Saturday, June 07, 2008
Hmm, did I already write this blog post? The title came up when I started to type if.
If you haven't heard of clean eating, check out www.cleaneatdiet.com . There's also a magazine, "Clean Eating" (not to mention books, of course). And a sparkteam, http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_
Truly, I've been eating clean, mostly, for a while now. I know when I first started WW, a couple of decades ago, I used a lot of their products. And I'd still like to: some of the desserts and snack stuff looks so yummy, and is so low in points. But read the ingredients, folks: there's a lot of artificial junk in there. It's very disappointing. It's one of the few areas where I think WW has really failed.
Which brings me to another reason I love WW: it's a business, never mistake that. If they didn't make money, they wouldn't still be around. Of course part of the reason they're still around is that it actually works if you work the program, but the bottom line is that it's a business.
So what's to love? It may be a business, but all those involved have been in the same boat you are, and they genuinely care about you. They may mention products, but they'll never give you a hard sell. I can't say the same of some of the other weight loss programs I've checked out.
And the internet is your friend, folks. You can find out a lot about the various weight loss programs by googling. You've got to weigh the good & the bad, and weed out the disgruntled, because there will always be the disgruntled. But if you consider it carefully, you can get a pretty good idea.
Finally, back to clean eating. One of its tenets is to eat every 2 - 3 hours. Now, I know everyone is different, and what works for one person won't necessarily work for everyone. But this really works for me. I am rarely hungry during the day. This is not an invitation to binge, but you start to get truly hungry after 4 - 5 hours -- and when you're too hungry, you tend to grab whatever is right in front of you (which is a good reason to put those fruit & veggies front & center in your refrigerator); it can just lead to very bad decisions.
Thought for the day:
"When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this — you haven't."
-- Thomas Edison
Friday, June 06, 2008
No, I haven't gained a lot of weight. The opposite, in fact (for me). I almost missed my WW meeting this morning. I opened the door to take the dogs for the walk, and it started to rain . . . and didn't stop for an hour and a half. So much for our 10% chance of rain (we really need it, though).
Luckily, it stopped in enough time so that I could take them on a short walk and go. Now, it's been almost 2 weeks since I weighted in, simply because I was going to the Sunday meeting and wanted to try today's meeting. I didn't feel a connection with the leader of the Sunday meeting, and besides, it's a shot in the arm to be able to go before the weekend. Or motivation to do better.
Imagine my shock when I opened my booklet and saw -4.8. OMG, almost 5 pounds? Are you kidding me? I still think there's something wrong with that scale. Granted, that's over a 2 week period, but for me, that's still excellent. Totally unexpected.
And here is where we get to the evil part. I really don't feel almost 5 pounds thinner. I also keep in mind that I was weighing in at 2pm before (after lunch), vs 10:30am -- that may account for some of it. You WILL weight differently throughout the day. You WILL weight differently if you don't weigh yourself on the same scale, at the same time, on the same day of the week. This is why weighing yourself multiple times a day, especially on different scales, is a really bad idea (the scales at WW are calibrated before meetings, btw).
Even more evil? Of course I'm elated. The power of numbers; it's truly amazing. I'm also not cocky; I know it might be that the next time I weigh in I could stay the same, or I could even gain weight. It's possible. No one loses weight steadily. No one. Which is why I celebrate the non-scale victories, too. Which is why I won't weigh in next week, although I will go to the meeting.
And then, of course, you start playing games with yourself. You've got to eat the same things, or weigh on exactly the same scale, or wear the same clothes (okay, guilty there, I've been wearing the same pair of jeans each week). The truth is none of those things matter; what matters is what I put in my mouth, how much I move my body, and how much I dig into my feelings that caused me to gain weight in the first place -- because it's rarely about the food, not really.
And the meeting? It was great. I really, really liked this leader. This is a better time for me. I'll stick with these Friday meetings, when I can.
I think SP + WW is going to work very well for me. WW keeps me accountable. It's got the virtue of meeting with real live people. And it actually forces me to eat just a little less than counting calories alone do, which may account for the weight loss over the past 2 weeks. SP keeps me motivated -- both my friends encouraging me, and encouraging or helping others. It's always there for me. It's priceless, and it's free.
And don't worry, I'm no saint. I already claimed my weight loss on my ticker!
Friday, June 06, 2008
If you're like me, sugar is one of your big downfalls. And it isn't an easy one to kick, either. So here are some tips:
1. Drink some water and wait 20 minutes. Sometimes we think we're hungry when we're really thirsty (that's where those 8 glasses of water a day comes in), and it takes about 20 minutes after eating to feel full.
2. Wait it out & be mindful of how it actually feels to crave sugar. What physical sensations are you feeling? Is it making you irritable? Giving you a headache? Making you jittery? Maybe if you really allow yourself to feel it, you'll find it's not that bad a feeling after all.
3. Substitute something healthier. Fruit, yogurt, a smoothie, pudding -- whatever works for you. Personally, I'm not a big fan of sugar substitutes. I think it's okay to have real sugar, but in moderation, like everythng else. I just feel sugar substitutes are too processed, and I try to stay away from processed foods.
Last night I was debating whether or not to have one of the brownies I'd made. Not high fat, but not without calories, either. Intensely chocolate (but no butter or eggs; a vegan recipe). But small, and I was hungry.
I realized for the same number of points I could make myself a chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie -- much more satisfying, and much better ingredients for me. Doesn't hurt that today is my WW weigh-in. That is the one good thing about weighing yourself -- it helps you to weigh your decisions, too! I went with the smoothie.
Oh, and those peanut butter M&Ms I picked up 3 weeks ago on my vacation? Still untouched. I'll eat them someday, but so far, they haven't called my name.
4. This one I picked up on SP: resist your cravings all day. Reward yourself with a non-food reward at the end of the day for not caving in.
5. Finally, employ good ole HALT (are you hungry, angry, lonely, tired?).
Got another good way to cure the sugar blues? Share it!
Thursday, June 05, 2008
At the end of the swimsuit bootcamp, I lost one inch off my hips & waist, and maybe 2 pounds.
I know that doesn't sound like much. I'm not exactly sure how many pounds I lost, as I didn't weigh myself at the beginning. I was also sick a few days, and out of town for a week. No, I am not making excuses.
Actually, I consider a 2 pound weight loss a month good -- for me. I'm working to raise that number, but we will see the results. I'm thinking I might try to continue taking photos every month.
I won't see much of a difference in one month, but I think I see very subtle results in the photos above. A slightly less protruding stomach. Slightly slimmer thighs (so why don't those tight shorts fit yet?). You may not be able to see it -- I barely can!
But the photos are a way to capture what's going on, painful as that may be. If you don't take periodic photos, one day you'll be at your goal weight, and you won't have a photographic record of what your journey was like. How you may not have noticed results month to month, but boy, what a difference from beginning to end!
And even though I still can't say I'm at all happy with my photos -- in fact, I tend to be happier when I look in a mirror than when I look at my photos -- it does motivate me to keep on working. Because I can change the picture.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
What happens when the scale doesn't budge? Do you go into a tailspin? Figure this isn't working anyway, so why not give up?
This is part of why I don't own a scale. Yes, it's good to be accountable in some way, and while I measure myself, that's not completely accurate either. But the vast majority of us give way too much power to the scale.
Actually, it's been almost 2 weeks since my last weigh-in. I want to try a Friday WW meeting, instead of the Sunday one I've been going to, and because of the way WW does its weeks, that means almost 2 weeks with no time on the scale. And I am actually pondering what is the right interval between weigh-ins for me. I'm torn this week: I'm curious to know what the scale might say, but it's also TOM for me, and I do typically gain around that time.
Still, I have been noticing some non-scale victories. There's absolutely no doubt that my jeans fit better. I'm almost down a size. Actually, I am down a size, but since I like loose jeans, I'm still wearing the larger size.
Now, I have a pair of shorts I bought a while ago. They seem to be magic shorts, because everytime I try them on they still seem tight (the next size up was too loose). I finally realized that while my waist and hips are shrinking, apparently my thighs, one of my worst body parts, aren't, or not by much.
And that brings me to another non-scale victory: I've been losing about 1 inch a month. Often even if the scale doesn't move, but you're on track, you will lose inches.
And finally, yesterday I had a big (for me) non-scale victory. I was doing some pilates. A couple of months ago when I started to use this DVD, I found I could no longer do rollovers (where you raise your legs over your head without using momentum or your hands -- just the strength of your core). That was a real shock the first time I realized I absolutely couldn't do them anymore. I used to be able to do them. Eventually, I stopped doing that segment (you can choose which DVD segments you want to do).
Well, I decided to do it yesterday. They only do 3 rollovers, and I was able to do 2! I felt really proud. It is not an easy move, but it's absolutely great for your core if you have no back problems.
In fact, I noticed that when I did a yoga DVD this weekend -- one I hadn't done for a while because of swimsuit bootcamp -- that I was more flexible and able to go deeper into poses or into a more intermediate position. And boy, I felt it the next day, too!
I'll bet even if your scale isn't moving, as long as you're exercising and eating well, you have some non-scale victories to celebrate, too. Share them with us!
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