Break Ups Are Hard

I have broken up with Weight Watchers.  I hate break ups. They make me sad.   But it is time for me to move on.  Weight Watchers was a great tool for me for 22 months.  It helped me learn portion control, good foods/bad foods.  The bad thing is that I was always hungry and always thinking about food.

I am a firm believer that if something is not working for you – or even if you feel like something is not working for you – than it may be worth trying something new.  So in my weight loss journey I mainly stuck with Weight Watchers.  I diligently recorded everything I ate.  I counted my points and recorded them on the Weight Watcher on-line e-tools.  I soon realized  that the Weight Watcher e-tools was not user friendly.  And everything that you recorded was deleted after 2 months.  Through my frustration with Weight Watcher e-tools I found a very friendly ap that is FREE.  My Fitness Pal.  I plug my foods in that I eat and it records my calories.  My activities are also recorded through my Map My Run ap.   And I can look back months ago as to what I ate and all the information is still there.  And again did I mention that this ap is FREE!!!

In the past several months I have tried to include other “diets” into my weight loss journey.  Back in January I attempted  the 30 day Paleo Challenge.  I found that it was extremely restrictive.  I couldn’t sustain that restrictive eating.  So back to Weight Watcher’s I went.  Keep in mind that every time I did something other than Weight Watcher’s, I never missed a Weight Watcher meeting.  I liked the group of people and definitely loved my group leader.

And the closer I got to my goal weight, the slower the weight loss became.  I started to get discouraged.  So I decided to try South Beach for a couple of weeks.  I got closer to my goal weight with that program.  I loved the low carbs but still was not convinced that this was the path I wanted to continue on.

Then came Chris Powell and carb cycling.  I bought the Vemma Bode supplement products that Chris Powell endorses.  I loved the Chris Powell protein powder.  I tolerated the protein drink  for my afternoon protein snack.  I definitely did not like the colon cleanse (which I definitely will never attempt again).  And it did not do the cleansing it was suppose to do.    After several weeks of doing this program the carb cycling got confusing.  One day you eat low carbs and then on another day you eat high carbs.  It got confusing when I tried to plan my meals.  I would have a nice dinner planned out that would include a carb such as a sweet potato and then realized it was a low carb day and had to readjust the menu. I lost a couple of more pounds which got me very close to my goal weight but decided that carb cycling was not a sustainable lifestyle.

By trying all of these different “diets” I finally reached my goal weight and then I started to get very nervous.  How was I going to eat now?  How was I going to live the rest of my life and not gain any weight back.  I could continue counting calories but I wanted to be a normal person.  Normal thin people don’t count calories.  I could continue with Weight Watcher’s but tired of the meetings and the feared weekly weigh ins.  And honestly while on Weight Watchers, I felt hungry all the time.  So I have chosen a different path.

I got the book, The Calorie Myth by Jonathan Bailor.  It has changed my life and the way I look at food.  It is definitely a low carb way of eating but I am eating the foods that I love.  The basis of the book is eating Non Starchy Vegetables, protein which includes a wide variety of meats and fish. Whole fats that include REAL BUTTER, nuts, avocado’s and whole cream. Dairy includes non-fat Greek yogurt that I absolutely love.  Fruits are also included.  I got to tell you that for the past several weeks I have been loving this way of eating.

What I have found through my weight loss journey is what foods I love to eat and foods that I can live without.   I love all the foods recommended on The Calorie Myth.  I am never hungry.  I eat three meals a day that include a protein and vegetables.  I eat non-fat Greek Yogurt with a fruit for my snack.  I have found that the foods that are not included in my new way of eating, I can live without.  I can live without sugar, starch and wheat.  I love all the protein and vegetable and fats that I am eating.  I feel great and am actually starting to look pretty good.

So Weight Watchers I am sorry, I will no longer be having you in my life.  I am breaking up with you.  Thanks for all that you have given me but I am moving on to a healthier more sustainable lifestyle.

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

My Decision to Lose Weight

So as I posted yesterday, I was at my heaviest at 224 lbs.  That was several years ago.  I remember not caring what I ate.  And eat I did.  Then I would feel guilty for all that I was eating and would decide to diet.  I would always start my diet on Monday and by Wednesday, I would forget that I was suppose to be dieting.  But there was always another Monday, when I would attempt to diet again.  And this cycle went on for years.

I joined and rejoined Weight Watchers too many times to count.  I never lasted very long on the program.   And then I tried the South Beach Diet and lost several pounds.  I got down to 211.  South Beach was fairly easy as long as I never ate any bread, potatoes or pasta.

Then my rock hard, fitter than fit daughter, Maria, convinced me to start working out.  I was a couch potato and loved it.  Even though the word EXERCISE has 8 letters, it was definitely a 4 letter word to me.  Walking?  Didn’t Tim Russert die after walking on a treadmill?  That would really make me mad if I died after a work out.  But I knew my daughter was right.  I had to start getting my body in motion.

I found a trainer and worked my butt off 2-3 times a week.  I was tired after my workouts but I felt alive.   John and I also joined Gold’s Gym and I either swam every day or walked/run on the tread mill.  I continued on  a low carb diet and got down to 188.  I maintained that weight for two years.

Slowly but surely the weight started to creep back on.  I quit the trainer and we quit Gold’s Gym and the couch once again became my best friend.  My “thin” clothes were getting so tight that I had to I break out my “fat” clothes.   And I had plenty of “fat” clothes.  Thank God I kept them for a rainy fat day.  And boy did it rain.

Then that deciding moment in my life hit.  My grandson, who was a freshman last year at Eureka High School and the starting quarterback on the freshman football team, called me.  He said “Grandma, it is a custom for the football players to ask someone special to wear their jersey to the first game.  I would like you to wear mine.”  Oh my gosh!  I was so honored.  He brought me the jersey and when he left, I tried it on.  I could not get it on.  I sure tried.  I stretched it and prayed it would fit but there was no way his jersey in any way shape or form was going to fit me.  I sheepishly called him and said “Cameron, I am so honored that you asked me to wear your jersey, but I can’t get it on.”  He was so nice and understanding.  And I was ashamed.

I decided my time had come.  It was time in my life that I needed to do something about my weight.  So 1 year ago, on September 4th, 2012, I joined Weight Watchers for the last time in my life.  According to Weight Watcher’s scale I weighed 201.  On my scale (which I like a whole lot better) I weighed 199.

And this is where my journey begins.

To be continued….