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.


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.


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!


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.


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+)


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?

New Job, New Routine

As you can probably tell from my last post, on a professional and personal level, my life is going great. Today marks the start of week two at my new job, and it honestly feels almost too good to be true because it’s going so well. I’m sure part of that has to do with the honeymoon phase of it being new, but being in the education field feels so good, and the organization truly values work/life balance and its very evident.

That said, I’ve been in a really rough place healthy-living wise. I thrive on routine and do best when I have a plan of action in place, and for the last few weeks I haven’t had that at all. Between leaving my last job, taking a little over a week off, traveling a bunch, and starting a new job, everything has just felt up in the air. I’ve been slacking majorly on the exercise front and have been eating like crap, too.

When I was thinking about how hectic things have been lately, I realized that last week I ate every single meal out, with the exception of breakfast on Monday morning. I normally eat 2-3 meals out a week at most, so that is really out of the ordinary for me. That said, I did try to focus on eating healthy breakfast and lunches most days, but dinners were all over the place and usually involved (too much) booze. I also didn’t focus on eating fruits and veggies enough since I wasn’t bringing food with me, and it’s time for that to change.

With the new job, I do have a gym in the lobby with showers and locker rooms, which is something I’ve never had before so will take a little getting used to. I get an hour for lunch most days, so if I have too much going on before or after work, I should be able to workout over lunch. I’m actually thinking about getting a second pair of sneakers that I can leave at my office, so I have less to bring with me if I’m going to use that gym.

Along with establishing a workout routine, I have to get back into menu planning and stocking up my desk with healthy options. Since my birthday is Friday, my office sent me a fruit basket!

Birthday Basket

It has pears and oranges, so that’s a good start. Minus the chocolate. And the cheese. Winking smile

I went grocery shopping yesterday to stock up my kitchen, and here’s what I came up with for a meal plan this week:

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday Greek Yogurt w/Berries + Uncle Sam’s Cereal Salad w/leftover chicken + super simple tzatziki Soft boiled eggs w/toasted English muffin
Tuesday English Muffin w/Cottage Cheese, Banana Salad w/leftover chicken + tzatziki Chickpea Burgers w/Watermelon + Feta Salad
Wednesday Greek Yogurt w/fruit + granola Leftover Chickpea burgers and watermelon salad Soba Noodles + Peanut Sauce w/Tofu
Thursday Oatmeal w/pb + banana Leftover Soba Noodles + Peanut Sauce w/Tofu Out
Friday English Muffin w/cottage cheese + berries Leftover Chickpea burgers and watermelon salad Birthday happy hour!


It feels so good to have a plan in place!

This week I vow to:

  • Bring my breakfast and lunch to work every single day.
  • Workout at least 3 times Monday – Friday.
  • Drink at least 64 oz. of water during the work day.

What’s one goal you have for this week?

Life Lately

I didn’t intend for it to be quite so long since my last post… but things got crazy! The next day, I left for St. Louis for my very last business trip, and the city itself was pretty fun! We were right downtown by the Arch, and the rooftop bar at my hotel had a 360º view of the city, which was pretty breathtaking. Check out this picture from when I wandered out to get lunch one day.

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Incredible, right?

Work-wise, the trip was great. They made the announcement at the Board of Directors meeting that I was leaving, so I got to say a lot of goodbyes and get well-wishes from some of the key players at my old organization. After getting back to DC, I trained my replacement for three days, which were my last ones in the office. Late that last day, I was given a goodbye party with champagne and cheese, and was presented with a plaque from the President of my company on behalf of the board.

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It was really the perfect goodbye, and bittersweet at best.

The next day, I flew up to Boston for one of my best friend from college’s weddings. Check out the background of her wedding:

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How beautiful is that!? It was so fun to be with my best friends from college.

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After the ceremony, the reception was held in the most amazing tent I’ve ever seen for a wedding.

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It was hard to believe it was a tent! We got TONS of pictures, of course.

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But I’ll spare you too many. Since the wedding was in Boston, we got a full New England style dinner.

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Lobster!! How awesome.

Oh, and one more thing about the wedding – I did my own hair and was really happy with how it came out!

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It stayed up the whole night and it felt so good to have it off my face!

After leaving Boston, I headed to NYC for a few days to hang out with my sister and her kids, before taking the bus back to DC for another few days. I took the whole week off last week, which was necessary I think before starting the new job. It felt so good to just lay low and do everything I needed to get done to get ready for the new job.

And today marks the first day of my new life as a director!

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The job is going REALLY well. I am so thrilled to be there and am really hitting the gruond running. Everyone is so nice and welcoming – – I even had a welcome gift from my boss on day 1!

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(It had a moleskin, a fancy pen, a candle, and a sweet card.)

Anyway, life has been hectic, but great. I am in such a good place and am so content. My birthday is one week from today and I can FEEL that it’s going to be a good year!

Friday Five

Five Goals for June

    1. Lose 4 lbs (average of 1/week)
    2. Consistently strength train 2x a week
    3. Go through my closet and get rid of things to donate that I don’t wear
    4. Try to be in bed by 11pm most nights
    5. Finish reading Born to Run

Four Bands I’ve Been Listening to a Lot Lately

    1. Mumford & Sons
    2. Bright Eyes
    3. The National
    4. Wilco

Three places I travel this month:

    1. St. Louis for a conference for work
    2. Boston for a wedding
    3. NYC for a week!

Two Hysterical Websites

    1. Go Away – This is David Thorne’s website, and I have literally been laughing so hard I cry when I read some of his stuff. My personal favs: Justin’s Floodlight, Formal Complaints, and Missing Missy.
    2. Don’t Even Reply – This guy basically responds to classified ads and really screws around with the people. I can’t even articulate how funny they are, but check out My New Jogging Partner.

One Chobani Giveaway Winner:

#217 – Nina Wassel – Congratulations!! Her favorite way to eat Greek yogurt?

“I love my greek yogurt frappuccino!!! 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1/2 cup protein powder, 1/2 cup water, 2 t decaf coffee powder, 1 T cocoa powder, 2 pks splenda and lots of ice in my magic bullet. Sooooo yummy!!!! only 4 WW+ pts!”

Please email me at bethsjourneyblog at gmail dot com so I can pass your info along to the Chobani folks! Thanks to everyone for entering!

Share a funny/amusing website in the comments if you have one you love!

Other Weight Loss Bloggers

In light of the fact that I haven’t been posting quite as much lately because I’ve been spread so thin with my day job, being a Leader for Weight Watchers, traveling every weekend, and life in general, I’d love to open the comments section up for referrals to other weight loss bloggers that you guys love.

Don’t worry – I’m not going anywhere – I just will only be posting when I can until things slow down, which hopefully will be soon because I miss it! And, I’ll be back tomorrow with a weigh in result post. I didn’t weigh in last week because I was out of town for a staff retreat, but will be weighing in at my meeting today so will be back with a full report, but it’s not looking good.

This week’s topic is Outsmarting the Grocery Store – and as you probably know – grocery shopping is one of my favorite things to do, so I LOVE the topic! Last night’s meeting was so awesome, even though we ended up talking about cheese the whole time – another one of my favorite things. Smile

So… please leave a comment below and list one or a few of your favorite weight loss bloggers that isn’t me! Give a little background about what they write about/why you love them and we should all be able to find a few new great blogs to read!

Be back soon!

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