Monday, February 16, 2009

Goals and greatness, and a very slow soup

I stated in a previous post that I wanted to hit 155 when I weighed in today. You'll have to wait to see what the result of that was.

I had a week. I won't use an adjective; just fill that in yourself. On Monday I had a midterm, and on Wednesday I had another midterm. I got the grade for my second midterm this weekend, and I did not do nearly as well as I thought. This is stressful and disappointing, as I did study quite a bit and thought I had a better grasp of material than I did. That said, I did not fail it, and I am confident that in the end my grades will work out. But I hate disappointing myself, especially when I know I work so hard at something.

That attitude affects almost every part of my life. Sometimes I feel like I work so hard, and never can get the outcome that seems to come so easily to others. I can study all week for a midterm, and not do well at all. A classmate can blow off studying, and get an A. I can work out, track my responsible eating, and do everything "right" and still not meet my goals.

This week I had a real crisis in perseverance. I stared at my weight tracker on the WW website, wondering how in almost two months I'd only lost 7 lbs. I'd had better luck just tracking my calorie intake and output before, hitting 151 lbs last summer before my weight jumped back up above 160 during a particularly stressful fall and winter. I thought about giving up. I thought that WW just wasn't going to work for me, and I would have better luck just going it on my own again.

Then I thought about the good things I liked about WW. It keeps track of your milestones, and it keeps me accountable. For example, Saturday night I binged. I all-out binged. I'm not going to hide it and I'm going to be accountable for my actions. I ate more than I should have, I ate horrible food, I killed all the extra points I'd saved up and earned this week with exercise, and I all but knew I'd blown my chances at hitting my goal. I blew it. I knew I'd never hit 155 this week after that.

But I logged it, I was honest with myself and I upped my exercise to make an attempt to compensate. I ran a total of 21.5 miles this week, and have decided to set a goal to run 25 miles each week going forward. I am relishing my slimming legs, the muscles beginning to show when I move and bend, and I love that delicious soreness after a 7-mile slog up and down the streets of SoCal. I love that after 7 miles I'd be confidently able to do another mile.

I'm happy that I can do more pushups than before, that my abs are becoming more defined, and that I just feel better about myself. A cheeseburger, fries, quesadilla and burrito make me feel bad about myself, and I credit the WW tools for making me face those realities, acknowledge my weaknesses, and encourage honesty with myself and push me to be an all-around more self-aware person. So I didn't quit. I just recommitted myself to the plan, I looked back to my first month on the system and took note of the things I was cooking and eating, and decided to get back to that mindset again.

With that, I am spending this rainy day awaiting the completion of my slow-cooker vegetable soup. Eating a soup like this for at least one meal a day in the beginning of my plan helped me lost the first 5 lbs pretty fast. I am going to get back into that habit.

Slow Vegetable Soup

1 medium or 2 smallish onions, sliced into half-moon crescents
2 carrots, cut into bite-size pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into bite-size pieces
2 handfuls of baby spinach
2 handfuls arugula, escarole or some other leafy green (or just use more spinach)
1 28-oz (big) can of chopped tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
4 cups fat-free, low-sodium broth (I used beef, because I had some leftover from the onion soup, but you can use whatever)
Dried oregano
2 bay leaves
Optional: spicy red pepper (chili pepper, cayenne, etc.)

Turn on your slow cooker to high.

Add the onions, celery, carrots, spinach, arugula, tomatoes, garlic, and broth. Add the spices.

Cover the lid.

Wait 5 hours.

Remove bay leaves, and enjoy.

That's it. Wow, huh?

And now for the moment you've waited for:

Monday Weigh-In:

Previous: 158.8
Current: 156.6
Difference: -2.2 lbs

I didn't hit my goal, but I didn't set myself back too much either. I'm sure my 7-mile run yesterday helped that. Exercise doesn't completely undo bad food choices; I cannot binge and purge through making myself run ridiculous distances. But it was a good lesson in getting to know myself more, learning to make better choices, and finally - some success - helping me to keep moving forward.

Oh, btw, I was 164 when I started this. At 156, I've lost 5% of my body weight. I am 95% of the person I used to be. Whoa.


  1. Congrats! I admire your perseverance. I think you have a reward visiting this weekend- you deserve it.

  2. Congrats, and have fun this weekend!