Weekend Wrap-Up in Double Chin Land

Hello everyone! Wow, what an awesome weekend. On Friday night, I got to see tickets to Bill Maher, that I won from my friend Anne’s blog. Bill Maher isn’t for everyone as he’s super liberal, super atheist, and super opinionated, but he’s pretty damn funny. Kicking off my weekend with a bunch of belly laughs was awesome. Then, on Saturday, I went to Weight Watchers where I weighed in and…

Lost 1.5 pounds

israeli cous cous grilled pork chop roasted beets

Yummy simple spring dinner!

I’m on a nice downward trend as I’ve lost at least a pound every week for the past three weeks. WOOHOO!!!! It’s kind of weird that I’m paying for Weight Watchers but not following Weight Watchers, but I knew with my specific health conditions I needed to do sensible eating (like weight watchers) minus most carbs. The weight loss is slower than I’m used to with a low carb plan, considering I’m only eating about 70-100 grams of carbs per day (the average person eats upwards of 200), BUT, it’s weight loss, and I’d like to think that weight that comes off nice and slow is weight that will never come back! I also have noticed it’s much easier for me to stay on plan, and I think a lot of that comes from the regulation of my insulin (a PCOS symptom) with the aid of Metformin, a drug typically used for diabetics. I’m not craving things as much anymore, and it’s simpler for me to stop when I’m full. It feels good to be on the right track. A large part of this success is really limiting “white food” in my life. No sugar, no bread, no rice, no pasta. (Occasionally I’ll take a bite of something Matt is having — because let’s face it, carbs are delicious and sometimes you want a taste.) My carbs mostly come from fruit, like Strawberries or Blueberries, the occasional small red skinned potato or whole grain like Israeli couscous. The picture on the left was tonight’s dinner: a grilled pork chop, 1/4 cup cous cous, and roasted vegetables. Eating a ton of vegetables is a big part of my new plan, and to help with

hen of the woods CSA Farm fresh agriculture box

Farm Fresh to You CSA Box. The funky thing on the left is called a Hen of the Woods mushroom.

that, I signed up for Farm Fresh to You, an all organic CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box that comes to my house once per month. I was previously a CSA member, but ultimately had to give it up when I was doing some budgeting. However, Los Angeles Groupon has a deal going right now that you can get your first box for $15 (normally $31.50), so I decided to give it a try again. My first box didn’t disappoint, with a bunch of beets, carrots, spring onions, mandarin oranges, tangerines, sweet potatoes, strawberries, fennel, Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, a lemon, and an avocado. I roasted the carrots, onions, beets, fennel and mushrooms with some of my garden grown peas, kale and chard at 450 for 30 minutes.Roasting vegetables is such an awesome way to bring out the natural sweetness in so many veggies. Yum, yum!

 

 

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Matt and I at H&D’s wedding

In addition to laughing and cooking and weighing in, I got to see two of my dear friends get married. Congratulations to Hilda and Daniel! Matt and I enjoyed attending our first Armenian wedding, where, I kid you not, there must have been 15 courses of food served all through the night. We had hummus, salmon, lavash, cheeses, olives, kebabs, rice, salad, fresh fruit, and then wedding cake. I got a little over zealous in the beginning on some cheese and olives but learned to pace myself as the rest of the feast trickled out. After we ate, we danced our butts off, which was a nice way to burn some calories.

Then today, I slept in until 11 a.m., cleaned the bathroom, walked to the grocery store, and pulled weeds in my garden. A successful Sunday, if you ask me. In 15 minutes, Mad Men and Silicon Valley will be on, and then I’ll head to bed. It was so nice to have a weekend at home as the last two weekends I’ve been traveling, and next weekend will be on the road again.

Tell me what you were up to this weekend! This week will be busy, but I’m looking forward to it. The weather is gorgeous here, and even though the pollen is out in full force, I’m loving the sun shining as I take lunch break walks and train on my way t0 60 miles. PS: how cool is it that April and Monique are part of team Double Chin Divas with Aubrey and I?! We’d love to have you join us, if you’re interested in fundraising, walking, and glamping in San Diego November 21-23. All are welcome; together we can kick cancer’s butt! Let me know if you’re interested in joining so I can provide you a special discount code and team password.

Have a wonderful start to your week!

The Double Chin Diary Siggy

 

 

I’m walking 60 miles in 3 days.

Remember how a few weeks ago, I teased that I had an announcement to make? This is it! I’ve decided that this November, I’ll be walking 60 miles over three days in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. I’ll be walking alongside my friend Aubrey, and hopefully some of you, with the Double Chin Divas — a team made up solely of people who are invested in not only their health, but the health of women and men worldwide. While the 3-Day is specifically an event to help end breast cancer, I’m walking these miles not only against breast cancer; but against liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, brain cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, and every other type of cancer that’s ever touched the lives of anyone you and I have ever loved. (And sadly, I know that cancer has touched and taken many lives.)

This year, an old classmate of mine, Scott Schipper, passed away after a courageous fight against colon cancer. He was 29 years old, just a few months older than I am. 29. I turn 29 in a month. Think about that. There’s so much I want to do, to be, to see. I’m only 29. Scott was only 29. Scott was an incredibly enigmatic person. I first met him in high school marching band, and that kid never left home without his saxophone. He was a class clown, but the friendly kind, never somebody to bully or taunt, but leave you with that goofy perma-grin that only a true comedian can. When I heard that he had passed, I was filled with an overwhelming sadness, but also, a rage. Scott’s passing is just one too many. Cancer has touched far too many lives. This year has brought a long and unfortunate list to mind of those fighting cancer. Their bravery stuns me, amazes me, touches me, and above all, propels me into action. I can’t directly cure cancer. But what I can do is donate my time and energy to a cause that I care about deeply.

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3 Days. 60 Miles. $2,300.

While I train to walk 60 miles, I will also be fundraising. I need to raise $2,300 to participate in the walk, and 100% of the net proceeds raised by participants in the 3-Day are invested in community-based breast health programs and breast cancer research. $2,300 is a big number. It’s intimidating. But, it’s a lot more intimidating to think about twiddling my thumbs and remaining passive about the fact that cancer is effing with the wrong group of people. I’d like to ask for your help as I prepare for this amazing journey. Can you spare something to help fight cancer?

A $75 donation will help two breast cancer patients get to and from their treatment sessions. A $120 donation will fund the cost of one life-saving mammogram. With your donation, please share the name of a person you’d like me to walk in memory of, or in honor of. I will gladly carry their name with me every step of my journey. You will see a lot about my 3-Day journey in the coming months on this blog. I will be selling ad space to help me fundraise, and I’m hoping to host fun events like a “Boob-b-q”.

Beyond fundraising and kicking cancer’s butt, I’m looking forward to the satisfying physical effects that long distance walking will help with; increased energy, toning, stamina, stress reduction, and above all, weight loss! The 3-Day is a win-win for me. I’ll be fighting breast cancer, getting fit, helping others, and making a difference. And above all, that’s what this blog has always been about. Making a difference in the way I viewed my own body. Making a difference in the way I approach weight loss, and ultimately, making a difference in my health. I invite you today to make a difference not only in your health, but in the health of the estimated 232,000 women who will receive a breast cancer diagnosis this year. Together, we can impact change, and create hope. Won’t you join me?

Please help me kick off my fundraising with a donation today.

Help me reach my goal for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day

Are you interesting in joining the Double Chin Divas team? Click here for more information about the San Diego 3-Day. You can use code TEAM20 now through April 16 to save $20 on your registration. Aubrey and I would love to have you! Besides the walking and fundraising, there’s a ton of cool stuff that happens on the actual event — camping in PINK tents, dance parties, trail mix, delicious food pitstops every couple miles, entertainment… it’s basically a giant party for three days. Sounds good to me! To see more of what it’s going to be like, check out this board on Pinterest.

Do you have any advice for me, either about fundraising, walking long distance, or anything else? You know I always love to hear what you have to say. :)

Love,

The Double Chin Diary Siggy

 

 

 

 

Buy the box weight loss

Even though I am currently “doing” Weight Watchers, it took me a while to get keen on  the idea of paying money to do a program that had already been determined for me before nothing was known of my own personal condition. But since I can’t resist a good deal and I knew I needed some sort of extra pressure to help me… I signed up.  As you guys saw with my last update, I have actually been having some success over the past few months.  Whether or not I could have done that on my own, who knows.  I do know that I counted points for like 2 weeks and the rest of the time I have just been eating my typical “earth food” that comes from the ground rather than a box.

I’ve got this issue with boxes with more than just avoiding food from them.  I also have a big issue with companies that try to fit their potential customers or current customers into a box.  Specially, weight loss plans.  Ever since I started gaining weight as a teenager, I’ve had suggestions of weight loss programs that I should do.  Slimfast.  Nutrisystem. Jenny Craig.  Weight Watchers.  Atkins.  Now, as an adult blogger, the suggestions come on even stronger.

The past few months on Weight Watchers has really confirmed my disliking of programs that are designed to place certain people in certain boxes.  For example, my daily point allowance for WW was based on my age, height, weight, and my suggested activity level.  The spectrum for everything is pretty broad though.  According to this handy blog by LaaLoosh, age groups are clumped within ten years and people who fall between 5’1 and 5’10 are clumped together as well.  So that means a 27 year old female who is 5’9″ and 200 pounds who is sedentary will have similar point values to a 37 year old female who is 5’2″ and 160 pounds and walks often.  I would like to believe it is balanced accordingly per person, but I just doubt the specific attention each member receives when determining what they should eat every day.

Weight Watchers gripes aside, my point is this:  I believe there is no program that works for everyone.  The weight loss industry in the United States is driven by one thing: money.  Our country feeds into this multi-billion dollar industry by quickly latching on to whatever they feel is going to be the easiest solution to their weight loss.  I know when I signed up for Weight Watchers, it was and is because I still feel like I need the weekly meetings in order to feel accountable for myself.  I had a feeling that I probably wouldn’t actually track points and  even without it, I have still been able to have success.  Whether or not it is because I’m enrolled in the program and going to the meetings, who knows.  I do feel more determined that ever to get this weight off so whatever it is that I’m doing, it is working.

However, I can not just go and say that Weight Watchers works for everyone.  I think the only sort of program I can really advocate for is one that a trained dietitian and nutritionist creates specifically for YOU.  Anyone that I have talked to about their successful weight loss has been on a journey that has consisted of what they have crafted together by what works best for their bodies.  There is no simple, by the box, weight loss program that works for everyone. The trick is just finding what works for YOU.

Lots of love,

AprilSignatur

 

 

 

April’s 2-month Weight Watchers Review

It has been roughly two months since I signed up for Weight Watchers.  I had never been a fan of doing “molded into a box” programs that have been designed for the masses, but I figured it was cheap at $21 a month and I struggled with being accountable for my own actions.  Eight weeks in, I’m down roughly ten pounds.  January I lost the majority of that, February I fluctuated up and down because of sickness and winter blues, and now that it is March… well I guess we’ll just have to see what this month brings for me.

One major criticism that has been bugging me about this program is that I don’t feel I’m getting what I should out of it.  According to this article, Weight Watchers pulled in  $253 million dollars in 2012.  The article highlights the low wages their employees are getting, which isn’t surprising to find out about since most large corporations pay the backbone of their company like crap anyway.  However, I’m sure that profit margin is still reasonably high considering the actual work the company does for each individual client is relatively small.

Once I was registered for my first meeting and my weight and height were popped into the system, I was assigned my point value for my day.  There was no personal assessment of the foods I could and could not eat because of health restrictions.  There was no measuring of my body fat or even just with a tape measure to my gut.  I stepped on the scale, got my sticker with my weight, and sat down with the rest of the stickerfied people ready to listen to our leader.

With all the complains this blog post may have, I do have to emphasize the greatness I have gotten out of the meetings.   The meetings are why I signed up for the program in the first place.  I didn’t think I needed help with knowing what to eat, especially when I discovered what kind of processed food they suggest (but I’ll get to that another day).  What I wanted is a group of like-minded people to get together with and talk about our struggles and accomplishments with our health.  So… basically this blog!  Haha!  But in person.  My meeting leader Adrienne is spunky and inspirational and always motivates me to share my own experiences or to get up in front of the group and do a demonstration of food portions or, my favorite, writing on the white board.   I have noticed a correlation between my weeks of losing and going to meetings compared to the weeks I gained and NOT going to the meetings, so that’s interesting.

Outside of the meetings, however, I nitpick on the little things that irritates me about the program.  Alyssa and I both agree that their smart phone app is horrible in comparison to Myfitnesspal.  Their database of food is incredibly small and navigating your way through the app can be slow and frustrating as you discover that you accidentally were searching for a food in your “favorites” section instead of the general search.  For such a large company, we feel their app should be flawless and incredibly easy to navigate.  If two young women brought up in the technological world of smart phones and computers have issues with  the app, what do the people who didn’t spend their teen years with a cell phone in their hands do?

Honestly, I have not counted points for weeks.  Because of my hatred of  the app and not being home enough to be focused on checking in on the computer every day, I just don’t track my points.  I have a basic idea of what I should be eating to stick within the Weight Watchers plan, but really, if I’m not using the app or website…. I am basically just paying to go to the meetings.  $5.25 per meeting to me is worth it to see Adrienne and the rest of the awesome people fighting the struggle with me, but is it worth it to everyone?

I hope that the majority of people using Weight Watchers are finding more of a value in it than I am.  Maybe if I had no idea of what I was doing I would like it more.  Maybe if they bought out Myfitnesspal’s database for their app, I would like it more.  Maybe if they sent me an annoying email every once in a while saying “We notice that you have not tracked your points for 37 days,” I would like it more.   Myfitnesspal does that and they don’t even charge for their website.

It is unlikely that I will register again after my six months is up in August but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try to make the most out of my Weight Watchers experience.  It is working for me and I do credit the new support system I have found in the meetings for keeping me motivated. I just hope that Weight Watchers can use some of the hundreds of millions of dollars their pulling in each year to put it back into their products and individualized customer service.

Lots of love,

AprilSignatur

#deep

Last Friday night I had an interesting interaction that lead me to do some deep thinking over the course of the week of how I view myself.

I was walking towards Chipotle (mmm) to get my favorite standard salad with no dressing when I noticed a dude checking me out as I approached.  As I got closer, I decided to actually give him some eye contact for once instead of shyly looking away and avoiding looking at him.  The cute dude smiled and said, “Hello”  and feeling brave I said “Hi” back and walked into the restaurant.  As I stood staring and the menu and debating between chicken and pork, the dude came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder.  He said, “Excuse me, I know this is random, but would you like to have dinner with me right now, my treat?”  I gave him a curious eye but decided he seemed harmless enough and said, “Yes, I hope you like Chipotle.”

So I ordered my salad and he ordered an enchilada, something that any Chipotle fan knows that is NOT a menu option.  Although he clearly told me he liked Chipotle after my question above, how could he not know they don’t have enchiladas?  Then when it comes to pay, he struggled to find his check card and then claimed his buddy had it along with his phone.  I silently wondered why but insisted that I didn’t mind paying for his $3.75 quesadilla so we could get the horrible awkward moment over with.  Twenty minutes pass and we learned a bunch of random information about each other and got to the point of exchanging numbers.  But wait, his buddy had his phone!  Well, I suggested that he should just use my phone to call his own phone to get in touch with his friend, who supposedly had gotten separated from him an hour earlier at the mall Chipotle was in.  Sure enough his friend picked up and they were set to meet at Applebee’s.  The dude was quite persistent in trying to get me to come with him but I was quite focused on going on and doing nothing as I had been gone all day already.  As we hugged goodbye, he tried to kiss me and I immediately rejected his plan and said my goodbyes.

So that was that.  Now, I guess it could be a common situation for some people but for me, it is not so often that I get blatantly hit on and asked out on the spot.  It happens, but never like this dude.

All throughout the entire situation I kept thinking of this horrible scenario that relates back to the dating website Okcupid.  One of the great things about the site is that is asks all these questions and one of them is “Would you ever go wart-hogging?”

If you don’t know what it means, I didn’t until I was on  this site, it is when a group of men/women go out and try to “bag the warthog” or basically to pursue someone ugly/fat/unattractive that they weren’t interested in just for kicks.

What if I was the warthog?

I just didn’t get why a relatively hot guy would single me out and follow me into Chipotle without some other type of motive than just pure attraction.  Maybe he was a con-artist who uses women for their money to buy him food.  Maybe he was going to steal my phone but Chipotle wasn’t the right place.  Maybe he was going to try to abduct me if I went with him to meet his friends.

All these what-ifs crossed through my mind but the one that DIDN’T was:  What if he is just into me because he thinks I’m hot?

It sucks because there has been very little to make me have the self-esteem that I do.  I typically think that my self-esteem is pretty great and all the men I have dated I have always found pretty attractive and they seem to be attracted to me.. so why don’t I think I deserve a genuine situation like this to happen to me?

I think it may have to do with the fact that my relationships either come out of guys who I meet through friends or using Okcupid where the interest is sparked through conversation first. It’s just such a random thing to be approached out of nowhere for this day and age and clearly, it’s messed with my head.

Have any of you had issues similar to this? Have you ever felt not worthy even though you knew you really were deep down inside?

In other news, I’ll be updating this blog around 11am with my Weight Watchers results of the week.  I’m not expecting a loss, but we’ll see.

I hope you all have a glorious Friday and first weekend of March!!

Peace and monkeys,

AprilSignatur

Alyssa’s 16 Pounds Lost Progress Pix

Hello, hello! How are things? My weigh-in on Tuesday wasn’t stellar — I was up 2.2 pounds. But, not gonna let it get me down. Pickin’ myself up and brushin’ myself off, because I seem to be in a little bit of a big loss, then gain, then another big loss type pattern. I was holding water from some yummy food on my weekend away, and I’ve been back at the tracking and exercise with a vengeance. So I know next week will be better. Moving on to Non-Scale Victories!

I’ve been wanting to update my progress pix for awhile, and now that I’ve officially passed a 15 pound milestone, I thought it was time. It’s frustrating to think that it took me since June to lose these 16 pounds, BUT, I’d rather take it suuuuuper slow than nothing at all, if it means I’ll eventually get there. Without further ado, here’s what I look like minus 16 pounds. (And unfortunately, there’s no poorly photoshopped cats this time around. Next time!)

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I’m so glad I have these pictures, because on days where it feels like it’s just not worth it to try to lose weight, I can look at these and SEE change. Especially through my mid-section. Whenever my middle starts to whittle, I know that what I’m doing is working. Even better? The joyous “You’ve lost weight!” exclamation from friends who haven’t seen me in awhile. Love it, love it, love it. But it’s not really about how I look — it’s more about how I feel. And I’m feeling good. I have more energy, my body feels less tense, and I’m not huffing and puffing from simple things. I’m so glad I’m finally seeing some progress on this very long road I’ve been traveling on for several years. It makes me think that maybe, just maybe, the future is within my reach — and it’s very bright!