Weight Loss

Weigh-in Week 137: Let’s talk WW 360

Sorry! This is a long one today. I think I was on a roll! Today at weigh-in I was down 0.6lbs for a new weight of 156.9lbs and a total loss of 94.7lbs. Oh, I’ll take it! Not as good of a loss as I know I’m capable of, but a loss nonetheless. I had some challenges this week like birthday celebration for my mom (60th!!) and quite a few nights out.

I promised a WW 360 chat, and here it is. So what’s the big difference? Well not much, mostly it is a focus on creating habits and routines that will aid not only in weight loss, but ultimately weight loss maintenance. I am totally on board with this. I say any tools to help anyone with creating healthy habits for long-term success is a good step in the right direction.

Now, I’m sure the anti-WW people out there will say – why? It’s just common sense, why spend money on to be told this. Well to those of you for whom making healthy choices and eating reasonable portions of good food is just common sense I congratulate you. I am not like you. For me it is not “common sense”, it does not come “naturally” it is something I have to work at each and every day. It is something I have to exercise at each and every meal. It is something I have to think about when someone puts a plate of cookies out, or offers me a chocolate. It is something I have to be constantly and consistently aware of. Life isn’t fair and you know this is my burden.You don’t need to understand it, but please refrain from belittling it.

I did not learn how to eat properly. For whatever reasons – maybe due to too much processed food as a kid, maybe it’s just the way I am built – but I do not know how to listen to my body when it comes to food. I don’t know when I’m full, I don’t know how to stop eating when I’ve had enough and inevitably eat until I am stuffed. To help me lose weight over the last couple years I’ve had to make some major changes to my lifestyle. Looking back these changes look major now, but at the time they came in gradually. I made small changes along the way and they added up. This seems to be the basis of the WW 360 program: how to make small changes to habit and routines so that we can develop new healthier habits and routines.

Simply stated, here is the thesis of WW 360:

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One of the first ways to take this on it to start to make change to your spaces – the spaces you inhabit: your home, your work, your car etc. If you fill them with good, healthy foods then you will be more likely to succeed in making new habits stick.   Some ways I changed my kitchen include:

  • Not bringing snacks I can’t control into the house. Things like chocolate, cookies, even crackers. If I can’t limit myself to one or two servings, I don’t bring it home. Now, every now and then I re-test this theory with a jar of Nutella, but even then I buy the smallest jar (so that even if I fail, I won’t eat 750g of it, I’ll eat 100g of it). I am not at a place where I can buy this and keep it in the home.
  • I freeze baked goods & bread. It makes it harder to eat a lot of it in a short time. Defrosting take a long time!
  • I stock up on veggies & cut them up so I have quick and easy snacks.
  • I make my lunches for the the week on the weekend so I don’t feel the pull of grabbing something possibly unhealthy or calorie-laden.

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The second main tool that is being touted is the creation of healthy routines that will help habits become second nature:

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So let’s see how I do with these:

  • Eat veggies or fruit with every meal and snack – YES. I can honestly say I do this almost all the time. It is a rare time I do not have fruit of veg. If it happens it will be with a snack where I grabbed a homemade oatmeal muffin.
  • Have a healthy snack with me when I leave the house – YES. I always have an apple and a bottle of water with me. Always. Just in case I get caught somewhere without food (or good choices available).
  • Eat breakfast every day – YES. Okay, I admit it, way back when I used to not eat breakfast. Or if I did it was a 600ml bottle of Coke and a chocolate bar (I kid you not. No wonder I got up to 250lbs!) Nowadays I eat oatmeal every day (with frozen fruit). I love my oatmeal. I even look forward to it on the weekends.
  • Know what you’re having for lunch – 5/7 days. I know on weekdays always because I make my lunch in advance. Weekends are a bit trickier…but mostly because I tend to sleep in so breakfast is only at 10-11am. I do try to plan my food for the day in the shower though.
  • After each meal, decide how many Points you’ll use for your next meal or snack – USUALLY. I could be better at the planning, but as an evening eater I try to leave myself enough points for the evening to have a good, full dinner of at least 10 points and I aim to have zero-3 point snacks.
  • Eat all your meals at a table – Does a computer table count? Okay. Yes, here I fail big time. I eat at my desk at work and I eat often at my computer at home also. I am trying to change this but so far have not been so successful.
  • Put your fork down or sip water after each bite – Not so much. Nope, I still find I tend to be a fast eater. It is also something to work on. But I’ve gotten better at putting my fork down at last once during my meal for a short while. So, slowly…
  • Eat all your meals free of distraction – Oomph, no, I tend to always have distractions. I need to work on cutting these out. I like to multi-task so this is a hard one.
  • Before eating anything ask yourself is it worth the points – Often, but not always. I do ask myself that for sweets and desserts. Especially because I really dislike store-bought cakes and most pastries (but I love bakery ones!) so I try to really think of is it worth it or am I just eating it because its there.
  • Get up and walk at least five minutes each hour – Ha! Well given how much water I drink, this is not a problem!! I could probably do it more at home though.
  • Know how you’re going to be active tomorrow – YES. I try to plan my activity/exercise schedule for the week and keep to my schedule of 3x runs and 2x weight training sessions.
  • Always have comfortable shoes with you – YES, usually. At least during the day I do. I walk to work so it’s a must. It’s only at an event at night that I won’t have them. But I do try to walk as much as possible so that just means comfortable shoes!
  • Identify tasks you now do sitting and do them standing or pacing – Hmm…haven’t done this one at all. A friend of mine told me about how he got a standing desk at work. I’ll have to think about this one.
  • Wait several minutes before reaching for seconds – Sometimes. I don’t often have seconds, but when I do I tend to just go for it. I should wait longer. At our meeting my leader got us to repeat the following sentence: “Not now, but maybe later” as a way to politely refuse an offer of food or seconds. I should practice this with myself!
  • Wear an activity monitor all day, every day – No. That’s not for me. I tried to carry my ipod with me as a pedometer, and it was interesting for a while, but eventually it got boring. Also I walk a lot in my day because I don’t own a car and I live in a city. I’m not too concerned about not getting enough movement in my day. I think that’s one thing I have going well for me.
  • Get 7-8 hour of quality sleep each night – Well considering it’s almost 1 am as I write this I think I’m failing tonight. I do try to get good sleep in every night, but I’d be happier with more. The most annoying is when I don’t sleep because I’m just puttering about on the computer. I need to learn how to just turn it off.

Phew! Well here we go. WW 360 in a nutshell and a bit about me and my routines/habits that I’ve been working on on this weight loss journey.

Have you created any healthy habits along the way? Do you think they’re second nature to you yet? Are there any habits you’re working on creating?

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Weight Loss

Weigh-in Week 131: It Does Pay Off to Be on Track

Well, well, well…I was down 3.8lbs at weigh-in today for a new weight of 161.2lbs and a total loss of 90.4lbs. So it seems staying on track DOES pay off. Who woulda thunk it! 😉

I’ll be honest, I was a bit worried for a while there- made some not so great choices and also went out to eat- I was worried I hadn’t calculated properly but in the end it all worked out. Now, I don’t always expect this big of a loss, and to be fair I think quite a bit of it was bloating from last week finally going down, however I do think some of it was good ol’ fashioned weight loss. So yay!

One of my biggest successes this week was on the weekend however. At one moment I found myself with some extra time I wasn’t expecting and I was down near a farmer’s market in town called Atwater Market. I love the public markets in Montreal because they are open each day, all year round. Of course who’s there and what they’re selling changes with the seasons, the markets are always open. I was at a bulk food store picking up some dark chocolate chips for a recipe.  I like to buy things like that in bulk stores because then I just buy how much I need for a recipe (in this case 1/2 cup) and that way I don’t have extra lying around the house for munching purposes! Well I came across the following: Salted, chocolate covered hazelnuts! Oh!!! I was so excited, I love hazelnuts and that sounds amazing. So I bought 5 pieces. Yup! That’s it. Just five. I ate them and that was it. I wasn’t going to fool myself into thinking I could buy more and keep them in the house – of course I would eat it! So I just bough 5 little pieces and ate those. It was great – I didn’t feel denied because I tried them and I didn’t feel tempted later on (and thus straining my will power) because I didn’t have more to eat. All in all a win win situation. 🙂

I also managed to get some really great pictures of pumpkins and cute Hallowe’en themed cakes at the bakery. This is autumn to me.

 

Weight Loss

Weigh-In Week 126: Autumn Approaches!

Still working my film gig this week, but I managed to pop in to my Weight Watchers centre (which luckily is open during the day) and weighed-in. And yippee! I am down 1.8lbs for a “new” weight of 162.2lbs and a total loss of 89.7lbs. So I say “new” because, well, we’ve been doing this dance for a year now haven’t we? I’m hoping that this time (like I say every time) I can break this plateau. To be honest, I’m not even sure it’s a plateau, as I know I haven’t been on track with my eating when I gain. It’s been the psychological that’s been the most difficult and that in turn has been affecting my eating and resulting in late-night over-eating.

By the way, this is the view I get to see everyday while working the film gig:

Can you see the changing colours?!?! The pic isn’t the greatest as it was with my phone, but I think you can see the colours. In real life the leaves are breath-taking.  This leads me to my post title – Autumn Approaches!!

I’ll be honest, I am SUPER thrilled about fall. I love sweaters and long pants, curling up with a hot mug o’something, cuddling under covers, and running in the crisp autumn air, and of course comfort foods. Yum!  In my experience I’ve always had success losing weight in the fall months. There’s something about the foods I make that both fill me up and keep me satisfied longer so I don’t snack. But they’re foods I don’t make in the summer – like thick soups, squash & potato dishes (yes I eat potatoes still!!)

I’m feeling like my head is much more in the game these days. I’m finding it easier to resist foods late at night and to make better choices during the day. Each day I am able to stay on track makes the next day easier. Funny how that works isn’t it? Yes, this IS worth it. It is worth it to make good choices, to eat healthy foods, and exercise. I can see the changes – mind & body. Sometimes I have to work harder on one or the other, but in the end it’s all worth it. I keep chugging on. I’m looking forward to the fall that’s coming, I think I can do it. I’d love to break this 158-164 range I feel stuck in by the end of the year and so that’s my goal. Not more than that for the time being. Small, attainable goals is what it’s about.

This week my goals are to keep up my running (oh, side note update: After 10 days without running my foot is completely healed! The strain and tight muscle is completely gone!! I even went for a nice 45 minute run last night.) and to track everything I eat and eat within my points for the week. Simple right? So for now, the goal is just to do this for 7 days, that’s it. I’ll take it all one meal at a time, one day at a time, one week at a time.

Also, in case you don’t read my twitter feed check this out. Speaking of running – whether you’re new to running, thinking about it, or a seasoned pro – THIS.

Weight Loss

Weigh-In Week 119: No weigh-in and the insatiable hunger

Don’t forget about my blogiversary giveaway. Leave your comment here for your chance  – it’s on until Friday at 11:59pm Eastern time.

So no weigh-in today. I’ve mentioned before that I do mostly contract work and I got called in last minute in for a possible new job – can’t turn down that opportunity so off I went. To be honest, I’m not distraught over it. I was kinda expecting a gain. I know, I know, I KNOW! That’s the time I should I go for a WI. But I didn’t and here I am. I’m having a fantastically great day so far food and exercise wise! I’ve been on track and tracking everything. Breakfast was oatmeal and coffee, lunch was an avocado and a chicken breast, veggies & fruit for snacks, a 35 minute run (just over 5K at a moderate pace) after work, and a HUGE 3-egg omelette for dinner and all within my daily points. Wow, I haven’t eaten eggs in ages! So good and great source of post-run protein. I’ve forgotten how much better a whole dinner tastes rather than wasting my points on snacking during the day!

I know when I stay within my points  and eat good food I lose. So why is it so difficult sometimes? Why, like this past week, did it feel like my hunger was insatiable. I could have eaten from morning til night and not felt full. What gives body? I know that with weight loss your body starts working against you and increases your hunger to bring your weight back up (if you’re interested you can read about the science here). But come on! It was insane this week. I’d think I had it under control and then…nope! No I didn’t!

Okay, but I’m back on track now which is what matters. I’m also reminded of this little gem going around the facebook interwebs thanks to the awesome George Takei. So yeah, this week might have been a fail, but it’s no reason to give up and to not keep going. Slow and un-steady it might be, but it’s a heck of a lot better than weighing 250lbs I’ll tell you that!

 

Weight Loss

Weigh-In Week 114: Well, it’s better than the alternative…

Today at weigh-in I was down 0.2lbs for a new weight of 164.2lbs and a total loss of 87.4lbs. Well at least it’s a loss right? Right?

Well I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was relieved. It’s not a big loss, it’s kinda like a stay the same but it’s a not a gain and that makes me very, very happy. I’d also be lying if I didn’t say I completely deserved a gain. I was able to make good choices all week, even on the Canada Day picnic from my last post, but I did slip up. Twice. Badly. I had two mini-binges this week. This is part of a bigger problem I’m starting to identify. This is the post I’ve been working on and I hope to have it up by the weekend (yes, yes, I know I’ve said it before!). I won’t say more for now as I formulate my thoughts, it’s nothing horrible, but it has been eye opening these past two weeks.

On the subject of not losing much, and pretty much being back where I started at the beginning of the year, my leader at today’s meeting said something that struck a chord with me. She said: We let ourselves get discouraged. Well if more than half a year of not losing is not reason to get discouraged I don’t know what is! But I refuse. This isn’t something that ends. So what if I’m on a maintaining streak. I will not allow myself to get discouraged. This is but a blip. In the greater scheme of things this will not seem like such a big deal. I just have to keep at it.

I leave this weekend for 3 week contract in New York. I won’t be in my regular environment – but let’s not kid ourselves, it’s not like my regular environment has been so kind to me lately. And so I’m going to take these next 3 weeks as the opportunity that they are. The opportunity to get control of my eating again. I’ll be working 12 hour days again and I’ll have access to a kitchen to make my own meals. My plan is to make both lunch and dinner almost all the days. This way I’ll minimize points guesstimating. My goal is modest – I’d like to lose 2lbs over the 3 weeks. That’s not a lot, but it get’s me back on track so that’s my goal.

And just in case I feel myself slipping back into being discouraged. I should remember these:

Oh Pinterest…how you amuse me so with your pithy motivations. But you know what, these ones worked on me so what do I know!

How do you keep yourself from getting discouraged when the scale isn’t moving the way you’d like it to? Advice, suggestions, & pinterest links welcome!

Weight Loss

Weigh-in Week 110: Not Too Shabby

Not too shabby at all. Today at weigh-in I was down 1.2lbs for a new weight of 160.2lbs and a total loss of 91.4lbs. Oh 160s how you tease me. I always think I’ll finally be able to let you go but alas! I come so close and yet so far. I need only lose .3lbs next week to finally get back into the 150s. I think I can do – nothing extreme (other than stress!) coming at me for the next week.

Now the annoying thing is that I will have to miss my meeting next week and probably my weigh-in the week after. I’m going out of town for a contract and next week I’ll still be able to pop by in the morning – my centre opens at 7:30am and is open all morning for drop-in WIs but won’t be able to attend the actual meeting. This makes me a bit sad as next week’s topic is tackling eating out in our city. And our city has tons of restaurants! Apparently we have the most restaurants per capita in North America. Choice is definitely not missing here.  The week after I’ll be in a different province for work and I don’t know if I’ll be able to have the time to weigh-in or if they will accept my pass. So, just in case, I’ve picked up a bunch of handouts to read over the next 2 weeks to help keep me on track:

The handouts I picked up include:

Helpful Habits:

  • Manage your Environment
  • Ask for Help
  • Learn from Experience
  • Prepare Yourself
  • Manage your Thoughts
  • Take Care of Yourself
  • Monitor Yourself
  • Manage Your Feelings

Tools for Living:

  • Anchoring
  • Motivating Strategy
  • Empowering Beliefs

I’m hoping these will help keep me on track. Also keeping me on track – berries have been on sale! Blueberries and raspberries have been my snacks the last two days! Yippee! They are my favourite snacks and I love them more when on sale 😉