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Time Squeeze

Well, I’m in one of those places where I have so much to blog about but not enough time. This upcoming week is going to be CRAZY. I’m finishing up one of my classes which means I have mega papers to read and grade; I’m doing my final week of training before the MARATHON; I’m squeezing in a ton of work because next week (the day after the marathon!) I am taking off for Costa Rica (this does not even seem REAL to me) to help my BFF celebrate her 50th Bday. (one great thing about turning such a nice round age is that your friends all have these great celebrations!)

But there is so much on my mind. These are the things I would love to blog about when I catch a minute sometime.

  1. I’ve just recently had several spontaneous Twitter conversations about people who want to know how to deal with good friends who are very overweight or unfit. I have soooooo many thoughts on this. My short two cents on it: “Love ’em and leave ’em alone.” But it’s a lot more complicated than that, and I want to write about it.
  2. My aspirations for Fitbloggin‘ 2011 and how sad I am to have missed all the fun at 2010 last weekend.
  3. Why running is not like riding a bicycle. Even though I cannot ride a bicycle.
  4. How I got a little lackadaisical with the diabetes monitoring and then woke up. Again.
  5. “Feeling fat.” That’s gonna be a big one. It was inspired by reading this.
  6. And also inspired by a recent incident of TERRIBLE vanity-sizing in which I tried on a size 12 garment that I bought in 1982, and it WOULD NOT BUTTON.
  7. Geneen Roth’s hot new book, Women Food & God and how I think its message is more aligned with Weight Watchers than a lot of people seem to believe.

As always, I will take votes for which ones to tackle first! When I have a minute. Maybe on an airplane. Wait, are they going to have Wi-Fi in Costa Rica? Uh oh.

I’ve Got Mail! Yay!


Mailbox

Originally uploaded by cindy47452

This morning, when I woke up and opened my computer, I found an email from my dear spouse. He usually wakes up about 2 hours before I do, and he likes to peruse the online news. Most days he will send me an article that he finds interesting, and about half an hour after I get up, he’ll ask, Didja read that thing I sent you?

Today he sent me an article from the Wall Street Journal. Basically it’s about the myriad benefits of exercise, in addition to weight loss. It’s the fountain of youth! It’s Prozac in sneakers, and chicken soup on a treadmill. In other words, it helps just about anything.

Regular workouts may help fight off colds and flu, reduce the risk of certain cancers and chronic diseases and slow the process of aging.

I immediately downloaded the article into my “healthy articles” file, and forwarded it to a bunch of other WW buddies. Then I stopped and laughed.

A year ago (just a year! really!) if he had sent me the same article (which he did, regularly, for about 3-4 years), I would have glanced at the title, read a sentence or two, snarled something hostile and punched the DELETE key. He did gently try to prod me in the direction of health and fitness for years, but I really was not having anything of it. I would respond by finding my own obscure articles about how moderately overweight people lived longer than normal-weight people, or about the prevalence of sports injuries (LOL). I was a prime example of that unfertile soil that is just NOT ready to sprout any seeds. (I think this was a Bible parable I learned at camp once, and it was also a song in Godspell)

I felt like HE wanted me to lose weight. (well, I guess he did. He did want me to be healthy) Which made me adamantly OPPOSED to the idea of losing weight. This fell into the “What, you think I’m fat?!?” category. Never mind that I KNEW I was fat. And miserable. And unable to climb stairs without getting winded. And only able to fit into elastic waisted pants.

That’s how it used to be with Weight Watchers, too. It’s a great program. It’s always been a great program. But for so many years I was just not ready to hear about it, think about it, much less DO IT. Now that I’m, as woo-woo types will say, “open to it,” it all kind of pours in and I’m like, “Wow! This is so great!!” I pore through the program materials and it all just seems BRILLIANT. Ha ha.

But it just does go to show that:

1. It’s all about timing.
2. You have to be doing it for YOU and not for anyone else.
3. When you’re ready, the teachers are there.

Another aside: The latest season of Biggest Loser begins tonight! How happy am I that Tuesday night is the ONLY weeknight I don’t have a WW meeting!! I’m getting my box of tissues ready. Yeah yeah yeah, I know we’ve been through the argument a hundred times before, but I stand my ground. I love this show and to witness people changing their lives for health. It does not fail to move me.

Goals for 2010

Are these resolutions? I don’t know. They’re more like a list of things I want to accomplish in the coming year. Many of them are kind of ambitious. I have to say, that having the success I did here in 2009 has boosted my confidence for ANY goals. So I am ready to take these on.

Here goes. In 2010, I hereby declare, I intend to:

  1. Complete a half marathon on February 7th. Given the state of my ankle, any sort of locomotion (walk/jog/run) is fine with me, as long as I complete in the allotted time, which I believe is at a 14min/mile pace.
  2. RUN one-quarter of the first Oakland Marathon on March 28th. YAY Team Penguin!!
  3. Qualify to join the National Weight Control Registry. If I maintain at least a 30 lb weight loss by June 23,  2010, I will qualify.
  4. Pitch, write and publish an article (hopefully about the benefits of blogging for health and weight loss) in Weight Watchers magazine. It would make me no less than ecstatic if I could somehow merge my health and writer selves.
  5. Fit into my 1988 wedding dress.
  6. Become a WW Diamond Leader by the end of 2010. This means being in the top 20% of leaders in the country – in terms of members losing weight and being successful, and a few other parameters. This would be so awesome!
  7. I might keep adding to this list as the year goes on.

My Winter Coat

It’s been really cold these days, so I’ve been wearing my winter coat a lot. I remember so distinctly buying this coat about a year ago. We were going to visit our daughter in her Chilly Midwestern Town, and I needed a really warm coat. So I went to the local outdoor gear store looking for a winter jacket.

I will never forget that day. It was such a low point for me. I remember trying on about a dozen coats, all sized large. None of them came even close to fitting me. I was fighting back tears, in a terrible mood, and so upset. Could I not find ONE coat that I could zip up without suffocating??

After a long time, I did find one coat: a black, down-filled, boxy size XL jacket. It was like the last one on the rack. I was so relieved to zip it up and it actually fit. I bought it on the spot and then rushed home.

So now it’s one of the few warm items I own (it doesn’t usually get THAT cold here, but this week has been Different). It is pretty huge on me now. I think about getting a smaller, more stylish warm jacket. But I feel emotionally attached to this one. I feel like, this was the only jacket that let me in, when all the other jackets rejected me. I dunno.

I got rid of a pretty big pile of some of my nicest “larger” clothes over Thanksgiving. I gave them to a friend who is a few sizes behind me on the weight loss journey. It was a scary thing to do. I wasn’t just getting rid of big old trash, I was giving away some of my nicest items. I said to her, I hope I never, ever, ever have to knock on your door and ask you to give me this stuff back. It was an emotional moment for me.

This is one of the biggest gifts of losing this weight: to really be able to go into ANY STORE I WANT and find SOMEthing that will fit me. In some stores, I’m still on the large end of things, but I can find stuff that fits. In other stores, I am at the smaller end, and THAT is certainly a new experience. It continues to amuse me that I have sizes in my closet that range over six sizes, and they all fit me perfectly. Dumb clothing companies.

Clothes Shopping, Yay

imagesAs I have mentioned here many times before, I am not much of a clothes person. But I seem to be turning into one!  I used to regard clothes shopping with about as much enthusiasm as going to the dentist, but that has changed.  For one, I have to have nice-looking clothes especially as a WW leader. This stuff matters, and they tell you so.

I just realized that I have a fairly decent assortment of new-sized summerish clothes, but I have pretty much ZERO new-sized fall or winter clothes. O boy! So yesterday I had a little window of time and I went down to the outdoor mall near here. They have a new J. Crew store.  That used to be the store that I dreammmmed about when I was, um, larger sized. I could not buy anything in their catalog or store – it was all just too small. And looked bad on me. I used to dream (and this was akin to dreaming about winning the lottery, or bringing about world peace) that I could just open up any catalog or go to any store, and I’d find SOMEthing that looked good and fit. But that was not the case for many, many years.  Thank goodness for J. Jill with their flowing, oversized clothing. Thank goodness for classy, expensive, boxy Eileen Fisher whose clothing I could only afford to buy in small quantities so I had one pair of (elastic waist!) pants and I wore those pants every day for like three years. Ugh.

(OH – speaking of Eileen Fisher, I would like to gift someone a gorgeous pair of dark-dark green velvet Eileen Fisher pants. They are a size PM – petite medium- ie, for short people! and my guess is that they are an equivalent to maybe size 10-12. I only wore these beautiful pants a few times — I bought them when I could BARELY squeeze into them, and wore them once, while not breathing. Then, crazily, I lost weight and now they are baggy droopy.  So they have probably been worn half a dozen times. Or less. LET ME KNOW if you are interested and I would be glad to give them to someone for the upcoming holiday season. They are not elastic, they have an actual zipper!)

Anyway, back to my shopping yesterday. I was so happy to be walking around the J. Crew store. There was too much pretty stuff to look at.  I tried on a whole bunch but only ended up buying this corduroy skirt, and some dark charcoal tights. Now I need to get something to go with the skirt. Like boots. And something on top. I have super duper short legs, so I usually end up buying mini skirts, and it looks a lot longer on me. (ha) After J. Crew, I went next door to J. Jill and I was completely shocked to see that I pretty much wear a size S in everything there. And sometimes an XS. Wowee. And still, it’s too … er, flowy- to look so good. Although I did see this velvet (I love velvet!) vest thingie that I think I might spring for at some point.

Once again, I am semi-fretting over What to Wear for my WW final exam meeting tomorrow, but I think I will just go with what I wore at the training weekend. Although everytime I try this dress on, my husband says, “I’m not wild about it.” And he likes the way I look in a LOT of stuff so this must mean this dress is pretty ugly. I don’t really get it.  But it fits the slinky-plus-flowy combo rule, and it’s comfy, and it’s different than what I wear to work as a receptionist, which seems important.  I wish I had time to buy boots and a top for my new skirt, but that just isn’t going to happen today, so…….

hopefully by the time I log in here again I’ll be official!

Unless I decide to live-blog Top Chef tonight. 🙂 Which I might.

The Company Party

Yesterday was WW’s local “Celebrations” party in which staff were given awards for various things, people got to meet and mingle, and there was some delicious food with nice little signs that detailed the ingredients and points-values. How considerate!! There was a nice spinach salad with dressing on the side, and a variety of wrap sandwiches, and some trays of 1-and-2- point cookies that had been custom baked. Wouldn’t it be nice if ALL restaurants and parties did this… gave you all the information you needed to make great choices?

Anyway, it was fun. I’ve actually never worked for a large company before, so it was all new to me. People got awards for working for 5, 10, 15, 20, and (really!!) 25 years! Which was pretty amazing. There were also awards given for Diamond Leaders, who are in the top 20% of leaders nationwide as far as having their members lose weight and sticking with the program until they reach Lifetime. Then they gave out awards for people who had helped members lose 100 lbs or more. Leaders told some very moving stories; one woman lost over 200 lbs this year. Then everyone (including me!) got gift certificates from Lands End, which was pretty nifty! I had no idea that was coming, so it was nice.

After the party I zipped over to the airport, but I didn’t really need to zip, because my flight was delayed over an hour. I’m accompanying my spouse while he’s at a conference.  At the airport, I was sooo tired and sleepy and bored, and I realllllly wanted a Starbucks hot chocolate for some reason, but thanks to Twitter, I got talked down and made it onto the flight without doing anything regretful.

I have set up a new Twitter account (not my Foodie one) that I’m going to use when I start leading meetings. I am toying with the idea of using Twitter to support my members. I can’t even express how much my Twitter friends have helped me stay accountable, and feel supported, over and over again. (case in point last night)

Coincidentally, I received a very long and detailed email from the Powers That Be over at WW this morning, explaining what we can and cannot say or do regarding WW online. I guess that includes this blog. OK, it DOES include this blog.

So, according to rules, I am stating for the record,

“I am a Weight Watchers employee writing about my personal experience on plan. The views expressed are my own and do not reflect the views of Weight Watchers.”

I hope I’m not being desrespectful when I say that this additional statement from the memo made me laugh out loud: if you choose to write a blog posting about how much you enjoy shopping with your daughter, your relationship with Weight Watchers would be irrelevant and you would not need to disclose it to the community.

Ha! But seriously, it was good that they clarified their stance. Which makes it easier for me.

SO. This hotel has a very very nice fitness center. I was all set to roll on down there this morning. I have my sneakers, my socks, my ankle brace, my iPod and armband, and my sports bra. And that’s IT. I forgot my workout clothes!! I knew I was in too much of a hurry yesterday. So I am going to have to take a walk over to the mall (20 minutes each way, yay) and pick up some exercise duds. I really wanted to workout before breakfast, but that unfortunately did not happen since the mall does not open until 10. I had a beautiful healthy breakfast! And now it’s 9:40, time to head out! Have a great weekend, people!

Follow the (Almost) Leader!

It feels like I’ve been waiting a long time for this day. Today I go to WW leader training  (today through Saturday). I’m excited. I’m nervous. Crazily, the pounds that leaped onto my body earlier this week are now gone. I have to say I don’t really understand this stuff. It’s not like I starved myself or ran a marathon yesterday. Maybe it was water retention. But whatever, I’m back in range and glad about that (whew).

The instructions were to pack two days of “regular” clothes and one day of “dress-up” clothes where we are supposed to simulate leading a meeting and looking as Nice (and probably, as skinny!) as possible. Of course I am fretting and deliberating over this. I’ve never really had a job where Appearance was an important aspect of the work. I remember when I was working as my first job – as a physical therapist – I’d be leaving my apartment building – in navy blue pants and a polo shirt, and big white sneakers – and the corporate neighbors in their suits and high heels would be all, “Hey, you have a day off today?” LOL.

I’ve had other jobs where I’ve had to look DECENT, but where it just wasn’t the main thing. In WW, it is really crucial that not only do you look good, you look healthy. I’ve been tearing things out of my closet all morning. Do I wear Spanx? (LOL) I think maybe I do.

I’ve got a ton of things to do before I hit the road – like get a mani-pedi (my fingernails look like some wild beast has been gnawing on them – oh yeah, maybe it has!) and get my eyebrows tamed. They’re looking like fuzzy bear caterpillars about now.

I have no idea what the Internet/time situation will be once I get there, and how much I will be able to share, but I will try to report back when I can. Byeee everyone, wish me luck!!

Measuring Up, Writing Down

images-1I took my measurements today, for the Biggest Loser challenge.  I still have a bit to lose at my waist, which is 32″ at the smallest level. According to J. Crew size charts, this puts me at size 14-ish for most clothes, and I’m off the chart for Petites, which I am height wise. I’m definitely still an apple. But it doesn’t make sense, because a size 14 would be pretty swimmy on me right now. How can anyone really order stuff online?

Bust: 38″  Waist: 32″  Hips: 38″  Arm: 9″ Thigh: 18″

I’m not sure about my BL goal, but let me just say I would be OVERJOYED if I could get my waist under 30″. Anything, even 29.999″ would be fantastic. This is truly where my body fat all concentrates, and I still have big handfuls of it. And the part where it’s the most dangerous for one’s health. According to WebMD,

Are You an Apple or a Pear?

So how do you tell if you have more belly fat than is healthy?

  • To measure your waist circumference, place a tape measure around your waist at the smallest point, which is usually just above the navel. A waist size of 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women is generally considered to indicate increased health risk.
  • Waist-to-hip ratio is calculated by measuring your waist at the smallest point and your hips at the widest point — usually at the widest part of the buttocks — and dividing the waist measurement by the hip measurement. A waist-to-hip ratio of greater than 0.9 for men and 0.8 for women is generally considered high risk.

My waist-to-hip ratio is o.84 – high risk! So my goal for the BL challenge is to get my ratio down UNDER .8.

I like this goal. It’s a reasonable one for me, and something I hope I can do in 12 weeks or so, and it’s medically the next thing I need to do for my health. When I began this in January I think my waist circumference was around 37″. So I’ve definitely come a long way, but I’d like to go that last bit more.

In other measuring news, I’ve been counting my WW points yesterday and today. It’s illuminating! Let me say that for SURE I have been eating wayyy over my points since reaching Lifetime, and I am just lucky that whatever activity I’ve been doing has allowed me to maintain at that level. Once I started writing things down, it became obvious to me that if I were doing WW again actively now (ie in LOSS Mode rather than Maintain Mode) I’d be needing to eat a lot less food. Which makes sense.

And it has showed me how I’ve gotten kind of complacent and kind of “I can get away with that!” And how some habits have crept in. I’ve gotten into the habit of eating a WW or Skinny Cow frozen bar after dinner most nights.  Or some sugar free tapioca pudding – some small dessert that is in the 90-100 calorie range. But last night, as my husband was “taking orders” from the freezer after dinner (we all have our favorites) I thought, do I really need this? Do I want it? I was already plenty full from dinner. But I like to have something sweet after dinner. A frozen bar is only one point. But I said no, and instead I had a sugarfree caramel/butterscotch hard candy thing. Which has like 5 calories. I felt fine, and satisfied my little sweet craving, and I didn’t have that 100 extra calories (which over a week = 700)

So it was good to remember this, something I was a lot more conscious of last spring, but which has slipped. I know that pretty soon I am going to have to be telling people, “You bite it, you write it!” and it really IS good practice to be doing it again myself. They say that people who write down their food lose like 50% more than people who don’t write it down, and I can see why. It does make a difference. I am about to put something in my mouth, and I think, “Do I realllllly want to write this down?” and I think twice.

Every Day? Yeah, Every Day!

280Today’s post is dedicated to MizFit. She has been inspiring me since Day One and today her guest-blog post felt almost psychic.  Her blog post (written by guest George) is about working out every day.

Not too long ago a friend Tweeted me (Twittered me?) and said “Dude you work out every day? You are hard core!” That made me laugh. I do not think of myself as a hard core person, especially in terms of workouts. But gradually over the past months I have come to expect that unless something (see MizFit’s post on what those somethings might be) comes up that makes it impossible, I will work out every day. It used to be that I would work out “when I felt like it.” Which could range from “never” to once or twice a month.  Then I began working out, by schedule and appointment, about 2 times a week, maybe 3x if I was feeling extra hard core (ha).  THEN I started aiming for 4-5x a week. But then I’d forget, “What is the day I don’t work out again?” and eventually it morphed into, if I am alive and breathing, not injured or ill, then I’m working out.

It helps a LOT that I do different things on different days. Some days I run. Some days I go to a Nia class. Some days I go to my trainer and do weights and stuff. Today I woke up in a hotel so I went to the fitness center (a really, really great one!) and did 40 minutes on the elliptical, a bunch of free weight and ball stuff, and some other stuff. When I read the MizFit post, it made me really happy. I was like YEAH! I feel good now, and ready to do all the other things in my day.

SO, in honor of and in gratitude for MizFit and all she says and does, I am doing a giveaway today! I have a wonderful size L women’s T-shirt designed (I think) by Miz herself. I ordered it because I always assume that if something says “womens” then it is automatically very tiny. But this shirt is actually pretty large, and too large for me. I would guess it is about a size 14-ish. Maybe 12. So I am going to be ordering another in a different size for myself, and I am giving this one away.

In order to be eligible to obtain this fantastic piece of apparel, just leave a comment here about your favorite/most used/most creative excuse to NOT exercise, AND what response you can come up with to turn that around so that you DO exercise.  Example:

Excuse: I don’t have enough time. (this is certainly not creative, but it is common)

Response: I have plenty of time. In fact, I am going to ______ while __________ or instead of ________.

OK? Ready set go!

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