No-Weigh May!

 

No_weighMay

 

I always love the beginning of the month.  It’s a great time to start new challenges and goals full of renewed motivation and inspiration.  I need May to be that month for me.  May will be my month to get back on track with so many things.  In order to give myself a different approach to the weight loss side of things, I have decided that this month will be “No-Weigh May.”  Yes, it means exactly what you think it does.

I will not be stepping on a scale to check my weight the ENTIRE month of May!

 

Madness, I know but just hear me out.  There is a method to my madness, I promise.

Confession time: I am one of those people who is ruled by the scale.  That stupid little blue digital number that blinks at me whenever I step on that cold glass square on my bathroom floor has the power to make me feel like I am on top of the world.  Unfortunately, it also has the power to destroy my willpower, make me feel ugly, fat and not so sexy, and send me into a downward spiral that ends with a binge and the guilt that comes with it.   Nothing and no one should have this power over me, and yet the stupid $35 device that sits on my bathroom floor can either make or break me.

My solution?  Get rid of it!

I’m sure many of you out there have experienced the influence of the scale on your mood.  Have you ever woken up feeling incredibly lean and thin, so you head to the bathroom with joy to jump on the scale only to find that that number really hasn’t dropped like you feel it should have? Yeah…me too.  It can be a very discouraging thing, and while checking your weight is an important element tracking the progress of your weight loss journey, it is not the only way to track progress.

Some of the other ways you might notice progress could be

  • Your clothes fit a little better
  • Discovering muscle definition in places you didn’t have it before
  • Having more energy
  • Feeling satisfied with healthy food choices
  • Finding it easy to stay on track with counting Points Plus or calories
  • Body measurements taken with a measuring tape
  • People notice your body changing
  • YOU notice your body changing

I mean, really, the list could go on and on.  While the scale is one way to track progress, as long as you stay in the game, you don’t need to use it all the time.  Our body weight can fluctuate several pounds on a daily or hourly basis depending on what you’re doing.  You know that giant bottle of water you are so proud you consumed first thing in the morning?  I suggest not getting on the scale anytime after you do that, as the number won’t be what you want to see.  Expecting your period sometime in the next 3 days?  Go out to eat at a restaurant last night?  There’s a reason that Weight Watchers only has you weighing in once a week.  There are so many elements that can bring your weight up and your spirit down, but just because you’re bloated because Aunt Flow is on the way and she bumps you up a 1.5 lbs doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong and should get discouraged.  The scale has the tendency to rule so many lives, including my own.

I don’t want to be ruled by anything or anyone, let alone an inanimate object, so I’ve created No-Weigh May to help me let go of the scale and focus on all of the other awesome things about myself and my progress.

 

All the scale will tell me is my current numeric relationship with gravity.  The scale doesn’t tell me:

  • How loved I am by my husband, family and friends
  • How smart I am
  • That I am fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s eyes
  • That I have the power to choose happiness on a daily basis
  • That I’m talented
  • My purpose
  • My strength
  • My life goals
  • That I’m getting stronger

Fill in the blanks with whatever awesomeness about yourself that the scale doesn’t tell you.  This month, I will be focusing on those.  I will be tracking progress in other ways and I will be keeping my feet off of the scale.  I am so much more than a number on a scale, and so are you!

 

  • I will get the scale off of the bathroom floor so I’m not tempted to just “check in” and see how I’m doing.
  • It’s time to get serious about tracking again. I am going back to being a stickler about tracking my Points, and I can rest assured that as long as I stay within my numbers, the scale will be going in the right direction, even if I don’t step on it.
  • Focus on fitness this month.  I feel better and have more energy when I workout.  I want to focus on how working out makes me feel rather than using it to make the number on the scale go down.  I’ve accepted the challenge of 100 miles in May, so with my eyes not on the scale, I can channel that worry and focus into other fitness goals
  • I will have to weigh in as a Weight Watchers employee, but I will wait until the end of the month and step on the scale backwards so I don’t see the number.
  • With the lack of stress, worry and disappointment that comes with a bad weigh day I hope to find more genuine happiness and an overall better mood, which well help me greatly with other things that are coming my way this month.
  • On June 1st I will break the scale out of hiding, step on and with all of the focus I put on every other element of my health and wellness this month, in theory, the number should reflect my progress, proving to myself once and for all that I do not need the scale to tell me I am doing things right.

That’s the plan.  It’s simple really.  Stay on track and rest assured knowing I won’t be ruining my day by stepping on the scale after a good day only to see the number fail to reflect it.

 

It’s time to end the scale’s rule!  Join me this month for “No-Weigh May” and free yourself from scale slavery too 🙂

Weight Watchers Back to Basics: Exercise

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As many of you may know, exercise is an important part of a weight loss/ maintenance plan.  Some of us have that awesome “I get euphoric off of sweating and have to do it daily” feeling, and I applaud and envy you.  I need to figure out how to get the fire back in my fitness routine, because since hitting my goal, my fire feels really snuffed out.  That being said, I still workout regularly because I understand its importance to my body ( and my mind).
There are many benefits to getting in a 30 minute sweat session.
  • -Stress relief
  • Mood booster
  • PMS relief
  • Wearing is good for the skin
  • You get a sexy glow
  • Sculpted body
  • Curbed appetite
  • Social time or “me” time
  • Earning extra Points Plus Values (aka more food for you!)
And oh so many more.
Everyone has a different level of fitness, ranging from none to Marathoner and beyond, and whatever category you fall into, it’s okay!  There is no need to feel like you have to get up and active from 0- 5k in a week.  The point here is to get up and get moving somehow…any way you want.
Personally I try to get myself at least 30 minutes of cardio every day, and I usually succeed 5 or 6 days a week.  Thankfully I have a nifty little activity tracker that I wear every second I’m out of bed (except when I’m in the shower) called the Active Link.  This is the Weight Watchers version of a pedometer, but it is oh so much more than that.  This baby not only tracks steps, but tracks motion in 3 ways (up and down, back and forth, and side to side) which is an awesome innovation in activity tracking.  This means that it still actually counts for something when I am behind the counter at Kohls for 4 hours.  It used to be that my feet rarely moved, and the pedometer on my body reflected that.  Now, thanks to the 3 way motion of Active Link, the twisting and bending and movement I do near my register can get me close to halfway to my daily goal.  I feel much more satisfied knowing my work actually counts.
The Active Link sets a daily goal for you as well.  I will do a separate post on Active Link specifics later, but the gist is this: I have a goal, and when the little lights blink 100% I know I have earned 5 Points Plus that day.  This turns every day into a game, and it is a game that I do not like to lose.
For me the Active Link is a great way to help me meet a daily activity goal, but that doesn’t mean everyone needs some little computer clipped to their body at all times.  Generally, for weight loss you want to get a good sweat session in 4 or 5 days a week, and for maintenance and general fitness shoot for 3-4 days weekly.  However, if you’re someone on the lower end of the spectrum, fitness success doesn’t have to start there.  Go for an extra walk every day (or a walk, period, if you’re someone who is mostly sedentary).  Take little steps to increase the amount of activity you do on any given day.  Note how I say “activity” and not exercise (even though the title of the post is exercise ).  If you get out and exercise great, but that word can intimidate many beginners.  Here are a few ideas to incorporate more activity into your average day, even for a beginner.
  • Start the day with some light yoga or stretches
  • Take the stairs rather than the elevator
  • Park near the end of a parking lot, rather than the nearest space to the door you can find
  • Take the long route to the restroom at the office
  • Spend part of your lunch break on a walk with a co-worker
  • Get up and move 5 minutes every hour
  • Take the laundry up stairs or to the other room in smaller loads..or if you’re really ambitious, piece by piece.  I usually do this when putting laundry from my bed (where I fold and hang) to the right spot.  Trust me, if you put your undies and socks away one by one, you get some movement.
  • Same with the dishes: put them away one at a time
  • Go for an after dinner walk with your significant other or kids
  • Head to the mall for some window shopping, but do a lap around the whole place first before you let yourself look

You get the idea?  There are SO many little things that can significantly increase the amount of activity you get in a day.  Then, when you feel like you can move beyond the basics, head to the gym, sign up for a fitness class, get a workout DVD or turn that walk into a jog or run.  It doesn’t matter how slow you start, at least you’re moving!

So, the bottom line of this back to basics post is to get moving my friends.  I promise you that nothing bad will come from a little more activity in your day.  So bust out some Jillian Michaels (my favorite trainer) or do whatever it is you’re going to do to give your weight loss journey that extra boost of awesome.  And who knows, you just might end up one of those lucky people who get a high off of a quality sweat session.  🙂

My First Bulu Box (September 2013)

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Yesterday I was super excited to get my first Bulu Box in the mail.  I am loving the trend of monthly subscription boxes.  I’ve been a huge fan of Birchbox, one of the first beauty subscription boxes out there.  If I had the money I’d be subscribed to many more, but thanks to a coupon I found on a fellow blogger’s site, I got an amazing deal on a year long Bulu Box subscription. Bulu Box is a monthly subscription service that sends you sample sizes of health and fitness related products every month. What’s really nice about Bulu Box is they have two diferent box options: general health and fitness or a weight loss specific box.  I love that they give their customers a choice like that.   Just like Birchbox, they have an awesome little points program, where every 100 points means $10 off a full size item in their shop, and you can earn points simply by taking surveys on the products they send you each month.

Time to dig in to what I found in my box this month. Surprise Surprise, I subscribed to the Weight Loss themed box, rather than the regular one.

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Naturade Total Soy

First up was a packet of a meal replacement smoothie mix.  I enjoy taking smoothie mixes and blending them with frozen strawberries and unsweetened almond milk to get an ice creamy type treat, so this is right up my ally. The claims of Naturade is this product not only suppresses appetite, but lowers cholesterol as well.  This mix has a nice balance of micronutrients (simply put: carbs, fat, protein and fiber) so I do consider this to be a pretty solid meal nutritionally, and at only 140 calories it will cost me 4 Points Plus, which is a little more than I’m used to, but it’s worth a try for breakfast one morning.

Full size: $14.49 for 19.05oz

Sample value: 1 packet = a little under $1

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Body Glove Surge Shot

A chocolate flavored energy shot?  Sign me up! PacificHealth designed this energy shot with green tea, honey, protein, carbs and some bonus antioxidants to give the body an extra boost when it needs it.  This shot is fat free and 2 Points Plus.  Added bonus: 150mg of caffeine. Yay! *caffeine addict in me dances happily*

Full size (12 shorts): $28.70

Sample Size: 1 shot= $2.40

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BSN AminoX

This is a workout recovery drink mix that contains Branched Chain Amino Acids, (BCAA)  which help the body burn fat and aids in overall better body composition.  It can be used as a recovery drink after a hard workout (I’ll probably use it on a day I do some good weight training) or as a supplement to help any weight loss routine.  0 Points Plus.  You can see the front of the packet on my picture at the top of the post.

Full Size: 30 servings for $22.99

Sample Size: 1 Serving= .$.76

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Shapeology Burn Blend

I’ll be honest, I cheated and looked online to get a quick glimpse at what was coming in my box before it got here (I was actually checking for shipping info and stumbled on this info accidentally) and so I saw I was getting a sample of this.  My thought: “Oh, that’s great, except how is trying one dose really going to be helpful in even deciding if it’s a product I want to buy??” *insert annoyed face*  Fast forward to opening my box.  Instead of the little packet of 2 pills I expected, I got a bottle that contained a whole week’s worth of the Burn Blend capsules!  This in and of itself made my opinion on Bulu Box go way up.  Burn Blend is a thermogenic that mimics the effect of high metabolism so it enhances the body’s ability to burn calories and torch fat.  The liquid capsule also ensures faster delivery to the body so it starts working sooner.  I will say this: I took one (normal dosage is 2 pills twice daily if you can handle it.  The sample is enough for 2 pills daily, so I’m sticking with one, twice a day for the week they’ll last me) pill this morning, went to the gym around an hour later and had so much energy! We’re talking energy I haven’t had in weeks.  I worked out so hard and had a great sweat session, which made me feel amazing.  If this little pill is the cause of that, I just might pick up a full size bottle (there’s sale going on now).  I don’t need it to drop a bunch of weight (although the few lbs I put back on I would love to be gone by my wedding dress fitting in a month), but i felt incredible working out, which is reason enough for me.  Now of course, maybe I happened to get a good night’s sleep last night and that is why I feel so good.  Thanks to the generous sample from Bulu Box, I have a week to figure it out, rather than a single dosage.

Full Size (60 Capsules): $50 (although it’s on sale at the moment)

Sample size (14 Capsules): $11.62

**Please note that the subscription is normally $10 a month, and the Burn Blend sample all by itself is worth more than that.  Total Box Value: $15.78  Way to go Bulu Box for giving me much more than my money’s worth!!**

Conclusion: I’m really impressed with what Bulu Box is offering.  If you’re interested in getting a subscription of your own, just click here and the site will tell you the rest.  Based on my first impression this is totally worth it for the health and weight loss crowd. I can’t wait to see what the rest of my year long subscription brings!

Back to Basics: Spaces

Back to Basics: Spaces 

The first part of our Back to Basics Challenge (click here for the post all about that)  is tackling our spaces.  Spaces came into play at Weight Watchers with the launch of the 360 program in 2012.  The concept is this: One cannot rely on willpower alone, so making your environments more plan friendly makes it easier to not have to rely on willpower constantly.  So lets talk for a second about our spaces and what we can do to make them as plan friendly as possible.

The Kitchen

Okay, so here is the logical place (and the most important place) to start modifying spaces: the kitchen.  It’s where the magic (and the baking, and the binges..) happens.

  • Perfect Portioning- I keep my WW scale right there on the counter and keep all measuring cups easily accessible in my second drawer, making it really hard for me to find excuses for not monitoring my portions.  Keep the 1/4 cup right in your cereal box if you must.
  • Fix the Fridge-  Fill up the fridge with good choices: fresh fruit and veggies, lean meats, and low point snacks, but here’s the catch: prep them first. Clean and cut the produce and put them in storage and set them in the front of the fridge so they’re the first things you see when you head to the fridge for a snack.  Hide the stuff you shouldn’t eat in the back.
  • The Pantry- Over the last 2 weeks I have pleasantly rediscovered the birthday cake Oreos hiding in the pantry, and it’s felt like a treat every single time.  Yes, I have Oreos in the house…that’s not the point.  The point is I have them hidden behind the pantry door.  I’m usually an “out of sight, out of mind” person.  If I don’t see something, I’ll eventually forget it’s there.  Delicious snacks and treats to be rediscovered are awesome surprises.  Keep the stuff you don’t want to eat regular out of sight, behind a closed door,  and the good stuff right where you can see it

Get Active

Activity spaces are just as important as food spaces.  You want to make sure your environment is encouraging you to get up and active.

  • Leave your gym shoes by your bed
  • Wear your gym clothes to bed instead of PJs..seriously.  It might not be sexy, but at least you don’t have to change in the morning.
  • Wear an ActiveLink (or another activity monitor) to help motivate you.  Set a goal and make achieving that 100% mark a game, complete with a prize if you must. *note: prize should not be food, unless the Points you earn are enough to cover said food prize*
  • Get the crap off of the piece of workout equipment gathering dust and put it in front of the TV or somewhere you will use it.
  • Leave a workout DVD in the player so all you have to do is hit play.
  • Join a gym that is en route to work.  You’ll drive right by it twice a day.
  • Get a teammate; your lover, best friend, dog, whatever.  Having someone else doing it with you is very encouraging, motivating and can get you some social time while you’re active.

 

Other Spaces

Some of the other things I do to make my everyday surroundings manageable:

  • If food is with me in the car, it goes in the back seat, or even better, the trunk.  If it’s next to me, I will eat it.  I blame long commutes to rehearsals for turning me into a commuter eater.
  • I research restaurants before I go.  Even if I know my intention is to splurge on something Points heavy and delicious, I at least try and know exactly what’s coming,
  • I leave my cash at home on days where my willpower is lacking.  Then vending machines in the break room aren’t an option, and I’m less likely to splurge with my debit card because my finance fiancé tracks our spending for budgets, which means he’ll see the splurge.  I don’t want to be guilty.
  • Sometimes I’ll plug my phone in for the night somewhere out of reach.  Then I have to get out of bed to turn it off.  Less snoozing means more time for working out,
  • I stick a new, fun read on my iPad that is exclusively to be read on the elliptical.  If it turns out to be a good one, I’ll stay put to read a bit more.  (Hunger Games, I’m looking at you..)
  • I pack my own snacks for work to help me avoid the box of donuts inevitably sitting in the break room.  Snacks in your desk drawer work too.

 

Putting a positive and plan-friendly spin on your spaces will really help ease the dependency we have on will power.  While I like to think I am Super Woman, truth is, I’m not.  I need help and extra tricks to get me through.   What are your favorite ways to fix your spaces?

July Fitness Challenge: Results

Well July is passed and so is my fitness challenge of the month: 50 miles.  I tracked every time I used the elliptical or walked with the intention of exercise (meaning grocery shopping trips and such didn’t count) and my end result//

 

*drum roll*

52.65 miles!   Mission accomplished.

I know I could have upped the goal a bit but I wanted to start off with a goal I could reach.  August is going to bring a whole mess of goals for me because there are so many little things I want to work on.  Fear not, a fitness goal that you can join me in will for sure be one of them.

 

I hope you had an amazing month!