Wednesday, March 31, 2010

scale stories

Sooooo, I did decide that, on my scale, I weighed 202.5 this morning - *a new low for me* if I was right. I decided that, hopefully tomorrow there will be less uncertainty in the reading.

I weighed myself at the Y on one of their accurate scales and got a reading of 210 (including the 10-12 ounces of water I had drunk.) At 5'9 1/2", 209.5 pounds is, that's a BMI of 30.5, meaning that I'm overweight at home and obese at the Y. I can handle this discrepancy, but it has occurred to me that I really do want to be under 200 pounds, even at the Y. I'm not going to change my goal of 198 (here at home) but I'm realizing that that's going to be just sort of a Part 1, with Part 2 meaning I have to get to 198 at the Y. Apparently that'll mean I'll have to lose another 6 pounds or so after I reach goal Part 1 before I can honestly say that I'm really under 200 pounds.

exercising willpower to reach goal

Hello. I am writing here to say that there is a Cadbury Creme Egg in my car. I bought it about 24 hours ago, so it's been there all day. I've been acutely aware of it often enough. I've had under 1500 calories today - I realized I could eat that egg and still be okay calories-wise. But I kept putting it off. I finished off the last of my dinner a couple hours ago and felt like I didn't care about the egg. Now I've got in my car to come home and felt the pull of the egg. I decided not to. I'm about to go to sleep. The real kicker was remembering how this morning I stood on the scale and was back down to 203 and I thought how nice it would be to weigh under 203 tomorrow morning maybe - it would be another new low for me and I love new lows.

So I guess, this time anyway, even a Cadbury Creme egg doesn't taste (or feel, because you know it'd make my shoulders shudder with pleasure) as good as thin feels. (That phrase always rang a bit hollow to me.)

I am thinking about going to buy some Easter candy - those Russell Stover eggs - so I can have them *some time*. Not now, but some time later, after Easter, after I reach my goal. Russell Stover is so... so awesome. Except you know what's not awesome, and I know this paragraph doesn't belong in a diet blog, but what happened to the jelly bean eggs in the coconut bird's nests??? That was what made it so bizarrely uniquely a desirable candy-eating experience!

Just FYI, I also craved brussels sprouts tonight, and want to find out if there's such a thing as a Reuben sandwich that is under 450 calories. I've never cared about Reubens before but I feel like if my taste were truly mature I would like them as much as everyone else does. It's the corned beef - never liked corned beef - maybe ought to try it again.

Hey, I wasn't going to allow comments on this post, but I've decided to allow them after all; but I don't need kudos for not eating the candy, or advice on whether or not I could have allowed myself to eat this that or the other thing. But if you have something to say about Reubens or Easter candy, or an interesting story about asteroids or your relationship with your father or something, feel free :-)

Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29, 203.5

Was pleased to see the scale reduced again this a.m. to 203.5. Come to think of it, have I been absolutely on plan for several days now? I might have had a little extra fruit servings, some sugar-free gum, but I can't recall anything worse than that. That's sort of remarkable, because I'm thinking about all the little cheats that I was having before, and now I seem to be more in control again. Weird how that happens. Whether it's the result of low-glycemic, being at home all the time, or that it gets easier to say 'No' to temptation every day you go by saying 'No' to temptation.

I'm going to get to 198 real soon.

Although now it's looking like I'm back up to 1500-1600 calories at ediets. I changed my plan from 'recipe' to 'convenience' because I'm going to be busy next week, and it readjusted me to 1500-1600. I'm comfortable with it, I just wanted to see my scale going down faster, but I was nervous about 1200-1300. I was thinking maybe 1400-1500 calories. Because even when I follow the plan to the letter, it actually usually comes out to about 1700 calories. It'll be hard, but maybe I ought to try to make a few executive decisions to trim a fraction out of each meal to reduce calories a little. 198!!! 198!!! I'm coming after you!!!

In other news I may be closer to 5'10 than 5'9. Which would alter my BMI. If I really weigh 203.5, knowing the height could make the difference between me being obese or not today. If my weight were accurate, which I don't think my scale is. My weight at the Y or the doctor - it could be 10-20 pounds higher. I wonder.

Anyway - for the purposes of this journey, I'm sticking with my scale in the bathroom. But I probably shouldn't squeal too much about my bmi meaning I'm not obese anymore since I probably still am obese.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

One Year of My Face

Okay, because of the one-year down thing, I'm forcing myself to do this face thing. Be warned - this is a lot of my face. It's not because I love my face so much that I have to share. It's more like because one photo never shows the whole picture. There's the pictures straight on and the pictures from the side a little and the pictures from a little above, which all show something different about my cheeks. There's the ones with me smiling and the ones with me not smiling. There's the ones that look pretty good and the ones that look pretty bad. I feel a certain amount of pressure when I take self-portraits - I want to be pretty but I also want to be honest, and I want to be true to my vision of myself without appearing to be phony or vain. (Egocentric much? Yes, that's me.)

March 27, 2009 285 pounds

The first is the one I went with. I've also showed some of me smiling so you can see the hideousness that happened to me. You can see in my eyes that I'm not enjoying this, because taking a photo of yourself and posting it to Facebook is actually a practical matter (it ought to be done), but is also a matter of vanity, and I did not measure up. While you can see the lumpiness of my face in these pics when I smiled, you may also be able to see the way the lines drew my face down, aging and saddening my countenance when I did not smile. I could choose between happy-but-ugly (and looking rather pathetic) or more tolerable but sad and a big downer (and still looking pretty pathetic but also pretentious if I appeared too faux-moody.) I hated it. The last picture sorta shows how I felt about the whole process.

July 31, 2009 - 240 pounds - already looking better

December 25 - 215 pounds - getting harder to take a crappy shot now

And now, from my hike the other day, when even the bad pictures were okay. I had a hard time choosing only a few for this set.
March 20, 205 pounds

Saturday, March 27, 2010

March 27, 205 - reducing calories

Hmm. Official weigh-in Saturday - 205. Whatever increase in weight I put on Monday did not come down by today. It's up 2 pounds from last week's abnormally drastic low of 203. However, there was nothing abnormally drastic about my goal to get to 198 by tomorrow from around 215-218 at the beginning of the year. 10 pounds in 3 months is - slower than I'd hoped for, but it is a real loss. Especially when I remember how long I sat at 215-218.

Since I gained weight this week from last week, ediets asked me if I wanted to reduce my calorie level. I said 'yes'. It brought me down from 1500-1600 calories to 1200-1300, all in one blow!!! I'm scared. That feels like small-woman calories. But I will try it. I still have four days at the 1500-1600 range before the decrease takes effect. I feel like at 1200-1300 calories, if I exercise, I should exercise moderate-light, not strenuous. I don't want to have troubles concentrating at work, or finding energy - I need both mental focus and physical stamina when I'm doing the lighting design thing. I will keep track of my calories and allow an extra snack or so if I feel like I might be about to lose control from hunger.

Tomorrow's my one-year anniversary of starting the plan, and I'm not going to reach the goal of getting to 198. I'm not beating myself up over it - I will get there eventually, but it is a disappointment to still be 7 whole pounds away from it. Hanging out near my goal is not satisfying. However, considering my sluggish behavior and utter lack of exercise the past week or three, I can hardly say I deserve better. Well, moving on. No, I do not plan to celebrate the one-year anniversary. I will celebrate when I hit 198 pounds. That said, I am going to a movie tomorrow with a friend, but I will have to back out of the dinner plans and eat my own dinner.

198 isn't even the end of my course, either. I'm pretty sure that once I hit 198, I will be thinking about 180 - 1 pound per week for 18 weeks?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

quick notes

Tuesday - substituted Easter candy binge for dinner, 3000 calories for the entire day

Wednesday - in an effort to turn my sleep schedule around, stayed in bed trying to sleep, ate chicken noodle soup, and apple, and jelly beans, 800 calories for the entire day

Thursday - jogged 1.3 miles!! surely could do more next time! grocery shopping done and now proceeding to return to the normal diet for another week. Weight about 204.5 - obese again! haha

This Sunday - my one-year anniversary of the day I started my weight-loss program

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 23, 204.5

Man, I'm depressed, I guess. It's not because I'm obese again. I totally anticipated a very good likelihood that my weight my bounce back over the border line before it went back down. I'm just - I haven't got anything going on, can't make myself move, don't have anything I want to do,... probably stems a little from the behaviors I've been going through - nocturnal, avoidance, computers, solitude. I don't want to go too much into the details of my life outside of weight loss in this blog, though, but, man... it's not happening, not happening at all, it's just getting worse. Not feeling very optimistic after hearing about local budget cuts and not getting any calls to work this week and not feeling up to the challenge of getting/promoting myself in the work force (I'd hoped I was past that) and being subjected to avoidance... I barely move, let alone exercise. I went outside to maybe take a walk, but settled into a lawn chair with a book hoping that some sunlight exposure would contribute to lifting my spirits. Wouldn't say so. Now it's night.

I have to force myself through this grocery list and to the grocery store so I can stick to the diet tomorrow.

Monday, March 22, 2010

3 Things I've Realized (Again) Lately

Some things I've realized, not necessarily for the first time.

1) As I lose weight, I am getting closer and closer to the way I thought I looked all along. So while everyone else is coming up to me and saying I look great, I am looking in the mirror trying to find the difference. I guess I have reverse dysmorphic disorder. When I catch an unmodified glimpse of myself in a mirror or a photograph of me, it has always been difficult for me to accept that ugliness was me - visually, but intellectually it registered and I would know it though I didn't always see it. When I look at myself in my vanity mirror, I always looked better. And I guess that's largely because I do look 500% better from the front than from any other angle. But now I'm seeing photographs of myself and though I still don't look like the way I see myself in my head, I'm getting closer (although I knew I was fat because the scale and everything told me so, in my head I was - well, I'm guessing 180 pounds). Sometimes, then, suddenly something will seem like an entirely different person, and I get weirded out like "Was that what I was supposed to look like all along? Because that's not me." Most specifically, today I pushed up my chin fat and saw almost no jawline. Freaky. Suffice to say I have no idea what I really look like. There's always been this ideal image of myself in my head and I don't know when I formed it - and yet I knew I was obese and there were signs of it all around me. So when I would confess to people that I felt like the celebrities I looked most similar to were Alicia Silverstone when she was younger and had chubbier cheeks, and Kate Winslet in Titanic, they would look at me like I was demented. (Now, no, I don't look like them, but I don't look like ANYONE on television as far as I've ever known, but these were the ones that I'd look like and realize that my sense of what I looked like seemed mirrored back to me from them.)

So yesterday no fewer than 3 people came up to me to directly say that I looked great and relate their own histories with the struggle against weight. I wonder if that will ever stop, because I'm trying to be nice but I'm not really comfortable directly discussing it, even accepting unmasked compliments makes me a little queasy. And then they always ask me about my exercising, and say I must have plenty more energy, to which I can only shake my head and say 'no, it's not so much on the exercising and I never really had an energy problem but I sure don't have much energy now.'

So, continuing this first thing that I've realized is that though my visual comprehension of what I looked like is dysmorphic - my body can feel the difference. My body can feel the slightest change in how much fat is covering my sternum or my deltoids, how much fat is jutting out into my arms from the sides of my torso. I can feel it with my hands and my skin, my sense of touch is "in touch" with my size. It's just that the visual is not very well connected.

But I guess the good news is that I am getting closer to what I always thought I looked like.

2) The other thing is that I'm probably not ever going to be able to just eat however comes naturally to me if I want to maintain my weight. I guess it's good to know about myself as I feel my food desires change and watch myself sometimes succomb as though I were completely helpless to do anything about it. It doesn't take more than a couple of days of being "off" to turn my system completely around again. When I'm in maintenance mode, I probably will do that, and put on a little weight here and there and now and again, and then take it back off again. It's hard to explain - it's not something I FEEL, it's just that I observe my behavior and I realize that I'm more or less likely to care about that voice who says "Well, if they're going to bring a plate of brownies in here you might as well have one, even though you know one will lead to two or three." People who talk about self-control and "just don't eat it" aren't fully aware of this, and I can't explain it to them - it's not about need or desire, it's about the likelihood that you'll do something even though you know you shouldn't. It's not even about WANTING a BROWNIE all the time. It's about the fact that the brownie is there. But yesterday evening there were free catered sandwiches and a bowl full of chocolate candy and some cookies and I walked by all of it. There's something odd - and I don't think I've ever heard it accurately described - when it comes to succombing to temptation.

Which brings me to (3)

3) There really is something to this low-glycemic thing. Since I've been back on it, the naughty thoughts have been so easy to pass on. No cheats, no missing it. I'll go into a convenience store for a soda and hear the devil on my right shoulder whisper into my ear - "A chocolate bar would be good, or two for variety." And I just say No and walk on by. Now I'm not for sure that I wouldn't be just as good on the regular ediets diet instead of the low-glycemic plan, since the transition to low-glycemic was partnered with a renewed determination - but it does seem like I had claimed to be more determined in previous days and then thought "1 Reese's cup won't kill me." But it does seem like it makes a difference... In a way it kind of turns the whole experience of eating into something blander - not that the food is blander at all, sometimes I'm thrilled to be eating it - but there just aren't the ups and downs, you just stay at this steady level. I've never taken antidepressants but I've had it explained that you're made to feel sort of comparably numb - well, here you might be able to apply that idea to the level-ness of living on a glycemically balanced diet.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Ok, so abrupt, this sudden change in the scale. This morning is weigh-in and, I guess I'm glad for yesterday's big old hike because I weighed 203 this morning (I stood on the scale several times to make sure this was right) and fitday reports that this makes my BMI 29.98 - OVERWEIGHT!!!!!!!!!


By a sliver, I'm not obese anymore!!! (at least, not right now) I'm dying to scream it into Facebook but don't know how!

Check out these measurements - 44-43-44.5 - lol I'm an hourglass!! Every man's dream hahaha. Lost half an inch from my "waist" measurement but my upper belly still protrudes over my belly button and I'll probably have to lose ALL fat before that goes away.

Lose all fat?? I look at normal-slender women now and think how slight they are, how do they not topple over. It might be more than I can get used to! I guess other people lose weight and get to a normal weight range. I've been overweight since birth, I don't know if a normal weight range is my goal...

According to fitday, the upper boundary from "Normal" to "Overweight" for me is 169.3 pounds. What would life be for me if I lost another 35 pounds? It seems a long way to go when you're at this stage in the journey, and maybe I should just settle into a slow, mostly maintenance style of handling myself and see how that goes for the rest of the year. Maybe I need time to learn how to be as a size 16 woman. On the other hand, I think about the title of this blog - For Real This Time - how it has always really evoked for me the goal of being actually slender at least once in my life...

Well, thoughts to ponder. Right now I'm still on the dedicated track to 198 pounds. Might not get there by March 28 but it should be too long after that.

Face pictures coming soon, I promise. I have rather a lot to choose from, because I know you don't want to see every picture of my mug that I find interesting.


Ok, hiking - was it a success? Yes because I completed my goal, but at the same time I had "difficulties." I don't know if it's because my body is weakened from lack of exercise, from lack of calories, from lack of sleep, or if there was something wrong with the water, but it was probably some combination of the above and by the time I reached the steep incline to the top of the mountain (which is really just a nub of a mountain) I just didn't have it in me. Though it was a short distance, I stopped several times on the incline, and the last time I felt a cool breeze flowing over me and kept sitting and eventually realized there was nothing for it - I was going to have to lie down and put my feet up because I was feeling like fainting. I did that for a while. Cars drove just a few paces overhead because I was so close to the end of the trail and the top of the mountain, that that's what motivated me to get up. I felt less faint, but unfortunately, not more energetic. I considered giving up then - after all, I'd surely got my exercise - an hour's walk there, and hour's walk back - but I kept going and made it. The whole walk back to my car I was thinking of the snack I'd left in it - carrots and celery in a salsa-cheddar-olive dip, and also very much of the soda machine at the ranger's station. Also a great big peanut butter and banana sandwich with milk or Diet Cheerwine. But never fear, I stayed on my diet - I haven't tallied the calories yet. I feel like if there was ever a day when I deserved a glass of wine in the evening, this is one of them. And I still intend to read and/or watch another Buffy ep (trying to finish season 2 while they're still at hulu until April) so - I should tally my calories and see how I feel about that glass of wine because actually it would be great.

Ben Folds puts on a great show. I would love to have him over for dinner. If you are a Ben Folds fan, I'll give you a tip - scan ChatRoulette during his concert hours!! You might just wind up getting a live original Ben Folds song composed just for you - but you have to type in your name! Or maybe I've said too much. He's just amazing, by the way, (where does he get the energy? he did 2 hours - solo - non-stop! and the way he plays the piano is a workout, let alone singing too!) and some of his sappier songs sound much more tolerable live!!

Oh, new comparison pics. Took these today in the woods. I was so impressed with how much more tolerable the face was than the last time I tried to take pictures of myself in the woods, last summer. Crazy, huh? Even more crazy? I can't find any of those pictures. But I found a lot more, so, in the next blog entry, I will do a facial comparison restrospective. Yay for picture blogs!

Friday, March 19, 2010

March 19, 204.5

204.5? Really? Rather abruptly at a new low! I'll take it! Weekly weigh-in isn't until tomorrow - hope I can see something similarly gladdening tomorrow! Right now I'm going to shower, make brekky, snack, and lunch, and drive to a nearby mountain state park that I've never been to before (or heard of!) and hike about some. Since sadly I have no work, but gladly am up an at 'em with plenty of spring daylight left! I bought a ticket to see Ben Folds tonight but honestly I will be okay if I miss it. Strange.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March 18, 206

I have been doing better, I guess. I haven't COMPLETELY cut chocolate out of my life, as two days ago I went to the grocery store and got another Cadbury creme egg. But yesterday I went back on the strict adherence to the Glycemic Index Plan - Sparkpeople says I ate *just* over 1700 calories, even though ediets claims that the food should only have added up to 1500-1600 calories. In these few days of unemployment I've gone nocturnal (made myself get up today at 2:30 so I could have some daylight) and seem to have NO energy whatsoever NONE! and have not worked out. I plan to do some exercise when I finish this blog entry. I just stood on the scale and am happy to see that, after days and days of bloat up to 209-210 pounds, I'm 206 today, almost down to the 205 that I had got to before bouncing back up. It would be nice if that number could read 204 by Saturday's weigh-in so I could see some progress.

I tell you, it's not easy to be dedicated and still feel like you're getting out and living life. Part of the joy of life is indulging in food and drink - I'm not going to tell one of those "Good Feelings weight-loss lies" and try to say it's not. Last night feeling so weepy and desperately nocturnal and shut in the house, I remembered a place that people said was 24-hours - not a diner, where I would feel I had to eat, but a French bakery house where I could have calorie-free tea and sit on a couch and read my book. SUCH a wonderful discovery, even if I can't patronize their restaurant, which people say is really good, but I won't know if I don't try!! Though some after-bar crowd came in last night and got some wonderful-smelling quiches - right about then is when I decided to leave and get some other stuff done. No drinking with buddies on St Pat's, but then I've never done any drinking on St Pat's.

Monday, March 15, 2010

current pics, and yet another rededication

Found these pictures on Facebook. They were taken a week ago, while everyone was talking about how good and thin I looked. I knew they were taken and I wanted to see how they came out. I have a history of not looking at all good in pictures, so not really liking to be photographed that much. I hoped, as the photo was taken, that I looked okay... I don't know. My initial reaction was a little not so good. Anyway. Sometimes I feel like everyone else is good-looking - then I remember that actually, not everyone is, but most people are (contrary to what you might have heard).

So I still have a lot of weight to lose. As of now I'm off the chocolate for a while, again, and I'm back to strict adherence to the ediets meal plan, and I'm back on the Glycemic Index, and apparently down to 1500-1600 calories per day (at least as ediets counts it.) I'm now impatient to achieve the goals I've been talking about for the past 3 months - 2.5 - and no longer deserve any leeway. I will do it for at least a week, tabling all desires and cravings for a later day. Possibly and very possibly this is the plan until I get to 198, we'll just see how it goes. Honestly, last year social withdrawal played a big part in the psychological mindset that was successful at sticking to it. I don't know, something to do with not feeling like there was anything out there for me to be drawn to, so I could focus entirely on life on my own schedule, encapsulated in my own immediate surroundings. At this time, though, there are possibly a person or two that I want to keep doors open to. It's hard to describe, unfortunately. I will reassess after I get to 198. It worked before, let's hope it works again.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

new jeans

Just that yesterday I went out and got new jeans. They are size 16, they had a little spandex in them, they made me look good. It was opening night and I wanted to look a little hot. It seemed to work a little I think, although I'm a little unsure about the results.

For one thing, I went dancing last night and got way more attention than I really wanted. One guy actually bought me a drink. I have heard about this kind of thing happening before. When we went back to the dance floor together, though, he disappeared - seemingly with a different woman, which just relieved me actually that I didn't have to get rid of him. A couple other guys just sat next to me and watched me. Now I was dancing pretty energetically so maybe they just thought I looked funny. After the bars closed I had no fewer than 2 men come up to me, talk to me, sit with me, walk with me, give me their numbers... before I was ready to get back to my car. They were nice, too, but they were strangers, and I'm NOT used to meeting male strangers as date material. I don't even know that I want to date - sounds like a bit of a pain and imposition in my life. Typically I'm pretty good at not being approached. If I start being approached that much, I'm going to have to think twice about going out that much. Honestly, I felt pretty great last night, but today I'm a little embarrassed for myself. It happens like that sometimes. I'm no great dancer, but get a couple drinks in me and I really loosen up and enjoy dancing in the flashing lights and the happy music, and the DJ played a lot of danceable tunes last night, but I don't care that much about being seen doing it.

For another thing, a guy I work with made the comment (when I asked if anyone had been looking for me) that if I keep losing weight they're not going to be able to find me. Now, since I haven't really lost a significant amount of weight in recent weeks, I had to chalk it up to the new jeans and maybe even the black leather jacket I was wearing. I actually found the comment encouraging, made me want to stay on track and get the body I want (because I'd just been re-realizing as I was clothes shopping that I do NOT have the body I want - I think I'll never have decent cleavage again, and there's still way too much fat around my ribs screwing up my figure...)

Even if I attracted the one guy I'd have wanted to attract, this morning I'm not sure how I feel about that.

So I want my perfect body for me enough to want to keep going, but I'm going to start feeling like I have to de-emphasize it to prevent excess attention.

The jeans, by the way, are already starting to lose their va-va-voom, and are becoming saggy and wrinkly. It was $30 paid for one night of looking hot. Worth it? Yeah. lol

At least I got my period (it hurts right now) and I'm glad because I think the PMS was wreacking havoc on everything. Ah the curse of womanhood. A woman I work with was telling me that when she was going through menopause she would run around naked in the backyard to deal with her hot flashes - so I have a whole life of crazy still to look forward to I guess. (I don't remember my mom running around naked. In fact, my Mom never much mentioned anything about going through menopause - so I really don't know what to expect.)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

did better today

Well, la di da look who's back.

I did much better today, without even trying. I mean, the dish of mini-candy was displayed and in my indecisiveness I chose a mini-Kit Kat and a mini-Hershey's milk chocolate, bad girl, but then only ate the Kit Kat and didn't even WANT the Hershey's milk chocolate! The Subway I went to for lunch doesn't make cookies after a certain hour so they didn't even have any for me, and I didn't really miss it. In fact, I was oddly pleased to be eating Baked Lay's instead. I felt few or no urges to misbehave, even if I did think about them. Right now I'm thinking about the 140-cal brownie dishes in the cabinet that I'm sure I'd really enjoy, but I've had my calories for today so I shouldn't, and am I racked with temptation? Nope. Brownies? Meh.

What's the difference? Well, I don't know exactly. Trying to think if mentrual hormones were partially responsible, but who could guess whether the water retention was menstrual- or sodium-related? The big thing, though, that comes to mind, is that I had enough sleep. I slept until noon, so I didn't have breakfast until noon, whereas yesterday breakfast was at 7:00 a.m. But it's not just how spread out the calories are, but it's possible that not having enough sleep makes me want to eat. Lately I've noticed that not getting enough sleep makes my lower back and well all my muscles feel tense and irritable - maybe the angry muscles are even demanding that I binge.

Dunno. But staying much much more on track was much much easier today without my having to put forth any effort much at all.

And here's another awesome thing I can't explain - I jogged a mile today. This is at least twice as much as I've been able to do in one continuous session since 2006 or 2005 or whenever it was I had to stop jogging before. And when I did jog a mile then, it was something I built up to over a long period of time! But today, I went to a different gym, and they had a completely flat indoor track measuring 1/9 of a mile around, and as I started out I told myself to aim for 9 laps and just see what happens. What happened? 3, 4, 5 laps into it I wonder that I can't even tell if my heart rate has gone up, I'm not breathing at all heavy, and my feet are falling on the turf so softly and gently I don't feel anything at all! I didn't feel like I was working at all until laps 7, 8, and 9.

It took me about 12 minutes, maybe a little less, but more than 10 minutes.

Next time I will do more. I walked most of the rest of the 30 minute workout, did my ab work and some stretches, and then walked all over town for another 30 minutes to get from place-to-place. I was already beginning to feel what I'm feeling now - strain in my thighs and butt muscles. So next time I will jog more than a mile (if today wasn't a strange fluke) but it won't be tomorrow so I can give my muscles a chance to rebuild themselves for next time's run.

It would be great to be able to do some jogging this spring! Maybe even along the beach! But I still like hiking better. It's hard to keep jogging sometimes, but it's impossible for me to stop hiking until I've reached the end of the course, no matter how hard. Well, I say impossible, but I remember I gave out before reaching the top of Vernal Falls in Yosemite. My legs just wouldn't go anymore. I gave out right in the mist. My Dad got soaked with me in the mist but said he was hoping I would quit so he could rest too. :-D

So I ask myself why the sudden improvement in jogging ability? According to my notes, last time I tried jogging was in the neighborhood almost a week ago, and I quit after 5 minutes and 26 seconds. Here are some theories:

- my route today was ideal - completely flat, unlike my neighborhood route which involves steep hills, or the 1/16-mile track at the Y that arches up in the corners. 1/9 of a mile might be the perfect distance around; not so long you get bored making one lap (like a 1/4 mile track), not so short you feel like you're running in a million little circles and one lap doesn't get you anywhere (like the 1/16 mile track at my other Y).

- Eating 3000+ calories for the past few days while not getting enough sleep and not getting any exercise meant my body was stocked with energy to burn today.

Oh, and one more awesome. This is Child's Pose.

The last time I tried to do this pose was before the diet - I could never do it. My legs wouldn't fold up enough, my belly was too big to fold over, so I'd fall over leaning all my weight on my forehead - ouch! But today, I did it, trying to alleviate this lower back irritation, and I folded up perfectly! and reached back with my arms and grabbed my heels. It's like a different world sometimes.

Anyway, I don't want to jinx anything. After all, I'm still disappointed to postpone reaching Onederland for no good reason, but don't worry about me, I'm not kicking myself or getting myself HOPELESS, it's way too early for that. I just needed to observe that I was out of control and identify some possible solutions.

I think I really will go back on the Glycemic Index Plan next week. Weather-wise, if not calendar-wise, it is spring now, and squashes and eggplants and soups and dried fruits seems to want to give way to berries and melon!!!! Welcome, spring.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

quick update

hm well - there are two reasons I haven't been back to blogger for the past few days. One is that I am working and living long days and very sleepy. I have been unable to attend to my goals like I did last week. The other thing that concerns me more is that I haven't got back under control with the sweets. They are everywhere and I'm not saying no. Today I was supposed to, supposed to say no, but I guess the day was just too long. Anyway, I'm pretty disappointed about it when I think about it, not so much because it means I'm probably not going to see Onderland as soon as I'd hoped, but more because it seems like a danger zone. I think I'll have to ban sweets from my life for a month again and go into hiding and tell myself I there's nothing out there for me so I might as well stay in and make the diet my number one hobby again, like I did when I started, and return to the glycemic index plan. Tomorrow I get to sleep in - maybe that will make the difference for me and I can regain control. Anyway, I've explained enough - I'm unlikely to come back before Saturday until I regain confidence.

Hope things are well with you and your efforts at this time.

Monday, March 8, 2010

trying to explain and failing

Yesterday I went into crazy binge mode. Ok. I forgave myself.

Today I was not in crazy binge mode, but I ate sort of like people do when they're not on a plan. I wasn't at home, I was at my parents' place, having family day. So I searched their kitchen and had an apple for breakfast. A few hours later we had a meal at a Vietnamese restaurant. I was displeased with the feeling that my tomato rice seemed to have a gloppy sauce, either gelatin or corn syrup... But that was my only meal today. Later I had about 10 Oreos, a piece of pumpkin bread, and 3 gingersnaps.

Then I cam home and there had been a party here. There were only party food remnants. I grabbed up what little fresh fruit was left (about 6 big strawberries and 2 cubes of watermelon) and sampled the chicken cheese sour cream stuff and some tortilla chip crumbs, and a little of the leftover sangria.

I haven't even entered any of that into sparkpeople.

Tomorrow, back to ordered life, back to work, and back to measured, moderate eating to lose weight and feel great! (haha)

So I mentioned that I came home at the tail end of the party. I didn't exactly realize how long it had been since I'd seen some of these people, but at the end there was just me, my roommate, and two female friends who made comments that I looked great and then one asked if I'd shrunk, and then the other said I looked taller actually (not something I ever expected to hear, I just thought I always looked tall, but okay, I guess they mean I look more vertical and stretched out?)

Then one of them asked how I did it. "Portion control?" I tried to explain that it mostly came to eating fewer calories, and that I followed a meal plan, but again she asked - "Portion control?" I'm like, "I guess, sorta. I mean, just overall, I eat normal meals throughout the day, but they're more like fresh fruits and veggies and nuts and whole grains and dairy getting good proteins and carbs and fats..."

Now I know you couldn't take that last sentence home and make a successful diet out of it. I guess portions are a reasonable size, but I never really - I don't know what this "portion control" method is she was speaking of. I told her I signed up and followed the meal plan at She then went on to start talking about this 11-day diet, and then the cabbage soup diet - and I felt like she just wasn't hearing me...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

How I'm Doing It

I am writing this post nearly a year into the process of losing weight. I feel that there should be one page that readers can go to to see my methods clearly laid out.

Over the past year, things have changed. My short-term goals have changed, my situations have changed, and therefore my methods have changed. All in all, it all comes down to reducing calories, but I will take you through the various stages.

PHASE ONE - beginning the diet

For some people, the most important phase that they're thinking about is this first phase - when you first make changes in your system. For me, I was 285 pounds according to my scale at home, but I had been for a while. My body was changing even at that weight. My legs were bloating with retained water, and my belly became very unshapely and unwieldy, making wearing pants and clothes unpleasant, uncomortable and unattractive. And my face was getting to where I couldn't stand to post photographs of myself online anymore.

It was the pants that mostly took me to the breaking point. I couldn't find any to fit me and hated putting them on every day. And then one evening I was trying to take a decent picture of myself for Facebook and just hated what I saw. I don't remember exactly my frame of mind when I came home, signed up for ediets again, and printed out a grocery list and meal plan. I just know I was determined to eat exactly what ediets told me to eat - no more, no less. I made them responsible for my success.

You see, I've been fat my whole life. Without going into details on this page, I had done plenty of dieting and exercise and still I was fat. If it was possible for me to lose weight through dieting, I didn't know how, but I did not want to be this fat anymore, even if I just lost 20 pounds it would be better!

Actually I had been pretty healthy at a standard of about 240 pounds for much of my twenties, occasionally striving down toward 230. Therefore, for my first short-term goal I set to reduce to 220. I figured once I got to 220, I'd see how I felt. At 285, it was just a number.

Following the ediets plan was like this. Once a week, you weigh in at the website. Then, based on your gain or loss, it resets your calorie level and creates a menu plan for you, complete with a grocery list. Eventually I realized that I had to edit my meal plan so that I wasn't wasting a bunch of food every week and for the sake of my grocery bill. The first few weeks on ediets, my grocery bill was maybe close to $200 per week as I got my fridge stocked with new kinds of foods. Eventually I learned how to keep it down to something more like $130 per week.

There are several different kinds of diet plans at ediets - I went on the one that the ediets program recommended for me (because I was putting ediets in charge) - the Glycemic Impact diet. The five evenly-spaced meals were comprised of foods that kept your blood glucose level moderated so that you would not have uncontrollable cravings for carbs throughout the day.

I had gone off chocolate for a couple weeks already as part of a month-long vow, and was used to walking past chocolate with an "I can't eat that" attitude, and was storing my favorite Easter candy in a bag under my bed that I would eat when the ban on chocolate was over.

So during these first weeks and months, I stuck religiously to the ediets meal plan. Every week I'd weigh in. Every week I'd go make a new plan and go grocery shopping. Every day I'd prepare my food for the day, or for the next day. I'd pack it in tupperware and carry it to work. I'd eat according to the prescribed schedule. Adherence to the diet was more important than anything else - I was willing to pay for it, and I put preparation for it ahead of work and family and socializing.

When meal time came, at first, my body was so grateful for the food. The food was just enough to tide me over until next time. I would think about the foods I missed most and I would plan cheat days.

Cheat Days usually were once a week, usually right after a weigh-in. In the beginning, Cheat Days were major. Anything that I'd missed or craved during the week, I'd have. A restaurant meal, fast food, candy or cakes. Usually I'd lost weight that week by being good to the diet, so this was my reward. I'd learned about Cheat Days doing Body For Life - usually I lost weight after a Cheat Day - it's incredible - I believe in them!

I will also say that after several weeks, Cheat Days became less essential, to the point that I wasn't sure how to work them in anymore. (These days, I rarely think in terms of Cheat Days anymore. I'm in a different phase now.)

It was a shock to my system and I started to lose hair after about 3-4 months. This is common in people who radically change their caloric intake. I have a thick head of hair but it was falling out all over the place and my ponytail thinned to about 1/4 its normal thickness. Fortunately for me it doesn't affect my appearance very much. Also, it is not permanent, after 3-4 more months, it begins to grow back in. (Mine has begun to grow back in now.)

Exercise was not something I did. I had done a lot of exercising in my twenties, which improved my health but did not make me thin. This time, I wanted to lose fat, and my focus was 100% on food. I lost lots of weight.

So, to recap: PHASE ONE meant:
-weekly meal plan, weekly grocery store
-strict adherence to the diet, but with weekly or bi-weekly Cheat Days
-maintaining a glycemic balance by practically cutting out refined sugars and flour, and alcohol
-no exercise program

PHASE TWO - maintenance, learning, experimentation

Fall presented some obstacles to me - working out of town for 2 weeks in October, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I got down to my goal weight.

My main concern was that I didn't know how to do it without ediets. I had been eating ediets food, though, for 6 months, so I had seen what the new foods were. Fruits, whole grains, soy milk, low-fat cheese, avocado, tomatoes, olives, nuts, meat... For me the next step was to learn how to break away from ediets so I could continue to lose weight and eventually maintain on my own.

My other concern was loose skin. I wasn't showing any really, but I didn't want to either. I could feel and see that my body was less "full" than it had been. I decided to survive the challenges of the fall by focusing less on weight loss, and more on maintenance, learning about how to create my own meal plans, and exercising. During this time I hoped to give my body a chance to "get used" to being at this new weight, to let my skin "catch up"/shrink as it would so I could eventually lose more weight, to get an idea of what would be involved in maintenance, and to boost my stamina and energy level and strength.

So for me, this new phase was
1) stick to the ediets meal plan, but try to create my own meal plans too
2) exercise at least 3 times per week, at least 30 minutes per session

I stayed on this phase into the New Year


After the holiday season, I was ready to start losing weight again. I felt like I'd been around 220 forever and my new goal was to get into Onederland! I identified a start weight of 218 and a goal weight of 198 which I hoped to achieve by 3/28, my one-year anniversary. It would be 20 pounds in 3 months.

Basically this is the phase I'm in now. There is now a lot less adherence on the ediets meal plan. I do create a new one every week, and I do stick to it! But I also track my calories at and often create my own meals, making sure to aim for 1500-1700 calories per day, to include good foods. But I confess many days I stand a 50-50 chance of allowing myself a nibble of this or that treat. As I look at my chart I see that for 7 of the past 10 days I've been under 1700 calories. Using sparkpeople to help me track calories, and what I have learned by eating on the ediets plan for almost a year, I have really learned how to create balanced meals for myself at home using the right kinds of foods. I try to keep the building blocks of good eating in my kitchen now. Something I can carry with me if I'm pressed for time, like Amy's frozen vegetable korma, or a soup-at-hand of tomato soup and a quick sandwich, frozen veggie burgers, frozen whole grain waffles, cheese, nuts... I honestly don't know if I'd have been able to make the transition straight to phase 3 without having gone through the restrictive and shocking Phase 1 first.

I have also exercised 9 of the past 10 days - mostly yoga, walking, run-walks, or elliptical training. And I have been doing ab work over the past couple weeks, too - I hated trying to do crunches when my belly was loaded down with fat, but now I really need it and I think I must be getting results because it's getting a little easier each time. After the first workout my abdominals were very sore for a few days - I must have actually built up a little muscle which could be helping me lose more fat right now.

So, to recap - PHASE 3 is
1) still printing up a new ediets menu every week, but allowing a lot more leeway to create my own healthy meals using what I've learned from ediets and the nutrition tracker at sparkpeople
2) trying to get in some exercise!

Friday, March 5, 2010

March 5, 205

Sorry it's another of these but that's what this blog is here for - Despite a bad day yesterday, I'm down to 205 today. Least ever, and so exciting. I had some anxiety issues yesterday and had been trimming calories for a day and a half, undereating at each meal, so those two facts together along with my knowledge of my success on the scale lately, plus maybe even having jogged earlier in the day, probably collaborated to result in a little excess calories intake for yesterday. Still I was tracking on sparkpeople all day and tried to hold back from what I wanted to do, and in some cases succeeded.

So I had some 2300 calories yesterday but today I'm down to 205, which is exciting. Plus I want to share this graph from

My weight loss graph has been very bouncy these past few months, and as you can see, a couple days ago I was way off my charted goal. And now look where I am.

The one below just kind of excited me to think how close I am (according to my home devices) to not being technically obese anymore.

One more thing - I am realizing what I'm lacking from Sparkpeople is a comprehensive count on all the nutrients - it's fine for counting calories, fat, carbs, and protein, but if I want to see how low I am on my iron intake, it gets more complicated. Fitday spoiled me on that, I guess, but fitday's food entry was even more cumbersome than sparkpeople's. It's a trade-off I guess.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 4, 206.6 - yes!

Yes! Yes! Yes! 206.6! We're back to pre-New York weight! Boom - just like that! I came in way under my calories yesterday, something like 1350. Maybe that had something to do with it, I don't know. Maybe I can actually try for some size 16s. Right now I'm going to try jogging for 10 minutes, then come back and do my yoga. I'm terribly bored and uninterested in doing anything today. Unusual for me, I usually have too much I want to get to. I'm not even interested in doing the yoga, I just want the benefits from it. Maybe I'll buy a bathing suit (since the ones I have are droopy on me) and go to the beach this weekend.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 3, 208 - finally!

I'm just happy to see a drop in the scale reading - down to 208 today! Whew! I'm going to say "finally!" at the risk of offending anyone who's been stuck on a real plateau for weeks.

I just can't decide whether to have the oat bran and apple breakfast, or to formulate something with eggs and maybe toast bacon and fruit, or suddenly the old french toast recipe occurred to me too, with the flaxseed and sliced almonds and a sliced pear.

Sean Anderson's blog today got me wanting to ask my readers this - Do you have danger foods and what are they? Obviously, mine are sweets, although I also find it hard not to reach for more chips, be they tortilla or potato chips, fritos, cheetos, whichever. But I don't go for chips much in the first place, so they're not hard for me to avoid getting started on them. Also potatoes - eating them makes me crave to eat more and more potatoes. You?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

more or less?

First let me say I got a couple really cool comments, so thanks!

Beyond that, thought I'd update you on the scary scary long-day calorie meltdown.

It went okay. I thought I was going to be able to sign in at under 1700 calories for the day, but right after I colored in the "Under 1700 Calories" on my goals poster for today, I remember 2 viactin and then a mini-brownie found in the crew room this morning. (That guy's girlfriend has GOT to lay off with the baking brownies and pound cake for the crew! Of course I love brownies, and they're in little 1-inch bites so of course I think "Oh just one will be okay" and I have one, ok two, ok just two more but that's it!

I had just one.

Breakfast 8 a.m. - 2 frozen waffles with 1/8 c ricotta cheese and walnuts and a dab of sugar free maple syrup, and some coffee with 1/2 cup of soy milk in it! 405 calories

Snack - 11 a.m. pear, and 1 brownie bite 154 calories

Lunch - 1 p.m. I was going to go to Subway for a 6" sub, but Subway would have been 6 blocks away, and I passed a Salsarita's (walking through the snow!) and I do like Salsarita's and I thought I'd hope it'd be ok. I got a regular-sized pork burrito with sour cream, black olives, black beans, brown rice, and mild salsa. According to the restaurant's website, that burrito was 538 calories. I can't believe that. Hopefully, the sugar in the dollops of lemonade and sweet tea that I used to add flavor to my sugarless beverages was negligible.

Oh, hey, and let me just mention about Salsarita's - I got the "regular" smaller-sized burrito, not the large, and did not get a cookie, even though I wanted to just because they were there and I always used to want/need something sweet to top off every meal. It didn't look like a particularly good cookie, and I didn't really feel like having one, but that wouldn't have ordinarily stopped me. I decided not to buy the cookie, and maybe think about buying one after my burrito, if I wanted one, I could get one then. After eating my burrito, when I briefly considered the cookie, between pages of the book I was reading, I wasn't interested in the cookie at all. I don't know if it was my appetite was low today, my interest in my reading material, my tenacity to the diet, my lack of sleep from the night before - I had a small meal from a restaurant and it was enough. Not plenty. Enough.

Snack - 8 p.m. An apple with 2 tbsp sugar free caramel sauce - 171 calories, apparently - I thought it was less.

Dinner - 11:30 p.m. Chicken cooked in cream of mushroom with onions, mushrooms, garlic, and wine, plus 3/4 cup brown rice and a small serving of fresh boiled broccoli - 407 calories!

The total was just over 1600 calories until I remembered those 2 Viactin (a little candy-chew vitamin for calcium that I started taking yesterday) and the brownie bite which brought me to 1715 - if these numbers can be believed... Disappointing to have come so close to success and have no real need to have gone over except for having "forgot." I was using sparkpeople's calorie-counter as I planned what more I would eat especially to make sure I wouldn't go over.

But, to throw in an old Shel Silverstein reference - Whats 15 calories, more or less?

Well, it's more, obviously, but 15 calories won't make me fat tomorrow.

I tried to get in some protein today to help rebuild what I'm tearing asunder in my muscles. Today's exercise was simply a 40-minute walk through the snowfall, and 2 sets of 13 lunges.

some details on my eating

It's hardest for me to stick to the calorie limit on days when I have to be out the door by 8 a.m. I have to eat breakfast early, then, and then stretch out the rest of my meals throughout the day. Days like today it's easier. I woke up at 1:00, then lazed about online for a couple hours. I didn't eat until about 4:00.

Breakfast - an ediets recipe - oat bran cereal with an apple and walnuts and protein powder - minus the soy milk, and with a nectarine instead of grapes. It's a good breakfast, and I trimmed some calories out by skipping the soy milk today (didn't want coffee) so it was about 400 calories.

Then I went out, ran some errands, did some work, and went to the gym at around 7:30. By now I'm getting a little peckish. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and came home for lunch.

Lunch - On the schedule, it says "I'll choose my own meal." That means I'm having Amy's vegetable korma. The novelty is wearing off and I'm starting to realize it's just another frozen meal, but it's still damn tasty. 300 calories. While waiting for it to heat, I consider how late it is and how few calories I've had so far and I grabbed a Diana's Bananas - a frozen banana on a stick dipped in dark chocolate - 130 calories. Total for lunch is 430 calories, total for the day is about 830 calories. It's about 9:00 pm.

Later, I'm not really interested in eating, but I decided it wasn't a good idea to have so few calories today, so I decided to put together something for maybe another 400 calories. I added a bite of this and a bit of that and in the end, it was nearly 700 calories! Wow! Fortunately I'm still well under 1700.

Dinner - I started with the idea to have a veggie burger since I haven't had one in a long time and they're in my freezer. Heated up one veggie burger, on one piece of multi-grain bread, with some Dijon, a slice of tomato, and some part-skim mozzarella melted on. Then I also added a Greek yogurt (since I skipped "Snack"), then 5 olives, then 5 almonds and 1/2 tablespoon of raisins. And then 1/3 cup of frozen corn and 1/4 cup of frozen green beans. Some of those items pack a wallop of calories for how little they seem, but they also have health benefits, or psychological benefits (especially in the case of the raisins!)

So I'm well under 1700, but over 1500 for the day, so no additional treat for me like a glass of wine or cup of Ovaltine, because I want to take advantage of this opportunity to come in under. Oh well.

Tomorrow, on the other hand, I have to be out the door at around 8 a.m. Don't know when I'll be back - it seems every time I think that we'll be cut by dinner time, we wind up being kept on until 11 p.m. I really want to start my dinner in the slow-cooker before I leave, but not if I'm not going to be home until midnight!

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1, 210-211

I've been a little disappointed over the past couple of days not to have seen any reduction in the scale since Saturday's weigh-in. I was still hoping that it would start to come down a sliver or two. Instead it's been 210-211 still. I am hoping there's some non-fat reason for this - either related to the ailing I've been feeling in my legs and abs from my new lunges and abs routine is evidence of growing muscles (by so much so soon?) or simply constipation.

Of course it could also be that yesterday I went out to dinner with my dinner/movie buddy and had some sushi - which I guesstimated at 400 calories from sparkpeople estimate of a combination sushi plate, but honestly wonder if it wasn't much more than that - shrimp, rice, some fried stuff, some sauce... I don't really totally know what was in it. It was delicious, though.

I've been getting a lot of exercise lately - I'm on a yoga, elliptical, jogging-&/or-walking rotation and I play it by ear. I tend, now, not to care too much about doing intense workouts. If I feel like pushing harder, I will, but I'm not going to kick myself for even a light workout when I'm on a 1700-calorie diet. Besides, I may not have felt like I was pushing very hard on the elliptical tonight, but my heart rate told a different story. For the past week I've been getting 30 minutes of some form of exercise almost every day. I haven't been working much, so I've been attending to selfimprovement activity. I've added in lunges and abs in the hopes of seeing some improvements in these areas. I haven't done hardly any ab work since I started this thing, because I hated crunches because they squunched up my bellyfat and my internal organs. I told myself when I lost weight I would start to work more diligently on abdominals, and that time has come.

I doubt, though, that I will get under 200 pounds by the end of the month, according to the schedule I had set for myself, even if I am a very good girl.