16 Nov

Weigh-in November 16th, 2010

My paperclip chainThis week’s weight: 311.6
Difference from last week: -2.2
This year’s change: -20.2

I can be an emotional guy. I’ve been known to tear up at some emotional times. I can’t think of a more emotional time than hitting a major milestone. Like, say, losing 2.2 pounds this week. Like, say, losing 20 pounds so far this year!

I am extremely proud of myself. It is hard for me to say that. I am not a boastful kind of guy. I really need to give myself a pat on the back, though. I have done a simply amazing job since I re-joined Weight Watchers this summer. It’s been a slow march, but after the first couple of weeks I dug my feet in and really started to work at this. This weigh-in is a validation of that work. Physical, concrete proof. I cannot deny it, it is right in front of me.

I am going to keep this weigh-in post short today. I’ll be writing more throughout the week. But for right now, I am going to stop and enjoy this feeling. Maybe shed a few tears, but they are happy tears!

HUZZAH!!!

– M

15 Nov

Do it at the zoo!

My son & me at the Denver ZooI am constantly looking for fun ways to get in some activity.  I live and die by the old adage that exercise has to be fun. If something isn’t fun, I am stubborn enough to refused to do it. No matter how good that might be for my health, or for my family. I am extremely short-sighted when it comes to such things.

Fortunately, there is one place where I am guaranteed to get some activity in, and I love to go there: the zoo!

Before you scoff, consider this: a day at the zoo forces you to walk. To walk a lot. At least at the Denver Zoo, if you want to see a lot of the animals there, you have a lot of walking to do. The elephants are at one area, birds off to another side, the polar bears and seals are completely across the zoo, etc. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the zoo’s map!

Denver Zoo mapLemme tell you, that is one heck of a walk. Especially when pulling a wagon that is loaded down with diaper bags, water bottles and children.

EXERCISE!!!!

One other suggestion for zoo-going: prepare your meal and snacks! Food at the zoo (or at least here at the Denver Zoo) isn’t too horribly priced, but it also isn’t the healthiest food. Instead of using up all of the exercise calories/Points by having a meal rife with fat (e.g. pizza, a burger, chicken strips), plan ahead. Pack a good, healthy lunch, along with lots of fruits and pretzels or the like for snacks. Kiddos will eat pretty much anything you give them at the zoo because of the wonders of the environment. And it may just build a life-long association between fun and healthy eating.

Or at the very least, you can enjoy the day, knowing that you’ve taken care of your body, and your weight-loss needs.

– M

Do you have similar experiences at the zoo? Or other places that also force you to get in a lot of exercise? Please share your story in the comments below!

12 Nov

The wrong way to storyboard

Storyboard by npslibrarian (http://www.flickr.com/photos/npslibrarian)Those of us who are members of Weight Watchers should be pretty familiar with the concept of storyboarding*. The idea is straight-forward: draw out step-by-step plans for how a situation will go, and how you’ll respond. This will help you visualize what you’ll be tempted with, and how you are going to avoid the temptation.

A typical example is for Halloween. In the first cell, one would draw a picture of kids trick-or-treating. The next cell would be a picture of the left-over Halloween candy sitting in a bowl on the table. The next cell would be your strategy for avoiding the trap. For example, you might draw a picture of you grabbing an apple. Or taking the candy to the dentist for a candy buy-back program. Maybe throwing all the candy into the trash.

That is a very good storyboard. If you want to storyboard but haven’t done so yet. Or aren’t sure exactly how to do a storyboard, steal that previous paragraph. It’s good stuff, trust me. This can be done mentally, of course. If you think visually, that is a strategy that will work well.

I have to be contrarian, of course. I build storyboards in my head. But those storyboards are exactly wrong. I picture stopping at a gas station, going into the convenience store and grabbing a package of Zingers and a big carton of chocolate milk, and then snacking all the way home. I can visualize each step of the process. The sound of the bell when I open the door. The crinkles of the Zinger’s wrapper. The cold of the milk carton. The sound of the cash register. Hearing the clerk say “have a good day.” And then the feeding frenzy.

This is the kind of thing I have to fight against. Almost every week. Somewhere along the way, I am able to shake the cobwebs out, realize that I cannot give in to those thoughts. I have to rely on an impulse to kick in, to keep me from giving in.

Hmmm… maybe I should storyboard a strategy for dealing with negative storyboarding…

* I am sure that there are many other weight loss programs – many other self-help programs – that use storyboarding as a tool. I only have experience with Weight Watchers, though, so I’m gonna stick with that.