Living the Lifestyle

The continuous journey that is weight maintenance. My tips, advice, struggles and how I live life and still maintain!

Apr 21, 2009

Kind of Random...Comparison Trip - 5 years between

Well it's been quite awhile since my last post. I have been extremely busy with work and WW, that the time for sitting down and actually concentrating on a blog is extremely limited. So go figure it's 11:00pm on a Tuesday night, and I have decided to write an entry!

I was just sitting here looking for something on my computer, and I came across something on my desktop I forgot about. LOL, you all know what I'm talking about right? I have this mass of icons on my desktop, so I just "found" it again! :)

Anyways, what I found was a comparison shot of me...first in California in 2003 inside a cell in Alcatraz, which are small to begin with...then throw me at just about 200lbs in there! You will see. The second is of me in California in 2008...almost 5 years apart. I went September 2003 & end of March/beginning of April 2008.

Here are some shots from the 2003 trip...
Me in Alcatraz...

Goofing around in the hat store...

I thought that the Alcatraz one was bad, but as I was posting this pic I thought "wow, that was me?".

The thoughts still go through my mind. How did I allow myself to get there? And to think, these pictures were after I rejoined and was down about 25-30lbs...

And then I went to California again last year, last week of March and first week of April...

The lemon tree at a winery in Napa Valley...

The orange tree in Lodi...noticing a trend here that I posed with fruit? :)

Big tree outside the hotel in Lodi...

Wow, this post turned into something a lot longer than I wanted. I guess what I wanted to do is make sure you all congratulate yourselves on how far you've come - no matter where you are! You should be proud that you took the step of comitting yourself to WW and learning to live a healthy life while still being able to HAVE a life! I still congratulate myself with not only what I have accomplished, but how I've managed to stay here!

Next time you do something good for yourself, give yourself a pat on the back and remember how much your positive attitude means to the success you'll have on this program!

Apr 12, 2009

The Great Debate - Weekly Points & Activity Points

Lately on the message boards it seems a lot of posts have the same underlying tone...using weekly/activity points...basically anything above your daily target is considered "cheating" and there is this fear of gaining at the scale.

If we weren't meant to use them, then why are they there?

Something I notice a lot of people tend to overlook is that WW is giving you the tools to put the program into place, it's up to you to use the tools to your best advantage in order to make this easier to stick with for the rest of your life.

The weekly points/activity points is something that you need to figure out ... what works for you, what doesn't. Just because say I can eat all 35 of my weekly points and still lose - doesn't mean the next person is going to be able to. They may be able to only eat half of the weekly allowance.

I guess what I'm getting at is DON'T BE AFRAID TO EAT!!! To some I understand this is a different concept, and I can understand why. The way things are marketed these days and the way society seems to have it embedded in their heads is in order to lose weight, you must diet and in order to diet you must give up the foods you love.

Well, the reason I joined WW was because they weren't telling me to do that. They weren't telling me what I could and couldn't eat, they were telling me to still enjoy the foods I love, just make them work with the program.

I have learned that the weekly points aren't bad, depending on how you use them. When I joined the program was called Winning Points (I believe 1-2-3 Success had just phased out...) and you were given a range of pts to eat for your weight. So ie. you're 150lbs and your range is 18-24. You eat anywhere within that range and whatever you don't eat you "bank" for later in the week. Now look at it this way, if you ate 18pts a day which is the bottom of the're banking 5pts per day and adds up to 35 if you save them the entire week. I had great success with that program, and when they rolled over to Flex/Core (old program now) I had no problem taking advantage of those extra points because I knew I had success with them.

You need to think of food as "fuel" for your body. In order to keep your metabolism going you need to feed it. The difference with feeding it now is rather than have something like a big mac and fries, you're having a nice sensible meal and snacks when you need them. Plus, one thing I always tell my new members when I am explaining the program to them is if they eat like a bird now, they'll eat like a bird for the rest of their lives. Cutting things out and saying you're never having it again is not a realistic approach to losing weight. Yes, it will work in the short-term while you're following the diet and losing the weight...but what about maintaining? Are you REALLY going to give up chocolate, etc. for the REST of your life?

Embrace WW for the lifestyle change it is. I have yet to feel deprived and I really do feel like I'm eating more now than I was before. It's the foods you choose and how your spend your pts.

If you need them, use them and if you don't - then don't. Just pay attention to what your body and the scale are telling you.

There's always the question too of the activity points vs. weekly points. When they changed from Flex/Core to Momentum, the guidelines for activity pts changed and you can now bank them throughout the week. For onliners the change in how they were swapped happened - use weekly pts first and then if you go over them then dip into AP's. I have seen quite a few people who are hesitant to do this because they were using the AP's first before. Remember, WW does research and scientific studies for their program - they will only make changes if they know it's for the benefit of you. Again, this is another part of the previous program they've kind of brought back to WW.

To me it's "safer" (and I've told lots of people this) to use the weekly points before the activity points. The WP's are given to you by WW - so you know they're accounted for in the program. Yes, we do earn the activity points but a lot of people tend to overestimate the activity they do and then if you eat those AP's you're eating too many.

Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not telling you what to do...remember, yes I am a WW leader but my opinions on here are solely my own and nothing to do with, had to do my own "disclaimer". :)

I really apologize if this seems like a long ramble, but it's something I have been wanting to post about for a bit. I definitely welcome thoughts/opinions if you think differently :) I never have a problem understanding the other side!

Apr 2, 2009

Being a Lifetime Member - 3 years at goal and many more to come!

First, I am sorry that's it's been a couple weeks since I've put up a new blog! Sadly, I have just been extremely busy and no creative energy whatsoever to think of what to post!

As most of you that know me know, I am coming up to my 3 years of being a Lifetime member! The official date is Wednesday, April 15th. To me, I celebrate every MONTH that I am at goal and don't have to pay. Why? Because I know that people can lose the weight, but maintaining it is definitely a challenge. Don't get me wrong, I will be the last to tell you it's been easy - because it is something that is still a challenge - just a different one.

When I first reached Lifetime in April 2006, I was on top of the world! I had done it - after 3 and a half years of being a WW member I had finally reached the ultimate goal I had been working so long towards. The first couple of months were good, as I still had that motivation of being a new LT member to keep me where I wanted to be. After a couple of months, I realized I was starting to slip.

One of the biggest things I have learned over the years is that what got me to goal is what is going to keep me at goal. Like I said in my introduction post below, you are not "cured' and okay to go back to the way you were before just because you're at goal. You still have to try hard, if not harder to keep yourself there.

I got a little laid back with a lot of stuff, and one of the biggest things was tracking. I thought "well, I have been doing this long enough and now that I'm maintaining, I'll just pay attention to stuff and not track it". Umm, folks - that technique didn't work for me. I slowly found myself slipping back into old habits - grabbing food when I didn't need to, thinking "oh, just one won't hurt" and realized at that point - enough is enough.

Tracking, staying positive and sticking to the program got me to where I am now and it's going to keep me here for the rest of my life. I won't lie, I don't weigh and measure everything I eat these days...since I feel pretty confident in knowing that I am making the right portion choices and always round up if I am unsure. I have also realized that now I am maintaining, one of the biggest things that has helped me is Taking Care of Myself (one of the 8 WW helpful habits).

When I was losing my weight, sure - I took care of myself but once I got to LT and everything my life was completely different than when I started. I have a boyfriend now, and a stepson who lives with us. Things are a LOT different than the days of me living with my parents. I found myself starting to get so wrapped up in making sure they were taken care of, etc. etc. that I forgot the most important person - ME. Sure, some may say that sounds like a selfish statement but it really is the truth. If you're not happy, then that is going to reflect on others around you and life will not be as good as it can be. It has a definite affect on how you manage everything - food, weight, life in general. If you have a negative outlook on things, you will have negative results and this will be a lot harder than it needs to be. Staying positive is going to keep you going a lot more and you will feel more likely to stick with this and succeed for the rest of your life.

Now that I have finished this post, I am realizing that it may not make sense or kind of be all over the place - but I just felt I needed to post it. And before I leave, I wanted to share this since I absolutely LOVE the new weight tracker with the e-tools! This is a graph of my weight loss journey from when I joined WW until this past Saturday. As you can see it wasn't all "rainbows & lollipops" and superstar losses - but that's fine by me. :)