Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weight Watchers Week 26: 185.8 lbs And Feeling Like A Runner

It doesn't matter that I posted a +0.4 lb gain this week at my meeting (thank you, Domino's) because I shaved almost 2 minutes off my best 5K race time yesterday. 5Ks used to seem so daunting to me, nearly insurmountable. But I remember thinking at the first mile marker yesterday, "Wow, a mile down already? That went fast." And I thought the same thing at the second mile marker, too. And the really amazing realization? It never occurred to me during the race that I felt like I needed to walk. Ever. In fact, two other thoughts kept invading my brain space, instead: 1.) "I really need to keep pushing my pace because the faster I go, the faster I finish." And 2.) "I really wish this girl would stop sprinting ahead of me whenever I catch up to her." (She kept sprinting ahead, and then stopped to walk awhile, and then she sprint ahead again whenever I finally caught up to her. Obnoxious.)

So I kept pushing myself. Next thing I know, I'm rounding the corner and I see the finish line just a block away. And now for the SUPER obnoxious part. Two or three serious-runner-looking types who were off in the grass watching the race suddenly join the girl who had been walking/sprinting ahead of me to encourage her to kick it in high gear to finish. Well, apparently she crashed and burned because I'm the one who found my second wind and sprinted to the end, kicking her butt - it felt AMAZING!!

The next race on the circuit: a 10-miler at the end on October, twice as long as any race I've ever attempted. Looks like I've got some work to do.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weight Watchers Week 24: 187 lbs And Conquering The Plateau

Ahhh.... Wow, this feels good. And by "this," I mean finally getting off that awful, frustrating plateau from the last month. By "this," I mean having best WW meeting ever yesterday, where the leader made me feel like a million bucks, asking me to stand up, twirl around, and try to put into words what it feels like to be 50 pounds lighter. "This" also refers to going to an actual running store yesterday with my husband to buy new running shoes for ourselves, something unimaginable 50 lbs ago. "This" = the pedicure I treated myself to yesterday as a reward for losing said 50 lbs. And "this" also means hearing my husband tell me yesterday after I got back from my meeting, "I'm so proud of you," and then taking me out for dinner last night to celebrate. Ahhh.... Yes, this feels really good.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Weight Watchers Week 23: 190.6 lbs And Plateaued...

... but still fighting the good fight. I really hate getting into such a good rhythm of watching the pounds drop off only to hit a wall and see the scale come to a standstill for weeks on end. But I have to give myself a pat on the butt this time (hey, if football players can do it, so can I) - before WW, I would've used a colossal frustration such as a plateau to say to myself, "Self, this sucks. Nothing you're doing is working. You'll weigh the same tomorrow, even if you eat nothing but rice cakes and sweat a few miles on the treadmill. Why not kick back on couch all day with a couple jumbo-sized bags of kettle-cooked jalapeno chips? It just doesn't seem to matter at this point..." I never said it was a RATIONAL thought process, but that's what would go through my mind after a few days of not seeing the scale budge. It never occurred to me that when it comes to plateaus, the rules change: no longer is the goal to lose weight. Victory, instead, is more defined by NOT GAINING. By fighting through the time it takes for my body to recalibrate itself. To not sabotage the good I've done so far. To see that maintaining within the range of 190-194 lbs for the past month is hugely successful when compared to what might have been: falling off the wagon and eating everything in sight until I was back up twenty-some-odd pounds and staring at a number like 213 on the scale this morning (think it's impossible to gain 20 pounds in a month? Try me, I've done it more than a few times in my life...).

I've also found that it helps to not only switch my definition of success to maintaining, but also to find completely non-scale-related ways of defining progress. Right now, I'm jogging the best times of my short running career (it's funny to call this a running career, given my complete non-quickness). Case in point, last night I ran in 5-mile race on the beach. I've been kinda slackin' at the gym lately, and so I wasn't expecting great results - especially since I've never jogged longer than 4 miles. My goal was to jog half the race and walk the rest. But I don't know what happened. I kept setting mini-goals for myself, telling myself that I wouldn't stop to walk until I physically couldn't jog anymore. I don't know how I did it, but I jogged all but the first 3-4 minutes of the fifth mile. I JOGGED FOR AN ENTIRE HOUR LAST NIGHT!!!!!!!!! THAT'S HUGE!!!!!!! If that's not a victory, I don't know what is. And it's further confirmation that my 5K times will continue to improve..... Next stop - an improved 5K time on Sept 27..... I'll let you know.

So moral of the story? I'm successful this month because I don't weigh 213 lbs. My new size 14 khakis fit nicely. I continue to get lots of compliments from co-workers. I'm eating on-plan. I can jog more than 2 minutes without feeling read to collapse. I can walk up two flights of stairs without getting winded. And I don't feel miserable physically and emotionally during the day. None of the above would be possible had I thrown in the towel at the beginning of this plateau. And that is more than enough for me right now.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Weight Watchers Week 19: 190 lbs On The Tour De Pain

<---- Yeah, I did that! And ran personal best times in each race, too. I'm still in shock, actually. Last night on the 4-mile beach run, I jogged the whole thing without stopping to walk, AND I felt like I could keep on running awhile longer if needed. This morning's 5K felt a lot harder, but it was also more humid. And this afternoon's 1-miler was also a scorcher, but the free pizza and beer afterward made it all worth it. And earning my Tour De Pain medal will probably be the only medal I'll EVER earn for running, so I'm wearing it EVERYWHERE!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Today Was A Good Day...

... because I was showered with compliments all day long. Today was the first day of pre-planning, and just like our students have to re-adjust to the physical changes their peers go through over the long summer, I guess so do teachers. My fellow teachers ooh'd and aah'd over my summer slimdown, and it felt amazing. I know I've lost a lot (over 50 lbs since late March), but I guess I didn't realize hoq noticeable it was to those who hadn't seen me in awhile. I just couldn't stop smiling today. **Sigh**

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Weight Watchers Week 18: 192.6 lbs In The Great State Of ILLINOIS

Whew, the scale started moving in the right direction this week. I had been especially worried because I went up to Illinois recently to visit friends and family all over the state. But I planned well with lots of Core snacks for the plane and car trips, and I talked with both sets of parents to see what was on the "menu," so I was all set. And I followed through.

But what was most eye-opening on the trip was the WW meeting I went to while I was up there. I was all excited, too, 'cause I roped my mom into coming - I really wanted to show her the motivation behind all my recent success in downsizing. Wow, was that a mistake. I really hate to say this, but the WW leader was TERRIBLE. She had lots of confidence to speak in front of a group, but it felt like she used her leader role to turn the meeting into her own personal therapy session. She talked about herself most of the time, gave us lots of little side stories about her own weight loss journey, and .... well.... it was just bad. She finally came out and said that recent post-pregnancy-weight was the reason she turned to WW, which, in my not-so-unbiased opinion isn't related to an eating problem of ANY kind. I'm guessing that most of the other women in that room, myself included, couldn't relate to her, because unlike her, the rest of us had battled our weight our entire lives. She just had a baby, so of COURSE she's a bit bigger than she's used to. So what!?

The absolute worst part of the meeting was when she said that she joined WW when she finally ballooned up to a size 16 and was absolutely disgusted with herself. I wanted to walk out of the meeting at that point. There I was, so proud of all my efforts to GET BACK INTO my size 16 jeans, and she was DISGUSTED with that size? And most of the women in that room were bigger than me. If I felt bad, I'm sure quite a few of them weren't exactly feeling great about themselves, either, at that point. To top it all off, the topic was all about focusing on body parts that we like, and so she went off on a 5-minute tangent about how much she liked her butt! I seriously wanted to crawl into a hole, 'cause my mom was there and I'm sure she wasn't enjoying it AT ALL. I was SO distracted by the leader's inability to.... well, lead..... that I forgot all about my amazing 5-lb loss at weigh-in. That's right - FIVE POUNDS. For some reason, I assumed the lady meant 5 ounces when she weighed me in, so I made her repeat herself, and nope - 5 POUNDS :) But did they give me my 5-lb gold star? Of course not. Just a bad meeting all around.

I always knew my leader at home in Florida was great, but it wasn't 'til having the aforementioned awful experience that made me so grateful for MY leader. She clearly has a gift for what she does. I genuinely look forward to each and every meeting, just to listen to her talk and watch the way she turns every negative into a positive. It's impossible to leave without feeling like I can conquer my eating challenges, and the world, for that matter. She NEVER discusses her own size, and come to think of it, she never really discusses herself at all, except perhaps a few off-handed comments about how she gave into some dessert that week and got back on track the next day..... or her new gym membership and the challenges she faces making herself go...... just normal, everyday things we all face and deal with. She's so down to earth. And I'm sure she's never raved about her butt at a meeting, either.

Anyway. The rest of my trip was fantastic. I saw all my friends and family that I wanted to, I went and visited my alma mater (GO ILLINI) and went to visit my old high school. All of it made me sincerely miss small-town life. People who aren't from the Midwest will never understand the draw of being surrounded by a sea of cornfields instead of condominiums.... to experience four seasons instead of summer year-round..... and to be forced to slow down and take note of all this beauty because of traffic congestion of a different kind: a tractor pulling out onto the main highway to get to the next field. It all just made me sigh and say, "AHHhhhhh. I'm home."

The picture above is taken one such small town very near where I grew up. This pic is in Harvard, Illinois - "Home of Milk Day" (Hence the cow at the town's main intersection. Apparently, this intersection has a lot of accidents because everyone's busy staring at the cow. The Harvard Hornets were big rivals of my own high school back in the day, and rumor has it that the cow was susceptible to many a prank by such rival high schools. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Weight Watchers Week 16: Dealing With My First Gain

Well, I knew this day would come sooner or later. Today at my meeting, I posted my first gain at +0.6. I was on-plan all week, and I lost 4 lbs last week, so I'm not worried about it - I think my body's just readjusting to all the recent weight loss. Besides, today was my 16-week mark with Weight Watchers, so I had reason to enough celebrate anyway (WW says it takes 16 weeks to form a habit, so it's big milestone they like to celebrate).

And life is still great here in Onederland :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Weight Watchers Week 15: 197.8 lbs in Onederland

I'm thrilled today - at the meeting, I finally crossed over into the promised Onederland, losing 4 lbs this week! 41.6 lbs total in 15 weeks! I feel absolutely incredible.

The picture here is from last week in Sea World. I was in Orlando for a conference, and the hotel they put us up in was right across the street from the water park. I figured it'd be a crime not to go - especially since teachers get in free!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Weight Watchers Week 14: 201.8 lbs, Celebration 5K

At weigh-in this morning, the Weight Watchers "weigh-er in-er" lady (what else would I call her, anyway?) said "Marchin' right along" after she told me I was down another 1.8 lbs. "Just marchin' right along toward your goal, aren't ya," she said again. How appropriate, I thought. Gone are the days of posting huge weekly weight-loss numbers into my little WW Membership Book. No more 5-lbs gone a week. My body seems to have settled into losing a comfortable pound-or-so a week, and I'm just fine by that - especially given the reality of the alternative of easily packing on the pounds by completely losing all self-control with food.

Another milestone - I improved my 5K time by running in the Celebration 5K yesterday morning for the 4th of July. My goal was to run under 38:11, which is what I did in last month's 5K attempt. During yesterday's race, I remember thinking throughout that I wasn't pushing myself, that there was a good chance I wouldn't improve, because I remember thinking that the last race I ran was sooooo difficult and that I nearly died trying to push myself so much. I kinda felt like I was just loping along. And so I was thrilled when I realized that I had shaved off nearly 2 minutes by finishing in 36:18 - I'll take it! Guess my "training sessions" at the gym have paid off :) .

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Weight Watchers Week 11: 208.6 lbs


Well, I didn't get one, but that's okay. I would've had to break 24:00 minutes, and we know that's not happening in this lifetime. BUT I'm happy with how I did. I ran it in under 39:00 minutes, which beats my old treadmill time of 42:17. I must say it felt pretty good to do so much better than I had expected of myself.

In other bravo-worthy news, I survived our B&B trip down to St. Augustine earlier this week. My strategy was to follow the Core Plan as closely as possible with regard to food, but then let the alcohol flow in the evenings. Turns out it paid off - I was down 0.2 lbs at the meeting's weigh-in this morning -- whoo-hoo!

I can't say enough how much I'm loving Weight Watchers. I've always known that most of my eating issues are all psychological in that I need more accountability. The meetings are great for that purpose, and I really look forward to them. Here's to continued success this summer!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Weight Watchers Week 2: 234.6 lbs

I can't believe how good I feel already, mentally. I feel in control again. I love how Weight Watchers isn't so restrictive - I can eat what I want, so long as I "budget" for it. I've been working out, and I've already noticed that my metabolism's better, just by noting how ravenous I get when I don't eat regularly throughout the day. I just feel in control, and I love that feeling. And I love the meetings. I love seeing other people succeeding and celebrating their successes. Finally, this is the U-turn I've been needing for so long.

One bad thing this week, though - my knees. I've never EVER had knee pain before, and it's gotten so bad during this week that it's painful to walk in the morning when I get out of bed. I haven't worked out the past couple days because of it, trying to give them a rest. One problem, though, is that because I'm a teacher, I'm on my feet all day. So even though I'm taking a break from the treadmill, my knees are still getting too much of a beating at work. The pain hasn't been subsiding over the weekend, either, and I'm starting to worry now. Not because I don't want my weight loss to stall, but because, well.... I just don't think this kind of severe pain is normal at age 29. I'm really kicking myself for trying to jog too soon before getting my weight down. All this extra weight combined with my job, and carrying large bags of books up and down stairs at work everyday has probably been beating my knees up pretty badly.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Breadless Mrs. B, No More? Changing Sides With Weight Watchers: Week 1, 239.4 lbs

Well, I did something today I never thought I'd do in a million years. I walked into my first Weight Watchers meeting this morning. Once again, I've completely let myself go, and this time my weight is the worst it's been in a loooong time. Last Saturday, I actually tipped the scales at 247.4. Just a few measly pounds away from my highest of 255 a few years ago when I first started out with low-carb. So of course none of my clothes fit, going from a size 12/14 to literally busting out of my size 18's (my side pockets in my khakis are actually ripping). My complexion's a mess, and I feel absolutely huge. The last straw? On my plane trip up to Boston a few days ago for Spring Break, I had one of those fat girl moments. You know that little arm rest thingy that separates the seats? Well, it wouldn't go all the way down because my big fat thigh was in the way. HOW EMBARRASSING. The guy sitting next to me kept trying to rest his arm on the armrest (duh), and kept pushing it down, like he thought it was broke or something. I was mortified.... I swore to myself I wouldn't do this to myself again, and yet here I am... hopelessly fat .... again.... the fat person that no one wants to get stuck sitting next to on a plane.

So all you faithful low-carbers, I have to find something different. While I fully acknowledge that my body responds best to low-carb, right now my emotional/binging issues with food far outweigh (how's that for a pun?) my body's sugar issues. I have got to find some system of accountability, support, and something with a better focus on portion control. And so I'm giving Weight Watchers a try.

My whole experience this morning at the meeting was one big pleasant surprise. I never realized what a following WW's has. I was afraid of it being a small group (where I'd stick out like a sore thumb) in some rinky-dink meeting room borrowed from another business. How wrong I was. This place was packed, I'd say easily 70 people, and they were running out of seats. And the office space was for WW only, complete with a reception area, staging area, scales, signs, posters, wall of products, everything. The leaders and receptionists were so nice, and I immediately felt like this was something I needed to look forward to once a week. And so I signed up. My first weigh-in: 239.4. SOoooo far to go, but WW focuses on just the first 10%, so 216 is looking somewhat doable.

And so, "Breadless Mrs. B" no more? Of course not..... but probably something more along the lines of "Less-Bread Mrs. B" would be in order ;)