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!