Home stretch, or just the beginning?

Damn, 11 days without a post? That’s pathetic. However, though my enthusiasm for blogging this journey may have waned, my commitment to WINNING has not–at least where food is concerned. (My exercise plan continues to stagnate, unfortunately.)

IMG_9033I finally broke through my plateau last Tuesday, just in time for Thanksgiving. It seemed like a cruel joke, but then I realized I wasn’t going to undo that huge milestone, no matter what the holiday had to throw at me. Armed with the knowledge of my recent success, I got through Gigantic Turkey Day with flying colors, treating the day as an opportunity to hang out with dear friends and not as a chance to eat a day’s worth of food in one sitting. I only had one hiccup, when my lovely hostesses placed the apple crisp dessert right in front of me. Mmmmmmmmmm, apple crisp! It’s like apple pie without the extra fattening crust. Yum! Fortunately my perseverance through the weekend meant the crisp didn’t set me back, and I am lighter than I was this time last week–and lighter than I’ve been in a YEAR, woot!

Now I just have one Christmas party and one dinner to get through before the final weigh-in, two weeks from today. I’m a little afraid of being set free after that weigh-in, though. I’ve had so many plans for that day (the day of the company holiday party) and the days following. Eggnog lattes, squirreled-away Halloween chocolates, vodka gimlets and candy cane martinis by the trough–I’ve been looking forward to all of them for so long. But, I’m about to drop into a scale decade that I haven’t seen in several years, and I’d hate to undo it all. That would mean buckling down through, oh god, a minimum of four additional Christmas parties post-weigh-in, then the holiday itself. Ack! Can I really stay committed that long, through the toughest food season of the year? Ten more pounds and I’ll be lighter than I’ve been since freakin’ junior high, surely that’s enough motivation to stay on target, right?

No way to know, so, *fingers crossed*!

But damn, I miss alcohol. *sigh*

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Today is a weak day

I am soooooooo very glad there is no cake in the kitchen today. My energy levels are low, my head feels foggy, and after reading this article on fast food burgers, I’m desperately craving something I can sink my teeth into. Instead, I had a couple of slices of extra lean smoked ham from Trader Joe’s. *sigh* But yes, if the cake were there, I’d be all over it.

Thank you, body, for not feeling this strong temptation yesterday, when it would’ve been far more disastrous.

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Wanna see something scary?

Sometimes, when I think about how I look and feel today, and how I wish I looked and felt (at least 20 pounds lighter and strong as an ox would be good, if we’re making wishes), I look back to where I used to be. It’s terrifying and hideous and not for the faint of heart, but it reminds me that hey, I’ve done this before. It’s not impossible. And if I’m wrong, and it should prove to be impossible in the end, who cares? ‘Cause I still look better than the me of fifteen years ago. My 25-year-old self would’ve KILLED to look like 41-year-old me. True fact. See?

Me, then and now

Me, then: Cheekbones? What cheekbones? Me, now: Hell yeah.

Nothing’s impossible. So sayeth I.

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So let’s revisit some of those goals, shall we?

Blog every day: Yeah, that obviously didn’t happen. Sorry about that, folks! As y’all know, work’s been hell the past two weeks, but all’s good now, so hopefully I can get back to being good on the blogging front. (And if you haven’t seen it yet, check out our new site design that launched Monday!)

Exercise every day: BWAH! Uh, I mean, no, sorry, that hasn’t happened either. I have still been walking down the hill at night, though, regardless of the level of chill, so I’m choosing to take pride in that, and not pay so much attention to the evenings and non-work weekends spent on my couch.

Eat better:
WIN! I’ve been acing this one, even when tempted by cakes, truffles, danish, and yes, even alcohol. I intend to continue being awesome at this, although the holidays are barreling down the freeway, heading right for us, so, no promises.

How’s everyone else doing? Only 25 days left ’til final weigh-in! Come on, you can do it!

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Feeling stabby

Work was annoying today. Why is it when we’re feeling extreme emotions, we think the answer lies in punishing ourselves with all kinds of bad food, under the guise of making ourselves feel better?

Yes, I wanted a cookie. Yes, I wanted a cupcake. Yes, I wanted garlic herbed croutons. (Don’t ask.) Anything to distract me from wanting to go stabby.

Mini pool tableI of course did none of those things (including going stabby). I vented to a friend, I went for a walk, I listened to some music–all classic examples of easy and calorie free stress-relievers.

Here is an excellent list of 50 stress-relieving ideas. I’m particularly fond of #41: Play billiards or ping pong, but no matter how many times I ask, my boss still hasn’t installed a pool table in the lobby. (He did find me the small desk-sized table pictured on the right, though.)

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Weigh-in day!

Well, today and tomorrow, anyway. I did mine right before lunch, and the past two weeks of sacrifice meant a fair showing on ye olde scale. The next two weeks will be harder, though. My body is used to this punishment now, and it won’t give up the goods quite so easily going forward.

IMG_7002A new and unexpected challenge for me is the change in the weather. I walked down the hill last night at 7pm, and omigod it was freezing! Well, not *freezing* freezing, but the wind was strong and biting, and left me with an ear ache on both sides of my head–the first time that walk wasn’t just pure joy. The hill is often the only exercise I get on any given day, so it’s time to pull out the hat and gloves if I’m going to keep at it, or else work harder to find time to do it in the middle of the day, when the sun keeps the experience at least a little more forgiving.

How is everyone else doing? Keeping at the exercise, the healthy eating, the positive attitude? Things have been quiet with the team and with our gym hosts, but remember, you don’t have to do this in a vacuum.

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Lose 27 pounds eating Twinkies! Seriously.

Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds

Much like the subject himself, I am unsure what to do with this. He reduced his daily caloric intake, but replaced all his previous healthy food with snack cakes. Fewer calories, made up of twinkies. Lost 27 pounds.

MY MIND IS BLOWN.

However, I don’t think I would be happy eating *only* one twinkie every three hours. Sadly I’m all about the volume.

In other news, my caloric intake this weekend stayed on target, even if my planned exercise never happened. I need to get energized, and reinvested in this fitness challenge. Hopefully tomorrow’s first mandatory weigh-in will do the job.

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Honeymoon is over

I think I’ve reached that stage where the Challenge is no longer new and exciting, and now eating lettuce and chicken, and trying to work out every day, has become a chore. Last week I was amped to do my part to help the team to victory. This week, I’m eyeing that banana bread in the kitchen and feeling deprived. The 90ish degree temps aren’t helping any, either–who wants to walk up and down a steep hill in that kind of weather? Crazy people, that’s who.

Cookies!Part of the problem is that work is very stressful right now, and all I can think about is chocolate chip cookies. Usually when work gets to me like this, a big ol’ cookie from the coffee cart helps ease the tension out of my system, at least for a little while. Tuna and lettuce? Not so much.

I haven’t given in yet, but I suspect dealing with stress will continue to be one of my own personal challenges for the next five and a half weeks. Fortunately Weight Watchers has come up with lots of good articles about dealing with stress without reaching for the chocolate (such as meditating, exercising, etc.). There are probably hundreds more out there that I haven’t even found yet, so if you’re looking for your own ideas on ways to relax, just let Google be your guide.

I’m not being all down on myself, thought–at least I’m sticking to my water goals. Whether it’s tea, water, or a big bottle of Crystal Light pomegranate punch, I’m taking in 80 oz of liquid every day. And while I may not be walking up that damned hill in this weather, I have been walking down it at night, so I’m not a total sloth. Perhaps this weekend I’ll get back on my Wii Fit; I could certainly use the yoga practice. And, it’ll help with the stress!

Hope you’re all doing great with your own personal goals!

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Week two, are you still going strong?

This is what our suite’s kitchen counter looked like yesterday:

Office kitchen, post-Halloween

Perhaps your office had a similar fright show. Did you survive it? Did you give in to the call of the chocolate, or laugh in its face and walk swiftly away?

I did a little of both–I saw Midnight Milky Ways in the mix, which I haven’t had in years, and couldn’t resist taking a couple (or five). But instead of eating them right away, I’ve stashed them in the drawer they will live in until mid-December, at which point it’ll be PARTY TIME WOO!

That’s an extreme example of another tool you can use to get through this challenge–delayed gratification. If you’re craving something that might not necessarily fit into your plan for that day, try saving it for when it does fit, or as a reward for working extra hard at your workout that day. If that doesn’t work for you, have a small bit of it–often it’s about the taste, not the hunger. A smaller portion can be just as satisfying. Full out denial will likely lead to you obsessing over the “forbidden” item, until eventually, when you do cave in, you’ll overdo it. Trust me, I’ve been there. Best to give in a little when you still have control over the desire.

Remember, though, if you do give in and overdo it, don’t spend too much time feeling guilty. It’s already in the past, and you still have full control over the future. Tomorrow can be a better day.

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Goodbye, Halloween; hello, water!

So how’d everyone do over Halloween weekend? If you abstained from the sweets, then bravo to you! And if you found yourself succumbing to the seductive call of the Snickers bar, don’t fret–it was just one weekend, and today is another day! I was able to stay away from the sweets, although my exercise goals suffered. I’m pretending I made up for it with four hours of standing in an assembly line creating holiday boxes for soldiers on Saturday, and three hours of wandering along the West Hollywood Carnaval strip on Sunday. It may or may not balance out, but it makes me feel less guilty about it.

Now that it’s week two of the challenge, my new focus is on water. Do you drink enough? I don’t. Even when I’m aware of this and trying to drink more, I inevitably lose track and forget.

Water glassesDrinking water is important, not just for weight-loss, but for a healthy body. It keeps the kidneys in good working order so they don’t have to rely on the help of the liver, which frees up the liver to do its own damned job. It hydrates muscles so your workouts are more effective, and hydrates skin cells to smooth the skin and flush out impurities. You just look and feel better overall when you drink more water.

The average person should be drinking 64 oz. of water a day, but if you, like me, are overweight, you need more than that. My daily goal is 80 oz. I rarely hit it, but I always try, and to be honest, I cheat a little by flavoring it with Crystal Light. Makes it easier to take in that much fluid without feeling tortured. So my goal for the week is to hit 80 oz every day.

(Source: Drinking Water and Weight Loss)

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