Saturday, October 8, 2016

My Fears

I took a bit of a break from blogging here while I was trying another forum.  I do like the other forum and I might even go there permanently--but part of me wants to hang onto this too.  I think I need to blog here as well because I tend feel bad if a post over there is not upbeat.

The reality is I struggle--most of my struggle is within--mental.  I still have feelings of doubt and lack confidence that I can do this for the long haul.  I am still so unsure of myself.  It seems that there is little support/advice out there for someone at goal.  The story is the same for WW--you make goal and the program becomes free--but little else is offered.  When I asked for literature once making goal it still refers to the Points Plus program.  Its almost like they do not want you to succeed.  I still fret before stepping on the scale and worry about my next WI.  It seems fear is driving my maintenance.

I don't want fear to drive my maintenance.  What I need is a guideline formula to look for.  I look back on all my past food I have tracked and see no pattern.  There was no rhyme or reason to my weight loss.  I was not super consistent in my eating. For years and years I put together healthy meals for the family and I made sure I had a good balance. It was my in between stuff that was out of balance.

When I decided I had enough--all I really did was cut out my snacking garbage and binge-like habits.  I don't think I had BED mostly because it merely took a decision by me to the binge behaviors.

What did I cut?  Well, in the morning I would eat several Hershey's bars or tons of nuts or candy kisses etc.  Then I would eat a healthy breakfast.  In the afternoon I would make baked goods--not all cookies and brownies--I made awesome bread too that I would eat 1/2 a loaf right out of the oven.  Then a healthy lunch.  I'd graze through on all kinds of stuff and then have a healthy dinner.  After dinner was DH's snack time and naturally I would join him.  Add to that fast food and restaurants and it was no wonder I was obese.

I originally joined WW in January to lose weight for my son's wedding in May.  Fear again my main drive. Fear of pictures, fear of stuck in a frumpy dress, fear of being the fat mother of the groom, fear of all the eyes on my for the mother/groom dance.

But what do you know--I cut out that crazy snack-garbage eating and I lost weight.  Enough weight to say in May that I was going to give this diet thing a full year of my attention and see how far it got me.  I was certain the diet would betray me--that I was one of the many people who just cannot keep weight off no matter how hard they tried.

Like I said, after making goal in December--fear has been driving me.

I think the fear of regaining is worse than the fear of dieting not working.  Because it is the fear of the non-stop yo-yoing, the non-stop emotional roller coaster ride that goes with it.

I also fear that no one will understand me.  I fear that gaining would let down so many of my WW friends and my new friends at Spark People.  On the outside I bet I look like a whiny complainer that is not grateful for being at goal.

I do have a lot to be grateful for and I often feel I have no right to want more.

So here I am--10 months of being at goal--and at a place where I can try to sort this all out.  I see no rhyme or reason to maintenance either.  I have weeks of being within my WW points and calorie range, yet still gain--so I buckle down and try harder and still gain.  Then I give up and eat crap half the week and lose.  I need a schedule, a routine, a sure fire way to stay at goal. I need something to make me feel like the scale is a measuring tool not a roulette wheel.

I currently am trying a new plan with the hope that there is a science to this weight management thing.  WW and straight forward calorie counting gave me inconsistent results.  If I am going to maintain forever, I need consistency.

That is my new quest--to go fearlessly (or at least fake it, til I make it) forward to find my formula.

The picture are me before and after, the green dress is at the wedding


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Something For Me

Today I did something I have been thinking about for a long time.  I made a WW portfolio to hold my WW stuff.  I modeled it after the cardboard one I was given when I signed up for meetings (Aug 2015).    It was beginning to get worn out and the pockets were torn a bit.

Here's what I needed--something to hold all of this

When I laid all of this out I had to laugh because yes, I still have all my Weekly pamphlets they give out.  I am guessing it is time to let some of them go.

Here's what I ended up with:

Behind the pockets holds the BTS Planning Guide on one side and the What to Eat booklet on the other side.  Past Weeklies tuck in back there too.  

I went a little crazy taking pictures so I'll add them for fun.

Anyway--that was my fun today.  Anything to keep me from cleaning this house.
Treadstone up next--then I'll clean some.

Have a great day!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Versatility vs. Specialized

Versatility, now that is a word I like.  I like, no love, things that have more than one use.  Perhaps the opposite of versatility is specialized.  There are times when special--think doctors, mechanics, lawyers and tax accountants-- are needed, but most of the time not so much.

Many folks feel that everything has to be special when taking control of their weight.   They find some obscure/rigid miracle weight loss plan that has more rules than the Decathlon.   I for one got bogged down with many a "snake oil" type diets and rigorous (read ridiculous) exercise regimes when trying to manage my weight.

My thoughts about specialized plans is that they were too foreign, too far from my lifestyle to work. I was chasing butterflies. I used to attach thoughts of ...well, if I really wanted to lose weight I would stick to anything.   But those plans were oh so elusive and when I fell short, I was not so forgiving of myself.  Truth is I want to have my cake and eat it too (or in my case have my cookie and eat it too).

Now I could list several pages of specialized diets I tried--many only lasted hours--but I would rather not draw attention to that kind of lunacy.

What worked and works for me is freedom of choice.  A plan that puts me in control so that I can control my eating.  Other plans place the control in some "breakthrough" food/shake/drug or complicated combination on how and when to eat things or totally controls a very short list of foods.  These plans may even give weight loss success; but in the end it was the plan that was in control not me.

Once upon a time I lost weight by straight forward calorie counting-- it worked the only problem was that I ended up relying on the same mundane foods and ran from social events.  For me the problem was the numbers--trying to keep and figure and count all the calories.  Now, being the dinosaur that I am, this was before; & WWetools so it is no wonder I struggled.

By 2015 I was ready to be in control, but I needed versatility. So WW  was for me. I picked WW because I had heard of the point system and thought that was way better then all those large calorie values that I would have to add up.  I also picked WW because I learned that no food (or drink) was taboo.  WW put the ball in my court. They were giving me full reign of my own plan.  I controlled everything.

This kind of control can be scary--but the versatility is what drew me in.  It is the versatility that keeps me going.

I could arrange my week and squeeze in a wonderfully awful trip to Taco Bell without "breaking" my diet.  I did not have to give up everything at once. I no longer stare/drool/covet when I see someone else eat something that is a favorite.

I used to think I needed a specialized plan.  That for some unidentifiable reason or twist of fate my obesity was caused by me being so very special.  Companies spent (conservatively speaking) hundreds of thousands of dollars developing a plan special for me.  Really??      I don't think so.  They spent their money in hopes of the other 78.6 million obese Americans would buy their special plan/book/products.  I was 1 of 78.6 million  fellow obese Americans--I'm pretty sure that means I am not that special.

At the beginning of 2015 my goal was to simply stay within my points and let the weight come off.  I gravitated towards healthy foods because they were lower in points.  These days I am eating the healthiest I ever ate in my life.  Do I eat that way because I am a food snob?-- no way!  I still eat/crave garbage foods--just not as often or as much.  Will these garbage foods kill me--I doubt it, after all I survived eating garbage foods for decades so the occasional dumpster dive my body can handle.  I eat mostly healthy because now that the weight is gone, the health of my body is my priority.  The picture at the top says it all. I wish it was clearer. For this questionnaire on health issues the only one that applies is General Emotional Health--because life's dramas can send me into tailspin.

I believe that my consistent good choices out weigh the "cheats".    Below is a picture of what was on the menu for the Rock's (Duane Johnson) infamous cheat day.  Everything in proportion right?  He works hard enough to earn those cheats.  I think I work hard enough for my cheats too.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mindset is Ready for Fall--the Recipe Proves It!

Oh it is so very good to be home. 
RV camping is interesting— we call it camping—but it is actually very far from real camping.  We like to think we are roughing it but in reality we are not.  Two things made us feel like we were camping though—and one thing reminded that we were not camping for real. (To set the record straight, we have had our share of tent camping with cooking over the fire—so we earned our privilege of RV camping; and while I would never trade those tent camping days away—I will also never go back to it).
First thing that felt like camping was our food cooling ability.  You see, this brand new camper has a bum refrigerator, but, instead of staying home and waiting for the new refrigerator to come in, we decided to take our trips as planned.  This meant we would be using our refrigerator as a cooler—adding ice to keep things cool.  I must say it is insulated very well and replenishing the ice wasn’t too tedious. (the whole camper is under warranty, so it will not cost us anything-- the new refrigerator just came in—YaY!)

The second thing that felt like camping was the mosquito-like flies that were plentiful.  A few years ago we camped at this same place and so we knew of these flies.  But this time I was better prepared.  Day one we pulled in, but had no time to set up, because we had to race over to see DGS#1 (DS2 & DiL2-also) before GDS#1 was asleep for the night (3 months old now).  When we got back to the site the RV was plastered with flies—like every square inch—creepy, creepy.   But I was prepared and got to work.  I bought a bug zapper and hooked it at the far end of the awning away from the door.   Worked like a charm—flies swarmed to it and we could camp in peace.   The zapper said it was good for a ½ acre—Sa-weet!  I elected not to attach the special lure bait—here’s my theory why (for the few that are curious).   If I used the lure it would attract flies from who knows how far away. My goal was not to attract more flies but rather manage the ones that stumbled into our campsite.  The blue UV bulbs would attract the ones that happened into our site and would be able to handle the volume (on the previous trip the zapper could not handle the volume of pests).    We used the zapper around the clock and had zero trouble with flies—other campers had flies plastered everywhere and the folks could not even sit outside to eat or chat.  Every morning I used the blow dryer to clear out the zapper to be ready to go again (there were so many that by morning I could hardly see the blue bulbs).  I was quite pleased with my plan. DH thought I was over reacting when I bought the zapper—but after Day 1 he told me numerous times what  great idea it was.  Indiana liked the zapper too because she could chew her special chewy treats outside in the grass without being swarmed.  The poor little pooch 2 campsites over was frantically barking and trying to bite the flies away.

The thing that reminded us that we were not really camping was when the rain came.  We had no worries like when in a tent—Would it leak? Would the ground get so wet that it would seep through the floor of the tent;  Would the tent dry out before packing up? Would the tent hold up to the wind?  We just listened to the rain hitting the trailer and enjoyed how cool it sounded. So glad we were not really camping when the rain came.

This last trip I did not camper cook much.  Most of the cooking was done at DS & DiL’s apt.  How great it is to see they are into healthy foods.  The 3 of us ( DS, DiL & Me) had a great time making the dinners; DH’s job was to bring dessert and fruit each day.

I had fun cooking there, but it is really good to be home and cook in my kitchen again.  Here’s a little recipe/tutorial of what I cooked last night.
Because I do SFT I only counted 3 SP for this meal—run it through recipe builder for regular tracking SP (it was about 9 if I remember correctly)

Boneless Pork Chops with Orange Pineapple Glaze (serves 4) 
1 lb ultra lean, center boneless pork loin chops (trim any visible fat)
1 TB olive oil
Some Montreal Steak seasoning (rubbed on meat)
2 medium potatoes--cut thickly (1”) slices
½ medium onion cut in wedges (shallots if you have them are divine)
2-3 large sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 TB low sugar orange marmalade
½  cup severely drained crushed pineapple
½ to 1 TB Dijon mustard
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
4-6  TB water, divided
I used a cast iron skillet. 
Heat the skillet, add oil and sear the pork and the potatoes on both sides 4 min each side.
Place onion and rosemary around meat & potatoes--like this--  

Add 2-3 TB water to pan, cover tightly. My large Dutch oven lid fits the cast iron skillet perfectly-- =D  Bake 350 F for 20 minutes.

A bit  before baking finishes, steam some carrots.
Once baked—check the pork temperature (cooked is 160F)-return to oven as needed.
Remove rosemary sprigs and discard.
Remove pork, potatoes & onion to a serving dish and cover.

Make the glaze on the stove top—whisk marmalade, pineapple, mustard, vinegar until well combined. In hot skillet add 2-3 TB water and scrape bits off bottom of pan; add glaze mix and heat quickly.  Stir constantly to prevent sticking and work any bits stuck on pan into the glaze.  Cook to thicken—boil off most of the water. 

Pour a little bit of glaze over the carrots; use the rest of the glaze for the pork, potatoes & onion.
This was so tasty—I sometimes add whole carrots in with everything else and bake it all together—but all I had this time were baby carrots.  
Can you tell I am ready for fall cooking again?  

What have you cooked lately??

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Vacay is Over and I'm Thinking About Drinking

Well, summer is drawing to a close and I just need to hold it together one more week to show a loss this month.  We got home Sunday night from our latest trip and all I could think was that I had to go to WI ASAP in order to reset my focus.

So I got up early, showered and off I went to get the news of what I was certain was substantial gain.  Monday is not my usual WI day and I was feeling like the odd girl out knowing I would be the old lady at this Mommy meeting.  But I had to go & face the music because my usual WI day is Wed and we are going to be in LA (Dr appts start up again).  I was relieved to see my usual leader and ecstatic (and stunned) to see I had a 2 .4 lbs loss while away those 9 days.

The meeting was just what I needed; I even saw our super senior couple from the Wed meeting there.  Afterwards I went to the store to get some fresh fruit and pick up chicken breast for dinner.  While there I bought myself these beautiful sunflowers.  My house is a wreck because all the camper stuff threw up all over my living room and even spilled over into the kitchen and laundry room.  My ulterior motive for the flowers was in case surprise company stops by.  I would invite them in and direct their attention to the sunflowers and distract them from the mess.  As if.

Ever since yesterday I have been mulling over how I managed a loss while away (I sure would love a repeat).  Here's my thought process:

1. It's a fluke; I got really, really lucky.
2. All that hiking and schlepping around campus paid off big time.
3. Choosing SFT breakfasts & lunches and doing the best I could with dinner helped way more than I thought,
4. Cutting that doughnut in half really worked.

But then I thought harder and although I am feeling really lucky, I thought about what was drastically different.
Confession time---(apologies to my drinking buddy Irna).

For quite awhile now a high estimate of my water intake is about 6 oz a day. Considering that I rarely drink my points that means I am, in theory, chronically dehydrated.   I hardly ever even feel thirsty.  It is not unusual for me to forget my vitamins (that's my  6 oz a day) and go all day & night with nothing to drink.  I am truly one of those people that water makes me nauseous. Even small sips.  But this trip to Utah--with the heat, walking all over, and hiking I forced down water (and felt nauseous the whole time). I did it because I was afraid of ending up in the ER with dehydration or worse a heat stroke.

Since joining WW I tried really hard to drink water--by adding a squeeze of lemon or other fruit--and by making weak herbal tea. At the beginning I was so nauseous that it curbed my eating big time--but feeling sick all the time was not (pardon the pun, I could not resist) my cup of tea.  I have decided to research this a bit and find out just what I can do about it.

In the meantime, I will drink what I can.

I used to think I was all alone--in like everything I was going through.  Now I know better, WW has taught me that I am not alone.  Which makes me ask--anyone else out there truly get sick from drinking water? And what do you do about it?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Time To Get My Smokey On!

I have found it rather curious that I felt the need to create some rules for myself since joining WW.  I am not sure why--especially because for me the appeal of WW was that there really aren't many rules.   In my mind the two rules for WW are:

#1 Stay within your points
#2 Drink your water

Even these rules are not do or die.  For instance Rule #1, we are given a daily allotment of SP, but we are also given a weekly allotment to cover our oopsies or navigate special events.  If that is not enough we can swap some FP over.
 Rule #2, water helps us lose weight in many ways, but I still fall short of my water quota quite often, yet still lose.

One of the hardest things for me to believe about WW is that there are no rules forbidding certain foods or food groups.  Even 19 months after joining this still confounds me.  I guess the big difference between WW and every other weight loss plan or self contrived hair brain scheme is that WW puts control into my hands.WW has me making every food choice. Sure they have menu ideas, recipes and SP spread suggestions, but no pre-scripted regime that must be followed.  WW teaches me self control rather than dependency on a certain group or special prepared diet foods.

I think society has so deeply ingrained the need for rules into my mind that when they are absent--I make up a few of my own.  When I was teaching--I had very few classroom rules--but the ones I had were non-negotiable.  Well for good or for bad here are a few of the rules I follow with my implementation rate in ( ).

#1 No matter what the scale shows WI day is not a day I allow myself to go off plan.  So if Otis (the scale) is up--I will not stress or emo eat on WI day. Likewise if Otis is down, there is no celebratory eating allowed.  (99%)

#2 No matter how bad (or good) my week went the day before WI I eat light and carefully watch my sodium (100%)

#3 Eat SFT at least 3 days per week (100%)

#4 Walk a minimum 60 minutes a day, no matter how tired (99%)

#5 Absolutely no fast food if I am by myself (99 44/100%)

These rules serve me very well, and for whatever reason I pretty much keep them.

Now then, there are other things I call deals I make with myself.  Deals I do  take seriously, but am not as hard core about keeping.  Some deals I made with my implementation rate in ( ) :

A. I measure  my 0SP foods just so that I am mindful about what a serving size looks like. (50%)
B. No seconds unless 15-20 minutes go by (75%)
C. Buy only single serving of items I have trouble controlling (80%)
D. I get my Smokey on-- "A taste of honey is worse than none at all"--if that is how I feel about an item, then I have none. (75%)

DS#2 has a this thing he does (this is the 3% body fat son), I am not even sure where/how or why he picked up on it. Immo ask when I see him Wednesday---before any meal or biggish snack/dessert he drinks a full glass of water. I think the next deal I make will be to do this before snacks/desserts.

As with all things I strive for, after awhile the some rules are so ingrained that I no longer need them to be a rule--they have become part of life.  When this happens, I remove them from the rule list and then move a "deal" item to the rule list.  They are not gone but rather go to another list that I call my lifestyle--things I just do.

So that is where I am at today.  I have decided to move SFT 3x/week to the lifestyle category. I will also be moving D to the rule list. If I feel that half of  a treat is won't satisfy me then I will not have any at all.  Time to get my Smokey on!  "A taste of honey is worsethan none at all,"    "In that case I don't want no part; because that would only break my heart..."    "If I feel like lovin' me, if I got the notion,  I second that emotion..."

What are your hard core rules you follow?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Progress Report

My summer travel schedule has thrown me and some of my habits off kilter.  Most of the neglect in July was due to  my inconsistency in  writing/keeping goals in the forefront, and my lack of blogging. Despite this, I am thrilled to say that this post can actually write about progress, albeit slow, and not just an "update" for my journey.

For August I am only home for a few days before hitting the road again.

I found myself at home and feeling like I am losing my grip and panicking over the possibility that this travel was going to kill my goal weight status.  It was like I threw myself into deep water (knowing that I cannot swim) and then being surprised I was going under. This forced the sink or swim survival mode of Brain to kick in.  Now Brain is working out a plan to reel Pinky, but still let Pinky enjoy the remaining vacation time.

First thing I decided to do was look at the hard facts:

  • My exercise plans were thwarted by my podiatrist telling me no more running and no more than 4 miles/day walked.
  • Eating out, even doing SFT, has hidden SP that restaurants never fess up to.
  • Even healthy treats while camping add up
  • I have not been tracking my foods
  • I have not kept my beloved sticker calendar book since April 4.  It looks pitiful and I am sad there is such a blank gap in my calendar.
These facts indeed made me a bit sullen and had me kicking myself and nearly beating myself up, until a friend set me straight (thank you Carole).

Next I thought, look at my statistics:
  • I have only missed one meeting all summer!
  • My walking has been daily beach walks lasting 1 hour or more each time.
  • Ocean fun has added some light activity. 
  • I looked back on my summer WI numbers to discover that for the month of July I was up point 4.  
Pinky is very please with my statistics, Brain is relieved with the statistics but cautiously optimistic about August.

All things considered, there is only one thing to do; put Brain back in charge,  Pinky can be at the helm for fun and adventure this August, but Brain my be in control of the menus and minimum activity.  

Brain's Goals for August:
  • Look at my progress and quit sulking about a point 4 gain.
  • Get it together and make that sticker calendar glow!
  • Get hard core with the food choices--and if that means salad and grilled chicken breast for every meal out, so be it.  Why can't one of the memories of this vacation be rabbit food and chicken breast?  
  • Keep the activity level close to what my podiatrist expects and keep up with my PT.
My intentions are to keep blogging while away, and hoping the RV camp has a strong enough Wi-Fi signal to do that.  If not, I plan on using my phone data--even if I go over plan.

Aside Note:  I am still learning the ins and outs of utilizing this blog site.  Hope to be able to post a picture and get that subscriber bar going.

Well, learned how to edit, add pictures and a brand new shiny Subscribe by Emil Button courtesy of CWforlife.

Stickers earned so far.