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Finding Freedom in Following the Plan

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Week 4 | 2.6# lost, total at 11.6#

Hi Team!   I lost another 2.6#! 
I keep thinking I'm tricking the scale - except I wear the same clothes, I eat breakfast and lunch then stop eating/drinking at noon (for my 3pm weigh in), and while weight fluctuates - it doesn't fluctuate by more than 11 pounds!   Easter candy got me one day last week and then AGAIN today at the office. But I'm working from home tomorrow and getting re-focused and re-committed! I love to re-focus and re-commit. I've done it my whole life. BUT I'm finally re-focusing/re-committing the SAME DAY I wander off the plan, instead of waiting for the next Monday, the next 1st of the month, the next whatever. So I had some candies at work. But at dinner, I ate my JC meal, my big salad, and I skipped my snack (I sort of treated it like the candy HAD BEEN my snack. The cut-off eating time helps a lot with this as well. If I'm going to go nuts, it's likely to happen after dinner, after the kids are in bed, when I'm alone, that sort of thing. But since I have a 12 hour window, I have to stop by 7pm (though I've been trying to aim for 6pm... my kids are young, they don't mind an early dinner). I literally put a cookie to my lips, saw that it was 8pm, and stuck it back in the bag. I HAVE NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE!!!    I talk to my 6 year old son a lot about "being strong on the the inside." He's obsessed with strength and speed - he wants to lift weights, he demonstrates his ability to lift heavy objects, it's a thing. So when we're struggling to tell the truth, or to share, or to use kind words - I remind him that these are feats of strength! You have to be really, really strong on the inside to tell the truth, etc. 

Well: I think I'M getting strong on the inside! And it's not at all like I anticipated. It's not like I'm suddenly strong enough to execute the perfect plan I've mapped out in the past - vegetarian or vegan eating, cutting out food groups, cutting out sugar completely, etc. I'm not doing those things. BUT I am strong enough to get back on plan after a slip-up, so that it IS just a slip up instead of a habit/addiction/way of life.

I was in a small group (like a Bible study - it's a church thing) a few weeks before I started the program, and we take time to pray and to listen for anything God might be saying. We're real flexible with it - like, instead of agonizing over "was that thought MY thought, or was that God's voice???" we say: just try. If you think you've got a word, share it. Then, others can say, "oh yes, that applies to me!" or not, and it's no pressure. Of course, if anything contradicted the Bible, we wouldn't be down, but otherwise, we just sort of have a "we're practicing" kind of idea. So we all get quiet, and the thing I think God is saying to me is: "no more 'end-of-days' eating". This is what my friends and I call that eating practice in which you are starting a diet tomorrow to you eat everything you can think of that sounds good today - a real binge. And I remember thinking, "I can do that. I can just do that." And so I did for a couple weeks, and then I joined Jenny Craig, and I really feel like I'm getting some honest-to-goodness TRACTION.    This isn't just a 2 pound fluctuation. This isn't a 5 pound loss in one week that came right back the next week.    11.6# is real. 4 weeks on the program - with SOME slip-ups, but NO binges - is real.    Thank for reading! Kara
 

Day 23 | Catch Up Weigh In Info

Hi Friends!   Quick-ish of recap: I blogged before about how my son got the flu and pnemonia and strep all at once! Well the next day, I found out my Grandfather died. He got the flu the same day as my little one, and passed away at home, in his sleep. We're grateful that it was gentle for him, but even when everything goes the best way one can expect (he was 90, he got to see his great-grandchildren graduate from high school, he didn't want to spend weeks dying in the hospital as he had seen some loved ones endure - and he didn't!) it's still really sad.    So I had an unexpected 500 mile road trip.    I was just starting to get back into my routine, and we had to take my other son, my 6 year old, to the ER for stitches in his face! He tripped and fell against the neighbors' outdoor a/c unit. Again - if it had to happen, we got off easy. It didn't knock out teeth or damage his eye. He didn't break any bones or have a concussion or brain injury.    But srsly - I'm stressed!   I've had some eating off program, so my weight loss has been as follows:   Week 1 - 6 pounds Week 2 - 1 pound (on my period) Week 3 - 2 pounds (out of town trip) Week 4 - that's what I'm in the middle of right now   Week 4 has been good. I decided to fully re-commit to the program, despite my out of town trip including a lot of dining out. Honestly  - I think I probably lost more during that week of my period, but it didn't show up BECAUSE of my period, and so the week after, that weight loss showed up even though I didn't expect to see a loss at all!   I also have a lot to lose. So you skinny-minis out there with 15 pounds to lose - don't be tempted toward jealousy. I've got 82 pounds to go just to sneak into a healthy BMI. And I'd honestly like to lose another 20 after that. So with 100 pounds to lose - 9 pounds in 3 weeks is feeling pretty good! I wanted the suggested 16 pounds in 4 weeks, but I doubt I'll lose 7 pounds this week.    Still... you never know. I've been praying a lot - and call me crazy, but I think it makes a big difference. Just asking for God's help to stay on the plan results in better choices, and the day seems to go by more quickly (that is - I'm not watching the clock, willing it to be time to eat again, even though I just finished a meal like 10 mins ago).   I'm in a program (a weight loss bet as a matter of fact - you can check it out here https://hwage.co/95149/ - I get a referral bonus on my prize if you sign up too, no pressure, just full disclosure) right now that if I lose 2-3 per week for the next 5 weeks, I'll win $75! Not a game-changing amount of money - but I really love winning at things, so there's a good emotional motivation right there.    Hope all is well with you! Kara
 

Day 11 | The Comfort of a Routine

I have a routine.    It only took like 10 days, and I have an eating routine. It's awesome.    My eating had become so disordered. I wanted to not keep soda in the house, but then every morning I would wake up scheming to sneak off to McDonald's without being obvious to my family (sometimes impatiently waiting for them to leave the house, one time WALKING b/c I didn't have access to a car!), or I would settle on just going, defensively, or I would suffer until lunch, not thinking about anything but soda. I would get into habits of going to a particular drive through for lunch - and then I would go every day for a month. I volunteer to go to the grocery store, or make up a reason to go ("we need lemon juice") so I could also get a soda and some sweet treats. I would refuse to put any of these items on our regular grocery list, but who was I kidding? I was just acquiring it the expensive... and invconvenient... and dishonest way.   Now, I wake up and drink a glass of water. After a while I have my Jenny breakfast. I'll get some things done and then have any anytime bar. Lunch with a salad. Snack (I have my snacks in the afternoon, when I really feel temped). Dinner and a salad. If I feel like I want something late at night that's off plan, I just go to bed. I'm very well-rested lately!   It's such a dream though - knowing when I want to eat again, there's on-program food waiting for me. I don't feel so panicked. I'm not making schemes to sneak off to fast food (which always made me feel terrible, emotionally AND physically anyway). I remember from an OA program they say, "Three meals a day and life in between." I really feel that. With the plan and with the food prep done for me - I'm really experiencing my LIFE. And since I'm losing weight and making food choices I'm proud of - experiencing life is great. My life is actually really great.    Thanks for reading!
PS My 4 year has made a full recovery from the trifecta. We have a few more days of antibiotics and tamaflu, but his fever and other symptoms are gone and he's back to himself again. Thanks again for the prayers/well wishes!    
 

Day 9 | Crisis Alert

Yesterday I posted about my goal to follow the plan precisely. Not aiming for perfection, but also not using "I'd better not be a perfectionist!" as an excuse to eat off plan. One week of eating precisely on plan is possible.    Then I ate my dinner at like 4pm b/c I was hungry! I figured I could has a salad with my family at a normal dinner time.    But that meal didn't turn out how I planned. We took my 4 year old to the ER where he tested positive for the flu AND strep AND pneumonia. We were there from 5-9:30. My husband had a vending machine snack and offered me some - I declined. (Lucky for me, I had already eaten my dinner!)   My baby is going to be okay! We've got a lot of meds and he's already bouncing back having been on antibiotics for more than 24 hours now.    In the past, this would have seemed like an insurmountable obstacle - a perfect excuse (who could blame me?) for going off plan. But I didn't.    I had my crisis, and I didn't need to eat anything over it. I felt my feelings, did the mom thing with a baby who needs help, and I think I ended feeling a lot calmer and more capable b/c I was making food a crutch to get me through the evening. When your legs work fine, a crutch just gets in the way.   Hope you all are having victories too! Let's go get one tomorrow!
 

Day 8 | Bridget Jones is Wrong

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces." That's what Bridget Jones says - and oh, I LOVE Bridget Jones. I was less enthused about the sequels and I haven't read the book, but I have seen that movie a million times. 
But I think she's wrong.    I think success in one area tends to beget success in another area. And flailing about in one area tends to cause flailing about all over the place! I've seen this cycle of flailing invade my life - it'll start with work, then my marriage, then the state of my house, then parenting, then social commitments and on and on. But you can ride that cycle in both directions!   Work is better today (I worked late last night in a big push to get a few troublesome projects across the finish line), and what do you know? Staying on plan is going better too! I mean - I think I might always want my sweet snack at about 9:30am, but my plan for the week is to respond to every inclination to make an off-program choice by drinking a glass of water, praying, and waiting 15 minutes. I remember reading that in a People Magazine Half-My-Size issue years and years ago. One of the women who was half her size said she did it with Jenny Craig, and that whenever she was tempted to go off-plan - she'd drink a glass of water and pray.   I'm adopting this strategy for this week. And I can report that I have had a lot of water! Bonus! But so far today, I'm precisely on plan. My goal is to achieve a full week precisely on plan. I'm trying not to say "perfectly" b/c that perfectionism thing is tough and being perfect is not my goal. Still - that doesn't mean I can be precisely on plan for a week. Perfection is unattainable, but eating according to the JC plan IS attainable. I think in the past I've used "better battle perfectionism!" as an excuse to go wild with the off-plan desserts... not exactly a well-intentioned self-care move there. But setting my eyes on a full week precisely on plan? That's something I can do.   So back to my cycle of success: work is better - I'm much less stressed. I'm eating precisely on plan. I got totally dressed/made up before work started today (this is a hazard of working from home), and I'm experiencing a real sense of well-being.  I didn't let myself down when the urge to eat my s'mores bar arrived at 9:30. I drank some water, said a prayer, and got back to work. AND my tax refund came in, so we're officially no longer in credit card debt - which feels GREAT! I mean, I filed weeks ago, so I knew this was coming/had the plan established, but actually getting the money and paying the cc (that we've been carrying a balance on forever, hopping from one 0% interest offer to the next) - IT FEELS GREAT!   I've got a bunch to accomplish before the end of my work day, but I feel like it's really do-able. Tonight, I hope to get my desk at home cleared off. I need to put some laundry in. But you know - even if I don't get everything on my to do list done, I have a lot to be thankful for, a lot to enjoy, a lot to feel great about.
Here I go, precisely on plan (food plan anyway) for the week, and giving myself grace on the rest.
 

Week 1 | Six Pounds Down

SIX POUNDS!   And I know there's usually a bigger loss in the first week, and I know water weight is a part of it, and I know I'll likely not see another 6 pound weight loss week again, and I know that I'll have to remind myself of that over and over this week so I don't end up disappointed with a good loss for week 2 that won't be in the stratosphere. I know.    But in the meantime - I'm on cloud 9 and I'm going to enjoy it! Six pounds down on my 82 pound journey - that means just 76 pounds left to go. It also means that if I lose 2.2 pounds next week, I'll be 10% of the way there (that is, I will have lost 10% of 82 pounds - the amount I want to lose, not 10% of my body weight).    I've got a full week on the books and I'm so happy with the program!   Lessons learned: - There are some foods worth avoiding. I notice my slip-ups were correlated with a meal that I didn't like/finish. I did great with the first meal I didn't like (the pot pie) - I didn't finish it, but I had my salad and I was fine. But 2 days later, it was not the same story.  - Those long walks are really good for my weight loss. Sure - I'm real tired afterwards and a little useless for the rest of the day, but my husband is supportive and it's okay if I'm a little useless toward the end of the day 4 times a week. It's okay to go to bed early. - Eat the salad - skipping it leads to slipping up! - When you've finished the meal, don't go wandering around the kitchen. - Your kids will eat meals that you love and meals that you don't love. Cook the ones you don't love for them right now. It's easier on you.   I made like 5 substitutions to my menu for the upcoming week, which lost me my $16 off, but who cares? I'm not coming to Jenny Craig for my financial health! And the better I do on program, the sooner I'll be at my goal and working on a transition to food that's a bit less expensive. Although, honestly, being healthy is a lot less expensive than being obese!   AND my kids are going on a little trip with my in-laws this weekend, so we'll have a significant reduction of activity/noise/craziness for the weekend. I'll miss them when they're gone, but I confess, I'm looking forward to sleeping in on Saturday and having my house and my husband to myself for a couple days!   I'm totally over soda. I quit cold turkey when I joined the program, and the light headaches I've been getting appear to have ceased. That's a big deal for me.    Lot of wins, big and small. I met with my consultant this week (last week, everyone was at a new hire training, so I had my consultation with the center director). Her name is Maddie, and she's lovely. Very encouraging. She contributes to that wonderful atmosphere of hope and security at the center. This is going great!!!
 

Day 6 | Who wants to work? I just want to dream of the future...

100% on plan yesterday - feels good! And pancakes for breakfast - who doesn't love that?   I'm really excited to weigh in tomorrow, but I've got to buckle down and have a productive work day today! It's hard though. I'm such an all-or-nothing person. I can work like a maniac, really over-working myself, for a period of time, but then I get onto something else and excited about it and I turn into a real scatterbrain about work. I just want to read the forums and fill out my menu and organize my freezer! I don't want to prepare quotes or invoice anyone!   And part of me thinks: That's okay. Use the enthusiasm to really get in the JC groove. It will be good to establish good routines and have things set up for the future when it gets to be less exciting. And the other part of me thinks: Just work. If work suffers then you'll get stressed about it, and work stress is a trigger for off-plan choices!   The second voice is right. I need to work now and then indulge in all my silly JC-centric rituals and meditations this evening! It's just remarkable to me that when things go good it's so much easier for things to KEEP going good! But then, slacking at work is sort of a round-about way to self-sabatoge. So I'll resist that. Off to get my work To Do list complete. Check, check, check. Just like my JC menu.
 

Day 5 | Don't Overthink It

Ah - there's the option to BLOG! THAT's what I was looking for. 
I wrote a couple novels over in the forum boards, but was feeling... I don't know... like what I really wanted was a BLOG!   So I'm on Day 5 and I've had a curious week.   I binged out a little on Day 2 - that breakfast bagel is not the breakfast for me. I negotiated with myself (always a harbinger of an off plan choice) for some fancy cheese spread on the bagel, which tasted pretty good - lots of salt - and next thing you know, I've had 2 more bagels (from my kitchen, like food for my fam, not for me) with all the rest of the cheese.    I'm not sure it's a good idea for me to weigh myself every day - I can get really obsessive about the scale, weighing multiple times in the morning... it just gets silly. So I have been weighing myself a bit, but not writing it down, and certainly not agreeing with that space on my menu for "daily weight." No. BUT I did happen to have weighed myself and seen 227 and then after the binge it was like 229.something, and very discouraging. But I'd written on the front of my menu in the "This week's plan for success:" spot: "Don't overthink it - let the plan do the thinking for you. Just follow the plan."    I was listening to an audio book by a woman who had lost weight, and she happened to say, "Don't overthink it," in the part of the book I was listening to. It called me back! It was just a coincidence I'm sure, but I felt grounded again. Just follow the plan.    So then I strung together several on plan (or almost on plan) days. I had a 200 calorie slip up yesterday, but for the most part, I'm feeling empowered. My weight today was down to 226.something, which put me in a good mood. I'm must not cower in the face of a gain/plateau on the scale though. Which is why I think not weighing might be the better choice for me. Also - I weigh in the morning in light pj's. I'm pretty sure if I weigh on Tues morning like I normally do, I'll be disappointed at my Tuesday 3pm appt when I'll have eaten and drank breakfast and lunch! And I don't want to be disappointed at my appt - I want to be delighted! And I think if I stay on plan today, Monday, and Tuesday, and don't weigh in the mornings, that this is JUST what will happen!   I'm really seeing my time at JC as a training course, or a boot camp maybe! My eating has become really disordered over the years. Part of it has been that I've tried some really serious diets that produce results but are so counter-cultural, they end up being really difficult to stick to... Nutritarianism anyone? And while I believe that Dr. Furhman (author of Eat to Live, and a zillion other books that all say the same thing: you will be healthy if you eat only fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds) is exactly right - I need some baby steps toward that kind of eating. Instead, I've just gotten overwhelmed and binged and binged.    So now I'm trying to learn how to eat 3 meals and give myself permission to have 2 snacks every day. I totally believe in ending the eating window fairly early each evening, so I put the evening treat either in the afternoon or as a part of my evening meal. The portion sizes are critical - I'm trying to re-intigrate a proper understanding of a reasonable portion size! And then the routine eating of fruits and vegetables is also something I consider to be a high priority. I've swung wildly in the past between all veg all the time and then none for weeks on end. I need that balance of salads, fruit, and veg every day, but not to the exclusion of other food groups, b/c that's when I really start feeling deprived and a binge sneaks up and grabs me!   I remember from prior JC periods in my life and my mom and I marvelled over the following sitch: "I wanted an off program treat, but I resisted it. An hour later, I realized I felt fine. Like - I would feel exactly the same whether I had the treat or not - it wasn't some magical treat. If I had it, an hour later I would feel fine. If I didn't have it, an hour later I would feel fine. So how about I DON'T have it, save myself the calories, and in addition to feeling the same physically, I can also feel proud of myself for staying on course!"   My goals: Sun, Mon, Tues: on program days Sun, Mon, Tues: no morning weigh ins, so I can be delighted with my Tuesday afternoon weigh in Stay on task at work, b/c when I feel good about work, it's easy to feel good about the rest, and it's easier to make good decisions!
 

Day 1 | Originally in the Forum | A Brief History

Dinner and breakfast eaten and onward with day 1 (yesterday I signed up in the afternoon and had a JC dinner - doesn't exactly seem like day 1). I wish I had thought to ask for an extra dinner so my menu would go Wed-Tues. I think I might do that next week, so that I don't have an evening of one day filled out and then the morning and afternoon wait a week... I'm a little particular about my menu, and I feel like JC makes room for that. My consultant put me on Week 2 to start and asked if that would be okay - she was very understanding that some people want the menu to say "week 1" during week 1. That's a switch I don't mind, but I thought it was really nice that she asked    After my waffles, 1/2 fruit, and shake, I'm feeling very full - which is a good sign. Not sure about that shake... it has an aftertaste that might not be my favorite. And this might be silly, but it seems like a greek yogurt with some fruit in it is more of a lifestyle change. I get a weird "slim fast" feeling drinking a shake... or I think of all the ladies I used to work with who did "Shakeology" and I think I'm just not a shake person. So next week, I'm might skip the shakes. It seemed like an optional addition when I put my menu together with my consultant - is that right?   Oh - and I forgot my snack last night. Stop the presses! This is HUGE NEWS! Dagney the UnDaunted was so enthused about starting the program, having my chicken pot pie, really not liking it so giving up after eating half, then eating an unlimited-foods salad along with my cooked veggies, that I forgot the SWEET TREAT! This is very out of character, and I think it will never happen again. It's like a solar eclipse or a blood moon or something - only happens once every 3 generations, so I won't be alive to do it when the time rolls around again! LOL!   But on that half-eaten pot pie: 1. I think I over cooked it, so the gravy got too thick, although I don't plan to try again to see anytime soon... too many other yummy options to try out first. 2. I felt so powerful, so in-control, being able to say, "I don't like this," but not entertaining the idea that I would do anything other than stop eating it and have some unlimited foods to ensure I felt satisfied with my meal. And I really did feel satisfied! It didn't actually occur to me to go roaming through my kitchen, negotiating with myself on how many calories do I think I left on the plate? Justifying an off-program choice with those uneaten bites of JC food.   Here's that I think is going on: I have dieted, on and off, since that first JC run in 2004. Which is to say, JC went great - I had great support from my mom, and then I got a roomate my senior year in college who was a swimmer and interested in healthy eating, so we supported each other, and then I got married and was very isolated those early years. I gained a lot, tried Jenny, tried a bunch of other things - and that's when the terribly cycle really took hold: I was alone, and I kept trying to do crazy things, and I really started binge eating - secret eating, huge portions, etc.    Then, things got sorted out on a personal level - I reconnected with friends, DH and I got some counseling (that's a good story - remind me to tell it!), but now I had established some very disordered eating habits: I had done some many "end of days" eating-fests the night before my perfect diet would start, that the binge-before-the-diet became my REGULAR DIET! That's a really effective way to gain a lot of weight.    Then I had my babies. I didn't gain or lost weigh with each one - fluctuating each pregnancy between 220-230. And I had my babies without epidurals (the second one was induced for health reasons, so that was really a wild ride!) but I felt so strong and empowered. (If you had a baby with an epidural, please don't hear me saying I think less of your choice - I only mean that this choice was right for me). So I was getting to a healthier mindset, but boy was our life crazy. Two kids in two years and all the breastfeeding and diapers and working during that time - we moved across the country twice, DH donated a kidney to my dad (saving his life), and I changed jobs 3 times. We opened and closed a church plant. We opened and closed a business. Now DH is back to school to be a math teacher and I've got a great job that gives us a little breathing room.   During all this time - the dieting continued, and I'd lose 5 pounds and gain it back, and on and on.    Until I stopped last fall.    I was tired of always feeling like such a failure, so I just gave myself permission to be at this weight. DH supported this: "I want you to be happy. I think not worrying so much about your weight might help!" And I visited a church I don't normally go to - and that's a whole story on it's own - and we prayed for in a way that really impacted me (remind me to tell you that story! LOL!).    But now: I'm starting Jenny having given myself a break from the horrible cycle. And my main goal is not to look cute in clothes (though I won't mind that if it happens). My main goal is to establish some normal eating practices. I don't want to binge and then have a perfect diet day only to blow it in the evening and feel like a failure for weeks, and then start all over again. I just want to learn proper portion-size, develop the habits of eating 3 times a day, drinking water, and not turning to food to fix any uncomfortable emotions.   Feels good.  
 

Day 0 | Originally in the Forum | Fresh Start with JC!

Okay - I moved this (b/c I think I'll want to reflect on it later) from the Forum - my Day 1 entry:    Signed up today!   14 years ago I did the program with my mom during my last summer of college. I lost 10 pounds in 4 weeks and I was really surprised at what a difference 10 pounds can make! (160 down to 150)   It was a great summer b/c I wasn't working and my mom wasn't working - we just hung out, walked every day, and obsessed over food!  I told her that I thought my boyfriend was going to propose that fall - which was great b/c it gave her some time to acclimate to that idea. And he did, and I kept losing that fall and spring and literally got married on the thinnest day of my adult life.   Our marriage got off to a tough start though - and I started gaining like crazy.   I did the program again a couple years after that, but I was really in a weight-gaining time of my life, so there were ups and downs... mostly ups. I could barely afford it, which created a lot of stress with my husband. He wanted to be supportive, but he didn't really know what was and wasn't helpful...   Now - life is completely different. I'm at 232, so I have a lot of weight to lose! But new to me know is that DH and I have a lot of life skills that we were lacking in our early twenties. We have 2 boys (4yo and 6yo), and we're in a much better place financially. I told him I was considering joining and he said, "Great!" That was it. No hesitation. No questions. No side eye. Just support.    I came home from my appt and said, "well - it was just what I wanted and I'm really pumped! Although... I did end up buying the $3 bagel. I should find a good substitution for that..." and he said, "Or - you just need to be oaky with buying a $3 bagel. I'm okay with it. That's the point right? They do the thinking, you don't worry about things. Just follow the plan." It was wonderful.    It's raining, so I can't go on the walk I'd planned... guess I should use the elliptical machine we bought last fall, eh? I'm silly.    I didn't have a very productive day at work, b/c I was just so excited to go sign up for JC! I'm going to capitalize on my enthusiasm and have a great start to my plan with my dinner and veg. I'm thrilled to be here! I'd love to hear from other newbies - we can revel in our newbie excitement and keep that positive energy going!!!!
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