Monday, December 28, 2015

Weigh-In and A Great Pep Talk

Last week I was down another .8, for a total of 7.4 pounds since November 17. That's an average of 1.4 pounds a week! Awesome, though I really can't expect to keep up that pace.

This week was hard. I don't know what I'm expecting at weigh-in tomorrow, but I would be surprised if I wasn't up.

I don't even know how to describe this, but this week was hard and I did not do well. Tuesday and Wednesday, and even Thursday were pretty good. I stayed out of my weekly points (saving them for the weekend), went to my double-trouble Power Dance then strength training class with my favorite instructor. I was feeling pretty good.

Then we went to my parents, and it was like I instantly regressed to that sad, fat little ten-year-old who thought "people be gone from kitchen" was a sign to "eat all things not glued/nailed down." That (the regressing thing) probably didn't help, but it was also that I'm still really not good at having food around, especially sweets, and not eat them, like sweets.

My parents are awesomely kick-ass, and this was a great weekend where the whole family was together, my two siblings included. That part was pretty great. But I absolutely sucked at the eating. My mom made cookies, and she asked me to make a dessert, and then some neighbors came by with homemade Christmas treats, not to mention the mealtimes themselves. I just really sucked.

The good news is I just tracked everything I could remember from the last few days. As best I can tell, I'm about 100 points in the negative. Triple-digits. Ugh. It's not as hard as you'd think, because of how many points sugar is - for example, a standard slice of cake with frosting is 25 points. For reference, I get 30 points in an entire DAY. So that 100 points could translate into - WAIT, nope. Just did some Weight Watchers calculator games. That 100 points could easily be an extra 2,000 calories eaten this week.

Still my favorite gif.

So I'm definitely not happy with myself, but I'm trying so hard to just get right back on today, and keep going. That started with tracking everything I could remember. John gave me a great pep talk on the way home from my parents. I definitely hit the lottery with that guy. The gist was just that this, right now, is where a lot of people who end up failing, fail. If I can get back up from this, in six months this weekend can just be a blip on my weight loss chart. Maybe a gain, maybe not, but it won't matter. This can be the beginning of the end, or just a bump on the way to a healthy weight. I get to decide that. 

For those who celebrated, how was your Christmas? Merry Christmas!

For those who didn't, did you see Star Wars? We did and I thought it was great. (No spoilers)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Weigh In & Holiday Parties

I’m down another pound, yes! That brings me to a grand total of 6.4 pounds in 4 weeks, putting my current weight at 188. It’s slightly annoying since I weighed myself at home right before I started Weight Watchers, and it said 184, compared to the 194.4 that Weight Watchers had on their scale. However, I’m trying to go with it, and realize that in the end, those eight or ten pounds don’t really matter.

I’m also getting used to the new Weight Watchers plan, how sugar makes the points value of a food skyrocket. I’m definitely off the office candy bowl. There’s also been a few other times where there has been some great treat in the office, and I didn’t give a second thought to not having any. I also realized that I don’t actually need all the honey that comes in my Fage 2% with honey, which brings the points of the yogurt back down to the original 5 points. Progress!

I'm feeling pretty in control these last few weeks, which is a wonderful feeling indeed. I can gauge how confident I am in my weight loss by what I daydream about while walking to the subway. Is it showing up svelte to my company's holiday party next near, when (hopefully) they would have not seen my transformation because I finally got a new job? Is it running into my sixth grade crush/bully while he's drunkenly peeing in the street and I look great? Or is it what I'd do with 2, 4, or 6 million dollars? It's all in the daydreams, my friends.

How was your office holiday party? Open-bar-fancy-apps or daytime pre-ordered luncheon?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sometimes I Think About What Happens After Goal Weight

The other day I was reading an interview with a transgender woman about her transition, and something in it struck a particular chord with me. Nora lives in the Netherlands, where the state will pay for everything, but there are a tremendous amount of meetings, counseling, therapy, waiting periods, etc, involved in the transition process. Much of these meetings focused on what Nora wanted to do with her life after becoming a woman - everything from hobbies to career goals, to love and friendships. What were her plans, what was her support system?

She explained, “You spend your youth wishing you could live your life as a woman, but once you accomplish that goal, you then have to actually go out and live your life as a woman. That's not the end of a story -- it's the beginning of one.”

Obviously my situation is very different from Nora’s, but what she said there really struck me, and I think there can be some interesting parallels. Really, her words can apply to any big accomplishment or event - finishing a game of Risk, getting married, taking that trip, whatever.

How often does something like this happen? You plan and you work and you try for months or years, and then you finally do it. You’re married, you’re living as your preferred gender, you’ve gotten to your goal weight. Then what?

How much time and energy have I spent on my weight? Planning diets, reading tips, staring at the scale, even blogging here? How many of my waking hours are spent thinking about the type and amount of food that will enter my mouth? (Ha, you didn’t think I’d say ‘mouth!)

That’s something to remember. After I lose all this weight, there will probably be some new clothes and an enormous amount of celebrating and creating before/after jpg that I not-so-secretly hope will go viral. But then eventually life will go on at this new weight. At some point, I might have more people in my life who have only even known me at 140 pounds or whatever than people who remember my 190-pound existence. Isn’t that weird?

There are already people who’ve never known the me that was looking for a post-grad job forever, or the me that was really depressed, or the me that had [opinion] on [controversial topic] that’s now done a 180.

We all keep creating different versions of ourselves, and with each new person that we meet in life, there’s one more person who has no idea who we were before they met us. I found out that a girl I was friendly with was a semi-famous violinist. I’d hung out and talked to her at least 20 times, but had no idea. She had this huge skill, these amazing accomplishments that she’d earned, and I had no clue.

So I need to remember that maybe someday there will even be people who think I don’t understand what it’s like to be bullied for my weight, because they’ve only even known me as a the supermodel I became later. I guess the older you get, the more that happens. Most of the people in my parents’ lives have only ever known them with kids. Hell, I’VE only ever known my parents as parents, not the clean-shaven law student or the reporter living in a cool apartment. (However, I’m positive that my dad has always made dad jokes.)

Weight loss will hopefully just be a part of my past someday, just like the months I thought crunchy gelled hair = extreme attractiveness. And it should be. I might always have to think about food a little to maintain, but it won't be like now, where weight loss is high on the priority list. 140-pound Leah will be the new Leah.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Weekly Weigh In and Weight Watchers Changes

Remember all that stuff I wrote about Weight Watchers and points? Well, they just changed everything. If you have a TV you might have seen the commercials, and Oprah's smiley face seems to have taken over my app and the WW website.

They've been having mass technological issues - I unfortunately had several days worth of stuff just kind of disappear. It seems to be back online, and hopefully will be sorted out once everyone is on the new system.

The point is, last night I was down another 1.4, for a total of 5.4 pounds lost in three weeks! I am really excited at this progress. 

So, the changes to Weight Watchers - they've changed how they calculate points. Ten years ago, food points were calculated by calories, fat, and fiber. Five years ago, they changed that to carbohydrates, fat, fiber, and protein. Now, points are calculated by counting calories, sugar, protein, and fat.

The calories act as the baseline, and then protein can lower points while sugar makes it skyrocket. They're also trying to focus more on whole health, but honestly I'm kind of "eh" about that part.

The point is that they are really, really, penalizing sugar now. A candy bar that was 7 points is now 12. My standard breakfast, the Fage 2% with honey, jumped from 5 to 9 points! On the other hand, beans, tuna, and chicken breast went down. They adjusted the daily and weekly flexible/anytime points. Mine essentially stayed the same - my dailies went up by one, but my weeklies went down by seven. This is going to be tricky since a lot of food are higher in points now - not just sugar, but dairy - but I'm still on the same amount of points. Fruits and veggies are still free, though!

Regarding the sugar penalty - I adore sugar, and at first I was really annoyed by the changes. How can Weight Watchers have the whole "lifestyle" and "fitting everything in moderation" shtick if they make the cost of a slice of birthday cake basically prohibitively high? This I soupboxed at John for awhile.

After a bit of thought, though, I think maybe it could be good for me. I really do struggle with sugar. Maybe this could help me to have fewer treats and appreciate them more. How many times have I grabbed a 40-calorie mini Milky Way from the office candy bowl? A hundred million? How many do I remember, how many did I taste? Zero, probably. In the end it just became a habit. Maybe this will help me stop, when I realize how much it's costing me.

To my fellow, celebrators, Happy Chanukah! As someone trying to lose weight, I'm super duper pumped about a holiday that revolves around frying things and eating them.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thanksgiving and Happy Updates

Hi everybody.

So here's where I left off: Feeling angry at myself for weight gain, frustrated at my lack of motivation, feeling like 20 pounds was just a silly dream, waiting to hear on dream job.


  • Didn’t get the dream job, unfortunately. I thought it went great, (and it did!) but there was just someone they liked more, I guess. I’m going to keep trying.
    • Lesson: some industries, like publishing, are really hard to break into.
  • Ended up at Target with my mom last week and she helped me find a couple more dresses. My mom has an amazing talent for picking out flattering clothing for anyone. And now I really feel like I have a solid fall/winter wardrobe for work and life.

Remember how many “new plans” I came up with, and how I ended up stopping each one after, at most, a couple of weeks? The small meals, the trying to track, the fake Whole30, I gave up on all of it. The plus it that it more or less kept my weight the same at about 185, so at least I’m not heavier than I was in the summer. The minus is that it’s now been at least four months since I speed-gained ten pounds and the pounds are still hanging around.

I joined Weight Watchers two weeks ago. I pre-signed up for three months, and told John that whatever happened, I would go to one meeting a week and weigh in for those 12 weeks. And that I would try, of course, but the main commitment is that I’m going to weigh in and attend the weekly meetings they had. I was a member back in 2011-2012 during my senior year of college, where I lost 40 pounds. It was amazing, I felt great, then graduated and life got in the way, this is all outlined here.

So, skip to the present, I went back to the program that actually worked for me.

For those not familiar, Weight Watchers is a huge American weight loss company. Food is assigned a number of “points” based on the amount of carbs, fat, protein, and fiber in it, and you get a certain amount of points to “spend” per day on food, plus a weekly extra 49 points that can be spent all at once, one day at a time, or not at all. Anything else? Oh yes, fresh fruits and non-starchy vegetables are zero points, which encourages members to choose them over other things.

I like this plan. It’s flexible and I’ve found that tracking is a good tool for me.

I might add this to the sidebar, but just so everyone knows: I am not being sponsored, and am not affiliated with or ever compensated by Weight Watchers (or any company) in any way.

There happened to be a meeting about 5 minutes from my workplace, so I decided to start there. I was actually really, really emotional and felt like I was holding back tears the entire time.

They told me I weighed 194. I was like, “What the fuck? Two days ago I weighed 184.” I’m chalking it up to a different scale and weighing in at night with clothes on as opposed to in the morning in just underwear. That being said, I’m just going to say that 194 is my real weight. It helps that my scale is actually broken - I ascertained this fact when it weighed me in at 133.3 pounds, so that will make it all the more easy to just accept this number.

Two weeks ago I weighed 194. Last week - my first  week - I was down 1.2. I was disappointed at that result for the first week, but couldn’t really complain as I had gone over my points by a bit. The next week, (so last week), Thanksgiving, I was awesome on plan for a couple of days, then really struggled Thanksgiving weekend. I didn’t go crazy, but I did stop tracking so can’t really be sure what I ate.

I was annoyed at myself, thinking that I’d be two weeks into a diet and actually weigh more than when I started. That’s… not how I want it to go. To my utter shock, I was down 2.8 pounds, for a total of 4 pounds. Assuming that’s a little of the first week catching up, or luck, or even water loss, but I’m not going to question it. Four pounds down.

So now I'm 'officially' 190. Cue ugh sound.

That being said, I am trying really hard not to slack off on tracking, and to actually work the plan and stay within my points. I do think I ate less in those two weeks and lost weight, but that kind of off-plan guessing won’t work for long. So far this week has been good! I actually feel soothed when I track, and see the little numbers and know I’m where I want to be. It’s a great feeling.

I know I’ve been lousy at updating. Sometimes I’m just not sure I have anything to say. However, I make a pinky-Internet-promise swear that I will at least update every Wednesday or Thursday after weigh in and report on my progress.

Here we go, week 3!