Monday, September 21, 2009

WI - first week on WW

I did it. A whole week on WW. It wasn't too hard, in fact it felt like I was cheating some of the time, I think it'll take me a couple of weeks to "get into" it as far as feeling more relaxed with it. I used 11 (I think) of my flex points. I was really shooting for hitting my points exactly and so for the most part I did that, going over a few here and there. I'm still feeling a little oddly nervous about not eating enough, though I'm sure that will relax as time goes on and I learn to trust in WW. I'd definitely like to get to the place where I'm certainly trying to eat all my points each day, but if it works out (especially on a work day where the kids have sports after school) that it's just easier to eat only prepackaged quick meals and I am fairly low on the point scale that I'm not going to worry about it - knowing that tomorrow is another day.

I lost 1.6lbs this week. On the one hand I'm really happy and proud that I've had a loss for four consecutive weeks - I can't tell you how long it's been since that happened. On the other hand I'm a little disapointed by the number. I feel a little gipped that I didn't get that 2nd weeks big-ish loss that you usually get when starting a new eating plan, though it has occurred to me that switching from fairly low carbs to normal regular food I probably gave back some of the water weight I'd lost, so the 1.6 might actually be better than I thought. In reality, when I decided to switch to WW I thought it was possible that I might gain the first week for just that reason so I should be happier than I am - probably.

The thing is, in the past when I've lost weight I usually average about 2.5 lbs per week over time and so to see only 1.6 so early, especially after the very odd start - well it just frightens me a little. It is no where near frightening me enough to want to stop or anything even remotely like that, but it does give me a little pause.

One thing that has always been true for me is that I find sticking to a plan easy. Seriously easy. But that only lasts for a while - maybe 4-6 months or so and then it suddenly moves from easy to impossible. There's almost no warning - it's just gone - like a switch flips in my brain. So this time around I'm looking for ways to .... mitigate that, prevent that, deal with that.... all of the above. One thing that is different is that I absolutely feel like I'm on the same path I started 3.5 years ago (January 2006) and to me that feels healthy, sure I might be nutso to say that, but I feel more like I've strayed from the path and now I'm finding my way back vs. having gotten off the path and gone in a different direction. I'm not sure if that makes sense to anyone but me. But somehow it feels different in a good way. Like it was still true that the plan became impossible for me, but I didn't give up, I've still struggled to get back there.

So as I'm thinking about the things I need to do to keep myself from veering so far off the path in another 6 months it seems I should be doing two things - 1) figuring out how to take advantage of my current state - my current ability to stick to a plan so effortlessly and do whatever I can to maximize my weight loss now - exercise more, learn more about nutrician more - that kind of thing and 2) really work, now, to come up with things that will help me when this suddenly becomes impossible.

On the number 1) front above I'm considering adding Alli to the mix. It's an FDA approved drug that keeps the body from absorbing some of the fat in your diet. It only works if you are eating a low calorie/ low fat diet and well WW certainly counts (well my version of WW does). It claims to boost your weight loss. I'm thinking of adding it, though I have heard that there may be side effects related to your liver, so I need to look into that as well. Again this isn't something I'd want to do forever, but it sort of feels like - if I can push myself now when I'm in this good place that it might help me in the long run - we'll see. I'm also trying to get back into the swing of serious exercise. I'm lucky in that I really like to exercise, but even liking it, it's hard to get back in the habit of it. I managed to stay in the routine of working out about 4-6 hours a week for more than a year, but it's probably been close to a year since I've been that regular about it but I've been slowly ramping back up and am hoping that too will help - both for the shorter run but of course also for the longer run.

On the number 2) front - One of the things I'm doing differently is this blog, and the blogtolose blog as well. I'm thinking more freely talking about this will help me in a couple of ways - one is that I've always been way too closed about myself and I think sharing the burdon is helpful for all involved and that certainly includes this. I know when I read others' blogs I get stuff out of it and I'm sure they do as well, both by getting their thoughts out and by whatever comments they might get in return. But I also think it will add a level of accountability - sort of like making a date with a friend to exercise. If I'm in the habit of talking about this stuff with someone then I'm hoping it will help me nip my future struggles in the bud before they become big huge impossible downward patterns.

I haven't yet decided if I'm going to keep up both of these blogs - I'm thinking not, but haven't decided which one makes sense for some reason. I feel a litte more free to say whatever I want here and more free to just rattle on at the mouth here, but I think there I'm more likely to connect with people and I think that's ultimately going to be the key. So I either need people to come here or I need to get over whatever it is that is keeping me from being more verbose over there and until then I'll probably keep doing both.... eh? we'll see.

Monday, September 14, 2009

this isn't working

I didn't weigh myself. I didn't go off plan. I didn't lose any weight. I'm at 219.0 this morning. Which is exactly what I weighed a week agoish. Starting today I'm going to try something different. Not yet sure if I'm just going to move onto the longer term version of what I'm doing which adds a salad w/lean protein each day or if I'm going to switch totally over to WW. I'm totally annoyed, but luckily not feeling hopeless. I don't want to give up, but boy am I pissed.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

No weighing for me

I just want to mark my progress - that I have been true to my word and not stepped on the scale. Frankly it doesn't feel like I'm losing anything. But I'm not going to be deterred. I don't know what's going on with my body, but we'll just see what happens on Monday morning.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

ok now this is getting on my nerves

So I've still continued to be very diligent about staying on plan and now I'm well into my period and all the residual water weight issues related to that should be over but still I gained .4 lbs today. I know that's not much, but it's 1.4 lbs down from one week ago today and this is the 10th dayish of a diet. I mean seriously. But what it really showed me more than anything else - is that this whole weighing everyday thing - that's got to be over. Because what creeped into my head was all kinds of negative little blips which I'm not going to go into because I don't want them in my head, but still....

So I have one goal for the rest of the week... to wait until Monday to weigh myself again. My little challenge for the rest of the week is that I'm having lunch out with my friend on Friday. My plan is to look at the menu in advance so I know what I'm going to order. She knows I'm trying to lose weight again and will be very supportive, but I don't particularly want to discuss the details of what I'm doing with her or anyone else at the moment. So I'll be picking something that is low in calories and carbs and high in protein. Can anyone say... grilled chicken salad or something close to that. I'll report back as to how I do on both of those things.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's Wednesday and I've actually been below 220 for 2 days in a row, geesh. I've still not gone off plan at all and yesterday I'd lost the pound I'd gained the day before and then today I lost most of another one. Hopefully starting todayish my body will be done with whatever period caused issues it was having for another month and I'll do just fine this week. (you'll see I'm weighing every day this week too - but really that's just cuz last week was so odd).

Last time when I started on this most restrictive part of the plan for four weeks I lost 19 lbs during that time. I've been secretly hoping to make it an even 20 this time, though that first week's results makes that seem less likely, but we'll see. I worked out moderately last week and am kicking up the intensity and duration a bit this week towards my 20 lb goal. If I don't succeed, I'll be fine. I know I'm reaching a bit with it, but I'm going to see what I can do to work for it. 19 more days of this part of the plan. I can do that. I can work hard for that period of time. We'll talk about the next period in a couple of weeks. Also I wanted to see more than 10 lbs in two weeks of the plan (obviously needed to get to the 20 in 4 - but still). And I need 1.8 more from this morning to acheive that which I think should happen.

I'm feeling really good about my mental state as it relates to weight loss. It's all mental with me, I'm sure that's true with everyone, but I know it's true for me. And there are a few things in the rest of my life that are not going great - I'm annoyed and disappointed with my husband for instance - but it hasn't even remotely touched this part of me. I so love when I am in this place. It actually frightens me a little to right that last sentence as if I can and will jinx it. But I'm going to just keep plugging along one day at a time and continue to hope for the best.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Week 1 weigh in

So this could be considered week 2, because I am using my weight from two weeks ago (229.2) as the starting point, but that first week my only goal was to eat more human-like vs. starving ogre-like and I had plenty of food all in one week that are definitely not on my plan, most especially the first four weeks of it. Still I lost 1.8 lbs during that week of more human like eating to get me to 227.4 (which holy hell how did I let myself get back here - but that's a different topic) All that's to say that this weigh in is after one full week on my plan.

I am not a daily weigh-er, especially when I'm following a plan or just doing my best to eat and be healthy. For me weighing all the time can screw with me mentally, so I'm pretty good about not doing it - that said the first couple weeks of a program - well... I planned on weighing in every day the first week - it's fun to watch the numbers drop and I plan on weighing in 2 or 3 times during the 2nd week and possibly 2 times during the third, but that's it - then only once a week on Monday mornings. But this time - this first week - the scale didn't do what I expected at all. Follow along with my brain this first week, won't you...

Tues 224.4 - great - 3 lbs about what I expected, the water is leaving the body
Wed 221.8 - again great - love this first week
Thur 220.6 - still more than a lb in a day - great - I'm calm and just watching
Fri 220.4 - ok well the lb a day thing is over - it was fun while it lasted
Sat 220.6 - LOL I gained - kind of funny (not worried, I've not gone off plan and weight's vary)
Sun 219.8 - finally below 220; 3 days was getting old
Mon 220.8 - Really? Seriously? I gained a lb yesterday? Oh well.

I'm not really worried about this or freaking out at all but running around in my brain these last couple of days has been possible reasons. This first week I did not go off plan so the weight should have continued to fall off each day but it didn't why is that?

-Am I not getting enough cals? I mentioned before how I think I'm getting 80-100 less cals then the original plan with just the bars and whatnot, so maybe my body is going into that "I think I'm starving" state and is holding on to fat/weight at all costs - I guess that's possible but it seems unlikely to happen so quickly, and I've really been trying to add the calories each day and whether I didn't quite add them all or added too many - we're only talking maybe a 100 cal spread - like maybe 50 cal too few or too many. I've been extremely diligent and am not at all worried that I accidentally went way the heck over plan.

-Am I not getting enough water? I drink a lot of water, but I know a couple of days like yesterday I did not have enough liquid. And yesterday I probably did not have enough to eat either. I was prepping and painting a room yesterday - all day and while I ate every time my body reminded me I should, at the end of the day I was at least one "meal" short and I know I didn't get enough liquid yesterday. But generally I'm confident I've been getting enough throughout the week, just not necessarily all water.

-I guess it could be explained if I was about to get my period - I do retain a heck of a lot of water during that week leading up to it - but I'm about a week early for that and don't have the normal pms symptoms anyway.

-My body has just decided it likes being this weight and refuses to change. I've got a very powerful mind why shouldn't my body be just as stubborn?

Okay no idea why it's (as if my body is a separate entity from me) holding onto the weight - but hopefully it'll decide to let it go all at once one day and I'll be back in business.

Well it is what it is and I've decided that for this week, I'm going to write down everything I eat and just see if I'm missing something and actually eating way too much. I really know I'm not, but maybe I'm getting fewer calories than I should - regardless I'm going to write it all down and see what I see - maybe it will shed light on this 220 I am going to perpetually be.

The upside - serious upside - is that I'm fine with it. I know that this too shall pass. I'm not thinking okay it's not working so I should give up. This is the life long change - this is the time and it'll take however long it takes. Really I still have in my mind I started this more than three years ago; at the beginning of 2006 when I first started on this plan. I've just had a whopper of a setback, but even though I've gained a lot of what I lost back, I've still not really ever lost the long view - the confidence in where I'm going. If anything I've gained confidence; actually revising my weight loss goals downward. Oh and I've decided to do progress pictures. So today after I've colored my hair (which desperately needs it) I'm going to get my husband to take a picture of me and I'm going to update it at various milestones.

Okay .... I just went to the bathroom and guess what? I got my period. Hmmm. I'm not sure why it's early but hopefully that's the reason for the stop in weight loss after three days - we'll just have to see. (I just logged into my work computer to see when I got my period last month and guess what again - I'm only a day early so clearly my brain is just off altogether and now I'm thinking this has to be the reason - duh - sometimes I'm such a dork)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

the countdown(s)

Another thing I'm reproducing from the last time I did this is the countdown calendar. I found it helpful to have a goal in mind - sort of like a smaller chunk of time to concentrate on. It started right at the beginning because there is a "quick start" program that lasts 4 weeks during which you only eat "their" food and it works out to just under 900 calories per day. So I created a calendar where I could count down the 28 days. I remember the first time coming home with seemingly small bag full of every single thing I was going to eat for that first week and being very nervous about it. Mind you I know I said to myself "uh it's not like there's any danger of you wasting away in 7 days". As each calendar time was up I would look forward to some upcoming date and make a calendar to that - maybe my husband's birthday, or my own, or Christmas, or when I was going to see some old friends - and I'd count down - 35 days to go, 34 days to go, 33 days to go. On more than one occasion I'd think, well I know I can make it for 33 more days.

So this time I started right off with a date in the future, which is October 10th. That date is the start of a conference that both my husband and I work at for the weekend. We'll see lots of old friends and we'll be working at least 18 hours days and will be likely eating the sandwiches brought in and participating in at least 2 nice dinners. I haven't fully decided how I'm going to handle the weekend eating wise, but I have decided that from now till then I'm going to give it my very best shot. My calendar has a countdown within a countdown. The first 28 days I am doing a similar quick start program and so I want to count down to the end of that in addition to counting down till the conference. As of this morning, I had 23 days left of the quick start part and 35 until the conference. I can manage both of those, though it will be really great when the numbers move to the next set of 1o as in below 20 and below 30 - those are markers I can get behind.

As for my plan and progress it's been going good. Last time I was eating a combination of Medifast and Advanced Health System foods and a day consisted of 6 "meals"; 2 bars each 150-160ish cals, 4 "other things" of about 100-120 ish cals. For two of them I usually chose some soy based chip or pretzel but it could have been a soup or shake or a variety of other things, and for the last two you could have their version of fettuccine alfredo, or macaroni and cheese and they would equal 2 "other things" and it was about 220 cals. In addition to that I needed to eat 10 g all at once of fat (which last time was either a teaspoon of butter or some cream cheese - each 100 cals. Apparently this is for proper gall bladder function and very important.

So this time I ordered from Medifast a bunch of bars and I buy soy chips at the grocery store. My plan was to eat 2 bars (breakfast and lunch) and two little prepared baggies of soy chips (mid morning and mid afternoon) and then come home and eat one of the pasta meals I had left over and when they were gone I was going to find a replacement that was as close to the same nutritional makeup as I could find. The pasta were not from Medifast and I hadn't been able to find them online. I was able to find some Weight Watchers Smart Ones meals that meet my nutritional requirements, but if finally dawned on me - Why not see if my very assertive and more internet savvy than I husband of mine could get me a source of the pasta. It took him some searching and a phone call and an email but he found me a source and I've ordered them. They should be here on Wednesday which is none too soon, since I've already run out of my supply - I thought I had more... oops.

The problem I've not quite solved though is that I couldn't find the bars I had last time and the bars I got only have 110 calories instead of 160. Which means at the end of the day I'm 100 cals in the hole. On the one hand - ok that's good right - but on the other - I'm afraid of not getting enough and then having my body think it's starving and wanting to hold onto the weight for all it's worth. I haven't fully decided to just eat another bar each day, but I've been a bit liberal with some things. For instance I put parm. cheese in my pasta which has some cals but not many carbs. or I went "heavy" on my cream cheese.

The first 3 days as expected were the hardest but then my body figured it out and I'm doing okay. I've exercised 3 days at a moderate pace, just working up to a sweat before stopping. In the past I've found a relatively slow buildup to exercise has helped me not burn out and stay consistent for long periods of time. Usually I'm pretty anal about only weighing myself once a week, but the first week I've allowed myself to do it every day; and I lost almost 7 lbs in the first 3 days and nothing in the next 2. Part of me is worried about the "my body thinks I'm starving thing" but the bigger part of me feels like I'm eating really closely to what I ate before for the other first 4 weeks and am just going to see what happens. Maybe it's as simple as where I am in my cycle. I definitely think 5 days in is way too early to panic so we'll just have to see.