Sunday, January 29, 2012


Since joining WW, I've had great success with weight loss but I've also noticed some other changes that are pretty great. The biggest is that I'm not nearly as bloated and gassy as I used to be. (If this is TMI, I apologize!) This is definitely related to my better eating habits but it's also had a domino effect on other aspects of my life.

Before, when I would get dressed in the morning, I would pick outfits based on how bloated I felt - and no word of a lie, this actually limited my wardrobe options, particularly bottoms. Apparently I neglected to shop while bloated. (Who knew?) Now, though, I can put on most things in my closet and they fit well and I know that I can wear them comfortably all day. There are, of course, a few items of clothing that I don't fit just yet but I'll get there!

Another great impact is that I can work out any time now. Used to be my workouts were based on how gurgly my tummy felt and that would influence what exercise I did, if I exercised at all. And, let's face it, passing gas at the co-ed work gym is not among my favourite things to do. Now my tummy feels much better and I'm working at making exercise a regular part of my routine (even when I don't feel like showering again).

But perhaps the best change is that I'm really starting to like what I see in the mirror, especially around my midsection. I've always had troubles slimming out through my torso, something I've partly blamed on my PCOS but which - let's face it - was also a product of me eating 3 cups of mac and cheese in one sitting. And it's exciting to like how I look after so many years of not enjoying my reflection.

I'm also feeling optimistic that my happy weight may not be as low as I'd previously thought. Here I am, at 193 lb and already liking how I look. My goal is 170 but who knows? Maybe as I keep losing I'll discover I don't need to go that low to love myself. And as long as I love myself, everything will be a success.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

All I want to do is eat

And I've already used up all my points for today. And I've used up five of my weekly points. And I'm still hungry. And I didn't even have a workout today.

How strong can I be?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WW Weigh-in #4

I'm slowly starting to learn that my misgivings and concerns pre-weigh-in are proving to be for naught. Two weeks in a row now I've expected either no results or to have gained but I've been pleasantly surprised. Last week I lost and this week:

Last week: 195.4 lb
This week: 193.2 lb
Total lost this week: 2.2 lb
Total lost with WW: 8.8 lb

First weight loss target: 191.9 lb
To reach target: 1.3 lb to lose

I'm not going to lie, this was a pretty big surprise. But having lost both last week and this week is helping me realize that I can have fun and have treats and even indulge a bit and it won't wreck my progress. Just not all the time (not that I was indulging all the time before!).

I also got in trouble from Weight Watchers. Turns out I'm losing too fast. I should be losing no more than 2 lb a week and I'm averaging higher than that. To this I say pshaw! I'm not trying to disregard this completely, I'm only saying that I feel healthy; I'm getting lots of good food; I'm exercising regularly; and I've got the Beau watching out for me, making sure I'm not doing anything drastic. I still think a lot of this weight loss is just my body responding well to better habits and that the rate of loss will slow down soon.

But until that happens, I'm perfectly happy with my 8.8 lb gone!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Three weeks in

Tomorrow is my fourth WW weigh-in but marks three full weeks that I've been on the program. So far, I've had great success, logging losses at each weigh-in. Last week I was a little nervous that a weekend of indulging would throw me off my progress, but I prevailed and still lost.

I'm not so optimistic about tomorrow.

I had another great Saturday night this past weekend and did a significant amount of damage to my points totals. As it stands tonight, I've burned through my extra 49 weekly points an dipped into my activity points, using seven of the 17 I've earned. I know this is what you're supposed to do, that it's okay to use up the points because you can't carry them over and it helps keep you from feeling deprived. Well, I certainly haven't felt deprived this week!

So I'm going into tomorrow with trepidation and I don't know what would be worse: gaining, losing or staying pat. Why would losing be bad? Because that would help emphasize that my indulging is okay, that I can do it and still lose weight. And this would be bad because it would feel like I'm reverting to old habits and that it's far too early in the program to do that. Gaining would be bad because, well, it's gaining. Staying pat would be the least bad of the three; at least I wouldn't have undone any of my progress!

I'll be honest, I'm still struggling with my food relationships. I want to eat when I'm not hungry, but because I'm bored. I'm trying to keep my fruit and veggie intake high but I'm starting to get tired of it. I also have problems listening to my body for "I'm full!" cues; I love food and I love to keep eating delicious things even when I'm more than satiated.

But it's only been three weeks and these are the things that Weight Watchers will help me with (right?). I've said before I'm not the most patient person so there's a part of me that wants to be 30 lb lighter NOW because haven't I eaten enough salad yet? I just have to keep reminding myself that I'll get there, that baby steps are where it's at, and that I'm in this with my body, not against it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Confessions of a Weight Watcher: Peanut Butter

I could easily eat my daily points allotment in peanut butter, any day of the week. And some days, it's really tempting.

Friday, January 20, 2012

My first reward

With only 3.5 pounds to go to my first weight-loss goal (and a new book!), I figured it was high time I selected what that book would be. I've got a pretty lengthy list of books I want to read but this book has to be something good, something reward-worthy, not just another detective novel (which I will always love).

It's also tricky because Kobo keeps emailing me coupons to use on e-books, but the coupons are only good for a few days so I've got to act quickly. (They suck me in every time.) And I got another coupon today but it expires January 23, so before my next weigh-in and well before 3.5 pounds.

So the book I've chosen, the book that will not be tempted with Kobo coupons is:

It's about 19th century Europe and the conspiracies (real and imagined) that exist, the secret societies and murderous plots and general awfulness of the underbelly of society and asks: what if one man was behind all these conspiracies, with one document he created? Yes, I know it sounds a little Dan Brown (those who know me know I respect your right to like Dan Brown as long as you respect my right to hate him) but Umberto Eco is known for his literary criticism, work in semiotics and as a medievalist, so some intriguing credentials to say the least.

Regardless, I'm very excited about this book. Let's go 3.5 pounds!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WW Weigh-in #3

I mentioned yesterday that I was nervous about today's weigh in, after a wonderful weekend of indulging with good company. But weighing in I did and here are the results:

Last week: 196.6 lb
This week: 195.4 lb
Total lost this week: 1.2 lb
Total lost with WW: 6.6 lb

First weight loss target: 191.9 lb
To reach target: 3.5 lb to lose

I was still able to lose 1.2 lb! Woo hoo! And now I'm only 3.5 lb away from my first weight loss target. At the rate I'm going I should be there in a couple of weeks! I guess I should decide what book I'm going to buy myself because I'm totally going to hit this target!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tomorrow's weigh-in

Weigh-in tomorrow could be scary. See, this past weekend the Beau and I got together with his siblings and their partners and we had a fabulous dinner party. And by fabulous I mean artichoke dip with tortilla chips; baked brie with crusty bread; bacon-wrapped, cornbread-stuffed Cornish hens; homemade mushroom risotto; Caesar salad with amazing homemade dressing; and a few bottle of delicious red wine. Understandably we were too full for a chocolate and caramel fondue. Next morning, however, we were able to have eggs Benedict with bacon (two kinds!) and mimosas.

It was a great time and I didn't count points at all on Saturday or Sunday. I got back on track Monday and Tuesday but I'm pretty sure I maxed out all my bonus points (and then some) on Saturday night, so my tracking on Monday and Tuesday won't exactly be accurate. But that's okay. Saturday was such a lovely evening that it was worth burning through too many points. And it's not something I'll be doing every weekend either, so there's nothing wrong with indulging now and then.

Revamping my wardrobe

I've come to the realisation that starting a weight loss regime in January is a great idea in the "it's a new year and I'm going to lose weight" sense but a bad idea in the "I love clothes shopping and there are SO MANY SALES right now!" sense.

I've finally admitted to myself (and the Beau) that I'm a bit of a shopaholic. I really do enjoy buying new things. I am getting better, though, at not buying something every time I'm out, but it can be hard sometimes. Just wait until we get a house! (Sorry, dear.)

One of the promises I made to myself this year is to buy clothes that fit, regardless of the size on the tag. Another promise I've made is to start buying investment clothing, rather than the ubiquitous "fast fashion" items.

And this is where weight loss + January sales collide so unfairly. Yesterday I found two pieces at Banana Republic that I absolutely love and would love to own and that I feel will be pieces I'll wear for years (provided I keep the weight steady). 

The first is this amazing polka-dot skirt:

I've wanted something polka-dotted for awhile now but I can never find anything dotty that I like. It either feels too retro or too clownish. But this sets my heart aflutter. At $110 though, it's investment clothing territory.

And second, a striped shirt with elbow patches(!):

It also comes in navy, pink and green but I'm kind of loving the red. Plus, I've got enough striped shirts in navy and white to not need another. And I'm obsessed with elbow patches for some reason which makes this shirt even better. And it's a good price at $62.

The big thing is that I shouldn't be buying clothes at this stage. I should be waiting until I've lost at least 10 pounds, if not more. Though I've said that when I hit my second weight loss goal I'll reward myself with clothing, so maybe it should be this sweater.

But whether I buy these now or later, I'm going to make more of an effort to buy clothes I can wear for years and years, not just because they're fashionable but because they're classic pieces that fit me well. And it's well-fitting clothes that are most important; if clothes fit me well, I'll look good and feel good and that's what I want!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Confessions of a Weigh Watcher: I almost cheated already

Yup. Here I am, in my second full week, and I almost cheated.

In the winter I love me some hot chocolate and at home, we usually get the light stuff and a mug comes in at 2 points, which is just fine and makes for a nice chocolatey dessert. Today, though, I was craving one and went to Tim Horton's. After getting one, I discovered that a medium Tim's hot chocolate clocks in at 6 points! SIX POINTS! With only 13 points left for dinner, I wanted to just ignore this. I mean, it's just hot chocolate, right?

Thing is, it's only myself I'm hurting. And yes I have my extra points but I'm going to a dinner party this weekend where I don't want to have to be too careful and I didn't want to use up many extra points before that. In the end, though, I logged that hot chocolate. I wanted it, I drank it and I have to account for it.

And it was so good too...but I think I'll be avoiding them in the future, at least from Tim Horton's.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WW Weigh-in #2

Today was my first weigh-in after a full week on WW and I was hopeful. I tracked everything I ate (even when I wanted to fudge some of the numbers. Mmmm...fudge.), I got in four workouts and I made sure I  made choices that kept me within my daily allotment. The result:

Last week: 200.2 lb
This week: 196.6 lb
Total lost this week: 3.6 lb
Total lost with WW: 5.4 lb (I even got a star from WW for losing my first 5 lb!)

First weight loss target: 191.9 lb
To reach target: 4.7 lb to lose

I'm down 3.6 lb! I know that weight loss of 1-2 lb a week is typical on the program and I do expect that to kick in soon. Right now I'm at my pre-Christmas weight, and it feels pretty good that it only took me just over a week to get back there. So now I figure I'll be losing the standard 1-2 lb a week and I'm okay with that, because all the little numbers will add up!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The year that will be

Sometimes the idea and effort and focus of losing weight can become all-encompassing for me and, while it's an important thing for me to accomplish this year, there are other things I want to do. Now, these are not resolutions because I don't do resolutions. Rather, these are things I want to add/add more of to my life to keep my life fun and interesting and not just about weight loss and points.

Here's what else I'd like to do this year:

1 - Read more
I used to think I had to read more literary books because that was something I should do but I've decided pish-posh to that; I'm just going to read more of what makes me happy. I should be able to knock off a book every two weeks and I've started a reading list that will more than get me started for the first six months or so. Right now I read mostly on the subway to and from work but I want to make more time at home for reading, whether finding an hour on the weekend or going to bed earlier so I can curl up with my kitty and good book. Some of the books I will be reading this year include Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan; We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver; The Passage by Justin Cronin; The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern; The Guardians by Andrew Pyper; and Redeemer by Jo Nesbo (the second book in his Harry Hole series), among others. And I've got about 30 books in queue in my Kobo library, waiting for me to buy and read them. So much reading!

2 - Do 10 push-ups
For all the weights I lift I haven't yet become strong enough to do 10 consecutive, good form push-ups. I'd like to be able to get beyond 10, but it's a good place to start.

3 - Knit a sweater that fits
I knit three sweaters this past fall and none turned out just right. In fact, all three were too big throughout the body. This year, I will knit a sweater that FITS dammit!

4 - Be a storyteller
I've always had this pipe dream of writing a book. And of course in my dream it goes on to be an international bestseller and I'm able to quit my day job and work from home and write oodles of internationally bestselling - yet still critically acclaimed - books and live the life of a brilliant writer. Which I guess is why I've never actually written anything as I don't want to see this dream completely fall apart. But it's not just the writing I want to do; I want to be a good storyteller and I want to be able to translate that skill into writing. Really, though, I just want to be able to put out a good yarn. That would make me happy.

5 - Buy clothes that fit me well, regardless of the size on the tag
It's high time I stopped being controlled by the sizes on clothing tags. I'll admit, a lot of that comes from having a boyfriend who is tall and slender and lighter than me. I know that's a really stupid reason to not want to buy clothes of a certain size but it makes me feel huge(r) next to him. The kicker? He couldn't care less. It's all my hang-up. And it's time to let it go.

I think this is a pretty good list. I'm going to keep all these things in mind and work at accomplishing them all. Bring on the year!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Party hearty

Last night was my BFF's birthday party and my first real test since starting Weigh Watchers. I went into the soiree with 13 points left in my daily allotment but I knew those wouldn't last long. Before going, I checked into the points values of white wine, as that's what I'd planned to drink. The result: 5 points for a 5 oz pour. And I had two glasses, so those 10 points pretty much wiped out my remaining allotment.

Over the course of the evening, I consumed a lot of veggies (hurrah broccoli, carrots and edamame!) but I also indulged in some cheese, a few crackers with prosciutto, some hummus and spinach dip for the veggies, a couple of shrimp and, of course, birthday cake. The grand total? 41 points of party fun (including the 10 points on wine).

My grand total on the day was 60, almost double my daily allotment and I burned through 28 of my weekly bonus points. I'm not beating myself up or anything as this is a learning experience (and also the reason for those extra weekly points). But it's helped me realize just how bad my choices were before. I always knew wine was loaded with sugar but thought that a couple of glasses couldn't be that bad. And birthday cake - 9 points! - wasn't something I ate regularly but it was something I didn't exactly restrain myself from when the opportunity presented itself. I also learned that 2 oz of brie rings in at a hefty 5 points. That's lotsa points for a wee bit o' cheese.

Of course I don't want to spend every party eating only the carrot sticks but fortunately my social calendar just busy enough to allow me to save my weekly points for indulgences. And if I go over, so what? I do want to lose weight and I'm serious about it but not to the point where I stop having fun. It will be hard to give up cheese but I can cut back on that; and I can easily cut down how much alcohol I drink. But I'm still going to have fun!

This coming weekend presents the next challenge: dinner with the Beau's siblings/siblings-in-law which will include baked brie; cornish hens; cornbread stuffing; a chocolate fondue; and ample wine. Again, I'll make the best choices I can but I won't let those points stop me from enjoying the evening.

I'll just have to add another workout or two!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

WW Weigh-in #1

Here we are, at my first Weight Watchers Wednesday weigh-in. (I promise I didn't pick Wednesday as my weigh-in day for any alliterative reasons. Really.) It feels a bit weird to be weighing in again since I just did this on Monday but here we are.

Starting weight: 202.0 lb
First target weight: 191.9 lb (and a new book!)

Current weight: 200.2 lb.
Results: -1.8 lb

Yes, I realize losing almost two pounds in two days is not healthy, but this is more my body finally getting used to not eating like it's Christmas day every day for two weeks. Also, oddly enough, I'm right back where I was when I initially started trying to lose weight. But this time I'm hoping to see more/better results, so long as I don't hit too many points each day.

Confessions of a Weight Watcher: Point!

As you know I signed up for Weight Watchers on Monday and set Wednesday as my weigh-in day. That means Wednesday is the start of a new week and since I signed up Monday afternoon, I really only had one day of points for "last week", which was yesterday.

I have a daily points allotment of 32, with 49 extra weekly points. At first that felt like a lot...until I logged a day's worth of points and came in at - wait for it - 55. 

 That's right, I burned through 55 points in my first day! I mean, it's only 23 more than my daily allotment.  Only.

Needless to say, yesterday was a great learning experience for me and I'm a little relieved I got to reset today.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day One

Today is the first day I'm monitoring my food on Weight Watchers and I've already had a couple of eye-openers.

I've become rather lazy of late and started eating breakfast at work. I always get a breakfast sandwich from Tim Horton's, but before you condemn me, I get it on an English muffin and only egg and cheese - no meat. Combined with my standard (and very necessary) x-large coffee I always felt this was a decent breakfast. I've even looked at the nutrition info and at 280 calories it seemed pretty decent. Imagine my surprise when I logged it into Weight Watchers and it came up at 8 points. That's 1/4 of my daily points value right there, in one hockey-puck shaped meal of eggy goodness.

The next surprise came at lunch. I've fallen in love with this bbq chicken ranch salad here at work. It's big and filling and delicious and even has creamy dressing but comes in at 390 calories (dressing included). And it keeps me full until after my afternoon workout, which seemed even better. And then I entered it into Weight Watchers and the dressing alone came to 6 points. I should have guessed it would be high, seeing how it has 20g of fat (!!!) but at 190 calories for the packet, it still kept my lunch at around 400 calories which, again, didn't feel that bad.

I'm dreading dinner a bit tonight as I'm at work and I'll have to be very careful with serving sizes and then with finding the food in WW. But this week is going to be more about seeing where I'm at then about being super strict with my points. Still, though, I'm already a bit in shock over food I thought was better for me (and that I really enjoy). What will matter is how I do each day and where my points are at by the end of the week and if it's still worthwhile fitting these things into my diet.

Oh, and I weighed myself again this morning. All week I know I'll be a little obsessive about it because I was so disappointed with the number yesterday. Though this morning I weighed in at 201.8 lb, which is down 0.2 lb from yesterday. While it's not much, it does indicate that even getting back to my pre-Christmas eating habits will be good for me. I also threw out the last of the Christmas baking last night. There are a couple of boxes of chocolates at home but they'll be done soon; then the last of the temptations will be gone and I can focus on what's good for me. Tomorrow I plan to stock up on fruits and veggies too. It's doing the little things that will help make the bigger things happen - namely being less of a bigger thing!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome to 2012!

This is going to be a good year and not just because I'm pretty sure the Mayans were wrong.  It's only January 2 but there are already a few good things in the air for this year, including:

- the Beau and I hope to buy a house (!!!)
- my student loans should be finally paid off (!!!!)
- I'm hoping to run a 5K in the fall (!?!?!?!)

As for my 2011 goals, I didn't really end up where I wanted to with them. The closest I came was with my student debt. I wanted to be at $5,000 owing and I'm sitting at about $5,200, which is still damn good. I paid off about $11,000 this past year which I'm ridiculously proud of. My other goals, though, not so much...

With my running, I'm still doing well but only managed to hit 4k before the end of the year and that's still with walking breaks. But I'm going to keep working at that because I do enjoy running.

The rest of my goals were all dependent on my weight and fitting into clothes and that just didn't happen. When I started my weight loss plans, I weighed 200.2 lb. I weighed myself today to see where I was and I'm currently at 202.0 lb.

That's right: despite all my weight yo-yoing and missed targets and readjustments I managed to finish the year weighing more than when I started. To be honest, I'm fighting back tears right now but I know some of that weight gain is superficial; I haven't been drinking as much water as I usually do so I bet that within a couple of days I'll be down a couple of pounds as I rehydrate and get some of the salt out of my system. And I've also eaten rather well the past two weeks (read: delicious yet not healthy). Over the course of the Christmas season, I've had lobster; baked potatoes and mashed potatoes; turkey with gravy; stuffing with sausage; roast beef; roast ham (twice!); barbequed goose; pecan tarts; shortbread; bacon and eggs at least four times for breakfast; at least two bottles of wine to myself; cheese (delicious, delicious cheese); and myriad chocolates and other sweets. I've also worked out once since December 22 - though I did have a lovely walk with some of the Beau's family over the holidays.

While eating like this is to be expected this time of year, it doesn't make me feel any better. Right now, I feel lumpy and swollen and soft and doughy and I really hate that feeling. So I'm going to keep up with my weigh loss goals and weekly weigh-ins but there's a new twist. This afternoon, as a gift to myself, I joined Weight Watchers online.

I know other people who have used/are using Weight Watchers to great success and I just wasn't doing what I needed to do on my own. I put off joining Weight Watchers saying that I should spend my money on my debt repayment but the real reason was because I felt like a failure by seeking help. See, I have a real problem asking for and accepting help. I always feel like I should be able to do things on my own - and when I can't I just quit. But losing weight is something I really need to do to feel better about myself. Right now, I don't even want the Beau - the man who has committed to loving me for the rest of our lives - to see me naked. How awful is that?! Really awful is the correct answer.

So I'm accepting help and not feeling ashamed about it. Instead, I'm feeling proud and excited because now I'll have a real structure and schedule to work with (and, let's face it, that's what I love - it's what I do professionally, for the most part!) and clear goals. Here's the breakdown:

- I've set Wednesday as my weigh-in day so I'll be keeping up that part of the plan.
- my daily points are at 32.
- my weekly extra points are 49
- my weekly activity points are 14

Since I just signed up less than an hour ago, I'm going to start tracking all my meals tomorrow. (Today is also my last day of holidays, so I feel like I should be allowed one last day of sloth and gluttony.) My first goal is to lose 5% of my weight, which would bring me to 191.9 lb. I'm hoping to see that number sooner than later!

To go along with this, I've been thinking about what kind of rewards I'd like to give myself because, hey, I should be rewarded, right? There are two things I have in mind: clothes and books. I have a list of 10 books I'd like to read and I've been thinking a lot about my personal style and the fact that I don't really have one and what I'd like to cultivate as my style. So as I hit each goal I'm going to reward myself with either a book or an item of clothing. My first reward will be a book as I'm hoping to be lighter before I buy more clothes!

Phew, what a long entry! Losing weight won't be my only plan for 2012 but it's the main one. I'll post later about the other things I'd like to accomplish this year and I'll be back on Wednesday to track my weight.

Here's to a happy, healthy, lighter 2012!