Friday, March 29, 2013

New Look (for the blog)

Welcome to 52 Weeks to Lose Version 2.0!

I spent quite a bit of time on it this week, making some much needed improvements.  See, when I started this thing I wouldn't let myself get too caught up in how it looks.  I just wanted to write that first post before I lost my nerve!  So this week I gave my blog a make over.  Now I think it looks a bit more "me".  I'd love your thoughts (positive or constructive) in the comments or just vote on that handy little survey over there. ----------------------->

New Features for Version 2.0:
  • My Progress (right sidebar) - this little ticker will be updated with each official weigh in.  I've set my "goal" weight for just over 100lbs from my starting weight for now.  I have many smaller goals along the way of course... but that little ticker looked best with the big goal in mind.
  • Follow By Email (right sidebar) - you can enter your email address here and my blog will be sent to you each week automatically!  There are 3 easy steps... 1) enter your email address and click submit, 2) prove you are a human, 3) click the link in your email.
  • Share It (right sidebar) - If you like this blog and think others will like it too... please share it on Twitter or Facebook.  The buttons on the side over there make it SO easy!
  • Feeding My Brain (top menu bar) - I will be keeping an ongoing list of resources (books, blogs, podcasts, etc) I discover on this page.  Check back often for updates.  If you think of any great resources you want to share, please leave them in the comments on that page.
  • Non-Scale Victories (top menu bar) - I've decided to keep a running list (newest at the top) of any little victories I have along the way.  This page isn't for achieving weight loss goals necessarily.  It is more for celebrating the other good things.  If you have some victories to share, I'd love to see them in the comments on that page!
  • Technology That Motivates (top menu bar) - These are the geeky little tools I've discovered to help me stay focused and motivated.  I hope to add to the list as I go. If you know any great gadgets or apps, please share them in the comments on that page.

No weigh in this week for me, since there is no meeting on Easter Sunday.  I could attend a meeting later this week, but then it would be pretty close to my next weigh in.  So, I have decided to skip this week.  I weigh every day at home (and am pretty excited about my progress this week), but this week will have no official recorded weight.  No official weigh in, means no picture of me this week.  So, I leave you with a message from Richard Parker...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Too Much Sitting

I've come to realize just how sedentary my job is and how sedentary I am at home too.  I do workout regularly (almost daily) but the rest of my day is pretty much sitting.  A while ago I wrote about my ActiveLink in a post called Moving More.  According to my ActiveLink I am an "occasional athlete".

I'm proud to report I have been moving more and more, but still have trouble battling my sedentary nature at work and home.  This week I did a little research about sitting and made some startling discoveries.  As it turns out, sitting is terrible for you.  Which I kind of knew already, but never gave much thought to just how bad it is.  Turns out, sitting more than an hour at a time can do major damage to our overall metabolism for the day (among other negative effects).  If you want to know more about that I suggest checking out these sites:

Prior to this week a typical week for me looked like this:

The days in dark green are my workout days for the week.  You can see the gray area indicates my baseline for activity which I have to reach before I begin earning Weight Watchers activity points.  On a typical work day I barely reach 30% of my goal of 3 activity points.  Which leaves me a lot to make up for during my workouts.  

This week I tried something new.  For every 45 minutes of sitting I made sure to take a 5 minute break to stand or walk.  I actually found a piece of software for my macbook that helps with this (TimeOut by Dejal).  The software basically takes over my screen every 45 minutes and reminds me to get up and move around.  Here are my results for the week:

Just by moving a bit more every 45 minutes of my day, I have managed to reach 50% of my goal at work each day this week (with the exception of Friday - that is the day of my weekly team meeting and we spend the afternoon sitting in our office working with little opportunities for getting up).  Getting up more throughout the day combined with my workouts has helped me surpass my 3 point per day goal.  Seems like a small change to make for a pretty big overall impact!

I'm using the timer at home too, to help combat my sedentary evenings.  I leave it running on my computer while I watch television.  And every 45 minutes I spend the 5 minute (or sometimes longer) break doing little things around the house.  

I'm excited to have completed my first 12 week ActiveLink Challenge!  I'm choosing to maintain the goal of 3 points per day for now, but may do another challenge in June.

And now for this week's results...

 -15.6 (still trending down!)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Not Much To Say

I don't really have a lot to say about the past week.  It was spring break, but I worked 3 of the days at the museum so it didn't really feel like a whole week off. 2 of the other days were spent doing all those errand type things (doctor, car, etc) that I can never seem to get done during the weeks.  So it was a very busy week all together.  I did let loose a little on Friday night and went drinking & dancing with a friend.  We had a blast, and I'm pretty sure I danced enough to make up for the shots. :-)

My non-scale victory (that's what my leader calls the little things that we celebrate, that don't always show up on the scale) for the week was on Friday.  I had to take my car in for some minor repair.  I knew the service was going to take a couple of hours, so I planned out a walking route to a place to eat breakfast.  Rather than sit in the waiting area for my car for those hours, I went on a walk!  I walked about 2 miles to get to the restaurant.  I had a nice breakfast (even thought they messed up my order).  Then I chose to walk back a different route.  I took my time walking back, stopped into a couple of shops on the way.  It was beautiful weather and way better to be outside than sitting at the auto repair place!  All in all I think it was about 5 miles total... a victory indeed!

I'm pleased to report a 1.4lb loss for the week.  Maybe not quite as much as I hoped for, but at least the scale is trending down again! :-)

 -15.2 lbs!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Downs and Ups

This post is a little late this week.  Truth be told, the scale was up a little this week and I wasn't sure what I wanted to write about that.

I wasn't really surprised at the gain.  I know exactly how it happened. My breakfast and lunch choices were on plan all week, but rather than one (or maybe two) indulgent meals... there were many more.  It's really hard to make good choices when you're "out".  I do much better when dining on my own, than eating out with others.  Last week it seemed for every good choice I made when eating out, I made a terrible choice to go with it.  I found it impossible to pass up the chips, and sweet potato fries.  Then I attended a wedding (the night before weigh in).  I had a plan going in about what I was and wasn't going choose.... then I didn't stick with that plan.  It's funny when your brain is saying one thing, then your mouth says another.  Like when I go to Chipotle, and think "Ok, get the bowl, you love it and you know the point value."  Then my mouth says something like, "I'll have a burrito.. oh, and chips and guacamole with that too."  What?!?!  Betrayed by my own mouth!

I had really hoped to finish losing the cruise gain this week.  That did not happen.  Instead the scale went a bit in the other direction.  Not too much... but still... it stings.  I know this is normal, and something I will have to deal with not only while I'm losing weight, but will continue to deal with long after I reach my goal.  The thing is, I can't let this set back get me down.  I've got to refocus on the plan, and move forward toward the goal!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

What happens at a WW meeting?

I've had a few people ask me since I've rejoined what Weight Watchers meetings are like and why I make it a priority to go to them.  Some people picture it like the weekly end of biggest loser, with a big scale in front of a room.  Others wonder what there is to do other than weigh in, and ask why not just do that at home.  So I figured I'd make this post all about the what and why of Weight Watchers meetings.

When you walk in you'll likely see 3-4 counters along the one side with a private area for weighing in, and some shelves of WW products on the other side.  As they arrive most members get in a line and wait for one of the WW staff to call them over to the next available scale/counter.  The leader is often in this area greeting people as they are waiting in line.

Each week I get in the line & wait for the next available scale.  When it's my turn I go behind the counter where only the staff member and I can see the scale.  It's just a normal size scale with a digital readout on the counter, not a giant biggest loser scale.  You can wear whatever you want when you weigh in.  I typically take off my shoes, but some people even wear their shoes to weigh in.  Others will take off as many layers of clothes as possible before stepping on the scale.  I always wear the same pants on weigh in day, and then change into jeans once I've weighed in.  The staff member scans my membership card, prints a sticker with my results and sticks it in my journal.  If I've reached any sort of milestone (each 5lb loss, 5% loss, 10% loss, etc) she'll ask me if I am willing to celebrate at the meeting.  So, if you're shy I guess you can decline being recognized during the meeting, but I always say yes.  Then she hands me my weekly magazine and a name tag and I walk into the meeting area.

The meeting area is just a room with a bunch of chairs and a presentation area for the leader.  Some people sit and keep to themselves while waiting for the leader to start the meeting.  Others make small talk or check in with other members and see how they're doing.

The leader shares information about the program and what makes it work.  A lot of the meeting is usually hearing the members respond to what is working or not working for them. The leader usually gives out little "bravo" star stickers for those who participate during the meeting time.  I always stick these in my journal next to my weight results for the week.  It's a silly thing, but opening my journal and seeing all those little bravo stickers is pretty fun.  It's like my journal gives me a round of applause every time I open it. :-)  The leader also takes time during the meeting to celebrate and scale or non-scale victories.  The scale victories are usually stickers or other awards for reaching weight loss milestones.  Each person that gets one of these little awards gets a chance to share how they are doing and what is helping them reach their goals.  The meetings wrap up with everyone writing down something new they are going to try to do better this week.  New members have the opportunity to stay after the meeting for a quick start explanation of the program.

That the what of meetings... now for the why:

  • Knowing I am going to my meeting to weigh in and report my progress to WW (and my leader) helps keep me accountable throughout the week.
  • Being in a room full of people that are working on the same thing as me is reassuring.  I'm not in this alone.
  • When I see & hear someone else's success, I know the program works and it motivates me to stick with it.
  • When I see or hear someone struggle, I am comforted in my own struggles.
  • Marking my progress each week in my journal and earning rewards for my accomplishments keep me motivated.
  • It just works!
 This week I managed to take off 4.4 of the 6.6 I gained on the cruise!  Awesome!