Forget Yesterday

Okay, so it sounds like everyone agrees that my 1,200 calorie target is silly.  (Thank God!)  I’ve never been a successful calorie counter, and I’m taking a break from Weight Watchers (which has worked incredibly well for me in the past.)  So…What do I do?  I don’t really know, thus the reason I’m here struggling to figure it out.  I’m tired of being a slave to points, but how is being a slave to calories any different?

Weight Watchers taught me a lot about portions and guidelines for healthier living, and I know that it’s better to eat cantaloupe than a cupcake.  I know that I can eat as much fresh baby spinach as I want to eat without it adversely affecting my goals.  I know that it’s better to eat lean protein and lots of veggies than it is to eat fried junk food.  I know what  healthy diet looks like, and that’s what I’m going to try to do over the next 29 days.

I’m not obese because I don’t know what to eat.  I’m obese because I don’t do the things that I know I should be doing I’m spending my birthday in DC and birthday weekend in NY.  For me those things include tracking my food.  (When I write it down, I think a lot more before I eat.)

I also need to find my exercise groove again too.  I’m bored at the gym, really bored so I need to make some changes in that area.  I signed up for a week of Bikram Yoga, and if it goes well I will sign up for a month.

My commitment to myself for the next month is to stop telling myself  that I’ll deal with this tomorrow and to make little choices that I know are good for me.   I’m going to start by heading up to the gym since that’s all I have time for today (boring or not.)

 

 

A Question For Weight Watchers Members

I’ve missed my last two meetings.  I have good reasons that would probably sound like excuses (one regarding an underground fire and one regarding my last trip,) but this post isn’t about that.  It’s about the fact that I miss my meetings when I don’t attend them.

I’ve stepped away from Weight Watchers twice, but I came back because the meetings keep me accountable.  Attending weekly meetings helps me take steps in the right direction (at least most weeks.)  Some of you don’t need that; I’ve learned that I absolutely need that.

After missing two meetings in a row I started to consider something that I had not previously considered – attending a meeting/weigh-in that is not my regular meeting.  I tried it a couple of times during my first year with Weight Watchers.

I was on vacation for the week, but there are meetings everywhere – even on the Jersey Shore, so I took a few hours out of my week long beach coma to attending a meeting.  It was horrible!  I left before the meeting was over feeling completely disgusted by the leaders practices, and I decided that I’d wait for my meeting next time.

I tried another meeting when snow prevented us from having our regular meeting, and I didn’t like that one either.  I preferred my meeting, and at that point, I decided that I would stick to what worked.  I didn’t visit other meetings until I left New York, and it was a struggle to find one that fit my needs.

After a lot of wasted time and a modicum of effort, I have found a meeting that works for me.  I like the leader, and I like the people.  I like the fact that it’s so conveniently located, and I like that it’s an afternoon meeting on my favorite weigh-in day – Thursday.

If you’ve followed along on my journey, then you already know this – I am extraordinarily picky about the Weight Watchers meetings I choose to attend.  Every leader I met has been well-intentioned and friendly, but I need more than that.  And I’ve found it.

My life, though more settled than it has been in years, is still crazy at times.  I travel more than the average person, and there will be times that I simply don’t make it to my meeting.  In my mind it is not a license to eat without consequence, but I do find that I am more relaxed in my choices when I’m not facing the scale in the next few days.

It has finally occurred to me that it’s a waste of time to make poor choices, and I’m trying not to.  Does that mean I should try incorporating other meetings when I can’t make mine?  I really don’t like the idea, but it’s something that many successful WW-er’s do.  Am I missing something?

So my question for Weight Watchers member is simple.  Do you go to meetings when you can’t attend your regularly scheduled one?  If so, do you think it helps you stay on track with your goals?  I really want to hear your thoughts, especially if you’re a WW-er!

 

 

Making Memories and Other Stuff

When I began writing this I lived in New York.  I still love New York, but I’ve been making some pretty awesome memories in New Orleans.  Living in the heart of this city has definitely opened my eyes to things that I never knew I missed before.  I love being close enough to spend the weekend at Mom’s house if I want to, and I love the festivals, parks and live music.

Friday night I spent the evening at French Quarter Fest before heading to the House of Blues, then Spirits, a dueling piano bar on Bourbon Street, with friends to hear live music.  We ate dinner, and I limited myself to two alcoholic beverages even though I definitely could have enjoyed a few more. ;)  It’s nice to live so close that I can walk to the French Quarter because it seems like there’s always something fabulous going on there.

Saturday was a busy day too.  It started with a Spring fashion show at Macy’s  and a conversation with Clinton Kelly.  I’ve loved this guy since I started watching TLC’s “What Not To Wear” almost ten years ago, and he was as kind, respectful, funny and all-around amazing as I dreamed he would be.

CK

I have to say thanks for my friend, Tammy, for making me aware of his visit!  I met some lovely ladies, and I was blown away by the crowd’s support and acceptance as Clinton and I discussed dressing my changing, oddly-shaped body even though I’m not a size 4.  (Have I mentioned that I love this man?!)

CK2

After he signed my book and chatted with me, I headed to East Bank Cyclery to see my favorite bike guys.  I wanted to be sure that my bike was in good shape because I’m ready to take advantage of the bike paths on the levee.  I’m not sure how far the path will take me, but I know that I can easily work up to 20 miles which is all I’m trying to do right now.  Doesn’t my bike look ready to go outside?!?!

20130414_135602

Mom called while I was at the bike shop to let me know that she had arrived in New Orleans.  She stayed at my house Saturday night, but we did a little shopping and visited City park for my friend, Candi’s, birthday celebration before heading to my place.  We had a picnic after dark, and everyone had a great time.  I was excited for Mom to meet some of my friends, and she loved them as much as I do. That’s my pal, Jeff, between Mom and me.

20130413_210027-1

Thunderstorms woke me up Sunday morning so Mom and I headed to church before going to a crawfish boil with friends from school.  It feels a little odd to say that I’ve been to church two weeks in a row, but I like it.  I’d like to be there again Sunday, but I’ll be out of town.  I do plan to go back the following week though, and I’m looking forward to it.  I’m sure I’ll eat crawfish again next week too. ;)

New Orleans gets a bad rap when it comes to food because it’s all so delicious and so bad for you, but as my friend, Alyssa, pointed out, seafood is an exception.  Crawfish and shrimp is loaded with protein and very low in fat and calories.  It might not be so amazing for those who suffer from hyper-tension, but as we discussed recently, my heart is in great shape so bring on the crawfish!

boat

It was served in a boat which I thought was pretty awesome.  Being at the crawfish boil with Mom also gave me a chance to check out Audobon Park.  It’s across from Tulane, but I’ve only ventured in a couple of times.  It’s another great spot to ride my bike.  Can you tell I’m in the mood to put the peddles to the pavement?! :)

Last night I spent some much needed relaxation time with Shannon and Matt, and I’m looking forward to spending a little time with friends today before heading out of town to be with the family.  I’m looking forward to celebrating my niece’s 4th birthday, seeing Disney on Ice with her, going to high tea and having a princess themed birthday party.  I’m looking forward to spending time with the rest of my family too. ;)

My workouts were weak last week, but I’m back in the game.  I’ll be sweating my guts out at the gym before class, and I’m going to be conscious of my food choices because I want to see a loss when I’m back at my Weight Watchers meeting next week.  I’m also just craving a nice endorphin rush.

Now it’s time to watch The Voice, study for the quiz that I have to take later today.  Wish me luck!

What kind of workout will you do today?

 

 

Common Sense and Resentment

Last week I was talking with a friend about the quiet struggles I have faced as someone who needs to lose an incredible amount of weight.  It seems as though many of us reach that first giant milestone before allowing ourselves to hover around the same weight.  I’m not the only one in the world who has done this, and I’d like to delve into some of the reasons I’ve allowed myself to do it for so long.

I feel like I’m coming out of a tough place in which I have spent far too long being stagnant.  I’m a month into my new Weight Watchers meeting now, and the weight is coming off slowly again.  The most important part of the prior sentence is that it is coming off again, but some days, some weeks, I want food more than I want to see healthy results.  I experienced that earlier this week, and the only solution is to admit it and move on.

Anyone who has ever been overweight or been close to someone who has been overweight probably knows that emotions play a big role in the way that we consume food.  I don’t sit around and eat and eat and eat everyday.  I wouldn’t have kept off the majority of what I’ve lost if that were the case.  I’m not eating 2,000 calories a day more than I should, but I am eating a few hundred more than I should if I want to lose weight.  Period.

It’s easy to tell someone how to change it.  “Eat less. Move more.”  Those words make sense, of course, but we all know the obvious stuff already.  The note that I need on my cabinet would say something like, “The food will taste good for a few minutes, but think of how incredible you feel when you’re really in control.”

It’s so easy to forget that weight-loss is a mental challenge more than a physical one. I push myself hard at the gym, and these days Ron pushes me harder.

903972_454825064594809_389393050_o

It’s an incredible feeling to accomplish things that seemed impossible before I did it.  Earlier this week, he walked in while I was working out on my own and asked me to jump.  He asked me to do a few more things, and before I knew it I was doing jumping jacks.  I’ve been modifying them for years, and now I can do them just like everyone else.  I felt so incredible, so normal, that I cried.

It’s hard to feel like I’ve come so far and still struggle so much with just eating a bit less on a regular basis.  I eat fruits and vegetables and lean protein, but I find myself struggling with my desire to eat extra, unhealthy things most evenings.

I fight feelings of resentment because friends who exercise can throw back a few beverages and an unhealthy meal and just work it off at the gym.  I also fight feelings of resentment when I think about how I’ve lost more weight than many people ever dream of losing, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg for me.  I get tired of hearing what I should be doing from people who haven’t accomplished as much as I have, and I get frustrated by those who assume that I sit around and eat Cheetos all day.  If I did that, I would have gained the weight that I lost back, plus some!

The last couple of months have opened my eyes to the fact that these feelings of resentment don’t solve the problem.  They don’t make me feel better about myself, and they don’t bring my closer to my goals.

I know that I have to accept that this is my life, my struggle and my journey.  I know that the opinions of others shouldn’t matter to me, and they don’t carry much weight as they used to.  Instead, I am focusing on the fact that I am making progress again.  It could be faster, but it’s better than being complacent.

Yesterday would have been weigh-in day, but for reasons that were out of my control, I didn’t weigh in today.  My plan is to go to a Weight Watchers meeting Monday since I’ll miss next Thursday, and I feel confident that I’ll see a loss.  I’m looking forward to heading out of town, but I plan to stay on track this week and while I’m gone as well.

This journey is not easy for me, but I am still working my way into a healthier place.  I’m going to try hard to make this a healthy week, and I’m going to do my best to squelch any negativity or feelings of complacency that try to creep into my mind.   My goal is to be consistent in making smart choices.

Do you ever struggle with resentment as you work to better yourself?

 

 

I Can, I will and I Am…

Before I talk about weighing in and other things, I’m going to share a picture of my new hair.  It’s hard to take a photo of myself that shows the caramel highlights, but you will see that I had about 6 inches cut off.  It’s long enough to put in a ponytail (which is imperative, of course,) but it’s also short enough to feel fresh.  Between a fresh hairdo and making some healthy decisions, I’m feeling pretty good about myself these days, and that’s a relief.

20130402_145632

Yesterday was weigh-in day, and I’m so happy to report that I am down 2.4 pounds this week.  It’s nice to see the numbers moving in the right direction, and I’m continually reminding myself that it will work if I keep making the effort.

20130404_125559-1

I track my food in WW e-tools, but I have had a good time playing with my daily calorie deficit on MyFitnessPal over the last few days.  A friend, Mr. Good Example, and I have spent a lot of time trying to increase our calorie deficits, and I’m excited to see what I can do in the upcoming week.

It’s been a month since I re-joined Weight Watchers, and the accountability seems to be working.  I think I’m just ready now, and I’m going to do my best to hold on to the knowledge that I can do this.

I lied to myself and others and made countless excuses  for a long, long time.  I’m sorry I did it, and I don’t do it anymore.  Weight-loss is possible for you, and it’s possible for me too.

1684_10201129935837160_1285231212_nI can do this. I will do this.  I am doing this.

I can do this.  I will do this.  I am doing this.

I can do this.  I will do this.  I am doing this.

I can do this.  I will do this.  I am doing this.

I can do this.  I will do this.  I am doing this.

I can do this.  I will do this.  I am doing this.

I can do this.  I will do this.  I am doing this.

I can do this.  I will do this.  I am doing this.

 

 

 

Workouts and Food

It’s almost weigh-in day, and I’m nervous because of my food choices over the weekend.  I made better choices than I have in years past, but I still ate things that weren’t healthy so it won’t be a surprise if I don’t see a loss.

Since coming home I have eaten more vegetables and protein, and I have continued doing intense workouts that include cardio and strength training.  I feel like I’m in control of my workouts and my food now so I hope to see some positive losses in the weeks to come. I’d like to see the scale move down at least a tad, but I know that I need to be more focused on healthy food choices regardless.

I trained with Ron today, and I was exhausted when we finished.  I don’t typically nap, but I strongly considered it around 7 pm.  I laid on my sofa as I talked on the phone and fought drowsiness, but in the end I didn’t sleep.  Instead, I did a few things around the house, then headed up to the gym for workout #2.

883346_10201112657285207_861762736_o

After an exhausting and session with my trainer, I felt motivated to go again (by someone I know who has been doing two-a-days lately) so I did it too.  I did cardio circuits for 45 minutes tonight, and I can safely say that I burned over 1,000 calories again yesterday.

600395_10201113851835070_1349921638_n

I’m exhausted, and I’m ready for a solid night of sleep.  What happens on the scale will happen, but I’m going to keep working hard and reminding myself that it’s easier to skip unhealthy foods than it is to work them off.  I have trained hard today and tracked everything I ate.  I’m going to focus on making food choices that enhance the work I’m doing in the gym and continue to stay in control.

What are you doing to be healthy today?

 

 

Finding Balance

After reading comments from a few of you on my last post, I suppose I need to clear up a few things.  First, if you’re a regular here, then you already know that it’s been quite some time since I’ve had a boyfriend.  Yes…I’ve dated guys – some of whom I’ve mentioned on my blog, and some who have never been mentioned here.  I love talking about dating and things associated with that because it’s a fun topic, but I do hold back at times in which I think it’s appropriate.

I made a decision recently to not mention anything about dating for a while because a few folks felt it was necessary to share their opinions on my choices privately.  I appreciate the concerns that some of you have had at various times, but it also makes me feel uncomfortable in ways that it would not if I simply didn’t post.

As a blogger, it’s hard to find a balance between what I should and should not say because I feel so close to some of you.  I want to share every giddy detail, but experience has taught me that it’s not always a good idea.  My post yesterday was just something that has been on my mind at various points, but I’m not actively looking for a relationship now.  I do date, and if you’re friends with me on social media sites, you’re likely to hear about that once in a while.

My decision to refrain from discussing it here just happened organically when I realized that I’m not comfortable explaining what I like and don’t like when it comes to specific people.  I’ve dated a few great guys in the last year, and it is likely that I’ll continue to date.  I just don’t plan to discuss as freely here because there’s enough fuel for judgment already.  And to answer more directly, nothing horrible happened with Lance that made me never want to talk to him again or something.  I’m just content to keep our beeswax offline.

So many of you choose to believe in me even when I don’t believe in myself, and I don’t take that for granted.  Right now, my biggest focus (on and off of the web) is to lose weight.  I want to show you all that I can do it, and I really want to show myself that I can do it.   It is my top priority now.

Last week, I rejoined Weight Watchers, and I weighed 6.4 pounds less yesterday at weigh-in.  My new meeting leader made it clear that she will support and encourage me, and that she will not accept excuses. She’s said it’s not about perfection, but it is about consistency.   That’s the kind of accountability I need.  I just came in from another killer workout with my personal trainer, Ron, too, and I’m focusing on myself and my goals.

WW Week 2

Dating and love certainly play a role in my life and what I want in it, but for now, I’ll talk about that offline so I can focus on the things that I originally talked about here.  In September, I wrote a post called “Let’s Not Call This A Weight-Loss Blog Anymore” because I got tired of trying and failing, but guess what, folks.  Not facing my battles and continually fighting, failing, succeeding, falling again, etc. is so much worse than simply not facing it.

There will still be a lot to talk about here so I’m going to focus on some specific things for a while – fitness, weight-loss, loving myself and not making excuses.  If I find myself in a serious, committed relationship, I’ll let you know :) .  Until then, let’s focus on what’s really most important here….

 

Let’s Talk About How Much I Weigh Today…

The last few weeks have been more stressful than usual, but I’ve managed to make (mostly) healthy choices in spite of that.   Last month, after stepping on the scale, I had to face the realization that my weight was moving in the wrong direction, and I finally starting taking steps to change it. I haven’t been specific about numbers in recent months because I’m already exhausted by the hateful comments that often find their way into my spam folder, but I’m ready to talk about them now.

20130319_025220

In my attempt to find a new Weight Watchers meeting – one in which I feel like I can understand and connect with the leader and members, I learned that I am about 30 pounds heavier than I was at my lowest recorded weight.  That sucks, but I’d rather start over after gaining 30 pounds than 130 pounds.  Believe me, it would be easy to regain everything I lost, and I simply will. not. let. it. happen.

It has been almost one month since I decided to work toward 90 Days of Change.  I’ve dropped several pounds, and it feels good to know that I’m headed in the right direction.  Over the last month I have worked out with a personal trainer, tried Jazzercise with my friend Karyn, focused on eating foods that are high in protein, controlled my portions, limited processed carbs and pushed myself harder and more consistently at the gym.

481378_10201041597548758_1619417637_n

I’ve also eliminated alcohol with exception of two vodka tonics that I had when I was out on Bourbon St. with Michelle (aka The Running Jewess) and friends during her recent visit to the Crescent City.  Do you know how hard it is to refrain from drinking when you’re participating in the debauchery that is the French Quarter?  I even chose salad at 2 am over fried food when the universe (and Michelle) convinced me to do so.  (Hold on a sec, while I pause to pat myself on the back. ;) Ha!)

295642_10201056527922008_1075774881_n

 

I have noticed that I have more energy throughout the day, and I’m sleeping more soundly at night.  I rarely have trouble sleeping, but my bed feels positively amazing after a day of healthy eating, hydration and an intense workout.

Passing on burgers and fries or onion rings is hard, but making healthy choices throughout the day adds up to positive results that remind my why I started this journey in the first place.

When I started this blog, I did it to keep myself accountable, and that was the *only* reason. I didn’t care who saw it (even though, in reality, I knew that very few people saw it.)  Let’s be honest, my size doesn’t affect anyone here except me (and those who love me and want me to live for a long time.)  When I began publicly posting my weight and workouts, I did that for myself too.

317.6

So there it is in black and white…My reality in numbers.  I’d love to say that I’m not embarrassed to post this, but I am.  It’s hard to admit that I had gone so far, only to realize that I didn’t have it all figured out, but I’ve never cared about being a know-it-all (well, in this forum.)  I care about my choices, and for me, publicly posting my weight is the right one.  In addition to this post, I plan to update my weight-loss log regularly, in an attempt to push myself in the right direction.  I probably won’t say much about it in my posts because it’s really just for me.

I want to lose weight more than I want to eat cupcakes.  I want to be fit more than I want to drink French martinis.  I want to live a long, healthy and fulfilled life more than I want to eat Chinese take-out or fried chicken.  I want to succeed, and I hope that my desires will drive me to break the barriers that I’ve created for myself.

If you’re reading this, it’s time to show you something new, and even more importantly, it’s time to prove to myself that I can finish what I started.

Elliptical, Stairmaster and Zumba…Oh My!

I joined a new gym yesterday, and it feels good to have a place to go to workout hard.  I started with 30 minutes on the elliptical, followed by 30 minutes on the Stairmaster.  The elliptical was no big deal, but I felt like a champion after completing thousands (okay, barely over 2,000) steps.

My pace was slow, but my heart was racing!  I haven’t felt that incredible in a while, and I was reminded just how important it is to have a gym to go to everyday.  I already knew, of course, but it feels good to belong somewhere again.

Following my hour of cardio I went to the weight room and worked my upper body.  I wanted to do Zumba as well so I killed some time in the brand new Ulta that is close to the gym.  OMG!  I want everything in there!

I especially want this shea sugar body scrub! :) 

After window shopping I went back to the gym and completed an hour of Zumba.  I cooled down on the recumbent stepper, then headed home for dinner and a hot shower.

For dinner I had taco soup that I made over the weekend.  I’ve been looking forward to planning meals and cooking soups in advance, and living in my own place has made that easier.  I don’t have to share the fridge with anyone, and I can cook to my heart’s content!

Preparing meals over the weekend has already begun motivating me to eat at home.

Soon it will be time to hit the gym again!  Today I think I’ll swim laps after Zumba before heading to class.

Life is feeling pretty fantastic right now, and I’m so utterly thankful for it.  There’s a lot coming up between the holidays, trips to see family and visits from special people, but I want to go into 2013 living a healthy life.

Are you ready for the holiday season?  What are your plans between now and the end of the year?

 

The Long Day Is Over

Have you ever experienced a Monday that never seems to end?  That was my day.  I woke up before my alarm went off and breathed a sigh of relief that it was Sunday, then after basking in the fact that I could sleep in I realized it was Monday.  That reality would have been harsher if I hadn’t been looking forward to the day.

My attempt to go back to sleep for half an hour was thwarted by my desire to workout before facing the day so I got up and completed Level one of  30-Day Shred.  Monday isn’t typically a workout day, but after two workouts yesterday I felt compelled to continue in a healthy way.  The half hour I spent working out set the tone for my day, and I’m glad I did it.  (Don’t worry.  I showered and brushed my hair after that!)

You may recall that Monday is my new weigh-in day, and I’m happy to report that I lost 3.8 pounds.  After two weeks of working my way back into a healthy groove I’m down 11.6 pounds, and for the first time in a long time I feel like I can do this again.  Sure, I have a long way to go, but it feels great to be on the right track!

Monday meetings seem to work well for me because I’m more conscious of my weekend eating.  I found myself looking forward to attending again too, and that makes a huge difference!  I like this meeting and the people in it, and I want to succeed with everyone else there.  I can’t say that I love this meeting as much as I loved my New York meeting, but it’s possible that I will eventually.  I’m comfortable there, and that’s one of the most important factors to consider.

After my meeting I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up something delicious for dinner, and I made a new friend.  We had ample time to talk as we waited in line, and we continued our conversation outside.  He’s from New York and seemed rather brilliant and friendly so it was easy to talk to him.  I love making new friends so I’m glad I made that stop.  During our talk he suggested that I season my next batch of kale chips with chipotle, and I plan to do that before the presidential debate.

When I got home I considered working out again, but I opted to wait until today.  Instead I began practicing recipes that I plan to make for the holidays (because it’s important to do that while others are around to eat it.)  Now I’m ready to tackle Tuesday!

My confidence is on the rise again, and it feels good.  I feel like I’m in control of my health today, and I’m keenly aware that it’s up to me to make good choices.  I’m feeling strong in my workouts again too.  I plan to hit the pavement after I sleep, and I’m already looking forward to continuing my healthy week.

What will you do to make this a healthy week?