Hi, I'm Petra and this is my weight loss/fitness blog.
I used to be on Weight Watchers from January 2011 to October 2012, dropping approximately 45 lbs. I've made the transition from unhealthy and unhappy to athlete and this is my journey to becoming a healthier, happier me. I frequently post about my exercise (mostly running, yoga and lifting), the foods I eat, recipes I liked and my daily struggles. You'll also find the occasional tree hugger post, (travel) photography or anything else I find worth remembering and collecting.
I follow most blogs back that follow me. However, I do stay away from blogs that promote EDs, unhealthy methods of weight loss or negative body image.
Feel free to say hi any time!
Since re-starting Weight Watchers, I’ve moved my weigh in day to Sundays so yesterday I weighed in for the first time. I was really happy with my weight dropping down to 149.5 lbs, which meant a 7.5 lbs “loss” from where I first re-started. As I mentioned in a previous post, a few factors (my period, a late dinner the night before) contributed to higher-than-expected starting weigh, so the majority of the 7.5 lbs is most likely just water. Either way, it feels good to be less bloated and just feel thinner again. I did stick to my daily and earned activity points, so there should be some fat loss in there too.
Things that worked for me this week:
Speaking of exercise, I’ve done a lot of upper body training in the last two days. Especially this morning, Bishop seemed to be on a mission during bootcamp. It was a small class with only 8 people and he had us grab those stackable step up benches and then went on to torturing us for 60 minutes. Each us of had to go 5 boxes high and then he had us do elevated pushups (feet on the box, hands on the ground), some sort of burpee variation where you start in a plank, then jump your feet up, do a pushup and jump back down to plank. Another exercise he had us do was starting on the right side of the box in plank, do a push-up, walk your hands (still in plank) up the box and over to the left, pushup and back over to the right. I nearly died during this one. Of course in between he chased us up 6 flights of stairs twice, having us do super-jumps (2 steps at a time). We finished off by stacking more boxes, putting a bar on top and then doing pull-ups. I hate pull-ups. So much.
I can feel myself getting sore already. I can barely lift my arms. Yoga’s going to be interesting tonight. The only good thing is that a sore back/arms/shoulders makes me forget that yesterday my legs were sore. Maybe I can even head out for a job tomorrow.
I almost don’t want to talk about it, but after this morning’s weigh in was less than stellar, I need to get down to the bottom of my issues and finally get over with it. So I gained 1.8 lbs in the last 4 weeks since I last weighed in at the end of April. 2 lbs, not that much, right? Well, it is if you’re supposed to go in the other direction, when you’re supposed to lose the last 8 lbs and finally reach goal.
My gain puts me back to 139.4, still under 140, but still almost 9.5 above where I want to be.
Why did this happen?
I’ve become lazy. Simple as that. I’ve become lazy in tracking my food intake, lazy in being accountable, lazy in being always honest and accurate with myself. Instead, I’ve started doing a lot of guesswork, estimating portion sizes and points values (often giving them points values that I think they should have, hi there, delicious chocolate dessert!), I stopped tracking fruit (hi, fructose!) and vegetables and I fell back into a midnight snacking habit. I oftentimes ate more than one portion of vegetables and fruits, proving that yes, you can also gain weight if you eat too much of the good stuff.
Why did I become lazy?
I’m tired. I’m tired of having to watch what I eat all the time. I’m tired of tracking and being meticulous. So I stopped doing it. I hoped that if I slowly slipped into a mindful eating habit, I’d be able to find the right balance between enjoyment, regular exercise, healthy diet and weight loss. Apparently that doesn’t quite work for me yet.
I’m content. I look at myself in the mirror and I like what I see. The occasional day aside when I feel bloated, I look at myself in the mirror and I’m honestly able to say, “You look great,” “You’re cute/pretty/gorgeous.” I’m at peace with myself. I have my imperfections but most of the time, I’m embracing them for what they are and I’m able to concentrate on the things that I love about myself instead. This contentment has impaired my motivation. Vanity can be such a strong motivator. I don’t look at myself anymore and think “You really need to lose some more weight”. It wouldn’t be awful if I were to stay where I am.
So what now?
I think I’m going back to more regular weigh ins. I’m not thinking weekly, but maybe bi-monthly. Maybe I need the little bit of extra pressure on the scale. I do want to lose the last 10 lbs. Not because of vanity, but because I want the safety net of being able to fluctuate a little up and down as I maintain. I need to be more accurate with my tracking again, I need to think more before I eat. Am I really hungry or am I thirsty and I just think I’m hungry? Or am I bored? Is it just a craving? I need to get back on track and do what know I’m supposed to do.
My original plan had been to reach goal by my birthday in August. I’m turning 30 and what greater gift could I have given myself than reach goal? It’s another 10 weeks away and with 9.5 lbs to lose, I’m not sure I can do it. My average weight loss has been about half a pound, so bumping it up to almost a pound seems like quite the task. I guess I’ll have to do the best I possibly can.
(On a side note, this month has been intense on the workouts and I’ve done a little more weights than I usually do. I don’t think I packed on 2 lbs of muscle, that seems extreme. However, I would like to believe that some of the additional weight is actually a combination of water/muscle.)
After March’s WIT being a bit of a bummer, I was ecstatic to step on the scale today as part of my monthly weigh in. I had a really good feeling about it, judging from how my clothes fit and how I generally felt. My guess was that I was bloated and retaining water in March, so I had hopes for the April weigh in. Not to spoil the April goal reflection, but I failed on the Do not step on the scale part of the plan. I did weigh in a couple of times on my bathroom scale. The results had been great though fluctuating so I knew whatever the scale would say at my Weight Watchers meeting, I was fine.
Anyway. I was shocked when I stepped on the scale and it gave me 137.6 lbs. That’s A) a lot less (weight & more weight loss) than I had anticipated and B) it’s fucking fantastic. I expected to see maybe 139 – 138.5 if I was going for it. I was ecstatic! I lie. I still AM ecstatic. I lost 4.2 lbs in April, which is huge, given how close to goal I am. Everybody who’s ever tried (or is currently trying) to lose the last couple of pounds, knows how hard it is. If you have a lot of pounds to lose, they tend to come off quickly at first, especially if you move from a poor diet and inactive lifestyle to a good diet and at least some exercise. Mine certainly did. The closer to goal you are and the more your body is accustomed to good habits, the harder your body seems to make you work for it.
This result excites me for a couple of reasons:
I guess my true highlight of the day was something else though. For those not familiar with Weight Watchers meetings, at the end of each meeting, the meeting leader will call out celebrations, where members are encouraged to speak up about their scale and non-scale victories. Today, this one woman in my group reached goal. She lost 60 lbs in total and when she originally started losing weight, it was due to her doctor giving her the choice to either lose weight or take all these pills to fight her obesity-related diseases. She didn’t want to take the pills and instead worked on losing weight. When she spoke about her journey today, she was close to tears because she was so relieved. She’s a regular at the meeting I go to and I know how hard the last couple of pounds have been for her. It was beautiful to see she finally got to where she wanted to be.
A few more cool things:
Went to Weight Watchers for my monthly weigh in today and I only lost 1 lb during the last four weeks. I’m not going to lie, I would have liked to lose at least another pound more. I’m currently at 141.8 lbs, one pound away from what is officially a healthy BMI. That said, I have started noticing a change in body composition. My shoulders look broader, my stomach flatter and my arms less flabby. My clothes sit a little more loosely, so I know there is change happening and I’m not stressed over the 1 lb loss. After all, it’s still a loss. I’ve done more strength/weight types of workouts last week, so who knows, some of it is probably just water retention. I’m still quite pleased because I feel like I look great.
Today was the meeting led by Steve, my meeting leader. I’m sad to see him go. He’s been incredibly supportive of me and was many times one of the main reasons why I just didn’t give up when I struggled. He’s moving out of NY to Connecticut, I think, to sell cookies at a friend’s bakery. I’m curious about next week and seeing who’ll they’ll install as a new meeting leader or whether they’ll cancel the Tuesday morning meeting altogether.
What else is new?
I registered for a half-marathon yesterday that sold out in less than 9 hours. Apparently the Brooklyn half is a big race with 15,000 runners. Crazy!
I continue being frustrated with my assistant planner. Unfortunately, she’s currently causing me a lot of extra work because she doesn’t double check her own work so I have to do it for her. She’s distracted, sloppy and overwhelmed. She reports into me and another planner and doesn’t communicate clearly, even if we ask her to. She lies and generally has poor work ethics. It’s frustrating since we’re managing two of the largest campaigns on the account and I need her to be more reliable than she is. Plenty of people (myself, the other planner she reports into and even some more senior people) have sat down with her and given her talks about it, but she’s just not changing. It’s frustrating.
Overall, March just really, really sucked. Bring on April already.
My day in le forme du bullets:
Today was the day. After not stepping on the scale for 5 weeks, today was the day for a check in. After feeling a little anxious before the weekend, I felt really calm and in control yesterday and today. I knew that whatever the scale would say, I had given it my best. I felt great.
That said, I’m not going to lie that seeing the validation of what I felt was absolutely wonderful. This morning, the scale gave me a weight of 142.8 lbs, my lowest weight ever and 3.6 lbs down from when I last weighed in 5 weeks ago. I’m incredibly pleased with the result because I’ve lost weight and while doing that, I was more at ease, stress free and I feel that I was still enjoying myself. Brunch at Alice’s Tea Cup with all the scones? Yes. Boozy brunch (more than once)? Yep. Fatty and delicious Thai food? Yes. Cakes, cookies, chocolate and brownies? Yep, yep, yep! There was also plenty of exercise and a diet as balanced as could be – with the occasional splurge.
Going forward, I’ve decided to weigh in only once a month, probably the last Tuesday of a month. That way I still feel accountable for the decisions I make, yet I take away the stress of hormone and water related ups and downs. I’ll be more on the lookout for a general trend of where my weight goes as opposed to getting hung up on why the scale is up 0.1 lbs when it really should be down 0.2.
I know February is not quite over yet, however, one of my March goals will be to lose another 2 lbs to bring me down to 140.8 lbs. It would be the first time in my life ever being at a “healthy” BMI. Until then, I’ll keep doing what I did. I got this.
The weigh in that didn’t happen. I went to my weekly Weight Watchers meeting and didn’t weigh in. I have to admit that while not weighing in has taken a lot of pressure off of me and that I generally feel happier and more at ease, it’s also getting tough to not know where I stand. I think I’ve been doing fine, but I did have more alcohol and bad food in the last three weeks. So who knows whether I’ve been harming my progress instead of moving in the right direction. Even though I’m trying to be more relaxed about this, I am scared of gaining weight and not having the reassurance that I’m fine or that I need to hit the brakes is starting to stress me a little. I’m not supposed to weigh in for another 2 weeks, but maybe I’ll either weigh myself at home some time during the week or I might weigh in at the meeting next week. I don’t know.
I’m seriously considering taking my mom up on the offer to fly home for the summer and my birthday. I have a total of 19 days off for the year (the perks of working for a French company, Je t’aime, employer!) and 7 are going toward my Canada vacation. That leaves me with another 12 days to plan. For Christmas this year, I thought about flying home a day or two before the holidays and then staying until early January and my Dad’s birthday on January 2nd. This means that most of my Christmas vacation days will come from my 2013 PTO and I only need to save a couple of days for pre-Christmas and between the holidays (three to five days to be exact). It’s been on my mind quite a bit and I’ve started thinking about all the great, fresh vegetable my dad will be growing in his backyard, one of the things I miss most ever since moving to a big city. The great BBQ we’re going to have for my birthday – I’ll take a hearty helping of these home-grown grilled veggies, please. Thanks! So yes, I think I’m going to do it. (Ironically, mom told me yesterday on 2/13. Exactly 6 months away from my birthday. Turning 30 on 8/13.)
Do you ever go to bed, looking forward to working out the next morning? Totally happened to me on Sunday night. I was going to strength train, something I never look forward to. Of course, yesterday I actually overslept. Duh. I ended up doing my workout at night then, probably giving the people across the street something funny to look at. This is Manhattan, whatcha gonna do? We’re all limited in our space. I’m tempted to skip my rest day today and do another workout. I’m headed to Colicchio & Sons this Thursday for a business dinner and then on Sunday, I’ll meet a friend for tea/breakfast/brunch at Alice’s Teacup. While I’m really, really looking forward to both dates, they’re going to be a little carb-treat-heavy. Which is fine, really. I just need to make sure I balance it with some additional exercise. I’m off on Monday for President’s Day (yay! RUN!), but maybe a bit of weights or pilates won’t hurt tonight.
I went to my Weight Watchers meeting this morning and made the conscious decision to not step on the scale. I mentioned in the past that I felt too obsessed with it, almost as if my happiness was dictated by that stupid number. Over the last couple of days, I’ve obviously done a lot of thinking and I’ve realized that I need to break this mind connection of “I eat this” and “I’ll weigh this”. (Or “I can’t eat this because it’ll make me weigh this.”) That’s not how it works – experience should have told me by now. It’s not about giving myself excuses to eat all the things I’ve denied myself lately in giant quantities. It’s about not denying myself foods anymore. That Good Foods Bad Foods list? I don’t need that.
I need to trust myself again more. I need to trust myself that at this point, I’ll intuitively will make the right decision and that it will be dictated by my body and what my body needs. Will there be mistakes and slip ups? Of course. But this isn’t about being perfect. It’s about figuring out what works for me. I think large part of my obsession over this is due to my yo-yo dieting history. I don’t think I know any woman/girl who has never been on some kind of diet in her life. I think I’ve been dieting since I was 12. There are plenty of articles on what dieting does to pre-teens and while I appreciate my mom’s concern about my health and fitting into standard definitions of beauty (I was always the big girl in kindergarten, elementary and high school, etc.), it’s not really helped me. It’s left me with this incredible fear that if I let loose a little now, all the weight will come back. It certainly has in the past, right?
Again, this is a trust issue. Trust in myself and trust that I’ve learned enough about a healthy nutrition that I’ll be able to maintain this amazing achievement without making myself sick over it.
Not weighing in this morning felt liberating. I’ve got admit. I feel like a giant weight (no pun intended) has been taken off my shoulders. I definitely feel less under pressure and more at peace of mind. I had a long chat with my Weight Watchers leader and had him look over my food intake for the last week. I mentioned that I felt like I was restricting and how I was concerned about maybe not eating enough food. He suggested I try and up my protein intake a little more (more legumes, it is!) and that otherwise, I’ll listen to my body more. I’ll continue tracking my intake just because it gives some a little more security right now, but I’ve increased my daily intake goal for now.
Baby steps, right?
Following my earlier breakdown, I’ve decided that I need to change something. Clearly, my obsession with the scale, food and exercise is not healthy and it’s doing more harm than good. My happiness for the day should not be controlled by what a stupid number says. Thoughts of purging, having to fast and reduce the amount of food I eat should not come to mind only because three digits are not what I want them to be. Thoughts of having to punish myself for not doing well enough have no place in my mind because they are neither healthy nor will they get me anywhere. I need to learn again how to listen to my body, to love it and accept it unconditionally and always – even on days when I don’t feel great. I’m aware that what I have can be considered disordered eating and I need to stop it before it becomes an eating disorder.
I had a chat with a co-worker earlier today and I’ve received lots of wonderful advice here on Tumblr as well as from my friends on Twitter.
Who knows. It might just be water weight. It might be muscle. It might be fat. I don’t know and I need to stop obsessing over it. It might be more undigested food in my stomach than usual. It might be a combination of some/all of these. I’m not doing myself a favor. Far from it.
So I’ve decided that I need to take care of myself more. I am doing well by eating healthy and by exercising. But I also need to make sure I don’t just treat my body healthily, but also my mind. I can’t go crazy over this. Starting tonight, I’m taking more care of myself. There’s no need to wait until next month. I’m starting now. I’ll be taking the following measures:
Operation Taking Care of Myself starts now.
I’m in such a funk today. My weigh in this morning was awful to put it mildly. It confirmed what I’d been noticing when I sneakily stepped on the scale during the weekend. I gained a significant amount of weight and at this point I’m at loss what to do. I’m frustrated, I feel like I’m restricting and I don’t know what to do differently. I’ve gone up 2 lbs during the last two weeks, putting me pretty much back to my pre-Christmas weight. It makes you question why you’re doing this to yourself day in day out. Why you’re missing out, why you’re forcing yourself out of bed at 5 AM every fucking morning, why you obsess over always making the best choice possible (especially when what’s good for you is not what you really want), when at the end of the day, you’ll still always be the fat girl.
I know that choosing foods with great nutritional value over foods with poor value is not supposed to be about weight loss. I know that exercise is not supposed to be about weight loss. It’s about health. Treating my body right and giving it the fuel to stay healthy for as long as possible. I know I shouldn’t do it for the weight loss. But you know what, I (and I’m pretty sure every other overweight person who is active and eats well) would be lying if I insisted I only do it for the benefits of being healthy. That’s bullshit. I want to be skinny. There, I said it. I’m vain and I want to look in the mirror and look as best as I possibly can. I want to feel desirable and pretty and right now, I don’t feel like this. I know I shouldn’t base my self-esteem and confidence on the number of the scale. I’m pretty sure that I don’t look any fatter than before Christmas, but I’ve said it before, unfortunately the scale is the one tool that gives you instant feedback week in, week out.
I didn’t eat any of my weekly allowance points last week and I didn’t even need all of my activity points. I should have had a caloric deficit more than enough to at least maintain my weight. I’m at loss and don’t know what else to do. I feel helpless and stuck. And I fucking hate it.