Monday, June 29, 2009

Moving Day!

Hi everyone! I've moved to a new, exciting location:

I hope you'll follow me over there--there are pictures and updates and a whole new look.

Monday, June 22, 2009

weigh in

It's probably been 4 weeks since I did my last monthly review, but I decided it's too hard to keep track of weeks so I'm just going to go by months of the year.  The great part is that gives me an extra week to try and lose some weight this month!

Cause as it stands, I haven't.  My weight this morning was 183.5, the same number I posted two weeks ago.  But as I said, I know I had a decent week last week and I'm not stressing, just getting ready to do it again (but a little better--no beer festivals) and hope to see results.

G is on his way out to pick up some shrimp for a veggie-riffic stir-fry in my brand new wok (from Ikea, $8, so I'm not expecting too much).  The MILF brought us a bunch of fruit and veggies when the in-laws came over for father's day yesterday.  When G and I were at Ikea earlier today we almost gave in and had Chick-Fil-A for dinner.  It's one of our "it's not really bad for you" treats.  But I thought of all the zucchini and Chinese eggplant in my crisper and made the right decision.

In other news, we finally had a day without rain.  It feels like it's been months.  Hallelujah! Good weather and good food is a hard combo to beat.  I hope your Mondays are just as pleasant.  

Current weight: 183.5
Weight lost: 28 pounds

[small voice] Still realllllly ready to hit 30 pounds lost...for reals yo, let's git'r done!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

rare weekend check-in

Hullo blogettes!

I'm checking in on a Sunday morning here because I am not A) hungover or B) filled with self-loathing at my behavior.  Progress!

Friday was odd--I woke up late, ate some cottage cheese, cleaned the house, and then checked out a few new On Demand fitness videos.  The first was a kind of dance/aerobics led by an energetic guy with two backup dancers.  I managed OK, but they completely lost me on the moving cha-cha. But I worked up a sweat and enjoyed myself, so no complaints.  Then I tried the Pilates Abs workout.  Remember how I said I kind of enjoyed Pilates?  Hahaha!  Bullshit!  The Abs workout was terrifying.  It's only 12 minutes long, but it's going to take me several tries to get through the whole thing.

This week I've been experimenting with bigger lunches and smaller dinners, trying to get out of the mindset of eating as little as possible during the day and then having a big snack after dinner.  (Not that I think that evening calories necessarily "weigh" more than daytime calories, a point I have debated often with the MILF, just that I think it's good to eat well during the day.)  So by the time I finished my workouts and showered, it was around 3.  I decided I'd eat the big salad I'd planned for dinner, and then treat myself to a big bowl of popcorn in the evening instead of dinner.  

I stuck to the plan, but I won't be doing that again.  Apparently I'm a creature of habit, and I want a meal in the evening.  Popcorn, delicious and nutritious as it is, is not a meal.  I went to bed feeling hungry and woke up with a stomach that was a little annoyed at having been fed only fiber the day before.

Yesterday I took G to a beer festival for his birthday.  What?  Beer??  And then steak frites for dinner?  The HORROR!  But I didn't feel guilty at all because I had had a perfect week and all of my flex points were there for me.  Also, I got in two more workout videos in the AM--Total Body Pilates and Jillian Michael's Shred.

If I can stick to my plan for today--eat light during the day, no alcohol, enjoy the Father's Day dinner but show some restraint--I will feel completely content with this week, regardless of the scale.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's Thursday night and I've been exercising and eating healthy all week!  

That's really all I have to say, other than to wish everyone out there in the blogosphere well with their own endeavors, whatever they are.

Oh!  And this: I bought a Pilates mat last weekend and have been doing one of the On Demand Pilates videos (I think it's called Total Body Pilates, 20 minutes long, perky redheaded instructor who reminds me of her) and was wondering what other people's experiences with Pilates are. This video is pretty low-key, and I actually enjoy it, which makes me think it must not be doing much for me in the way of fat-burning.  It seems like a good option, though, for a day off from the treadmill.  Anyone had their life changed by Pilates?

Monday, June 15, 2009

the best-made plans

Last week about this time, I was lamenting a bad eating weekend and asking for advice on how to avoid negating all my good behavior during the week by eating pizza and drinking beer on the weekend.  Y'all had some good pointers, including planning ahead and making cooking at home a treat.  Late last week I posted about the great food I'd picked up at the farmer's market and my tentative food plans for the weekend.

Ever heard the old joke: "How do you make God laugh?"  "Make a plan."

Here's what happened this weekend.  Friday night G came home with excellent job-related news, the kind of news that demands celebration.  So we did.  We went out to a Japanese restaurant in our neighborhood that we've been hoping to visit.  It was totally worth it, but I'm sure the total calories far exceeded my daily allowance.

Saturday wasn't too bad.  We helped friends move all day (seriously, eleven hours), which amounts to a hardcore workout.  I ordered dinner instead of cooking, but I ordered a fairly healthy meal and didn't eat all of it.  I had two glasses of wine, but that's it.

Sunday was full of errands and then I had to work.  G was all set to grill a chicken, beer-butt style, and I had prepared a butt-load (haha) of vegetable skewers as a side.  When I got home from work, G was antsy because the chicken didn't seem to be cooking and it was already past 9 (these days he has to get up around 5, so sleep is at a premium).  We inserted a meat thermometer and verified that the bird was a good 40 degrees from done, and that the coals were losing heat.  We gave it about 20 more minutes before we decided to put it in the oven to try to speed things up.

A few minutes later, G looked up from the TV and shouted.  Somehow our entire house had filled with smoke without either of us noticing.  We ran around opening windows, turning on fans, and getting the danged chicken out of the oven.  I cut into it and realized that while the bird looked crispy and cooked on the outside, it was still quite uncooked on the inside.  At this point, we had no choice but to stick it in the trash.

And then we called the local pizza pub and ordered calzones.  


So, not the weekend I planned, nor one that I am particularly proud of.  It would have been very easy to put together a quick and healthy meal from stuff I had in the fridge at 10 PM last night, but instead we ordered greasy, cheesy takeout.

I didn't weigh in this morning, but I know I haven't made any progress.  This may end up being one of those months where you're lucky to maintain your weight.  G has been so stressed and tired with his job situation that he's been stress-eating, stopping for muffins and milkshakes on his way home from work.  When he calls and tells me that, my inclination is to head to the fridge and eat whatever I see, because if he's being "bad," then so can I.  For the most part, I've managed to avoid letting his behavior influence mine, but by the time the weekend rolls around my willpower is depleted and I join him.

The good news?  I'm not giving up.  I've been in the gym or exercising almost every day, and I was back today.  I've embarked on a journey I'm calling The Great Salad Caper 2009--I've filled the fridge with salad dressing and salad fixings and all are labeled with how many points they add up to.  I'm going to be hitting up the farmer's market for that fresh greenery, and I even went so far as to buy two new dishes specifically for salads.

Just to be clear, it's not that I think you have to eat only salads to lose weight, but it's summertime and salads are a great tasty, nutritious meal.  I'd like to get us in the habit of eating them for dinner several nights a week, and making breakfast and lunch our bigger meals.

I know, I know, it's Monday.  It's easy to have drive at the beginning of the week, but I swear, I'm going to make it work!

Friday, June 12, 2009

WTF, Men's Health

A few minutes ago I sat down in my teeny tiny backyard (backconcretesquare) with a delicious piece of French toast (made with Amish whole wheat bread--divine!), some cherries, and a copy of Men's Health that we received when we signed up for the Broad Street Run.  (This is the issue with Trekkie Hottie Chris Pine on the cover, FYI.)

An article called "The Fix for Stubborn Fat" caught my attention--one of these "revolutionary" articles touting (surprise!) healthy eating as though it were a new discovery.  The first item that made me scoff was this follow-up to a paragraph explaining how bad carbs are: "So, what are the best choices for foods that contain carbs?  Almost all vegetable top the list."

Um, OK.  Here's the thing: I love my veggies.  I had a dream once where I had a seven-course eggplant meal and woke up salivating.  But I don't think of veggies as "healthy carbs."  I think of them as VEGETABLES.  Telling someone they'll have to replace their bagels and linguine with broccoli is a good way to stop a diet in its tracks.  To be fair, at the end of the paragraph they did throw in the obligatory mention of whole grains, but it was a little late.

However, what really made me spit out my French toast in laughter was an item on their daily menu.  Just for context, breakfast was basically turkey and lettuce, lunch was a salad with shrimp, dinner was meatloaf and veggies, and there were several snacks like nuts, cottage cheese, etc.  Not a bad day's food.  Except that, with dinner, they suggest "1 cup sliced cucumber, dipped in 4 Tbsp. ranch dressing."

1) 4 tablespoons is a hell of a lot of Ranch for someone who is trying to lose weight.  It's double the recommended serving size.  I love Ranch, but I think I would gladly eat most of the cucumber plain and then enjoy a few dips as a treat--maybe a tablespoon.

2)  Those 4 tablespoons contain 280 calories, 260 of which are from fat.  And not heart-healthy fat or anything like that.  Just crappy saturated fat.  28 GRAMS OF IT!

3)  For the Weight Watchers among us, that is 8 points of salad dressing.  I get 24 points a day.  Seriously?  I'm going to spend 1/3 of my points on salad dressing?  For 8 points, I could eat 2 cups of rice and at least not be hungry five minutes later!*

4)  If you have to have something to dip your cucumber in, why not make it hummus?  Hummus has fiber and other nutritious elements to it.  Ranch does not.  In any way.

Here's the thing: if you love Ranch, eat it.  I don't care.  Eat it in a small portion, or if you really really love it, eat the 4 tablespoons and account for the calories elsewhere.  But why, in the midst of an article that can barely bring itself to allow that whole grains are OK (sometimes, maybe, but don't forget they have CARBS!) does a health magazine advocate eating 28 grams of saturated fat for no good reason?

Just for kicks, other uses of 8 WW points:
4 small glasses of wine
4 eggs
a McDonald's hamburger WITH AN EGG ON TOP
a small bagel with one serving of cream cheese
2 cups of pasta
8 apples
96 jelly bellies

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

tentative weekend food plans

I just got back from the farmer's market--there's nothing like fresh produce to re-inspire healthy eating.  I picked up the following: a pint of cherries, 3 zucchini, a whole frozen chicken, Amish bacon, whole wheat Amish bread, cauliflower and broccoli.  While plans for Friday night and Saturday are up in the air (still helping friends move), I am planning to make a pot of beans tonight to last the next few days, a coconut/cauliflower/garbanzo bean curry Saturday evening, and to get G to grill a beer-butt chicken Sunday night with grilled zucchini on the side.  

I figure that the chicken will feel like a treat and still be fairly healthy, especially for a weekend night.  And while I know some low-carb dieters would turn up their noses at the bread, it tastes SO GOOD, y'all.  I'm not going to apologize for that!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

clothes shopping

I thought I had posted about my experience clothes shopping midMay, but after searching through my posts, I don't think I did.  The day started out miserably.  I knew I would fit into size 16 clothes (finally!) and I expected to find them at several stores.  The first place I went was The Gap, always a reliable carrier of size 16.  Nada.  I checked out some other stores that sometimes have 16s (J. Crew, Ann Taylor) and once again, nothing.  Even 14s were hard to find.  I was so frustrated that I ended up leaving the mall and heading to a different Gap, where I found a bunch of stuff, and a TJ Maxx, where I got the dress I wore to the wedding this weekend.  At the end of the day I was pretty happy with my new clothes and how I felt in them, but the first half of the day was miserable and infuriating.

Fast forward a month and I see this article about why Ann Taylor has stopped carrying size 16 clothes (except for online).  Now, maybe there are good financial reasons, and it's not a particularly new experience for us hefty lasses to complain about finding cute clothes that fit.

However, what really bugs me about the article is the accompanying picture.  The woman shown trying unsuccessfully to button her pants is NOWHERE NEAR a size 16.  Maybe a 10. MAYBE.  But by putting that picture with the article, the editors of DoubleX (a supposedly woman-friendly blog) have just reinforced ridiculous notions about what plus size really looks like.

Even more surprising to me are the comments at the bottom of the post.  At the time I wrote this, most of the comments were along the lines of "But their sizes are inflated anyway, all their clothes are too big for me."  Seriously?  I know that skinny people have their own struggles, but how are there so many more super-skinny people reading that article and posting about their woes than larger women?  

Monday, June 8, 2009

weigh in/weekend away

I'm up to my ears in laundry and trying to get motivated to clean the house after a weekend away. As far as things go, I did pretty well, managing to avoid snacking and even getting a run in Saturday morning before the wedding I was at home for.  I can't give myself too much credit because there weren't many opportunities for snacking, but I probably could have created them if I had wanted to.  And I didn't.

Of course, when I got home yesterday afternoon I was so puffed up with pride at my behavior (I went for a RUN!  While OUT OF MY ROUTINE!  I AM THE SHIT!!) that I ate fish and chips for dinner and had several beers.  I can sense myself slowly slipping back into the pattern of doom: behave like a saint/exercise fiend Monday-Thursday and then let loose on the weekend.  For a while, this pattern allows you to maintain your weight, and then all of a sudden it's six months later, you can't remember the last time you had a good day, and you've gained 10 pounds.  

I've got to get a handle on the weekends, but I'm not sure how to make myself.  Set some weekend exercise goals?  Meditate for a half hour Saturday mornings and get my head in the right place?  Meet with G every Friday and plan every bite/sip?  Come up with a list of delicious homemade meals to try on the weekends?  

Those were some ideas off the top of my head--what do y'all do to get through the weekends? In particular, how do you shake off the mindset of "deserving" to eat/drink whatever you want after a week of good behavior?

Scale was all over the place this morning, but I'm taking the lowest number I saw: 183.5.  Down a pound from last week, down half a pound overall from two weeks ago.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

In retrospect, it probably wasn't a good idea to eat a big bunch of baby carrots immediately before running.

Monday, June 1, 2009

weigh in

I've lost track of what week this is...perhaps 21?  Anyway, I am up a half pound from last week, but I've been weighing daily and that was a big higher than it has been, so I feel OK.  The weekend went by in a blur of painting, staple-pulling, and, yes, eating.  No excuses, no angst.

Today I put in over an hour at the gym, on both the machines and the treadmills.  I'll be doing the same the next 3 days in preparation for my trip to Indiana for a wedding this weekend.  I have a dress that I'm excited to wear, and I'm going to look as good as I can in it!  No alcohol, no cheating from now until I put that dress on.  (OK, perhaps I won't be perfect at the rehearsal dinner, but anyway.)

I had really hoped to hit 30 pounds lost by the wedding, so I'm going to keep weighing in and if I see 181.5, even for a second, I'm claiming it!

Current Weight: 184.5
Pounds to go: 61.5

Friday, May 29, 2009

yummy dish

Ah, I just thought of something worth sharing.  Last night I made a new recipe for dinner and I LURVED it.  Alas, I can't take pictures because now it is all in my belly.  (Remember Fat Bastard from the second Austin Powers movie?  That's my natural inclination as far as approach to life: "Get in my belly!"  Anyway...)

A few weeks ago we were having vegetarian friends over for dinner and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to use some of the amazing, delicious Rancho Gordo beans I had recently ordered.  I had a recipe for black bean burgers that looked good, so I threw the beans in a pot to soak and headed out to find the other ingredients.  Alas, neither the regular grocery store, specialty spice store, health food store OR Whole Foods carried farro.  Defeated, I returned home to google alternatives.  And that's where I learned that farro = spelt and realized that, duh, I have spelt in my pantry.  I prepared it according to the instructions (it's from Trader Joe's, FYI) and used about half in the burgers.  The other half went in the freezer.

Now, those burgers were good, but they are not the subject of this post.  In the current issue of Men's Health (yummy Ewan McGregor on the cover, although the article about him is hella boring), which we're getting because we did the Broad Street Run and will cancel as soon as we have to pay for it, is an article about farro/spelt and how good it is for you.  Apparently it's double the fiber and protein of brown rice.  The recipe they suggested looked so good that I tried it out last night.  I'd like to think that it's the kind of thing I would have come up with on my own some day, because it's simple and uses some of my favorite tricks (delectable red gravy, a poached egg over grains).  And I'd like to think that my version tastes better than the original chef's version because of my South Philly Gravy.  And I'd like to be a size 2 and dating Robert Pattinson.  In any case, here's the gist of the dish:

You make gravy.  (For you non-Philadelphia, non Italians out there, that's marinara sauce.  I make mine by sauteeing onions, garlic, fresh basil and red pepper flakes in olive oil, then pouring a can of crushed tomatoes in, adding salt, sugar, red wine, and anchovies.  Sometimes I don't have the fresh basil, or wine I'm willing to use in a recipe, or anchovies.  Work with what you've got.)

You take some cooked felt/sparro.  (HAHA, I mean FARRO/SPELT).

Stir them together in the gravy pot.

Crack an egg (or two or three) over the dish, cover, and simmer until the egg is poached.  (This part didn't work too well for me when I made the dish for dinner last night.  It may be because my lid doesn't quite fit on my pan, but it took so long for the whites to firm up that the yolk was firm, too.  When I reheated the spelt/gravy mixture for lunch today, I poached an egg separately and then set it on top.  Ymmy gooey drippy egg yolk.)


See?  Simple!  Easy!  And in moderate portions, quite healthy and nutritious.

Hot time, summer in the city

Heading into another summer weekend, trying to get by... Once again it's busy and will likely come with many food temptations, but I'm trying to offset the damage by signing up for extra exercise.  I went to the gym this morning and got in 20 minutes on various weight machines followed by a 4 mile run.  That's my longest gym session in the last few weeks, so it felt good.  

Tonight G and I are volunteering to help a friend pull carpet and start painting a new home. We did all this stuff ourselves last year, and I know how exhausting and calorie-burning it can be. Of course, I gained weight while we were doing it because we always ended the day with pizza or fast food--definitely a "two sides of the coin" thing here.  

Kristi of KristiSummer recently posted about unexpected exercise, and that's sort of my mindset with these summer weekends.  I'm not training for a run any more so I don't get those looong runs to counterbalance any bad behavior.  Instead, I'm trying to gravitate (and convince others around me) toward active events instead of barbecues, eating out, drinking, etc.

Wish I had more interesting stuff to say, funny stories to tell, but I don't.  Oh la.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

link: NYTimes Well blog marathon series

The title says it all, but the New York Times has an interesting constellation of posts about marathon running.  I'm most interest in Tara Parker-Pope's reports on going from couch potato to marathon runner.  She's had some critics in the comments, suggesting that this isn't the healthiest approach, but she's determined to go forward. 

My only critique so far is that she alludes to being a high school athlete and occasional runner, and then "putting on weight," but I don't really know what that means.  Is she a porker like me, or is she one of those "I had a baby so there's a little flab on my tummy OMFG!" folks?  I hear such contradictory stuff about how running affects people at different weights, and I'd like to know what her general level of health is.

Stories are here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

open mouth, insert foot

Apparently I didn't read my last post carefully because it sort of implied that I took offense to Tara's post at A Perfect Version of Myself--that is NOT NOT NOT the case.  I really appreciated her post and that she responded to a topic I was thinking through.

And then as I was thinking about ways to keep my level of motivation up, I had this twisted, sarcastic vision of a bunch of bloggers calling each other mean names (with their tongues fully implanted in their cheeks) so we didn't grow complacent.  Like, a dark comedy version of a support group, where the support consisted of saying things like, "How dare you think you look good, you size 16 porker!  Now get to the gym!"

So, sorry Tara for the misunderstanding and keep posting your thoughtful entries--I always enjoy reading them!

what's my motivation

Did you know that it takes a really long time to walk 8 miles?  True story.
Yesterday G and I and another friend met up to walk an 8 mile loop that G and I had used a lot while training for the Broad Street Run.  It was amazing how loooong and sloooow the walk felt, even compared to my snail-like running pace.  The good news, though, is that we were all hurting at the end, so it must have been good for us.

In other news, Tara over here picks up on my comments in my last entry about feeling somewhat satisfied and unmotivated.  Perhaps the best solution would be for all of us who feel OK with an unhealthy weight to call each other mean names and shame each other into continuing to lose.  

No?  OK then, never mind.  : )

Seriously, though, it's kind of funny when I think about what goes through my head in a normal day.  For example, Saturday I went canoeing and then went out to dinner for our anniversary.  I was wearing a new dress, I had a pleasant stiffness in my arms from canoeing, and I felt hott!   Then in the shower I smoothed soap over my flabby belly and thighs and felt like a fat troll. The point, then, is that those feelings are not the point.  I'm glad to have a healthy self-esteem and be able to recognize when I look good, but just because I don't "feel" motivated doesn't mean I should slack off.

Habit.  It may not be sexy, but it's a pretty good way to get where you want to go.

Monday, May 25, 2009

weigh in/month 5 reflection

Happy Memorial Day!

In spite of my bad weekend behavior I'm owning my weigh in and not shoving it off til next week.
The scale is down to 184, which means I lost 3.5 pounds this month.  As usual, I would love it to be more but I'll take it as long as it keeps going down.

This month I participated in a 10 mile run, cooked some really tasty and nutritious food, and officially settled back into almost all of my old clothes that I've been too big for in the last few years.  I'm a size 16 right now, which is the size I've been since my senior year in high school.  I feel generally fit and like myself, whereas 20+ pounds ago I felt like a heavy, uncomfortable version of myself.

All that's great, but I have to remind myself that no matter how comfortable I feel at this weight, it's not OK to weigh 184 pounds as a lady who tops out at 5 feet 2 inches.  I'm smack in middle of "obese" on the BMI index, with 20+ more pounds to lose before I'm just gloriously overweight.

So I'm off for a 8 mile walk.  Then I'm going to plan my meals for the week.  

Hope you're all finding new ways to make yourself keep going with whatever it is you're working on!

Current weight: 184
Pounds to goal: 61
Pounds lost: 27.5
Current BMI: 33.7

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I like to move it move it

Currently trying to battle through Memorial Day Weekend, nervous about tomorrow's weigh in. Spent almost 4 hours in a canoe yesterday, paddling hard instead of drifting.  But ate some pizza Friday night and a burger and hot dog at a neighborhood barbecue today.  Made plans to run tomorrow morning.  Sometimes all you can do is keep moving, even when you screw up what you put in your mouth.  

Friday, May 22, 2009

why I've been MIA

Hello!  I'm here!  I haven't disappeared into a vat of bacon grease or anything, just had a busy week.  I started teaching my summer class, which meets Monday through Thursday, and I've been working in the evenings as well.  The good thing about my schedule is that it works really well to get to the gym on campus as soon as I finish teaching.  I've been doing some upper body weight machines and spending a little time on the treadmill.  As much as I did actually appreciate training for the Broad Street Run, it's so much more enjoyable to run shorter distances and do other things.  Yesterday I did get up to three miles, the longest I've done since the run, and it actually felt good.

The other reason I haven't posted in the last week is because...(OMG, so embarassing, seriously, I'm trying to screw up my courage but this is SO LAME) I've been reading the Twilight books.  Nonstop.  For the last week.

Here's the thing, and by the way the rest of this post will have nothing to do with fattie-related stuff.  Anyway, I'm in grad school STUDYING LITERATURE.  I read heavy, excellent shit all day long.  For so many reasons, these vampire crack books are problematic--poorly written, uncomfortable messages to send to teenagers, etc.  (Like, hey, your boyfriend stalks you!  He must lurve you super hardcore!  Go get married!)  But I don't care.  It's kind of like how, after eating beans and veggies for a month, you can eat some pizza and not feel guilty.  

Anyway, one of the reasons I mention this is because if you too have read these books and been unable to put them down, check out these hiLARious recaps.  I was reading them last night and giggling uncontrollably, wishing I had someone to share them with.  

That's all.  I'll be weighing in again Monday, and I will get back to posting about things other than sparkly vampires.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My, what big teeth you have!

What have you done today, to make you feel proud?

It's over folks.  30 days, 10 countries, 1 survivor.  Wait, I'm getting my reality TV finales all mixed up--clearly being a couch potato is one of the reasons I'm overweight.

The Biggest Loser is Helen!  And the at-home winner is Jerry!  I would not have predicted either of those, even up until last week.  But let's back up.

First of all, Tuesday night G and I helped some friends move into an apartment.  We spent two hours unloading their moving truck, and I am still sore today.  Seriously, if you know someone who's moving, volunteer to help.  You'll be doing a good deed and getting a serious effing workout.  After the moving, we went to dinner at Chili's.  I have a whole ranting post in my mind about why it's a terrible idea to waste calories at Chili's, but I'm going to focus on the Biggest Loser now and try to let the fajitas go.  In any case, we didn't get home til after 11, so I watched most of the finale on fast forward, pausing only for a few comments and the weigh-ins.  Therefore, this breakdown is going to feel kind of scattered.

First, congratulations to everyone.  With one or two exceptions (David and Aubrey) it looks like everyone managed to lose weight at home.  Kristin in particular came very close to Jerry's percentage, and her progress is inspiring.  While most of the people sitting on the bleachers still looked overweight, they all look much healthier than when they started.  Also a huge kudos to Daniel for losing over 100 pounds, mostly on his own, and for having such a positive outlook about moving forward.

On to the finalists.  While watching them (and Jerry) weigh in, I was struck by how much I really hate certain aspects of this show.  Seriously, those people looked like they had been eating asparagus and sitting in steam rooms for weeks.  Helen, Tara, and Jerry looked like they had been in the gym until the moment before they came onstage, when they changed into their glamour clothes.  Was anyone else a little bit unnerved and distressed at how unstable they all seemed?  I've read a few articles where previous contestants explain how the week before the finale, they pretty much don't eat anything, and that hunger has got to account for the deranged look in all of their eyes.  I'd be willing to be none of them had had a sip of water in several hours, if not a full day.

And, I get it.  It's $250 grand, and if I were a contestant who had made it to the finale, I'd starve myself too, and then start eating as soon as the finale wrapped.  I can't fault them at all.  But I do take issue with the show itself, for implying that 117 pounds is a healthy weight for someone like Helen.  To be clear, I'm not trying to hate on skinny people here, and I know some people struggle with being underweight.  But that's not the case with Helen, or anyone up there.  They (most likely) have been extremely unhealthy for the last few days, not taking in calories, consuming only diuretics, trying to sweat out every last ounce of water weight in their bodies. 

For me, last week's episode was much more worthy of a celebration.  These people who weighed over 300 pounds can now run a marathon.  That is the accomplishment.  Starving themselves to the point of exhaustion is not.  

I'm sorry if my tone is way off base here.  I did enjoy seeing everyone, and I don't want to take anything away from what the finalists did in the weeks between leaving the ranch and returning for the finale--again, that's the accomplishment worth celebrating.  It's just that the visual of Helen looking downright wasted away really bothered me.

Holla back in the comments if you think I'm rude and mean, I can take it.   

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

the binge diaries

A while ago I wrote a post categorizing the different kinds of temptation that are out there (for me at least) and recent events have inspired me to do the same for the different kinds of bingeing I do.  While this is a fairly lighthearted post, I do realize that binge eating is a serious problem, and I'm not trying to disregard that.  Rather, I'm just recognizing my triggers, which tend to be more situational than a specific kind of food.

the Fridge Binge:  You're standing in front of the fridge, fully intending to put together the healthy lunch you planned.  After all, you just got back from the gym: why sabotage yourself? Then you see the leftover pasta from last night.  Can't hurt to have a quick bite, just to hold you over while you assemble your salad, right?  Three bites later, patting yourself on the back for your willpower, you put the pasta back.  But then you see an unidentified container--what might be in there?  Oh right, it's the chicken sausage you made for dinner last week.  Probably still good--it would be a shame to throw it away.  Gulp, gulp.

The deal with the fridge binge is that, in my fridge, there usually isn't a lot of crap.  I'm too smart to have a fridge full of cakes and pizza and other delicacies.  Which is why the fridge binge is SO FREAKING STUPID.  Why waste a quick 300 calories on gross, chilly, halfway expired leftovers?  I know the answer: I do it because I feel like it doesn't count.  A quick bite here and there doesn't feel like cheating, particularly when the bites are relatively healthy foods.  Still, SO FREAKING STUPID.

the Sandwich Binge:  I mentioned this in my last post.  The Sandwich Binge is what you do in between two events you plan to let loose at.  For example, if you have your best friend's wedding one weekend and guests from out of town the next weekend.  While I try to prepare myself to show restraint at some such occasions, there are others where I know I'm going to cheat, and I don't care.  The problem is when you allow that cheat to bleed into the days after, and then pick up a few days ahead of the next cheat.  This is classic Forthright Fattie behavior, and it is SO FREAKING DANGEROUS.  G and I have seen whole summers turn into Sandwich Binge sessions, and I know a lot of my weight gain in the last 4 years has happened on those Sandwich days.  Because by the time you've been "bad" for 8 days in a row, you know you've gained weight, you feel like crap, you convince yourself you've lost all muscle tone and endurance, and stringing together even two days of good behavior feels like a monumental achievement which should be rewarded (with a cheesesteak).  And you're off again!

Conversely, last week I was faced with the Sandwich, but I didn't binge on those in between days.  I got some exercise in, and made good choices.  I still made bad choices on the weekend, but at least I didn't throw away the whole week.  I have a recent, bodily memory of how good it feels to be on track, and I can draw on that memory to get back to the good place.

the Stress Binge:  This one's pretty obvious.  Everything else in your life is going to hell so why not eat a burger?  You don't have time to cook, you didn't get to the store, and the pizza delivery guy is kind of cute anyway.    And it will make you feel good.

I've gotten a little better about avoiding this kind of binge, largely because I am blessed enough to lead a fairly stress-free life.  However, I still face that end-of-semester crunch periodically, and there is always the temptation to just let this one part of your life be easier for the time being.  The trick is remembering that bingeing most certainly does NOT make your life easier.  This is a big one for G--when he's stressed, he's liable to call with a confession that he's eaten a muffin AND a shake AND a sandwich on the way home.  My job at that point is to spring into action--do what I can around the house to relieve him of some his duties, and put a healthy meal on the table, refusing to allow him to sink further.  In other words, if at all possible, when facing the stress binge make other people pick up the slack.

What are your binge patterns?  

weigh in/week 18 reflection

Last week was another crazy one.  I gained half a pound, and I'm shocked it wasn't more.  In fact, I'm assuming I'll go up a bit this week, at least in the next few days.  

After my mom left Tuesday, G and I tried to be good Wednesday through Friday.  I got to the gym twice and counted points.  G called it a Sandwich Week, because we had stuff going on both weekends and nothing but willpower to get us through the days in-between.  In the past, this would have meant that we used those days to satisfy every craving we'd ever had, but we managed to do pretty well.  But only for those three days.

Once the weekend arrived and our friends from out of town showed up, it was an eating and drinking orgy.  I ate terrible and I felt terrible--not mentally, but physically.  There were some positive things--we walked a lot, and I made myself stop eating and drinking at different times because I knew I would get sick, but basically it was the old Forthright Fattie.

Luckily, yesterday was perfect--counted points, ate fruits and veggies all day, got a 3 mile walk in.  Right now I'm heading to the gym.    I have a month before my friend's wedding in Indiana, and I'd like to be right at 180 by the time that rolls around.

Current weight: 186
Pounds to goal: 63
Weight lost: 25.5 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A rainy run day

So, yes, the Broad Street Run. I did it.

Oh, you want to know more? Well then, here goes.

The Buildup

As I mentioned before, my mom and sister flew in from Indiana to join G, me, and our friend Jim on the run. They arrived Friday night. Saturday we prepared for our carbo-loading party. We had various in-laws and friends come by, and we served broccoli rabe pizza on whole wheat pizza dough as an appetizer and pasta with olive oil, garlic, and basil as the main course. My mom made a coconut cake which we tried not to pork out on too much.

Race Day Morning

Sunday morning the alarm went off at 5:45 am. The four of us took turns in the bathroom while we sipped coffee and ate our breakfast of choice for a run. Mine was a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Then we slathered ourselves in body glide, pinned on our numbers, and hit the subway. The ride was free for racers, so thank you city of Philadelphia. With every stop, tons of fit looking people in athletic clothes crammed in. My mom and I were getting a little nervous looking at all the racers--I didn't see anyone close to my weight, and my mom didn't see anyone near her age. Truthfully, though, I wasn't nervous. I felt like I didn't have anything to prove. I had done the training, and this was just another run.

Bathroom Stuff

When we emerged from the subway, it really hit us how many people were running (over 22,000). Jim and my sister took off for their starting corralls. G had signed up for the last corrall without really thinking--he could have moved up, but decided to just start in the grey group. However, we needed a pit stop before the race. Here's the thing--everything about the race was smoothly run and nicely planned except for the port-a-potty situation. You'd think for 22,000 people you'd try to get a couple hundred toilets, right? I didn't count, but I don't think there were more than 50. The lines were insane, backing up to the far side of Broad Street, weaving through all the corrals. As we waited and waited, the clock crept closer and closer to starting time. We decided not to worry about it since our times wouldn't start til our chips crossed the start line, but it was still kind of stressful to see the racers inching, then surging, forward, while we waited for our chance to pee. Those bathrooms were absolutely disgusting, too.

Ready, Set, Go!

Because of all that, we started at the absolute back of the pack. Ahead of us was a mile long wall of bodies, and behind us were one or two stragglers. The good thing about this scenario was that it let us feel like we were passing more people than were passing us. As we crossed the starting line, the mayor was there urging us on. I took the opportunity to yell at him not to allow casinos in the city, my pet issue. My mom laughed, G sped ahead of us, and we were off.

All About My Mother

My mom is 51 years old, and weighs about what she did in high school. G says she is the most healthy person he knows. All I know is that I have been training for this race for months and she has not. Nonetheless, she kept pace with me the entire time. In fact, she easily walked next to me while I ran. Having her beside me was the absolute best thing I could have hoped for. We took it nice and slow, enough so that we were able to chat and make jokes. I do not know where she gets her energy, but I want some. I plodded along with my head down, just trying to keep moving. My mom, on the other hand, was skipping, jumping, high-fiving the spectators, thanking them for their encouragement, waving her hands in the air--I've never seen anything like it.

Steady On

Once we got moving, the miles passed pretty quickly. We ran through the grimy streets of North Philadelphia, then past Temple University, where I spend most of my days. At some point we were able to make out City Hall through the mist, and eventually we ran around it. From there, we ran down the Avenue of the Arts and all the performance venues, then hit South Philly (aka My Hood). When we passed my street, about 7 miles into the race, we joked about peeling off and heading home, but we kept going. I anticipated that the last stretch would be miserable. In some ways, it was. We could see people who had finished the race heading back up Broad Street, and every part of me was beginning to ache. But the miles kept coming.

I really owe a debt to everyone who stood out in the rain and cheered for us. Some people were there with groups, and there was one particularly annoying woman with a megaphone who was urging us to vote for her candidate in between her shouts of encouragement. But there were also little old ladies in wheelchairs and people standing by themselves with signs. I don't know what convinced them to come out into the rain and watch people run by for hours, but I really appreciated it. I drew a lot of energy from their cheers. Sometimes I yelled back at them, like when one woman said, "Start running, folks, the end is close!" I yelled back, "I AM running!"

The Finish Line

Finally we passed ths sports complexes and saw the Navy Yard in the distance. My mom told me to go on ahead, but she still stayed next to me until the very end. I knew that you had to keep going about a quarter mile after entering the Navy Yard so I tried to pace myself. But once we entered, I just couldn't go slowly any more. My legs picked up speed of their own accord, and my arms started pumping. I saw people on the sidelines pointing at me, noting my sprint. I saw the finish line, and between it and me, a group of about 5 girls. I charged, plain and simple. I wanted my name above theirs on the results list. In the last second, I crossed the line right before them, feeling like a total champion.

My mom came through about 20 seconds behind me, and we quickly found the rest of our party, who were chilled to the bone by that point. We grabbed some snacks, and then set off for the mile walk to the subway. Honestly, that mile was by far the most difficult, painful part of the whole day. When we climbed down the stairs into the station, I had to take them sideways and one at a time. But eventually we got home. Jim, ever the patient one, chewed some Ibuprofen gel caps and washed them down with beer. I swallowed mine, and then had a bit of coffee. We all showered, warmed up, and headed out for a well-deserved burger and fries.

The Results

Jim's time was the quickest, then G, then my sister. They all did under 10-minute miles. My mom and I finished in 2 hours and 13 minutes, just under 13.5 minutes miles. My main goal was just to finish, but I had hoped to do it in under 13.5 minute miles, so everything worked out perfectly. If you had asked me around mile 8 whether I would ever do this again, the answer would be an unequivocable NO. But then I watched the Biggest Loser the other night and they ran a marathon. Hmmm.... : )


I hadn't said this clearly: I did run the whole thing. It was slow, but there was no walking involved.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

weigh in/week seventeen reflection

Whew! It's been a while. Things were so crazy last week prepping for my meeting with my advisor that I didn't have time to post, and then my family arrived, another houseguest arrived, we had a party, we ran a race. My mom took off last night, so it's back to business. I'll be posting about the run a little later.

First, though, time to take stock of my eating over the last week and a half. My weight on Monday was 185.5, down two pounds from the previous week. However, it's up a bit today because there was a lot of eating out recently. G and I did very well during our crazy week, largely because the race was staring us in the face and we didn't want to screw it up. I didn't necessarily count points every day, but in the past all that stress would have been an excue to eat pizza every night, and instead we ate moderate portions of rice and beans. We carbo-loaded Saturday. Sunday after the race we celebrated with the best burgers in the city at Royal Tavern.

A friend who is moving to the area stayed with us this weekend, so of course we had to take him to our favorite restaurant (Penang) Monday night. I ate a banana for breakfast and a salad for lunch, so I didn't feel too bad about enjoying the meal. Yesterday, my mom and I went shopping (more on that in another post) and had lunch at Chick Fil A. I ordered the side salad instead of the fries, and felt good about that. Then G suggested we go out for Cinco de Mayo...whoops. Nachos, chicken wings, and beer.

Today I am back on track, eating fruit and a Mojo bar for breakfast and heading out to the gym for my first post-race workout. I'm determined to hit the gym Thursday and Friday. However, we have another set of houseguests arriving Friday night. They're here to hang out and enjoy the city, and that will mean restaurants and bars. I'm going to try to come up with some willpower and not go nuts, but realistically speaking, I'm not going to eat a salad and drink water while everyone else is chowing down. I just hope that these good days will do something, and that I don't gain more than a pound or two next Monday.

Off to the gym!

Current weight: 185.5
Pounds to goal: 62.5

Monday, April 27, 2009

weigh-in/month 4 reflection

It's been 4 months! Four months of consistent weight loss. I can hardly believe it.

My weight this morning was 187.5, bringing me to a total loss of 24 pounds, and 4 pounds lost this last month. I was hoping to lose more like 6 pounds, but I'll take what I can get. Especially considering all the "bad" eating I did this month. I just read my month 3 reflection, in which I celebrated things like "no fast food" and "no ordering pizza." Well, technically I guess I still haven't had fast food, but we did order pizza last week.

Over the last four weeks, I noticed a real difference in my attitude. I'm less anxious about losing weight, which is good, but also less focused on eating well. I'm glad I managed to lose 4 pounds in spite of this lackadaisical attitude, and it's been nice not to spend the weekends stressing about Monday morning.

I think part of the reason for this change is that I've been weighing in just about every day. I see the numbers go down midweek, so I relax a little bit--both in stress level and in approach to food. This week I'll continue to monitor my weight daily in anticipation of the run, but once it's over, I'm going to try to go back to weekly weigh-ins for a little while and see the difference it makes.

So speaking of the Broad Street Run, it's this weekend! My mom and sister are flying in Friday night to do it with us. We're also having a houseguest and dog-sitting this weekend. Saturday night we're having a pre-race party. G starts a new part-time job tonight, and I have a big meeting Thursday basically to prove that I've been working hard all semester (justify your existence, more or less). Sooooo this is a freakin' stressful week. I've been studying nonstop for the last few weeks, and will continue to do so this week, trying to fit in my last few pre-race runs, as well as helping G with the transition and preparing for the family invasion. There is no food in my fridge and only the loosest of meal plans in my head. I think we'll be ordering salads at least one night in the next few days. In some ways it's good that everything hits this week--the fear of the race will keep us from going completely off the rails, food-wise. But all the same, I can't wait til it's all over.

Next week at this time I hope to be writing about my plans for relaxation, new exercise goals, farmer's markets and healthy cooking!

Current weight: 187.5
Pounds to goal: 64.5
BMI: 34.5
Pounds Lost: 24

Friday, April 24, 2009

cooking with the forthright fattie!

(You may not want to read this if you're a vegetarian!  I'm sorry!  I don't eat a lot of meat, but I do enjoy it here and there.)

Last week G and I went out for a long overdue meal at Cochon in South Philly.  (I'm throwing in the specifics for my local readers, holla kristisummer and ubervixen!)  I ordered the "Suckling Pig Confit over Lentils and Brussels Sprouts topped with a Poached Egg."  It was delicious--sooo flavorful and toothsome.  G and I both concluded that the only thing that could impart so much deliciousness to the meal was an excess of pork fat.  

However, the individual components of the meal were simple enough that I figured I might be able to recreate them in my own kitchen.  Instead of suckling pig (because I wouldn't know where to begin suckling a pig) I used bacon.  Still delicious fatty porkness, but much easier to control, portionwise.

Here's a rough estimation of a recipe.  I cook pretty instinctively (instinctually?) so some of the details may be off, but any approximation of this would work.  By my calculations, a serving somewhere in the 10 point WW range, assuming you eat about a cup of lentils.  As for the original, I'm sure it was some sort of multiple of 10 points.  Like 100.

The Forthright Fattie's Fake Suckling Pig
(serves 2 with leftovers)


for the lentils
2 c. lentils*
3 c. water
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
5 strips bacon, cut into smallish pieces
kosher salt to taste

for the brussels sprouts
10-12 fresh brussels sprouts
1 teaspoon olive oil
kosher salt to taste

for the egg
2 eggs
1/2 c. vinegar 
2 c. water

Soak the lentils in the water for several hours ahead of time to soften.  When you're ready to begin cooking, put the lentils over high heat.  Saute onions and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are translucent.  Add to the pot with the lentils.  In a separate pan (use the one you sauteed the onions in!), fry the bacon until just beginning to brown.  Remove from pan with tongs or a slotted spoon, leaving the bacon grease in the pan, and add to the pot with the lentils.  Add salt.  Keep an eye on the lentils, boiling until the water has reduced away.**

Rinse and trim the brussels sprouts, cutting them in half and getting rid of bruised outer leaves. Rub the cut side with olive oil.  Place in the pan (with the bacon grease in it) and cover for 5-10 minutes, until sprouts soften.  Remove the lid, sprinkle sprouts with salt, and saute until the bottoms are browned.

Fill a small pot with the water and vinegar.  Bring the water to just under the boiling point.  Slip the raw egg into the water.  When the whites have cooked through, remove the egg.  Repeat with a second egg.

When lentils have cooked through, and the water is mostly gone, place the brussels sprouts on plates.  Spoon the lentils over the sprouts, and then gently place the poached egg on top.  Garnish with fresh ground pepper and serve.

*I used yellow dhal lentils because that's what I had, but the lentils in the original recipe were some kind of firm brown lentils.  My version ended up with very mushy, soupy lentils.  They tasted good, but were nothing like the original.  Next time I'll try it with the teeny tiny black lentils I have and see if it's better.

**Or in my case, until there's a lot of mush.  You might want to siphon off some of the water, but it's best to do this before putting the bacon in; otherwise, you'll lose the deliciousness.

Next time I'll try to take a picture!

Biggest Loser Breakdown

This is a few days late because I've been busy, but also because, as so eloquently summed up over at EW, this season is looooong and my interest is waning.  But weight loss is all about dedication and follow-through right?  So I'll make good on my plan to blog the rest of the season.

My thoughts about this week's episode:

-Ron knew exactly how that tribal council (or whatever) would go down.  He gets to keep his promise to Kathy to never write Kristin's name down, but still gets to watch his son's biggest competitor head home.  My question is this: I don't think I've ever seen anyone play as hard as Ron and Mike (haven't watched the last two seasons, though) and I'm wondering what exactly it is they're playing for.  Obviously they've both lost a ton of weight, and it seems likely that Mike especially will keep it off.  Staying on the ranch another week or two won't have that much effect.  Therefore, it seems clear that they're playing hard for the money.  Which is fine--seriously, for all the weight talk, that's what this game is about.  Anyone who says otherwise is being silly.  But Ron put so much effort early in the season into discussions of who "deserved" and "needed" to be at the Ranch that I find him a big ol' hypocrite.  The editors were right--he is totally the godfather.

-G thought Kristin was being hypocritical for going to Ron and stressing how much she needed to be there, acting as though she expected him to ignore the fact that she's a threat to Mike.  Ordinarily I'd agree.  But she was only dealing with Ron on the higher ground he himself claimed early in the game.  Is it clear yet that I think he's a scuzzball?

-So who's going to win?  Probably Mike.  Numerically speaking, no one can take it from him.  But somehow my money's still on Tara.  The girl does not lose.

Sorry this was so ranting and raving, but like I said, the show is getting weary and I'm getting weary.  Where's the inspiration??  And did anyone understand Jillian's trainer tip with the deck of cards?  G and I debated it for a while and couldn't come to consensus.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

close quarters

One thing I haven't mentioned on this blog is how easily annoyed I am by the sights and sounds of people eating.  It's actually been a consistent source of tension between G and I in our marriage.  He enjoys eating most when he can take a huge bite of something, while I enjoy savoring lots of little bites.  I used to tell him how much his eating style grossed me out, and we had some big fights about it.  Now I realize that my method could be just as annoying to someone as his, so I try to just shut up about it.  (But dude it makes my skin crawl!)

I'm blogging from a cafe at my school right now, where I've set up camp to have conferences with my students.  The problem is that seating is limited, so people keep sitting in a chair about two feet from me and wolfing down meals on their way to class.  First there was the girl with the frappucino, soft pretzel, and brownie.  (Mmm, nutritious!)  Her methodical ripping of the pretzel in such close proximity to me, combined with the sounds of her working through the doughy material in her mouth made me want to scream.  

Then she left, and another girl sat down.  It hit me--the unmistakeable smell of fast food.  She was holding a Wendy's bag.  She pulled out a big juicy burger and fucking mauled that thing. Sesame seeds and ketchup were flying everywhere--handfuls of fries alternated with enormous swallows of fire-grilled beef patties--slices of onion and tomato slipped down into her lap.  I could not take my eyes off her.  Then, in the midst of the carnage, she pulled out a cell phone.  I wept for the person on the other line, listening through the layers of cheese and bread and beef. She said, "I'm (snort) trying (chomp chomp) to eat real fast (gurgle, swallow).  Call me back later.  (snort swallow chomp gurgle)"  

She hung up.  She finished the burger.  I started to breathe again.

And then she reached back into that damn bag and pulled out another burger.

The worst part of this whole experience--and these are only two of the meals I watched/smelled/heard being eaten during my 5 hours in this seat--was how I was simultaneously disgusted and jealous.  I wanted the frappucino (and I hate frappucinos), the pretzel, the burger, the chips I could hear the guy eating from the next booth over.  How gross is that?  

Note to self: for sanity and self-preservation, schedule all future conferences in your office. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

get over it

Favorite phrase in high school:  "Here's you.  Here's a bridge.  Get over it."

Well, I did get over it.  It must have been providence that my last post disappeared, meaning that instead of reviewing all the crap I ate last weekend, I can just tell you about my kick-ass workout last night.*

I ran over the Ben Franklin Bridge, which spans the Delaware River between New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  The link shows some cool pictures that I am too ethical to steal and post here, but do click.  This thing is a monster.  It takes, like 5 years to repaint it.  The whole run, starting a few blocks from the bridge, was just under 4 miles, but almost half of that is at an incline.  AND yesterday it was cold and rainy and miserable, perfect weather for making an excuse not to exercise.  I was huffing along, looking down at the cars, rain pelting my face and feeling like hail, and thinking, "This is fucking GREAT!"  

*In the interest of forthrightness, here's last weekend.  There are reasons, excuses, justifications--even some good ones.  But the facts speak for themselves: bread, french fries, beer, blueberry pancakes, sour cream and onion potato chips, cadbury creme egg, 5 buffalo wings, 4 slices of pizza, more beer.

Monday, April 20, 2009


My whole effing post just disappeared. That is SO FRUSTRATING.

Quick and dirty: totally screwed up this weekend, moving on, current weight 189.

weigh in/week 15 review

Saturday, April 18, 2009

quick link

About to head out for my long run.  Here's a link to a (not really) interesting article about heavy movie stars.  The twist is, they're men!  No real revelations or provocative conclusions in the article, but it's worth a glance if you're interested in media and body image stuff.

Friday, April 17, 2009

a little perspective

I have a fracquaintance (more than an acquaintance, not quite friends) who has lost about 35 pounds this year, and she looks great.  She was a lot smaller than I am to begin with, so 35 pounds brings her about to her ideal weight.

Last night, after this little cocktail party, I was hanging around chatting with her and another friend about our plans for the rest of the evening.  I had eaten very lightly at the party--a few pieces of cheese, some olives, a couple dabs of pita and hummus.  Not enough to satisfy me, but enough that I knew I shouldn't head home and eat a full dinner.  

My friend chimed in with a suggestion: "You should smoke!"

She then explained how she smokes instead of snacking, and how, since she broke up with her boyfriend who did all the cooking, she hasn't been eating much.  Instead, she noted, "My calories all go to alcohol."  

I really hope that my face didn't betray what I was thinking, which was basically, "Guh?"  

I know she feels good about herself, and how she looks, and who knows, maybe she technically is healthier than she was before, but honestly I just wanted to sit her down and carefully explain the fundamentals of nutrition.  I know smoking is a hard habit to break, but to ignore the possibility of lung cancer and claim it as somehow part of a healthy lifestyle...I just don't buy it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

it's all good

Just a midweek check-in here, trying to talk through the weekend and make a plan.

First, thanks to Tara for the words of encouragement regarding my situation earlier in the week--after some delicious fiber-n-flax smoothies (well, they weren't cold or blended, I'm just trying to make them seem appetizing) as well as Metamucil and eating only fruits and veggies on Monday, I'm back on track.

Tuesday night, as I mentioned, G and I went out for a long overdue fancy dinner out.  At this point, I think it was my birthday dinner (should have been in October) and our Valentine's day dinner.  I ate exactly what I wanted (tempura battered oysters as an appetizer; suckling pig confit over lentils and brussels sprouts with a poached egg for an entree; several spoonfuls of G's shortcake with brandy sauce for dessert) and it was delicious.  I did manage to meet my goal of leaving a few bites on the plate, which made me feel like I had power over the meal rather than the meal having power over me.

The tricky thing, though, with using up all my flex points so early in the week is that now I have to navigate a few other tricky situations.  Tonight is a little cocktail party in my department.  We're honoring people with achievements in the last year, and I'm one of them.  There's going to be wine and beer as well as a cheese platter and Mediterranean platter.  My plan is to eat light in the day and get in a 4 mile run, then try to be reasonable tonight.  It'll be hard to count points exactly, but I won't use that as an excuse to go overboard.

Tomorrow night there's a benefit dinner with the in-laws.  I know that the main food will be boneless skinless chicken breast (it says so on the flyers, which I think is kind of funny) but I'm guessing there will be things like rolls or dessert available.  In other words, more calories than I want to spend.  So once again I'll have to do my best and limit any other treats.

This is a lot of words to basically psyche myself up for good decision-making.  If you've made it this far, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Biggest Loser Breakdown

I watched The Biggest Loser late last night after a delicious dinner and half a bottle of wine, so the details are a little fuzzy.  But here's what sticks out.

-Great job, Laura.  Maintaining her weight loss with that kind of injury is a hugely impressive feat.  So many people struggle (and fail) to maintain weight loss even without hip fractures. Whether or not she manages to lose much for the finale is insignificant in comparison with her achievement.

-The makeovers were a little blah, although I liked Laura's new hair.  Tara looked great, but Mike was the real story, in that powder blue sweater vest!  Nicely done, Tim Gunn.

-How did Helen lose 7 pounds from that teeny little frame she's rocking?

Monday, April 13, 2009

weigh-in/week 14 reflection

I'm not posting my weight this week, for several reasons.

1) The scale would not settle down this morning. We use a digital scale, and I usually hop on and off a few times before it settles on a number, and then it doesn't budge. But this morning there was a 6 pound range, and after 4 tries, I decided I didn't really want to know. Because...

2) To put it delicately, my excretory system shut down a few days ago. I'm on an all fiber diet for the time being!

3) I weighed myself every day last week, which meant elation on the good days and depression on the bad days. I'll check in whenever #2 (hehe) resolves itself, but I'm going to try and enjoy the freedom of not knowing for now.

Behavior wise, I had a pretty good week. G tried to sabotoge me by giving me an Easter basket full of candy before going out of town for the weekend, but I think I showed pretty good restraint (1 Cadbury creme egg, 36 jelly bellies, 1 peanut butter egg, and a caramel bunny over 5 days). I minimized drinking--several glasses of wine Thursday night after G left (wine and Gossip Girl--AKA me time) and a glass in the hot tub at the in-laws last night, but that's it. I also ate about half of what I would usually eat at a holiday meal, and felt very satisfied. I ran 21 miles, kept working on the pushups, and took a long walk Friday night (like, 6 miles).

Sure, I wasn't perfect. In addition to the Easter candy, I ate Chick Fil A (and did not forego mayonnaise) and gave myself generous portions of several weeknight meals. But it was a darn good week overall, particularly for a holiday, and I'm moving forward.

G and I are going out for a nice meal tomorrow night--it was supposed to be my birthday meal in October, and then our Valentine's date, and we are finally doing it. So I'm going to enjoy the heck out of it, and then try to be really good all weekend.

Mini goals for the week:
-Continue to leave Activity Points uneaten. (Not all, but at least some.)
-Be strict about portions.
-Have a friggin' bowel movement.

Current weight: Somewhere between 187 and 193.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Biggest Loser Breakdown

It's that time again!  I always look forward to The Biggest Loser so much, and then when it's over I feel strangely dissatisfied.  However, there was lots to enjoy in last night's episode.

-The godfather montage with Ron.  Don't get me wrong--I cannot stand Ron and his hypocritical self-righteous attitude, but seeing the producers play around with it was hilarious.  Where did that footage of Ron reclining with cucumbers on his eyes come from?

-Tara awesomeness.  While the contestants were competing in the challenge, I turned to G and said, "I can run 9 miles, but walking up the stairs in the subway gets me out of breath."  Then Tara said she hadn't been able to walk up the stairs at the subway either!  Maybe one day I'll be able to do the stairs at the Rose Bowl.

-Ever-shrinking Kristin.  She's one of the heaviest left, but girl is SHRINKIN'!  Holla!
Speaking of shrinking, Laura's cute chipmunk cheeks make it easy to overlook her own hardcore shrinkage.  Look at that girl's belly and legs rather than her cheeks and it'll hit you.

What I didn't like, in fact DESPISED about the episode: people's reactions at the weigh-in, particularly Allison and Jillian.  It may be that A/J had inside information that Tara really did try to throw the weigh-in, and that's why Jillian put on her death-face and Allison gave such a sad and disapproving "Thanks" to Tara.  But if they didn't have that info, then what the hell is wrong with them?  Tara's not skinny yet, but girl does NOT have much to lose, and frowning at a 3 pound loss for someone with her current frame is not only ridiculous, but dangerous.  This is my least favorite aspect of Biggest Loser, even more so than the ridiculous drawn-out editing and stupid product placement.  Another iteration of it could be seen in Mike's disappointment to only lose 5 pounds.  Of course he's going to start having his lowest losses of the game--he has so little left to lose!  He looks almost like a normal, strong, dude these days.  

What are your thoughts?  Who's going to win?  I'm pretty convinced it'll come down to Mike and Kristin.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

freudian slip?

In an email to my mom, I meant to type "Broad Street Run" but my fingers typed "Bread Street Run."  So what's on my mind? : )

Monday, April 6, 2009

weigh in/week 13 reflection

Stepped on the scale this morning to see I had lost half a pound last week.

Got pissed off. "I ran 20 miles this week, SCALE, why haven't I lost AT LEAST 2 pounds???"

Went downstairs and wrote down what I ate last night.

Got contrite. "Oh scale, thank you for letting me lose even a measly half pound after eating all that steak and bread and drinking that beer and wine!"

So, I'm at 191, 20.5 pounds lost overall. I've been waiting to hit 21 pounds for so long (meaning I would have lost 10% of my starting weight) and of course it gets drawn out just a little bit longer. I thought I had a darn good week, what with running 20 miles and counting my points every night (until last night--I had a lot of points, but not quite enough for everything I ate) but it didn't quite work out. I'm not going to stress, just have another good week and see what happens. I am going to try not to eat all of my activity points, though. I earn so many by running that there's really no need to consume each and every one.

Current weight: 191
Pounds to goal: 68

Thursday, April 2, 2009

what I'm eating

A while ago I stopped logging everything I ate here on the blog, although I still log it in my trusty Moleskine.  Just in case anyone was wondering, though, I thought I'd let you know what kinds of food I've been eating lately.

I'm still loving Trader Joe's Ezekiel Bread (no flour, just sprouted whole grains).  We buy a loaf and stick it in the freezer, then pull out one piece at a time and toast them.  I'll eat a piece of toast with peanut butter on it several times a week for a satisfying, protein-filled breakfast.

This week, though, I bought some cottage cheese and have been eating it with some raspberry preserves swirled into it.  For those of you who are hardcore about fats and sugars, that's probably not the ideal breakfast, but I do a good job avoiding sugar generally, and never get enough calcium.

Last week I rediscovered the absolute glory of the simple BLT.  In my kitchen, though, they're BOTs--Bacon, Onion, and Tomato.  I make them on Ezekiel bread, and once again, it's a fairly low-calorie but super satisfying meal.  The bacon feels so decadent, but there are those good whole grains and veggies in there as well.

My mom sent me a recipe for an Indian-style dish that calls for steaming cauliflower and then drenching it in a ginger-cashew-garbanzo bean-onion sauce.  I can't find a link for the recipe, but if anyone is interested let me know and I can email it.  Last night G kept slyly suggesting eating out at an Italian place, but I made the cauliflower instead.  It took a while to chop all the onions, ginger, cilantro, jalapeno, and cauliflower, but it was so worth it in the end.  We served it with a little basmati rice, but that is optional if you're low-carbing it.  Aside from a little oil (or ghee if you have it) the rest of the ingredients are mainly veggies and a few beans. 

I'll be eating leftovers tonight, and then it will be time to figure out the weekend menu--I'm working every night, so I'm thinking there will probably be a caesar salad from the healthy Mediterranean place one night.  

In any case, I'm still happily chopping and dicing and trying new things, and rarely tempted by the greasy takeout and corner bar that did so much damage to my body last fall.  Here's to more of the same!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

to regret or not to regret

A piece of tilapia sauteed in garlic, a little bit of olive oil, and lemon juice. Sauteed spinach. Half of a baked sweet potato.

This delicious and nutritious lunch, leftover from dinner last night, is sitting in my fridge right now. I had an unexpected last minute lunch meeting today at a bar. I ordered a wrap which consisted of: a few pieces of steak, Asian slaw, green beans, and a whole wheat tortilla. It was served with a few tortilla chips. (Seriously, there were only about 7).

The last time I had a lunch meeting at this bar was during the first week of my lifestyle change, back in January when everything was fresh and new. I ordered a cup of soup (not a creamy one) and a garden salad (no dressing, cheese, etc).

The meal I ate today is relatively healthy, and a good way to satisfy the red meat craving I've been suffering for several days.* However, I'm sure the wrap far exceeded the calories I had planned to consume at lunch, or the calories in a cup of soup/garden salad.

Here's the thing: I can't work up a sense of failure. I have the rest of the day to be good, and the rest of the week. I have flex points if I need them, and no planned meals out for the rest of the week. I think I'll be OK. But there's still a nagging sense that I should feel guilty because I didn't make the best possible decision. I'm so deeply ambivalent about this, and even the time it takes to write this post feels like a neurotic indulgence.

The bigger point that I'm trying to make, then, is that this weight loss thing is about so much more than making the right choice. Contrary to what they preach on The Biggest Loser, you have to be open to compromise, contrition, and forgiveness. To put it differently, so much of this is mental. We have to make choices, and live with those choices. I think I can cope with this one, but coping isn't much of a way to go through life.

*The other night I whined about it so much that I decided to figure out the last time I had any red meat. I recited every meal I had eaten for the last two weeks and learned two things: 1) I hadn't eaten red meat in at least two weeks; and 2) far too much of my brain space is devoted to remembering every bite I take.

Biggest Loser Breakdown

Lots going on last night on our favorite love it or hate it show. In some ways, it seemed like the perfect setup for April Fool's Day. "Remember Nicole? She's freaking awesome! She's back! Haha, just kidding!"

I have to say, Nicole seemed genuinely delightful in addition to being a major inspiration. Her final confessional was the best kind of Biggest Loser moment (aside from kickass workout montages). I wish she had stuck around (more on Ron in a minute) but I understand why the rest voted her out. I'm not sure if she would be able to win it all, considering how small she already is, but she's obviously a threat.

On to the shenanigans:

The returning players angle was fun, and I can't wait to see how the rest of the people at home are doing. The finale is going to (completely drawn out) lots of fun.

The Ron/Mike vs. Filipe/Sione drama is tiresome. As anyone who's ever watched Survivor knows, alliances don't last. Do you think you can all win? Of course not. So play the game, backstab, whatever, but don't act so put out when someone does it to you, RON. If I were playing the game, I'd hang on to Ron forever, but as a viewer, I'm so sick of his self-righteous and bossy attitude. And Filipe and Sione are fun to look at, but also pretending they're not playing a game for a big old pot o' moolah.

The balance challenge didn't do much for me, but I was impressed by Kristin's performance. I don't know how long contestants have at home before the finale, but if she doesn't get sent home before then, I think she'll be primed to win. She's got so much more to lose, but you can tell she's very fit underneath her excess weight, and if she just works out like a mo-fo, she could take it all. Ditto Mike.

Finally, congrats to Allison, this week's Biggest Loser! Am I missing anything else important?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

BMI update

I planned to update my BMI monthly, but forgot to yesterday.  

When I started, at 211.5 pounds, my BMI was 38.7.

Today, at 191.5 pounds, it's 35.

I don't know exactly what that means in a scientific sense, but it's one more way for me to see numbers getting smaller, so woot woot!

gimme a break

Two interesting links today.

First, can this be a good idea?  The New York Times explore the effects of drinking coffee before a run.  True story: coffee is a diuretic.  Running has a similar effect on many.  My mind is going to unpleasant places.

Second, barf.  At 5'9 and 120 pounds (holy COW) this woman was told she had "waist wads" and "banana rolls" by a plastic surgeon.  I guess the rest of us should just commit mass suicide.

Monday, March 30, 2009

weigh-in/month 3

Down 2.5 pounds from last week, for a grand total of 20 pounds.  I like this--it's a nice round number to round out the third month of this little lifestyle change.

If you break it down, though, it was 10 pounds the first month, 6 pounds the second, and 4 pounds the third--decreasing losses.  I'm not too bothered by it because the big family reunion/week of guests in the middle of month 3 was a big factor, and I think that I can continue to lose around 6 pounds/month.  

When I think back over the last three months, I'm kind of amazed.  No fast food (unless you count Chick Fil A, which I really don't.  When I say fast food, I mean McDonald's, Wendy's, etc.), hardly any eating out that wasn't socially obligated, no ordering pizza.  Oh yeah, and I went from running zero to eight miles.  

The next milestone on my calendar is a friend's wedding on June 6, just over two months from now.  If I can lose 12 more pounds by then, I'll be happy.  (I may not be able go to the wedding--it's in Indiana--but that doesn't matter.)  I'll be training for the Broad Street Run for the next month, and then I'll need to figure out the next step in fitness.  I'm not sure if I'll continue to try to run longer distances, or if I'll start focusing on some kind of weight training.  What I do know is that I can't do what I did two Thanksgivings ago--train for a run (in that case, 4.5 miles) and then once it's over, gain twice the weight I lost.  That would not be cool.  And I won't let it happen this time.

Current weight: 191.5
Pounds to goal: 68.5

Sunday, March 29, 2009

chronicle of an 8 mile run

Yesterday afternoon I set off for my long run: an 8 miler.  I had selected a route from which starts at the base of the Philadelphia Art Museum and then follows a loop next to the river, over a bridge, and back to the museum.  The loop is a trail populated with bikers and runner and dogs and G and I had been there before (when these pictures were taken) so I thought it would be a good spot.  Here's how it went:

Mile 1:  Jogging slowly past Boathouse Row, still dodging lots of pedestrians.  Still no Ipod (please mail it soon, mom!), carrying a water bottle for the first time, nervous about what's ahead but feeling all right.

Mile 2:  Can't tell if it's the lack of music or my actual pace, but I seem to be going verrry slowly.  Oh well, I've got a long way to go.  There's a crew meet taking place in the river, so the banks are covered with tents and booths and parents and canoes.  Or whatever the crew boats are called.  At one point a team is carrying one across the path and I have to jog in place for a second to let it pass.  This has never happened to me in the gym or in the city.  

Mile 3:  Still feel like I'm going at a snail's pace.  There are spraypainted markers every 1/4 mile, and it's taking me forever to get from one to the next.  G has run ahead of me, and all of a sudden I see him on the other side of the river, waving both arms in the air like a fool.  It puts a huge smile on my face and spurs me on toward the bridge.

Mile 4:  On the other side of the river now.  My legs are beginning to ache.  This is taking forever.

Mile 5:  I've slowed down even more, and I'm wondering if I'll be able to finish.  I tell myself that as long as I go even a step more than 7 miles, I'll be happy, because I will have increased my distance.  I approach a little exercise station where a couple guys are doing pullups.  The guy at the bar just keeps going--he must do 30 pullups as I approach.  Then he stops and lets his friend have a turn, and wanders over toward the path.  As I pass, silently admiring his physique and overall super-fineness, he opens his mouth and lets out an amazing Haitian/West African/French accent, saying, "Good effort, you're doing great."  "You too!" I shout back, thrilled.  I'm a happily married woman, but that gorgeous accent gets me through the next half mile.

Mile 6:  Less than three miles left.  I should be able to do this, but I don't feel like I have it in me.  I try to come up with a mantra that will keep me going, but my mind is too alert and my body too tired to let the words take over and the repetition keep me moving.  Instead, I keep changing it up so that I'm basically mumbling to myself like a crazy person.  "You can do this.  You can do this.  No one can stop you.  Only you can stop you.  You won't stop.  You will do this.  Just keep moving.  You are strong.  Do it for the haters.  Do it for the fatties." etc. etc.

Mile 7:  There's some kind of bike race on the road to my right.  Giant packs of cyclists keep whizzing by, giving me vertigo.  There aren't many people here, and whenever someone passes, I have to fight the urge to scream at them, "What does it look like I'm doing?? Walking or running??"  I can't tell anymore.  There's tons of nasty goose poop on the ground, and whenever one of the Canada geese wanders into the path, I take advantage of the lack of people by muttering, "Fuck you, goose."  A few minute later a woman runs up going the opposite direction and smiles at the geese.  Bitch.

Mile 8.  I've spotted G up ahead.  He has been sick this week, so he decided to run 5 miles and walk the rest.  Even so, he's still going to finish before I do.  I can see the museum now, and am trying to figure out how the path works its way around--front or back?  The route calls for going around the front and running up the steps Rocky-style, but if I can find a shortcut around the back, I'm going to take it.  No, I'm going to finish.  I have to finish.  I run under an underpass and curve around the front of the museum, where well-dressed women are carrying their museum store bags and hipsters are climbing the steps.  I'm red-faced, sweaty, absolutely gross, but I don't care.  I run exactly to the center of the front of the steps and stop.  I did it.

Mile 8.5  My legs are broken.  My muscles are pulverized.  I have to walk .5 miles around the museum to meet G, but now I know that I was running before because I can't walk.  I stumble in slow motion past the Rocky statue and posing tourists.  It takes superhuman effort to put one foot in front of the other.  I stop and stretch.  I wonder if I've pushed myself too far, if my body doesn't do more than 7 miles.  I'm afraid I won't be able to do the Broad Street Run.  I suddenly find a mantra.  It goes like this, "Fuck Fuck Fuck.  Fuck Fuck Fuck.  Fuck Fuck Fuck."  I try to keep moving, through parking lot, toward G.  I wonder if I'll collapse, and have to stop someone and beg them to find my husband, the guy in the white bandanna, and tell him that his wife is back there and can't move anymore.  Finally I see G, and start crying.  He makes sure I'm OK. He thinks I'm crying because I didn't run 8 miles, but when he finds out I did the whole thing, he's super encouraging.  I'm still wheezing and gasping and choking with tears dripping down my face, so he does the best thing: offers to go get the car for me.  A few minutes later, I'm seated.  

Postmortem:  3 Ibuprofen, 1 Gatorade, 1 shower, and 30 minutes of runner's trots later, I feel slightly human.  I might attempt 9 miles next week.

Friday, March 27, 2009

emo eating

No, I don't mean putting on skinny jeans and plastering my bangs to my forehead before I eat. I'm referring to emotional eating.

There seems to be consensus out there in the dieting world that most of us trying to lose weight are emotional eaters.  Had a bad day?  Scarf down some candy bars.  Fight with the hubby?  Dive into a tub of cookie dough.

I've been thinking about it, and I don't think I'm an emotional eater.  That sounds like a good thing, right?  I can control my eating independently of my emotional state.

Here's the problem, though.  If I'm not an emotional eater, but I'm still a good 70 pounds overweight, what kind of eater am I?  I've thought about it, and the best I can come up with is that I'm a food eater.  

If it's food, I'll eat it.  It doesn't matter what my mood is.  Take today, for example.  I woke up feeling refreshed.  And excited for breakfast.  Then I had a pleasantly slow morning of schoolwork and anticipating lunch.  As soon as lunch was over, I started thinking about dinner, and trying to figure out how many points I'd have leftover after dinner for my favorite part of the day: TV and snacking.

I enjoy food.  I enjoy all kinds of food.  I enjoy eating more than exercising, sleeping, or even having sex.  I believe any social gathering is enhanced by food--in fact, the two are basically synonymous in my mind.  Happy or sad, bored or busy, hungry or full, I've always got food on the brain.

So how do you cope with that?  They tell emotional eaters to replace food with other forms of comfort, but how can you replace something that is constantly on your mind no matter what else is going on?  Is this food addiction?  

I'm not necessarily feeling discouraged right now, I just realized that I always want to eat and am wondering what that means.

ETA:  Looking back over this, I think the term I was searching for is glutton.  Seriously.

the man in the mirror

My body looks better in the morning.  Does yours?  

I have this theory that 8 or so hours of being horizontal allows everything to resettle into the most attractive package possible.  After 14 hours of sitting, standing, eating, and jostling, the fat packets have shifted downward, resulting in the bulgiest bulges and clumpiest clumps of dumpiness.  

Test this theory o' mine out--before going to bed, give yourself the once over.  Note the lumps and rolls.  Then, as soon as possible after waking, give it another look.  See if things look slightly smoother to you.  And then work with that image.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

goals round 2

Early on, I mentioned that I had three milestones this year that I would use to organize goals around.  The first was my cousin's wedding which was this last weekend.  After I weigh in next Monday, which will be week 12/month 3, I'll think about the weight I'd like to be at by Memorial Day.

However, I have a running bet with my mom and sister in terms of behavior, and we have just set new goals for the time between now and the Broad Street Run.  I had fun working on them, so here they are.  As always, I prefer behavior goals to weight loss goals, because while you can control weight loss to a degree, you really can't live by the scale.  So here are the goals I can control:


-Follow the Broad Street Run training program.  Except in the event of sickness or injury, complete every run.  If scheduling gets in the way of a run, I'll make it up the next day.

-Continue with the hundred pushups challenge.  I'm in the middle of week 3 and my arms are aching, but I can do 17 pushups without stopping!


-Continue to write down everything I eat and make a good-faith effort to track points.

-If/When eating out, leave something on my plate.  It doesn't matter how much, but I always eat every bite.  Last week I left part of the meal on my plate and it felt so liberating!  I didn't have to savor the last bite as though it were the last thing I'd ever taste!  I just stopped when I got full and let someone else eat the rest.  

Wish me luck!

Biggest Loser Breakdown

Because of the craziness last week, I didn't have a chance to write about Biggest Loser.  I LOVED last week's episode.  I sat there dribbling tears all through the welcome home scenes, and then through the entire half-marathon montage.  I kept trying to suck it up because I knew my dad would be arriving any minute and he has no patience for reality TV, but I just couldn't stop.  I was really impressed by most of the contestants' time.  At this point, except for Kristen and Ron, they are pretty much all in better shape and weigh proportionally less than I do.  Good for them. (Boo for me--I liked thinking I was better off.)

Last night's episode was pretty dull.  The fake drama over choosing trainers, the fake drama over giving Tara the extra weight.  Why isn't this show an hour long?  I did enjoy Tara's comeback on the racetrack.  I'm wondering if she waterloaded last night, and if that means she'll have a killer loss next week.  It's hard to tell how bodies will react to those shenanigans now that they're all so trim.

Finally, can someone explain why they keep voting off weaker players and letting the threats stick around?  (Except for Dane a few weeks back, which was the opposite kind of bad decision because his team needed him to stick around.)  I love Survivor, and I would be happy for this show to explain the alliances and deals that are obviously going on behind the scenes, but it's like they think viewers are so stupid that we believe they really are voting Aubrey off because she isn't losing weight.  


Whooo-eee, yesterday was a rollercoaster.  

I was more right than I knew Monday when I said I was still struggling to get back on track mentally.  After our crazy weekend we hadn't had a chance to go grocery shopping, and G is sick, so we gave ourselves one more day to get on track.  Which meant we ordered dinner (caesar salads and baked potato wedges) and ate chocolate.  I knew that I HAD to get back to normal Tuesday, so I hit up Trader Joe's and then headed home determined to go for my run.

Then I napped for two hours.  I really do think that my body and mind were saying, "You know what?  We need this."  For some reason I hadn't been able to sleep at all Friday night, so I think I was still catching up.  The good news was that I woke up feeling pretty refreshed and decided to tackle that run.

Then the crazy hit.  I couldn't find my ipod.  I ransacked the entire house, screamed at G, wept, called the Holiday Inn, called my sister, panicked, turned the car inside out, screamed and wept some more.  Finally the ever-suffering G said, "You know what?  You have two options.  Go for a run without an ipod, or don't go for a run."

Damn.  So clear.  I never run without an ipod, and I needed to do four miles, so I set off with trepidation but aware that completing this run was the only thing that would make me feel better about losing the ipod.  (Part of the issue here was that this was a replacement ipod for the one I sent through the washing machine last summer.)

I went very slowly, but I did run the four miles.  I was still totally depressed about the ipod, and thinking about places to filch $150 from our budget, when my mom called and said it seemed like there was an ipod in her purse.  "It SEEMS like that??" I yelled.  "IS THERE OR NOT???"  
There was.  I had put it in there myself for safekeeping after we hit the hotel gym Saturday morning.

I'm so glad G encouraged me to go for a run, and I'm so glad I counted points yesterday.  I did eat another caramel creme egg (they come in 4 packs!) but I counted it and ate fish and green beans for dinner.  Holla!

Monday, March 23, 2009

weigh in/week 11 reflection

I'm back!  At least, physically I'm back.  I'm still working on the mental part.

Last week my dad came to stay starting on Monday.  On Thursday relatives started arriving from distant locations for my cousin's wedding, about an hour from where I live.  Friday we all drove out, where we met up with my mom and sister and the rest of the extended clan.  We celebrated all weekend, returning to Philadelphia yesterday to show off a few of our favorite (food-related, of course) spots.  My mom and sister camped here last night, and took off this morning.  In other words, it has been a full week of company, fun, messed up schedules, weird sleep patterns, and eating.  

I knew back in January that this week would present a particular challenge, and I tried to plan ahead.  I called my dad several times with questions about vegetable preferences and meal planning.  My dad has lost a lot of weight, and is always working to maintain that loss.  On one of the calls, he said, "I don't care what you make for dinner, I just don't want the whole week to be like a celebration with lots of food."  Excellent!

Except that as soon as he arrived, all plans went out the window.  I'm not sure if he was just relaxing, or if he thought G and I wanted to go nuts, but every time I turned around he was buying a donut or suggesting we eat out instead of cooking at home.  I did pretty good while he was here, but I didn't count points and it definitely loosened my resolve heading into the weekend.  Here's the summary:

Monday: seafood dinner, including a crab cake sandwich and steamed mussels, wine

Tuesday: 3 mile run, lunch at the Indian buffet (I only had one plateful! a huge departure from my usual behavior! furious pats on the back!), I made salmon for dinner, whiskey and wine

Wednesday: homemade hummus and pita for lunch, dinner with G's family at a seafood restaurant (I chose broiled shrimp, but they were swimming in butter), wine

Thursday:  I ran 7 miles! joy!  homemade quesadillas for lunch, dinner at an Italian restaurant with my aunt (I ate several slices of bread, some pasta, and half of my eggplant parm.  Hey, good for me, leaving half of my meal on the plate!), wine

Friday:  Did 17 pushups in a row.  Ate a banana for breakfast and declined my dad's offer to buy me a treat at the bakery (I'm so glad I'm not tempted by sweets); restaurant sandwich with chips for lunch, 2 slices of pizza and some Chinese food for dinner (I did avoid all alcohol)

Saturday: tried to run on the hotel treadmill but it was really crappy and I was scared I'd sprain my ankle so I only did a mile and a half); 2 biscuits and 2 sausage patties for breakfast, two small sandwiches for lunch, a plate of buffet food at dinner, piece of cheesecake, some beer, some wine, a rum and coke

Sunday: biscuit and bacon for breakfast, noodles at my favorite restaurant for lunch, chicken wings for dinner, margarita, two beers.

WOW.  Writing it out like this, I can see the trend: tried to maintain exercise and make good choices throughout the early part of the week, patted myself on the back, went nuts over the weekend.  It could have been worse, it could have been better.  At this point, it's over, so after this e-confession, I am putting it all behind me.

I wasn't going to weigh in this morning, but I did and I'm only up half a pound.  Honestly, I'm thrilled.  And I'm ready to get back on the normal routine of healthy, fresh, homecooked meals with serious exercise and the occasional treat.

Current weight: 194
Pounds to goal: 71