Saturday, February 28, 2009

wicked behavior

Betcha think I'm going to confess to eating a deep fried twinkie or drinking half my weight in beer...but no!  Instead I am going to confess to being totally, deeply lame.

I like musicals.  Broadway musicals.

Wait!  Hear me out!  I also like indie music and foreign films and serious literature and I'm SO over impressionist art!  I have some standards!

But I do enjoy my Rent CDs.  

I've often thought recently, while running away on the treadmill like a hamster, with my ipod on shuffle, that it would be nice if I could watch TV AND listen to music at the same time.  The plotline of a TV show combined with the beat of the music would keep me running for hours, I'm sure.  But for all the gadgetry Apple puts into its little mp3 player, I don't believe there's a "watch Alias with subtitles while listening to Beyonce" function.

And then it occurred to me: musicals.  Musicals have a plotline AND a beat!  They might keep my mind interested as well as my feet pounding!  So today I tested it out, on my first "long run" of the 10 mile training program.  I needed to run 4 miles, so I synced my Wicked CD onto my ipod and it was AMAZING.  The first 1.6 miles absolutely flew by.  Then I accidentally hit the stop button on the treadmill and had to curse myself out and do the math to figure out how much further I had to go while desperately jabbing the "quick start" button so as not to lose my momentum.  It definitely decreased the momentum, but I kept going.

The only problem was my need to make jazz hands during any particularly soaring musical moments.  Oh Elphaba.  I'M going to fly, defying gravity, dammit!


takeout!

A little background:  G and I have been married going on 4 years.  The first two years we lived in a nice little suburban town, renting an apartment.  Then we decided we wanted to buy a house, but our lease was going to be up before we were ready.  So, we figured we'd stay (operative word here is STAY, not LIVE) with his parents for a little while during our search.

HAHAHA!  That "little while" became a full year.  A full year living with the MILF (that's Mother in Law Factor).  Now, she is fantastic in nearly every way, but she agonizes over our weight, and I am so immature that I like to stuff my face when she's watching.  Actually, we did pretty well living there--in the fall I lost about 13 pounds and trained for a 4.5 mile run.  Then we actually bought our house, realized it needed extensive renovations, and had to live with them for another six months.  We did not do well during that time, as all our free time went into renovations rather than running and eating well.

We moved into our house in June.  The house is in the city.  And the city is glorious.  And the most glorious thing about the city is the availability of delicious food.  And all this delicious food can be delivered to your doorstep for a small fee.

At first we ordered takeout simply for research purposes.  I mean, if we were going to be good neighbors and residents, we needed to know who made the best pizza.  And the best Chinese, an the best Thai, and the best Mexican.  We also needed to check out all the pubs within walking distance.  We felt we were doing a public service, helping the economy, supporting local business.  

By the holidays, I had pretty much stopped cooking, we were spending ridiculously, and that lovely delivery man was ringing the doorbell 2 or 3 nights a week.  (The other nights we were at holiday parties or meeting friends out.)  No wonder I managed to gain back that 13 pounds, plus another 10!

Since getting back on track in January, we hadn't ordered takeout once.  Last night, we lifted the ban.  However, we did so very intentionally--it had been planned since Monday--and we didn't order pizza or wings.  We ordered Caesar salads (with grilled chicken) and seasoned baked potato wedges from the healthy Mediterranean place.  (They make a yolk-free dressing for their salad and bake everything rather than frying.)

Oh my goodness.  It was so delicious.  I had set aside the points I roughly estimated I'd be eating, and I felt no guilt at all.  And at the end of the meal, instead of spending our usual 20 minutes cleaning up, we just swept everything into the trash can.  What a treat!  The only times I haven't cooked in the last two months have been times we've had plans with other people, so letting loose with just G and me on a Friday night felt like something really special.  Funny, I never enjoyed it this much before.

daily report 2/27/09

Breakfast:
2 pieces Ezekiel toast, one with peanut butter and one with raspberry preserves

Lunch:
1.5 cups chickpea and chorizo soup

Dinner:
Grilled chicken caesar salad
seasoned baked potato wedges

Friday, February 27, 2009

fat jeans

I'd like to think my puny 15 pound weight loss is visible, but I don't think it is.  However, my size 20 jeans now slip down past my (decidedly flat) butt-cheeks whenever I climb stairs.  To be honest, they were big when I bought them, but they were only $7!  I mean, who can pass up mildly stylish $7 jeans?  (Bitten by Sarah Jessica Parker at Steve and Barry's going out of business sale.)

Anyway, they are now no longer an option, because of the aforementioned butt-slip issues.*  I have retired them, but they are hanging out in my closet in the hope that one day I will be one of those people who takes a picture of herself holding up fat jeans while wearing teeny tiny skinny person jeans and says, "Look how far I've come!"  

Even if I were to attribute their looseness to being worn out and too big initially, Wednesday morning I fit into a pair of pants that I hadn't worn since last winter.  I tried them on earlier this winter and it was a no-go, so it was with a sense of surprise and satisfaction that I zipped them up this time around.  And I felt great--I walked with a swagger and purpose in those damn pants.  

Then I caught a glance of myself in a mirror and felt like a fat schlub.  Tried to shake it off, but the swagger was gone.  Oh well.  Can't rush things.

*I don't know if it's because of my peculiar shape, being overweight, or wearing ratty old clothes, but for the last 6 months or so, EVERYTHING has been slipping off my butt.  Not so much pants, but my underwear.  I'll be walking along when suddenly it goes past the hips, the cheeks, and ends up balled around my crotchal area.  I have a really oddly shaped rear, which I will not go into details about, but this is a new problem.  I'm hoping that with some more weight loss and a few new pairs of undies, I won't have to constantly be reaching my hands into my pants to drag them back up.

BMI

Checked out my BMI just for kicks.  When I started blogging about 2 months ago, I weighed 211.5 and had a BMI of 38.6--pretty damn close to morbidly obese (a BMI above 40 is considered morbidly obese, or so I've read.)

Now, at 197, my BMI is 36.  Still pretty darn close to morbidly obese, but better.  When I get below 160 I'll be simply overweight rather than obese, and I will celebrate with a cheesesteak.*

*(Well, maybe not.  But that's what I did the first time I ran a mile.  And I enjoyed it, dammit!)

daily report 2/26/09

Breakfast:
8 almonds

Exercise:
3 mile run  (38 minutes)

Lunch:
Milk (in latte form)
Carrots
leftover pasta

Snack:
10 mini pretzel sticks

Dinner:
Trader Joe's crab cake
green beans with pine nuts

Snack:
Ezekiel toast with raspberry preserves
2 glasses wine

daily report 2/25/09

Exercise:
Rodney Yee AM Yoga

Breakfast:
Oatmeal

Lunch:
Leftover pasta casserole

Dinner:
green beans with pine nuts

Snack:
Popcorn

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

the little things

I've developed a few little strategies over the last two months that might be worth sharing.  These are not blow-your-mind ideas, but small pointers for saving or burning a few calories here and there.

1)  Drink while cooking.
In the past, this meant a glass of wine.  It just seemed so grown-up and elegant to sip at red wine while preparing a fabulous meal.  Now, however, I try to remember to grab one of my many (refillable, sustainable) water bottles from the fridge and polish it off while I cook.  I know that I've been satisfied with smaller portions lately, and this may have helped.

2) Surreptitious subway moves
While waiting for the subway, which I do at least twice a day, I saunter to the edge of the crowd and stand on my tiptoes.  60 times.  My calves burn when I'm done!  I contemplated doing wall pushups, but decided that would draw too much attention.

3)  The Ipod is for more than just music.
Derrr.  But I only figured this out recently.  My gym routine now consists of a warmup on the stationary bike for about 52 minutes--the length of one episode of Big Love.  I alternate 5 minutes at level 14 and 5 minutes at level 5, and by the time it's over, I've burned around 400 calories without getting bored.  Then I head to the treadmill and the real workout begins!  I tried watching TV episodes while running, but I need a beat.

What else?




going for it

I mentioned recently feeling like I was in an exercise rut, and since then two things have come along that seem like they may help me shake it off.  I'm hesitant to mention them out loud--by which I mean, on this blog that no one reads : ) --but then I remembered that my whole hook is honesty.  So here goes, and if I fail, you'll hear about that too!

1)  The Broad Street Run
This is a 10 mile run down Broad Street in Philadelphia, and it takes place the first weekend of May.  I probably won't be able to run the whole thing--I looked at a 12 week training program and I'm already behind, but I plan to do as much of it as I can running, and be OK with walking the rest.  I did a 4.5 mile run a few years ago, and I'm back up to running 3.5 miles, but this is going to take some work.  In some ways, the work is much more mental than physical.  I run on the treadmill, and my head just keeps telling me to stop.  I try to trick myself into listening to one more song before checking the mileage or taking a sip of water, but I have a tendency to psych myself out.  

The other night G and I were reading in bed before turning off the lights.  I was reading a magazine with a feature on General David Petraus.  It was a surprisingly interesting article and included the tidbit that the good general can do 100 pushups in 60 seconds.

I put down the mag and turned to G.

"Do you think I could do a hundred pushups in a minute?" I asked.

He ignored me.  

I asked again.  This time he laughed.

"What?  Why not?  General Petraus can!"  

Lo and behold, as I was finishing up reading the Dietgirl archives the next day (all done now, whew!) I saw a mention of the hundred pushups challenge, a training program that starts small and builds up to 100 pushups in 6 weeks.  I took the initial test and basically failed--I can do 4--but I'm going to start the routine on Monday.  It may take me more than 6 weeks, and I'll probably never be able to match General Petraus (duh) but I like a challenge!

daily report 2/24/09

Pre-exercise snack:
14 almonds

Exercise:
55 minute stationary bike
some reps on 4 arm machines
1 mile run (11.57 minutes--personal best alert!)

Breakfast:
1 piece Ezekiel toast, half with peanut butter and half with Fage 2% yogurt and raspberry preserves

Lunch:
Trader Joe's chicken sausage
leftover broccoli
1 egg over easy

Dinner:
Sauteed broccoli rabe

Snack
glass of milk
2 Joe-Joes

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

daily report 2/23/09

Breakfast:
Trader Joe's Oats N Honey bar

Lunch:
Hummus
Pita
Carrots
Clementines

Dinner:
Steamed chicken with scallion and ginger sauce
1 c. brown rice

Monday, February 23, 2009

weigh in/week 7 reflection

Phwoar!

That's a word that I keep seeing on DietGirl as I continue my trek through her archives--if only it burned calories like a real trek.

Anyway, I'm saying Phwoar! today because I weighed in and the scales moved down. 4 pounds, to be exact. For those paying close attention, that's actually 4 pounds in 3 weeks because I didn't weigh last week and hadn't lost the week before, but still, I'll take it. I wasn't surprised because I'd been weighing everyday, nervous that my actions last weekend would result in a massive midweek gain. Luckily, they didn't. However, I am now going to forbid myself from weighing in except for on Mondays. It worked well this week since the scale was going down, but I don't want to set myself up for feeling crappy due to random bodily fluctuations.

Week 7 was pretty good--the only major temptation was last night's Oscar party. I hoarded flex points during the week and didn't eat much all day, then let myself enjoy the food--which wasn't even that bad, pita and hummus and a few chocolates. Unfortunately I also enjoyed the booze, which resulted in a pity party this morning. I've also got that hangover grease craving thing going on, so I'm trying to resist.

My mini-goals for this week:
1. Don't weigh myself.
2. No excessive drinking on the weekend.
3. Keep working to figure out some kind of weight training routine.

Current weight: 197 pounds. (Down 14.5 overall).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

daily report 2/21/09

Breakfast:
handful of nuts
clementines

Exercise:
50 minute bike ride
farted around on two arm machines
3.5 mile run!  Woo!

Lunch:
delicious curry egg salad sandwich on Ezekiel bread

Dinner:
honey and soy glazed salmon
Heidi's brussels sprouts
2 glasses of wine

Saturday, February 21, 2009

daily report 2/20/2009

Breakfast:
8 almonds

Exercise:
55 minute bike
got acquainted with a machine that claims to work deltoids
2 mile run

Post-exercise treat:
Triple tall extra hot 2% sugar-free vanilla latte*

Lunch:
TJs 99% fat free bean burrito

Dinner:
Romesco sauce with grilled fish and veggies
3 small slices of baguette
small glass of wine

Mad Men Nightcap:
2 Manhattans

*I've had a Starbucks card burning a hole in my wallet since Christmas, and after my workout yesterday I thought it would be a good idea to have some delicious, healthy milk.  In latte form. Only problem is that counting points forces you to order like an asshole, with the 2% thing and the sugar-free vanilla thing.  Honestly, I've worked at Starbucks, and I'm kind of over it.  But I did enjoy the latte.  (In my own defense, I had to order extra hot because I had to walk a few blocks home before enjoying it.  I'm not a Starbucks asshole, I swear!)

evil torture machines

In my last post I went into excruciating detail about my insecurities vis-a-vis the gym.  What prompted this was the feeling of settling into a rut.  Don't get me wrong--a rut that includes 50+minute stationary bike rides combined with 20+minute treadmill jogs 3 times a week is a good rut.  But still, even though I had been increasing intensity and time, I thought it was probably time to start thinking about something besides cardio.

What is there besides cardio?  That's what many weight-loss peeps would have you think.  I worked at TV Guide for a while, and while I was there they put out a special issue of the Top 50 or so bodies in primetime.  I remember that Jennifer Garnder (Sydney Bristow!!!) was on the cover, and that there was a quote inside by some guy along the lines of "if you aren't doing cardio, you aren't doing anything."  And although his cardio and my cardio look drastically different, I've still had this as a somewhat unconscious mantra.

However, there is more to life, and more to the gym.  Weight training, for example.  In theory, I would love to be able to pump a little iron, develop some upper body power to go along with my rapidly-strengthening legs.  But the machines!  The weight machines scare the living crap out of me.  They look like carefully constructed torture devices.  I'm convinced that if you approach one the wrong way, you'll end up bent into a pretzel with a broken back and kneecaps.  
There's also the social anxiety.  Like yesterday, I finally worked up the nerve to sit down on a relatively straightforward looking machine and do a couple of "reps" (haha, I sound like I speak fluent gym!  No sirree!).  There was a girl on the machine next to me, and after a minute, I realized she had finished and was waiting for my machine.  I panicked.  Is there an unspoken rule that you begin at the first machine and work your way down the line?  Had I jumped into her spot?  I hopped off and ran to get a wipey thing, but she already had one and was wiping my nasty butt sweat off herself, so eager was she to bust out some circuits. 

I slunk away and hung awkwardly around another machine that looked reasonable.  I circled it.  I decided that if I sat down facing forward, I could maneuver my arms next to the cushion-thingy and push, and that might be what you were supposed to do.  Then I saw the little guide stuck on it and realized I had visualized sitting facing the wrong way.  I skittered off to the treadmill, sure that at least there forward was forward.

This week, I vow to develop some kind of weight routine.  I have now figured out the operation of two machines, and I'll add to that.  My method so far has been to choose the ones that don't look like I'll have to adjust the seat height, but at 5 1', I'll have to get over that.  Slow and steady.  Don't want to put on too much muscle weight too quickly anyway.  (That's sarcasm, fyi.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

confessions of an insecure blob

I've been overweight since adolescence.  When I was younger, I was hugely active.  My mom caught me climbing the monkey bars at age 2 (and still shudders when she thinks about it) and claims that I was a far more coordinated child than my sister.  <>:  Ha ha!
We lived in a city growing up, with no car, and with a playground and pool in our apartment complex.  My friends and I formed a "gang" whose primary activity was competing in sprints and jumping around.  I took gymnastics classes, and my school had a fairly intense Physical Education system that included extracurricular sessions at the pool and "Saturday school," which was basically a half-day of track and field.  In sixth grade I started playing volleyball and played again in seventh.  In ninth grade, I tried a low-key soccer league, but by then I had put on a few pounds and entered a bit of a depression.  From there, I became a veritable slug and gained continually.

I remember so distinctly the keen jealousy I felt of the athletes in high school.  Whenever they had meets or games, they came to school in their track suits.  Those track suits sent a message: I'm cool, I'm athletic, I'm better than you.  As I gained weight, I became increasingly uncomfortable with my body, and felt as though I didn't have the right to exercise because I wasn't already an athlete.  Stupid, but not so surprising for a 15 year-old.

In any case, I first set foot in a gym at the age of 25.  (I mean a non-school related gym).  I've gotten better about it, but I still feel incredibly awkward.  I also have fantasies of someone noticing me and raising the alarm because I'm not supposed to be there!  I'm not one of them!  

In fact, this paranoia exists for other locations as well.  For example, I recently made an appointment at a fancy schmancy hair salon.  I say fancy schmancy--what I mean is, it wasn't Great Clips.  I usually get a trim once a year, and that serves me just fine.  But I thought I'd try something new.  However, I was terrified of that same reaction: She's not supposed to be here!  She's not one of us.  In this case I suppose "us" would be the cute girls with the highlights.  I scoped out the neighborhood and picked the place that seemed least likely to turn me into an LBHOL (little blue haired old lady--a serious concern in this area) and called ahead.  I asked for information.  The girl seemed confused about what I was getting at, so I finally blurted out "Do you accept anyone??"  She was taken aback, but reassured me that I would not be kicked out upon walking my blubbery, frizzy self through the door.  Even then, sitting in the chair, feeling pretty comfortable, I managed to let my insecurities pop out.  The nice girl asked if I had been to any of the hot spots in the neighborhood.  Then answer was yes.  I had been to several of them--the Mexican cantina, the tavern up the road, the new neighborhood bar.  But instead of answering affirmatively, I said, "Yeah...the grocery store."

Oh my gosh.  I said I had been to the grocery store.  I'm such an idiot!  I almost laughed at myself right then and there, but I just swallowed it and let her keep cutting, likely assuming that she had a first-class loser in her chair.  The thing is, I don't really think of myself that way.  I like me!  I'm cool!  But in certain environments, particularly appearance-focused environment, I feel like a blob.  And apparently I have the need to let others know that I know I'm a blob, carry on.

All this is to explain why it has taken me 8 months to work up to trying out one of the weight machines at the gym.  More on that later.

diet blogs

I spent all day (seriously) yesterday reading through the DietGirl archives.  I assumed there was a world of diet blogs out there, but I had never sought them out.  My tastes run more to the entertainment oriented blogs--how shallow and lame of me!  Anyway, I enjoyed her writing style so much, and was very inspired by her story.  When I started this blog I envisioned myself writing consistent, funny, heartwarming, inspiring entries, which would inspire a devoted readership, culminating with a movie deal.  After about a week or so, I realized that would be hard.  So I have pretty much just used this as a place to be accountable to the ether, noting what I eat and occasionally posting a link or venting, but not deluding myself that people were reading.

After reading DietGirl, though, I'd like to use this blog more as a journal.  I have a food journal where I track my points, but I'd like to make myself write more reflective pieces here.  I'm still going to write everything I eat, even though it makes the blog look pretty boring, because it's helpful for me and it may be helpful for someone else at some point.

In any case, if you want a laugh out loud funny, poignant, and arse-kicking read, head on over to DietGirl.  One warning though--as inspiring as it is to see how far she's come, if you read through the whole archive in one day, you may find yourself forgetting that it took her around 5 years to reach her goal.  Slow and steady wins the race, folks.

daily report 2/19/09

Breakfast:
Toast

Lunch:
Leftover beans, salsa, tortilla, queso fresco

Dinner:
leftover polenta, gravy and broccoli

Nightcap:
2 glasses of wine

Thursday, February 19, 2009

daily report 2/18/09

Breakfast:
Ezekiel toast (1 peanut butter, 1 raspberry preserves)

Lunch:
Leftover beans and salsa, bit of queso fresco, 1 small blue corn tortilla

Dinner:
Broccoli and onions
polenta
red gravy

Snack:
glass of milk
2 joe-joes

Nightcap:
glass of wine

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

daily report 2/17/09

Pre-workout snack:
8 almonds

Exercise:
50 minute stationary bike
12 minute, 1 mile run

Lunch:
1/2 Chick Fil A Southwest Salad (no dressing)
1/2 Chick Fil A Spicy Wrap

Dinner:
Huevos Rancheros

Nightcap:
Glass of Wine

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

week 6 reflection

When you join Weight Watchers, they give you a "free pass," which you can use on a week that you don't feel like weighing in.  I decided to use a free pass this week, kind of.  I did weigh myself, and learned that I gained a half pound last week, but I'm not writing that down in my journal or considering it official.  I don't know, it makes sense to me.

To be honest, I was glad to have only gained a pound.  I did well during the week, and even did OK most of the weekend.  Friday G and I did a long walk-run, and Saturday we spent a good couple hours walking around the neighborhood with guests, so at least we were active.  And while I ate some pretty serious food, we didn't eat, like, piles of french fries and pizza or anything.  Or dessert, really.

About midway through the weekend I decided to just eat what looked good and not stress about the consequences.  This is the first time in the six weeks that I've done that--there have been days when I've gone over my points, but I still tracked everything that went into my mouth and attempted to account for it.  Sunday I just ate what I felt like, which apparently included buffalo wings.  While it may not have been the best choice, I think that at certain points it can be helpful for the long run to indulge cravings.

Now I'm back on track, with a solid Monday and a good gym session under my belt.  Onward.

daily report 2/16/09

Breakfast:
TJs bar

Lunch:
Bananna
Soft Pretzel
Cauliflower and baby carrots

Dinner:
Cashew Curry Soup
glass of wine

Monday, February 16, 2009

daily report 2/15/09

Breakfast:
egg white omelette with lox, cream cheese, capers, tomatoes and onions
hash browns
multi grain toast
a few bites of scrapple

Dinner:
9 buffalo wings
5 beers

daily report 2/14/09

Breakfast:
1 egg
3 strips of bacon

Exercise:
2 mile walk

Afternoon snacks:
chips and salsa
cheese and crackers
veggies

Dinner:
Sausage and peppers sandwich
Beer


daily report 2/13/09

Breakfast:
8 almonds

Exercise:
3 mile walk
2.8 mile run (outside)

Lunch:
Junior Turkey hoagie (no cheese, oil, etc.)
bananna

Exercise:
1 mile walk

Dinner:
Cheesesteak

Nightcap:
beer
scotch

daily report 2/12/09

Breakfast:
8 almonds

Exercise:
 50 minute stationary bike
3.2 mile run (42 minutes on treadmill)

Lunch:
leftover beans

Dinner:

Nightcap:
Scotch

Thursday, February 12, 2009

priorities

The other day G and I got a call from some very good friends who are recently arrived back in the U.S. after being stationed in Germany with the army (and this time away included a tour in Iraq).
They wanted to know if this was a good weekend to visit.

My first thought?  

"Crap."

See, the husband wants to get cheesesteaks, and G wants to grill sausages, and we'll probably go out for brunch.  And all this food--not to mention the copious amounts of beer that will be available--is all I could think about when they said they were coming--how can I resist the temptations, what can I have on hand to snack on while they eat chips and pretzels, when will I find time to exercise?

I don't like that that was my reaction.  I want to be chill about weight loss, trust myself to make the right choices rather than stressing that I won't.  Not sure how to get there, though.

daily report 2/11/09

Exercise:
Bob video

Breakfast:
Toast with peanut butter

Lunch:
leftover borlotti bean mole

Dinner:
Chick Fil A

Snack:
Mango

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

daily report 2/10/09

Breakfast:
Toast with peanut butter

Exercise:
50 mile stationary bike
1 mile run

Lunch:
leftover borlotti bean mole
clementine

Snack:
1/8 cup cashew pieces

Dinner:
steamed chicken with scallion-ginger sauce
brown rice
braised bok choy
glass of milk

no snacks or nightcaps!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Biggest Loser Power Rankings

EW has a story about Biggest Loser here; nothing too noteworthy, but some interesting behind the scenes stuff.  Not sure how I feel about Biggest Loser soda.  Wait, actually, I am sure: dumb. But whatever.

Last week was interestingish--Aubrey emerged as a "personality" and Sione emerged as a huge threat.  Shannon did much better than I gave her credit for while she was at home, and Mike and Ron continued to be less than impressive.  

The weigh-in for those who were returning from home was really interesting--the show and the trainers acknowledged very matter-of-factly that there is really no way you'll lose as much at home as you would on the ranch.  That's not a surprise to anyone, but the show had built up expectations by setting it up as a "Watch them prove you can do it at home!" deal.  I was glad they were honest about it.  And it made me feel pretty good about my first month.  

Aside from that, the challenge was pretty dull, and the interpersonal stuff was tired.  Hoping for some interesting stuff tonight--one nugget from the EW article is that there are half-marathons, and perhaps even full marathons, in store.  That is something I can get excited about.

I tried to do power rankings again, but I realized it's really difficult to factor in the threat factor.  I think Mike and Ron will continue to do poorly in the weigh-ins (apparently Ron's knees are to blame) but the fact that his knees keep him from working out makes them the perfect team to go up against for as long as possible.  Likewise, I think Blaine/Dane and Felipe/Sione are going to get tossed the second they hit the yellow line, so the question is simply how they'll do week to week.  Thus, the rankings below are purely speculation about who will ultimately lose the most weight, regardless of duration on the show.

7.  The Brown Team: Mike and Ron
If you can't work out, it's going to be pretty darn tough.

6.  Mandi/Aubrey
Not sure what was behind Aubrey claiming that she spent five hours a day in the gym when she only lost two pounds.  Mandi seems to be getting stronger, and they are definitely competitors, but I don't see the drive I see in other teams.

5.  Kristin/Cathy
Kristin could go far, and Cathy will probably ultimately do pretty well, but some of these other teams are such powerhouses that they just won't be able to keep up.

4.  Helen/Shannon
I respect what Shannon did at home, and Helen is getting downright dainty.  Of course, with less to lose, you have smaller percentages, but I gotta move these ladies up a little.

3.  Tara/Laura
I'd like to put them higher because I don't like having two male powerhouse teams at the top, but I'm not sure about Laura.  On her own, I think Tara could win this.

2.  Blaine/Dane
They're boring, and I can't tell if they're losing weight because they have guts or because they have the benefit of being more fit than the other teams.

1.  Felipe/Sione
They look like the team to beat.

weigh in/week 5 reflection

I decided to do my weigh-in Tuesday this week because of certain issues it wouldn't be pleasant to go into.  Anyway.  I was down .5, which is a bit of a disappointment because I had a really good week, but considering the 4 pound loss the week before, I can't complain.  Also, I had a few more drinks Friday and Saturday than I wanted to, so that was probably a factor.

Sunday night was one of those nights of agony that you sometimes have when you're trying to lose weight.  I had been pretty good all weekend--like I said, a few too many drinks, but solid exercise and healthy, home-cooked food.  G and I went to a local park and did their 5-mile walking trail Sunday afternoon, and really enjoyed it.  On the way home, one of us (I think it was probably me) was struck with the notion of going out to dinner to a place that we have been meaning to go to since the summer.  It's basically a seafood oriented sports bar, and we have been wanting to go and order their beer tower, a pile of mussels, and their famous crab fries.  (Oh my gosh, so good, so bad.)  

We went back and forth pretty half-heartedly the whole way home, and for a while after that.  I figured I had had a decent week, and had a bunch of points from the exercise that day, and we had been wanting to do it forever...but ultimately I told G I just couldn't do it, mainly because of the aforementioned beer tower.  (It works out to about 10 beers, so five each.)  Had I not had a few drinks earlier in the weekend, I may have been up for it, but I just couldn't justify.  However, I proposed an alternative: order Caesar salads and baked potato wedges from the Mediterranean place.*  This seemed perfect: we still get to eat "out," but we stay within our points and don't drink.

We were set.  We were happy.  The place was closed.  

Things went into a tailspin--we talked about ordering Chinese, going out to a restaurant but trying to be good (or just not bad), about cooking something really appealing like a plate full of pasta.  In the end, we ate the bean stew I was making for lunches that week.  All told, this was a HUGE accomplishment.

*This place makes their own yolk-free dressings, and unlike most restaurant salads, it really is healthy.

daily report 2/9/09

Breakfast:
TJs bar

Lunch:
1 small pita
hummus
clementine

Snack:
soft pretzel w/ a teeny bit of cheese

Dinner:
2 chicken sausages
1 egg
broccoli

Nightcap:
1 scotch

daily report 2/8/09

Breakfast:
1 egg, sunny side up
2 strips of bacon

Exercise:
3 mile walk
1.5 mile run

Dinner:
with corn tortillas and queso fresco

Snack:
milk and 2 cookies
popcorn
1 scotch

Sunday, February 8, 2009

daily report 2/7/09

Breakfast:
TJs Oat and honey bar

Exercise:
50 minute stationary bike
30 minute run (2.25 miles) on treadmill

Lunch:
leftover butter beans with caramelized onions

Glass of wine at a gallery

Dinner:
Homemade fajitas: 6 blue corn tortillas (the little ones), 1 chicken breast, green peppers, onions, black beans, queso fresco
beer (2)

3 Manhattans
glass of rye

Saturday, February 7, 2009

daily report 2/6/09

Breakfast:
Oatmeal

Lunch:
Leftover butter beans with caramelized onions

Happy hour:
1 Mojito
1 Caipirinha
1 tapas (mini rice croquettes)

Exercise:
brisk 1 mile walk

Dinner:
Beer

Nightcap:
Manhattan
Rye on the rocks

Friday, February 6, 2009

daily report 2/5/09

Pre-exercise snack:
8 almonds

Exercise:
30 minutes stationary bike
1.5 mile run on treadmill

Breakfast:
Oatmeal

Lunch:
(lowfat homemade) hummus and veggies on pita

Dinner:

Dessert:
Milk
2 Joe-Joe cookies

Snack:
Popcorn

Thursday, February 5, 2009

cooking

It's not revolutionary, but a few things I've read recently have stressed the benefit of cooking for yourself instead of eating at restaurants.  I know this, and I enjoy cooking, but one of the dangers of where we live is that you can get anything delivered to you in 30 minutes, or take your pick of delicious restaurants just a few minutes away.  In the fall, and particularly over the holidays, G and I were ordering in at least once a week.  Even when we ordered from the healthy Mediterranean place--and often it was the pizza joint or wings or Chinese--I know that the calories were much higher than if I had cooked myself.  One of the things I'm most pleased about with our progress in January and a few days of February is the lack of ordering in or eating out unless there's a good reason.  We haven't ordered in once, and we've only eaten out when other people were involved.  Over time, even if I weren't being scrupulous with points, I think this would make a big difference in our health.

Here's one of the articles.  It's about Biggest Loser contestants struggling to cook.

daily report 2/4/09

Breakfast:
Oatmeal

Lunch:
Baba ghanouj
small pita
a little feta
veggies

Exercise:
Bob workout video
Hip hop body shop
(40 minutes total)

Dinner:
Spaghetti squash
3 turkey meatballs
gravy (or marinara sauce)

Snack:
Popcorn

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

daily report 2/3/09

Exercise:
45 minutes stationary bike
1 mile run on treadmill

Breakfast:
Mojo bar

Lunch:
Leftover salmon (small piece)
Leftover chicken sausage
broccoli and onions

Snack:
a few pretzels

Dinner:
Southwestern omelette (homemade)
3 pieces of bacon

Dessert:
glass of milk
1 Joe-Joe cookie

Nightcap:
glass of scotch

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Biggest Loser Power Rankings

Just for fun, (actually, because I'm procrastinating on doing real work) I've decided to rank the remaining Biggest Loser teams and offer a little commentary.  This kind of reality TV ranking is done much better about Top Chef over at SkilletDoux, but I thought I might as well try my hand at it.

The tricky thing, of course, is that the bigger threats may be eliminated early on.  For now, I'm ranking the teams in terms of how well I think they'll do at losing weight.  Obviously, this may coincide with whether or not they're eliminated, because if they don't lose, they'll fall below the yellow line.  At the same time, if a weak and a strong team fall below the line, chances are the strong team will be kicked out so the rest have a better chance at the money.  So my rankings are less about who will be left standing at the end and more about who will do well on the scale.

8.  The Pink Team:  Helen and Shannon
Helen won immunity last week, but only because no one considers her a threat.  Shannon's footage from home didn't show a lot of working out, and apparently she's had other things on her mind lately.  Also, that mugshot doesn't seem to indicate much weight loss.

7.  The Brown Team: Mike and Ron
They've been below the yellow line once, and previews (stupid, annoying, give-it-all-away previews) indicate that they'll be below it again this week.  Thing is, they are both so big that they could be considered serious threats if they hang around long enough.  In other words, if they fall below that yellow line this week, I'm not sure Ron's tearful pleas will be enough to distract the other contestants from the cashmoney.

6.  The Silver Team: Carla and Joelle
Oh Joelle.  You seemed to be back on track last week, but who knows?  You are a master at talking the talk, but I'm not sure you're here to stay.  Especially since an improved attitude and Carla's return make you more of a threat than a liability for the rest of your team--the only reason you stuck around last time.

5.  The Purple Team: Kristin and Cathy
I like this team a lot, and I think they could do well.  I have no idea what's been going on with Cathy at home, though, which is why I can't place them above teams that seem to be really driven right now.

4.  The Yellow Team: Mandi and Aubrey
Was Jillian's heart-to-heart with Mandi enough to get her out of the missing her kids, sorry for herself doldrums?  Hard to say, but if there's one person I believe in, it's Jillian.  Aubrey seemed pretty hardcore in her home footage, and they have both put up good fights in challenges.  At the same time, challenge monsters like Tara and the Black team keep the sisters under the radar.

3.  The Green Team: Tara and Laura
Honestly, I won't be at all surprised if Tara wins this whole thing.  I'm not as sure about Laura. I do think the footage last week which was used to imply that she was slacking off at home was disingenuous--the implication was that, because she was out at a club with friends, she wasn't working hard.  But I didn't see a drink in her hand or food in her mouth, I saw the girl moving.  We'll see how her weigh-in goes tonight.

2.  The Black Team:  Blaine and Dane
These guys appear to be a huge threat, which means that they'll be voted off as soon as they fall below the yellow line.  The fact that they both remained on campus may also be a bit of a liability, as it increases visibility and the threat factor.  However, they have put up huge numbers week after week (even with a visit home!) so it may be a while before they do fall below the yellow line.

1.  The Blue Team: Filipe and Sione
Sione was working hard at home, and Filipe seems to be ready to play the game.  They're big guys, so they can put up big numbers, but they may not appear as threatening as the black team. I'm guessing Sione puts up the biggest percentage of the returned contestants tonight.

daily report 2/2/09

Breakfast:
Trader Joe's Oat and Honey granola bar

Lunch:
Baba ghanoujh
pita bread
sliced veggies
apple
feta cheese

Snack:
1/4 cup trail mix

Dinner:
broccoli sauteed with onions
Trader Joe's chicken sausage

Snack/Nightcap:
glass of scotch
a few pretzels

Monday, February 2, 2009

weigh-in/first month

I was down four pounds this morning, bringing my total to 10 pounds in the first month. It feels great, although it took a while for the scale to settle, and I'm a little worried that it's not entirely accurate. But...who cares! I'll take it!

This weekend was tough, but I managed to meet most of the goals I had set for myself. I enjoyed myself Friday night without drinking too much. I exercised Saturday morning and made good choices at lunch (I ordered hummus while everyone else had a burger and fries; I ordered diet coke while the others had beer; I refrained from the gelato that everyone else had). Saturday night at the party was a little rough--I had a few too many potato chips dipped in French Onion dip (the Forthright Fattie's kryptonite right there) and didn't need chili AND pizza. But, I must say, I usually would have put away several pieces of pizza and eaten twice as many chips, so I felt OK with my behavior. And I stuck to Diet Coke at the bar we went to after.

Sunday I managed a perfect day, enjoyed my food, and for the first time in years, did not gorge during the Superbowl.

I feel very good about how this first month has gone, but I'm trying to keep in mind that 10 pounds/month will not happen often. I want to feel as good about the decisions I've made as I do about the scale, because I can control my decisions and I can't control the scale.

Edited:  good lord, there's a type.  I initially wrote that my current weight is 101.5.  That's not even wishful thinking, that's downright delusional.

Current weight: 201.5

daily report 2/1/09

Breakfast:
8 almonds

Lunch:
Trader Joe's sushi

Dinner:
Honey and soy glazed salmon
Brussels sprouts
1/2 sweet potato
2 glasses wine

Sunday, February 1, 2009

daily report 1/31/09

Exercise:
Bob cardio video

Breakfast:
pretzel with peanut butter

Lunch:
Hummus Trio with pita bread, grape leaves

Dinner:
1 slice pizza
1 bowl chili
vegetables
a few potato chips with dip


daily report 1/30/09

Breakfast:
Mojo bar

Exercise:
50 minute stationary bike
30 minute treadmill intervals

Lunch:
Bean Soup
Garlic bread on potato bun

Dinner:
Corn soup 
Ceviche
Stuffed Pepper 
Churros 
4 beers
Scotch