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Making Healthy Choices

standard May 10, 2011 Leave a response

Until our world imploded a month ago I was doing really well with my eating. I had stopped eating candy like it was one of the recommended food groups, had really gotten into the habit of eating more fruits and vegetables, and I’d even managed to lose almost ten pounds.

Then I fell off the healthy eating bandwagon hard. One hospital cafeteria meal here, one vending machine snack there, and suddenly I was back to the candy popping, veggie ignoring habits I’d worked so hard to shake.

And the scale was none too pleased with me either.

This past week, after scarfing down a donut, I realized that while I was turning to food as a comfort mechanism it wasn’t really comforting me. Well, at least not beyond two or three delectable seconds.

Actually, watching the scale creep up again was depressing me even more. And to make matters worse, my atrocious diet was written all over my face in nasty little pimples women my age should never get.

“But I’m miserable. I should get to eat whatever I want,” my mind (or maybe Egmos) argued, and for weeks I listened.  

I think I’m done.

This morning I ordered my regular coffee and resisted the urge to get a treat to go with it. Instead I ate a banana. For lunch, I skipped the food truck and microwaved a Healthy Choice Steamer. And this afternoon, I steered clear of the free vending machines at work and snacked on carrots and snap peas.

I’m not going to lie to you, my lunch didn’t quite have the same punch as my favorite take out Thai, but the Sweet Sesame Chicken was actually quite tasty and was cheaper than my usual meal. Plus, it was surprisingly filling!

I’m not quite ready to jump back fully on the Weight Watcher bandwagon, but I’m hoping that with a few tweaks here and there I can reverse the trend once again. Between conference season starting in a month for me, and bathing suit season starting long before even then, there’s no shortage of motivation. Plus, Little L keeps patting my belly and wistfully sighing “baaaabeeee.” Not quite ideal and even quite motivating.

Healthy choices here I come. You with me?

This post was sponsored by Healthy Choice, whose meals, with their nearly 70 varieties for fewer than 400 calories, are definitely going to play a huge part on my journey to healthier eating. A study they just conducted shows that incorporating a ready-to-eat, pre-portioned healthy option, such as Healthy Choice, is a simple way to be more health conscious, lose weight and improve quality of life. It’s definitely a better choice than heading to the drive-thru or the food truck! Aside from those last facts, pulled from a study conducted by Healthy Choice and ConAgra Foods, the thoughts and stories contained in this post are mine and mine alone. Except for that bit about the baby in the belly. That’s all Little L’s wishful thinking.

One week into a healthier life

standard February 7, 2011 6 responses

On a whim last Sunday I opened the Weight Watchers website and signed myself up.

I’d been watching myself gain weight and hating it, but not really doing much about it. If I’d been exercising regularly I might have been able to maintain my weight, but even then, it’s not exactly like I’m at my ideal weight.

The holiday season tripled my workload and any exercise effort I’d been making went right out the window. That, plus holiday and stress eating lead me to bust the seams on my favorite dress the other day.

Other than being mortifying, it’s also sad. I really like that dress.

Even then I didn’t stop eating more candy and snacks than were remotely necessary.

And yet that’s not what prompted the visit to WeightWatchers.com.

Maybe it was my friend Shannan’s success. Maybe it was that I was really ready. Maybe it was Egmos being particularly loud and annoying and me trying to shut him up. I don’t know.

I was going to sign up for just a month to get myself motivated, but there was a three month deal and I’m a sucker for a good deal and a bit of a challenge. So I bit the bullet and signed up for the three months. Then I went to bed and tried not to think about the next day.

The WeightWatcher plan was recently radically overhauled so, while I’ve been on it before, I feel like I’m starting from scratch. I’m also doing the online program as opposed to attending weekly meetings. Between the new plan and the new medium I don’t feel like I’m just doing what I used to do. I’m not falling back into my old WW routines and habits. I have to rethink everything, recalculate every bite. And frankly it’s been good.

My first week has just ended and while I don’t know what the scale will say tomorrow, I’m happy with myself. I stuck to the plan and tonight I even went for a run. I’ve been eating healthier and taking better care of myself. It’s not a bad feeling.

From the mouths of babes come great resolutions

standard February 4, 2011 2 responses

Upon noticing that M had headed out to the grocery store for the second time that day, C asked me why he had to go back. I explained that he’d rushed out to get us some dinner. She thought about this for a minute and then turned to me.

“How come you always have plenty of food for us in the house, but you never have food for you guys?”

The truth really is that they’re easier to shop and stock up for and we like more variety than they do. The other truth is that I’m programmed to make sure there’s always food for them, and I’m really bad at doing the same for us.

I summed it up for C by telling her that we were just better at taking care of them than taking care of us.

Her eyes grew wide and concerned.

“But mommy! That is bad! You have to take good care of yourself, it’s important!”

I looked down at her sweet, earnest, innocent, concerned face and promised to try harder.

The next day I booked two outstanding doctor’s appointments and I re-joined Weight Watchers.

She’s right. I take great care of my kids. I make sure they eat balanced meals. I don’t let them eat too much sugar. I insist that they get enough sleep. I push them to spend time outside and move their bodies as much as they can. I even limit their screen time to foster their imagination.

I do none of that for myself.

I’m the one who preaches to everyone that you have to take care of yourself so you’ll have the ability to care for others. Clearly I have failed to take my own advice to heart.

I’m trying to change that.

I’ve been on Weight Watchers again for 4 days and it’s going well. I saw both doctors and stated taking prophylactic medicine for my migraines. (It’s not working yet, but at least I’m addressing the issue.) I’m going to bed earlier. (The meds make me sleepy, so really that’s not so much part of the resolution as a lucky side effect.) And last, but not least, I’m resolving to finally make appointments to see the dentist and an ophthalmologist.

It’s a start. I’m still on the computer too much and not moving enough. But it’s a start nonetheless.

The two numbers that rule my life

standard June 1, 2009 4 responses

I once resolved to kick my scale habit because daily weigh-ins were making me nuts. I managed to stick to one weekly weigh in for months, but slowly the scale has called to me more and more often and I’m back to stepping on every morning.

I can’t help it. It’s like a drug. I don’t want to weigh myself, I don’t really want to know, but I see the scale and I start to wonder. I think, “I was really good yesterday. I stuck to my Weight Watchers points. I exercised, did it pay off?”

So I step on. I step off, shift the scale a bit. Step on. Step off, shift the scale again. Step on. After three or five tries I finally decide that I’m not going to see a lower number and I step off one last time. It doesn’t matter how well I slept or how great a day I have planned, if the number has gone up from the day before my day is shot. If the number has gone down I’ll be on cloud nine all day.

It’s absurd. It’s stupid. But again, I can’t help it. The number on the scale rules my day. It’ll determine if my pants feel tight or I feel sexy in my top. It’ll dictate how I feel about my meals throughout the day. And it even seeps into how I feel about everything else in my life. I feel like a better, smarter writer on the days the scale has gone down.

And that’s when the other number that increasingly rules my days comes into play. Because once I’ve gotten dressed and attempted to move on, I turn on the computer and check my blog stats for the day.

That too is a sickness. Nothing rides on these stats. It’s not like I’m getting paid to entertain you all with my daily neuroses insights. I tell myself I just want to see who’s linked to me, where new readers are coming from, anything to justify clicking through to GetClicky multiple times a day.

I know you’ll be shocked, but when I click through and the numbers are lower than the day before, well, I get depressed. I know! Shocking. Told you so.

Again, I know that it’s absurd and stupid, but I can’t help myself. The number on the scale reflects how I feel about myself. And I worry that the number on GetClicky reflects how the rest of the world feels about me. I told you, I have issues.

I wish I had the strength to throw away my scale and disconnect my blog from statistics software. I wish I didn’t let it all get to me so much. But mostly I wish I knew in my gut and my heart that I’m good enough they way I am and I didn’t need numbers to validate me.