Weight Watchers

Wednesday Weekly Check In

I didn’t weigh in at my meeting yesterday but decided to do a video update anyways and give a little more insight into my tough week last week that I talked about a bit in yesterday’s post.

Really hot still shot, I know.

A little ramble-y up in there, so maybe it’s better to just read the summary here.. haha.

Some of the comments and emails I got when I did my 2013 Intentions post were that you want me to be more… me. That often times I come on here and talk about how good I’m doing and how many times I’ve worked out, and not what went wrong. I didn’t even really realize that until someone else said it, but I do think for me, blogging and healthy living go hand in hand. When I am slipping and not doing well with weight loss/healthy living, I tend to steer very clear of the blog and have a really hard time coming up with topics to write about.

When I’m doing well, on the other hand, I normally have no trouble coming up with things to write about, but I am starting to realize that might give you all the wrong impression about me and my life. I am not perfect. I still struggle. Last weekend was really bad in terms of eating and drinking, and it was SO HARD to snap myself out of it on Monday.

It honestly surprises me that I’m four years into my journey, since 2009 was the year I decided to “get healthy”, and it is still so easy for one bad decision to lead to another in my life. I think it just goes to show that the journey really never is over, and for the rest of my life, I have to take it one day at a time, just like I did at the beginning.

Anyways, when I share random thoughts like this they come out so easy, and I realize maybe I’ve been putting a bit of a façade up on the blog by not coming here when I’m doing poorly or can’t think of something to say. I’m going to try to write more frequently about random things going on in my life and show you the real me, even if it isn’t all ponies and rainbows.

Turns out down here is a little ramble-y too, so I’ll stop now. Smile

Do you struggle with one bad choice spiraling into a day or a weekend or a full week? How do you snap out of it?

Wednesday Weight Update

At long last!

So clearly I am very out of practice with the whole making a video blog thing. It took me more than 7 tries of stumbling over my words and saying extremely weird and random things in order to get it as right as it’s going to be. Here we go.

So in case you can’t watch the video because you’re at work – in it I do make a pretty big announcement about my weight. In the end of 2012, I had a full physical exam with my doctor and was talking with her about my weight and the history there. She asked me lots of questions, took a lot of measurements, and recommended that I set a higher goal weight than what Weight Watchers told me was the highest healthy weight for my height of 5’8.

The doc wrote me a note that I passed along to my Weight Watchers boss recommending that I maintain 175-180 as my goal weight. Weight Watchers says you can’t have a BMI higher than 27 as your goal weight, so we reset my weight goal to 177 pounds. I weighed in yesterday at 178.4, which was .4 down from not quite a week before. That means, I am within 2 pounds of my goal weight for the first time in… I can’t even remember how long! Granted, it is a completely different (and much higher) goal, but still.

I am feeling really great about the fact that I no longer have pressure from anyone except me to lose the weight. As I mentioned in my 2013 Intentions post, I really want to use this year to focus on getting to, and staying at, my happy weight. I think 164, my original goal weight, is just too low for me to reasonably maintain. That said, I would definitely like to lose a few more pounds and get to a place where my body, mind, and life just feel… good.

The big difference is that now I am going to keep doing this for ME. I am the reason I started this in the first place, and doing it for me is the only way I can truly stay committed to the long term habits I need to stay healthy. I plan to continue to weigh in weekly as I go through this new phase of my journey with weight, and want to keep doing video weigh ins as I plug along and find my happy place.

Thanks for all your support and for bearing with me through the ups and downs – I really value each and every one of you! Yes, YOU!

2013 Intentions

New Years Resolutions are such a touchy topic. A lot of people hate them because there’s always so much hype surrounding January 1st, and most resolutions do die down after the first few weeks of the year. That said, I think that setting goals can definitely be a good thing, especially when you really put some thought into them and pick achievable goals based on where you are right now.  Time goes so fast as an adult, and I think it’s fun to look back over your year when a new one comes and set some intentions for what you hope to accomplish in the new year.

This year, I put a lot of thought into my goals and decided to divide them up into different areas. I have a lot I want to accomplish this year, and I know if I stay focused throughout the year, I can achieve them all.

First, health related goals.

1.) Keep an exercise log for the whole year.

Sometimes when I skip a run or go a couple days without exercising, I really beat myself up about it. When I keep a log of my workouts, it helps me keep the big picture in mind, and I LOVE being able to look back and see what I’ve accomplished. I just created this document yesterday, and plan to keep it up to date throughout the year.

2.) Cross train at least once a week.

I know I will keep up with running because I’m scheduled to run another half marathon as well as the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler (for the fourth year in a row!), but I need to be more consistent with things other than running. I want to take classes, do yoga, strength train, ride my bike, or just do anything other than running at least once a week, and hopefully more.

3.) Find my happy weight.

I plan to do a thorough weight update later this week, but I really want to find my happy weight in 2013. I feel like I’ve been bouncing back and forth between 15 and 20 pounds since zoning in on my goal weight for the first time, and I want to use this year to really find a weight that is maintainable for me for the long term. I want to be able to have fun and not deprive myself, but also stay focused on my health and get to a place where my weight is not shifting from week to week or month to month.

Second, blog related goals.

1.) I want to be more consistent with posting.

My goal for the year is to post a minimum of once a week, every week. Ideally I’d like to post more than that, but I don’t want to commit to doing too much because I really only like to blog when I actually have something to say, rather than just blog to say I did. If you have any topics you’d like me to touch on, please send me an email (bethsjourneyblog at gmail dot com) or leave a note in the comments section with ideas/questions.

2.) Post one new recipe a month.

My recipes are still one of my most popular parts of this site, and I want to bring them back. Again, I’d ideally like to post more than one a month but we’ll start with 1 because I know that much I can do.

3.) Get back to setting monthly goals, starting in February.

This goes hand in hand with achieving my goals for this year, and I really love being able to see what I’ve accomplished for the last month and decide what to focus in on for the next month. I’ll start this one in February since it’s already the second week of January, and I’d love it if you guys wanted to go along with this and share your own goals with me, and then we can check in with each other at the start of the next month. I love the community that I get from this blog and feeling like I’m not alone in my goals, my struggles, and my accomplishments!

Third, personal and professional goals.

1.) Be more careful about spending.

2012 was a big year for me because I got out of debt and made a lot of progress on my emergency fund, but I continued to spend a little more frivolously than I would have liked. I’m still trying to figure out the best system for this, but I might go back to a cash only spending policy until I get this back in check. I know I should be saving more than I am, and I really want the freedom that comes with savings!

2.) Read at least 1 book per month.

One of my goals last year – to watch less TV and read more – was too vague. One book a month seems very doable, especially since I’m almost finished with Room, which will be my first for 2013. I have Gretchen’s book Terra in the queue next (which will be the first book I read on my new iPad)… any other suggestions?

3.) Have a plan in place to take some health/wellness training.

Health and wellness and weight loss are my true passions in life. I feel like I have the power to really help people in this area, and I want to take steps this year to make it more a part of my profession. I’m considering getting one step closer to this by becoming a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and/or taking classes to become a health coach. This, coupled with writing my blog consistently and continuing as a leader for weight watchers, will really make me feel like I’m on the right path.

Looking over this list makes me realize what big goals I have set for myself this year! I truly am confident I can achieve them all though, because I think they are doable based on where I am at the moment. I know I will be in a great place in my life if I make progress on all of these things this year, and that is what I plan to do.

Do you set New Years Resolutions/goals for the year? Why or why not? If so, what would you say your biggest one or two goals for the year are? If not, what do you do to hold yourself accountable for sticking with making sure you’re heading where you want to go?

ActiveLink Review

I have been meaning to write a post about the ActiveLink for AGES now, but it’s better late than never, right!? Full disclosure, as a Weight Watchers Leader, I did receive an ActiveLink for free to try out before they were out in meeting rooms, but that doesn’t influence how I feel about the thing.

activelink

So what is ActiveLink?

ActiveLink is an activity monitor that you wear all day long. It measures movement from side to side, front to back, and up and down, as well as acceleration, so it goes well beyond a pedometer. As you can see in the photo above, it’s a USB, so you plug it directly into your computer to import all the activity data. You can wear the monitor clipped to your chest, loose on a necklace (!?), clipped to your belt, or in your pocket. You wear it all day long except when you’re sleeping and it is waterproof so you can even wear it in the shower (which I have NOT done). I usually wear mine attached to my bra, or else clipped to my top if I’m working out.

workout

When you plug it into your computer to import the data, you get feedback on how many minutes of moderate activity and high intensity activity you’ve done that day (separately), as well as a bar graph showing how much you’ve moved each hour of the day.

So what do I think of it?

I absolutely LOVE, love, love the ActiveLink. One of the key ways that it works is that you have to hit your activity baseline before you earn any activity points, which the old system of tracking points doesn’t account for.  The idea is that the personalized daily target of points is based on doing a certain amount of activity we should be doing anyway without getting credit or extra ActivityPoints for. We’re supposed to be moving 5 minutes per hour while we’re awake WITHOUT earning any extra points, and then anything we do beyond that is where we earn extra points that we can then eat.

So basically, I have to hit this activity baseline before I earn any extra activitypoints to eat. As you probably know, I am pretty self motivated when it comes to working out, but it has really changed the way i go about the rest of my day and makes me move so much more.

A good example is that sometimes I’ll go on a run in the morning for 3 or 4 miles, and I won’t earn any points! At first, that was so annoying, but then I realized all those miles went towards hitting my baseline, and every single thing i did from then on out during the day would earn me points. It made me want to walk an extra loop around the block, take two trips from the car, get up often during the work day, and earn points just from walking to/from anywhere.

I’m lucky that I live in a city so I move a lot more just by virtue of walking everywhere, and now I feel like I get “credit” for everything, which I like. For example, sometimes I’ll opt to walk rather than drive/metro to somewhere that’s about 2 miles away, just to get in extra movement. Before, I wouldn’t have entered this as activity since I didn’t break a sweat, but now that I’m wearing the ActiveLink it accounts for that movement on top of everything else.

One other way it has changed the way I move throughout the day is that I am more aware of standing still. Like, if I’m microwaving my oatmeal at work, rather than standing there staring blankly at the microwave, I’ll walk around the kitchen or back to my desk. Same thing if I’m waiting for an elevator or doing something else where I am idle.

What are the downsides?

Honestly, not much. The device itself costs $39.95 which is a LOT cheaper than other similar things. You do have to agree to $5/month to keep it active and connected to your eTools, but that doesn’t seem like a lot to me considering how easily I can throw around $5. The one thing that is annoying but temporary is that when you first start wearing it, you have to do an 8 day assessment. During this time, you go about your regular activity and then at the end it gives you a summary of how active you are and sets a goal for you to work towards over the next 12 weeks in the form of an ActiveLink Challenge. During this 8 day assessment, you get no feedback on your movement and don’t “earn” any activity points! It was so annoying to not earn a single point that first week even though I was working out regularly, but that is only for the first 8 days so it’s not the end of the world.

Wednesday Weight Check #10

Another Wednesday, another weigh in vlog…

Not the best result this week, but also not the end of the world.

Wow I look ecstatic…

This week I was up a little bit, but I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if I was up by much more so I’ll take the small gain.

For the most part since recommitting 10 weeks ago, I’ve felt really in control with my eating. I’ve splurged many times throughout those weeks of course, but it never felt like it was spiraling out of control. This week though, it started right after weigh in and just wove itself throughout the week. I’ve felt like over the last many weeks theres been a day or two where I’m like, “Woah there Beth, reel it in” (I don’t talk to myself, I swear…) but it’s never been more than 1 or 2 days during a week.

I’m not really sure what caused it exactly, but this week I felt off track more than on track, and it just wasn’t a good feeling. I’d had a big dinner planned for Saturday night which I was looking forward to (and could have reasonably induldged on without gaining had I planned my week better, but I just had slip up after slip up leading into the dinner, and it just sucked. Especially because I knew this week would be even more challenging…

But, enough of that – today is a new day.

I’m actually leaving for San Francisco tonight and I am SOOOO excited. My goal for this week is to have fun, try to make good decisions about when to indulge, keep up with exercise, and enjoy myself! If I can maintain or keep my gain to less than a pound, I’ll be happy. If it’s more than that, I will deal. If I lose, something isn’t right. Winking smile

What’s your favorite place to visit in the states?

Mine is a tie between New Orleans and San Fran!

Attune Foods: Back to the Basics

As you know by now, I am struggling to get back to my goal weight. Click over to the Attune Foods Blog to read about some of the reasons I think I gained back the weight, and what I am doing to stop this in its tracks to get back to a healthy weight.

I do not want to get back here.

beeeeeeefore

or here

before11

But I do want to get back here:

Time to get back to the basics!

Leave some love over there in the form of a comment!

Wednesday Weight Check #8

Another Wednesday, another weigh in video. Good results this time!

This was taken fresh out of the shower last night, so forgive my lack of makeup. Smile

In the video, I mention that I also took measurements last night for the first time in 5 months, and I was down an inch almost everywhere on my body, including each arm plus my waist, bust, and chest, and 1.5 inches on each thigh! Exciting to see 8” gone over the course of 5 months, though of course I still have a ways to go.

This week, I really want to focus on getting more healthy fat into my diet. I am honestly not eating that much dietary fat day to day, so my goal is to have one serving of oil, avocado, and/or nuts (am I missing anything??) every day this week and prioritize getting it in.

I also have a 10k coming up this weekend so I want to perform well on that and I am just going to trust my training rather than set specific time goals, because that tends to work best for me!

Also, I was going to make another goal to change up my activity a little bit, specifically with cross training, and last I tried zumba for the first time ever! I absolutely LOVED it and got such a great workout. I was drenched!

zumba

Plus, I loooooved that the women in the class who were the best, plus the instructor, were all curvy ladies! I fit right in.

Do you do group exercise classes? Which is your favorite?

Wednesday Weight Check #7

Yesterday’s weigh in results were… not good.

But you know what? I’m not letting me get it down. A number is just a number and I am not going to let it dictate how I feel about myself.

Weigh In #7

While not thrilled with the results, I am honestly feeling so good right now. I ran 7 miles on Saturday at a sub 9:00 minute pace. Below 9 minutes! Me! So that is what I’m trying to focus on, rather than the number on the scale.

For the week ahead, here are my goals:

    • Keep up with planning splurges rather than having unplanned ones.
    • Focus on having a lot of protein at each meal.
    • Try to limit fruit to 3-4 servings/day (it’s getting a little out of hand, especially when I ear most of my activity and all of my weekly points).
    • Track everything.
    • Focus on living healthy, not getting too caught up in the scale.
    • Adjust to working at home! This week I start working from home two days a week, which is going to be challenging/different for me.

Here’s to a great week!

Weight Loss Mode Weekly Plan of Attack

As you (hopefully) know, I am really committed to losing weight and getting back to my goal weight, and have been back on track and focused for about a month now. One of the main “secrets” to my success with weight loss is having a plan of action. We do an exercise at the Weight Watchers PowerStart Session called PowerPlans for new members, and during it we take a look at our week and look at different events/things we have coming up. This way we know where to use our extra points (or calories) and also just have an idea of what our week is shaping up like. I do this for myself every single week, and it makes such a difference!

Eating

In terms of food, I’m sort of disappointed to say that I think the special formula for me personally to lose weight is for me to eat just SOME of the activity points that I earn, and none of the weeklies. Now, I earn a ton of activity points, so I’m getting somewhere between 50 and 60 per week, and when I have about 20 of those leftover, I tend to have the most success on the scale. This is new for me, because I used to be able to eat all my weeklies PLUS my activities and still lose, but that’s just not doing it for my body anymore.

This may have something to do with the free fruit, because I do eat A LOT of fruit – probably about 4 (and sometimes more) servings a day. I usually have 1-2 pieces with breakfast, one with lunch, one with my afternoon snack, and one serving after dinner. But I absolutely love fruit and know that it’s good for me and not something I abuse, so I don’t want to cut back on it for now.

All that said, here’s my menu plan for this week (though some changes are made below the plan):

Breakfast Lunch Snack Dinner
Monday 1 cup nonfat greek yogurt, 1/2 cup high fiber cereal, sliced banana out to Nooshi – planning on sushi + seaweed salad* cottage cheese + sliced green pepper, clementines Grilled tofu, sauteed spinach, baked sweet potato**
Tuesday Toasted english muffin w/cottage cheese + banana Lentil + Feta Salad String Cheese + green grapes Homemade refried bean + cheese burrito
Wednesday 1 cup nonfat greek yogurt, 1/2 cup high fiber cereal, sliced banana Homemade refried bean + cheese burrito cottage cheese w/clementines Making dinner w/ Erika
Thursday Toasted english muffin w/cottage cheese + banana Lentil + Feta Salad string cheese w/clementines Grilled Hamsteak w/veggies + brown rice
Friday 1 cup nonfat greek yogurt, 1/2 cup high fiber cereal, sliced banana leftover grilled ham + veggies cottage cheese w/red bell pepper TBD – movie night!

Just to be totally clear, in general, I do eat more than what is written above. I eat at least my 30 PointsPlus per day, and tend to shoot to have 5-7 for breakfast, 7-8 for lunch, 2-4 for an afternoon snack, and the rest (11 – 16) for dinner/dessert. I normally workout after work, so I’ll have a snack like a smoothie, a corn tortilla with turkey and cheese, or a glass of milk while I get dinner ready, but it just depends on how my evenings play out.

Also, these menu plans DO NOT always turn out as planned. Case in point – yesterday.

* = So that was the plan, but what did I end up getting instead? Grilled shrimp vermicelli, which is actually a pretty healthy option in general. But, it came with a fried spring roll (not written on the menu – weird) and about 2 cups of vermicelli noodles. I was planning to try to only eat about 1 cup of the noodles and for a second thought about not eating the fried spring roll, but it was just so delicious I kept eating and eating. In the end, I ate the entire plate, and calculated the PointsPlus value at 20! Twenty! Crazy, especially since I picked something on the healthy side. That said, I didn’t freak out about it, and really really enjoyed the meal, so in the end it was worth it.

** = Because of the point above, dinner ended up being a lot lighter since I was only working with 5 pts+. I had a smoothie when I first got home from work (4 pts+) and then two grilled 97% fat free Hebrew National Franks (2 pts+), a string cheese (1 pt+) plus some frozen mango after soccer. I only ended up going over my points by 2 for the day and even went to bed satisfied. Win!

Activity

With the PowerPlans session, we also look at our week in terms of where we can fit in activity, but this isn’t as much of problem for me. I’ve been really good about making time for exercise consistently for over 2 months, and am feeling REALLY good in that department. I’ve been working out about 5 times a week at the gym or outside, plus taking a 30ish minute walk over lunch to get a little more movement in during the day on weekdays. Also, I signed up for a recreation soccer league which will have games once a week that started last night (and was SO FUN and such a great workout!), so I am pretty excited to be doing something fun, social, AND active all at once.

Here’s a look at my plan of action for this week, activity wise:

    • Sunday: Color Run 5k (more like 2.5 miles)
    • Monday: Soccer (!!)
    • Tuesday: 3.5 mile run outside + weights
    • Wednesday: Speedwork (3 miles of intervals)
    • Thursday: cross train
    • Friday: rest
    • Saturday: 6 mile run

Which would you say comes easier for you – being active or eating well?

For me at the moment, it’s definitely the activity that has been coming easier, but it hasn’t always been that way!

Wednesday Weight Check #4

Hi guys! I hope everyone enjoyed yesterday’s post from Matt. If you didn’t have a chance to read it, I suggest you take a minute to do so because it’s pretty powerful stuff. I’m looking for more submissions for the In Her/His Words series, so if you’d like to share your story, please email me at bethsjourneyblog at gmail dot com.

Without further ado, here’s my weigh in video with yesterday’s results.

I wish I had more of a say in the still shot shown above…

I am pleased with the movement on the scale, though of course I wish it was more. These are THE HARDEST pounds I’ve ever lost – and trust me, I’ve lost (and gained) many, many pounds in my lifetime. It’s frustrating, but I know the only thing I can do is keep on trucking.

One thing that is really good is that I feel completely in control. I haven’t had any out of control eating in weeks and it’s not even something that is tempting me, which I think is a good sign that I am feeding my body what it needs, honoring my cravings, and making smart decisions about fueling.

My goals for the next week are:

    • Eat less processed foods (minus the Salted Caramel Smoothies I bought yesterday…)
    • Eat more protein (switching out pop/baked chips for cottage cheese at lunch, eating a bigger serving of Greek yogurt at breakfast, etc)
    • Keep on going with mindful eating and being active

If I do all these things, I hope to be reunited with the 170s at this time next week!

Tell me… what are you most proud of from this past week?

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