Sep 2, 2009

What a difference a day makes...

"Acceptance of one's life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary, it means accepting it as it comes, with all the handicaps of heredity, of suffering, of psychological complexes and injustices."
- Paul Tournier *

Reflections on Monday night's binge-fest:

Monday afternoon I had an appointment with my crazy lady where I told her all about how I haven't binged in months and how it doesn't occur to me anymore to do that. Interesting how that very night I binged again. Yes, I'm stressed out, yes I'm overwhelmed, but I have better tools now.... so where did that come from?

I've decided that it was a few things. A)I think it was hormones. B)I think it was me trying to test myself to see if bingeing might still work if I try really hard. Like a security blanket or a safety word, I wanted to see if I could still fall back on it. Luckily, I found that I can't. C) I think it was one off night that doesn't mean much in the long run.

The morning after my binge, I ran into a coworker who asked me if I've been losing weight. SCORE! Perfect reminder that one night doesn't change a thing. I've worked hard, I've lost weight and I'll continue to if I keep going!

What I find surprising and quite comforting about all of this is that I used to binge nightly (or almost). I was hiding from my feelings and punishing/numbing myself with food 3 or 4 nights a week! No wonder I couldn't lose weight and didn't have the motivation to work out. I was literally stuffed with food. Or I was beating myself up for being stuffed, or anticipating the next secret binge. Talk about a cycle. I remember thinking I would never be able to stop it. I couldn't imagine being able to go a week without a binge. Now I can go months. Hooray! {Reminder to focus on the good things and the progress!}

I also remember never really feeling hungry. Mentally yes, but not physically. It's quite amazing that my health is overall as good as it is. Great cholesterol, great blood pressure, great blood sugar {take that, inner bitch voice - undeniable greatness! ;)}

I have come to terms with the fact that some days will be harder than others. And sometimes I might want to binge. Some days I'll win, and some days I might stumble down the path of snacky bingeitude.

That's life.

My favorite lesson to date: Perfect is a myth (and a dangerous one). It too me many, lots of anguish and damn hard work to figure that one out. That's one thing I'm happy to quit! Now I'm free of trying to be perfect every day and, in turn, having to disappoint myself every day. No wonder I had such reason to binge so frequently!

* Note: I don't really know anything about Paul Tournier, but I loved the quote when I read it today and thought it perfect for today's post.

Sep 1, 2009

Just when I thought I was immune....

Ugh, I fell apart last night and binged. Too much stress, fear of some upcoming changes, overwhelmed at work - bad combo.

Went home and dug into a peach blueberry muffin I'd made over the weekend, found some ice cream in the freezer and had a bowl of that, dug around in the pantry and found some crackers. I was on a mission and I could not/did not stop myself.

The rest of the night I felt stuffed, uneasy and out of it. My stomach hurt, I was itchy, I was anxious and disappointed in myself. I had to run some errands and I was panicky and distracted.

And the worst part (or was it...)? It didn't work. The binging didn't take away the stress, it didn't numb me as it did before. I was even more aware of the stress and I was unable to functionally deal with it because I felt so stuffed and uncomfortable.

Something in me feels like the best way to frame this is to say that last night was a success - it was another shot at me trying to prove to myself that binging doesn't work for me anymore. It doesn't take away the tough feelings, it doesn't really hide anything. It has consequences.

Today I feel sluggish and bloated. I feel full and hungry at the same time. I'm dehydrated, I'm thirsty. I'm gassy and tired.

But I woke up realizing that it's a new day and it's a new chance to just put it behind me. I tried hiding from the stress and I failed. Tonight I'm going to try exercise and hope for (and expect) some better results. If I need to pass out on the couch afterwards because it's all I have the energy for, at least it was energy well spent. It was one stupid night, one night of too much food. I know it was a bad decision and I don't have to repeat it tonight. Today's a new chance to feel good and channel my stress in a much better way than onto my spoon!

Tonight I have plans to play tennis. I'm going to run around and have fun and get some endorphins going. Tomorrow night I have an appt with my trainer. I WILL NOT cancel or reschedule.

Aug 28, 2009

Fitness Challenge - Two Hundred Squats

Roni over at Roni's Weigh posted a great little fitness challenge - things you can do right at home, you already most likely know how to do, and you don't need any equipment other than yourself. Anyone interested?

I'm going to start with the squats challenege, but if anyone's interested in doing any others (or all three!), I'd love you to join me! Each challenge last six weeks and is designed to allow you to work up to the total numbers listed! You only need to commit to about a half hour every other day.

100 Pushups
200 Squats
(Initial test results - 30 = AVERAGE)
200 Sit-Ups

Two Hundred Squats

Some useful links:
Proper form - proper form for "air squats" or squats using no added weights
Squats PocketMod (printable booklet for tracking your progress)
Online progress log

Aug 26, 2009

Mustering courage

Podcasts downloaded

Gym clothes in the car

Socks and sneakers ready

Energy levels building

Any and all courage to start the C25K welcome! Tonight's the night!

Aug 10, 2009


I have an appointment with my trainer today at 12:30. I haven't seen her in about 6 months. I haven't even lifted a weight in about 3 months. I shall be sore (but happy, I hope).

Any advice to avoid soreness?

Udpate (3:30 pm):

I had a GREAT session with the trainer. She took it a little easy on me, knowing how long it's been since we've had a session together...but she still worked me hard. Did squats (my favorite, ugh), shoulders, abs, triceps, box jumps, biceps, and a few other exercises. My body feels tired and worked, but even better is the mood boost I got from such a good workout. Why is it so easy to forget how absolutely fantastic you feel after a workout?
I've had a rough month, and wasn't really working out at all because of all the dizziness and panic. After just an hour with some weights and some sweat, I feel better than I've felt since vacation at the end of June!

Will try to stretch as much as possible to avoid some soreness. And drink lots of water!

Jul 28, 2009

Healthy You Challenge Check-In

It's been a crazy few months - studying for the GREs, going through a hormonal meltdown, two vacations (much needed!) and slowly and steadily losing weight.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I am back though. I want to up the exercise and continue with WeightWatchers to really get this weight loss accomplished. I was a little frustrated that I wasn't "losing fast enough" for a while, until I realized what that meant. It meant that the changes I was making were really sticking. Gone are my days of weight fluctuations and rapid changing habits. The slower I lose, the longer I maintain at a certain point, the more this knowledge is settling into me. I'm going to celebrate that I've lost almost 10% of my original weight and that I'm really making long-term changes to my health, attitude and body. Hurrah!

I was participating in WW through an at work program for the past 4 months. We weren't able to garner enough interest for another session (people want to take the summer off - eek!) so I'm now left to my own devices with an online membership. This Friday I'm going to to center to join the meetings there. Along with this HYC, I find the accountability of seeing my leader each week and stepping on the official scale to be another thing that keeps me successful and committed.

So my goals for this week:

1. Back to the gym! Hit the gym or do some form of exercise at least 4 times this week. Make it to at least 1 yoga class.
2. Track, track, track. It's the only thing that consistently keeps me on track and the scale going down.
3. Carefully think about the snacks I crave and the snacks I eat. My hormones are not the boss of me!

Future - start the C25K in August. It will be my birthday present to myself!

Jul 27, 2009

Summertime means...

When you live in a climate like that of New England, you spend many cold months daydreaming about the warm glow of summer. The promise of long sunny days keeps you sane, warm and alive. Some days, those summer days to come can feel like the only things worth living in New England.

Of course there are many other things I love, including bits of the icy frigid winter months, but summer is a special treat. A rare and fleeting season of romance, cold drinks and long, lazy evenings. The soundtrack to each day consists of the radio playing on the beach or the Red Sox game on the radio or the sounds of crickets chirping in the evenings.

This summer hasn't delivered our normal dose of happiness and carefree romps. We've had an extended early spring feeling - cool days, colder nights, rain and gray and gloom. It leaves me feeling a sense of waiting, or like a sense of ending in that the cold months ahead of winter will be here sooner than I can imagine!

So I'd like to remind myself that summer is still special and all of the reasons that is so.

Corn on the cob
Flip flops
Red Sox
Ice cream
Grilling hamburgers
Summer ales
Iced tea
Outdoor concerts
Sleeping with a fan on
Tank tops
The smell of sunscreen

What's your favorite season and what do you look forward to?

May 15, 2009

Product Review - Salter Kitchen Scale

After reading and hearing about the difference a food scale can make to weight loss efforts, I decided it was time to get one for myself. Not only does it allow me to be more accountable to just how big that steak I ate really was, but it allows me to quickly weigh and measure for recipes and tracking.

I did a bit of research online and after some struggles with in-stock availability in the stores, I decided on a fairly basic model, the Salter Stainless Steel Electronic Kitchen Scale (retails for $29.99).

After using this scale for a few months I wanted to share my thoughts on the product.


This scale weighs foods in both ounces and in grams. This is a convenient feature when you're basing your calculations on nutritional information provided in grams (think chips and cereal here!!)

It has a tare or zero function. I am so dependent on this feature. It takes away having to do your own calculations and just subtracts out the weight of the bowl or other container for you.

Decent price point
. Some other food scales have more bells and whistles and you pay for those. Since this was my first scale and I wasn't sure how often I was going to use it, I wanted to make sure it was affordable. You get what you pay for though, it's a basic scale. But for $29.99, I'm pleased overall with the affordability of something I'm using every day in my meal preparation.

Easy to use
. Since the displayed information is just the weight (down to 1/8 oz.) there's not much to understand. Pop in the battery, and you're ready to use it.

Small and compact
, this doesn't take up a lot of room on the countertop. I am seriously lacking in counter space in my kitchen, so that's a very important feature for me!

The weight capacity is just over 7 pounds. I haven't found a need to weigh anything heavier that that.

The scale can measure either in ounces or grams.
If you choose to weigh in ounces, the scale measures in fractions instead of decimals. I feel like this is a bit of a pro and a con, depending on the user. The fraction functionality works for me as I can convert that to decimals easily enough in my head.


Short battery life and type
- this takes a 9V battery, which isn't something I have around my house. With such a short battery life, I don't like having to run out to replace the batteries so often.

Inconvenient LCD display location
. If you're measuring your food in a bowl or larger plate, the display gets completely covered. I avoid this by measuring in small containers or by putting the food directly on the scale. Means more clean-up.

Not easy to store
- though, that may be the case for most food scales. I put this away in my pantry for a short bit and even though the scale was off, something was inadvertently placed on top of it which I believe drained the battery.

Final thoughts

Overall, I'm happy with my purchase. I may want to replace this within the year and get something with a little more functionaly and better design, but for now I will continue to use this almost daily. I would recommend this as a great starter kitchen scale, good for someone who doesn't use their kitchen scale for large cuts of meat or full meals, or great for someone with not a lot of space in their kitchen.

May 14, 2009

Making choices

I can look at things two ways right now:

The good: after a few bad weeks I've maintained my weight.

The bad: after a few bad weeks and almost 4 months doing WW, I'm only down 11 pounds.

So here I stand with a choice. I can look at this either way. At the moment, I'm feeling happy that I've turned things back around, had a great week so far of tracking and exercise and have managed to stay at the same weight I was 2 weeks ago.

I've also got nagging feelings of being slightly frustrated that I'm still stuck at the 11 lb mark.

A girl can drive herself mad with such silly thoughts.

I need to frame this properly so I can continue. Of COURSE I'm stuck here, I haven't been making a solid effort over the last month. I can't expect to not make healthy choices/exercise regularly and lose. Clearly, I know that. Rationally, I know that. I've proven it to myself time and again.

I have to just remind myself that the plan DOES work. When I stick to it I feel better, lose weight and create more healthy habits for myself. When I don't, I either gain, maintain but most importantly, don't feel healthy, energetic OR strong.

Does anyone else feel when they follow whatever plan they're on, they feel more free? I totally feel like it my life is a little easier when I make the effort to stay on plan. I waste a lot less time thinking about what to eat, feeling bad about what I ate, craving something I "shouldn't" eat, and the cycle goes on and on....

So I'm making a choice to feel good about this week and my progress. I've lost 11 pounds, and I'm going to be proud of that. I've exercised and moved my body every day this week and I'm going to be proud of that.

I am making a choice to be on this journey and stick with it, good and bad.

I'm NOT going to think about the big bag of macadamia nuts I ate two weeks ago (we're talking BJs big). Or, maybe I will think about it, but only in a way to know that it was not the way to lose the weight I want to lose. Macadamia nuts won't solve my problems (if only!!). Neither will giving up on myself, deciding to feel sorry for myself and eating a bag of chips, ignoring my energy levels and skipping the gym to watch the Real Housewives (but it's just so delicious), etc.

Perfect is a myth and bad weeks/days/months will happen. Here's to accepting that and moving on!

May 11, 2009

Just like riding a bike

When you fall off, you just got to get back on and keep pedaling! That's how I'm looking at this weight loss/health quest....getting back on and looking forward.

Had a great day today, tracked everything, made good choices and felt good. It really is easier for me when I stay on here I am.

I've got to just keep tracking, keep posting and keep being honest!

My goals this week:

1. Track, track, track!
2. Blog
3. Exercise - walking, Zumba, weights.

So far, so good. Slipped out at work today and got in a 2 mile walk. FINALLY found my missing Nike ipod gadget too so I was able to track the workout. Here I go! 35 minutes, 2.18 miles, 342 calories burned (I think this is an overestimation, based on the gadget, not a HR monitor).

May 1, 2009

Texts from last night

This website is hilarious - go now!

Texts from last night (warning: some are raunchy, but I find them amusing)

My favorite so far: "I guess there's a 50 percent chance that it was her that wet my bed."

Three Things for a Friday

1. I'm stuck around the same weight loss number, but my clothes are fitting a lot better and I have a ton of energy. I'll call that a huge accomplishment!

2. This article in Fabulous UK magazine is pretty interesting (courtesy of a link through Digg). While we often strive for these unattainable airbrushed model proportions, this study tries to kick that desire right on its rounded arse. The article is a little Britain-centric, so I didn't recognize all the celebrities referenced, but the big point is - why waste so much time hating on ourselves when we're just fine - beautiful, healthy and fine!

I feel like I waste so much time missing out on positive energy when I'm staring in the mirror searching for another dimple in my upper thighs or lamenting the curve of my tummy. Nothing new here, it's a similar piece that we've read countless times in countless women's magazines, but it reminded me again that we're all pretty similar. So many of us worry about the same things and have similar insecurities. Kind of points out, once again, that this is mostly just a load of bollocks (another nod to my British sisters!).

I had a friend tell me the other day that she's working out so she can look the same way that she did when she was 20. This woman is 40, super fit, and has a totally rocking body. Try as we might, we couldn't convince her that what she has RIGHT NOW is what she should want. Hmmm, someone not listening to their own advice much?

3. I have been loving getting out on the bike now that the weather is warm and the roads are cleared. My hands bother me if I ride for very long though, I'm thinking I need some gloves. Any suggestions?

Happy spring!

Apr 30, 2009

Oh, that's just the couch cushion fused to my rear end!

I have a confession - I spent not one, but THREE hours watching Real Housewives of New York last night.

Yes, that's 3.

Three, tres, trois, any language you use it's atrocious! (My official excuse - I didn't take any allergy meds yesterday and was a total train wreck. All I could manage was laying on the couch when I got home from work) Lo and behold, there was a special marathon of my least favorite love-to-hate vapid yellowheads on BravoTV just for me.

I felt dirty after watching it. And good. They're so incredibly obnoxious, but the show is just so pathetically delicious!

So I've decided to make a little list for myself of alternate activities I can choose from the next time I'm looking for a way to fill some time:

  • French lessons
  • Play the banjo
  • Organize my recipe collection
  • Do a yoga or Shred DVD
  • Head out for a bike ride
  • Study for the GREs
  • Call a friend
  • Play with the bunnies
  • Go for a walk
All interesting, enriching or fun, but I guess not quite the guilty pleausures Bravo always provides!

Apr 15, 2009

Always glaring into mirrors...

I saw Ani DiFranco perform live last night at a fabulous little venue called The Music Hall in downtown Portsmouth. The show was incredible and it was interesting to listen to her now as a mother, as someone deeply happy and in love. Her music has softened a bit, opened up. She spoke about how much easier it is to write songs about the problems, the tough times, and how you really have to work a little harder to write about being just plain happy. Interesting thought....

I was saying recently how it's easier to blog when you're happy. But when I try to write poetry, it's a different thing. Working to write about the good times, joy, love, happiness - it doesn't usually call for the pen and ink! Maybe it's because you'd rather be off enjoying it than trying to pick it apart on paper? Maybe it's because you run the risk of sounding cheesy or trite when you try to put it into words?

One song of hers that I'm stuck on lately is Present/Infant from her new album. It just strikes me every time I hear it. Given how women are taught to look for their own flaws, and how the currency of conversation between women is in insulting one's own thighs or thin hair or pale skin, I'm guessing many of you can relate to these lyrics. I think that I'm getting better at not constantly telling myself how "fat I am" or "disgusting" but I realized I've moved on to searching for enlarged pores or gray hairs or sagging bits. Not really the best trade-off!

lately i've been glaring into mirrors
picking myself apart
you'd think at my age
i'd of thought of something better to do
then make insecurity into a full time job
make insecurity into an art
and i fear my life will be over
and i will have never lived unfettered

always glaring into mirrors
mad i don't look better

don't let the sellers of stuff power enough
to rob you of your grace

(from Present/Infant by Ani DiFranco)

See it performed here

Apr 8, 2009

Three things

1. Zumba was so much fun. My hips are sore but I had a blast - giggled through at least half the class.

2. I asked a friend to cater 2 weeks worth of meals at my office. He thanked me for the business with these tulips.

(sorry for the composition and quality!)

3. 2009 has been a tough year for some of my friends and family - health problems, unexpected deaths, job loss, tragedy. It's hard to know how to make sense of it. The least I can do is remember to enjoy myself, be nice to myself and my body and find joy in every day.

This sounds pretty cheesy and simplistic but I don't know what else to do but remember to work to keep myself healthy and to be grateful for what I have.

Today I'm grateful for: fresh fruit and plans with a good friend tonight

Apr 7, 2009

Missing in inaction

It's typically a bad sign when I disappear.

I don't blog because I need some space to figure something out, I'm disappointed in myself and don't want to share that with my blog readers or admit it to myself which has to happen when I actually type and publish.

I made it through the week I hurt my back quite well. Then I had a curveball from my parents that sent me into a bit of a tailspin, as they always seem to be able to do.

I'm going to try a Zumba class at the gym tonight. I owe it to myself to get some exercise, and more importantly, to have some fun.

I'm back. No more excuses and no more hiding. I need to post when I'm having a hard time and when I'm not. That's why I have this blog and that's just reality.

Mar 24, 2009

The Bingey Monster strikes...

I hurt my back over the weekend and am struggling to stay on track since then. The pain and immobility has me seeking comfort and is trying to drive me back to my old habits of turning to food for comfort.

I found myself wandering over to the candy aisle at the drugstore last night after I picked up my prescription for muscle relaxers. I didn't buy the candy, but not because I didn't want to. I was struggling with the decision and talked myself down from a whole bag of Reese's Pieces eggs or some other large candy chocolate treat. I knew it was too much, that I would probably end up eating it all or making myself sick. So I had decided that I would just go for a small bag. Jelly beans or chocolate? I knew that I would indulge in everything I brought home, so I was feeling good about bargaining with myself and choosing to just get a single serving.

My boyfriend was waiting for me and I asked if he wanted something. He didn't seem to want anything and when I pushed again (trying to get him to choose something to reduce the guilt I was feeling for even buying anything), he responded with, "Nah, I'm all set. We already have candy at home." Pretty straightforward and perfectly fine answer.

What I HEARD though was, "you're disgusting, you and your candy eating repulse me, you already have enough to make you put on all the weight you've lost plus lots more, why do you want candy, you're gross and always will be."

Hmmm, projecting much?

I put (alright, practically threw) the small bag of jelly beans I'd chosen back and very icily (read:total bitch) told him to "forget it", I was ready to go home. I hobbled ahead of him out of the store in a ridiculous huff. He, of course, had NO idea why I had turned like this and what was going on.

We talked it through later and he explained that he just wasn't craving anything and because he didn't particularly want anything at that moment, he figured he could just have some of the treats we had at home if he decided he wanted anything. What I perceived him saying was what I was actually saying to myself. All the negative stuff I'd been trying to quiet in my head came pouring out when he opened his mouth. The thing about him is that he's totally supportive of me, he loves me, he thinks I'm beautiful and beyond that, he doesn't attach the emotional weight to food that I do. So I rationally KNOW that what he said he meant is what he meant. Ugh.

My reaction scared me a lot because it was so intense and I know that the pain was driving it. I haven't had a reaction like that where I've automatically and easily reverted to the self-hate tactics in a while now.

BUT what I feel good about as I type this out is that after all that, I didn't go for the candy. I didn't find a replacement when I got home to binge with. I thought it through, I took some deep breaths and I talked about it. And I didn't have any more cravings or need to eat for comfort. I worked through it.

Each piece of this exchange would have caused a massive binge in the past - the pain, the desire to comfort myself with candy, the comment from my bf, all of it. And I would have binged, and I would have numbed out, and I would have felt more out of control and worse afterwards. The "all or nothing" idea that I either had to be "perfect" or I was a "total failure" would have taken over and that would be a way to punish myself when I started to feel good and healthy and happy. But I don't rely on perfect anymore. I rely on steady and stable and normal. And that means that sometimes it will be tough.

My eating isn't spectacular right now, though I am tracking, as I just don't have the energy or ability to be mobile enough to make a lot of healthy meals and snacks. I am tracking though and that's focus I'm grateful for. I am not sure if I'll see a loss this week after last week's 5 lbs, so I'm jsut focused on getting through this pain and staying positive and good to myself.

Mar 20, 2009

Thursday Check-in

Being kind to myself this week really paid off! That fluke weigh-in last week was corrected on the scale this week and I had a total loss of 5.2 lbs! That brought me to my 5% milestone and up to a total of 12 lbs lost. I have to say that when I just focus and actually stay on the plan all week, it's a lot easier than when I don't track, try to guess and indulge too much.

I'm taking over the coordination of the WW program at work, so that's just gives me a little extra investment in the program, if that makes sense.

This week's goals

1. Keep tracking, it's working.

2. Get back to BodyPump classes - at least once a week.

3. Start the couch to 5K training program this week.

Last week's goals:

1. Don't let this week's slight gain get me off track. (should be easy enough, I'm feeling okay about it, if anything it motivated me more) ACCOMPLISHED

2. Make at least one class at the gym during the week and one yoga class on the weekend. ALMOST ACCOMPLISHED

3. Track 7 days. ACCOMPLISHED

4. Relax and be kind to myself! ACCOMPLISHED. Took the weekend off and spent it relaxing, doing small errands, cooking and baking. This was partially due to not feeling well, but it at least slowed me down enough to relax.

4. Try at last one recipe out of my new cookbooks: ACCOMPLISHED. Made muffins trom the Mark Bittman book and planning to make some sides from the Giada cookbook over the weekend. So far so good!

Mar 17, 2009

As if I'm not already paranoid enough about aging

then the Daily Mail comes along and drops this bomb on my head:

I did see a few new grays on the crown of my head this morning while I was applying copious amounts of moisturizer to my face and trying to keep my Crest Whitestrips on my teeth.


Mar 13, 2009

I almost forgot...National Pi Day!

How could I forget that March 14th is National Pi Day!?

To celebrate, I'm going to sit down with Martha and learn a thing or two about pie crust.

I have to confess here that I quite often cheat and just buy the pre-packaged Pillsbury crusts (gasp, but they're just sooo easy and convenient!) but it's time for me to make an effort and learn some skills.

I might make a chicken pot pie as well just because, frankly, I make a mean chicken pot pie and it's the perfect comfort food for my relaxing weekend (and what a good reason to make extra crust!).

Thursday Check-in

This week's goals:

1. Don't let this week's slight gain get me off track. (should be easy enough, I'm feeling okay about it, if anything it motivated me more)

2. Make at least one class at the gym during the week and one yoga class on the weekend.

3. Track 7 days.

4. Relax and be kind to myself!

4. Try at last one recipe out of my new cookbooks:

Last week's goals:

1. Keep tracking
every day and believe that if I follow the program, I will keep seeing results. I did the believing but not all of the tracking. It showed on the scale.
Work out on at least 4 days, including 2 strength training workouts (This afternoon I'm going to go snowshoeing). Got at least 4 days of exercise in! A great start.

I am going to take TessaJ's advice and put a dollar in my change jar for every time I work out. Woo hoo $5!
4. Start my new blog feature - Tuesday Reviews. In draft form still.

5. Go to my first book club meetup on Tuesday. Getting out and trying new things and meeting new people has been scary for me for a while as I've settled into my own insecurities. Time to branch out! The book is Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (which I also need to read a lot more of before Tuesday!) Work got in the way! Next month.

Last week's exercise:

Thurs: 1 mi snowshoe (25 min)
Sat: 3.5 mile walk (1 hr)
Sun: The Shred DVD, L1
Monday: 2 mi min snowshoe (45 min)
Tuesday: 2.1 mile walk (30 min)

Mar 12, 2009


I've been told that people are having trouble leaving comments on my blog...not sure what the issue is, but I'll look into it! Stay tuned.

Mar 10, 2009

HYC Update

The last month or so I've really pulled it together and been focused on myself and my goals. I've been eating better, actually making choices instead of just mindlessly snacking, tracking more often so I understand what I'm eating and when, and really visualizing and defining what I want for myself and my health.

What I hadn't been so good at is finding energy or motivation to exercise. I think I might have been a bit hard on myself since I was in the middle of moving, packing, cleaning and running around (and the scales were still showing a loss!). So this week my motivation for exercise has increased and I'm guessing the 60 degree days this weekend certainly helped! I did a lot of walking and just generally feeling energetic and alive. Ah, but with that exercise has come a laxness with eating. Less tracking, a few too many snacks. I'm down a point this week (woo hoo!) so I'm adjusting to that as well. Wait, who am I kidding? Last week I was having a hard time eating all my points each day, so I'm really fine in that regard. Nice try for an excuse though, right?

My clothes are fitting better - this is the first week I've really noticed! My pants fit a little more loosely, I wore a skirt last week that I won't be able to wear again AND I wore a pair of jeans this weekend I haven't worn in MONTHS. I almost didn't t ry them on, but as soon as I put them on my boyfriend told me how hot they looked. That they fit and looked good to boot was proof enough that yes, my commitment and this WW stuff is really working!

Mar 5, 2009

Thursday - Check-in Day

Weighed in today and had another 2.6lb loss. It was actually more than I expected but I was so happy to see my focus and efforts paid off!

Time to set some more goals and update on last week's.

This week's goals:

1. Keep tracking every day and believe that if I follow the program, I will keep seeing results

Work out on at least 4 days, including 2 strength training workouts (This afternoon I'm going to go snowshoeing)

I am going to take TessaJ's advice and put a dollar in my change jar for every time I work out.

4. Start my new blog feature - Tuesday Reviews

5. Go to my first book club meetup on Tuesday. Getting out and trying new things and meeting new people has been scary for me for a while as I've settled into my own insecurities. Time to branch out! The book is Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (which I also need to read a lot more of before Tuesday!)

(path in the forest where I plan to go snowshoeing today. I took this during my walk on a very cold and windy Wednesday.)

Last week's goals:

1. Buy (and use!) a food scale - heard great reviews about both the Oxo Good Grips and the WeightWatchers scales ACCOMPLISHED - bought a Salter scale that I plan to review soon.

2. Work out on at least 4 days (I should really pop open that 30-Day Shred with Jillian Michaels DVD I bought!). Updated: Two of these workouts should include strength training. Only worked out twice.

3. Finish unpacking all but my books (need to buy a new bookcase) Still haven't found a new bookcase. But I got lots of clothes put away.

4. Rework budget to be a bit more concrete ACCOMPLISHED - and I paid a few extra bills to get myself ahead.

Mar 3, 2009

Recipe - Lemon Chicken with Pasta and Green Beans

4 oz. whole wheat or blend pasta, like rotini or penne
1 ½ cups cooked green beans
10 oz. uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced or crushed
½ tbsp. crushed red pepper
½ cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1 small lemon, juiced and zested
Salt, to taste
1 oz. parmesan, grated

Serves 4.

WW points - 5 pts per serving


Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water, until al dente. Drain and set aside. (If using frozen beans, you can cook them right in the pot with the pasta.)

While the pasta is cooking, season chicken with some black pepper. Heat a large grill pan or electric grill and add chicken. Grill until golden and completely cooked. Remove to a plate and slice into 1" fingers.

Add the garlic and red pepper to a pan with 1 tbsp olive oil and sauté until fragrant. Add the cooked pasta and beans and turn heat off. Mix together with ½ cup of chicken broth or some reserved cooking liquid from the pasta.
Stir in chicken to the pasta and season with salt and pepper. Add the juice of lemon and lemon zest and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Before serving, top with parmesan.


Light and lemony, spicy and delicious. If you like it more spicy, add more crushed red pepper when serving. If you have broccoli in the house or some other vegetable to use up, feel free to make adjustments. This recipe works well with substitutions.

I totally forgot to take a picture of this when I made it last night so I apologize. I wanted to post the recipe anyway.

Lemon Chicken With Pasta on FoodistaLemon Chicken With Pasta

Feb 27, 2009


I found this picture on my PC this week and realized how much I've gained in the past few years. This picture is from two years ago and I'm about 35 lbs lighter.

I still have this dress and I want to be able to wear it again. It's nice to be in a head space again where I am able to look at pictures and think about when I'll be back to that weight instead of being sent into a panic and using it as an excuse to binge and bring myself even further away from my goals.

What's been hard for me to deal with is not so much the weight as the difference in how my body looks and feels. I used to feel so strong, and now I look at my muscles and they're harder to find! The strength I had was what gave me confidence, even if I wasn't completely happy with the number on the scale. The shape of my arms, my legs, even my chest is totally different.

The weaker I get, the less I want to do strength training. A catch-22 there, because the less I do the worse it gets.

I'm going to update my goals for the week to include some weights!

Feb 26, 2009

Goals this week

My WeightWatchers week starts on Thursdays so I'm going to set my goals today.

1. Buy (and use!) a food scale - heard great reviews about both the Oxo Good Grips and the WeightWatchers scales

2. Work out on at least 4 days (I should really pop open that 30-Day Shred with Jillian Michaels DVD I bought!). Updated: Two of these workouts should include strength training.

3. Finish unpacking all but my books (need to buy a new bookcase)

4. Rework budget to be a bit more concrete

The 10% Shift

I read this today in one of our local papers - "Buying local is not an act of charity—it’s a starting point." The article discusses Seacoast Local’s initiative to encourage local consumers to start small - by shifting at least 10% of their purchases to local businesses.

So where do you buy your next hamburger? Gallon of paint? Birthday cards? Milk? Light bulbs? Buy local like your town depends on it. Because it does, and it always has.

I started to think about what I buy local and how often. I

I am fortunate to live in an area with many small businesses and this makes it more than convenient to shop. Sure, I might have to park my car down the street and walk to the store instead of parking in a mondo-gigantic lot and walking into a superstore, but I like the charm and character of the local merchants, of their goods, of knowing I'm keeping money in the local economy.

I never buy clothes locally, using cost as my excuse. But I could certainly buy from thrift stores which I rarely do. I seem to be caught in the instant gratification trap. Sometimes I just want a new black shirt, and I want it now! Because, of course, the one thing I need is another black shirt to put in with the rest of my 32 black shirts. No wonder I can't fit my clothes in my apartment!

One thing I would like to try to focus on is changing is my grocery shopping habits. I go to the grocery store/small grocer at least 4-5 times per week and I often go to the big stores - Hannaford, Shaws, etc. If I don't pre-plan, they're the only stores open later in the evening when I'm free.

I would like to start shopping more at the farmer's markets and local produce shops and really planning out my meals. It makes more sense financially to buy for the week and make do with what I have in the house. I think this will save me money and also have me be a little more thoughtful about what I'm buying and what I'm wasting.

I think I probably spend 10% locally now, but I'd like to increase that and really focus on food.

How often to you buy local? How easy is it for you to avoid the big box stores?

Feb 25, 2009

Recipe - Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (with gnocchi)

(courtesy of the Food Network)

  • 1 (16-ounce) package refrigerated gnocchi
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup heavy cream, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves, plus more leaves torn for garnish
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste - about 2 tbsp.
  • Chunk of Parmesan for grating

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the gnocchi according to the package instructions. Drain in a colander in the sink.

In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until hot, add garlic and cook, stirring, until golden. Add peppers, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Transfer to a processor or blender and puree. Return sauce to pan, add cream and bring to a simmer, stirring. Add basil, salt, pepper and few drops lemon juice, to taste.

In a large bowl, toss the gnocchi and sauce together. Divide among bowls, strew over some torn basil leaves, and grate some Parmesan over the top. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

I used fat-free evaporated milk to lighten up the recipe a bit. This recipe was quick, easy and delicious. A bright meal with little effort - great for a weeknight. I served it with a caesar salad and a glass of red wine.

WW points - 6 pts per serving

Today I'm grateful for: the taste of fresh basil

Feb 24, 2009


(and I'm sorry I've been missing for months on end. I do have a few excuses but we'll just leave them at the door and move on!)

The beginning is the most important part of the work.

This week I moved into Y's apartment with him.

This week I opened my heart up wide and decided to give myself a chance to really be happy.

This week I decided I'm worth it. I love him and I love myself with him.

It's amazing to see how far I've come in the last few years, how much I've grown up and how much I've learned about myself. What feels great about moving in with him is that I know that I'm an independent person capable of taking care of myself emotionally and financially, and that foundation is what we will build on. I can be vulnerable with him, I can not know all the answers, I can lean on him and know he'll be able to take it.

I am so excited to build our home together.

Feb 17, 2009

2009 Reading List

January 2009

Eat, Pray, Love
by Elizabeth Gilbert - I couldn't put this book down during the first half and then just abandoned it entirely mid-way through India. I probably will never go back to try to finish it.

The Friday Night Knitting Club
by Kate Jacobs - fluffy fluff but enjoyable. Accomplished its task of making me want to knit more!

Away by Amy Bloom - I've been recommending this book to everyone. Beautiful and haunting.

February 2009

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates - amazing character study. Despite the fact that it was published in 1961, most of the themes still ring true today. Beautifully written.

Sarah's Key by Tatia de Rosnay - Inspired by a little known and tragic piece of French history, this novel centers on the story of a young Jewish girl in Paris in 1942 as she was rounded up with thousands of other Jewish families and forcibly kept in the Velodrome d'Hiver before being transported to their deaths at Auschwitz.

The first half of the novel is written in a side-by-side narrative between Sarah, in 1942 Paris, and Julia Jarmond, a present-day journalist. I found the book far more intriguing and well-written from the persepctive of Sarah, and when narrative ends, I didn't feel as invested in Julia's personal concerns. Some of the issues she deals with seem trite and inconsequential when stacked up against the pain endured by the other narrator. I would recommend the book to others, especially as a way to learn a bit more about this piece of French history, but I wasn't as pleased overall with the ending as I had hoped to be.

March 2009

Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones - I haven't wrapped my head around this yet, but I loved it. Haunting and moving and unforgettable. The characters were rich with emotion and flaw. The novel was set in war-ravaged Papua New Guinea, but the school teacher managed to take the children away from that nightmare by reading to them Dickens' Great Expectations.

Any Place I Hang My Hat by Susan Isaacs - a lot less fluff than I assumed it would be. A sort of chick lit for the 30 year old. Enjoyable and quick read.

The Reader by Bernard Schlink. I've been begging people to read the book before they bother seeing the movie.

April 2009

by Stephanie Meyer (and admitting to it!)

Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk - I am not quite sure what the point of the book is. It's really raw and graphic ...and I don't know if that's the point (I don't think so). He seemed to have muddled his message with the overshock of the setting! I'm all for artists pushing the envelope, but the ending seemed to be thrown together and I finished the book feeling disappointed.

May 2009

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks - This novel is based on actual events of a plague-ravished rural town in 1660s England that made the difficult choice to seal itself off to avoid spreading the plague to other villages. In addition to disease control, the villagers also attempted to give themselves up to God's mercy. With such limited understanding of the plague, how it spread and how to treat it, their faith is tested time and again. The author examines what survival can mean to different people and how fear and ignorance shape a community. Highly recommended.

June 2009

I think I'm beginning to forget some books in here....

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta - a bit of a let-down. The ending was disappointing and the characters annoying.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - I couldn't put this book down. I fell in love with the main character, and would love to grab a beer and some book and boy talk with her if I could.

July 2009

Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo - The story spans the lifetime of a man tied to the loves of his life - his small town, his parents, his wife, best friend and his cherished memories of all of them. Lovely read, I'd recommend it.

August 2009

The Music Lesson by Katharine Weber - It started a bit slow and it kept putting me to sleep every time I read it. Once I hit the middle (it's a short book), I was hooked though and really enjoyed it. More about what happens to a person in refuge than the IRA heist plot that was secondary.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz - fierce, funny, tragic and beautiful. Read it. Don't be alarmed by all the Spanish phrases thrown in. You either can understand them or you don't, but more important to note is how they represent the fluidity of the language and culture throughout the characters' lives. I've studied the terror of the reign of Trujillo in the Dominican Republic from an academic and sociological perspective, but this novel brought that history of a culture to a whole new level.

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl (audiobook) - she writes about food beautifully - the colors, scents, textures and tastes come bounding off her plate and into your imagination!

The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry: Love, Laughter and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn (audiobook) - After a corporate lay-off, Flinn decides to follow her dream and empty her bank account and go to Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. With little to no fluency in French and no plans for what to do afterwards, she cooks her way towards a culinary degree. Funny and charming, the story is a behind-the-scenes look at what it would be like to attend such a famous cooking school, how magical Paris can be, and how far a little encouragement can take you. The book includes a recipe at the end of each chapter. Funny and engaging and delicious.

September 2009

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs (audiobook)

October 2009

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

November 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

December 2009