Weight Watchers Weigh-in: Week 9

OOPs I did it again!  So I did do again but this is a good OOPS.  I lost another 2lbs** this week.  Go me! Go me!  So excited.  So that brings my grand total of weight loss to……13lbs.   Weight Watchers I am so in love with you right now. :)  It feels good to actually see and feel a difference.

So yes I still have a ways to go on my journey (as in another 50-60 lbs).  But I am excited for several reasons. 

  1. I dropped a pant size.  I was in size 16 now I am sporting a size 14
  2. That is 13 lbs I am never going to see again
  3. I am eating smaller portions and they are filling me up
  4. I don’t look like I am 9 months pregnant anymore

So I was extremely excited when my size 16 pants wouldn’t fit anymore unless I wore a belt.  So I went to the local thrift store and picked up a couple size 14 pants. 

Jeans by Chelsea3883, on Flickr

A lot of ladies at my Weight Watchers meetings suggested buying your in between pants at that thrift store. Because to be honest keeping on the plan I will be trading that size 14 in for a size 12 hopefully in the next couple weeks. So why pay the money on brand new pants?  I love this logic as I try to be a frugal gal.

I plan on never seeing those 13 pound again. Goodbye and don’t come back.  My leader Karen gave some wonderful advice one of the first couple weeks I was at Weight Watchers.  Once you get out of a size: DONATE THEM and get those old clothes out of the house!  Get your mind set that you are not going back there. There should be no ‘fat clothes’ and ‘skinny clothes’ in your closet there should just be your clothes.  Your pants are a great bench mark on weight loss.  If you go off plan or the pants are starting to feel a little snug then you know you need to get back on plan or back to tracking.  Don’t ever go backwards just forward.  I don’t ever want to go back to size 16 jeans I am on my way to size 12, 10 and who knows how low I will go :)

When I first started out I couldn’t believe I could only have a cup of this or a 1/2 cup of that.  I mean come on I like to eat and those portions are never going to fill me up.  I thought to myself that no one could eat a true portion size and be satisfied unless they were born a twig and were always a twig.  Now I am eating a piece of humble pie and enjoying since I am finding myself satisfied more and more with those portion sizes I first scoffed at.

We all have problem areas that the weight seems to gather.  For me it is my stomach.  I mean for the past 4 years when I wasn’t actually pregnant I stilled looked like I was ready to have a child.  I am not kidding.  My stomach is HUGE.  I feel like if I could just surgically cut my stomach off that hangs over my pants then I could easily kiss 20 -30 lbs goodbye. I am so happy to notice that it is actually going down in size.  I believe I have lost about 3-4 inches overall on my waist. Hence the new pants. Now I realize I probably will never have a flat stomach. I am a realist, however, I would like to be able to present the illusion of a flat stomach with a nice fitting pair of pants and shirt someday.  Right now there is no way that is going happen.  I couldn’t hide my stomach if my life depended on it.  Spare tire and love handles don’t even begin to describe it.  So now you know my area of compliant.  The dreaded stomach…

On to week 10.  Hoping that trend of 2 lbs continue.  Give me 2 lbs every week on the week and I will be one happy camper.

** We are a Compensated Affiliate of Weight Watchers because we believe in the plan and what it helps men and women achieve every day. People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds a week. **
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A Little Inspiration: Wealth

Health and Wellbeing by Visit Noosa on Flickr

The greatest wealth is health.

- Virgil

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‘Decoding Immortality’ – How to live longer and healthier naturally

Mortality confronts each of us every day through the choices we make.  Should I drive fast to work?  Should I smoke?  Should I drink?  Should I eat this slice of greasy pizza or this fresh salad?  Have you ever wondered if there was a way you could live longer and healthier naturally?  If so, read on….

Over the weekend, I watched a show called ‘Decoding Immortality‘ on the Smithsonian Channel (click on decoding immortality to view the entire episode online, or watch it in the embedded player below).  The program chronicles the research of Nobel Prize winning biologist Carol W. Greider into the structure of telomeres (the ends of DNA), and how they discovered that an enzyme called telomerase can prevent telomeres from shorting.  Unfortunately, there is one dramatic paradox to this fountain of youth story — by chemically introducing telomerase into cells, you boost their longevity upwards by a factor of 10, but you also dramatically increase the risk of cancer in those cells. 

Continue reading

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Is it possible to lose weight?

Is it possible to lose weight?  Come on, let’s be honest.  If you have tried to stay on a diet before, or even tried to change your lifestyle by eating healthier foods and exercising, this question surely has crept up in your mind before.  For me, it usually happens when I step on the scale after a fabulous week of self control and discipline, only to see that I lost maybe a pound or two from my weigh-in on the previous week. 

As we have mentioned in a few articles before, over-eating has a large addiction component to it.  As with many addictions, breaking that addiction has both physical and psychological elements that need to be addressed.  Let’s quickly review them below:

by andreakw, on Flickr

Mental / Psychological:

  • Overeating when depressed 
  • Snacking when bored or to burn off nervous energy
  • Overeating because you are already overweight, so why not a little more

Physical / Chemical

  • Eating past the point of full
  • Eating more than your body requires
  • Getting the “hunger shakes” 2-3 hours after eating a carbohydrate rich meal, driving you to eat more carbohydrate rich foods

So back to the question at hand: Is it possible to lose weight?  Speaking for both Janette and I, we have both been varying degrees of overweight since we graduated from college approximately eight years ago.  That’s eight years of weight gain, a bit of weight loss, and then again more weight gain.  Specifically, I’m currently 58 lbs from my target goal of 200 lbs, and I’ve been over 200lbs for about 9 years.  Continue reading

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‘Get Healthy’ Challenge

 
We are issuing our first ‘Get Healthy‘ challenge.  Here is how the challenge will work:

by earthkath, on Flickr

  • You must commit to eating healthier, either by following a suggested diet by your doctor / dietician, or by following the Weight Watchers Points Plus plan.  The only stipulation is that the plan does not restrict you on what foods you are “allowed” to eat. 
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day for at least 3 days during the week (if you have any health issues, seek your doctor’s permission before starting any exercise routine).  The routine should be aerobic in nature, and can be any you choose (power walking, light jogging, TV guided cardio, etc).   
  • Try to increase your caloric expenditures throughout the day by following our guide to 10 ways to burn calories throughout the day.  If you can think of other ways to achieve this goal, please use them and share them in the comments section below. 
  • If you drink or smoke, please attempt to decrease the amounts of each you do. 
  • Follow the plan for eight (8) weeks. 

At the end of eight weeks, we will post any stories of success (or failure) we receive back (with the person’s permission, or course). 

** If you are interested in trying Weight Watchers Points Plus and don’t want to join a local group, you can try the online version for over 30% off by clicking the deal add over on the left hand side of the blog, or by clicking here.

Let the challenge begin!
 

** We are a Compensated Affiliate of Weight Watchers because we believe in the plan and what it helps men and women achieve every day. People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds a week. **
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10 ways to boost your energy levels and battle fatigue


Your energy levels affect every aspect of your life, from productivity at work and at home, to your social interactions and even your overall longevity.  Many people struggle to boost their energy levels for numerous reasons, but by trying to follow some of these suggestions you should be able to boost your energy levels, battle fatigue, and increase your overall productivity.  
 

1.  Get the appropriate amount of sleep per night

by AlishaV, on Flickr

I know — this seems like an easy one.  However, many people don’t get the appropriate amount of sleep a night.  There are a few great articles both at The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and at SleepFoundation.org that discusses both the quantity and quality of sleep required by children up through adults.  For most adults, it is recommended we get 7-8 hours of good sleep a night.    

Do you think you are getting that much sleep a night?  You may not be.  Many Americans suffer from some form of a sleep disorder and never realize it.  The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, up to 40 million Americans each year suffer from some form of chronic sleep disorders, and an additional 20 million Americans experience occasional sleep problems.  Some of these, like insomnia, affect the quantity of sleep a person gets each night.  Others, like sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome, affect the quality of sleep an individual receives each night.   

If you are not getting the quantity and quality of sleep you need each night, you are robbing your body of rest, your muscles of recuperation time, and your mind of the time it needs to properly download information from your short term memory into long term memory.

If you think you allocating enough time to rest and are not feeling rested the next day, you should consult your physician to discuss if you could be suffering from some form of a sleep disorder.
 

2.  If you are overweight, lose weight

by alancleaver_2000, on Flickr

Carrying more weight than is healthy will affect your energy levels in many ways.  As we just discussed above, sleep disorders can affect energy levels.  Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders, and many cases of sleep apnea can be eliminated or improved in overweight individuals by simply losing weight.  In addition, your body has to do more work to run an overweight body, from your leg muscles moving you around as you walk, to your heart having to pump harder to push blood around your body.  It’s the perfect recipe for fatigue. 

Being overweight or obese can also have an emotional and psychological effect on an individual, sometimes creating a subconscious energy drain on an individual.  Losing a few pounds can boost a person’s morale and self-esteem, improve overall body functions, and even help improve sleep patterns.  It’s a win-win-win! 
     Continue reading

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Weight Watchers Weigh-in: Week 8

Week 7 in my journey showed a weight gain of 1.2lbs.  I haven’t gained two weeks in a row yet on Weight Watchers so hopes were running high as I went into the meeting.  I was sure I had done pretty well this week, since I could actually wrap my bath towel around me without my stomach sticking out :)   Sometimes it is the little things that make me so happy. 

goosebumps by zakonslike

So I stepped up on the scale had my weight record handed back and made my way to my seat.  Sat down and OH YEAH 2lbs down** this week.  So that made me a total of 11lbs in 8 weeks.  Which if you do the calculations in just a little over a pound a week.  Some weeks I was above the 1-2lbs while others I had gained 1-2lbs but factored out I average a 1.1lb weight loss a week.**.  So I am extremely happy.  Plus I am noticing differences, like the towel thing.  I am getting satisfied with smaller portions and finding myself not wanting to munch or snack as much as I wanted to at the start.  I am starting to see the changes, even if they are small, and I am loving it.  Every week I am more and more determined.  This plan is great.  It isn’t a diet, it is a lifestyle change.  Diets are meant to fail a lifestyle change is meant to last forever.  I am just one more week closer to being healthy for the rest of my life.

** We are a Compensated Affiliate of Weight Watchers because we believe in the plan and what it helps men and women achieve every day. People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds a week. ** 
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Weight Watchers Friendly Recipes: Spicy Garden Burgers

I like to try new things and find new recipes all the time.  So the other day I picked up Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger.  As described on the box these are a Southwestern-style veggie burger with black beans, sweet corn and tomatoes.

I was thinking how I could enhance the flavor of the sandwich so it was not just a Spicy Black Bean Burger on a bun while not adding too many calories or points to the overall meal.  Then it came to me: a Spicy Garden Salsa Burger.  This is a simple but tasty recipe.

Here is what I did for a double burger (I was really hungry so decided on a double. Of course it would be less calories and points for a single)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger Patties
  • 2 Tablespoons Fat Free Salsa (however spicy you like it)
  • 2 Tablespoons Fat Free Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 Low Calorie Whole Wheat Hamburger Bun

Instructions:

Follow the instructions on box to thaw the patties.  Then place on the grill. After grilling both sides for 5-7 minutes each, place a tablespoon of salsa on each of the patties.

Add a tablespoon of cheese on top of the Salsa.  Then you can either allow the salsa and cheese to warm and melt on the grill or take it off and microwave it for 30 seconds.  I actually let it warm for just a few minutes and then put it into the microwave to melt the cheese.

Stack patties one on top of the other upon your hamburger bun and enjoy.   I really loved these and so did the Hubby. The patties had a really nice flavor and it was a hearty burger for the points.

This is a great hearty burger.  I am already thinking of some other ways I can use the Morningstar Spicy Black Bean Burger.  The burger itself has a great flavor that could really add to a number of dishes.  I expect that I will be posting more recipes in the future involving these.

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Addicted to Food – OWN Network

Addicted to Food premiered tonight on the OWN Network.  Archana Ram over at Inside TV has a write-up on the new reality TV series.

“Treatment shows have enjoyed a long shelf life on TV, but while it all started with drug addiction and hoarders, OWN attempts to change viewer’s perceptions with its newest original series, Addicted to Food, premiering tonight at 10 p.m. In the eight-part docu-series, eight eating disorder patients seek treatment with therapist Tennie McCarty at Shades of Hope, a treatment facility in Buffalo Gap, Texas. We spoke with producer Brad Lamm, a board registered interventionist, about the idea, what he thinks of other treatment shows, and the five reasons Addicted is different from the rest…”

Read the rest of the write-up here.

I actually watched the first episode tonight (I believe the series is broken into eight parts).  Bill wrote up an article on if there could be a link between weight gain and addiction earlier in the week.  The reality TV portion of the show aside, it was an eye opening account of how the addicts (specifically the compulsive eaters) used food as a crutch.  Some of the patients were trying to bury pain in their lives while others used it to find quick satisfaction. 

Shades of Hope, the treatment facility where the TV show was filmed, seems to take a holistic approach to help the patients address their problems (treating the hole in the patient’s soul).  On the first day, they brought the patients in and searched their belonging and laid down the ground rules of treatment — the patients must eat only the food they provide during the meal times they define, and ALL of the food they provide. The reason for this is to force the patients to change their eating habbits and get used to eating normal, balanced meals.  The counselors also do not allow the patients to see their weight while they are going through treatment, because they do not want the patients to allow a number to define them, focusing on the lifestyle change. 

Alcohol and drug addiction gets the most attention, but food addiction may very well be far more pervasive in America today, which makes watching this show a must for all of us who are also trying to address our food and lifestyle choices.  As healthcare costs rise, obesity and food addiction should, and hopefully will start to get mainstream attention in America.  Bravo to the OWN network for shining the light on the struggles many Americans are dealing with today.

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10 ways to burn calories throughout the day


For many of us who work or stay at home to raise our children, finding a free contiguous hour of the day to perform traditional exercising is difficult at best and impossible at worst.  Following these 10 easy steps while going about your day can help you burn calories while minimizing the impact on your daily schedule.
 

1.  Wake up 30 minutes early and do a short workout

by mikebaird, on Flickr

Exercising first thing in the morning has major advantages.  It helps you wake up, provides you with energy for the start of your day, provides an immediate sense of accomplishment, and doesn’t interfere with your daily routine.  I know I struggle with exercising after work, because life happens and my best intentions fall quickly by the way side – work is long, then when I get home I help my wife with the kids (sound familiar?).  Exercising in the morning allows me to have “me” time before my day begins.
 

2.  Park further away

Parking as far away from your place of employment the store you are visiting is a great way to force yourself to walk some more, and it doesn’t take up a ton of your time during the day.  Back in 2007, I started parking as far away from my place of employment as I could, and it’s forced me to burn tens of thousands of calories since.  My family now does the same when we go to the grocery store or the shopping mall. 
  Continue reading

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