Sunday, October 31, 2010

Can a bra fitting really change your life?

Note: The following review is completely unsolicited and uncompensated. I didn't mention that I was a blogger when I was at the store and only decided to write the review after my visit. I had a great experience and wanted to share it with other women.

I am not new to the bra-fitting game.  I have never been comfortable with the way my bras fit, but when I went to department stores or Victoria's Secret to get fitted, they just put me in the same size I was already wearing, a 36 D. When I told the fitter the last time that I was already wearing that size and it wasn't comfortable, she suggested I could try a 38, which seemed to fit even worse. These fitters all used a measuring tape and a formula to determine the size and then brought me bras to try on. They went on and everything fit inside the cups, but I still had troubles with the band riding up in back or the straps falling off my shoulders.

I was a fan of the TLC show "How to Look Good Naked," and Carson always took his charges to the same store, {intimacy}. I remembered the name because of the funny brackets. I thought if I was ever near one of the stores, I might try it.  I liked the way the women seemed to stand up straighter and feel more confident after their visit to the store.

I had sort of idly considered this before I left for my trip to Boston, but I was going for work and wasn't sure I would have time to shop.  I also figured that I might have trouble finding the store.  I was staying at Copley Place and was bored and killing some time by shopping, I saw a display on the sky bridge to the Prudential Center of a pretty bra set with the name {intimacy} and an arrow pointing back toward the shops at Copley Place. It was a sign, I thought. I decided to make an appointment for a fitting the next evening.

The fitter shook my hand and took me to a dressing room and said that the fittings worked differently than at most other places.  She asked me how my bras fit and I told her.  Then she said we would use the bra I was wearing as a tool to help us find the right size.  I had worn my best-fitting bra to the store. The first thing she did was grab the back of the band and say, "You're tiny! You don't need all of this." 


It seems like she had an amazing ability to guess cup size.  The first bra she gave me to try on fit perfectly, like it was custom-made.  Instead of a 36D, the bra she brought me was a 32F. The fitter didn't even do my usual trick of shortening the straps to keep them on my shoulders, because they fit fine.  Apparently, most women are in too big of a band size and too small a cup, because of the traditional formula that tells women to add 4 to their band measurement.  Most stores don't carry an F cup. That's not going to be a problem, though, because I liked everything I tried on so much that it was hard not to buy it all. I think I will be stocked up on bras for a while.  It was nice that the bras were all clearly marked with their prices and the fitter walked out of the dressing room to let me decide what I wanted.  There was no pressure. I also thought I would be uncomfortable being undressed in front of someone and having them help me into bras. The process was very hands-on, but it was also completely professional and I felt totally comfortable.

The bras were more than I was used to paying.  The ones I saw ranged in price from $65 to $135.  They are mostly European and seemed very well-made. I bought one black and one white basic bra, two pretty fashion bras, and matching bottoms for three of the bras. I also got a sports bra that I plan to use for running. My other sports bras are fine for yoga and cycling, but for running I think it's important to have one that fits just right. I also bought the special detergent to take care of my investment. I was a little nervous to buy so much stuff when I'm still trying to lose weight, but the shop does free alterations for the life of the bras and will also fix them for free if anything goes wrong. Everything I liked but did not buy is now on a wish list that is stored with my consultant, Natalie, along with my fit profile. If I want something new I can call or email her.

I spent a staggering amount on lingerie but I  think it was totally worth it.  I feel really good in the new bra, and I also look a lot better.  I feel about 10 pounds thinner with everything where it belongs.  My husband said I even seem to be standing up straighter, maybe because I finally have some proper support.  It is a little hard  to get used to the tighter band after all those years of wearing one that was too loose. I'm not sure the fitting changed my life, but I do feel a lot happier with my body.

There are ten stores already and two more opening soon. I found out that one of the new stores will be in the Detroit suburbs, which would be within reasonable driving distance if I need anything new or if I need another fitting.  I would definitely recommend that every woman try a fitting, even if you have been fitted before at another store. Just make sure you have a lot of room on your credit cards before you go. The fitting is free, but you will probably buy more than you expect.  Trust me.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weigh-in report: Back down 0.6

Clever readers will notice that even though I was down slightly this week, I didn't drop back to my weight the week before last.  I had a bad attitude this week, to be honest. I was feeling very discouraged and having a hard time coming anywhere near sticking to my points, so I am lucky not to have gained again. Yesterday I didn't even count my points.

As I showed in my last picture post, the problem is not as much with what I'm eating as with how much. It's mostly healthy food, but it's more than I need to be eating. Knowing and doing are two different things sometimes.

I started a new class, a combo of indoor cycling and TRX. Total class time is 1 hour.  I went today and I really liked the instructor.  I think it's just what I need: A combination of some strength training and a serious cardio workout.

Unfortunately I will have to miss Thursday because of a work-related trip. While I'm traveling, I am still planning to count and make healthy choices.  I'm going to try to focus on the behavior goals and hope the scale takes care of itself.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Here's what 38.5 points looks like

I decided to play food blogger for a day and take photos of what I ate on Wednesday. I am just now getting around to posting it.  I actually get 23 points a day, so this day was over my daily points target, but I thought I'd post it anyway to show how easy it is to go over.  I should have skipped the tortilla chips (2 servings, 6 points) and the Tootsie Rolls (1 point).  I still would have been over. As you can see, I had plenty of Filling Foods, too.

Breakfast: Basted egg cooked in 1 tsp. canola oil, 2 slices of Ezekiel toast, coffee with a splash of half-and-half

Snack 1: Fage 2% yogurt, 2 T. natural peanut butter, apple

Snack 2: Tortilla chips (should have resisted, but I was hungry!)

Lunch: Smoky Ratatouille, grilled bread, apple, seltzer

Snack 3: 5 Tootsie Rolls

Dinner: Salad with sunflower seeds and no dressing, Muffin-Tin Crabcake

Snack 4: Air-popped popcorn, photo taken while popcorn was popping.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Biggest Loser Season 10, Episode 5: The Thirteenth Player

Last episode, we learned that the players who didn't make it to the ranch and weren't "saved" by Bob and Jillian were finally going to get their chance to win a spot in the game.  Unlike previous years where they did a physical challenge to compete for a spot, this time the scale made the decision. There was a lot of variation among the players -- the lowest weight loss was something like 15 pounds in 5 weeks (still pretty fantastic -- let me start losing at that rate!) and the highest was Anna, with 39 pounds.  That means she lost almost 8 pounds each week on her own. My husband was extremely glad the blond guy with dreadlocks didn't make it on because he didn't want to look at that crazy hair. 

Initially, Rick and Patrick are excited that Anna was the one who came back, because it seemed to mean that the green team would have three members. But I knew what was coming -- Black and Blue.  In a twist, Anna got to choose the teams, and also got to choose one player to have immunity.  She said she was going to pick the teams in a way that would "make everyone happy" and I knew she was in trouble.

When Anna weighed in, we were shown a leaderboard that compared her total weight loss to the contestants on the ranch. She was 8th in overall weight loss.  A smart thing for Anna to do would have been to divide the two teams as fairly as possible (maybe taking those leaderboard figures and putting the first place loser on Black, second place on Blue, etc., being careful to bust up the Patrick-Brendan-Frado alliance) and then to give herself immunity.  The person who won immunity would be put on the team who lost a player, so if that team eliminated one of its weakest players and added her, she would be on a fairly strong team.

Anna wanted to be on Jillian's team, so she made Patrick immune.  She managed to make at least one person mad at her because she didn't put him with the trainer he wanted. Because Patrick is such a good player and didn't need immunity, this seemed fair, but instead of creating a team that had loyalty for her, she managed to create a team that seemed to think that if they threw they weigh-in so they could have Patrick on their team, they could get rid of her and have a really strong team.  This whole week, there was an ugliness about the way Brendan and Frado seemed to think they were in control of the game and were going to spin it the way they wanted.  Ada is sort of second-stringer in their alliance, and agreed with them. She has good numbers every week and has no sympathy for "weak" players. Anna and Elizabeth were the weakest players on their team and it looked like they were in trouble.

Jillian and Anna have a heart-to-heart early on when Anna gets frustrated with her workout and says that she is failing this and fails everything.  Jillian gets her alone and asks how she could be a failure when she has already lost 40 pounds on her own.  She said she was a failure because she couldn't keep her three-year-old son from dying of cancer. I had forgotten this part of her story. I have a two-year-old nephew I'm completely crazy about, so I was reaching for the tissues. 

I liked the challenge this week. The two teams have to go to various places in the city to answer food questions like "Which of these two dishes has less calories?" The whole team has to be together before answering the questions. If they get it right, they move on to the next question.  If they get it wrong, they have to do a penalty activity (stair-stepping, lunges, etc.) before they can go on.  I was able to answer almost all the questions right.   The winning team got The Biggest Loser Meal Plan home delivery for 40 weeks (which could make a big difference when players are sent home to compete at the end, or for eliminated players who wanted to win the at-home prize) and letters from home.  It looked pretty close between the two teams, but the Black team just barely manages to carry Anna, Elizabeth, and Rick up a flight of stairs to victory.  Brendan manages to make me like him just for a second when he gives his letters from home to Lisa, who seems desperate for some word from her kids.  Later in the show, I thought, "Maybe he doesn't have anyone at home who likes him."

Back in the gym, Jillian picks up on the nasty dynamic developing on her team with Brendan and Frado bullying the weaker players and planning to throw the weigh-in. She asks Frado (and Brendan, though she seems to have more faith in Frado) to play it straight and let the numbers decide things.  He promises, and Brendan swears on his "goddaughter's grave" that he is going to be fair.  My guess is he doesn't have a goddaughter, but if he does, he should make his false promises on his own fat grave, because it seems pretty obvious that he plans to cheat. Even Alli seems to get upset with the Black Team's scheming at the weigh-in.  When Brendan says that if they threw the weigh-in and get Patrick on their team and get rid of a weak player, it "works out for everyone," she flashes an angry look and says, "not for someone."

The weigh-in goes as I expected -- everyone seems to play fair but Brendan, who only loses 2 pounds. He does not admit that he cheated, but there is no way that a 300-pound guy who used to eat "Gravediggers" at home should have only lost 2 pounds in an intensely controlled environment like the Biggest Loser ranch.  He also seemed extremely nervous and jumpy.

I get really annoyed with the water-loading trick, because there is no reason that it should be allowed to happen.  There are a lot of ways that the game could be changed to make it impossible for players to cheat on the weigh-ins.  The contestants could be weighed every day. The weigh-ins could be a surprise, the way they were at the beginning of the show. There could be a yellow line in team weigh-ins, where only the bottom two players could be eliminated.  There could be a rule that any player who gains weight is immediately sent home (since water-loading has to be tricky to get right if you don't have access to a scale). With all the fancy medical tests the show uses, there has to be a way to determine whether someone's body-water content is higher than expected.  The fact that there are all these ways to fix this problem, but that the show continues to allow it to happen, means that the show's producers want this kind of gameplay to be part of the show. 

Interestingly, just before watching this episode I listened to a This American Life podcast on "Frenemies," which talked about the weird ways that reality TV players interact.  There is an interesting analysis of  "I'm not here to make friends" -- a phrase that only seems to exist on reality TV. The players who say this are players we are set  up to despise, and they also almost never win.  But they play an important role in manufacturing the drama that keeps us watching the show.  This manipulation is why I don't usually watch reality TV, but here I am watching TBL.

Surprisingly, instead of eliminating Elizabeth or Anna, the Black Team decides to dump Rick, who has been the perfect Biggest Loser contestant. He's nice, he is not at all dramatic, and he loses tons of weight each week.  Brendan, Frado, and their new teammate Patrick seem to have decided that they'll wait to pick off the weak players later, and get rid of someone who feels like a threat to them.  There are hints that the other contestants might fight back next week.

Rick seems to be doing just fine at home.  His wife obviously cares about him and the whole family seems happy to support him in his weight-loss effort. It seems that they were just waiting for him to make the decision to change and that they are thrilled to have a happier, more mobile Rick instead of someone who could barely get out of a chair on his own. Rick is a physical therapist, which means that all day, he is in a gym-like environment. His weight had to be a huge handicap in a field that is all about health and fitness.

The important thing to remember, and something that is surprisingly hard to keep in mind while watching The Biggest Loser, is that even though players seemed freaked out by the idea of going home, for most of them, going home means being with people who care about them instead of a set of scheming strangers.  Though home is where they got fat, home is also the place they will have to get thin if they are going to be able to be a long-term success.  The players who are really, truly reluctant to leave should probably think hard about the relationships that they have at home, because if you would rather be on the ranch with Brendan than home with your boyfriend, the boyfriend probably needs to go.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Weigh-in report, NaNoWriMo, etc.

I have a meeting today during my normal weigh-in time, so I decided to weigh in yesterday.  I was tempted to skip it because I knew the weigh-in wouldn't be good, but I felt like I needed to weigh in to close the book on last week. I even stayed for the meeting, but it wasn't that great. I wish my department would stop scheduling meetings on Tuesday over the lunch hour.


I was up 2.6, back up to 177.8. I was pretty down about it for most of yesterday and spent most of the day reading a novel instead of doing the work I wanted to get done.  I'm on a midterm break, and I told myself it was research for NaNoWriMo.

I did write about 600 words yesterday, nothing spectacular, just a description for a story that has been kicking around in my head for a while, practice for NaNoWriMo but not the same story I plan to use for that.  I haven't done any today yet (except this post).  I have been thinking about a plot outline for my story, and my goal for today is to type it out. As the founder of NaNoWriMo says, to write a novel in a month, you have to shift your goal from "bestseller" to "would not make someone vomit." That's the high bar I'm setting for myself.

I need some other goals besides weight loss. At my meeting last week, I heard a woman who looked about 80 talking to a friend who was suggesting she let her doctor set her goal. "I know about what he wants me to be, but I want to lose more." I thought, "Why, so you can look hot in a bikini?" I don't want to be there in 40 years. But I also disagree with the statement I heard a friend make recently, "I'd rather be happy than thin." I love food, but usually my weight gains aren't happening because I'm having too much fun.  I gain weight when I think, "What's the point," and eat more than I really want. 

I'd rather be happy and thin. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

An Inciting Event

I've decided to do NaNoWriMo this year.

Before I can change my mind, I'm posting my intent to write a 50,000 word manuscript, quality be damned, during the month of November.

The latest episode of Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone inspired me to give it a try.

Post a comment if you plan to try it yourself.

Sorry, no links. This quickie interface seems to mess them up.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Biggest Loser Season 10, Episode 4: Return of the Red Line

This week, contestants were informed that the dreaded Red Line would be making an appearance. For those who fell below it there would be no pleading, no challenge, just an immediate departure from the ranch.  This dialed the drama factor to 11.  Everyone was freaking out about the Red Line, and the trainers were just egging them on. Every week, someone will be eliminated. Whether they have a chance to win their place back in a challenge or beg other players to save them really doesn't seem to make that much of a difference. Many of the challenges seem to be just luck, and the votes by other players are hard to predict.  Everyone should be acting like each week on the ranch is going to be their last and make the most of it.  The trainers should have focused on that instead of scaring the contestants to death and raising their already-high stress levels.

This episode clinches it: If we had a brief hope that this season was going to be different and the focus was going to be more on educating the audience, the producers reminded us that this is a reality TV show.  I feel silly for ever thinking things would be different.

There was a cupcake challenge, where contestants could search for a token that would give them a 1-pound advantage this week (but an extra pound per week until they use it, up to 8 pounds if you keep it for 8 weeks) by eating cupcakes.  For every cupcake the contestants ate that did not have the token in it, they would get one clue about where the cupcake was.  Elizabeth ate one cupcake, kind of choked it down, and then quit.  The real contest was between Rick and Adam. Rick had a smart strategy -- he stuck to the smallest cupcakes, which were the easiest to eat and had the least calories, so he could get more clues. Adam just happened to grab the winning cupcake a second before he did and won the prize.  Then, of course, the other players started talking ominously about him having "a target on his back."  The little alliance between Brendan, Frado, and Patrick seems to take a nastier turn and they pull Ada into their little circle.

There was a segment with Curtis Stone about how to make healthy cupcakes after learning that the three cupcakes that one of the contestants ate during the challenge had 1,300 calories.  I'm not sure if they were just packed with lard, but that sounds really high.  Curtis Stone's cupcakes are only 100 calories. The recipe was supposed to be on the NBC website, but I can't find it.  They were mini angel food cake cupcakes with a raspberry puree frosting.  To promote gender equity, it was Lisa's turn to give a Creepy Inappropriate Hug. Bob and Jillian seem totally unfazed by the whole cupcake challenge this time. No beatings (other than the usual) were administered.

There were a few calls to sanity.  Bob brought up the fact that even though only one contestant gets the $250,000, all of them can win the real prize and lose the weight. The fact that this obvious fact was just brushed off by so many of the contestants makes me wonder: Do they really think losing the weight is that easy? If so, why did they never do it before? There is a lot of value in losing the kind of weight contestants lose on TBL, and some of the ones who get serious, lose the weight, and don't completely alienate the audience get speaking contracts and endorsements. 

As usual, most of the contestants who fell below the Yellow Line in the weigh-in were women.  I was happy that Sophia, who was the unlucky person under the Red Line, seemed confident that she could lose at home. After the weigh-in but before the challenge, we learn that Burgandy has tendonitis and can't compete. Since she has been so strong in the challenges, this seems likely to seal her fate. Mark throws out his back but seems to recover before the challenge. Frado decides to use his Biggest Loser power to save Jessica, who was just barely below the yellow line.  There was a goofy carpet-unrolling challenge that Elizabeth lost by a lot. It was obvious that height was an advantage in the challenge, and she's short and weak.  I didn't think she had much to worry about, because the other contestants like her and don't see her as a threat.

There were a couple of breakthroughs this week. Jillian helps Elizabeth understand how stress and helplessness are aggravating her asthma, and she also rips Ada apart and gets her to talk about how cruel her parents were to her after her brother died because they left a two-year-old in charge of an infant while they were in a pool together.  Jillian acutally calls the situation "abusive," and it seemed like a revelation for Ada to think of it that way.  I remember in the first episode when she said she thought that if she could lose the weight, her parents would finally love her.  That made my heart ache.

Burgandy is, as I thought, the one who is sent home, but she doesn't seem too sad about going home to see her family. She manages to get her whole family and even her whole neighborhood involved in hikes and other activities.  She looks pretty amazing in her after shot.  Sophia also seems to be doing well. I was shocked to hear that even when she was severely overweight, she had been a Spinning instructor, but she sounds like she is bringing more intensity and focus to the workouts after her time on the ranch.

The previews for next week show even more drama: The weigh-ins will be moving back to the end of the week, and there will be scale shenanigans.  Fat Survivor, anyone?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Weigh-in report: Missed it by that much!

This week was my fifth weigh in since my first week back -- so I was hoping to hit my 5-pound star.  5 pounds in 5 weeks has such a nice ring to it. I am down 4.6 in 5 weeks, though.  Nothing to sneeze at, but it would be better if I could lose consistently.  Look at the graph above -- notice a trend? Yes, sadly, my weight loss is like a Katie Perry song:
Cause you're hot then you're cold
You're yes then you're no
You're in then you're out
You're up then you're down
You're wrong when it's right
 It's not just a fluke.  The up weeks have been the weeks where I have been way over points, and the down weeks have been when I was slightly less over points. So it's a motivation issue -- I need to keep my head in the game and I'll be fine.

In the latest episode of Two Fit Chicks, Shauna brought up the Marie Claire article about health bloggers and used the discussion surrounding it as a springboard to ask a good question: As bloggers, what is our responsibility to our readers? I think that my main responsibility to the people who read my blog is to tell the truth about my experiences.  I don't post pictures of my food like the bloggers the article discussed (and I only read one of the supposed "big six" health bloggers), but hopefully those who do aren't feeling pressured by social expectations to post pictures of "raw spinach and rice milk" when they really enjoy the occasional cupcake. Or vice versa, suggesting they are staying slim on a diet of cookies and wine if that isn't true.

I take speaking the truth seriously. I try to give a balanced view of my up and down moments, though sometimes the comments I get when I feel down seem worried enough that I have tried to be more careful.  If I write about a book or a product here, it's because I like it. I have gotten several free books that I didn't blog about because I didn't enjoy them and didn't feel it was worth passing them along.

I also try not to be Wendy Weight Watcher, suggesting that I follow the plan perfectly down to the minutest details and that anything less than that is abject failure.  I have seen heated discussions on the Weight Watchers boards over points trivia (how many weekly or activity points it's acceptable to use, or what the correct way is to count multiple servings) that would make you think that our leaders were going to collect our journals and go over them with a red pen for correctness.  There's one grade each week: Did the scale go up or down? If it went down, you must have done something right. If not, try something different next week.  End of discussion, at least for me.

I'm sure you have all gotten those holiday newsletters from The Perfect Family, who report smugly that The Perfects had a Perfect year and their Perfect Children ("Our Christina" and "Our Dear Michael") are the stars of their Perfect and Exclusive Private School.  Does anyone enjoy hearing about the Perfects?  I figure if you are still reading this blog, you're here to find out what this one real person is experiencing in this very imperfect life.  If I can't tell the truth here, what's the point? 

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Biggest Loser Season 10, Episode 3: Taking Yourself Seriously

This week's episode started with a hangover from last week's episode. Tina, who had pleaded to be kept on the ranch in the elimination that sent home Allie, started saying that she didn't want to stay after all. She had withdrawn $16,000 from her 401(k) plan to take her family on a vacation, and then got sent to be on the show.  Why this hadn't occurred to her the night before was unclear. Maybe she was just feeling guilty about letting Allie get sent home, but she came across as flaky and irresponsible and a bit of a martyr besides.

I'm no financial wizard, but taking money out of a retirement account to go on a vacation seems ridiculous to me, especially if Tina is going to have to repay it with interest and penalties.  It seemed like an extravagant and silly thing to do. Even sillier was to take a bunch of people who were feeling remorse about sending home a young girl who obviously had no support system at home and give them someone to use as a scapegoat for their own guilt.  Tina did not have a good week.  She had the required conversation with Bob telling her that she gives too much and needs to give to herself first and then decided she was happy to be on the show again.

Lisa, the player who had been Allie's partner started to think that she should go  home and help Allie.  She lived near Allie and was sure she had learned enough to help them both succeed.  She's a mom and I think she was also feeling guilty about being away from her kids.  She did seem to realize that she was being silly and started to take her time on the show more seriously. 

I am going to commit Biggest Loser heresy here, but I don't think that giving too much to people in order to win their love is selfless and giving at all. I think it's selfish and manipulative.  I think it's just a different way to be the center of attention.

One of the things that The Biggest Loser does seem to do, in its better moments, is to help people learn to take themselves seriously. Instead of trying to seem helpless to get attention and love or at least deflect abuse, some contestants seem to learn that by building confidence in themselves through accomplishments (starting in the gym), they become better people who can be a real help to those around them.  People who take themselves seriously and take other people seriously seem to go far.

Though some players like Lisa and Aaron seemed to be learning that lesson this week, this week's episode also had its silly elements.  Tennis player and Internet pinup girl Anna Kournikova (best known for the Internet virus named after her) was on, and though she was supposed to be there to help the contestants work out, there was a lot of emphasis on how hot the guys thought she was.  Creepy contestant Brendan even described giving one of those inappropriate, too-long hugs to her.  Yuck yuck yuck yuck. 

They also had a tennis-ball challenge that was one of the typical unpopularity contest challenges for immunity -- players knocked each other out of the running by putting tennis balls in bins. There was the depressing boys-against-girls dynamic. Three players, Brendan and Frado of the black team and Patrick from the green team, have clearly formed an alliance even though Frado claims not to be a gameplayer. He wins immunity.
We see at the midweek weigh-in, which was announced to the players the day before, that Frado is more than willing to play games with his weight loss numbers. I would like it better if the weigh-ins were truly a surprise -- the players could be weighed daily but wouldn't know which day would count. Maybe all the stuff in last week's episode that suggested the show was taking itself more seriously was just window-dressing.

The weigh-in was the same as last week -- mostly women below the line and mostly men above it. The women are left (with Creepy Brendan, who is probably going to be Creepy Brendan to me from now on) to scramble in the sand for brass rings.  It turns out that the two players who had talked of going home earlier in the week are the two left up for elimination.

After Tina is sent home, we learn that it wasn't really her idea to be on the show, it was her daughter's.  Her daughter didn't make the cut, and for some reason Tina did.  I had more sympathy for Tina after hearing this -- she probably had auditioned just to support her daughter and then got stuck on this crazy show.  I hope that she still got to take her vacation.  She and her daughter seemed to do well at home, so maybe her time on the ranch was worth something after all.  She looked great and also seems more confident in her "where are they now" tape.

I will be curious to see which show we're watching next week -- the educational one that asks us to take ourselves seriously, or Fat Survivor. Hopefully it's the first.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Up 0.6 this week

I had to weigh in after lunch because of some meetings. I'm assuming it was more of a maintain than a gain, but I don't want to maintain, I want to lose. Last week was not a great WW week, as you could probably tell from my last post. The theme of "The Biggest Loser" this week was "Taking Yourself Seriously" (review coming soon). I am thinking I think I need to commit more fully to the process and not complain so much about how hard it is.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Is normal too much?

When I watch "The Biggest Loser" and see people talking about eating a giant sandwich called "The Gravedigger" with a large french fry and washing it all down with a two-liter bottle of regular soda, it seems pretty obvious why they have a big weight problem. What's sometimes less obvious is the way that "normal" food consumption can result in weight gain.

I have already dealt with The Usual Suspects:
  1. I don't drink my calories.  I don't drink regular (or diet soda) except on the very rare occasion.  I don't drink juice. I usually stick to calorie-free beverages or coffee with a tablespoon of half and half (20 calories or 0.5 points per tablespoon). Fancy coffee drinks like lattes are also a rare treat.
  2. I pretend like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, KFC, and the like just don't exist.  I have eaten fast food maybe twice in the last year.
  3. I don't keep cookies, ice cream, cake, etc. in the house.  On rare occasion, I will go out for one of these things and enjoy it. I don't bother with low-calorie substitutes like Skinny Cows and Vitatops.
  4. I exercise almost every day, usually walking or running.
The thing is, though, that just living a "normal" life in the U.S. is enough to result in about 20 or so extra pounds. Even with daily intentional exercise, most of the rest of my day is pretty sedentary.  Any time I go out for a restaurant meal, it results in serious damage to my points budget, even if I choose carefully.  If I don't plan my whole day out ahead of time, I invariably end up over points.

Every skinny person I have ever met restricts food and counts calories, formally or informally. I think that's what it takes.

It can feel like a struggle, though. When I go to the Weight Watchers boards for help, almost every day there is someone who is claiming that they can't eat all of their points.  Almost no one admits that they have trouble staying within their points.  I don't know why I let this bother me, but it does.  I can't work out any way that it would be easy to stay within a 23-point daily limit, and some people have limits that are even lower, down to 18.  

How did people who don't have any trouble eating less end up on Weight Watchers in the first place? It's truly a mystery to me.  Geneen Roth says that in her workshops, there are people who love limits and people who are very uncomfortable with restriction. Obviously I am in the second category, and probably the people who are complaining that Weight Watchers isn't hard enough are in the first, right? Or maybe they're just very all-or-nothing.

Just musing a little here.  I'm trying to fight off the discouraged feeling that I am the only person who struggles. When I think realistically, though, Weight Watchers would not be such a successful business if most people saw the rules and said, "No problem," and happily counted their way right to goal, no struggle involved.

Maybe I'm just too honest. 

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Weight Watchers Message Board Mad Libs

Remember Mad Libs? You asked a friend for a noun, a verb, a phrase, etc. into a form to make a silly story,   There's no reason that kids should have all the fun.  Here is a Weight Watchers Message Board thread for you to fill in for yourself.


2Cute4U: I hear that Weight Watchers is going to be coming out with a new plan in [month].  I'm excited to try something new! Has anyone heard anything about the new plan?

NoFunAtAll: Anything that anyone says is only [derogatory phrase]. Leaders and other people in the know will be [-ed verb] if they tell anything. 

Smartie4Sure: I just did a blog search and found information on the plan they are doing in [country]. It sounds a lot like the rumors I've been hearing. I translated the page and now I'm following the plan. The coolest thing is that [food group] is now 0 points!  I've already lost [number] pounds and I've only been following it for [length of time].

NoFunAtAll: Too bad you're not a [person from the country above]. If Weight Watchers had wanted us to follow that plan, they would have [method of communication] us by now.

Smartie4Sure: If you don't want to hear people talk about the new plan, No Fun, why did you open this thread?  Maybe you should go back to your [dull pastime] instead.

2Cute4U: OMG Smartie, you are so [complimentary adjective]! How do you figure the points? Can you send me the info? [suggestive nickname]@[domain]. THX!!!!!

NoFunAtAll: You had better watch it. If Weight Watchers finds out you are posting about the new plan, they will [threat].  You should just follow the current plan. It's [complimentary adjective].  I have lost over [number] pounds and everyone tells me I'm so thin I look like I have [eating disorder].

Smartie4Sure: Just sent the info, 2Cute. And I threw in some recipes that I translated from [exotic language]. Too bad that most of the foods are not things I have heard of before. I also found where you can order the new cookbook online at [website]. It's called [name] and the cover is [color] and you can see the [trademarked WW program name] logo on the cover.

Newbie26778634: No, I just searched and the cookbook is gone.  Now there's only the [name of old WW program] one instead. 

NoFunAtAll: It's all for the best. Every [length of time] there is all this [adjective] speculation and each time the changes are no big deal. I am going to search for more threads on the new plan so I can explain this all to them too.
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"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07