Archive for September, 2010

Hitting a Brick Wall

I’ve been struggling the last couple of weeks, as you may have guessed from a couple of my posts – or my lack of recent posts. As far as this blog, I’m still trying to find a balance between being encouraging in my posts and being completely transparent as I struggle.

I don’t know what’s triggered the distraction. There have been a lot of distractions/surprises in my calendar these last weeks. I calculated my BMI and was depressed to learn I am still considered “obese”. Maybe that sounds vain, but I thought I had made more progress than that. And then it all came to a head on Saturday when I weighed in. (I REALLY do not want to type the next sentence.)

I gained 4 pounds.

There. I said it. I hit a brick wall this weekend.

I know that there are all sorts of physical things that could “explain” a weight gain. But the truth of the matter is I didn’t follow the program as I should have. I have gotten lazy and distracted. I have been too busy with everyone else’s needs to take care of my own.

That can’t happen anymore. I have to change my focus. I cannot allow myself to go backwards any further.

So, how will I do that, especially when I still feel distracted and down? I’m going to take control of the only thing I can control – the next minute, which will turn into the next hour, the next meal, the next day, the next week.

If all goes at it should (notice I didn’t say expected because I can’t see that far right now), I should be able to build some momentum and move in the right direction.

I’ll let you know.


Another Mental Battle

Lately, I have been feeling extremely empowered. The last few weeks I have changed my exercise focus almost entirely to cardio. I have been working extremely hard. I have been feeling like I can do anything. I AM doing it, and being very successful.

But today I made a mistake.

For a few minutes I took my eyes off of what I have been doing and took a glimpse at what I still have yet to do. I have a LONG way to go – a very long way. I’m sure you’re asking, “what on EARTH caused this sudden shift?” Well….

Remember the whole insurance thing at work, and how our premiums are going up because so many of us are unhealthy? We are getting discounts on our premiums based on certain things. The one that affects me is my moving closer toward a healthy BMI. AND there are a few rewards (aka discounts) along the way:

  • Sign up for Weight Watchers. Check.
  • Join a gym. Check.
  • Lose 5, 10, and 15 percent of my original weight. Check, check, and check.

Lots of success, lots of positive affirmation. So, what’s the problem???

I made the mistake of calculating my current BMI. I am still a very long way away from healthy. Actually, I’m still considered “obese”. THAT, considering how far I have come, is depressing.

Then, I started crunching numbers. Again, very depressing. A long way left to go.

I know. I know. No one has to tell me. I’ve done a lot. I have been very successful, and I have what it takes to continue being successful. I will be successful.

But it was shocking to realize just how far I have left to go.

Waste or Waist?

Remember those incredibly yummy chocolate chip cookies? The ones that are three points EACH? Well, I brought them into the house because the kids wanted some cookies. These were small cookies; I thought they wouldn’t eat too many at one time. Well, I was sort of right in that regard. After the first day, they didn’t eat any of the cookies. The only person eating those small delectable pieces of distraction was me!

Good Grief! I brought the stuff into the house, so I had no one to blame but myself. Talk about a stupid decision. However…

Those cookies are no longer. I threw them away. I didn’t just throw them in the trash, because, let’s face it, in desperation I could pick one off the top of the heap (gross, but sometimes we do stupid things). I wanted absolutely no temptation. I wanted them AWAY for me and FAR OUTSIDE my reach. So, I dropped every single remaining cookie in the garbage disposal. No one was going to have them, especially me.

Maybe you would call my action wasteful. I might have felt the same way a couple of years. But what is truly wasteful – throwing the cookies in the trash or shoving the cookies in my mouth?

It’s NOT wasteful if you save it from going to your waist.

Dinner at home??

I have identified yet another area of my life that could stand some improvement. Some serious improvement. Some might even say critical to my family’s health improvement. I don’t know if it is because I am not any good at it or I just don’t like it, but I don’t cook a lot of meals for my family. There – I’ve admitted it. Now that it is out in the open, I can address the issue and begin a process of improving.

Now before you think me a terrible mom, we do eat SOME things healthy. I can cook chicken fingers and bake french fries. I can make soup, though that’s not such a good item for the summer months. And we LOVE grilled chicken from KFC, sandwiches from Subway, and salads from Quiznos. Yes, I must confess, we eat take-out a LOT, MUCH too often.

As I try to solve this problem or move closer (even an inch) towards a solution, I have to identify the constraints (don’t I sound like I paid attention in science?)

  • I am tired when I come home from work. (I know, who isn’t?)
  • My husband will NOT cook
  • Nathan has to be at football practice three days a week at 6pm. If he is late, he pays. They also have to be at church one night a week at 6:30pm (although Hannah will tell you it is 6pm – she does like to socialize.)
  • The kids and I don’t eat until after practice, though Andy wants to eat at a reasonable dinner hour (who can blame him.)
  • I don’t know what to cook that is WW friendly that I can do in Crock Pot.
  • Who has time to cook something between the time I get home from work, take the kids where they need to be, and will still be edible when we get home?
  • Nathan is a picky (VERY PICKY) eater.

Now that I have a list of constraints (some would call excuses) I can plan for some forward progress.

I think that if I don’t put something in the crock pot, there won’t be anything cooked for dinner. But I believe that both Hannah and Andy can either assemble dinner (if given step-by-step instructions) or simply put something in the oven (that has been pre-assembled and again comes with step-by-step instructions).

I have the beginnings of a solution. Next step, planning a menu and preparing a shopping list.

Always Count the Points

Always, always, ALWAYS count the points. Be honest. And calculate. Don’t just assume you know; don’t make a guess – especially if you’re at home and you have all kinds of points calculators at your fingertips. Here’s an example of why.

Last week, when I was obsessed with the soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies, I assumed (because they were small) that they couldn’t be more than one point each. After all, I looked on the WW website and a chocolate chip cookie was only one point. I was doing exactly what I should have done, right? WRONG!

After a couple of days of this foolishness, I finally decided to give in to the inner voice that screamed – “You know better than that! The nutrition information is on the package. CALCULATE THE POINTS!”

I did. And man was I shocked, stunned, surprised, embarrassed – you pick the word. Those little, itty bitty cookies that were unbelievably yummy and a constant source of distraction for an ENTIRE WEEK? (I know; you want me to get the point. But can’t I enjoy the memory of those cookies just one more minute? They were AMAZING!)

OK, head’s clear. Those cookies were THREE POINTS EACH!

I don’t know what to say beyond that. I was blown away and humbled. But, I did go back and adjust my points for the week. I was not happy with myself. It was a valuable lesson.

And, it’s in the past. I’ve leaving that behind and moving forward.

(NOTE: For you active WW participants, I know that there is a system that allows you to estimate, using Set Points. But I’m not talking about when you are in those situations. I’m talking about choosing to be lazy and not calculating when you have all the information at your fingertips. It doesn’t work out.)

Time to pay the piper

This morning is a perfect example of never giving up, of continuing to do the things that you know you are supposed to do, even when you don’t feel like it.

I went ahead and went to my WW meeting, even though I was convinced that I had blown any chance of crossing that next threshold. However, after last night, I felt stronger and was ready to pay the piper. I had strayed, and the scales were going to show it.

I stepped on the scale, the number came up, I saw the number, my shoulders drooped, and then I sighed. I asked the attendant to tell me just how much I had gained. It was in her laughter that I learned something very valuable about myself.


Do you get it that I SAW the number and STILL sighed?

Not only had I lost the half a pound to take me to 75 pounds, I had lost enough to launch me to 78.8 pounds – 4.2 pounds to be exact!! Even as I write this, six hours later, I am still in shock. It’s a happy, joyful shock, but shock nonetheless.

So, either I wasn’t as bad as I thought this week OR the damage just hasn’t caught up with me and will be reflected on the scale next week. Either way, WHO CARES?! I have catapulted to 78.8 pounds! Let me tell you, that does a LOT for your confidence.

So, this week, I have got to keep focused on following the plan as it was intended. I have got to exercise like my very life depended on it – when truthfully it does. And if I gain anything next week, I will just tell myself that it’s all a journey – a journey that’s going to last the rest of my life.

Taking Back Control

It is 11:31 pm, and I have just returned from 24-Hour Fitness. I have just completed one hour of intense cardio – and I feel AWESOME!

I’m sure your initial reaction to this news is to think that I should have my head examined. Maybe I should. But I feel AMAZING!

If you read my last post, you know that I’ve been feeling a little sluggish on the diet front. I’ve wanted to skip out on the gym and snack on junk food. I was doing a very good job of feeling sorry for myself. The crazy thing is that I don’t have any reason to feel that way. I am incredibly blessed – in every single corner of my life.

So why the late night workout?

A key idea that I have to keep in my head is that bad decisions made have been made in the past. I don’t have to wait for next month, next week, or even tomorrow to start over. I can re-right myself right now.

So, tonight, I decided that taking back control could not wait until the morning. I put on my tennis shoes and drove to the gym. (Mother, don’t worry; I parked very close to the front door.) And then I exercised myself back to a good place mentally.

I did ONE FULL HOUR of cardio – elliptical and treadmill. I feel great. I feel strong. I feel amazing.

Why shouldn’t I? I am those things, aren’t I?

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