Sunday, September 30, 2007

Weekly Report

So I'm reporting in. My WW Points allowed are 24/day with 35 additional/week to spread around as I like - so 24-29/day + exercise points. Plus points I get for exercising. Oh, did I mention what a rock star I was this week in terms of exercise? Well, lemme tell ya...

Monday: 24.5 Points/60 minute walk (3 points toward 'activity')
Tuesday: 31.5 Points/90 minute Bikram Yoga (10 points)
Wednesday: 30 Points/45 Elliptical (3 points)
Thursday: 22.5 Points/60 minute walk + 45 minute elliptical (6 points)
Friday: 38.5 Points (oy!)/90 minute Bikram Yoga (10 points)
Saturday: 30.5 Points/90 minute Bikram Yoga (10 points)
Sunday: TBD Points/45 Elliptical (3 points)

Yes, that's right, it appears I exercised every day and ate well within the WW Plan. What have I learned?

Well, to be honest, there is some challenge for me in eating how I want to from a philosophical perspective...that is, I aim for whole foods - eating food the way nature made it; not the way we've industrialized food with additives, chemicals, and fat-replacing corn-products. I'd rather have 1/2 cup of whole milk (I even drink raw milk! Please, don't go off on me... :) than 1 cup of fat free milk. Other than 1 splenda in my latte (which successfully got me off of having a mocha every day), I work pretty hard to avoid altered food. And this is where we make a collective bow to my band...because without it, I think it would be hard to do WW and eat whole foods (they are more calories dense, thus smaller portions), and lose weight...without being hungry, a lot.

In all honestly, this is doable. What's hard is the usual stuff - general boredom making me think "wow, a handful of almonds will cure it!" or, "a few more bites of cheese isn't a big deal..." and of course, the liquid calorie impact of coffees, alcohol and whatnot. But I made some good food this week! Sesame crusted tuna with a spring roll and stir-fried veggies; chicken tenders with homemade tzatziki sauce, a couple olives and broccoli...this is not torture.

I'm restarting my ticker, btw, with my starting WW weight. Not that I want accountability to all'y'all in cyberspace, but rather, I need it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Moving Along

Things are moving along...weight watchers is actually pretty easy in a lot of ways, the struggle is the usual struggle-stuff. Like, not eating too much (duh) and not eating the "wrong" things (duh again). So there are two plans: The Core Plan and The Flex Plan. Briefly, the Core plan is fairly low-carbish and lets you eat "until you're satisfied" without counting anything - mostly from a list of meat and veggies, with a serving of brown rice or potato granted daily. The upside is "free" avocado, melon, polenta, eggs, Canadian bacon, fish, and veggies. Well, I thought this was the plan for me! It seemed so lapbandy!

Alas. It was not. I hardly lost any weight (though, I must excuse myself as an old pal came to town who used to live in Seattle and basically wanted to eat/drink his way through the weekend, and well, I'm a good I had to oblige!). Still, though the core plan sounds great, you can't eat cheese, nuts, crackers, mayo, sauces, wine, etc. and even though you get 35 "points" per week in addition, I just kept blowing it but condimizing my food, or drinking wine, or both.

The Flex Plan is the well-known point-counting deal where all foods having points, and you get in my case 24/day, along with 35/week that you can distribute if you want them. And you get extras for exercising. Basically, it works out to be about 50 calories/point (1100/day for me), and the more fiber, and less fat, the larger the volume of food. And the more you exercise, the more food. So, it's a bit of a carrot to do good things like high fiber, reasonable fat intake, and of course, working out. This one seems to be more realistic and is more achievable for me. A lot of people hoard points all day so they can have ice cream every night - whatever works - but I'm aiming to eat consistent meals most of the time and not save up for night time (fat-making) binges.

I gotta say, how one could do this without a lapband is beyond me. It's enough food for me, and I realize a lot of when I want to eat when I'm not really hungry is out of boredom, antsy-ness or just cravings. Or stress of course :) So, for now, I'm into it and liking it. Yesterday's dinner was a good one:

4 oz. raw chicken (3 oz. cooked) with a light panko/parmesan coating (2.5 points + 1.5 for coating= 4 points)
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil (3.5 points)
1/2 c. polenta (2 points)
1/2 c. marinara (1 point)
Couple tablespoons parmesan cheese (1 point)
1/3 c. Cauliflower steamed, then tossed with a little butter and parm. cheese, salt and pepper (1 point (butter))

So, think about this meal...not bad, but 12.5 points! That's about 1/2 my day, fortunately I had a doctor appt. and didn't eat much for breakfast; but really, it could easily be lightened up by not coating the chicken or using olive oil to pan fry it; ditch the butter from the cauliflower and we're down 6 points to a 6.5 point meal. Think about that - 1 tbsp. oil, 1 tsp. butter and tablespoon each of panko and parm are the same as the whole rest of the meal, calorie-wise. But all that's so good!

And so small. I think this is definitely where I get tripped up: A dab of butter here, a glug of olive oil there - that's 200 more calories folks...So, I'm working on just dialing back on those kinda condiments. With the band though, simply broiling chicken is just too dry and I'd never get it down; though, marinara is a saucy way to deal with that. I guess there is always a better way. Just gets tiring thinking about constantly manipulating everything that goes into my mouth either to make my band happy or the scale happy. That said, it's life - because keeping my band happy, and the scale happy, make Jenn happy! And, I'm glad to see the scale creeping down, even if it does feel kinda hard.

I'm also happy to report I've been working out again consistently. Easy days are a walk around Greenlake (about 55 minutes to walk it) or 30ish minutes on the elliptical (350 calories burned); average days are 45 minutes on the elliptical (~500 calories burned); and banner days are two of the above or else Bikram yoga (burns 12oo calories!), or an hour at the gym (650 calories). I haven't missed a day in a while now! Mixing up the activity and duration are helping fo'sho.

Anyhow, sorry for the rabid details...just trying to get back into the weight-loss head space.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Well Hello There!

My, I didn't realize it's been 2 months since I posted. Summer flies by here in the northwest, particularly August/September, as they are by far our nicest months. Though, since we had an incredible summer overall, it seems I've been busy for eons!

Anyhow, let me update y'all. I had an additional fill after that last one back up to 1.8 - I feel like I did before the "incident" (being way too tight) back in May. Jill says, from her view, this is how I used to be - having to eat really slow, getting stuck a couple times a week, minimal/rare PB's... It's again a reminder that the band is a tool, not a solution - and when you use it, it works. So I'm glad to be tight enough to know my tool is charged, I just need to keep it engaged!

The thing I've noticed lately - to the hilt - is that unfortunately, the weight loss battle continues. However, I feel like I've got someone on my side, my Band, that is, and unlike before when I would have yet another "last supper" and start another diet or fad or whatever, now when I really reset, I know I will see results. That is worth a lot! If struggling with food and weight can't disappear completely, I can sit happily knowing that I now feel 'normal' - that is, if I eat right and exercise, I will reach/maintain a healthy weight. Pre-band, I did not believe this (nor was it true). Not to discourage anyone new to the band or thinking about it - I wouldn't change it! But I do remember way back when, sitting there in JennyJudgment-ville thinking "oh, c'mon, it can't be that hard now that you've had surgery" or "oh, you must be cheating" or "I certainly won't be dieting! Plu-leeze!" ..."I won't settle in at 165 or 180!" Well, let me tell you a few things....having just reached my two year bandiversary last week...

- I still struggle. I will not tell a lie.
- I feel like I have a safety net now, and I can engage it as I choose - and frankly, I sometimes wish I chose to more often; or that I had over the past year anyhow.
- Routine helps!!! I found it way easier to lose weight when I worked 8-5 M-F, and was single and thus creating routine and filling up time with things like the gym, walking around the lake with friends/dates/myself, etc. and eating at home. I'm in the midst of making new routines now so I can feel that security and success again within the new set-up of being self-employed and having a girlfriend.
- Old habits die hard, and I have to fight my desires for sugar, chocolate, liquid calories (coffees, alcohol, etc.)
- Snacking will do you in, even on healthy foods like nuts, cheese, crackers etc. - 200 extra calories will halt weight loss, and that is not much food.
- I love my band. There are things about it that are a bummer, but overall, it is a very good thing and I wouldn't change it!

So, mea culpa: I am still hanging out at a weight I can barely write here but I am going to: 178-180. I have been there since I got back from Europe in June. Am I a loser? Kinda. But am I happy here? Well, kinda. Here's the thing: I had been trying to decide what is a good weight for me for a while, whether perhaps this weight was ok... I still had my goal of 155, which I set randomly way back when, based on my sister Julie who is gorgeous and lovely and who weighs about that. We have similar bodies otherwise, so it seemed a good goal. In thinking about staying where I am, I realized that man - I weigh a mere 23 pounds over my 'dream weight' - and how lame is it not to complete the process?? Well, again, kinda lame. For me, anyhow. So I decided to charge ahead, even though overall, I really dig my body as it is - but I don't like being on the edge of an unhealthy weight, nor knowing if I gain 5 pounds I start to get into way scary territory.

In order to conquer the balance, and keep me accountable and focused, I actually went out and joined Weight Watchers on Monday. Weekly meetings and weigh-ins will help with routine and focus. I know - bandsters reading this are saying one of a few things (I used to): "Lame." or "That'll never be me! I'm done with all that dieting crap" or "Shame on you for not just following the rules and doing it right." Or worse. And in some cases (probably longer-term bandsters): "You go girl, do what you need to..." - and honestly, over the past 2 years I've sat in judgment of other people doing diets or things like this, so I know - and the judgment was really just a manifestation of my own fear of being that person. And now I am, and it's ok! This is not irreparable damage.

That's my update - I feel a little scattered about it all, but fortunately, Jill and I are going to be living together soon! :) This helps with routine a lot! We've spent the last few weeks re-facing my house (paint, furniture, windows, etc.) in an effort to make it ours - she'll be moving in over the next month or so. The nice thing has been eating at home! When we were alternating houses, it seemed to hard - over the past few weeks, we've been eating at home and lucky for me - I found a girl who is happy to forgo the carbs, and who generally eats about as much as me (maybe a few more bites). So she is fine eating 4 ounces of fish on top of a bed of veggies; or marinated chicken strips with homemade tzatziki sauce with olives, tomatoes and broccoli. This helps too!

I'll try not to stay away so long this time. Hope everyone is doing well! I appreciate the emails and comments reminding me to come back here! :)