October 31, 2009

Must find a better way to cope with stress

I admit it: I'm a stress eater. I know this about myself and try to compensate whenever possible.

Today, I failed miserably. I told myself I wouldn't eat my way through a stressful evening at work — but I did it anyway.

I know there are other ways to deal with stress: Take a walk ... phone a friend ... take a stretching break ... run to a quiet place and let out a scream ... :D

But when you don't feel like you can leave your desk for longer than it takes to hit the bathroom, it's rather difficult to do any of those things. Much easier to snack.

Except it's not better for my waistline — and I've decided that the status quo is not working. After realizing a couple of posts ago that I've basically maintained my weight for a year (down about 50 but with about 20 left to get to goal), I've been trying to come up with ways to shake things up a bit.

One way would be to come up with suitable alternatives to stress-eating. Any of you out there have any ideas on how to stop snacking when I'm stressed out but feel obligated to stay at my desk, plowing through a pile of pages?

October 29, 2009

Thank goodness for canine workout partners!

I keep reading that dogs make great workout partners. But I'm not a big believer, because my Cocoa is a lazy girl. She's quite happy to stay inside.

Now that I'm dog-sitting for a friend's dog, I can believe it. Bandit is fantastic for my activity level.

Bandit, you see, is used to getting walks. (That's him at left.) Unlike my lazy lump on a log, Cocoa (below), he gets three or more walks a day. So when I'm Bandit-sitting, I get more walks myself.

That's good for both of us. When I get up in the morning, and it's cold and snowy outside and I don't want to even THINK about taking a walk, Bandit looks at me expectantly. I know that he's used to getting even more walks than I give him, and I end up outside, in the cold, walking the dog.

Today, it was a 34-minute walk after my write-in. I picked him up at his house this morning, but because I was running late, he only got a quick walk around the block. I promised him a longer walk when I got home from the write-in ... And even though I doubt he has a concept of time (or promises), I kept it.

I guess promising Bandit is kind of like promising myself. :D

Speaking of promises to myself, I DID hit that WW meeting Wednesday afternoon. It put me at 188.2 — exactly the same as a week ago Monday.

I'm not upset, because I know that I weigh a little heavier at night. My a.m. weigh-in when I first woke up Wednesday was 185.4 — also not bad when I consider I had a bad weekend.

October 28, 2009

File this one under 'things that make you go hmm'

Those of you who read my blog over at Blog to Lose know that the Boyfriend and I got into a tiff Monday. He wanted me to fetch and carry (like he always does, somehow thinking that's helping me get more activity) and I didn't want to (like I usually don't. Why should I jump when he says jump?).

He yelled, and the words "fat" and "a$$" came up. He also asserted that all I need to do to lose weight is get more exercise ... like the macaroni and cheese, french fries, fried chicken and other unhealthy foods he's always tempting me to eat aren't a huge culprit in my failure to lose the last 15-20 pounds.

Later, he apologized. But he also brought up a good point: "You say your a$$ is fat all the time ... why is it OK for you to say it, but not me?"

A very good point, indeed. It reminded me of something my WW leader said once: We often say things to/about ourselves that we'd never put up with a friend saying.

And that begs the question: WHY? Why is it OK for me to call myself fat, yet I don't like it at all when the Boyfriend says the same thing?

The short answer? It's not.

We should all be a little kinder to ourselves. Let's celebrate our successes instead of focusing on our failures.

I'm particularly bad at that: I keep focusing on the weight I still have to lose instead of remembering that I've already lost 50+ pounds. In fact, I can tell you exactly how much weight I still had to lose as of my last WI: 18.2 pounds. But I had to look it up to know how much I've lost in all (53.8 pounds).

There's something wrong with that. I should be able to call that number to mind effortlessly. I've lost 53.8 pounds ... Yes, I have a few more to go — but I should still be celebrating what I've already accomplished.

Basically, I've been maintaining for a year. I hit the 50-pounds lost mark right around my birthday in 2008 — ever since, I've been bouncing around the 180s. My WW goal is still 170 (2 pounds under the max weight for my height).

I can get there, I know I can. Yes, I do need to get more exercise — at least 30 minutes most days of the week. But fetching for the Boyfriend isn't going to cut it. More long walks ... bike rides ... even jogging.

And I have to put the kibosh on eating crap, especially when I'm with the Boyfriend. (He really is a huge culprit.)

Time to live by the wise, wise words of Yoda: "There is no try. Do or do not." It's time for me to buckle down and just do it!

October 21, 2009

They're back!

Last year, I discovered Clif Kid Organic ZBar in Spooky S'mores flavor and raved about it. Well, it's back, and it's just as delicious this year.

The package describes it as a "baked whole grain energy snack" and says it has 10 g whole grains, 12 vitamins and minerals and no high-fructose corn syrup. Good qualities, all — but I'd say it's more like a cookie ... a tasty, delicious cookie.

I was excited to spot a display of these at the grocery store Sunday. As far as sweet snacks go, this is one of the healthier ones. No, I'm not fooled into thinking it's GOOD for me, per se ... but it is a better choice than straight chocolate, or a 100-calorie pack of something.

And with 130 calories, 3.5 grams of fat and 3 g fiber, it has just 2 WW Points! :D

Yesterday was a decent day on the Points front. I tracked everything, even though I didn't make all the best choices (it was Prime Rib for $10 night at the casino, and that's what the Boyfriend and I had for dinner.) I did keep it to one trip to the buffet ... well, I made one trip for a plate of salad — no croutons or bacon bits, just veggies, but a drizzle of real blue cheese dressing — and one for mashed potatoes, corn and the meat.

But by tracking, I discovered I hadn't blown it quite as badly as I feared ... and that made it easier to make better late-night snack choices.

So far today, I haven't eaten anything. I'm about to head off to Starbucks to work on my Golden Heart entry, though I think I'll eat breakfast before I go so I'm not tempted by one of those silly 6-Point muffins. Of course they do have oatmeal ...

Who am I kidding? If I walk in there hungry and see the muffins, the muffin will be what I order. I know myself well enough to know that. :P

What Golden Heart entry, you ask? Well, when I'm not busy being a journalist and weight-loss blogger, I'm trying to break into the publishing biz with my romantic comedy. I'm a member of Romance Writers of America, and the Golden Heart is a contest for the unpublished among us. This is my first year to enter, and the entry fee is a stiff $50 ... so I'm trying to make my little manuscript the best it can be so I actually have a chance to win.

I seem to get more done when I work at Starbucks — and I'm usually pretty good at NOT being tempted by the baked goods. I've had a couple of pieces of the low-fat coffee cake, but even those are 6 Points each. I usually get a tall iced, FF/SF latte, but lately I've been getting unsweetened iced green tea (which I add Splenda to) — the large size costs less than the small latte, so it lasts longer. And it's 0 Points, compared to the 2-Point latte.

October 19, 2009

Color me surprised

I wasn't looking forward to today's WI. It's been another awful week, with me not at my own house since Thursday night, when the roommate told me she had swine flu. I didn't want to catch it, so I've been heading to the Boyfriend's every night after work, and you all know I eat much more poorly when I'm with him than when I'm on my own.

Well, the scale was actually down a little ... 1.2 pounds, to be exact.

I know this doesn't give me an excuse to keep doing what I've been doing, though. This week, I'm getting back to basics: Tracking everything, exercising and drinking more H2O than diet soda.

Wish me luck!

October 13, 2009

Absent since my birthday

I've been absent from the blog since last Wednesday ... and the scale showed my lapse yesterday. I'm up 5 pounds. Ugh.

Blame it on my birthday, a food-filled weekend with the Boyfriend, a Friday night of raging
munchies (seriously — I could NOT stop eating. I thought it had something to do with a crappy day at work, but TOM started again Saturday, when I wasn't expecting it. It's early). I didn't journal and I indulged way too much.

I could also blame part of the gain on not drinking enough water and weighing in the
afternoon instead of the morning.

Whatever my excuses, I'm now that much further from hitting my goal weight by Thanksgiving. Why is it that I can't seem to get out of the 180s? Last week, I was getting close. Now I'm nearly back at 190 again.


Well, it's early enough for me to head out for a walk before it gets too warm. Funny how some of my online friends are dealing with snow, but here in Arizona — at least the part where I am today — it's going to be in the 70s. Flagstaff's supposed to get into the 60s, but I'm at the Boyfriend's again today.

Yesterday, we took a hike — literally. I have some beautiful pictures of the scenery around this little trail I didn't know existed. It's hard to believe that all these different landscapes exist in one little area.

But first, I'm off for that walk. No excuses! (Yes, I'm still trying to cultivate that attitude. It's going to take a while ...)

October 7, 2009

Happy birthday to me

I can't remember if I mentioned it here, but today is my birthday ... and now that I'm hitting the big 3-8, I lose a Point.

That's right. Just by virtue of being a day older, I now get just 23 Points a day instead of 24. How fair is that? It's even worse when I consider that I'm not all that good at limiting myself to 24.

Thank goodness for those handy FPs. I get a feeling I'll be using some just to get by — at least at first.

23 Points just doesn't sound like many. And I'm hovering right near the 170s, so I'll lose another one, too ... As the Boyfriend said, "You're going to have to start eating a lot of food with lower Points values." Ah, if only he weren't the prime culprit in getting me to eat high-Points foods! :D

As for today, it went pretty well. I took a 20-minute walk. The Nike+ still wasn't working, but I think I fixed it by trying what the tech support folks suggested again when I got back in from my walk. (Don't ask me why it didn't work the first time. Electronic gadgets are a mystery to me!)

I finished my Pita Jungle salad for lunch and had zucchini and a ham sandwich for dinner. Too much chocolate again today. I'm beginning to think that I really am a chocoholic. More on that in another post. I have to process and decide what to do about it first.

October 6, 2009

On habits

Why is it that good habits are so hard to form, but the bad ones come back at the drop of a hat?

Seriously. I've read that it takes 28 days to form a habit. In theory, that means if you can get up and work out every morning for 28 days, it'll be that much easier to keep doing it for the rest of your life.

It never works out that way. Yet the bad habits I thought I banished are never very far from mind. I thought I'd kicked the soda habit — until the Boyfriend gave me my 100-ounce, insulated jug. Now I fill it with Diet Dr Pepper from the Maverik more often than I care to admit. Worse, I'm starting to crave the caffeine again.

I'm going to try making a deal with myself: I have to finish a full jug of water for every fill-up with soda. Since it usually takes me more than 24 hours to drink one of those things, that'll cut back on the pop consumption. Then, hopefully, it won't be long until I want them even less often.

October 5, 2009

No excuses

That's an attitude I need to work on. Today, I made a good start. I headed out for a short walk after my WW meeting and lunch, only to find my Nike+ sensor wasn't working ... I was moving and the iPod wasn't registering a darn thing.

But instead of using that as an excuse to decide NOT to take a walk, I walked anyway. I cruised the sidewalks around my neighborhood the old-fashioned way — without the Nike+, just the iPod on shuffle.

Funny how dependent we can get on our electronic gadgets. I love the Nike+ because it tracks my distance and speed ... but I don't NEED it to walk. As long as I have music, I'm fine.

Lunch was delicious. I stopped at Pita Jungle after my WW meeting. All you Arizonans, if you haven't tried it, you should. I've been there three times now, and haven't tasted anything I didn't like. Today I had the Mediterranean Chicken Salad — chicken, tomatoes, corn, pine nuts, feta cheese, tabbouleh, lettuce, golden raisins and a little vinaigrette. Yum! I even managed to stop after eating just half and I'm completely satisfied.

As for my weigh-in, the news was better than I expected: I'm down 0.8 for the week, which leaves just 14 pounds to get to goal. Slowly but surely, I'm getting there.

October 4, 2009

Struggling to 'get the balance right'

So far, I'm failing — not miserably, but failing nonetheless.

I try to strike a balance between healthy food choices and indulgences — the indulgences won all day Friday and part of Saturday. Sunday, the healthy choices took the prize. I even still have a couple of Points left for a snack when I get home from work. I'm thinking popcorn drizzled with EVOO for 2 Points. Yum-o!

I try to strike a balance between working out and resting. Unfortunately, these days I find myself resting a lot more than I'm working out.

The biggest area I'm trying to find a balance in is life in general. I'm trying to balance the healthy eating and exercise with work and (in my off hours) work on my writing career. That's a lot of balls to keep up in the air at once, and I'm not doing a very good job of it. I can't imagine what would be falling by the wayside if I had a husband and kids to take care of. I don't know how Roni does it: Maintaining her weight, working, three blogs, training for a marathon ... I wish I had half her energy and discipline.

It seems that when I'm at work, I'm either stressed or (when it's slow) bored, so I'm snacking a lot. When I'm home, I have time to exercise and eat right, but feel like I should be writing instead. And when I'm writing, I may not be snacking because I'm busy with my novel ... but I'm not taking that walk I know I should take.

I need to strike the right balance wherein I can work out, eat right, hit my goal weight by Thanksgiving, get my novel rewritten in time for the Golden Heart competition (deadline Dec. 2) and still have time to go to work and spend time with the Boyfriend.

That's what I want for my birthday, which is on Wednesday: A recipe for balance.

Anyone have any tips for me? I'll try anything, within reason.