Saturday, December 31, 2011

12 for '12

It's New Year's Eve and everyone is thinking about making resolutions.  Not me.  I don't do resolutions.  Most times, I think people make resolutions, but then don't keep them.  They resolve to lose weight and exercise more.  They go into January with vigor and enthusiasm, but somewhere between February and March, they peter out.  I like to make goals for the year.

What is a goal?  On its first two definitions are as follows:



1.  the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.
2.  the terminal point in a race
The first definition gives a true reason why one should make goals.  You want to attain a result or an achievement this year, don't you?  The second definition will help you think of your goal as a race to be won.  It's not a race against anyone.  Maybe it's a race against time.  Maybe it's a race against yourself, but certainly don't make it a race to lose weight too quickly *it's just not healthy.*

If I go back to the beginning of this year, I believe that my goal for the year was to continue to lose weight.  I think I was even hoping to be at goal sometime this year.  That part of the goal hasn't been completed, but I feel that I have done a pretty good job at moving towards it.
So where am I going with this?  Well, a friend of mine *thanks Suzy if you're reading this* gave me this fantabulous idea of coming up with 12 goals for 2012.  Thus 12 for '12.  Get it now?  While you're thinking about some potential goals for yourself in 2012, I'll list mine.

  1. Get to my goal weight *185* or less and maintain it.
  2. Continue to work hard by strengthening my body.
  3. Try to have at least one 'date' with my hubby per month *coffee date, dinner date, something!*
  4. Keep trying new recipes.
  5. Read more.
  6. Take time for myself (outside of exercise & my book study)
  7. Continue to blog and share my journey with others.
  8. Do things with the girls that require going outside and being active.
  9. Eat fresh fruits/veggies as much as possible.
  10. Write more letters by hand.
  11. Laugh more.
  12. Learn how to better express my feelings to others.
Whew!  That was harder than I thought!  It's done though.  Now that they're in plain view, I can go back over them.  Are they attainable?  Absolutely.  Are some more difficult than others?  Possibly.  But, they are mine.  

I mean it now.  Go sit down and think about this for a few minutes, maybe over a cup of coffee or something.  Share one or two in the comments box.  Let me know some of your 12 for '12, I'd love to hear them!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Surviving the food, I mean...holidays

Since we are finishing up the festive fall/winter holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah, New Years), I figured it might be appropriate to talk about how I survive the food holidays.

In an effort to survive the food holidays, one must have an ounce of willpower and a desire to stay the course.  When we get together with others for these festive times, we have to learn to enjoy the people and savor the food we choose.  So without further introduction, I give you...

My Top 10 Tips For Surviving the Holidays  *these will be based on if you are going to someone's home and taking a dish to pass.*

#1--Can you find out what is being served?  Friends and family shouldn't mind if you ask what is being served.  If you are contributing a dish or dishes, you can plan to make them friendly for you.  Often times you don't have to sacrifice taste by making it friendly for you.
#2--Now that you know what is being served *and what you are taking* this will allow you to plan ahead.  Make a decision on what you will have when you get there.  Are there things being served that are special that you don't get to have on a regular basis?  Maybe those things should be on your 'must have' list.  Plan for any drinks you may have alcoholic/non-alcoholic/coffee, etc.
#3--This one will sound weird, but you'll be patting yourself on the back after you do it.  Take tools for measuring.  What kind of tools?  I've taken a tablespoon and my scale.  I would take what you need to be successful.
#4--Be sure to drink some *read-at least 2 glasses* of water while you're there.
#5--Focus on the conversation at hand.  If you spend more time listening and sharing with others, you'll eat slowly, fill up faster, and will avoid eating a bunch of trash food you really don't need.
#6--If there are candy bowls, snacks you can't avoid, try to walk away from them.  If you want some, count it and move on.
#7--Plan to have a variety of foods on your plate.  Try to incorporate some veggies if you can.
#8--If the night seems to be going south, don't beat yourself up.  Count it.  Move on. *Are you seeing a theme here?*
#9--Get some exercise in.  You can't go wrong with a few extra exercise calories/activity points under your belt to help you out.
#10--If you are just overwhelmed and you've had your fill of conversation *not food*, thank your host/hostess and GO HOME!  No one has to continue to get bombarded with visual torture.

These really have helped me to survive the food holidays.

At Thanksgiving, I took my measuring spoons, my scale, a lighter pumpkin pie and light whipped topping, planned on drinking water only, and knew ahead what all would be on the table.  I also logged my entire meal before I went to our friend's house.

Extreme?  Maybe.  Smart?  I think so.  You have to do what's best for you and find what works best for you.  Tweak these and use them.  Maybe you can practice before the next big food induced coma gathering.  Ready?  Go!

Who I was, who I am, and who I am becoming...

I need to make a huge point of saying a couple of things.  First, you truly have to have a mindset that you are going to do this.  There is no, "I blew it at lunch today, so the heck with the rest of the day."  You have to retrain your brain to think, "I might have slipped at lunch today, but my next snack/meal will be better."  The other part of training your brain is knowing that you will track everything.  It doesn't matter what program you're doing, tracking everything makes all the difference.  This is another one of those "good, bad, ugly" moments.  If you ate 4 fun size Snickers...track it!  I won't lie, I've done that myself.

I also needed to get the "this piece of xyz will make me feel so much better" or "I deserve this because I had a bad day" out of my brain.  Even in the beginning of this journey again, I had a mindset of "I deserve this" after a particularly long day.  Of course, I'm still reminding myself of a quote from a book that I read called "Made to Crave"..."Eat to live, don't live to eat."

Be prepared to weigh and measure your food.  I've also found that a lot of food labels give you a specific measurement (ex: 2/3 cup), but if you look next to it, it gives a weight amount (ex: 30 grams).  There can be a difference between the two.  I found a scale that allows me to switch between ounces, grams, pounds, and kilograms.  It has been a great tool.

One last point.  Baby steps.  Rome wasn't built in a day, you didn't put weight on in a won't lose all of your weight in a day and you won't be able to change all of your bad habits in a day either.  Pick one or two bad habits to change.  Work on those until you've mastered them and move on.  Maybe it's not a bad habit.  Maybe you need to drink more water.  So make a plan to drink 6 glasses of water a day for a week and then increase it.

I was *and often times...still feel like* a fat girl.  Maybe my brain is still stuck in a time when I was teased for being 'big' when I was really a twig.  I was the girl who ate for comfort.  I was the girl who remembered a sad event and would eat to satisfy the hurt.  I figured my husband loved me for who I was, so why would it matter if I was fat or not?  I ate in celebration of milestones, birthdays, anniversaries, but was out of sadness and hurts.

I am now a girl who has learned from those hurts.  I have to put my hurts behind me.  And, because the girls are watching "The Lion King"...I need to practice "Hakuna Matata"..."You gotta put your past behind you."  No worries.  Not in the sense of 'no worries' in what I eat, but that everything has a purpose in life.

I think who I am and who I am becoming are melding together.  I am becoming one heck of a strong momma.  I'm learning new things all the time.  I am a better wife, mother, and friend.  I am learning to love myself more.  I have more energy to do the things that I enjoy.  Most recently, I took all 3 of my girls sledding.  I walked up and down the hill, along with going down the hill in the sled.  The smiles on their faces were worth more than anything in the world!

So...who are you?  Who do you want to become?  How will you get there?  Who can help you?

So it all began...

One year, 2 months, and 29 days ago, I embarked on yet another journey to find my skinny self again.  The date?  October 1st, 2010.  Just days earlier, I'd had my birthday.  My 33rd birthday.  It wasn't a milestone, but I felt sad and depressed in a body that wasn't truly who I wanted to be.  I made the decision that I'd start back on Weight Watchers beginning on October 1st.

I made my hubby aware of what I had planned.  I told him that I was going to use birthday money to get me started.  I also made up my mind that I would never go back.  I couldn't.  This had to be it.  I had to accept the good, the bad and the ugly.  And, it was ugly.

If I go back through pictures from last year, I avoided being in front of the camera, rather I was behind it, taking pictures of my girls.  I didn't like what I saw.

First weigh-in...292.  Yes, you read that right.  Two hundred ninety-two pounds.  The bad?  I was looking at 107 pounds that I wanted to lose.  The good?  I had Weight Watchers at my disposal.  WW is old hat to me because I've done it before.  I'd lost 100 pounds on WW before.  I'd made it to goal in 2005.  Why did I let myself go in the first place?  I love food.  Food is comfort.  Food 'loved' me when I felt like no one else did.  So I put it all back on.

I had a baby in 2007.  I lost some weight after she was born.  I had another baby in 2010.

So there it is.