Alyssa’s Weight Watchers Weigh In #3

You guys. YOU GUYS. Yesterday’s weigh in? Amaaaaaazing. I didn’t want to psych myself out, but I had a feeling it was going to be good. For a couple reasons. The first being that I’ve been super excellent about drinking tons of water, thanks to my in-laws discovery of flavored Electrolyte Water. They started drinking it where they live up North, then I looked for it down here, and now Matt and I go through like 10 of these a week. (We recycle!) You can get it at Von’s or Ralph’s, and if you’re on a no-soda, no artificial sweetener kick like I am, you know that finding delicious things to drink is kind of difficult. (Water, tea, or Perrier… all day long.) These waters come in a huge bottle, are usually on sale for a buck a piece, and come in tasty flavors like lemon, lime, blueberry blackberry, strawberry kiwi, mango and mandarin orange. My favorite is Mango which is carried by Ralph’s (Kroger’s for you Midwestern/Southern folks). Give ’em a try – they’re my mid-afternoon water break. So a large part of this week’s success was based on water, because I feel like I’m always dehydrated, but not anymore.

Selfie with a bottle of water, cuz that's how I roll.

Selfie with a bottle of water, cuz that’s how I roll.

So enough about water. How much did I lose?

I lost a whopping 3.2 pounds…

bringing my three week Weight Watchers total to 6.4 pounds! I’m so excited, because as you all know, I haven’t exactly been the poster child for loving weight loss. I usually sort of resign myself to this quiet, ho-hum concept of my weight loss being the kind that happens at a rate of 2.6 pounds lost per year (if I’m lucky). But, but, but… could it be, that finally, with the right medications and habits for my body type, I’m on to something? I sure hope so. Even better than the Weight Watchers success is the fact that the 6.4 lost on Weight Watchers coupled with my 8 pounds before the holidays brings me to just about 15 pounds lost. I can finally FEEL and SEE those 15 pounds — as evidenced by me trying on a pair of snug jeans (you know the kind where when you take them off at night, the indentations in your skin look just like the jeans? yeaaaah… sucks). I sucked it in, buttoned the button, and exhaled — only to be greeted by the amazing sensation of the jeans actually fitting, not cutting off my circulation like a sausage casing! These things, my friends, these are the wonderful perks of weight loss, the things that make you decide maybe it is worth forgoing the chocolate Easter bunny the size of your head or the Parmesan sweet potato fries. I’ll have to snap some updated progress pix soon so I can finally update that section of this site.

Exercise helped too — wonderful yoga classes and even just the occasional walks I take during lunch breaks. Now that I’m working remotely full-time, I find if I don’t step outside for some sunshine on my lunch break, I get a little too chatty for my poor husband when he arrives home at 6:00. To save his ear drums and my sanity, I like to stroll the block a few times, for both the sunshine and the FitBit steps. So that’s what’s up with me. Keepin’ on keepin’ on with the weight loss, and hoping I can keep up these good habits for some lasting change.

Tell me about a success you’ve had this week. It doesn’t have to be weight loss or fitness related — it can be anything, from as small as “I didn’t get shampoo in my eyes in the shower” to as big as “I won the lottery.” (Wouldn’t that be wild?) Hope you’re having an amazing day!

Love,

The Double Chin Diary Siggy

 

 

 

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

 

Weekly Weigh In #2

Hello!!! Today when I got on the scale, I was pleasantly surprised to see I was down another 1.4 pounds, meaning in 2.5 weeks, I’ve lost 6.4 pounds. Whew!

MyFitnessPal – Free Calorie Counter

Here’s what I’ve been doing differently: 1) I am starting a fun new campaign with Diet to Go, (more on that later – including your chance to win free meals from them!) so I’ve been enjoying their delicious meals, like Italian stuffed potato shells and egg broccoli breakfast pie. Having the meals ready to go is SO NICE… nothing like not having to turn on your oven or stove when it’s 85 degrees in the house! (Thanks, Los Angeles.)

2) I’ve been suuuuuper OCD about measuring and counting my calories in My Fitness Pal. Despite what my body fat test said (that I could eat 1,900 calories a day and still lose weight!), I’m taking in about 1,480-1,500 calories a day. It’s not starvation, but I’m not gonna lie, it’s hard not to snack at night when the “I’m hungry!” voice starts whining. However, as I learned when chatting with my sister April and she suggested I eat carrots… I replied back without even thinking, “I don’t want carrots!” That revealed that I’m not REALLY hungry, as if you were starvin’, anything would do.

Wacky Snacks!

Wacky Snacks!

3) Water, water, water. So much water. No more soda, either. So water and unsweetened iced tea and the occasional Perrier.

4) Exercise! I have a few dedicated gym buddies and me and my gal pal Susannah are walking around the lake tonight after work. It’s great having social time because it “tricks” me into exercising if I can have fun and yap the whole way.

So – I’m happy with this week’s progress, I just hope it keeps up. I know typically when I really “try” again for a few weeks I see a nice loss and then everything stops. However, I’m awaiting blood test results and results from an exam to check for anything else funky going on, so if something other than my eating/exercise is stalling me, I’ll know soon!

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Mastering a Goal

Good morning and Happy Monday! I’ve been a little more quiet on the blog lately, because I’ve been putting the finishing touches on a very long-term goal… my THESIS!

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I started graduate school in 2010, twoweeks after I got married, and two months after I had scored a big promotion. I remember nervously sitting around a table of unfamiliar faces, still glowing from my honeymoon, starting to freak out a little bit as my eyes scanned the lengthy syllabus of research methods. At work, I went from a copywriter to a content manager, managing a team of three people, writing Facebook updates and blogs for nine different brands. I worked at least 45 hours a week and went to class at night, exhausted, bleary-eyed and hungry, but I made it through with my laptop, diet coke and the support of my husband and family.

I had intended for grad school to take two years, but as the reality of school set in, I knew it would take longer. I ended up staying for three years, and in those three years, I met wonderful friends, some of whom read this blog. (Hi Julie, Emily, Lauren, Virginia and Luis!) I also worked my way through stress-eating (Something I’m still fighting), cried when my 36 page literature review came back for the 10th time needing more revisions (I’m not exaggerating. That %&$#! lit review came back ten times!), traveled to Thailand, lost my sweet kitty Leo, and did a million other things. Life always went on, but it went on with a giant weight on my shoulders – my thesis. I turned down fun party invitations, missed family vacations and spent hours glued to my computer. I wrote and re-wrote huge chunks of the same text, over and over again. I made a lot of sacrifices for the past three years to work on this thesis, but I was always grateful I had the opportunity to be learning and to be in grad school. It was hard. But I did it.

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The first photo of me as Alyssa Curran, MA. Taken minutes after my thesis was approved – with happy tears still shiny in my eyes!

Last Thursday, at 2 pm, I paced the hallways of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication while my thesis committee deliberated my final project. I had come prepared with 106 pages of my own work, two PDFs of the social media handbook you can read at SocialSyllabi.com, and a cheat sheet of notes. I defended my project in front of two women I greatly respect, both who are doctorates, one in education, one in journalism, women who have worked at the Los Angeles Times and have been embedded in war zones. At the end of an hour and a half of changes, they signed a paper and shook my hand – I had just earned my master’s degree!

When they signed the paper, I wanted to leap across the table and hug them. Tears flooded my eyes and I had to do that embarrassing fan-your-face thing to prevent myself from bursting into happy, joyous tears. I have worked SO HARD for this degree, and I am so proud of myself. I’m not usually a braggart (ok, fine, sometimes I can be), but I’ve been basking in my accomplishment the past week. I have a MASTER’S DEGREE before I’m even 28 years old. THAT is awesome. THAT is accomplishment. THAT is hard work, and opportunity, and commitment – and THAT reminds me that this whole weight loss thing? It might be the hardest thing I’ve ever worked on in my life, but I can do this, too. My Master’s Degree taught me a lot. Not just about dedication and time, but about perseverance. About not throwing in the towel when all you want to do is quit. About keeping going, when your eyes are heavy and your heart is tired. About not comparing yourself to others, about realizing this journey is your own – no one elses, and if your heart is in it, you will get there, regardless of your pace. I need to remember these thoughts, these feelings, when the number on the scale is up, when my jeans feel snug, when I compare myself to a thin girl and think that I am not enough. I can do this. I will do this.

My sweet friend Ruby and I in 2008. We are still friends to this day!

My sweet friend Ruby and I in 2008. We are still friends to this day!

My master’s degree is so much more to me than just a paper saying I’m well educated in the field of mass communication and media. It’s a reminder for me that when I work hard, I can do anything. I just need to remember to take it one step at a time, believe in myself, and try my best. On May 21 I’ll once again walk across the Oviatt Library steps, exactly five years after I earned my BA in Journalism in the same spot. In a lot of ways, I’m a different person than who I was in 2008, but one thing remains the same – my ambition to make my life worth living to the fullest, every minute of every day. I am proud of the person I am, and you should be proud of who you are, too.

So tell me – what is one thing in your life, big or small, that makes you proud of the person you are today?

 

Weekly Weigh In June 11th

Water Aerobics has been helping me shed some flubber! PS - Like my new swimsuit?

I approached Monday’s morning’s weigh in with a little bit of caution – I had been tracking well, but splurged on movie theatre popcorn, and also went slightly over my calories on Friday night. All in all I knew I didn’t “blow it”, but I wasn’t sure I’d be in the weight loss zone. Well,  I must have done something right, because this week I….

Lost 2 pounds!

YAY! I was kind of in disbelief, because this marks two consecutive weeks of having awesome weight loss success. I’m down five pounds in two weeks, which is shamefully more than I’ve lost in a year. Damn yo-yoing. Anyways, It just goes to show you that sometimes it’s just the smallest little things that can make a huge difference. Here’s what I’ve been doing that’s contributed to my success so far:

1)   Meeting every week on Monday mornings with my registered dietician. She keeps me in check and helps me work through upcoming challenges… and she reads my blog!

2)   Drinking water. Lots of it! It’s crazy how sometimes I confuse hunger with being thirsty. I’m trying to drink water now when I feel snacky.

3)   Realizing that little bites, licks and tastes add up. The things I pick at when I’m cooking can definitely add up, so I’m trying to be mindful of tracking every single thing that goes into my mouth.

4)   Allowing myself at least one good “splurge” a week – but realizing I need to balance it out with good choices otherwise, like the movie popcorn last week. I made a conscious decision to eat light the rest of the day and the week, and it didn’t mess me up on the scale.

5)   Letting myself feel crazy motivated and enthusiastic about my success. I’m a pretty enthusiastic person, and when I’m happy about something, I feel that much more propelled to keep going. I have some momentum now, and I love sharing with my friends that I’ve had some good weight loss.

How’s your week going so far?

Weekly Weigh In #1 – Starting Over!

Hi everybody,
I decided to just start from scratch with the weigh ins again to reflect my NEW plan (calorie counting) and get the “Progress” section going again. Last week, I had 51.4 pounds to lose. This week, I have 49 pounds to lose, which means I…

lost 2.4 pounds!

Last week when I met with my nutritionist, I had a good kind of Eureka moment about my weight loss. This nutritionist is fantastic because she doesn’t just focus on the food aspect of losing weight, but the psychological factors as well. When I saw her five years ago, she hit the nail on the head that for me, a lot of my weight issues have something to do with eating being my “rebellion” in my life. It’s kind of hard to explain without getting all Freud on you, but basically, I’m pretty much a “good girl”. I do good in school, I always show up to work, I don’t drink much, smoke or do drugs. I hate being late, I’m an old lady in that I like to go to bed by 11:30, and my one guilty pleasure (besides shopping and trashy magazines) is food. In her words, much like a drug user or drinker or smoker, my “rebellion” from always being the good girl is eating what I want when I want it. (Who needs vodka when you can have popcorn?)

I exercised more this week, too!

Bingo. So this week, I paid more attention to the psychological aspect of weight. Feeling stressed? I walked it out at lake Balboa park. Feeling anxious? I had a glass of water. Feeling irritated? I hugged my husband. I tend to turn to food when I’m feeling something other than contentedness and happiness – and with that, the pounds pile on, and I’m in an eternal cycle of stress-eat-soothe. That’s not good in any way, y’all.

So, I was thrilled this week to see some nice progress and identify some things that I need to work on. Maybe I put too much of an emphasis on the physical factors of weight – like the scale, eating, calorie counting and exercise. Maybe I need to focus more on ME – and why I do the things I do. A lot of weight loss is behavioral. Maybe it’s time to just gently adjust some behavior. Hmm. I have to admit to myself that I’m in a pretty stressful phase of my life, juggling a demanding full-time job, a thesis, a blog, a household and weight loss. It’s ok to not be perfect 99% of the time. If I can embrace the emotions rather than trying to mask them with food, maybe I can embrace weight loss. Now I feel all psychological! Just call me Dr. Alyssa…

Have you ever had a Eureka moment about something you were struggling with and then realize more of it than you’d care to think was related to your thoughts and/or feelings? How did realizing that moment feel?