Friday, August 1, 2014

Ten ways Weight Watchers works for me.

So, have I told you that I've been on Weight Watchers since March? I'm guessing I have. Anyway, I thought I'd do a little post on what helps make me stay successful. I don't have a collage of photos to track my progress thus far or anything today, so I'll leave you with this gem.

There is no SURPRISE! like your childhood ballet teacher tagging you on Facebook with a #tbt picture.

1. Track every bite, taste, and crumb: Every single thing that goes in your mouth should be tracked. Sometimes, all it takes is one bite of a cookie for me to feel satisfied, and I can throw the rest away. But, you've got to track that bite. If not, you'll find yourself eating more than you thought, therefore eating more points than you thought.

2. Plan ahead: I've said this before, but try (really try!) to pre-plan your meals for the week, or even for the day ahead. If I know that I have a banana and an apple in my lunchbox, I have the willpower I need to avoid any other snacks that I didn't plan for.

3. Pack your own dessert: At work, we like to celebrate. Oh, it's your birthday? Let's have cake! When I know these days are coming, I pack something for myself, to eat at the same time that they are having cake. Strawberries, Popped rice cakes, or anything that I can get excited about. It's easier to turn down peer pressure when you've got something already in your hand, ready to eat.

4. Weigh your food: Since we got engaged in June, I've been fighting with the scale, up one pound, down one pound, repeat. It's frustrating. So, I used the WW website to find ways that I may be "cheating" my own system, and get back to the basics of what works. Turns out, I can't actually eye-ball how much 4 ounces of chicken really is. When I started weighing it on my food scale, it turned out to be 5.5-6 ounces! That's a difference of two points. Imagine what else I may be underestimating? Also, keep a 1/2 cup and 1 cup measuring cup on hand. This is really helpful for pouring out cereal, or whatever I might be making. It's nice to actually see the measurements.

5. Scan the package whenever possible: If it's possible, scan the package of mashed potatoes you're making. It's easier to track the actual food, instead of just searching for mashed potatoes in the tracker.

6. Add vegetables and fruit to every meal: It seems elementary, but simply adding a vegetable and fruit to every meal means that I'm replacing something else in that meal with a smarter, healthier choice. When I'm snacking, I ask myself, "Am I hungry enough to eat an apple?" If I am, then I eat the apple. Usually that is enough to satisfy my craving, and I can make it until the next meal.

7. Stay hydrated: So often, we don't drink enough water. Drinking plenty of water, sometimes just two-three bottles a day at work is enough to help me feel more awake, digest my food properly, and stave off any rogue urges to snack. When I get home from work I make sure to keep a glass full of water to drink all evening.

8. I don't broadcast my plan, nor am I embarassed by it: Weight loss/gains are something that nearly everyone deals with in their lives. Every day I have some conversation with someone about weight loss, food choices, etc. Most of the time, I don't mention that I am using Weight Watchers, but if anyone asks what I'm doing, I am happy to explain what works for me. Some folks at work don't want to hear about what I'm doing, or acknowledgement that their food choices are different than mine at lunch. It's not my job to make anyone feel guilty about their own choices, but I also expect them not to make me feel guilty about mine. I like a "live and let live" approach. :)

9. Travel your own path, not someone elses: As of today, I am 22.8 lbs down since March. It is a lifelong journey, and I know that. I am excited when there is as little as .5 lbs lost on my Friday morning weigh-in. Sometimes even staying where I am is a win in my book, if it's been an extra difficult week. I lose weight at a different rate than anyone else, and this body isn't like anyone else's - it's unique! Shouldn't my journey be unique as well?

10. Take note of NSVs: Those are non-scale victories. Things I've noticed:
I'm finally comfortable in jeans!
My engagement ring is too big!
I can run up the stairs! Fast!
I can wear my sister's shorts!
Sometimes realizing these things are bigger than seeing weight loss on the scale. These are real life wins!

I hope these were helpful - let me know if you have questions!

Have a great weekend.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bathroom subway tile - done!

You remember the before... this is the totally ripped out bathtub spot. Oh lord, that wallpaper. A welcome sight for me though, to see a totally dry wall and no water damage in sight. (We've had roof/leaking issues.)

And just for memory's sake, the "vanity hole". It'll be more beautiful soon!

Making progress, looking good so far, and a shiny new tub!!! 

Jeff graciously snapped a picture of me laying tile! Around this time I asked if we should put something in our vows along the lines of "I promise to only lay tile with you, til death do us part."

Oh he's just my favorite DIYer/project partner. 

We grouted with pearl gray, and it was quite different than using white. Much more labor intensive, since white generally doesn't show as many imperfections (or glue spots!) but we think it was well worth the extra work. This to me, is what subway tile should look like. 

And here's the hot mess that we're still working with, until we can get the rest completed this week. 

Baby steps for sure, but it feels so good to know it's being done right. One thing I can say about this man of mine, he is adamant that every step is taken to ensure quality work. Peace of mind is everything!

More updates to follow...

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Monday, July 28, 2014

How I learned to wash my hair 1-2 times a week.

If there is one single thing that I would take with me to a deserted island, it is dry shampoo. I have always had naturally oily hair, and washed my hair daily in high school. My oily hair (and face) contributed to acne, and once, when I got bangs, I ended up looking really greasy in bangs by lunchtime. Thankfully, my mom graced me with her tried and true tip from her high school days: baby powder. To this day, I don't think that any other dry shampoo will ever live up to baby powder. But, I have found better, more efficient ways to use it. When I moved to Seattle after college, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when I realized that the west coast had a thing called dry shampoo. I wondered, "where have you been all my life?" and quickly grabbed a bottle. Even when I moved back to the east coast, I ordered dry shampoo online, because no one around had ever heard of it. Thankfully, a few years later it hit the market here. 

These are the dry shampoo options that I have tried. I don't like to spend a lot of money on it, (although I have) because to me, the less expensive ones seem to work as well as the pricier ones. 

1. Dove Dry Shampoo - I was recently given the Dove dry shampoo by a friend who now had brown hair, and couldn't use it anymore. One thing that is common among dry shampoo products is the white/gray tint that is left behind. If your hair is blonde, just rub it in, but darker haired girls need to get a tinted version. I loved this one. It smells great, and feels like a quality product.

2. Suave Dry Shampoo - Suave has always been my go to dry shampoo. I like the smell, and it does a great job of soaking up the oil. One thing that I notice is that it can become so drying to my scalp that I can only stand to use it for 2-3 days before I just want to wash my hair and start the process again.

3. Baby Powder - As I said before, baby powder is #1 in my book, and the price is right. A tip: put baby powder on your roots and work through your hair at night before bed. When you wake up, the powder has already worked all night to soak up any oil, and leaves your hair feeling clean and full of volume. Also, this keeps your hair from smelling like baby powder, and you won't have a white tint left behind.

4. TreSemme Fresh Start - TreSemme was the first one I noticed in stores when it finally popped up. It wasn't a bad product, but it kept me wishing for more, and eventually I made the switch to Suave.

5. Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo - A few months ago, I read about the Not Your Mother's Volumizing Hair Powder, (and yea, it gives you lots of volume! PS - Mom, this is what I told you about.) So, I tried the dry shampoo hoping for the same exciting results. I came away unimpressed. The smell is very... I'm not sure how to describe - chemical/industrial smell? I hold my breath when I spray it. Also, not that this has any bearing on how it works, but I find that dry shampoo that dries into the white/gray color actually does a better job. One plus, then I guess, if you don't want that, this dry shampoo dried clear.

So, if you couldn't tell, I rated these best (1) to worst (5). I think I'll always use a combination of these, but if I had to pick in order, this is it. For instance, this is my regimen:
1st day: wash hair at night
2nd day: spray a little dry shampoo in the morning for volume
3rd day morning: dry shampoo
3rd day at night: baby powder
4th day morning: run fingers through, and work it through my hair
4th day night/5th day morning: wash hair

It seems like a lot, but it works for me!

Do you have a brand that you love? Let me know!

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