Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mocha Coconut Frappuccino Swap

So, my all-time favorite Starbucks drink is the Mocha Coconut Frappuccino. Unfortunately, they discontinued their coconut syrup in 2007; they did bring it back for a couple of different summers, but I haven't seen it since 2012.

2011, right after we got back from Korea

2012, the day they came back
I've tried some copycat recipes in the time since then, but I couldn't justify all the calories I was spending on it--I feel like if I'm going to make it myself, it should at least be nutritionally better for you :)

Well, I was in the grocery store the other day and noticed this in the dairy aisle:

I thought, "Hey, I bet that would provide the perfect Frappuccino base," so I went ahead and bought it. I still had some coconut extract left from my last attempt at a copycat, and I got some Walden Farms calorie-free (I know, crazy) chocolate dip because I had a feeling this wouldn't be chocolate-y enough for me. 

This morning, I blended my frap "base," a handful of ice, a couple of drops of coconut extract and a spoonful of the chocolate sauce, and it was pretty perfect! Not exactly like the real thing, but certainly a good substitute. I didn't take any pictures, but I just threw it into a 12oz to-go cup that I have so it wasn't much to look at anyway. Here are the "exact" measurements I used: 

Healthier Mocha Coconut Frappuccino (makes 1 12oz serving; 3 PointsPlus)
3/4 cup Starbucks Iced Espresso Classics Caffe Mocha
1/8 tsp Coconut Extract 
1 Tbl. Walden Farms Chocolate Dip
6 ice cubes (I don't like mine very icy, so add more or less depending on your preference)

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Food logs: 

I bought Ben & Jerry's, and rather than eating it straight from the pint,
I put in a coffee cup. Worked out well!

I got that cookie, and I literally was not hungry for so long after that I just didn't
 make dinner. I did end up having some crackers because I was hungry later. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bit by Bit

At Weight Watchers, when we reach any sort of weight loss milestone (every 5lbs, 25lbs, etc.) our leader asks us to share something with the group that's been working for us. Since I reached 25 pounds lost at the last meeting, I spoke about my change of mindset with regard to the speed of weight loss

So, here's the thing--weight loss is not a race. I know, crazy idea, right?

Weight loss is like having a baby; no two people's experience is exactly the same. What works for one person may not work for another person; hell, what worked for you last time may not work for you this time!

I had a hard time with this when I first started WW; I'd hear how quickly others were losing weight in comparison to myself (one person who joined after me had lost 25 pounds before I even reached 10 pounds lost--that one hurt!), and I couldn't help but get a little discouraged. PCOS is a real jerk that way.

BUT! I never gave up. I never even thought about giving up. It wasn't even an option that entered my mind. 

Instead, I just kept at it. Sure, I had some off weeks, some weeks/months where I just didn't care.

But I didn't quit. I didn't throw in the towel, as I had so many times in the past. 

Slowly but surely, bit by bit, my weight went down. I stopped trying to eat super healthy all the time, and have settled for most of the time. I've made Weight Watchers work for me and my lifestyle.

I decided that I wasn't willing to live on fat free milk (ugh), fat free cheese (blech), or boneless, skinless chicken breasts for the rest of my life. I love my milk creamy, my cheese cheesey, and my chicken moist (hello boneless, skinless chicken thighs!). I love good, frosting-laden birthday cakes and Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I'm not afraid of a little fried seafood or a good burger and I love a Frappuccino.

And that's okay. I plan and fit these things into my lifestyle the best I can (most of the time). Instead of eating 3 pieces of cake in one sitting, I eat one. Instead of eating the whole pint of ice cream in one sitting, I eat half. If I eat fried seafood one day, I'll eat grilled the next.

We each make our own choices, our own decisions, and we make our own path to healthy. There is absolutely no one perfect way to get there. I'm sure that my path looks vastly different than other paths, and that's okay.

So little by little, bit by bit, I'm on my way.

July 2014 / May 2015

Weigh In + Weekend Recap

I hope you all had a fairly uneventful holiday weekend--I know I sure did. My in-laws came in from Texas (they stopped in on their way to the beach for a week; we'll see them again next weekend on their way home), so we spent Saturday with them.

We finally made it to Katie's Restaurant, a Mid-City staple that was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives several years ago. It was delicious! We all shared one of their signature appetizers, a crawfish beignet--a beignet filled with cheese, crawfish, and other stuff--it was alright, not really my thing. I much preferred the cheese-covered fries with gravy :D For my entree, I got chargrilled oysters and a salad--super yummy!

I had a great weigh-in...

I seem to have a pattern of maintaining/tiny gain, then lose a lot. However, losing this much in one week usually means I'll either maintain or gain a small amount the following week. We'll just have to see what happens! Either way, I'm pretty happy with it--I've lost over 100 sticks of butter! That's kinda crazy to think about.

Since I reached an official milestone of 25 pounds lost, I got a new charm for my WW keychain! I've never gotten the 25 pound charm/washer before (I've always quit around the 20-pound mark), and I'm honestly a little surprised at how excited I was (and still am!) to receive it.

Here are my food logs from the weekend...

I've been craving Chinese food for several weeks now; we *almost* went to a Chinese buffet one night, but I'm so glad we didn't. Instead, I ordered some delivery last night and it was delicious! Totally worth it.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

My Story, Part 4

Welcome to Part 4 of My Story, the final installment. Part 1Part 2Part 3
I lost my job in October 2012 (5 months pregnant), quite suddenly (I knew it was on the line, but I didn't think they'd find a reason to fire me that quickly). I worked for a horrible, horrible place that loves to chew people up and spit them out--but it was easy to overlook as long as it you stayed out of their crosshairs (and they paid ridiculously high salaries to placate us). 

Losing my job launched me into a tailspin of depression that I didn't even recognize for a long time. I questioned everything about myself, and started to believe that I really was the problem, that I was a horrible person and a horrible worker. Marc had been a stay-at-home-dad while I worked, and losing my job meant losing our primary source of income. I was a failure. I failed my family. Nobody will hire me ever again because I'm such a worthless, useless person

Those thoughts stayed with me for a long time. I thought that if I could just get a job, I'd feel so much better. Marc finally got a job in June 2013 in New Orleans, so we quickly sold our house and moved. I finally got a job in October 2013, and I waited for the sun to start shining again, but you know what? It didn't happen. Finally getting a job was not the answer to all of my problems, and I still felt like a sad, worthless, piece of trash shell-of-my-former-self. So, I did the only thing I knew how to do when the going got tough--I ate.

I ate, and I ate, and I ate, and I ate. I ate chocolate and crackers and french fries and more chocolate. I put bags of chocolate in the freezer thinking I wouldn't go through them so fast, but no, I still demolished them in a day. I kept bags of chocolate in my desk at work and prayed that no one noticed just how many wrappers were in my garbage can. I tried to bury the wrappers so no one would see them, but I couldn't help but wonder what the cleaning crew thought when they emptied my trash every night.

Most of the details from this point forward can be found in my post about the Easter Candy Incident. However, there are some things from my past, from my childhood, that I am nowhere near ready to discuss on the Internet, so this part will be a little vague. Shortly before the Easter Candy Incident, my sister revealed some things that happened when I was a baby which triggered something that forced me to recall some things that I'd buried deeeeeep in my subconscious. In fact, until that very moment, I'd convinced myself that those things were normal and happened in all families--yet, I'd never said a word to anyone about any of it. Not a peep. When I told Marc about it that night, he became the very first person in my life that I trusted enough to share my family's secrets with.

When I told my therapist about this, she said that burying all of these things was my subconscious defense mechanism, protecting my younger self against these things that I simply couldn't process. When I finally allowed myself to fully recall everything, it was because I was finally ready to handle it, to fully process what happened. It was such a weight lifted off of me when I stopped being ashamed, and started sharing these pieces of my past with people. I no longer feel as if I have to keep a part of myself hidden, because there is nothing to hide.

All my life, I've been playing the victim. Every thing that ever happened to me was never a result of my own decisions. I felt I was powerless to live my own life, that it didn't matter what I did--bad things would always result.


Then I acknowledged and accepted my past and all that I'd gone through and survived, and I allowed myself to feel years, perhaps decades of emotions that had been buried. I felt sorrow, and anger, and disgust, and pure, simple sadness--and then I could finally move on with my life.

I still struggle; oh gosh, do I struggle. But, you see, now I know that it's okay. I also know that food isn't going to help. Now, I talk to anyone who will listen. I write in my journal. I yell and scream and feel angry and let it all out. I roll down the windows in my car and turn the music up loud. I've learned to live mindfully, and in the present. I've learned that it's okay to be vulnerable, and that vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, but one of strength. I know that my weight does not define me, that it not a measure of my worth. I've learned that I am enough. With all of this, though, I think probably the most important thing that's resulted from all the therapy and self-discovery is this...

I've learned to love myself.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

My Story, Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of My Story. If you need a refresher, here's Part 1 and Part 2.
In December of 2009, I thought I might be pregnant. I'd been on birth control (NuvaRing) for about 4 years, but that particular month, I realized that my period never came like it normally did during the "off" week. I took a few pregnancy tests here and there (all negative), and when my period finally arrived, Marc and I realized we were actually disappointed that I wasn't pregnant. 

I suppose it's one of things where you always say, "It's not a good time right now," but then you're faced with reality and it doesn't matter whether it's a good time because the time is now. I think we realized then that it would never be a good time to get pregnant, so let's just take this false alarm as a sign and go for it. 

By September 2010, I still wasn't pregnant, and I realized that my cycles were waaaay screwy--like, 50 days here, 20 days there, 43 days... you get the picture. I went to a gynecologist and told her what was going on, so she did an ultrasound and it turns out my ovaries were covered in cysts. Yay, PCOS (she said sarcastically). I think I weighed around 280 at that point; the doctor looked at me and told me if I lost 10 pounds, she'd put me on Clomid. Ten pounds... no biggie, right?

June 2010, ~280 lbs
I knew my history with weight loss--it was never easy, and it was always slow. Sloooooow. I knew it would take me months to drop 10 pounds. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I didn't want to go through a pregnancy at this weight. I figured it would be at least a year before I'd be at a "healthy" weight, and we just didn't want to wait that long to get pregnant if we could help it. I remembered that one of the "American in Korea" blogs I read was weight loss-related, so I went back to her blog to gain some motivation; turns out, she had finally given in and had weight loss surgery (the sleeve). 

After learning that, I thought that if she finally gave up on losing weight the old-fashioned way, then there surely was no hope for me except weight loss surgery (WLS). I knew I didn't want to actually lose any part of my stomach, so I starting researching lap-band surgery in Korea. It was 1/2 the cost of having it done in the US, with none of the hoops, and on October 30, 2010, I received my lap band at 275 pounds. 
Looking back, I know I rushed into it. I knew I was rushing it when I did it. I just wanted the weight off. I wanted it gone. I was tired of trying to lose it on my own. I rushed it because I didn't want to lose my nerve. Here's the thing, though--and the thing for a lot of people who ultimately regain after WLS--I never addressed the issues that led to my weight gain to begin with. I truly believe that for anyone who is morbidly obese, there are psychological issues at hand. Unfortunately, most of the world doesn't view "fat" as a symptom of a greater need and most of the people never get any sort of help. Instead, we are ridiculed and ostracized and told just stop shoving food in your face or get up and move or you're a fat bitch. I was so tired, and sad, and sick of feeling so worthless because I didn't have the "willpower" to just lose the fucking weight already. I was over it
Ironically enough, I got a positive pregnancy test on December 4th, 2010. You mean I just paid $7000 to have WLS and I get pregnant NOW???!?!? I weighed about 250 when I found out I was pregnant, and continued losing weight throughout the pregnancy. I gained a bunch after giving birth in August 2011, and then lost a bunch only to find out I was pregnant again in June 2012. Gave birth in February 2013 and reached a low of about 245 before I started gaining again.

I thought about going into more detail regarding the weight loss/gain surrounding the pregnancies, but after typing it all out, I decided it just wasn't relevant. I will say this, though--I thoroughly loved being pregnant. I loved my pregnant body, and I honestly can't remember any other time in my life when I felt so beautiful and radiant.
39 weeks, July 2011; a hair over 40 weeks (delivery day), Feb 2013
P.S. You may be wondering about that lap band. I got it refilled again when I lost weight between the two pregnancies, but I have been living with it unfilled since about July 2012. I chose not to get it refilled post-2nd pregnancy, first because I was depressed and didn't care, but then I realized that I just don't need this stupid thing and it's not the answer I was looking for. I'd get it removed if I could, but it's not causing me any problems and I don't have $15k lying around to have it removed voluntarily. For all intents and purposes, it does not exist.

Friday, May 22, 2015

I Found It!

I found my tracker! I didn't realize how much it had become like a security blanket to me until I lost it. Truth be told, I still don't know exactly what happened to it--when I came home from work yesterday, it was just on the floor in the middle of the living room. When I asked Marc about it, he swore he didn't put it there. Soooo, it's a mystery. Either way, at least it's back in my possession!

Yesterday's food:

The Skillet Corn and Zucchini Pie is an old favorite recipe of mine; however, I probably should have calculated the PointsPlus BEFORE having 2 servings of it. Oh well--it was delicious! I also did not have any sweets at all and I'm still here to tell about it, so obviously this "cut back on sugar challenge" is not going to kill me :)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Challenge to Myself

So, if you've spent any time whatsoever looking at the food logs that I post, you've probably thought to yourself, "Wow, she really loves Starbucks," or "Man, she sure eats a lot of sugar," or something to that effect.

Don't worry, I've noticed.

My little habits cost me a lot PointsPlus and a lot of money--and let's be honest, the pleasure derived from these things is sooooo not worth the cost! I hadn't been that bad with Starbucks until they had their half-price happy hour the other week--of course I thought, "Oh man, half price! I have to take advantage of this!" And boy, did I. Now I just can't stop. This morning, I stopped there before work, and ended up turning around and leaving because the line was literally 20 people deep and the baristas at this particular store are ridiculously slow; like, I've been the only person in there with no one ahead of me, and it still took 5 minutes to get my drink. But I digress... I didn't actually get a drink this morning, but I can't stop thinking about it. 

So, in an effort to save my money and my health, I'm issuing a challenge to myself--Starbucks no more than twice per week (unless someone else is paying), and reel in the sugar at night. Since I don't actually keep any sweets in the house, one of us will often go out after dinner specifically to purchase some ridiculously sugary delicacy. We broke this habit for a while, but little by little the frequency has crept back up. I did really well when I kept a bag of Dove Dark Chocolate Promises in the house; they're 1 point each and just 1 or 2 after dinner totally satisfied my sweet tooth, so I'm going to go back to that. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'll never have rich, indulgent dessert again--I just want to break this current habit of having it nearly every night because that's just too much.

I think it'll be a little difficult at first, but hopefully after a week or two it will be much easier and ultimately reshape my current habit. There's no end-date to this challenge; I'm going to keep it going as long as I can.

This is just one reason why I find it necessary to write down everything I eat--because I can look back through my journal and pinpoint what habits need to be dealt with, such as this sugar habit. I know if I wasn't writing it all down, I could easily say, "It's just one Frappuccino per day, that's not bad," or "It's just one dessert at night, that's not bad," completely separating the two and not acknowledge how much sugar I was actually putting into my body on a near-daily basis.

I'm also hoping that by telling you all about my challenge and posting my food logs here, it will help me stay accountable since it won't just be me who knows about it!

Here are Tuesday and Wednesday's logs--still haven't found my journal! My WW center is not open at convenient times for me during the week, so I'll probably just wait til my meeting on Saturday to pick one up.

I haven't gotten any exercise this week, but despite my sugar habit, my eating hasn't been ridiculously out of control. I am in charge of my decisions, of the food I put into my body. I've noticed that I don't feel as good as I do when I'm exercising and eating less sugar, so I'm doing something about it. I am in charge.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

It's that time again!

Remember a while ago when I was in such a funk and decided it was related to PMS? Well, I'm feeling that zero-energy, total lack of exercise motivation again--though since I recognize it now, I'm hoping to stay ahead of it and not let it get to me so much. Sunday night and last night, I literally passed out before 9pm--both nights, I planned to just lay down for a minute after getting the kids to bed, and both nights I definitely did not see 9:00. I didn't run yesterday or today, and it's really amazing how different my body feels--like, everything is just sore, as if my muscles are just begging to be challenged! Marc is home tonight, so my plan is to get to the gym and at least ride the bike for a while.

In other news, I still can't find my food tracker--I looked all over my car, and all the typical places it would be in our house. One of the kids must have gotten their hands on it, so who knows where it could be! I put everything into the online tracker this morning, and doing that reminded me of why I prefer paper tracking so much--something about actually writing it down just feels so much more real to me. It's hard to explain. Suffice it to say, if I can't find it this evening then I'll go get a new one tomorrow.

Here are my food logs for the last few days... not the prettiest, but I tracked!

Should be 4 points; the Activelink doesn't read bicycling accurately,
but when I tried to adjust it, it wouldn't work--it usually does though.

I hope you can read those. Have a great day!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Weigh In + NSV!

Saturday's weigh-in was a little disappointing: 

I'm attributing the small gain to the pizza and sushi I ate on Friday (helloooo, water retention); also, I was a little constipated again (not sure why this is suddenly happening so frequently, but it sure is annoying!). No matter though; it is what it is.

I somehow managed to leave my food journal at home this morning; I feel lost without it! So, can't post any food logs right now. I didn't have the best weekend, food wise (though everything was delicious), but I still want to post them for accountability. 

Today I had a great NSV (non-scale victory) though! It's just what I needed, too, after the weigh-in disappointment. I have several shirts that I bought from thrift stores in 2013 that wound up being too tight when I tried them on at home; since they're non-returnable, I decided just to keep them until I was able to fit into them. Well, today I'm wearing one that didn't even come close to buttoning back then! The bottom button is a little snug (thanks, baby pooch!), but it's definitely wearable, so... 

Happy Monday!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Computer Monitor Mantras (+ Food Logs)

When I started on this journey of making peace with myself (and food), I felt there were a few things I needed to stay at the forefront of my mind. I thought, "Hey, I'll type up these sayings and put them in a highly visible place," and that place turned out to be my computer monitor at work. Considering I spend about 40 hours per week sitting in front of it, I thought that was a pretty good place. So I typed them up and cut them out, and taped them to my monitor.

"My self esteem..." and "I am enough" came first; "What do I need..." came today, thanks to Michelle at Diary of Aspiring Loser Maintainer. Having these in face all day every day has really helped; when I'm feeling down or bingey, I look at these again and again, and it helps. Perhaps one day I won't need the constant reminder that "I am enough," and I'll simply believe it because it's true.

I've gotten somewhat behind on posting my food logs...

I gotta say, I was a little surprised that my roast beef sub from Subway ended up 10 points--I don't even get cheese! I'm convinced it's all in the bread, which is just ridiculous. Oh well; at least it was delicious!

And today's log...

No activity today; my stomach was bothering me this morning and my knees were sore andfranklyijustdidnotfeellikerunning. It's been a good week!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Why I don't have a scale at home.

Writing this has been eye-opening. Until right now, this very moment, I don't think I realized just how disordered my scale habits were; I always joked that I was obsessed, but I don't think I realized that I was actually, for real, obsessed. How is it even possible that I thought those were healthy behaviors? I look at these words that I've written, at the girl I used to be, and I just want to take her in my arms and tell her that she doesn't have to get on the scale, that it's a meaningless device that has no bearing whatsoever on her value, on her worth. She is worth so much more than what that stupid device tells her.
I don't remember exactly when it started, but at some point in my life, I became obsessed with the scale. Just kidding, I'm pretty sure I know exactly when it started. It was 2007 when I was doing Weight Watchers Online; I would always weigh first thing in the morning, but for whatever reason, one day I decided to weigh myself again later in the morning--and realized that my weight dropped by like 1-2 pounds.

It started out innocently enough; I changed my official weigh-in day to Saturday so I could weigh myself a little later in the morning. So I'd weigh myself daily, but on Saturdays I'd weigh myself first thing in the morning, around 8, and again around 10. I was fascinated by the weight fluctuation, I said. 

After my mom died in January 2008, I stopped weighing myself because the weight gain was just unbearable. I got a physical in November 2008 and was 301 pounds (my highest weight ever); that was the first time I'd been on a scale in months; the last time I weighed myself prior to that November, I'm pretty sure I was around 250. I started periodically weighing myself again. 

We moved to Korea in 2009 to teach English, and life was just so different. I didn't own a scale, and it was amazing. It was freeing, not worrying about my weight for once. Eventually, though, it caught up with me and I bought a scale in 2010--I needed to lose weight to get pregnant, and you certainly can't lose weight without a scale! I started out weighing a couple times a week, then daily, then back to twice daily; due to my teaching schedule, I was able to weigh first thing in the morning, and again a couple of hours later every day. Score! 

I took it up a notch, and routinely weighed as soon as I got out of bed before peeing, then again right after peeing, and again 2 hours later. Eventually I'd start weighing in the afternoons too, just to see how much it varied--"it's so interesting!" I said. Sometimes I'd weigh randomly, just because; sometimes I'd weigh if I felt like I just peed a TON; sometimes I'd weigh before/after pooping (doesn't everybody at some point?). Either way, I consistently weighed myself anywhere from 3-5+ times per day. 

I went on like this, more or less, for the next 4 years. FOUR YEARS, PEOPLE--through weight loss, pregnancy, weight gain, weight loss, another pregnancy, and weight gain--until May/June 2014. I was a freaking slave to that thing. I kept a dry-erase board on the wall above my scale, and every day I'd write down the lowest weight, and every day those numbers would just stare me in the face. The last year, I was consistently weighing myself at least 5 times per day, some days closer to 10. I actually found this post from 2012 on my old weight loss blog about this very thing. 

I started therapy in May 2014; during our second session, my therapist asked if I would consider getting rid of my scale*--oh my God, you'd think she'd just asked me to cut off my right arm. I can still recall the intense feelings of anxiety that washed over me in that moment; it was all I could do not to burst into tears. Eventually, I managed to agree to put it away, out of sight. 

I got home and put my dear, beloved scale on the tippy top shelf of the linen closet and piled towels and toilet paper on top of it. For a couple of days, I'd unbury it just to weigh one time in the morning, then bury it again--let me tell you, that was a pain in the ass. Then one day, I realized that two whole days had gone by without weighing myself once--and you know what? 

I was still alive, kicking and breathing. I still weighed myself every couple of days, sometimes going longer, and I was feeling less and less anxiety about not weighing so frequently. Finally, after about 2-3 months, I was ready to let go completely; I proudly walked into my therapist's office, wearing the biggest smile, and said, "I have a present for you!" You guys, I gave away my scale--got it out of my house, completely. For the remainder of my therapy, my scale lived in my therapist's closet--and I never once felt the urge to ask for it back. 

At my last session this past March, we decided that she would give my scale to an organization called Southern Smash which raises awareness about eating disorders and hosts "scale smashing" events around the country. And just like that--my scale was GONE. 

I still do my weekly weigh-ins at Weight Watchers, but I no longer have this obsession, this anxiety, about the scale. I don't sit around thinking about the next time I'll get on the scale, practicing different stances to achieve the lowest number. I don't obsessively step on the scale 7 or 8 times in row, just to make sure the scale gives me the absolute lowest possible number. I don't strip off my clothes multiple times per day just to get on a scale. 

Occasionally, I do think about possibly getting a scale again--especially with the popularity of DietBet these days--but it just isn't worth it. Given my history, I have no desire to own a scale ever again--for my sake, and for my daughter's sake. Conquering this is no longer just about me, but it's about my daughter (and son) as well--I don't want them to have the same struggles I've dealt with for so long, and it starts with me and the example I set for them. 

*When my therapist first asked me about getting rid of my scale, she also asked if I would consider quitting Weight Watchers; I told her that I'd rather not, because I enjoyed the support and camaraderie the meetings offered. I'm so happy that I chose to go with my instinct!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

My "Escape"

So, as a mom of a 2-year-old and 3.5-year-old who works full time outside the home, whose husband works several nights per week, I don't get out much. My big night out generally consists of.... 


And you know what? I love it. I do most of my shopping at Target because I have a REDcard debit card, plus Cartwheel, plus coupons, and I've found it actually is just the cheapest place for groceries around here. (I get meat and produce from Rouses, a local grocery store chain.) I love their Simply Balanced brand too, for cheap organic options. 

I spend roughly 2-3 hours shopping, and pretty much enjoy every minute of it. I refuse to go shopping with the kids because, well, they're little and impatient, and Marc's not fun to go with because he doesn't understand why I have to slowly go up and down all the aisles and look at every little thing. So, it's become my time. I stop at Starbucks before I go (there's not one inside, but there's one just down the block) and take my sweet, sweet time. I'm sure other moms can relate!

Here's my food log from yesterday... 

You might note the lack of fruit/vegetables--a sure sign that it's time to get to the store!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Weight Watchers: One Year Later

One year, y'all. 365 days. 8,766 hours. 525,960 minutes. 

That's how long it's been since I made the decision to take back control of my life. 

One year ago, I was fat. I was unhappy, depressed. I couldn't understand why ALL of these THINGS just HAPPENED TO ME and where had I gone wrong?

One year ago, I was so desperate. Desperate for change, desperate for happiness, desperate for anything to make sense. I thought, "If only I was skinny, things will be better. That's what I need." I don't remember how I heard about it, but I got a book called The Fast Metabolism Diet. The diet's supposed to jump start your metabolism and help you burn lots of fat, losing up to 20 pounds in the first month. That was exactly what I was looking for! Without going into too much detail, it's a 28-day cycle that's extremely restrictive and limiting, and I think I threw in the towel on day 25 when I stepped on the scale and hadn't even lost 5 pounds. It was all my fault and I hated myself for not even being able to do this diet right and it was all obviously because I messed up somewhere along the way--I must have eaten the wrong type of fruit on the wrong day or something.

The next day I drove to a drug store on my lunch break and they still had Easter candy on clearance; I bought Cadbury eggs and Reese's eggs and Russell Stover eggs and Lindor truffles and proceeded to eat all of it in my car in the parking lot of my office.

And then I cried. I cried and cried and cried until my shoulders shook and my head hurt and I could hardly breathe. I wanted to stop eating, I did, but I couldn't. I shoveled every piece of chocolate into my mouth as fast as could, desperate for the pain to go away, to numb the hurt, to forget how much I hated myself at that very moment. I just wanted. it. to end.

I pulled myself together and walked into my building. I saw down at my desk and stared at my computer screen for a few minutes.

And then I joined Weight Watchers.

Just like that, things started to change. It was like a disturbance in the Force.

I walked into my first meeting on May 10, 2014, and things... I... have never been the same.

I've joined Weight Watchers before, but what makes this time different? A lot of things, actually*.
  • My determination. Before, I always looked for outside motivation; how can YOU help ME lose weight? I would look to people or upcoming events to motivate me. I never saw my own ability, my own strength, my own determination to lose the weight. Yes, motivation is a good boost; however, I think determination is really the key. 
  • My headspace. My focus isn't solely on the scale anymore. In the past, every time my weight loss stalled, I'd fall off the wagon, roll down the embankment, and over the waterfall. Now, when my weight loss stalls, I hold on tighter to the wagon and ride it out (though, I occasionally do fall off--but I always get back on!).
  • Weight Watchers itself is different. The last time I joined, it was much more focused on the scale and all the tricks and tools of the trade--100 calorie snack packs were just becoming a thing, and I lived off of those. Now, Weight Watchers focuses more on the whole person, and the number on the scale has taken a backseat. Now we talk more about how we feel rather than how we look; our meetings present strategies for dealing with situations that might trigger unhealthy food choices. 
  • My meeting leader. My leader is incredibly engaging and dynamic, and she's lost a large amount of weight and has maintained it for 30+ years. This, to me, is huge, because I can relate to her and she can relate to my struggles. I've had leaders in the past who were nice enough, but it was a lot harder for me to connect with someone who just didn't have this lifelong struggle.
  • My meeting members. My Saturday 8am group is so unlike any of the other meetings I've attended. There's such a variety of ages and lifestyles, yet I feel like I could easily talk to just about anybody in there. I feel comfortable sharing the down and dirty aspects of my journey with the group, and I've managed to make a few friends. In meetings past, I've never really been able to connect with anyone, and also they had such a revolving door of members that it was hard to really get to know anyone. 
  • The receptionists. I love the receptionists at my meeting! They know my name, they encourage me when I'm down, and they have never ever made me feel bad about a gain. 
*During this time, I was also meeting with a therapist and a nutritionist who specialized in eating disorders--we met weekly, biweekly, and eventually monthly until this past March, when we decided that I could meet with them as-needed. I'll elaborate on the therapy at a later date, as this post is dedicated to my Weight Watchers journey.

So, you see, all of these things have played an important role in my life this past year, and are still playing important roles. I realize now that this journey will never end; there's no magical ending where suddenly the stars align and I no longer have issues with food. I will always have issues with food--but now I have the knowledge and tools and support to continue in a positive way. I'm fairly certain that I'm going to be a lifelong Weight Watcher, and you know what? I'm okay with that.

I have to remember this daily.

Weigh in + Weekend Food Logs

Saturday's weigh in results...

Down another 1.6--woohoo! Just another pound until I hit 25 pounds lost and I get a manicure! Hopefully I'll get there in the next week or two, but I'm really trying not to assign any sort of time limit on it because for me that almost never works.

I actually exercised twice on Saturday--we walked to our favorite playground with the kids (it's fairly small, well-maintained, and fenced-in!) which is about 1.5 miles round-trip, and then I also went to the gym and rode the bike for 30 minutes during their nap time. It felt good!

My eating wasn't too crazy over the weekend...

I used to pretty much blow all my weekly points on the weekend, and just make sure to stay within my daily points during the week; however, I've learned that's not really the best way to do things week after week, and I think that's what caused my weight to yo-yo so much when I first started WW.

I deliberately did NOTHING on Mother's Day, except lay around and read. When I grew tired of laying around at home, I went to Starbucks and read some more (there's one near me that has a really nice patio with comfy couches to sit on; it's my favorite place to read and enjoy the weather).  I enjoy reading purely for entertainment, and lately I've found some fun (and ridiculous) YA fiction series. I like them because they're entertaining and very easy reads; I don't have to concentrate much to stay with the story. (Don't get me wrong, I read my share of adult fiction too--YA is my guilty pleasure, lol). The Kindle Lending Library and the free books are cheap, easy ways for me to get my fix.

On a side note, yesterday was my 1-year anniversary with WW; I've been working on a post for the last week to commemorate the occasion, but it's still just not ready. I'm hoping I'll be able to finish it tonight.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Need to write this down!

It's been a few days since I blogged. I have so many ideas running around in my brain that I wind up just not writing anything; so I'm going to write some of them here to make them real!

Things I plan to start doing:
1. Post my food log at least 5x/week
2. Finish my "My Story" series... part 3 is coming!
3. Be more diligent about planning specific posts and topics, rather than just writing on the fly

My food log for today... 

I earned 17 AP's this week, but used 29--so, I'm slightly in
the hole.
Not the best, but not the worst either. I never eat McDonald's, but we took the kids tonight so they could play and Marc got some chicken nuggets and french fries. I hadn't planned on eating any of it, but they're just so good. So, I had a few. Oh well. I'm really just guesstimating on the fries, but that's better than nothing. I've also gone through all my weekly points AND activity points for the week, so I don't really have a clue what to expect at tomorrow's weigh in--but I'm definitely not dreading it like I was last week!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Walk more to run faster?

Since I didn't run at all last week, I was nervous about whether I'd lost any progress I'd made on my current goal of running a mile without walking. My current interval is run 9 minutes, walk 1 minute 3 times.

I set off on my run yesterday morning and felt pretty good for the first interval. During the 2nd interval, my legs just felt so heavy so I walked a bit throughout the "run" portion, and walked longer than the 1 minute walk interval. I also walked a little during the final "run" interval, but not as much as during the 2nd. I was expected a fairly slow overall pace but...

My overall pace was 15:31, my fastest yet! I was so shocked. I've read that for long distances, many runners do run/walk intervals and it helps their overall pace, but I didn't think it would make a difference for me since I already run so slowly. 

After yesterday's run, I decided to continue these 9:1 intervals for a while, until I don't feel like dying at the end of it (and I like that the entire interval is a nice, round 10 minutes)--then I'll move up to 10:1. 

My run this morning was even better: 

Look at that pace! It makes me think I might not be this slow forever :) I also would to point out that on the final interval this morning, my pace was 10:40--I guess I really wanted to hurry up and finish! (Granted, it was only 6 seconds, but I'll take it.)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Weigh In (5/2)

So after all that deliberating on Friday, I fully planned on skipping my weigh in on Saturday... sort of. I decided that I still needed to know my weight to keep from getting further out of control, so I was planning to tell the weigh in receptionist to not say anything and keep a poker face, and I'd look at the number when I was ready. 

Well, I got there and told the receptionist not to say anything (just as I'd planned), but then she smiled and said, "It's really good! You even lost a point." I was completely dumbfounded... flabbergasted even! All I could manage to say was, "I just don't understand my body." 

I sat in my usual spot and opened my weigh-in book to see how I did... 

And there it is, folks! I actually lost 2.2 pounds! All that anxiety for nothing. I think it really just proves that my last few weeks of maintenance and the gain were literally all water weight. If nothing else, this has been a good reinforcement for me--don't put so much stock in what the scale says; I know whether I've been eating well or not and the scale isn't always a perfect reflection of that. 

I know the scale shouldn't matter so much to me--that's why I got rid of mine at home--but it sure is nice when you get a good result after several weeks of "meh" results. 

I feel that determination again--goodbye PMS, hello feeling good again!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Facing the scale

The scale. That evil, dirty, scoundrel of a contraption.

We get so hung up on that machine, let it have so much power over us--but it's just a machine.

It does not define us. It is not a measure of our self-worth. Hell, it's not even accurate half most some of the time. 

So why do I feel so anxious at the thought of stepping on that scale on Saturday?

It's just a machine. A MACHINE!

This week has been pretty off for me. I'm still tracking, but I'm so far in the negative in terms of points that I could probably climb Mt. Everest and still not be out of the hole. I also have gotten zero activity, more or less. I did a good bit of walking on Wednesday when we went downtown, and I also walked to the park (about a mile away). I think I've noticed a pattern, however, and I'm going to have to start paying closer attention--I get in these funks about once a month, and coincidentally, Auntie Flo came to visit this week--so I'm beginning to think it's mostly PMS-related, exacerbated by my existing binge/depressive tendencies.

Tomorrow's my weigh-in day, and I never skip weigh-ins no matter how bad it's been. However, with the way this week has been with my food and lack of activity and I'm bloated, coupled with my weigh-ins from the last 3 weeks, I'm just not sure I even need to get on that scale tomorrow. Sure, I might be surprised and actually have maintained, but I think it's far more likely that I'll be up another 3+ pounds and I'm not sure I can take that.

I need to remind myself of this regularly
What do you think? To weigh, or not to weigh?