Monday, 29 November 2010

Regular service will shortly be restored ...

Hey kids,

Oh my good god it's been so busy!!

My birthday has been and gone (and oh what fun it was), but I have to admit that I never quite got my eating back under wraps, what with moving flats and all that entertaining, so I had a small gain at my weigh in on Friday. Mind you, it was only half a lb, so I guess keeping moving helps ward off slightly crappy eating.

Then housemoving went into full swing from Thursday to yesterday and I fully admit that for the most part the eating's been pretty shitty. BUT ... I have been moving non-stop, packing, hauling crates, massive bags and furniture up and down stairs, and for the most part all on my own, for the last 4 days, and the scales are actually down from Friday as a result.

Most of my stuff has now made it to the flat, and I was due to be flying off to Edinburgh today with work - that's been cancelled because of all the snow up there, but just in case, I got up early, braved the minus temperatures and went to the gym before work this morning. Just half an hour cardio (X-trainer and running) to ease myself back in after my 6 weeks away, but I felt good for it. I need to get my ass back in a yoga / pilates studio pronto too, as something is pulled somewhere in the back of my ribcage after all the moving - I need to be stretchy again!

Hopefully, I'll be less AWOL now - I have regular Internet access again, and intend to get back to it in the run-up to Xmas!

Love you - have missed reading about everyone's adventures!!

- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

New age, new flat, new office ...

Feels like new everything!

Still here plodding along, just been ridiculously busy. I'm currently lying on the bed in my lovely new flat, which I picked up the keys for yesterday. That means that this Thursday and Friday I have the lovely task of ferrying all my crap down here in my hired van.

Also yesterday, my office moved to it's new building, so that was a bit more upheaval. With the new flat and office sorted though, I took advantage of the proximity of the Fitness First gym to work and joined last night. And I had my first workout over there after work this evening.

This weekend also saw my 30th birthday fly past in a blur of alcohol and friends. I freely admit
I didn't point on either Saturday r Sunday, but neither did I go bat-shit crazy. I've just assumed I've used all of my flex points for the week and moved on from there.

The birthday was good but emotional - lots of drama happening - a he'll of a good time but I don't think I'd want to do that again in a hurry!!

I'm a bit short of time right now, between moving and then potentially going to Edinburgh next week with work, followed Brussels a few days later for pleasure, plus a lack of broadband access at the flat at the mo, but I'll try and keep checking in.

Right now, I'm head down and trying to work with the persistence now perfection theory.

- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A step at a time

Well thank god for that – a day actually on track.

Sometimes, when things aren’t going quite as well as you’d like, just stepping back and focusing on what’s right in front of you helps.  I know I’ve said that before, but it’s still true.  When something’s overwhelming, just focus on the little things.  So for me, just focusing on making this one day right really helps.

Tomorrow, I’ll focus on just getting tomorrow right.

Finished the day off with a nice chunk of rump steak, with some roasted acorn squash, and veg.  Which brings me to an interesting point.  I understood that the new points system was based on how long it took to digest something.  So, an item like a biscuit that is all carbs and sugars – essentially empty calories that the body processes very quickly, and then stores as fat, has quite a high points value.  But on that principle, steak, which is all lean protein, with no carbs or fat to speak of (I trim the fat off mine), should be low points, as it’s tough for the body to digest, but steak tonight was 9 points!  That ain’t low point! 

Oh well – I’m sure Weightwatchers know what they’re doing.

Good eating today was accompanied by a good day at work, and some list-writing for the weekend’s plans.  The shopping list is coming along nicely so far.  And the dress for the weekend is picked out, as I tried on one I bought a while ago, but was a bit tight across the bust and back, and it fits pretty much perfectly now.  Yay!

Organised chaos will be reigning here for the next couple of days :o)

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Really not convinced

…. by this Propoints malarkey.  Despite a loss last week, I’m massively struggling to stay on points, as even the best of my old meal-plans (tried and tested) sends me spiralling over my daily points.

Add to that, that alcohol is now the devil, which means this weekend royally screwed me over.  Friday, with a breakfast of a bacon and mushroom roll, 2 small hash browns and a smoothie, no lunch, and an Indian meal in the evening (it was a set menu, but I had a small plate of starters, a few spoonfulls of 2 dishes, a very small portion of rice and a plain naan – best I could do in the circumstances), followed by, admittedly a few cocktails and a couple of glasses of wine, saw a staggering 100 points accumulated.

Yes – that is correct – 100 of your finest Weightwatchers Pro Points.

So that was all of my daily allowance, my weekly allowance, my activity points accumulated to that point, and a deficit to kick the week off.  And on a normal day I just can’t seem to find a menu that gets me to the end of the day without blowing over my daily points.  Unless I don’t eat any carbs, don’t eat any meat, and don’t drink any alcohol.

I feel a bit like a giant, trying really hard not to put great big clumsy feet down and break something in a room that’s far too small – the room is my daily points allowance, and my feet are my meal choices.  Everything just seems to be wrong, right now.

I keep trying to start each day right, but it’s extra frustrating knowing that even if I could somehow make it to the end of the day with something to spare, I can’t save it, and I really don’t have time to get any exercise in right now, between 4 hours of commuting daily, planning my 30th birthday party for the weekend, sorting my new flat out for next week and generally trying to be present and correct in my social life. 

In summary, this week can only finish on a big deficit, even if I’m perfect for the last 2 days, and I don’t hold out any hope of a loss, and am really rather expecting a gain in fact.

No choice now but to keep going forwards I guess.  It’s going to be tough with another weekend of heavy socialising / drinking coming up (and god knows I am going to need to drink to get through the trauma of my 30th birthday and the crashing sound that will be all of most of my life goals for being 30 splintering unmet on the floor.  Maybe I’ll just take the actual day off and just concentrate on keeping the other 6 days of the week on track.

Not a very cheery post I’m afraid.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Friday ramblings

Helloooooo, my lovelies!

And helloooooooo to the weekend! Mwah - Weekend, have I mentioned how much I love you recently??

(You too, my lovelies!)

By some extreme act of flukeyness, I filled in my tracker this morning for yesterday's night out, and ended the week exactly on zero points. Very strange! But nice.

Today starts a new week for me .... and kicking off with another night out. Oooooof! We did the post-drinking, hangover (or not in my case) breakfast thing this morning at work. 18 points disappeared on my breakfast, but ohh, a bacon and mushroom bap, hash browns and a smoothie? Breakfast o' champions! However, then I found myself completely full at lunchtime ... and for the first time in I-can't-remember-how-long I didn't have lunch on a work day! I grabbed a small fruit salad from the supermarket, but I absolutely didn't need any more than that. In fact, I also grabbed a small pack of cooked chicken, thinking I could snack mid-afternoon when I got hungry, but it never happened.

And that's something that I've really been noticing on this new plan. My hunger levels are generally waaaaay down, and my snacking has tailed off to virtually nothing, apart from a few pieces of fruit here and there, and the occasional Mini Babybel Light (god knows who put me on to those, but thank you whoever you are!).

Considering fruit is now zero points, I find myself eating far less than I thought I might. I really consider whether I need it before I eat it, and try and eat a variety during the day. Although my fruit intake is certainly up on what it used to be, it's completely substituting my snacking on cereal bars or whatever else used to get chowed down on an average morning in the office.

So despite breakfast, I've got a few points left for tonight's charity fundraiser night out from my daily allowance. We're heading out for an Indian somewhere along the line, so I think I'll stick to my stand-by of Tandoori prawns and a naan bread (not Peshwari - tastey, but too "costly"). I'll be dipping into my flex points, but not by tooooo much I don't think.

Change of subject.

You know how sometimes, something just catches your eye in passing? Today it was belt on my jeans. I remember buying that belt last June on a long weekend in Oslo, when I'd gone away beltless and my damn jeans wouldn't stay put. At the time I bought it, it did up with only a few inches of tail to tuck away. Looking today, I can see where the dents from then, and the dents further along from where I was regularly wearing it this year, and then finally another inch or so from those, where I now wear it. I don't think I'd appreciated that there's probably about 5 inches difference between the June dents and now. And by June I'd already dropped a 1 1/2 to 2 clothing sizes. Sometimes it's so hard to appreciate where we've come from.

Yesterday, I had a similar appreciation as I walked from the car to work in a pair of newly washed skinny jeans, and realised I could feel the denim shifting against the back of my legs as I walked - a sure sign that they are not as skinny as they used to be. These are jeans that I got into last Christmas, but have avoided for most of the year as they've been a constant reminder of my skiing gain that I just couldn't shift. Now there's no muffin top. And in fact, I bought a smaller pair of skinnies (same size, just a different cut) ready to downsize into - hopefully sometime soon.

I've spent so much of this year being worried and frustrated that I was wasting a whole year with zero progress, and even a step backwards. But finally, I'm back where I was, and past it; pressing forwards again, and I have to admit it does feel great. What Mrs Fatass rightly described as the sweet spot. When it's not neccessarily easy, but it's not so much effort to make the effort. You never know how long it will last, but by God you should hang on to it while it does.

Right now? I'm practically crying out to get back in the gym. I cannot wait for the keys to the new flat the Monday after next, so I can join a new gym and re-gain some muscles. And walk to work every day! I liked my arms over the summer, and they feel a little soft again now. Combat? Oh yeah! Circuits with oodles of press-ups? Bring it on! The treadmill? Yes! Even you! I want to see the muscles in my legs again!

So that's me, right now. A little confused by the fact that Weightwatchers can't seem to consistenly point all their foods in the database right now (come on WW - a Cadbury Crunchie is not 3 points, much as I'd love it to be - even I can see from the calculator that it's 5 - stop teasing me!!!), but willing to make the effort and make this plan work.

Come along for the ride!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

An early weigh-in

I'm away (read: out on the town partying) for the next two nights (I know!!! On a school night!! Shocking behaviour), so I moved my weekly weigh in forward to today, rather than push it back two days to Sunday.

This week's been a bit of a mixed bag as I did old Weightwatchers Points over the weekend, then new Weightwatchers Pro Points from Monday to today. But here's the good news: I've dropped 1.5lbs this week, meaning I'm back at 12st 3lb again. Whooop.

Of course, in ideal world, I will freely admit that I'd have liked a bigger loss. Partly because I've seen people who were trialling Pro Points reporting big losses, and partly because I'd have liked, no loved, to have hit a new lowest weight. There's something pschologically very satisfying about seeing a new weight, even if it's only by the smallest margin.

I was thinking about this yesterday though, and I very definitely came to the conclusion that on the whole I would much rather have a steady series of smaller losses, where I nibble away at what's left a little every week, than a big loss followed by a frustrating series of stay-the-sames and little gains. Much less stressful. Much more consistent.

So far, I'm finding that I can't quite decide if I like the new plan, or want the old one back. Yes, I get a few more points a day, but I find that on the whole that's hugely outweighed by how many more points everything "costs". This isn't helped by the fact that Weightwatchers have put me on the minimum possible number of points on the plan.

I'm a carbs girl - I love me some carbs. Pasta, rice, couscous, bread - my idea of heaven. And apparently Weightwatchers' idea of hell. It's driving me nuts, as all my go-to meals have been slashed and burned under the plan. So far, I've had to massively adjust what I'm eating to a more protein-based diet, and whilst that's good for keeping me full (I'm still eating a cooked breakfast each day), I'm practically have withdrawal symptoms from my pasta.

I'm finiding it near impossible to not dip into my flex points on a normal day. This week I've kind of got away with it, as I just happened to do a couple of big exercise sessions over the weekend that gave me a bumper crop of activity points to supplement my daily and flex. So even with tonight's dinner and drinks out, I'll probably just about squeak it.

I really need to sit down with a copy of a meal plan from previous weeks and actually work out how it compares to the new plan - maybe it's not as bad as I think and I'm just getting distracted by the, relatively speaking, bigger numbers??

One thing I've learned - we can't rely on Weightwatchers ready meals anymore - as they've all massively shot up in points. Does anyone think that they'll relaunch the range with the new Pro Points in mind?? Would be great if they did!

Anyway, in the meantime, I'm measuring and considering all my food choices carefully. I can't remember the last time I actually weighed my jacket potato to see how big it was - it's quite eye-opening for sure! I'll be interested to see what a full week on the new plan brings!

Adios amigos!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Day 1 verdict

I have to confess, I’m a little bit confused still by the new Weightwatchers plan, but I have managed to stick more or less to my points for the day, with just a few taken out of my flex.

Confusing point no. 1: when I finished converting my week’s tracker so far to the new Pro Points, I went from having a small deficit of 6 points, which included all my activity points netted off already, to still having about 12 flex points, and 28 activity points untouched.  Weird.

Confusing point. 2:  I can’t quite figure out yet, what I should be looking for in my food when I shop.  Should I be looking for low everything values?  Low fat, low carb, low protein and low fibre, or do I look for low fat, high carb, high fibre, high protein?  What’s better?  What contributes to lower points / more ban per buck?? 

Whilst I try and figure that conundrum out, I’ve reverted to sticking to really basic foods.  Tuna, chicken, plain veg and a few Weightwatchers ready meals – stuff that should be relatively easy to point.  So far today, I’ve been filling up on fruit instead of rubbish for my snacks.  Now that they’re zero points, that definitely encourages me to turn to them rather than some fake rubbish snack, so I’ve had a pear, a banana and mixed berry pot throughout today, as well as a big pile of leafy green spinach with half a pizza for dinner.

I have to say, one good thing, is that so far I’ve been feeling pretty full.  Being able to reach for the fruit without having a points impact, means I don’t have to think twice about having an energy stopgap, which is pretty cool.

In normal news, I was massively grumpy this morning to find that my stupid iPhone alarms still aren’t working properly after last weeks clocks going back and hour.  I thought I had them sorted at the end of last week, but nope – I didn’t wake up til 6.45 this morning, and my 6am alarm sounded at 7am.  Boooooooo – not a great start to a Monday morning!

I was also traumatised to get to work and find that the “clean” jumper I’d slung on this morning actually reeked of BO.  I had a proper freakout, of “oh my god, did I remember to have a shower and deoderant on this morning?????” proportions (remember I was in a massive rush and running late?), and had to go to the ladies to ascertain the situation discreetly.  Definitely the jumper, not me!  It’s an older one, so I guess it’s just got to that stage where they’re never really clean even after washing, after a couple of years of weekly abuse in the office.  I couldn’t wait to get to lunchtime, so I could go and raid the clothes section of the supermarket next to work for a plain and clean jumper.  Much better!

I’ve spent a bit of time this evening reading around what Weightwatchers has to say about the plan.  I’m out for the evening with work on Thursday night, and then straight out on Friday night, so my plan is to try and eat on my daily points tomorrow and Wednesday, and rack up a few more activity points where possible, which will be my buffer for Thursday night.  We’re going for a Thai meal, so as long as I stick to some sort of stir-fry and plain rice, I should be relatively ok for points.  Luckily, Friday’s shenanigans fall into a new tracking week.  Friday is the eponymously entitled “Get Fucked for Fitz” – an annual blowout held my members of Bristol Uni Canoe Club to remember a friend and member who tragically drowned whilst paddling just after his graduation – the money raised goes to the club’s safety funds.  A lot of my friends were Canoe Club members, so this is quite a bit event for them, although the first time I’ve been along – it’s going to be nice to be out with lots of new people and some folks I don’t get to see very often.

Right kids, time for me to watch Gossip Girl and fall into bed!

Errrrr ....?

So on the new plan, I get 29 points a day.

I had a prawn Mayo sandwich for lunch which had 290 cals and 1.2 g Sat Fat. On the old Weightwatchers that would have been around 4 points from my daily 21.

On new Weightwatchers it works out as a whopping 8 points. That's a 1/3 of my days points. On a teeny sandwich.


- Posted from my iPhone

First impressions

Mild panic.

Firstly, they don't take calories into account any more? With a billion different parameters like fibre, protein and carbs now being used to calculate it, I'm in a spin about how the hell I'm going to be estimating my meal out in Thursday. Shit!

Then there's the fact that alcohol now appears to be the demon - ummm - I drink a fair amount so this is going to be difficult!

And then there's the fact that my tracker on my phone is now pretty much useless as I can't calculate anything on it any more and don't know how to guess the points.


Ok, breath deep. I'll run with this for the week and see how it goes. I weighed in this morning, I know my measurements from Saturday, and my points for the weekend have all been converted over. I've still got some flex points available for this week.

Wish me luck!!

How's everybody else finding it?

- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, 7 November 2010

A peaceful weekend

Hellooooooooo, my lovelies!

This weekend has been gorgeously peaceful, although as per usual, I champ at the bit for more things to do when I do finally get a chunk of craved-for downtime.

I’ve had a quiet weekend of tasty food, some gentle company, and some much needed Autumn / Winter sunshine and fresh air.  Friday night was spent with friends for a bonfire night get-together – it turned out the rain postponed our fireworks til Monday night, but much home-cooked food was consumed and the chat flowed (along with the mulled cider – dangerously nice stuff, but I stayed away this time in favour of my trusty vodka and slimline) and we played with sparklers out in the yard at midnight when it finally dried up a bit.

Yesterday, to make up for some of Friday night’s indulgence, I took advantage of waking up ludicrously early, and shoved off to the gym for a much needed work-out.  I feel a bit like I’m turning to flab at the moment, as I haven’t had as much chance to work out as usual, but it doesn’t seem to be showing up on my fitness just yet.  Running on the treadmill went surprisingly well, as I found myself churning out an easy 20 mins barely out of breath, and 20 mins on the X-trainer and 20 mins on the new computer spin bikes (they’re awesome -  more on these in a second!) rounded out my workout. 

Oh my god – the bikes??  They rock!  Weighted fly-wheel spin bikes that are hooked up to a computer and flat-screen monitor – they’re like an adults computer game.  You sign in with your own profile, and pick out mountain-biking tracks to spin round – the computer automatically adjusts the resistance to match the track and you have to break and steer (yes!!  They have moveable handle-bars with resistance) to stay on track.  You race against a pack of cyclists of varying skills level, depending on what level you’re working too, and as you progress you unlock new, harder tracks and more competitive adversaries to race against.  If you’ve got to stay indoors, then this is definitely a fun way to do it :o)

After a mooch into town for a bit of shopping, I had an enjoyably lazy evening in front of the tv, taking in the delights of Strictly Come Dancing, X Factor and whatever other trash was on.  Through a bit of mindful eating, I managed to fit in a takeaway for traditional Saturday night status and still save plenty of points to bank against Friday.  Result!!!

Today it was time to remove my lazy carcass from the house and go for a nice Winter walk with Jo.  We did this same route a couple of years ago and I remember it being far worse – nice to find it was just my crappy fitness.  Scrambling up hills, slipping and sliding down there and chat,chat, chatting the whole way, we cruised round a rather nice 5 miles, during which we saw turkeys, geese, deer and pheasants.  And what follows a walk?  Why Sunday Roast!  And cheesecake!!  And I still get to bank points at the end of today!!  Check.  Me.  Out! :o)

Amongst other things I’ve been checking out the gym schedule at what will be my new gym in a couple of weeks time.  I’m actually gutted to be leaving my current gym as I’ve been a regular there for 5+ years now, and I’m friendly terms with all the staff – it’s like a second home for me, but I have to admit that I’m excited about my new one!  For one thing, it’s literally right by work, which means morning and lunch-time classes become a very real possibility.  Also, the class schedule rocks!  I mean, hell, there’s a Strictly Fit class – ballroom dancing fitness???  Oh hell yes!!!  Also much circuits, spinning, Combat and yoga / pilates / Balance, and even some kick-boxing and Core class – all my current favourites, plus exciting new possibilities.  And the whole things only a 10 / 15 min walk (or 5 mins bike) from my new flat – winner!

So, the weekend’s near an end, and just for once, I damn near balanced out on a points front.  With new Weightwatchers starting tomorrow, I wanted to make sure I stood a good shot of having a clean week and seeing how good it really is.  I’ve spent a bit of time this evening going back over the weekend’s tracker and making sure that I’ve filled it in properly from the lists, rather than quick entries, so they’re able to convert the points properly at the changeover tonight. 

Since Friday’s protein breakfast was such a success, I’ve decided to keep this up for a bit and see if I can curb my snacking at work and get a bit more of a handle on it.  It’s definitely my downfall at the moment, so that would be awesome to conquer it.

Right kids – I need to go and clear some of the mountain of washing up in my kitchen – see you tomorrow for the great unveiling of new Weightwatchers … and hopefully the kick up the arse I need to get my that last little jump to goal!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Things I should know by now, but apparently don’t

  1. That “persistence not perfection” really does work.  By not getting too upset about the Friday / Sunday overeating debacle last week, I made the rest of the week not too bad at all, and although I’m sure there was a sizeable points deficit still there at the end of the week, I’ve lost another lb at weigh in.  That puts me at 12st 4.5lbs, and tantalisingly close back to that lowest weight to date of 12st 3lbs.
  2. That protein breakfasts really are the stuff of legends, and despite being what I consider to be very high in points for a breakfast, they really really do seem to keep me full all morning and reduce the cravings to snack, but more than that I seem to be able to concentrate better too.  More experimentation to follow on that point.
  3. That I’m getting more than a little excited about the new plan, because I keep seeing huge losses posted from the people who’ve been trialling it, and in my head, it’s now building up to be something of a miracle cure that’s going to get me that last little bit to goal quickly.  In reality, I know that that’s unlikely to happen and I’m just setting myself up for a fall, but a girl can dream ….

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

A kick up the arse or complete disaster pending?

Hey guys,

I'm feeling pretty conflicted, as I've just been reading about the latest release of the Weightwatchers plan which is out next week. Seems like it's going to be all change!!

It worries me rather, as to a certain extent, I can now do (current) WW's plan on the fly without having to think about it too much (as in, I can point things fairly accurately from experience, and I know how my daily meals / exercise should roughly workout .... not that I neccessarily always make the right decisions!), and the thought of having to learn everything all over again and start a completely new system .... I won't lie .... SCARY!!!!

From the leaked stuff I've read - the way points are calculated is changing, as they're now taking into account protein and fibre content, which means that all the points I've learned will now be completely different. In theory, I completely approve of that change as it should help steer me towards more filling foods, in the same way that I started eating far more veg after I first started WW's. What I don't like is that I'm not going to know how to point anything. And even worse, it's just occurred to me that my (very heavily relied upon) iPhone app won't work anymore. Gaaaaaah!

Secondly, I'm going to have a different points allowance, and it's stuctured in a different way. Instead of having a flat 21 points a day, I'll now have something over 29 points (the new minimum, which previously used to be 16 or 18, I think), and an additional one-off weekly allowance of something like 49 points. That's more like the American system I think?? God knows!

I also expect that all my activity points are going to change.

On a good note - veg remains a freebie, and apparently fruit has now been added to that! That's particularly awesome for me, as I trough down quite a lot of fruit while I'm at work, although I do worry that I'll overkill it and end up having a negative impact.

Sooooo ... looks like I've got one more week of knowing what the hell I'm doing, and after that it's territory unknown.

I have a feeling that I'm either going to end up with a real peak of a loss over the next couple of weeks, as I'm going to be forced to examine absolutely everything I'm eating, or it's going to go horribly wrong and everything will stall or go backwards.

Thoughts please??? Anyone else having a minor panic at the security blanket being taken away? Damn it - I'm less than a stone from goal now, and I just want to finish and get it done now without interruptions!

This weekend turned out to be a mixed bag of results. Friday, as already reported I was over points. Saturday, being planned to the nth degree, therefore turned out fine. So of course Sunday, after a whole 3.5 hours sleep and quite a lot to drink the previous evening, was not so great. I pretty much got thrown off by a cooked breakfast that accounted for nearly all my day's points, and it didn't get much better from there.

Still, it's all pointed. I'm not in denial about it. Yesterday, I struggled with myself to haul my butt back to it. Despite some cakes (charity bake sale at work ... it'd be kind of rude not to!), I finished with a point or so to spare yesterday, and even wrestled myself into not buying snacks at the cinema last night (Red by the way .... pretty good! Worth a watch). Today is going similarly. Two enormous tins of chocolates have appeared on the desks at work, but I'm religiously pointing what goes in my gob, with every intention of finishing today on track too.

I'm feeling horribly lazy at the moment, with the lack of regular exercise, so I'm actually debating bringing my running kit to work a couple of days a week and trying to get in an outing on my lunchtime. We'll see if that happens and how it goes if it does!

More anon - hangers-in-there-in-the-face-of-cake-and-uncertainty!