Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Setting yourself up for success!

Lately the topic of self sabotage has been common in my conversations. A little over a week ago I wrote about it here and read a blog about it here. I have also had some conversations in real life with people about this. So what do you do to set yourself up for success instead of sabotaging yourself?

Prepare Ahead Of Time!

So now the question is "How do I do that?" Well here are a few of my ideas:



Pretend that you are going to a gathering where refreshments are going to be served. You know there are going to be some really tempting sugary sweet things just waiting for your attention. Your mouth starts watering just thinking about it. Well my first thought has always been to skip eating most of the day so that I can really enjoy the yumminess later on! That has even been a temptation after starting Weight Watchers points. I thought, I'll just save up my points for that treat and then I'll still be ok on points and I'll also be able to enjoy dessert. Sometimes that may work. Actually I still do it sometimes, although I have learned that I usually end up over-indulging and eating more than I normally would have! So if I want to save up points for something fun in the evening I still eat during the day, but I eat healthier choices. I will eat things like apples because they are filling but low in fat and calories. If I get to that social event with all the desserts and I feel like I've been depriving myself all day long then I am going to feel entitled to make the most of those yummy desserts and sample some of everything! That is self sabotaging! If I eat healthy filling foods all day so that when I get there I have room for some dessert but I don't feel starving and like I've deprived myself all day then I am more likely to be satisfied with that one small piece of cake or brownie.



Ok, now pretend that it's a Bar-B-Que that you are headed for. Yummy cheeseburgers, maybe some ribs, etc. The best way for me to be successful is to prepare by eating before I leave. Now you may think that will mean I eat more...but that's not the case. Remember that it takes like 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you are full. So if I have a salad 20-30 minutes before the dinner then by the time I get there my brain is in line with my stomach and it's much easier to make wise choices there. I find it easier to have a small pile of chips with my ribs or cheeseburger rather than loading my plate with them, and it's easier to keep from going back for seconds or thirds! Does that make sense to you? If it does then you are at a level of understanding that it took me a long time to get to! Congratulations!

Next, pretend that you have a great friend who is having a hard time and she is coming over to "vent". When she arrives at your house she has a shopping bag full of stuff...stuff like ice cream, chips, and cookies! All the makings of an emotional eating frenzy! So what do you do? This is something that was unexpected. You haven't been able to adjust your eating for the day to allow for this kind of indulgence, and boy do those cookies look delicious! How can you be prepared for this? I say it's easy. I keep my house stocked with lower fat options. When she pulls out those cookies or ice cream or chips, I have my own to pull out. Is this ideal? Probably not, I still have points to count and I still may go over my daily allowance a little, but it's going to be far less than if I wasn't prepared with my own lower fat options! Because honestly, if you have a friend sitting there eating ice cream or cookies or something that you love, and you have nothing to substitute with are you going to just not eat? Probably not! You'll probably be like and think "I'll just have one little cookie" and you know as well as I do that unless you are super-human you are not going to stop with just one cookie! Especially not in that situation!



These are some of my favorite goodies to keep on hand!! It all comes down to preparation! Just because I have all these goodies in my house at pretty much any given time doesn't mean I get to eat them all every day though.

I would say that the most important way I prepare is to allow myself some yummy treat just about every day. One little Fiber One brownie, or one WW smoothie bar, (I really like the WW Fudge bars too!). If I am allowing myself a treat every day or two then I don't feel deprived. That helps me be prepared to fight the temptations that will ultimately sabotage my weight loss goals.

What do you do?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Here we are

So I went back to my diary to find where I left off and it turns out that I really haven't written anything in my diary about my weight loss since March 2011. That is kind of funny to me because I hit my goal back in December but I didn't say anything about it. Unfortunately for me I haven't stayed at my goal, I have gained a total of 4 pounds back. I told myself that if I stay within 5 pounds of my goal weight I'm not going to get upset. So I'm within that range but I am frustrated that I haven't been able to hit that goal mark again.

I keep telling myself that it's ok though since my clothes still fit and I still feel good about myself. The actual number on the scale doesn't really matter. My doctor is very happy with the weight that I've lost and he doesn't even want to hear about the fact that I'm having problems with this last 4-5 pounds. He just tells me to be proud of myself and be satisfied. I think maybe this last little bit has to do with some other health issues, but so far I haven't been able to convince the doctor of what I think is happening. It's ok though.

The hardest thing for me right now is to stick to my routine and not get lazy about it. Today is a bad day though. Last week everyone in the house was sick, except me. Now that everyone else is apparently better I'm feeling lousy. I started the Slim & 6-pack workout this morning and had to stop about 1/3 of the way into it because I was just feeling sick. As I sit here typing my stomach is doing flip flops and so I think maybe it was wise and not lazy to stop my workout this morning.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesdays Tip

Change your routine often! In my previous post I mentioned how valuable changing my workout routine is. It kick starts my body into that weight loss mode again. Not only that but it also helps me to not get bored with what I'm doing. When I get bored with my routine I find that I stop putting 100% into the workout. I start slacking off or skipping parts that I don't really like. So find a few different things that you like and switch it up.

I don't have a set schedule for switching my routine, I do it based on a few different factors.
  1. Am I stuck on a weight loss plateau? If the answer is yes then I know it's time to do something different for a while.
  2. How much time do I have on a particular day for my workout? When I'm doing the "Slim in 6" workouts the first workout (Start it up) is only 30 minutes long but in week 3 when I move to the Ramp it Up workout it's an hour long! Some mornings are crazy busy and I might only have 30 minutes, maybe less! On those days I will switch to my Wii Fit Plus cardio workout which only takes about 30 minutes, or maybe I'll do the Slim & 6-pack workout which is only around 15 minutes.
  3. Have I overdone it lately? I have an old ankle problem that sometimes acts up and makes it difficult to do anything more than light impact. On those days I often do the Slim & 6-pack because it focuses on my troublesome abs, it's a hard workout and yet it doesn't bother my ankle at all!
  4. Am I in a rut. Have I started putting less than 100 % effort into my workout? If the answer is yes then I have to shake it up! Maybe I need to do a combination of things like the Wii Fit Plus cardio workout followed by the Slim & 6-pack ab workout! Maybe a fast walk outside while the kids ride their bikes is a good change for the day!
Don't limit yourself to one or even two workout routines! It can be easy to think "This is actually working and nothing else ever has. I don't dare change anything!" If that one workout continues to work and you aren't bored with it then keep it up! But if your progress slows down don't be afraid to try something new. Sometimes that is just what you need to take that big step forward!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Moving forward in my story

My journal entry from March 3, 2011 starts out with this: "my weight loss is stuck in a vicious cycle. i lose a couple of pounds, then i find them again. lose 3 pounds find 2, lose 2 pounds find 3...i've been battling this same five pounds since before christmas and i'm ticked! i got down a pound below that line i was stuck at and thought maybe i had broken the cycle...but no! i'm still stuck! i'm really needing to do something to get past this hump. my dr told me i need to shoot for just 15 more pounds then work on toning...i would prefer 25 more pounds but i'll listen to the dr...besides, at this rate i'm not even going to get those 15 off before summer!!!!! grrrr"

I couldn't even call this a plateau because I would lose .5 pounds and then gain .8 pounds. Or lose 1.5 pounds and gain .6 pounds back. I decided that I was on a road with lots of rolling hills! So sometime around March or April of 2011 I got so frustrated with these rolling hills that I talked to a friend of mine. She is a Beachbody coach. I asked her what to do to get off that ride and finally get back to a steady weight loss. She suggested that I start the "Slim in 6" workout. So I did. This is when I discovered how very valuable changing your routine is. Now I change it up often. Every time I feel like I'm stuck again I switch routines.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Week in Review

Well the past 2 weeks have been a bit of a trial for me, temptations left and right! Last week it was ice cream....boy did I succumb to that! But it was good! :) I'm not against ice cream or anything, I love it! But I try really hard to limit how much I eat. Before I started my weight loss journey it was common for my husband and I to have a bowl of ice cream (a large bowl) every night after the kids went to bed. That habit or craving was pretty hard to break. Last week I admittedly ate more than I should have and I was worried that I was going to re-ignite that craving. I was kind of right. Yesterday, while at the store getting school supplies for the kids my husband wanted something for dessert and that ice cream was just calling my name!

Luckily, or maybe unluckily for me, he wanted donuts instead of ice cream. It has been a very long time since I had a donut, mmmm-mmmm good! I did stop after only one donut, but the rest of them are still calling my name! The kids were very excited to have chocolate donuts!

However, I weighed in this morning and sure enough, the ice cream and donut have added 1.3 pounds. Oh well. Nothing I can do about it now...just move forward and keep working out. That means I have 4 pounds to get back to my goal weight. I know that doesn't sound like much but since I haven't been at my goal weight since December it is very frustrating. My personal limit is 5 pounds so I just have to keep things in perspective! Next week we have to get back to our regular schedule because school starts the next week. I should be able to get back to a regular workout and sleep schedule and hopefully I'll get rid of those 4 pounds and keep them off!

**Edit** I just read this blog entry by Fit to the Finish and I thought it goes right along with my review so I'm sharing it. Check it out! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Zucchini Muffins





Yesterday I was given several large Zucchini so this morning I added some to our pancakes. That is something that I love doing because it is a great way to eat zucchini.

I grated it all up this morning and I now have 7 quart bags in the freezer to use later on. I did keep a couple cups out so I could experiment a little with my zucchini bread recipe. For years now I have used unsweetened applesauce in place of oil or shortening in my baking, but I have heard that you can also use bananas in place of the sugar. So I did a little research this morning and thanks to healthy-recipes-for-your-family and livestrong I found out how to change my regular zucchini bread recipe into a lower fat muffin recipe using bananas instead of granulated sugar!


They are really moist and yummy! Even my kids really like them. I can't wait to enjoy another one this evening!

Rachelle's Zucchini Muffins         yield 30 muffins

3 Eggs
1 C Unsweetened Applesauce
2 C Mashed Bananas
3 C Flour (these muffins are really really moist so some of you may want to add a bit more flour)
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
3 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
3 tsp Cinnamon
2 - 2 1/2 C Grated Zucchini
1 C Chocolate Chips

Spray muffin cups with cooking spray (if you have increased the flour you may not need to do this). Beat eggs until foamy. Add applesauce and mix together. Add bananas and vanilla then mix again. Mix in zucchini. Add all dry ingredients except chocolate chips. Mix together. Fold in chocolate chips.

Bake @ 325 for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

My original recipe was 146 old "Weight Watchers Points". This new recipe is only 51 points on that same point program! That is almost a decrease of almost 2/3 points! I should mention that those point values may vary a little depending on the brand of chocolate chips and flour that you use. These are the values based on the brands I use. And of course the values will be different if you are using the new Weight Watchers Points Plus Program.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do! It's another great way to use some of that plentiful zucchini!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Back in time...Febrary 2011

So now that I have a computer again and I can access my diary I took a look back. The last time I mentioned anything from my diary it was from September 2010 and I had lost 42 pounds. That was about 6 months into my journey so I was feeling pretty good. A week or so after that entry I had carpal tunnel surgery on my hand and I didn't write much. I know I kept working out but writing about my progress took a back seat to everything else going on in my life. Shortly after that I found myself caught up in the holiday season, and again I didn't write much. So tonight I had to move clear ahead to February 21, 2011 to find this one little nugget of information...."i've lost 63 pounds in the last year! unfortunately these last 27 are kicking my rear end...but they will come off eventually!"

Just 2 days later I actually commented on my weight loss again. I had been talking to my doctor and this is what she said regarding weight loss. "i told her i was shooting for 120 but she said that due to my age i shouldn't go below 130. she explained that as you get older your body stores your estrogen for menopause in your trunkal fat. (LOVELY!) and that if you don't have enough then your body starts holding onto everything and almost stops your metabolism in order to make sure that it is hanging onto that estrogen. so she said that when i get down about my 130 goal i should be more focused on toning the flabby jiggly parts into muscle. so i guess i'm only 15 pounds from my goal instead of 25! woohoo!"

I think I may have already shared that, but since I am at that point in my diary I thought I would share it again. I think this is one of the reasons you always hear that you should consult with your doctor before starting any weight loss program. Of course there are other medical concerns to think about but I had no idea that I could be sabotaging myself by going to my original goal weight. Can you imagine how frustrating it would have been to lose all that weight and then hit menopause and start gaining the weight back? According to what I've been told by the doctors it would have been almost impossible to stay at my goal weight.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hello!

Ok so I am happy to announce that we have a computer at home now! It's been a long time, a couple of months..but now that I have regular access to the internet, without a time limit per se, I will updating more often! I can finally get back to telling you about my journey too now that I can access my diary from 2 years ago! :)

So starting Monday you can expect more regular updates and more helpful information from me. :) Thanks so much for sticking with me and I hope you are finding inspiration for your own journey!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Snacking...

I can't believe it's been a whole week already! Good news though, a new computer has been ordered and it is currently on it's way to me! It should be arriving in the next couple of days and that will make updating here much, much easier! :)

This week I worked on stocking my freezer with things to make it easier to stick with my eating plan. Last year we had a garden that was abundant with Zucchini. Everyone that I know who grows zucchini always has more than they know what to do with and is always challenged with giving it away or finding new recipes to use it in! So I started putting mine in pancakes. I grate it up fine and put it in the batter with a few chocolate chips and no one even notices it's in there! :) Actually I tell them it's in there, but you can't taste it so no one cares. What does this have to do with stocking my freezer? Well I had more than I could use at one time so I filled baggies with zucchini and stuck them in the freezer. Then I had bags to pull out during the winter to use. That's what I did again this week...although I could use more. I don't have a garden this year since we have moved to a new city and are currently living in a rental house waiting to buy our own place next spring. So I went to the farmers market and bought a few zucchini. I know, I actually paid for it when there are probably people wishing they could get rid of all their extra. But I don't know of anyone in that situation at this moment, so I bought some. I got 4 quart bags of grated zucchini! :) I'm so excited!

The other thing I did was to make some Banana bread muffins. What you say? Well, normally we have dinner around 5pm and put the kids to bed a couple of hours later. My husband and I don't normally get to bed until around midnight. So around 8:30 or 9 pm my stomach is growling again! So I get a snack, but to stick with my weight loss goals I need to have good snacks ready to grab and eat!

Since I know this I try to save about 1/5 of my daily points (the old Weight Watchers Points plan) for that night time snack. One of my favorite snacks for when my stomach is really growling is banana bread! But a normal slice of banana bread can take that whole allotment of snack points. That is unacceptable for me. So I made banana bread and cut the points in half! I'm sure most of you have learned that you can use applesauce in place of oil in order to cut down the fat, which is what I did. But I went a step further. The recipe called for 1/2 Cup of oil, but instead of using just 1/2 C of applesauce I put a full cup in. Then I added an extra banana and doubled the baking soda. I started adding the extra baking soda because I was told that it helps the muffins rise more. I didn't know that because I'm not a baker, but it works! I have also found that muffins are easier for snacks than a loaf of bread, so I bake mine in muffin cups.

With these changes my recipe makes 24 decent sized muffins. They are not huge, like Costco muffins, but they are still a good size I think. And most importantly it cut the points per muffin in half! That is a great snack at night! So after cooling the muffins a little I set each one in the freezer seperately and once they were frozen I put them all in a big bag and left them in the freezer. Now when I want one I just zap it in the microwave to heat it up a little, sit down and enjoy!