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Same weight, different date

February 12, 2012

Superbowl Sunday. Giants vs. Patriots. AGAIN! The last time these teams faced each other was 2008 and back then I was fat and not-so-happy.  I remember the day well because it was a major turning point for me.  I couldn’t find anything to wear for the Superbowl party and compensated for it by putting on a full face of makeup.  As if that would take attention away from my muffin top!  After that party, some pictures were posted on Facebook and the sight of myself scared me into a Weight Watchers meeting.  After that, I lose 23lbs.  Truly a milestone for me.

Four years later and a lot has happened.  I lost 23lbs, got married, gained the weight back, had a baby and went back to work.  Since giving birth to my son, I’ve lost 28lbs!  I started going to yoga!  My cholesterol is lower.  In short, I feel great.  The truth is, I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight.  But, my pre-pregnancy weight was nothing to brag about.  Remember I’d gained all that weight back?  So essentially now I’m right back where I started on Superbowl Sunday of 2008.

But, things couldn’t be more different when I look in the mirror.  Now that I’ve got a regular 3x a week Bikram Yoga practice my body looks better!  Toned, a bit tighter, just a little bit trimmer around the legs, arms and stomach.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have a LONG way to go (don’t have a 6 pack yet!), but this is a huge leap forward for me.  I’ve never been able to keep any kind of exercise program going.  My first yoga class was back in November and since then I’ve taken 55 classes, or an average of 3 per week.  I did a 30 day challenge for crying out loud.  This give me great confidence!  When I’m in yoga and not feeling it or having trouble with a particular pose I just say to myself “Marie, you did a 30 day challenge, you can do this!”  Sad to say, but I need this confidence boost every now and then, becuase to me, I am not the “yoga type”.  I’m not someone who “goes to the gym” or “owns a yoga mat”.  But I am, I do.  Who have I become?

Having my son and dealing with gestational diabetes has really put things in perspective for me. (Oh and turning 30 – forgot to mention that!)  Having gestational diabetes puts me at a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes and that’s a scary thought.  I’m also worried because Type 2 runs on both sides of my family, so I really need to be careful.  I realize now that I have to take care of myself if I want to be healthy and happy.  I have to actually make an effort to be well fed and exercised to reduce the risk of diabetes.  This is serious stuff!  I hate to admit it, but sometimes we have to be scared by something to really make a change in our lives.  And I am!

Now, my non-negotiables are yoga 3x a week (no matter what) and cooking healthy meals 5x a week.  This is my baseline expectation for myself every week so I can lead a healthy lifestyle.  The scale may not reflect it, but I am not the same as I was the last time I was this weight.  I’m in control now.  Eating and exercising and enjoying a better body.  Just more proof that the number on the scale is only one piece of the puzzle!

Hungry Heart

July 20, 2010

I often feel at my saddest moments that my heart has a hole in it and that nothing I can ever do can fill it back up again.  I keep trying though, I keep trying to fill it with all sorts of bad habits.  Shopping, watching TV, gossiping, and of course, eating.  One would think it would be more productive to try and fill it with good habits, so I’m working on that separately.  That’s why I write this blog, for instance.  We have an expression at Weight Watchers – of course I can’t remember exactly how it goes, but it’s something like “Are you hungry in your stomach or your heart?”

At first I used to think, “What’s the difference? I’m hungry, I want to eat now.”  (When hungry, I’m just a petulant child.)  Then I internalized that statement and sometimes when I have a little bit of will power and presence of mind, I ask myself that question, “Where are you hungry?”

Tonight, I can’t sleep.   No particular reason, just can’t seem to fall asleep. Tried reading in bed, tried turning off the light, even tried a little facebook and so far nothing has worked.  While sitting at my computer, I thought, “oh maybe I should eat something?”  Something with chocolate, something sweet, something to fill the hole in my heart.  Ugh, but I already brushed my teeth for the night and I don’t have anything good in the kitchen.  I just want to nibble, pass the time.  I sat at my computer and pondered this another moment. “Maybe you should write about this?”  Okay, I will.  Might as well, nothing else to do at 12:46.   I decided that I would write and I would eat.  I have about 10 cherries in my fridge.  Fresh, delicious, plump cherries.  Yes, I will eat those.  I nibbled, I wrote – it was nice.  So what are the “key learnings” here? (that’s something they would say at my job!) Key learnings:  1)don’t just eat because you feel empty, eat because you feel empty in your stomach.  2)No one ever got fat eating 10 cherries. 3)fill that hole with love, real love, not the love in a can of redi-whip – its fake whip cream and fake consolation for a black hole in your heart 4)go to bed Marie, it will all be alright in the morning

I need the summer off

June 22, 2010

Something about the water is so attractive to me. I’m at the beach right now staring at it, at the glorious expansion of water that is before me leading all the way to England, or New Jersey, I’m not sure which.

I am cooled off now from having just been in the water which Ran wouldn’t go in with me, and I was kinda disappointed at first, but then I decided to go anyway, and just enjoy the fact that I didn’t have to be anywhere, do anything, talk to anyone, or cross anything off a to-do list for the rest of the day.

I need the summer off, I really do. I don’t want to go rehearsal, learn lines, worry about how to fit in dinner, I don’t want to. Please don’t make me!

Don’t get me wrong I have LOVED the last show, Fiorello!, more than anything. I loved having rehearsal to go to, I loved learning lines, I loved figuring out how to squeeze in dinner! It was all so glorious, the costumes, the dancing, the music, the amazing song I got to sing every night, my amazing scene partner who humored me and basically did anything I asked including: staying late and trying each scene 32 different ways. (Just to make sure we tried every possible way to do the scene and got it right – of course!) But now, its all over, the show went on, and ended and that’s the bad part of doing theater, it always comes to end eventually, and this one did too.

It’s Friday, and I got out of work at 1 courtesy of summer Fridays. I got on the express bus, something I have never done, and enjoyed a slow journey from 57th and Madison, to Cropsey Avenue in Brooklyn. It was delightful, the bus was empty when I got on, and as it began to fill up, I kept alerting my friend Shireen, 3 people, 4 people, now 10, 13!! I had my Kindle on my lap and a Weight Watchers yogurt for snacking, plus, a copy of the Daily news the bus driver gave me for entertainment on the ride out. I read the paper a bit, then dug into some samples of books I downloaded for the Kindle. Now I’m up to Eat Pray Love.

Ellen, my Weight Watchers leader emailed me last week, the email was titled “MIA” and the body of the email said, “where have you been?”
Ok, I ain’t gonna lie to you; I took springtime off from Weight Watchers, from counting points, from the whole damn thing. Fortuitously, my scaled broke somewhere around April, and I haven’t weighed myself in months. I’m free!!

Free and still trapped, because I have no idea what’s going on with me, I can only tell by how I feel and how my clothes fit which, used to scare the shit out of me. I was always fearful that I’d never be able to make it alone, so I clung to Weight Watchers and I admit, I need to go back, because I know on some level that I need that accountability back. As I reached the two year mark, I was tired, and I just couldn’t do it anymore. So I stopped going.

So back to my summer off, I’ve got to go to work, ok that’s a non-negotiable, and I suppose I still have to fulfill some obligations like going to family parties and laundry, but other than that, please don’t expect much from me.

This summer you can find me at the beach club, the Seagate beach club that is, where I mis-spent much of my youth as my dad and step-mother dragged me there summer after summer, to languish in guido-ville. (Which, by the way, is nothing like Margarita-ville.)

I used to hate days at the beach club. It was so boring to me as a teenager, there with nothing to do, but lay by the beach and eat olive loaf sandwiches with tomato. I hate tomato on sandwiches, ugh.

No doubt, no doubt, I also hated having to be in a bathing suit next to my stepmother who was always slim in a two piece. And I wasn’t fat, it was just about being uncomfortable in my own skin, feeling left out, out of place, and uneasy. I hated the sand, I hated the water, I hated everything about it. I hated it, and made everyone else know that I hated it.

Now that I am older and perhaps a little bit more in tune with who I am, I have decided, against all odds, to join the beach club of my own accord. I even tried to convince my dad that he should join (again) but he was uninterested. Now it could be my thing, and luckily for me, I have the most wonderful husband who has proven yet again that he loves me to death, by joining the beach club to prove his devotion to me and all things that make me happy, gotta love that.

So here we sit, at the beach club, happily ensconced in Coney Island just watching boats go by, slathering on sunscreen, eating olive loaf sandwiches (no tomato).

Eventually summer will end, and so will my self-imposed sabbatical at Coney Island. Until then I can decide to throw all caution to the wind, and not even answer Ellen’s email, or I can choose to get back on the path.

For now, I don’t know which course I will take.

I do know that I really enjoyed my time in the water. Nobody else around, just me, and the calmness of the water, the smell of salt, the wind. It was just me and the open seas, nothing between us. This is what having the summer off feels like, I am sure.

The Really Really

February 18, 2010

Last week, after a turn down “I don’t feel like doing Weight Watchers this week” lane, I was miraculously awarded with a 1.4lb weight loss on Monday night.  Stunned, shocked, and sporting a Cheshire grin, I celebrated by going out to dinner at Megu.  Ok, so I was already planning to go to dinner pre-weight loss, but that dinner our marked the beginning of a celebratory week, which included many cookies, dinner at the amazing BLT Steak, ramen noodles and pizza from Layla Jones.  Not exactly a great week for weight loss.  Some where along the line I decided to stop counting my points.  When am I going to learn my lesson that I can’t go out to dinner on Monday nights?  Monday nights become lost weeks. 

P.S. Dinner at Megu was very tasty and since it was the Restaurant Week menu, it was lighter than usual and I didn’t leave feeling stuffed.  Ran said he left wanting a slice of pizza, but I digress.

This Monday, I enjoyed a day off for President’s Day and failed to get into NYC for my weigh-in.  Lived in the land of Denial until Wednesday morning when I decided to track my foods from yesterday.  (How bad could it be?)  Well, it could be bad, very bad! 

HORRIBLE TRUTH DISCOVERED THIS WEEK:  Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies, 3 cookies are 4 points!  I mean, what the hell?  I think I scarfed about 6 of them down last night before dinner.  Damn.  And I didn’t even have a glass of milk for dunking!  Imagine how many I could have enjoyed with a tall glass of icy cold milk?  16?!!?!

I tracked Tuesday and found out I’d eaten roughly 35 points.  Um, I get 24 for each day, so what the hell happened?  What really happened is that I didn’t count and I ate what I wanted (to a certain extent) and I guesstimated my way thru it and was off by about 6 points.  Good show, Marie!  ( * shaking my head sarcastically *) 

I’m back on track now.  Ate a solid 25 points today.  I don’t know if I can correct the damage from earlier in the week in time for weigh-in, but I gotta try.  If I give up on me and go by the “guesstimation” rule, I’ll be right back where I started soon enough.

The really really of January – up .2lbs.  Consider it a success and move on to bigger losses and days filled with “triumphs over food”.

I’m up this week at weight watchers.  I know why.  And it’s totally okay.  But, it’s also time for some acknowledgment of the small victories from this week, even if they didn’t lead to weight loss (yet).

1.Ttracked my meal out at my favorite restaurant Bar Stuzzichini – it was brutal, but I did it, and I’m glad I tracked becuase now I know if I want to go there again, I know what to expect.

2. Ate loads of salads this week.  Loving arugala with a teaspoon of parmesan cheese and olive oil.

3. Planned ahead.  I knew I was going to be eating more than usual at a family party on Saturday night, so I brought a yogurt for the long ride there (over an hour!) so I wouldn’t arrive starving and looking to eat whatever nibbles were available.  I had a few olives from the nibble table and that was it!  No pita chips, no hummus, no whatever else they had – because honestly, I didn’t even take a look.  I wasn’t hungry!  Yay for 100 calorie yogurts.  And yay for me for not succumbing to the pressure to eat at family parties where my grandmother is notorious for being a classic “food pusher.”

4. Avoiding Chinese food, sorta.  Ran and I have a standing appointment every Saturday to spend the afternoon with Ran’s aunt Sophy.  She is 99!  and loves her Chinese spare ribs every Saturday when we visit.  I’ve been sucked into ordering myself a serving of ribs plus a side of fried rice.  No good.  So this week, in anticipation of the Chinese food., I made myself an arugala salad to bring along.  I ordered steamed lemon chicken and ate that with the salad.  I still had my egg drop soup and 1 rib (rather than 3).  I was satisfied and happy that I consumed far fewer calories!  Also, I got in my veggies!

5. Hmmmmm, I really want to come up with 5 small victories since 5 is a good round number.  What to write?  Okay, got one.  This is a big victory though.  As soon as I realized this past week that I had totally derailed from program, my first thought was “I won’t go to weight watchers this week”  or  “I’ll skip Monday and go on Thursday instead, so I have a few extra days to over correct my bad behavior.”  This shit never works, if I don’t go to weigh-in I will lose another week to derailment.  The only way to lose, is to attend meetings and do the program.  So I went to the meeting tonight and I even got a “bravo” sticker for showing up.  Bravo Marie, for taking care of yourself and knowing that getting to a meeting is part of the big picture to lose weight.

Up .8 and I feel great

January 18, 2010

What if everytime you were up .8 oz, you were actually down 4.2?  Well that would be delightful!  After being on vacation for 16 days, my WW leader Ellen says that you’re allowed a 5lb gain.  And you know I was concerned about gaining that infamous 5lbs (see earlier post Happy 2010), so when I went to WW last Monday I was preparing for the worst.  After returning from vacation the Friday prior, I should have gone into “fasting mode”, but I didn’t.  I topped off the weekend with brunch at Clover Club, Amanda’s and dinner at Prime Meats.  Seriously, what was I thinking?

So I went to the scale Monday night and was greeting back to WW with a lovely .8oz gain.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I saw the .8oz instead of the dreaded 5lbs!  Okay, I’m not into celebrating weight gain at WW meetings (seems a little self indulgent), but, the small gain put me in such a good mood, that I had to share it!  I felt like I had a renewed energy coursing through me.  Now, today, I am going kick this thing in the pants and lose some weight!  Yeah! 

Now it’s way into Sunday evening and the end of my WW week- and for the first time, in a long time – I’ve actually counted all my points all week.  And, AND, I didn’t go over my points!  In fact, I have 10 left over!  I don’t know if I’ve ever had 10 points left over in my entire 23 months in this program.  Wow.  I always ate all the points – because unlike AT&T – these calories don’t rollover, so eat ’em or lose ’em. 

Hey, maybe I’ve turned over a new leaf.  Or maybe I’m just scared to death to gain AGAIN.  Which, I am.  Hell, I gotta turn this trend around in 2010. 

The real success this week, isn’t what I lose tomorrow at my WW meeting.  It’s the discovery of what I love about being in control of my food and life.  I was so happy this week, so happy to go to work every morning, so happy to be with my husband just hanging on the couch.  Every crappy thing that happened just went by me like smooth sailing – I could take everything in stride.  I was IN CONTROL.  It was a great feeling.  Shit, there’s tons of things I can’t control in day to day life so being able to say, “I ate well today” was really meaningful to me and my happiness. 

I’m making 2010 the year I bring back control and everyday happiness to my life.  Oh yeah, and that weight loss thing too.

Studies say…

January 11, 2010

I just heard on TV that studies say that couples who have sex 2 or more times a week have increased their life spans by 3 years.  It’s also been known to decrease your risk for heart disease.  I heard somewhere else that having sex burns 60 calories each time you do it!  Who knows if any of this is true?  Regardless, here’s a funny thought for the day.

mind if I journal

As promised, I went to Weight Watchers tonight.  The verdict: no loss, no gain.  I’ve maintained my weight for this week.  This is cause to celebrate.  I ate this weekend, didn’t count points and still no gain.  A good thing, indeed.  Also, I’m a firm believer that your weigh-in is only as good as you were 2 weeks ago.  It takes 2 weeks for a gain or loss to fully register, in my world anyway.  So this is a good thing, I was incredibly afraid that I’d gain this week and have to go home and kill myself.  Oh the drama!

On another note, the Yankees are losing right now and Ran is cursing at the TV in Hebrew.  Oy vei!  I had visions of getting all snuggly on the couch tonight with some leftover buffalo chicken dip and having a great American pig out.  Thankfully, I got home and had an attack of reality.  I had some leftover chicken from the one I roasted last week and decided to make a casserole out of it.  Now that I’m a pro at the Sauce Bechamel from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I am going to find as many ways to use it as possible.  The recipe went as follows: Sauce Bechamel with cheese (grated Swiss and Feta), half a pound of pasta, spinach and left over chicken.  This was one of those “clean out the fridge” type of dishes.  I halved the Bechamel recipe and only used half of a pound of pasta, because I’ve learned that as must pasta as I make, I eat.  Not good.  Added the spinach to give it a florentine kinda feel and to get those veggies in.  I was pleased with how it came out.  Tasty, substantial, lots of spinach and I felt good having cleaned out some of the stuff in my fridge (the cheese, frozen spinach and leftover chicken).

I’m really glad I had some exposure to Mastering because I feel like it’ll probably be a great source of ideas for me.  I probably won’t make many recipes to the T, but I’ve already found a way to make the Bechamel with 1% milk and light butter.

I’m bummed I didn’t lose even .2 tonight, but it’s okay.  The main idea is to keep on, keepin’ on.




23 points a day

October 31, 2009

On Weight Watchers y0u get a certain amount of “points” that you can consume each day.  It’s based on your current weight, what type of work you do, your age and whether or not your are breast-feeding.  It’s called your “points target” and you MUST eat all of those points everyday.  On top of that is your weekly points allowance (or as my leader Ellen likes to call it, weekly pleasure allowance!) of 35 points that you can use for the fun foods, alcohol, and/or larger portions of the food you are eating.  When I started out doing WW I was allowed a whopping 26 points a day.  As you lose weight, you lose points and last year on my birthday I had a rude awakening.   Not only did I lose a point due to weight loss (woohoo!) I aged a year, so I went from one age box to the next and I lost another point.  So in one week I went from 25 to 23.  It was brutal.

I’ve never really been able to master the 23 points a day.  I’ve tried to break it down by meal: breakfast 3 points, 2 point snack, 6 point lunch, 2 point snack, then 10 for dinner.  It was not working.  All I’ve done in the year of 2009 is struggle and gain weight.  Since my lightest, I’m up a total of 8lbs.  I’m not thrilled about it and part of why I started this blog was to get some momentum going and have accountability so that I had to lose weight.  Unfortunately, I keep losing and gaining, and yo-yo-ing back and forth.

This week, after my first weigh-in since September I was up 3lbs and sadly went up a point.  I didn’t realize it until I input my weight on the WW website and it automatically changed it.  At first I thought, “maybe I shouldn’t take the point and still eat 23 a day?”  I could hear my leader Ellen saying in my ear, “Follow the Program”.  So I decided to go with the 24 for this week and see how it goes.

Now that I’m a few days into my week and tracking my foods everyday, I am noticing how amazing it is to have that extra point!  I know it sounds silly that one point would make a difference, but it’s like a cushion of comfort that is allowing me to actually stay within my daily range.  I’m using some of my WPA everyday (as I always do) but not as many as I do when I’m eating 23 points and I don’t feel as hungry.  My downfall this past year has been the weekends.  I track every work day and then Friday comes and I saw, “awwww screw it!” and eat whatever I want, kinda.  Maybe since I’m kinda hungry all week with only 23 points, I’m blowing it every weekend to make up for it.  It’s a theory!

Let’s see how it goes next week when I weigh-in.  This might be something to discuss with Ellen if I lose and feel like I can continue losing by eating 24 points a day.

Goal for this week: write the blog everyday, track EVERYTHING I eat, and save some WPA for the Halloween party I’m going to on Saturday.  I’ll let you know how I make out.

July 27, 2009 3:49 pm, New York, NY

I’m going to admit I’m scared.  Very scared.  I can’t even remember when my last weigh-in at Weight Watchers was and on top of that I couldn’t find my membership book this morning!  I looked up my stats on the WW website (which keeps meticulous records of your weigh-ins if you input the info), and the last date I weighed-in was JUNE 8!!  Oh boy, this can be very good (lotsa lost weight) or very bad (maybe I shouldn’t have had that scoop of Spumoni last night).

<<I wrote this post last Monday before my trip to WW.  I never finished it, probably because I was too embarrassed to admit I’d gained.  Now, look, I was up 1.2lbs, which I’ll admit is minor.  But I haven’t had a loss in a long time so I was feeling especially bad for myself.  I had a crazy week, traveling to Boston and Atlanta for work, and basically eating my way thru it with stops at Steak n’ Shake and Chick-fil-a.  I’m going to go out on a limb (not really) and say, I’ll probably be up again at WW tonight.  Is it the end of the world?  Will I completely give up?  Will I feel hopeless and helpless.  I might.  But, I won’t give up, I won’t stop counting points and making smarter choices.  I won’t.  I can’t.

I said to a friend last night, while discussing my weight loss journey.  “For the rest of my life, I will have the soul of a fat person.”  She said, “That’s so interesting you say that.”  But that’s exactly how I feel, no matter how much weight I lose and keep off, I have to remember what it was like to be at my biggest.  If I can remember, I can keep the weight off.  I can say, “I don’t need that Oreo.  I know what Oreo’s taste like.  I don’t need to eat that one.”

And honestly, I’d rather have my soul (fat though it may be) than have no soul at all.>>

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