Friday, June 30, 2006

Did She Cave?

I'm sure my millions of readers are waiting to know the answer to that question.

The answer is yes and no.

I seriously thought about going through Wendy's drive through today while I was out running around. But, then it ocurred to me that I could get this...cook something! Yes, I could cook my own low-cal, low-etc. version of burgers and fries.

Flashback....(skip to the next paragraph if you're bored already) I'm finishing grad school, working on my MA. I think at this point I was working as a bank teller (and yes, I sucked at it) and also part-time in a clothing store (which I rocked at) and I also was a grad research assistant (which was fun). I have a cute but small studio apartment, and it's my first place all by myself, sans roommates of any kind except for my rabbit, Mr. Bunny, and later, a cat named Magic. I lived in this place for about a year, maybe more, and the entire time I lived there, I never, ever turned on the oven. I did once in awhile turn on a burner in order to heat water so that I could de-flea my cat, and I had to borrow the pot to boil the water in. I have one plate, one fork, and one cup. In my frig, you'll find a gallon jug of cold water, some carrots, and some cabbage.

It's about 20 years later, but little has changed when it comes to my expertise in the kitchen. In fact, my husband actually gets nervous when I try to cook. Heck, one fire, and a few ruined pots and you are marked for life!

But, today, I said to myself (and didn't mention my venture in the kitchen to my hubby until after it was over), "Girl, you almost have a Ph.D. You can do this. You can cook your own burger and fries."

And I did, and they were good. Actually, pretty damn good if I do say so myself.

I looked up the equivalent on Wendy's:

1 jr. cheese deluxe = 360 calories; 880mg of sodium
1 small fry = 440 calories; 430mg of sodium
(and of course who get's the small fry?)

According to fitday, my version was:

1/8lb ground beef = 192 calories; 284mg sodium
baked potato (I broiled mine w/Pam) = 145 calories; 376mg sodium
2 lite/multi-grain English muffins = 200 calories; 336mg sodium
sprinkle of fat free cheese, slice of tomatoe, lettuce, mustard, pickles, etc. Boy, I'm just going to round that off to maybe 50 calories, probably less, b/c I counted the cheese as 1 tablespoon (it was shredded and just added a tiny amount to each little burger) as 24 calories.

Okay, I'm not that good at math (which is one reason I was such a horrid bank teller), but isn't that like Wendy's version, 800 and Fatand40's version, like, 587? Really, I saved just a few hundred calories and sodium, but more important here is that I made this (for the most part) from fresh ingredients rather than ate processed stuff that someone handed me out of a window. So, okay, it wasn't a bowl of 2% cottage cheese and fruit, but I'm okay with that, and my craving has been satisfied!

A Zucchini is Not a Hamburger

Lately, I've had the craving to be really bad. Though I'm not big on meat, I occassionally crave a good old hamburger, complete with fries of course. Normally, these cravings come when I have a cold, but that isn't the issue now. It's just a mind thing.

To a certain extent, it feels good to be eating all these vegies and fruits. But, for whatever reason, I can only be good for so long. Thing is, though, I know I haven't been super good this week. Granted, I haven't caved into my craving (yet), but I've eaten more than I needed to.

Heather, over on a new blog called Lively Women, talks a little about this. How we eat not necessarily because we are full already, but because, heck, we just want to. It's seen as a good thing to clean our plates. It shows the cook how much we liked the meal.

Another thing she does that I'm really, really bad about it waiting to eat until we are starving. I know, for me, if I eat a little bit all day long, then I'm never really hungry and I tend to actually eat less though it seems like I'm eating all the time. But, when you add it up at the end of the day, it turns out that if I wait and eat when I'm really hungry, I tend to eat larger, longer meals and much more by the end of the day.

As a very weak attempt to make my craving go away, I ate one of my last (got 2 more left) Weight Watcher dinners, a zucchini lasagna. No, it's not a hamburger, but I knew it would taste really, really good. And, not surprisingly, I still have this craving and I ended up adding a few zillion mg of sodium to my diet yesterday. So, it was a really stupid thing to do.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do about my craving. Right now, I'm trying to psyche myself up into going on a morning walk because we keep getting thunder storms during the evenings and late afternoons now, and I just haven't gotten to walk like I usually do. I could wait until my Monday weigh in and cave in then, or maybe if I wait long enough the craving will go away.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Rodney Yee Kicked My....

We've had a number of thunderstorms through here lately. Mainly, they make more noise than rain, but just the same, it's not real good walking weather. Yesterday, I did manage to walk, but I had to cut it short and walked very quickly. Too bad too because with rain it usually cools down some, so it's kind of nice to walk. I just don't want to get hit by lightning, ya know.

To avoid the rain and still get some exercise, today I decided to do one of my yoga tapes. Unfortunately, my fav Rodney Yee Power Yoga has offically gone to video heaven, but I had one of his upper body tapes and did that instead. I managed about 20 minutes of grunting and he said to "relax and breathe"....and finally said "uncle" once he started doing back bends

Sorry, Rod...not gonna happen!

Boy, I am so stiff! I can't believe it. I have always been pretty limber, but you don't use it and you lose it, and I have definitely lost it. I'm going to die when I take that yoga class next week. Die, die, die!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Ick List Foods

One of the things that turns me off to any specific diet plan is that they always seem to force you to eat certain foods. And, fat and 40 as I am, I'm still a picky eater.

Hey, if my own mother couldn't get me to drink my milk as a kid, no way is some Weight Watchers gal going to do it today.

It got me thinking about the numerous foods that I don't like and wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pool. These are my two main "ick list" categories.

White foods:

  • egg whites (I'll eat them if they are mixed with the yok, but I better not see the white part!)
  • mayo (zero, zip, nada, never!)
  • cauliflower
  • tofu
  • yogart
  • sour cream
  • milk


  • Pork chops, ham, Candaian bacon (regular, well-cooked lean bacon is okay)
  • Steak or any non-ground beef (ick, pouie, ugh)
  • Any meat that you can see any kind of fat in general. One string of fat and I'm outa there!
  • Gator (come on, who likes gator, really?)
  • Shark (the steak of the ocean)

These foods have been on my "ick list" for most of my life, except for egg whites. It used to be the other way around. I liked the whites but not the yoks. So, I guess I'm making up for all those yoks I never ate.

I'm not really sure if there is a moral to this story other than the fact that the average diet takes the square peg / round hole approach and I see that as a major flaw. Sure, I may be a little picker than the average person, but we all have our food likes and dislikes and when you have to focus on eating right, counting calories, watching your sodium, etc. who wants to waste precious tummy space on foods you really don't like?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Nuff Said

Still Finding My Own Way

Today's weigh in was more good news. Honestly, after last week I was just hoping to break even and not gain back my 2 lbs, but I actually lost another 1/2 a lb. (.6 to be precise).

I called C. for my Monday check in and food confessions, and she is still doing really well. Like myself, she slipped and had some cake (reference here to my brownie incident), but a few days later she was back to her previous weight.

One of the issues that I've learned with her help is that you can't constantly beat yourself up about every little slip. I may rag about it here, which is one reason for my blogging, but then I have to pick myself up and get back on track. When I did Weight Watchers, I was usually able to hang in there for 3 to 4 months and lose my weight with narry a slip. But, after the 3 or 4 months, I would realize that I just couldn't live like that long term and I would slip big time, basically just give up, and gain all the weight back.

It comes down (for me at least) to finding my own way. WW didn't work for me long term. It's a good program and I learned a lot about my eating and food in general, but basically, it had me on 1200 calories a day, and that isn't something I can do forever.

So, I'm just going to keep going this week eating lots of fruits and vegies and trying to keep it around 1400 to 1500 calories. If I slip, and I probably will, then I'll just start over the next day, and the next, and the next.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Green Pants

No matter what the numbers are tomorrow, today I'm happy to say that I'm wearing a pair of green pants I haven't been able to wear in many, many months. Now, they aren't baggy on me. But, they zip and I can comfortably sit in them. I actually wore them today to work where I sit hour after hour in front of a computer. So, sitting is a major requirement for me when it comes to pants.

Maybe those two pounds are still gone. May things are just shifting around. I'm not really sure. But, either way, today I'm in the pants. Tomorrow is another day.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Food and Friendship

Today I'm home and other than a possible run to the grocery store for more fruit, I have no plans to leave the house. This makes it so much easier to be good.

Food and friendship seem to go together. It's fun to go out to lunch and yap it up. A brownie on your desk or sweets in the break room for all to share are meant to be good things, but considering the number of people I work with that are in the same or worse boat as myself, it seems to be misguided.

I plan to eat loads of vegies and fruit and suck down gallons of lemon water.

Maybe it will save me from dissapointment on Monday, or maybe I'll just be good and still get slammed when I step on the scale, but I just have to get back to whatever was working for me there. It's a daily battle. And it sucks.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Well-Meaning Brownie

When I got into work this morning, I was greeted by a little bag of brownies and thank you note from a co-worker whom I'd helped out the day before.

Curse her!

Of course, she was being super nice. In fact, J. is the sweetest woman you'd ever want to meet, but dang it, how am I supposed to not eat chocoloate brownies, especially first thing in the morining when I'm trudging into work?

I started by setting the brownies aside in an effort to ignore them. Maybe I'd give them to someone. I couldn't just throw them out.

Finally, I thought, okay, I'll take a bite of one and drop the rest off in the break room for someone else to eat.

Crinkle, crinkle. Did anyone hear that? Did anyone hear my hand in the cellophane bag just then?

One bite was my intention. I was actually hoping that J. was one of those people who think they can bake but who really can't. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. J. rocks at baking. This was the best brownie I've ever eaten in my life, and before I knew, I swear I think I blackedout for a few minutes, two brownies were gone and one was left in the bag.

I was disgusted with myself and the third brownie sat on my desk for a good while, taunting me. But, I'd had enough. My day was shot. I expect big trouble on Monday when I weigh in. This isn't the first time I cheated this week. Not yummy chocolate brownies, but there was that handful of nuts, that extra glass of wine. It adds up.

Brownie number three was headed to the break room when I found a skinny I-can-eat-whatever-I-want co-worker and gave it over to her. Where was this woman a few hours ago when I weakened? Probably in the breakroom sucking down a donut or two.

My only hope now is that the 2 lbs. I lost last week don't find their way back home.

Two Discoveries

I made two good discoveries yesterday.

First, I found a new place to eat on Saturdays - other than Pizzoodles - so I can hide from MTU. I had a cup of black beans and rice and a salad and brought my own dressing. So, I think I was pretty good. Of course, D. sitting across from me chowed on chicken wings dripping with gooie sauce, and to make them extra tastie she showered them with salt. Oyie! She was thinking of getting fries too, and of course, I said, "Hey, get your fries. I'm okay with that." Inside,though, I was praying she wouldn't because while I can resist chicken wings, the fries would be way too easy to pick up and munch one or two, or five. But, my meal tasted good, and they are open until 3 on Saturdays and are only a five minute walk from work. So, I'm saved!

On my way back from lunch I found my other great discovery - a yoga studio a mere 5 minutes from work. Of course, I'm only over here a few days a week, but I think I might still drive over and try out a class during the week when I'm not working away from home. I'm way to old for ballet these days and so a few years ago I started taking yoga classes when I could find them, but eventually, for whatever reason, the classes would end and I'd be back to using a video. You get so much more from a class, and while it's not dance classes like I took in my teens and 20s, it is still a wonderful workout, great for strength and stretching.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Eating on the Go

Everything I read and hear says to stay away from processed foods, and after looking at the sodium content of my weight watchers dinners, that makes sense. However, yesterday reminded me why American's eat so many processed foods. We are always on the go.

Yesterday I had to go somewhere that I knew would take some time, so I brought a bottle of water and a bag of 100 calorie crackers. I figured we'd be gone 3 hours. Sure, I'm into the fruit, fruit, fruit thing now, but unless I packed a lunch, you really can't take fruit with you in Florida unless you want to eat a baked apple later.

Of course, my trip was more like 5 hours, so when I got home I was starving and ended eating one of my leftover WW dinners. (I'm not buying them any more, but I have a few left in the freezer.)

Luckily, as a freelancer, I can work from home a lot, but if I didn't, it would make things 100xs harder. Any time you leave the house for any extended period of time, there is the oh-so-convenient drive through or shop down the street you can just pop into.

When I leave to work away from home, I pack up food like I'm running away from home. I'm glad later that I do this, but it is a real effort to stop and think about what I'll need to munch on throughout the day. And that's one of things that always bugged me about dieting or just eating well. You have to think about it just about all the time. You can't just eat whatever is convenient at the time. Who knows what I'll want to eat 6 hours from now?

So, that's why I pack enough food to feed me for a few days. I rarely eat it all, but it is much better to have it nearby rather than slip into the convenience of the office snack machine or drive through. Now, if I can just fight off the urge to go to Pizzoodles, which seems to be a constant battle!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Feel Like a Watermelon Today

It's about 7pm and I'm up 1689 calories (including an evening snack I listed that I'm not sure if I'm going to eat or not now), which just feels like way too much. Literally, I feel just too full, and now I need to lug myself around the block for my evening walk. Ugh!

A lot of it is watermelon, which I ate like crazy today. I just can't help myself. In fact, one reason I don't buy whole watermelons is because I will eat the entire thing. Granted, I'm supposed to be able to eat a lot of fruit, and I have: 1/4 of a 9" watermelon, 2 bananas, and a little pinapple for breakfast today. But, that plus everything else!

I need to probably pay for it the next few days. Last week I averaged about 1350 calories a day, and I really wasn't hungry. In fact, I felt like I was eating all the time.

Here's to extra lemon water and not stepping on the scale for a few days!

Monday, June 19, 2006

The News - It Is Good

The two pounds are still off as of this morning's weigh-in. Now I know 2 little pounds may sound like a pathetic thing to get excited about b/c Lord knows I've got a long (long) way to go still, but it's just the idea that I made some progress. Whatever I did worked, and it wasn't all that difficult.

My plan is to just try to do it again. As C. said to me this morning when I called her, "If it ain't broke."

C. also told me about her own weight experiment that she tried as a way to prove to me that I shouldn't go the 1200 calorie route. For a week or so she at 1800 to 2000 calories (much higher than she usually ate) and just stayed away from refined sugars and ate lots of fruits, vegies, whole grains, and some protein. At first, she started getting concerned because after about 4 or 5 days, she saw no weight difference, didn't lose but didn't gain. Oh, and I should say too that she has been fighting off a cold so she didn't exercise at all this same week either.

Finally about the 5th or 6th day, it kicked in, and she lost a pound. A few days later, and she had lost a total of 3 lbs. Now, she's all excited and is going to keep doing this because she has realized she can actually eat more than she thought she could and still continue to lose some weight. She'd probably like to lose another 10 or so pounds.

While I am eating more healthy these days, basically cutting back on processed food and increasing my vegie/fruit in take, I haven't got it in me at this point to kiss off refined surgars totally. I know they are bad, but it's not like I'm used to eating a bowl of ice cream every day or sucking down a couple of candy bars. Therefore, the low fat/low cal chocolate pudding cup or the occassional bag of 100 calorie cookies are still in my diet.

Here's to hopefully another 2lb lose this week!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Adios Taco Bell

Driving into work today, I had a sudden longing for Taco Bell. I don't go there often, but I was in a small habit of going every once in awhile on Sundays before work. Normally, I was running late, didn't have time to pack healthy munchies, and so hit the Bell on the way in. $2 dollars and 2 minutes later, I would be back on the road again, soft shelled tacos in bag with extra hot sauce, please.

Can't help it. I love me some Taco Bell and if I could, I'd eat there 2xs a day.

Instead, I had a lunch box packed with cataloup, 2% cottage cheese, low everything crackers, low everything cookies, and 2 mozzerla cheese sticks. Oh, yes, and loads of water.

Maybe I can get creative and try to actually cook something low-cal, Latin-style tomorrow, but it just won't be the same as the Bell.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Little Success

I couldn't help myself and weighed in this moring. Looks like I lost a few lbs. I say a few as in 1.8 (love those digital scales). But, as it's Saturday, that means I still have the potential to mess things up over the weekend. Therefore, my strategy is to keep eating like I have been for the most part this week but crank up the water with lemon intake a tad and eat a good amount of fruit.

I checked my average calorie intake on fitday, and it's got me at 1277. Now, I know C. begged me to eat 1600, but she also said that people who eat around 1200 will lose more weight quickly. Sorry, but 1.8 is not a lot and considering that's my weekly total (so far) I can't say that it's quick either.

This has made me wonder about why, if 1200 is supposed to be the quick weight lose magic number, I wouldn't have lost more at this point. I've been pretty fanatical about loading whatever I eat in fitday, so I think I've been pretty accurate. Sure, by Monday a miracle could happen and another 2 lbs may disappear. However, there is the possibility that because my calorie intake was probably around 2,000 before the diet, a mere 700 or so calorie cut back isn't enough to make a drastic difference for me.

Sodium is anther issue. I've been tracking it this week along with calories, and as C. suggested, trying to keeping it in the 2,000 to 2,400mg range, and man, I am right there, not much less. Fitday has me averageing about 1843 over the past week.

That bloody sodium could be the answer. Funny how up until now, I've never really thought about picking up a salt shaker and shaking away.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Danger Will Robinson!

Today at work our part-time handy man, Mr. Thumbs Up, stopped by to tell everyone he was returning to work on Monday (he's been gone for a month or more due to illness). Now, let me make it clear that MTU is a really nice person, and I am basically a bitch sometimes (okay, maybe more than just sometimes), but he has some annoying habits. For example, any time he passes you, he has to give you the "thumbs up" sign. So, let's say you see him 10 times during the day (and you will), you'll get 10 thumbs up. After awhile, I can only think about another figure I'd like to show him.

Another habit of MTU's is hanging out in the break room all the time. This means whenever you eat lunch, could be 9am could be 12pm, you'll find MTU there ready to chat with you while you are trying eat in peace.

In the past, I have avoided this by not eating in the break room, and due to the nature of the crap job I have at the library, the only other place to eat is at a restaurant, which, of course, is big trouble if you are trying not to eat a piece of eggplant pizza at Pizzoodles.

When he stopped by and gave us the thums up sign, I knew immediately this meant trouble for me. Saturdays, especially, are bad because since there are no adminstrative people there (God forbid they work on a Saturday), this means MTU spends even more time in the break room. So, bitch that I am. When I saw him, I didn't think, "Oh, good to see MTU all healthy again and back to work." Instead, I thought, "Crap, what the *ll am I going to do about eating when I work on Saturdays!"

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Finding Fruit Again

One of the things C. told me to do was to eat lots of fruits and vegies. The vegie part isn't that hard because I love them, and even as a child, I've never been much of a meat eater. I drove my poor mother over the edge many a time because I wouldn't eat my pork chops. Now, hand me a carrot, some baked beans, and a roll and I'm good to go. While I eat a lot more variety than I did as a child, I'm still like that to a certain extent.

I also love fruit, and the thing with Weight Watchers was that you really couldn't eat a lot of it because it's high in surgar. Sure, it's natural, but still, on the WW diet I had to be careful about the amount of fruit I had, points, points, points you know. Just about any piece of fruit was 1 to 2 points, and if you have a few pieces, then that could be as much as 4 points. When you are on an 18 point day, well, that sort of eats into other food.

So, this has been a little liberating for me. Now, of course, the jury is still out on whether or not all this fruit is going "flush me out" as C. put it, or whether all those natural surgars will show up on Monday when I weigh in, but for now, I'm trying to do my best to have at least a few cups of fruit a day.

Today is another day I have to eat away from home, which I know will be hard. Pizzoodles is calling, but I'm resolved to zero cheating this week. I actually have a pretty good lunch planned with mixed greens, salmon, tomatoes, and some ginger dressing. Hopefully, it will seem just as yummy while I probably watch my workmates munch down on some hoagies or pizza. Oye!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tam Can't Cook

One of my first cooking lessons as a child was making cup cakes. I went to a Catholic school and each classroom had an adopted child from some 3rd world country and we'd do things to earn money to send to him/her. For our class, we'd make cup cakes and sell them for 10 cents each to other classes.

The first time I had to do this, my mother took it as a good opportunity to give me a cooking lesson. And I learned that there's a big difference between baking powder and baking soda. My little cup cakes looked like hocky pucks.

To this day, I still struggle in the kitchen. I do stupid stuff like over cook things so they burn on the bottom of the pan, or cook stuff too high so it boils over, or just totally forget I'm cooking anything. My husband is a wonderful cook, so basically the kitchen is his domain. But, a gals gotta eat, so I've become reliant on processed food, most recently I discovered Weight Watchers frozen dinners. Many are tastey and meat free (not a big fan of meat) and cheap, about $2 to $3.

Problem is that I've now discovered my possible sodium issue and have also discovered how these puppies are packed with sodium. When you are trying to keep your sodium intake to around 2000 to 2400mg a day and one dinner as 500, well, nuff said. It ain't pretty.

So, today I have yet another ingredient to keep an eye on at the grocery store. This could possibly be the longest time I ever spent in a grocery store, might need to pack a lunch!

Monday, June 12, 2006

I Work with a Robot

As I've tried to find a way to tackle this weight thing, I've started noticing how other women manage or don't manage.

For example, one woman I work with, I'll call her Ms. X, amazes me because I never see her eat or drink a thing. Now we work with the public, so it's not like any of us can sit around munching on cheetos all day while helping the poor stupid folk who come to us for help, but still, I mean after working with Ms. X for 5 years I've never even seen her take a sip of water. At first I thought maybe she was an alien, but even then you'd think you'd see her eat something, even munch on a paper clip or suck down some white-out, right? So, no, she's not an alien, so she must be a robot.

The rest of the women I know and work with fit into a few other categories, mainly the eat-whatevers and the stimulus-users.

The "eat-whatevers" pretty much do that. While one or two can eat whatever they want and still be thin, most eat whatever they want and it shows. Not that they don't voice a concern about being overweight, but like myself at a few points in my life, they shrug it off. It's too hard to obesess about every bite that goes in their mouths.

Then there are the "stimulus-users." Most of these women are on the skinny side, or if they occassionally gain a little weight they can take it off by smoking more, drinking more coffee, or doing more of whatever their chosen stimulus is. Cigs and coffee seem to be the most popular since they are both legal.

Since leaving the eat-whatevers I have thought of moving to the second group, but I've never been much of a coffee drinker (blame that on my Mormon relatives) and of course smoking is just plain nasty. I used to smoke many years ago and sort of accidentally stopped when I got really sick, but since then, the idea is just, well, ick.

So, now I'm not sure what group I'm a part of. Maybe the "counting every damn thing" group?

Step Away from the Salt Shaker

When I finally talked with C. this afternoon about my disappointing weigh-in, I felt like she was talking me off a ledge or something, like I was one of those crazy people you see on TV getting ready to end it all off the Empire State building.

"Calm down. Let's talk this thing through. Don't give up yet!"

"I'm not going to give up, but I'm cutting way, way back."

"That's what I mean. Don't do it. You can get through this. Trust me. You'll regret it if you go back to 1200 calories!"

The long and short of it, as I suspected, it was that bastard cheese that did me in but not necessarily for the reasons I had thought. While, sure, the cheese was a load of calories, I had pretty much starved myself that day eating only about 1,000 calories. C. explained that since you need to eat 3500 calories to gain a lb. of fat, there's no way I could have eaten 3500x2 (for the 2lbs I had gained back from Friday) in just 2 days. Okay, maybe if I had eaten my way through a chocolate factory, but I hadn't.

Her analysis was that the cheese, which is super high in sodium, made me retain water. So, oh, great. That means now I have to count sodium and calories? Yes, that right. So, I'm going to do it. According to C., I should keep my sodium no higher than 2400mg. Needless to say, once I started looking at all the prepacked food I eat (I am not much of a cook), that doesn't take long for me to get to.

She also suggested I drink lots of water (which I had started drinking along with lemon juice this morning already) along with fruit and vegies for the next few days in an attempt to flush out the sodium. And, she begged me not to go below 1600 calories.

I'm still not convinced that I need to eat 1600 calories, but I'm going to try to keep it around 1500 and now keep an eye on the sodium as well.

On a good note, I walked another 40 minutes today. Alberto decided to cut us some slack down here in South Florida, and while it was humid as all get out, I didn't get rained out today either, so I was able to lug my fat sodium filled be-hind around the neighborhood again.

The News Sucks

Well, I stepped on the scale this morning and as I suspected, the news was not good. I have an emergency call into my diet guru friend, C. but more than ever I'm questioning the whole 1700 calorie thing.

Confession time - I weighed myself on Friday morning and had lost 2 lbs. Most of the week, I was eating anywhere from 1200-1300 calories, so things seemed to be working. That same day is when I talked to C. who told me that I need to eat more, and of course, I was more than happy to do that! Two days later, I weigh in and my 2lbs lose is gone. I'm only a few ounces lighter than I was when I started this thing last Monday. So, I didn't even lose 1/2 a lb!

I'd like to say that the numbers on the scale don't matter. I've been walking almost every day. Heck, I did 45 minutes yesterday! I'd like to say that I'm building muscle, that maybe I'm losing inches, but that's a crock. The numbers matter to me! Unless there's some kind of brainwashing pill out there or voo doo doll for this, they are always going to matter.

So, I will talk with C. and I will consider her advice, BUT I am also resolved to get some lbs off, so if it takes 1200 calories, so be it! Until I had my wine and cheese fandango on Saturday and then on Sunday ate 1643 calories, I was on track. Now, it's like last week didn't even happen. Those hunger pains were for nothing.

Today, I'm at square 1...again...and it's not pretty.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Nervous Engergy

With Tropical Storm Alerberto coming our way, I'm starting to feel some nervous energy. This can be a good thing because it usually kicks in my "clean like a mad-woman" mood. I know with the power possibly leaving for awhile that means I need to wash every dish, get all the laundry done, and vacuum every room now, or wish I had a few days from now.

We are already getting some sprinkles and lots of clouds, and I'm pretty sure it will just get worse, so that kind of puts the keepash on my evening walks for the next few days. Time for exercise plan B. After I kill myself cleaning and if we still have power, I will probably break out one of my old yoga tapes. Rodney Yi is a good choice with his power yoga. It's been awhile since I did some serious stretching, and it always feels good.

Well, tomorrow is the official weigh-in day so I'm already starting to stress about it some. Except for the wine and cheese celebration last night, I've been pretty good all week, but I'm trying to brace myself for a very small, if at all, lose. Now that I'm trying to turn to C.'s way of thinking that 1200 is too low, the result is that I won't lose weight as quickly, but should instead lose it more slowly and find a way to keep it off for good.

Still, while my mind knows C's right, my heart is dreading those numbers tomorrow!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

It All Adds Ups

We have our first tropical storm of the season heading our way. Yesterday, I did not walk because I noticed the last few times I walked my legs were a little achie, so I thought I should give them a rest. Today, of course, with a possible tropical storm and cheese in the frig waiting for me, I had to walk tonight when I got home from work. And, it was an okay walk. I thought I might get rained out because we are already starting to get some rain clouds from the storm, but I kept dry.

Another extra cool doo-dad on is the activities tracker. I've been walking fairly regularly since January, but I haven't actually take the time to track it. I did take a few car trips to determine that I walked anywhere from 1.5 to 2+ miles depending on the route I took, but other than that, I had no clue. Now, with fitday, I can keep track of my distance and such. This, along with mapmyrun, is a good way to see my progress (or lack of).

Maybe 2 miles isn't much, but 2 miles every day adds up. Even with taking a day off, I've logged 13.07 miles this week (from last Sunday to today) and (supposedly) burned 614 calories.

Sure, not huge, but it's nice to see.

Today's Carrot Stick

I'm still uneasy about my friend's insistance that I should eat 1700 calories. That just seems like too much food. If I had known I was going to jump into this new diet phase (attempt 9,992), I would have done as she suggested and write down what I ate for 3 days on regular non-diet days and average out the calorie count. I suspect it was around 2000, but that's really a guess.

I'm going to attempt to write down what I might eat in a typical day and go from there, but when I quickly run the numbers in my head, it doesn't seem much more than 1700, like I said about 2000. So, will cutting out a mere 300 calories a day really do that much? Shouldn't I suffer more?

I agree that 1200 is really, really hard to do, and of course, if I don't need to do it, great! But what is the magic calorie number?

Today, at least, I'm trying to prepare myself to eat as light as I can because there is that wine and cheese and some low carb bread for the cheese spread waiting for me tonight. I'm picturing myself munching in the kitchen with my husband with my wireless laptop that we keep at the kitchen table. With every piece of cheese, I pull up and plug in another number, and ka-ching - up goes my calorie total, ka-ching, ka-ching.

So, my carrot stick today is in the form of a piece of smoked swiss cheese.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Calories: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I broke down and finally called my friend, C. today. I've been avoiding her b/c she is Ms. Super Diet Woman. Over the past 6 years, she has seriously worked on dieting and exercise and has lost about 100 lbs. She looks fabulous. Once way heavier than me, the tables are turned and it's hard to see her without feeling badly about myself. Plus, she is soooo obsessed with food.

I tease her that she's discovered the "count everything" diet b/c she does count everything, calories, sodium, fat, etc. etc. When we go out to eat, she always has to change a few million items on the menu: "I'll have the chef salad with no cheese, crutons, or meat. And instead of tomatos, give me cucumbers and dressing on the side plus a tall glass of water with 2 slices on lemon, on the side." It's like Sally in When Harry Met Sally times 10,000.

Last time I saw her, she made a comment that I knew she didn't mean to sting, but sting it did: "Is this the heaviest you've ever been?" She asked me.

Today, I confessed to her about my calorie counting and of course she was very supportive and to top it off she kind of, in a way, gave me some good news. It took her a while to convince me it was true, but after thinking over my past weight loss and then weight gaining experiences, I have to believe she's right.

She told me that 1200 calories is way to low to start off with and that I should start with 1700 b/c eventually my body will adjust and to lose any more weight I'd have to either cut back below 1200 (god forbid!...I mean is that even possible?) or do something crazy like run a triatholon.

She said the weight will come off more slowly, maybe a lb a week, but then when I hit a plateau, I can cut back to 1600 or 1500 and will continue to lose. If I start at 1200, I'll lose it more quickly, but then I won't have much else to cut after my body adjusts.

Of course, this is kind of good news b/c this means more food, especially considering that my DH told me he bought a bunch of specialty cheeses today for us to do a wine and cheese munchie on Saturday night (iyyy!!). He's the low-carb king, so fine for him, but cheese is one of my all time favs. I could pretty much live off of cheese, wine, bread, and chocolate. I mean, really, what else do you need?

This news has sort of thrown me off my plan a little. I was actually doing okay, maybe sure, I was a tad over 1200, but I'm talking maybe one max day of 1350 and every other day an extra 25 or so, but to think I can add 500 more calories?

My head is spinning!

Yesterday and Pizzoodles

The main reason I started blogging about losing weight was b/c I want to keep focused. I find it helpful to take a moment to journal about it in the morning before the day gets away from me and then take a few moments in the evening to reflect on how well or not well I did. So, it really threw me for a loop when blogger started burping. But, even though I couldn't blog, I think I did okay, and again, to the rescue!

Yesterday was the first day I had to eat away from home, and I knew it was going to be a challenge. There are lots of great little places to eat within walking distance of the library, and to top it off, last week, before I had really considered getting serious about my weight issue, I had wanted to go out to eat. When I called my pal D. and asked her about lunch, she said, "Tam, you can't go out to lunch every day!" I'm not there for lunch that often, so she was right. When I was there, I was getting into a habit of wanting to go eat at this pizza place down the block.

Of course, then I had to raze her: "You aren't the boss of me, girl!" So, we didn't go out to eat that day and then this week I really, really didn't want to go eat pizza and Cesear salad. I mean, the salad alone, I may as well be eating a cheese burger! But, of course now D. wanted to eat pizza! Crap!

I looked it up on fitday, and I guesstimated one slice of cheese pizza with eggplant on it (I love eggplant, so sue me!) was a little over 300 calories, more than I was planning to eat for lunch, but doable. Now, I just had to get past the Cesear and I would be okay. Luckily, the pizza joint (Pizzoodles, yup, weird name but great food) just started delivering. So, I ordered my one piece and I wasn't tempted by anything else, and by the end of the day, I was up 1249 calories. 49 more than I should be, but hopefully, I'll be okay.

Today I'm back eating at home, and I have 3 more days to be really good before my official weigh in on Monday. I think I should be okay, though tomorrow I work at the library again and there's a wonderful famers' market right outside that has tons of great food. But, my strategy is to just no go outside. As it turns out, the one really tempting booth that is full of fabulous bread is usually sold out by 10am, and to even get to buy anything I usually have to knock down a couple of old ladies. That's just too much effort when I know that eating a sticky bun would basically ruin everything I worked at all week.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Fatand40 Crashes

Due to the huge influx of readers on the Fatand40 blog (I think I’m up to five now including the folks from b5media, my baby sis and A. who just stopped by the other day) the network has not been able to keep up with huge amount of bandwidth demanded from this blog!

Okay, I am exaggerating a tad here but seems like the moment I started blogging over here it’s been one technical glitch after another! Arghh!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Rock in the Stomach

I've always been really sensitive to eating and exercising. I need to eat enough to exercise, if I don't then I'm too shaky to exercise, but if I eat too much, then I feel like I have a rock in my stomach. That's kind of what happened to me today. Weird thing is, I really didn't eat a lot of calories, but it was a filling meal. Normally, I try to eat something like a bowl of noodle soup or lately I've been having oatmeal with a few strawberries since one bowl of oatmeal only has 100 calories.

I picked up some yummy looking salmon in one of these freeze dried packs today at the store, so I had that with some salad greens. Because there was lots of sauce, I didn't need any dressing for the greens either. The total meal was less than 200 calories, but it stuck with me, maybe a little too much because I felt too full to do the 40 minute walk I'd been doing the past few days. I still got out there and managed to do 1.7 miles but it took me about 30 minutes to do it, much slower than usual.

But I did it, lugged my rock-stomach/fat butt around the neighborhood and back.

Any way, it's getting late (my time stamp on this blog is so wrong) and I have to get a few loads of laundry finished up and figure out my meal plan for tomorrow. I'll be at work part of the day, at my "real" (sucky) job, so I need to make sure I'm not tempted by those oh, so yummy sugar donuts that are dangling in the snack machine: “Come on, Baby. You know you want me! Just slide those coins in the slot and I’m yours!”

The Call of the Scale

The last time I seriously tried Weight Watchers, after losing about 10 lbs, I hit a plateau. It was the first time it ever happened to me, and I was really getting ticked off that I was paying $10 week after week for the same stupid 1lb to come and go. After about a month of this, I realized for $40 I could buy a pretty decent digital scale, so that's what I did.

Since then, when I've attempted to diet, I've found myself drawn to weigh myself too often. WW and most plans suggest you weigh in once a week, and I agree that makes sense. Right now, that for me is Mondays. It's kind of a sucky day of the week, so why not?

I know that weighing every day when you are trying to lose weight makes no sense because our bodies fluctuate a lot, a pound here or there. Yet, I still struggle with not weighing myself.

Now, once I get this weight off, it would make sense to weigh myself every day. That's what my mom does, and she has managed to keep her weight under control for many years. She's a master of control. She eats according to what the scale says that day. If she's on the high end of where she's comfortable, she cuts back. If she's on the low end, then it's okay to eat the piece of pie at lunch that day.

Well, I'm gearing myself up for a grocery run. Since I'm reading labels like crazy now, checking carbs for my hubby and calories for me, it's probably going to take me 3 hours to shop. I'm still not sure how I'm going to handle the sushi counter. I love, love, love my sushi. When the sushi guy sees me coming, he says, "Fresh crab, just for you today!" Ahh...It's my once a week treat, though I could eat it 2xs a day if I let myself. I looked it up and a California roll (according to FitWatch) has something like 360 calories, so I'm fighting with myself right now. How can I have my sushi but still stay within the 1200 calorie range for the rest of day? Eat salad the rest of the day? Ooyyeee!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Good Genes Not Jeans

So, my 3 readers don't think I look fat or 40, which of course I love to hear. However, keep in mind that my current photo is just a head shot ;) I have about 30+ lbs to lose and I would still not be anywhere close to my 20 year old weight.

Now as far as looking 40, I will admit that my family is blessed with good genes. When I was raving about how my older sis who lost almost 30 lbs now looks more like the sis of her daughter rather than her mom, I wasn't joking. Plus, one nice thing about having blonde hair is that any gray just sort of blends in. My mom is a natural strawberry blonde and you'd have a hard time finding a gray hair on her head.

Granted, we all have different visions of our bodies than others, but that is one way we get into trouble. The lbs just sneek on little by little and aren't that noticable until they assemble themselves one day around your middle. I say "we" when I really mean "me" of course.

So, today was another okay day on the new plan. I managed to do another 40 min. walk tonight, and the weather in FL is just gorgeous right now in the evenings, so it makes it much nicer to walk. It is about 8:30 pm and counting the wine that I haven't drank yet, I still have over 200 calories to go.

Tomorrow is grocery day, so I need to plan my strategy. Hopefully, the deli folks won't be extra nice and try to give me too many samples as I wait. Hopefully, the sushi guy in seafood won't seduce me with his California rolls or those new yummy shrimp dumplings he just started making, damn him!

Time to sip some vino and much on a pita (a mere 80 calories, thank you very much).

Out of the Closet

Thanks to some urging from the gang at b5media, I've decided to come out of the closet. I'm Tammy Powley, and if you are at all into jewelry and beading,then you may know me already from the Internet. I write for a number of web sites about various topics, but jewelry has been my main niche over the years. You can see a complete listing of my URLs at my web site - - along with a full bio about my work as a freelance writer. I also work part-time at a public library as a reference librarian. It' s not my dream job, often more like a nightmare, but it's a nice steady pay check that helps out between writing gigs.

I decided to start blogging about losing weight and getting fit for purely motivational reasons. If I have to publically talk about my experience on a regular basis, then hopefully, this will keep me focused on my goal. I picked the name "fatand40" because that's how I feel and I don't think I'm necessarily alone. Admittedly, I'm actually 42, but I figured I can't keep renaming the blog every time I have a birthday.

Here's a picture of me at about age 20. Believe it or not, I actually thought I needed to lose a little weight! Um, yeah, pathetic how we view our bodies, isn't it? I was probably about 105 here and I'm 5'4" tall.

I have no illusions of getting down to this weight again, but I find this photograph sobering. My lifestyle was totally different back then. I was going to college and I worked a few part-time jobs, mainly waitressing, though I did spend about a year working as a dancer at Disney, not exactly the glam life of a dancer I had expected and the pay sucked. With watiressing it was money in my pocket when I left, and I got to eat for free. I also was very into dance, taking about 10 hours of week of ballet and jazz classes. So, to say that my lifestyle was active, well, that would be accurate.

Today, I spend 3 days a week working at the library, usually sitting in front of a computer. The rest of the time, about 4 days a week, I work from home writing, again, sitting at the computer. I've usually been semi-active when it comes to exercise but not real good on sticking to any one schedule. Since January I have been walking, and so far (cross fingers) it looks like this might work for me as far as sticking to something.

So, that's me. I'm stepping out of my big fat closet. The jeans are still folded up in the corner, waiting for me. But, I'm thinking about them.

Monday, June 05, 2006

First Official Day

As my first official day on the new plan, I'd have to say it was okay. I won't say I wasn't hungry here and there, but I'm finding my way around this thing. It's 8:30pm and I still have a few hundred calories left, which I plan to use, thank you very much. And, I extended my walk a little tonight, adding an extra 10 minutes - baby steps, but steps none the less.

Hey, did you know a cup of carrots is 47 calories. Who'd a thunk it. Yes, I know all those carb counters out there will say, "Duh, girl. They are loaded with surgar." But, for god's sakes, they are carrots people! Not a cookie.

Well, I'm chilling for the night. Medium is on (I hope at least) soon, and tomorrow is day 2, and may be the day I have a surprise for my 3 readers out there!

Listen to Your Pants

Okay, so I finally took my official weight today and logged it into my new FitDay account.

The bad news is that it was as bad as I had expected. The good news is that according to FitDay, I need to lose 1.48 lbs. a week to get to my goal weight on the date I specified. And, I know that's doable. When I did WW, I usually lost 1lb. a week if I didn't exercise, and 2 if I did. Since January, I've been pretty good about walking almost every day, so hopefully, that will be enough to make a difference.

Like I said, I wasn't really that surprised at the numbers on the scale, and the reason for that is that my pants had tried to tell me, to warn me, about what was happening to my body, but I just didn't listen to them. I think I'm not alone when I say that many women know exactly the weight they need to be for specific pants in their closest. For example, I know I need to be XXX if I want to comfortably wear my Calvin Klien jeans. I know for my Dockers, it's XXX. And so on. When your fat pants are snug and you find yourself thinking that you need to get new fat pants, say in the next size up, that's when your pants start screaming at you: "What? Are you crazy? What about me, back here, folded up in the corner of your closet? Don't you remember how much you used to love wearing me? I made your ass look so great!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Stop That - Rewind

As I went off to work today, I realized that one of the issues I've had in the past with keeping track of what I eat has been remembering to write it down and having a system that works. Little notebooks get lost. I added a table on my PC at home, but then what do I do when I get to work? I have a palm pilot that I sort of know how to work, but again, I forget it at home a lot (needs to recharged daily) and then I still need to calcuate everything in the end.

Then today while surfing around at work and doing my best to ignore patrons I discovered some wonderful resources, and one seems to be exactly what I was looking for: Fit Day. It's free, so no monthly fees. It has a way to track my weight, what I eat, calories, fat, even has a journal that you can make public or private so I could have gone that route rather than blogging, but that's okay. It also has a place to log exercise. This way, if I'm home or at work, as long as I can get to a PC, which I usually can, I can keep track of what I eat throughout the day.

Also while surfing, I read in a number of places that suggest I try to go for 1200 calories a day if I want to lose. So, I think I'm going to try to keep it simple through the month of June. I'll try out Fit Day, keep logging my food and exercise (I usually walk about 1/2 hour a day), and see how it goes.

Another web resource that seems to have similar tools is Fit Watch. It has a free and deluxe version, the latter costing about $5 a month. When I get some time, I may join up there too, but right now, Fit Day seems like it was easier for me to jump into.

I have counted calories today, and so far I'm up to almost 800 and really haven't eaten that much differently than usual, though that's kind of scary. Of course, the night is young, but I have 400 to go. Fingers crossed I don't blow it.

The Party's Ova

Well, the party was wonderful. My baby sister did a fabulous job organizing and hosting it. And, my older sister who lost 29 lbs. looked like she could be the sister of her teenage daughter. There was a lot going on and I was getting in some smoochie time with my nephews, so I didn't get the details on the diet, but she did LA weight loss and it sounds for the most part like a high protein approach. Moot point for me since there isn't an LA place even in my county, but it does bring me to my next step: How am I going to approach my next attempt at weight loss?

Do I join back with Weight Watchers? They have an online program, and I have lost weight with them a number of times. But, while it does come off, keeping it off has been the problem.

What about trying something new? What about other on line weight loss programs like The Biggest Loser Club? They seem to concentrate on calorie counting from what I can tell.

On the way to and from the party, I babbled to my husband about all this, and his not so warm and fuzzy answer but obviously correct response was "It's all about discipline."

He's right.

So, I'm not going to join any club or program right now.

For the next 4 weeks, I'm going to do a combination of WW points and also count calories. I've started a food journal that I'm keeping on my computer, just put it into a Word document in table form, and I'm going to just write down what I eat, include the points, and the calories. I've started today, but tomorrow is really when I plan to weigh in and get serious. Today, is sort of a practice run. Getting my food journal organized and getting to know a calorie counting book I purchased. It took me forever to find an egg listed in there.

Believe it or not, I've never even counted calories before. So, my breakfast which included 1 egg, a little cheese, and a light english muffin was a whopping 238! Sobering!

That's it for now. I wanted to thank a number of my webby friends for their support so far concerning this journal. Hopefully, this motivation will continue....

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Begin at the Beginning

Today I'm getting ready to head off to a party. Of course, it's going to be fun. My whole family is going to be there, and I'm looking forward to getting some smoochy time in with my young nephews, but I know I'm also going to leave feeling old and fat, even extra fat today, because my older sis will be there and she just lost probably about 30 lbs. Now, I'm totally thrilled for her. That goes without saying, though I guess I just said it, but I can't help but feel badly when I look at myself in the mirror.

In fact, just yesterday I was thinking this too. I was at work standing in the office of a woman who is just drop-dead-gorgeous. She is probably a tad older than I am, but still in her 40s, and she has the body of a 20 year old. And, mind you, I know she works at it. Her office has one of those reflecitve windows where it's more like a mirror so that people who walk by can't see in but you can see out. And so there I was, big fat me looking back at big fat me. And she was next to me, looking like she looks, and I though, "Damn it! Enough already."

So, here I am blogging at "Fat and 40." This is the beginning of a journal that I hope works as a motivator for me to get these lbs off and keep them off for good, forever. I think this will be about the 3rd or 4th time that I've seriously dieted, lost the weight, only to see it back here a few years later. It missed me. It likes me soooo much!

I'm at the beginning of this blog and at the beginning of my next attempt to lose weight and get into some kind of shape. I don't expect to have the size 2 figure I had at 20. I'm not completely out of touch with reality. I just want to get down to a comfortable size and firm things up. You know how gravity tends to take over after age 30. By 40, well, nuff said, it sucks.

Welcome to Fat and 40!