5/31/13

It All Works Out In The End

 

Despite eating a crap ton of PPVs last week, I actually had a loss when I got on the scale this last Tuesday. Sometimes we just never really know what our bodies are going to do. It is important to always just trust the program. WW built this program with 49 extra WPPAs to be eaten whenever and however you see fit. Sure, if you eat all 49 extra WPPAs the day before WI, you might show a gain. But not eating them also doesn’t mean you will show a loss. We really just never fully know.

I was planning to get on the scale at my meeting regardless of what the number might say. My only requirement as a Lifetime member is to get on the scale the first meeting I attend during the month. As long as I am in goal range, I can still attend my meetings for free but I am not required to get on the scale.

When we got back from vacation in the middle weeks of May, my weight on the scale at home was 180. I knew I had some vacation weight to work off but was pretty confident it would all work itself out once I got back to my healthy eating and my usual activity.

Two weeks ago, I skipped the WW scale for a second time. I got on the scale at home the morning of my WI and saw I had lost a little. I was now 178.6. I don’t like to skip my WW “official” scale, or the scale I consider official, more than two times in a row. To me that meant I had to get on the scale at my WW meeting this week even if the number wasn’t in goal range (173-177).

I forgot to snap a photo, but my weight this last week was 176.2. Despite eating all my WPPAs and even still going into the negative I still showed a loss of 2.4 pounds. I am back in goal range and my plan is to stay there this week since my June WI is next Tuesday.

Being on vacation caused a slight kink in my weight for this month. Just before I left for vacation is when I was showing a low number of 174.6. This is all just part of the process and also part of being on maintenance. When I look back at my weight records entered into the Excel sheet where I keep track, my end of month WI for April 30th was 176. I maintained for a whole month with just being over 0.2 pounds, which I don’t even consider really anything worth worrying about.

My end of month WI on March 30th was 177.6, February 28th was 175.2, and January 31st was 177.8

If you look at both January and March, I am even down a full pound. Regardless of what the scale might show me, I continue to stay focused on healthy eating and activity. Perhaps I should start using more WPPAs early in the week like I did last week. I didn’t plan it, but I also didn’t deprive myself either.

5/30/13

Hedonic Hunger


I have never heard of hedonic hunger until the topic came up on my daily thread on the WW message boards.  So, I Googled it.  There are many articles out there on this topic.


I have never struggled with compulsion over eating.  I believe that eating too much from time to time is not really unusual.  However, the inability to control food, thus resulting in binge eating, is not really normal even though it is common.  While I have seen many WW members work very hard to keep their binge eating under control, it takes a lot of work each day and it is not easy.  I am not sure that desire to overeat ever actually goes away.  The person just gets better at managing it and is less hard on them self when a binge does occur.
“When a person eats apleasurable food, it can trigger reward centers in the brain to promote eatingmore of said food.” 


My friend Jacquie loves food.  She honestly eats for pleasure as she enjoys her food.  You can tell Jacquie enjoys her food because when she takes a bite she dances around and smiles.  Eating for pleasure should make you feel good.  When I decide to eat a yummy dessert that I have planned and waited for, you will see me dancing around too.  You will also see me taking little bites to savor every bit of it.  I am also sad when it is gone. 

Eating for pleasure is okay.  It is the EXCESS part that can trip a person up.  I am a portion eater.  I have always been a portion eater since I joined WW.  There are times that I listen to hunger cues and practice them when I am on vacation.  In my every day eating I weigh and measure my food portion, track it, and eat it.  When it is gone…it is gone.

I also don’t keep things in my house that tempt me.   If there is something in my house that has the potential to temp me, I don’t keep it in sight.  I found this in the article I referenced above.
“To curb hedonic eating, we have two options:  Limit exposure to highly palatable foods, using a kind of ‘out-of-sight, out-of-mind’ approach and seek to eat foods that are more bland.”
I don’t see the point in eating foods that are more bland.  Why torture yourself?  Food should taste good or it isn’t worth the PPVs.  I do, however, use an out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach.  When I have foods in the house that could be trouble, I make sure to keep them out of sight.  I might know that the chocolate cake is in the pantry since that is where I put it, however, if it is sitting on the kitchen counter then I know it is there every time I walk into the kitchen and see it.  Out-of-sight works for me but I know that doesn’t work for everybody.  Some WW members say the foods calls to them from the pantry/fridge/freezer.

In that case DON’T BRING IT INTO THE HOUSE!  You can’t eat it if you don’t have it!  Instead, plan to go to a restaurant for some chocolate cake.  If you have a 15 PPV piece of cake all in one setting, you are better off than have little bites of it through the week.  Enjoy the treat, savor it, and move on.

That brings me back to eating slowly.  I am a very fast eater.  Food doesn’t stand a chance when put in front of me.  I remember my very first WW leader Lynn saying she would plan a Dove chocolate square each night after her dinner meal where she would eat small bites and let the chocolate melt on her tongue.  I would think how silly!  No way chocolate will last that long with me.  Guess what?  I now take small bites and let the chocolate melt on my tongue.  If I allow myself a piece/serving/slice then I will fully enjoy it and take small bites to savor it.
Finally, I have written this a few times on the WW boards this week.
Food does not have any control.  Food is simply just what we need to nourish our bodies. WE give food that power over us.  If a food I am eating is so good I want more?  There is always tomorrow.  It doesn’t all have to be eating today.  I really do stick to this practice.


5/29/13

What Is In Your Grocery Cart?


I am a bit of a Nosy Nellie.  I am that creepy neighbor that is always watching what is going outside my front window.  I guess you could say I am just a natural observer!

I like seeing what people load onto the conveyer belt at the grocery store.  I am not sure that you can really tell if somebody is healthy just by what they buy at the grocery store.

Take myself for example.  I prefer to buy my produce at Winco.  I feel they have the better produce vs. Wal-Mart.  There is a cashier named Q (that really is his name.  I am not trying to be nice in not giving his real name) who works the night shift.  When I am on the graveyard shift I will often do my grocery shopping in the wee morning hours.  Q had commented a few times about my “healthy eating” since I am mostly buying produce. 

Q doesn’t see the other food I buy when I shop at Wal-Mart.  Think about somebody with kids and what their grocery cart reflects.  We really can’t tell much by just what somebody buys. 

I have heard WW leaders tell funny stories of other WW members turning around and walking the other way when spotted at the grocery store.  I have never experienced that.  I think I would just laugh.  People are funny.

I guess the moral of this story is: I am nosy.

5/28/13

Is There Really A Wagon?


I am not really a fan of motorists on the roadway doing a U-turn.  It sort of bugs me when somebody does it right in the middle of the road.  My preference would be to get turned around somewhere, anywhere, to avoid a U-turn.

I suppose if your weight loss or maintenance wagon is traveling off course it is important to turn around as soon as possible.  This would mean the need to make a U-turn.

I have never really liked the term “on the wagon” or better yet “off the wagon.”  If from the beginning you just simply make the choice not to view your weight loss or maintenance journey as being on any type of wagon than really you can’t ever fall off said wagon.

Maybe I am just being nit picky about people using politically correct terms.  Sure, it might be better to say, “I ate a ton of crap today/this week/the whole month and I need to quit doing that.” 

I chose to look at my weight loss as a journey.  There were mistakes made along the way and more food eaten than necessary a few times.  There have been times that I just haven’t felt like tracking, meal planning, or even exercising.  The same as been true for my maintenance journey and there will continue to be times I eat too much or I am just not feeling like healthy living at the moment.

Regardless of why times like these happen, I MUST pick myself up, dust off, and continue down this journey.  There is no wagon on this journey and not something I use as an excuse to eat unhealthy.  I know healthy living is what has got me to my goal weight and is what is going to keep me there.  The alternative means I gain the weight back. 

I don’t need a wagon.

5/27/13

Chicago Fire


I have been watching the new show on NBC Chicago Fire. 

 

It has been a really great show and I hope NBC will continue to renew it.  The show is about fire fighters working in the Chicago area and it is sort of funny because I have recognized some of the same scenery from when ER was on the air.

The finale show that aired last Wednesday brought back some vivid memories for me.  It involved the fire fighters responding to a fire call at the prison.  I worked in Idaho Maximum Security Institute for 10 months.  After I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, I applied with The Department of Correction for a position as a Correctional Officer.  I scored 100% on my written test and passed the oral board.  An offer of employment came shortly thereafter. 

I was one of 12 people, and only two women, chosen to work in the maximum security male prison.  I have no idea how I was chosen to work in the prison with the highest level of security except that perhaps my degree played a part.  We were sent to a training course for two weeks on the grounds of the National Guard.  It was in the middle of the summertime and extremely hot.  Then we spent a few months with a Field Training Officer as we learned the day to day operations of the prison. 

When I started working at the prison an attack on Officer Jackson had occurred three years prior.  It was a planned attack where Officer Jackson’s throat was slit by an inmate.  I had heard that Officer Jackson was not a very nice guy and made some enemies with the inmates.  I always knew there were risks going to work each day in such a high security setting.  During my ten months working at max, I saw my share of scary incidents and fights among inmates. 

Watching Chicago Fire instantly brought me back to my days at max and even gave me a little anxiety.  In the finale episode the power has gone out since there is a fire in the prison.  The inmates were able to get out of their cell since the locking mechanisms failed.  While the fire fighters are on the tier, one of the fire fighters opens the utility door to find a correctional officer dead, throat slit, and stuffed inside.  The inmates are then ganging up on the fire fighters and take one hostage with a “shank”, homemade knife, putting it to his throat.  I guess they were not ready to kill off that particular fire fighter and the season ended with nobody else being harmed. 

Watching the show was definitely a reminder of that particular time in my life and why I am glad I made the decision to eventually change careers.  Fire fighters, police officers, correctional officers, and deputy jailers have a really tough job and put their life on the line daily. 

5/26/13

Is The Grass Really Greener?


 There is a woman named Carla that attends group exercise classes at the West YMCA where I also attend.  I don’t know her that well and have only talked to her a few times.  I see her around a lot and she has been in several of the classes I have taken.

Carla is really thin.  I would put her in the age range of late 40’s or maybe even early 50’s.  I would also guess she is a size XS.  She wears an arm-band-Body-Bug-type-device and I also see she wears an athletic watch on both wrists.  I assume she must also have a heart rate monitor on.  I don’t know Carla’s story.  I often wonder if she has ever struggled with her weight.  I have thought about asking her a time or two.  The group exercise leader mentioned in conversation recently that Carla used to teach the 5:30am classes at the Y.  That leads me to believe that even if she hasn’t struggled with her weight that she does view fitness as important.

I see how skinny Carla is and sometimes I wish I was skinny like she is.  I wonder what it must be like to just be skinny and perhaps not have to worry about what you eat, but I have no idea how or what she eats in a day.  I do know she works out A LOT.  It is not uncommon to see Carla in back-to-back group exercise classes.  I have seen her at the morning classes and also at the evening classes, although not all in the same day as I don’t attend twice a day.  Carla also rides her bike to/from the Y.  I remember once a group exercise leader asking how many classes she had taken just in that day alone and she said she was on her forth class.  Wow!  That is impressive and major KUDOS to Carla.

Would I really want to commit that much just to be that skinny or now that I am in maintenance to stay that skinny?  I don’t have all the factors to really answer that question.  However, I do not have the desire to be at the gym that much or to take that many group exercise classes in a day/week. 

Sometimes being skinny seems like it would be awesome.  I heard a saying once, “The grass may seem greener on the other side of the fence, but we don’t know how much the water bill is.” 


 

5/25/13

Working Out When You Are Tired


My current shift at work is dayshift. I work from 0600-1600 (6am – 4pm). In order to be at work by 0600 hours, I get up at 0400 (4am). This allows me enough time to get ready (which is only about 15 minutes) and then prep my meals and snacks for work as I cook my breakfast. My meal planning/prep is what takes the longest but is also was is really important to my weight maintenance.

Since I am already getting up before sunrise, getting up any earlier for a workout would be tough. It isn’t impossible but tough. I also make sure I get to bed around 8pm the night before so I can get enough sleep.

It is equally tough to find the motivation to workout after I get home from my 10-hour shift. To compensate, I try to get in as much activity as I can on my days off to but I can’t take every workday off of activity either. I try to workout at least two of my four days of work each week.

Wednesday night Kenyon and I didn’t get to bed until 9:30pm or so. Obviously, this was not enough sleep time and I felt it all day Thursday during my shift. I still needed to get in my activity though. I found this image on Google.

While I won’t say this works for me every time, I know I needed to get in a workout. Extended family is in town this week and we are celebrating my niece’s 9th birthday. I also already started my week out using more WPPAs than necessary. I decided to take a walk on the treadmillwhile catching up on the many TV shows on my DVD. It might not have been as brisk as it couldhave been but some activity is always better than no activity.

5/24/13

A Really High Points Day


I wish I had taken photos of all the food I consumed and my meals out on Wednesday.  It has a VERY, VERY, VERY high PPVs day, however, not a ton of food.  It was just really high PPV foods.

My day did not start out with the plan to consume so many PPVs.  Wednesday starts my new WW week and often after eating out and being little more lax after my WI, getting back on track Wednesday with a fresh new week is exciting.

I had my usual oatmeal and cream of wheat mixture cooked on the stove with an apple and some cinnamon.  I always add peanut butter, brown sugar, and honey (trying Agave Nectar now) after cooking.  6 PPVs used.

I decided to workout at home since the service guy was coming to the house to replace my car windshield.  I did a 5 mile WATP (Walk Away The Pound) DVD that took me a little over an hour.  5 APs earned.

I was starving after my workout.  Not sure what that was all about so I suggested we go out for lunch.  I had my eye on Sizzler and their steak and salad bar coupon for $9.99.  Kenyon and I have been eating out a lot and since payday isn’t until Friday, I am poor.  Thanks Kenyon for picking up the tab these last few days!  Kenyon suggested pizza.  He didn’t really want the temptation and I could have pushed to convince him otherwise but pizza sounded good AND we were just in time to catch the lunch buffet at Idaho Pizza Company (which is a very delicious pizza for those reading this that don’t live in Idaho).  It was the start of my week so WPPAs were just sitting there waiting to be used.

And boy where they used!  I got my usual salad bar fill with 0 PPV veggies and some pineapple then added a few beans and had my ranch on the side.  I had two slices of pizza and one of the cinnamon twists.  In hindsight, I should have stopped after two slices since really I was “satisfied”.  I went in search of a slice of supreme and also returned to the table with one that had cheese, olive oil, basil, and fresh tomatoes (which were picked off and given to Kenyon) AND two more cinnamon twists (they were fresh out of the oven, doughy, and I have no self control over sweets sometimes).  I ate half of each pieces of pizza and both of the sugary goodness.  My best guess is 38 PPVs used.  (EEEEK!)

I actually had dinner plans with my girlfriends so I wasn’t even thinking of eating out at lunch.  My plan for dinner was to have a shot of tequila, mix it with a glass of water, and add my sugar free margarita mixer packet, however, there was no open bar.  I could have skipped the drink all together but instead I decided to order a regular small margarita.  Since I had a late lunch and wasn’t feeling super hungry, I didn’t order much at the Mexican restaurant and had my fare share of chips, salsa, and bean dip.  I ordered a chicken taco but the tortilla was all wet and soggy so I ditch it and just ate the chicken and lettuce.  I also got a side of pinto beans (quite large) and ate about half.  Best guess is 20 PPVs used.

My total PPVs used for Wednesday was 64 (ouch) subtract 30 DPA and subtract 5 APs earned means I used 29 WPPAs.  That is a lot of WPPAs since I only get 49 for the week.  So, Thursday was definitely a day where I stayed closer to my DPA and succeeded in reeling it in.

I don’t usually start my week out using my WPPAs.  I mentioned earlier that often I will have something yummy or we eat out on Tuesdays so I reel it in for the first few days of my WW week.  I am not sure how this will affect my week.  Honestly, I have some food-events scheduled this week so I SHOULD have kept my WPPAs safe and secure.  Sometimes what we SHOULD do isn’t as fun as what we WANT to do.

You see healthy living is important to me but even I can still go overboard.  For now, there is no need to stress over it.  But, it is also not a reason to make this whole week a free-for-all.  I have activity lined up later this week and will make the days I don’t have food-events scheduled full of clean eating and Power Foods.

5/23/13

Green With Envy


I love my daily healthy eating habits and I know sticking to that plan also makes me feel good.

That doesn’t mean that on occasion I still feel like “it isn’t fair” when I see what others are eating.  I have learned a time or two that you also can’t judge somebody’s eating habits by just one meal either.

When I was in college a co-worker who had lost a good amount of weight told me to take a nutrition class as it was going to be my best opportunity to do so.  I wish I had listened to him.  Perhaps he was trying to tell me I needed to lose weight without sounding rude.  Since I never did take that nutrition class, I have had to learn more about nutrition on my own and educate myself on healthy eating.

It can be difficult to hold my tongue (and those that know me know I don’t really ever hold my tongue) when I see others eating habits.  Heck, working in a dispatch center is one of the unhealthiest food places I have ever worked.  Food is all about choices.  Some food choices are worth it and some aren’t.  I do my fair share of unhealthy eating and splurging both with planning and sometimes not.

I am pretty hard on my nieces and other people’s kids.  I feel that if you provide education on proper nutrition now that you giving your kids a greater chance of success later in life.  Most of us would love to eat dessert everyday for breakfast but in reality we can’t.  We must put good food into our bodies FIRST and THEN enjoy dessert.

We make a lot of choices in a day.  Make at least some of those food choices healthy ones.  You will be doing a good service to your body if you do.

5/22/13

A Belated Mother's Day


This is a photo taken of my Mom and I at one of my annual Hawaiian parties (that explains the coconut bra and lei).

It is a little belated for Mother’s Day, but I thought I would post this photo to share on my blog.

I love my Mother.  I was blessed with the best Mommy in the whole entire world.  She is an exceptionally loving person, caring, kind, and very supportive.  She is super generous and never lets me pay for a meal out together.

She has always been there for me when I struggled.  Weather it was college courses, job and work issues, and when I joined Weight Watchers. 

The biggest bonus: I look just like her!  That is my very favorite part.  I love looking like my Mom because she is somebody I care an awful lot about.

Happy belated Mother’s Day Mom!

Thanks for always being there for me and my siblings.

5/21/13

Exercise, Eat, & Ignore


I found this on Google....my favorite place to shop for graphics.

Exercise to be fit, not 'skinny'

Eat to nourish your body

and always...

Ignore the haters, doubters & unhealthy examples that were once feeding you.

You are worth more than you realise.

5/20/13

Through Thick and Thin (Borrowed Title)

**Sorry the photos in this blog are so tiny**

There is a blog I read often called Lynn’s Weigh.  Lynn and four of her blog friends, DebbyShelley, Lori, and Cammy, write a monthly blog on a weight loss/maintenance related topic.  The topic for May is “Through Thick and Thin.”  You can read each of the blog posts by clicking on the high lighted name.
"Through Thick and Thin" poses the question:
After a large amount of weight is lost, is some weight gain inevitable?

They aren’t talking about gaining ALL the weight back.  For those out there in internet-land that are maintaining a large weight loss (100+ pounds or more) it can be difficult to maintain.  In the short time I have been reading Lynn’s blog I have learned about her struggles with maintenance and gaining back 20 pounds.

I call it the in-between.  You are not your former self at the highest-weight-you-have-ever-been but you are also not at your goal weight or the lowest-weight-you-have-ever-been either.  Often those that are doing some sort of long term maintenance find themselves somewhere in the middle. 
 
I feel like the Biggest Loser contestants experience this.  Since the weight loss is a competition and money is the prize, contestants will strive to lose as much weight as possible before the finale.  But is this super low weight really maintainable?  It might be if you continue to live in a house where your food temptations are limited (minus Allison Sweeney of course) and going to the gym is your full time job.  Naturally, these contestants have to re-enter the “real world” where your full time job pays the bills and rarely do those bills get paid by spending eight hours in the gym.
Attainable weight and Maintainable weight are two entirely different things.  Almost anything is attainable but without the tools needed to maintain it that part can be tough.  Plus attaining a super low weight might make you feel good at first until you realize how much you have to give up to stay there.  Is skipping all future social outings really worth the cost of holding onto a vanity weight?  Only you can be the judge.
Usually, the in-between isn’t a bad place to be. The mental struggle can often be the hardest as wrapping you head around “gaining weight” is difficult.  Regardless of what in-between weight you might be at right now it is important to remember that you are NOT at your heaviest weight and you are STILL a success!!
I am sort of at an in-between even though I maintain my weight within my goal range set with my doctor.  I no longer weigh 304 pounds (my starting weight) but I also don't weigh 165 pounds (my lowest weight).

This photo is the one I carry in my purse when people ask to see a before photo.  It was taken in October 2006, a few months before I joined WW.

 
This photo was taken when I weighed 173 after getting my Lifetime in April 2009.

 
 
My first year of maintenance I continued to lose weight.  I really wanted to get to goal and be a free paying member but I wasn't sure where I wanted to settle.  I wanted to see if my body would continue to lose more weight and try to get to the WW goal vs my doctor's goal.  Since I never increased my points to include the maintenance points (you add 6 PPVs to start out when you reach goal to try and get your body to stop losing and level out) I continued to lose.  I reached an all time low weight of 165 pounds. 
This photo was taken when I reached my all time low weight of 165 pounds.  It was taken at my 30th birthday in October 2009.

 
 
It only lasted a year.  By April of 2010, I was back up to 173 pounds.  I remember feeling very stressed out during that year and feeling like a failure.  Perhaps 165 was not a maintainable weight for me.  I know I was spending less time at the gym and I had changed my eating to include less processed foods and more whole foods.  Our dispatch center also merged taking on extra troops with no extra staff resulting in long shifts and extra work days each week.  Eventually I had to realize that I was not a failure and that 165 was just not a weight I was going to be able to maintain without extra work or less food, both of which I didn't have the energy to commit to.

The photo on the right of my blog with Kenyon and I is the most current.  It was taken in October 2012 where I weighed 174 pounds.

This is a photo I took of myself at work last month. 


 
 
Through the years, my weight has gone up and down within a nice easy-to-maintain range.  It looks like my highest weight on record is 181.8 pounds and that was in September 2011.  While some of the photos are small (need to figure out how to fix that part), I see that I still look normal...regardless of my in-between weight.
We just returned from vacation, which I can never go out of town and not gain weight, and I weighed 180 pounds when we got back.  While this is only temporary, I can feel it immediately.  My middle feels thick and "squishy".  I don't like that feeling.  I was discussing this with my friend Mark on a recent hike.  I believe that being aware of that feeling is what will keep me at my goal weight as I am more aware of my body now then I was at 304 pounds.  That awareness is what helps keep me on track and gets me back on track after vacation and any other time I spend off-program.

If you are struggling with an in-between weight, be kind to yourself.  I am 100% sure it isn't as bad as you might think.
 
 
 
 

5/19/13

Motivation


There was a person on the message boards that asked how to keep the motivation alive.

 

There was some really great advice given by many maintenance members.  Here are some of the replies:

50TimeTo Lose80 wrote, “I haven't been on maintenance long enough to have this problem, but back when I was starting to lose, I made a list of reasons why I wanted to attain a healthy weight. Maybe making a list of very specific reasons why you want to maintain your weight (and looking at it often) would be helpful.”


Regina wrote, “I broke my ultimate weight loss goal into much smaller steps - 5 lbs each. When I started this last time (I've battled my weight my entire life) I wasn't even sure I could make it to goal, just desperately wanted to be back under 200 lbs as I was turning 50 and was having terrible knee pain. I had a rough start as I didn't lose any appreciable amount of weight my first 6 weeks. Then I took a much closer look at the quality of my diet and then the scale started to move with the reduction of processed carbs and an increase in protein.

I just kept focusing on each 5 lb star and then eventually I finally believed I could attain goal and formally set my goal weight.

And as others will sure remind you, you have to think of this as a lifestyle change. Whatever you do at this phase (food, exercise, etc.) you need to be ready to do for the rest of your life or for as long as you want to keep the weight off.

Good luck!”


Brian wrote, “When I started, I only went because my wife was interested, and I felt it wouldn't be fair to have her go alone. Once I signed up, I told myself that I was going to stick with it for a year and then evaluate whether it worked or not.

Why a year? Because I thought I'd take a while to get the hang of it, and maybe stumble and fall a few times. I thought anything shorter than that wouldn't be a fair shot.

So with that, I didn't have much of a choice. I just felt like, "If it's today, I'm going to do it. Once it's been a year, I'll see if I want to keep going."

As I searched out new things, I found food and activities I liked and decided what pre-WW food and activities were still worth keeping.

So, I got a lot of mood boosters from compliments and seeing the change in the mirror, and maybe getting this close to a 5-pound star some weeks, but I really didn't have a specific motivation that kept me going.”

 
Annette wrote, “I haven't been on maintenance long (about 6 months), but will tell you that for me, motivation is overrated. Honestly, I can be pretty lazy.

What works for me is routines. Habits. Having the same breakfast every morning is one less decision I have to make - and it covers a whole grain, a fruit and my 2 oil GHGs - oh, and 3 cups of liquid. Meeting my cousin for Pilates every Thurs. means 1 day of activity preplanned. Etc.

Find ways to make the healthier choice the easiest choice. Build one at a time. Make each a habit. And don't be afraid to try something and decide it doesn't work. If I eventually get bored with my oatmeal - I'll just try something else! “

 

Kajilbm wrote, “I don't look for motivation I treat tracking, measuring, exercising, being accountable as must do's like brushing my teeth and showering.”




Judy wrote:I found keeping plan friendly foods in the house kept me on plan. Preplanning also was a big help any time I was eating out of my comfort zone.

I also developed routines for certain stress situations. I have a set of "rules" for handling eating out.

I came up with other ways to comfort myself when I was upset. Although, if I did eat I made sure it was complex carbs not anything processed, as in cooked dried beans versus cookies.

One tip I have seen is to always track what you eat no matter how bad it is. Always face the actuality of the situation.”


Kathy wrote: “I had been overweight for a very long time, and there had been nothing all my dieting attempts to make me believe I could do it...but there was nothing like being lucky enough to survive an obesity related cancer to get my attention.

It took me a long time to reach goal, 3 1/2 years, and there were some serious stumbles along the way...but as someone said, ‘What's the Alternative’, I'm so glad I wanted to live.

I was another that took it 5 pounds at a time, never even dreamed I could make WW's healthy weight range; the advantage in going slower, for me, meant that gradually the bad habits were replaced and the way I eat truly is completely different than it was 7 years ago.

This program really does work when we do our part...you can do it!”


Suralottie1 wrote: “Why did you join WW? Have your feelings about that reason changed? When my weight which felt like a ‘fat suit’ to me started to come off I found myself feeling better and more energized. This is motivating! When I stopped thinking of it as a diet I no longer felt deprived. Yes old habits are easy to fall back into but I've learned to track them and that helps me feel I am OP which I am! Good choices with time become second nature. YOU are worth it! What is the alternative? Gaining more-poor health-tight clothes and needing to lose even more when you feel you need ‘to do something’ about your weight which invariably happens. If not now when?”

And finally, my advice to the original poster:


Motivation will only take you so far. As Regina said, this is a lifestyle change. And small steps are the best way to look at it. I also loved getting my 5 lb stars. I had a lot to lose so looking at it all at once was overwhelming. I would have been happy with just 20 lbs. Then I felt so good I kept going.

I now miss my healthy eating when I am on vacation or those times when I am feeling low on motivation to cook meals and track accurately. Luckily, weeks like that only last a short time. I find tracking isn't a chore but part of everyday life. The same goes with weighing and measuring my foods.

I enjoy my meetings and my leader and look forward to going each week. WW is just a part of my life!
 


 

5/18/13

Helping The Recruits


In early May our new trooper recruits were about five weeks into their training and were tackling Officer Safety Week.

This is the week where they practice some higher risk situations and play out traffic scenarios on the training track.  For the last few years dispatchers have been allowed to assist with this special assignment the Mobile Command Center is set up for us to dispatch for the recruits.  While I enjoy learning more about the MCC and laughing at the funny things new recruits say on the radio, I was also able to be a role player on the track.

Since I had an hour to kill before my time slot for driving on the track opened up, I hopped into the car with my coworker Shauna.  Shauna is a pro at helping with scenarios and riding with her and playing along was hard to keep a straight face.  She really gets into her character and enjoys playing around with the recruits.

During our traffic stop, I was “arrested” and Shauna caught a few photos of it in action.

 



Once it was my time slot to drive a vehicle, we were given instructions to tone it down a bit and focus on more routine type traffic stops.  I played the “motorist assist role” often and pretended to have a flat tire or that my vehicle had broke down.

I was pulled over twice, once I used the excuse I was using my new cell phone to try to make a call, but not texting as it is now illegal in Idaho, and once I was pretending I was tired crossing over the fog line.  While the first recruit gives me a warning the second recruit cited me for failing to maintain my lines.

 


It was lots of fun that I plan to participate in again!

5/17/13

Weight Loss Problems #172


It really is quite frustrating how fast guys can lose weight so much faster with so much more ease then women can.

“I gave up my daily soda habit and lost 20 pounds.”

Jerk.

“I just drink one less beer a day and shed 10 pounds.”

Oh really?

You try dealing with female hormones that makes losing weight for one week out of each month extra difficult.

It also isn’t fair that men get a larger DPA then women do.  Apparently they burn more calories on average than women do.

Seriously?

Sometimes being a guy sounds nice…particularly for one week out of each month.

5/16/13

Guilt


Guilt: That feeling of knowing you should be doing one thing but wanting to do the other.

I often deal with feelings of guilt in many aspects of my maintenance journey.  Sometimes that feeling of guilt is due to exercise, or rather lack thereof.  Skipping a workout can be tough, especially when you are injured or when you have a headcold.  It makes me feel guilty like I should be doing something even if my body is telling me I need to rest.

I also feel guilty when I skip my workout when I am tired and feeling low of energy.  I know that if I can just push through a few minutes that I might feel better, but sometimes I just don’t have it in me.  Working dayshift means my days start at 4am.  There isn’t much energy left by the end of my 10 hour work shift and skipping my workout sounds good.  It also makes me feel guilty.

There is also the guilt I feel when I know I should be exercising and have no better excuse other then I just don’t want to or I am just not feeling in the mood.  This makes me feel guilty since I know I really should be doing something and I don’t have a single reason not to.

Guilt will set in from time to time so learning to shush that voice, epically in times of injury or when you just need extra sleep is also important.  Exercise is important but so is rest.  Take it when you need it: guilt free.
There is always tomorrow

5/14/13

My Surprise Encounter Last Monday


I attended a Monday morning WW meeting last week since we were out of town for my usual Tuesday morning meeting.  This was a new group to me, however, a few faces looked familiar since I know I have attended that meeting a time or two in the past.  It is also quite a large meeting and since I didn’t really know anybody, I shared about my weight loss as it was relevant to the topic.

After the meeting ended, a woman sitting just outside the meeting room called me by my name and then smiled at me.  I didn’t even notice her sitting in the meeting room.  I am not sure that I would have even given it a second thought had she not said something.  I am not even sure what I said to make her remember who I was.

Despite being fuller in the face I knew who she was.  It was Lynn, my very first WW leader. 

I think about Lynn often and was ecstatic to give her a giant hug.  It was so good to see her.  I asked her how she has been doing and she responded with, “well, I’m fat.”

I never really know how to respond when a WW member, new or old, makes comments like that.  We have all been there a time or two and I am nothing but understanding and sympathetic.  Weight loss and maintenance are both equally tough!  However, we are often much harder on ourselves then necessary.

Sure, I noticed she was fuller in the face then the last time I saw her.  I also know she was struggling at the time she retired almost six years ago.  What I didn’t remember is at that time she was also dealing with a heart condition and continues to deal with it today.  It is easy to let your maintenance program slide when focus is placed on other priorities.

Lynn could have just as easily left the meeting that day without saying a word ti me but I am glad she didn’t.  I have made contact her after I made goal as she gave us all her email address.  She is also a friend on Facebook.  I hope to see her again and at least now I know where to find her.  She asked that if I do attend the Monday morning meeting again that I don’t “out her” as a leader, which I respect 100%.  She said even when she was at her goal weight, she liked attending meetings anonymously.  WW leaders are WW members first and foremost and attending a meeting anonymously allows them to be just another member among the group.

I have been collecting photos of all my WW leaders for a future blog post.  I didn’t feel I could ask Lynn for a photo the day I saw her.  Who knows what the future will hold and if I will feel comfortable in a future encounter.  I do know I was on cloud nine for the rest of the day after seeing her.