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New Direction

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I have to admit something. I have NOT been feeling fantastic all the time the past few weeks. Here I am with a great job, my own condo, the best boyfriend I could ever possibly imagine, and now even THINNESS, and I was miserable the past few weeks. I was hungry and tired all the time, my stomach was painfully bloated (I'm almost positive it's from eating too much fiber), and instead of really celebrating any of my accomplishments I just kept setting newer and more difficult goals.

Hold on here!!! What is wrong with this picture?

This is almost not a choice. I was feeling so awful that I HAD to increase my calorie intake. Sometimes I felt like I barely had the energy to reposition my legs in bed, and yet I'm supposedly in the best shape of my life.

No!! I AM in the best shape of my life, by FAR! Weighing 134-136 is such a change for me that I am still learning how to deal with it. Sticking with a nutrition program for this long is so new to me that I'm learning how to deal with that too. I don't know why I hit the wall at the point that I did, but I can tell that even though I could handle the under 1,300 calorie a day thing for a while, that stopped. It has nothing to do with willpower. I had all the willpower in the world but my body was screaming "feed me more" with its sheer exhaustion. It took me a while to get the message. I have not really had any fun the past few weeks - I've been too tired! Any surges of energy I've had were used for working out. At night I just wanted to be in bed - I was tired, plus I was sick of seeing other people eat and drink when I was so ridiculously hungry.

I don't know if it's possible, but I still want to try to lose weight. I still want to follow Weight Watchers, but there are going to be some big changes.
*I am going to use my flex points!
*I think I'll aim for the 1,300-1,550 calorie range. I will listen to my body. If I am having a day where I can handle less, I will eat less. If I am having a day where I feel seriously weak and tired, I will examine the reasons. It might be sleep deprivation. But if it's hunger, I will eat.
*This DOES mean that I am going to have to up the ante with activity points. My daily target is still 21 points. I'll use today as an example - today my food total is 30 points. I have 9 flex points left this week to cover 3 days, so that's 3 per day. So 30-3=27, and 27-21=6. So, I have to earn 6 activity points today. However, with the increased energy I have from eating more, combined with my increased fitness level from all the work I've already put in, that should be no problem!!
*I have to stop making everything no fun. Heart rate monitors, push-push-push until I am desperate to stop after 20 minutes when I used to be fine going 1-2 hours, playing around with eating .5 or .4 servings of arugula to keep the meal at a certain number of points - this is no way to live!!! I need to find a balance. It is still SO important for me to count my points/calories. I am NOT giving myself permission to slack off. I just have to listen to my body.

Weight-wise, I have been at about the same weight now for 2-3 weeks: 134-137. This is FANTASTIC considering that most of my adult life I weighed 160-180!!! I should celebrate this! I am a size 6!!! Big change from my old 12-14s. I do NOT have a perfect body, I still have more fat on my butt/thighs than I want, and I do know plenty of people who are thinner than me...but that doesn't matter. I accomplished this and I should be proud of myself.

Having said that, I am not ready to give up on losing any more weight. I just don't care how long it takes. I figure that as long as I stay on the Weight Watchers plan I should keep being able to lose weight, though it happens much more slowly when you use the flexpoints. I have been really conflicted about that size 6 bridesmaid dress I ordered (runs small), but I think I won't call and try to order the 8. I think that the 8 would probably be a perfect fit at 140 and the 6 at 130. At this point I would be thrilled losing a pound a month. Really! I will just keep to my plan, keep eating healthy, keep tracking everything, never go above 35 flexpoints, and keep exercising as hard as I can without completely hating it.

By the way, I do think it's best to keep my daily calorie goal as a range rather than a strict number, but keep this in mind - my daily total is 21 points. That is about 1,050 calories. If I ate 5 flex points every day, that's 250 extra calories, or 1,250 calories per day. However, I have to be really careful because if I use the max every day, there is no wiggle room by the end of the week, and I WILL NOT GO OVER ON MY POINTS!!! Anyways, WW recommends earning 4 activity points per day. That's 200 more calories, or 1,450 calories per day. Of course, I can earn more than 4 activity points, but that just gives me a general idea. Supposedly the Weight Watchers program is designed to have you lose 1-2 pounds per week. I don't expect to lose that fast with my increased calorie intake, in fact I am actually a little worried about GAINING weight. But I also think that maybe after a little while with my calories at the higher end of the range I could probably handle a system where some days I eat a little less. Also, I can still be strict about logging every calorie I eat, and as long as I stick with the plan maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. I know that there are plenty of diets out there that recommend eating around this amount, or even more...

Anyway, I feel good about this plan. To sum it all up, I'm still doing weight watchers but I'm using my flex points because I desperately needed more energy. I'll be able to exercise more and earn more activity points to eat more - nice cycle. :) I'll keep losing weight but I expect the pace to drop off significantly. As long as I weigh a little less each month, that's perfect. Most importantly, I am going to have fun and celebrate my accomplishments. Beach, pool, clothes shopping, going out at night wearing my tiny new outfits, and sometimes just not feeling guilty about chilling in front of the TV!!! After all, I need rest for all that exercise I'm gonna do. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEPPIESUSAN 5/9/2007 12:41PM

    Thanks for being concerned. I was concerned too, but I am proud of myself for listening to my body and being willing to increase my calorie intake even though I knew that would significantly slow my weightloss. It's only been a few days, but I'm already feeling more energy.

Just wanted to add that I ALWAYS made sure to eat at least 1,200 calories per day, even though my Weight Watchers daily target puts me below that. I am still able to follow Weight Watchers though because of the addition of flexpoints and activity points.

The NEW piece is that I'm realizing that even 1,200 calories a day isn't enough for me anymore. So far 1,300-1,550 seems to be working out OK in terms of feeling good, but my weight has stalled. We'll see what happens! I'm always going to adjust!

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RUNNERMOMTO3 5/8/2007 6:05PM

    read your post, I just want you to know to be careful. It sounds as if you are walking a thin line of what is healthy and what isn't. I think you know what you need to do and you do, do it. You upped you calories when you felt so tired and that's good. I think our bodies need more calories than what. I'm not being preachy or anything, I'm truly concerned for you. I understand you see other's that are thinner than you, are you taking into consideration their body type vs. yours, their age vs. yours, their height vs. yours? As a mother I know I can't compare my children to one another, they are different from each other as we are all different, we all have different bodies. You have done an AWESOME job with your weight loss. I used to push 180 pounds, I understand the fears of not wanting to return to that and I understand what you are going thru with counting this and counting that. Like I said, PLEASE don't take any of this the wrong way. I'm not trying to preach to you what so ever. Just be careful, find a calorie range that is healthy, anything under 1,200 isn't healthy. Your body goes into stravation mode and its going to hang onto everything that you have. Dropping more calories, you will just end up losing muscle and not fat. I'm sure you do know that with going to WW. I think the 1,300-1,550 calorie range is a good range. You need the calories to burn, you can't run a car on empty. If your body is empty what is it going to burn? Take care, tracy

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Ups & Downs

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Last night I was feeling tired and hungry even with the increase to 1,300-1,400 calories per day. But I really wanted to have a happy Tale from the Scale this morning, so I just got in bed and read, watched TV, Jess and I watched a couple episodes of Entourage on DVD. Was back to 135.6 this morning which is still higher than a week ago but lower than the past couple days. Slept until 11:30 this morning - heavenly!!! But I never used to need that much sleep. It was really nice to have less time I had to spread out my food over. I actually got to eat a lot but all my eating was from about 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Going out tonight and will have to survive on coffee and gum. Eating a bit over 1,400 calories tomorrow (have it all planned out already).

Did 71 minutes on the gauntlet at the gym, the first 30 or so were at level 7, then most of the rest was at 6, a bit at 5. I was going to do 99 minutes but when the machine accidentally stopped at 71 I stopped. Did only 1 set of my strength exercises, and stretching....

Gotta shower, bye!


Empowering Beliefs

Friday, May 04, 2007

I just filled in a worksheet I got from my WW meeting. It's called "Empowering Beliefs."

Believing in yourself makes a big difference. It's very important to become aware of what you believe about your weight-related goals. Your weight-management success will hinge on whether and how strongly you believe:
*Your goals are desirable and worth the effort to achieve them.
*You're capable of achieving them.
*You deserve (are worthy) to achieve your desired outcome.

Write a one-sentence description of a weight-related outcome that you want to achieve:
I want to weigh 124 pounds.

To strengthen your beliefs, explore the following:
1. Do you really believe that your desired outcome is worth the effort it will take to achieve it?
If not, how can you make your goal more desirable so that you strongly feel it's worth it?
Eliminating clothes from my wardrobe as they get loose; size 6 bridesmaid dress; focus on racing; summer/beach wardrobe!
2. To feel even more capable, list 2-3 past successes (in any area of your life):
Masters degree, career, condo, Jess, weightloss success thus far
3. What would a loved one say about why you deserve to get what you want?
I work very hard at these goals. My health and happiness are important.

Identify any areas of doubt, lack of confidence or resistance. At your meetings, ask around to see how other members empower their beliefs in these areas.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNERMOMTO3 5/4/2007 10:14PM

    You've given me a lot to think about with my own running and eating habits and what not. I really like the last blog you put up. The worksheet thing has been on my mind all evening....think I may steal it and put it over on my own blog....if you don't mind :)

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What I've Learned About Weightloss

Friday, May 04, 2007

In order to keep plugging away, it seems like you have to keep reinventing the wheel when it comes to weightloss. You can't just have a plan and go on autopilot and wake up cured of your weight issues at the other end. You have to pull out all the stunts to keep yourself motivated. I've realized it's not about "from now on I will -." It's trying something out. Seeing how that goes. Trying something else. Trying what you've tried before, again.

I think I've finally realized that the end goal is not to have The One Perfect Program that I can follow every day for the rest of my life. The goal is to always be able to adjust to life's circumstances at any given moment and to arrange things at that point to align best with your health/weightloss goals.


I can run!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

This afternoon was gorgeous and I used all that extra energy I had from eating extra (I even had ANOTHER bitty, nutritious snack before I ran) to go for a wonderful long run! I had my IPod and my heart rate monitor stopwatch and it was just great! I did stop at two different public restrooms but I did not have to stop to walk, and I didn't feel tired. I think part of the improvement is due to having eaten a lot, and part of it is thanks to my training. I felt sooo good during the workout and soo proud afterwards. I love running on the sidewalk when there's a lot of traffic on the street. Maybe it's narcissistic, but I like having a lot of people seeing me run. :) I LOVE it that this is something I can do easily now, because I really earned it. I could NOT do this when I was lugging 30 extra pounds around. It's pretty consistent - when you see someone out for a jog, they are almost always fit and trim.

So I figured out how to get the distance of my route on mapquest - you just use the "Build Your Route" option. Here's the stats of my run:

6.43 miles!!!!!!! This is longer than a 10K and the longest I have ever run! And to think I never even needed to walk!!!!!!

72 minutes

That works out to just under 5.4 mph and just over an 11 minute mile. That's a pretty snailish pace but I felt GOOD doing it and I know I will improve from there. Any experienced 10K-ers out there who happen to be reading this, what's a good 10K time to shoot for? I think I will be doing one in August and/or October, so I have plenty of time to make improvements. :)

Heart-rate-wise, it took me 20 minutes to get my heart rate up into the high-intensity range (for me, that's 146+). I guess that's a sign that I'm more fit - the fact that my heart rate stays lower longer - but considering that on Weight Watchers you earn more activity points for high-intensity exercise than lower, it's a bit frustrating. Still, I knew it was going to be a long run so I didn't overexert myself at any point. For the most part, once I got into the high-intensity range my heart rate stayed around 148-160. It never did get up above that. But I was sweating after a while, I know it was a good workout, but also enjoyable.

I walked for a minute or two when I was done, but my heart rate zoomed down to 120 within the first minute or so of walking. I think that's another sign that I'm getting least I hope so. 120 is in my low intensity range, and I'm sure it just went lower and lower quickly after that.

I have a few insights from this and my other most recent experiences:
*I am at a fitness level now where I need to run. The elliptical trainer is probably good for my interval training, but that's really not fun so I don't want to do that all the time. I like running because it is not tough to get my heart rate to a good place. And what a perfect time of year to be getting into running. I just hope I can still do it when I get to more extreme - hot and especially cold - weather. Oh, and outdoor running is just infinetely more fun and interesting than treadmill running, plus I think it is a good thing to not have the pace artificially set by a machine.
*I need to find a balance between eating enough to feel good and eating little enough to keep losing weight. I think under 1,300 calories is OK once in a while, or on a day when I'm not going to exericse, but it's much better to exercise every day! (As long as it's not super high intensity 7 days a week, which it won't be.) But for the most part I am betting that the balance will really be at 1,300-1,400. I put on about 3 pounds in 1 day eating 1,700, so that's too much (and yet I ate 1,700 again today), but seriously, I did NOT ruin my diet in any way. I'm still doing fine! Just like some days at 1,200 is fine, some days at 1,700 is also fine. But I think that on a typical day I should aim for 1,300 to 1,400 and see what happens. If I eat that much and stop losing weight I'd rather try to up my exercise and see if that helps, and if it still doesn't, THEN lower the calories a little bit, some days. If on the other hand I still feel weak/hungry/tired at 1,300 to 1,400 I can experiment with adding more, as long as I am still losing. I have to remember that this whole thing is about FEELING GOOD, BEING ENERGETIC, and BEING ABLE TO DO MORE PHYSICALLY! My goal was never to get thin but miserable and so tired that I need to spend 12 hours a day in bed!!!!!!!! It really isn't all about the scale.
*Someone at my Weight Watchers meeting today told me that if you gain it quickly, it comes back off quickly. If she is right, then I will lose the extra 3 pounds fast and will get a burst of motivation from that.
*A few days ago I blogged alllllll about my new cardio program - High Intensity Interval Training and Steady State High Intensity Training. Well, it turns out that doing that stuff made working out NO fun. I can see the value, so I think I should do some serious interval training once in a while, but the steady state stuff can be running for fun outside! (And I should probably add some interval training to my outdoor runs....but nothing that makes me keel over 3 miles from home...)

OK. I am done whining (see my other blog entry from today if you are interested in my whining). I am ready to take on the world!!! :) hahaha.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WANNABSIZE2 5/6/2007 11:12PM

    Great job on your run!! It is SO addicting!! I just did my 1st 10k today. And it felt great and now I'm looking for a good 1/2 marathon to shoot for in about 3 or 4 months! It is SO addicting!! :) Great job!!

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