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