Sunday, November 29, 2009

20 Year Reunion

I did not attend, but I did look at lots of photos on Facebook. Aside from the oddness of recognizing almost no one - did I go to that school?? - it was shocking and striking to see how negatively extra weight impacts how people look. Basically the heavy people looked terrible and the fit people looked fantastic - better than high school - especially the men. None of my friends were there...bummer.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Starvation ended

OK - back to normal hunger today. Not sure what the issue was - maybe cumulative hunger. I did have a banana at 5am so I could digest before working out. I kind of had to make myself eat it - 5am is no time to be eating, but I did and then did 2 Jackies. I can't do 3 right in a row.

In other news I'm really behind in Thanksgiving prep. Oh well.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Good freezer choice

I tend to really break the processed food rule with sausages. I mainly eat chicken sausage but that is still highly processed. For a change I bought Trader Joe's seafood sausage and was quite pleased. Still processed, probably fish from unsustainable resources, but sometimes I have too many things to think about and I take the "head in the sand" route about the origin of my food. Anyway they cost something like $5.59 for 6 or so, 110 calories or 2 pts each and they are pretty tasty. They are not high-end gourmet tasty, but certainly a healthy choice in a pinch. Calorie info here...

Morning exericse

I usually exercise in the morning, early, say 6am. I eat a few handfuls of cereal first, along with coffee with a generous portion of milk. Generally works out fine. On the weekends I wait until later, just because I can, but usually regret it, as I'm either hungry or full, depending on if I've eaten breakfast or not.

So today, I started a long cardio Jillian workout at 9 am-ish, arrogantly thinking I would add some small weights, as it was too easy during the first circuit. Then we got to the mountain climbers. About half-way though I almost passed out. I got weak and dizzy and was verging on disoriented. I literally could not move my muscles. How could this be? I do this one all the time!! I got really upset. I even thought I might be pregnant, that's how weak I felt, despite the fact that I have very strong, reliable birth-control. I was freaking out completely.

I tried to find the remote to press pause and couldn't find it. Alex was on the floor in a heap of blankets and pillows and I started berating him to get up and help me find it. I really started to fall apart. I just used it to start the video - where could it POSSIBLY have gone to???!!!!  I pleaded with Alex to get daddy to help me find the remote -  like I had lost my wedding ring or something.

"Alex PLEASE go upstairs and get daddy!!!" Poor kid. Sweet Alex has a mean mommy.

Dave found it wedged on the side of the couch and tossed it to me with a scornful look. I'm not sure if the scorn was for the fact that I lost it, or interrupted him to find it or that I was generally acting like a lunatic. Maybe all three. I pressed pause. Workout preserved for later and complete failure averted - I would finish it after resting a bit I told myself.

I wasn't really all that hungry, but I am familiar with this reaction to low blood sugar so I tried eating. I went upstairs and ate a HUGE bowl of cereal with milk and yogurt, then when I finished that I downed a few extra handfuls of dry cereal and a banana. I calmed down. Blood sugar returned to normal levels. Obviously I was hungry. I had eaten a little slider before the workout and had several cups of coffee (we have LOTS of sliders left). Caffeine and protein are not the ideal pre-workout meal.  And I ate the slider about 5 minutes before so I didn't even have time to digest it. I guess people carb-load for a reason!

After eating I went down and finished the workout with the same level of fatigue as normal. It's hard but  I can do it. I only had 10 minutes left but wanted to prove I wasn't sick or falling apart or pregnant. So lesson learned. Carb loading from now on. And I remembered something I knew already - I'm a complete disaster when my blood sugar drops. Irrational, angry, reactionary. Sometimes not even very hungry but kind of past that feeling. The fear of getting to that irrational place was one reason I snacked a lot, and it is one reason I'm very good about planning snacks now. No one likes to feel out of control and it's completely unnecessary.  Back to early workouts after cereal.

Crazy hungry

I wrote this a few days ago but didn't post it as it's basically just me whining. But to others who feel like they are struggling, this is just to say that I am too...

I don't know what is wrong with me lately. I'm so hungry in the first half of the day. I'm eating some extra, I think I gained 2 lbs, my clothes still fit fine, but I don't know why I'm so hungry in the morning. It's not just a time of the month thing, it's constant. I am more muscular, I am getting up earlier, I am in a non-losing mindset so I am not inclined to ignore hunger, but I still don't get why I'm SO much hungrier now than say, in the summer. And when I do eat the extra food I am still hungry for more - not overly full like I used to be if I did that. And I'm not pregnant. Now at the evening hour of 7:18 pm I'm not so hungry anymore - it's definitely a morning thing say 5am-12pm.

I'm also tired and depleted in the evenings from getting up so early most days.

Now, I could just eat more and go up a size, but I just bought a whole bunch of clothes at this size and buying a bunch more at a bigger size is sort of out of the question. I hesitated buying clothes, to be sure I could stay where I was, and I did for a while, but now that I've bought them I'm just hungrier - not less motivated, not craving things, not binge eating, not rebelling against being restricted - just plain old hungry - and only the first half of the day. Very frustrating! Honestly I don't know how I ate less than I'm eating now for so many months. Except on the weeks before my period I wasn't really overly hungry either.

Today isn't so bad so far, maybe because I ate a big dinner last night and slept in. I should try that more often!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Looks so relaxing

The other day, after it had been raining for days on end and was anticipated to rain for more days on end I saw a break in the deluge right after the school bus came and decided to play hooky for a few minutes to take a quick walk on the trail in the fresh air before work. Mind you this is already 9am. While out there I saw two very relaxed women, jogging and chatting, with all the beautiful leaves around them. It seemed like such a special little rendezvous between two friends.

For some reason I couldn't stop staring at them. Perhaps because I was wearing the same uniform as them, but with a blue shirt, and I was thinking about how nice it would be to not work and do this every day - but I don't really want to have that much free time now that my kids are in school all day...I'd feel a bit lazy. But I couldn't stop staring at them and I couldn't really figure out why. I had already done my exercise in the basement earlier in the morning when it was pouring so I was just walking, but I started jogging behind them so I could sneak up and take the photo. I don't think they noticed but I did feel sort of badly.

Eventually I put together all my thoughts. First of all, it was a visually compelling scene - their bright shirts against the gray skies and brown mushed leaves. But more than that, I was thinking two things - 1. Before I got in shape those people who can just relax and talk and run in their $98 yoga pants were somehow a world away from me. I used to see them on the trail all the time when I was doing my power walks and they always seemed to be in a completely different category from me.  I could never run for any distance, I could never talk and run (still can't really). I would never spend that much (I still don't spend that much, but I do buy expensive ones on sale). I wouldn't want to be a stay-at-home mom with all that time to exercise.

Now I would love to have lots of time to exercise, I do feel I deserve those expensive running pants, and I have gone running as a social event. I'm not ready or able to quit my job to do so, but I can at least see how a person gets there. It's relaxing to focus on yourself all day! I'm conflating two topics - working versus staying at home is its own topic. Being a person who enjoys and looks forward to exercising, who sees it as something good to do for physical and mental health, as opposed to someone who feels out of shape, unhappy about her body and dreads exercise is a different topic.

I have managed a happy medium, exercising at 6am, and more on the weekends. But I'm permanently exhausted.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Those skinny girls who eat anything they want....

I wrote this post a while ago but didn't publish it as I was tired of bragging about my success. But I think it's kind of funny and also, it gets to a point that Carrie and Indya brought up about innate personality traits. As in some people innately make sensible diet and exercise choices and some people struggle every day. Somehow, I changed my personality from the latter to the former (I guess 'innate' is the wrong word if I was able to change it). Good habits are not usually such a huge inward battle anymore (sometimes, yes, of course). In the story below, someone mistook me for "one of those skinny girls who can eat anything she wants." Now obviously this is not true - but I would wager that most of those girls, at least at our age, don't really eat that much - they probably just look like they do in social situations, but in their day to day lives are much more careful. And if you are careful and restrained long enough it becomes second nature and what you actually want. If I ate a huge greasy plate of a hamburger and french fries I'd feel sick to my stomach. I may want a few bites of each, but I would naturally control myself.

Anyway, story below....from September
Recently my family went to a party in Baltimore. At this party I knew NO ONE, except my husband and kids and ended up talking for a long time to the wife of the person who invited us. We really hit it off and enjoyed getting to know each other. At some point along the way, I was listing all the reasons why I didn't want to have another baby (of which there are many), and among them was, "I just lost 45 lbs." I let this drop at the buffet bar with other women (moms) around. I thought about it for a second before saying it and almost didn't mention it as I didn't want to appear to brag and at this point I knew full well that it would completely derail the conversation, based on past experiences. Of course I love this - and love talking about all my successes, and diet and exercise techniques in general, but opening up this topic with strangers is a bit ungracious I think.  So I was having this debate in my head as I listed my many reasons for not wanting a 3rd child and felt I would be lying to not add in the weight loss one. So either the honest or showy part of my personality got the best of me and I did mention it, along with, 'it's too expensive, we like being able to do things now, I worry about having a baby at 39, the kids would be too far apart.' As I suspected our conversation completely stopped and the two other women nearby joined in.
Guest 1 "What?!! How much?"
Me "45 lbs or so. I'm not totally sure."
Guest 2 "You did? I need to do that."
Guest 3 "How??"
Me "Diet and exercise really."
Guest 2 "I thought so."
Me "And kind of Weight Watchers principals."
Guest 3 "Do you mind if I ask how much you weigh now?"
Me "I think I'm about 140 now. I haven't weighed myself in a while."
Guest 3 "See that's where I need to be."
Guest 1 "That's amazing. I'm so proud of you."
Guest 2 "Do you not eat any foods? Do you eat bread?"
Me "I eat whatever I want but in really small portions. Well I don't really eat sweets or drink alcohol," I paused for an instant, thinking about the craziness of this next phrase before saying it, "except on Saturdays."
Guest 2. "'Except on Saturdays', well that's one way." Her tone wasn't catty, more, resigned, like, 'well I guess that's what thin people do.'
I looked down at my fingers, greasy with brownie remnants and said, "I know you see me stuffing brownies in my face but I rarely do that."
Oh God, now I'm the loony anorexic girl afraid of a brownie. There is a weensy bit of truth to that accusation. I mean I am pretty regimented but I do eat. Just carefully. And very few brownies.
This went on for a bit longer and then my new friend (guest 1) and I started talking about exercise and her training for a relay marathon. I guess that's where it gets split up amongst a few people so you only (only!) run 6 miles or so. We discussed how hard it is to find time to exercise etc. She was in good shape already but had a two year old clinging to her the entire evening so even though we just met I'm sure she's not her complete pre-child-bearing-years self yet.
In fact, she said, "I thought you were one of those skinny girls who can eat anything she wants." Ha! I thought that was hysterical for obvious reasons. We went over my weight over time etc. and I assured her that that was not true. The more I said the more fascinated she became. What exactly was so fascinating about my story?  
That was written in September when I had just really changed physically - those last 10 lbs are really (sadly)  the most impactful in terms of appearance, and I bought some new clothes. But the point about how I could be perceived as a totally different person than I am kind of made me think - maybe I had just become kind of a different person, (at least in terms of how I eat and exercise) and didn't realize it. I certainly can't eat anything I want, but my wants and indulgences are more in line with each other than they every have been. By eating less I want less and by wanting less the things I do eat are more satisfying. I never could quite find the words to sum up what I was getting at. Maybe I needed a little distance from reaching my goal weight to see that the point of the story is that people can change and I had changed more than I even realized at the time.

OK - way too much thinking on this topic...must eat lunch. Cabbage soup. Again. Maybe a soup pot can be too big.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Good little snack for the sweet/salty combination

Been meaning to post this for a while. This is a good snack from Trader Joe's - 110 cals, 3 grams fiber. Sort of satisfies the sweet/salty craving but not in an overly gross or addictive way. It's not quite as sweet or salty or greasy as you'd like, but then again you can eat a whole bag and not feel gross. I like to buy it in the mini-bags so the serving size is pre-determined. See cork above for scale.

I bought some healthy brownie bites from Whole Foods. They're delicious and don't have a bunch of crap in them but a tiny little marble sized brownie bite is 60 calories. Even two of them is just not enough chewing to satisfy a snack craving. It take 15 seconds to eat 120 calories. This bag takes me several minutes - and really I should only eat half of it because eating all of it gives me a TMJ headache. You'd think that would stop me from eating the whole bag.

Fabulous new soup pot

My mom bought me the above pot as a present. It's fabulous. I highly recommend it for anyone who likes to make soups. Over the weekend I made cabbage soup with beef, minestrone soup and in my old small 8 qt pot, pumpkin/coconut thai spiced soup. I gave some to my neighbor who has H1N1 in the house, some to my cousin who just had her third baby and a horrible c-section experience, and of course Dave and I have tons left. The kitchen didn't get messy because nothing splattered out the top. When making chicken soup I easily put two whole chickens in there (see above) and could have bought the bigger chickens. I mean, it's so efficient and easy to deal with - until cleaning - then it's a bear, but until then it's great.You don't have to pour soup into different containers and strain out bits and splatter hot greasy liquid everywhere. I have posted soup recipes  in the past. For everyone who feels they don't have time to cook - pick a rainy weekend day and make a soup. It's a few minutes of prep - a long time ignoring/simmering and a few minutes clean up.
You'll be happy all week long.

week old photo....

My very flexible husband eating up all bits of leftovers - potatoes, broccoli, 1 manicotti, chicken, unidentified vegetable on left....poor thing was hungry and just piled everything in the fridge into a bowl and ate it.