Monday, December 9, 2013

Clearly the cold weather means hibernation mode right?

you take my covers, you die
So I don't know about where you are, but this has been a FREAKING cold winter.  I know that all my East coast friends and family would be wearing a t-shirt and shorts in this temperature range, but I'm a Californian and it should NOT be below 40 degrees in the Bay Area.  I totally blame the cold weather for my lack of motivation to work out and lose weight.  It doesn't help that all I want to do is cuddle under the covers like my cat and eat really warm carby food.  I would think that it being this cold would make me want to run in place just to be warm, but I literally feel frozen and everything is sore from shivering and holding myself as still as possible. 

So I will do my best to avoid the alluring steam coming off the mashed potatoes and warm bread and decide to eat soups with lots of vegetables.  Also I'm going to try and stay away from hot chocolate and switch to herbal teas instead.  I think if I can keep my insides warm, then my outsides will become more motivated.

So here's to keeping warm and keeping the SAD away.  Though I have a confession, the cold weather makes it really feel like Christmas.  :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

So I dodged the turkey, but not the cake

Okay so I didn't stick to any of my goals last week, but I think I made some good last minute adjustments. 

1) Get a smaller plate if possible.
So that didn't happen, but instead I followed the Healthy Eating Plate model as best I could.  It helps that my cousin made a bitching spinach and berry salad that I didn't need to put any dressing on.  The berries were sweet and juicy and amazing on their own.  I had respectable amounts of turkey, the one downside was it was dry and there was no cranberry sauce (my favorite!) so I HAD to have gravy.  I was forced really.  But I didn't have a lot.  The other quarter of my plate was pasta and bread, sad to say there were no whole grain options.  Next time I'll bring some whole grain options to the table!

2) Don't have second helpings.
So totally failed.  But I made sure to heap on that salad 'cause it was DELICIOUS!   And I still took some home.  Best intentions.

3) Stop when full.
This I did do.  I did not get the feeling of about to burst open Henry the Eight style.  I was full, but not overly full.  I think it also helped that I didn't fast before the big meal.  I find that when I don't eat anything and then I'm really hungry, I eat a lot more because my body is in starvation mode.

So one out of the three isn't bad.  Besides it just isn't fair that I had TWO Thanksgivings, one for each side, back to back.  I know for a fact I was worse at my Asian side, because rice is like ninja calories.  You don't realize how much you've consumed until you put it into fitnesspal and you look like this guy:
Also you metabolize Asian food HELLA fast!  The joke is you eat Asian food and an hour later you're hungry.  IT'S TRUE!!!!  So I tend to pig out more when I'm with the Asian side, simply because 1) there is so much good food that is my favorite that I hardly get to eat and 2) I don't get full and stay full like I do on Western food.

Let's also be real, the true culprit of the four pound weight gain this week was the desserts.  Why did there have to be chocolate cake???!!!!  My will was already weakened by the tantalizing smells of turkey and potatoes, but add apple pie (which I STILL haven't had yet :( ) and / or cake.  It's over. 

Well it is time to hit the gym to work it off and prepare for Christmas and the deluge of cookies I'm bound to get from my students.  It would be rude not to eat them ...

In all seriousness, I am quite proud of how I handled the gluttony of Thanksgiving and I am going to get right back on the good train.  I had a salad for lunch when I could have had fries.  The four pound weight gain is still six pounds lost all these weeks later, and I'm feeling great!  It's all about the small steps adding up to one huge pay off!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The turkey is coming for me...

So, I have a confession to make.  In preparation for Thanksgiving, I had a fat week.  I needed to get use to eating a lot of food again right?  That makes total sense, right?  Okay, I'll admit that I'm just lying to myself to make me feel better.  I really don't know what happened this week, but I literally gave no fucks about what I ate.

I think what happened is I decided to reset my progress graph on January 1st.  Clearly my mind and willpower interpreted that as, "Let's just do whatever we want until then."  I can not continue down this road this week especially.  Thanksgiving is a dangerous time for those of us that are trying to lose because our willpower will be tested with each delicious plate that gets passed around.  Luckily, the way my family works is we don't have just one big meal, we just make sure there is ALWAYS food available.  Wait, that's not lucky that's HORRIBLE!  Okay, so time to go Twilight Sparkle and make a plan:

1) Get a smaller plate if possible.
That way you physically can't eat as much in one sitting.  This lengthens the time you are eating food, so you get fuller faster.  Scientific fact!  Anyone who has ever eaten at a dim sum restaurant or sushi boat place can testify to the longer meal = fuller faster = less consumed.  Also the act of getting up and walking will help digest your food and so you won't have as many digestion issues.

2) Don't have second helpings.
This one is going to be tough, but remember if you don't eat it now, you can have it for leftovers!  Now this might involve some preemptive saving for later, but if it is the dish you're bringing to the potluck, save some of it at home and bring the rest.  What the host doesn't know can't hurt their feelings! 

3) Stop when full.  Thanksgiving is about being thankful for all the good in your life, like health, family, and friends, not for stuffing yourself until you burst.  Now I know that a lot of us deal with the family that makes comments about our weight and then during these holiday gatherings are constantly shoving food on our plate.  Be firm and tell them no.  Again we live in a wonderful age of the refigerator and freezer.  Any of this delicious food will actually taste better the next day!

So now I just wait and try to be EXTRA GOOD before T-Day.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Everyone's got issues

While I don't want to get into the feminism content behind this comic, I think it really encapsulates the helplessness people feel when they are judged.
One thing this blog has really helped me do is to minimize the amount of times I engage in "Fat talk".  These are the conversations that all of us have had in our lives that usually evolve into who hates themselves the most.  It usually starts with someone making some sort of innocent comment like, "man I feel fat today" and soon everyone is falling over themselves to reassure them that they don't look fat and they look WAY worse than she does.  The first part I don't mind at all, its the second part that turns into a nasty monster that eats away at my self confidence.  I have been working very hard not to scream at skinny people when they bemoan how fat they are, when I feel like I'm the whale in the corner trying not to take up space.  Before I used to get really mad at these people, but then I realized, they are just like me.  They have body image issues too, it just isn't as visible to the rest of us like mine might be.  When I think of these prompts that rapidly devolve into self-hate I realize that everyone has some sort of issue that they are dealing with.  The difficult thing about non-obivous issues is that they are just that, not obivous, and so people constantly invalidate them. It is this invalidation of the non-obivous issues that drive us further into our self hate.

For example, I feel like my weight is an obvious issue that I have to deal with, like the battle of the muffin-top or squeezing into tight shirts, but a not so obvious issue that I deal with is almost crippling low self-esteem.  I'm really good at putting on the face of a confident, awesome person, but I have a really hard time of accepting that I really am that person.  Whenever someone tells me, "No, you can't have low self-esteem.  You always seem so confident", I feel like that is telling a skinny person who truly feels they are fat, "Please, bitch.  You are so not skinny, look at this muffin top I'm rocking, now that's fat."  This invalidation pushes the issue and you find yourself entering into the whose fattest competition.

How often do you engage in Fat Talk?

In an effort to work on my self-esteem, I am working on my body image, both the actual presentation and how I view myself.  To help how I veiw myself, I am going to stay out of the Fat Talk scenario.  I just won't engage, because if I do, all the positive work that I have put in will become buried under new comparisons that I hadn't even thought of.  If someone give me the Fat Talk prompt, I will do my best to stay the hell away form the conversation.  If I must engage, I will keep myself out of it, instead tell the person how beautiful he or she is.  Lastly, I will work on focus on finding what I love about myself, rather than focusing on what I hate about myself.  After all, in the words of the fabulous Ru Paul, "If you don't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?"

Monday, November 11, 2013

My instant gratification monkey is named Mr. Chocolate Cake

If you ask anyone what is the hardest part of losing weight, 9 times out of ten it is forcing yourself to do things you don't want to do, like exercising, choosing healthier options, and not having that second helping of your favorite food.  In other words, the number one hurdle we need to overcome in our journey to lose weight is to not procrastinate about it.  I'm going to suggest that losing weight is like carving a statue, it requires a lot of hard work and grinding, but the end product is beautiful.

Tim Urban, the author of the blog, "wait but why" wrote an AMAZING two part blog post about procrastination. You might be telling yourself that procrastination has nothing to do with the struggle to losing weight, but it has EVERYTHING to do with it.  I procrastinate about going to the gym in that I make every excuse possible not to go or exercise.  For example, I'll forget my shoes or I'll put off my school work so when Mike asks me to work out with him, I can tell him I have to much work and I'm panicking about getting it done.  Then I feel bad about myself and I tell myself next time I'll remember my shoes and I'll get all my work done.  But it's a vicious cycle that's REALLY hard to break.

In Part one, he mentions that the procrastinator shares his thoughts with an instant gratification monkey.  This monkey is cute and adorable and has us wrapped around his devious little paw.  Whenever we have to make a decision, the monkey always produces more alluring alternatives that seem so much better than the daunting task of whatever is at hand.  For example, the monkey in my head, whose name is Mr. Chocolate Cake, is a staunch believer in we deserve that piece of cake even if we just stood for an hour.  He convinces me that I totally burned enough calories "exercising" (air quotes becasue today was the first day I officially exercised) that I can have whatever I want.  He's also the voice in my head that tells me, "hey you are over your calorie limit anyways, just don't count it."  Basically Mr. Chocolate Cake is a lying son of a bitch.  When we listen to the monkey, we end up in the Dark Playground, but in this case the Dark Buffet.  The Dark Buffet is filled with everything we want to eat, but in portions that we shouldn't have.  We give in and end up just feeling bad.  I gave into the monkey quite a few times in the last few weeks, I broke down and had a soda and I also had more that I should have this weekend.  Luckily I have an ally on my side, my body.  My body had been happy about what I've been doing, so when the monkey convinced me to do things I shouldn't my body reacted VERY POORLY to these decisions.  It hurt so bad praying to the porcelain God that I have promised myself never again. 

In Part two, he offers suggestions to outwit the monkey.  The key to defeating your procrastination is to drag the mokey kicking and screaming from the Dark buffet to the Happy Buffet, full of all of the new options that you now love and manageable portions of old favorites from before.  The first step of beating procrastination is to plan.  The monkey knows you really well, and if you make big vague plans like, "I'm going to lose fifty pounds by this time next year" he will smile and pat you on the head and say "sure you are."  You need to be specific about your plan, how are you going to lose weight, what do you need to support you, what will have to happen to make the plan a reality.  the most important thing is to break it up into small manageable parts.  Once you know the parts, then you have to DO it.  This requires the most effort, because Mr. Chocolate Cake keeps reminding you how easy it use to be and you can always enact this plan later, no need to do it now.  However, losing weight is like carving a statue, it takes time and consistant effort.  If you leave your work, the rock will stay how it is, but it might erode being exposed to the elements.  Sticking to our plan is chipping away at the stone, the efforts of one day might not seem like a lot, but when our plan is complete, the rough rock is a complete statue.

I know myself and Mr. Chocolate Cake knows me as well.  I let my emotions drive my actions, if I get frustrated I tend to stop or go back to the beginning for a do-over.  That is one of the reasons why I had such a small weekly goal of -1 pound per week.  I figured this goal would be easy to accomplish and so it would motivate me to keep going.  When I gained three pounds in the first week I was devastated and Mr. Chocolate Cake waved that cake right under my nose.  Luckily, the internet provided me with information of weight fluctuation and a coworker told me that it takes 5 to six weeks for the female body to get the message.  I also don't deal well with lots of changes, so I decided to just limit my calorie intake first.  Next is figuring out an exercise schedule, but if I try to do too many things at once I get overwhelmed and that cake just teleports to my mouth.  I see that everyday I am under my calorie intake I chipping away at the raw chunk of marble that will slowly but surely become the me that I want to be.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It's hard to feel sexy when you are the biggest girl in the group...

[image removed so we won't get into trouble]

So last Sunday, my fellow cast-mates of the Producers and I were able to live a dream.  In the show, we have a prison set, that is bright red, and REAL prison bars.  So naturally, I took one look at it and immediately thought Cell Block Tango from Chicago.  I have always wanted to play Velma, and this was my one chance to do it.  I got out the fishnets, rocked the hotpants (which I had been rocking for two weeks in the Producers), and wore the only sexy black top I could find.  After bribing the techies with coffee we had the set, lights, and music going.  It was AMAZING!!!! I have never felt sexier and hotter than that moment lip syncing to Cell Block Tango.  My husband filmed it and was full of praise for how confident and sexy I looked and I felt really great for the first time in eight weeks.

Then I saw the video.  While I totally oozed confidence I couldn't help focusing on the fact that I was HUGE compared to the other girls.  I didn't think I was that much bigger than them, but seeing the stark comparison in the tight black outfits I definitely see why I wasn't considered to be a showgirl (and the fact that I can't tap).  The top I choose to wear was loose fitting, which I thought would help, but in retrospect, I should have gone with a corset.  Lock and load the girls and cinch in the unwanted bulge.  As it was it was on whole a very unflattering outfit, but my biased husband still loved it.

Seeing me in that video just reinforced why I'm really trying this time to lose weight.  I have an image of myself in my head and it so does not match what I actually look like.  I truly want to believe casting directors of COMMUNITY shows are willing to look past body, but let's be real, if you have two girls who are perfect for the role and one fits the costume, then you are going to go with the path of least resistance.  Please understand me all of my theater friends, I am not delusional in thinking that I don't get cast because I'm a big girl, I'm just saying I don't want it to be something holding me back.

With the success of our impromtu dance-oke to Cell Block Tango, the producer of the Producer is really pushing for Chicago.  That means I have about a year to stay on target and look like the woman I have in my head.  I can't wait to post the comparison photos! Now off to find a jazz class so I can really work to a goal! :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Post Mortem on Halloween - wanted to post this before, but was busy :-S

Okay, so I dodged the crazy candy rush of Halloween because I didn't go trick or treating and I wasn't home to hand out candy.  Also I was too busy to go to the grocery store to buy a bag of candy and I'm staying far away until the sale is over.  It's just too tempting.  :)  I love Halloween for the dressing up rather than the sweets, but they are always nice.  I was disgusted by the lady in North Dakota who handed out letters to "fat" kids and candy to "skinny" kids.  As someone who is on shaky ground about her body image, this would have destroyed my self confidence as a kid.  If I was a parent of one of these "fat" kids, I would be sending her a bill for the therapy my kid would need.  I understand what she was trying to do, but then she shouldn't have given candy to ANY child. 

Halloween is a tough holiday as many kids are just focused on getting as much candy as possible.  For me, the holiday is much more about dressing up and gathering with friends.  This focus on candy is also really hard on children who can't eat mainstream candy.  I love how one of my co-workers bought little toys and coloring books to hand out instead of candy.  However, she had a five-year old exclaim, "Are you serious?"  when he got the coloring book.  She took the book back and sent the young man on his way.  If I had been the parent of the sassy child, I would have been mortified.  It is a privilege to go house to house to receive gifts in return for prayers (according to the history of Halloween), not a right.  We would have been, "time to go home".  The fervor over candy during Halloween is just crazy.  Older kids grabbing handfuls of candy, some dumping whole cauldrons into their bags.  God, I sound like an old fart (*waves cane and yells at the kids to get off my lawn)  It's this fervor over sweets because it is the one day of the year where it isn't restricted that is the challenge during this holiday.  I say let them have candy all throughout the year, so they don't get rabid over it on this one day.  I know the sweet siren call of the forbidden fruit (yes Dr. Pepper, I can hear you calling).  If it wasn't restricted, then it wouldn't be so alluring.  So am I telling myself to drink soda? ;)

I applaud people who do the healthy choices during holidays and brave the criticisms from the juveniles.  I will probably try to be one of those people because in the past when we have had candy to give out, I ate more than I gave.  It is just too tempting.  Now that the Halloween craze has died down, it is time for the big holiday, the day that will really test my resolve and determination, THANKSGIVING.  My thoughts on my favorite culinary holiday next week.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It has been confirmed. I'm an emotional eater.

Okay so I've totally figured out I'm an emotional eater.  Monday was a perfect storm of events culminating in the costumer asking me to fit into a shirt that she was convinced was going to be WAAAAAY too small.  I could tell from one look that it was going to fit, no problem.  However she kept hovering around me as I was changing repeating that I had to do whatever I could to fit into this shirt or else I would look different for everyone else.  Needless to say my first look was correct and the shirt was actually not snug at all.  She was relieved and I was pissed, thinking "just how fat did this woman think I am?"

First of all, I have done costumes for a show before and I know that people are sensitive about their size.  I always try my best to find clothes that fit the character and will make the person feel good.  That can't always happen, and I'm sorry to anyone that I had to put into a sack dress.  Also I've been there A LOT.  Secondly, the costumer is doing an AMAZING job clothing 30+ people in many different outfits.  Also to conclude, she and the other lady have to make lots of different shapes from super skinny to curvy look exactly the same and sexy.  Basically, upon reflection I realize that it wasn't about me, instead it was her thinking out loud and it was just the final irritation that threw me over the edge.

We got out of rehearsal for The Producers at 9:30 and both Mike and I had had a frustrating day, so instead of going home, we went to IHOP.  Instead of just being comforted with the hot chocolate, I got chocolate chip pancakes AND mac and cheese.  Instead of just eating half of everything like I planned, I ate it all and wanted more.  I had been doing so well and then I let my emotions get the best of me and I felt like I had blown it.  I did feel better, but it probably had more to do with the venting than with the food.

In the morning, it was time for my weekly weigh in and I seriously considered skipping it.  I knew that I was still in a negative space, and I was afraid if I had truly blown it, I would run to the freezer and eat an ice cream bar because, fuck it!  I knew that I couldn't run from it, I had to rip the band-aid off and I had checked the freezer and there was no ice cream so my diet would be safe from my emotions.  I closed my eyes, took off my shoes (saves about a pound), and seriously considered stripping down (another pound gone!), but it would have skewed the results.  Damn scientific methodology!  Anyhoo, I step on the scale and crack my eye open and my mouth dropped open.  I was at my goal weight for this week!  Despite the culinary emotional outburst, I had done it!  I made a goal!  Needless to say that put a spring in my step.  I'm not naive enough to believe that I can pig out each time I'm upset, but it does comfort me that it won't COMPLETELY mess up the plan if I have one teensy- okay huge- culinary outburst.  Now if I could somehow avoid the student provided baked-goods at work. . .

The moral of the story is don't beat yourself up about caving in, just don't run to the Haagen-Daas each time you're upset.  (Might take up kick-boxing to deal with that ;))

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Week five - Thank you body for finally getting the memo!

Oh my god, my body FINALLY got the memo and I'm almost on track!  Woohoo!  Not gonna lie, if I hadn't started getting results, the cookies were going to start coming out as a big F-U to the universe.  Thankfully I had a friend who is a HUGE health nut and let me know that it takes the female body up to SIX weeks to catch on that you are trying to lose weight.  SIX freaking weeks!  No wonder people give up and dig into the Hagen-daas.  I was almost at that point, but I wasn't about to go back to square one.

Here are some things that contributed to my success (Again, I have no idea if it's true, but I'm going to continue believing in it):

1) Really staying under my calorie allotment.  Yeah there were slight overages, but by counting little exercises (like laundry, and standing) I was able to always have a little extra left at the end of the day.  Restricting calories is a huge part of losing weight, and as demonstrated by Kansas State professor, Mark Haub, it doesn't matter what you eat as long as you restrict the number of calories you consume you will lose weight. He refers to his experiment as the twinkie diet.  Although he lost 27 pounds, he was severly malnourished.  So restrict your calories, but make sure you are getting the right nutrients!

2) Thanks to the help of my husband, we have been pretty good about not eating after 9:00 p.m.  there have been some days that we just had to due to scheduling snafus, but on the whole we have been pretty good.  Also I've had mondo cravings for chocolate (due to that time of the month :() and he has been really good about not allowing me to waste my precious calories on a cookie.

3) I have accepted the fact that I will have fluctuation in my weight from day to day.  The human body can fluctuate in weight up to five pounds in a day.  For women that number can increase to 7 pounds during that time. So I'll admit last week I was feeling very distraught and frustrated and over emotional and an INTENSE craving for chocolate, so it was no wonder that I lost so much between week four and week five.

I am really pleased that my body has decided to catch up with what I'm doing and I hope that we continue down this road together.  I will continue to count each day that I am below my starting weight as a personal victory and keep trucking down this road and a slow and steady pace!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week four - I think being in a play is preventing me from losing weight

Okay, so it is week four and I've only managed to keep a single pound off.  And even that is up to contention.  The scale was a little twitchy this morning and I decided to the sake of my sanity that I would choose the lower number that it was wavering between.  I know, it's kinda cheating, but I need to feel like I'm making some progress.  I mean come on, I'm even exercising through dance in my play rehearsals so shouldn't that count for something?  Here are some things that I think are preventing me from reaching my goals:

1) Even though I am dancing my butt off at dance rehearsals, I am not exercising every day.  And to be honest most of the dancing that we are doing is walking from formation to formation.  [Speaking of the play, you should come see Mike and me in, "The Producers" at Woodside center for the Arts on Oct. 25-27 and Nov. 1-3].  Granted the tap numbers cause me to work up a sweat, but I'm really counting a 3 hr. dance rehersal as only one hour of aerobic dance because of the low impact nature of the other numbers.

2) Because I'm in a play, my eating schedule is crazy.  I usually have a FiberOne granola bar in the morning, then a salad for lunch.  If I can, and if I remember, I'll squeeze in dinner before rehersal, but more often than not I wait until rehearsal is done to eat dinner.  When I do that, I'm consuming on average 700 calories right before going to bed which I know is a huge no-no, but I can't go to bed hungry.  It just doesn't work.  So I really think that even on the days that I am under calorie, the fact that I am consuming a huge amount of them late in the evening causes them to just sit there.

3) I haven't been that good at recording my calories the last two weeks because I've been crazy busy.

So here is how I plan to fix/overcome those challenges:
1) Do ten minutes of exercise every day.  I can fit ten minutes in.
2) I shall eat no food after 9:00 p.m.  That means I need to eat something before rehearsal or bring something to eat during it.
3) Record my calories everyday, especially the weekends.

I have to be honest, I thought I was setting my bar really low at one pound a week.  I did not expect it to be this hard.  But everything that is worth something requires hard work. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Week three - stupid body

At least I'm back where I started.  Le sigh.

Moral of the story: every day has to be a good day including the weekends until I make a goal.  So here is my first goal, written for all to know and see:


Reward: one splurge meal of something decadent :).  I'm thinking burger AND fries ;)

I'm keeping the goal small, so I won't want to rage quit this thing out of frustration.  I have a bacon cheeseburger from Jefferey's in San Mateo with my name on it!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Really? I burned 812 calories by standing?

Okay so I just recently changed my geometry classroom around so that I am standing at the document camera to present the notes instead of sitting in the back of the room.  I really like the new set-up and I had heard a lot about the benefits of standing versus sitting while working.  I also am a little close to my calorie threshold today before dinner (the student baked cupcake was too nice to resist!) so I was looking for ways I burnt calories today to maybe get me an extra 50 calories to keep me under.  By using the calorie counter at, I burnt an extra 187 calories by standing!  I was actually suprised how many calories you burn by sitting, but it takes energy to breath and move your fingers, so I guess that makes sense, but that makes me feel great!  A whole extra 187 calories!

Now comes the moral quandary of do I count these 187 calories?  It feels like cheating, but in my busy schedule it's cool to know that I am burning calories while I work.  I think I might reserve it for when I need a few extra calories to keep under goal.  Right now I haven't been logging any exercise from walking between my classrooms, or standing, or anything that could count.  It's just slightly overwhelming to think about every little bit of "exercise" that I did any given day.  I think if I got something like a fitbit to monitor my steps and it automatically downloaded my data for me then I would consider it,
but for right now, it just feels good to know that I have extra calories at my disposal should I need them!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My successes and failures during week one

Okay so I realize this is way late, but I been a bit busy between work and play rehearsals.  So As you can see from the graph I actually gained three pounds.  :( . This is why I don't weigh myself everyday, but instead had decided to weigh myself once a week.  I was hoping to avoid the daily up-shifts.  I had even weighed myself on the same scale at the same time of day as the first measurement.  Oh, well, I can't deny the data.

I was kinda surprised at the gain, because I honestly felt better all week.  It seemed that my pants weren't so tight, I wasn't super hungry and longing for ice-cream.   Besides I had been SO good during the week.  I was under my calorie goal EVERYDAY during the week.  So why did I gain weight?  Then I remembered I took a cheat weekend to host a friend's b-day party.  There was much food to be had AND I had McDonalds 10 piece chicken nuggets and fries.  I was not good at all on the weekends and my shame knows no bounds, and I am paying the consequences.  Also I know the graph looks very dramatic right now, but hopefully it'll look dramatic in the right way in a few weeks!

Instead of focusing on the frustrating weight gain, I am going to focus on what went right during week one.  Firstly, I was under calorie EVERYDAY during the week!!!  Huzzah!  This is a huge accomplishment for me considering I have NEVER been able to do this.  I also went out to dinner with my lovely husband and I was really jones-ing for something creamy and decadent, so I ordered the appetizer mac'n'cheese.  Because it was an appetizer, I also ordered a Chinese chicken salad (which has a depressing amount of calories for a salad, between 500-1000 cal depending on size and the accoutrements).  Let me just say that the appetizer was WAY more than an appetizer portion should be.  So before digging into the mac'n'cheese, I ate the salad first.  Since the salad was not small either, I boxed the mac'n'cheese up and managed to split it over two days.

So yeah, it's all about the slow steps and not reverting to emotional eating.  Because I don't want to continue gaining weight, I've reduced my calorie count to 1400/day.  I went over on monday by 20 cal, but I've managed to be under by a bit each day, so VICTORY!!!  Also I am forcing myself to put things into myfitnesspal app BEFORE I eat them.  Before I would do the nom noms and then put it in and regret my decisions or force me to run in place for an hour to burn those extra calories.  Now I am using my calorie limit to make better decisions.

I won't let three pounds ruin my resolve, if anything it has lit a fire under my butt to do better!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Why I can't, no, why I won't do restricted diets.

I truly feel for people who have a food allergy or a condition like Coeliac's disease where they can't eat certain food.  I love food too much and mostly certain types of food to give them up. 
The no soda thing is about as restricted as I can get because it was causing a physical reaction that only happened when I drank them.  So scientifically they must be the cause.  I have thought about going vegetarian, but I love pho too much (seriously, it is my life blood).  Since Scott Pilgrim, I felt that maybe I could do vegan and get super powers, but see the previous sentence and I raise you brie.  I thought about doing the whole Atkin's / south beach diet, but that would mean no rice, so life just wouldn't be worth living.  Then I heard about the gluten-free diet which would allow me to eat rice, but no bread or pasta.

Of all the self imposed, meaning not for medical purposes, the gluten-free one seemed to be the most likely candidate.  I could still eat pho and rice and all the foods I love, just no pasta.  I went into this endeavor thinking it would be easy, but I was so surprised by how many foods had gluten or possible traces of gluten.  Luckily, my small intestine wouldn't explode if I accidentally had some cross-contamination, but still it was surprisingly hard to stick to it.  I did find some really good gluten-free brown rice pasta.  (I will link it once I have time to go grocery shopping.  It tasted like normal pasta and had great texture.  The only down side is that I had to cook it for 20 mins.  I guess I've been spoiled by quick cooking gluten-filled pasta.  I even managed to trick my husband into eating it!  I told him it was whole wheat hence the slightly different texture and he had seconds.  Of course the moment I told him it was gluten-free, he made the stink face, but continued eating :).

So the gluten-free diet is really the only one that would work for me, but I was shocked to see that gluten-free pasta have MORE calories per serving than regular pasta!  I know that calories are not the end all and be all for "healthy", but why would I make a choice to eat something that it is not quite right and it'll take up more of my calorie count.

So in short,I will stick to portion control for now and do some research into the benefits of "healthy" alternatives like quinoa and gluten-free choices.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Counting Calories

So as I sit here nomming on my delicious lunch of white rice and cha lua I can't help but wonder how many calories I'm eating in one sitting.  Counting calories is a super important part of losing/managing weight but it is by far my lest favorite.  I try to input my calorie intake before I actually eat it to see if I'm allowed or if I want to make different choices, but for today, it's nom first, count later.

What drives me crazy about counting calories is that I can't believe how many calories are packed into such tiny things!  For example one serving of pasta is 2 oz dry and that equates to 200 calories (on average).  When I use my trusty electronic balance to measure out exactly 1 serving of pasta I find that it is two bites.  That's 100 calories per bite!  Ridiculous!  To combat this particular problem I tend to buy the smaller size pastas so I feel that I am getting more bang for my intake.  It's totally mental, but it keeps me from crying into my two forkfuls of spaghetti.
Another hard part of counting calories is estimating the amounts of food you are eating.  It is also SO easy to go low, so that way you have the satisfaction of being under your calorie limit.  If I'm at home, I actually break out the scale and measuring cups and get all scientific and measure out my food, but I will not do that at a restaurant.  It just going to take the home measurements to train my eye and my forgiveness of self to accept that yes, I did just eat 1000+ calories in one sitting.

I'm using the calorie counter from  What I love about it is the extensive (and sometimes confusing) database of foods and their breakdowns and their bar code scanner.  The break downs are really nice so if you are trying to cut out saturated fats or sodium, you can see that you might be at or under your calorie goal, but you have exceeded your sodium intake.  Thank god for the bar code scanner!  I don't think I would do calorie counting if it didn't have it.  It also has this cool feature that you can put in a recipe that you made, say how many servings from the recipe, and it'll tell you how many calories are in that serving.  I have been able to find most foods on there, some of my more obscure asian food stuffs aren't there.  A lot of stuff is user generated, so I tend to take it with a grain of salt.

Another benefit of myfitnesspal, is that you can set goals for yourself and it will adjust your calorie intake to match your goals.  It will also keep track of your weight and measurements.  So for example:  my current calorie intake level is 1,590 cal/day and my goal is to lose 1 pound a week.  As I lose weight, or if I have to push through a plateau I can adjust my goals and my calorie limit will change.

Lunch is done, and it turns out my lunch was a whopping 634 cals.  I didn't have breakfast, so that leaves me 956 cals for dinner and snacks.  My goodness that's nine whole forkfuls of spaghetti!  Oh happy day!

Monday, September 16, 2013

11 days without soda

So the first major thing I'm trying in my epic battle to lose weight is to cut out soda from my diet.  All the Internets say it is the best way to start losing weight.  Something about the high fructose syrup goes straight to fat.  Damn it Jim, I'm a physicist not a chemist!  We shall see.
No more, sweet, soothing nectar of the Gods that is Dr. Pepper!  No more will I turn to you Coke Zero for that little extra oomph.  I can do this...

If only soda wasn't so delicious and gave me blinding migranes when I drank too much of them.  No seriously, some diet drinks make me go blind in one eye.  It isn't just diet soda, any diet drink does it to me, probably a reaction to aspartame.  So that's the real reason I stopped drinking soda.

It took me a while to find my substitution, but I have found my pseudo-heavenly nectar in the form of Snapple's "Lightly sweetened" tea.  So far I have only found two flavors, Peach Passionfruit and Pomogranate Cherry, and I have only seen them in my local safeway.  I wouldn't recommend drinking them like they are going out of style as each bottle is 80 cal.  But one a day is enough to curb the craving for something sweet and not water.

Why I'm doing this

I had the most humbling experience the other weekend, and that was really my breaking point.  I have been struggling with losing weight and feeling good in my body.  I have tried many things with varying success but the weight is back on and I done.  It is time to stop saying, "I wish that I was skinny" and its time to start actually taking the steps.  I plan to use this blog as a way to talk about steps I'm taking towards getting healthy we'll see if it works.

So my current weight is 200 lbs and I really want to get to 150 lbs.  My goal is to lose 1 pound a week and keep it off.  That means at this time next year I should be where I want to be!