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Thursday, March 17th, 2005
3:09 pm

Weigh-in: 162.8 pounds
Weight lost: 1.4 pounds
Total lost: 78 pounds
Average Loss: Heck if I know

Went to a different meeting today, in a new city. What struck me most about the change is that there weren't any fat people to be found at Weight Watchers here -- just neurotic ones.

I've been terribly busy, and haven't checked in with those guys since December 16th. And even ignoring Christmas and the several birthday parties between there, I've been relying on gut instinct for most of that time, so it's pretty remarkable that I lost weight rather than gained any! Granted, the number wasn't huge. But at least it's slow progress in the right direction. Go me!

current mood: relieved

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Monday, December 20th, 2004
3:39 pm - Observation:

"I'll just have one bite" doesn't really work so well when what it is you're trying turns out to be the best cheesecake ever!

current mood: how can this be wrong?

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Sunday, November 14th, 2004
8:50 am - Ooh. Shopping discovery!

It's been a month or two since I actually showed up at a meeting. No idea what I weigh right now. I've been pretty good, except for Halloween and my neice's birthday party. But that's not saying much when you consider, well, Halloween and my neice's birthday party.

Anyway, I just wanted to let all you dieters know there's a calorie-free substitute for all those thanksgiving dangers.

...and it's carbonated

I'm going to have to attend one of my meetings soon, if only to bring in that article for the others...

current mood: thirsty

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Wednesday, August 18th, 2004
2:25 pm - the wave of hatred you're experiencing is proof that I'm right.

61.8 pounds. Another sticker for the bookmark. Yay!

It's always nice when you lose the same amount you figured you'd gain from a period of abuse. In this case, three pounds -- I've eaten out quite a bit lately...

Today's meeting, they were talking about how to break out of a rut. So once again, my hitting a 5 pound mark meant awkward "self's the exception" Q&A.

See, routine is a powerful tool for me, and the only times I've struggled with this diet are when someone disrupts the comforable rut I've established (by, say, taking my staple foods off the market?).

This seems to be how Q&A always goes for me -- what's easy for most is the hard part for me, and I breeze through where everyone else is struggling. I mean, I think it's great that the system's robust enough to handle my going about everything backwards. But I've also learned to keep my mouth shut about it.

Nobody wants to hear about running out to buy donuts and oreos after midnight so I'll have enough calories to finish out the day. Or that ice cream sandwiches make a better, more filling breakfast than granola bars. The tips I can offer are, frankly, an affront to all that is holy.

...but, they work pretty well. =)

current mood: mischievous

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Wednesday, July 14th, 2004
3:58 pm - Odd sort of milestone...

When I started this thing back in October, the weight listed on my drivers license was off by about 27 pounds. And, so it is again. Other direction, though -- I've lost 55.4 pounds.

The license was accurate for about two weeks back in early March. But, you'd know that if I ever got around to posting here.

current mood: accomplished

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Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003
7:00 pm - Weight Watchers - Week 12

Weigh-in: 221.8 pounds
Weight lost: 0.4 pounds
Total lost: 19.2 pounds in twelve weeks
Average Loss 1.6 pounds a week

I fear we've not seen the last of a family friend's Channukah Dinner reflected on the scale yet. Baked apple, potato pancakes, good wine... If I had any flexpoints left at the end of this meal, it would surprise me. And, more parties later in the week.

Well, that's one holiday down. Next up, Christmas.

So very close to 20 pounds. So many obstacles before next week's weigh-in...

current mood: distressed

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Wednesday, December 17th, 2003
7:00 pm - Weight Watchers - Week 11

Weigh-in: 222 pounds
Weight lost: 2.8 pounds
Total lost: 18.6 pounds in eleven weeks
Average Loss 1.69 pounds a week

Much better.

I found a new excuse for last week, also. At 224 pounds, I was supposed to drop from 28 points a day down to 26. Missed that transition. Here's a second chance.

Shopping Discoveries
  • Western Bagel, Low-Carb varieties
    1 point each
    I believe there are four flavors to choose from. Not bad, but not as filling as a regular 4 point bagel, either. More an accessory than a complete meal. Your local market probably carries these, but sells out within moments of delivery.

  • Sugar-Free Creme Savers, Strawberries & Creme
    5 for a point
    These are.. Well, there's something quite wrong with them. They taste fine, but do something horrible to the back of your throat. Just the same, if you can learn to stomach these, two points worth should cover a trip to the movie theater.

current mood: accomplished

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Thursday, December 11th, 2003
7:00 pm - Weight Watchers - Week Ten

Weigh-in: 225 pounds
Weight lost: -1 pounds
Total lost: 15.8 pounds in ten weeks
Average Loss 1.58 pounds a week

Hey, remember how I was surprised last time 'cause I lost three pounds, defying of all logic?

Yeah, that finally caught up with me. I run on something closer to a two-week cycle, it seems.

The usual excuses apply - I wore denim to the weigh-in, and khaki the last time. Whatever. I was good this week, and figured I'd lose more than that difference. I didn't. That's annoying.

So, now I swing the pendulum back, try for more balance in the diet, less empty points. It's overcompensating, since I know this has more to do with the previous week's discretions. But, I'm still within range, and I figure these aren't bad changes anyway.

current mood: determined

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Sunday, December 7th, 2003
12:00 pm - Introducing my Nemesis

It occurred to me the other day that I'm not presenting a very compelling story here. I move towards my goals, not really encountering any speedbumps along the way. Not much suspense in that, is there?

mjlogan75 recently told me that if one sticks to their values when there are no temptations, they haven't really proven anything. I think he's right. And I think what this story needs is a worthy antagonist.

Towards that end, I have purchased a box of White Fudge Covered Oreos.

20 to a box, 2 points each.

Let's see what I'm made of, shall we?

current mood: C is for Cookie

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Thursday, December 4th, 2003
7:00 pm - Weight Watchers - Week Nine

Weigh-in: 224 pounds
Weight lost: 3 pounds
Total lost: 16.8 pounds in nine weeks
Average Loss 1.867 pounds a week

So, that'd be the 15 pound mark, and then some. Wasn't sure it'd really happen this week. In addition to Thanksgiving, I hit the Mongolian Bar-B-Que (where much food is provided, and point calculations are a shaky estimate at best). And what's more? I hit that twice.

The usual irony came up a few times too, with me forcing myself to eat a heaping plate of ice cream and candy because it's bedtime and I'm nowhere near my minimum number of points yet. No matter how many times it happens, I just can't get used to the idea that this somehow promotes weight loss.

But the trick in all of this is to trust it. When I don't have nutritional info for the food I'm eating, I have to guess low and make sure I eat enough to cover my minimum based on that number. Which means probably going over (by who knows what amount). But that's what I figure those 35 flexpoints are there for.

The whole philosophy is counterintuitive, and goes against all of my instincts, but the fact is, it's my instincts which gave me all this weight in the first place. They shouldn't be trusted.

And, look! Results.

signs of progress:
Muscle memory still has me fastening my belt at the old notch, but I usually catch it before leaving the house, at least. What's funny is this didn't sink in as a real sign of progress until this morning, when I realized that moving the beltbuckle further in meant more length running past it.

This last statement won't make any sense to you without understanding that my belt has been broken for close to a year now. It's missing the leather strap which used to hold the end in so it doesn't go flapping around. So, since then, I've since used twist-ties, scotch tape, rubber bands, and for half of that time, I've used the belt clip from an old celphone as a replacement. (In fact, the words "belt clip" have taken on a second meaning. With no phone to attach, it's only purpose is to clamp down on my belt.)

So, what I noticed this morning is that I can attach the clip an inch further to the left. Which is great - I look that much more like I know how to dress myself now.

If I had known to expect that, I'd have started this diet a long time ago!

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Wednesday, November 26th, 2003
7:00 am - Weight Watchers - Week Eight

Weigh-in: 227 pounds
Weight lost: 1.8 pounds
Total lost: 13.8 pounds in eight weeks
Average Loss 1.725 pounds a week

I don't think I lost as much as the scale reports. I was wearing khaki pants at the weigh-in instead of my usual denim, and I'm not sure how consistant I've been about emptying my pockets. I reckon it's close enough, though.

I'm in the awkward spot between notches on my belt now. Not quite comfortable at the smaller level yet, but my pants fall down if I leave things where they were. I suppose I should be pleased, but I'm really more the fan of comfort and dignity.

Likewise, I left the house in one of my old shirts which I haven't been able to wear for a while, but the sleeves ended up cutting off circulation in both arms. Didn't have time to go back and change, so I just tried to stretch the sleeves as far as I could, and kept my eyes open for a pair of scissors.

This week is Thanksgiving, which is where most people gain a lot of their holiday weight. I've been fairly intimidated by the prospect, but the fact is I'm not really drawn to the big threats. Why ruin good turkey with the addition of stuffing and gravy? I've never liked yams or cranberries, either. I mean, if my grandmother still made her famous macaroni and cheese casserole, I'd be in trouble. But she doesn't. And the party's here, which is a controlled environment - I can actually weigh out portions and fill up on other things if it I need to.

So, this won't be a problem at all. I'm hoping to actually hit the 15 pound mark at next week's weigh-in.

current mood: good

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Thursday, November 20th, 2003
7:00 pm - Weight Watchers - Week Seven

Weigh-in: 228.8 pounds
Weight lost: 2 pounds
Total lost: 12 pounds in seven weeks
Average Loss 1.7 pounds a week

So, it turns out I'm a lousy mathematician. On more and more items, I've discovered the number of points is not what I thought it was.
  • That 13 point mini-pizza? It's actually 11 points.

  • Some of the beef jerky products I've been buying have marginally more calories than I thought. I'd done the measurements for one brand, and just used those numbers for all of 'em since it was only a 10 or 20 calorie difference. But, those can (and do) end up affecting the point total.

    By how much? Well, that depends.

    If you go by the posted serving size, it's now two points per serving, or 8 points to what I thought was a 4 point bag. But if you lump 'em into one item and measure that, they may come out to 6 or 7 points.
Now, I try not to use my flexpoints when I can help it, so there's little consequence to guessing too low, as I did with the beef jerky. But that pizza's a problem. I don't go for the high-point items unless I really need to go through a lot of points all at once, so when I guess too high, it means I end up going under for the day, not eating as much as I'm supposed to. Bad for the metabolism. Throws everything out of whack.
    I mean, I ended up hitting Jack in the Box twice this week, as I had points to burn and nothing else is open that late. The first trip, I had two 8 point orders of chicken strips, and the next, a 20 point order of bacon cheddar potato wedges. Both days, I went under by two points because I did the math wrong on my lunch earlier.
Strangely, I managed to drop two more pounds this week, so maybe my poor math skills worked out in the end. Too much here, too little there - it came out even?

Probably not - more likely, I'll see the result in next week's weigh-in.

And after that?

current mood: ditzy

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Wednesday, November 12th, 2003
7:00 pm - Weight Watchers - Week Six

Weigh-in: 230.8 pounds
Weight lost: 0.8 pounds
Total lost: 10 pounds in six weeks
Average Loss 1.66 pounds a week

Today's meeting was a difficult one.

The theme was that we should observe how children approach things, and apply that to our weight loss. Kids don't need to be forced to excercise - they run around with boundless energy. They eat when they're hungry, they stop when they're full, and they truly savor the food with all of their senses.

Let's concentrate on the food part. It goes back to the dieting philosophy that you don't have to give up the foods that you love; you just have to eat smaller portions. Common sense, it would seem.

Except, this doesn't work for me.

See, I don't want to eat one slice of pizza and fill up on salad. I don't want to count 20 potato chips and put the bag away. I don't want to ask that a to-go container be brought out with my meal so I can divide the portions. It's not right. When you start eating something you enjoy, what you want is to eat more of it. And if I can't allow myself that, I'd rather eat something I enjoy less.

Plus, the guesswork should not be mine - I can't stand approximating measurements. If I'm to maintain faith in the science, I need to know that the numbers I base my decisions on are at least reasonably accurate. Personal bias alone should disqualify me from "eyeballing it."

See, we all make compromises. Dieting is all about finding one you can live with. What do you need, and what are you willing to give up for it? Well, what I need is security. I need to know that what I eat now is going to tide me over until I'm able to eat next. And any time you prioritize security, what you give up is freedom.

Today's meeting was about appreciating that freedom. It was about reinforcing the side of the bargain everyone else in that room chose. But, from my unique perspective, it was about regret and temptation.

So, I smiled and nodded, and waited for it to go away. But, this was not to be, either.

See, 10 pounds is a landmark. And, when you hit a landmark, they try to prompt you to give words of encouragement to the rest of the group. Which I'm usually good for, but they tied the question into today's theme.

I'm paraphrasing for comedy, but this was more or less how I percieved the conversation as the effort to not make a scene drove me utterly loopy:
        Wow, self. 10 pounds is quite an accomplishment. Tell us about some of the foods that you can just worship the texture of. The smells, the tastes... And, you didn't have to give up!

        I eat only cardboard now. Some of it's made up to look like the foods I love, but it's all a cruel mockery.

        But, you're still able to eat the foods you love?

        Really, if you could just stop trying to ruin this, I'm trying to convince myself I like to eat cardboard.

        Which you thoroughly enjoy, like a child eating carrots. Crunch, crunch crunch!

Anyway, ten pounds ain't bad. And as you might pick up from the other entries, I'm not eating a whole lot of cardboard. I've got lots of room to play within the system, and I take every advantage there is to find in that. Today just caught me off guard, I think.

Next week: More of the same!

current mood: tired

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Wednesday, November 5th, 2003
7:00 pm - Weight Watchers - Week Five

Weigh-in: 231.6 pounds
Weight lost: 0.4 pounds
Total lost: 9.2 pounds in five weeks
Average Loss 1.84 pounds a week

Shopping Discoveries:
  • Beef Jerky is very filling. And with the low-fat varieties available, you can usually stuff yourself silly for about 4 points.

  • Also, sugar-free jell-o is only 10 calories. That's zero points, unless you eat three servings. At which point it's either one point or still zero points, depending who you ask. The math is just screwy like that. Either way, it's red and jiggly and costs next to nothing.

    If I stopped eating other foods, I could have 70 servings a day. But I won't, 'cause it's sugar-free jell-o.

0.2 pounds going into November is a little disappointing. I was remarkably good over Halloween, but the payoff just wasn't there this week. I did use my flexpoints on some very good homemade mexican food. I kept the portions very small, and still had flexpoints comin' out my ears afterwards, but this probably contributed nonetheless.

current mood: annoyed

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Wednesday, October 29th, 2003
7:00 pm - Weight Watchers - Week four

Weigh-in: 232.0 pounds
Weight lost: 2.8 pounds
Total lost: 8.8 pounds in four weeks
Average Loss 2.2 pounds a week

No huge discoveries to report. I thought I might have fallen into a progress-stopping rut, and tried to shake things up a bit by not eating any of the staple foods I seem to eat with every meal. And, something worked. So, like, yay.

In other news, I've found I still need all the fattening stuff on my shopping list. When you get too busy to eat over the course of the day, and find yourself with 12 points to get through after dinner, it's nice to know you can knock 9 of those out of the way with a "Four Cheese Pizza" Hot Pocket if I'm not all that hungry. I've made good use of the 16 point Red Baron Deep Dish Singles that way, too. Though I could have gone out and bought four Hostess Twinkies and lost the same weight. Abusing your metabolism like this is what life's all about.

current mood: pleased

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Thursday, October 23rd, 2003
7:00 pm - Weight Watchers - Week three

Weigh-in: 234.8 pounds
Weight lost: None
Total lost: 6 pounds in three weeks
Average lost: 2 pounds a week

This week featured two or three bad days in a row, eating out of town and having to guess the point values or look them up later. I went through most or all of my flexpoints on a small pizza, and had too many unknowns on top of that. So, I dreaded the worst. And this wasn't so bad.

That said, I suspect it's more discouraging being at zero than if I had gained. There's less to bounce back from, nothing to react to. You can't get riled up about stagnation.

Ah well. Next week will be better.

current mood: determined

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Wednesday, October 15th, 2003
7:00 pm - Weight Watchers - Week two

Weigh-in: 234.8 pounds
Weight lost: 0.8 pounds
Total lost: 6 pounds in two weeks

Shopping Discoveries:
  • Werthers Original butterscotch candies - 3 for a point

  • Baskin Robbins 4oz hard candies - 3 for a point
    Tanginella and Mint Chocolate Chip highly recommended.

  • Nestle Pearson Nips - 2 for a point.
    their Chocolate Parfait is particularly good. Caramel, with a chocolate center.

This thing where I'm hyper-aware of my clothes not fitting? It's gotten old. I'm sure that's why it feels like I'm gaining weight despite what the scale says, and I'd really like my body's feedback to be more in line with it's reality.

I suppose it should be cause for celebration when one has to replace their whole wardrobe with smaller sizes, but those aren't going to fit for very long either. So, I can spend a ton of money on transitional clothing, or be constantly uncomfortable for about a year before things stabilize.

That's just disheartening.

For now, I'm going to try not to think about it.

current mood: gloomy

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Thursday, October 9th, 2003
7:00 pm - Weight Watchers - One week completed

Weigh-in: 235.6 pounds
Weight lost: 5.2 pounds
      (the average will be closer to 1.5 a week)

Shopping Discoveries:
  • Nutrition Bars
    The "2 point bars" they sell at the meetings aren't bad, but they're tiny. Good for the end of the day if you've still got points to burn through and aren't all that hungry. But for getting through the day, I'd rather cut a Zone Bar in half.

  • Jell-O Smoothie Snacks:
    Mixed Berry
    Strawberry Banana
    Peach Mango
      2 points each

  • Orville Redenbacher's Smart-Pop Mini Bags
    The nutritional info is hard to make sense of, but I believe we're looking at 90 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 4 grams dietary fiber.
    1 point per bag

Walking into the meeting, I was sure I had gained weight this week. I stayed within the range of what I was supposed to be eating, but my clothes were hanging differently, and not in what felt like a good way. There's an important lesson to be found here about trusting others in the face of personal insecurity...

current mood: surprised

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Wednesday, October 1st, 2003
7:00 pm - Starting in with Weight Watchers

First weigh-in: 240.8 pounds.
Final goal: 170 pounds.
This will take... about a year.

Shopping discoveries:
  • Jose Ole Shredded Beef Taquitos
    (available in your grocer's frozen section)
    If cooked without oil, you're looking at...
    three tacquitos: 2 points.
    That's a fair amount of substance for the cost. These will be great for filling out a reduced-portion meal so I can stay within my points but not walk away hungry.
    Worth noting: Their chicken tacquitos are one point each, and not as tasty.

  • El Pollo Loco
    Chicken breast: 4 points
    Chicken wing: 3 points
      I order a three piece meal, white meat only. That's two breasts and a wing, or 11 points.

    This gives hope for my ability to eat out, but I do have to give up my usual side orders.

    Also worth noting:
      The flour tortillas I love so much are 2.5 points each.
      The whole three-pack of corn tortillas are only 2 points. Better choice.
    That's without the butter they supply. But "I Can't Believe it's not Butter!" is point-free. Bring your own, or order to-go.

  • Wendy's
    Spicy Chicken Sandwich: 9 points
      broken down...
        Spicy Chicken Fillet: 5 points
        Sandwich Bun: 3 points
        Mayonaise: 1 point
    I always get it without mayonaise, so just 8 points.

    In the future, I'll drop the bun as well to allow for...
      Junior Frosty: 4 points
      (7 for small, 10 for medium)

    Do not order
      Medium Fries: 8 points
      (10 for Biggie, 12 for Great Biggie)

current mood: accomplished

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