Tuesday, April 13, 2010

WW Maintenance Update

If you have not been paying attention, I am now on maintenance on Weight Watchers, but instead of maintaining I am continuing to lose weight. Even though I am not trying to.

So, last week, I ate all of my points, and all 35 of my flex points, AND all of the exercise points that I earned, and I went 1.5 points in the hole on flex points, too.

I went out to Red Robin at one point and I ate salmon. I mean it. It was Saturday and even with the salmon instead of my favorite Royal Red Robin Burger, I went way over my weekly allowance points so I walked with the baby on my back for 45 minutes on Sunday to earn exercise points to make up for it. I am so mad because I probably could have had a burger. And I could have had fries instead of broccoli. (And everyone who knows me knows about my cheeseburger obsession too)

I weighed in on Monday sure that I had gained weight or at least maintained.

I lost 2.2 pounds.

So now, I am back to eating 10 breast feeding points per day, even though Lillian eats solid foods.

This is the breakdown:

21 points (this is my base, based on weight, occupation, age, etc.)
4 points (this is for maintenance)
10 points (this is for breast feeding)
5 points (this is 35 flex points per week divided by 7 days)
1 point (I generally earn about 7 exercise points per week, divided by 7 days)

Which is 41 points per day.

If you have been on WW before, 41 points per day should look like a completely ridiculous number to you unless you're a 300 pound man, and even then it might seem high. And yet, last week when I ate approximately 38 points per day, I lost 2.2 pounds.

And actually I had weighed in on Wednesday instead of Monday last week so I lost 2.2 lbs in 5 days.

I am starting to wonder what the heck my body is doing. I personally don't mind that I am still losing, but when you're breast feeding they get a little antsy if you lose too much beyond your goal because they worry about your milk production. But eating 41 points per day is ridiculous, and it's not conducive to me continuing to eat in a healthy way. Generally I eat my healthy foods and then have some chocolate to make up the shortfall.

Also, strangely, I didn't lose weight this quickly when I was in weight loss mode. So I am now eating more and losing more than I was before. I lost 25 lbs in about 24 weeks, and now I'm losing more than a pound per week when I am just trying to maintain.

In other news, I have now lost 31.2 lbs on WW, which is way more than I ever intended. Also did you see how I walked 45 minutes with a 17-pound baby on my back? Without having an asthma attack? Yeah I pretty much rock.

(PS--please don't tell me you wish you had this problem. We all have our problems and until recently mine was "getting bigger and bigger by the week, with a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes looming.")

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Perfecting the Art of Getting The Freezer Full

Let's face it. I do too much to take an entire day doing true Once A Month Cooking. Besides, it's exhausting. Even when I spend 2 hours at Dinner Zen, I walk out really tired, and in that case they have done most of the work for me!

Still, an empty freezer loomed. I was down to one tilapia filet from my last trip to DZ, and that is just not acceptable.

But as I said, sometimes doing a whole month of food in a day is daunting.

Well, the state of my freezer two weeks ago was as follows: 1 tilapia filet. 2 frozen chicken breasts. And that's it.

Two weeks later, the state of my freezer is as follows: 1 tilapia filet, 2 frozen chicken breasts, 3 packs of "Pork Chops with Good Stuff," 2 packs of Mango Curry Chicken, 1 pack of Bourbon Chicken (we ate 1 already), 2 packs of Lamb Zucchini Goulash, 3 quarts of Ham, Green Bean, & Potato Soup. Many bags of frozen veggies (thanks to BJ's, which will keep us going until the CSA season starts)

Is it a month's worth of cooking? Not in the least. But can I spend the day working and throw something in the oven or crock pot to reheat? Oh yes. And I did not do it all in one day.

First, chicken was on sale. So I bought the chicken and the couple of ingredients that I didn't have on hand for the 2 chicken dishes, and I went home and made 4 meals. Then a few days later my supermarket had beautiful zucchini. I made a huge pot of goulash and froze 2 meals after eating one. Then we had Easter, and much leftover ham, so that became the soup. 3 quarts in the freezer and 1 quart into our bellies. Finally, pork chops were on sale, so they became a meal to eat and 3 for the freezer.

What I like about building up the freezer, rather than doing it all in one day, is that I can get a meal into the freezer in 1/2 hour or less. I'm not worrying about having to clean every pot in my house three times. And, probably most importantly, I can cook based on what is on sale at the time. If I plan to cook all in one day, I still need to find the meat that I want to use on sale, rather than building my meals around what I have already found.

Now, with 11 new meals in the freezer, I can see myself going to Dinner Zen and doing a small order--maybe 8 half-dishes instead of 12 full ones--to give us some variety. But the truth is that with extra frozen veggies in the house, I can make a simple meal on a weeknight when I am not necessarily working all day, so we get variety anyway.

I also think that this is a cool way to introduce someone to freezer cooking, without the crazy-making of thinking you have to do a whole month's worth of food in a day. That said, if I had my chest freezer (it's coming, really!) I would make more of each individual meal, because I would know that six pork chop dishes will still stay happily frozen and not bore my family to tears. Yeah, let me get on that right now.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Weight Watchers Maintenance, or, help! I can't eat this much food!

I'm on my third week of Weight Watchers Maintenance, and, well, it's going entirely too well. In that I am not maintaining but continuing to lose weight. This is ok, and generally would not be considered a bad thing (you're allowed to continue to lose on WW after you hit your goal) except that I'm breast feeding and everyone knows I'm breast feeding (because I do so at the meeting when Lillian gets fussy) so the leaders are trying to come up with a good points value for me to eat that will allow me to stop losing weight.

It's not so easy. I'm really used to eating fewer points now. And by fewer points, I don't mean less food. I am probably eating more food than I was eating when I was consistently gaining weight. But I've gotten used to eating healthy foods again, and it's just HARD to add in more points. I'm full after every meal. I don't really care to snack. And I keep losing weight.

When you go onto maintenance, you re-do your points values and generally get to eat about 4 more points than you had on weight-loss mode. That translates to approximately 200 calories, which doesn't sound like much actually. I've been trying to eat them all, and still losing. So this week we added another 2 points. That's another approximately 100 calories, when I didn't really want to eat the ones I already had!

So I picked up some 2-point snacks. I'm not really big into buying the snacks, but the pretzel thins that they sell at the meetings are pretty tasty. I bought a pack and I guess if I eat a pack a day it will be 2 points right there.

But then there's also the flex points--you get 35 of them to use any time of the week. I usually save those points for a trip to the ballpark or night out to dinner. I could not imagine spreading them out over the week because that would be another 5 points PER DAY and I CANNOT eat like that anymore. I mean unless I start eating candy again, and candy is a trigger food that I cannot afford to eat.

I think I need to talk to my leader about this again. I'm really confused because if I do add the extra 2 points per week, and then I do go out to a ballgame and use all of my flex points, what if I then gain? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Has anyone gone through this? Is figuring out your maintenance points supposed to be this hard?

Also if you have not seen them yet, check out these "after" pictures that my friend Jacalyn took of me http://emeraldlens.info/?p=384