Thursday, November 5, 2009

Seven Signs Your Body Image is Bruised

Plus five solutions! This is such a great post- take a moment to read it at PsychCentral. I think I have fewer negative body image issues in my 40s than I did in my teens, but I still have trouble hanging out in a bathing suit with friends. (In my teens, I wouldn't even go to a pool.)

There's also an interesting discussion going on at the NYT Well blog about the post. Lots of insightful comments.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Can Walk and Chew Gum at the Same Time: HYC Update

I'm so proud to be slapping a "30 Pounds Lost" badge on the blog! I'm down 1.8 pounds since my last weigh-in.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm Still Here...

Sorry to be AWOL for so long! And thank you so much for checking in with me and leaving comments... it means so much.

I teach a one unit class at a Junior College- it's shorter than the semester-length courses so usually there are a variety of "start dates" for each section. My schedule this semester looked normal enough, until I realized that from October to middle of November I would be teaching three sections at once! It's not a pretty sight, let me tell you. I haven't had much mental energy for anything other than prep work, lectures and grading, grading grading. The house is a wreck, but I somehow managed to get through my youngest boy's birthday and Halloween with all the attendant baking, school parties, etc. I've even managed to keep up my workout schedule... almost! I missed a couple of days here and there, but I'm very happy to report that it was only a couple of days.

Which leads me to one of the intriguing questions of the GAG challenge for this week: "What makes this weight loss effort different than any previous attempts?" What a great question! Perhaps I like it because this effort is different. Since January, I've lost around 33 pounds. It's been a very slow process-- averaging about a pound a week, with several long periods of seemingly endless plateaus. (Hence the blog name.) I'm not crash dieting, I'm not on "a program," I'm not on any kind of medication... what I'm doing now is the simplest thing in the world: eating mindfully and exercising So why haven't I done it before? I wish I knew. I think this go 'round is successful because of my state of mind. Since I'm not dieting, I can't fail. Since I can't fail, I can't give up and go back to bingeing- if I want to binge I go right ahead, but it's then clear to me that something's amiss, which I'll need to figure out because bingeing is such a ridiculous way to sort out my problems. I still sometimes do it, but in kind of a "mini" way... for example...

Last week I had an overwhelming urge to make some nachos. I threw some Trader Joe's blue corn chips on a plate and grated some light Havarti cheese on the top, then microwaved it, all the while thinking "I wonder what's wrong?" It came to me that I was stressed about my workload and the impossibility of everything getting done by my Thursday night class. I decided to give myself an extra week to grade and concentrate on updating my lecture for the week (it was a week where my students had an assignment that they didn't need back right away). That calmed me down a bit, but I still craved nachos. I made another half-plate. I was getting close to being uncomfortably full, but I felt satisfied. I decided not to eat again until I was hungry. And I didn't. And then I felt fine. I remember reading on someone's blog a Weight Watchers maxim: "You're only one meal away from being on plan." This really resonated with me. In my thirty... oh, man, almost forty years of dieting... I always thought that once I'd binged, all bets were off. I would then "go off" my diet for days, weeks or months- it was almost a relief to binge and go crazy! Then the awful pattern would begin again. So, now the binges are tiny. I try to figure out why I'm feeling binge-y, then I stop when I can. Maybe one day I'll progress to the point where I can skip the binge completely.

The exercise bit is also new. It wasn't until I was a grown-up that I realized I actually liked to exercise, and it's a major part of my life now. I've accepted that this is a long journey... although I would love to be at my goal tomorrow, it's just not going to happen that way. I crash dieted for decades, really, and it took me that long to figure out that it doesn't work. A slow learner, indeed.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Real vs. Perceived Size

Have you ever been surprised at your own size? I was at my son's back-to-school night the week before last, scoping out where to sit and subconsciously doing the "How fat am I in comparison to other people" mind-game... I picked a seat, next to a woman I'd identified mentally as a regular size-- certainly not fat. (This was all completely subconscious, mind you, I didn't know I was actually doing it until the next part happened...) I took my seat, glanced over at the the thighs of the woman in the seat next to me, and was shocked-- her thighs were about twice the size of mine. After pondering this for a split second, I thought: if this regular-sized woman is larger than me, is there a possibility that I am a regular size, too? How would I judge myself if were a stranger? It was a bit disconcerting, but in a nice way- a round-about way of seeing that I'm no longer obese, just large. How about you- has your own self-perception been challenged out of the blue like this?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Coming Down With "Something"...

One by one, my family's been socked with "something"... I don't think it's the flu because there's no fever, just a yucky nose and throat thing. But it's bad. And it's coming for me. I can feel it in my throat now. (My Brit husband calls this "having a throat" as in "I've got a bit of a throat." Well, yeah.) We seem to have timed this well, though... he was suffering more on Monday and Tuesday, I'm just getting it now... so somehow the boys have been clothed and fed and brought to and fetched from school this week.

I've always wished that I were one of those people who lost their appetites when they got sick... I hate it when I can't taste what I'm eating, but I seem to be able to eat- nooooo problem! Feh.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Dreams and Desires: Dull, Dull, Dull

This is how I answered last week's Challenge question about my wildest dreams, desires and passions:

I suppose my biggest dream now is to have my family dig ourselves out of the financial situation we're in. We're perpetually broke in an attempt to pay off our credit cards... but I know if we keep at it, some day we'll be debt and worry-free, at least financially speaking. I work part time, and I applied for but didn't get a full time job in my department this year. It would have been a god-send financially, but if I ask myself if I REALLY want to work 40+ hours a week, plus try my hardest to be an effective, loving mom and wife... the answer is emphatically "No!" I'm happy working part time, I'm not the most ambitious person when it comes to my career. Everything in my life (finally) is great, except for that one, huge stressor... after many tough years. I be slender and fit, wear fabulous clothes, learn to sew fabulous clothes, see the Giants win a world series and a couple hundred more shows of my favorite musician... in my wildest dreams, I'd like to completely rebuild and re-landscape our house and add an amazing swimming pool. I want to create a fabulous kitchen garden with a grove of fruit trees and learn how to do home canning.

That answer just emerged from my fingertips, so to speak... almost like automatic writing. After re-reading it, it occurred to me that my wildest dreams aren't really that wild at all! Quite domestic, actually! All pretty do-able, with the possible exception of the major rebuilding and re-landscaping. (For that, I'll have to rely on HGTV's Dream House sweepstakes, which I plan to win then use the proceeds to revamp my house, as I love where I live, but my house is pretty awful. I plan this every year, but every year they persist in letting someone else win. Irritating.) It was really liberating to see just how do-able my goals are... we can get a handle on our finances if we're persistent and disciplined... I can continue to work on mindful eating and exercising and have a slender, toned body... I will take a sewing class! None of the dreams I listed are unattainable, which feels pretty darn good. But also... I realize that they all take patience and time, which is- let's face it- boring. I fervently hope that I'll be able to soldier past the drudgery and achieve my boring dreams.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hey, all the cool GAGgers are filching their questionnaire answers for a blog post! Let's have at it...

Do you feel your eating habits that ended you into this challenge are a direct result of habits formed during childhood? (Please explain)
Yes, definitely! I lived alone with a single mom, who was slender as a child and young woman... but by the time I came along, had learned to use food as a form of solace. Unfortunately, I learned the whole gamut of unhealthy food/diet behaviors at my mom's knee: excessive overeating, excessive dieting, food as emotional rescue, food as the focus of life. She wasn't a very active person, either, so the activity in my life consisted mostly of PE class (which I considered torture!).

Tell me about your living situation. Are you married? Kids? In College? What is your life like OUTSIDE of weightloss?
I've been married to a wonderful man for seven years, we have a five year old son. My husband is British, so we had the thrill of experiencing a trans-continental romance before we figured out the whole "fiancee visa" thing (not fun). I have a fifteen year old son from a previous marriage- I don't recommend spacing your children like that but life sometimes happens in mysterious ways. I work as a part-time college instructor and librarian. (And when times are tight... like now... eBay seller!)

If you were given a magic wand that you could use one time to do one thing, what would you use it for?
Selfish option: To never have to worry about money again.
Unselfish option: An end to violent ideological conflict.

What is your favorite thing about this time of year? Least favorite?
I love the golden autumnal light of Sonoma County, the warm days and foggy mornings, the anticipation of fun Fall and Winter holidays... I even love "back to school" even though nowadays it means a return to grading homework assignments. (And I love school supplies!) Least favorite: the shortened days, the feeling that another year is ending and the heating bills!

You have a day off, no responsibilities, so what will you do with it?
In fantasy-land: I'd spend the morning at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, eat a curry for lunch, walk over the Millennium Bridge and spend the afternoon at the Tate Modern.
In reality-land: I'd read through *all* the blogs I follow in Google Reader, take a nice long walk among the McMansions, putter around the garden, do some baking and some crafting, then watch Mary Tyler Moore Show episodes on DVD.

What is YOUR sin food?
Predictably, chocolate.

You're in a foul mood, what lifts you out of it?
Hanging around family members who are in a good mood, listening to some Antonio Carlos Jobim, a ride on an old-fashioned roller coaster (the Giant Dipper in Santa Cruz, CA would be an excellent choice!).

You're in a good mood, what keeps you there?
Hanging around family members who are also in a good mood, exercising and eating mindfully.

What is one of your biggest struggles right now?
Eating mindfully and keeping up with work e-mail (argh!).

Your motivation is running low, where do you find your refill?
Hmmm... seeing the scale numbers go DOWN- even if it's just a little bit- is a great motivator. Looking at the differences in pictures taken at my highest and lowest weight, and looking at my weight graph for some graphic proof is helpful, too. And every positive decision (for example, every time I feel like having a snack without being hungry, then decide not to) acts as further motivation.

Your in house support (meaning the people in your life that you see face to face) is beginning to dictate your weightloss journey by telling you you're too heavy, or you're getting too thin, but you're not where you want to be. What do you do? How do you handle it?
Everyone is very supportive- so sabotaging behavior here, thank goodness. But if they suddenly turned on me... I guess I'd listen to them, nod politely, then ignore it! I'm grateful that I have such a supportive crew.

List me your favorite:
color: Silver? Orange? Green? It's really hard to choose!
smell: I love spice smells: cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, lemongrass, cumin, etc. New-mown grass, woodsmoke, gardenias, balsam/cedar (Christmas trees)... I'm definitely a fan of scents!
activity with your child: Riding bikes and watching videos.
Activity with your girlfriends/ guy buddies: Walking and watching videos!
way to relax: Watching videos? Yes, watching videos, snuggled in front of a fire, listening to the rain on the roof... perfect.

Where do you honestly see yourself at the end of this challenge?
I see myself having survived the holidays WITH a weight loss. This is a big deal for me, as it was some big-time bingeing activity during the last holiday season that made me wake up, start exercising and eating mindfully in 2009.

What are your goals AFTER Gag?
Keep on keepin' on! I hope to be doing what I'm doing for the rest of my life.

How do you think GAG is going so far? What would you like to see done differently?
You're doing a great job- it must be an an awful lot of work!!

Tell me all about your "typical" autumn weekend? Special activities that arise as well?
Grading papers, I'm afraid! We always go to the Farmer's Market and their are lots of fun events here in the fall: the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, visits to the pumpkin patch, the Glendi Festival, which is an international food, music and dancing festival (a fundraiser for a local Greek Orthodox Church)... and we just got back from the second annual Handcar Regatta!

How did you find GAG, and what made you commit to join?
I think I read about it on your blog! It seemed like the perfect challenge to get me through the holidays... as I mentioned before, they just about did me in last year!

If you could nominate one BIGGEST INSPIRATION out of all your Team Gaggers, who would you nominate?
I can't pick just one person! It's been really great to discover so many new bloggers through this challenge.

Please, tell me about you. What are your dreams? What are your desires for your life? What sparks the passion inside of you about your life? What goals do you have that seem impossible?
Very tough questions! I suppose my biggest dream now is to have my family dig ourselves out of the financial situation we're in. We're perpetually broke in an attempt to pay off our credit cards... but I know if we keep at it, some day we'll be debt and worry-free, at least financially speaking. I work part time, and I applied for but didn't get a full time job in my department this year. It would have been a god-send financially, but if I ask myself if I REALLY want to work 40+ hours a week, plus try my hardest to be an effective, loving mom and wife... the answer is emphatically "No!" I'm happy working part time, I'm not the most ambitious person when it comes to my career. Everything in my life (finally) is great, except for that one, huge stressor... after many tough years. I be slender and fit, wear fabulous clothes, learn to sew fabulous clothes, see the Giants win a world series and a couple hundred more shows of my favorite musician... in my wildest dreams, I'd like to completely rebuild and re-landscape our house and add an amazing swimming pool. I want to create a fabulous kitchen garden with a grove of fruit trees and learn how to do home canning. I have a secret hankering to move to England when we retire, but I know I'd miss the California weather. All of this seems pretty impossible, but then again... kinda not impossible! (It's not as if my life goal is to *marry* my favorite musician!) It seems that my goals and passions are pretty domestic, actually... Now, aren't you sorry you asked?!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Week 2 GAG Points

Here's my Week 2 tally:

Water (it's pretty much all I drink!) (except for coffee and tea and the very occasional daiquiri): 620
Activity: 180
Tracking meals: 0 :-( (What can I say? I've got one child in kindergarten and one child in high school and it's still baseball season.)
Sleeping: 140

Total: 940

Monday, September 7, 2009

GAG Labor Day Challenge

The weekly challenge for the first week focuses on Labor Day parties, or any other outdoor holiday gathering that centers around food (don't they all?). We'll be staying home and watching baseball today, but if we were going somewhere...

Labor Day Game-plan

Part 1:
It's summer, you're probably barbecuing, it's all good! The nice thing about summer holidays is that you've got produce on your side... it's really easy to serve or offer to bring fresh and healthy side dishes. We go to our local farmer's market every week, and this week must have been the peak of the season or something-- everything was absolutely gorgeous. I'm not really a fan of raw tomatoes, but the heirloom varieties are so beautiful! I was knocked out by the beauty of vegetables which makes me feel like a bit of a geek. So, if I were hosting a get-together I would offer the classic barbecue main courses: burgers, hot dogs, perhaps tri-tip and garden burgers as a veggie option but I would make sure that I had plenty of healthy side dishes to make up the bulk of my plate: fruit salad, fresh salsa, roasted broccoli and tomatoes, etc. Roasted corn on the cob isn't the healthiest choice on the planet, but I have to have it! We eat it with the fake butter from Trader Joe's (Balade light butter), fresh lime juice and sea salt. It's about the best thing in the world.

As far as an eating plan goes, my modified Geneen Roth-ian plan basically means that I would choose only what I absolutely craved and eat until I was no longer hungry. In the olden days my mind-set would be something like "Bah! You have to eat everything, who knows when you'll be able to eat that stuff again?! It will be ages before another holiday 'free pass' comes along!" That mind-set, effectively gave me the mental permission to binge... now, as I'm typing and seeing the words typed on the screen it seems like a completely weird notion. I mean, what Authority was I begging this permission from? How and when were these elaborate rules of permission/denial (bingeing/dieting) constructed? Figuring this stuff out is something I feel like I need to do... and, possibly, the mental digging around this issue that's required to figure it out is why I've been avoiding writing the My History of Fat post for so long. At any rate, I'm sorry that I lived for so long with that mind-set, I'm relieved that I don't have that mind-set now and I hope I won't have it ever again. The last element of my game-plan is: don't skip the exercise today!

Part 2:
The recipes- I'm including two as a bonus! Both recipes can be doubled easily. The first is an Asian slaw that I love with burgers- it balances out the richness of a cheeseburger beautifully! (Would also be great with shredded pork, buffalo or a garden burger.) I'm not a huge fan of slaws in general, but this one is terrific. I adapted it from the wonderful, now defunct Savor Wine Country magazine.

Asian Slaw
Serves 6

1/3 c. Thai fish sauce
1/3 c. fresh lime juice (3-4 limes)
1/3 c. sugar
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 2-inch piece of ginger, grated
2 Serrano chiles, minced (don't include the seeds if you you're not a fan of heat)

1 small green cabbage, cored and and sliced very thinly
4 medium carrots, peeled and grated or sliced in thin ribbons
1 small red onion, sliced very thinly
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped.

1/4 to 1/2 cup roasted or raw peanuts, chopped for garnish.

Combine the fish sauce and lime juice in a small bowl, add the sugar and stir until it's dissolved, Add garlic, ginger and chilies. Cover and refrigerate. 30 minutes before serving, toss thoroughly to combine the veggies in a large bowl and add the dressing. Toss thoroughly again, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. When you're ready to serve the slaw, add half the cilantro, toss again and scatter the rest of the cilantro on top. Throw the peanuts on top, or serve separately so guests can add them to their own taste.

At the market this week, I saw a stall selling nothing but interesting varieties of potatoes: heirlooms, fingerlings, weird/cool colors- they all looked wonderful! It made me think of this great recipe for Greek lemon roasted potatoes I nabbed from Martha Stewart's site and de-fatted a bit:

Greek Lemon Roasted Potatoes

Martha requires 4 russet baking potatoes (8 medium). I translate this to about 2-3 pounds, and we've used this recipe with all kinds of potatoes- probably erring on the starchy side is a good idea. (Although we've made them with small red potatoes and have been perfectly happy with the result!) Martha says to peel and quarter them... we don't do that. First, because the peel is where most of the nutrients live; second, because we're sloppy cooks around here. (Or, as the wonderful Laurie Colwin put it, we practice "la cuisine de la 'slobbe' raffinee or 'the cooking of the refined slob.'") If you're using small potatoes you can leave them whole.
1/3 to 1/4 cup olive oil- depending on how afraid you are of olive oil- or how much you embrace it, Martha says to use 1/2 cup
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Greek, with extra for garnish
1 tablespoon salt
1/4-1/2 freshly ground pepper
1 cup of water

Heat oven to 500. Place potatoes in a metal roasting pan large enough so that all the potatoes can fit in a single layer. Add the water, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt & pepper. Toss potatoes until well coated. Bake uncovered for 50 about minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender and brown at the edges. If you're using really small potatoes, watch them- they might not need as long. Turn the potatoes half-way through. If the liquid evaporates, add more water and a little more lemon juice before the potatoes fully brown. Garnish with oregano. Yum!

I really hope you'll try these dishes and let me know what you think! Go GAGgers!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

GAG Challenge Kickoff!

I've joined the GAG Challenge- today's the first day!

As you can see, I use Wii Fit as a scale. My regular scale is pretty unreliable, but last time I checked it did not chirp "That's overweight!" at me when I stepped on it. Wii Fit does, then slaps that giant "Overweight" label on the right of the scale display for good measure. Thanks, Nintendo.

ToM started today- normally I wouldn't go near a scale, and what do you know... I'm up around .2 of a pound. But that's okay, it's only temporary! (I hope!)

This is a really lousy pic, I know-- I used a borrowed camera and couldn't figure out how to turn off the flash! I'll try again soon, and wear something so that you can actually see what I look like. Really excited about this challenge... I'm hoping it will help everyone sail through the next few (treacherous) months with style.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

HYC Update

Lost just over a pound last week- now at 168.7, so I've officially lost 25 pounds! I grabbed that 25 Pounds Gone badge in seconds flat.

I've been losing slowly but steadily since starting this blog- should I give it a new name now? I think that might jinx it or something (I have a bad habit of this kind of "magical thinking").

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I Wish There Was an iPhone Ap...

Well, I'd need to actually own an iPhone to download it, but I wish someone could edit all the Biggest Loser "temptation challenges" together so that I could view them at will. Because, to me, there is nothing less appetizing than watching a Biggest Loser temptation...
  • Mountainous piles of food = yuck. Even foods that I love (like, say, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups)... a three-foot high stack of them is just repellent.
  • Hot foods gone cold. So many challenges have foods like pizza or wings that must be at best room temperature- by the time Contestant 6 has had his or her five minutes in the room... blech.
  • Usually there's some kind of time constraint, so the contestants are shoveling in food without actually enjoying it. If you're going to slip and eat something that's not exactly healthy- revel in it, don't shovel it! (I just discovered Cara's Weight Loss Journal and her entry describing an encounter with a Krispy Kreme donut pretty much describes how I think you should eat something you crave.)
When I watch one of these challenges I wonder how in the world I ever desired food. This feeling lasts approximately 30 seconds.

Monday, July 27, 2009

HYC Update

I lost 2.2 pounds last week... sniffing at 25 pounds lost!

Friday, July 17, 2009

What Do I Eat?

Well, I'm not on Weight Watchers, Atkins, Nutrisystem or any other official plan*- although I've done each one of those at other times in my life. (I'm still working up to the My History of Fatness post.) I'm not dieting. I can't "diet" anymore, because a diet implies that on/off mentality that has pretty much doomed every weight loss attempt I've ever made. So here's what I do- I don't know if I can even distinguish it by calling it a "plan":
  • I'm trying really hard not to self-medicate with food-- I'm inspired by Geneen Roth even if I'm not doing everything she suggests.
  • I'm upping the fruits and vegetables, aiming for 2/3 of the plate (but I don't always achieve that!).
  • I trust my wonderful husband (who does most of the cooking at our house) to eliminate as much fat as he can from the recipes he uses. He loves trying new recipes and cooks a lot of Thai, Indian and Mexican food... num.
  • We eat "real" food... fast food and sodas were never much a problem for me (for which I feel very grateful).
  • I practice "hara hachi bu" as much as I can... if I can't accomplish the 80% full thing (which can be difficult, as my husband is a great cook!), I try to stop eating before I'm completely full. I find it easier to answer the question "Am I hungry any more?" than "Am I 80% full?" This is kind of a Big Deal for me because I've spent so many years of my life overeating to the point of pain or dieting, accompanied by constant hunger pangs.
  • No mindless eating (another Geneen Rothism)-- if I'm going to have some chips and salsa I arrange the chips (blue corn chips from Trader Joe's) and salsa (roasted tomatillo from a Rick Bayless recipe) on a plate and eat them at the table.
  • For a while, I had an Absolutely No Chocolate rule (even through Valentine's Day!), but I've relaxed that a bit. Chocolate is a trigger food for me, and I don't trust myself to leave it alone, so I try hard not to lead myself into that particular temptation. (Easter, for example, was a bit of a nightmare-- See's Bordeaux eggs, 'nuff said.)
I guess my plan boils down to Michael Pollan's mantra: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Of course, See's chocolate was once a plant...

This morning Wii Fit told me I'd lost 1.1 pounds in the last week, which brings my total so far to 20 pounds (since the Christmas/hot buttered rum blow up). This seems glacially slow to me, but this is really the only way I can imagine succeeding. I can happily eat this way for the rest of my life, and I hope to be able to move this way (or even more) for the rest of my life and that is a fine, fine thing.

*Just wanted to note that I'm absolutely not denigrating these or any other programs or diet- if it works for you, more power to you!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Shameless Pandering!

I spend so much time reading fitness/diet/weight loss blogs that... I don't seem to have time to write posts on my own! Okay, that is an incredible lame excuse for not posting more often than I do... but I do love reading my old favorites and discovering new blogs in which to immerse myself. I've subscribed to at least 50 fitness/diet/weight loss blogs in Google Reader- if I could figure out how to post a blog roll here, I would list them for you. (I keep meaning to find out how to do that- it must be relatively simple, right?)

One of the new blogs I've discovered (via Fab Kate!) is Feed Me I'm Cranky, and it's inspiring, motivating and funny. I've read through the last month and am really looking forward to devouring the archives! (One of my very bad blog habits is reading through someone's entire archives in one sitting- I know I should parcel them out like small pieces of dark chocolate or something, but I can't help blog bingeing.) Annabel is sponsoring a Whole Foods Giveaway that ends tomorrow.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ten Reasons Why We Should Ditch BMI

Just read through this story on NPR: Top 10 Reasons Why the BMI is Bogus. Very thought-provoking!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

NSVs Sublime and Ridiculous

  1. I added a height extension to my step aerobics thingy (um, step).
  2. I bought a new pair of size fourteen jeans at Ross last week after noticing that my trusty size sixteens were a bit baggy. But that's not the NSV... yesterday, I was chasing my five year old around the garden and the new jeans fell off! Right down to my ankles, major hilarity ensued (just the family, thank heavens). I'm so glad I only spent eleven bucks on them... I'll be back at Ross tomorrow in the size twelve section...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What Am I Doing?

At the end of 2008 I found myself self-medicating with See's Candy and mugs of hot buttered rum. After a few weeks of butter and rum induced stupor I managed to snap out of it, eventually saying to myself something like "Huh, I wonder what that was about?" I've read enough Geneen Roth in my life to comprehend that something's wrong if I'm in binge-mode... I just wish it didn't take two weeks of binge-mode to figure it out. (Maybe it won't now, after that experience...) At any rate, I started emerging from the binge coma by walking. One of my dearest friends recommended an Omron pedometer (HJ-720), which I bought in late January. I started walking. I was probably walking around 3,000-4,000 steps a day before I bought the pedometer; I worked relatively slowly up to a 9,000 steps per day goal. Six months later, I'm walking at least 10,000 steps a day. I live in a hilly neighborhood which is great for the calves... and I love walking up to a recently developed McMansionland (vaguely mediterranean architecture, stunning views) so I can entertain myself by denigrating everything about it: the architecture, the landscaping and everyone's choice of patio accessories. It keeps me from envying their pools. Kinda.

Then, in February, I started hankering for a Wii Fit. Playing Wii Fit made Heath Bell sweat up a storm, why not me? While I was researching the Wii Fit (and thanks, IzzyBeth, for the fabulous reviews), I discovered My Fitness Coach for the Wii, which eventually led to buying both games in April. Which, in turn, led me to buy EA Active the very day it came out. (Wii fitness geek much?) So I think I'm a little tech-heavy with the fitness toys, but it seems to be working. I work out with My Fitness Coach 30-45 minutes daily. I've completed one 30 day challenge in EA Active. I'm a little less mad about Wii Fit now, but I still use it as a scale and my piggy bank/toaster-looking-thing is silver. So here's my daily routine:

30-45 minutes aerobics with My Fitness Coach
30-65 minutes of walking (we've had access to our neighbor's pool this week, so I've been slacking with the walks)
20 minutes or so of the EA Active workouts, which combine a bit of aerobics, strength training and yelling at the annoying trainer avatar

In addition, I've been experimenting with some fitness DVDs: I've tried Jillian's 30 Day Shred and a couple of Samba workouts from Netflix.

All of this adds up to the most exercise I've had in years. It feels so good to move! I can't believe I wasted so much of my life not exercising. But I can't imaging going back- even if I were to enter another binge coma, I'd keep exercising. Exercise is an integral part of my life now. When I've lost weight before, the exercise component was almost an afterthought- now it's front and center.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Why Am I Here?

A month ago, I wasn't aware of fitness or weight loss blogs... now I spend way too much time reading them. I've been on a seemingly endless plateau for months now- okay, that's not "endless" but "seemingly endless" is quite apt. I'll save My History of Fatness for another post; most recently I've gone from 194 pounds just after Christmas to 180 today, which feels glacial to me. I'm 5' 6" and I start to look skeletal at 135, so I'm shooting for about 140.

I'm hoping that by blogging I'll be able to give myself a place to sort out my feelings about weight loss, diet and exercise and hopefully (someday) gather support. That's what I've really enjoyed as I've spent the last month looking through weight loss blogs- it seems like a wonderful place to gain support. It's fascinating to read other people's success stories (even the not-so-successful stories are fascinating).

A little about me: I live in Northern California with my husband and two sons (14 and 5- yes, I've extended my child-raising years wa-a-a-a-a-ay too long). I'm a part-time college librarian and instructor. I love to garden and bake and read about crafts (I never have time to actually do any crafting, though). I'm in my late mid-forties (okay, I'm 48). In my yout' I loved The Clash and Elvis Costello-- I still love them, which is why, though I'm growing out a head of mostly gray hair, I have a purple streak lurking underneath my chin-length bob. I tend to overuse parentheses (you may have noticed this already).

Friday, June 5, 2009


I'm trying to kick myself off a weight loss plateau- help!