Monday, October 31, 2011

Lose 12.6 by Xmas - Week 2 Results!

Start weight- 166.6
week 1- 164.0 (-2.6)
week 2- 162.0 (-2.0)
total loss for challenge- -4.6 pounds!!!

This week's measurements (+/- from last week)
neck- 12.0 (-0 inch)
upper arm (widest part)- 13.0 (-1/2 inch)
bust (widest part)-37.0 (-1/2 inch)
bust (below breasts)-32.5 (-1/2 inch)
waist (smallest part)- 31.0 (-1/2 inch)
waist (belly button)-36 (-0 inches)
hips (widest part)-45.0 (-1/2 inch)
thighs (widest part)-24.5 (same)
thighs (halfway between knee and crotch)-20 (-1.5 inch)
calf (widest part)- 14.5 (same)

total inches lost 5 (counting arms and thighs twice)
total lost since challenge began: 14.5 (WOO-HOO!!!!!)

I can't really see a difference between last week's picture and this week's picture, but I pretty much expected that.  It will be a gradual change, but I just know that the final picture that I will share on December 24 on here will be a dramatic difference from the first picture taken on October 15.

In other news, I have completed my first 21 Day No Junk Food Challenge!!! 

How did I do?  I didn't follow it perfectly, but I did really well.  There were a couple of times that I ate some chocolate-flavored graham crackers (chocolate is on the "no" list) and towards the end of the challenge, I allowed natual peanut butter back into my diet (PB is on the "no" list).  Oh, and I ate about 5 tortilla chips at a party one night before I remembered that chips were a no-no. 

Still, I'm pretty proud of my accomplishment!  I have definately learned that I don't need foods like chips and cookies in order to have a delicious day. 

I actually didn't get ANY cookies at the store yesterday, despite this week being a week that I am "allowed" junk food.  I did get a big bag of small baggies of chips.  Half are Stacey's! I also got some crackers, some natural chunky peanut butter, and some vegan ice cream.  I don't know whether or not crackers (such as Wasa light and Ritz reduced fat) are actually any healthier than potato or corn chips, but I do know that for whatever reason, I don't binge on them.

One food that I have stopped buying since week 2 of the 21 days challenge and I don't plan to buy again until next year:  BREAD.  I had been bingeing on bread and I think that is a big part of my recent weight gain.  When I have light bread or sandwich thins in the house, I eat them.  And I eat them ALL within 24 hours.  It's kind of nuts.  So, for now, I'm staying away from bread. 

Anyway, for now I'm going to continue tracking on My Fitness Pal, since I'm feeling really comfortable over there at the moment, and I love that it tells me every day how much I should weigh in 5 weeks.  :-) 

I do plan to get back to tracking on Weight Watchers eventually, but right now I'm sticking with MFP.  I love that I have the option of tracking either or both places, and will probably be switching from one to the other for a long time.

There are 8 weeks until Christmas, and I have 8 pounds to lose.  My awesome math skills tell me that means that I get to lose 1 pound per week, and I am up for the challenge!!!

Do you have any weight loss or fitness goals that you are trying to reach by the end of 2011?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

When STRESS and other emotions creep in...

Howdy, blog-readers!  I hope that life is going swimmingly for each and every one of you, and that none of you are going through any stressful situations whatsoever.

Me...?  Not so much.  I have had a lot of stress to deal with lately.  Other emotions such as sadness and anger have been coming out, too.  This is all due to a highly personal family situation that I cannot discuss on here, but I thought that I could discuss how it's affecting my healthy lifestyle.

Have you ever been so stressed out by a situation that you actually are unable to eat?  That the thought of food literally makes you ill? 

This has happened to me a couple of times in the last week.  I've actually moved past the so-upset-I-want-comfort-food and into so-upset-I-cannot-eat category, which has NEVER happened to me before.

Because I know that my body needs the fuel, I have still been eating enough calories every day, but some days it's a struggle.  And some days all I want are crackers and bananas, and so that's what I eat.

I am still tracking, following the No Junk Food Challenge, and exercising daily.  These things are keeping me sane, honestly.  I'm not reverting to ED-behavior or anything along those lines, I'm just trying to focus on doing good things for myself and my body instead of putting all of my energy into the family drama.

I'm suffering at work and at school because of this crap.  Today I honestly just want to go home and crawl under the covers and only come out when life is good again.  Unfortunately, just because one part of my life has gone to hell (family), the rest of my life (work, school, other relationships) doesn't stop to give me some time and space to deal with it. 

"When it rains, it pours."  This phrase is becomming more and more true for me.  I'm just hoping that when the rain lets up, there will be a beautiful rainbow to give us all hope.

Anyways...  I'm hanging in there.  I will keep up with my plan to get to a normal BMI by Christmas.  I will keep on trying my hardest at work and in school.  I will keep on nurturing the good relationships that I have with family, friends, and Stacey.  I will keep blogging.

Thanks for reading!  I will be back on Saturday to report the next results to my "Lose 12.6 By XMas" challenge.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lose 12.6 by Xmas Week 1 results!

Start weight- 166.6
This week's weight- 164.0 (-2.6)

This week's measurements (+/- from last week)
neck- 12.0 (-1/2 inch)
upper arm (widest part)- 13.5 (-1/2 inch)
bust (widest part)-37.5 (-1/2 inch)
bust (below breasts)-33 (-1 inch)
waist (smallest part)- 31.5 (-.25 inch)
waist (belly button)-36 (-2 inches)
hips (widest part)-45.5 (same)
thighs (widest part)-24.5 (-3 inches)
thighs (halfway between knee and crotch)-21.5 (same)
calf (widest part)- 14.5 (same)

total inches lost 11.25 (counting arms and thighs twice)

Hmmmm.  So in one week of getting back on track, I can lose almost three pounds and several inches all over my body???

That seems like a lot, but I measured correctly.  And you can see the difference in these progress pictures, the first one take a week ago. 

My guess:  Water weight and bloat.  I think that I was carrying a lot of water weight around, and now it's gone.  And that makes me happy!  The scale says I'm lighter and so do my jeans.  :-)

I'm sure that the results this week will be less dramatic (though I would love to lose an inch or two of hips before this is all over!) and that is fine with me.  I have 10 pounds left to lose and 9 weeks to get there.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why did I gain weight, and what now?

Okay, so the cat is out of the bag.  (Is that saying appropriate for a vegan to say?)

I have gained 23.4 pounds from my lowest weight, which I only saw for a day or so back in May (143.2).

And it was very important for me to share that information on here with you guys, because otherwise I would be misleading you and probably end up feeling so guilty that I would have eventually left the blog and gained back everything.  So it was the right decision to be upfront about my new weight of 166.6.

However, now it's time to figure out how the heck it happened (to avoid a repeat) and to figure out what the heck to do about it (to re-lose).

What the heck happened?!

I'm trying to figure that one out myself.  It seems like an awful lot of weight to gain between May and October.  Especially under the radar, with most of the weight coming back on within the last few weeks.

There are several possible causes-

1) I wasn't honest with my tracking.  This is easily fixed by being honest with my tracking!  If I bite it, write it.  If I drink it, ink it.  There are more annoying little phrases like that, but you get the picture.

2) I was eating too much CRAP.  This is probably the most likely scenario.  I ate a lot of simple carbs and junk food, every day.  Right now, I'm solving this problem with a 21-Day-No-Junk-Food Challenge, which is going great!

3) I was overthinking things, switching programs, and not being consistent with anything.  BINGO.  I was switching from MFP to WW and back again, and never being truly consistent with either program. 

What the heck to do?

As I mentioned in the confessional post, I am planning to lose 12.6 pounds in 9 weeks, which is about 1.4 pound a week.

My Fitness Pal has a setting that will give me a net calorie goal for losing specific amounts of weight.  Right now I have it set at "lose 1.5 pounds per week" in order to get to my goal weight of 154 in 9 weeks. 

Weight Watchers does not have that option, and is a slower weight loss, which is GREAT and is something that I have loved about WW, but for now I really want to get back into my 12's... so...

My plan for the 9 weeks is to do My Fitness Pal's plan with the 21-Day No Junk Food Challenge, and then to do a week of Weight Watchers, and then to start over again with MFP/NJFC. 

Why have the week of WW with junk food included at all?  Because I really do enjoy me some junk food, and I don't want to feel deprived.  Also, it should help my body not get bored with the same stuff over and over, by having a higher-calorie week every 3 weeks. 

The NJFC is going really well for me!  The first 3 days were the worst, kind of like when I quit smoking.  But since day 4, I've been doing very well with it, and haven't felt deprived AT ALL.  I get to eat more, with fewer calories.  It's kind of amazingly true what people say about healthy and whole foods:  They fill you up with less food, and you are almost always satisfied, instead of constantly looking for another sugar fix.

Okay, so that's my plan, y'all.  I hope it makes sense!  What will I do for Xmas week and starting in the new year?  I will post about that when it gets closer. 

P.S. Tasty Tuesdays are coming back next week.  :-)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weight Gain confession.

If you look at my weight loss ticker up there, it looks as if I have all of a sudden gained nearly 17 pounds overnight.

...but it wasn't overnight.

I have been fooling myself for a while now regarding my weight. I would skip weighing in for a couple of weeks, and then put the scale on the carpet, or lean a bit on the wall, or stand on my tippy-toes, pretty much ANYTHING to get the scale to tell me than I hadn't gained weight.

Yep, I know it makes no sense to do that stuff. I know that if my clothes are tight, it means that I've probably gained a few pounds. I know that I can lie to myself about my weight gain, but my pants are still tight and the scale doesn't lie.

So... embarassed as I am to admit this, I have gone from a WWer who has lost 70+ pounds to a WWer who has lost 53 pounds, all since June 11.

And the lying to myself (and to you guys) stops now.

I stepped on the scale on Saturday morning, both feet firmly planted, scale on the tile floor, not leaning or holding onto anything, and the scale told me this-


I stepped off and back on three more times, and the scale said the same thing each time. Still in disbelief, I put my two 8 pound dumbells on the scale, but the scale said "16" so that's when I knew that my drastic gain was legit.

I weigh 166.6 pounds, which makes me 12.6 pounds overweight (again).

I'm pretty disappointed in myself and very embarassed about my gain.

I have a new lofty goal of getting to a normal BMI by Christmas. That's losing 12.6 pounds in about 9 weeks. That's 1.4 pound lost per week.  I'm going to add a holiday weight loss ticker to the top of the blog, to help motivate me further.

I'm fairly certain that I can do this. Actually, I know that I can do this!

I apologize for the lies both to myself and to you all that I was still near my goal weight, when I had not been weighing properly or often. Now you and I all know the truth- I have gained some weight back.

The picture here is my body at 166.6. I will be posting updated stats, weight, and photos in this blog every week. Here are the starting stats for my 9-Week-Challenge-

Start weight (pounds): 166.6

Start measurements (inches):

neck- 13
upper arm (widest part)- 14
bust (widest part)-38
bust (below breasts)-34
waist (smallest part)- 31.75
waist (belly button)-38
hips (widest part)-45.5
thighs (widest part)-25.75
thighs (halfway between knee and crotch)-21.5
calf (widest part)- 14.5

I want to give a huge THANK YOU and a gigantic virtual HUG to all of my Facebook friends who helped to encourage me to post this entry.  I was embarassed to admit to a gain on here, but you all reminded me about why I blog:  to broadcast my weight loss journey HONESTLY to anyone who wants to know about it. 

I hope to inspire and motivate you all, and I hope to continue to do that by admitting to this gain and doing something about it.

I'm committed to stop the gaining, and to lose 12.6 pounds by the holidays. 

Thanks for listening, as always.  :-)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cheat Days- Good idea or Bad idea?

Every dieter knows about the CHEAT DAY.  In case you are one of the lucky people who stumbled across my blog even though you have never had issues with your weight (jealous of... er, happy for you!), here is a simple definition:

A cheat day is a regularly scheduled day that you eat more than usual, or you eat things that you don't normally eat on your diet.  You either keep on tracking (if your diet requires tracking), but ignore the high numbers, or you skip tracking completely.

That's my definition, anyway.

I have had one version or another of a cheat day for nearly my entire weight loss journey.  Because I'm back on Weight Watchers now, I'll tell you about my WW "cheat" days.

Saturday is my weigh-in day, but it's also my "cheat" day.  I put cheat in quotes because I still track, I just use most of my weeklies + my dailies + some APs (often in advance from actually earning them).  Since tracking on MFP,  I've noticed that this day can be up to 3000 calories sometimes!!!  Usually between 50-75 PointsPlus get consumed on any given Saturday.

I wonder if J-Hud has a cheat day?
The rest of the week, I tried to stick to my dailies and to have some leftover points at the end of the week... it almost NEVER happened.  I would eat all dailies, all weeklies, and all earned AP (sometimes this can be as many as 50) nearly every week.

...and that's on weeks that I'm perfect with my tracking.  Who knows how much I honestly eat when I'm not so perfect?

Anyway, this worked very well for me for a looooooooooong time.  Somehow I was able to go straight from my cheat day to more moderate portions the rest of the week, no problem.

Some time in the last couple of months, I've lost that skill.

Now, it takes me until Wednesday to recover from Saturday's overeating.  As in, I overeat on Saturday, feel deprived and hungry on Sunday, give in to some more overeating on Monday and Tuesday, and am finally back on track by Wednesday... and then it starts over every Saturday.

Now that I've read what I wrote right there.... I can see why I've been slowly gaining some weight. 

Here is a picture that I took of myself before I joined MFP (right around the time that I quit Weight Watchers Online, back in June or July.  At this point, I wanted to lose about 10 more pounds. 

I took a picture of myself in the exact same outfit last night, and I have visibly gained weight in my stomach and hips.  This cheating has to stop!  I will upload and post the pic from last night later, so that you can see what I am talking about.  For now, I will be using this picture as motivation to get my dedication back!

I've finally accepted that although my cheat day worked for me for years, it is time to give it up and to start eating right EVERY day.

This is not to say that I'm going to deprive myself.  I still believe in everything in moderation.

How I'm going to handle this with Weight Watchers?  I will be spreading my weekly and activity points out over the week.  I may still eat a few more on the weekends than through the week, but I will be trying very hard to not have any more 50-75 PointsPlus days, and I will be focusing on the GHGs 7/7 days instead of 5/7. 

You CAN follow Weight Watchers with a cheat day, and you CAN lose weight while doing it.  It's when the cheat day because a cheat week that you will run into problems!

Wish me luck for my first no-cheat-day weekend, I will need it.  :-)

Today is day 5/21 of the No Junk Food Challenge, and I'm going strong.

Do you have a regular cheat day?  Does it work for you?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

144-153.... 140?

Stupid numbers. 

Seriously, NUMBERS again? 

Yep, I'm going to talk about numbers again.  This will be the second post in a series about numbers, the first one being "27" a couple of posts ago, and an upcoming post about the numbers on the tags in my clothes. 

Today's post is inspired by a blog entry that I read today by WorkItOutGurl (Stacey), who talked about self-sabatoge. 

Back on January 22 of this year, I finally got into the healthy weight range by both Weight Watchers' standards and BMI's standards.  I weighed in at 154.4 and it was thrilling!!!  I was ecstatic!

me in January, 154.4 pounds, ridiculously happy!
Here's an excert from my WW blog entry that week-
                                   I am hoping that in about 20 pounds, I will out of Plus Sizes, but if I'm not...who cares? Size 6 may be "plus size" some day. It's kind of crazy. I feel and look healthy and beautiful at this size. Thanks, everyone, for all of the support as I've made my way down the BMI chart from obese to normal. :-)

I kind of assumed at that point that I would keep on losing a pound a week and would be down to 135 (my original goal weight) within 20 weeks from that point...  Oh, the blinding optimism of one who has never been in the position of having to lose the last few pounds before! 

I actually did continue to lose the next 10 pounds fairly quickly, reaching the next milestone of 145 on May 14 (eleven weeks!).  OMG, I was once again thrilled beyond belief and ridiculously happy with myself.

May 2011- 145 and on top of the world!!!
I was so happy with and proud of myself for reaching this goal.  At this point, I think that I was still reaching for a goal weight of 135, but I started to doubt that I could make that goal, and even doubt whether or not I really wanted or needed to.  I was happy with my weight.

I reset my goal weight to 144, lost one more pound and called myself "done" with weight loss and ready to maintain my new goal weight of 144 forever.

May 28- goal of 144 achieved.  Delirious!!!
...and I was pretty satisfied with my body, but still wasn't 100% where I wanted to be.  At 144, my size 12's and 14's (depending on the brand and cut) fit pretty perfectly, but I was still very soft and jiggly.  I wanted to work on toning and stop caring so much about the scale.

I quit worrying about Weight Watchers.  I tried to maintain 144 with Intuitive Eating and failed, gaining back 9 pounds and getting back up to 153.  Then I tried My Fitness Pal for awhile and actually deactivated my WW account.  I readjusted my goal weight AGAIN down to 140, giving me 13 pounds left to lose. 

I lost some of it, gained some back, lost some more, and have now been basically losing and gaining the same 5-9 pounds since May.  I did finally admit that I needed Weight Watchers Online and rejoined, which was amazing, but I still was not really focused on losing the last few pounds.

So I had to once again ask myself about my goal weight, and whether or not I was happy at a higher weight.

And the answer is:  No.  I really want to get my weight under control once and for all, and weigh about 140 (138-142 WW range).  Currently, I'm maintaining about ten pounds over that (148-152 range) and that is just not okay with me.

I'm ready to lose the last 10 pounds once and for all!  I have finally realized that this is a LIFELONG journey that does not end when I reach my goal weight.  I have never successfully maintained a significant loss until now.  Yes, I still have 5-10 pounds to lose, and yes, I'm still about 5 pounds heavier than my low weight, but every single pound that I lost in 2010 and before?  Still gone.  And that makes me as happy as I was when I reached 145.  :-)

I am basing my current weight of 149.5 on an unofficial birthday weigh-in.  I'm still offially staying off of the scale, but I had a peek and YEP, I gained. 

I'll leave you with a picture of me on my birthday, which was last Friday so it's pretty much what I look like now.  About 10 pounds until I reach goal, and I'm ready to do it.  It's on.

Stacey & me on October 7- weight 149.5

Sorry for the self-centered egocentric post, but I had to get this stuff out there, and this is the best place to do that.  :-)  I hope that you are all having fantastic days! 

P.S.  Day #3 of No Junk Food Challenge and going strong!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

21 Days No Junk Food Challenge

...Any takers?  ;-)

First of all, let me state for the record that I believe strongly in the Weight Watchers philosophy of "everything in moderation" when it comes to diet and exercise.  But I also feel like it's good for me to step outside of my comfort zone every now and again. 

I found this floating around the internet, and I've decided to jump on the bandwagon.  21 days of no junk food!  This list includes a couple of items that in my opinion can be very healthy, including chocolate (dark chocolate can be healthy) and peanut butter (natural peanut butter is VERY healthy) but besides those two things, I pretty much agree that the things on this list are not foods that should be eaten every day if you have a healthy diet. 

However, lately... I have been eating more junk food than usual.  Like, if I have 7 or 8 PointsPlus left at the end of the day, I will eat waffles, ice cream, oreos, potato chips, redvines, french fries, etc...  And this challenge will help me to realize that I can eat healthy snacks, and those junk foods really don't have to be eaten daily. 

Here is the challenge, and I assume that the blog linked at the bottom of this picture is the original source:

Stacey has decided to join me in this challenge, and so have many members of My Fitness Pal!  If you are on MFP and wish to join in, here is the link to the challenge-  MFP 21 Day No Junk Food Challenge!

If you want to join me in this challenge, just let me know in the comments and I'll try to help keep you motivated.  It should be an tough challenge for me, but a very rewarding one in the end.  It will be good for me to discover healthy snacks, and healthier alternatives to my old snacks.

As for the peanut butter...  I am switching my JIF Natural for Martha almond butter...  I don't consider this to be a "naughty" spread, and am happy with the decision to keep a nut butter around. 

So...  any takers?  :-)

Thursday, October 6, 2011


It seems like just yesterday, I wrote about turning 26.  Time really does fly, and it truly does fly faster and faster each year. 

Tomorrow, I become an official member of the "late twenties club".  Which is a really silly thing to be sad about, so I won't be sad.  I'm happy!  I once read a birthday card that said on the front-

Happy birthday!
Today, you are older
than you have ever been before.

Then inside-

And you are younger
than you will ever be again.

I wish that I had bought that card, because those words really spoke to me. 

It's so true, isn't it?  And this is true every single day. 

Every day, we are youger than we will ever be again, so we should be embracing each day, and being thrilled with how young, healthy, and happy we are instead of thinking back about how young, healthy, and happy we used to be.  Old memories can be a wonderful thing, but making new memories is just as wonderful.

Anyways.  I'm sorry to have been AWOL on this blog, but life has been very busy!  I need to start blogging at least every 3 or 4 days again though, because it's my favorite hobby and it keeps me sane.  :-)  So, that is a resolution of mine. 

My plan for my birthday weekend?  Tomorrow, my actual birthday, will be full of leisurely walking (Stacey's taking me site-seeing.  We are having a little stay-cation and will be going to Stax Museum and Graceland!) but will basically be a day of rest. 

After a day of site-seeing (YAY!), we're meeting family and friends over at Imagine Vegan Cafe for dinner and then we're off to Windjammers for karaoke!  Yes, it will be an amazing birthday. 

Lots of good food, lots of entertainment, lots of great company.  I'm very excited.  There will be no tracking of any kind tomorrow, and I will just have fun and relax about life without worrying about Weight Watchers.  I think that we all need that break every now and then, and I feel no guilt in taking a day off.

I will be starting a 21 day challenge right after my birthday, and will be back on Sunday or Monday to let you guys know what it's all about, and to see if any of you want to join in!

I'm going to make a list of New Year resolutions, since technically my new year starts tomorrow.  :-)  This is the list of resolutions that are about my weight loss journey.  I have more things that I want to do, obviously (good grades, read more, spend more quality time with Stacey, etc.) but I thought that I would stick to my WLJ goals for this entry.

1) Blog regularly.  Even if it's only once a week, get back to being a regular blogger.  It's my favorite hobby, and I love it.  Life should never get too busy for my favorite thing.

2) Follow Weight Watchers as written.  Stop quitting and rejoining.  Stop bending the rules.  Just follow the plan!  It's not hard, and it works.

3) As soon as I get the go-ahead from my physical therapist, start focusing on new workouts that include a lot of strength training and flexibility.  I know that I'm the queen of cardio, but I really need to add some strength and flex into my workouts.

4) ... Get to my goal size.  Get back into those 12's that fit for about a week, and then get see if I can get to a 10 before I'm 28.  I have an entire year, so it's very do-able.  Stop worrying about the scale, but keep on striving to get more toned.

5) Be proud of myself.  I've come a long way in my weight loss journey, and can easily forget that.  The longer it's been since I've been obese, the more that seems like it was someone else, not me.  My smaller body feels more like the norm every day, which is GREAT, but I should never forget what I've accomplished and should never stop being proud of the progress I've made towards better health.

Those are my new years resolutions! 

I will be back on either Sunday or Monday, and I hope that you all have great weekends.