Weight Watchers

Year 27 Highlights and Year 28 Hopes

27 was a great year for me. I went through a lot of big life changes, but despite all the ups and downs, I truly think I am in a better place now on so many levels. Last year on my birthday I posted some hopes for my 27th year, and here’s how I did with them.

Run a FULL marathon – Scheduled for October 30, 2011!

This one did NOT happen. I announced my decision to drop out of the marathon pretty far into training (I already had 16 miles under my belt), but I am very confident that I made the right decision, even now. Though it wasn’t a goal, I did go on to run two more half marathons while I was 27, and PRed in one of them, with a time of 2:08:52.

HalfMarathonFinish

Select a triathlon for 2012.

This also did not happen… I am sensing a trend here with fitness goals! Maybe this year.

Become a Leader for WW.

This is one I am proud to say I accomplished with flying colors! I went to Basic Leader Skills training in Chicago this past October, and started leading meetings in early 2012. Though I was really bad at it at the beginning, I’ve truly hit my stride and am loving it. When I first took over my Tuesday morning meeting, it had 15 members. As of this past Tuesday, I had 41 members, almost TRIPLING the number I started with. Yay!

Maintain my weight (or lose a few lbs!) throughout my 27th year.

This one is something I’ve really been struggling with lately. I came clean about it a few times on the blog, but have sort of backburned weight loss with all the big life changes going on. That said, I really want to move it front and center for year 28.

Get fully out of debt and have a hefty emergency fund of 6 months of living expenses saved before turning 28!

I am proud to say that I am completely debt free and have even made significant progress on saving money, too. Right now, I have about 2 months of an emergency fund saved up, and my hope is to have the full six months saved by the end of this year. This one was a HUGE accomplishment for me because I had been swimming in debt since college!

Plan an international trip for 2012 – I haven’t been out of the country since I was a kid!

I did go to St. Maarten in April with my sister and her family, and technically that is half French, half Dutch, and I am going again in less than two weeks for a friends wedding.

SXM

That said, I really want to have something on the books abroad abroad (aka not the Caribbean) by the end of the year.

Redesign Beth’s Journey and move to a self hosted domain.

Check! I have been self hosted/redesigned for almost a year now, and it’s so much better than it was before!

So though I only accomplished about half of those that I hoped to, I did a lot of great things this past year and am feeling good about where I am.

Year 28 Hopes

Now that I am officially 28, I feel like I’m actually an adult. Even though technically I may have been one for a while and I still sometimes don’t act like it, I really want to focus on my career this year and achieving balance and moderation as best I can. Outside of my career, I also want to focus on getting back to my goal weight in a healthy way, and trying my best to live in the moment and not let life get away from me too quickly.

Here’s what I want to do this year:

    1. Get back to my goal weight and maintain it. Duh.
    2. Workout 3-4 times a week, including strength training, through this year.
    3. Run at least one half marathon (I’m signed up for the DC Rock ‘n Roll Half again in 2013) and a few other races.
    4. Limit drinking to 2ish times a week, which means doing things with friends more that don’t revolve around alcohol.
    5. Try my best to be present and enjoy where I am, not constantly looking forward to the next thing, which is my tendency.
    6. Really focus on my new job, because I feel like position is truly the start of my career. They are very into work/life balance, so I have plenty of time outside of work to focus on other things.

28 is going to be a great year. I can feel it!

Wednesday Weigh In Results

I finally had a breakthrough on the scale this week and it feels sooooo good! I think a big part of it was that this past weekend was the one I didn’t travel for during the whole month of May, and being at home really helps me be better about staying on track. Even though I was home, I did go out for dinner/drinks on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday night, one of which included pizza and bruschetta! This is why I love Weight Watchers – I can still eat things that I love like pizza (and vodka and wine) and lose weight!

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Source.

Since I knew I had a few plans that would involve dinner and drinks, I wanted to make sure I didn’t go too too crazy any of those nights eating-wise and really focus on having healthy, balanced meals at home/at work when I was preparing my own. On top of that, I resisted a bunch of office treats and sweets that always seem to present themselves, because I was thinking about the three outings I had planned and those were more important to me.

Outside of food, I remained pretty active and got in three solid workouts. Here’s what my activity schedule looked like:

    • Sunday: Rest
    • Monday: New Rules of Lifting for Women Stage 1, Workout B, plus 3 mile treadmill run
    • Tuesday: Rest
    • Wednesday: 3 mile outdoor run – 9:14 pace
    • Thursday: Rest
    • Friday: Rest
    • Saturday: 7.2 mile walk/run

It should be noted that on days that I consider rest days, I usually try to walk both ways to work, which is 2.6 miles total, or about 45 minutes. I think I had to say that mostly to make myself feel better because there’s more rest on there than workouts, but its true!

Anyways, I had a feeling I’d have a good result when I got on the scale, but I was thrilled when it said I was down 2.2 pounds! I can’t even tell you the last time that I lost that much in one week, and it feels especially good because I kept on living and enjoying myself while being mindful of what I was getting into.

This means, since recommitting on April 24, I’m down 4.2 pounds total. This has included plenty of travel, a staff retreat for work, lots of meals/nights out, and some more exciting life changes that I’ll reveal soon – so I’ll definitely take 4.2 pounds in not quite a month! This means I have “just” 12.6 pounds to go until I’m back where I need to be! I can do this!!

Scale Surprise

These past couple weeks have been super super busy, which has made it really hard to stay on track. The weekend before last, I was in Philly from Saturday to Sunday to run the Broad Street Run with my sister, and then I went directly from her house to a staff retreat for my day job on Sunday night. I was at the staff retreat through Tuesday, and then back in the office Wednesday and Thursday. Friday, I took a vacation day from work and drove up to Woodstock, NY to see my family for Mother’s Day Weekend, and didn’t get back until after 10pm on Sunday night. Whew!

The staff retreat proved the hardest part of the past couple weeks for eating. We had it in an old farm house, and it was fully stocked with sour watermelons, M&Ms galore, chips, dorritos, skittles, party mix, cheesy poofs, sunchips, chocolate, pretzels… you name it. And that was just for snacks!

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In addition, we had the meals catered and since we were in a pretty remote area, they were made by two sisters who cooked comfort food out of their home. Most of the food was heavy – think mac and cheese, spinach lasagna, cheesy pasta, pulled chicken, coleslaw, etc. I don’t do well having all that tempting food around me constantly, so I overdid it pretty badly with the snacks and the meals alike. I also won a crab eating contest and picked and ate 17 crabs on Monday night, so that didn’t help much either. Winking smile

The weekend at my sister’s house in Woodstock was a lot better health wise, because now all five members of my immediate family are following Weight Watchers, even my dad! This is HUGE and something I never thought I would see. He is the one who initially inspired me to try Atkins because he had such success on the program without having to use moderation, so for him to adopt a program based around moderation has been so awesome. He and my mom have lost over 8lbs each in just a few weeks on the program!! I am so happy for them.

Anyway, since everyone was trying to be on track, the meals were pretty healthy throughout the weekend, though the wine and booze were flowing from dinner on both nights. Each of my sisters took on two meals, while I was in charge of Mother’s Day brunch since I’m the only female non-mother.  Though, my 4 (and a half!!) year old niece Claire did ask me, “Auntie Beth, Do you hope to one day be a mother?” Oh, kids.

The biggest saving grace during the past two weeks of busyness has been that I have been REALLY consistent with working out, and for that, I’m proud! I got in four solid workouts both weeks despite traveling quite a bit, and you can see what I’ve been up to workout wise here, but I’ve basically been running a couple times a week, doing strength training, and using the stairmill for cross training. I even got an 8 mile run in with my sister on Saturday in Woodstock!

I already tried to take control of the meals that I could. When I was home/not traveling, I stuck fully to my PointsPlus for the day and prepared healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Even while gone, I tried my best to start the day with a healthy breakfast, and then made sure to get in a lots of fruit and veggies throughout the day. I also tried to keep hydrated and drank a good amount of water throughout those two weeks. In short, I did the best I could.

So, I honestly wasn’t sure WHAT to expect when I stepped up on the scale yesterday. When I did, and found out I was down 1 pound from two weeks ago, I was actually really pleased!

The last time I weighed in and lost a pound in one week, I was a little disappointed because I had tracked EVERYTHING I’d eaten and didn’t have that many obstacles that week to get in the way of losing weight. This time, I had a lot of things going on and didn’t track completely the whole time, so I am really proud of that pound.

That means, two pounds down in 3 weeks back on the program and I am feeling good!

Wednesday Weigh In

Last week for the first time in I can’t even tell you how long, I tracked EVERY SINGLE BITE that passed through my lips. Even when I first started Weight Watchers in March 2009 (for the second to last time), I would allow myself one “cheat day” where I wouldn’t track and would just consider all my extra points gone but wouldn’t actually track it to see how bad the damage was.

So how much did I have? I ended up eating all of my daily points each day, plus 56 extra points, which included all 49 Weekly Points and then some of the Activity Points I earned. Tracking can be so eye opening because there were times when I felt like I really wasn’t eating that bad, but I was using way over my daily points. They go so quick! But, that’s what the weeklies are there for – to make the plan livable.

Activity wise, I got in 4 solid workouts, earning a total of 34 Activity Points:

    • Wednesday: 45 minute walk
    • Thursday: 30 min intervals on the stairmill + free weights
    • Saturday: Run for Shelter 10k
    • Sunday: Biking outside, 20 mins intervals on stairmill, NRLFW Stage 1, Workout A

Though I’ve been doing more strength training lately than I have in the past, it’s been incredibly random moves and routines. It’s been moves that I’ve learned through Jillian Michaels, things I know that are good for me like pushups and lunges, and also random ab work. I have really been wanting a bit more structure so that I know I am getting a solid, full body strength training routine in, so I decided to purchase the New Rules of Lifting for Women, which I’ve heard awesome things about. I just did the first workout on Sunday and am planning to do the second one tonight and will do a dedicated post soon. I did actually take measurements on Saturday for the first time ever, so I am excited to hopefully see and share some results with you, too!

So how’d I do on the scale?

Down 1.0 pounds!

While I am happy that the scale is down, I was hoping for a bit more since I made an effort to be really good and tracked all week for the first time ever. I know 1 lb is a solid weight loss and would tell a member he/she was silly for not being proud of that result, but when the tables are turned it’s hard not to wish for more. That said, I really am happy to be moving in the right direction and it feels awesome to be back in control!

One More Thing

I am excited to report that yesterday’s morning meeting was probably the best one yet. I feel like I am finally really starting to hit my stride as a Leader and am LOVING leading the meetings. I feel so comfortable in front of the group and really look to the members to teach me! I learn and hear new things at every single meeting, and as of yesterday, my meeting officially doubled in size from when I took it over!! I am so excited!

Time to Face the… Weight Gain

Since sometime towards September/October of 2011, I’ve been struggling with my weight, which I’ve mentioned on here quite a few times. As a Weight Watcher employee, you are required to submit your weight once a month, and I somehow managed to sneak by a couple months without doing so, and then it was the holidays, and then I got in unofficial trouble from Weight Watchers for not adhering to their guidelines. It was much less that I gained weight that was getting me in trouble, and much more that I was pretending I didn’t and not doing anything to fix the situation.

Well, since then, 5 pounds turned into 6 pounds turned into 10 pounds turned into…

16.8 pounds that I have to lose to get back to goal.

16.8 pounds. I’ll let you soak that in for a minute.

Now this is scary for quite a few reasons:

1.) It proves just how easy it is to justify weight (re)gain for me. I remember back when it was just a few pounds convincing myself that I could take care of it so easily that it wasn’t even worth focusing on. Well those few pounds have doubled and quadrupled, and now I find myself in place I never wanted to be again.

2.) I haven’t been THAT bad. Seriously. I’ve definitely been more lenient in the last several months than I was when I was losing weight, but I still packed my lunch and brought it to work almost every single day, ate a ton of fruits and veggies, drank my water, etc. I’d have a few splurge nights during the course of the week, but it wasn’t like I was eating out of control every day. That’s scary because I can’t even imagine where I’d be if I was paying no attention at all.

3.) I’ve been exercising quite a bit! Last week I worked out 5 times, this week I’m set to work out 4, and I just ran my third half marathon last month and PRed! This goes to show me what I already know about myself… the focus of weight loss for me has to be mainly on the food. I can’t make excuses for what I eat constantly because I am working out.

4.) I’m back to where I was when I restarted Weight Watchers in Dec 2010. Perhaps the most troubling part of it all.

I was supposed to be submitting my weight weekly since I got into unofficial trouble, but as I posted on my Attune Foods Blog, the pressure from wanting to lose the weight, combined with the pressure of having to do so for my job as a Leader was backfiring. Instead of facing the music, I tried to ignore it and pretend it wasn’t as bad as it was.

That was, until yesterday.

I had an official “Weight Conference” with my boss at Weight Watchers. Now let me emphasize… Weight Watchers has been EXTREMELY supportive in my efforts to get back to goal. My boss has asked me again and again what she can do to help and support me. It has been my own fault for not taking advantage of the resources at my fingertips and ignoring the problem.

After dreading this meeting with my boss, I walked out of it feeling refreshed, renewed, and refocused.

I am ready to do this. Again.

My new plan of attack:

1.) Weigh in on Tuesday morning EVERY SINGLE WEEK. I run a Tuesday morning meeting at the WW center, so this means I will have no excuse not to weigh in. Before, I was weighing in on Thursday or Friday (when I did), and I would artificially lower my weight by running beforehand, so I was always working to get back to my post-run weight and it just was not working. I’m hoping that weighing in earlier in the week will help me be a bit more focused during the weekend.

2.) Post my weigh in results on here, as well as weekly/monthly goals, as needed. I need the accountability,

3.) Track everything, even if it isn’t pretty. I started this on Tuesday, which included a night out for dinner/drinks and a 15 PointPlus cupcake. It was worth it, though, and I still have 32 extra PointsPlus (beyond my dailies) and whatever else I earn for activity this week.

4.) Step down from Leading meetings (temporarily) if I haven’t made any progress one month from now. If I haven’t lost a little weight, I know I need to take some time to focus on myself. This is a personal decision, not a WW decision. My WW boss is heavily discouraging me from doing this, but I know myself and my needs best.

5.) Forgive myself. Perhaps the biggest part of it all. Rather than being hard on myself, I need to just accept that I am where I am right now. It doesn’t define me or make me a bad person, it’s just what it is. A number on the scale. It happens.

Weight Watchers for Athletes

Contrary to the rumors I stirred up when I first mentioned writing about this topic, there is not an official Weight Watchers for Athletes plan (that I”m aware of, at least). My intention was more to discuss how I approach Weight Watchers when training for an endurance event, and this seemed like the perfect Weight Watchers topic to discuss this week with my quickly approaching half marathon (on Saturday!!).

Before I get too deep into it, I will say this:

It is hard.

It is hard to balance the goal of weight loss or maintenance in conjunction with the goal of running an endurance event.

It is hard to control the inevitable rise in hunger levels that result from long runs.

It is hard to not feel like you can justify eating everything in sight after running double digits.

Now that we have that out of the way, I want to dive into how I tackle WW coupled with training.

My Approach

I think the big difference for me when I am training is that I really have to tune into my hunger signals, which is something that I still struggle with a lot. Pre-run, I always have a variation of the same thing – an english muffin or bagel thin or sandwich thin, with peanut butter and a banana. Depending on how much PB I have, this can be anywhere from 5-8 Pts+.

During my run, I always fuel with my GU of choice – Vanilla Bean. It is 3 pts+ per packet, and I earn 3 pts+ for 15 minutes of running. I usually only take a GU every 30-45 minutes, so I am almost always earning more Activity Points than I am taking in during my long runs.

Post-run is when I struggle the most.

As mentioned above, I have a hard time not justifying wanting to eat everything I can get my hands on, so my normal approach is to plan some good high protein options for after a run and to space them out a little bit so I can try to pay attention to my hunger signals. Some of the best ones I have found are:

    • Smoothies – Skim Milk, Banana, Strawberries, Spinach, Vanilla Extract, and peanut flour or protein powder for an extra protein kick. This can be anywhere from 2-4 pts+. One of my favorite things to do is to make a smoothie pre-run, and put it in the freezer while I’m out. This way, when I come back, it’s basically like a delicious slushie that I can eat with a spoon.
    • Eggs – I love eggs (one of the main reasons I could never go Vegan). A lot of times I’ll have an egg + cheese on an english muffin with some fruit post run. This is usually 5-6 pts+.
    • Deli Meat – I also like to have a super quick option, so I always have turkey, ham, and/or roast beef deli meat on hand. A quick sandwich with turkey, cheese, and veggies is a great option, usually in the 5-6 pt+ range.

Since these are all relatively low-point options, I can have one, two, or all three of them and not go over my points. I usually try to have something almost immediately when getting back inside after a run, and then try to wait an hour before having something else. This gives me time to make sure I am really hungry and not just eating to eat or because I feel like I “earned it”.

I do feel like it’s important to note that I cannot stick with just my daily points – I have to dip into my weeklies, activities, or both when I’m training to truly feel satisfied. My approach is to always have at least the number of activity points that I earn, but usually I go into my weeklies as well after runs depending on how I feel (and how far I went).

One technique that could work really well for athletes following Weight Watchers is the Simply Filling Technique. I don’t quite trust myself enough to follow it completely and not track, but the basic premise behind it is that you eat healthy foods until you feel satisfied, so for someone who is good at listening to their bodies and their hunger signals, this could be the perfect solution.

The last thing I will say is this… while training for an endurance even does NOT justify eating everything in sight, it clearly DOES justify eating more.

You earn a lot of Activity Points (burn a lot of calories) through running, and almost always burn more than you’re taking in while running. I think it’s important to realize that training does give you extra flexibility, and I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t part of why I do it! If there’s something that I really want (like french fries and/or nachos!!), I’m going to have it! Otherwise, I will inevitably eat everything else, and THEN what I originally wanted, and basically undo the good I did for my body.

So my question to you is this… how do you balance trying to stay healthy with the inevitable rise in hunger levels that comes from training for an endurance event or just working out in general? Do you back burner weight loss/weight maintenance while training? Whether or not you are a Weight Watcher, I’m very curious about your approach and your thought process!

Simply Filling Technique

Most people who think about Weight Watchers automatically associate it with the patented system it is most well known for – PointsPlus (formerly Points). It’s a system of counting Points instead of calories and you are given a certain number each day and extras to use throughout the week. But did you know there’s a whole different vein of the Weight Watchers system?

Simply Filling Technique

The Simply Filling Technique (SFT) is made for people who hate tracking or can’t make the time to do so. The basic idea behind it is that you can eat from a list of certain foods called Power Foods – including fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, nonfat dairy, and a few others – to the point of satisfaction and not have to measure or track every bite that passes through your lips.

So what is a Power Food?

A Power Food is defined as a filling food that is the healthiest in the category. It basically means that it’s the best choice and one that will leave you the most satisfied. A more detailed explanation on how Power Foods are defined can be found in this article on WeightWatchers.com.

So what counts? All fresh and frozen fruits (with no sugar added), most vegetables (with the exception of avocado), all whole grains (think brown rice, quinoa, barley, etc), lean proteins (think lean skinless, boneless chicken, pork, beef, tofu, beans, etc), nonfat dairy (skim milk, nonfat yogurt, nonfat cheese, fat-free cottage cheese, etc), and some other randoms (sugar-free jello for example).

How does SFT work?

The idea behind SFT is that you have to tune into your hunger signals and eat to the point of satisfaction. To me it seems like intuitive eating (hunger signals) meets the basics of Weight Watchers (focus on Power Foods, which is something we should be doing no matter which technique we are doing).

In addition to those foods being at your disposal (pun intended), you still get the 49 extra PointsPlus as well as any Activity Points you earn for treats and non-Power Foods to use throughout the week (or all at once, however you prefer to use or not use them). This means that while your main diet will be composed of Power Foods that you don’t have to track, you will have to track and measure anything you eat that is NOT on the list.

One of the big changes with the PointsPlus 2012 system that was rolled out in early December 2011 is that you can switch between Tracking and Simply Filling by the day instead of by the week like it used to be. Before, you would have to commit to Simply Filling for an entire week if you wanted to give it a go, whereas now you can try it for just one day, or just Monday to Friday, or however you would like to do it. Just remember you are drawing from that same pool of 49 Weekly Points no matter which technique you are using if you switch back and forth.

Personal Experience

I haven’t yet given SFT a try. I’ve thought about it a lot because I feel like my diet is largely made up of Power Foods, but giving up tracking as a tool scares me a little bit to be honest. I feel like tracking is “safe” for me and I admit that I still have A LOT of trouble tuning into my hunger signals.

I’m good at planning out meals and eating whatever it is I have prepped for the day, and by now have gotten good at figuring out how much I need to be satisfied. So, the thought of giving up that safe tracking scares me a bit, but I think it could definitely be a good idea for me to change it up and start to trust myself a little more!

Have you ever tried the Simply Filling Technique (formerly called Core and then something else before that)? Is it something you think you would try?

Upside Down Tracking

I thought it might be fun to do a little series diving into some different tools and techniques that Weight Watchers has that people might not know that much about. Some ideas I have besides today’s topic are:

    • Simply Filling Technique
    • Activity Points v. Weekly Points – which to use first
    • Activity Point Goals
    • Weight Watchers for Endurance Athletes

If you have any others, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

Upside Down Tracking

For me, from the time I get home from work on is the hardest time of day for staying on track. I am generally quite good during the day – I bring my coffee, breakfast, snacks and lunch to work and am usually good at sticking with what I brought. Unless cookies/cupcakes are brought into the office, but that’s another story for another day.

A few weeks ago, the meeting topic was all about tracking, and the idea of Upside Down Tracking was brought up, which I’d heard about but haven’t yet used. The basic idea is this: your daily PointsPlus target is the amount of points you get for a 24 hour period. For those of us who struggle more at night, you reset your points before dinner, and then based on how many you consume at night, you plan your breakfast/lunch/snacks for the next day.

So, for an example, I get 29 pts+ per day as my allowance. Monday night I had a (three hour) Weight Watchers training session, and here’s what I ate during and after the training:

    • Sandwich Thin (3 pts)
    • 2 servings pretzels (6 pts)
    • 2 oz. turkey (2 pts)
    • 1/4 cup hummus (3 pts)
    • 1 banana (0 pts)
    • 1 orange (0 pts)
    • 100 calorie dark chocolate bar (3 pts)

If my math skills serve me correctly, that adds up to 17 pts. Since I get 29 a day, I’d subtract the 17 pts and am left with 12 to use between breakfast, lunch, and snacks for the next day. Then, the next day’s dinner, my points would reset back to 29. Make sense?

I think this technique is quite interesting and something that could really work to my advantage since nighttime tends to be the hardest part of the day for me. Rather than feeling guilty for having an extra snack at night, I’d just know that I had to make some adjustments the next day. If you’re a calorie counter rather than a Points counter, this same technique could work with restarting your counting from before dinner or whenever the hardest part of the day is for you.

What do you think about this concept? Had you heard of it or tried it before? Is it something you think could work for you?

It’s Official

I’m a Weight Watchers Leader!! 🙂

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I’ve now led my third meeting as a legit leader (and not a trainee) and feel like I am getting more comfortable and confident each time. The meeting I’m working is actually one that I led my second time ever leading a meeting as a trainee, which you can read all about here. It’s super early in the morning (7:45am – yikes!) but I get pretty excited about it so haven’t had a hard time waking up yet, which is a small miracle.

I’m still a little awkward in front of the group, and sometimes my mind goes completely blank while I’m up there even though I have a good idea how I want the meeting to go from the start. I think that will get easier with time, but one thing I’ve started doing that is helping is not over thinking it. The topics are generally pretty self explanatory for someone like me who knows the program inside and out, and while there are loose guidelines of how the meeting can go, it’s largely pulled along by what the members have to say.

One thing that a lot of people might not know is that as a Leader, you are only supposed to talk about 1/4 of the time and are much more a facilitator than a lecturer. Most of the meeting should be filled with members sharing ideas with each other and the Leader asking thought provoking questions and pushing the conversation along as needed. One of the reasons for this is that a lot of people assume that the Leader has “figured it out” (which clearly I have not) so it’s more beneficial for many of them to get ideas from other members who are in the same boat.

So though I definitely feel like I am getting better, more comfortable, and less awkward as the meetings go on, there are certainly several areas for improvement.

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Source.

To name a few:

Figure out what to do with my hands! One of the things I’ve gotten better about is moving around the room a little bit so that I’m not standing glued to one spot on the floor. That said, I always awkwardly hold my hands in front of my body and though I’m completely conscious of it, I don’t know what to do with them to make me look more natural. I think I need to practice in front of a mirror!

Get more comfortable with silence. Since the goal is to have the members talk for most of the time, it’s important that I leave enough time for members to process and think about the questions I ask. While 8 seconds sounds like it would go by in the blink of an eye, when you’re in front of a room of people with all eyes on you, it can sometimes feel like an eternity.

Get more comfortable/confident in general. I think this one will only come with time and I’ve already seen a big improvement in myself since my first meeting, but I definitely need to keep working on it. I am very confident in social situations/in real life, so it still baffles me a little bit that I get so self conscious in front of the group, but I am confident this will improve with each meeting I lead.

Do you have any questions about being a leader that you’re curious about? If you are/were a WW-er at any point in time, what were some of the characteristics of your favorite leader(s)?

Starting The Week Off Right

Happy Monday! I had a really awesome weekend because two of my best friends from Connecticut came to visit me that I hadn’t seen in a loooong time! Even though I grew up in CT, my parents moved away when I graduated from college, so I never go back there during holidays or anything and it was SO great to see them. My other best friend from Connecticut, Erika, lives here in the area, but lives out in Arlington, so we ended up doing Friday night in Arlington and Saturday night in DC.

Here’s me and Allison on Friday night:

beth and allison

And Jaci and Erika on Saturday night:

Jaci and Erika We had two awesome dinners – one at Boulevard Woodgrill on Friday night, and one at Zatinya on Saturday evening. Both dinners evolved into nights out on the town, but you have to go big when friends are visiting, right?

After they get on the road yesterday morning, I had the most productive day Sunday ever. I did laundry, cleaned my entire apartment top to bottom, went through my closet and got rid of a bunch of clothes, did a new-to-me workout DVD, and cooked up a storm. I went grocery shopping on Friday night before they got here to pick up a few things, and decided to try to make it through the week without another trip. I need to work through everything in my fridge before I leave Friday morning for San Antonio and I think I can make it through the week with what I have, so I’m going to try!

Yesterday’s cooking involved whipping up a batch of veggie soup, brown rice, and un-pictured steel cut oats:

Sunday Prep

I made the simple soup by cooking onion, garlic, celery, and carrots over low heat for 10-15 minutes, then adding spices and water and letting it simmer for 45 minutes. When it was done, I stirred in a few handfuls of fresh spinach and that was it. I had a bowl last night and ended up adding some brown rice to bulk it up a bit and it was delicious! I plan to use the brown rice throughout the week for the taco salads, to add to the soup, and to make veggie fried brown rice later in the week.

Here’s what I came up with for a menu plan:

Breakfast Lunch Snack Dinner
Monday Savory Oats, banana Sardines w/Wasa Crackers, 1 cup veggie soup, plus Veggies w/ Black Bean Dip Greek Yogurt w/leftover fruit salad Tempeh Taco Salad
Tuesday English Muffin w/canadian bacon + cheese, banana Leftover Tempeh Taco Salad, veggie soup Veggies w/ Black Bean Dip Veggie Fried Brown Rice
Wednesday Savory Oats Leftover veggie fried rice Greek Yogurt w/mashed banana + brown sugar Out to Dinner – TBD
Thursday WW Waffles w/PB+Banana Leftover Tempeh Taco Salad, veggie soup Greek Yogurt w/frozen pineapple Omelet w/veggies + cheese plus toast

 

And here’s the plan for workouts, aiming for 5 days of working out and 2 days of rest:

    • Sunday: No More Trouble Zones (check!)
    • Monday: 4 miles
    • Tuesday: Rest
    • Wednesday: Speed Work – 7x400s
    • Thursday: Cross-Training
    • Friday: 8 miles in San Antonio
    • Saturday: Rest

This week, I want to really focus on sticking with the plan so I can work my way through everything in my fridge and make some progress on the scale. I have a lot to do before I leave for San Antonio on Friday, so I’m aiming to get most of my workouts done in the morning before work, which is my main goal for the week – get to the gym first thing!

Do you ever do workout DVDs at home? What is your favorite one?

I “love” Jillian Michael’s workout DVDs – they are built on a circuit system and really make me sweat! I have The Shred which is 3 20-minute workouts, and just got No More Trouble Zones on Friday, which is a 40 minute circuit plus warm-up and cool down, and it is INTENSE. It’s a total body workout and the equivalent of doing two levels of the Shred at once in my opinion, but I’m looking for more suggestions!

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