Friday, January 29, 2010

Knock Me Over with a Feather

Actually it might take something more like a truck, but seriously, I am bowled over by all the bloggy love I got in the comments on yesterday's blog.

When I was writing that entry I was doing it because I needed to "cry" in words, to get it all out, to find some relief and give my brain a break.  Never in a million years did I expect so much virtual love.  The odd thing about it to me is that each and every commenter hit the nail on the head and had great advice for me.  Well, some of you had no advice but you had a hug and that was just as important.  You guys are right, 50 is just a number and it might be a bitch sometimes, it's not a beauty contest but my days of beauty are not over they are just evolving, my husband really does want ME (besides he's too old and tired to train a 20 year old - ha!), I do have some pretty serious self-esteem and body issues and I need to make a plan so that I don't continue to fall into this type of abyss.  Seriously, who needs to pay for counseling with all this bloggy love in one place? You will never know how much that meant (and means) to me.

So I think I spoke too soon.  As I sit here typing this I am at home because I woke up feeling like I'd been run over by that truck I mentioned above.  I am full blown sick.  I think it's just a bad head cold but I have a slight fever and I actually slept 11 hours and I never, ever do that! Time to stay home, take care of Helen and have some chicken noodle soup, the only problem being that I don't even think there's a can of chicken noodle in my house. Right about now, I'm wishing Biz was my neighbor.

That brings me to some of the things I'm trying to do to take care of myself in terms on my health and weight - aka The Perfect 10 Challenge.  Here is my next update:

Track my food. This is the first week I've had some trouble with this one. I did manage to track fully for 5 days and got in about half my food for the 6th. No reason except I wasn't getting right into my online tracker and trying to go back and recreate doesn't work well for me. If I'm not going to track immediately (or pre-track like meal planning) I need to write it on paper and I did not do that.

Lose 8 pounds. Won't know the final result on this just yet. I am not weighing myself today because of the week I had. Whatever the result on the scale today, it would be false.

Run a minimum of 20 miles per week. I ran 20.45 miles this week and I did that with only 4 days of running verses the 5 days I ran last week.

Water: 64 oz. a day. Nope, not even close. And an arctic air mass has moved in so I will really have to work on this one in the upcoming week.

Not a great week in terms of meeting my goals but I don't feel off track per se.  I feel like I'm moving right along and this has been a blip on the screen of life.  That's good, right?

Now for something you don't know about me:  When I moved to Zambia at the age of 18, I lived there like a native person would because my then husband was from there. Which basically means I had no modern conveniences. For example,  the first 2 1/2 years I lived there I had no refrigeration.  I also had no car so in order to cook our meals, I had to walk to the market (~4 miles each way), to buy what we needed to eat for that day only.  I also had no washing machine or dryer.  I washed our clothes in the bathtub then hung them on a line to dry.  Because of a creature called the putsi fly, everything had to be ironed, including underwear!  (I did have an iron.)  One of the kindest things that was ever done for me was after my daughter was born. A Southern Baptist missionary lady took it upon herself to come to my home every other day for 6 weeks and pick up our clothes and my baby's diapers and she would wash and dry them and return them to me the next day.  A small thing to her but a huge thing to a 19 year old new mother.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What a mess.

That would be me right about now.  I haven't been feeling well all week.  It's not a full blown cold, just a slight annoying one.  But I've also been feeling very very tired  - exhausted almost.  Monday it was so bad, I locked my office door and laid down on the floor on top of my coat and took a 1 hour nap during my lunchtime.

Speaking of work, I've come to the sad conclusion that I need to begin looking for another job.  They just can't figure out what to do with me and I can't take days and days of coming in and literally having nothing to do except scan old personnel files.  Even my husband said, "Don't they realized if they don't keep you stimulated you'll leave?  You're much too bright to sit around scanning files!"  I miss my boss so much/

I've also had some sort of weird stomach thing going on alternating between nausea and actual sort of cramping.  Which has made my eating bad.  Not necessarily out of calorie range, just not very good choices.  For example, 2 cups of angel hair pasta with butter and parmesan cheese on it because I couldn't bear the thought of eating salad or meat. 

Funny enough, I've managed to keep up my exercise.  That's me, the exercise queen.  I think I'm terrified if I don't exercise, by Friday I won't be able to fit through the doorways, I'll have ballooned up so bad.  I know, it's ridiculous! 

This morning, while trying to figure out what I can eat today and hope and pray it's not going to bother me and hope I feel like eating at all, I decided to set myself free from my usual Friday weigh in.  It's either going to be falsely low because I haven't been eating enough - or falsely high because I haven't been eating enough of the right kinds of foods.

Additionally, the dressing up for my holiday party last weekend triggered some emotional stuff in me that I haven't been able to shake.  As gorgeous as all my accessories for that party were, I actually went to that party feeling fat and ugly and OLD.  I felt like every lump, bump, and line was showing all over.  I questioned why my husband would even want to go - and then realized that he wanted to go so he could see all the gorgeous, thin young women that were there.  And there were plenty, believe me.  I looked at those gorgeous "girls" and realized that my days of true beauty are over.  And, to top it all off, I couldn't even hide because people who had cameras at the party took pictures, posted them on Facebook and tagged them.  I started untagging them but it was too tiring so I quit.

I'm turning 50 in 33 days.  I am not where I thought I'd be in any part of my life:  my weight, my career, my finances, etc.  Deep down inside I'm very disappointed in that and I can't seem to shake the disappointment.  Odd, turning 30 didn't bother me, turning 40 didn't bother me, but whew this 50 thing is messing with me all the way around.  Last time I remember feeling weird about turning an age was 25 and my little girl was turning 6 and in 1st Grade.  I felt so old - and really, I was a lot "older" than other people my age who weren't even married yet and were still in college or beginning to work on their careers.  But how silly!  Hindsight is always 20-20 though, isn't it?  I wish I had not wasted the last 25 years the way I have because sitting at 50 I don't know if I'm guaranteed 25 more.

Sorry for spewing all this out here but really I've nowhere else to get it out.  My hubby would truly KNOW I've lost my mind if I tried to express all this to him.

Honestly, I can't wait for this week to be over and I hope it takes with it all this weirdness.

Monday, January 25, 2010


That's how I feel today.  Bleh.  Can't seem to get myself alert and awake, it's only 8 am and I am ready for the day to be over.  Hubby came home sick on Friday - I sure hope I'm not catching his cold!

Friday Stats:
55 min. run
1431 calories; 187g carbs; 46g fat; 82g protein
8 glasses water
No alcohol

Saturday Semi Stats:
65 min. run
15 glasses water
Cosmopolitan and 1 glass of wine at company Holiday Party

Sunday Stats:
1546 calories 144g carbs; 46g fat; 103g protein
1 glass water
1 glass wine

Good thing I drank all that water on Saturday because yesterday I had so little you would have thought I was wandering the desert.  Good grief.  I don't know why but I just had a hard time drinking in general yesterday.  I managed to get down 2 cups of coffee and 3 glasses of decaf iced tea, 1 glass of water and 1 glass of wine.  That was it for the whole day.  Just not thirsty for some reason.

My company holiday party was a blast!  If you missed it you can go here to see a few photos of my fanciness.

This is a very nice affair with a sit down dinner and dancing.  In between we have a nice slide show rounding up the year and we hear all the statistics.  Of course this year there was also a tribute to my boss who passed away in October.  It was very well done.  As hard as I tried, I couldn't hold back the tears but there were lots of us around that room shedding tears.  We miss Ron a whole bunch.

Each year we have a choice of meal.  This year it was Prime Rib, a chicken breast with port wine reduction, or a Stuffed Portobella Mushroom.  I chose the mushroom.  It was delicious and I may try to recreate it at home.  It had a layer of artichokes on the bottom and then was mounded with a bread/spinach stuffing.  Yummy.

Yesterday I spent the day cleaning and cooking and preparing for this week.  I never even left my house one time which was okay because I was sort of feeling draggy yesterday too but I thought it was because I had whooped it up Saturday night and didn't get to bed until after 12:30.  In fact, if you look at the pictures I took the last one isof all the bobby pins that were in my hair and the date stamp on it is yesterday's date.  That's because it took me from 11:50-12:30 to get all those darn pins out!  The price of beauty.

How was your weekend?

Just a reminder that you have about one more day to enter Tricia's giveaway of a Road ID.  This is a fabulous ID that comes in several different styles, including one that you can actually tie into your shoelaces.  Perfect for the outdoor exerciser.  Never leave home without ID again!  Enter here.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

My bloggy peeps know I don't usually post on the weekends but I find myself wanting to try a picture post.  My company's holiday party was last night and I have some shots to share.  While the few men who read my blog might not enjoy, I'm sure most of the ladies will.

I am a girly girl and really enjoy getting all dressed up.  I like the whole process.  This is how much:  when I got home after getting my hair done and said to my hubby that I was going to start my makeup he said,"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN - LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!"  He's a hoot that guy.

Anyway, here are some "glamour" shots:

The Shoes (and my repaired pedicure)

Accessories make a plain black dress prettier

I was trying to get my hubby to get both bracelets  - obviously he was focused on my hands!
The polish is "Bogota Blackberry" by OPI

Just look at the bracelet (which matches the ring on my hand above)
and ignore my freckled hairy arm!

View of the hair

Back of the dress which was fancier than the front, which is why I wore my hair up.
Yay for no back fat due to those Muay Thai pushups I think.

At the end of the night, I took my hair down and this is what was left!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I am so MAD!

And I will tell you why, but first I need to post my stats and do my Perfect 10 update.

Thursday Stats:
45 min. Muay Thai Boxing
1524 calories; 177g carbs; 53g fat; 88g protein
8 glasses of water
No alcohol

Perfect 10 - Good Again!

Track my food: did this every single day, including my R&R day and the day I lost it with the fruit & nut mix.
Lose 8 pounds: this is really an end of challenge goal but things are moving along.
Run a minimum of 20 miles per week: 23.55 miles this week.
Water: 64 oz. a day: did this 6 out of 7 days, but on some of those days I drank 10 or 12 so I think I have been fairly well hydrated this week.  Also, the water I list in my stats is just that.  I do drink other things including decaf Diet Pepsi and decaf Iced Tea.

So, I'm giving myself an A- this week.  Basic goals are getting me where I need to be.

Now to share my unknown/interesting fact:  I was born the daughter of a preacher man.  Well not technically because my father was in the Navy when I was born but when I was 6 years old he went to Bible College and became a Southern Baptist preacher.  I grew up in a household where you didn't drink, dance, smoke, go to movies or hang out with people who did these things and especially not Catholics.  When I got to junior high, I began to fight my parents on some of these things - they just didn't seem right to me.  Plus I was tired of being left out of a lot of fun things with friends and at school.  The first big battle I won was my 8th grade graduation dance.  I would not let it go that I wanted to go and I sat my parents down and demanded to know why it was Biblically wrong to dance.  What they weren't ready for was their child armed with Bible verses about people dancing!  So they told me it was because dances were held in places where other "bad" things were done.  I pointed out that this dance was going to be held in the gym at my school and would be chaperoned and they could even help.  Finally my father told me that I had to go to my room and pray about it and if I could honestly say that if the Second Coming of Christ was to happen during the dance and I would not be ashamed to be where I was, I could go.  So I went in my room - don't remember praying but I do remember thinking very seriously about his question.  I came out and announced to them that I had absolutely no reason to be ashamed about dancing, that I felt it was a gift FROM God and I was going!  Throughout the next years of my life I would eventually break all those rules:  I started smoking during my freshman year of high school (finally quit at age 32!); I had my first drink at age 16; my best friend and lab partner in high school was Catholic!! (as was my first husband); I regulary went to discos.  But I have to say as an adult I've realized my parents were just trying to do the best they could - and if you met my mom now you'd never believe I was raised so strictly.  Although she doesn't and won't smoke or drink, she actually danced at my sister's wedding!

The final item for today is this week's weigh in and yes, something here is why I am mad!

Not about my weight - that's down 1.2, which is a total of 5.8 lbs. since the beginning of the P10 challenge! WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!

But look closely at the big toe on my right foot.  Wednesday after work I went and got a manicure and pedicure because my company holiday party is this Saturday.  When I got home from Thai Boxing last night, a strip of polish was missing off my big toe.  I have been doing Muay Thai for 7 months and this has never happened before!  Why this week.... whine, whine, whine.  It's fixable I know but how annoying is that?  After my husband asked me if I wanted to go back to the dojo and peel the piece off the bag so I could glue it back on - and after he laughed his butt off - he told me that's actually a good sign.  It means I'm finally kicking in the right spot with my roundhouses so I hit with my upper ankle and my foot wraps around the bag.

So, I'm MAD!  But I'm also secretly pleased with my progress.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

To Carb or Not to Carb, That is the Question

Wednesday "Salad Day" Stats:
55 minute run
1212 calories; 141g carbs; 38g fat; 94g protein
12 glasses water
No alcohol

Recently, Greta and I have been in a bit of a discussion about carbs.  I always find this topic fascinating because a couple of years ago, once my thyroid was supposedly balanced, my doctor suggested that I try eating a low-glycemic diet.  She gave me some books to read and off I went.  The whole concept was a bit foreign to me because, as a marathon runner, I was used to eating lots of simple carbohydrates.

So, I tried her low glycemic way and lo and behold, for the first time in years, I was able to lose weight.  It was a big adjustment for me at first, mostly because my legs felt like dead weight.  Once my body adjusted a bit, I was fine and I did manage to run a marathon in 2008, although I did fuel with simple, high carb items immediately after my really long runs.

Low glycemic eating now is easy to me and sometimes I can't even remember what it's like to slam down a white bagel.  Anytime I stray a little I immediately regret it.  It's like I can actually feel the extra insulin pumping through my body.  I just had a discussion with a Weight Watcher member the other day and told them  the current point system would never work for me because it seems to punish protein and reward simple carbs.  As I watch the WW around me at work I see that most of their snacks are simple carbs.

In our discussion Greta told me that she eats around 30% of her diet from carbs, just not any from grains.  So I looked to see my percentages as I do eat some grains.  Mine run around 40-45% which I find hilarious because all this time I have felt like I eat really "low" carb.  Plus I think that must mean that my carb levels must have been around 60-70% before.  Amazing.  Of course carbs that high cause you to retain water which is one of the reasons why it's not so harmful eating a bagel prior to a marathon.  But, for example, even on a day like yesterday my carbs were 44% of my diet - and most of them came from a yogurt and a banana.  It really takes some work to get them lower.

I admire Greta's determination to figure out what is working for her.  In fact yesterday she shared a link to her food blog, if anyone is interested in seeing how she eats.  But I've got to say, I love grains too much to give them up completely!  I remember once trying the first 2 weeks of South Beach and I cracked after 7 days and ate a HUGE bowl of pasta - lol!  Eating low glycemic means I eat whole grain foods, more protein than the average person and good fats.  That works for me and my lifestyle.

How about you?  Where to you figure in?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Salad Days

Tuesday Stats:
45 minute Muay Thai Boxing
1839 calories; 262g carbs; 53g fat; 93g protein
12 glasses water
No alcohol

I lost it with some dried fruit & nut mix.  I had to leave work early yesterday to have an ultrasound on my thyroid.  While I was getting the scan, the radiologist was asking me a lot of questions.  And she took a lot of pictures of the right side.  By the end of the ultrasound I was a little worked up but I know better to ask them anything.

I drove home and got dressed for Thai Boxing and sat down to eat a snack which was supposed to be 1/4 cup of fruit & nut mix along with some water.  I don't know if it was the underlying stress or what I but I went back 2 more times and ended up eating 3/4 cup which put me way over the 1550 max calories I like to eat.
I AM SO AGGRAVATED WITH MYSELF!!!!  If I have a non-loss weigh in this week over this I am going to be one unhappy camper I'll tell you.

As Lori-Ann suggested to me yesterday, I'm trying to be a role model not a ROLL model. Hahaha I loved that line!

So, today I am having what I call a Salad Day.  For breakfast I am having a high fiber english muffin and a boiled egg.  Snacks will be a banana and some yogurt.  Lunch and Dinner will both be salads with protein.  I do that every once in a while because it keeps my calories low for the day even while I am feeling full.  Also, I feel like, next to fasting, it's the best way to reset myself.  All I need to do is make it through today and I should be able to control myself. Wish me luck.

What do you do to get yourself back on track?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Just the Facts, Ma'am

Monday Stats:
45 minute run
1474 caloreis/ 156g carbs; 55g fat; 102g protein
6 glasses of water
No alchohol

That "no alcohol" and my calorie count were both a huge victory for me.

The ladies in my office took my bosses wife out last night for her birthday.  We were going to go to a new place that had opened up recently.  When I looked online at their menu and seen the prices of the food (appetizers were running around $20!) I decided that I would go, have something to drink and politely leave.  Not that my finances are tight but I just didn't want to spend that sort of money.  As it turned out, some of the younger ladies in the office do have tight budgets and aksed if we could go somewhere else.  Suddenly we were going to Chilis! Oy Vey.

I immediately got online and printed out the nutrition facts for that restaurant because I know it's high calorie, high fat, super high sodium.  They do have a "Guiltless Grill" section but it's not as guiltless as you'd think.  I looked at what I had to eat for the day and then figured out what to eat so I could stay in plan. While I'm doing this my bosses wife calls and asks me if I knew the plans had changed so I said that I did and, in fact, had just printed out the nutrition facts.  She laughed nervously and asked me if she even dared to know what her nachos that she loves were.  I told her she probably didn't want to know but that I'd tell her.  The conversation was really funny. (This woman does not need to lose a pound but she works at being healthy.) She asks me to transfer her up to the Finance Dept. Evidently, she spread the word about my calculating because next thing I know the other ladies who are going to dinner are all asking me if they can "borrow" my nutrition facts.  I passed them on and never saw them again. 

We get to the restaurant and the menus are passed out.  Suddenly I see those printed nutrition facts whipped out and being passed around the table. Do you know that out of the 8 women who went, only 1 of them ordered something sort of high calorie?  HA! As I sat there watching my friends I wondered if anyone else would have thought to get those numbers before dinner.  So, even though sometimes I know people think I'm a dork with this stuff, it made me feel good that not only had I stayed on plan for myself, but that perhaps I helped other people make better choices.

And the alcohol? - Everyone but me had a drink.  I ordered unsweetened iced tea.

This morning, I got up and a pair of dress slacks that haven't fit me in months went on and zipped up without me having to lay down on my bed.

It has been a pretty good 24 hours. :-)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Monday

Friday Stats:
55 minute run
8 glasses of water
Few adult beverages

Saturday Stats:
60 minute run – outside finally!
1484 calories; 155g carbs; 61g fat; 89g protein
12 glasses of water
No alcohol

Sunday Stats:
45 minute run – outside again!
1476 calories; 168g carbs; 55g fat; 79g protein
8 glasses of water
No alcohol

I took Friday as my R&R day – no nutrition numbers for that day. I had bought my husband tickets to see Darius Rucker & Rascal Flatts so we were at that concert Friday night. I had a few glasses of wine… which explains why I drank all the water on Saturday lol! The concert was FAB-U-LOUS. If they come to your area it’s a go see for sure show.

Normally I take Sunday as a rest day from exercise but our weather broke a bit and the snow mostly melted away so I couldn’t resist being able to run outside, in the daylight, two days in a row. On both weekend runs, I felt the effects of being on the treadmill too much. I know some people are able to translate treadmill runs into great outdoor runs, but not me. Too much treadmilling makes me slow. But, I was so glad to be outside!

Last week I was bestowed this award by Beth, Lori-Ann, and Leslie. Thank you ladies!

The rules for this one including sharing10 things that make you happy and also to pass it on. I think this award has pretty much made the rounds so all I’m going to do this time is share my 10 Happy Things:

1. Summer. My favorite season. Everything about it, including the hot humid dog days.
You’ll see that several other things on this list are sort of related.

2. Books. I’d rather read than watch TV any day.

3. The Beach. My favorite place to be. The smell of a beach, even in winter, brings a smile to my face.

4. Running. Especially a run where everything comes together – where I’m wearing the perfect clothes, my pace is great, and I don’t have any aches or pains.

5. Cooking. Food is the palette that I paint with. When I get upset, my first instinct is to whip up a batch of something.

6. Spa Day. There’s nothing better to calm the body and spirit. If I could afford to I’d go at least once every couple of months.

7. Successfully surprising a loved one. For example, those concert tickets completely astonished my husband. It really was better to give than to receive.

8. The first whiff of honeysuckle in late spring. Guess why? Because it means summer is coming!

9. Grand Case, St. Martin, FWI. When we first visited this little village and its accompanying Caribbean island, I felt like I’d come home. I wait each year with bated breath to see if we can afford to go and I cry on each flight back to the USA. If I hit the lotto, this is where I’ll retire.

10. My daughter. Sometimes I wonder where she came from. I say this because I am really not the sort of person who ever should have been a mother. She has a great career and in both her personal life and career, turned out to be a loving, compassionate human being. A better person than I am, which is what I think most parents would wish for their children.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Another Good Week, Not Quite Perfect

Thursday Stats:
90 minutes Muay Thai (that's right people I did back to back classes!)
1534 calories; 179g carbs; 49g fat; 100g protein
10 glasses of water
No alchol

This is the second edition of the Perfect 10 update. Here are my goals:

Track my food.  I did this every day, even on my R&R day.  I have been posting my stats every day except for my R&R day.  This has been a good exercise and keeps me accoutable.

Lose 8 pounds.  I am well on my "weigh" to making this goal. (See below)

Run a minimum of 20 miles per week. I ran 20.65 miles this week!  I am slowly increasing the amount of time I'm running which helps with the mileage of course.

Water: 64 oz. a day. OK, so this is where I struggled.  I had several days where I just didn't make it.  Many of those days it was extremely cold, even in my office, so I ended up drinking decaf coffee where I should have been drinking water.  Obviously, this is a work in progress for me.

Still, I am pleased with this "Back to Basics" experiment and am seeing the result of generally feeling much better.

Now for this week's weigh in:

As good as this week was numerically, that's only a .2 drop.  Still, it's a total of 4.6 lbs. in 2 weeks.  I am happy that the scale moved downward and cannot truly complain.

I will say that I feel like the Biggest Loser contestants do on their week 2. (For those who don't watch BL, week 2 is notorious for lower weight loss.)  My brain is saying, "Huh?  No way!  You worked just as hard as last week! Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."  But, as Trainer Bob said, my body was shocked last week and now this week is trying to figure out what the heck I'm doing.  It's all good.

I know you've been waiting with bated breath for my interesting item and here it is.  When I was 18 years old, I got married (for the first time - I'm on #2 now).  OK, not so interesting - yet!  See, I married someone who was not a US Citizen who was in the US in college and he had to go back to his country to repay his college education.  So at 18 years old, I moved to Lusaka, Zambia, Central Africa.  I actually ended up living there for 4 years and that is where my gorgeous daughter was born.  There's lots more I could tell you but I'm going to hold back a little as I may use some of my experience there in my next updates.  But seriously, if you are a parent can you imagine letting your 18 year old daughter move that far away, not knowing when she is coming back?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Be Careful What You Ask For

Alrighty I never got my stats posted yesterday so here are two day's worth:

45 min. Muay Thai Boxing
1516 calories; 54g fat; 194g carbs; 73g protein
6 glasses of water (not enough!)
No alcohol

53 min. run
1558 calories; 59g fat; 151g carbs; 75g protein
8 glasses of water
2 glasses of wine

So, I got some 'splainin to do.  Yes, I had 2 glasses of wine yesterday.  First of all I was in a weird mood all day, which I mentioned here.  Not that my mood should drive my wine drinking, but it probably does sometimes.  Anyway, it was my bosses' wife's birthday yesterday - the first she's had since he passed away.  I went to see her with a little gift and she asked me to sit and have a glass of wine with her.  She was talking about missing him so much and how he would have come home early from work so they could have a martini before he took her out for dinner and, well, all my "no wine" resolve went right out the window.

The one thing I did do was plan to have a different dinner so that the wine calories were included.  Funny thing about that dinner:  I get home and my husband arrives with my 6 yr. old nephew.  This is my sister's son.  His daddy is the one who died in the bad accident last April.  Every Wednesday my wonderful husband picks him up and they have "guy time."  Anyway, he not only arrived with the nephew, he arrived with a box of Popeye's Chicken Tenders.  The little guy says to me, "Auntie Helen, aren't you going to eat with us so I can tell you about my trip to Texas?  Please?"  Sigh. So, my dinner ended up being 3 chicken tenders with hot sauce on them and some steamed broccoli that I had in the fridge! 

Remember that goal I have for 2010 to learn to fly by the seat of my pants more and not plan so much?  Well, I totally had to work on that yesterday.  My mother always told me, be careful what you ask for...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

7 is my Lucky Number.

I am having a weird day mentally - just haven't been feeling like myself at all.  So, I wasn't going to post today because I felt like anything I had to say would be a downer.  Then I started reading all my favorite blogs and the very lovely and honest Diana gave me this award:

I love Diana's blog and over and over again can't get over how much she and I are alike.  I tell her that we are east and west coast sisters.  Isn't it great how the internet brings people together? 

Anyway, this award is just what the doctor ordered - because it made me focus on something other than feeling blah.

As usual with an award, there are conditions. In this case, I have to share 7 things about myself. For your reading pleasure, in no particular order, here is my Honest Seven (rated R):

  • I didn’t try marijuana until I was 28 years old and I actually didn’t like it. Or rather I didn’t like the feeling that I wasn’t in control.
  • I am unabashedly, deeply in love with my husband – more than he even knows. I think he’s hot, sexy, and is the man of my dreams. It’s my second marriage and we will be celebrating our 18th anniversary in May.
  • I am terrified that my husband will wake up and realize that he’s married to a rather ordinary, chubby-fat woman and that he could definitely do much better.
  • I was a virgin when I got married (the first time – ha!). But then again, I was only 18.
  • I didn’t start running until I was 42 years old, but I have run 3 marathons in addition to many other races of various lengths.
  • I have walked 1 marathon for breast cancer research. I did it because I have 2 sister-in-laws who are breast cancer survivors. I walked like a madwoman and was the first walker to the finish. It took me 5:43 which is faster than I ran my first marathon.
  • My friends and family do not know anything about this blog. Nor do they know some of the things I just told you.
Now, in turn I get to pass this on - these are all bloggers I read every time they post and they each give me something different.  I hope you'll look them up if they're not already in your blogroll.  Again in no particular order:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Monday Stats:
55 minute run
1522 calories; 173g carbs; 53g fat; 89g protein
7 glasses of water
No alcohol

Little bit frustrated with my calorie intake.  Since last Friday I've been eating at the upper end of my range which surely means little to no weight loss this week.  We'll see.  Struggled mightily with water Sunday and yesterday.  I think it's the cold because I keep wanting coffee.  At least I've been drinking decaf.

Thought I'd share another recipe with you today.  I made this for our dinner last night because it comes together fairly quick.  I served it with a chopped vegetable salad so my whole dinner was under 450 calories.  If you like middle eastern flavors, you'll love this:

Chicken Shawarma
4 servings

For the chicken marinade:
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 16 strips

1/2 cup plain reduced fat Greek Yogurt
2 T tahini
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, minced

4 Flatbread style pitas
1 cup chopped romaine
8 tomato slices

To prepare chicken, combine ingredients for marinade from lemon juice through minced garlic. Add chicken strips and toss to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes.

To prepare the sauce combine yogurt through minced garlic clove, stirring with a whisk. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Thread the chicken strips onto skewers and grill 4 minutes on each side or until done. (Alternately, cook your chicken strips on a George Forman grill.)

To serve: place 1 flatbread or pita bread on a plate. Top with 1/4 cup chopped romaine lettuce and a couple of tomato slices; then 4 strips of chicken and 2 Tablespoons of sauce.

Notes:  Tahini is ground sesame seeds - almost looks like peanut butter.  You can find it in the ethnic aisle at your grocery store.  I use a whole grain pita that only has 110 calories but has 7 grams of fiber made by Damascus Bakery.  I think a Flat-out Flatbread would work too.  You can use any Greek yogurt from fat free-2% and it doesn't change the calorie content that much.


Monday, January 11, 2010

I Am Not That Vain!

Friday Stats:
55 min. run
1617 calories; 68g fat; 180gcarbs; 93g protein
10 glasses water
No alcohol (GOAL! 6 DAYS!)

Saturday Stats:
52 min. run
4 glasses of water (because I was shopping all day)
3 glasses of wine

Sunday Stats:
Rest Day
1507 calories; 62g fat; 148g carbs; 76g protein
7 glasses water
No alcohol

Happy Monday Blogland.   I'm  trying to convince myself that it really is a happy Monday because I gotta tell ya, it is 13 degrees where I live (actual temp) and this cold is wearing me out.  I know lots of you are under it too. But at least I'm inside and have heat.

Posting stats to catch up from the weekend.  You'll notice that Saturday stats are not complete.  Lots of times I don't even track on Saturdays but even when I do, Saturday is what I call my R&R day.  I rest and relax and take a break.  Generally on Saturday we either have guests for dinner or go out to eat.  I just try to be reasonable but I do partake of whatever my little heart desires.  I know some of you never stray but I need a day like that.  And you know what?  Sometimes even on my R&R day I make choices that keep me in weight loss calorie range.  Whatever the end result is fine.

Remember the dress I ordered to wear to my company party?   I had ordered it in a Size 10 which I thought I might be wearing by the party.  Just before Christmas I decided to try it on and you can only imagine my shock that the thing was hanging off of me! Now, I did order it from a place that has very nice things - which is the reason I ordered the 10.  I figured some vanity sizing would be in play so a 10 would be like a 12.  Let me just say the 10 was like a 16.  So, I send it back and order an 8.  Ridiculous to think I'd even wear an 8.  The 8 arrives the week after New Years and it's STILL hanging off me.  Sigh.  I give up.  I sent the thing back for a refund.  So annoyed that I had to send that beautiful dress back - but no way was I going to order a 6 or a 4. I am not that vain!

In turn, on Saturday, I drove an hour away to a big mall and shopped for 6 hours and found a dress.  It's a good brand, and it's a size 10.  I got quite the deal - it was marked down from $160 to $49.99!!

I know some of you are probably surprised that I can even wear a 10 but I have to say that I work out quite a bit and my build has been described as athletic.  So yes, in some things I actually do wear a 10.  But even at the weight I am now I never wear anything bigger than a 12.  But of course, that is in 2010 sizing.

This whole experience got me to thinking about the whole vanity sizing crap that goes on nowadays.  In 1977 when I was a senior in high school, I weighed between 120-125 lbs.  I wore a size 10.  I remember this distinctly because there was this mint green slacks and vest set that I wanted really badly so I saved my babysitting money and bought it.  It was a size 10 and fit me like it was made for me.  In the early 1990s, after I quit smoking I put on some weight.  I weighed only about 5 lbs. more than I do right now.  I wore a 14.  I remember that distinctly because I had this really beautiful flowy slack set that I bought to wear to a New Year's party and it was a 14.  I passed it on to a sister-in-law who had gained 100 lbs. during pregnancy and on the way back to her normal weight needed a fancy outfit for something.

The more I've thought about this, the more annoyed I've become.  Then there were photos of "plus size" models that are being published in V Magazine (see them here) making the rounds of the internet last week.  Do you know one of these models measurements is 36-31-41?  It ticks me off that we consider that plus size!  Especially since the girl is probably 5'10" tall or something like that. Why is it that we are so hung up on clothes sizing that we now make a size 10 to the equivalent of a 14?  Is being a true 14 terrible?  I just think the whole thing is ridiculous.  It's the same prevailing attitude that makes our actresses and (non plus-size) models so stick thin they literally look like bobbleheads.

Vanity sizing is stupid as far as I'm concerned.  What do you think?

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Very Good Week

First things first:

Thursday Stats:
45 minute Muay Thai Boxing class
1421 calories; 169g carbs; 49g fat; 87g protein
10 glasses of water!!!!!
Alcohol free again (day 5!)

Today is my first weigh in of 2010 and my first Perfect 10 Update. Now you all know I’ve been under the “Great No Alcohol Experiment” this week. Even though I don’t drink a lot (meaning volume), I was at it consistently, having a glass of wine at least 4-5 times a week with dinner and then probably a couple glasses or a martini on the weekends. Never used to do that, felt it had just become a habit that needed to be changed because it was affecting my metabolism.

I think this picture not only drives my point home, it’s screaming those thousand words that pictures are worth:

Last weight in 2009: 184.6. Which means I lost 4.4 pounds this week!!!!! I think I proved my point about how alcohol affects my metabolism. I can’t even remember the last time I lost more than 2 pounds in one week. Probably sometime back in the last decade.

Now on to my P10 Goals/Update:

Track my food. Complete success here. I tracked every single day – which is one of the reasons I started posted my daily stats. It’s making me STAY on track.

Lose 8 pounds. I’d say 4.4 pounds this week is a good start towards completing that goal!

Run a minimum of 20 miles per week. Not quite – 18.65. Part of that is because I didn’t plan appropriately. This week the dojo re-opened, with a new schedule which meant I had to readjust my running schedule to fit in Thai Boxing too. But, last week I only ran 16.5 so the trend is in the right direction.

Water: 64 oz. a day. Took me a few days to work up to the 8 glasses of water/day but I had a grip on it by Monday and have been swinging it ever since, even if I have to gulp down a big glass before bedtime with my vitamins. Again, not perfect but going the right direction.

I said I was getting back to basics and it looks like that’s exactly what I needed. I’m happy with my P10 week, how about you?

Now on to the other part of the P10 challenge which is to share something you don’t know about me.
I was a Burger King counter girl back in the 1970’s when “Have It Your Way” was their theme. Anyone remember the Yumbo – their attempt at a ham and cheese sandwich? I worked the dinner/closing shift which meant, especially on the weekends, I had the lovely experience of dealing with people coming out of bars looking for fried, salty food to sop up some of the alcohol. I was in my late teens and pretty cute, if I do say so myself, so can you even begin to imagine how many times I heard, “Hey baby, I wanna have it my way and I want you!” Whoopie. To this day I can drive by a Burger King restaurant and the smell will transport me back 30 years.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Getting a Grip

Wednesday Stats:
50 minute run on the treadmill while watching Biggest Loser premiere
1428 calories; 173g carbs; 38g fat; 96g protein
8 glasses of water.  Sigh.
No alcohol!

Well it looks like I'm getting a grip here with the water and alcohol. Mind you I wasn't even drinking a lot - probably the equivalent of 1 glass of wine a day.  But something had to change and pretty much the no alcohol and more water is all I've changed. My exercise and eating have stayed the same.  I've had a theory for a while now that the alcohol has been messing with my metabolism.  Even though the doc tells me that my thyroid is in good range, I SWEAR things affect me differently now.  I'm not going to say to you that I'm never drinking again, but I am going to get back to less of it, that's for sure.   Anyway, I think the real "tell" will be when I weigh in tomorrow.

Food yesterday was fine - easy - no battling demons.  On the way home from work, however, I really, really, REALLY wanted to have a glass of wine.  Thankfully I had a manicure appointment before going home because that redirected my energy for an hour.  When I walked in the house it was 6:30 and I literally said out loud, "You are not drinking anything but decaf coffee, tea, pepsi or water!"  And, that's what I did.  This time I think the urge for the wine was because I was genuinely hungry since once I sat down and had my soup and sandwich and glass of iced tea, there was no battle to be fought.  Still, I will be glad when my better habits take over and the old ones fade into the distant past.

After dinner, here's what I made to have as a dessert/treat for a few days:

Pumpkin Mousse

1 small package sugar free/fat free vanilla pudding, made with 1 1/2 cups skim milk.  Set aside for 5 minutes.

When set, sprinkle on top 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice then whisk in 1 cup canned pumpkin.  When thoroughly blended, fold in 1 cup Light Cool Whip.

Portion into 4 individual serving dishes, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

This makes 4 BIG helpings and honestly sometimes I'll divide mine into 5 or 6 dishes.  But, I feel so virtuous when I have this because it has milk and vegetables in it.  Also, maybe because it's already in individual servings, it's portion controlled and I'm not even tempted to eat more than one dish.

Nutrition Facts (for 4 servings):

122 calories
2.7 g fat
396 g sodium
21 g carbs
2 g fiber
4.3 g protein

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Food for the Body and for Thought

Tuesday Stats:

45 minute Muai Thay Boxing Class
1573 calories; 153g carbs; 59g fat; 121g protein
9 glasses of water - that's right count 'em!
Alcohol free, day 3!

So my calories were a little more than I would have liked - as well as fat grams but they are intertwined.  The item that put me over the edge was 1 Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate filled with Mint square. 

Yesterday I had the munchies all. day. long.  While at work it's somewhat easy for me because I can only eat what I've brought. (Funny, we do have a vending machine here but honestly I'm never drawn to that.).  Once I got home, the battle began in earnest.  I think becuase I had been fighting off the I wanna eat demons all day - hence the 9 glasses of water!  I went to my Thai Boxing class straight from work then got home, showered and tried to calm down my appetite by drinking a full glass of water (that was the 9th glass).  I heated up my planned dinner of 5 oz. pork loin chop and 1 cup of kale.  With that meal I finally allowed myself something other than water - woo hoo for a diet pepsi.  After dinner, I just kept wanting to eat.  I really wasn't hungry and there is no way I was thirsty because my pee was clear as water at this point.  Not sure what was driving it.  Anyway, I finally decided around 9 that I was going to have to put myself to bed in order not to end up losing it completely.  As I headed upstairs I remembered that I had a bag of the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Mint Squares so I reached in and took one with me.  I stood in front of the sink in the bathroom and ate it, then immediately brushed my teeth.  So, it wasn't until this morning that I knew what my final calorie count was because I had to add that and my dinner into my tracker. 

I sure hope today isn't like that, but if it is, I will do battle again.  Yesterday I actually wrote several comments to people that included something along the lines of sometimes motivation is gone and you just have to push through, just gut it out, make yourself do it.  Easy to advise, a teensy bit harder to do.  But, as I was signing off my computer last night I ran across this quote that I love and will reflect on today:

“The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever. Do it without motivation. And then, guess what? After you start doing the thing, that’s when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it.” - John Maxwell

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Another Good Day and A Recipe

Monday Stats:

45 minute run on the treadmill
1380 calories; 146 g carbs; 37g fat; 113g protein
8 glasses of water!
No alcohol!

Woo Hoo for me, but oy, I barely made the water .  I forced myself to drink a glass before bed - which of course meant I had to get up in the middle of the night ;-)  A small price to pay for being hydrated I guess.
I swear this extra cold weather that we're in is just wearing me down.  What I'd really like to do is stay in pajamas and stay home and drink hot chocolate (notice I did not say water).  I guess maybe it's a good thing that I have to get up and go to work.  I heard on the news this morning that 2/3 of the United States is locked into this below normal cold and it's not goiung to end any time soon.

I'm not a food blogger but I do love to cook and create - it's actually one of my hobbies.  I made something as a side dish for dinner that was so delicious I thought I'd share that recipe with you today.

Mini Chile Relleno Casseroles
(adapted from a recipe I saw in an Eating Well magazine)

Makes 6-8 oz ramekins

2 small cans diced green chiles, drained well
3/4 cup (12 T) corn frozen or canned, thawed or drained and patted dry
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
6 large egg whites
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat 6-8 ounce heatproof ramekins with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.
2. Equally divide green chiles, corn and scallions among the ramekins. Top each with cheese. Whisk milk, egg whites, eggs and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the ramekins.
3. Bake the mini casseroles until the tops begin to brown and the eggs are set, about 30-35 minutes depending on your oven.

Nutrition facts per serving:
217 calories; 7 grams fat (3g saturated); 219g cholesterol; 725g sodium; 23g protein

I served these as a side dish to some grilled chicken that I had marinated in a Chipotle sauce, and a green salad. Delicious! I think you could also make this as one big casserole, you'd just have to increase the cooking time appropriately.  I also am thinking about adding some things next time, like black olives or some dried chipotle chilis.  So many things that I could do with this recipe.

While we were eating I told the hubby that I could actually eat one of the casseroles for breakfast - so guess what I have with me today?

Thai Boxing on the schedule tonight.  The dojo changed their schedule and have made it so that hubby and I can't go together until I advance to my next belt.  The whole reason I started taking the classes was so that we could do something together.  I keep trying to tell myself that it's only until the end of March, but still it's frustrating.  On the other hand, one of my 2010 goals is to try to learn to fly by the seat of my pants more and not worry so much about planning and scheduling so maybe this will be good practice in that area.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

The weather over the long weekend was cold, crappy, snowy. By yesterday I was a complete grump so it was probably a very good thing that the hubster had to go back to work.

Amazingly enough, I used my consternation at the weather to fuel a pretty good eating/exercise day:

Stats for 1/3/10
55 minute run on the treadmill
1454 calories; 158g carbs/41g fat/76g protein
No alcohol!

I’m proud of that because generally the pure boredom of being stuck inside for days and the aggravation at the weather would have driven me to food and drink. When I woke this morning, after yesterday’s good results, I was reminded that when I treat myself better, I generally feel better.

One of my Perfect 10 goals is to drink more water. As I said when I wrote my goals, a while back my doc changed my blood pressure meds and ever since then I honestly don’t feel much thirst at all – for water or anything. I think it may be one of the reasons why my alcohol intake has been in an upward swing… I’m only drinking things that I want to drink, not because I ever feel thirsty.

I made an effort over the long weekend and it looked like this: Friday – 3 glasses; Saturday – 4 glasses; Sunday – 4 glasses but I also had 2 glasses of unsweetened decaf iced tea. So, it looks better but probably still isn’t enough. I have an old Weight Watchers mug that has the oz. measures on it and it holds 32 oz. I dragged it out of storage and brought it to work with me and have filled it up. My goal is 1 mug in the morning, 1 mug in the afternoon. That would give me 64 oz. of pure water.

So, in addition to getting back in the saddle with the daily routine, I’m hoping that the comfort of that routine will help me re-establish some forgotten good habits – like water.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Beginning of the End

Trying to get a quick post in before my day gets too hectic.  I wanted to post yesterday but the day ran away from me and I never caught up.

Spent the day taking down the tree and decorations and getting the house back into some sort of order.  Of course, that was after I ran 45 minutes on my treadmill.  Gotta get that workout in first or it just doesn't happen. 

Today, Mr. Helen and I are going to do a Thai Boxing workout in our cold garage - lol!  He's a great instructor and it gives my lower back, which has been sore all week,  a break. 

It's snowing again and the forecast is for snow until Monday.  This amount of snow is unusual for where I live.  I didn't mind spending the day at home yesterday but I need to get out today.  Hmmmm, Mr. Helen might be Driving Mrs. Helen.

Besides the fast run yesterday morning, my eating was OK.  Not great but not the worst.  I knew eating would be hard this weekend, partly because hubby is home and partly because it's hard to break bad patterns.  I kept wanting to eat ridiculous things all day yesterday - it was all psychological because I was nourishing and fueling myself just fine. I did okay with the meals, it was the Hershey Kisses that got me last night. BUT I made myself write down every single thing I put in my mouth yesterday so that's a stride in the right direction.

My husband and I had an interesting talk about all the people who start over on New Year's.  He thinks the whole thing is ridiculous.  His feeling is just do it, just start.  I tried to explain to him that it's because people see it as a clean slate, a fresh start, a new year with unlimited possibilites.  He replied that if people whould just think that way all the time - i.e., it's never to late to get or give forgiveness when you screw up - they wouldn't let themselves fall so hard and so far.  As I thought about that yesterday, I had to admit that he does have a good point.  There are no deadlines, no rules regarding fresh starts.  Which is why I titled this blog "The Beginning of the End."  That's what I keep telling myself.  Today - or even this minute right now - is the beginning of the end of Chubby Helen.  ANY day, ANY hour, ANY minute can be a New Year for me.