Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Train Wreck

I totally fell off the rails for the weekend, extending till yesterday. It was a combination of things; a weekend (a long one at that), eating with other people, and having a lot of feelings of resentment directed towards Nick.

End result? Train wreck. I haven’t been on plan for food, for training or for my N.E.A.T. (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, which I gauge by my pedometer, which I don’t wear during a planned work out).

Today has been good so far. I did 30-45 minutes of body weight training, and then walked with Rufus for another 20 minutes. I took my gym gear with the intention of going at lunch, but that was kyboshed by a meeting that ran VERY long.

I weighed myself this morning and although I almost cried, it also recommitted me to my plan.

I want to go really hard for at least the next two weeks. Why? Because two weeks from now I have an appointment to get an existing tattoo on my belly revamped, something I’ve wanted to do for years, but kept putting off while I waited to lose weight. However, I’m 10-15lbs heavier than I was a year ago, so I’ve decided to just do it.

That being said, a stranger is going to be up close and personal with my tummy in two weeks time. Although I can’t lose 25 lbs or anything crazy like that, I want to feel my best which means that I have to train hard and eat well.

Friday, September 4, 2009

How was the first week?

So I've completed one week, and am on day 8 of my self-imposed challenge, and I have to say so far so good. Progress: I met my 3 lbs lost goal. Downside is that I was secretly hoping for more, and saw a smaller number when I peeked yesterday. However, 3 lbs is a healthy amount, and I really want to focus on losing in a reasonable manner this time.

Good things:
- I've exceeded my pedometer goal of 11,000 steps almost every day. As the intention of the goal is to try and push myself, I'm upping it to 12,000 steps per day for the coming week.
- I did my scheduled workout EVERY DAY! Three days of strength training according to my plan, and three days of cardio. Walks with Rufus and at lunch were added on top of that.

- I tracked my food every day, even when I overate.
- I ate breakfast everyday.
- My sleep is starting to improve.
- I'm not even that sore.

Not so good things:
- I had three days of "slip ups". Only one was what I would consider a binge, which involves eating to try and disassociate from feelings, and usually involves really excessive quantities (on Sunday, the binge day, I hit slightly more than double my target calories). While scary, it still wasn't anywhere near some of my worse days and I did catch myself. The second day was Monday when I went out socially with my football team. Given that the calorie excess was only about 250 over, and given that I had played two games of flag football right before, I am comfortable with that. Last night was somewhere in between the other two days. I only ate an excess of about 250-350 calories, but I was trying to quell some negative feelings. I also kept going for a bit after I realized what was happening in my head. So while the damage wasn't terrible, the causation makes me think of it as a binge.
- My cardio could be stepped up considerably. I'm okay with this as a work in progress, even in the coming week. However, as I get into the groove of things, I should definitely be mindful of the need to make the most of my cardio sessions.
- Sleep still isn't great, so my morning gym sessions are being cut short. Again, let's consider this a work in progress.

All-in-all a good week, though, and I feel confident that I'll hit my first mini-milestone of being back in the 140's next Friday as planned.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Stumbled, but picked myself back up (Day 4)

I stumbled a bit yesterday. It was a cardio optional day, and while I didn't do anything too intense, I did take the pup for a long walk, about one hour or 4 km. The day went quite well in terms of what I ate, until later that night.

In fact, I was pretty much on target until 11:00, when Nick went to bed. We're still not great, and I was feeling resentful of him due to his general apathy about our relationship (which is a subject that I'm not ready to tackle right now), so I felt restless and not ready for bed. So I stayed up, just foolng around on the computer, and I started to nibble. It went on for about an hour, until I had eaten about 1,400 cal over my target for the day in almonds, trail mix and granola bars.

Extreme, somewhat, but given my track record of binging, I'm taking it in stride. For one thing, it was all more or less healthy food. For another, 1,400 cal is nothing compared to some other ninges in the past.

But the three most important things are that 1.) I tracked what I ate (something I usually don't do after a binge), 2.) I recognize and acknowledge the trigger (late night + stress created by relationship problems) and 3.) I haven't let it continue.

The third point may be the most significant. In the past, one binge would easily lead to days, or weeks or more, of self-sabotaging behviour. I've been off work today, and I've not only eaten healthfully, I've made several healthy foods for the rest of the week (turkey chili for lunches and/or dinners and soy/spelt/zucchini bread for breakfasts and snacks). I'm also dressed for the gym right this second and will be heading there after I hit "post".

My biggest challenge today will actually be this evening. We have our final flag football game in the co-ed league that I play in, and I know that the team will be heading out to the bar that sponsers the league afterwards. I can resist the beer, but there are free nachos provided (as part of the sponsorship) and they are so delicious. My plan is to eat a good supper before the game, and to bring a protein bar to eat right before the bar. I also don't plan on staying too long, and given that Nick (who also plays in the league) and I are taking separate cars because of wonky schedules, I won't feel the guilt of making him leave early.

Here's to fingers crossed for a successful Day 4!

Friday, August 28, 2009

First day back (and ow!)

I am so sore. I know that I haven't been to a gym since April (ish), but I have been active. I've done body weight work, played flag football, softball, ran, swam and played. But, in hindsight, it's been weeks since I've been in any way consistent, and most of my activity has been more cardio based.

On the other hand, soreness aside, I went to the gym, so yay me!!!

Turns out that all the fitness advice about making a plan and sticking to it actually works (who knew? Oh right. Everyone.) Last night I wrote down what I planned to do (a very straight-forward full body strength training workout), and this morning I did it. My mind did sort of try to talk me out of it, first by whispering that another fifteen minutes of sleep would still allow me time to hit the gym (it wouldn’t), and then that maybe a brisk walk with Rufus, the pup, would suffice (again, wouldn’t). And finally, as I was walking to the gym, that maybe I should just skip the strength training and do some cardio instead so I could follow the Mon-Wed-Fri schedule that’s in the book that I’m using (shut up, Brain! You always say that and we never start!) But I had a plan! A list if you will. And I do love me a list.

So I did my first focused strength training session in months. And I am soooo sore right now.

But, I also feel great, and have been in a great mood all morning.

Foodwise, I also had a plan. Which stumbled in the face of cupcakes (many!! In so many flavors!!) I am only so strong, so I had one. However, I’ve already included it in my nutritional tally (thanks Daily Plate!), and am still in good standing.

Other than the cupcake, I also ate breakfast!! I know!! And, again, the damn overused advice may prove correct as I’ve felt really great all morning.

So here’s the tally. Exercise: good. Food: mostly good (and hope is not lost!). Pants: tight (which instead of depressing me completely, is sorta motivating me. Although still depressing me a little).

So what is it that I'm doing now?

Right. So, I’ve read many of the books published by the fitness gurus of the interwebs, and have sort of put together a plan that pulls from a bunch of them (not too difficult since there are repeating schools of thought).

I’m going to follow the strength training plan and progression from The New Rules of Lifting for Women. I’m trying to incorporate some of the views on affirmations and goal setting from Turbulence Training. And I’m going to use a whole combo of books for nutrition, but much will be pulled from the Fat Loss Troubleshoot.

More than anything, I’m not going to be too rigid. I’m a type A personality, an all-or-nothing girl, so when things slip even a little, I throw in the towel because I’m off plan. So my “plan” is going to allow A LOT of flexibility.

I’m also going to go ninety days. One would think that that’s a fairly short time, but for me, it’s a little intimidating. So I’ve broken it into 14 day chunks for now, and then into day-by-day pieces, and I’m going to try to look at just one day at a time.

Should I....?

So I’m trying something new. Something that will be a tool to motivate me and provide guidelines for success. I’m feeling very excited and positive about this.

However, I’ve been here before. I am completely stereotypical in my complete love of a new plan, snuggling up to it like the smitten honeymooner that I am. But soon the plan starts to demand my time when all I want to do is be lazy. Soon I start to resent the plan and maybe even start to flirt with other plans. Next thing you know, I’m done, leaving my once adored plan out in the cold wondering where it all went wrong.

Depressing? In some ways. However, one could also consider look at it as an optimist (one could also look at it as a Cathy cartoon… shut up, one!)

I’ve been trying to decide whether I want to document it on this blog, or to scrap it and start another. However, given that I do this mostly for myself, it seems a little silly.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New low (high?)

The whole challenge thing obviously went out the window. Work involved travel, there were a slew of weddings, cabin parties with friends and life in general happened. I've also been experiencing A LOT of stress, and all the sleep issues and emotional eating associated with that.

What does that mean? I'm at the highest weight that I've been since my knee injury, at 155.2 lbs as of this morning.

Given that my "happy weight" is 130 - 135 lbs, and my "moderately comfortable weight" is 140 - 145 lbs I am less than pleased. So it's time to get back to it, to knuckle under, to get my eating under control and start working out regularly again.

Plans are in the works, but I've started and failed so many times on this blog that I hesitate to put it in words quite yet.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Going outside to play (and week 2 of challenge)

So week two, and I’m definitely dropping in poundage. There’s this weird sense of relief when I start getting back into my comfortable zone… I know that my clothes will fit and I won’t feel uncomfortable. And I’m still feeling happy with my food, which makes life easy for me. The difficulty always arises when my mind turns to sweets, and I start having my emotions getting all mixed up with cravings.

This week’s challenge is to incorporate outdoor activity into one’s life. This one’s a no brainer, since I’ve already fully embraced the great outdoors. I put my gym membership on hold in April, and haven’t looked back too much.

I do an outdoors bootcamp twice a week, in the early morning, before work. I participated in this bootcamp pre-Christmas last year and liked it, but it was indoors which limited some of the variety. Being outdoors is definitely far more interesting (and usually challenging!) The instructor makes excellent use of the surrounding and we haven’t really repeated a workout yet.

I also play flag football, and am actually participating in two leagues, one women and one co-ed. This means that I play at least twice a week I’m running around outside and maybe have a couple of practices thrown in as well. They’re both rec leagues, and not too competitive, so if there’s an evening where I feel the need to take it a bit easier, no one minds.

Starting in a couple of weeks I’ll also be playing co-ed softball with the co-ed flag team. That should be interesting given that I haven’t played softball since junior high. But the people on our team are so great, I don’t think I’ll be too stressed even I turn out to be terrible.

And finally, I’ve been taking my pup for more walks. I’m trying to meet up with my Mom for some of these, as it gets her active, but it also gives us a chance to catch up. And the pup definitely loves it. It’s funny; he’s a fifteen pound miniature poodle so you would think that he would limit the distance. But we’ve gone over 10 K without him having any problems, and I’m pretty sure that could even be extended.

There’s also a workout that we’ve been asked to try each week. This week’s is a tricep blitz. I did it last night, and can definitely feel my arms today.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Turkey Burger

So aside from the whole losing weight thing, this 15 Week Challenge includes little mini-assignments (if you want). This week’s is to health-ify a recipe.

Now while I’m not a fancy cook, it’s mostly because I’m kinda lazy. However, I can cook elaborate meals and have a pretty good palette. For the most part I don’t take an existing food and try to make it healthy. I find it’s either a poor substitute, or it’s not much healthier than the original (I’m thinking of most baked goods I’ve tried this with). I do have a repertoire of fairly healthy dishes, which both Nick (who is VERY picky) and I enjoy.

One which appears regularly, which is a healthified recipe, is turkey burgers or turkey meatballs. I don’t eat red meat at all, originally due to an effort to minimize my carbon footprint, and now because it makes me queasy. Nick just embraced it, and while he still relishes the occasional fast food burger, he’s never really complained.

I buy ground turkey when it’s on sale and freeze a ton of it, thawing it as necessary. To make the burgers I use about 600g (or about a pound and a half) of turkey. I add about ¼ c of oats whizzed through the blender (about flour consistency or a bit lumpier),1 egg and some salt, and mix the whole mess.

Then I start adding spices. These will vary with the meal. Sometimes a tex-mex theme, with chili, garlic, and peppers. Sometimes Indian, with onion and curry powder. Sometimes basil and sundried tomatoes. Sometimes shredded cheddar and savory. You get the idea. I use the burgers/meatballs as a base for whatever I want out of it, and it’s pretty hard to go wrong. You can even add some vegetables (like frozen spinach), but err on the side of too little otherwise the burgers won’t hold together.

You then form them into whatever shape you want, and then sauté them in a non-stick pan or on the barbeque (if burgers, obviously).

As for serving them, the burgers are pretty intuitive. For the meatballs, we’ve had them over pasta, in pita bread with hummus, in a stir-fry, or on their own with some dipping sauce.

The nutritional info changes for this depending on the proportions of the main ingredients and the add-ins, but I’ve worked them out in the past (using extra lean turkey) to: 150cal, 2g fat, 5g carb (with about 0.5g fiber), 27g protein.

Still here. Again.

So I didn’t actually disappear from the interwebs. I’ve just been feeling really unmotivated the past few months. Life has continued to putter along, and I’ve kept pace just fine. I still occasionally struggle with how I feel about my physical self, but most of the time it’s not in the front of my mind. I haven’t lost weight. But I did go to L.A. and had a great time. I’ve gone to parties and barbeques all at this weight and size, and enjoyed them all.

However, I do still get frustrated by times, and those times can put an unfortunate slant on a social occasion. Those times when I spend an hour trying to find an outfit in which I feel attractive (and never succeed), it does but a damper on my confidence. Not in a huge way, but I know the difference.

So, I’m going to keep on trying to drop the weight. The ten extra pounds I carried in ’08 has upscaled to fifteen. I definitely don’t want that trend, an additional five pounds a year, to continue through my thirties.

Aside from keeping my activity level up (still wearing the pedometer, playing sports, getting up at omigod o’clock to run), and trying to eat well (lower carbs, especially refined ones, trying not to binge), I’m doing Amy’s Quest to Skinny 15 Week Challenge. I just want some sort of check in system. I don’t want to start slipping backwards and abandon this, though. Posting weekly to her for the full fifteen weeks will be an accomplishment in itself.

So, there’s that.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

My new passion (maybe)

Note: neither of these ladies is me. However, I just wanted to show two women in jiu-jitsu who weren't wrestling in bikinis (google, you make me sad sometimes...)

So the high of a couple of days ago was apparently bloat, ‘cause I’m back down to 151.6. That means that I’ve dropped a couple of pounds since last week, and so am feeling a little bit better about myself. As of right now, I should be able to get back to my baseline weight of 145 lbs by my trip to LA in three weeks, assuming that I can lose the prescribed healthy weight of 2 lbs per week.

I’m really frustrated with myself, though. Time and time again I let my emotions drive my eating habits. Aside from my vanity being affected when my pants start getting too tight, a swing of 10 lbs in a month can have a detrimental effect on my health.

I’m still feeling a little lost in terms of my activity. No football this summer for the first time in years has left me feeling like I’m cut adrift. I’ve been getting more into jiu-jitsu, but the gym where I’ve been training is MMA oriented (Mixed Martial Arts, like the UFC). That means that it is VERY heavy on the testosterone. Usually I feel like I can hold my own in such situations, but the machismo is pretty extreme, and most of the guys don’t even talk to me. So although I really enjoy it, it’s really hard to get the same feeling of being part of a group that I would get from football.

There is one other woman that attends, and she and I have become sort of buddies, or at least regular training partners. However, she doesn’t have the same problem with being snubbed because she is best friends with our instructor and has worked with several of the other “alpha” guys (this is how she got into the sport). So when it comes to partner up, they have no problem grappling with her even though they’re much more advanced. They offer hints, and are very patient. Such is not the case with me. If they do agree to work with me, then I often feel that they are frustrated with my inferior skills. Or maybe I’m just paranoid.

Long and short, the discomfort, paranoia induced or not, means that I often am less than motivated to attend class. And on days when my training buddy is not going to make it, I’m even less inclined to go. Like today.

Aside from the above, the location and the timing of classes makes getting to the studio an effort. So, my motivation has to be even higher to overcome that.

Le sigh. I would like to advance in this sport, I really would, but the roadblocks in my way (many of my own making), are making it seriously hard.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Aside from this looming trip, I have three other upcoming events in the short term and the medium term.

Shortly after I get from LA, I have a circus show that I’ll be performing in. And aside from this show being performed in front of some friends and family, it also serves as an audition to do some bigger performances. To be successful I have to be strong, and lean as possible given that I’m holding up my own body weight for much of the show. I would also like to look good in the very unforgiving costumes that are worn

I also would like to compete in some bjj competitions. Again, I obviously have to be fit to be successful in this, but again, I need to be leaner – there’s a good chance that I’ll be competing against men, and if I’m 150lbs, 28% body fat rolling with someone 150lbs, 10% body fat, I’m going to be at a serious disadvantage.

And finally, I have a purely vain motive as well. My aunt is getting married the first week of August and it’s going to be a huge family get-together. I would very much like to be svelte and slim for this as my aunts, wonderful ladies though they are, are VERY judgmental and I don’t want to give them any ammunition.


I’m still binge eating, still not sleeping anywhere near enough (which of course makes for some crazy carb cravings), and am just generally a mess.

I stepped on the scale this morning and clocked in at 158.

I hope that there’s some sort of weird hormonal or sodium bloating thing going on, but I’m a-scared. I also feel so unattractive. Many of my clothes aren’t fitting and I just feel tired and weak.

I know that I can turn this around. My weight has always been tied in with my emotions, and I’ve been very emotionally volatile lately. However, I have my first vacation in several years at the end of May. I’m going with a girlfriend to LA, the land of sun and skinny, and I had hoped when I booked the trip a couple of months ago that I would slim out a little beforehand. Now, with a little under four weeks we leave, I’m just hoping to get back to my “normal weight” something like 145. Whether that’s actually possible, I don’t know, and I'm a little worried that I'm setting myself up for failure by setting deadlines.

I have been doing much better with exercising. It’s the perpetual overeating that’s packing on the pounds. I’ll also admit to a lack of motivation to some of my extra activities. For example, I skipped out on an opportunity to go into the jiu-jitsu studio on Sunday for no reason other than I felt overwhelmed about the effort required to get there.

Anyway, I have no more room for error if I want to have any hope of fitting into my summer clothes when we go to LA. If I can even lose 10 lbs I think I can prevent much of my potential discomfort while I’m there.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Revival (take 451,594)

I have had a crap-tastic two months.

I was trying to get the women’s tackle football league up and running, and failed due to lack of commitment and interest. That means that I won’t be playing tackle football this summer, which is something that I sorta feel like I should be able to take in stride, but I haven’t. I’ve defined myself by this for a long time, and now it’s gone.

I’ve also been having a rough go of it with Nick. I have serious concerns about our long term compatibility. I don’t know if it’s something we could talk through or not, but I guess I won’t know, because Nick won’t. To his mind we are meant to be together, point finale. And while a part of me is touched by his unwavering faith in our relationship, another part of me wants more that what he seems to be offering. It's scary because sometimes I wonder if I stay with him because it’s just easier than dealing with selling the house and fighting over who gets the dog.

Struggling with my relationship with Nick has highlighted how neglectful I’ve been of many other relationships with friends. I feel lonely and isolated, and sometimes just a little bit crazy.

And how have I dealt with all this? Um, not well. I haven’t been sleeping well and my nails are bitten to nubs. I've been watching too much television, and procrastinating on things at home. And I’ve been eating. I’m not just talking about the occasional indulgence here and there. I’ve gone entire days where nothing of nutritional substance passes my lips, where I eat only candy and pastries.

To make matters worse, my motivation to work out has severely declined, partly due to my mild depression and partly because my end goal of being football-fit is sort of moot when there’s no football.

So here I am, reviving my wanning motivation and fitness and everything, again. I hired a trainer who will meet with me twice a week for the next month. I’ve also tracked my food in the Daily Plate for the first time since February (although, in the spirit of full disclosure, one of my entries was a lemon square). And I weighed myself for the first time in almost two months this morning.



I can’t do anything more about football for this season, and because of restrictions with the association from which we rent gear, we’re limited to the late spring/early summer season. So time to move on till next season. Nick feels that things will work out, and I’ve agreed to stay another few months. Given that I’ve already agreed, there’s no pointing fretting over the matter further. I have to wait and see what Nick does. So in a sense, it’s also out of my control.

But I can lose the 10 pounds I gained, dammit. And I can lose the other 10 pounds that I’ve been carrying around since my knee injury three years ago. I figure if I pour all my angst into this endeavor I should kick those 20 lbs ass.
I can feel healthier and more confident.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Rough week

Nick and I have had a rough week. Or rather I have, while Nick doesn’t seem to realize that the spat that we had last Saturday morning, during which petty, nasty things were said, is still lingering and I’m still rolling the implication of some of those petty, nasty things over in my head.

All I’ve wanted to do is eat. I’m an emotional eater, with binge tendencies. How is someone who prides herself on being rational and practical also an emotional eater? Dunno. And yet.

I don’t have complete control over this, and I usually just try and keep the binge to a minimum. Last night it was oatmeal and brown sugar, and a few Peeps. Today it was some chocolate. I didn’t eat an unusual amount, but I ate in a sort of desperation, trying to dull my feelings of anxiety that stem from my relationship woes.

If I can stick to my plan for the rest of the day/evening then I’ll consider that a win.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Happy Dance!!

After maintaining the same weight for several weeks, I took a step back from the scale. I had been weighing myself daily and the frustration of not seeing any progress was starting to undermine my motivation. So I decided to go back to weighing only once a week, either Saturday or Sunday.

I stepped on the scale on Saturday. I lost almost 4 pounds.

So I weigh 146.6lb, which means I met my five pound loss goal (as suggested by the BDS) of 147lb, and now I can set a NEW five pound goal to reach 142lb.

And aside from my slow slog through the BDS, I’m still trying to keep my resolutions in mind. Here’s a brief summary of how I’m doing;

Hitting my target:
2. Eating breakfast
3. Tracking food
5. No more daily coffee (I still have some on weekends, but that’s it)
7. Push during training once a week
9. Weigh and record once a week.

Fulfilling in Spirit:
4. Eat protein at every meal – while I’m eating more protein, I still need to up my consumption
6. 10 hours of activity per week – I haven’t hit that yet, but I’m taking longer walks with the pooch, and getting in more activity regularly

1. Remind myself of resolutions (and practice BDS) daily – it’s been sporadic at best and I know that the BDS works best if I read my response cards and work the program daily
8. Work on pull-ups twice a week – I’ve had a couple of strenuous weeks physically, so haven’t really worked the pull-ups… actually I kinda forgot to work the pull-ups (hence the need for #1). However, this reminded me of my goal, so I’ll be back at them tonight
10. Ongoing list for housework and work tasks – I need to update this and check it regularly, otherwise I become too complacent

Friday, February 6, 2009

BDS - Day 7

#7 – Arrange your environment

This is advice provided by every magazine and diet advocate, but it definitely helps. The basic premise is that if it isn’t in the house then you likely won’t make the trip to the store to go get it. I am a semi-reformed Binge Eater (linked with depression, both now controlled med-free). I still have some tendencies to binge and not having things in the house or in my office has helped me a great deal (although I used to go for a car-rise to buy things at my worst).

However, I know live with my partner, and his food purchases have contributed to my slow gain since we moved in together. See, he has no emotional connection with food, so he can buy a tub of ice cream and let it collect frost after one bowlful. I’m at a point where I can do that sometimes or even most of the time, but in those times where I’m feeling something ugly if there’s any of my trigger foods around it will have a very short life span.

This can even include those things that I can combine to make into a trigger food. I’ve only recently been able to keep sugar in my house, and even then I buy small amounts from the bulk store. I’ve has a few mini-binges that have required me throwing the remnants of a bag into the compost to stop myself.

So, for me arranging my environment is not just a little step, it’s been essential in the past and not having sole control has been causing me difficulty for the past year and a half. But Nick’s wii fit slap down has prompted him to eat better and he’s stopped buying a lot of the junk he used to keep around.

Things that I’ve done to arrange my environment:
- Easy to munch on foods (i.e. nuts, cereal) are on the highest shelf in the kitchen so they catch my eye, making me grab a handful.
- I’ve minimized the tempting foods that are brought into the house.
- Food brought into the office by co-workers is rare, and if I just wait it out it usually is gone in a fairly short amount of time.
- I’ve announced to Nick my intention lose weight, and that I’m going to be eating healthier.

The last point is another part of this step; announce that you’re dieting, and this is the go-to reason why you don’t want certain foods around. This is the only step that has prompted a Sabotaging Thought;

Sabotaging Thought: “I’m embarrassed to tell people that I’m dieting.”
Response: “Why? The worst that can happen is that I don’t lose weight and they’re mildly critical. On the other hand, by giving a definitive answer I’ve closed the door to more pushing.”

I don’t know why I hate saying, “I’m dieting” or even, “I’m watching what I eat” or whatever. I think it’s because I don’t want to admit that I’m not 100% happy with myself, as it would be a sign of less confidence. I don’t know the reason, but I’ve overcome it at least with Nick and my Mom this time around.

Still trudgin' along...

(This is a fairly accurate representation of the conditions here right now... my poor miniature poodle is regularly over his head.)

After last week I have had a decided rebound. It took a couple of days, granted, but by Wednesday I was back to tracking my food and being active.

I think a couple of things saved me; 1.) it’s hard to slack off on my activities… I’m enrolled in several classes so that forces me out of the house, and the dog needs close to an hour of exercise a day to stay sane (more if possible) and I love my doggie, so my half of the walking duties means half an hour a day in all but the worst weather. And 2.) I kept up at least somewhat with the tasks in BDS.

After a quick start, I’ve been in a holding pattern around 25-27. I still plan to outline these , but in brief these work on teaching you to recognize your sabotaging thoughts, then recognize that they’re one of nine thinking mistakes, and then question those thinking mistakes to demonstrate their fallacy. I actually have the BDS on my iPod right now so I’ve been listening this section again and again.

In any case, I’m back to feeling in control, which is half the battle for me. I’ve also employed a new strategy into my diet. I was eating about 1,600 calories a day, but was having a hard time on days when I was more active. What I’m doing now is zig-zagging my calories, and hitting the high days on my days when I’ve got more on the go.

What it looks like:
- Monday – 1,500
- Tuesday (when I’ve got bootcamp) – 1,800
- Wednesday – 1,500
- Thursday (BC again) – 1,800
- Friday – 1,500
- Saturday – 1,800
- Sunday (which tends to be my rest day) – 1,400

This isn’t exactly how it’s broken down, but it’s pretty close. Basically, I’m trying to provide more fuel on the days where I’m more active, and on Saturday when I often want a bit more wiggle room so I can go to a restaurant or whatever. Depending on my social plans, sometimes Saturday is a low day and then I make Sunday the higher day (like this past Super Bowl weekend).

I know that this isn’t anything new, but I’ve never been consistent enough with tracking to be able to do this. I have to say that it really helps to provide me with energy, but also to allow for some more caloric indulgences.

Monday, January 26, 2009


So, I’m still following the BDS. But I’ve been slipping. Yesterday was a bit of a gong show and then today I had two cookies.

I know that these are not horrific confessions of sin. But after almost two weeks of sticking faithfully to a moderate calorie, nutritionally balanced plan, I feel that two days of being off-kilter is worth noting, if for not other reason than I would like to prevent it from spreading to two weeks off-kilter.

I could spout some yadda-yadda about how the weekend had some stresses (a banquet that Nick’s ex was also attending, a woman who broke us up once before, and Nick’s sister and my dear friend had a terrible fight with her boyfriend and wound up staying with us and crying…), but I think that they were the catalysts for the reaction that was already set to go off (have I mentioned before that I’m a chemical engineer?)

I’m feeling blue because I’ve been working out 5 days a week, and have been sticking to my calories and avoiding all nutrient lacking foods, and I haven’t lost anything. In fact, I’ve gone up half a pound.

I know that this is not reason to throw in the towel, but I’ve never hit a plateau this early on, especially when I’m hitting all my targets. The only logical thing I can think of is that my muscles are retaining water because I’ve only just got back into my strength training program.

Reasons why I shouldn’t give up include that I’ve been feeling stronger, and that my stomach seems flatter. I am in fact wearing a pair of dress pants that I couldn’t fit into in November and in December I could only wear REALLY forgiving tops with. While I’m still not entirely muffin-free in these pants, it’s small enough that I can wear pretty much all but the tightest of tops.

I’m re-reading my reasons for wanting to lose weight (BDS Day 1) and am giving myself credit for ending this slide downwards right now, while the damage is essentially non-existent. I ate more than I should have yesterday, but the damage has been worse in the past. And today I had tow cookies in my otherwise healthy day. I’ll try to make choices tonight that reduce the impact, but I won’t deprive myself unreasonably because punishing myself will only foster resentment.
Tomorrow I'll continue posting about the Beck Diet Solution.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

BDS - Day 6

#6 – Find a Coach

The role of a coach in this case to motivate, help solve problems, build self-confidence, and provide perspective and accountability.

I have people in my life who provide these things for me, providing in essence a coaching staff that provide support.

However, the BDS recommends asking someone to make a commitment to fill that role. And I haven’t done that.

The Good; I’m not hiding that I’m on a diet from people in my life, which is something I usually do. In fact, I told Nick for the first time that I’m not happy with my weight and that I’m trying to lose. This was helped by the recent purchase of the wii fit, which weighs you and puts your BMI on the screen, as well as how much you’ve lost (or gained) since your first weigh-in. I also participate in two different boot camps; one is for football conditioning specifically and has a 6-week challenge that started two days ago that I joined (winner gets to donate to charity of choice, plus the bragging rights), and the other is a women only early morning class and goes for 4-weeks with before and after measurements etc. tracked (I did the "before" last night). So both women who run these are tracking my weight and measurements. Plus, there’s always my super-supportive Mom.

So a solid support system, right?

The Bad; while all those listed will motivate blah blah blah, none will offer the constructive criticism that I know I need sometimes. And I’m not going to call up any of them when a chocolate cake is singing a siren song, which is suggested. Nor will I be having weekly meetings to sit down and talk about my weight one-on-one.

The only place where I’m completely honest about how I feel about weight loss is here on this anonymous blog. I would never, NEVER admit that I have moments where I lack confidence or don’t feel like I’m in control or any of the other things that I listed in Step #1. I just don’t. Or I will, but then will make light of it and immediately brush it off.

So, while I’ve fulfilled the criteria for a coach in word, I don’t think I really have addressed the ratoinale behind this step. That makes me nervous as it’s the only step that I’ve really flouted. But I’m almost two weeks in and am sticking to everything else, so we’ll see how it goes.

The back up plan I have, eDiets, does have a coach provided, so if I start to waiver too much than I’ll go to plan B.

BDS - Day 5

#5 – Eat Slowly and Mindfully

Um… I suck at this. No, really, I’m just terrible.

I understand the reason this is important; to allow you to fully appreciate and savor each bite, maximizing the eating experience and providing satiation. Eating slowly also allows you time to recognize that you’re full. Got it.

But I live in a household where my partner has no interest in sitting down to eat at the table. He even hates eating in a restaurant. And I get bored by myself, which almost makes me want to eat faster or more.

I also have an overfilled schedule. Today I left the house at 7:45am, and won’t be getting home till about 9:15pm. I don’t have much time for books or television or whatever, especially when I’m trying to increase my sleep by going to bed earlier. So I read or, less often, watch television with Nick while I eat. At work, I usually work through lunch so that I can leave on time.

I know! I’m a total dieting bad-girl!!!

Usually the suggestion techniques or the sabotaging thought/responses of the BDS are very effective, but none in this case speak to me at all, at least those that apply to mindful eating.

Here’s my compromise which works about 80% of the time now and I’m working on getting better. I eat while sitting down most of the time (the exception is when I’m driving to a workout and eating a healthy snack on route), but I still eat while doing something else like reading. But in between bites I put my fork down. And with every bite, I stop reading and try to focus on the food and how much I enjoy its taste and texture. I realize that it’s not perfect, but I feel that it fulfills the motivation behind this step in that I have slowed down my eating and I do enjoy the food more.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

BDS - Day 4

#4 – Give Yourself Credit

This is to counteract the inner critic that can undermine your good intentions. (And given that this is very much me, I’m switching pronouns…) When I “fail” and eat something I didn’t intend to eat, I usually start berating myself. This can lead me to binge or at least continue to eat whatever I want for the rest of the day (cake for lunch? Sure! Better have a brownie chaser, in case I get hungry, and maybe some Mike & Ike’s…).

What the BDS advocates is to instead view it as a minor slip up, and to just think about how to deal with the problem the next time it arises. It further recommends giving credit for what I did right.

Example (based on one in the book, but adapted to me):
Someone brings in candy to work, and I have one;

Previous Loey: “Ugh, I have zero control. I’m so weak.” Etc. until I’ve convinced myself that I really have no self-control and I may as well take a walk down to the bakery in our office building.

New (and improved) Loey: “So I had a candy. At least I resisted the first couple of times I walked by. And I only had one, so I didn’t affect my plan for the day overall. Maybe next time I’ll make some tea or wait till everyone else finishes off the candy and that way I can avoid temptation.” By not being critical I don’t beat myself down, and can avoid further indulgences through the day.

It’s also recommended to congratulation oneself on an ongoing basis throughout the day. This sounds hokey, but I’ve been doing so every time I eat a healthy meal or snack, or when I’m walking or doing some sort of activity. And I really consciously think about how I’m doing positive things for my body and working toward my goal.

The final recommendation is one that I’ve been doing for a while; have a credit fund, where you drop a coin or a buck into a bank or whatever when you do a positive action.

My credit fund (which has been funded by my non-coffee habit, which used to cost about $3/day) includes;
$1 for every day I stick to my diet plan
$1 for every day I exercise in a planned activity (i.e. gym visit, jiu-jitsu)
$1 for every day my pedometer hits 10,000 (which accounts for my unplanned activity, like walks, or taking the stairs)

I don’t know what I'll spend my credit fund on, but I keep hoping for an opportunity to travel (my trip to L.A. fell through), and plan on spending it on something fancy while doing so (some clothes, a live show, a side trip that I'd normally consider too expensive...)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

BDS - Day 3

#3 Eat only while sitting down.

This one is hard for me. I regularly shove food in my mouth while in transit, or eat while I’m getting ready to go out and face the day. I also, unfortunately grab a couple of crackers or a handful of nuts while I’m chatting with Nick in the kitchen, nibble as I’m preparing food, and I certainly never say no to a Sample Lady.

But all the tastes and nibbles don’t register with my tummy and so they’re on top of what I’m eating for meals and snacks. These little bites also tend to consist of foods that I normally wouldn’t eat because they don’t rate high enough on the Is-It-Worth-It scale (this where I evaluate the tastiness of a food versus its health value… chips which I’m so-so about? Not worth it. Brownies which I’d sell my first born for? Worth it…)

By sitting down each and every time I eat, I’m becoming more conscious of the fact that I am eating. This may seem ridiculous to some, but I’ve literally been unable to recall everything I’ve eaten over the course of an evening a couple of hours afterwards because I lack that consciousness.

I have to learn to stop grazing and, as my mother calls it, picking.

I still need to eat in my car sometimes (I leave jiu-jitsu and drive straight to a Boot Camp workout, and need to eat something), but given that I’ve never been prone to drive-through fast food eating, this isn’t too much of an issue. As long as my pre-workout snack is on plan, I think it’s okay to eat in the car.

Sabotaging thought: “I enjoy spontaneous munching.”
Response: “I need to sit down, otherwise I don’t seem to notice what I eat and tend to either overeat or eat off-plan.”

Sabotaging thought: “I’ll just write it down later.”
Response: “I’ve said that in the past and then just not bothered. If I want to succeed, then I must learn to sit down and enjoy my food.”


So like I mentionned, I'm already past this day, but have been practicing the technique. Overall, it's definitely helped me and I feel like I'm becoming more aware of what I'm eating. I do struggle when I'm in a rush, but am actively working towards sitting down everytime I eat.

Monday, January 19, 2009

BDS - Day 2

#2 Choose two sensible diets (i.e. ones that can be followed for the long term).

I actually spent considerable time thinking about this one.

I’ve tried MANY diets, and am pretty knowledgeable about the ones that don’t work for me. High protein and I’m going crazy craving any and all carbs, and I eventually succumb in an embarrassing binge. Weight Watchers I wind up eating unhealthy choices that just happen to be one or zero point foods. Plus I love eating nuts and nut butters and those foods are hard to fit in. Too low calorie and I wind up binging. Too low protein and I feel tired.

The Zone macro ratio (40-30-30) leaves me the most satiated. I’ve also recently read The Fat Loss Troubleshoot (FLTS), which breaks things down very specifically. The author, Leigh Peele, also advocates what is essentially the Zone breakdown (although she does vary some weeks), but also gives several formulae to determine how many calories you should be eating daily based on your activity through the day (plus there’s a test to help you avoid lying to yourself about your activity level). So I’m using these guidelines, but making my own choices right now. I’m tracking everything on The Daily Plate (TDP) to try and get my macronutrient ration and calories right. Calories, check. Macros, erg (but improving….)

Diet number two is the back-up plan. The idea is that people feel more security if they know a Plan B is in place, and I know that such is the case for me.

For number two, I used the same principle as to what kind of plan leaves me satisfied, but decided that I may have to look into what options exist that spell out a set meal plan for me. I had read about eDiets in several magazines, and checked it out. For weekly fee of up to $10 (less if I catch one of their often run specials), I get a weekly food plan emailed to me. I would choose the Eating For Life Plan (which is modeled after the Body For Life Plan).

So, to recap, current plan is FLTS (set calories, Zone ratios, choose my own food, no additional costs), and my back-up plan is eDiets Eating For Life (set calories, Zone-ish ratios, less food choice, $10/wk).

The final part of this day is determining my potential sabotaging thoughts and responses to quell them.

Sabotaging Thought: “I’ve got an event coming up. I’m going to go on fad diet X or take pill Y to drop some fast pounds.”
Response: “I want to be healthy, and neither of those promotes being healthy. I need something that works for the long term. Besides, none of the “quick fixes” have worked for me in the past.”

Sabotaging Thought: “I’m going to skip breakfast and save my calories for later in the day.”
Response: “I’ve been fighting this weight for almost TWO YEARS, and skipping breakfast most of the time. It’s obviously not helping so I should try something else.”
Edited to Add:
Cave Cooking in the comments mentioned the Paleo diet, and while I didn’t get into it, any diet that restricts certain foods make me crave those foods. I’ve successfully done anti-inflammatory diets for about two weeks, and I always feel great and want to stick to it, but in the end I always still feeling resentful and cave.

The Beck Diet Solution - Day 1

In other news, after reading rave recommendations from both Charlotte at The Great Fitness Experiment and from Crabby at Cranky Fitness, I decided to take a peek at The Beck Diet Solution (BDS) in an attempt to answer the question What the Hell???

You see, I’m pretty smart, with multiple degrees, and I’m a science geek that reads voraciously. Being a DINK (Duel-Income-No-Kids), I’m able to employ people to teach me even more about diet and physical activity. At this point, I consider myself VERY knowledgeable about fitness and nutrition. And yet, I struggle, particularly with my diet, and am constantly sabotaging myself.

The BDS works to break the cycle of sabotage, by providing you with strategies to deal with sabotaging thoughts. It also helps you break down the steps of preparing for the process of dieting into manageable pieces. In fact, it recommends that you don’t even start the diet until you have gone through two weeks of preparation, although if you were already in the process of eating differently, you don’t have to stop.

I had already tried to modify my eating habits, but am trying to follow the BDS day-by-day plan, and I just realized today that perhaps I should be recording here to help me with my accountability.

#1 Determine the reasons you want to lose weight and record them somewhere to read several times a day.

I wrote everything down. It included those vain and trivial reasons that I don’t like to admit, and I broke it down into all the little things that cross through my head.

Here’s a summary (as I seem to have repeated myself somewhat);
- to stop feeling inadequate,
- to feel more in control,
- to stop making getting dressed or going shopping a stressful experience, and to make it fun,
- to feel more confident and sexy (especially in the summer),
- to feel comfortable at the beach,
- to feel stronger, and have better muscle definition,
- to be able to more easily lift my own weight,
- to learn how to control my blood sugar.

Having written it all down, I read it through several times everyday and when I’m feeling tempted to abandon my goals. I’ve been finding now that I can almost picture the page in my little notebook (that I’ve been carrying with me everywhere) and even that’s been enough.

Like on Saturday night, we were at a pub. I was driving, so I could stick with diet soda and water, no problem, but the array of pub appetizers that everyone else was enjoying was dizzying. But every time I found myself wanting a nacho or a deep-fried potato skin I pictured my goal page in my head. And it worked!!!!

I’m already about 10 steps in (having rushed through a few days), so I’m going to be playing a bit of catch-up in upcoming posts.


The past couple of weeks have been crazy busy for me, but I haven’t forgotten about my goals for this year, and am currently pretty pleased with how I’m doing.

1. Check in on resolutions everyday.
Well, I’ve checked regularly, but not every day. However, I have fulfilled the intent of this resolution, which was to keep my goals in sight.

2. Eat breakfast everyday.
It’s a work in progress, but I’m eating breakfast almost everyday now.
(Almost) PASS

3. Track food.
So the weekend after I posted this list I fell off the wagon in a big way. It started insidiously enough, with some bulk snacks bought and eaten with a girlfriend Saturday afternoon, but they were healthy and I planned to track them later when I had a chance. But, before I got the chance, we two, her boyfriend and Nick went out to a sushi dinner and then just hung out for a while. During which time the boys wanted more snacks. Then Sunday was a snowstorm and my plan was off and I just abandoned ship for reasons that don’t really make sense to me anymore…
However, on Monday I attempted to track again, and while I didn’t do so for the evening, I did on Tuesday and everyday since.
So, FAIL, but with steady improvement.

4. Eat protein at every meal.
Getting better at doing this, but my macro-nutrient break down is still way too carb loaded.
FAIL, but improving.

5. Drop the daily coffee.
I have not had coffee on a weekday since the start of the new year. I’m having a cup or two a day on Saturday and Sunday, but I consider this a

6. Get 10 hours a week of activity.
My intention with this was to take the dog for much longer walks and perhaps walk during my lunch hour. However, it is FREEZING outside, and has been for the past couple of weeks. So, while the number has gone up, it’s still a

7. Push myself really hard at least once a week.

8. Work on pull-ups at least twice a week.
So far, still doing negatives, but I think my decent is becoming more controlled.

9. Weigh and record, at least once a week.
So far, no significant change, but I’m actually doing this, so

10. Make a list of chores and work on them slowly, but surely.
The list is still incomplete, but I’m happy with a work in progress, and I ticked off a couple of things the past two weekends.

Friday, January 9, 2009

It's that time....

Resolution time!!!!
Last year I had a crazy list of resolutions, most of which were not enacted. The same areas of my life leave me feel unsatisfied; my weight, the disorder of my home, my ambivalence and lack action about my job. I made that big list last year and then never looked back, which may be where I feel down.
So my very first resolution is to look at my resolutions every week, and access where I’m making progress. I don’t expect action every week on every point, but a general movement forward.
The List

1. Check in on resolutions every day.

2. Eat breakfast everyday – I’m one of those people that every magazine article and fitness consultant rants about, a breakfast skipper. I’m not hungry most mornings (which I’ll state publically), and I tend to follow the notion that a meal skipped is calories saved (which is an inside-head thing). And while every fitness guru out there says that it’s a counterproductive notion, I guess I just keep thinking that I’m the exception. Anyway, that’s going to change, and I’ve had brekkie every morning this week.

3. Track food – this one’s a no brainer, and while I would like to be around 1400-1600 cal a day, I would be happy if I could just track consistently at this point.

4. Eat protein at every meal, and try to have some at snack time – I’m hypoglycemic, and I can start riding the blood sugar roller coaster pretty easily. One of the fastest ways for that cycle to start is by having just a simple carb (a complex carb is a bit better).

5. Drop the daily coffee – I’m still going to drink coffee, but I was having several cups a day and between the cream, sweetener and caffeine, I don’t think it was a great daily habit. It’s moving into the “sometime” list.

6. Get 10 hours of activity a week – I know that sounds like a lot, but I walk my dog for about 20 to 30 minutes a day (at least). I’m not trying to be over the top, I expect at least half to be just walking, but I do want to increase my activity.

7. Push myself really hard once a week – while I don’t want to burn out, I don’t want to be lackadaisical about my fitness, so once a week do something that leaves me sweaty and gasping.

8. Work on pulls at least twice a week – I’ve wanted to be able to do pull-ups for several years. I got a bar for Christmas, so I no longer have the excuse of feeling uncomfortable doing the wussy versions at the gym.

9. Weigh and record, at least once a week – part of the reason that I gained so much is that I would go weeks without a check in. And then when I did, I would lie and say that it was a false high. I want to be able to track.

10. Develop a list for my housework and work on just one thing a week – I figure I’ve got break it down into bite sized pieces.

Okay, so it’s still a long list, but I believe all the goals are attainable. In fact, I’ve been doing several of these actions all week. I want to re-assess this whole list once a month and potentially add-on – I don’t want to make false promises about how I’m going to push my career onto the fast track, but it’s something I want. I’m scared of biting off too much at this point, so I’m reserving the right to expand as my confidence grows.

Ugly thoughts - 0, Loey - 1

For anyone who may actually read this, I defeated my inner demons and ate my healthy noshs. Just didn't want to keep anyone in suspense for too long. :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ugly thoughts

Ugh… I’m having one of those days where I want to throw the previous five days’ hard work out the window. And it’s for the stupidest reason too… you see I’ve gotten back into the habit of stepping on the scale every morning. I don’t know if I’ll keep this up, and I probably shouldn’t but right now I am. Okay, so I’ve been slowly dropping the holiday weight, but then this morning I had a gain. Not a huge one, and I had a fair bit of salty stuff last night, and blah blah blah…

The point is, I went up, and so today I want to everything that doesn’t have spikes.

I’ve had three good days or five decent ones. I’ve started to get myself organized. I have a kitchen full of healthy and tasty food. I had a good breakfast, and packed a good lunch.

But the bakery down stairs is calling to me.


Friday, January 2, 2009

Attempt # 2 - The wagon may be winning

Okay, so the first attempt to get back on the wagon was perhaps not entirely effective. There was a New Year’s celebration at my house (booze + Chinese take-away + on-going snacks = a very bloated Loey), and then yesterday we were snowed in and wound up picking and snacking and not moving too much (I tried to take my poor doggie, who’s about the size of a large cat, for a walk and he disappeared because the snow was too deep).

So, I gained another effing 1.5 pounds.

I know that it’s mostly water weight, I know. But it’s still so disheartening.

In any case, I’m newly inspired today.

I’ve actually entered in my data to the formulae provided by the Fat Loss Troubleshooting (FLTS) book, and determined for my current weight (sob), I should be eating about 1400 cal, which is what I typically need to eat to lose weight based on previous successes. I’m going to try and stick to that.

I went to the gym today and tracked my food choices.

Starting to feel back on track.