Seven-Month Assessment

When I made a pledge last July that I was committed to doing this for the rest of my life, I think God decided to test my determination. Despite logging every bite and staying within my calories and points the majority of days, I have gone up and down the same 2-3 pounds for FOUR months! I’ve also gotten into walking more regularly.

I’m to the point of wondering how few calories per day my body needs!

So now I’ve been going over my intake and seeing where I may be under-logging what I eat.

First, I was counting my daily coffee as two points. When I actually measured everything to be certain I found it was 4 points instead of two.

Second, I have not been counting my daily gummies – Goli Apple Cider Vinegar gummies and Elderberry gummies. I then measured/counted those, and they’re FIVE points a day.

Thus I was under-logging 7 points a day. A good example of the need to be meticulous in counting points.

My goal now is find Elderberry and ACV in capsule form in order to save those points. I’ve already cut the creamer and sweetener for my coffee in half – and I’m actually still enjoying it not quite as sweet and creamy.

My other concern is to decide if I want to continue with Weight Watchers or with Noom. They both have their pluses and minuses. I lean towards Noom because it counts calories which is a little more realistic, in some ways, than Weight Watchers. Sometimes the number of points that WW assigns to treats seems punitive. For example, when I had a couple scoops of ice cream with my mother a few months ago, it was 40-something points. Even using weekly points, that was a treat that blew a whole week’s worth of work, points-wise, out of the water. There’s something to be said for not assigning “good” or “bad” to specific foods. Calorie counting seems to be a less judgmental way to eat.

So I will discontinue either WW or Zoom when my initial subscriptions end.

2020 Progress Report

2020 is at an end, and for me (physically speaking), it has been pretty good.

15.8 pounds lost in 2020

I am actually looking forward to what 2021’s final graphic (like the one above) will be.

Pluses for the year: weight loss, walking 2+ miles regularly, ups and downs for emotional health because of Covid, but overall, I’m in a better place both physically and emotionally.

I have established some healthy routines during 2020. I eat a mostly healthy diet without totally foregoing treats. I have a bedtime routine that helps me sleep better – I drink a cup of herbal tea late in the evening and go to bed earlier than before (still late, though). I’ve stuck with a skin care routine for several months now. In the past I’ve taken my good skin inheritance for granted. However, at 71, even great genes can’t keep away the wrinkles and dark spots forever.

I read something (don’t know where or what) about putting oneself first, which is hard for me. I’m accustomed to taking care of chores and responsibilities before doing what I know is healthy for me – like walking at the park. Now I do my walking first. Then I handle other responsibilities. That’s a definite plus. It’s important to making self-care a priority.

I also talked with my doctor in April and got a prescription for an anti-depressant. I had taken one years ago and saw no difference at all. So I stopped taking it, and I saw no difference when then either. I went about 15 years without anything. However, I now realize that I probably would have been helped if I’d requested a different anti-depressant all those years ago because I can feel a change with this one. Nothing major because I don’t need anything major. However I’m able to function in a better state of mind as opposed to a stressed state of mind.

So here’s to 2021 – may we see Covid become no big deal (ha ha!), the USA be led by the person who legitimately won (whoever that might be), may travel be safe and easily accomplished again, and may we all be healthy and grateful for our innumerable blessings.

Natural and Whole foods – Looking ahead to lifelong habits

One of my challenges in losing weight is battling my tendencies to get more food for each point in the Weight Watchers food plan. Those zero-point foods become more attractive, and that’s the way WW intended it to be. If we focus on lean proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables, we will become healthier and lose weight.

However, a problem arises when we start manipulating foods with artificial flavorings and sweeteners in order to stretch out those WW points. When we start doing that, we aren’t learning to be satisfied with smaller portions, and we aren’t learning to rely on whole, natural foods.

17 Best images about Fresh & Healthy Food on Pinterest ...

A few days ago I bought a diet lemonade (sweetened with Splenda) from Chick Fil A. Within a little while I had a headache. I’ve noticed that several times recently – a headache and usually stomach upset not long after drinking or eating something with artificial sweeteners. Yesterday I made a dozen muffins using a sugar-free cake mix as the base. “Sugar-free” typically means “sweetened with artificial sweetener,” and that was the case with these muffins. I ate one of the muffins for lunch, and all afternoon I’ve had digestive issues as a result. The rest of the muffins are going in the trash.

When I consider the fact that I started this WW health, fitness, and mindfulness journey in order to become healthier, then I don’t want to eat or drink anything that doesn’t foster that. Every now and then, I will still enjoy a Diet Coke. However, rather than a multiple-times-a-day thing, it is now something I consume maybe two or three times a month.  And that is okay for now. I may cut them out entirely at some point.

Cartoon thinking man with question mark in think bubble ...

My mother is 97 years old, and one of the reasons (I believe) that she has led such a long and mostly healthy life is that she sticks to healthy food: lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grain bread. She almost never eats pork, and she has lots of meatless meals.

No major insight for this post – just a reminder to myself of the importance of natural, whole foods. That will continue to be one of my focuses for my daily life.

Weekly Weigh-In – 11/13/2020

It’s Friday which means it is weigh-in day. When I suddenly gained approximately 5 pounds a little under two weeks ago, I assumed (incorrectly) that it was just a temporary water gain. However, I still have another pound to lose to get to my low weight of exactly two weeks ago.

However, I am committed to sticking with WW for life. So this is just a little bump on the road. When I started this journey in July, I would have been thrilled to weigh what I do right now.

Short term goal is to get to -15 lbs. Then it will be 5-pound increments for my goals. I’m particularly excited to reach -25 because that will be the lowest I’ve been since around 2005.

Review: Lakanto Drinking Chocolate

I saw an ad online for Lakanto Drinking Chocolate. Since I like the Lakanto Monkfruit sweetener, I decided to give it a try. I found it on Amazon and ordered a package. It was delivered this morning. Instead of brewing a cup of herbal tea, I decided to try the drinking chocolate. I made it using boiling water. Made with water, it is 0 points (WW Blue). It is sweet and chocolatey. Too sweet, actually. So I poured it out and decided to try it with unsweetened almond milk instead.

I heated a cup of unsweetened almond milk (1 point per cup – WW Blue) and it was much better. Still super-sweet, though.

I give Lakanto Drinking Chocolate 6 out of 10 stars. It’s good – a little too sweet for me, though. However, for those times I want something chocolatey and sweet, it might just hit the spot.

Now I’m trying to decide if I want to finish my cup of drinking chocolate made with almond milk or brew a cup of herbal tea.

October Totals

Total weight loss since I began on 7/19/2020 – 14.2 lbs. October was a good month for weight loss. That is interesting because it FEELS like I backslid somewhat during October. The initial enthusiasm I had started to wane. It was a “commitment versus motivation” time.

I will begin November with renewed commitment.

Weekly Weigh-In – October 30, 2020

It was a good week. I went WAY over my weekly points but it was mostly from two splurges. The rest of the week I stuck to the plan fairly well.

I’m still not moving as much as I’d like – and still not drinking enough water.

This week was good for catching up on medical appointments. I had a telehealth appointment to go over the blood test results from last week. Two things: A1C results were elevated. I need to cut out sugar. Uric Acid level was elevated (thus my two gout episodes). The doctor changed my BP meds to eliminate a diuretic that can cause higher uric acid levels. I added a magnesium supplement to my daily meds too. However other numbers were much improved – cholesterol and LDL and HDL.

I also had my yearly skin scan – and the doctor found ZERO concerns amongst all my moles and spots!

And finally I had my yearly mammogram. I don’t have the results of that yet, but it seemed evident that the technician didn’t see anything of concern.

It wasn’t a great week for weight loss, but it was a good week. I feel happy that I took care of medical appointments and those appointments ended up with mostly good reports.