Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Under Consideration

I've been thinking a lot recently; having 6 hours outside, alone, will do that for you. (Of course, if you follow my twittering adventures, you will also know that 6 hours, alone, outside, in the 90+ degree heat with no cloud cover will also induce vomiting, passing out, wimping out, and accidentally sitting on a freaking ANT's nest... And hey, I'll take A.N.T.s - Automatic Negative Thoughts - over actual physical ants any day of the week!)

What have I been thinking about?

First thought: Declaring goal.

I've been at or below my "acceptable" weight for about 10 weeks now. I crossed under 141 pounds on April 27th, which is the highest my weight can be (without a doctor's note!). Since then, I've been playing hunt and peck with my weight. (I will confess, I have dropped 8.8 pounds since then; but that first week on Geoff's eating plan really kicked my weight loss in the seat of the pants...)

My original stated goal was 125 pounds. And then, since I have to weigh in post-lunch and fully dressed, I decided that I would do 130, since I didn't want to have to actually weigh about 120-122 in order to maintain my WW goals... (street clothes weigh between 2 and 5 pounds... a pair of jeans weighs at least 1 pound and could be as much as 3 pounds. Just in case you wanted to know that.) Now I'm fluttering around 134 - 135; and the weird thing is, I feel so much better about my weight recently.

I think I got some validation with that article that was published at MSNBC. My "problem" wasn't getting loads of sympathy... or at least, not the sort of sympathy I was looking for. I got a lot of exasperated "you look fine, sheesh." and "what the hell is your problem, you're a size 4, for pete's sake." I understand that, I really do. A year ago, I'd have probably been yelling at me, too.

And yet, I wasn't as happy with my weight and my appearance as I thought I'd be when I was looking at the greener pastures from so far away. (I also further think that some of the exasperation directed at me was transferred aggression; "If she doesn't think she looks good at a size 4, what the hell do I look like at a 16, and I was sooo happy about being in a 16...")

Now, however, a mere two weeks after the article was published, I'm feeling better. More comfortable in my body. Vindicated. I'm still not 100% happy, but let's be serious... is anyone 100% happy with anything? There are always going to be things I don't like about myself, or my appearance. The day we decide we can't possibly get any better is the day we should just go out and die.

So, I've been thinking about declaring goal at 135 (what IS it with us and wanting some nice round number... I'm half tempted to declare goal at 134 just to be obstinate and stubborn and weird...)

This will 1) cut down on my monthly outgoing cash, as I will become a lifetime member in ~6 weeks. I haven't had any trouble keeping my weight the same(ish) or continuing to move down. Even my large weight bounces have been in the 1-2 pound ranges.

2) hopefully allow me to relax, a little. Not so much relax about what I'm eating, but damn, stop being obsessed with myself.

3) I still have the option of losing more. Thomas declared his weight goal at 175 and now clocks in at a sweet 162 pounds...

On the other hand, I did SAY I was going to get to 130, and man, I hate not doing something that I said I was going to do.

So, I'm conflicted.

What are your thoughts?

Second Thought: Guest Posts

I'm setting August aside for some guest posts. I've already approached a few writers and dieters about writing guest posts for me and their response has been enthusiastic. So, if you're interested in writing a guest post for me, hit me up in the comments, or shoot me an email at tisfan at gmail dot com. Likewise, if there's something you'd like to see covered here, contact me, or comment me, and I'll see if I can't find an expert/bullspinner to write something about it.

Third Thought: Upcoming Posts

I've got some stuff in the works, including an upcoming virtual book tour with Kathy Balland. I'll have a copy of her book (signed!) to give away. I'm going to do an interview with her, so if there are any questions you have for her, please let me know so I can get my interview prepped!

Shiny Happy People (make me sick). I've been considering writing a blog post about my attitude. Sometimes I get really, really tired of people telling me how important a good attitude is and how much more you can accomplish with a positive attitude and lemons into lemonade, blah blah blah... I have a craptastic attitude, and I'm here to tell you that even us sourpusses can succeed! Would you all be interested in listening to my rant on that particular subject?

The Hair and Makeup Syndrom. Ever notice how different people look in their before and after pictures? I'd like to explore the nature of the beast... anyone interested in that? Thoughts? Commentary?

Fourth Thought: No, not really.

It's not, since I didn't know how much my weigh in would be pre-falling over, but for those of you here for Healthy You, I'm down .4 this week. I'm not sure that counts, tho, since I was all (according to everyone else. I felt ok. A little tired, but ok...) freaked out yesterday. It was exasperating, actually, since my husband wouldn't let me stay home alone while he went to give blood, and made Leslie babysit me. Eyeroll.

Anyway, before I fell over onto an anthill yesterday and got swarmed (literally. It was scary and freaky...) those were my thoughts.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Should Be Committed

Thought I'd take a few minutes to answer a reader question. (I like answering questions... it's like being handed a paper topic... the hard part of writing is often what to write about... So if you ever have a question, please ask!)
"Okay... so how did you get to a place where you could earn that many activity points? A place where you could really commit to this lifestyle? I'm trying and I do well for a few days (or a day) and then let it all go at the first obstacle." Rebeca from All Vegged Out asks.
I've eKnown Rebeca for quite a while; started following her old blog quite a number of months ago back when she had (in my opinion) absolutely the Worst Job Ever! and have followed her through her journey. She takes some great pictures of food. I don't personally tend to take pictures of my food, but man, for whatever reason, I'm utterly fascinated by looking at other people's pictures of what they're eating.

Anyway, now that I'm completely off-track, allow me to make an awkward and grammatically ugly transition sentence and get back to talking about commitment.

(Keeping in mind that commitment has a lot of definitions; including referring a potential law to committee, the perpetuation of a crime, and being confined to a mental institution. Yes, I love to play with Dictionary.Com... Of course, what I'd really like is the CD version of the Oxford English Dictionary, but it's still ungodly expensive and no one likes me enough to buy that for me as a gift...)

(Again, standard disclaimer; what works for me might not work for you. You know - or you should know - yourself better than I do... )

So... I will dispense advice... now.

Start Small.

Here's where I see a LOT of people making the same mistake. Much like with their food plans, sometimes people just decide they're going to change their lives. They're going to eat next to nothing and work out 9 days a week for 27 hours a day. (I exaggerate slightly for effect. Sue me.)

Seriously. Slow the fuck down.

Rome wasn't built in a day. Noah didn't start building the ark when it was raining. Baby steps. Whatever you want to use as your mantra.

If you haven't been doing any form of exercise at all (aside from fork-lifts and fridge-runs) you will want to start very slowly. Put on your shoes and walk outside for 5 minutes, then turn around and come back. If that didn't bother you too much, walk 10 minutes out and 10 minutes back.

When I started, my husband and I walked around the block. That's a little less than a mile. It took us a little more than 20 minutes the first time. And god, I hated it. We did that a few times a week, got thrown off by a bout of food poisoning... and eventually got back to it.

Gradually we increased the length of our walks, and we've varied a lot in how dedicated we are to them. These days, we do them at least once a week, and sometimes twice. Once in a while, we'll get three in, but as both of us have moved on to other things, that's fine.

So, start small. If you have a workout video, don't decide to do the whole half hour, or sixty minutes, or decide you're going to do it EVERY DAY without FAIL for 30 days. (I get really annoyed with people and their 30-day shreds that they quit 6 days in... it's too much. SERIOUSLY. Chill. Out.) The first time I did a workout dvd, I did... 7 minutes?

Do what you can. Push yourself, but not too hard. Because otherwise all you're going to do is push yourself OVER.

You Do Have Time.
Your only real obligation is to live until you die. Everything else is optional. --Harley Hahn
You should work out.

"I don't have time."

Yes. You do.

I don't give a rat's ass care how busy you think you are. My best friend has two kids (one is a juvenile diabetic) and a full-time job and has several different doctors that she has to see on a regular basis, and even though she doesn't always get to the gym as regularly as she'd like, she does get there. And when she doesn't, she hops on the Wii Fit when the kids are in bed.

Please, trust me on this; you have time. Somewhere in your week, you have time.

Maybe you don't have time to drive all the way to the gym, do a 90 minute workout, get a massage, have a smoothie, take a shower, and drive home. I'll agree with that.

But somewhere in your day, you have time. You just need to find it.

Priorities. Priorities. Priorities. Ok, let's look at your day; Non-optional stuff: Work. School. Kids. Eating. Sleep. (Yes. Sleep is a priority. Get some!) Some fun stuff. (Yes. Relaxing is mandatory. I don't care what you do for fun, but you should do something. Watch TV. Read a book. Play a video game. Go to a baseball game. I don't care, but at least three times a week, you should do something for you that you enjoy. Otherwise, what the hell is the point to life anyway? Besides, if you never do anything fun, YOU are not a fun person and... who the heck wants to be THAT person?)

Everything else you do is optional. Helping out your aging, cranky, disagreeable aunt? YOU decided you would do it. Volunteering at the homeless shelter? Again, you. Getting together for a stitch-and-bitch with that woman from church that you really, really don't like. Guess who made that an obligation. YOU did.

(This blog entry is getting long enough as it is without my going into detail about learning to say NO to people and reorganizing your life. I may get back to those topics later.)

There's a standard visual aid for time management; Rocks, gravel, sand, water. You can read this and then come back here, since it's well-written in many other places, so why reinvent the wheel?
At any age, it's important to know what your "big rocks" are. Then, you can start to have the balance you want in your life/career and the satisfaction of knowing you chose your goals.
If a healthy lifestyle, complete with exercise is a priority for you, then you have to make it a priority.

There are all sorts of ways to find extra time. If you watch a lot of TV, maybe you could cut out a show. Or TiVo it to watch later. Or get up during commercials and do jumping jacks (or tricep stretches, or bicep curls, or whatever.) Wake up a little early and go for a walk (or run) before you even shower. Go for a walk at lunch. Hire a babysitter once or twice a week so you can get to the gym. (Many gyms have programs for kids, or at least daycare, so check out that option.) Make exercise a family priority and have a work-out day where you all do something active (play volleyball, badminton, softball, tag, go swimming...) at the same time. Take your kids to the park and let them run around. While they're doing that, you can get a pretty good workout with standard playground equipment.

Find Something You Like.

Or at least, something you don't actively loathe.

This may take quite a while. You may have to try a lot of different things to find something that you actually enjoy. Lucky you, there's a lot of different things to try!

Walking, running, weights, workout dvds, biking, elliptical, jumping rope, playing tennis, swimming and yoga. These are the things I have tried. There are other things that I'd like to try that involve a little more money on my part (dancing, rock climbing, fencing...)

Be flexible. How do you know you don't like doing push ups? Have you tried recently? Well, just do a few. (Yes, if I sound like your mother pointing at your plate of green beans, that was deliberate.)

Keep trying. I didn't like the elliptical the first time I tried it. It was weird and wobbly and scary.

I didn't like it the second time I tried it either. I felt awkward and weird and ridiculous and I got off in less than six minutes.

Then, during my few sessions with a personal trainer, she made me get on it again as part of my warm up routine. I'd said I didn't like it, and she decided to "take me out of my comfort zone." I did 10 minutes that third time, and by about 5 minutes in, finally figured out the damned rhythm. She advised me to use the elliptical for 10-15 minutes as cardio at least once a week, before heading back to more familiar territory with the treadmill or the bike. The fourth try at the elliptical, I ended up staying on it for thirty minutes.

And now, I freaking love it.

Mix It Up

Now that you've found something you like to do (or at least, don't hate it more than anything else in your life) and you've got time to do it... well, shit darn. Now you're bored.

If you get bored easily, you may have to mix your routine up frequently. This isn't a bad thing. Trying new things regularly can help keep your body guessing, keep you from falling into a rut, or a plateau. Even if you find your one thing (or three things) and can keep doing them constantly, you may want to vary your times or intensity, just to keep it fresh.

Set Specific Goals.

I find it a lot easier to work out if my work out goals are very specific.

If you've been trying to get fit/lose weight/eat better for any length of time, you'll know as well as I do; the scale is fickle. My mantra for this is "Biology is not chemistry." Changes to our bodies take place on a cellular level. And between the mouth and the scale, there are so many things that can happen, it's a miracle that anything does happen. Sodium, time of day, time of the month, time of the universe. Water weight, over-exertion. The list is endless, and much like the weather, there is absolutely no way to predict it with any certainty whatsoever.

Setting specific weight goals, particularly if you set them with a time-line attached to it... you're setting yourself up. You'll either meet the goal easily, get overconfident and fall flat on your face later, or you won't accomplish it, and you'll be angry and frustrated. (Not that anger, frustration and exasperation aren't all part of the grand scheme... get used to it. It will happen. And you're not a freak for feeling bad about these things. You don't need to always slap on the Lee Press On smile... this is hard work, and you are entitled to your feelings.)

"I want to lose 20 pounds by summer."

Good for you. I want a pony and a glittery bridle. Let me know how that works out for you.

You can't always control your weight. Not down to the pounds and pence of it.

But you can control your exercise.

One of my eFriends says that a good goal is something you can barely accomplish. I'm not always sure I agree with him, but whatever works for you... I like goals. I like ticking something off a checklist.

If you're currently walking for ten minutes, you might set a reasonable goal as, "I'd like to be able to walk for two miles." And then add in little increments of time or distance...

For me, the 100 push up, 200 squats, 200 sit ups challenges have been a great inspiration. I may not be able to control the scale, but doing the challenges was a way to see some improvement. I have completed two of the three and am currently working on the sit up challenge. I do plan, when I finish the sit ups, to go back to the push ups. (I do push ups in my circuit training, but usually only 10-15 at a time, so I am pretty sure that while I did do 100 push ups in a row a few months back, I cannot do that now. So, I can start over. Cool, huh?)

If you're not into challenges, you might do something like my husband's done. He couldn't seem to dedicate himself to exercise (well, not unless I was dragging his butt out to go walking) until his friend signed him up to run a 5K. With a specific deadline, he's thrown himself into training for it. The money is paid, his friend is counting on him. So, he's getting it done. And, as he said to me yesterday, "I'm not hating it as much as I was afraid I would." (This from the man who used to say that he only ran when chased.)

Walking a Mile Does Not Justify an Ice Cream Sundae

One problem I see a lot is people who overestimate how many calories they burn. Weight Watchers gets around this a little bit by doing a 2:1 return. A food point is 50-70 calories, but an Activity Point is 100 calories. There are lots of sites out there to gauge your caloric output (here let me google that for you.) so find one and use it.

I know it can be confusing and annoying, but really, the average calorie count for an Ice Cream Sundae is not 20 minutes of low-intensity workout. (For example: I burn about 300 - 350 calories on the elliptical going over 5mph for 45 minutes. That's maintaining a heart rate of 145 - 160...)

Get Over Yourself.
Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. - Voltaire.
My husband - before starting the training for his 5K - never wanted to work out unless he could dedicate an hour to it. And he could never find the hour. He liked his sleep a lot more than he liked getting up an hour early to go to the gym.

I know people who won't touch the weight machine (or the elliptical or any other piece of exercise equipment) because they don't know how to use it. Get someone to teach you. You didn't know how to read and write before someone taught you.

So you can't lift as much weight as Mike Manly Muscle-bound. So what? Get a stepladder and get over yourself. You have to start somewhere.

Anyone else who cares how much weight you're lifting (or not lifting) has too much free time and too little self-confidence. (And yes, actually, that means that if you're eyeballing Sally Slender or Mike Manly, you have too much free time and why aren't you using it to work out?? I know it's hard sometimes to not peek at someone else's workout summary, but you don't really need that information. I promise.)

You don't have to do something well in order to do it. And you will get better with practice.

You are the only competitor who matters. Let your competition be with yourself. You may never be better than Mike Manly. But you can be better than YOU are today.

And if this is your first night at Rock Band.... you have to sing.
-- Matt Brooks.
Don't throw yourself down the stairs.

The second part of Rebeca's question (remember Alice? This is a song about Alice...) was about snags.

Snags happen.

Life happens.

When you stumble on the stairs, is your immediate response to throw yourself to the bottom of the flight, just because you missed a step?

When you scratch the paint on your car, is your first impulse to go out and ram your car into a dump truck? Because, really, if you've scratched the paint, you may as well wreck the car!!

Do you chip a plate and then throw the plate at your entire cabinet of dishes?

(If you do, please seek help now, because I'm not qualified to deal with your issues!)

Accept these facts now.

You will miss workouts.

You will have shitty weigh ins.

You will gain weight unexpectedly.

You will have bad days at the gym where you can't lift, run, or otherwise get anything done.
Life sucks. Get a helmet.
- Denis Leary
So you hit a snag? So what? Did you think you were never going to fail? Wow. You must be God!


I know, it's easier said than done. But in the end, if you let one snag throw you off track completely, that's the failure. Having a bad day? Normal. Natural. Ordinary. And frankly? Boring.

You had a bad day. You didn't feel well and you didn't work out. Ok. Bitch for 10 minutes and then move along. Nothing to see here.

People tell me I'm an inspiration. People tell me how much they admire me and are impressed with my weight loss and my dedication. They want the "secret."

Honey, there is no secret.

You just have to do it.

What I did? That's in everyone. Anyone can do it. I just did it. One day at a time. One meal at a time. One workout session at a time. One complete screw up at a time. (I am not a complete screw up; some parts are missing!)

Do I skip gym trips? Hell, yes. Do I miss walks? Sometimes. Do I fall off the fucking elliptical? With alarming frequency.

It's not what you do one day that makes the difference.

It's what you do most days.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Almost Famous

I had a first yesterday.

I went in (again, I still don't understand what is up with my Wii Fit, which told me I was down about a pound for the week...) and weighed in. Up .8 pounds.

I was completely unfazed.

There were a ton (pardon the pun) of excuses for it; I just started my period, I ate high fat and salt content food the night before, and I had skipped my Long Walk for the weekend because of an annoying on and off coughing thing I have going on. Bwjenn, if you gave me your cold over the internet... well... I'll just have to figure out how you did that, because I'd really like to transport other things over the web...) But I didn't bother to state them. Obviously, I knew them, but it was like, not important.

The weight is coming off.

I feel good.

I'm getting, a bit, to feel like I look good. (Next time you see me, real-life, remind me to show off my arm. My word, I have muscles! /Flex)

So, you know, that's cool.

Also, some other cool stuff - blog related - has happened recently... I'm going to be hosting a virtual book tour for Kathy Balland's book Lose the Diet; Transform your body by connecting with your soul. I'll even have an extra signed copy for some lucky reader, so keep your eyes on this spot. I'm not sure of the exact date, but I'll let ya know!

And this article came out on MSNBC. That's me in that first paragraph there. (Yes, Kellylyn is my "real" first name. Isn't it AWFUL? Somebody should slap my mom. Really.)

Finally, I puffyheart my friend Geoff. I don't know why my head can know something, and even my husband/best friend/weight loss leader can know and tell me things, and I just DON'T LISTEN. Here's your stupid sign, seriously. But I've been following Geoff's food plan for almost three weeks now, and I feel SO MUCH better it's just unbelievable.

So, I'm going to leave you all on this note (again with the puns!)

This ain't a song for the brokenhearted
No silent prayer for the faith departed
And I ain't gonna be just a face in the crowd
You're gonna hear my voice when I shout it out loud

It's my life
It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just wanna live while I'm alive
- It's My Life, Bon Jovi

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm not a doctor, Jim

Both the feedback and the enthusiasm I've gotten over the last blog post have been pretty amazing...

I've gotten a bunch of hits, emails, twitters, etc about my new eating plan and I wanted to say a few things.

Standard disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nurse, nutritionist, dietitian or otherwise qualified to make any medical decisions. Any advice you read here is my personal opinion, which is to say, as likely to be complete crap as anything else you read on the internet. Please use standard discretion before following advice. Consult your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. Yaddah yaddah.

Substandard disclaimer: My friend is. Geoff (who absolutely does NOT want his contact information given out and I'm going to respect that because he is a friend and I don't want him to beat me with a stick) is a licensed dietitian and is currently about a year out from getting his PhD in kinesiology in the field of sports medicine. Before he gave me all his advice, he had me give over my food logs, had me keeping track of my workouts (including keeping a log of my heart rate - I was to measure my heart rate first thing in the morning, before even getting out of bed, randomly through the day, before, during, and after workouts, and before bed) and rather ruthlessly questioned me over the phone about my entire life (even so far as asking how often I had sex, what my sleep schedule looked like, mood tracking, headache tracking... etc).

His advice to me, which was a lot more detailed than I discussed in Tuesday's post is custom tailored FOR ME.

There's some standard advice in there that I don't think is generally bad for anyone to follow (avoid overly processed 100 calorie packs, eat all your weekly flex points, eat at least 3 hours before you sleep) and then there's some advice that's probably slanted towards my High Intensity/High Activity lifestyle.

Please keep in mind that on your average week, I'm logging between 25 and 40 activity points. (And I'm very careful to double check and triple check my activity points - I don't go with what weight watcher's site says, I'm tracking my activity by my heart rate monitor and often rounding down.)

Among Geoff's other admonitions, he was very clear on his opinion of crap-food. As far as he's concerned, food comes in a couple of varieties: lean protien, vegetable/fruit, dairy/calcium, good carbs, healthy fat and crap. I'm supposed to limit myself on the crap food. (Crap food is a 100 calorie pack, or potato chips, or white bread, or ice cream with more than 5 ingredients... he's a big fan of simple ice cream where the ingredients are like milk, sugar, cream, flavoring.) No more than 1/10th of my eating is supposed to be crap. So, if I eat 24 points in a day, no more than 2.5 of those points can be crap. He says I can spread that over the week or eat it all at once; so if I want a McCrap Burger (his name for it, not mine) then I need to eat over 120 points in the week, so I can save 12 of those for the McCrap burger.

He also laid out for me a specific healthy fat/vegetable/lean protien/dairy ratio for me, which leans a bit to the protien side because I am specifically building endurance muscle. I didn't cover it specifically in Tusday's blog post because I didn't think it was particularly important. I'm not going to cover it specifically now because, as I said, it's laid out specifically for me and what Geoff sees as my particular nutritional requirements.

Anyway, end of lecture. I just am a little whelmed by the response I've gotten to that blog entry and I want everyone to be sensible when adopting a new eating or workout plan.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Me and Michael Phelps

My weight loss has been a real case of the running in place recently. Down 1.4, up .6, down .2, up 2.2, etc. Netting out to zero, or close to zero.

And my god, I've been hungry.

Not Oh, that doughnut looks tasty sort of hungry, either.

But My bleeding Christ, I would kill someone to have a half cup of tuna fish!

You know when you find yourself feeling guilty about the six or seven grapes you ate (packing up your husband's lunch for the next day and snitching them as you washed them off...) that there's something really, really wrong.

I wasn't hungry for chocolate, or cake, or even cheese. I was just hungry.


And I got scared of my points again. I wasn't losing weight when I was eating my activity points (altho I wasn't eating most of my flex points... maybe 5-10 in the course of a week). So I stopped eating my activity points. And I still wasn't losing weight. And then I started skipping food from my regular points...

For the last couple weeks, without really confessing what I was doing - or even really thinking about what I was doing - I've been starving myself.

I get 19 points a day. Calculating that out, if I avoid the full fat stuff and eat mostly high fiber... that's 1,330 calories per day. My basal metabolic rate (rough guestimate based on height, weight and gender) I'm supposed to use up 1,400 calories laying in bed and pretending I don't exist.

You know that's not what I do.

I hit the elliptical a few times a week. I walk. I swim. (Hell, I even swim with my 35-pound child piggybacked on my back, and let me tell ya, that's not as much fun as it sounds... not for me, at any rate... good workout, though...) I do step while I watch old episodes of Buffy. I clean.

So, the question in my mind was this; how can I not be losing weight?

With the sort of calories I'm burning versus the amount of not-eating I was doing... calories in < calories out = weight loss, right?

I continued to cut calories. I was continually hungry, and I was getting to the point where I wanted to cry every time I opened the fridge. Every time I walked past a mirror. Every time I got dressed.

So, I'm talking to a friend of mine - bitching, really... and he said this;

"Girlfriend, you're working out like an athlete. It's time to start eating like one."

(Ok, maybe not that much.)

"Seriously, I want you to do this - do it for me, for just a month, and see where you are..."

- Eat the twigs in a bowl for breakfast NO MORE than twice a week. The rest of the week, eat an egg, or a muffin with some soy peanutbutter (we have to eat the soy stuff because of my daughter's peanut allergies, but it's really quite good, and loaded with protien.)

- eat at least one chocolate bar per week. Not the kind with goo in it, but a plain hershey's bar, or a lindt bar.

- eat your activity points. All of them. The day after you earn them. For snacks from activity points, chose high protien, low-carb foods. Cheese. Eggs. Grilled chicken strips. Yogurt.

- Avoid those 100 calorie stupidsnacks as much as possible. That means no more than 2 packs per week, and really, you should cut them out entirely. If you want a cookie, buy a damn COOKIE.

- eat all your flex points. ALL of them. Not 10. Not 20. 35. Points.

- drink 8oz of low-fat chocolate milk after your elliptical training.

- don't eat after 8:30pm (or, more exactly, don't eat in the three hours before bedtime. If you go to bed at midnight, you can bump that up to 9pm, etc.)

Me, looking at this list, actively horrified: I'll gain weight!

Him: You won't.

Me: Yes, I will.

Him: Ok, let me put it to you this way; I will pay for your weight watcher's membership for as long as it takes you to lose any weight you gain in that month.

Me: Oh, all right. What's the worst that can happen?

So... I tried it. I wore my Mio Stride almost all day so that I had a more accurate count of how many calories I was using up in a day. I ate. I wasn't hungry most of the time (after about Thursday, I was surprised by how hungry I was first thing in the morning, but after breakfast was eaten, I was fine...) and I had a pretty good week. I wasn't tired. I wasn't headachy. (I've spent the last two months having a low-grade headache all the time. So, you know, if I've been a bit of a bitch recently, that's probably part of why...)

My Wii Fit told me I was down about two pounds for the week, but you know, I didn't believe it. I've been having serious discrepency problems with the Wii versus the Weight Watcher's scale.

And actually, I have to admit, I was looking forward to yelling at my friend. See! See! You are so full of crap! That food-plan works FOR A GUY! You idiot!

But... I probably won't get to.

I lost five pounds this week.


Holy shit.

Me and Michael Phelps.

Well, anyway, I'm committed to trying this for 30 days.

Eat more to weigh less.

Doc Hudson: I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right.

Lightning McQueen: Oh, right. That makes perfect sense. Turn right to go left. Yes, thank you! Or should I say No, thank you, because in Opposite World, maybe that really means thank you.

-- Cars

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Get Rich Quick (Count Your Blessings)

I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one
- Jay-Z

I spend a lot of time complaining, I know. So I thought I'd spend a little while reiterating the things in my life that I'm happy about.

- I don't have more debt than I can pay down.

- I don't have more house than I can afford.

- I don't have a retirement investment account that's lost a great deal of value over the last few years. (We just started ours recently, so while I don't think we're all that prepared for retirement, we haven't had the stress of watching our money being thrown into a hole...)

- My child is mostly a joy. (She has her days, don't we all? But mostly she's good-natured and quiet - quiet is really, really important to me!)

- I get along with my parents. Mostly.

- No one in my immediate family is sick.

- I have a frequent, fulfilling and satisfying sex life. (I've been learning recently among women my age, this is a rarity and I should treasure it. And believe me, I do.)

- I am confident that my husband loves me.

- I am confident that my child loves me.

- My husband is a wonderful father.

- Most of the time, I don't feel like a bad parent.

- I have not ever been ashamed to show off my arms in public. (Michelle Obama aside, I don't think my arms are unattractive, and it's never occurred to me not to wear tank tops.)

- I love my cell phone. (It's a silly thing to be grateful for, I know, but I really can't tell you how much joy I get out of playing with my little high-tech toys...)

- My husband no longer works 12 hour shifts, weekend nights.

- I have lots of friends, and I honestly love all of them.

- I'm not yet 40. I'm not still 22.

- I still enjoy stupid action flicks and disney/pixar movies.

- I have 7,368 songs stored on my computer. I love music.

- I will never wear that stupid housedress again.

- I never have to go to high school, and no one expects me to attend a high school reunion.

- I still love all the artwork in my house.

- I own more than 400 movies, tv shows, and other dvds. I love having a great variety of movies to watch.

- I love my new silk sheets; even if my husband doesn't like the color. (they're sort of melted caramel colored. He thinks they don't go with our blue comforter.)

- I never have to iron a shirt. (My husband does his own ironing. It is one household task that I refuse to absorb and refuse to feel guilty about.)

- Putting a guildmate on Ignore has greatly improved my quality of raiding.

- I have confidence in my own intelligence.

- I am a great cribbage player.

- My house is mostly clean, and certainly is cleaner more regularly than it's ever been before in my adult life.

- I don't have to work in corporate America. I have three friends that remind me on a regular basis that this is SUCH a good thing.

- Three days later, I love my new haircut.

- I can wear high heels. And do.

- I no longer feel squashed getting into a restaurant booth.

- I take for granted that I can accomplish 30 minutes on an elliptical. (In fact, the other day, I did 65 minutes on the cross-trainer.)

- I take for granted that I can leave the house without my inhaler.

- Let me repeat those. I TAKE FOR GRANTED that I can accomplish 30 minutes on an elliptical. I TAKE FOR GRANTED that I can leave the house without my inhaler.

- I can run down stairs.

- I have made up with aunts and cousins that I've been estranged with for more than seventeen years.

- I no longer loathe summer. (I do recognize that it's hot. But this is no longer a problem for me. I don't mind sweating. I don't feel oppressed by the heat.)

- I have accepted responsibility for those problems that are my own problems. I am gradually letting go of those things which are not my responsibility.

- I love Flylady. I love my control journal (That's what SHE said!)

- We live less than 5 miles from everything we need; grocery store, husband's work, hospital, mall, movie theater.

- Our apartment complex has a fitness center.

- We're locked into our rent-rate for the next two years.

- I have a turtle and she is healthy and well-adapted to being in a terrarium. She does a few simple tricks (eats out of my hand and follows my finger around)

- I may not always love my neighbors, but at least I've never seen the police covering each other before changing into an apartment, guns drawn (this happened at the last place I lived.)

- We have not had a particularly bad hurricane in about six years.

- It's been over 16 years since the last time I had an affair outside my relationship; I don't miss the lying, cheating, worrying, and generally feeling like scum about it.

- I've finished taking care of my dental problems.

I do not want what I have not got
- Sinead O'Conner

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

500 Miles

I would walk five hundred miles
And I would walk five hundred more
Just to be the man
Who walked a thousand miles
To fall down at your door
--The Proclaimers

I went out for my training walk on Sunday. We used to have a cute little bunny rabbit living in our front yard - I think he nested under the shrubbery near our apartment. Anyway, this is all that was left of him the other day. And the lovely scavengers who decided to clean the road. Ug. Turkey vultures.

Most of the road I walk along looks like this... sidewalk, a few feet of grass, and then very thick woody areas. There are tons of wild flowers. Unfortunately, the trees are far enough back from the road that I don't get lots of shade. And I just discovered yesterday that the reason I'm getting lobstercated every weekend is that my sunblock lasts 80 minutes. Less if I'm sweaty. Ahem. That's not nearly long enough, and I can't carry it with me, the canister is too big to go in my pack. So I need to start making other sunblock arrangements before I save the world from breast cancer just to die from skin cancer. Also, my back looks quite weird from all the different tan lines I have.

Sometimes there are fields upon fields of flowers - ok, yes, to those weird people who have to mow their own lawns, these are dandilions, but I like them. You don't have to.

I thought this tree was particularly lovely.

This weekend, I wanted to add like 2 miles to my walk without really going anyplace different, so I walked through two parks. This one is City Park, not to be confused with the second park, City View park. Don't ask me, I didn't name the dang places. City Park often has "events". This weekend there was an Indian PowWow and a farmer's market, neither of which I actually got to see, since I was at City Park 'round about 9:30 or so, which was at least 2 hours before either event started.

This gentleman's name is Reggie. We passed each other twice (I was going one way around the park and he was going the other way) and had a bit of conversation the second time we passed each other. He also took down my url for the 3-Day and said he was going to hit the page for a donation, at which point I said I'd give him a mention on my blog, so here he is. And if you're reading this, Reggie, it really was a pleasure talking with you! See you next weekend, maybe!

Planes, trains and automobiles... Heh. Anyway, this train was just parked there, and I rarely get to see a train so close up. I could have walked over and touched it...

This caboose is part of the display at City Park. I'm not sure why, the signage for it is on the other side, and I didn't feel like walking all the way around the fence, which spreads over almost the entire south side of the park. Thanks Reggie for taking this picture of me in my walking gear. Even if my tongue is sticking out. I can't figure out what I was doing that my tongue is sticking out...

Well, they're not steel, but magnolia trees are very common in this area, especially huge ones like this. Whenever I get visitors in during the magnolia flowering season (who are not native Virginians) they comment about these trees.

I ran into this little fellow about three miles in to my walk and he let me get pretty close before he took off into the underbrush...

You are here!

Where is here? I stopped at this Exxon for a rest break. There was a teenaged kid here, driving his mom's SUV and playing music extremely loudly, and squeeling his tires and generally acting like someone who's never been laid... I was tempted to yell at him about it. "Hey, you know they have herbal suppliments for your problem!" but decided it wasn't worth the effort.

Someone's impressive garden. I don't really know anything about gardening, but I have noticed this flower bed a few times before. I guess noticing is the point, right?

Everybody needs a thneed.

Okay, this is my second rest stop, City View Park. I walked twice around this park, since their walking path is only 1/2 mile long, but at least it's mostly shaded, so that was nice. They also have a lot of little league games being played here and a fairly large playground area. I plan on having a picnic/party here later this summer.

I've never actually seen a Scottish Thistle before, although I understand Sean Connery has one tattooed on his ass, I've never seen that either.

And these are my favorite sorts of flowers. There's a bunch of them growing about a mile away from my house.

(For those of you checking in for Healthy You, I'm up a pound. Getting really sick of this whole weight loss - or lack thereof - thing. Also getting a lot of "well, you're in range for your weight goal, you could just stop here..." which alternates between pissing me off and making me want to cry. I should quit? Here? "You're a size 4, what more do you want?" I want to feel good about myself. Damnit. Sorry... anyway, I'm going to give it six weeks and if I end up maintaining between 135 and 139, I'm going to be "done" and call it "good enough." and if I'm still losing, albiet slowly, I'll try and push further. But really, that's a whole nother entry.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Final Four

Well, on the weight loss front, things aren't going so great. I gained last week, and this week's loss wasn't quite enough to even level the week's out, so I'm still at a .2 gain for the last two weeks.

Which, one would think, wouldn't be enough to piss me off. Except that if you've been reading here for any length of time, you know that it is.

I'm averaging a weight loss of about two and a half to three pounds a month. I mean, I know... I'm supposed to be happy because things are trending downward, and blah blah blah.

I keep waiting for the moment.

The moment where I realize how worth it this whole struggle has been... the moment where I notice how much more energy I have. The moment where I look in the mirror and don't recognize myself.

Fortunately, my continued efforts have nothing to do with that moment.

Because I haven't had it yet.

My getting up in the morning routine still includes a quick check in the mirror that says "Yep, still fat."

I don't look like I have less than ten pounds to lose. I look like I have a massive spare tire around my middle. If I could lose another thirty pounds I might look okay.

I guess I was thinking I might look pretty. At some point.

I mean, sometimes I have a moment, but it's not even a full moment. More like a micro-second in which I think Maybe I don't look entirely bad.

This, despite the fact that I just ordered new clothes. Again.

I don't have many clothes that fit. I have three pairs of shorts (two Smalls and a 5/6) and maybe a dozen t-shirts or tank tops that look good. I currently have no bras that actually fit (yes, I know, you can tell. I've been told. The next person who tells me I need a new bra better cough up $40 so I can buy a few, or shut up. Ok? Ok.) and only three pairs of undies that aren't waaaaay too big. I've undergrown my shoes again, so all my nice high heels that I bought (after going from a 9 to a 7.5, I really would have thought my damn feet were done shrinking!) have a half inch gap between my heel and the back of the shoe. Which is apparently very noticable in the various pictures I've taken recently, since everyone's pointed out how much I look like a little kid in Mommy's Dress Up Clothes.

I went into the Target and Old Navy the other day to try clothes on; see I have a $25 gift card for Old Navy, but it's only usable online. And I needed to know what my size was, since I don't want to order a 6 and need an 8.

Except, the shorts that fit? Are 4s.

Will someone please tell me; what the fuck heck is wrong with my brain that I cannot be happy with size fours?