Weight Watchers Feed

Weight Watchers Wednesday: Happy tummy, happy scale

I've been in and out all day long and nearly forgot to post today -- down 1.2 pounds, which is great considering I've been more focused on making my gut feel better this week than on anything else. 

All it took was cutting out wheat and peanuts and the noise in my tummy was silenced. 

Happy_stomachI think that when my stomach was railing against me, I was actually eating to quell the pain and totally sabotaging my weight-loss efforts. Maybe yogurt! A piece of toast! Soup! Ice cream! Nothing was working until I decided to cut out the wheat and peanut butter again.

What did I learn this week?

  • I did best when I didn't eat after dinner. Once or twice I caved and ate a piece of fruit but I also stocked up on zero-calorie stevia-sweetened water enhancers (thanks, Publix!) and would reach for a bottle of tasty water instead of other things.
  • I ramped up the exercise. I'm really good about consistency but during December I got a little sidetracked with holiday stuff and working at the fundraising gift wrap booth at the mall. So I'm back to five solid days a week (can't wait for the new Planet Fitness to open!). 
  • Morning (and sometimes lunch) smoothies are my go-to meals. I can cram a lot of good stuff into one Nutri Ninja cup. I've been reading Dr. Phil's The 20/20 Diet and he suggests making a smoothie with a base of 6 ounces vanilla Greek yogurt and a scoop of whey protein powder. I've always done one or the other but that 1-2 punch of proteins really keeps me full for a long time. 
  • A big bag of organic apples is a great investment. If I absolutely must have something and I'm out of points, I'll grab an apple. But even though Weight Watchers says fruit is zero points, I limit my fruit to three servings. If I happen to go over that, I'll add a point.
  • I really miss peanut butter! We have 4 jars of the stuff, creamy and smooth, in the pantry and I am so tempted to just stick my finger in the jar. But then I remember how awful the stuff makes me feel so I walk away. I have a jar of almond butter in the fridge and that satisfies the nut butter craving but surprisingly I'm not compelled to eat it willy-nilly, like I did with the peanut butter -- go figure.

Weight Watchers Wednesday: The struggle is real (annoying)

Down 4.6 pounds last week, up a pound this week.


I have a good idea why I'm up but here's the problem -- it's probably PMS but at my age this could resolve itself in a few days or, uh, never.

How do I finesse that?

image from upload.wikimedia.org

This month? Next month? Never?

So I'm committed to drinking more water -- a lot more water, in my case, because I don't drink all that much plain water. Tea, coffee, non-caloric flavored -- those are my go-tos but I need to embrace the water bottle more often.

I'm also going to be a bigger salt detective than I already am and reach for non-salty seasonings, like garlic, onion powder and lemon juice.

What did I learn last week?

Avoiding peanut butter and wheat has done absolute WONDERS for me. My stomach is so, so, so happy and I discovered another benefit -- the arthritis inflammation in my right big toe has pretty much disappeared. I even did real push-ups today! Usually I have to do them on my knees because I can't put a lot of pressure on that toe but today I was able to rock the "grownup" push-ups.

What will I do better this week?

Meal scheduling and planning. There were a few days when I didn't get around to eating breakfast until almost noon, then I had lunch shortly after that and a snack after that. Days like that really throw off my hunger cues. It was actually an exercise that we did in our Weight Watchers meeting today. We wrote on a planner sheet our meal schedule for yesterday and then wrote a plan for tomorrow. My eating was all bunched up around the early afternoon yesterday. Tomorrow I'm shooting for every three hours to keep things on an even keel. 

Weight Watchers Wednesday: Whew! Much better

Oh ... hi! Basking in my good health and weight-loss success and I almost forgot to post today.

My stomach virus vanished yesterday, allowing me to hit the gym and get back to my routine, since the teenager and the husband were back to school and work. I actually cancelled that gym membership and signed up for the pre-sale at a Planet Fitness going in a few doors down from my Weight Watchers meeting -- talk about convenient! It's supposed to open next month but right now it's a pile of ductwork and electrical outlets.

Moving on ...

Remember on Saturday when I gained 7 stinking pounds? Today when I weighed in I was down 4.6 pounds. At first I was a little disappointed but then I remembered -- it's only been 4 days! So I'm totally happy with that. 

What have I been doing the past 4 days? 

Big chicken salad
My lunch today -- a big salad with veggies, chicken breast and 2 tablespoons of Bolthouse blue cheese dressing.

I've been trying to automate my meals -- taking a little less choice out of the equation. Breakfast has been a smoothie, lunch a big salad with veggies and 6 ounces of protein, snacktime has been an apple and an ounce of almonds, dinner's protein and veggies with 1/2 cup of quinoa, and my evening snack is 6 ounces of plain lowfat Greek yogurt. 

Yes, you heard me right -- plain. Thing is, when it's 2% plain Greek yogurt it's really, really good (at least to me) and I don't need to add anything.

I think it's all the protein that's keeping me really full, and cutting down on starchy carbs is quelling cravings. 

I'm taking this one day at a time and so far it's working.

Weight Watchers Saturday: The good, the bad and the 'Oh, my gahhh, what happened?'

Let's recap this week:

The good: I kicked off 2015 with the third annual Commitment Day 5k up in Boca Raton. The night before, as we were hosting a New Year's Eve party for a gaggle of teenagers, I started talking myself out of waking up the next morning and driving up to Boca. But then I remembered the name of the 5k: Commitment Day. 

So I laid out my clothes for the morning and made sure I got to sleep at a fairly decent hour. Thankfully, the 5k didn't start until 10 a.m. so I didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn. I wore my Enell gear -- sports bra, tech shirt and cap -- to let the world know that I'm Kind of a Big Deal (and that Enell makes great sports bras). And when I crossed that finish line I felt like a big deal, just for showing up.

The bad: My inability to ignore the piles and piles of party leftovers. There were chips, dips, cookies, crackers, taquitos, candy and other assorted things. 

The "Oh, my gahhh, what happened?": This is me in the parking lot of the Weight Watchers meeting, knowing that the number on the scale wouldn't be great (because Doritos, leftover party food, et al):

Gail before ww meeting

So, yeah. Super bad. Like 7 pounds of garbage bad. (Awesome Under Armour shirt I found at Dick's Sporting Goods.)

Interesting -- I didn't know I could gain that much in one week. I took a river barge trip down Denial this past week with a chip here, a cookie there. Play it again, Batman ...

Batman doritos

I got over the shock and awe of the scale and got some fantastic advice from the Weight Watchers leader, who told me to take all the snacky stuff and mark it with my kid's name then hide it in a cabinet somewhere.

So on the way back from WW, I stopped at Target and bought a storage container, got back home and put all the offenders in it, closed it up and taped a sign on the lid:

Operation hide the junk

Out of sight, out of mind, right? 

The stuff is in bags and boxes, in a sealed container with a big ol' "caution" sign on it, on the floor of the pantry. I'd definitely have to make a concerted effort to eat that stuff.

I'm so glad I stayed for the meeting -- I always do, but I easily could have weighed in and slunk away. And if I did that I wouldn't have figured out a solution to my snack food dilemma.

My teenager looked at me quizzically as I packed up the food and stuck the sign on the lid. He really doesn't get it, and for that I am thrilled.

As far as he's concerned, you eat some stuff until you don't want any more stuff and you put the stuff away and go on with your life. That's all he has known all his life. His brain and his stomach are still properly wired and chances are he will never know the disfunction that I know.

This is a short week for me, weigh-in wise, because I'm going back to my regular Wednesday meetings, so I have four full days to see how quickly I can turn this garbage barge around.

Weight Watchers Saturday: Post-Christmas victory edition

My usual Wednesday Weight Watchers meeting is closed for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve so I'm joining my sister at her Saturday meetings until the holidays are over (and may keep going for some extra motivation).

Dropped a half pound this week, which was great because there was some undocumented nibbling going on and a little less exercise than usual (unless you count zipping from store to store). 

We had ham, brussels sprouts and acorn squash on Christmas Eve, and I made a Weight Watchers-friendly lasagna and Key lime pie on Christmas. And even though I didn't overindulge, the combination of lasagna, pie and a pomegranate martini had me feeling like absolute crap all night long. After all these years of eating healthy food, I think I can only do one "splurgie" thing at a time -- any more and it feels like I'm fueling my race car with garbage.

So Friday I kicked the day off with a holiday-themed smoothie -- almond milk-based holiday nog (100 calories for a whole cup) mixed with cinnamon roll-flavored vegan protein and a frozen banana. 

Last night we went to Santa's Enchanted Forest down in Miami because TEENAGERS. (News flash: it is neither enchanted nor a forest. It's a large carnival.) The husband and I played chaperone and stayed out of the teenager's hair as he and his pals went on rides that looked like some sort of astronaut shake-out test. 

Carnival coffee
Nachos by the bucketAs for finding a non-threatening carnival-food dinner, it was pretty easy. Nearly every carnival has a Greek food stand and the selections there are good. I had a chicken pita with lots of grilled veggies, tomatoes and tzatziki sauce. Later I treated myself to a Cuban coffee, which, for the uninitiated, is equal parts espresso and sugar. Still better than an elephant ear. I also had a 2-Point bag of pistachios in my purse and enjoyed them while the teenager fueled up on a post-dinner burger and fries (the metabolism of a teenage boy is a thing to behold). 

But holy landmines -- there's a lot of bad food choices to be made at a carnival. An ice cream cone looks like health food compared to the fried Oreos, elephant ears, everything dipped in chocolate, pizza, bacon cheese fries and of course the bucket of nachos. Now it's not a Home Depot bucket -- it's more of a small Halloween candy-sized trough that you can carry with you. But still.

(My husband joked that I should open a Gail's Kale concession -- but first we'd have to figure out how to deep-fry kale and coat it in chocolate.)

We did get a fair amount of walking in -- I got the husband a Vivofit for Christmas, and he gleefully looked at the thousands of steps he put in throughout the day. (He got in more than 3 miles earlier in the day and added on another 3 at the carnival.)

So I'll take that half pound and will do everything in my power to top that next week.

Weight Watchers Wednesday: Locking this down

Sister: "Are you a lifetime member?"

Me: "No. You have to hit goal for that."

Sister: "Oh, you've just been going for a lifetime."

I was down 2.2 pounds this week and I knew it'd be a good week on the scale because I was hiking up my jeans again. (Yay for hiking up my jeans!)

Cutting yoyo string blue

So what do I need to do to cut this yo-yo string now that the yo-yo is back down? I did a quick inventory of what I did differently this week:

  • Drank more water and "water-like beverages" (green tea, sparkling water, etc.)
  • Ate fewer starchy foods and replaced them with good fats and protein. This one is really difficult for me because CARBS! I love them, and it's super easy to go all cereal and milk for breakfast. But I did a lot more eggs, egg whites and Egg Beaters, depending on whether I could afford the extra fat at the meal. Sometimes if I want a cheesy omelet, I'll do Egg Beaters or egg whites and spend the fat on cheese or even avocado.
  • Did a much better job of going to bed earlier.
  • Relied on my green beans. What's that, you ask? I keep a few cans of low-sodium green beans in the pantry and if I just have to have something, I'll go for the green beans. Sometimes they hit the spot better than a piece of fruit.
  • Went for lower-Point yogurts. I have a variety of Greek yogurts in the fridge because my husband and I eat a lot of yogurt. I have sugar-sweetened ones and 100-calorie ones that are only 2 Points (Yoplait Greek 100). One of those and a piece of fruit is a great afternoon snack. 

For the next few weeks I'll be joining my sister at her Saturday meetings because my meetings will be closed on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

I know I have said this a million, zillion times (see phone conversation with my sister above) but this yo-yo string is staying down and getting permanently cut!

Weight Watchers Wednesday: To be continued (on Saturday)

Checking in early today because there's nothing to report other than I'm swathed in ThermaCare lower back heat wraps. I did something to my lower back/hip area last week and I'm now on Day 7 of stiffness. I'm trying not to hit the Aleve bottle every day but the 5 a.m. twinge has been waking me up the past two mornings. 

image from www.shrinkingsisters.comSo what does any of this have to do with Weight Watchers? I drove the teenager to school today, came home and promptly fell asleep, snoozing through my meeting.

But this back thing is getting better. Earlier in the week, I couldn't even pick a paperclip up from the floor and I can do that now (drop all the paperclips!). The stiffness has retreated to my lower left side and I'm hoping it'll all be gone in a few days.

My sister has been absolutely crushing it on Weight Watchers -- 7 pounds in two weeks! So I'm going to meet her at her Saturday meeting to have some of her success mojo rub off on me.

The weigh-in is on hold until then but the taking care of myself isn't.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm putting on my sneakers and treating myself to a good, long walk!

Weight Watchers Wednesday: Crowdsourcing some success

Broken seesaw

I am going to promise that this will be the last see-saw metaphor I will use on the blog, because I'm tired of going up and down on the scale. This week I went up 2 pounds and immediately texted my sister, who lost 3 pounds this week.


So I'm sitting here at 8:45 p.m. with a Camelbak full of water, and I haven't eaten since dinner. I'm really, really, REALLY going to do the "pie-hole shutdown maneuver" after dinner because that is my one and only problem area. 

But I'm feeling a rumbling in my stomach that I don't know is true hunger or just some Pavlovian reaction.

Also, I got a press release yesterday from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (science!). It says confining eating to an 8-12-hour period could stave off high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity. You can read the press release HERE or you can watch a video about it:

This study just screams "ME, ME, ME!" I stay up too late, eat too many healthy snacks and basically bollocks up all the good stuff I've done during the day.

So in addition to asking the advice of my sister, I thought I'd crowdsource some tips from some of my FitBloggin' pals. Here they are, and they're great:

  • Brooke Birmingham (Brooke Not on a Diet): Lately I've been drinking hot tea in the evening to curb the snacking. It seems to help.
  • Deb Eber Roby (Weight for Deb): I plan my night time eating so the calories and macros fall within my guidelines. Normally it's a piece of fruit and some nuts. I also craft at night. It’s hard to eat and knit at the same time.
  • Jennifer Sader (Perfect in Our Imperfections): I have to say that a lot of times I give in. Air-popped popcorn is my go-to, but I have been trying to look at my healthy checks and fill them in. So if I am short a dairy and a fruit, I might have a pear and a string cheese. I should say that I try to make sure that I'm really hungry and not just falling into "if you're ___ and you know it, have a snack!" That commercial has definitely been in my head since I saw it.
  • Margo Porras (Nacho Mama’s Blog): I always try to set goals for the holidays that are NOT scale based. "I will take a 20-minute walk no matter what." Or, "I will NOT use my aunt's snarky comments as an excuse to finish a whole pie on Christmas Eve." At night I often resort to crafting instead of snacking. This year I may finish that Rainbow Loom hammock!
  • Thea Mortensen Rudland (It’s Me Vs. Me): Journaling helps, or chewing a stick of gum after dinner, but sometimes I just snack and get on with it.
  • Roni Noone (Roni’s Weigh): I'm like Jennifer - I usually give in but have "go-tos" -- air popped popcorn, apple with cheese, cocoa dusted banana bites. Things like that. 

Tunes for Tuesday: 'If You're Happy' Weight Watchers ad

This isn't a regular workout song, per se, but I had to share this new video from Weight Watchers. My sister (who lost 3 pounds her first week, including Thanksgiving!) posted this on Facebook and it really (I mean, really, really, REALLY) struck a nerve with me, and it has spurred me to change my nighttime boredom eating. One evening snack is fine -- three is far too many.

Weight Watchers Wednesday: Vegetables!

Down just about 2 pounds since Friday's weigh-in, so I'm good with that. I am elbow deep in Thanksgiving prep so I've gotta keep this short.

Kitchen mayhem
Just a little of my kitchen mayhem right now.

I'm making a bunch of side dishes to go with the hubby's barbecued turkey, and the vast majority of the ingredients are vegetables. I've got acorn squash, brussels sprouts, parsnips, corn (I know, it's a starch), and the stuffing is loaded with kale. I also made two cranberry dishes and I'm about to make Devin Alexander's Pumped-Up Pumpkin Pie Bites.

I like what my Weight Watchers leader keeps reminding us -- it's just one meal. But that meal, if loaded down with traditional dishes, can top 3,000 calories. Mine won't. It'll still be really yummy but people won't feel like they need to take a nap after they eat.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to clean 3 pounds of brussels sprouts!