A Little Less Of Me

My quest to become thinner and healthier

Incremental Success 6 March 2009

Filed under: How Its Done - Past and Present — lennonzgal @ 10:46

The way I figure it, I have 30 pounds to lose from this point.  After having lost 80 pounds back in 2001-2002, a measley 30 doesn’t sound difficult, but I know that it is, and I also know that just having a goal of 30 pounds for myself is going to be frustrating and disheartening.  Even smaller 10-pound goals are going to cause me heartache, based on the way I’ve lost weight thus far.  So, I’ve devised a series of small-ish goals that will help me move along and feel like my next goal isn’t that much of a stretch:

  • Get under 190 pounds (check).  This was my first big goal, and it was really just a 3.4 pound loss from the start.  I did it in the first week, but even more importantly, even on my weekend gains, I’m now solidly in the 180s.  For whatever reason, being over 190 scares me more than being over 180.  I think it’s being perilously close to that dreaded 200 mark that does it.
  • Lose 10 pounds (1.8 pounds to go).  This will be my first 10-pound treat.  I’ll be taking myself shopping to spend my Gap gift certificates on something for Spring.  I don’t have too many Spring clothes, so I need to pick up a few things.  I was going to wait until Spring hit, but I think a 10-pound celebration warrants a shopping trip.
  • Hit my lowest post-baby weight (4.2 pounds to go).  This will be nice.  Even though I still felt heavy at that weight, it was the lowest I’d been in a while, and that felt good.
  • Get under 180 pounds (5.3 pounds to go).  I’ll bet that being over 170 will feel even better than being over 180.
  • Hit my pre-baby weight (9.2 pounds to go).  This will be wonderful.  Still felt huge at this weight, but definitely being back at the pre-baby stage will give me some confidence back.
  • Lose 10% of my starting weight (11.1 pounds to go).  This is an important one, it’s the most common time when people start to notice that you’re losing weight.  When I first started WW, a co-worker that I didn’t really spend time with came up to me just after this point and commented that he’d noticed how much weight I lost and that I looked good.  It gave me a whole new perspective on losing.  It was quite nice.
  • Lose 20 pounds (11.8 pounds to go).  Second 10-pound treat.  I won’t decide what that’ll be until I get closer.
  • Get under 170 pounds (15.3 pounds to go). At this point, I’m expecting extreme excitement.  I’ll be halfway to my goal.
  • Lose 30 pounds (21.8 pounds to go). I’ll probably need a mini-goal between this and the previous one, but I haven’t gotten close enough to know what a good goal will be, so this is it for now.  This’ll be the next 10-pound treat.
  • Get under 160 (25.3 pounds to go).  This will be fabulous.
  • Goal! (30.2 pounds to go) … what can I say?  I’ll be ecstatic.
  • Maintain for at least a month.  I’m planning to maintain a lot longer than that, but the month I’m giving myself is a way to allow me to adjust to my new eating habits at that weight and to get used to the maintenance calories.

Even within maintenance, I’ll be setting small goals for myself, like running a 5K or exercising 5 times per week.  I was watching Ellen DeGeneres on my Tivo yesterday, and she was talking about how you can’t go through life without goals – you can’t just sit there complacent and expect life to pass you by.  You need to set hard goals for yourself to keep life fun and interesting, and I agree.  This weight loss is just one goal to keep me going and keep me motivated through this part of my life.  As the days pass, I’ll create new goals and work just as hard to meet or beat them.  For now, I think that this goal is challenging and appropriate for me.

So, those are my milestones.  I’ll hopefully be referencing them in the future, and I’ll hopefully be hitting that second goal soon enough!  In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your personal milestones … how are you challenging yourself?


The Little Things 26 January 2009

Filed under: How Its Done - Past and Present — lennonzgal @ 01:18

I think it’s important to take time on a regular basis (daily, weekly, monthly, whatever works) and reflect upon how things are going with my diet.  I personally do my reflection every night.  It’s a time for me when I review my food selections during the day and make sure that I list at least one good thing that happened with said selections.  It’s a great practice for me, because I happen to be the type to think, “Well, I screwed today up.  No sense in getting on the scale for a week,” which results in the prompt end of a good attempt at a diet.  When I review my day and pick out a few good aspects, I realize that while I might have over eaten, I have still retained some of the values and lessons that I have learned over my many years of dieting.

I think I am going to start listing those good things along with my weight.  It’ll be a good reminder in the morning of those things I did well previously, to give me encouragement and to help me strive to work towards achieving those accomplishments again.


The Thrill of the Cheat 24 January 2009

Filed under: Fun With Food,How Its Done - Past and Present,Why I'm Heavy — lennonzgal @ 19:02

I honestly think that no healthy lifestyle is complete without a cheat day now and again.  There are “off” days, which to me are days where the calories or points or whatever are good, but the ratios might not be there; for instance, I could eat something like 5 Snickers bars in a day and be within my POINTs…I didn’t get a lick of nutrient in there, but I ate to my allotment.  Those can come more frequently, because the gains they create are merely temporary and not worth worrying about.  A cheat day, a TRUE cheat day is more rare, more precious.  It’s the kind of day that becomes a battle between you and your pantry, and you’re going to win because you’re bigger and hungrier.  It’s the kind of day where you finally sit down at night, not wanting to look at another morsel of food for the next month. They cause a gain, and they’re well worth it.

Some of you may say, “Well, I cheat, but it’s really just to have a slice of cake after dinner once every few months.” To you, I say HA!  A slice of cake is amateur hour in the Ash household.  Here, our mouths open when we wake up, and they shut when we go to sleep.  Cookies, cakes, candy, nothing is safe in this house.  Those year-old Peeps clinging to life at the top of the fridge?  Gone.  The girl scout cookies in the basement freezer to be saved for a “later” date?  Guess today is “later” than the day I bought them.  The fake strawberries in Liam’s toy shopping cart … well, perhaps those will go unscathed.

I think a day like that is necessary.  It should be rare, certainly.  You can’t lose weight by watching yourself during the week and eating everything in sight on the weekends.  We’ve tried.  You can, however, still lose with a day here and there (in our case, once a month) filled with whatever you might dream of eating.  At the end of the day, I’ll be crying to Will, telling him that it’s all over, that I’m going to be fat for the rest of my life, and he rationally reminds me that it was just one day and regardless of what I ate today, I’ll still wake up tomorrow lighter than I was when I started.  And tomorrow is a new day, tomorrow is not a cheat day, and I know it.  So, I’ll dust myself off, remind myself why I started my journey, and be able to muddle through another few weeks of dieting, as I look forward to the next cheat.


Exercise … or Lack Thereof 17 January 2009

Filed under: How Its Done - Past and Present,Why I'm Heavy — lennonzgal @ 01:18

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, just like I’ve been meaning to exercise for a while.  Neither has apparently happened.  I know that one of the major keys to weight loss is exercise, which is why I put it in my list of goals.  That said, I’ve not yet jumped on the workout train.

Why, you ask?  I suppose there are a million reasons.  My main excuse right now (and that’s really what it is … an excuse) is Liam.  I’m pretty exhausted after a day with him, and on days when I’m working, it’s a 10.5 hour day at work, plus a 45-minute drive in either direction.  That means I leave here at 6am and get home a little before 6pm.  At that point, we need to eat dinner, get Liam fed, bathe him, I have to breastfeed him, and then put him to bed.  By that point, it’s 7:30pm and I still have to get some form of housework done.

Prior to the arrival of The Prince, I ran three half-marathons over the course of about 6 months.  I loved it.  Running is my meditation – it’s the only time where I’m not anything … not a mom, not a wife, not a daughter, just me.  I love that pit-pat-pit-pat sound as I make my way around the neighborhood or down the Schuylkill River Trail.  I do miss it, and would love to get back into it, but even that will have to wait until this cold is over.  I have a short-term goal of doing a 5K, and I would love to be able to do that within the next 12 months.  In the meantime, trying to find time to do so is a lot of work.

I’ve made a commitment to myself.  There are a lot of people who say that making too many changes at once will only lead to failure.  Instead, I’m going to allow myself to work slowly through change.  This month, there have been a lot of modifications to my life – going back to work, trying to eat healthier, trying to make more big meals each week, etc.  I think that I’m going to allow myself to just muddle through January and use February as a means to start figuring out a workout schedule.  Remember, there are two of us in this house who need to exercise, and only one of us can leave at a time, Liam can’t babysit himself 🙂  So, my commitment is this – January is my off-month as far as exercise goes.  I’ll do my best to add in slight exercise where I can, parking far from the store, using stairs rather than the elevator, and adding a little more oomph to my cleaning.  In February, I’m going to start analyzing our evenings, and figure out where I can fit in at least 3 workouts per week … even a run around my neighborhood would make me happy.  In March, it’ll finally be getting warm enough where I can go running anytime, and I’ll start training for that 5K.  I need you guys to hold me to it!


Goals, Revised 5 January 2009

Filed under: How Its Done - Past and Present — lennonzgal @ 01:30

I’ve added a “Goals” tab at the top of this blog (look at the upper right-hand side), where I will keep these updated, but I was reading this article on CNN, and one of the “tips” for weight loss is very specific goals, which you’ll notice mine weren’t.  So, I’m going to try and be more specific.  Let’s see how this goes …

  • Get down to 155 pounds.  I think 155 is appropriate for me, I feel as though the recommended weight for me is a little too small, I constantly felt hungry at 145, so I can’t imagine how I’d feel at 125.  I’ll revise the weight as I get smaller.
  • Make one completely new meal per month.  I’m not a great cook, and I think it’s important to have variety in your diet, which I don’t have.  So, I’m going to try and pick out a new recipe from one of my million cook books every month and make it.  If we like it, I’ll add it to the rotation.  If not, at least we tried!
  • Drink at least 100 oz of water per day.  It’s going to take me a while to get back to this, but I was drinking around 100-150 oz of water per day before Liam.   That was good for me, and I’d like to get back to it.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes, at least 3 times per week.  This one’s going to be hard, but I’m going to give it a good try.
  • Get on the scale every morning.  There will obviously be exceptions, but for the most part, I’m going to stick to this.
  • One “cheat” day every other week.  I’m going to allow myself to have an off-day every other week and see how that goes.  If it goes well, it stays.  If it doesn’t, we’ll try once a month and see how that works.
  • Work towards eating more natural foods.  I want to get to a point where the ingredients on foods I buy are all ones that I can read and understand.  I’d like to get to a point where I’m baking my own bread and making my own ice cream, but let’s make one improvement at a time.

My Goals 2 January 2009

Filed under: How Its Done - Past and Present — lennonzgal @ 02:03

I’ve been thinking about my goals lately.  It’s become obvious that “to lose weight” isn’t a good enough goal for me, nor is “to become healthier.”  The last time I lost a significant amount of weight was in preparation for my wedding, so it seems to me that I need a really good motivator.  I’ve thought about it, and I tihnk my motivation this time is my son.  At my weight (which I’ll post tomorrow once I get on the scale), I’m certainly more at risk for all sorts of problems, which will only be exacerbated as I get older.  I want to be around to enjoy my son and to be able to play with him for as long as he likes.  So, my motivation is Liam.

I once got as low as 145 pounds, which may seem high to a lot of you, but it was actually too small for me – I was always hungry, and the only way for me to stay that small was to constantly obsess over what I ate.  With an infant, I don’t have time for that.  I think that I have a better chance at being around 155 (my doctor once mentioned that this would likely be a good healthy weight for me).  There’s no problem being 155, if it’s a healthy 155 …I don’t take much stock in the height/weight charts … I’m going to get to 155, then start focusing on my percent body fat, but that’s another goal for another day.

So, my goals are:

  • Get down to 155 pounds (or thereabouts … I’ll refine this as I lose weight)
  • Get healthier – more exercise, more water, more positivity in my life

I think that’s feasible, don’t you?


How I Did It – Weight Watchers? 20 December 2008

Filed under: How Its Done - Past and Present — lennonzgal @ 02:56

I’m not exactly sure how I lost 80 pounds the first time … I mean, I followed Weight Watchers to the letter, so I’m certain that had something to do with it, but I didn’t exercise at all.  I would take my parents’ dog around the block in a short run/walk each day, but that was MAYBE 15 minutes of exercise.  Still, it must have done something.  I’ve recently run 3 half-marathons, so a quick 15-minute run on a daily basis just doesn’t seem like a lot.  I guess it was …

Anyhow, I followed the Weight Watchers program to the letter, and I plan to do the same this time around.  The plan has since changed quite a few times, so I’m hoping that I can master the newest plan as well as I mastered the old one.