Weekly Weigh In #10

Well, there was no weekly weigh in #10. I was in a meeting that ran long, (we have Weight Watchers meetings at work at lunch -they start at 12, my meeting ended at 12:15.) I didn’t have any lunch, and I desparately needed to work on my literature review. So I didn’t go. There was some internal hemming and hawing about me deliberately deciding to skip a meeting, but the stars just didn’t align. I have the slightest suspicion that I might have lost more weight this week – although my eating choices have been less than stellar, I’ve been clocking in 15 hour work days between work, homework and freelance projects – leaving me little time for grazing.

Copyediting at my desk at work... on lunch.

While I may not have succeeded in a weight loss accomplishment this week (and I don’t know if I did – I’ll try to weigh in tomorrow or this weekend), I did have a major academic accomplishment. In grad school, part of your thesis is analyzing at least 30 different pieces of research and summarizing why they might be important to what you’re studying, called a “lit review”. Here’s the beginning of it all: The 38 page baby I just birthed, as in uploaded to Google docs for my whole thesis cohort and committee advisor to read and edit. As you can see, this picture was taken at work – and this was on my lunch break, as I skipped lunch (that’s bad, I know) and used my little red pen to mark my way to awesomeness.

Here’s what my wild and crazy Wednesday night was like:

Wine + Thesis = BFF

So there you have it. I may not have invested enough time in my physical self this week, but I rocked it on the academic front. It’s one of those days where other than the slightly nagging pain in the ball of my foot (plantar fascia – heel pain from being fat and wearing crappy, supportless ballet flats), weight loss is far from my mind. I’m in an academic zone – focused, ambitious and determined to get this done. I’m eight months away from graduating with my master’s degree, and that makes me damn PROUD of myself.

However, I’m not going to let pride get in the way of working towards the happiest, healthiest lifestyle I can have, and that means getting back to the gym, cutting out the late night wine and peeps (yeah – it happened),and not skipping meals. Now that this initial deadline has passed, I’m giving myself a few days off of homework for spring break and focusing on getting back into the exercise routine, since I didn’t manage to make it once this week. I’m also going to spend time with my dear husband, whom I call the “grad school widow” when school’s in session.

So that’s where I’m at! Focused mentally and academically, but distant and sort of floating on the weight loss side of things. We can’t have it all.. but I can try ;)

How’s your week going? Anything exciting happening? Make sure to check in on Monday for your chance to win an EatSmart Food Scale!

 

Your partner and your weight – help a grad student out!

Hi everyone! How are you today? This week has been INSANITY for me! I can’t really complain though, because other than being crazy busy, life is good! Today I’d like to ask you to help a fellow graduate student with some research she’s working on. Amanda is a clinical psychology PhD student at Clark University who contacted me through Kenlie’s blog. She is conducting research on how people’s partners interfere or assist with plans to lose weight.

Please consider taking Amanda’s survey here to help further research in obesity and science, and also, to donate $1 to the charity of your choice just for your participation. You can also enter to win a drawing for one of 9 $25 giftcards and 1 $100 giftcard. You’re eligible to participate in the survey if you can answer yes to these questions:

Have you been participating in a weight loss program for the last 5 consecutive weeks?
Have you been in a committed, cohabitating relationship for the last two years?
Do you ever feel like your current partner/spouse gets in the way of your weight loss?

I think it’s important to participate in things like this because 1) graduate students are very tired, and being awesome and helping them out will make their day (Trust me – I’ll be bugging you for your input on my survey in a couple months), but 2) it helps advance research and bring awareness to lesser known issues.

I’m a lucky ducky because my husband is a great supporter of almost everything I choose to do (I say almost because things like putting baking sheets in the dishwasher are generally not supported – things that sound perfectly reasonable in my mind… but don’t quite jive in his.). Sure, sure, occasionally he brings home Samoas or candy bars, but I’m not going to limit his pleasure just because I’m on a “plan.” I’m overweight at my own hand – I didn’t gain 50 pounds from Matt feeding me truffles and butter chips. (But oh how delightful that sounds!)

So, if you have 15 minutes or so, please help Amanda out! And I’m curious – does your partner, spouse or significant other affect your attempts to lose weight or live a healthy life style?

 

A food filled weekend!

Hi Double Chinners, how ya doin’?

It’s Sunday evening and I had a productive weekend… packed with seeing the Hunger Games (highly recommend it), finishing a feature news story, putting together a podcast, writing a post for my thesis blog Heardio, working on a freelance project, painting my upcycled dresser, grocery shopping, cupcake decorating class… You get the picture. My weekends aren’t very restful lately but they sure are productive, haha!

Cinnamon Snails

This weekend was a fun weekend in terms of FOOD! Fun is sometimes dangerous for me, as evident by the three little “Cinnamon Snails” I consumed this morning…. (Total damage: 360 calories). I work for a company that makes toys, and one of the doll lines has an upcoming campaign with food related characters. I edit online content, and this weekend, I had to fact check a recipe for cinnamon buns. No problem – cooking and writing – two of my favorite things!

I also had my last cupcake decorating class, and we tie-dyed buttercream! Let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in a tutorial on how to do it. I know this is technically a “healthy living” blog, so buttercream might not fit in that well… but I think part of “healthy living” means splurging every once in awhile. They came out pretty cool, I think – my coworkers will reap the benefits tomorrow!

Lastly, Matt and I needed tons of produce. Lately I’ve been really trying to up the ante on fruit and veggies, since they’re low cal, yummy and good for you. I’d been wanting to try a local ethnic produce market, so we went in and came out with this bounty. Don’t mind the tabby in the background… Lucia’s pretty vain and wanted to make sure she starred in the picture. (Bad kitty on the table!)

Lucia surveys the haul from a local ethnic market.

Guess how much all of this food cost? To help you tabulate, we have – a tub of Israeli olives, a sack of roasted peas, one bunch of celery, one bag of carrots, four huge russet potatoes, one pound of fresh green beans, three small spaghetti squash, a bag of mango “jubes” (I have no idea what they are – they just looked good!), a tub of baked pita chips, 5 Persian cucumbers, three limes, two mangos, and one green pepper.

Ok – ready for this? $21. Can you believe that? This would have easily cost us $35 or more at our local grocer. The celery was .33, and the bell pepper was .78. The olives were the most expensive thing we bought, at 3.99, still a steal considering how many you get (and pitted, at that!). I love food… but I also love saving money.

What did you do this weekend?

PS – We reached 100 “likes” on the Double Chin Diary on Facebook! Thank you to everybody for your support. In the next few weeks I’ll be setting up a giveaway of a few of my favorite things to celebrate! :) And if you haven’t liked my page, what are ya waiting for?! http://www.facebook.com/doublechindiary

Weekly Weigh In #9

FINALLY, a good weigh in! Today, I weighed in, expecting a gain, and I …

Lost 1 pound

This is kind of confusing because… in my frustration with last week’s gain, I kind of lost it on Saturday. I ate corned beef, butter cabbage, bread, cupcakes, and two cups of Bailey’s Irish Cream. I got back on track on Sunday, but I had just decided to say “Screw it” and eat what I wanted on Saturday. But, I did start exercising more, and also tracked really well otherwise. Weird, right?

Anyways. The important thing I want to talk about today is my “new plan”. I met with the CSUN Nutritionist Ellen, this week. In 2008, Ellen helped me drop 30 pounds, simply by telling me what kinds of food to eat and what to avoid. I printed out my daily trackers, and we revealed two interesting things: 1) I tend to rely on the frozen SmartOnes for lunches. The SmartOnes aren’t enough to satisfy my hunger, as evidenced by all the salty, snacky things that were racking up points during the day. 2) Even though I stayed within my 39 points a day, I was yo-yoing the same couple pounds, back and forth. Ellen did the math – and even at my reduced 39 points a day (I originally got 42), Weight Watchers was putting me at around consuming 2,400 calories a day!

This is a big deal, because, to lose one pound a week, I should be eating about 1,900 calories a day at my current weight and activity level. My nutritionist even said – in theory, Weight Watchers works for most people. The keyword is MOST. Apparently, I’m one of those lucky few that doesn’t fit into the one size fits all. She even said Weight Watchers is the best program around – and she recommends it all the time – but sometimes, the math just isn’t right for everybody. As such, I will now be counting calories, via my Fitness Pal, and trying to stay around 1,700 calories a day. I’ll finish out my current Weight Watchers program I paid for, which I think is a few more weeks, but I probably won’t be tracking. I might actually track AND count calories one week, just to see what the discrepancy truly is.

How do I feel about all of this? I feel relieved. For weeks now, I’ve been beating myself up, wondering what I was doing wrong, why I just couldn’t DO THIS as tons of people around me dropped the weight, enjoying their extra points each weekend as mine were taken away. It wasn’t all my fault. It was a computation error – a mathematical oops, a simple case of numbers not exactly making sense. Now that I know what’s going on, I have a new, alternative plan and a trusted mentor to get me through this.  I can do this – I will do this – I AM doing this!

Whew. So yeah. Finally, I have some answers.

 

Belly Dancing – In which a large bottom and hips are awesome.

Sometimes in life, there’s those rare instances where you end up pleasantly surprised that something you’ve always thought to be bad is… good. Despite being obese, I have a very curvy, womanly body – one that embarrassed me in high school when my full hips lead my band teacher to loudly declare in class that I had “child birthing hips”. I’ve got junk in my trunk, and that’s fine, because in instances like tonight, I know how to use it! (I was also secretly psyched to be fat when I got my first Weight Watchers Points Plus Daily Target. More weight to lose = more points = more to eat. Appetite… I haz it.)

Julie and I strike a pose in Belly Dancing class!

I go to CSUN, and they built an amazing student recreation center this year. There’s a huge rock climbing wall, hundreds of machines, and lots of classes. And did I mention it’s included in my tuition? I finally took advantage of this service and started working out there this week, and today, I took a belly dancing class with my pal Julie! Julie is somebody I hit it off with instantly – and you would, too. She’s charming, ferociously intelligent and a great belly dancer!

The class was deceptively hard, because it’s all based on hip, glute and arm movements. My rump, which normally seems a disadvantage in fitness classes due to its heft – was an ASSet in belly dancing – I can’t even really explain it, but somehow its size seemed to help me with undulating moves like the snake shimmy and figure eight hip rotations. I was excited to have discovered a new, fun type of fitness – one that didn’t really FEEL like exercise, but got me sweating, laughing, and most importantly – smiling- thus helping me shake off the stress of the day.

It was good. :)

This week I’ll update you on a big change in my weight loss plan – I met with the wonderful CSUN nutritionist today, and she gave me some great insights into what’s going on with me and Weight Watchers. We also have a giveaway coming up for an EatSmart Food Scale! But most importantly – please head over to my friend Kenlie’s blog, All the Weigh, to read my guest post on her blog about low-fat cupcakes! Kenlie’s lost over 100 pounds, and is one of the people who inspired me to start blogging about my journey.

I hope you’re having a great day!

Top 10 Reasons I Want to Lose Weight

1) When my 14-pound cat crawls onto my chest mid-slumber, I won’t wake up thinking I’m having a heart attack.

It's not a heart attack - just a tubby tabby.

2) I will no longer tag or untag photos based on the size of my double chin.

3) I will stop crash-dieting pre-vacation only to be the same weight I was when I come back. (C’mon – you know you’ve done it too! Vacation food can be irresistible!)

Because one Pina Colada just wasn’t enough.

4) I’ll no longer judge my day based on how good the food was. (Ok, I admit it, I probably still will.)

5) “My 20s” will no longer refer to a jeans size – just a decade in time.

6) I will no longer drink strong coffee before I get on the scale in hopes of losing a couple of extra ounces.

7) My only fear of getting on a roller coaster will come from adrenaline… not if the harness will fit over my belly!

8) The only “plus” in my life will be a social network, positive attribute or mathematical action.

9) I’ll stop wearing my pants like Urkel to smoothe out rolls of fat.

10) I’ll stop holding my breath after going up a flight of stairs trying to pretend like I’m in shape. “Why no, I’m not out of breath… Just a heavy breather.”

What’s the number one reason you want to get healthy? It doesn’t have to be losing weight!