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Monday, October 31, 2005

BOO! Scary Halloween Rant!

Halloween is not my favorite holiday. The only good thing about Halloween, ever, has been the chance to be someone else. Well, guess what? I'm an adult and adults don't do that. I don't have kids and this is a children's holiday. I don't have any opportunity to dress up like anything except that I dressed up like a burrito this afternoon in order to get free food at Chipotle. If I could choose to be anything for Halloween, it would not be a Chipotle burrito. Or, if I did decide to be a Chipotle burrito for Halloween, it would not be just a lame-ass foil piece worn over my shirt.

Anyway, I don't like having candy in the house. If there is candy in the house, it calls to me. It says "eat me, eat me." And I do. So, to solve this problem, Dave and I purchased candy that we don't like. The problem? We like almost all candy and the candy that we don't like is the candy that nobody likes. So, we bought Mary Janes, Necco Wafers, Almond Joy, and Payday. Yuck. In a pinch, I could probably scarf down a Payday. But I won't. I wanted to get Good & Plenty, but apparently they're so gross that they don't even bother making fun size versions of them anymore.

When you think about it... how weird is it anyway? Little kids are going to knock on my door tonight and ask for candy. WTF? I have to go out and purchase candy for these little buggers. Really think about it - is that not the strangest thing ever?? I don't even know these kids! And some of them don't even say "Trick or Treat" or "Thank you." If it were up to Dave, I think we'd sit inside with the lights out.

And what is UP with the decorations? When I was little, you bought ONE PUMPKIN! You carved it, put a candle in it and that was IT. My neighbors have lights and blow up things and crap that make noise. Once again, WTF? What is up with the over-decorating? I don't have time for that crap.

Ok, off to climb.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Baltimore 5k 2005

Ahhh.... another race. Since there was no running since last Friday, my legs were way fresh. They wanted to go better than my lungs and heart did. My HR was very high. Things went well. Honestly, for it being the biggest race of the year for me, there isn't much to talk about. My gun time was 36:35, my chip time should be at least a minute better.

As for the tailbone, it hurt a lot at first and then got better. Much worse was the cramp in my side that happened during the third mile. I walked about 3 minutes total.

Then... I drank a beer and I think committed myself to running a half marathon in February.


So, we'll see how that goes.

Otherwise, all was well. Dave, Todd and Sandra all ran and Sandra's sister ran the marathon! She's my hero. I didn't see Joanna or Carl out on the course at all.


Friday, October 14, 2005

Weight Watchers, More

Blah. I'm annoyed because about a month ago I started writing the post about Weight Watchers and why I am no longer on the WW bandwagon. Then, I got a new PC at work and it got lost. I never finished it, but I really wanted to take time and put real thought into it. Then today I just spout out about it and I don't feel like I said what I needed to say.

Since I lost the post (stupid me for saving it on my PC at work and not on blogger), I went back and found a post from the Firm Ya Ya board about WW, back in May. Someone had said that it seems like everyone is on the WW bandwagon and counting points, and that they really don't like WW and were getting feedback. I responded thusly, and when you read, know that WOE means "Way of Eating" and fitday is where I used to keep track of my calories. I now do it at Calorie King, but they're very similar. Anyway, read on:

I could write a novel on my experiences with WW. I lost 50 pounds with them over 2 years and became a LT member. I went straight up from there and for the next 3-4 years I tried and tried to lose weight on the WW program and failed every time. It just STOPPED working for me. I wouldn't say that I dislike them, but I definitely think that there are some flaws in the program that don't make it workable for most people for an extended (lifetime) period of time. Plus, I just finished reading Losing It, which made me realize that it might be possible that WW plans it that way to keep us Yo-yo dieters coming back again and again. I figure I spent $1000 in the two years that I was losing the 50 pounds and that's JUST meeting fees, not other stuff that they sold me... That's a lot of money and a lot of Firms and Cathes that I could have had instead. The weight loss would have been worth it - had I kept it off.

I agree with a lot of what has been said - in general, the program works for most people in the short term, and it serves as an "entry level" WOE. Counting calories is (or seems) intimidating, some people are more comfortable with a piece of paper for tracking foods and not getting on fitday. Others like the meetings and the accountability and haven't discovered anywhere else to get that (like this forum, for example).

HOWEVER... I think I failed on the program for a lot of reasons. One was, I was just SICK SICK SICK of eating the same thing everyday. Sure, I could eat what I wanted, but I always ended up eating the same stuff. I was POINTS OBSESSED. I didn't see foods, I saw points, and I was crazy about them -- not in a good way. I feel so much more calm since going to a fitday method. I don't have to worry about banking, I can just accept the fact that I might maintain or whatever for a few days if something stressful is coming along.

Then, there's the weigh-ins. I start retaining water the week before TOM and carry it on through until about the 3rd day of TOM. This meant that on average, I was gaining 2 out of every 4 weeks of the month. I was so frustrated from getting on the scale and seeing a gain. Nowadays, I know it's just a normal part of how I am and I am seeing other results (like stamina and strength) that keep me going on those weeks. I was going to WW meetings and I was so beyond them after a while, I wanted to talk about working out and Cathe and the Firm and WW mostly pushes walking. But, most of the discussion was on food and I just wasn't getting anything out of the meetings anymore.

And this is my big one - I do not like the points system anymore. The obsessiveness I referred to above made me not eat right. Doesn't make sense, does it? Well, I would save up for cake or something and eat vats of the "zero point soup". Or, I would eat a ton of snackwells cookies or no pudge brownies. I would be so much better off eating the high-fat versions of those foods, and I do now, just not everyday. I hated light bread, I hated spray butter, and now I eat real butter and big, thick, delicious slices of whole wheat bread. It's made such a difference to me. Do you know that I didn't eat bananas for years because they were 2 points and apples were 1. The difference between the two is about 20-30 calories. That's NONSENSE! Granted, many people would say I didn't have to do that, or I wasn't following the program correctly, but that's an example of the crazy-obsessiveness that I had on WW. One precious point could not be wasted, and if that meant giving up bananas, so be it.

Like I said, I'm not trying to trash them. They helped me lose a lot of weight. Had it not been for them, I would have never gotten involved with fitness, I would never have discovered this board or the Firm or Cathe or jogging or whatever. I just keep in mind that WW is a business, not a religion (not that I didn't preach it plenty for a long time). They're out to make money and I just can't do that program for life.
So, there, now I've said what I needed to say. My mistake with WW was that I was closed-minded and I didn't see it for what it was - a business. It DOES work for some, I definitely know/knew many who lost weight with WW and kept it off for years and years. But what about those that are severely overweight? That join and join again over and over and lose a few pounds and gain it back? They see that there are people that have lost 80 pounds and kept it off and they just can't figure out what they're doing wrong... It's not you. You just need to try something else. Step back... relax... and adjust your way of thinking. I'm sure I'll have still more to say about this later. I had avoided writing about it since I started the blog because I KNEW the inability to stop talking about it would soon follow. Oh well.


I reached my Weight Watchers Goal Weight today - 153. This wasn't my original goal weight. My goal weight was 147 in 2000, but at age 25 the limits change, so I raised my goal to 153 when I turned 25. Kind of strange. There wasn't any fanfare or anything, I just got on the scale, said "oh, 153." Then, a few minutes later I realized it was my goal. So, I can go back for free, although I don't intend to.

I've been very anti-Weight Watchers lately. Not to offend or discourage anyone who is on it, though. If you're on it and you're happy and it's working for you, stick with it!!! I just don't see, realistically, how it can work forever for most people. I think most people are like me - it works for a while (and for some, a much shorter while than it worked for me) and then the program starts to sabotage itself. Think about it - no matter what beliefs you have in WW, it's still a business, they're there to make money. Do you really think they'd be as successful as they are if the program worked for everyone? Of course not - people would reach their goals, reach lifetime, and live happily ever after as free lifetime members. The program is successful [at making money] because it is unsuccessful [at keeping the weight off for most]. Results not typical.

I think of WW as an entry level diet plan. It gets you used to looking at labels, thinking about working out (they have a deal with Curves now) and eating healthier. After a while, it falls short. The meetings are too beginner, the focus on the scale is too closed minded, people start to get bored. For me, it was the food I was eating. WW certainly doesn't advocate eating the same thing over and over, but that's what I was doing. And I was bored. People plateau, they're frustrated. It doesn't work. And like a moron, I kept going back. It wasn't working for me and I tried and tried for FOUR YEARS. The flaw wasn't me. The flaw was WW.

People turn to Points because they see it as easier. Yet, doesn't it make us just a little bit dependent on a corporation? On a proprietary measurement? I admit, the first few weeks that I started counting calories rather than points, I had no clue how many I was supposed to be eating. Points hide the reality - you don't really know how many calories you're eating and you don't really know how many calories you're supposed to be eating. Points made me psycho.

The last straw for me was really the whole working out thing. I am working out hardcore. I'm doing intense step workouts, running, rock climbing... At the meetings, we were talking about Curves and walking. Just like WW, Curves is great, but it's entry level. I was beyond that. I was beyond taking a walk for fitness. I couldn't relate to them. And when my leader pulled out the Morningstar Farms Veggie Patties to show the newer members, that was it. I'd eaten so many of those stupid patties that the sight of the box made me want to gag.

Don't get me wrong. WW is not evil. I'm unhappy with them, but they're a good plan if you don't intend to stick with them forever. They helped me lose 50 pounds. The introduced me to eating better. They helped me see myself as something other than a fat girl. They were my stepping stone to the place where I am now with my fitness and weight. I thank them. Yet, sometimes, you just have to move on to better things.
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