Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It's a test

Well, here's a big test for me emotionally (because we all know I haven't gained all this weight handling stress and upset well). I have had a crappy day all the way around and all I want to do is find something chocolate (which unfortunately we do have in the house), cram it into my mouth, climb into bed, and pull the covers over my head. :-( Not sure I can get off this ledge by myself after such a day.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


While my current jeans might not fit any differently, the jean shorts I bought only a couple of weeks ago are suddenly too big on me. Yay and boo both! I loved the fit of the shorts and they were short without being hoochie mama short like so many these days. Now I'm going to have to go back to the store and see if I can find them in a smaller size. Should I be optimistic and buy them two sizes smaller? It's already getting close to shorts season here but if another 10 pounds or so is going to make one size down too big, well...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Musings

Great visual to remember, isn't it?! I've been using it to try and keep myself on track with exercising.

I had a really stellar week in terms of weight loss. It's hard to not lose or to gain slightly but in some ways, it's almost as hard to lose a large amount because it makes any smaller number the following week a bit of a disappointment. I have to remember that a loss, any loss, is good. Even holding steady is okay. It's not a one week project. A marathon, not a sprint.

I went out running again this morning. I've been pretty good about running more often than not. Of course, then my son's eyes were still dilated after the eye doctor this morning so I had to take his tennis lesson. A tennis lesson after a 3 mile run is rather tiring. Then tonight my husband wanted to walk the 2 1/2 miles of the neighborhood short loop. On the plus side, I definitely got my exercise today!

As of Saturday (my weigh-in day), I have officially lost 16 pounds. I'm wondering when I'll start to notice. Sadly, my jeans are just as tight out of the dryer as they were before I started. Makes me wonder where the weight is actually coming off? I do think that there's less of a crease showing off my back fat, so that'll be good come swimsuit season. But other than there, I don't see much change in my body yet. Hopefully soon.

Running is good not only for my cardiovascular health, but it helps remind me to cut my toenails (ewww). Learned today that if you leave them slightly too long, they are completely capable of cutting the soft flesh of the next door tootsy and you'll have a bloody sock when you get home. Blech!

I've been cooking Monday through Friday with weekends devoted to being social, having leftovers, or eating pizza. But the 5 days of cooking has been huge for keeping things healthy here. I'm going to list our menu for this week and if anyone out there would like me to continue doing it, please let me know or I won't bother wasting your time again.

Monday (which I have been keeping as meatless Monday the past 5 or so weeks): Rajmah (kidney bean curry) using the recipe on the back of the Aurora Creations spice packet

Tuesday: Chicken and Chard Pasta Fagioli

Wednesday: Grilled Cheeseburger Wrap

Thursday (my crazy driving day so it tends to have to be crockpot Thursday): Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

Friday: Healthy Lemon Dill Chicken

That's it for my randomness today. Hope anyone out there reading is having success with their weight loss journey too.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Yesterday was one of those days that needs a do-over or a serious case of amnesia. But seeing as I'm not a soap opera star and I cannot conveniently blitz the day out of memory or erase it from actually happening, I guess I'll just have to get past it. The weekend had already been rough eating-wise, what with a Mardi Gras party but yesterday seemed to be a free for all.

I put on running clothes and then the naysayer in my head won the battle and I didn't end up going for a run, rationalizing that Monday used to be one of my rest days. Nevermind that pretty much every day has been a rest day recently. I even pulled out the bag of Christmas M&M's that has been living in my drawer since, well, since Christmas. And I ate the whole thing. Yes I did. ::sigh:: I actually ate M&M's until the candy coating made the roof of my mouth raw. I swear I am a close relative of goldfish who will eat until they explode. But if I look at the plus side of it all, the M&M's lasted a good two months without being opened and they are no longer around to tempt me.

And the memory of yesterday's debacle, which I intend to wipe from my memory just as soon as the sugar rush subsides, drove me to run this morning. I'm pretty sure that those 12 oz. of M&M's added about 10 pounds of drag to my butt as I shuffled around the neighborhood today but I did it, still belching chocolate, I might add. It hurt but I pushed through it. And there is a tired satisfaction in getting myself back under control and in having exercised no matter how much I didn't want to.

As of right now my husband has not given me any Valentine's candy so that's a good thing too. I'm hoping there's something sparkly for me rather than something caloric when (if?) he pulls out a gift. (My mom already says he has one for me so...)

Thursday, February 9, 2012


My parents are visiting. This generally spurs an overeating frenzy on my part. You'd think I have loads of unresolved childhood issues or something given my gorging when I'm in their vicinity. I don't. No, really. I don't. But for some reason, I eat like I'm stocking up to hibernate for the winter when I am around them. It's very hard for me to break this habit but I am giving it my best shot. I planned out meals for the entire time they are here to minimize chances to sabotage myself. I ran both yesterday and today and followed both runs up with tennis yesterday and a 4 mile walk with mom today. So even if I do overindulge, I'm hoping I've counteracted it in advance. Regardless today and tomorrow will be very hard for me. I can do it. Right? Right!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Just plain silly

Sometimes the quest to lose weight makes me just plain silly. But silliness can be good. Silliness can be empowering. Silliness can be intentional. This morning I grabbed my muffin top (sadly there's quite a handful to grab), shook it at the mirror, and told it I was giving it notice: "You're on your way out of here." Weird, I know. But it made me feel like I was really taking charge and there could be no arguing. That wobbly muffin top is on the shrink plan and now it knows I'm not going to be gentle and I'm going to fight it every inch of the way.

I really should take some actual measurements so I can see its losing battle. :-)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Meatless Mondays and Braised Beans with Rosemary

In this quest to eat healthier, I have been cutting back on the amount of meat in my diet. However, I am not in danger of actually going vegetarian any time soon. I've actually been there, done that and realize that I make a terrible vegetarian. See, being vegetarian actually involves eating a balanced diet, not just one that doesn't include meat. When I was playing at being vegetarian, for more years than I should admit given my actual diet, I ate primarily cheese and bread. Yeah, healthy? Not so much. So I won't try going back there whole hog (::snort::) but I have mostly managed to keep the whole recent "Meatless Monday" experiment not only healthy but beneath my family's picky and uber-carnivorous radar. My one slip up was last week's sweet chili lime tofu with kale and quinoa. So much natural food all in one dish about caused them to have heart attacks. And so I am finally finishing up the leftovers myself for lunch today. Obviously I can't go too crunchy granola on them without serious rebellion and having to personally face the Methuselah of leftovers before they are finally finished. So tonight I plan on an Indian curry dish with potatoes and cauliflower. Basically all white (well... yellow) with few green bits (which raises the suspicion factor 100 fold) so it should fly. I hope it's tasty too.

I do have one meatless dish though that I am happy to make and hide away from the rest of the family so I don't have to share, cheerfully feasting on leftovers for as long as I can make them last--which is admittedly not long. It's braised beans with rosemary. It smells heavenly while cooking and tastes even better and I thought I'd share it with you. It's just a slightly doctored version of Food Network Magazine's Braised Beans.

1 lb, dried cannellini beans, picked over
6 leaves fresh sage
6 cloves garlic, 3 smashed and 3 sliced
1 Tbsp. + 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 plum tomato, diced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 heaping Tbsp. rosemary

Soak the beans overnight. Drain and transfer to a Dutch oven. Add 10 cups water, 2 sage leaves, the smashed garlic, and 1 Tbsp. salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Drain, reserving the liquid. Discard garlic and sage.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 475.

Return beans to Dutch oven. Add sliced garlic, olive oil, remaining sage leaves, tomato, 1 1/2 cups reserved cooking liquid, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and rosemary. Place the pot, uncovered, in the oven and cook until creamy (15-20 minutes). Add parsley and more liquid if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Eat up!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Random thoughts

I don't get a runner's high but I do make dubious choices after I run. I went to Trader Joe's immediately following today's run and came home with chocolate cheddar cheese and brussel sprouts. I hope I wasn't of questionable enough mind that I thought I'd use them together! And really, the last time I ate brussel sprouts, I didn't like them. The fact that the package suggested they be sauteed with bacon and Gruyere probably lured me in. But that major derailing ain't gonna happen (I hope).

Yay for me! I ran again today. A friend called and said she was running this morning and did I want to join her. We went almost 4 miles. I know I said above that she's my friend but I think she might have been trying to kill me. Should try to find less lethal friends.

My new strategy for dealing with the grocery store? I already know not to go when I'm hungry but I now officially look the other way when I pass the aisle that has the candy in it. I'm working on doing the same for the snacks and sodas aisle. I look ridiculous studiously looking away (and usually muttering to myself about it too) and I'm likely to ram my cart into someone as I scurry past temptation but whatever works!

I am on day one of no soda. Diet Coke, I'm quitting you. Then again, I may have to give in and try a controlled taper off of it if it gives my my usual caffeine withdrawal headache because tomorrow I have a dance rehearsal. No, not mine. I'd look like the hippos in Fantastia in a tutu and dance with far less grace. But my daughter has a show coming up and I'm one of the prop moms for the production number and then am posted in the quick change dressing room for the rest of the show. A headache, loud music, and cramming sweaty bodies in costumes for a couple of hours would not make for a stellar day.

Super Bowl is this weekend and since I am famous for my appetizers, I plan to go whole hog and make some ridiculously high calorie, tasty concoction. Then I intend to take it to the party we're attending and leave any and all leftovers behind. We're going to be with my old running buddies and since they are almost all built like real runners (as opposed to me--the right chubby and plump, jolly old elf that I am), they can afford the caloric hit with nary a cellulite bump to show for it. My own thighs are dimpling just thinking about it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I ran. The activity, not the country.

Yes, I got my plump butt out on the road and I ran. Normal people strolling could probably have gone faster than I did, but I was out there so it counts. Now I should admit that I am an occasional runner who was once much more serious about it. I ran a marathon in 2008. I ran a half marathon in November. But I haven't run since then. And quite honestly, before the half, I ran almost not at all for several months so the race itself hardly counts (and damn near crippled me to boot). In the past several years, I have had a habit of running once and then not getting out and doing it again for weeks or months. And this time I want it to be different. My neighbor, the one who convinced me to run the half in November, has suggested that we run another one in October. And I am leaning towards saying yes. But only if I really commit to training beforehand. Because the other way is truly hideous.

Anyway, today. I really didn't want to go out. But the sun was shining and it looked all appealing and all to be outside. And if I was going to be outside, I was going to feel guilty if I didn't actually exercise out there. Guilt is a huge motivator for me and I'm not even Catholic. So I dragged on the neglected running gear, grabbed the iPod, and headed out. Luckily I started running to Kid Rock's All Summer Long, which put a huge smile on my face. As I trucked on down the road, I played the drums enthusiastically and sang under my breath (see how slow I go?). I could only muster drumming with one arm though so I probably looked a little off balance. Either that, or I looked like the drummer for Def Leppard but without any talent and unable to carry a tune in a bucket. Sadly, some of my neighbors (ones I actually know) were outside to witness this atrocity. I had to pretend to be so engrossed in my song and my run that I didn't see them. Pitiful.

The song kept me going for a while and I thought I had it set to play my marathon play list. Not so. Somehow I was treated to a whole slew of slow country ballads. These are not so good for encouraging me to keep on keeping on. I did though because occasionally I can beat back the whiner in my head but I clearly need to put some new music on the iPod. Methinks some Pitbull is in my future. Would it be tacky to use the kids' iTunes gift cards from Christmas to load up my running music? I managed to run a good 3+ miles so I'm pleased with that. Hopefully I can still walk tomorrow because I fully intend to get out on the road and waddle on again. Between this and my crunches, I might actually drag some muscles to the surface. Wouldn't that be amazing?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


(Not my gut over there. Mine is not nearly so hairy and has far more stretch marks.) As the caption says, crunches are not enough. But they are better than nothing, no? I have started doing crunches in the morning. First regular crunches, then bicycle crunches, and then something that we used to call V-snaps for swimming dryland training. I never thought I was in decent shape when I started dryland every year but let me tell you, out of shape in my late teens early twenties with a pre-kid body is a whole different ballgame to out of shape in your forties after decades of packing on the pounds and eating badly. My abdominal muscles (and I only know I still have them because they are in a world of screaming hurt after several days of crunches) hate me with a white hot fiery hate. They strain more now than they did when they were having to support the awkwardly large babies I hosted repeatedly. And this crunch thing might kill them. (Don't tell them, but once I get more comfortable with the crunches, I intend to add in the dreaded plank thing too which is likely to have them screaming for mercy--or at least chocolate chips cookies.) And while I know there's a lot more to decent looking abs (note I didn't ask for flat abs--I don't expect miracles) than crunches, surely strengthening the muscles under all the flab will help minimize the pooch, right?