Weight Watchers Update

They say the scale doesn’t lie. Well, that’s true but this week is a reason why I don’t have a scale in my home.

As the woman at the scale said, “Looks as though you’re becoming an expert in plateauing!” Swell. Third week, the same weight.

However, I don’t feel and I don’t look the same. My Seven jeans which were a bit loose are now clown-like on me. Last week I wore a pair of Talbots trousers that I found too tight a year ago, and now I can take them off without unbuttoning them. The Ann Taylor LOFT jeans that I bought a month ago are now baggy and the waist folds over, it’s so loose. Even my trusty Old Navy matte jersey wrap dress which I have had for years seems to big and I had to move the safety pin that holds the neckline in place because it was gaping. Casual acquaintances and coworkers I don’t see as often are asking me if I have lost weight.

My appetite has changed. I can’t eat as much in a sitting, and I have less desire for “filthy” food. This weekend we went to brunch and I ordered my regular – two eggs, potatoes, toast and meat. I ordered bacon and gave it to my husband. I ate one piece of rye toast, both my eggs and half my potatoes and gave the rest to Emerson. I drank a full glass of water and a cup and a half of coffee with Splenda and some cream… and I was completely satisfied. I wasn’t stuffed, but even better… I wasn’t craving anything more. Today I went to the Post Office to drop off some eBay sales and smelled fries from some local place. It was 2:30 – I had breakfast at 7am and since then all I had consumed was a clementine. I decided I deserved fries, and bought just them, nothing else for lunch. I ate them, and ¾ of the way through I started feeling sick. Too much fat, too much potato, not enough vegetables. I threw the rest of the fries away.

I thought, “Who AM I?” I am the girl who when living in the sorority house in college was dared to eat nine pot pies in one sitting and did it. And went out drinking that same night. I am the woman who can eat more than my husband. I have always been the woman who eats faster than anyone else, I shovel it down without a thought and never have a feeling of being stuffed, of overeating. I love the FEEL of chewing, of eating. I have always ignored any feelings of being full to feel the pleasure of consumption. I can’t do that any more.

The best part, I have removed enough weight that I FEEL lighter. I want to move! When music is on, I want to dance. I bop around while prepping dinner, I dance with Emerson while watching Yo Gabba Gabba, this morning I didn’t groan, but looked forward to doing my sun salutations and crunches.

So maybe I have hit a plateau on the scale, but I really don’t feel as though I have in life as a whole.

So PointsPlus – what are you all thinking of this new plan? I obviously haven’t seen great changes with it, but I like it. I like being able to keep clementines and apples in my desk drawer for when I have a craving for something sweet. I like that I can eat out at places like Au Bon Pain or even Chipotle, be smart with my choices and still have enough points left over for a healthy and satisfying dinner. I like that a 6” turkey sub from Subway (no cheese, no mayo) has LESS points than a Lean Cuisine. I feel as though I have more options, more variety, the ability to get creative with recipes and not fill dinners with weird tasteless fake and fat free versions of things.

Yesterday I was a masochist and went to Target.
In the rain.
Two weeks before Christmas.
I know.

Anyway, since I was stupid enough to go there, I decided to make the most of it and shopped the entire store. Did you know Target has organic fresh spinach and wild-caught sea scallops? Yeppers, they do. So I bought a bag of each. Last night I seared the scallops in some olive oil with garlic, thyme, and sage. After cooking them in the pan, I added a quarter cup of white wine and used it to scrape up all the brown stuff and make a sauce. Poured it on the scallops. Then I added a bit more wine and some water to the pan and then the spinach and steamed it until the leaves were wilted. While doing this, I prepared some quinoa that was seasoned with a pat of butter that softened garlic, sage, and thyme. Put the spinach on the quinoa, and the scallops on top with a drizzle of that sauce that was created. It was utterly delicious, satisfying, and the entire meal was only 12 points. When you have 29 points in a day, that isn’t bad at all!

I know what I need to do to get over this plateau is add exercise to my routine. I just need to figure out where to fit it. Even if I only work out one day a week more than I do, it’s better than nothing. I think I have been good with my food intake – I am really learning to listen to my body, I am craving new things (hello spinach and quinoa!), I am watching the size of my portions. However this can only go so far and I now need to start moving this body on a more regular basis.

So how do you fit exercise into your busy schedule, especially now that it is so cold and gets dark so early? And how are you doing with PointsPlus?

12 Comments

  1. December 14, 2010 / 4:38 pm

    Cynthia, I SHOULD walk my dogs! I have three of them and they are suffering from cabin fever with this cold. Maybe tomorrow morning I can take Cindy for a quick jaunt, take Alfie the next morning. Ruckus is too old and has bad knees and can hardly get down the deck steps, so he can stay home and be snuggly on the couch. 🙂

    I have cut out alcohol a lot – I think now maybe one glass of wine a week. I believe that has really made a difference. I need to cut down on the coffee – it may be 0 points, but the caffeine isn’t healthy. I do 1-3 cups a day.

    I would LOVE an elliptical or tredmill, but I live in a small home with few rooms. I have one of those stepper things from Brookstone, should pull that out – 10 minutes on that thing really makes me break a major sweat and I feel it the next day!

    Thanks for all these ideas – you all are amazing!

  2. December 14, 2010 / 4:33 pm

    You probably don’t want to add to your already insane schedule – but I find that having a dog is a great motivator for exercise. She doesn’t care what the temperature is or whether or not I “feel” like going for a walk – we walk or she eats something that I like (like my shoes) the next day.

    Maybe you can make it a family activity and walk together? I do find that getting enough sleep is more important for me weight-loss wise than exercise though. If I don’t sleep enough, I can walk, do my elliptical and go to Pilates everyday and my weight won’t budge.

    I don’t know what size house you have – but buying the elliptical and having it right there was a great investment. I never want to stop at the gym on the way home, so this way I can get to it while I’m watching tv or whatever.

    Sadly, cutting out alcohol might be a solution for breaking through – I’ve found that any alcohol goes straight to my hips. My body can’t seem to process it.

  3. December 14, 2010 / 4:08 pm

    You all are the BEST motivation!

    I have been making excuses, I leave for work when it JUST gets light, and get home when it’s dark. But I could take a pair of tennies to work and walk for 30 minutes at lunch, I can walk in the dark at night W-Sun when my husband is home to watch E. And I can always walk in the mornings on days when I don’t have to already wake up at the crack of dawn.

    They are remodeling the neighborhood gym but when it reopens at the beginning of the new year I am going to make a more concerted effort to go at least once a week.

    Thank you all of you!

  4. kathy
    December 14, 2010 / 4:00 pm

    Sounds like you’re doing wonderful, even though the scale says otherwise. I’m not impressed with the PointsPlus program but I guess maybe that’s because I haven’t read through the whole thing yet. I’m still basically eating the same stuff I used to but since I wasn’t cutting back then, I’m still not cutting back now. I MUST take off some weight because I’m not happy with the way I feel and I’m tired of overeating and then hating myself two seconds after I swallow the last bite.

    Anyway, as far as exercise, I too have found that in the winter, just plain old walking works for me. I’ll try to go at lunch or in the evening. Yes, it’s cold (I’m in Philly) but you just bundle up.

    Last spring I started running with the plan to run a 5K. I ended up hurting my foot and stopped for awhile, then when I want to take it up again, it 90 thousand degrees all the time. So I stopped. I decided though that for now, I’m going to walk during the winter and in March I’ll try the running thing again, only I’ll take it slower.

    Also, I don’t know if you’ve cut back on wine/alcohol, but I find that helps tremendously! You could probably drop a few more pounds just by limiting your alcohol intake each week.

    Good luck with whatever you do.

  5. December 14, 2010 / 3:04 pm

    As far as fitting exercise in, I should do better. I am using the massive cold as an excuse not to go running when it is not a good one. I need to join the gym here that has an indoor running track, but I keep putting off the expense because of the holidays. So maybe after Christmas.

    But when it is not cold, I use it as a treat. I NEVER deny myself a treat–that is why I got big in the first place. So I remind myself how good I will feel, how much I need the alone time, make a new playlist on my ipod. That way, when I start thinking that I won’t go, that I don’t have time, I remind myself that I have a treat coming. And usually, I go on and run. And I enjoy it immensely.

    Sounds like you are doing amazingly. I am a big eater too–can definitely eat more than Matt. I am starting to do better too. I like PointsPlus. I made some burritos the other night with black beans and fresh salsa and shredded chicken breast and just a small amount of Monterey Jack, and they came out to be about 11 points. So filling and good, and I was surprised at just how little cheese I needed to get that gooey feeling.

  6. Anonymous
    December 14, 2010 / 2:55 pm

    Hi Allie,

    I started where you did a few years ago and while i didn’t follow any diets or plans I did learn how to be mindful of what I eat and naturally avoid all the super high fat foods in my daily life. I would still occasionally eat chicken wings and fries but that would be once a month if not less frequent (and in smaller quantities).

    Exrecise is very important. And the most important part is to do it regularly. Even if it’s only one day a week it has to be every week. I find that the best time for me to exercise is at lunch. So 3 times a week I take my lunch break to go to the gym. I’m there for an hour with 40min of that time being dedicated to the exercise. After the gym I eat lunch at my desk and if I am busy with work I just stay a bit later..30min to 1hour more. But I find that is more time efficient than taking time to exercise in the evening at home.

    I’m very happy you are feeling better and I hope you find something that works for you soon! Good luck and you can do this!

    Lana

  7. KP
    December 14, 2010 / 2:41 pm

    Well, it took me two years of starting and stopping before I figured out my exercise routine, but now I’m on week 130 of exercising every morning Monday through Friday for 30 minutes! I have had my days off though from illness, vacation or the odd day where I don’t get enough sleep (If I won’t get at least 6.5 hours, I can skip it. This works for me because this rarely happens.).

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been struggling with overeating, seeing and feeling how it affects me, but seemingly unable to stop. Also, due to vacation and the holidays, my healthy diet has been full of sugar, so I’m craving it all the time now. Hearing about your experience is inspiring!

  8. December 14, 2010 / 2:06 pm

    Sometimes the scale does not tell the whole story of how we are doing in our healthy living journey. It sounds as though you are having great successs even if the number on the scale is not going lower.

  9. Anonymous
    December 14, 2010 / 1:58 pm

    I, too, have been working at “removing” weight since the end of August. Counting calories and exercising regularly. I feel good, my clothes fit better, and despite the fact that I have only lost 12 pounds (20 more to go), I feel so much better. You’re doing great, especially considering your hectic work schedule and the fact that you have a toddler at home!!

    I have done lots of variations over the years to get exercise into my schedule, but by far the most successful for me is just plain walking. A lot. Right now I’m getting up in the morning and walking with my hubby for 50 minutes (in the cold, bundled up like a child in a snowsuit) before work. If morning doesn’t do it, then how about your lunch break? Can you work in a 20 minute walk sometime during the day? I guarantee that even that much a few times a week will make a huge difference in your outlook and most likely also on the scale.

    Best of luck to you – you look fabulous!!!

    Laurie

  10. December 14, 2010 / 6:29 am

    Wow! It sounds like you’ve been very successful, no matter what the scale says!

    I’ve used weight watchers in the past – it taught me how to eat and helped me to develop good habits. I managed to lose 50 lbs and keep it off. The first 10 came off while I was doing WW, the rest was while I did my own thing. As for plateaus, they happened to be about every 10 pounds or so. And then with a tiny change I’d manage to eventually break through.

    Exercising is really important for my mental health, so I try to get it in fairly regularly. For me, I have to do it in the morning or it won’t happen at all. I do something that I can do at home or near home to save time. I also have 2 dogs that need walking, so that forces me to get at least 30 minutes of activity per day 😉

  11. December 14, 2010 / 3:31 am

    I’m a fast eater too – I didn’t used to be, and then I joined the Marine Corps. Being forced to consume all my meals in about 10 minutes during boot camp and then using most of my lunch break to work out and shower when I was out in the fleet, leaving just 10 minutes to eat did a number on me – even though I got out 20 years ago.

    I’ve learned to eat a cup of soup, drink some tea or eat an apple or salad about 20 – 30 minutes before my meal to signal my stomach that there is incoming food. That way I don’t overeat.

    I’ve also run into the same problem with “plateauing” – I lost steadily at first and then have gone through a series of plateaus where my weight stays the same, but my inches are still going down. I lost an entire pant size this fall while staying the same weight – obviously, I’m putting on muscle and losing fat at the same time, so the scale isn’t always the best measurement for me.

    However, since I don’t care about the WW milestones – I just keep plugging away. Not much has changed for me with the Points Plus – I never ate the fake food, so now the few carbs I eat “cost” more, but my fruit is free, so it’s pretty even.

    The only thing that’s hit me is that the occasional indulgences I used to take with cake or candy are much more costly and less likely to be worth the points hit in my head. Which I’m sure is better for me in the long run.

    The one good thing is that I’ve found that after a good 3-4 weeks of weighing the same, I’ll often drop 4 – 6 pounds the next week when the muscle gain stabilizes and the fat loss kicks in. Then I start on the same thing again – losing inches without losing weight. Since my overall goal is to be healthy and I’m totally an online member now, it’s no biggie – it might bug me though if I were going to meetings.

  12. December 14, 2010 / 2:27 am

    I really must rejoin WW in the new year. Reading this post inspired me again because I remember those feelings of feeling lighter and wanting to move so well.

    I did the online program last year and had great success… until a promotion came my way with ridiculous hours and too much stress. I ended up falling off the wagon, finding a new job, and never getting the motivation back b/c going to lunch was such a great way to get to know new co-workers and I didn’t want to seem unfriendly. Excuses, excuses.

    I’m also a fast eater, which means that I get way too much food in me before the 15 mins. (they say) is needed to feel full elapses. By then, I’m overstuffed and miserable. I loved learning what the feeling of satisfied was while on WW and thinking, ‘so… this is how… normal people feel?! This is their full!’

    Good luck on overcoming your plateau!

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