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Bleah. November 30, 2009

Filed under: exercise,health — Susan @ 5:22 pm
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Still don’t feel so good. Not horribly SICK sick, but not well enough to work out. I have to avoid looking at Twitter because it makes me sad and envious to see all the great exercise that people are doing. I wish I could. I can putter around the house, etc but I don’t really feel like even taking a walk. It is all the energy I can muster to get to my WW meeting, do my work, come home and lie down. Sigh. I really hope this passes soon!

And unfortunately, whatever bug this is has not had any dampening effect on my appetite. :-(

 

New Comfort Food: Pesto Roasted Cauliflower November 29, 2009

One of the great things about leading WW meetings is that I have to pay attention to all these elements of the program that are really, really helpful. This morning I said something along the lines of finding new foods or new ways of enjoying old foods, to keep things “fresh.”

I’m still sort of on the sick side. I’ve got pretty low energy and a sore throat. Yesterday I was surprised at how much I felt like eating. I wanted real comfort food, like mashed potatoes and pudding. Baby food.  I realized that if I keep going too long like this, without exercising, soon I’m going to be in trouble.

So on the way home from the meeting I stopped at the Farmers Market. I spotted a cauliflower. I didn’t really think about it much. But I brought it home, chopped it up and put it in the over (425) for half an hour. When the buzzer went off, it was crispy and browned, crunchy and yet soft on the inside. I mixed it with a little jarred pesto and put it in a big bowl. OH WOW. It was like… the best comfort food ever. I was so happy. And it happened spontaneously. This was one of the few things we discussed in today’s meeting and it felt so good to just implement it in a way that satisfied my need for comfort and yet is still really healthy.

Now, a nap. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

 

thanks thanks thanks November 27, 2009

Yesterday was a wonderful Thanksgiving. I had both of my daughters home, and other friends and family. The food prep felt almost effortless, and everything was delicious. I gave some friends a few WW recipes and was amazed and pleased at how yummy and undietish it tasted. We had a creamed spinach that was absolutely decadent: and only one point!

I woke up early and went to a Turkey Trot organized by some other local WW leaders.  Around 60 people showed up and we took a lovely trot down the shoreline. The weather was chilly but sunny and really perfect. I think the course was around 5k. I walked out, enjoying a nice chat with one of the members from my Mon night meeting. When we got to the turnaraound point, I was feeling nicely warmed up and was really in the mood to try to run. I told myself, I’ll go until it doesn’t feel good. Well it felt GREAT the whole time! My ankle did not hurt or feel the least bit unstable. (I was wearing my brace) This made me very happy and something good to feel thankful for (among many).

The rest of the day was wonderful. Great food, laughing and a hilarious game of Apples to Apples.

This morning, though, I woke up and had a very sore throat. Wah. I haven’t been sick in so so so long. But here it is. I’ve had a regular flu shot but not an H1N1. I am hoping for the best. I hope I am well for my WW meeting on Sunday morning –this is not a good time to try and find a sub!

I crept out to a Nia class at 9am and took it easy- I felt like I needed to stretch and move, but when I came back that was definitely the big energy expenditure of the day.

Can you believe we had NO – I mean NO turkey leftover? 15 lbs for 15 people, and it just vanished. This made me feel bereft. All that stuffing (pans and pans!) and gravy and potatoes and EVERYthing — but NO TURKEY. So I stopped at the grocery and bought a 5 lb turkey breast and just roasted it. YUM. (why don’t I do this more often? It’s so easy! and yummy!) It was even better than the big turkey yesterday.

Is it starve a cold, feed a fever? Whatever it is, I am in eating mode.  YUM TURKEY.

And then… nap. Ahhhhhhh.

PS. Anybody have any ideas for leftover shrimp? We had shrimp cocktail as an app yesterday, and there’s about a pound leftover. I thought… shrimp salad, for sandwiches? Any other ideas?

 

Does Thinner = Happier? November 25, 2009

Tonight on Biggest Loser, Amanda (while bawling her eyes out) said, “I’m the happiest I’ve been in my whole life.” Ironic and odd, but true. I found myself nodding.

The conventional wisdom says that overweight people (who? Santa Claus???) are “jolly.” But you know, I had a cloud following me around during all of my overweight years. The heavier and less in-shape I was, the more unhappy I was. I’d say that I felt fairly grim much of the time, and had glimmers of happiness now and then.

I can pretty much say that this past year has been one of the happiest years in memory. I’m happy pretty much every single day. I’m smiling like a fool a LOT. I laugh out loud every day. I have some hard moments, but THOSE are the moments in an overall sea of feel-good. I think I must be just zipping along on endorphins or something.

I didn’t do a whole recap of BL tonight but I did watch. It was the 11th week and man was it moving. They kept flip-flopping between the before and afters.It was so moving. You know people have all kinds of disparaging things to say about this show. It’s “exploitive.” But do these people who went from wheezing, unhealthy and absolutely MISERABLE feel exploited?? Hell no. They feel like they’ve been given a second chance at life. And they HAVE.  And from previews of the “Where are they now?” show (airing tomorrow) I do think that more than 50% of them have managed to keep their weight off and stay healthy. I hope I can be one of those people, a year from now.

Speaking of a year from now, one of my newest goals is to qualify to join the National Weight Loss Registry. This is a group of people who have “lost significant weight and kept it off.” You have to have lost at least 30 lbs and kept it off for more than one year. If I can manage to maintain my loss until next August, I will be eligible to join this special group. I really, really want it. And it’s a great “eye on the prize” thing to keep focused on.

Tomorrow is my first WW group’s first weigh-in. I am excited for them, and nervous for them. I hope they get good news. I hope they had a good week. The thing that is cool about these at-work meetings is that everyone starts on the same day, so they are going along all at the same pace. I’m going to give them a big pre-Thanksgiving pep talk, but also remind them to enjoy Thanksgiving without guilt. I was interested to read the WW CEO’s take on Thanksgiving. I think it makes sense and goes along with my “be mindful and don’t suffer” motto.

I am excited about Thanksgiving. SUPER excited. My girls will be coming home, and friends and family will be visiting. We will have a combination of delicious low-point dishes, and some extra- decadent desserts (my girl is making Nutella pecan pie! YOW!). I plan to enjoy myself thoroughly.

I am so thankful this year. I am incredibly thankful. For my health, for my family. I am thankful that I chose to give MYSELF a second chance at life, instead of sinking low when I got that diagnosis. I am thankful to my awesome trainer. I am thankful to the myriad of great friends who have supported me during this journey, and who continue to stick by me. I’m thankful for my new job, which inspires me every day. And for the members I meet who are on the path. I’m just thankful for life. It’s really good.

————-Edited to Add:

I’ve mulled this over quite a bit since writing it last night. And I have come to a different conclusion. I’m not happier because I’m THINNER. I’m happier for two reasons: one, I am fit and healthy (and yes, filled with endorphins). I’m also happier (way happier) because my relationship with food has changed. I’ve been this weight before, and still tortured about food (I’m remembering this now). This is BIG. It’s HUGE. So it’s not about what size I am. It’s that my whole outlook on all of it has changed dramatically. Huh. I’ve never been in this place before, in spite of years of therapy and compulsive-food support groups and a million books read, etc.

So it’s not about being thinner. That just happens to be a coincidental byproduct. It’s more about how I approach ALL of it. Light bulb moment!!

 

A Reader Asks: “Dear Foodie…” November 23, 2009

I got an email from a reader recently! Asking for my opinion regarding her teenaged daughter. First of all, I am honored that anybody would ask my opinion on ANYthing.  Let me say that I am not a big expert at this – far from it -(just read my posts from January!!) but I do have some thoughts about most things and am glad to share what I’m thinking. So that’s just it… my opinion.  Here’s the question.

Q: I have a 16-year-old daughter who would like to lose weight but doesn’t get a lot of exercise. I think she would die rather than go to a WW meeting. We already tend to keep healthy foods around the house, and she makes fairly good food choices compared to a lot of American teenagers. But without tracking her eating, and without a lot of exercise, she doesn’t lose weight. Any suggestions for how to help a teen in this kind of situation?

I suppose one answer would be to help her learn to track points on her own, using my WW materials but without having to enroll herself. But I am not sure she will have the discipline to track, and I don’t want to put myself in a position of having to bug her or be the bad guy about food — I fear that the more involved I get, the more likely it is that she will say, “f— you, Ieave me alone, I’m going to eat whatever I want.”

Well, I’ve been mulling this over for a few days now. It’s a big answer! A long answer. With many facets and layers. Without writing an entire BOOK on the subject, here are my thoughts.

Motivation: This is one of the biggest factors in being able to lose weight, I believe.  Mathematically, I think that M (motivation) must > All Those Factors Conspiring Against Weight Loss (love of foods, emotions, environment, inertia, etc) or else it can’t work. And to be honest, I did not find sufficient M in my life until I was 49 years old. (do not use me as an example! just sayin!) My motivation was Health, pure and simple. And until I found that particular motivation, my M was ALWAYS < All Those Factors.

When I was 16, being motivated by health was the LAST THING on my mind. Hell, it was the last thing on my mind when I was 40. I just felt like I could do Whatever for However Long, and it would not catch up with me.

SO is it hopeless? NO. You just need to help this 16 yr old figure out her OWN motivations, which can be similarly compelling, just different. They are much more likely to be socially based, like, “I want to feel comfortable in a bathing suit.” “I want to be able to look good in any outfit at Urban Outfitters.” “I want to feel HOT.” (or whatever) One of the best tools for this is the Beck Diet Solution, which helped me a LOT at the start of my journey. It is all about tapping into one’s own particular Motivation and keeping that front-and-center at all times. Because it is SO easy to just Not Care.

The other thing is to separate Her desire to lose weight, from Your desire to have her lose weight (because you know she will be happier and healthier). For many many years, I could not FIND my own desire/motivation because it was clouded and all tangled up by what I PERCEIVED to be my spouse’s desire for me to lose weight. And I rebelled against this big-time. For YEARS. I couldn’t focus on what I wanted to do because I thought I was doing it for HIM, and that was a major losing proposition all the way around. It upset me and made me want to eat more. Which I did. So you have to take a deep breath and let her know that it’s HER choice/decision etc and not yours, even though you are there to support her.

HOW to do it? I do not know if tracking is the answer for a 16 y old, although it might be intriguing for her, just on a curiosity level. To just lay it out mathematically, pure and simple. Once she’s decided that she is motivated, it’s just a matter of math. Calories in have to < Calories out.  Part of losing weight means being more conscious and knowing what you are doing in that regard. I wonder if she would like having something like a Body Bugg, which measures calorie output. (I want one sooooooooooooo bad!!!!!! Santa please!) You know that people constantly underestimate the # of calories they eat (why tracking is so useful!) and overestimate their calories burned. So it’s a great reality check tool.

It might be interesting for her to just try tracking food FOR ONE DAY. Just to see. Just to understand WHY her body might be hanging on to some weight. It could be illuminating.  But you are RIGHT about not bugging her or being the bad-guy Tracking Police, because that will blow up in your face faster than you can say deep-dish pizza with extra cheese. She’s gotta find her own method.

Support: Losing weight can be a very isolating, sucky experience. It pretty much was for most of my life. But it can also be super fun and awesome and exciting if you have the right friends. (shout-out to EVERYONE who blogs, tweets, reads and comments with me!) Does she have any friends who might want to be her weight-loss buddy? This would make it so much less mortifying and “oh shit I am the only loser who needs to do this.”  YES, I can see her not wanting to be caught dead with all us Oldsters at WW. (although there is a nice 17 yr old who comes in with his mom to one of my meetings, he is awesome!) So I think it will be absolutely critical for her to find others HER AGE who are on the same path. There are plenty of way-cool bloggers who are much younger than me, who could be great role models. (PEOPLE- HELP ME OUT: can you recommend any cool teen weight-loss bloggers?)

She needs to find some form of activity that she considers Fun. Again, doing it with a Buddy is going to make ALL the difference.  I think having something like a pedometer (measuring steps per day, and doing a mini-competition? With prizes??? :-)) or a Body Bugg would be fabulous.

Lastly: Dara Chadwick blogs about girls, moms, weight and self-esteem. She’s written this great book. I bet she’d be able to give you even more informed and useful advice.

I think you are an AWESOME mom for your concern and wanting to support your kid in this way.  It’s fantastic that she already has your support and that you already have healthy food around. The biggest thing is to gently guide her in choosing her OWN path that she wants to take.

Those are my two cents for the moment but I really hope that lots of readers will chime in with comments. Help me out, folks!

 

Don’t Fear the Weigh-er November 16, 2009

I just got back from a 4-day retreat that featured some extremely delicious and “clean” food. I pretty much tried to keep it intuitive and mindful and all that but I DID indulge in some beautiful apple crisp (with whipped cream) one night, and some lovely sherry pound cake (with whipped cream) another night. Those people really do know how to make the most divine whipped cream. So I was a little worried. BUT I did get activity in every day – a couple long walks, and then my little trip home to test my blood and do that awesome 14 minute workout, and it was pretty good.

So I was relieved and happy to see that I weighed less when I came home, than I did last week before leaving. That was a real affirmation. Yay. And it reinforced my dearly held belief that I can eat yummy things like dessert with whipped cream and still lose weight.

At the end of this week I have a big staff meeting at WW, a “Tune-Up” to let us know about program changes for 2010. On the national staff message boards, it seem that some of these meetings across the country have included surprise weigh-ins. OH BOY. This threw me into a bit of a tizzy for a little bit.  But then I realized, you know, I should be ready to be weighed in ANY DAY of ANY WEEK, and not worry about it. Yeah right? I thought of calling my supervisor and asking if this was going to happen, but then I realized… what? That if he says “no,” it gives me license to eat like a horse and not work out? And if he says “yes” I’m going to start scrimping on the food? NO NO NO.

I decided to not ask. I decided to just calm down and stay mindful. I decided that my goal is to stay at my same weight that I was this morning. If I do that, I am fine.

But anyone who has faced that scale knows the funny little game playing that can go on. To have a big “cheat day” the day after a weigh-in. To eat hardly anything the few days leading up.  The same thing can happen to staffers, you know. We have our weigh-ins near the first of the month. So the prospect of being weighed on the 20th, was like, UH OH! But that is dangerous thinking. I have to keep telling myself, this is for real, for good, for every day.  Sure, Things Happen, but I’m not going to PLAN to go off program and gain weight just because I think I’m not going to be weighed for a while.

In other news, I took up the challenge to do Jillian’s 30-Day Shred again. I hadn’t done it in a while but I remembered that I liked it. Well, it kicked my little booty! I did the Level 2, and used my brand new 8 lb weights. OH MAN. I was a sweaty mess after 20 minutes. I have to say, that Shred is the most efficient workout thing EVER. And I will do it again tomorrow! I might not do it every single day, ie I will not do it when I see my own trainer because IMHO that is total overkill. But I will do it every other day.

I start my two new At-Work meetings this week! One of them is (almost) all women and the other one is (almost) all men! Won’t that be interesting!! I am enlisting the help of the ever-awesome Jack Sh*t to help me keep the men entertained. (did you see his great post on why losing weight is like sex? LOL) I’m really looking forward to it. Today I got a big box of leaderish office supplies via UPS, including about ten million large paper clips. What will I do with those? They will probably last me until my retirement at the age of 103.

 

It’s a Big Blue World Diabetes Day! November 14, 2009

Today is World Diabetes Day! Last year on this day, I had no idea what this meant. I had no idea that I had pre-diabetes at the time, and I surely did. I knew nothing. This year is so different.

Today I participated in The Big Blue Test, which consisted of diabetics the world over simultaneously testing their blood sugar at 2:00pm, then exercising for 14 minutes (because it’s November 14th!) and then re-testing. I happen to be out of town this weekend. I also happened to have left my blood testing meter at home (bad me). But this was really important to me so I slipped out of the retreat I’m attending and went home to test, exercise, test. It was about an hour after I had eaten lunch so I thought it would be pretty high. But happy surprise, it wasn’t. It was 118 at 2:00pm, which is pretty darned good. Then I jumped rope for a while, did some lunges with weights for a while, and rowed on the rowing machine, until I had totalled about 14 minutes. Tested again: 76!!!!!!!! I was floored!

This was  real eye opener for me. I know that exercise is really good and beneficial for one’s blood sugar. But I had now idea HOW effective, and how IMMEDIATE it is. I mean, wow. It made me feel really happy. And also really sheepish that I have been rather slackish about testing my blood. It’s been generally really really good, so I figured, it must always be really good.  But I’m planning on testing at least once or twice a day, promise.

The American Diabetes Association has introduced a new site called Diabetes Act Now. It’s got some great features:

·         A virtual diabetes health care professional who explains why people with diabetes need to know their ABCs (A1C – a measure of average glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol).

·         A personal dashboard where users can track their progress and select action plans.

·         A library of videos designed to help users make easy lifestyle changes to improve their diabetes numbers.

·         A new interactive widget provides users with diabetes-related content and resources that can be accessed directly on their personal desktops.

·         You can check out the PSA’s for the campaign on YouTube here:  English / Spanish

·         There’s also an official Twitter account for the campaign at http://www.twitter.com/diabetesactnow.

It’s a cool animated site designed to increase awareness and easy actions. Do YOU know what your blood pressure, cholesterol and fasting blood glucose numbers are? It’s a good idea to get them checked even if you think are super healthy. Just to be sure.

 

 
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