Thursday, June 17, 2010

Reinspired, Refocused and Recommitted!

Hey there ladies....long time, no blog....

Summer is tough for sticking to plans. It's nice out most days, I want to spend more time outside instead of the gym. There is usually something to do on the weekends and that means eating on the run and not always making good food choices. There are lots of challenges for me everyday, no matter what the season.

Tuesday nights, my typical weigh in day, has been devoted to working my dogs. It's a good day for my friend who lets me work her sheep and to be able to get together and get a couple hours in has reflected in the improvement of the dogs. I do try to do a lot of walking around and when it's time to put the sheep away, I make an attempt at running up and down the hill.

Which brings me to my latest confession - I've been running!! Unfreakinbelievable!!! I never, ever, never ran - not even while being chased. It just wasn't my cup o' tea. Not really sure what made me do it. I've been reading a lot of blogs for inspiration and everyone was doing it. Of course I had to Google "how long is a 5K", "can fat people run?", "sports bras for large tatas" and I was off!

I had heard of the Couch to 5K program and checked it out. My first impression was not enough couch, too much K but I gave it a go. Now, in the last year I've been steady at the gym so I shouldn't have been surprised that I found this program a little too slow for me. I wasn't as much Couch to 5K as I was Elliptical to 5K. So for the past three weeks, I've been working my own program and as of tonight I can say that I can run 7 minutes, in-a-row, without-stopping-to-walk!!!!!!!! Almost a mile!!!!! Every other day I've been doing 3.1 miles (5freakinK)!!!!!

Why all the exclamation points you ask? Well, this is truly something I thought I'd NEVER do!!! And when people say, "if I can do this, so can you" they might be right. There could be something to it.

Now you would think that this would be making a huge difference on the scale, but I'm sad to say....not just yet. I'm still losing at the snail's pace that my body has always rewarded me. But I'm not giving up, hell no! I'm a chick on a mission - at 12 mph, but still on a mission.

Just to keep it real, I'm going to do something I thought I'd never do. A couple of Before and During photos (I'm not an After yet). I hope you all don't mind.

I'm a good news first type of person so this is me in April 2010. Shirt is ill fitting (too big, for once) and the pants are a size 14.

And this is me in November 2008. Size 20 jeans that were "snug". Note the absence of any presence of a neck. Lovely.

Keep on keepin' on!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday To-Do

Obviously my lackadaisical approach isn't working. Oh, FG#1 here, by the way. Last week I completely forgot to weigh in, or post, and now I'm up another 1.5. So I'm thinking about what I'm doing wrong (besides everything). There's a laundry list – but at least one thing I'm doing right is being active. Then again that's just sort of a result of my lifestyle lately, not so much anything I'm consciously doing right. Since I have a laundry list of things I'm doing wrong at the moment I'm going to choose two to start working on this week. I feel like I've gotten out of my groove so to speak.
Things to work on this week:
1. Drink more water. I'm not drinking much water lately as the bathroom at work is stupid far from my desk. That's not a good excuse though, because walking stupid far to potty is good exercise.
2. Eat breakfast. Often I rush out the door in the morning without breakfast, and yet again the kitchen is far enough away from my desk (and the setup there is not terribly conducive to *fixing* food) that I just don't bother. So this morning I brought a hard-boiled egg in a Ziploc baggie that was big enough to actually peel it in the bag, drop the shell in, and throw it out. That'll work.
FG#2 here. I forgot last week and haven't weighed in this week. Between the dogs killing my computer (it's back now, minus anything I had on my damaged hard drive) and spending a good part of my day here at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital with Willow I have to say that weigh-in is pretty much the last thing on my mind. I'm sure the Easter Bunny did some serious damage, and stress eating over Willow isn't helping. I'll try to remember to weigh-in, maybe tomorrow morning, and post the result, but I imagine it's not going to be a weight-loss success.... (Excuse the odd indent; the formatting for Laura's list above is messing with my paragraph here and I don't have the patience to figure it out and fix it.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesdays with ... 3 Fat Girlz

Okay, I might not have time for creating pithy, entertaining posts here, and apparently no one else does either, but I think we should at least keep up with the accountability part of this blog, which means recording what has happened between one weigh-in and the next.

For me, FG#2, maintain is the name of the game this week. I'm not complaining about that. This is the toughest part of the whole process for me--I am pretty close to being within 10 pounds of my goal weight (I'm 10 and a fraction from goal), and it always seem to be somewhere in here, in the 10- to 5-pounds to goal weight area that I start to lose interest, stall out, go crazy, or something. So here I am again. But this time, I'm hoping I can make the big push to get past that last hurdle, or whatever you want to call it, and actually lose those last few pounds. All together now: Go!

FG3: Yep, still maintaining pretty much, though expecting a drop in the next day or two. Feeling pretty motivated and doing okay. Wish i was within 10 pounds of my goal! (ETA on wednesday: i did get that little drop, yay!)

Fg#1: Late to the party again! Still maintaining here, not really tracking as I should. I'm walking - a LOT at work, and if I were even slightly more mindful I'd be losing. That is on my agenda - back to tracking. I think I said that last week though, so I'd better cough it UP!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Another Week Gone By

Well it seems that no one has managed to get on here and post this weigh-in day, so it's up to me (FG #2) to poke everyone and yell "Fess up!"

I actually have good news for once. I think. The scale had a precipitous drop this morning. So much so, that I re-weighed like four times trying to make sure that it wasn't just a scale glitch. And who knows, maybe by next week it will all seem like a fantasy. But for now, the scale was down 2.8 pounds from the last weigh in, which officially puts me back on the downhill side of losing, despite the ups and downs of the last few weeks. My total loss is now 6.2 pounds. Who knows what next week's weigh-in will bring? But for now, I plan to not look this gift horse in the mouth and instead assume that the scale isn't lying and that I did something right over the past week. Hmmm...I wonder if a serious lack of money and therefore a corresponding lack of food had anything to do with it? ;-)

FGs 1 & 3?

FG3 - not too bad here, another small drop, so 2 weeks in a row. I do seem to be doing better since i got off WW. I haven't lost a whole lot (about 3.5 pounds total) but i'm moving the right way. Eight weeks of WW got me about a .5 loss total and now 2 weeks off and i'm down another 3. So far so good.
Somebody called FG#1 a slacker?!?! I guess I am. Sorry! Maintaining again this week. This is good actually - I've not been the tracker queen, and I'm retaining water due to not drinking enough water, so all things considered I'm happy with that. It's on my list of things to do to get back to hard-core tracking in the next few days. Maybe even starting with today. My clothes are getting looser though, so even though the scale is MTN I'm obviously gaining ground here, and I'm pleased with that. Maybe next week I can post a loss again!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Say Hello To My LIttle Friend...

My heart rate monitor. My touchstone. My raison d'etre. My constant reminder that I have a big ass and it needs reducing.

This little piece of heaven keeps me on track with my activity points. When I first started working out and trying to record activity points, I just took the WW website for what it was worth. Eating those earned activity points was a constant source of worry for me because I didn't want to undo all that work. Seemed to defeat the purpose.

Secondly, if I'm gonna drag my butt to the gym and work out, it better sure as heck be at an effective level. I'm not there for the company, that's for sure.

This settles the unknown on both points. You see, after entering your vital statistics on this little gem, you will know down to the calorie, how much you've worked. It will also keep you working in your target heart rate with an annoying little beep that took me two weeks to figure out how to turn off. And it's accurate....this I know. I calibrated with an EKG at work and it was right on the nose.

Tonight was a double work out for me. I started off with 45 minutes on the elliptical and finished with an hour pilates class on the reformer machine. My new best friend said I earned 679 calories. (the cardio was the biggest chunk but my heart rate got up there with the torture, ahem, workout in the class.) WW's conversion is 1 activity point for every 100 calories burned. I will round that workout down to 6.5 AP's.

My experience is that I see a bigger loss on the scale if I do eat those extra points. Now, it's always better if it's an extra lean protein, extra whole grains, maybe a little more peanut butter than I would normally use, but I also use them for splurges.

Last week I earned about 28 AP'S. I ate my dailies, my flexies and almost all those AP's and ended with a loss of 1.8# for the week. That is HUGE for me. I do not expect that much of a loss next week. This is my first week back to pilates after a couple weeks off and torn muscle fibers = water retention (the reason a lot of people gain weight when they first start working out).

I'm not saying you need to have a heart rate monitor to see success, it has helped me. I admit that it may be more mental that physical but hey, whatever works. And for me it has been the heart rate monitor, a good pilates teacher and MUSIC!!!! The music has made all the difference in the world (maybe something to get into can be a little embarrassing as some of my choices sometimes reflect that of a 14 year old teenybopper).

I plan to wear it Sunday when I help out with tagging and tail docking. I'll check back in and let you know what the results were.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Terrible Tuesday

FG#1 starting us off! So yet another weigh in day rolls around. I'm up this week - up 0.8. I've been indulging a bit over the last few days, so actually the damage is not as severe as I might have expected. I've been pleased with my ability to be somewhat mindful amidst the indulgence, but recognize just how easy it would be to let the mindfullness slip. So yay for only 0.8 - because yesterday I was up THREE pounds. That's right, three (3). Buh-bye water weight, right? That's usually the case with this type of thing - the water weight packs on, and then packs back off. Gotta make sure it keeps packing back off.

FG#2 here. Up 2 lbs. Sigh. But not unexpected. It seems to be the way of things this time around. One step forward, two steps back. But the trend overall is still downward. Just quit cramming food in your face, you moron!

#3 here. Well, i'm pretty frustrated right now. I've been faithfully following WW for 8 weeks now, logging everything in, and behaving myself really well - until a couple of days ago anyway, when the frustration finally got to me. Eight weeks and i'm basically where i started, having lost a grand total of half a pound. The last two weeks i've gotten gobs of Activity Points from working non-stop outside for two 3-day weekends, and still managed to watch the scale go up. So i've been pondering on all of this and why it seems when i first start a type of diet, it works great for me. I lost like 60 pounds on low carb before it stopped working for me, and about 20-25 on WW when i started doing it but it's just not working for me now and really hasn't over the last year when i've been on the plan - that's why i'd dropped it. I think what happens is that over time i get really good at getting "more bang for my buck" - i tweak and fiddle with the numbers until i'm getting the most i can out of them. It's part of my personality really, it's how i approach spending money too - don't mind spending it as long as i get the absolute most i possibly can out of every penny. Unfortunately, when it comes to dieting the only one it ends up costing is me. It's also a real pain in the neck to have to track every point much like i have to track every dollar in my budget as well! So, recognizing these things about myself, i'm going to try a new tactic, getting off WW but trying to still lose weight, with just healthy eating and getting some exercise. It's a good time to try it, with longer evenings (DST starts in less than 2 weeks, yay!) and warmer temps. I really need to approach eating differently and hope i can do it. I'm not dropping out of 3FGirlz, i plan to keep tracking weight and doing the weigh-ins. So we're still in it together but i'm going to try it a little differently for awhile.

Friday, February 26, 2010

What Motivates You?

I was never a heavy girl. From age 4 to 18 I danced ballet and I enjoyed cheerleading through most of college (ok, didn't enjoy the cheerleading as much as the perks of traveling with the football team). My twenties brought on the pounds and in my thirties they just packed on. Funny though, I never "saw" myself as fat until I saw pictures and thought to myself "who the hell is that?" Then I got to the plus sizes and swore I would never buy bigger than a size 20. I didn't. I just didn't buy any clothes at all.

Then the perfect storm hit. I came across Laura's blog. I had met her once at a clinic in MD and was utterly impressed at the transformation that she had undergone. She didn't know it but when I saw her photos and read her story I had some kind of awakening. I COULD DO THIS TOO! I joined WW and a gym and got to work. At the same time, the very day I started WW, my sister had gastric bypass surgery and I was determined not to be the fat sister.

My weight loss has been S-L-O-W. In the last 14 months, I've averaged about .7 per week. I've followed the WW program but I also have not entirely deprived myself. Traveling for dog trials and clinics has been challenging but I'm still in the negative column so I guess I did something right.

Right now what motivates me is a combination of emotions. I finally like what I've been seeing on the scale and I can now recognize the changes in my body and I want more (I need to lose another 40 pounds). It's actually fun to shop and the first time I walked into a regular (no plus sizes) store and bought something I practically cried. I'm convinced that the nice girls at Ann Taylor think I'm crazy.

The second emotion is shear and honest fear. I'm afraid of gaining weight back. Through this whole process I have been very open with people on how much I've lost. If someone will listen, I will tell them down to the ounce where I am with my weight loss - doesn't matter if you're a coworker or the lady at the deli counter. To me, it's another person who knows my deep dark secret and I will have to be accountable to them if I gain back weight. I just hope they don't think I'm bragging or fishing for compliments.

So that's where it all started for me. It's surprising how hard it has been. Between my 3-5 days a week at the gym and WW over the last 14 months, technically I should have the body of a supermodel. But all in due time I guess... Those Sports Illustrated girls better watch their backs.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Double Yum

Channing Tatum. Yum. DOUBLE Yum. Double Yum Gum. Today I went with Harriet* to see Channing Tatum's new movie - "Dear John". The movie rocked. OK, who am I kidding - the opportunity to see him with no shirt on is excuse enough. The movie doesn't even have to rock. That's how pathetic I am. For Reals. Give me rock hard abs and no shirt and next thing I know I'm elbow deep in movie theater popcorn.

What does this have to do with being a Fat Girlz? Uh... well... the lust overcame me and I bolted down a candy bar (OK, more than one) along with the kid's size popcorn with butter (OK, synthetic God only knows what that tastes like butter). Oh yeah, and it gets better!

I followed that feeding frenzy up with a piece of chicken pie from the Church dinner, and washed all of that down with a brownie. And a piece of lemon pound cake. Did I mention feeding frenzy? Besides... it was a small piece of pound cake. Does that count for slightly less damage? I think so.

However, true to myself and accountability/mindfulness I came home accounted for every bite I took. Dang. Buh-bye flexies. I have four left, plus 10 APs that have to get me through to next Tuesday. I guess I'd best get off of my behind and work up some extra APs.

Darn you Channing Tatum. Why do you have to be so hot? I'll bet you didn't get abs like that by having feeding frenzies. 'sallright though. You can just keep being hot. I can take the heat... if I have popcorn to wash it down with.

* name changed to protect the innocent

~ photo retrieved from

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday's Trials and Tribulations

FG#1 checking in. I lost .8 this week, which truly shocked me. Total now is 16.4 lbs down. I lost 3.2 last week with that stomach virus, and fully expected a gain this week. When I weighed last week I'd not eaten in three days (three!) so I fully expected to put some of that back on. To my surprise I not only didn't put it back on but lost past that. I was on the phone with Julie a little while ago and she commented that I ought to not complain about a loss. While that's true to a degree, there is a danger in losing too quickly.

Last time around I had to eat approx. 48 dailies to maintain my goal weight. Yes, 48. Plus flexies. Plus APs. I'm almost loathe to even mention that, because if you do the math you'll realize I have to consume a HUGE quantity of BAD stuff on a regular basis to gain. Right? Well, there it is the truth in all of its ugliness. I suspect that after I turn 35 I can kiss some of that metabolism goodbye, so I'm prepared for that. I've only got five months before D-Day then, so I'd better get as much good mileage out of this metabolism as I can, right? So I'm rolling this around and I think I'll drop into the next lb bracket next week. I think I'm going to just not adjust my daily pts target to try to counteract this fast loss thing. Wouldn't it rock if I could get to goal without losing any more pts along the way? I think so.

FG#2 and FG#3 are away from their computers for a while today, so we're all just waiting patiently. :)

FG#2 here, finally back from my marathon trip to Cary! I lost just 0.6 pounds this week, but that finally puts me having lost all that I gained a couple of weeks ago, plus a fraction, so still headed in the right direction. My total loss so far is 5.4 pounds. I'm happy with that. I'm actually just 11.6 pounds from my original WW goal. I might want to try to go 5 pounds further than that, but it really depends on how difficult it is to get to the first goal. Once there, I'll worry about whether I want to go further.

I am pleased that I am able to do this with a more free-form means of eating (meaning not keeping close track of points but just trying to be aware of what I'm putting in my mouth--and how much). I've been experimenting some with how much I can eat and still lose. I've found that I can have little splurges and it won't cost me a whole lot weightwise, and then I'm not feeling deprived either. For my lifestyle and the way my brain works, I think doing it this way will result in a much better long-lasting lifestyle change. Now please don't make me eat my words!

FG3, up about a pound and half for no good reason. I was actually down 1.5 pounds earlier in the week. I think a salty weekend is making me pay for the moment (even though i got tons of APs over the weekend) and expect to be down again pretty soon. I hit my lowest weight since we started blogging during the week, so that's good. It's always easier to get back once you break the ice, sort of.

Monday, February 22, 2010

What's for Dinner?

I'm bored. Being unemployed sucks, I'm out of Netflix DVDs, it's raining again, and I'm wholly uninspired foodwise today. I absolutely loved the chicken noodle soup (uh, to the tune of eating it for lunch and dinner for two days straight), but a girl cannot live on CNS alone. I need to do something for dinner, and I can't seem to come up with anything fun or different. I'll probably trek over to the grocery store today, so I'm open for suggestions.

As a side note - I ate a couple of truffles (homemade by the groom's father) at the baby shower I attended on Saturday. Now all I can think of is chocolate. I'm telling you, it is the ONLY thing I want. For reals. Get in my belly.

So. What's for dinner? I don't care what it is - comment, or ETA, but puhhhhlease give Laura some ideas.

ETA: #3 here --
I'm thinking quesadillas at my house but it depends on whether or not i get to FINALLY go get my new dog picked up.

I'm feeling a little discouraged at WW right now but staying the course. The weight pattern is just so different this time around. I much preferred the constant small loss over this constant creep up with a big drop every once in a while. I worked my behind off all weekend but am up almost 2 pounds today anyway, sheesh. I expected to be up yesterday, after splurging on points some saturday, but not today.

ETA: FG#2 here: Since Robin mentioned quesadillas, I won't be able to get them off my mind now. Come to think of it, I think I have a couple of chicken-black bean quesadillas in the freezer. Laura, that's a good recipe out of that WW magazine, so you might want to try it. My favorite so far is the chicken sausage apple recipe, but it is a little pricier. I could eat it practically every day! Of course if you decide to get truly wild, there's always LaBamba, and I could have my arm twisted, lol!

And Robin, I hear you on the loss thing. For the first time ever when doing weight loss, I'm weighing every day and I can see why it's not recommended. For example, I would love for this morning to have been weigh-in day. I really fluctuate A LOT from day to day and since this morning was a "down" morning, it's entirely possible that weigh in won't be so great. Over the past week the difference between high and low weights has been two pounds, with the highest day being the day after weigh in and the lowest a couple of days ago. And actually the scale registered a pound difference between yesterday and today. That could just drive a person crazy! And unfortunately I don't think you can ever rely on splurge one day = gain the very next day. Sometimes it takes a couple of days to catch up.

Today I'm struggling with wanting to put anything and everything in my mouth. I'm sure it's the combination of crappy weather and the depressing situation of being without a job, like, forever. On the sunny days at least I seem to be more willing to get up and move and food doesn't take center stage--at least not as much!

Heck, what's for lunch?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

My Mom's Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup:

1 chicken thigh quarter (skin on, bone in)
8 oz (1/2 bag) egg noodles
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 to 10 cups water (estimated)

Fill up a large stock pot (8 quart) with water, and add a chicken quarter. Boil the chicken for a couple of hours, and then remove it from the pot. Add noodles and extra water to bring the pot to about 2/3 full (if needed). As the noodles are boiling skin the chicken, and then pull it off of the bone and into bite sized pieces. As the noodles finish add the chicken back in the pot and reheat through. Add the can of cream of chicken soup, and any water needed to make it as soupy as you like it. Keep in mind I do most of this by eyeballing it (water-wise) so you'll just have to play around with the water.

I got approximately nine 1-1/2 cup servings, at about 3 pts per cup. If you get 8 servings it's more like 4 pts/serving. A cup and a half serving is very ample.

Cost analysis:

Chicken - $3.00 per 10 lb bag at $0.27 per quarter. It was on mgr's special
Egg Noodles - $1.00 per 12 oz bag, I used 8 oz so approximately $0.64
Cream of Chicken soup - $0.49 per can
Water - negligible

Total pot of soup: $1.40
Per serving: $0.16

Admittedly this isn't a very exciting bowl of soup, but oh so yum when it's cold, rainy, and you're needing some comfort. Sometimes I like my chicken noodle soup more clear, and with onions, celery and carrots, but then sometimes I like the simplicity of this one. This is one of those that you just... do. It doesn't take measuring or anything, you just throw stuff in the pot and cook. Try it!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's That Time Again

Since I was accused of shirking last week for being MIA, I'll start us off on this weigh-in day. The news for me is not great but could be worse, so I'm okay with it.

I am down one 1.2 pounds from last week, but if you remember, I actually gained 1.6 at the last weigh in, so although I lost, I'm still at a net gain over the two weeks of 0.4 pounds. That means I'm still down 4.8 pounds overall, but clearly I need to up the ante, and for me that pretty much means upping the exercise. I guess being unemployed has really affected my motivation in other areas, including exercise. I hereby resolve to truly start remedying that this week.

FGs #1 & 3?
FG3 here - down 3.4 pounds, so total loss now is 4.9 pounds. About time the scale did some moving. I'd like to see faster loss than i am, but i guess i'm the tortoise this time around. And after 2 weeks of gaining, i'm glad to finally see the drop.


FG#1 - down 3.2 lbs, down a total of 15.6. Yikes! I came down with the stomach flu this past weekend, and am still trying to get back to normal, so this is NOT a normal weigh in. I would have expected to have mostly maintained, or maybe lost .4 or something. But... enter the plucus plucus. That danged relapse of the papsi louse will get you every time. Still, I expect to probably have a gain next week to make up for it. I've not tracked in three days, but then I've not eaten enough to bother tracking! Here's to a much better week coming up!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

To Weigh, or not to Weigh...

Not a bad week for this FG#1, all things considered. So anyway, I lost 2.4 this week, totalling me up to 12.4. We've now been on plan just a day or two shy of a month, and I feel like I'm cranking right along. I feel strong and steady, but I feel like I'm probably losing too fast. However, this week not only did I eat all of my flexies and all of my AP's, but I went over by something like 22 pts for the week. I may bump it up a hair more next week, but I'm assuming most of this consistent dropping has to do with stress. Well, that and the fact that I'm actually sleeping at night.

I just edited because I was going to give FG#2 and #3 a get out of jail free card, but changed my mind. I hope you two will do this for me too - part of accountability is being accountable whether you're losing OR gaining.

SO, FG #2 and FG# 3???
Fine, be that way! FG#3 here, up 1.5 pounds for the week, so still only down 2.5 pounds since we started. Considering i was on the road and eating at restaurants for 3 days, that's not too bad really. I had a little sweet stuff that i probably shouldn't have but meals weren't that bad. I've been having some trouble tweaking the plan. I started out good but even though i stayed firmly on plan, gained a little the second and third week. FG2 suggested i eat more, that i should be using all of my APs and flexpoints. I doubt she meant to go over as much as i did this past weekend though! So, back on plan, tracking everything and we'll see. I still think things will improve once the weather does and i can get out more.

FG#2 here. Sorry to be MIA today, but was making the rounds of a couple of vets and was gone all day.

FGs 1 & 3 already know this, but I gained 1.5 pounds last week. I knew it was coming because I just wouldn't stop putting food in my face. I don't have guilt feelings or anything because as I said, I knew what I was doing and what the consequences would be (you know, bad weather, bake a batch of cookies, but don't eat them all you fool!). So I guess I had my wild week, and now have to rein myself back in. As FG#3 noted, this would be much easier to do if the weather would cooperate, but honestly I know I tend to stuff myself when I'm sitting around in bad weather and instead of doing that very thing, I should have made better choices, but chose not to, and so the scale tells the tale.

Here's hoping for better control this week and a loss at next weigh in.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Food Rules

As promised in yesterday’s blog post, here are my comments on Michael Pollan’s Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (Penguin Books, 2009).

First I should say that as part of my weight loss journey, as well as separate from it, I have wanted to eat a healthier diet. But just as weight-loss programs differ, so do opinions on what constitutes a healthy diet, among both scientists and lay people. When last I participated in WW, I had a habit of eating a lot of their TV dinners (and others, like Lean Cuisine), snacks, desserts, and so on. I’ll admit that I’m basically lazy when it comes to food, and having it done for me is pretty much nirvana in my book.

But I’m also a chemist and biologist by training, and while all those 4 point TV dinners and 100 calorie pack snacks are sure convenient, I knew in my scientific little heart that although I was eating *better* I still wasn’t really eating healthfully. At least not as healthfully as I could.

And then I was laid off from my job last April. Suddenly having the money at hand to indulge in expensive pre-made foods just wasn’t as readily available. But there’s a conundrum there as well: many healthful foods aren’t exactly cheap either. So what to do?

(You may have noticed that Laura and I have given estimates* on the cost per serving of the recipes we’ve posted so far. We’ll continue to do so. As you can see from the two recipes posted, eating healthfully doesn’t have to be expensive. (*Okay, I’ll post estimates; Laura will probably break out the spreadsheets and post actual costs!))

Anyway, back to healthy eating and Food Rules. This is a neat little nearly pocket-sized book that is packed full of healthy eating wisdom. Much of it is also common sense. But as the old chestnut goes, “Common sense isn’t very common,” so it’s helpful to have it spelled out in print for easy reference.

What Pollan did with this book was try to distill the real eating wisdom out from all the latest scientific nutritional advances and cultural norms. As Pollan notes in his introduction, “Most of us have come to rely on experts of one kind or another to tell us how to eat—doctors and diet books, media accounts of the latest findings in nutritional science, government advisories and food pyramids, the proliferating health claims on food packages.” Pollan offers a set of rules that enable one to practice healthy eating on a daily basis. His rules come from science and from our ancestors, and he tries to present them in a way that is based in culture and can be lived as philosophy.

Pollan goes on to say, “It’s gotten to the point where we don’t see foods anymore but instead look right through them to the nutrients (good and bad) they contain, and of course to the calories—all these invisible qualities in our food that, properly understood, supposedly hold the secret to eating well.”

Pollan’s premise is that there are two basic truths to healthful eating:
“Fact 1: Populations that eat a so-called Western diet—generally defined as a diet consisting of lots of processed food and meat, lots of added fat and sugar, lots of refined grains, lots of everything except vegetables, fruits, and whole grains—invariably suffer from high rates of the so-called Western diseases: obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

“Fact 2: Populations eating a remarkably wide range of traditional diets generally don’t suffer from these chronic diseases.”

The book is divided into three parts, which incorporate the seven words Pollan feels are the key to healthy eating (those seven words are in the parenthetical phrase that follow): What Should I Eat? (Eat Food), What Kind of Food Should I Eat? (Mostly Plants), and How Should I Eat? (Not Too Much).

It’s a good little book, full of wisdom and common sense. Where explanations are needed for a rule, they are provided. Other rules are pretty self- explanatory. Some of the rules link to one another. If you want to eat more healthfully, it’s a good resource to have. And the rules are pretty simple and easy to remember. If you’re like me, you’ll pick a few key favorites that will be the foundation for your move to more healthful eating.

And now, for the best part. Some of my favorite rules from Food Rules:

• Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
• Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.
• Eat only foods that will eventually rot.
• If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.
• It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car (LOVE this one!)
• Eat animals that have themselves eaten well.
• Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.
• Pay more, eat less.
• Treat treats as treats.

And so on.

Food Rules is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It’s an inexpensive little book that is an absolute gold mine of simple rules for healthy eating. Get a copy; you'll be glad you did (and no, I am not on Pollan's payroll, lol!)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

If It's Tuesday... must be weigh-in day. So ladies, how did we do this week?

Me, FG#2: Down an additional 3 pounds, for a total of 4.6 pounds. I still haven't managed to get a tape to do measurements, so I have no idea where I stand there, but nearly 5 pounds has made a difference in what I see in the mirror!

I'll admit that sometimes I think I'm overly hungry, but I've found that if I eat a healthy snack and then am still hungry, it's okay to eat a little something more. I've also come to realize that when I try to lose weight, aside from the sensible things like cutting out most sweets, I often don't get enough protein, which is why the hunger kicks in. So I've been working on really listening to my body and making smart choices about what to do about those signals.

One thing that has helped me is a book by Michael Pollan (he of The Omnivore's Dilemma fame) called Food Rules. A friend heard Pollan on "Good Morning America" and told me about it, and so I ordered. I ordered copies for FGs #1 & 3 as well. It's common sense, but having the wisdom distilled into simple rules right in front of me has been a tremendous help for my food eating decisionmaking. I will write a complete blog entry about the book in the next day or so.

So that's where I am. What about you, FG #1 and FG #3?
#3 here. You beat me to it, i had my post all formulated in my head! :-) Somehow i managed to go up .3 pounds even with sticking to the plan very well and not even using my flex points. But, i did lose half an inch in my waist, so good news there. I'm not too concerned really. I had a pretty big loss that first week so didn't expect much movement this week. A third of a pound could even be from moving my scale. Or perhaps it's a reflection of the restaurant meal i had sunday afternoon. So, i'll stick with my plan and see how it looks next week. I feel good and my clothes are feeling more comfortable so i may even have a "whoosh" day tomorrow with a nice drop.

The book sounds really interesting, thanks! On a motivational note, i was thinking about the challenges life has been throwing our ways, and how easy it would be to take comfort in food. But challenges are really just life and we can't always control the good and the bad. But we CAN control what we eat! Love you guys, be strong!!


FG#1 here. I'm down another 2.4 pounds, for a total of 7. I had 32 APs this week, and I ate them all (which is my usual MO) - plus all 35 of my flexies (also my usual MO). I'm feeling rather like one of the few things within my control at the moment IS what I eat. I'll admit to feeling a bit like the heck with it briefly yesterday, but I came to the conclusion that all that would come from that is feeling even worse than I already do. It's just not worth it. So I'm grateful to have two very solid weeks under my belt. I need to measure my waist, but my britches (I love that word... britches) are much looser. I think I'll even be back into a regular size 14 in the next week or two.

Love you girlz too. I'd probably even give real life hugs this week, followed by snivelling on your shoulders and blowing snot bubbles (yes, really). Challenges. We've gotz them. But we're much bigger than the challenges in our lives. Remind me of that in a few days.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Philosophy

In her "Indulge Me" post Julie talked some about her philosophy of weight loss/control, and Robin has mentioned trying things a little differently this go-round also. I also have a slightly different bend on things than Julie and Robin do.

My philosophy? I do the plan by the book. I guess that's not so much a philosophy but moreso just the way I am. The rules are the rules, and I follow them. I do give myself flexibility to have the things that I want - insofar as I can fit them into my points. It's like a puzzle that I work out every day. I want bacon cheese fries? I have bacon cheese fries. I go help someone trim hooves or put up hay, and save up some flexies, and I'm good to go. It means a bit more planning in my life, but I'm good with that. This type of thing works out nicely for me because I am a scheduler... a list maker... a keeper tracker of all kinds of stupid things.

It's rather strange actually. I lose my cell phone, misplace my sunglasses, lose the Small Dog's coat, and things like that on a regular basis. However, I can tell you exactly how many points different foods are, how many points I've used for the day, how many AP's I have accrued, how many I have left, how many Flexies I have left, and I can tell you what I'll be eating today and give you a rough idea of the rest of the week while I am at it. I can tell you what I've got scheduled for every minute over the next month, and I can often tell you what YOU have scheduled too.

For that matter, I have a massive list of points values *stuck in my head*. My friends and coworkers even often call me to ask points values of this and that. That list is stored up in there with the phone numbers of all sorts of places and people that won't seem to go away. It is stored up in there with portion sizes, recipes, and driving directions to all kinds of places. This is the reason I track online. I have to get some of it out of my head, and once I plug this stuff into my tracker online I can at least let it go for a while. Sounds strange, I know, but if I do it on paper I mess with it constantly.

All of that being said when I hit maintenance the first time Julie's comment to me was that I needed to be less rigid. That I couldn't live the rest of my life that way - and it's true that she doesn't want that for herself. So I tried it. It didn't work for me and basically resulted in a free-for-all struggle that took me almost two years to grab hold of (understand that I'm not blaming Julie for that - I CHOSE to try to be less rigid). Countless piles of guilt accumulated, and THAT is no way for me to live either. What I have learned from my experiment with trying to just loosely self-monitor myself is that working the plan by the rules is the ONLY way I can keep my weight under control. Anything less results in a runaway freight train screaming down the track of ruin. Ok, so that's a little dramatic. Anything less than doing the plan and I am fat. Again.

Evidently I don't have the modifier that says, "Ok, I've eaten pizza this week so I shouldn't eat fried fish too." I don't seem to have a middle ground - it's either in control our completely out of control. In some ways actually tracking and plotting how I'm going to eat what I want and either maintain or lose weight gives me a strange sort of freedom. Freedom from the guilt and stress that accompanies feeding frenzies without accountability. I'm going to embrace it instead of feel guilty about it.

What to take away from this? We all work our weight loss or weight control or lifestyle plans differently. That is OK. I think that's one of the ways that we'll make it work - doing what works for us without apology.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Indulge Me!

Hello, FG#2 here with a recipe I tried this evening and liked a lot and with a little of my ongoing weight loss philosophy. First, the recipe, which came out of the same magazine/book Laura mentioned in the preceding post. This one was the Chicken Sausage and Apples. The recipe called for McIntosh apples, but I had Granny Smiths (I love a tart apple!), so that's what I used. It would certainly be a bit more colorful with a red apple, or even a combination of apples if you wanted to get really creative! Anyway, a 1 cup serving of this recipe is 3 points. The recipe said I'd get six servings and I did, so I ate one for dinner and froze the rest in one-serving sizes in freezer bags.

It doesn't look like a whole lot, but that's kind of a big bowl, and that and a 1/2 cup serving of couscous (okay I pair weird stuff, and leftover couscous is what I had in the fridge, though the recipe suggested a mashed sweet potato) was certainly filling enough.

I didn't do a complete cost analysis, but I bought the apples and onions by the bag, so they weren't expensive. The cost for the 1/4 cup of apple juice was negligible as well. The costly part was the sausage, and I figured that out to be 93 cents per serving. I'd estimate that the apples (three), onion (one), juice, and thyme (I used 1 tsp dried thyme) cost around a dollar or less, so this entree cost approximately $2, and was easily prepared in 15-20 minutes. That's good, since the magazine promised 90-some 15-minute meals (the other day I made a chicken posole chili from the same magazine, and although the actual chili took maybe 15 minutes, that didn't take into account the time needed to cook and shred the chicken, but even so, we're talking meals you can make pretty quickly).

So, what about my philosophy? Laura has certainly heard me whine enough about how I hate keeping track of points for food, activity, etc. I don't know why my psyche resists this. It's akin to the way my brain shuts down when someone starts talking about taxes and other stuff involving numbers. Sometimes I think it's just that for so many years I lived a very regimented life (due to long commutes, etc.) that I rebel against that sort of thing now, or maybe it's just that my aging brain doesn't want to work that hard. Maybe it's a little of both. Who knows?

I certainly understand the purpose of tracking points, but what to do if one doesn't want to track points? Well, I'm about to find out. I'm a scientist by training, so I am not averse to a little experimentation. I know the Weight Watchers system works, so the question is whether I can modify it to indulge my internal resistance to tracking numbers. Why points? I think for a lot of folks, it's just easier than thinking about and tracking calories, fat, fiber, etc. WW has taken that work out of things by assigning the points values to various foods based on those factors. Laura has a mind that's more than a decade younger than mine and she has no trouble keeping track of the points values for a huge number of foods. I, on the other hand, seem to be experiencing the sort of brain fade so eloquently (and scarily) discussed in the book Carved in Sand by Cathryn Jakobson Ramin--I, who memorized my way through the classifications of species in college, had no trouble learning hundreds of chemical reactions (and their names) in chemistry, and who could tell you on what page of a textbook specific information would be found, can't remember my own name half the time (okay, slight exaggeration, but not by much), let alone the points values on a gazillion different foods. I know, I know, there are booklets with all that information listed (I have them) and gadgets that let you calculate all that (I have them too), and yet I don't want to drag those things out every time I want to eat something. And so, even though in my heyday I was the Queen of Memorizing All Sorts of Stuff, I find myself struggling with this whole thing. I don't know if there are other folks out there who have this same problem, but the fact is that my brain is just plain resisting this stuff! So I am going to work around that, hence my experiment.

In my mind WW has really turned portion control, calorie (etc.) counting, and all that into a series of numbers (points) that makes it easy for people to keep track of what they're putting in and what they're taking out (in the form of activity). The whole program is really about teaching people how to recognize healthy foods (or cook in a more healthy way) and normal portions, in a way that's easy for most people (except the brain resisters like me) to use on a daily basis. Make it easy and people will stick with it. And it works. It's worked for me, so I'm not saying all this from some sort of sour grapes perspective, either.

So for the time being, my experiment is this: I will pay attention to points for the stuff whose points I remember and for the recipes I try and so on, but I am not going to be a slave to points (in other words, I will have a fairly close daily idea of the number of points I've ingested, but I'm not going to keep an exact count--for example I already know how many points my normal breakfast is and it's pretty much unchanging). Instead I am going to try to be a little more free form, while exercising portion control and simply increasing my intake of the things that I know are low points or no points and severely limiting the stuff that I know would be high-point-value items (you know, cookies, fudge, bacon cheese fries, most fast food, butter, cheese--oh dear, that one is going to be hard!). When I want something sugary, I will reach for an apple or banana or other piece of fruit. I'm not a big salty snack fan, so that's really an issue for me. Really my biggest problem is sweets. I stopped eating most sweets, and especially chocolate, before Thanksgiving and lost 10 pounds very quickly. Note that I didn't stop eating all sweets, just most. I will indulge in the occasional plate of bacon cheese fries with Laura.

I'm already pretty active with life here on the farm, but I can increase that activity by adding in regular "programmed" exercise. Let's face it, my body is used to lifting and carrying bales of hay, bags of feed, full buckets of water and so on. So in the greater picture, even though I'm already active, I need to find ways to increase my activity, and that pretty much means regimented exercise. I stopped jogging during hunting season, but it's safe (relatively speaking) to go back in the woods (well, the nursery where I like to jog), so I'll be heading back out with the dogs in the mornings. I can also spend some time on toning exercises. Heck, I'm unemployed--I ought to have all the time in the world to exercise, right?

Anyway, this post has already gotten quite long, but this is the way I want to try to lose weight. I'm going to give it a couple of months and if it's not working, then I'll cry my mea culpa and get religious about strictly following the WW way. But for now, I'm going to experiment with this slightly more lax version and see what happens. (I'm certainly not recommending that the rest of the world do this, because it will be very easy to slip into old habits and the like, but weight loss is really about lifestyle change and I really don't plan to spend the rest of my life counting points even if I had to do so in the short term, so I figure why not jump straight to the part where I just try to live the lifestyle change and see if it works for me? I mean, really, I know what I should be eating, and I need to just do it.)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cost Analysis on a Recipe

One of the things that Julie, Robin and I have talked about is how eating healthy and fresh foods can be much more expensive than going with unhealthy and packaged foods. One of my goals is to find ways to stretch my food budget while losing weight, but yet keep it healthy and fresh. This can be a rather daunting task.

Julie and I both bought a Weight Watchers 5 Ingredients 15 Minutes cookbook last week. It’s one of the “Time” issues that looks like a magazine. Anyway, I’ve not been through it with a fine-toothed comb but one of the things I like is that it uses time saving techniques. However, it also relies on a good bit of pre-made or packaged foods that are usually expensive. But by and large the recipes look good and healthy, but it will take some tweaking to make it cost effective. I’ve always been a firm believer in stocking a good pantry, and in choosing to make things that will make the MOST use of the items as well, so that's part of the strategy to keeping costs down in general.

While there are some recipes in the book that don't make good financial sense to me (or just didn't appeal to my taste buds) I tried a recipe from my new cookbook this week that turned out quite inexpensive, and very tasty. It’s a Sausage and White Bean Soup, and I did tweak it slightly. I doubled the recipe, changed out a few comparable ingredients and so on. Based on doubling the recipe according to the book it should have made 10 servings. However, my practical experiment yielded 8. I suppose one could make up the slack with two adding in two more cups of water, but I really liked it as it was. The point count listed is 2 per 1 cup serving, but my yield was 3 per 1 cup serving based on 2 fewer total servings (I plugged it in to my WW online recipe builder). Here is what I spent:

Notes: The original cost is the amount paid for the total item, such as the bag of potatoes, or the package of sausage. The cost used is the cost figured for how much of the item I used. Also note that technically I should have used TWO green peppers - but that seemed to be overkill to me. I don't love peppers enough to want two in there.
Also for dinner I had:

1 baked potato at $1.99/bag and $0.25 / one serving
2 Tbsp Light Sour Cream a $0.89 / carton and $0.06 / serving
1 skinny cow ice cream at $2.99 / carton and $0.50 / serving
ton o salt on baked potato / negligible

Dinner total: $1.35
Points total: 9 (would have been 7 without the ice cream)
The soup includes 1 serving of vegetables

Other cost information: Total money spent on ingredients is $11.88 but the total of what was used from the ingredients is $5.19. Ingredients were bought on sale, or at Aldi.

In my book any time I can spend $0.56 on a serving of soup I'm happy. A 1 cup serving of a similar soup at the grocery store will cost a person approximately $1.25.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ode to My Love

Reprinted by permission of the author at (photo removed)

Ode to My Love (aka Ode to Bacon Cheese Fries)

O' my dearest love, how I've treasured thee in such sweet moments of gluttony
Thou hast given me great delight in thy goldeny goodness
The crisp, the salt, oh the gooey potatoey delight shall forever be with me
When we shall again meet I do not know
All I know is that in this parting sorrow I have truly loved thee with unwavering depths
Goodbye for now, my greatest love, as tonight will be our last commune for a while
My dreams will forever be filled with your crunchiness
My thighs will forever carry the marks of my devotion
I am bereft at our parting, but I know that we shall be together again
I cannot long be without you, but for now I must
My buttocks depend on it


Editors Note:

Here is the nutritional value on a regular plate of bacon cheese fries from the Outback Steakhouse, retrieved from . We typically, and by we I mean Julie and I (aka FG#2 and FG#1), go to Ham's Restaurants for our BCFs. However, I would think this nutritional data would be in the ballpark. I am fortunately able to lose weight while eating BCFs once a month. Once a week? Not so much.

Total Meal - Aussie Cheese Fries - Regular
Serves 6

Calories per serving: 327.9 For the whole thing? 1967.5

Fat per serving: 24.0 For the whole thing? 144.2

Fiber per serving: 2.2 g For the whole thing? 13.1

Never mind the sodium and the rest. How does this work out for WW points? Per serving 8. Per the total plate? 51 pts. I usually figure it based on 2/3 of the plate, which is what I typically consume, so I normally put in about 35 pts when I track them.

I figure once I have a good 3-4 weeks on track under my belt it will be time for a monthly BCF excursion. Not until then though - I have to get a good bit of self-control under my belt and build up some activity points. So, for the next 3-4 weeks it's"So long my love".

Monday, January 11, 2010

Standing on the Edge, and Some Cons to Being a Fat Girl

So I'm standing on the edge of the cliff - waiting to jump off tomorrow. Yikes. Had I not run my yak on this blog about tomorrow being my first weigh-in I probably would have already pushed it back a week or two... just as I've been doing for the last year. I gots all kinds of excuses... my life is too stressful, I'm just not ready, I need this fat to insulate me from the cold (isn't that what leg hair is for?), eating healthy isn't cheap and I has no moneys, blah blah blah and so on.

Yeah, it's true that I'm undertaking this on one income vs. two. Yeah, I'm under some stress, and sure I'm not as cold this winter. But in some respects I'm just as cold - because now I cannot fit the mutinous booty into the overalls. So. I suppose that's one con to being overweight.

I'm a list maker. I like to make lists... shopping lists, packing lists, book lists, all kinds of lists. It seems fair that a list for cons to being a fat girl would be a good list to make. So here's my list while I am standing on the edge of doing something about it:

Some Cons to Being a Fat Girl:

-feet hurt
-knees pop
-body aches when I wake in the morning
-mutinous booty eeks into other seats
-mutinous booty makes me not fit so well in the CrazyMobile
-cannot wear my overalls, and cannot zip my coat - thus negating the insulation argument
-blood pressure has GOT to be up
-feel bad about my body, and to a degree about myself in general
-don't want to even look in the mirror
-feel bloated
-it is harder for a fat girl to get a job (yeah, I know it shouldn't be but IS)
-if I had to run up a field I couldn't
-the bladder doesn't *quite* seal as it ought to
-tire easier
-people look at me strangely when I order dessert at a restaurant
-dude in the drive thru at Wendy's gives me the hairy eyeball when I order a diet coke to go with my Baconator (double)
-cannot sit on my balance ball without bursting it
-cannot lay on my back on the hard floor because the booty tips me over
-steps are hard to manage
-boy short panties look stupid on a fat girl (why oh why do they even sell them?)
-just a few changes would make a HUGE difference in my overall health

That's not an exhaustive list - far from it. But sometimes I need to remind myself why doing something to positively impact my health and well-being outweighs (ha ha ha) the lure of bacon cheese fries.

So tomorrow morning is weigh-in #1. I already have a good idea of what the scale will say, but having it official is part of the process. I think stopping stepping on the scale is one of the predominant factors in starting this slippery slide. So here I am, standing on the edge. It's a long drop I think but I have to do it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


My behind is trying to overthrow the government. To hear it in your head as is southernly appropriate think “BEE-hind”. Anyway, yes, my behind is threatening mutiny. Just the other night it tried to throw me out of the bed. I hit the ground and barely managed to get my feet under me when I had to take a few steps just to keep from taking a face plant right into the dogs’ water bowl. I keep talking about Nick crowding me in the bed when in fact it’s my arse that’s the main culprit I think. That’s not to say that Nick doesn’t crowd me (Nick is one of my many dogs) but lets just be honest and face the fact that if my behind were smaller in general there would be much more bed available.

Just over the holidays my behind tried to encroach on Julie’s seat at the movie theater. I found myself squished up against a wall at one point just hoping that my saddlebags wouldn’t eek under the cup holders and accidentally touch her. To make matters worse I couldn’t comfortably fit between two of the cup holders. Not pretty this eeking. So I think to myself that maybe if I take very shallow breaths it will mitigate the eeking. Nope. All that did was almost make me pass out, which was further enhanced by the fact that I had a gut full of popcorn, which was pressing on my diaphragm.

Then yesterday my behind tried to smoosh me up against the steering wheel in my own mini-van. Oh yes. This behind is devious and unrelenting in its pursuit of control. It’s making my knees hit the steering column, and I look even more like somebody’s granny with my head practically touching the windshield.

The crowning glory of my arse’s mission to overthrow the government was when it managed to wedge me in between my boss and my keyboard day before yesterday. I was standing next to my computer, which has a keyboard that swings up and out – and subsequently locks into place. My boss sat in my chair to do something and I found myself firmly wedged between the two. I was pretty humiliated to have to ask him to move a few feet over so I could dislodge the booty and get out of there.

It’s a conspiracy! This thing is practically it's own continent, and it's getting too big for its britches. But that’s OK – I’m on to it. I’m taking control of the government back. After all, there are a lot of things in my life right now that are completely out of my control. This mutinous booty problem does not have to be one of them. May God give me the strength.

Friday, January 8, 2010

True Confessions, Accountability,and Some Surprising (or Not So Surprising) Data

It's the same old, same old. Yep, those same 25 pounds I always need to lose. The sad part this time? Before Thanksgiving, I had actually dropped 10 pounds, simply by giving up most sweets, only to eat it all right back on (in fewer than two months!). Sadly, a pretty common story. I got on the scale this morning, fully clothed, but basically I'm right back to the weight I always start from (at least since I passed the age of 35). No surprise there. I could tell by the way my clothes fit, by my lack of stamina, by looking in the mirror. Ugh.

So why this blog? Accountability. If I'm telling the whole world (or all two people who are reading this) how I'm doing on my weight loss journey, then perhaps the shame factor will have a positive effect and I'll do it and stick with it. In theory, anyway! Basically this is like taking a Weight Watchers meeting out into the blogosphere. Lots of folks follow Laura's Crooks and Crazies blog, and no doubt some of them will find their way here. Instead of just being accountable to my closest friends (who are very forgiving, and sometimes enabling <--that goes both ways; no blame laying here!), I will now be accountable to people I don't even know, some of whom may be going through the same perennial weight struggles those of us on this blog go through.

In the spirit of the typical 12-step program I'll go a step further than Laura and say we've started this journey with a Ham's bacon cheese fries extravaganza on Wednesday, followed by, ahem, a trip to Dunkin' Donuts (where of course, we didn't stop with just one doughnut). Last night was dinner and knitting at Mary's--spaghetti, biscuits (with real butter and honey or apple butter), wine, and my slightly failed chocolate chess pie, which recipe I got from the Angus Barn after an evening of gluttony there this past Sunday with my sister and BIL. Tonight, it's girls' night out for burgers and all the extra calories and fat that entails. Gee, even I am disgusted by our recent excesses! But it really is a last hurrah, and although it may not sound like it, we actually do know how to make healthy choices. In fact, the knowledge isn't what's lacking at all--it's the will and the follow through, and that's where this blog is going to help rememdy the situation.

And since it just happened to be a little feature on the Early Show this morning, I wrote down the following statistics regarding popular weight-loss programs. It's a real eye opener for sure, and if you're following one of these programs, the take away is this: If you're making this sort of financial commitment (essentially $10,000 to lose 50 pounds), stick to it.

Weight Watchers
Average weight loss: up to 8 lbs/month
Cost per pound: $90
Average cost/month: $716

Average weight loss: up to 8 lbs/month
Cost per pound: $66
Average cost/month: $529

Atkins and South Beach
Average weight loss: up to 21 lbs/first month; up to 12 lbs/month after that
Cost per pound: <$50/lb for the first month
Cost per pound (after first month): $79 (Atkins); $102 (SB)
Average cost/month: $948
Note: These diets are cheaper in the first month because that's when the greatest weight loss (per month) occurs.

I'm currently unemployed, so I am not forking over money to any of these plans, though I will basically use Weight Watchers, since that has worked well for me over the years (yes, I said years--my first encounter with WW was back in the 80s, and I have to admit that back then I didn't have nearly the problem I do now).

So, there it is. I'm fat, and I'm going to do something about it. And I know that means I really do have to quit the weekly bacon cheese fries fun and get back out of the habit of consuming excess sugar and fat (i.e., chocolate and other sweets). Wish us luck--it should be an interesting, and very public, ride.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Laura's Song

Low Fat, Protein Power, Atkins, Weight Watchers... even the M&M diet... I've done them all.  My last stint was Weight Watchers and I was wildly successful at losing weight.  I took off right at 97 lbs, going from a size 22 jeans (and on the verge of needing a 24 - this at the "Fat Girl Store") to a size 6.  However, I found myself to be sorely lacking in the maintaining department, and that's how I find myself here today.  My friend Sandy told me that maintaining would be the hardest part, and she was right.  So now I'm facing this demon again.

I've gained back about 77 of those 97 lbs (although not nearly the jeans sizes - I'm resting at a 16 in the regular store, a 14 at the "Fat Girl Store").  I really don't want to be one of those stories... you know, the ones where the person gains it all back and then some?  The and then some would be very bad.

So in the past my WW weigh-in date has been Tuesdays.  I'm going to keep with that because I'm a creature of habit as I'm sure will become evident over time.  I'm also going to keep with the WW format utilizing WW online as I know that works for me.  I'm setting a Tuesday Do-Or-Die Deadline.  Tuesday will be my first weigh in date in almost two years.  I'll admit I got on the scale this morning and almost had a coronary.  I picked Linc up and weighed us together as a reminder of what I could be facing if I wasn't careful.  I was rather surprised that the scale didn't bleed.  Then this afternoon I confessed my weight to Julie.  It hurt, but I did it.  Julie and I might ride each other mercilessly about a lot of things, but about this she was amazing - compassionate, kind, and assured me that my arse didn't look as big as my weight might suggest.  Good friends do that.

Speaking of Julie, she and I have been preparing for our first weigh-in quite enthusiastically.  We prepared last night, are preparing tonight, and then again tomorrow night with a few girlfriends.  We might, in fact, gain an extra few pounds from our preparations.  But we're going to do it, and we hope that keeping ourselves accountable in a big way will help. So, here we go!

I wonder if we can fit one more plate of bacon cheese fries in there before Tuesday.

Three Very Different Women Tell It

Three very different women. Three different takes on the same struggle. One main focus - weight loss, and all of the things tied up in that. Body image. Self worth. Self-esteem. Self-confidence.

We've been here before. We're not weight loss virgins - we're multiple offenders. Times are hard, and we cannot really justify the money to go to meetings, or follow plans that require financial outlay. This time we're on a mission to not only lose weight but to change our lives in a way that will last. We hope that our struggles - our victories, our disappointments, and everything in between will inspire us and others to do the same.