Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Spinning Wheel

            What goes up, must come down. Well when you're a weight watcher it often goes in the opposite direction. That's what happened to me for this week's weigh in. I gained three pounds.While this does not make me happy, it doesn't wig me out as much as you would think. First of all it can mean that I am retaining water from hormones, muscle repair, salty food or the weather.  I know what I did . I have been measuring and tracking and working out. But as my meeting leader once said, look at it over the course of a month. So here goes..
4 wks ago: -0.4
3 wks ago: +1.4
2 wks ago: -4.6
1 wk ago: -1.4
this wk: +3.0
over all :  - 3lbs ( not too shabby) my current weight is 237lbs
                Now that I have ripped the band aid off the scab, let's go over the rest of my week.
Tues: 6313 steps on pedometer
Wed.: 11,438 steps( jogged 3 laps, walked 1 lap)
Thurs.:4068 steps
Fri: 4478 steps
Sat: Rest day
Sun: Biked for 12.5 miles
Mon: 13,152 steps (3 laps walk, 1 lap jogged)
                     I had some non-scale victories this last week. I went to a cocktail party on Thursday evening at my job. Usually at these parties I attempt to eat my weight in sushi and drink as much Jack Daniels and ginger ale that I can stand. But this time I ate eight pieces of sushi and no drink; not even water. I also had four shrimp with a tablespoon of cocktail sauce and eight black olives. Also, while walk/jogging I timed myself. When I first started to walk around my local track, four laps would take me one and a half hours. But on Wednesday the walking lap was 15 minutes and the jogging laps were 13 mins each. I started walking with the hope that I would eventually become a jogger. The fact that I could jog for 39 minutes straight without collapsing is a miracle.After my workout I picked up Jake and his friend from their afterschool program. I was doing my stretches while waiting for her mom. The next thing I know I'm working out again with the kids. We made a game of it taking turns choosing an exercise like jumping jacks or lunges. It was a lot of fun and it extended my workout.

                    On Sunday, my son Jake and I participated in the 15th Annual Tour De Bronx.We chose to do the 25 mile course. This is a miracle .  Two years ago I could not imagine that I would even think about doing this. I was sedentary. I work in an office sitting at a desk all day. I went home and watched television all night. I ate until I couldn't eat anymore. But this Sunday I climbed on my pink cruiser and rode 12.5 miles. Jake rode like the ultimate biker as well.

 Until his bike broke down at the second rest stop 12.5 miles into the tour. While I waited for the car to pick us up, I started to feel sorry for myself. I wanted so badly to prove that I could do an athletic event. Why couldn't I get to the finish line? Was I not worthy? But then I realized as I looked out over the river, that I am a bad ass and so is my kid. We rode 12.5 kick ass miles from the Bronx County courthouse. We were stuck so far from our home that we could not walk home. We rode through traffic. We rode on the Sheridan Expressway. We rode up hills ( Jake rode all hills; I had to get off and walk up two of them). I pedaled my but off. I had an experience with my son that we can remember no matter how many more events we do.
                 When I spoke about this in this week's meeting, someone asked me if I was always this active with my son. The direct answer is no. I have always taken my son outside to play with other children his age and in all kinds of weather for long periods of time. I was the mom on the park bench running my mouth with the other moms with a shopping bag or cart full of water, chips and candy. When I started walking, my son was older and I used his age to give him a small amount of freedom. He would stay in the playground while I did laps and then I would hang out in the park on the bench catching up on magazines. With the childhood obesity epidemic and the history my hubby and I have with weight, I decided to take things up a notch. Instead of just chips and candy, I incorporated bananas and grapes (the only fruits Jake will eat) into the snack bag. I only bring water. My family already drank water in between meals so that was not a challenge. I wanted Jake to see me move around more and do things with me so that an active lifestyle becomes the norm instead of forcing him to do calisthetics later in life. My mom was not athletic. She was a size 2 for most of her young life. She did not understand what it was like to suddenly gain 25 or 50 pounds in a year and have a new body that you did not understand. He can still play video games and watch Nickelodeon all he wants but he can also jump on his bike, play baseball and play a game of tag too.
                      On Monday, the day after, I took the day off from work to recuperate. After I walked my son to school, I went right to the track. I walked three laps and jogged for one lap.  I assumed I wouldn't be able to move at all. But instead I was able to do one more work out.
                        This week's meeting topic is about not depriving yourself. With Halloween in a few days, there will be a lot of snack temptations around. I have kids and I love giving out treats as well.  I usually buy several bags of bite sized candies. After the trick or treaters have come and gone, I am left with some candy bars. But I measure out a certain amount for myself and call it my Halloween treat. And then I don't look back. I calculate it into my points. I rarely use my bonus points so I have some available. The kids eat the rest. In my house this actually works. We all like different kinds of snacks and no one touches another person's  snacks. This is how I survive in my house.
                         For the week head, I need to get back into my strength training. I did not lift weights this week because I was concentrating on cardio and cocktail parties and bike tours. But I cannot allow myself to get too far off track. So I will complete three strength workouts this week.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What A Feeling

             The meeting topic of the week is "Non-Scale Victories" I think that I talk about non-scale victories all of the time.But I will do it again;
1)My clothes are loose. I have been wearing long sleeve blouses that last year were in danger of buttons popping someone's eye out. but not any more. I've gone down three bra sizes and three jeans sizes. Some of my shirts are hanging off my shoulders. I'm bringing "Flashdance" back because right now I can't afford to buy a new wardrobe. So if you see me outside, just start singing "What a Feeling".
2)Last week I spoke about climbing the 103 flights of stairs. I never could have completed that task in the shape I used to be in. nd I'm riding a bike like it's my part time job.
3)My co-workers and neighbors I rarely get to see saying "you lost a lot of weight". Looking at myself in the mirror does not get it for me yet but someone else saying it makes it real.
4)I have so much energy sometimes. I am capable of jogging three miles, riding my bike twelve miles, and doing an hour long workout dvd. But I find that I have a lot of energy to do my errands. Last Saturday I racked four miles on errands alone.
5) I am healthier. My blood pressure is lower and I was able to stop taking one of my medications.
6) I make better food choices. This does not mean I don't pig out occasionally. But now it really is occasionally and not every night. I can go to parties and pick and chose things that I really like to eat and not get a giant plate of everything. I can watch my family eat cupcakes and ice cream and not want it myself. I can have meals without rolls.
              This week I managed to lose again. I lost 1.4lbs. bringing my weight loss to 43.6lbs. I am really grateful for that because it hard after a large weight loss week to keep losing every week. I put a little extra sweat in this week.
-Wed. Oct 13: I did six laps around the track. I walked for five and jogged for one lap. The total was 5.74 miles/ 13,481 steps
-Sat. Oct 16: Running errands ( I don't drive) , I walked six miles/9,522 steps
-Sun. Oct. 17: I joined my friend Cindy for her Kidney Foundation 5K.  plus traveling came to 6.57 miles/ 15,420 steps. We started at the South Street Seaport and walked over the Brooklyn Bridge and back. My sons Josh and Jake came along for the walk. Jake was really itching to do another 5K. He's such a pro now.

Sheri Shephard from "The View" and Grizz Chaplin from "30 Rock" were there.


Me and Josh

Jake munching on a very deserved giant pretzel.

The Brooklyn Bridge

Trust me to find a building with pink painted frames

Me and my friend Cindy, our team captain.

Jake and Josh and a view from the bridge
- the other days I earned 3pts each days with my normal activities
             Also this week, I am still feeling the season change. It's still dark in the mornings. And work has been out of control. I had a binge on Friday. It was "Every man for himself" dinner night. I bought one of those noodle cups which was a single serving. But I went back and had another one. Later that night I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich( 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, two tablespoons of jelly, two slices of whole wheat bread. Then I had another one. It was as if I was never satified. I finally ate a cold leftover piece of chicken , hoping to stop the carbfest. I don't recommend this to anyone. Somehow that put a stop to me. I was like Godzilla.
            But the next day, I went back to my usual breakfast of three egg whites and an english muffin. Binges don't happen to me that often anymore. I used to have a lot of anguish before. I would try to keep myself from the food. It's probably just a PMS thing. It happens. But the important thing is that I did not let it become the norm. Whan I woke up the next morning it was a new day. A new fresh start. I did not feel bad about myself. Binge happens.
         Lately I have been having days when I don't want to exercise at all. Some days I work out a lot and need to learn that rest days are just as important as workout days.On the days that I cut myself some slack, it's about getting rest and not going back to my old way of eating.It has been a long time since I sat watching television with an open bag of cookies or chips next to me. Long ago are the days when I would only stop eating when I got tired of chewing or moving my arm to the bag. When I have a bad day at work, I can go home, enjoyed my planned dinner and read magazines or watch a good show. That is a major improvement in my life.

         Speaking of a good planned dinner, my new obsession is my slow cooker. I have an old crock pot (I'm dating myself- they don't call them that anymore- LOL) in the cabinet but I did not miss having to clean it. I bought myself one of the newer slow cookers months ago on sale. I sat in its box all summer until it looked like furniture. When the weather started to turn, my body craved the stews. But I did not want to babysit a stew on top of the stove. I wanted to ride my bike. I finally pulled out the slow cooker. The new one has a cassarole like dish that sits in the heater. I even bought cooking bags so that my dishwasher ( that's my husband- I don't own a dishwasher) wouldn't have to scrub so hard. The two things I have been making so far is boneless pork neck bone stew in tomato sauce and stewed chicken. I sevre them with brown rice or whole wheat noodles. These are favorites that my family loves at this time of year.And I love to throw in lots of veggies. And these days I throw in some potatoes because they're Jake's favorite.But the best part is that it frees up my time to do another things. We all must multi task now.
          This week I would like to keep journaling. I have another adventure this weekend . I sgined Jake and I up for the Bronx Bike Tour for 25 miles. Wish us luck. We're both excited.             

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Let's Get Physical

              This week's meeting topic is Finding Your Focus. The word focus means a center of interest or activity and close or narrow attention or concentration. For a weight watcher it has a bigger meaning. When you're on the weight loss journey and you lose your focus, you may wind up going back to the behaviors that helped you gain the weight in the first place. It happens to me. Work, children, parents, mates and friends could get in the way of your path for weight loss. This does not mean that you do not focus on those things; they're important too. One of the things that I did not focus on was me. Once I got that down, I just had to stay on track.And there in lies the rub. Here are some things you can do to regain your focus on your weight loss journey;
Back To Basics: For me, going back to basics means I take out book one again and start with the behaviors I learned when I first joined Weight Watchers. Sometimes you becomes a little lax with your portions. I have definitiely done that. A couple of years ago when I stopped going to my weekly meetings, then I stopped paying attention to my portions, and the weight came back.
Read Your Journal: I totally recommend a journal for at least three months. Even if journaling is not your thing, journaling for about three months will help you with some of your hurdles. Writing down when you went off program or when you scored a big victory is very important. That journal becomes the instruction manuel of YOU.
Read About Other People: When I feel discouraged about my weight loss, I go on line to the Weight Watchers website sight and read the success stories of people who needed to lose 100 pounds or more. These people have been where I am but have come out on the other side to bring others with them. If I read about four or ten of these success stories, I feel a little more empowered.
Go Shopping In Your Own Closet: For most of us, there is a piece of clothing you loved so much that even though you gained too much weight, you could not part with it. I happen to have a few of those things. Go into your closet and try something on. Even it it doesn't fit perfectly, it may inspire you to keep moving forward.
Give Yourself An Active Challenge: You may want to start jogging or run a marathon or join a class. These things give something to CONCENTRATE on. Before you know it, you're feeling really excited about it and your back on track.

This is Cindy, me, Tamra and Sheryl before the 5K
The crew at the end of the 5K
                        This week I got really physical. I think with my recent yo yo weight loss I was becoming discouraged. The excess rain in New York did not help. I was not exercising as much because I could not walk a few miles every morning. In my last blog I had a WHAT IF moment that led me to use the stairs in my building for an exercise on a rainy day. But that was only the beginning. The next day was our monthly 5K where a group of my meeting homies and anyone who wants to join us does a 5K Walk around Manhattan, talking and taking pictures along the way.

                        On Saturday, I told Jake we were taking a little adventure. We took our maiden voyage outside of our neighborhood on our bikes. I was a little terrified because we had to cross parkways and go over highway bridges ( I have a fear of bridges. I close my eyes when we go over them in a car). But you know what.. it was not so bad. Jake felt like it was the adventure of a lifetime. I let him lead the way and watching him navigate pathways, those little legs pumping , let me know that we both did a good thing. We rode our bikes to Pelham Bay Park. There were a lot of hills going up to the bridges and on the path. There was even one hill that I had to hold my head back to look up. I gave it a try, pumping my chubby legs and I made it all the way up that hill without getting off my bike and walking. During the whole ride I stayed on my bike. I didn't think I could do that but I surprised myself. If someone had told me last year that I would ride a bike miles away from home and up big hills, I would have laughed at them. As it turns out I laughed at myself. When I got to the top of each hill I was giddy. Me, my 200lbs+ and Pinky Tuscadero went up hills. I am amazed once more at what I am capable of doing with my body. Jake wanted to do it again the next day. I told him we would definitely do it again next weekend.

                         I told my massage therapist, Roxanne, all the things I did in the past week. She asked me what parts of my body did I need her to work on. To both our surprise, I was not in pain. My thighs did ache the day after the stair climbing but by Saturday, they didn't hurt anymore . If they had, I probably would not go on my bike ride. I would have missed out on an extraordinary experience with my son.Getting myself together was far more important than I realized.
                         This week I lost weight. I lost 4.6lbs. This brings my current weight loss to 42.2lbs. Here is my activity for the week;
Tuesday : 7,352 steps al day
Wednesday: Climb 103 flights of stairs
Thursday: 5K + all day= 14,623 steps
Friday: 7397 steps all day
Saturday: Rode bike for 90 minutes ( we were out for 2 1/2 hours but I'll deduct for down time)
Sunday: Rest day
Monday: three 20 mins dvd workouts
                          This week I am going to try to stay on focus. I will keep up with the activity as best as I can. Jake and I will ride our bikes to Pelham Bay Park again and I am going to join my friend Cindy who will be in the Kidney Foundation Walk in Mahattan.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What If........

           Every once and a while a stupid idea comes along. Today a lightbulb went off in my head. I already stated in my previous blog how the rain is coming between me and a good walk. I was able to work from home today. All day long I was thinking what a beautiful day it was and how I was going to go out at five o'clock on the dot and take a long walk...or maybe even jog before I pick Jake up from his afterschool program. The birds were chirping, the sun was beaming and so was I. It happened around 4:40pm....the clouds came rolling in. With my faced pressed up against the window, I waited for the rain to start. But it didn't.  I was suspicious of the rain. It was trying to lull me into a false sense of security. I would walk all the way out to the track and then it would pour. Well you're not gonna get me rain! You're not gonna take me down! I felt the old me creeping up , saying "you don't really have to workout today. You could just lay around and watch tv". But this is not my usual day of rest. I needed a plan. A new plan to exercise. And then it came to me........the stairs.
           A Weight Watcher must use all of her ingenuity and skills and come up with a way. I figured , I live on the 21st floor of my building. Surely those stairs were put there for a reason (and not just to torture me when the elevator is out of service).

SIDEBAR: about two years ago, I came home to find the elevator was out of service. It was a beautiful day outside but I was done hanging out. I needed to get in my house so that that I could eat a giant plate of food and lay down and watch tv. So I took my 280lbs butt to the stairs with Jake and I found out the hard way that IT WAS HARD!!! Jake had to carry my tote bag and handbag up the last ten flights because I couldn't even hold them and the railing. By the time I got to the top of the stairs, I was speak in tongues- and I don't mean like in church either.
           But today, the exercise gremlin in me said, Ms. Bitchcakes does the stairs every Tuesday for 120 flights last count. Surely I can walk down and up 21 flights of stairs. I grabbed my MP3 and keys and ran down 21 flights of stairs.

 It felt good. Then I turned around to climb back up 21 flights of stairs.

Hey- who's idea was this?
  Around the 4th flight I was out of breath and wondering why I was doing this to myself. But I carried on.
Around the 11th floor I started comtemplating getting on the elevator. How does Sheryl do this to herself every week? What made me think I could to this too? This is the voice of  DOUBT. DOUBT talks to me when I don't feel like doing something. DOUBT tried to talk me out of writing this blog. DOUBT told me to keep my blog a secret because no one would read it. Today I said "SHUT UP DOUBT! I'm doing this"!

I made it. I walked down and up 21 flights of stairs. Me and my 240lbs. Then the exercise gremlin told me to do it again. After some realistic negotiaions, I chose to run down 5 flights and climb back up 5 flights. But that was not enough for me because I was on a sadistic roll. So I ran back down 5 flights of stairs to the 16th floor and back up again. When I got back to my apartment, I asked my son how long did he think I took( no I didn't bring my phone). He said about 15-20 minutes. This is what I looked like.

       It was almost time to pick up Jake from his after school program. And I asked Josh if he thought I could do a little more. He told me not to push my luck. I did it anyway.
         I ran down to the 16th floor and climbed back up two more times. Then I ran down 21 flights one more time and went to pickup Jake. So let's go over the count, shall we?

42 flights + 10 flights + 10 flights + 10 flights + 10 flights + 21 flights = 103 flights of stairs

         The moral of my tale is to push yourself every little once and a while. Will I commit to doing this every week? I don't know. The important thing to know that I at 240lbs actually can do this. The old me could barely do 21 flights. But the me that working hard to get in shape and become healthy can. Now let's not get delusional. I will ache soooooo bad tonight and I will complain all the way through our monthly 5K tomorrow. And I will live to blog about it. Take that DOUBT!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Please Sir, May I Have Some More

            Well here I am on another week of my weight loss journey.I have to start off by saying that the weather really sucks these days. Fall is my favorite season. It's just cool enough for a jacket or a sweater and you get to see the leaves turn beautiful colors. Not this week. It has been raining and raining and raining. Although I know that we need rain on this planet, I have seen enough rain to last me a while. I have not walked the two miles to the office in a week and a half. I really miss it. I never realized how much I loved getting that walk in on most mornings until it was cruelly taken away from me. It has made me feel a little depressed. What I  do to make up for the walking has been the exercise dvds. So this is what my workout schedule was this past week;

Tues. 9/28- accumulated 2.86 miles (6726 steps) during the day
Wed. 9/29- rode my bike for an hour (bugs and all)
Thurs. 9/30- 20 minutes lower body strength training &  20 minutes ultimate cardio workout
Fri. 10/1- 20 minutes lower body strength training & 20 minutes ultimate cardio workout
Sat. 10/2- walked 3.55 miles (8335 steps) & rode my bike for 20 minutes
Sun. 10/3 - supposed rest day( if you call cooking, doing laundry & and doing my hair
Mon. 10/4-20 minutes lower body strength training, 20 minutes ultimate cardio workout & 20 minutes core
cardio workout.

     I fufilled my commitment to strength training three days this week but I am longing to feel my feet pounding the pavement. Good grief, I may have to walk in the rain. At this week's weigh in I gained 1.4lbs. No I'm not happy about that. I now weigh 240.0lbs. I am still on the rollercoaster with a long trip ahead of me. I changed up my routine a little to see if I can make it happen. I'll just have to try a little harder.
          This week's meeting topic is about portion control. I really hate this topic because one of my hardest changes in life is portion control. I have good portion control during the day but at night I eat the largest set of points. My dinner plate does not resemble a Weight Watchers entree. The sad part is, I have the points. I get 28 points a day and I rarely dip into my bonus points.One of my fellow meeting attendees said that he likes to have that big plate of food at the end of the day and feel full. I agree with him. Someone else suggested that this full plate of food at the end of the day is like medication. And I am not denying it totally. But I think that it is a good thing to be home in my house with my freshly cooked food that I take the time to balance veggies , lean meats and grains. Although it has packed some weight on my body, food it still my friend. My leader Melanie has issued a challenge to be mindful of portions for two days. I will see what I can do.

This weekend I went grocery shopping with my little guy Jake. We had our shopping cart and our reusable grocery bags. 

First we went to have our lunch at Golden Krust. Rule number one, never go shopping hungry.
Jake loves spicy beef patties. I had a veggie pattie.
It was 340 calories. After our lunch we proceed to the grocery store , entering in the produce section. We then shopped the perimeter for our fresh fish and meats. We finished up our shopping in the middle. I think we got enough..........

We also suffered a minor tragedy. 
Our little coffee maker has left the building. Jake picked out the new one. Let's have a moment of silence for the oldie but a goodie.............