263.4 Re Re Again + Fitbit and Lose It: Never Give Gonna Give [me] Up

I’m baaaaack!  It is official.  I am done with WW.  It does not work for me.  I just haven’t followed through on the online version and I am tired of paying for something I don’t use.  I have been good about weighing myself but tracking points… not so good.

Still I refuse to give up.  I must “health” (not going to use that D word) or die trying… literally.  I started using the Lose It app on my iPad last week and just got a Fitbit.  Using the Lose It app was very easy especially scanning the foods I ate.  Restaurant meals are trickier and I think there is more chance to fudge on calories.  Speaking of calories.  I really like the way it uses calories and not “points” which WW seems to change the calculation formula of periodically.  Calories are calories.

I am going to try using the Fitbit to try to increase my mobility.  Bottom line:  6 months of WW vs price of Fitbit.  I am willing to try it since exercise is such a challenge for me and I know that that is my downfall.  I was going to the gym until various life changes threw me off track (or I let them throw me off track).  Bottom line:  not going to stop trying. : D

261.7 lbs

I’m back! Still trying. Currently eating low carb, gluten-free, low to sugar-free, all natural, as organic and minimally processed as possible. Doing WW Online. I am dabbling with the Primal Diet and Wheat Belly plans + veganish veggies with lots of olive oil. Tomorrow I go back to the gym. I feel like giving up gluten and cutting back on sugar does help reduce the temptation to stray from the healthy path.

Promise to Myself

gym today after work

reality check

255.2  this morning.  Starting a new week. Enough said.

Lost Weekend (Weeks)

252.5  Weighed last Friday and my weight was up.  Then I proceeded to have a series of indulgent days and nights; celebratory Japanese meal with co-workers, lunch with family at gourmet burger joint, stroopwaffle and kettlecorn snacking.  I engaged in comfort eating last week which is why I didn’t lose and don’t expect to lose this week after all the eating and lack of exercise.  I tried to start over this past Sunday but yesterday I ate crap.  I am also not going to the gym.

I am in exactly the kind of place where I began to re-gain all the weight that I lost the last time I did WW.  Stress eating is my downfall.  I am trying to look at this as an opportunity to confront this issue.  I have reset my weigh in day so that tomorrow I start a new week.  I plan to start over.  I did this when I quit smoking over 10 years ago.  I relapsed and then I just went on not smoking.  I can do this.  I believe in myself.

I have to give myself some credit because the only thing I have gotten at a drive-through window during this whole two week episode is an unsweetened Ice tea.  That is progress.  I ams staying home tomorrow but will go to the gym Friday after work.  I can do this thing; take care of myself no matter how stressful and crazy my work/life is.  I have to do this because it is the most important thing.

Looking Up

251.9  Good progress this week.  Watching the “points” count paid off.  Super tired today after springing forward but resisted urge to stop for drive-thru take-out bs food, didn’t make a pit stop at the gas station for a Big Grab of Fritos, didn’t turn off to go to DQ for a big ass vanilla cone, pull into 5 Guys for a little burger with a “small” fries, or pause for any of the other food “rewards” I have given myself in the past.  Went home and had a boca burger (precooked and seasoned – smart of me!) on a toasted flat round and a chocolate Luna bar (nutritious alternative treat) and stayed on course.  Woo hoo!

Got to keep in mind that food is fuel not a reward or a way to “pleasure” myself after a hard day.  Relaxing is a reward.  On track for another good week and that feels like a reward in itself.  I have finally lost 20 lbs and it has taken a year and been a step forward step back kind of thing but that is okay as long as ultimately my cumulative motion is forward.  Yay me!

Motivation Wax On, Wax Off

254.8  Tottering forward, one baby step at a time.  I don’t have a day that I don’t dip into my Weekly WW Points pool but I have lost 5 lbs in 4 weeks, though it only seems to be about half a pound a week at the moment.

I ate the daily WW points allotment today and was starving by tonight even though I ate vegies, fruits, lean meat, yadda yadda yadda.  I just ate 16 points of homemade popcorn (1/8  cup butter and oil combo and 1/2 cup popcorn) washed down with a NA beer and I feel 100% better.  I am craving carbs and I feel that if I deprive myself I am way more likely to fail in the end.

The big step forward is that  I measured the oil and popcorn and figured out how much I was eating.   Also, it was a minimally processed food made from scratch that did not come in a bag with a long list of ingredients.  I had an air popper at one point but honestly the popcorn tasted like poo (cardboard actually, stale and tasteless).  The old school stove top popcorn tastes pretty awesome but not so greasy that it is really bad like the stuff you get at the movies.

Really the big thing I need to move forward on is the exercise piece.  Making excuses not going to the gym.  Tomorrow. I. Will. Go.

I have been watching the MTV show I Used to Be Fat and it is pretty inspiring.

Progress: One Foot in Front of the Other

Friday weigh-in:  255.8.  Got to give Weight Watchers props for helping point out where I pick up a lot of calories; carbs, even though I have cut my carb intake bigtime in the last year, and fats – too much cheese.

Now I am eating 1 oz of cheese a day, a real cheese, where I was eating 4 or more ounces.  I was vegan for a year or so, but going back to dairy is really easy for me because I LOVE cheese.  I am weighing and measuring and last night really struggled not to engage in recreational eating.  I love to have that sweet nightly treat.  Choices, choices.  Just have to make one at a time.

Doing the Kinect workout thing with Your Shape:  Fitness Evolved plus trying to get back to the gym regularly.  I feel like I have a lot of pieces I need for creating the kind of healthy lifestyle that I want and I am figuring out how to put them together.

Break Down: New Start

Okay so I lost 20 lbs last year and gained 8 back and now I am down 3 at 257.  Day before yesterday, I was driving home from work feeling stressed (I have not going to the gym regularly which is an awesome mental boost after about 20 minutes of exercise).  Thought I would have a decaf coffee at Starbucks for a treat, and the one I stopped at is right by a Panera Bread where they have awesome orange scones, so I was thinking, because I have done it before, how much awesomer it would be to have that venti Caramel Macchiatto and *with* an orange scone.  The little voice of reason in the back of my head is going, “Wait, wait wait!”   So I sat there in my car and used my cell phone to join WW Online and went on through the Starbucks drive-through and got the coffee but did not get extra caramel and whipped cream so that was better and went on my way.

Yesterday was the first day of putting in all my points for the day.  Surprise or really, no surprise, my idea of eating sensibly was just a few points shy of double the points allowance for the entire day thanks to my dairy intake (been lovin’ the cheese).   I actually was surprised, though. so I am rethinking what I eat.

Today I officially weighed and started my first official week.  I really didn’t want to go back to WW because I arced and crashed over a two year period the last time I did it.  I figure it worked last time.  If I can ramp my gym going back up and keep the eating sensible.

The good is that I weigh less than I did a year ago so I am starting from a good place.  Going to try and keep everything in perspective.  WW is not a magic bullet.  It is a tool.  I tried to be all gung ho and go to meetings and listen to the talk about food last time.  I felt like it was too food obsessed.

I think some things have changed.  Seems like there is more support for eating natural foods.  Last time I ate a lot of pre-packaged and frankenfood crap because it was “low in points”.  I am going to keep eating quality food, just stuff that is lower in fat and simple carbs.


Crossing Over: 249 lbs

Summer was great! Kudos to myself for all my awesome accomplishments particularly improved food choices and increased activity levels. (Queue smiles and lots of back patting)

I have lost almost 10% of my body weight.  Yeah! I am right on the BMI border between Morbidly Obese and Obese. Yeah! I am now going to the gym 3 to 4 times per week primarily focusing on cardio; 30 minutes of treadmill and currently, as many minutes of the elliptical machine as I can stand (6 at the moment), which kicks my butt (actually my legs). Yeah! I feel so awesome after I work out and I sleep better and my reflux situation is so much better (off meds except when I went on two super-fun trips this summer). Yeah! I have lots of energy and my knees no longer hurt and I was able to do lots of walking on my trips without injuring myself or getting too worn out. I was also able to stand for long periods of time at work without discomfort Yeah!

I have discovered some things about myself like the fact that many of my shoes were too small. I guess it doesn’t matter if your shoes don’t fit well if you don’t use your feet. It’s when you get moving that you realize, “Hey! These shoes are not working.” Lots of blister issues with the second toe on my left foot for some reason. Probably has something to do with it being squished into shoes that were too small for too long. I also discovered that working out makes me feel high and sleep better. No insomnia post workout is a very good thing!

My diet has naturally evolved into a mostly organic and/or natural food, protein rich-reduced carb pattern of eating that has really been great because I feel satisfied, I am losing weight, my reflux is in check, and I feel so much better physically. I was just starting to eat this way and I serendipitously happened to read an article by Dr. Oz saying that it is best to eat some protein every time that you eat (as opposed filling up on carb-y snacks and foods like chips, pasta, and stuff) because it will help you retain muscle mass and lose weight.

The downside is that I am eating meat (not so kind or green, wah, cause I really like being a vegetarian/vegan wannabe) and maybe I could do what I am doing by eating beans instead of sliced Boars Head low-sodium roast beef and Ovengold turkey (my primary meats) and sliced Kerrygold swiss (it’s from Ireland and awesome) but what I am doing is working and it tastes good to me so I am going to just go with it.

I now use low carb wraps and Arnold flat rounds instead of sliced bread and I have pretty much quit eating pasta, rice, and potatoes which seems to be very helpful for weight loss. I also eat about a quarter cup of cashews often with a banana as a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack now instead of resorting to a more carbish alternative.

I have a huge sweet tooth which I now keep in check with 1 Luna bar a day with my lunch and ice cream once or twice a week (lately once a week). When I do indulge in my drug of choice (cake) I now try to make sure that I eat only the really good stuff.

My birthday is coming up and I have been mad jonesing for cake the last couple of weeks. Yesterday morning I went to a wonderful bakery which makes real honest-to-God baked goods from scratch and ate a piece of red velvet cake and got a cupcake and a lemon bar for later. I ate the cupcake in the afternoon and the lemon bar at night. I was/am totally sugared out and have gotten my fix so no need for birthday cake and I will probably not go back to the bakery for at least a month. My previous trip there was about 6 weeks ago.

I really got too much stuff this time.  Since I enjoyed the cupcake the most, I will probably fore go the cake slice next time or at least limit myself to two items.   The fact that the quality of the stuff from this bakery is so high makes it easy to decline or pass over the more readily available, store-bought, ready-mix, low quality treats or even the less desirable, made-from-scratch ones at the health food store. My health food store’s baked goods do not even come close to the quality of this bakery’s treats. I have found I would rather hold out till I get a chance to go to the bakery. I am now a connoisseur of cake. I have come a long way from the Twinkie eating days of my past!

Another part of my carb-reduction, high-quality diet plan is that I am trying to cut all corn syrup (high fructose and otherwise) from my diet which really limits the sweets (and other foods) I eat. I was getting vanilla cones at Dairy Queen for my ice cream fix but have quit because of the corn syrup. Instead I get a Haagen Daz 5 and share it with my son (around 350 calories for half a 14 oz container which is less than the large vanilla DQ cone I was getting).

I guess I would say my new strategy is to only eat simple carbs if they are a high quality sweet treat. When I did Weight Watchers I would save my points and eat crap like chocolate graham crackers frosted with Cool Whip. The food I am eating this time is so much healthier, less processed, and better quality.

Other Dietary Changes

Eating most of my daily food intake by mid-day and having an early (ideally around 4:30 PM), small “supper” with an evening snack (Kashi cereal with soy milk).  This inverted pyramid of food intake seems to really help my reflux.

Eating more fruit – I am packing grapes with my lunch and getting a couple of organic fruits like plums and nectarines when I shop and putting them out on a plate on my counter and eating then within two days rather than sticking them in the fridge where they go bad. A lot of fruit tastes better and sweeter when it is room temp. Fruit also tastes better when you don’t eat sweets very often.

Adding romaine lettuce to sandwiches and wraps. I am also adding tomatoes on a regular basis providing I can find some decent organic ones at my regular grocery store or make it to the health food store to get them.

Making batches of veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots) sauted in a little olive oil and with herbs (thyme, oregano, and marjoram plus garlic and a little black pepper is one of my fave combos) so I can have convenient servings of veggies on hand.

Eating Kashi cereal with soymilk for an evening dinner/snack and as part of breakfast (often topped with a sliced, ripe banana)

Not adding salt to food plus cutting out high sodium foods and ingredients (still trying to get off high blood pressure meds).

Except for when I was on vacation (I did eat some burgers and fries and Mex food), I have almost completely quit eating out.  Having no control over what is in the food, portions that tend to be too large, and quality that is crappy unless you pay beaucoup bucks makes dining out a poor choice IMHO.  Now I eat out only about 2 times a month instead of 2 or more times a week. Not eating out (or going to Starbucks except when on vacation) also helps save money which helps pay the higher cost of the better quality food that I am now eating.

Future plans and goals
Attend my gym’s water aerobics class weekly. Will have to wait till October for that because of my work schedule. I have never taken an exercise class and I want to start that because I believe it will really take me to another level of commitment to my goal of personal fitness and health.

Continue to reduce portion sizes and move beyond feeling like I have to eat it all now. I am not a garbage disposal. I only need to eat enough to feel satisfied, not stuffed. I am now eating one egg for breakfast (when I fix eggs) instead of two.  This is a major step for me.  I used to feel like if I didn’t eat 2 eggs I would not be satisfied.  One scrambled egg, with a slice of Swiss, on a flat round is plenty and is a fabulous breakfast.

Step out of the gym and begin to engage in more outside exercise like simply taking walks and riding my bike. The gym is a really efficient place to exercise. You go in and get it done. I need to make exercise more a part of my life so that I am still active even if I don’t go to the gym.

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