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Gotta Hand It To Me

Just discovered a great tip that is a win-win situation.  I was in the restroom washing my hands and some person had left a bottle of rather nice smelling hand lotion for all to use.  So I tried it out.

Another staff member had recently been to Ocean City, MD and brought back caramel corn from Fishers.  I had given into this temptation several times since the beginning of the week (heck it’s only Wednesday!) and was feeling guilty about eating it and more importantly about not tracking it.

Before I hit restroom the caramel corn monster was calling my name.  However, once I put that nice smelling hand lotion on I realized I couldn’t dip into the caramel corn bucket.  Win-Win!  Not only are my hands softer but I wasn’t able to give into that temptation.  I wonder why I hadn’t thought of this before.  Neat trick to keep yourself from eating something that requires you picking it up with your hands – put lotion on before hand and you won’t pick it up (because no matter how good it smells I don’t think you want your caramel corn, brownie, cookie, etc. to taste like hand lotion).

Another win-win — while looking up the links to put in this post I found the nutritional information for the caramel corn.  I am now tracking what I ate this morning so at least part of my guilt is absolved 🙂

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Work in Progress

Finally caught up on blogging, well until I attend today’s meeting 🙂

Last week’s meeting was about acknowledging what works for us in the program.  Lots of great info came out of that meeting.  One member commented that she had been going crazy with grapes the previous weeks.  Turns out you can have too much of a good thing.  I know this as well – if I eat too many high glycemic fruits I pay for it.  Even though fruits are zero points you can have too many and they can add points on.  If you still want to keep fruit in your program just try to pick more lower GI (glycemic index) ones like berries and less high point ones like bananas or watermelon.

Several of us commented that sleep is very important to the weight loss journey not to mention just general health.  I know for a fact that weeks where I didn’t get enough sleep that scale (as well as my general well-being) reflected it.  Make sure you get at least 6 or more good solid hours of sleep.

One member had a wonderful insight (I do like where she comes from – she makes me see things differently and for that I thank her).  She sees each meeting as a class.  It is a refresher on what she needs to learn.  What a wonderful way to look at things.  I was really surprised that I, as a trainer, didn’t think of that.  Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees and you need someone else to point it out.  I’ve always said my favorite part of training is when I too learn something.

One member said that she used to say “well I only lost __ lbs.” but when she picked up a 5 lb. bag of flour it reminded her of just how much she lost and what she had been carrying around.  Sometimes we need those tangible reminders to see what is working for us.

We then listed all the things we know work on the Weight Watchers program:

  • Number one thing mentioned was – Tracking!  Indeed I had fallen off the tracking bandwagon and last week really saw the results of it.  This week I got back on and look forward to my weigh-in today.  Tracking really is the strongest tool in our arsenal  You can’t change your bad eating habits if you don’t know what you are eating.  We think we know but we can easily block out that candy bar or bag of chips if we don’t write it down!
  • Exercise – just move.  It doesn’t have to be at the gym just add more movement to your daily routine and the effects will show.
  • Portion control – along with tracking these two really make a big difference.
  • Water – drinking it not only fills you up but your body needs it.  I read an article once that said most of us walk around dehydrated – we just don’t get enough water.
  • Setting small OBTAINABLE goals – instead of looking at that final number and thinking I can’t possibly lose __ lbs.  Focus on the first 5 lbs, 5%, 10%, etc.  Not only are they easy to set and reach when we celebrate at the meetings all of us feel good.
  • Setting REASONABLE expectations – if our expectations (I’ll lose 4lbs this week) are set too high we really are setting ourselves up for failure and get easily discourage.  Don’t sabotage yourself that way.
  • Forgive yourself – this segue ways perfectly from the previous point.  If your expectation is set too high – learn from it, forgive yourself and move on.  We are all human, we are going to make mistakes but the best thing we can do is learn from it first and then forgive ourselves.
  • Don’t deprive yourself – this is one of my favorites.  So many people start off with good intentions and try to cut every bad thing out of their diet (no sugar, no salt, no chocolate, no……)  That is great but not very realistic.  Go ahead, have your cake and eat it too.  Just make sure you track it, acknowledge it and forgive yourself if you need to.  Giving into those occasional “goodies” (whatever yours maybe) makes doing this program a whole lot easier than those “diets” out there that make you give up everything.  Goes back to being realistic with expectations.
  • Honesty – I liked this one.  Let’s be honest, we aren’t always so honest with ourselves, our tracking, our exercise, etc.  We are only fooling ourselves but really we aren’t because we know.  Be honest in your tracking, exercising, etc. even if your honesty is that I didn’t track this week or I didn’t exercise as much.  Just keeping yourself honest will let you see patterns and figure out how to do things different or better next time.
  • Healthy Checks – making sure we get all of those in (love seeing the smiley face).  I was one who didn’t believe that the 2 teaspoons of healthy oil was important.   I knew that oil was high in fat what on earth was Weight Watchers thinking?   But I remember how things changed for me once I started doing that religiously.  Good lesson for me to learn that they have researched this, tested it and it works.  What I was doing wasn’t so don’t think I know better.

And I’ll add to this that Meetings is definitely one of the things that work.  They are now my Saturday morning class.  I owe that to myself.  I love the wisdom that comes out in each meeting.  I love learning new things or being reminded of old ones.  For me it is an important part of my program and it is part of what works for me.

We are all just works in progress but hopefully we can use some of the great wisdom documented here to help us with our progress.

 

B.L.T.’s

No, not bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches (although that sounds really good right now) but instead Bites, Licks, and Tastes.  Our meeting on Saturday was all about tracking.  I’m glad it was because I’ve not been doing my best with it recently.  It was a good reminder for me to hear.  We talked about all the different things we track and not just WW items.  Some members keep track of their kids schedule of activities, gas mileage, car maintenance, but we also keep track of our points, our healthy checks (water especially), and those activity points!  If you stop to think about it we do a lot of tracking during a week.  Some found that tracking points is a chore and I have to admit that I can fall into that category.  Others like doing it because it gives them a real sense of accomplishment.  All I know is we do better when we track (I’m certainly proof of what happens when you don’t track).

Some members really liked the smiley faces you see in e-tools when you’ve hit your markers for your healthy checks.  Who says kids are the only ones who like to get star stickers or smiley faces for doing something correctly?  I loved the saying one member’s doctor said to her (and I paraphrase) “Do you go out and write ridiculous amounts of checks when you don’t have the money?  Then why are you spending your points that way?!”  That really hit home with me – don’t spend points that my body will have to pay for later.  Don’t get into debt with your money or your body.  Neither is healthy for you.  Track now so I don’t pay later.

Our leader, Pat, talked about an option for some that might make their tracking easier – Upside Down tracking.  This would probably work better for those who don’t use e-tools and use the paper tracker.  Instead of you thinking 6am until 6pm one day and factoring your points then – try 6pm until 6am the next day as one day.  Same number of points for each day but maybe turning things upside down might work better for you especially if you don’t have a normal 9-5 kind of lifestyle.  I love that Weight Watchers gives us options to be flexible with the plan.  I really believe that is one of many reasons why it works for so many.  Being able to tailor it to your life and needs makes it so much easier to makes those changes become a habit and a lifestyle change.

We ended the meeting with this great reminder that all those B.L.T’s do add up!

P.S.  A member mentioned something about the YMCA having a special offer going on.  I tried Googling about this but couldn’t find anything.  If you know more about this would you please comment.  Thanks!

Reflecting On Things Past To Move Forward

I guess it’s inevitable that at the last Weight Watchers meeting of 2011 we should do some reflecting on our success this past year.  More importantly I like to look at where I might have failed (or in less harsh terms – where I slipped up and had learning moments).   Mistakes are what make us human and give us the most opportunities to grow/learn.   There are so many great quotes regarding mistakes I can’t pick just one.  But looking back at the good and the bad is important part of your health journey.

If you subscribe to eTools you have reports on your fingertips that can help you see patterns.  Take time to review them.  Look at the weeks where you lost and the ones you didn’t – what is different about the weeks that you lost weight?  Do you track often or rarely?  How about your healthy checks – do you succeed at completing those each day?  If you don’t use eTools try tracking your weight loss on a graph that can help you to see patterns sometimes as well.

Several members looked back at the year but especially the holidays and saw where they needed to improve.  One member mentioned that she realized that she drank a lot of diet soda while off for the holidays (something she doesn’t do so much the rest of the year).  It struck a chord with me and I got to thinking about how much Diet Coke I had the past week (and may have explained some of my weight gain that week – although a lot of it was from giving myself a bit too much permission to have goodies during Christmas).  Our leader mentioned that a lot of sodas have too much sodium in them.  I found an interesting article on all the diet soda/sodium and breaking the habit.  I mentioned that canned foods (such as tomatoes which I use in a lot of recipes) also have sodium but luckily we have the no-salt version as well.

So take a moment to look back at 2011 so you can move forward with your health goals in 2012.  I for one am going to limit my soda intake to 1 per day now that I’m back at work.  The rest of my liquids will be water (fizzy or flat).  Remember to track not guesstimate – guesstimating can work against us in many ways (either we aren’t allotting enough points or too many).  Try to make small changes as they are not only the easiest but make this health journey more of a lifetime goal than a momentary one.  But the one thing I think we all need to do when we look back at the past year is forgive ourselves for any slip ups and move on.  Look at those slip ups but use them as learning moments (what could you have done differently?).   Don’t forget while looking back to celebrate all those things you did that made a difference.  Look at those and continue (if not magnify them) these in 2012.

Need some help keeping your promise of a healthier you?  Here are 8 different apps/tools you can use on your journey to better 2012!

I wish all of my readers a very healthy, happy New Year!

Additional Goodies

Got to thinking about what other holiday ideas you might want to get a WW member on your list.

Several things came to mind under Workouts

  • Fitbit – tracks your everyday steps, stairs climbed, calories burned, and more, motivating you throughout the day.
  • Up by Jawbone – track your steps, distance, calories burned, pace, intensity level, active vs inactive time, GPS routes and more.
  • Bath puffs for the shower after your workout

And one more for the cooks out there – the brand new Weight Watchers Points Plus Power Foods cookbook – a bit expensive here on Amazon.com but only $14.95 at your local Weight Watchers store

Hope some of these ideas help with your holiday shopping for the fit-minded on your lists.

Hitting That Dreaded Plateau

I’ve been very lucky that since I joined Weight Watchers in June of 2011 I’ve had pretty much a downhill journey.  Of course occasionally the numbers crept back up the hill a bit but the following week I was back on track with losing.  I thought I was going to be lucky and miss the dreaded plateau altogether.  No such luck.  My scale has stayed constant since last Saturday.  Worst part is last Saturday was one of those “I gained a little bit” weeks.  So I’ve been trying to tighten things up this weeks in hopes that the scale will drop again.  It hasn’t.

Help!  What do I do?  I’ve reviewed my points (staying pretty much within my daily allowance and only occasionally dipping into my 49), making sure I definitely hit all my Healthy Checks, been hitting the gym (or walking the dogs or raking leaves) so I’ve definitely been moving….so what else can I do?  For once this isn’t about me offering information or advice, I’m looking to you the reader to help me.  Whether or not you’ve done Weight Watchers or just a diet what did you do differently to get unstuck from a plateau?

I read this on the Weight Watchers site “It’s a phenomenon familiar to most people who’ve tried to shed excess pounds: You’re close to your weight-loss goal, and suddenly the numbers on the scale refuse to budge.”  That’s exactly what is happening to me, I’m 7 pounds from my goal weight.  So I guess this plateau is to be expected.  I’d just like it to move along and not stay for an extended visit.  Please comment with any suggestions you might have to help me (and others who experience this) get over this little speed bump in my/our journey.

Give Credit!

Everyone is talking about credit these days.  Credit cards, debit cards, defaulting on loans, whole countries in trouble…but this is a different kind of credit.  Give credit.  Give yourself some credit.

Many of us on the weight loss/maintenance journey know it’s not an easy road.  We have our ups (which are always great) and our downs as well.  We need to take time and celebrate the small accomplishments instead of getting caught up in the little road bumps.

So give yourself credit:

  • for going to a meeting every week
  • for tracking your points (even if you forget to do all of them give yourself credit for the ones you DID track)
  • for exercising (even if it is just parking your car at the end of the lot)
  • for going online and using your e-tools
  • for changing your eating habits (healthier choices, smaller portions)
  • even give yourself credit for the slips ups you may experience because that means you are human and you are alive!

It is easy to give yourself credit when things are going right but when those eventual human slip ups happen (pound gained, exercise forgotten, un-healthy choices made) try to give yourself something else – a little slack.  Try to focus on what you did accomplish and not zone in on the slip up.  The slip ups give us an opportunity to learn.

Two weeks ago I knew I hadn’t been as faithful as usual so I wasn’t surprised to find that I had gained (2.2 lbs) that week instead of losing.  The first time that happened to me I was devastated.  I spent the whole meeting in my car on the phone to my husband crying.  The smartest thing he did was encourage me to go back in and talk to my leader.  I did and she was very helpful.  She gave me lots of food for thought (zero points!!!) and some suggestion plus the encouragement I needed.  The following week I had not only lost the pounds I had gained but an additional 2 lbs. as well.  So when this happened again I knew I needed to learn something.  I went back and reviewed my week – saw where I had not made some wise choices and made some changes.  Again at the next weigh in I lost those pesky 2.2 lbs. and 1.8 more!  Instead of the glass half empty this time I looked at it as half full.  I looked at it as an opportunity to learn and change so I could continue down the right path.  I didn’t beat myself up (which is my usual habit) instead I gave myself CREDIT for being calm, not crying, for learning and moving on.

So no matter what that scale says I know you did something this week that you celebrate – so give yourself some credit.  It may not be any good at the bank but it will make you much richer in the long run.

2 by Two

One of the tips I would recommend to new WW members, buy two!  Two sets of measuring cups, two sets of measuring spoons.  Measuring your food helps you in many ways.  Weighing or measuring ingredients keeps you honest.  Sometimes you have to make a guess when you are eating out but no excuse when you are at home.  If you have 2 sets you can’t use the excuse “Oh, the cup (or spoons) are dirty and I don’t feel like washing them.”  Having 2 sets ensures that you can always measure accurately and track better.  So just like Noah’s ark, it is helpful to have 2 of everything (or at least your measuring cups and spoons).