Sunday, July 27, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up 21

This weekend was another shameful weekend where I made very poor eating choices. I sort of predicted that this weekend wasn't going to be too good as far as eating goes but I was hoping that it wouldn't be too bad. I think Friday was the worst day because I didn't think my anxiety would be too much for me to handle that I would need to drink. Unfortunately I was wrong and whenever I drink, I tend to not care about the food I'm consuming. Thursday was also a bad eating day but I knew it would be since I was going to a carnival/fair that night where there were certain foods that I wanted to try. I don't think I went overboard but I did indulge in foods that I wouldn't normally eat. The foods I ate the fair are foods that I highly doubt I will eat again or are foods that I won't eat again for another 5-10 years (which was the last time I had one of the decadent foods I had that night).

I've also gotten into this habit of eating Oreos with peanut butter. Typically I wouldn't mind doing this because I allow myself to eat foods that I enjoy. Since I discovered that I like eating the two together, I've been trying to figure out solutions that would allow me to eat Oreos with peanut butter in a controlled way without using a lot of my daily or weekly points+ allowance. First I determined that buying a whole jar of peanut butter was out of the question because I have no self-control when it comes to certain foods such as peanut butter. So I bought a pack of single serve peanut butter containers that cost me about 7 points+ every time I indulge in this snack. Then, last night, I discovered that Walmart sells a generic of gluten free Oreos which means I can now safely eat some Oreos without having to deal with the occasional consequences of eating wheat.

Anyways, that's just a small step. Obviously I ate terribly this weekend but I can only improve from here! I'm continuing to work out and I've even got a new set of strength training exercises to do now that I've finally met with my personal trainer (after about 3 months of not making the time or setting aside the money to see her). I'm also continuing my Couch to 5k efforts, so this week I'll be starting week 4 which I'm hoping goes well. So all I can do is to keep moving forward, not dwell on the mistakes I made, and make better food choices as well as keep up with my exercising. I am determined to make these next 3 days before my weigh-in day better than the last 4 days.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Weekly Weigh-In #26 (week of July 16-22)

This week at my weigh-in at Weight Watchers, I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that my weight went down! In fact, I lost 0.6lbs which means I surpassed the goal I made for myself last week since my total weight loss is now 90.2lbs! Huzzah!

Honestly, I can't speak very highly this past week -- I almost feel like I don't deserve to have lost any weight. I had a really rough day on Thursday as far as my eating and emotions were concerned. I was going to turn it around on Saturday but I went to a party where I let my anxiety take over and I coped with it all wrong by drinking. Then, on Sunday, I didn't eat much all day because I felt so nauseated from the night before. It was probably all for the best because Sunday evening I met up with an old friend for dinner and I could only do so much to accurately point the food I ate (nothing too bad -- the place we went is great for healthy eating so I got a portobello mushroom wrap).

This coming week brings its own food/eating challenges including:

  • Thursday, July 24th → lunch with a friend (getting healthy, steamed shrimp with veggies at our favorite Chinese restaurant) and going to the large State fair in the evening (I'll be having a filling but low-point+ dinner and I'm not a huge fan of carnival food anyways)
  • Friday, July 25th → dinner with family but I don't know what's being served so I'm just going to have a filling salad with lots of power foods but I'll be sure to save extra WW points+ for that night
  • Saturday, July 26th → going to an Indian dance show of sorts where there will be free food & drinks after the dance recital so I'm actually considering leaving shortly after the dance portion of the evenings; otherwise I'm making sure to have meals that day which are low in points+ values just in case I'm coerced into or tempted to try any of the Indian food
  • Sunday, July 27th → out to dinner again with a friend/coworker to the same restaurant I went to this past Sunday -- this means I can check out the menu before I go and track the meal I plan to have that night

I think planning out how I'll tackle each engagement/obstacle that involves food for this upcoming helps, even just a little bit. Since I'll be focusing on just getting through each hurdle and day at a time, I'm keeping my goals for this week short & simple (much like these past two weeks)...

  • T R A C K E V E R Y T H I N G
  • Check off my daily Good Health Guidelines (GHGs)

Speaking of previous weekly goals, I've started to neglect my Tracking Challenge Jar as well as my Daily Fruits & Veggies Google Doc Spreadsheet. I'm kind of bummed about letting those two things fall to the wayside but I know it's only because I've been so busy these past few weeks. I do try to keep up with them when I remember but I've been trying to remember a lot of things that they often get moved to the back of my memory. During my little downtime that I've had lately, I do remember to work on them to bring them up to speed. However, I'm not going to worry too much about either of them because clearly I'm doing something right if I've continued to lose weight these past few weeks.

My NSV for the week was doing my first official 5k! I use the word official because I have walked the equivalent of 5 kilometers or more plenty of times since I've joined Weight Watchers. However, this past Saturday I signed for and participated in Run or Dye. It was definitely a fun experience so I hope to do many more 5ks, both fun ones and ones for a good cause. Although this 5k wasn't competitive and I walked most of it, I plan to use it as sort of my starting point to see how far I progress because -- if I haven't already shared -- I'm working through the Couch to 5k program. I'm already on week 3 during which I'm finding the jogging parts becoming easier for me every week. I've never considered myself a runner before since I always said that my body isn't built for running but if I can work up to jogging I'll be incredibly pleased with myself!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up 20

I was reluctant to write this post because this weekend was... all over the place. It was not only crazy as far as my eating goes but also just my life in general. So I've decided to put it behind me and not dwell too much on it. I definitely didn't do too great in regards to making good food/eating choices. It's unfortunate how poorly I did but it's more important that I move forward from everything this weekend. Life happens... and when it does, sometimes it will affect your journey temporarily by possibly having a weight gain this week. However, it's imperative to not let it ruin my entire journey by slipping back into old habits or giving up on Weight Watchers completely. I will not let one crazy weekend throw me off track because I've had plenty of bad weekends before and I will inevitably have more of them in the future but it's important to remember that this is a lifetime journey.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Weekly Weigh-In #25 (week of July 9-15)

Exciting news at my weigh-in this morning! I lost 3.0lbs!!! I'm super excited about this because I wasn't expecting such a big weight loss first thing in the morning. I'm so close to losing 90lbs total that hopefully I'll hit it next week. I really think my Weight Loss bracelet that my co-worker made me is helping because it's helped to pause & think before making food choices or purchases.

Current Stats
Current Weight: 153.0lbs
Total Pounds Lost: -89.6lbs
Goal Weight: 125.0lbs
Pounds Until Goal: 28.0lbs
Next Bead on Bracelet: 1.4lbs

This upcoming week, I do not see myself needing to change much from last week aside from the usual like trying my best to not use as many of my weekly points+ allowance. My upcoming week & weekend plans include possibly going to a carnival with my family, attending a pool party after work on Saturday, and meeting up with an old friend for dinner after work on Sunday. For those days, I'm going to do my best to save as many points+ as possible for the events by eating lots of veggies. My go-to meal for days when I want to save points for special occasions is spaghetti squash because I can have such a large quantity and only need to point the protein that I added like ground turkey or chicken. This meal is my go-to meal because it's super filling but very low in points+ at about 3-4 points+ (depending on what you add to it).

Otherwise, my goals for this week are the same, simple goals I made for last week.

  • T R A C K E V E R Y T H I N G
  • Check off my daily Good Health Guidelines (GHGs)
  • Only eat when hungry*

*I'm keeping the last goal from last week because it's something I want to be more mindful of when I'm eating. I think I did okay with this goal last week but not great. So I want to continue to improve on watching how much I eat in any given situation. More importantly, I just want to make sure that I track everything and get in my Good Health Guidelines as I know that's what will help to feel full the most.

My Non-Scale Victory for this week was eating zucchini raw for the first time. I'm excited that I loved it so much as a snack. I think this NSV really speaks volumes for how much Weight Watchers has done for me and how far I've come since I started the program. Since joining Weight Watchers, I've become much more adventurous with the foods -- not only by trying new foods all the time but also experimenting with eating foods I've always eaten in a different way. For example, I've always eaten zucchini in the past but I've never tried it raw. I've only eaten it cooked (roasted, fried, etc). Now I can enjoy zucchini another way by eating it raw as a snack or in a salad!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Picking the Perfect Popcorn!

Since I have not done a Tasty Tuesday post in awhile, I figured now would be a good time while I'm on a kick of eating popcorn as a snack. Most of the popcorn flavors & brands will probably not be new to everyone, but I wanted to share the ones that I've never tried and have found to be delicious. For awhile I was looking for the perfect snack that would satisfy my salty, sweet, and crunchy cravings that I get at night when I'm ready for a snack while I relax. It seems that, for now, popcorn seems to be the perfect snack for me at night!

Orville Redenbacher's® Pop-Up Bowls: Butter & Kettle Korn (94% Fat-Free)
I've always loved this brand of popcorn but when the brand started making pop-up bowls, I was really hoping that one day they'd start selling the pop-up bowls with 94% fat-free popcorn. I just learned as of last month that they now sell just that coming in two flavors -- butter and kettle korn. Personally, I only learned in the last few months that I actually really like Kettle Korn popcorn because it's both sweet AND salty which often satisfies two or three of my cravings at once. Prior to just heating up a bag of kettle korn popcorn, I was seasoning regular 94% fat-free popcorn with Kernel Season's Popcorn Seasonings. While it's fun to try so many different flavors & seasons, I vastly prefer the sweet, kettle corn taste right out of a hot bag of popcorn as opposed to adding it to a bag of regular buttered popcorn.

The only downside to these pop-up bowls is that they each have about 11-13 cups of popcorn which is about 7-9 points+ and that can often be too many points for one snack. I only recently discovered how high this popcorn is in points+ because the nutrition label on the side of the box is often confusing when it comes to popcorn. Initially I thought there were only 6.5 cups of popcorn in one bag until I read that there were TWO servings of unpopped kernels in the bag which makes about 6.5 cups of popped popcorn. Therefore, I sat down one day and measured out how much popcorn was in one full bag of these pop-up bowls and I counted about 11 cups. In the future, I will only be using these pop-up bowls when I have at least 5-6 points+ left in my daily target so I'm not using so many of my weekly points+ allowance. Thankfully, there is good news...

Orville Redenbacher's® 100-Calorie Mini Bags: Butter & Kettle Korn (94% Fat-Free)
I always knew that 100-calorie mini bags existed, especially in the butter/light butter flavor. However, I didn't know that mini bags existed with kettle korn popcorn! Once I figured out how much I love kettle popcorn in the pop-up bowls, I just HAD to have kettle popcorn in mini bags that were less WW points+ for a better nighttime snack. Unfortunately it's much harder to find 100-calorie mini bags with 94% fat-free kettle popcorn than it is to find 94% fat-free buttered popcorn. I'm still scoping out different stores to see which ones carry these delicious mini bags of kettle popcorn. So far I've found one store near me but it's not the most convenient for me to go. Hopefully I can find these kettle popcorn mini bags at stores that are more convenient for me.

Skinnygirl Popcorn 150-Calorie Mini Bags: Lime & Salt and Butter & Sea Salt (94% Fat-Free)
Now, I never knew that Skinnygirl made popcorn. I knew the brand name made cocktails and only learned a few months ago that they made protein bars (as featured in my last Tasty Tuesday post). So when I saw a simple white box of popcorn with Skinnygirl on the box, I just had to try this new (to me) product. I was also intrigued by the flavors -- I had never heard of popcorn with Lime & Salt or Butter & Sea Salt flavors. I've tried both flavors and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of each flavor. The Lime & Salt had just a hint of lime taste so it the lime taste didn't overwhelm the popcorn flavor. As for the Butter & Sea Salt flavor, I can't say I noticed a significant difference between that and regular 94% fat-free buttered popcorn.

It should be noted that Skinnygirl Popcorn partnered with Orville Redenbacher's® to create these flavors. As I've been closely investigating different types of popcorn, I've noticed that Orville Redenbacher's® makes 100-calorie mini bags of lime & salt flavored 94% fat-free popcorn. I haven't tried Orville Redenbacher's® version of the Lime & Salt popcorn, but I'm sure it tastes very similar to the Skinnygirl Popcorn version.

☆HONORABLE MENTIONS☆

Kernel Season's Popcorn Seasonings
As I mentioned above, I have tried in the past to season my mini bags of buttered popcorn with these seasonings. There's so many flavors that it helped to make boring butter popcorn bags a bit more interesting for me. So far I've tried the following flavors: Buffalo Wing, Kettle Corn, Nacho Cheddar, Ranch, and White Cheddar. Among those seasonings, I think my favorite were Kettle Corn, Nacho Cheddar, and White Cheddar flavors. However, my favorite flavor was the Kettle Corn seasoning, so I'm glad I found microwavable mini bags of 94% fat-free kettle popcorn. These seasonings are definitely worth a try if you've never tried them on your popcorn before! There's such a variety of flavors that these seasonings come in that I'm sure you'll find at least one that you enjoy.

Smartfood Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn Popcorn
Just like the White Cheddar popcorn that Smartfood is known for, the Kettle Corn popcorn is just as delicious if not more so! I first discovered this new flavor of popcorn by Smartfood in the vending machine at work. I've also been able to find (small/medium) bags of this popcorn at gas stations. Unfortunately I have not been able to find smaller bags of this popcorn so the bags that I have tried are about 6 points+ per bag (I don't remember how many calories were in the bag though, sorry!). I would love for this company to sell 100-calorie bags of this popcorn. Hopefully in the future, Smartfood will start selling this tasty flavor of popcorn in smaller bags just like it does with its White Cheddar flavor.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up 19

If I could use any word to describe this weekend as far as staying on plan was concerned, I would use the word mindful. I was more mindful of what I ate, whether or not I liked what I was eating, and not finishing food that I didn't enjoy by throwing it away. I was more mindful of whether or not I was truly hungry as oppose to just being bored or feeding another emotion. I was mindful enough of my emotions to find something else to preoccupy my time instead of eating.

Overall this wasn't the best weekend I've ever had but it certainly was not the worst. I did use all of my weekly 49 points+ but I've been very active since my Weight Watchers week started on Wednesday. I've been trying to balance my fruits and veggies, trying to consume more of the latter. Although I wish I kept better track of how many vegetables I eat versus how many fruits I eat, I'm pleased to say that I've discovered that I really like eating zucchini raw. I have eaten and loved zucchini many times before in various forms but I'm glad that I tried eating it raw because it's delicious! I'm thrilled to have another veggie that I can easily cut up to take with me as a snack that satisfies my crunchy cravings.

Additionally, I have more exciting news: I now have my very own Weight Loss Bracelet that I hope works as an anchor for me. Anchors are something -- a person, a trinket, a photo, anything! -- that help you to remember why you're on program. Weight Watchers explains anchoring best in this article:

"Anchoring is an effective strategy you can use to connect with positive memories and feelings that can restore your confidence, determination and belief in yourself."

I've always struggled with finding an anchor. For the last couple of months, I've been using a picture of me when I felt I was at my heaviest weight which I referenced in my Motivation Monday post from April. I use the picture as my phone's screen lock background but often it has proven to not be enough of a solid anchor. Prior to the picture, I've used other methods like the Weight Loss jars (one for how much weight you've lost and the other for how much you have left to lose where each stone in both jars is the equivalent of 1 pound) as well as paper clip chains (same idea with the jars but each paperclip equates to 5 or 10 pounds). Not only did these anchors not work well enough for me but they also weren't portable enough for me to always have on hand to remind myself why I'm doing Weight Watchers and how far I've come. Even though I do still keep a pair of Weight Loss jars at work & at home, it still has not been enough to keep me anchored.


(Click to see bigger photo!)

Therefore, a couple of weeks when I stumbled upon the idea of Weight Loss Bracelets, I was very excited at the possibility of acquiring one in order for it to become my new anchor. I asked a coworker (and friend) of mine who makes gorgeous, unique earrings in her free time if she could easily make one for me. Being the kind person she is, my coworker made this lovely, colorful bracelet for me in just a couple days time. There are 23 beads all together but I'm not counting the 5 small clear beads that act as spacers/dividers. Each colored bead represents 6.5lbs lost so I have lost a total of 13 beads (and counting) so far. The charm that says Inspire on one side and Believe on the other side works as my marker to remind me how far I've come (13 beads on one side) and how much I still need to loose (5 beads on the other side). The bead goals are as follows...

  • 1st bead = 6.5lbs lost
  • 10th bead = 65.0lbs lost
  • 2nd bead = 13.0lbs lost
  • 11th bead = 71.5lbs lost
  • 3rd bead = 19.5lbs lost
  • 12th bead = 78.0lbs lost
  • 4th bead = 26.0lbs lost
  • 13th bead = 84.5lbs lost*
  • 5th bead = 32.5lbs lost
  • 14th bead = 91.0lbs lost*
  • 6th bead = 39.0lbs lost
  • 15th bead = 97.5lbs lost
  • 7th bead = 45.5lbs lost
  • 16th bead = 104.0lbs lost
  • 8th bead = 52.0lbs lost
  • 17th bead = 110.5lbs lost
  • 9th bead = 58.5lbs lost
  • 18th bead = 117.0lbs lost
  • I typed up that list more for my benefit so I can keep a record of how many pounds I have left to lose before I can move my Inspire/Believe charm to a different place on the bracelet. Currently I'm down 86.6lbs, so I only have 4.4lbs left to go before I can move the charm! And, speaking of which, the charm is one that I picked up on my own. I knew it said Believe on one side but I bought it without knowing it said Inspire on the other. Turns out the charm is even more perfect with both words on it because not only do I have to continue to believe in myself that I can reach my ultimate goal weight but I have been told several times in the past that I inspire others! It's been motivational to hear from people that I've inspired them to lose weight and get healthy, so it's something that has helped me to stick with this journey.

    Overall I could not be more pleased with my bracelet. A huge THANK YOU to my amazing coworker for making it! It's just one more way for me to stay connected with this journey.

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

    Weekly Weigh-In #24 (week of July 2-8)

    At my weekly weigh-in this morning I lost 0.4lbs! I'm a bit surprised because I was not 100% perfect with my eating but losing any weight is a great accomplishment. I was a bit worried that I would have a gain because I did go over my daily points+ target but I think my consistent activity over the holiday weekend really helped. Plus, I'm sure getting back to work and earning 9 Activity Points on Monday alone was really beneficial!

    Personally, I thought I did really well this past week. It was much different from the last two weeks where I ate enough food to go WELL over my weekly 49 points+ on top of my daily 26 points+ target. Those past two weeks were tough. Then this week came as a fresh start with just my primary focus to eat healthy, eat well, and track everything that I ate 100% honestly. I've missed tracking a few things but nothing extraordinarily high in points+ (as far as I know). I also stayed fairly active throughout the whole week, even mixing up when I usually do to get in a good cardio work-out. All in all, I would say it was a fantastic holiday weekend as far as me staying on WW plan was concerned.

    Moving forward, I really want to go back to the basics. It seems like I need to do this every 6-8 weeks. I guess I get so consumed with wanting to challenge myself more and more each week that I forget to focus on what makes Weight Watchers so successful. Therefore my goals for this week are as follows...

    • T R A C K E V E R Y T H I N G
    • Check off my daily Good Health Guidelines (GHGs)
    • Only eat when hungry*

    The last goal is an important one because I want to make sure I'm not eating out of boredom (or any other emotion for that matter). I also want to work on cutting down on the snacks I eat at night when I get home from work. I tend to have a ritual of eating snacks upstairs in my bedroom while I watch videos on YouTube. It's a way for me to relax & unwind. However, I'd like to either cut back on how many snacks I have at night or completely eliminate eating snacks upstairs in my bedroom by maybe eating downstairs before I retire to my bedroom. This is not something that I'm going stress myself out trying to achieve but it's something I want to keep in the back of my mind.

    It's more important for me to focus on my true goal of only eating when I'm hungry. I've been finding lately that I will eat when I'm not hungry which creates a problem. After I've eaten too much, I'll either feel so full that it makes me feel slightly ill or I will want to keep eating more because a small/normal amount of food doesn't satisfy me like it should. My nighttime plan is to go to sleep at night when I want to snack for my evening relaxation time after work. Otherwise hopefully I can keep myself busy enough to not mindlessly munch on food during other times of the day.

    My NSV for this week would be incorporating different physical activities into my fitness routines over the holiday weekend! As I mentioned in my Weekend Wrap-Up post, taking the time off of work allowed me to enjoy some of my favorite activities that I don't normally find time to do like swimming & biking. My hope is to continue doing these activities on my days off (hopefully on Thursdays) when I'm not so busy.

    Lastly, I want to mention that I have been brainstorming some new blog posts that I hope to write in the next week or two. I've been trying some new foods and experimenting in the kitchen with new-to-me recipes. I'm hoping that I'll get a chance to share these new finds & recipes sooner than later.

    Monday, July 7, 2014

    Weekend Wrap-Up 18

    So this past weekend was the Fourth of July -- a holiday like all other holidays where a great deal of Americans celebrate it by eating lots of food while spending time with friends & family. Since start Weight Watchers three years ago, my anxiety over holidays has grown because it means I have to worry about what kind of food I'll have available at whatever family or friend function I attend and the pressure of how much (or how little) should I eat at said holiday party. Thankfully holidays have become somewhat easier since my mom joined Weight Watchers because we team up to make a healthier version of our old, family tradition menus and work to provide both the healthier & original versions of said family traditional meal options. The Fourth of July was no different as my mom & I planned to have a veggie platter, fruit tray, healthy homemade dips, roasted potatoes, corn on the cob, chicken, hamburgers, and turkey burgers. There was plenty of power foods (fruits & veggies) as well as other food, all of which was very tasty. I can safely say that I had a successful day of eating on the Fourth of July!

    Overall I would say that I have a pretty successful weekend as far as my eating was concerned. I wasn't perfect with staying within my daily 26 points+ target, but I didn't overeat too much on any single day. I did splurge a bit on Sunday when I ate pizza but I didn't use up all of my weekly 49 points+ like I've done the past few weekends. I do feel that I slipped a little bit as far as tracking 100% honestly goes but I certainly tried my best and pointed just about everything as accurately as possible. And thankfully I was not obligated to attend any other holiday parties where I might have felt the pressure that I mentioned above (what food I should/shouldn't eat as well as much or how little food I should eat).

    The best part of this weekend was how much activity I got in while I was on my "stay-cation" from work. Earlier this year I was planning on going away for the holiday weekend to upstate New York. However my plans changed a few months ago but I decided to hold on to my long holiday weekend that I had given myself. Being able to stay home and relax allowed me to do whatever I pleased. Therefore I swam in the pool for the first time all summer, went on a few bike rides (one of my favorite pastimes/activities), and still got in my 10,000 steps for my WW Leader's walking challenge that I'm participating in this summer. If I had chosen to cancel my days off/vacation days this past holiday weekend then I wouldn't have gotten to do my favorite activities or had a chance to relax. Therefore I'm super glad that I stayed with my intuition and gave myself some much-needed time away from work!

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

    Weekly Weigh-In #24 (week of June 25-July 1)

    This morning, at my weekly weigh-in, I took one step back after 9 weeks of either weight losses or maintains (7 losses, 2 maintains). The weight gain this week was completely justified and I saw it coming. I'm certainly not pleased that I gained this week but I'm glad that I owned up to how terribly I ate this week to face the consequence of weight gain. The good news is -- as someone in my WW meeting pointed out -- it's easy to lose those pesky 1-2lb gains compared to completely giving up and gaining 10+ pounds and having to start almost all over again.

    So, this was obviously a rough week for me. My week consisted of using all of my weekly 49 points+ and going over them by twice as much. I have no idea what has motivated me to do so terribly this week AND last week, but my bad choices have got to stop. I will not allow myself to slip back into old habits which is what I've been doing. I'm sure subconsciously I'm having a difficult time for some reason unbeknownst to me and I'm hoping my overall well-being will start to improve once I go back to seeing my counselor next week (she's been on vacation this week and last week). On the surface, I feel absolutely fine -- I feel as happy and content as I can feel. Compared to these past couple of months, I certainly don't feel as depressed as I've felt overall. So, as I mentioned before, I really don't know what emotionally could be going wrong with me to push me towards eating more than I should and making bad food choices these past two weeks.

    With all of that being said, I plan to ask my Weight Watchers Leader if I can participate in her tracking challenge. Every evening a handful of people will send her their trackers for the day (either by screenshot or a picture) and she reviews the tracker to give any tips or suggestions as she sees fit. Not only is it helpful to get feedback from her but it also helps when I do this challenge because I hold myself more accountable for tracking honestly and eating better throughout the week. I participated in this challenge a month or so ago and I found it's what helped snapped me back to reality with how dishonest I was being to myself for not tracking everything that I ate. My hope is that by participating in this challenge, I will realize that I have to show my tracker to someone every night and therefore the challenge will help to reinforce my tracking 100% policy (which I'll do good with for about 3-5 days until I'll have a bad day and have to empty my Tracking Challenge jar completely).

    I'd like to create a plan for this week for how I'm going to tackle it with the Fourth of July holiday coming up on Friday but I can't predict what I'm going to be doing throughout the week. All I know is that I will thankfully only be with my mom and four other people, so it will be a low-key kind of day with little-to-no pressure to eat lots of food or be presented with very few healthy options. As long as I'm celebrating a holiday with my mom, we can work together to great a holiday menu that includes lots of power foods (fruits, veggies, and lean meats). Of course, we always include 2-3 other sides or options that aren't as lean or not considered as healthy for others who don't need to watch their weight to enjoy.

    Unfortunately, as for the other days of the week, I don't know if I'll be invited to any other parties. My hope is that I can stick to the power foods or simpler foods that are available. I'll also make sure that I leave extra daily points+ available if I do get invited anywhere. Otherwise, since I gave myself a 4-day weekend, I plan on spending as many of those four days just relaxing, swimming, working out, and making two new healthy recipes to eat over the next few weeks for my lunch or dinner meals at work. Essentially I'm allowing myself a "staycation" to take care of me and get some much need R&R.

    As far as my goals for this week are concerned, my main one will obviously be asking my WW Leader if I can participate in the tracking challenge. My other goals are staying the same as last week's goal so I can continue to make these into habits that I don't even have to think about on a daily basis. The goals for this week include...

    • T R A C K E V E R Y T H I N G
    • Check off my daily Good Health Guidelines (GHGs)
    • Add the fruits & veggies that I eat in a day to my WW tracker
    My Non-Scale Victory for the week was going to get fitted for running sneakers. For many years I was convinced that my body was not built for running. A year or two ago when I first started my weight loss journey, I had begun to make my younger self proud because in elementary/middle/high school, I was always the last to finish the mile we would have to run or walk in gym class. Since losing weight I've become really good at power-walking. Yet now I want to take on a new challenge: I want to condition my body to run. I'm not sure if I'll become a runner, constantly running 5ks or races; but I do know that I want to check some things off my bucket list such as completing a 5k, a mud run, and maybe even a half-marathon. Therefore, on Tuesday, I decided to go get fitted for running sneakers. I currently wear a pair of New Balances that I highly recommend but they're meant for walking or all terrain physical activities such as hiking. I've been trying to do Couch to 5k for the past couple of weeks and last week I noticed that I had some sort of an in-step when I tried to run. My hope is that if I can get a good pair of running shoes that work for my mostly flat feet, they will help in my new goal of conditioning my body to run. I know I have a lot of other things to work on such as my pace and focusing on my breathing (I become very short of breath when I try to run), but at least I'll have a pair of shoes that are meant to help me along the way.