Monday, March 14, 2011

A weight loss journey

It is that time - time to start loosing weight.  Why - not for any particular reason other than I don't like having sore joints, and getting tired way before I should.

So - first, the Dr's appointment.  She didn't say I had to loose weight, but if I was going to, gave me her recommendations.  (what is interesting - the weight she would be thrilled for me to reach is still over the 'ideal' weight on charts.  Even when we discussed 'ideal', she would be happy for me to be at the very top end - maybe 5 pounds more would still be healthy - she knows my lifestyle - camping, fishing, hiking - being underweight was an issue when I was younger.  I have a rather large bone structure, so top end plus 5 is what she said would be ideal. :)).  Enough babbling - time to do something.

For me, it takes more than just 'will power'.  Being responsible every week is hard, no fun, and requires some type of stick-to-it-ness.  Well, I did weight watchers about 20 years ago and it worked great.  It wasn't until 14 years ago - back to back pregnancies, surgery for medical scares and all that I stopped trying to be fit.  It is amazing how in what seems like 14 short years, I have gone from a size 16 to 22!!!  My goal is not a single digit size.  I have not been a single digit (other than skirts) size since junior high.  The above bone structure meant that my top (shoulders are big) wore a size 12 or 14 in high school, while a size 5 skirt was just fine for my waist.  There was a lot of altering done for my wedding dress. :) :) :)

Back to reality - goal - no particular size, but I have a pair of jeans that I wore after the first three pregnancies that fit the way I would like to be again.  The rest of the clothes are gone, just saved the one pair of jeans to help me remember what I think would be fabulous (also was within 5 pounds of ideal weight now), 

I also have a pair of shorts that would be wonderful to fit back into - even if they are tight - by the end of the summer - kind of a mid-term type goal.  The rest of my ill-fitting clothing (other than a wedding dress that will never fit again - after 6 pregnancies, my waist will never be 17" around - ever again) has gone on to other people in the years since.

My goals are long term-I want this to be a life weight - my goal for the rest of my life.  So, weight watchers is the program I picked - mainly because of convenience (no, I am not doing it online - I need to see people, I know that about myself).  It is in the same town I do grocery shopping in and easy to get to.  Also, weight watchers teaches more about what to eat rather than giving me a bunch of foods I won't do after reaching my goal.  I know plenty of success stories as well as plenty of people for whom it didn't work out.  Surgery is not something I want to face, so trying it this way. 

It has only been two weeks - below is one of my menu's.  My points right now are at 41 per day.  (29 is a standard)  I developed a 32 point menu to try and stick to.  So far, not so hot - I have been using all 41 points, plus the optional points plus, plus exercising for another 32-38 points per week in 'freebies'.  However, even with all that - I have been loosing.  Hopefully it will continue at a slow pace while I learn how to eat better.

A few notes.  The only low cal or reduced calorie foods you will find are bread, some reduced calorie cheeses, and salad dressings.  Most 'diet' foods give me migraines, so I avoid them.  Diet pops and other reduced calorie beverages are 100% out of my plan - the artificial sweeteners do horrible things to my digestive tract and again - migraines.  So, if you see Coke listed - I mean a real one - all the sugar and caffeine. I used to drink about 6 a day, now I am fine with one or two per week.

I have a family to cook for who doesn't need to loose weight.  While it is good for kids to see what serving sizes are, teenagers need milk, cheeses, yogarts, fresh fruits and veggies in large quantities.  I do keep tortilla chips and salsa on hand almost 100% of the time - as a snack.  One of their favorites along with some cheese or yogart, large glasses of milk and a piece of fruit (twice a day - they have sweet type snacks another few times a day). 

The weight watchers recipe builder is a wonderful tool right now.  I have been entering recipes that my family loves and learning what portion I should be eating.  Rather than taking a large portion and eating fruit after the kids are done, I have been taking my fruit and/or veggies first (I love fresh fruits and veggies - this helps a lot), enjoying it, then taking my portion of the meal.  Allowing myself to eat the fresh stuff is a big challenge for me.  In the past, I always kept the fresh for the kids and ate whatever was left.  I do spend a bit more on fresh produce, but not much more than I was.  I shop at Aldi's for the bulk of our groceries, hitting other stores as needed.  Walmart and Coborns (the only place I can find my favorite blue cheese dressing - it is NOT fat free, but that is fine as long as I plan for it). 

Another menu choice - not on this week, but it happens about once every two weeks - I adore McDonald's Big Mac's!  I found they are 14 points and adding a small fries, creates a delicious 20 point meal.  I miss the Big and Tasty - it is a few less points, but no longer sold in our area.  I won't be giving up Big Mac's - that would be a ridiculous assumption on my part, rather, I am learning how to incorporate them into a healthy lifestyle. 

Enough rambling.  Below is a sample menu