Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pre-Wedding Points--Day 3

Friday was the day before the wedding, and it promised to be extremely busy from beginning to end. I started the day with my planner, trying to make the best plans I could for success. I knew I would not have time for my usual mid-morning snack, so I ate a little more at breakfast, choosing my food carefully so I'd make it to lunch without being starved. I had a slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and a hard boiled egg. Coffee, of course, goes without saying.

After a morning of decorating and running errands up and down stairs, I arrived back at the hotel for lunch with a big appetite. I allowed for my full six-point lunch, and packed a Fiber One bar for a snack later on in the afternoon. I had determined to keep most of my day normal, even if the evening marked the beginning of the time I'd cordoned off to begin using my flex points.

So what is normal for me lately? Having recently reached my 45 pound goal, my Weight Watchers leader suggested I go ahead and drop my next point. That left me with 21 points a day, and staying within those boundaries is a lot more challenging than I sometimes expect it to be. After a week of frustration, I decided I needed some mental markers to help keep me on track during the day—even if my tracker wasn't with me at all times.

My mental markers are something like the following: Breakfast—2 points; Mid-morning snack—2 points; Lunch—5 points; Mid-afternoon snack—3 points; Dinner—6 points; Before-bed snack—3 points. Of course, these markers are flexible, but they really help on a busy day, and I'm enjoying a lot more success. I don't get surprised so often with fewer points than appetite in the evening.

On Friday evening, I enjoyed a Routin' Tootin' Rehearsal Dinner with all the trimmings. The theme was western, since the bride and groom eventually hope to move out west, and I didn't hear anyone complain about the spread. I sure didn't! My tastebuds danced from my sloppy joe to my coleslaw to my baked beans. I even ate a cupcake! From Friday evening to Saturday evening, I put aside my own journey to walk beside a dear friend as she began a new journey of her own, and successful journeys—as any ex-dieter can attest—are not begun with hopes of a quick sprint to the end, but rather with anticipation of a slow and prosperous sojourn!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Continental Quandaries--Day 2

The continental breakfast. This hotel/motel innovation is both a blessing and a bane—a blessing, because it means one does not have to dress one's entire family and schlep out to Burger King for breakfast, all before a decent cup of coffee. The bane of the continental breakfast comes when one considers the bombardment of the buffet. Normally, I eat very few of my points before noon—on average, about four. This moderate commitment feels fairly impossible in the face of a line-up of toast, English muffins, bagels, danishes, bear claws, muffins, cereal, eggs, sausage, french toast sticks, and a Belgian waffle machine. Again, a plan is very helpful.

Without a plan, I never would have made it past the continental breakfast on Thursday morning. I had made plans to meet two of my friends for coffee at Starbucks on Thursday morning, and I was going to use my two points from breakfast to have a Light Frappacino. This of course meant, that I needed to pass on all of the goodies on the breakfast buffet. I filled my coffee cup, sat with the family, and resisted the urge to deviate from the plan so early in the vacation. My Frappacino tasted a little better because of it, I think.

After meeting my friends and having a wonderful visit, I went back to the hotel
and enjoyed being with my family. At noon, I prepared the meal I'd planned (we had a small kitchenette) and ate accordingly. While the children napped, I took advantage of the fitness center. For 35 minutes I ran like a crazy woman, and made it almost 3 miles. With nearly 350 burned calories banked, I'd racked myself up an extra 7 points. Those points came in handy about 10:00 that night when I was genuinely hungry, and needed to eat a few extra points to get me through. Because I'd stayed active, I didn't have to feel bad about finishing that can of low calorie soup alongside a glass of milk. So far so good.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Skinny on Vacation--Part I

There's nothing like a long vacation to make you appreciate home sweet home! We had a wonderful time traveling to Virginia for Andrea and Paul's wedding, and staying with vacationing with family in Maine was incredible fun. If you're wondering why you haven't heard from me during all that time, it's because though I could construct blogs in my word processor, I was blissfully disconnected from the internet, so I've been saving them up. So here it is, the skinny on how I managed to stay skinny on, even on vacation.

Day 1

In all honesty, as I write, today is not Day 1, it is more like Day 5. Our grand exodus from home took place on Wednesday night (August 4), and the beginning of the week was chalked full of preparations. One can't exactly leave for a two week family sabbatical without some heavy fore-planning. On the same note, one cannot leave on a two week out-of-towner without some serious contemplation in regards to eating and activity—at least not if one desires to return home without extra pounds as souvenirs.

My goal for this vacation has simply been to maintain my weight. I want to enjoy the vacation, and I definitely had every intention of eating wedding cake on my friend's big day. After all, it would be a crime for the Matron of Honor NOT to sample the cake; however, I was determined to track like an angel right up to the rehearsal dinner at 6:00 on Friday. But Friday is Day 3; let's stick with Day 1.

Wednesday, I'm pretty sure I earned some activity points with all that packing and hauling luggage out to the car, but I didn't track or eat any activity points there. That's sure to be a plus. By early afternoon, I had everything packed into the car except the family and the cooler. On Monday and Tuesday I'd taken care of grocery shopping, and I had taken special care to plan for foods that would keep the family and my tracker happy.

When we arrived at our hotel early Thursday morning (we didn't crash until 3am!) I had only eaten 21 points since Wednesday at 7:00 am. Success during this very LONG day was attributable to two things—products and planning.

First of all, I had things in my cooler that were going to help me be successful—water, diet sodas, fiber one bars, Weight Watchers Multi-grain Crisps, fat free yogurts, whole grain pitas, hummos, and hard boiled eggs—just to name a few. Secondly, I had rationed my points during the first part of the day (up until we left) to just what was necessary to stay well fueled with filling foods. I'd had a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, a three point salad for lunch, and a fiber one bar when I needed a boost in the middle of loading the car.

Secondly, before we left, I took time to plan how often and how much I was going to eat as we traveled. We pulled out at 4:10 in the afternoon, and my tracker pulled out with me. My plan was already written out, to help me stay true to what I WANTED while we traveled. At 5:30, I ate 6 points for dinner in the form of an egg salad pita and an apple. At 7:30, I had my Multi-grain Crisps and a Diet Dr. Pepper. At 10:30, I had one oatmeal raisin cookie and a fat free yogurt. My final three points—a fiber one bar and ½ cup of 1% milk—I held onto for right before bed, so I wouldn't be kept up by the hungries. For the notorious highway munchies, I went armed with a bag of baby carrots.

I won't say I wasn't tempted by gas station goodies, and the aroma of French fries during McDonald's potty stops, but because I had a plan, it was much easier not to sabotage myself in those situations. Mentally I won some battles too, because when I started to have those negative thoughts of deprivation, (you know, “But you're on VACATION! Don't you deserve to have some fun in the form of a big fat greasy burger and a large fry . . .) I was able to make a pretty quick comeback. I was able to remind myself that what was better than the big burger and fries, was not having to pack my big jeans because my life is run by an uncontrollable cycle of food and guilt. Yep. This vacation, I'm running the show—not the value menu!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Interpretation of the Walmart Parable

So this it--what it all MEANS . . .

She went with her son and her daughter while the good man was not at home . . .
1) Get a weight-loss buddy if you can, because it makes the journey easier and more enjoyable. However, if you can't find a buddy, bite the bullet and do what you gotta do.

She, behold was out spending money . . .
2) Don't guilt yourself over the money you have to spend on the program and the products you need to be healthy. Be as frugal as possible, but as I recently discussed, health PROBLEMS cost money too!

She ran her mouth, she made applesauce, she waited . . .
3) Carefully consider the distractions you allow. It is very important to make time for other and to be flexible, but don't get railroaded constantly. If you're not healthy, you can't be there for others; and too much flexibility means you will nearly always fall short of your goals.

Her trip seemed clandestine . . .
4) Even if your weight loss journey seems like a long-shot, DO IT ANYWAY!

She made applesauce . . .
5) When your journey sends you a situation you can't control, do your very best to turn it into something as positive as possible.

She pulled out of the drive at 6:00 . . .
6) Better a late start, than no start at all!

She blocked out visions of what might happen . . .
7) When your journey sends you opposition, don't let your imagination run away with you, and keep on going.

She held on frantically to the donkey's ears . . .
8) Hmm. This is deep. Beyond me. Maybe it has something to do with a Wii game I don't know about yet.

She bought the laxative . . .
9) Preserve regularity in yourself and your loved ones at all costs.

She redirected her cart, creating a strategy . . .
10) When the journey sends you a curve ball, and a soccer ball, and a dodge ball, and a volleyball--get a plan and stay alive!

Sufficiently mortified for the entire month of August . . .
11) Even if the plan is a flop, be humble enough to try again.

He did not close and lock the stall . . .
12) Stall locking good. Closet eating bad.

He stood with his undies around his ankles.
13) There is no lesson here. This simply should not happen.

The juice had been shelved near the wine . . .
14) Success is often found in the most surprising of places.

She tapped her foot and judged while she waited . . .
15) Don't judge another person's weight loss situation. You may not know everything you think you do about their journey.

She lined up her six different orders . . .
16) Do what you have to to succeed, and get it right. Don't apologize for the details that make things turn out well for you in the end.

She endured the glares of people in line behind her . . .
17) Be strong enough to endure misunderstanding. Most of the people who don't get it won't be around when you get where you're going anyway.

She rolled it ALL to the car . . .
18) Adversity equals exercise. Give yourself some activity points!

She replayed the scenarios, and began to draw lessons from each disaster . . .
19) Learn and succeed on the foundations of history.

She blogged about it when she got home . . .
20) Join your Weight Watchers leader on her soapbox and "TRACK! TRACK! TRACK!"

So this is the interpretation of my Wal-mart parable. I hope I can apply some of these helpful (or not) thoughts as I prepare to embark upon our family vacation. My next blog will involve some vacation resolutions, as I really want to come back home having maintained my 45 pound weight loss. I hope I don't suffer from withdrawal next Monday. It will be the first time in 33 weeks that I've missed a meeting. Hopefully, you'll be hearing from me regularly, although with internet access being sketchy, I may have to write entries and then post a few at a time as I'm able. Yep. Gonna stay skinny on vacation even. Wanna come?

The Walmart Parable

In the New Testament, one of Christ's disciples-to-be, responded with a note of cynicism, when informed that the Messiah was currently dwelling in nearby Nazareth. He--Nathanael--said, "Can anything GOOD come out of Galilee?" Well last night, I had to go to Wal-mart, and my sentiments toward the trip were quite similar. I needed more than my customary one or two light items, I was alone with the children, and I was leaving later than I'd planned. Indeed, could anything GOOD come out of a trip to Walmart? Well, here's the parable (and the interpretation thereof) and I leave you to decide.

Once, in the city of Greenville, there was a foolish woman who went to Walmart with her son and her daughter while the good man was not at home. He, behold, was out making the money. She, behold, was out spending the money in preparation for family vacation. She, behold, also needed to fill some WIC vouchers.

The foolish woman tried to leave at 3:30 so that her son and her daughter would not be tired and cranky, and also so that they would be home in time for dinner. Alas, the phone rang at 3:30, and the foolish woman ran her mouth until nearly four. It was now quite clear that they would not be home for dinner, so she altered course, and prepared dinner first. At 4:15, she sat her son and her daughter to the table. They then proceeded to take an hour to eat a slice of pizza.

Between five and five thirty, the foolish woman's foolishness was pressing upon her. Her trip seemed to be clandestine. Her neighbor stopped with more apples than would fit comfortably in her refrigerator. She was still waiting for the children to finish, so why not make applesauce? Then a friend called and asked to stop by briefly, so she waited.

The foolish woman's 2000 Ford donkey pulled out of the drive at 6:00, then onto the freeway, and then into rush hour Woodruff Road traffic. Traffic was so horrific, the donkey lurched from light to light, while the foolish woman held frantically onto the donkey's ears and blocked out visions of what might happen if she rear-ended someone two days before their vacation.

They finally arrived at Wal-mart unscathed. Moving quickly with her cart, the woman breezed onto the laxative aisle, only to find that the small size of the medicine she needed to assure her son's regularity was completely out of stock. This left only the $10.00 bottle to consider. Grumbling, she tossed it into the cart and moved onto the diaper aisle and then into the grocery department.

When the cart was laden with Miralax, diapers, 3 gallons of milk, eggs, and cheese, the woman's son started doing the potty dance. No, he simply could not wait. Groaning, the woman re-directed the cart toward the bathroom, already creating a bathroom strategy in her mind. You see, it is not permissible for one to bring one's buggy into the bathroom once it has groceries in it. The woman's daughter had footy pajamas on, and thus could not stand or walk on the floor, and thus her necessity to remain in the cart. A conundrum ensued.

The outcome of the conundrum found the foolish woman standing in the door of the bathroom, with her cart wedged half in and half out of the entrance, shouting instructions at her four-year-old son, who then pretended to forget everything he ever knew about independent bathroom going. He did not close and lock the stall door. Rather he greeted every woman who walked by the open door. He did not believe his mother when she assured him that these toilets were not self flushing. Rather he stood outside the abandoned stall with his undies around his ankles and his hands over his ears.

Now sufficiently mortified for the entire month of August, the foolish woman carried on. Thirty minutes later, the woman had all of her groceries except juice. The new super-Wal-mart management had surreptitiously placed it next to the wine. Victorious at last, the woman marched into a line--behind four other people with a zillion groceries and even more issues . . . or so she judged as she tapped her foot and waited.

And she was judged accordingly. When it finally got to be her turn, she lined up her six different orders on the conveyor belt--four WIC, the diapers out of one account, and the other groceries out of another. On the second order, the computer rejected her Cream of Wheat. Ten minutes later, the manager told me her she could not have the Cream of Wheat on her WIC order, even though it was marked WIC on the shelf, and was the same box pictured on the WIC pamphlet.

Too tired to battle any longer, the woman moved the Cream of Wheat to her regular order, endured the glares of the people in line behind her, smiled and thanked the cashier and manager and rolled it all--groceries, pocketbook, kids--to the car. On the way home, she replayed the scenarios in her head, and began to draw possibly helpful lessons from each disaster, and thus, yes, something good did actually come out of Walmart.

So yeah, this is when all ya'll "disciples" get to ask me what in the world I'm talking about, and what it has to do with weight loss. "The Interpretation of the Wal-mart Parable" is coming up next!