Thursday, September 30, 2010

Weigh-in, September 30

I got on the scale this morning. I'm down 2.5 pounds for a total of 12.5. My co-worker today told me I'm like watching "The Biggest Loser". Well, not exactly - I don't get a quarter million dollars at the end - but I am at least being a bit consistent.

That also puts me halfway to my first goal of 216 pounds. In 12 more pounds, I get my first reward - pedicure! I promise to post a picture of my very pretty feet after that!

In other news, my salad at lunch today was delicious. Now, don't judge. Romaine lettuce, roasted butternut squash, chicken and toasted pine nuts in a light ranch dressing. Satisfying and very autumnal!

In still other news, I got my DVD from the Summer Showcase I was in last August, the photos of which were part of the reason I realized I had become fatty-fatty-moo-moo. (A term of endearment, I assure you!) I sound good. I look horrible. Thank GOD I'm working on it!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I've got moves you've never seen

Hell, I've got moves I've never seen. Not for 15 years or so, anyway. I'm shrinking. Not quickly, but enough so that my body behaves differently.

At salsa/funk class last night, I actually watched myself dance a little. A few body rolls every now and then looked ... well, like they're supposed to look. Not like a body with rolls, but a body, rolling. It was nice. It was also nice that people notice. My friend Nicole told me yesterday that she could tell I've lost weight. Actually, she said she liked my outfit, and that on some people, it would make them look heavy, but on me, it showed my weightloss. Heck yeah!

Tomorrow is weigh-in day. I almost got on the scale today, because I've been feeling so good this week, I'm very hopeful that I have a good loss! Fair warning: I'm going to over-share now. Biologically, I have a week every month when I am just ravenous. It's not the week one would think; it's the week before you'd think I could eat anything that isn't nailed down. Last week was that week. This week, my appetite has been much more like that of a normal human rather than a pregnant buffalo. Whew!

I discovered the sheer, unadulterated joy that is Kashi Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Soft-Baked Cookies. Nirvana, and 130 calories. I need something after a meal to tell my brain, "hey, you're done eating." This does it beautifully.

I also let myself off the hook a little bit this week. When I'm at the gym, it gets difficult to eat a good dinner, because by the time I'm home and ready to cook, I'm exhausted and starving. So, on nights when I go to the gym, I'm allowing myself a meal replacement shake. It's delicious. Sadly, it's not cheap, but it does seem to make more sense than going home and eating a full meal. And the best part is, for the last two nights I've felt happy and satisfied when I got home, and didn't go looking for snacks. BONUS.

So things are coming together a little bit. I've let go of last week's letdown and moved on toward more positive thoughts, and I continue to thoroughly enjoy exercise. I have always had a good time letting my body move. It's hard to believe I denied that for so long.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Holding pattern

I did not lose a single pound this week.

That being said, I didn't gain, either.

Where did I go wrong? Well, biologically, this week I am hungry. Like ravenous. Like, please hand me the loaf of bread hungry. So I've eaten right up to (and at least one day, over) my calorie limit. And I haven't been working out at the gym as much. So, what's a girl to expect, right? I stayed the same. 230.5.

It ain't pretty, but it's me.

What is pretty is the thought of all the people who - whether they knew it or not - encouraged me this week. Each day, I've gotten outside for a walk at lunchtime. Although today it's raining, so probably not, but four days out of five? Yeah, that's pretty good. With the exception of Monday, Lisa and I have taken that walk together. It's nice to have someone to talk to as we make our way through the booming Metropolis that is Wood Dale.

At the gym, I encountered amazing and wonderful people, from Jeff the sales dude (who bought me a protein shake after Thursday's workout) to Amanda the massage therapist (with whom I traded tattoo horror stories) to the incredible Donna and always charming Chuck. Somehow, every time I go to the gym, the people there make me glad I made the effort.

Last night I did a full hour on the elliptical trainer, and I really think this is a good option for me. It's constant forward motion - no crazy lateral moves - and it works the legs like crazy. Same with spinning; I am going to kick up my participation in these two activities, and reserve dancing for Tuesday nights.

So, I'm a little down over not losing any weight this week, but that doesn't mean I've lost momentum. In truth, I think it's given me a little more ... the courage to press on, right?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

But ... it was delicious!

I went out to dinner last night.

I met my Tony at Olive Garden, where I know what to order. Venetian Apricot Chicken comes in at 380 calories for the entire plate. Chicken breast in an apricot sauce, with broccoli, asparagus and diced tomatoes on the side. It really is delicious. Plus, a bread stick (just one) at 150 calories, and a bowl of minestrone for 100. Not a bad dinner.

Except Tony ordered Bruschetta. I love bruschetta. I had to slices of bread mounded with delicious tomatoey goodness. 155 calories; not a complete disaster by any means, although I didn't really have the calories left to have it. But it was awesome.

Dinner was, of course, delicious. Tony ordered beautiful Capellini Pomodoro, and chowed down on the breadsticks I wasn't eating. The conversation flowed, eventually we finished our meals, and were presented with ...

(cue the spooky music)

The Dessert Menu

Thankfully, Olive Garden has taken to serving these adorable "Dolcini" - little baby desserts. With no guilt whatsoever (okay, just a tiny bit) I ordered the dark chocolate/caramel version of it. You would, too. Best 270 calories I have ever over-eaten, accompanied by a luscious cup of decaf.

So, all told, for the day yesterday, I was over my calories by 327. So I made sure I got outside and walked today at lunch, and I'll be at the gym tonight. Because it really is all about balance, and how can a life without dessert ever be considered "balanced"?

Exactly. Cheers!

Monday, September 20, 2010

You Just Never Know

I survived my first 5k.

For the most part, I walked it. Ran a little, in the middle, until I realized that my running pace is not much faster than my walking pace. Time to pick that up a bit, I think. But it's progress.

See, just a few years ago, I never would have even considered taking part in an athletic event. This year, I took on two of 'em. Three, if you count Relay for Life. I looked fear in the face and I said, no ... not me ... no today.

And I didn't get hurt! My knee was tender Saturday night and Sunday, but it wasn't painful. And today? Yeah, today I feel as good as I have in years. Not perfect, but still pretty damn good. My knee is unstable, but not injured. I'll take it.

This week's goals:
  • Continue to eat within my calorie range.
  • Go to the gym Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. And, ya know, work out. Going to the gym to just hang out doesn't count.
  • Walk during lunch when the weather permits.

Let's see how it goes!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I got on the scale this morning. After having two bottles of Miller Light last night (delicious cold refreshment while sitting on a patio and listening to fantastic live music) I am down exactly one pound.

The first time I hopped on the scale, it showed no change. I got on again and it was down a pound. I said - out loud, to my empty bedroom - "two out of three". So I got on again, and it was down a pound. So here's where we stand (other than nekkid in a corner of my bedroom):
  • 230.5 pounds
  • Down 9.5 pounds since starting to count the calories on Monday, August 23. That's less than a month. I'll take it.

I was a little discouraged with such a little loss, but then I looked at the Big Picture. Almost 10 pounds. That is nothing to sneeze at. That's an accomplishment. And a pound is a pound. If I'd spent every week when I was eating whatever I wanted losing a pound instead, well ... I'd be at my goal already. And every week can't bring huge losses; it's just not possible. So I'm going to celebrate this pound. It matters.

Thank you, little pound, for leaving my thighs. We appreciate it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Why is it that each week as weigh-in approaches, I panic?

Tonight, I'm meeting some friends to listen to some music, and have a few (light) beers. Tomorrow or Friday, I get on the scale. And I'm filled with trepidation.

Part of me is excited, because I love that feeling when the scale says "good job". Part of me is scared as hell, though, because ... what if it says "get off, you're hurting me" instead?

I know, I know - just do it, right? And I will. But it's a little scary.

Now that I've got that off my chest, let's move on to the good stuff. Classes at LifeTime Fitness Schaumburg! I love 'em, and Tuesday nights are the best. I get an hour of weight training with MaryAnn (which occasionally hurts me and causes me to curse my hidden muscles) and an hour of dancing with Donna (which is the fastes hour of every week). I always leave these classes feeling inspired - sometimes by the instructors, but most of the time by my fellow students. We support and encourage each other, and it's really quite beautiful to see.

After class last night, my knee was pretty damn sore, but that seems to have subsided quite a bit. I am almost back to the comfort level I had before the physical therapy, so it's likely time to kick my "homework" into high gear again and begin to re-strengthen the muscles of my left leg, in order to support the knee. And, let's remember - with every pound I lose, my knee sends up a little prayer of thanksgiving.

OH! I'm noticing some little changes with this health quest. First, I'm not taking Tums at night. I used to have horrible heartburn; isn't it crazy that eight pounds can make such a difference? It can. Trust me. And, my friend John told me last night that my belly - or, as my friend Eric puts it, my "front butt" - is smaller. This is great news, because frankly, that is my least favorite body part. Phew ... it's leaving!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Still working at it

I haven't gone over my calories.

I'm still doing that disgusting seven-day cleanse; thank God it's over tomorrow. I would be done today, but I missed a day. Tragic!

All things considered, I'm feeling pretty good. There are moments when I miss mindless eating - being able to go get a pack of M&M's just because I want them, and not worry about the calories. But that's just not my life any more, is it?

Nope. My body is a temple.

Stop laughing!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A smaller loaf

I got dressed this morning. I know, I know - what an accomplishment! But the really exciting part was that it was easier.

My clothes are sliding on with little or no effort.

I realize I'm only down 8.5 pounds. Miles to go before I sleep, ya know? But that 8.5 has made a huge difference. My jeans look fabulous right out of the dryer, instead of two hours after I put them on (and painfully wait for them to stretch out.) And my t-shirt; today, I noticed a huge t-shirt change.

I'm wearing this super-soft 3/4 sleeve heather gray t-shirt from Old Navy. I don't wear it very often, and I usually only wear it under a jacket, because that loaf of French bread that sits atop my waist band makes it look horrible. This jiggly mass of Maggie is not what I want to show the world! And yet, today ... I sure as hell notice less of it. 8.5 pounds makes a HUGE difference.

Which shouldn't come as a big surprise. After all, 8.5 pounds of fat is 36 sticks of butter. That takes up some serious real estate! And now ... it's just freakin' GONE.

The loaf is still there, but it's a much more manageable size. More like demi-baguette.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Weekly weigh-in

So I changed my weigh-in day to Thursday instead of Friday. Last week I weighed on Thursday, because "vacation" started on Friday, and this morning I couldn't resist. I'd waited a week ... isn't that enough?

I expected to maybe go up a pound. I hoped I would stay the same. After all, on my birthday, I didn't track a single calorie, and I only went to the gym twice last week.

Turns out, I didn't need to worry. I lost three pounds.

For those of you keeping track (which is pretty much just me, although I have this illusion that I have tons and tons of readers) that means I am down 8.5 pounds in the last three weeks.

Through all of that, I have celebrated a birthday, gotten injured and had to pull back on the gym schedule, and been tempted by all sorts of delicious food. I will not be deterred. I am keeping my eyes on the goal: Overall good health (and a toned bod.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I will run again

Unlike Chicago's Mayor Daley, I will run again.

No, not for mayor, nor for any public post. However, I will physically put one foot in front of the other and hot-foot it to my destination. I will actually run.

You see, over the weekend, I injured my knee. Again. I'm relatively certain it's a ligament sprain, and I'm not going to the doctor. I've seen enough doctors this year, thank you very much, and I know what he'd tell me. Rest; Ice; Compress; Elevate. So, I'll just do that and eliminate the middle man.

Except I still have to go to the gym, which I did last night and encountered only a minimum of pain. And it was totally worth it; Donna invited me on to the stage during the cool-down, which was to Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours", a song I requested in the summer of 2009. The song is perfect for Salsa/Funk, because they lyrics just work - "Listen to the music of the moment people dance and sing, we're just one big family ... " Yeah, that's us. Love it.

So after class I'm limping my way toward the stairs and I tell Linda I'm frustrated, because I'm not sure I'll ever run again. And she tells me to basically knock it off. "When that thought creeps in," she said, " tell yourself you will run again." So I'm working on that.

I'm also working on not kicking that weird half-shirt-wearing guy in the nards. He creeps me out.

Anyway, I will run again. Just thought you should know.

In other news, I am doing the "Cleanse Away 7-Day Renewal" cleanse from Rainbow Light, in an attempt to get the toxins moving and clean out my innards. So far, it's just a little disgusting, but I'm on Day One. I keep assuring myself that it will be worth it when I get to the end of the week; I promise to let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Post-birthday post

I did not count my calories on my birthday.

However, I did count them the rest of the weekend. I went over a little one day, but other than that, we're on target.

I'm a little worried about my workout regimen, because I have tweaked yet another part of my knee and will not be able to do my "normal" stuff, but I'm determined to do what I can and continue burning the calories. I allowed myself to take a pass on a lot of workout opportunities in the weeks leading up to the birthday, knowing that once it passed I'd have a lot fewer scheduled events and a lot less temptation. So, I can't just take time off.

All things considered, I made pretty good choices with my food over the weekend. Homemade crab quiche, only one piece. Lots of raw veggies. Yogurt. Organic roasted vegetables with my eggs. Turkey breast. Multi-grain bread. Yeah, not bad.

Looking forward, with some trepidation, to weighing in on Friday. I'm a little nervous, and every now and then I get this intense desire to jump on the scale and see where I am ... but no. Once a week is enough.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Weigh in, one day early

Got on the scale this morning. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, seeing as last week's loss of four big ones was so dramatic. Maybe I wouldn't be down at all, what with the water retention and all (thank you, hormones) ... but TADA! Down 1.5 ... for those of you playing the at-home version of our game, that's six sticks of butter.

A major accomplishment, in my opinion.

So, what am I doing differently? Here's the major change, in my opinion: I'm focused on it, but I'm not stressed about it. I'll only make it to the gym twice this week, and I only walked three times, but that's okay. Some weeks are easier than others. I'm watching everything I eat, and I'm making sure I enjoy my food.

Now for the hard part: I'm giving myself a bit of a weekend vacation, and I'm a little scared about it. I'll be offline, so I won't have access to my online food diary. And I will be surrounded by delicious food. And beer. So I'm making this commitment right now: I will take a walk or a bike ride both Saturday and Sunday. I will be careful with what I eat, but I will not be psycho about it. I will drink plenty of water. In short, I will be good to myself.

And when I get back, I'll letcha know how it goes.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Birthday Celebrations Begin

Our Salsa/Funk instructor, Donna, has this tradition where she invites people who are having a birthday in the coming week to join her on stage during the teaching of one of the dances. So technically, last night I started celebrating my birthday with Donna, Shakira and a room packed with dear friends.

Donna always makes me feel capable and strong. It's a wonderful feeling, approaching age 45, to just dance and let your troubles (and, hopefully, your dimpled ass) melt away.

Needless to say, last night was wonderful. It didn't start out that way. The meds I'm on (thank you, dentist from hell) make me a little blechy in the belly and I was cranky, but things quickly turned around. That happens when you're around friends.

I powered through Strictly Strength (and tried not to laugh at poor Linda, who was feeling the effects of the previous day's personal training session) and was ready to dance by the time 6:45 rolled around. And did we ever dance! Even with a narcissistic Clydesdale dancing next to me, we had a blast. So when Shakira's "This Time for Africa" came on, I jumped onto the stage for my birthday dance with Donna, and boogied to my goofy heart's content.

Later that night, workout friend Nicole told me that, during the song, she was thinking how the lyrics were perfect for me that night:

Today's your day
I feel it
You paved the way
Believe it
If you get down get up, oh oh
When you get down get up, eh eh ...

And yeah, I think she's right. Salsa/Funk is my way of getting up when I'm down. And it works, damn near every time.