Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Odyssey Continues - Brief Update

Just a quick note to say I was able to log 1 more pound of loss today on the website, so officially I am at -27 now.  There was no WW meeting the day before Thanksgiving, so a lot rests on the Dec. 2 meeting now.  My last meeting weigh-in on 11/18 was -24.2.

As far as I can tell, the status of the website and the app remain the same.  I can log my food, but I have to put each thing in individually as my meals and recipes are still messed up. I can easily do it on my desktop at home, but I'm going to miss the app at school.

That's all - Bye for now.


Friday, November 27, 2015

The Odyssey Continues - Adaptations and Frustrations

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving!

As anyone who has ever tried to lose weight will tell you, the winter holidays present challenges to the dieter that are not present for the rest of the year.  Our culture has rich traditions of big food at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it is hard to escape those traditions if you have to interact in society for family, work or social reasons.

For me, things are a little easier in that regard because Hubs and I now live a fairly simple lifestyle at holidays.  Since neither of us have family in the area, we usually have quiet holidays which we plan ourselves.  We don't have to cook for others, and we don't have to eat with others and be influenced by their needs and desires for holiday fare.

This year, we had several conversations about what we could have for Thanksgiving that would be special.  Both of us like pumpkin pie, and Hubs makes a WICKED-GOOD pie with my grandmother's crust recipe.  After putting his recipe into my Weight Watchers Recipe Builder, we found that 1/8 pie slice would be 11 pts.  That's very high.  That's 1/3 of my daily allotment of points.  Then we discussed other options.  I did some online research about lower calorie options, and we decided that it is the crust that is the problem.  The canned pie filling itself is relatively low.  Grandma's pie dough recipe calls for 2/3 cup of vegetable shortening.  She used to use Crisco.  Remember the Crisco of the '60s?  O-M-G !  Both of my grandmothers and my mother used Crisco A LOT!  I think my mother fried something in Crisco probably 2-3 times a week.  If you've seen the movie The Help, you will remember Minnie's instructions to Celia about frying chicken in Crisco.  In fact, it does make fried-chicken-to-die-for, but it was also highly unhealthy!  Crisco has since been reformulated, but any vegetable shortening is still very high in WW points.  Even though Hubs now uses Canola oil, it's still high.   (Side-note:  I blame 2 staples of the '60s for at least some of my excess bulk - Crisco and High Fructose Corn Syrup, which also used to be in just about everything I ate.  Additionally, my mother put sugar on strawberries!  We NEVER ate them in their natural state, and every vegetable we ever ate had to be cooked in butter - green beans, carrots, peas, everything!)  Anyway, I digress....

Back to the pumpkin pie dilemma.  What to do?  Hubs suggested maybe we should not have pie at all, but I was determined to have it because I know that if I start denying myself the things I like, then the whole attitude thing is going to kick in and hurt my chances for success.  WE MUST HAVE PIE!

Next I looked into alternative pie crusts.  I settled on 2 options:  Keebler reduced fat graham cracker crust, and shortbread crust.  I brought home one of each.  For each of them, a 1/8 pie slice would be 3 pts for the crust.  With the filling being 4 pts, that brings the total for 1/8 slice down to 7 pts.  That is more manageable than 11 pts.  So, that's what we went with.  I chose shortbread for this time, and we can do the graham cracker for the next hazard-laden holiday in December.

So much for the "adaptations" portion of this entry.  Now let's get to the "frustrations".

Technology.  Oh how we love it....... when it works.  Oh how dependent we've become on it!   If you will remember it was the WW App for my smart phone that really got me started on this Odyssey.  It was also the straw that led me to get my iPhone 6.  Well, let me tell you about frustrations.....  WW decided that Thanksgiving week was the best time to launch its "new & improved" website.  It also decided that the day before Thankgiving was the day to "update" its App.  Seriously.  Thankgiving week.  When all of us who have become totally dependent on the WW technology for our very survivial and success in weight-loss are facing some of the biggest food challenges of the year!  Of course, there are MAJOR bugs in both the website and the App because we all know that "new & improved" websites NEVER work right when they are launched.  (Remember the Obama-Care website-launch debacle?)

WW has a "give feedback" button at the top of the new website.  I can't even count how many feedback messages I gave in the first few days of using the new website.  I'm guessing I was not alone because even though the feedback button is still there, when you try to send a message on it, an error message pops up.  I'm guessing they got so much feedback they had to disable the button.  Also, when I tried to go to the Tech Help Chat thingy, they gave a link to a page that basically says they know there are problems and they are working to correct them,  and they apologized for the inconvenience.  The good news is they get it.  The bad news is I have NO confidence in their ability to fix the problems.  All of the meals I set up are wrong, and my recipes are also incomplete.  I have no idea if I can trust the other "favorites" that I set up in my account.  It also randomly reduced me from 30 pts a day to 29 even though it was in the middle of a week with no recorded changes in my weight.  Trust.  Trust is essential.  I am heart-broken that I can't trust WW any more.  I have hope that they will make things right, but when?  Soon?  I have been doing this long enough, that I know the pts for most of my common foods, and I can look things up in a book, but ...........  I have no idea how long I will be able to tolerate doing this without the convenience of the App.  How long before my attitude says "F--- it" and I give up?  My motivation HAS to carry me over this hump!

As far as progress goes, I have been stuck at -26 lbs for 12 days.  I'm not gaining, but right now it doesn't look like I'm going to make -30 by Nov. 30.  4 days of 7pt pie slices, not withstanding, I am determined to hang on.  (Lucky for me, dark meat turkey is only 1 pt per oz.!)

Ok folks!  That's it for the Thanksgiving edition of Amy's Odyssey.  Stay tuned for tech updates and that other holiday......

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Odyssey Continues - Food Details

Good Morning,

Let me start by sharing my morning weigh-in of -26 lbs.  Yesterday it was -24.  I've bypassed -25 somehow.  I can live with that!

Weigh-ins are interesting.  I now weigh myself every morning - naked - after going to the bathroom - and before showering.  That gives me the lowest possible weight for the day.  I've also learned that my digital scale can vary.  I have weighed myself, gone out to the bedroom for a minute and come back, weighed myself again and gotten a different number.  Sometimes the 2nd time is higher and sometimes it's lower.  If I don't like the first number I see, I try again in a minute or two and go with the best reading.  Almost always, I weigh anywhere from 2-4 lbs more later in the day (late afternoon or evening) - even after going to the bathroom and being naked.  That's why the 4:30 -5:00 weigh-in at the WW meeting is frustrating, although I do think the scale there is lower than my home scale anyway.

Before I weighed myself daily, I never realized how much weight fluctuates normally.  Up-Down-Up-Down.  Daily.  Hourly.  It usually defies logic.

Today, I want to focus on the specifics of what I'm actually eating, because that defies logic, too.  For most of my life, I've heard "Move More + Eat Less = Lose Weight."  Well, I'm here to tell you, I am living proof that that's not always true.  For a number of years, I took Water Aerobics classes off and on.  I would go 1-2 times a week for 10-12 weeks at a time.  In doing that I NEVER lost a pound.  Not 1.  Last spring, I worked out at the Rec Center with a personal trainer - lifting weights, using the gym machines, "walking or jogging" on a Nu-step machine.  Never lost a pound.  Not 1.  How is it possible that I was moving more than in my usual fairly sedentary life, and didn't lose a pound?  I still don't get it, but it was sooooo discouraging because I would be doing things that I was told were good for me, and it wasn't showing on the scale.  Of course, I realize that doesn't mean it wasn't still good for me, but if the goal is to lose weight....  You get my point.  For me, the "move more" thing has never equated with losing weight.

That leaves "eat less".  Now, I used to think that eating "healthy" food was all that was necessary.  It turns out that the definition of "healthy" varies from one source to another. If the idea of "healthy" is living on salads with light dressing and fruit, then one probably isn't going to lose weight.  At least I'm not.   According to WW, healthy food is basically any food "within moderation".  As I've talked about before, I am losing more weight faster by eating all the points that WW has assigned to me for a day.  I started at 33 points.  I went down to 32 after 10 pounds, 31 after 15 pounds, and now I am at 30.

Let's talk about a typical day's worth of Amy's points.  Breakfast usually consists of a bowl of Cherrios.  A "bowl" for me is 1/2 cup with 1/2 cup of 2% milk.  If I have fruit in the house, I include that - a banana or strawberries in the bowl, or a separate cup of melon or pineapple.  In my WW Tracker, I have a Meal set up which includes these items, so I can easily add my "cereal w/fruit" each morning from my Favorites list.  That combo is 3 points.  Sometimes I add 1 piece of toast with margarine and jelly - that is 4 pts.  I usually only add the toast on weekends because many times on weekends, I have breakfast late and don't eat much lunch.  (Hubby only eats 2 meals a day - ever.  So if I am trying to coordinate with him, that affects my choices.)

Lunch on a school day often consists of a sandwich - 1 slice of bread, usually Pepperidge Farm Swirl Rye/Pumpernickle, a little mayo, 3 oz of deli turkey.  All of that is 4 pts.  A low moisture, part skim cheese stick is 2 pts.  Chobani Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt is 4 pts.  If I add a WW chocolate candy treat, that is 2 pts.  Lunch:  12 pts.

Subtotal breakfast 3 +lunch 12 = 15 pts (half my day's allotment)

Dinner:  Salmon - 5oz = 6 pts, 1/4 cup coucous= 1 pt, green beans = 0, 2 Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits = 9, WW ice cream bar = 3.  Total for dinner = 19.  I could have just had 1 biscuit, but I love them and so I ate 2 and now I don't feel deprived.

Day total = 34 - which takes 4 pts from my extra 49 weekly points.

What I'm learning is the importance of portion control and choices.  Before I was on WW, I used to eat Kashi Cinnamon Harvest cereal.  A serving is defined at 28 biscuits.  Add 2/3 c of 2% milk to that, and you have a breakfast of 7 points.  That's a lot of points to invest in breakfast, and it's not really that much more satisfying than the 1/2 c of Cherrios.

Well, that's it for today.  Thanks for joining me on this life-changing Odyssey!

Come back again soon and don't forget to feed the fish.  Their food is 1 pt per click! They get 30!


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Odyssey Continues - I've Got Stickers!!!

Today was WW Meeting day, and I met my goal!  I broke -20 and got my 4th 5lb sticker!

It is really amazing how much these little victories motivate me!  It turns out Leader Janet was right.  I have eaten all my daily points for the last week, and it worked - or something worked.  Officially according to my Wednesday Meeting Book, I've lost 21.2.  According to my Saturday morning weigh-in for the website, I'm at -23.  I have been either -21, -22, or -23 every morning since Nov. 1.  I think I am well on my way to -30 by Dec. 1 !!  

It is interesting how much of a difference the time of day makes!  Today's weigh-in was at 5:15.  Believe me, I took off everything I could take off in public before I got on that scale, even my earrings!  

Ok  - that's it for today.  I just wanted to share my stickers!  Yay Me!


Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Odyssey Continues - It's a Learning Process

Hello Friends,

In my last entry I talked about how excited I was going to be to get my 4th -5lb star.  Well, I am still waiting!  OMG!  I had Janet (my WW Leader) weigh me twice on Wednesday, and I was still .2 away from -20.  "Are you kidding me,"  I declared!!!  I told her I'd been working extra hard since Saturday's weigh in to be SURE I was at or beyond -20.  I said I hadn't even been eating my daily points.  She said, "WHAT?"  She then told me that I HAVE to eat my daily points if I want to keep losing steadily.  How can that be, I asked. She said, "trust me on this.  If you want to keep losing you HAVE to eat your daily points!"  She told me I don't have to eat my extra 49 weekly pts.


The more I think about it, the more it makes sense.  The point total is calculated for my size to insure a steady 2lb/wk loss.  If I eat less than that, I can be sending my body into a starvation mindset where it holds on to fat because it thinks it's in danger of starvation.  It's not even that I was eating all that much less in total quantity, but I was consciously eating more 0 point foods - fruits and veggies. For example,  Instead of something worth more points, I had a big salad with only 4 pts of dressing, a dish of fruit at lunch instead of a 4 pt yogurt container, or slices of zuchini as an after school snack instead of a 2 pt cheese stick.

Ok, so I promised Janet that I would TRY to eat my daily points.  I've been doing so since Wed's meeting, and guess what?  Today I saw my first glimpse of -23 !!!! I swear it's magic!

Today I bought a food scale.  That will help keep me from having to estimate on things like deli turkey.   And so the learning process continues....

Stay tuned and thanks for reading!


Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Odyssey Continues - A New Experience

My loyal readers will probably remember my comments about wanting/needing to buy new clothes.  Today was the day!  As I was driving home, I realized that today is the first day in my life when I walked into a clothing store, asked for smaller sizes than I'd been wearing, tried them on, and BOUGHT THEM!  What an amazing feeling!  I'm so used to dreading the shopping experience, and I'm so used to being disappointed in the results, that today's success was a whole new experience for me!

My retired "fat jeans" are size 26wp.  I also have a pair of jeans that I've been wearing that are 24.  Today, I explained to the clerk that I wanted to try size 22.  She found 3 pairs for me to try on.  Every single one of them fit!  SERIOUSLY!  No Baggie Butts!  Then I took them out to the register and said, "I'd also like these same styles in size 20."  The other clerk was very confused, but my clerk understood.  I had to explain to the other clerk that I wanted a total of 6 pairs of jeans.  I brought home 3 pairs of jeans that I can wear now, and I have 3 pairs that I can wear when the 22s are too big!  

I also bought 2 tops in 1x.  I've been in 2x tops for DECADES!  It was so much fun to try on smaller sizes and have them FIT!!! YAY!  Talk about motivation!  WOW!

As far as progress goes...  I dropped the first 16 very quickly and easily.  The next 4 pounds have been teasing me for 2 weeks!  My first glimpse of -20 was Oct. 18.  Since then I've seen that number only very sparingly.  Today, I actually had my first glimpse of -21.  WOW was I excited!  :)  I am determined that when I go to the WW meeting on Wed, I will be able to get my 4th  -5 Star!  The month of November is going to be -20 to -30.  Just you watch and see!

Thanks for hanging in here with me!  I'll see you next time, and don't forget to feed the fish!