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

 

 

 

30-day Challenge Progress

It has been about two and a half weeks now that I decided to really put forth some effort into losing weight and getting healthy.  I lost 5.2 pounds my first week and as predicted, I gained back exactly one pound for the second week.  I have a history of always losing weight and gaining back a  couple of pounds the next week with a continuous pattern of ups and downs. The bright side is that while this pattern may not be the fastest route to low-body-fat bliss, it’s a pattern that still provides positive results eventually.  I can already tell my body is changing and I’m eager to do my measurements again in two weeks.  I feel like the deduction of crappy high fructose corn syrup and fast foods are to thank for part of my success but I also think the 30 day challenge I’ve been doing is what is helping my puffy stomach slowly deflate.

I have done approximately thirteen days of my 30-day plank and wall sit challenge and miraculously was able to do the required two minute and thirty second plank today.  I began this challenge being able to do one minute and fifteen seconds so my strength has definitely improved.  I have also found that my ability to hold myself up greatly depends on where I’m doing it.  I have been doing them on the dog hair covered carpet of my house, using the desire not to get golden hairs all over my black sweatshirts to keep my core and thighs lifted above the ground.  However it’s been a struggle because the carpet is slippery and it’s hard to keep my balance when my feet are not firmly in place.  I remember on my fifth day into the challenge I did my plank at the beach and was able to reach two minutes easier since the sand was soft enough to comfort my elbows yet firm enough to solidly keep my body in one spot.  This support added a significant chunk of time to the forty seconds I managed to do two days before, on the day I was so sore after tennis.  Yesterday I finally used my yoga mat for the first time in months and also found much success with the ability to stay still… and then today instead of waiting to do my plank after tennis, I did it before and reached my two minutes and thirty seconds with pride… Though I was a bit distracted.

A plank

 

Here are a of the things I have noticed that are crucial for being able to do longer planks:

– Make sure you’re on a surface that has enough traction that you won’t be slipping all over the floor!  If it helps, slip on your tennis shoes and do the plank in those.  The support of the shoe and grip of the rubber might greatly help your balance.

– Have support under your elbows so the utter pain of the hard ground digging into your bones isn’t what causes you to lay back down again. You can do this by folding over your yoga mat, a towel, or that sweatshirt you left on your bedroom floor earlier.

– Use a timer so you don’t have to constantly focus on the clock.  Time seems to moves slower when you’re staring at the seconds and with an audible timer, you can toss it far away from you so you aren’t tempted to see the throbbing question of  “HOW MUCH LONGER?!?!?!?!”

– Take a break.  The days after I took a day off,  I always had better results.  The body needs time for the muscles to adapt and grow and it’s easy to get burned out.  Avoid sore muscles by taking a break every four or five days.

– Be prepared with a distraction.  I’ve found that music is what seems to distract me the most.  It’s easy for me to lose my sense of time while I’m singing along to Flogging Molly.  Otherwise, I recommend distractions like my dog Maggie, who found it necessarily to lie basically underneath me on my plank today and made my last minute filled with laughter.

dogplank

Having a dog beneath you is a great distraction during a plank! You can play the “I won’t smash my pet game!”

 

My wall sit challenge currently has me at a challenge of three minutes but for the past week I’ve been managing anywhere from that goal up to four minutes.  Like the situation with my slipping feet on the carpet during my plank, the success of my time seems very dependent on my grip on the floor.  There are seventeen days left (if I don’t include the break days) of the challenge and I still have confidence in my five minute wall-sit but doubt my five minute plank abilities.

But who knows!?!  Anything is possible, right?

What kinds of challenges have you gotten over that you never thought you would?

Lots of love,

AprilSignatur

 

Weekly Weigh In

MyFitnessPal – Free Weight Loss Tools

Howdy! Sorry I missed a post yesterday, it’s been a hectic week of tons of writing and deadlines and preparing for my trip to Portland on Thursday! WOOHOO! I’m heading up for a nice little weekend for FitBloggin’, where I’ll do things like attempt Crossfit and meet lots of amazing bloggers. My weigh in this week is pretty anticlimactic – I stayed the same. I’m riding at about eight pounds lost on my home scale, but unfortunately at the doctor’s office, I show a gigantic one pound loss in the past three weeks. SIGH. However, I’ve now started metformin, the insulin resistant drug for my PCOS, and as long as I keep up the fitness and good eating, I will hopefully see that weight start to slide right off! Here I am after an amazing boxing workout with my boxing instructor Shari, and my friend Susannah. I’ve upgraded to using “wraps” in addition to my gloves, and HOLY COW BELLS, does that increase the workout. The wraps protect your knuckles and keep your wrists straight and when I was using them, I could really FEEL the power coming from behind the punch. Yowza!
Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 8.50.38 PM

One of the main hallmarks of the PCOS diet is staying fairly low-carb and low in sugar. I’m not gonna lie, I’m struggling a little bit with that. Great snacks have helped ease the pain, like last night I took carrots, celery sticks and garlic hummus to my gal pal’s house. That was a satisfying and yummy snack, but I’m missing my bananas and the little Skinny Cow chocolate packets I got as an occasional treat. Anyone have any suggestions for me of snacks that are low in sugar and low carb? I see a trip to the Whole Foods olive bar in my future, but I need to go easy on those because of the salt level.

Chicken Salad for dinner! Yummy and PCOS friendly!

Chicken Salad for dinner! Yummy and PCOS friendly!

So far the Metformin hasn’t been too dicey. I’ve only had one not so great experience and that was after enjoying a delicious pat of butter on my corn on the cob. Unfortunately right after eating I felt the all-too-familiar “UH OH” sensation and the side effect was not pleasant. Now I know that butter, even in a small, limited amount, is a no-no. I guess not everything is better with butter. PCOS certainly isn’t.

It might be placebo affect, but I even feel like I’m more energized from the Metformin, like I somehow have more energy. This of course could be fleeting; maybe it’s excitement about my upcoming trip, or the fact that we’re househunting (EGADS! Watch for a post about that soon!). However, I’m going to enjoy a little more pep in my step while it lasts!

Tomorrow I’ll be back with a post about Beets. Don’t get too excited now… it’s a tutorial on how to make quick pickled beets, because I know you all have so much extra time on your hands, and pickling beets is exactly how you want to spend that time, right? HA! Till next time…

xoxo

 

Weekly Weigh in #3 and Progress Pix

Hellooooo! I don’t know why lately I’m burning the midnight oil for my blog posts, but here it is at 12:11 AM and I was inspired to work on my progress pics! This week I don’t have an exciting weigh in -I’ve stayed exactly the same. I kinda expected this as I had such giant losses over the past two weeks (6 pounds!), so I’ll take it. It’s definitely better than a gain. I’ve also given myself a couple “breaks” this week and allowed myself a cheat meal or two – including some awesome pepper fries when out to lunch with a girlfriend. Delicious! So I know water retention isn’t doing me any favors.

The very first weight loss blog I ever read was Pasta Queen, and I remember loving her progress pictures and thinking “Hey! One day I wanna do this!”. It’s taken me a long time to reach this point of comfort with my blog and my struggle; two or three years ago I could never imagine doing something like posting awful, unposed, unedited photos of me at my most unattractive form on the internet for the world to see. However, my world has changed, and it’s one of honesty and determination. One day when I reach my goal, I want to look back at these pictures and remember how I truly was, not that I used photoshop to tuck in my chin, or nipped my arm a bit. This is the 100% real, unedited truth.

Somebody who reads my blog recently e-mailed me and asked me to re-consider posting all of the most intimate details of my life on here. They argued that as a social media and web professional, it might be “TMI” if people are considering me for a job. My reply to that was that who I am online is 150% the REAL ME, my authentic self (plus, I’m not job hunting!). I’m not ashamed of anything I write on here, and I refuse to hide stories and events that shape the journey of who I am. It might make some people uncomfortable, but as Popeye said, I am who I am, I be who I be. Besides, the most influential stories and images seen online are real, uncut, unpretty, from the truth. I try to think of my blog as almost photojournalistic in self, because I’m not going to edit out things that are unpretty or uncomfortable just to make someone feel at ease. Anyways, enough of that, I just needed to get it off my chest! On to lighter topics – like 70 pounds to go and CATS! As I was making these progress pix, I felt like they were boring. Hence, I have added every cat I have ever owned to the three pix – featuring Lucia, Oliver and my beloved Leo. I hope you enjoy.

I think I’ll check in with progress pictures every 6 weeks or so. That will be enough to see some progress, but not too often that my “melting” goes unnoticed. I’m so excited. I really feel like I’m on the brink of this, of finally mastering this goal. Maybe it’s my diagnosis, and reading all the PCOS diet books has me geared up (my favorite one so far is: The PCOS Diet Plan: A Natural Approach to Health for Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). Change is possible now that I finally know what’s happening in my body. Knowledge is power, folks!

Anyways, that’s enough of that. On to the pictures. I’m kind of embarrassed, but as I said above, it is what it is. My arms make me spazzy, but whatevz. I have a double chin, but hey, it’s the namesake of this blog which I have grown to love so much. In the next few months, my arms and my chin will shrink and these photos will be an amazing reminder of how far I have come. Even though I see a young woman much heavier than I ever thought I could be, I see beauty, bravery, strength, persistence, positivity, and above all, hope.

double chin diary before progress picture

double chin diary back progress photo

double chin diary side progress photo

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!

Thailand 20 Tuesday – Week 4

Hello Friends:
I didn’t really know how to approach this week’s weigh in – because while there was a lot I did right this week, it was kind of a weird week. I didn’t go overboard on anything, but I got tied up and didn’t track on MyFitnessPal for two days, and then I exercised and was active but took it down a notch over the weekend because I was sad (my cousin passed away unexpectedly this weekend. Bummer. A reminder for all of us to live our lives with purpose because you really truly never know when your number is going to be called.) So, I’m not altogether surprised that I didn’t hit 2 pounds down, but I’m not devastated either – because I hit 1 pound down. I know what I need to fix for next week – which as usual – is more cardio. I’m behind on my goal but I feel good about keeping consistent with my weigh-ins and definitely making more progress than I was before. I try and think that even if the scale isn’t showing what I want, I’m noticing other things – like more energy from working out, or my jeans feeling a little bit looser. And hey – a pound lost is a pound lost – so that’s great!

Here are some of the weight loss high points from this week:

Cucumber and Tomato Feta Salad

1) I ate TONS of veggies this week. This was a yummy and simple cucumber, tomato and feta salad with some green bell peppers. So good and so filling.

A nice sunset stroll in my snazzy new workout jacket.

On the day we got news of my cousin Josh passing, I didn’t want to work out – but Matt and I took a nice sunset stroll through the park. It was lowkey and we ended up clocking in a 3 mile walk – just enough to make me feel a little bit better and burn up a small sweat.

Very Veggie Pasta


I had a craving for spaghetti on Sunday night but knew that the way we usually make it (ground beef, wine, olive oil) would be too fattening. So I did half the amount of ground beef, a tsp of olive oil, and EIGHT different kinds of vegetables. It came out amazing – super chunky and filling but chock full of veggies, so I needed very few noodles. So good.

This next week is going to be interesting as I’m getting on a plane Friday to head to Josh’s funeral – so I’ll be surrounded by family and food. I’ll need to remember not to eat my emotions! How is your week going?