will add another goal: Exercise. If I want the weight to keep peeling off at a good rate, I must exercise regularly.

    I also knew this was going to be tough because of time constraints. When can I fit it in? And, what do I do?

    The What-Do-I-Do? was easy: Leslie Sansone's Walk At Home DVDs. I have several from my last go-round. What's great about Leslie's DVDs are:

  • They're weather-proof.
  • You don't need any equipment save for sneakers and a DVD player.
  • They're effective and challenging.
  • It's a safe, doable workout for all shapes, sizes, ages and ability levels.

    Now, when to exercise? Before the kids get up isn't realistic as my youngest is still up frequently overnight, so I don't get a good night's sleep to begin with. Getting up early only makes things worse. Evening is also tough because I'm pretty beat, and I work part-time at home evenings. It looks like the answer is relatively simple: In the afternoon when my youngest is napping. My two older children can safely entertain themselves within earshot while I work out for a half-hour.

    So, I blew the dust off my Leslie DVD today and gave it a go. I only did the 1-miler (18 minutes). It went quickly, I sweated quite a bit and felt good I got it done. It was very humbling to start at the beginning exercise-wise, but that's the way it goes. I plan to do this DVD 2-3 times per week and see what the scale shows.
  • Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Week 4 Weigh-In: 5%

    A nice -2.4 loss today to hit my 5% goal right on the nose: 268.2.

    One month in and that's a total of -14.2 gone, exactly half of what I need (-28.4) to earn my 10% keychain.

    I wish the 10% weren't so much weight, it feels like it takes forever to get there. I know we shouldn't compare weight losses with others, but my 10% is more than some people's entire losses to reach goal! Like my leader, for instance. She lost 25 lbs to reach her goal weight, and to her credit has maintained it for years. Now that all evens out when you hit goal and maintenance, as regardless of how much you lose, maintenance is equally hard for all.

    So, 4 weeks in and I feel like a have a handle on eating within my Points. Now, it's time to refine that a bit. I eat way too many carbs, so it's time to try to diversify and spend more Points on fruits, vegetables and proteins. I'm not going to obsess about it, but I need to gradually improve in that department.

    Also, now that 4 weeks is up, "easy" water weight, shock-to-the-body losses will slow and disappear, so I should start thinking about exercise in some regard. It may be time to pull out my Leslie Sansone's Walk Away The Pounds DVDs. They're a challenging workout, but doable regardless of your size or current fitness level. (A note, I went to look up Leslie's Web site and she's changed the name of her series to Walk At Home. It has been a while since I've been there!)

    But, one step at a time. I will not overload myself with to-dos or I will get burnt out and off-track. Slowly!

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010

    Week 3 Weigh-In

    -4.4 lbs today. Nice big loss after a little one last week.

    This put me over the -10lb loss, in 3 weeks. -11.8 to be exact because you know every tenth counts!

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    In which this is a 'journey'-free zone

    I write this with absolutely no offense to others losing weight, especially bloggers.

    But, I officially announce, this blog is a Journey-Free Zone.

    I don't mean the fabulous '70s/'80s rockers, but rather the use of the term "my weight-loss journey." It's so cliched. I am not Frodo trying to return The One Ring to Mount Doom. I'm just trying to lose weight and get fit.

    For some reason, "journey" just hits a clunky wrong note. Sounds very Lifetime for Women-y.

    So, all other nouns may apply, just not the J-word.

    And, to prove how much I enjoy the other Journey, here's the cheesiest Journey video ever:

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Week 2 Weigh-In

    Well, they can't all be 5-lb losses in a week. Unless you're on Biggest Loser and I have no idea how those losses are safe, sustainable or healthy.

    Anyway, -1.8 lbs this week for a total of -7.4. When I was losing weight 2002-2003 on WW, my loss pattern was usually big loss, smaller loss, repeat. Sometimes I'd string a couple of either together and then the opposite would appear the following week. I competely understand that when you're steadily losing weight, eating healthy and working out, it is a shock to your system.

    Sometimes your body makes the timeout signal and pauses to reassess What In The Hell Is Going On Here, the commences with the losing of the weight.

    This past week was a big one in that I turned 40. I didn't fear or freak out about "40." I mean, what's the alternative, not turning 40? That means you're dead. So I'm pretty sure 40 is alright by me.

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    In which I clarify my goals

    Pretty straightforward:

  • Return to and remain under my Weight Watchers Lifetime weight of 175. (My personal goal is 160.)

  • Develop and employ a normal-as-possible relationship with food. After a lifetime of obesity and food issues (bad choices, large portions, etc.), this goal has no finish line. It's open-ended.

  • Exercise regularly and make fitness a priority.

  • Practice everything in moderation. I don't want to obsess over eating one unplanned cookie and then feel as if I need to immediately run 20 minutes on the treadmill to "work it off." I can't live in a WW Boot Camp nor can I wing it. I've done both, neither works for me.

    Everything, in moderation, forever.
  • Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Week 1 Weigh-In

    I think the first weigh-in is the easiest.

    You're motivated, you've worked the program like crazy, and you can almost guarantee a big loss thanks to water weight and body shock.

    -5.6 lbs today and out of the 280s, all in one week. Win-win.

    Now, to the hardest weigh-ins...all the rest.

    I like the leader. She's a decent mix of funny and serious, and has a good presenting style.

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    In which I rejoin Weight Watchers for the last time

    Over the summer, I knew it was time to get my body - and life - back on track with Weight Watchers.

    My youngest had turned 1 and the, "But I just had a baby..." rationalization had expired. We weren't planning on any more children, so that wiped out another excuse: "Why go through all that effort if we're planning another pregnancy?"

    No, I was fresh out of excuses. It had been a wonderful 5 years in which I had 3 children. And now, with the birthing part of my life over for good, it was time to get back in shape for good.

    From April 2002 to September 2003 I lost 126 pounds and earned my Lifetime membership in Weight Watchers, meaning I could attend any meeting free for the rest of my life, as long as I weighed in once a month and stayed within 2 lbs of my goal weight - 175.

    By the time I became pregnant with our first child in March 2005, I had regained most of that 126 lbs, and used the pregnancy rationalization to wipe out the rest. But that's a post for another day.

    Anyway, I knew it was time to get back to business. My two oldest would be in preschool this year and I gave myself until the first day of school, then it was time to rejoin WW and get back on track. Even better, I had a friend who wanted to get back in shape, too, so she agreed to join with me.

    Today was our first meeting. I was anxious, I hadn't weighed myself in years. I knew I had a lot to lose and I was right. Starting weight 282.4. Well, there's one victory, I didn't gain it all back. Came in 3.6 lbs under my 2002 starting weight. I'll take any victory at this point.

    So, here we go...

    Saturday, January 9, 2010

    What I'm Doing This Month

    February 2012

    Well, my February official weigh-in is in the books - and it's early and good. 158.4 on Feb. 5. Yay, me. That's a keeper number.

    Last month, after a tough stretch in December, I had to bust ass until Jan. 28 to get down to a number that A) I was comfortable submitting to Weight Watchers and B) was back in my goal range.

    This month I would love to hover more around 155 than 158, just to give me more breathing room from the upper limit of my goal weight range, 160.

    To be honest, I don't know if 155 is attainable - or sustainable. I have a lot of loose skin around my abdomen, thanks to pregnancies and years of gaining and losing weight. It's so considerable I'm a good size larger (10) around my midsection than I am in my thighs (8). If you see me in person, my pants are always baggy in the thighs because I need a larger size to actually, you know, zip them up.

    One thousand crunches a day for the rest of my life won't get rid of that skin, it's like an elastic that's been stretched out too many times and has lost its ability to snap back. Only surgery would alleviate it and I pray, seriously, that one day that's an option I can exercise (and afford).

    This is what complicates the actual number on the scale. I have a good 10-15 lbs of loose skin on my torso. While I'm trying to get down around 155, my body already thinks it's well below that number. I can just hear it: "WTF? You weigh, like, 145. I'm not dropping you lower."

    Still, I will try, but if the upper 150s is where it's at for now, I'm OK with that. It's just mentally difficult to inhabit that neighborhood. I feel like I have very little room for a dinner out or an off-plan meal. Rationally, I know I do, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around it sometimes, so I don't feel the flexibility I should.

    So, that's the scale update.

    On the activity front, I've moved from 2 days of bootcamp a week (Wednesday and Friday) to 3 (M, W, F). Loving it. I am an awesome shuffle - low center of gravity, quick feet. Seriously, I can shuffle like no one's business. And sprint? Usain Bolt, y'all. When the board says "sprint", I sprint. And lat pulldowns? Pffft, strong like bull.

    And, thank God, I'm rehabbing on the running front, running 3x a week (Tu, Thu & Sun) to rebuild my base, endurance and legs so I can start racing again next month (March 11) without reinjury.

    Six days of high-intensity activity. That's, um, intense, right? But, see, here's the deal: I love it. I absolutely do. Five out of those 6 days I get up at 5 to run around in the freezing pre-dawn dark or drive off to bootcamp in weird shoes and pants to get stronger and more agile. And I really, really love it.

    I know, I'm surprised, too. I never thought I would be the person who loves hard exercise as much as I do. Maybe it's the challenge of it all? I'm just really happy I can be back on track with exercise. I'm still babying my back and glute, stretching, strengthening, warming up and cooling down, pushing just enough up not too much so I can keep doing what I love without injury.

    I'm down to once a month at the chiropractor, who keeps reminding me I can only do the best with what I have: occasionally spazzy lower back, balky right glute and tight hips. Gotta remember to enjoy and work with what I have and not mourn what I don't, which when you get down to it is not a bad motto for life.