I just had lunch with my lovely boyfriend. We always pack our lunch and meet at 30th street station, which is somehow the shortest distance between our workplaces (that is, if I take the subway and he walks). This was the first time I've seen him THIS YEAR and in the past 10 days he's had earful after earful of my self-deprecating jokes about there being more of me to love. At lunch he said, "I don't know what you've been talking about. You look fantastic."
He's a sweet man. Also, I'm wearing control top pantyhose.
Um, one of my BFFs told me recently that pantyhose aren't cool. WTF!? I love pantyhose. I will always wear them, world without end, amen.
Back from lunch, I went to refill my water bottle and wash my hands. One of my coworkers was cooking a diet microwave meal and it occurred to me that it has been years since I ate one of those things. I've been doing Weight Watchers on and off for approximately 30 years (slight exaggeration) so I have experience doing it a bunch of ways.
The first time around, I ate Lean Cuisines and Smart Ones and fat free cheese and Skinny Cow ice cream and all manner of things like that. I ate diet pizza for chrissake. I walked on the treadmill. I didn't actually change that much about the way I ate except that everything was now processed to take out the fat. Guess what? I didn't see a ton of difference.
Even with the recent holiday pudge, I have had much better results this time around. I was able to get down to very, very close to my goal weight with little fluctuation for almost a year. I'll be back there again soon, if will power can be trusted. (Spoiler alert: it can't, but I'll try anyway.) And here's the major things I've done differently that I think made a difference:
* I walk more. I walk to the theatre from my day job (1 mile). Sometimes I walk home from day job (about 2 miles). I get up early and walk to the theatre from my house if I have to be there for rehearsal or something (1.5 miles).
* If there are non-scary stairs, I take them. This sometimes causes me to be short of breath. That's a good reminder that I can't be lazy.
* I ride my bike in the late spring, summer, and early fall for transportation. Saves me time and money to boot!
* Yoga. Pilates. Dancing whenever possible. Picking up babies (just randomly on the street - try it!) (that was a joke - don't do that!). Carrying heavy groceries home on foot. All of these are far more engaging forms of exercise than logging 45 minutes on the elliptical.
* Listen, I got some workout pants that I really like. They are comfy, I think they look cute, and I like to wear them. It helps.
* Logging 45 minutes on the elliptical. To Beyonce.
* Eating actual food. I started making my own soup instead of buying gross cans of wilted vegetables. It's not that hard, either, especially if you have a crock pot!
* Eating fruits and vegetables. Like, for real. I found out that a banana and a cup of coffee will get me through most of the morning with no issue.
* Goodbye, dressing! Vinegar: YES. Lemon/lime juice: YES. Sea salt and cracked pepper will get you very far on a salad. Seriously, invest in some really good salt and pepper and really good vinegar. Game changer.
* Not starving myself, not depriving myself. I love cheese. So I eat cheese. Real cheese that tastes amazing. Real pizza. I have given myself permission to eat things I like, as long as it's balanced in the course of a week. For every double pizza day, there must be a double salad day.
* Rethinking salad. Look, I don't love lettuce. But I do love spinach. Add some beets and a little goat cheese? Boom! Solved! And all for 2 points!
* Tricking myself sometimes is very important. If I have a glass of wine with dinner, I will always want another one after dinner. If I have seltzer water with some lime in a wine glass with dinner, I am just as fancy, have spent far less points, and am actually quenching whatever thirst arises.
Basically, my main plan is to eat real food and move more. And it turns out, it's not that hard. Maybe you have some other pointers or some other tricks?
Oh, and here's a super easy crock pot recipe that turned out DELICIOUS (from A Year of Slow Cooking with some tweaks):
Get your crock pot.
Put in there:
1 package of chicken thighs
1 can black beans (rinsed)
1 jar salsa
1/2 cup or so of frozen corn
red pepper flakes for The Spice
cook on low about 7 hours. I then portioned it out into 6 servings and removed the skin from the thighs. 6 points a serving. BOOM.