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weight-loss

When you add it all up, it’s really not that bad!

How many of you have ever just said “screw it” and eaten something without thinking about the points, knowing you’re going over your daily target, and digging deep in to your weekly points?  You know, those days where you just don’t care, you’re going to eat that pint of Haagen Dazs, whether it fits in to your points or not?

 

Well, I bet you can guess that I have had one of those recently!

What is more stressful than money stress?  Is there anything out there that can send you flying off of the handle more than someone else screwing up your money and leaving you in a (temporary) mess?

2013-02-01 07.53.23Last night, when I was heading over to a friend’s place to watch a movie, I discovered a situation like I described above and decided that the only logical solution to my problem was to stop at the store and pick up not one, but two flavours of Haagen Dazs to drown my sorrows!   I mean really, what goes better with the 4th installment in my James Bond movie quest that Haagen Dazs, Vodka & maple syrup whisky?

This is all perfectly logical, right?

So here we are, snuggled up under blankets on the couch, 2 pints of ice cream and 2 spoons, eating away my stress!

Now I have to say, the ice cream was delicious, the vodka was calming, the whisky was smooth and the movie was hilariously retro!

But this morning, it the harsh light of day, reality set in.   Yesterday was my 12th consecutive day of tracking honestly & accurately and I had ruined it by having a free for all ice cream binge!! Just to be on the safe side, I was going to have to write off all 49 of my weekly points and the 15 activity points I had left in the bank!

Or was I?

A quick text message to my friend, and I had the information I needed to figure this out.

I was told that we ate about 1/8th of one flavour of ice cream, and 1/2 of the other flavour, so with a little research I was able to figure out that flavour #1 was 30pts+ for the entire container, and #2 was 36pts for the same.  I then asked how much of that my friend thought we each had and was told it was 50/50. So from there I figured out that I had 1/16th of flavour #1, which works out to 2pts+ and 1/4 of  #2, or 9pts+ worth.  So that means I had 11pts+ worth of ice cream!

Now, on to the alcohol. Vodka is 2pts+ for one ounce, and there was less than an ounce left in the bottle. That fact alone was probably a lifesaver, because I am sure that the points spent on Vodka could have been much higher had there been more available to me!  The maple syrup whisky is a bit tricky to figure out the points for, since it’s not your average item that is in the Pocket Guide! I gave it a value of 4pts+ based on the fact that it is definitely a sweet liquor, and most sweet liquors are 4pts an ounce!

So instead of the 64 points I was going to count to atone for my sins, it turns out that by taking a look at the facts I figured out that it had only been a 17pts+ night!

And if you look at the fact that I still had one daily point left, and 15 activity points in the bank, it really wasn’t that bad!

I am SO GLAD I took the time to sit down and figure out exactly how much ‘damage’ I had done last night.  It turned out to be nowhere near as bad as I thought., and once I go for my run tonight, my activity points will be back in a positive balance. If only I could say the same for the balance of my bank account.  Unfortunately that problem is going to take ‘2-3 business days’ to resolve!

 

Have you ever taken the time to look back and figure out to get a realistic idea of what you did, rather than just writing off all your points, or worse, just sliding down that slippery slope of “well, I already screwed up the week, so why bother?”?

 

 

 

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned.

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned. I have not been committed to following the WeightWatchers program completely. I have allowed a few pounds to creep back on over the holidays.

Before we sign on the dotted line and accept a job as a WeightWatchers leaders, we are members. We live the program, we lose weight on the program, we sit in those same chairs that every other member sits in.   Yes, I am a WeightWatchers Leader, but I am also a member. I am a WeightWatchers Lifetime Member, and I am above goal .

 

When I first joined WeightWatchers, I knew how it worked. I knew that once you reached your goal weight and maintained it for 6 weeks you became a lifetime member and no longer had to pay your weekly meeting fees, as long as you maintained your weight.  Free meetings were a great incentive, and I had it in my head that I would set my goal weight at 160lbs, which is the absolute highest weight someone of my height (5’7″) can set their goal weight with WeightWatchers.

The thing is, once I got down to 160lbs I knew that was not where I wanted to stop. I no longer knew where I wanted to stop, so I decided to keep going until it felt right to stop.  I finally got that “I’m here, I’m at goal” feeling around 148lbs, but decided to set my goal at 146.

For me, 146 made sense because, with WW lifetime membership, you are considered “at goal” as long as you are no more than 2lbs above your goal weight. That meant I could weigh 148lbs and still be ‘at goal’, and that I could never see anything above 150 on the scale again.  I never wanted to see 15_ on the scale again, because I knew that would be the start of the slippery slope leading to 16_, 170_ and so on.

I hit goal in April of 2008, and got lifetime membership in May of 2008, and for a long time, I never saw a number higher than 148 on the scale.

Until recently.

I’m not sure what happened.

Maybe it is the adjustment from 2 straight years of marathon training, in to shorter distance running.  Maybe it’s just complacency.  Maybe it’s laziness. Maybe I was just tired of following rules and I just wanted to rebel.  Maybe I’m Only Human.

Whatever it is, it has to come to an end.

I recently weighed in over 150lbs, and that does not sit well with me.

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect when my area manager for WeightWatchers sent out an email inviting staff to attend a special meeting and put on their member hats. We were specifically told that this wasn’t the place to ask work related questions, it was the place to talk about our ongoing weight loss journey.

Remember, it’s called LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP for a reason.  Weight management is an ongoing journey, and everyone is going to have bumps in the road.

At the meeting, I committed out loud to tracking.

When I was in constant marathon training, it was easy to live “Simply Filling” because I was earning so many activity points every week (50-80pts+) that I could enjoy all the foods I love, but I’m not in marathon training anymore.  My running is focused on shorter distances, which means I will be earning less activity points, so I need to readjust my eating habits, because obviously, they cannot continue the way they have been going!

 

So now it’s time to make a plan, set goals and move forward.

Goal 1: get back in the 140’s

Goal 2: get back to goal

Goal 3: get comfortably below goal and possible reset a newer lower goal.

I’ve also set a non-scale goal.  I have a pair of jeans hanging around the apartment belonging to a previous man in my life. They are a men’s 31″.  Normally I wear a women’s 28, but these men’s jeans are currently too tight on me.  My goal is to have them be super baggy and comfy by the end of March.

TRACKI now have one of our fabulous new TRACK books, and it goes with me everywhere.

I picked a start date, wrote out a plan and prepared myself by getting all the foods I needed to be successful.

Today is day 3 of the new plan, and I’m not going to pretend it has been an easy adjustment.  But, with the help of the new “ROUTINES” potion of the WeightWatchers 360 program, I have decided on 3 things to focus on daily, and it really helps having the check box on each page of the tracker, to check off when you’ve completed each routine.

For this week, the three routines I have chosen are:

1: bring lunch from home everyday (except Thursday).

2: eat fruit twice a day.

3: COOK a healthy dinner everyday.

And I’m happy to report that I have completed all 3 routines every day this week, so far!

So please, forgive me readers, for I have sinned.

I am one of you, and sometimes I struggle,but now that I have set new goals and have started to work towards them, I feel motivated again.

 

So tell me this, what is that you do when you feel your motivation starting to slip? What is the one piece of advice you would give someone who is struggling and trying to get back on track?

 

K.

“There was once a point in my life where I weighed over 300lbs.”

That was the opening line of my friend Nikki’s blog post yesterday, a blog post she titled “A Hard Thing For Me To Admit”.

I cannot tell you how totally proud I am of her for putting those words out there, for saying it “out loud”.  But even more so, I am amazingly proud of her for having the determination and strength to do this ‘on her own’.

I’m not going to copy the entire thing over here, you can click the blog title above and go on over there to read it all for yourself. What I want to share with you guys is something that really stuck out for me in her post, something that I think everyone trying to lose weight needs to understand.

20130118-125511.jpgNikki wrote: “Something happened in August. Honestly, I have NO IDEA what it was. Some weird awakening that something needed to change and that I COULD ACTUALLY DO THIS.”

Those are the key words “I could actually do this”, and I think everyone who is on a journey to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle needs to have that moment, that realization! Everyone needs to know that they CAN do this, they can make it a reality!

 

I remember the moment I had my realization. It wasn’t before I started my journey, it was half way through.   Before I joined WeightWatchers I knew I NEEDED to do this, but I never actually thought I could.   It wasn’t until one random Tuesday, somewhere in the middle of my journey that I realized I could do it.

I had gone to my WeightWatchers meeting and stepped on the scale, only to see disappointing results.  Sure, I’d lost weight that week, but it wasn’t as much as I hoped.  Well, Charlotte, the lady behind the scale said something to me, I don’t remember what, but I remember my reply. I said to her “I don’t know, this is really hard, I don’t think I can do it” and she looked me straight in the face and said “enough of that, you CAN do it, and you ARE GOING to do it”. I said, “okay”, stepped off of the scale, and took my seat in the meeting room, thinking to myself “well, if she thinks I can do it, why don’t I think I can do it? Hmm, I guess I CAN do it.”

 

So tell me this, have you had your moment yet?  If so, what was it? What made you realize you can ‘actually do this’?

 

 

They should put THAT in the commercials!

It should probably come as no surprise to you that there are a LOT of people in my life who need to lose weight, who are trying to lose weight, or who have already lost the weight & are trying to maintain the loss. Therefore, it should also come as no surprise that the benefits of weight loss are often a topic of conversation.

Sometimes, the conversation about weight loss is a medical conversation. I want to live longer. I want to take less pills. I want to control diabetes.

Quite often, the conversation about weight loss is a conversation based in vanity. I want to LOOK better. I want to DRESS better. I want to wear a size ___.

Occasionally, the conversation about weight loss is a conversation about fitness. I want to run further. I want to run faster. I want to lift more weight, or do more reps.

And then once in a while the conversation takes an interesting turn, and I’ve been hearing this one more and more often lately.

 

Let’s look at all the benefits of weight loss for a moment, shall we?

When you start to lose weight, you will start to not only see physical improvements in your body, but you will also notice emotional improvements as well. Your mood will improve, as will your energy. Your body will begin to change on both the inside and the outside. Not only will your size be getting noticeably smaller, but you will begin to see muscle definition in your arms and legs. As your size begins to get smaller, you will start to need to buy new clothes that will fit your better and be more flattering, therefore improving your self esteem and self confidence. As you start to feel better about yourself, the people around you will notice the changes. Your energy level will start to increase as the new, healthier foods you are eating begin to fuel your body, and you will find you can do more now that you are carrying around a little less weight.

With all these physical & emotional changes taking place, perhaps it won’t be a surprise to you that one of the hidden benefits of weight loss is an improvement in your life ‘between the sheets’.

Think about it, if you’re feeling better about yourself, no matter how much or how little weight you’ve lost, you’re going to be feeling more confident, and the people in your life are going to notice this. You will be feeling more attractive, and they will notice this. Not to mention the increase in energy you will experience, that can be put to good use!

More and more lately, the people around me are telling me about the ‘bedroom’ benefits of weight loss, and how they would have done it sooner if they had known!

Perhaps they should put THAT in the commercials?

 

Guest Post – Karen – Christmas & a month of Weight Watchers 360

It’s been almost a month since we started the new Weight Watchers 360 program.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to adapt to the new program because it was all about the non food parts of the program and for the most part I haven’t thought about that.  I focus on the Points of the food and making the best choices I can and haven’t worried about the “where and the why”.  Weight Watchers 360 has made me think about other things than the food.

 

I love routine normally but it has taken a bit to get into the Routines so I log on every morning and reread the routines I have chosen to focus on.  I track online and I love getting rewards so it’s cool to see the tokens appear when I have accomplished the three routines I have selected.  I have chosen “Eating breakfast” as one and every morning I make sure to eat a balanced breakfast.

 

I also chose “Is what I’m eating worth the WW points” – really important because I’m now down to just 26 daily points.  I want to make sure I use my daily points for real food that will satisfy me and not on junk food.  If I want junk food I have to dip into my extra points or earn some activity points.  This is new for me because before I just ate whatever  and counted the points but this routine has made me focus on the “WHY”.

 

The third routine is “Waiting before I take seconds”.   I think hard about this and I’m not having too much trouble with this one so it’s time to choose a new Routine to learn.

 

I wasn’t sure I would like the new Program because it seemed  too “out there” but so far so good.  It got me thru the days leading up to Christmas and I made good choices on Christmas morning when I was faced with a table full of finger foods at my Mom’s… everything from chicken wings, little quiches, cheese and sausage on crackers and butter tarts.  My plan was to have one butter tart and then turn to the veggies and dip and I succeeded.  Christmas dinner was at my sister’s and we do it potluck style and everyone brings a dish.  I did the carrots and brussel sprouts and another sister did turnips with carrots so I was able to stay away from the casserole style veggies.  I used some points for a small piece of cake for dessert and felt satisfied.  All in all it was a good day and when I got home I tracked the day and moved on.  Today I will choose a couple of new routines to focus on and read some more on the “Spaces” section of the website.

 

This past Saturday was the first weigh in after Christmas and I was there bright and early to weigh in and learn some more about the WW 360 program.  It’s been good so far, I even lost weight over Christmas.

The Miracle is not that I finished. The Miracle is that I had the courage to start.

When I decided to write this guest post for Mary’s blog , I thought it would be easy… but I guess I didn’t remember how long this story really was!

I should probably start by introducing myself. My name is Kirsty, and I’m a food-a-holic!

This is what I used to look like:

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been inactive and over weight. It wasn’t so bad when I was a teenager, but in my early 20’s, the pounds just started to come on. I can look back now and blame it on so many things; lack of activity, and unhappy relationship, a dependence on food from the drive thru and emotional eating to name a few. The thing is, the past is the past and there’s no point in dwelling on what I could have done. Instead, I’m here to tell you about what I did.

So what did I do??

Well, it wouldn’t be my complete story if I didn’t tell you that one of the first steps I took towards my weight loss was having a breast reduction. I was well over 200lbs, and I had massive boobs. I wore a 40DDD bra before the surgery. The pain of carrying those suckers around was unbelievable. I had constant headaches and back pain. I can’t even begin to tell you the relief that came after the surgery, and the joy that came with being able to buy bras in a regular store.

Now my breast reduction story isn’t perfect, there was complications, and the full journey from surgery to physical recovery took almost 2 years. The emotional recovery took longer and I actually put on some more weight after the surgeries.

Eventually, I got to a point where I looked around and took stock of my life. I looked at the people in my life, what I was doing with my life, and what I wanted from my life and what I realized was, I wanted more. I wanted more than to be overweight and riddled with health problems like the rest of my family members. I wanted more than daily insulin shots, along with countless other prescriptions. I wanted more than a life that revolved around what was on TV on what night of the week and what I was going to eat while I was watching it.

I wanted to LIVE my life.

So, in late 2006 I decided it was time to do something about it, but I wasn’t quite ready yet. So, I set myself a date, and that was it. That was the day I was changing everything.

I joined Weight Watchers on January 2nd, 2007 and it wasn’t my first time. In fact, when I walked in to register, I was greeted like an old friend.

You see, I had joined weight watchers once before and lost 25lbs, but I let life get away from me again and I put all the weight back on. I was actually the exact same weight on January 2nd 2007 as I had been a couple of years earlier when I joined.

The first few weeks on any new program is great. You’re in the honeymoon phase, and everything is so easy, and so fun, and so worth it. But slowly, that wears off and you’re struck with the reality hits that this is hard work.

I remember distinctly the moment I realized this time was the last time I was going to do this. I was standing on the scale talking to the receptionist who was weighing me. I was discouraged. I had only lost a pound. Just a pound. And it was going to take FOREVER to lose weight at this rate. But she said something to me, that stuck with me. She said “You’re going to do it this time.” I replied “I don’t know, it’s really hard & it’s taking a long time.” So she looks me dead straight in the face and says “I didn’t ASK if you were going to do it. I TOLD you that you were going to do it.”

Okay then, I guess that means I was going to do it.

Well, time passed and life changed. It was at that point that I realized that I was on a plateau with my weight-loss and that I needed to get active.

Knowing myself, knowing that I don’t do anything when I’m not accountable to someone else, knowing that I function best in a group activity, and that I like to be outside, I decided to take a “Learn To Run” class.

That first night, I thought I was going to die. You see, I had never exercised a day in my life. When I was a teenager, I had a knee problem and I was taken out of gym class indefinitely. When I decided to learn to run, I had been inactive for 18 years.

I went back for week 2, and the feeling of impending death lessened. Then the next week, it was less, and less and less. With the guidance of the experienced group leaders, I started to realize I could do this. Eventually, I was signed up for a 5K run on New Years Day 2008. Then I was signed up to be a group leader for a 5K training group. Then I was signed up for a 10K race.

I have to admit, that my first 10K race was a wreck. I had injured myself in training, and never actually run more than 5K but decided to run the 10K race anyway. I ended up puking my guts out at the finish line and spending the rest of the day in bed with the worst headache pain I have felt in my life!! But that didn’t stop me.

Here I am, coming in to the finish:

I don’t look too happy, do I?

Later in the year, I signed up for an 8K Road Race.

Little did I know that this 8K race would be another turning point in my life!

You see, the morning of the 8K race, I woke up feeling miserable and I didn’t want to run. It was just one of those days. But, I got out of bed, I got dressed and I made my way to the start line. The gun went off, and I was on my way. I was feeling so sorry for myself when I wasn’t even 3km in to the race, and I see the leaders passing me on their way back. WHY was I out here doing this to myself again? Well, I kept forcing myself to put on foot in front of the other, and eventually I was back at that same point I was when I saw the lead pack on their way back to the finish. It was around that point on the course that I saw something that changed me. I was feeling so sorry for myself because I wasn’t running as fast I was wanted to, and I didn’t feel as good as I had hoped to, and here, coming towards me was this man wearing his race number with this amazing smile on his face from ear to ear. He was so happy to be out there. Why was this so amazing? Because he was also wearing an oxygen mask and pushing a walker! Here I was, feeling so sorry for myself when I was healthy and running this race, while this man with such obvious health problems was out there enjoying every minute of his experience. How could that not change me?

Now, on top of the amazing experience I had out on the race course, there was so much more waiting for me at the finish line, where I was waiting for a friend to finish the marathon that was running the same day. I saw so many amazing people finishing their races. People who, to look at them, were in worse shape than me. People who were far older than me. People who you would never think would run, let alone, run a half or full marathon. It was such an inspiring thing to witness.

Seeing all that, left me standing there questioning myself, questioning why I had stopped my training at 10K. I mean, yeah, I always ‘injured’ myself when I tried to run 10K, but maybe, if I just put my mind to it and did it, I could do it. After all, these other people I was standing here watching were doing it. The only thing that was stopping me was, well, ME!

So, that was it… decision made… I was going to train for a half marathon!!

I was going to WHAT?? Are you kidding me… a half marathon?? that’s 21.1km! 13.1miles!

So, I sat down with a friend who was with me when I made the decision, and we made a plan. And then, a couple of days after our first run, I was sideswiped on my drive to work by an idiot who wasn’t paying attention. The passenger side of the car was wrecked, and my back was wrecked! I was in physio and under a doctor’s care, and there was NO RUNNING!

WHAT? I had this plan, I was ready to do my next big thing and I was totally sidelined!!

So, after 4 weeks of no running, then starting from scratch and getting my body back to being able to run 8-10km, I am ready to go. I am ready to start putting in longer distances and we get hit with the worst winter storm in years. So much snow, I was stuck in my house for 3 days.

Gah, another road block!!

But, where there is a will, there is a way, right??

So we put our minds to it and we just found places we could run where the sidewalks were clear, even if it meant running around the same block over and over again!

Well, eventually the weather cleared, and we continued our plan, and in March of 2009 I ran and finished my first half marathon! Then in May I ran my second & in June I ran my third! I was hooked… and somewhere in there I thought “Hey, what the heck, let’s take this all the way. Let’s run a marathon”.

Here I am, finishing my first half marathon:

Look at the difference proper training makes!!

Yup, I took it all the way. I did the hardest thing in my life. I ran a full marathon on October 11, 2009, exactly one year from the day I decided I could run further than 10K.

It’s still hard to believe. I mean, for 30 years of my life I was in active, overweight and lazy. My idea of exercise was walking inside McDonald’s instead of going through the drive through. I was told at the age of 13 that I could not be active because my knee injury was too severe and here I was training for and running a marathon.

I have to tell you that running a marathon was the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done. It took a lot of time and dedication. I gave up my entire summer to making sure I was running 3 or 4 times a week. I didn’t go on holiday, I didn’t go to weekend barbecues, I just focused on the goal and I did it.

Look, I really did it! Here I am 3 strides away from the finish:

I guess that is the moral of the story here. I put my mind to it, and I did it. And the same can be said for any goal you want to set. If it’s to lose the next 5lbs, to lose the whole 50lbs, to run your first 5K, to walk a 10K, to run a half marathon… if you want to do, you can do it. Just put your mind to it and do it.

Just remember this “The miracle is not that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start”.