Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Week #7 and Week #8

What a crazy week and a half it has been at Chez Outsmart the Fat. Working two jobs is already an exercise in time management, but when one of those jobs explodes with extra hours, it gets even tougher.

Funny enough, that has meant that my life has been a combination of the things we discussed both this past week and the week before: stress and restaurant eating.

Let's do the restaurant eating first. Today was a team lunch at Buca di Beppo - yes, a place known for "meatballs the size of your head." Admittedly it was an improvement over the first suggestion, which was The Butcher Shop in Kearny Mesa. Many of you know that I am a vegetarian, so you can imagine how excited I was about THAT prospect. At any rate, Buca di Beppo it was. Thankfully a few others in our department are as diligent about their eating habits as I was, so lunch was a green salad (dressing on the side) with PointsPlus values spent on two little squares of fantastic garlic cheese bread. It took a little planning and some Weekly PointsPlus Allowance, but I got it done.

For the record, Buca di Beppo has nutrition information...but you have to request it through their website's Contact Us form. LAME. Thankfully others have paved the way and a google search turns up lots of calorie-counting websites with information.

Nutrition Stats for the Giant Meatball!

Okay, now let's talk stress. That was the word of the week for me, let me tell you. How did it manifest for me? I skipped some workouts. Why? Because "I deserved it." And I "needed the rest." What I probably really needed was to get out there and sweat out my aggravation, but there you have it. See? Even I am not immune to bad habits. Thankfully this week I am back on track, and looking forward at what I will do, not back at what I didn't.

Here's to a less stressful week. Please?

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Week #6: It's All About Tracking

Ooh, a pint of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby ice cream! 35 PointsPlus!

Let's split a pepperoni Stuffed Crust Pizza! 40 PointsPlus!

One sleeve of Thin Mints is a serving, right? 16 PointsPlus!

Having to track that kind of stuff strikes fear in the heart of many a Weight Watcher, myself included. It's easy to remember to track when I'm eating kale, quinoa and Greek yogurt. But if I've eaten any of the above**? Tracking? What's that?

You would think by now, after 15 years, I'd have gotten over myself and learned that if I would just plop that horrible dinner into my tracker, I'd see the damage and be resolved to not do THAT again. And you would be wrong. It turns out that my perfectionism runs deep.

I am working on that, and at least for a few weeks it has been going fairly well. But as with any habit change, I am sure that I will falter. The good thing is, in order to be successful at tracking, you don't actually have to be perfect! Because I guarantee I never was, and yet I successfully reached my goal weight.

If you're having trouble committing to tracking, here are a few tips:

1. Pick the easiest method for you. One that will be easy to access and not too time consuming.

2. Track as you go - finding a few seconds here and there isn't as hard as sitting down and devoting 5-10 minutes to it.

3. Focus on how it benefits you - it might reveal eating patterns, it might show you that your choices aren't satisfying, it might show you that you're not meeting your Good Health Guidelines (remember those?); what it WILL do is increase your chances of success.

4. Develop some accountability - commit to tracking in your WW meeting (we'll remember to ask you about it next week!), offer to swap journals with a friend, post your daily menus on Facebook, the WW message boards, or your own blog. Anything to get you to actually DO it.

Other suggestions? How do you get yourself on board with tracking?

Great article from the WW Science Center on tracking!

** Here's a hint: before I joined Weight Watchers in 1996 it was not uncommon for my then boyfriend and I to order that particular pizza from Pizza Hut and then split it. The 40 PPV is for half the pie.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Week #5: Snack Smart

Snacking plays a valuable part in my healthy lifestyle. When I look at my daily food intake, there are a lot of vitamins and nutrients I need to make sure I get in, and snacks can help round that out. Snacking is certainly a great way to make sure I'm eating enough fruits and vegetables, to be sure!

But probably the biggest role that snacking plays is managing my hunger. I pack a big insulated bag each morning to take to work with me, and it seems as though I'm constantly pulling something out of it to snack on. It's frankly hard to define when a meal ends and the snack begins.

Here's what was in my bag as a snack today:

• cut up orange bell pepper and grape tomatoes
• Pink Lady apple
• Tangelo
• hard boiled egg
• Weight Watchers popped barbecue snacks

Because I had all of that available to me (in addition to the things I actually ate for "breakfast" and "lunch"), I found it much easier to constantly walk by the 3 candy dishes that are all within 15 feet of my desk. If I were to walk around ravenously hungry, I doubt I could say the same.

As much as I'm all for saving PointsPlus values just in case you need them, when it comes to spending your daily target, if you can make sure you're not super hungry all day, you probably won't find it necessary to overeat at night.

So, what are YOU snacking on lately?