Maintenance and I Broke Up

I do not like Maintenance. She sucks!!!!  I went on vacation weighing 149 pounds and one week later I came back weighing 156 pounds.  I was enjoying my friendship with  Maintenance when I went on vacation and came back fat.  I thought I could eat like a normal person.  It did not happen.  Obviously, I did something wrong.  Maintenance did some pretty bad things to my weight,

So fast forward two weeks.  It has been two weeks since I got home from vacation and I have only lost 2 pounds. I am down to 154 pounds.  Why oh why is it so easy to gain weight and so hard to lose it.  Life is not fair.

I need to take action.  I have been sidelined with a foot injury so my activity has been limited.  I have a bone spur on my achilles tendon.  It hurts to walk and running is out of the question.  I am in physical therapy and hopefully very soon the pain will go away.  In the meantime I need to get out every day and do things that won’t hurt my foot.  I have created a picnic bench workout which takes only 20 minutes but leaves me sore and exhausted.  I can also swim and bike.  My eating the last two weeks has been spot on.  Clean eating.   But drinking wine – not so much.

I have a new weight goal.  I think weighing 145 pounds would be perfect for me right now.  So I am back to “dieting” and maintenance has been sidelined.  I will take this one day at a time. I will start logging my food and counting calories which I gave up during my short friendship with Maintenance.  Even though I am eating clean, I think measuring and weighing my food is a must.  I want to average between 1200-1500 calories a day.  I will do an activity every day.  Weight lifting, biking, swimming, picnic bench workout or kettle bells.  I will not use my lame foot as an excuse not to exercise.

And the last thing I need to change is my favorite after work activity – drinking wine.  My dear friend – Chardonnay – I must break up our relationship for now.   Hopefully, very soon I will be able to rekindle our friendship.  But just for now I have to say good bye.  I am much sadder than you about this break up.  You bring me such joy and relaxation.  But you also brought me several unwanted calories.  So I have found a new drink to relax with – diet tonic water with lime.  It is very refreshing.  And if I put it in a wine glass it tastes even better.

I am taking one day at a time.  I really want to become friends again with Maintenance.  When I reach my goal weight I will definitely have a respect for my new friend.  For right now I don’t like her.  We did not become friends our first go around.  When I reach my new goal weight I will treat Maintenance with new respect.  I will not abuse her.  I will respect her.  So Maintenance just like my glass of wine, I am breaking up my relationship with you.  I am looking forward to rekindling our friendship and I am hoping it will be soon.  And when we do rekindle our friendship I will definitely play by your rules.  You will not make me fat ever again.  I will do everything for you to become my best friend.  Because Maintenance you and I will be life time buddies.

 

Cheating vs. Choosing

I hate the word cheating.  I am not fond of people who cheat.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I have done my fair share of cheating in my life.  In grade school during a test (I was not the brightest student), I would continually look at my neighbors paper to see what answers they put down on their paper.  Certainly their answers were better than mine.  And then my neighbor would catch on to me, straining my neck to catch an answer from their paper and they would then put their arm over their work so I could not see.  Bummer.  I did the same thing in high school – copied homework, and stole answers from my neighbors paper.  I am sure I plagiarized on occasion.  That is cheating.

In college,  I had an art history class that was in a very dark auditorium.  I loved that class.  I still remember and can name the artists of the Impressionist Era.  But it was so easy to cheat on tests.  It was so dark in the room and I could go in with my cheat sheets and easily ace a test.  And I did get an A in that class.  My biggest cheat in college was going into a World History final with several small pieces of paper shoved up my sleeve with a ton of information.  I passed that test with flying colors.  Yes that was definitely cheating.

People cheat on their taxes, people cheat on their spouses.  People cheat when playing games.  Cheating, cheating, cheating .  Cheating not only hurts yourself (I am sure I could have done better in school if I tried harder and studied more) but most of all it hurts other people.  A spouse cheating on his wife is devastating to all involved.  A person cheating on his taxes hurts the rest of society.  But me eating a piece of chocolate is not cheating.  Am I really hurting myself?  Am I hurting someone else?  No.  Absolutely not.  So my question is, why on a weight loss program when one slips does one say “I cheated”.  Or on many weight loss programs they say “You can have a cheat meal”.  The word cheating to me is a bad word.  In the dictionary the word cheat Is defined “as a fraud, a deceiver, to take an examination or test in a dishonest way, as by improper access to answers” (that was me).  So how and why do some weight loss programs say you can cheat on occasion.  The word cheat in a weight loss world makes no sense to me.

Now the word choosing is a much better word.  If I want a piece of chocolate I will choose to eat one.  If I want a glass of wine or two I will choose to do so.  If I want to eat more than my 26 points on Weight Watchers I will choose to do so.  I am choosing, not cheating.   But there are still consequences to my behavior.  I may not lose the weight or I might even gain.  But that is ok.  Because I have made a conscious decision to do so.  I am still in control of my situation.

Now on other weight loss programs they say you can have a cheat meal.  Oh my gosh – let me at it.  I can do some damage on a cheat meal.   Just the word cheat in my mind opens up the flood gates.  Remember I was a great cheater in school.  So cheating on a meal would mean I would eat things that I have totally taken out of my diet.  Chips, fried foods, ice cream, cookies, white bread, cereal, candy, and the list goes on.  We are talking major damage here.

So for 30 days I decided to shake things up and do the Paleo Whole 30 program.  I am trying desperately to get all of the additives out of my diet.  No more sweeteners.  No more diet sodas, eating whole foods – meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and healthy fats.  But giving up my non-fat greek yogurt is a challenge.  So I had greek yogurt as one of my meals with fruit this week.  I was told with the Paleo Whole 30 I could count that as a cheat meal.  Are you serious????  Greek yogurt as a cheat meal??  That does not make any sense to me when others are “cheating” on pizza, ice cream, cake and wine and calling it their “cheat meal”.

I chose to have Greek yogurt.  This is not cheating.  Greek yogurt may not be part of the Whole 30 program but it is definitely not cheating.   Me eating this food did not hurt anyone and it definitely did not hurt me.  I just chose to not follow the Whole 30 for one meal.

The word cheating is an inflammatory word.  Guilt goes along with the word cheat.  Yes I did feel some remorse for cheating on those tests.  I would hope a spouse has some guilt when cheating on his partner.  When I call someone a cheater I am hoping they will feel bad and change their behavior.  If I cheat on my “diet” my mind says “cheat with gusto”.  And then once I cheated I feel bad.   But eating greek yogurt does not make me feel guilty.

So I am not going to cheat.  I don’t have to cheat to succeed in life.  On my weight loss journey, I am choosing.  I am choosing what goes in my mouth.  Yes there will be days that I may not make the best choices.  But I am choosing to do so.  I am doing it with a full conscious knowing what and if any consequences will follow.  My cheating days are over.

Clean Eating

So Maria called me before the first of the year and proposed another challenge for me.  “Let’s do the 30 day Paleo challenge.”  Great – another challenge by my beloved daughter.  Do I really want to do this?  I have been very successful with Weight Watchers.  But then I thought it would be a great idea to start the new year off with a new challenge.  I am always up for a challenge and was interested in  what was involved.  Here is the link to the Whole 30 program. I read the program and saw what was good to eat and what I had to avoid.  And I new I could implement this with Weight Watchers new Simple Start.

Mostly the Whole 30  is eating lean meats, fish, vegetables, nuts and fruits and healthy fats.  Here is the kicker.  NO WINE!  Ok, I can give up wine for 30 days.  I have given up my wine before and it actually has been hindering my weight loss. So no problem.   Also on the Whole 30 there are no grains, legumes, dairy or additives.  No sugar substitutes.  So that means not only do I have to give up my wine, I can’t have sugar free gum, sugar free popsicles, diet tonic water and my Greek Yogurt (which I absolutely love).  I am ok giving up legumes and grains.    They have not been a big part in my diet anyhow.  But I will admit giving up my Greek yogurt, sugarless gum and sugar free popsicles and diet tonic water will be a challenge.

Before I go any further I want to clarify my few diet products that I enjoy.  I chew maybe one piece of sugar free gum a day.  I usually will pop a piece in my mouth early in the afternoon when I get a sweet craving.  My sugar free popsicle is a treat for after dinner.  And my one glass of diet tonic water was only drunk before dinner to replace a glass of wine.  Greek yogurt was my go to breakfast with strawberries.  Oh and I usually would sweeten it with one packet of Stevia Raw (which is also a no no).

My go to drink is now water, water and more water.  I fill a gallon jug of water, cut up limes and lemons and put them in the jug.  I love it.  It tastes fresh and is very refreshing.  Did you know that you are suppose to drink 1/2 your body weight in water?  That is in ounces not pounds.  So If I weigh 154 pounds, I have to drink around 77 ounces of water a day.  That is a lot of water.  But I have been easily drinking that amount daily and enjoying it.

Now I am not a perfect human being and I did choose to have a few items on the no no list.  I did have my Greek yogurt three times in ten days.  There are just so many eggs I can eat for breakfast.  I also don’t like meat or fish every morning for breakfast.  So that is a challenge.  We went to the movies yesterday and I didn’t even think about having popcorn.  Which is an absolute no no.  But I really was craving a diet coke which I very rarely drink.   After a few sips, I was noticing a horrible after taste.  I never have an after taste with my lemon water.  So I don’t think I will be having any more diet soda.    I finished my last sugar free popsicle last night and I will not buy any more.  I won’t even talk about me loving light lemonade.  I have totally given that up.  Now my sugarless gum might just have to stay in my program.

I think more than anything on this challenge is to not add any additives to your food. So here is what I am trying to do.  In my smoothies, (a great treat mid morning snack with one cup of almond milk and a cup of blueberries) instead of my Stevia Raw  I could add 1/2 of a very ripe banana.   How sweet it is.  I could also cook down some very sweet apples and add that and that would be a very natural sweetener.

I am now 10 days into this challenge and here is what I have learned.  Paleo Whole 30  is very easy to stick to.  It is a very healthy way of eating.  I am never hungry.  I LOVE NOT BEING HUNGRY!  I have not weighed or measured or tracked any food for 10 days and I am loving it.  And this definitely goes along with Weight Watcher Simple Start program.  I feel absolutely FREE.  I just eat my lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and my olive oil.  It is so simple.  I don’t think about food 24-7.  I do take time to make sure my refrigerator and freezer are well stocked with great wholesome foods.  I have enjoyed eating new foods.  My absolute favorite is Butternut Squash chips.  Which is a great snack when I come home from work.

I am enjoying my Clean Eating.  I feel great.  I am sleeping better.  I feel like I have a bit more energy.  The best thing is that Whole 30 is VERY EASY.  Weight Watchers Simple Start is also very easy. In my world of chaos and confusion, very easy is my favorite place to be.

Weekly Roundup

Discouraged, discouraged, discouraged.  That is all I have to say about this weeks weigh in.  The 1.4 pounds I lost last week, found me this week.  And the worst part is I can’t quite figure out why.  If I had eaten McDonalds (my usual in my fat days was a Quarter Pounder With Cheese and extra large french fries) I would understand why I gained.  If I ate a bowlful of spaghetti with meat sauce, laden with olive oil and several pieces of Italian Bread I would understand.  If I ate a large Ted Drews concrete (abaca mocha-my favorite) I would understand.  If I ate a Deluxe Pizza from Imo’s I would understand.  If I ate my favorite fat meal from Kentucky Fried Chicken – fried chicken, mashed potatoes, cole slaw and a biscuit with butter and jelly I would understand.  And my fat food list can continue.  But I had none of those.  Actually, I have not eaten any of these mouth watering meals in well over a year.  So why the weight gain?

I even worked my butt off literally.  I logged in 1 day of walking 3 miles, 2 days running 4 miles, and 2 days running 3 miles.   That is a lot of activity in my eyes.  Running is a hard activity for me.  It makes me sweat.  I love sweating.  I am in training for my big 6 mile Webster/Kirkwood Turkey Day run tomorrow.  I was not a slacker this week.  So why the weight gain?

Weight Watchers allows you to eat 26 points a day.  My daily points  include lean protein, nuts, fruits, vegetables, greek yogurt, and some times a healthy 3 point Weight Watcher protein bar.   I always include my olive oil as my fat.  I eat plenty of fruits and vegetables which have a point value 0.   My daughter says I eat way too much fruit.  I eat three fruits a day.  On some days I may have a fourth fruit.  But fruits have a 0 point value.  Weight Watchers allows you to eat an additional 49 points if needed.  You can also eat into your exercise points (which I never do).  Last week I earned 29 exercise points.  I ate my daily 26 points and on two days I ate an additional 6 points.  (Actually I drank wine for those extra points).  Weight Watchers claims that you can eat anything.  You can drink anything.  Just as long as you stay within your allotted points.    So according to Weight Watchers plan, I should have lost weight this week.  But I didn’t. I gained.

Now a 1.5 weight gain is not the end of the world.  But my world is much better when I lose weight.  Or at least know why I gained weight.  Yes I am a bit discouraged.  But I will continue on my journey.  I have to understand that the body just sometimes wants to take a break.  And I think this week my body said “Lisa slow down.  No weight loss for you!”

And yes my darling daughter, Maria, I will cut back on my fruit consumption.

I am a Horrible Dieter

Dieting.  I hate it.  I am really bad at it.  When I hear the word diet, I think immediately restraint-limiting-confined-restricting-no fun-and the list goes on.  In my pre Weight Watcher days I would always start my diet on Monday.  Now that was after a lot of reading over the weekend of what diet I was going to attempt.  I have a full library of diet books.  If you need one – don’t bother going to the library.  Just come over to my house and borrow one.  I am sure my collection is much better than the libraries.  And my Kindle is chalk full of dieting and weight loss books.  Do you know how many books are out there on weight loss?  And I think I have them all.

But back to my point.  The word diet to me means staying on a limited way of eating and taking out food groups.  So pre-Weight Watcher’s – on Monday, I would start with (I will pick Paleo just to start out with) great intentions.  I had my meats (very lean), vegetables and berries all lined up.  No dairy, no legumes, no bread, no nothing.  And I did great.  Until Wednesday when I started to dream of all the foods I could not eat or drink (let me have  a glass of wine!)  And then the downward spiral started.  A little bread – a little pasta – cheese – maybe a taste of ice cream.  Cheez-Its.  My favorite food.  You can’t have those on Paleo.  But you can have almonds.  I love almonds.  But I do prefer the salted smokehouse ones to the plain no taste natural one.  And I give up on my diet and I will start again on Monday.

I do more reading over the weekend and try another approach.  Let’s try South Beach. Lean meats, vegetables, limited fruits (no fruits for the first week) and no carbs.  Again, I do great until Wednesday when I start to think about all the foods I can not eat.  And I start eating foods I never eat. Chips – I love chips.  Why would I eat chips?  They are not on this diet plan or any other diet.   I just blew it again.  I will start again on Monday.

My point being, that when whole food groups are taken out of a weight loss plan I freak out.  When I bemoan the fact that I had a small weight loss at my weekly weigh in to my daughter, she yells at me (not really yelling – just talking sternly) “Mom – have you been eating bread???”  Yes for crying out load.  I had a Subway Club sandwich – which has 320 calories and 8 points.  I figured it into my points.  Give me a break!  Can I never eat bread again?

But here is what I have done.  I eat all food groups.  Weight Watchers has taught me to limit certain foods – like bread – by giving it a high point value.  So I do limit my intake of bread.  Fruit has no points.  But I have found that if I eat all the fruit I want in one day, I will not lose weight.  And even though wine is made from grapes, my favorite sweet nectar does not count as fruit.  I eat lean meats, lots of vegetables, fruit, dairy – non-fat Greek yogurt is my favorite, cheese on a limited basis, olive oil, and some breads.  My snacks include pistachios and almonds (the plain ones),   I love popcorn but limit that to once or twice a week.  I do not feel deprived.  Because on Weight Watchers, I can eat anything I want.  I just have to count the points.  I get to eat 26 points per day.  And if I need to, I can tap into the 49 point weekly extra allowance.

I have come to the conclusion that I can not stay on a strict, food restricting diet.  Some people do very well on those.  And I commend them.  Yes, I do get frustrated with my slow weight loss, but I am consistently losing.  I wish I had the self control to stay on a quick weight loss diet.  But I do not.  This horrible dieter will finally meet her goal weight.  I just have to remember, slow and steady wins the race.

WEEKLY ROUNDUP:  Weight loss – 0.2 lbs

Tuesday – 25 points  • Exercise – ran 3 miles

Wednesday – 26 points • Exercise – ran 3 miles

Thursday – 38 points • Exercise – walk/ran 3 miles – Halloween – no candy but I did have chips and of course – wine.

Friday – 25 points • Exercise – Day of rest

Saturday – 26 points • Exercise – ran 3 miles

Sunday – 29 points • Exercise – ran 4 miles – Hiked for 45 minutes