Facing the Scale: Week Five

I knew I had to have a good week leading up to the weekend of my mother’s wedding because I had already decided that I was not going to stress about food at the rehearsal dinner, wedding morning brunch, and at the wedding itself.  After my very low loss last week that I thought was because of dear old aunt flo’s imminent arrival (it wasn’t so I have no explanation except that my body needed a weight loss break)….I focused hard and when I stepped on the scale at JC I was down a whopping 5.4 pounds from the previous week.  Aha!  I did it -insert huge sigh of relief right here-  I kind of smirked a bit when I saw that number there and I think it’s because I feel like my JC consultant didn’t believe me last week when I said that I followed the diet exactly as I had the previous week and that this is just the ebb and flo of weight loss for me.  I knew that my body would make up for its low loss this week and boy oh boy it was like my body was smacking my JC consultant in the face while screaming “don’t ever doubt me again you hear me?!?!?”

I was faced with a lot of food challenges this weekend and I have to say I didn’t do too fantastic so I’m going to be eternally grateful to the gods of weight loss if they just allow me to maintain my weight loss this week.  I didn’t do anything too horrendous but I know I didn’t even come close to following my Jenny plan for a period of about 36 hours and I’m willing to work extra hard over the next couple of days to try to keep the weight loss from those heavenly awful calories I ingested over the weekend.  The one thing I did learn this weekend was that I suddenly have a full alarm in my body…..I don’t remember a time where I ate and said omg I can’t take another bite – I mean we’re always supposed to finish what’s on our plates right?  I have a distinct memory of friday nights dinner with family at the restaurant where I said ok this is it, I’m done….excuse me waitress but can you take this away because if you don’t I’m going to eat it because food and I are madly in love and have been so since oh about 1992.

At my mom’s wedding this past weekend I came into contact with a lot of family that I had not seen in some time and not one of them were able to see or compliment me on my weight loss so that must mean that the 24 pounds that I’ve lost in the past 5 weeks are not showing yet…..it’s ok, I know I have a lot to lose and it will show when its time…..maybe it will be at a time when I really need someone to say “OMG you look amazing”….because let’s face it people just never tell me that I look amazing – they mostly say I have a pretty face which I know is code language for what they want to say “omg you are soooooo fat, if you just lost some weight you’d probably look a million times better”  I’ve become so use to hearing that phrase “you have such a pretty face” and quite frankly I wish people would stop with the bullcrap and realize that I can read right through it – I didn’t get fat overnight you know….I’ve been walking around in this body for a lot of years and I’m really really good at telling when I’m being judged by someone because of my weight.  The truth of the matter is that I am NOT just a pretty face – I am so much more than that and I hate being buried behind the stereotypical assumptions that I’m lazy and unmotivated because I am overweight – I may be a food addict but I am still a human being so stop with the crap and let’s get real ok?

So I’m half way into week six and I’m finding that today is a re-committing of sorts….you know after the food fest of the wedding celebration.  I can already tell it’s not going to be easy to ever fall off track and get back on the band wagon again….I’ve got a headache and I’m feeling tired today which is probably the result of too many carbs (mmmmmm) over the weekend and not enough water, so I am chugging it back today and choosing foods by JC that are lower in carbohydrates to that I can detox my body! I am hoping for a week of maintenance this week….please!!!!!!!  Pretty please?

Allergic Living

To Our Family & Friends:
As you may or may not know our daughter Violet has been diagnosed with a severe anaphylactic allergy to peanuts and all tree nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, butter nuts, pistachio nuts, shea nuts, etc.)  and our family is no longer eating peanuts/tree nuts at all. We wish that things about these allergies were simple and straight forward but unfortunately they are not and this is due to a variety of reasons. We are going through a process of learning about living with these allergies so that we can help teach and educate Violet as she grows older and is able to take more independent action towards her allergies.  We have decided to share some of what we have learned through Violets pediatric allergist and through the Allergic Living and Anaphylaxis Canada communities. We hope that by sharing our new rules on what our family eats and why we are taking these precautions, we can avoid any confusion or hurt feelings when we stand our ground on what we feel is important in taking care of Violet.

Staying away from nuts is sometimes difficult, but not impossible….It is simply a matter of teaching ourselves the art of reading labels.   It is necessary to read all labels looking for nuts or peanuts in the list of ingredients and to check to see if the label indicates that there may be traces of peanuts or nuts in the product, or that it was processed in a facility with nuts or peanuts. If there are nuts, peanuts or traces of nuts or peanuts in the product or if it was processed in a facility with nuts or peanuts we do not purchase the product or serve such products to Violet. If an item does not have a list of ingredients (such as items purchased in a bakery) we don’t buy it or serve it to Violet, even if the vendor says that the item does not have nuts in it (there is always a chance that the product contains peanut oil or may have been cross contaminated with tongs, knives, bulk food scoops, etc.) We have to be very careful because tiny amounts of peanuts/tree nuts (some literature suggest up to 1/1000th of a peanut) can cause a reaction in a peanut/tree nut allergic person and as little as 1/10th of a peanut/tree nut could cause a fatal allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). For now we are very rarely having Violet eat restaurant food, we know that we will have to figure out how to do manage restaurants eventually but for now it is just easier to bring our own food for her or to eat at home.

Although both of us do not have allergies to nuts or peanuts we have decided to make our house a nut-free environment and there are a few reasons for these changes. Obviously Violet’s safety is our top priority and we are more than happy to make a few changes for her. It has been suggested that we are being overly cautious and that we could eat products with nuts or traces of nuts in the house after she goes to bed or when she is not around. We choose not to do this because we feel that having foods in the house that Violet cannot eat poses too much of a risk to her. If the wrong foods fall into those grabby little hands (it’s only a matter of time until she can open the fridge and disarm the child-safety locks), or if a sitter or family member assumes that all of the foods in our house are safe for her while in reality some are not there could be harmful life threatening consequences. We have asked the allergist about this issue and her answer to us was that the risks are too great and that Violet’s health is far more important than us eating treats or Jacob eating a peanut butter sandwich and that we should eliminate ALL foods containing nuts/peanuts or traces of nuts/peanuts from our home….we feel she is absolutely right. We ask that you please do not bring food with peanuts/tree nuts, traces of peanuts/nuts, or food without ingredient labels into our home so that we can keep our house as nut free and safe for Violet as possible.

Because we come to visit at some of your homes we are asking if you will please take some minor precautions on your end as well. We understand that you do not live in nut-free homes and we don’t expect you to get rid of all of your nut products because of us, but we hope that you can please respect our wishes and follow some simple guidelines that will help us keep Violet out of danger. Before we arrive it would be nice if nuts and nut products (nut butters, etc), could be stored out of Violet’s reach and not used while we are visiting. If there is an area where you sit and eat nut products or prepare foods with nut products in them often it would be helpful if that area was cleaned (surfaces wiped down with cleaner, place mats washed or removed, etc.) During the visit we would greatly appreciate it if no nuts or peanuts are served and if items that have traces of peanuts/nuts or items that have been processed in a facility with nuts and peanuts are not served (or we are at least warned about them so that we will not serve them to Violet). Also, products that may have been cross contaminated in your home (jam that has had a peanut butter knife dipped into it for example) should be off-limits. If you have eaten a product that contains peanuts/nuts or traces of peanuts/nuts it would be helpful if you washed your hands and mouth before touching or kissing Violet to avoid skin irritation or accidental ingestion.

There are some foods that typically contain nuts, peanuts, or traces of nuts or peanuts such as chocolates, baked goods, ice cream, granola bars, cereals, pesto, Asian foods, cake mixes, carrot cake, fruit cake, etc. Nuts can also be found in strange places such as chilli, salad dressings, barbecue sauces and other condiments, gravy thickeners, etc. The presence is much more widespread than one would think due to the use of peanut oil in foods from deep-fried foods to ice cream. It is because of this that it is important to read all labels and not take unnecessary risks. We ask that if we are coming to your house for a celebration or birthday party that you do not take offense if we bring our own food/cake for Violet – it is not that we feel you are a bad cook but just that it calms our anxiety to be 100% certain of what Violet is eating.

Over the next little while we will spend some time with the people we are likely to visit and teach you all the proper use for Violet’s epi-pen (epinephrine auto injector) so that should an emergency occur when we are not present you all will have the knowledge and skills necessary to help save little Violet’s life from this frightening allergy.  We will also spend some time educating you on the signs you might see if Violet begins having a reaction to peanuts/tree nuts due to accidental ingestion.

We understand that these guidelines may seem extreme and hard to follow but we hope that you will understand that Violet’s safety is very important to us and that we have to put her wellbeing first. As the years go on things will get easier but at this stage of life where Violet grabs at things indiscriminately, puts hear hands in her mouth, eats things that she finds on the floor, and cannot tell us if she feels like she may be having a reaction we think that it is best to be extra careful. Hopefully we can work together to keep our little one safe and healthy. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask us.

With Love,

Michael & Melissa

Facing the Scale: Week Four

I am doing my best not to get stressed out when I see very little change in the scale.  This week at my weigh in I lost a mere 0.6 pounds and I’ve constantly been telling myself that is 0.6 pounds in the right direction, 0.6 pounds that I no longer have to carry around, and a hundred good things I’ve done for myself in the past week.  In the past I’ve often been discouraged by low numbers in weight loss and discouraged when I see very little movement on the scale but this time I’m reminding myself that it’s not about the numbers but rather the entire overall changes I’m making in my life!  I mean come on folks….I haven’t eaten fast food in a month now….and putting that in perspective for a minute makes me say out loud – Ummm hello Melissa you didn’t get fat eating too much broccoli!!  It was too much snacking and visits to the take out menus. It feels good to say that you know…..I haven’t eaten at any kind of fast food restaurant in a MONTH…not even one slice of pizza has touched my lips even though I’ve desired to enjoy a nice slice of pizza at least once a week, every week!

I’m pretty sure now is the time that I have to start getting more active to boost the weight loss.  My first 18.6 pounds off were a gift from the weight loss gods and now it’s time for me to put more hard work and effort in.  I’ve got to really figure out what “being active” means to me because let’s face it I’m not exactly in the best shape and I’d like to prevent myself from going into cardiac arrest while sweating my booty off to the oldies….cus you know, it’s not like I have an entire team of biggest loser doctors and specialists waiting in the wings just in case I start vomiting and collapse from my body going OMG what the hell are you doing to me – epic fail.  I’m not allowing myself to make excuses but I’ve been working a lot and it’s going to be hard to figure out how to slip in some workouts, walks, jumps, super ninja spy moves, and other active like activities….I need to figure out a plan that works for me, for my family, and for my job.  I really badly super ache to have a gym membership at the local Good Life where I can go to work out before/after work and on my days off but the difficulty is that I lack child care and I’m already feeling like we’re exhausting my mother in law with my work schedule and her generous/wonderful/sometimes I dont’ know how she does it childcare…..in the evenings and on the weekends I could ask my mom to watch the kids so Mike and I could go together, but that doesn’t really help out with the times I would need to go before work.  It’s all a balancing act I think and I’ve got to spend some time just figuring it out – it’s really important to me, my life, my ability to lose weight, my desire to live…..truly live – so I’m sure I’ll figure something out at some point.

I have found myself feeling guilt and shame this week for only losing 0.6 pounds this week – was it the time I ate out at the restaurant with the family?  Was it the time I added chilli sauce to my veggies (it’s supposed to be a freebie on JC but maybe not?)…and I’m realizing I can’t try to find reasons why things are my fault – this is the ebb and flow of weight loss and if I’m in this for the long run I better start being ok with 0.6 pounds or 0 pounds or even a 1 pound gain when it happens – and it just might, because we humans are not perfect beings no matter how much we might try to be.

So what happens now?  Well, I move forward continuing to break the bank with my JC purchases because it’s working and so long as it is working I will continue to pay for the food if it means I can live and live healthily.  I know that eventually I will move to doing some meals on my own but I’m hoping that wont’ happen until I’m 100 pounds down…I’m willing to beg, borrow, sell my husband (joke), whatever I have to do to make it happen!  100 pounds…..wow seems so far away but as my co-worker put it….I’m almost 20 pounds down now and that is 1/5th of the way to my 100 pounds.  After that I still have a lot more to lose but 100 pounds feels like a good starting point…it seems possible when before it seemed really impossible…..I am only 5 pounds away from being the weight I was before I had Violet and before I started dealing with a touch of post partum depression (didn’t have it with Jacob but gosh it was awful with Violet).  5 pounds and I’m there……and then after that my next goal is to be the weight I was before I had Jacob which is 15-20 pounds more….I can do it, I know I can.

Weight Loss Cheerleaders 101

I am inspired to write this post after reading one of the articles that someone posted over at the Jenny Craig website because it really got me thinking about all of the negative ways other people have tried to “support” me in my weight loss over the years.  I think when someone undertakes the idea of weight loss for themselves it is a pretty personal and sensitive journey for them no matter how much weight they have to lose.   Over the years I’ve often scoffed at people who were complaining about being “fat” and “overweight” when they needed to just lose ten pounds because I wrongly assumed that they were being superficial and self indulgent but what I’m coming to see is that regardless of how much you weigh, if you are overweight and feel you need to lose weight it is likely that you are not feeling very good about yourself….there are not too many people who wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and remark “i’m so fat and i’m so happy to be so fat”.  We are all individuals and every one of our journeys is going to be different and as always what works for one person is not always likely to work for another and so perhaps our friends and families have done or said things to us along the way that they thought was supportive but instead it turned out to be hindering, frustrating, or hurtful.

We all (for the  most part) love our family and friends and we know/hope that they want all the good things in life for us including a heatlhy fit lifestyle so I think its important that when you start out in your weight loss efforts you spend some time laying down the ground work…..a weight loss cheerleader code of ethics so to speak….because we all need cheerleaders in our corners, we just need cheerleaders that are right for who we are.  If you have someone in your life that is overweight, obese, morbidly obese….have you sat down and thought about your approach with them?  Have you ever watched people try, fail, try, and fail again at a diet program only to gain back what little weight they did lose plus more?  What was your approach with them when they failed?  Did you encourage them to pick up from before the struggle and continue with the diet or did you discourage them, nag them, berate them in some way – maybe you didn’t know that you did….but you likely did.  I am not writing this post today to tell you the magical answers for what will work for you during your weight loss but I am writing this blog post to help my own friends and family  understand me, my needs during my weight loss journey, and hopefully they’ll all know that they’re on my team and I want them on my team in the most helpful and non-discouraging ways possible.

Here’s how you can be a Cheerleader for Mama Melissa:

Don’t highlight, point out, emphasize my struggles/failures (and there are bound to be some along the way) but rather celebrate my successes with  me in any small way that you can.

It’s always great to hear news that someone can notice me getting smaller so please point it out when you have one of those “wow I can really tell Melissa is losing weight” moments.

When I do slip up (like I said, there will be moments of weakness) please do not embarass me, make a comment, berate me, attack me or even question my choice – you can be guaranteed that I already thought out the decision and that I will have enough of my own guilt for the slip up to handle the situation.  Instead if I’m talking about the slip up you can encourage me by reminding me that it is just one moment and I can just continue as normal with my diet plan.

Do not offer me snacks that are not good for me!  You know what I’m talking about:  chips, chocolate, pie, cake, junk, junk, junk….I’m a food addict and if I was a drug addict you would not be offering me crack, cocaine, meth, heroin….would you?  No!  So, stop it!  I’m getting better at saying no….also on that note, if I say no – I mean no!  Please dont’ ask me if I’m sure….I said no!!

Invite me to go on walks with you…I’d love to have company and sometimes just one invite is just the encouragement I need to keep moving!

I think these are all a good place to start!  Join me, help me, encourage me!!

Please be my cheerleader!?

100 Days of Weight Loss

I am so excited to get this book in the mail this week because I have heard nothing but great things about it from so many people over on the Jenny Craig website!  I asked Mike if we could pick it up and he agreed of course but when we checked out Chapters we learned it was not carried in regular stock and we’d have to order it so today Mike ordered it for me and I can barely wait for it to get to our doorstep!  I’m looking forward to reading it and getting some good motivation to help along the way with this weight loss journey of mine.

I am still sailing along so far although a slight pinched nerve in my back today has kept me pretty much immobile so I’m hoping to do some housework tonight, go outside with the kids and move as much as I can to stop myself from any water retention that would come with immobility.  This morning I had the JC French Toast for breakfast and I have to say that I was a major skeptic about this one but it actually tasted pretty good!  It had blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries with it and I added the JC lite syrup and it was just yummy!  I am learning to avoid the JC foods that dont’ settle well in my stomach (JC Southwestern Chicken, Rice, and Beans…blah) and choosing to have some of the things that I love when I can (turkey burger, chicken fajita’s, meatball sandwich, chicken carbonara).

This week I have been faced with my first moments of weakness or rather times where I felt like I wanted/needed/just had to eat something that I was not supposed to eat and after I tried everything to avoid it on my own (like eating freebie foods, drinking water, getting busy) I decided to simply go to bed and let me tell you I went to bed at 7pm and slept until 7 pm the next day!  12 hours of sleep!  I think I had just worked so much in the week prior that it finally caught up with me and my body wasn’t really hungry it was just in need of some rest…..thankfully our daughter goes to bed at 630 pm every night and Mike was good as gravy to deal with Jacob and let me sleep!  I know that these big changes have been an absolute shock to my body (dieting, trying to move more, no caffeine) but I am pushing through the difficult times so far and trying to keep my day-to-day goal in brilliant perspective.

I’m thinking that when my book shows up I might start doing a 100 Days of Weight Loss Blogging as I work through the book….I haven’t decided yet but it could be interesting and helpful to my journey….we’ll see.

Facing the Scale: Week 3

I’m sorry things have been quiet on the blog front but last week I worked a horrendously busy work week.  I feel like week three has come and gone so fast which I’m pretty sure is because I am finally starting to stop thinking about food all the time.  I’m sure that sounds like a pretty crazy thought but it’s the blatant truth….I’ve spent the first three weeks adjusting and conforming to the plan that Jenny Craig has laid out for me and truth be told it’s going pretty fantastically.  As I suspected my weight loss is slowly creeping down because I only lost 3.4 pounds this week – I know, I know, it’s A LOT of weight to lose in one week but I was just reacting to the bigger numbers from the previous two weeks.  I know that eventually my body is going to settle into a rhythm of losing 1-2 pounds a week and you know because I’m human and a woman who has pms I might find myself having weeks where I don’t lose anything or even have a slight gain but this is about making changes that will last forever…not just for today and as long as I’m eating right and moving and drinking plenty of water I know it’s just my body taking a break from the weight loss and it will eventually kick start again – this is the cycle of weight loss and usually the reason that people give up and stop working so hard.  I’ve been trying to tell myself that this change is not about the number that pops up on the scale but rather about the over all picture – a healthy energetic Mama Melissa.

My three week weight loss has a grand total of 18 pounds down….that is remarkable to me.  Can you think of things that weigh 18 pounds?  Violet weighs about 20 pounds at 15 months old….so if I make it to 20 pounds down next week, I will have the lost the weight of VIOLET!  Can you believe it?  Think about 2 bags of potatoes!!  That’s the amount of weight I’ve dropped from my body – two freaking bags of potatoes!  I can barely carry one when we’re grocery shopping!!  I can’t imagine what it’s going to feel like when I hit 30 pounds down, 40 pounds, 50 pounds, etc.  I don’t know how much weight I want to lose because there is just too much weight that would need to come off in order for me to be in the target weight for my height but I do know that I’d like to just be a more healthy person overall – I need to live a long enjoyable life with MIke and my children because they are three very perfect people for me.  I know that things will try and steer me in the wrong direction from time to time like the cost of the Jenny Craig food which is probably my biggest concern right now but if it boils down to it I will do what I can by cutting costs elsewhere in our lives…but if push comes to shove I will sell things to pay for the program….it works for me – its right for me.

There are a few obstacles I’m faced with in the next coming weeks that I’m going to have to try and figure out how to get around….first is my brother’s birthday this coming Tuesday which is going to be at a restaurant….I think I’m going to conquer this problem by eating my jenny dinner before we leave, ordering a side salad and water wherever we go and then focus on feeding Violet so that I’m not distracted by the food all around me.  The other thing coming up soon is my mother’s wedding and while I’m not sure of the menu, I’m sure I’ll be able to figure out how to manage….if my memory serves me right I seem to remember chicken and salad in the description from my mother so I think I can handle those things without much issue.

Jenny Craig added a few new foods to their menu this week so I’m excited to enjoy some of the new options like the Cheesy Omelette, Classico Chicken Parmesan and Broccoli, and the Cheesy Chicken and Potatoes…mmm.

Cross your fingers that I can celebrate 20 pounds next week!!

Facing the Scale: Week 2

Team Jenny & Melissa have done it again!  Yesterday I had my second weigh in at Jenny Craig and I lost a whopping 5.2 pounds!!  I was experiencing a magnitude of anxiety leading up to the moment that both of my feet made it onto the scale which made it painfully clear just how much anxiety I have about the role of food in my life.  I have been doing a lot of rethinking and reformulating over the past two weeks and have been trying to remember that we need food to live….we don’t live for food. 

I have come to grips this past week with the fact that food is always going to be everywhere and it’s always going to be my responsiblity to have the power and control over what I eat and what I don’t eat.  Many people have approached me this week (who know I am on the JC diet) asking me how I think I will manage over the course of the Easter weekend and I feel that I can respond with 100% certainty that I know I’ll do just fine.  The honest to goodness truth is that I’m not a super chocolate fan and would chose something salty over something sweet any day so this is why I feel pretty confident as the holiday approaches. 

This week I was able to resist the tempatation to cheat on my diet several times but here are some of the highlights…..

1.  Last weekend my brother, his friend and her son came over and everyone in the house but myself had McDonalds.  It was hard to sit there while they were all eating it but at the end of the day as I reflected back I felt super proud of myself for being able to say no to McFatty’s.

2.  My co-worker brought in a giant bag of cadbury mini eggs (mmm) and even though he was offering to share I resisted the urge to say YES and instead chugged back a ton of water and enjoyed my Jenny Craig popcorn.

3.  On Wednesday the youth at my work were having a special pizza dinner and since I was there I could have easily had a slice or two but instead I opted to head on home and have my regularly scheduled Jenny Craig meal.

4.  It has been almost a week since I last tasted diet coke – this has to be the BIGGEST accomplishment of the week and one that I consider a huge personal victory.

5.  On Thursday night after my weigh in Mike and I were going out shopping for Easter presents and we easily could have stopped and picked up something to eat but instead we ate something at home before we left.

My goal this week is to continue with the Jenny Craig plan as it is laid out before me, drink lots of water, avoid the Easter treats that will fill my house, stay away from diet coke and to go on a walk with the family on Sunday and Tuesday night.

Wish me luck!!