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Monday, February 6, 2012

You drink HOW much soda?!?!

Okay, so I had a few big realizations this week at Weight Watchers.

First, I eat really well and their "diet" is not working for me.  Food is not my issue.

Second, exercise is the only way I'm going to lose weight.  Period.

Now don't get me wrong-- WW has a fantastic food guideline and I will continue to track using their system.  They also noted that for some people, they realized the new system was not working well, and if it wasn't, I need to lower my daily points.  I will be lowering my points.

I also think the weekly meetings are exactly what I need.  It keeps me on track when I really want to say "Screw it."  I know my friends are there (thank you Lisa and Ellen!) and although my progress is slow, it IS progress.

I have officially decided, however, that I would like to speed things up.  Clearly, more exercise is what I need.  My friend Ellen is killing it in her spin classes.  She's not just relying on the diet portion.

Our leader Matt, who I like, kept emphasizing that it really IS what you're eating.  No, really it's not.  Tracking my food helps me be conscientious, but honestly, there are very few times I go over my points.  Certainly not enough for me to have only lost 11 pounds in 5 months.  Clearly, the points for me are off.

And for whatever reason this week's meeting, I just wanted to slap people.

One guy has lost 14 pounds BY GIVING UP DRINKING 7 MOUNTAIN DEWS A DAY.  No shit. Giving up an extra 770 calories a day and 217 grams of sugar will do it.

I don't drink soda.

And there's another woman who said something else like "Well, I don't eat out of the vending machines anymore... no more candy bars."

I don't even remember the last time I had an entire candy bar or a can of soda.

I'm not exaggerating.

I think I had a Heath bar when I was pregnant with my daughter 7 years ago?

I have mini sodas for clients and last winter when my throat was sore, I might have had a Dr. Pepper.  Maybe?

And fast food?  Chicken nuggets 2 months ago. 

I eat shredded wheat for breakfast with skim milk.  I eat a salad that I bring from home for lunch with feta and 3 oz of a protein or an egg.  No dressing except for balsamic vinegar.  Dinner, we eat out about 2-3 times  a week.  I even figured out what to get at Smashburger- the grilled chicken with BBQ sauce on the whole grain bun.  Mexican?  Grilled fish tacos for me. Dinner tonight-- I roasted a chicken and sliced the potatoes with them. 

There is nothing "bad" to cut out. 

Yes, the late night snacking and not being aware-- tracking has helped that.  But I think I may have maxed out the benefit of cutting that.

So that leaves me with two options - really cut back (that one cup of coffee with cream-- I'm switching that to green tea 3 times a week, the once a week ice cream splurge- no more) or up the exercise.

I'm opting for upping the exercise and cutting back a little bit more.

And I'm not trashing WW's-- I will keep tracking and logging and going to the meetings, but I am going to tune out when they focus on food.  If I ate so poorly, my kids would also be overweight (they aren't) and there is no way my husband would have been able to lose and keep off 125 pounds. 

I have a sedentary lifestyle.  That needs to change.  Eating rice cakes is not going to help it.

So that's where I'm at this week.  A little fed up.  A little annoyed at stupid people who don't eat fruits and vegetables and are amazed when they do.  A little irritated that they keep telling me to track as if I'm paying $49 a month for shits and giggles.  A little more motivated to do something.

I have to say, even though the scale is barely moving, I actually have gotten rid of quite a few clothes that looked simply silly.  Granted, most clothes just fit better, but I have sweat pants that don't stay up, a pair of work pants that I changed when I saw myself in the mirror-- clearly things are happening, just not on the scale that much.

So I will keep on going.  I just know that I can't rely on watching what I eat to do the trick.  It's not going to be my magic bullet.

But on a positive note, if Armageddon were to come tomorrow, my metabolism is SO ready for it....


Kimberly Coats said...

I'm glad you wrote this blog. I was going to send you an email with some ideas, but was afraid to as you know what can happen with emails :) and friends! The number one idea (and you know me...crazy fitness girl) was to up your exercise.

Recommendation #1 -- Get a heart rate monitor if you don't have one. I "thought" I was giving it my all on my rides with the Team but I wasn't even close until I got a HR Monitor. Most people, especially those who are not athletes, think they are working out hard, I did, but realized I had a lot more in me. Polar makes a good one we use with the Team. I learned really what "hurt" felt like!

#2 -- PUSH it, interval training is really good for you. Do your Zumba but you have to kick your heart rate up over to the next level for short periods of time. My heart rate will run about 115-125 on the flat portions of my bike ride averaging 22-24mph, then I hit the climbs and if I try to stay with the boys it will average 165-180 (180 is pretty close to my max)

#3 -- Do already came to this realization on your own. Woman, you and I are in our 40's, it takes more exercise for me and you to maintain. Fact of life in your 40s. To give you an idea. I ride about 10 hours a week, always in my HR threshold, do 4 hours of yoga, core work. Remember, I do this with a full time job too, and taking care of 15 riders in my home Monday - Friday so if any commenters in blogger land want to throw in the but you don't have kids excuse don't even go there. Try having 15 Rwandan boys as your family. I do dentist appointments (2 hours away in Kigali), doctors appointments, tutors, mend clothes, prepare meals etc., plus manage everything that goes into running a National cycling team. I still squeeze in the exercise. I have to, there's no option.

#4 -- Food obsession. I know I said this to you before and I know you'll need to still track the food intake, it's good, however, just by reading your FB and blog, it is consuming you and I think this last blog was a breakthrough. I honestly, just don't think about food. In fact, there are some days I simply forget to eat. It's probably because I'm so busy and food is simply just too big of a hassle in Rwanda to prepare. That's a plus.

#5 -- All else fails, I can bring you back some Rwandan tap water full of amoebas and parasites and it will be gone in a week of projectile vomiting.

Seriously, so happy you came to this place. No more whining...just some losing!

Mama Bean said...

Got one. Actually on my second one in 8 years! My heart rate averaged 156 with a Max of 172. Trust me, Zumba isn't a walk in the park. I just really enjoy it.

I do think carving out time is the big thing. Early am at home looks like the sole option. Which sucks. And is stressful.

As for the parasites, that definitely works...hmmm....

Helen said...

I know you asked me this privately but I didn't answer because I don't want to trash the program you're using. I do however, have a lot of issues with WW and their "points." First of all, they can call fruits and vegetables zero points all they want, but those things have calories. Period.

I agree that figuring out how to exercise at least 30 minutes a day 7 days a week (or the equivalent of 210 minutes a week as a minimum) should accelerate your weight loss but truly unless you have a medical issue it is calories in vs. calories out.

Have you ever thought about tracking your caloric intake on your current points for a couple of days? There's a program out there, with an app for the iPhone called Lose It. When you initially set it up it asks you your current weight, how much you want to lose and a date. Then it tells you to lose 1 lb. per week you need to eat (blank) calories. Or you can chose 1.5 lbs. or 2 lbs. It does not base the calculation on if you exercise or not.

Since you find the points thing easy to follow definitely stick with it but maybe just TRY the calories thing for a couple of days to see if you are taking in more calories than you should be.

Mama Bean said...

I did Sparkpeople (remember way back then) for 2 years. For me to lose weight, I need to drop down to about 1200 calories a day, which I think in Weight Watcher world is 26 points. I average, with exercise about 1600 calories a day if I'm good. I can drop to 1400 without too much of a problem, but 1200, I'm unbearable. I'm hoping dropping to 27 points (or 1400 calories) will help.

I think the things I do like about WW's is that since fruit is "free"-- and yes I know it has calories-- it really is stopping me from grabbing crackers or cookies when I get the munchies. And let's face it, a cup of grapes will fill me up more than a cup of pretzels. They also added "Good Food Guidelines" to try to increase your fruit/veggie intake. If I ate all the fruit they are recommending, I would be stuffed.

Kristen said...

I love WW as a company and as a concept, but the meetings and topics can be difficult because you have people at all different points of their journey to eating right. For many of them, the soda revelation is a big one, whereas for anyone who has been dieting in some way for any period of time, it's not news at all.
WW struggles with just keeping people attending the meetings regularly over the amount of time needed to lose the weight. So many people just go for 1-2 meetings then go off on their own, and then come back and start all over. So it's like the first day of school every freakin' week, instead of the whole class learning together and increasing that knowledge in more advanced lessons as a group.
They try to set up a structure with pamphlets about the different weeks, especially about exercise having to be added in and that it should go hand-in-hand with a food regimen, but it often gets lost in the paper and doesn't become a regular part of the meeting (depending on the leader).
But all of that is in the program. It's just not in the meetings enough.

Mama Bean said...

I like the motivational aspect of the meetings more than the informational part. Seeing others succeed is very inspiring to me. The rest, you're right, pretty redundant.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog through another friend's blog and I debated about commenting because giving one's opinion on the personal and often highly emotionally charged topic of weight loss can be risky.As you've already noted, it gets tiring to hear people tell you things that are obvious or to critique your choice of weight loss group.It is not my intention to do either in this comment, but hopefully I might give you an additional angle to consider. I am a personal trainer with a past history of disordered eating and serial "dieting" and I can tell you that the statement made to you of "the scales don't lie" is arguable, especially when a person is working out and building muscle, as you are, in addition to counting calories. Consider this picture: a wagon filled with 5lbs. of lean meat vs. 5lbs. of marshmallows. The marshmallows take up much more space, the same way fat does. Additionally, one pound of muscle will burn 10 calories per hour and 1 lb. of fat will burn only 2. Therefore, if you have replaced all of those pounds of fat you have lost with muscle mass, look at all you have already accomplished! And you have proof of this because you noted above the difference in how your clothing fits. Any of the women I've trained thus far (and there will be no more until I go back to school for more psychology because I realized the depth in that area of the fitness journey was so much greater than the physiological and so much more important and I am not willing to give anyone less than the whole ball of wax) will tell you what I told them. And when they GOT it for themselves, it was the biggest moment in my life: it's not just the number on the scale (which we have a family member hide in the beginning) or the smaller jeans or the no muffin top. THESE things are the icing on the cake; the by-product and they are enjoyable. But they pale in comparison to what it REALLY is and that is the realization of your own strength and power. We each have to find it for ourselves. You don't need a professional to tell you that you are doing everything correctly with your weight-loss program,because you already know it. I'm not from a calorie counting camp and if anything, would ADD food to yours, especially more protein and healthy fats, which you need to burn fat, especially since you work out. Here is some additional info:
But again, you already know what you're doing. I would only add one more thing and that would be what the weigh in person SHOULD have said to you instead of the scales don't lie line: "Forget what those scales say and tell me instead how you felt during your zumba class. Not the way you "looked" when you looked at and then quickly judged yourself for looking like an oompa loompa, but how you FELT." You felt good about yourself! You had those moves down and you were feeling your power! If only for a few moments you had let go of the physical body that you are in and were focusing on the YOU that's inside. You're IN there. And that body is going to get you where you're going because you're going to treasure and take care of it. For the rest of your life. And that's why it isn't going to matter how long the journey takes to get it to the size you want it to be because you are IN for the long haul. You go girl.

Kimberly Coats said...

Another thing....calorie counters lie! Unless you are factoring in your heart rate, do not believe what the online counters/machines at the gym tell you. The Garmin I use for riding factors in heart rate. If I go to a site and plug in my stats from let's say a 2 hour ride it will say I burned 1,400+/- calories. In all actuality I did the same 2 hour ride yesterday and I burned 725 almost half. I am always suspect of FB posts of people who say they did 1 hour on the stairmaster at the gym and burned 879 calories. Of course, this is done while they read a people magazine. NOT happening! They probably burned about 275.

Also, the lighter and leaner you get the less you'll burn so you have to up the intensity and/or extend the duration. In a sport like cycling as I become more efficient I burn less. I probably burn over 100 calories less per hour than I did a year ago. This past week (Tues - Friday)I have worked out close to 8 hours, seriously getting my assed KICKED yesterday by Jock & Max on the bike. I almost threw up I was riding so hard. It's just what it takes unfortunately.

Btw....I couldn't live on 1,200 calories! But I could do a 2 hour high paced ride every day!

Mama Bean said...

I do get my calorie counts from the heart rate monitor. I don't really like to use the cardio machines- I spent enough time walking and riding to nowhere!!

I started wearing it 8 years ago to track because fitness level has so much to do with- not just body mass. If you're out of shape, it takes so much more to do an hour of anything. I think I blogged about how an hour spin class that USED to burn 650 (and you've done spin with me) is now down to about 450. Lucky me. So glad I'm getting fitter.... Also, I know when I dial it in. It's nice to have "proof." I think the HRM keeps me honest-- I can look down and go "okay, take it up a notch."

I will say, I'm always torn about fat burning vs cardio ranges. My HRM tracks that-- and I"m usually in the cardio range. I think that's why my HR is getting better, but my ass is not getting smaller. I thought I had read something somewhere about how that whole fat burning range is crap and to just push it... thoughts?

Bzybee said...

"First of all, they can call fruits and vegetables zero points all they want, but those things have calories. Period."

This! I totally disagree with their change and this very aspect of it.. peas are 70 calories. Apples are 80 calories, banana's are 110 calories. You can easily consume 400-500 calories just on fruits and veggies.

I attend WW because my work subs it and it cost me 50 bucks for 19 weeks.. and because it is 2 minutes from my desk. I like the group setting and the accountability, but I do not agree with the program as a whole.

I am not a fan of my current leader.. the one I had 3 years ago encouraged more group discussion and celebrations. This one just talks for 20 minutes.

Mama Bean said...

The free fruit thing is helping me break the habit of reaching for crap, at least. I didn't get fat from too many apples....

I do think that once I get the first 20 off, I'll probably start counting the produce. I think it's been a big issue for me since I am already a fairly decent eater.