Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving


On this Thanksgiving morning, I am counting my blessing. They are so numerous!

- My healthy, intelligent, and beautiful child, who is the light of my life and the result of a hard-won battle to have a child.

- My family, whom I love very much and can always count on when I need them.

- My health. This had not always been true, so I appreciate every healthy day.

- Good friends. True friends. Quality people in my life.

- My kitties, because they bring me happiness, comfort, and unconditional love every single day.

- My job, because it affords me the opportunity to use my brain and challenge myself in addition to supporting my family in a comfortable manner.

- My beautiful home, which is safe and warm and has all of the creature comforts that we desire. Even if my neighbors are louder than I would like.

I feel content watching the parade with my daughter this morning. And that is another blessing.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Skinni(er) Jeans

Yes! I tried on a pair of my skinnier jeans yesterday, and they fit beautifully!

I love fitting into clothes that make me feel good. And I loved wearing them to work today as a reminder to stay on track during this holiday week with all of the treats that are littering the office right now!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Here Come the Holidays!

I love the holidays! Last year was a terrible holiday season for us, though, and I really did not enjoy them at all. But this year is different. Better. Happy.

I skipped WW last weekend because my weekly Cheat Day turned into more of a Cheat Weekend. It reinforced what I already know about myself: I do not do well with the Cheat Day concept because it becomes an opportunity for me to eat all of my favorite foods in a jam-packed 24 hour period. In large quantities. And then I feel guilty. Thus, no more Cheat Day lingo for me.

The good news in it all is that my body responded well to the last two weeks with a Cheat Day in terms of weight and fat loss. I was down another 4.2 pounds at WW this morning, and am now just 4.6 pounds away from my WW goal range. And, much more than a number on the scale, I just plain feel better in my body. I am feeling more like myself. And, frankly, that is really the whole point for me. I do not have any weight-related health issues, so avoiding those and feeling confident are my goals in terms of a goal weight.

I am glad I went to the meeting today because it gave me a boost for this holiday week. I was planning on letting myself go hog wild with the food and drink on Thanksgiving, but now I don't want to do that anymore. I am going to have wine as my appetizer (thank goodness I have no desire for those mini hotdog things that my mom is making... ick), focus on the protein and veggies with a spoonful of the other dishes for the main meal, and save the bulk of my calories for dessert (which is what I really want anyway). And I am going to wear a nice dress (with tights) so that my clothes are none too comfy for an expanding belly.  I am also going to get some exercise in before the gathering to counterbalance the calories and add to my resolve of healthy habits. Plan in place!

I was afraid that this holiday season would be melancholy for me because of my breakup earlier this year and subsequent string of disappointing dating experiences since it, but that is not the case. I am actually really looking forward to the events we have planned this season, and to spending time with my daughter. She is turning into a very interesting young woman, and will be entering the last of her pre-teen years in January. I am really enjoying her blossoming, yet still get the sweet girl who loves her mom like crazy. It is a very special time.

So bring it on! I am making great progress with my body goals and am in better shape than I have been for over a year and a half, and I have experienced significant emotional healing this year. But the best part is that I am focusing on enjoying the season with my biggest blessing, and that is really warming my heart from deep within.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Oral Surgery, 2.2, and 5%

That is a high level description of my weekend! I had oral surgery yesterday (a crown lengthening) to assist with a botched root canal that led to a piece of the file being broken off in the root of my tooth and significant shearing of the tooth. No fun. Stitches in my gums and packing along one side of my jaw. Nothing hot for a week. Soft foods for a week. Ugh.

I spent most of yesterday napping on the couch covered with kitties. 

This morning was Weight Watchers, and I am happy to report that I am down 2.2 pounds this week. I surpassed my 5% milestone and am now fewer than 9 pounds away from my Weight Watchers goal range! Although I plan to set myself firmly in the middle if the range, so my personal goal is less than 25 pounds away. All and all, I am down over 20 pounds from the highest weight I saw on the scale in the last year, so I consider this a success!

Now to keep the momentum going during the holidays. I do have some holiday eating planned, but am going to be very choosy and limit it to only the things that I absolutely love.

I will see my goal weight in 2014. That's a promise that I am making to myself.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Food or Exercise for Weight Loss?



I find this topic very interesting: Does food or exercise most influence fat and weight loss? Can it be either/or? Do they work together differently, and how so?

I don't think that there is a single answer for every person, but I know that managing my food intake is the 98% for me. This has been proven time and again during the years that I have lost almost 150 pounds (and regained and lost some of those over and over again). If I want to see a signifcant reduction in my weight, I need to make sure that my food intake supports that goal. Whether it is Weight Watchers or calorie counting or a strict food plan like the 17 Day Diet that I am currently following, food determines if I lose weight or not.

But exercise is not unimportant to me. Not only does it enhance fat loss for me as I build muscle, but it reinforces my commitment to my food plan. After a 30 minute run, I find myself unwilling to trade the effort for junk food or other treats. It makes me more aware of the trade offs of my energy expenditure, and also provides me with energy (after the initial adjustment period, of course) and a sense of pride and satisfaction that keep me focused on my goals.

I have seen many people I know refuse to change the eating habits that made them obese in lieu of embarking on a very demanding exercise program. They may experience some results in the early stages of the changes, but I have then heard the complaints that they are not losing weight as they had hoped. Yes, muscle is being built and they are becoming fitter and healthier in the process... all wonderful and healthy changes... but the obesity persists. People can run marathons while obese because they have built endurance and fitness, and they can be quite healthy despite extra pounds. It all depends on the goals of the individual, but weight loss is not guaranteed from a change in activity alone.

I am sure that there are anecdotal stories of people who state that they lost massive quantities of weight while eating anything and everything they want in massive quantities with only the addition of exercise, just as people lose massive amounts of weight with no exercise. I do not personally know any of the former type of people... at least not any that have maintained the body composition change in the long term. Most of the people I know use them both synergistically, but the changes in diet lead the way to major changes in their body weight and composition.

Interestingly enough, I was watching WGN News yesterday morning and saw Matthew Mcconaughey discuss losing 40 pounds for his recent role. His experience was that exercise was only 2% of the contributing factor for it. Once he cut his food intake down to approximately 1800 calories of healthy proteins, green vegetables, and fats, he saw the results that he desired, even without exercise due to an injury. And this is from a man who was fit at the start of the process.

For me, I need to include both food control and exercise in my weight reduction and body composition endeavors, especially to set the groundwork for maintenance once the weight is gone. But there is always something to learn when it come to this because I think it is an art instead of a science due to our individual bodies and their differences (spoken by a woman with no large intestine!).