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NSVs color me happy

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Well, that's what they're supposed to do, right?

I got my Old Navy jeans yesterday. First, let me just clarify: skinny is just the cut; it doesn't mean that I'm skinny! I think their skinny jeans go up to a size 16 or so. But they did fit, so I guessed right. I probably will wait til I've lost just a bit more weight to wear them (or toned up some of that muffin top, whichever comes first).

And in a world turned upside down, the black jeans are looser than the blue ones. I wasn't surprised, because it was that way in the store, but that was a first for me!

It's probably not the most flattering cut for someone with large thighs, either -- but it will allow me to wear my cute little leather boots. Sometimes it's all about the shoes, right?

I don't have a lot of decent looking shorts that fit me right now. I was going to go back and buy a second pair of the ones I bought recently, but when I went back to the store just a couple of weeks later all their shorts were pretty much gone!

I have a pair of shorts that I've been holding onto for years. It's also not a particularly good cut for me, but beggars can't be choosers, and I put them on yesterday. I've been trying them on intermittently since we moved, and they always seemed just a little too tight. While still not as loose as I'd like them, they fit -- even with a tshirt tucked in.

I feel really good about the choices I've made this week. Just gotta keep it up -- DH gets home late tomorrow night (hopefully) and then the fun begins again. "Normal" life, whatever that is.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KEAKMAN 8/27/2009 9:07AM

    Glad you got a pair of jeans that you like the fit of (sorry about ending that sentence with a preposition....it was easier that way!)

I have a pair of black jeans that are my first major clothing goal.....still not there, but I haul them out to look at every once in a while....

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ZEE1960 8/27/2009 6:01AM

    My jeans are falling down when I walk woohoo (mind you they were a size too big anyway) its a quick slimming tip, buy a size too big lol

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DDHEART 8/26/2009 6:38PM

    emoticon Tuck it in and flaunt your stuff!

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SUZY6281 8/26/2009 12:04PM

    Congratulations!!! And you tuck in your shirt. That is still in the future for me and my muffin top. :)

suzy

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LEONALIONESS 8/26/2009 10:53AM

    Woo hoo! All good news! :)

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SEKSUNSHINE 8/26/2009 8:01AM

    Great News! I am proud of you and happy for you! Got to run busy day! emoticon emoticon

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SHRINKINGSHERI 8/26/2009 7:24AM

    emoticon on the NSV. Keep up the good work.

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Downsizing

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's a sad, but true, fact that as your weight goes down, so must your calorie consumption. Your appetite will decrease, too, but the two aren't always in line. At least not for me.

So I play around with portion size. How much can I downsize and still feel satisfied? Will 2 teaspoons of chocolate work instead of a tablespoon? How about 1 tsp dark chocolate chips instead of 1 1/2 teaspoons? The differences may seem small and unworthy, but they sure do add up.

This morning I experimented with my oatmeal. I've blogged before about how I like it salty with a very small amount of dark chocolate chips in it -- a warm granola bar. Which is healthy. How cool is that?

But I like a nice, big serving of oatmeal. 1 1/2 servings, in fact. 1 little serving doesn't really do it for me. I'm doing good, actually, because I used to like 2 servings.

This morning I decided to try just one serving (1/2 cup rolled oats before cooking). Only I decided to add some peanut butter along with my dark chocolate chips. I've tried PB in my oatmeal before, but I wasn't really impressed -- if you mix it in prior to cooking, the PB seems to disappear.

Only this morning I decided to do the same thing with my PB that I do with the dark chocolate chips: put it on top of the cooked oatmeal so it gets nice & melty, and then mix it in. Eureka! It feels like you're eating a decadent treat, when it's actually a very healthy breakfast.

Speaking of PB, I recently tried Naturally More PB -- www.naturallymore.com/ . Yummo! Yes, it has some honey & sugar in it -- but only 2 gms per serving, and I'm eating less than a serving at a time. It just gives me that slightly sweet taste I love. My understanding of flaxseeds is that they're not really bioavailable to us unless they're ground, so I'm not sure the whole flaxseeds in there do us a lot of good. But it's still good, and good for you.

Looking at their site, I see they have almond butter, too. I'll have to try that.

I won't lie to you: I'd definitely rather stick with my 1 1/2 servings. Hopefully when I get to maintenance, I can work that in, but for now, I'll keep trying 1 serving. I'd like more, but I'll have a midmorning snack like usual, and I think I'll be fine.

What have you been able to downsize? And do you have a favorite PB that isn't full of junk?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KEAKMAN 8/27/2009 9:06AM

    We were on vacation this week and I realized just how much I have learned to downsize everything....no fries, small orders, etc. I HAVE made great changes in the past few months!

I like Adams all natural peanut butter. Crushed peanuts. The end. No salt. No sugar. I do have to stir it and keep it in the fridge, but oh man is it good!

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STARTSPARKING 8/26/2009 1:30AM

    I smiled when I read "Yummo!" You're a Rachel Ray fan, aren't you? emoticon

I'm glad you didn't give up on putting PB in your oatmeal and decided to put it in after it's cooked. I will have to try that! Good for you for keep trying one serving. Hopefully your stomach will get used to the smaller portion soon.

Keep up your great work! emoticon

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BRIANNACAT 8/25/2009 5:20PM

    I'm like you, I like to be able to eat alot to be satisfied. I've tried the frozen steel cut oatmeal that trader joe's carries and that seems very satisfying.
Though I love the idea of pb and chocolate chips..will have to try. I have tried a little chunk of banana and chopped nuts when making the instant oatmeal package in the microwave and that is also good.

I also buy the "handful" trailmix (pre-packaged to 210 cals per serving) at trader joe's.
I love nuts but can't stop eating them unless they're pre-packaged like this. though, they are still a little on the dangerous side.
I also like to snack on popcorn since I can eat a lot and not too many calories. hehe.

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LEONALIONESS 8/25/2009 10:47AM

    I eat one or less serving at a time of pretty much everything, unless it's veggies/fruit. Then I go nuts and eat a huge 2 c. portion of fresh green beans with 1.5 cups of cooked mushrooms with red wine vinegar and garlic, like dinner last night. LOL.

I try to keep the legumes to one serving at a time, though, since they can be semi dense, calorie wise. They are still not considered calorie dense (since there are less calories in a serving than there are grams of weight) but 100 calories each half cup adds up!

I only eat a half serving of PB, I've starting open-facing my sandwiches (to cut down on bread calories, bread is calorific but I LOVE it), and I do taco salads on a bed of spinach instead of using tortillas. I eat one serving of ice cream (half cup), 1/4 of a candy bar (instead of half), and 1/2 a serving of my favorite big vegan cookies.

It took some getting used to, for sure. I find myself looking for the biggest bang for my calorie buck, especially with treats. I found Annie's chocolate bunny grahams while I was craving cookies one day. 30 bunnies = 130 calories! I can only eat 1/4 a big ABC vegan cookie for that amount! Plus the bunnies have a lot of calcium and some iron. Score!

As for PB, I like the Whole Foods 365 brand. I get the crunchy non-organic (the organic has palm oil, sadly, and I want to avoid added stuff) all natural variety. Just peanuts and salt! I used to love sweeter PB but I've found that by avoiding sweetened PB I notice the inherent sweetness in the peanuts themselves. Which is very nice!

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JLITT62 8/25/2009 10:18AM

    Grammali, I eat very well, believe me! But there comes a time when you do have to cut calories to continue to lose weight. As you get smaller, you just burn less calories overall. No amount of exercise can really make up for that fact.

We all have to find what works for us. I can tell you right now that I would never be losing weight at either 1200 or 2000 calories -- 1200 is too little, 2000 too much. A lot depends on your height, how close you are to your goal, and so on.

I also prefer to eat 3 meals & 2-3 snacks a day. It just works better for me. So breakfast is actually split into 2 meals for me.

What you're doing is working for you -- that's great.

Comment edited on: 8/25/2009 10:24:19 AM

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GRAMMAALI 8/25/2009 8:03AM

    Instead of thinking of downsizing, try to see how much nutrition you can get into your allowed calories. Eating this way I am never hungry. I have been doing 1200 calories for a week, then 1500 calories for 3 weeks, and then maintaining weight loss at 2000 calories for a month. I've lost 15 pounds this way in the last 3 months. Slow going, but faster in the long run than what I have ever done before and I feel fabulous! I've supersized my breakfast by adding all kinds of good stuff to my oatmeal.

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FINALROUND1 8/25/2009 7:48AM

    I bet downsizing can be diffcult. I can't even grasp that concept yet. I will have to eventually, if I want to continue my progress.

Your oatmeal recipes sounds delicious! I can't wait to try them! I just eat plain ol' Maple and Brown sugar oatmeal. Lol

Courtney

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A slippery slope

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's a slippery slope from a slight weight gain to either losing control or giving up and gaining back a lot of weight. I got quite a few comments with my latest weight gains to relax, that I'm so disciplined that I'd lose the weight in no time. Just as my husband told me it was silly to even think about eating well during our move, or during vacation for that fact.

It's different for everyone, but you know how much is too much. And if you don't, you have to set limits for yourself. It's silly to think you're never going to gain weight just by leading a healthy lifestyle -- weight gains ARE part of a healthy life style. But how much is too much? When do you start hearing alarm bells?

I know 4 lbs in just a few weeks was a definite alarm bell for me. I've written a couple of times that I thought I was back on track, but it took more than one try and it actually still remains to be seen whether or not I truly am -- especially with a vacation coming up.

And, of course, I've been there before: you won't let yourself get 5 lbs above a certain weight, which turns into 10, which turns into 20, and so on . . .

More than one person has commented that they can't imagine me being overweight. Which is funny, because if you look at my start photo it's there in living color. In fact recently, my friend Kate gave me a chuckle by commenting that she's only known me "thin". I'm still not thin! But thin is subjective, I guess.

The bottom line is we've got to be vigilant. It's really, really easy to let ourselves go, and sometimes it's really, really hard to get back on track. So you've got to develop that sixth sense for trouble, and know what your basics are -- and get back to them when you are in trouble. And reach out for support here on Spark. Fellow sparkers make me smile every day!

I wanted to write a blog about my mall walking experience yesterday, but couldn't quite come up with a whole blog about it so I'll just mention my thoughts in closing. Yesterday was my "rest" day, but with walking around the mall, I got almost 12,000 steps in. In fact, I racked up more steps walking around the mall than I did walking the dogs in the morning!

I also did some people watching, and what really struck me is how sloppy most of us dress. Where is the pride in ourselves? I, of course, have been guilty of sloppy dressing too, but it does say a lot about us -- especially when you're dressed sloppily & you're not just putzing around the house. When you look good, you feel good. Is there a correlation between sloppy dressing and weight gain? Is it a chicken & egg thing -- which comes first?

Finally, does a "thin" girl come out of a Lindt chocolate shop with 5 bars of chocolate? Well, I sure hope so, because that's what I did. You get one free when you buy four. So I bought 3 of the fleur de sel I've become so fond of (but I can limit myself to one or two squares a day), 1 dark chocolate chili, and one 70% dark chocolate. The fleur de sel (and the chili) aren't 70%, but they are dark chocolate (cocoa content unknown) so hopefully they're still the healthy kind. I was surprised that I did like the chili dark chocolate one.

I guess the moral of the whole blog is that you've got to know yourself. Know what you can handle, what you need, what you don't need, and be strong enough to do the right thing.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDHEART 8/24/2009 8:26PM

    She who knows herself can best control herself.

I know that when others say "you can relax, you're thin and can afford a little here and there", part of me feels great reallizing that others see me as thin and in control (Kate told someone she knew it was me waiting for her at the station because she was looking for a thin blonde woman....who me?) but I've been a fallen lifetime WW member so I know that it is indeed a slippery slope....somehow when a gain goes above 5, it easily turns to 10 and then well it gets embarrassing and overwhelming and then it's 15 and 20. You keep listening to your inner guide....she knows when it's time to hunker down and get down to business!

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KEAKMAN 8/24/2009 10:09AM

    Observation: you are blessed with a great degree of self-awareness....if you feel like you are on track, I bet you are. Conversely, if you feel that you are getting out of line, I think you need to pull yourself back onto the straight and narrow. Many of us either lie to ourselves or just don't have the experience/ability to accurately judge. But you do. Trust yourself.

And yes, thin girls can walk out of the store with 5 candy bars. Fat girls walk out with four and one is opened and half-comsumed! You have an incredible ability to monitor and "ration" what you eat (I know, it came from hard work, not a natural gift) and it makes perfect sense to me to get in on the deal and have your supply available for a while.

You are so right about reaching out to fellow Sparkers....while I may not be doing as great as I would like, I know it is you and all the others who are helping me to stay where I am and not go hurtling backwards! thanks!


Oh..... how was the movie?

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 8/24/2009 8:02AM

    It is a slippery slope - and sometimes we have to claw our way back up to the track to continue our journey. Good for you for getting back on track. Every lil bit counts.

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SEKSUNSHINE 8/24/2009 7:54AM

    You are so right. Eating for most over weight people is an addiction. Like any addiction you can not let your control slip. This change of life has to be permanent and we always have to be watchful. You have to be able to say NO. Sometimes that is the hardest little word to say in the whole English language.

You are correct on the dressing, if you don't have pride in yourself, who will? I try not to look at the hair, all the piercings, and "art" work on people.

Stick to your guns vacation or no and enjoy yourself! Have a piece of chocolate for me, please!

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KARBIE18 8/24/2009 7:33AM

    I don't know why you gained, but I really DON"T think you need to worry about letting it get out of control. You really do have more discipline than many people I know.

Interesting observation at the mall. I try not to leave the house looking sloppy. I do know that when I'm running out of clothes that fit properly, I lose some of my motivation. And when I look frumpy, I definitely feel frumpy.

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Checks & balances

Saturday, August 22, 2009

If the US can be based on checks & balances, why not our healthy lifestyles? In the book "Naturally Thin", Bethenny Frankel writes about viewing your diet as a check book: if you have a really rich meal, you balance it out by eating lighter at the next meal; if you have a carb heavy meal, balance it out by eating more protein at the next meal; if you have a sweet snack, make your next snack savory.

This makes a lot of sense to me, and I was already doing a lot of it. But I hadn't really thought about balancing sweet snacks with savory ones, for instance.

On my journey back to balance, I've realized a couple of things -- for the moment, at least. I think was being both too restrictive AND too permissive. Boggles the mind, huh?

With that flurry of entertaining and events, I think there was just a wee bit too much rich food. Rich food CAN have a place in a healthy lifestyle, but too much of anything isn't good for you. These couple of weeks on my own again, while a bit boring, may be just what the doctor ordered. Time to find my balance again.

I think I was being a bit too restrictive, too. I made one of my favorite comfort meals yesterday: shells & "cottage cheese" (tofu crumbled, then mixed with an equal amount of veganaise, which is a vegetarian mayonnaise that's really good). It may sound disgusting, and while relatively healthy, there is a fair amount of mayo in there -- but I simply adore the stuff, and I've been eating it fairly regularly for months & still losing weight. Everything in moderation.

I hadn't made it in a while tho. Trying to stick to healthier fare for the most part. But we need those little indulgences.

I also want to be the person who makes all her own food, but the truth is it is very time consuming. It's okay to have a Luna bar once in a while, instead of wheat free crackers & peanut butter, for instance. I try to avoid chips for the most part -- not really my thing; I like them, but I don't really crave them, and they're so empty nutritionally. But I've been eating Newman's own pretzels a few times this week. Still somewhat empty calories, but sometimes it's just what I'm looking for.

And I've gotten back into making popcorn a few times a week instead of a dessert. Because I like mine buttered, it's as many WW points for the popcorn as it is for most sweets, but it just seems to work for me.

We can definitely go too far into restrictive mode, thinking we're being "good", thinking we're still indulging enough. It's all about that ever elusive happy balance.

And speaking of balance, I guess I'm no longer envious of DH. I guess his father is still much weaker than I'd realized -- even tho he's home, he can't be left alone at all; he needs to be watched 24/7. They're going to have people helping them, but they hadn't start coming yet. And as I said, I think I really needed these couple of weeks to relax & not do a whole lot.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDHEART 8/22/2009 2:28PM

    A good reminder that balance is something we all need...I find that if I restrict the indulgences entirely I reall have to have them eventually OR I find that I am grazing without satisfaction ultimately taking in more than if I had a taste of the good stuff.

My sympathies to your husband....we have had and still are having some of the same to deal with and it is not easy....right now the very best thing on many levels would be if FIL would consent to moving into a senior appt....he is so lonely and has mobility issues but I think the house has too much of MIL in it and he won't budge...my hubby is trying to allow him to make the decision himself knowing that a fall or illness is more likely to happen first and it's hard to stand back and let nature take it's course. Anyway, glad your time alone is getting you back in balance and wissh your spouse well.

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LEONALIONESS 8/22/2009 11:24AM

    Very good blog.

I'm trying to walk that line between too restrictive and too "comfortable" as well. For example, I eat soy ice cream about 5 nights a week. I only eat a half cup serving, usually with some fresh berries, and only after meeting all my protein/calcium needs for the day with healthier fare. I still was unsure if this was being "bad" or not.

Part of me thinks that this ISN'T a diet and non-dieting Melissa eats ice cream and it's good that I'm doing completely rocking with portion control. The other part thinks "losing weight and keeping it off = being "good" and eating ice cream this often is not 'good'!"

. A friend of mine is doing a really great job of removing sugar from her diet while changing her lifestyle and I keep thinking I ought to do it, too. But I just don't want to! I think I used up all my willpower for cutting food groups out when I went vegan nearly 7 years ago. LOL. So, I feel mildly guilty sometimes that I eat ice cream, or a quarter of a big vegan cookie or a bite of a candy bar (new vegan candy bars! like snickers, almond joy, milky way, 3 musketeers but VEGAN and not full of chemical junk... OMG!) but I have to focus on that fact that, in the past, I would have eaten a BIG bowl of ice cream (or half a pint!), a whole cookie or a whole candy bar in one sitting.

I feel like I'm being moderate but I also feel like I have this ingrained truth that losing weight = dieting which = suffering. LOL. It feels decidely subversive to eat ice cream and still lose a pound plus a week.

Thanks for the post. Gets you thinking!

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KEAKMAN 8/22/2009 10:45AM

    Balance is so important. Thank you for the reminder. I have little physical, literal balancing abilities....trying to do a one-legged squat at the massage therapist's yesterday made me dump right over on my head... but I can create balance in other areas of my life. Which will probably give me balance in my physical abilities, too!

Hope they get the 24 hour caregiver situation worked out quickly and easily for your FIL. I know, from my own dad's life, how hard that is, both to do and for him (FIL) to accept.

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 8/22/2009 10:23AM

    Journey to balance - I like that. My food tracker definitely is my lil cheque book and I'm very protective of my points - lol. Glad you are relaxing during this time alone. Hope your FIL gets well soon.

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Are you too comfortable?

Friday, August 21, 2009

I swear yesterday's WW meeting was tailored just for me. Basically, it was about getting back on track. Motivation doesn't come hard to me, yet the scale shows that I've been off track for a while.

My leader shared with us her theory why so many people end up giving up after losing roughly 25 lbs or so: they get sloppy because they like the way the look again, or at least feel so much better about themselves.

Genius! Have I been sloppier? I guess the scale says I have been. Do I like the way I look again? Yes. Do I want to look even better? Yes. More importantly, is it important to me to be at a healthy weight? YES! Absolutely. Time to ramble a bit.

I went shopping yesterday. I wanted to check out Old Navy's skinny jeans at $20 a pair. I have a couple of pairs of boots that ought to be worn with your jeans tucked in, only my jeans all have too much fabric at the ankle to easily tuck them in.

Everyone has a brand that works for them, and I already knew Old Navy doesn't seem to work for me so I didn't have high hopes. But I couldn't pass up that price. Unfortunately, they didn't have any petites in my size. And while the jeans did give me a bit of a muffin top, they actually fit. Which totally shocked me. I can order them online, but since I couldn't actually try on a petite size, I'm going to be guessing about the size. I'm still debating what to do.

DH was supposed to come back on Monday, but now he's staying until Thursday, so he can stay longer with his folks. I'm fine with that, but I was a bit miffed that the only call I got yesterday lasted about a minute so he could tell me that. This is one of the downsides of being in NY now -- that darn 3 hour time difference.

And if I'm completely honest, I'm envious that he gets almost a week with his folks while I continue to hold down the fort here. Which I know is childish, and of course I want him to be with his folks, it's just that he has at least gotten breaks with travel with work (which yes, having done it myself I know it's tiring), while I haven't had any. Like I said, I KNOW that's childish, but hey, there you go. It's honest, & now it's out there.

I had planned to do so much the week, but accomplished very little. I really need my vacation! Altho still not quite sure how we're going to eat out with the dogs in tow. We could do it in Austin, it's such a dog friendly town there are places you can take your dogs with you. I'll have to get on Dogfriendly.com again & find some restaurants near us.

One of the foodie blogs I read has been raving about Lindt's Fleur de Sel for a while. It's a dark chocolate bar with salt in it. I bought one yesterday. O.M.G. The dark chocolate is so smooth. And it's 70% cocoa, so it's the good stuff. Definitely could be addictive. I had something else foodwise to share only now I can't think of it.

And to end on a good note, I've found someone thru Spark to meet up with & go see "The Time Traveler's Wife". I would've gone alone, but it's always so much nicer to go with someone. I read the book when it first came out & loved it -- have reread it several times; I know the movie got so-so reviews, but I still want to see it.

So there you go, have a great weekend, but don't get too comfortable!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 8/22/2009 2:01AM

    I agree with your wise WW leader's theory wholeheartedly. I think that's what happened to me. Have a great time at the movies with your Spark friend!

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ELFITZPA 8/21/2009 4:52PM

    Enjoy the movie! I also read the book first and thought they did a pretty good job adapting it as a screenplay. They gloss over some minor plot points but I didn't think it hurt the story at all. I hope you agree!!

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MTER67 8/21/2009 2:37PM

    Glad you gleaned some wisdom from your WW meeting and that you were pleasantly surprised by the Old Navy jeans. Hope that the scale turns around for you soon!

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SUZY6281 8/21/2009 11:08AM

    You are so right about the sloppy theory! I have also gotten comfortable, hence my ridiculously long plateau. See, that is why I hang out around here. To get awesome, timely advice for folks that I respect. Thanks so much!

As for the hubby thing, well I totally understand. Hopefully you will get your chance for a break soon. In the meantime, enjoy some time doing things that you would not normally get to do while he is home. I know that I get lots more reading and craft projects done when my husband is gone. Less interruptions.

suzy

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DDHEART 8/21/2009 10:49AM

    Smart WW leader....we do relax once we've lost a good bit of the weight and that relaxation usually interferes with mindful eating...I loved reading this. Also I liked your honest appraisal of your feelings about your hubby's ohone call last night....if we're honest, we all have those twinges of envy. It's good to acknowledge them. Oh, and a local chocolatier makes a chocolate that has sea salt....yummmm.

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KEAKMAN 8/21/2009 8:34AM

    Great blog. I find that I get sloppy after, oh, about two days of being good! I feel so virtuous that I relax and then wonder why I make so little progress.

(And I hear you and completely understand the part about being jealous....sometimes I find myself wanting my very own vacation to do what I want on my time schedule all my own way. You are not alone, and I just wanted you to know that!)

HOORAY for the jeans! What is the Old Navy return policy? If it's pretty liberal, order a couple different sizes, try them on, and return the one/s that don't fit. A bit clunky I know, but then you can be pretty confident that you will get the right size in one round of ordering and waiting!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 8/21/2009 7:54AM

    Your post came at the mostly timely moment for me - I have been getting sloppy - time to snap it back on track. Try to enjoy your time alone. Maybe book yourself for a pedicure - it's an awesome experience......

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NIXFROMTHEBLOC 8/21/2009 6:17AM

    comfort zones are a killer!
loved the time travellers wife book

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