Monday, November 29, 2010

If you can't get into the Weight Watchers site, try Safari

I still can't get into WW with Firefox, but it is working just fine with Safari. This isn't the first time that Firefox has let me down. I might be changing to either Chrome or Safari.

The 2 point Weight Watcher Multigrain Crisps now are 3 Points Plus. I thought that might happen. I never buy food at Weight Watchers meetings (too expensive), but I won these in a drawing.

Looking forward to my meeting tomorrow.

Weight Watchers site glitches

The iPhone app is temporarily disabled while the site is updated. I was able to use the WW site this morning but now I am not. I guess this is an argument for tracking on paper? I saw that other people are reporting the site down so I am assuming it is not just my account.

I'm going to put my food here so I don't forget anything. I don't know how many Points Plus anything has so I will hope I don't go over. Tomorrow is my weigh-in and meeting day so I can get the paper materials then:

Breakfast:

1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Multigrain Hot Cereal (like oatmeal but more grains)
1 T. natural peanut butter
banana (0)
green tea

Snack:
7 oz. container of Fage 2%
1/2 c. fresh pineapple chunks (0)
Package of WW multigrain crisps (2 g protein/1.5 g fat/21 g carbs/2 g fiber)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Starting Points Plus tomorrow

My meeting is on Tuesday afternoons, but because I have the monthly pass, I get access to the new Weight Watchers plan materials online tomorrow.  I am hoping that the iPhone app will be ready to go tomorrow, but it may not. Actually, I was able to get some access to the new plan information by using the Google Chrome and a URL that was posted on one of the Weight Watchers Message board threads.

I'm excited by what I've heard about the new plan. Free fruit, of course. Plus more points per day and more weekly points, though the points for some foods is going up.  High-protein foods like eggs and chicken seem to be staying about the same, but things like cereal and bread will have more.

I also have heard that online members will be able to choose whether weekly points or activity points will get used first. I like that -- it bothers me to dip into my weekly points when I have activity points sitting there. Leaving the weekly bank alone until after those activity points are gone gives me a better sense of my status for the week.

I have not been tracking the last few days, which is probably bad news for this week's weigh-in. I got off track with Thanksgiving and never got back on.  I plan to start tracking tomorrow with the new plan and really stick with it.

Our meeting leader asked us to bring a friend to Tuesday's meeting, but I decided I don't want to do that. I'd rather go by myself to my meeting and give it my full attention than bring a WW newbie who might have questions for me.

I've been a little obsessed with this program change. I have been feeling a bit discouraged and I'm hoping to rediscover my beginner's mind with new plan materials. Anyone else looking forward to the new plan? Or are you already doing it and think I'm behind the times?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Biggest Loser Season 10, Episode 10: Makeover Week

This year, Makeover Week wasn't as much about the makeovers as in past years. I am guessing a lot of viewers got bored watching people get their hair cut and pick out clothes.  The emphasis was more on the show's partnership with Ford's Warriors in Pink program, which supports breast cancer research.  The contestants did all look great with their new haircuts and clothes, though some of them were a little weird, like this train-type thing that Elizabeth was wearing attached to a belt with a normal top and jeans. It was fun to see the contestants reunite with families and friends backstage.  I can't even imagine what it had to be like for the family members. To have someone whose health and immobility had to be a constant concern, and to see them transformed into an active, thinner, healthy person had to be a huge shock and relief.  Frado's wife said she kept looking at his eyes because they were the only part of him she really recognized. I thought it was especially great to see how happy some of the kids were to see their parents after they had been away for so long. I may have gotten a little choked up at that.

Another thing that choked me up was how this week's challenge played out. The contestants did thousands of stairs -- up and down a huge stairway that was used for a challenge last year.  The winner of the challenge would win a brand-new 2011 Ford Edge.  Just before the challenge starts, we find out that Patrick is driving a 15-year-old "piece of junk," is unemployed and has never owned a new car. It looks like a competition between Brandon and Ada, who get way out in front at the beginning and stay there. Patrick looks sad but still is determined to finish.  We see Ada just standing there at the top on her last flight of stairs to win the car, and Brandon joins her and they both wait for Patrick. They don't need the car the way he does, and they decided that they want him to win it.  Sure, it's a strategic move that will win some loyalty from Patrick, but it was also a really great thing to do.

Elizabeth doesn't get to finish the workout -- she is so far behind that there is no way she can finish, and I think the camera crew decided it wasn't worth staying the extra time it would take her to struggle up and down the stairs.  She finishes the steps as her Last Chance Workout, but all of the other contestants who did the whole challenge also do a regular Last Chance Workout, which had to be painful.

The weigh-in numbers were stunning as always. My husband figured it out -- most of the men have lost about 25% of their original weight, and two of the women are around 20%. The two leaders, Mark and Ada, are right around 29%.  In TEN WEEKS, two men have already lost 100+ pounds. 

This week Lisa and Frado end up below the Yellow Line, and Frado's alliances pay off because Lisa is the one who is sent home. That's OK, because it seems that Lisa is doing just fine at home and is happy to be back with her kids. She has taken an interest in someone she met during the at-home challenge, and is planning to get her certification to be a personal trainer. She looks beautiful and I am sure she will be a contender for the at-home prize.

I have another Biggest Loser recorded, the "Where are They Now," episode, but I can only take so much TBL in one night, so I'm going to save it for another time. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New plan rumor confirmed: Free fruit

Check out this Weight Watchers community blog post:



Is fruit free on the new program?
Yes – you can eat all fruit until you are satisfied.

Is all fruit free? Even bananas??
Yes even bananas!!

Even… mangoes???
Yes even mangoes!!!
I am not a big mango fan, but I love fruit, especially bananas and berries. So I am excited about this facet of the new plan.  In fact, as of my bad day today, I decided that I am going to start this part early.  I know, I'm such a Weight Watchers rulebreaker!  I'm still tracking my fruit in my iPhone tracker, but I'm using a super-stealthy method (a.k.a. making the portion size artificially small) to keep track of the fruit and have it have no points.

This little bend in the rules has cheered me up considerably. It is likely to make  about 3 points difference today. Not a big deal, but it is going to keep me happy for the next two weeks while I wait to see what the rest of the new plan will be.  I have been going way more than 3 points/day over my allowance as it is. I haven't even been tracking. Wonder why I gained?

So confess, dear readers, what WW rules do you break?

Bad WW week

I knew I'd have a bad weigh-in and I did. My motivation is low and my weight keeps creeping up. I'm just trying to make it until the new program starts at this point. I am desperate for a change.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NaNoWriMo update: I've been Week 2'd

I can't find the email, but the folks at NaNoWriMo sent me a warning about Week 2, and how many writers go off the rails at that time.

I had a great Week 1, really enjoyed writing for the first time in forever. I had started with a novel project that I didn't really expect to go anywhere but had fun playing with. I thought about my character and what she was doing whenever my mind wandered. I got 7,900 words written and was feeling great about it.

I'm teaching a new course this term, though, and my students started to need more from me. I needed to spend more time prepping for my classes and started to get panicky about all the work responsibilities that I wasn't taking care of.  I thought about all of my extracurriculars: My exercise classes and workouts, my watercolor painting class, Nanowrimo...

Reluctantly and with a heavy heart, I realized that something had to give, and this time I decided it was going to be Nanowrimo.  I feel like it's the right thing to do at this time, even though I was having fun with it.  I do feel like I'm going to keep working on my writing, I just don't think I can keep up with the pace I need to successfully complete this year. My class goes through early December.

I haven't been blogging as much for the same reasons as I'm dropping NaNoWriMo.  Never fear, things are still pretty status quo for me. I'm still struggling with Weight Watchers and hoping for miracles with the new plan. I'm still exercising, though I have cut back a bit on my workouts too.

I think I broke through the pain barrier with my writing, though. Focusing on word count and not on some mythical ideal of what a novel should be really helped me through my MFA-induced fear that every word I write is crap.  I realized that all the jockeying for status that characterized my workshops in that program didn't really have much to do with what writing is all about.

What is writing all about? Butt in chair, words on paper. 

I would definitely recommend NaNoWriMo for anyone who is struggling to break through a block.  Just reading the ideas that some people in my region posted for novels made me realize I had been taking it all too seriously.  Why not a series of hockey romance novels or a supernatural young adult coming-of-age piece?  At least these writers were having fun with their work.  That's been my secret with my painting class -- I'm doing my art for my own enjoyment, not because I think I can sell it.  Why didn't I ever approach writing that way before?

Maybe I'll do ScriptFrenzy in April.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Biggest Loser Season 10, Episode 8: More Games

Two Biggest Loser episodes in a row -- crazy, right? It tells you a little how things are going for me that I just got to last week's episode recap yesterday.

This week on "The Biggest Loser," Bob teased a live update of two contestants during the taped broadcast of the show.  There was a huge group of family and friends gathered outside one of the contestants' houses. I'm not quite sure why this was done, except maybe to generate some excitement for a show that seems to have lost its mojo.  People's family and friends tend to look like them most of the time, though, and I had a strong suspicion from the beginning that Aaron might be one of the ones being sent home.

This week there was a stronger-than-usual temptation.  Contestants were not going to be grouped into Black and Blue teams anymore, they were going back to pairs. This time, though, the pairs were going to be determined by the person who ate the most calories at a fancy catered dinner where contestants secretly chose their courses from a menu.  Contestants would choose an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert.  For contestants to get "credit" for their courses, they had to clean their plates.  Brendan knew right away that he was playing, and ordered what looked like spaghetti and meatballs but was some sort of deep-fried rice ball in tomato sauce.  Calorie counts weren't listed on the menu so the contestants just had to guess which choices had the most calories. Most of the other contestants ordered salad, though Elizabeth, Frado, Ada, and Aaron halfheartedly played along for a while.  Elizabeth ordered a grilled calamari appetizer which was served on a bed of lettuce -- probably not that many calories.  Ada ordered prosciutto and melon, which was probably high in calories and especially sodium for the Biggest Loser, but not anywhere in Brendan's league.  Most of the other contestants gave in when they saw Brendon's appetizer. It turned into a battle between Aaron and Brendan.  Both looked sick while trying to eat a huge steak and a side of what looked like macaroni and cheese.  Aaron could not finish his and Brendan made him a deal -- Brendan would pair Aaron with whatever partner he chose (other than Brendan, Patrick, or Frado) if Aaron let him win.  Aaron decided to quit.  Then, weirdly, Lisa ordered dessert and ate it, not because she wanted to play the game, but because she thought a "400-600 calorie" splurge would be worth it since she didn't eat a lot of her other food. It turned out that she had chosen a 1400-calorie dessert, and she got an earful from everyone about not being serious about her weight loss.

I could sort of understand her thought process later, as the episode unfolded.  She talked openly about not being sure if she wanted to stay or go, but knew that she wouldn't be sent home because she was "a placeholder" for Brendon and Frado's gameplaying.  Predictably, Brendan chose teams that were very unfair, setting himself and his friends up so they couldn't lose. Despite Ada's pleas that she didn't want to be put with any of the "weak" female players (she is the second-highest in weight loss so far), Brendan paired her with Jessica, one of the players with the lowest weight loss.  Ada was pretty open about her anger over this choice, and I think Jessica was a lot nicer to her than she deserved, though she did say, "I have had my feelings hurt more this week than the rest of the game combined," which should have been a signal to Ada to stop complaining about what a bad partner she had.  Lisa and Elizabeth asked to be put together, and Lisa agreed to cook "Bob's special diet" for Elizabeth. We don't know what the diet is, but we can guess from the segment on a previous show that it is vegan.

The rest of the show goes as usual. Bob dials up the drama over how unfair the teams are.  There is a lot of whining over whether "girls can lose as much as guys" and "women can be strong." Let's face facts, though. Brendan, Frado, Patrick, and Mark are powerhouses on the show because they were really, really fat when they arrived. There's no secret about why they are losing more than everyone else, and they also had a history of being athletic.  That is the combination that it takes to win on "The Biggest Loser."  Male hormones don't hurt either.  If they weren't playing games, these big boys would consistently be leading the weight loss numbers.  Aaron was also a really big man, but he seemed to have crossed that threshold where his weight holds him back from working out as hard as he needs to to keep up. He had a breakthrough with Jillian this week where he let go of his fear of failure and really threw himself into the workouts for the first time, but I think that was possible only because he has lost enough excess fat that he can move well.  Bob has a little heart-to-heart with Lisa, showing her a video from the beginning of the show to help her realize how far she has come.

There was a very silly little challenge that had contestants carrying sugar cubes one at a time across the room and then stacking them to try to get 5 feet high.  Ada and Jessica win because Jessica is smart enough to stagger the cubes like a brick wall at the base instead of trying to stack one directly on top of each other.  The other contestants keep trying the same strategies (like trying to build a 5-foot-high tower that is only one or two cubes wide) and failing.  Jesse admits that he is having a lot of fun in this challenge because it's just so ridiculous.  There is a point at which the producers must have decided it was taking too long and gave the contestants a 2-minute "sugar rush" to grab as many cubes as they could carry and pile them near their walls.

There are some surprises in the weigh-in. Jesse has great numbers, but his team member Aaron only loses 4, which puts their team in jeopardy.  Because of Brendan and Frado's affinity for eliminating strong players, we have a pretty good idea that this weigh-in will be their chance to get rid of two threats.  Despite all of the crying about being paired with Jessica, Ada loses half Jessica's number and had to depend on her "weak" partner.  The big guys, predictably, put up huge numbers. Bob and Jillian choose to unload on Lisa and Elizabeth over Lisa's choice to cook for Elizabeth, saying that Lisa is "enabling" and Elizabeth is "letting people take care of her." Bob also yells at Lisa for taking time away from the other contestants because he chose to spend a few minutes with her watching a video.  I'm starting to wonder if these narratives are just things that Bob and Jillian choose to impose on the players. I was glad when Elizabeth said, "Before this show, I never had anyone to depend on but myself." Lisa was also not enabling, but making a choice to commit herself to losing despite her mixed feelings about being on the show.  They both do great, 8 pounds each, but on this show, that's not enough to keep them above the infamous yellow line.

No surprise, though, despite all Frado and Brendon's scolding, they decide to keep Lisa and Elizabeth around as easy targets and send home Jesse and Aaron. Despite the hype at the beginning of the show with family and friends, we don't get to see a big reunion scene.  We just get a kind of boring little chat with Bob and the two contestants, along with Aaron's wife/girlfriend (I'm not sure which she is) and son.  We don't find out their total weight loss numbers, which makes me think either they didn't lose much since leaving the ranch or that they may be somehow coming back to the ranch again.

I think Brendan is the one setting the particularly nasty tone for this season's competition. Next week the contestants will be weighing in as singles. If Brendan should happen to have a bad week, I hope the other contestants take the opportunity to get rid of him.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Biggest Loser Season 10, Episode 7: Basic Training

Sorry for the late episode post. This particular Biggest Loser episode was a bit of a downer.  The U.S. Marine Corps decided to take over the training of the contestants for the week. The Losers were provided with military-style gear and heavy packs instead of their usual t-shirts and shorts.  They were also taken to Camp Pendleton, which made the Biggest Loser ranch seem like a luxurious spa. The contestants got to choke down cafeteria meals (read: not organic, low-sodium, lowfat) and wake up for early-morning training sessions.

The training officers were definitely inspiring and amazing. They didn't take any whining from the contestants but they did seem supportive and encouraging.  These conditions, though, made the Black Team seem even less coherent than they already did.  The big guys on the team were forever leaving Elizabeth and Anne to struggle on behind. Anne's panting and pleas for help started to seem like a cry for attention, and I started rooting for her to be voted off the show. She seemed to do better working on her own.  I was genuinely worried for Elizabeth. The stress of the new training really aggravated her asthma and she fainted again. Her teammates seem scared for her, but I wouldn't be surprised if she is targeted for elimination soon. The big boys have to be tired of carrying her through the challenges, and I know that Ada has no sympathy for weakness.

The Blue Team did better. They worked together as a more coherent team, mostly because the strong players aren't as strong and the weak players aren't as weak. They did much better in the challenge this week even before Elizabeth passed out. Once that happened, of course, the Black Team was out of the running.

When Bob and Jillian got the contestants back, they made up for lost time by putting the contestants through the wringer.  They couldn't have worried that the workouts weren't intense enough with the Marines, but they had to be worried about the food and the lack of sleep.  Their fears were realized, too. The weigh-ins this week were terrible, and a couple of players had gained weight.  Frado, who had been a Marine before, was apparently better at eating quickly in the cafeteria, since he had the biggest gain.  Jesse had also expressed, though, that because he knew he would have a hard day ahead of him, he went for high-calorie foods when making choices in the cafeteria.


Not surprisingly, the Black Team lost the weigh-in, and the obvious choice was between Anna and Elizabeth. I think they decided to send Anna home not because she was the one who seemed to make the least effort or because she could do better at home. I think they never really developed a relationship with her because she came on the show late. She also had enough to lose to be a threat, which was not the case for Elizabeth.  No worries, though, because when she got home, she seemed to do much better than she did on the show. She looks good and has a handsome son at home who seems to be supporting her efforts to win the at-home prize.


I think I will like the show better when the Black and Blue Team section is over and people are on their own again. The alliances on the Black Team are getting tiresome. 

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Weigh-in report: Another small loss

I weighed in yesterday at another 0.6 pounds down. Still not back down as low as I was 4 weeks ago, but not bad considering I traveled last week and had not counted points.

It is hard to get back in the tracking/counting groove if you let yourself get out of it. I still have to go back and track for the whole day today. I was doing really well for a while.

I'm still getting used to the way I look since the bra fitting. The sensation of having a bra tightl against my ribcage is weird, but I do like the new look. I feel like it changed the way I saw myself.  I have a small ribcage.  I wore the same band size as someone I consider small. I get so used to thinking of myself as huge.

I'm sleepy tonight, so I will get to "The Biggest Loser" tomorrow or Friday. It wasn't that great of an episode to me. 
"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