Undeserved weight maintenance. Again.

My husband and I had a kicka** session at the gym today—after having seven days off. It felt so good to MOVE, to get the blood flowing, to use my muscles, especially after feeling so awful last week.  We were completely exhausted afterwards—but it was that kind of tired that feels so good and relaxing.

Before working out, I weighed myself on the scale in the locker room: 189 lbs. The gym scale has always registered my weight at one pound higher than the scale at the Lindora clinic; thus, I have not gained any weight. I have not gained any weight!!! (From now on I’ll be using the gym scale as my primary, official gauge, even though it’s a pound higher.)

It is, once again, undeserved weight maintenance as I’ve been off program for about three weeks.  Except for last week, we’ve continued going to the gym, which I’m certain has helped offset the extra food I’ve been eating.

Mind you, my jeans are tighter, so I know I must have gained fat and lost muscle, but I’m still totally tripping out that I didn’t pack on 5-10 lbs. That’s what I expected.

This hasn’t been my usual gorgefest that is Christmastime. I haven’t gone all out crazy, but I have imbibed. Oh yes, I have. Tamales. Tacos. Spanish rice. Refried beans. Chocolate chip cookies. Popcorn with butter and parmesan. Barbecue ribs, mashed potatoes and buttery bread. But not every day. I’ve also eaten lots of soup, salad/veggies, fruit, yogurt.  The only thing I can figure is I’ve been much more aware of what I’m doing. I haven’t just mindlessly porked out.

I have enjoyed eating off-program food guilt-free, knowing I’m taking a break from the diet, knowing I’ll get back on track soon.

Because if you’re not going to enjoy it, then what’s the point?

So… I’m on a total high, knowing I don’t have too much damage to repair as I refocus my eating and exercise efforts toward my goal.

By the way, I love the new Weight Watchers commercial where Jennifer Hudson’s old and new self are singing “Believe.” Fun to imagine the former old me and the future new me standing right next to each other. I’m standing here beside myself…

Weight Watchers – Jennifer Hudson: I believe in you and me

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The Clothing Conundrum

Left: Sending fat clothes to Goodwill. Right: Clothes to fit in to. Those green shorts are from 1993, size 12. I'm keeping them just to be able to put them on again.

Losing weight is causing a clothing conundrum.

I do not want to buy new clothes! I am not at my goal weight!

It’s a fantastic problem to have, but it is a problem indeed.

As I’ve packed on the pounds these past fourteen years, I kept some of my favorite old clothes (size 12 to 20 pants, medium to extra large tops). Fortunately I’ve been able to pull some pieces out of storage bins and wear the items that do not look too dated. And I’ll have more to wear as I continue my downward path.

But critical pieces are needed. A few weeks ago, I had to go out and buy a couple of bras because I went from a size C to a B. Ain’t that just my luck? First place I lose weight. Sheesh.

Pants are another problem. I’ve been wearing the same two pairs of pants to work for the last month or two, and they are getting downright sloppy.

I have to make a formal presentation at work this week, so I needed to find a pair of trousers that fit me right.

Lane Bryant Right Fit Pants

So off I went today to Lane Bryant, one of my usual plus-size places to shop.

Lane Bryant has a fantastic brand called “Right Fit” with different cuts to fit your shape: Red (moderately curvy), Yellow (straight), and Blue (curvy). For the past ten years or so, I’ve been a Blue 3 (the equivalent to a size 22 or so). I’ve had about seven pairs in my closet—both jeans for weekends and trousers for work. They’re now in a box that will soon go to Goodwill. Nope. Not keeping them as a safety net. No. Nope.

So today I’m standing in Lane Bryant, flipping through the racks of pants. Where do I start? A sales clerk approached me. I told her I’ve been losing weight and didn’t know my size.  She replied, I wish I had that problem. She brought me some 16’s and 18’s (short length).

I tried on the 16’s. They were so big, they fell off my hips.

I stepped out of the dressing room and said to the clerk—somewhat formally, because it was a momentous occasion—“I am happy to say that these are much too big!”

After much ado, I learned that… GUESS WHAT? None of their “Right Fit” pants fit me. They were all too big! Even size 14! I had three extremely friendly, helpful, enthusiastic salesgirls helping me, running to the back of the store to try to find my size, coming back with options for me in all three of the “Right Fit” cuts.

I was starting to feel a bit giddy. I have sized myself out of Lane Bryant!!!

Lane Bryant T3 Tighter Tummy Technology

One of the sales girls recommended I try on the T3 trousers. That’s “Tighter Tummy Technology,” mind you. They basically have a girdle built in to the pants.

She brought me a size 14. I tried them on, then stepped outside the dressing room to look at myself in the full length mirror; all three of the sales girls were looking on. I was tiny compared to them. The pants fit me like a glove. I was shocked to see how well they held in my tummy and shaped my hips, butt and thighs. I wanted them, bad.

They cost $70.

I couldn’t do it. Not for a pair of pants that wouldn’t fit me in a month or two. Just couldn’t do it.

I bid farewell to the girls, thanking them and feeling guilty that I was leaving empty-handed after how helpful they had been.

I headed over to JC Penney. They were having a big sale, plus I had a 20% off coupon. I smiled to myself. I haven’t purchased pants at a regular store in so, so long.

I grabbed a bunch of size 16 and 18 black trousers. Short length. I had a feeling that size 16 at Lane Bryant and Size 16 at JC Penney would be very, very different.

None of the pants had a built in girdle that miraculously shaped my hips, butt and thighs. I’d have to suck in my gut with these ones. And most all of the “short” pants were not even close to short. I’m 5’1” and all of them were several inches too long.

I found one pair that fit. Size 16. Perfect length. A bit snug. But I’ve learned that even when you’re overweight, it’s better to wear clothes that fit. Baggy clothes just make you look bigger and sloppier.

They cost me $17.23 with tax. Regular price was $36.

They’re just temporary pants.

When I get to my goal weight, I can buy high quality, permanent pants that will fit me like a glove.

I forced myself to walk out of the store as soon as I found what I came for. I so, so, so wanted to look at blouses, sweaters, and all manner of fun girly clothes.

Nope. It’s not time yet. That time will come.

I was texting my husband the whole time. He was so excited for me.

New wardrobe, here I come. In about 6-9 months. I can wait. Anticipation is a beautiful thing.

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.

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?

Day 4: The On-Track Whineybutt

I’m committed to this weight loss thing. Truly I am. Sheesh – it’s only Day 4.

But every time I ate today, it only seemed to make me more hungry. My stomach growled immediately after eating, as if to say, “That’s all you got?”

And my second morning walk this week—my second walk in a year!—was hard. Weird! I’ve never had trouble just plain walking. But my lower back ached and my legs and feet felt like lead. I have to remind myself, “Hello, you’re out of shape! It’ll feel better tomorrow.”

Wearing my Skechers Shape-ups may have been a factor. They are extremely comfortable; I’ve worn them while grocery shopping or going to an amusement park. This is the first time I’ve used them for what they were intended, and I could really feel it in my legs.

Walking the neighborhood will get old, so I’m planning to find places where I can get out into the woods for a little hike. I want this to be fun! Hmm. I think I’ll start another section on this blog to highlight great places to go walking in the Inland Empire (southern California). More to come.

Here is today’s food:

  • 8am  Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate Vanilla creamer (2), 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c milk (12), 1 tsp Sugar Free Metamucil (5)
  • 10:45am  Coffee (0), 2 MulitVites Gummy Vitamins for Adults (3), 2.5 oz Turkey cold cuts (1) with Dijon mustard (0) and a small celery stick (1) – yuck. I hated it.
  • 1pm  2.5 oz shrimp (0), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/2 c celery (3), 1/2 c mandarin oranges (14), Diet Pepsi
  • 3pm Atkins Caramel Nut Chew Bar (17)
  • 4:30pm Deviled Eggs a la Lindora (1), 1/2 c. sugar free cherry Jello (0)
  • 7pm 2.5 oz Top Sirloin (0), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/4 c celery (2), 1/4 c carrots (4), peach (10)
  • 9pm Lindora Hot Cocoa (6)
  • Total carbs: 99

Days 1-3: Getting into the Lindora Zone

This past weekend, to get into the Lindora zone, I pored through Lindora’s recipes on their website, my old Lindora Recipe Collection book I received in 2002, and the approved food choices in the Lean for Life book. I made a grocery list and got everything I needed at Costco and Stater Bros.

As I tackle my weight loss goals, I want to achieve variety in my food choices. Variety is the spice of life, so they say. In the past, my marathon weight loss attempts have failed in part because I would get lazy. I’d pick the same foods over and over again and get completely sick of them.

Following are my first three days of food choices. The goal with Lindora is to stay under 100 carbs a day. I didn’t add up my carbs until the middle of Day 3. Wow – I had no idea I was going so far over 100 carbs each day.

Day 1: Monday, July 25, 2011
Exercise: None 

  • 8am  Coffee (0) with Coffee-mate Vanilla creamer (5), 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c milk (12), 2 MulitVites Gummy Vitamins for Adults (3), 1 tsp Sugar Free Metamucil (5)
  • 10:30am Atkins Caramel Nut Chew Bar (17) (Extremely yummy, but not an approved Lindora product. I have a box of these that I want to use up before “officially” starting on the Lindora program on August 4.)
  • 1pm  3.5 oz shrimp (0), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/2 c carrots (8), 1 Tbsp fat free Italian dressing (3), 1 apple (17)
  • 3:30pm Zone Perfect protein bar (14)
  • 4:30pm  2 egg whites (1)
  • 7pm  2.5 oz. chicken (0), 1 tsp olive oil (0), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), carrots, celery, cucumber (a tiny bit of each; approx 6 carbs), peach (10)
  • Total carbs: 119
    (Yikes. I thought I was doing really well my first day! I didn’t add the carbs up as I went; otherwise, I could have made adjustments toward the end of the day. I definitely should not have 2 protein bars in one day.  Lesson learned!)

Day 2: Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Exercise: 30 minute walk with my Beagle 

  • 9:30am Coffee (0) with 2 Coffee-mate Vanilla creamers (6), 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c milk (12)
  • Apple Celery Salad1pm  Apple Celery Salad – Very yummy. Includes 1 apple (17), 1/2 c Dannon nonfat vanilla yogurt (9), 1/2 c celery (3) and a dash of cinnamon (0); 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/4 c cucumber (1), Crystal Light sugar free orange drink (0)
  • 2:45pm Atkins Caramel Nut Chew Bar (17)
  • Deviled Eggs a la Lindora4:30pm Deviled Eggs a la Lindora (1), Coffee (0) with 2 Coffee-mate Vanilla creamers (6), 2 MulitVites Gummy Vitamins for Adults (3)
  • 7pm  3 oz Top Sirloin Steak (0), 1/4 c cottage cheese (2), 1/2 c mandarin oranges (14),  2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/4 c carrots (4)
  • 10pm Lindora Chocolate Pudding (7)
  • Total carbs: 120
    I went way over 100 again. I’m figuring this is a good way to ease in to this new food thing! Prep days before my 3 protein days next week!

Day 3: Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Exercise: None 

  • 8am  Coffee (0) with 1 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate Vanilla creamer (3), 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c milk (12), 1 tsp Sugar Free Metamucil (5)
  • 10:30am  Lindora BBQ Soy Puffs (8), 2 MulitVites Gummy Vitamins for Adults (3)
  • 1pm  2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/4 c carrots (4), 1/4 c cucumber (1), 1/2 c. sugar free cherry Jello (0), 1/2 c Dannon nonfat vanilla yogurt (9), 1 c strawberries (11) – Very nice. I mixed the yogurt and strawberries together
  • 3pm Atkins Caramel Nut Chew Bar (17)
  • 4:30pm Deviled Eggs a la Lindora (1)
  • 6:30pm Crab Salad: 2.5 oz imitation crab (1), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/2 c. celery (3), 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (1), orange (14)
  • 9pm Lindora Hot Cocoa (6) – so satisfying, especially as hunger pangs are making their presence known this time of night…
  • Total carbs: 117

Getting Started on Lindora’s Four-Week Program

My husband helped get me started back on Lindora—a medical weight control clinic—by purchasing a 4-week program for $179 from Groupon.com. It includes:

  • Lab work ($151 value)
  • Physical exam ($75 value)
  • Lean for Life Workbook ($19 value)
  • Check in 2 times a week with a nurse ($260 value)

Yesterday, I called my local Lindora clinic to let them know I’d received the four-week program as a gift. Georgene, who has consistently followed up with me via phone since my false start in 2009, enthusiastically welcomed me and asked when I wanted to get started.

“Immediately,” I said.

She asked me to come first thing in the morning to get my blood drawn. She reminded me to fast for ten hours prior to that but to drink lots of water. “We want your veins nice and plump.”

I left the house early this morning to make it to my appointment at the clinic, which is  close to my workplace. A nurse practitioner welcomed me and asked me to complete two pages of forms—similar to forms you would fill out at your doctor’s office.

Next, I was taken to Georgene’s office where she went over what was included in my 4-week membership. She asked me to follow her to a Body Composition Analysis machine. I stood on a platform and with both hands, grasped metallic handles while the machine did its work. Moments later, she printed out the report and talked it over with me. Here’s what it said:

  • Weight: 224.7
  • Total Body Fat: 45.6% (normal range is 19-26%), or 102.5 lbs.
  • Fat Free Mass: 54.4%, or 122.2 lbs
  • Total Body Water: 42% (normal range is 50% and greater)

None of it is a surprise. Not really. But to see that almost 103 lbs of my body is straight fat? It’s hard to grasp. It’s also quite motivating.

We made appointments for my physical exam (over a week away—after the lab reports come in), my protein day informational session, and my carbohydrate informational session. She scheduled my three prep days, where I am to basically eat foods that include moderate protein, high fat and low carbohydrates.

She then scheduled my three protein days. These are days I dread as I’ll basically be going cold turkey from all sugar and bread—two of my most favorite things in the world. I am only supposed to eat approved meat or dairy products, or Lindora’s delicious protein supplements (a great perk to the program!). I was excited when she told me I could eat low fat string cheese as a protein. It would only count as 1 carb.

I didn’t tell her that I already started the weight loss menu yesterday. I don’t want to wait another week. I know what to do as I’ve done this before. I think it will make those three protein days a bit easier this time. It won’t be such a shock to my system.

She asked if I wanted to purchase any protein supplements. Yes. She handed me a list of product—almost 100 options. Over $50 later, I took home:

  • Lindora Hot Cocoa (perfect low carb snack before bedtime)
  • Double Chocolate Protein Bars (deadly good!)
  • Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin Bar (perfect with a black cup of coffee)
  • Strawberry Kiwi Protein Drink (Georgene recommended having this on hand for high carb days)

The nurse practitioner was now ready to take my blood. She was chatty which helped to distract me from the needle. Her comments stuck with me.

“The Lindora program is great. As a nurse, it’s so gratifying to see people’s blood work go from bad to good. After just twelve weeks, it comes back clean and healthy. Some people even get to go off their high blood pressure meds. It’s so exciting.”

I’m already feeling lighter—buoyant even—just knowing that I’m taking steps toward better health in all areas: spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally.

How about you? Have you ever started a program with Lindora? What was your first experience like at the clinic?