Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 in review

Hi everyone. I hope you had a great 2008 and have started planning for 2009.

What was great about 08?

Well, I spent the first part of the year focusing on physical phitness. I learned a lot about what my body is capable of and leared to plan menus. I struggles with this in the next few months, but was still exercising and planning until mid-summer. Since then...not so much. What have I learned? Maintenance is a continuation of skills you have learned, not abandonment of them. My commitment to exercise in the coming months will be to commit to movement every day - unless I am sick and can't move out of bed. Other than that, there is no reason I cannot get on the elliptical or go for a half hour walk daily. Ideally, I would like to participate in a couple of 5Ks and maybe even a triathalon, but we'll see how 'tings go first.
So, even though I fell off the phitness wagon mid-summer, I got through vacation with minimum damage food-wise and continued to maintain my weight throughout the year. Woohoo.
In case some of you missed it, I began training as a WW receptionist last summer. I worked at 2 meetings/week for my training then took Basic Leader Skills training in September. I moved directly into my own meeting on Monday nights as Terry, my mentor, was looking to move on. It's been a great learning experience for me. One lady made lifetime in November and I have 2 more making lifetime next week. What a great way to start the first meeting of 2009!!

What's on the plan for 2009?

I'm recommiting to strength training in January. Apparently, Corinne has a great running/ST routine that would fit with me for the first part of January. I'm commiting to movement every day and strength training twice a week for 3 months, when I'll re-commit.
As for food, I am going back to my excel spreadsheet each week and pulling my grocery list from that. It was the easiest thing I've done yet for journaling - and very effective.
I will attend other meetings for a few months. I have 4 leaders I would like to watch and will be attending 1 meeting per week to watch and learn for the first while. Unfortunately, I have my meeting on Mondays, so I'll be watching after-the-fact. That's OK though. I would also like to take on another meeting, but I'm not sure when just yet. I may post-pone this for a few months.

Financially - I need to clean up a small balance on hubby's MC, but it's been cancelled. I need to consolidate holiday spending on the Visa and Sears card to the LOC. We are not using these anymore. I'm paying monthly on the LOC and would like to cut it in half by the end of summer.

De-clutter - We've done a lot but have alot left to do. I'm giving us 3 months to fast-track any remaining decluttering, such as building supplies, etc. In 3 months I will be hiring a lady to come in and help organize. We'll also be renovating the kitchen this summer.

I will be reviewing my goals over the next couple of days and doing a SWOT analysis on each of them to pull out the top 3 to work on over the first quarter of 2009. I'll try to get a story board up for Q1 09 as well. I haven't updated it since last spring and it's time to do so.

So, not into planning or goal setting? Let's get ready and make 2009 a year for the record books. Many of us have a vague idea about what we want. Honestly, it's not enough. Fail to plan and you plan to fail. If you have a vision you are ahead of the majority of the population. Write it down and BAM! Your chances of reaching your goal have just sky-rocketed. Next, document what you need to do to reach that goal. Think this is the tough part? Really, it is. Because all you need to do after that is follow your action plan. Hmmm, tougher than it sounds, huh. Remember, "Before anything else, preparation is the key to success." - Alexander Graham Bell

What do you want to accomplish in 2009?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Frency's vs. Bib & Tucker

So when the 10 year old 'needs' new pants or tops, where do I head? Frenchy's! She's a sweat-pant kid and likes her tops long. Women's Small tops that are a tad too short in the arm for me fit her perfectly. These are the filler items we all need in our wardrobe.

What to do when she wants 1 'good' outfit to feel pretty in though? Good luck finding that at Frenchy's (although you may luck out on occassion, without child in tow you're pushing your luck). I have scoured the Wal-Mart's, Zellers, Sears, Winners and any other store I've been in looking for a suitable outfit. Last night I decided, 'frig it'. I've likely saved hundreds on the kid shopping Frenchy's for so many of her clothes that it was time to bite the bullet. I headed to Bib & Tucker and walked out with a 'dress' or 'long shirt' depending on whether she matches it with the pants or leggings - the outfit I chose was not near in the price-line of some of these items, but for someone who isn't used to spending more than $50 at a time on the kids, the almost $150 receipt threw me a bit. To tell the truth, the pants look awesome with the dress and give it a funky look. I got a squeal, jump and hand clap after she paired these up - and that made the price tag worth it, even though hubby chastised slightly. Christmas Eve outfit down. The 5 year-old's was ordered from Sears at a much smaller cost. And mine - came from Frenchy's.

And now she wants nice shoes to go with it. I should have known - if you give a moose a muffin, they'll want raspberry jam to go with it.

MWAH - Have a great Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What goes up MUST come down:)

Well, let me fill you in on sommin. After last weeks 4 lb gain I experienced a 3.2 lb loss this week. I'm going to tell you this - that gain was a much-needed kick in the caboose.

Without the gain I likely would have gone through the next couple of weeks blissfully thinking I could 'cheat' the system. One cracker with brie would have turned into 2 and a couple shortbread cookies. And next thing you know, I'd be butting 150 and looking for some size 12's. But no - instead I have renewed vigour.

I have documented my not-so-stellar week and watched my daily eating habits improve a bit each day as I made adjustments based on the previous days results. Most importantly, I am eating enough in the mornings now. No more 3-4 pt breakfasts and skipping snack. Not for this 'lil 'ole Weight Watcher. Yesterday and today I ate a huge breakfast and made sure I had my morning snack. Wanna know what my breakfast was?

Into a microwavable safe dish add:
1/3 C oatmeal
a little less than 2/3C water
a whole egg

Microwave for 2 minutes or less. Stir. Mic until egg finished cooking.

Add some frozen berries or fruit

Mic until fruit defrosted

Enjoy with a cup of coffee made with splenda and 2Tbsp whole milk (1/8C, btw)

OK - This may be on the high side for a lot of you, but let me tell you something really important that I've learned during 2008. Ready?

If you eat more in the morning, you'll be less tempted to eat in the evening. Sounds crazy, but it's so true. At my best, I ate at least 6 pts each morning, 2-3 pts mid-morning, 5-6 pts at lunch and 2 - count them - 2 afternoon snacks before landing home at supper. This turns out to be 7 pts, but that could easily be reduced by using 2 egg whites instead of a whole egg (I'm just uber lazy).

Commitments for this week:
1) Track all food eaten in my handy-dandy WW tracker which is kept in my sexy new pocket guide.
2) Walk for 150 minutes (back to basics here, too).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tonight at Weigh-In

I do not expect a loss over last week. In fact, I expect that gain to solidify or grow slightly. Why do I not feel badly about that?

1) I've been tracking all week in e-tools and my handy-dandy new tracker.
2) My food choices and evening slurge choices have significantly improved over the course of the week.
3) I have been faithfully reporting into Phit-n-Phat and doing some reflection of the past year.
4) I turned down chocolate today.
5) I turned down chocolate today.

The chocolate was worth mentioning twice because it signifies a chance in thought process from"one piece won't hurt" to "it really isn't worth it".

Oh, and did I mention that I turned chocolate down today?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

+4 - Say Wah?

OK Folks...I know I haven't been stellar, but 4 lbs in 2 weeks after maintaining within a pound for 4 months is a little nutty. And likely erroneous. Why do I say that?

Well, I weigh in EVERY Monday night when I give my meetings - very informal thing because our floors are tilty and we have to check the balance and make sure we're on a flat surface so people don't tip (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). Well, because of my weekend habits - I wouldn't say unhealthy, but this is when I indulge a bit - the scale is a wee bit higher. Now, in the grand scheme of things, it is also fairly steady one Monday to the next - just to reassure Monday weighers that it's about consistency.

I will digress right now and say that the scale number is NOT the reason I still officially weigh on Wednesdays. I like to check out Fiona's meetings - she's awesome and I focus on different things like how I could improve my own meetings. Also, I love the feedback and group talks in these meetings. So, it makes sense to weigh-in and attend monthly meetings there. I also have plans of attending other meetings in the New Year with some of the other leaders. Call it training.

Now, the scale on Monday night was a little higher than it has been, but not significantly so.

Also, Tuesday nights meal consisted of grabbing some cold chicken breasts and apple pie and stuffing my face while standing at the fridge. Oh, don't give me that look like you've never done it. In fact, I was being rushed out the door to get to the Christmas Concert. After the concert, there was also an incident with J's gingerbread house. It's too painful to talk about right now, but I think it contributed to Wednesdays number.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pick up some Momentum this Holiday season

Most of you who follow Weight Watchers have, by now, heard of the new Weight loss plan. Those who haven't will soon enough. Can I just say...YESSS!!! This plan combines the best of both Flex and Core in a nice little package. It's also the plan that many successful members have been using without knowing it. We've been calling it Flore, for the most part.

For Flex members, you continue to experience the benefits associated with the points system, portion control and the accountability of tracking. Did you know that those who track lose 50% more weight than those who don't. What a great motivator to make this second nature.

For Core members, you continue to experience the benefits of eating a wide variety of high energy-density foods and continue to benefit from understanding your own hunger signals.

Now all members get to experience all of the benefits. Oh, and there's now a focus on lean proteins and activity. Not that these weren't there before, but it's nice to see them front and centre with everything else. What else is new...subtle wording change in your 6 glasses of liquids, but please keep in mind that water is still the best way to hydrate your little 'ole self.

Have fun learning the 'new' plan. Or re-learning old lessons in new ways. Either way, there's now one plan for all, and to all a good lifestyle change.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Holiday Plan - 2008 version

My Holiday plan from last year helped and provided amazing results. I began a resistance training regime with Phit-n-Phat late November and focused on a lot of other things. I was in charge of Christmas dinner, which I found helpful. BUT...it's not the DAY that can cause problems, but the weeks beforehand and the week or so afterwards before we all crawl back to Weight Watchers or begin the latest in a long line of diets.

Like everyone else, I want to have fun throughout the holiday season. Food can be a big part of that. I don't plan on going into 2009 with extra pounds gained this month, though. So, I've developed another Holiday eating plan to be used to maintain my weight for December (and hopefully shed an inch or so in the process).

I'll use the same categories as last year for those interested in reading that one. I really did a copy and paste, then made my changes - and really, what works stays. Changes reflect the changes I've made this year.

Gatherings - Get a small plate and choose healthy options (i.e. 1 sandwich wedge, some veggies and fruit, limit of 1 small sweet). Why the sweet - because I'm not on a diet. You heard me - I'm a weight watcher but not on a diet. This is my life and we all need a sweet now and then or one of these parties we're gonna stuff sweets down our throat until we're sick of them - at least I would. Deprivation is not pretty. I strongly encourage my meeting members to use their weekly points allowance for indulgenges, and I usually relax for Saturday evenings. If you have multiple events during the week you may find the need to practice some restraint. Having a plan for the evening is always helpful.

Dinners - I load up on veggies before they're mashed, make cranberry sauce with splenda and used it on my 3-4 oz of turkey breast instead of gravy. If I really want some gravy, I'll be sure to ensure it is made with drippings instead of fat - This can be accomplished by letting it cool for while - there will be a nice separation. And who eats desert right after the meal, so when it's time, again limit to 1 small piece of whatever looks the best - if you can come up with a low point option, go for it. Just add 'healthy' in your google search.

Fast food during busy days decorating and shopping - Subway, McDonalds grilled chicken salads, Tim Horton's broth soup, Chinese with steamed rice vs. fried, grilled fish instead of fried. There are actually many options for eating on the run. An of course, nothing beats packing a cooler. This simple lunch-box is the best friend of someone watching their waist-line.

Quick meals at home - Stock up on some easy supplies, like pre-cooked chicken breasts, low fat meatballs, shrimp and frozen veggies for stir-fry's. Take an hour and make some frozen dinners that can be easily grabbed - I use the dinners in the frozen food section as guidelines (rice, shrimp, veggies and sauce) or (pasta, cooked chicken breast, veggies and pasta sauce). The choices are endless, but I do tend to use frozen, pre-cooked meat - but you can also throw in a few casserole dishes with various cuts while the rice is cooking. Pork, Steak, Chicken. For pasta don't cook until done as it will continue to finish cooking when being mic'd. Measure, put in container, and freeze. I love the 2C ziploc containers and usually make 6pt meals.

Sweets at home - Last year I was determined not to buy them, but I have become somewhat lax on this venue. If you have problems with food item control, honestly, you don't need them and neither does your family. Gifting or tossing baked goods is all in the cards for some and can leave them feeling extremely empowered. I'm not a big baker anyway, so any sweets we get can be frozen and used for recess or after-school snacks. My husband refuses to give up on these carb and sugar based items, but if I have healthy alternatives in the house (salad foods, protein bars, or other snack items) I tend to go for those. Do what you need to do, though. For me, the goal will be to ensure healthy items at hand.

Sweets at work - specifically chocolates or truffles, as that's my downfall. Last year I actually allowed myself 1 chocolate twice a week, but only if it was something 'good'. It worked great and I think I'll do that again. It saves me from over-indulging when we do have chocolate.

Exercise - Having taken a major hiatus from resistance training with Corinne, I really miss my bicep definition. And, I've gained a couple of inches in the waist and hips in spite of maintaining my weight. My plan is simple and I am going to own it. I will be working out using the beginner program I used last year. I am commiting to 2 cardio sessions per week and 2 strength training sessions. I do need to sub some items for my knees, but I am excited for this. All my weights have been moved upstairs, including the eliptical and bench. I'm taking over the computer room.

For the scale, I do not obsess. I am well below my WW goal and I know that the introduction of any exercise regime may cause an increase on the scale. I suspect my weight will remain the same through December and will begin to drop in January. I am going to go back to using my excel spreadsheets for menu planning and posting them on the fridge. AND, I'll be focusing on filling foods.

A lot of this really is the same as last year, with some improvements. I hope you get some ideas from some of these Holiday survival plans and if you post one of your own, please let me know so I can link to it. Have a great December.

Year 2 - May 28/08-Current