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Old 02-27-2012, 06:45 PM   #1
mackeysmom
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One Month At A Time - Laura's Journal

I’m too chicken to actually start a blog. I guess I’m afraid of really putting everything out there, so I’m starting with baby steps – a WISH Journal on the Disboards. I’m writing it for myself – as a way to document my weight-loss journey. That being said – I am happy for any and all comments from my fellow Dis-ers; good, bad, indifferent.

In the past I’ve posted on the Weight Watchers thread and have participated in a few Bisggest Loser Challenges, but for those who don’t know me, here is the requisite intro:

I am Laura, 42 years old. Since I was a kid, I was always chubby. By high school, I was close to 200 lbs. Joined Weight Watchers for the first time as a senior in HS and lost 30 pounds to fit into my size 13/14 prom dress.

I maintained it over that summer, but once college started I gained the Freshman 15, the Sophomore 15, the Junior 15 and the Senior 15. Stayed that way all throughout my 20’s. I would periodically re-join WW, lose 20 pounds and then quit. I always hovered around 240 or so.

I had a job in my 30’s which required me to travel 5 days a week. I stayed in a hotel with an expense account for breakfast, lunch and dinner – for two years. I was close to 280 by the time that assignment was over. Once again WW brought me down to around 240.

About 4 years ago, I decided enough was enough. I was a few years away from 40 and wanted to get on track before I hit the big 4-0. I rejoined WW and got myself down to 203 – it was lowest I’d been since I started college 20 years ago. But – life got in the way. My mother got sick and passed away suddenly. I was left in charge of the estate, dealing with her house, etc. And the weight crept back on.

Last January (2011) I rejoined WW and was down 21 pounds by the time the summer rolled around. Again – I hit a wall and stopped losing (I also stopped going to meetings and stopped tracking – hmm, I wonder if those two things go hand in hand). Luckily I didn’t regain – I think sticking to my 3.5 mile walks 5 days a week really helped.

So here we are today – back on WW – weighing in at around 210. This time I am determined to make it a lifetime commitment. I donated all of my “big” clothes - no more “keeping them just in case”.

I’m trying very hard not to focus on the “number”, but to focus on the positive changes I am making. However, I have not seen the lower side of 200 since 1987 – and it is within my reach right now. I am single and responsible for cooking only for myself. It SHOULD be easy to shop for the healthy groceries and cook the healthy meals everyday – but SHOULD and actually DO are two separate things and I am trying very hard to work on that.

I do a little bit of freelance writing while looking for a full-time job, and was recently approved to be the local Weight Watchers Expert for Examiner.com. It pays next to nothing, but it is something I can put on my resume. I am really trying to get back on track - foodwise, because I don't want to be outed as a Weight Watchers "fraud".

I’ll talk more about my goals – both long and short term – tomorrow.

For those who have stuck it out during this entire post – Thank You and I promise I’ll be back tomorrow (and won’t be so wordy!).

- Laura
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:19 PM   #2
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I had lunch with a friend today. We meet up once a week – usually at Panera. We like the food options, we like the price and we like the fact that we can sit and talk for hours and not feel like we are being rushed out. On the days that we meet for lunch, I don’t normally eat breakfast. I’m currently out of work, so I’m not getting up super early. If I get up at 9:00, my morning cup of coffee and ½ banana is more than enough to hold me over until we meet for lunch at 11:30.

On any other day, I always have a nice breakfast. I LOVE breakfast food, and in future posts you will learn about my handful of “stand-by” breakfasts that I alternate throughout the week.

For lunch, I took advantage of Panera’s “You Pick Two” menu option. I had ½ BBQ Chicken Salad and a cup of chicken noodle soup with an apple on the side.

Dinner was a mash-up of leftovers from the fridge. I had half of a baked potato left over from the other day and a ton of red peppers. I sautéed up the red peppers in a little olive oil with an onion and a bunch of spinach, added a few ounces of leftover lean ham and put the whole mixture on top of the potato. A small dollop of reduced fat sour cream and I was good to go.

**I’d like to add a small disclaimer – over the winter I went completely overboard buying Weight Watchers and Lean Cuisine frozen dinners. The sales were too good to be true, and I now have a freezer full of them. No lie – check it out:



And that is my main freezer. The spare freezer in the basement must have at least 20 more. For the next few weeks, I’ll probably be having a bunch of these – supplemented by extra veggies.

I still have more then enough Weight Watchers points left to have a little snack with my nightly cup of tea.

As promised, here are my goals for the month. I know I promised long-term and short-term goals, but I decided against long-term goals for the purpose of this journal. After all, it is “one month at a time” – so I am only going to focus on short-term (monthly) goals.

For this month, I will try to:

1) Stay off the scale. I am normally a daily weigher, but I don’t want to get too focused on the day-to-day normal fluctuations. I think weekly weigh-ins will be more productive for me.

(Just an FYI – since this is “One Month At A Time” – I will only be posting my losses at the end of each month).

2) Add a few more minutes to my elliptical times. I got an elliptical at Christmas, and haven’t used it nearly as much as I intended. Right now, I get winded after about 10 minutes or so. By the end of the month, I’d like to be up to 15 minutes at a shot.

3) Establish better sleeping patterns. Being out of work has completely disrupted my sleep cycle. I tend to stay up until 3:00 AM or so, and sleep until 10:00 or 11:00. The days I have to get up early for an appointment or interview, I am completely out of whack and feel like I have jet-lag. I’m going to try this month to slowly work my way back into a “normal” pattern.

That’s it – only three goals to start.

I don’t want to overwhelm myself with a million goals. After the New Year, I started reading “52 Small Changes: One year to a happier, healthier you.” By Brett Blumenthal. Her philosophy is that extremes don’t work and small changes fuel our need to succeed. Common sense, right? But easier said than done and this book provides 52 weekly changes that add up to a healthier and happier you at the end of one year.

Have any of you had success with making small changes over the course of longer period of time? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

Thanks for reading,
Laura
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:07 AM   #3
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Today was a little challenging.

Every Wednesday night I eat dinner at my sister's house. My sister is a good cook and always has something great for dinner. On those days, I try to go light with breakfast and lunch and save the bulk of my Weight Watchers Points for dinner. Tonight she made barbequed spare ribs, roasted potatoes and string beans. The ribs were pretty high in points (six ounces cost me 17 points ), but I was still within my daily allowance.

After dinner, my nephew had a basketball game and I ate two cookies that one of the mothers was offering up. When the game was over, I took my nieces and nephew out for Carvel. I had a small cone with no-fat soft serve vanilla ice cream - not too bad pointwise, but the truth was I wasn't really hungry. I ate it simply because it was there and everybody else was eating ice cream. I need to work on that.

I wound up using some of my weekly extra WW points - I know that's what they are there for, but I like to save them for the weekend.

Overall, not a bad day. I could have made some better choices, but I certainly made better choices than I've made in the past.

- Laura
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
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Great plan, Laura! Congrats on getting started. I'm sorry about your mom - its so much harder when someone dies unexpectedly. That must have been terrible to deal with.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:13 PM   #5
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Keep sticking with it Laura. Don't let a bad decision/bad day derail you totally. You can do this!
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane E. View Post
Great plan, Laura! Congrats on getting started. I'm sorry about your mom - its so much harder when someone dies unexpectedly. That must have been terrible to deal with.
Quote:
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Keep sticking with it Laura. Don't let a bad decision/bad day derail you totally. You can do this!
Thanks for the kind words - I appreciate the support and feedback.

- Laura
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:28 PM   #7
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I have to admit, it has been difficult not stepping on the scale each morning. I’ve been weighing myself daily for as long as I can remember, but one of my short-term goals is to only weigh myself weekly. Definitely harder than I thought it would be.

Today was a good day food-wise. Breakfast was a few turkey/cheese roll-ups and an apple, lunch was homemade chicken and broccoli. Dinner was 2 slices of Boboli thin pizza crust. I topped one slice with a little olive oil, feta, reduced fat mozzarella cheese and spinach. The other was topped with chopped tomatoes, red onions and red peppers. It was delicious and very filling. TV-time snack was ½ banana and 2 Stella D’oro anisette toast cookies with a cup of tea. All-in-all, I ended the day within my points and didn’t have to dip into my weekly allowance.

** I should add a small disclaimer – unless otherwise noted, I walk at least 3.5 miles each day. Today we had lousy weather and I wasn’t up to walking in the rain. Instead, I worked out with my Wii Fit for 30 minutes and did a one-mile walking Biggest Loser DVD workout.

That’s all for today – until tomorrow …

- Laura
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:06 AM   #8
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Way to go with the walking workouts!
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:03 PM   #9
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Hey Laura! You’re on the right track for sure, just keep doing what you’re doing! I think it’s great that you exercise frequently; in combination with the healthier choices, you are definitely going to reach your goal before you know it. Like you wrote earlier, don’t focus on what the scale says now, focus on the great changes you are making. You will get there.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinaFemme View Post
Hey Laura! You’re on the right track for sure, just keep doing what you’re doing! I think it’s great that you exercise frequently; in combination with the healthier choices, you are definitely going to reach your goal before you know it. Like you wrote earlier, don’t focus on what the scale says now, focus on the great changes you are making. You will get there.
Thanks for the sweet words - I appreciate it.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:28 PM   #11
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Here is my Friday post – I fell asleep before I had a chance to submit it.

Had to get up early today – my furnace has been leaking water and they were sending somebody to service it today. They said they would be at my house between 7:00 am – noon. That being said, I had to be up and showered by 7:00. That is a big deal for me. As I mentioned in my “goals” post, I have terrible sleep patterns. I don’t go to sleep until nearly 3:00am, so a 6:30 wake-up call is tough to swallow.

I didn’t want to be in the kitchen cooking anything up when the furnace guy came, so I just had a Nature Valley Peanut Butter/Dark Chocolate protein bar and a cup of tea for breakfast. Lunch was a few turkey/cheese roll-ups with a small salad.

When dinnertime rolled around, I was very hungry. I was running around after lunch and didn’t have anything to snack on. I made another one of my “concoctions” (similar to one I made earlier in the week). I sautéed up a few red peppers in a little olive oil with an onion and a few ounces of lean ham, and put the whole mixture on top of 1 cup of whole wheat pasta. I added a tablespoon of fresh grated parmesan cheese – delicious.

It isn’t the most appetizing looking dish, but it was yummy and very filling.



Tomorrow (Saturday) will be a high-point day. I’m going to Red Robin with friends and will be having a burger and fries. I’ve been looking forward to it all week and have saved up the majority of my weekly extra WW points so I can have the burger. That’s what I love about Weight Watchers – as long as I plan, I can indulge in something like that once and a while.

For those that have been following me all week – thanks for reading.

- Laura
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:07 PM   #12
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I had a 55 point day yesterday (Saturday). You read that right – 55 points.

For those not familiar with Weight Watchers, you are assigned a daily allowance of points based on several factors such as age, weight, height, etc. Each food is assigned a Points Value based on its nutritional value (or lack thereof). In addition to your daily points, you have 49 extra Weekly Points that you can use however you please during the week. You also get the opportunity to earn extra points through exercise.

I am given a daily points allowance of 30. Most weeks, I never use my Activity Points. Additionally, I try not to use all of my 49 “extra” points. But it is nice to know they are there if you need them. I NEEDED THEM YESTERDAY.

Went to Red Robin for lunch to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I didn’t go too crazy – I had a burger, fries and shared an appetizer with three other people. That meal cost me 52 points.

All week, I worked hard to stay within my daily points so that my “extra” weekly points were available. Yesterday for breakfast I took advantage of fruit being zero points and had a whole banana with my morning tea. For dinner, I loaded up my plate with zero point veggies and spent just a few points on grilled chicken.

Was I a little hungry when I went to bed? Yes.

Was it worth it? Absolutely

Will I do it every week? No, but it’s nice to know that I could if I wanted to.

But my 55 point day really made me realize two things:

1) Because of the way the WW plan is structured, I CAN indulge every now-and-then without going off program. All it takes is some advanced planning.

2) If I can have a 55 point day on a day where I’ve only indulged with one meal, how many points was I eating in the past? Pre-WW, I probably would have had a large Dunkin Donuts coffee (light and sweet, of course) and a donut for breakfast, and would have had a “normal” dinner. I’ll bet I routinely had days where I went over 100 points.

So I celebrate my 55 point day – without guilt and without regret.

- Laura
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:20 PM   #13
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On the heels of my 55 point day yesterday, I woke up this morning feeling pretty lousy. My stomach bothered me and fingers were swollen – no doubt due to all of the sodium in my Red Robin meal.

I wasn’t overly hungry for breakfast, so I just had a small yogurt with a few whole grain Cheerios thrown in for some crunch.

Lunch was egg-whites with feta & spinach and a slice of whole-grain bread. Dinner was a repeat of my “peppers, onions, whole-wheat pasta” concoction that I talked about on Friday.

I did my grocery shopping today and picked up a bag of Pepperidge Farm Cracker Chips. I had a handful of them (a substantial handful) for only 3 points.

It is 9:00 pm as I type this and I still have 6 points left for the day. I know Weight Watchers doesn’t advocate that you really go below your points for the day – but I’m not hungry and don’t want to eat for the sake of eating.

So today marks the end of Week 1 of this journal and I thought I would re-visit my monthly goals each week to see what kind of progress I’ve made.

My goals were:

1) Weekly weigh-ins only. This has been difficult, but I did not step on the scale since last Monday. I will weigh myself tomorrow (for Weight Watchers), but won’t be giving updates here until the end of the month.

2) Add a few more minutes to my elliptical times. I didn’t get on the elliptical at all this week.


3) Establish better sleeping patterns. I had a few good days/nights, but I need to work on this.

That’s all for now – off to watch Hoarding: Buried Alive.

- Laura
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:44 PM   #14
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I’m a Weight Watchers cheater – actually, I’m a Weight Watchers “tweaker”. I’m given a daily allowance of 30 points, but some days I am hungrier than others and some days I’m full way before I get to 30 points. So, for the past year or so, I’ve been giving myself a weekly points allowance of 210 (30 daily multiplied by 7 days). So far, for me at least, it seems to be working.

Today was a pretty good food-day.

For breakfast I made French Toast with 2 slices of WW whole grain bread and eggbeaters. Lunch was a nice big salad with some Boar’s Head turkey mixed in (and a few of those Pepperidge Farm Cracker Chips I bought yesterday. I have to make sure these don’t become a trigger food for me. Salty snacks have a habit of doing me in.) I was hungry after my walk and had a banana. Dinner was a baked potato. I dug out the potato, mixed it with a cup of chopped spinach, a tablespoon of bacon bits, and an ounce of reduced fat cheddar cheese. I stuffed it back into the skin and added a dollop of sour cream. It was super-filling (and delicious):



My evening snack of a cup of tea and an apple didn’t quite hit the spot, but a tablespoon of reduced fat peanut butter did the job.

That’s all for today. As always, any comments/feedback are appreciated.

- Laura
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:33 PM   #15
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A (not-so) funny thing happened after I posted yesterday’s journal. I had a mini-binge. I had a craving for something salty and reached for a bag of Pirate’s Booty. I had two servings and was still trolling around the kitchen for something else. Earlier in the day, I had made a recipe/concoction of spinach, eggbeaters, four different cheeses (reduced fat cheddar/mozzarella/swiss/parmesan) and bisquick. It is a renovation of a spinach bread my grandmother used to make. I had used Weight Watcher’s recipe builder and made twenty-four 3 point servings (I made them in cupcake tins for perfect portion control). My plan was to wrap them individually and freeze them so I have a handy go-to (fairly) healthy treat. While wrapping them, I ate two of them.

But, thanks to the flexibility of the WW plan, I accounted for everything and used some weekly extra points. No harm – no foul. Going forward, I just have to see if I can figure out what triggered the binge. It certainly wasn’t hunger – boredom, maybe?

Moving on to today – I did a bad thing. I didn’t have my first bite to eat until almost 1:00pm. No need to scold me – I’ve already scolded myself. I know better, but it was just a matter of odd circumstances. Needless to say, by 1:00, I was hungry. I was out of the house and stopped at a local pizza place – I had two slices. One was a small square slice topped with bruschetta and the other had a little marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese. Very yummy and not too bad, pointwise.

Dinner was a Lean Cuisine Chicken Sesame Stir-Fry. I added a few mini-chicken egg rolls and a side of extra broccoli. (I know that I was very high with sodium today – I’ll have to up my water tomorrow to account for it.)



I had a craving for something sweet today, and didn’t want to deny it. I was afraid if I did, it might turn into another binge. I had to pick up a few things at CVS, and purchased an individual bag of Cadbury Mini-Eggs. 5 points – and well worth it.

Made a point to brush my teeth after eating the candy. I think that definitely helps to keep snacking at bay.

Until tomorrow …

- Laura
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