Friday, February 8, 2008

The Wife Weighs In...Week 19

Happy Friday, GHMIW fans!

I feel as though I have some renewed momentum today. What a relief.

I have been on a weight loss plateau since the Christmas...up a little, down a little, and not really going anywhere. After almost six weeks of standing still, I started to panic a little...this is how things usually begin to unravel. My fear was that the little ups and downs were going to start becoming a series of little ups and ups, then a series of big ups. I needed to get things back on track...and fast.

Inspired by my darling husband's stand-off over the last couple of weeks, I decided to take a stand of my own. For me, it began yesterday. I logged each and every crumb and morsel that passed my lips yesterday, something I haven't done for a long time.

In addition, I made a bold move yesterday morning at the gym. Some of you may remember the horrible experience I had with a personal trainer when I joined the club. Since then, I've wanted to talk to a different trainer about designing a new weight program for me, but I've been fearful, thinking that it might be another disaster.

I started talking to one of the club's female trainers yesterday morning (I'll call her "Stef"...'cause that's her name) and before I knew it, she was apologizing for the last trainer's behavior, running me through a new assessment, and setting me up with an appointment to work with her next Tuesday morning.

Stef is friendly, positive, and supportive. She understands that I am a mother of two with a full-time job and not a lot of extra time to spend at the gym. Plus, she doesn't care that I can only afford to work with her once every three to six months. I can't wait for next week's session and am hopeful that starting a new strength training program will help build on the momentum I'm feeling this week.

I had a good loss this week and am at my lowest weight since beginning this journey. (Hurray!)

I may have broken through the plateau, but I am not resting on my laurels. This is only the first step in the turn-around. I will probably relax a bit (but not a lot) over the weekend, as I will be spending it at the cabin with Tony's family. However, the stand-off will be back in full effect on Monday.

Until next Friday,
Laura (a.k.a. Elle Tee Jay)

2/01/2008: 188.4
2/08/2008: 186.8 (a loss of 1.6 pounds)
Total pounds lost: 41.6
Next goal: 182.0 pounds

The Weigh-In Week 35

215.2!!!! That's what it said on the scale this morning. A loss of 1.6!!!!

And, a new low for me!

Finally I have dropped below my pre-holiday low of 216.2.!!! As you can probably tell from the exclamation points I am ecstatic. It took seven weeks, but I am finally back on track!

I wish I had more time to revel but I am swamped today. So one more quick pat on the back...(pat, pat)...and we'll move on.

The goal this weekend is to eat sensible and get a workout in with my Dad. Hopefully I can avoid starting Monday with a big gain. If I can manage that, I think I have a good chance of hitting my 214 goal next Friday.

Obesity I'm coming for you!!!

The guesses were tight this week. No one nailed it on the head, but Cousin Angie was closest with 1.5. See, sometimes those odd numbered guesses do pay off.

Only 8 votes this week, so no prize. Which works out OK since I am still trying to find a recipe for my Dad's Banana Cream Pie. If anybody knows a good lower cal recipe, please send it my way.

Correction. Alan from Texas squeezed two guesses in right under the wire; one for himself and one for my cousin Geoff. That puts us at ten and makes Uncle Alan the big winner with a dead on guess of 1.6.

Uncle Al requested a nice family portrait of the skinny Johnson clan, so that shall be his prize. We'll take some pictures this weekend and send you one next week. Congratulations!!!

I'm looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend with the family.

Hope you all have a good weekend too. If you're in Minnesota don't forget to bundle up.I hear it's going to be so cold on Saturday night that any exposed skin will shrivel up and fall off in just 20 seconds.

2/08: 215.2lbs
1.2 pounds to go.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Guess How Much I Weigh Contest - Week 35

The numbers might not look so good this week but I think if I can stay strong today that I can still pull out a loss tomorrow.

I didn't bother trying to recap the gluttony from the weekend. Just know that I ate wy more than I should have. I did step it up in the gym this week. Well kind of... I went from running my 5ks at 5.5 mph to running them at 5.7 mph. I have completed 4 5ks in a row since last Wed.

Step right up, step right up.
Guess how much I weigh and win a fabulous prize.

To Recap:
Every Thursday I give you my stats for the week and you guess what you think the scale will say on Friday morning. The winner is the first person who guesses my weight / weight loss for the week without going over or the person who is closest without going over. Go ahead and click on comments at the bottom of this post and leave your guess.

I will post the winner when I post my weight on Fri. morning. If we get ten or more guesses I will have a prize for the winner.

Stats for the week of February 4th.

Calories Consumed: From Monday morning through Wednesday. night I have consumed aprox. 7392 calories.

Calories Burned: From Monday morning through Wednesday night I have burned aprox. 11730 calories.

32% of my calories have come from fat.
11% of those calories came from Saturated Fats.

52% of my calories came from carbs.

16% of my calories came from protein.

Let the guessing begin. Good Luck!

2/07: 216.8lbs
2.8 pounds to go.

p.s. Don't forget you can subscribe to the e-mail edition of Guess How Much I Weigh . Simply enter your e-mail address in the space to the right.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Wife Weighs In...Keeping It Off

In last week’s post, I promised a post about strategies for weight loss maintenance. First of all, looking at my track record, maintenance of weight loss has never been my strong suit. I have always been great at losing the weight, but keeping it off has been another story. That said...

I was out for cocktails one night last fall with Tony’s sister (a.k.a. Sister Sarah), Nana Heather, and a good friend of theirs who has been very successful at maintenance after a big loss. Her advice? You can relax a little once you reach your goal, but if the number on the scale goes up ten pounds, you’d better get back on that weight loss horse and ride it hard.

Well, maybe she didn’t put it exactly like that, but you get the idea.

Interestingly enough (or maybe not...your choice), I am taking part in a weight loss maintenance study conducted by our former heath insurance provider’s research foundation and the Obesity Prevention Center at the University of Minnesota. The study was for healthy adults who had lost at least 10% of their body weight in the previous year, and is being used to test two different “Keep It Off” programs.

As part of my program, I report my weight weekly and speak with a personal coach every other week. Also, as part of the program, I was given a course book based on lessons learned from the National Weight Control Registry, a research study tracking “over 5,000 individuals who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time.” (NWCR Website)

What has been interesting to me about these maintenance strategies is that they are the same as the weight loss strategies. Every chapter in my course book could be the outline for a Weight Watchers meeting: Physical Activity, Menu Planning, Overcoming Barriers, etc.

The “Keep It Off” strategies for successful weight-loss maintenance? Here we go:

  1. Be physically active; take part in 60 to 90 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each day.
  2. Write down your weight, physical activity, and eating on a regular basis, preferably daily.
  3. Eat a diet that is moderate in calories and allows you to maintain your weight.
  4. Eat breakfast every day.
  5. Enlist social support to help you eat healthfully, be active, and maintain your weight.
  6. Don’t let lapses turn into full “relapses”—restart your weight-loss plan if you gain two to five pounds.
  7. Appreciate the progress you’ve made, even if you haven’t achieved your “dream” weight.
This has led me to a grand epiphany. The strategies for weight loss maintenance are the very same strategies used to lose the weight in the first place. In order to be successful, one must make a complete lifestyle change. Forever. Period.

That’s what makes maintenance so difficult. When you have been significantly overweight for a long period of time, you believe that once you lose the weight, the struggle will be over.

Guess again.

Eventually, I came to the realization that there is no reward at the end of the journey. Or, more correctly, there is no “end” at the end of the journey. At the risk of sounding trite, the reward is truly in the journey itself.

So, as a response, I am learning to enjoy the struggle. And that, in a nutshell, is my strategy for weight loss maintenance.

At least I sound like I know what I'm talking about, right?

Ash Wednesday

It's ash Wednesday. A day of abstinence and fasting for us Catholics to kick off the lenten season.

I think I have done a good job of getting my snacking under control these last two weeks, but I can guarantee you that I am going to have cravings all day today. Simply because I am told I must fast, it will be a struggle.

When it's my choice no problem. When it's somebody else's choice, bring on the cravings.

I suppose that's the repentance part of the day. If we're not conscious of the sacrifice then the sacrifice doesn't mean much does it.

So bring on the cravings. For today and today only I welcome them as a chance to reflect and repent and to give thanks for all the gifts I have been given.

2/05: 216.8lbs
2.8 pounds to go.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Wife Weighs In...Week 18

Happy Friday (ur, Tuesday), GHMIW fans!

As Tony mentioned in the comments to Friday’s post, I was home with our girls on Friday, which made it difficult for me to post my update. In addition, because I was home with the girls on Friday, I spent a lot of time getting caught up yesterday, which made it difficult for me to post an update.

So, I thought I’d post a quick update today.

Last week was not great. My eating wasn’t actually all that bad, but I had terrible cravings all week long. I gave in and made some very tasty Weight Watchers chocolate chip cookies, which helped.

I had a small gain that I am attributing to general lethargy, a lack of motivation, sub-zero temperatures, and hormonal water retention. I didn’t break through that plateau, but c’est la vie. This is a new week.

Laura (a.k.a. Elle Tee Jay)

1/25/2008: 187.8
2/01/2008: 188.4 (a gain of 0.6 pounds)
Total loss: 40.0 pounds
Next goal: 182.0 pounds

Kind Of An Anniversery

Last week marked the one year anniversary of my first stuttering steps on this healthy lifestyle journey.

In February of 2007 I started tracking my calories and watching what I was eating. As most of you know I started at 288 pounds.

This is the photo that inspired me to want to change.

I saw this photo and I was so embarrassed for myself that I made a decision to do something about it. I jumped in without a plan. It was a diet, not a lifestyle change. And, it worked for a little while.

I lasted about two months and got down to 274. A respectable loss to be sure. Alas it was not to be sustained. By April I was off the diet and eating worse than ever. By June I was back up to 280.

June is when my weight loss journey really started. June is when I started this blog. Shortly there after I set some realistic goals and put together a healthy eating and exercise plan.

June is also when I discovered my real motivation. For the first time, I wanted to lose weight to be healthy for myself and my family. It was less about vanity this time around and more about living a quality life and being there for my daughters.

And this time it worked.

So here are the 3 things I have learned this year that have made all the difference.

1. You have to find the right motivation.
Maybe vanity is the right motivation for you. Maybe it's a doctor telling you you will die if you don't get in shape. The motivation needs to be more than "I want to lose some weight." Take the time to figure out why you want to lose that weight and that motivation well get you through the tough times.

2. You have to find something or someone to hold you accountable.
Maybe it's Weight Watchers. Maybe it's a spouse or a friend. For me it was this blog. You can not do this alone. You will need support and encouragement.

3. You have to exercise.
Without exercise you're simply dieting. Exercise changes everything.! Just start walking a half hour a day, everyday. Walk as fast as you can. Once your comfortable build up to more strenuous exercise. Eventually you will learn to love it.

2/05: 216.8lbs
2.8 pounds to go.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Weekends Are Killing Me

I know this has been a common theme from the very beginning, but I have got to figure out a way to get my weekend eating under control.

I am so good during the week and then once my daily routines go away so do my healthy habits.

It's not like I'm going crazy every weekend. But there always seem to be two or three key moments where I do something stupid that causes the scale to jump 3 pounds on Monday morning.

This weekend we were in Duluth. We had a lovely weekend. We even got out to see a movie with some friends. Two movies in one week. What is going on here?!!!

Laura and I split a medium popcorn. A movie just isn't a movie without the popcorn. But then for some reason I finished off an entire box of Dots that we had bought for our friend. It makes no sense. I wasn't hungry. I'd just had a big thing of popcorn and a nice dinner.

They were there. That is the only reason I ate them. They were there.

It amazes me how Monday though Friday I can be so good and not feel hungry, but on Sunday afternoon I can eat a brunch with more calories than any entire week day worth of eating and still feel starved.

So now that I am feeling back on track with my week day eating. The next step is to get the weekends under control.

I need to find a balance between having a little freedom and going totally hog wild.

I did do one good thing this weekend. I got up on Sunday morning and went for a run down by Lake Superior. It was so beautiful. A winter run down by the lake is one of the most peaceful things you'll ever experience.

I was supposed to go cross country skiing with my father-in-law but the rental place rented me to left boots. Always check before you leave the store. I am pretty proud of myself for channeling my frustration into a run instead of plopping down on the couch in front of the TV.

2/04: 216.8lbs
2.8 pounds to go.