Weigh-in: Paper Plates

flickr.com/photos/gaylon/

flickr.com/photos/gaylon/

At today’s Weight Watchers meeting I weighed in and was met with a loss of 2.0 lbs. Right on! I just have to keep on keepin’ on, know what I mean? I’ve long known that persistence is the true challenge in this endeavor.

During the meeting we all wrote what we plan to eat for Thanksgiving dinner on paper plates (with stickers on them, no less) and then added up the Points in the food and talked about the importance of being prepared for holiday foodfests. (On a related note, I’ve made up my mind to forgo indulging much at work-related functions and plan to enjoy a bit more seasonal cuisine at the two big family holiday dinners: Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those represent the spirit—and tastiness—of the season much more to me than an ordered-in buffet served out of vat-like containers, or a big mess of store-bought cookies.)

As far as my weekend goals are concerned, I’ve hit three out of four: moved some more of my stuff out of the storage unit, weighed in, and . . . joined a gym! The last one is the most exciting :). I worked out by walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes today, which may not be much but is definitely a start.

What I didn’t accomplish this weekend: Buying a simple cookbook full of healthy meals. This was not for lack of trying, because I spent a good hour in Borders sitting in a chair and flipping through a big pile of cookbooks. I kept being torn between the “light” cookbooks and the introductory/beginner’s cookbooks like How to Boil Water, which doesn’t include calorie counts with its recipes but does provide a good foundation of general cooking knowledge. After a while, my head started to spin so I decided to sleep on it all for a night or two!

General summary of how I felt this past week:

I’m not going to lie: it was a rough one, emotionally, when it came to my eating plan. On the outside, things were reasonably low-stress in my life, but I had a lot of inner turmoil regarding the food choices I’m making and the plan (Weight Watchers Flex Plan) that I’m following. I have found myself gravitating more to the “easy,” more processed food choices that my sweet tooth wants (Fiber One Oats & Chocolate bars) as opposed to the more wholesome options (celery with nut butter, or hummus on a whole-wheat pita).

In a way, the more processed foods, like the grab-and-go bars, are the “paper plates” of food, and the foods that take a little more thought for me or a bit of preparation are the “good china.” This is a war I’m waging in my head and in my body, and unless you have spent time truly addicted to sugary, processed foods, you cannot understand how painful it is sometimes. You just can’t. The mental battle takes a major emotional toll, as well as a physical one. It even affects your relationships at times. A feeling of dis-ease takes over. You don’t feel “right.” You are used to your paper plates. You are feeling vulnerable and tired, on top of all that. It ain’t easy, chickens.

Last week I discussed my pity pizza-fest, and Dr. J from CalorieLab offered this take on things:

I’m going to give you some real advice, OK? Learn to make your own healthier version of a pizza. No it’s not store bought, but it will get you past those times when you are weak. Occasionally get the store bought. Over time, you will enjoy and be satisfied by what you make. Trust me, you need to diminish your dependence on fat, sugar and salt or you will not pull this weight loss thing off, nor sustain it. Very few people are successful at weight loss and there are reasons for it, that if you do not deal with, you will not make it either. That’s the way it is. I’m sorry. I will not tell you this again.

How are you at taking constructive criticism? Mature, thoughtful, objective? Me neither—at least not at first. I am what could be facetiously called a fragile flower. I felt almost crushed by this advice; like I had disappointed a favorite uncle. I’m only two weeks into this weight-loss program, and I constantly question myself and the nutritional wisdom I’m bombarded with every five seconds. I’m hungry more than I’m comfortable with. I’ve wanted to throw in the towel multiple times. And now I felt like I was being told by someone I respect that I wasn’t doing enough. In other words, I focused right in on the “or you will not pull this weight loss thing off” part without soaking in the sound advice surrounding it. I fear this is a habit of mine. Tunnel vision for the negative.

Luckily, I decided to stop being such a baby about it. When I got beyond my bruised ego, I realized that I pretty much agree with everything Dr. J is saying in his comment. I just felt irritated and disappointed in myself that I can’t seem to get to that place of nutritional wholeness instantly. I’m slow and can still be side-tracked by frozen treats. But here I have an actual doctor giving me personal advice, and I am not going to ignore it! Not to mention the fact that I—the turtle!—totally read into the comment that I had to make these changes in the blink of an eye, rather than gradually. I have a habit of transforming everything into black/white, all/nothing propositions.

It just goes to show that our lives are shaped much more by our take on things than by actual events themselves. Our perceptions have so much power. If I can train my thoughts to perceive that I should use the good china regularly, pretty soon those paper plates will look much less attractive. If I can be kind but firm with myself, I stand a much greater chance of success.

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Weekend Turtle Steps

smallturtleThis weekend, I’ll be making a couple more steps in the direction of better health and fitness:

1. Checking out a nearby gym with John. It’s very new, very inexpensive/no fills, and may be just right for us.

2. Getting a workout by moving some more boxes out of my storage unit and into our garage.

3. Sticking to my food plan and weighing in on Sunday at my regular WW meetings. FYI, all of my weight changes will be updated weekly on my Weight-Loss Progress page, accessible by clicking on the tab at the top of this page. I’ll be adding photos as the weeks go by.

4. Buying a simple healthy cookbook. Any suggestions? Think VERY simple, people. You cannot underestimate me enough in this particular area. At the same time, I want to be cooking with whole, mostly unprocessed foods as much as possible.

What are you up to this weekend? What turtle steps are you taking toward your goals?

Hair and There

As demonstrated in Wednesday’s post, it had become painfully obvious that I needed a haircut. This morning, as one of my small steps toward fitness I decided to walk down to Birds Barbershop, which is only a little over a mile away. Still, I never would have thought of walking there even a week ago—despite the beautiful weather. It just wouldn’t have entered my mind. Non-scale victory, turtle progress!

All Tidied Up!

All Tidied Up!

I’ll be watching Ruby tonight on the Style Network. It’s about dramatic weight-loss, to be sure—a 500-pound woman is the eponymous star of the show—but somehow it sounds as though it will be less of a circus than Biggest Loser. Ruby sounds like the sort of person most of us would love to hang with and the show’s site is awesome with lots of goodies to discover. I’m hoping to compare notes on this one with some of you guys tomorrow!

Mini to the Max!

The Turtle visits the Minimax

The Turtle visits the Minimax

Earlier today, my boyfriend and I rode our bikes to the Minimax to pick up a select few groceries (milk, apples, pears . . . um, chips?). The Minimax is probably one of the last of the small independent grocery stores left in the town. I love it, despite the fact that the aisles don’t go on for miles and you can’t find your more “exotic” (read: hummus and pita) items on the shelves there.

One of the best things about the Minimax is its proximity to our house: Only a little over a mile away, it’s a brisk bike ride there and back. There’s nothing like going to a smaller, non-crowded grocery store on a beautiful Saturday, picking up those essentials you were running low on, and then heading back out into the cool blue sunshine, groceries packed into your backpack or your front basket.

I Have Discovered My Dream Workout

Synchronized dancing on a gigantic light-up keyboard, that is. Why can’t I find a keyboard dance class somewhere here in town??