Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Wii Fit Concedes

After months of hostile communication between myself and my Wii Fit Plus, I am pleased to report that my honorable (albeit extremely cheeky) nemesis has conceded to my point of view. Well, perhaps not so much conceded as received updated data, but nevertheless, as of Tuesday night, this woman no longer has to hear "That's Obese!" at the end of every Body Test.

Now, I just get told "That's Overweight!" Not much of an improvement so far as name-calling goes, but with it's surplus syllable, perhaps a bit harder for my three year old to parrot in the moments following my Body Tests. On the quite bright side, I don't think I have to lose quite as much weight to get from Overweight to Normal weight, as I did to get from Obese to Overweight. We'll see.

Actually, the scales were kind all over town this week. At my Monday meeting, I weighed in at 175.6 pounds, which put me at 30.4 pounds lost total! THE BIG THIRTY! I remember when that number seemed so absolutely impossible, and now I've made it. Later that day, I had a very good time putting on the jeans that fit me at Christmas and modeling them for a picture that celebrated the huge empty space behind the zipper that was no longer full of me!

Then, as it is never safe to rest on one's laurels for too long, I was off into the new week, with a new set of short term goals and an eye on my overall plan. I spent Weeks 1 and 2 revisiting the importance of vitamins and good old fashioned water, and this week, as called for by the 17 week plan, I made plans to amp up my activity. As fortune would have it, it was a good week for my walking buddy and I to walk all five of our planned upon evenings. We are now up to a mile and a half per walk. In addition, I cleared my schedule and planned on all three sessions of aerobics.

Oh. And did I mention that I spring cleaned like a maniac this weekend? I tremble to think of the calories I must have burned and the activity points I earned, but happy day, I managed to get through my busy weekend at 23 points a day and only 22 flex points!

Next week promises to remedy the scarcity of my blog postings--a new month and some new meditations on the journey. In the meantime, here's to the new week, new progress, and mouthy little mat-like devices that have been put in their places at long last!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bellyache in a Bottle

I never thought I'd finding myself wishing I could keep a bellyache in a bottle, but this weekend, I gave myself a torrent of tummy trouble that could be genuinely valuable in capsule form--a pill that brings on discomfort just long enough to convince myself that I really DON'T want to eat whatever it is I'm considering eating.

It all started Friday night when I took the kids to Wendy's for their traditional chicken nuggets, mandarin oranges, and chocolate milk. As has become my tradition, I had decided on a meal before ever walking through the doors of the restaurant. I was going to have a Bacon and Bleu Burger and a Diet Coke. The burger was an indulgence, but do-able for a Friday--especially since I hadn't used any of my flex points for the week.

Then, as poor karma would have it, an extra small fry made its way into our order, and so the rationalizing began. I was craving salt, and after snitching a couple of the kids' fries, I dutifully marched myself over to the nutrional information posted on the wall. By the time I returned to the table, I had talked myself into an additional seven points for the small fry. This liberty only took me three points into the flex points zone for the day. Not too shabby.

If it had ended there, I really wouldn't have been in bad shape; but later that night, I sat down to second supper with some friends who had watched my kids while I got a haircut. When I got home, I fixed supper for my husband, and standing in the light of the open refrigerator, I was struck with the plight of a poor chicken sausage. Immediately, I thought how much improved the situation of the chicken sausage would be by the presence of ketchup and a bun.

Thirty minutes later, I had done my good sausage deed for the week and elevated myself to lonely food saint by doing similar favors for a Mini Snickers and a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg. When I went to bed, I felt exactly how I deserved to feel--overstuffed. No more splurging for me. No sir. Seventeen of my flex points were gone, and I wasn't using any more.

One would think that the minor indigestion I experienced on Saturday morning would have kept me in line, but nooooo. When the kids and I headed out to Downtown Greenville for an outing with friends, they suggested that we finish our walk with an ice cream cone. Immediately pushing past misgivings that no doubt, had something to do with the fact that I had absolutely no idea how many points were in a single scoop, AND a mix-in, AND a waffle cone; I cooly remarked that I would just use my remaining flex points to cover the damage.

What followed reminds me of a portion of scripture in which an angel instructs the apostle John to ingest a book that would be sweet like honey to the taste, but bitter to the belly. Yes indeed, that Swiss Chocolate Butter Cream Waffle Cone with Reese's and Nestle Crunch Mix-ins was like honey on the tongue, but at nine o'clock that night, I still felt like I had a bicycle pump attached to my stomach.

The next day, I continued to develop a whole new respect for the bellyache. When I walked into Sunday School and found that doughnuts were in attendance near the coffee pot, I was not even tempted. At lunch, I resorted to pure ruffage, hoping to keep the bellyache at bay; and at dinner, wild horses could not have shoved the usual hot dog down my throat.

So yes, oddly enough, I AM wishing I could incapsulate this weekend's bellyache, so that everytime I think I REALLY want to throw points to the wind and eat like I used to three meals a day, seven days a week--I can experience just enough of the consequences, to return to choices that I know are GOOD for me.

Those GOOD choices are the ones that resulted in today's weigh-in of 179.2 pounds. Therefore, on the wings of success I sail into the next 17 weeks of the journey to my skinny jeans. This week, I'm starting back at the beginning with my multi-vitamin, which truth be told, I have slacked on a little. I am also comitted to walking 4 to 5 times a week with a friend, so as to prepare for a 5k walking race sometime before the end of July.

And no. My 5k race will not conclude at the ice cream shop.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Celebrating 25 Pounds

On Tuesday of this week, I went to my Weight Watchers meeting, stood on the scale, and weighed in at 180.6 pounds. During the meeting, I recieved my keychain charm for 25 pounds lost. I know a lot of you are wondering why you haven't heard from me before now, but quite honestly, I was just enjoying a few quiet moments of absolute disbelief. If you would have told me at the New Year, that Easter weekend, I would be experiencing this kind of success and shopping off the size 16 rack, I would have laughed you out of town. It's Biblical you know, for Sarah to laugh . . .

I'm laughing now, because for the first time since college, I feel free from the cycle of food and failure that's kept me in bondage for all of these years. Finally! I don't HOPE to lose weight, or hope I MIGHT be able to lose a few more pounds; I look forward to the day when I WILL meet my weight loss goals.

Now that I'm this far down the road, I am so glad now I decided to write it all down. To all of you who have been reading and commenting along the way, I thank you for choosing to make yourselves a part of this success. I appreciate you all so much!

So, where do I go from here? Why on to the next pound, of course, and then onto the pound after that. When it comes to where I would actually like this journey to end up, I still find myself vascillating. Some days, I feel I would be perfectly happy just to make it to BMI 25--around 146 pounds; while other days, I feel peaked and primed to meet the advanced challenge of a mid-level BMI 22--around 129 pounds. As I have mentioned previously, there is something quite thrilling about the idea of weighing less than my husband! Anyway, I still have some time to decide.

In the meantime, I am taking my week of Rest and Re-evaluation a week early, as despite my victory on the scale Tuesday, I started into this week feeling rather worn out. Consequently, I opted out of aerobics until Saturday morning and got some yardwork done instead. Besides, there won't be time for rest next week as I'm starting into the Weight Watchers 5k walking challenge with my friend Darcey.

I've also been giving my weekly commitments a lot of thought. What do I like about a system of commitments, and what could I do to make them more permenent and effective? What I like, is that a weekly commitment keeps me constantly aware of what I'm doing to stay on track to reach my goals for health. What I would like to see improve, is the level at which I resolve to recall and revisit my commitments as the weeks pass.

Consequently, next week, I will be starting over at Commitment One and cycling back through 17 weeks of commitments. This time, I will strive to make each commitment a more naturally flowing part of my days. Another words, rather than keeping a commitmebnt so I can then check it off of my to-do list at the end of the day, I want to get to the end of the day and realize that I have kept my commitment because it is becoming part of who I am and what I do.

With this new approach, will I be busy and challenged for a lifetime? Probably. But that's o.k., because Weight Watchers is not a diet, it's a lifestyle. Now, just so I'm clear with where I am heading in the next 17 weeks, here's the run down from Commitment 1 to Commitment 17. When I get to 17, I'll start over again, and with 17 weeks, I can repeat the cycle 3 times in a year with a week to spare. Close enough!

Week 1: Take my multivitamin every night before bed.
Week 2: Drink water--at least 6 glasses a day
Week 3: Evaluate activity--already doing pretty good?
Amp it up this week for variety and challenge
Week 4: Blog challenge, write a couple extra entries to stay directed
Week 5: The kitchen--try a couple new foods to keep it interesting at the table
Week 6: Rest and Re-evaluation
Week 7: Positivity through laughter--re-vist the Big, Fat Greek Weddings and
Wake Up Ned Divine!
Week 8: Bad habit/good habit week--get rid of a negative & replace it with a positive
Week 9: Evaluate activity--do I need to change it up soon? Am I bored? Push a little!
Week 10: Blog challenge--Face the demons, get whining out of my system
Week 11: The kitchen--Control environment, what temptations need to disappear?
Week 12: Rest and Re-evaluation
Week 13: Positivity through gratitude, make this the week to say thanks
to friends and family who help keep me successful and sane
Week 14: Evaluate activity--Change up strenth training. Don't get predictable!
Week 15: Blog challenge--plan the Week 16 push and blog to get ready!
Week 16: The PUSH. Psyche out that plateau. Plan extra activities, fast from unnecessary flex points, and push hard to have a special victory on the scale! You can do anything once every four months. =)
Week 17: Rest, re-evaluate, and CELEBRATE successs!

So come on with me! Victory dances are always more fun when the party is well attended!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pink Rugs and Pepsi Cans

I have this set of pink bathroom rugs. A few years ago a friend of mine kindly sent them to me when she changed the color scheme of her boudoir, and they were in beautiful condition. At the time, her sons were in college and high school, while my son was just about to break upon the world scene. Little did I know, these rugs had an uncanny propensity for disaster. Either that, or I just have the world's WORST rug karma, and I'm ruling that option out, merely because I cannot face a life of tomorrows in which I have bad rug karma.

You think I'm paranoid, naturally, but you haven't even heard about my daughter's paranormal connections to every Pepsi can I ever have, and--no doubt--ever will, open. Now, I'm not an addicted consumer of diet carbonated beverages; however, I am an obsessive compulsive scheduler, and I have a diet soda scheduled into every week day at 10:15. My daughter's sub-concious day planner correspondantly prompts her to find and dump that Pepsi by 10:45. I rarely get to finish my Pepsi. Whether it's full or empty, left on a table, in the trash, or on something's fifth shelf twice as high as she is tall; she will find it, and onto my carpet go the contents. Again, we're choosing to rule out bad rug karma here.

So, if not to discuss the absolute presence of bad rug karma within these four walls, where am I going with these discouraging anecdotes? Why, to the kitchen of course--the soul of the house. Just as every good sermon grabs the attention of the sinner and takes it's discourse straight to the heart--every good diet blog begs a bit of sympathy and then heads straight to the supplier of the stomach--that is to say, the kitchen.

Another topic we've covered in our Weight Watchers meetings is controling the kitchen environment. Anotherwards, don't keep stuff around that you can't say "no" to, or that is going to tempt you in a moment of weakness, because chances are, if the stuff isn't around, your head is going to win the argument with your stomach. You are going to make a good choice from the good foods you have in your wisely stocked kitchen. Your stock, of course, will not include the pink rugs and pepsi cans of your existence that might make it practically impossible for you to succeed. After all, you might walk to the kitchen for that tasty temptation at 10:00 at night, but you're sure not going to drive to the grocery store in your pajamas for it.

We all have that food or two--for me it's cheese puffs and ice cream--that if they are present in the house, we will eat them every day until they are no longer available. It may even be that most of the time, we are successful at portioning these foods reasonably, so that no major sin of the tracker takes place and the scale is not transgressed; however, usually, before it's all over, we're sitting there with a double (or triple, God forbid) serving of whatever it is, just because we have some flex points on our hands.

Now what is this accomplishing? Maybe for someone else, this situation would not be a problem, but for me, it's entirely defeating the point. Yes, I am trying to lose weight, but more than that, I am trying to overcome the mental and emotional failings that got me here in the first place. My mind says I can have that extra ice cream because I have 18 flex points left. But at 3 points a half cup serving, my mind also knows I could do six scoops of ice cream with that kind of a flex-point bank roll. Am I gonna do it? Chances are, no. Have I done it in the past ten years? Yep.

And that's just the mental. What about the emotional? I deserve that big bowl of ice cream right? I mean, after all, I've worked my tail off all week long. I take care of six kids under four! Who's gonna blame me for having a scoop of ice cream per kid? This line of reasoning could--and has--gone on ad infinitum. Before I know it, I'm eating leftover candy from Halloween all because . . .

I take care of six kids,
and kids make laundry,
and laundry takes half of my life,
and by the time I dig myself out
I'll be 100 and too geriatric to brush my teeth or shower,
but why does that matter because no one lets me take care of basic hygene as it is because they're too busy waiting for me to cook six meals a day,
and then there's dishes left over that breed like pheremonal rabbits
And on, and on, and on.

Yes, if there are cheese puffs or ice cream options in the house, I'm going to find a reason to eat them, and then I'm going to reason a reason to eat a little more. They are the pink rugs and Pepsi cans of my kitchen. If they are present, they draw me almost surely to failure. That failure is not necessarily cataclismic and entire, but it has the potential to start a chain reactions of smaller failures--the mental and emotional failures--that could threaten to undermine my attempt as a whole.

Case and point, last week, my son begged me to buy a Mega-container of cheese balls at Sam's Club. I usually do let him choose one snack, so I let him talk me into it. Guess who ate cheese balls three nights in a row? (In my defense, I did count out a serving even though my husband laughed at me!) Then, I had to buy ice cream for a Friday night get together I was hostessing. Three half gallons of ice cream sitting in my freezer is NOT a good thing. I did fine while the ice cream was still virgin, but after the plastic seals came off on Friday night, all bets were off. I ate a serving Friday, then two servings Saturday and Sunday. I have entirely sworn off ice cream and cheese balls this week!

Like the pink rugs, if I remove them from the big picture, bad things are going to stop happening. I can't get rid of them entirely as there would be a family revolt if they caught me pouring the cheese balls in the dumpster and letting the icecream melt down the drain, but I am removing them from my menu!

So, let's stop the bad karma in it's tracks, because the only thing worse than bad rug karma, is bad SCALE karma.