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Jun. 13th, 2013

ask the gods


I think the time may have come...again...as usual...

Oh goddesses, male and female...

It's time. Again. Back on the wagon. And I need your help. Sure, there's the moral support part, but I need to work on actively tracking what I eat and actively watching calories. The pounds literally melt off when I count calories, plan food and drink water. Anything else, I'm at a loss.

Standing bra/panties in front of the mirror this morning it looks like I just need to move more and eat more veggies, which I suppose I've known all along, but seeing it in the mirror and returning the last pair of pants that had fit to the closet pretty much cemented it. I'm too big for 14s and the cut of 16s and where I store my winter blubber (this is a joke) makes a 16 way too big. At least it's skirt/dress season, and I have at least a handful of those. Unless I want to hire a tailor in late September though, some of this has to go. Not to go all Captain Obvious on you but if/when I get pregnant, that's going to be alot more extra weight in the middle of my already middle-heavy body and that's going to be very very bad.

Where I really need help: I think someone may have accidentally talked me into an iPhone this morning (haven't decided for sure yet), and of course I have the iPoodle which I do not carry everywhere, but certainly access every day. I have looked at a couple of the free (pay to upgrade) apps on that, but they're tricky to figure out and I've given up trying. And I don't remember which one those were.

Can you recommend an electronic tracking that has worked for you? Tell me what you track, and what you like about it. And what you may not like.

I'm snacking on clementines today. Started off with a bagel sandwich but lots of lovely lettuce and beans at home. There will be pancakes on Sunday morning with a friend and her family, but there will be no ice cream and hot dog at the ball game. Plenty of clementines to take there too.

May. 6th, 2013



Progress update

This may just be for me, and feel free to ignore, but talking about progress will help keep me motivated, and because I know this group won't judge or feel like I'm bragging. (And if you do, I'm sorry! Feel free to ignore this post.)

The app I posted about two months ago has been fantastic. It is the same psychology I think as when I succeeded in Weight Watchers years ago--when I dedicate myself to being accountable, I make better decisions. Then I see progress, and I'm motivated to continue. From the beginning of March to mid-April, I lost nearly 12 pounds. It's a little vague because I didn't have a solid start weight, and the difference it is making in my physique includes a much slower loss of another 10 pounds as compared to where I was a year ago.

And while I have rather plateaued for the last couple of weeks, I know it's because I haven't been entering my food and counting. But I haven't gained anything back because I'm already making wiser choices based on those first six weeks. No, I'm not hungry any more, I don't need dessert. Yes, I will take the rest home, I don't need to eat the whole thing. That's too much food, why don't we split a meal? A bottle frappachino drink IS a waist of 200+ calories.

Despite the plateau, I'm seeing results. I did a big closet purge this weekend as part of my spring cleaning. Got rid of a ton of stuff bought a size (or more) too big last year out of desperate thrift store missions when I didn't have anything to wear. And then, despite misgivings and the fact I'm only halfway to my old weight, I ventured into the "skinny" section in the back of my closet. You know the one. The things left from the one summer I was at goal weight; items bought thrifted that "almost fit" and were awaiting that 5-10 pounds; etc. Obviously avoiding suits and jeans I KNEW I wasn't close to, I was still pleasantly surprised that two (and a half) skirts and a pair of pants were able to upgrade to my daily wardrobe.

Simultaneously, I had to move three of my self-made dresses and my handmade pencil skirt back to the sewing room for adjustments. I had a tendency to make things a little big on myself and now they just won't work. While I'm hesitant to do too much more sewing until I get to my personal goal, I'm eying up some fun new summer pieces that can continue to be adjusted as I get closer.

Today I am back to logging my food EVERY DAY. And with physical therapy done and a noticeable increase in my physical strength over the last few weeks, I also feel ready to brave the treadmill again for the first time in 9 months.

Next 15, here we go.

Mar. 5th, 2013



Awesome new app/site

Hey, ladies, not sure if anyone is still following this (and I have been absent on LJ for ever), but thought this would be the best place to share this with interested parties.

Jules found this great app--which also turns out to have a cool website interface as well for folks not using it on their phones: myfitnesspal. So far I love it, it is easy to track food in, adjust your goals, and even has a scanner option in the app so you can just scan in bar codes on food. I'm sure there are similar apps and programs (and you may have already found this one), but it is really great so far :)

Hope all are well!!

Jan. 23rd, 2013



Really, I don't need that much food

Good gravy, I got into worse habits over the last 30 days than I thought I had. On November 17, I made a change and began eating with much less weight, more veggies and less food in general. Having had surgery 10 days before, I had nicely shrunken my appetite. Lost 10 pounds over the next 30 days. The past 30 days have included a visit to his family, my mom, my grandparents and a bout of being sick which always leads to wanting to eat carbs and not wanting to cook, which leads to take out. Predictably, some of the the weight has come back.

But I'm recommitting and I am annoyed: I have had 2 packets of oatmeal and a banana since 7am this morning.  There are people in the world, hell probably here in my state, that don't get that much food in a day. And my stomach is growling. And I don't know if I'm starting with the same cold for the third time this month, or what. But I don't want water, I'm freezing cold (there is not global warming, it's termperature extremes and right now it feels like Hoth) and I want coffee, along with all the sugar crap I put in it.

And a nap. Holy crap, I'm a whiny bitch today.
I promise I'll snap out of it and be a tech goddess who eats less yet more healthy, than she did yesterday.

Oct. 2nd, 2012

truman in the bath


From The Harvard Business Review Management Tip of the Day

Out of Time? Give Some Away

It’s counterintuitive but true: Spending time helping others leaves you feeling as if you have more time, not less. Research shows that giving to others can make you feel more “time affluent” and less time-constrained than if you choose to waste your extra time or spend it on yourself. Next time you need a break from a busy day, don’t do something mindless like surf the web. Sure, you might enjoy it, but it won’t make you feel any less pressured. Instead, pick an activity that helps someone else: Bring your co-worker a cup of coffee or edit your daughter’s school essay. What’s even better is that duration doesn’t matter. Whether you give away 10 minutes or an hour, you still end up feeling less constrained.
Thought the Tech Gods & Goddesses here might appreciate this!

Jun. 26th, 2012

heads will roll


I'm pretty sure I've had enough food to fuel me

My brain thinks I'm hungry. It's possible my stomach is even rumbling. How is that possible?

I've eaten (Hungry Caterpillar, anyone?)....
Bagel & cream cheese for breakfast preceded by a large tea and  washed down with a small coffee for breakfast (Chose this over oatmeal and tea. I have to just start agreeing to walk down with Monica, not ride the elevator down and buy a bagel and sweetened coffee)
Decent sized salad of lettuce, cucumber, tomato, blueberries, hard boiled egg & light dressing and a helping of sauteed green beans left over from dinner and a small yogurt with a dollop of honey for lunch.

And now my stomach feels like it's cramping like when I'm very hungry and I'm only a little way into my water.

Honest, Body, having weighed in at your heaviest ever at the doctor's office yesterday, I hereby promise you are not going to waste away into nothing by the time you get home. It'd be nice if you did, but you won't. Get over yourself.

Mind, perhaps you could try a little self control? I'd appreciate it.  And perhaps a little focus too, so that I'm not here typing conversations with you like you're my imaginary friends that actually hate me, and towards whom I'm passive-aggressive, too frequently declaring "Fine. I'll eat the pop-tart and drink the soda if you're going to be like that.  See if I care.  You're not nice to me, I'm not nice to you."

I don't have issues, I have subscriptions.

Nov. 14th, 2011

kitty yoga


Reboot: To kick oneself in the ass again

What pushed me over the edge: My back hurts.  All of it.  Twice. Sluggish. Dragging. Can't buy new pants because my waist is one size, my butt is another size and my thighs are yet another size.  If I were a chicken, with all that dark meat, I would be in high demand.  Alas, I am not a chicken. Just as well as suppose, as the only place I haven't gained any weight is on my white meat.

Action: So I've reset my baselines, my goals, my motivation. I'm writing food down again, starting this morning.  I made a bunch of homemade soups this weekend -- I have 2-3 weeks of lunches in the freezer, with more in the pipeline, as soon as I find/free up more tupperware. I've even found ceramic bowls I am willing to take to work so I'm not microwaving in plastic. The yogurt maker should arrive today, so we can switch to the hormone-free milk. I'll be buying single frozen berries in bulk and sticking with yogurt & (or?!) oatmeal for breakfast. Go me!

Is anyone interested in trying something silly with me?:
I keep telling myself that I can't run in the cold, bad for my asthma, blah blah blah. Is it?  Sure, hyperventilating cold, dry air nearly always causes asthma attacks in asthmatics, but the last time we tried to induce an asthma attack (at Johns Hopkins, this was not a try-it-at-home exercise), we couldn't.  We weren't even positive I was an asthmatic anymore?  Haven't gotten any better opinions on this. I'm just looking for a partner in crime.  If nothing else, I'll show up and walk. Anyone interested? I wonder if we're allowed to bring dogs.  Probably not. Definitely not cats.

Food Challenge: Dinners, both timing and quantity. Ben goes to swords twice a week, leaving at 7:30pm. So I'm either eating at 5pm and starving by 8pm (and snacking), or I'm trying to decide whether or not he wants anything for dinner (he can't always decide the day of, and definitely can't tell me on a week-to-week basis) and throwing bad stuff together at the last minute. Or doing both. Not useful!  I hate to say it, but I may need to make dinner for me and Ben and he can either eat when it's ready or not.  I suspect that will work for him because then he doesn't need to decide anything except whether to eat then or not. 

Physical Challenges: Making time for the gym and just doing it.  I need to get yoga more into my life too - getting to bed at a decent hour should, hypothetically, lead to at least 10 minutes of yoga in the morning, though 15 min would be better. This is tough, since i have to leave by 5:30-40am if I'm not getting stuck in traffic (on a good weather day). Getting to bed early is another one.  I did well last night and since there's a party tomorrow night, I need to do well again tonight. Setting lower expectations for what I want to get done in the evening after the gym should help.

Immediate Demons: Hot chocolate (go for tea!), the rest of the mini peanut butter cups (use as rewards?)
Next Month Demons: Thanksgiving (ignore it for the day itself, go back to sensible eating the day after), Cookie Season (dance while baking and make sure I'm getting to the gym)

Aug. 25th, 2011



No really, *science* says it's hard

Last weekend I read a fabulous NYT Magazine article on decision making, willpower, and mental fatigue. I highly recommend the whole thing, but it has a great section about how sugar fuels self-control and well-being, the ultimate double bind for dieters. Thought I'd share:

The discoveries about glucose help explain why dieting is a uniquely difficult test of self-control — and why even people with phenomenally strong willpower in the rest of their lives can have such a hard time losing weight. They start out the day with virtuous intentions, resisting croissants at breakfast and dessert at lunch, but each act of resistance further lowers their willpower. As their willpower weakens late in the day, they need to replenish it. But to resupply that energy, they need to give the body glucose. They’re trapped in a nutritional catch-22:

1. In order not to eat, a dieter needs willpower.

2. In order to have willpower, a dieter needs to eat.

As the body uses up glucose, it looks for a quick way to replenish the fuel, leading to a craving for sugar. After performing a lab task requiring self-control, people tend to eat more candy but not other kinds of snacks, like salty, fatty potato chips. The mere expectation of having to exert self-control makes people hunger for sweets. A similar effect helps explain why many women yearn for chocolate and other sugary treats just before menstruation: their bodies are seeking a quick replacement as glucose levels fluctuate. A sugar-filled snack or drink will provide a quick improvement in self-control (that’s why it’s convenient to use in experiments), but it’s just a temporary solution. The problem is that what we identify as sugar doesn’t help as much over the course of the day as the steadier supply of glucose we would get from eating proteins and other more nutritious foods.

It also reaffirms what I'm finding (painfully, over and over, via trial and error and error and error and anyway, moving on...) about situation control vs impulse control:

“Good decision making is not a trait of the person, in the sense that it’s always there,” Baumeister says. “It’s a state that fluctuates.” His studies show that people with the best self-control are the ones who structure their lives so as to conserve willpower. They don’t schedule endless back-to-back meetings. They avoid temptations like all-you-can-eat buffets, and they establish habits that eliminate the mental effort of making choices. Instead of deciding every morning whether or not to force themselves to exercise, they set up regular appointments to work out with a friend. Instead of counting on willpower to remain robust all day, they conserve it so that it’s available for emergencies and important decisions.
pirate flag


Interesting Observation

On days when I get in and start drinking water, I think it's a good idea to stick to the calorie restrictions, and I look forward to salads or whatever, and I think about how good I'm going to keep feeling as the pounds slowly melt away.

On days when I don't drink water, and start drinking early, I get irritated with how fricking long it's taking to lose weight, and how I might as well eat whatever I want, since I'll either lose the weight or I won't, and how stinking hungry I am for whatever I didn't bring for lunch. I put that together last night after the pizza with the crew after sailing, it it occurred to me I wasn't drinking much when I fell very hard off the wagon last week. This week has been better (except yesterday).

My new in-shape and money-saving goal is the Heineken Regatta in St. Maartin in March, so spending and eating should happen in small quantities. It's a great long term motivator! Right? And right now I am starving and have no interest in the (admittedly, I screwed this one up making it) bland homemade bean soup in the office fridge and instead want to go buy a tunafish sandwich or something worse.

The oddest thing? My mouth is dry, clearly I need water (or at least my mouth does) and I have absolutely no interest in drinking this clear & cold water from my filled bottle sitting right next to me.

I will anyways.

Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug!

What are the connections you see in your habits?

Aug. 9th, 2011

pirate flag


When you say side effects...

I think it was madmoiselle_star who had asked about side effects -- what happens when you're hungry, etc.

I had a small breakfast containing both full fat yogurt and granola, fruit several times in the day, a lovely salad for lunch and a balanced dinner with a glass of wine. I think the last time we had meat, vegetables AND grain, we were at his parents' house for dinner. I also drank just under 60oz of water (which is up by 60oz from a month ago - yay new water bottle!) and took a tall cup of caffeine tea to rehearsal with me.

At rehearsal, near the end, I had a splitting headache and felt like crap - exhausted, tired, etc. Keep in mind I get up a little before 5am and it was then passing 10pm with no end in sight.

Slept like a rock at home. Dragged myself out of bed this morning about 5:15 and have been dragging a bit since.

Tallied my calories from yesterday: I was under 1000. I've gone back a couple times to make sure there wasn't anything I'd forgotten, and there isn't. Did that lead to the (very rare for me) headache? Or was it because it was so late?

Fortunately, or unfortunately, I will get to research the exhaustion part this week. However, I measured out 3 pasta, chicken, bean & veggie dinners (700 calories each) so I'm set for dinners (Thank you sabine4242!).

"Delayed gratification" is the phrase of the week. Yes, maybe I want food now to wake me up, make me feel better, etc, but I am going to feel so much better when I delay that -- the sluggish feeling will happen right away but the feeling physically better will happen later, if only I delay the gratification.

Sing it, Opera Man!

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