Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sometimes Less is More, but other times Less is Less

Perhaps it would be a good idea to post something for the month of March.  Not necessarily, necessary, but a nice thing.  So here is the deal.  It has come to my attention through pictures I keep seeing and even if I allow myself to look closely in the mirror, that, well, I am not exactly the person I used to be.  There is more of me.  Quite a bit.  Probably at least 20 pounds more than there used to be way back when.  I am not sure of exactly when this all happened.  It just seemed to sneak up on me.  And here is the thing, in my own head I don't look any different.  So you can imagine my surprise, shock, and even dismay whenever forced to face the reality that IS.  And here is the other deal, I have never in my life managed to control how much I weighed.  It has just been a fact.  There have been some times when I weighed very much less than I do now.  Sixty pounds to be exact.  And that was when I was deeply depressed after we lost Camille and moved to Vegas.  I would say I was bordering on being anorexic.  And regardless of how skinny I was, it was not healthy.  And even then I really could not force myself to eat.  I can remember walking through the grocery wondering what on earth to put in the cart because nothing, and I mean nothing looked or sounded good.  I can remember how hard it was just to get through each day when you don't have enough energy.  And so as much as I would like to loose weight, I do not wish to return to that kind of weight loss.

I am sure that there are all kind of understandable explanations as to why I did finally manage to put on weight, like dealing with a sick child by eating your way through lots of peanut M&Ms.  But understandable or not, I am not impressed with my current state of over weightness.  (which of course blogger does not think is a word, but I beg to differ)

I like to think of myself as a fairly healthy eater, aside from the peanut M&M binging.  I don't really like soda or really any juice for that matter.  Strictly water for me.  So I know I save a lot of calories there.  And really there is nothing I like more than a big juicy salad.  Which I thought was a healthy choice. 

So eventually I hit rock bottom, or the top of the scales to be more exact and weighed in at the highest weight of my life, just before  Thanksgiving.  I decided that things needed to change.  And so through the holidays I tried to be good and cut back.  Shockingly I did manage to loose a pound here or there, although a few of them found me again.  After the crazy month of January was over, I tried to be more diligent.  And eventually came to the conclusion that drastic times called for drastic measures.

And that my friends, is when I did something I never thought I would do,  I joined Weight Watchers.  I have had several friends join and have quite amazing results.  I figured "Hey what do I have to loose."  Oh yea, 30 pounds.  And a bit of my spending money.  So three weeks ago I went with a friend to my first meeting.

I have to admit to coming home from the first meeting feeling kind of unsure of what exactly I was suppose to be doing.  And to make matters worse they are out of the coolio calculators that help you figure out how many points things are when you are at the grocery store.  I did my best that first week with what we had in the house because I had already done my grocery shopping for the week.  At times I felt like I would explode with the desire to just run to the kitchen and eat everything in sight.  I realized that I do a lot of eating for the sake of eating or because I am bored and not because I am hungry.  Every day I felt as though I was just going to quit and say "Oh well maybe next time." 

A week later I returned to the meeting and quavering just a bit, stepped back on the scale.  I was shocked and amazed to find that I had lost 3.2 pounds in just one week.  Giddy with that small success, I went to the store and stocked up on lots of fresh veggies and fruits.  That week was hard also because I went out to lunch 3 different times that week for work.  But armed with what I was learning, I made different choices about what I was eating.  I was following the "If you bite it, you write it"  rule.  And keeping track seemed to make a big difference.  I did attend a wonderful baby shower full of the most decadent spread I have seen in a long time.  After wards, I was sure I had messed up big time.  But in retrospect, I can see how I only had seconds of the fruit salad that was all free points, and I only had 3 small cookies and no cake.

On weigh in number 2, I had lost another 3.2 pounds.  Holy smokes!  I couldn't believe it.  How had I managed to eat out 3 times and attend a baby shower and still loose?  I was very excited and impressed with this program of counting points.

Week three presented other challenges including attending a banquet with a set menu.  I was able to get the mashed potatoes changed for extra steamed vegetables and said no to the cheesecake they served for dessert and instead got a lovely bowl of fresh fruit.  It is amazing how yummy and sweet fruit is when you aren't really eating much sugar.    I did give in and eat 2 of the most delicious rolls with lots of butter.  I think it was definitely worth it and trust me I would rather have a roll than cheesecake any day. 

Still I was worried on Monday when it was time to step on the scale.  But not to worry, another 2.2 pounds have left the premises.  That means that I have lost 8.6 pounds in just three weeks.  My clothes are already fitting better and I can feel an actual difference.  It is amazing.  And really I love fruits and vegetables so much that it doesn't really seem that hard.

One thing I have figured out is that many things that I thought were healthy, are not.  Duh, how do you think I gained the extra weight?  It wasn't from eating dozens of doughnuts, I can assure you.  Here is the thing.  On Weight Watchers, I can eat about 30 points a day.  Some of my favorite things are that many points in just one meal.  For example I love to get the Garden Crepes when we go out as girls for breakfast at IHOPabout once a month.  I am not eating it everyday, but it is an example of eating something I thought was healthy-mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, etc- that would total 28 points just for that one dish.  Yikes.  So in the future I would know to only eat half of it in one sitting, or even ask for it without the Hollandaise sauce.  And all the salads that I love at Applebees or even Wendy's, yes those are chuck full of points as well.

That is what I knew I needed to learn,  just what the things I was eating were doing to my body.  Because obviously I wasn't choosing the right things.

We will see just how long I can keep this up.  Who knows, tomorrow I may quit.  But for now I am excited to think that something is working in the weight loss department.  That hasn't happened, ever in my life.  Oh and I still have energy, so that is a bonus as well.