Friday, October 22, 2010

Reality Check

CNN posted a very scary article this morning that said if the current obesity trends in our country continue, one in three adults will have Diabetes by the year 2050.  That's 33% of all Americans having a disease that is (for the most part) avoidable through proper eating and exercise.  How scary is that?  (click here for the full CNN article).

I had a breakthrough success this week that made me remember the BIGGEST thing you need to know to lose weight.....losing weight is 100% mental because you are always given a choice.  You can choose to eat healthier, you can choose to workout, you can choose when you go to bed and how much sleep you are going to get, you can choose to take some time for yourself, you can choose to live life to the fullest, and you can choose whether or not you live your life regretting each day or looking forward to it!

Just like any decision in life, choosing the "right" decision for yourself is not easy. Picture yourself sitting behind your desk around 2:30 on a Wednesday afternoon.  It's gloomy outside, and that mid-afternoon craving begins.  You know there is a candy bowl sitting at the front desk of your office (yes, the candy bowl in my office tortures me daily) for the ENTIRE month of October.  So you think (or sometimes don't even think) about that piece of chocolate....

Now you have a choice to make.....If that piece of chocolate will truly make you feel better, and help you because you are not depriving yourself, go for it.  However, if you are eating that piece of chocolate out of habit, frustration, or stress, perhaps you can make a better decision than eating it like going for a walk to get a glass of water

Here's the secret though.....

You DON'T need to be perfect every time to be successful. We all indulge once in a while, and that's okay.  Not only is it okay, but it's preferable.  Perfection does not equal success.  Hard work, determination, motivation, and the right decision 95-99% of the times equals success.  You always have a decision make, and just keep this in mind whenever that candy bar keeps calling your name.

So, what was my breakthrough?  This past weekend was my Alumni reunion from college, which consisted of AWESOME parties with great friends, alcohol, and food that's bad for you.  Before this weekend, I had resigned myself to the fact that I will be up this week.  I'm ALWAYS up in weight the week after my friends are in town.  That's how my body works.....I go crazy while they are here, throw everything away, and gain back more of those pounds that I worked soooo hard to get off.  Since it always happens that way, that's what was supposed to happen this year......but, it didn't.

I made a choice.  I decided that I would indulge on certain things....for example, I wasn't going to limit myself to how many beers I drank at the party.  Instead, I made sure to watch what I was eating throughout the rest of the day to compensate.  My friends and I went for a mid-afternoon walk to enjoy the beautiful weather outside.  I also split a garbage plate (I have a blog post about this gluttonous dish coming soon) with my friend at 4:30 a.m.  Not only did we split it, but we didn't even finish it!!!

What was the result of my choice to be healthier this weekend?  I lost 0.4 this week.  YES!  DOWN 0.4.  I couldn't believe the scale when I weighed in. This was the week I knew I was going to be up.  No matter how hard I tried, the number on that scale was going to be up.....but my choices said otherwise.

The point is, we always have a choice to make.  Choose wisely *most* of the time, and you will be successful plain and simple.  Don't become part of that statistic with the obesity rate.  You have a choice now, so get on with it.

By the way, as an aside.....I have 6 more pounds to lose to be at 50 pound weight loss on weight watchers! Stay posted to see when I reach that!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Losing weight 101: It's easy.....

I want to let you all in on a little secret that I heard the other day: Losing weight is easy.....didn't you know that? (Just in case this isn't coming across correctly....yes, I'm being sarcastic)

I want to change this saying... losing weight is easy if your ready and willing to put in the time and effort, determination to change your mindset, and most importantly changing your habits. Sounds easy, right?

Losing weight is not easy, but it is possible.  I've learned that first hand over the years (yes, I've been a weight watcher member for nearly 4 years, and am well on my way to goal...).  What does it take? For me lately, it took months of frustration and working my ass off (literally) to not get results on the scale.  Ever since this summer finished, I've been working out hard....really hard.....with my trainer and by myself, and I was not really seeing results on the scale.  That all changed this past week....

I've been working out these past 6 weeks the hardest I've ever worked out.  I can feel myself getting stronger, and I am starting to see results in my clothes.  But why was all of this effort not showing up on the scale? Easy: it was the food I was eating.  I was eating within my weight watchers points *most* days, although there were 3-4 day stretches where I wasn't tracking.  THREE to FOUR days of NOT tracking...out of 7.  That means that I only know I was within my points 42-57% of the time....not good enough.  I went back to tracking.  Nobody, including myself likes it, but it works. Plain and simple.

Also, protein has become my best friend.  Simply put, I was eating too many useless points of empty carbs.  They are the thing of the past.  My snacks have turned into the following (in order from high protein, low carb to higher carb, lower protein):

cottage cheese (my go to)
cheese sticks
protein shakes with milk
yogurt with peanuts (an amazing combination that I highly recommend)
beef jerky
pumpkin seeds (yes, they have carbs, but a little fills me a lot.....)

I have not cut out carbs completely.  I just try to focus on protein first, and then if I have a little carbs later, its okay.....


DOWN 4 pounds this week (and I look good)! Since I went back to weight watchers after taking the month of August off (traveling around the world....only gaining 5 pounds), I have lost every week.  I know this seems like success,  but I wasn't losing enough for how hard I was working out.  From August 21 to Sept 30, I lost 1.8 pounds TOTAL.....over a month.  Not good enough.

This week, I tracked EVERYDAY (including my alcohol on the weekend), held myself accountable, went to the gym, and got results. I'm proud to say I'm finally back comfortably in the 230s, and well on my way to reaching my 20 pound weight loss goal by Christmas (might even get there by thanksgiving!)

See above....losing weight is easy if your ready and willing to put in the time and effort, determination to change your mindset, and most importantly changing your habits.

If you think you're doing everything you need to, but not getting the results you want, check yourself.  As my amazing WW leader, Angela, often says, "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten."  If you're not getting the results you want, change something and see if it works. I tried it, and it is definitely working for me.

I was able to get 15 of my co-workers to join weight watchers with me!!! What does this mean?  I have support around me ALL DAY (and my leader comes to the office, which is much more convenient).

This past week, EVERY SINGLE PERSON LOST (GO KSLN WWs!!!)! 16 people -- all down on the scale. Talk about motivation! I'm excited to see what we all look like at the firm holiday party in January.  It's gonna be quite a sight!

Take care for now.  I will try to post a little more frequently.  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Don't give up....I'm not.....

Hello All!

Well, I told you I would be back, and here I am!  I have not forgotten about posting nor have I forgotten about Weight Watchers. As you all can relate, I'm sure, this summer was great for me (weight loss wise) but it was also very stressful as I studied for the bar exam.  Hopefully soon (in November) I will be able to change my blog title to a "Lawyer's Guide to Weight Loss"......we will find out soon enough.....

Anyways, I'm back and ready to go full steam ahead. I'm proud to say that I tracked today, and I had a GREAT workout at the office gym! I've been trying to figure out what I could do at the office to get a good workout in for the day while managing the stressful workload that my job requires.  Here's what I did today, and I'm SUPER excited to continue it:

Interval training between the stairs and the spinning bike.  Yes, I'm talking about using the good old traditional staircase in the building that I work at (it has 20 flights total) for a cardio workout.  Let me just say it kicked. my. butt.  I did 3 minutes on the spinning bike and 3 minutes on the stairs for a total of 35 minutes.  And I did all of this in the afternoon.  usually around 2 or 3 I get tired and super cranky at work, so I naturally turn to food. Today, I decided to workout at that time, and the result was a fantastic day!  I was able to do what I needed to (work and workout) and I used my time in a way that prevented myself from returning to old bad habits (eating when stressed).  I plan on continuing this program on my cardio days, and, of course, I will keep you updated!

 It's important to always keep things in perspective. I've been on and off program since May, but all in all I am healthier (mentally and physically) than I have been in a long time. I'm still with my personal trainer, and I'm excited about what the future brings.


Plain and simple.  I'm going to lose 20 pounds by Christmas.  I'm currently trying to get co-workers to do weight watchers at the office (have my meeting leader come to work!) so that I have motivation around me at all times.  In my email to the ENTIRE office today, I committed myself to this goal (20 lbs), and I'm ready to commit to it here as well!

1) I have so many inspiring people in my life that keep me motivated to keep going.  I hope to spotlight some of these inspirations of upcoming blogs

2) I'm going to begin trying a new recipe every 1 to 2 weeks, and I want to let you know how it turns out.  Of course, everything I make will (continue to) be weight watcher friendly, and I'm super excited to see what I can come up with!

3) I'm going to get to goal for weight watchers.  I'm not going to give up. It's that simple.

Sorry for the non-posts since May.....the bar exam was the priority. But, I'm back!  I will have my weigh-in blog (with all of my progress to date) on Friday after the weigh-in! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's a new day....

Hello all.  I know I have not been great with my updates this past month. The last stretch for law school got the best of me, and unfortunately it took time away from keeping up with the blog. I will update you with my weight when I weigh-in on Friday, but I can tell you that I haven't lost anything over the past month, but I also haven't gained either....

It's a new day...

I officially finished law school last Friday. This occasion is truly momentous for me, and culminates 3 years of hard work and some fun thrown in there too. Before I enter the real world (as a soon to be attorney), I have this final summer to do three things:
1) STUDY for the bar exam;
2) Setup a better WORKOUT ROUTINE;
3) LIVE a HEALTHY lifestyle.

That's it.  Nothing more, and importantly, nothing less.  I've drifted from my routine. I've drifted from my goals, and it's time to start new.

It was a beautiful day today, and I was able to take advantage of it by getting outside and running. I am proud to say that I ran slightly more than a 5K (I ran a total of 3.3 miles) in 41 minutes!!! This is a great point for me to be at since I have my 5K run coming up on June 12.  My goal is to run that in under 35 minutes.

I have a lot of blog posts that I have been wanting to put up, and I will be getting to them soon.

It's time to start anew.  Thank you all for your support, and get ready because the second half of this year is going to be even more exciting than the first!!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sticking with it....

This past week, I didn't lose, but I didn't gain.  It's hard to express how I feel about this. I'm glad I didn't gain, but I know that I can do better since I should be losing (at least something) every week. When I look back and think about why I didn't lose this week, I know what it is.....I didn't follow program. Why is it that we know what works, but it is so hard for us to follow that?  The reality is, there can be no excuses! I need to move forward and continue this journey I started. I am still determined to reach my goal, and I WILL get there!

I will be running my FIRST EVER 5K this year!  My weight-watchers leader will be walking along with several of my weight-watcher friends in the Susan Komen Race for the Cure on June 12, 2010. I was unable to participate in this walk last year because I was out of town, but I am looking forward to it this year!  The big news is that I am training to RUN it....that's right. I want to run 3.1 miles non-stop. It's going to take a lot of work, but I think it is an attainable goal...

Yesterday on the treadmill, I was able to run a mile non-stop in 9 minutes, 45 seconds.  For those of you that remember my April 1 challenge, this time is EVEN BETTER than when I ran my first mile in under 10 minutes. After running that first mile yesterday, I continued to run 2 more miles (for a total of 3 miles) in under 36 minutes. This is close to a 12 minute mile average, which I was astonished I could do. Regardless, I'm not really focusing on running the 5K in a specific time, but really am looking to run it non-stop. I've never run more than a mile non-stop, so this will be a huge victory for me!  I'm also excited to be training for a goal! I never thought I would enjoy running, but it has really been keeping me motivated!

1) Track - I actually tracked this weekend (saturday and sunday). The fact that I am already ahead on this is an indication to me that I'm going to be successful with this goal this week.

2) Activity (At least 5 days) - I am super excited to report that I went to the gym yesterday and today, so 5 days is a very attainable goal for this week. I actually am planning on going 6 days, but I am leaving a buffer just in case my schedule gets too crazy (or I feel like I need a break). Furthermore, I need to run at least 1.2 miles non-stop to keep on track for the 5K.

I know these weekly goals seem to be the same each week, but in the end the only way I am going to get to my ultimate goal is to make sure I eat right (that's why tracking is important) and exercise (activity). Nothing more is necessary....

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Off the wagon.....

First off, I want to apologize to those of you who have been so supportive of me these past few months for not updating this blog. Stress and mixed priorities took over recently, and as a result, I haven't been blogging (or following program, as you will read below). I am determined to get back into it, and I will be posting some new blogs this week, including a new recipe post!

Progress to date
At this past week's weigh-in I saw my first gain since January 8, 2010. :-(

As you can see from my progress chart below, I have had consistent losses each week for over 10 weeks straight (with one week where I stayed the same).  Seeing a plus on the scale was truly disheartening for me. I know it is only +2 pounds, but that plus sign really sucks (to be blunt)!  I have already gotten back on track (for the most part) to ensure that this doesn't happen again. However, this gain reminded me that the only way I will be able to obtain my goal is to truly make this a lifestyle change over the long-haul. Here are my weight losses since the beginning of 2010:

As you can see, I am still down 14 pounds, which is fantastic, but I still have a bunch to go until I reach my goal.

Why did I fall off the wagon?
The simple answer is I forgot about my priorities and let myself slip back into old habits. These past few weeks I stopped tracking my food, I didn't commit myself to my morning workouts (although I still made it to the gym for the most part for a minimum 4 days per week), and I stopped blogging. The result was the gain. Looking back on all of this, I realize now that I need to re-prioritize so that I have a healthier balance to push me forward towards my goal.  It is a small setback, but it WILL NOT STOP ME FROM REACHING MY GOAL.  I did it before, so I can do it again. It is time to get back on the wagon and achieve what I set out to do!

1) I am so EXCITED to let you all know that I did reach my April 1 running goal.  Although I was unable to get my run in exactly on April 1 (I was out of town for the Easter Holiday), I achieved it the first day I got home and went back to the gym (April 6, 2010).  I am pleased to report that I ran 1 mile in 9 minutes, 53 seconds!!!!!!!! I have NEVER been a runner, and I never imagined that I would be able to actually run a mile, non-stop, in under 10 minutes. However, I was determined to do it, and I succeeded. Looking back on that now, I realize that even though I have had some setbacks this past month,  I CAN do this, and I WILL!

2) Today it was BEAUTIFUL in Buffalo, so I decided to go for a bike ride (I love my new bike that I bought myself last year). Suffice it to say, I am exhausted right now as I write this because I biked 27.63 miles in 1 hour, 53 minutes!!!!  It was so much fun to get outside, and it was also a GREAT workout!  I was very impressed with my ability to go as far as I did. I am so happy that it is getting warmer out, as I know being able to ride my bike will help me out with my weight loss success!

Goals for the week:
In order for me to get back on track, I am going to continue to set my weekly goals here on my blog:

1) TRACK at least 4 days (since I didn't really track this weekend, that means I have to track everyday mon-thurs of this week)

2) MORNING WORKOUTS. Enough said. It works for me when I force myself to do it, so I need to get back into it! 5:30 a.m., I missed you......

3) BLOG. You guys keep me accountable and motivated. Thank you so much for all of your support, and keep it coming!

4) Try out a new recipe. My brother and sister-in-law gave me a suggestion to fix my chicken wing dilemma....I'm going to try this new recipe, and I will be sure to tell you how it worked!

Thanks again for all of your support. I'm back now (no more reprieves), so stay tuned!!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

One step forward, one step backward.....

Sorry that I haven't posted anything sooner!  I left to go out of town immediately after Friday's weigh-in, and as a result I didn't have time to put together a post for last week's results.....thanks to those of you that have been asking for updates!

One Step Forward
I'm proud (and excited) to report that I DID IT! For those of you that read last week's post, you know how frustrated I was with my minuscule losses and I vowed to have a 2 pound minimum loss. I am proud to report that I lost EXACTLY 2 pounds....Below is my weight loss progress since I started this blog in January.

Aside from losing the weight, I was also successful in tracking!  I tracked EVERY DAY! It was really kind of crazy!  I can't even remember the last time that I tracked the entire week. The result was that I never went over my allotted points (including the 35 extra points I spread throughout my week).  I was much more conscious about what I was consuming when I went out with friends on the weekend, and I made sure that I prepared for my events!  I was so impressed with my tracking that I took a picture of my weekly summary (thanks to the awesome online tracking system that weight watchers provides), and have provided it to you below:

As you can see, I tracked EVERYTHING! I also was impressed with myself that i earned 25 activity points even though apparently I only went to the gym four days last week (I could've sworn that I went 5 days......maybe I didn't track on Monday).  Regardless, it was an AMAZING week, and I met every goal I set myself up for. The result was exactly what I was hoping for, and this showed me: (a) I can lose at a higher rate than I was before; (b) it takes A LOT of hard work to be this disciplined with myself; and (c) it's really important to track to keep myself on point with my eating.

One Step Backward

It is Spring Break at law school this week, so to get away for a little bit I went to visit Montreal for the weekend with a couple of my friends.  Going to a different country means I don't need to follow program, right?  Well, needless to say, I indulged in some treats more so than I normally would, and the scale is not happy with me as a result. Part of me is mad at myself for "undoing" all of the hard work I put in last week. Another part of me had a really great time for 3 days and is saying it was worth it really worth it though?  I need to remind myself how frustrated I was when I wrote my last post because of how much I was struggling with everything. As much fun as I had, I'm slightly annoyed that the number on the scale this week may be an increase rather than a decrease....

Yesterday was an okay day, but I didn't really get back on track food wise. I did make it to the gym though, and pushed myself even though it was kind of hard to do so.....

Either way, yesterday is gone, and all I can worry about is today and the choices I make moving forward! Another weight loss blogger (one who has inspired me immensely) talked about this in a recent post, and I truly believe he is right. He said:

The choices you made yesterday have no impact or influence on the choices you will make today.  Yesterday is gone and today all you’re left with are the results of the choices you made in the past.
That doesn’t mean you have to live with them.
  • It doesn’t matter that you’re 5, 25, or even 125 pounds overweight.
  • It doesn’t matter what you ate yesterday.
  • It doesn’t matter that you didn’t go to the gym yesterday.
  • It doesn’t matter that you’ve been gaining weight for the past 25 years.
  • It doesn’t matter that you’ve failed countless diets in the past.
All that matters are the choices you make today.  Your previous choices and experiences have no affect on how today starts and ends.  You might be discouraged and look back at previous weight loss attempts and think, “I’ve never lost weight before, why would anything change now?

 Yesterday and the weekend is over, and thus so is my little detour from my goal. I'm going to work hard to correct my food choices I made this weekend, and hopefully I won't be up more than a pound or so by the end of the week. If I were to stay the same, that would be fantastic! Either way, I will definitely see a loss next week!

GOALS for the week:

1) Continue with my activity. I still need to do a better job at including weight-training in my workouts. Last week I did it one day. This week I am going to shoot for 2 days. I know it is important to have a balance between weight-training and cardio, and I need to start incorporating both....On a good note, my running has improved IMMENSELY!  Last week Thursday I ran 4 miles in 39 minutes!!!!  That is a 9 minute 45 second mile!! I know that I am going to meet my goal for April 1 to run a mile straight in 10 minutes or less!

2) Tracking. Enough said.

3) Go back to no beer. Last week I had a 2 pound loss....I drank some wine and liquor at various times throughout the week, but no beer. The past couple of weeks when I wasn't losing anything, I was drinking beer. I don't think this is a coincidence. Therefore, alcohol consumption for me will be limited to wine or liquor.

That's it for now!  Thanks for all the comments and keep them coming!