Sustainability

I just looked up the word sustain in the dictionary and the meaning is “to keep up or keep going, as an action or process”.  My big question of the day is what weight loss program can one sustain for the rest of one’s life?   I have come to the conclusion several months ago that my weight loss journey is not to reach just a number on a scale.   I have lost and gained enough weight during my lifetime trying to reach that number on the scale.  My weight loss goal now is to reach my goal weight (7 more pounds) and be able to sustain my weight loss and maintain my loss for the rest of my life.

I have just completed 2 1/2 weeks on the Paleo Whole 30 Challenge.  I will say I have done some good things.  I now look at all nutrition labels.  I have done so in the past but was more concerned about the calorie count and Weight Watcher points than the additives in the product.  But now I am concerned about the additives in the product.  They say if you can’t pronounce what’s in a product  than don’t eat it.  I have eaten mostly clean for these 2 1/2 weeks.  I drink at least 64 ounces of water with a touch of lemon per day.    My diet these past weeks has been lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, olive oil and nuts.  I have limited my use of Stevia. I have limited my drinking of Diet Sodas.  I drink my lemon water instead of Diet Light Lemonade (my absolute favorite drink).  The good thing is that  I am full most of the time.   But the bad thing is that I have just not been satisfied.

If a person is not satisfied with the food on a weight loss program, how can one sustain that way of eating for life?  I know I can’t.  I am throwing in the towel with the Paleo Whole 30 Challenge.  Does that make me weak?  Does that make me a quitter?  Absolutely not!  They say on the program “anyone can do anything for 30 days”.  Not so.  I need to know that I can sustain a lifestyle if I am going to do something for the rest of my life.   I need to go back to my Weight Watcher way of life.  I know I can sustain that way of eating for the rest of my life.  I realized early on, the Paleo Whole 30 Challenge would not be sustainable.  To me, it is a 30 day program that when you reach day 30, you go back to your old way of eating.   And that to me is yo-yo dieting.

While on the Whole 30, I found that I a craved foods that I had never craved before.  I guess it was because so many foods are forbidden.   No dairy, sugar, grains, legumes, white potatoes, and definitely no alcohol.  On Weight Watchers, I very rarely ever have a craving because you can eat anything.  When a food is forbidden doesn’t it make you want it even more?    I very rarely crave sweets.  But every afternoon on the Whole 30, I was craving sweets.   Whole 30 says not to eat any sugar or sugar substitutes.  So what was I suppose to do with my cravings?  Go out for a walk?  Drink more water?  Eat another piece of fruit (which on the Whole 30 is limited)?  On Weight Watchers when I am craving a sweet I grab a sugarless piece of gum or a fruit smoothie (both no-no’s on Whole 30).   And that would sustain me for the rest of the afternoon.

When I got home, when on Weight Watchers, instead of grabbing a glass of wine (trying to limit the sugar in my diet), I would grab a Diet Tonic Water.  I would fill a glass full of ice, pour my Diet Tonic Water, and add a slice of lime.  It is so delicious.  I soon forgot that I wanted a glass of wine.  On Whole 30,  Diet Sodas are a definite no, no.  They do encourage you to drink lots of water.  But after drinking a gallon of water with lemon all day long, water just was not going to satisfy me.  The other evening while preparing dinner, I found myself pacing the kitchen .  I was drinking my lemon water and it was not getting rid of my craving for a glass of wine or a sweet drink.  I soon caved and grabbed a glass of Diet Tonic Water with ice and lime. It tasted delicious.   And I felt horribly guilty!

So what can I do to sustain a healthy eating plan for the rest of my life?  Weight Watchers.  This program has been a slow but steady weight loss program for me.  I have lost weight very slowly but steadily.  Yes, I do get frustrated with the slow weight loss but I know that I can sustain this way of life for the rest of my life.  I have tried so many weight loss programs in my lifetime and have failed so many times.  And it was because those programs were great to lose weight but they were not sustainable.

I am very thankful for the Paleo Whole 30 Challenge.  It taught me a lot.  Clean eating is the biggest thing I will continue.  Chemically induced products will definitely be limited in my diet.  Added sugars in my “diet” will be limited.  But the biggest thing Whole 30 has taught me is that Weight Watchers is the program for me.  I know I can keep it up and keep it going.  That is sustainability.

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.

Undergarments

Let’s talk undergarments.  Or underwear.  Panties and bras.  You know those clothes that you wear under your clothes.  Some people live without them and if you are like me, you can’t live with them.  I hate underwear.  I hate shopping for underwear.  I have 2 drawer full of underwear.  One drawer is for the underwear that fits and one drawer is for the underwear that does not fit.

There is nothing worse for me than a bra that does not fit.  When I was much heavier, my bras just stuck to me.  And they were so uncomfortable.  I remember being at my grandson’s football game and sitting there wishing the game to be over so I could go home and take my bra off. What an awful feeling.  Leaving my grandsons game because I was uncomfortable?  It was time to do something about my fatness.  And that was one of my reasons I started my weight loss journey.

Although,  my panties were quite comfortable.  I had the same 9 pairs for several years.  Yes, I know what you are thinking.  That is disgusting!  But who saw my nasty underwear?  Just my husband.  And after (at that time 39 years) so many years together, I really did not care.

After losing a few pounds I thought it might be time to invest in some new panties.  I tried desperately to find the same brand that I loved.  But that was nine years ago and how could I find the same brand and style.  I found some Hanes at Kohls and purchased the package.  I went home and tried them on.  Ugh!  Too tight in the waist and too saggy in the butt.  I tried again through a catalogue and was so excited when they arrived.  Again, too tight in the waist and too big in the tush.

So I went out again this time to Target and bought a package of panties that I thought would work.  By the way, I never return panties.  That is why I have 2 drawers full.  This time they fit a bit better.  This was back in February.  They were a bit tight but I knew I would eventually fit in them.  So I put them in my can’t wear drawer.  I continued wearing my nasty, now too big but very comfortable underwear.

I did eventually fit into the too tight underwear.  But I did not have a pair for every day.  So I went out to Target again.  I could not believe it.  The brand I was looking for was no longer there.  But a similar style was, in multiple colors.  I am a plain white person but for comfort, the colorful panties would work.

Too small.  Why oh why can I not find a similar panty to fit me the way I want my panties to fit.  Big in the waist and tighter around the tush.  Oh well, 6 more pairs in my can’t wear drawer.  So I kept my old nasty panties to wear when I ran out of my good fitting panties.

And one day I was going through my can’t wear drawer and I came across a pair of panties that I had bought several years ago and they were always too small.  I tried them on and they fit.  I was so excited to fit into something I had not been able to in years.  I then put my running pants on and went for a run.  After running for only a minute these adorable panties kept falling down.  I had to keep reaching down in my running pants and pull them back up.  I had my hands in my pants most of the run.  And finally I gave up.  “PANTS FALLIN DOWN-PANTS FALLIN DOWN!”  I ran to my car, took the too big panties off and finished my run.  What a free feeling!

Purchasing bras is no better.  Last year prior to Weight Watchers, I refused to go out and buy a larger bra size.  My bra just kind of stuck to me.  The worst fat feeling is when I would unsnap my bra and it did not fall off.  I had to peel the bra off.  But that was the best feeling ever.  For that bra to be off of my body.  Finally after losing my first 20 pounds, my daughter insisted it was time to purchase a new bra.  I was not ready to be professionally fit for a bra so I went to Kohls.  All I was looking for was a bra that did not hurt and give me mild support.  Success!  I found one.  It was so comfortable.  It did not stick to me and it did not hurt.

So now that I am down forty pounds it is now time to purchase more bras and panties.  My panties in my can’t wear drawer now fit and are sagging a bit.  But I love comfort.  I think I can wait on that purchase. But my current bras are no longer doing what they are made for.  Support.  I am still not ready to be professionally fit.  I still have several pounds to lose.  And I am not ready for a hefty investment for a bra.  So back to Kohls I will be going.

And those nasty panties in my drawer?  I still have them.  They are like old friends.   I know one day I will have to say goodbye to them.  But just not today.

A Lesson Learned

I went for a visit to Evanston, Illinois for a short visit with my sister and brother in law.   I had a fabulous time.  Before arriving I was a bit nervous.  I always gain weight when I go off of my Weight Watcher’s program.  And I knew I would not be sticking to it 100%.  I wanted to try a week living like a normal thin person.  I wanted to just put Weight Watchers on the side and not think about it.   So I did not record my points.  But I was careful with what I ate.  My goal for the week was just not to gain any weight.

I packed some healthy choices for the very long train ride there.  I had my bottle of water, a thermos of coffee, yogurt with frozen strawberries and fruit.  I survived my first trek of the trip.  I was hungry getting off of the train but not ravenous.  I knew my sister was preparing a lunch upon my arrival and I looked forward to whatever she was preparing.

Let me preface this with a history of what I eat for my lunch.  I fill a large bowl with mixed salad greens, chop up an apple (a very large one), add 3 ounces of tuna and top it off with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and vinegar.  It is a huge bowl of food.  And I eat the whole thing.  It is a 4 point lunch.  And it fills me up and I am satisfied until dinner.

For lunch, my sister made a bowl full of fresh spinach, added some feta cheese and walnuts.  She also cooked fresh beets which were delicious.  And that was lunch.  The bowl of salad was smaller than what I eat for my lunch and it had to be divided among all three of us. (My brother-in-law was also there).   I really got nervous.  I was very hungry at this time and I knew this small plate of greens would not fill me up.  I really do not like to be hungry.  It does not settle well with my mood.  But keep in mind that my sister (Rose) is very tiny (actually a normal size) and my brother-in-law  (David) definitely does not have a weight problem.

And we started to eat.  Again, my goal this week was not to gain any weight.  And I wanted to eat like a normal thin person.  I usually scarf my food down.  I am a very fast eater and I am trying to slow down.  So this lunch was going to be my first challenge.  I attempted to eat the small salad (now in a normal person’s world the salad was a substantial portion) very slowly.  I watched Rose and David eat.  They ate very slowly.  They put their fork down in between bites.  They sipped wine.  Yes, we had wine at lunch.  And they conversed.  I kept looking at my plate and the food was disappearing very quickly.  I was soon done with my meal and still not satisfied.  I was not hungry.  Just not satisfied.

Rose and David still had plenty of food on their plates.  They were enjoying their lunch.  They were savoring every bite.  And that was my first lesson of the week.  This is how thin (or normal) people eat. They ENJOY EVERY MORSEL,  they SLOW DOWN, and they BREATH between bites.

The five days that I was there, went exactly the same way.  Don’t get me wrong.  There was plenty of food.  More than enough.  But I am so used to weighing and measuring my food and making small amounts of food look and feel VERY LARGE.  I was determined to eat like a thin person.

And then there were nuts before dinner.  I always have pistachios (in shell) before my dinner.  I diligently count out my nuts.  Sometimes I have 20, 30 or 40 pistachios depending how many extra points I am allowed for the day.  Rose put out two (very small) bowls of nuts (almonds and walnuts).  I could not stop eating them.  I knew I was eating too many.  But I was VERY HUNGRY. Or I thought I was hungry.  I looked over at Rose and David picking at the nuts before them.  SON OF A GUN!!!!  They were diligently selecting one at a time AND CHEWING, CHEWING AND CHEWING!!!   I was amazed.  My (very small bowl) was completely empty and their bowl (the same size bowl of nuts) had plenty of nuts in them.  My oh my.  Another lesson learned from normal, thin people.  SAVOR THE NUTS.

The bottom line here is I learned a lot with my visit to normal, thin people.  They savor their food.  They enjoy their food.  They sip wine.  They do not gulp wine.   They do not swallow their food whole.  They chew their food.  They chew, chew and chew some more.  They converse during a meal.  And I will say, they enjoy their food.  BECAUSE THEY TASTE THEIR FOOD!  THEY DO NOT SWALLOW THEIR FOOD WHOLE.

I learned this week from two wonderful people that I love dearly.  They had no idea they were inspiring me.  And the best thing is that I am a quick learner.  I learned through example how to eat a bit slower and savor my food.  I learned how to chew my food and not swallow my food whole.  I learned how to SLOW DOWN while eating.

And the best gift of this week is that I lost 1.4 pounds for a total weight loss of 40 pounds.

I love learning new lessons.

sisters blog

A photo of my sister and me.

Learning How to Eat

Being inspired is very important to me. My Weight Watcher journey has been a long one.  And I need to stay inspired beyond my weekly meetings – which I never miss.   But where do we find the inspiration?  As I told you in one of my last blogs, the internet is filled with all kinds of inspiration.   When I started my blog, Pants Fallin Down,  I did some research.  I googled –  BLOGS FOR LOSING WEIGHT.  There were several, several sites that came up in the search.  But one that caught my eye was 20 Best Weight Loss Blogs of 2013.  I went through and read all 20 blogs.  But the one I kept coming back to and receive daily e-mails is Ronis Weigh.  Roni is a  mom with 3 young children who has gone through a transformation with her weight loss.  I could write a whole blog just on her, but check Roni out for yourself.

A blog site Roni created is BLOG TO LOSE.  This is a site for people who are on their weight loss journey, thinking about losing weight, losing weight  and maintaining their weight.  You can start your own blog, you can share your feelings in one of the forums or just be a lurker and see what everyone else is doing.  You can join for free.

The other day while lurking the Blog to Lose site, I came across another blog  site, Half Size Me.  The creator of this site is another mom with four young children.  She lost 170 pounds.  And she lost it through Weight Watchers.  Please take the time to check out her site.  You will be blown away.  The coolest thing on her site are her podcasts.  AND THEY ARE FREE!!!!  She interviews people who have gone through the weight loss journey.  I started to listen to them.  AND TALK ABOUT INSPIRATION!!!  Most of these women are Weight Watchers.  And some are calorie counters.  The interesting thing  I heard over and over again in these podcasts was that Weight Watchers taught them how to eat.  Anyone can lose weight.  And everyone has to eat.  But the real challenge lies in learning how to eat.

In this past year, I have learned how to eat.  When I heard about “learning how to eat”, I thought to myself – “Well, I certainly know how to eat.”  And eat I did.  Prior to Weight Watchers, I would eat in the car, I would eat standing up.  I would eat my dinner and then sneak back to the kitchen (saying I was going to get something to drink) and pick at the leftovers.  I still eat my lunch at my computer – but that story will be for another day.  I would grab a diet soda and a bag of chips for breakfast (breakfast of champions) and my favorite breakfast was a loaf of asiago bread from Panera Bread Company – or if your from St. Louis it is called St. Louis Bread Company.  I would pick at the bread on the way to work, thinking I would share it with my fellow employees.  And by the time I got to my studio, the loaf was gone.  But no worries.  I had also purchased a loaf of a delicious cranberry nut bread to share with everyone.

Yes, Weight Watchers has been a long journey.  But I am very grateful for it.   Weight Watchers is about eating real food.  It is about portion control.  It is about nutrition.  And it is about moving your body.  It is about eating from all the food groups.  It is about being accountable.  I food journal every day.  I know exactly what and how much goes in my mouth.  And yes – my darling daughter Maria – I do eat a lot of fruit.  But Weight Watchers has worked in five fruits a day into the program.   I love fruit!  Some days I go over my allotted 26 points.  But there is that magical additional 49 points you can tap into.  And some days I just have to eat more than my 26 points.

I will eventually reach my goal weight.   But for some reason this week my goal weight was not that important to me.  What was important to me this week was realizing that in this past year, I am learning how to eat.  I know there will be times when I fall back into my old habits.  And I did on Saturday evening.  I made a wonderful dinner – my favorite – roasted chicken, with my favorite ingredients – salt, pepper and garlic.  And I got creative and added rosemary and thyme.  It was delicious.  I added carrots and onions to the roasting pan.  And as a side dish I made baked sweet potato fries.  After dinner, I snuck back to the kitchen – telling John I was going to get something more to drink – A BIG LIE!  I went back to do what I love to do.  To pick at the leftovers of my favorite meal.  Ok-ok- that is one big problem I am going to work on.  I know that picking at the leftovers is a big flaw of mine.  And I will correct it.

Learning how to eat is a forever challenge.  Yes, I will slip back into some old habits.  But the important thing is that I have all my tools in place.  With my tools, if I slip, I will pick myself back up and get back on track.  I actually slipped just for 5 minutes this week.   And compared to my past life of loaves of asiago bread, cranberry nut bread, chips and soda, a 5 minute picking of vegetables and chicken does not seem so bad.

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

Just Finish

Just Finish is going to be my new mantra.  I have been thinking a lot about my weight loss journey and how I am like the turtle shuffling to the finish line.  I have never been fast.  I am not a fast learner.  I struggled in school.  I remember back in grade school, I would day dream.  I would always be looking out the window.  The teacher would try reeling my wandering mind back in.  And when she did, I would have no idea what was just taught.  I just don’t get jokes right away.  After a joke is told in a group, I find that everyone around me is laughing and I am still trying to figure out the punch line.  But I am fast at one thing.  And that is eating.  I love to eat fast!

I have one college friend who lost over 100 pounds in one year.  100 pounds!!!!!  One year!!!!! That is a lot of weight.  I have another friend that has lost over 200 pounds in one and half years!    Can you believe that?  200 plus pounds????  And I think it has been around 250 pounds.   And that was fast!  They both have tremendous will power to stick to a program for such a long time.  I can’t tell you how much I admire both of them.

And then there is me.  Lose a pound.  Gain a pound.  Lose 1/4 of a pound.  Gain 1/2 a pound.  I still am hovering at 38 1/2 pound weight loss.  But I admit I have consistently lost weight over the past 13 months.  My losses are not great.  And they will never be huge.  But I am doing it!

When I was running this week, I kept saying to myself.  Just Finish.  It does not matter how fast you are going.  Just put one foot in front of the other.  Slow down if you need to.  Just don’t stop!   I have also been doing a lot of reading about running.  According to these books, It is ok to walk during your run.  I always thought I would be weak if I took a walking break.  But according to these books walking during a run IS NOT A SIGN OF WEAKNESS.

So no matter how long this journey takes me, I will finish.  When I get to the finish line it does not mean that I will quit or end.  It will just mean that I have reached the goal line.  I will be able to take a deep breath, drink a little more wine and enjoy my new found freedom.

So what I would like to get is a bracelet that says JUST FINISH.   If anyone knows where I could get one, please let me know.

THIS WEEKS WEIGHT WATCHER SUMMARY

Lost 1.2 pounds

Tuesday – 28 points – Exercise – Running 3.2 miles

Wednesday – 23 points – Exercise – Day of rest

Thursday – 33 points – Exercise – Running 3.2 miles

Friday – 26 points – Exercise – Day of rest

Saturday – 23 points – Exercise – Walked 2 miles

Sunday – 30 points – Exercise – Ran (without stopping) 6 miles

Monday – 26 points – Exercise  – Lifted weights and squats

Maria Did it Again

Yep she did it again.  My fitter than fit daughter loves to get me into things.  Earlier this year she challenged me to a 30 day wine fast.  We went over to her house for dinner and I had a bottle of wine in tow and she was drinking a tall glass of water with lemon.  She said “Mom – I am doing a 30 day wine fast.  What do you think?  Are you going to join me?”  My first thought was “Are you crazy?  I can not nor want to give up my wine.”  But then my next thought was if I don’t say yes, I better head on over to an AA meeting.  So I said “Sign me up – I’m in.”  And  along with my daughter, I  accomplished the 30 long day wine fast.

Then in February she said. ” Mom let’s run in the St. Patrick’s Day Run.”  I was a bit more skeptical of this challenge because I had only been walking for exercise at this time.  But I really thought I could do it.  And I said “Count me in.”  I did try and started to run/walk.  But my schedule got busy and I came up with a million excuses.  And St. Patrick’s Day came and went and I decided I really did not like running after all.

She also got me doing the Paleo Diet.  She is a very healthy eater and she enjoys eating like a caveman.  My weight loss with Weight Watchers had hit a plateau last January and I was ready to shake things up a bit.  I tried it for one month and it worked.  I think I lost 6 pounds that month.  But I went back to my steadfast Weight Watcher way of eating.

And then on my birthday Maria e-mailed me with a birthday wish and a present.  It was a sign up for the Webster/Kirkwood Thanksgiving run.  My first thought was how sweet.  I thought no big deal.  I can run/walk a 5K.   I do that almost every day.  But then I looked a bit closer to the e-mail.  She signed me up for a 6 MILE RUN!!!!  How can I possibly run 6 miles?  I was not sure I could even walk 6 miles.  Couldn’t she have just given me a card for my birthday?

But then I started to think about it.  I thought maybe I could do this 6 mile run/walk.  I had been walking 3-4 miles for 4-5 days a week and also had been incorporating a bit of running.  So we went to this beautiful trail on Sunday along the Meremac River and started to run.   We trekked for 6 miles.  And actually, I did not think I was going to die.  Maria was giving me tips on how to keep a constant pace.  She was very encouraging.  And guess what?  Along with my daughter, I walk/ran 6 miles.  I was so excited when I hit the 6 mile mark and lived to tell the story.

So on Thanksgiving, my daughter Maria and I will be running in the Webster/Kirkwood 6 mile run together.  I will not make any excuses not to do this.  I have 5 weeks to train for this feat.  I thank my wonderful daughter for her amazing birthday gift to me.  It was not just a tangible gift.  It was a gift of encouragement and believing in me.  And it was a gift of friendship and spending time together.  Thank you my darling daughter, my best friend and running partner.

Weekly Update

I have declared Wednesday’s as my day to confess all.  This is the day that I will tell all who want to listen to my week’s weight loss journey.  I will tell you the highs and lows.  The good and the bad (or ugly).  According to Jillian Michaels I should be eating 1200 per day and according to Weight Watchers I am allowed 26 points.

Tuesday Oct. 8 – Calories – 1203  • 32 Points – Exercise walked 2.8 miles

Wednesday October 9 (my birthday) – Calories – 1499 • 43 Points (mostly because of wine) Exercise – walk/ run 2 miles, cycled 5.58 miles

Thursday October 10 – Calories-1463 • 28 Points Exercise – Walk/Run 3 miles

Friday October 11 – Calories – 1080 • 21 Points • Exercise – Walk/Run 4.14 miles

Saturday October 12 – Calories – 1248 • 29 Points • Exercise (Day of rest)

Sunday October 13 – Calories – 1423 • 26 Points • Exercise – Walk/Run 6 Miles

Monday October 14 – Calories 1244 • 26 Points • Exercise – Walk 3.12 Miles

Tuesday October 15 – Calories 1029 • 26 Points • Exercise – Walk 1.93 Miles – Weights 20 minutes

I felt my week was very good eating wise and exercise wise.  But I did eat things I normally don’t eat.  Like movie popcorn.  I figured in that I ate 4 cups worth – which probably was a bit underestimated.  Do you know how many calories is in one of those big popcorn tubs?  Over 1,000.  I also had a lot of wine this week.  I already broke my wine resolution from last week.  But it was my birthday and my birthday week.  I had to celebrate.

I went to my weekly weigh in at Weight Watchers yesterday and had a one pound weight loss.  I was happy with that.  I am currently down 38 pounds.  My weight at Weight Watchers was 163. I am so ready to not see a 160 or above ever again on a scale.  I am looking forward to the 150’s.  They are going to be my new friends.

At my Weight Watcher’s meeting last week they talked about adding more exercise into our daily routine.  We have heard them all.  Park at the farthest parking spot.  Take stairs not the elevator.  Blah blah blah.  But I had never heard getting up and doing a 5 minute workout after working for 1 hour. Which I did try to do.  But I found myself just meandering around my studio. Someone also suggested while watching TV, do an activity during the commercials. I thought that was a great idea.  And what better show to do it than the first night of The Biggest Loser.  And I rocked those commercials.   I did crunches, planks and lifted weights.  I was envisioning Jillian, Bob and Dulvette yelling at me.  “You can do it Lisa!”  And I did do it.

So this week my goal is to get up and do something physical every hour and during just one TV show work out during the commercials.  This is going to be a great week!

To be continued……