Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 2011 Stats

Starting weight : 165.2 lb

Ending weight: 162.6

Change: 2.6 lb lost (average 0.6 lb lost per week)

This time last year: 183 lb

Overall, this has been a good month. Honestly, any month with a net loss is a good month. 0.6lb is an amazing weekly average. I have no illusions of losing several pounds a week because it's completely unrealistic to sustain that amount of loss. Slow and steady is the only way to do it. People get frustrated when they see only 0.2lb lost in a week, but they need to realize that the weight didn't come on overnight and will take time to come off. Any amount lost is a victory, as is a maintain. It's just so easy to have a gain.

June had its challenges and triumphs. I reached my pre-pregnancy weight, and then lost more. That was a huge milestone for me after 16 months. The challenge was that I had my first gain since April 2. It was only 0.2lb but it almost shatters your confidence when you've been on such a hot streak. Since April 2, I have lost 10lb. That's the fastest I've lost 10lb since the month after I had Brady. It was surprising and exciting to have lost that much in less than 3 months because my goal was 0.5lb lost per week. If I had only done that, I would be 166.6lb, a whole 4lb more than I currently weigh.

Last night, Andy got a DVD in the mail. It was a movie about a high school wrestler whose dad was the coach. About half way through the film, Andy asked me to look at the logo in the gym and sure enough it was Wash High (where Andy went to school). I had been watching the outside scenes and hadn't even realized they were shooting this movie in Wash Pa. Andy said he knew the main wrestler and all the other wrestlers were kids at his school as well. He even pointed out some of his friends as extras. The wrestler was always being pushed by his dad to make weight for the most competitive weight class (119lb). I was shocked at this weight because that's the minimum healthy weight for someone who is 5'4". These kids were certainly taller than that. There was constant pressure from their coaches and parents to make weight, to the point where they were only eating two days after the match and starving and dehydrating themselves the remaining 5 days. The main character was practically bulimic just so he wouldn't have to let down his dad. Towards the end, he collapsed and ended up in the hospital with a slew of health issues that were from starving himself practically to death. This was the wake up call the kid needed to realize he was living his dad's dream and not his. A note at the end of the movie said that rules have changed and such low weights are no longer required for the safety of the athletes. It made me so angry that parents were encouraging their children to starve just for a sport.

Tonight is my last night in the gym before Saturday's weigh in, so I need to make it count. I am down a bit since last Saturday, but that's not a guarantee that it'll still be a loss this week.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Balsamic Chicken


8 Chicken Breasts
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tbsp tomato paste
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
14.5 oz can chicken broth
3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
9 oz package frozen snap peas thawed
5 plum tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick

Step 1:

Place chicken in 5 or 6 qt slow cooker. Whisk wine, tomato paste, garlic, salt, and pepper in small bowl until smooth; pour over chicken. Pour 1.5 cups of chicken broth into slow cooker. Cover and cook until chicken is fork-tender, 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low. Meanwhile, cover and refrigerate remaining broth.

Step 2:

About 30 min before cooking time is up, whisk remaining broth, vinegar, and flour in small bowl until smooth; stir in about 1/4 cup hot liquid from slow cooker until blended. Stir flour mixture into slow cooker without disturbing chicken. Top with even layer of snap peas then tomatoes. Cover and cook on high until mixture simmers and thickens and snap peas are tender (about 25 min).

Serving size: 1 piece of chicken with 1/2 cup of sauce and vegetables (186 calories, 6 grams of fat)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

No End in Sight

Andy looked at my blog last night and said "Isn't your journey almost over?" I had to remind him that weight loss is a never ending journey. It's a lifestyle. There will never be a day when I wake up and can stop caring what I eat. Not even at 130lb. I've seen how fast the weight can come on when you stop caring and it's scary. People look at the super morbidly obese and wonder how they got to that place, but I complete understand. I've had some weeks that were so bad that I gained almost 5lb! Just think about that over the course of a year. A lot of people don't even realize how bad the things they're eating are. I had a friend once who chose chicken fingers over pizza because of how bad she thought pizza was. Of course, neither of those things are healthy, but chicken fingers are battered and fried, which leads them to have more calories and fat.

Just thinking about eating this way for the rest of my life is like a cloud over my head. I'm always thinking about what I'm eating and how it's going to affect the scale come the end of the week. It gets to the point where you learn how to work the system in your favor. I officially weigh in on Saturdays, which means that I can be slightly bad over the weekend because I can spend the rest of the week being good and still have a loss. People might think that's cheating, but in my mind, as long as the numbers keep going down week after week, it's not cheating. I know that 10 times out of 10 if I use any of my extra points on Friday I will have a gain, regardless of how much I exercised or how well I ate. Your body reacts differently to certain types of food and it takes time to realize that.

I am slightly addicted to weight loss reality shows on TV. The Biggest Loser in on break until fall, but right now there's a show on ABC called Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition and it's on Mondays at 10PM. Each episode follows one person over the course of a year. The trainer lives with them for the first 3 months to teach them how to exercise and eat and then they are on their own for the rest of the year. Their trainer pays for their groceries and even pays for them to have skin removal surgery if they hit 40-50% weight loss by the 9 month mark. Last night, the woman they were following started at 433 and lost over 200lb in a year. She also got caught up on the fact that this is a lifestyle and not a quick fix. She said something that resonated with me. She said she thinks one day at a time. I can't say I think can only look at each day, but I can look at each week. I'm a planner and have our meals planned out until early September (only dinner, I'm not that OCD). I know which days are going to be challenges and plan my exercise accordingly.

Exercise is another thing that I get caught up on. When I first started my journey 5 years ago, I lost 40lb with diet and hardly an exercise. Three weeks before my wedding, I got serious and hit the gym and tracked like never before, which led to 5lb lost in only 3 weeks, leading my dress to be too big (a story for another day). After that, I didn't work out again until after Brady was born. I was serious for a while before we moved, then slacked off again. We joined the YMCA in mid-May and since then, I go at least twice a week if not more. I hit the elliptical, stationary bike, and weight machines. I have seen my endurance increase and have had to up the weights on many machines. I even was able to up the resistance on the elliptical. I know that the more you work out and the less you weigh, the more you have to work to lose the same amount. I know that my body is now used to the exercise and if I slack off now, it will probably lead to a gain.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Background Story

There are two types of overweight people: the ones who have been overweight their whole lives and the ones who are thin early in life and become overweight later. All my life, I've been overweight. For as long as I could remember, I had a bad self-image and hating stepping on a scale. I was usually one of the heavier girls in my class and was often tortured for my weight, by the skinny cheerleader types. I wasn't tall either, which didn't help anything. At home, things weren't much different. I had a younger brother who was super skinny and could eat anything he wanted without gaining weight. My mom was always making comments about what I would order at restaurants (which more often than not was chicken fingers and fries). Don't get me wrong, I love my mom and later learned that she blamed herself for my weight, because at the time she was obese and didn't want me to turn out like her.

The summer between the end of middle school and the beginning of high school, I went from 130lb to 160lb. Freshman year, I wore XL t-shirts and baggy jeans to try and hide my weight. I stayed at 160 for the first 3 years of high school, in which time I grew 6 inches, so it wasn't as bad as when I initially hit that weight. By the end of high school I was 175lb. College didn't help anything. Altho
ugh during the fall, I kept active participating in color guard at least 5 times a week, the spring semesters were snowy and not much exercise occurred to offset the eating. I never thought much of buying bigger clothes and even thought I looked good in clothes that when I look back I should never have worn. Winter semester was my breaking point. I gained 15lb without even realizing it on a steady diet of pizza, chicken fingers, fries, and taco salads.

I joined weight watchers with my mom on May 2, 2006,
and was shocked when I weighed in at 197.2lb. I couldn't believe I'd come so close to 200lb and was determined to change. By the time I went back to college in August, I was down to 175lb and was continuing to lose. I had cut my meal plan down to the point where I only had 8 meals a week on campus and was getting groceries for the rest of my meals. I was hitting the gym at least once a week and was even going to weekly weight watcher meetings 20 minutes away from campus. That was what was keeping me honest. If I was on my own, I probably wouldn't weigh in every week and no one would know if I didn't. Going to a meeting with my mom meant I had to be accountable for my week and couldn't slack off unless I wanted to own up to it. By that summer, I was down to 159lb, and that's when I met my husband, Andy. He was the football star in his high school days and I knew that there was no way he would have even spared me a glance in high school or even a year before I met him. He claims differently, but I know that he was interested in me because of pictures of me on my profile in a red dress after I'd lost the weight (pictured below).

I'm not claiming that I'm perfect at this weight loss thing. There have been several times when I get tired of being good and start eating anything I want. I then have to face the consequences. I have bounced back and forth betwe
en 160lb and 170lb more times than I like to admit in the past five years, but I keep proving to myself that I can lose the weight again. I was comfortable at 162lb the day I got married on May 9, 2009. I got pregnant on my honeymoon two weeks later. You would think, knowing all I know about weight loss, I would have gained the recommended 25-35lb and no more, which would mean not even having to cross the 200lb threshold. Wrong. The first trimester was good with hardly even 3lb of gain. It was all downhill from there. The day before Brady was born, I weighed in at 215lb, a total weight gain of 52lb! I was sorely disillusioned of how fast the weight would come off after delivery.

I was back in a meeting 8 days after Brady was born (sounds like AA, but food is a serious addiction as well). If I had gained even the top threshold of recommended weight gain of 35lb, it would have been gone in 5 months. But since I'd gained 17lb more than that, I had to keep working. Only 3 weeks ago did I finally tak
e off the last pound of baby weight (Brady is now 16 months). I am back to 162.6lb, which is where I was two whole years ago. The battle is long from over. To hit a healthy BMI and reach weight watchers lifetime status (where you no longer have to pay), I need to reach 155lb. I have come within 2lb of that in the past, but have never been able to grasp that goal weight. Even when I reach that number, I will continue to strive for a lower number. My ideal weight is 130lb, but I will take it one step at a time.

So this new blog is going to follow my weight loss journey. It's a great way to add to my accountability. Now my family and friends will know how I'm doing, instead of just the receptionist at weight watchers and my husband. I will also occasionally post recipes that I use that aid in my weight loss for anyone else looking to change their lives. Hope you all enjoy.