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Wednesday Weight Check #5

Another Wednesday Weight Check video with results from yesterday’s weigh in!

9-11 Weigh In Results

Watch the clip to hear the results and also hear what I’m doing better this time around with losing weight.

Goals for this week:

    • Focus on staying on plan this week so I have extra Points to work with since I’m going out of town Saturday night.
    • Keep up with half marathon training, with a long run of 6 miles this weekend.
    • Focus on eating less processed foods and getting in all my Good Health Guidelines.
    • Be mindful of what I’m putting into my body.
    • Get a lot of sleep – I do so much better when I do!

What is your #1 focus for this week?

Wednesday Weight Check

It’s frustrating when you feel like you’ve done everything right and the scale doesn’t move. I know I need to focus on the things that I CAN control, like how many times I work out, how much I eat, etc. etc. but man is it annoying when you can’t make the scale do what you want it to! I know it’s a journey (hello blog title) but its tough when you don’t see the results you want and deserve. Ugh!

I know all that said, I do have a lot to be proud of from this past week, including:

    • Working out 6 (!!!!) times
    • Getting back into the kitchen
    • Feeling in control with food all week
    • Getting up before work 2x this week to run
    • Making good choices throughout the week

Here’s to a better week scale-wise next week.

Oh! And let me leave you with this sweaty (blurry) picture from this morning:

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This is after clocking in 3.0 miles outside at an 8:55 (!!!) pace. Take that, scale!

In Her Words: Monica’s Story

I’ve moved around a lot because of my work and ended up in 4 different states in a 9-year period.

Every time I moved, I gained 30 pounds. As you can imagine, this this really added up over time.

Emotional eating to deal with the stress coupled with inactivity due to 60-hour work weeks really took their toll. I tried dieting and exercising many times but couldn’t seem to make the changes last longer than a few weeks. I would think about how much I had to lose (about 100 lbs.) and how long it would take and get discouraged pretty quickly. It took so long to see any results on the scale, I usually gave up before my efforts could be effective. Who wants to be on a miserable diet if it doesn’t even work? Might as well forget about it, or, my favorite, “start on Monday.”

The catalyst for my lifestyle change was a lot of failure and a lot of planning. Also, a particularly unflattering photo pushed me over the edge into the “I’ve got to do something—anything—about this” mindset.

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I thought about making a change for months before I actually did. I read the healthy living blogs and focused on a few ideas that people who were successful with weight loss identified as important to them. For one, the stress I felt thinking about how long it would take to lose weight was overwhelming until I read a blog where someone wrote “the time is going to pass anyway…might as well do some positive things for yourself along the way.” This really hit home with me, since I could easily imagine being obese three years down the line just because it would take too long to lose weight. So I decided that, since the time is going to pass anyway, I might as well make some changes that at least open the door to the possibility of a healthy future.

I started by tracking my food intake without making any changes to my diet.  After I got the tracking down, I started making small changes that I built upon over time. I use fitday.com and have tracked every bite of food I’ve had for the past 2 years. Other than a few days off for vacation and Christmas each year, it all gets tracked, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I try to eat healthfully, but there’s no food I’m not allowed to have. My goal for calories is to take in fewer than I expend, and that’s about it!  Sometimes that’s 1,000 less, sometimes it’s 500 less, sometimes it’s 10 less.  If the balance is in my favor, I call it a win.  I have found that counting my calories and tracking is the most important factor in my weight loss.  I think tracking the bad days is even more important than tracking the good days.  I truly believe that knowing exactly how many calories I take in on a bad off-track day has helped me keep some semblance of control.   There’s something powerful about just being aware.

The second most important thing I did was to start running.  I did the couch-to-5k program and learned to run, albeit very slowly.  I now run for an hour 3 times a week (still slowly), and try to work in some group fitness classes and weight lifting here and there. I built up to it gradually, but always pushed myself as far as I could.  It was fun to watch my fitness improve quickly–much faster than the weight came off–and was a good way to see progress and feel better.

Now, at 80 lbs. lighter, I have so much more energy and I feel so much better physically and mentally that I go out of my way to find ways to move more in my regular life. When you’re so overweight it really is uncomfortable to be active, and embarrassing when you are huffing and puffing next to your thin walking partner. But after getting in shape (which, like I said, occurs MUCH faster than weight loss!) it really truly becomes fun to challenge yourself physically and move more, and those calories add up.

The third most important thing involved working with my thoughts around eating and exercising. I stopped thinking about weight loss, and started thinking about being healthy.  When you have so much to lose, the whole process seems overwhelming. I had been trying to lose the weight for a long time, and I would go on a diet for a few weeks, see no change in my weight, and give up.  The scale seems to register what I did weeks ago, and this can be really frustrating if you’re looking to the scale for motivation.  Instead, I found some good mantras to focus on (No unhealthy decision I make in the future can take away the healthy choices I made today) and focused instead on how much better my body feels when I feed it healthy food and give it some exercise and enough sleep.  And after a while, the weight finally did come off.

Photo on 2012-08-24 at 16.22 #4

I’m nervous about reaching my goal weight, because I do think maintenance will be more difficult than weight loss for me.  I have lost and re-gained weight before, and I know the odd aren’t in my favor.  But I’m very hopeful about keeping this healthy lifestyle going.  It’s still one day at a time, and will be something I have to work on for the rest of my life.  I sometimes get a bit too anxious about missing a workout or eating something “bad” and I can be too obsessive, but if I’m worried that I’ll fall back into my old ways if I relax at all. Another thing I’m working on is body acceptance and being grateful for all my body does for me, regardless of weight. But I’ll never stop enjoying good food.

Thanks so much for listening, and for sharing your healthy living adventures online. I have learned a lot from many of you. Never in my life did I imagine that I would have a weight loss success story of my own. It’s unreal!

Best Wishes to All!

Wednesday Weight Check

Happy Wednesday! I mentioned this already on my facebook page, but I’ve decided to start doing a weekly weigh in video on Wednesdays, following my Tuesday weigh in. I think it will be a good opportunity to reflect on the past week, hold myself accountable, AND selfishly, see how my face changes as I work on getting back to goal.

I mention this in the video, but I am on my last straw with Weight Watchers as far as leading meetings and not being back at goal. I have to lose at least 2 lbs a month from now until I’m back to my goal weight or else I will be placed on a 90 day leave of absence, which I really don’t want.

So here we go:

I promise to ramble less in the ones going forward. But yay for a scale victory!

What’s one good thing you’ve done for your health this week?

In Her Words: Natalie’s Story

“In Her/His Words” is a new series I am starting for people who want to share their story and don’t have a blog or other platform to do so. There are so many different ways to reach success and all of us can use a little inspiration! If you’re interested in sharing your story, please email me at bethsjourneyblog at gmail dot com to get the conversation going!

I remember sitting on a balcony overlooking a gorgeous mountain view, waiting for my husband. He had been out all day mountain biking while I read a book and ate the snack food we packed. I planned my day around food and he planned his day around the trails. A week later, I walked into Weight Watchers with my mom.

2010 Natalie

I was not thinking I would be with him one day, I was only thinking that I needed to be a better person, wife, daughter, co-worker, friend, and self. Life’s limitations were being set by me because of my weight. I had a great family, terrific friends, a job that was very stressful but work I enjoyed, and thankfully no major health problems. However, problems were creeping up with me in regards to my health. Heart palpitations, pre-diabetic symptoms, daily acid reflux, and getting winded walking anywhere with my niece and nephews. My mom had been a WW Lifetime member since I was a child and encouraged me to return with her. I knew the program worked but I was hesitate to think it would change my life.

I had 117lbs to lose.

I could not even think that far ahead. I decided to be happy with each 5lbs I lost. I still crave those 5lbs stickers!

It took about a week for my husband to understand the program and what it would mean for our life. He ate what he wanted but he worked it off by biking. I never saw food as fuel before. Food was celebrations, comfort, medicine, experiments, connecting, careers, and a delight. Food is now tracked, understood, craved only when needed, indulged when earned, and a bond with others. I started with small steps, focusing on my food intake at first. Meetings are my classroom. From my leader encouraging me at every step, to classmates that have gone further than I ever imagined, I always learn something. No matter where you are on the journey, you can learn from your classmates and leaders. The support has been the foundation for me to succeed.

As the food started to be understood, I started walking around my neighborhood. I started doing research and found the Couch to 5K program. I decided to run a 5K. Running was nothing I had done before. I played basketball and softball in high school but never ran unless it was drills. I found myself enjoying it. I ran my first 5K with my husband in April 2011, 8 months after I started WW. I ran three more 5ks in 2011 and continued on my path. October 2011, I hit the 100lb weight loss. Along the way, I was promoted within my work, went on vacations (one that includes a week long trip where our friends are chefs and bartenders!), and started to learn that this was a healthy lifestyle, not a diet.

Believing in yourself is the hardest part of this journey. Reaching for food is easier than controlling my mind to walk away. It sounds scary to change your life but staying where I was could have been frightening. Finding support whether from friends, family, meetings, on-line world, and co-workers are vital.

My life has changed drastically over the past 24 months. I have lost 118.8lbs and hit lifetime one week shy of my two year mark, August 4, 2012.

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And those earlier health problems? None of them currently exist. I have inspired my family to run and be healthy, completed a sprint triathlon with my sister-in-laws, and take time for myself to be reminded that my health is the most important gift I can give myself. As I venture into maintenance, I need to remind myself: This is not my finish line but rather my starting point.

And that view from the balcony……. I experienced my own view from a mountain bike with my husband for the first time this last fall. To go from the balcony to the mountains, that is my success.

In Her Words: Rebecca’s Story

“In Her/His Words” is a new series I am starting on Beth’s Journey for people who want to share their story and don’t have a blog or other platform to do so. There are so many different ways to reach success and all of us can use a little inspiration from time to time. If you’re interested in sharing your story, please email me at bethsjourneyblog at gmail dot com to get the conversation going!

Clichéd as it may sound, I’ve been heavy for as long as I can remember. My only “memories” of being thin are the ones I have from looking at pictures of me as a tanned and tall seven year old.

Skip over some period of time and my next image is of me on the scale, seeing it hover around the 80s. I can vaguely remember my mother saying that I was in danger of getting heavier and that we need to watch my weight.

But my first concrete memory of being “that fat girl” is when I filled out one of these cutesy American Girl journals in 5th grade — you know, the one where you filled in the answers to all these questions about yourself. Under “weight” I wrote something around 124 pounds. That, my friends, was not normal for a girl my age.

The rest, they say, is history.

RW_before

Since that point, my weight kept creeping up and the next thing I knew I was a high schooler that weighed well over 200 pounds. Eventually, at my heaviest, I weighed 257. To put it plainly, I ate like crap (and ate a lot) and didn’t move. Ever. Well, unless walking to the fridge to get more food was considered exercising. And it didn’t get any better in college, when I had very little control over the food I ate for the first two years. When, in the last two years, I moved into an apartment and could cook for myself it didn’t get any better. I convinced myself that eating salads or scrambling eggs and veggies for dinner was “healthy,” but when you eat an entire avocado on top of that salad (plus black beans and more) and an unmeasured amount of full-fat cheddar on those eggs, yeah…not so healthy anymore. My vision of food was skewed, plain and simple.

My family (who were overweight as well), knew I was miserable. I tried everything — eating less, South Beach, you name it, but could never stick to it. (MORE!) I cried and cried and felt sorry for myself, but never did anything about it. My mom kept telling me to try Weight Watchers, but I kept telling her it would never work. Why would it work if nothing else did? But she never pushed me because, as she told me later, that her parents had always commented about her weight and then she ended up the way she was, and she didn’t want the same thing to happen to me. It needed to be the right time for me.

And then one day, in October of 2010, it clicked. My mom and brother had started losing weight and one day my mom tells me that she went shopping and discovered she’s a size 18. I was a size 18. We couldn’t be the same size! I wasn’t going to allow that to happen, however mean, spiteful, and childish it sounds to me now. So I made up my mind and took the plunge — the next day I finally joined Weight Watchers.

Again, the rest they say is history.

That first week I lost 6 pounds! It was hard and it was something I wasn’t used to, but I slowly made it work. I started reducing my portions (one of the biggest changes I made) and choosing healthier alternatives for what I used to eat — all baby steps, but they were (and still are!) crucial to my weight loss. Week after week the pounds came off and I started feeling incredible about myself!

Eventually I started including some activity into my daily routine. I didn’t go full-out crazy at the gym of first but, as with my eating habits, I took baby steps. I started walking on the treadmill at home, bought some of the Weight Watchers workout DVDs, and went from there. It was quite the adjustment, since I had never worked out a day in my life (I’m not exaggerating!), but with time I felt even better and healthier than I ever had before. This past November (2011) I joined a gym, had a trainer for a short time, and have been going back every week since. I may never be a runner (it’s not for me!), but I’ve discovered my love of strength training and kickboxing!

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That’s not to say, however, that this has been all rainbows and roses. Weight loss isn’t easy, as I’m sure you all know, and I’ve had my fair share of setbacks. I’ve experienced many “OMG, did I just eat all that?” moments and weeks where the scale went up, then down, then up, then down…of course I’ve felt discouraged and frustrated. But Weight Watchers, and this entire journey in general, has taught me that a single serving of ice cream didn’t get me to 257. Double or triple that amount, which is what I had been eating, is what did it.

RW_after1

Coupled with an awesomely supportive family, the healthy habits that I have learned and adopted have helped me lose 108 pounds (and counting!). I made Lifetime at Weight Watchers last month and, according to my mother, I’m smaller than I was at my Bat Mitzvah 14 years ago! I can’t remember a time I felt happier or healthier — it’s the best life change I’ve ever made!

Quitting the Yeah, Buts

Today marks the start of day six in a row of being completely on track. For the past five days, I have worked out every single day (don’t worry – today is a rest day) and have stayed completely on point with eating, sticking just to my daily points. This was after a very indulgent trip to St. Maarten (which I still owe you a recap of, I know), so I have also abstained completely from drinking alcohol since my return and have gotten lots of sleep to top it all off.

So, scale aside, I feel awesome right now.

When I told a friend about how yesterday was day 5 of being on point with eating and working out, he said, “Wow. You must feel great!”

My instinct was to start with the Yeah, Buts.

Yeah, but I was really bad for 6 days in St. Maarten.

Yeah, but a lot of the workouts were pretty short.

Yeah, but I am still nowhere near my goal weight.

Yeah, but I could have eaten a little cleaner.

Yeah, but…

But after typing that into the gchat box and thinking about it for a second, I erased it and instead said, “Yeah, I do feel great!” No buts.

It’s so easy for me to discount the good progress I make because where I am now is not where I want to be or where I was at this time last year. At this time last year, I had just hit my goal weight, become lifetime, and was finding maintenance to be a breeze! One of the times I weighed in during my 6 weeks to Lifetime, I actually had to put my Greek yogurt on the scale with me to make sure I didn’t go below 2 pounds under goal. Imagine that!

Since then, I’ve had a LOT of big changes in my life, most notably transitioning from being in a committed relationship where I lived with the guy, to being single and living on my own. This meant that I’ve had to make a real effort to revamp my social life, and not surprisingly, a lot of that revolves around alcohol. I’ve talked a lot about this struggle before and this is not what I want the topic of the post to be, but learning to be a 20-something single gal has really been tough on my waist line.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned during this journey is I need to focus on where I am NOW and set goals accordingly. It’s too easy to get caught up in where I used to be and to focus on the shortcomings of my journey rather than focusing on the good parts. But, I need to remind myself how far I’ve come and feel good about it.

So, with all buts aside:

  • I’ve made exercise a regular part of my life and have continued to workout 4-5 times a week for the entire month of July, even while traveling.
  • I still weigh significantly less than I used to when I first started this journey.
  • I am a Weight Watchers Leader (and a good one at that!) which had been a long-term goal of mine since stepping through those doors on March 3, 2009.
  • I am doing very well professionally and have managed to find a great career path while also getting my health in line.
  • I have run four half marathons and 22 road races in total, with two more half marathons on the horizon for later this year and early next!
  • I love to cook, which is something I never did before starting Weight Watchers.
  • I bring healthy breakfasts and lunches to work 95% of the time.
  • I have been completely on point the last five days in a row.

One day at a time. Here’s to day 6!

Share one thing you are proud of about your journey TODAY.

One Day at a Time

What a difference one day can make. Even though I’ve been off track (for the most part) for the past several months, recommitting publically yesterday felt like the biggest weight off my chest. I think sometimes I feel this intense pressure as a weight loss blogger and Weight Watchers Leader to show that I have it all figured out, and while I do have the basics down pat, healthiness is something I have to fight for every day, and will have to for the rest of my life.

My sister Wendy said something to me yesterday that really hit me. She said, “It is a journey. Unfortunately you never arrive, although you have to see the good in that. You get bored of any destination after awhile.” And while I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of being at my goal weight, I DEFINETLY get bored of having to make weight loss front and center in my life at all times. It’s easy for priorities to shift sometimes and for weight loss/maintenance not to be the focus, and I think that’s just a natural part of the journey and something I have to accept.

But anyways, back to the point of this post – yesterday was a near-perfect day. I woke up in the morning early, went to a 1 hour Body Pump class for the first time in months, and then did 15 minutes of intervals on the stairmill afterwards. My eating was really on point, too. Here’s what it looked like:

Post Workout: A green smoothie w/1 cup skim milk, 1 banana, a few raspberries, and a handful of spinach (2 pts+)

Breakfast: English Muffin w/Cottage Cheese and a pear plus coffee w/milk (6 pts+)

English Muffin

Lunch: Mixed Greens w/white beans, roasted red peppers, sunflower seeds, feta cheese, and balsamic (6 pts+)

Salad

Plus a bag of Weight Watchers BBQ pop chips (2 pts+)

Afternoon snack was a bag of 100 calorie popcorn (3 pts+)

Dinner was soft-boiled eggs on a toasted english muffin (7 pts+)

soft boiled eggs

Plus green beans with 1 tbsp parmesan cheese (1 pt+)

And for dessert, a giant latte bar (2 pts+)

It was a perfect 29 pt+ day, and I felt really satisfied.

I just laid low last night and read a book and watched some TV, and it felt so good to recharge (and not drink) and wake up feeling great today. I also went on a 4.5 mile run this morning before work, which is the farthest I’ve run since my half marathon Memorial Day weekend. It was hard, but it felt great.

So I guess the point is, it’s incredible how much of a difference one day can make. I feel so much better this morning than I did yesterday morning, and I feel in control. If you’ve fallen off the wagon too, don’t wait until tomorrow to get back on it. Start today.

Broken Record

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again I’m sure, but I honestly feel a lot of times like the Weight Watchers meetings are more for me than for the members. This week’s topic is about slip ups and how to learn from them and use them as spring boards for success. Being in a room full of people who "get it" and who share their own tips and strategies for bouncing back after they fall off the wagon is such a refreshing place to be. Yesterday morning’s meeting really struck a cord with me and I left there feeling recharged and ready to recommit, finally.

I can’t even go back in time to pinpoint exactly WHEN I fell off the wagon, but here I am struggling to climb back on it. I am a champion at coming up with a million excuses as to why I had stopped caring – taking a new job, lots of traveling, my birthday weekend, weddings, focusing on dating/my social life and not necessarily weight loss – but I’ll spare you from getting too into it. They are just that – excuses. I am not at all alone in having a ton of things going on in my life, and it’s up to me to make weight loss and being healthy a priority.

Over the last several months, I’ve been sort of in a haze with Weight Watchers. I’ve still led my weekly meeting, but I basically stopped exercising, cooking, and eating healthy. I dubbed the start of my new job the time to recommit to being healthy, but that first week, I ate out every single meal. While breakfasts/lunches were healthy, dinners were not and involved way too many drinks. I also didn’t work out even once, which wasn’t that unusual because my exercise routine had been spotty at best for the last several months. Several weeks of no working out, 1 or 2 workouts max, and just very inconsistent activity levels. Couple that with unhealthy eating and too much drinking and going out, and guess what you get?

Weight gain!

Shocking, I know.

I’ve been trying to avoid it and pretend it hasn’t happened, but it has. I can feel it in my clothes and see it in my face and I don’t like it. I wish it was easier to do what I know I need to to get back to where I want to be, but it’s not. I have to be mindful of what I eat and drink, and make exercising a priority. It sounds so simple, but it’s much harder to execute than it is to talk about it, as we all know.

Last week, I wrote a post at the beginning of the week setting some weekly goals and sharing my menu plan. It helped me to ease back into a healthy lifestyle, and I’m proud to say that I ended up working out 4 days last week. I also ate several meals at home and brought my lunch to work every day except for Friday. I tried hard to be healthy throughout the week, but then with birthday celebrations over the weekend including happy hour turned into night out on Friday, all day tubing on Saturday followed by a night out, and then a boozy brunch on Sunday, it shouldn’t surprise you to know that I undid all the progress I had made weight-wise.

This week, I have less going on this weekend and no birthdays to celebrate, so I’m hopeful that I can make good decisions throughout the week and weekend and make some progress. I leave a week from tomorrow for St. Maarten for one of my best friend’s weddings, and I really want to look and feel my best, since there will be a lot of photos. Not to mention the fact that I will be in a bathing suit in front of a lot of people. So there’s that.

So far, I did a 30 minute interval run on Monday, and woke up early to go to Body Pump this morning, followed by 15 minutes of intervals on the stairmaster. I’d like to workout tomorrow and/or Friday as well, and really focus on sticking within my daily PointsPlus for the rest of the week. I also want to try to limit drinking, though I do have a couple things going on later this week so I’ll try to stick to 2 glasses of wine (7 pts+!) so I don’t blow the bank points wise, or get to the point where I care less about making bad food choices.

I honestly feel sort of like a broken record because I know I’ve committed many, many times to recommitting, and here I am doing it again. But this just goes to show that leading a healthy life requires constant attention and good decision making. It’s all about making one good decision, and then another, and then another, rather than big picture thinking “I’m going to be healthy!”.

And could this fortune I got my first week at the new job be any more fitting?

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Tell me.. what is your favorite inspirational quote?

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