Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Looking Back

I have a friend who is doing the Weight Watchers at work program.  She, along with most of the people in her group, is kicking butt.  She started less than a year ago, and she's already lost close to 40 pounds.  There are ladies at her meeting who have lost 60 or more pounds.  I am so very proud of her, my dear friend.  It was the first time she joined WW, after hearing me talk about it for so many years.  And now I feel like a fraud.

It made me realize that I'm not investing enough time or energy into the program.  I haven't tracked in months, and although I've been getting on the treadmill every day lately, it has been so very inconsistent that it seems pointless.  I know with January looming, we will have the annual influx of new members at the meetings.  Trust me, I know.  The first time I joined WW was in 1993, and for most of those years, I was always a chronic "reoffender" as my leader calls it.  In other words, I would go for awhile, then drop out, then start coming again.  And it's true.

All except for this time.  Once I started going back to WW last year after I stopped working, I haven't "quit".  But, like my exercise routine, my dedication to WW has been spotty.  And so are the results.  I decided to document the truth:

  • I rejoined WW at the end of April of last year.   
  • My weight was 219.6 pounds.   
  • Since that time, there have been 84 weekly meetings.
  • I have attended only 46 meetings. 
  • My current weight is 208.2 pounds.
Of course some of those weeks we were on vacation or gone for holidays, but the sad reality is that I am only half-assing the program.  And so my results are just as pitiful as my attendance.  At one point earlier this year, I was down to 194.8 and was working on my 25# award.  Back in October, after skipping meetings for almost 6 weeks (and going on a cruise), I came back with a gigantic 15 pound gain that I am now, during the holidays, struggling to overcome.  Having said that, I am not dismissing the 11 pounds that I've lost.  If you told me I would shed 11 pounds every year, I would be ecstatic.  It may not be much, but think of the alternative- gaining 11 pounds every year!!  I am trying to continue to stay positive and not beat myself up for just having a "small" loss over the last year and a half.

But I'm optimistic after the past few weeks- coming back from our Florida vacation with a loss, and surviving Thanksgiving with another loss.  If I can do that, I can get through the Christmas madness and start January off on the right foot.  That is, until we leave on January 17th for our 15 day cruise.  That will be another challenge unlike any I've ever faced.  Plenty of opportunity to get tons of exercise but also to overindulge.  I will just have to make the right decisions every day.  More time in the gym, less time on the balcony reading.  More water, less cappuccino.  And number one for me- stay out of the bread basket that accompanies every meal!

One change that has been for the better, is getting the Fitbit.  I'm still very satisfied with it, and I'm glad that I got it.  I know the new ActiveLink is out, and yes it tracks all this new stuff.  But the reason I love the Fitbit is that James decided to get one too, to help him stay on track with his exercise program.  And so now it's something we can share.  James doesn't follow WW, so the ActiveLink was of no interest to him.  The Fitbit has given us a common tool. We send each other challenges, or notes as motivation.  His syncs to his iPhone, and mine to my iPad, so we can sit down and compare our stats.  He has set daily goals for himself and makes himself meet those goals.  He's very competitive and I'm finding that keeping up with him- and his newly found enthusiasm- can only boost my own weight loss.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

No Regrets

The Thanksgiving holiday is officially over for me today.  It started last Thursday morning when we got up at 5am in order to get on the road to start our travels.  It ended today when my parents left to go back home to Florida.  Although there are a few leftovers still in the fridge, I can say I survived the "first" holiday this year.  I am ecstatic that I only gained ONE pound!  Yay!  I can't believe it, because we ate out all our meals for four straight days.

I stuck with my strategy at the Thanksgiving dinner table in Knoxville.  No seconds, even though I didn't get to try everything.  I picked out 3-4 favorites and had just a spoon of each.  I did have pie, and with six to choose from, it was tough to only have one piece but I did it!  I was worried that having such an early meal I would continue to stuff myself throughout the day, but James and I decided not to take any leftovers back to the hotel room with us.  Although we did go out and about to partake in the Brown Thursday shopping later that night, we found a nice restaurant that was open where I could get a salad for dinner.  

The next day was a bit of a bust for me.  The family ate at an Italian restaurant that I've wanted to try for many years.  One of those "family-owned since the 1950's" type places.  I ordered a mini pizza and frankly it was SO bad, I barely touched it.  I think I ate what little bit I did, just because I was embarrassed to push it away after the first bite.  We got back on the road a few hours later, headed over to Nashville for a few days of luxury at the Opryland Hotel (photo below) and a football game.  The hotel was so crowded because of all their winter shows and activities, that we couldn't get into any of the restaurants there.  We ended up getting a late night burger that was yet another disgusting meal that I barely touched.  Cold stale bun and meat with absolutely NO seasoning or flavor.  And if you know me, then you know pizza and burgers are my two absolute favorite foods, so for me to say both were horrible and I didn't eat them, well then you know they were bad!  I told James, I could have sat there at both meals and eaten every bite, to be polite or to not be wasteful, but I would rather leave half an uneaten yucky burger on my plate and NOT consume calories "just because" the food is there.

Saturday we did a ton of walking.  The hotel is so gigantic to begin with, they have big fold-out maps of the place to help you navigate.  I got almost 13,000 steps on that day walking around the property and nearby attractions, and walking at the football game.  Because we both had a good (and late) breakfast, we didn't eat lunch.  I had a snack at the game, then we came back to the hotel for dinner.  That was probably the best meal out on the trip and I ate every bite of that!  The next day we got on the road for home and although we stopped to eat lunch at a big Greek restaurant, I shared my side dishes and made myself stop halfway through the entree and ask for a box.

I feel as though I learned lessons over this holiday weekend.  I learned I can still enjoy a family dinner without busting the zipper on my pants- we were all talking and enjoying the day, and no one paid attention to what was (or wasn't) on my plate.  And I learned that it's not worth eating bleh food at a restaurant just because it's sitting there in front of me or because we "paid" for it.  And I won't feel guilty for choosing not to eat something.  Today I'll get back on my regular eating routine and get back on the treadmill.  I anticipate that I won't have any problems dropping that one extra pound.  No reason to skip Weight Watchers this week!!


Friday, November 21, 2014

Holiday Prep

Today at Weight Watchers, we talked about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.  My leader Marci passed out a "cheat sheet" listing all the normal holiday fare.  Before we knew the points for each food item, we had to be totally honest and mark down what we would normally eat.  Then she revealed the points.  I didn't do too badly, I was at the lower end of the class spectrum.  My total meal was only 21 points.  I was honest in my choices- green bean casserole, corn, stuffing- but perhaps not in the scant amounts that were listed.  Thanksgiving is not too much of a temptation for me.  I don't really like turkey and gravy, I hate mashed potatoes, and I won't touch pecan pie or sweet tea.

Every year we spend Thanksgiving with James' family, and the meal is wonderful.  Everyone goes all out and brings their best dishes for a scrumptious pot luck.  Last year I promised myself I wouldn't get up and have seconds, and I didn't.  This year I intend to do the same, except I plan to spoon up much smaller portion sizes.  It's hard, because I love all the casseroles and bread and homemade desserts that only get served annually. I also have to remember that with so many choices available, I won't be able to have something of everything.  A friend in the meeting said this is one meal where she is super picky- using her points for only her absolute favorites.  She has a good point.  I make sides like corn or sweet potatoes for dinner at home- perhaps I could pass those up at Thanksgiving in exchange for a spoonful of gooey baked mac & cheese.

In the past we've had the Thanksgiving meal later in the day.  This year, I think for the first time, we're aiming for high noon.  And that leaves the evening open for too much nibbling.  Although we are staying at a hotel, I am sure very few restaurants and probably zero fast food places will be open that night.  I can only imagine that our dinner- even if it's packed up and taken to the hotel- will be leftovers from the big meal.  I don't think I want to eat that many calories- no matter how delicious- twice in one day.  I may skip dessert after the meal, and wait to have my piece of pie for dinner.  I'm an adult, I can do that.

I succeeded in not going overboard on our trip to Florida.  In fact I had a two pound loss for this weigh-in, my first week back.  But I am also in the middle of shedding the incredible amount I gained on the previous vacation, the cruise.  Our receptionist asked me if she owed me a five-pound star today.  I said no, I received it already for this particular milestone- this week's loss is still making up for that last big "backslide".  And I don't want the holidays to be another backslide.

At the meeting, Marci reminded us that Thanksgiving is just ONE meal.  She said not to deprive ourselves, even if we have to use all of our extra points- weekly and activity- to cover that day.  But she also made it clear that a holiday is not a license to overindulge.  It really is more about being with family than it is eating.  The meal is just a good reason to get everyone to sit down at the same table together.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Happy To Maintain

Wow, I can't believe I get to say this, but I maintained on vacation last week!  Normally I come back home carrying an extra 5-7 pounds, but not this time.  I'm not sure what I did differently last week when we went to my hometown in Florida.  I tried to eat lighter, and eat less, but we still had plenty of great meals out at fantastic local restaurants.  I'm not sure I was more active than usual- we did walk the beach a few mornings, and did a bit of antiquing, but I would say all of that was at a casual pace.  Whatever the reason, I am happy.  And I will be able to go into Weight Watchers this week, with hopefully a loss.  Normally after vacation, I would bypass my meetings for a week or two, until I could shed the vacation pounds.
I came back home with a feeling of renewed dedication in my heart.  I seriously do not want to gain over the holidays.  I know I have a lot of out of town dates ahead of me, and family gatherings and meals, and I just don't want to let things spiral out of control over the next few weeks.  My exercise routine has been nonexistent for so long now.  Although I love my yoga classes, I don't consider that exercise, at least not the kind that burns calories.  I made a note to myself that I will commit to a minimum of one mile a day on the treadmill.  On the days I can do more, that's awesome.  But so many times I talk myself out of going down to the basement because I don't have enough time to get in 3-4 miles.  Well, that can no longer be a valid excuse!  If I don't have an hour or more to work out, then I'll take 20 minutes or whatever I can squeeze in.  It's better than absolutely no activity at all.  And what is a mile on a treadmill?  Even as slow and reluctant as I am, I can knock out a mile in just 5-6 really great songs on my iPod.  Who can't commit and keep up with that!
In the winter months, I tend to be more active anyhow.  I have better energy, I sleep better, I crave the outdoors and fresh cold air.  In the summer, I always hide away inside under a fan and try to stay cool because I'm so hot-natured.  I end up spending my days flushed and irritable and tired.  And very sedentary because, well, I hate to sweat.  So I'm looking forward to the change of seasons and more than that, a change in my old patterns.  The only thing that tends to slow me down in the winter is my lifelong battle with asthma.  My breathing is markedly worse in the winter, and sometimes it cuts into my activity level when I have to stop, use my inhaler, and relax until my asthma attack lessens.
I am still wearing my Fitbit, even though I see WW finally introduced their new monitor.  And like FB, it now also tracks sleeping patterns.  My sleep patterns have been atrocious, I consistently do not sleep for 1 to 1 1/2 hours that I'm actually in the bed.  Especially in Florida where I was hot, despite my mom kindly bumping down the AC for me.  One night alone, my Fitbit recorded that I woke up 52 times!!  I have to admit with chagrin that my earlier reports of kicking ass on my steps per day, were sadly in error.  I realized quickly that I was wearing the Fitbit in the wrong place on my bra, and let's just say that extra "bouncing" from that created the false steps on the pedometer.  I've got the device in the right spot now, and with that I saw my steps a day plummet from about 9,000 to 3,500.  Yep.  But that's on a normal day spent at home, with no real exercise.  Yesterday, after getting on the treadmill, I saw my TRUE number rise to about 8,000 steps.  So, I'm still working on that goal of getting to the recommended 10,000 steps a day.  And the key is, I am working on it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Last week was a bit of a bust.  I was sick with a stomach bug all week, spent three straight days in bed without getting up.  The next few days I was able to crawl to the couch.  That was pretty much it.  But I now have proof that the Fitbit works, because it recorded ZERO activity points for me on those days!  I didn't make it to yoga, didn't make it to Weight Watchers, didn't make it to the treadmill.  My husband had to pick up my slack and do the housework.  I couldn't even walk down the driveway to get the morning paper.  Sure I lost a few pounds, but only because I didn't eat much while I was sick.  Not really a long-term solution!

I am seriously in need of motivation and goals.  I feel like I am just drifting along.  I say I'm on the Weight Watchers program, but I haven't tracked food in so long I've forgotten what my daily points total is supposed to be.  I thought our upcoming vacations would be enough motivation.  We will be in Florida next week, and Hawaii in January, and I had promised myself I would lose weight before both trips.  In Florida, I wanted to shop for new clothes for Hawaii.  But since I haven't lost any weight at this point, I'm not sure that new clothes serves any purpose- it will all be the same big plus sizes that I already have in my closet- who wants more of that?  If a two-week cruise to Hawaii isn't enough to get me to shed the extra pounds, what is?  Every year when we go on a cruise, I come home and look at the photos and I just want to throw them away.  It seems that every vacation, there is something we didn't get to do because of me- I was tired, I was hurting, I didn't feel as though I could physically continue.  We probably will never have the chance to go to Hawaii again- I do not want to come home from this trip with any regrets!

I'm still carrying extra weight from our cruise in September.  It didn't come off me as easily this time.  I was looking back over the calendar for this year, and I was at my lowest in April.  Today I'm 14 pounds more than I was then.  I had just finally gotten down into the 1's, but I couldn't stay there.  I am frustrated.  Frustrated with me, with my non-progress, with my lack of any real hard work.  I have all the tools right here at my fingertips.  I have no excuses- no job, no children, a husband who is gone almost 13 hours a day.  I live in a quiet neighborhood with no traffic, I have a treadmill and TV and iPod set up in the basement if I don't want to walk outside.  I have access to all manner of fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy groceries and clean water.  I subscribe to all sorts of health magazines, I have online tools and apps and a fitness monitor.  I have new sneakers sitting in the closet.  So what is my problem?  I have the things that some people can only wish for, and I feel like a fraud for choosing not to use any of it.  Why can I not only stay on track, but get ON the track in the first place?

I don't want this post to be about self-loathing, that doesn't help the situation.  And I don't want it to be a lot of whining and lame excuses.  I've got to reach down there inside and find some kind of drive and desire to keep me focused.  What is it about me that, instead of putting on my walking shoes and strolling up and down my street, I sit down in front of the TV and watch another episode of "Bones" that I've already seen a dozen times?  What is the answer?  Even today, I'm supposed to be packing and cleaning the house in preparation for leaving on Friday afternoon, and instead I'm spending my time on unnecessary things like making chicken stock and working on pottery.  I can't seem to stay committed to the main task in front of me.  Apparently this is an issue that goes way beyond just my weight loss efforts.  I get in my own way, and make it more of a challenge than it needs to be.

I've repeatedly set goals for myself, some daily, some "at the end of the month I want to weigh...." type goals.  Nothing ever seems to come from that.  Even daily notes to myself- "two miles on the treadmill!!" don't seem to move me in the right direction.  One step at a time.  My WW leader says to make the goals small, doable, so I will feel as though I have accomplished something instead of feeling as though I've failed.  I can't even get the little goals crossed off my list.  Why is it that living a healthy life and making commitments and the right decision, is 90% mental!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Caving and Bending

Okay so I caved in and bought a Fitbit on Monday.  I couldn't stand it.  I was going to wait on the new Weight Watchers gizmo that's going to replace the ActiveLink, but as much as I searched for information on its release, I couldn't find anything online that gave me an inkling as to "what" or "when".  And now that I'm trying to get back to a regular exercise routine, I really wanted a monitor.  Originally I had decided against the Fitbit because of the $100 investment.  But once I did the math I realized I had already paid more for the ActiveLink ($40 to buy it and then $5 a month fee over the past 17 months).  With the FB, there is no fee involved.

I really like the Fitbit so far.  It's similar to the ActiveLink- once I clip it on I don't even realize I'm wearing it.  I opted for the one that attaches to my bra strap, because that's where I always wore my AL.  Plus it gives a lot more info than the AL did.  The FB has steps and miles walked, for the entire day, which is pretty cool.  Yesterday I had a typical day around the house, some chores, some cleaning upstairs in the studio, a little bit of stuff in the yard, but also a lot of sitting at the computer which is normal for me.  No real exercise.  I was pleased to see that at the end of the day, even without getting on the treadmill, I had walked almost 6000 steps.  I know they say an "optimal" day is a minimum of 10,000 steps.  It's good to know that with no effort at all, I was well on my way there.  Just think how great those numbers will be on a day where I go walk in the neighborhood in the evening.

The Fitbit also has sleep mode, which I think is one thing that really attracted me to it.  I do have trouble sleeping, as many menopausal women do.  I take a lot of all natural sleep aids every night (valerian, melatonin, etc.) so it does help.  On nights where I don't take anything, or take my pills too late, I do not sleep at all.  So around 8:30 or so, I start taking everything so it can start working its magic on me.  By 10:00 I am ready for bed and can drift off fairly easily.  Staying asleep, however, is the problem.  And I have no desire to go on any kind of prescription medication for it.  I toss and turn a lot, kicking off covers, moving around pillows, swatting cats away, getting up to pee several times, checking the clock, getting a touch of asthma or needing to blow my nose, and of course I have awful restless leg syndrome to top it off.  You name it, it wakes me up, however briefly.

The first night I wore the FB to bed, the results were interesting.  By the way, the wristband for nighttime is so lightweight, I didn't even notice it once I put it on.  So the FB showed how long it took me to settle down and fall asleep (8 minutes), how many times I actually got up in the middle of the night (twice), and how many periods of "restlessness" I had (17!).  It showed I was in bed for 7 hours and 15 minutes, but I only got a little over 6 hours of actual restful, still sleep.  Yet it gave me a 92% efficiency rating.  So I am very interested in continuing to track this information.  I have definitely found a correlation on "how" I slept and how I feel the next day.  I don't just mean waking up feeling tired, I mean if I don't sleep well the night before- I feel like crap the entire day.

I just got the FB on Monday afternoon, so I haven't yet hooked it up to my Weight Watchers eTools account.  I'm curious to see how well it translates my activity points.

I also started going back to my yoga class this week, as I promised myself I would.  Turns out my previous instructor is no longer with the studio due to scheduling conflicts.  Sort of bummed me out, she was a really sweet girl with a soft but encouraging voice, who would come around and help me when I couldn't quite stretch far enough or bend the right way.  But the class I'm going to now- Monday and Thursday- is taught by the actual owner of the studio.  She's older and a very experienced instructor.  And since my class is filled with mostly older ladies- I am the youngest one there by at least a good decade!- the class was gentle and healing and it felt SO good.  I didn't hurt anywhere for the rest of the day.  It may not burn calories, but at over 90 minutes, it's a wonderful class.  And I will keep at it!  That is my positive affirmation for today!


Monday, October 20, 2014

My Frenemy

I know I've posted this before, but I weigh every day and keep track of it on a calendar.  I've done it for several years now.  I know "they" say you aren't supposed to do that, and even my WW leader frowns when I mention it.  I think the experts are afraid daily weighers will somehow become obsessed with the numbers.  I am not.  I just simply do it to track patterns, like my weekly gain every Monday.  Perhaps I should be a little more obsessed, maybe that would help!  It's an exercise in frustration though, because it just goes up and down, up and down, never moving forward.

This weekend was like every weekend of my life.  Even though we didn't go out of town, we did leave the comfort zone of the house, and out there in the world I go crazy with eating.  It doesn't matter how many times I tell myself I will only order the side salad with the fat free dressing, I never stick to that plan.  Hell, I don't WANT to be that person who only ever eats a nasty little lump of lettuce every time we go out.  I don't think my husband would enjoy my company much either if I was that person.

Friday night I had expected him to work late, but miracles sometimes do happen, and he was home at a "normal" time.  But super stressed out.  He hadn't been home ten minutes, and we were out the door, headed downtown to our favorite Mexican restaurant.  Well who ever heard of sticking to a healthy plan at a Mexican eatery, hah!  Luckily I don't drink alcohol, so the lure of a few Margaritas does not entice me.  But I do drink enough soda to make up for it.  Normally I get water when we go out, but there are just some cuisines that call for a nice cold Coke.  The only positive was that we didn't get a second basket of chips!

Saturday we got up early to head off to an estate sale and then an auction, so in between there was lunch out.  I managed to talk James into my favorite sandwich spot, where simple buns are bumped in favor of thick chewy sourdough bread, and sandwiches are loaded with yummy squishy dressings and cheese and olives and all sorts of fattening toppings.  I can't resist, and since the place is "in another town" and I don't get over that way very often, I convinced myself that was reason enough to indulge.  Sunday night my in-laws came through town for a nice visit, and we had Italian out.  Even though my pasta wasn't great, and I barely ate any of it- I did have plenty of salad, bread with oil, and the free dessert they offered in place of the terrible entree.

So this morning, my nemesis the scale showed the two pounds I gained over the weekend.  I expected it.  I always know that, whatever I weighed on Friday morning before WW, I might as well add 2-4 pounds come Monday.  That's been my pattern for years now.  I know I will lose those 2-4 pounds by Friday, which will mean no loss for my meeting this week.  And, once again next weekend, I'll do the same thing all over again.  Gain several pounds with two or three meals eaten out.  Then spend all of next week working it off.  It's why I can't get ahead.

I don't know how to break this pattern.  Easy enough to say stop eating out, but that isn't going to happen.  James and I don't stay home on the weekends.  And I haven't found a way yet to control myself at restaurants.  We enjoy eating out.  We love the burgers at The Brickhouse, the pizza at Fabiano's, the wings at Taco Mac.  I never want to tell my husband "Oh I can't eat there" when he wants to go somewhere in particular.  But I also don't want to sit across the table from him watching him eat chili cheese fries while I poke my fork at a tasteless piece of cucumber with no dressing.  I don't know how to find the balance where we can both have a good time yet do what's right.  That's the answer I need, to make the scale my friend from now on.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Getting It Over With

I kept my promise to myself, and as embarrassing and difficult as it was for me deep down inside, I headed back to my regular Weight Watchers meeting this morning.  When I opened my booklet up last night, I was a bit shocked to see my last weigh-in was back in August.  I didn't realize it had been so long.  But since I weigh and track at home on my calendar, I already knew the results of today's weigh in before I even stepped up to the counter.  15 pounds.  Yep, I gained 15 pounds back that quickly.  Our receptionist just looked at me and said, "Bless your heart".  If you are from The South, you know that is our polite secret code for "Well aren't you just a stupid little moron".  I can't make enough excuses to cover that gain in that short amount of time.  It's like in a simple few weeks, I gained back what it took me months and months to shed in the first place.  So I'm not happy with myself right now.

I had intentions of getting a new ActiveLink today- I've given up on looking for my lost one here at home.  With four cats, that thing could have been batted up under the refrigerator by now.  But my leader informed me they were out of stock.  She said WW is actually revamping them and getting ready to launch something new to replace them, although she said she wasn't allowed to say anything more yet.  Someone told me a few weeks ago, they sold them all out for $5 a piece.  Yes, sounds like they are discontinued now?  I thought about ordering one on eBay, but why pay for another ActiveLink if WW is getting ready to issue an updated version?

A few of the members said they are using FitBit, and said it now links up with the WW website, and can translate into activity points.  I do admit I thought the ActiveLink was a bit one dimensional, but I did like how it kept me honest as far as how many activity points I was earning every day.  I stopped at Target on the way home and looked at the FitBit, but the $100 price tag made me hesitate.  True, with the ActiveLink there is a $5 a month fee to use them, and FitBit would not cost anything besides the $100.  But I decided I would wait and see what new product WW was going to launch.  I am not going to let this derail me, I can certainly exercise without the ActiveLink!  I used it for well over a year, I can pretty much figure out how many points I earn on an average day of not doing much (only 2 points!) compared to an active day that includes the treadmill (maybe 5 points on a good day, 8 on a super great day).  I will use my past experience to start tracking my activity points, until WW unveils their new gadget.

For today, my goal is to get through the weekend without overeating too terribly.  Friday date night is postponed this week, as my husband continues to work late nights due to an audit, so I will have a sensible meal at home instead of the normal Friday night splurge.  We do have a lot of goodies in the house right now that I'm trying to ignore.  This week was Boss's Day and a sweet employee gave James a gigantic food gift basket, which of course he brought home.  It contained a minefield of snacks including peanut brittle, chocolate dipped potato chips, caramel chews, cookies, kettle chips, and a lot more.  I don't really want my husband eating that sort of stuff either, but well, I know we will both get into all of it eventually.  And it makes me sad to know that I already expect myself to fail.

What is that old line from Star Trek?  Resistance is futile?  Some days I really feel that way.


Thursday, October 16, 2014


I have one dangerous pattern that seems to be my undoing.  I start off strong but I can't maintain.  That pattern shows up on so many levels.

If you read my blog, you know that I am a chronic rejoiner of Weight Watchers (my leader jokingly calls me a reoffender).  I never stick to it for long, which is crazy, because I know it works.  The plan has never failed me- I myself fail.  I always start off with guns blazing, I track every smear of mayo, I'm online looking up how many points are in those bread sticks at Olive Garden, I am standing on the sidewalk every Friday morning when they unlock the doors for the meeting, I swap my favorite yogurt (6 points!!) for the 2 point version I can barely tolerate.  I do everything I'm supposed to do the first few weeks, the first few months.  Then I start missing meetings here and there, I don't track on the weekends, I forget to count the butter I put on that second piece of toast at breakfast.

I know some people don't like WW because of the tracking- they don't want to measure or weigh food, they don't want to calculate the points on everything. But that's one of the things that I love about the program.  It does NOT bother me to write down everything I eat, and even though WW has new apps and iPhone stuff, I still like to use the paper tracker and a pen.  I firmly believe that the only real way to lose weight is know your fat and calories, know your proper portion sizes.  If I don't know what I'm eating, or how much, I will continue to overeat and continue to gain weight.  It's that simple really.  I'm a compulsive list-maker anyhow, so tracking fits my personality perfectly.  Having said that, I almost always drift away from it after a few months of tracking faithfully.

The other pattern that I notice is a cycle that, even when I'm following WW religiously, I can't seem to break.  I always start off Mondays fired up and ready to go.  Monday through Thursday, I stick to the plan with perfection. I don't go over my points, I exercise, I eat all my fruits and vegetables, I drink water by the gallon.  Since I'm home alone every day, that's been easy to maintain.  But then comes the weekend.  Fridays I'm usually in town all day, so I stop in for lunch somewhere.  Friday night has become a regular date night with the husband, and that includes a nice dinner out and the movies- where James can NOT go without getting a big popcorn.  Saturday and Sunday we are almost always on the run, here and there, going out, running errands, weekends in the mountains or in the big city.  There is always another lunch out here, a dinner out there, a pizza or two ordered.  Even if we are home, it seems the snacking is ongoing as we watch football games or baseball or car racing.

When I work hard all week to lose 4 pounds, I put it all back on every weekend.  The result?  I go to my meetings on Friday with no loss-no gain.  This has been my cycle for as long as I can remember.  I always joke at the meetings and say I am a part-time member, and that's what it feels like.  I am a dedicated Weight Watcher from Monday through Thursday, then all bets are off on the weekends.

This has been my number one obstacle, and I haven't yet found a way to get beyond this pattern.  It's abusive and wasteful.  It's wasteful because if this is how I'm going to continue, then "being on" Weight Watchers is wasting my time.  Unless I dedicate myself to it every day, I will never make progress, I will always be stuck in this up and down pattern, never moving forward.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Return Policy

I made myself a promise I would get back to the blog.  I need something to help me stay focused on my weight loss efforts.  Those efforts have drifted off somewhere into the ozone lately, and I'm determined to find them again.  So the blog seemed like a good place to start.  It seems that many of the blogs I used to read are gone now, and I'm going to seek for new inspiration and motivation out there.

Earlier this year I was humming along, doing great, down in the low 190's for the first time since before I got married.  I was dedicated to Weight Watchers- tracking, going to my meetings.  I wore my ActiveLink from the time I woke up until I rolled into bed at night, always aiming for those 100% days.  I had started back with yoga again at a new local studio.  I even started buying up TV show collections on DVD because I was doing over an hour a day on the treadmill.

Everything fell apart this spring.  We went on a nice vacation out west.  I hurt my knee on the trip, so once we got back home, I stopped going to yoga "until it healed", which has turned into a continued absence.  I slacked off on my daily treadmill addiction.  The less I moved, the more I started to hurt everywhere, so the less I moved- to a point where I was ready to go to the doctor and ask to be tested for arthritis.  The pounds started to creep back up on me.  I would miss a WW meeting here and there.  Then another vacation at the end of summer, and more weight gain with still less movement.  When we got home, I promptly lost my ActiveLink and have been searching under every piece of furniture in the house.  I know I lost it at home, because I clearly remember that day and I never left the house.  But that was weeks ago, and I haven't yet found it.

So now I'm on week seven of having skipped my Weight Watchers meetings.  I haven't tracked in two months.  I can't remember the last time I stepped on the treadmill two days in a row.  And lately my answer to a hassle free evening has been ordering pizza for our dinner.  I am out of control, and surprise, my weight is back up in the 210's.  NOT where I wanted to go, but the excuses and the lying to myself have taken me there.

I'm ready to get back to it.  I'll return to WW this Friday and face that scale.  I will take out my tracker and get back to writing everything down and sticking to my daily points allowance.  I'll buy a new ActiveLink and start a new challenge.  I will wipe off the cobwebs on the treadmill in the basement, but plan to start walking outside now that the autumn weather is so enjoyable out there.  I will absolutely go back to yoga, since I have 15 more prepaid classes to use before they expire in December!

Back to the blog- I will attempt to post every day, at least during the week since our weekends are normally spent out and about.  I don't know of any other way to continue on the right path.  Weight Watchers has always worked for me, if ONLY I stay on the plan!


Thursday, September 18, 2014


Is anyone still out there?  Yes I'm still alive and well, just lazy.  I promise that starting next week, I'll be back on both of my blogs on a permanent basis!  Love to you all!