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PostHeaderIcon Weight Loss Tale

PostHeaderIcon Andrea's Weight Loss Tale - Week 11

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This week I lost .4 pounds for a total of  26.6 pounds lost. It's kind of a bummer seeing such a low number, after  losing at least two pounds per weeks for several weeks. But, I'm not discouraged. I have not been  exercising because I haven't felt well so I'm not terribly  surprised. I'm now back to my regular schedule of one weekend run and a Tuesday and Thursday morning run. 

I also have another new tool. 

At a recent Weight Watchers meeting I volunteered to take home the "traveling food journal,” a spiral  notebook WW sells that makes tracking your food intake very  easy. 

The notebook has charts containing recommended daily amounts of fruits and vegetables (five per  day), liquids (six 8 oz. glasses per day) and dairy  (two servings of milk products). While I usually rely on the WW application for the iPhone to track my food point, I jumped at the chance  to make my food choices public via the traveling journal. I figured  it would keep me honest.

So, I take out the notebook after I've eaten to tally the points I consumed and add them to the daily total, which for me is 25 points.

While I'm at work, my food journal  is on my desk so I can write down items as I eat them. Last Friday I listed the following items in my food journal. Breakfast: -  One Thomas' Hearty Grains English muffin (2 points), an egg (2 points) and a  slice of American cheese (2 points). Lunch: Smart Ones salisbury steak frozen meal (4 points). Afternoon snack: Swiss Miss hot chocolate (made with  water - 2 points). Dinner: One 8 inch flour tortilla (2 points), two slices reduced fat provolone cheese (4 points) six slices Oscar Meyer Deli Fresh turkey lunch meat (1 point), two slices of tomato (1 point), one cup green beans with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray (0 points) and a half-cup black beans (1  point). Total for the day: 21 points.

When I turn the journal over to my meeting leader this week I'll be interested to hear what she thinks about the food choices I've made.

While tracking devices are great, compliments from people are a real boost for me. Recently, I attended a party and actually wore jeans. They fit comfortably and I felt good wearing them. Even when I was at my highest weight, I was never willing to buy pants in larger size. Instead I wore stretchy, yoga-style pants and hoped no one noticed. To fit into jeans was a nice feeling that helped renew my determination to stay on the WW program. At the party, a neighbor friend said I was the "skinniest" he had ever seen me. I was flattered and said thank you but inside I was laughing. I know I'm not close  to skinny, nor am close to being the skinniest this neighbor had ever seen me. I did appreciate the compliment.   

See you next week.

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


Last Updated (Wednesday, 12 May 2010 01:33)


PostHeaderIcon Andrea's Weight Loss Tale - Week 10

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This past week I lost 3.4 pounds for a total of 26.2 pounds. Wow – doesn’t that sounds like a lot of weight? To many people that would be a lot of weight to lose and would create a noticeable difference in appearance. Unfortunately, I was very overweight when I started. So a 26-pound loss is not as noticeable. In fact, I’m wearing most of the same clothes I was before I started my diet. Everything that fit before with some tugging and regular adjusting, now fits better. Because I favored stretchy skirts and tops all I’m really seeing is that my clothes are now a bit longer on me. Now I look like I'm wearing clothes that fit. Getting dressed is much easier because I don’t have the anxiety of not being able to find anything that fits or trying to zip up something that I’ve outgrown. And a few items from my closet are now back in my work clothing rotation. It’s a good feeling. 

Because I’ve been such a yo-yo dieter, I don’t think my work colleagues are that ready to comment on my weight loss. Some family members have complimented me and my mom has been a big cheerleader all along. Other friends either have not noticed, or are reluctant to say anything. I don’t blame them, really. It’s a risky thing, commenting on someone’s weight loss. It’s like congratulating someone on their pregnancy and risking that you are wrong. When more weight comes off, more people will notice and more of my clothes will fit. Eventually, everything will fit and I will have to buy a whole new wardrobe. Bummer.

At this week’s meeting I asked the WW leader if she thinks we’ll see a big crowd this week because of the popular New Year’s resolution to lose weight. She said there would probably be twice as many people than average for several weeks and then we'll see a drop off. In past years I was in that January crowd of hopefuls. This year, I’m relieved that I didn’t wait until the new year to start my weight loss program. Instead, I’m well on my way to goal and will be there by this time next year.

Happy New Year. See you next week.

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

Last Updated (Monday, 22 March 2010 01:41)


PostHeaderIcon Andrea's Weight Loss Tale-Week Nine

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This week I lost 1.8 pounds for a total of 22.8 pounds.  Keeping on track at this time of year is tough, but I have found that it's not a good time to give up on your goals with a plan to restart a weight loss program in January.  Eating with reckless abandon makes me gain weight, become sugar addicted and forget all the good habits I've established. 

Despite the risks, many people do this.  In fact, I have had used this approach during the holidays in recent years, skipping meetings and weigh-ins.  Giving up around the holidays has been evident at my weekly WW meeting.  Attendance, usually about 20 people, has dropped to about half of that in recent weeks.

I can't remember what I weighed this time last year, but I do remember buying a new extra large winter coat because the size large wool coat in my closet was too small to wear on a business trip to Chicago.

I also recall going to Tahoe last January with my family and friends and feeling that my weight was affecting my ability to go sledding and play in the snow with my two small children.  I was embarrassed that I was much slower than everyone else, but I lumbered about, pretending it didn't bother me. Of course, it did. 

This year, I stayed on the WW program on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, despite being around a lot of temping food.  I went in with a plan to save my points for the actual meal instead of grazing on snacks beforehand. Christmas Eve was a fondue party at my mom's house, which I enjoyed, but didn't consume to excess.  I focused on salad and veggies without the cheese.

At Christmas dinner, I ate modest amounts of turkey (a serving is about the size of a deck of cards) vegetables, and a delicious butternut squash soup.  I didn't eat dessert except for a bite of apple pie and a nibble of a chocolate cookies. But I found it easy to stop because my body has adjusted to the lower amounts of sugar I have been consuming and does not crave sugar anymore.

This week I also committed to running the Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco in May. The race is  7.65 miles. I’ve done it before so I know I can do it again.

Tune in next week for a report on my last weigh-in of the decade--AV

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

Last Updated (Wednesday, 12 May 2010 01:30)


PostHeaderIcon Andrea's Weight Loss Tale - Week Eight

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This week I passed the 20 pound mark with a 2.4 pound loss. I've now lost 21. 4 pounds. After receiving recognition at my weekly meeting for the 20 pound milestone, my meeting leader asked me, "what's working for you?" For a second I just stared ahead blankly not coming up with answer. The question made me realize that I don't really know why my previous attempts to lose weight and keep it off have failed and why I feel so confident that this time is THE time. This time I will reach my goal and achieve Lifetime status (that's when you can attend WW meetings for free as long as you stay within 2 pounds of your goal). Perhaps I started out confident in previous attempts but after a small loss or a gain, it waned, leading to eventually quitting. I remember feeling that it was so unfair that I had to keep track of points and go workout when thin people didn't have to. How come thin people get to eat yummy, fattening food and don't gain weight? Well, over the years, I have realized that most people, even if they are thin, keep some sort of tally of what they eat. They may not write it all down, but they know not to eat three pizzas a day. Also, their bodies TELL them when they've had enough. I can't trust my body to do that for me yet but I'm working on building that skill. 

So, back to the question posed by the meeting leader. "What's working for you?" I didn't offer a very articulate answer. I explained that this time, I just KNOW that I'm going to be successful. After the meeting I thought about her question again and realized that blogging about my weight loss journey is a very big part of why this is working. The process of writing openly and honestly about weight loss requires that you own up to what got you here - i.e., overeating, underexcersizing. It is difficult to write about what I consider to be my biggest failure in life - my inability to lose weight and keep it off. But when I write it down, I'm not carrying it around with me and that's very freeing. I'm also creating, through these columns, a reference for myself. Maybe in the future, after I've reached Lifetime, when I find that I've gained a few pounds, I can look back at these entries and recognize what is causing it and work quickly solve it. 

Also, I have set a realistic time frame for reaching Lifetime status. I know it may take me a year to get to my goal weight and I'm ok with that. In the past my weight loss has always been tried to a trip, a reunion, a wedding, returning to work from maternity leave, etc. Without the pressure of a significant date looming ahead, I can relax and concentrate on achieving small successes every week on the scale and being OK with that. At the moment I don't even know what my goal weight is. WW sets a range of 128 - 160 pounds for my height of 5'7. I have not been close to that range since the mid-1990's so it's hard to say if I will be satisfied at the top or bottom. We'll have to wait and see when I get there. At the moment, I'm not brave enough to share what my starting weight was, but as I get closer to my goal, I will.

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

Last Updated (Monday, 22 March 2010 01:37)


PostHeaderIcon Andrea's Weight Loss Tale - Week 7

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I am seven weeks into the Weight Watcher’s program and lost another 2 pounds this week for a total of 18.6 pounds lost. This past week I focused on tracking what I was eating and I think it really made a
difference. What I've realized since I started writing these columns is a
frequent downfall of mine is the "buffet-style" party.  

Buffets present a problem for me because the eating is so anonymous. No one is watching what I'm eating and I am not using a plate to collect items I'd like to try. Instead, I'm simply unnoticed as I shovel food down and move on to the next thing. And once I've swallowed it, I rarely remember what it was or how much I ate.

Recently, we went to a holiday 
party at a friend's house who is a fantastic cook. I knew the food
would be divine, with few healthy choices. I lingered too long at the 
buffet table, and ate too quickly. But, about 10 minutes in to what 
could have been a gorge, I turned to the woman standing next to me and 
said, "Everything is so good. I've got to find another place to stand."
 We had a laugh about it and I felt she understood as she moved away too.
 I used my allotted weekly "extra" points for the party food and was
 fine. I took a moment at the party to actually focus on how a bad
decision might affect my weight loss. I knew the miniature beef Wellingtons, though they looked delicious, were not worth sabotaging
even a small amount of progress.

I've been experiencing a few benefits since being on the WW program. While I'm still 5 to 10 pounds away from fitting into some clothes in a particular section of my closet, I do
feel smaller, like I'm taking up less room on the couch, in bed, and on 
the elevator. I bought a trench coat recently in a snug size extra large. It still pulls across the shoulders a bit, but it's much more comfortable than it was even three weeks ago. Also, I haven't heard any
of the usual complaints about my loud snoring from my partner. I 
finally asked him last week if he has noticed a change and he said, "actually, it's been a lot better." I always felt so guilty hearing
that I had made so much noise snoring that even with ear plugs my dear
partner could not sleep. Now that guilt is gone and we are both sleeping better.

In my morning workouts, I have been running more and
walking less. When I joined WW in October my first workout was 
an 8 minute run and about 40 minutes of walking. Recently, I ran 
for 36 minutes with two 
three-minute walk breaks. That feels good. Today when I logged on to the weightwatchers.com Web site page a screen prompted me to put in my current weight. When I did, a screen appeared 
congratulating me. Today's message said "Keep Doing Exactly What You're Doing." I think I'll take that advice. - Andrea

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

Last Updated (Saturday, 19 December 2009 21:53)

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