Friday, October 30, 2009

Ice Cold 100

There are many of us in blogland who are participating in South Beach Steve's Hot 100.  Little did I know when I decided to participate that I would receive devastating news.  My friend is still holding on and each day the doctor's are saying "any minute."  I can't sleep so I got up and decided to read some blogs and do this update.

Even as I type this I am fascinated by the fact that things could go so badly in these areas. I wonder when I will be strong enough that nothing will set me off my path?  I am sure I will pay the price for letting my Hot 100 get Ice Cold.

1. Keep the wine down to 2 glasses on no more than 2 days.
2. Track my food intake and keep it under 1500 calories for 6 out of 7 days per week.
3. Burn at least 2500 calories a week through exercise.
4. Advance to my next belt in Thai Boxing, which means I have to have perfect attendance and learn the material.
5. Use the weekend to plan and precook some of our weekly meals so that we are eating.

1. FAIL – I have had one glass of wine each day.  Sometimes two.

2. FAIL – no tracking at all so I have no idea about my caloric intake

3. PASS!  . Burned 2530 calories.  I have to admit with all the stress beating the bag at Thai Boxing has been a good thing.

4. PASS! Got in my classes no problem.  See above.

5. FAIL - I am scattered so badly right now that planned meals are out the window.  Last night's dinner was cheese and crackers.  Real cheese, not even low fat.

So, there we are.

Thanks again for your thoughts and well wishes.  Though I have read through some blogs, I can't compose myself to comment mostly because my brain is in overdrive.  The only way I can explain is to tell you that one of my tasks yesterday was to write my friend's obituary.  His family asked me to do it and I couldn't say no.  That's where my life is right now.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Mess

I'm a mess today.  When I got up this morning to work out I got a text message telling me that my friend who was diagnosed with cancer and should have had 18 months to live, may likely die before the week's end.  After a weekend trip away to one of his favorite cities to visit family, his body betrayed him.  He ended up in the hospital yesterday and now his organs seem to be shutting down.

I didn't work out, I forgot to weigh myself and honestly right now I'm not caring about very much other than what I can do to help that family.

I feel like I am letting all of my blogging friends down and I'm sorry. I promise you I really am a better person than this, it's just overwhelming me right now.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Running Free

I had a great run this morning at 4:45.  I'm so glad I got up to run because today I feel a calmness that I haven't felt in weeks.  Almost like I can feel my stress lowering.  I hope this feeling lasts because it really does help me in all other areas of my life.

I love running in the morning.  In the spring, I hear birds chirping and get to see the sunrise.  In the summer, the sun is up quickly and I smell honeysuckle and roses as I trot along in what is likely the coolest time of day.  In the fall, I get to see this:

I didn't actually see that this morning because it was dark but I did stop and take that picture on Sunday when I ran.  Oh, and I also got a reminder that the next season - my least favorite - is right around the corner:

I don't like winter at all but I have always loved holly (my Christmas china has a holly pattern on it) so it tickled me to see that bush along the side of the road.  I think one of the reasons why I don't like winter so much, besides driving in the snow and bad weather, is that the weather also drives me inside onto a treadmill so that even when it is the weekend and light outside I don't get to see anything pretty on my runs. But, I have to admit, there's nothing like a cold starry morning where you're running along seeing your breath and by the time you get back you have popsicles on your hat!

People ask me constantly how I can get up so early to get my run in and it's hard for me to put in words.  I say, "no traffic, calm, peaceful" but that doesn't really adequately explain it.  Maybe the pictures help.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ow, We Need the Funk, Gotta Have that Funk

With apologies to George Clinton and Parliament.

 I need to turn this motha out, tear the roof off the sucka, and give up that funk. 

I have been in a super funk lately.  Once again, I am amazed at how life's circumstances are bogging me down.  It's like I don't have the energy for anything but to get through the day.  I am exercising, but as I've said before, exercise is really not a problem for me.  Out-eating my exercise is.  But more than out-eating my exercise, it's poor choices in general:
  • Waiting too long to eat
  • Choosing candy over fruit
  • Eating second helpings
  • Not sleeping enough
  • Eating too much too late in the day
  • Drinking a glass of wine because I think it will calm my nerves
You get the idea.  How to turn that around is baffling me - it's like I just don't have the energy to power through it the way I have in the past.  It's all I can do to get up and get to work on time.  I know this too shall pass but it sure is wearing me out in the meantime.

In catching up on my blog reading this morning I found this entry from South Beach Steve.  Do you think he recorded this just for me?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Update Time

South Beach Steve is trying to help us focus during these last 100 days of 2009. Thanks, Steve. Here is this week's Hot 100 update.

My Goals:
1. Keep the wine down to 2 glasses on no more than 2 days.
2. Track my food intake and keep it under 1500 calories for 6 out of 7 days per week.
3. Burn at least 2500 calories a week through exercise.
4. Advance to my next belt in Thai Boxing, which means I have to have perfect attendance and learn the material.
5. Use the weekend to plan and precook some of our weekly meals so that we are eating.

1. FAIL – too many social events and though I didn’t overdo it, once again it was on more than 2 days.

2. FAIL – while I tracked my food on all 7 days, I most certainly didn’t keep it to less than 1500 calories. According to the nutrition calculator I use, based on my statistics including my exercise time, I can actually eat up to 1800 and expect to lose weight. But, because of my thyroid issues, I know I really can’t do that. This week I just blasted right by the 1500 hundred mark on 4 out of the 7 days and ate right up to the edge of the 1800.

3. PASS! Burned 2836 calories and ran the fastest I’ve run in a long time.

4. PASS! Not only did I get my classes in but in one class I worked out with a brown belt who told me they’d never seen someone as technically good as I am at “just” a gold belt. Yay for me!

5. I can’t decide whether to give myself a pass or fail for this one. I didn’t really do a bunch of cooking or planning – but I purposefully made that decision. I just didn’t feel like it and decided that meals would be really simple this week, i.e., soup and sandwich, etc. So half pass?

OY! What a week it has been. It is what it is. Basically I had a positive meltdown this week and that’s not a good thing. No excuses though – I need to get my rear in gear.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Whoomp There It Is

I haven't been around because I've spent the last 48 hours helping my friend who was given the terminal diagnosis plan his funeral. It has been a sad couple of days and will be sadder yet in the next months.

I haven't given up on my goals, but I want to. I think what keeps me chugging along is that I'm terrified if I give up completely, I'll get big as a house as I drown all my stress in food. Even though my food choices were not spectacular over the weekend I did stay in calorie range. Plus I exercised a lot - though exercise is not usually a problem for me at all. My doctor keeps telling me that stress is toxic for me and now I have proof: I gained back what I lost last week. Boy oh boy does my body like this number or what? Whoomp There It Is!

I don't know, maybe I need to get all "diety" like Fitcetera or figure out what Sean or Jack or Fat Daddy are doing - they're melting away.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Weekend summary:

Exercise = excellent. Two really good hard runs.

Food = fail. 'Nuff said.

Emotions = all over the place. Got some terrible news that a friend was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and has been given about a year to live.

I'm tired.

Friday, October 16, 2009

It Is Better to Give

Than to Receive. There is great joy in giving. Even greater joy than in receiving. Which is why I would like to bestow this award on a few of the bloggers who put themselves out there to inspire us all.

There are no rules to receiving this award, just pick it up. Of course, if you'd like to pass it on, that's okay too.

Happy Friday!


Fat Girl Dives In

TJ's Weigh or the Highway

Amazon Runner

My Travels to Becoming a Better Me

Fearless Missy

Downsizing Doc

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How Low Can You Go?

In the past couple of days, along with my rumbling tummy, I've found myself starting to have a mindset that I KNOW is beneficial... how low can you go?

In other words, as one who uses basic math - calorie counting - as my means of getting from here to there I am starting to ask myself if I need to eat that one more thing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to eat super low calorie. In fact, my "range" is 1200-1500 calories per day and most days, I eat very close to that 1500. But for the past few days if I look at my tracker and I've had 1300, instead of just looking for another 200 calories to eat, I'm actually thinking about my hunger. Do I really need to eat? So, I find myself eating enough to be satisfied but not necessarily every single calorie if I'm not hungry.

Again, I say from past experience, this will only be beneficial for me.

In other blog business, here is this week's Hot 100 update. Good old South Beach Steve is motivating us all to be the best we can be in the last 100 days of 2009. May I mention, that if you haven't read his blog, you must. It's really great with video episodes and recipes and heartfelt writing.

Here are my goals:

1. Keep the wine down to 2 glasses on no more than 2 days.
2. Track my food intake and keep it under 1500 calories for 6 out of 7 days per week.
3. Burn at least 2500 calories a week through exercise.
4. Advance to my next belt in Thai Boxing, which means I have to have perfect attendance and learn the material.
5. Use the weekend to plan and precook some of our weekly meals so that we are eating.

First of all let me say, I FINALLY made it to 100 degrees in the shade. Yes, my friends, I had success on all fronts. In fact, it may be 110 up in here...

1. Only drank wine 1 time this week!
2. Tracked intake AND kept it under 1500 for 7 days!
3. 2848 calories burned!
4. 3 classes taken - last class did 100 roundhouse kicks on each leg!
5. Here are some of the yummy meals: Turkey Italian Sausage & Pepper Grinders; Chicken & Rice Bake; Baked Cod with Roasted Asparagus!

Woo Hoo! Now, if I can just lather, rinse, repeat...

Finally let me say, I am really honored to have been given an award by Fat (Free) Me:

"Aren't You the Cat's Meow" comes with no rules. A true gift, all I have to do is accept it. Thanks! I'm always surprised when someone notices me - I'm kind of new at this blogging thing. Again, if you haven't been to her blog, you must. Besides, she's hit the 70 pound lost mark so go give her a high five.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Down 1.6. I know I should be happy with this, but honestly I'm so far behind at this point, I really wanted more. And, in fact, I earned more - at least numerically. I'm not one to jump on and off a scale all the time, but I will analyze numbers to death. By my numbers for the last week, i.e., caloric intake/caloric burn, I should have lost at least 3 pounds. Gah!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wait! Is That Rumble Thunder?

As I did my pre-dawn run this morning, my stomach was rumbling a little and I realized that for the last few mornings, I have been waking up slightly hungry. That’s a good thing for me because it absolutely means I have not been stuffing myself in the evenings.

Past experience indicates it usually also means that my body is starting to work on shedding weight. I hope so, because I don’t feel like I’m losing right now. On the other hand, I’ve had three people in the last three days ask me if I’m losing weight so maybe I’ll be surprised when I weigh in tomorrow.

Honestly, I think what may be happening, more than a sudden large weight loss, is that my body has finally responded to the pounding I’ve been giving it at Thai Boxing and that perhaps I’m losing inches. I did measure myself back in July when I started and plan on checking at the 6 month mark which will be January 1, 2010. Hopefully before I actually pull out the measuring tape, my clothing will let me know.

Either way, inches or weight, it would be refreshing to see some sort of result. Recently, Shelley stated that it is frustrating to see how other people lose so much faster when she feels stuck. I sort of feel that way too. I dream of being like Karen and posting a photo every day that shows my weight inching down but for some reason that’s not my reality right now.

So, I try to gather strength from other people’s success so that I won’t quit. And I try to remember that usually if I want to lose weight, I need to hear the rumble and feel slightly hungry quite a bit.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Discovering New Things

*Before I get into the actual product review, I want to make it clear that I have not been asked to review or endorse any of the products I mention in this blog.

As I've shared before, I am not one to like a "diet" in the usual sense of the word. I have been working hard at eating everything/anything in moderation. This means if the food fits in the calorie budget and if I'm managing to balance my food intake over several food groups, that's a good thing. This also means I don't eat a whole lot of fat free stuff. I just don't like the taste of it and the manufacturers tend to add more sugar or some type of chemical to make up for the fact that they've taken the fat out. I do like to try to find lower fat and better versions of food I would eat anyway. For example, I really enjoy the light Newman's Own salad dressings. They are made with whole, natural ingredients, i.e. they aren't full of high fructose corn syrup. They are lower fat, lower calorie and taste delicious. Once in a while I find something new that just makes me happy as is the case for the product I'm sharing today.

Every Wednesday my husband picks up our 6 year old nephew after school, takes him to karate, and then hangs out with him for a bit, which usually includes some sort of meal. They enjoy their "boy" time together very much. Over the summer, they rarely would come back to the house because there were beaches to swim at and playgrounds to conquer. Now that Fall has set in, it is too cold for the beach or the playground and it's getting dark early so they usually end up here, which means hubby is also cooking something here. Last week he decided he wanted to make tacos. Since I had the time, I volunteered to go to the grocery store and pick up the ingredients. Over the years, I have already done some things to try to make tacos healthier, for example, using very lean ground beef (I would use ground turkey but dh says no!), Cabot 50% light cheddar, light sour cream, etc. I really prefer the crunchy taco shells but they are not as healthy as a whole wheat soft wrap, so I usually reserve those shells as a treat. You can then imagine my delight and surprise when I found this at the grocery store:

Even before I really knew a lot about food and nutrition and whole grains, I'd wondered why we'd stripped the nutrition out of our foods. It's almost sad that I was excited to find a food that had been returned to it's natural state! If you look closely at the picture you can see that I leaned one of the shells up against the box and you'll notice that these whole grain taco shells do not look any different from other taco shells. Their nutritional value is fabulous compared to "regular" shells. For two shells, yes two!

110 calories, 6 grams fat, 16 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber, 2 grams of protein.

Did you know "regular" shells only have 1 gram of fiber?

The ultimate test for me is always what my hubby says because he can be sort of picky about whole grain foods. I didn't mention anything to him about the shells, I just left them on the counter and went about my business. The boys ate and then dh took my nephew home. When he got back, this was our conversation, "Where did you get those shells?" "Grocery store, they're Ortega." "Those were the best taco shells I've ever tasted." "Really? How about that, because they're whole grain." "Okay by me if that's all you buy from now on." HA! VICTORY!!

Plus he said my nephew told his Mom that she needed to call Auntie Helen and find out about her special taco shells because they were the best. Not sure if that was a genuine food endorsement or because, as we later found out, he'd never had a hard taco shell and he loved it.

So, I heartily recommend these Ortega Whole Grain Taco Shells. Trust me, you'll get more nutrition and you'll never miss the old style shells.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Some News and a Hot 100 Update

I have a fabulous doctor who schedules plenty of time with each patient in order to look at the patient as a whole. The last time I was at the doctor I was, once again, complaining about my slow weight loss and seeming to bounce around the same few pounds. (Since I’m hypothyroid, I have to have my blood checked every 3 months.) As we chatted, among other questions, she asked me about my stress levels, how I was eating, how much alcohol was I drinking. We talked a bit about the death of my 39 year old brother-in-law this past spring and I told her that I haven’t really felt like I’ve rested properly, nor have I had one day where I felt "normal" since he died. At this visit, she had to adjust my thyroid med so she wanted me to have blood work done and come back in a month. Off I went with my form in hand and a week ago I did the blood work. My follow-up was this past Monday.

As soon as she came in she asked me about my stress level. I began to fill her in on what has been going on with my boss and just life in general lately. She looked at me and said, “Well that explains why your Cortisol levels are off the chart.” To keep this story short, Cortisol production can increase with stress and sleep deprivation. It also affects many things in your body, including the ability to lose weight. As my cholesterol was a bit high too (again connected to Cortisol) she was fairly concerned. Add in my hypothyroidism and it’s like I’m fighting a losing battle with my weight medically.

She has now requested that I DEFINITELY limit the alcohol to a couple of drinks a week. She also wants me to stop eating sweets for a while and she actually wrote out a prescription that I am to take a day off from work and go to a spa and get a massage

Can I share that the only one of these things I’ve done is to limit the alcohol. I am going to schedule the massage and I know I’ll stop the sweets eventually; I just need to gear up for it mentally more than anything. Sometimes I just feel tired of it all, you know?

In other news, just like my weight, I maintained in the Hot 100 at only 80 degrees:

1. Keep the wine down to 2 glasses on no more than 2 days. SUCCESS! I’m really happy about this as it’s probably my hardest challenge.

2. Track my food - the good, the bad, the ugly – and I added last week, keep it under 1500 calories for 6 out of 7 days per week. FAIL. So, I’m really, really good at tracking all my food but didn’t do so well staying under the 1500 calories for 6 of the 7 days. I’ve got to get with it for sure.

3. Burn at least 2500 calories a week through exercise. SUCCESS! Just barely -- total calorie burn for the week: 2570

.4. Advance to my next belt in Thai Boxing, which means I have to have perfect attendance and learn the material! SUCCESS! Got my 2 classes in so that’s moving along.

5. Use the weekend to plan and precook some of our weekly meals so that we are eating. SUCCESS! Another good weekend getting the cooking and planning done so that we had plenty of nutritious meals available.

This means I still haven’t managed 5 out of 5. I’m pretty sure once I do that, in addition to the other things the doc has asked me to do, I might (I hope to) see some scale victory too.

Coming next week… an uncompensated review of a new food I just discovered!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I Guess I'm Over the Top

I have been give this award by the lovely ladies Loriann at Amazon Runner and Sandra at My Travels to Becoming A Better Me. While there are some people out there who found a way around the one word answer rule, I have done my best to comply. It's fun getting to know my fellow bloggers!

1. Where is your cell phone? Charging
2. Your hair? Blonde
3. Your mother? Kicking
4. Your father? Absent
5. Your favorite food? Italian
6. Your dream last night? None
7. Your favorite drink? Iced Tea
8. Your dream/goal? Italy
9. What room are you in? Office
10. Your hobby? Cooking
11. Your fear? Death
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Thinner
13. Where were you last night? Macy’s
14. Something that you aren’t? Dishonest
15. Muffins? Dessert
16. Wish list item? Italy
17. Where did you grow up? Nowhere
18. Last thing you did? This
19. What are you wearing? Jewelry
20. Your TV? Ancient
21. Your pets? None
22. Friends? Few
23. Your life? Hectic
24. Your mood? Apprehensive
25. Missing someone? Gary
26. Vehicle? Civic
27. Something you’re not wearing? No
28. Your favorite store? Many
29. Your favorite color? Pink
30. When was the last time you laughed? 5:30 am
31. Last time you cried? Yesterday
32. Your best friend? None
33. One place that I go to over and over? St. Martin
34. One person who emails me regularly? Stacie
35. Favorite place to eat? Le Cottage

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Maintaining the Status Quo

This is the reason I decided to do photo weigh-ins: maintenance weeks. I wouldn't believe it myself if I didn't have proof, especially after the nice little stress food tantrum I had over the weekend. I didn't get what I deserved which was a gain, but I guess I 'll accept the gift of maintenance.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Stress is My Middle Name

Bad weekend.

Hubby came home from work on Saturday having pulled his back. He could barely move. that effectively cancelled all our weekend plans. Unfortunately I had such a horrible work week last week that I was really looking forward to our outing and probably put too much stock in being able to do it.

My boss who has been in the hospital off and on since January ended up in critical care unit over the weekend.

Stress equals bad, worse, piss poor eating for me. I'm just ticked at myself.

My issue with this is that when I make poor eating choices my mind immediately wanders to "I should just fast for 24 hours to make up for it" or "I should go for yet another walk or run" which, of course, are no solution at all.

What I should do is s-t-o-p putting food in my mouth, especially when I'm not even hungry.

I am trying very hard to concentrate on this thought today: "Is the choice I'm about to make putting me closer to my goal?"

Wish me luck.

Friday, October 2, 2009

80 Degrees and Rising

Along with many of my fellow bloggers, I am participating in South Beach Steve's Hot 100 - trying to make the last 100 days of 2009 the best they can be and strrreeeetch for some goals I've set.

Here are my goals:

1. Keep the wine down to 2 glasses on no more than 2 days.
2. Track my food - the good, the bad, the ugly
3. Burn at least 2500 calories a week through exercise.
4. Advance to my next belt in Thai Boxing, which means I have to have perfect attendance and learn the material!
5. Use the weekend to plan and precook some of our weekly meals so that we are eating nutritiously and deliciously.

Here's how I did:

1. FAIL. While I only had 4 glasses of wine over the course of the week, I did partake on 3 separate days. Since I'm really trying to get out of the habit of walking in the house and pouring a glass of wine, that's a fail for me.

2. SUCCESS! Yes, it was quite annoying to track that extra day of wine but I'm a person who needs to see what I'm doing and what I've done. Otherwise the intake begins to creep up on me and then I'm eating too much food.

3. SUCCESS! Total calorie burn for the week: 2684.

4. SUCCESS! Perfect attendance is considered 2 classes a week and I did 3.

5. SUCCESS! In fact I was so successful at planning our meals and pre-making food that we still have food for dinner this evening... and my husband said, "Uh, maybe we could eat something different tonight." Ha!

So, I say that I'm at 80 degrees working towards hitting the 100! Overall, I am happy with what I've done but I've decided that I'm going to add to the food tracking element that I need to stay under 1500 calories for 6 out of 7 days. I want to see if that helps rev up my weight loss again.

How are the rest of you doing?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Would You, Could You?

Would you, could you, with a mouse?
Would you, could you, in a house?
Would you, could you, here or there?
Would you, could you, anywhere?

(With apologies to Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs & Ham)

Yesterday I stumbled upon a giveaway on Shelley’s blog for Valerie Frankel’s book “Thin is the New Happy.” To enter you had to leave a comment on the blog about whether or not you would pose nude at your ideal weight. I said I would and not only that, I would do it now.

Self esteem in the area of looks and the body is not an easy thing to come by. I track my exercise and nutrition on Sparkpeople, which is a free weight loss and health website. Once you sign up for your free membership you can set up a personal page and have a blog. The saddest blog I’ve ever read in regard to weight was written by a sparker who had lost 200 pounds and was in despair because she still didn’t look like what she thought the ideal body would look like at her new weight. Of course with all that weight loss she had loose skin and she just could not connect her mind to health and well-being in order to move into her new life. It was so sad. The last I checked, she had gained back 100 pounds.

That blog made me realize I need to work very hard to disconnect my self-worth from the scale. In order to do that I am working on having body confidence. Because even after I lose a few more pounds, my body shape will basically be the same, maybe just a thinner version of what I have now. It’s about time for me to love who I am, where I am. Today I celebrate my body!

Old thought: My thighs are so big they rub together, plus I have cellulite.
New thought: My thighs are strong and rock solid. They propelled me through 15 miles of running this week, so far, and 3 Thai Boxing classes!

Old thought: My upper arms are too big.
New thought: My arms are strong and getting thinner too – I did 175 pushups at Thai Boxing on Tuesday!

Old thought: Ugh. Wide hips.
New thought: I’m curvy. My husband (as so most men) loves curvy. He told me “only a dog wants a bone – and then they bury them.” I love that I’m not a bone!

My body is strong and beautiful and serves me well, even at this weight. So, yes, I would pose nude now even though I’m 40 pounds overweight – tastefully draped probably, but I would still do it.