Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Structure is Good

I'm on a blog kick today. Sorry if I'm annoying.
For those that didn't see it on my baby blog, I was told by my midwives today that I should be getting 80 grams of protein a day. When I was counting calories, SparkPeople suggested I get 60-127 grams of protein per day. Most days I struggled just to get to 60. So when I was given this task I had a hard time believing I could really succeed with it.

I've always been a good student. Whenever I've been given an assignment I work at it and deliver to the best of my ability. That said, it helps when someone gives me a structured task to do. I guess over the course of the day in trying to figure out my meals I realized that even though eating isn't exactly a research paper, I still treat it like my homework.

So today I had a piece of baked salmon for lunch. Being lazy like I am, I didn't bother making a "meal" out of this. I just ate some dried mango and pecans a few minutes later. Dinner was a spoonful of homemade baked mac & cheese and three chicken tenders that I fried in a skillet.

I think as long as I make sure I have a protein with every meal and worry about what else I'll eat later I should be okay. It's when I think of meals as a whole that I just shut down and end up either not eating or getting fast food. So this is good. I can handle one course 3 times a day at least!

On the walking front, I fail my challenge. I did four hours of shopping with my sister Sunday and I decided that counted, but today and yeseterday I just fail. I could make it up for today, but I'm really that lame. Oh well. One thing at a time I guess. Today protein. Next walking.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Yet another Challenge!

Okay, I've been avoiding this post all day which tells me I'm being naughty. I need to be walking. I only get to be pregnant right now and it will be over in 6 months and I will say "I wish I had walked when I was pregnant because I would be in better shape now" So I have decided to issue another challenge. It's the walk every day for a 20 minute minimum challenge!

I feel like I'm starting to lose some of my muscle tone from dragon boating. I really miss dragon boating. I wish it could be and indoor and outdoor sport so that I wouldn't be putting myself at risk for pneumonia. I suppose the ligament strain probably isn't great either. But I still miss it. And I miss my team! If you're reading this team, I miss you and I miss paddling with you and  I miss drinking beer with you!

I've been reading about how you eat affects your baby. Basically you should eat stuff so your baby isn't allergic to it (nuts, dairy, gluten), you should eat less stuff so they don't want to eat it (salt, sugar, fat), and there are things to eat and avoid eating to control some of the symptoms of pregnancy. Today I fail. I had really buttery fatty biscuits and gravy at Pine State Biscuits for brunch and Taco Bell for dinner. I guess I've only had two meals though so perhaps it balances out? I need to do better, but that's another challenge for another day!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

On Today's Menu

Just thought this was amusing for some reason.

Dinner tonight was:
A small pile of leftover mac & cheese with ham.
A small pile of leftover green bean casserole.
A larger pile of roasted brussels sprouts.
About 8 baby dill pickles.
About 5 olives.

I'm a gourmet lol!

Friday, November 26, 2010

I do what I want!

Okay, this probably isn't going to be the most inspiring, but I have to say that I really enjoyed not having to think for one second about what I ate yesterday.
First of all, the pressure on my stomach from the crowding of my insides makes it difficult to eat much, so portion control is on my side. Second, growing a human burns more calories, so even if I eat more than I should (and I do, often) I burn it anyway. SCORE!

As I have previously mentioned, I really need to start walking. Bad. I have yet to use the water bottle belt thing I bought. Perhaps my trail isn't blocked anymore and I can go walking there. To make myself feel less guilty about my lack of deliberate walking, I have been walking when shopping - like actually walking, not doddling between displays. The leader of my weight-watchers group was adamant that the walking you do when shopping doesn't count. I beg to differ! Moving is moving say I!

Last night we stopped at the very crowded Woodburn Outlet Mall (they opened at 8pm for black friday) on the way home from my Aunt and Uncles in Salem. I felt like a pro! We parked in overflow parking and took a shuttle over to the mall. Since we were coming from the South, we managed to avoid the almost 3 miles of line to take the North exit. There were police and everything trying to manage all the traffic. I think we ended up spending 3 hours (and probably about $80, which I think was a victory) shopping. That mall is long! We walked the length of it about 4 or 5 times. I'm pretty sure I walked off what was left of my meal. So I got my exercise, even if it was in the middle of the night among a throng of eager shoppers!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Miracle Diet

Today I reluctantly weighed myself. Yesterday was a binge-fest that included such classics as waffles, donuts (3 of them), banana cream pie, and oreo cookies. Today is starting to look somewhat similar. Anyway, I wanted the reality check today so as I stepped on the scale I mentally flashed the number 176, 177 in my head. To my surprise it flashed back at me 173. Huh? My baby must be absorbing my calories for me!

I can't say that I am actually annoyed with my scale reading..if anything it's good news in spite of myself. What I can say is that I really know better. I know better than to believe that I'm actually healthy with what I've been eating regardless of what the scale says. For the first time in my life I have to use something other than my weight to keep track of my health. This is kind of liberating. However it also gives me that much more responsibility. If I'm not as healthy as I can be, my baby isn't either.

The belly keeps growing - I can't button my normal pants anymore - and so do the boobs. I won't lie, I'm actually pretty stoked about the boobs haha. I think in another month, I probably won't be able to wear hardly any of my normal clothes anymore. This is the only instance I can think of where you get bigger and lose weight at the same time!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Release the Belly!

Well, it's official. I am starting to kind of show. I have very mixed feelings about this. I have been working so hard to decrease my belly fat for so long that it feels like an epic fail to have it growing. At this point, it just looks like the babies growing has forced more of my belly fat up and out. My tummy is not firm at all and at this point it looks like how it did when I weighed 190 pounds.

I have to keep several things in mind.

#1 - I have a baby growing in my belly! This is normal!

#2 - I haven't actually gained all that much weight. This morning I weighed in at 175. That's about 3.5 pounds which really isn't that bad.

#3 - I am short waisted and thus any growing I do has nowhere to go but out.

I have bought a few small maternity items to sort of smooth out the transition. The problem with maternity pants that don't have the belly band sewn in is that you can't pull them up very well. I know some of you know what I'm talking about! You sort of belt your pants around the bottom of your belly  to keep it from spilling out. This is how I've had to adjust my pants for so many years that it's hard not to.  I have to learn to stop trying to hide the belly that I should be proud of!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Building Momentum

Last night I went to the grocery store and got stuff to top salads with. I also got ginger and lemonade for my tummy and a few other items that are on my eating list from my 100 foods book. I think I've had salad the last four days with my meals. While this probably isn't a complete solution for my bad food choices lately, it's a definite step in the right direction. The lady at New Seasons keeps telling me to eat lots of leafy greens for the folic acid so I need to be eating greens even if I have fried chicken in the same day haha

I realize I need to be eating more dairy (which is any at all). I tend to avoid it since it's not my favorite. What I really do like though is yogurt. I realized that if I buy yogurt that isn't non-fat that I actually want to eat it. I got brown cow cream top yogurt with fruit on the bottom. It's sweetened with honey and maple rather than sugar. It's so good! I ate two yesterday, which probably isn't so great, but it's better than ice cream or pastries. I also got some nestle quick with no sugar added so that I can deal with drinking milk.

Baby steps. Good stuff!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Todays Win

Today I ate half a leftover burrito, 3 banana muffins, a bowl of cereal and a chicken sandwich. But when I went through the drive-thru at McDonalds with my nauseated hunger pangs and my strange craving for a $1 chicken sandwich, I made the decision to order the salad. The southwest chicken salad with grilled chicken and no dressing to be more specific.

I consider this a win. I've been really bad about remember to think about what I'm going to eat before I eat it. I've been so stressed about how my body feels (my clothes are tight, I feel fat uncomfortable moving around, etc...) that I've been trying to put off my meals until I feel like I have to eat to not be sick. Then by the time I get to food I'm so hungry I eat whatever sounds good cravings included. Well, I'm smarter than that. I know better! So of course I know that I just need to make good choices and eat when I'm hungry - and not way later.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Not Working

Somehow I've managed to put on more weight in the last few days. I weighed in at 177 this evening. Given, I'd eaten dinner and I always way more in the evening, but this is just plain unacceptable. I feel like a cow.
I've noticed that the mentality that I'd built up around food has quickly died. I realize now that I would think quite a bit about what to eat and whether it was what I should have or not. I find myself eating things like tortillas, cheese, pancakes, red meat, and a multitude of other things that I normally don't allow myself to have at all. Pregnant does not equal eat what you want!

I bought a waist pack that holds your keys, ipod, phone (or whatever else) and a water bottle to wear when you go walking/running courtesy of a gift certificate to foot traffic from the Run Like Hell. It will be nice because so often I have to figure out ways to carry items when I go walking and end up with bulging pockets. I am trying to be better about walking as often as I possibly can. Dragon boating I think is a bit too rigorous given my current condition (the willamette is already polluted enough without me adding to it), and since I can't really limit my calorie intake too much without being thoroughly criticized, basically my only means of maintaining a healthy weight is walking.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NO!!

I feel like I weight 190 pounds again. It's hard to breathe when I move around. I get winded from walking or climbing stairs. My pants are getting tighter. I feel uncomfortable in my own body! The scale was only at 173.3 this morning. What the hell?!

This is a bit of a gain - around 2 pounds - and I'm trying not to stress about small weight gains at this point because I'm pregnant for crying out loud. But I don't want to feel like I've gained more weight that I actually have!

My eating has to be better. Period. I need to start walking. Period.
This is not an option. I only get one shot to have this baby be a healthy baby.

Balls.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fatty Wants Meat!

Last night I decided to do something drastic. I decided to weigh myself in the evening. I always way a few pounds more in the evening than I do in the morning. For one, I've been eating all day and the food adds weight. I'm sure there are many other reasons. Anyway, I weighed myself at 174.6. Honestly it's not that bad. But it is a gain. And at this point in my pregnancy (especially with morning sickness not being bad at all) I have no reason to gain weight. The fetus in my body does not weigh 3 pounds. Nope. Not even close.

I've been craving red meat like crazy all week. I think it has finally worn off however because the thought of red meat makes me feel a bit ill at the moment. The problem isn't that I've been craving it or that I shouldn't have it. Honestly, I need the iron! The problem is that I've been using it as an excuse to eat whatever I want. The other night I had a Baja Fresh Burrito Ultimo. It probably has something like 800 calories. I'm not even going to look for shame. I don't feel as though I've really gained that much weight, but that's how unhealthy weight gain starts. Pregnancy already is hard enough on your body without extra body weight.

Starting tomorrow, I'm back on the wagon. I'm won't count calories, but I will make sure that I'm eating more healthily. Better choices. Salad instead of burgers. Veggies instead of carbs and cheese! Cravings be damned!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Say What?!

Like so many mornings, I woke up, went into my bathroom and stepped on my scale. 170.6. My weight is down a little more. This is about another pound down. If I were to lose 2-3 more pounds I would be just under the obese weight level for my height. One more pound and I'll be down 25.

On one hand I'm excited to be down a little bit more. This means that I am eating better in spite of myself (probably the lack of fake sugars, trans fats, and alcohol would be my guess), but it also means that I am losing weight while pregnant. The mayo clinic book I have says it's okay to lose a couple pounds in the first tri-mester so I won't panic yet, but I am a bit on alert. I want any weight gain to be because my baby's growing or because of baby related adjustments - not because I've given in to cravings and am eating like a vacuum cleaner! Loss is not my goal right now. Health is.

Yesterday I walked the Run Like Hell 5k. I'm pretty proud of this. I've never done a 5k before. I didn't run at all which I think was a good call because my hip and my ankle are really hurting today - I have an appointment with the chiropractor today. I think I'm going to make it my goal to walk 30 minutes 4 times a week. I met a girl Friday at my bowling league who's 8 months pregnant and looked great. She said she forced herself to walk and it was the best decision she's made through her pregnancy.

I've also noticed my eating patterns have changes slightly. I've been eating more red meat. My book says that my blood will increase in quantity in the first trimester by quite a lot and I have a feeling this is causing me to crave iron. I usually don't eat much red meat otherwise but I've been craving it so I've been eating it. I've also been drinking some pretty creative alternatives to alcoholic beverages. Last night I had butter beer which was A&W cream soda with butter rum torani syrup in it rather than butter shots schnapps which tasted lovely (but super sugary!), and last week I had lemonade with rose flavor added to it - if you like flowers, this is so yummy. I would feel bad about all the sugar I've been having, but I think that it's probably comparable to the calories I would have been getting from alcohol anyway.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Weight Loss & Babies

Well, if you haven't heard via facebook yet, I am pregnant! And both my husband and I are super thrilled about it. What does this say about my weight loss program? Well, it's on a temporary stall I suppose. But my healthy program doesn't have to be. And that is why I will continue to blog.

I did some research about what I should be doing to stay healthy and what the normal weight gain will be. I'm in the first trimester (about 5 weeks) and my resources tell me that I should only gain 1-2 pounds between now and December. This is a bit of a relief. They also said that with morning sickness (which I don't really have) it's possible to even lose weight! But I'm not holding out for that eventuality.

I got this book to sort of help me out. It's called "The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy."  It has a list of things for each trimester that you should work into your diet and it explains how each food works and benefits you and your baby. It also says near the beginning that I only need to add 300 calories a day to my diet while I'm pregnant. So I'm going from 1200-1500 to 1500-1800 calories a day. Not difficult considering I probably do that already when I'm not tracking haha. It has a breakdown of where all the weight you gain goes (baby, breasts, placenta, blood, etc..), it explains how your body changes specifically in each trimester, which nutrients are better to get from supplements or food, and food alternatives for cravings.

Honestly, I checked it out from the library a couple months ago and found that it was really helpful just in trying to balance a healthy diet. It gives you food ideas that you may have never even heard of before like hemp seeds for protein, bitter melon for fiber while you're trying to conceive. It has a list in the back of foods that tend to be more contaminated that you should buy organic versus foods that tend to be less so you can buy normal.

I'm making a list of the foods I should be eating to post on my refrigerator so I remember to get them when I go shopping. I should probably track my foods now more than ever since it's not just me that's affected by my choices now!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mushroom Ragu For the Win!

Gnocchi with Wild Mushroom Ragu

That's the link for the recipe. It's vegetarian, and the calories can be a bit high with the mascarpone, but it is so delicious! I used Trader Joes Gnocchi to save time and scrapped the fancy tomatoes for diced store brand.

Here's the nutrition breakdown:

Ragu (with Mascarpone):
Calories: 299
Fat: 22
Carbs: 15
Fiber: 4
Protein: 4

With a cup of gnocchi it's about 540 calories, which seems a bit high, but seriously, it's all vegetables. I don't mind eating that many calories of all vegetables. And besides, the taste is worth it!

On another note, I half expected a weight gain after a weekend of eating what was available, not moving around much, and been pretty stressed out. I spent the weekend at Camp Magruder with my parents and my sister helping out with the Clackamas High School A Choir Retreat. I ran sectionals mostly and my family made all the meals. I ended up eating more than I probably should have in terms of chocolate and carbs. When I got back I felt pretty gross and was certain that I'd put on at least a pound or two. Much to my surprise I weighed in this morning at 171.4. Which puts me just slightly down in general. Now I'm trying to make sure I continue to earn my losses by eating more veggies. I'd forgotten the easiness of adding a small salad to my meals. I've been drinking tons of tea too since my cold seems to have worked its way back into my system. Perhaps I'm just hydrated and that is why I had a loss? I'll take it either way!

Monday, October 11, 2010

See, That Wasn't So Bad!

I just put in my calories for the day using the Diet Controller program. I am so happy with myself. I even made what I thought was a fatty recipe (chicken and dumplings Tyler Florence style) and found that it wasn't really as bad as I expected.
I can't get over how easy it is to calculate the nutrition for recipes in this program! I tend to avoid tracking because it is so tedious! You have to look up all the nutrition information, write it down, and add it all up. For a recipe with a lot of ingredients, this could take as much as an hour! I realize now that part of the reason dieting has been so hard for me is that I not only have to deny myself things that are fatty and delicious, but I was avoiding foods that I knew would take a bunch of time to find information for. I did my whole days worth of food in less than 10 minutes with this program!

I stayed within my calorie range for today. So that is going well. Now I just have to get the exercise in check. This week is going to super busy. I have voice students, subbing, choir rehearsal, parents-in-laws coming into town, a dragon making party, a friend's birthday party, a choir retreat, a choir concert and a family get-together between now and Sunday. I've really been keeping the momentum going with keeping my house clean and cooking one meal every day. I hope I can maintain it now and figure out how to get some walking done!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Good Morning Diet Controller!

Okay, so I was going to wait a little bit to report on how the diet controller program is working but I want to talk about it already. I spent probably a good hour or two yesterday entering nutrition information data into the program on the foods I eat regularly. I put in the whole menu for chipotle, a few items from taco bell (yay fresco!), and some odds and ends around my kitchen.

This morning I decided I wanted to have pumpkin oatmeal for breakfast - one of my favorite fall recipes ever! So I opened up my computer and started putting nutrition information for my specific ingredients. It has a database of basic stuff, but I like having specific brand information in there. For instance, my Bob's Red Mill thick cut organic oats will probably have more vitamins, fiber and protein than generic oatmeal would. So I added in the ingredients to the database. Then I added the recipe. It's so cool, you can go in to make a food item, click on an ingredients tab, and then add the ingredients measurements. It calculates the calories for the whole recipe. Then when you add it to your tracker you just say how many servings you had and it figures out the nutrition for that much.

Yesterday I can't remember what I was doing but I had this thought. I've managed to buckle down and lose nearly 25 pounds now. That's as much as I've ever lost. Over the last 3 or 4 weeks I've managed to maintain that loss, but I haven't added to it. If all I need to do is lose 15 more pounds, that's maybe 6 more weeks of my time. That's it. I just have to keep track of my eating for 6 weeks. In the grand scheme of things, that's not very long, and not very hard considering how much of the work I've already done and how not difficult it was when I just did it. So I can and will do this!

I want to give a shout out to all the people that have been inspiring me and who have said that I've inspired them too! I am so fortunate to have so many people who are making the same difference in themselves.
Thank you Mom, Wench, Aunt Colleen, Jami, Shellice, Courtney, Camilla, Christy & Jenny. You guys rock! Thanks for all the words of encouragement, the stories and feedback, the celebrations and the occasional kick in the ass when I most definitely need it :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Giving it some gas

Well, I know I said what I was going to do in my last post, it's just been a bit slow in happening. I've decided to try something new. I downloaded this calorie tracker  program awhile ago as a free trial and I liked it, but I decided I could do just as well with my excel spreadsheet. Well, obviously my spreadsheet isn't keeping me on task anymore. So I'm going to try this out. It keeps track of your nutritional balance, it keeps charts and graphs for you, and the best part is that it stores your entries so you can pull them back up easier (something that was annoying with excel). You can also add exercise, measurements, and weigh-ins. I'm looking forward to using it and reporting further on its effectiveness.

I've got bowling tonight, but I think I'm going to talk Paul into walking with me to New Season for dinner. We should take advantage of the lack of rain while it lasts!

On another note, I've been on a nesting kick this week. For some reason I've been feeling really motivated to cook and clean. My bathroom is sparkly! I've also managed to cook every day this week so far. I've made chicken noodle soup, a horseradish pot roast with veggies that was to die for,  and spaghetti (I made it both with whole grain noodles and spaghetti squash), and I did my grocery list. I also had the brilliant idea to put sticky notes on my weekly menu with a mini-shopping list of the perishable ingredients I should pick up that day for each recipe. This way I won't have a bunch of food go bad before I make it.

I'm looking forward to eating at home more and saving money in the process. I feel like home is more like home when I spend time in my kitchen. I've noticed when I let kitchen go neglected for awhile I avoid going home to unwind. It feels good to have my house in order. Perhaps it will help me feel less stressed about getting more exercise again.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Remix

Today I went in to the doctor to get a pre-pregnancy physical. Well, sort of. Really what I wanted was a definite diagnosis for pcos (polycycstic ovarian syndrome) which I've been learning lots about and had suspicion about having. Why does this matter to a weight-loss blog you might ask? Because pcos throws off your insulin levels and makes it very difficult to lose weight. It also puts you at high risk for type 2 diabetes. I may or may not have announced that Paul and I are not trying to not get pregnant...as in, we're not avoiding babies. As I've been reading about what I should do in case I do get pregnant (like taking prenatals, getting more exercise etc..) I ran across a bunch of information about pcos and had great concerns about it. I learned two things from my appointment today. First is that I don't have pcos. Yay! Second is that my doctor told me not to run anymore, but walking is a great idea. I wanted to ignore her advice and keep running anyway (instant Bethany mental rebellion attack!), but I started thinking about this - you're going to hate me Christy. I've never been good at running. It's not something that I've every really wanted to do because I liked it. It's something I've felt like I should do because it's the hardest exercise and I wanted to be hard core!

So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to do my c25k plan when I feel up to it. But instead of avoiding it like I've been doing, I'm going to get my butt outside and go walking. My doctor said that I should do as much of my exercising outside as I can to avoid seasonal affective disorder. I think this will be a good trade off and will keep me from completely crashing in my exercise routine. I'm also going to make my workouts distance oriented instead of time oriented. In other words, I'll at least walk the 3 miles rather than walking 30 minutes.

The other small shot in the arm I got was the advice to lose 15-20 more pounds. Obviously I know I need to do this anyway, but having a doctor tell you to helps I think. I am going to start tracking my calories again, just for a few days to keep myself in check.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Road Block

I've been feeling rather apathetic lately about being on the weight loss wagon. I had such a milestone with losing a pant size and I thought that perhaps it would push me to keep going. But I feel myself becoming more and more complacent.

Got my hair cut today. Notice that it hides the second chin?
I haven't tracked my calories in weeks. I should probably do this soonish. I also haven't really been keeping up on my running (sorry Christy) I just don't want to do it at all. I dread it actually.

To top it off I added 10 seconds to my time trial for dragon boating yesterday. My time in May was about 1:51. My time yesterday was 2:01, making me the third slowest female paddler on my team. I really wanted to prove that I could keep up with the rest of the girls. I don't want to give up on it, but my zeal for proving myself is a bit dampened given my inability to perform.

The only thing that's got me a bit interested in my health at the moment is all the food for fall. I love fall food. Apples, squash, pumpkins, spices, warm crock pot creations. I'm totally ready to start cooking, and I'm even more ready to make it all super healthy. I feel like fall is when I trade in the ease of fruits and salads for summer meals for the warm hearty vegetables and rich flavors of fall. Actually, I spent today cleaning my house and making chicken stock out of leftover bones from a roasted chicken Paul bought for dinner last night. I can't remember ever having made home-made chicken stock!

As far as the lack of interest in exercise or progress I'm debating about whether to just push myself through it and run the risk of hating everything I do to take care of myself, or to continue my break and just hope that my zeal returns and I hit the ground running. Literally.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

puttering along

I finally got around to loading my run from my iPod. I went on a run last night - if you can call it that - and felt a bit lethargic and defeated. I went to the track by what used to be the YMCA (after driving around for about 20 minutes trying to figure out where to go and to find parking). First of all, I went into  my run expecting to get through it easily. I guess I'm not as over my cold as I wish I was because it was so hard! My throat burned - even with my inhaler - my legs burned, I kept getting shin splints and my calves were seizing up. Besides that it was super humid and I was sweating really bad, and there were old ladies passing me, and a lady pushing a baby stroller. It was a bit humiliating and miserable.

I'm going running again tomorrow night. I really hope I can get through the week 3 run. I was hoping I could move on to week 4, but I want to get through week 3 one more time first.

In the meantime, I'm sitting here drowning my sorrows in a vegan brownie.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

V is for Victory!

Normally I don't like to post more than once a day. But today is worth posting about.

This is the dress that doesn't fit now :(
Tonight was date night. Paul and I haven't been out alone together in a long time and I wanted us to get to spend an evening doing something nice. I have this dress that I bought several months back (I got a fantastic deal on it! $90 dress for about $10!) and I wanted to wear it. So I tried it on and it just wouldn't fit right. I then realized that it was probably a bit too big and I was sad because I have yet to wear it, but excited that I might actually be a size down finally!

We're both sick so we decided to keep the evening low key. (Sorry dancing friends!) The initial plan was dinner and a movie. We looked up movie times and a place to eat. We got to the place to eat and it was closed for a private party. So we figured we'd try to go to the earlier showing of the movie and get dinner after. I thought we had time before the movie started so we went to Target to get Starbucks to tie us over until after the movie and so that I could get a smaller belt (I'm running out of holes on the belts I have and they're starting to get too big). Then we headed to the theater. We got to the movie and found out it had started five minutes before we got there. Scrapped the movie. We both remembered that we have always wanted to try Benihana, so we decided to eat there instead. I called and got us a reservation for an hour later. We decided to kill time at the mall. ( I swear this is going somewhere!)

I remembered that I had massive amounts of coupons for The Limited and I wanted to see if I was, indeed, down to a size 12. This has been a goal in the back of my mind for awhile and I wear their clothes often so it's a good gauge of where I'm at. I went in and bee-lined for a pair of size 12 jeans. My coupons were for a bunch of other items too so I looked around and grabbed a few tops to try on too.
Lo and behold, my dress was not lying to me when it told me I was too small for it and the jeans fit like a glove! I jumped up and down and did a happy dance in the dressing room haha! They were also 40% off! Win! All the large tops I'd grabbed swallowed me as well. I couldn't believe it. I ended up getting the jeans, a size small cardigan, and a medium sized undershirt. I think that your own clothes don't tell you as much as new clothes do about how your body changes. You gain a bit of weight and they stretch gradually with you. You lose a bit of weight and they don't really seem as big as they are. I think I may have to create a list of clothes and save up some money to have them tailored to fit me because I have some things I really like that I don't want to give up - like my dress.

Anyway, we made it to Benihana where we both had a lovely dinner complete with acrobatic food preparation. Everyone seemed to be getting ice cream with their dinner and I was a little bummed when I found out that it wasn't included. We'd done such a good job budgeting our meal so that we didn't end up with an outrageous bill - they can get expensive! So afterward we decided to split a slice of cheesecake at the cheesecake factory where our money would stretch a little further. I figured this was a great way to grow right out of the jeans I had just bought haha!

I also realized something else today. I think I'm lactose intolerant. I had an iced chai from starbucks and right before we got to Benihana I felt so bloated and gassy - yeah you all wanted to know that. I've been having this issue a lot lately and have been contributing it to the fact that I've been eating healthier foods, but I haven't really been paying all that much attention to know if this is true or not. For some reason I think I've finally connected the dots and I feel nearly sure that dairy has been what's causing these problems. This could be a very useful piece of information to have. I may be able to lose weight more effectively if I'm not bloated and crampy from dairy all the time and I'll feel much better in the long run as well!

Lungs of Fire!

I decided to finally press my luck and run today. I'm not totally recovered, but I can breath through my nose and my throat doesn't hurt anymore.

Running produced a lot of coughing and sniffling, and my lungs hurt so bad! It was like asthma on steroids. At least I know that when I am back to normal I'll be able to make it through my run easily and probably will be able to do the first run of week 4 after one more go through week 3.

I actually like week 3. There's only 4 run intervals, they're just longer than week 1 and 2. It gives you a bit more time to recover and it's halfway over before you're even thinking about wanting it to be over.

Hopefully I can get through the next couple weeks without taking any 2 day breaks between runs. It's hard to keep a routine when my schedule's so erratic! But if I want to not cry my way through the run like hell, I need to push myself!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Making Negotiations

As you may or may not know from my facebook stati (my choice pluralization of status) I am fighting off a cold. It's not really all that bad I suppose. I have definitely had worse. But I have learned to baby myself when I am ill. I have missed far too many classes and did poorly where I would have done well had I adopted this philosophy earlier on in life. Pushing yourself to maintain your normalcy when you are sick is just prolonging the problem. So it is with this attitude that I contemplate my running routine.

This cold is not that bad. My throats a bit sore and I sound like a man. My nose is a bit runny, but I can breathe. So I have to decide if it's better to wait it out a day or two (I believe I will feel better by then) or to try to run while I'm still sick.

I've heard different philosophies on this. One is that it's okay to exercise if your illness doesn't affect the neck down. I've done this before and ended up being ill from the neck down later on. Another is that if you can breath you should be okay. I've been told not to exercise at all when I'm sick so that I can recover faster. At this point I think I'm just going to wait and not take any two day breaks between runs like I normally do. I think I'll be able to catch up if I do this.

On another note, being ill has really suppressed my appetite. It's not that I'm not interested in eating, it's just that I'm too tired to try to make anything or get anything. So in the last two days my food intake has been pretty minimal..don't get me wrong I've been trying to make sure I take my vitamins, drink lots of fluid (juice = calories that I don't have to eat), and eat healthy whole foods like chicken soup and toast with peanut butter. The upside of this is that I weighed in at 172 this morning. We'll see if that sticks after I feel better and start eating more again.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Problems & Solutions

This day, although still near the beginning, is a great day! "But Bethany, why would you say that?" you might ask me. First of all, it's my mom's birthday and I'm a good daughter so I make that a priority. Secondly today is the one and only day that I will have run w3d1 of C25K for the first time.

Many things went through my head followed with the thoughts "oh, I should write that in my blog later!" And it is because of these things that I am writing this post today. So here is the list of problems and the list of solutions.

Problem #1: My headphones have been driving me nuts because they fall out every time I start to run.

Solution: I wore a thermal headband over my ears. This kept them in, but made my head hot. I will probably have to find a new solution next summer when it gets warm again.


Problem #2: My feet hurt like hell when I run!!!

Solution: I can't fix this. I've gone through months of chiropractic treatments, lost weight, and gotten very expensive custom orthotic insoles for my shoes. All of these things have vastly improved my pain levels when I run, but my feet are not going to stop hurting. So the only solution is to SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP!!


Problem #3: My favorite trail for running is under construction! Today I had to run up the side streets in the neighborhood just to have enough ground to run on. Also, the track next to my complex is only open for public use when kids aren't on it. I've gone to run there several times and had to find a less desirable place to run because a PE class was on the track.

Solution: I need to make a list of trails/routes and visit them all. That way if one isn't going to work for reasons beyond my control, I always have somewhere else I can go. It's difficult to stay motivated to run when you're having to run somewhere unfamiliar and the terrain is much more hilly than I'm comfortable with. It also sucks when you get to a place that's dangerous because there's no sidewalk or there's lots of traffic.


Problem #4: Negative thought activity. I get through a bunch of my run and then I start to think about all the things that are going to prevent me from reaching my goal. The worst of these thoughts is when I start to think about running the entire time versus with walking intervals.

Solution: This goes back to the mental training. On my run today I missed the introduction on my podcast that tells you what the intervals will be because I was busy fidgeting with my iPod and trying to read the sign about the trail being closed. So when Robert Ullrey said, "Alright, get ready for your 3 minute run" I almost panicked! But I got through it twice because I talked myself down in my head.

I'm sure I could come up with more, but these were the most prevalent today. The good news is that I'm fixing things as they become a problem and that is a good thing! It would be very easy to just give up and say "running's not for me, I'm going to do something else". But I have to keep at it or I'll never get anywhere!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Finding my Stride

Today is a good day for being on a diet. Why? Because I did really well today, and I didn't even realize it until now. I just calculated my calories for the day thinking that I probably was really near my limit and was pleasantly surprised to find that I'm still a couple hundred calories under my limit for the day. This is awesome considering I have such a hard time staying in my limits without tracking.

By the way, polenta is an awesome substitute for pasta. I like it best when it's broiled on each side so it's kind of crispy on the outside.

I've been running into something I haven't really experienced before. When I eat something that is blatantly bad for me, I get horrible stomach cramps and pain. Sunday night I decided to have a quesadilla for dinner because I was stuck at work instead of out celebrating with my dragon boat team. Paul had to bring me pepto bismol because my stomach hurt so badly. Today I had a bubble tea - which isn't really all that terrible but not great either - and I had to stop drinking it because my stomach was getting upset. Has anyone else experienced this?

I had to check on the couch to 5k website to remind myself how often to train. 3 days a week is the suggested amount. My legs are rather sore today and I really didn't want to run. The good news is I don't have to until tomorrow! It suggests that you have a day between runs to let your body recover. So, tomorrow is the second round of day 2 week 2, and friday will be day 1 week 3. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Getting My Run On!

Well, after a bit of procrastinating I got my butt out of bed this morning and got out the door! I decided to try to run week 2 of the c25k program just to see if I could. I actually managed to make it through the entire workout!

The whole concept of mental training has really made a difference. I think when you spend time around people that understand this and that you respect it helps to adopt their strategies. The trail I like to run, Fanno Creek Trail, is under construction. I had only been walking/running about 6 minutes and I got the the "end" of the trail. I was a bit bummed and when I turned around I caught myself thinking that I should just go back home. I caught myself thinking this sort of thing several times. But I'm learning how to stop this train of thought and to just keep pushing. There is so much you can do if you can learn this skill!

I'm going to do the week 2 run one more time and then move on to week 3. I've never done week 3. I've always convinced myself that I just couldn't do it. But if I'm going to do this 5k Run like Hell thing in 6 weeks, I've got to get through the whole program!

On another note I was way irritated by my headphones! I bought the nike flow ones  thinking they'd stay in better than earbuds. These were worse! I think they are meant for bigger ears or something. I can't really afford another pair right now either. So I guess I'm stuck being distracted for most of my run trying to keep my headphones from falling out.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Facing the Reality

Whenever I go on a diet I'm always happy when I get the results. Eventually the drive starts to wane and then I'm always surprised that I don't continue to lose weight when I stop doing the grunt work. I'm bitter in fact. Bitter that you can really never back down from working hard for what you want.

That fact was really driven home the last couple days. I've only been tracking my calories..two days maybe? As soon as I make sure that I'm staying within my range (even if it's at the maximum of that range) I lose another pound. On one hand, I should be happy. One whole pound in two days! On the other hand, I'm kind of irritated that the solution to my weight problem is really very simple and yet so difficult. I can't come up with a different approach or a more creative solution. I can't figure out a way to not do the work to get the results. There is one solution to my one problem and it will always be the same. Eat less - track what I eat to make sure that I'm doing it, move more - set goals and find competitive outlets. Period.

This truth may manifest itself differently for different people. Some people are just more naturally able to make sure that they are eating less. Perhaps they are more in tune with their bodies and their relationship to food. Some people exercise because they must. Because there is no other way for them to feel good. But many people, people like me, just can't rely on instincts and desires to manage their health. People like me need to keep daily food logs and constantly set goals. They need to be painfully aware of what they are doing in order to make sure that they aren't straying from a set system.

I think this may be one of the hardest things that overweight people have to realize. The person that does the work gets the results. If we are completely honest with ourselves, we know exactly why we haven't got the results we want. Even if we don't like the truth of the matter.

German Turkey Kielbasa Soup

This soup tastes just like German potato salad, but it's soup!


Makes 4 Servings

Hillshire Farms Turkey Kielbasa, cut into discs
1 Onion, chopped
½ Cabbage, chopped
6 potatoes (whatever kind floats your boat, I used red), cut into ½“ cubes
water
salt
pepper
vinegar
sugar (splenda)

Calories: 335.5, Fat: 8.75g, Carbs: 37.5, Protein: 22.75

Fill large saucepan or small pot halfway with water. Salt and bring to a boil. While the water is heating up, in a separate stockpot sauté onions with a bit of olive oil, pinch of salt and some pepper. When onions are transparent, add cabbage and sausage. Add a few pinches of sugar and a few splashes of vinegar to taste. Add a bit of water to keep it from burning. Turn burner down to low to keep warm. When the water in the first pot is boiling, add chopped potatoes. Boil until tender. When potatoes are done pour all contents into second pot. Add water, salt, and pepper to taste (if you like more broth, add more water). Let it all simmer together for a few minutes and serve. 

Note: I calculated the calories of the total recipe and divided it into 4. However, you could probably get far more than four bowls of soup out of this pot - like probably 8 - 10 bowls depending on how much water you use. Which makes it fewer calories per serving. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

awol

So...the girl with the good character. Yeah, she's been missing for a few days. Several days actually. I haven't tracked my calories for probably a week.

The good news is that I haven't really destroyed my progress yet. The bad news is that I'm not actively working toward my goals, and I still haven't met them yet.

So here's the shake.

Tomorrow's Thursday - weigh-in day. It's also the first day of my week for tracking. I'm going to start over tomorrow.

Christy called me out of my lackadaisical attitude toward my couch to 5k efforts and challenge me to get my butt into shape in six weeks for a 5k run. Given it's a run where you dress up in an Alice in Wonderland theme, but it's a run all the same. I think I need to do it.

So now I have two new goals. Track calories for a week straight and train for a 5k over the next 6 weeks.

Anyone else want to join me?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Athlete Transformation!

Today I did something brave. Today I sat in the second row during dragon boat practice with a near full boat and our regular coach running practice (I've done it before with about half as many people on board and the captain or one of the leads running practice). It was rather difficult. First of all, the rest of the boat depends on you to keep the timing. If you get off, everyone else does too. Second of all, I was close enough for the coach to actually see my mistakes immediately and close enough that I could hear him tell me what they were.
I really had to push myself. Initially I resented all the feedback. I had the coach telling me to fix one thing like the front of the stroke, and then I'd start to slip on another thing like timing and have someone behind me yelling to watch the timing. I realized about halfway in that it was exactly this feedback that was going to make me better. Even though it was a bit overwhelming, I was focused and working hard the entire time.

At the end of practice we did a race piece (500 meters). It went pretty well actually. I could tell when my timing was off and was able to correct it. My stroke was starting to come together and I was getting my blade in the water without a bunch of noise. We raced right past the dock and I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. Then the coach announced we were going to do another one.

The flood of mental spam starting coming immediately. I thought practice was over and we'd be paddling back to the dock. When he said to give it 100%, I did so believing it would be the last of what I had to push. There was no way I'd be able to get through it!

I caught myself in the act of mental negativity and I remembered a teammate telling me about being somewhere similar during hood to coast. She said that she hit this wall when she was running where she just thought there was no way she'd be able to go on, but she changed her mental state and started to push herself and got through more than she thought she could. I was inspired and I started thinking instead, this is my chance! This is the sort of rare situation where I get to really push myself more than I thought I could. I can really hone my technique to compensate for fatigue. I get another chance to improve my timing. And I managed to make it and push myself just as hard as I did the first time.

I'm proud of myself for this. It's so easy to get into an extremely mental state of mind when I'm doing something that's physically demanding and difficult. I've always had a problem with this with every sport I played. For the first time I was able to pull myself out of my mental funk.

Next weekend is the big Portland Dragon Boat Race. I'm looking forward to ending the race season and making use of everything I've been learning the last few months!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Weigh In Day

Well, I'm up two pounds. 177. It's better than I expected considering how bad I did with my food choices over the last week.

I've lost my steam for tracking. I've done a fairly good job at watching myself. I've been eating more fish, I've been taking my vitamins, and drinking more water. I'm trying! But I'm not absolutely certain that I'm staying within calorie limits that will lead to  my success because I'm not writing it down.

I reach this point every time I'm on a diet. The point where I don't want to keep doing the same thing that's been working for me anymore..but I'll keep doing most of it. This is when I need to fight through my apathy and really get serious about my progress. This is when it gets hard. And it's important to push through it because if I don't I'll just be back where I've always been. I'm going to start by writing down what I ate today.

Character is built by the quality and fervor of the work you do when you stop feeling motivated to do it. I want to be a person of good character.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Death to Enablers!

Okay, well maybe not death. But severe punishments anyway!

I am pretty sure I've gained one or two pounds. The weekend did not bode well for me. We went to the pacific rim festival where I ate a very healthy lunch, but drank a rather unhealthy amount of sake. The enabler then wanted to go to Red Robin for dinner. I tried the lettuce wrapped teriyaki chicken burger sans mayonnaise to try to make it healthier. I'm sure the french fries didn't help much though.

Sunday I ate pretty well for lunch. I had a white bean chili courtesy of cash & carry. Dinner was a mess though. We went bowling and the enabler suggested I eat what I want because we don't get out that often etc... I wanted to believe him so I ate tater tots again. I also had beer.

Yesterday I did super well. I had soup salad and breadsticks at Olive Garden - under 400 calories if you do it right - and I even did well for dinner. I had leftover salad with a piece of baked salmon. But then I ate a 700 calorie cookie. A cookie I didn't realize was 700 calories until after I had demolished it.

I haven't been keeping track on my excel file. This is probably my downfall. I still have about 20 more pounds to lose before I feel like I can relax about my weight. I really need to get back on the wagon! This has to start with fixing the problem of the enabler. If you are an enabler and you are reading this, just know that your "helpful" nudges in the wrong direction do have an effect. Sure we might feel better for that moment that we're eating food. But the resulting crash and the angry mood swing that comes after is hardly worth the nudge. So keep your wives happy by encouraging them to continue to do well if they're trying to get healthy rather than trying to make them happy with bad food!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

1 Month Weigh In

Today I weighed in at 175.8. I found this loss a bit shocking considering what felt like self-sabotage last weekend.

I can't believe I've been at this a month. It doesn't really seem like it's been that long, and I haven't really felt like I've been as diligent as I should have been. But I'm 10 pounds lighter today than I was 30 days ago and that feels pretty good!

I was noticing my arms in a photo yesterday and I realized they look better than my wedding photos. Here's a comparison:


I don't know if it's really all that obvious, but I'm happy anyway. Dragon boating has really helped my arms a bunch too. I did my measurements on spark people as well and my waist, hips and thighs are all about half an inch to an inch smaller. I think in about 5-10 more pounds I'll actually be down a pant size! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Revenge is painful!

Here I thought the only repercussions of eating naughty food this weekend would be a lack of weight loss. Well, I get to pay more than I thought. The large amount of kalua pork I ate yesterday is taking it's toll on my stomach. My stomach that doesn't get fed this much meat anymore and probably doesn't know what to do with it all.

I guess the good news is that I have no desire to eat anything. So returning to the diet is easier!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tales of a Naughty Camper

Okay, maybe not the kind of naughty you're thinking! But I did let myself eat things that I knew were going to be very bad for the calorie counting trek.

I ate all sorts of things. I had beer. I had chocolate (gluten free but not butter free brownies are super good!). I had wheat pancakes with bacon and real maple syrup. And, I didn't really get all that much exercise. BUT (and that's a very big but, but a but nonetheless), I was completely aware of every thing that I ate. I knew my almond roca were 200 calories. I knew that the battered halibut and the half a bowl of clam chowder were probably well over 1000 calories. I knew it. But I wanted to enjoy a weekend of eating without making myself sick full and without having to say no to everything.

Fat Camp!
So now I have to hit the ground running again starting tomorrow. Today's a wash already. We went to the cheese factory - nuff said. But tomorrow! Tomorrow will be the day that I prove that I can relax a couple days without completely killing the progress I've made. I was down another pound before I left too. We'll see if the 178 sticks! I have to earn the scale stickiness back now.

So goodbye brownies. Ciao clam chowder. Au revoir maple bacon pancakes! I will miss you, but you are not worth being fat for. Perhaps I will visit you again in a few months. For now, we must part ways so I can continue to improve my relationship with slim fasts and salad.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Three Realizations

1. I stopped at the restroom in the hotel by the waterfront on my way to dragon boat practice tuesday. There's a full length mirror there. As I came out of the stall to wash my hands I noticed my reflection in it to the side of me. On my way out I stopped in disbelief. I was wearing a very form fitting tank top that dries quickly. Usually I expect to look like a stuffed sausage in it. But I didn't. I had to turn to the side and turn back again to make sure the mirror wasn't at an angle or something that would make me seem thinner. But it wasn't. I actually look better in my clothes.

2. On the way home from dragon boat practice I was thinking about this and also thinking about how I'm tired of counting calories. It occurred to me that I only have to count vigilantly until I weigh what I want to weight. And since I don't, I need to keep doing it. I would be devastated if I gained any weight back. I've reached this point in my dieting many times before. The difference this time is that I've been here before and I know that if I try to give myself some credit I'll end up where I've always ended up. This time has to be different. This time I have to fight the thought process that tells me I can keep doing this if I don't track. Because I can't and I haven't.

There's a jdrama that I watched about a teacher who worked extremely hard against odds to better her outcast group of deadbeat students. Before she entered her classroom every morning she'd go through a little ritual where she'd say "Fight On!" and stick her fist in the air. Even when she wanted to give up. I need this kind of checkpoint whenever I want to give up too.



3. I did my weekly weigh in today and I'm down a little more. 178. This is super good news! If I can get below 170 I'll be out of the obese category on the bmi scale. That would be nice.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Relief and Sad

Well, today there is good news, and there is bad news.

The good news is that I went a couple of days without tracking my calories at all. I know that the tater tot day was probably well over my calorie limit. But I went back to Saturday and Sunday and tracked what I had left today and found that I had stayed within my limits just fine. I think what's helping me succeed is the sheer terror that I'll gain what I've lost back and have to monitor this closely again. Whenever there is food in front of me and I don't know how many calories are in it, I am actually scared to eat it because it will undo all the work I've done.

The bad news is that I have been really fighting the urge to comfort eat. I found out for sure today that Wilson will be hiring within the district and I won't be teaching there. I have been gearing myself for this job since Novermber/December last year when I knew Steve was retiring. It's a terribly difficult blow for me. But I think the fear of fatness has ruled over my need to self-comfort and I've been coping by not eating instead. Not eating and getting lots of hugs from Paul. Good therapy. Oh, and shopping. Also good therapy.

So, while I'm still on the right track, I have this huge bump in the road that's going to be a lot of work to get around.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Will Power

There's this song I used to listen to on an old DC Talk cd that I always think of when I hear the words Will Power. I find it amusing.



Yesterday was a weird eating day in the life of Bethany. I was completely not hungry all day. I finally caved and had a slim fast (my new favorite breakfast lately because I'm too lazy to make anything) when my stomach started it's own gurgle symphony. At around 4:00 I realized I hadn't eaten still. So I went to the good old subway in the mall and had me a veggie sandwich and an oatmeal cookie. The cookie was more calories than the whole sandwich.

When I got to work at 8 I felt really sluggish and I realized, for probably the first time in my life, that I was aware of how my body was functioning based on what I'd eaten. My blood sugar was low. So I got food in the snack bar. The picture is how the snack bar feels to me. It's the point of no return! It will consume you!
I managed to do well for the entree, but I caved and got tater tots. It occurred to me that I couldn't remember the last time I ate fries. For an American, that's insane! And I decided that even though I've been really good at tracking calories, and even though I've allowed myself my little luxuries (like my cookie and some chocolate here and there) that if I wait until I'm murderous for greasy food, I won't be able to get back onto my calorie counting train when I've gone crazy and eaten everything in sight. So, even though I didn't want to sabotage myself, I let myself enjoy something greasy. And they were really delicious. The best part is that I enjoyed them way more than I probably did the last time I ate french fries.

I weighed myself today expecting to feel bloated from my salty greasy indulgence. Surprisingly I was down a little more! In about 4 more pounds I'll be down to where I was a year ago for our wedding and then I'll really start to feel like I'm making significant progress. For some reason I've always had it in my head that losing the weight you gain back should be easier than losing weight you haven't lost before...if that makes any sense. The harsh reality is that all weight loses the same. So this time I have to make sure that body fat I lose is for good!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Down!

I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I weighed myself. This marks the end of week 3 of the calorie counting challenge and I'm still hanging in there. At the lowest, I weighed in at 179.1 (there was some ounce changes with different clothes I was wearing, but all at 179). Even though it's only a pound, given my circumstances I'll take it as a win. I am very happy to have this boost of confidence, especially after a weekend of untracked camp food!

Yesterday I sort of waited until the end of the day to calculate all my calories. I ended up doing pretty well. At some points of the day I actually had to force myself to eat because I didn't want to cook for one and because I just wasn't all that hungry. When I tallied everything up I was right within my limits. I think I've started getting the hang of this better.

I wanted to mention two inspirations that I've had in the last week.

Tuesday I went to New Seasons when I got done dragon boating to get a very light dinner since I was near my calorie capacity. I ended up with a big thing of cut up mixed fruit and a small portion of roasted beet salad (who know beets were so yummy?!). Typically when I order food somewhere and I'm very calorie conscious the person dealing with me just doesn't really get why I care so much. But this guy was really helpful. As I apologized for being so picky, which I find myself doing more and more, he told me he completely understood because he'd just lost 70 pounds himself. I asked him what he'd done to lose it all. He said he'd started biking to work and drinking water instead of soda. Also, he ate more healthy. I told him I really appreciated someone that understands what I'm going through and that he was an inspiration. So that was cool!

Second, I have to give props to my brother. Given, he can be a bit abrupt on his soapbox and I think most don't understand the place of genuine kindness and concern he's coming from when he offers his very zealous advice. That said, he messaged me on facebook and told me how badly he really wanted me to succeed at losing weight and being healthy. That's the abridged version anyway. I appreciated this, and he knew that I would in spite of the fact that the way he went about it would have offended most people. Knowing that it matters so much to him has been sort of the little push I've needed to keep at it. So thanks little brother!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tedium

I'm getting kind of tired of tracking my calories. It's become more tedious than it was originally. I think this is partly because I went three days without tracking. Now it feels like a daily chore.

I have incentives however to continue. I may as well just come out and say that Paul and I are starting to research and learn about having babies. ***WE ARE NOT PREGNANT YET***. (everyone always asks whenever I mention the "b" word) Nor do we expect to be for at least a few months if not longer depending on how things work out. There are several factors to consider such as whether I get this job in the fall, whether we can afford the birth we want right away, where we're going to put a baby, and other things as well. That said, I need to get healthy for any of this to matter.

My biggest concern at this point is that I might have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I've read about four different books that describe the symptoms and I match every single one of them. One of the symptoms is being overweight. The reason people with this problem are overweight is that your body doesn't recognize the insulin levels in your bloodstream and produces more of it. The excess insulin doesn't get used and turns into fat. Thus, even if you're dieting like a superstar it may not make all that much of a difference. The syndrome is also commonly linked with thyroid problems, which I've suspected might be a factor for me before but haven't had it tested. The problem with having this (besides the fat thing) is that it can make it very difficult to conceive.

The good news is that a) I don't know if I even actually have it yet and b) if I do, it's totally treatable.

We scheduled a consultation at a birthing center for next week to get an idea of what a birth would be like there. I'm really leaning towards this option at this point. Just an aside: If you are pregnant or going to be and haven't considered any sort of birth beyond a hospital I strongly recommend you watch The Business of Being Born. If we decide to go with them, I will likely ask them about it and see if they recommend going to a doctor for all of the pre-conception testing since that's all super cheap with our insurance. They may include testing and treatment in their package as well. This could really be the thing that changes my life though. If this is what I've been up against this whole time, no wonder I've had so much trouble trying to lose weight!

So yes, tired of tracking. Tired of being fat. Tired of losing this battle. Going to keep going anyway. And going to find out if there's more I can do to push back!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Workin' it!

Well, I guess it will take a couple more days to really gauge how the experiment in non-tracking went. Paul and I went camping this last weekend and I decided it would just be easiest to pack good food options and not eat all day. This was easier said than done. I didn't realize how much of camping is just sitting around and eating. I kept trying to keep a mental tally of what I'd consumed so that I would kill my progress. It was hard!
I weighed myself today when we got back and thankfully I'm not up any, but it will be awhile before I'll probably see the real results of my experiment. I have high hopes though. I had a few things that probably worked in my favor while we were there.

First, instead of s'mores I took a box of 100-calorie pack twinkies. Roasted twinkie bites are super delicious! And low calorie! I did eat ONE s'more. I feel like this is an accomplishment. Paul probably ate about 6.

Second, I hiked roughly 6 miles yesterday. I went on a hike by myself that was somewhat leisurely for a little over an hour. I figure that's at least 3 miles. I even ran on some parts of the trail just out of sheer boredom. There wasn't much to see on the part of the trail I was on. Then later in the evening Paul suggested we go to Bagby hot springs. We didn't realize it was a mile and a half hike to get to it until we got there. Since we were there we decided to do it. The problem was that it was dusk so we ended up practically running the trail back so that we could still see.

Third, I didn't drink much. I was so nervous about overdoing my calories and it's easy to lose track with drinks so I super limited myself and only had about two the first night and one the second.

We camp again in two weeks. I am looking forward to doing just as well!

On another note, I feel that since it's related to exercise I should report that I flew off my bike Friday and beat myself up pretty good. That's what I get for trying to exercise by biking to work! haha. Luckily my bike is recovered and my giant leg bruises will go away eventually. I'll post pictures soon! Then you can all feel very sorry for me.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cool Website!

In this calorie counting stuff I've spent much of my time google searching nutrition information for foods I eat and then trying to calculate my stats based on what I find. Sometime's it's pretty difficult to make adjustments for portions. Like, if I only ate 3 french fries but the information is for a small fry size, how do I estimate how many calories that is? I finally stumbled on a website that does it for you. It doesn't have everything on it, but what it does have is SO HELPFUL! And, it has pictures of the food so you can make sure that what you're getting facts for is actually what you ate.

Check it out!

http://www.caloriegallery.com/

Lots of Good News

Good news #1:
Yesterday was a good day. It was the first day of week 3 of the calorie counting challenge. I made it! I'm down 6 pounds in two weeks. Now I just have to keep it up.

Good news #2:
The second success was a good dragon boat practice. All of the issues I had before are becoming more solvable. I got wax for my paddle. I found out I have a renewal on my inhaler prescription so I can go get that, I got to paddle in the front of the boat which I really loved so I was really able pushed myself.

Good news #3:
I remembered that we had a very belated wedding gift from my parents friends Ken and Leslie Conachan. They gave us a gift card to Target. So I asked the husband if I could use it for a better bathroom scale and he said sure, so I got a fancy new scale.
The thing I was most worried about was that it was going to say that I weigh more than I thought. Luckily our previous scale wasn't as bad as I thought and I am right where I thought I was. The other cool thing about it is that you can put in your height, gender, and age and it use standard ratios to calculate your body fat, body water weight, bone mass, and body mass index. The little color lines tell you if your numbers are good or bad in these categories. It also lets you set information for different users up to 10 people. So Paul has a profile on there too.

Good news #4:
My new job at the bowling alley is a daily exercise routine! I walked for all 4 hours of my shift last night with very few breaks. I should wear my shoe tracker to see how many miles I'm actually walking because I bet it's probably significant!

That makes all of the good news for now. How are other people doing?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Week 2 Weigh In

I really need to get a better bathroom scale. It's not that I think ours in inaccurate, it's just that I think it's really hard to read and thus hard to tell which line the dial is actually pointing to. I'm going to say that I probably lost 1 pound this week. Maybe slightly more but, again, it's hard to tell. I'd rather be under-indulgent. This isn't really the shining glorious achievement that I was hoping for. But I suppose after the large weight loss I had from the first week I couldn't expect my body to keep adjusting that quickly. As long as I keep losing, that's what matters.

I've been sort of watching sales and pricing out bathroom scales. It's a bit of a draw to figure out what a good choice would be. There's reviews for everything and nobody's really unhappy with their scale. They also vary so greatly in price that it's hard to tell if more expensive is necessarily better. As long as it's accurate and doesn't break I suppose I'd be happy. Unfortunately none of this matters until we have money for it, which could be awhile.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Paddling Video


Here's the infamous video as mention in the last post. You really can't see me except for when I'm not paddling. Which is pretty much what I expected. Super. At the very least it's good to see what some of the better paddlers are doing from this angle. Typically I have to go from what I see behind them or next to them. Hopefully I'll be able to integrate some stuff into my paddling.

Besides that calorie counting is going okay. Today is Week 2 Day 6. This week doesn't look as promising for weight loss, but I'm not getting heavier so that's a reason to keep at it right?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Poo Day

Well, I was feeling so great about my progress and then my house of cards collapsed ever so slowly. I had the girl at the nail salon ask me if I was pregnant.

NO. JUST FAT. THANKS FOR ASKING.

This morning at dragon boat practice I kind of lost it. My back hurt because I can't afford to get it adjusted at the chiropractor, I couldn't breathe because my inhaler's almost empty because we can't afford for me to go to the doctor to refill the prescription. The boat was off balance so I had to lean to bury my blade which exacerbated the first two problems more. I also didn't have any wax for my paddle so I had to grip it harder which made me more tense and hurt my wrists. The last insult to injury is that I got seated in the back of the boat where the gunnel curves a bit and the seats are closer together and more narrow. The best part is that our coach filmed us today.

I've been really trying to push myself so that I don't get cut from races anymore. I show up to every practice. I work as hard as I can when I'm there. I go out of my way to do things to get better (including my calorie counting and asking for help from other paddlers whenever I can). I want to be an asset. So the fact that I probably looked like I wasn't trying on video was not very encouraging. The longer stretches of paddling really started to irritate my low back and my lungs and I had to stop to relieve the pressure a few times. Needless to say I was so mad and frustrated with myself for not being able to push through it, at least while we were being filmed, that I ended up crying. And then I was ashamed of myself for crying.

Typically boating has been a really great place to relieve stress. Today didn't offer much relief. The waiting game for this job that I want so badly is taking its toll on my nerves, and all of the things that depend on getting this job are starting to weigh down. Perhaps if I can learn to power through these kinds of passages in life I can learn to power through the pain when I'm boating too. I guess that's probably what sets successful people apart from the rest.

I didn't count my calories last night and I probably ate tons more than I should have but today is a new day and now I'll be motivated to spend the rest of the week fixing it. It's actually kind of frightening how big of an affect food has on us. If anything else influenced our mood, our health, our day-to-day living as much we'd be screwed!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Calorie Counting Week 2 Day 2 & 3

I'm sitting here trying to figure out the calories in the food on the happy hour menu at McCormicks because we have plans to go there in a couple hours. I'm kind of debating if it might not be a terrible idea to just scratch this meal from my records and eat what I want. I'm not missing food really. I'm not craving ribs and cheeseburgers. But I kind of don't want to burn out on tracking all of this stuff (and it is starting to get a bit old) and I feel like I deserve a reward that I don't have to put on my spreadsheet.
One of the meals at McCormicks.
Doesn't it look healthy and delicious?!

On the other hand I know I'm going to be worried about it. I've been doing so great at keeping this up and writing down everything I eat with as much accuracy as I can muster. I've also done really good at staying in my limits. It's hard to get enough protein every day without going too crazy on the fat. I just don't want to mess up a good thing.

I think I'm going to risk it. The portions are small and I can't set myself back that far. Tomorrow I'll be back on the wagon.

In related news, I reconfigured my excel spreadsheet and it's much fancier now. I even used a formula that I've never used before. I'm hoping that it will be easier to use so that I won't have to spend as much time on it every day, thus making my success more probable. Again, if anyone's interested I'm happy to share!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Calorie Counting Week 2 Day 1

Well, I have reason to celebrate - I think. I really need to get a better scale. Mine is a dial kind so it's really hard to tell if it's accurate or not. Anyway, I weighed myself this morning and then again when I got home from work just to be sure, but it looks like I'm down about 4 pounds. I'm thrilled!
I went to pick up my wedding ring from the jeweler today after I got off work but it wasn't there yet. So I wandered around the mall while I was waiting. I stopped into my favorite store of all time, The Limited, and tried on a couple things just because it was nice to have their clothes fit nicely. I have longer to go so I didn't buy anything, but they have some super cute pink and purple stuff right now!
I also ate a chocolate truffle from Godiva which ended up being far less terrible than I expected when I finally got home to count up my calories so far.
I am really looking forward to having another week of success. I'm anticipating there being more of a challenge this week because we're out of money for groceries and once I run out of fruit I have to figure out other means of healthy snacks. Fruit has been my hero so far! And having food in my kitchen that I know I can eat has also been really helpful.
I also wanted to say that I am so appreciative of all of your comments. You guys have been my cheerleaders and I love it! I want to cheer you too!

I am super tired right now, but I'm going to go to dragon boating practice and exert any energy I might have left. It's amazing how sitting on your ass for 9 hours straight takes so much out of you!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Calorie Counting Day 7

Today marks 1 week! I feel good that I'm going strong. I've never been able to track my progress this successfully. It's good stuff.
Today I packed extra food in my lunch so that my lunch would be a bigger meal than my dinner. Strangely, I wasn't as hungry today and I ended up not eating the extra 200 calories I brought with me. It's amazing how much easier it is for me to tell if I'm actually hungry when I haven't really had any refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup. For anyone who doesn't know, hfcs is a sweetener substitute often used in foods instead of sugar. The reason it sucks is that it doesn't satisfy our craving for sweetness naturally and you end up eating more than would normally satisfy you. Normally when you consume food, hormones release and tell your brain that your stomach is full (before you feel like you need a wheelbarrow to carry your stomach around in). Hfcs blocks this hormone so that you can't tell when you're full and your end up consuming more than you need.

The good news is that since I was able to gauge my hunger today I have enough calories left to have a scoop of light ice cream at Baskin Robbins! Woo! That's a good celebration item, especially because it's well within my calorie allotment for the day.

This makes my hero for the day the Premium Churned Light Aloha Brownie Ice Cream. Only 150 calories for a kid sized scoop! I can even have the cone for another 45 calories. Oh, and they use sugar instead of corn syrup. Booyah!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of another week. Hopefully it will be as easy as this week was. I'm still kind of bummed about the results. I measured myself today and my measurements are exactly the same. I think I may be down about 3 pounds, but it's really hard to gauge in this weather and with my scale. I think when I get my first paycheck I might go invest in a good scale that measures to the tenth of a pound. Then I'll have a better idea of whether or not my efforts are making a difference.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Calorie Counting Day 6

Today went okay. I think I needed to pack more food in my lunch because I felt hungry all afternoon and ended up eating half my lunch before lunch even happened. I ended up low on my calories by the end of the day and had to figure out more stuff to eat that was healthy and wouldn't put me too high. I haven't managed to lose any weight yet sadly. I'm hoping it's just the weather that's making me retain water.

I'm pretty happy that I've been doing this nearly a week and have yet to do poorly. Not only that, I haven't been obsessed about food which I think is the key to doing well when you cut back. Yay.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Counting Calories Day 5

Okay, I never thought this would happen. I'm sitting here right now not wanting to really eat anything else and I haven't even had 1000 calories today. I'm going to make myself a chicken breast since I am seriously lacking protein, but how on earth can I not want to eat everything in sight!?

Today was apparently easy. Excel spreadsheet FTW!

By the way, if you didn't already know, baked sweet potatoes feel like cheating when you're on a diet and a small one is only 160 calories. And they don't need anything added because they're so flipping good by themselves!

* amendment*
So, upon further research, I realized after I posted this that I forgot to count some corn salad I had eaten and my morning coffee. Which, after the chicken breast, put me up to about 1300 calories, which has been my daily average. It helps to remember what you ate! So now I'm tracking my food before I eat it!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Calorie Counting Day 3 & 4

So far so good. The last two days have been a bit of a challenge, but nothing that I couldn't handle with some determination. I actually have managed to work pizza, onion rings, and beer into my meals! The trick is portion control and anticipation. I knew that we'd be eating out last night so I ate basically just vegetables until then and looked up what I could eat ahead of time so that I wasn't going too far overboard.

Today I paddled and I figured that with a two hour practice (that I felt by the end!) I needed some serious recovery food so I allowed myself to eat eggs and potatoes with a piece of toast afterwards. I talked to my coach about possibly doing some one-on-one paddling so I can get better with the technique and feel more confident on the water. He had corrected me on something today that I didn't even realize what he meant for a good amount of time and I would rather fix those kinds of things without slowing the whole boat down while he explains it to me. I've been really uninterested in going to practice this last week and I think I need another boost to motivate me. It was a bit of a blow when I didn't get to paddle in half of the heats at the last race in spite of the fact that I had been pushing so hard to improve. It felt like I got no reward for my work, and it's hard to stay focused when that happens.

I was able to work some pizza into my diet for dinner. The challenge was not eating more than two slices. Pizza I think is the hardest thing for me because I never feel like I've eaten that much and I end up eating half a pie before I've realized how many calories I've consumed. But I did good and didn't overdo it.

So far the scale hasn't proven anything. I haven't lost any weight at all actually. But it's been so hot the last few days that I'm sure some of it is water weight and I've been drinking water like crazy so I'll just blame that to make myself feel better.

Tomorrow I start a new job and I already know what I'm going to eat. I think this is one of the keys to success. Having food around that you know is okay to eat is immensely helpful even if it's somewhat boring. The other good thing is the excel spreadsheet I've been using to track on. It's actually pretty easy to enter stuff in and to see what I have left for the day with the format I set up. I'm happy to share if anyone wants to see it. If you want me to send you the file let me know! I'm happy to share. So far this is the only thing I've used to track that I'm actually consistent about.

Google Doc of Excel Calorie Counter

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Calorie Counting Day 2

Woo!
Well, I half expected this day to suck. The reason being that I went to a barbeque. I decided to try to eat beforehand so that all I would do was graze. Taco bell's fresco menu rocks! The calories are right on the drive-thru menu so you can order accordingly. I got a crunchy fresco taco for 150 calories and a fresco chicken soft taco for 135 calories which both were filling enough that I wasn't really hungry by the time I got to Greshem. Best part is that it's CHEAP! I decided to get a case of low calorie beer (MGD 64). It wasn't as terrible as I'd expected it to be but went right through me so I had to pee every ten minutes. That part sucked. But it was nice to be able to drink socially. I managed to get away with small bites of a couple of foods people had brought and I ate mostly melon which is surprisingly very low calorie. All-in-all I actually managed to eat fewer calories yesterday than the day before!

I think what I find cool about doing this is that I have had to make very small adjustments. Usually when I start paying attention to what I'm eating I have to make drastic changes to my food supplies and it's really challenging to figure out what is okay to eat without resources to figure it out. But I know what's okay now because I've done this so many times. I have the tools I just need to have the discipline to use them! The other thing that's weird about this is that usually I'm pretty hungry and I have to control myself against my urges, but so far I haven't had any at all.  I don't feel hungry as long as I stay on target with the carbs and protein. I just hope the scale continues my motivation!

Today I'm thinking I'll try to convince Paul to go on a really long bike ride since he wants to go to Saylors for happy hour. They pretty much just have steak and onion rings. It's pretty impossible to eat anything healthy at happy hour. Hopefully if I do succumb to the onion ring loaf, at least I'll have earned it right?!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Calorie Counting Day 1

Well, today makes 1 day of counting calories and I am now left to drink water the rest of the night. My tracker says I went about 100 calories over my goal of 1500, but I was right within my goals for fat, carbs, and protein.
Today was pretty easy to stay within my goals because I have the necessary groceries. I guess tomorrow I'll have to replenish a couple of items to stay on target, but hopefully it will be an easy day too.

Sticking with it

So, I contemplated moving my blog to livejournal, but I've decided that I've already spent hours configuring this journal and finally have it looking exactly how I want. So I'm sticking with this.

I think I'm going to set a new goal for food. I'm going to count my calories for 2 weeks starting today. I think if I do I'll lose 10 pounds - or close to it. I can tell that I'm getting some tone from the few things I have been doing to exercise, I just want to keep some forward momentum. I've actually been eating fairly healthy for the most part. I found these really delicious chicken sausages that are only 90 calories at costco that I've been eating for lunches. I think if I can just watch that I don't eat too much of what I'm eating I'll be in a good place.

Tuesday I paddled dragon boat practice without my inhaler. I felt like I was going to hyperventilate a few times, but I survived. It's amazing the mental conversation I had with myself during that practice. It was something like..."you just have to survive for a few more minutes and you won't even remember how bad your lungs hurt anymore...my lungs hurt, if I hurl myself into the river I won't have to breathe anymore!...it's okay you'll be fine..." back and forth. I'm sure I'm not the only one that has these mental battles when I exercise. I think it really helps to think about it when I'm not in the thick of it though. Right now I feel fine and I can breathe!