Friday, February 27, 2009

Why do I have all these old clothes?

For some reason I have clothes from a really long time ago. I mean really long. In fact, for some reason, I have my junior prom dress in my closet. Not in the basement closet but in my room. That has to change. I was hesitant to throw perfectly good clothes away just because they didn't fit. What if one day they did? Well now lots of them do. I try them on each week, in lieu of a scale, and take an odd trip down memory lane. Of course, as most people could probably have predicted, even when the clothes do fit they don't look right. They're not cut quite right for this era, or they've been washed too many times, or they are itchy or something. I wish I'd thrown them all out years, even decades ago. I'm building a pile of clothes to bring to Good Will. I would like to throw them out because I don't like them, not because they're too small, but it really doesn't matter at this point. So now some clothes are too big, some fit perfectly, some are still too small, some I'm just sick of, and some are hopelessly out of style. What's a girl to do?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Oh good lord I was starving all day yesterday. Not a little hungry but 'can't concentrate' level hungry. I ate what seemed like a big breakfast of an egg and extra egg whites on toast but it wasn't enough. I tried to have a small snack of 1 point of oatmeal and an apple but that just made me hungrier. For lunch I treated myself to a 5 or 6 point sushi roll and that helped for a while. Abigail and I did our stairs and then the hunger started all over again. I ate the 3 point sandwich that was supposed to be lunch when I normally have a 2 point snack at that time. Still starving. Finally I ate dinner at 5:30, vegetarian chili, whole wheat pita chips and a yogurt with some orange slices. Not horrible, but I ate too many pita chips. I made them myself so they're not terrible. I had a hard time figuring out how many points the chili was. I guess now that I'm writing this I didn't eat as much as I thought, but I did eat more than normal. Maybe 23 instead of 21. But that is enough to make a difference if done repeatedly. Bummer. 

Seeking support I told my husband, "I was starving today. I couldn't stop eating." I suppose that made it sound like I ate a big piece of pie or something. Earlier in the evening while he was sitting at the kitchen table and I was preparing the next day's lunches in sweatpants and Uggs he had said in complete disbelief, "Half your ass is gone!" Why does he notice at the oddest times and the grossest outfits??  At any rate, later on when I confessed/complained that I "couldn't stop eating" he said, "Well you better stop or your ass will come right back." I can't quite convey how furious I was. 

So in a scene right out of "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" he expressed complete confusion and exasperation at my angry reaction. He honestly thought his comment was supportive and had no idea what I would have preferred he said. I suggested, "I'm sorry you were hungry. Don't starve yourself." A few moments later he did give me a hug and dutifully/mockingly recite the script I prepared for him. My anger switched to amusement. At least my husband still looks at my behind!

I'm skipping the food log as it's mainly above.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why now?

Today Dave and I went out to lunch and I was so fascinated by my own reaction. I didn't want any of the fattening vaguely French brunch options. The heaviness of them was annoying even to read on the menu. I almost asked to leave. I thought for a moment that dieting had completely ruined my ability to enjoy myself. Then I calmed down and ordered a salad with chicken. Usually I don't order such things at restaurants as I go to restaurants very infrequently and like to treat myself. But eggs benedict or Nutella french toast was just out of the question. Salad and a latte would have to do as a treat. The salad arrived. The chicken was freezing and hard. There was tons of blue cheese. I got the dressing on the side but ate a fair amount of it. Delicious home made Caesar. But I wasn't tempted by any of the fresh baked goods (the place is called Bread and Chocolate for God's sake) and I didn't even eat the chicken or most of the blue cheese. I just don't want to eat a big heavy meal anymore. The guilt is just not worth it. I've lost 15 pounds and don't want to screw it up. I suppose this is maturity. Or maybe it's just that the chicken wasn't very good. At any rate the pork loin with sauteed veggies I made for dinner was much better and took some restraint - as did stopping at one cookie for dessert - but so much less restraint than at any time in the past. Why is that?

I believe it's pretty well understood that dieting is 100% mental. Currently I have the mental resolve to eat properly, and to slay the temptation a cupboard full of cookies could be permanently taunting me with. I'm trying, but not that hard. As the wise sage Kathy Griffin once said (paraphrasing), "The difference between me and Nicole Kidman s that if I have a box of Twinkies in my cabinet I'll obsess about eating them the whole day. I assure you Nicole Kidman never gives the Twinkies a moment's thought." The cookies really are not bothering me and if they do I have one or half of one. So why now?

I'm not really sure, except that I'm ready.

One time in my twenties I was in a salon getting my hair cut when a woman in her 40s or 50s was talking to my stylist. So obviously I couldn't help but listen. She was very put together and fit. She was talking about her 6 mile walk that she did every morning. This was in Boston mind you. It's COLD in the mornings in the winter. I said something like, "How do you make yourself go in the cold and dark?" Now I didn't know this woman, and she said to me with what I perceived to be resolve, and perhaps a drop of pity, but not a hint of condescension, "As you get older you realize that things just work out better if you're disciplined." Of course that's not such a revolutionary statement and I certainly saw my parents live disciplined lives but something about her demeanor really stuck with me. She was just so calm and accepting of that fact. And she seemed to know that I would one day understand.

Fast forward 10 years.

I think I was motivated to start dieting because I was actually worried that I wouldn't be able to complete the prep for the colonoscopy. That is, I was scared that I wouldn't be able to control my hunger for a day. I imagined a scene where I woke up from the anesthesia, groggy and disoriented, in an inherently mortifying situation, only to have the doctor chastise me for not cleaning my colon properly and wasting everyone's time. This nightmare-daydream really did spur me into action. My prep was fantastic. Humiliation averted (I mean, sort of). In addition, having a colonoscopy 2 weeks into a new diet was extremely helpful in getting a quick successful start - even though not eating for 24 hours was miserable.

So early success makes it easier to stay motivated. At least for now. The real hard part comes when that motivation (euphoria?) wears off. Sigh.

food log
1/4 whole wheat bagel with cream cheese
coffee milk
(forgetting something.....)

lunch - 2pm after Slumdog Millionaire
large salad with Caesar dressing, some blue cheese
low-fat latte
2 medium croutons

sauteed peppers and onions
pork loin -4 oz
small amount pasta with squash sauce (less than 1/2 cup) because....
picked at a bunch of stuff while cooking - BAD!

chocolate chip cookie - small

aerobics in bedroom, about 30 min

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Much better day

I really think it's all about breakfast. I noticed that yesterday, when I ate too little at breakfast I couldn't ever really eat the right amount again for the rest of the day. Today, I brought a Greek yogurt to work, which I couldn't look at, as I've had so many of them, so I went down to the cafeteria and asked for 1 egg on 1 piece of all natural bread toast (yes they have such a thing at a government cafeteria). I didn't get into the butter with the woman making it and sure enough she put butter on the toast. Not a ton. I happily ate the slightly buttery concoction. It was beyond delicious, and best of all I wasn't hungry at all until lunchtime.

Lunch, snack and dinner were all the right size, I believe, although I was a bit confused about how much tilapia to eat. I guess not too much according to this article.

I've noticed that when I have a day like yesterday, where I feel like a total failure, hungry, not managing things well, slightly loony, then I tend to have a much more balanced day the next day. This is good as if I had many of those crazed days in a row I'd turn into a cranky monster. And today I even got two compliments from my husband - one a post on this blog and the other after dinner, "You look really different." Ummm...thanks?

food log
coffee with milk
aforementioned toast with egg

salad with salmon
low-cal bread with laughing cow cheese spread (not so good on the Michael Pollan 'Eat real food' mantra but it's filling and cheesy!

afternoon snack
cottage cheese with carrots and tomatoes

tilapia with mustard sauce - embarrassingly store bought from TJs and fatty sauce -I scraped it off.
whole wheat pasta (stuffed into 1/2 cup measuring cup)
sauteed veggies

3 oz Oreo yogurt

770 stairs
arm/lat weights

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day of hunger and craving

Today I was hungry most of the day and craving sweets all evening. Very difficult. I didn't eat enough breakfast, by accident, and then was starving for lunch by 11. I had a little extra food at lunch but it didn't make up for how hungry I was. I borrowed an apple from Emily so that I would have energy for my stairs, and ate my afternoon snack on top of that when I was done. I made dinner early and kind of guessed at portions sizes. I thought I was being tricky by mixing a trader Joe's Peruvian white rice mixture with plain cooked (fiber and protein-rich) lentils, but I think I ate a lot of points anyway.  I thought I totally overate, but perhaps I didn't eat enough as I was craving dessert like crazy. Very frustrating. Must go back to more careful measuring. Just when I thought I had the hang of things!!! I just want a big, filling, fattening meal right now, full of fat and sugar, and no measuring!!! Any why is my son awake? I put him to bed an hour ago! Must go act stern.

Food log
2 slices low-cal bread with one slice ham 
coffee with milk

mid-morning snack
handful Kashi Go Lean

lunch (at 11:45)
Salad with 3oz salmon, 1/2 cup lentils, 2 tbs dressing
1/4 cup dry oatmeal - eaten when still hungry after salad

afternoon snack 1
apple - begged co-worker for these
5 almonds - begged another co-worker for these

afternoon snack 2
90 cal Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup Kashi Go Lean (obviously it's in my desk)

2.5 oz Korean beef 
3/4 cup Peruvian rice/lentil mix from TJs (really guessing here)

dessert 1
3 strawberries

dessert 2
10z fruit leather

770 stairs
100 push-ups from knees

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Body Image Reversal

One time when Dave and I were first dating we went out with my much older cousin, his wife, and their two friends. These people had 5 kids (3 disabled) between them, and among the other warnings about parenthood was, "having kids ruins your figure." Now of course I found this whole evening terribly depressing. No travel, no money, no time....and irreversible body damage. Of course everything they said proved to be true. For the most part lately my complaints have been about overall size. But now that I'm even a tad smaller, my old issues of things not fitting well due to pear proportions is again an issue. And now my mid-section is so post-partum looking, even many years later (I have 2 quite disfiguring stretch marks incurred in my last 3 days of pregnancy with Alex). I know a little surgery would take care of both these issues, and if we were flush with extra cash I can't say it wouldn't be tempting. But as for now, I'm finding the prospect of losing weight only to be confronted with an almost 40 year old body, as opposed to a 30 year old body to be quite disheartening. The good part is that I'm more mature, less self-involved, and I know that worrying about one's body image is a luxury I don't really care to spend too much time on. My kids are healthy, my husband loves me, etc.

However, we all want to look at least somewhat attractive. The other day I pulled out some pictures of myself on a trip to Key West with Dave, just before we got engaged. I knew that was when I looked my best so I was going to use them as an incentive. I mean, a picture of a supermodel would just be silly. I will never look that way. But perhaps I could use my 26 year old self as a marker. Alex found the pictures and said, "Mommy, why did you make your tummy not like that any more?" I thought about permanent psychological damage for a second and then threw parental caution to the wind and said, "Because you got in it!" Not so nice. I also added sheepishly...and I don't exercise enough...and I eat too much. He giggled (guilt assuaged) and then thought some more and said, "I want you to put it back like that." Ahhh the innocence of children.

I'm growing bored with the food log. I'm keeping track on my iphone. I will note if I have trouble staying on target, but most days I do alright, and I tend to eat a lot of the same foods over and over. I would imagine this gets boring to read!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

online resources

A sort of hum drum weekend day. Same old foods for breakfast and lunch. I made a wheatberry/lentil salad for dinner with broccoli, onions and a bit of feta...that's as much food log as I have patience for.

I've been messing around with my iphone a lot and here are my favorite online resources and iphone apps...

Livestrong's The Daily Plate (both a web site and iphone app)
This is a great site because the web site syncs with your iphone so you can enter things whenever and it syncs to both places. Also very great because it has a wiki-database of foods. So for example, if someone enters a certain kind of Trader Joe's bread, then it is in the database for everyone to see. Fantastic concept, but usually unverified. It tells you if it's verified. Nice that you can search by brand name, "Face, Greek yogurt." Another nice feature is that you can make meals of a few foods and then just add the meal. Very laborious at first, but if you are a creature of habit and eat similar foods over and over, it is easy.  Also - this tedium is much more appealing on the iphone when you are say, stuck at a red light. 

BAD - only counts calories, fat, protein, carbs, fiber, but NOT Weight Watchers points per se. You can also add exercise in the same way you add food. But put in a goal of 1200 calories, and that's pretty close to a typical Weight Watchers goal.

iwatchr (iphone app)
Go to Itunes and search for "points calculator" - I know there is a way to link to an iphone app, but I'm too lazy to figure it out.

This is a Weight Watchers points calculator, but not authorized by Weight Watchers. Good b/c you can just enter the calories, fat and fiber and get points, but bad because there is no database of food to choose from and no website to sync up with. So you have to manually go to the label of the food, if you have it, and enter the info. But good for checking out how many points something is.

fat secret (website)
Similar to the Daily Plate, but has the nice added benefit of listing Weight Watchers points for foods. Bad that it does not have an iphone app counterpart - yet.

Of course there are thousands more. I used to use one that tracked all the nutrients - every vitamin, etc. but I can't find it now.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Weight Watchers meetings my ass!

I tried to attend my first real WW meeting today. Of course at the last minute I forgot about it and walked in at the end, just to use their scale (details below) and introduce myself to the leader. The woman practically jumped me asking for $186 and telling me in a very cult-like way about all the great features of WW. Not for me. I think if I didn't have Emily, who has been doing WW for 8 years, advising me, and if there weren't so many Internet sources for estimating points, reducing fat and calories in recipes, etc, then I might find it more valuable. But as it stands I don't see what it adds to my life. I'm having success without officially joining - although I do feel slightly guilty, like if I had downloaded a song illegally from a really super-rich band, but oh well.

As for the scale - I went to Bed Bath and Beyond on Tuesday, to use my favorite scale there, I think about 2 weeks since I last weighed myself. My clothes are really fitting differently and people comment all the time (partly as I'm not dressing in such slobby/tented clothes any more) so I was really ready for some serious loss. Then disaster struck. According to that scale I lost only 1 pound! I was in disbelief and stepped on every single scale in the store - some 10 or so. I found a 6 lb variance! I picked the middle number and went home. Then yesterday at the WW meeting, the 1 lb loss was confirmed. I am about a pound or two away from being in the normal range for BMI. Still 11 lbs to go to get to my first goal and 14 lbs until I'm at my realy goal weight. That number is basically what I weighed when I felt in shape in my 20s - nothing truly svelte, but normal...

Nothink remarkable in the foodlog department for the past 2 days, except that I was faced with the challenge of a pot-luck party last night. I think I went a few points over, but nothing severe. I noticed that all the thin people there had small plates of food. Damn them!!
I did eat a few bites (3-4?) of Natasha's macaroni and cheese which probably blew the whole evening but I used the excuse that the person who made it could have been sitting next to me and I didn't want her insulted that Natasha didn't like it. Kind of lame. Plus after eating all the food on my plate I was still pretty hungry. Towards the end, I did a lot of hovering around the buffet feeling deprived and eating carrots. Then I had a couple bites of the home made chocolate cake which Natasha also inexplicably rejected - I guess it wasn't artificial-tasting enough. I shoved it over to my husband so he would eat it and I could stop being tortured by it sitting in front of me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A better day

Monday was much better. I ate normal amounts of food and wasn't crazy starving or craving-insane. Today was fine too. I guess being at work helps. I just made dinner, with the help of my mother, who seasoned the pork loin for me. I asked her to start it so that it wouldn't take too long to cook once I got home. The side was super-delicious. Carmelized onions with sauteed Southern Greens. I threw in a bunch of couscous from last night and let it soak up the chicken broth I was cooking the greens in. I even added butter for the first time since I started this. I didn't use more that 1.5 tablespoons but I wasn't measuring. I kept putting in bits of oil and butter until it tasted rich to me. I really don't want to feel like a rabbit. It was such a treat. I'm not sure exactly how many points it was, but I would say I made 5 servings with 3 tablespoons of fat so that's not terrible.  I could have eaten 3 times the amount I did - sometimes my mother and I are such fantastic cooks I just can't stand it!

Other things I want to try are whole wheat pitas with soy flour, and some kind of low-fat oatmeal cookie. Perhaps the cookies can be a weekend experiment. I noticed that 1 tablespoon of Hershey's dark cocoa has a TON of flavor, 20 calories, no fat and 2 grams of fiber. I am already using it in my Oreo yogurt, but low-fat chocolate must be put to as many uses as possible! I guess the question is how can you make a cookie with the least amount of fat and sugar, and most amount of fiber and flavor. I'll let you know!

food log for Tuesday
2/3 cup fat-free, sugar-free Oreo yogurt
coffee and milk

salad with tiny bit dressing with 3oz salmon
1 piece whole wheat bread
1 small 2% cottage cheese

apple (was supposed to be cottage cheese and apple but I was hungry at lunch)

3 carefully measured ounces pork loin
sauteed greens with  couscous and carmelized onions (and butter)

770 stairs
100 push-ups on knees
50 sit-ups

Monday, February 9, 2009

Complete meltdown

Yesterday was such a low. The morning was ok. Since it was warm for the first time in a while, I exercised outside on the trail by our house - loving the fresh air and my podcast of Nigella Lawson and her sultry admissions about eating. I went speedwalking for 50 minutes with a constant concious effort not to drop my speed. I dutifully ate 12 appropriate points by lunch. Dave was out and I was alone with the kids - who were kind of bored. We went into Bethesda and had some fun. On the way home I had a banana and some strawberries that I had packed earlier.

Then the bottom fell out. At around 3:30 I was so hungry, weak and sad about never being able to eat anything really good that I was in a severe funk. I sent the kids down to watch tv on a beautiful day because I was so weary that all I wanted to do was lie in bed. I called my unofficial WW sponsor but she didn't answer her cell phone and like a dummy I didn't call her home number. I texted many friends, none of whom replied. I was getting hungrier and weaker. I should have just eaten something substantial, but that seemed like such an admission of failure. I was so demoralized. I ate 100 carrots and celery sticks with a non-fat yogurt/mustard dip. It did nothing. I forced myself to stay in my bedroom watching Sunday talk show reruns about our current fiscal crisis. Even this didn't get my mind off eating something really rich and indulgent.

At 5:25 I went downstairs to make dinner - turkey hot dogs on whole wheat buns - kind of a treat and only 5 points for a big hot dog plus bun. I also had some soup and pickles. I ate about the right amount of points, but was probably a little over 21. I was so bummed out and feeling deprived, even though I had just eaten a hot dog!

A little while later I realized a two mistakes in my point calculations...
  1. I did more exercise yesterday than usual, and it was the kind that makes me hungry. The speed walking was more calorie-burning than I realized, I guess - it's not nearly as taxing as the 15 min of hard core stairs I usually do, but it was 50 minutes not 15. I try not to eat my extra exercise points, but in the case of my long speed-walks, that's just not possible.
  2. I save my 35 floater points for going to restaurants on the weekend and this weekend we didn't go out. So by Sunday afternoon, I was just sad at not having had a little break from counting, and some pure food enjoyment. I had kind of forgotten about this on Sunday during my meltdown.

Once I realized this I decided to pig out a bit on the girlscout cookies that had been serendipitously delivered a to my house a couple of hours earlier by a little cutie from around the corner. After that I was MUCH HAPPIER!!!
I guess the lesson is two-fold. First of all, I should know by now not to ignore that weak-feeling hunger. How dumb am I that I can't manage feelings that a newborn has complete mastery over?? Second of all - I need a eating-out treat at least once a weekend. My whole family is in agreement on this so it shouldn't be too hard to make this a priority.
Food log
It's kind of a blur and too painful to relive - let's just say it was probably around 29 points, with 3 points off for exercise.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Old jeans tossed

I have a pair of jeans that are so worn and horrible looking, but for a long time they were the only jeans that fit, so I kept them. The jeans I bought to replace them have been too tight since August. The older jeans, which are BR and have some stretch in them, are just so soft and worn, and now that they're not tight they're really comfy. The new jeans are from Gap, no stretch and are just now comfortable enough to wear without getting a stomach ache (personally I think BR is cut bigger than Gap). Why not keep both? Well the BR pair has two holes along the inner thighs, where my thighs rub together. This is an embarrassing admission in and of itself, made slightly less embarrassing by the fact that in college I overheard two anorexic girls talking about how when their thighs rub together they stop eating. I was so horrified by how proud they were about this that I felt much more smug in the notion that my thighs would never in a million years NOT rub together.  

But I digress. My point is that in January my "comfy" BR jeans had become so tight and uncomfortable that they in fact were the main impetus for starting my diet. I had already bought one of those cheese 1970's denim patches to cover the holes, as they were my only weekend pants that even remotely fit. Then to be wearing patched jeans that DON'T fit was just unbearable. Of course I could have bought bigger jeans, but going up a size is just so terrible for so many reasons. Now I can throw them out. I have in fact put them next to the trash can in my bedroom. Tuesday when the garbage comes they will be in the can. One success! 

The jean toss is quite optimistic as if I gain even one ounce my Gap jeans will be tight. I think I may buy new BR jeans with some stretch, but in my traditional size - basically replace the ones I threw out. An extremely optimistic person would wait to see if I could get a size smaller, but I'm not that confident in my dieting abilities. I think, knowing my body, that unless I start working out an hour a day I will soon hit a plateau that I probably won't be willing to cross. I'm down at 21 points, and I can't see eating much less than that. So wherever this takes me is probably where I will stay. And when I get there, I will keep the goal of eating 20-23 points for eternity. If I go to 25-27 points I will just go back up, I'm sure. This is where I should probably consult a real WW guide...but I'll cross that bridge if and when I lose another 15 lbs.

food log - kind of strange today
coffee-milk 1.5 pts
1/2 whole wheat bagel
brown rice salmon avocado roll from Whole Foods (I was so happy to find it!)

salad with 3oz sliced turkey, dressing 4 points

chicken soup, carefully measured, 1/2 cup lima beans, 1/2 cup white chicken
small but i used my points at breakfast!
picked at various chip-type objects 1.5 points

1/4 cup Oreo yogurt (all that was left)

very pathetic aerobics in bedroom - really not into it today
This was optimistically posted at 7:43 - may have another 1pt snack

Friday, February 6, 2009

I think I ate too much...

I ate 1.5 cups of bean stew and I'm stuffed. I haven't felt this full in so long. Not the greatest feeling, but at least hopefully I won't go to bed starving. Weight Watchers really likes beans. They are the most filling-least point food out there. Good thing I like them - and they're cheap! I just made baby lima beans which I find so creamy I think I will try making tomato soup with added pureed beans instead of cream. I'll keep everyone posted!

food log
1 egg plus 1 eggwhite on high-fiber bread 3pts
coffee plus milk (lots) 1.5 pts

salad with 1/4 cup hummus, 1/2 tbs low-fat vinagrette 2pts
1 slice high-fiber bread with 3oz turkey 4 pts

0% fat Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup blackberries and Equal 2.5 pts

 1.5 cups mushroom, onion, bean and pancetta stew 4pts - really not sure, but had a bite or so of briskett while cooking
banana 2pts

1/2 cup dry Kashi Mighty Bites (I needed something sweet) 1pt

770 steps at a slow pace
60 crunches

Why is estimating so hard??

Maybe I should go back to measuring - or at least some sense of consciousness while cooking. I was cooking while on the phone and chatting with Alex so I was very distracted. I reverted to my old habits and just kept throwing olive oil in the pan without much thought. Now this isn't SO bad, and I certainly didn't drown anything like a chef at a restaurant would, but I certainly could have reduced the amount of oil by half had I been paying more attention.

Dinner was YUMMY. My new favorite vegetable is oven-roasted green beans with a little olive oil and salt. A little oil really does go a long way. The kids even happily eat these and Dave LOVES them. So my one mistake was that when I realized how greasy the food was I cut out the carb side dish (I didn't like it anyway - pre-made ravioli) and ended up really hungry later. I actually wasn't so much hungry as I was having massive hot fudge sundae cravings. I did a lot of lying in bed feeling deprived, which is not a good way to feel for long-term success. I need an emergency craving food in the house, like No-Pudge Fudge brownies or something. So I thought I was just reaching some craving low-point, but then when I woke up starving I realized I just didn't eat enough. It's hard to estimate how much olive oil I've eaten, when it's spread across so many servings and I don't measure it before it goes in the pan in the first place. I also didn't exercise because work was so busy and I had to leave early - then I spent all afternoon letting Alex eat chocolate bagels and play with my iphone while I blabbered to my girlfriends in far-off places. I need my girls!

food log
coffee plus 1% milk
low-cal bread with 1tsp peanut butter

salad w/ 1tbs dressing
lean turkey sandwich on low cal bread

chicken with miropoix veggie saute
oven-roasted green beans with OO

dessert (immediately upon finishing dinner)
homemade Oreo-flavored yogurt - only 1pt


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stress and guessing

I re-learned several lessons yesterday:
1. putting off grocery shopping leads to bad food choices
2. sometimes a lady needs some sushi
3. low-fat cheese is usually not worth the points (except feta)
4. regular cheese, nuts and dried fruit are points killers and still hard for me to give up
5. I am incapable of following recipes to a T and having an exact point count
6. I need to become a more aggressive exerciser
7. I don't eat/not eat due to stress (this is good!)
8. It is important for me to airm to enjoy my meals, and not only reach for highly-filling, low-points foods.
9. I can't concentrate at work when my kids are sick
10. I can't concentrate at work when my house is falling apart - this week I have both!

My morning started with my daughter complaining of blurry vision, and after telling her she'd be fine, and sending her to school, I was quickly called by the school because she threw up twice. I practically had a heart attack and took her to the doctor who was unfazed, until I told him my family history. At that point he suggested neuological screening. Oy.

After work, where I was barely focusing, completely behind, and almost yelled at the entire department about the smellyness of the fridge, I took N to the doctor (see above) then came home and realized I had to go grocery shopping RIGHT THAT SECOND. I also could not for the life of me figure out how to make my iphone ring (don't ask, it's too embarassing) and decided to hop over to the Apple store before TJs. While in lovely downtown Bethesda, I decided to ignore the 3 sick people home waiting for dinner, and to treat myself to sushi alone, in my sweat pants, at my favorite sushi place. I sat at the bar and thinking of points, ordered a Diet Coke instead of something more relaxing, and ordered a moderate amount of non-fried sushi. I was so happy. I think I reached 9 points or maybe 8. Whatever. Then I went to the store, and when Dave called at 6:45 before he said a word I said, "heat up some nuggets for the kids" (a habit I'm desperately trying to break). I came home with groceries, but at 7:30 there was no dinner for sick hubby who spent all day with the kids, washed dishes by hand and unpacked the groceries. When he inquired about dinner I practically bit his head off. I'm so mean. I just was all done. We have plenty of things in packages that just need microwaving so that's what he had. Tonight I'll be a better wife!

food log
WW bread with low-fat Swiss (feels like chewing rubber) and prosciutto 4-5 pts

oatmeal, yogurt, carrots, various other remnants from my fridge 6pts

fruit and fiber fruit snack - I know WW doesn't like dried fruit but ate small amount 1pt

miso soup 2 pieces salmon sushi small mixed fish maki 8-9 pts?

25 min aerobics while watching tv -2pts really my exercise is kind of half an effort, but better than nothing I suppose

I think I was at 23 points...which is ok with exercise

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Weight Watchers Nation

It has recently come to my attention that practically everyone I know has done Weight Watchers at some point. Mention "Points" and people immediately know what you mean. This is kind of reassuring. It seems like a secret underground society that more and more people belong to. When I tell people "I'm doing Weight Watchers." it's like I'm revealing a secret tattoo on my shoulder only to find my friend has the same one. I've seen no less than 3 Facebook posts about WW lately. The camaraderie is nice, I must say, even though I'd prefer to be in the "I'm a hardcore athlete who stays naturally thin due to my extreme exercise habits" group of women. Oh well.

Last night I was at a friend's house for dinner, and as she started to serve me some sauteed chicken sausage with peppers she asked me how much I wanted. I answered in a kind of exasperated voice, "I don't know, 7 points worth." And the funny thing is that she then edited what she had put in the bowl to what she intuitively guessed would be 7 points worth - I agreed with her estimate and ate it, pretty happily. It was so comforting for her to understand my frustration (what is 7 pts??) and solve my problem. I humbly (and hungrily) sat down to eat while she called the kids in. Since she's 34 weeks pregnant I probably should have helped her first, but I was too hungry!! At first I was kind of depressed at eating such a small portion, but by the time I got home I was happily full so I really had nothing to complain about.

The funny thing is that this person has been kind of a hard-core Atkins type as long as I've known her (actually she's been pregnant most of the time I've known her but that's another story). We discussed the differences, and the differences in our personalities. She REALLY likes rules and structure, but doesn't like denying herself things so with WW she said she tends to eat M&Ms, use up all her points and then eat popcorn all night long because she has no points left for anything substantial. So she ends up feeling gross and unhealthy. But with Atkins she just knows sugar and carbs are off-limits, shuts them out of her brain (like I said she likes rules) and ends up eating a broader variety of foods.

I, on the other hand, don't like rules at all, and also don't like denying myself things (who does?) so I need the flexibility of WW. Even living within the constraints of WW points is challenging for me, but it's working so I comply.

What I fail to understand however, is why people go on and off of Weight Watchers. I can't see adding more points to what I'm eating now. I'll just gain weight. I'm eating an amount that is relatively satisfying, and if I eat what I really want, I'll just end up huge. Maybe I'll add a point or so, but I can't see changing things too much. Perhaps someone can explain this to me.

Food log, I'm at 21 points now
egg frittata with tinly bit low-fat feta, 3 pts
whole wheat bun 2pts
coffee with milk 1pt

chicken cubes 2pts (3pts?)
cottage cheese, veggies 1pt
oatmeal with water 2pts
(I really must go to the grocery store)

low-fat Greek chocolate yogurt 2pts

chicken sausage with sauteed onions 7pts

treadmill 25 min
sit-ups - until Alex called me away...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Non-diet woes

OK - not life threatening but old houses can really make a person nutty. 
Bathtub improperly installed by dummy former owner, leaked into living room ceiling, all the way to basement, repairman caulked, etc, still leaking right into the middle of my living room.

Plumber came to fix broken shower faucets but brought wrong parts. Moved on to replacing broken dishwasher with new gleaming over-priced model, but upon opening new model found that it was dented.

Living room ceiling still has a 2 ft wide gaping hole as leak is not resolved. Faucets still don't work. Old dishwasher AND new dishwasher both in garage so now I have no dishwasher, but instead a gaping hole filled with live wires and mouse poop and all my cleaning poisons sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor.

Front  handle on storm door has been fixed or replaced 7 times and still is not working, so it is sometimes impossible to leave or enter the house.

Old bathroom (not the one mentioned above) is moldy, probably leaking, toilet barely works, and sink smells funny.

And these are just the emergencies we're trying to take car of - we also need a new furnace - the old one will die any day I'm told, and the outside of the house is totally peeling and desperately needs repainting - we've become the house with the haunted-looking falling apart shutters.

Eating out challenges

This weekend was kind of lame. We ate out twice, which was sort of disasterous as I: a) ate too much and b) didn't really enjoy it and c) ended up feeling like a dieting failure. In addition, when I wasn't eating out, I was sticking to my given points allotments, and I was still pretty hungry. I thought I was past feeling hungry all the time. Not so successful - hungry and overeating. How is that possible???

So everyone knows that eating out is such a challenge when trying to diet. I save all my extra 35 "floater" points for any times I may eat out - and if we don't go out I don't use them at all. This weekend we went out twice, and I hope I didn't go over the limit. The first time was International Night at Natasha's school. I decided to let myself eat a bit or two each of the Portuguese chocolate cake, some undetermined country of origin incredibly rich banana cake, and some Japanese bean dumpling. All incredibly heavy, sweet, not full of whole fiber and definitely full of lots of fat and sugar. I'm sure I used half of my 35 points, and most of the food was not worth it (although that banana cake was fabulous).

The next day at the Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown, we ended up at a place where a man was making Chinese noodles in the window. They were heavy, greasy and lacking in the veggie accompaniment promised on the menu. Exactly 3 spears of broccoli in my veggie noodles. Of course I ended up eating a small plate of greasy white rice noodles. What is hard is that it's impossible to know how much oil was in the food - a lot - or exactly how much I was eating. This meal was kind of upsetting, in a neurotic anorexic kind of way. If I'm going to pig out at a restaurant or other event, I want to at least enjoy it, not be stuck with nothing else to eat but unhealthy food. This was partly bad ordering...but also kind of goes with the territory at a some restaurants - this particular one didn't have the "steamed" option that works well at most Chinese places. Anyway, due to my two mediocre meals, I'm sure I will not lose any weight this week. Oh well. At least I learned a lesson. Just because I'm at a restaurant, doesn't mean I should indulge. Sometimes the food is not worth it. Try SUPER hard to find low-fat items that won't bust the points limit with 5 bites of food.

I'm not doing a food log as now that it's Monday, I'm too confused and forgetful. I'll just state that most meals were similar to days past, and the two meals out were big and heavy but not outrageous. Probably a total of 23 points a day plus the 35 floater points at max. Not a good feeling!