Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What Crappy Timing

Although James and I work together, we are on opposite sides of the building and get to see each other pretty much just when James happens to walk by my cubicle on the way to elsewhere. And this week is a crazy week for him, and he is working late evenings. Of course I've sort of been missing his company. So I suggested we go out to lunch together today. Some weeks, we go out 2-3 times a week for lunch. But most days, I just sneak out to my car, relax in the peace and quiet, and read a good book. Today I just wanted to spend a few minutes with my hubby.

We are located near an interstate exit, and the only thing around are the typical fast food venues, and a really great Chinese restaurant. But, I can't behave at a Chinese restaurant, I haven't found anything healthy there yet except for steamed veggies- bleh! So I told myself, and then told my husband, let's go to Chick-Fil-A and I will be good and order a grilled chicken sandwich instead of the regular breaded one that I sosososososo love. "I'm sorry, our chargrill machine isn't working," the young lady said to me at the counter when I ordered. Apparently it had just broken and would be another hour or so before it was fixed. Well, crap! Now what? I have limited time I can take for lunch, so going somewhere else didn't enter my mind- next door is McDonald's and across the street is Wendy's- not much better choices.

So I went ahead and ordered my same ol' meal, the breaded chicken sandwich and just sighed a deep sigh of "this is always my luck" and ate it and enjoyed the time spent with my husband. I know some folks can probably do without eating out, but our life does not really fit in with that. We are out of town way too much, and if we are not "out" of town, then on weekends we are at least out and about, running errands here in Newnan, or hanging out up in Atlanta just for the heck of it. And besides, we truly enjoy eating out, and I can't imagine being so strict that I would just cut out all restaurant meals altogether. I know someone who was on a famous diet that I won't name- (but the initials are J.C.!!), and she wouldn't eat anything other than the program's boxed meals. A group of us went out to dinner one night, and she sat there sipping on water and frankly, looking quite miserable and acting mad at the world- she wasn't enjoying herself and the rest of us weren't enjoying her either. I don't want that to be me. Well, I might be mad at the world, but it's not because I can't enjoy a good Italian dinner out with friends on occasion.

The one thing I love about Weight Watchers is that it allows for any and all foods, and it never dictates what you can and can't eat. It just forces you to keep track of, and monitor, what you do eat and to watch portion control. And anyone who goes to WW also knows they have their wonderful "Dining Out" guide that I love. Mine is worn out, with a thousand handwritten notes and highlighted meal choices on every page. And the restaurants that are not in the WW guide, I've gone online to find the nutritional information, so I can translate those numbers to the "points" system WW uses. And I've also used this website for years, which WW sort of frowns on (because they don't oversee it & it uses their info and formulas), but it's a useful aid for me so I use it anyhow. There are almost 600 restaurants and fast food chains listed here, with their nutritional info and points values. (WW's guide only has 134 restaurants......)

I think you can successfully lose weight and still eat out. I don't think you can do it without having all the right knowledge and tools available. I know the common sense ones- that fried is worse than grilled, that something swimming in cream sauce is artery-clogging, and that restaurant portions are usually 3-4 times what I really need to eat. But, unless I had looked up the info, I never would have guessed an order of the chicken nuggets at Chick-Fil-A is quite a bit healthier than the chicken sandwich. Unfortunately I found that out tonight, because I wasn't carrying my guide with me today. But when we go out of town this coming weekend, I can promise it will be tucked right there in my purse with me the whole time......


(photo of a chicken- yes it is because I took it)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dinner For One

Today was a very weird day for me food-wise, yet also very normal, and probably one of the reasons I struggle so much. I didn't overeat, I didn't eat the wrong things, I just didn't eat what was good for me nutritionally. Not a praiseworthy day, but certainly nothing tragic either.

I did stick to my WW points, and I drank water water water all day. The last week or two, I've even been replacing a lot of my floury snacks (crackers, etc.) with fruit instead. I have forced myself to eat breakfast every morning, high fiber cereal and almond milk, and even traded in regular old sugar on my cereal for Truvia (man, good stuff, why does it have to be so expensive). I've added a few low fat dairy items to my lunch bag, too, because James pointed out that the reason I probably never have any energy is because I never eat any protein. The sausage on my pizza last Saturday night not withstanding.

But tonight was very typical of me and my decision making process. James had to work later than usual. And although I had salads all prepped for dinner, I just turned my nose up at it. I would be dining alone and felt like I could do whatever I wanted for my meal. After throwing in a load of laundry, what I truly wanted to do with my night off was sit by the fire , put in my "spa" Zen CD, and finish the last 40 pages of the paperback I've been deep into. Which is precisely what I did. And somehow relaxing by the warm fire on the couch and cozying up with a good book and a big bowl of salad just didn't sound as good as popcorn. So I turned to that old single girl standby for dinner, and I did make popcorn. But it was air-popped, so no greasy calories to mess up my WW tracker.

Now James will fuss at me undoubtedly, because he will eventually get home tonight (it's 8:30 now and no sign of him) and I will serve him the big salad I've already made and placed in the fridge to keep cold, and I will sit with him at the dining room table so I can talk to him and see how his day was. And he will ask me what I had for dinner, and I will confess it was popcorn, and he will insist I should have had some of the salad. And I won't disagree. I know I should have had a big bowl of greens and carrot and tomato and cuke, but I just wasn't in the mood.

Seems like my "moods" get me in trouble with my weight loss efforts. I'm not in the mood to exercise, I am in the mood for lasagna and garlic bread, or I'm just not in the mood to even think about any of it at all. If my mood is stress, I may binge eat straight from the pantry- I've been known to eat dry pasta right out of the box just because it was the only "crunchy" thing in the house. But if my mood is happy, I may overeat at a restaurant with my husband- smiling across the table at the man I love just makes me want creme brulee.

I know I can't control my "moods", but I can certainly control the choices I make during those times. I just have to learn how.


Monday, February 22, 2010

It's Been A Long Time

Well I am back and I promise it's to stay, if you will have me. And I promise I will be back on here regularly, if only to keep myself motivated. And motivation is something I just for some reason can't seem to wrap my hands around and hold onto for very long lately. Or maybe ever.

I have been doing a lot of soul-searching and fumbling around lately. This isn't much of a weight loss blog if I'm not going to A- lose weight and B- blog! I considered canning the whole project. But lately it seems like I've done nothing but make all the wrong moves and I didn't want to regret deleting this blog. So today I am finally going to set the wheels of my train wreck diet back on track. I know, and most of you who are reading this know, that losing weight is probably one of the hardest things we will ever do. At least those of us who have battled it most of our lives. And I have. But just because something is difficult, doesn't mean I can't keep plugging away at it, even if I have to "start over" a million times.

The last few months I have used every (lame) excuse I can think of to sabotage myself. I'm tired, I'm busy, my back hurts, we were out of town. And while in my mind that may get me a free pass from exercising (although it shouldn't), it has nothing to do with my diet. Being busy hasn't stopped me from zipping into McDonald's on the way to work. Being tired hasn't kept me from sneaking down to the cafeteria and getting a Coke and bag of chips from the vending machine. Being out of town has nothing to do with putting all that extra sugar and creamer in my giant-sized morning coffee. I have been living off junk food and sugar and carbs and caffeine for months now, and I am amazed at how the human body can continue to survive for so long without taking in any true nutrients whatsoever.

I have always been an all or nothing kind of person, and it has done nothing but set me up for failure time and time again. If I blow my diet at breakfast, I just throw away the rest of the day. If I have a horrible Monday, I just give up for the whole week. And if I don't have time to get on the treadmill for at least an hour, I don't even consider just maybe doing 20 minutes instead of nothing at all. If I caved in and had a cookie at my morning break, I just let go of the idea of eating an apple for my afternoon snack. It's like once I make a mistake, my mental state breaks down as well, and some little switch in my brain shuts off- the one that normally would tell me to go drink another glass of water! I don't know if anyone else goes through this or not. It's like one little screw up gives me wide open permission to just make more of them.

After spending the weekend looking at my options- stay heavy and unhealthy or bust my ass and take control of my life- I would love to simply take the easy way out and just say to heck with it all and be okay with it. But I am only 43, and I have SO many more years left and I just don't want to spend the rest of them struggling to get up off the couch, or getting winded while I walk around the plus-size section of Wal-Mart. I am back to the one program that has always worked for me, and that's Weight Watchers. Today I wrote down everything in my food journal, and stuck to it. And even though I've been down in my back lately, I made myself do1.5 miles on the treadmill. It's only "Day One" but I haven't had any Day Ones lately at all, so that was the first hurdle for me to get over. And I did. And tomorrow it will be another hurdle as well, and I know every day after that, it will always be a mountain to climb and I will always be tempted to just fall to the wayside.

Weight loss is not going to magically happen, and no one can do it for me BUT me. Support from family and friends is wonderful and makes a big difference, but they still can't burn the calories or drink the water for me. I've even fessed up and changed my weight on my tracker for all to see (I haven't been 200 for months now). I don't expect this to be easy, I know I will struggle, but I always know that with the struggling and the commitment to the struggle, eventually success will also come. I may be out on the rock ledge all by myself, but there is no one else out there who is going to do this for me!