Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Shannan: Week 19

3 comments
Dear Scale,

I just want to let you know that you can suck it! You are so mean to me. Why is it that every time I step on you the numbers seem to keep rising? WTF? What did I ever do to you?

Sure I've indulged in a few "heavy" meals lately but that's not my fault! I blame our fore fathers (and my Hub's and mother's yummy cooking) for creating the traditions of family dinners on Thanksgiving and Christmas!

And yes, I've had some candy (OK, a lot of candy), but again, that is not my fault either. Someone put a TON of it in my stocking. I had to eat it so the kids wouldn't. I was only trying to be a good parent!

It's the Holidays. Isn't this supposed to be the time for "goodwill toward men," and all that crap? I don't know why you have some sort of vendetta out against me but I would appreciate it if you would knock it off.


Sincerely,
Shannan "I need to get my ass back on my diet ASAP" Boyer

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Laura: Xmas is no time to diet

4 comments
I went to a Christmas program recently, during which the choir sang a song about holiday eating called "Christmastime is no time to diet." That pretty much sums up the last month for me. All weightloss have been regained, fitness is at a pitiful low, and clothes are not looking so great on.

It's about time to start a new year with a new resolve for fitness and healthy eating. I'm doing the couch to 5k training program -- in theory, with Shannan and Loree. We'll see how that goes. AND, my dear husband bought me a bicycle trainer for our house for Christmas. Since I can't really get out to ride that much (because I'm a winter wuss), this is great for me.

Not really any excuses now, are there? Odds that I come up with excuses anyway? Pretty good. I'm working on it though.

UPDATE: Just finished a run, and I really don't like running that much. My husband swears it's because I'm not breathing right. May be true. I'll keep going though and see if I can push through over the next couple weeks.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Amy: Week Seventeen - Trying to Stay Afloat

3 comments
Okay, things are nuts here in Cincinnati - Christmas, work, extra-curricular activities, you know trivial things like showering and making sure you have clean underwear. The stress is mounting and I don’t see it easing til January.

Over the weekend I burnt my hand pretty badly getting STEAMED VEGGIES out of the microwave. Proving once again that eating healthy is crazy dangerous. And how did I respond to the attack by the steamed veggies? Well with a big ass bag of M&M’s of course. This is just one example of the kind of week it’s been.

Yesterday, the snow came early and I’m one of those overly worrisome drivers, so I skipped my WW meeting and headed home to avoid the traffic/white death. I hope to get there tomorrow and I’ll keep you posted on my results.

One thing I did want to share with you is this new site the gals at Cincy Chic shared with us Cincy Losers. WeightView allows you to upload your “before” picture and they will digitize an “after” picture of what you would look like 10, 20, even 50 pounds lighter. I’m still awaiting my after pic, and I’ll share as soon as it comes of course. But this is an example of what it does:



For me, one of the hardest things about losing weight is the fact that it takes so long to see results. If you're like me, you want immediate evidence of the work you're doing. That's what I like about this website - if gives you a snapshot of the future, the future you can have if you keep working on your goals for a healthier you. That photo will motivate me and remind me of the reasons I'm skipping those hot fudge sundaes!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Check out the press for Cincinnati Losers!

4 comments

Cincy Chic Magazine's "Geek Chic" issue profiled the Cincinnati Losers! Go check it out!

Look at us being all SATC in front of the McAlpin.


Thanks so much to Cincy Chic for the opportunity to share our stories. Now, maybe I'll actually start losing weight again....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Amy: Week Sixteen - Finding "Momentum"

3 comments
So it’s Wednesday, which is clearly not Tuesday. I had my weigh in yesterday and strangely stayed exactly the same. I don’t have many weeks like that, and I’m a bit surprised. I slacked on exercise a bit and got a little wild and loose with my tracking/food consumption. It was a nice surprise to maintain.

Weight Watchers launched a new program this week - MOMENTUM. I’m still familiarizing myself with it, but I think it will be good for me. The main objective of the changes seems to be to help us make smarter choices. On most days, I stay within my points. I dip into those extra weekly ones more than I care to admit, but for the most part I follow the plan (the old one) pretty well. What I don’t do however is make good choices as I’m doing so. So I eat what I want, within the points allotted to me, but there are many days I feel hungry. This new program hopes to change all that.

We’ll see. I’m excited. I’m a total nerd and new materials are heavenly to me. I often find I do better when I really have to think about the program, so changing it up helps me re-focus. You can get lazy and “cheat the system” as Kate reminded me yesterday.

The first thing I noticed at my meeting were the new posters. One caught my eye and really made me think. There were two meals side by side. Both were pasta dishes and both were valued at 10 points each. That is where the similarities ended. On the left plate were four small pieces of cheese-filled ravioli with a scant topping of marinara sauce, presumably something off the menu with no concern for fat, fiber or calories. On the right was a heaping plate full of shrimp, whole grain pasta, broccoli, tomatoes, onions topped with marinara sauce. Both looked delicious, but could both fill you up and keep hunger at bay?


It struck me because I’m totally the left plate kinda person. I don’t want to compromise the fat and taste I’m so accustomed to, so I tend to go for smaller portions of the higher point-value items. And far too often, I’m hungry within an hour or two after. Well no wonder, who the heck can survive on four crummy pieces of ravioli? Then, when faced with hunger later in the day, what kind of choices am I making to fill the void? Usually I go without, crashing my metabolism or grab whatever is handy. Amazing how there’s rarely a bowl of barley handy...

Weight Watchers isn’t rocket science - it’s user-friendly for anyone of course, but it does hit you in the head like a ton of bricks and you’re sitting there like “DUH, of course”. I’m a pretty smart cookie, but I guess I need that ton of bricks from time to time.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Just a note of thanks

3 comments
It's not my day to post, but I thought I'd pop in and say a big THANK YOU to the other other girls.

Yesterday, we had a photo shoot for an upcoming issue of Cincy Chic. The hair and makeup folks made us all look ultra-fabulous. (Thanks Cincy Chic!) It was also the first time all 7 of us have been together in months.

I wish I had a photo here, but you can try to imagine. We all had a blast! I was yet again so impressed and amazed by these 6 other women.

So I just want to say Thank You. Each and every one of you is beautiful and inspiring.

Know that you have all inspired me this weekend.

Cheers,
Michelle

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Shannan Week 15 Part II

2 comments
Just wanted to add to my post from yesterday. I wanted to mention how awesome social media is. In the less than 24 hours since I posted I have found a support network for my effort to get from the Couch to a 5 k in two months. It's amazing.

Let me explain.

After posting here at Cincy Loser last night I sent out a tweet on Twitter saying that I'd written an update on my weight loss efforts. My Twitter feed automatically posts to my Facebook page so my friend Phyllis, who I met through my son's school, read my post. After reading it she emailed me volunteering to be my gym buddy -- at 5:30 a.m. people!! -- how awesome is that?
Then today two of my friends from Twitter - Marcy from Stretching a Buck and Emily from Mommin It Up -- both invited me to partner with them for online support in doing the Couch to 5K Running Plan. I have NEVER met Marcy or Emilie in person. I first 'met' them when I worked with them on a project for my public relations agency. After working together on a project we all stayed in touch, and became friends.



I guess I wanted to share this as a reminder to us all about how social media is impacting our lives. Social media has created new communities, new support options be it weight loss, parenting, etc. and new friendships all of which are now no longer restricted by physical location.
It's amazing to me.

Sorry to ramble. I know it's shocking enough that I posted 2 days in a row....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Shannan Week 15 --- Surving Thanksgiving

6 comments
I m happy to report that I managed to get through Thanksgiving relatively unscathed. I did gain 2 lbs..... (stupid, delicious cheese ball) but I feel like it could have been much worse.

As you know I've kind of been at a stand still with my weight loss - I haven't lost weight in a month! This week I have decided .... (dramatic music here.....)to return to the gym.

I started contemplating a return to the gym last week when I received a letter from Silverlake (our family - friendly gym) that they would now be allowing members to use their sister gym - Better Bodies - at no additional charge. While I love Silverlake, Better Bodies is closer to my house which means I can sleep in a smidge longer before heading out in the a.m. to work out before work (I like to work out and get back home in time to get the boys up for school).

My return to the gym was further supported when I came across a few Tweets between my friend Loree and Cincinnati Loser, Laura this week. They were talking about a program called The Couch-to-5K Running Plan. I'd never heard of it before but it's a program that helps you gradually work up to running three miles with just 2 months of gradual training. After looking at the training schedule I think I'm going to do it.

I'm hoping the Couch to 5K Running Plan will give me another form of accountability and also freshen up my weight loss efforts which have gotten a little stale.

If you live in NKY and like working out at the butt-crack of dawn (5:30 a.m.) shoot me an email at Shannanb@gmail.com. Maybe we can be workout buddies??? I would love to start next week.

Amy: Week Fifteen* - Steady as she goes

1 comments
*Here's a funny: I had to look up how to spell fifteen...funny in a "whose gonna take care of me when I completely lose it" kinda way


Here's hoping you all had a nice Thanksgiving.

You know the weight loss bandwagon? Yeah, well I power-vaulted off of that bad boy early. Wednesday thru Sunday are just a blur. The only upside? I did exercise four times last week and that is saying something. Exactly what it says I have no idea, what with my mouth full of crap the other 23 hours of each of those days.

But that was last week and the wagon has come back around to pick me up. I went to my weigh-in today and I'm down 0.4, thrilling me to pieces, but convincing me that my metabolism is bi-polar.

Remember Gwen from last week's post? I hope you read that piece - and the second part because if you're looking for a guidepost in this weight loss journey - she is it! Now, during my workouts when I start to slack off I chant GWEN GWEN GWEN. The other women in class think I'm a whack-a-doodle with a real thing for some chick named Gwen, but hey, whatever gets me through.

Today, during our meeting, someone achieved Lifetime Member status. Norbert started WW about 2.5 years ago. He is now 286 lbs lighter. 286 lbs?! It's nothing short of astounding. What an inspiration.

I'm now gonna alternate Gwen Norbert Gwen Norbert in my chant-thru-my-workout routine. That'll really shock 'em.

My friends over at Does This Blog Make Us Look Fat are doing the "32 Days of Christmas" (weight loss edition). Go check it out - they'll make you laugh enough to burn that second piece of pumpkin pie right off. How you burn pieces three through eleven is your own problem.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Amy: Week Fourteen - Meet Gwen and Be Inspired

0 comments
My friend Kate recently introduced me to a wonderful woman, Gwen Papineau. At first glance Gwen might look like the average twenty-something: beautiful, hardworking, fun and full of life. But there's so much more to Gwen.
This is Gwen

Gwen has been kind enough to lay out the story of her last fews years and it is nothing short of extraordinary. It made me laugh and cry. I was Gwen then and I look forward to being the Gwen of now someday soon. She'll make you believe in yourself people, and I'm not overselling.
Please pop over to my "regular" home on the internets to read Part One. And then visit dear Kate's blog, read Part Two and thank her for bringing Gwen's story to us!
PS - I weigh in today and I'll update you on my progress tomorrow. Today, just enjoy the beauty of Gwen!




Thursday, November 20, 2008

Michelle: Oops!

1 comments
With the exception of Amy and Shannan, we're slackers here at Cincinnati Losers, aren't we?

Since I've last posted, I've traveled to California twice for a week each, to Bourbon country for a day, and judged a wine competition in Columbus. This weekend I'm heading to Tennessee to judge a wine competition and then following weekend - Thanksgiving - I'll be in rural Indiana with my grandmother.

What does all this mean? I don't know how to diet and travel.

First off, having spent an inordinate amount of time in airports lately, I can tell you than when you have very little time between flights and not that much money, it's insanely hard to eat healthy in an airport. Lots of Burger King, very little Doc Green's. Truthfully, I don't even remember seeing anything other than fast food in the San Jose or Salt Lake City airports.

Road travel? Well, so far there's Applebee's, Wendy's, and Cracker Barrel.

I've destroyed any progress I've made so far on the diet. 8 lbs? Right back on.

Oh, and I spend a good deal of December baking - cookie swaps, potlucks for my husband's office, baked goods I give as gifts ... the list is endless. And baking tends to lead to my gaining weight.

So I officially admit I'm weak-willed. I cave to my schedule. My plan for the next 6 weeks is to not gain any weight and not go out and gorge myself on cookies or candy. I'm going to make an effort to work out. But I'm probably not going to go out of my way to "diet" either.
I know, I suck.

I'm going to "reboot" the diet in January.

I am weak willed and fluffy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Amy: Week Twelve, which has morphed into Thirteen

4 comments
Sorry for my absence last week. I can't even recall why I didn't post. That's the kinda month I've been having - busy but not sure what is making me so busy.

Weigh-in today and I'm down 2.6 (total lost to date: 33.8). I can't wait to hit that 35 lb mark - I take this five pounds at a time and my up and down rollercoaster has made it tough getting to 3-5!(I'm high-fiving you if you couldn't tell!)

Some good news: I got a Blackberry. (Ryan, at the Cincinnati Bell Store in Crestview Hills was terrific. Hi Ryan!) I know it sounds silly, but I think it's helping me with my weight loss. This weekend at Sam's I made a better choice on granola bars because I was able to calculate the points with Weight Watchers Mobile to make the decision. I've programmed my Jazzercise workouts into my calendar and set it to remind me the night before so I get up and get my clothes ready for the 5:45 am session. Getting into that mindset is half the battle.

So what's working and what's not?

Working

Jazzercise - still loving it! The classes and routines are getting easier. Jazzercise is running a promotion. You partner with another member (HI Maggie!) and if between the two of you, you attend 36 classes by Dec 31st you get a cute little eco-friendly shopping bag. FREE STUFF is a great motivator for me! The instructors are terrific and I can feel my body firming up!

Water - getting it in and then some, especially on workout days

Healthy Food Choices - I'm making good choices and I really feel the benefits in my energy level and endurance.

Points - I'm sticking within them. I'm using more of my weekly flexible points than I'd like, but I think the bump in activity has made it necessary, and I'm still losing. If it ain't broke, right?

Not Working

Dairy - it continues to be thorn in my side. I ran out of Silk Soy Milk last week and the wheels just fell off that bus completely. PLAN OF ACTION: Stop at Whole Foods TONIGHT and get the Soy already!

Walking on my non-Jazzercise days - that was my plan. I haven't stuck to it. I need some activity on those off days. PLAN OF ACTION: Resume walking at lunchtime. The fresh, cold air will do me good!

Weekends - I'll be having the best week and something happens early Saturday morning. I'm bitten by the anti-mojo bug. I stop drinking my water and my point calculations becomes questionable at best. I must get my brain into gear that this is a 7 day a week process. I kick myself when I think how much faster the weight could be coming off if I didn't take a mini-holiday every week. PLAN OF ACTION: Reach out to other people for words of encouragement and a kick in the pants if necessary.

So what's working? What's working you? Think about it and then pick one of the things not working and make a PLAN OF ACTION this week. BABY STEPS! I'd love to hear about it! Next week the Battle Royale begins. It's us against the holiday weight gain. We'll get through and we'll get through together kid!

Those of you who know me, know I'm a little Twitter-obsessed. Twitter was one of the main motivators in getting the Blackberry...yes, I'm that pathetic. Anywho, now I have a good-for-me reason to be on Twitter. @wwtweets started up a couple weeks ago and there are 160 tweeters who are tweeting about their Weight Watchers efforts. Join us! These folks have been just that extra push I need each day to stay focused and make it work!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Julie: Week... yeah. Miss me?

2 comments
So, several years ago, a really well-known and world renowned doctor diagnosed me as having Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which is linked to insulin resistance. Dr. Glueck (he's local) discovered a treatment for it that helps someone with the symptoms restore fertility, rebalance hormones and lower cholesterol. I stopped the treatment (Metformin) because it made me really ill, and at 21 or so, I didn't want to feel sick all the time.

However, I went for my annual checkup with my GYN a couple of weeks ago, and he said, "Wow, is this the most you've ever weighed?"

It's hard to say "Hey now, not only had I eaten lunch, but I was wearing tall leather boots and winter clothes, butthead. I weighed five pounds LESS this morning!" when you're wearing a paper hospital gown.

Instead, I said, "No, I've been about twenty pounds heavier."

"Do you think you should go back on the glucophage?"

"Uh, yeah. Probably."

So he wrote me a prescription, and I started taking it a week or so ago, and upped myself to the full dose a couple of days ago. It really does make me sick, but I know that it'll eventually go away. It has changed my eating habits. I absolutely must eat with it, and I take it in the morning and evening, so I'm eating breakfast again. It has to be something substantial, so I've been doing bagels and light cream cheese. Lunch also has to be light, and honestly? Dinner is light, too. I felt awful after eating a big dinner the other night, and I just need to change the way I eat. I can still eat what I like-- just a lot less. The clean plate club no longer exists.

I think I may go back to Dr. Glueck, too. He has a great dietician and can keep my lipids and other hormones under close watch, and I think my insurance covers it.

(Yeah, and I also just saw a picture of myself from the Obama Victory party. From below. I look pregnant. That's just not normal. Kate says it was a bad angle. She's really sweet.)

Meanwhile, don't Michelle and I look pretty? This is why photos should be taken from ABOVE.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Amy: Week Eleven - Another Quickie

0 comments

I'm a day late, and a dollar short - please forgive me.

I lost 1.4 lbs and gained a President yesterday. I really was so wrapped up in the election, I completely forgot about posting. But I went to my meeting, lost and I'm feeling good. Really good.

I slacked on the exercise but I'm recommitting tonight at Jazzercise.

Until next week...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Shannan: Maintaining and Motivating

3 comments
So I didn't really lose any weight this week but I managed to maintain - and that is important. With Halloween on Friday and a wedding on Saturday (with one of those vicious chocolate fountains) I thought for sure that I'd gain a couple of pounds. Some how though I managed to slide and to my amazement, when I stepped on the scale this morning it still said 145!

I wanted to mention real quick the power of words and how they impact people. This week my husband really noticed my weightloss and made a comment about it. It wasn't a big comment - just something simple, but it made me feel amazing. It really was the pick me up I needed to motivate me to stick with this diet and not just settle in.

I guess I wanted to share this as a reminder of how much words can mean to someone. If you notice a change in someone, take the extra second or two and let them know. You just might be the motivation they need to keep going.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Laura: A Quick Check-in

0 comments
I lost a pound this week. I've been pretty disciplined during the last week -- cooking, bringing my lunch, even hitting up a spin class. I think it may have been possible for me to lose 2 this week, but I weighed in right after spending an evening having multiple beers and eating chicken dip. Overall, I feel like I'm on track. I just have to keep it up!

5 pounds to go!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Amy: Week Ten - Ick

7 comments

The scale was surprisingly hateful today - I'm up almost a pound. I'm a little confused and I'm praying this is simply Mother Nature related.

Could my Jazzercising be turning me into a woman of steel so soon? Ha, I don't think so. But it's frustrating because I feel lighter. I know my clothes are looser, so where the hell is this 0.8 hiding? Dirty bastard.

If I posted something now it would be very negative and no one needs that, so I'll sign off for now and try to figure out why the wheels fell off the bus this week.

One good note though. Remember my posts about Lose for Good with Weight Watchers? It looks like over FOUR MILLION POUNDS were lost worldwide during the effort and ONE MILLION DOLLARS will be sent to battle hunger in the US and worldwide.

Til next week...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Shannan: Making Good Strides

2 comments
This last week and a half I've really hit my stride. The weight has started coming off again and I've now lost a total of 15 lbs!!!!! With just 10 more pounds to go, I really am hoping to buckle down and am going to try and be serious. These past few weeks were filled with booby traps and pit falls - camping out, trips to Nashville and the infamous Pancake Pantry (who could resist!!), wedding receptions tempting me with tasty hor's doevres and cake, how could I be expected to resist such temptations?

Well the last wedding is in sight - this weekend - and them I'm out of excuses. It will be time to buckle down and bust off those last 10 pounds. I'm a little nervous about making it happen as we put our gym membership on hold for the month of November and it's getting colder outside. I might have to look into working out at work, which I'm not a big fan of, but I might have to suck it up and do it anyway.

I leave you with a YouTube video from Saturday Night Live featuring two of the country's top trainers:





Thank you all for your support. This blog has definitely been a great motivator for me.

Starting weight: 160
Current weight: 145
Total lost: 15 lbs

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kate: Weighing In On Health Care

1 comments
I'm not going to lie ~ this post isn't really about weight loss.

I mean, it is in a big-picture-being-overweight-is-bad-for-your-health kind of way.

But I've decided to warn y'all up front so you can pass up reading the rest of my rant - because this blog is a phenomenal way for me to talk about how your vote on Election Day is also a vote for your health. And I should also say this post does not represent the beliefs of every Loser posting on this blog. These beliefs are my own, so if you want to berate someone, feel free to head on over to my own site.

But before I get on my soapbox, I think I should underscore a few points we can likely all agree on.

1) Fat does not do a body good.
Scientists in Sweden just released the results of a study that shows obesity can bring on arthritis for folks who are middle-aged and older. The research is interesting, but it doesn't take an expert for me to realize all the extra pounds of flesh on my hips, legs, tummy, chest, etc. are all taking a toll on the bones, muscles and cartilage holding up my 5' 8" frame.

Obesity is also related to some cancers and diabetes (and a possible first fall in life expectancy in 200 years).

There's no two ways about it - being fat is really bad. Really, really bad - at least where your health is concerned.

2. Healthy food is expensive.
When was the last time you bought organic? Noticed the difference in the price for a bunch of organic bananas vs. the conventional (read: Chiquita) kind? What about the price of a healthy salad at McDonald's compared to the least expensive Value Meal? Go to the neighborhood grocery store and spend ten bucks on produce and ten bucks on processed food - I'll bet you dollar to doughnuts that you'll walk with more food if you stock up on Spaghetti-Os, Lean Cuisines and frozen chicken fingers than apples, broccoli and spinach.

Good, healthy food is expensive, and unfortunately we are passing on this difficult paradigm to our nation's schools.

Think about it. When your child wakes up in the morning, you ensure she brushes her teeth and washes her face. You make sure she buckles her seat belt as you drive her to school, and then you kiss her goodbye. Each morning, you take every precaution to ensure your little girl is safe and healthy ~ and when she spends your money on lunch in the school cafeteria, she's forced to buy processed pizza slices and french fries. Her cafeteria tray comes in contact with nary a vegetable or fruit - and it's all because the schools don't have the cash to provide each child with a healthy meal.

The path to obesity starts young - and it's a path that is especially hard to avoid if you're impoverished.

3) Hell... being fat is expensive - for everyone.
The astronomically rising number of people reaching obesity is a societal first. Never before have there been so many overweight people on earth. I suppose it's a perfect storm of fatty foods and the prevalence of convenience these days - the convenience of driving thru to get your food instead of walking and hunting for it. The convenience of easily eating three (fatty) meals a day instead of two smaller meals and one more substantial one. The convenience of having so many different kinds of foods at our fingertips. Whatever the case may be, there are more obese people walking the earth than ever before, and it's taking its toll on our privatized health care system. The nation's insurance companies are shelling out billions to cover claims for obesity-related ailments.

Seventy five percent of our nation's health care costs are tied to patients who have one or more chronic conditions - chronic conditions that are likely associated with being overweight.

Your office will likely have to raise its health insurance premiums someday, and it's because that lady in accounting is carrying an extra hundred pounds.

Okay, maybe not literally, but I think you get my point.

So there we have it. My trio of arguments that help explain why solving the U.S. obesity crisis is essential to our way of life - and our longevity of life.

And now for the soapbox portion of this interlude.

Both presidential candidates have a health care plan they want you to know about.

Senator Obama wants to offer expanded access to Medicaid and mandatory health care coverage for children. He wants to require employers that don't offer health insurance coverage to contribute a portion of payroll to a national plan (exempting small businesses - and offering them refundable tax credits on 50% of premiums). Obama's plan would cut premium payments for families by about $185.

A non-party think tank determined Obama's plan would reduce the number of uninsured by 26.6 million in 2010 - from the current 48.9 million.

Senator McCain wants to replace the current income-tax exemption for health insurance premiums paid by employers with a refundable tax credit of $5,000 per family (and $2,500 for individuals). McCain also wants to let people buy insurance across state lines. McCain's plan would increase premiums for families by about $379.

The non-party think tank says McCain's plan would reduce the number of insured by 21.1 million by 2010.

I don't think I have to underscore the big points for you, but I will:
Obama will give Medicaid to more of the nation's needy.
Obama will ensure every child has health care.
Obama's plan will cut your premiums.
Obama's plan will boost health coverage for 26.6 million (5.5 million more than McCain's plan).

Some of you might read this and think it's all rubbish.

But I prescribe to a dogma that includes good health care for everyone - at a price we can all afford.

See you at the polls November 4th - I'll be the one casting her ballot for Obama.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Laura: I'm baaaaaaack!

0 comments
So, guess what guys? I'm married. I'm married and I only have one mortgage. Last time I posted I had reached the pinnacle of lifetime stress with a home sale in jeopardy because of title issues and because I was just a week away from my wedding. In the end, I didn't lose 10 pounds. I think on the big day I was only down 2 pounds, but I found a really great fat sucker in thing at Victoria's Secret that made it look like I lost 5 more pounds, so life was good.

After the wedding, I fell off the dieting wagon. Wait -- who am I kidding? I jumped off the wagon, did a couple cartwheels and then mooned the wagon. I ate like a king who loves cheese, meat, and ice cream for a couple weeks solid until I decided it was time to regroup.

For the last week I've been trying to reform. I started with an attempt to start cooking healthier foods instead of the comfort foods I was raised with and can cook with my eyes closed. I tried a few recipes from my most recent Fitness Magazine, which surprisingly has a lot of great food ideas. Here are two recipes I thought were particularly good.

Whole Wheat Linguine with Green Olives (serves 2)
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • 1/2 cup halved red or yellow grape tomatoes
  • 3 tbs sliced green olives
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • Grated Romano cheese
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Saute tomatoes, olives and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add white wine; let simmer 3 minutes. Stir in rosemary; toss with cooked pasta. Top with grate Romano cheese.

Sauteed Baja Fish
  • 2 6-ounce white fish fillets, such as tilapia, halibut or flounder
  • 1 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Snipped fresh cilantro
Lightly rub fillets with 1 tbs olive oil and season with chili powder. Rub remaining 1/2 tbs oil in a heavy skillet. Heat skillet over high heat. Saute fillets for 3 minutes per side, or until fish just flakes easily with a fork. Serve with lime wedges and snipped cilantro.

Now that I'm starting to get a hang of this light cooking thing, I need to work on getting to the gym. Now that it's getting colder and I can't go out on my bike, motivating to workout will be very difficult. But, where there's a will there's a way. Let's just hope I can find the will.

Still got 6 pounds to go.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Amy: Week Nine - Jazz Hands!

7 comments

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the owner of the local Jazzercise studio. There was a new program kicking off and they were enrolling twenty-five fresh faces to take part. The program incorporates Jazzercise classes with nutritional guidance and mentoring and it lasts twelve weeks.

I lucked out and got selected. Thanks Wendy! Fortunately there was no dance audition tape required, so my lack of coordination and basic rhythm did not disqualify me. It may end up injuring one of my classmates, but that is a post for another day.

I went to my first class on Thursday and loved it. The hour workout combines cardio, strength training, toning and stretching, so you get the whole package in one workout. The program requires that I do this workout at least three times a week for the first four weeks.

The class itself was pretty low-key. Everyone was dressed in comfy clothes, no shiny lycra or Flashdance outfits in sight - thank goodness! They were women just like me in all shapes and sizes and incredibly welcoming. My instructor Tina was supportive and thankfully didn’t draw attention to me while I was finding my feet (and then tripping over them from time to time). It’s not like a bootcamp where they call you out and egg you on, it’s a fun and comfortable environment.

Music is the key to this workout. It keeps you moving and it makes the time fly by. I’ll admit at about song three I was gasping for air and wondering if I was crazy, but by song five I found my groove. When I couldn’t get the moves right away, I just marched or slowed things down a bit - the key was I kept moving the whole time.

Once the aerobic part wrapped up, we did a most wonderful stretch routine. It seems silly but it was like having that delicious, relaxing glass of wine after a hard day.

I know it’s early, but I really think I may be on to something with this. I went out of town this weekend and hoped to make it back on Sunday for the last class of the day. Time flies when you’re having such a great time with Shannan, Susan and Jennifer, so I didn’t make it. I realized that I was disappointed to have missed the class - ME disappointed to miss out on a chance to exercise? Huh, what?


It’s reminded me of what the experts have told us for years: you have to enjoy the exercise you’re doing or you won’t do it. So keep that in mind. You may not be into running or aerobics, maybe it’s swimming or tennis? You have to find what works for you to make it stick.
Great news - I'm down 2.8 today for a total loss of 32.4 lbs. 42.6 to go! Til next week...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Amy: Week Eight - Getting Inspired

2 comments

One of the many things I love about Weight Watchers is that you don't have to look very far to be inspired by someone who has been there, done that. There is a woman in my weekly meeting that has lost 93 pounds. WOW. My leader has lost 40 pounds. WOW. The woman I sit next to has lost 65 pounds. WOW. WOW. WOW.

In those meetings, I'm at my best. I'm hearing what I need to hear, feeding off other's resolve and stroking my own ego a bit as I share my success to date.

The problem is maintaining the inspiration and motivation - the mojo - in the six days ahead.

Staying focused and on track, finding my mojo, is as important as my walks and counting points. And it's clear that Mo's been on vacation this week. It's not easy to always possess that "go get 'em"-ness is it? And it's not just about saying no to seconds or getting out of bed early to exercise. It's keeping your eye on the prize - the end result that you're hoping for so you're always reminded of the reason for all sacrifice.

This week was seven days of weakened willpower and low-energy strung together - a complete mojo-free environment. Ugh. Usually, I can take one or two days like that, but this week just steam-rolled me. As you might recall, I spent the October 3rd weekend in DC. Amazing how you can be out of the office for just two days, but somehow that converts to two weeks of being behind. I was rushed and stressed, missing my usual lunch time most days, not to mention time for my walks. This frenzy continued into the evening and I got out of the habit of planning our dinner the night before, so the 6 o’clock shuffle led to many bad choices.

I didn’t journal. I wasn’t diligent about drinking water. Exercise was weak to say the least. Heck, I didn’t even take my multi-vitamin most days. You know you’re off course when you can’t manage to SWALLOW A VITAMIN!

We have to expect these weeks and know the willpower will be tested the most at these moments. All I can really do is learn from it and move on. Hope for the best on the scale today, but prepare for the reality!

I'm up 0.4 today. And I'm disappointed, but not surprised. But that is the past and as I gobble up the delicious salad before me, I'm savoring something even more delicious: it's a brand new week.

I've made a pact with myself to seek out a new source of inspiration each week, a mojo-nator of my very own.

To that end, I had planned to write today’s post based on this search and last night's outing. EQ at The Party Source hosted Pam Anderson (no, not THAT Pam Anderson) for a lecture/cooking demonstration. The was a great night, the food was fabulous (and healthy to boot!) and I was lucky enough to share it with Mr. and Mrs. Get Fit.


I want to do the post justice and share some recipes and photos, so I’m going to work on it in the week ahead and post it next Tuesday. Believe me it will be worth the wait and you might have a chance at a pretty terrific giveaway.

As this new week begins for me, one thing I definitely need to get back to is PLANNING AHEAD. As cheesy as it is if you FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL. With that in mind, here’s a Weight Watchers recipe I tried last year that brings great tastes of autumn together in a spicy stew. I love soups and stews at this time of year. This one is even better because you can use your slow-cooker which is another thing I love love love. Enjoy.

Moroccan Slow Cooker Stew

Ingredients

* 1 spray(s) cooking spray
* 1 small onion(s), chopped
* 1 medium garlic clove(s), minced
* 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cut into 1/2-inch cubes
* 1 cup(s) carrot(s), baby
* 1 cup(s) canned crushed tomatoes
* 1/2 cup(s) vegetable broth
* 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp ground cumin
* 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
* 15 oz canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
* 1/2 tsp table salt

Coat a small skillet with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 5 minutes.

Place squash in a 3-quart or larger slow cooker (crockpot). Add sauteed onion and garlic, carrots, tomatoes, broth, cinnamon, cumin and red pepper flakes. Cover and turn on to low heat; simmer for 6 hours.

Add chickpeas and salt. Stir, cover and heat for an additional 5 minutes.


Yields about 1 1/3 cups per serving. Makes approximately six servings.

Helpful hints:

Partially cooking a hard-shell squash makes it easier to peel. Pierce the gourd in several places with a fork, microwave on HIGH for 6 to 10 minutes, depending on size, and then peel.


Though delicious on its own, this cumin-scented stew can also please heartier appetites when spooned over whole wheat couscous and sprinkled with minced cilantro.


Top with plain, fat-free Greek yogurt to help cut the spice

Doug and I like this with warmed pitas too. Having grown up in households where bread as a staple of every meal, it’s weird to sit down to a stew without a lump 'o carbs. Pitas are a great alternative to the super-heavy breads we all love and you can find delicious low-fat alternatives easily.


Til next week...Happy Stewing!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weightloss Flatlining (A Little Humor to Lighten Things Up)

0 comments
So another week with no weightloss. I'm not too upset. Rather than ramble on I thought I'd share this workout video featuring Jim Carey. Just a reminder that we shouldn't take this all too seriously.
Enjoy!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kate: The Prodigal Loser

1 comments
I am 99.653 percent sure almost everyone has had a diet like this before.

You know ~ the diet where you're actually not cutting calories, excercising or giving the slightest effort to make the number on the scale a little bit smaller?

Yeah, that's me.

I can't put my finger on the exact reason, but let's say that my wayward commitment (was it ever there to begin with?) is a perfect storm of emotional heartache, personal insecurity, social excess, utter surrender and motivational complacency.

The emotional heartache comes from deep inside my heart, where I am still nursing the wounds that come with a loved one's loss. You can read more about it on my other blog.

The personal insecurity is not a new phenomenon in my emotional makeup. I've long struggled with my shortcomings in the way of dating, beauty and a myriad other topics. I've come to terms with some of those weaknesses, but I am still seriously doubting my personal commodities in the meet meat market of life. I sense those insecurities are getting in the way of any sense of entitlement I may have towards a thinner, healthier me.

The social excess. Ahh, the social excess. I became the life of the party the minute I packed up all my belongings and moved into the University of Kentucky's Blanding Tower in 1995. For many years I'd been relegated to the dork table in the high school cafeteria, so in college I completely let my alter ego (and perhaps my id) takeover my persona. Kate the Party Girl had some missteps along the way (which, by the way, I am very grateful for) but has toned things down quite a bit in her 30s.

That doesn't mean I don't know my way around a bottle opener - be it wine or beer.

Get a few glasses in me, and I am still life of the party. The trouble is - the party usually always includes some damn good food, too.

Which brings me to utter surrender - that's the best explanation I can use to describe what I feel when I see good food. Fat, greasy, rich, fried whatever. Brie cheese is my kryptonite. I don't know if it's a predisposition embedded in my genetic code (watching my parents in action, I suspect it is), but I am pretty powerless when it comes to that triple-cream-goodness-on-a-plate. Same goes for anything potato based (knowing my Irish and German heritage, I KNOW this is a genetic predisposition) and most chocolate flavored items.

I don't really know why I am experiencing the motivational complacency. I believe I'm entitled to the same happiness and health as everybody else,but I think my recent funk has undermined my drive to make it happen. Despite what my mother says, I know losing weight does not a husband bring, and perhaps its the premature anticipation of disappointment that's stalling any success.

But today is a new day.

The weather is gorgeous, and whatever emotional demons I'm dealing with today - I need to remind myself they can be shhhhed away just as easily with a walk as with a doughnut.

Time to tie on the tennis shoes.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Amy: Week Seven - And not a salad in site.

7 comments
photo from stock xchng

I left more than my points counter and ipod at home this weekend. My willpower was nowhere to be found either. I spent four days in Washington, DC - known for it's mouth-watering dishes just as much as it's monuments.

To my credit, I did walk a fair amount. But as much as I walked, I don’t think it will make up for the fact that the words “no thank you” never crossed my lips. Tapas (sure, they are little, but not after you eat twice your share); fish stuffed with Boursin cheese (eliminating all the good fish qualities); tortellini in a pesto cream sauce (yeah, I’m certain that was low fat); breakfast panini stuffed with eggs, smoked bacon and cheese (oh, my). To spare what little dignity I have left, I’ll not even mention the alcohol consumption. I will say that if you run across a Ginger Vodka Cooler, you should prepare to be wowed.

And so it goes.

Therefore, this shall be a week of rebuilding. Much like the Bengals’ entire season or decade depending on who you talk to.

I head to my meeting for weigh-in shortly. You know what’s amazing and wonderful about this blog is that if this past weekend had happened two months ago, Weight Watchers wouldn’t have seen me for weeks. But I know I need to get on that scale, face the ugly truth and get back to work. That is exactly what I’m going to do. Thanks for keeping me honest...be back soon.

Remember when I wrote last week about how you can do everything right and still not lose and yet there are weeks when you know you’ve cheated and you still see results? SHA-ZAM this is one of those weeks. I guess the walking evened out the gluttony and I’ll gladly take it. I’m down 1.2 and I hit 30 pounds! 30.4 to be exact! Maybe it’s a fluke? Maybe my fat cells are using reverse psychology? I don’t know, but I’m down and I have all week to work my butt off to make sure I stay down!

And I meant what I said, I wouldn’t have even gone to the meeting if I wasn’t accountable here, so I really do owe it all to you!

The meeting topic this week was SOUP, which on the surface after a weekend of tortellini and panini and a host of other inis doesn’t sound so exciting. But give it a try. Have some low-fat, low-cal soup on hand as we head into this fall season. With a tasty, crusty bread and a nice glass of wine, it’s the perfect autumn meal.

photo from stock xchng

Another tip to try, if you’re heading out for a night on the town and your favorite restaurant, fill your tummy a bit with a cup of soup. It’ll make saying no to those complimentary rolls or fatty appetizer that much easier because you won’t be so hungry when you sit down to eat. Here's a little trivia for you too: last week when the Dow was plummeting, the only major stock that rose was Campbell's, so there must be something to this soup business, eh?

Here’s a simple, yet filling soup to get you through those times when your stomach growls. This famous Weight Watchers recipe is known to everyone as an easy, zero point alternative when you need more food but don’t want to spend the points or calories. It's quite tasty to boot!

2/3 cup sliced carrots
½ cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fat-free broth (chicken, beef or vegetable)
1 ½ cups diced green cabbage
½ cup green beans
1 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp dried basil
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp salt
½ cup diced zucchini

Spray a large saucepan with nonstick cooking spray, heat. Saute the carrot, onion, and garlic over low heat until softened, about five minutes. Add broth, cabbage, beans, paste, basil, oregano, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, covered, about fifteen minutes or until beans are tender. Stir in the zucchini and heat for 3-4 minutes. Serve hot.

Makes four 1-cup servings


Get creative - use any of your favorite veggies - the more the merrier! Or spice it up with your favorite seasonings and fresh herbs. You can easily make this soup your own.

Until next week...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Confession Time - Shannan

11 comments
I have a confession. I have been hiding behind guest posts because I've not been happy with my results, or should I say, lack off results.

I think I got to confident. The first few weeks I was watching every morsel I ate, writing it down, being good and the weight was falling off. I was walking at lunch - eating right and I'd lost 10 pounds in 5 weeks. I was feeling good.

As the weight started falling off I think I became complacent. I started allowing myself a bite or two of the things I shouldn't be eating, I used "special occasions" and "events" as excuses to break free from my diet plan. I found myself too busy to talk a walk at lunch. Worst of all - I have yet to really use my Weight Watchers membership.

I have decided that today is the day I get back in the game.

I am 15 pounds away from my goal weight. I don't want to fail this time. I want to loose the weight. I want to weigh what I did before I had children. I want to be that girl again.

This weekend I had a conversation with a friend that really put me back on track. I won't name names because I know she didn't mean it the way it sounded, but here it is in a nut shell:
Friend: Picking up photo off kitchen counter "Wow. When was this picture taken?"

Me: "Back in 1999. I was in Ft. Lauderdale for Spring Break. We were getting
ready to go out to the bars"
Friend: "Wow. Look how thin you were.
I can't believe it."
Me: "I know. It's been 10 years...."
Friend: "I mean,
look at your arms. You were thin."

Truth is, while I know she didn't mean it the way I heard it, it hurt my feelings. Had I changed that much? Other than aging (gracefully) do I look that different?? I don't have the photo electronically but I will try and get it scanned.

So, this week my goal is to get back into my eating routine, use my Weight Watchers membership and start walking at lunch again.

Current Weight: 150

Goal Weight: 135
Total Lost: 10 lbs

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Michelle: Trying Something New

4 comments
I'm a picky eater. I don't like veggies, really, except the starchy ones and I eat a limited amount of meat (usually not cute animals). I live on carbs really. So I'm really hesitant to try new things.*

I've been trying to get better and on this weight loss journey, in particular, I'm trying to keep an open mind. I've got 6 other girls counting on me after all, and all of you readers. It's time to make changes and that includes being a little daring, for me, on food.

This is a slow and steady process. I'm trying to start opening my mind to fish, although right now it seems to be fish in restaurants and not fish my husband wants to cook at home. He's a great cook, but eating something at home is a whole other level of commitment. A few weeks ago I tried cordoba, a white fish, at a wine dinner we attended at Oceanaire. Much to my surprise, I liked it! I seem to prefer the white fish to the red. However, we might be headed to Alaska next summer, so in that case, I need to learn to eat salmon.

Kevin bought these turkey burgers and he has been itching to try them. I suspect they're a little like the JTM of turkey burgers - premade patties that you pop onto the grill. I'm a little nervous, but I think that's what we're having for dinner tonite. We also picked up Morningstar Farms - vegetarian - mini corn dogs. Apparently I used to like these and now suddenly have a mental block, so those are on the agenda too.

The big one, for me, is the Silk. I was inspired by Amy's post last week so I went out and purchased some Silk light. I already can't stand the taste of milk, so I purchased the vanilla flavored. Do you know it tastes like melted vanilla ice cream? And it's just sweet enough that I no longer need to dump a few packets of equal on my corn flakes to satisfy my sweet tooth. Who knew? Thanks Amy, for that needed push into Silk.

I grew up in a family where we ate at a rapid pace (I still have to work on that one) and we lived on hamburgers, pizza, and spaghetti. That's it. So trying new food is a big deal for me. These are all little steps, I know, but they all count towards getting healthy.

Weight Loss: Holding steady at -6 and trying not to be frustrated by this.



*How am I a wine blogger you ask? I blog about the wine. It helps to have a great friend who tells me all about the food.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Amy: Week Six - Putting the pieces in place

4 comments

Weight lose is a big puzzle for most of us. So many elements go into your success or failure. And each person’s puzzle is separate and unique from everyone else’s. I’ve learned the hard way that what works for one of my friends or even my spouse won’t work for me necessarily.

It’s tough. First, you gotta find all the pieces. Define your motivation, map out your strategy, learn the hows and whys of your metabolism. Once you have your corners in place, you move on to those tricky middle pieces. Dealing with cravings, making sure you lose in a healthy way, eating the foods your body needs, adding exercise to your daily routine. Then there are always going to be those one or two weird pieces that never seem to fit. You know like facing stress (without a bag of M&Ms in hand), making it through holiday seasons (without a holiday ham attached to your ass), facing the pitfalls that come your way (without jumping into a bowl of hot fudge). If you work at it long enough, the puzzle comes together and you see results.

But what happens when all the pieces come together and the scale didn’t get the memo? There are going to be weeks where despite our best efforts, we just don’t lose. Any number of factors could be blamed, but the bottom line is that you walk away from that scale feeling dejected, like all your hard work and going without was for nothing.

I’ve been there. I’ve had weeks where every box was checked off, I did exactly what I was supposed to do and still didn’t see results. On the odd flip side, I’ve had weeks where I’ve cheated more than once and found success. Who knows what evil lurks in those fat cells of ours?

You know that Mucinex commercial? The one where the germs are little green creatures that take up residence in your nasal cavities? That’s what I picture when I think of my fat. Green little monsters that pro-create way too much. They’ve set up home in my body for years now and they’re tough to evict. On the weeks where the loss is low or non-existent, I can just see those SOB’s, bags packed, clearly unwanted, but holding on for dear life.

I wish it was easier and faster, no doubt. Who doesn’t? But it isn’t and I’ve faced that fact. It’s probably going to be a year before I’ll see the whole fruits of my weight loss efforts and hit goal. A year of sacrifice and choices not easily made. The comfort comes from two places: the success I’ve already seen and the better health I’m already feeling.

So the puzzle is always a work in progress. Sometimes pieces get bumped around and knocked out of place. When this happens you simply have to pick them up and start placing them again.

This week, I had a couple bad days: hard time saying no to seconds and no to cravings. But I tried with each new day to get back to making it work. I'm up 0.4 lb and I began my period yesterday, so I can't complain.

Til next week - keep making the pieces fit!

Wanna a little help to get going? I'm raffling off two three-month Weight Watchers Memberships at my blog. Stop by and enter now through 11:59 pm tomorrow (10/01).

Monday, September 29, 2008

Guest Post ~ It Takes a Village to Lose the Weight

1 comments
Please join us in welcoming Susan from Mr. and Mrs. Get Fit. On her blog, Susan and her husband Jay chronicle their journey from fat to fit.

Weight loss is an odd thing. It’s very individual in many ways—only you can decide how many calories you take in and how much activity you do to burn them.

But losing weight sometimes feels like a team effort. Actually, weight loss could be compared to an Olympic sport like running or swimming. Sure, an Olympic athlete has to be unbelievably dedicated, hardworking and talented to win. But where would she be without a coach to guide her daily workouts? Without a trainer to help her build the right muscles and eat the best foods? Without family and friends to encourage her when she feels like giving up after an injury or setback?

Successful weight losers usually have at least a few people to support them during their losing period—and beyond. My husband and I started losing weight together at the beginning of 2008, committing to ourselves and each other that we would get fit. This partnership in weight loss formed a strong foundation for our new lifestyle.

But we didn’t stop there. We launched a blog called Mr. and Mrs. Get Fit to reach out to a bigger network of cheerleaders. Based on many previous attempts to get fit, I knew we needed to feel accountable to the world—not just ourselves—in order to stick to our plan.

Our moms read the blog, of course. So did a few of our close friends. Some readers from my other blog, Working Moms Against Guilt, chimed in from time to time. Before we knew it, our little weight loss blog had 50 to 100 people checking in daily to see how we were doing. When we did well, they cheered. When we struggled, they chimed in with encouraging words and helpful tips. Talk about support!

The more I found myself blabbing about our efforts to friends, coworkers, acquaintances, anyone who would listen … the more I noticed how it helped me stay on track. Just knowing that they knew I had a goal kept me going, even when it would have been so easy to say, “Good enough.” Accepting a compliment about how much slimmer I looked made me feel like I owed it to that person to continue—I couldn’t let down my adoring fans! And so we trudged, jogged, occasionally sprinted on, losing nearly 100 pounds of fat between the two of us (with another 100 to go).

Perhaps the most powerful social motivator was (is) those friends and blog readers who have flat out said we inspired them to get healthy. (See that Cincinnati Losers’ blogroll on the left? We’re listed as “Inspirational Losers.”) Whoa. Now it’s not just about us and our fat. We’re role models now. Other people are shedding their excess pounds and bad habits, all the while looking to us as a beacon of the Great Fit Hope. How can we let them down?

We won’t. We can’t. Mr. and Mrs. Get Fit want to make ourselves, each other and our entire support network proud. Even when life makes it hard to get and stay fit, we will always have those coaches, cheerleaders, family and friends to give a nudge and help us get to the Olympics of Losers: to achieve and maintain healthy weight for life.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Laura: When life gives you lemons, make diet lemonade

2 comments

I don't know how it happened, but I managed to lose a pound this week. I think amazing amounts of stress can actually lead to weight loss. I know I mentioned that the wedding was starting to wear on me and last week, I gained a pound. This week, things took a turn for the laughably stressful.

My dress was finally located on Tuesday, which was an exciting turn for the better. Now we're in the final details stretch of the wedding, and I'm starting to calm down about that, which is good, because life totally blew up on another front. I'm in the process of selling my house in Covington. Jon owns a nice, larger house in Oakley, so we decided to live there and sell mine. Lucky for me, I was under contract with someone after only 6 weeks on the market. Everything was moving smoothly until I found out on Monday that I have a title issue. Basically, there are still some liens on the property originating when the previous owner's ex-husband deeded the house over to her. Sorting through the paperwork and getting this resolved has been a nightmare, and I reached my ultimate stressed out low on Friday afternoon when it was suggested that I get a lawyer to prepare for "worst case scenarios." I actually had to leave work. I was totally distressed. Luckily, I have very understanding bosses. 

Anyway, the closing was supposed to happen on Monday, but that will be postponed "indefinitely" -- Ugh. Hopefully we'll get it worked out soon enough that the buyer doesn't want to back out. 

So basically, I've been totally distracted from the wedding and my goal. I'm feeling good that despite all the insanity, I'm still down 3 pounds from where I started. I wouldn't say I'm making the best eating choices right now, but I'm definitely eating less. This week, I'm going to focus, so at least I'm feeling good for the wedding next Saturday. Lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains this week. And, a bunch of water. 

My goal is to lose two more pounds this week, so I'm looking the best I can in my wedding dress (which is perfect, by the way). 

Monika, Week 5 - Welcome back dear sweater

3 comments
It’s fall…my most favorite time of the year. The leaves are changing, there’s a slight chill in the air, and oh yes…it’s time to get out all my fall and winter clothes. Sweaters, jackets and turtlenecks oh my! Fall clothes are wonderful. You can get away with not wearing uber-tight things and revealing things. In fact, from a meteorological perspective, you need to layer up to be appropriately attired for the weather. Fall clothes cover you up and keep you warm and are more forgiving and delightfully camouflaging. Fall is when I can breathe a sigh of relief…no more bathing suit anxiety, no more fretting over whether or not my arms look good in a tank top, or wondering if a sundress is too short and shows too much thigh. Nope, my beautiful, amazing fall clothes cover every single problem area. In the past few seasons, the fashion gods have smiled down on us and the swingy A-line shirts that literally make everyone look bad (read: looks like you’re wearing a tent) are very in and everyone’s wearing them. Think you can see a flaw wearing one of those babies? No way.

Almost every single fall I’ve had this moment where I’ll stand in front of a mirror and think about how this year, this season, I’ll be able to diet and exercise from September to April and have a big diva-licious moment in the spring where I reveal a svelte new me. I’ve decided to make a commitment to sincerely trying to do it this season. And, when all of the Cincy Losers succeed with our weight loss goals, I want to see us all wear those darling sun dresses and go to a swanky affair to show off our beautiful selves! No cardigans allowed!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Julie: Week 5, and dreams

3 comments
I have a reoccurring dream. It's not a nightmare, but it's a little on the disturbing side. The circumstances are always different: I could be backstage, or at dinner, or at my desk, or sitting on my couch, but the outcome is the same.

All of my teeth fall out. Way more teeth than I have in my head either break off or fall out compeltely. It doesn't hurt, but it's bloody and disgusting and so incredibly vivid that when I wake up, I check to make sure I have all of my teeth. I always do.

I definitely think that dreams are the way for the unconscious mind to work things out when it doesn't have anything else to worry about. I guess I'm a little into Jung and Freud (I did a lot of work with them in my program in college) in thinking that symbols in dreams are somewhat universal. Apparently, teeth represent stability. Teeth falling out represent feeling out of control.

I guess I do feel out of control. I haven't been good about my diet, I've been stressed out and haven't been going to the gym. There are a few things going on that have made me feel disconnected and out of control, too. So how do I gain control?

For me, dieting is about control, and that may be unhealthy. When I lost weight two years ago, I was in one of the most unhappy times of my life-- mid grad school, unemployed, in an awful marriage and generally miserable. I couldn't control any of those things, so I controlled my eating. I am trying to sort out if I want to lose weight now because I want to lose weight, or because I need something to control when I can't control other things. I don't want to lapse into disordered eating, exercising or thinking.

In any case, I'm at 172.6. Down from a gain. I guess I'm not as out of control in my eating as I thought.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Michelle: Ups and Downs

2 comments
It's been a week or two of ups and downs. I gained back one pound that I've lost, now putting me at -7 instead of -8. I've behaved poorly as far as the diet goes, but some good things happened as well. Let's review, and we'll start with the not-so-good:

Downs
  • Threw out my back. I had back surgery a few years back and I never really returned to normal. Occasionally I do stupid things that remind me of this.
    Case in point, I worked my butt off at the Bacchanalian wine tasting event last Thursday night. But I should have had a job that required sitting down, but I was embarrassed to admit why I wanted one. Instead, I was standing up, in heels, head down and hunched over, for several hours as I uncorked and bagged over 300 bottles of wine. Sometimes I wouldn't even look up for an hour. It seems I compressed some things in my spine that really shouldn't be compressed. This seems to happen if I stand up for over 30 minutes anyway, but I really pushed it this time. Lessons learned: fight for sitting down job and don't wear really awesome heels. I spent most of the last few days flat on my back or hobbling around like I'm 80. I live in fear of another surgery, so I should really be more careful. Part of my working out is building up the weak muscles around my spine.
  • Took lots of painkillers. Thanks to the aforementioned issue, I succumbed and took a fair amount of Vicodan, among other things, this weekend. My back hurts on a regular basis, but I tend to work through it. It takes a lot of pain for me to break out the Vicodan, as I hate painkillers. The real downside to the painkillers? They make me hungry!

  • Ate too much. I was hungry. Painkillers or not, I was starving. I started out by eating 100-calorie snacks, but after 3 little bags, I'm sort of defeating the point. Diet? What diet? We ate at Otto's in Covington on Friday night. Have you eaten there? The pork I had was beautiful and delicious. (Julie, you would have loved it.) I ate it all. Thank goodness my back hurt too much to wander around Oktoberfest, or who knows how many cream puffs I would have devoured!

  • Lack of working out. I haven't been to the gym in a week and 1/2 now and I've only had 1-1/2 dance classes. I had to stop in the middle of Monday's quickstep class because the pain was just too much. Talk about frustrating. I've got to get myself back to the gym, but now I'm afraid I'll hurt myself again.
Ups
  • The week was not a complete loss. Not at all. Despite all the downs, I only gained back one pound. I'm okay with this. Forgive my french, but shit happens. Setbacks happen. One can only accept it and move forward.

  • My jeans fit and fit well. I hate shopping for jeans. I find it almost as painful as shopping for swimsuits. I pulled out my last year's jeans, all size 8s that were too tight by the time I shelved them for summer and discovered, to my absolute joy, that they fit. In fact, some are slightly too big and others fit absolutely perfectly. In particular, my 7 for All Mankind super-pricey designer jeans fit like they were meant just for me. Hooray!

  • My ribbon theory is working. Remember at the beginning I said I'd measured my inches by using ribbons instead of measuring tape? Well, the bust ribbon hasn't changed (of course not), but the waist ribbon is now too big by at least an inch! Yay! This makes me really happy. In fact, I felt thinner and hotter all weekend (even if I was hobbling). Feeling good is a big part of all this, right?

  • Hollywood is catching on. This made my week. First, The CW has come down on several of its new 90210 stars for being TOO thin and is encouraging them to eat. I love that there is now recognition of too thin. Have you seen these girls? They're such sticks I wonder how their legs can hold them up! Then on Dancing with the Stars (my favorite show), Carrie Ann Inaba told Susan Lucci to bulk up and gain some weight. Susan Lucci, the indomitable Erica Kane, looked too frail. If these folks look so small on camera, how tiny are they off? In addition, my favorite new professional dancer on the show, Lacey Schwimmer (from So You Think You Can Dance), has a bust and hips. I love Lacey - she's got a lot of muscle, but she's got a lot of curves. As a ballroom dancer myself, I aspire to Lacey.
So the week wasn't a wash, and I don't feel too bad about the bonus pound. I'm not back up to 100% yet with my back and my movement, but my dance instructor gave me some yoga moves that are helping. Hopefully I can be off the Vicodan by the weekend and back on track with the diet and healthy lifestyle.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Amy: Week Five - Not too shabby

12 comments

I’m a few hours away from weigh-in and I’m feeling pretty good. Even if the scale doesn’t reflect it, I’ve had a good week: exercised five days out of seven, stayed within my calories/points each day and didn’t use any flex points (for those of you not familiar with Weight Watchers you have an allotment each week of “extra” points or calories to be used as you need to). And bonus, I met all the healthy guidelines each day. The healthy guidelines recommended by WW are pretty standard like most plans:

Water - 6 to 8 svg/day

Fruits and Veggies - 5 svg/day

Dairy - 2 svg/day

Healthy Oils

Multi-Vitamin daily

Activity

I’ve slowly been working my way through the list and making these elements part of my daily routine. The one that has hung me up for a long time is the dairy. It’s not that I don’t like milk, I do. It’s not that I don’t like cheese, duh, I do. I’ve seen the “got milk” commercials and I know that milk can be an important part of a healthy diet, maybe even help with weight loss efforts**. So while I didn’t need any convincing on the benefits, someone needed to convince me on using all those points for a glass of milk. I only get 25 points a day and an 8 oz glass of (whole) milk is 4 points! But this week, I found a solution to the problem. I’m done crying over spilled undrunk milk.

Ladies and gentleman, I give you Silk Soy Milk Plus Fiber! This product is calcium-fortified making it a suitable alternative to traditional milk on my plan. It’s delicious and is only 100 calories/0.5g fat/5g fiber - which calculates to ONE point for each 8 oz glass. I can drink a glass in the morning and a glass at night and voila! I have my dairy for the day and I can still actually eat.

There are dozens of other benefits to soy milk - go check them out, it might be just what you’re looking for!

So, now you’re saying to yourself, ‘okay, she’s getting the dairy, yada, yada yogurt, but did it make or break the week?’. Well stay tuned, I’m heading to the scale right now!

I'm baaacccckkk! Miss me? Well, you're missing less of me because I lost 1.8 pounds this week. That walking and soy milk - it does a body good! Til next week...

**Please note that dairy is NOT a magic pill to weight loss; but an important piece of the puzzle that includes reducing caloric intake and increasing movement. - Cincy Loser