Step by Step

On Saturday, Matt and I headed out to Charmlee Wilderness Park for a hike. Charmlee is nestled in the Santa Monica mountains, and hikers are rewarded with sweeping views of the coast, complete with crashing waves and bird’s eye views of millionaire mansions.

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I had been looking forward to a nature retreat — where the only tweets I’d be interacting with were from real live birds. I was also excited to log some miles towards my 3-Day training, as I’m now to the point where I need to be totaling at least nine miles a week. The hike started out perfectly — not too hard, not too hot, not too many people. I played with my new camera, stopping to photograph buzzing bees and the occasional bumbling butterfly.

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We did two miles easily, enjoying the relatively flat trail. On the second part of the loop, we decided to explore a few trails we hadn’t tried before. I got nervous when the trail started leading us way down into the valleys of the hills, because I knew that what goes down must goes up.

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The hills started climbing. I put one foot in front of the other, determined, triumphant. Surely my walk training counted for something. 3 miles done. I was doing fine. And then all of a sudden I wasn’t. It was like I hit a wall. I was hot, thirsty, and tired. I was out of breath. I was sweaty. I suddenly felt the weight of every single extra pound I carry, the pounds I’ve carried for many, many years. I wanted to stop. I wanted to give up.

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I had no choice. If I decided to stop hiking at that very minute, no bus, train, plane, car, horse, Rapunzel braid or carrier pigeon was coming to pick me up. No bike would suddenly materialize by my side. No rope would cascade down the side of the mountain to help me hoist myself up its side. I had no choice but to keep going.

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So I did. I put one foot in front of the other. I took small steps and deep breaths. I battled the voice in my head that was telling me I couldn’t do this. I kept going. Because I had to. Because I had no choice. I asked Matt to take these pictures, because I wanted to show you the struggle. Finally, I saw the parking lot below us. At that point we had made it five miles, and I smiled.

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All that sweat, all that struggle. All a reminder that the best I can do is just take this journey step by step, and slowly, but surely, I will succeed.

 

 

 

 

 

Weight Watchers: Part 3

So. I made a big change this week. I took a leap of faith. I decided there was more than one way to skin a cat. (Isn’t that a creepy expression? So weird!) Remember how I tried Weight Watchers two separate times… and each time, I quit the program, frustrated and baffled at my lack of success? Some of you might even remember this post, “Weekly Weigh In #7, in which I want to bitchslap Weight Watchers in the face,” which is ironically, one of the top 10 most popular posts on this blog (Stay classy, Alyssa!). Those are some strong emotions. Some feelings I can’t deny I definitely had. Even recently, when people say they’ve had success with Weight Watchers, I feel a slight tug of “Well, I can’t lose weight with Weight Watchers, so that’s great for you and all, but I’m just gonna go eat peanut butter out of the jar while you track your points…”

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But! As I am learning over and over again, sometimes, you need to approach something old in a new way. Fail might actually mean “First Attempt In Learning.” Sometimes, you need your sister to join Weight Watchers and have great success. Sometimes, you need to keep reading about your friend Mel’s awesome progress on the plan. Sometimes, you need your friend, who’s a lifetime Weight Watchers member, to re-join and offer to go to meetings with you. Sometimes, you work from home, and you like to go places on your lunch to keep your social skills intact. Sometimes, you get a really good deal in the mail for three months at a great price. Sometimes, you think, it’s time for a change. So I joined. I swallowed my passive-aggressive “Boo Weight Watchers” pride, and decided to give it a fair shake. I’m trying the Simple Start plan for the first two weeks, and I’ll admit, there’s no tracking, counting, or measuring, and there’s definitely part of me that’s thinking I’ll weigh in on Sunday and see a gain on the scale. But, I need to try, try, again. If anything, I’m excited to have one reliable scale to be consistent with.

So here’s what’s going to be *slightly* different about my attempt with Weight Watchers. I already know that with my body’s loveable quirks with PCOS and hypothyroid, that I need to be avoiding gluten, corn and sugar. Weight Watchers definitely allows you to eat those things. I’ll eat them occasionally, but for the most part, those things don’t belong in my daily diet. They make my stomach hurt, they make me bloat, and then worse, even after all those crummy feelings, they make me crave more. So adios, corn, gluten, and sugar. You’re being replaced with Kefir and fresh fruits and fresh veggies with organic sour cream. I can eat fat, in moderation. Fat is not the enemy, which sounds so weird to say, but with my diet, has been proven true. My body works more like a kerosene lamp than a rabbit… I thrive on fat. (And fat makes food so, so delicious. One silver lining of having a weird, wacky metabolism.)

So there you have it. Trying something new. Seeing what sticks. Have you ever begrudgingly decided to give something a second, or even third try in regards to your health? Tell me about it in the comments below — and have an amazing day.

Love,

The Double Chin Diary Siggy

 

FitBloggin’ Recaps Day Two – Joyful Shimmy, Janet Ober, Hank Hannah and Jack Fit

The Gang's all here! FitBloggin 2012!

Hello everybody! I am home from Baltimore and slowly getting back into the routine. First things first – I’m lucky to be able to travel as much as I do, but MAN, do I miss cooking when I’m on the road! I just made a delicccccious wheat pasta with a charred broccoli and onion sauce, mixed with lean bacon bits and small mozarella pearls. Super tasty, fairly light (if I keep the serving right!) and homemade. Best of all, I managed to scrape that together before going to the grocery store. Whew!

Laura from Joyful Shimmy learned to love her body by getting naked!

Friday night at FitBloggin’, we had an ignite fitness keynote session. What this meant was instead of the usual boring 1 hour keynote, there was 15 speakers, each broken up into 5 minutes with 15 slides. It was fun, fast-paced and kept us entertained – especially with stories like those from Laura, of Joyful Shimmy, a recovered bulimic who learned to love her body through burlesque! I loved Laura because she was actually the first blogger I met while decorating my badge, and she was friendly, approachable and funny – a perfect introduction to my first fitbloggin’ ever.

Image from JanetOber.com. Click to read her story and buy her book.

There were also really moving stories, like Janet’s. Janet was hit by 5 semi trucks at a time – leaving her leg mangled and nearly destroyed. Despite crippling depression and the serious physical trauma, Janet overcame her struggle and now runs marathons. Her speech was EXACTLY what I wanted to get from FitBloggin’. I’m always the mayor of excuses village, and if Janet can overcome nearly losing her leg, suffering major depression… and then continue to run MARATHONS, I can lose this weight. Excuses are not valid. Janet is a powerful speaker, and her words shook me to the core – not with fear or pressure, but with complete inspiration and validation that if you work hard enough, anything is possible. (Except finding a comfortable bra. I have decided that is impossible.)

 

 

Hank was sick of being the fat guy - so he took charge and shed over 100 pounds.

There were also light and humorous presentations, like Hank’s, from the Business of Losing Weight. Hank has lost over 100 pounds, and to illustrate his points, he did each of his slides in paint. Check out this awesome artwork  – a valiant effort, right?! I don’t think I could do that in Paint!

 

 

 

Jack's No Flack Jump the Track Creative Smack Attack

One of the show stealers of the night was definitely (and not surprisingly) Jack Sh*t. Jack Sh*t is well known in the weight loss blogging community for his offbeat and hilarious blogging style. Jack put together a funny and random slide show with things like slides of iced tea, and things that spark his creativity… including Mentos. Towards the end of his presentation, he magically procured a 2-liter bottle of coke from behind the podium, and dumped in two mentos. It was awesome, and was like the Ozzy-Osbourne bat-eating event of FitBloggin’. I raise my hat to you, mr. gettin’ fit.

There were so many other amazing speakers this weekend, but if I keep going, my jet-lagged body will never have time to sleep! Stay tuned tomorrow to find out about my Twitter Community live blog, and also, which fantastic fitbloggin’ folks I met and chatted with.

 

Guest Post: Jennifer’s Weight Watchers Success Story

Hi everybody! I work with an amazing gal named Jennifer P. who has been an awesome success story in our Weight Watchers Meeting. I asked her to guest blog since I love hearing the “success stories” in regards to weight loss!  It’s a good reminder that anything is possible as long as you work hard for it and stay focused. Please read her story below and show her some comment love!

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My journey to a skinnier me began on April 15th, 2010. Weight Watchers was being offered through work and I immediately jumped on the opportunity to join. I had been on Weight Watchers before between 2003 and 2004 and had lost 65 lbs. before I stopped going and eventually gained everything I lost and then some. The entire time I had been away from the program, I knew in the back of my head what I should be eating but my desire for delicious food almost always won out and I reverted back to my old habits quite easily.

Jen's awesome weight loss!

When I started Weight Watchers this time, I took a different approach than I did before. I followed the program as best as I could and I wouldn’t let my little mishaps affect me on a larger scale. If I happened to gain weight one week I would, and still continue, to tell myself that I can lose it again and it’s not the end of the world. I had lost 10% of my starting weight by Aug 2010 and by the end of 2010, I had lost 50 lbs. There were a few months in between Oct and Dec of this year in which I has lost my motivation and the only reason I was maintaining my weight loss at the time was because I was going to the gym on a consistent basis. After the holiday season, I decided I needed to get back on track and by April of 2011 I had hit 60 lbs. I must say, I was extremely proud of myself. I still ate whatever I wanted, but in monitored portions, and limited myself to snacking only if it was within my points for the day and/or week. This was a new accomplishment for me and I found I had completely changed some old habits that I had. I’m the main food preparer at home so I got quite a few cookbooks and magazines that contained nutritional information and utilized Weight Watchers online for additional recipes and cook foods that are within reasonable point’s values on a daily basis. My family has never complained about any of the, as some people would consider, “diet” recipes.

Now, since April of 2011 through Feb of 2012, I have fluctuated between 55 and 62 lbs of weight loss. Believe me, it is still an accomplishment to have come so far but I want to reach my final goal and I only have 25 lbs more to go. I’m a little aggravated and I’m personally trying to figure out why I have been stagnant in my weight loss. I’m trying not to let this plateau affect my motivation and I do continue to struggle daily. I have noticed that my clothes continue to fit differently, however, and I’m becoming more tone. I continue to attend the gym on a bi-weekly basis and also attend a pilates class to focus more on my core strength. Before these past couple of years, I despised any sort of physical activity and would never in a million years have considered working out and being a member of a gym. Now, I can’t live without it and the amount of physical energy I have now from both the weight loss and the additional exercise that I’m getting is a phenomenal feeling. I’ve even contemplated doing a 5K, which is also a first for me. I feel younger than I am (even though when I wake up in the morning I feel like I’m 80…so much for getting older) and it has increased my self esteem as well. I am continuing with the new “me” and I hope I can share my 100% success story once I reach that final goal.