WeightWatching – Four weeks into the program

I’ve been on WeightWatchers for a month now — and while I’ve lost only 7 lbs., I’m very happy with my progress because I had tried and not lost weight for the last year or so.  I had grown or not moved from my weight at all, and seeing the pounds being shed has been more than just gratifying.

Another thing that has made me rather happy about my progress is the fact that I know I could’ve done better by not indulging my sweet tooth or cravings and yet I still lost weight.  I’m not knocking myself because I’ve made major progress insofar as changing my eating habits.

1.  I’m eating more vegetables now that it is not only a meal option, but a snack of choice.

2.  Because I know I have a tendency to eat more than my weekly points allowance and my daily points allowance combined, I try to move more to earn “activity points” to swap at the end of the week when my reserves are running low.  I walk when I can, and instead of walking at a leisurely pace, I actually try and kick it up a notch to earn me more points.

3.  I still eat my treats but I now weigh what is worth the points and which ones I can do without.  So instead of shoving food into my system like there was no tomorrow, I’ve learned to be more judicious about which ones I actually pick up and put into my mouth.

4.  I’ve become more creative with “bulking up” the right type of food to satisfy my hunger.

I thought I’d keep an online diary of recipe/food items I’m using in my own daily meals and share ways I’ve made WeightWatcher’s a part of my life without feeling like I’m starving myself to death.  It’s like my personal recipe book, too, so that I can continue to make my food choices interesting despite being lower in calories.

There’s also a lot of ways you can make every day food — even fast food (!) work for you.  I know it has worked for me…

My Nth Weight Loss Journey – this time for keeps (Fingers crossed)

I don’t know how many people noticed that I have a “WeightWatchers” category on this blog.   I have two posts under this category — one in 2011 and one just recently.  I have been writing about trying to lose weight (yet again), but when I finally started three weeks ago, I kept mum.  Well, I didn’t exactly announce it to the world except for a post last August 28 on “Walking Healthy.”

I wasn’t too sure I had the determination to see it through, and I really had my doubts I’d go beyond the first week.

The truth of the matter is, I was inspired by my art inspiration, Julie Fei Fan Balzer’s own journey which she posted here.

I had had considerable success with WeightWatcher’s before I got pregnant — dropping 3 sizes in 1 year.  It was a rather difficult journey for me but I was happy with the results.  That was 10 years ago.  Then I got pregnant, breast fed, and it’s been a struggle since.

This time around, it was a different reason that inspired me to go on the journey again, and I have to admit, it took me a while to put my words into actions.  I have been saying this for the last year, but instead, I succumbed to emotional binging.  Food was my number one source of comfort, and I didn’t really care.  Between February 2012 to August 2013, I just ate whatever I fancied.  I ballooned and gained an additional 15 lbs to my already round figure.  It didn’t help.

I couldn’t last longer than 3 hours on 3 inch heels because my feet felt the torture of the weight I put on it.  I hated that because I love shoes!  Then I started to feel my clothes getting tighter which was a serious problem because I didn’t want to discard my wardrobe and buy the next size up.  It meant having more difficulty buying nice clothes, because despite “choices” out there, it’s really harder to look good when you are on the plump side.

I felt so huge that I ordered plus size clothes to try on for Counsin M’s wedding last May.  You won’t believe how relieved I was to find my round body “swimming” in the plus size clothes, so back in the box they went and I returned them to the store.  Still, finding out I was a size 14 and not a size 14 plus wasn’t comforting.  When I got my spanx and wore it under the dress, it pushed my humongous breasts up and even I felt self-conscious.  I knew I looked good and I felt pretty, but there was that thought in the back of my head wishing I didn’t have all that excess “me” in that pretty dress.

What really pushed me, though, was the fact that summer came and went and there were a lot of clothes I wanted to wear which didn’t look quite right on me.  I could’ve braved it and gone with the “tight” look, but that wasn’t me.  There were also a lot of nicer outfits I saw on racks, tried on, and had to pass up on because although they fit nicely from the chest up, they were a problem from the waist down.

I also got alarmed that I’d get winded rushing to the corner to catch the bus to Manhattan, or going up and down stairs in the subway were laborious and left me feeling like I was about to have a heart attack.

I’ve never really been one to go for exercise.  I thinking about it translated to pounds lost, I’d be 10 lbs lighter.  I know I’d eventually have to do more than my routine walks, but at least I’m trying to do something I can chalk up as an activity point on my tracker these days.

I registered online, paid for the three months (so I could get 1 month free), and I read up.  The system they are using now is different from what I had used previously.  I actually like it better this time because it gives a hefty allowance for you to go beyond your goal daily points consumption (which, in my case is 26).  For me, I have 49 points to spread out, including converted activity points.  You no longer “bank” or save points for a splurge.  Another major difference is that points unused don’t rollover.  You use it or lose it.  To date, I haven’t run over the points allocation/conversions combined.

My first week almost made me drop the diet because I came down to a pound lost.  All that effort for nothing, I told myself.  Then I reminded Size 14 me that I DID lose a pound.  For all that I had done to try and lose weight the 3 months prior, my weight never moved.  It held steady at 185.

I continued to research foods that worked for me.  I bought WeightWatcher’s snacks and desserts. I drank more water and tried to watch my intake of my favorite foods.  I even had some House of Polvoron which a colleage of Alan had given him at the hotel.  (I will write about points conversions in another post.)  Instead of trying to find food that would fit into my points allowance, I researched the food I liked and found their points equivalency.  I was surprised to find that some food that people treated and classified and healthy was actually high on the points scale.  They were healthy, but they weren’t exactly low calorie.

Instead of seeking out healthier or lighter calorie alternatives, I tweaked the meals I was used to to make them fit into my points plan.  I am still eating the food I like.  I have not sought out meetings at this point because I hardly have time for anything more beyond work and home and my personal hobbies.

On my second weekly weigh in, I hit my 5-lbs lost milestone.  (Congratulate me!)  This morning, midway through my previous and next weigh in, I saw another 2 lbs shed.  Hmmm.. I’m trying to keep my expectations reasonable because my first round with WeightWatchers saw my weight going up and down throughout the program.  But as it is, I’m just celebrating that I am within the program’s goal of helping me lose 1.5-2 lbs per week.  It’s a healthy pace, and it’s something I’m able to manage, and hopefully will be able to maintain.

My primary reason for trying to seriously lose weight again is to get healthier.  I’m 47 and I want to be around longer.  My weight and my health is something I can control, so I don’t want to lose the reins to that anytime in the near future.

I like the way this new program works because it’s something I can easily adjust to.  It is going to mean rethinking my eating choices but it doesn’t mean revamping my whole eating regimen altogether.  I haven’t felt as positive about achieving results as far as losing weight is concerned in a long time.


Walking Healthy

Walking up 6th Ave

Yesterday, I decided I’d try something new by walking from 42nd Street to 54th and try to accomplish two things: one was to take pictures for a post I’m drafting, and two, to exercise. (Shocked? Lol… So was I!). I figured I had enough time (it took me only 15 minutes) at semi- but not quite – brisk walking.

Walking up 6th Avenue

I did stop to take the pictures I needed (and then some like those accompanying this post) and got to my destination. I needed the “activity point”, having just rejoined WeightWatcher’s. I’ve been good so far, and I’m still feeling my way through. The program had worked for me before I got pregnant, losing around 30 lbs and dropping from a size 12 to an 8. I had done it in between my initial departure from Manila and my first trip home. My brother met me at the arrival area and told me he didn’t recognize me.

I have a little more to lose than that now but I’m trying to find a long-term solution instead of a quick fix. (The latter tends to allow the weight to come back as quickly as the weight went.). They’re marketing the program now as a lifestyle choice and it means altering the way I eat by sticking to some guidelines. I can still have my treats, but it would mean trading something off for it. I just want to get healthier and avoid the common illnesses associated with aging. I am, after all, 47 now. Let’s see how far this one goes and when I reach my first goal of a 5% weight loss. (Current and weight goal confidential. Ha!)

No Superwoman

My body finally gave in.  I am trying to count the hours to when I can schlep home, down some Theraflu and just lie down.  My sinews are aching and my body feels like it’s ready to drop to the floor.  (Perish the thought.. that would be one big thud!)  Started with tea and honey, loaded up on the meds, and here I am.

I brought a SmartOnes lunch to the office although my points watching courtesy of WeightWatchers has totally gone out of whack because of Alan’s goodies from Paris.  (Note to self: next time make sure what he brings home are NOT fresh and are  storeable so that there is no pressure to finish it pronto and load up on the calories.)  The good news is that despite all the loading, I lost 2 lbs.  (That makes it a total three since I started a week ago.)  There IS hope!

Meanwhile, I just discovered my Tuseran Forte stash expired last October 2010 so bye-bye to that one.  The good news is I have one more pack of Strepsils (relief!) and I have my undisclosed magic medicine to help me fight off the infection.   And as luck would have it, my Lagundi tablets are good until next year.

This is one weekend when we need to take things a little slow, and just let my body recharge. 

I haven’t as yet done anything for February for my Art Journal Every Day project which saddens me greatly, because I had hoped to create 28 projects for all of Feb.  That means I’m down 4.  Drats.   Well, there is the weekend.  And I might yet get that done while in bed, like I watched a few clips last night while I had the tyke snoring by my side.    So let’s just wait and see..