Sunday, December 30, 2007

finding "just right"

Yesterday was a day for organizing my weight-loss toolbox. As I reported yesterday, I went to a Weight Watchers meeting to have a record of where I started and bought meeting coupons so I have no excuse not to go.

Another piece of the puzzle was a gym membership. A couple of months before I moved, I cancelled my membership at a very nice no-frills gym. I really missed having a place to go for weight workouts. I also missed the social aspect of seeing the same people over and over when I went in to do my exercise. Things have settled down enough that I can imagine actually going to a gym, so we started looking into our options.

My husband had heard about a discount through his employer at a bare-bones place, so we checked that out first. No dice. The membership price was reasonable, except for a big joining fee, but the place depressed me. It was like someone had set up a gym in an old warehouse -- everything was in a couple of big rooms, and it was dingy and noisy with bad lighting. People grimly marched along on treadmills as we toured the place. I knew I wouldn't want to go there.

Next we checked out a brand-spanking-new, super-fancy gym that is going in nearby. The gym is still being built so we couldn't get a tour. Instead, we got to see a music video (no, I'm not kidding). A gym representative talked us through all the incredible offerings with the help of a big poster that showed all the stuff they had available. It sounded really amazing and state-of-the art, but I just want a place to work out. I don't need plasma TVs on all the treadmills and rave music blaring on the speakers. Throughout the entire sales pitch, when I was supposed to be getting dizzy with excitement from all the equipment and classes, I was just thinking, "I can't imagine how much this is going to cost." It was obvious why the representatives went through the whole explanation before talking about price. Of course, they wanted to sell you on all the cool stuff before you got sticker shock. When we finally got to that, the pricing was weird. There was one, super-high advertised price, then a special deal for signing up that day, and then, as we seemed not swayed, more negotiations. I didn't like the whole car-salesman routine. I think that we got a better offer because my husband is gorgeous (no, I'm not biased) and athletic and looks like the kind of person they'd want people to see when they toured the facility. But the "special" price was still a little high to me, and I really wondered if I'd feel at home working out at this place, which seemed destined to be filled with gym bunnies and trophy wives. I think the representative killed the sale, at least for me, when he said that everyone gets a three-dimensional representation of their starting point and their goal body. Yikes! Is there any woman in the United States who really wants to see a three-dimensional representation of the backs of her thighs?

I finally got a membership at the YMCA. It had seemed expensive at first, until we found out the pricing for the Uber-Gym. And it's friendly, sort of retro, and there are no plasma TVs. And no scary 3D pictures of my butt. I think it will be just right for us.

On the agenda for tomorrow: Grocery shopping. I need some good food in my shiny new fridge to help fuel this transformation.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

yet another fresh start

I finally did it -- went in to a center and weighed in. I knew I had to go before the New Year's Resolution crowd surged in. I was surprised to find that even after ignoring the whole weight-loss issue since I got my new job and indulging in a Christmas-season free-for-all, I am still less than 12 pounds from my goal. I wasn't at goal when I got the new job, so it is far better than I thought.

I went ahead and sprung for yet another starter kit, and even bought ten weeks of coupons in advance. If I've already spent the money, I'll be less likely to talk myself into quitting again. I suppose I could get to goal before I've used them all -- but that would be a nice problem to have, wouldn't it?

I have to confess, I am also trying a new gimmick: The Shangri-La Diet. The author of this book claims that by having a flavorless (or almost) source of calories more than an hour from other food and meals helps you to feel less hungry. As goofy as it sounds, I actually believe that the concept makes some sense, and so far, it has seemed to work. The two sources he recommends are flavorless oils and sugar water. I figured it couldn't hurt to try it. It's not really a diet, as much as a method for managing appetite, so you can do this and also do a diet like Weight Watchers.

I just started this last night. I have been having a lot of trouble with free-for-all snacking, and last night was the first in a long time where I haven't had the urge to go foraging for evening snacks after my planned food. If nothing else, the stipulation that you can't eat anything (or drink anything besides water) within an hour of the dose means that there's a smaller snacking window available.

It all seems silly, even to me, so I'm not recommending it, but I had to find something to help with my hunger pangs. I find myself desperate for food at work, partly from real hunger and partly because sitting at a desk all day makes me feel stir-crazy.

I'm not relying on Shangri-La goofiness alone, though. Over my holiday break, I've been enjoying getting back into an exercise habit again, and I have to figure out a way to make it work with my new schedule. Unfortunately, I think that means getting up at 5:30 a.m.

I am going to resolve to at least post once a week to keep you up-to-date on my progress. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

long overdue update

I'm not sure anyone is still reading my semi-abandoned blog, but I thought it would be nice to post an update anyway. I have gone through what feels like dozens of major life changes lately: new house in a new town, new job, graduation (woo hoo!)... luckily these are all good things, but that much change is pretty exhausting, even if it is happy change. Plus, we have spent what seems like billions of dollars on new furniture and appliances for our new place. And no, we haven't sold the old one yet. It's a little scary, especially since I still have lots of Christmas shopping to do. After the holidays it's back to living a little more simply (and less expensively) until we get a few things paid off.

I also know I've put on a few pounds because all my clothes feel a little snug. Probably 5-10 pounds. I'm a little afraid weigh in to see for sure. Our office lately has been full of goodies, plus I'm not getting much exercise. Being in the car all the time is a killer. I think after the holidays are over, it's back to Weight Watchers meetings for me.

I watched "The Biggest Loser" last night and was thrilled to see that it was a Jillian Michaels sweep! Go Jillian! (Remember, the two of us are pals). Not only did her team have a lock on the final four (and therefore, the actual Biggest Loser), but even the two of her original contestants (and her one adopted one) who were sent home did great on their own. I won't give away any spoilers, but I loved how things turned out. I definitely had some hits and misses in my predictions. Lori told me that Jillian has a radio show that can be downloaded as podcasts, and since I have a shiny new iPod nano that I got for my birthday, I downloaded a bunch of them. I asked for a car adapter for Christmas so that I can listen to podcasts in the car, including these.

I have to admit, with everything going on I've been able to tell myself that all this weight business is superficial and silly and not worth spending a lot of time and thought on. But there's really nothing fun about overeating, feeling stuffed and bloated, and not fitting into my clothes.

I hope that everyone out there, especially my fellow Angry Fat Girlz, has a wonderful and relaxing holiday. I'm trying to work on a way to have more time at home... if so, watch this spot for more frequent updates, and hopefully, some weigh-ins showing my progress from Chubby Commuter back to Goal again.
"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07