Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Preparation for Bikini Season

I want to lose 8 pounds before we leave for Paris (and Nice and the Greek Islands). Of course there are better indicators of health and wellness than pounds, like your energy levels and general contentment and muscle tone and how your clothes feel, but I know my body and know that it is most healthy and well when it is 8 pounds lighter.

My amazing mom has recently joined Weight Watchers and has already lost 13 pounds (go, Mom!). She has remarkable amounts of will power (which did not necessarily get passed down to me). I like to eat. I really like to eat. Like this past weekend, I made ice-cream sandwiches out of homemade chocolate-chip cookies and vanilla ice-cream. I think I single-handedly ate at least 7 of them. And they were big. I also ate a lot of goat cheese spread (with garlic, olive oil, fresh rosemary, and pita chips). And then there were the brownies and the little lemon cakes at the picnic I went to...

Like I've said in the past, I'm not a big fan of diets. To me, diets imply a state of temporariness. Diets feel like, "I'll work really hard to resist temptation and lose weight." When the ideal weight has been achieved, it's tempting to go back to one's old ways and put the weight right back on.

Instead, a good "diet" is really a lifestyle change. You change your eating habits, lose weight while doing it, and continue with the habits once your idea weight is attained in order to maintain it.

Easy said than done, of course.

I like the Weight Watchers approach because it follows a simple premise: in order to lose weight and keep it off, you need to eat fewer calories than you expend. It also retrains your brain to have a more realistic understanding of portion size. (Just for the record, Weight Watches is not paying me to sing their praises...)

I went to the Weight Watchers site and got a lot of recipes for this week:
  1. Baked Falafel Sandwiches
  2. Bean Burritos
  3. Chickpea and Brown Rice Veggie Burgers with Cucumber Salsa
  4. Bowtie Past with Wild Mushrooms
  5. Feta, Tomato, and Spinach Pizza
For breakfast, I'm going to stick with my smoothie made of 1 cup vanilla yogurt, half a banana, and ice. For lunch, I'm going to eat veggie burgers, Amy's burritos, or leftovers. For snacks, I'm thinking carrots, applesauce, cheese sticks, or cottage cheese. I'll indulge in a big dinner on Saturday when I'm in New York.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not thinking, "I'm going to lose weight before my honeymoon and then gorge myself for two weeks straight." I'm really trying to change my lifestyle, and I'm merely using my impending honeymoon as a little extrinsic motivation.

P.S. If you want more insight into the recipes I try, consider joining the 2000 Dollar Wedding Facebook group. I update it much more frequently.


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18 comments:

The Thirty-Something Bride said...

I used Weight Watchers to lose 18 pounds nine years ago. It taught me portion control and more importantly, it taught me how to treat food - when and where and how to indulge. It's taken me and a few pounds up and down in those nine years to finally get it right. I treat junk food for what it is: junk. I simply don't eat it. Indulging is a lean bison burger with local farm cheese, not McDonald's. It's a milkshake made from homemade ice cream, not a Wendy's Frosty. The less I eat bad stuff, the more I appreciate the good stuff and the less I crave total crap. My point is that I agree with you. It's not about a diet, but how to retrain yourself to feel your best, both inside and out! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Lost 72 pounds with WW, maintained for almost a year now.

I heart WW and it's real life approach to a healthier you!

Good luck!

fantastic recipes, ideas, and motivation from a real WW leader:
http://thewwchick.blogspot.com/

Alaina said...

You should check out sparkpeople.com if you haven't already. It's a great free resource for losing weight and maintaing you lifestyle change.

Catfish said...

I love Weight Watchers but need to re-dedicate myself. It's great not only to help reduce portion sizes, but also to help you think more deeply about the components of a healthy meal -- you can eat more if you're eating veggies and whole grains than if you're eating refined carbs and processed foods. Now, I just need to get motivated to exercise when it's 99 degrees outside ...

Marissa C. said...

Good for you! I'm struggling with the same thing right now. My biggest problem is that buying healthy food is so much more pricey than stuff that's bad for you! Which is a problem on my poor-college-student budget. I'm still looking for a way around that, but I'll be rooting for ya!

Kathleen said...

I just joined Weight Watchers last week... I'm nervous because i LOVE cake, and ice cream, and all that stuff that one of the above posters rightfully acknowledges as junk. for me it's an emotional thing. I've been heavy for forever, and even though I've hated it for so long - I'm kicking it into high gear. I want to be a knockout on my wedding day and beyond. My fiance loves me for who I am, but it's me that I'm unhappy with. You, my friend, Kick A$$! :)

Amy Jo said...

Tomorrow will be my 2nd week on WW and I am loving it! As of this morning I am down 7 pounds. That's right....7 lbs in just 2 weeks!
As they say...it is not a diet, but a lifestyle change. I wish you the best of luck!

Hanna said...

Good luck to you!! I'm also trying to lose a tiny bit—my wedding dress (which I bought on ebay) has always been on the tight side, and I want to be comfortable on that day.

Are there any little things that you can cut out? My colleague did WW, and she cut Coke from her regular diet, and that was worth at least 10 pounds over the course of her weight loss!

Another good idea for the long term is seeing about becoming part of a CSA (community supported agriculture). http://www.localharvest.org/ is a good resource for finding one locally. They are all different, but you pay a certain amount upfront to get a share of fresh vegetables, fruit, etc. (depending on what kind of CSA it is) on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. This can be a really great way to get a LOT of healthy, interesting food for a very affordable amount of money. Usually, you just get whatever the farm has that week, so it can be an exciting challenge to learn to eat new or different vegetables. All while supporting local farming!

Krista said...

good luck! it's hard to make a lifestyle change but it sounds like you are ready for the commitment, but don't give up those delicious sounding ice cream sandwiches completely!! they just sound too good :)

Becca said...

Weight Watchers is the most sensible approach to eating/lifestyle change I've found. However, in the last few months my life has gotten seriously out of balance and I fell right off the healthy eating wagon. I've been trying to get up the motivation to return to meetings and re-address my food issues, so thanks for a little extrinsic motivation this morning. Positive examples/peer pressure are always helpful reinforcement for my internal goals.

Off to search the WW site for those recipes now... mmm...

Melisande said...

I've been on Weight Watchers for about 6 weeks now and have lost 7 pounds. It's been a lifesaver, because I truly think that I've been successful in changing my eating habits (and those of my fiance!)

And to Marissa, while healthier food can be more expensive initially, I've found that its actually cheaper in the long run. Buy a freezer full of chicken when its .99/lb and you've got dinners for weeks.

Marina said...

Ditto Alaina on Sparkpeople.com--they have a lot of good resources for exactly what you were saying about "lifestyle change" rather than dieting. I've been finding that just using their nutrition tracker helps me eat way better. It both helps me plan meals in advance ("Hm, I've already eaten 1000 calories today and a lot of those were from protein and fat, I should have spaghetti for dinner") and keeps me from filling up on the stuff that's yummy but not so healthy in large doses. Knowing that 1oz of goat cheese is the equivalent of what, something like a third of a meal? reminds me to have enough to enjoy the taste but not to fill up on it.

Molly Jean said...

i don't do weight watchers, but their ice cream sandwiches (in the freezer section of my grocery stores) are AMAZING & huge!

the Lady said...

Hm, sounds like you over-indulge sometimes. Not necessarily a bad thing (unless it's junk food and it's all the time) but perhaps you are not compensating for it later.

My favorite diet/lifestyle book is Frenchwomen Don't Get Fat. It's been criticized (what hasn't) because it's not scientific, but the concepts really work for me.

If you eat too much one day, or eat too much desert one meal, you pass on other things the next time. Especially like a previous commenter said - cutting things out of your diet that you don't need or aren't attached to. For me it's bread. I cut way back on bread a few years ago. And if I overeat one day, I listen to my body and am able to honor its need for less food the next day, and will simply eat less. And of course, adding in cardiovascular exercise will do wonders for you.

I haven't been able to jog for the past 2 years (and that's what I did for exercise the for over a decade) nor have I been able to go to a gym, so unfortunately I am exercise-free at the moment. But by paying attention to portion, content, and frequency, I have maintained a healthy weight level over the past two years, and I think only anorexics would call me overweight!

Oh, and I was emotionally ready to finally cut sugar completely out of my diet about 9 months ago, and I have had great overall success with that. All that excess sugar = fat. So that's helped a lot. If you can reduce or remove your sugar intake you'll probably find areas on your body slimming down.

Good luck!

MsTeacherLady said...

Bravo to you for focusing on a healthy lifestyle rather than weight loss diet. One thing that I just discovered (probably everyone else in the world knew about it, but sometimes I'm a little behind...) was the calorie tracker on My Plate through livestrong.com. I've been inputting everything I eat, and it's really helped me be honest with myself about what I consume. I tend to make excuses for my eating--I have a headache; ergo, I can eat a bowl of ice cream when I get home from work--which I haven't wanted to do since I've been keeping track of everything. I actually feel accountable to myself about my food, which I never have before. Also, I'm pretty ignorant about what has cholesterol, sodium, fat, etc, so it's helped me understand that too. I highly recommend it.

christina said...

great post. absolutely agree about lifestyle change vs. diet. been thinking about ww as well, thanks for the heads up on the recipes...

Shatkicky said...

I think you'd love chickpea salad! It's cheap & healthy with mostly fresh ingredients.
http://www.sheknows.com/recipes/recipe/special-chana-chaat-1

You can add more fresh ingredients (I've added roasted peppers to this recipe) and it's soooo good!

Katie said...

have you heard about Dr. Beck's Diet Solution? It's about about how to retrain your thoughts about food and your behavors. It's pretty cool - because it doesn't tell you what to eat - it retrains you how to think in regards to dieting - to promote success. I really like it - it's a good book - because I think most diets work - but it's about whether or not you can stick to it and this book gives some great tools to do exactly that. :)

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