Thursday, October 28, 2010

Weekly Meeting Topic : Trick or Treat

Another meeting to suit the upcoming celebration, Halloween.  I went to my regular Tuesday meeting and was a little disappointed with how the topic was covered.  I'm wishing I could go to the Saturday meeting this week to get a different take on the subject but I'm road trippin' to visit friends.

The meeting leader pretty much talked about sugar and glanced over a few things.  She reminded us that if our calories in = our calories out that is how one manages to maintain their weight.  That to loose weight our calories out must exceed the calories we consume.

The main focus was on consuming sugars, that eating sweets triggers you to want more.  I have to agree with this point, it is soooo true!  I fell into this trap today, I had one square of chocolate which lead to three, then an impulsive trip to the Bulk Barn where I bought a small amount of chocolate and jujubes.  The chocolate I must admit I ate in the car on my way home and the jujubes are now sitting in my glove box of my car.  One little Jersey Milk square lead me down a slippery slope tonight, one I'd care not to repeat tomorrow.  The day will be tough as its the annual cake auction at work... have I mentioned in the past how much I like cake?  I will do my best just to have a taste or if I feel like I have the fortitude have none at all.

So how can we deal with the sugar monster?

You can go cold turkey !!??!! However deprivation no matter how strong you are can cause you to overeat.  You will either overeat on that sweet you are craving or you will overeat other foods looking to satisfy that taste you really want (how many times have I done this?).  Sometimes you just have to give in and have a little.

How do I cope with that "having a little".  I make sure I buy a single serving and take it home and eat it... and don't eat it in the car!  I try to wait until I am home or my final location so that I actually enjoy eating it instead of scarfing it down while my mind is on something else (like driving).  Or I buy that single serving and half it with a friend or Todd (the other half).

We can also plan to have our treat, to eat sensibly that day so that you have enough points to afford that sweet.  Some people will work out to "earn" that treat but rarely do we earn enough activity points to afford that full treat.  For example the average chocolate bar is 5-6 points, for me to earn 5-6 activity points I need to go for a 60-70 minute run!  That's about 10K to earn/burn off that one chocolate bar.

No other tactics were really offered to deal with those tiny little innocent chocolate bars that are so abundant at this time of the year.  I am very proud of myself this year I've not bought a single bag or box of tasty little chocolate boobie traps (did you know one average snack sized bar is 2 points?).  I have partaken of a few in candy dishes and I'm hoping I'll work towards getting this need for chocolate/sweets out of my system.  I go through periods where I can easily ignore it and periods where I can't help but star ate and obsess about those little chocolate treats.

My tip to you, if you're going to have little Trick or Treaters at your doorstep is to buy something you REALLY don't like.  Or another trick is to buy some sort of alternative to candy, for example novelty Halloween pencils and erasers.  On Monday I bought a big bag of mini canisters of Playdough for my 4-6 year old Taekwon-Do class for a Halloween surprise at the end of class.  I know the parents really appreciated me for that!

Now how am I doing?  I'm coping lately, I've not been in the best of moods lately and a little nasty at times to those around me.  Unfortunately due to a little self sabotage at a party on Saturday night my weigh in was not what I would of liked it to be.  Also I find my weight does bump up a bit every 4 weeks and go back down again.  The result, I'm up another 1.5 lbs, those wonderful 4.5lbs I lost a few weeks ago... GONE!  Sigh....

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Bounceback and a Challenge!!!

If you all recall last week I had an awesome loss (win) at the scale last week, down 4.5 lbs!  At my stage in the weight loss game that's very unusual, so I was not surprised to witness a bounceback at the scale this week.  I'm back up 3 lbs every time I get under 145 lbs I always bounce back up.  I'm actually not upset, I'm okay with this gain, for the above reasons.  Another reason is that I hadn't tracked Friday-Monday and we all know tracking is the key!  In the long run I'm still down right between the two weeks?

This past weekend was one of my girlie stitchy weekends!  As usual there is plenty of food, plenty of temptation, and plenty of excuse to sit on my behind for a whole weekend!  Saturday morning was gorgeous so I did get my gear on and go out for an hour long, hilly, country road.  It was a fantastic run, I felt great the whole time!

My graph from my run, all those dips where each time I went UP a hill yup, a hilly road!

I also had two meals out Friday & Sunday, went to a concert Sunday night (Roger Waters--photos on my other blog), and taught a full night at Taekwon-Do on Monday so I was exhausted.  I know proper sleep is another key to weight loss.

Now onto my challenge!!!  Back in September I was chatting with my friend Amy at work, the topic of conversation was the past weekend's Army Run.  We had both known people who did the 1/2 marathon that weekend.  We got to talking about running, and 1/2 maration being a "someday" thing.  I mentioned that first I'd need to do a 10K race, not having ever done an offical timed race.  Amy said she was thinking the same thing!  After our conversation she left and came back 15 minutes later waving papers under my nose!  She had only gone and registerd for the 10K on Ottawa Race Weekend!  The challenge was ON for sure, so I did the same... I am oficially registered to do a 10K timed race in May with Amy!  Nither of us are looking to make a paticular time, we just want a completion!

Amy is a great friend, she's very supportive and also a fellow WW memeber.  She has shared some great low point foods with me!  She's a great cook and more than willing to experiment with new recepies, where I rarely take the time to do so!

Thanks for that push Amy, I needed it!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Weekly Meeting Topic : Get Wise About Size

I do think that this week's topic is a week or two too late, in all honesty this should of been the topic BEFORE Thanksgiving.  Each year at Thanksgiving we're given the talk about the holiday and the food, but perhaps we should focus more on portion, portion size and portion control.  We all tend to overeat during the major holidays.

This week I went to my regular Tuesday meeting, it was a good sized group but I really did notice/realize that this group is mainly ladies who are much older than me.  I think this is why I'm falling in love with the Saturday morning meetings, its a much younger, more lively group.  Not all members of the Saturday meeting are young we're a good mix, but I noticed on Tuesdays I'm the minority.

Anyhow onto the topic at hand : Get Wise About Size

My meeting leader made a good point to start off with, that our choice starts with the size of your plate.  No matter how small or how big that plate is we seem to fill our plate no matter what!  Its just a natural tendency we have, we hate to see our plates sitting empty or with so much space between the items on the plate.  When it comes to learning portion control, this is a great place to start... a smaller plate, instead of that massive dinner plate which is so common today!  Of course you have to resist the temptation to pile that smaller plate a mile high!

Less IS More!  Portion Control Equals
  • up sized success
  • super sized satisfaction
  • maximized feelings of control
There really is nothing more powerful that the feeling of success, the belief in yourself that YES you can do this!  The excitement of seeing that scale going down week, after week.  Now do realize that the scale doesn't go down every week, there will be weeks that your weight is up... that's a fact and we have to turn these gains into learning opportunities.  There will be weeks where your losses are small we have to take every loss the big or the small and celebrate them!

So how are the different ways we can practice portion control?
  • Be aware of what a serving is
  • Weigh and measure your portions, when you eyeball it your portions slowly start to get a little bigger.  If you find you're not loosing as fast as you'd like or perhaps you've had a gain, go back to basics, weigh and measure!
  • Keep it simple
  • Know your visual cues, for example the palm of your hand/deck of cards is one 3oz meat serving, your fist is a cup and so on.  This is great for those cases when we can't weigh and measure our own food.
  • Know that you can have larger portions of low point, filling foods
  • Plan ahead
  • When eating out doggie bag 1/2 of your meal before you even take a bite!
My leader had two good quotes at the end of our meeting :
"To lengthen thy life lessen thy meals"
"Its not what you give up its what you get back"
On Tuesday morning I weighed myself like I always have to do my weekly "weigh in" for Weight Watchers e-tools (this subscription has been worth every penny if you're an online junkie like me).  So my total loss for the last week has been 4.5 lbs!  I am officially UNDER my goal weight!  Now if my body will co-operate I'd love to loose 5.5 more lbs to get to my Weight Watchers Goal Weight!  This would be such an achievement for me, there's nothing I'd like more in this world than to become a Weight Watchers Leader.  No matter how much knowledge I have, how much passion I have for the program and the amount of success I have had, until I'm within their weight range they won't even look at me as an employee.

I think that's part of the reason why I started this blog, to hopefully help and inspire a few others out there who are struggling with their weight.  My biggest step was admitting that I needed help to loose weight and stepping into that first meeting.  I hope you can find the help and support you need to complete your journey.  If you ever need a cheerleader, someone you need to talk to or bounce an idea off of, my e-mail address in my profile don't hesitate to drop me a line.

This week so far has been very good for me, I'm finally feeling re-energized!  I am wanting to go to my workouts and I'm enjoying them.  I realized tonight when I wrote down on my calendar what type of exercise I did today that for the first time in ages I've done some sort of activity seven days in a row.  Its not been all going to the gym or going for a run (but on the other hand I've done over 12KMs so far this week), one night was 4 hours cleaning my house... yes that is exercise.  While my friend Bonnie was here we went for a nice walk with our cameras.  The key is to move more and eat less!

I hope everyone goes through this week feeling as great as I have!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Weekly Meeting Topic : Thanksgiving

If you're one of my neighbours to the South, you're probably thinking isn't it a little early to start talking about Thanksgiving?  For us Canadians, its not.  Thanksgiving is here!  Due to our cooler climates, harvest time is much sooner for us and its time to give thanks for a good growing season, the crops being in, and our family and friends.  Each year as the big "eating holidays" roll around handling them becomes the topic at our weekly Weight Watchers meetings.

My friend Bonnie was here visiting until this morning, and she was great coming to my Saturday morning meeting with me.  She didn't have to, she could of stayed at the house relaxing and stitching.  Thanks for coming along Bonnie!

Thanksgiving in both Canada and the U.S is the start of the feeding frenzy!  Once this holiday passes we start rolling right onto the next eating holiday, Christmas.  Which really isn't a day of eating but easily turns into a week of eating.  These lessons for this holiday can very easily be applied to any of our eating holidays (Christmas, New Year's, and Easter to name a few).

At this time of year you need to focus on your plan of attack.  My regular meeting leader (Tuesday) always tells us at this time of year that we have three choices:
  1. You can loose weight.
  2. You can maintain.
  3. You can gain weight.
So to put any of these into action you have to have a plan of attack!  Once you've decided what you want to do over the holiday season you have to plan how you're going to deal with it and focus on that goal.

To be able to loose weight or maintain, take a moment and think about your old habits PWW (Pre Weight Watchers).  How did you feel after eating that meal on Thanksgiving?
  • Stuffed?
  • Bloated?
  • Guilty for all you ate?
  • Getting stuck it the guilt cycle and just keep eating?
Hold onto that feeling and try your best not to get to that point!  My leader at this point shared a great quote with us:
Those who don't remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Remember that YOU are in control, no one is force feeding you... no one is making you have that heaping helping of stuffing or that huge wedge of pie!
  • Know what foods help you and what foods don't (what food starts you eating uncontrollably?)
  • Focus on what stuffed feels like and use it to imagine your success at not feeling that way when you're done eating
  • Focus on the day and its meaning, not the food
  • What are you thankful for?  Your body is thankful for you being healthy!
What are some strategies we can use to maintain our weight or maybe even loose a little at this time of year?
  • My personal strategy is to divide your plate into 1/4's.  Have 1/4 protein, 1/4 carb (rice/roll/potato and I rarely have 2 carbs at one meal), 1/2 plate veggies, veggies, veggies!
  • Vegetables are filling foods, pile these high on your plate and eat them first then there won't be as much room (hopefully) for those higher point foods.  Feel free to have 2nds of those veggies
  • Small portions, my leader actually had a great suggestion, don't let the food touch, make sure you are able to see some of your plate between the different foods you've put on your plate.  This is a form of portion control!
  • Before the meal have a big glass of water, sometimes I also make sure I've had a small salad or some veggies before heading out to that big meal.  You're only setting yourself up for overeating if you go to that meal STARVING!
  • The previous point also leads to the idea of skipping meals on the big day... don't skip a meal!  Yes, be vigilant I often try to eat low point foods the day of so I have more wiggle room with dinner but I never skip a meal!
  • Exercise... earn those activity points!
  • If you're the cook, learn how to lighten up your favourite holiday recipes
  • Think of mindful eating not middles eating! 
  • Focus on the people not the food.  Its hard to eat when you're talking!
  • Don't forget you have your weekly points, be angelic through the week and save them for that meal!
  • NO ELASTIC WAISTBANDS, no yoga or sweat pants!  Try to wear fitted clothes, these clothes won't expand with your belly and if you start to overeat you will feel it!
Finally, Thanksgiving is a HOLIDAY not a HOLIWEEK!

I've had friends over visiting until this am and yesterday was such a gorgeous day that I encouraged Bonnie to come out with me for a walk.  Not only did we go for a walk, we brought our cameras with us to take some pictures.  Sometimes its nicer to go out with a purpose not just to "get some exercise".  Here are some shots from our 45 minute walk.

The bikers were out enjoying the great riding day.

Last of the sunflowers

Milkweed seed pods are opening up

Cattle corn, waiting to be harvested

First Jack-O-Lantern!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Best Things Happen When You're Not Looking

As you all know I've been throwing a pity party this week and you were all invited.  For some reason no one showed up.  Wonder why?

This morning I decided to step on my bathroom scale to see if it was worth my while actually going to the Saturday morning Weight Watchers meeting, especially since I have company.  I mean that's quite rude to leave for about an hour, I actually had no intention of going at all this week (I had missed Tuesday due to teaching TKD and Wednesday because I crashed).  But a miracle happened when I got on the scale "au naturel" this am.  The scale said... wait for it... 144.  I just stared at it for a moment, got off, reset it and got back on again.  My eyes weren't fooling me nor was my scale.  Since Tuesday I have dropped 4 lbs!

I don't know how I did this, I've not been exercising as diligently as I like to when I'm feeling good.  Nor was I eating like I normally would.  I was eating a few more points each day than my daily allowance.  I was also eating more bread/pasta/crackers/saltier foods.  So what I did "right" I couldn't tell you.

Still not really believing I've lost this much weight in just a few days I went to the Saturday morning meeting, telling my company I had to go weigh in.  On the WW scale I'm exactly back to goal!!! (on my home scale I'm 1lb under goal).  Finally for the first time since March I am back at my goal weight!

I am so happy!

Next step, to try and use this as a motivator to either maintain this loss, or maybe even drop a few more?  If I were to reach Weight Watcher's goal weight for me I need to loose another 8 lbs.  My current goal weight is my doctor's recommended weight as I just seem to be unable to reach my ideal weight according to BMI.

Hopefully after this Happy Turkey Weekend (Thanksgiving in Canada), I'll continue to be successful and my weight will stay down when I weigh in on my home scale on Tuesday.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

When Can I Leave This Pity Party?

I've been down this week and I can't quite shake it.  I think I've been hosting a bit of a pity party the last few days and I'm getting a little tired of it.

I'm not sad, I'm not really down...

I just feel tired, fat, bloated, and unmotivated!  You all know usually I'm a Weight Watchers Cheerleader!

I'm sick of feeling this way, but I just don't seem to be able to shake it.  I am up a pound this week, and that might have part to do with it.  I try not to let the scale dictate my moods.  Normally I turn a gain into a huge motivator.  I get my butt in gear, I eat well, and I'm conscience of every lick, taste, and bite!  Not this week.  I feel like I'm about 8 pounds heavier that my thighs and stomach feel huge!  Bloated maybe? 

So I've been going around the last few days feeling a little sorry for myself.

I'm having a little trouble putting this into words so excuse me if I'm not making sense/rambling on.  But it just has to get out!

On the up side I haven't reacted to this feeling like I did the last time I had a pity party.  I found myself eating a lot of chocolate and candy, and not really caring that I was eating it and how much I was eating.  This time I find I'm sick and tired of my usual fare, I normally love salad, earlier this week I found myself eating half of my lunch salad and the rest went into the garbage bin.  I just couldn't face it!  A couple of nights in a row I've found myself mindlessly eating... finishing up a 1/2 bag of chocolate caramel rice cakes.  After they were all gone, the next night it was gluten free rice crackers with tzatziki and I keep finding myself indulging in these salty delights!  Tonight when I got home from work I had every intention of having a chicken sandwich made with a flat bun (I let myself get hungrier than usual before I got home), first was some ju jubes (my general store sells nice small baggies of these), then the sandwich, followed by rice crackers and taziki!  I was stuffed, but just didn't stop eating, I had to force myself to put the crackers away!  I felt nothing but disgusting and disgusted with myself afterwards and have all evening long.

I normally don't feel guilty, disgusted, or upset over myself but tonight I just do.

I think part of this comes down to being my own worst enemy, I quite regularly burn the candle at both ends.  I always find at this time of the year it comes back to bite me in the butt.  I'm exhausted, plain and simple.  All I want to do is stay home and curl up in my bed.  I haven't wanted to be online much, I haven't wanted to really stitch that much (a huge indicator that I'm not in my usual state of mind), I also haven't been to the gym in over a week!  I have been out at TKD quite a bit, Monday night is my usual night to teach, but the cold that's going around right now seems to be making the rounds of the instructors.  I got called in to teach Tuesday night as well.  So by the time Wednesday rolled around and two late nights in a row I can tell you that the gym was the last place I wanted to be!  I came home and slept for over 3 hours, made my first real dinner since last Friday and put my feet up in my recliner.  Simple things, heaven!

I'm looking forward to this weekend, I'm hoping I can rest, stitch, and be re-energized!

So there you go, that's my pity party... now where's the cake?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Run For The Cure 2010

Christin, Todd (my partner), & myself after the run/walk

Today myself, my partner Todd, and my best friend Christin participated in the CIBC Run For The Cure at the Ottawa run site.  This is an event that is run across Canada every year in the hopes of raising awareness and money for Breast Cancer Research.  This year there were 9,000 participants in Ottawa who raised 1.6M dollars, my final total this year is $1,430!  I surpassed my goal of $1,000 and would like to thank each and every one of you who as supported me both financially and with well wishes!

For Todd and I, this is our 3rd year participating, and we'll be at the same place, same time next year!

At the start line waiting to go!

We were very lucky the morning started out very cold at 2 Celsius here at home!  As 9am started to roll around things started to warm up, it was a clear, beautiful day to go for a run along the Ottawa Valley Parkway.  Todd and I ran together this year, the last 2 years he ran ahead of me.  This year he was fantastic pushing me to try and make the time goal my friend Judie had challenged me with.  Judie had doubled her donation, challenging me to complete 5K in 25 minutes.  Thanks for sticking it out with me this year hon!

Unfortunately I didn't make that 25 minute timeline that I was challenged with, but I tried!  I used my new Nike+ sensor to get stats on my run and here's the chart on how I did.  You can tell when I hit the hills!  I really like the Nike+ sensor and I'll write a separate post about that in the near future!  Judie a homemade lasagna will be coming your way! 

Walkers/runners heading for the finish line (Parliament Hill in the distance)

The Walkers starting to head to the finish line (beautiful morning on the Ottawa River Parkway)

Run For The Cure is a great and emotional event and I'll keep doing it until I can't walk anymore!

Me and the OAMA Panther, when Todd does Brazilian Jujitsu this is his school

(some of the photos were taken with my iPhone so they're not the best)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Weekly Meeting Topic : Outsmart the Supermarket

This week, I finally made it to my regular Tuesday meeting.  Its nice to be welcomed with a "here she is" when you walk in the room, nice to know you're presence is noticed/missed!

This week's topic was about the Supermarket game and how to win!  When shopping since we all love food (how else would we of gotten ourselves into the situation we're in : being overweight?) we are the ones who have to take control to avoid temptation and make wise choices.

If you don't feel like you're in control while at the grocery store, sit down and think about what you can change that you're doing right now when at the store.
  • Do you shop the perimeter?  If you want to live a healthier lifestyle and eat properly this really is the key!  If you haven't thought about it or really noticed the perimeter is where all the good, fresh, healthy food is!  This is where you find the dairy, fruits and veggies, meats, breads/grains, deli.  Its in the aisles where you find a lot of the preservative filled packaged foods!  I do most of my shopping in the perimeter, I think all I buy from the aisles are things like cereals, rice, pasta, and a few snacks.
  • Do you make a list and stick to it?  Sitting down and making a list, going through your fridge and cupboards to decide what good for you snacks you need to buy. While you're in the store its important to do your best to stick to that list, not to be swayed by special displays, end caps, sales, and the checkout "danger zone".  I always get what is on my list, sometimes I do veer from the list but its most of the time seeing a food I regularly have in the house on sale, or see a fruit or veggie I'd love to have.
  • Don't go into the grocery store HUNGRY!  Oh boy if there's any time I find myself with treats/junky food in the house is when I've gone into the store very hungry.  That's when a lot of impulse buys happen.  If I find myself hungry while in the store I'll grab a small bag of baby carrots in the veggie aisle and start eating them while I shop.  I do always pay for them in the end... I find it just helps me manage my impulses because I'm busy eating those carrots!
  • Avoid the snack/treat/candy/chip aisles at the store.  If you have a hard time staying away from that one treat that's your Achilles heel, try not to go down that aisle if you don't have to.  If you're not standing there in front of it you're not tempted to put it in your basket.
  • Educate yourself!  Either take your points finder or look up the points value of your foods before heading out to the store.  If you know that full sized chocolate bar is 5pts and you only get 20 for the day, you think twice about that buy at the checkout.
  • If you do give into that temptation/craving buy the smallest portion you can buy.  Sometimes its cheaper in the long run to buy the "supersize/family pack" but its not practical when you're trying to loose weight.  I almost always do this, or I'll go to the bulk food store then I control the amount of that treat I buy.  If its a pre-packaged item that doesn't come in a smaller size I make sure there's someone to share it with.
I normally do my shop on Fridays after work (I hate going into the city on the weekend, all the crazy people with their badly behaved children are out and about), I meet up with my best friend Christin and we hit the gym for about an hour first.  The location of my gym that I often go to just happens to be on the 2nd level of the grocery store.  So after working out and showering we hit the grocery store.  From the store its off to Costco, I buy most of my veggies here because I eat so many that it makes sense to buy the larger packages (oh and clothes... love getting cheap brand name clothing now that I can fit their sizes!).  Christin and I turn grocery shopping into a social event and we follow this up with dinner out.

Tuesday morning I stepped on the scale here at home, I pretty much stepped on it in dread as I am often up every 3-4 weeks and Monday I went a little out of control!  Saturday night around 8PM started craving CANDY (jujubes, twizzlers and the like), decided not to go get any.  Saturday/Sunday midnight, I'm suddenly craving CHOCOLATE worse than the candy craving.  So bad I almost ate one of Todd's 6pt tasteless yet chocolate coated protein bars!  But I didn't.  Sunday while I was out having dinner with some friends on my way home I picked up my favourite, a Chunky Kit-Kat but I waited until I got home so I could go halfsies with Todd (my other half).  Normally that's the end of the craving, then and there.  Monday I woke up craving jujubes, I mean who wakes up wanting jujubes for breakfast?  I guess this girl does.  Before my work day was out I had eaten 3 mini Hershey bars out of S's candy dish at work.  Then while at my Mum's she had some Swedish Berries, I had a good sized handful of those.  Then she had a big bag of Mini Rolos she wanted to get rid of... I was too weak to resist.  I had a couple while I was there... a number more while I drove down to the Dojang to teach Taekwon-Do, then quite a few more through the evening.  I'm sure I must of consumed about 20pts worth of chocolate and candy.

See why I wasn't looking forward to my weigh in?  I was quite surprised to find that my weight had stayed the same!  The cravings are now gone (thank goodness) my self control has been pretty darned good.

Well tomorrow is the BIG day!  People across Canada will be participating in CIBC's Run For the Cure in sites across the country!  This year is my 3rd year participating as a runner.  I have more than surpassed my fundraising goal this year!  As of this moment I'm standing at $1,385.00 raised for Breast Cancer Research!  Remember, there's still time to donate online HERE.

For tomorrow's run I bought myself a "gadget" a Nike+ sensor and little case to clip it onto my current running shoe so I don't have to buy new shoes as well!  I'll be able to totally track my runs and progress/pace/etc and see how I'm progressing as a runner.

Hopefully I'll have the ooomph to put together a post about the day tomorrow!