Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sooooooo Close! Or am I?

This week I lost 1.6 and so I am only 1.4 pounds away from my goal weight!!! If it doesn't happen next week, I'll still be happy.

Honestly, now that I'm close to my goal weight, I feel that I would be more comfortable in the 125-130 range. For the past few weeks I've been tempted not to share that with my loved ones and friends because I've been getting a lot of comments on how I'm getting so thin, maybe too thin. I don't see it and I also don't believe body image distortion is to blame. I posted on a Weight Watchers message board about this and the general concensus was that people who are overweight or have many overweight friends or family tend to be the first ones who will judge someone in a HEALTHY weight range as too thin. Ultimately, this is my choice.

I will get to 135 as my goal for Weight Watchers, but then it is my personal goal to become more fit and active through exercise as I have been inconsistent about including extra activity in my day. I will continue to follow the maintenance program of WW, but will also monitor my hunger levels and avoid overeating. If while living an active lifestyle, my weight continues to drop to the 125-130 range, then it will be because that is what I am meant to weigh at my healthiest. I don't think I should be chastised by my loved ones for wanting to be as healthy as I can be.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week 41 in review

I have now been following Weight Watchers for 41 weeks. This week I focused on getting back on track and tried to make sure that each day I ate fruits and vegetables, dairy, lean protein and whole grains. I really cut back on processed foods and ate more home-made meals, so that I could control what went into them. Since I didn't exercise, I'm not expecting a huge drop, but maybe in two to three weeks I'll be at goal.

My goal tomorrow is to go wogging (walk/jogging) tomorrow, weather permitting.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My McFaves

Fast food does not have to be off limits to those trying to eat healthier or lose weight. I'm an assistant manager at a McDonald's ®. I eat 1 meal a day there, 5 days a week, and have still managed to lose 66 pounds in 11 months. I'm not paid by McDonald's® to write this, but I wanted to share my knowledge about how to master the F-words (Fast Food). Many customers placing their orders with me have shared that they are trying to make healthy decisions about what they eat, but then sigh and say that it's not possible to do so when standing at a register at a fast food restaurant. I will tell you all as I tell them... if it's not possible, then I would still weigh 215 or more pounds today.

Here's what I eat at McD's:

Broccoli Cheese Soup- 4 POINTS
Side Salad with a Honey Mustard sauce instead of dressing- 1 POINT
Southwest Salad no chicken- 2 POINTS (6 with grilled chicken)
-when I have it with the southwest dressing, I only use half the package or less because the glaze has a great flavor.
Bacon Ranch salad- 3 POINTS (6 with grilled chicken, 8 also with 1/2 packet ranch dressing or substitute a lowfat dressing like balsamic vinaigrette)
Small or Medium iced, nonfat, sugar free vanilla latte- 1 POINT
Small hot, nonfat, sugar free vanilla cappuccino- 1 POINT
Miss Meg's Veggie Snack Wrap (not a real menu item). A snack wrap without chicken, ONLY extra lettuce with red onions, crinkle cut pickles and tomato paired with a Chipotle BBQ or Honey Mustard dipping sauce on the side- 3 POINTS
Small Fruit & Walnut Salad- 4 POINTS
Yogurt Parfait- 3 POINTS
Vanilla Cone - 3 POINTS
Baby Cone- 1 POINT
Small Fry- 5 POINTS (I only order these once a week and ask for them without salt to ensure they are right out of the vat because if I'm splurging, I want them as crispy as possible)
Any grilled snack wrap- 6 POINTS
Apple Dippers (without caramel)- 1 POINT
Hamburger- 5 POINTS

I mix and match these choices 5 days a week on my lunch break without guilt, but I do not like to eat breakfast there! There are very few healthy options for breakfast. When I know I'm getting a breakfast break, I always bring my own to ensure I'm getting whole grains and proper nutrition to keep me fueled for the rest of my day. In a jam, I will get a folded egg and two pieces of candian-style bacon for 3 POINTS, but a breakfast like that won't last long, so I bring supplements. You could try an egg mcmuffin without cheese or liquid margarine for 5 POINTS; however, tweaking the McD's breakfast menu generally leaves me with a dry, bland alternative. When I embarked on this journey, I swore up and down that I would never sacrifice flavor for fewer calories, so I avoid the breakfast menu like the plague. There is no way I will eat the breakfast menu items as they are and eating the modifications (bland food), only fuels my cravings for "the good stuff".

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Eating Healthy on a Budget

Eating healthy can be very expensive, but it doesn't have to shouldn't be! Half of my salary goes to student loans, so I get the most out of every dollar. These are some of the things I do.

1. Clip coupons!
a. I will ONLY buy a Sunday paper if the VALUE of HEALTHY food coupons exceeds the cost of the paper. If the paper contains many eligible coupons, I will buy more than one. I also buy other Sunday papers using the same guidelines to get the best deals. In my town, I have to get to the grocery store customer service counter at 8am on the dot, Sunday morning, in order to get the oh-so-coveted newspaper The Record.
b. Clip online. I do use, but I prefer where I can search for printable coupons for the brands I want.

2. Watch Sales
a. Scan supermarket flyers and make your grocery list using them as a baseline. If the sales (and/or paper coupons) are crappy that week, I will only buy enough to get me by.
b. Combine supermarket sales with coupons. I search for items I know are on sale.
c. Buy seasonal fruits and veggies. Visit farmstands. Freezing berries bought buy one get one free with the freezer bags you only ended up paying 25 cents a box for ends up being much cheaper than hitting up the frozen fruit section.

3. Don't go hungry! I carry almonds in my purse for such occasions.

4. Measure your portions! This has saved me an amazing amount of money. I bought Jennie-O Turkey Ham buy one get one free, froze one and I've been using the other for countless meals. I like to measure my food in grams because I tend to be more liberal when going by cups, chips, slices, et cetera. When you're not eating more than you need to, it just follows that your food will last you much longer.

5. Don't buy more than you need. Try to plan at least a few meals. Know what you'll be eating. I hate throwing food away and it can be quite tempting to eat more than you might have planned because you don't want to see something go bad. This happened to me a lot with lettuce. I'm not big on salads, but I know I should eat them, so I used to always buy lettuce at the grocery store and every week I'd be tossing it in the garbage can. Now I either plan it into a meal (although I might change my mind) or I don't buy it.

6. Get creative! Try new recipes using food in your fridge and cabinets. I like because it allows you to search for a recipe using ingredients you have on hand and you can always health-ify them.

7. Eating out! Although I can't remember the last time I paid for a breakfast, lunch or dinner out (sorry honey), I try to help save us some money by using coupons from newspapers, mailings, or the phonebook.

I'm sure there are others that I'm either not aware of or don't put into practice. Share your tips if you like :). I was inspired to do this when cooking dinner tonight. YUMMmmm. A deliciously cheap, 300 calorie black bean quesadilla.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Three Pounds to Go

Tonight I weighed in at 138 pounds. Miraculously, I lost a pound, despite a couple of mini binges earlier in the week. I could have been even closer to goal had I stayed on plan. This week I am recommitting to plan 150%. Tonight I splurged on a blondie and though I only ended up dipping into my reserve points a tiny bit, it's good health guidelines and filling foods from here on out. In the end, I didn't feel that the blondie was worth the extra points. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious, but all the sugar and butter sat in my stomach for hours, making me feel quite disgusting. I'm so close to goal and it scares me. I've been able to master losing weight before. That's always been the easy part, but am I ready to finally keep it off?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Confessions of a Snackaholic

While devouring several frosted spice cake rounds, I realized that I don't share my failures nearly as much as my successes. Believe me, this is not because I think I'm all that great, I still have self-esteem issues that I'm working through. I have shared the hurdles I've had with exercise, but I've been rather secretive these last 9 months about my food related ups and downs.

Sometimes I just snap. Lately, I feel as if I've been slipping back into my old maladaptive eating habits. Though it's on a much smaller scale, I'm still concerned. I've been over-snacking and mini-bingeing. Chips and salsa, hummus and pita chips, ice cream, and popcorn are all examples of foods that can throw me over the edge if I'm not careful. I have to be very mindful when consuming these things because I am....a snackaholic. In front of others, I am generally able to show some restraint, but when alone the portions are more likely to spiral out of control.

Tonight I was able to stop myself from a full out binge. I got home knowing I had 2 points left for the night. I was planning on using them for a single severing bag of pizza flavored pretzels, but then I noticed not 1, not 2, but THREE!!! containers of frosted spice cake rounds on the breakfast nook table. I say rounds because they were the thickness of a cookie and texture of cake, but that doesn't matter; all you need to know is that they were delicious and disarming creations of a butter-crazed demon (my mother). And so it went that I consumed the pretzels, the spice cake, a serving of deli turkey, and 5 wheat thin flatbreads with WW cream cheese. I almost ate more. I wanted the left over orzo, ice cream, cottage cheese, and peaches. After stopping to assess my hunger level, I knew I had to stop. I didn't want to, but I was able to overcome my urges.

I haven't really shared this before. I feel a lot of shame around not being able to control my eating. It feels really good when I can say that I ate exactly what I should have for the day and not a morsel more, but I'm just not perfect. I can't always trust myself with food and that is why I'm learning how to deal with that reality. In the past people have tried to help me with my portions by questioning my habits which only increases my shame and feelings of being out of control.

The past couple of weeks it has been my goal to curb my snacking. I wrote down a bunch of activities that make me feel in control and positive on little slips of paper. Each time I feel like snacking when I'm not hungry, I want to pick an activity out of the jar that will make me feel better than the food does.

I want to be successful in the long-term this time. I will be successful. I can change this.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Back! 65 pounds lighter.

Hello hello. Yes, I know it's been a while, but here I am again to bare my soul. Last week was my birthday and I was busy spending time with loved ones and doing absolutely nothing whenever possible. Leading up to my birthday, I worked ten days straight, so I didn't have the time to play on the internet.

Who am I kidding?! I've been losing focus and getting bored with my weight-loss journey. These last pounds are annoying. I wish they'd just go away. If it was up to me, I wouldn't lose any more weight, but the Weight Watchers rule is that I have to maintain a weight of no more than 137 pounds in order to achieve lifetime membership and attend meetings free of charge. I'm a size 4! It's ridiculous that I'm still considered overweight to WW, the National Institute of Health, the fashion industry and others.

My new goal (other than to get to goal) is to tone. I would really like to become more fit and active.

Today I weighed in and I have lost 65 pounds since I started WW and I just cracked the 130's!!!!