Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Odds and ends

I got my newest 5-pound star yesterday at Weight Watchers. That’s 36 pounds total with 2.2 lost this week. I told you I’d lose that .8.

Tomorrow, I’m heading to Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge for the weekend. For the past 11 years, every spring I work as a counselor at a camp for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It started as a story I wrote as a reporter and became a passion. It’s something I look forward to every year.

Last year I was miserable at camp. My feet and hands were swollen and all the walking around nearly did me in. It was one of my first realizations of how out of control I had become. This year I’ll have a new spring in my step and a little less to carry around.

Physically, it can be a tough few days. There’s a ton of walking. Throughout the weekend there are activities like boating, fishing, putt-putt, kickball, arts and crafts and even a dance. I’ll for sure reach my 15,000 steps goal. There are also some campers who use wheelchairs, and there can be a little bit of pushing and lifting involved. Though I have to skip my Friday personal training, I’ll be getting my workout in plenty of ways.

The food is something I can’t control, though. Camp Twin Lakes actually has wonderful food, but you are served what you are served. I’m going to try to make healthier choices in how much I eat. There’s also a salad bar and lots of fruit. Healthier options are possible—I just have to look for them.

Though I’ll not be blogging Friday as I usually do, I’ll be back Monday to let you know how many steps I walked this weekend and how I did with my food.

I wanted to give a little shout out to some of my co-workers. The Marketing and Communications Department has really made it a point to focus on wellness. Everyone here, particularly my fellow Editorial Team members, has been unbelievably supportive of me. I’m so grateful. My teammate Casey has organized several wellness challenges as well as occasional healthy potlucks.

A special yay goes to my manager, Paul, and my other teammate, Beth, who just began their second four-week cycle of Operation Boot Camp. The two of them get to Piedmont Park every morning at 5:45 for an intense workout. It’s showing, too. Last week, when they wrapped up their first session, Paul had shaved 1.8 minutes off his mile run, and Beth reduced her time by 1.3 minutes. Total rock stars.

How have the rest of you stepped up your wellness goals?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Double, double toil and trouble

Ugh. Could my last entry have been any more whiny and self-indulgent?

Huge apologies for that. I can’t promise that I’ll always be sure of myself and happy in my posts, but I can promise I’ll share how I'm truly feeling. So let’s move past those pathetic ramblings and have some fun today.

Let’s talk about the Double Down.

Surely you’ve heard of it.

According to the KFC website, this “one-of-a-kind sandwich features two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken filets (Original Recipe® or Grilled), two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and Colonel's Sauce. This product is so meaty, there’s no room for a bun!”

They are even so bold as to put their nutritional info right on the page. You can try the Double Down for a mere 540 calories and 32 grams of fat.

Like a new iPhone debut, there were countdowns to the Double Down release day April 12. It was a trending topic on Twitter. People were actually excited about this.

Personally, I am horrified by it. I look at it and can almost feel my arteries clogging. I’m wondering, though, if that is a new reaction because of how I’ve been eating lately, or if I would find it appealing if I were still binging on a regular basis.

Because trust me when I say there are many things I wish were as unappealing to me as the Double Down. Here are a few:

Mayonnaise—I know. Gross. But gross AND super tasty.

Pizza—Perhaps the one food I really wish were devoid of calories.

Cheese—Y’all know how I feel about cheese. Mmm, cheese.

Other fast food—Including, but not limited to: Chick-Fil-A No. 1 combo meals, Chick-Fil-A milkshakes, Big Macs, Taco Bell Meximelts, Zaxby’s and Arby’s BLTs and curly fries.

Buttermilk ranch dressing—I’ve yet to find a really good low-fat sub for this.

Chips and dip—Particularly Doritos with French onion or chips and queso from Mexican restaurants.

Alcohol—See my post-wedding entry for more.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A picture is worth a thousand sighs

I’m grumpy today.

I thought about not writing, but I felt guilty for only blogging once this week. So here I am in all my grumpy glory.

Losing weight is hard, you know? I’m still in this struggle with the mental part. I know I’ve come a long way, but it’s so easy to forget that.

Today, my dad sent me the photos from my friend’s wedding. I felt pretty good that night. I was proud of myself (and told anyone who would listen) that I had finally achieved the perfect smoky eye. I loved my dress. I was surrounded by friends and family I love.

And then I saw the pictures. That same fat girl is still staring into the camera. Sure, maybe she’s 35 lbs. less fat, but still…

It’s why I avoid pictures altogether. I know I’ll eventually be happy to be photographed, and I’ll probably want some pictures for posterity’s sake when I reach my goal. But for right now, I’m just bummed. To me, I don’t look any different.

I’m going to leave you with a few pictures—I want to put them up so that in a few months I hopefully *will* be able to see the difference.

I’m sorry to be a Debbie Downer today. I’ll snap back Monday and be back to my chipper self. Promise.

My dad and me.

My brother, Christopher, and me.

My friend Zach, nephew of bride and groom, and me.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The good, the bad and the beautiful

As I mentioned, I was in Florida this past weekend for my friend’s wedding. Today at Weight Watchers, I had my first gain. Let’s just get right to it and see how that .8 lbs. could have possibly happened, shall we?

The good
  • When I took the dress I bought to get hemmed, it needed major alteration because it was too big. The downside is that it cost me about 70 bucks. But that was for a good reason, so I won’t complain.
  • I didn’t overindulge in Diet Coke.*
  • I did a lot of walking and running around helping with wedding setup.
  • My friends and family were affirming of my thus-far success.
  • Avoided (and wasn’t even tempted by them, actually) the chips and salsa and bacon cheddar fries at dinner the first night I was there.
  • Lots of dancing at the reception (in heels) was a mini workout.

The bad
  • Friday, when we were setting up the reception space, we ordered Pizza Hut. I didn’t have another food option, but I did have the option not to eat three pieces. Let’s just say I didn’t choose that option.
  • The wedding favors were adorable cookies that looked like my friends’ giant schnauzer, Stella. I helped to tie bows for the favor bags. I also helped myself to three Stella cookies.
  • *Replaced DC with an inordinate amount of red wine at the wedding.
  • Decided against a Gnu bar in favor of a Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuit Friday morning.
  • Sunday morning, ditched my healthy egg-white omelet plans for eggs Benedict at brunch with my family.

The beautiful
  • My gorgeous and dear friend, Lara, marrying John, the love of her life.

I promise to post pictures soon. And I also promise to lose that .8 next week. I totally deserved that gain after my actions of the weekend. But I’m still convinced it would have been much worse just a few months ago. Back on the wagon, my friends. Giddy-up.

Stay tuned

I'm back from my weekend of festivities. I'm a little busy catching up, but I promise a blog later today, after my Weight Watchers meeting. Check back sometime after lunch for all the gory details.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's all in your (my) head

I officially don’t have to pay for Weight Watchers.

At this week’s meeting, I earned my 10 percent, which came with this nifty little keychain. Yay!

But I’m still struggling with the mental part. Not of losing weight—I think I’ve finally gotten that right in my head—but with the yay me part.

Yeah, 10 percent is great. I guess it’s a big deal. But I’m still having a hard time celebrating. It’s that inner voice (I never did pick a name for him) who keeps nagging me, chiding me about how far I have to go.

He says stuff to me, like:

“Great, 10 percent. You’re still really fat, though. You could still be one of the contestants on ‘The Biggest Loser.’”

“You should just give up now. It’s going to take FOREVER to get anywhere even close to your goal.”

“People are only saying they can tell a difference because they know you’re doing Weight Watchers.”

Ad nauseum.

Please know that I don’t tell you guys this to solicit compliments. It’s simply what I’m feeling. I wish I could change it. I wish, when someone tells me that I’m doing a good job, I didn’t feel the automatic need to follow it up with “Yeah, but I have a long way to go.” Yesterday, at the WW meeting, I felt guilty celebrating my 10 percent, because my goal seems light years away.

Tomorrow I’m heading to Florida to celebrate the wedding of one of my very best friends. I’m going to get to see my dad, who also lives in Florida, too. I’m looking forward to seeing so many friends and loved ones. And I’m going to try to be in the moment instead of wasting time being self-conscious. Wish me luck.

I won’t be doing my usual Friday blog, but I will be back Monday, hopefully with some pictures. I hope you all have wonderful, healthy weekends.

By the way, I wanted to say a quick thank you to all of you who write me, comment on the blog or stop me in the hallway. I can’t tell you how much it means to me.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I get it, I get it

Eh. That’s how I feel about my weekend at the Ronald. Not great, not terrible. Just…eh.

I definitely avoided the treats. The Girl Scouts came Saturday to bake (aren’t they sweet?). They made chocolate croissants, chocolate chip cookies, muffins and a caramel cake. And I managed to avoid them all.

Saturday at breakfast, I just had eggs and fruit salad, skipping the bacon, sausage and pancakes our volunteers made. And for pizza night last night, I ate the salad that was brought and had my own Lean Cuisine pizza. Not bad.

But Saturday, someone brought homemade chicken fried rice, egg rolls and this yummy Asian salad. I decided to eat it rather than one of my own frozen dinners. I even had two egg rolls. For dessert, I ate some of the frozen fruit sorbet that was brought. OK, that’s fat free and fruit-based and yummy, but still a little more sugar than I would have liked.

Yesterday I had a bit more of the chicken fried rice for lunch. That time I only ate one egg roll and just a little bit of the Asian slaw.

Oh, and did I mention I had a torrid affair with DC every single day this weekend? Even after I broke up with him? Yeah, like four Diet Cokes since Friday.

Today, I just feel a little blah. Compared to past times at the Ronald, I was great. But compared to the past few weeks, I was not so great.

Plus, this is the second time I’ve overeaten Chinese food. I don’t even really LIKE Chinese food. I’m wondering if part of my problem is that I tried so hard to avoid the obvious goodies that I just substituted them with a little too much dinner.

Ah well, this is another week. Yay for Mondays when our sins of the weekend can be washed clean.

The only good thing to come out of my Chinese overindulgence was my fortune, which came in the cookie I did not eat. It said (no lie):

"Healthy foods will keep you strong."

Yeah, I get it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cel-e-brate without food—come on!

Birthdays have cakes. Valentine’s Day has chocolates. Thanksgiving is just a cornucopia of gluttony. So many of our celebrations center around food.

But how should we celebrate weight loss?

I think rewards are important and can be great motivators. But I struggle with trying to come up with appropriate ones. After all, I’m used to celebrating my success with food (and wine, of course).

I recently bought myself a Clarisonic Mia—a skincare cleansing system. It was a bit pricey, but I decided to look at it as my first reward. I bought it not long after I hit my 25 lb. mark.

I’m also getting Celebrations points through Children’s. I keep joking that because I have so much weight to lose and because I’m earning points through both Weight Watchers and Strong4Life, I’m working up to a flat screen. Maybe not quite, but I do have my eye on a nice camera.

Well-intentioned, though sometimes a little hurtful, my grandfather has given me a hard time about my weight my entire life. In the past few years, he’s told me he’d give me $5 for every pound I lost. I always sort of blew that off. But when I lost my first 10 lbs., I called him and told him he owed me $50. Hey, he’s bugged me about it for long enough, it’s time to pay up, Grandpa! I’ve since earned another $100 from him, though he decided our deal stops after I lose 50 lbs.

Clothes don’t work as rewards, because hopefully I won’t be in a size for too long. Sometimes mani/pedis are nice rewards, but, honestly, I would probably get those anyway.

So, what are some non-food ways you reward yourself? I welcome your ideas.

A few more things—I stuck to my promise and wrote three times this week. It’s nice to actually follow through on a commitment. This weekend I’m at the Ronald again, so make sure you check in Monday to see how I did. Personal training continues to go well. I’ll write more about it next week.

Thanks, as always, for reading. Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hungry like the rat

Recently, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an article about a junk food addiction study. The study was completely fascinating. Here's an excerpt:
The theory stems from a study in rats. When researchers gave the rats unlimited access to a calorie-laden diet of bacon, pound cake, candy bars and other junk food, the rats quickly gained lots of weight. As they plumped up, eating became such a compulsion that they kept chowing down even when they knew they would receive an unpleasant electric shock to their foot if they did so.
So these poor, fat rats keep going back to the junk food, even though they'd be physically hurt because of it. Boy, can I relate to those rats. I have spent a great majority of my life ignoring the physical (and emotional) pain my food addiction caused. I was like a robot (or a rat)--just going to the food, letting myself get shocked along the way. I didn't care. It was what I needed to get through the hard times, the happy times, the sad times.

The article goes on to say that when the rats were fed healthy foods, they just weren't havin' it.
Even more startling, the researchers report, is that when they took away the junk food from the obese rats and replaced it with healthier chow, the obese rats went on something of a hunger strike. For two weeks, they refused to eat hardly anything at all.
The rats sound like I once was--stubborn and bitter. But now I'm realizing how good life can be when you're not going through pain to get to more pain. Now that I'm not just going through the motions, I'm feeling more alive and present than I ever was before. Feelings are good things.

I may no longer be a rat in a rut. But you'll still have to kill me to get me to give up cheese.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Reunited and it feels...OK

Diet Coke: You’re back! Where’ve you been, kid? It’s been like 40 days or something.

Erika: It has. I gave you up for Lent, remember?

DC: Oh right. Well, anyway, I missed you! So, what are we going to do first? Huh? Huh?

E: I don’t know…I’m excited to take a sip of you, but after that, I’m not sure.

DC: I don’t get it. We’ve spent so much time apart. Why do you seem like you’re not that thrilled to see me?

E: Well, DC, it *has* been a while, and I’m…well, I’m just not the same person I was.

DC: Hold up, are you breaking up with me?

E: No, no, of course not. I mean, I like you, I just don’t like you-like you.

DC: Seriously, you’re not giving me the “let’s be friends” speech, are you?

E: Come on, DC. I really DO want to be your friend. It was good for us to take a break. I learned that maybe we’re not as good for each other as we used to be. I’ve found some other drinks that I like—peach-flavored Fresca, even water…

DC: You’re CHEATING on me? Great. You took those pictures with me yesterday. You totally led me on.

E: Look, I ‘m sorry. I really was excited to see you. But it’s just not the same. We’ll still see each other every once in a while, just not every single day like we used to. I don’t want to hurt you. Trust me. It’s not you, it’s me.

DC: Yeah, I’ve heard that one before. Whatever. Could you at least introduce me to some of your hot friends?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Movin' on down

Meet my newest BFF:

It’s my milestone marker for 25 lb. weight loss. Yay! Last week I came up .2 lbs. short of 25 lbs. Ugh. It would have been easier if it were at least a whole pound away. .2? That’s just silly. This week I hit that .2 and went past it. I’m now down a total of 28.4 lbs.

A few of you have asked that I post more. I promise to be more responsive. As I mentioned last week, I was busy moving and I also had a major project due at work that left me little time for blogging. But I think things are finally calming down. Hopefully.

Routine is a pretty important thing to me these days. I have a fairly set meal schedule, exercise schedule, etc. But being so busy has thrown me off yet again.

I have to confess that this past Sunday I did something I haven’t done in a couple of months. I overate. I had spent the day moving and cleaning my old apartment. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and I was tired and hungry.

My car made a bee-line for the drive-through--Panda Express. And I don’t even really care for Chinese. Still, I ordered. And when the guy asked me if I wanted rangoon (you know, those yummy cream cheese-filled crab puffs) with it, I said “sure” before I even knew what I was saying.

I went home and basically inhaled it. Most of it. I did leave some on my plate. But because I ate so quickly, I didn’t realize how full I was until it was too late.

I was miserable. I don’t consider this a binge, because the motivation was not emotional. I was just hungry. And for a quick second, I went back to my old overeating self. But unlike the past, when being overly full would bring me some sense of comfort, I was just uncomfortable and unhappy. To me, that’s just further proof that something truly has changed within me. I’m not planning to do that again.

I’m hoping to get a little more settled this weekend. I haven’t been to the grocery store, which is part of what is making me make wrong choices. And my moving and cleaning has not allowed gym time. Though I do know I got a workout from lugging boxes and scrubbing floors on my hands and knees.

Routine is key for me. Next week will be better. And I’ll also be a better blogger. I promise to post at least three times a week. Feel free to send me hate mail if I don’t.