Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day three and a really quick post

I'm just getting ready to leave work (10:23pm--longest day ever!). My work life really sucks lately. I spent three days of my four-day weekend working. To say I'm sick and tired of work is an understatement. I had a three-week vacation scheduled starting December 10, but that's been delayed until December 15. I guess at least I have a job (somehow, that doesn't really help make me feel better right now).

Today was suppose to be our Rope Challenge Course team building event in Mt. Vernon. We got rained out. What a surprise, rain in the Pacific Northwest in late November. Instead we did a tour of the Everett Boeing factory. It was interesting for about ten minutes then I wanted to go back to the bus and sleep. Big airplane pieces being assembled. Big yawn. The only factoid I remember is that it's the biggest building in the world, and they build 747's. I work for an airline so I guess this tour should have thrilled me. It didn't. They didn't even allow cameras or cell phones so no pictures.

Afterwards I had to come back to the office at 3pm and work until now so I could get my work done. Something terribly wrong with this picture (remember, it was suppose to be a "fun" team building event).

My eating was okay today. We went out to lunch after the tour at Mongolian Grill. I had a ton of vegetables and maybe 3 ounces of chicken, with just a touch of sesame seed oil. It's the teriyaki sauce they poured over it after it was cooked that probably had a million calories. It tasted good but I was hungry by 4pm and I didn't bring any food with me today.

About two hours ago I snuck into the candy dish at a coworkers desk. First time ever. I had ten M&Ms and ten M&M coconut candies. Mainly because I'm at work and that's the only food available. I ate a Weight Watchers instant oatmeal first (been in my desk forever). It was really icky. Just for the record, I didn't really enjoy the candy either. 34 calories for the M&Ms and no idea for the coconut ones (and they really weren't good). I'd rather have had a big Honeycrisp apple.

I'm back on the Stairmaster for my cardio at the gym. It's killing me. I'm amazed how a twenty-five pound gain is making my workouts so much more difficult. When I was 155 I could do 140 flights of stairs in 30 minutes. It was hard but doable. I was doing it almost every day. Now at 180 pounds I'm really struggling to get 120 flights done in 30 minutes. Every morning I think I'm not going to make it to the 30 minutes. 25 pounds is a LOT of extra weight.

Not much else to write about. Just that I'm very tired and have to drive home now in the cold and the rain. Sucks to be me today.

New PointsPlus Plan - Weight Watchers
Oh my gosh! Before I walked out the door I wanted to quickly glance at the new Weight Watcher PointsPlus Plan on their website. Today is the first day of the new plan but my meeting is on Saturday.

They've really changed things around. They upped my PointsPlus to 29 (it was 22), but then they say food has more PointsPlus in it. Instead of calculating Calories/Fat/Fiber in foods, now they use Fat/Carbs/Protein/Fiber to get the PointsPlus.

I want to be positive about this but I can't  help but feel like it's a marketing ploy. I hope I'm wrong. Supposedly, according to my lovely brainwashed Weight Watcher leader (can't help but thinking of "take me to your leader" every time I call her my "leader")....there's a lot of scientific research behind these changes.

I wonder if it's really that much better than the old plan.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

One day down, 364 more to go

Yesterday was a pretty good food day. It was the first time in weeks that I didn't have a crazy late night binge. My binges these days aren't anything like they were three years ago when I weighed 240 pounds. I use to eat bags of candy, chips, cookies or whole cakes or pies, all in one sitting. I gave the word gluttony new meaning.

These days a binge is an extra chicken breast or a bag of light popcorn or a couple Weight Watcher ice cream bars. Or maybe all of that plus some, but all healthy foods (except the WW ice cream bars that are really junk food in disguise).

I still consider these binges, just a more healthy version of a binge. Last night I ate two WW ice cream bars and a piece of turkey breast (probably six ounces). It put me over my 22 Points (my 180 weight gives me an extra Point). Still, this is considerably less than I've been eating late at night these past weeks, hence the 6-pound gain in three weeks.

Even with an hour of cardio yesterday that was too much food. In order to lose weight I have to maintain my exercise of a minimum of an hour a day AND cut back on the calories.

One good thing is I've made peace with Dave's Killer bread, the thing that's been my downfall for a few weeks. I LOVE this bread. It's organic, tasty and full of healthy ingredients. It has 20 more calories than one of those sandwich thin things (130 calories, 3 grams fat, 4 grams fiber). It's two Points versus one Point but it's so much tastier and healthier than fake bread. I allow myself one slice a day, with my breakfast. It's really removed that "it's forbidden, I must eat it all" attitude I had about it.

After dinner tonight I'm going to try to totally resist eating anything. Just to see if I can do it. Tomorrow is going to be hell day at work so I have to go to bed early anyway. I deal with "hell days" better when I'm well rested. So I'll be in bed by 9pm, up at 5am for the gym, and physically at the gym by 5:30am. That's my normal gym time but I'm often not asleep until midnight.

Not much planned today except a few work things I have to get finished for tomorrow. I've been working on them for the last two days, and I'm almost finished with my project. Tomorrow is the start of alpha testing which is always extremely stressful for me. The work I did is for another team so it's a bit unusual for me. The people doing the testing are very experienced and are perfectionists, which is a good thing, but again, it stresses me out big time.

Other than that, I'm going to the gym at noon, home to shower and then hit a movie this afternoon. I really wanted to see Unstoppable, the train movie. I love trains. I know, I work for an airline, but really love trains. They've always fascinated me more than airplanes. My husband wants to see the Harry Potter movie. Since I almost always get to pick the movie (and usually a chick flick and he's good with those), I think I'll let him have this one. I'm not a huge Harry Potter fan, but the movies are usually okay (although the last one was horrid).

By the way, it's 364 days until I absolutely will be at goal. I know this is a lifetime thing, I'll always have food issues and will be fighting them to my dying day. That's pretty much a given, but it's 364 days to goal weight. That thought helps me focused.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My weighin and feeling more positive

After my pathetic post earlier today about considering myself an epic failure in the weight loss arena, I almost blew off my Weight Watcher meeting. I was feeling like why should I even bother, I can't do this anymore. I'm sick and tired of trying and failing over and over.

I couldn't help thinking it doesn't do any good to go to the meetings anyway. I go, I listen, then I chose to ignore the advice. Thankfully I ignored my stupid girl voice and went to my meeting.

What was really cool about the meeting was our leader's excitement about the new program. She told us she wanted us to consider today the last day of our Weight Watcher year. This year was past and a new year was starting this week with the new ProPoints program and all new materials. She even played Auld Lang Syne at the end of the meeting and told us we had to hug each other (yes, the meetings are often a little touchy-feely, but they're fun).

After the meeting I sat in my car and looked at my weighin results. I knew it was bad and it was exactly as I had anticipated. I weighed in with a 6.2 pound gain at 180.8. No surprise. I gained it in three weeks. My last weighin was 11/6 at 174.6.

I looked back in my Weight Watcher weighin book and on January 9, 2010, I weight 180.4. Interesting. Basically, I stayed the same this year. That's a first for me. I've lost significant amounts of weight in the past but never kept it off for more than a few months.

Instead of feeling defeated about the weight gain and not making any real progress in a year, I feel energized. I've decided this is going to be my year. This is the year I'm going to make goal. After almost three years of Weight Watcher meetings, I tired of just sitting in meeting after meeting watching other people make goal. I want to make goal.

My year starts today, right this very minute. Not on January 1, but today, November 27, 2010. One year from today I will be at goal. I'm definitely feeling more positive.

Weight Watchers told me I'm new...maybe they're right

I tired to change my Weight Watcher payment information last night. This morning their website said I wasn't a member any longer. After being on the phone with them for twenty minutes I'm reinstated, but as a new member.

Well, sort of a new member. I had to re-enter all my personal information and set up a new password, just like I was a new member. Luckily it still had my old weight chart information back to February 2008 when I joined the first time, but it had my current weight as 185. Funny how that 185 number popped in there for today. I didn't enter it, maybe the guy on the phone did it (he didn't ask me my weight, maybe he just figured I'd gained 10 pounds since my last weighin). I haven't weighed 185 since June 2008.

In a way, I'm a little embarrassed that I've been in Weight Watchers for almost three years, and I'm still not at my goal weight of 135. Seriously, three years is a long time to spend trying to do something that should have only taken about one year. There's really no way to look at it except as a big failure. Sure, I can say I've kept off 60 pounds for over two years, but since the goal was to lose 100 pounds and keep it off, I'd give myself a C- for reaching my goal. Actually, in my work world not making a deadline is considered an epic failure. And for me, that's really not acceptable.

Maybe being new isn't such a bad thing. I'm going to weighin today and whatever that weight is will be my new starting weight. Since I've been drinking coffee all morning and chugging the water, I'll probably be up pretty high. That's okay though, I'm not really beating myself up. Just trying to be realistic here, accept my failure and move on.

The new program will be announced this coming week in the US. I read a little bit about it online at Facebook and other articles. I liked some of the things I read, and some others I wasn't too happy to read (I hope the "cheat" day of fast food is just a rumor).

Anyway, here's a few things I found on line in what appeared to be a legitimate articles:

•Instead of basing a food's Points on calories, fat and fiber, there will be more of an emphasis on the quality of the food. Brown rice will have fewer Points than white rice. A 100-calorie pack of cookies will have more Points than 100 calories of chicken breast, and so on.

•To encourage better food choices, fruit and most vegetables will have zero Points. Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, corn and peas will not be in the free list.

•The minimum amount of Points assigned to people will be 29 Points, but they'll also be given a weekly allowance of 49 Points as "Real Living" Points to be used on snacky, boozy, party-type foods.
 
Plus, this article on the UK Weight Watchers 2011 plan gives even more information. I suspect the US plan is the same. This is just a sneak peek from some of the things I found online. We'll find out the real deal this week.

Just for fun, I also checked out the Weight Watcher UK message board on the ProPoints Plan. Since UKjust got it about two weeks ago, there's a lot of messages flying around on their boards about it. Sounds like everyone loves it because you get so many more Points with the new plan. By the way, you don't have to be a WW member to read the message boards. They're open to everyone.
 
Well, I have to get showered and ready for Weight Watchers. I'll post my weigh in later today. I'm sure it's going to be scary. For all my talk of losing weight, I know I'm up from my last weighin. I'd say no worries, but if I'm truthful here, I'm mad as hell at myself for screwing up when I was so close to goal. Oh well, I'm "new", what can I say?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday - Part 2

If posting once a day is good for me, posting twice must be really good for me.

I went to the gym this afternoon and had all sorts of weird technical problems. First, I forgot my iPod, which I've only done twice in three years. I almost turned around and went home, instead I suffered through my workout. Without music it was pretty miserable. The gym music is horrible. I like really fast-paced, high volume music. The gym music was turned down really low and it sounded like elevator music. Really bad.

Then my Polar heart monitor went all wonky on me, telling me pulse was 58 when I thought I was dying and my heart was going to explode. Then it was 154 when I was barely moving. It does this every few months and then it'll be fine the next day. Annoying.

After 30 grueling minutes on the treadmill I thought I'd do another 20 minutes cardio on an elliptical. Unfortunately I picked an elliptical that had problems. It would only allow a maximum of a 10-minute workout. I could have used another elliptical (there are about 40 of them, all available), but I decided 10 minutes sounded fine.

Then my strength workout wasn't good. I felt weak and tired. I only did four upper body exercises, three sets each. Not really worthy of being called a workout.

I'm not sure why I had such a bad workout today, other than my weight gain. It seems like when I gain weight working out is extra hard. My body feels heavier and more difficult to move. I feel lethargic. I need to remember this the next time I think about eating something not on plan.

Speaking of plan, only three and half hours left in this day and I've been 100% perfect in my eating. I kept track of my water too, four 26-oz bottles of water, 2 12-oz mugs coffee, 2 12-oz mugs herbal tea for a grand total of 152 ounces of non-food liquids. It really does help with the hunger and helps me stay away from the bad stuff.

If I can just get this one day under my belt, the next one will be easier. That's just how it works, good days help create good days. I need a string of them together to lose this weight. I think I will be okay. :)

Black Friday in more ways than one

I stepped on the scale this morning expecting the worse. I haven't weighed since Sunday when I was 175.6. Today, I was 181.6. Six pounds in five days. Who does that? Well, me, that's who. I've easily gained ten pounds in a week without even trying. I'm some sort of freak of nature and if I was on a deserted island I'm pretty sure I'd survive longer than anyone because of my body's unique way of holding on to calories.

180 is my freakout weight. Someone once asked me if there's a weight that scares me into sanity. 180 is that weight. The reason is because at 180 my size 12 clothes are tight. At 185 my face changes. I've seen it happen. I normally have a long, slim face, but at 185 it starts to noticeably change. Of course it changes before that, gradually, where I hardly notice it, but at 185 it's like wow, who is that woman in the mirror.

A word about Marie Callendar's pies. First, I made two pumpkin pies, one using a Weight Watcher recipe for 3 Points for 1/8 of the pie, and one with Stevia from an internet recipe. They were both disgusting. My husband went to the store on Thanksgiving Day and purchased two Marie Callender pies. One was Key Lime, one pumpkin. I can pass on pumpkin but I can't pass on Key Lime. 1/10 of that tiny pie was 320 calories, 16 grams fat and 45 grams carbohydrates (not to mention 35 grams of sugar). I ate three slices (1/10 each). That stuff is POISON.

Before that I ate the traditional dinner with the best ever organic turkey from Trader Joes. That turkey was worth every cent. I've never eaten such a tasty bird.

I could tell you more of what happened in detail, but it's pretty obvious. It wasn't just yesterday,  but it was all week. I ate too much and didn't exercise enough. I worked from home two days in a row when I was feeling weak when it came to food. Even though I attempted to make Thanksgiving as healthy as possible it wasn't just Thanksgiving Day that was my downfall, it was the entire week. It was my "it's the holidays!" attitude that got me in trouble.

Now for the plan of action. Today I'm 100% back on plan. Counting Points because that's what I do best, drinking water by the gallons and a good solid gym workout for an hour and a half. Just knowing that I have my plan back in place makes me feel better.

Part of my plan is to get back to posting on a more consistent basis and reading blogs and commenting. Even though I've been reading, I haven't commented much. Mainly because I felt like a hypocrite. When I'm not doing well on my plan I drop the posting and commenting as well. Who wants to read about me eating Key Lime pie? How can I give any advice when I'm a dismal failure? Well, I need to change and get back to myself.

Just by posting this I feel 100% better. Weird, but sharing my failures makes me feel stronger and hopeful.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

It's 16 degrees right now, which for Seattle is really COLD!

I was out the door this morning at 5:30am headed for the gym (it was 20 degrees). I got to the end of our street, turned around and came home. Even though I grew up in Alaska and know how to drive in snow and ice, I don't have studded snow tires or 4-wheel drive. I decided only a fool would risk their life just to go work out.

I worked from home today because the roads were horrible so I went to the gym on my lunch. Not my best workout because I was rushed, but at least I went in spite of the roads. I increased all my weights by an extra five pounds. Even my concentrated bicep curls, I used a 25-pound dumbbell on the last set of 8. It wasn't as painful as I expected but I'm a little sore. I'm trying to amp up my strength training a little. I've been doing the same size of weights for too long, it's time to bump them up a little.

Not much else going on except that. I'm completely stressed out over a work project that is suppose to be code complete by tomorrow. It's not done. Almost, but not quite. Theoretically I still have the four-day holiday but it makes me sick to think about working over the holiday.

This afternoon when I was dealing with a particularly complicated problem I could actually feel my blood pressure going up. I have a blood pressure cuff and it was at 154/72. Yikes! Normally I'm 120/60, so this isn't good.

My eating isn't perfect, I tend to eat too much when I get stressed. I know, crazy isn't it? I haven't gone totally nuts on the food, just a couple slices of my favorite bread (remember, there were two loaves), and maybe too many grapes, and a handful of marshmallows. I don't even like marshmallows and they're only in the house because of Thanksgiving.
This is a weird post. Scattered. Boring. Sort of like how I'm feeling tonight.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The week in review

Every day I think of something I want to post about, then every day I'm too exhausted to post. Today I'll give you the highlights of my week, and hopefully get back to regular scheduled programming tomorrow.

The weighin
My weighin wasn't great - 175.6. Up 0.6 pounds. This seems to be my destiny, and I don't like it one little bit. I'm super perfect on plan for two days and then totally blow it the next day. Wash, rinse and repeat.

What went wrong
Thursday it was a loaf of my most favorite bread. It's store bought, but perfect bread. Dave's Killer Seed Bread from Portland, OR. I love this stuff. It's very healthy, all organic and full of good stuff...but it's high in calories when you eat several slices with light Smart Balance and a drizzle of honey. I didn't eat the entire loaf, but I made a good dent in it. I don't buy it because I know I'm weak when it comes to bread. My husband (darn him anyway) brought it home from Costco. Same with the best tortilla chips I've ever tasted (the kind they serve in Mexican restaurants), another bad day. He's now on restriction, he has to buy from a list. If it's not on the list, he can't buy it. New rule (that he probably won't follow, but a girl can try).

What went right
To add insult to my gain is that I worked out like a maniac last week. I've started a new routine where I do ten minutes of warmup on the Stairmaster, then my weights for an hour and finish with an intense 20 minutes on the StairMaster. Since I detest cardio, this really works for me. It seems like that 10 minute hard warmup gets my heart rate up and then during weight lifting it stays up high. I also seem stronger when it comes to lifting by keeping my cardio at the end, like all the books recommend and I've been ignoring for years. My workouts are now a full hour and 35 minutes. Of course some of that is wiping down the StairMaster twice and walking to different areas of the gym. I figure a good hour and 20 minutes is solid exercise time.

I've also been forcing myself to really do the lower body strength exercises every other day (alternating with upper body). I hate the lower body strength training almost as much as the cardio (not quite, I don't hate anything like I hate cardio).

On the days I didn't eat bread or tortilla chips I actually tracked all my calories, four out of seven days. Not bad but the bread and tortilla chip days put me way over my calories.

Yard Work - Me!
I did yard work last weekend. Yes, me with a rake in hand. Probably the first time in ten years I've actually worked in the yard (maybe 20 years). We have the world's largest Maple tree in our backyard. It's actually eight trees that grew up out of one spot. Imagine the leaves from eight gigantic maple trees. You couldn't even see the lawn beneath the leaves. I raked for three hours. My husband and I switched chores last weekend. He went to Costco and grocery shopping (hence the two loaves of bread and two giant bags of tortilla chips).  I chose the yard work because I wanted to be outside.

The coolest thing was when I discovered the ivy had climbed about 20 feet up the trees. Now that's not the cool part, ivy on trees is very bad since it kills them. What was cool was me climbing up the trees and pulling off the ivy. I'm a lot stronger than I thought (thank you 20 and 25-pound dumbbells).

When my husband saw all the ivy off the trees he asked me how on earth I got up there, he asked me if I had pulled over the ladder. I told him no, this 55-year old woman climbed up in the trees and held on to branches as I reached out and plucked ivy off the tree with the other hand. Some of the ivy stems were at least an inch thick and I had to use a screwdriver to force the ivy suckers off the tree. That's the first time outside of the gym that I thought wow, I'm pretty strong. Being strong really comes in handy in real life...like climbing trees and pulling off ivy.

Team event
Speaking of being strong, I have a team event (for work) on Nov. 30. At first I was super excited about it since it was my first pick of six choices. My coworkers (there are ten of us) are going up to Mt. Vernon for the day and doing the Eagle Rock Challenge Course. It's one of those corporate things to help build team trust and relationships.

It has things like walking on ropes high up in the air, a trapeze thing, and other similar activities. After I looked at some videos online I'm not so sure this is a good idea. I have a bit of a fear of high places. Not terrible, it's just not something I prefer to do. I guess I should have looked at the website and the videos prior to voting on my choice. I just hope I'm strong enough to do this. I work with mostly younger and very fit people. Most are late 20's or 30's and I'm by far the oldest and fattest person on my team.

We have to sign waivers that we won't hold the City of Mt. Vernon responsible for any injuries, and wear hard hats. It's not like I can say no, I don't want to go, then I'm not a team player and it's all about being a team player where I work. If you don't want to be on a team, well, there's the door...good luck in your job search.  This isn't me in the video below, but I'll probably have a similar video after the 30th of our adventure (if I live to talk about it). Wish me luck! This is also part of why I'm upping my weight lifting time at the gym. I don't want to be the weak, 55-year old fatty that can't do this.



Quicken aficionado
I must mention my new hobby. Finances! Another thing I haven't done in 20+ years of marriage, looked at our finances. We both work,  have decent jobs with decent salaries, no kids, yet there never seems to be enough money.

I purchased Quicken 2011 a week ago and have spent hours looking through everything and entering information, downloading all our bank stuff online (way cool). Yikes! I had no idea I was spending so much money on groceries. It's embarrassing. I can't even write it out here because we (I) have been spending more on food than most people probably spend on a family of six or more. I didn't know the price of anything because I don't look at prices when I shop. I know, I'm an idiot when it comes to money. But that's all changing. We have a budget! Now that I'm tracking everything in Quicken I'm much more aware of what I'm spending.

Plus all the crap I buy that I don't need. I found myself at the pharmacy yesterday picking up my asthma medicine strolling through their attached gift shop. I always buy some piece of junk when I go in there because "they have the cutest stuff". Emphasis on "stuff". I don't need any more stuff, I have plenty thank you very much. :)


Plans for the coming week
Stop eating bread and chips! I never eat these things, and I just went a little nuts with them in the house. It's like a crack addict knowing there's a bunch of crack sitting in their kitchen. Seriously, that's just foolish. If it's not in the house I won't eat it.

Yes, I know I live with another person. I know he should be allowed to have what he wants to eat, but...well, I guess there are no buts here. I should be able to resist. It's just really hard for me. He won't be doing it again if I can  help it. He's always very supportive and he thinks I have things under control with food. I keep telling him I'm like an addict, but I really don't think he gets it. He never eats out of boredom or loneliness, he eats when he's hungry. What a concept.

I have real plans to track my food every single day. Even on Thanksgiving day. Stay within my 1400 calorie limit. Even on Thanksgiving Day. Tracking really helps.

Continue with the exercise and water. Both were great this week.

I know it's Thanksgiving week, but we're staying home and that helps. I'm in control of what's being cooked and I can cook a good, tasty, yet very healthy meal. Hopefully I won't go crazy on the healthy food...which I've been known to do.

Have a good week, and I shall be back tomorrow!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The return of hunger

This morning I decided today is really a new beginning, square one, of me on a diet. Yes folks, it's a diet. You may call it a lifestyle change, but to me it is and always will be a diet when I try to lose weight. Lifestyle change sounds pretty and easy and sort of fun...lifestyle, nice word. Diet, on the other hand, has all sorts of negative connotations. Hunger, discomfort, frustration, anxiety, misery, a challenge. I suppose that sounds a bit negative, but I'm just calling it like it is. If it was so darn easy as some people would like us to think then we would all be skinny.

I worked out like a maniac this morning, 30 minutes on the StairMaster and 40 minutes of upper body weights. I pushed myself hard on the weights but I'm not sore yet. I was hoping for some triceps soreness with the 25-pound dumbell tricep presses. Maybe tomorrow. I define a good workout with a touch of soreness now and then, especially when I push myself like today.

My food had been good, with every bite weighed, measured, documented. 1,485 calories. It sounds like a lot to me, but it's almost exactly what I was eating following Weight Watchers Point system (I'm still in Weight Watchers, just trying the calorie counting for a while). The water has been extra good today. 117 ounces and one mug of coffee. I forgot how much all the water helps with the hunger.

About the hunger, yes, I've been hungry today. It's part of the diet, it's what happens when you cut back on your calories. My sister and I have said for years that hunger is a good thing. It means you're burning fat and losing weight.

Funny thing is that I've seen other bloggers posting about hunger recently. Allan had a good post about it today. I've noticed some people never talk about hunger. From reading their blogs it appears they never actually get hungry. They're few and far between but I've decided maybe they just feel things differently than the rest of us. They're very lucky because hunger isn't fun, but for some of us fatties, it's just a fact of life if we want to lose weight we're going to have to experience a  certain level of hunger.

It's almost 11pm and I would call this one of my best days of staying on plan in weeks. I'm very tired, ready to hit the pillow.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A walk down memory lane

I'm typing this from my 1998 Dell desktop computer, Windows 2000. My beautiful, less than a year old Toshiba laptop hasn't been playing nice with my 23" monitor. I even bought a new monitor and new $40 HDMI cable for it, both big monitors are still red flashing lines at me. The laptop monitor is fine. I finally caved and asked my husband, the computer geek guy, to look at it. Something about the HDMI port on the laptop. Needs to be repaired. I have to take it in to the computer guys to be fixed. Bummer.

Since I can't live without a computer with a big monitor (for work stuff), I thought I'd turn on my old faithful 12-year old Dell. I hadn't really used it since my first laptop in 2004. Amazingly it booted up, connected to the internet and works with the new monitor. The grinding sound the hard drive keeps making is annoying me, but it works. Gotta love old technology.

I was looking at all the old files that I never bothered to transfer over to my laptops. Apparently I was much more career-driven in 2004. There are tons of work files, work goal setting documents and very few pictures. I found two pictures of myself sitting on the desktop.

2004 - 240 pounds


June 28, 2009 - 156 pounds (I think I added this one when my old laptop was dying last year).


So where am I today? Sitting right where I've been for months. 175 pounds. Sixty-five pounds less than the top picture but 20 pounds heavier than the bottom picture (and I still thought I was fat at 156).

The reason I haven't been posting is because I've been in a slump lately. Just sick and tired of the whole thing, yet each day I start out full of hope that this will be the day I stay totally on plan, drink my water, and lose weight. Yet each day I fail. Not horribly because I'm not gaining weight, but still, I'm failing because I'm not losing weight.

These pictures stirred something up in me. A little bit of sadness that I didn't stick with it and get to goal. A bit of hope that heck, I did it before and got so close that I can do it again. A little bit of fear, looking back where I started and what IF I go back there?

I've printed both pictures and stuck them on the bathroom mirror. A visual reminder of where I've been, and where I want to go, but this time go even a step further and get to goal.

In other words, I'm back!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I had a dream

It wasn't really a dream, more of a nightmare.

Since I've been sleeping a lot more lately I've started dreaming again. Unfortunately, most of my dreams haven't been pleasant. The one I had Friday night has stayed with me through the weekend. I can't seem to let it go.

Usually I dismiss dreams as just that...dreams. They don't really mean anything, just silly junk our brain comes up with while we try to sleep.

This one was different. This one is was disturbingly a reflection of my life.

I was inside of a building, standing on a very narrow ledge along a wall. The ledge was so narrow that only the balls of my feet were on the ledge and I was standing on my tiptoes. I was very high up, and there was a cement floor below me. I knew if I fell I would die.

I was facing the wall with my hands and body pressed flat against the wall. I slowly inched along the narrow ledge sideways. I kept feeling like I was going to fall. When I looked down it was a long way to the floor. I was very frightened. I didn't know how I was going to get down.

Finally, I called for my husband to quickly bring me a ladder. He came with a ladder but he held if about five feet from me. I tried to reach for the ladder but I couldn't reach it. Then I lost my balance. I fell.

I didn't die (obviously), but in my dream when I fell I grabbed onto the very narrow ledge with my fingers. Then as I was hanging from the ledge with my fingers, and my legs were dangling, I realized my feet were almost touching the floor. I could let go and I wouldn't die. I was going to be okay.

This could be a reflection of so many things in my life. My job, my marriage, my weight loss efforts. The failure at any or all of these things will not kill me. It might scare me, but I won't die.

Or the dream could have been about the guy at work that was wearing moccasins last week. He told me they were like slippers. I asked him if they had arch support and he said no. I told him that would kill my feet because I have extremely high arches and had to have arch support in my shoes. He told me I needed to practice standing on a Bosu ball with one foot, barefooted. Just stand there grabbing the ball with my foot. That it would build up my arches. I told him I always fall off of those stupid Bosu balls. Yes, I bet that's what the dream was really all about. :)

It doesn't make it all better

After looking at my stats from last year that I posted yesterday, I started pondering why I just gave up and gained 21 pounds. I was near goal, at least the Weight Watcher goal of 155. At 158 pounds I was so close to goal that I could almost feel it. I remember being happy and proud of myself.

So what happened? Why did I just give up? Don't I want to reach goal? It appears that I don't really care anymore, that I gave up giving it my all and I'm just floating along, staying in the 170's, not really giving my weight loss much attention.

A few weeks ago a friend that I walk with on occasion asked me, "Isn't your life a lot better since you lost so much weight?" My immediate response was "No! It's not." Then I told her some things were better, I can breathe easier and my knees don't hurt. I don't get tired as quickly. I have a little more self-confidence. However, overall, I still have the same problems I had at 240 pounds, and I still had those same problems when I was down to 152 last year.

My job is still a job that I don't exactly look forward to each day, but it is a job. My marital problems are still here. My husband still gets grouchy when he's tired and he's tired a lot. I'm still afraid of the same things, becoming one of the morbidly obese and being homeless. I still don't think I'm smart or pretty. In a nutshell, I'm still the same person just in a healthier body.

My friend was shocked that my weight loss didn't solve all my problems. I was only telling her the truth, even though she's trying to lose a hundred pounds and this was disheartening to hear.

Maybe because I know it won't solve all my problems I've made reaching goal not as important to me as it was last year. I still want to reach goal, but for different reasons now. Now that I know it won't fix everything I need to look at in an entirely different light.

I want to lose weight so I can comfortably wear all the size 10 clothes in my closet. I'm back in a size 12. I want to lose weight so I can remain healthy and continue to be active in my old age. I have no intention of moving into an assisted living home in my 80's. I want to travel and not be in a wheelchair.

The reasons for getting to goal are different now. I know it won't make my job more fun or less stressful. I know it won't make my husband happier or my marriage better. I can't control these things, but I can control me. I can control how I handle things, what I put in my mouth, my health.

I think Sheryl said it best in her post last week when she wrote about her struggles at being at goal. The last few paragraphs really hit home for me.

I suspect this is why so many people gain back all their weight and then some more, just like I've done many times in my life. I expected a different outcome when I lost a lot of weight. I expected life to be wonderful and everyone around me to be as happy for me as I was for myself. It just doesn't work that way.

The bottom line is that reaching goal doesn't make it ALL better. It makes some things better, but a lot of things stay the same or only get slightly  better. That's okay, small positive changes in life are still good. I just have to expect less, accept that this isn't really a life-altering event to weight 155 versus 175 or 135 versus 175. My life will still be pretty much the same, just a thinner, healthier version of me.

So it doesn't make it all better, but it's a little better and sometimes, a lot better. That's still a good thing.

An afterthought:  After I posted this I realized some people might think that what I'm saying is that losing weight isn't worth it. That since it doesn't fix everything then why bother? That's not what I meant.

It fixes a lot of things, but basically you'll still come out on the other side the same person with a lot of the same problems. Some things will be better, some will go away, and you might even have an entirely new set of problems. It's still a very good thing to lose weight.

The other thing you might think is that I'm seeking compliments when I say I'm not smart or pretty. I know what I am. I'm average intelligence, average looks. It's okay, I've accepted it. Somehow I thought losing weight would make me better in all areas of my life. Obviously, I was wrong on that account, but again, I've accepted it.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It's in the water

In spite of the Halloween candy incident last weekend and the brownies I made one night this week I still had a good weighin today.

About the brownies, well, I had an argument with my husband, he went to bed mad at me. I felt sad so I made brownies, but...I only ate two and put the rest down the garbage disposal. The funny/sad thing is that I don't even really like brownies. Obviously, I still have a long way to go to overcome my emotional eating.

However, even though I wasn't perfect this week, I did a few things right:
  • I ate good, healthy food 90% of the time, in moderate portions.
  • I tracked my food four of the seven days.
  • I drank a LOT of water thanks to this guy. This really helped.
  • I worked out like a maniac seven days in a row.
  • I slept eight to nine hours a night. <---this one is amazing for me.
Weight today, November 6:

174.6

Week loss:

-3.6

Total loss:

-64.6

There are eight weeks left in 2010. The holidays. The weeks where people skip their Weight Watcher meeting, and indulge at the parties. 

Check out my stats from last year, around this time:



In four months I gained 21.6 pounds.  I was traveling a lot during that time, but it's been a year. I still haven't lost the weight I gained last fall.

My goals for the remaining eight weeks of 2010:

  1. Don't skip Weight Watcher meetings!
  2. Track my food seven days a week, aiming for 25 Points/day.
  3. Continue with my seven days a week workouts. Thirty minutes cardio, forty minutes strength.
  4. Water, tons and tons of water. I haven't caluclated exactly how much I need to be drinking, but currently I'm at 104 ounces of pure water a day (not counting tea, coffee, milk...I don't drink soda).
  5. Aim for a 1.5 pound/week loss. Eight weeks, 12 pounds.
  6. January 1, 2011 goal weight:  162.6
I still can't believe 2010 is almost over and February 2011 marks three years I've been blogging and following Weight Watchers. Obviously, not perfectly or I'd be at goal. :)


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's going to be a good day

I've been up since 3 a.m. checking on my software release. Everything looks good. It went out to all locations (120+) at 2:33 a.m. I completed a couple very basic smoke tests on two machines in two cities and I think it's going to be okay. Hallelujah!

It's 4:30 a.m. now so I guess it's off to the gym. Honestly, I'm so tired I could easily go back to sleep but I need to leave work early today so I can work on my Toastmaster speech for tomorrow. Ugh! The title is "The Fountain of Youth" and it's about the importance of exercise to the slow down the aging process.

I'm going to make a room of 20 people listen to me praise the benefits of exercise for seven minutes. They're a trapped audience and have to listen. Did I ever mention how much I hate public speaking? I'm getting better and Toastmasters is a huge help, but it's not something I would normally volunteer to do for fun. It's one of those things that if it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger.

Oddly, I'm starving this morning. Normally I don't eat before my workout but I feel like I'm running on zero energy this morning and my stomach is actually growling at me. I didn't have any snacks late last night other than a small Honeycrisp apple at 8pm, and I stayed within my 21 Points yesterday (not easy!). I'm cutting back on eating my earned exercise Points, especially since my candy lapse on Sunday.

I'm also trying to cut back on junk, aka "diet" ice cream and frozen fruit bars. Since I have difficulty eating just one of anything that I think tastes good, I've stopped buying them. Even though the frozen fruit bars are only 70 calories each, if I eat three in one sitting that's 210 calories and a lot of sugar. So they're not on the list anymore.

On Dawn's recommendation I bought a box of sugar-free fudgsicles. There's not much chance I'd eat more than one of those at a time, or two at the absolute max. They're 40 calories each and not exactly what I would call delicious, but they're better than nothing if you're really dying for a junk food sort of treat. Last night I actually decided I'd prefer an organic apple over the fudgesicles. An interesting concept. Something wholesome and healthy over something artificial (although sometimes, I'd pick the artificial treat).

I really have to get to the gym now and stop stalling. Row machine for 20, Stair Master for 20 and upper body weights for 40. Fun times.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Yes, she's a little bit crazy

Lately I've been a little bit nuts in my postings. I'm here, there and everywhere on how I'm trying to lose weight. One week I'm quitting Weight Watchers and Geneen Roth is my magic bullet. The next week I'm back at Weight Watchers, then I'm doing Geneen Roth's plan and Weight Watchers, then I'm binging. If you're wondering what the hell I'm doing, well, get in line because I'm not sure myself anymore.

The only thing I know is that I'm not giving up. If it's not working for me, I'll try something else and I'll keep trying different things until I get this figured out.

Now a word about therapy for people that have food issues. Obviously, I have issues. Anyone that gains 100 pounds and doesn't have a medical reason for the gain, most likely has some mental issues that contributed to the weight gain.

I remember the very first time someone told me I needed to go to therapy for my issues with food. It was in 1992, the person was my Jenny Craig "counselor". After going from 192 to 135 pounds, and still wanting to lose another ten pounds, I lost control one week and ate six bananas in one sitting. I don't know much about the program these days, but in 1992 you were only allowed one or two bananas a week, maximum.

I had a few more encounters with food similar to the banana incident over a period of several weeks. When I told my very thin Jenny Craig counselor about my binges, she was appalled. I think she'd lost 25 pounds on Jenny Craig before she was qualified to become a "counselor". She told me there wasn't anything she could do to help me, that I was wasting my money at Jenny Craig, and I needed to go into therapy.

She was right, but at this point in my life, I'm just not willing to spend the time and effort for therapy. Perhaps that's a bad idea, but it's where I am right now.

The food and exercise
Today was a very good food day. I forgot to take the leftover candy to work, but I put it in the trunk of my car tonight, and I feel safe. Crazy isn't it? That I feel "safe" from food. It's not like it's going to attack me.

My workout was great today, I love that old slider rowing machine. I did my thirty minutes on the crossramp and then fifteen minutes rowing. I found some videos on how to use the rowing machine (and if your back hurts, you're doing it wrong).

There are several great instructional videos available on YouTube. It turns out it's a good upper body workout, as well as good for your core. It's not really meant to get your heart rate up high (although it does if you do it too fast), it's more to strengthen your upper body. Who knew? I was doing it super fast to burn calories, but after watching the videos I'm going to slow it down a bit for more strengthening.

Now the crazy lady is going to bed. Tomorrow at 2am is out big software release to production. I'm not expecting good things. I hope I'm wrong.

Weighin update after the candy lapse

I couldn't help myself this morning, I had to see how much damage I did last night with those candy bars I ate. At 80 calories each, I ate six, that's about 500 calories over what I should have eaten yesterday (or about 10+ Points, and that's not even looking at the fat grams).

Well, I had a big scale surprise. I weigh 174.2, with my workout clothes on (same clothing as when I weighed in at Weight Watchers on Saturday at 178.2). That's on my home Tanita scales that are always right on with the Weight Watcher scales. What the heck! A four-pound loss in two days???

Maybe it was the good eating all weekend with the exception of the candy, or the gallons of water I drank (thanks to Allan for the constant reminder of the importance of water), or perhaps the three-hour intense exercise at the gym over the weekend. I'm not sure of the reason, but I'm thrilled the candy didn't totally derail me. Seeing a four-pound loss has actually inspired me to keep on track and keep going. A mid-week weighin isn't always a bad thing.

A little friendly competition
I have a confession. I've been following Lyn, Escape from Obesity, for at least two years (maybe longer). When she started on MediFast I weighed what I weigh now.

I thought I must get to goal before Lyn to prove this can be done without using drastic measures such as reducing your calories to 800-900 a day on an expensive, pre-packaged food program. You can do this eating healthy, natural food and doing exercise. Well, Lyn kept losing weight, and I was up and down the same five pounds...for the last several months. I watched Lyn get closer and closer to my weight.

Guess what? Lyn and I now weigh exactly the same (and we're the same height but I think she looks a lot skinnier :).

Now I'm thrilled for Lyn. No one deserves this more than she does. She's done a lot of work on her mental attitude, how she views food, how she views herself. Just because she's doing MediFast doesn't mean this was easy for her. I've done several of the pre-package food programs (with the exception of MF), and I know it's still hard work. Lyn is one of my heroes, and I admire what she's done. I don't put any less significance on it because she used the MediFast program, just like I don't put any less significance on someone that has had weight loss surgery. It's still incredibly difficult to lose weight, regardless of the path you chose.

On the other hand, I still feel like I have to prove something. That this can be done naturally, without spending a ton of money on a pre-packaged food program. So Lyn, if you're reading this, the race is on! I know you're losing 2-3 pounds per week, and I'm not sure I can keep up with that pace, but I'm going to give it my best shot.

Candy monster and polka dots

First of all, I don't think I can live with this polka dot look. It's making me dizzy, especially on my big 25 inch monitor I use for work (yes, I was just working on some work stuff and yes it's 5am). It's not bad on my laptop, but yikes, in big, giant living color, all these dots make me feel kind of sick.

About the candy, even though we had about 40 kids last night, and I had them taking handfuls of candy because honestly, I wanted to run out of candy and turn off the lights and rip off that ridiculous wig...we still wound up with a bag of 150 pieces of candy. The good stuff.

Right before I went to bed I grabbed a handful, a mixture of six bars, Twix, Almond Joys and Milk Ways, and I ate them. Oh well. A little lapse.The candy is going to work today, to the communal kitchen we all share on my floor. It will most likely be gone by noon. :)

I'm just about ready to pull on my workout clothes and head out to the gym. I think I'll do the StairMaster today and a good upper body workout, probably an hour and twenty minutes, which seems to be my normal to get in 30 minutes of cardio and 40 minutes of strength training.

Happy Monday everyone (and thank goodness Halloween is over!). Now we have Thanksgiving to face. Tis the season of food holidays.

Just a little crazy

I'm a little bit disappointed in my weigh-in this morning, but I know why it's not better than I expected: My last Weight Watc...