Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wherein I Celebrate My First WW Christmas (and Weigh-in)

After a gorge-fest weekend I am happy to report a .2-pound loss. That’s not bad considering it was my first Christmas on WW. For me, Christmas is always more food-laden than Thanksgiving. It’s not so much the main meal on Christmas Day as it is the cookies and snacks that linger on afterwards. My family is a stocking-stuffer family. At the bottom of my stocking there is always a 4-inch thick layer of sweets. This year, I saved four small Dove bar minis and put the rest of the treats in a bag for Clay to take to work with him. I hate to give away those tiny gifts from my family, but it’s better than consuming them all.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Mine was pretty fantastic. I didn’t track on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I put a few things in my eTools that I knew I would be eating, but I didn’t plan out my meal the way I did for Thanksgiving. We spent Christmas Eve at Clay’s sister’s house. I ate a hot dog with some sauerkraut, a piece of pizza, and a few cookies. Not bad, right? Right. But then I saw the cheese tray. And the mini hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls. Shut. Your. Face. I ate a decent share, then retired to the living room so I wouldn’t be further tempted.
Christmas Day offered the traditional meal and some chocolate pie and cookies (so many cookies this year!). I knew there would be more food to consume yesterday, but I tried my best to stay on point for the last day of my holiday vacation. Clay and I tried out a new sushi restaurant in Monroeville. It’s been open for three weeks and I’m happy to say it was a pretty good place (Yamato Hibachi & Sushi Bar). The miso soup fell short, as did Clay’s pad thai, but the sushi was excellent. I had a spicy crab roll, a sweet potato roll, and a vegetable roll. I ended up taking most of the sweet potato roll home with me.
Also, I got my scale! Here’s a picture I found of it online: 
It’s pretty fantastic so far. I programmed it late last night, so I haven’t had time to play around with it much, but it does everything you can imagine a scale could do – body fat, caloric intake for maintenance, caloric intake for weight loss, bone density, water weight, etc. Soon it’ll be making dinner for me and brushing the neighbor’s dog. Today was my first at-home weigh-in. I have one more WW meeting next week then I’m officially on my own indefinitely.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and you got exactly what you asked for. I didn’t ask for this little guy, but Clay apparently thought I needed one (and I’m glad he thought that because I love it):
Weight loss this week: -.2 pounds
Total weight loss: 36.4 pounds

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Switch-up (and My Weekly Weigh-in)

Why, hello there. I gained .8 pounds this week. I worked out more last week than I did the previous three weeks, and I ate just the same (on point with the exception of two days), so I don’t know what gives. I did notice that my foot is swelling a bit and so perhaps it was just a slight water weight gain. I was down a pound already on my home scale this morning. Now that I’ve lost a decent amount of weight, I’m noticing things about my body that I never realized before. For instance, my foot, which used to be swollen non-stop, now only swells around the week or two leading up to my period. I don’t like to talk, or read, about periods on platforms like this (blogs, Facebook, etc.). I find it uncouth. But weight loss, as I’m finding, is really affected by it. I will leave it at that.

I’ve also been inadvertently watching my sodium intake. I cut back on my turkey kielbasa consumption (don’t even get me started, kids. I will devour anything with “turkey kielbasa” in the title) and other sodium-heavy foods in the past few weeks. Not intentionally, it just happened that way.  However, last week I ate some kielbasa and also had that Aldi’s soup for lunch several days. Store bought soup, as we all know, is full of sodium. I think those two inclusions in my diet also contributed to my weight gain.

I have been toying around with trying to go a week with eating nothing but natural foods – no packaged foods, no mixes, no preservatives – just veggies, fresh meat, and items made from scratch. Since starting WW I’ve cut back on those types of foods considerably, but I haven’t eliminated them completely. It would take a lot of planning and attention for the first attempt and I just don’t have the energy or time to do it quite yet. But I think of it often. Once things slow down, if they ever slow down, I will try it out. Hopefully winter will offer some extra down time, but I don’t think it will. I’m teaching a few classes in January and taking a semester-long class, so my life will be very hectic trying to juggle those things in addition to work. But it’s worth it, I think.

I have one more official WW meeting and then it’s just me and eTools. I’m kind of excited about it, actually. It will save me some money and I think time I’ve spent in meetings so far has laid a pretty good foundation for my healthier lifestyle. My exercise routine is also going to be all haphazard for the next four months as well. I have class on M, W, F, so I won’t get to do Kettlebell anymore. Boo! And the gym director, Lara, is also starting a weight lifting class on Wednesdays that I’ll miss, too. Double boo! But I have a plan in the works that would allow me to keep up with all the progress I made (I managed to do a 1-minute-long plank yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!! More about that later):

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 30 minutes weight lifting, 30 minutes cardio (all at work)
Wednesday: Kettlebell at home
Thursday: spinning (at work)
Friday: Rest or YMCA workout
Saturday: Rest or YMCA workout
Sunday: 45 minutes cardio at YMCA

How’s that for planning? Now, let’s revisit this plank sitch. When I started doing Kettlebell, I could hold a plank position for about 7 seconds. No exaggeration there, folks. Seven seconds. Then we got out of the habit of doing planks for a while. I noticed that my back was hurting from doing the Turkish Getups so I talked to Lara about it. She told me to practice my planks instead while everyone else was doing the getups. So I did. The first week I managed 17 seconds. Hey, not bad since I was shaking at 7 seconds before. Then last week I did 25 seconds. So in one week I added 8 seconds to my stamina. Then yesterday, I held a plank for the full minute! I am such a winner sometimes! Lara had us do another round of 1-minute planks, and I could only do 10-second bursts at a time, but I was pretty excited that I held out on that first one.

So that is why I don’t want to give up Kettlebell. It’s such a fantastic workout. I know I could just do planks on my own, but there’s so much more to it than that. The whole workout is just a great packaged exercise. I’m afraid I won’t push myself as hard if I do it at home (never been good with at-home exercises), but I haven’t tried to work out at home since I started WW. I know my drive and toleration for exercise has increased, so I’m crossing my fingers that this works out. Cross your fingers with me, will ya?

In fashion news, I’m wearing a shirt I bought in London four years ago. It was super duper tight then (because they don’t sell larger sizes in London since everyone is stick-thin) and now it fits! It’s about time too because it’s the cutest print. Here’s a close-up of it:

I hope everyone is ready and excited for Christmas. I know I am! My tree is filled with presents underneath and it glows so perfectly in the dusky hours after work. I asked for a new scale for Christmas, one that weighs in 2-ounce increments instead of ½-pound increments, so hopefully I’ll be able to start my solo weigh-ins on that if I get it. Again, fingers crossed.

Have a safe and fantastic holiday and don’t forget to hug.

Weight loss this week: +.8 pounds
Total weight loss: 36.2 pounds

P.S. I switched up my blog design again. I try to keep the background pictures health-focuses (veggies, people running, you know). I thought this picture was quite perfect because it's winter and there is a bike leaning against a street pole in the picture. Only when I loaded it, my blog covered up the bike. Bummer. But it's there, I promise.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Amazing Weigh-in

I don't know how I'm doing it, but I lost another 1.6 pounds today. I only got in one good exercise last week and two mediocre ones. Plus I ate all my weeklies between Friday and Saturday (lots of pizza and cookies were consumed). I told Clay on Monday night that I was definitely going to gain this week and was crossing my fingers for a break-even. I'm very thankful that I'm losing, but it's driving me nuts as to why. Because I feel like I fail all week long.

Okay, enough of that. Tomorrow is Kettlebell class. Due to vacation days, I missed class for about two weeks. On my first day back, last Monday, I couldn't move for days afterward. My goodness was I sore. It's amazing how your body adjusts to no exercise. It had only been two weeks and it was as if I never did Kettlebell in my life. Hopefully it won't be as bad this time. I have spinning on Thursday and Kettlebell again Friday.

I am only 2.8 pounds away from my next mini goal, which is a pretty big milestone for me. As a reward, I'm going to get a 90-minute hot rock massage. Have you ever had one? They are amazing. The smooth rocks push any tension right out of your muscles. And the heat? Oh, it's heavenly. In fact, let's go get one rightthissecond.

Weight loss this week:  1.6 pounds
Total weight loss:  37 pounds

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Day I Reappeared after I Disappeared

You thought I dropped off the edge of the world. And you were right to think of it as a possibility, but I haven’t. I’m weeks behind in my blog and I’m finding that with the holiday season and an increased workload, time has not been kind to me. To boot, the last thing I want to do when I finally get home from work is to sit in front of the computer for any more number of minutes.

You might also think my silence is indicative of me falling off the wagon or slacking on my weight loss. But I assure you that is not the case! Last week I lost a whopping 3.6 pounds (and over Thanksgiving week, nonetheless!), and this week I lost another .6 pounds. That brings my total weight loss up to 35.2 pounds. I am less than five pounds away from my next mini goal. Once I hit that I’m going to attempt running again. My feet haven’t been swelling at all since I got my custom shoe inserts, so I’m going to see if 40 less pounds will also help with my attempt at becoming a runner.

My at-work series ends on December 27, and WW is reconfiguring how they do at-works. It’s a long, confusing explanation, but in short, I will be attempting to do strictly eTools at the end of December, so no more WW official weigh-ins and meetings. Well, there will be official weigh-ins, but they’ll just be me weighing myself. I’m going to try it for one month and see how it goes. If I find it to not be beneficial for me, I will buy a monthly pass and start attending meetings again. So wish me luck!

Now, things have been happening. For the first time in my adult life, I purchased and decorated a Christmas tree. I had my very first sleepover with my 4-year-old niece (it went fantastically, btw) and we decorated it with Hannah. Two Hannahs in one house. Can you stand it? 

I also bought the cutest pair of plum-colored high heels (please pray I don’t break my neck) that I am slowly breaking in around my apartment before I unleash myself out in the world with them on my feet. They look brown in this picture, but they are plum.

AND, lastly, I found two great food finds. The first is a WW product: Fruities! These things are fantastic! They remind me of these mints that the Italian Oven used to hand out with the check. They have this rubbery, hard, chewy texture, making it impossible to devour a large amount at a high speed. You can have eight of them for 1 PP! My favorite so far is the blackberry.

The second food I found is Cookie Butter. I found this at Trader Joes and decided to try some out because it had half the fat content as peanut butter. When I got to the checkout, the cashier told me that it was not only delicious, but that Trader Joes is one of two places IN THE WORLD that carries it. The other place is somewhere in the Netherlands. How true that is, I don’t know, but I did try to Google “cookie butter” and had no luck. So until it catches on, I have one of the few jars of it (and it’s in a glass jar to boot!). It’s delicious and tastes just like cookies. It’s 1 PP for ½ a TBS, and 2 PP for 1 TBS. Of course, it doesn’t have the protein peanut butter has, but it’s a nice treat if you’re looking for a points-friendly snack.

I will try to keep this blog up with my weekly weigh-ins, but with the holidays coming I can’t promise I will have much time to do so until they are over. At least not blogs with weekly pictures. Sorry, folks. Words might be all you get until the New Year.

P.S. I have also been busy finishing up my spare room. There's a big bed in there now, so I had to change the location of my weekly pictures. Welcome to my kitchen.

Weight loss last week: 3.6 pounds
Weight loss this week: .6 pounds
Total weight loss: 35.2 pounds