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PostHeaderIcon Weight Loss Tale

PostHeaderIcon Andrea's Weight Loss Tale - Week 17

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This week I lost 1.5 pounds for a total of 36.1. I was excited to be accompanied to my weekly WW by my friend Kay. Kay is my neighbor but also a colleague as we work in the same industry. Kay and I have done some walking together and she has followed my weight loss journey here. She does not need to lose anywhere near the amount I need to, but she wants to lose some and was curious about how the WW program has changed since she last joined in the 90's. She e-mailed asking if she could come along and I enthusiastically welcomed her aboard the weight loss train.

We work near one another so we'll get to attend meetings together and motivate one another to stay on track. Kay is also a great cook, doesn't eat beef or pork and knows a lot about foods and ingredients generally, so I'm sure she will share some good food finds with me as we drop pounds together. She has already alerted me to some research involving artificial sweeteners which I consume every day. I need to be more aware of the downside of artificial sweeteners. 

One of my fellow WW members surprised meeting attendees by bringing a dish she made from the WW website - Old Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie. The dish called for reduced fat crescent rolls and a skim-milk based sauce, and it was delicious with a one cup serving equaling 5 points. As someone who loves chicken pot pie, I really enjoyed the many vegetables and seasonings present in this dish. I plan to contribute my own dish to this week's meeting by making the Italian Sausage and Pepper Pasta for attendees. The recipe was featured in our Weight Watcher Weekly newsletter and it looks tasty, featuring turkey sausage and red wine - mmmmmmm. 

Tune in next week for a review.


To read all of Andrea's blog entries, click here.

Last Updated (Sunday, 19 December 2010 18:11)


PostHeaderIcon Andrea's Weight Loss Tale - Week 16

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This week I lost 1.4 pounds for a total of 34.6. I have been a little discouraged over the last few weeks to see the weekly number dropping but I’m still very committed to the program and know that it is working for me. The Weight Watchers program suggests that in order to lose weight safely and keep it off, people must just lose one to two pounds a week. This is what I always remind myself of every week, and I am on track. I’m doing just what the program suggests. I am also continuing to exercise and I feel pretty terrific overall. 

Of course, I there are things I would like to try that I think will help me make more progress. I would like to vary my food choices more. I eat the same things nearly every day; an egg sandwich in the morning, a Lean Cuisine for lunch and a salad for dinner. These foods are not very exciting after 16 weeks. I love to cook and have a lot of cookbooks with healthy dishes. I also have access to thousands of recipes on the Weight Watchers Web site. There is really no reason not to try some of them. Perhaps I am concerned that my children will reject them or that they just won’t taste good. Although, the dishes I have made are all terrific. So who knows, maybe I just want to stick with what works and not take risks that may have an undesirable result. I think over the next few weeks I am going to explore some healthy options and find some new favorites. I’ll let you know how it goes.

See you next week. - Andrea



To read all of Andrea's blog entries, click here.


Last Updated (Tuesday, 23 February 2010 01:35)


PostHeaderIcon Andrea's Weight Loss Tale-Week 15

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I lost 1.6 pounds this past week for a total of 33.4 pounds over nearly four months.

This past week, I tried to be mindful of the difference between emotional and physical hunger as I made food choices.

What I realized is that sometimes, even when I know I'm not hungry and don't feel hungry, or if I'm sad, stressed or maybe even happy, I want to eat a little something bad. I know I shouldn't. I know I'll regret it. I know I'll have to work out extra hard and that food choice may affect the outcome at the weekly weigh-in. Sometimes, I am fully aware of the consequences of unhealthy food and I eat it anyway. I always feel guilty and deflated afterward.  ago, I was making bad choices several times a day, every day.  I woke up and ate eggs with cheese on a buttery English muffin. Afterward, I thought, ‘well, I'll have to really watch what I eat for the rest of the day.’  I would bring a Lean Cuisine for lunch and not feel satisfied after eating it. 

Around 2 p.m. I would go hunting for chocolate in co-workers' candy jars or I would stop in to the convenience store downstairs from my office and buy a bag of Skittles, or M&Ms, always promising myself to skip dinner or "be good" later.

When the day ended with a heavy meal or me cleaning my kids' plates as well as my own, I would promise to be better tomorrow. I rarely kept those promises. After a while I stopped making promises to myself because I knew I wasn't going to keep them. 

You might wonder what the difference is now.  Is it possible for a person to join a weight-loss program and suddenly stop wanting those extra treats or high-fat, high-calorie foods?  The answer is:  "I suppose it's possible." 

I still desire those foods sometimes. I may always. The difference now is that these days I stop myself before I reach the point where I say "the hell with this program," giving up and succumbing to being fat.  I hope I can continue to stop myself until the wanting subsides.  Or perhaps with Weight Watchers and reaching my goal, I will finally be satisfied. --AV

To read all of Andrea's blog entries, click here.

Last Updated (Tuesday, 16 February 2010 02:28)


PostHeaderIcon Andrea's Weight Loss Tale - Week 14

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This week I lost 1.8 pounds for a total of 31.8 in 14 weeks. My weekly WW meeting featured a very relevant topic for me so I made sure to take notes to review at home: how to tell the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger. The meeting leader asked attendees how often they felt hungry. I said never, because I usually eat before I'm hungry. Then she went on to identify ways to tell the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger. Those are listed here:

Characteristics of Emotional Hunger
• It comes on suddenly
• It is for a specific food
• It comes from your head, not your stomach
• The need to have that food is urgent
• It is usually paired with emotion (bad day at work = bad food choices for dinner)
• Involves mindless eating
• You continue to eat after you are satisfied
• You feel guilty afterward

Characteristics of Physical Hunger
• It comes on gradually
• Stems from a physical need
• Involves awareness and deliberate choices
• You stop when you are satisfied
• You have no guilt or shame

Although I have had success with my weight loss so far, I am definitely guilty of emotional eating. Usually it is the result of my household chaos, a communications breakdown with my partner or sometimes stress at work. I don't always run to the fridge during those times, but I find that my next meal usually involves what I'll call "self-pity foods." I think, poor me, I deserve something yummy. Now, we don't stock a lot of high-calorie, high-fat foods at home, but I have definitely worked my way through a box of Triscuits, for instance. I'm usually standing at the kitchen counter with a blank look on my face. I have eaten a half a box on more than one occasion. I'm not recalling this story to make myself feel bad, or because I think it is at all unusual to eat mindlessly. I think even thin people engage in these behaviors from time to time. I mention it because there is a name for it - emotional eating, or emotional hunger. Acknowledging it is the first step in stopping. In the meeting many suggestions were offered for those times when you are emotionally hungry.  A change of scenery is usually just what I need. I'll walk away, or busy myself with a task. Other attendees offered: take a walk, drink a big glass of water, exercise or read a book. These are all good suggestions that may help me snap out of my snacking trance.

See you next week.

To read all of Andrea's blog entries, click here.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 10 February 2010 03:29)


PostHeaderIcon Andrea's Weight Loss Tale - Week 13

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I lost 3.6 pounds this week for a total of 30 pounds in thirteen weeks.  

I feel good about what I've accomplished so far, despite experiencing a bit if a weight loss plateau over the last two weeks, where I dropped less than half a pound. This caused some negative thoughts.  I've heard plenty of Weight Watchers members talk about plateaus lasting weeks and I worried that would happen to me, even if I stuck to the program.

I realized that sugar is a big problem for me. Some people eat too many carbs, others too much salt. For me, it’s sugar. Over the last few weeks I ate more sweets than I should have, polishing off some Hershey's kisses left over from Christmas and indulging in chocolate mousse at a party.  The problem with refined sugar is that once I eat it, I want more.  Also, the fact that I haven't been losing my usual 2 pounds a week lately reminded me that I should be more aware of my sugar consumption.  Weight loss is work.  If I lose focus I regress back to my former bad habits. 

I am proud that I lost nearly 4 pounds this past week, but the loss came alongside a personal tragedy. One of my dear friends died on Jan. 17 and the news left me grief stricken and unable to even think about food. I actually had to focus on eating enough to meet my daily points and staying strong. 

With the recent stint of rain, I haven’t been running in the mornings. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t get in some exercise. I've found that I can work exercise into almost any activity.  I ice-skated with my daughter for two hours, waking up a set of muscles I don't normally use.  I was in pain the next day, but of course, lifting 50 pounds of kid off the ice a dozen times will cause aching muscles.  I also volunteered at my daughter's school Bingo night which involved walking the aisles of a community center selling game pieces for three hours.  I wish I had worn a pedometer because I'm sure I walked a mile or two that night. 

Lastly, my Weight Watchers’ meeting leader suggested that I take home the “revolving food journal” for another week because I failed miserably at tracking my food intake the last time I had it. I have pledged to do better at tracking my meals and snacks. The leader also wants to know what I am eating because I have reached a 30- pound loss.  I thought that was a good idea because reading my entries in the food journal may help someone else change what they are eating. We all need to help each other, after all. I’ll report back next week on my success with the food journal.

To read all of Andrea's blog entries, click here.

Last Updated (Tuesday, 02 February 2010 02:49)

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