Friday, December 16, 2011

This is NO ONE'S Journey but MINE!

I know the title of the post can be misleading!  What I don't mean to imply is that there aren't other people in the world working on changing their lifestyle to a more healthy one!  That is NOT what this entry is about.

What this entry is about really is coming to the understanding that MY PERSONAL JOURNEY... how much I lose, what I do with my body, what size clothes I wear... has NOTHING to do with anyone else.  

Sometimes it's hard to not be jealous of other people's successes!  It is hard to not think,  
  • "MAN I wish that I was losing weight faster"
  • "They haven't been doing this as long as me!" 
  • "They said they ate terribly!  How come they lost 5 pounds?!" 
  • "What am I doing wrong?"
  • "If I were them, I could do that too!" 
Not all of these are nice thoughts... but I am sure that I am not the only who has let those poisonous thoughts creep into their mind.

But here is the truth... what good do those thoughts do?!  Seriously!  For one thing, they accomplish nothing. For another things, those people aren't ME!  They have their own bodies that react to things in different ways.  They are going on their own journey.  They live different lives.  They make different choices.  

And instead of feeling the twang of jealousy, I should focus on the inspiration.  Changing my thoughts into: 
  • "What's one suggestion they could give me?" 
  • "Could they share a recipe with me?" 
  • "Could we text and be supportive?" 
  • "Look at what people could accomplish!" 
  • "How inspiring!!!" 
Maybe this seems like a silly post to be writing.  But, I found myself being very negative on Tuesday.  I didn't lose ANY weight, but I didn't gain any either.  It could have been because I have been extra emotional and moody (sometimes that happens).  It could have been because I am feeling anxious about some life changes.  Who knows... but for about 20 minutes I threw myself a pity party.  Instead of being very excited for my friends, I pouted.  How selfish of me!  How could I possibly not be ecstatic for my friends when it was my fault for not losing like I wanted?  

And as I was sitting in the Weight Watchers meeting it hit me like a train...
BAM!   This is MY journey!!!!! This was a revelation for me! My journey!!  No one else's and I need to focus on that.  Only I can make MY decisions (don't I tell my students that EVERY DAY?!) and I am the only one that I should focus on!  

So to my two friends who hit the most amazing milestones this week... Words cannot express how proud of you I am!   You are amazing, beautiful women whose journey, courage, and strength help keep me going! 

No matter what happens, I will keep running this marathon... I DESERVE IT!! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On or Off... How I DIDN'T Handle a Tracking Disasters

I think that problem that many of us face is that there is no in between.  It could be just me.  But it seems to be a big struggle.

You are either good or you are bad.
You are perfect or you are terrible.
You look ugly or you are pretty.
You are skinny or you are fat.
You are in or you are out.
You are on or your off.

Again, it could be just me, but that's how it seems to go for me.  Either I am following my plan 100% or I am off the plan 100%.  You know... Perfection or what's known as the f*its.

Last week I was SO on it!  Feeling the lifestyle change!  Feeling good about my choices.  Planning everything ahead of time.  Really savoring my flex points.  And it was AWESOME!!  I lost 3.8 pounds.  I lost everything that I had gained the week before.  I was drinking all the water I needed to... Really ON PLAN!  And it worked out EXTREMELY well.  I am only .4 pounds away from being in the 150s.

This week I was ready to go.  They just changed over to PointsPlus 2012 and with the new plan I lost 21 points a week, 3 points a day.  That may not seem like much to you, but it's a WHOLE lot to me! That's almost half my flex points a week.  But despite all that I was READY to take on the week!!  READY READY READY!  The week started GREAT!  I was tracking every BLT (bite, lick, or taste).  I planned out the whole week.  I knew Monday was going to be a hard day, so I backwards planned.  I started with Monday and figured out the rest of the week based on how many flex points I had left after Monday.  It was SURE to be another HIGHLY successful week.


I forgot my tracker at school on Friday.

This might sound extreme to you, but I had a complete meltdown.  Not just a few tears, but anxiety took over my body and my sweet loving boyfriend had to take care of the sobbing, irrational Emily.  Add a little womanly issue into the mix as well and you get an Emily who cannot think in a productive way.  I completely panicked.  JD tried to give me some great advice... Be super cautious, write it all on another piece of paper, don't overeat... But I somehow didn't really hear it.

I did overeat.  The options in my brain were black and white.  I didn't have my tracker, I couldn't follow my plan, I had already been bad... So I kept eating.  Twizzlers, crackers, artichoke dip... I went over by 28 points this week.  NOW... in a perfect world I would still lose tonight.  That is only -7 from the 29 a day I used to get and I worked out twice this week... but I am not sure it's going to happen.

In fact, I am pretty sure it's not gonna happen...

What I need to figure out is... How can I get my brain to realize that I know it's not black or white.  JUST because I am "bad" one day doesn't mean I should continue that way the next day.  It doesn't mean that I should be "off" plan... It isn't always ALL or NOTHING... I can have one bad day and still get one.  I should get to a point where I can accidentally leave my tracker at school and not have the world collapse.

As I have said many times (hopefully the more times I say it the easier it will be for me to REALLY grasp) this is a marathon not a sprint.  And this world isn't black or white.  There are lots of shades of grey... and I have the ability to get back on.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Nervous, Pasta Pig Out Results, and Some New Recipes

Well, this week has been kinda a struggle.  But ultimately, TOTALLY SUCCESSFUL!!!  However, I am VERYYYYYYYY nervous about the weigh-in tomorrow.  I know I am going to go down and I know that I should not focus only on scale victories, but I was SO close to the 150s and I want to be back there.  I want to have worked off most, if not all, of the Thanksgiving weight I put on.  I was super good.  I followed my plan, I only used 26 points each day, I didn't go over my flex AT ALL!!!  Seriously... I was awesome!

But truthfully, I didn't do it on my own.  I had friends help.
First of all, Friday night was Culture Fest at school.  Egg Rolls, Hmong noodles, enchiladas, scones... It was a nightmare for a Weight Watcher.  Old Emily would have eaten McDonalds before AND at Culture Fest.  I only ate 2 egg rolls... and my dear friend Mary W. helped me the whole time! :-)  Nothing to eat at McDs, just a Diet Coke.

Saturday afternoon I went to Subway and then a play where there were cookies and candy galore.  I ate a healthy turkey sandwich, no cheese.  My friends Jeff, Peg, and Emily were SUPER supportive the whole time!  Jeff didn't get cheese on his sandwich.  And Peg kept asking about foods, whether I wanted them or whether I wanted to save my points for our Pasta Pig Out.

Saturday night, my FANTASTIC Children of Eden friends had a party which was called PASTA PIG OUT!  AS you can WELL imagine, this had been a source of GREAT stress in my life.  When I mentioned it in my Weight Watchers meeting there were a lot of deep breaths in through gritted teeth and, "Good lucks!"   A scary idea for a Weight Watcher.  PASTA PIG OUT!!!! Delicious sounding right.  Pasta.  Cheese.  Carbs.  Breadsticks.
Yup.. I said NO to all of this!

  Deliciousness... there is nothing bad about it... YUM YUM YUM!  Regardless, I knew that the old Emily would really struggle with this event.  I really tried to focus on the idea that it was about the people and not the food.  And it was SO successful!!!  The AMAZING hostess Rachel made weight watchers friendly pasta and had the nutrition facts right there.  I measured out how much I took and then ate some asparagus.  She may not know how appreciative I was, but it relieved ALL my stress.  Seriously.  That is the mark of a true friend.  Someone who makes food JUST for you!
AMAZING Hostess Rachel!!

Additionally, before the meal, I had emailed my friends telling them  what was acceptable for me to eat.  Every single person there was AWESOME at keeping me on track, being firm but nice, and being complimentary on how well I was staying in my plan.  I was SUPER thankful for ALL of them!!  And it was more fun than I have had in a LONG while.  

The other FANTASTIC part of the evening was that I got 2 EXCELLENT recipes from the party!!!  One for FANTASTICALLY DELICIOUS pasta and an interesting, yet tasty chick pea cookie dough dip! :-)  If you don't want to read the recipes, you can stop here and just be excited for my awesome and successful week.  If you are interested in 2 delicious recipes... Keep on reading!

Rotini and Sweet Pepper Primavera
  • 14 ounces asparagus spears  
  • 2 1/2 cups dried rotini or gemelli (8 ounces) 
  • 1 large red or yellow sweet pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces 
  • 1 cup sliced zucchini or yellow summer squash  
  • 1 10 ounce container refrigerated light Alfredo sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh tarragon or thyme  1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1. Snap off and discard woody bases from asparagus spears. Bias-slice asparagus into 1-inch pieces.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding asparagus, sweet pepper, and squash to pasta the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain. Return pasta and vegetable mixture to hot saucepan.
3. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a small saucepan combine Alfredo sauce, the 2 tablespoons tarragon, and crushed red pepper. Cook and stir over medium heat about 5 minutes or until mixture is heated through. Pour sauce over pasta and vegetable mixture; stir gently to coat. If desired, garnish with fresh tarragon. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition Facts (Rotini and Sweet Pepper Primavera)
Servings Per Recipe 4,
  • Calories, 353
  • Protein, 11
  • Carbohydrate, 55
  • Fat,  9
  • Dietary Fiber, 4 
Chickpea Chocolate Cookie Dough Dip

Shared to me by my friend Kris.
• 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained) (250g)
... • 1/8 tsp plus 1/16 tsp salt
• tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup nut butter (You can get away with using only 3 T. If you use peanut butter, it’ll have a very-slight “pb cookie dough” taste, so if you don’t want this, you can sub oil.)
• up to 1/4 cup nondairy milk (Start with 1 T, and add more as needed)
• Sweetener (see note below, for amount)
• 1/3 cup chocolate chips
• 2 to 3 T oats (or flaxmeal) (You can omit, but also omit the milk if you do)

Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a blender or food processor, and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips.
See the following link for a Sugar-Free Version.
Sweetener Notes: I used 2/3 cup brown sugar when I first made this for the party. Liquid sweeteners (agave, maple, etc.) are fine as well. You can easily get away with less sugar– some people will be perfectly fine with just 3 T for the whole recipe! And if you don’t want any sugar, be sure to check out the “no-sugar” version linked above. (You can also use stevia, if you like the taste of stevia-sweetened desserts. Try 2-3 packets of NuNaturals stevia, and add more sweetener if needed. I wouldn’t recommend serving an all-stevia version to party guests, though.)