Saturday, June 30, 2012

The scale

I have a love/hate relationship with the scale. In the past, when I was on a diet du jour dropping weight daily, I would jump on and smile most days. It became a game, my daily dose of reality -- although it wasn't really. Although I was losing weight -- and vowing once again that this time was going to be different and I was going to keep it off -- in the back of my mind I knew I was lying.

And once I went off the diet and returned to "normal" eating -- Twizzlers, ice cream and whatever -- my poor scale was stuck in a corner like a forgotten friend.

Since I started eating truly like a "normal" person -- three meals a day filled with fruits, veggies and good protein -- I have stopped my need to jump on the scale. But today I did, and I have a big smile on my face. Without "dieting," I have lost 19 pounds. Sure, it's taken a few months, but those 19 pounds are mine. I did it through healthy eating and tons of exercise. I've sweated for each and every ounce.

I used to be in denial. The diet world of pills, gimics, quick fixes and belts that sent impulses to make my belly to make me skinny loved me. I would jump at any slick shark selling the latest, greatest cure for losing weight.

AND IT WAS MAKING ME CRAZY. Although being on a diet made me feel in control, I wasn't. Today, I am.

Today, I am at peace with myself, with food, with life. It's a great place to be.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Stop the craziness!

When I decided to stop writing down every morsel of food that passed my lips and to just eat healthy, I felt as if the chain I have carried around with me for decades broke.

Journaling what I ate was making me think about food. All the time. It was the one constant in my life that never changed. And I hated it. I also blame it on my yo-yoing the past three decades.

In addition to making better food choices, I am also exercising. But here's another difference: Instead of looking at exercise as a way to lose weight, I view it as a way to keep me healthy.

When I was going to Weight Watchers, I never counted the exercise I was doing. You can, but then you get to eat more, which to me always seemed counter-productive when I was trying to shed pounds. If you are at the weight you want to be, that is a different story. Then, you can exercise away an ice cream sundae. Exercise for me is attacking the fat I have gained over the years.

I feel so much more in control. In most cases, I am making great food choices, filling up on greens and fruits. And when I allow myself a treat, I really am first asking myself if it is worth the calories. If the answer is yes, I eat it, and don't beat myself up.

This is not a quick fix. But then I didn't gain weight overnight. I am giving myself a year to get in shape. I look at it this way: I can be where I want to be weight wise this time next year, or I can continue to eat and stay where I am. The former seems so much more attractive.

And I have finally stopped the nonsense.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

This gorgeous globe

I am not following a diet plan BUT I am still reading everything I can about ways to make the body slim down.

I do lose weight, and quickly, on Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman's Fat Flush Plan. But my closest friends have told me I turn into a crazy lady when I am Fat Flushing. (I do not agree with them, but isn't that the first sign of insanity?) One thing is certain: she does know her stuff, and I pay attention.

Her latest blog post was about the benefits of grapefruit, and she says there is now scientific proof that says grapefruit can boost weight loss. She calls grapefruit a super food when it comes to weight loss. There are the nutritional perks: vitamin C, a decent amount of potassium and phytosterols that help balance cholesterol levels. Pink grapefruit has vitamin A, beta carotene and lycopene, a carotenoid that has been linked with a decreased risk of prostate cancer. To top it off, it's low calorie.

Gittleman says the reason it may help us shed pounds is because grapefruit controls insulin, which controls our blood sugar, which when in check, controls our hunger. Insulin also is a fat depositing hormone, so it controls the amount of fat we store.

Gittleman's recipe: Eat half a grapefruit before every meal. That's 10 grapefruits a week. It's a good thing I love those little round globes. I just bought six this morning.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What if

I love Jennifer Hudson's new commercial for Weight Watchers -- one I see over and over at the gym -- the perfect place for inspiration. And for me, that's what this commercial is all about.

She lists the dieter's "what ifs" -- -- and I swear she is speaking to me:
What if I can't do it?
What if I can't lose the weight?
What if I'm not ready for change?
What if I fall back into old habits?
What if I lose control?
What if there is always an excuse for why I can't?
What if I gain it all back?
What if I can't follow through?

Then Jennifer puts her finger over her mouth and says: Shhhhh..... There's only one voice worth listening to and that is the one saying you can do this."

Of course, the commercial is for Weight Watchers, but I think it translates well into all facets of our lives. What we all need to do is quiet the voice inside our head that's telling us we can't do something. We can.

So now, whenever I have any doubts at all, I think of Jennifer with her finger over her mouth, saying "Shhhhh...." The past few weeks, it has done wonders silencing doubting Val. I can do it this time. And I will.

Monday, June 18, 2012

New attitude

In my last post, about eight weeks ago, I wrote that I joined Weight Watchers. That lasted about two weeks. Then life got really busy and WW was soon forgotten.

I've discovered exercise. Every morning I hit the gym and do an hour of intense cardio and 30 minutes of weight training. I am now in week six, and around week three discovered that I am actually liking this routine. I am there, pushing myself daily to do more.

The best part: When I work so hard at the gym, it is much easier for me to make excellent food choices throughout the day. I also have some new food rules:
1. I never let three hours pass between my meals. If I do, that's when I start getting the munchies.
2. Each time I eat, I include some protein. It might only be an ounce, but that little amount is enough to get me through to the next meal.
3. I look at my food before I take a bite. Really look at the food.
4. I put small amounts of food on my fork.
5. I chew and chew and chew. No gulping food down.
6. I drink lots and lots of water and seltzer throughout the day.
7. I always wear my pedometer. At the gym, I usually log around 8K steps. I do not hit the sheets at night until my pedometer reads 10K. Some days that means getting on the rebounder. Other days, just grocery shopping makes up the deficit.

And I jump out of bed each morning, put on my gym clothes, and hit LA Fitness. I really cannot imagine my life any other way. Yoga still soothes my soul. But the intense exercise is fueling my body. I like the mix.