Little Mama On The Prairie

A life and weight-loss journey.

Planning & Budgeting

Grrr, it’s a good thing my tracking week ends tomorrow and starts fresh Saturday. I have made a few mistakes this week that may or may not affect the scale on Saturday morning’s weigh-in.

I didn’t start the week off great, dipping deep into my weekly bonus points last Saturday and Sunday already…and a bit more each day. I made a few mistakes of eating items I thought wouldn’t be too high in points, and then discovered after the fact they were double, sometimes triple, what I thought they might be.

The week hasn’t been all bad. I have eaten a good amount of vegetables and fruit, got my exercise in daily in spite of an injured big toe that has made walking difficult for a while, and overall made mostly wise food choices. But the bad food choices I made were…well, bad.

So, how could I have prevented the guilt and dread for the scale I’m feeling right now? With a little bit of planning and points budgeting. I SHOULD have researched each morsel before it crossed my lips and checked to see how many points I had to spare. Maybe I could have still had part of the item…maybe I should have said no entirely. The point is, I should have known where I stood with my daily and weekly points and I should have checked the points value BEFORE I ate the item/s.

red-velvet-mug-cake-56 What was the worst item for the week? This actually happened last night. I was pretty excited about it, thinking of even sharing the recipe with you on here because I was SURE it wouldn’t be too bad. After all, it was just a single serving recipe and so cute. Red Velvet Mug Cake (without icing). Boy was it ever good, #10 on the indulgence scale. I thought it may ring in somewhere between 5-10 points… TRY 22! People, I only get 35 points a day with an additional 49 for the whole week (plus what I earn through exercising but I try not to “eat” those). That was 2/3 of my daily points allowance in one (utterly delicious) deceiving mug-ful.

On the bright side, at least it only made a mug of cake and not a whole pan so the chances of a repeat offence today are extremely slim. I will be budgeting the points extremely carefully today and tomorrow. And of course, next week.

 

*WEIGHT LOSS TIP OF THE DAY*

We all fall off the bandwagon sometimes. The problem is not with falling off, it’s what you do after you’ve fallen. Do you give up all hope and stay down? Or do you pull yourself back up and get back on track?

In the past, I was likely to stay down after I fell. Why bother, I’d never succeed anyway, right? Wrong. Accept the fact that you will have some setbacks on your journey to weight loss, then don’t let them keep you down when they happen. Get up, brush off those cake crumbs and start again. As Anne Shirley once said, “Tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it.”

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Accountability is KEY

I don’t know why, but I don’t need anyone to keep me accountable to be successful at sleeping in, eating macaroni and cheese, watching TV or checking my Facebook 50,000 times a day. But I DO need accountability if I am going to be successful at changing my eating habits, my exercising habits, even *gasp* reading my Bible.

It’s weird when you think about it. It’s not hard to eat healthy. I love the Lord and reading The Word is not a punishment. Even exercise isn’t so bad and I always feel so much better after. So why is it so hard to create good habits and stick with them? I have no stinkin’ clue but I DO know that having you all read this blog on a regular basis is a big part of what keeps me going. It’s what helps me say no when I really want to say yes because I know I’ll have to ‘fess up at the end of the week when the scale doesn’t lie.

On the note of ‘fessing up…I ate potato chips last night. I know. But I did an extra 10 minutes on the bike today and went faster than usual if that counts for anything…

When I am accountable to no one but myself, I start to rationalize in a not very rational way. The brownie isn’t THAT big (have you caught on to the fact I like brownies yet?), I don’t live in the city so this cheeseburger won’t hurt, I can’t have it every day after all, etc. It doesn’t take long for me to be in the world of not eating veggies & fruit, overloading on carbs and thinking I’m too busy to work out.

On the other hand, when I am accountable to a person or group of people, knowing there will be consequences if I don’t follow through, I work so much harder to reach the goal. Knowing that my buddy is getting a chart each Saturday showing which days I tracked my eating and exercised, plus my weight loss/gain, makes me strive to make sure there will be a loss. I guess I have a little bit of a competitive side, just not with myself. Some have maybe wondered how I can stand to have my weight, the real numbers, posted on the web for the whole world to see. It’s all a part of full disclosure and accountability for me. If I don’t tell you the whole truth, be fully open and honest with you, then there is no way I can be fully open and honest with myself.

The hard cold truth is that I am fat. Obese. Overweight. Call it whatever you want, I am that and I fully admit to it. The other hard cold truth is that if I don’t do something to change it, my children may not have me around as long as they should, I won’t be able to lead as full a life as I should.

The warm, fuzzy truth? I have people like you in my life to keep me going when I want to give up, to kick my butt when I’m lagging behind, to coach me while I’m plugging forward. And best of all, to cheer and celebrate with me when I reach the goal! I’m so glad I’m not on this journey alone.

*WEIGHT LOSS TIP OF THE DAY*

Find someone you are comfortable being very open and honest with and ask if they will help keep you accountable. My accountability system with my weight-loss buddy includes us sending a weekly report stating the days we have tracked our eating and exercised. As well as our start weight, current weight, goal weight etc. We have each set up consequences for ourselves, mine being an extra 10 minutes on my bike each day for a week if I miss 2 consecutive days of not tracking/exercising. And then there’s the fact that I have this blog and I will disappoint many people if I don’t keep on keeping on. 🙂

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What I “do”.

Well, it’s Saturday, which means weigh-in day for me and my buddy. I am down 1 lonely pound this week and I’ll take it thank you very much. Average healthy weight loss is 1-2 lb. per week – as much as I’d love to shed it all in about 4 weeks time, my body will likely look better if I take it a bit slower.

So, you may ask, what am I doing to lose weight and get healthier overall anyway? I am an online subscriber to Weight Watchers (disclaimer – I have not been paid in anyway to advertise for Weight Watchers or whatever I legally need to say here to stay out of trouble) so I follow their eating recommendations, and I ride my stationary bike through the world of Downton Abbey 4-6 days a week, 30-50 minutes at a time. I am very sad that I am coming to end of available episodes of Downton Abbey, it has become my new all-time favourite show and I just want it to go on forever and ever.

If you’re wondering how Weight Watchers works, it is a point-based system that assigns, well, points to all food. You are given a points limit per day (based on age/weight/height etc) that, if you stay within your limit, you WILL lose weight. Certain foods are worth 0 points, such as fruits, vegetables, broths etc, to encourage you to eat more of those things which are actually healthy for you. Cake, brownies and cream sauces on the other hand are assigned sometimes rather ridiculous points BUT they are not off limits entirely. See, if you have a party coming in the evening, and you know there is going to be all kinds of deliciousness available for sampling, you can plan and budget your points throughout the day to leave room for some indulgence. On top of that, each person is given an additional 49 points in a week which can be used all at once, a little at a time or not at all. You also earn additional points by exercising. The more you move, the more you can eat if quantity matters to you.

So basically what I love about the program is that it teaches you to eat healthy on a daily basis using REAL food from ALL food groups and that it takes into account that life happens and sometimes, that brownie really does look too good to pass up.

 

*WEIGHT LOSS TIP OF THE DAY*

If you’re going to splurge on an indulgence, make sure it’s worth it. Don’t eat the half-eaten, dried out cookie your toddler left on the table overnight. Ask yourself where the treat lies on a scale of 1-10, if it’s anything lower than an 8-10, don’t waste your calories on it.

 

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