Friday, December 28, 2007

Post-Christmas check-in

I emerged from Christmas pretty much unscathed and maintaining 144, although I could still see the scale go up a bit next week. However, I think I’d be pretty comfortable if I did.

While I’m still eating waaaaay too many choccies while lounging around with Nick watching DVD’s received as gifts, I have done several positive things and in the spirit of optimism that I’d like to adopt in the new year, I shall list them rather than chide myself for all the things I did poorly (of which there were many…. Whatev! ‘Twas Christmas!!!)

- I ate a bowl of healthy, fiber-lious cereal as breakfast or a snack every day (gotta keep things moving!)
- I ate some fruit and some veg every day. Maybe not enough, but some.
- When I went back for seconds, I only had those things that I truly truly love.
- I didn’t finish all those seconds because I was full (I used to be mayor of “Clean Plate” ville.)
- I skipped the dessert because I didn’t love it.
- I went to the gym the day before Christmas, took the puppy for an hour long walk on Christmas day and then again to the gym on the 27th and 28th (this is particularly remarkable because I forgot my iPod on the 27th, BUT I STAYED ANYWAY!!!!!!)
- I did not over-consume coffee (don’t even ask how much coffee I’d drink if I allow myself free rein).
- Ditto on the booze (this is a feat in and of itself in my family… no, no one is a lush, but during celebrations the wine doth flow freely – as does the beer and the liquor…)
- I didn’t sneak food.

And you guys, the fact that I accomplished the last one could make me sing or cry or I don’t know what. That is one of my worst food-demons, and was the cause of much weight gain during holidays past. And worse, so much shame. I’m not sure what clicked, but I only even thought about it a couple of times and even then it was fleeting. I may have to face this issue again and again, but I have to approach each holiday or event separately, and celebrate each battle won like I won the war.

I’m starting to think about the New Year. And the fact that on the 30th, I turn 30 years old. I feel pretty good about it, and want to make my thirtieth year on this earth a good one.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Naughty or nice?


That’s a pound down. And while I’m not complaining, I am confused. Very, very confused. Because Christmas eating began on Saturday, and I was fully expecting that to be reflected. The fact that it’s not is somewhat mind boggling.

Or is it. (how mysterious!!) In actuality, while I have been snacking and tasting and picking, I haven’t gone all out, balls to the walls a-binging. And my appetite has been naturally curbed. What this unfortunately means is that I’ve been eating less healthy food because I’ve literally spoiled my supper (and lunch and afternoon snack, etc).

This is not a good thing. The silver lining is that I stop when full, something that I would have only scoffed at in the past (full??? What is this “full” you speak of??).

And while I haven’t gotten a whole lot of official exercise in, I have been walking around a lot getting Christmas errands done.

I’m still not sure if I was naughty or nice?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I swear to you, my entire office is conspiring against me in an effort to have me gain 49 lbs over the holidays. In fact, my parents, my friends and Nick (gasp!!!) may all be involved in this nefarious plot.

Oooo, my tum hurts!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Can I go home yet????

145!!! One pound down!!

(I’m actually just a leedle bit disappointed… I’d been jumping on the scale on and off, earlier this week, and had been flirting with 144 and 143. But after two weeks of the same-same, I’ll take that one pound!)

Thank heavens for that one pound to bolster my mood.

I think I should go back to bed as the world is obviously conspiring against me. Or it could be karma come along to smack me upside the head for being so smug. See, I have a crazy number of family (my mother’s side) who live about 4 hours away that I buy small Christmas gifts for. I’ve been more on the ball this year than I have been possibly ever, so when Mom said that she was heading there for an extended weekend, I was all “no big deal”. Presents were wrapped last night, and I was filled with a sense of virtuousness (and that combined with the expected loss this morning). However, as I was loading them into the car this morning to drop off with my Dad (who works in an office close to mine), I had a vague memory float up that two cousins who are normally unable to come home for Christmas, were going to be there this year. And I hadn’t bought them anything (usually wait till after holidays to mail). Dammit. (Solution: Mom assured a panicked me that someone else will be going there from here in the next couple of weeks and won’t mind taking two wee prezzies).

I then realized about ten minutes into our thirty minute commute that I had a reception to attend after work. Not an issue in and of itself, but it’s wet, snowy, sloppy here today so I wore a “business-casual” outfit that definitively errs more on the “casual” side of the spectrum. And normally we’d just turn around and be a bit late, but Nick is taking part in a conference and we were already tight for time. sigh. (Solution: I’ll have to run out and buy a pair of black dress pants, and I always keep a basic black blazer in my office in case of dress-up emergencies. Fortunately, my hair looks okay today and I have a tube of mascara in my purse for my currently make-up-less face). Oh, and I didn’t bring any late afternoon snacks that will prevent me from eating the world or at least the whole buffet table at the reception. (Sol’n: Obviously grab something during the pants expedition, but what?? Maybe an apple and a protein bar… ugh).

Then, about ten minutes after I dropped Nick off at his conference, I realized that I had both his keys AND my keys for the car. And while I’m staying late to go to this reception, he has to leave a bit early to go to another function across town. And I’m in and out of meetings all day today (plus I have to find time to buy a pair of pants) (Sol’n: left keys with front desk reception).

Then while coming into my office building, carrying my purse (oversized), my gym bag and the box of gifts (also very big, and coverless… can you see where this is going?), and fumbling for my key card, I dropped the box of gifts. And one of them broke (Sol’n: I bought it at a shop across the street and so can easily replace it, but this is becoming a very expensive day).

Then, when I went to text Nick (‘cause he can’t answer the phone during the conference, but he can read a text message), I realized that I had forgotten my cell at home. Which isn’t such a huge issue EXCEPT TODAY because I was supposed to call Nick when I was done the reception to let him know to come get me. (Sol’n: I don’t know, I suppose someone will have a phone, or maybe a payphone… do those even exist anymore??? Argggg!!)

And did mention that the snow has turned to rain??? Which will make the trek up to do my errands oh-so-pleasant, I’m sure.

Siiiiiigh. I wanna go home.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Positives and Negatives

Overall I had a fun and productive weekend. And, I didn’t eat my face off from Friday night to Monday morning, something I often do, as if the fact that I’m off the clock for work means that nobody’s paying attention to how much food gets stuffed in my gob.

I’m still having problems tracking what I eat, though. I’ve sorta been doing it, but it’s always well after the fact, like the next day, which means that 1.) it’s waaaaaay less accurate (“how much hummus did I eat??”, “did I even have a snack in the evening??”) and 2.) I don’t get a chance to realize that I’m starting to approach my caloric goal and thus slow the inpact.

I’ve done this for the past three days. None of these days surpassed my cut-off high (at least, according to my memory and estimates), but they were all higher than my target range (I have a target range of about 200 cal, that varies with the amount of activity I do, but then I also have a “WARNING: Do Not Cross” level). On Saturday, when I went to a restaurant for my friend’s birthday I accepted that I was going above my typical target, and my goal was to simply not go above the “WARNING” level. Did this and felt pretty good. Sunday and Monday, however, I thought I was staying within my normal target range and was highly dismayed afterwards to discover that I was considerably higher.

I’m not sure how to get better at this. I do figure that by simply writing it down even after the fact, I’m getting myself more in the habit. However, by doing it afterwards I’m not reaping the actual benefit, which makes me feel like I’m doing the work, but not getting the result (which sucks and is very demotivating!).

Another positive thing I’m doing is wearing my pedometer. I’ve done this over the past couple of days with the intention of hitting 12 500 steps by the end of each day. I’m a numbers person and very competitive (yes, even with myself. Yes, this is kinda weird), so by setting this ongoing goal with myself, I actually do all those extra bits of movement that are always recommended. I take the stairs, I take more little breaks at the office, I volunteer to take the dog on a mini-walk (he’s a puppy and it’s very very cold right now, so we’re going on three or four mini-walks of about 10-15 minutes daily), etc. I’m happy to say that I’ve met or surpassed my goal 4 out of 5 days, and came over 10 000 steps on the other.

Now if I could just bring all these little changes consistently together.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Trying to Get Back on Track

I’m working my way back into doing positive things for my body. I went the gym at lunchtime both yesterday and today, and I started tracking again yesterday after a couple of attempts wherein I tracked during the day and then not when I went home. The reason I did so was pretty evident.

I’m a grazer. Nick has commented that I never seem to eat too much at a meal, which is usually true. But it’s not like I’m not packin’ away the calories at other times. Last night is a perfect example. It wasn’t even as continuous as it can be, but it was bad enough,

I got home, but the puppy needed out NOW (now now now now!!!!), so, starving, I grabbed one of a bunch mini-burrito thingies that Nick had heated up (about 100 cal). After took puppy for quick walk, I had my actual supper consisting of a slice of thin crust chicken pizza (I estimate about 300 cal) followed by a cup of cherries (100 cal).

At this point, I am no longer hungry. If I had stopped I may have had a quick snack before going to bed, or maybe not, depending on my hunger level some three hours later.

But I didn’t stop. In my wanderings around the house, during which I was bored and feeling like I should get several somethings done, but was feeling utterly unmotivated to do so, I had (about) a cup of chips, several scoops of walnuts (half a cup?), and nibbled away at the pan of rice krispie squares (sliver by sliver), adding another 700-800 calories to my daily total.

Again, I need to stress, I was NOT HUNGRY.

It was around 8 or 8:30 I recognized what I was doing and decided I needed to get out of the house. I ran to the store to return a skirt and then to the grocery to pick up a few basics that we had run low on, and then just wandered around the store looking at Christmas decorations.

This is why I have to track, though. As I was nibbling, I thought that I wasn’t actually consuming a lot of food. It wasn’t until I wrote it down that I got a sense of what I had actually consumed. And bear in mind that I’m estimating in hindsight; the cup of chips may have been two in reality, maybe it was more like a full cup of walnuts. In short, the tally might be considerably higher.

But this is why tracking is so onerous for me. I eat a little bit of a lot of things.

But if I don’t, well, it’s shockingly easy to get out of hand.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Dress

I have another association with the Christmas party. I had this hope that I would wear “The Dress” this year. Finally.

The Dress is a dress that an old roommate gave me ages ago because it no longer fit her. It’s black, slinky, strappy and sexy as all get out. It’s the perfect length and perfect style for just about any semi-formal occasion. And most importantly, I feel feminine in it (which is relevant if you read the previous post). The caveat is that it’s very figure-hugging, in that it’s tight all the down to the hip. And while I’m a medium sized girl, I have lumps and bumps and general squishiness that I do not wish to expose to the world at large.

So this dress hangs in my closet and is pulled out at intervals when I want to torture myself or steel my resolve to lose the last of my paunch. I need to lose a mere 10 to 15 lbs to smooth things out, or so I estimate, which is a drop in the bucket compared to the amazing achievements of so many bloggers.

I was so hoping to wear this dress if not to the Christmas party, then on my birthday which is New Year’s. And given my progress, or lack there of, it’s not going to happen. No way, nope, nu-uh. I realized that last week when I pulled The Dress out of the closet for a try. I wore the right underwear (I refuse to wear Spanx or any constricting undergarment, so for me that means something that wouldn't show lines, and then a bra that provides some oomph), my sexiest high heels, everything set so that I would look my best. And looking in the mirror I realized that I had really made no progress at all since August which was the last time I tried on The Dress.

And it was then that I kinda gave up.

Not the “I’m-giving-up-so-pass-me-that-pan-of-brownies-and-carton-of-ice-cream-and-hey-are-you-going-to-finsh-that?” type of giving up. Rather it was the “whatever” kind of give up. The kind where you continue to go through the motions of everything (which, thank heavens, has let me maintain), but you’re not really trying anymore.

I haven’t tracking in over a week. I haven’t hit the gym since the day of The Dress. My lunches that I was packing so meticulously, not so meticulous. I spilt a bag of chip with Nick for supper on Monday. Etc, etc.

I’m doing some thinking. Results are pending, but right now I’m very disappointed with myself.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Going Out in Drag

I had my company Christmas party on Saturday night. I work for a fairly large engineering firm, and while I like most of my co-workers, I don’t really know many of them very well. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I don’t really click with many of them. Which is fine. But it makes for a looooong three hours when you’re seated at a table with these virtual strangers and their wives (oh, did I not mention that my co-workers are about 90% men?? ‘Cause they are)

So, not the most comfortable of situations to start with. But it gets worse, at least for me. Because this is a formal occasion, which typically requires a dress. Generally I feel pretty good about my appearance. I don’t necessarily turn heads all the time, but I think I’m cute, and I’ve got enough moxie to up “cute” to “va-va-voom” when I pull out that attitude. My outfit of choice on these occasions is jeans, cute top, sexy-as-hell shoes or boots and some striking make-up (any eye make-up in fact, will look flamboyant… I’m very lucky to have large eyes and long lashes. My biggest problem is that I can sometimes look cartoon-ish). I think I can do “dramatic” or even “sexy” on a good night. “Pretty” is not something I’m comfortable with. And dresses are meant to be pretty.

To top this off, body issues rear their heads. I’m relatively tall. I work out with big, heavy weights, which makes me feel good about myself. I have big legs that are crazily strong, and I love them for that. I have naturally broad shoulders that are well-muscled, which again, I’ll usually try to highlight. But in dress, these assets don’t work.

The end result is that I feel that I look like a man in a dress. Combine that with my long, naturally full hair, big feet and the dramatic eye make-up that I favor, and you get a drag queen.

You now what doesn’t feel so good?? Being the girl who looks like a dude in drag.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I Want Can-dee!!!

I love candy. Chocolate (natch), gummies, licorice, sweet ‘n sours, all of it. By I find that due to my all or nothing nature, a small taste just fuels my desire for more. Granted I’ve come a long way from my full out binges where I’d consume candy, then baked goods, then savories, then more candy and so on in an unending spree of caloric delight. I now find my tummy hurts after a single chocolate bar. But even with a sore belly, that chocolate bar can awaken my taste buds so that they cry “nausea be damned!! Bring me cake!!!)

I have the tendency to use candy and sweets as a crutch when I’m tired and anxious. It’s an easily accessible one as I work downtown and there are plenty of shops that cater to the tired and stressed office worker.

I’ve pretty much abstained for the past week or two, and haven’t really missed it. But last night, I started thinking about chocolate. I ignored it, had some crackers and jam, and an ounce of pumpkin seeds. This morning I started considering how many calories in the giant cinnamon rolls sold in my building (estimate: about 500) or if I’d be satisfied after a muffin (answer: no, I’d want more sweets).

The cravings lasted all through the morning, so at lunchtime I decided to say the hell with it. I’m trying to achieve moderation, and if I want some candy, I say give the girl her candy. But I should have what I really want and not some substitution that will only serve as a stopgap. So I went to the candystore down the street. I got some choc covered malt balls, choc covered raisins, sweet tarts and gourmet licorice. Mmmmmm…. so good.

I think this is a reasonable amount. I had enough to satisfy my cravings, without going overboard (although some people may argue that by reason of my upset belly, I did go overboard. Those people are mean.)

Now I just have to wait until the sugar-belly nausea passes.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Weighing In

146! 3 lbs down from last week!

Go Loey!!! And I’m not just talking about the loss (although that’s AWESOME), but also about the fact that I’ve consistently tracked everything for the past week or so, and I haven’t become a raving loon in doing so.

It’s funny though how easy it is to fall back into old habits. You see, a couple of years ago, when I was at my highest, I joined Weight Watchers (henceforth known as WW) to help me figure out what’s what. I had my weigh-in on Saturday morning. Everything went along ticket-boo for a few weeks, but then the Saturdays after weigh-in started to feature a big meal, and then a night of drinking. I would write off all of my flex points and keep going. But then the Saturday splurge started to seep into Sunday. And sometimes Monday. And then, because I was just so annoyed with denying myself and being so meticulous, Tuesday and Wednesday would be pretty sketchy.

To compensate for my shoddy dieting behaviour, I would drastically reduce calories and avoid sodium. I had all the tricks down pat, and all the meals that were relatively filling (although in no way satisfying), but low in sodium and calories were second nature to me. I would wake up on Saturday morning, forego my morning glass of water (or litre… I drink an enormous amount of water normally), skip breakfast, often go for a run (sweat out a few more ounces), and then go to weigh-in wearing the flimsiest outfit that I could find.

After all that it was still a crapshoot whether I’d lose or not, based on what I’d eaten the rest of the week when I wasn’t starving myself and on how much activity I’d done. And then I’d start the whole cycle all over again. I finally realized that I was doing more damage than good, and left that program.

So needless to say, I’m a bit of an extremist, and have some scale related demons. And yet I recognize if I want drop a bit of weight then I have to monitor and control inputs and outputs. And I truly believe that having some accountability is extremely helpful. But as I said in my previous post, I’m trying to do so with a spirit of moderation. And yet it was still really hard not to fall into my old habits of restriction before “weigh-in” day.

I was successful this week in beating down those impulses, but it is something to be aware of.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Striving for "Good Enough"

I had an okay weekend overall. I got in a bit of activity and I stayed within the calorie range that I’m working with. However, some of my food choices weren’t that great. Instead of having a proper healthy meal, I had a salad (giant, but pretty much just greens with a few tomatoes) chased with a rocky road square. Or I ate a decent slice of vegetarian pizza, but instead of having a piece of fruit as a snack a couple of hours later, I had a handful of chips.

Again, I stayed within my calorie range, and I still ate my vegetables and mostly had whole grains. But I wonder if that’s the best way to go?? On one hand, I’m certainly not fueling my body in an ideal way. On the other, by indulging in some “no-no” foods on Saturday and Sunday, I prevented the sense of deprivation I usually get when I’m dieting really stringently. And I think that it’s that sense of deprivation that sends me face first into a pile of cinnamon rolls.

I also balanced my exercise. In the past, I’ve hit the gym (or the pavement or whatever) for an hour or two a day everyday. Sometimes both morning and evening. Because in some twisted part of my head, that’s the only way to successfully lose weight. But eventually I would miss a day, and then several days because I was soooo sick of the gym and my music sucks and my knee hurts and I just don’t wanna!! So there!!

This weekend I didn’t get to the gym on Friday night, but I walked with the puppy for a while. I walked again on Saturday and got a ton of errands done. I hit the gym on Sunday for some cardio, and I had a dance class that evening. And I didn’t get to the gym yesterday, but I took the dog for a full hour long walk.

This is a new approach for me. One with happy mediums rather than do-or-dies. I’m hoping that it will let me stick to this new plan long enough so that my “diet” becomes my lifestyle.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Emotional Eating

Ugh, I’ve had a horrible couple of days. Work has been non-stop emergencies (and they’re not even my emergencies! I’m trying to cover for a co-worker who has an awful flu virus and has been out the whole week), and I discovered that due to some personality conflicts, I have been selected as a scapegoat for another organization I did some volunteer work for last spring.

All in all, I was miserable last night. Awful, but it did afford me an interesting opportunity.

My problems with weight stem almost 100% from binge/emotional eating. As I’ve become more and more aware of this, I’ve become more successful with controlling it and recognizing that my “bad” feelings will not go away by smothering them with food. This has allowed me to lose almost 50 lbs to date. Nonetheless, I do find myself slipping into old habits on a fairly regular basis, and would probably do so even more if wasn’t for Nick’s presence (I used to sneak food, something I can’t do anymore which has helped curb the binges substantially).

I recently read that binge/emotional eaters have troubles being in touch with their emotions, and funnily enough, many very “powerful” and professional women are particularly susceptible to this because they don’t want to show any emotions that could be construed as weak. When I read this I could recognize myself 100%, up to and including the desire to numb oneself with food rather than to simply allow oneself the emotional outlet of crying.

So last night I sat there considering the contents of my cupboards, and recognized that I was doing it again. I was avoiding the sadness I was feeling about things by turning my mind to food. So I forced myself to really think about the problems. And when I started to feel the prickling of my eyes I kept thinking about it.

I excused myself and went to bed early (like 9:30!!!), and just lay there and cried (okay, so I still couldn’t show weakness in front of someone, but usually I can’t even acknowledge it to myself, so this is real progress for me). I was still awake around 11 when Nick came to bed, but by that time I was feeling more peaceful.

I don’t have solutions to my current problems (there may not be any available at this time), but at least last night, my coping mechanism was healthier and ultimately left me feeling more at ease (rather than feeling sick and guilty!) I consider that I major step in the right direction.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Meat on a Stick

Nick took me out for supper last night. We’ve been working through some ongoing problems and after several verrrrry painful conversations, I think he’s starting to understand some of my reactions. It’s hard for both of us. I’m not very good at opening up about my “weaker” emotions. I hate losing face, hate admitting that I’m sad or hurt or need comfort. But I do need comfort and kindness, and most of my close friends have learned to recognize this and give it to me even when I’m bluffing about feeling fine and that I’m way too tough to be hurt by anything. This requires a lot of intuition and empathy. And Nick is has very little of either. And this is the root of about 75% of our problems.

However, we’re both working on this (me on opening up, him on being more empathetic), and things are improving. Which brings us back to going out for dinner, something I love doing but Nick is pretty apathetic about, so in doing so he’s trying to help create a better balance in the give-and-take of our activities.

So dinner. It was oh-so yummy. We ate at a Turkish place, which is very similar to most Mediterranean cuisines; lots of lean meats all grilled shish-kabab style (mmmm... meat on a stick never tasted so good), salads dressed with lemon and olive oil, dips made with beans and cheeses and olive oil, and everything seasoned with amazing spice combonations. All-in-all, very healthful.

However, I overindulged. Not to the same degree that I would have in the past, but I still left feeling a little uncomfortable. It was all so delicious, I kept having another bite, and then another, and then another… I have no regrets, but I do think that next time (and there will be a next time), I may suggest forgoing the mixed appetizer plate and just get one or two things because part of my problem was that I wanted to taste everything.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


The man in office next to mine is a louder talker. Worse, he uses speaker phone. Still worse, he seems to have some hearing difficulty, because the volume on the speaker phone is jacked to the high heavens. And he talks on the phone a lot.


Brief check-in

I weighed 149, which is slightly heavier than what I stated in my grand confessional. I’m sitting here at my computer trying to determine how I feel about that. It’s still just a number, and I honestly don’t think it affects me deeply. However, it’s a hair-breadth away from a number I don’t want to see again.

Again, not a big deal in and of itself. It’s just once again indicative of how easy it is to slip from good eating habits and exercising regularly to, well, not. I do feel, though, that I’m at the stage where I can easily reverse this trend. I have been eating better and I’m going to make every effort today to get to the gym at lunch (Gym clothes, check. iPod, check. Gym pass, check.) And I remembered to pack a decent lunch (although it’s somewhat measly, so I may have to supplement in someway). Everything is pointing toward me having a good day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

!!!!!!! (or Why One Should Avoid Being a Smug Dummy)

I just had lunch at the Korean place across the street from my office. It seemed like pretty modest fair, and while I left feeling full, I didn’t think I had consumed a huge amount of calories. In fact, I was feeling rather smug when I wandered back into my office, and so I thought I’d revel in my smugness by confirming that I’d had a skinny-fying lunch by tallying up the cold hard numbers.

Here are the facts;
Miso soup (about a cup) – 40 cal
California roll (6 pieces) – 210 cal
Various nigiri sushi (6 pieces) – 360 cal
Total – 610


It’s not that I feel I consumed too much or feel guilty. I think that given that I’ve only had a small brekkie and snack today (I’m not really a breakfast person so I don’t sweat it if I only have, like, an egg and a latte), that it’s not an unreasonable amount at all. It’s just that I had no idea that the tally was so high. In fact, if I had been asked, I would have estimated about half that total amount, and I’m usually pretty good at estimating my caloric intake.

Here are my take-away lessons;

  1. It’s always beneficial to check nutritional info, even when I think I know it.
  2. Even websites can only provide estimates; there’s a very wide discrepancy when it comes to prepared foods (as one would assume), so it could be very easy to fool oneself (cali roll came in as low as 25 cal/piece, which has to be ridiculous).
  3. If I can, I should check the nutritional info before I go out. In this case, I wouldn’t have gotten the combo with the cali roll, or maybe only eaten half of it because I don’t really like it all that much. But the combos were pre-made (for lunchtime rush), and because I thought I was so low overall, I kept picking until the entire roll was eaten. Or I would have gotten the vege Bibimbap (which I love and is only about 400 calories).
  4. It’s useful to tally up one’s calories even after the fact, as it provide the information to make better choices for the rest of the day.

This last one is a key one for me. I’m a snacker. Usually, my lunches sum to about 300 calories, but then I nibble away for the rest of the day (apples, nuts, dry cereal etc.) and wind up eating a reasonable amount of food (I do not think having only 300 calories at lunch is sufficient to fuel one’s entire day, unless breakfast was enormous). However, today I will limit that as I’ve obviously had a considerably larger lunch than usual.

Ahhhhh… smugness restored.

Facing it

It’s been forever since I’ve posted, and I’ve come to a realization; I’ve gained some weight. It’s not a lot of weight, probably in the range of about 5 pounds, but it’s enough that I haven’t worn some of my more form fitting clothes in a while.

This is not significant in and of itself, and I’m not expecting a giant outcry or gasp of dismay either due to the gain or due to the denial about the gain. However, it’s time to stop pretending that I’ve been staying the same since football season ended in August. Because, you see, that’s what I’ve been doing. My pants aren’t snug and my blouses’ buttons aren’t straining because I ate too much salt or I’ve got PMS or because they just came out of the dryer. It’s because I’ve gained a bit. And while that’s not the end of the world by a long shot, it’s also realllllllly dumb to pretend it hasn’t happened.

So, I’m still 148, but that’s a little up from 142ish, which is what I was this summer.

Huh… the world’s still turning. Guess that wasn’t so bad afterall.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Deeper, deeeeeper...

I think I’m disappointed and upset because I keep expecting Nick to help supply me with happiness. I don’t know if that’s fair or not, but I guess that’s how I always believed relationships worked; both parties actively trying to make each others’ lives happier. And I do genuinely believe that I try to do so for Nick. However, he doesn’t provide the same to me.

I’m torn on the situation. On one hand, I feel I should be able to skip along merrily without affirmation from Nick. I shouldn’t base my esteem on him. However, isn’t there a line?? If he teases me with put downs, shouldn’t he boost me up too?? And at the end of the day shouldn’t I have some measure of certainty that he’s attracted to me and finds me interesting and that I’m special and wonderful to him?? Even if it’s not said explicitly all the time, shouldn’t one have that in a serious relationship? Particularly one that is supposed to be headed towards marriage?

‘Cause such is not the case.

So, where does that leave me? Well, in the long run, I don’t know.

But in the short run, I think I have to focus on my own happiness. I need to read and see people and go to movies and exercise and do what I need to do to achieve my goal of feeling good about myself. And I can’t let outside influences distract me from achieving my happiness.


I’m an emotional eater. When things are tense, and I’m feeling general malaise or ennui, I turn to food (or sometimes shopping… which is just so sadly cliché I refuse to even touch it right now).

Things with Nick are tense. We have issues, and I’m not sure how they’ll be resolved, or if they’ll be resolved, given that he is completely unwilling to discuss things, and certainly not interested in making changes. Maybe these are unfair statements, but they’re based on the impressions he gives.

Given that there won’t be an immediate resolution to the issues that are eating at me, and given that I’m not prepared to walk quite yet, I have to suck it up. I have to do my best to stop fretting constantly and stop letting it all affect my eating habits, my motivation and my sleep.

Here are the things that I believe will help restore my equilibrium;
1. Get more sleep.
2. Eat better.
3. Exercise regularly.
4. Visit my friends more regularly.

There’s certainly more, but let’s not overwhelm my poor quivering brain, now shall we.

Given that it seems that I’m primary in the role doggie Mama, I can’t see sleeping in any later than 6am. So, I’ll just have to ensure that I’m getting to bed by 9:30-10:00, no matter who is over. And if I have to dip into my supply of sleeping pills, so be it.

I’m going to pair down my eats to the bare bones for the next couple of weeks (not literally bones, 'cause, ugh). Lots of vegetables, fruit, water and tea, supplimented with lean protein. I'm also going to try and reduce my coffee intake, which I think may be affecting my sleep.

Football is all done now, so I should have much more free time. I hesitate to detail it out right now, suffice it say that I will be making exercise, both cardio and strength training, a priority for the next few weeks.

I enjoyed spending time with Kristen so very much on Saturday. I have to work on this over the next few weeks. Fostering friendships is most definitely the way to prevent my head from blowing up while Nick and I are struggling through this nonsense.

Four points to try and emphasize in importance over the next two to three weeks. Can do.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Progress of a sort


It’s been several days since I’ve checked in. I’ve stayed pretty true to my commitment of hopping on the scale regularly, checking at least every other day. The benefit has been that the number is becoming just a number. It’s interesting to watch the difference a heavy meal or a salty day (you know what I mean) can make.

There hasn’t been much change to be noted in the number, but I have been making changes.

I’ve started tracking what I eat again. I’ve gone old school, using a pretty notebook that I’ve been keeping in my purse. I’ve got a good memory for numbers, and can sadly remember the values of most of the basic foods I eat regularly. When I’m in doubt, I just check on-line. But it’s ridiculously easy to estimate most unprocessed foods. Lean meat: about 120 cal for 100g (3-4 oz), fruit: about 100 cal for a serving (which is usually about a half a cup to a cup), vegetables: either almost nil for greens, peppers, broccoli, etc, and starchy vegetables yields more like about 100 cal/cup, fats/oils: 100 cal/tbsp. Starches are a bit harder to estimate, but 100 cal/half cup is about right, or the same for a slice of bread/half a roll.

It’s not perfect, but I’m trying to avoid being perfect. I used to sometimes reduce healthy foods from half a cup to a third of a cup just to save like 20 calories. I’d measure and fret, and for what?? Knowing my calories is useful, but I want to know within say 200 cal. I know I can lose by eating about 1600 cal/day. Some days it’ll be more like 1800 or even 2000, but I also know that some days it will be more like 1400. It’ll all balance out in the end.

I’m also very pleased to announce that I’ve gone for at least a brief run for the past three mornings. The puppy has been with me, and getting him worn out for the day provides much motivation. My knee kinda hurt this morning after bustin’ it up a hill, but I think I’ll just wear my brace tomorrow morning, and that should prevent anymore owey-ness. I currently plan on hitting the gym for some upper-body weight madness before the game this evening.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Still at it

Just for the record, I haven’t abandoned this endeavor yet. And while blogging daily is highly helpful to me, I have to acknowledge that it might not always be realistic. I’ve been over the top busy lately here at work, and at home we got a puppy on Sunday, and my time at home has been divided between giving him lots of love (he’s five months old, and almost four of those months were spent in a cage at a pet store, which is tragic) and trying to get him housebroken (see previous parenthesis).

However, things have been going along not too badly. I’m now 145 lbs, partly due to eating better and getting some activity in, but also partly due to the onset of my period. I’ve charted it all out, and because I’m a giant geek, I’ve included the trendline. I have to be careful about making estimates about my potential rate of loss as I have the tendency to start hanging hopes and dreams on crazy maybe’s

I feel like I’m starting to get settled in to a healthier eating pattern over the past couple of days. Not perfect by a long shot, but when eating less nutritious foods I eat sensible potions (a handful of chips rather than a whole bag), and thus far I haven’t succumb to the perfection that cab plague (wherein I try to be perfect and if I “fail”, like eating a cookie, the whole day is written off as a failure and I may as well go eat thirty cookies. And maybe some doughnuts (mmmmmm…)

Activity has been moderate. I’m still not where I’d like to be, but I’m definitely improving.

Friday, October 12, 2007

'Fessing up

I don’t want to establish a list of rules right now as I did in the past. However, I do want to establish a habit of writing daily, and the only way to do so is by doing so.

That being said, I didn’t want to write today. Because not only was I “bad” last night, making me a big hypocrite after all my hoity-toity talk yesterday, but I was also “bad” this morning, having eaten some candy and some dried fruit.

But then I had a couple of thoughts. The first was, from whom am I hiding my horrible horrible deeds??? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure I’m the only one here. So am I trying to deny my eating habits to myself?? It sorta seems so. Which makes sense because I often get to a point when I’ve gone a binge, or even a mini-binge, where it takes a colossal amount of effort to remember what I’ve eaten. Which really is a bad thing (and should be distinguished from a “bad” thing).

The second thought ties directly into the first, and that relates to how I tend to demonize food. I’m hiding my eating habits because I tend to think in the deepest depths of my heart that sometimes I’m “good” and sometimes I’m “bad”, and that’s something I have to break out of.

The third thought was that really I didn’t have an excessive amount of food either day, so why was I making a big deal about it?? I will acknowledge that I can’t eat in that way everyday if I expect to lose weight (I had many many chocolate covered raisins last night, followed by several slices of cinnamon toast and a piece of cheese, followed by baked fries, and then chased by some more chocolate raisins). But one night. More important is to look at why I became the bottomless chasm than to deny that it happened.

So there we are. I could be labeled a hypocrite (by myself, ‘cause again, just me here). Or I could accept that I might have a few too many nutritionally empty (but oh-so-tasty) foods, shrug it off , and have a supper of lean protein, vegetables and whole grains.

And by the way, I also weighed myself this morning.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Countdown

There has been a significant hiatus due to the crazy that has besieged me. But I think it’s time to acknowledge that there will always be craziness, and such is just the nature of life (unless you live on a farm. And even then the craziness would just manifest in other ways, like barn raising and quilting bees.)

My challenges were not particularly successful. I do these things in a bubble; I don’t start talking nothing but diet-babble to my friends, I don’t share my master plan with Nick, because I know that they’re boring and more than a little self-indulgent. But that means when I slip-up, there’s no to whom I’m accountable. This is something that I need to address

But enough is enough. Time to get down to brass tacks. For reals, this time. ‘Cause we’re in the final hour.

As of today, there are just over eleven weeks left before my thirtieth birthday. As of this morning, I was a grand total of 147 lbs. I want to drop 12 lbs by 30.

I got the ability (mad skillz, yo), the general know-how, and all the tools I need. And I go the cash to supplement it all as need be. Now I just have to put it all to use.

I think my plan is to weigh every day, and then take an average every Monday.

This is not a goal on which I will hang my hat. I’m pretty happy with myself most of the time right now. But I want just that little bit more. I want to be muffin-top free, and I want a better base of fitness for next football season. I want that extra tweak of confidence, a lack of self-consciousness.

I’ve got a pretty full roster of activity. I don’t think I’m going to spell them out here, because that has seemingly failed me in the past. I think I’ll just try to post here daily and discuss the woes and pitfalls (and also the wins and small joys).

Friday, July 6, 2007

A week in review

It’s been a bit over a week, with a holiday weekend smooshed in the middle, and the question on everyone’s mind is, “how’d you do??”

And the answer, Dear Reader is, “meh.”

Overall though, it wasn’t too bad. A couple of slip-ups, partially involving the appearance of three types of ice cream/ice cream novelties in our house (three! types!) Nick’s sensational metabolism lets him indulge without a thought, and I have long ago decided that I have no right to insist upon a healthy eating plan for him, just because I’m trying to adhere to one. Given my weakness for ice cream, I held pretty strong. However, far from perfect. This week has been going along swimmingly, though, if I do say so myself. Stairs, check. No simple carbs, check (mostly). Run/activity other than football three times this week, it will be if I get my ass to the gym tonight. So not too shabby.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Baby Steps

I’ve decided on two things.

The first is to try and make changes slowly. By this I mean that in making a commitment to myself to change one aspect, I don’t have to go balls out and change everything all at once, just that one aspect.

This relates nutritionally. I decided to stop eating refined carbs. Very good. Well done. And if I can really fulfill that commitment to myself, then I really will have done something good for myself. The problem is that the Perfectionist in my head wants to change everything else at the same time, which ultimately leads to me being overwhelmed and unhappy. In this case, I’m trying just to cut the refined sugars from my diet, but the Perfectionist sees an opening, and starts saying, “well, if you’re really trying to eat healthier, then you should start looking at your protein/carb ratios at the same time”.

There is some validity to this; right after being held in the sway of refined carbs, my next biggest nutritional pitfall is inadequate protein. But in trying to correct everything, there’s a lack of focus which for me leads to failure.

So this week I’m just going to focus on keeping my promise to myself of having no refined carbs. And if my macro nutrient ratios are out of wack (as they are today, with my whole grain cereal brekkie and my wild rice and fruit lunch, no real source of protein has made an appearance), really that’s okay. Once I get this part of it down, I can start learning the next trick, maybe next week or the week after.

The second is to forgive mistakes and claim the need for a do-over. It was almost 9:00 by the time I got home last night, and I was starving. While I was waiting for my supper to cook, a couple of friends stopped by. And with them they carried the remnants of their supper at Pizza Hut which they thoughtfully offered to share. I was able to push away the pizza without a second thought (not being much of a meat-eater), but snagged a fresh breadstick. I was halfway through before I remembered my promise to myself.

Here’s what I did wrong; I finished the breadstick (gasp! Hand to forehead). But here’s what I did right; rather than say to myself “ah well, you blew it anyway. May as well eat your face off tonight and then we can start again tomorrow” (because, you see, the Perfectionist is also a Defeatist), I said, “a four bite breadstick does not lose the battle”, and pushed away the rest of the plate to wait for my supper.

Two baby steps. And then two more. And then all of a sudden, I’m striding along, swingin’ my arms and whistling a tune as if I’ve done this forever.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A reaction and a promise

Ack!! Ugh!! And, why?!?!?!?

I have just experienced three mini-binges over the past three days. I call them “mini” because in the past a binge would involve hours of food consumption that would wind up in the realm of ridiculous or even disgusting. All were during times of boredom and emotional frailty, but pure emotions were not the trigger for the most part. They started with a minor but entirely innocuous indulgence of a processed starch.

Now, as I said I fought my urge to continue the binge spiral with various degrees of success, but I do feel that I was much more successful than I was a year ago. So that’s some progress. But I think it’s time to stand up and recognize another culprit; SIMPLE SUGARS!

Now, in reality, this goes hand-in-hand with my emotional eating; when I’m sad or upset all I want is simple carbs. However, by opening the door just a leetle bit, I’m apparently inviting an onslaught of cravings. Yesterday I was bored and moody and a bit lonely. A single slice of sourdough bread started my sugar roller coaster, and it was only removing myself from the house that ended it. Today I had a sensible serving of gelato while walking and chatting with a girlfriend, but right after it was done I was thinking about my next sugar fix. If my emotions were a bit better adjusted today, then maybe this wouldn’t be an issue, but given that I’m in a long term relationship with someone who sends me topsy-turvy, I can’t count on my own innate stability.

So now that I’ve assigned blame, what can I do to prevent this from happening again??? Well, I think we all know the answer to this, although we may not like it; cut out the refined carbs from my life.

So, there it be, ladies and gents. I am going to make a commitment for the next month (that’s right, until July 25th) that nothing containing sugar or refined flour shall entire my mouth. Sticky rice will be the sole exception, because I consider sushi one of the healthier choices when seeking a restaurant, and don’t see any reason to throw the baby out with the bath water).

Aside from that, I’ve decided to also renew my commitment to cardio exercise outside of football. This week, and for the next month, I’m committing myself to at least THREE cardio sessions outside of football. And finally, I’m going to recommit myself to exclusively using the stairs to reach my third floor office.

So, to reiterate, for the next month I will:
1. Let no simple carbs pass these lips.
2. Run (etc.) at least three times a week.
3. Use the stairs in my office building.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Up for the challenge

I am someone who likes to have goals and I have a tendency to make mini-challenges for myself all the time. This may have been something that I’ve always done (and I suspect that such is the case), but the first time that I specifically remember acknowledging this need was shortly after I graduated with my first degree.

I did my under-grad in Chemical Engineering. And because I like challenges, I took the option of having a course overload, which allowed me to work in an eight-month internship in the industry in which I thought I had some interest. So was busy. Very busy. And everything was broken into mini-challenges or goals in the form of papers and projects and exams (oh my!). So when I graduated and began working in the Real World, which consisted of a 37.5 hour work week (versus my 40 hour class schedule + 20 hours of assignment/project work + 15 hours at a part-time job), I had no idea what to do with myself.

I needed a challenge!!!

Some people roll their eyes at me for this innate need. Others have felt it necessary to try and have me “relax”. However, “relaxing” is done to make a person happy and satisfied, n’est pas?? Well, then, I find having mini-challenges “relaxing”. And please don’t have false expectations that my mini-challenges are in the order of building a canoe or epic novels. Think “mini”, people! While some have been on a larger scale (training for a half-marathon, and then later, a full-marathon), many have been significantly more humble (knitting a scarf, taking a 5-class course on the basics of pottery throwing). The key is not in the grandeur of the task, but in the task itself, in trying something or maybe achieving something. And the purpose is never for adoration or praise. At worst I’m looking for bragging rights that I gave it a go, and mostly I’m just interested in the experience.

So. That being said, I’m setting myself up for a mini-challenge (you had to know this was leading to something). And that is three and a half weeks of doing it right.

The background is that I am a tackle football player in a women’s rec league. We have an away game in 3 ½ weeks that’s in an area with be-you-tiful beaches. And I want to feel good about myself. I want to be without self-conscientiousness when I step on the sand in my bikini. I’m not looking for air-brushed, glossy perfection. I just want to feel good.

To work towards that, I plan on eschewing sugar and white starches for this period, and focusing instead of lots of fruits, vegs and lean protein. I also intend to return to my regime of weight training and adding cardio again (both of which have slipped considerably), and of course I’ll continue with football (which has been my saving grace when the strength training and cardio slipped).

Let’s begin, shall we?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What's in a name???

While I’ve written other blogs in the past, I was reluctant to return to them. The most recent was being written during a time of upheaval in my life, which in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but in this case was also a time when I allowed the upheaval to upset my internal equilibrium. Because of this, I don’t feel like that past blog was a good reflection of the person that I normally am.

And so I’ve decided to begin anew. And in doing so I’ve decided to name this blog in such a way that it’s reflective of the person that I am, or at the very least, the person that I aspire to be. The previous blog was very much focused on weight loss, and although I know that that will be a subject that will be raised again many times, I also want to acknowledge the other aspects of myself.

So what’s in a name? In this case, I’ve always railed against being defined by others, and in general, people have difficulty pigeon-holing me. If someone is successful, it’s usually because they’ve had a very limited experience of me. Sometimes this sucks; some friends who are professionals of different types think I’m too artsy; other friends who are artists think I’m too pragmatic. Most of the time I embrace the concept. I rarely think of myself as not fitting in anywhere. Rather I think of myself as someone who can fit in where ever and who can find common ground with almost anyone.

I’m more and more starting to really like the person that I am, both inside and out. I still have lows and moments of insecurity, and I am still trying to lose the last 10 to 15 pounds and find the perfect pair of black heels and that one shade of eyeshadow that makes eyes look just dreamy. The difference is that now I recognize that life is pretty great even if my hair isn’t.