Wednesday, February 23, 2011

All I Really Want

           All I really want is food. Not really. I want to live. I want to dance. I want to read. I want to knit. I want to ride my bike.I want to play. I want to watch television. I want to take a nap with my cat. I want to have a good hard laugh until my stomach hurts. I want to sing. I want to take pictures. I want to write. I want to cook. I want to daydream. I did all those things this week.
          I did spend the week looking for SBG( Satisfied Balloon Guy) after I ate. I literally asked myself the question " do you feel satisfied"?. Most of the time I did. I had one slip and ate an extra plate of spaghetti. I know I know. Spaghetti is a little bit of a trigger. But it is a quick meal to cook and fits into my budget. I just have to learn to live with spaghetti. But during the rest of the week, I never had that "I ate too much " feeling. As Martha Stewart would say "this is a good thing".
          This week's meeting topic was one that is close to my heart. PORTION CONTROL. This is a little bit of a hardship to me at times because of vision. I can see. And when I can see a dinner plate with a small portion of food on it, I want to cry. Or to quote my hubby "that hurts my feelings". But portion control is something we all must have in our lives. For me it's something that I must work on day to day. Portion control during the day is easy to me. Maybe it's because I am at work outside of my comfort zone. It might be that I can be seen eating in public. There's nothing like someone walking past your desk and you're shoveling food into your mouth. For breakfast I usually have something light ( except Sunday mornings). For lunch I pack food in smal containers that are portable and neat. I am satisfied (insert SBG here) when I eat these small meals. Really I am not hungry after I eat those meals. But in reality I am using these small containers to keep me honest as well. But at home, my plate can become a free for all. Not every day, I am in Weight Watchers after all. But there are times when it doesn't seem like enough.
        At this week's meeting ( and several other meetings) I heard someone call out the old small plate trick. This really is an illusion folks. You look at the small plate with just the right amount of food on it it and you think you have eaten alot of food. I have spurned this illusion for a very long time. But this week I have decided to take the illusion by the balls ( at least for a few days) and see if I can use it to TRICK myself into having a small amount of dinner. I already have the tools at my disposal. I have a Hello Kitty cereal bowl. In a house full of men I can guarantee that when there are no other clean bowls, they would not be caught dead eating out of the Hello Kitty bowl. I also have a smal one cup size bowl. I have eaten a portion of spaghetti out of it before. It was sad but maybe I need to revisit that pain. I have a small half cup size square bowl. I use it for cut fruit. I also have the small plates that come with a set. We do use them for small breakfast portions like toast or an egg sandwich.  I also have my WW measuring spoons.

Hello Kitty cereal bowl

one cup size bowl

small plate

half cup size bowl

WW measuring spoons
        Here is the activity I put to good use this week.
Tues: All day = 5pts
Wed.: Climb 70 flights of stairs + 30 mins walk dvd with 3lb weights = 6pts
Thurs.: All day (2pts) + walked 49 city blocks after work(5pts) = 7pts
Fri.:All day (2pts) + 30 mins walk dvd w/ 3lb weights (3pts) = 5pts
Sat. Laid like broccoli
Sun. Grocery shopping + Laundry = 4pts (pedometer)
Mon: Jog in place for 45 mins = 5pts
Total= 32pts
                 Even though I did not have as many activity points as the week before, I managed to lose 1.6lbs. And I am darn glad to get it too. I actually took time for myself. Usually I am doing so many things that I lose track of cutting myself some slack. On Saturday, I stayed in bed all day (with the exception of cooking dinner for the men in my life). I watched shows on my dvr. I read some of the back issues of magazines. I knitted myself a hat. When I felt a little hungry I went into the kitchen and had a piece of fruit.  I think there is improvement there. All in all it was a good day.
                There is another exercise that I seem to be getting good at. I call it cat yoga. It's when you are sitting down and your cat comes to you for petting and then settles so far away that you are now balancing your body leaning out of your chair in a strech pose.
                 This week the small plate trick is on and cracking.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

We Can Work It Out

             Last week I mentioned that I have a hard time feeling full. So I spent the last week trying to feel the little feeling that says everything is ok or as we now call him SBG (Satisfied Balloon Guy). Sometimes while paying attention, I actually heard him. Other times my hungry self growled at him and he ran away. A few nights I drank 16 to 32oz. of water before I made my plate. I found this to be a good project for me to pay attention to when and why I eat. This project of paying close attention to SBG became a stress test. I picked up my Idiots Guide for Zen Living when trying to control my natural reaction to eat. I found two things that I thought was very interesting for someone like me who is trying to find inner peace.The Zen of eating is to be in the moment of your eating.
             This sounds like something easy to do but when you are an experienced overeater it is one of the hardest things to do. In the book it says you need to live in the moment of your eating. Really taste. Really experience the flavor, texture, the whole process. Many of us binge, and feel miserable and guilty about it.The book says Feeling guilty about eating too much or not enough, or eating the wrong things such as sweets, high fat foods, red meat or dairy products is perhaps just as damaging as the foods themselves. Whatever you eat, eat it with full awareness and joy at each bite and it will nourish you.
             The other thing I read is a metaphor for what we at Weight Watchers are doing. It was called REARRANGE YOUR FURNITURE. It may sound silly, but even the tiniest shift of a kitchen table or couch can make all the difference. It will make the room - and you! -feel good again. And the best part? It doesn't cost a thing.(Tip: If you need to move a large item on your own, stick a dish towl under each leg and push; or if you've got carpet, use furniture sliders). You're probably saying to yourself, Carin has officially lost her mind. But let me put it to you this way. Working the program is like rearranging your body and your life. Weight Watchers can be the tip that you use to make yourself better. Even the slightest change improves something. Paying attention to what you eat, working out. Even if you do one of those things just a little bit, you feel better. Kind of like you rearranged your furniture.
        This week I gained .06lbs. I am not worried but it does push my resolve to be better. So today I am starting my UNDER 230lbs OR BUST campaign.

Tues. all day = 3pts
Wed. climbed 70 flights of stairs with Jake and his friend Vanessa + 30 mins walking dvd with 3lbs weights = 8pts
Thurs. all day + 30 mins walking dvd w/ 3lbs weights = 7pts
Fri. all day + 30 mins walking dvd w/ 3lbs weights = 6pts
Sat. errands with Jake & Josh( walked 3.70 miles) + jog in place 50 mins = 10pts
Sun. Rest day
Mon. all day + jog in place 30 mins = 6pts
Total for week = 40 pts
             This week's topic is Plan-Friendly Fridge. The funny part is that I still have the picture from last year's coverage of this topic. What is this all about? It's called managing your environment. So for laughs I took pictures of my family friendly fridge. Box drinks for Jake, leftovers, the white bags on the bottom shelf contain chicken for the next few days. We eat lots of chicken. You will notice a small white box of chocolates. They were a Xmas present from my boss. I ate some and then I have been putting off eating the rest. But as I said in the meeting, the chocolates are front and center. I opened up the bins on the bottom to show my produce. For years, those bins were also used to store chocolate bars. Now they only store fruits and veggies. I did not take pictures of my freezer. It usually contains wrapped frozen meat, frozen veggies and ice cream. Do not clutch your pearls about my frozen veggies and fruits. The are actually just as healthy as the fresh ones. And it's nice to know that if you pull out a veggie to cook for dinner and it has started to turn, you may go into your freezer for a frozen one.
              I know another way of managing ones food environment is to make sure that your trigger foods are not in the house. I reside in Snack Land. There are snacks for everyone including me. I keep a bucket of assorted WW snack bars in case I desire a candy-like treat. My husband and Josh each get a different flavor of ice cream. (I keep small dessert dishes that helps them have decent portions and they make it last a week) There are cookies for Jake's cookies and milk before bed. There is 94% fat free microwave popcorn that Jake is all too happy to help me eat. I also keep fruit in the house. The fruits that each person likes so that they feel good about eating it. Jake loves bananas and red seedless grapes. In between snacks, I encourage him to have fruit by offering his favorites. It works.
              For next week I am going to pursue the art of moving forward. I want to see under 230lbs in this lifetime. I am going to keep going deep within myself and find SBG. For the record I actually did achieve that satified feeling at least twice. When I felt it, it was so foreign to me that I doubted it. I meditated on it. I put my hand on my stomach. I took deep breaths. I asked myself the question, do you feel hungry? Or do you need to manage your feelings?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Never Too Much

           I feel good about this week.  Actually I feel nifty.I have to attribute it to exercise. I did not do anything out of the ordinary. I just worked out. But I think that I was able to take away something from my workouts that empowered me. That and the fact that I was able to put a little distance between me and the stress I have been under lately. I noticed that even though it was the end of the workday and I was tired, the workouts released the necessary endorphins I needed to fight back for myself and get my focus back to me. As I said in my previous blog, I decided to keep the stair case challenge in my routine. Last week on my "work from home day", I shut down at 5pm and told Jake that we were going to the stairs. He huffed and puffed but we were able to get in 50 flights of stairs.  During the week, I felt the benefit of doing stairs two weeks in a row. The other day I found myself running up and down the stairs in my office in three inch heels. Literally I was running up one flight. I wasn't out of breath. I thought that was pretty nifty.Today when I worked from home I grabbed Jake and his friend Vanessa for the climb. While Jake performed the most dramatic scenes of Bette Davis' career, Vanessa really loved the stair workout. We were able to do 70 flights today.

This week's exercise/pedometer totals were;
Tues. all day = 7pts
Wed. stair climb + 53mins dvd = 8pts
Thurs. all day + 30 mins dvd = 4pts
Fri. all day  = 7pts
Sat.6hrs of chores + jog in place 30mins = 8pts
Sun. Chores = 1pt
Mon. all day + 30 mins walking dvd = 5pts

         I lost .08lbs. I am happy with that because last week I gained .02lbs. I now weigh 232.6lbs. I have lost 45lbs all together. When I typed this into my WW E-Tools, I received a reply that I lost another five pounds. It's kind of amazing how seeing a different number or a different level makes you feel. Something so small as .08lbs created a move forward moment. Those weeks that I stayed the same weight for so many weeks in a row finally took a hit. I totally need the encouragement. So Yeah me! I lost 45lbs.
         This week's WW meeting topic is "Am I Really Hungry". Guess what readers, almost every angle of this topic is me. First, let's go over my leader Melanie's TABLE theory shall we.
        Do I eat when I am tired? Not so much out of hunger but I have made very poor choices when I am too tired to cook.
        Do I eat when I am angry? Sometimes. I was once having a pressing conversation with one of my TRIGGERS and when I hung up the phone, I was surrounded by chicken bones. Apparently, instead of removing myself from the conversation, I removed the leftover broiled chicken from the tupperware.
        Do I eat when I am bored or lonely? Folks, for years now I have never been bored or lonely. There is always something or someone jumping off in my life.
        Do I eat when I am emotional? Let's see, I eat when I am happy, sad, angry, grumpy, PMSing.
       I do all those TABLE things. In last night's meeting I heard a quiet voice in the crowd. A wonderful man who just hit lifetime said the thing I never hear in a WW meeting. It's the thing that I am always afraid to say out loud at a meeting. There are so many members talking about how the eat this , not that.  Measure this and that. How it all works out perfect for them.No one else seems to have THAT feeling that goes on inside of me. I rarely feel full. That feeling you are supposed to get when you feel just full enough. I don't hear that inside voice. Sometimes I feel full when I am out to dinner with friends but then I am so preoccupied with conversation, dancing, flirting or whatever that food is not as important as the experience of being out ( you can tell I don't get out much).
              At home I cook good food. I love food. I want it to taste good. I like to present it well. And I like to be complimented for it. If the food does not taste like I wanted it to, I throw it out and eat a PB&J sandwich. I can eat small portions of food for breakfast and lunch because I know I am going to eat well that night. WW is really helping me in the way that I now pay attention to what I eat and how much. But the little partial smile I'm satisfied face plays a very small part in my life. I keep looking for him on the horizon. You know the guy on page 53 of the Getting Started booklet. I override his voice. I have not figured out why. I am sure I'll get there one day. Maybe I will take a little time this week to look for him.
              I do however find other things to do without sitting around thinking of food. Some of them revolve around my little energizer bunny of a son. And I do love television( Come back Keith Obermann. I miss you). I took a little advice from our fill in leader Ellen. I purchased a drawing pad and a box of 64 crayons. One night while watching tv with my hubby, I started drawing. I drew my name in grafitti letters. My husband was told his friend on the phone that he has known me forever and never knew I could draw.
             Another one of my multitasking hobbies is knitting and crocheting. I get patterns for small projects and complete them if I concentrate on them. One restful weekend I made two hats and a scarf for my hubby. The other project I finally finished was a shrug I made for myself. I spoke about this before. How I never make something for myself because I am so big that it will take forever. Well it didn't take forever this time. So here is my shrug and the scarf I made for my hubby.

            This week I plan to try to listen out for the "satisfied man". I know he's out there somewhere looking to hook up with me. I leave you with Jake's fabulous artwork. A Valentine picture of our family. You will be able to spot me in the picture. I am the one who is pink. Happy Valentine's Day.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Beat Goes On

          This week's meeting topic was about how you stay on your journey when there are so many obstacles.  This is what my lot has been about for weeks. I have been feeling all of this despair, anger, exhaustion and frustration. They have taken their cut out of me. But I have not given up the battle. One of my leader Melanie's quotes was;
         Why indeed? Letting things go is what got me into this situation to begin with. I literally chose this path. There were no attack snack ninjas forcing me to eat too much. I did it myself. There was no guard forcing me not to exercise. I chose to sit ( and sometimes lay) there and let myself go. The problems of the world and the problems of my life were hard but I did not need to punish my body. Sometimes some of those problems and even some newer problems crop up.  I do admit to occasionally giving in to a binge. But most of the time I try to figure out if too much food is really worth it in the long run.
          And if you've been reading this blog then you know that the scale is not moving quickly for me. Sometimes that can be pretty frustrating but I keep talking to myself; positive self talk. I remind myself that I am not carrying those 44lbs anymore. I also remind myself that if I could lose 44lbs before then I could in fact do it again.
      I am always thinking about anchors (sometimes I over think things like that). So I wanted to show you some things the I feel are anchors. The first is a piece of the pad from a long ago meeting when Melanie had us call out what our workouts mean to us. The she tore off pieces and gave them out to us. My piece has been on my fridge ever since. {when my husband saw the words "me time" he got a little worried}. The second anchor is an outfit that I would like to have. Of course the model wearing it in the picture is super thin but I try to think what I will look like when I buy the outfit in the future. The third anchor is WW 3 Month Tracker which I take with me almost anytime I have a bag.

Stir Fry

          I had a little fun this week. I thought about the Points Plus program and how to incorporate more power foods into my family's diet. I like to cook almost every night. Cooking is fun to me and I enjoy my own cooking. But I get stuck in a rut for the usual reasons; budget, time constraint and picky eaters. So this week I decided to make a little beef stir fry. I went to the grocery store and stocked up on green and red peppers, a big vidalia onion and some broccoli. I absolutely love woks because everything gets thrown in and served from there. It also looks so colorful and pleasing to the eye. Even chopping the ingredients and seeing the veggies all chopped and the meat diced just gave me a zen feeling. I served it with brown rice. It was really nice to have something a little different . I've decided that the wok should be used at least once a week from now on.

 Ode To My Track

    I miss the neighborhood track. It has been snowing for weeks. When I think of all the wishes for snow when I was a child and they all seem to be coming true while I really don't need it. I miss you track. I miss all of our weekends together, venting out my frustrations, pushing my body to do more. I cannot wait for you to once again be clean and void of snow.

Keeping Motivated
     Losing weight can be a challenge especially when you are looking for scale victories. Well I gets my kicks with non-scale victories. These are one of the most important tool is a weight loss journey. I must say it again. Non-scale victories are one of the most important tools in a weight loss journey. When it's about the scale, you might lose your resolve. But there are other wonderful things to keep you going until the scale decides to throw you a bone. I just signed up for my first running 5K this April. I have been wanting to do something like this for so long. Sometimes when I am jogging I picture myself thinner and healthy. I do not see the overweight woman running down the track. I see the woman I will become. But it's not just about being skinny, it's about being more.
Stair Climb Challenge
       Last week while I was snowed in with my family, working from home, I observed my son Jake constantly coming into the kitchen to retrieve snacks. I know you're probably wondering why I just didn't say "no". I could if I really wanted to. But I use the same tactics on him that I use for myself now. You know, am I really hungry? Do I really want to eat this? The fact is, today's child really has no concept of consequences. If so, I would not have spent my teen years laying down and eating. So I am trying to teach him to be aware of his snacks, even if he chosses to go ahead and eat them. Just saying no will lead to those "James Bond" type missions to sneak food. But after watching Jake snack all day, I decided to take action. On the days when I work from home, I stop working at 5pm and go do my workout. It's the one day of the week that I don't have to commute. When the weather is good, I hop on my bike and ride for an hour. But since we are knee deep in Winter, I go to my room and workout. Between my sitting at my "desk" all day and Jake noshing, I saw an opportunity and I took it. At 5pm I put on my sneakers and had Jake throw on his sweatpants and sneakers as well. Inspired by the great Ms. Bitchcakes and her bad ass Empire State Building Climb, I told my son we were going to the building stairs to do reps. At first Jake tolerated me and went along with it. I chose the five flights down/ five flights up method. But after the first ten flights he had enough. He started heading for the stairwell door.  I told him that our workout was not complete. He asked me just how long did I think we would keep this up. I replied, until we can't do it anymore. So we went back down five flights and back up five flights. Each time we arrived on our floor Jake put his hand on the doorknob. But I told him, let's just try one more. After the fourth round of ten flights, Jake stopped trying to escape. We walked up and down. Half way through the up climbs( which are hard), we would stop to take a few breaths and get our resolve to keep climbing. During those stops, I would mention to him about the candy bar he ate and how much work has to be done to burn it off. I told him that the food we put in our bodies needs to be burned or they stay on our bodies forever. I also told him that I did not know this when I was younger and that's why I look like I do now and how hard it is for me because I am older and my fat has made itself at home. He had no choice but to listen to me. He was too exhausted to start climbing. In the end, Jake and I climbed 70 flights of stairs. I was in pain for the entire week but you know what? I think I am going to keep that little challenge in my repertoire. Maybe not 70 flights, but just a little motivated challenge.
Me and Richard Simmons

          Richard Simmons has been my friend this last week. I have been doing his workout which lasts 53 minutes a couple of times this week and at the end I found myself spent of calories and frustration. I am going to dig into my crate because he use to be my go to guru for exercise. Some folks might think that he's not hard core enough but you try doing his workouts for 45-60mins and see if you really believe that.

Here was my activity for the week
Tues: all day= 4pts
Wed.all day 4pts + 30 mins walking dvd= 3pts
Thurs. stair climbing 25 mins= 3pts and 30 mins walking dvd= 3pts
Fri. all day= 4pts and Richard Simmons workout= 5pts
Sat. Rest Day
Sun. chores= 1pt
Mon. all day= 3pts and Richard Simmons= 5pts
Total for week = 35pts
          This week my blood pressure was a little lower thanks to knitting most of the weekend and Richard Simmons. So this coming week I plan to do more of the same. I gained .2lbs this week but I had a lot of action and healing muscles so I won't sweat it.