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Back on Track March 11, 2010


Sunrise on the train tracks

Originally uploaded by Kathy~

Well, it seems as though the worst has passed (knock knock knock on wood) and I can begin to re-focus a bit. Thanks to EVERYone who sent me/us support and encouragement. It’s been stressful and I don’t think it’s over by a long shot, but I do think I can regroup some.

Yesterday I did the first real workout in a week. It felt good. I realized that it actually felt good to do weight training (as opposed to cardio/running). It seemed to help me feel grounded somehow, grounded in my body. That was kind of interesting. Today I am going to do some more intensive cardio, on the megaflights of stairs at the cemetery (with my trainer).

Last night I led a WW meeting and my supervisor showed up. He asked me, “How’s your weight?” GULP. Um. I dunno. We are supposed to record (in the system) our weights by the 10th of each month (which is today). I was like, I can’t face this. He told me to weigh myself on each of the four scales in the center (what kind of hell is that?). Which is supposed to desensitize one from freaking out at a number. He was extremely calm and nonjudgmental and just, “Okay.”

It was a pretty eye-popping number for me. I was like, OKAY! The pity party is officially OVER. I’m no longer in Maintenance mode. I’m squarely back into LOSE mode.

Which, I have to say, is not a bad thing.

This morning I cracked open my fresh new Three-Month tracker.

Who’s with me?

 

Losing or Learning? October 27, 2009

muffinOne of the phrases (and there were many!) that really stuck in my brain from WW training was, “You either have a losing week, or a learning week.” I LOVED this, because it takes away the notion of failure. If we don’t lose weight, what can we learn from that, from our behavior, that we can change if we want to have a losing (or maintaining) week the next time? I must repeat that refrain in my head a dozen times a day.

I am having a big-time learning week. First, I learned that it really IS hard to lose or maintain when I eat out in a restaurant like 5 meals in a row, even if I am trying to make healthy choices. Part of it is the food is just TOO GOOD, and I lose sight of necessary portion control.  Also, we really do not know for sure what is IN the food we eat at restaurants. Then, especially for me, there’s the social aspect, which is sooo distracting. All that adds up to, even with the best intentions, an inevitable weight gain. SO I am making a resolution to really cut down/minimize my restaurant eating as much as possible, from now until December.

As if that weren’t enough, I came home to even more of a delusional bubble. Some part of my brain seems to believe that as a WW staff person I have donned some invisible cloak of immunity, ie, I can do anything and not gain weight. NOT! OMG!  But there’s a little devil on my shoulder this week, poking me and saying, “This won’t count!” and other lies.

Here was my lesson for this morning.  I am particularly vulnerable in the fall, because of colder weather, upcoming holidays, and special things like PUMPKIN TREATS. I am such a sucker for pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bars, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin EVERYthing. I especially love pumpkin muffins. But I have resisted them… until today. I just freaking wanted one. So I got one. And I ate it.

And this is what I learned:

  1. It tasted really good.
  2. But not THAT GOOD.
  3. I felt a little bit sick after I ate it, because I am not used to eating sweet carbs for breakfast anymore.
  4. It did not sustain me. I was hungry pretty quickly, like 90 minutes after I ate it.
  5. I really don’t know how many points it was, but it was anywhere between 6 (best case scenario, which I doubt) and 11. (ACKKKKKK!) Which is like half of my points for the ENTIRE DAY.
  6. It probably was very very bad for my blood sugar but I did not test it right away so I don’t know. :-(
  7. Bottom line? Yeah, it tasted good, but ultimately….. NWI. (NOT WORTH IT)

So yeah, I learned! I could’ve just craved and desired that pumpkin muffin all day- all week or month- but I am actually glad I ate it because now I know. I know it was fine, but y’know? I don’t need to do that again. Instead I am going to search out some low-point pumpkiny treats, and make those instead for the next time the pumpkin urge hits me.

I’m learning! I’m learning!

(pumpkin muffin photo – and recipe -courtesy of my friends over at Muffin Top!)

 

Finally Bootless! October 14, 2009

I went back to my podiatrist today. The great news is that I get to put that damn cast boot in the closet! The other great news is that he says no surgery for now. The medium news is that I have to trade the boot for a brace that I must wear to do any exercise. I went out and bought it but it does not look very comfy so I admit I have not worn it yet. I will do so tomorrow morning when I go to see the trainer.

This is the longest I have gone without exercise since January. I worked out hard about twice in these past two weeks. I wanted to work out while I was on vacation last week, but it just did not happen, other than a long walk with my friends. I did have good intentions but with so many people to visit with in such a short time, I just mostly ended up sitting around and talking with dear friends and also my daughter, who flew in to spend her 19th birthday with me/us. It was truly blissful, lovely, wonderful, etc. We had a fabulous celebratory meal at the one and only Moosewood restaurant.

The upshot of it is that I gained a few pounds. I am not panicking, because it isn’t any more than I’ve gained on other “off” weeks I’ve had this year. But it’s bad timing because I am going to my WW leader training in two days. I sure as heck hope they will not weigh us, but they probably will. Aghh..

If anything was “worth it,” this was. But I really notice the big difference that these few pounds makes. I notice how it feels to not exercise in so long. (not good) Today I went to Sports Authority to buy my ankle brace and while I was there, I also bought a new fitness ball, a pair of 8 lb weights, and two new exercise DVDs: something called “Yoga for Inflexible People” (that’s me!!) and an on-sale Biggest Loser exercise DVD. I am very very anxious to get back to it.

Tomorrow morning!

 

Weighing In Mess September 11, 2009

I got an email from the WW people saying that my monthly official weigh-in was overdue (it’s taking me a while to understand the rules here) so I thought I’d check out a meeting out here in the Midwest. Found one just a mile from my hotel.

Now this is the deal with Lifetime. You are eligible for free meetings if you are no more than 2 lbs over your Goal Weight. (the weight you were at when achieving LT).  At my last weigh-in, I was almost two pounds UNDER. So today, I was 1.8 lbs over THAT weight, which meant I was .4 lb over my GOAL. (also, the clothes I am wearing are easily .4 heavier than my normal weigh-in outfit) And the weigher tsk-tsked at me and said, “Hmm, 1.8 up. Well, you’re on vacation, right?”

It affected me. WOW. Why did I let it affect me? I sat and steamed through the whole meeting (and btw the leader was TERRIFIC, not the same person as the weigher). It made me think, once again, about how sensitive this whole weigh-in thing is. People who do this can seriously throw people off.  When I do this at my job, I really try to be as positive as possible, as encouraging as I can.

I really liked the meeting, which was about restaurant eating. Speaking of restaurants, my daughter took me to this GREAT place last night. It was so uber-healthy and delicious! You basically go to this huge vegetable bar, load up your bowl, add some protein (if you want) and they stir fry it up and bring it to your table. You have total control of portions, ingredients, etc. It was incredibly yummy.

Anyway, back to the meeting. The leader had everyone fold up their nametags (good way to have people not walking around with tags on all day) and she did a drawing for a prize. The woman next to me said she does this every week. I’ll have to remember this. It was fun – she gave away a journal. I wonder if she gets these things in bulk or whatever, but I thought it was a great idea.

I came back to my hotel for breakfast. They have this free buffet thing with a decent assortment. I headed straight for the hot egg mcmuffin (actually a mcBagel thing). Definitely  not the best choice but I was still all messed up from the stupid weigh in. WHY? And why did it make me make a “bad” choice? I didn’t just have one, but two. (OK, two HALVES so I guess one whole bagel!) NOT a big deal in and of itself, but the fact that I was eating out of pure emotion. Hmmm.

Then after breakfast I was too full to go work out. But I’m not in the mood for hotel gym right now. I’m going to go to that Nia class again. I am hoping it will help calm me down.

Interesting what a crazy cycle it all is. If I had weighed-in at home, I would have felt perfectly HAPPY with my weight, which is just FINE. But that offhand little comment/facial expression whatever, just threw me. It THREW ME ACROSS THE ROOM. It made me eat all emotionally. How stupid is that? Or how…? I don’t know. I’m just feeling all discombobulated right now and I could really use some spacey music (or maybe some geriatric lavender aromatherapy, hm Mizfit?) to calm me down.

 

A Little Nervous Without My Scale August 18, 2009

I’ve been on vacation, celebrating my birthday in high style, since last Friday. Up here on the river, it’s mostly been a very blissful experience, floating about on the water, visiting with friends, eating well, and generally feeling very happy. Yesterday I went for a good run. But I’m feeling a little bit nervous because I don’t know what all this celebrating is meaning for my weight.

I know one friend who brings her scale with her wherever she goes. I actually considered that – we drove up in two cars, so there was plenty of room – but I resisted. But being without it has made me realize how I rely on it to keep on track. I know, I know, there is the whole “throw your scale away!” contingent out there. I realize that I’m not ready to do it. I actually HAVE been known to gain as much as 5 lbs (more?) in a week. And if that happens, I’ll deal with it. But I do think that knowing, on a daily basis, if it has crept up one or two, really does help keep me accountable.

I’m just… curious. On the day of my big birthday party, we had lots of good food. Including cake. I didn’t go WILD but I was nibbling a lot through the day. I had one piece of cake (it was goooooooooood) and luckily for me, we finished it off in one sitting so there were no leftovers.  Last night we went out to dinner. Tonight we’re going to a birthday celebration for my cousin-in-law, who is also staying up here for vacation. I just don’t know what the cumulative effect of all of this is.

It makes me relieved that now that I am a Lifetime member of WW which means I only have to weigh in once a month instead of once a week. I am confident that I’ll be able to get back into range by next month. But if it was a weekly situation, probably not. (sigh) HOW unfair is it that it’s so easy to gain 3-5 pounds in a week, and almost impossible to lose the same?

I guess I will find out when we go home on Friday.  Meanwhile, I’m wondering.

 

Momentum, Lost July 23, 2009

I was worried this would happen – that during this time of year I would be so stressed from coordinating my big family camp, that I would just lose my momentum altogether. And at one point I was all determined that it would NOT happen. But, well, it did, sort of. Not completely. I didn’t go totally off the deep end and eat myself into a stress coma, but I DID lose an entire week of exercise, maybe more. (almost 2 weeks?) I knew in that week before camp that at least a WALK would have done me so much good, but I just… didn’t.  Every day I told myself I’d at least try to get in a walk or a 30 minute Jillian video, but neither of those things happened. Which sort of perplexes me and bums me  out. With ALL that I know about how good and helpful exercise is, I still had this inner resistance. With this voice that said, loudly, I’m too busy. And yes, I WAS busy, but I could have taken 20 or 30 minutes a day and it would have helped. But I didn’t. However, I did continue to make decent food choices during that time.

When I was at camp itself, I wore my pedometer and was walking a minimum of 4 miles a day, just running around doing camp stuff. In addition, I took one good (steep) hike and did one ill-fated run. (more on that later) So I felt good about that. The food at camp… well, it was overall fairly bad but they did have a good salad bar. So that often saved me. But on the last day or two I felt myself sliding a bit. I had a couple cookies. I ate some Cream of Wheat and other stuff I normally wouldn’t. But it wasn’t an all out disaster.

When I got home, I was up a pound or two (I had lost those 2 lbs before I left, so I wasn’t panicking). But the all out disaster came the day after I got home. I had been itching a little at camp. But the day after I got home (yesterday?) I had a huge, terrible outbreak of poison oak. Remember that run I did? Well I was about a mile from camp and had to go to the bathroom REALLY BAD. And you know how uncomfortable it is to run when you have to go. So I went in the woods. And… yeah, I got it THERE.

I have never known such horrible, insane, burning itching! Welts! I couldn’t open one eye. My lips were enormous and weeping fluid. On my face, chest, back, arms, legs… and yeah, THERE. Ugh ugh ugh ugh. I tried to go to my trainer yesterday morning but he took one look, would not come NEAR me and told me to go get a cortisone shot ASAP. I didn’t do that, but I did start taking prednisone. Which has my blood sugars all whacked. But I can’t not do this.

So, I’m stressed. I was so uncomfortable yesterday I didn’t want to MOVE but today I am feeling like things are calming down a bit. I might go for a walk later on.

The worst part? Yesterday I had the worst “food” day ever since January. I was scheduled to make lunch for 30 kids in my daughter’s theater group (they are in all day rehearsals now). She requested homemade mac and cheese (MY NEMESIS). And I think the combination of stress, the poison oak, totally losing my healthy mojo, and I just lost it. Two plates of mac and cheese (don’t even ask how many “portions” that may have been) and two brownies. BROWNIES. Wahh!

What was going through my head? (“Well, my blood sugars are already up from the prednisone, let’s make it even worse! or let’s disguise it.”) Or I don’t even know. I think my head was not working. Did you know that steroids can also make one emotionally and mentally whacked? Let’s blame it on the steroids!

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. And what did I learn from it? I learned that the mac and cheese was not as incredibly awesome as I’d dreamed. In fact, I think the reason I ate so much of it was I was chasing that elusive high, waiting for it to transport me into ecstasy, when it really didn’t. (the brownies, however, were darn good)

So I’ve learned. It’s been a humbling experience. I am ready to get back on the horse or the wagon or the donkey. I know it feels 100x better to act and be healthy than it does to make the unfortunate choices I’ve been making.

I’m glad that there wasn’t HUGE harm done – in the past this period has been much worse and lasted much longer and meant 10-15 lbs gain instead of the two or four that it probably is.

This post is getting really long but I wanted to say another that I learned. You know that quote, “You are what you repeatedly do.” That is so so so true. When I didn’t Tweet for a week, I also lost the momentum of that community and what it does for me. I came back, and I felt…. out of it. It would be so easy to fall away. But I don’t want to. I know that my blogging friends  are still out there, and I really need y’all.

I need a hand up on the wagon. Circle back round for me, will ya?

 

The Other Side of the Scale June 23, 2009

Filed under: diet,emotions,weight — Susan @ 12:23 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I had my first mentoring session at the New Job this weekend. It was so interesting. Pretty much all I did was Observe, but tonight I will begin weighing people in for the first time! (I have to admit I am slightly nervous about this) It’s a big deal, folks!

I went to a center where I don’t normally go, and was mentored by a leader and receptionist who are new to me. They were both really impressive, especially in their handling of people on the scale.

You know it makes such a huge difference when you step up there, and the number is UP, and the weighing person makes a funny noise or groans a little, or just has a regretful look on their face. It’s like a zinger of shame. It feels bad. Sometimes it makes you want to take a running leap off the scale, out the door, and into the nearest ice-cream shop.

Neither of these women did anything like that. They were warm, concerned, kind, matter-of-fact. They didn’t respond with great hoopla over losses, just kind of a restrained “good work!” kind of thing, and they absolutely did not break stride at all if there was a gain. I really did feel as if the members felt cared for. They were both excellent role models.

It was also a meeting with not a huge number of people, and they were able to give everyone their undivided time and attention. The meeting where I normally go can often be a mob scene, and the staff people there often appear rushed and overwhelmed.

Overall, it was another positive experience, and I am looking forward to more.

After I left that meeting, I went to my “home” meeting and.. ta-da!!!!!! MADE MY GOAL WEIGHT. I was happy. I got the little star bling for my keychain, and the booklet about maintenance, and a nice round of applause. I have to say that I am feeling a mixture of excitement, nervousness, apprehension and curiosity about this whole Maintaining thing. We’ll see how it goes, shall we?

 

Not this Time June 4, 2009

Every year about this time, my weight goes up and my fitness level takes a precipitous turn downward.  You see, I have this seasonal job in which the big kahuna event of the year occurs in mid-July. So usually around mid-to-late May, I start cutting back on workouts. I tell my trainer I am too busy to make appointments, and until this year, I never worked out unless I was with him. I was seeing him twice a week, so in May I’d cut back to once, and in June, I’d stop altogether. I’d be massively stressed, working long hours, with no endorphins. The stress eating would ratchet up. Then during the event itself in July, I would eat like there’s no tomorrow. Most people attending this event are horrified at the carb-laden, institutional food (think high school cafeteria) but for me, it kept me literally grounded so I didn’t spin off into space. Sloppy Joes, mac and cheese, pizza: BRING IT ON. Then I would eat for a week or two after the event, and by the end of summer I would be a total walrus.  I’d slink back to my trainer in September, overweight and embarrassed, and we’d start at square one. Again.

Well, it’s June. My event is about five weeks away and I am determined that this is not going to happen. Not this year.

I HAVE A PLAN.

First, I’ve decided to switch to some evening workouts. I have not worked out in the evening very much since.. when? Since I was single? Twenty-five years ago? It’s really hard to wrench oneself out of the house when there are little kid betimes, bath, story and the like. But my kids can bathe themselves now, and they go to bed later than I do. Normally I see my trainer on Wednesday afternoons, which means leaving my work in mid-afternoon. During most of the year this is fine – it’s a part-time job, but in June it just doesn’t work. But instead of cancelling Monday workouts, I am switching to 6pm kickboxing class! YEAH!!!!!! (thanks for all the votes, kickboxing people!)

I’m going to continue to work out every day if possible, either running, going to a classs, going to the gym, SOMETHING. Even when I am AT MY EVENT. I am going to continue to eat as mindfully as possible, ESPECIALLY at the event. (we have switched locations and I am happy to report that the new place has a big giant salad and soup bar, and fresh fruit, and definitely healthier fare) I am not going to get into this summer stress-and-fatness cycle again.

I am excited!

And tonight I’m going to cardio kickboxing class. I didn’t have time to exercise today because I had to take various family members to medical appointments today. Normally if I do not get a workout before afternoon, it just isn’t gonna happen. But I realize I feel really bad if I do not workout now. My friend A just called and said she would come with me!  Yeah! (I put an announcement on Facebook and invited everyone I know to come with me and I think she is the only taker)

Another plus-side to exercising in the evening is that it will hopefully keep me from overeating at dinner. I’m just having a tiny pre-workout snack, and then leftovers when I get home.

Can I say it again? I am excited! I’m changing a pattern I’ve had for the last five years, which I always felt was inevitable. Well guess what? It’s not!

 

Upcoming Blog Topics March 27, 2009

Ooh, there is too much I want to blog about, a LOT on my mind lately, and not enough time. But I want to write about the following in the next few days:

  • people who have successfully lost weight/kept it off without counting calories or points
  • blaming one’s weight gain on others (entities, people, situations, etc)
  • my first run/walk around the local lake AND my first Couch-to-5k session (done!)
  • what people are talking about when they say “dealing with your issues” re food/emotions and why this year might be the first year in my life it might actually happen
  • this week’s episode of the Biggest Loser
  • changing up trainers/exercises/workouts

SO — that’s what’s been on my mind this week! I want to write about it all eventually. What would YOU vote for, for me to write about first?

 

The Tyranny of the Scale March 11, 2009

Filed under: emotions,exercise,weight — Susan @ 4:48 pm
Tags: , ,

I had a mini-meltdown this morning when the scale bumped up one more pound. This is after it bumped TWO pounds last week and I assumed it was “water weight” but it did not go away. I had a moment of feeling completely frantic; ie, feeling like, HOW can this be happening? I am trying my best, I am eating really well, I am exercising 6 days a week. COME ON.

Luckily, I went to my trainer and had a good workout. But still. I was semi freaked. But what is the alternative? Throw it all to hell and gain the 12 lbs back?? And then some?

I pulled out my Beck book. She basically writes there are 3 possible outcomes to weighing oneself:

1. losing weight

2. staying the same

3. gaining weight

Since #3 is the least desirable outcome, and what has indeed happened to me, I’ll outline what the two possible responses are to this.

Sabotaging Thought: I can’t believe this! See, I just can’t lose weight. (YEAH THIS IS WHAT I WAS THINKING ALL MORNING)

She recommends the Helpful Thought “My weight might be up temporarily for hormonal or other reasons.  If my weight doesn’t go down next week, I’ll call my coach and see if s/he can meet me to go over my food plans. Maybe I made some mistakes. Maybe I need to decrease my caloric intake or exercise more. I just need to stay problem solving oriented.

Big quote regarding the scale:

Once I learn to use the scale as information to guide my efforts, dieting will be easier.

I noted this week that Someday’s trainer has advised her to toss her scale altogether. I think this is an impressive approach, I really do, and I wish I were that brave. I think I am not. I am afraid that if I threw away my scale, I would make wrong assumptions about my weight, which would cause more mistakes, more weight gain, and before I know it I’ll be back up there. That’s how I got into this trouble in the first place: I didn’t weigh myself because I “didn’t want to know” and I was in denial about how bad things really were. I think I need my scale still.

I did decide to put in an extra workout tomorrow, and to be super careful about staying within my points/calorie limits. One thing that could be going on: I remember using hecka lot of salt last night. We had these steamed veggies that were so yummy they almost tasted like dessert. But I salted them a LOT. My trainer asked me all these questions and I kept saying, “Yeah! I’m doing that!” and when he mentioned salt, I was like.. “uhhhh…” Whoops.  SO I am also cutting out/down the sodium as much as humanly possible and we’ll see how that goes.

 

 
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