In a Cheesecake State of Mind

Cheesecake with Weightwatchers name tag in background

I snapped this photo because I absolutely loved the irony of the giant dessert juxtaposed with my Weight Watchers nametags.

Then I ate the whole piece of caramel apple cheesecake.

That’s kind of been my MO this week: self-medicating my fatigue with caffeine and carbs. That’s a spiral I don’t like to be in, so I’m hitting the hay just a smidge early tonight.

At work, I harp on leading indicators vs. lagging indicators — basically, reacting to the past instead of predicting and shaping the future. The caffeine and sugar binges are (partially) due to fatigue; my lateness to work is (partially) due to my multiple times hitting the snooze on my alarm — and it all traces back to sleep. Find the bedtime sweet spot, and things will start to work out better for me.

I hope. Sweet dreams, all.

January Weigh-In: Back On Track

It’s going to take continued effort to get back to  pre-Thanksgiving levels of fitness and healthy-eating fortitude, but I’m at least headed in the right direction.

I know that my main weakness right now is evening snacking. It has been for some time. I get tired, my mouth gets “wanty” (as opposed to hungry — my Mom used to use that word on me when I was a kid). Some days, I have the staying power to keep myself busy and out of the cupboard; others (like tonight), it’s a struggle or a losing battle.

This week, I’m down about two pounds from last week… but I have a way to go yet. My low weight in August was still ten pounds above Goal.

Now, I know that my weight is just a number on a scale. I also know that I saw what my arms looked like at kickboxing last week; I could tell I’d lost some muscle definition, and I didn’t like it. I also know that my face is rounder than it was, and my midriff is back to being a jiggly spare tire instead of an extra curve.

I’ve gotten so close. I’m seriously curious about how fit I can get, and what I’ll look like when I get there.

It’s just a continual challenge to break old habits and form new ones. I’ve already broken so many over the years — Chinese buffet lunches, Mountain Dew addiction, eating dinner in front of the TV — so I know I can continue to change and improve.

It all happens moment by moment, decision by decision. I read about the idea of each decision you make as being a vote you cast for who you want to become. I like that idea. It helps eliminate the all-or-nothing mentality, and makes the “bad” decisions sting less but mean more.

I’m on the right track, moving in the right direction. Always moving.

Return of “Why Did I Eat That?”

An old friend reminded me on Facebook (where I cross-post all my blog entries) that I need to do the “thought work” behind the food and fitness decisions that I make.

Sounded like a good time to reinstate the old Why Did I Eat That? exercise.

Friday and Monday were good days.

I don’t have it marked on the graph, but my Daily Target is 30 SmartPoints. I also get a Weekly Allowance of an additional 35 …which didn’t cover my indiscretions this week. Not even close. (But I at least kept tracking.)

Also, for those not familiar with Weight Watchers, the Points system is basically a way to encourage healthy food decisions — it’s loosely based on calories, with emphasis put on fresh fruits and vegetables and lean protein. Saturated fats and sugars are discouraged in the Points algorithm, as well.

So, depending on what I eat, my calories could look just fine, but my SP Values would be all wonky. That said, I ate way more calories than necessary on Tuesday and Thursday — 2,000 and 2,300 respectively. Sunday was around 1,400, but some of it was sugary snacks, which is why my SmartPoints total was all whack. On my two Perfectly On Plan days, I ate 1,200 and 900 calories, with a healthy percentage of my calories coming from protein.

You’ll note that I’m skirting the issue. So, why did I eat that? And what did I eat, anyway?  (more…)

Rookie Mistake

“I haven’t been to a fitness class since the holidays started,” I admitted to no one in particular as I picked out my locker before Wednesday’s kickboxing class. “I’m about to get my butt kicked.”

How right I was.

I made the mistake of jumping back in full throttle, at the same level I’d been participating before I took my little two-month exercise sabbatical. I was so looking forward to kickboxing, and I was also looking forward to my first non-treadmill workout with my new Fitbit Charge 2. I went for it HARD.

Two days later, I can certainly tell I was a little too aggressive with my bob-and-weaves and my jab-cross combinations, among others. My upper arms and the backs and insides of my thighs are stiff as hell.

So, of course I continued my sub-par decision-making by opting out of my previously planned treadmill walk, and choosing instead to spend today’s lunch break querying my WordPress MySQL database in preparation for my annual Year In Review post.

Being muscle-sore has the added bonus of always causing me to weigh in heavier than I would expect, presumably from inflammation and water retention. Add that to a late-night fatigued eating binge (more poor decisions!), and my weight this morning sailed right past Oh Shit and bordered on Jesus Fuck.

Kickboxing is scheduled for Monday of next week. My official Weight Watchers weigh-in is Tuesday, department lunch on Wednesday, then a Barre Sculpt class on Thursday. No matter what the scale says, no matter how I feel physically or mentally, my health — my fitness, physical and mental — has to come first. No more skipping workouts, no more late-night binge eating.

I’ve had a couple of years to stabilize at this weight (or thereabouts). 2017 is the year when I buckle down and take it to the next level.

Whatever that means. I’ll know it when I see it.

November Backslide

I do NOT deal well with stress. I am a stress-eater.

Usually my stress-eating manifests after a particularly contentious bedtime with my five-year-old. I set myself a new goal to avoid eating after 7pm, rather than 8pm, since I had a tendency of rapid-fire binge-eating if Connor’s bedtime didn’t go well, in order to get my emotional eating done before my 8pm food cutoff.

My job, thankfully, is not generally a stressor for me. One fateful day, though, a co-worker came to my desk right before lunch and engaged me in a work-related debate in which he started with false assumptions. It lasted entirely too long, it stressed me out, multiple co-workers attempted to come to my rescue, and at the end of it, I ate my lunch from home plus a serving of lasagna from the cafe downstairs. Plus a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup I brought in from Connor’s Halloween stash.

(I had planned to go on a camera walk over my lunch break that day, but after that, I really wasn’t feeling it. Instead, I just got outside and walked to a local coffee shop in the 71°F weather. In November. In Ohio. And then I impulse-bought an eclair along with my skinny latte.)

latte

(more…)

October 2016 Weigh-In

For once, my mid-month body fat percentage check was a win — I went down one third of a percent from the previous month. I’ll take whatever I can get.

Also, yet another non-scale victory regarding body image: during Yoga Flow class, I saw and acknowledged my midriff rolls, and didn’t care AT ALL, because HOLY SHITBALLS look at those shoulders HOT DAMN.

I’ve had a few No Good Very Bad Days where I self-medicate with carbs, but I’m apparently being gooder than I am badder overall, because my weight is still trending downward this month. Actually, I’ve lost more this month (on average) than any single month so far this year.

Monthly Average Weight

Even with all this positive juju, though, and an average loss for this month versus last month, I’m still pretty much stalled where I’ve been all year. I’ll have a couple weeks of awesome weight loss, then a slight rebound, then I’ll hold steady for a month. Or I’ll have a Really Bad Week, then a Really Good Week to get back to where I was, then maintain. In order for me to reach Goal by the end of the year (Thanksgiving is no longer a reasonable target), I’ll need to consistently have decent losses every week — slightly more than one pound.

I made it through a wedding without even a weight blip — mostly because I wasn’t enamored with the catered BBQ, and I took it easy on the wedding cupcakes. (Which was hard because OM NOM NOM CUPCAKES.)

Next month’s challenge: Halloween candy. My son doesn’t care for chocolate as much as chewy and crunchy candies like Dots and Starburst, which leaves the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Snickers and Hershey’s and various other awesomeness for me and Dad to pilfer. As long as I pilfer them one at a time, though — just like I dole them out to my son after dinner — I should be fine.

It’s still completely reasonable for me to reach Goal by year end. I just have to believe that, and want it, and prioritize it.

September 2016 Weigh-in

I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off, but that Eva Longoria sheath dress on The Limited’s website really looked flattering — plus, I could get it at 40% off. That purchase turned into the biggest Non-Scale Victory I’ve experienced in a Very Long Time.

Not only did I wear it to work (and accessorize it properly), but I felt good in it, and I looked good in it, and I got unsolicited compliments on it (which is to say, I wasn’t fishing for compliments).

dress mirror selfie

Had anyone asked me five years and fourteen pounds ago if I’d be comfortable wearing an eyelet knit stretch sheath dress without a jacket or sweater over it, my answer would have been HELLZ to the NO. Today, even though I can still see my lumps and bumps and rolls and other indignities, I still feel really awesome in this dress.

This is not a little thing. This is a huge shift in mindset. This is big.
(more…)

I call BS on the title of this Blade editorial on obesity rates. Obesity doesn’t always mean “not so beautiful.” t.co/vt0b3W0zUY

CsFY1lkWgAAllIf

August 2016 Weigh-In

Overall Impressions of August
First half of August = major slip-ups
Last half of August = excellent recovery

Daily Weight - Max 174, Min 168

I started August in a bad place. My weight was trending slowly upward over the last week and a half of July, and the waistband of my once-comfortably-snug size 12 pants suddenly made my skin itch from being too tight. I felt frumpy and sausagey and a little overwhelmed, despite still only being maybe seven pounds above my Lowest Weight Ever.

The weak point in my program continues to be poor decisions made in the moment. Whether I’m enticed by zucchini bread at work or drawn to simple carbohydrates at home, these spontaneous deviations from plan are thwarting my weight loss efforts.

(more…)