And Here. We. Go. Again!

A lot of things have happened in the past week that got me to this point.

That was hoaky. Everything that happens gets you to the next point, right?

What I’m saying is that this is a very special moment in history. I have a weight-loss cycle. It’s something I could set my clock by. And I’ve broken this cycle for the first time EVER. So let’s just rehash what has been happening in my life to get me here.

Normally, I get all gung-ho about losing weight. I change my eating habits and I lose weight and all is great. And then something happens in my life that causes me to break my stride and I fall off the wagon and I muddle around in the mud until I’ve gained everything back. I lose all desire to better myself. I downright wallow in how horrible I am for having come so far and then failing again.

So…that’s where I’ve been. Wallowing in the mud.

But a few things have happened that have pulled me out of that gunk and placed me squarely back on solid ground. Continue reading “And Here. We. Go. Again!”

Tuesday is a Great Day to Start a 30 Day Challenge (or Two!)

I have never been one of those people who starts things on Monday, or even the beginning of the month. I joined Weight Watchers on May 30th. A Saturday. So when I decide to make another change, Tuesday the 15th sounds like the perfect time to jump in! Let me explain…

I once again spent last evening eating dinner and watching Extreme Weight Loss, and it really got me thinking. Yes, I’m currently on the road to trying to get my knee in working order, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do something about the rest of my body, right?  I was watching the “Mitzi” episode and she was amazingly inspirational. She got into lifting weights and her trainer was a woman in her 70’s who was also fantastically inspirational.

I don’t have any desire to become a body builder, but I would like to start working on the two areas of my body I like the least: my upper arms and my stomach.  I scoured Pinterest last night for 30 day challenges, and I found these:

30 Day Flat Ab Challenge

30 Day Sleek Arms Challenge

So I’m going to start them tonight.

Let me state here that I know it’s going to take more than 30 days to accomplish anything, but for the next 30 days, I’ll be doing more than I have before! I just know that what I want so desperately is to wear short-sleeved shirts and not have horrible gravy muscles jiggling when I wave. I want to stop wearing cardigans in the summertime over my sundresses. I want to see more changes in my body, and it’s very obvious that I’ve hit that point in my journey that diet is no longer going to be enough to keep moving forward.

In true “Extreme Weight Loss” fashion, I am going to post my beginning stats tonight. Measurements and pictures. Ugh. I just can’t wait. Don’t worry, though. I’ll hide the pictures behind a break.

Until later!

Weigh-In Wednesday and Coffee Grits

Today is another weigh-in day! And I am SO EXCITED! I am so close to my first goal!

A brief overview: When I first started Weight Watchers, my goal weight felt SO far away. I wanted to figure out a way to break it down into smaller, more attainable goals. So I came up with the idea of a weight loss bracelet. Yes, I later found the idea was already all over Pinterest, but this one’s all mine. For every 10 pounds I lose, I get a bead of some sort. I purchased my bracelet:

bracelet

It’s a black leather bracelet that wraps around my wrist three times (the fourth black band is a very old plastic bracelet my kids gave me that used to say “punk” on it). I have the first bead I’m going to put on it, and I’ve decided that I’m going to make a special trip to the store to buy a bead every time I earn one so it’s all special and stuff.

Okay…so weigh-in day.  Here are my stats, per the Weight Watchers app:

image2I’m down NINE FREAKING POUNDS since I started 19 days ago! Go me!

However, last night was a rough night for me. We are going on a week-long trip to Canada next Tuesday to watch my oldest son graduate from high school. My anxiety is in high gear over a few details, so I wasn’t able to sleep well. Also, my ankle, which had been doing SO much better, decided that last night would be a good time to get a deep ache. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep. I think I drifted off at around 2:30 a.m. My alarm goes off at 6:15 a.m. Yeah…

Because of that, something happened that I KNEW was going to eventually happen. The hot water spigot at work is right next to the coffee spigot. And every day, I use the hot water to make my grits. But today, in my sleep-deprived lunacy, I started with a bit of coffee instead.

gritsGrits should not be this color. And I think that it might have tasted better had I used Splenda instead of my usual salt. Bleh. I better not do that again.

I WANT MY BEAD!

Butter Motivation

Today was weigh-in day! I lost another 2.8 pounds this week, which brings my total to 6.4 pounds GONE! Huzzah!

A very good friend of mine is also losing weight, and she mentioned that she likes to figure out how much she’s lost so far in things like sticks of butter. How many sticks of butter have I lost?

Just over 25 1/2 sticks of butter! That’s a lot of damn butter. Melted away, never to be seen again.

Things I need to work on in the next week:

  • Drink more water! Some days, I do really well. Most days, I only manage to get in about half of what I need. I have cut myself down to one cup of coffee per day, but I need to drink more H2O. I have a water buddy co-worker, so hopefully that will help. I have not had any soda in 12 days, and I don’t really miss it yet.
  • Use all of my points! I really need to bring some healthy snacks to work with me, because most days, I am not consuming enough to use up all of my points. While that isn’t necessarily a bad thing to have as a problem, the points are there for a reason and they need to be used. Also, if I don’t use up all of my points in a day, I wake up the next morning STARVING.
  • Work on not being so lazy. I am still not able to get out and go for walks (stupid swollen ankle), but I want to work on doing more things for myself. Having two little kids in the house tends to make me ask one of them to get something for me. I need to stop that. I can get it myself. I’m fully capable.
  • Create a meal plan. The last thing I want to do after a day at work is go home and figure out what’s for dinner. Especially when I sometimes have to cook something for me and something different for the rest of the family. So I want to plan things out and possibly take away some of that stress.
I think those are all doable. I also bought my bracelet and the bauble I will add to it when I’ve lost my first ten pounds. I’m super excited to put that puppy on my wrist! Right now, I’m wearing the bare bracelet as a reminder that I WANT to put something on it. I rather like it. Which is good, because I’ll be wearing it for a long time.
I think I’m going to print this out and put it above my computer monitor at work:
And with that, I’m off to hydrate.

Confessions of a Food Addict

Let me start this post by saying that I did NOT eat all of the junk food in my house this weekend. I just had this epiphany about prior habits that I did not see until I became aware of what I was doing. Saturday was, by far, the hardest day I’ve had so far. The work week is easy because I am around other people who see what I’m doing, and that helps keep me on the right path. I’m accountable to myself because I know that they see what I’m doing. When I’m at home, my kids could not care less about what I’m doing in the kitchen, as long as I’m feeding them. When I walk back and forth from the living room, through the kitchen, to the bathroom, no one sees me when I grab something off the counter and shove it in my face. I didn’t even KNOW I did stuff like that until I stopped myself mid-reach this weekend. It was just habit. It was so difficult staying on plan just because I was the only one who knew what was going on with me.

BUT I DID IT!

And then, Saturday evening came around and we were all going to go visit my father-in-law, who is now in the rehabilitation center, working back from his stroke that happened two weeks ago. The kids and I met up with my husband after he got off work, and he wanted to go to Chicago Dawg House for dinner. Where there is absolutely nothing healthy. They threw a “Grilled Chicken Salad” on the menu, but the more I thought about getting that, the more resentful I became, knowing that everyone else would be sitting around me, eating deep fried this or that with everything that goes along with it. And I’d be pecking at my salad, while (in my mind), the whole restaurant would be looking over, thinking, “Oh, the fat girl must be trying to lose weight”. Plus, this lifestyle change isn’t supposed to be a study in how to deny myself. It’s supposed to be learning how to be able to function in real life without going crazy with food, right? So I ordered the chili dog (no cheese!) and the bun turned out to be thicker than the hot dog, so I tore off the top part (half the bun points!). I drank my iced tea (no soda!), and I ate a few fries (not the whole basket!). I was pretty damn proud of myself.

Sunday, we decided to go fishing for part of the day, and my husband bought some picnic-y stuff we could eat for lunch. The morning was really chaotic, and I wound up not being able to fit in breakfast. We ate lunch at the lake at around 12:30, and I’m really realizing just how much I am not a fan of sandwiches anymore. I had turkey lunch meat with a bit of Miracle Whip and a serving of Bugles. I just kept thinking about what a waste of points it all was, because it really didn’t taste all that good. Bread is, actually, pretty tasteless. So I didn’t eat all that much.

We got home, and my husband (bless his heart!) made dinner. Pork chops, roasted mushrooms and Brussels sprouts and some white rice. My plate was heaping with food and it was just delicious. However, I ended my day with 15 points left to spare, which is a huge no-no. I was planning to have a snack if I got hungry, but I never did. Instead, I woke up starving.

So…I learned a lot about myself this weekend. And I realized that I have more to learn than I had anticipated. I also learned that I am the one holding myself accountable and no one else really matters.

#igotthis

Flowery Dreams

Since nothing has really changed since yesterday (still ate grits for breakfast…still ate salad for lunch…still drinking my water), I thought I’d go into a bit of a dream for when I reach my goal.

I am (essentially) half Czech and half Irish. I grew up with a very Czech older woman who was my babysitter and 2nd mother. I am very proud of my Czech heritage, and I’m drawn to the wooden plates that hang in the local Czech restaurant. Many of the plates feature flowers done in a very Czech style. My dream is to one day get an upper arm tattoo done in the style of these flowers with five large flowers predominantly displayed (because I have four kids and a husband, and also because 5 is my lucky, OCD number).

Before any of this happens, though, I would like my arm to be a straight line when it’s at my side, rather than an arm with a lump of fat at the elbow.

So….GOAL!

Ahh Turkey Day

I had kind of planned to write this blog with a few posts about the history of me, but now I think you’re just going to have to get to know me as we go along…as though we’re forming an actual friendship.  Different things will come out as the chips fall (poker chips, not potato chips…and if they’re potato chips, can they be the baked tortilla chips instead?  I really like those.)

Today marked day 3 of me working out.  Third day in a ROW, even.  I bought a treadmill last weekend from a lovely friend of mine and my family actually spent a day cleaning up the back room of our house, which was once a storage area, and still also houses our washer, dryer and deep freezer.  But now we’ve added a couch, tv, video game systems and my treadmill.  Yes, I’m one of THOSE moms.  My tweens heard some space was clearing up in the back and they decided to move in, too.  But it’s all good.

Anyway, I am pretty proud of myself for getting through my third day of working out.  30 minutes on the treadmill!  I tend to stay between 2.5 and 3.3 mph, with a steady love of 2.9 mph for some reason.  I even pushed myself to jog for 2 minutes!  And yes, I even worked out on Thanksgiving.  I had to get up early to get the turkeys going, my husband left to go on his annual pheasant-scaring hunting trek with his father and brother, and the kids were all still sleeping.

I will admit that I spent a few minutes sitting at my computer, telling myself that my legs were sore from the day before’s workout and I really shouldn’t push myself too far too fast.  I told myself that a bath would be nice in the quiet time.  Then I thought about how long my bath would be…about 30 minutes.  Before I could think of anything else, I put on my tennis shoes and hopped on the treadmill for 30 minutes instead.  And it was hard!  I was stiff, but the stiffness went away pretty quickly.  I put my earbuds in my ears and warmed up with some G. Love and Special Sauce.  By the time the next song started, I was getting into my groove.  Vampire Weekend and Weezer helped me focus on what was going on, and since no one was home/awake, I could sing out loud!  Every time I looked down at the time, I said to myself, “Just keep going one more minute.”  Or, “Just until the end of this song.”  And before I knew it, my 30 minutes was up!

Two things I am doing that will hopefully keep me motivated to continue on:

1)  I have a post-it note on the treadmill that will likely be replaced by a wall calendar where I write down what distance I traveled that day.  Yesterday, I beat it.  Today, I went a bit lighter on myself and went the same distance as I had on day 1.  Never, though, will I be allowed to go less distance than that first day.  It’s my jumping off point.

2)  I log my workouts on my WeightWatchers.com account.  It is SO nice to know that every day I work out, I could hypothetically add 3 more points onto my food intake for the day.  I don’t intend to do that, but I could if I wanted to.  And if I work out for 30 minutes every day, I earn 21 more points for the week!  That’s 2/3 of a day’s worth of food!  But instead of thinking about it that way, I chose to think that what I’m doing is burning 2/3 of a day’s worth of food.

As for Thanksgiving, I had decided before the day that I wasn’t going to track my food, but I was going to try to eat like someone who doesn’t have any issues with food.  I have been a faithful follower of Weight Watchers since August, and this was going to be my first real time letting loose for a whole day.  I was nervous.  A bit scared.  Like an alcoholic in a halfway house who had to go to a bar for a while.  Luckily, the meal was being held at my house, so I had more control over the menu than if we’d been going somewhere else.  I had a few new recipes to try…and I tweaked some old favorites to make them healthier.  Instead of milk and butter in the mashed potatoes, I used chicken broth and light butter (and we had less leftover mashed potatoes this year than other years!).  My sister made the traditional sweet potato casserole, so I made maple-roasted sweet potatoes (I’ll post the recipe because it is SO good).  When a recipe called for butter, I used light butter…that kind of thing.

I had told myself I wasn’t going to log my food for the day, but today on the treadmill – with sweat dripping down my back – I figured that was really cheating myself instead of the system.  I was working my ass off (literally!) and how was I to know just how much it was paying off if I didn’t know what I was eating?

So today, I logged my food from yesterday.  I had no problems thinking back to the scarf-fest and remembering what I ate and exactly how much.  It was like reliving my first date with my husband.  Each detail was right there while I logged it.  And yes, I went overboard.  But not so much that I used up all of my extra points for the week.  And I’m not even close to having to touch my workout points.

I love this process.  I’ve always loved food, and I find that if you have the right options in front of you, loving food is not an evil thing.