The way station was nice, but I’m moving on…

Way Station No. 2. Artist: David Carmack Lewis

“…Mental health is based on a certain degree of tension, the tension between what one has already achieved and what one still ought to accomplish, or the gap between what one is and what one should become… What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.”
—Victor Frankl, as quoted in Lean for Life Phase Two: Lifetime Solutions

This past summer, my husband and I took a driving trip across the United States to support my nephew as he graduated from Army boot camp. We traveled from southern California to South Carolina and back again. It was an adventure, but sometimes it was grueling; the stops along the way were very brief—only to gas up, eat, and sleep. On the other side of the country, we had about five days of rest. We stayed put, saw some sites, and just hung out with each other. The respite was much needed, but eventually we had to say farewell and get back on the road.

The journey to lose 95 pounds will be long and sometimes grueling.

I’ve been at the same weight for almost two months. I have enjoyed the side trip that was this weight, because the contrast between 225 and 188 pounds is enormous. It has felt fantastic. I have felt light and free.

However, at my current weight, I’m starting to feel as yucky as I did at 225.  I feel big. I feel encumbered. My reality check mirror is telling me the truth. You’ve got a ways to go, chica. Get back on the trail.

So the little side trip I took, hanging out at this weight, this way station? I’m done with this place. It was tempting to stay, but I’ve stayed too long. It’s not home. There are much better destinations ahead.

Why I chose Lindora to lose weight.

Is this true or what???? : ) I recently discovered Pinterest.com where I found this and many other inspirational images and quotes... check it out.

Now that the Thanksgiving holiday has passed, I’m working on getting my focus back on my weight loss goals and remembering why I chose Lindora to help me succeed.

The most important thing about choosing a weight loss plan is finding what works for you. There are so many options out there—some totally stupid and crazy, some healthy, some much more effective than others. Here’s what attracted me to Lindora.

Lindora works. I chose Lindora because, in my experience, it’s the only program where I’ve been able to lose a significant amount of weight. When you carefully follow the guidelines, it really works. You will drop the pounds. A + B = C.  It’s a no brainer. It’s not easy, but you can have the confidence that you will get results if you follow the rules.

Lindora is simple. Lindora provides a list of authorized foods that reflect a “low fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate nutritional plan.” The boundaries of a limited food list are extremely helpful to me. I get overwhelmed with too many choices. The list is posted on my fridge. You can’t go wrong with fruits, vegetables and protein.

Lindora recommends exercise that is doable and sustainable. I like that Lindora doesn’t push strenuous exercise. They simply exhort you to “move more.” And that means lots of walking. When I lost 60 pounds back in 2002, I walked almost every morning for 30-45 minutes.  This time around, I’m working on getting stronger and being much more fit with lots of cardio and weight lifting. I also want to have more muscle to increase my metabolism. Muscles are so productive. I love that they are burning fat even when I’m not using them.

Lindora provides accountability. When you purchase the 12-week program, you go into the clinic every single day to report what you’ve eaten the day before, receive a B-12 shot, and weigh in. I recommend this program for any first-timers. It’s pretty costly (I spent about $1,200 in 2002), but if you’re someone who has tried many, many times to lose weight, it’s worth every penny. The daily accountability forces you to change your habits.

I completed the 12-week program back in 2002. I lost 60 pounds. But then I got completely off track after injuring my lower back. I couldn’t exercise, and for some bizarre reason, I started eating like I used to. Soon after that, we became parents to our 11-year-old nephew. Life turned completely upside down for the next 8 years. I’m not blaming my weight gain on a child. His arrival into our lives was, however, a mitigating factor as I slid back into my old habits. I gained all the weight back, plus another 20 pounds.

This time around I purchased the 4-week program. I know how to do Lindora; I just needed a kick-start and a month’s worth of accountability. Isn’t it crazy how we all know exactly how to lose weight? We just have to DO IT.

Lindora preaches lifelong change. Indeed, the guidebook is called “Lean for Life.” It’s not just a diet; it’s a transformation. It’s about rewiring your brain, creating new patterns and adopting new habits.

“With Lean for Life, the focus is on learning to become lean. The process of learning creates new neural connections within your brain. These new connections create actual structural changes in your brain. With reinforcement (practice), the changes (connections) can become permanent, and before long, you’ll find that making healthy choices about what you eat seems like second nature. And it will be! Your process for decision making will have been permanently changed.”

Just because I lost the weight and gained it all back ten years ago is no reflection of the viability of the Lindora program. I didn’t stick with the program. I didn’t follow their Lifetime Maintenance guidelines. If I had, I would have arrived and stayed at my goal weight all these years.

Here are some other weight loss programs I’ve tried in the past:

NutriSystem – I joined this program with my mom way back in 1989, the summer before my junior year of college. That’s when they used to have clinics; now they just sell the food online. I lost weight that summer, but it was extremely expensive. I was spending $70 to $80 per week on freeze dried, cardboard food. It was kinda fun, though, to go back to school about 15 pounds lighter. Gained it all back in a few months though!

Weight Watchers – I’ve joined WW several times over the years and could never stick with it.  It is too lenient. There are too many choices. Too much moderation.  I kept using all my points up before dinner.  The most I ever lost with WW was about 8-10 pounds.

SlimFast – Even though it was convenient and relatively inexpensive, constant hunger made this a short-lived diet. Shakes are not food. The most weight I lost? Probably 2-3 pounds before I gave up.

Herbalife – Who doesn’t like drinking fruit shakes for each meal? I liked them very much. But again, I was hungry all the time. And the supplements were just way too expensive. I lost about 2-3 pounds before giving up.

Why did you choose your particular method for losing weight?

Slow & Steady Wins the Race

This morning, I woke up slowly while my husband and I snuggled. His hand resting on my hip, he said, “What’s this?”

I smiled and said, “I don’t know, what is it?”

He patted my hip. “Is it bone? Or muscle? Flex.”

I flexed.

“It’s both. Wow. Good job, honey!”

It was a good moment. A very good moment.

I weighed in at Lindora today to discover I’m two pounds down from last week. Yey! I was only slightly discouraged when I did the math and thought to myself, “well, only 60 pounds to go.” Sigh.

I’m plugging away, slow and steady. I’m not being legalistic about my food. I’m having off-program meals 3-4 times a week, and combined with working out at the gym 4-5 times a week, I am steadily dropping the weight.

July 25, 2011 weight: 225 lbs | November 10 weight: 190 lbs

These are inspiring numbers when I sit back and look at them objectively.

  • 15 weeks.
  • 35 pounds gone.
  • That’s an average of 2.33 lbs per week.
  • I weigh 190 pounds.
  • I am 37% of the way toward my goal.
  • 130 pounds, here I come.

It’s a war I’m fighting. More about that in my next post.

My Weight Loss Tool Box

Image source: blog.alice.com

Soapy suds gushed from the under the door of my dishwasher, pouring across the kitchen floor. I shut it off immediately and tried to stem the flow with hastily grabbed towels. I almost cried. I love my dishwasher. My dishwasher is my friend. It was late. I went to bed. I’ll deal with it in the morning.

This morning I pulled the dishes out and washed them by hand. My husband is on day two of a nasty cold so I don’t want to bother him about fixing it until he feels better. My hands deep in a sink full of dishes and sudsy water, I thought about how important the dishwasher is as a tool in my weight loss journey.

When you’re eating healthy, you use a lot of dishes. Measuring spoons and cups. The tray on the food scale. Pots and pans. Blender. Plastic containers for weekday lunches. A dishwasher is a huge time-saving device with all this critical clutter.

When you’re eating unhealthy—fast food out of paper bags—there are no dishes. Just a lot of trash. Or when you’re eating out a lot, someone else is doing the dishes.

Losing weight is hard work.  And weight loss work requires certain tools, starting with…

A method. A plan.
My method is Lindora. There are lots of great programs out there: Weight Watchers. Slimgenics. Paleo. Body for Life from EAS. Websites like Spark People. Do some research. Find a plan that works for you. Don’t have surgery. You can do it the right way if you really, really want to. You got yourself into this mess. You can get yourself out. But you need a plan.

A way to measure your food so you won’t lie to yourself.
A lot of those dirty dishes I mentioned have to do with measurement gadgets. A huge key to weight loss success is heightened awareness of what you’re doing. If you guesstimate how much a cup of skim milk is without measuring it, you’ll always err on the side of too much. If you think one ounce of almonds is a handful, you’ll wind up eating two. Measure everything, stay within the boundaries of your program, and you will lose weight.

Food diary.
Another critical weight loss tool is a food diary. Write down everything you eat. Nothing formal. Scraps of paper. A small notebook in your pocket or hand bag. It’s like accountability to yourself. An honest food diary keeps you centered squarely in the world of what is real. I like this little notebook I got at WalMart for 50 cents. I especially like that it doesn’t have spiral binding.

Treats… I mean, protein supplements.
ZonePerfect Cashew Pretzel protein barMy favorites include ZonePerfect nutrition bars (Cashew Pretzel and Chocolate Mint) and Lindora’s protein drinks (Wildberry Passion) and nutrition bars (Peppermint Cocoa Crunch, Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Chocolate). These keep me satisfied and happy on this long, long journey.

Treats… I mean, vitamins.
Vitafusion MultiVites – Gummy multi-vitamins for adults. I hate, hate, hate swallowing vitamins. For years, I refused to take them. My husband found this brand at Costco for me a few years ago. They’re like candy.

B-12 Sublingual – Just bought a bottle at my doctor’s office. Stuck a pill under my tongue this morning. Mm! Grape! I miss the B-12 shots I received while on the Lindora. B-12 helps increase your mood, metabolism and energy.

Sugar-free Metamucil Fiber Supplement. 1 teaspoon per day with 4 oz. of liquid. To help it go down better, I mix it with any flavor of Crystal Light. It’s like fake juice in the morning. Not bad.

Good tennies.
I love my Skechers Shape-Ups. I can just feel the rhythm and flow while I’m on the treadmill. I am in the zone.

Gym membership.
For years we had a room in the house set up with weight lifting and cardio equipment. We never used it. At home there are far too many distractions and reasons not to work out. Going to the gym is both a physical and mental separation. You can focus there. And the energy of people working out around you is contagious. In August we purchased a three-year LA Fitness membership – buy two, get the third year free. It’s called commitment.

Pedometer.
Lindora recommends moderate exercise; at least 10,000 steps per day. This handy dandy Lindora Lean for Life pedometer (from 2002; no longer available through Lindora) helps me gauge how much I’m moving every day. It’s another way to be stay grounded in reality and to document my efforts.

A good laundry detergent.
Huh? What’s detergent got to do with losing weight? Recently we discovered that our usual laundry detergent was not removing the nasty, stinky sweat from our gym clothes. I thought I’d forgotten to add the detergent and re-washed our clothes with so-so results. A week later I was certain I added soap, but still pulled stinky clothes out of the dryer. Our sister-in-law told us she ran into the same issue with her two sons. She discovered Tide plus Febreze Freshness Sport. Perfect. I am happy to report we can now tolerate our own stink. : )

What are your must-have weight loss tools?

Untethered… Good riddance forever, 200’s!

An encouraging weigh-in at Lindora this week! I have blown past the 200-pound milestone! Goodbye and good riddance, you pesky albatross around my neck. (Idiom Definition: An albatross around, or round, your neck is a problem resulting from something you did that stops you from being successful.)

Current weight: 197
Total pounds lost: 28
New goal weight (after doctor visit on Tuesday): 130
Pounds to go: 67
Contagious weight loss: 1 person has been inspired by my progress and joined Weight Watchers. Go YB!

Even with so much weight yet to lose, I feel free and untethered. I feel fantastic.

I can still live life and lose weight!
I haven’t weighed in for nine days, but I still lost about 5 pounds after a five-day break from the program, which included a three-day trip to Vegas for my 42nd birthday. I splurged, but I definitely modified my eating and didn’t go all out crazy like I normally would have. And no gym visits, but I ranged from 10,000-15,000 steps per day.

More reasons why Lindora is so great…
It’s been about a month since I completed my short, 4-week Lindora program. I’m still able to weigh in as part of their lifetime maintenance program. One Lindora consultant told me that once I’m 5 lbs past the last weight I was at on my last official day, the scale would lock me out of the computer. I’ve lost 10 lbs, and they’re still asking when I’ll be back.  I’ll keep going until they tell me I can’t.

Plus, I missed my usual Tuesday weigh-in and I received no less than 4 voicemails—“Care Calls”—from Lindora checking on me and making sure I’d come in to see them that week. That’s accountability right there—a critical component of weight loss success.

Did you know that during your birthday month, Lindora gives you 30% off all products and programs? I stocked up!  A word of warning: the discount only applies to ONE transaction. So make it count.

And I just discovered their Peppermint Cocoa Crunch bars. Amazing. Heavenly.

A few photos to share…

At work, instead of birthday cake, my colleague brought in yogurt, berries and granola to both celebrate and support my diet goals. She is so encouraging. Thanks JS! I am grateful!

This was my birthday dinner at the Harley Davidson Café in Las Vegas. My husband and I shared this platter. It was sooooo good… BBQ ribs, shredded pork, beef brisket, and chicken.

Reality check: This is me enjoying the harvest display in the Conservatory Garden at Bellagio, Las Vegas. I’m 25 pounds lighter here. Yey, me! But still plenty of junk in the trunk—and everywhere else.

This is me at a family party a week ago with my 19-year-old niece. I’m the one on the left, in case you couldn’t tell. : ) Anyway, she weighs 130 pounds. I asked if she’d pose next to me so I could have a vision of what 130 pounds looks like. It’s tiny!!! I know, I know. I’ll never again look like a 19 year old… I’m not that delusional. But it’s fun to envision being that fit again. THAT is within reach.

Lindora’s Six Essentials for Success

Dr. Marshall Stamper’s Six Essentials for Success
(from Lean for Life, by Cynthia Stamper Graff)

  1. Make your goal “to learn to be lean for life.”
  2. Your level of interest and enthusiasm will determine your level of success.
  3. Learn to recognize and eliminate your defensive barriers.
  4. Learn to control cravings.
  5. Learn to use relaxation techniques and “stress less.”
  6. Follow the maintenance program for lasting success.

The “essential” that resonates the most with me is #2.

Interest and enthusiasm toward exercise is growing. I love working out at the gym and especially love that my husband and I are workout partners. We’re also looking for ways to get exercise beyond the gym. I’m looking into local places to hike. We’ll be participating in a local Walk to End Alzheimer’s event next month in memory of my Mom, who passed away four years ago from this despicable disease.

My interest and enthusiasm for food comes and goes. For example, salads were starting to bore the heck out of me. I was starting to skip them. Bad strategic move. Salads take a long time to eat and help to fill me up. So this past week I switched from having romaine lettuce twice a day to mixed greens. The small but important change was much needed. Mixed greens, pine nuts, balsamic vinegar and olive oil = yum.

This blog is playing a huge role in maintaining my level of interest and enthusiasm. When I wonder why I’m spending so much time typing up the food I’ve eaten (when I’ve already kept track of it in a small notebook I carry), I remember how reporting my actions to the blogosphere is providing me with critical accountability.

The blog also has me thinking about things in a way I wouldn’t otherwise. How can I help others with what I am learning? How can I learn from what others are doing?

I am over 20%—one-fifth of the way—toward my goal of losing 100 pounds, but I am constantly thinking about maintenance. I have lost a lot of weight before and gained it all back and then some. I want to focus on a permanent, lifetime change, not just how long it’ll take me to lose 100 pounds.

I am inspired by a blog called Former Fat Chik: 135 lbs lost! by Jess. She learned so much during her weight loss and now she’s sharing it with the rest of us. She has clearly found a huge new passion in life: nutrition and exercise. She is still enthusiastic and interested in food and fitness, and I imagine it’s her enthusiasm that keeps her successful in maintaining all her hard work.

What keeps you interested and enthusiastic about losing weight and staying in shape?

Here is my menu for the past week. Went off track a few times; we’ll see what that does to my weigh in on Tuesday. I’ve noticed that if I go off program, if I stay away from junk food, I still feel great and it doesn’t impact my weight loss too negatively.  I feel fantastic; I know I’m making progress.

Sunday September 11, 2011
Pedometer: 5,541
Exercise: None. Day off today.
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8:30am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
11am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
2:30pm 1/4 c Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt 5
0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/4 c Carrots 4
1/2 c Cucumber 1.5
1 Orange 14
12 oz Diet Squirt
5pm 1 Bar 13
8pm Off Program at Black Angus ?
Bread/buttter, top sirloin steak, fried shrimp, orange slices, salad with carrots and croutons, dipped in dressing ?
Dessert: Chocolate Chip Cowboy Cookie with ice cream on top – shared with my husband ?
Total Carbs ???
Monday, September 12, 2011
Pedometer: 18,734
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 10 min crossramp, 45 min lower body strength training
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8:30am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
10:45am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt 10
1 c Strawberries 11
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/4 c Carrots 4
1/2 c Celery 1.5
1 T Fat free Italian dressing 1
3:30pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
5:30pm 1 oz String cheese 1
7pm 3 oz Carne asada (round steak) 0
4 4″ corn tortillas 16
1 ZonePerfect bar 13
Total Carbs 88.5
Tuesday September 13, 2011
Pedometer: 10,056
Exercise: No gym. Felt ill; went to be early.
Lindora weigh in: Lost 3 lbs since last Tuesday. : ) : ) : )
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8:30am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
10:45am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1:30pm 1 Morningstar Veggie Burger 3
1 tsp Mustard 0
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Chinese pea pods 5.5
1/4 c Carrots 4
1 Orange 14
4:30pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
7pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt 10
1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
2 c Mixed greens 3
1 Tbsp Pine nuts 0
1 Tsp Olive oil 0
1 Tsp Balsamic vinegar 0
Total Carbs 81
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Pedometer: 12,731
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 45 min upper body strength training
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8:30am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
10:30am 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
1 Coffee with 1 Tbsp cream 3
12:30pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt 10
1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
2 c Mixed greens 3
1 Tbsp Pine nuts 0
1 Tsp Olive oil 0
1 Tsp Balsamic vinegar 0
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
2:45pm 1 Lindora chocolate protein shake 1
5pm 4 Small hors d’ oeuvres (cheese, meat, cracker) 15
7pm 1 In N Out Burger 39
1 In N Out Fries 54
2 Tbsp Catsup 7
11:15pm 1 Lindora protein drink 3
Total Carbs 172.5
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Pedometer: 15,595
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 15 min crossramp, 15 min swimming
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 3/4 c Cheerios 12
1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
10:30am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
12:30pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt 10
1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
2 c Mixed greens 3
1 Tbsp Pine nuts 0
1 Tsp Olive oil 0
1 Tsp Balsamic vinegar 0
12 oz Diet root beer 0
2:30pm 1 bag Lindora onion soy puffs 8
12 oz Diet Pepsi 0
4:15pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
7pm Shrimp Salad:
2.5 oz Shrimp 1
1 tsp Olive oil 0
1 clove Garlic 0
1 wedge Lemon 1.5
2 c Mixed greens 3
1/2 c Celery 1.5
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar 0
1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
9pm Half Lindora protein drink 1.5
11:15pm Half Lindora protein drink 1.5
Total Carbs 92
Friday, September 16, 2011
Pedometer: 12,154
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 10 min crossramp
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 3/4 c Cheerios 12
1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
11am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1 mug Coffee with 1 Tbsp creamer 3
1pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt 10
1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
2 c Mixed greens 3
1 Tbsp Pine nuts 0
1 Tsp Olive oil 0
1 Tsp Balsamic vinegar 0
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
4pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
6:30pm Approx 10 cups Air popped popcorn 48
4 Tbsp Butter (44 grams of fat, 400 calories) 0
Approx 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese (3 grams of fat) 0
10:15pm 1 Lindora protein drink 3
10:45pm 1 Lemon Tea (1 lemon wedge, artificial sweetener) 1.5
Total Carbs 119
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Pedometer: 11,091
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, lower body strength training (alternate routine), 20 min swimming
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
9am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
11am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
2pm 1 Lindora mocha protein shake 1
8pm 1 Lindora wildberry passion protein drink 3
8:30pm 4 oz Chipotle chicken 1
1 c Romaine lettuce 1.5
1/2 c Pico di gallo (tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lemon) 5
1 oz Cheese 0
2 Lemon wedges 3
9:30pm 1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
10:45pm 1 Lemon Tea (1 lemon wedge, artificial sweetener) 1.5
Total Carbs 41.5

Weighty weight. 22 pounds down. 78 to go.

“When you believe that what you do influences the results you get, you will see yourself as someone who can act effectively to get what you want.”
—Cynthia Stamper Graff, Lean for Life

I weighed in today at Lindora.*  I’ve lost three pounds this week, for a total of 22 pounds since getting serious on July 25. Nice, slow and steady. Only 78 pounds to go…

It was a successful week of both weight loss and intentional moderation. I lost this weight by working out at the gym for five out of seven days, and eating on program for every meal except two:

  1. Thursday – slice of Costco pizza
  2. Sunday – dinner at Black Angus: top sirloin steak, fried shrimp, bread and butter, cheesy bread, salad (light dressing), orange slices. For dessert, a big cookie with ice cream on top (which I shared with my husband).

20 lbs of beans representing 20 lbs of fat. Gone.

Shopping at Costco recently, I looked for something that weighed exactly 20 pounds. I picked up a bag of pinto beans and handed it to my husband. He looked at me quizzically.

“Honey, feel how heavy this is. That’s how much I’ve lost!”

He was suitably impressed.

On The Biggest Loser, there was a great episode where the finalists had to carry all of the weight they had lost as they ran through an obstacle course. Each stage in the course represented a week on the show. They dropped that week’s worth of weight at each stage until they were finally light and free. It was so symbolic… To be reminded of how heavy you were compared to how light you are now.

Every now and then along this weight loss journey, I’m going to lift up something that represents how much weight I’ve lost. I want to remind myself just how heavy that weight was. And how unburdened I am by it now. And how I never want to carry that weight again.

I still have a long way to go, but I want to celebrate my accomplishments so far. I’m already seeing major benefits…

  • My size 20 slacks are too big and baggy to wear to work. I look sloppy in them. Looking sloppy is the complete opposite of why I want to lose weight. I need to find my box of smaller clothes in the garage this weekend.
  • My feet no longer hurt when I stand up after sitting for a long time.
  • My lower back is no longer stiff and sore when I wake up in the morning.
  • I am no longer sucking air while climbing the steep hill from the parking lot to our office each morning.
  • I am no longer out of breath when hustling from the parking lot to the movie theater.
  • I have a lot of flexibility and ease of movement. I can easily touch the floor while keeping my legs straight.
  • My arms and legs are firmer.
  • A day of cleaning house and doing other household chores no longer makes me feel like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck.

If I’m feeling this great after only losing 22 pounds, I’m already imagining how much better it’s going to feel to be another 22 pounds lighter.  Onward and downward!

* Although I’ve completed the 4-week Lindora program I purchased, I’m still able to weigh in if I’m within five pounds of my last weigh in on the program. One more pound lost and I’ll be locked out of their computer. No worries. I think I’ll be fine on my own. I’ve got this down pat!

How do you celebrate your weight loss accomplishments?

Lindora Kick-Start Complete; I’m on My Own

Edamame. Photo by Tammy Green (aka Zesmerelda) from Chicago Upscale Dining + Lounge Republic Pan-Asian Restaurant

I completed my 4-week program at Lindora on Tuesday, August 30. My weigh-in that day showed I had lost 18 pounds so far. It’s a great kick start toward my 100 pound weight loss goal. The 4-week program helped to re-educate me and get my head in the game.

I’m on my own now, but am confident that between the accountability of having this blog and the support of my online community, friends, colleagues, and especially my husband, I can step out of this fat suit I’m wearing… forever.

I plan to make some adjustments to my program that aren’t “authorized” by Lindora. Here are some of the “rules” I’ve already broken, but am still losing weight:

  • Eating string cheese instead of nasty fat-free cheese. One ounce has 1 carb and 6 grams of fat. A very satisfying morning snack. And I’m still losing weight.
  • Adding 2 tablespoons of sugar-free, liquid Coffee-mate vanilla creamer to my coffee each morning (the fat-free version has more carbs, so I don’t use it). The Lindora program only authorizes 1 teaspoon of non-dairy, powdered, fat-free creamer. Nasty. That’s just not right. You just don’t mess with a good cup of coffee. I’m happy with my substitution. And I’m still losing weight.
  • Eating ZonePerfect bars instead of Lindora-only protein bars. Half the cost, but with the same nutritional benefits and taste. And I’m still losing weight.
  • Eating Edamame as a protein/vegetable portion. Edamame is too nutritionally balanced to be ignored. It’s a perfect combo of protein, carbs and fiber. I’m just going to be careful to limit my portions. I have only had it twice this week, so we’ll see how it impacts my diet, positive or negative.
  • Having a “free” meal once a week.

Here are rules I don’t intend to break, but know I will if I’m not careful:

  • Continue to measure my food; don’t eyeball it and call it good. The little devil on my shoulder will let me lie to myself and deem something a half of a cup when it is really three-quarters of a cup.
  • Continue to have 1 protein-only day per week.
  • Stay out of the rut of eating the same foods every day. To be creative in food preparation.

Lindora encourages moderate exercise. Ten years ago I lost 60 pounds on Lindora by following the program and walking every day, so I know walking is enough to do the trick. This time around, my husband and I are doing much more than walking. We’re building muscle. Muscle burns more calories, even at rest. And I want that muscle to tone all my soon-to-be-formerly-floppy areas. And it’s fun. It feels good to feel stronger and firmer.

Here’s my menu from the past week. (I’m trying a new format to make it more readable. Pretty easy – I typed it up in Microsoft Excel and copy/pasted into the post.)

Saturday, August 27, 2011
Pedometer: 14,222
Exercise: Nothing formal, but lots of activity… Clean house, mow grass, etc.
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 3/4 c Cheerios 12
1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
12pm 2.5 oz Chicken breast 0
2 tsp Olive oil 0
1/4 c Carrots 4
1 c Strawberries 11
2:30pm 1 ZonePerfect nutrition bar* 13
4pm 1 oz String cheese 1
6pm 2.5 oz El Pollo Loco chicken 0
2 c El Pollo Loco salad 3
1/2 c El Pollo Loco Pico di Gallo 5
9:30pm 1 cup Lindora Creamy Hot Cocoa 6
Total Carbs 72
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Pedometer: Forgot to wear
Exercise: None. Our day off.
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 3/4 c Cheerios 12
1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
11am 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
Starbucks Coffee 0
Creamer 3
3pm 1/2 c Athenos Greek plain, fat-free yogurt 5
1 c Strawberries 11
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Cucumbers 1.5
1/2 c Chinese pea pods 5.5
12 oz Diet Rootbeer 0
6pm 1/2 c Cottage cheese, fat free 4
2 Tbsp Salsa 4
Half Small grapefruit 10
8pm 1 oz String cheese at a movie 1
1 ZonePerfect bar at a movie. Hungry. 13
Total Carbs 103
Monday, August 29, 2011
Pedometer: Forgot to wear
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 8 min rowing machine, 30 min upper body strength training
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am Lindora French Toast
1 slice Whole wheat bread 11
1 Egg 1
1 Tbsp Skim milk 1
Dash Nutmeg, cinnamon 0
Approx 10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
11am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1:45pm 2.5 oz Chicken breast 0
1/2 c Stewed tomatoes 5
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1 Orange 14
4pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
6:30pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt 10
2/3 c Raspberries 10
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1 c Cucumber 3
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
11pm 1 Lindora Strawberry Kiwi protein drink 1
Total Carbs 81
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
***LAST DAY of my 4-week Lindora program. On my own now!!!!***
Weigh-in: 207 lbs (-2 lbs); Blood pressure 120/80
Pedometer: forgot to wear
Exercise: 30 min treadmill; we did more, but I forgot to write it down!
8am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – Toast 11
1 Egg 1
4 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
11am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1:30pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt 10
2/3 c Raspberries 10
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Green beans 4
1/2 c Chinese pea pods 6.5
4pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
7pm 2.5 oz El Pollo Loco chicken 0
2 c El Pollo Loco salad 3
1/2 c El Pollo Loco Pico di Gallo 5
Lots Diet Coke 0
11pm 1 Lindora Wildberry Passion protein drink 3
Total Carbs 75.5
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Pedometer: 16,908
Exercise: 35 min treadmill, 30 min lower body strength training
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – Toast 11
1 Egg 1
4 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
10:30am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1 mug Coffee 0
1 Tbsp Creamer 3
1:30pm 1 c Edamame soy beans (measured in pods) 10.5
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1 Orange 14
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
4:30pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
7pm 2.5 oz Shrimp 1
1 tsp Olive oil 0
1 clove Garlic 0
1 wedge Lemon 1
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Cucumber 1.5
1/4 c. Chinese pea pods 5.5
Half Grapefruit 10
1/4 c Raspberries 3
12 oz Diet Pepsi 0
11pm 1 Lindora Orange Protein Drink 3
Total Carbs 89.5
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Pedometer: 13,343
Exercise: 25 min treadmill, 3 min elliptical, 20 min pool – water aerobics
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – Toast 11
1 Egg 1
4 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
10am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1 mug Coffee 0
1 Tbsp Creamer 3
1pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt 10
1/2 c Nectarine 8
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Cucumber 1.5
1/4 c Chinese pea pods 5.5
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
3:30pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
7pm 1 c Edamame soy beans (measured in pods) 10.5
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Cucumber 1.5
1 Orange 14
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
1/2 c Sugar free Jello 0
11pm 1 Lindora Mocha protein drink 1
Total Carbs 92
Friday, September 2 – Protein Day until dinner
Pedometer: 7,642
Exercise: None. Gym closes earlier on Fridays, so we’ll for sure go tomorrow
8am 1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
10am 1 Lindora chocolate shake 1
11:45pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
1:30pm 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
3:45pm 1 Lindora chocolate protein bar 13
6pm 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
7pm 2.5 oz El Pollo Loco chicken 0
2 c El Pollo Loco salad 3
1/2 c El Pollo Loco Pico di Gallo 5
Lots Diet Coke 0
9pm 1 ZonePerfect bar (3rd bar today! At movies and hungry) 13
Total Carbs 67

From Accidental to Intentional

What I see very clearly is that most people have no clue what they’re doing to themselves with the food they normally eat. Nor are most people aware of how much better they could look and feel if they stopped feeding themselves accidentally and started re-creating themselves intentionally.
—Bill Phillips,
Body for Life

I love this quote from Bill Phillips. I have definitely been guilty of feeding myself accidentally.

Spoiled Girl (Me), Eating Out

The Accidental Then
For the past fourteen years, I have been spoiled rotten when it comes to food. I have a husband who loves me unconditionally—even though I’ve packed on 65 pounds since we met. Neither of us likes to cook. He knows I work hard (at my desk job), so almost every evening when I got home, we would leave again to go eat out. Where we would be served. Where someone else would do the cooking and cleaning up. When we got married, I jokingly told him, “I promise to make you dinner—but only when I feel like it.” It’s nice to be spoiled.

Eating out is expensive. We became masters of the coupon. We’d go through the circulars that came in the mail and tape them to the back of our den door. We’d go to Restaurant.com looking for good deals. We’d go to Costco for a hot dog or a slice of pizza. We became regulars at restaurants that had weekly specials, such as $1 tacos on Taco Tuesdays.  We ate very, very well.  And it showed.

Just the thought of cooking stressed me out—except for weekends, when I had lots of time. I had all kinds of excuses.

“I’ve worked hard all day. I’m too tired to make dinner. I can’t deal with the mess afterwards.”
“It’ll take too much time. I’m hungry right now.”
“I deserve to relax.”
“I don’t know what to make.”

The Intentional Now
I work a little harder for my food now. I plan ahead. I think things through. Preparing my food makes it easier to get 10,000 steps recorded on my pedometer each day.

I have to go to the grocery story and pick out Lindora-approved items. I have to haul the bags into the house and put the groceries away. I have to pull stuff out and prepare meals. I have to clean up afterwards. (By the way, I adore my dishwasher.) I can hear my pedometer clicking away as I move around the kitchen, and I’m enjoying the movement after sitting at a desk all day. One evening on the way home from work, I went to Costco just to pick up a rotisserie chicken for dinner. There were quite a few steps required to go from the car to the back of the warehouse and back to the car again. Click. Click. Click.

I realize how spoiled I’ve been, and I wonder to myself, “Who do I think I am that I don’t have to prepare my own meals?” I think of all those women out there who get home from their day jobs and cook for their families or just their husbands. Just because I don’t have kids doesn’t give me the excuse to be a lazy slob.

And why haven’t I cared about healthy foods for my husband and me? We aren’t getting any younger. We can abuse our bodies only so much.

I am committed to working for my food.

Here’s my menu from yesterday.

Saturday, August 20, 2011
Pedometer: 11,120
Exercise: 20 minutes on treadmill, 6 minutes on elliptical, upper body strength training (finished Friday night’s workout), 30 minutes low-intensity swimming in the pool with my husband.
Party Success Strategy: I went to a party this evening. I ate my mid-day meal before we left the house so I wouldn’t have the urge to graze. For dinner at the party, I ate a double dose of protein as there were no fruits or veggies. There was no diet soda so I drank 3 bottles of water (next time I’ll bring my own diet drink). A couple of hours later I had a ZonePerfect Bar. I said no to wine, tortilla chips and salsa, carrot cake, and a pasta salad. Even though it was late, I ate another ZonePerfect bar after we left because I was tired and getting a bit dizzy.

  • 9:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3)
  • 1pm  1 oz string cheese (1)
  • 3pm Veggie Omelet: 1 egg (1), ¼ c onions (3), ½ Roma tomato (2.5), 1 tsp olive oil, clove of garlic; 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1 c strawberries (11)
  • 6pm ZonePerfect Cashew Pretzel bar (13)
  • 8pm Approx 3 oz. grilled chicken (excellent!) (0) and 3 oz. salmon (0), a couple of slices of cucumber
  • 11pm ZonePerfect Chocolate Mint bar (13)
  • Total carbs:  76.5

Lindora works! It really, really works!

An extremely encouraging visit to the Lindora clinic today.

Starting weight: 224.7
Today’s weight: 211.0    -13.7 lbs!

Lost a bunch of inches, too!
– 5.5” waist
– 1.5” bust
– 1” hips
– 2” thighs

Blood pressure: 110/78

I love this program! Such progress in only 3 weeks!!!

I am encouraged by my coworkers who are telling me that I’m having a really good attitude and I’m not being a big whiney-butt about the diet – like when I don’t get to eat celebratory cake. I’m happy that they’re noticing my mood. Cheating is simply not an option. I’m on the wagon. Why fret about it.  I’m amazed at the overall lack of cravings I’m feeling. I credit it to the ZonePerfect bars – one per day, in the afternoon.

Here’s my menu for the past week… (still eating Dannon Light & Fit yogurt; didn’t want to throw it away; need to go find the Ralph’s Carb Master and Fage Greek Yogurt) : )

Sunday, August 14, 2011
Exercise: Nothing formal; walked around the mall before going to a movie

  • 9:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3) (According to Lindora, I don’t need to count the carbs in my daily Metamucil sugar free fiber)
  • 12pm Chocolate Mint Julip: Lindora Chocolate Pudding (7), Diet Squirt (0), 2 drops of peppermint extract (Source: Lindora Lean for Life Recipe Collection. Nasty, ick, yuck, puke. Tasted like toothpaste. Grossed me out for hours. Weird how much a bad tasting snack bummed me out and made me mad.)
  • 2:30pm El Pollo Loco chicken breast (0), Salad (3), ½ c pico di gallo (5), Diet Pepsi (0)
  • 8:30pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • Total carbs: 59

Monday, August 15, 2011
Pedometer steps: 10,983
Exercise: 30 minutes treadmill, 30 minutes upper body strength training

  • 7:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber
  • 10:30am  0.5 oz string cheese (0.5), 1.25 oz turkey (0.5)
  • 1pm  ½ c cottage cheese (4), ½ c pineapple (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ½ c cucumber (1.5), ¼ c celery (1.5), Diet Squirt (0) (Notes: Too much cottage cheese! It needs to be disguised more. I can’t believe I’m eating cottage cheese.)
  • 3pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 7:30pm  2.5 oz shrimp (1), 1 t olive oil, lemon wedge (1.5), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ½ c cucumber (1.5), Orange (14)
  • 10:30pm  2.5 oz turkey (1)
  • Total carbs: 86

Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Weighed in at Lindora:  Lost 1.5 lbs since Friday
Exercise: None
First bad day on this journey. Felt extremely crummy today—burning eyes, aching body. Thought I was getting super sick; went home early at 1pm. No gym. For some reason I was disappointed that I’d only lost 1.5 lbs since Friday, which is kinda crazy. Felt a little crazy today. Negative thoughts like “what’s the point?” Pushed through it.

  • 7:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber
  • 10am  1oz string cheese (1)
  • 2pm ½ c Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ½ c cucumber (1.5), Diet Squirt (0)
  • 4:30pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 7pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • Total carbs: 81.5

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Exercise: 20 minutes treadmill, 30 minutes lower body strength training

  • 7:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber
  • 10:15am  1oz string cheese (1)
  • 1pm ½ c Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ½ c carrots (8), Diet Pepsi (0)
  • 4pm Coffee with 1 creamer (3), ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 7pm Veggie Omelet: 1 egg (1), ¼ c onions (3), ½ Roma tomato (2.5), 1 tsp olive oil, clove of garlic; 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), no fruit
  • 10:30pm Lindora Strawberry & Kiwi protein drink (1)
  • Total carbs: 88.5

Thursday, August 18, 2011
Exercise: none. Did a bunch of necessary errands instead.

  • 7:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber
  • 10:30am  0.5 oz string cheese (0.5), 1.25 oz turkey (0.5)
  • 1:30pm ½ c Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ½ c cucumber (1.5), Diet Squirt (0)
  • 4:30pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 8pm El Pollo Loco chicken breast (0), Salad with ½ c salsa (5), Diet Coke. The salad had their cilantro creamy dressing on it, even though I asked for no dressing. I opted to go ahead and eat it. It was so good!

Friday, August 19, 2011 – Weekly Protein Day
Weighed in at Lindora:  Lost 3 lbs since Tuesday!!!!!! Wahoo!!!
Exercise: 30 minutes treadmill, 30 minutes upper body strength training

  • 8am 1 c skim milk (12), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber
  • 10:15am Lindora Oatmeal Raisin protein bar (13), coffee with 1 Tbsp creamer (3)
  • 1:30pm Lindora BBQ Soy Puffs (8), 12 oz Diet Squirt (0)
  • 3:15pm 0.5 oz string cheese (0.5), 1.25 oz turkey (0.5)
  • 5pm ½ c Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt (10)
  • 7pm ZonePerfect Cashew Pretzel protein bar (13)
  • 10:30pm Lindora Strawberry & Kiwi protein drink (1)
  • Total carbs: 64