Week 3: Weight Watchers Weigh In

I’m up 0.8 lbs this week.

My weekend indulgences probably contributed to this, so it didn’t come as a huge surprise. What did come as a huge surprise was my attitude after seeing my weigh in number.

This is normally the point where I’d either give up or feel discouraged. And I did feel discouraged at first, not gonna lie. I’m used to coming up with excuses for weight gains, and I immediately began doing that in my head (water retention, hormones, etc.).

But then I stopped making excuses and I started thinking about everything I did right over the last week. I have so many “wins” so far that have nothing to do with my body’s relationship with gravity.

unstoppable

This week I noticed my pants fitting better. A pair of shorts that is normally tight to the point of being uncomfortable is now a little bit loose. The scale may not have changed much but my body already has.

This week I worked out 5 times. I went to the gym on Friday after work instead of happy hour. I went to another 8 a.m. Saturday Zumba class. And…

This week I walked into a group class I’d never attended (Tabata — a high intensity interval workout). I was terrified because I knew it was going to be hard. And I was right — it was the hardest workout I’ve ever done! I was still panting when I got in my car to head home, but I felt SO F$%#ING STRONG that I got through it and pushed myself to keep going.

This week I was naturally waking up around 7 a.m. every morning. I had time to mindfully eat my breakfast, prepare my lunch, and enjoy some free time before getting ready for work.

This week two friends told me I look like I’ve lost weight.

This week I spent a lot of time out doing stuff and not much time on the couch.

I don’t plan on constantly slipping up. But I accept that it’s going to happen sometimes. It doesn’t mean I’m any less dedicated to what I’m trying to do, it simply means I’m human (a human who happens to really like wine). There will be weeks where I do everything perfectly and don’t lose or even gain. There may even be weeks when I eat terribly but still lose weight (I’m really hoping this happens on my upcoming cruise!). I’m aware this is all part of the process. The unexplained losses and gains are also a major reason why it can be so easy to just give up.

What matters most is that I keep going. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

 

My Simple Mix and Match Meal Prep Method

I typically don’t like to cut corners in the kitchen since I truly enjoy the cooking process. But I’ve found that since I’m working out after work in the evenings, I don’t feel like going to the grocery store and making elaborate meals by the time I get home.

I recently started looking into the idea of building a “capsule wardobe,” where you build your wardrobe around a few key pieces that can be mixed and matched to make dozens of outfits. I really like the idea of using a few good staples to make many variations, so I’ve taken this same mix-and-match approach with my meal preparation.

Mix -and-match-meals

This method keeps me covered for lunch and dinner throughout the week. Additionally, I will usually cook a “normal” meal once or twice a week that uses other items.

I keep these items stored in my fridge/pantry:

  • Protein: Sliced or chopped cooked meat
  • Egg: Hard boiled eggs
  • Veggie: 2-3 types of steamed or roasted veggie.
  • Greens: Baby spinach or other hearty greens for salad (I buy one of those huge clamshells each week)
  • Topping: Healthy condiments (guacamole, salsa, hummus)
  • Grains: Cooked brown rice or quinoa
  • Sweet Potato: 2-3 baked sweet potatoes

I prep most of my staples on Sunday and use them throughout the week. I’ll also make a new batch of veggies every few days to keep them fresh (only the simplest preparation, though — steaming or roasting). I usually need to make a new protein mid week, too.

With the above items on hand I can throw together all sorts of meals:

  • Protein Packed Salad = Protein + Egg  + Greens + Veggie + Topping
  • Vegetarian Salad = Sweet Potato + Greens + Veggie + Topping
  • Rice Bowl = Protein + Veggie + Grain + Topping
  • Simple Dinner #1 = Protein + Veggie + Sweet Potato
  • Simple Dinner #2 = Protein + Veggie + Grain

That’s it. Super simple, yet I find myself not eating the exact same meal twice during the week and I’m never rushing to pull together a healthy dinner.

What are some of your favorite ways to save time on meal prep? 

My Inappropriate Yet Highly Effective Personal Mantra

A major focus for me at this stage of my journey is recalibrating how I think about weight loss. This means reprogramming what’s been lodged into my brain over the years: I’m going to fail this time just like I did every other time.

I’ve been reading a lot about how to adopt a more positive mindset as a means to successfully make a large change in your life. Some universal advice seems to be to come up with a few positive affirmations to tell yourself throughout the day.

Now, if you know me, you know I tend to make fun of everything. Reciting cheesy affirmations sounds like the last thing I would do. If anything, it seems like something I would endlessly mock.

But in the spirit of change, I thought I would give this a shot. I thought quite a while about it, but I had a hard time coming up with even one affirmation that felt appropriate for me. Everything sounded too generic or lame. I knew I needed something that would really speak to me. I needed an affirmation that would pull me out of a rough moment or push me to work harder. Or at the very least, I needed one that wouldn’t make me roll my eyes every time I said it.

And then it came to me:

you-are-strong

 

It’s probably not what the self-help gurus have in mind, but I’d be lying if I said it isn’t working for me. I find myself telling this to myself several times a day.

When I’m getting ready in the morning, I think these words.

When I’m 30 minutes into a Zumba class and think there’s no way I can possibly keep going, I think these words.

When I’m frustrated at work, I think these words.

When I really just want to eat a block of cheese as a side dish for dinner instead of broccoli, I think these words.

And without fail, every time I think these words, I smirk a little bit. It’s like this awesome inside joke I have with myself (well not anymore since I’m telling you all).

It’s an incredibly powerful phrase for me to have on repeat because I truly believe these words about myself. By simply reminding myself of this fact  several times a day, I feel even more confident I can accomplish what I’ve set out to do.

So I guess the lesson for today is I recommend adding a curse word into  your personal mantra. You can even steal mine if you want. ;)

Confession: I Drank All of my Extra Points Last Night

On Weight Watchers, you’re given a daily allotment of “points” that you can eat. In addition to my daily allotment, I have 49 extra points that I can use throughout the week. For example, you can use them all for a special meal or spread them out so you get a few extra points each day. You also don’t have to use them, but it’s nice knowing they’re there if you need ‘em. Keep in mind 49 points is a lot — it’s almost twice the amount I’m allotted each day.

Well, I’m pretty sure I drank all of my  extra points last night at a friend’s party. The more you drink, obviously the harder it becomes to track points, so I can’t give an exact figure of how many points I drank. But I had to tell you guys because… accountability!

The good news is my points reset every Wednesday, so it’s not like I have to go long without my precious extra points.

Oh and remember the gym I joined and went to 5 times total? I finally went back last week. They didn’t even chastise me for not coming in for 6 months. So if you’re letting your gym membership be completely useless as I was, don’t worry — they probably won’t notice you’re the worst gym member of all time and even if they do they probably won’t say anything. :)

Week 2: Weight Watchers Weigh In

I have some good news from my second meeting this morning: I’m down another 1.8 pounds! I’ve lost 5.8 pounds total since my traumatic experience on the scale two weeks ago.

small-steps

(via)

My Weight Watchers leader made a great point today. This is the 30th week of the year (where has this year gone, by the way?). So, that means there are 22 weeks left. At an average of a pound a week, it’s possible to lose at least 22 pounds by the end of the year. Small, consistent losses can really add up. So, in the spirit of the video I posted yesterday, I’ll continue focusing on the small picture, knowing that the daily and weekly victories add up to something HUGE.

Overall, this hasn’t felt like a diet — it’s just made me more mindful about planning my meals for the day. Between Monday and Friday, this isn’t difficult. I go to work, eat similar things each day, get in a work out — sticking to this rhythm is easy during the week. It’s the weekends that can be my undoing, so I know I need to come up with a strategy for days that won’t be my usual routine. I had a friend in town over the weekend and instead of letting that derail my entire diet, I made sure to plan in a way that would allow me to make smart choices all weekend.

I got up super early to make it to an 8 a.m. Zumba class on Saturday morning (which surprised even me) in order to set the tone for our day. We went to the beach with a bunch of friends and — knowing I’d be imbibing in a couple of cocktails — I packed a cooler with fruit and healthy snacks to keep me full all day and to offset the points from drinking (One drink is 4 points! This certainly makes me aware of every.single.drink.). It took me about 10 minutes to pack all of my snacks and about 3 seconds to make a conscious choice with every sip I took and bite I ate throughout the day. I made a few small changes to my normal behavior and because of that I stayed on track.

In an upcoming post I’ll share examples of what I’ve been eating (I seriously don’t feel the least bit deprived) and some tips for portion control. Stay tuned!

Andie Mitchell’s TEDx Talk

I’ve read Andie Mitchell’s blog for years. After losing 135 pounds — and keeping it off — Andie started a healthy food blog where she also shares how she lost the weight (and the struggle of maintaining). She’s a huge inspiration to me as a fearless writer and accomplished blogger (her book is coming out next year).

When I found out she was doing a TEDx talk earlier this year, I knew she’d share an inspiring message. I recommend spending the time watching this if you want a powerful reminder to take weight loss (or anything, really) one day at a time.