The Winds of Change

(I thought this title was appropriate given the 55 mph gusts we’re experiencing here in New Jersey this morning).

Thanks to my efforts to acknowledge (and face) my fears, I’ve finally started making some changes that — believe it or not — may actually be making the scale move! I’m proud to report that I’ve lost 1.2 lbs at my weigh-in for the last two weeks in a row, after several weeks of gains or .4 pound losses. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but for me, it’s huge: I’m back down to a total loss of 86.4 pounds, and for the first time in over a year, I’m confident that I can (and will) reach my goal of losing 100 pounds. I’m determined to break out of my rut and do whatever it takes to realize this goal, and now I see just how easy this whole process could have been all along.

I needed to shake things up. It’s that simple.

Here’s how I’m doing it.

1.) I signed up for my first 5K. FINALLY! I have acknowledged my ability to run 3.1 miles, and am ready to prove to myself and to others that I can do this. Thinking of my treadmill sessions and runs in the park as “training” as opposed to “calorie burning” is truly motivating me to go faster and farther. Best of all, it’s a race to benefit childhood obesity, a cause that couldn’t be closer to my heart. The only problem is I hastily registered for the event (because I didn’t want to give myself time to change my mind!) before realizing that May 1st is the day I’ll be returning from a week-long vacation to celebrate my boyfriend’s 25th birthday in Vegas…on a flight that lands at 6am. Yikes. On the one hand, having a 5K looming over my conscience while I’m whooping it up on the Strip might just help keep me on track, but either way, I know that I’ll be exhausted and jet lagged upon my arrival home. Regardless, I have my mind made up to run this race, and I know that if my time isn’t that great…well, there’s always the next one!

2.) I switched my weigh-in day. I’ve been weighing-in on Sunday mornings at 8:30am since I started my weight loss journey in November 2007. I’d go out to dinner on Friday night and (usually) Saturday night, weigh in the following morning, and then make the remainder of Sunday my free-for-all day, chock full of mindless binge eating. Because, you know, I had the whole week ahead to make up for it. Well, no more. For the past two weeks I’ve weighed in on Saturday morning at 8:30, right before my Muy Thai Kickboxing class. And guess what? I’ve lost more than a pound both weeks. Guess what else? I’ve magically stopped feeling the need for a “cheat” day, and — brace yourselves — I’m even tracking all weekend! Yes, that’s right. Without that “end of the weekend” weigh-in day mentality, I’ve started looking at my Friday night dinner out with my boyfriend as my last chance to stay on track before my weigh-in, and the weekend has suddenly become just two regular on-plan days. Who knew something so simple would make such a huge difference in my mindset, and my ability to start tackling my weekend eating issues once and for all?

3.) I’ve made protein my new best friend. I’ll be the first to admit that while I eat whole foods most of the time, before the PointsPlus program was launched, I was snacking on empty carbs just a bit too often. Who doesn’t love munching on baked chips with a sandwich, grabbing a handful of whole grain crackers on the go, or enjoying yummy whole wheat pasta dishes for dinner? I didn’t want to admit how much I relied on carbs — albeit “healthy” carbs — until the higher POINTS values forced me to start cutting back. Now I’m eating much smaller portions of cereal and brown rice, I won’t touch processed, ready-made meals with a ten-foot pole, and I’m committed to finding new ways to incorporate more lean protein, nuts, beans, and — of course — fruits and veggies into my diet. (Now I just wish I could learn a strategy to choke down fish without gagging). And you know what? I’m not feeling so hungry all the time, and I have more energy. I know I have some body fat to shed before I can truly admire some of these muscles I’ve been working so hard to build, and I think I finally figured out what has to be done.

4.) I fell in love with my new workout. I’ve already written about my Muy Thai Kickboxing class, but I cannot even express how much having a workout to look forward to — as opposed to mindlessly pounding the treadmill every day — has made all the difference. I leave that class three times each week feeling strong, powerful, and ready to take on the world. I’m torching major calories, I’m watching muscles sprout up everywhere, and I don’t even realize how hard I’m working out because I’m having so much fun. I’m now convinced that once you start looking at a physical activity as “training” as opposed to simply “exercising,” it really can boost your motivation to keep going to class and working towards your next goal (in this case, my yellow belt).

5.) I’m inspiring others. Okay, okay, so this last one doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with a change I made, per se’…but I like to think I had some influence on my boyfriend, who recently started eating healthier and exercising 4+ times a week. Truth be told, his newfound commitment to eat well, work out, and, as he says, “not die in 10 years,” has had more of an impact on me than he knows. I’m beyond thrilled to have a workout partner (yes, he even joined my gym!), but even more importantly, it means so much to me that I’ve been able to inspire him on his journey to better health. I know he hasn’t been feeling so great about himself, and I’ve worried about his health for years. But in the last couple of weeks I’ve had the pleasure of watching him completely change his life — he’s eating fruits and vegetables, for crying out loud! — and I couldn’t be more proud. Plus, now I feel like I have to set a good example for him, so it motivates me to keep making the right choices. He has always pushed me to be my best, and now I’m so glad that I can do the same for him.

What are some of the things you’ve done to “shake things up” when the scale stalls? I’ll take all the ideas I can get!

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4 thoughts on “The Winds of Change

  1. hamiltonmka

    You are ROCKIN IT GIRL!!! I’m so happy for you! I just knew that all you needed was a little tweaking to get that scale moving. BRAVO!! And you signed up for a race – too sweet! The good thing is, you are already a runner. You just need to show up and DO IT. You’ll be fine! And I agree with you – protein is key. Especially with tall the exercise you’re doing. Some deli ham and lf cheese really helps me along when I’m hungry or just need more energy.

    Here are my 2 cents: Be careful using any APs you’re earning with all this exercise. For some reason, when I changed to the PointsPlus program, after a month or so of following is closely and seriously increasing my exercise to train for my half marathon in May, I started to GAIN EVERY WEEK. On the old program, I ate all my APs and some weeklies. But for some reason I just COULDN’T any more. So… if your weight loss starts to stall and you can’t figure out why, think about not using your APs. Maybe you already don’t but I thought I’d mention it since I had to SERIOUSLY shake things up. I was earning 4-11 APs a day and eating them all and still losing. Now I’m a solid 29 points a day. Period. And that’s taken some getting used to for me. I started reevaluating zero point options that I never really needed to do before. So for me, that was the big “shake up”. And so far, I’ve had some good loses. But by GOLLY it has taken me SO LONG to earn that darn 75 lb washer for my 10% keychain!! SO ANNOYING!!! I am hoping this next weigh in. XXXXX XXXXX Fingers crossed!

    Keep up the good work!

    • THANK YOU!!! I knew you’d be proud of me for the big 5K news! šŸ˜€ Believe it or not, your encouragement to just bite the bullet and finally sign up a 5K really stuck with me. I’m (slowly) starting to be able to see myself as a real live “runner” now. Thank you again for your support, I really do appreciate it! I’m so excited — and I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out! šŸ˜€

      This is GREAT advice, thank you. I’m still trying to find my “sweet spot” as far as how many APs I can and should use At the moment, I’d say I’m dipping into about half of them…some days more, some days less. Like you, I used to be able to eat most of my weeklies and ALL of my APs, even on the days when I was earning 8 or more, and losing with no problem. Now, that’s clearly not the case! So that, too, is a big part of my “shake things up” regimen, along with enjoying more 0 POINT options (thank god for fruits and veggies!) and, of course, laying off the carbs a bit.

      I’m keeping my fingers crossed for your 75 pound washer! It’s such an amazing accomplishment, and you WILL get there. YOU’RE AWESOME! šŸ˜€

  2. Jennifer, I’ve been following your blog for a few months now. I think I found it through WW’s somehow…I can’t remember now. I just wanted to say, keep up the good work. I really enjoyed this post! I’m gonna take into account all of this stuff in my weight loss too! Thanks!

    • Hi Courtney,

      Thanks so much for following me. It’s great to hear from you! šŸ˜€

      I really appreciate your feedback and support. Please do keep me posted on how you’re doing, and best of luck with your weight loss! Weight Watchers is the best. šŸ˜€

      Thanks again!

      Jen

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