Monday, August 15, 2011

Fatty, Fatty, Two by Four

Do you know why I think Weight Watchers works? Sure, they teach you lots of stuff about eating healthy and portion control, but if you're a life long fat kid, you already know that stuff. You know that a portion of cheese is the size of your thumb, a portion of meat is the size of your palm, and a portion of rice or pasta is the size of a baseball. You know that grilled chicken is a better choice for you than fried. You know that filling up with a low fat soup or big salad before your main course will help to reduce your intake of calories. You've heard it (or read it) all the other times you decided it was time to lose weight.

You want to know why I really think Weight Watchers works? Accountability and good old fashioned SHAME. You have to drag your butt to a meeting (I hate those - they seem to promote processed foods SO HARD) every week or else the money you forked out for your membership fee goes to waste. Then you have to get weighed in front of another person. It's embarrassing enough to step on a scale in the privacy of your home and have to live with yourself, but for another person to see a number value of just how fat your behind is?

Shameful. Especially if you go in and, God forbid, gain. Even if they're the nicest, sweetest, most encouraging person on Earth, you can't help but wonder if they're saying Tut Tut, fattie! on the inside. So, you stay "on plan" and you exercise and you pray that the number on the scale goes down every week. It's not only to give ourselves the triumphant feeling of "I can do it!" but also to prove to another person (or people, because the people in line behind you can hear what's going on usually, or they'll see you sticking "bravo" stars on your bookmark) that you can do it.

Isn't "IN YOUR FACE!" such a powerful motivator to us human beings?

That being said, I am not about to pay for WW. It's just not in my budget. I need to find another way to be accountable, so here you go:

That's right, I'm posting my weight on the Internet. Talk about keeping it real, right? I took this photo this morning. This is the most I've ever weighed, not pregnant. I'm only 5' 4" so this is gross and excessive. My BMI is 33.6, which means that I am clinically obese. Um, ouch. Obviously, I need to start making some lifestyle changes, and quick.

Enter this:
Okay, funny story. I'm sure that most people on Facebook have at least one friend who runs a business that has a Facebook page, and they've asked all of their friends to "Like" it. I know I have several. Well, one of the girls in our playgroup put up a status asking people to "Like" her Boot Camp's page, so I went ahead and clicked on it while I was skimming through my updates one day. What I didn't catch, being the skimmer that I am, was the part that if you clicked you would be entered into a contest to win a free session.

And of course, I won. Yup, leave it to me to accidentally win something!

I sort of put off picking a date, because all of the sessions were early (for me) in the morning. I finally emailed her back and told her that I decided that since it was just for one session (which I was thinking meant day) it just wasn't worth it to sacrifice my precious sleep. She emailed me back and said she understood, but wanted to clarify - one session was FOUR WEEKS. $275 value.

I'd be a total dumb ass to pass up that, tired or not. I truly believe that this was a sign from God that I really need to get up off my behind and take care of this body that He has given me. I was running before it got hot, but since it's been hot here since April, I've been sedentary for a long time. I picked a class (the beginner one of course) and emailed her back.

I start tomorrow. I'm skeered.

I got a welcome email with a list of tips, a release form, a list of things to bring (which thankfully I already have so I don't need to buy anything) and a sample meal plan. I eyed this last one with skepticism because 1) those things usually have a lot of processed/fake foods on them and 2) my birthday is this week and I plan to celebrate with food, dang it! I have a coupon for a free dinner at Benihana, which is my favorite once a year treat and I planned on hitting Liberty Market or Joe's Farm Grill (or both, can't lie) on Wednesday for a free birthday meal.

Well, then I remembered that I can't do all or nothing, because I WILL BURN OUT. I start strong, do all the "right" things, then can't sustain the behaviors so I quit altogether. I don't want to do that. I've decided to start with baby steps and then add in something new each week or two. This week I'll be focusing on the exercise twice a week, obviously, and portion control. Near the end of the week I'll add in a yoga dvd a couple times a week. Next week, I'll work on preplanning lighter meals to stash in the freezer to cut down on prep for those late nights.

Baby steps.

Now, that doesn't mean I'm going to ignore the meal plan completely. There are things on there that seem like perfectly reasonable meals made from real foods. I'll be skipping the veggie burgers, premade protein shakes and low-carb, low fat, sugar-free anything. Something has to take up the slack for the missing carbs, sugar, and fat, and it's usually something made in a lab somewhere that I'd prefer not to eat. I'd rather have a smaller portion or not have it at all. Like I said, I know what I am supposed to do, I just have trouble implementing it because, after all, nachos taste better than salad.

I did make two concessions to the dieting thing:

I bought protein powder and something called Glucomannan. I splurged for a protein powder that not only is dark chocolate flavored, but is organic and fair trade certified. It doesn't look like it is meant for some scary body builder and doesn't have a bunch of weird ingredients. I didn't want a soy based one because of all the reports lately of how bad the processed soy is in particular for women, so I opted for whey. I had some this morning mixed into my steel cut oats and it's really good!

The other thing I picked up was a supplement called Glucomannan. I actually saw it on The Dr. Oz Show and thought it sounded interesting. I don't watch that show very often, but maybe it was a sign that I caught it that day. He doesn't really endorse diet pills, but this one is different than the ephedrine and caffeine laced ones that fill the market. This one is a powder made from a root, and when you add water it expands. That means if you take just a half teaspoon of this with an 8oz glass of water before a meal, it will expand inside your stomach and make you feel more full. In this way, you eat less. It's pretty much all fiber too, so the calories are negligible. I tried it this morning with my oatmeal and between that and the protein powder, it really made me feel full on less. The brand I bought (at Whole Foods) has nothing else in it, just the root from which the glucomannan is derived. The other ones I found (when I was able to find it!) all had other stuff mixed in, which I didn't want.

So there you go. Accountability. I plan to check in for the next four weeks starting this Friday. I know I'm not going to lose the fifty pounds I need to get back into a healthy weight range (145lbs = BMI of 24.9) in just four weeks, but hopefully this will be the jumping off point I need to get started. I'm going to call it Farewell, Fat Ass Fridays, or FFAF for short.


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Blogger Heather said...

Vinny won that giveaway too! Obviously it was for me and not him!! :) Hopefully I'll start soon too. Like you, I'm pretty intimidated but really excited to do it! KUDOS to posting your weight...I, on the otherhand, will only be cursing alone on my bathroom scale.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Katy said...

Good luck!!!

5:54 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Sara, you are a brave girl!! I would never in a million years let anyone see my weight...not even my husband! Hell....I won't even look at my weight. I turn my back when I stand on the scale at the Doctor's office!!! Lol!
Good Luck to you on the weight loss journey!

6:23 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

wow! That's fantastic that you won the class. Sounds like you are making steps in all the right directions. Kudos to you! Baby steps, you can do it. Heck, you can do anything you set your mind to!

4:07 AM  
Blogger how i met your father blog said...

i'm so glad you're holding yourself accountable! kim, over at the little bit, holds a Project: Self every friday for bloggers to share weigh-ins and such. you might want to participate!

7:41 AM  
Blogger how i met your father blog said...

this seems so fortuitous! congratulations!

a friend of mine does boot camp - and at the end of each session someone is named the "mvp" someone who has done well, improved themselves and built up others. their next session is free, too. and yes, by session they mean multiple weeks.

best of luck!!

7:50 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

you are one brave chick to post your weight on the internet...i wouldn't dare. And GOOD LUCK AT BOOT CAMP! I'm so jealous

1:41 PM  
Blogger Katy Cameron said...

Good luck to you :o)

I was a rower for years, but I also have hypermobility syndrome, so sometimes my joints meander off out of their rightful places, tearing a muscle, tendon and ligament or two in the process, so I'd have 'time out' on crutches etc where I couldn't exercise. Alas I still ate like a rower (can we say pasta overload?). I was finally able to nail my problem down to carbs (after even begging the doctor to help and being told I ate more healthily than him - um WTH difference does that make?!) when a friend gave me a book on the South Beach diet.

Now here's the thing - it works, but you don't need the processed crap you're worried about. Actually the doctor behind it doesn't advocate the processed crap (except sweetners on occasion), but the hundreds of recipes online are LOADED with them. Please excuse me now for being rather, um, racist (to clarify I have lived in both America and Canada) but north Americans are OBSESSED with processed shite, especially stuff that is loaded with sugar! You get things in supermarkets that would have most Europeans running screaming in horror (Nutella aside lol) When I was living in Canada as a high school exchange student Hamburger Helper baffled me the first time I saw it, and let's not go there on Kraft Dinner (my host mother was a big fan, especially with chicken weiners and ketchup - blech)

For the diet I took note of the lists of 'good' and 'bad' foods and just made my own, and, along with a little exercise, lost 45lbs. I did surf recipes online, and discarded all that included 'take one can of' or 'one jar of' unless it was tomatoes or beans (not in sauce) I eat lots of vegetables, and a fair amount of fruit (and yes, they have some carbs, but not complex ones like found in pasta or bread) but I do also ocasionally eat wholewheat pasta and a red/brown/wild rice mix. You can eat meat too, I'm just not that fond of it, so don't really bother much.

I'm not suggesting you stick rigidly to something like South Beach, but have a look about online at the suggested food lists and see what you can work with. It doesn't involve supplements either...

1:10 PM  

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